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A: Alisandrel he was when it was won; Full oftentime he had the board begun Aboven allé nations, in Prusse. S In Lettowet had he reyséd, and in Russe, Ne Christian man so oft of his degree. In Gernades at the siege eke had he be Of Algesir, and ridden in Belmarie. 8 At Leyes was he and at Satalie, When they were won; and in the Greaté Sealo At many a noble army had he be. At mortal battles had he been fifteen, And foughten for our faith at Tramicene, 11 In listesi2 thries and aye slain his foe. This ilkels worthy Knight had been also Sometime with the Lord of Palatie Agen another heathen in Turkey ;14 And evermore he had a sovereign prise. 13 And, though 16 that he was worthy, 17 he was wise; And of his port as meek as is a maid. He never yet no villany18 nel' said, In all his life, unto no manner wight. He was a very perfect gentle20 Knight.

With him there was his son, a youngé Squire, A lover and a lusty batcheler, With lockés crull, 31 as they were laid in press. Of twenty year of age he was I guess. Of his statúre he was of even length, And wonderly deliver22 and great of strength; And he had been sometime in chevachie23 In Flandres, in Artois, and in Picardy, And borne him well, as of so little space, In hope to standen in his lady's grace.

Embroidered was he, as it were a mead All full of freshé flowers white and red.

Chussia with the role as the place of King of Cypru

I Alexandria was captured by Pierre de Lusignan, King of Cyprus, in 1365. 2 Been set at the head of the table as the place of honour.

3 Service in Prussia with the Teutonic knights against the heathens of the Baltic coun tries formed a school of training for military men in these ages. • Lithuania. 6 Travelled, (German, rcise, a journeyl.

& Grenada. 1 Algeciras, in Andalusia, west of Gibraltar, taken from the Moorish king of Grena la in 1344.

* Supposed to be in Africa.

» Layas in Armenia, and Satalia (ancient Attalia) in Cararrania, were captured, the former in 1367, the latter 1352, by Pierre de Lusignan of Cyprus.

10 The Mediterranean.

11 Or Tlemecen, the western province of Algiers: its chief town of the same name was formerly a great city, the capital of an independent kingdom. It is said to contain many Roman remains.

12 The inclosure for tournaments and judicial combats. 13 Same: retained in the Scottish dialect. 14 In Anatolia among the ruins of Miletus. 15 Praise. 16 As well as. 1. Of esteem in arms. 18 " Anything unbecoming a gentleman." (Tyrwhitt., Villain, a pensant, a feu dal serf. 19 Double negatives form a common idiom in old English. 20 High born. 21 Curled. 2 Active, niinble. (Fr.) 13 Military service; (Fr. chevul, a horse): chevauchée signifies in French judges' circuil.


Singing he was or fluting all the day :
He was as fresh as is the month of May.
Short was his gown, with sleeves long and wide;
Well could he sit on horse, and fairl ride.
He couldé songés make, and well indite,
Joust, 3 and eke dance, and well pourtray and write.
So hot he loved, that still by nightertalet
He slept no more than doth the nightingale.
Courteous he was, lowly, and serviceable,
And carved before his father at the table.5

A Frankéline was in this company.
White was his beard as is the dayésie.?
Of his complexion he was sanguine.
Well loved he by the morrow a sop in wine.
To liven in delight was ever his wone,
For he was Epicurus' owén son, 8
Who held opinion that plain delight
Was verily felicity parfite.9
An householder, and that a great was he:
St Julian? he was in his countree.
His bread, his ale, was always after one ;11
A better envyned12 man was no where none.
Withouten 13 bake meat never was his house,
Of fish and flesh, and that so plenteous,
It snowéd in his house of meat and drink,
Of allé dainties that men could of think ;

I Elegantly: fair in its modern application implies mediocrity.

2 Indite, to write, (" what the muse or mind may dictate"); to dictate. The form indict seems now restricted to legal accusation, (Lat. indicium, accusation.) For the origin and application of indiction see Gibbon, Roman Empire, chap. xvii.

To tilt in the tournament: some connect the term with the word justle ; some with the Latin preposition justa; others with justa, the Roman funeral rites, because combats formed a part of the ceremony. (Fr. jouster ; Ital..giostrare.)

Nightime: the termination tale seems to be the German word theil, a part, a deal. 5 This was part of the duty of a squire, who fulfilled for his master many of the offices now reckoned menial, as well as equipping him for the field, and rendering him assistance there or in the tournament. “There is exquisite beauty in offices like these, not the growth of servitude, not rendered with unwillingness or constraint, but the spontaneous acts of reverence and affection, performed by a servant of mind not less noble and free than that of his honoured and illustrious master." Godwin, Life of Chaucer. & From frank, free; a proprietor who held his lands free of feudal services or payments.

