Page 189




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Venus and Mercury. Above the moon and these two is
the sun, which is so beautiful and pure that it brings
clarity to the whole world. It is situated so high up that
its circle is that much more spacious and large than that
of the moon, taking twelve times as long to make its
journey than does the moon, which completes its own in
30 days. The sun, being further away from the earth than
the moon is, completes its course in three hundred and
sixty-six days, which is twelve times more plus an extra
day, as the calendar teaches us, plus an extra quarter of
an day, which is to say six hours. But they also start
at different times. For one begins with the day and the
other with the night. This is very frustrating to people
who have to account for the quarter day and so they add
and extra day once every four years. This is called
the bisext, and happens once in four years, so that
in practice there are four years and then an extra day
in the fourth year. When the sun comes back to
its starting point in mid-March, the new season begins again
and all things are filled with love by the virtue of the sun
that has returned. For the world had its first beginning
in this season, and so

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Marie Richards

original ms. Folio 86r
Walters ms. Folio 91r
BL Royal MS 19 A IX fols 99v-100r
Caxton, ed. Prior, pp 125-126
Gossuin, ed. Prior, 157