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Title: Chaucer's Works, Volume 3 (of 7) - The House of Fame; The Legend of Good Women; The Treatise - on the Astrolabe; The Sources of the Canterbury Tales
Author: Chaucer, Geoffrey, 1343?-1400
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chaucer's Works, Volume 3 (of 7) - The House of Fame; The Legend of Good Women; The Treatise - on the Astrolabe; The Sources of the Canterbury Tales" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Transcriber's note: Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).
[=a] signifies "a with macron"; [)a] "a with breve"; and so forth. [gh]
represents yogh, [*e] the schwa. A carat character is used to denote
superscription: a single character following the carat is superscripted
(example: XIII^e).

In this edition the two versions of the Prologue to the Legend are each
assembled for continuous reading. Skeat's commentary on the Astrolabe
(mentioned in the text as "Footnotes") has been similarly separated from
Chaucer's text.

Glossary covering the texts in this volume. See:

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MS. FAIRFAX 16. LEGEND OF GOOD WOMEN, 414-450








LITT.D., LL.D., D.C.L., PH.D.


* * *


 'He made the book that hight the Hous of Fame.'
                                _Legend of Good Women_; 417.

 'Who-so that wol his large volume seke
  Cleped the Seintes Legende of Cupyde.'
                                _Canterbury Tales_; B 60.

 'His Astrelabie, longinge for his art.'
                                _Canterbury Tales_; A 3209.





*       *       *       *       *       *



*       *       *       *       *       *



  INTRODUCTION TO THE HOUSE OF FAME.--§ 1. Authorship. § 2. Influence
  of Dante. § 3. Testimony of Lydgate. § 4. Influence of Ovid.
  § 5. Date of the Poem. § 6. Metre. § 7. Imitations.
  § 8. Authorities. § 9. Some Emendations                               vii

  § 2. The Two Forms of the Prologue. § 3. Comparison of these.
  § 4. The Subject of the Legend. § 5. The Daisy. § 6. Agaton.
  § 7. Chief Sources of the Legend. § 8. The Prologue; Legends of
  (1) Cleopatra; (2) Thisbe; (3) Dido; (4) Hypsipyle and Medea;
  (5) Lucretia; (6) Ariadne; (7) Philomela; (8) Phyllis;
  (9) Hypermnestra. § 9. Gower's Confessio Amantis. § 10. Metre.
  § 11. 'Clipped' Lines. § 12. Description of the MSS.
  § 13. Description of the Printed Editions. § 14. Some Improvements
  in my Edition of 1889. § 15. Conclusion                               xvi

  the MSS. §§ 2-16. MSS. A., B., C., D., E., F., G., H., I., K., L.,
  M., N., O., P. § 17. MSS. Q., R., S., T., U., W., X.
  § 18. Thynne's Edition. § 19. The two Classes of MSS. § 20. The
  last five Sections (spurious). § 21. Gap between Sections 40
  and 41. § 22. Gap between Sections 43 and 44. § 23. Conclusion 40.
  § 24. Extant portion of the Treatise. § 25. Sources. § 26. Various
  Editions. § 27. Works on the Subject. § 28. Description of the
  Astrolabe Planisphere. § 29. Uses of the Astrolabe Planisphere.
  § 30. Stars marked on the Rete. § 31. Astrological Notes.
  § 32. Description of the Plates                                      lvii


  THE HOUS OF FAME: BOOK I.                                               1
  THE HOUS OF FAME: BOOK II.                                             16
  THE HOUS OF FAME: BOOK III.                                            33

  THE LEGEND OF GOOD WOMEN: THE PROLOGUE                                 65
          I. THE LEGEND OF CLEOPATRA                                    106
         II. THE LEGEND OF THISBE                                       110
        III. THE LEGEND OF DIDO                                         117
         IV. THE LEGEND OF HYPSIPYLE AND MEDEA                          131
          V. THE LEGEND OF LUCRETIA                                     140
         VI. THE LEGEND OF ARIADNE                                      147
        VII. THE LEGEND OF PHILOMELA                                    158
       VIII. THE LEGEND OF PHYLLIS                                      164
         IX. THE LEGEND OF HYPERMNESTRA                                 169

  A TREATISE ON THE ASTROLABE                                           175


  NOTES TO THE HOUSE OF FAME                                            243

  NOTES TO THE LEGEND OF GOOD WOMEN                                     288

  NOTES TO A TREATISE ON THE ASTROLABE                                  352



§ 1. It is needless to say that this Poem is genuine, as Chaucer himself
claims it twice over; once in his Prologue to the Legend of Good Women, l.
417, and again by the insertion in the poem itself of the name _Geffrey_
(l. 729)[1].

§ 2. INFLUENCE OF DANTE. The influence of Dante is here very marked, and
has been thoroughly discussed by Rambeau in Englische Studien, iii. 209, in
an article far too important to be neglected. I can only say here that the
author points out both general and particular likenesses between the two
poems. In general, both are visions; both are in three books; in both, the
authors seek abstraction from surrounding troubles by venturing into the
realm of imagination. As Dante is led by Vergil, so Chaucer is upborne by
an eagle. Dante begins his third book, Il Paradiso, with an invocation to
Apollo, and Chaucer likewise begins his third book with the same; moreover,
Chaucer's invocation is little more than a translation of Dante's.

Among the particular resemblances, we may notice the method of commencing
each division of the Poem with an invocation[2]. Again, both poets mark the
exact date of commencing their poems; Dante descended into the Inferno on
Good Friday, 1300 (Inf. xxi. 112); Chaucer began his work on the 10th of
December, the year being, probably, 1383 (see note to l. 111).

Chaucer sees the desert of Lybia (l. 488), corresponding to similar waste
spaces mentioned by Dante; see note to l. 482. Chaucer's eagle is also
Dante's eagle; see note to l. 500. Chaucer gives an account of Phaethon (l.
942) and of Icarus (l. 920), much like those given by Dante (Inf. xvii.
107, 109); both accounts, however, may have been taken from Ovid[3].
Chaucer's account of the eagle's lecture to him (l. 729) resembles Dante's
Paradiso, i. 109-117. Chaucer's steep rock of ice (l. 1130) corresponds to
Dante's steep rock (Purg. iii. 47). If Chaucer cannot describe all the
beauty of the House of Fame (l. 1168), Dante is equally unable to describe
Paradise (Par. i. 6). Chaucer copies from Dante his description of Statius,
and follows his mistake in saying that he was born at Toulouse; see note to
l. 1460. The description of the house of Rumour is also imitated from
Dante; see note to l. 2034. Chaucer's error of making Marsyas a female
arose from his misunderstanding the Italian form Marsia in Dante; see note
to l. 1229.

These are but some of the points discussed in Rambeau's article; it is
difficult to give, in a summary, a just idea of the careful way in which
the resemblances between these two great poets are pointed out. I am quite
aware that many of the alleged parallel passages are too trivial to be
relied upon, and that the author's case would have been strengthened,
rather than weakened, by several judicious omissions; but we may fairly
accept the conclusion, that Chaucer is more indebted to Dante in this poem
than in any other; perhaps more than in all his other works put together.

It is no longer possible to question Chaucer's knowledge of Italian; and it
is useless to search for the original of The House of Fame in Provençal
literature, as Warton vaguely suggests that we should do (see note to l.
1928). At the same time, I can see no help to be obtained from a perusal of
Petrarch's Trionfo della Fama, to which some refer us.

§ 3. TESTIMONY OF LYDGATE. It is remarkable that Lydgate does not expressly
mention The House of Fame by name, in his list of Chaucer's works. I have
already discussed this point in the Introduction to vol. i. pp. 23, 24,
where I shew that Lydgate, nevertheless, refers to this work at least
thrice in the course of the poem in which his list occurs; and, at the same
time, he speaks of a poem by Chaucer which he calls 'Dant in English,' to
which there is nothing to correspond, unless it can be identified with The
House of Fame[4]. We know, however, that Lydgate's testimony as to this
point is wholly immaterial; so that the discussion as to the true
interpretation of his words is a mere matter of curiosity.

§ 4. INFLUENCE OF OVID. It must, on the other hand, be obvious to all
readers, that the general notion of a House of Fame was adopted from a
passage in Ovid's Metamorphoses, xii. 39-63. The proof of this appears from
the great care with which Chaucer works in all the details occurring in
that passage. He also keeps an eye on the celebrated description of Fame in
Vergil's Æneid, iv. 173-183; even to the unlucky rendering of 'pernicibus
alis' by 'partriches winges,' in l. 1392[5].

I here quote the passage from Ovid at length, as it is very useful for
frequent reference (cf. Ho. Fame, 711-24, 672-99, 1025-41, 1951-76,

 'Orbe locus medio est inter terrasque, fretumque,
  Caelestesque plagas, triplicis confinia mundi;
  Unde quod est usquam, quamuis regionibus absit,
  Inspicitur penetratque cauas uox omnis ad aures.
  FAMA tenet, summaque domum sibi legit in arce;
  Innumerosque aditus, ac mille foramina tectis
  Addidit, et nullis inclusit limina portis.
  Nocte dieque patent. Tota est ex aere sonanti;
  Tota fremit, uocesque refert, iteratque quod audit.
  Nulla quies intus, nullaque silentia parte.
  Nec tamen est clamor, sed paruae murmura uocis;
  Qualia de pelagi, si quis procul audiat, undis
  Esse solent; qualemue sonum, cum Iupiter atras
  Increpuit nubes, extrema tonitrua reddunt.
  Atria turba tenet; ueniunt leue uulgus, euntque;
  Mixtaque cum ueris passim commenta uagantur
  Millia rumorum, confusaque uerba uolutant.
  E quibus hi uacuas implent sermonibus aures;
  Hi narrata ferunt alio; mensuraque ficti
  Crescit, et auditis aliquid nouus adicit auctor.
  Illic Credulitas, illic temerarius Error,
  Vanaque Laetitia est, consternatique Timores,
  Seditioque repens, dubioque auctore Susurri.
  Ipsa quid in caelo rerum, pelagoque geratur,
  Et tellure uidet, totumque inquirit in orbem.'

A few other references to Ovid are pointed out in the Notes.

By way of further illustration, I here quote the whole of Golding's
translation of the above passage from Ovid:--

 'Amid the world tweene heauen and earth, and sea, there is a place,
  Set from the bounds of each of them indifferently in space,
  From whence is seene what-euer thing is practizde any-where,
  Although the Realme be neere so farre: and roundly to the eare
  Commes whatsoeuer spoken is; Fame hath his dwelling there,
  Who in the top of all the house is lodged in a towre.
  A thousand entries, glades, and holes are framed in this bowre.
  There are no doores to shut. The doores stand open night and day.
  The house is all of sounding brasse, and roreth euery way,
  Reporting double euery word it heareth people say.
  There is no rest within, there is no silence any-where.
  Yet is there not a yelling out: but humming, as it were
  The sound of surges being heard farre off, or like the sound
  That at the end of thunderclaps long after doth redound
  When _Ioue_ doth make the clouds to crack. Within the courts is preace
  Of common people, which to come and go do neuer ceace.
  And millions both of troths and lies run gadding euery-where,
  And wordes confuselie flie in heapes, of which some fill the eare
  That heard not of them erst, and some cole-cariers part do play,
  To spread abroade the things they heard, and euer by the way
  The thing that was inuented growes much greater than before,
  And euery one that gets it by the end addes somewhat more.
  Light credit dwelleth there, there dwells rash error, there doth dwell
  Vaine ioy: there dwelleth hartlesse feare, and brute that loues to tell
  Uncertaine newes vpon report, whereof he doth not knowe
  The author, and sedition who fresh rumors loues to sowe.
  This Fame beholdeth what is done in heauen, on sea, and land,
  And what is wrought in all the world he layes to vnderstand.'

§ 5. DATE OF THE POEM. Ten Brink, in his Chaucer Studien, pp. 120, 121,
concludes that The House of Fame was, in all probability, composed shortly
after Troilus, as the opening lines reproduce, in effect, a passage
concerning dreams which appears in the last Book of Troilus, ll. 358-385.
We may also observe the following lines in Troilus, from Book I, 517-8:--

 'Now, thonked be god, he may goon in the daunce
  Of hem that Love list febly for to avaunce.'

These lines, jestingly applied to Troilus by Pandarus, are in the House of
Fame, 639, 640, applied by Chaucer to himself:--

 'Although thou mayst go in the daunce
  Of hem that him list not avaunce.'

Again, the House of Fame preceded the Legend of Good Women, because he here
complains of the hardship of his official duties (652-660); whereas, in the
Prologue to the Legend, he rejoices at obtaining some release from them. We
may also note the quotation from Boethius (note to l. 972). As Boethius and
Troilus seem to have been written together, somewhere about 1380, and took
up a considerable time, and the apparent date of the Legend is 1385, the
probable date of the House of Fame is about 1383 or 1384. Ten Brink further
remarks that the references to Jupiter suggest to the reader that the 10th
of December was a Thursday (see note to 111). This would give 1383 for
beginning the poem; and perhaps no fitter date than the end of 1383 and the
spring of 1384 can be found.

§ 6. METRE. Many of Chaucer's metres were introduced by him from the
French; but the four-accent metre, with rime as here employed, was commonly
known before Chaucer's time. It was used by Robert of Brunne in 1303, in
the Cursor Mundi, and in Havelok. It is, however, of French origin, and
occurs in the very lengthy poem of Le Roman de la Rose. Chaucer only
employed it thrice: (1) in translating the Roman de la Rose; (2) in the
Book of the Duchesse; and (3) in the present poem.

For normal lines, with masculine rimes, see 7, 8, 13, 14, 29, 33, &c. For
normal lines, with feminine rimes, see 1, 2, 9, 15, 18, &c. Elision is
common, as of _e_ in _turne_ (1), in _somme_ (6), in _Devyne_ (14); &c.
Sometimes there is a middle pause, where a final syllable need not always
be elided. Thus we may read:--

 'By abstinencë--or by seknesse' (25):
 'In studie--or melancolious' (30):
 'And fro unhappë--and ech disese' (89):
 'In his substáuncë--is but air' (768).

Two short syllables, rapidly pronounced, may take the place of one:--

 'I noot; but who-_so of_ these mirácles' (12):
 '_By a_visiouns, or bý figúres' (47).

The first foot frequently consists of a single syllable; see 26, 35, 40,
44; so also in l. 3, where, in modern English, we should prefer _Unto_.

The final _e_, followed by a consonant, is usually sounded, and has its
usual grammatical values. Thus we have _think-e_, infin. (15); _bot-e_, old
accus. of a fem. sb. (32); _swich-e_, plural (35); _oft-e_, adverbial (35);
_soft-e_, with essential final _e_ (A.S. _s[=o]fte_); _find-e_, pres. pl.
indic. (43); _com-e_, gerund (45): _gret-e_, pl. (53); _mak-e_, infin.
(56); _rod-e_, dat. form used as a new nom., of which there are many
examples in Chaucer (57); _blind-e_, def. adj. (138). The endings _-ed_,
_-en_, _-es_, usually form a distinct syllable; so also _-eth_, which,
however, occasionally becomes _'th_; cf. _comth_ (71). A few common words,
written with final _e_, are monosyllabic; as _thise_ (these); also _shulde_
(should), and the like, occasionally. Remember that the old accent is
frequently different from the modern; as in _orácles_, _mirácles_ (11, 12):
_distaúnc-e_ (18), _aventúres_, _figúres_ (47, 48): _povért_ (88):
_málicióus_ (93): &c. The endings _-i-al_, _-i-oun_, _-i-ous_, usually form
two distinct syllables.

For further remarks on Metre and Grammar, see vol. v.

§ 7. IMITATIONS. The chief imitations of the House of Fame are The Temple
of Glas, by Lydgate[6]; The Palice of Honour, by Gawain Douglas; The
Garland of Laurell, by John Skelton; and The Temple of Fame, by Pope.
Pope's poem should not be compared with Chaucer's; it is very different in
character, and is best appreciated by forgetting its origin.

§ 8. AUTHORITIES. The authorities for the text are few and poor; hence it
is hardly possible to produce a thoroughly satisfactory text. There are
three MSS. of the fifteenth century, viz. F. (Fairfax MS. 16, in the
Bodleian Library); B. (MS. Bodley, 638, in the same); P. (MS. Pepys 2006,
in Magdalene College, Cambridge). The last of these is imperfect, ending at
l. 1843. There are two early printed editions of some value, viz. Cx.
(Caxton's edition, undated); and Th. (Thynne's edition, 1532). None of the
later editions are of much value, except the critical edition by Hans
Willert (Berlin, 1883). Of these, F. and B., which are much alike, form a
first group; P. and Cx. form a second group; whilst Th. partly agrees with
Cx., and partly with F. The text is chiefly from F., with collations of the
other sources, as given in the footnotes, which record only the more
important variations.

§ 9. SOME EMENDATIONS. In constructing the text, a good deal of emendation
has been necessary; and I have adopted many hints from Willert's edition
above mentioned; though perhaps I may be allowed to add that, in many
cases, I had arrived at the same emendations independently, especially
where they were obvious. Among the emendations in spelling, I may
particularise _misdemen_ (92), where all the authorities have _mysdeme_ or
_misdeme_; _Dispyt_, in place of _Dispyte_ (96); _barfoot_, for _barefoot_
or _barefote_ (98); _proces_ (as in P.) for _processe_, as in the rest
(251); _delyt_, _profyt_, for _delyte_, _profyte_ (309, 310); _sleighte_
for _sleight_ (462); _brighte_[7], _sighte_, for _bright_, _sight_ (503,
504); _wighte_, _highte_, for _wight_, _hight_ (739, 740); _fyn_, _Delphyn_
(as in Cx.), for _fyne_, _Delphyne_ (1005, 1006); _magyk_, _syk_, for
_magyke_, _syke_ (1269, 1270); _losenges_, for _losynges_ (1317), and
_frenges_ (as in F.) for _frynges_, as in the rest (1318); _dispyt_ for
_dispite_ (1716); _laughe_ for _laugh_ (Cx. _lawhe_, 1809); _delyt_ for
_delyte_ (P. _delit_, 1831); _thengyn_ (as in Th.) for _thengyne_ (1934);
_othere_ for _other_ (2151, footnote). These are only a few of the
instances where nearly all the authorities are at fault.

The above instances merely relate to questions of spelling. Still more
serious are the defects in the MSS. and printed texts as regards the sense;
but all instances of emendation are duly specified in the footnotes, and
are frequently further discussed in the Notes at the end. Thus, in l. 329,
it is necessary to supply _I_. In 370, _allas_ should be _Eneas_. In 513,
Willert rightly puts _selly_, i.e. wonderful, for _sely_, blessed. In 557,
the metre is easily restored, by reading _so agast_ for _agast so_. In 621,
we must read _lyte is_, not _lytel is_, if we want a rime to _dytees_. In
827, I restore the word _mansioun_; the usual readings are tautological. In
911, I restore _toun_ for _token_, and adopt the only reading of l. 912
that gives any sense. In 1007, the only possible reading is _Atlantes_. In
1044, Morris's edition has _biten_, correctly; though MS. F. has _beten_,
and there is no indication that a correction has been made. In 1114, the
right word is _site_; cf. the Treatise on the Astrolabe (see Note). In
1135, read _bilt_ (i.e. buildeth); _bilte_ gives neither sense nor rhythm.
In 1173, supply _be_. Ll. 1177, 1178 have been set right by Willert. In
1189, the right word is _Babewinnes_[8]. In 1208, read _Bret_ (as in B.).
In 1233, read _famous_. In 1236, read _Reyes_[9]. In 1303, read _hatte_,
i.e. are named. In 1351, read _Fulle_, not _Fyne_. In 1372, adopt the
reading of Cx. Th. P., or there is no nominative to _streighte_; and in
1373, read _wonderliche_. In 1411, read _tharmes_ (= _the armes_). In 1425,
I supply _and hy_, to fill out the line. In 1483, I supply _dan_; if,
however, _poete_ is made trisyllabic, then l. 1499 should not contain
_daun_. In 1494, for _high the_, read _highte_ (as in l. 744). In 1527, for
_into_ read _in_. In 1570, read _Up peyne_. In 1666, 1701, and 1720, for
_werkes_ read _werk_. In 1702, read _clew_ (see note)[10]. In 1717, _lyen_
is an error for _lyuen_, i.e. live. In 1750, read _To_, not _The_. In 1775,
supply _ye_; or there is no sense. In 1793, supply _they_ for a like
reason. In 1804, 5, supply _the_, and _al_; for the scansion. In 1897, read
_wiste_, not _wot_. In 1940, _hattes_ should be _hottes_; this emendation
has been accepted by several scholars. In 1936, the right word is _falwe_,
not _salwe_ (as in Morris). In 1960, there should be no comma at the end of
the line, as in most editions; and in 1961, 2 read _werre_, _reste_ (not
_werres_, _restes_). In 1975, _mis_ and _governement_ are distinct words.
In 2017, _frot_[11] is an error for _froyt_; it is better to read _fruit_
at once; this correction is due to Koch. In 2021, suppress _in_ after
_yaf_. In 2049, for _he_ read _the other_ (Willert). In 2059, _wondermost_
is all one word. In 2076, I read _word_; Morris reads _mothe_, but does not
explain it, and it gives no sense. In 2156, I supply _nevene_.

I mention these as examples of necessary emendations of which the usual
editions take no notice.

I also take occasion to draw attention to the careful articles on this poem
by Dr. J. Koch, in Anglia, vol. vii. App. 24-30, and Englische Studien, xv.
409-415; and the remarks by Willert in Anglia, vii. App. 203-7. The best
general account of the poem is that in Ten Brink's History of English

In conclusion, I add a few 'last words.'

L. 399. We learn, from Troil. i. 654, that Chaucer actually supposed
'Oënone' to have four syllables. This restores the metre. Read:--And Paris
to Oënone.

503. Read 'brighte,' with final _e_; 'bright' is a misprint.

859. Compare Cant. Tales, F 726.

1119. 'To climbe hit,' i.e. to climb the rock; still a common idiom.

2115. Compare Cant. Tales, A 2078. Perhaps read 'wanie.'


§ 1. DATE OF THE POEM: A.D. 1385. The Legend of Good Women presents several
points of peculiar, I might almost say of unique interest. It is the
immediate precursor of the Canterbury Tales, and enables us to see how the
poet was led on towards the composition of that immortal poem. This is
easily seen, upon consideration of the date at which it was composed.

The question of the date has been well investigated by Ten Brink; but it
may be observed beforehand that the allusion to the 'queen' in l. 496 has
long ago been noticed, and it has been thence inferred, by Tyrwhitt, that
the Prologue must have been written _after_ 1382, the year when Richard II.
married his first wife, the 'good queen Anne.' But Ten Brink's remarks
enable us to look at the question much more closely.

He shows that Chaucer's work can be clearly divided into three chief
periods, the chronology of which he presents in the following form[12].


  1366 (at latest). The Romaunt of the Rose.
  1369. The Book of the Duchesse.
  1372. (end of the period).


  1373. The Lyf of Seint Cecile.
        The Assembly of Foules.
        Palamon and Arcite.
        Translation of Boethius.
        Troilus and Creseide.
  1384. The House of Fame.


  1385. Legend of Good Women.
        Canterbury Tales.
  1391. Treatise on the Astrolabe.

It is unnecessary for our present purpose to insert the conjectured dates
of the Minor Poems not here mentioned.

According to Ten Brink, the poems of the First Period were composed before
Chaucer set out on his Italian travels, i.e. before December, 1372, and
contain no allusions to writings by Italian authors. In them, the influence
of French authors is very strongly marked.

The poems of the Second Period (he tells us) were composed after that date.
The Life of Seint Cecile already marks the author's acquaintance with
Dante's Divina Commedia; lines 36-51 are, in fact, a free translation from
the Paradiso, canto xxxiii. ll. 1-21. See my note to this passage, and the
remarks on the 'Second Nun's Tale' in vol. v. The Parlement of Foules
contains references to Dante and a long passage translated from Boccaccio's
Teseide; see my notes to that poem in vol. i. The original Palamon and
Arcite was also taken from the Teseide; for even the revised version of it
(now known as the Knightes Tale, and containing, doubtless, much more of
Chaucer's own work) is founded upon that poem, and occasionally presents
verbal imitations of it. Troilus is similarly dependent upon Boccaccio's
Filostrato. The close connexion between Troilus and the translation of
Boethius is seen from several considerations, of which it may suffice here
to mention two. The former is the association of these two works in
Chaucer's lines to Adam--

 'Adam scriveyn, if ever it thee befalle
  _Boece_ or _Troilus_ to wryten newe.'
                      Minor Poems; see vol. i. p. 379.

And the latter is, the fact that Chaucer inserts in Troilus (book iv.
stanzas 140-154) a long passage on predestination and free-will, taken from
Boethius, book v. proses 2, 3; which he would appear to have still fresh in
his mind. It is probable that his Boethius preceded Troilus almost
immediately; indeed, it is conceivable that, for a short season, both may
have been in hand at the same time.

There is also a close connexion between Troilus and the House of Fame, the
latter of which shows the influence of Dante in a high degree; see p. vii.
This connexion will appear from comparing Troil. v. stt. 52-55 with Ho.
Fame, 2-54; and Troil. i. st. 74 (ll. 517-8) with Ho. Fame, 639, 640. See
Ten Brink, Studien, p. 121. It would seem that the House of Fame followed
Troilus almost immediately. At the same time, we cannot put the date of the
House of Fame later than 1384, because of Chaucer's complaint in it of the
hardship of his official duties, from much of which he was released (as we
shall see) early in 1385. Further, the 10th of December is especially
mentioned as being the date on which the House of Fame was commenced (l.
111), the year being probably 1383 (see Note to that line).

It would appear, further, that the Legend was begun soon after the House of
Fame was suddenly abandoned, in the very middle of a sentence. That it was
written later than Troilus and the House of Fame is obvious, from the
mention of these poems in the Prologue; ll. 332, 417, 441. That it was
written at no great interval after Troilus appears from the fact that, even
while writing Troilus, Chaucer had already been meditating upon the
goodness of Alcestis, of which the Prologue to the Legend says so much.
Observe the following passages (cited by Ten Brink, Studien, p. 120) from
Troilus, bk. v. stt. 219, 254:--

 'As wel thou mightest lyen on _Alceste_
  That was of creatures--but men lye--
  That ever weren, kindest and the beste.
  For whan hir housbonde was in Iupartye
  To dye himself, but-if she wolde dye,
  She chees for him to dye and go to helle,
  And starf anoon, as us the bokes telle.

  Besechinge every lady bright of hewe,
  And every gentil womman, what she be,
  That, al be that Criseyde was untrewe,
  That for that gilt she be not wrooth with me.
  Ye may hir gilt in othere bokes see;
  And gladlier I wol wryten, if yow leste,
  Penelopeës trouthe, and good _Alceste_.'

There is also a striking similarity between the argument in Troilus, bk.
iv. st. 3, and ll. 369-372 (B-text) of the Prologue to the Legend. The
stanza runs thus:--

 'For how Criseyde Troilus forsook,
  Or at the leste, how that she was unkinde,
  Mot hennes-forth ben matere of my book,
  As wryten folk thorugh whiche it is in minde.
  Allas! that they shulde ever cause finde
  To speke hir harm; and, if they on hir lye,
  Y-wis, hem-self sholde han the vilanye.'

I will here also note the fact that the first line of the above stanza is
quoted, almost unaltered, in the _earlier version_ of the Prologue, viz. at
l. 265 of the A-text, on p. 88.

From the above considerations we may already infer that the House of Fame
was begun, probably, in December, 1383, and continued in 1384; and that the
Legend of Good Women, which almost immediately succeeded it, may be dated
about 1384 or 1385; certainly after 1382, when King Richard was first
married. But now that we have come so near to the date, it is possible to
come still nearer; for it can hardly be doubted that the extremely grateful
way in which Chaucer speaks of the queen may fairly be connected with the
stroke of good fortune which happened to him just at this very period. In
the House of Fame we find him groaning about the troublesomeness of his
official duties; and the one object of his life, just then, was to obtain
greater leisure, especially if it could be had without serious loss of
income. Now we know that, on the 17th of February, 1385, he obtained the
indulgence of being allowed to nominate a permanent deputy for his
Controllership of the Customs and Subsidies; see Furnivall's Trial
Forewords to the Minor Poems, p. 25. If with our knowledge of this fact we
combine these considerations, viz. that Chaucer expresses himself
gratefully to the queen, that he says nothing more of his troublesome
duties, and that Richard II. is known to have been a patron of letters (as
we learn from Gower), we may well conclude that the poet's release from his
burden was brought about by the queen's intercession with the king on his
behalf. We may here notice Lydgate's remarks in the following stanza, which
occurs in the Prologue to the Fall of Princes[13]:--

 'This poete wrote, _at the request of the quene_,
  A Legende, of perfite holynesse,
  Of Good Women, to fynd out nynetene
  That did excell in bounte and fayrenes;
  But for his labour and besinesse
  Was importable, his wittes to encombre,
  In all this world to fynd so gret a nombre[14].'

Lydgate can hardly be correct in his statement that Chaucer wrote 'at the
request' of the queen: for, had our author done so, he would have let us
know it. Still, he has seized the right idea, viz. that the queen was, so
to speak, the moving cause which effected the production of the poem.

It is, moreover, much to the point to observe that Chaucer's state of
delightful freedom did not last long. Owing to a sudden change in the
government we find that, on Dec. 4, 1386, he lost his Controllership of the
Customs and Subsidies; and, only ten days later, also lost his
Controllership of the Petty Customs. Something certainly went wrong, but we
have no proof that Chaucer abused his privilege.

On the whole we may interpret ll. 496, 7 (p. 101), viz.

 'And whan this book is maad, yive hit the quene,
  On my behalfe, at Eltham[15] or at Shene,'

as giving us a date but little later than Feb. 17, 1385, and certainly
before Dec. 4, 1386. The mention of the month of May in ll. 36, 45, 108,
176, is probably conventional; still, the other frequent references to
spring-time, as in ll. 40-66, 130-147, 171-174, 206, &c., may mean
something; and in particular we may note the reference to St. Valentine's
day as being _past_, in ll. 145, 146; seeing that _chees_ (chose) occurs in
the past tense. We can hardly resist the conviction that the right date of
the Prologue is the spring of 1385, which satisfies every condition.

§ 2. THE TWO FORMS OF THE PROLOGUE. So far, I have kept out of view the
important fact, that the Prologue exists in two distinct forms, viz. an
earlier and a revised form. The lines in which 'the queen' is expressly
mentioned occur in the later version only, so that some of the above
arguments really relate to that alone. But it makes no great difference, as
there is no reason to suppose that there was any appreciable lapse of time
between the two versions.

In order to save words, I shall call the earlier version the A-text, and
the later one the B-text. The manner of printing these texts is explained
at p. 65. I print the B-text in full, in the lower half of the page. The
A-text appears in the upper half of the same, and is taken from MS. C.
(Camb. Univ. Library, Gg. 4. 27), which is the only MS. that contains it,
with corrections of the spelling, as recorded in the footnotes. Lines which
appear in _one_ text only are marked with an asterisk (*); those which
stand almost exactly the same in _both_ texts are marked with a dagger (+)
prefixed to them; whilst the unmarked lines are such as occur in both
texts, but with some slight alteration. By way of example, observe that
lines B. 496, 497, mentioning the queen, are duly marked with an asterisk,
as not being in A. Line 2, standing the same in both texts, is marked with
a dagger. And thirdly, line 1 is unmarked, because it is slightly altered.
A. has here the older expression 'A thousand _sythes_,' whilst B. has the
more familiar 'A thousand _tymes_.'

The fact that A. is older than B. cannot perhaps be absolutely proved
without a long investigation. But all the conditions point in that
direction. In the first place, it occurs in only _one_ MS., viz. MS. C.,
whilst all the others give the B-text; and it is more likely that a revised
text should be multiplied than that a first draft should be. Next, this MS.
C. is of high value and great importance, being quite the best MS., as
regards age, of the whole set; and it is a fortunate thing that the A-text
has been preserved at all. And lastly, the internal evidence tends, in my
opinion, to shew that B. can be more easily evolved from A. than
conversely. I am not aware that any one has ever doubted this result.

We may easily see that the A-text is, on the whole, more general and vague,
whilst the B-text is more particular in its references. The impression left
on my mind by the perusal of the two forms of the Prologue is that Chaucer
made immediate use of the comparative liberty accorded to him on the 17th
of February, 1385, to plan a new poem, in an entirely new metre, and in the
new form of a succession of tales. He decided, further, that the tales
should relate to women famous in love-stories, and began by writing the
tale of Cleopatra, which is specially mentioned in B. 566 (and A. 542)[16].
The idea then occurred to him of writing a preface or Prologue, which would
afford him the double opportunity of justifying and explaining his design,
and of expressing his gratitude for his attainment of greater leisure.
Having done this, he was not wholly satisfied with it; he thought the
expression of gratitude did not come out with sufficient clearness, at
least with regard to the person to whom he owed the greatest debt. So he at
once set about to amend and alter it; the first draught, of which he had no
reason to be ashamed, being at the same time preserved. And we may be sure
that the revision was made almost immediately; he was not the man to take
up a piece of work again after the first excitement of it had passed
away[17]. On the contrary, he used to form larger plans than he could well
execute, and leave them unfinished when he grew tired of them. I therefore
propose to assign the conjectural date of the spring of 1385 to both forms
of the Prologue; and I suppose that Chaucer went on with one tale of the
series after another during the summer and latter part of the same year
till he grew tired of the task, and at last gave it up in the middle of a
sentence. An expression of doubt as to the completion of the task already
appears in l. 2457.

§ 3. COMPARISON OF THE TWO FORMS OF THE PROLOGUE. A detailed comparison of
the two forms of the Prologue would extend to a great length. I merely
point out some of the more remarkable variations.

The first _distinct_ note of difference that calls for notice is at line A.
89 (B. 108), p. 72, where the line--

 'When passed was almost the month of May'

is altered to--

 'And this was now the firste morwe of May.'

This is clearly done for the sake of greater definiteness, and because of
the association of the 1st of May with certain national customs expressive
of rejoicing. It is emphasized by the statements in B. 114 as to the exact
position of the sun (see note to the line). In like manner the vague
expression about 'the Ioly tyme of May' in A. 36 is exchanged for the more
exact--'whan that the month of May Is comen'; B. 36. In the B-text, the
date is definitely fixed; in ll. 36-63 we learn what he _usually_ did on
the recurrence of the May-season; in ll. 103-124, we have his (supposed)
actual rising at the dawn of May-day; then the manner in which he spent
that day (ll. 179-185); and lastly, the arrival of night, his return home,
his falling asleep, and his dream (ll. 197-210). He awakes on the morning
of May 2, and sets to work at once (ll. 578, 579).

Another notable variation is on p. 71. On arriving at line A. 70, he puts
aside A. 71-80 for the present, to be introduced later on (p. 77); and
writes the new and important passage contained in B. 83-96 (p. 71). The
lady whom he here addresses as being his 'very light,' one whom his heart
dreads, whom he obeys as a harp obeys the hand of the player, who is his
guide, his 'lady sovereign,' and his 'earthly god,' cannot be mistaken. The
reference is obviously to his sovereign lady the queen; and the expression
'earthly god' is made clear by the declaration (in B. 387) that kings are
as demi-gods in this present world.

In A., the Proem or true Introduction ends at l. 88, and is more marked
than in B., wherein it ends at l. 102.

The passage in A. contained in ll. 127-138 (pp. 75, 76) is corrupt and
imperfect in the MS. The sole existing copy of it was evidently made from a
MS. that had been more or less defaced; I have had to restore it as I best
could. The B-text has here been altered and revised, though the variations
are neither extensive nor important; but the passage is immediately
followed by about 30 new lines, in which Mercy is said to be a greater
power than Right, or strict Justice, especially when Right is overcome
'through innocence and ruled curtesye'; the application of which expression
is obvious.

In B. 183-187 we have the etymology of _daisy_, the declaration that 'she
is the empress of flowers,' and a prayer for her prosperity, i.e. for the
prosperity of the queen.

In A. 103 (p. 73), the poet falls asleep and dreams. In his dream, he sees
a lark (A. 141, p. 79) who introduces the God of Love. In the B-text, the
dream is postponed till B. 210 (p. 79), and the lark is left out, as being
unnecessary. This is a clear improvement.

An important change is made in the 'Balade' at pp. 83, 84. The refrain is
altered from 'Alceste is here' to 'My lady cometh.' The reason is twofold.
The poet wishes to suppress the name of Alcestis for the present, in order
to introduce it as a surprise towards the end (B. 518)[18]; and secondly,
the words 'My lady cometh' are used as being _directly_ applicable to the
queen, instead of being only applicable through the medium of allegory.
Indeed, Chaucer takes good care to say so; for he inserts a passage to that
effect (B. 271-5); where we may remember, by the way, that _free_ means
'bounteous' in Middle-English. We have a few additional lines of the same
sort in B. 296-299.

On the other hand, Chaucer suppressed the long and interesting passage in
A. 258-264, 267-287, 289-312, for no very obvious reason. But for the
existence of MS. C., it would have been wholly lost to us, and the recovery
of it is a clear gain. Most interesting of all is the allusion to Chaucer's
sixty books of his own, all full of love-stories and personages known to
history, in which, for every bad woman, mention was duly made of a hundred
good ones (A. 273-277, p. 88)[19]. Important also is his mention of some of
his authors, such as Valerius, Livy, Claudian, Jerome, Ovid, and Vincent of

If, as we have seen, Alcestis in this Prologue really meant the queen, it
should follow that the God of Love really meant the king. This is made
clear in B. 373-408, especially in the comparison between a just king (such
as Richard, of course) and the tyrants of Lombardy. In fact, in A. 360-364,
Chaucer said a little too much about the duty of a king to hear the
complaints and petitions of the people, and he very wisely omitted it in
revision. In A. 355, he used the unlucky word 'wilfulhed' as an attribute
of a Lombard tyrant; but as it was not wholly inapplicable to the king of
England, he quietly suppressed it. But the comparison of the king to a
lion, and of himself to a fly, was in excellent taste; so no alteration was
needed here (p. 94).

In his enumeration of his former works (B. 417-430), he left out one work
which he had previously mentioned (A. 414, 415, p. 96). This work is now
lost[20], and was probably omitted as being a mere translation, and of no
great account. Perhaps the poet's good sense told him that the original was
a miserable production, as it must certainly be allowed to be, if we employ
the word _miserable_ with its literal meaning (see p. 307).

At pp. 103, 104, some lines are altered in A. (527-532) in order to get rid
of the name of Alcestis here, and to bring in a more immediate reference to
the Balade. Line B. 540 is especially curious, because he had _not_, in the
first instance, forgotten to put her in his Balade (see A. 209); but he now
wished to seem to have done so.

In B. 552-565, we have an interesting addition, in which Love charges him
to put all the nineteen ladies, besides Alcestis, into his Legend; and
tells him that he may _choose his own metre_ (B. 562). Again, in B.
568-577, he practically stipulates that he is only to tell the more
interesting part of each story, and to leave out whatever he should deem to
be tedious. This proviso was eminently practical and judicious.

§ 4. THE SUBJECT OF THE LEGEND. We learn, from B. 241, 283, that Chaucer
saw in his vision Alcestis and nineteen other ladies, and from B. 557, that
he was to commemorate them all in his Legend, beginning with Cleopatra
(566) and ending with Alcestis (549, 550). As to the names of the nineteen,
they are to be found in his Balade (555).

Upon turning to the Balade (p. 83), the names actually mentioned include
some which are hardly admissible. For example, Absalom and Jonathan are
names of men; Esther is hardly a suitable subject, whilst Ysoult belongs to
a romance of medieval times. (Cf. A. 275, p. 88.) The resulting practicable
list is thus reduced to the following, viz. Penelope, Marcia, Helen,
Lavinia, Lucretia, Polyxena, Cleopatra, Thisbe, Hero, Dido, Laodamia,
Phyllis, Canace, Hypsipyle, Hypermnestra, and Ariadne. At the same time, we
find legends of Medea and Philomela, though neither of these are mentioned
in the Balade. It is of course intended that the Balade should give a
representative list only, without being exactly accurate.

But we are next confronted by a most extraordinary piece of evidence, viz.
that of Chaucer himself, when, at a later period, he wrote the Introduction
to the Man of Lawes Prologue (see vol. iv. p. 131). He there expressly
refers to his Legend of Good Women, which he is pleased to call 'the
Seintes Legende of Cupide,' i.e. the Legend of Cupid's Saints. And, in
describing this former work of his, he introduces the following lines:--

 'Ther may be seen the large woundes wyde
  Of Lucresse, and of Babilan Tisbee;
  The swerd of Dido for the false Enee;
  The tree of Phillis for hir Demophon;
  The pleinte of Dianire and Hermion,
  Of Adriane and of Isiphilee;
  The bareyne yle stonding in the see;
  The dreynte Leander for his Erro;
  The teres of Eleyne, and eek the wo
  Of Brixseyde, and of thee, Ladomea;
  The cruelte of thee, queen Medea,
  Thy litel children hanging by the hals
  For thy Iason, that was of love so fals!
  O Ypermistra, Penelopee, Alceste,
  Your wyfhod he comendeth with the beste!
  But certeinly no word ne wryteth he
  Of thilke wikke example of Canacee'; &c.

We can only suppose that he is referring to the contents of his work in
quite general terms, with a passing reference to his vision of Alcestis and
the nineteen ladies, and to those mentioned in his Balade. There is no
reason for supposing that he ever wrote complete tales about Deianira,
Hermione, Hero, Helen, Briseis, Laodamia, or Penelope, any more than he did
about Alcestis. But it is highly probable that, just at the period of
writing his Introduction to the Man of Lawes Prologue, he was seriously
intending to take up again his 'Legend,' and was planning how to continue
it. But he never did it.

On comparing these two lists, we find that the following names are common
to both, viz. Penelope, Helen, Lucretia, Thisbe, Hero, Dido, Laodamia,
Phyllis, Canace, Hypsipyle, Hypermnestra, Ariadne, and (in effect)
Alcestis. The following occur in the Balade only, viz. Marcia, Lavinia,
Polyxena, Cleopatra. And the following are mentioned in the above-quoted
passage only, viz. Deianira, Hermione, Briseis, Medea. We further know that
he actually wrote the Legend of Philomela, though it is in neither of the
above lists; whilst the story of Canace was expressly rejected. Combining
our information, and rearranging it, we see that his intention was to write
nineteen Legends, descriptive of twenty women, viz. Alcestis and nineteen
others; the number of Legends being reduced by one owing to the treatment
of the stories of Medea and Hypsipyle under one narrative. Putting aside
Alcestis, whose Legend was to come last, the nineteen women can be made up
as follows:--

1. Cleopatra. 2. Thisbe. 3. Dido. 4 and 5. Hypsipyle and Medea. 6.
Lucretia. 7. Ariadne. 8. Philomela. 9. Phyllis. 10. Hypermnestra (_all of
which are extant_). _Next come_--11. Penelope: 12. Helen: 13. Hero: 14.
Laodamia (_all mentioned in both lists_). 15. Lavinia: 16. Polyxena[21]
(_mentioned in the Balade_). 17. Deianira: 18. Hermione: 19. Briseis (_in
the Introduction to the Man of Lawe_).

This conjectural list is sufficient to elucidate Chaucer's plan fully, and
agrees with that given in the note to l. 61 of the Introduction to the Man
of Lawes Tale, in vol. v.

If we next enquire how such lists of 'martyred' women came to be suggested
to Chaucer, we may feel sure that he was thinking of Boccaccio's book
entitled De Claris Mulieribus, and of Ovid's Heroides. Boccaccio's book
contains 105 tales of Illustrious Women, briefly told in Latin prose.
Chaucer seems to have partially imitated from it the title of his
poem--'The Legend of Good Women'; and he doubtless consulted it for his
purpose. But he took care to consult other sources also, in order to be
able to give the tales at greater length, so that the traces of his debt to
the above work by Boccaccio are very slight.

We must not, however, omit to take notice that, whilst Chaucer owes but
little to Boccaccio as regards his subject-matter, it was from him, in
particular, that he took his _general plan_. This is well shewn in the
excellent and careful essay by M. Bech, printed in 'Anglia,' vol. v. pp.
313-382, with the title--'Quellen und Plan der _Legende of Goode Women_ und
ihr Verhältniss zur _Confessio Amantis_.' At p. 381, Bech compares
Chaucer's work with Boccaccio's, and finds the following points of

1. Both works treat exclusively of women; one of them speaks particularly
of 'Gode Women,' whilst the other is written 'De Claris Mulieribus.'

2. Both works relate chiefly to tales of olden time.

3. In both, the tales follow each other without any intermediate matter.

4. Both are compacted into a whole by means of an introductory Prologue.

5. Both writers wish to dedicate their works to a queen, but effect this
modestly and indirectly. Boccaccio addresses his Prologue to a countess,
telling her that he wishes to dedicate his book to Joanna, queen of
Jerusalem and Sicily; whilst Chaucer veils his address to queen Anne under
the guise of allegory.

6. Both record the fact of their writing in a time of comparative leisure.
Boccaccio uses the words: 'paululum ab inerti uulgo semotus et a ceteris
fere solutus curis.'

7. Had Chaucer finished his work, his last Legend would have related to
Alcestis, i.e. to the queen herself. Boccaccio actually concludes his work
with a chapter 'De Iohanna Hierusalem et Sicilie regina.'

See further in Bech, who quotes Boccaccio's 'Prologue' in full.

To this comparison should be added (as Bech remarks) an accidental
coincidence which is even more striking, viz. that the work 'De Claris
Mulieribus' bears much the same relation to the more famous one entitled
'Il Decamerone,' that the Legend of Good Women does to the Canterbury

Boccaccio has all of Chaucer's finished tales, except those of Ariadne,
Philomela, and Phyllis[22]; he also gives the stories of some whom Chaucer
only mentions, such as the stories of Deianira (cap. 22), Polyxena (cap.
31), Helena (cap. 35), Penelope (cap. 38); and others. To Ovid our author
is much more indebted, and frequently translates passages from his Heroides
(or Epistles) and from the Metamorphoses. The former of these works
contains the Epistles of Phyllis, Hypsipyle, Medea, Dido, Ariadne, and
Hypermnestra, whose stories Chaucer relates, as well as the letters of most
of those whom Chaucer merely mentions, viz. of Penelope, Briseis, Hermione,
Deianira, Laodamia, Helena, and Hero. It is evident that our poet was
chiefly guided by Ovid in selecting stories from the much larger collection
in Boccaccio. At the same time it is remarkable that neither Boccaccio (in
the above work) nor Ovid gives the story of Alcestis, and it is not quite
certain whence Chaucer obtained it. It is briefly told in the 51st of the
Fabulae of Hyginus, but it is much more likely that Chaucer borrowed it
from another work by Boccaccio, entitled De Genealogia Deorum[23], where it
appears amongst the fifty-one labours of Hercules, in the following

'Alcestem Admeti regis Thessaliae coniugem retraxit [Hercules] ad uirum.
Dicunt enim, quod cum infirmaretur Admetus, implorassetque Apollinis
auxilium, sibi ab Apolline dictum mortem euadere non posse, nisi illam
aliquis ex affinibus atque necessariis subiret. Quod cum audisset Alcestis
coniunx, non dubitauit suam pro salute uiri concedere, et sic ea mortua
Admetus liberatus est, qui plurimum uxori compatiens Herculem orauit, vt ad
inferos uadens illius animam reuocaret ad superos, quod et factum est.'--
Lib. xiii. c. 1 (ed. 1532).

§ 5. THE DAISY. To this story Chaucer has added a pretty addition of his
own invention, that this heroine was finally transformed into a daisy. The
idea of choosing this flower as the emblem of perfect wifehood was
certainly a happy one, and has often been admired. It is first alluded to
by Lydgate, in a Poem against Self-Love (see Lydgate's Minor Poems, ed.
Halliwell, p. 161):--

 'Alcestis flower, with white, with red and greene,
  Displaieth hir crown geyn Phebus bemys brihte.'

And again, in the same author's Temple of Glas, ll. 71-74:--

 'I mene Alceste, the noble trewe wyf ...
  Hou she was turned to a dayesye.'

The anonymous author of the Court of Love seized upon the same fancy to
adorn his description of the Castle of Love, which, as he tells us, was--

 'With-in and oute depeinted wonderly
  With many a thousand daisy[es] rede as rose
  And white also, this sawe I verely.
  But what tho deis[y]es might do signifye
  Can I not tel, saufe that the quenes floure,
  Alceste, it was, that kept ther her soioure,
    Which vnder Uenus lady was and quene,
  And Admete kyng and souerain of that place,
  To whom obeied _the ladies good ninetene_,
  With many a thousand other bright of face[24].'

The mention of 'the ladies good ninetene' at once shews us whence this
mention of Alcestis was borrowed.

In a modern book entitled Flora Historica, by Henry Phillips, 2nd ed. i.
42, we are gravely told that 'fabulous history informs us that this plant
[the daisy] is called _Bellis_ because it owes its origin to Belides, a
granddaughter of Danaus, and one of the nymphs called Dryads, that presided
over the meadows and pastures in ancient times. Belides is said to have
encouraged the suit of Ephigeus, but whilst dancing on the green with this
rural deity she attracted the admiration of Vertumnus, who, just as he was
about to seize her in his embrace, saw her transformed into the humble
plant that now bears her name.' It is clear that the concocter of this
stupid story was not aware that _Belides_ is a _plural_ substantive, being
the collective name of the fifty daughters of Danaus, who are here rolled
into one in order to be transformed into a single daisy; and all because
the words _bellis_ and _Belides_ happen to begin with the same three
letters! It may also be noticed that 'in ancient times' the business of the
Dryads was to preside over trees rather than 'over meadows and pastures.'
Who the 'rural deity' was who is here named 'Ephigeus' I neither know nor
care. But it is curious to observe the degeneracy of the story for which
Chaucer was (in my belief) originally responsible[25]. See Notes and
Queries, 7th S. vi. 186, 309.

Of course it is easy to see that this invention on the part of Chaucer is
imitated from Ovid's Metamorphoses, where Clytie becomes a sun-flower,
Daphne a laurel, and Narcissus, Crocus, and Hyacinthus become,
respectively, a narcissus, a crocus, and a hyacinth. At the same time,
Chaucer's attention may have been directed to the daisy in particular, as
Tyrwhitt long ago pointed out, by a perusal of such poems as Le Dit de la
fleur de lis et de la Marguerite, by Guillaume de Machault (printed in
Tarbe's edition, 1849, p. 123), and Le Dittié de la flour de la Margherite,
by Froissart (printed in Bartsch's Chrestomathie de l'ancien Français,
1875, p. 422); see Introduction to Chaucer's Minor Poems, in vol. i. p. 36.
In particular, we may well compare lines 42, 48, 49, 60-63 of our B-text
with Machault's Dit de la Marguerite (ed. Tarbé, p. 123):--

 'J'aim une fleur, qui s'uevre et qui s'encline
  Vers le soleil, de jour quant il chemine;
  Et quant il est couchiez soubz sa courtine
  Par nuit obscure,
  Elle se clost, ainsois que li jours fine.'

And again, we may compare ll. 53-55 with the lines in Machault that
immediately follow, viz.

 'Toutes passe, ce mest vis, en coulour,
  Et toutes ha surmonté de douçour;
  Ne comparer
  Ne se porroit nulle à li de coulour': &c.[26]

The resemblance is, I think, too close to be accidental.

We may also compare (though the resemblance is less striking) ll. 40-57 of
the B-text of the Prologue (pp. 68, 69) with ll. 22-30 of Froissart's poem
on the Daisy:--

 'Son doulç vëoir grandement me proufite,
  et pour ce est dedens mon coer escripte
  si plainnement
  que nuit et jour en pensant ie recite
  les grans vertus de quoi elle est confite,
  et di ensi: "la heure soit benite
  quant pour moi ai tele flourette eslite,
  qui de bonté et de beauté est dite
  la souveraine,"' &c.

At l. 68 of the same poem, as pointed out by M. Sandras (Étude sur G.
Chaucer, 1859, p. 58), and more clearly by Bech (Anglia, v. 363), we have a
story of a woman named Herés--'une pucelle [qui] ama tant son mari'--whose
tears, shed for the loss of her husband Cephëy, were turned by Jupiter into
_daisies_ as they fell upon the green turf. There they were discovered, one
January, by Mercury, who formed a garland of them, which he sent by a
messenger named Lirés to Serés (Ceres). Ceres was so pleased by the gift
that she caused Lirés to be beloved, which he had never been before.

