صور الصفحة
PDF

And said him thus; To Athenes (halt thon wende; Tier is thee (hapen of thy wo an ende.

And with that word Arcite awoke andstert. I39J
^Kow trew«ly how love that ever me smert,
* Quod he, to Athenes right now wol I fare;
Ne for no drede ofdeth slial 1 not spare
To fe my lady, that I love and serve;
In hire presence I rekke not to sterve. 1400

And with that word he caught a gret mirrour,
And saw that changed was all his colour,
And s.'.w his visage all in another kind;
And right anon it rau him in his mind,
That sith hi* face was so disfigured I405

Of maladie the which he had endured,
He mightc wel, if that he bare him lowe,
Live in Atstenes evermore unknowe, <

And fen hU lady wel nigh day by day.
And ru'ht anon he changed his aray, 1410

And clad him as a poure labourer.
And a!! alone, save only a squier,
7'hat knew hisprivite and all his cas,
Which was disguised pourely as he was,
To Athenes is he gon the nexte way. J4IJ

And to the court he went upon a day,
And at the pnte he proffered his service,
To drudge and draw what so men wold devise.
Alt'! shortly os this materefor to siyn,
Ke fell in office with a chamberlain, I420
The which that dwelling was with Emelie,
For he was wife, and coude sone espie
Of every fervent which that served hire:
Wei coude he hewen wood, and water here,
Forhe wasyonge and mighty for the nones, 14*5
And therto he was strong and big of bones
To don that any wight can him devise.
A yere or two he was in this service,
Page of the chambre of Emelie the bright,
And Philostrate he fayde that he h;ght. ] I430

But half so wel beloved a man as he ,■> . / ,;
Ne was ther never in court of his degre.. , ■ ,1 . ;■

Jse wasso gentilof conditioun, .

That thurghout all the court was his renoun.

They sayden that it were a charite • I43J

That Theseus wold enhaunsen his degre,

And putten him in worshipful service,

Ther as he might his vertues exercise.

And thus within a while his name is spronge

Both of his dcdes and of his good tongc, 144*

That Theseus hath taken him so ner

That of his chambre he made him asquier,

^.1430. Phibjlrate] In TheTheseida Arcite takes the name ofPentheo. See the Discourse, iSc. p. 186". The nnme of Philostrate might be suggested to Chaucer either by Boccace'6 poem entitled Pbilofiratf}, or by The Decameron, in which one os the characters is so called. In The Midsum. Night's Dream, of which the principal subject is plainly taken from this Tale, a Philoltrate is also introduced as a favourite servant of Theseus, and mailer ofhis fperts.

And gave him go)d tomaiateine Hi's degre;

And eke men brought him out of his contre

Fro yere to yere ful prively his reHt; '445

But honestly and fleigtily he if soent,

That noman wondred how that he it hadde.

And thre yere in this wischislishefedde,

And bare him so in pees and eke in werre

Thern'asnoiman that Theseus hath derre. 14,50

And in this hlisse let I now Arcke,

And fpeke I wol of Palamon a Ike.

In derkenesse and horrible and strong prison
This seven yere hath sitteri Palamon,
Forpined, what for love and for distresse. *4SS

Who fdeth double sorwe and hevinefle
But Palamon ? that love distraineth so,
That wood out of his wit he goth for wo,
And eke therto he is a prisonere ■■ •■'
Perpetuell, not only for a yere. 1460

Whocoude rime in English proprely ''"
His martirdom ? forsoth it am not s,
Therfore I passe as lightly as I may.
It fell that in the seventh yere, in May
The thridde night, (as olde bokes sayn, I465

That all this storie tellen more plain)
Were it by avemure or destinee,
(As whan a thing is shapen it shal be)
That sone after the midnight Palamon,
By helping of a trend, brake his prison, 1470

And fletth the cite faste as he may go,

Tor he had yeven drinke his gayler so

Of aclarre made of a certain wine,

With narcotikes and opie of Thebes fine,

That all the night though that men wold him shake,

The gailer slept, he mighte not awake: 147 6

And thus he fleeth as faste as ever he may.

The night was short, and faste by the day,
That nedes cost he moste himselven hide;
And to a grove faste ther beside I480

With dredful soot than stalketh Palamon:
For shortly this was his opinion,
That in that grove he wold him hide all day,
And in the night than wold he take his way
To Thebes ward, his frendes for to preie I4*>J

On Theseus to hclpen him werreie:
And shortly, eyther he wold lese his lif
Or winnen Emeiie unto his vvis.
This is the effect, and his entente plein.

Now wol I turnen to Arcite agein, 149°

That litel wist how neighe wa6 his care,
Til that Fortune had broughthimin t)ie snare.

fr. 1479. That ntdes cost] The sense of this passage, as it stands in the mir. is so obscure that I am inclined to adopt the alteration proposed mGl.Urr. v.Necie r "That nedes cafi he "mclte himselven hide;" i.e. that he roust needs call or con' trive to bide himself.—But 1 find the same expression in L. ir. 26S6;

.Or nedes cejic tais. tiling mote have an.eodc

The besy larke, the meffager os day,

Salewith in hire song the morwe gray,

And firy Phebus riseth up so bright, 1405

That all the orient laugheth of the sight,

And with his stremes drieth in the greves

The silver dropes hanging on the leves.

And Arcite, that is in the court real

With Theseus the sqnier principal, rjCO

Is risen, and loketh on the mery day;

And for to don his observance to May,

Remembringon the point of his desire,'

He on his courser, sterting as the fire,

Is ridden to the feldes him to pley, *5°S

Out of the court, were it a mile or twey;'

And to the grnve of which that I you told

By aventure his way he gan to hold,

To maken him a gerlond of the greves,

Were it of woodbind or of hauthorn leves; 1510

And loud he song agen the sonne shene.

Maye, with all thy floures and thy grene,
Right welcome be thou faire frestie May,
I hope that I some grerie here getten may.
And from his courser with a lusty hcrte 15 15

Into the grove ful hastily he sterte,
And in a path he romed up and di-cin,
Ther aaby aventure this Palamon"' '• •
Was in ahufh, that no man might him fe,
For fore afered of his deth was he. 1510

« السابقةمتابعة »