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Autobiography of Oluf Borch: notes on the text.

The manuscript København K.B., GkS 1645, 4'o, designated "A" in the following, comprises 3 volumes, of which vols. 2-3 consist of various manuscripts bound together, mainly in Borch's hand. The collection was owned by Søren Lintrup about 1715, and some or all of the items were no doubt exemplars for Lintrup's printed collection of dissertations by Borch, for which see Christensen's bibliography no. 43.

The text of the autobiography is on 6 unnumbered leaves, placed at the end of vol. 2. The text is written in one hand, presumably Borch's. Until §48 "bis gessit" the writing looks homogeneous, and this whole piece may have been executed on one occasion, presumably about 1686, since §34 mentions a 20-year period after 1666.

Part of the last page contains later additions in the same hand. Thus the piece §48 "et primum" until the end of §50 appear to be written with one or more pens that differ from that used before. The phrase in §49 "de futuro judicabunt futuri", which has been cancelled, was no doubt the original conclusion; it is, however, difficult to see whether the pen changes after this. The passage contains the dates 1686 ("66" by inadvertence) and 1687. Some corrections in the first part of the text have been made with a similar pen, notably the addition in §44 on "De usu plantarum...", which was printed in 1688. This, then, may be the date of this set of additions.

The latest addition is §51; here the pen changes once more, and the handwriting looks altered too. The note concerns events in 1689, shortly before Borch's death.

This manuscript has been used as the source of the text presented here, except that the Rostgaard text (below) has been drawn on at a few places where my photocopy of the manuscript is illegible because of the tight binding. These supplements comprise a few letters at a time, and are largely unambiguous.

The spelling, accentuation and punctuation of the manuscript are preserved except that the abridgments "q(ve)", "p(ræ)", "o(mn)es" are expanded, and long "j" at the end of words is rendered as "i".

Notation: The pagination "1-12", and the paragraphing, are arbitrary; the manuscript is not paginated, and the only paragraph break is before §34. One instance of Gothic handwriting is enclosed in "...". Underscoring renders underscoring. [Brackets] are as in the manuscript. Asterisks * refer to the apparatus of variants.

Insertions, whether above the line or in the margin, are enclosed in \.../. Where a reading has been changed in the manuscript, the later reading is adopted in the present text, and the earlier one is noted in the apparatus. Deleted readings are left out but are noted in the apparatus. The insertions and corrections appear to be in the text-hand.

The autobiography was printed in Deliciæ quorundam poëtarum Danorum collectæ et in II Tomos divisæ a Friderico Rostgaard, Leiden 1693. This comprises the autobiography proper, plus a preamble and an appendix, which are not reproduced here. Readings in the Rostgaard text that disagree with "A" are recorded in the apparatus with the label "R". Disagreement concerning accentuation, punctuation, cases of letters, and expansions of abridgments is not recorded. The Rostgaard text is quite a faithful reproduction; it has adopted the readings that occur as additions or corrections in "A".

Two correct readings in R (§7 "millium hominibus"; §49 "LXXXVI") may be corrections of careless slips in A, whereas R has a number of errors (e.g., §29 "abiisset") that may easily be explained as misreadings of A. Most of them affect proper names; see the apparatus for examples. Generally, there is no reason to assume that R represents an independent tradition.

Other printings of the autobiography are known from: the edition of Borch's "Cogitationes" from 1691 (Christensen no. 25), and from "Conspectus scriptorum chemicorum" from 1697 (Christensen no. 42). These versions have not been examined.

Apparatus of variant readings.

A = ms. København K.B., GkS 1645, 4'o, vol.2 at end.
R = Frideric. Rostgaard: Deliciæ quorundam poëtarum Danorum..., 1693, vol.2 p. 371-387.

(3) Pavlli: A; PAULI R.    (7) millium hominibus: A; millibus hominum R, correctly.    (9) Hafniensi: A; Haffniensi R.    (10) qvibus ... fabricabor: in R, this passage is parenthesized.    (12) Rumpffio: A; Rumphio R.    (13) Gerstorphii: A; Gerstorfii R. Later on, A's change of spelling is echoed by R. -    aperuit: AR; before this, A has a cancelled "admonuit".    (14) Möseleri: A; Moseleri R.    (16) Cantuarium: AR; corrected from "Cantabrigium" in A.    (18) Oberie, Tamponettius: A; Oberiæ, Tamponetlius R.    (19) Richeliade: A; Richiliade R.    (20) Busenasii: A; Businasii R.    (22) Guiran: A; Guiram R.    (25) Septalæ: A; Septalii R.    (27) instituta: after this, A has a cancelled "sæpius".    (29) obiisset: A; abiisset R, incorrectly.    (31) Kirckero: A; Kirchero R.    (32) admonitu stimulatus: A; s.a. R.    (33) pavllatim: A; paulatim R.    (34) jussus: after this, A inserts "est" above the line, then cancels it. -    si qvid: AR; corrected from "qvicqvid" in A. -    immò: A; imo R.    (37) immò: A; imo R.    (43) praxi medica: after this, A has a cancelled "annotat".    (44) plantarum indigenar.: in A, "indigenar." is an insert, placed above "plantarum"; R has "indigenarum plantarum".    (45) filiis: AR, but hard to interpret. -    salutaria: AR; corrected from "profutura" in A.    (49) LXXXVI: R; LXVI A, incorrectly. -    De futuro judicabunt futuri: cancelled in A, absent from R.    (51) "donec --": there are in fact two dashes, and the rest of the page is blank.

F.S.P. Fri Oct 13 20:25:33 CEST 2000