Day's eye is the alleged etymology. Comp. Horace, Epist. 1. 4, 16. » Fr parfait; this is always the form in Chaucer. 20 St Julian is the patron saint of travellers. The Franklin is so hospitable he may be called the St Julian of his country.

11 Alike in excellence and abundance. At one, in agreement: to atone, to set at one ; to reconcile: hence to compensate for faults.

12 Furnished with wine.

13 This form is still used in Scottish poetry. With, from Anglo-Saxon rithan, to join, signifies concomitancy; with, from woyrthen, to be, implies caure, instrumentality: within, (be in,) and without or withouten, (be out,) are formed from the latter. Were has the same origin; and worth, essence, hence value: worth is used in its original sense as an interjection :

Wo worth the chace! wo worth the day! (Scott.) with, & willow twig, used for uniting or binding, (Judges xvi. 8);-Withers, the joints of a horse's shoulders.

After the sundry seasons of the year
So changed he his meat and his soupère.
Full many a fat partridge had he in mew,
And many a bream, and many a luce in stew
Wo was his cook, but if his saucé were
Poignant and sharp, and ready all his gear.
His table dormants in his hall alway
Stood ready covered all the longé day.

At sessions, there was he lord and sire,
Full often time he was knight of the shire.
An anlace, and a gipcieres all of silk,
Hung at his girdle white as morrow milk.
A sheriff had he been and a courtour ;9
Was no where such a worthy vayasour. 10

THE PARSON. A good man there was of religion That was a pooré personnell of a town; But rich he was of holy thought and werk : He was also a learned man-a clerk. 12 That Christé's gospel truély would preach ; His parishens devoutly would he teach. Benign he was and wonderis diligent, And in adversity full patient : And such he was yproved often sithes. 14 Full loth were him 15 to cursen for his tythes ; But rather would he given out of doubt, Unto his pooré parishens about, Of his off ring16 and eke of his substànce:

He could in little thing have suffisance.17 According to 2 A pike; from lupus (Lat.) ; the pike is the wolf of the waters. Horace, Sat. ii. 2, 31.

3 Unless. It is alleged that there should be two words, but and bot; the former a preposition from the Anglo-Saxon verb be-utan (to be out), implying exception or privation : the latter a conjunction from the verb botan (to add, to supply), denoting addition ; in Scottish poetry but is still used for withoutNow thou'rt turned out for a' thy trouble

but house or hald. (Burns.) In Wickliffe's version of the Scripture, but is used in many passages where the modern version uses and " But his disciples axiden him," &c. Luke viii. 9. “But that, that fell among thorns," &e. Luke viii. 14.

4"All sorts of instruments; of cookery, of war, of apparel." (Tyrwhitt.) 5 Never moved, fixed.

6 Representative in parliament for the county. 1 A knife, usually worn at the girdle.

A purse. • Warton takes this term to mean coroner; it is spelt also comptour, (French, como kur,) and may mean accountant or steward of the hundred to which he belonged.

10 Probably a middling landholder.

Il “ Skinner says from parischon, ecclesiastes ; Barb. Lat. parocianus, i. c. pastor of the parish. In low Latin it is persona, ecclesiæ rector, ruler or rector of the church.

persona, because by his person the church, which is an invisible body, is represented. Blackstone." Richardson.

1 A scholar; the clergy being the only depositories of the arts of reading and writing in the dark ages. 13 Used adverbially.

14 Times; German, zeit, modern English, tide; also sith, sithence, since.

15 Would he have been : analogous to methinks, moseems, "him listeth," &c. The construction might perhaps be analysed into "he were to himself."

16 of the revenue received at the offertory in the service of the mass. 1 Sufficiency: (French),


Wide was his parish-houses far asunder,
But he ne left nought for no rain ne thunder,
In sickness and in mischief to visite
The farthest in his parish much and lite,?
Upon his feet, and in his hand a staff.
This noble ensample to his sheep he gaff,2 —
That first he wrought and afterward he taught;
Out of the gospel he the wordés caught,
And this figure he added yet thereto,
That if gold rusté, what should iron do?
For if a priest be foul on whom we trust,
No wonder is a lewédman to rust.*
And shame it is, if that a priest take keep,5
To see a smutted shepherd and clean sheep.
Well ought a priest ensample for to give
By his cleannessé, how his sheep should live.