This mention of Ceres doubtless suggested Chaucer's mention of Cibella
(Cybele) in B. 531. In fact, Chaucer first transforms Alcestis herself into
a daisy (B. 512); but afterwards tells us that Jupiter changed her into a
constellation (B. 525), whilst Cybele made the daisies spring up 'in
remembrance and honour' of her. The clue seems to be in the name Cephëy,
representing _Cephei_ gen. case of _Cepheus_. He was a king of Ethiopia,
husband of Cassiope, father of Andromeda, and father-in-law of Perseus.
They were all four 'stellified,' and four constellations bear their names
even to the present day. According to the old mythology, it was not
Alcestis, but Cassiope, who was said to be 'stellified[27].' The whole
matter is thus sufficiently illustrated.

§ 6. AGATON. This is, perhaps, the most convenient place for explaining who
is meant by Agaton (B. 526). The solution of this difficult problem was
first given by Cary, in his translation of Dante's Purgatorio, canto xxii.
l. 106, where the original has _Agatone_. Cary first quotes Chaucer, and
then the opinion of Tyrwhitt, that there seems to be no reference to 'any
of the Agathoes of antiquity,' and adds: 'I am inclined to believe that
Chaucer must have meant Agatho, the dramatic writer, whose name, at least,
appears to have been familiar in the Middle Ages; for, besides the mention
of him in the text, he is quoted by Dante in the Treatise de Monarchia,
lib. iii. "Deus per nuncium facere non potest, genita non esse genita,
iuxta sententiam Agathonis."' The original is to be found in Aristotle,
Ethic. Nicom. lib. vi. c. 2:--

  [Greek: Monou gar autou kai theos sterisketai]
  [Greek: Agenêta poiein hass' an ê pepragmena.]

Agatho is mentioned by Xenophon in his Symposium, by Plato in the
Protagoras, and in the Banquet, a favourite book with our author [Dante],
and by Aristotle in his Art of Poetry, where the following remarkable
passage occurs concerning him, from which I will leave it to the reader to
decide whether it is possible that the allusion in Chaucer might have
arisen: [Greek: en eniais men hen ê duo tôn gnôrimôn estin onomatôn, ta de
alla pepoiêmena; en eniais de outhen; hoion en tô Agathônos Anthei. homoiôs
gar en toutô ta te pragmata kai ta onomata pepoiêtai, kai ouden hêtton
euphrainei]. Edit. 1794, p. 33. "There are, however, some tragedies, in
which one or two of the names are historical, and the rest feigned; there
are even some, in which none of the names are historical; such is Agatho's
tragedy called 'The Flower'; for in that all is invention, both incidents
and names; and yet it pleases." Aristotle's Treatise on Poetry, by Thos.
Twining, 8vo. edit. 1812, vol. i. p. 128.'

The peculiar spelling _Agaton_ renders it highly probable that Chaucer took
the name from Dante (Purg. xxii. 106), but this does not wholly
suffice[28]. Accordingly, Bech suggests that he may also have noticed the
name in the Saturnalia of Macrobius, an author whose Somnium Scipionis
Chaucer certainly consulted (Book Duch. 284; Parl. Foules, 111). In this
work Macrobius mentions, incidentally, both Alcestis (lib. v. c. 19) and
Agatho (lib. ii. c. 1), and Chaucer may have observed the names there,
though he obtained no particular information about them. Froissart (as Bech
bids us remark), in his poem on the Daisy, has the lines:--

 'Mercurius, _ce dist li escripture_,
  trouva premier
  la belle flour que j'ainc oultre mesure,' &c.

The remark--'ce dist li escripture,' 'as the book says'--may well have
suggested to Chaucer that he ought to give _some authority_ for his story,
and the name of Agatho (of whom he probably knew _nothing more_ than the
name) served his turn as well as another. His easy way of citing authors is
probably, at times, humorously assumed; and such may be the explanation of
his famous 'Lollius.' It is quite useless to make any further search.

I may add that this Agatho, or Agathon ([Greek: Agathon]), was an Athenian
tragic poet, and a friend of Euripides and Plato. He was born about B.C.
447, and died about B.C. 400.

Lounsbury (Studies in Chaucer, ii. 402) rejects this explanation; but it is
not likely that we shall ever meet with a better one.

§ 7. CHIEF SOURCES OF THE LEGEND. The more obvious sources of the various
tales have frequently been pointed out. Thus Prof. Morley, in his English
Writers, v. 241 (1890), says that Thisbe is from Ovid's Metamorphoses, iv.
55-166; Dido, from Vergil and Ovid's Heroides, Ep. vii; Hypsipyle and Medea
from Ovid (Met. vii., Her. Ep. vi, xii); Lucretia from Ovid (Fasti, ii.
721) and Livy (Hist. i. 57); Ariadne and Philomela from Ovid (Met. viii.
152, vi. 412-676), and Phyllis and Hypermnestra also from Ovid (Her. Ep.
ii. and Ep. xiv). He also notes the allusion to St. Augustine (De Civitate
Dei, cap. xix.) in l. 1690, and observes that all the tales, except those
of Ariadne and Phyllis[29], are in Boccaccio's De Claris Mulieribus. But it
is possible to examine them a little more closely, and to obtain further
light upon at least a few other points. It will be most convenient to take
each piece in its order. For some of my information, I am indebted to the
essay by Bech, above mentioned (p. xxviii).

§ 8. PROLOGUE. Original. Besides mere passing allusions, we find references
to the story of Alcestis, queen of Thrace (432[30], 518). As she is not
mentioned in Boccaccio's book De Claris Mulieribus, and Ovid nowhere
mentions her name, and only alludes in passing to the 'wife of Admetus' in
two passages (Ex Ponto, iii. 1. 106; Trist. v. 14. 37), it is tolerably
certain that Chaucer must have read her story either in Boccaccio's book De
Genealogia Deorum, lib. xiii. c. 1 (see p. xxix), or in the Fables of
Hyginus (Fab. 51). A large number of the names mentioned in the Balade
(249) were suggested either by Boccaccio's De Claris Mulieribus, or by
Ovid's Heroides; probably, by both of these works. We may here also note
that the Fables of Hyginus very briefly give the stories of Jason and Medea
(capp. 24, 25); Theseus and Ariadne (capp. 41-43); Philomela (cap. 45);
Alcestis (cap. 51); Phyllis (cap. 59); Laodamia (cap. 104); Polyxena (cap.
110); Hypermnestra (cap. 168); Nisus and Scylla (cap. 198; cf. ll.
1904-1920); Penelope (cap. 126); and Helena (capp. 78, 92). The probability
that Chaucer consulted Machault's and Froissart's poems has already been
discussed; see p. xxxi.

It is interesting to note that Chaucer had already praised many of his Good
Women in previous poems. Compare such passages as the following:--

 'Of Medea and of Iason,
  Of Paris, Eleyne, and Lavyne.'
                    Book of the Duch. 330.

 'By as good right as Medea was,
  That slow her children for Iason;
  And Phyllis als for Demophon
  Heng hir-self, so weylaway!
  For he had broke his terme-day
  To come to her. Another rage
  Had Dydo, quene eek of Cartage,
  That slow hir-self, for Eneas
  Was fals; a! whiche a fool she was!' Id. 726.

        --'as moche debonairtee
  As ever had Hester in the bible.' Id. 986.

 'For love of hir, Polixena-- ...
  She was as good, so have I reste,
  As ever Penelope of Greece,
  Or as the noble wyf Lucrece,
  That was the beste--he telleth thus,
  The Romain, Tytus Livius.' Id. 1071, 1080.

 'She passed hath Penelope and Lucresse.'
                                Anelida; 82.

 'Biblis, Dido, Tisbe and Piramus,
  Tristram, Isoude, Paris, and Achilles,
  Eleyne, Cleopatre, and Troilus.'
                     Parlement of Foules; 289.

 'But al the maner how she [Dido] deyde,
  And al the wordes that she seyde,
  Who-so to knowe hit hath purpos,
  Reed Virgile in Eneidos
  Or the Epistle of Ovyde,
  What that she wroot or that she dyde;
  And, nere hit to long to endyte,
  By god, I wolde hit here wryte.'
                      House of Fame; 375.

The last quotation proves clearly, that Chaucer was already meditating a
new version of the Legend of Dido, to be made up from the Æneid and the
Heroides, whilst still engaged upon the House of Fame (which actually gives
this story at considerable length, viz. in ll. 140-382); and consequently,
that the Legend of Good Women succeeded the House of Fame by a very short
interval. But this is not all; for only a few lines further on we find the
following passage:--

 'Lo, Demophon, duk of Athenis,
  How he forswor him ful falsly,
  And trayed Phillis wikkedly,
  That kinges doghter was of Trace,
  And falsly gan his terme pace;
  And when she wiste that he was fals,
  She heng hir-self right by the hals,
  For he had do hir swich untrouthe;
  Lo! was not this a wo and routhe?
  Eek lo! how fals and reccheles
  Was to Briseida Achilles,
  And Paris to Oënone;
  And Iason to Isiphile;
  And eft Iason to Medea;
  And Ercules to Dyanira;
  For he lefte hir for Iöle,
  That made him cacche his deeth, parde!
  How fals eek was he, Theseus;
  That, as the story telleth us,
  How he betrayed Adriane;
  The devel be his soules bane[31]!
  For had he laughed, had he loured,
  He mostë have be al devoured,
  If Adriane ne had y-be[32]!' &c. Id. 387.

Here we already have an outline of the Legend of Phyllis; a reference to
Briseis; to Jason, Hypsipyle, Medea, and to Deianira; a sufficient sketch
of the Legend of Ariadne; and another version of the Legend of Dido.

We trace a lingering influence upon Chaucer of the Roman de la Rose; see
notes to ll. 125, 128, 171. Dante is both quoted and mentioned by name; ll.
357-360. Various other allusions are pointed out in the Notes.

In ll. 280, 281, 284, 305-308 of the A-text of the Prologue (pp. 89, 90),
Chaucer refers us to several authors, but not necessarily in connexion with
the present work. Yet he actually makes use (at second-hand) of Titus (i.e.
Livy, l. 1683), and also further of the 'epistles of Ovyde.' He takes
occasion to refer to his own translation of the Roman de la Rose (B. ll.
329, 441, 470), and to his Troilus (ll. 332, 441, 469); besides enumerating
many of his poems (417-428).

I. THE LEGEND OF CLEOPATRA. The source of this legend is by no means clear.
As Bech points out, some expressions shew that one of the sources was the
Epitome Rerum Romanarum of L. Annæus Florus, lib. iv. c. 11; see notes to
ll. 655, 662, 679. No doubt Chaucer also consulted Boccaccio's De Claris
Mulieribus, cap. 86, though he makes no special use of the account there
given. The story is also in the history of Orosius, bk. iv. c. 19; see
Sweet's edition of King Alfred's Orosius, p. 247. Besides which, I think he
may have had access to a Latin translation of Plutarch, or of excerpts from
the same; see the notes.

It is worth while to note here that Gower (ed. Pauli, iii. 361) has the
following lines:--

 'I sigh [_saw_] also the woful quene
  Cleopatras, which in a cave
  With serpents hath her-self begrave
  Al quik, and so was she to-tore,
  For sorwe of that she hadde lore
  Antonie, which her love hath be.
  And forth with her I sigh Thisbe'; &c.

It is clear that he here refers to Chaucer's Legend of Good Women, because
he actually repeats Chaucer's very peculiar account of the manner of
Cleopatra's death. See § 9, p. xl. Compare L. G. W. ll. 695-697; and note
that, both in Chaucer and Gower, the Legend of Thisbe follows that of
Cleopatra; whilst the Legend of Philomela immediately follows that of
Ariadne. This is more than mere coincidence. See Bech's essay; Anglia, v.

II. THE LEGEND OF THISBE. This is from Ovid's Metamorphoses, iv. 55-166,
and from no other source. Some of the lines are closely translated, but in
other places the phraseology is entirely recast. The free manner in which
Chaucer treats his original is worthy of study; see, as to this, the
excellent criticism of Ten Brink, in his Geschichte der Englischen
Litteratur, ii. 117. Most noteworthy of all is his suppression of the
mythological element. The story gains in pathos in a high degree by the
omission of the mulberry-tree, the colour of the fruit of which was changed
from white to black by the blood of Pyramus; see note to l. 851. This is
the more remarkable, because it was just for the sake of this very
metamorphosis that Ovid admitted the tale into his series. See also notes
to ll. 745, 784, 797, 798, 814, 835, 869, &c.; and cf. Gower's Confessio
Amantis, ed. Pauli, i. 324.

III. THE LEGEND OF DIDO. Chiefly from Vergil's Aeneid, books i-iv. (see
note to l. 928, and compare the notes throughout); but ll. 1355-1365 are
from Ovid's Heroides, vii. 1-8, quoted at length in the note to l. 1355.
And see, particularly, the House of Fame, ll. 140-382. Cf. Gower, C. A. ii.

IV. THE LEGENDS OF HYPSIPYLE AND MEDEA. The sources mentioned by Morley are
Ovid's Metamorphoses, bk. vii., and Heroides, epist. vi.; to which we must
add Heroides, epist. xii. But this omits a much more important source, to
which Chaucer expressly refers. In l. 1396, all previous editions have the
following reading--'In Tessalye, as _Ovyde_ telleth us'; but four important
MSS. read _Guido_ for _Ovyde_, and they are quite right[34]. The false
reading _Ovyde_ is the more remarkable, because _all_ the MSS. have the
reading _Guido_ in l. 1464, where a change would have destroyed the rime.
As a matter of fact, ll. 1396-1461 are from Guido delle Colonne's Historia
Troiana, book i. (see notes to ll. 1396, 1463); and ll. 1580-3, 1589-1655
are also from the same, book ii. (see notes to ll. 1580, 1590). Another
source which Chaucer may have consulted, though he made but little use of
it, was the first and second books of the Argonautica of Valerius Flaccus,
expressly mentioned in l. 1457 (see notes to ll. 1457, 1469, 1479, 1509,
1558)[35]. The use made of Ovid, Met. vii., is extremely slight (see note
to l. 1661). As to Ovid, Her. vii., xii., see notes to ll. 1564, 1670. The
net result is that Guido is a far more important source of this Legend than
all the passages from Ovid put together. Chaucer also doubtless consulted
the fifth book of the Thebaid of his favourite author Statius; see notes to
ll. 1457, 1467. Perhaps he also consulted Hyginus, whose 14th Fable gives
the long list of the Argonauts, and the 15th, a sketch of the story of
Hypsipyle. Compare also Boccaccio, De Claris Mulieribus, capp. 15, 16; and
the same, De Genealogia Deorum, lib. xiii. c. 26. Observe also that Gower
gives the story of Medea, and expressly states that the tale 'is in the
_boke of Troie_ write,' i.e. in Guido. See Pauli's edition, ii. 236.

V. THE LEGEND OF LUCRETIA. Chaucer refers to Livy's History (bk. i. capp.
57-59); and to Ovid (Fasti, ii. 721-852). With a few exceptions, the Legend
follows the latter source. He also refers to St. Augustine; see note to l.
1690[36]. Cf. Boccaccio, De Claris Mulieribus, cap. 46, who follows Livy.
Several touches are Chaucer's own; see notes to ll. 1812, 1838, 1861, 1871,

Gower has the same story (iii. 251), and likewise follows Ovid and Livy.

VI. THE LEGEND OF ARIADNE. From Ovid, Met. vii. 456-8, viii. 6-182; Her.
Epist. x. (chiefly 1-74); cf. Fasti, iii. 461-516. But Chaucer consulted
other sources also, probably a Latin translation of Plutarch's Life of
Theseus; Boccaccio, De Genealogia Deorum, lib. xi. capp. 27, 29, 30; also
Vergil, Aen. vi. 20-30; and perhaps Hyginus, Fabulae, capp. 41-43. Cf.
House of Fame, 405-426; and Gower, ii. 302[37].

VII. THE LEGEND OF PHILOMELA. Chiefly from Ovid, Met. vi. 424-605; and
perhaps from no other source, though the use of the word _radevore_ in l.
2352 is yet to be accounted for. Cf. Boccaccio, De Genealogia Deorum, lib.
ix. c. 8; and Gower, Conf. Amantis, ii. 313, who refers us to Ovid.

VIII. THE LEGEND OF PHYLLIS. Chiefly from Ovid, Her. Epist. ii.; cf.
Remedia Amoris, 591-608. But a comparison with the story as told by Gower
(C. A. ii. 26) shews that both poets consulted some further source, which I
cannot trace. The tale is told by Hyginus (Fab. capp. 59, 243) and
Boccaccio in a few lines. Cf. House of Fame, 388-396. A few lines are from
Vergil, Æn. i. 85-102, 142; iv. 373. And see notes to Lydgate's Temple of
Glas, ed. Schick, p. 75.

IX. THE LEGEND OF HYPERMNESTRA. Chiefly from Ovid, Her. Epist. xiv. But
Ovid calls her husband Lynceus, whereas Chaucer calls him Lino. Again, Ovid
does not give the name of Lynceus' father. Chaucer not only transposes the
names of the two fathers[38], but calls Ægyptus by the name of Egiste or
Egistes. Hence we see that he also consulted Boccaccio, De Genealogia
Deorum, lib. ii. c. 22, where we find the following account: 'Danaus Beli
Prisci fuit filius, ut asserit Paulus[39], et illud idem affirmat
Lactantius, qui etiam et ante Paulum Orosium, dicit Danaum Beli filium ex
pluribus coniugibus .l. filias habuisse, quas cum _Ægistus_ frater eius,
cui totidem erant melioris sexus filii, postulasset in nurus, Danaus
oraculi responso comperto se manibus generi moriturum, uolens euitare
periculum, conscensis nauibus in Argos uenit.... Ægistus autem, quod
spretus esset indignans, ut illum sequerentur filiis imperauit, lege data
ut nunquam domum repeterent, ni prius Danaum occidissent. Qui cum apud
Argos oppugnarent patruum, ab eo diffidente fraude capti sunt. Spopondit
enim se illis iuxta Ægisti uotum filias daturum in coniuges, nec defuit
promisso fides. Subornatae enim a patre uirorum intrauere thalamos singulis
cultris clam armatae omnes, et cum uino laetitiaque calentes iuuenes facile
in soporem iuissent, obedientes patri uirgines, captato tempore
iugulauerunt uiros, unaquaeque suum, _Hypermestra_ excepta, quae _Lino_ seu
Linceo uiro suo miserta pepercit.' We may note, by the way, that Chaucer's
spelling _Hypermistre_ is nearer to Boccaccio's _Hypermestra_ than to the
form in Ovid.

§ 9. GOWER'S CONFESSIO AMANTIS. The relationship of Gower's Confessio
Amantis to Chaucer's Legend has been investigated by Bech; in Anglia, v.
365-371. His conclusion is, that the passages in Gower which resemble
Chaucer are only _three_ at most; and I am here concerned to shew that, in
_two_ of these, the supposed resemblance is delusive.

1. In Gower's introduction, at the very beginning, ed. Pauli, i.4, we are
told that, but for books, the renown of many excellent people would be
lost. This seems to be copied from Chaucer's Prologue to the Legend, ll.
17-28. I have no doubt that such is the case; but we must be careful to
remember that these lines by Gower form part of the prologue _to his second
edition_, and were not written till 1393; by which time Chaucer's lines
were common property, and could be imitated by any one who chose to do it;
so we really learn nothing at all from this comparison.

2. In Gower, i. 45-48, there is a passage which bears some resemblance to
Chaucer's Prologue to the Legend. But if it be considered impartially, I
believe it will be found that the resemblance is too vague to be of any
value, and cannot be relied upon. We really must not set much store by such
generalities as the mention of the month of May; the address of the poet to
Cupid and Venus; the wrathful aspect of Cupid; and the graciousness of
Venus, who bids him disclose his malady and shrive himself. If Gower could
not 'invent' such common poetical talk, he had small business to write at
all. I would rather conclude, that Gower had no opportunity of seeing
Chaucer's poem till somewhat later; for it is a striking fact, that,
whereas Gower seized the opportunity of copying some of Chaucer's phrases
in the Tale of Constance (see this discussed at p. 415), he tells several
of Chaucer's Legends, such as those of Thisbe, Dido, Medea, Lucrece,
Ariadne, Philomela, and Phyllis in a wholly independent manner; and, when
telling the tale of Alcestis (iii. 149), he had no idea that she was ever
transformed into a daisy. Moreover, if he had been able to refer to the
Legend, l. 1355-6, he would hardly have translated 'Maeandri' by 'king
Menander' (ii. 5).

Without hesitation, I dismiss these alleged resemblances as trifling, and
the deduction from them as misleading.

3. But when we come to the _very end_ of Gower's work (iii. 357-367), the
case is entirely altered, and the resemblances are striking and
irrefragable. This is best seen by comparing the whole passage. Gower is in
the midst of lamenting his old age, a subject to which he afterwards
returns, when he suddenly introduces a digression, in which he sees

 'Cupide with his bowe bent;
  And, like unto a parlement
  Which were ordeined for the nones,
  With him cam al the world atones
  Of gentil folk, that whilom were
  Lovers; I sigh hem alle there'....

   'Garlondes, nought of o colour,
  Some of the _lefe_, som of the _flour_,
  And some of grete perles were.'

After which we are introduced to Tristram and Isolde, Jason and Hercules,
Theseus and Phedra, _Troilus and Criseide_ and Diomede, Pyramus, Dido,
Phyllis, Adriane, Cleopatra, Tisbe, Progne and Philomene and Tereus,
Lucrece, Alcestis; and even _Ceyx and Alcyone_ (cf. Chaucer's youthful
poem). The matter is put beyond doubt by Gower's adoption of Chaucer's
peculiar account of Cleopatra's death, as already noted above; see p.

The conclusion to be drawn from these facts is obvious. We see that, in the
year 1385, Gower had almost completed his long poem, and communicated the
fact to his friend Chaucer; and Chaucer, in return, told him of the new
poem (the Legend) upon which he was then himself engaged, so planned as to
contain nineteen tales or sections, and likely to extend to some 6,000
lines. Moreover, it was written in a new metre, such as no Englishman had
ever employed before. Gower was allowed to see the MS. and to read a
considerable portion of it. He was so struck with it as to make room for
some remarks about it; and even went out of his way to introduce a personal
reference to his friend. He makes Venus say to himself (iii. 374):--

 'And grete wel Chaucer, whan ye mete,
  As _my_ disciple and _my_ poete....
  Forthy now, in his dayes olde[40],
  Thou shall telle him this message,
  That he, upon his later age[40],
  To sette an ende of alle his werke,
  As he, which is myn owne clerke,
  Do make his testament of love,
  (As thou hast do thy shrift above),
  So that my court it may recorde.'

That is to say, Chaucer, being the poet of Venus, is to make his testament
of love, or final declaration concerning love, in a form suitable for being
recorded in the court of the goddess. This 'testament' is, of course, the
Legend of Good Women, in which the martyrs of love are duly recorded; and
their stories, written at the command of Cupid and by way of penance for
what he had missaid against women, were to be placed to the good side of
the author's account with Venus and her son. Moreover, they were finally to
be sent in to the visible representative of the court of Love, viz. to the
queen of England and her court.

It is interesting to observe that Gower, like Chaucer himself at the
moment, regarded this poem as the crowning effort of Chaucer's poetical
career. Neither of them had, at the time, any suspicion that Chaucer would,
after all, 'sette an ende of alle his werke' in a very different manner. We
may thus confidently date the first edition of Gower's Confessio Amantis in
the year 1385, before the Legend of Hypermnestra was abandoned in the
middle of a sentence. The date of the second edition of the same is 1393;
and it is a great help to have these dates thus settled.

§ 10. METRE. The most interesting point about this poem is that it is the
first of the 'third period' of Chaucer's literary work. Here, for the first
time, he writes a series of tales, to which he prefixes a prologue; he
adopts a new style, in which he seeks to delineate characters; and, at the
same time, he introduces a new metre, previously unknown to English
writers, but now famous as 'the heroic couplet.' In all these respects, the
Legend is evidently the forerunner of the Canterbury Tales, and we see how
he was gradually, yet unconsciously, preparing himself for that supreme
work. In two notable respects, as Ten Brink remarks, the Legend is inferior
to the Tales. The various legends composing it are merely grouped together,
not joined by connecting links which afford an agreeable relief. And again,
the Prologue to the Legend is mere allegory, whilst the famous Prologue to
the Tales is full of real life and dramatic sketches of character.

Chaucer had already introduced the seven-line stanza, unknown to his
predecessors--the earliest example being the Compleint unto Pite--as well
as the eight-line stanza, employed in his earliest extant poem, the A. B.
C. For the hint as to this form of verse, he was doubtless indebted in the
first instance to French poets, such as Guillaume de Machault, though he
afterwards conformed his lines, as regarded their cadence and general laws,
to those of Boccaccio and Dante[41].

The idea of the heroic couplet was also, I suppose, taken from French; we
find it in a Complainte written by Machault about 1356-8 (see below, p.
383); but here, again, Chaucer's melody has rather the Italian than the
French character. The lines in Froissart's poem on the Daisy (p. xxxi) are
of the same length, but rime together in groups of seven lines at a time,
separated by short lines having two accents only. Boccaccio's favourite
stanza in the Teseide, known as the _ottava rima_, ends with two lines that
form an heroic couplet[42].

§ 11. 'CLIPPED' LINES. It ought to be clearly understood that the
introduction of the new metre was quite an experiment, for which Chaucer
himself offers some apology when he makes the God of Love say expressly:
'Make the metres of hem as thee leste' (l. 562). Hence it was that he
introduced into the line a variety which is now held to be inadmissible;
though we must not forget that even so great a master of melody as
Tennyson, after beginning his 'Vision of Sin' with lines of normal length,
begins the second portion of it with the lines:--

 'Then methought I heard a hollow sound
  Gathering up from all the lower ground;
  Narrowing in to where they sat assembled,
  Low voluptuous music winding trembled,' &c.

It is precisely this variation that Chaucer sometimes allowed himself, and
it is easy to see how it came to pass.

In lines of a shorter type we constantly find a similar variation. There
are a large number of 'clipped' lines in the House of Fame. Practically,
their first foot consists of a single syllable, and they may be scanned
accordingly, by marking off that syllable at the beginning. Thus, ll.
2117-2120 run thus:--

 'And leet | hem gon. Ther might' I seen
  Weng | ed wondres faste fleen,
  Twent | ty thousand in a route,
  As E | olus hem blew aboute.'

This variation is still admissible, and is, of course, common enough in
such poems as Milton's L'Allegro and Il Penseroso. It is considered a

The introduction of two more syllables in lines of the above type gives us
a similar variation in the longer line. If, for example, after the word
_thousand_ in the third of the above lines, we introduce the word _freres_
(dissyllabic), we obtain the line:--

 'Twen | ty thousand freres in a route.'

It is a remarkable fact, that this very line actually occurs in the
Canterbury Tales (Group D, 1695); as I have pointed out in the note to l.
2119 of the House of Fame, at p. 286 below. Persistent efforts have often
been made to deny this fact, to declare it 'impossible,' and to deride me
for having pointed it out (as I did in 1866, in Morris's edition of
Chaucer, i. 174); but I believe that the fact is now pretty generally
admitted. It is none the less necessary to say here, that there is rather a
large number of such lines in the Legend of Good Women; precisely as we
might expect to find in a metre which was, in fact, a new experiment. As it
is advisable to present the evidence rather fully, I here cite several of
these lines, marking off the first syllable in the right way:--

 'That | of all' the flour-es in the med-e'; 41.
 'Suf | fisaunt this flour to preys' aright'; 67.
 'Of | this flour, when that it shuld unclos-e'; 111.
 'Mad' | her lyk a daisie for to sen-e'; 224.
 'Half | hir beautee shulde men nat fynd-e'; 245.
 'With | the whyt-e coroun, clad in gren-e'; 303.
 'Mai | dens been y-kept, for Ielosy-e'; 722.
 'For | to met' in o plac' at o tyd-e'; 783.
 'With | her fac' y-wimpled subtilly'; 797.
 'Both | e with her hert' and with her y-ën'; 859.
 'Bet | ing with his hel-es on the ground-e'; 863.
 'We | that wer-en whylom children your-e'; 901.
 'Been | as trew' and loving as a man'; 911.
 'Had | den in this temple been ov'r-al'; 1024.
 'We | that wer-en in prosperitee'; 1030.
 'Lyk | ed him the bet, as, god do bot-e'; 1076.
 'Lov' | wol lov', for no wight wol hit wond-e'; 1187.
 'Send' | her lettres, tokens, broches, ring-es'; 1275.
 'Mer | cy, lord! hav' pitè in your thoght'; 1324.
 'Twen | ty tym' y-swowned hath she than-ne'; 1342.
 'With | her meynee, end-e-long the strond-e'; 1498.
 'Yift | es gret', and to her officeres'; 1551.
 'Fad | er, moder, husbond, al y-fer-e'; 1828.
 'Fight | en with this fend, and him defend-e'; 1996.
 'Tell | en al his doing to and fro'; 2471.
 'Y | permistra, yongest of hem all-e'; 2575.

It is worth notice that they become scarcer towards the end of the poem.
For all that, Chaucer regarded this form of the line as an admissible
variety, and Hoccleve and Lydgate followed him in this peculiarity. The
practice of Hoccleve and Lydgate is entirely ignored by those to whom it is
convenient to ignore it. Perhaps they do not understand it. The usual
argument of those who wish to regulate Chaucer's verse according to their
own preconceived ideas, is to exclaim against the badness of the MSS. and
the stupidity of the scribes. This was tolerably safe before Dr. Furnivall
printed his valuable and exact copies of the MSS., but is less safe now. We
now have twelve MSS. (some imperfect) in type, besides a copy of Thynne's
first edition of the poem in 1532, making thirteen authorities in all. Now,
as far as this particular matter is concerned, the chief MSS. shew a
wonderful unanimity. In ll. 41, 111, 224, 722, 797, 901, 911, 1076, 1187,
1996, there is no variation that affects the scansion. And this means a
great deal more than it seems to do at first sight. For the scribes of MSS.
A. and T. evidently did not like these lines, and sometimes attempted
emendations with all the hardihood of modern editors. The fact that the
scribes are unwilling witnesses, with a tendency to corrupt the evidence,
makes their testimony upon this point all the stronger. Added to which, I
here admit that, wherever there seemed to be _sufficient_ evidence, I have
so far yielded to popular prejudice as to receive the suggested emendation.
I now leave this matter to the consideration of the unprejudiced reader;
merely observing, that I believe a considerable number of lines in the
Canterbury Tales have been 'emended' in order to get rid of lines of this
character, solely on the strength of the Harleian MS., the scribe of which
kept a keen look-out, with a view to the suppression of this eccentricity
on the part of his author. To give him much encouragement seems
inconsistent with strict morality.

The introduction (ll. 249-269) of a Balade of twenty-one lines makes every
succeeding couplet end with a line denoted by an _odd_ number. The whole
number of lines is 2,723. Dr. Furnivall was the first person who succeeded
in counting their number correctly.

§ 12. DESCRIPTION OF THE MANUSCRIPTS. The MSS. easily fall into two
distinct classes, and may be separated by merely observing the reading of
l. 1396: see note to that line. MSS. C., T., A. here read _Guido_ or
_Guydo_; whilst MSS. F., Tn., B. read _Ouyde_. MS. P. is here deficient,
but commonly agrees with the former class. Those of the same class will be
described together. Besides this, MS. C. is, as regards the Prologue only,
unique of its kind; and is throughout of the highest authority,
notwithstanding some unpleasant peculiarities of spelling. It is necessary
to pay special attention to it.

The list of the MSS. (including Thynne's edition) is as follows:--

  A.--Arch. Selden B. 24; Bodleian Library (_First class_).

  Add.--Additional 9832; British Museum (_First class_).

  Additional 12524; British Museum (_First class_).

  B.--Bodley 638; Bodleian Library (_Second class_).

  C.--Cambridge Univ. Library, Gg. 4. 27 (_First class_).

  F.--Fairfax 16; Bodleian Library (_Second class_).

  P.--Pepys 2006; Magd. Coll., Cambridge (_First class_).

  T.--Trinity College, Cambridge, R. 3. 19 (_First class_).

  Th.--Thynne's edition, pr. in 1532 (_Second class?_).

  Tn.--Tanner 346; Bodleian Library (_Second class_).

  [alpha].--Additional 28617; British Museum (_First class_); but only a
  fragment, viz. ll. 513-610, 808-1105, 1306-1801, 1852-2110, 2125-2135,

  [beta].--Cambridge Univ. Library, Ff. 1. 6 (Thisbe _only_).

  [gamma].--Rawlinson C. 86; Bodleian Library (Dido _only_).

They may be thus described.

C. (Camb. Univ. Lib. Gg. 4. 27) is the famous Cambridge MS., containing the
Canterbury Tales, denoted by the symbol 'Cm.' in the footnotes to vol. iv
(i.e. throughout the Canterbury Tales); also by the symbol 'Gg.' in vol.
i., i.e. in the Minor Poems; see p. 49 of the Introduction to vol. i. It
also contains some other pieces by Chaucer, viz. the A. B. C., Envoy to
Scogan, Truth, Troilus, and the Parlement of Foules. It is of early date,
and altogether the oldest, best, and most important of the existing copies
of the Legend. I shall call all those that resemble it MSS. of the _first

Its great peculiarity is that it possesses the unique copy of the early
draught of the Prologue; see p. xxi. Upon comparison of it with the Fairfax
MS. (the best MS. of the _second class_), it is found to offer slight
differences in many places throughout the various Legends, besides
presenting large differences throughout the Prologue. The variations are
frequently for the better, and it becomes clear that the first class of
MSS. is of an older type. The second class is of a later type, and differs
in two ways, in one way for the worse, and in another way for the better.
In the former respect, it presents corrupted or inferior readings in
several passages; whilst, on the other hand, it presents corrections that
are real improvements, and may have been due to revision. No doubt there
was once in existence a correct edition of the revised text, but no
existing MS. represents it. We can, however, practically reconstruct it by
a careful collation of MS. C. with MS. F.; and this I have attempted to do.
Throughout the Prologue, I take MS. C. as the basis of the 'A-text,'
correcting its eccentricities of spelling, but recording them in footnotes
wherever the variation is at all important; such a variation as _hym_ for
_him_, or _yt_ for _hit_, I regard as being of no value. At the same time,
I take MS. F. as the basis of the B-text, and correct it, where necessary,
by collation with the rest. Throughout the Legends themselves, I take MS.
F. as the basis of the text, collating it with C. throughout, so that the
text really depends on a comparison of these MSS.; if MS. C. had been made
the basis, the result would have been much the same. It was convenient to
take F. as the basis, because it agrees, very nearly, with all previous
editions of the poem. Unfortunately, leaf 469 of MS. C. has been cut out of
it; and, in consequence, ll. 1836-1907 are missing. The scribe has missed
ll. 1922, 1923, 2506, 2507, in the process of copying.

ADDIT. 9832. This is an imperfect MS., ending at l. 1985, no more leaves of
the MS. being left after that line. Besides this, the scribe has omitted
several lines, viz. ll. 166, 233, 234, 332, 333, 351, 865-872, 960, 961,
1255, 1517, 1744-1746, 1783, 1895, 1945. It belongs to the first class of
the MSS., but is an unsatisfactory copy, and I have not fully collated it.
It confirms, however, several of the readings of this edition, as
distinguished from former editions.

ADDIT. 12524. This also is only a fragment. The first leaf begins at l.
1640 of the poem, from which point it is complete to the end, though ll.
2454-2461 are partially effaced. It belongs to the first class of MSS., but
is a late copy, and I have not fully collated it. It confirms several of my

T.--MS. Trin. Coll. Cam. R. 3. 19. Denoted by the symbol 'Trin.' in my
edition of the Minor Poems, and described in vol. i., Introd. p. 56. It is
of rather late date, about 1500, but belongs to the first class of MSS. The
scribe has omitted the following lines, viz. 233, 234, 332, 333, 489, 960,
961, 1627, 2202, 2203, 2287-2292, and 2569.

A.--MS. Arch. Selden B. 24 (Bodley). Denoted by the symbol 'Ar.' in my
edition of the Minor Poems, and described in vol. i., Introd. p. 54. A
Scottish copy, written about 1472. It belongs to the first class of MSS.,
but the Scottish scribe sometimes takes liberties, and gives us a reading
of his own. For example, l. 714 becomes:--'As in grete townis the maner is
and wone.' But its readings, on the whole, are good. It alone preserves the
word 'almychti' in l. 1538, which in all the rest is too short; this may
not have been the original reading, but it gives a fair line, and furnishes
as good an emendation as we are likely to get. The scribe has omitted ll.
860, 861, 960, 961, 1568-1571, 2226, and 2227; besides which, one leaf of
the MS. is missing, causing the loss of ll. 2551-2616.

P.--Pepys 2006, Magd. Coll., Cambridge. Denoted by 'P.' in my edition of
the Minor Poems, of which it contains ten. It belongs, on the whole, to the
first class of MSS. The scribe has omitted ll. 232, 437, 623, and 1275.
Besides this, it has lost at least one leaf, causing the complete loss of
ll. 706-776, whilst ll. 777-845 are in a different handwriting. At l. 1377
it breaks off altogether, so that it is only a fragment. It gives l. 1377
in the following extraordinary form:--'And thow wer not fals to oon, but
thow wer fals to twoo'; giving six feet at least to the line, and a
syllable over.

[alpha].--Addit. 28617. A fair MS., but only a fragment, as already noted
(p. xlvii). It confirms many of my readings; as, e.g., in ll. 1995, 2019,
2020, 2199, &c. It varies in l. 1999, but gives there an excellent
reading:--That is nat derk, and ther is roum and space.

[beta].--Camb. Univ. Library, Ff. 1. 6. Contains the Legend of Thisbe only.
A late and poor MS., of small account.

[gamma].--Rawl. C. 86 (Bodleian Library). Contains the Legend of Dido only.
A poor text, with many errors. Yet it seems to be of the first class, and
preserves ll. 960-1. It confirms my readings of ll. 1048, 1074, 1079, 1139,
1144, 1159, 1174, 1195, 1196, 1215, 1366.

F.--Fairfax 16 (Bodleian Library). This is the valuable MS. which contains
so many of the Minor Poems. It is described in my Introd. to the Minor
Poems; vol. i. p. 51. I have taken it as the basis of the edition, though
it was necessary to correct it in all the places where the MSS. of the
first class have better readings. It is the best MS. of the second class,
and Bell's edition does little more than follow it, almost too faithfully,
though the editor professes to have collated with it the MS. A. described
above. The same text, in the main, reappears in the editions by Thynne,
Morris, Corson, Gilman. The scribe is careless, and frequently leaves out
essential words; he also omits ll. 249, 487, 846, 960, 961, 1490[43], 1643,
1693, 1998, part of 2150, 2151, 2152, part of 2153[44], 2193, 2338 (in
place of which a spurious line is inserted in a wrong place), and 2475.
Besides this, the scribe often ruins the scansion of a line by omitting an
essential word in it, as has already been mentioned. Thus in l. 614, he
drops the word _for_, which occurs in all the other MSS. The scribe often
wrongly adds or omits a final _e_, and is too fond of substituting _y_ for
_i_ in such words as _him_, _king_. When these variations are allowed for,
the spelling of the MS. is, for the most part, clear and satisfactory, and
a fair guide to the right pronunciation. Rejected spellings are given in
footnotes as far as l. 924; after which I have made such alterations as are
purely trivial without giving notice. Even in ll. 1-924 I have changed
_hym_ into _him_, and _kyng_ into _king_; and, conversely, _strif_ into
_stryf_, (where the _y_ denotes that the vowel is long), without hesitation
and without recording the change. My text is, in fact, spelt phonetically;
and, after all, the test of a text of Chaucer is to read it with the
Middle-English pronunciation as given by Dr. Sweet in his Second
Middle-English Primer, and to observe whether the result is perfectly in
accord with the flowing melody so manifest in the Canterbury Tales.

B.--Bodley 638. Closely related to MS. F., and almost a duplicate of it,
both being derived from a common source. B. is sometimes right where F. is
wrong; thus in l. 1196 it has _houyn_, where F. has _heuen_. See Introd. to
the Minor Poems, vol. i. p. 53. Of course this MS. belongs, like F., to the
second class. It preserves l. 1693 (missing in F.); otherwise it omits all
the lines that are omitted in F., as well as ll. 157, 262, 623, 1345, 1866;
all of which F. retains. Like F., it has a spurious line in place of l.

TN.--Tanner 346 (Bodley). This is a MS. of the second class, strongly
resembling F.; see Introd. to the Minor Poems, vol. i. p. 54. It preserves
ll. 1693, 2193, 2475; otherwise it omits all the lines omitted in F., as
well as the latter half of l. 1378 and the former half of l. 1379. It has a
spurious line in place of l. 2338. It is clear that F., B., and Tn. are all
from a common source, which was an older MS. not now known.

1532. This follows, mainly, the MSS. of the second class; its alliance with
F., B., and Tn. is shewn by its containing the spurious form of l. 2338.
But it gives the genuine form also, so that in this place _three_ lines
rime together. It is more complete than any of those MSS., preserving the
lines which they omit (excepting ll. 960, 961), save that it omits ll.
1326, 1327 (doubtless by oversight), which are found in these three MSS.,
and indeed in all the copies. Probably Thynne used more than one MS., as he
sometimes agrees with the MSS. of the first class. Thus, in l. 1163, he
reads _vpreysed had_, as in C., T., A., P., instead of _vp-reyseth hath_,
as in F., Tn., B. He might, however, have corrected this by the light of
nature. In ll. 1902, 1923, Thynne alone gives the right reading _Alcathoe_;
unfortunately, both these lines are missing in MS. C. The chief faults of
Thynne's edition are its omission of ll. 960, 961, 1326, 1327, and its
spurious l. 2338. Thynne was also unfortunate in following, in general, the
authority of a MS. of the second class.

SOME LATER EDITIONS.--Later editions appeared in the collected editions of
Chaucer's Works, viz. in 1542, (about) 1550, 1561, 1598, 1602, 1687; after
which came Urry's useless edition of 1721. Excepting the last, I suppose
the editions are all mere reprints; each being worse than its predecessor,
as is almost always the case. At any rate, the edition of 1561 is a close
reprint of Thynne, with a few later spellings, such as _guide_ in place of
Thynne's _gyde_ in l. 969. This edition of course omits ll. 960, 961, 1326,
1327; and gives the spurious l. 2338.

According to Lowndes, other later editions of Chaucer's Works are the
following:--Edinburgh, 1777; 18mo. 12 vols.--Edinburgh, 1782; 12mo. 14
vols.--In Anderson's British Poets, Edinburgh, 1793-1807; royal 8vo. 13
vols.--In Cooke's British Poets, London, 1798, &c., 18mo. 80 parts.--In
Chalmers' English Poets, London, 1810; royal 8vo. 21 vols. I suppose that
all of these are mere reprints; such is certainly the case with the edition
by Chalmers, which merely reproduces Tyrwhitt's edition of the Canterbury
Tales, and follows 'the black-letter editions' throughout the other poems.
The same remark applies to the edition printed by Moxon in 1855, and
attributed to Tyrwhitt as editor.

Other editions are those by S. W. Singer, London, 1822, fcp. 8vo. 5 vols.;
by Sir H. Nicolas (in the Aldine edition of English Poets), London, 1845,
post 8vo. 6 vols.; and by Robert Bell, London, 1855, 12mo. 8 vols. The last
was really edited by Mr. Jephson.

Bell's (so-called) edition was conveniently reprinted in four volumes, in
Bohn's Standard Library; a revised edition of this was published in 1878,
with a Preliminary Essay by myself. Of the Legend of Good Women, the editor
(Mr. Jephson) remarks that 'the text of the present edition is founded upon
a careful collation of the MS. Fairfax 16, in the Bodleian Library, and MS.
Arch. Seld. B. 24'; i.e. upon a collation of F. with A. It gives us the
text of MS. F., with the missing lines supplied from Thynne or from MS. A.
It omits ll. 960, 961, and inserts ll. 1326, 1327 _in the wrong place_,
viz. after l. 1329. At l. 2338, it gives both the correct and the spurious
forms of the line; so that here (as in Thynne) _three_ lines rime together.
In l. 2150-3, the same confusion occurs as is noticed below, in the account
of Morris's edition. The chief gain in this edition is that it has a few
explanatory notes. Of these I have freely availed myself, marking them with
the word 'Bell' whenever I quote them exactly; though they were really
written, as I am told, by Mr. Jephson, whose name nowhere appears, except
at p. 12 of my Essay, as prefixed to the revised edition.

The Aldine edition was reprinted in 1866, on which occasion it was edited
by Dr. Morris. With respect to the Legend of Good Women, Dr. Morris says
that it is copied from MS. F., collated with MSS. A., C. (privately printed
at Cambridge by Mr. H. Bradshaw, 1864), and MSS. Addit. 9832 and 12524. In
this edition, variations from the MS. (F.) are denoted by italic letters,
but such variations are very few. Practically, we here find a correct print
of MS. F., with most of the missing lines supplied by collation, and with
very few corrections. Lines 960, 961 are, however, still omitted, though
found in MS. C.; but ll. 1326, 1327 (also omitted by Thynne) are duly
given, being found, in fact, in MS. F. At l. 2338, the correct line is
given, but the spurious line is also retained; so that (as in Thynne)
_three_ lines here rime together. In the former part of l. 2153, a part of
l. 2150 is repeated, giving us _by_ instead of _eek_; the fact is that the
scribe slipped from _gayler_ in l. 2150 to _gayler_ in l. 2153, omitting
all that came between these words. Nothing is said about the interesting
form of the Prologue as existing in MS. C. There are no explanatory notes.

Besides the English editions, two editions of the Legend of Good Women have
appeared in America, which demand some notice.

Of these, the former is a very handy edition of the Legend of Good Women,
published _separately_ for the first time, and edited by Professor Hiram
Corson. The text is that of Bell's edition; but the explanatory notes are
fuller and better, and I have carefully consulted them. At the end is an
Index of all the words explained, which really serves the purpose of a
glossary. This is certainly the best edition I have met with.

The other edition is that of Chaucer's Works, edited by Arthur Gilman, and
published at Boston in 1879, in three volumes. The Legend of Good Women
occurs in vol. iii. pp. 79-183. The harder words are explained in
footnotes, and there are just a few notes on the subject-matter. The chief
point in this edition is that the editor quotes some of the more remarkable
variations in the Prologue from MS. C., which he says is 'evidently an
earlier one than the one followed in the text, Fairfax 16, in the Bodleian
Library, Oxford.' Yet his text is a mere reprint from that of Morris; it
omits ll. 960, 961, and gives l. 2338 both in its correct and in its
spurious form. Consequently, it contains 2722 lines instead of 2723. The
true number of lines is _odd_, because of the Balade of 21 lines at l. 249.

The net result is this; that none of the editions are complete, and they
are all _much the same_. After twenty editions, we are left almost where we
started at first. Thynne's edition was founded on a MS. very closely
resembling F., but more complete; still it omits four lines, and gives l.
2338 twice over, in different forms. The same is true of all the numerous
reprints from it. Bell's edition restores ll. 1326, 1327, but in the wrong
place; whilst Morris's edition restores them in the right place. These
lines actually occur in MS. F. (in the right place), and could hardly have
been unnoticed in collating the proofs with the MS. These editions are both
supposed to be collated with MS. A. at least, but the results of such
collation are practically _nil_, as that MS. was merely consulted to supply
missing lines. The editors practically ignore the readings of that MS.,
except where F. is imperfect. Hence they did not discover that MS. A.
_belongs to a different class of MSS., and that it frequently gives earlier
and better readings_. But even A. omits ll. 960, 961, though it also
rightly suppresses the spurious form of l. 2338.

§ 14. SOME IMPROVEMENTS IN MY EDITION OF 1889. No real advance towards a
better text was made till Dr. Furnivall brought out, for the Chaucer
Society, his valuable and exact prints of the manuscripts themselves. This
splendid and important work gives the texts _in extenso_ of all the MSS.
above mentioned, viz. MSS. C., F., Tn., T., A., and Th. (Thynne's ed.) in
the 'Parallel-Text edition of Chaucer's Minor Poems,' Part III; MSS. B.,
Addit. 9832, P., and Addit. 12524, in the 'Supplementary Parallel-Texts,'
Part II; and MSS. [alpha], [beta], [gamma], in 'Odd Texts,' 1880. But for
the invaluable help thus rendered, the edition of 1889 would never have
been undertaken, and I should never have attained to so clear an
understanding of the text. I have already said that Dr. Furnivall was the
_first_ person who succeeded in numbering the lines of the poem correctly;
indeed, most editions have no numbering at all.

I have not thought it necessary to encumber the pages with wholly inferior
readings that are of no value, but I have carefully collated the best MSS.,
viz. C., F., Tn., T., A., B., and sometimes P., besides keeping an eye upon
Th., i.e. Thynne's edition. I thus was enabled to see the true state of the
case, viz. that the MSS. of the first class (C., T., A., P., Addit. 9832,
12524, and 28617) have been practically neglected altogether; whilst, of
the MSS. &c. of the second class (F., Tn., B., Th.), only F. and Th. have
received sufficient attention. It is now abundantly clear that the best
authorities are C. and F., as being of different classes, and that the
right plan is to consult these _first_, and then to see how the other MSS.
support them. A long list of important emendations, and an exposure of the
extreme inaccuracy of most of the previous editions, will be found in the
Introduction to my edition of 1889, and need not be repeated here.

§ 15. CONCLUSION. In conclusion, I may mention the Poem in MS. Ashmole 59,
entitled 'The Cronycle made by Chaucier. ¶ Here nowe folowe the names of
the nyene worshipfullest Ladyes ... by Chaucier.' It is a poor production,
perhaps written by Shirley, and merely gives a short epitome of the
contents of the Legend of Good Women. The words 'by Chaucier' refer to
Chaucer's authorship of the Legend only, and not to the authorship of the
epitome, which, though of some interest, is practically worthless. The
author makes the odd mistake of confusing the story of Alcestis with that
of Ceyx and Alcyone in the Book of the Duchesse (62-230). This 'Cronycle'
was printed by Dr. Furnivall in his Odd-texts of Chaucer's Minor Poems,
Part i.

I have now only to record my indebtedness to others, especially to Dr.
Furnivall for his invaluable prints in the Parallel-Texts; to the excellent
essay by M. Bech, in vol. v. of Anglia[45]; to Mr. Jephson for his notes in
'Bell's' edition; and to the notes in the edition by Professor Corson. Also
to Professor Ten Brink, the second part of whose second volume of the
Geschichte der englischen Litteratur has just appeared (1893).

NOTE.--If the reader finds the _two_ forms of the Prologue troublesome, he
has only to confine his attention to the 'B-text,' in the _lower_ part of
pp. 65-105. The text agrees with that usually given, and contains 579
lines. The first line of 'Cleopatra' is l. 580, the numbering being
continuous. Besides this, the lines of each Legend are given _separately_,
within marks of parenthesis. Thus l. 589 is the 10th line of 'Cleopatra';
and so in other cases.

I here subjoin an Additional Note to lines 1896-8.

At p. xxxix. above (footnote no. 2), I give Bech's reference to Godfrey of
Viterbo. The passage runs thus:--

     '_De Ioue primo rege Atheniensi._

  A Ioue nostrorum uenit generatio regum,
  A Ioue principium recipit descriptio regum,
    A Ioue _philosophi_ dogmata prima legunt.
  Rex erat ex rege quondam patre natus Athenis,
  Indeque quadriuii triuiique scientia uenit;
    Legis et artis ibi rex ydioma dedit.'


§ 1. DESCRIPTION OF THE MSS. The existing MSS. of the 'Astrolabe' are still
numerous. I have been successful in finding no less than twenty-two, which
I here describe. It is remarkable that, although many printed editions of
the treatise have appeared, no first-class MS. has ever hitherto come under
the notice of any one of the various editors. This point will appear more
clearly hereafter.

§ 2. A.--MS. Dd. 3. 53 (part 2) in the Cambridge University Library. The
'Treatise on the Astrolabie' begins at fol. 212 of the MS. considered as a
whole, but the folios are now properly renumbered throughout the treatise.
The MS. is of vellum, and the writing clear and good, with a great number
of neatly drawn diagrams, which appear wherever the words 'lo here thi
figure' occur in the text. This MS. I have made the basis of the text, and
it is followed with sufficient exactness, except when notice to the
contrary is given in the Critical Notes.

