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Lord Ieige and I.ordis have in remembrauncc
Eight goodly Qucflions ■with their Answers *.
The first question was, What erthly thing
Is best and unto God most commendable?
The first clerke answered without tarying,
A mann'is soule ever sirme and stable
In right, [and] from the trouth not variable;
But now alas! full fore may we wepe,
For covetise hath broughte trouth asleepe. 14
The second, What thing is most odious?
* Septem Sapientum Sentential apud Alison.
Quznam summa boni! Mena qui libl conscia recti.
One man to havin a double visage, jjjr
The third, Cqueftlon] What is too beste dowcf
That may be to a wife appropriate?
A clene life, was the clerkis answer,
Without finne; all chaste, and inviolate,
From all deceits and speches inornate,
Or countenaunce which (hall be to dispise:
No fire make, and then no smoke woll arise. z8
The fourth question, [was] What maiden: may
Be called clene in chastitie.'
The fourthe clerke answered, Which alway
Every creature is alhamde on to lie,
Of whom men reporten great honestie.
Good maidens kepe youre chastitie forth,
And remember that good name is gold worth. &g
[The fifth] Who' is a pore man ever full of wo.'
A covetous man which is a nigon,
He that in -his herte can never fay ho;
The more gode the lesse distribution;
The richer the worse of condition:
Men in this coast clepen him a niggard,
[And] Sir Guy the bribour is his steward. 4^
[The fixthj Which is a rich man without fraud?
He that canne to his gode suffise;
Whatever he hath he yeveth God the laud,
And kepeth him clene from all covetise;
He desires nothing in ungodly wife j
His body is here, his mind is above;
He is a rich man, for God doth him love. ^^ Who is a foole ? is the seventh demand;
He that wotde hurt and hath no ptfwere;
Might he mickell much wolde he command;
His malice grete, his might nought were;
He threteth full fast, full little may he dere:
He thinketh not how men have fayed besofne
God scndeth a shreude cowe a short home. 56
Who is a wife man ? is the eightquestion;
Cbautcr's Prophetic *.
VV Hen faith faylith in priest'is sawes,
It falleth for a gentleman
And the sooth in his presence. 4
It commeth by kind of gentil blood
* So this stanza is entitled in a book in the Allimolean muftum, N° 6086,731, p. 16;.
T/je Reader to Geffrey Chaucer, prefixed to Speght1! edit, o/l6oi.
\athere haft thou dwelt, good Geffrey, all thiswhile Unknown to us, save only by thy bookes?
Ch. In haulks and hearnes, God wot land in exile, Where none vouchsaft toyeeld me words or lookes, Till one which law me there, and knew my friends, Did bringmeforth : such grace sometime God fends. 6
Read. But who is hethathath thy bookesrepair'd, And added moe, whereby thou art more graced?
Ch. The seise same man who hath no labor spar'd To helpe what time and writers had defaced, And made old words, which were unknown of many, So plaine that now they may be known of any. la
Read. Well fare his heart: Hove him for thy fake, Who for thy fake hath taken all this pains.
Cu.WouldGod I knewsome means amends to make, That for his toile he might receive some gains. But wot ye what? I know his kindnelle such That for my good he thinks no pains too much. 18
Upon the pifiurfqs CJ}Jiic?r, prefixedto Speght's edit, of l6oj.
What Pallas' citie owes the heav'nly mind
By Tasso's and by Pctrarke's penne obtained,
What high renoune is pWrchas1d unto Spainc,
WTiat praise our neighbour Scotkird doth rctaine
In'verse, which doth ApblweS Muse bewray:
See Te/li'monies of learned men concerning Chaucer and hit Works, vol. xiii.