He setté not his benefice to hire,
And lette his sheep accumbered in the mire,
And ran unto London unto St Paules
To seeken him a chanteries for souls,
Or with a brotherhed to be withold:7
But dwelt at home and kepté well his fold,
So that the wolf he made it not miscarry:
He was a shepherd and no mercenary.8
And, tho' he holy were and virtuous,
He was to sinful men not despitous ; 9
Ne of his speeche dangerous ne digne, 10
But in his teaching discreet and benign.
To drawen folk to heaven with faireness,
By good ensample, was his business.
But, it werell any person obstinate,
What so12 he were of high or low estate,
Him would he snibben 13 sharply for the nonés :14
A better priest I trow that no where none is.
He waited after no pomp nels reverence,
Ne maked him no spicédio conscience,

I The most distant of his parishioners, great and small.

2 Gave. 3 Low, ignorant, unlearned; hence having the qualities that naturally spring from that condition. Acts xvii. 5. Hearne says, “the laity, laymen, the illiterate.

• To become morally and religiously worse. > Exercise care in his office.

6 “An endowment for the payment of a priest to sing mass, agreeably to the appointment of the founder ; there were 35 of these in St Paul's."

1 Withheld from his duties by other attachments. 8 John X. 12.
# Despiteful, angry to excess.
10 This word has the sense of disdainful, proud, as well as worthy. (Lat. dignus.)
11 Were it. 12 Though, or granting.

13 Check, reprove, scold; snub, snap, sneap are other forms; "an envious sneaking frost."--Shakesp. Love's Labour Lost.

14 This word is written nonce, nones, nanes ; corruptly, according to a well known tendency in English to attach the n of the indefinite article to words beginning with a vowel, for once, ones, anes; for a (n) once, i. e. for a purpose or occasion; sometimes the initial s has been detached from the word and attached to the article, as a nadder, a numpire, a nauger ; written an adder, an umpire, an auger. IS Nor or not.

16 Spices, disguise, corruption in food.

But Christés love and his apostles twelve
He taught, but first he followed it himselve.1



First on the wall was painted a forest,
In which there wonneth neither man ne beast;
With knotty, knarry, barren trees old,
Of stubbés sharp and hidöuss to behold;
In which there ran a rumble and a swough,
As though a storm should bresten' every bough.
And downward from a hill under a bent,
There stood the temple of Mars Armipotent,
Wrought all of burnédio steel, of which the entrée
Was long and strait and ghastly for to see ;
And thereout came a rage and swiche a vise, 11
That it made all the gates for to rise.
The northern light in at the door shone,
For window on the wall ne was there none,
Through which men mighten any light discern.
The door was all of athamant eterne, 12
Yclenched overthwart and endélong,
With iron tough, and for to make it strong,
Every pillar, the temple to sustain,
Was tonné-great, 18 of iron bright and sheen. 14

1 This beautiful picture of a good clergyman has been modernized and amplified by Dryden ; but the simple colouring of Chaucer is more appropriate to the patriarchal character than the gorgeous hues of Dryden's versification. Compare also “ the Clergyman" in Goldsmith's * Deserted Village."

? Dwelleth; (von, to dwell, is familiar in Scotch); wont, habit, custom. (Ang. Sax. wunian. German, wonen.)

3 Rough; knarr or gnarr is a hard knot in a tree. Chaucer has this word in the sense of snarling, or chiding.

• Short thick stocks; stub is any thing stopped, (sc. in growth); a remnant: to stud, to eradicate, to remove a stub; stubble, the diminutive, applied to corn shortened by cutting. The word and its cognates appear in many languages;-(Lat. stipula, stipes. Gr. GTUTOS, a stump.) "* So the next parson stubbed and burnt it."-Swift.

5 Hidous, pilous, for hideous, piteous, &c.

6 A stupefying noise; from Ang. Sax. swig-an, to be amazed, according to Tooke, who connects swoon with it.

7 Brest, burst: bren, burn; thurg, through ; this analogy is very frequent. 8 Declivity.

Æneid, ii. 425; an epithet also of Minerva --and of warriors. 30 Burnished; (Fr. brunir, to polish); having the brightness of burning flame. 11 Apparently war and impetuosity; vise is supposed to be a corruption. 12 « Eternal adamant composed his throne."-Pope. The diamond ; applied to any hard rock, to steel: (from Greek a, a, privative, and dauda, damao, I subdue). Pliny assigns its indestructibility as originating this derivation.-Phn. xxxvi. 4. The properties of the magnet were attributed to the diamond.-Chaucer, Assembly of Fowls, stanza 22. “ Adamantine rock."-Milton, Par. Lost, ii. 646. “Mail, adamantcan proof."-Id. Sams. Agon. 134. 13 of the circuir.ference of a tun. 14 Adj. and noun. Byron nises it as a verb; "sheening far."-(Childe Harold.) The adj. is also shceny: same with shine, shiny.

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