This MS. is of considerable importance. The handwriting exactly resembles
that in MS. B., and a comparison of these MSS. leads to the following
results. It appears that MSS. A. and B. were written out by the same
scribe, nearly at the same time. The peculiarities of spelling,
particularly those which are faulty, are the same in both in a great many
instances. It is also clear that the said scribe had but a very dim notion
of what he was writing, and committed just such blunders as are described
in Chaucer's Lines to Adam Scriveyn, and are there attributed to
'negligence and rape[46].' It is still more interesting to observe that
Chaucer tells us that he had to amend his MSS. by 'rubbing and scraping'
with his own hand; for MS. A. and B. differ precisely in this point, viz.
that while the latter is left uncorrected, the former has been diligently
'rubbed and scraped' by the hand of a corrector who well knew what he was
doing, and the right letters have been inserted in the right places over
the erasures. These inserted letters are in the hand of a second scribe who
was a better writer than the first, and who was entrusted with the task of
drawing the diagrams. The two hands are contemporaneous, as appears from
the additions to the diagrams made by the writer of the text.
Unfortunately, there are still a good many errors left. This is because the
blunders were so numerous as to beguile the corrector into passing over
some of them. When, for example, the scribe, having to write 'lo here thy
figure' at the end of nearly every section, took the trouble to write the
last word 'vigure' or 'vigour' in nearly every instance, we are not
surprised to find that, in a few places, the word has escaped correction.
It further appears that some of the later sections, particularly sections
39 and 40, have not been properly revised; the corrector may very well have
become a little tired of his task by the time he arrived at them. It must
also be remembered, that such blunders as are made by a scribe who is not
clear as to the meaning of his subject-matter are by no means the blunders
which are most puzzling or most misleading; they are obvious at once as
evident blotches, and the general impression left upon the mind by the
perusal of this MS. is--that a careless scribe copied it from some almost
perfect original, and that his errors were partially corrected by an
intelligent corrector (possibly the author), who grew tired of his task
just towards the end.

The order of the Conclusions in Part ii. differs from that in all the
editions hitherto printed, and the MS. terminates abruptly in the middle of
a sentence, at the words 'howre after howre' in Conclusion 40 (p. 223). A
portion of the page of the MS. below these words is left blank, though the
colophon 'Explicit tractatus,' &c. was added at the bottom of the page at a
later period.

Certain allusions in the former part of the MS. render it probable that it
was written in London, about the year 1400.

§ 3. B.--MS. E Museo 54, in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. This is an
uncorrected duplicate of the preceding, as has been explained, and ends in
the same way, at the words 'howre after howre,' followed by a blank space.
The chief addition is the rubricated title--'Bred and mylk For childeren,'
boldly written at the beginning; in the margin are the following notes in a
late hand--'S_i_r Jiffray Chaucer'--'Do_mi_nus Gaufredus
Chaucerus'--'Galfredi Chauceri Tractatus de Ratione et vsu Astrolabij ad
Ludouicum filiu_m_.'

§ 4. C.--MS. Rawlinson, Misc. 1262, otherwise 1370 (leaves 22-42), in the
Bodleian Library, Oxford.

This is a beautifully written MS., on vellum, with 38 pages of text, and 4
blank pages. It has the Conclusions in the same order as the preceding, six
well-executed diagrams, and corrections on nearly every page. It is of
early date, perhaps about A.D. 1420, and of considerable importance. It
agrees closely with the text, and, like it, ends with 'howre after howre.'
Some variations of spelling are to be found in the Critical Notes. In this
MS. the Conclusions are numbered in the margin, and the numbers agree with
those adopted in this edition.

§ 5. D.--MS. Ashmole 391, in the Bodleian Library. I have made but little
use of this MS., on account of its being very imperfect.

§ 6. E.--MS. Bodley 619. This MS., like B., has the title--'Brede and Milke
for children.' Like other good MSS., it ends sect. 40 with 'houre after
houre.' But after this, there occurs an additional section, probably not
genuine, but printed here (for the sake of completeness) as section 46; see
p. 229. Cf. § 17.

At fol. 21 is an additional section, not found elsewhere, which is printed
in the Notes; see p. 360. This Conclusion has some claims to our notice,
because, whether genuine or not, it is translated from Messahala.

§ 7. F.--MS. 424, in the Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Very
imperfect, especially at the beginning, where a large portion has been

The Conclusions follow the right order, as in the best MSS.

§ 8. G.--MS. R. 15, 18, in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. This
is a curious and interesting volume, as it contains several tracts in
English on astrology and astronomy, with tables of stars, &c.

The copy of the 'Astrolabe' in this MS. is not a good one. It ends in Part
ii. sect. 34, l. 14. The Conclusions are in the right order, and there are
a few diagrams.

§ 9. H.--MS. Sloane 314, British Museum. A late MS. on paper, absurdly said
in a note to be in Chaucer's handwriting, whereas it is clearly to be
referred to the end of the fifteenth century.

§ 10. I.--MS. Sloane 261. This is an 'edited' MS., having been apparently
prepared with a view to publication. Mr. Brae has made considerable use of
it, and gives, in his preface, a careful and interesting account of it. He
concludes that this MS. was written by Walter Stevins in 1555, and
dedicated by him to Edward Earl of Devonshire; and that MS. H. was one of
those which Stevins especially consulted, because it contains marginal
notes in Stevins' handwriting. The contents of this MS. can be so well
ascertained from Mr. Brae's edition that it is unnecessary to say more
about it here. The Conclusions are arranged in the same order as in other
MSS. that are _not_ of the first class.

§ 11. K.--MS. Rawlinson Misc. 3, in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. On
vellum, 49 folios, with rich gold capitals, beautifully ornamented; in a
large clear handwriting, with red rubrics. Title--'Astralabium.'
Begins--'Lityl lowys my sone,' &c.--and ends--'For þe mone meuyth the
contrarie from other planetys. as yn here epicircle. but in none other
maner'; see end of Part ii. sect. 35; p. 217. Order of Conclusions in Part
ii. as follows; 1-12, 19-21, 13-18, 22-35; as in other late MSS. There are
no diagrams, and the MS., though well written, may perhaps be referred to
the latter half of the fifteenth century.

§ 12. L.--MS. Additional 23002, British Museum. A fair MS., on vellum,
without diagrams; imperfect. See description of MS. R. in § 17. And see the
Note on Part ii. sect. 3 (p. 360).

§ 13. M.--MS. E. 2 in the Library of St. John's College, Cambridge. Small
MS. on vellum, without diagrams. The leaves have been misplaced, and bound
up in a wrong order, but nothing is lost. I have printed from this MS. the
last five words of sect. 40; also 41-43, and 41_a_-42_b_; besides collating
it for the improvement of the text in sect. 44; sect. 45 is missing. I have
also been indebted to it for the _Latin_ rubrics to the Conclusions, which
I have not found elsewhere. Several various readings from this MS. appear
in the Critical Notes (pp. 233-241).

§ 14. N.--MS. Digby 72, in the Bodleian Library. From this MS. I have
printed the text of sections 44 and 45 (pp. 226-9), but have made little
further use of it.

§ 15. O.--MS. Ashmole 360, in the Bodleian Library. Late MS., on paper;
former owner's name, Joh_a_n Pekeryng; without diagrams. There are
evidently some omissions in it. But it includes sections 44 and 45, and I
have given various readings from it in those sections (p. 240). It ends at
the end of sect. 43_a_, with the words--'on_e_ to twelfe. _& sic finis_';
see p. 232.

§ 16. P.--MS. Dd. 12. 51 in the Cambridge University Library. Small MS. on
vellum; written in the fifteenth century. The text is by no means a bad
one, though the spelling is peculiar. Some of the pages are very much
rubbed and defaced. I have taken from it some various readings, recorded in
the Critical Notes.

One point deserves particular attention. It not only contains the
Conclusions of Part ii. _in the right order_, but continues it _without a
break_ to the end of Conclusion 43 (p. 225); at the end of which is the
colophon--Explicit tractatus astrolabii.

§ 17. Q.--MS. Ashmole 393, in the Bodleian Library; on paper. Of little

R.--MS. Egerton 2622, in the British Museum. A neat MS., but without
diagrams. Contains: Part I. (except 15-23); Part II. §§ 1-12, 19-21, 13-18,
22-35, 41-43, 44, 45; 41_a_, 41_b_, 42_a_, 43_a_, 42_b_, 36, 37. Thus it
has all the additional sections except 46; but 38-40 are missing. MS. L.
contains the same sections in the same order; see § 12.

S.--MS. Addit. 29250. A poor MS., but remarkable for containing the scarce
section no. 46; of which there is but one other copy, viz. that in MS. E (§
6); cf. pp. 240, 241.

T.--MS. Phillipps 11955; at Cheltenham. On vellum; 31 leaves; said to be of
the fourteenth century, which is improbable.

U.--MS. Bodley 68. Imperfect; ends at Part ii. § 36.

W.--MS. E Museo 116, in the Bodleian Library. A mere fragment.

X.--A MS. at Brussels, no. 1591. See F. J. Mone, Quellen und Forschungen,
(Aachen, 1830); pp. 549-551.

§ 18. Of the above MSS., Mr. Brae describes H., I., and L. only, and does
not seem to have made use of any others. Mr. Todd, in his Animadversions on
Gower and Chaucer, p. 125, enumerates only four MSS., which are plainly A.,
P., F., and G. The rest seem to have escaped attention.

In addition to the MS. authorities, we have one more source of text, viz.
the Editio Princeps, which may be thus described.

Th.--The edition of Chaucer's Works by Wm. Thynne, printed at London by
Thomas Godfray in 1532. This is the first edition in which the Treatise on
the Astrolabe appeared; it begins at fol. ccxcviii, back. The Conclusions
in Part ii. are in the order following, viz. 1-12, 19-21, 13-18, 22-40;
after which come 41-43, and 41_a_-42_b_. This order does not agree
precisely with that in any MS. now extant, with the exception of I., which
imitates it. It has some corrupt additions and exhibits many grave errors.
All later editions, down to Urry's in 1721, contribute no new information.
The few slight alterations which appear in them are such as could have been
made without reference to MSS. at all.

§ 19. REMARKS ON THE CLASSES OF THE MSS. On comparing the MSS., it at once
appears that they do not agree as to the order of the Conclusions in Part
ii. The MSS. A., B., C. (which are unquestionably the oldest), as well as
E., F., G., and P., adopt the order which appears in this edition, but
which has never appeared in any previous edition. In all other editions we
find the three sections 19-21 made to precede sections 13-18. Now we might
here appeal to authority only, and say that the order in the _oldest_ MSS.
ought to be preferred. But it so happens that we can appeal to internal
evidence as well, and there are two considerations which shew that the
oldest MSS. are certainly correct. These are as follows. In the _first_
place, sect. 18 amounts to finding the degree of the zodiac which _souths_
with any star, and begins with the words 'Set the centre of the sterre upon
the lyne meridional'; whilst sect. 19 amounts to finding the degree of the
zodiac that _rises_ with any star, and begins with the words 'Set the
sentre of the sterre upon the est orisonte.' Clearly, these Conclusions are
closely linked together, and one ought to follow the other. But, in all the
editions, this continuity is broken. In the _second_ place, the rubric of
sect. 21 is--'To knowe for what latitude in any regioun,' &c.; whilst that
of sect. 22 is--'To knowe in special the latitude of oure countray,' &c.
Clearly, these Conclusions are closely linked, and in their right order.
But, in all the editions, this continuity is again broken; and we have this
absurd result, viz. that a proposition headed--'To knowe the degrees of the
longitudes of fixe sterres' is followed by one headed--'To knowe _in
special_ the latitude of oure countray.' Hence we are enabled to draw a
line, and to divide the MSS. into two classes; those in which the order of
sections is correct, and those in which it has suffered misplacement, the
number in each class being much the same. This gives us the following

_First Class._ A., B., C, (probably D.,) E., F., G., P.

_Second Class._ H., I., K., L., M., N., O., R.; to which add Th.

But this division immediately leads to another very curious result, and
that is, a certain lack of authority for sections after the _fortieth_,
which ends on p. 223.

A. ends with an incomplete sentence, in sect. 40, with the words--'howre
after howre.' B., C. end exactly at the same place.

E. ends sect. 40 with the same words; and, after this, has only one
additional section (46), which is, in my opinion, spurious; especially as
it does not appear in Messahala, of which more anon.

D., F., and G. all fail at an earlier point.

In none of the first-class MSS. (excepting P., which terminates with
section 43) is there a word about _umbra recta_ or _umbra versa_.

Even in the second class of MSS., we find H. breaking off at sect. 36, and
K. at sect. 35; so that the sections on the _umbrae_ rest only on MSS. I.
(obviously an edition, not a transcript), L., M., N., O., P., and R.
Putting aside the first of these, as being 'edited,' we have but six left;
and in the first four and the last of these we find that the additional
Conclusions appear in a certain order, viz. they insert 44 and 45 (on the
'mene mote') between three sections 41-43 on the 'umbrae' and five other
sections 41_a_-42_b_ on the same.

§ 20. THE LAST FIVE SECTIONS SPURIOUS. This at once suggests two results.
The _first_ is, that, as this gives two sets of sections on the 'umbrae,'
we can hardly expect both to be genuine; and accordingly, we at once find
that the _last five_ of these are mere clumsy repetitions of the _first
three_; for which reason, I unhesitatingly reject the said _last five_ as
spurious. This view is strikingly confirmed by MS. P.; for this, the only
first-class MS. that is carried on beyond section 40, contains the first
three sections on the 'umbrae' only. The _second_ result is, that if the
first three sections on the 'umbrae' are to be received, there is good
reason why we should consider the possible genuineness of sections 44 and
45 on the 'mene mote,' which rest very nearly on the same authority.

Now the sections on the 'mene mote' have in their favour one strong piece
of internal evidence; for the date 1397 is mentioned in them more than once
as being the 'root' or epoch from which to reckon. In most cases, the
mention of a date 1397 would lead us to attribute the writing in which it
occurs to that year or to a _later_ year, but a date fixed on for a 'root'
may very well be a _prospective_ one, so that these sections may have been
written _before_ 1397; an idea which is supported by the line 'behold
whether thy date be more or _lasse_ than the yere 1397'; sect. 44, l. 5.
But I suspect the date to be an error for 1387, since that [see _Somer_ in
Tyrwhitt's Glossary] was really the 'rote' used by Nicholas Lenne. In
either case, I think we may connect these sections with the previous
sections written in 1391[47]. Besides which, Chaucer so expressly intimates
his acquaintance with the subjects of these sections in the Canterbury
Tales[48], that we may the more readily admit them to be really his. There
is still less difficulty about admitting the first three sections (41-43)
on the 'umbrae,' because we find similar matter in the treatise of
Messahala, from which, as will appear, he derived so much. And hence we may
readily conclude that, in the second part, the first forty sections, found
in the oldest MSS., are certainly genuine, whilst sections 41-43, as well
as 44 and 45, have every claim to be considered genuine also. This need
not, however, force us to accept the remaining sections, since they may
easily have been added by another hand; a circumstance which is rendered
the more probable by the fact that sections 41_a_-42_b_ merely repeat 41-43
in a more clumsy form, and by the consideration that, if genuine, they
should have occupied their proper place immediately after sect. 43, instead
of being separated from the former set. As to sect. 46, I pronounce no
decided opinion; there is but little to be said either for or against it,
and it is of little consequence.

§ 21. GAP BETWEEN §§ 40 AND 41. But admitting the genuineness of sections
40-45, it at once becomes evident that there are two distinct gaps or
breaks in the continuity of the treatise; the first between 40 and 41; and
the second between 43 and 44. A little consideration will account for
these. Looking at the Canterbury Tales, we observe the very same
peculiarity; at certain points there are distinct breaks, and no mending
can link the various groups together in a satisfactory manner. This can be
accounted for in part by our knowledge of the fact that the poet died
before he had completed the proper linking-together of the tales which he
had more or less finished; but I think it also shews him to have been a
fragmentary worker. To suppose that, upon reaching Conclusion 40, he
suddenly turned to the sections upon the 'umbrae,' which are at once more
easy to explain, more suitable for a child, and illustrative of a different
and more practical use of the Astrolabe, seems to me natural enough; and
more probable than to suppose that anything is here lost. For, in fact, it
is to the very MSS. that contain sections 41-43 that we are indebted for
the last five words of sect. 40, so curiously omitted in the oldest and
best MSS.; and this is a direct argument against the supposition of any
matter having been here lost.

§ 22. GAP BETWEEN §§ 43 AND 44. The break between sections 43 and 44 may be
explained in a totally different manner. In this case, the break indicates
a _real_, not an accidental, gap. I suppose section 43 to have been really
the _last_ section of Part ii, and I refer sections 44 and 45 to the
_Fourth_ Part of the Treatise, and not to the _Second_ at all[49]. For if
we run through the contents of Parts Three and Four (p. 177), we observe
that they chiefly involve tables, with reference to one of which we find
the words 'upon which table ther folwith a _canon_,' &c. Now sections 44
and 45 exactly answer the description; they are alternative _canons_,
shewing how certain tables may be used. It happens that Conclusion 40 is
particularly dependent upon tables. To supply these was partly the object
of Part iv--'the whiche ferthe partie in special shal shewen a _table of
the verray moeving of the mone from houre to houre_, every day and in every
signe, after thyn almenak; _upon which table ther folwith a canon_,
suffisant to teche as wel the _maner of the wyrking of that same
conclusioun_, as to knowe in oure orizonte with which degree of the zodiac
that the mone ariseth in any latitude; and the arising of any planete after
his latitude fro the ecliptik lyne.' The opening words of the same
Conclusion are--'Knowe by thyn almenak the degree of the ecliptik of any
signe in which that the planete is rekned for to be:' (p. 221). This is
easily said; but I suppose that it was not so easy in olden times to know
off-hand the exact position of a planet. It must have been shewn by tables,
and these tables chiefly considered the 'mene mote,' or average motion of
the planets, and that only for periods of years. If you wanted the position
of a planet at a given hour on a given day, you had to work it out by
figures; the rule for which working was called a 'canon.' This very 'canon'
is precisely given at length in sect. 44; and sect. 45 is only another way
of doing the same thing, or, in other words, is an alternative canon. When
all this is fairly and sufficiently considered, we shall find good grounds
for supposing that these sections on the 'mene mote' are perfectly genuine,
and that they really belong to Part iv. of the Treatise.

I will only add, that the fact of sections 41_a_-42_b_ being thus placed
after a portion of Part iv. is one more indication that they are spurious.

§ 23. CONCLUSION 40. But it may be objected, as Mr. Brae has fairly
objected, that Conclusion 40 itself ought to belong to Part iv. So it ought
perhaps, if Chaucer had followed out his own plan. But it is clear from its
contents that the Prologue to the 'Astrolabie' was written _before_ the
commencement of the treatise itself, and not, as prefaces generally are,
afterwards. He was pleased with his son's progress. Little Lewis had asked
him if he might learn something about an astrolabe. The father at once sent
him a small astrolabe[50] by way of reward, constructed for the latitude of
Oxford, and having 45 circles of latitude on the flat disc (see Fig. 5)
instead of having 90 such circles, as the best instruments had[51]. This,
however, was a 'sufficient' astrolabe for the purpose. But he believes the
Latin treatises to be too hard for his son's use, and the Conclusions in
them to be too numerous. He therefore proposes to select some of the more
important Conclusions, and to turn them into English with such
modifications as would render them easier for a child to understand, He
then lays down a table of contents of his proposed five parts, throughout
which he employs the future tense, as 'the firste partie _shal_
reherse,'--'the second partie _shal_ teche,' &c. This use of the future
would not alone prove much, but taken in connexion with the context, it
becomes very suggestive. However, the most significant phrase is in the
last line of the Prologue, which speaks of 'other noteful thinges, yif god
wol vouche-sauf & his modur the mayde, mo than I behete,' i.e. other useful
things, _more than I now promise, if God and the Virgin vouchsafe it_. In
accordance with his habits of seldom finishing and of deviating from his
own plans at pleasure, we have but an imperfect result, not altogether
answerable to the table of contents. I therefore agree with Mr. Brae that
the 40th Conclusion would have done better for Part iv., though I do not
agree with him in rejecting it as spurious. This he was led to do by the
badness of the text of the MSS. which he consulted, but we can hardly
reject this Conclusion without rejecting the whole Treatise, as it is found
in all the oldest copies. By way of illustration, I would point out that
this is not the only difficulty, for the Conclusions about astrology ought
certainly to have been reserved for Part v. These are Conclusions 36 and
37, which concern the 'equaciouns of houses'; and this is probably why, in
three of the MSS. (viz. L., N., and R.), these two conclusions are made to
come _at the end of the Treatise_. There is nothing for it but to accept
what we have, and be thankful.

§ 24. EXTANT PORTION OF THE TREATISE. If, then, the questions be asked, how
much of the Treatise has come down to us, and what was to have been the
contents of the missing portion, the account stands thus.

Of Part i. we have the whole.

Of Part ii. we have nearly all, and probably all that ever was written,
including Conclusions 1-40 on astronomical matters, and Conclusions 41-43
on the taking of altitudes of terrestrial objects. Possibly Conclusion 46
is to be added to these; but Conclusions 41_a_-42_b_ are certainly

Part iii. probably consisted entirely of tables, and some at least of these
may very well have been transmitted to little Lewis. Indeed, they may have
been prepared by or copied from Nicholas of Lynn and John Somer, before
Chaucer took the rest in hand. The tables were to have been (and perhaps
were) as follows:--

1. Tables of latitude and longitudes of the stars which were represented on
the 'Rete' of the Astrolabe. Specimens of such tables are found in MSS.

2. Tables of declinations of the sun, according to the day of the year.

3. Tables of longitudes of cities and towns.

4. Tables for setting clocks and finding the meridian altitudes (of the
sun, probably).

Such tables as these are by no means lost. There are MSS. which contain
little else, as e.g. MS. Hh. 6. 8 in the Cambridge University Library. The
longitudes of towns are given in MS. Camb. Ii. 3. 3, at fol. 214_b_. Again,
in MS. F. 25, in St. John's College Library, Cambridge, we find tables of
fixed stars, tables of latitudes and longitudes of towns, tables of
altitudes of the sun at different hours, and many others.

Part iv. was to explain the motions of the heavenly bodies, with their
causes. This was probably never written, though there is an allusion to it
in Part ii. § 11, l. 12. It was also to contain a table to shew the
position of the moon, according to an almanac; and such a table is given in
the St. John's MS. above mentioned, and in MS. Camb. Ii. 3. 3, at fol. 143.
This was to have been followed by a canon, and an explanation of the
working of the Conclusion--'to knowe with which degree of the zodiac that
the mone ariseth,' and 'the arising of any planete,' &c. The canon is
partly accounted for, as regards the planets at least, by sections 44 and
45, and the 'Conclusion' by section 40.

Part v. was to contain the general rules of astrology, with tables of
equations of houses, dignities of planets, and other useful things which
God and the Virgin might vouchsafe that the author should accomplish.
Sections 36 and 37 tell us something about the equations of houses; but, in
all probability, none (or, at least, no more) of this fifth Part was ever
written. Tables of equations of houses, for the latitude of Toledo, are
given in MS. Camb. Ii. 3. 3, at fol. 177, and elsewhere. Of the general
rules of astrology we find in old MSS. somewhat too much, but they are
generally in Latin; however, the Trinity MS. R. 15. 18 has some of them in

On the whole, we have quite as much of Chaucer's Treatise as we need care
for; and he may easily have changed his mind about the necessity of writing
Part v; for we actually find him declaring (and it is pleasant to hear him)
that 'natheles, thise ben observauncez of iudicial matiere & _rytes of
payens, in which my spirit ne hath no feith_'; ii. 4. 36; (p. 192).

§ 25. SOURCES OF THE TREATISE. I next have to point out the sources whence
Chaucer's treatise was derived. Mr. Halliwell, in a note at the end of his
edition of Mandeville's Travels, speaks of the original treatise on the
Astrolabe, written in Sanskrit, on which he supposes Chaucer's treatise to
have been founded. Whether the Latin version used by Chaucer was ultimately
derived from a Sanskrit copy or not, need not be considered here. The use
of the Astrolabe was no doubt well known at an early period in India and
among the Persians and Arabs; see the 'Description of a Planispheric
Astrolabe constructed for Sháh Sultán Husain Safawí, King of Persia,' by W.
H. Morley, in which elaborate and beautifully illustrated volume the reader
may find sufficient information. Marco Polo says (bk. ii. c. 33) that there
were 5000 astrologers and soothsayers in the city of Cambaluc,
adding--'they have a kind of _Astrolabe_, on which are inscribed the
planetary signs, the hours, and critical points of the whole year'; Marco
Polo, ed. Yule, i. 399. Compare also the mention of the instrument in the
161st night of the Arabian Nights' Entertainments, where a translation
which I have now before me has the words--'instead of putting water into
the basin, he [the barber] took a very handsome astrolabe out of his case,
and went very gravely out of my room to the middle of the yard, to take the
height of the sun'; on which passage Mr. Lane has a note (chap. v. note 57)
which Mr. Brae quotes at length in his edition. There is also at least one
version of a treatise in Greek, entitled [Greek: peri tês tou astrolabou
chrêseôs], by Johannes Philoponus, of which the Cambridge University
Library possesses two copies, viz. MSS. Dd. 15. 27 and Gg. 2. 33. But it is
clear, from his own words, that Chaucer followed the Latin, and I can point
out[52] one of the Latin treatises to which he was very considerably
indebted. This is the 'Compositio et Operatio Astrolabie,' by
Messahala[53], of which copies are, I have no doubt, sufficiently numerous.
The Cambridge Library has four, viz. Hh. 6. 8, Ii. 1. 13, Ii. 3. 3[54], and
Kk. 1. 1, and there is another copy in St. John's College Library,
Cambridge, marked F. 25. The title should be particularly observed; for the
treatise is distinctly divisible into two separate parts, viz. the
'Compositio Astrolabii' and the 'Operatio Astrolabii.' The former begins
with the words--'Scito quod astrolabium sit nomen Graecum,' and explains
how to make an astrolabe, and how to inscribe on it the various necessary
lines and circles with sufficient exactness. It is much the longer portion
of the treatise, and (in MS. Ii. 3. 3) is illustrated by numerous diagrams,
whilst the second part has no such illustrations. But it does not appear
that Chaucer made any use of this former part, as his astrolabe had been
procured ready-made. The second part of the treatise, or 'Operatio
Astrolabii,' begins with the words 'Nomina instrumentorum sunt hec.' This
is evidently one of the sources from which Chaucer drew largely[55].
Chaucer's Part i. is almost wholly taken from this, but he has expanded it
in several places, with the evident intention of making it more easy to
understand. In Part ii. he has taken from it, with more or less exactness,
sections 1-3, 5-8, 10, 11, 13-18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27-31, 33-37, 41 and 42;
whilst sections 4, 9, 12, 19, 22, 23, 26, 32, 38-40 and 43 do not appear in
it. In other words, Messahala's treatise accounts for thirty-one
conclusions out of forty-three, or about _two-thirds_ of the whole. In some
places, Chaucer has translated almost word for word, so as to leave no
doubt as to his authority. Besides which, I have already remarked that
Chaucer's version is _directly_ connected with Messahala by the quotations
from the latter which appear in MS. E.; see description of this MS. at p.
lix. If it be inquired, whence did Chaucer derive the remaining third of
his Second Part, I think it very likely that some of it may be found
amongst the varied and voluminous contents of such a MS. as Ii 3. 3, which
is a sort of general compendium of astronomical and astrological knowledge.
The complete solution of this question I leave to some one with more
leisure than myself, being satisfied that to have found the original of
Part i. and two-thirds of Part ii. is to have made a good start. It must
not be omitted, that the MSS. of Messahala are not all alike; that some
copies have propositions which are not in others; and that the order of the
Conclusions is not invariable. The chief noteworthy difference between
Chaucer's version and the Latin original is in the order of the
Conclusions; it is clear that Chaucer not only took what he liked, but
rearranged his materials after his own fashion.

§ 26. VARIOUS EDITIONS. About the early printed editions of the Astrolabe,
I have not much to say. The Editio Princeps of 1532 was clearly derived
from some MS. of the second class, and, what between the errors of the
scribes and printers, absurdities abound. After a careful examination of
the old editions, I came to the conclusion that the less I consulted them
the better, and have therefore rather avoided them than sought their
assistance. All the editions not only give the conclusions in a wrong
order, but (like the MSS. of the second class) absurdly repeat Conclusion
I. of Part ii., and reckon the repetition of it as Conclusion III. MSS. of
the first class are free from this defect, and may thus be easily known.
The only edition worth consulting is that by Mr. A. E. Brae, published
quite recently, in 1870. Mr. Brae made much use of MS. I., besides which he
consulted the Printed Editions, and MSS. H. and L. See the descriptions of
these MSS. above. From this edition I have taken many hints, and I wish to
express, very thankfully, my obligations to it. Mr. Brae has brought to
bear upon his work much skill and knowledge, and has investigated many
points with much patience, minuteness, and critical ability. But I cannot
but perceive that he has often expended his labour upon very inferior
materials, and has been sometimes misled by the badness of those MSS. to
which alone he had access[56].

Besides his print of Chaucer's Astrolabe, Mr. Brae has reprinted some
curious and interesting critical notes of his own, and has added some
essays on Chaucer's 'prime,' on 'the Carrenare,' and 'shippes opposteres.'
To all that he has done I am much indebted.

§ 27. WORKS ON THE SUBJECT. The works upon, and descriptions of, the
astrolabe, are numerous. I have had neither time nor inclination to make
researches into the subject; for which reason I here note the names of a
few books which may be examined by the curious reader.

In his Universal Lexicon, Zedler explains that astrolabes are of two kinds,
'universal' and 'particular.' He speaks of the astrolabes (1) of Gemma
Frisius; see Petri Apiani Cosmographia, per Gemmam Phrysium restituta; (2)
of Johan de Rojas, a Spaniard, A.D. 1550; (3) of De la Hire the elder,
professor of mathematics at Paris, A.D. 1702; (4) of Johannes Stoflerinus
(or Stöffler), A.D. 1510. The last of these varied from the others in
adopting a different and more convenient system of projection, viz. that
upon the plane of the equator, or one parallel to it, the eye being in the
antarctic pole, and the arctic pole being made the centre of the
instrument. This projection is the same as that which was used by Ptolemy,
and it is adopted in the diagrams which accompany Chaucer's treatise in
some of the MSS. It should be observed here that the term 'astrolabe' alone
is vague; it was originally a general name for any circular instrument used
for observation of the stars; but in the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries it was restricted to the particular kind called the 'Astrolabe
Planisphere,' or astrolabe _on a flat surface_, in which sense alone the
word is used throughout this volume. See the English Cyclopaedia, Arts and
Sciences, s.v. _Astrolabe_.

The simplest work is that by Stöffler or Stoflerinus, as he calls himself;
see also Gemma Frisius, Metius, Clavius Bambergensis, the Cursus
Mathematicus of Dechales, vol. iv. p. 161, Delambre's History of Astronomy,
and other works. The plates in Metius are most exquisitely engraved, and on
a large scale, and give a better representation of the instrument than any
others that I have seen.

One of the MSS., viz. MS. E., refers to an astrolabe belonging to Merton
College, Oxford[57]. There is a very nice one, made of brass, and by a
Dutch engraver, in the library of King's College, Cambridge. It has several
discs or plates, or, as Chaucer calls them, 'tables[58].' Of this
instrument the same library contains a written description, with some
account of the problems it will solve, and an investigation of its probable
date, by H. Godfray, Esq., of St. John's College.

There is a book entitled 'A verie briefe and most plaine description of Mr.
Blagrave his Astrolabe,' &c., by Mr. Blundevill; London, printed by William
Stansby. But it turns out to be of little practical assistance, because
Blagrave's astrolabe was on a different principle.

§ 28. DESCRIPTION OF THE ASTROLABE PLANISPHERE. There is not, however, much
need of reference to books to understand what the astrolabe used by Chaucer
was like. The instrument may be readily understood from a brief
description, and from the Plates in this volume.

The most important part of the 'astrolabe planisphere' consisted of a
somewhat heavy circular plate of metal from four to seven inches in
diameter, which could be suspended from the thumb by a ring (i. 1), working
with such freedom as would allow the instrument to assume a perfectly
perpendicular position (i. 2). One side of the plate was perfectly flat,
and was called the _back_. This is represented in Fig. 1. On it was
described a number of concentric rings, marked with various divisions,
which may be readily understood from the figure. Beginning at the outermost
ring, the first two represent the ninety degrees into which each quadrant
of a circle can be divided (i. 7). The next two represent the signs of the
zodiac, each subdivided into thirty degrees (i. 8). The next two represent
the days of the year, and are rather difficult to mark, as the circle has,
for this purpose, to be divided into 365¼ equal parts (i. 9). The next
three circles shew the names of the months, the number of days in each, and
the small divisions which represent each day, which coincide exactly with
those representing the days of the year (i. 10). The two innermost rings
shew the saints' days, with their Sunday-letters. Thus, above the 21st of
December is written 'Thome,' i.e. St. Thomas's day, its Sunday-letter being
E; the rest can easily be traced by the tables in a Prayer-book (i. 11).
These may be thus briefly recapitulated:--

  1 and 2. Circles of degrees of the quadrant and circle.

  3 and 4. Circles of the zodiacal signs, with their degrees.

  5 and 6. Circles of the days of the year, with their numbers.

  7, 8 and 9. Circles of the months, with their days and numbers of the

  10 and 11. Circles of saints' days, with their Sunday-letters.

Within all these, are the Scales of Umbra Recta and Umbra Versa, in each of
which the scale is divided into twelve equal parts, for the convenience of
taking and computing altitudes (i. 12). This primitive and loose method of
computation has long been superseded by the methods of trigonometry.
Besides these circles, there is a perpendicular line, marking the South and
North points, and a horizontal line from East to West.

The other side of the plate, called the _front_, and shewn in Fig. 2, had a
thick rim with a wide depression in the middle (i. 3). The rim was marked
with three rings or circles, of which the outermost was the Circle of
Letters (A to Z) representing the twenty-four hours of the day, and the two
innermost the degrees of the quadrants (i. 16). The depressed central
portion of the plate was marked only with three circles, the 'Tropicus
Cancri,' the 'Æquinoctialis,' and the 'Tropicus Capricorni' (i. 17); and
with the cross-lines from North to South, and from East to West (i. 15).
But several thin plates or discs of metal were provided, which were of such
a size as exactly to drop into the depression spoken of. The principal one
of these, called the 'Rete,' is shewn in Fig. 2. It consisted of a circular
ring marked with the zodiacal signs, subdivided into degrees, with narrow
branching limbs both within and without this ring, having smaller branches
or tongues terminating in points, each of which denoted the exact position
of some well-known star. The names of these stars, as 'Alhabor,' 'Rigel,'
&c., are (some of them) written on the branches (i. 21). The 'Rete' being
thus, as it were, a skeleton plate, allows the 'Tropicus Cancri,' &c.,
marked upon the body of the instrument, to be partially seen below it.
Another form of the 'Rete' is shewn in Fig. 9, and other _positions_ of the
Rete in Fig. 11 and Fig. 12. But it was more usual to interpose between the
'Rete' and the body of the instrument (called the 'Mother') another thin
plate or disc, such as that in Fig. 5, so that portions of this latter
plate could be seen beneath the skeleton-form of the 'Rete' (i. 17). These
plates are called by Chaucer 'tables,' and sometimes an instrument was
provided with several of them, differently marked, for use in places having
different latitudes. The one in Fig. 5 is suitable for the latitude of
Oxford (nearly). The upper part, above the Horizon Obliquus, is marked with
circles of altitude (i. 18), crossed by incomplete arcs of azimuth tending
to a common centre, the zenith (i. 19). The lower part of the same plate is
marked with arcs denoting the twelve planetary hours (i. 20).

At the _back_ of the astrolabe revolved the 'rule,' made of metal, and
fitted with sights, represented in Fig. 3 (i. 13). At the _front_ of it
revolved the 'label,' represented in Fig. 6 (i. 22).

All the parts were held together by the central pin (Fig. 4) which passed
through the holes in the 'moder,' plates, 'Rete,' rule, and label[59], and
was secured by a little wedge (i. 14), which was sometimes fancifully
carved to resemble a horse (Fig. 7).

Another 'table' or disc is shewn in Fig. 14, and was used for ascertaining
the twelve astrological houses.

§ 29. USES OF THE ASTROLABE PLANISPHERE. I here briefly enumerate such
principal uses of the instrument as are mentioned by Chaucer.

The _back_ (Fig. 1) shews at once the degree of the zodiac answering to
every day in the year (ii. 1). The altitude of the sun can be taken by the
'Rule,' elevated at the proper angle (ii. 2). If the Rete be properly
adjusted to this altitude, we can thus tell the hour of the day (ii. 3).
The duration of twilight can be calculated by observing when the sun is 18°
below the horizon (ii. 6). Observe the times of sunrise and sundown, and
the interval is the 'artificial day' (ii. 7). This day, with the duration
of morning and evening twilights added to it, is called the 'vulgar day'
(ii. 9). The plate in Fig. 5 shews the planetary hours (ii. 12). The
placing of the sun's degree on the South-line gives the sun's meridian
altitude (ii. 13), and conversely (ii. 14). The back of the instrument can
shew what days in the year are of equal length (ii. 15). The degree of the
zodiac which souths with _any_ star can be ascertained by observing two
altitudes of the star; but the observations must be made when the star is
_very near_ the meridian (ii. 17). If the star be marked on the Rete, the
said degree is easily found by use of the Rete (ii. 18). We can also find
with what degree of the zodiac the same star rises (ii. 19). The use of the
Rete also shews the declination of every degree in the zodiac (ii. 20). We
can always tell for what latitude a disc such as that in Fig. 5 is
constructed, by properly examining it (ii. 21). The latitude of any place
can be found by two observations of the altitude of the Pole-star (ii. 23);
or of any circumpolar star (ii. 24); or by observing the sun's meridional
altitude (ii. 25). The Rete also tells us the 'ascensions of signs,' or how
many degrees of the equinoctial circle pass the meridian with a given sign
(ii. 27); as also the 'oblique ascensions' of the same (ii. 28). The
astrolabe can also be used to discover (but only in an imperfect and
approximate manner) the four cardinal points of the compass (ii. 29). We
can also compare the altitude of a planet with that of the sun (ii. 30). We
can find in what part of the horizon the sun rises (ii. 31); and in what
direction to look for a conjunction of the sun and moon (ii. 32); also near
what point of the compass the sun is at any given hour (ii. 33). The moon's
observed altitude will shew her longitude (ii. 34). We can tell, from two
observations of a planet properly made, whether the planet's movement is
direct or retrograde (ii. 35). The disc shewn in Fig. 14 helps to shew the
'equations of houses' (ii. 36). The four cardinal points can be found
_without_ an astrolabe, by an experiment properly conducted (ii. 38). The
astrolabe can be used to find the degree of the zodiac with which any
planet ascends, even when the planet is not situated in the ecliptic (ii.

By the use of the _Umbra Recta_ on the back of the instrument, we can take
the altitude of an accessible object by a single observation (ii. 41); or
of an inaccessible object by two observations (ii. 43). Or, the height of
an inaccessible object may likewise be taken by two observations, by the
scale marked _Umbra Versa_ (ii. 42).

The few Conclusions not here referred to are chiefly explanatory, or of
minor interest.

§ 30. STARS MARKED ON THE RETE. Several of the Latin MSS. upon the
Astrolabe give a list of the stars marked upon the Rete. There is a double
list, for example, in MS. Ii. 3. 3, in the Cambridge University Library,
fol. 70, back. It is given in the form of two tables; the first mentions
forty-nine stars, with the degrees of the zodiac which south along with
them, and their declinations from the equinoctial line. The second table
mentions some only of _the same_ stars, with their longitudes and
latitudes, as referred to the ecliptic.

A list of the principal stars usually marked upon the Rete, as shewn in
Fig. 2, is given in the Note to Part i. § 21. 4 (p. 357). Fig. 9 shews
another Rete, with many of the same stars, with the addition of Markep
([iota] Argous). Alchimech is the same as Azimech, i.e. [alpha] Virginis;
Cor Leonis is [alpha] Leonis; and Alfart is [alpha] Hydræ.

§ 31. ASTROLOGICAL NOTES. For a general sketch of Astrology, see the
English Cyclopaedia, s.v. Worthless as the science is, it is useful to have
a few 'facts' for handy reference. I therefore attempt a synopsis of the
chief points of it, drawn from Johannis Hispalensis Isagoge in Astrologiam.

To save space, I give the information in a tabular form, wherein I denote
the twelve Signs by A., T., G., C., L., V., Li., S., Sa., Cp., Aq., P.; and
the seven Planets, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, by
St., J., Ms., Sn., V., My., Mo. What the table exactly means shall be
explained presently.

  Signs.| Man. |    Ex.   | Day. |  Nt. | Com. |Face 1.|Face 2.|Face 3.
    A.  |  Ms. | Sn. (19) |  Sn. |  J.  |  St. |  Ms.  |  Sn.  |   V.
    T.  |  V.  |  Mn. (3) |  V.  |  Mn. |  Ms. |  My.  |  Mn.  |  St.
    G.  |  My. |   D. H.  |  St. |  My. |  J.  |   J.  |  Ms.  |  Sn.
    C.  |  Mn. |  J. (15) |  V.  |  Ms. |  Mn. |   V.  |  My.  |  Mn.
    L.  |  Sn. |          |  Sn. |  J.  |  St. |  St.  |   J.  |  Ms.
    V.  |  My. | My. (15) |  V.  |  Mn. |  Ms. |  Sa.  |   V.  |  My.
    Li. |  V.  | St. (19) |  St. |  My. |  J.  |  Mn.  |  St.  |   J.
    S.  |  Ms. |          |  V.  |  Ms. |  Mn. |  Ms.  |  Sn.  |   V.
    Sa. |  J.  |   D. T.  |  Sn. |  J.  |  St. |  My.  |  Mn.  |  St.
    Cp. |  St. | Ms. (28) |  V.  |  Mn. |  Ms. |   J.  |  Ms.  |  Sn.
    Aq. |  St. |          |  St. |  My. |  J.  |   V.  |  My.  |  Mn.
    P.  |  J.  |  V. (21) |  V.  |  Ms. |  Mn. |  St.  |   J.  |  Ms.

The first line is to be read thus.

Aries is the mansion (or house) of Mars; the exaltation (or honour) of the
Sun, in the 19th degree of the sign; the lord of the Triplicity of Aries
with its attendant signs is the Sun by day, Jupiter by night, and Saturn in
Common, both by day and night; the first Face of Aries (degrees 1 to 10) is
that of Mars; the second Face (degrees 11 to 20) is that of the Sun; the
third Face (degrees 21 to 30) is that of Venus. And so on for the rest;
noting that Gemini is the Exaltation of the Dragon's Head (D. H.), and
Sagittarius that of the Dragon's Tail (D. T.).

The meanings of the words are as follows:--

A _Mansion_ or _House_ appears to be that sign in which the planet is
peculiarly at home for some reason or other.

The _Exaltation_ or _Honour_ is that degree of a sign in which the planet
named has its greatest power; but the degree was often neglected, and Aries
was called the Exaltation of the Sun, simply.

The _Fall_ (Lat. _occasus vel detrimentum_) of a planet is the sign
opposite its mansion. Libra is opposite Aries; therefore Libra is the Fall
of Mars.

The _Dejection_ or _Depression_ (Lat. _dedecus_) of a planet is the sign
opposite to that of its exaltation. Libra is opposite Aries; therefore
Libra is the Dejection of the Sun. And so on.

A _Triplicity_ is a combination of three signs in the form of a triangle,
each 120° apart. Thus Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius form the first
triplicity; Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn, the second; Gemini, Libra, Aquarius,
the third; Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces, the fourth. Equal divisions of a sign
(third-parts, namely) are called _Faces_. There were also unequal divisions
called _Terms_.

The 'mobill' or movable signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn. The
'fixe' or fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius. The 'common'
signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces.

The signs Aries, Gemini, Leo, &c. (taking _every other_ sign) are _diurnal_
or _masculine_. The rest, Taurus, Cancer, &c., are _nocturnal_ or

The first six signs, Aries to Virgo, are _northern_ or _sinister_ signs. So
called because astrologers looked towards the east or ascendent.

The last six, Libra to Pisces, are _southern_ or _dexter_ signs.

The signs Cancer to Sagittarius are _western_, _sovereign_, _right_, or
_direct_ signs. Cf. Astrol. ii. 28, and see Fig. 2.

The rest, Capricorn to Gemini, are _eastern_, _obedient_, _tortuous_, or
_oblique_ signs.

This is all that a reader is likely to want. For other points, see the


§ 32. Plate I. Fig. 1. The flat back of the Astrolabe; see § 28.

Plate II. Fig. 2. The front of the Astrolabe, with raised border. In the
wide depression in the middle, the plate called the 'Rete' is dropped in,
and is shewn in its primary position. Other positions of it are sketched in
Fig. 11 and Fig. 12.

Plate III. Fig. 3. The 'Rewle' carrying two sights, which revolved at the
back of the Astrolabe. Astrol. i. 13.

Fig. 4. The central 'Pin,' shewn with the 'Wedge' inserted through it.
Astrol. i. 14; cf. Fig. 7.

Fig. 5. One of the Tables or discs, used by being dropped within the
depression on the _front_ of the Astrolabe; i. 17. They were marked
differently, according to the latitude of the place. The one here drawn is
suitable for the latitude of Oxford, nearly.

Fig. 6. The 'Label,' which revolved at the _front_ of the Astrolabe; i. 22.

Plate IV. Fig. 7. Another form of the 'Pin,' shewing the Wedge cut into the
shape of a Horse (i. 14); from MS. Camb. Ii. 3. 3.

Fig. 8. Diagram, shewing how to draw the three 'principal circles'; see
footnote on p. 183.

Fig. 9. Another form of the 'Rete,' from MS. Ii. 3. 3; cf. Fig. 2. This
figure shews the 'Almury' very clearly; Astrol. i. 23.

Plate V. Fig. 10. Diagram of the nine spheres; from MS. Camb. Ii. 3. 3.
Astrol. i. 17.

Fig. 11. Rough sketch of the position of the 'Rete' in Astrol. ii. 3 (first
part). Denticle opposite C, and first point of Aries opposite X; 9 a.m.

Fig. 12. Rough sketch of the position of the 'Rete' in Astrol. ii. 3
(second part). Denticle near O; first point of Aries near H; 8h. 8m. p.m.

Fig. 13. Diagram of the Elevation of the Pole; Astrol. ii. 23. The arc AN
is 56°; A'N is 48°; A'P is 4°; and PN is 52°. A, A' are two positions of
the Pole-star.

Plate VI. Fig. 14. A 'Table' or disc shewing the twelve astrological
'Houses'; Astrol. ii. 36 and 37.

Fig. 15. Diagram shewing how to ascertain the meridional line from two
shadows of an upright gnomon; Astrol. ii. 38.

Fig. 16. Diagram illustrating the use of the Umbra Recta; Astrol. ii. 41,
41_a_, and 41_b_.

Fig. 17. Diagram of the use of the Umbra Versa, at two observations;
Astrol. ii. 42, 42_a_, and 42_b_.

Fig. 18. Use of the Umbra Recta, at two observations; Astrol. ii. 43 and

[Illustration: FIG. 1. BACK OF THE 'ASTROLABE.']

[Illustration: FIG. 2. FRONT OF THE 'ASTROLABE.']

[Illustration: FIG. 3. LABEL.
FIG. 4. PIN.
FIG. 6. RULE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 7. WEDGE AND HORSE (from a MS.).

[Illustration: FIG. 10. NINE SPHERES.
FIGS. 11, 12, 13. PROBLEMS.]

[Illustration: FIG. 14. HOUSES.



