Ms. Germ. Fol. 19, Berlin
Like most of the books in this section, the Mgf 19 is an anthology of several texts.
The greatest part by far, the first 431 pages, are taken up by "Die Vierundzwanzig Alten",
and after this comes a short chapter about "ars moriendi", the art of dying well.
This chapter starts with a drawing (picture to the left), and we are told twice
that the scribe was named Johannes Maiger from Werdenberg,
who wrote the text in 1448.
After "ars moriendi" comes the dance of death, and the dance is
followed by a drawing of a preacher (picture to the right).
It is tempting to assume that this was meant to portray "the second preacher",
who finishes the dance of death, but the truth is probably, that the drawing belongs to
the text that follows: "Von einem christlichen Leben".
As these drawings show, this book was produced with great care,
but it is precisely in the chapter with the dance of death that
the scribe has shown the least attention:
- There are several mistakes already in the introductory sermon:
At the bottom of one page, "noch den worten" has been added in the margin.
At the top of the following page, "Das ander" has been repeated and then crossed out again. Instead "die bösen" has been added,
and at the end of the sermon, "allem" is added in the margin before "truren" (no other sources have "allem" here).
- There's a dittography in the count's speech: "Vnd vnd",
and in the same manner the duke says: "Als als".
On the other hand the pope is lacking an "Ich":
»Die wil [ich] lebt on vorcht bekant«.
- The nobleman was missing and has been added later vertically in the right margin.
- The titles of the dancers are not only stated in the headings,
but also in the margins written in different hands in red and green ink.
White paint has been generously applied in several places to correct mistakes,
and this is particularly true for these titles.
For instance the heading over the "Edelfrow" has been whitened out, and now it only says "Dot" at the end.
- One wonders why the scribe can't decide what to call the protagonist
in the headings: dott / dot / tod or tot.
The text has been transcribed here: Mgf 19, Berlin.