  God turne us every dreem to gode!
  For hit is wonder, by the rode,
  To my wit, what causeth swevenes
  Either on morwes, or on evenes;
  And why the effect folweth of somme,                                    5
  And of somme hit shal never come;
  Why that is an avisioun,
  And this a revelacioun;
  Why this a dreem, why that a sweven, And nat to every man liche even;  10
  Why this a fantom, these oracles,
  I noot; but who-so of these miracles
  The causes knoweth bet than I,
  Devyne he; for I certeinly
  Ne can hem noght, ne never thinke                                      15
  To besily my wit to swinke,
  To knowe of hir signifiaunce
  The gendres, neither the distaunce
  Of tymes of hem, ne the causes
  For-why this more than that cause is;                                  20
  As if folkes complexiouns
  Make hem dreme of reflexiouns;
  Or elles thus, as other sayn,
  For to greet feblenesse of brayn,
  By abstinence, or by seeknesse,                                        25
  Prison, stewe, or greet distresse;
  Or elles by disordinaunce
  Of naturel acustomaunce,
  That som man is to curious
  In studie, or melancolious,                                            30
  Or thus, so inly ful of drede,
  That no man may him bote bede;
  Or elles, that devocioun
  Of somme, and contemplacioun
  Causeth swiche dremes ofte;                                            35
  Or that the cruel lyf unsofte
  Which these ilke lovers leden
  That hopen over muche or dreden,
  That purely hir impressiouns
  Causeth hem avisiouns;                                                 40
  Or if that spirits have the might
  To make folk to dreme a-night
  Or if the soule, of propre kinde,
  Be so parfit, as men finde,
  That hit forwot that is to come,                                       45
  And that hit warneth alle and somme
  Of everiche of hir aventures
  By avisiouns, or by figures,
  But that our flesh ne hath no might
  To understonden hit aright,                                            50
  For hit is warned to derkly;--
  But why the cause is, noght wot I.
  Wel worthe, of this thing, grete clerkes,
  That trete of this and other werkes;
  For I of noon opinioun                                                 55
  Nil as now make mencioun,
  But only that the holy rode
  Turne us every dreem to gode!
  For never, sith that I was born,
  Ne no man elles, me biforn,                                            60
  Mette, I trowe stedfastly,
  So wonderful a dreem as I
  The tenthe day [dide] of Decembre,
  The which, as I can now remembre,
  I wol yow tellen every del.                                            65

          _The Invocation._

  But at my ginning, trusteth wel,
  I wol make invocacioun,
  With special devocioun,
  Unto the god of slepe anoon,
  That dwelleth in a cave of stoon                                       70
  Upon a streem that comth fro Lete,
  That is a flood of helle unswete;
  Besyde a folk men clepe Cimerie,
  Ther slepeth ay this god unmerie
  With his slepy thousand sones                                          75
  That alway for to slepe hir wone is--
  And to this god, that I of rede,
  Preye I, that he wol me spede
  My sweven for to telle aright,
  If every dreem stonde in his might.                                    80
  And he, that mover is of al
  That is and was, and ever shal,
  So yive hem Ioye that hit here
  Of alle that they dreme to-yere,
  And for to stonden alle in grace                                       85
  Of hir loves, or in what place
  That hem wer levest for to stonde,
  And shelde hem fro povert and shonde,
  And fro unhappe and ech disese,
  And sende hem al that may hem plese,                                   90
  That take hit wel, and scorne hit noght,
  Ne hit misdemen in her thoght
  Through malicious entencioun.
  And who-so, through presumpcioun,
  Or hate or scorne, or through envye,                                   95
  Dispyt, or Iape, or vilanye,
  Misdeme hit, preye I Iesus god
  That (dreme he barfoot, dreme he shod),
  That every harm that any man
  Hath had, sith [that] the world began,                                100
  Befalle him therof, or he sterve,
  And graunte he mote hit ful deserve,
  Lo! with swich a conclusioun
  As had of his avisioun
  Cresus, that was king of Lyde,                                        105
  That high upon a gebet dyde!
  This prayer shal he have of me;
  I am no bet in charite!
    Now herkneth, as I have you seyd,
  What that I mette, or I abreyd.                                       110

          _The Dream._

  Of Decembre the tenthe day,
  Whan hit was night, to slepe I lay
  Right ther as I was wont to done,
  And fil on slepe wonder sone,
  As he that wery was for-go                                            115
  On pilgrimage myles two
  To the corseynt Leonard,
  To make lythe of that was hard.
    But as I sleep, me mette I was
  Within a temple y-mad of glas;                                        120
  In whiche ther were mo images
  Of gold, stondinge in sondry stages,
  And mo riche tabernacles,
  And with perre mo pinacles,
  And mo curious portreytures,                                          125
  And queynte maner of figures
  Of olde werke, then I saw ever.
  For certeynly, I niste never
  Wher that I was, but wel wiste I,
  Hit was of Venus redely,                                              130
  The temple; for, in portreyture,
  I saw anoon-right hir figure
  Naked fletinge in a see.
  And also on hir heed, parde,
  Hir rose-garlond whyt and reed,                                       135
  And hir comb to kembe hir heed,
  Hir dowves, and daun Cupido,
  Hir blinde sone, and Vulcano,
  That in his face was ful broun.
    But as I romed up and doun,                                         140
  I fond that on a wal ther was
  Thus writen, on a table of bras:
  'I wol now singe, if that I can,
  The armes, and al-so the man,
  That first cam, through his destinee,                                 145
  Fugitif of Troye contree,
  In Itaile, with ful moche pyne,
  Unto the strondes of Lavyne.'
  And tho began the story anoon,
  As I shal telle yow echoon.                                           150
    First saw I the destruccioun
  Of Troye, through the Greek Sinoun,
  [That] with his false forsweringe,
  And his chere and his lesinge
  Made the hors broght into Troye,                                      155
  Thorgh which Troyens loste al hir Ioye.
  And after this was grave, allas!
  How Ilioun assailed was
  And wonne, and king Priam y-slayn,
  And Polites his sone, certayn,                                        160
  Dispitously, of dan Pirrus.
    And next that saw I how Venus,
  Whan that she saw the castel brende,
  Doun fro the hevene gan descende,
  And bad hir sone Eneas flee;                                          165
  And how he fledde, and how that he
  Escaped was from al the pres,
  And took his fader, Anchises,
  And bar him on his bakke away,
  Cryinge, 'Allas, and welaway!'                                        170
  The whiche Anchises in his honde
  Bar the goddes of the londe,
  Thilke that unbrende were.
    And I saw next, in alle this fere,
  How Creusa, daun Eneas wyf,                                           175
  Which that he lovede as his lyf,
  And hir yonge sone Iulo,
  And eek Ascanius also,
  Fledden eek with drery chere,
  That hit was pitee for to here;                                       180
  And in a forest, as they wente,
  At a turninge of a wente,
  How Creusa was y-lost, allas!
  That deed, [but] noot I how, she was;
  How he hir soughte, and how hir gost                                  185
  Bad him to flee the Grekes ost,
  And seyde, he moste unto Itaile,
  As was his destinee, sauns faille;
  That hit was pitee for to here,
  Whan hir spirit gan appere,                                           190
  The wordes that she to him seyde,
  And for to kepe hir sone him preyde.
  Ther saw I graven eek how he,
  His fader eek, and his meynee,
  With his shippes gan to sayle                                         195
  Toward the contree of Itaile,
  As streight as that they mighte go.
    Ther saw I thee, cruel Iuno,
  That art daun Iupiteres wyf,
  That hast y-hated, al thy lyf,                                        200
  Al the Troyanisshe blood,
  Renne and crye, as thou were wood,
  On Eolus, the god of windes,
  To blowen out, of alle kindes,
  So loude, that he shulde drenche                                      205
  Lord and lady, grome and wenche
  Of al the Troyan nacioun,
  Withoute any savacioun.
    Ther saw I swich tempeste aryse,
  That every herte mighte agryse,                                       210
  To see hit peynted on the walle.
    Ther saw I graven eek withalle,
  Venus, how ye, my lady dere,
  Wepinge with ful woful chere,
  Prayen Iupiter an hye                                                 215
  To save and kepe that navye
  Of the Troyan Eneas,
  Sith that he hir sone was.
    Ther saw I Ioves Venus kisse,
  And graunted of the tempest lisse.                                    220
  Ther saw I how the tempest stente,
  And how with alle pyne he wente,
  And prevely took arrivage
  In the contree of Cartage;
  And on the morwe, how that he                                         225
  And a knight, hight Achatee,
  Metten with Venus that day,
  Goinge in a queynt array,
  As she had ben an hunteresse,
  With wind blowinge upon hir tresse;                                   230
  How Eneas gan him to pleyne,
  Whan that he knew hir, of his peyne;
  And how his shippes dreynte were,
  Or elles lost, he niste where;
  How she gan him comforte tho,                                         235
  And bad him to Cartage go,
  And ther he shuldë his folk finde,
  That in the see were left behinde.
    And, shortly of this thing to pace,
  She made Eneas so in grace                                            240
  Of Dido, quene of that contree,
  That, shortly for to tellen, she
  Becam his love, and leet him do
  That that wedding longeth to.
  What shulde I speke more queynte,                                     245
  Or peyne me my wordes peynte,
  To speke of love? hit wol not be;
  I can not of that facultee.
  And eek to telle the manere
  How they aqueynteden in-fere,                                         250
  Hit were a long proces to telle,
  And over long for yow to dwelle.
    Ther saw I grave, how Eneas
  Tolde Dido every cas,
  That him was tid upon the see.                                        255
    And after grave was, how she
  Made of him, shortly, at oo word,
  Hir lyf, hir love, hir lust, hir lord;
  And dide him al the reverence,
  And leyde on him al the dispence,                                     260
  That any woman mighte do,
  Weninge hit had al be so,
  As he hir swoor; and her-by demed
  That he was good, for he swich semed.
  Allas! what harm doth apparence,                                      265
  Whan hit is fals in existence!
  For he to hir a traitour was;
  Wherfor she slow hir-self, allas!
    Lo, how a woman doth amis,
  To love him that unknowen is!                                         270
  For, by Crist, lo! thus hit fareth;
  'Hit is not al gold, that glareth.'
  For, al-so brouke I wel myn heed,
  Ther may be under goodliheed
  Kevered many a shrewed vyce;                                          275
  Therfor be no wight so nyce,
  To take a love only for chere,
  For speche, or for frendly manere;
  For this shal every woman finde
  That som man, of his pure kinde,                                      280
  Wol shewen outward the faireste,
  Til he have caught that what him leste;
  And thanne wol he causes finde,
  And swere how that she is unkinde,
  Or fals, or prevy, or double was.                                     285
  Al this seye I by Eneas
  And Dido, and hir nyce lest,
  That lovede al to sone a gest;
  Therfor I wol seye a proverbe,
  That 'he that fully knoweth therbe                                    290
  May saufly leye hit to his yë';
  Withoute dreed, this is no lye.
    But let us speke of Eneas,
  How he betrayed hir, allas!
  And lefte hir ful unkindely.                                          295
  So whan she saw al-utterly,
  That he wolde hir of trouthe faile,
  And wende fro hir to Itaile,
  She gan to wringe hir hondes two.
    'Allas!' quod she, 'what me is wo!                                  300
  Allas! is every man thus trewe,
  That every yere wolde have a newe,
  If hit so longe tyme dure,
  Or elles three, peraventure?
  As thus: of oon he wolde have fame                                    305
  In magnifying of his name;
  Another for frendship, seith he;
  And yet ther shal the thridde be,
  That shal be taken for delyt,
  Lo, or for singular profyt.'                                          310
    In swiche wordes gan to pleyne
  Dido of hir grete peyne,
  As me mette redely;
  Non other auctour alegge I.
  'Allas!' quod she, 'my swete herte,                                   315
  Have pitee on my sorwes smerte,
  And slee me not! go noght away!
  O woful Dido, wel away!'
  Quod she to hir-selve tho.
  'O Eneas! what wil ye do?                                             320
  O, that your love, ne your bonde,
  That ye han sworn with your right honde,
  Ne my cruel deeth,' quod she,
  'May holde yow still heer with me!
  O, haveth of my deeth pitee!                                          325
  Y-wis, my dere herte, ye
  Knowen ful wel that never yit,
  As fer-forth as I hadde wit,
  Agilte [I] yow in thoght ne deed.
  O, have ye men swich goodliheed                                       330
  In speche, and never a deel of trouthe?
  Allas, that ever hadde routhe
  Any woman on any man!
  Now see I wel, and telle can,
  We wrecched wimmen conne non art;                                     335
  For certeyn, for the more part,
  Thus we be served everichone.
  How sore that ye men conne grone,
  Anoon as we have yow receyved!
  Certeinly we ben deceyved;                                            340
  For, though your love laste a sesoun,
  Wayte upon the conclusioun,
  And eek how that ye determynen,
  And for the more part diffynen.
    'O, welawey that I was born!                                        345
  For through yow is my name lorn,
  And alle myn actes red and songe
  Over al this lond, on every tonge.
  O wikke Fame! for ther nis
  Nothing so swift, lo, as she is!                                      350
  O, sooth is, every thing is wist,
  Though hit be kevered with the mist.
  Eek, thogh I mighte duren ever,
  That I have doon, rekever I never,
  That I ne shal be seyd, allas,                                        355
  Y-shamed be through Eneas,
  And that I shal thus Iuged be--
  "Lo, right as she hath doon, now she
  Wol do eftsones, hardily;"
  Thus seyth the peple prevely.'--                                      360
  But that is doon, nis not to done;
  Al hir compleynt ne al hir mone,
  Certeyn, availeth hir not a stre.
    And whan she wiste sothly he
  Was forth unto his shippes goon,                                      365
  She in hir chambre wente anoon,
  And called on hir suster Anne,
  And gan hir to compleyne thanne;
  And seyde, that she cause was
  That she first lovede [Eneas],                                        370
  And thus counseilled hir therto.
  But what! when this was seyd and do,
  She roof hir-selve to the herte,
  And deyde through the wounde smerte.
  But al the maner how she deyde,                                       375
  And al the wordes that she seyde,
  Who-so to knowe hit hath purpos,
  Reed Virgile in Eneidos
  Or the Epistle of Ovyde,
  What that she wroot or that she dyde;                                 380
  And nere hit to long to endyte,
  By god, I woldë hit here wryte.
    But, welaway! the harm, the routhe,
  That hath betid for swich untrouthe,
  As men may ofte in bokes rede,                                        385
  And al day seen hit yet in dede,
  That for to thenken hit, a tene is.
    Lo, Demophon, duk of Athenis,
  How he forswor him ful falsly,
  And trayed Phillis wikkedly,                                          390
  That kinges doghter was of Trace,
  And falsly gan his terme pace;
  And when she wiste that he was fals,
  She heng hir-self right by the hals,
  For he had do hir swich untrouthe;                                    395
  Lo! was not this a wo and routhe?
    Eek lo! how fals and reccheles
  Was to Briseida Achilles,
  And Paris to Enone;
  And Iason to Isiphile;                                                400
  And eft Iason to Medea;
  And Ercules to Dyanira;
  For he lefte hir for Iöle,
  That made him cacche his deeth, parde.
    How fals eek was he, Theseus;                                       405
  That, as the story telleth us,
  How he betrayed Adriane;
  The devel be his soules bane!
  For had he laughed, had he loured,
  He mostë have be al devoured,                                         410
  If Adriane ne had y-be!
  And, for she had of him pitee,
  She made him fro the dethe escape,
  And he made hir a ful fals Iape;
  For after this, within a whyle                                        415
  He lefte hir slepinge in an yle,
  Deserte alone, right in the see,
  And stal away, and leet hir be;
  And took hir suster Phedra tho
  With him, and gan to shippe go.                                       420
  And yet he had y-sworn to here,
  On al that ever he mighte swere,
  That, so she saved him his lyf,
  He wolde have take hir to his wyf;
  For she desired nothing elles,                                        425
  In certein, as the book us telles.
    But to excusen Eneas
  Fulliche of al his greet trespas,
  The book seyth, Mercurie, sauns faile,
  Bad him go into Itaile,                                               430
  And leve Auffrykes regioun,
  And Dido and hir faire toun.
    Tho saw I grave, how to Itaile
  Daun Eneas is go to saile;
  And how the tempest al began,                                         435
  And how he loste his steresman,
  Which that the stere, or he took keep,
  Smot over-bord, lo! as he sleep.
    And also saw I how Sibyle
  And Eneas, besyde an yle,                                             440
  To helle wente, for to see
  His fader, Anchises the free.
  How he ther fond Palinurus,
  And Dido, and eek Deiphebus;
  And every tourment eek in helle                                       445
  Saw he, which is long to telle.
  Which who-so willeth for to knowe,
  He moste rede many a rowe
  On Virgile or on Claudian,
  Or Daunte, that hit telle can.                                        450
    Tho saw I grave al tharivaile
  That Eneas had in Itaile;
  And with king Latine his tretee,
  And alle the batailles that he
  Was at him-self, and eek his knightes,                                455
  Or he had al y-wonne his rightes;
  And how he Turnus refte his lyf,
  And wan Lavyna to his wyf;
  And al the mervelous signals
  Of the goddes celestials;                                             460
  How, maugre Iuno, Eneas,
  For al hir sleighte and hir compas,
  Acheved al his aventure;
  For Iupiter took of him cure
  At the prayere of Venus;                                              465
  The whiche I preye alway save us,
  And us ay of our sorwes lighte!
    Whan I had seyen al this sighte
  In this noble temple thus,
  'A, Lord!' thoughte I, 'that madest us,                               470
  Yet saw I never swich noblesse
  Of images, ne swich richesse,
  As I saw graven in this chirche;
  But not woot I who dide hem wirche,
  Ne wher I am, ne in what contree.                                     475
  But now wol I go out and see,
  Right at the wiket, if I can
  See o-wher stering any man,
  That may me telle wher I am.'
    When I out at the dores cam,                                        480
  I faste aboute me beheld.
  Then saw I but a large feld,
  As fer as that I mighte see,
  Withouten toun, or hous, or tree,
  Or bush, or gras, or ered lond;                                       485
  For al the feld nas but of sond
  As smal as man may see yet lye
  In the desert of Libye;
  Ne I no maner creature,
  That is y-formed by nature,                                           490
  Ne saw, me [for] to rede or wisse.
  'O Crist,' thoughte I, 'that art in blisse,
  Fro fantom and illusioun
  Me save!' and with devocioun
  Myn yën to the heven I caste.                                         495
    Tho was I war, lo! at the laste,
  That faste by the sonne, as hyë
  As kenne mighte I with myn yë,
  Me thoughte I saw an egle sore,
  But that hit semed moche more                                         500
  Then I had any egle seyn.
  But this as sooth as deeth, certeyn,
  Hit was of golde, and shoon so bright,
  That never saw men such a sighte,
  But-if the heven hadde y-wonne                                        505
  Al newe of golde another sonne;
  So shoon the egles fethres brighte,
  And somwhat dounward gan hit lighte.


_The authorities are_ F. (Fairfax 16); B. (Bodley 638); P. (Pepys 2006);
Cx. (Caxton's ed.); Th. (Thynne's ed. 1532). _I follow_ F. _mainly,
correcting the spelling._

1. P. drem; _rest_ dreme. 8. _All have_ And why; _I omit_ why. 9, 10. F.
swevene, evene; Cx. Th. sweuen, euen. 11. Th. B. a fantome; P. a fauntom;
Cx. a fanton; F. affaintome; _after which, all needlessly insert_ why. 12.
F. Th. B. P. not; Cx. note (= noot). _Elide_ o _in_ so. 20. _All wrongly
insert_ is _before_ more. 24. B. of the; _rest_ of her; _I omit_ the (her).
26. F. B. stewe; P. stoe; Cx. stryf; Th. stryfe. 35. P. sweche; _rest_
suche, such. 45. F. B. forwote; _rest_ wote. 50. F. vnderstonde, _followed
by a metrical mark, indicating a pause: I add_ n. 58, 62. MSS. dreme (=
dreem). 63. _See_ note. 64. B. P. now; F. yow; _rest om._ 71. P. strem;
_rest_ streme (= streem); _so_ P. drem (_rest_ dreme) _in_ l. 80. MSS.
cometh (= com'th). 73. Cx. Th. clepe; F. clepeth. 77. F. That; _rest_ And.
78. Th. wol; P. wol; Cx. wyl; F. B. wolde. 85. F. B. stonde; Cx. Th.
stande; P. stond. Cx. alle; F. Th. al (_wrongly_). 88. _All_ pouerte. 89.
B. ech; F. eche. 100. _I supply_ that. 103. P. _om._ a. 109, 110. Cx. seyd,
abreyd; _the rest_ seyde (sayde), abreyde (abrayde). _Grammar requires_
seyd, abreyd; (abreyde _also occurs_). 117, 118. Cx. P. leonard, hard; F.
Th. B. leonarde, harde. P. _om._ of. 119. MSS. slept, slepte; _read_ sleep,
_as in_ l. 438. 122. F. Th. golde; Cx. P. gold; B. goold. 126. _All_
queynt. 127. F. B. olde; Th. golde; Cx. P. gold. F. sawgh. 131. Th. This;
_rest_ The. 132. F. sawgh. 134. Th. heed; B. hed; F. Cx. hede. Cx. Th. P.
parde; F. B. partee (!). 135. B. red; F. Th. rede; Cx. Rose garlondes
smellynge as a mede. 136. MSS. combe. B. hed; _rest_ hede. 139. Cx. P.
brown; F. broune. 140. Cx. down; F. dovne. 141. P. fond; F. Cx. B. fonde;
Th. founde. Cx. Th. wal; B. wall; F. walle. 143. F. B. say; _rest_ synge.
F. B. P. _om._ that. 146. F. B. Troy. 148. Cx. Th. P. Lauyne; F. B. Labyne.
152. Cx. Th. P. Troye; F. B. Troy; _see_ l. 155. 153. _All om._ That. F. B.
P. fals; Cx. fals vntrewe; Th. false vntrewe. 159. Cx. Th. kyng; F. B.
kynge. F. y-slayne; _rest_ slayn. 160. Th. Polytes; F. B. Polite. _From
this point I make no further note of obvious corrections in spelling._ 172.
Cx. P. Th. goddes; F. B. goddesse (_wrongly_) 173. F. B. -brende; _rest_
-brenned. 174. Cx. P. this; F. B. his. 184. F. P. That dede not I how she
was; B. That ded not I how she was; Cx. That rede note I how it was; Th.
That rede nat I howe that it was. _Read_ deed, _and insert_ but. 188. Cx.
Th. destyne; F. destanye. 193. Cx. Th. grauen; P. graven; F. grave; B.
graue. 196. F. B. Towardes. 199. P. Iubiter; _rest_ Iupiters; _read_
Iupiteres. 204. F. blowe; P. Cx. Th. blowen. 210. Th. herte; _rest_ hert.
220. F. _omits from_ lisse _to_ tempest _in next line; the rest are right_.
221, 222. F. B. stent, went; Cx. Th. stente, wente. 227. P. Cx. Th. Metten;
F. B. Mette. 235. F. P. comfort; _rest_ comforte. 237. P. folk; _rest_
folke; _but_ shulde _is here dissyllabic_. 242. F. tel; B. tell_e_; P. Cx.
Th. tellen. 257, 8. _All_ worde, lorde. 260. Th. the; _rest omit_. 270. F.
vnknowe; _rest_ vnknowen. 278. Th. Or speche; _rest_ Or (F. Of!) for
speche; _read_ For speche. _Lines 280-2 3 are in_ Th. _only, which reads_
some; fayrest; lest; than. 285. Cx. Th. (_3rd_) or; F. B. P. _om._ 290. F.
B. therbe (= the herbe); P. Cx. Th. the herbe. 305. Cx. Th. one; P. on; F.
B. love. 309, 310. _All_ delyte, profyte. 313. _For_ mette, Cx. Th. _have_
mette dremyng (!). 314. F. auttour = auctour. 315. F. he; _the rest_ she.
320. F. Th. wol; P. will_e_; Cx. wyl. 322. F. ha; P. B. haue; _rest om._
328. _All_ had. 329. _I insert_ I; _which all omit_. 332. P. hadde; _rest_
had. 334. Cx. telle; P. tellen; F. tel. 340. F. _omits this line; the rest
have it_. 347. F. B. al youre; Cx. Th. P. myn (_om._ al). 352. F. B. _om._
be. 353. Th. duren; F. B. dure. 358. Th. done; _rest omit_. 362. _All
insert_ But _before_ Al. 363. Cx. Th. P. Certeyn; F. B. Certeynly. 365. Cx.
goon; P. gon; F. agoon; B. agon. 366. in] _All_ in to. 370. _All_ Allas
(alas); _read_ Eneas. 371. F. B. As; _rest_ And. 375. Cx. Th. P. But; F. B.
And. 381. F. And nor hyt were to; Cx. And nere it were to; Th. And nere it
to; B. P. And ner it were to. Th. B. to endyte; F. Cx. tendyte. 387. P.
thenken; F. B. thynke; Cx. Th. thynken. 391. F. B. _om._ was. 402. Cx. Th.
P. And; F. B. _omit_. 410. Th. al; Cx. all; P. alle; F. B. _om._ 426. F. B.
_om._ as _and_ us. 428. F. B. _om._ greet. 429. B. Mercure; F. Mercur_e_;
_rest om._ 433. F. B. how that; _rest_ how. 434. Cx. P. to saylle; Th. for
to sayle; F. B. for to assayle. 446. Th. longe is for; F. B. is longe. Cx.
P. whyche no tonge can telle. 451. _For_ tharivaile, F. B. Th. _have_ the
aryvayle; Cx. the arryuaylle; P. the arevaille. 458. F. labina; _rest_
Lauyna. 468. Cx. P. seyn; _rest_ seen (sene). 473. F. B. grave; _rest_
grauen. 475. F. B. _omit_ in. 478. Th. sterynge any; _the rest_ any stiryng
(sterynge). 486. Cx. Th. P. was but of sonde (sande); F. B. nas but sonde.
491. _I insert_ for. Cx. Th. P. _insert_ I _after_ saw; _but it is in_ l.
489. 496. F. B. _omit_ lo. 504. F. B. _omit lines_ 504-507. COLOPHON AND
TITLE. _So in_ Cx.; _the rest omit them_.




    Now herkneth, every maner man
  That English understonde can,                                         510
  And listeth of my dreem to lere;
  For now at erste shul ye here
  So selly an avisioun,
  That Isaye, ne Scipioun,
  Ne king Nabugodonosor,                                                515
  Pharo, Turnus, ne Elcanor,
  Ne mette swich a dreem as this!
  Now faire blisful, O Cipris,                                         (10)
  So be my favour at this tyme!
  And ye, me to endyte and ryme                                         520
  Helpeth, that on Parnaso dwelle
  By Elicon the clere welle.
    O Thought, that wroot al that I mette,
  And in the tresorie hit shette
  Of my brayn! now shal men see                                         525
  If any vertu in thee be,
  To tellen al my dreem aright;
  Now kythe thyn engyn and might!                                      (20)

          _The Dream._

    This egle, of which I have yow told,
  That shoon with fethres as of gold,                                   530
  Which that so hyë gan to sore,
  I gan beholde more and more,
  To see hir beautee and the wonder;
  But never was ther dint of thonder,
  Ne that thing that men calle foudre,                                  535
  That smoot somtyme a tour to poudre,
  And in his swifte coming brende,
  That so swythe gan descende,                                         (30)
  As this foul, whan hit behelde
  That I a-roume was in the felde;                                      540
  And with his grimme pawes stronge,
  Within his sharpe nayles longe,
  Me, fleinge, at a swappe he hente,
  And with his sours agayn up wente,
  Me caryinge in his clawes starke                                      545
  As lightly as I were a larke,
  How high, I can not telle yow,
  For I cam up, I niste how.                                           (40)
  For so, astonied and a-sweved
  Was every vertu in my heved,                                          550
  What with his sours and with my drede,
  That al my feling gan to dede;
  For-why hit was to greet affray.
    Thus I longe in his clawes lay,
  Til at the laste he to me spak                                        555
  In mannes vois, and seyde, 'Awak!
  And be not so a-gast, for shame!'
  And called me tho by my name.                                        (50)
  And, for I sholde the bet abreyde--
  Me mette--'Awak,' to me he seyde,                                     560
  Right in the same vois and stevene
  That useth oon I coude nevene;
  And with that vois, soth for to sayn,
  My minde cam to me agayn;
  For hit was goodly seyd to me,                                        565
  So nas hit never wont to be.
    And herwithal I gan to stere,
  And he me in his feet to bere,                                       (60)
  Til that he felte that I had hete,
  And felte eek tho myn herte bete.                                     570
  And tho gan he me to disporte,
  And with wordes to comforte,
  And sayde twyës, 'Seynte Marie!
  Thou art noyous for to carie,
  And nothing nedeth hit, parde!                                        575
  For al-so wis god helpe me
  As thou non harm shalt have of this;
  And this cas, that betid thee is,                                    (70)
  Is for thy lore and for thy prow;--
  Let see! darst thou yet loke now?                                     580
  Be ful assured, boldely,
  I am thy frend.' And therwith I
  Gan for to wondren in my minde.
  'O god,' thoughte I, 'that madest kinde,
  Shal I non other weyes dye?                                           585
  Wher Ioves wol me stellifye,
  Or what thing may this signifye?
  I neither am Enok, ne Elye,                                          (80)
  Ne Romulus, ne Ganymede
  That was y-bore up, as men rede,                                      590
  To hevene with dan Iupiter,
  And maad the goddes boteler.'
    Lo! this was tho my fantasye!
  But he that bar me gan espye
  That I so thoghte, and seyde this:--                                  595
  'Thou demest of thy-self amis;
  For Ioves is not ther-aboute--
  I dar wel putte thee out of doute--                                  (90)
  To make of thee as yet a sterre.
  But er I bere thee moche ferre,                                       600
  I wol thee telle what I am,
  And whider thou shalt, and why I cam
  To done this, so that thou take
  Good herte, and not for fere quake.'
  'Gladly,' quod I. 'Now wel,' quod he:--                               605
  'First I, that in my feet have thee,
  Of which thou hast a feer and wonder,
  Am dwelling with the god of thonder,                                (100)
  Which that men callen Iupiter,
  That dooth me flee ful ofte fer                                       610
  To do al his comaundement.
  And for this cause he hath me sent
  To thee: now herke, by thy trouthe!
  Certeyn, he hath of thee routhe,
  That thou so longe trewely                                            615
  Hast served so ententifly
  His blinde nevew Cupido,
  And fair Venus [goddesse] also,                                     (110)
  Withoute guerdoun ever yit,
  And nevertheles hast set thy wit--                                    620
  Although that in thy hede ful lyte is--
  To make bokes, songes, dytees,
  In ryme, or elles in cadence,
  As thou best canst, in reverence
  Of Love, and of his servants eke,                                     625
  That have his servise soght, and seke;
  And peynest thee to preyse his art,
  Althogh thou haddest never part;                                    (120)
  Wherfor, al-so god me blesse,
  Ioves halt hit greet humblesse                                        630
  And vertu eek, that thou wolt make
  A-night ful ofte thyn heed to ake,
  In thy studie so thou wrytest,
  And ever-mo of love endytest,
  In honour of him and preysinges,                                      635
  And in his folkes furtheringes,
  And in hir matere al devysest,
  And noght him nor his folk despysest,                               (130)
  Although thou mayst go in the daunce
  Of hem that him list not avaunce.                                     640
    'Wherfor, as I seyde, y-wis,
  Iupiter considereth this,
  And also, beau sir, other thinges;
  That is, that thou hast no tydinges
  Of Loves folk, if they be glade,                                      645
  Ne of noght elles that god made;
  And noght only fro fer contree
  That ther no tyding comth to thee,                                  (140)
  But of thy verray neyghebores,
  That dwellen almost at thy dores,                                     650
  Thou herest neither that ne this;
  For whan thy labour doon al is,
  And hast y-maad thy rekeninges,
  In stede of reste and newe thinges,
  Thou gost hoom to thy hous anoon;                                     655
  And, also domb as any stoon,
  Thou sittest at another boke,
  Til fully daswed is thy loke,                                       (150)
  And livest thus as an hermyte,
  Although thyn abstinence is lyte.                                     660
    'And therfor Ioves, through his grace,
  Wol that I bere thee to a place,
  Which that hight THE HOUS OF FAME,
  To do thee som disport and game,
  In som recompensacioun                                                665
  Of labour and devocioun
  That thou hast had, lo! causeles,
  To Cupido, the reccheles!                                           (160)
  And thus this god, thorgh his meryte,
  Wol with som maner thing thee quyte,                                  670
  So that thou wolt be of good chere.
  For truste wel, that thou shalt here,
  When we be comen ther I seye,
  Mo wonder thinges, dar I leye,
  Of Loves folke mo tydinges,                                           675
  Bothe soth-sawes and lesinges;
  And mo loves newe begonne,
  And longe y-served loves wonne,                                     (170)
  And mo loves casuelly
  That been betid, no man wot why,                                      680
  But as a blind man stert an hare;
  And more Iolytee and fare,
  Whyl that they finde love of stele,
  As thinketh hem, and over-al wele;
  Mo discords, and mo Ielousyes,                                        685
  Mo murmurs, and mo novelryes,
  And mo dissimulaciouns,
  And feyned reparaciouns;                                            (180)
  And mo berdes in two houres
  Withoute rasour or sisoures                                           690
  Y-maad, then greynes be of sondes;
  And eke mo holdinge in hondes,
  And also mo renovelaunces
  Of olde forleten aqueyntaunces;
  Mo love-dayes and acordes                                             695
  Then on instruments ben cordes;
  And eke of loves mo eschaunges
  Than ever cornes were in graunges;                                  (190)
  Unethe maistow trowen this?'--
  Quod he. 'No, helpe me god so wis!'--                                 700
  Quod I. 'No? why?' quod he. 'For hit
  Were impossible, to my wit,
  Though that Fame hadde al the pyes
  In al a realme, and al the spyes,
  How that yet she shulde here al this,                                 705
  Or they espye hit.' 'O yis, yis!'
  Quod he to me, 'that can I preve
  By resoun, worthy for to leve,                                      (200)
  So that thou yeve thyn advertence
  To understonde my sentence.                                           710
    'First shall thou heren wher she dwelleth,
  And so thyn owne book hit telleth;
  Hir paleys stant, as I shal seye,
  Right even in middes of the weye
  Betwixen hevene, erthe, and see;                                      715
  That, what-so-ever in al these three
  Is spoken, in privee or aperte,
  The wey therto is so overte,                                        (210)
  And stant eek in so Iuste a place,
  That every soun mot to hit pace,                                      720
  Or what so comth fro any tonge,
  Be hit rouned, red, or songe,
  Or spoke in seurtee or drede,
  Certein, hit moste thider nede.
    'Now herkne wel; for-why I wille                                    735
  Tellen thee a propre skile,
  And worthy demonstracioun
  In myn imagynacioun.                                                (220)
    'Geffrey, thou wost right wel this,
  That every kindly thing that is,                                      730
  Hath a kindly stede ther he
  May best in hit conserved be;
  Unto which place every thing,
  Through his kindly enclyning,
  Moveth for to come to,                                                735
  Whan that hit is awey therfro;
  As thus; lo, thou mayst al day see
  That any thing that hevy be,                                        (230)
  As stoon or leed, or thing of wighte,
  And ber hit never so hye on highte,                                   740
  Lat go thyn hand, hit falleth doun.
    'Right so seye I by fyre or soun,
  Or smoke, or other thinges lighte,
  Alwey they seke upward on highte;
  Whyl ech of hem is at his large,                                      745
  Light thing up, and dounward charge.
    'And for this cause mayst thou see,
  That every river to the see                                         (240)
  Enclyned is to go, by kinde.
  And by these skilles, as I finde,                                     750
  Hath fish dwellinge in floode and see,
  And treës eek in erthe be.
  Thus every thing, by this resoun,
  Hath his propre mansioun,
  To which hit seketh to repaire,                                       755
  As ther hit shulde not apaire.
  Lo, this sentence is knowen couthe
  Of every philosophres mouthe,                                       (250)
  As Aristotle and dan Platon,
  And other clerkes many oon;                                           760
  And to confirme my resoun,
  Thou wost wel this, that speche is soun,
  Or elles no man mighte hit here;
  Now herkne what I wol thee lere.
    'Soun is noght but air y-broken,                                    765
  And every speche that is spoken,
  Loud or privee, foul or fair,
  In his substaunce is but air;                                       (260)
  For as flaumbe is but lighted smoke,
  Right so soun is air y-broke.                                         770
  But this may be in many wyse,
  Of which I wil thee two devyse,
  As soun that comth of pype or harpe.
  For whan a pype is blowen sharpe,
  The air is twist with violence,                                       775
  And rent; lo, this is my sentence;
  Eek, whan men harpe-stringes smyte,
  Whether hit be moche or lyte,                                       (270)
  Lo, with the strook the air to-breketh;
  Right so hit breketh whan men speketh.                                780
  Thus wost thou wel what thing is speche.
    'Now hennesforth I wol thee teche,
  How every speche, or noise, or soun,
  Through his multiplicacioun,
  Thogh hit were pyped of a mouse,                                      785
  Moot nede come to Fames House.
  I preve hit thus--tak hede now--
  By experience; for if that thou                                     (280)
  Throwe on water now a stoon,
  Wel wost thou, hit wol make anoon                                     790
  A litel roundel as a cercle,
  Paraventure brood as a covercle;
  And right anoon thou shalt see weel,
  That wheel wol cause another wheel,
  And that the thridde, and so forth, brother,                          795
  Every cercle causing other,
  Wyder than himselve was;
  And thus, fro roundel to compas,                                    (290)
  Ech aboute other goinge,
  Caused of othres steringe,                                            800
  And multiplying ever-mo,
  Til that hit be so fer y-go
  That hit at bothe brinkes be.
  Al-thogh thou mowe hit not y-see
  Above, hit goth yet alway under,                                      805
  Although thou thenke hit a gret wonder.
  And who-so seith of trouthe I varie,
  Bid him proven the contrarie.                                       (300)
  And right thus every word, y-wis,
  That loude or privee spoken is,                                       810
  Moveth first an air aboute,
  And of this moving, out of doute,
  Another air anoon is meved,
  As I have of the water preved,
  That every cercle causeth other.                                      815
  Right so of air, my leve brother;
  Everich air in other stereth
  More and more, and speche up bereth,                                (310)
  Or vois, or noise, or word, or soun,
  Ay through multiplicacioun,                                           820
  Til hit be atte House of Fame;--
  Tak hit in ernest or in game.
    'Now have I told, if thou have minde,
  How speche or soun, of pure kinde,
  Enclyned is upward to meve;                                           825
  This, mayst thou fele, wel I preve.
  And that [the mansioun], y-wis,
  That every thing enclyned to is,                                    (320)
  Hath his kindeliche stede:
  That sheweth hit, withouten drede,                                    830
  That kindely the mansioun
  Of every speche, of every soun,
  Be hit either foul or fair,
  Hath his kinde place in air.
  And sin that every thing, that is                                     835
  Out of his kinde place, y-wis,
  Moveth thider for to go
  If hit a-weye be therfro,                                           (330)
  As I before have preved thee,
  Hit seweth, every soun, pardee,                                       840
  Moveth kindely to pace
  Al up into his kindely place.
  And this place of which I telle,
  Ther as Fame list to dwelle,
  Is set amiddes of these three,                                        845
  Heven, erthe, and eek the see,
  As most conservatif the soun.
  Than is this the conclusioun,                                       (340)
  That every speche of every man,
  As I thee telle first began,                                          850
  Moveth up on high to pace
  Kindely to Fames place.
    'Telle me this feithfully,
  Have I not preved thus simply,
  Withouten any subtiltee                                               855
  Of speche, or gret prolixitee
  Of termes of philosophye,
  Of figures of poetrye,                                              (350)
  Or colours of rethoryke?
  Pardee, hit oghte thee to lyke;                                       860
  For hard langage and hard matere
  Is encombrous for to here
  At ones; wost thou not wel this?'
  And I answerde, and seyde, 'Yis.'
    'A ha!' quod he, 'lo, so I can,                                     865
  Lewedly to a lewed man
  Speke, and shewe him swiche skiles,
  That he may shake hem by the biles,                                 (360)
  So palpable they shulden be.
  But tel me this, now pray I thee,                                     870
  How thinkth thee my conclusioun?'
  [Quod he]. 'A good persuasioun,'
  Quod I, 'hit is; and lyk to be
  Right so as thou hast preved me.'
  'By god,' quod he, 'and as I leve,                                    875
  Thou shall have yit, or hit be eve,
  Of every word of this sentence
  A preve, by experience;                                             (370)
  And with thyn eres heren wel
  Top and tail, and everydel,                                           880
  That every word that spoken is
  Comth into Fames Hous, y-wis,
  As I have seyd; what wilt thou more?'
  And with this word upper to sore
  He gan, and seyde, 'By Seynt Iame!                                    885
  Now wil we speken al of game.'--
    'How farest thou?' quod he to me.
  'Wel,' quod I. 'Now see,' quod he,                                  (380)
  'By thy trouthe, yond adoun,
  Wher that thou knowest any toun,                                      890
  Or hous, or any other thing.
  And whan thou hast of ought knowing,
  Loke that thou warne me,
  And I anoon shal telle thee
  How fer that thou art now therfro.'                                   895
    And I adoun gan loken tho,
  And beheld feldes and plaines,
  And now hilles, and now mountaines,                                 (390)
  Now valeys, and now forestes,
  And now, unethes, grete bestes;                                       900
  Now riveres, now citees,
  Now tounes, and now grete trees,
  Now shippes sailinge in the see.
    But thus sone in a whyle he
  Was flowen fro the grounde so hyë,                                    905
  That al the world, as to myn yë,
  No more semed than a prikke;
  Or elles was the air so thikke                                      (400)
  That I ne mighte not discerne.
  With that he spak to me as yerne,                                     910
  And seyde: 'Seestow any [toun]
  Or ought thou knowest yonder doun?'
    I seyde, 'Nay.' 'No wonder nis,'
  Quod he, 'for half so high as this
  Nas Alexander Macedo;                                                 915
  Ne the king, dan Scipio,
  That saw in dreme, at point devys,
  Helle and erthe, and paradys;                                       (410)
  Ne eek the wrecche Dedalus,
  Ne his child, nyce Icarus,                                            920
  That fleigh so highe that the hete
  His winges malt, and he fel wete
  In-mid the see, and ther he dreynte,
  For whom was maked moch compleynte.
    'Now turn upward,' quod he, 'thy face,                              925
  And behold this large place,
  This air; but loke thou ne be
  Adrad of hem that thou shalt see;                                   (420)
  For in this regioun, certein,
  Dwelleth many a citezein,                                             930
  Of which that speketh dan Plato.
  These ben the eyrish bestes, lo!'
  And so saw I al that meynee
  Bothe goon and also flee.
  'Now,' quod he tho, 'cast up thyn yë;                                 935
  See yonder, lo, the Galaxyë,
  Which men clepeth the Milky Wey,
  For hit is whyt: and somme, parfey,                                 (430)
  Callen hit Watlinge Strete:
  That ones was y-brent with hete,                                      940
  Whan the sonnes sone, the rede,
  That highte Pheton, wolde lede
  Algate his fader cart, and gye.
  The cart-hors gonne wel espye
  That he ne coude no governaunce                                       945
  And gonne for to lepe and launce,
  And beren him now up, now doun,
  Til that he saw the Scorpioun,                                      (440)
  Which that in heven a signe is yit.
  And he, for ferde, loste his wit,                                     950
  Of that, and leet the reynes goon
  Of his hors; and they anoon
  Gonne up to mounte, and doun descende
  Til bothe the eyr and erthe brende;
  Til Iupiter, lo, atte laste,                                          955
  Him slow, and fro the carte caste.
  Lo, is it not a greet mischaunce,
  To lete a fole han governaunce                                      (450)
  Of thing that he can not demeine?'
    And with this word, soth for to seyne,                              960
  He gan alway upper to sore,
  And gladded me ay more and more,
  So feithfully to me spak he.
    Tho gan I loken under me,
  And beheld the eyrish bestes,                                         965
  Cloudes, mistes, and tempestes,
  Snowes, hailes, reines, windes,
  And thengendring in hir kindes,                                     (460)
  And al the wey through whiche I cam;
  'O god,' quod I, 'that made Adam,                                     970
  Moche is thy might and thy noblesse!'
    And tho thoughte I upon Boëce,
  That writ, 'a thought may flee so hyë,
  With fetheres of Philosophye,
  To passen everich element;                                            975
  And whan he hath so fer y-went,
  Than may be seen, behind his bak,
  Cloud, and al that I of spak.'                                      (470)
    Tho gan I wexen in a were,
  And seyde, 'I woot wel I am here;                                     980
  But wher in body or in gost
  I noot, y-wis; but god, thou wost!'
  For more cleer entendement
  Nadde he me never yit y-sent.
  And than thoughte I on Marcian,                                       985
  And eek on Anteclaudian,
  That sooth was hir descripcioun
  Of al the hevenes regioun,                                          (480)
  As fer as that I saw the preve;
  Therfor I can hem now beleve.                                         990
    With that this egle gan to crye:
  'Lat be,' quod he, 'thy fantasye;
  Wilt thou lere of sterres aught?'
  'Nay, certeinly,' quod I, 'right naught;
  And why? for I am now to old.'                                        995
  'Elles I wolde thee have told,'
  Quod he, 'the sterres names, lo,
  And al the hevenes signes to,                                       (490)
  And which they been.' 'No fors,' quod I.
  'Yis, pardee,' quod he; 'wostow why?                                 1000
  For whan thou redest poetrye,
  How goddes gonne stellifye
  Brid, fish, beste, or him or here,
  As the Raven, or either Bere,
  Or Ariones harpe fyn,                                                1005
  Castor, Pollux, or Delphyn,
  Or Atlantes doughtres sevene,
  How alle these arn set in hevene;                                   (500)
  For though thou have hem ofte on honde,
  Yet nostow not wher that they stonde.'                               1010
  'No fors,' quod I, 'hit is no nede;
  I leve as wel, so god me spede,
  Hem that wryte of this matere,
  As though I knew hir places here;
  And eek they shynen here so brighte,                                 1015
  Hit shulde shenden al my sighte,
  To loke on hem.' 'That may wel be,'
  Quod he. And so forth bar he me                                     (510)
  A whyl, and than he gan to crye,
  That never herde I thing so hye,                                     1020
  'Now up the heed; for al is wel;
  Seynt Iulyan, lo, bon hostel!
  See here the House of Fame, lo!
  Maistow not heren that I do?'
  'What?' quod I. 'The grete soun,'                                    1025
  Quod he, 'that rumbleth up and doun
  In Fames Hous, ful of tydinges,
  Bothe of fair speche and chydinges,                                 (520)
  And of fals and soth compouned.
  Herkne wel; hit is not rouned.                                       1030
  Herestow not the grete swogh?'
  'Yis, pardee,' quod I, 'wel y-nogh.'
  'And what soun is it lyk?' quod he.
  'Peter! lyk beting of the see,'
  Quod I, 'again the roches holowe,                                    1035
  Whan tempest doth the shippes swalowe;
  And lat a man stonde, out of doute,
  A myle thens, and here hit route;                                   (530)
  Or elles lyk the last humblinge
  After the clappe of a thundringe,                                    1040
  When Ioves hath the air y-bete;
  But hit doth me for fere swete.'
  'Nay, dred thee not therof,' quod he,
  'Hit is nothing wil byten thee;
  Thou shalt non harm have, trewely.'                                  1045
    And with this word bothe he and I
  As nigh the place arryved were
  As men may casten with a spere.                                     (540)
  I nistë how, but in a strete
  He sette me faire on my fete,                                        1050
  And seyde, 'Walke forth a pas,
  And tak thyn aventure or cas,
  That thou shalt finde in Fames place.'
   'Now,' quod I, 'whyl we han space
  To speke, or that I go fro thee,                                     1055
  For the love of god, tel me,
  In sooth, that wil I of thee lere,
  If this noise that I here                                           (550)
  Be, as I have herd thee tellen,
  Of folk that doun in erthe dwellen,                                  1060
  And comth here in the same wyse
  As I thee herde or this devyse;
  And that ther lyves body nis
  In al that hous that yonder is,
  That maketh al this loude fare?'                                     1065
  'No,' quod he, 'by Seynte Clare,
  And also wis god rede me!
  But o thinge I wil warne thee                                       (560)
  Of the which thou wolt have wonder.
  Lo, to the House of Fame yonder                                      1070
  Thou wost how cometh every speche,
  Hit nedeth noght thee eft to teche.
  But understond now right wel this;
  Whan any speche y-comen is
  Up to the paleys, anon-right                                         1075
  Hit wexeth lyk the same wight,
  Which that the word in erthe spak,
  Be hit clothed reed or blak;                                        (570)
  And hath so verray his lyknesse
  That spak the word, that thou wilt gesse                             1080
  That hit the same body be,
  Man or woman, he or she.
  And is not this a wonder thing?'
  'Yis,' quod I tho, 'by hevene king!'
  And with this worde, 'Farwel,' quod he,                              1085
  'And here I wol abyden thee;
  And god of hevene sende thee grace,
  Som good to lernen in this place.'                                  (580)
  And I of him took leve anoon,
  And gan forth to the paleys goon.                                    1090


511. P. listeth; Th. lysteth; F. Cx. listeneth; B. lystneth. 513. _All_
sely; _read_ selly (Willert). 514. Cx. Th. Scipion; F. P. Cipion; B.
Cypyon. 516. Th. Alcanore. 533. Cx. Th. P. her; F. B. the. 535. F. B. kynge
(_by mistake for_ thing). 536. Cx. Th. P. smyte; F. B. smote. Cx. Th. P.
to; F. B. of. 537. Cx. Th. P. brende; F. beende; B. bende. 543. Cx. Th. P.
at; F. B. in. 545. F. cryinge (!). 548. Cx. P. cam; F. came. 552. P. Cx.
Th. That; F. B. And. F. felynge. 557. Cx. Th. P. agast so (_but read_ so
agast); F. B. _omit_ so. 558. Cx. Th. tho; _which_ F. B. P. _omit_. 566. B.
Th. nas; F. Cx. was. 570. F. that; _the rest_ tho. 573. _All_ seynt. 575.
F. B. _omit_ hit. 592. _All_ made. 603. _All_ do; _read_ done (_gerund_).
618. goddesse _is not in the_ MSS. _The line is obviously too short._ 621.
F. Th. lytel; Cx. lytyl; B. litell; P. litil (_all wrong_); _read_ lyte.
622. Cx. P. bookes songes or ditees; Th. bokes songes and ditees; F. B.
songes dytees bookys. 635. F. B. and in; _rest_ and. 647. F. frerre (_by
mistake_). 650. Cx. Th. dwellen; P. dwelleth; F. B. dwelle. 651. F. ner; B.
nor; Cx. Th. P. ne. 653. F. ymade; B. I-made; Cx. made alle thy; Th. made
al thy; P. I-made alle thy. 658. Cx. P. daswed; F. B. dasewyd; Th. dased.
673. Cx. Th. comen; F. come. 676. F. sothe sawes; Cx. Th. P. sothsawes.
680. Cx. Th. ben; P. been; F. B. _omit_. 682. fare] Cx. Th. P. welfare.
685. Cx. Th. and; _rest om._ 696. F. B. acordes (!). 705. Cx. she; _rest_
he. 711. P. heren; _rest_ here. 715. F. and erthe; _rest omit_ and. 717.
Cx. Th. P. in; F. B. either. 723. or] F. B. or in. 727. Cx. Th. a worthy;
P. a wurthy; F. worthe a; B. worth a; _omit_ a. 739, 740. _I add_ e _in_
wighte, highte. 746. Cx. Th. vp; F. B. P. vpwarde. Cx. Th. P. _transpose_
745, 746. 755. B. it; F. _om._; Cx. Th. P. he. 764. _All_ herke; _see_ l.
725. 766. Cx. Th. spoken; P. poken (!); F. B. yspoken. 773. Cx. Th. P. As;
F. B. Of (_copied from_ l. 772). 780. Cx. Th. P. And ryght so brekyth it;
F. B. _omit this line_. 789. F. Thorwe; B. P. Throw; Cx. Th. Threwe. 794.
F. Th. B. whele sercle (_for 1st_ wheel); Cx. P. _omit the line_. (Sercle
_is a gloss upon_ wheel). 798. F. B. this; _rest_ thus. F. B. _om._ to.
800. Cx. Th. P. Causeth. 803. F. Tyl; _rest_ That. 804. F. _om._ thogh.
805. F. B. _om._ alway. 810. F. B. yspoken. 817. F. B. _om._ in. _Read_
another (Willert). 821. Cx. Th. P. at the. 823. Cx. Th. P. thou haue; F. B.
ye haue in. 827. F. And that sum place stide; B. And that som styde; Th.
And that some stede; Cx. P. _omit_ ll. 827-864. _read_ And that the
mansioun (_see_ ll. 754, 831). 830. _For_ That _read_ Than? 838. MSS. a
wey, away. 839. F. Th. B. haue before; Cx. P. _omit the line_. 853. Th. B.
this; F. thus. 859. Th. of; F. B. or. 860. _All_ ought. 866. P. to a lewde;
Cx. Th. vnto a lewde; F. t_re_alwed (!); B. talwyd (!). 872. _All omit_
Quod he; cf. ll. 700, 701. 873. P. Cx. Th. I; F. B. he. F. B. me (_for_
be). 886. P. Cx. speken; _rest_ speke. 896. Cx. Th. gan to; _rest_ to (!).
899. F. B. P. _om._ and. 911. F. B. _omit this line; for_ Seestow, Cx. Th.
P. _have_ Seest thou. _For_ toun, _all have_ token; _see_ l. 890. 912.
_From_ P.; F. B. _omit this line_. Cx. Or ought that in the world is of
spoken; Th. Or aught that in this worlde is of spoken; _see_ l. 889. 913.
F. B. _om._ I seyde. 932. F. B. _om._ the. 951. Cx. P. lete (= leet); F. B.
lat. 955. F. Cx. Iubiter. 956. F. B. fer fro; P. Cx. Th. _om._ fer. 957.
Cx. P. grete; Th. great; F. mochil; B. mochill. 961. Cx. Th. P. alway
vpper; F. B. vpper alway for. Cf. l. 884. 964. F. Th. B. _ins._ to _bef._
loken. 969. P. Cx. And; _rest om._ 973. Cx. Th. wryteth; F. writ. F. B. of
(_for_ a). 978. _So_ P. Cx.; _rest ins._ and erthe _bef._ and. 984. F. B.
Nas (_om._ he me); Th. Nas me; Cx. P. Nadde he me. 998. to] F. B. ther-to.
999. F. B. _insert_ and _before_ No. 1003. F. B. Briddes; P. Brid; Cx.
Byrd; Th. Byrde. 1007. F. Cx. Th. B. Athalantes (-ys); P. athlauntres;
_see_ note. 1014. Cx. Th. P. As; F. Alle; B. Al. 1015. Cx. P. they shynen;
F. Th. B. thy seluen (!). 1029. F. _inserts_ that _before_ soth. 1030. Cx.
Herkne; P. Th. Herken; F. B. Herke. 1034. F. B. P. _om._ lyk. 1040. Cx. Th.
P. the; F. P. a. Cx. Th. P. a; F. B. oo. 1044. F. P. beten; Th. B. byten;
Cx. greue. 1056. Th. tel; P. tell; _rest_ telle. 1057. Cx. Th. P. I wyl; F.
B. wil I. 1063. F. B. _om._ And. 1071. F. B. _ins._ now _bef._ how. 1072.
Th. the efte; Cx. the more; F. B. eft the; P. the. 1079. Cx. Th. hath so
very; P. hath so verrey; F. B. so were (!). 1080. Cx. P. That; F. B. Th.
And (!). 1088. F. Cx. Th. lerne; _read_ lernen. COLOPHON.--_From_ Cx. Th.




  O god of science and of light,
  Apollo, through thy grete might,
  This litel laste book thou gye!
  Nat that I wilne, for maistrye,
  Here art poetical be shewed;                                         1095
  But, for the rym is light and lewed,
  Yit make hit sumwhat agreable,
  Though som vers faile in a sillable;
  And that I do no diligence
  To shewe craft, but o sentence.                                 (10) 1100
  And if, divyne vertu, thou
  Wilt helpe me to shewe now
  That in myn hede y-marked is--
  Lo, that is for to menen this,
  The Hous of Fame to descryve--                                       1105
  Thou shalt see me go, as blyve,
  Unto the nexte laure I see,
  And kisse hit, for hit is thy tree;
  Now entreth in my breste anoon!--

          _The Dream._

  Whan I was fro this egle goon,                                  (20) 1110
  I gan beholde upon this place.
  And certein, or I ferther pace,
  I wol yow al the shap devyse
  Of hous and site; and al the wyse
  How I gan to this place aproche                                      1115
  That stood upon so high a roche,
  Hyer stant ther noon in Spaine.
  But up I clomb with alle paine,
  And though to climbe hit greved me,
  Yit I ententif was to see,                                      (30) 1120
  And for to pouren wonder lowe,
  If I coude any weyes knowe
  What maner stoon this roche was;
  For hit was lyk a thing of glas,
  But that hit shoon ful more clere;                                   1125
  But of what congeled matere
  Hit was, I niste redely.
    But at the laste espyed I,
  And found that hit was, every deel,
  A roche of yse, and not of steel.                               (40) 1130
  Thoughte I, 'By Seynt Thomas of Kent!
  This were a feble foundement
  To bilden on a place hye;
  He oughte him litel glorifye
  That her-on bilt, god so me save!'                                   1135
    Tho saw I al the half y-grave
  With famous folkes names fele,
  That had y-been in mochel wele,
  And hir fames wyde y-blowe.
  But wel unethes coude I knowe                                   (50) 1140
  Any lettres for to rede
  Hir names by; for, out of drede,
  They were almost of-thowed so,
  That of the lettres oon or two
  Was molte away of every name;                                        1145
  So unfamous was wexe hir fame;
  But men seyn, 'What may ever laste?'
    Tho gan I in myn herte caste,
  That they were molte awey with hete,
  And not awey with stormes bete.                                 (60) 1150
  For on that other syde I sey
  Of this hille, that northward lay,
  How hit was writen ful of names
  Of folk that hadden grete fames
  Of olde tyme, and yit they were                                      1155
  As fresshe as men had writen hem there
  The selve day right, or that houre
  That I upon hem gan to poure.
  But wel I wiste what hit made;
  Hit was conserved with the shade--                              (70) 1160
  Al this wrytinge that I sy--
  Of a castel, that stood on by,
  And stood eek on so cold a place,
  That hete mighte hit not deface.
    Tho gan I up the hille to goon,                                    1165
  And fond upon the coppe a woon,
  That alle the men that ben on lyve
  Ne han the cunning to descryve
  The beautee of that ilke place,
  Ne coude casten no compace                                      (80) 1170
  Swich another for to make,
  That mighte of beautee be his make,
  Ne [be] so wonderliche y-wrought;
  That hit astonieth yit my thought,
  And maketh al my wit to swinke                                       1175
  On this castel to bethinke.
  So that the grete craft, beautee,
  The cast, the curiositee
  Ne can I not to yow devyse,
  My wit ne may me not suifyse.                                   (90) 1180
    But natheles al the substance
  I have yit in my remembrance:
  For-why me thoughte, by Seynt Gyle!
  Al was of stone of beryle,
  Bothe castel and the tour,                                           1185
  And eek the halle, and every bour,
  Withouten peces or Ioininges.
  But many subtil compassinges,
  Babewinnes and pinacles,
  Imageries and tabernacles,                                     (100) 1190
  I saw; and ful eek of windowes,
  As flakes falle in grete snowes.
  And eek in ech of the pinacles
  Weren sondry habitacles,
  In whiche stoden, al withoute--                                      1195
  Ful the castel, al aboute--
  Of alle maner of minstrales,
  And gestiours, that tellen tales
  Bothe of weping and of game,
  Of al that longeth unto Fame.                                  (110) 1200
    Ther herde I pleyen on an harpe
  That souned bothe wel and sharpe,
  Orpheus ful craftely,
  And on his syde, faste by,
  Sat the harper Orion,                                                1205
  And Eacides Chiron,
  And other harpers many oon,
  And the Bret Glascurion;
  And smale harpers with her gleës
  Seten under hem in seës,                                       (120) 1210
  And gonne on hem upward to gape,
  And countrefete hem as an ape,
  Or as craft countrefeteth kinde.
    Tho saugh I stonden hem behinde,
  A-fer fro hem, al by hemselve,                                       1215
  Many thousand tymes twelve,
  That maden loude menstralcyes
  In cornemuse and shalmyes,
  And many other maner pype,
  That craftely begunne pype                                     (130) 1220
  Bothe in doucet and in rede,
  That ben at festes with the brede;
  And many floute and lilting-horne,
  And pypes made of grene corne,
  As han thise litel herde-gromes,                                     1225
  That kepen bestes in the bromes.
    Ther saugh I than Atiteris,
  And of Athenes dan Pseustis,
  And Marcia that lost her skin,
  Bothe in face, body, and chin,                                 (140) 1230
  For that she wolde envyen, lo!
  To pypen bet then Apollo.
  Ther saugh I famous, olde and yonge,
  Pypers of the Duche tonge,
  To lerne love-daunces, springes,                                     1235
  Reyes, and these straunge thinges.
    Tho saugh I in another place
  Stonden in a large space,
  Of hem that maken blody soun
  In trumpe, beme, and clarioun;                                 (150) 1240
  For in fight and blood-shedinge
  Is used gladly clarioninge.
    Ther herde I trumpen Messenus,
  Of whom that speketh Virgilius.
  Ther herde I Ioab trumpe also,                                       1245
  Theodomas, and other mo;
  And alle that used clarion
  In Cataloigne and Aragon,
  That in hir tyme famous were
  To lerne, saugh I trumpe there.                                (160) 1250
    Ther saugh I sitte in other seës,
  Pleyinge upon sondry gleës,
  Whiche that I cannot nevene,
  Mo then sterres been in hevene,
  Of whiche I nil as now not ryme,                                     1255
  For ese of yow, and losse of tyme:
  For tyme y-lost, this knowen ye,
  By no way may recovered be.
    Ther saugh I pleyen Iogelours,
  Magiciens and tregetours,                                      (170) 1260
  And phitonesses, charmeresses,
  Olde wicches, sorceresses,
  That use exorsisaciouns,
  And eek thise fumigaciouns;
  And clerkes eek, which conne wel                                     1265
  Al this magyke naturel,
  That craftely don hir ententes,
  To make, in certeyn ascendentes,
  Images, lo, through which magyk
  To make a man ben hool or syk.                                 (180) 1270
  Ther saugh I thee, queen Medea,
  And Circes eke, and Calipsa;
  Ther saugh I Hermes Ballenus,
  Lymote, and eek Simon Magus.
  Ther saugh I, and knew hem by name,                                  1275
  That by such art don men han fame.
  Ther saugh I Colle tregetour
  Upon a table of sicamour
  Pleye an uncouthe thing to telle;
  I saugh him carien a wind-melle                                (190) 1280
  Under a walsh-note shale.
    What shuld I make lenger tale
  Of al the peple that I say,
  Fro hennes in-to domesday?
    Whan I had al this folk beholde,                                   1285
  And fond me lous, and noght y-holde,
  And eft y-mused longe whyle
  Upon these walles of beryle,
  That shoon ful lighter than a glas,
  And made wel more than hit was                                 (200) 1290
  To semen, every thing, y-wis,
  As kinde thing of fames is;
  I gan forth romen til I fond
  The castel-yate on my right hond,
  Which that so wel corven was                                         1295
  That never swich another nas;
  And yit hit was by aventure
  Y-wrought, as often as by cure.
    Hit nedeth noght yow for to tellen,
  To make yow to longe dwellen,                                  (210) 1300
  Of this yates florisshinges,
  Ne of compasses, ne of kervinges,
  Ne how they hatte in masoneries,
  As, corbets fulle of imageries.
  But, lord! so fair hit was to shewe,                                 1305
  For hit was al with gold behewe.
  But in I wente, and that anoon;
  Ther mette I crying many oon,--
  'A larges, larges, hold up wel!
  God save the lady of this pel,                                 (220) 1310
  Our owne gentil lady Fame,
  And hem that wilnen to have name
  Of us!' Thus herde I cryen alle,
  And faste comen out of halle,
  And shoken nobles and sterlinges.                                    1315
  And somme crouned were as kinges,
  With crounes wroght ful of losenges;
  And many riban, and many frenges
  Were on hir clothes trewely.
    Tho atte laste aspyed I                                      (230) 1320
  That pursevauntes and heraudes,
  That cryen riche folkes laudes,
  Hit weren alle; and every man
  Of hem, as I yow tellen can,
  Had on him throwen a vesture,                                        1325
  Which that men clepe a cote-armure,
  Enbrowded wonderliche riche,
  Al-though they nere nought y-liche.
  But noght nil I, so mote I thryve,
  Been aboute to discryve                                        (240) 1330
  Al these armes that ther weren,
  That they thus on hir cotes beren,
  For hit to me were impossible;
  Men mighte make of hem a bible
  Twenty foot thikke, as I trowe.                                      1335
  For certeyn, who-so coude y-knowe
  Mighte ther alle the armes seen
  Of famous folk that han y-been
  In Auffrike, Europe, and Asye,
  Sith first began the chevalrye.                                (250) 1340
    Lo! how shulde I now telle al this?
  Ne of the halle eek what nede is
  To tellen yow, that every wal
  Of hit, and floor, and roof and al
  Was plated half a fote thikke                                        1345
  Of gold, and that nas no-thing wikke,
  But, for to prove in alle wyse,
  As fyn as ducat in Venyse,
  Of whiche to lyte al in my pouche is?
  And they wer set as thikke of nouchis                          (260) 1350
  Fulle of the fynest stones faire,
  That men rede in the Lapidaire,
  As greses growen in a mede;
  But hit were al to longe to rede
  The names; and therfore I pace.                                      1355
    But in this riche lusty place,
  That Fames halle called was,
  Ful moche prees of folk ther nas,
  Ne crouding, for to mochil prees.
  But al on hye, above a dees,                                   (270) 1360
  Sitte in a see imperial,
  That maad was of a rubee al,
  Which that a carbuncle is y-called,
  I saugh, perpetually y-stalled,
  A feminyne creature;                                                 1365
  That never formed by nature
  Nas swich another thing y-seye.
  For altherfirst, soth for to seye,
  Me thoughte that she was so lyte,
  That the lengthe of a cubyte                                   (280) 1370
  Was lenger than she semed be;
  But thus sone, in a whyle, she
  Hir tho so wonderliche streighte,
  That with hir feet she therthe reighte,
  And with hir heed she touched hevene,                                1375
  Ther as shynen sterres sevene.
  And ther-to eek, as to my wit,
  I saugh a gretter wonder yit,
  Upon hir eyen to beholde;
  But certeyn I hem never tolde;                                 (290) 1380
  For as fele eyen hadde she
  As fetheres upon foules be,
  Or weren on the bestes foure,
  That goddes trone gunne honoure,
  As Iohn writ in thapocalips.                                         1385
  Hir heer, that oundy was and crips,
  As burned gold hit shoon to see.
  And sooth to tellen, also she
  Had also fele up-stonding eres
  And tonges, as on bestes heres;                                (300) 1390
  And on hir feet wexen saugh I
  Partriches winges redely.
    But, lord! the perrie and the richesse
  I saugh sitting on this goddesse!
  And, lord! the hevenish melodye                                      1395
  Of songes, ful of armonye,
  I herde aboute her trone y-songe,
  That al the paleys-walles ronge!
  So song the mighty Muse, she
  That cleped is Caliopee,                                       (310) 1400
  And hir eighte sustren eke,
  That in hir face semen meke;
  And evermo, eternally,
  They songe of Fame, as tho herde I:--
  'Heried be thou and thy name,                                        1405
  Goddesse of renoun and of fame!'
    Tho was I war, lo, atte laste,
  As I myn eyen gan up caste,
  That this ilke noble quene
  On hir shuldres gan sustene                                    (320) 1410
  Bothe tharmes and the name
  Of tho that hadde large fame;
  Alexander, and Hercules
  That with a sherte his lyf lees!
  Thus fond I sitting this goddesse,                                   1415
  In nobley, honour, and richesse;
  Of which I stinte a whyle now,
  Other thing to tellen yow.
    Tho saugh I stonde on either syde,
  Streight doun to the dores wyde,                               (330) 1420
  Fro the dees, many a pileer
  Of metal, that shoon not ful cleer;
  But though they nere of no richesse,
  Yet they were maad for greet noblesse,
  And in hem greet [and hy] sentence;                                  1425
  And folk of digne reverence,
  Of whiche I wol yow telle fonde,
  Upon the piler saugh I stonde.
    Alderfirst, lo, ther I sigh,
  Upon a piler stonde on high,                                   (340) 1430
  That was of lede and yren fyn,
  Him of secte Saturnyn,
  The Ebrayk Iosephus, the olde,
  That of Iewes gestes tolde;
  And bar upon his shuldres hye                                        1435
  The fame up of the Iewerye.
  And by him stoden other sevene,
  Wyse and worthy for to nevene,
  To helpen him here up the charge,
  Hit was so hevy and so large.                                  (350) 1440
  And for they writen of batailes,
  As wel as other olde mervailes,
  Therfor was, lo, this pileer,
  Of which that I yow telle heer,
  Of lede and yren bothe, y-wis.                                       1445
  For yren Martes metal is,
  Which that god is of bataile;
  And the leed, withouten faile,
  Is, lo, the metal of Saturne,
  That hath ful large wheel to turne.                            (360) 1450
  Tho stoden forth, on every rowe,
  Of hem which that I coude knowe,
  Thogh I hem noght by ordre telle,
  To make yow to long to dwelle.
    These, of whiche I ginne rede,                                     1455
  Ther saugh I stonden, out of drede:
  Upon an yren piler strong,
  That peynted was, al endelong,
  With tygres blode in every place,
  The Tholosan that highte Stace,                                (370) 1460
  That bar of Thebes up the fame
  Upon his shuldres, and the name
  Also of cruel Achilles.
  And by him stood, withouten lees,
  Ful wonder hye on a pileer                                           1465
  Of yren, he, the gret Omeer;
  And with him Dares and Tytus
  Before, and eek he, Lollius,
  And Guido eek de Columpnis,
  And English Gaufride eek, y-wis;                               (380) 1470
  And ech of these, as have I Ioye,
  Was besy for to bere up Troye.
  So hevy ther-of was the fame,
  That for to bere hit was no game.
  But yit I gan ful wel espye,                                         1475
  Betwix hem was a litel envye.
  Oon seyde, Omere made lyes,
  Feyninge in his poetryes,
  And was to Grekes favorable;
  Therfor held he hit but fable.                                 (390) 1480
    Tho saugh I stonde on a pileer,
  That was of tinned yren cleer,
  That Latin poete, [dan] Virgyle,
  That bore hath up a longe whyle
  The fame of Pius Eneas.                                              1485
    And next him on a piler was,
  Of coper, Venus clerk, Ovyde,
  That hath y-sowen wonder wyde
  The grete god of Loves name.
  And ther he bar up wel his fame,                               (400) 1490
  Upon this piler, also hye
  As I might see hit with myn yë:
  For-why this halle, of whiche I rede
  Was woxe on highte, lengthe and brede,
  Wel more, by a thousand del,                                         1495
  Than hit was erst, that saugh I wel.
    Tho saugh I, on a piler by,
  Of yren wroght ful sternely,
  The grete poete, daun Lucan,
  And on his shuldres bar up than,                               (410) 1500
  As highe as that I mighte see,
  The fame of Iulius and Pompee.
  And by him stoden alle these clerkes,
  That writen of Romes mighty werkes,
  That, if I wolde hir names telle,                                    1505
  Al to longe moste I dwelle.
    And next him on a piler stood
  Of soulfre, lyk as he were wood,
  Dan Claudian, the soth to telle,
  That bar up al the fame of helle,                              (420) 1510
  Of Pluto, and of Proserpyne,
  That quene is of the derke pyne.
    What shulde I more telle of this?
  The halle was al ful, y-wis,
  Of hem that writen olde gestes,                                      1515
  As ben on treës rokes nestes;
  But hit a ful confus matere
  Were al the gestes for to here,
  That they of write, and how they highte.
  But whyl that I beheld this sighte,                            (430) 1520
  I herde a noise aprochen blyve,
  That ferde as been don in an hyve,
  Agen her tyme of out-fleyinge;
  Right swiche a maner murmuringe,
  For al the world, hit semed me.                                      1525
    Tho gan I loke aboute and see,
  That ther com entring in the halle
  A right gret company with-alle,
  And that of sondry regiouns,
  Of alleskinnes condiciouns,                                    (440) 1530
  That dwelle in erthe under the mone,
  Pore and ryche. And also sone
  As they were come into the halle,
  They gonne doun on kneës falle
  Before this ilke noble quene,                                        1535
  And seyde, 'Graunte us, lady shene,
  Ech of us, of thy grace, a bone!'
  And somme of hem she graunted sone,
  And somme she werned wel and faire;
  And somme she graunted the contraire                           (450) 1540
  Of hir axing utterly.
  But thus I seye yow trewely,
  What hir cause was, I niste.
  For this folk, ful wel I wiste,
  They hadde good fame ech deserved,                                   1545
  Althogh they were diversly served;
  Right as hir suster, dame Fortune,
  Is wont to serven in comune.
    Now herkne how she gan to paye
  That gonne hir of hir grace praye;                             (460) 1550
  And yit, lo, al this companye
  Seyden sooth, and noght a lye.
    'Madame,' seyden they, 'we be
  Folk that heer besechen thee,
  That thou graunte us now good fame,                                  1555
  And lete our werkes han that name;
  In ful recompensacioun
  Of good werk, give us good renoun.'
    'I werne yow hit,' quod she anoon,
  'Ye gete of me good fame noon,                                 (470) 1560
  By god! and therfor go your wey.'
    'Alas,' quod they, 'and welaway!
  Telle us, what may your cause be?'
    'For me list hit noght,' quod she;
  'No wight shal speke of yow, y-wis,                                  1565
  Good ne harm, ne that ne this.'
  And with that word she gan to calle
  Hir messanger, that was in halle,
  And bad that he shulde faste goon,
  Up peyne to be blind anoon,                                    (480) 1570
  For Eolus, the god of winde;--
  'In Trace ther ye shul him finde,
  And bid him bringe his clarioun,
  That is ful dyvers of his soun,
  And hit is cleped Clere Laude,                                       1575
  With which he wont is to heraude
  Hem that me list y-preised be:
  And also bid him how that he
  Bringe his other clarioun,
  That highte Sclaundre in every toun,                           (490) 1580
  With which he wont is to diffame
  Hem that me list, and do hem shame.'
    This messanger gan faste goon,
  And found wher, in a cave of stoon,
  In a contree that highte Trace,                                      1585
  This Eolus, with harde grace,
  Held the windes in distresse,
  And gan hem under him to presse,
  That they gonne as beres rore,
  He bond and pressed hem so sore.                               (500) 1590
    This messanger gan faste crye,
  'Rys up,' quod he, 'and faste hye,
  Til that thou at my lady be;
  And tak thy clarions eek with thee,
  And speed thee forth.' And he anon                                   1595
  Took to a man, that hight Triton,
  His clariouns to bere tho,
  And leet a certeyn wind to go,
  That blew so hidously and hye,
  That hit ne lefte not a skye                                   (510) 1600
  In al the welken longe and brood.
    This Eolus no-wher abood
  Til he was come at Fames feet,
  And eek the man that Triton heet;
  And ther he stood, as still as stoon.                                1605
  And her-withal ther com anoon
  Another huge companye
  Of gode folk, and gunne crye,
  'Lady, graunte us now good fame,
  And lat our werkes han that name                               (520) 1610
  Now, in honour of gentilesse,
  And also god your soule blesse!
  For we han wel deserved hit,
  Therfor is right that we ben quit.'
    'As thryve I,' quod she, 'ye shal faile,                           1615
  Good werkes shal yow noght availe
  To have of me good fame as now.
  But wite ye what? I graunte yow,
  That ye shal have a shrewed fame
  And wikked loos, and worse name,                               (530) 1620
  Though ye good loos have wel deserved.
  Now go your wey, for ye be served;
  And thou, dan Eolus, let see!
  Tak forth thy trumpe anon,' quod she,
  'That is y-cleped Sclaunder light,                                   1625
  And blow hir loos, that every wight
  Speke of hem harm and shrewednesse,
  In stede of good and worthinesse.
  For thou shalt trumpe al the contraire
  Of that they han don wel or faire.'                            (540) 1630
    'Alas,' thoughte I, 'what aventures
  Han these sory creatures!
  For they, amonges al the pres,
  Shul thus be shamed gilteles!
  But what! hit moste nedes be.'                                       1635
    What did this Eolus, but he
  Tok out his blakke trumpe of bras,
  That fouler than the devil was,
  And gan this trumpe for to blowe,
  As al the world shulde overthrowe;                             (550) 1640
  That through-out every regioun
  Wente this foule trumpes soun,
  As swift as pelet out of gonne,
  Whan fyr is in the poudre ronne.
  And swiche a smoke gan out-wende                                     1645
  Out of his foule trumpes ende,
  Blak, blo, grenish, swartish reed,
  As doth wher that men melte leed,
  Lo, al on high fro the tuel!
  And therto oo thing saugh I wel,                               (560) 1650
  That, the ferther that hit ran,
  The gretter wexen hit began,
  As doth the river from a welle,
  And hit stank as the pit of helle.
  Alas, thus was hir shame y-ronge,                                    1655
  And giltelees, on every tonge.
    Tho com the thridde companye,
  And gunne up to the dees to hye,
  And doun on knees they fille anon,
  And seyde, 'We ben everichon                                   (570) 1660
  Folk that han ful trewely
  Deserved fame rightfully,
  And praye yow, hit mot be knowe,
  Right as hit is, and forth y-blowe.'
  'I graunte,' quod she, 'for me list                                  1665
  That now your gode werk be wist;
  And yit ye shul han better loos,
  Right in dispyt of alle your foos,
  Than worthy is; and that anoon:
  Lat now,' quod she, 'thy trumpe goon,                          (580) 1670
  Thou Eolus, that is so blak;
  And out thyn other trumpe tak
  That highte Laude, and blow hit so
  That through the world hir fame go
  Al esely, and not to faste,                                          1675
  That hit be knowen atte laste.'
    'Ful gladly, lady myn,' he seyde;
  And out his trumpe of golde he brayde
  Anon, and sette hit to his mouthe,
  And blew hit est, and west, and southe,                        (590) 1680
  And north, as loude as any thunder,
  That every wight hadde of hit wonder,
  So brode hit ran, or than hit stente.
  And, certes, al the breeth that wente
  Out of his trumpes mouthe smelde                                     1685
  As men a pot-ful bawme helde
  Among a basket ful of roses;
  This favour dide he til hir loses.
    And right with this I gan aspye,
  Ther com the ferthe companye--                                 (600) 1690
  But certeyn they were wonder fewe--
  And gonne stonden in a rewe,
  And seyden, 'Certes, lady brighte,
  We han don wel with al our mighte;
  But we ne kepen have no fame.                                        1695
  Hyd our werkes and our name,
  For goddes love! for certes we
  Han certeyn doon hit for bountee,
  And for no maner other thing.'
  'I graunte yow al your asking,'                                (610) 1700
  Quod she; 'let your werk be deed.'
    With that aboute I clew myn heed,
  And saugh anoon the fifte route
  That to this lady gonne loute,
  And doun on knees anoon to falle;                                    1705
  And to hir tho besoughten alle
  To hyde hir gode werkes eek,
  And seyde, they yeven noght a leek
  For fame, ne for swich renoun;
  For they, for contemplacioun                                   (620) 1710
  And goddes love, hadde y-wrought;
  Ne of fame wolde they nought.
    'What?' quod she, 'and be ye wood?
  And wene ye for to do good,
  And for to have of that no fame?                                     1715
  Have ye dispyt to have my name?
  Nay, ye shul liven everichoon!
  Blow thy trumpe and that anoon,'
  Quod she, 'thou Eolus, I hote,
  And ring this folkes werk by note,                             (630) 1720
  That al the world may of hit here.'
  And he gan blowe hir loos so clere
  In his golden clarioun,
  That through the world wente the soun,
  So kenely, and eek so softe;                                         1725
  But atte laste hit was on-lofte.
    Thoo com the sexte companye,
  And gonne faste on Fame crye.
  Right verraily, in this manere
  They seyden: 'Mercy, lady dere!                                (640) 1730
  To telle certein, as hit is,
  We han don neither that ne this,
  But ydel al our lyf y-be.
  But, natheles, yit preye we,
  That we mowe han so good a fame,                                     1735
  And greet renoun and knowen name,
  As they that han don noble gestes,
  And acheved alle hir lestes,
  As wel of love as other thing;
  Al was us never broche ne ring,                                (650) 1740
  Ne elles nought, from wimmen sent,
  Ne ones in hir herte y-ment
  To make us only frendly chere,
  But mighte temen us on bere;
  Yit lat us to the peple seme                                         1745
  Swiche as the world may of us deme,
  That wimmen loven us for wood.
  Hit shal don us as moche good,
  And to our herte as moche availe
  To countrepeise ese and travaile,                              (660) 1750
  As we had wonne hit with labour;
  For that is dere boght honour
  At regard of our grete ese.
  And yit thou most us more plese;
  Let us be holden eek, therto,                                        1755
  Worthy, wyse, and gode also,
  And riche, and happy unto love.
  For goddes love, that sit above,
  Though we may not the body have
  Of wimmen, yet, so god yow save!                               (670) 1760
  Let men glewe on us the name;
  Suffyceth that we han the fame.'
    'I graunte,' quod she, 'by my trouthe!
  Now, Eolus, with-outen slouthe,
  Tak out thy trumpe of gold, let see,                                 1765
  And blow as they han axed me,
  That every man wene hem at ese,
  Though they gon in ful badde lese.'
  This Eolus gan hit so blowe,
  That through the world hit was y-knowe.                        (680) 1770
    Tho com the seventh route anoon,
  And fel on kneës everichoon,
  And seyde, 'Lady, graunte us sone
  The same thing, the same bone,
  That [ye] this nexte folk han doon.'                                 1775
  'Fy on yow,' quod she, 'everichoon!
  Ye masty swyn, ye ydel wrecches,
  Ful of roten slowe tecches!
  What? false theves! wher ye wolde
  Be famous good, and no-thing nolde                             (690) 1780
  Deserve why, ne never roughte?
  Men rather yow to-hangen oughte!
  For ye be lyk the sweynte cat,
  That wolde have fish; but wostow what?
  He wolde no-thing wete his clowes.                                   1785
  Yvel thrift come on your Iowes,
  And eek on myn, if I hit graunte,
  Or do yow favour, yow to avaunte!
  Thou Eolus, thou king of Trace!
  Go, blow this folk a sory grace,'                              (700) 1790
  Quod she, 'anoon; and wostow how?
  As I shal telle thee right now;
  Sey: "These ben they that wolde honour
  Have, and do noskinnes labour,
  Ne do no good, and yit han laude;                                    1795
  And that men wende that bele Isaude
  Ne coude hem noght of love werne;
  And yit she that grint at a querne
  Is al to good to ese hir herte."'
    This Eolus anon up sterte,                                   (710) 1800
  And with his blakke clarioun
  He gan to blasen out a soun,
  As loude as belweth wind in helle.
  And eek therwith, [the] sooth to telle,
  This soun was [al] so ful of Iapes,                                  1805
  As ever mowes were in apes.
  And that wente al the world aboute,
  That every wight gan on hem shoute,
  And for to laughe as they were wode;
  Such game fonde they in hir hode.                              (720) 1810
    Tho com another companye,
  That had y-doon the traiterye,
  The harm, the gretest wikkednesse
  That any herte couthe gesse;
  And preyed hir to han good fame,                                     1815
  And that she nolde hem doon no shame,
  But yeve hem loos and good renoun,
  And do hit blowe in clarioun.
  'Nay, wis!' quod she, 'hit were a vyce;
  Al be ther in me no Iustyce,                                   (730) 1820
  Me listeth not to do hit now,
  Ne this nil I not graunte you.'
    Tho come ther lepinge in a route,
  And gonne choppen al aboute
  Every man upon the croune,                                           1825
  That al the halle gan to soune,
  And seyden: 'Lady, lefe and dere,
  We ben swich folk as ye mowe here.
  To tellen al the tale aright,
  We ben shrewes, every wight,                                   (740) 1830
  And han delyt in wikkednes,
  As gode folk han in goodnes;
  And Ioye to be knowen shrewes,
  And fulle of vyce and wikked thewes;
  Wherfor we preyen yow, a-rowe,                                       1835
  That our fame swich be knowe
  In alle thing right as hit is.'
    'I graunte hit yow,' quod she, 'y-wis.
  But what art thou that seyst this tale,
  That werest on thy hose a pale,                                (750) 1840
  And on thy tipet swiche a belle!'
  'Madame,' quod he, 'sooth to telle,
  I am that ilke shrewe, y-wis,
  That brende the temple of Isidis
  In Athenes, lo, that citee.'                                         1845
  'And wherfor didest thou so?' quod she.
  'By my thrift,' quod he, 'madame,
  I wolde fayn han had a fame,
  As other folk hadde in the toun,
  Al-thogh they were of greet renoun                             (760) 1850
  For hir vertu and for hir thewes;
  Thoughte I, as greet a fame han shrewes,
  Thogh hit be [but] for shrewednesse,
  As gode folk han for goodnesse;
  And sith I may not have that oon,                                    1855
  That other nil I noght for-goon.
  And for to gette of Fames hyre,
  The temple sette I al a-fyre.
  Now do our loos be blowen swythe,
  As wisly be thou ever blythe.'                                 (770) 1860
  'Gladly,' quod she; 'thou Eolus,
  Herestow not what they preyen us?'
  'Madame, yis, ful wel,' quod he,
  'And I wil trumpen hit, parde!'
  And tok his blakke trumpe faste,                                     1865
  And gan to puffen and to blaste,
  Til hit was at the worldes ende.
    With that I gan aboute wende;
  For oon that stood right at my bak,
  Me thoughte, goodly to me spak,                                (780) 1870
  And seyde: 'Frend, what is thy name?
  Artow come hider to han fame?'
  'Nay, for-sothe, frend!' quod I;
  'I cam noght hider, graunt mercy!
  For no swich cause, by my heed!                                      1875
  Suffyceth me, as I were deed,
  That no wight have my name in honde.
  I woot my-self best how I stonde;
  For what I drye or what I thinke,
  I wol my-selven al hit drinke,                                 (790) 1880
  Certeyn, for the more part,
  As ferforth as I can myn art.'
  'But what dost thou here than?' quod he.
  Quod I, 'that wol I tellen thee,
  The cause why I stondë here:--                                       1885
  Som newe tydings for to lere:--
  Som newe thinges, I not what,
  Tydinges, other this or that,
  Of love, or swiche thinges glade.
  For certeynly, he that me made                                 (800) 1890
  To comen hider, seyde me,
  I shulde bothe here and see,
  In this place, wonder thinges;
  But these be no swiche tydinges
  As I mene of.' 'No?' quod he.                                        1895
  And I answerde, 'No, pardee!
  For wel I wiste, ever yit,
  Sith that first I hadde wit,
  That som folk han desyred fame
  Dyversly, and loos, and name;                                  (810) 1900
  But certeynly, I niste how
  Ne wher that Fame dwelte, er now;
  Ne eek of hir descripcioun,
  Ne also hir condicioun,
  Ne the ordre of hir dome,                                            1905
  Unto the tyme I hider come.'
  '[Whiche] be, lo, these tydinges,
  That thou now [thus] hider bringes,
  That thou hast herd?' quod he to me;
  'But now, no fors; for wel I see                               (820) 1910
  What thou desyrest for to here.
  Com forth, and stond no longer here,
  And I wol thee, with-outen drede,
  In swich another place lede,
  Ther thou shalt here many oon.'                                      1915
    Tho gan I forth with him to goon
  Out of the castel, soth to seye.
  Tho saugh I stonde in a valeye,
  Under the castel, faste by,
  An hous, that _domus Dedali_,                                  (830) 1920
  That _Laborintus_ cleped is,
  Nas maad so wonderliche, y-wis,
  Ne half so queynteliche y-wrought.
  And evermo, so swift as thought,
  This queynte hous aboute wente,                                      1925
  That never-mo hit stille stente.
  And ther-out com so greet a noise,
  That, had hit stonden upon Oise,
  Men mighte hit han herd esely
  To Rome, I trowe sikerly.                                      (840) 1930
  And the noyse which that I herde,
  For al the world right so hit ferde,
  As doth the routing of the stoon
  That from thengyn is leten goon.
    And al this hous, of whiche I rede,                                1935
  Was made of twigges, falwe, rede,
  And grene eek, and som weren whyte,
  Swiche as men to these cages thwyte,
  Or maken of these paniers,
  Or elles hottes or dossers;                                    (850) 1940
  That, for the swough and for the twigges,
  This hous was also ful of gigges,
  And also ful eek of chirkinges,
  And of many other werkinges;
  And eek this hous hath of entrees                                    1945
  As fele as leves been on trees
  In somer, whan they grene been;
  And on the roof men may yit seen
  A thousand holes, and wel mo,
  To leten wel the soun out go.                                  (860) 1950
    And by day, in every tyde,
  Ben al the dores open wyde,
  And by night, echoon, unshette;
  Ne porter ther is non to lette
  No maner tydings in to pace;                                         1955
  Ne never reste is in that place,
  That hit nis fild ful of tydinges,
  Other loude, or of whispringes;
  And, over alle the houses angles,
  Is ful of rouninges and of Iangles                             (870) 1960
  Of werre, of pees, of mariages,
  Of reste, of labour, of viages,
  Of abood, of deeth, of lyfe,
  Of love, of hate, acorde, of stryfe,
  Of loos, of lore, and of winninges,                                  1965
  Of hele, of sekenesse, of bildinges,
  Of faire windes, of tempestes,
  Of qualme of folk, and eek of bestes;
  Of dyvers transmutaciouns
  Of estats, and eek of regiouns;                                (880) 1970
  Of trust, of drede, of Ielousye,
  Of wit, of winninge, of folye;
  Of plentee, and of greet famyne,
  Of chepe, of derth, and of ruyne;
  Of good or mis governement,                                          1975
  Of fyr, of dyvers accident.
    And lo, this hous, of whiche I wryte,
  Siker be ye, hit nas not lyte;
  For hit was sixty myle of lengthe;
  Al was the timber of no strengthe,                             (890) 1980
  Yet hit is founded to endure
  Whyl that hit list to Aventure,
  That is the moder of tydinges,
  As the see of welles and springes,--
  And hit was shapen lyk a cage.                                       1985
    'Certes,' quod I, 'in al myn age,
  Ne saugh I swich a hous as this.'
  And as I wondred me, y-wis,
  Upon this hous, tho war was I
  How that myn egle, faste by,                                   (900) 1990
  Was perched hye upon a stoon;
  And I gan streighte to him goon
  And seyde thus: 'I preye thee
  That thou a whyl abyde me
  For goddes love, and let me seen                                     1995
  What wondres in this place been;
  For yit, paraventure, I may lere
  Som good ther-on, or sumwhat here
  That leef me were, or that I wente.'
    'Peter! that is myn entente,'                                (910) 2000
  Quod he to me; 'therfor I dwelle;
  But certein, oon thing I thee telle,
  That, but I bringe thee ther-inne,
  Ne shalt thou never cunne ginne
  To come in-to hit, out of doute,                                     2005
  So faste hit whirleth, lo, aboute.
  But sith that Ioves, of his grace,
  As I have seyd, wol thee solace
  Fynally with [swiche] thinges,
  Uncouthe sightes and tydinges,                                 (920) 2010
  To passe with thyn hevinesse;
  Suche routhe hath he of thy distresse,
  That thou suffrest debonairly--
  And wost thy-selven utterly
  Disesperat of alle blis,                                             2015
  Sith that Fortune hath maad a-mis
  The [fruit] of al thyn hertes reste
  Languisshe and eek in point to breste--
  That he, through his mighty meryte,
  Wol do thee ese, al be hit lyte,                               (930) 2020
  And yaf expres commaundement,
  To whiche I am obedient,
  To furthre thee with al my might,
  And wisse and teche thee aright
  Wher thou maist most tydinges here;                                  2025
  Shaltow anoon heer many oon lere.'
    With this worde he, right anoon,
  Hente me up bitwene his toon,
  And at a windowe in me broghte,
  That in this hous was, as me thoghte--                         (940) 2030
  And ther-withal, me thoghte hit stente,
  And no-thing hit aboute wente--
  And me sette in the flore adoun.
  But which a congregacioun
  Of folk, as I saugh rome aboute                                      2035
  Some within and some withoute,
  Nas never seen, ne shal ben eft;
  That, certes, in the world nis left
  So many formed by Nature,
  Ne deed so many a creature;                                    (950) 2040
  That wel unethe, in that place,
  Hadde I oon foot-brede of space;
  And every wight that I saugh there
  Rouned ech in otheres ere
  A newe tyding prevely,                                               2045
  Or elles tolde al openly
  Right thus, and seyde: 'Nost not thou
  That is betid, lo, late or now?'
    'No,' quod [the other], 'tel me what;'--
  And than he tolde him this and that,                           (960) 2050
  And swoor ther-to that hit was sooth--
  'Thus hath he seyd'--and 'Thus he dooth'--
  'Thus shal hit be'--'Thus herde I seye'--
  'That shal be found'--' That dar I leye:'--
  That al the folk that is a-lyve                                      2055
  Ne han the cunning to discryve
  The thinges that I herde there,
  What aloude, and what in ere.
  But al the wonder-most was this:--
  Whan oon had herd a thing, y-wis,                              (970) 2060
  He com forth to another wight,
  And gan him tellen, anoon-right,
  The same that to him was told,
  Or hit a furlong-way was old,
  But gan somwhat for to eche                                          2065
  To this tyding in this speche
  More than hit ever was.
  And nat so sone departed nas
  That he fro him, that he ne mette
  With the thridde; and, or he lette                             (980) 2070
  Any stounde, he tolde him als;
  Were the tyding sooth or fals,
  Yit wolde he telle hit nathelees,
  And evermo with more encrees
  Than hit was erst. Thus north and southe                             2075
  Went every [word] fro mouth to mouthe,
  And that encresing ever-mo,
  As fyr is wont to quikke and go
  From a sparke spronge amis,
  Til al a citee brent up is.                                    (990) 2080
    And, whan that was ful y-spronge,
  And woxen more on every tonge
  Than ever hit was, [hit] wente anoon
  Up to a windowe, out to goon;
  Or, but hit mighte out ther pace,                                    2085
  Hit gan out crepe at som crevace,
  And fleigh forth faste for the nones.
    And somtyme saugh I tho, at ones,
  A lesing and a sad soth-sawe,
  That gonne of aventure drawe                                  (1000) 2090
  Out at a windowe for to pace;
  And, when they metten in that place,
  They were a-chekked bothe two,
  And neither of hem moste out go;
  For other so they gonne croude,                                      2095
  Til eche of hem gan cryen loude,
  'Lat me go first!' 'Nay, but lat me!
  And here I wol ensuren thee
  With the nones that thou wolt do so,
  That I shal never fro thee go,                                (1010) 2100
  But be thyn owne sworen brother!
  We wil medle us ech with other,
  That no man, be he never so wrothe,
  Shal han that oon [of] two, but bothe
  At ones, al beside his leve,                                         2105
  Come we a-morwe or on eve,
  Be we cryed or stille y-rouned.'
  Thus saugh I fals and sooth compouned
  Togeder flee for oo tydinge.
    Thus out at holes gonne wringe                              (1020) 2110
  Every tyding streight to Fame;
  And she gan yeven eche his name.
  After hir disposicioun,
  And yaf hem eek duracioun,
  Some to wexe and wane sone,                                          2115
  As dooth the faire whyte mone,
  And leet hem gon. Ther mighte I seen
  Wenged wondres faste fleen,
  Twenty thousand in a route,
  As Eolus hem blew aboute.                                     (1030) 2120
    And, lord! this hous, in alle tymes,
  Was ful of shipmen and pilgrymes,
  With scrippes bret-ful of lesinges,
  Entremedled with tydinges,
  And eek alone by hem-selve.                                          2125
  O, many a thousand tymes twelve
  Saugh I eek of these pardoneres,
  Currours, and eek messangeres,
  With boistes crammed ful of lyes
  As ever vessel was with lyes.                                 (1040) 2130
  And as I alther-fastest wente
  Aboute, and dide al myn entente
  Me for to pleye and for to lere,
  And eek a tyding for to here,
  That I had herd of som contree                                       2135
  That shal not now be told for me;--
  For hit no nede is, redely;
  Folk can singe hit bet than I;
  For al mot out, other late or rathe,
  Alle the sheves in the lathe;--                               (1050) 2140
  I herde a gret noise withalle
  In a corner of the halle,
  Ther men of love tydings tolde,
  And I gan thiderward beholde;
  For I saugh renninge every wight,                                    2145
  As faste as that they hadden might;
  And everich cryed, 'What thing is that?'
  And som seyde, 'I not never what.'
  And whan they were alle on an hepe,
  Tho behinde gonne up lepe,                                    (1060) 2150
  And clamben up on othere faste,
  And up the nose on hye caste,
  And troden faste on othere heles
  And stampe, as men don after eles.
    Atte laste I saugh a man,                                          2155
  Which that I [nevene] naught ne can;
  But he semed for to be
  A man of greet auctoritee....                                 (1068) 2158


1101. Cx. Th. thou; P. thow; F. nowe; B. now. 1102. Cx. P. now; Th. nowe;
F. yowe; B. yow. 1105. Cx. to; _rest_ for to. 1106. F. B. men; _rest_ me.
1107. Cx. lawrer; Th. laurer. 1113. F. B. this; _rest_ the. 1114. F. citee;
P. cite (= site); _rest_ cyte (= syte). 1115. F. hys (_for_ this). 1119.
Cx. P. it; B. yt; F. Th. _om._ 1127. Th. I nyste; Cx. I ne wyst; P. I nust;
F. B. nyste I neuer. 1132. F. B. fundament; _rest_ foundement. 1135. bilt =
bildeth; Th. B. bylte. 1136. F. B. _om._ al; cf. l. 1151. 1145. Cx. Th.
Were; _rest_ Was. 1154. F. B. folkes; _rest_ folk. 1155. F. tymes; _rest_
tyme. F. there; _rest_ they. 1156. Cx. Th. P. there; F. B. here. 1162. F.
_om._ that. 1173. _I supply_ be. 1177. _Supply_ craft _from_ l. 1178,
_where it occurs, after_ cast, _in_ Cx. Th. P. (Willert). 1178. F. To; _the
rest_ The. 1185. Cx. Th. P. _ins._ the _before_ castel. 1189. F. Rabewyures
_or_ Rabewynres; B. Rabewynnes; Cx. As babeuwryes; Th. As babeuries; P.
Babeweuries. 1195. F. B. _om._ stoden. 1197. F. _om._ of. 1201. F. B. vpon;
_rest_ on. 1202. F. B. sowneth; _rest_ sowned. 1204. P. Cx. his; Th. B.
this; F. the. 1206. F. Eaycidis; P. Eaycides; Cx. Th. Gacides. 1208. B.
bret; Th. Briton; Cx. Bryton; P. Bret_ur_; F. gret. 1210. F. Saten; B.
Sate; Cx. Th. Sat; P. Sett; _read_ Seten. 1210, 1, 2, 4. F. hym (_for_
hem); P. hym (_in_ 1210 _only_); B. him (_in_ 1211, 2, 4). 1211. Cx. Th. P.
gape; F. iape; B. yape. 1220. F. Cx. Th. B. to pipe; P. _om._ to. 1221. F.
B. riede; _rest_ rede. 1222. Cx. Th. P. brede; B. Bryede; F. bride. 1227.
F. Atiteris; B. Atyterys; Cx. Th. dan Cytherus; P. an Citherus. F. B.
_transpose lines_ 1227 _and_ 1228. 1228. F. Pseustis; B. Pseustys; Cx. Th.
proserus; P. presentus. 1233. F. B. fames; _rest_ famous. 1234. F. B. of
alle; Th. of al; P. Cx. of. F. _om._ the. 1236. Cx. Th. Reyes; P. Reyþs; F.
B. Reus. 1241. F. seight (!); _for_ fight. 1245. F. B. trumpe Ioab. 1255.
Cx. Th. P. as now not; F. B. not now. 1259. Th. pleyeng; _rest_ pley;
_read_ pleyen. 1262. F. wrecches (_wrongly_); for wicches. 1269. P. magyk;
_rest_ magyke. 1270. F. B. syke; _rest_ seke. 1271. _All_ the. 1272. Cx.
Th. P. Circes; F. Artes; B. Artys. 1273. _So in all._ 1274. Cx. Th. Lymote;
F. Limete; B. Lumete; P. Llymote. 1275, 6. _From_ B.; F. _om. both lines_.
P. hem; Cx. hym; B. Th. _om._ 1278. Th. Sycamour; F. B. Sygamour; Cx.
Sycomour; P. Cicomour. 1283. F. B. y ther; _rest_ that I. 1285. F. B.
folkys. 1286. B. I-holde; Cx. Th. P. holde; F. y-colde. 1287. Cx. P. eft;
F. oft; B. all; Th. _om._ F. B. P. I mused. 1293. F. B. to; _rest_ forth.
1299. Cx. P. for; _rest_ more. 1301. B. this; _rest_ these; _see_ 1294.
1303. F. how they hat; B. how they hate; Cx. how the hackyng; P. Th. how
the hackynge. 1304. Cx. Th. P. As corbettis(-es) and ymageries; B. As
corbettz, full of ymageryes; F. As corbetz, _followed by a blank space_.
1309. F. hald; _rest_ hold (holde). 1315. Cx. Th. P. shoke; F. shoon; B.
shone. 1316. F. B. As (_for_ And). 1317. P. Cx. lesynges; _rest_ losynges;
_read_ losenges. 1318. F. frenges; B. Th. frynges. 1321. F. B. herauldes.
1326. F. crepen (!). 1327. P. wonderliche; _the rest_ wonderly. 1328. Cx.
P. Alle though; F. Th. B. As though. 1332. Cx. Th. P. cotes; F. B. cote.
1335. F. B. _om._ as. 1349. F. B. litel; _rest_ lyte. 1350. B. thicke; Th.
thyke; F. thik. 1351. P. Cx. Full; _rest_ Fyne. 1353. P. As; Cx. Th. Or as;
F. B. Of. 1356. P. Cx. riche lusty; _rest_ lusty and riche. 1361. F. Sit;
B. Syt; Cx. P. Sat; Th. Satte; _read_ Sitte. 1369. F. B. _om._ that. 1371.
F. B. _omit_ semed be. 1372. _So_ Cx. Th. P.; F. B. _read_--This was gret
marvaylle to me. 1373. _All_ wonderly; cf. l. 1327. 1374. F. B. erthe.
1377. F. B. _om._ to. 1404. F. synge; _rest_ songe. 1406. F. B. or; _rest_
and. 1411. Th. the armes; _rest_ armes; _read_ tharmes (i.e. th' armes).
1415. _All_ And thus. 1416. Cx. P. nobley; F. Th. B. noble (= noblee).
1421. F. peler; B. pylere. 1425. _I supply_ and hy. 1431. _All_ fyne. 1432.
Cx. Hym that wrote thactes dyuyne; P. _om._; F. B. Th. Saturnyne. 1435. Cx.
P. bare vpon; F. Th. B. he bare on. 1436. F. B. _om._ up. 1437. F. stonden;
_rest_ stoden. 1442. P. Cx. Th. as of other merveilles. 1443. P. Cx. piler;
F. B. pilere. 1444. _All_ here. 1450. F. B. a ful; _rest_ ful. 1456. F. B.
stonde; Cx. Th. stande; P. stond. 1460. F. B. Tholausan; Th. Tholason; P.
Tolofan; Cx. tholophan. 1477. _So_ Cx. Th. P.; F. B. seyde Omere was. 1483.
_I supply_ dan; _see_ l. 1499. 1484. F. B. _omit_ a. 1492. F. And; _rest_
As; B. As I hit myght se with myn ye; P. Cx. Th. As I myght see it wyth myn
ye. 1494. F. high the (= highthe); Cx. Th heyght; _see_ l. 744. 1498. F.
sturmely. 1507. F. _om._ a. 1510. F. B. _om._ al. 1515. F. _inserts_ al of
the _before_ olde; B. _inserts_ of the. 1527. _All_ in-to (_for_ in). 1530.
F. alle skynnes; Cx. alle kyns. 1543. Cx. Th. grace (_for_ cause). 1546. F.
B. _om. this line_. 1549. F. B. herke. 1551. Cx. Th. P. yet; F. B. right.
1553. Cx. Th. P. sayd; F. quod; B. quoth. 1570. F. B. Vpon the peyn to be
blynde, _omitting_ l. 1572; Cx. Th. _om._ the. _Read_ Vp, _the usual
idiom_. 1572. _In_ Cx. Th. _only_. 1585. F. B. _om._ that. 1594. F. B.
clarioun; _see_ l. 1597. 1599. F. B. And (_for_ That). 1603. Cx. P. at;
_rest_ to. 1609. F. B. _om._ now. 1614. F. B. _insert_ wel _after_ be.
1618. F. B. wete; _rest_ wote; _read_ wite. 1621. F. B. _om._ wel. 1623.
Cx. Th. P. And thou dan; F. B. Haue doon. 1637. P. blak; F. B. blake. 1647.
Cx. Th. P. swartysh; F. B. swart, swarte. 1657. B. thridde; F. thirdde.
1661. F. ben; _rest_ han. 1666. _All_ werkes, _pl.; see_ 1701. Th. That
your good workes shal be wyst (_perhaps better_). 1668. F. B. _om._ Right.
1675. F. B. _om._ Al. 1682. F. B. Cx. Th. hath; P. have. 1686. _All_ of
bawme; _omit_ of (Koch). 1701. werk] _all_ werkes (werkys); _see_ 1666,
1720, 1. 1702. B. clew; F. clywe; Cx. Th. P. torned, turned. 1707. Cx. P.
To hyde; Th. To hyden; F. B. And hidden. 1709. P. Cx. fame; _rest_ no fame.
P. Cx. Th. ne (_om._ for); F. B. for (_om._ ne). 1717. F. B. Th. lyen
(_for_ lyuen); P. be; Cx. _om._ 1720. werk] _all_ werkes (werkys); _but
see_ hit _in_ 1721. 1725. F. B. Th. Al so; _rest_ And so; _read_ So. 1726.
_So_ F. B.; Cx. Th. That theyr fame was blowe a lofte. 1735. Cx. P. so good
a; Th. as good a; F. B. as good. 1742. Th. Cx. P. in her herte; F. in hem;
B. in her. 1744. Th. on; _rest_ upon. 1745. F. B. _om._ the. 1748, 1749. F.
a; _rest_ as. 1750. P. Cx. To; _rest_ The. 1765. F. B. now let se (_I omit_
now); _rest_ quod she. 1775. _I supply_ ye. 1779. P. wher; Cx. Th. where;
F. B. or. 1781. F. B. neuer ye; _rest om._ ye. 1782. F. B. _om._ to-. 1783.
F. swynt; B. sweynte; Cx. Th. P. slepy. 1786. Cx. P. on; _the rest_ to.
1787. Cx. Th. P. on; F. B. to. 1792. F. B. _om._ thee. 1793. F. B. _om._
they. 1801. P. blak; F. B. blake. 1804. _I supply_ the. 1805. al _is not in
the_ MSS.; _but_ P. _has_ as (= al-so). 1813. _All_ grete, gret; _read_
gretest (Willert). 1816. MSS. doon (don, do) hem. 1818. F. B. in a; P. Cx.
Th. in. 1821. B. liste; _rest_ list, _short for_ listeth. F. B. P. _om._
to; Cx. Th. _insert it_. 1822. P. not; _which_ F. B. Cx. Th. _omit_. 1824.
F. choppen; B. choppyn; Th. clappen; Cx. P. clappe. 1828. B. P. folk;
_rest_ folkes. 1834. P. vice; Cx. Th. vyce; F. B. vices. 1836. F. B. suche
be; Cx. Th. P. be suche. 1843. _Here_ P. _ends_. 1853. F. Th. be noght for;
Cx. B. be for; _read_ be but for (Koch). 1862. Cx. Th. they; F. B. this
folke. 1880. F. selfe; _read_ selven. 1883. Th. than; Cx. thenne; F. B.
_om._ 1887. _All_ thing, thinge; _read_ thinges. Cf. l. 1889. 1891. _All_
come. 1897. _All_ wote (_for_ wiste); _see_ l. 1901. 1898. _All_ had. 1902.
_All_ dwelled _or_ dwellyth. 1903. F. And; _rest_ Ne. 1906. B. the; F.
_om._. B. hidyr; Th. hyder; Cx. hether; F. thidder. 1907. B. Whi then;
_rest_ Why than; Koch _suggests_ Which than; _read_ Which-e. Ll. 1907-9
_are probably corrupt; see_ note. 1908. _I supply_ thus. 1926. Th. it stil;
_rest_ stil hyt. 1931. Th. B. that I; F. I haue; Cx. I had. 1938. F. B.
Whiche; Cx. Th. Suche. 1940. F. Cx. B. hattes; Th. hutches. _Read_ hottes.
1941. F. twynges (!); B. twigys. 1944. _Corrupt. From_ Cx. Th.; B. _omits
the line_; F. _has only_ As ful this lo. 1946. Cx. Th. as; F. of; B. as of.
Th. on; F. B. in; Cx. of. 1948. Cx. roof; Th. rofe; F. B. roue. 1952. Cx.
Th. open; F. opened; B. I-opened. 1955. Cx. out (_for_ in). 1957. F. silde;
B. fylde; Cx. Th. fylled. 1961. _All_ werres (_pl._); _read_ werre. 1962.
_All_ restes (_pl._). Cx. of labour; F. Th. B. and of labour. 1967. _All
insert_ and eek _before_ of; _see l. 1968_. 1975. _All write_ mis
governement _as one word_. 1976. _All_ and of; _omit_ and. 1984. F. B. and
of; Cx. Th. _om._ of. 1997. Th. paraunter. 2009. _I substitute_ swiche
_for_ these. 2010. Th. syghtes; _rest_ syght. 2017. F. The frot; B. The
foot; Cx. Th. The swote. _Read_ The fruit (Koch). 2018. Cx. Th. Languysshe;
F. B. Laugh. 2020. Th. B. the (_for_ thee); Cx. the an; F. than (_perhaps_
= the an). 2021. _All insert_ in _after_ yaf. 2026. F. B. _insert_ anoon
(anon) _after_ here, _which_ Cx. Th. _omit. For_ here anoon _read_ anoon
heer. 2028. F. B. _omit this line_. 2036. F. B. _omit this line; it is
probably corrupt. Read_ Many a thousand in a route (Koch). 2042. Cx. one;
F. Th. B. a. 2044. F. Rovned in; B. Rownyd yn; Cx. Th. Rowned euerych in.
2048. F. _has only_--That ys betydde; B. That is betyd late or now; Cx. Th.
That ys betyd lo ryght now. 2049. _All_ he; _read_ the other (Willert).
2053. _All insert_ And (_twice_) _before_ thus; _but compare the next
line_. 2059. _All_ wonder most (moste). 2061. F. B. forth ryght to; Cx.
forth vnto; Th. streyght to. 2063. Cx. to; _rest om._ 2066. F. Tho; _rest_
To. 2069. F. B. That he; Cx. Th. Tho. F. thoo; B. tho; Cx. Th. that. 2076.
F. B. Went every mouthe; Cx. Th. Wente euery tydyng. 2081. Cx. Th. vp
spronge. 2083. _All_ and (_for 2nd_ hit). 2087. F. flygh; B. fligh; Cx. Th.
flewe. 2088. F. _om._ I. 2090. Cx. Th. drawe; F. B. thrawe. 2091. Cx. Th.
at; F. B. to. 2093. F. B. a cheked; Cx. Th. a chekked. 2095-2158. Cx.
_omits_. 2099. B. _om._ the. 2103. Th. he; F. B. they. 2104. F. han on two
(_sic_); B. haue that oon (_om._ of two); Th. haue one two. _I supply_ that
_from_ B.; _and also_ of. 2106. Th. amorowe; F. B. morwe. 2112. _All_ yeue.
2115. Th. wane; F. B. wynne (!). 2123. Th. scrippes; F. B. shrippes. 2129.
F. boystes; Th. boxes; B. bowgys. 2150. Th. gonne; B. bigonne; F. begunne.
2151, 3. F. other; B. othir; _read_ othere (oth're), _plural_. 2152. F.
noyse an highen (!); Th. noyse on hyghen (!); B. nose and yen; _read_ on
hye (Koch). 2153. F. B. other; Th. others. 2154. F. B. stampen; Th. stampe.
2156. _I supply_ nevene. 2158. _Here_ F. B. _end_; Cx. Th. _add 12 spurious


The Prologue to this Poem exists in two different versions, which differ
widely from each other in many passages. The arrangement of the material is
also different.

For the sake of clearness, the earlier version is here called 'Text A,' and
the later version 'Text B.'

'Text A' exists in one MS. only, but this MS. is of early date and much
importance. It is the MS. marked Gg. 4. 27 in the Cambridge University
Library, and is here denoted by the letter 'C.' It is the same MS. as that
denoted by the abbreviation 'Cm.' in the footnotes to the Canterbury Tales
and Troilus and Criseyde. This text is printed in the _upper_ part of the
following pages. The footnotes give the MS. spellings, where these are
amended in the text.

'Text B' occupies the _lower_ part of the following pages. It follows the
Fairfax MS. mainly, which is denoted by 'F.' In many places, the inferior
spellings of this MS. are relegated to the footnotes, amended spellings
being given in the text. Various readings are given from Tn. (Tanner MS.
346); T. (Trinity MS., R. 3. 19); A. (Arch. Seld. B. 24 in the Bodleian
Library); Th. (Thynne's Edition, 1532); B. (Bodley MS. 638); P. (Pepys MS.
2006); and sometimes from C. (already mentioned) or Add. (Addit. 9832).

Lines which occur _in one text only_ are marked (in either text) by a
prefixed asterisk. Lines marked with a dagger (+) stand _just the same in
both texts_. The blank space after A 60 (p. 70) shews that there is nothing
in Text A corresponding to B 69-72. Where the corresponding matter is
transposed to another place, one or other text has a portion printed in
smaller type.


     A thousand sythes have I herd men telle,
  +That ther is Ioye in heven, and peyne in helle;
   And I acorde wel that hit be so;
   But natheles, this wot I wel also,
   That ther nis noon that dwelleth in this contree,                      5
   That either hath in helle or heven y-be,
  +Ne may of hit non other weyes witen,
  +But as he hath herd seyd, or founde hit writen;
  +For by assay ther may no man hit preve.
   But goddes forbode, but men shulde leve                               10
  +Wel more thing then men han seen with yë!
  +Men shal nat wenen every-thing a lyë
   For that he seigh it nat of yore ago.
   God wot, a thing is never the lesse so
  +Thogh every wight ne may hit nat y-see.                               15
  +Bernard the monk ne saugh nat al, parde!
    +Than mote we to bokes that we finde,
  +Through which that olde thinges been in minde,
  +And to the doctrine of these olde wyse,
  +Yeven credence, in every skilful wyse,                                20
   And trowen on these olde aproved stories
  +Of holinesse, of regnes, of victories,
  +Of love, of hate, of other sundry thinges,
  +Of whiche I may not maken rehersinges.
  +And if that olde bokes were a-weye,                                   25
  +Y-loren were of remembraunce the keye.
   Wel oghte us than on olde bokes leve,
   Ther-as ther is non other assay by preve.
     And, as for me, though that my wit be lyte,
  +On bokes for to rede I me delyte,                                     30
  +And in myn herte have hem in reverence;
   And to hem yeve swich lust and swich credence,
   That ther is wel unethe game noon
   That from my bokes make me to goon,
   But hit be other up-on the haly-day,                                  35
   Or elles in the Ioly tyme of May;
   Whan that I here the smale foules singe,
  +And that the floures ginne for to springe,
   Farwel my studie, as lasting that sesoun!
     Now have I therto this condicioun                                   40
  +That, of alle the floures in the mede,
  +Than love I most these floures whyte and rede,
  +Swiche as men callen daysies in our toun.
  +To hem have I so greet affeccioun,
  +As I seyde erst, whan comen is the May,                               45
  +That in my bed ther daweth me no day
  +That I nam up, and walking in the mede
   To seen these floures agein the sonne sprede,
   Whan hit up-riseth by the morwe shene,
  *The longe day, thus walking in the grene.                             50

           _From_ A. 55-58.
       This dayesye, of alle floures flour,                     (B. 53)
       Fulfild of vertu and of alle honour,
      +And ever y-lyke fair and fresh of hewe,
       As wel in winter as in somer newe--

   And whan the sonne ginneth for to weste,                     (B. 61)
   Than closeth hit, and draweth hit to reste.
   So sore hit is afered of the night,
  *Til on the morwe, that hit is dayes light.
   This dayesye, of alle floures flour,                                  55
   Fulfild of vertu and of alle honour,
  +And ever y-lyke fair and fresh of hewe,
   As wel in winter as in somer newe,
   Fain wolde I preisen, if I coude aright;                     (B. 67)
  *But wo is me, hit lyth nat in my might!                               60

   For wel I wot, that folk han her-beforn                      (B. 73)
  +Of making ropen, and lad a-wey the corn;
  +And I come after, glening here and there,
  +And am ful glad if I may finde an ere
   Of any goodly word that they han left.                                65
   And, if hit happe me rehersen eft
   That they han in her fresshe songes sayd,
   I hope that they wil nat ben evel apayd,
   Sith hit is seid in forthering and honour
   Of hem that either serven leef or flour.                              70
   For trusteth wel, I ne have nat undertake
   As of the leef, ageyn the flour, to make;
   Ne of the flour to make, ageyn the leef,
  +No more than of the corn ageyn the sheef.
   For, as to me, is leefer noon ne lother;                              75
   I am with-holde yit with never nother.
   I not who serveth leef, ne who the flour;
   That nis nothing the entent of my labour.
   For this werk is al of another tunne,
   Of olde story, er swich stryf was begunne.                            80
  +But wherfor that I spak, to yeve credence                    (B. 97)
   To bokes olde and doon hem reverence,
   Is for men shulde autoritees beleve,
   Ther as ther lyth non other assay by preve.
  *For myn entent is, or I fro yow fare,                                 85
  *The naked text in English to declare
  *Of many a story, or elles of many a geste,
  *As autours seyn; leveth hem if yow leste!

   Whan passed was almost the month of May,                    (B. 108)
   And I had romed, al the someres day,                                  90
  *The grene medew, of which that I yow tolde,
   Upon the fresshe daysy to beholde,
   And that the sonne out of the south gan weste,
   And closed was the flour and goon to reste
   For derknesse of the night, of which she dredde,                      95
  +Hoom to myn hous ful swiftly I me spedde;
  +And, in a litel erber that I have,
   Y-benched newe with turves fresshe y-grave,
  +I bad men shulde me my couche make;
  +For deyntee of the newe someres sake,                                100
  +I bad hem strowe floures on my bed.
  +Whan I was layd, and had myn eyen hed,
   I fel a-slepe with-in an houre or two.
   Me mette how I was in the medew tho,
  *And that I romed in that same gyse,                                  105
   To seen that flour, as ye han herd devyse.
  *Fair was this medew, as thoughte me overal;
   With floures swote enbrowded was it al;
   As for to speke of gomme, or erbe, or tree,
  +Comparisoun may noon y-maked be.                                     110
   For hit surmounted pleynly alle odoures,
  +And eek of riche beaute alle floures.
  +Forgeten had the erthe his pore estat
  +Of winter, that him naked made and mat,
   And with his swerd of cold so sore had greved.                       115
   Now had the atempre sonne al that releved,
   And clothed him in grene al newe agayn.
  +The smale foules, of the seson fayn,
  +That from the panter and the net ben scaped,
  +Upon the fouler, that hem made a-whaped                              120
  +In winter, and distroyed had hir brood,
  +In his despyt, hem thoughte hit did hem good
  +To singe of him, and in hir song despyse
  +The foule cherl that, for his covetyse,
  +Had hem betrayed with his sophistrye.                                125
  +This was hir song--'the fouler we defye!'
   Somme songen [layes] on the braunches clere                 (B. 139)
   Of love and [May], that Ioye hit was to here,
   In worship and in preysing of hir make,
   And of the newe blisful someres sake,                                130

   That songen, 'blissed be seynt Valentyn!                    (B. 145)
   [For] at his day I chees yow to be myn,
  +With-oute repenting, myn herte swete!'
  +And therwith-al hir bekes gonnen mete.
   [They dide honour and] humble obeisaunces,                           135
   And after diden other observaunces
   Right [plesing] un-to love and to nature;
  *So ech of hem [doth wel] to creature.
  *This song to herkne I dide al myn entente,
  *For-why I mette I wiste what they mente.                             140

           _From_ A. 90.
       And I had romed, al the someres day,                    (B. 180)

           _From_ A. 92.
       Up-on the fresshe daysy to beholde.                     (B. 182)

           _From_ A. 71-80.
       For trusteth wel, I ne have nat undertake               (B. 188)
       As of the leef, ageyn the flour, to make;
       Ne of the flour to make, ageyn the leef,
      +No more than of the corn ageyn the sheef.
       For, as to me, is leefer noon ne lother;                          75
       I am with-holde yit with never nother.
       I not who serveth leef, ne who the flour;
       That nis nothing the entent of my labour.
       For this werk is al of another tunne,
       Of olde story, er swich stryf was begunne.                        80

           _From_ A. 93-96.
       And that the sonne out of the south gan weste,
       And closed was the flour and goon to reste
       For derknesse of the night, of which she dredde,
      +Hoom to myn hous ful swiftly I me spedde

           _From_ A. 106.
       To seen that flour, as ye han herd devyse.

           _From_ A. 97-104.
      +And, in a litel erber that I have,
       Y-benched newe with turves fresshe y-grave,
      +I bad men shulde me my couche make;
      +For deyntee of the newe someres sake,                            100
      +I bad hem strowe floures on my bed.
      +Whan I was layd, and had myn eyen hed,
       I fel a-slepe within an houre or two.
       Me mette how I was in the medew tho,

  *Til at the laste a larke song above:                                 141
  *'I see,' quod she, 'the mighty god of love!
  *Lo! yond he cometh, I see his winges sprede!'

           _From_ A. 106.
       To seen that flour, as ye han herd devyse,

   Tho gan I loken endelong the mede,                          (B. 212)
   And saw him come, and in his hond a quene,                           145
   Clothed in ryal abite al of grene.
  +A fret of gold she hadde next hir heer,
  +And up-on that a whyt coroun she beer
   With many floures, and I shal nat lye;
   For al the world, right as the dayesye                               150
  +I-coroned is with whyte leves lyte,
   Swich were the floures of hir coroun whyte.
   For of o perle fyn and oriental
  +Hir whyte coroun was y-maked al;
  +For which the whyte coroun, above the grene,                         155
  +Made hir lyk a daysie for to sene,
   Considered eek the fret of gold above.
     +Y-clothed was this mighty god of love
   Of silk, y-brouded ful of grene greves;
   A garlond on his heed of rose-leves                                  160
  *Steked al with lilie floures newe;
  *But of his face I can nat seyn the hewe.
   For sekirly his face shoon so brighte,
  *That with the gleem a-stoned was the sighte;
   A furlong-wey I mighte him nat beholde.                              165
   But at the laste in hande I saw him holde
  +Two fyry dartes, as the gledes rede;
   And aungellich his wenges gan he sprede.
  +And al be that men seyn that blind is he,
   Al-gate me thoughte he mighte wel y-see;                             170
  +For sternely on me he gan biholde,
  +So that his loking doth myn herte colde.
  +And by the hande he held the noble quene,
  +Corouned with whyte, and clothed al in grene,
  +So womanly, so benigne, and so meke,                                 175
  +That in this world, thogh that men wolde seke,
  +Half hir beautee shulde men nat finde
  +In creature that formed is by kinde,
   Hir name was Alceste the debonayre;
   I prey to god that ever falle she fayre!                             180
  +For ne hadde confort been of hir presence,
  +I had be deed, withouten any defence,
  +For drede of Loves wordes and his chere,
  +As, whan tyme is, her-after ye shal here.
   Byhind this god of love, up-on this grene,                           185
  +I saw cominge of ladyës nyntene
  +In ryal abite, a ful esy pas,
  +And after hem com of wemen swich a tras
   That, sin that god Adam made of erthe,
   The thredde part of wemen, ne the ferthe,                            190
  +Ne wende I nat by possibilitee
   Hadden ever in this world y-be;                             (B. 289)
  +And trewe of love thise wemen were echoon.
     +Now whether was that a wonder thing or noon,
  +That, right anoon as that they gonne espye                           195
  +This flour, which that I clepe the dayesye,
  +Ful sodeinly they stinten alle at-ones,
   And kneled adoun, as it were for the nones.
  *And after that they wenten in compas,
  *Daunsinge aboute this flour an esy pas,                              200
  *And songen, as it were in carole-wyse,
  *This balade, which that I shal yow devyse.


  +Hyd, Absolon, thy gilte tresses clere;
  +Ester, ley them thy meknesse al a-doun;
  +Hyd, Ionathas, al thy frendly manere;                                205
  +Penalopee, and Marcia Catoun,
  +Mak of your wyfhod no comparisoun;
  +Hyde ye your beautes, Isoude and Eleyne,
   Alceste is here, that al that may desteyne.

  +Thy faire body, lat hit nat appere,                                  210
  +Lavyne; and thou, Lucresse of Rome toun,
  +And Polixene, that boghte love so dere,
   Eek Cleopatre, with al thy passioun,
   Hyde ye your trouthe in love and your renoun;
   And thou, Tisbe, that hast for love swich peyne:                     215
   Alceste is here, that al that may desteyne.

   Herro, Dido, Laudomia, alle in-fere,
   Eek Phyllis, hanging for thy Demophoun,
  +And Canace, espyed by thy chere,
   Ysiphile, betrayed with Jasoun,                                      220
   Mak of your trouthe in love no bost ne soun;
   Nor Ypermistre or Adriane, ne pleyne;
   Alceste is here, that al that may desteyne.

   Whan that this balade al y-songen was,                      (B. 270)

           _From_ A. 179-198.
       Hir name was Alceste the debonayre;
       I prey to god that ever falle she fayre!                         180
      +For ne hadde confort been of hir presence,
      +I had be deed, withouten any defence,
      +For drede of Loves wordes and his chere,
      +As, whan tyme is, her-after ye shal here.
       Byhind this god of love, up-on this grene,                       185
      +I saw cominge of ladyës nyntene
      +In ryal abite, a ful esy pas,
      +And after hem com of wemen swich a tras,
       That, sin that god Adam made of erthe,
       The thredde part of wemen, ne the ferthe,                        190
      +Ne wende I nat by possibilitee
       Hadden ever in this world y-be.
      +And trewe of love these wemen were echoon.
      +Now whether was that a wonder thing or noon,
      +That, right anon as that they gonne espye                        195
      +This flour, which that I clepe the dayesye,
      +Ful sodeinly they stinten alle atones,
       And kneled adoun, as it were for the nones.

  *Upon the softe and swote grene gras                                  225
  +They setten hem ful softely adoun,                          (B. 301)
   By ordre alle in compas, alle enveroun.
   First sat the god of love, and than this quene
  +With the whyte coroun, clad in grene;
  +And sithen al the remenant by and by,                                230
   As they were of degree, ful curteisly;
  +Ne nat a word was spoken in the place
  +The mountance of a furlong-wey of space.
     I, lening faste by under a bente,
  +Abood, to knowen what this peple mente,                              235
  +As stille as any stoon; til at the laste,
   The god of love on me his eye caste,
   And seyde, 'who resteth ther?' and I answerde
   Un-to his axing, whan that I him herde,
  +And seyde, 'sir, hit am I'; and cam him neer,                        240
  +And salued him. Quod he, 'what dostow heer
   In my presence, and that so boldely?
  +For it were better worthy, trewely,
   A werm to comen in my sight than thou.'
  +'And why, sir,' quod I, 'and hit lyke yow?'                          245
  +'For thou,' quod he, 'art ther-to nothing able.
  *My servaunts been alle wyse and honourable.
   Thou art my mortal fo, and me warreyest,                    (B. 322)
  +And of myne olde servaunts thou misseyest,
  +And hinderest hem with thy translacioun,                             250
   And lettest folk to han devocioun
  +To serven me, and haldest hit folye
   To troste on me. Thou mayst hit nat denye;
   For in pleyn text, hit nedeth nat to glose,
  +Thou hast translated the Romauns of the Rose,                        255
  +That is an heresye ageyns my lawe,
  +And makest wyse folk fro me withdrawe.
  *And thinkest in thy wit, that is ful cool.
  *That he nis but a verray propre fool
  *That loveth paramours, to harde and hote.                            260
  *Wel wot I ther-by thou beginnest dote
  *As olde foles, whan hir spirit fayleth;
  *Than blame they folk, and wite nat what hem ayleth.
  *Hast thou nat mad in English eek the book
   How that Crisseyde Troilus forsook,                         (B. 332) 265
   In shewinge how that wemen han don mis?
  *But natheles, answere me now to this,
  *Why noldest thou as wel han seyd goodnesse
  *Of wemen, as thou hast seyd wikkednesse?
  *Was ther no good matere in thy minde,                                270
  *Ne in alle thy bokes coudest thou nat finde
  *Sum story of wemen that were goode and trewe?
  *Yis! god wot, sixty bokes olde and newe
  *Hast thou thy-self, alle fulle of stories grete,
  *That bothe Romains and eek Grekes trete                              275
  *Of sundry wemen, which lyf that they ladde,
  *And ever an hundred gode ageyn oon badde.
  *This knoweth god, and alle clerkes eke,
  *That usen swiche materes for to seke.
  *What seith Valerie, Titus, or Claudian?                              280
  *What seith Ierome ageyns Iovinian?
  *How clene maydens, and how trewe wyves,
  *How stedfast widwes during al hir lyves,
  *Telleth Jerome; and that nat of a fewe,
  *But, I dar seyn, an hundred on a rewe;                               285
  *That hit is pitee for to rede, and routhe,
  *The wo that they enduren for hir trouthe.
   For to hir love were they so trewe,                         (B. 334)
  *That, rather than they wolde take a newe,
  *They chosen to be dede in sundry wyse,                               290
  *And deyden, as the story wol devyse;
  *And some were brend, and some were cut the hals,
  *And some dreynt, for they wolden nat be fals.
  *For alle keped they hir maydenhed,
  *Or elles wedlok, or hir widwehed.                                    295
  *And this thing was nat kept for holinesse,
  *But al for verray vertu and clennesse,
  *And for men shulde sette on hem no lak;
  *And yit they weren hethen, al the pak,
  *That were so sore adrad of alle shame.                               300
  *These olde wemen kepte so hir name,
  *That in this world I trow men shal nat finde
  *A man that coude be so trewe and kinde,
  *As was the leste woman in that tyde.
  *What seith also the epistels of Ovyde                                305
  *Of trewe wyves, and of hir labour?
  *What Vincent, in his Storial Mirour?
  *Eek al the world of autours maystow here,
  *Cristen and hethen, trete of swich matere;
  *It nedeth nat alday thus for tendyte.                                310
  *But yit I sey, what eyleth thee to wryte
  *The draf of stories, and forgo the corn?
   By seint Venus, of whom that I was born,                    (B. 338)
   Although [that] thou reneyed hast my lay,                   (B. 336)
   As othere olde foles many a day,                            (B. 337) 315
   Thou shalt repente hit, that hit shal be sene!'
     Than spak Alceste, the worthieste quene,
  +And seyde, 'god, right of your curtesye,
  +Ye moten herknen if he can replye
   Ageyns these points that ye han to him meved;                        320
  +A god ne sholde nat be thus agreved,
  +But of his deitee he shal be stable,
   And therto rightful and eek merciable.
  *He shal nat rightfully his yre wreke
  *Or he have herd the tother party speke.                              325
  *Al ne is nat gospel that is to yow pleyned;
  *The god of love herth many a tale y-feyned.

           _From_ A. 338, 339.
       This man to yow may wrongly been accused,
      +Ther as by right him oghte been excused;

  +For in your court is many a losengeour,
  +And many a queynte totelere accusour,
   That tabouren in your eres many a thing                              330
   For hate, or for Ielous imagining,
   And for to han with yow som daliaunce.
   Envye (I prey to god yeve hir mischaunce!)
   Is lavender in the grete court alway.
  +For she ne parteth, neither night ne day,                            335
  +Out of the hous of Cesar; thus seith Dante;
   Who-so that goth, alwey she moot [nat] wante.
   This man to yow may wrongly been accused,
  +Ther as by right him oghte been excused.
   Or elles, sir, for that this man is nyce,                            340
   He may translate a thing in no malyce.
   But for he useth bokes for to make,
   And takth non heed of what matere he take;
  *Therfor he wroot the Rose and eek Crisseyde
  *Of innocence, and niste what he seyde;                               345
  +Or him was boden make thilke tweye
  +Of som persone, and durste hit nat with-seye;
  *For he hath writen many a book er this.
  +He ne hath nat doon so grevously amis
  +To translaten that olde clerkes wryten,                              350
  +As thogh that he of malice wolde endyten
   Despyt of love, and hadde him-self y-wroght.
  +This shulde a rightwys lord han in his thoght,
  +And nat be lyk tiraunts of Lumbardye,
   That usen wilfulhed and tirannye,                                    355
  +For he that king or lord is naturel,
  +Him oghte nat be tiraunt ne cruel,
  +As is a fermour, to doon the harm he can.
  +He moste thinke hit is his lige man,
  *And that him oweth, of verray duetee,                                360
  *Shewen his peple pleyn benignitee,
  *And wel to here hir excusaciouns,
  *And hir compleyntes and peticiouns,
  *In duewe tyme, whan they shal hit profre.
  +This is the sentence of the philosophre:                    (B. 381) 365
  +A king to kepe his liges in Iustyce;
  +With-outen doute, that is his offyce.
  *And therto is a king ful depe y-sworn,
  *Ful many an hundred winter heer-biforn;
   And for to kepe his lordes hir degree,                               370
  +As hit is right and skilful that they be
  +Enhaunced and honoured, and most dere--
  +For they ben half-goddes in this world here--
   This shal he doon, bothe to pore [and] riche,
   Al be that here stat be nat a-liche,                                 375
  +And han of pore folk compassioun.
  +For lo, the gentil kind of the lioun!
  +For whan a flye offendeth him or byteth,
  +He with his tayl awey the flye smyteth
  +Al esily; for, of his genterye,                                      380
  +Him deyneth nat to wreke him on a flye,
  +As doth a curre or elles another beste.
  +In noble corage oghte been areste,
  +And weyen every thing by equitee,
  +And ever han reward to his owen degree.                              385
  +For, sir, hit is no maystrie for a lord
   To dampne a man with-oute answere or word;
  +And, for a lord, that is ful foul to use.
  +And if so be he may him nat excuse,
   [But] axeth mercy with a sorweful herte,                             390
  +And profreth him, right in his bare sherte,
  +To been right at your owne Iugement,
  +Than oghte a god, by short avysement,
  +Considre his owne honour and his trespas.
  +For sith no cause of deeth lyth in this cas,                         395
  +Yow oghte been the lighter merciable;
  +Leteth your yre, and beth somwhat tretable!
  +The man hath served yow of his conning,
   And forthered your lawe with his making.
  *Whyl he was yong, he kepte your estat;                               400
  *I not wher he be now a renegat.
   But wel I wot, with that he can endyte,
   He hath maked lewed folk delyte
  +To serve you, in preysing of your name.
  +He made the book that hight the Hous of Fame,                        405
  +And eek the Deeth of Blaunche the Duchesse,
  +And the Parlement of Foules, as I gesse,
  +And al the love of Palamon and Arcyte
  +Of Thebes, thogh the story is knowen lyte;
  +And many an ympne for your halydayes,                                410
  +That highten Balades, Roundels, Virelayes;
   And for to speke of other besinesse,
  +He hath in prose translated Boëce;
  *And of the Wreched Engendring of Mankinde,
  *As man may in pope Innocent y-finde;                                 415
  +And mad the Lyf also of seynt Cecyle;                       (B. 426)
  +He made also, goon sithen a greet whyl,
  +Origenes upon the Maudeleyne;
  +Him oghte now to have the lesse peyne;
  +He hath mad many a lay and many a thing.                             420
     +'Now as ye been a god, and eek a king,
  +I, your Alceste, whylom quene of Trace,
  +I axe yow this man, right of your grace,
  +That ye him never hurte in al his lyve;
  +And he shal sweren yow, and that as blyve,                           425
  +He shal no more agilten in this wyse;
  +But he shal maken, as ye wil devyse,
  +Of wemen trewe in lovinge al hir lyve,
  +Wher-so ye wil, of maiden or of wyve,
  +And forthren yow, as muche as he misseyde                            430
  +Or in the Rose or elles in Crisseyde.'
     +The god of love answerde hir thus anoon,
  +'Madame,' quod he, 'hit is so long agoon
  +That I yow knew so charitable and trewe,
  +That never yit, sith that the world was newe,                        435
  +To me ne fond I better noon than ye.
   That, if that I wol save my degree,
  +I may ne wol nat warne your requeste;
   Al lyth in yow, doth with him what yow leste
  +And al foryeve, with-outen lenger space;                             440
  +For who-so yeveth a yift, or doth a grace,
  +Do hit by tyme, his thank is wel the more;
  +And demeth ye what he shal do therfore.
  +Go thanke now my lady heer,' quod he.
     +I roos, and doun I sette me on my knee,                           445
  +And seyde thus: 'Madame, the god above
  +Foryelde yow, that ye the god of love
  +Han maked me his wrathe to foryive;
  +And yeve me grace so long for to live,
  +That I may knowe soothly what ye be                                  450
   That han me holpen, and put in swich degree.
  +But trewely I wende, as in this cas,
  +Naught have agilt, ne doon to love trespas.
  +Forwhy a trewe man, with-outen drede,
  +Hath nat to parten with a theves dede;                               455
  +Ne a trewe lover oghte me nat blame,
  +Thogh that I speke a fals lover som shame.
  +They oghte rather with me for to holde,
  +For that I of Creseyde wroot or tolde,
  +Or of the Rose; what-so myn auctour mente,                           460
  +Algate, god wot, hit was myn entente
  +To forthren trouthe in love and hit cheryce;
  +And to be war fro falsnesse and fro vyce
  +By swich ensample; this was my meninge.'
     +And she answerde, 'lat be thyn arguinge;                          465
  +For Love ne wol nat countrepleted be
   In right ne wrong; and lerne this at me!
  +Thou hast thy grace, and hold thee right ther-to.
  +Now wol I seyn what penance thou shalt do
  +For thy trespas, and understond hit here:                            470
  +Thou shalt, whyl that thou livest, yeer by yere,
   The moste party of thy lyve spende
  +In making of a glorious Legende
  +Of Gode Wemen, maidenes and wyves,
  +That were trewe in lovinge al hir lyves;                             475
  +And telle of false men that hem bitrayen,
  +That al hir lyf ne doon nat but assayen
  +How many wemen they may doon a shame;
   For in your world that is now holden game.
  And thogh thee lesteth nat a lover be,                                480
  +Spek wel of love; this penance yeve I thee.
  +And to the god of love I shal so preye,
  +That he shal charge his servants, by any weye,
  +To forthren thee, and wel thy labour quyte;
   Go now thy wey, thy penance is but lyte.'                   (B. 495) 485

     +The god of love gan smyle, and than he seyde,
  +'Wostow,' quod he, 'wher this be wyf or mayde,
  +Or quene, or countesse, or of what degree,
  +That hath so litel penance yeven thee,
  +That hast deserved sorer for to smerte?                              490
  +But pitee renneth sone in gentil herte;
  +That mayst thou seen, she kytheth what she is.'
  +And I answerde, 'nay, sir, so have I blis,
  +No more but that I see wel she is good.'
     +'That is a trewe tale, by myn hood,'                              495
  +Quod Love, 'and that thou knowest wel, pardee,
  +If hit be so that thou avyse thee.
  +Hastow nat in a book, lyth in thy cheste,
  +The grete goodnesse of the quene Alceste,
  +That turned was into a dayesye:                                      500
  +She that for hir husbonde chees to dye,
  +And eek to goon to helle, rather than he,
  +And Ercules rescued hir, pardee,
  +And broghte hir out of helle agayn to blis?'
     +And I answerde ageyn, and seyde, 'yis,                            505
  +Now knowe I hir! And is this good Alceste,
  +The dayesye, and myn owne hertes reste?
  +Now fele I wel the goodnesse of this wyf,
  +That bothe after hir deeth, and in hir lyf,
  +Hir grete bountee doubleth hir renoun!                               510
  +Wel hath she quit me myn affeccioun
  +That I have to hir flour, the dayesye!
  +No wonder is thogh Iove hir stellifye,
  +As telleth Agaton, for hir goodnesse!
  +Hir whyte coroun berth of hit witnesse;                              515
  +For also many vertues hadde she,
  +As smale floures in hir coroun be.
  +In remembraunce of hir and in honour,
  +Cibella made the dayesy and the flour
  +Y-coroned al with whyt, as men may see;                              520
  +And Mars yaf to hir coroun reed, pardee,
  +In stede of rubies, set among the whyte.'
     +Therwith this quene wex reed for shame a lyte,
  +Whan she was preysed so in hir presence.
  +Than seyde Love, 'a ful gret negligence                              525
   Was hit to thee, to write unstedfastnesse
  *Of women, sith thou knowest hir goodnesse
  *By preef, and eek by stories heer-biforn;
  *Let be the chaf, and wryt wel of the corn.
  *Why noldest thou han writen of Alceste,                              530
  *And leten Criseide been a-slepe and reste?
  *For of Alceste shulde thy wryting be,
   Sin that thou wost that kalender is she                     (B. 542)
   Of goodnesse, for she taughte of fyn lovinge,
  +And namely of wyfhood the livinge,                                   535
  +And alle the boundes that she oghte kepe;
  +Thy litel wit was thilke tyme a-slepe.
  +But now I charge thee, upon thy lyf,
  +That in thy Legend thou make of this wyf,
   Whan thou hast othere smale mad before;                              540
  +And fare now wel, I charge thee no more.                    (B. 551)
     +At Cleopatre I wol that thou beginne;                    (B. 566)
  +And so forth; and my love so shalt thou winne.'

   And with that word of sleep I gan a-awake,                  (B. 578)
  +And right thus on my Legend gan I make.                              545


1. thousent sythis. 2. there; heuene. 3. it. 4. wit (_over erasure_);
_read_ wot. 5. ne is; dwellyth; cuntre. 6. heuene. 10. goddis; schulde. 13.
say (_better_ seigh). 14. neuere. 21. trowyn; aprouede storyis. 27.
ou[gh]te; thanne; bokys. 28. There; othyr a-say (_see_ l. 9); be (_for_
by). 29. thow; myn. 30, 34. bokys. 33. onethe.  39. stodye; lastynge. 48.
sen; flouris a-gen; sunne to sprede. 49. be (_for_ by); schene. 50.
walkynge. 51. sunne be-gynnys. 52. it; drawith it. 53. it; a-ferid. 54. it;
dayis. 55. flouris. 57. frosch. 58. wyntyr; somyr.  59. preysyn; a-ryht.
60. my_n_. 62. makynge ropyn. 63. C. _om._ And; aftyr glenynge; ther. 64.
er. 65. ony; laft. 66. reherse. 67. here frosche songis. 68. wele; euele
a-payed. 69. Sithe. 70. eythir seruyn lef. 71. trustyth; vndyr-take. 72.
lef a-gayn. 73. lef. 74. a-gen; shef. 75. lefere non; lothere. 76.
witholde; nothire. 77. ho seruyth lef. 80. old.  81. -fore. 82. bokys; don.
83. schulde autoriteis. 84. There; there; othyr a-say; be. 86. nakede tixt;
englis. 87. manye (_twice_); ellis. 88. autourys; leuyth. 89. monyth. 90.
hadde; somerys. 91. medewe. 92. frosche dayseie. 93. souht (!). 94.
clothede (_error for_ closed). 95. derknese; nyht; sche dradde. 96. spadde.
97. lytyl. 98. I-benchede; turwis frorsche I-grawe (!). 99. schulde; myn.
100. somerys. 101. flouris. 102. hadde; hid (_for_ hed). 103. with-Inne;
our. 104. medewe.  105. romede. 106. sen. 107. medewe. 108. flouris sote
embroudit. 110. non I-makede. 111. surmountede; odours. 112. _om._ eek;
beute; flourys. 113. Forgetyn hadde. 114. wyntyr; nakede. 115. hadde
greuyd. 116. hadde the tempre; releuyd. 117. clothede; a-geyn. 127. _I
supply_ layes. 128. _I supply_ May. 129. worschepe; hire. 130. somerys.
131. sungyn blyssede; volentyn. 132. _I supply_ For; ches.  133.
repentynge. 134. here bekys gunne. 135. C. _is here corrupt; it has_--The
honour and the humble obeysaunce. _I try to give some sense; in any case we
must read_ obeisaunces. 136. dedyn othere. 137, 138. C. _is again corrupt
and imperfect; I supply_ plesing _and_ doth wel. C. _has_ natures,
cryaturys; _but read_ nature. 139. herkenyn; dede; entent. 140. ment.  143.
comyth; hise wyngis. 144. loke. 146. Clothid. 147. frette; goold; hyre her.
148. corone sche ber. 149. mane (!) flourys. 150. dayseye. 151.
I-corounede; leuys. 152. flourys; corene (_sic_).  159. I-broudede; greuys.
160. hed; leuys. 161. Stekid; lylye flourys. 163. schon; bryhte. 164. glem
a-stonede; syhte. 165. myhte; not. 167. Tho (_error for_ Two); fery dartis;
gleedys. 168. hyse wengis. 179. the thebonoyre (_sic_). 180. preye; euere.
186. nynetene. 192. Haddyn euere. 199. aftyr; wentyn. 201. songyn. 202.
whiche; schal. 206. Penolope. 209. destene.  221. [gh]oure. 224. I-songyn.
[179. thebonoyre.] [185. Byhynde.] [186. ladyis nynetene.] [192. Haddyn.]
[196. whiche; dayseye.] [197. styntyn; atonys.] [198. knelede; nonys.]
225. sote. 226. settyn. 227. ordere; cumpas; in-veroun. 228. thanne. 231.
degre. 234. lenynge; vndyr. 238. ho (_for_ who). 239. axsynge. 243.
bettere. 244. come; syht. 247. Myne; ben. 248. myn. 249. mysseyst. 251.
lettist. 252. seruyn; haldist.  254. tixt. 258. thyn; cole. 259. fole. 260.
louyth paramouris. 262. folis; spryt (_sic_) faylyth. 263. wete; ealyth.
264. englys ek; bok. 265. forsok. 267. Bit (_for_ But). 268. noldist; a
(_for_ have _or_ han); goodnes. 269. wekedenes. 270. matyr; thyn. 271.
thyne bokys ne coudist; (_I omit_ ne). 273. lx. bokys. 274. thyn-self;
storyis. 275. romaynys; ek grekis. 276. sundery; whiche; ledde. 277. euere;
hunderede goode; on. 278. knowith; clerkis ek. 279. vsyn sweche materis;
sek. 282. maydenys; wyuys. 283. stedefaste wedewys durynge all here lyuys.
284. Tellyth. 285. hunderede. 286. pete. 287. endure; here. 289. rathere;
wole (_error for_ wolde). 290. chose; ded; sundery. 291. deiedyn; wele
(_for_ wol). 293. dreynkt (!); thy (_for_ they); woldyn. 294. kepid
maydynhed. 295. ellis wedlek; here wedewehed. 299. were hethene. 302.
trowe; schal. 303. trowe. 305. epistelle (see _note_). 306. wyuys. 307.
estoryal. 308. te (_for_ the); autourys. 309. Cristene; hethene. 310.
nedyth; to endite. 311. seye; eylyth the. 312. storyis; forgete, _with_
gete _over erasure; read_ forgo. 313. Be (_for_ By). 314. Al-thow; _I
supply_ that; reneyist (_sic_) hast myn. 315. folys. 316. so that (_for_
that; _I omit_ so). 317. Thanne; worthyere (!). 320. poyntys; mevid. 322.
dede (_for_ deitee; _the scribe's error_). 323. ek. 325. tothyr. 327.
hereth manye; I-feynyd. 328. losenger. 329. totulour. 330. tabo_ur_ryn;
[gh]oure; manye. 332. sum. 333. prere (!). 335. che; partyth; nygh (!).
337. mote; _I supply_ nat. 338. ben acused. 339. There; be; oughte ben
excusid. 340. sere. 342. vsyth bokis. 343. takyth; hed. 344. ek. 348. wrete
manye; bok. 355. vsyn. 357. oughte. 358. don. 359. must. 360. owith; o
(_error for_ of); verry. 361. Schewyn; benygnete. 362. heryn here. 363.
here compleyntys. 367. Which oughtyn (!). 369. manye; hunderede wyntyr
here-.  370. lordys. 372. Enhaunsede; _om. 2nd_ and. 373. goddys. 374. don;
_I supply_ and. 388. C. wol; _for_ ful. 389. ascuse. 390. _I supply_ But.
397, 399, 400. [gh]oure. 401. where (= whether); renagat.  403. makid
lewede folk to; _I omit_ to. 412. othyr. 413. translatid. 414. wrechede
engendrynge.  436. I neuere non betere; the. 437. wele; myn. 438. wel. 456.
may (_for_ oghte).    507. herte is reste. 518. Of (_for_ In). 526. the;
onstedefastnesse. 527. sithe thow knowist here. 528. pref; ek; storyis
here.  530. noldist; writyn. 531. latyn; ben. 532. thyn wrytynge. 533. wist
(_badly_); calandier. 544. slep. 545. myn legende.


     A thousand tymes have I herd men telle,
  +That ther is Ioye in heven, and peyne in helle;
   And I acorde wel that hit is so;
   But natheles, yit wot I wel also,
   That ther nis noon dwelling in this contree,                           5
   That either hath in heven or helle y-be,
  +Ne may of hit non other weyes witen,
  +But as he hath herd seyd, or founde hit writen;
  +For by assay ther may no man hit preve.
   But god forbede but men shulde leve                                   10
  +Wel more thing then men han seen with yë!
  +Men shal nat wenen every-thing a lyë
   But-if him-self hit seeth, or elles dooth;
   For, god wot, thing is never the lasse sooth,
  +Thogh every wight ne may hit nat y-see.                               15
  +Bernard the monk ne saugh nat al, parde!
    +Than mote we to bokes that we finde,
  +Through which that olde thinges been in minde.
  +And to the doctrine of these olde wyse,
  +Yeve credence, in every skilful wyse,                                 20
   That tellen of these olde appreved stories,
  +Of holinesse, of regnes, of victories,
  +Of love, of hate, of other sundry thinges,
  +Of whiche I may not maken rehersinges.
  +And if that olde bokes were a-weye,                                   25
  +Y-loren were of remembraunce the keye.
   Wel oghte us than honouren and beleve
   These bokes, ther we han non other preve.
     And as for me, thogh that I can but lyte,
  +On bokes for to rede I me delyte,                                     30
   And to hem yeve I feyth and ful credence,
  +And in myn herte have hem in reverence
   So hertely, that ther is game noon
   That fro my bokes maketh me to goon,
   But hit be seldom, on the holyday;                                    35
   Save, certeynly, whan that the month of May
   Is comen, and that I here the foules singe,
  +And that the floures ginnen for to springe,
   Farwel my book and my devocioun!
     Now have I than swich a condicioun,                                 40
  +That, of alle the floures in the mede,
  +Than love I most these floures whyte and rede,
  +Swiche as men callen daysies in our toun.
  +To hem have I so greet affeccioun,
  +As I seyde erst, whan comen is the May,                               45
  +That in my bed ther daweth me no day
  +That I nam up, and walking in the mede
   To seen this flour agein the sonne sprede,
   Whan hit upryseth erly by the morwe;
  *That blisful sighte softneth al my sorwe,                             50
  *So glad am I whan that I have presence
  *Of hit, to doon al maner reverence,
   As she, that is of alle floures flour,
   Fulfilled of al vertu and honour,
  +And ever y-lyke fair, and fresh of hewe;                              55
   And I love hit, and ever y-lyke newe,
  *And ever shal, til that myn herte dye;
  *Al swere I nat, of this I wol nat lye,
  *Ther loved no wight hotter in his lyve.
     *And whan that hit is eve, I renne blyve,                           60
   As sone as ever the sonne ginneth weste,
   To seen this flour, how it wol go to reste,
   For fere of night, so hateth she derknesse!

           _From_ B. 53-56.
       As she, that is of alle floures flour,
       Fulfilled of al vertu and honour,
      +And ever y-lyke fair, and fresh of hewe;
       And I love hit, and ever y-lyke newe.

  *Hir chere is pleynly sprad in the brightnesse
  *Of the sonne, for ther hit wol unclose.                               65
  *Allas! that I ne had English, ryme or prose,
   Suffisant this flour to preyse aright!
  *But helpeth, ye that han conning and might,
  *Ye lovers, that can make of sentement;
  *In this cas oghte ye be diligent                                      70
  *To forthren me somwhat in my labour,
  *Whether ye ben with the leef or with the flour.
   For wel I wot, that ye han her-biforn
  +Of making ropen, and lad awey the corn;
  +And I come after, glening here and there,                             75
  +And am ful glad if I may finde an ere
   Of any goodly word that ye han left.
   And thogh it happen me rehercen eft
   That ye han in your fresshe songes sayd,
   For-bereth me, and beth nat evel apayd,                               80
   Sin that ye see I do hit in the honour
   Of love, and eek in service of the flour,

           _From_ B. 188-196.
       But natheles, ne wene nat that I make
       In preysing of the flour agayn the leef,
      +No more than of the corn agayn the sheef.
       For as to me, nis lever noon ne lother;
       I nam with-holden yit with never nother.
       Ne I not who serveth leef, ne who the flour;
       Wel brouken they hir service or labour.
       For this thing is al of another tonne,
       Of olde story, er swich thing was begonne.

  *Whom that I serve as I have wit or might.
  *She is the clernesse and the verray light,
  *That in this derke worlde me wynt and ledeth,                         85
  *The herte in-with my sorowful brest yow dredeth,
  *And loveth so sore, that ye ben verrayly
  *The maistresse of my wit, and nothing I.
  *My word, my werk, is knit so in your bonde,
  *That, as an harpe obeyeth to the honde                                90
  *And maketh hit soune after his fingeringe,
  *Right so mowe ye out of myn herte bringe
  *Swich vois, right as yow list, to laughe or pleyne.
  *Be ye my gyde and lady sovereyne;
  *As to myn erthly god, to yow I calle,                                 95
  *Bothe in this werke and in my sorwes alle.
     +But wherfor that I spak, to give credence
   To olde stories, and doon hem reverence,
   And that men mosten more thing beleve
   Then men may seen at eye or elles preve?                             100
  *That shal I seyn, whan that I see my tyme;
  *I may not al at ones speke in ryme.
  *My besy gost, that thrusteth alwey newe
  *To seen this flour so yong, so fresh of hewe,
  *Constreyned me with so gledy desyr,                                  105
  *That in my herte I fele yit the fyr,
  *That made me to ryse er hit wer day--
   And this was now the firste morwe of May--
  *With dredful herte and glad devocioun,
  *For to ben at the resureccioun                                       110
  *Of this flour, whan that it shuld unclose
  *Agayn the sonne, that roos as rede as rose,
  *That in the brest was of the beste that day,
  *That Agenores doghter ladde away.
  *And doun on knees anon-right I me sette,                             115
  *And, as I coude, this fresshe flour I grette;
  *Kneling alwey, til hit unclosed was,
  *Upon the smale softe swote gras,

           _From_ B. 180, 182.
       The longe day I shoop me for to abyde ...
       But for to loke upon the dayesye.

           _From_ B. 197-200.
       Whan that the sonne out of the south gan weste,
       And that this flour gan close and goon to reste
       For derknesse of the night, the which she dredde,
      +Hoom to myn hous ful swiftly I me spedde;

           _From_ B. 203-211.
      +And, in a litel herber that I have,
       That benched was on turves fresshe y-grave,
      +I bad men sholde me my couche make;
      +For deyntee of the newe someres sake,
      +I bad hem strawen floures on my bed.
      +Whan I was leyd, and had my eyen hed,
       I fel on slepe in-with an houre or two;
       Me mette how I lay in the medew tho,
       To seen this flour, that I so love and drede,

   That was with floures swote enbrouded al,
  *Of swich swetnesse and swich odour over-al,                          120
   That, for to speke of gomme, or herbe, or tree,
  +Comparisoun may noon y-maked be;
   For hit surmounteth pleynly alle odoures,
  +And eek of riche beautee alle floures.
  +Forgeten had the erthe his pore estat                                125
  +Of winter, that him naked made and mat,
   And with his swerd of cold so sore greved;
   Now hath the atempre sonne al that releved
   That naked was, and clad hit new agayn.
  +The smale foules, of the seson fayn,                                 130
  +That from the panter and the net ben scaped,
  +Upon the fouler, that hem made a-whaped
  +In winter, and distroyed had hir brood,
  +In his despyt, hem thoughte hit did hem good
  +To singe of him, and in hir song despyse                             135
  +The foule cherl that, for his covetyse,
  +Had hem betrayed with his sophistrye.
  +This was hir song--'the fouler we defye,
   And al his craft!' And somme songen clere
   Layes of love, that Ioye hit was to here,                            140
   In worshipinge and preisinge of hir make.
   And, for the newe blisful somers sake,
  *Upon the braunches ful of blosmes softe,
  *In hir delyt, they turned hem ful ofte,
   And songen, 'blessed be seynt Valentyn!                              145
   For on his day I chees yow to be myn,
  +Withouten repenting, myn herte swete!'
  +And therwith-al hir bekes gonnen mete,
   Yelding honour and humble obeisaunces
   To love, and diden hir other observaunces                            150
   That longeth unto love and to nature;
  *Construeth that as yow list, I do no cure.
     *And tho that hadde doon unkindenesse--
  *As dooth the tydif, for new-fangelnesse--
  *Besoghte mercy of hir trespassinge,                                  155
  *And humblely songen hir repentinge,
  *And sworen on the blosmes to be trewe,
  *So that hir makes wolde upon hem rewe,
  *And at the laste maden hir acord.
  *Al founde they Daunger for a tyme a lord,                            160
  *Yet Pitee, through his stronge gentil might,
  *Forgaf, and made Mercy passen Right,
  *Through innocence and ruled curtesye.
  *But I ne clepe nat innocence folye,
  *Ne fals pitee, for 'vertu is the mene,'                              165
  *As Etik saith, in swich maner I mene.
  *And thus thise foules, voide of al malyce,
  *Acordeden to love, and laften vyce
  *Of hate, and songen alle of oon acord,
  *'Welcome, somer, our governour and lord!'                            170
    *And Zephirus and Flora gentilly
  *Yaf to the floures, softe and tenderly,
  *Hir swote breth, and made hem for to sprede,
  *As god and goddesse of the floury mede;
  *In which me thoghte I mighte, day by day,                            175
  *Dwellen alwey, the Ioly month of May,
  *Withouten sleep, withouten mete or drinke.
  *A-doun ful softely I gan to sinke;
  *And, leninge on myn elbowe and my syde,
   The longe day I shoop me for to abyde                                180
  *For nothing elles, and I shal nat lye,
   But for to loke upon the dayesye,
  *That wel by reson men hit calle may
  *The 'dayesye' or elles the 'ye of day,'
  *The emperice and flour of floures alle.                              185
  *I pray to god that faire mot she falle,
  *And alle that loven floures, for hir sake!
   But natheles, ne wene nat that I make
   In preysing of the flour agayn the leef,
  *No more than of the corn agayn the sheef:                            190
   For, as to me, nis lever noon ne lother;
   I nam with-holden yit with never nother.
   Ne I not who serveth leef, ne who the flour;
   Wel brouken they hir service or labour;
   For this thing is al of another tonne,                               195
   Of olde story, er swich thing was be-gonne.
     Whan that the sonne out of the south gan weste,
   And that this flour gan close and goon to reste
   For derknesse of the night, the which she dredde,
  +Hoom to myn hous ful swiftly I me spedde                             200
  *To goon to reste, and erly for to ryse,
   To seen this flour to sprede, as I devyse.
  +And, in a litel herber that I have,
   That benched was on turves fresshe y-grave,
  +I bad men sholde me my couche make;                                  205
  +For deyntee of the newe someres sake,
  +I bad hem strawen floures on my bed.
  +Whan I was leyd, and had myn eyen hed,
   I fel on slepe in-with an houre or two;
   Me mette how I lay in the medew tho,                                 210

   To seen this flour that I so love and drede.
   And from a-fer com walking in the mede
   The god of love, and in his hande a quene;
   And she was clad in real habit grene.
  +A fret of gold she hadde next hir heer,                              215
  +And upon that a whyt coroun she beer
   With florouns smale, and I shal nat lye;
   For al the world, ryght as a dayesye
  +Y-corouned is with whyte leves lyte,
   So were the florouns of hir coroun whyte;                            220
   For of o perle fyne, oriental,
  +Hir whyte coroun was y-maked al;
  +For which the whyte coroun, above the grene,
  +Made hir lyk a daysie for to sene,
   Considered eek hir fret of gold above.                               225
     +Y-clothed was this mighty god of love
   In silke, enbrouded ful of grene greves,
   In-with a fret of rede rose-leves,
  *The fresshest sin the world was first bigonne.
  *His gilte heer was corouned with a sonne,                            230
  *In-stede of gold, for hevinesse and wighte;
   Therwith me thoughte his face shoon so brighte
   That wel unnethes mighte I him beholde;
   And in his hande me thoughte I saugh him holde
  +Two fyry dartes, as the gledes rede;                                 235
   And aungellyke his winges saugh I sprede.
  +And al be that men seyn that blind is he,
   Al-gate me thoughte that he mighte see;
  +For sternely on me he gan biholde,
  +So that his loking doth myn herte colde.                             240
  +And by the hande he held this noble quene,
  +Corouned with whyte, and clothed al in grene,
  +So womanly, so benigne, and so meke,
  +That in this world, thogh that men wolde seke,
  +Half hir beautee shulde men nat finde                                245
  +In creature that formed is by kinde.

           _From_ B. 276-295.
       That is so good, so fair, so debonaire;
       I prey to god that ever falle hir faire!
      +For, nadde comfort been of hir presence,
      +I had ben deed, withouten any defence,
      +For drede of Loves wordes and his chere;                         280
      +As, when tyme is, her-after ye shal here.
       Behind this god of love, upon the grene,
      +I saugh cominge of ladyës nyntene
      +In real habit, a ful esy paas;
      +And after hem com of women swich a traas,                        285
       That, sin that god Adam had mad of erthe
       The thridde part of mankynd, or the ferthe,
      +Ne wende I nat by possibilitee,
       Had ever in this wyde worlde y-be;
      +And trewe of love thise women were echoon.                       290
      +Now whether was that a wonder thing or noon,
      +That, right anoon as that they gonne espye
      +This flour, which that I clepe the dayesye,
      +Ful sodeinly they stinten alle at ones,
       And kneled doun, as it were for the nones,                       295

  *And therfor may I seyn, as thinketh me,                              247
  *This song, in preysing of this lady fre.


  +Hyd, Absolon, thy gilte tresses clere;
  +Ester, ley thou thy meknesse al a-doun;                              250
  +Hyd, Ionathas, al thy frendly manere;
  +Penalopee, and Marcia Catoun,
  +Mak of your wyfhod no comparisoun;
  +Hyde ye your beautes, Isoude and Eleyne,
   My lady cometh, that al this may disteyne.                           255

  +Thy faire body, lat hit nat appere,
  +Lavyne; and thou, Lucresse of Rome toun,
  +And Polixene, that boghten love so dere,
   And Cleopatre, with al thy passioun,
   Hyde ye your trouthe of love and your renoun;                        260
   And thou, Tisbe, that hast of love swich peyne;
   My lady cometh, that al this may disteyne.

   Herro, Dido, Laudomia, alle y-fere,
   And Phyllis, hanging for thy Demophoun,
  +And Canace, espyed by thy chere,                                     265
   Ysiphile, betraysed with Jasoun,
   Maketh of your trouthe neyther boost ne soun;
   Nor Ypermistre or Adriane, ye tweyne;
   My lady cometh, that al this may disteyne.

     This balade may ful wel y-songen be,                               270
  *As I have seyd erst, by my lady free;
  *For certeynly, alle these mow nat suffyse
  *To apperen with my lady in no wyse.
  *For as the sonne wol the fyr disteyne,
  *So passeth al my lady sovereyne,                                     275
   That is so good, so fair, so debonaire;
   I prey to god that ever falle hir faire!
  +For, nadde comfort been of hir presence,
  +I had ben deed, withouten any defence,
  +For drede of Loves wordes and his chere;                             280
  +As, when tyme is, her-after ye shal here.
     Behind this god of love, upon the grene,
  +I saugh cominge of ladyës nyntene
  +In real habit, a ful esy paas;
  +And after hem com of women swich a traas,                            285
   That, sin that god Adam had mad of erthe,
   The thridde part of mankynd, or the ferthe,
  +Ne wende I nat by possibilitee,
   Had ever in this wyde worlde y-be;
  +And trewe of love thise women were echoon.                           290
    +Now whether was that a wonder thing or noon,
  +That, right anoon as that they gonne espye
  +This flour, which that I clepe the dayesye,
  +Ful sodeinly they stinten alle at ones,
   And kneled doun, as it were for the nones,                           295
  *And songen with o vois, 'Hele and honour
  *To trouthe of womanhede, and to this flour
  *That berth our alder prys in figuringe!
  *Hir whyte coroun berth the witnessinge!'
     And with that word, a-compas enviroun,                             300
  +They setten hem ful softely adoun.
   First sat the god of love, and sith his quene
  +With the whyte coroun, clad in grene;
  +And sithen al the remenant by and by,
   As they were of estaat, ful curteisly;                               305
  +Ne nat a word was spoken in the place
  +The mountance of a furlong-wey of space.
     I kneling by this flour, in good entente
  +Abood, to knowen what this peple mente,
  +As stille as any stoon; til at the laste,                            310
   This god of love on me his eyen caste,
   And seyde, 'who kneleth ther'? and I answerde
   Unto his asking, whan that I hit herde,
  +And seyde, 'sir, hit am I'; and com him neer,
  +And salued him. Quod he, 'what dostow heer                           315
   So nigh myn owne flour, so boldely?
  +For it were better worthy, trewely,
   A worm to neghen neer my flour than thou.'
  +'And why, sir,' quod I, 'and hit lyke yow?'
  +'For thou,' quod he, 'art ther-to nothing able.                      320
  *Hit is my relik, digne and delytable,
   And thou my fo, and al my folk werreyest,
  +And of myn olde servaunts thou misseyest,
  +And hindrest hem, with thy translacioun,
   And lettest folk from hir devocioun                                  325
  +To serve me, and holdest hit folye
   To serve Love. Thou mayst hit nat denye;
   For in pleyn text, with-outen nede of glose,
  +Thou hast translated the Romaunce of the Rose,
  +That is an heresye ageyns my lawe,                                   330
  +And makest wyse folk fro me withdrawe.
   And of Criseyde thou hast seyd as thee liste,
   That maketh men to wommen lasse triste,
   That ben as trewe as ever was any steel.
  *Of thyn answere avyse thee right weel;                               335
   For, thogh that thou reneyed hast my lay,
   As other wrecches han doon many a day,
   By seynt Venus, that my moder is,
   If that thou live, thou shalt repenten this
   So cruelly, that hit shal wel be sene!'                              340
     Tho spak this lady, clothed al in grene,
  +And seyde, 'god, right of your curtesye,
  +Ye moten herknen if he can replye
   Agayns al this that ye han to him meved;
  +A god ne sholde nat be thus agreved,                                 345
  +But of his deitee he shal be stable,
   And therto gracious and merciable.
  *And if ye nere a god, that knowen al,
  *Than mighte hit be, as I yow tellen shal;
   This man to you may falsly been accused,                             350
  +Ther as by right him oghte been excused.
  +For in your court is many a losengeour,
  +And many a queynte totelere accusour,
   That tabouren in your eres many a soun,
   Right after hir imaginacioun,                                        355
   To have your daliance, and for envye;
  *These been the causes, and I shall nat lye.
   Envye is lavender of the court alway;
  +For she ne parteth, neither night ne day,
  +Out of the hous of Cesar; thus seith Dante;                          360
   Who-so that goth, algate she wol nat wante.

           _From_ B. 350, 351.
       This man to yow may falsly been accused,
      +Ther as by right him oghte been excused.

   And eek, paraunter, for this man is nyce,
   He mighte doon hit, gessing no malyce,
   But for he useth thinges for to make;
   Him rekketh noght of what matere he take;                            365

  +Or him was boden maken thilke tweye
  +Of som persone, and durste hit nat with-seye;
  *Or him repenteth utterly of this.
  +He ne hath nat doon so grevously amis
  +To translaten that olde clerkes wryten,                              370
  +As thogh that he of malice wolde endyten
   Despyt of love, and had him-self hit wroght.
  +This shulde a rightwys lord have in his thoght,
  +And nat be lyk tiraunts of Lumbardye,
   Than han no reward but at tirannye.                                  375
  +For he that king or lord is naturel,
  +Him oghte nat be tiraunt ne cruel,
  +As is a fermour, to doon the harm he can.
  +He moste thinke hit is his lige man,

  *And is his tresour, and his gold in cofre.                           380
  +This is the sentence of the philosophre:
  +A king to kepe his liges in Iustyce;
  +With-outen doute, that is his offyce.
   Al wol he kepe his lordes hir degree,
  +As hit is right and skilful that they be                             385
  +Enhaunced and honoured, and most dere--
  +For they ben half-goddes in this world here--
   Yit mot he doon bothe right, to pore and riche,
   Al be that hir estat be nat y-liche,
  +And han of pore folk compassioun.                                    390
  +For lo, the gentil kynd of the leoun!
  +For whan a flye offendeth him or byteth,
  +He with his tayl awey the flye smyteth
  +Al esily; for, of his genterye,
  +Him deyneth nat to wreke him on a flye,                              395
  +As doth a curre or elles another beste.
  +In noble corage oghte been areste,
  +And weyen every thing by equitee,
  +And ever han reward to his owen degree.
  +For, sir, hit is no maystrie for a lord                              400
   To dampne a man with-oute answere of word;
  +And, for a lord, that is ful foul to use.
  +And if so be he may him nat excuse,
   But asketh mercy with a dredful herte,
  +And profreth him, right in his bare sherte,                          405
  +To been right at your owne Iugement,
  +Than oghte a god, by short avysement,
  +Considre his owne honour and his trespas.
  +For sith no cause of deeth lyth in this cas,
  +Yow oghte been the lighter merciable;                                410
  +Leteth your yre, and beth somwhat tretable!
  +The man hath served yow of his conning,
   And forthred wel your lawe in his making.
     'Al be hit that he can nat wel endyte,
   Yet hath he maked lewed folk delyte                                  415
  +To serve you, in preysing of your name.
  +He made the book that hight the Hous of Fame,
  +And eek the Deeth of Blaunche the Duchesse,
  +And the Parlement of Foules, as I gesse,
  +And al the love of Palamon and Arcyte                                420
  +Of Thebes, thogh the story is knowen lyte;
  +And many an ympne for your halydayes,
  +That highten Balades, Roundels, Virelayes;
   And, for to speke of other holynesse,
  +He hath in prose translated Boëce,                                   425

  +And mad the Lyf also of seynt Cecyle;
  +He made also, goon sithen a greet whyl,
  +Origenes upon the Maudeleyne;
  +Him oghte now to have the lesse peyne;
  +He hath mad many a lay and many a thing.                             430
     +'Now as ye been a god, and eek a king,
  +I, your Alceste, whylom quene of Trace,
  +I aske yow this man, right of your grace,
  +That ye him never hurte in al his lyve;
  +And he shal sweren yow, and that as blyve,                           435
  +He shal no more agilten in this wyse;
  +But he shal maken, as ye wil devyse,
  +Of wommen trewe in lovinge al hir lyve,
  +Wher-so ye wil, of maiden or of wyve,
  +And forthren yow, as muche as he misseyde                            440
  +Or in the Rose or elles in Creseyde.'
     +The god of love answerde hir thus anoon,
  +'Madame,' quod he, 'hit is so long agoon
  +That I yow knew so charitable and trewe,
  +That never yit, sith that the world was newe,                        445
  +To me ne fond I better noon than ye.
   If that I wolde save my degree,
  +I may ne wol nat werne your requeste;
   Al lyth in yow, doth with him as yow leste.
  +I al foryeve, with-outen lenger space;                               450
  +For who-so yeveth a yift, or doth a grace,
  +Do hit by tyme, his thank is wel the more;
  +And demeth ye what he shal do therfore.
  +Go thanke now my lady heer,' quod he.
     +I roos, and doun I sette me on my knee,                           455
  +And seyde thus: 'Madame, the god above
  +Foryelde yow, that ye the god of love
  +Han maked me his wrathe to foryive;
  +And yeve me grace so long for to live,
  +That I may knowe soothly what ye be                                  460
   That han me holpe and put in this degree.
  +But trewely I wende, as in this cas,
  +Naught have agilt, ne doon to love trespas.
  +Forwhy a trewe man, with-outen drede,
  +Hath nat to parten with a theves dede;                               465
  +Ne a trewe lover oghte me nat blame,
  +Thogh that I speke a fals lover som shame.
  +They oghte rather with me for to holde,
  +For that I of Creseyde wroot or tolde,
  +Or of the Rose; what-so myn auctour mente,                           470
  +Algate, god wot, hit was myn entente
  +To forthren trouthe in love and hit cheryce;
  +And to be war fro falsnesse and fro vyce
  +By swich ensample; this was my meninge.'
     +And she answerde, 'lat be thyn arguinge;                          475
  +For Love ne wol nat countrepleted be
   In right ne wrong; and lerne that of me!
  +Thou hast thy grace, and hold thee right ther-to.
  +Now wol I seyn what penance thou shalt do
  +For thy trespas, and understond hit here:                            480
  +Thou shalt, whyl that thou livest, yeer by yere,
   The moste party of thy tyme spende
  +In making of a glorious Legende
  +Of Gode Wommen, maidenes and wyves,
  +That weren trewe in lovinge al hir lyves;                            485
  +And telle of false men that hem bitrayen,
  +That al hir lyf ne doon nat but assayen
  +How many wommen they may doon a shame;
   For in your world that is now holde a game.
   And thogh thee lyke nat a lover be,                                  490
  +Spek wel of love; this penance yive I thee.
  +And to the god of love I shal so preye,
  +That he shal charge his servants, by any weye,
  +To forthren thee, and wel thy labour quyte;
   Go now thy wey, this penance is but lyte.                            495
  *And whan this book is maad, yive hit the quene
  *On my behalfe, at Eltham, or at Shene.'
     +The god of love gan smyle, and than he seyde,
  +'Wostow,' quod he, 'wher this be wyf or mayde,
  +Or quene, or countesse, or of what degree,                           500
  +That hath so litel penance yiven thee,
  +That hast deserved sorer for to smerte?
  +But pitee renneth sone in gentil herte;
  +That maystow seen, she kytheth what she is.'
  +And I answerde, 'nay, sir, so have I blis,                           505
  +No more but that I see wel she is good.'
     +'That is a trewe tale, by myn hood,'
  +Quod Love, 'and that thou knowest wel, pardee,
  +If hit be so that thou avyse thee.
  +Hastow nat in a book, lyth in thy cheste,                            510
  +The grete goodnesse of the quene Alceste,
  +That turned was into a dayesye:
  +She that for hir husbonde chees to dye,
  +And eek to goon to helle, rather than he,
  +And Ercules rescowed hir, pardee,                                    515
  +And broghte hir out of helle agayn to blis?'
     +And I answerde ageyn, and seyde, 'yis,
  +Now knowe I hir! And is this good Alceste,
  +The dayesye, and myn owne hertes reste?
  +Now fele I wel the goodnesse of this wyf,                            520
  +That bothe after hir deeth, and in hir lyf,
  +Hir grete bountee doubleth hir renoun!
  +Wel hath she quit me myn affeccioun
  +That I have to hir flour, the dayesye!
  +No wonder is thogh Iove hir stellifye,                               525
  +As telleth Agaton, for hir goodnesse!
  +Hir whyte coroun berth of hit witnesse;
  +For also many vertues hadde she,
  +As smale floures in hir coroun be.
  +In remembraunce of hir and in honour,                                530
  +Cibella made the dayesy and the flour
  +Y-coroned al with whyt, as men may see;
  +And Mars yaf to hir coroun reed, pardee,
  +In stede of rubies, set among the whyte.'
     +Therwith this quene wex reed for shame a lyte,                    535
  +Whan she was preysed so in hir presence.
  +Than seyde Love, 'a ful gret negligence
   Was hit to thee, that ilke tyme thou made
  *"Hyd, Absolon, thy tresses," in balade,
  *That thou forgete hir in thy song to sette,                          540
  *Sin that thou art so gretly in hir dette,
   And wost so wel, that kalender is she
  *To any woman that wol lover be.
   For she taughte al the craft of fyn lovinge,
  +And namely of wyfhood the livinge,                                   545
  +And alle the boundes that she oghte kepe;
  +Thy litel wit was thilke tyme a-slepe.
  +But now I charge thee, upon thy lyf,
  +That in thy Legend thou make of this wyf,
   Whan thou hast other smale y-maad before;                            550
  +And fare now wel, I charge thee no more.
     *'But er I go, thus muche I wol thee telle,
  *Ne shal no trewe lover come in helle.
  *Thise other ladies sittinge here arowe
  *Ben in thy balade, if thou canst hem knowe,                          555
  *And in thy bokes alle thou shalt hem finde;
  *Have hem now in thy Legend alle in minde,
  *I mene of hem that been in thy knowinge.
  *For heer ben twenty thousand mo sittinge
  *Than thou knowest, that been good wommen alle                        560
  *And trewe of love, for aught that may befalle;
  *Make the metres of hem as thee leste.
  *I mot gon hoom, the sonne draweth weste,
  *To Paradys, with al this companye;
  *And serve alwey the fresshe dayesye.                                 565
     +'At Cleopatre I wol that thou beginne;
  +And so forth; and my love so shalt thou winne.
  *For lat see now what man that lover be,
  *Wol doon so strong a peyne for love as she.
  *I wot wel that thou mayst nat al hit ryme,                           570
  *That swiche lovers diden in hir tyme;
  *It were to long to reden and to here;
  *Suffyceth me, thou make in this manere,
  *That thou reherce of al hir lyf the grete,
  *After thise olde auctours listen to trete.                           575
  *For who-so shal so many a storie telle,
  *Sey shortly, or he shal to longe dwelle.'
   And with that word my bokes gan I take,
  +And right thus on my Legend gan I make.

1. T. C. A. have I herd; _rest_ I have herd. F. B. P. _om._ men; _the rest
have it_. 2. F. B. (_only_) _om._ That. 5. F. T. is; _rest_ nis. 6. F. Tn.
Th. B. P. _ins. 2nd_ in _before_ helle; T. A. _om._ 8. F. seyde. 13. F.
-selfe; dooth. 14. F. sooth. 16. F. monke; all. 18. F. ben. 20. C. Yeuyn
(_for_ Yeve). 23. F. sondry. 25. F. awey; C. Tn. A. aweye. 26. F. Y-lorne;
C. I-loryn; P. I-lore. F. key; C. Tn. A. keye. 27. F. ought; thanne. 28. F.
there; noon. 29. F. though. A. Th. P. can; T. con; F. Tn. konne. 31. F.
yiue; _rest_ yeue. 33. F. hertly; Tn. Th. B. hertely; T. hertyly; A.
hertfully. 36. Tn. A. Th. month; B. P. moneth; F. monethe. 39. C. Th.
Farwel; F. Faire wel. F. boke. 40. F. thanne. F. B. suche a; T. Th. eke
thys; A. lo this; Tn. ek; P. eke a. 41. F. al. 42. F. Thanne; thise. 43. C.
Swyche; F. Suche. F. her (_for_ our); _rest_ our. 44. F. grete. 45. C.
wha_n_; F. whanne. 47. F. vppe. 48. F. floure ayein. 49. F. vprysith. 50.
_All_ sight: _read_ sighte. 52. A. all maner; Add. hit all_e_ maner; Th.
all_e_; F. Th. it al; Tn. B. it all_e_; P. it alle. 53. Tn. T. all_e_; F.
al (_wrongly_). 54. F. vertue. 55. F. faire; fressh. 57. F. hert; Tn.
herte. 61. F. evere. 64. F. Hire. 66. F. englyssh. 68. F. konnyng. 69. F.
sentment; _rest_ sentement. 70. F. case. _All_ oght, ought (_wrongly_);
_read_ oghte. 72. F. Whethir; _read_ Whe'r. 73. F. -biforne. 74. F.
makynge; corne. 79. F. fressh_e_; A. fresche; Th. fresshe. F. sayede; Tn.
said. 80. F. euele apayede; Tn. euyll_e_ a-paid. 82. F. eke; Tn. ek. 83. F.
witte; Tn. wit. 84. F. clerenesse; Tn. clernesse. 85. F. ledyth. 86. _All_
hert. F. sorwfull; dredith. 88. F. witte; Tn. wyt. F. not thing (_over
erasure_); _rest_ nothyng. 89. F. worde. F. werkes; Tn. werk_es_; T. werke;
A. werk. F. youre. Tn. bonde; F. bond. 90. Tn. honde; F. hond. 92. F. oute.
Th. B. herte; _rest_ hert. 93. F. pleyn; Tn. pleyne. 94. F. souereyn; Tn.
souereyne. 95. F. erthely; yowe. 96. A. B. in my; _rest omit 2nd_ in. 97.
F. wherfore. A. spak; F. spake. 100. Tn. Th. B. P. men; A. ma_n_; T. they;
F. _om._ F. eighe. 101. Tn. whan; F. whanne. 102. F. (_only_) _om._ al. T.
A. at ones; Tn. atones; F. attones. 103. F. trusteth (!); A. B. thrustith;
Tn. Th. P. thursteth. 104. F. fressh. 105. F. Tn. A. B. P. gledy; T. glad;
Th. gredy. 106. F. feele yet the fire. 108. F. _om._ this. 109. F. hert.
111. F. _om._ that. 112. F. Agayne. F. rede; _better_ reed, _as in_ Th.
114. F. doghtre. 115. F. dovne; knes anoon ryght. 116. F. koude. F.
fressh_e_; A. fresche. 118. Tn. T. smale; F. smal. 120. F. suetnesse. 124.
A. eke _rest omit_. F. beaute. F. (_only_) of (_for_ alle). 125. F. estate;
C. Tn. estat. 126. F. wynter. F. B. hem; _rest_ him. C. mat; Tn. maat;
_rest_ mate. 127. F. colde. 128. Th. the atempre; Tn. A. B. the attempre;
F. thatempre; P. the a-tempred. F. all_e_. 131. C. T. A. from; _rest_ of.
F. nette; C. Tn. net. 132. Tn. T. A. fouler; F. foweler. 133. F. hadde;
broode. 134. F. dispite; C. dispit. F. goode; C. good. 135. C. song; F.
songe. C. Tn. despise; F. dispise. 136. F. cherle. 138. F. hire. Tn. T. A.
fouler; C. foulere; F. foweler. 139. F. crafte; T. A. craft. 141. F. Tn. B.
in preysinge; _rest om._ in. 144. F. hire. 146. C. ches; T. chase; P.
chose; F. chees (_rightly_); _rest_ chese. 147. C. herte; F. hert. 148. F.
-alle hire. 150. F. hire othere. 151. F. Tn. on to; T. A. Th. B. vnto. 153.
F. thoo. Tn. vnkyndenesse; F. vnkyndnesse. 154. F. dooth. 156. F. Tn. B.
humblely (_trisyllabic_); T. Th. humbly. A. P. songen; T. sangen; _rest_
songe. 158. F. hire. 159. F. hire (_and elsewhere_). 161. F. thurgh. 162.
Tn. T. Th. B. P. made; F. mad. 163. F. Thurgh. 164. F. Tn. Th. P. clepe it
nat; _but_ T. A. _om._ it. T. _also om._ nat; _and_ A. _has_ that _for_
nat. 165. F. vertue. 166. Tn. A. Etic; B. Etyk; F. etike; T. Ethik. 167.
Tn. foules; F. foweles. 169. A. songen; T. songyn; F. Tn. B. songe. F. Tn.
acorde; T. acord; A. accord. 170. F. oure. F. Tn. lorde; T. A. lord. 171.
Tn. zephirus; F. Zepherus. 173. F. Hire swoote. 175. F. whiche; thoght;
myght. 176. F. Duellen. Tn. A. month; T. moneth; F. monyth. 177. Tn. sleep;
F. slepe. 178. F. A-dovne. 180. F. shoope. Tn. to a-bide; F. tabide. 181.
F. ellis. 182. Tn. dayesye; F. daysie. 183. F. B. (_only_) _transpose_ wel
_and_ men. 184. Tn. dayesie; F. daisie. 185. F. floure; A. flour. 186. T.
mot; P. may; _rest_ mote. 190. F. corne; Tn. corn.  192. F. mother (!);
_rest_ nother. 194. F. browken; her. 196. T. story; F. storye; Tn. storie.
F. swiche thinge. 197. _All_ west; _read_ weste (_as in_ MS. Add. 9832).
198. F. floure. _All_ rest; _read_ reste (_as in_ MS. Add. 9832 _and in_ l.
201). 199. Th. dredde (_rightly_); _rest_ dred. 200. Tn. hom; F. Home. Th.
spedde (_rightly_); _rest_ sped. 202. F. B. (_only_) _omit_ to. 208. F.
leyde; A. laid. 209. F. twoo. 210. Tn. medew; F. medewe; T. A. medow. 211,
212. F. (_only_) _transposes these lines_. 211. T. A. Add. so love; _rest_
love so. 212. Tn. com; Th. cam; _rest_ come. 214. Tn. habit; F. habite.
215. C. hadde; _rest_ had (_badly_). 216. C. whit; P. whyt; F. Tn. B.
white. T. coroun; C. corone; F. corwne; Tn. Th. crowne (_but_ corowne _in
ll._ 220, 223). 217 (_and_ 220). Th. florouns; Tn. floruns; F. flourouns;
B. flowrouns; _rest_ floures. 218. C. world; F. worlde. Tn. dayesie; F.
daysye. 220. P. corown; F. corovne; T. coroune; Tn. Th. B. corowne; A.
croun. 222. F. Hire. F. corovne; C. coroun (_and in l._ 223). 224. F. hire
lyke. 225. F. eke; golde. 229. F. worlde; Tn. world. 230. F. Tn. gilte; T.
A. gilt. Tn. heer; F. here; A. hair. 231. F. I stede; _rest_ In stede. F.
golde; Tn. gold. 232. F. thoght. _In_ 231, 232, _most_ MSS. _have_ wight,
bright; _but_ C. _has_ bryhte, _riming with_ syhte. 233. F. myght. 234. F.
thoght. 235. F. Twoo. 238. F. thoght; myght. 240. F. dooth; C. both (!). C.
herte; F. hert. 241. F. helde; C. held. C. the (_for_ this). 242. F.
Corowned. 244. F. _om._ wolde seke. 245. F. _imperfect; has only_ nat
fynde. C. Half hire beute schulde men; A. (_only_) _inserts_ of _after_
Half. [282. C. this; _for_ the.] [286. C. _om._ had.] [287. C. thredde. C.
Wemen ne; _for_ mankynd or.] 247. F. therfore. 248. F. songe. 249. F. Tn.
_omit_. C. Hyd absalon thynne gilte tressis clere. T. A. Th. absolon thy.
250. C. meknesse; F. mekenesse. C. adoun; F. adowne. 252. C. T. P.
Penolope. 253. C. Mak; _rest_ Make. F. youre; Tn. yo_ur_. C. wyfhod; F.
wifhode. 254. F. youre. 255. F. comith (_and in l._ 262). 257. F. tovne; C.
toun. 261. F. Tesbe; C. Tysbe; Tn. A. Th. Tisbe; T. Tisbee. F. Tn. Th. B.
P. of; C. T. A. for. C. swich; F. suche. 263. Th. Hero; MSS. Herro. C. Th.
Laodomya; _rest_ laudomia. 266. C. T. Th. bytrayed. 267. C. soun; F. sovne.
271. F. seyde; Tn. seid. 272. Tn. mow; F. Th. mowe; T. A. may. 274. F.
wole; fire. 276. F. faire; Tn. fair. 279. F. Tn. hadde; T. A. had. F. dede;
Tn. deed. 282. F. Behynde; A. Behynd. 283. F. comyng; Tn. comynge. F.
Nientene; Tn. nyentene; T. A. nyntene. 284. F. habite. 285. F. coome. F.
wymen; T. wemen; Th. B. P. women; A. wom_m_en. 286. F. hadde made. 290. F.
echon. 291. F. wheither (_pronounced_ whe'r). F. non. 293. F. daysie; Tn.
dayesie. 294. F. styten (_miswritten for_ stynten). T. at ones; F. attones.
295. F. knelede dovne. 296. T. A. hele; Tn. heele; F. heel. 297. F. The
(_for_ To); _rest_ To. 298. F. bereth. 299. F. Hire; corowne. F. beryth;
Tn. berth. 301. F. softly; Tn. softely. 303. F. corowne; C. corone. 304. F.
remenan_n_t; C. remenant. 306. F. worde. 308. F. floure. 309. F. Aboode;
Tn. Abood. 310. F. ston. F. last; C. laste. 311. F. hyse eighen. 312. F.
there. 314. F. B. (_only_) _om._ sir. C. cam; F. come. C. ner; F. nere
(_see l._ 318). 315. A. salued; F. salwed; C. salewede. C. her; F. here.
316. F. ovne floure. 317. C. A. For; _rest om._ 318. F. worme; Tn. worm; C.
werm. Tn. neer; F. ner. 319. F. sire. 321. Tn. relik; F. relyke. 322. F.
foo; folke. 323. F. servauntes; Tn. seruauntz. 324. Tn. hindrest; F.
hynderest. 325. F. folke. 326, 327. F. _om. from_ me _to_ serve.  328. F.
pleyne. 329. F. Tn. B. _om._ translated (!); _perhaps read_ translat; _but
see_ l. 425. 330. F. ayeins. 331. F. folke. 332. F. Creseyde; A. Criseide.
F. seyde; the.  335. F. the. 336. T. A. that; _rest om._ 340. Tn. wel; F.
wele. 341. F. Thoo spake. 342. F. youre. 343. A. herknen; C. herkenyn;
_rest_ herken. 348. F. alle. 349. F. Thanne myght; shalle. 350. F. mane
(!). 351. C. There; _rest_ That. F. oughte ben. 352. F. youre courte. 353.
C. Tn. queynte; F. queynt. 354. F. youre; swon (!), _for_ sown. 356. F.
youre. 357. F. Thise. 358. F. B. lauendere.  360. C. hous; F. house. 362.
F. eke parauntere. 363. F. myght. 364. F. B. (_only_) _om._ But. 367. Tn.
som; F. somme. 368. T. vttyrly; A. vtirly; F. Tn. outrely. 371. F. Tn. B.
P. And; _rest_ As. 372. F. Despite. 373. F. shoolde. 374. F. lyke
tirauntez. 376. F. kynge. F. lord ys in; _rest om._ in. 377. F. oght; C.
oughte. F. crewel; B. cruel. 378. F. harme. 379. F. leege; C. Tn. lige; Th.
T. A. B. liege. 382. F. leeges; Tn. liges; C. lygis. 384. F. hise. Th. P.
in her; _rest om._ in. 387. F. -goddys. 388. F. mote; T. A. Add. _om._
bothe; poore. 389. F. hire estaat. 390. F. poore. 391. F. loo; kynde. T. A.
leoun; F. lyoun. 392. F. offendith. 393. F. tayle. F. fle; C. Tn. A. B. P.
flye. 394. F. esely; A. esily. C. A. genterye; F. gentrye. 396. F. dooth;
best. 397. C. oghte; F. ought. F. ben arest. 399. F. Tn. Th. B. vnto;
_rest_ to. 401. C. P. or; _rest_ of. 402. C. wol; T. ryght; _rest_ ful. F.
foule. 403. C. T. A. if; _rest_ it. 404. C. _om._ But. 405. F. profereth;
P. profreth. 406. F. owen; C. Tn. owene; T. oune. 407. F. oght. 409. F.
dethe lyeth; caas. 410. _All but_ T. _wrongly insert_ to _before_ been.
412. F. kunnyng. 413. F. furthred; Tn. forthred. F. youre. 415. C. makid;
_rest_ made (_line too short_). 425. F. proce; _rest_ prose. 426. F. maade;
lyfe. 427. A. sithen; _rest_ is. F. grete. 429. F. oughte. 430. F. maade;
thinge. 431. F. be; C. A. ben. 435. A. sueren; _rest_ swere to (_less
happily_). C. T. A. as; _which the rest omit_. 436. C. T. A. no; _rest_
neuer. 437. C. T. A. he; _rest om._ F. wol. 438. F. lyfe (_but see l._
434). 439. F. wol; wyfe. 442. C. F. answerede; Th. answerde (_better_). F.
(_only_) _om._ thus. 444. C. knew; F. knewe. 445. C. sith; F. syn. F.
worlde. 446. C. T. A. fond; F. founde. 447. F. ye; _rest_ I. F. wolde; P.
Add. wold_e_; _rest_ wol, wole, woll_e_. 449. C. Th. lyth; Tn. lith; F.
lyeth. F. liste. 451. F. yifte; dooth. 454. P. her; _rest_ here. 455. F.
dovne. 457. C. Tn. T. A. Add. ye; _rest om._ 459. F. Tn. Th. B. P. _all
om._ yeve me (_wrongly_); C. T. A. _retain it_. 461. C. holpyn; Th. holpen;
_rest_ holpe. C. F. Tn. _needlessly insert_ me _after_ put. C. swich (_for_
this). 462. C. trewely; F. trewly. 466. F. oght. _All wrongly omit final_ e
_in_ oght; _and all but_ C. _wrongly insert_ to _before_ blame. 467. F.
spake; Tn. spede; _rest_ speke. 473. F. ben; C. be. 477. C. this at (_for_
that of). 478. F. holde; _all_ the. 480. C. A. and; _rest om._ T. to put
the out of were (_for_ and--here). 481. F. while; yere by yere. 482. F.
most partye. C. lyf (_for_ tyme). 484. C. goode; F. good. F. wymmen; Tn. A.
wommen; C. T. wemen. 485. F. trew. C. leuynge (_error for_ lonynge). 486.
C. false; F. fals. 487. _From_ C.; F. Tn. _omit this line_. 488. F. women;
Tn. wommen. C. Tn. A. B. P. they; F. that. 489. F. youre worlde. 490. F.
the; lovere bee. 491. C. Spek; F. Speke. 493. F. servantez; Tn. seruauntz.
495. F. Goo. C. thyn (_for_ this). 496. F. maade. 497. F. Sheene; Tn. T.
Th. Shene. 502, 503. F. _omits from_ sorer _to_ renneth. C. sorere; T. A.
sorer; _rest_ sore. C. Tn. Th. smerte. C. pete rennyth; Tn. A. pitee
renneth. F. soone. 505. C. answerde; F. answered. C. sere; F. sire; Tn.
sir. 506. F. Tn. B. Na; _rest_ No. F. moore. 508. C. T. A. that; _rest om._
511. C. Tn. grete; F. gret. 512. C. Tn. dayesye; F. daysye. 514. F. eke.
516. F. agayne. 518. F. hire. 519. C. dayes eye; F. daysie. F. owene. 520.
F. weel. 521. C. bothe; F. both. F. aftir hir deth. C. ek (_for_ in). 524.
C. dayesye; F. daysye. 526. F. hire goodenesse. 527, 529. C. coroun; F.
corowne. 527. F. berith. 528. C. hath (_badly_). 529. F. Th. florouns;
_rest_ floures. 530. F. honoure. 531. _In margin of_ F.--Cibella mater
deorum. F. maade; daysye; floure. 532. C. I-coroned; F. Y-crowned. F.
white. 533. C. corone; F. corowne. F. reede. 534. C. set; F. sette. 537. F.
Thanne. C. gret; F. grete. F. necligence. 538. F. ys (_wrongly_); _rest_
hit, it. 540. Th. forgete; F. Tn. forgate; T. A. forgat. F. songe. 542. T.
A. Add. so; _rest om._ F. shee. 543. F. bee. 544. C. taughte; F. taught. F.
crafte; Tn. T. A. craft. 545. F. wyfhode; lyvyng. 546. F. al; oght. 547. F.
witte. 548. F. the. C. lyf; F. lyfe. 549. F. legende. C. wif; F. wyfe. 550.
F. y-maade. 551. C. no more; F. namore. 552. F. goo; the. 555. F. Th. my;
_rest_ thy. 556. F. bookes. 557. F. _misplaces_ now _after_ legende; Tn.
Th. _place_ now _after_ hem. 558. F. ben; knowyng. 559. F. here; thousande
moo sittyng. 560. F. Thanne. A. that ben; T. Add. and; _rest om._ 561. Tn.
aught; F. oght. 562. F. lest; Tn. leste. 563. F. home. F. west; Tn. weste.
564. F. thise; _rest_ this. 565. F. fressh; Th. fresshe; A. fresche. 566.
F. wole. 567. F. forthe. C. Tn. shalt; F. shal. 569. F. stronge. 571. F.
Tn. A. swich; T. Th. P. suche. F. Tn. dide; T. dedyn; P. deden; Add. diden.
573. B. Suffyceth; F. Suffich (!). 574. A. lyf; F. lyfe. 575. A. listen
trete; Tn. the lasse to trete (!); Add. the lesse to trete (!); _rest_
listen for to trete (_badly; omit_ for). 576. F. storye. 578. A. word; F.
worde. 579. F. legende.



  After the deeth of Tholomee the king,                                 580
  That al Egipte hadde in his governing,
  Regned his quene Cleopataras;
  Til on a tyme befel ther swiche a cas,
  That out of Rome was sent a senatour,
  For to conqueren regnes and honour                                    585
  Unto the toun of Rome, as was usaunce,
  To have the world unto her obeisaunce;
  And, sooth to seye, Antonius was his name.
  So fil hit, as Fortune him oghte a shame                             (10)
  Whan he was fallen in prosperitee,                                    590
  Rebel unto the toun of Rome is he.
  And over al this, the suster of Cesar,
  He lafte hir falsly, er that she was war,
  And wolde algates han another wyf;
  For whiche he took with Rome and Cesar stryf.                         595
    Natheles, for-sooth, this ilke senatour
  Was a ful worthy gentil werreyour,
  And of his deeth hit was ful greet damage.
  But love had broght this man in swiche a rage,                       (20)
  And him so narwe bounden in his las,                                  600
  Al for the love of Cleopataras,
  That al the world he sette at no value.
  Him thoughte, nas to him no thing so due
  As Cleopatras for to love and serve;
  Him roghte nat in armes for to sterve                                 605
  In the defence of hir, and of hir right.
    This noble quene eek lovede so this knight,
  Through his desert, and for his chivalrye;
  As certeinly, but-if that bokes lye,                                 (30)
  He was, of persone and of gentilesse,                                 610
  And of discrecioun and hardinesse,
  Worthy to any wight that liven may.
  And she was fair as is the rose in May.
  And, for to maken shortly is the beste,
  She wex his wyf, and hadde him as hir leste.                          615
    The wedding and the feste to devyse,
  To me, that have y-take swiche empryse
  Of so many a storie for to make,
  Hit were to long, lest that I sholde slake                           (40)
  Of thing that bereth more effect and charge;                          620
  For men may overlade a ship or barge;
  And forthy to theffect than wol I skippe,
  And al the remenant, I wol lete hit slippe.
    Octovian, that wood was of this dede,
  Shoop him an ost on Antony to lede                                    625
  Al-outerly for his destruccioun,
  With stoute Romains, cruel as leoun;
  To ship they wente, and thus I let hem saile.
    Antonius was war, and wol nat faile                                (50)
  To meten with thise Romains, if he may;                               630
  Took eek his reed, and bothe, upon a day,
  His wyf and he, and al his ost, forth wente
  To shippe anoon, no lenger they ne stente;
  And in the see hit happed hem to mete--
  Up goth the trompe--and for to shoute and shete,                      635
  And peynen hem to sette on with the sonne.
  With grisly soun out goth the grete gonne,
  And heterly they hurtlen al at ones,
  And fro the top doun cometh the grete stones.                        (60)
  In goth the grapenel so ful of crokes                                 640
  Among the ropes, and the shering-hokes.
  In with the polax presseth he and he;
  Behind the mast beginneth he to flee,
  And out agayn, and dryveth him over-borde;
  He stingeth him upon his speres orde;                                 645
  He rent the sail with hokes lyke a sythe;
  He bringeth the cuppe, and biddeth hem be blythe;
  He poureth pesen upon the hacches slider;
  With pottes ful of lym they goon to-gider;                           (70)
  And thus the longe day in fight they spende                           650
  Til, at the laste, as every thing hath ende,
  Antony is shent, and put him to the flighte,
  And al his folk to-go, that best go mighte.
    Fleeth eek the queen, with al her purpre sail,
  For strokes, which that wente as thikke as hail;                      655
  No wonder was, she mighte hit nat endure.
  And whan that Antony saw that aventure,
  'Allas!' quod he, 'the day that I was born!
  My worshipe in this day thus have I lorn!'                           (80)
  And for dispeyr out of his witte he sterte,                           660
  And roof him-self anoon through-out the herte
  Er that he ferther wente out of the place.
  His wyf, that coude of Cesar have no grace,
  To Egipte is fled, for drede and for distresse;
  But herkneth, ye that speke of kindenesse.                            665
    Ye men, that falsly sweren many an ooth
  That ye wol dye, if that your love be wrooth,
  Heer may ye seen of women whiche a trouthe!
  This woful Cleopatre hath mad swich routhe                           (90)
  That ther nis tonge noon that may hit telle.                          670
  But on the morwe she wol no lenger dwelle,
  But made hir subtil werkmen make a shryne
  Of alle the rubies and the stones fyne
  In al Egipte that she coude espye;
  And putte ful the shryne of spycerye,                                 675
  And leet the cors embaume; and forth she fette
  This dede cors, and in the shryne hit shette.
  And next the shryne a pit than doth she grave;
  And alle the serpents that she mighte have,                         (100)
  She putte hem in that grave, and thus she seyde:                      680
  'Now love, to whom my sorweful herte obeyde
  So ferforthly that, fro that blisful houre
  That I yow swor to been al frely youre,
  I mene yow, Antonius my knight!
  That never waking, in the day or night,                               685
  Ye nere out of myn hertes remembraunce
  For wele or wo, for carole or for daunce;
  And in my-self this covenant made I tho,
  That, right swich as ye felten, wele or wo,                         (110)
  As ferforth as hit in my power lay,                                   690
  Unreprovable unto my wyfhood ay,
  The same wolde I felen, lyf or deeth.
  And thilke covenant, whyl me lasteth breeth,
  I wol fulfille, and that shal wel be sene;
  Was never unto hir love a trewer quene.'                              695
  And with that word, naked, with ful good herte,
  Among the serpents in the pit she sterte,
  And ther she chees to han hir buryinge.
  Anoon the neddres gonne hir for to stinge,                          (120)
  And she hir deeth receyveth, with good chere,                         700
  For love of Antony, that was hir so dere:--
  And this is storial sooth, hit is no fable.
    Now, er I finde a man thus trewe and stable,
  And wol for love his deeth so freely take,
  I pray god lat our hedes never ake!                                   705


N.B.--_Readings not marked with any letter are from_ F. (Fairfax MS.)

580. deth. 582. queene. 583. swich. 586. tovne. 587. worlde. C. vn-to; T.
vnder; _rest_ at. 589. oght. 591. tovne. 594. wold. 595. which. 597.
full_e_. 598. F. (_only_) this; _rest_ his. gret. 599. swich. 600. laas.
601. F. Alle; C. Tn. Al. 602. worlde; noo. 603. C. there nas to hym no
thyng so dewe; _rest_ there was no thing to him so due (_all too long_).
604. F. Tn. B. Cleopataras; _rest_ Cleopatras. 607. ek. C. lovede; F.
loved. 608. Thurgh; decert. 609. bookes. 611. _All but_ T. A. Add. _insert_
of _after_ and; _I omit it_. 612. C. lyuyn; F. leven. 613. faire. 614. F.
(_only_) _om._ for. 615. MSS. wax, wox; _read_ wex. 616. C. Tn. feste; F.
fest. 617. swich. 619. T. A. P. Add. long; _rest_ longe. C. T. A. lest; F.
lyst. 621. shippe. 622. A. Add. theffect; C. thefeect (_sic_); F. effect.
623. remenaunt. 624. woode. 625. oost. 627. Romaynes crewel. T. leou_n_; F.
lyou_n_. 628. shippe. 630. Romaynes. 631. eke; rede; booth. 632. oost
forthe went (C. wentyn). 633. stent; C. stente. 635. gooth. 637. sovne;
gooth. 638. C. Tn. heterly; A. hatirly; F. hertely. hurtelen; attones. 639.
dovne. 640. gooth. 641. C. Among; F. Amonge. 642. preseth. 643. By-hynde;
maste begyneth. 646. sayle. 647. F. A. Add. him; _rest_ hem. 648. slidre.
649. to-gedre. 651. C. Tn. laste; F. last. 652. flyght. 653. folke to-goo;
goo myght. 654. ek; queene; sayle. 655. went; thik; hayle. 656. myght. 657.
C. saw; F. saugh. 658. borne. 659. worshippe; lorne. 660. dispeyre. 661.
thurgh-. 662. went. 665. herkeneth. T. speke; _rest_ speken. 666. C. Tn.
oth; F. oothe. 667. C. Tn. wroth; F. wroothe. 668. which. 669. C. Tn.
Cleopatre; F. Cleopatrie. made. 671. C. morwe; F. morowe. 672. werknen (!).
673. Tn. rubies; F. rubees. 675. C. Tn. putte; F. put. 676. Tn. leet; C. F.
let. C. cors; F. corps (_and in l._ 677). 678. C. pet; Tn. pyt; F. pitte.
dooth. 679. C. alle; F. al. C. myghte; F. myght. 680. C. Tn. putte; F. put.
sayde. 682. ferforthely. 683. ben. 687. woo. 688. couenaunt; thoo. 689. T.
A. Th. wele; C. F. Tn. wel. 690. C. power; F. powere. 692. life; deethe.
693. couenaunt while. 694. seene. 696. C. word; F. worde. 700. C.
receyuyth; F. receveth. 704. F. (_only_) wolde. 705. oure; neuere. F. take
(!); _rest_ ake.



    At Babiloine whylom fil it thus,
  The whiche toun the queen Semiramus
  Leet dichen al about, and walles make
  Ful hye, of harde tyles wel y-bake.
  Ther weren dwellinge in this noble toun                               710
  Two lordes, which that were of greet renoun,
  And woneden so nigh, upon a grene,
  That ther nas but a stoon-wal hem bitwene,
  As ofte in grete tounes is the wone.
  And sooth to seyn, that o man hadde a sone,                           715
  Of al that londe oon of the lustieste.                               (11)
  That other hadde a doghter, the faireste,
  That estward in the world was tho dwellinge.
  The name of everich gan to other springe
  By wommen, that were neighebores aboute.                              720
  For in that contree yit, withouten doute,
  Maidens been y-kept, for Ielosye,
  Ful streite, lest they diden som folye.
    This yonge man was cleped Piramus,
  And Tisbe hight the maid, Naso seith thus;                            725
  And thus by report was hir name y-shove                              (21)
  That, as they wexe in age, wex hir love;
  And certein, as by reson of hir age,
  Ther mighte have been bitwix hem mariage,
  But that hir fadres nolde hit nat assente;                            730
  And bothe in love y-lyke sore they brente,
  That noon of alle hir frendes mighte hit lette
  But prively somtyme yit they mette
  By sleighte, and speken som of hir desyr;
  As, wry the gleed, and hotter is the fyr;                             735
  Forbede a love, and it is ten so wood.                               (31)
    This wal, which that bitwix hem bothe stood,
  Was cloven a-two, right fro the toppe adoun,
  Of olde tyme of his fundacioun;
  But yit this clifte was so narwe and lyte,                            740
  It as nat sene, dere y-nogh a myte.
  But what is that, that love can nat espye?
  Ye lovers two, if that I shal nat lye,
  Ye founden first this litel narwe clifte;
  And, with a soun as softe as any shrifte,                             745
  They lete hir wordes through the clifte pace,                        (41)
  And tolden, whyl that they stode in the place,
  Al hir compleynt of love, and al hir wo,
  At every tyme whan they dorste so.
    Upon that o syde of the wal stood he,                               750
  And on that other syde stood Tisbe,
  The swote soun of other to receyve,
  And thus hir wardeins wolde they deceyve.
  And every day this wal they wolde threte,
  And wisshe to god, that it were doun y-bete.                          755
  Thus wolde they seyn--'allas! thou wikked wal,                       (51)
  Through thyn envye thou us lettest al!
  Why nilt thou cleve, or fallen al a-two?
  Or, at the leste, but thou woldest so,
  Yit woldestow but ones lete us mete,                                  760
  Or ones that we mighte kissen swete,
  Than were we covered of our cares colde.
  But natheles, yit be we to thee holde
  In as muche as thou suffrest for to goon
  Our wordes through thy lyme and eek thy stoon.                        765
  Yit oghte we with thee ben wel apayd.'                               (61)
    And whan thise ydel wordes weren sayd,
  The colde wal they wolden kisse of stoon,
  And take hir leve, and forth they wolden goon.
  And this was gladly in the even-tyde                                  770
  Or wonder erly, lest men hit espyde;
  And longe tyme they wroghte in this manere
  Til on a day, whan Phebus gan to clere,
  Aurora with the stremes of hir hete
  Had dryed up the dew of herbes wete;                                  775
  Unto this clifte, as it was wont to be,                              (71)
  Com Pyramus, and after com Tisbe,
  And plighten trouthe fully in hir fey
  That ilke same night to stele awey,
  And to begyle hir wardeins everichoon,                                780
  And forth out of the citee for to goon;
  And, for the feldes been so brode and wyde,
  For to mete in o place at o tyde,
  They sette mark hir meting sholde be
  Ther king Ninus was graven, under a tree;                             785
  For olde payens that ydoles heried                                   (81)
  Useden tho in feldes to ben beried
  And faste by this grave was a welle.
  And, shortly of this tale for to telle,
  This covenant was affermed wonder faste;                              790
  And longe hem thoughte that the sonne laste,
  That hit nere goon under the see adoun.
    This Tisbe hath so greet affeccioun
  And so greet lyking Piramus to see,
  That, whan she seigh her tyme mighte be,                              795
  At night she stal awey ful prively                                   (91)
  With her face y-wimpled subtilly;
  For alle her frendes--for to save her trouthe--
  She hath for-sake; allas! and that is routhe
  That ever woman wolde be so trewe                                     800
  To trusten man, but she the bet him knewe!
  And to the tree she goth a ful good pas,
  For love made her so hardy in this cas;
  And by the welle adoun she gan her dresse.
  Allas! than comth a wilde leonesse                                    805
  Out of the wode, withouten more areste,                             (101)
  With blody mouthe, of strangling of a beste,
  To drinken of the welle, ther as she sat;
  And, whan that Tisbe had espyed that,
  She rist her up, with a ful drery herte,                              810
  And in a cave with dredful foot she sterte,
  For by the mone she seigh hit wel with-alle.
  And, as she ran, her wimpel leet she falle,
  And took noon heed, so sore she was a-whaped.
  And eek so glad of that she was escaped;                              815
  And thus she sit, and darketh wonder stille.                        (111)
  Whan that this leonesse hath dronke her fille,
  Aboute the welle gan she for to winde,
  And right anoon the wimpel gan she finde,
  And with her blody mouth hit al to-rente.                             820
  Whan this was doon, no lenger she ne stente,
  But to the wode her wey than hath she nome.
    And, at the laste, this Piramus is come,
  But al to longe, allas! at hoom was he.
  The mone shoon, men mighte wel y-see,                                 825
  And in his weye, as that he com ful faste,                          (121)
  His eyen to the grounde adoun he caste,
  And in the sonde, as he beheld adoun,
  He seigh the steppes brode of a leoun,
  And in his herte he sodeinly agroos,                                  830
  And pale he wex, therwith his heer aroos,
  And neer he com, and fond the wimpel torn.
  'Allas!' quod he, 'the day that I was born!
  This o night wol us lovers bothe slee!
  How sholde I axen mercy of Tisbe                                      835
  Whan I am he that have yow slain, allas!                            (131)
  My bidding hath yow slain, as in this cas.
  Allas! to bidde a woman goon by nighte
  In place ther as peril fallen mighte,
  And I so slow! allas, I ne hadde be                                   840
  Here in this place a furlong-wey or ye!
  Now what leoun that be in this foreste,
  My body mote he renden, or what beste
  That wilde is, gnawen mote he now myn herte!'
  And with that worde he to the wimpel sterte,                          845
  And kiste hit ofte, and weep on hit ful sore,                       (141)
  And seide, 'wimpel, allas! ther nis no more
  But thou shalt fele as wel the blood of me
  As thou hast felt the bleding of Tisbe!'
  And with that worde he smoot him to the herte.                        850
  The blood out of the wounde as brode sterte
  As water, whan the conduit broken is.
    Now Tisbe, which that wiste nat of this,
  But sitting in her drede, she thoghte thus,
  'If hit so falle that my Piramus                                      855
  Be comen hider, and may me nat y-finde,                             (151)
  He may me holden fals and eek unkinde.'
  And out she comth, and after him gan espyen
  Bothe with her herte and with her yën,
  And thoghte, 'I wol him tellen of my drede                            860
  Bothe of the leonesse and al my dede.'
  And at the laste her love than hath she founde
  Beting with his heles on the grounde,
  Al blody, and therwith-al a-bak she sterte,
  And lyke the wawes quappe gan her herte,                              865
  And pale as box she wex, and in a throwe                            (161)
  Avysed her, and gan him wel to knowe,
  That hit was Piramus, her herte dere.
  Who coude wryte whiche a deedly chere
  Hath Tisbe now, and how her heer she rente,                           870
  And how she gan her-selve to turmente,
  And how she lyth and swowneth on the grounde,
  And how she weep of teres ful his wounde,
  How medeleth she his blood with her compleynte,
  And with his blood her-selven gan she peynte;                         875
  How clippeth she the dede cors, allas?                              (171)
  How doth this woful Tisbe in this cas!
  How kisseth she his frosty mouth so cold!
  'Who hath doon this, and who hath been so bold
  To sleen my leef? O spek, my Piramus!                                 880
  I am thy Tisbe, that thee calleth thus!'
  And therwith-al she lifteth up his heed.
    This woful man, that was nat fully deed,
  Whan that he herde the name of Tisbe cryen,
  On her he caste his hevy deedly yën                                   885
  And doun again, and yeldeth up the gost.                            (181)
    Tisbe rist up, withouten noise or bost,
  And seigh her wimpel and his empty shethe,
  And eek his swerd, that him hath doon to dethe;
  Than spak she thus: 'My woful hand,' quod she,                        890
  'Is strong y-nogh in swiche a werk to me;
  For love shal yive me strengthe and hardinesse
  To make my wounde large y-nogh, I gesse.
  I wol thee folwen deed, and I wol be
  Felawe and cause eek of thy deeth,' quod she.                         895
  'And thogh that nothing save the deeth only                         (191)
  Mighte thee fro me departe trewely,
  Thou shalt no more departe now fro me
  Than fro the deeth, for I wol go with thee!
    'And now, ye wrecched Ielous fadres oure,                           900
  We, that weren whylom children youre,
  We prayen yow, withouten more envye,
  That in o grave y-fere we moten lye,
  Sin love hath brought us to this pitous ende!
  And rightwis god to every lover sende,                                905
  That loveth trewely, more prosperitee                               (201)
  Than ever hadde Piramus and Tisbe!
  And lat no gentil woman her assure
  To putten her in swiche an aventure.
  But god forbede but a woman can                                       910
  Been as trewe and loving as a man!
  And, for my part, I shal anoon it kythe!'
  And, with that worde, his swerd she took as swythe,
  That warm was of her loves blood and hoot,
  And to the herte she her-selven smoot.                                915
    And thus ar Tisbe and Piramus ago.                                (211)
  Of trewe men I finde but fewe mo
  In alle my bokes, save this Piramus,
  And therfor have I spoken of him thus.
  For hit is deyntee to us men to finde                                 920
  A man that can in love be trewe and kinde.
  Heer may ye seen, what lover so he be,
  A woman dar and can as wel as he.


707. tovne; queene. 710. tovne. 711. grete. 712. C. nygh; F. neigh. 714.
grette. 715. C. hadde; F. had (_so in l._ 717). 716. C. Tn. Th. of; _rest
om._ 717. Tn. doghter; F. doghtre. 718. esteward; worlde. 719. eueryche.
722. C. been; F. ben. 723. Tn. som; C. sum; F. somme. 724. C. Tn. yonge; F.
yong. 725. _All but_ C. _om._ And. Tn. A. Tisbe; C. Th. Tysbe; F. B. Tesbe;
T. Thesbe. maide. 726. C. report; F. reporte. 727. C. wex, wex; F. T. wex,
wax; Tn. wox, wax; B. wox, wox. 729. C. Tn. bitwixe; F. betwex. 730. nold.
731. booth; soore. 733. Tn. priuely; F. preuely. 734. C. sleyghte; F.
sleight. A. speken; Tn. T. Th. spaken; F. C. spoken. Tn. som; F. somme. C.
desyr; F. desire. 735. C. wry; F. Tn. wre. glede. C. fyr; F. fire. 736.
woode. 737. bitwixe; stoode. 738. a-twoo; adovne. 740. C. clyfte; F. clyft.
741. C. A. nas; _rest_ was. C. sene; F. seene. deere. 743. twoo. 745. C.
soun; F. sovne. 746. leete. 747. while. C. stode; F. stoden. 748. woo. 749.
soo. 750. F. the; _rest_ that. wale. 751. Tesbe. 752. swoote sovne. 754. C.
wal; F. walle. threete. 755. dovne. C. Tn. I-bete; F. y-bette. 756. C. Tn.
wal; F. walle. 757. Thurgh. C. Tn. al; F. alle. 758. C. nylt thou; F.
nyltow. 759. A. Th. B. leste; C. laste; F. leest. 760. let; meete. 761.
oones; myght; sweete. 762. oure. 763. the. 765. Tn. Our; F. Or (!). thurgh;
ek. 766. C. oughte; F. oght. the; apayede. 767. sayde. 768. walle. C.
kysse; F. kyssen. 769. foorth. 770. F. Alle; _rest_ And. T. A. euyn-tyde;
Th. euentyde; C. F. Tn. B. euetyde. 771. espyede. 772. C. wroughte; F.
wroght. 775. dewe. 777. F. Come; Tn. Com (_twice_). Tesbe. 778. C. fey; F.
faye. 779. steele awaye (C. awey). 780. euerychone. 781. gone. 782.
feeldes; broode. 783. meete. 786. C. Idolys; F. ydoyles. F. heriode (!).
787. thoo; feeldes; beriede. 788. C. Tn. faste; F. fast. 790. couenaunt.
792. F. (_only_) _om._ goon. 793. F. Tn. B. _om._ hath; greete. 794. F. Had
(!); _rest_ And. grete lykynge. 795. C. myghte; F. myght. 796. stale. A.
priuely; F. prevely. 802. gooth; goode paas. 803. caas. 804. a-downe. 805.
Tn. comth; F. comith. 806. woode. 807. strangelynge. 812. moone; saugh.
813. ranne. 814. tooke; hede; soore. 815. eke. T. of; _rest om._ 816. C.
sit; F. sytte 817. T. leones; F. lyonesse. 821. don. 822. woode. 824. home.
825. moone shoone; well. 826. C. weye; F. wey. C. com; F. come. 827. Hise
eighen; adovne. 828. behelde a-dovne. 829. broode. T. leoun; F. lyoune.
832. Tn. neer; C. ner; F. nere. C. Tn. com; F. come. C. fond; F. founde. C.
torn; F. torne. 833. C. born; F. borne. 834. oo; wole; boothe. 836. slayne.
837. C. as; _rest om._ 839. F. a; _rest_ as. 840. slowe. 841. yee. 843. F.
T. B. _om._ he. _All_ renten (rente, rent) _wrongly; read_ renden. 846.
_From_ C. (_which has_ wep _for_ weep); F. _om. this line_. 848. feele;
blode. 849. bledynge; Tesbe. 852. Tn. Th. conduyt; F. conduyte; C. A.
condit. 853. C. wiste nat of this; F. wyst nat this. 854. C. thoughte; F.
thought. 855. F. B. _om._ hit. 856. C. I-fynde; F. fynde. 857. ek. 858.
comith. 859. hert; eighen. 861. Booth. Tn. leonesse; F. lyonesse. 863. Tn.
Betyng; F. Betynge. helis. 866. F. Th. boxe; _rest_ box. T. wexed (_for_
wex); A. wox; Th. B. woxe; C. F. Tn. P. was (_error for_ wax). F. B. _om._
and. 868. C. herte; F. hert. 869. dedely. 870. Tesbe; heere. 873. Tn. weep;
C. wep; F. wepe. 876. C. Tn. cors; F. corps. 877. dooth; Tesbe. 878.
mouthe; colde. 879. ben; bolde. 880. leefe. C. Tn. spek; _rest_ speke
(_wrongly_). F. Tn. Th. B. _om._ my. 881. Tesbe. 884. C. Th. herde; _rest_
herd. Tesbe. 885. dedely. Tn. B. P. yen; F. eyn; _rest_ eyen. 886. dovne;
gooste. 887. vpp; booste. 888. saugh. 889. eke; swerde. 890. C. spak; F.
spake. C. myn (_for_ my); _rest_ thy (!). hande. 891. werke. 892. F.
(_only_) _puts_ me _before_ give. 894. wole; folowen deede. 895. eke. 897.
the; trewly. 898. F. shal; C. schat (!); _rest_ shalt. C. A. Th. departe
now; Tn. departe trewlie; F. T. B. now departe. 899. deth; goo. 900. F.
Ielouse; C. gelos. 901. whilome. 903. oo. T. I-fere; _which the rest omit_
(!). 904. C. T. A. brought vs to; F. vs broght (!). pitouse. 906. moore.
907. C. euere [gh]it hade; T. euer had yet; _rest omit_ [gh]it (yet). 908.
noo gentile. 909. puten. 911. Ben. 912. parte. 913. swerde. 914. warme;
hoote. 915. smoote (!). 916. Tn. T. ar; F. are; C. A. is. C. I-go; _rest_
a-goo (a go). 917. moo. 918. bookes. 919. therfore.



  Glory and honour, Virgil Mantuan,
  Be to thy name! and I shal, as I can,                                 925
  Folow thy lantern, as thou gost biforn,
  How Eneas to Dido was forsworn.
  In thyn Eneïd and Naso wol I take
  The tenour, and the grete effectes make.
    Whan Troye broght was to destruccioun                               930
  By Grekes sleighte, and namely by Sinoun,
  Feyning the hors y-offred to Minerve,
  Through which that many a Troyan moste sterve;                       (10)
  And Ector had, after his deeth, appered,
  And fyr so wood, it mighte nat be stered,                             935
  In al the noble tour of Ilioun,
  That of the citee was the cheef dungeoun;
  And al the contree was so lowe y-broght,
  And Priamus the king fordoon and noght;
  And Eneas was charged by Venus                                        940
  To fleen awey, he took Ascanius,
  That was his sone, in his right hand, and fledde;
  And on his bakke he bar and with him ledde                           (20)
  His olde fader, cleped Anchises,
  And by the weye his wyf Creusa he lees.                               945
  And mochel sorwe hadde he in his minde
  Er that he coude his felawshippe finde.
  But, at the laste, whan he had hem founde,
  He made him redy in a certein stounde,
  And to the see ful faste he gan him hye,                              950
  And saileth forth with al his companye
  Toward Itaile, as wolde destinee.
  But of his aventures in the see                                      (30)
  Nis nat to purpos for to speke of here,
  For hit acordeth nat to my matere.                                    955
  But, as I seide, of him and of Dido
  Shal be my tale, til that I have do.
    So longe he sailed in the salte see
  Til in Libye unnethe aryved he,
  With shippes seven and with no more navye;                            960
  And glad was he to londe for to hye,
  So was he with the tempest al to-shake.
  And whan that he the haven had y-take,                               (40)
  He had a knight, was called Achates;
  And him of al his felawshippe he chees                                965
  To goon with him, the contre for tespye;
  He took with him no more companye.
  But forth they goon, and lafte his shippes ryde,
  His fere and he, with-outen any gyde.
  So longe he walketh in this wildernesse                               970
  Til, at the laste, he mette an hunteresse.
  A bowe in honde and arwes hadde she,
  Her clothes cutted were unto the knee;                               (50)
  But she was yit the fairest creature
  That ever was y-formed by nature;                                     975
  And Eneas and Achates she grette,
  And thus she to hem spak, whan she hem mette.
  'Sawe ye,' quod she, 'as ye han walked wyde,
  Any of my sustren walke yow besyde,
  With any wilde boor or other beste                                    980
  That they han hunted to, in this foreste,
  Y-tukked up, with arwes in her cas?'
    'Nay, soothly, lady,' quod this Eneas;                             (60)
  'But, by thy beaute, as hit thinketh me,
  Thou mightest never erthely womman be,                                985
  But Phebus suster artow, as I gesse.
  And, if so be that thou be a goddesse,
  Have mercy on our labour and our wo.'
    'I nam no goddes, soothly,' quod she tho;
  'For maidens walken in this contree here,                             990
  With arwes and with bowe, in this manere.
  This is the regne of Libie, ther ye been,
  Of which that Dido lady is and queen'--                              (70)
  And shortly tolde him al the occasioun
  Why Dido com into that regioun,                                       995
  Of which as now me lusteth nat to ryme;
  Hit nedeth nat; hit nere but los of tyme.
  For this is al and som, it was Venus,
  His owne moder, that spak with him thus;
  And to Cartage she bad he sholde him dighte,                         1000
  And vanished anoon out of his sighte.
  I coude folwe, word for word, Virgyle,
  But it wolde lasten al to longe a whyle.                             (80)
    This noble queen, that cleped was Dido,
  That whylom was the wyf of Sitheo,                                   1005
  That fairer was then is the brighte sonne,
  This noble toun of Cartage hath begonne;
  In which she regneth in so greet honour,
  That she was holde of alle quenes flour,
  Of gentilesse, of freedom, of beautee;                               1010
  That wel was him that mighte her ones see;
  Of kinges and of lordes so desyred,
  That al the world her beaute hadde y-fyred;                          (90)
  She stood so wel in every wightes grace.
    Whan Eneas was come un-to that place,                              1015
  Unto the maister-temple of al the toun
  Ther Dido was in her devocioun,
  Ful prively his wey than hath he nome.
  Whan he was in the large temple come,
  I can nat seyn if that hit be possible,                              1020
  But Venus hadde him maked invisible--
  Thus seith the book, with-outen any lees.
  And whan this Eneas and Achates                                     (100)
  Hadden in this temple been over-al,
  Than founde they, depeynted on a wal,                                1025
  How Troye and al the lond destroyed was.
  'Allas! that I was born,' quod Eneas,
  'Through-out the world our shame is kid so wyde,
  Now it is peynted upon every syde!
  We, that weren in prosperitee,                                       1030
  Be now disslaundred, and in swich degre,
  No lenger for to liven I ne kepe!'
  And, with that worde, he brast out for to wepe                      (110)
  So tendrely, that routhe hit was to sene.
  This fresshe lady, of the citee quene,                               1035
  Stood in the temple, in her estat royal,
  So richely, and eek so fair with-al,
  So yong, so lusty, with her eyen glade,
  That, if that god, that heven and erthe made,
  Wolde han a love, for beaute and goodnesse,                          1040
  And womanhod, and trouthe, and seemlinesse,
  Whom sholde he loven but this lady swete?
  There nis no womman to him half so mete.                            (120)
    Fortune, that hath the world in governaunce,
  Hath sodeinly broght in so newe a chaunce,                           1045
  That never was ther yit so fremd a cas.
  For al the companye of Eneas,
  Which that he wende han loren in the see,
  Aryved is, nat fer fro that citee;
  For which, the grettest of his lordes some                           1050
  By aventure ben to the citee come,
  Unto that same temple, for to seke
  The quene, and of her socour her beseke;                            (130)
  Swich renoun was ther spronge of her goodnesse.
  And, whan they hadden told al hir distresse,                         1055
  And al hir tempest and hir harde cas,
  Unto the quene appered Eneas,
  And openly beknew that hit was he.
  Who hadde Ioye than but his meynee,
  That hadden founde hir lord, hir governour?                          1060
    The quene saw they dide him swich honour,
  And had herd ofte of Eneas, er tho,
  And in her herte she hadde routhe and wo                            (140)
  That ever swich a noble man as he
  Shal been disherited in swich degree;                                1065
  And saw the man, that he was lyk a knight,
  And suffisaunt of persone and of might,
  And lyk to been a veray gentil man;
  And wel his wordes he besette can,
  And had a noble visage for the nones,                                1070
  And formed wel of braunes and of bones.
  For, after Venus, hadde he swich fairnesse,
  That no man might be half so fair, I gesse.                         (150)
  And wel a lord he semed for to be.
  And, for he was a straunger, somwhat she                             1075
  Lyked him the bet, as, god do bote,
  To som folk ofte newe thing is swote.
  Anoon her herte hath pitee of his wo,
  And, with that pitee, love com in also;
  And thus, for pitee and for gentilesse,                              1080
  Refresshed moste he been of his distresse.
  She seide, certes, that she sory was
  That he hath had swich peril and swich cas;                         (160)
  And, in her frendly speche, in this manere
  She to him spak, and seide as ye may here.                           1085
    'Be ye nat Venus sone and Anchises?
  In good feith, al the worship and encrees
  That I may goodly doon yow, ye shul have.
  Your shippes and your meynee shal I save;'
  And many a gentil word she spak him to;                              1090
  And comaunded her messageres go
  The same day, with-outen any faile,
  His shippes for to seke, and hem vitaile.                           (170)
  She many a beste to the shippes sente,
  And with the wyn she gan hem to presente;                            1095
  And to her royal paleys she her spedde,
  And Eneas alwey with her she ledde.
  What nedeth yow the feste to descryve?
  He never beter at ese was his lyve.
  Ful was the feste of deyntees and richesse,                          1100
  Of instruments, of song, and of gladnesse,
  And many an amorous loking and devys.
    This Eneas is come to Paradys                                     (180)
  Out of the swolow of helle, and thus in Ioye
  Remembreth him of his estat in Troye.                                1105
  To dauncing-chambres ful of parements,
  Of riche beddes, and of ornaments,
  This Eneas is lad, after the mete.
  And with the quene whan that he had sete,
  And spyces parted, and the wyn agoon,                                1110
  Unto his chambres was he lad anoon
  To take his ese and for to have his reste,
  With al his folk, to doon what so hem leste.                        (190)
    Ther nas coursere wel y-brydled noon,
  Ne stede, for the Iusting wel to goon,                               1115
  Ne large palfrey, esy for the nones,
  Ne Iuwel, fretted ful of riche stones,
  Ne sakkes ful of gold, of large wighte,
  Ne ruby noon, that shynede by nighte,
  Ne gentil hautein faucon heronere,                                   1120
  Ne hound, for hert or wilde boor or dere,
  Ne coupe of gold, with florins newe y-bete,
  That in the lond of Libie may be gete,                              (200)
  That Dido ne hath hit Eneas y-sent;
  And al is payed, what that he hath spent.                            1125
  Thus can this [noble] quene her gestes calle,
  As she that can in freedom passen alle.
    Eneas sothly eek, with-outen lees,
  Hath sent un-to his shippe, by Achates,
  After his sone, and after riche thinges,                             1130
  Both ceptre, clothes, broches, and eek ringes,
  Som for to were, and som for to presente
  To her, that all thise noble thinges him sente;                     (210)
  And bad his sone, how that he sholde make
  The presenting, and to the quene hit take.                           1135
    Repaired is this Achates again,
  And Eneas ful blisful is and fain
  To seen his yonge sone Ascanius.
  But natheles, our autour telleth us,
  That Cupido, that is the god of love,                                1140
  At preyere of his moder, hye above,
  Hadde the lyknes of the child y-take,
  This noble quene enamoured to make                                  (220)
  On Eneas; but, as of that scripture,
  Be as be may, I make of hit no cure.                                 1145
  But sooth is this, the quene hath mad swich chere
  Un-to this child, that wonder is to here;
  And of the present that his fader sente
  She thanked him ful ofte, in good entente.
    Thus is this quene in plesaunce and in Ioye,                       1150
  With al this newe lusty folk of Troye.
  And of the dedes hath she more enquered
  Of Eneas, and al the story lered                                    (230)
  Of Troye; and al the longe day they tweye
  Entendeden to speken and to pleye;                                   1155
  Of which ther gan to breden swich a fyr,
  That sely Dido hath now swich desyr
  With Eneas, her newe gest, to dele,
  That she hath lost her hewe, and eek her hele.
  Now to theffect, now to the fruit of al,                             1160
  Why I have told this story, and tellen shal.
    Thus I beginne; hit fil, upon a night,
  When that the mone up-reysed had her light,                         (240)
  This noble quene un-to her reste wente;
  She syketh sore, and gan her-self turmente.                          1165
  She waketh, walweth, maketh many a brayd,
  As doon thise loveres, as I have herd sayd.
  And at the laste, unto her suster Anne
  She made her moon, and right thus spak she thanne.
    'Now, dere suster myn, what may hit be                             1170
  That me agasteth in my dreme?' quod she.
  'This ilke Troyan is so in my thoght,
  For that me thinketh he is so wel y-wroght,                         (250)
  And eek so lykly for to be a man,
  And therwithal so mikel good he can,                                 1175
  That al my love and lyf lyth in his cure.
  Have ye not herd him telle his aventure?
  Now certes, Anne, if that ye rede hit me,
  I wolde fain to him y-wedded be;
  This is theffect; what sholde I more seye?                           1180
  In him lyth al, to do me live or deye.'
    Her suster Anne, as she that coude her good,
  Seide as her thoughte, and somdel hit with-stood.                   (260)
  But her-of was so long a sermoning,
  Hit were to long to make rehersing;                                  1185
  But fynally, hit may not been with-stonde;
  Love wol love--for no wight wol hit wonde.
    The dawening up-rist out of the see;
  This amorous quene chargeth her meynee
  The nettes dresse, and speres brode and kene;                        1190
  An hunting wol this lusty fresshe quene;
  So priketh her this newe Ioly wo.
  To hors is al her lusty folk y-go;                                  (270)
  Un-to the court the houndes been y-broght,
  And up-on coursers, swift as any thoght,                             1195
  Her yonge knightes hoven al aboute,
  And of her wommen eek an huge route.
  Up-on a thikke palfrey, paper-whyt,
  With sadel rede, enbrouded with delyt,
  Of gold the barres up-enbossed hye,                                  1200
  Sit Dido, al in gold and perre wrye;
  And she is fair, as is the brighte morwe,
  That heleth seke folk of nightes sorwe.                             (280)
    Up-on a courser, startling as the fyr,
  Men mighte turne him with a litel wyr,                               1205
  Sit Eneas, lyk Phebus to devyse;
  So was he fresshe arayed in his wyse.
  The fomy brydel with the bit of gold
  Governeth he, right as him-self hath wold.
  And forth this noble quene thus lat I ryde                           1210
  An hunting, with this Troyan by her syde.
    The herd of hertes founden is anoon,
  With 'hey! go bet! prik thou! lat goon, lat goon!                   (290)
  Why nil the leoun comen or the bere,
  That I mighte ones mete him with this spere?'                        1215
  Thus seyn thise yonge folk, and up they kille
  These hertes wilde, and han hem at hir wille.
    Among al this to-romblen gan the heven,
  The thunder rored with a grisly steven;
  Doun com the rain, with hail and sleet so faste,                     1220
  With hevenes fyr, that hit so sore agaste
  This noble quene, and also her meynee,
  That ech of hem was glad a-wey to flee.                             (300)
  And shortly, fro the tempest her to save,
  She fledde her-self into a litel cave,                               1225
  And with her wente this Eneas al-so;
  I noot, with hem if ther wente any mo;
  The autour maketh of hit no mencioun.
  And heer began the depe affeccioun
  Betwix hem two; this was the firste morwe                            1230
  Of her gladnesse, and ginning of her sorwe.
  For ther hath Eneas y-kneled so,
  And told her al his herte, and al his wo,                           (310)
  And sworn so depe, to her to be trewe,
  For wele or wo, and chaunge for no newe,                             1235
  And as a fals lover so wel can pleyne,
  That sely Dido rewed on his peyne,
  And took him for husband, [to been] his wyf
  For ever-mo, whyl that hem laste lyf.
  And after this, whan that the tempest stente,                        1240
  With mirth out as they comen, hoom they wente.
    The wikked fame up roos, and that anon,
  How Eneas hath with the quene y-gon                                 (320)
  In-to the cave; and demed as hem liste;
  And whan the king, that Yarbas hight, hit wiste,                     1245
  As he that had her loved ever his lyf,
  And wowed her, to have her to his wyf,
  Swich sorwe as he hath maked, and swich chere,
  Hit is a routhe and pitee for to here.
  But, as in love, al-day hit happeth so,                              1250
  That oon shal laughen at anothers wo;
  Now laugheth Eneas, and is in Ioye
  And more richesse than ever he was in Troye.                        (330)
    O sely womman, ful of innocence,
  Ful of pitee, of trouthe, and conscience,                            1255
  What maked yow to men to trusten so?
  Have ye swich routhe upon hir feined wo,
  And han swich olde ensamples yow beforn?
  See ye nat alle, how they been for-sworn?
  Wher see ye oon, that he ne hath laft his leef,                      1260
  Or been unkinde, or doon her som mischeef,
  Or pilled her, or bosted of his dede?
  Ye may as wel hit seen, as ye may rede;                             (340)
  Tak heed now of this grete gentil-man,
  This Troyan, that so wel her plesen can,                             1265
  That feineth him so trewe and obeising,
  So gentil and so privy of his doing,
  And can so wel doon alle his obeisaunces,
  And waiten her at festes and at daunces,
  And when she goth to temple and hoom ageyn,                          1270
  And fasten til he hath his lady seyn,
  And bere in his devyses, for her sake,
  Noot I nat what; and songes wolde he make,                          (350)
  Iusten, and doon of armes many thinges,
  Sende her lettres, tokens, broches, ringes--                         1275
  Now herkneth, how he shal his lady serve!
  Ther-as he was in peril for to sterve
  For hunger, and for mischeef in the see,
  And desolat, and fled from his contree,
  And al his folk with tempest al to-driven,                           1280
  She hath her body and eek her reame yiven
  In-to his hond, ther-as she mighte have been
  Of other lond than of Cartage a queen,                              (360)
  And lived in Ioye y-nogh; what wolde ye more?
    This Eneas, that hath so depe y-swore,                             1285
  Is wery of his craft with-in a throwe;
  The hote ernest is al over-blowe.
  And prively he doth his shippes dighte,
  And shapeth him to stele a-wey by nighte.
    This Dido hath suspecioun of this,                                 1290
  And thoughte wel, that hit was al a-mis;
  For in his bedde he lyth a-night and syketh;
  She asketh him anoon, what him mislyketh--                          (370)
  'My dere herte, which that I love most?'
    'Certes,' quod he, 'this night my fadres gost                      1295
  Hath in my sleep so sore me tormented,
  And eek Mercurie his message hath presented,
  That nedes to the conquest of Itaile
  My destinee is sone for to saile;
  For which, me thinketh, brosten is myn herte!'                       1300
  Ther-with his false teres out they sterte;
  And taketh her with-in his armes two.
    'Is that in ernest,' quod she; 'wil ye so?                        (380)
  Have ye nat sworn to wyve me to take,
  Alas! what womman wil ye of me make?                                 1305
  I am a gentil-woman and a queen,
  Ye wil nat fro your wyf thus foule fleen?
  That I was born! allas! what shal I do?'
    To telle in short, this noble queen Dido,
  She seketh halwes, and doth sacrifyse;                               1310
  She kneleth, cryeth, that routhe is to devyse;
  Coniureth him, and profreth him to be
  His thral, his servant in the leste gree;                           (390)
  She falleth him to fote, and swowneth there
  Dischevele, with her brighte gilte here,                             1315
  And seith, 'have mercy! let me with yow ryde!
  Thise lordes, which that wonen me besyde
  Wil me destroyen only for your sake.
  And, so ye wil me now to wyve take,
  As ye han sworn, than wol I yive yow leve                            1320
  To sleen me with your swerd now sone at eve!
  For than yit shal I dyen as your wyf.
  I am with childe, and yive my child his lyf.                        (400)
  Mercy, lord! have pite in your thoght!'
  But al this thing availeth her right noght;                          1325
  For on a night, slepinge, he let her lye,
  And stal a-wey un-to his companye,
  And, as a traitour, forth he gan to saile
  Toward the large contree of Itaile.
  Thus hath he laft Dido in wo and pyne;                               1330
  And wedded ther a lady hight Lavyne.
    A cloth he lafte, and eek his swerd stonding,
  Whan he fro Dido stal in her sleping,                               (410)
  Right at her beddes heed, so gan he hye
  Whan that he stal a-wey to his navye;                                1335
  Which cloth, whan sely Dido gan awake,
  She hath hit kist ful ofte for his sake;
  And seide, 'O cloth, whyl Iupiter hit leste,
  Tak now my soule, unbind me of this unreste!
  I have fulfild of fortune al the cours.'                             1340
  And thus, allas! with-outen his socours,
  Twenty tyme y-swowned hath she thanne.
  And, whan that she un-to her suster Anne                            (420)
  Compleyned had, of which I may nat wryte--
  So greet a routhe I have hit for tendyte--                           1345
  And bad her norice and her suster goon
  To fecchen fyr and other thing anoon,
  And seide, that she wolde sacrifye.
  And, whan she mighte her tyme wel espye,
  Up-on the fyr of sacrifys she sterte,                                1350
  And with his swerd she roof her to the herte.
    But, as myn autour seith, right thus she seyde;
  Or she was hurt, before that she deyde,                             (430)
  She wroot a lettre anoon, that thus began:--
    'Right so,' quod she, 'as that the whyte swan                      1355
  Ayeins his deeth beginneth for to singe,
  Right so to yow make I my compleyninge.
  Nat that I trowe to geten yow again,
  For wel I woot that it is al in vain,
  Sin that the goddes been contraire to me.                            1360
  But sin my name is lost through yow,' quod she,
  'I may wel lese a word on yow, or letter,
  Al-be-it that I shal be never the better;                           (440)
  For thilke wind that blew your ship a-wey,
  The same wind hath blowe a-wey your fey.'--                          1365
    But who wol al this letter have in minde,
  Rede Ovide, and in him he shal hit finde.


N.B. _From this point onward obvious corrections in the spelling of_ MS. F.
_are unnoticed_. 928. C. _has_--In Naso and Eneydos wele [_for_ wol] I
take. 932. C. I offerede to; _rest_ offred unto. 950. C. wol (= wel); _for_
ful. 960, 961. _These two lines are in_ C. _and_ P. _only; all former
editions omit them_. 964. C. clepid; _rest_ called. 966. Tn. Th. B. tespye;
C. tespie; F. to spye; T. to spy; A. to aspye. 973. C. P. cutte; F. B.
knytte; _rest_ cutted (cuttyd, cuttit). 979. _So all_; Oon (_for_ Any)
_would read better_. 994. F. Tn. Th. B. _om._ him. 997. Tn. ner; F. Th. B.
nere; _rest_ were (wer). 1002. F. by; _rest_ for. 1003. T. P. Addit. a;
_rest om._ 1006. C. Addit. is; _rest om._ 1018. C. thus (_for_ than). 1019.
F. (_only_) _om._ large. 1024. P. F. the; _rest_ this. 1028. F. Tn. A. B.
_om._ so. 1046. T. Th. was ther yet; P. more was ther; Add. was their; A.
[gh]it was sene; _rest_ was yit (_or_ yit was). F. in (_for_ a). 1048. C.
A. P. he; _rest_ we (!). 1063. C. she hadde; A. sche had eke; P. she hedd
þo; T. Add. had she; B. had; F. and (!). 1066. F. (_only_) _om._ that he.
1072. F. Tn. Th. _om._ he. 1074. C. P. Add. he; _rest_ him. 1079. F. Tn.
Th. B. _om._ that _and_ in. 1081. F. B. mote; P. wold; _rest_ muste (must,
moost, most); _read_ moste. 1085. F. Tn. _om._ and. F. Tn. B. _repeat_ in
this manere; _rest_ as ye may here. 1091. C. massangerys; B. messagerys; A.
messinger_is_; F. Tn. messagers; _after which all but_ F. _and_ B.
_needlessly insert_ to, _or_ for to. 1094. C. Sche; _rest_ Ful (_because
they put_ beest, she _for_ beste, _as in_ C). 1107. C. T. Add. ornamentis;
_rest_ pavements (_error for_ parements, _caught from_ l. 1106). 1112. C.
For his ese and for to take. 1115. C. to iuste (_for_ the Iusting). 1117.
C. T. Add. frettid; A. P. fretted; F. B. frette; Tn. Th. fret. 1119. F. B.
rubee; _rest_ ruby. C. shynede; Tn. P. shyned; F. T. A. Th. B. shyneth.
1126. _For_ noble _all have_ honourable, _giving_ two _syllables too many;
see ll._ 1143, 1210, 1222. 1129. A. vnto; C. on to; _rest_ to. 1139. _So_
C. P.; F. Tn. Th. B. For to him yt was reported thus (_badly_). 1143. C.
holy; _rest_ noble 1144. F. T. Th. B. _om._ as. 1149. F. Tn. Th. B. _om._
ful. 1155. _All but_ C. P. _needlessly put_ for to (_for_ to) _twice_.
1159. C. T. A. P. Add. hath; _rest om._ 1160. C. now comyth the freut.
1163. F. Tn. vp-reyseth (_error for_ vp-reysed). C. A. Th. P. hadde (had);
F. Tn. B. hath. C. his; _rest_ hire (hir, her); _see note_. 1169. P. mon (=
A.S. _mán_); _rest_ mone; _read_ moon. 1171. C. slep; _rest_ dreme. 1173.
C. Me thynkith that he. 1174. C. T. P. Add. for; _rest om._ 1175. T. A. P.
therwith al; Th. therwith; C. ek thereto; F. Tn. _om._ ther. 1178. C. rede
it me; _rest om._ it. 1179. C. T. A. P. Add. wolde; F. Tn. wil; Th. wol.
1195. Add. coursers; C. B. courseris; F. Tn. Th. coursere. 1196. F. Tn. Th.
heuen (!); _rest_ houen (houyn). 1200, 1201. C. hye, wrye; F. heighe,
wreighe. 1202. C. bright (_for_ fair). 1203. A. B. P. folk; F. Tn. T. Th.
folkes; C. men. 1210. F. _om._ noble. T. thus lat; Addit. thus late; _rest_
this lady (!!). 1211. T. Add. An; A. In; _rest_ On; _see l._ 1191. 1215. T.
A. P. ones mete him; _rest_ him ones mete. 1217. C. T. A. Add. These;
_rest_ The. C. bestys wilde; T. A. P. wild bestys; _rest_ wilde hertes;
_but read_ hertes wilde. 1221. C. A. it; F. Tn. B. P. is (!). 1238. _I
propose to read_ to been; _all have_ and becom (became), _which cannot
possibly be scanned_. 1239. C. Tn. -mo; F. -mor. 1242. C. wikke fame a-ros.
1247. F. Tn. Th. B. _om. 2nd_ her. 1251. C. of; _rest_ at. 1253. T. A. Add.
he; _rest om._ 1255. F. and (_for 2nd_ of). 1258. C. T. A. Th. olde
ensamples; F. ensamples olde. 1259. C. A. how that; _rest_ how. 1267. C.
trewe; A. besy; _rest_ privy. 1268, 1269. F. Tn. Th. B. -aunce; C. T. A. P.
-aunces. 1269. C. And waytyn hire; T. Add. And plesyn hyr; Tn. A. And hir
(!); F. Th. To hir (!). 1273. C. Tn. A. Th. Not; F. B. Wot. 1275. _All but_
C. _ins._ and _before_ ringes. 1281. C. F. T. B. reame; Tn. P. ream; Th.
realme; A. regne. 1285. C. A. P. so; _rest_ thus. 1296. C. A. so sore me;
Add. sore me; _rest_ me so sore. 1298. F. Tn. B. _om._ to. 1313. C. gre;
_rest_ degree (degre). 1314. C. to-fore (_for_ to fote). 1319. C. T. A.
Add. so; _rest om._ F. now me; _rest_ me now. 1322. F. shal I yet; Tn. C.
T. A. Th. yit shall I. 1323. C. T. yeue; F. yive; Tn. yif. 1324. C. hauyth;
_rest_ haue. 1326, 1327. _The old printed editions omit these two lines._
1327. C. on to; T. A. Add. vnto; F. Tn. B. vpon. 1330. C. Thus; _rest_ And
thus. C. Tn. laft; F. lefte. 1332. C. lafte; F. lefte. 1333. F. (_only_)
_om._ her. 1337. F. Tn. B. _om._ hit. 1338. _All but_ T. A. Add. _insert_
swete _after_ O. 1339. F. Tn. Th. B. P. _om._ now. C. and brynge it of this
onreste; Tn. T. Th. P. Add. vnbynde me of this vnreste; F. B. vnbynde me of
this reste (!); A. me bynd of myn vnrest; _I follow_ Tn. T. Th. P. Add.
1345. F. Tn. Th. P. _om._ a. C. tendite; _rest_ to endite (endyte). 1346.
A. P. Add. suster; C. T. A. sistir; _rest_ sustren (!). 1347. C. T. A. P.
Add. thing; _rest_ thinges. 1351. C. Tn. rof. 1352. C. A. right; P. _om.;
rest_ yet (yit). 1353. A. Add. before that; C. F. T. Th. B. byforn or
(byforne er); P. and befor or. 1355. C. A. that; T. Add. doth; _rest om._
1356. C. A[gh]ens; A. A[gh]eynes; Tn. Ayeinste; _rest_ Ayenst. 1357. C. T.
A. Add. make I; _rest_ I make. 1359. C. T. A. P. that; _rest om._ 1360. A.
contrair; P. contrarie; C. T. contrary; _rest_ contrarious. 1363. C. T. A.
P. Add. that; _rest om._ 1366. Tn. P. who; _rest_ who so, _or_ who that.




  Thou rote of false lovers, duk Iasoun!
  Thou sly devourer and confusioun
  Of gentil-wommen, tender creatures,                                  1370
  Thou madest thy reclaiming and thy lures
  To ladies of thy statly apparaunce,
  And of thy wordes, farced with plesaunce,
  And of thy feyned trouthe and thy manere,
  With thyn obeisaunce and thy humble chere,                           1375
  And with thy counterfeted peyne and wo.
  Ther other falsen oon, thou falsest two!                             (10)
  O! ofte swore thou that thou woldest dye
  For love, whan thou ne feltest maladye
  Save foul delyt, which that thou callest love!                       1380
  If that I live, thy name shal be shove
  In English, that thy sleighte shal be knowe!
  Have at thee, Iasoun! now thyn horn is blowe!
  But certes, hit is bothe routhe and wo
  That love with false loveres werketh so;                             1385
  For they shul have wel better love and chere
  Than he that hath aboght his love ful dere,                          (20)
  Or had in armes many a blody box.
  For ever as tendre a capoun et the fox,
  Thogh he be fals and hath the foul betrayed,                         1390
  As shal the good-man that ther-for hath payed.
  Al have he to the capoun skille and right,
  The false fox wol have his part at night.
  On Iasoun this ensample is wel y-sene
  By Isiphile and Medea the quene.                                     1395
    In Tessalye, as Guido telleth us,
  Ther was a king that highte Pelleus,                                 (30)
  That had a brother, which that highte Eson;
  And, whan for age he mighte unnethes gon,
  He yaf to Pelleus the governing                                      1400
  Of al his regne, and made him lord and king.
  Of which Eson this Iasoun geten was,
  That, in his tyme, in al that lond, ther nas
  Nat swich a famous knight of gentilesse,
  Of freedom, and of strengthe and lustinesse.                         1405
  After his fader deeth, he bar him so
  That ther nas noon that liste been his fo,                           (40)
  But dide him al honour and companye;
  Of which this Pelleus hath greet envye,
  Imagining that Iasoun mighte be                                      1410
  Enhaunsed so, and put in swich degree
  With love of lordes of his regioun,
  That from his regne he may be put adoun.
  And in his wit, a-night, compassed he
  How Iasoun mighte best destroyed be                                  1415
  Withoute slaunder of his compasment.
  And at the laste he took avisement                                   (50)
  To senden him in-to som fer contree
  Ther as this Iasoun may destroyed be.
  This was his wit; al made he to Iasoun                               1420
  Gret chere of love and of affeccioun,
  For drede lest his lordes hit espyde.
  So fil hit so, as fame renneth wyde,
  Ther was swich tyding over-al and swich los,
  That in an yle that called was Colcos,                               1425
  Beyonde Troye, estward in the see,
  That ther-in was a ram, that men mighte see,                         (60)
  That had a flees of gold, that shoon so brighte,
  That no-wher was ther swich an-other sighte;
  But hit was kept alway with a dragoun,                               1430
  And many othere merveils, up and doun,
  And with two boles, maked al of bras,
  That spitten fyr, and moche thing ther was.
  But this was eek the tale, nathelees,
  That who-so wolde winne thilke flees,                                1435
  He moste bothe, or he hit winne mighte,
  With the boles and the dragoun fighte;                               (70)
  And king Oëtes lord was of that yle.
    This Pelleus bethoghte upon this wyle;
  That he his nevew Iasoun wolde enhorte                               1440
  To sailen to that lond, him to disporte,
  And seide, 'Nevew, if hit mighte be
  That swich a worship mighte fallen thee,
  That thou this famous tresor mightest winne,
  And bringen hit my regioun with-inne,                                1445
  Hit were to me gret plesaunce and honour;
  Than were I holde to quyte thy labour.                               (80)
  And al the cost I wol my-selven make;
  And chees what folk that thou wilt with thee take;
  Lat see now, darstow taken this viage?'                              1450
  Iasoun was yong, and lusty of corage,
  And under-took to doon this ilke empryse.
    Anoon Argus his shippes gan devyse;
  With Iasoun wente the stronge Ercules,
  And many an-other that he with him chees.                            1455
  But who-so axeth who is with him gon,
  Lat him go reden Argonauticon,                                       (90)
  For he wol telle a tale long y-now.
  Philotetes anoon the sail up-drow,
  Whan that the wind was good, and gan him hye                         1460
  Out of his contree called Tessalye.
  So long he sailed in the salte see
  Til in the yle Lemnoun aryved he--
  Al be this nat rehersed of Guido,
  Yet seith Ovyde in his Epistles so--                                 1465
  And of this yle lady was and quene
  The faire yonge Isiphilee, the shene,                               (100)
  That whylom Thoas doghter was, the king.
    Isiphilee was goon in her playing;
  And, roming on the clyves by the see,                                1470
  Under a banke anoon espyed she
  Wher that the ship of Iasoun gan aryve.
  Of her goodnesse adoun she sendeth blyve
  To witen yif that any straunge wight
  With tempest thider were y-blowe a-night,                            1475
  To doon him socour; as was her usaunce
  To forthren every wight, and doon plesaunce                         (110)
  Of veray bountee and of curtesye.
    This messagere adoun him gan to hye,
  And fond Iasoun, and Ercules also,                                   1480
  That in a cogge to londe were y-go
  Hem to refresshen and to take the eyr.
  The morwening atempre was and fair;
  And in his wey the messagere hem mette.
  Ful cunningly thise lordes two he grette,                            1485
  And dide his message, axing hem anoon
  Yif they were broken, or oght wo begoon,                            (120)
  Or hadde nede of lodesmen or vitaile;
  For of socour they shulde no-thing faile,
  For hit was utterly the quenes wille.                                1490
    Iasoun answerde, mekely and stille,
  'My lady,' quod he, 'thanke I hertely
  Of hir goodnesse; us nedeth, trewely,
  No-thing as now, but that we wery be,
  And come for to pleye, out of the see,                               1495
  Til that the wind be better in our weye.'
    This lady rometh by the clif to pleye,                            (130)
  With her meynee, endelong the stronde,
  And fynt this Iasoun and this other stonde,
  In spekinge of this thing, as I yow tolde.                           1500
    This Ercules and Iasoun gan beholde
  How that the quene hit was, and faire her grette
  Anon-right as they with this lady mette;
  And she took heed, and knew, by hir manere,
  By hir aray, by wordes and by chere,                                 1505
  That hit were gentil-men, of greet degree.
  And to the castel with her ledeth she                               (140)
  Thise straunge folk, and doth hem greet honour,
  And axeth hem of travail and labour
  That they han suffred in the salte see;                              1510
  So that, within a day, or two, or three,
  She knew, by folk that in his shippes be,
  That hit was Iasoun, ful of renomee,
  And Ercules, that had the grete los,
  That soghten the aventures of Colcos;                                1515
  And dide hem honour more then before,
  And with hem deled ever lenger the more,                            (150)
  For they ben worthy folk, with-outen lees.
  And namely, most she spak with Ercules;
  To him her herte bar, he sholde be                                   1520
  Sad, wys, and trewe, of wordes avisee,
  With-outen any other affeccioun
  Of love, or evil imaginacioun.
    This Ercules hath so this Iasoun preysed,
  That to the sonne he hath him up areysed,                            1525
  That half so trewe a man ther nas of love
  Under the cope of heven that is above;                              (160)
  And he was wys, hardy, secree, and riche.--
  Of thise three pointes ther nas noon him liche;
  Of freedom passed he, and lustihede,                                 1530
  Alle tho that liven or ben dede;
  Ther-to so greet a gentil-man was he,
  And of Tessalie lykly king to be.
  Ther nas no lak, but that he was agast
  To love, and for to speke shamefast.                                 1535
  He hadde lever him-self to mordre, and dye
  Than that men shulde a lover him espye:--                           (170)
  'As wolde almighty god that I had yive
  My blood and flesh, so that I mighte live,
  With the nones that he hadde o-wher a wyf                            1540
  For his estat; for swich a lusty lyf
  She sholde lede with this lusty knight!'
    And al this was compassed on the night
  Betwixe him Iasoun and this Ercules.
  Of thise two heer was mad a shrewed lees                             1545
  To come to hous upon an innocent;
  For to be-dote this queen was hir assent.                           (180)
  And Iasoun is as coy as is a maide,
  He loketh pitously, but noght he saide,
  But frely yaf he to her conseileres                                  1550
  Yiftes grete, and to her officeres.
  As wolde god I leiser hadde, and tyme,
  By proces al his wowing for to ryme.
  But in this hous if any fals lover be,
  Right as him-self now doth, right so dide he,                        1555
  With feyning and with every sotil dede.
  Ye gete no more of me, but ye wil rede                              (190)
  Thoriginal, that telleth al the cas.
    The somme is this, that Iasoun wedded was
  Unto this quene, and took of her substaunce                          1560
  What-so him liste, unto his purveyaunce;
  And upon her begat he children two,
  And drow his sail, and saw her never-mo.
    A lettre sente she to him certein,
  Which were to long to wryten and to sein,                            1565
  And him repreveth of his grete untrouthe,
  And preyeth him on her to have som routhe.                          (200)
  And of his children two, she seide him this,
  That they be lyke, of alle thing, y-wis,
  To Iasoun, save they coude nat begyle;                               1570
  And preyed god, or hit were longe whyle,
  That she, that had his herte y-raft her fro,
  Moste finden him to her untrewe al-so,
  And that she moste bothe her children spille,
  And alle tho that suffreth him his wille.                            1575
  And trew to Iasoun was she al her lyf,
  And ever kepte her chast, as for his wyf;                           (210)
  Ne never had she Ioye at her herte,
  But dyed, for his love, of sorwes smerte.


    To Colcos comen is this duk Iasoun,                                1580
  That is of love devourer and dragoun.
  As matere appetyteth forme al-wey,
  And from forme in-to forme hit passen may,
  Or as a welle that were botomlees,
  Right so can fals Iasoun have no pees.                               1585
  For, to desyren, through his appetyt,
  To doon with gentil wommen his delyt,                               (220)
  This is his lust and his felicitee.
    Iasoun is romed forth to the citee,
  That whylom cleped was Iaconitos,                                    1590
  That was the maister-toun of al Colcos,
  And hath y-told the cause of his coming
  Un-to Oëtes, of that contre king,
  Preying him that he moste doon his assay
  To gete the flees of gold, if that he may;                           1595
  Of which the king assenteth to his bone,
  And doth him honour, as hit is to done,                             (230)
  So ferforth, that his doghter and his eyr,
  Medea, which that was so wys and fair
  That fairer saw ther never man with yë,                              1600
  He made her doon to Iasoun companye
  At mete, and sitte by him in the halle.
    Now was Iasoun a semely man with-alle,
  And lyk a lord, and had a greet renoun,
  And of his loke as real as leoun,                                    1605
  And goodly of his speche, and famulere,
  And coude of love al craft and art plenere                          (240)
  With-oute boke, with everich observaunce.
  And, as fortune her oghte a foul meschaunce,
  She wex enamoured upon this man.                                     1610
    'Iasoun,' quod she, 'for ought I see or can,
  As of this thing the which ye been aboute,
  Ye han your-self y-put in moche doute.
  For, who-so wol this aventure acheve,
  He may nat wel asterten, as I leve,                                  1615
  With-outen deeth, but I his helpe be.
  But natheles, hit is my wille,' quod she,                           (250)
  'To forthren yow, so that ye shal nat dye,
  But turnen, sound, hoom to your Tessalye.'
    'My righte lady,' quod this Iasoun tho,                            1620
  'That ye han of my dethe or of my wo
  Any reward, and doon me this honour,
  I wot wel that my might ne my labour
  May nat deserve hit in my lyves day;
  God thanke yow, ther I ne can ne may.                                1625
  Your man am I, and lowly you beseche,
  To been my help, with-oute more speche;                             (260)
  But certes, for my deeth shal I nat spare.'
    Tho gan this Medea to him declare
  The peril of this cas, fro point to point,                           1630
  And of his batail, and in what disioint
  He mote stande, of which no creature,
  Save only she, ne mighte his lyf assure.
  And shortly, to the point right for to go,
  They been accorded ful, betwix hem two,                              1635
  That Iasoun shal her wedde, as trewe knight;
  And term y-set, to come sone at night                               (270)
  Unto her chambre, and make ther his ooth,
  Upon the goddes, that he, for leef ne looth,
  Ne sholde her never falsen, night ne day,                            1640
  To been her husbond, whyl he liven may,
  As she that from his deeth him saved here.
  And her-upon, at night they mette y-fere,
  And doth his ooth, and goth with her to bedde.
  And on the morwe, upward he him spedde;                              1645
  For she hath taught him how he shal nat faile
  The flees to winne, and stinten his bataile;                        (280)
  And saved him his lyf and his honour;
  And gat him greet name as a conquerour
  Right through the sleight of her enchantement.                       1650
    Now hath Iasoun the flees, and hoom is went
  With Medea, and tresor ful gret woon.
  But unwist of her fader is she goon
  To Tessaly, with duk Iasoun her leef,
  That afterward hath broght her to mescheef.                          1655
  For as a traitour he is from her go,
  And with her lafte his yonge children two,                          (290)
  And falsly hath betrayed her, allas!
  And ever in love a cheef traitour he was;
  And wedded yit the thridde wyf anon,                                 1660
  That was the doghter of the king Creon.
    This is the meed of loving and guerdon
  That Medea received of Iasoun
  Right for her trouthe and for her kindenesse,
  That loved him better than her-self, I gesse,                        1665
  And lafte her fader and her heritage.
  And of Iasoun this is the vassalage,                                (300)
  That, in his dayes, nas ther noon y-founde
  So fals a lover going on the grounde.
  And therfor in her lettre thus she seyde                             1670
  First, whan she of his falsnesse him umbreyde,
  'Why lyked me thy yelow heer to see
  More then the boundes of myn honestee,
  Why lyked me thy youthe and thy fairnesse,
  And of thy tonge the infinit graciousnesse?                          1675
  O, haddest thou in thy conquest deed y-be,
  Ful mikel untrouthe had ther dyed with thee!'                       (310)
    Wel can Ovyde her lettre in vers endyte,
  Which were as now to long for me to wryte.


1370. A. T. Add. tender; _rest repeat_ gentil. C. _has_ tendere wemen
gentil. 1373. A. C. farced; F. Tn. Th. farsed; B. forsed; P. filled; T.
v_er_syd. 1375. P. A. thy; _rest om._ 1377. _Here_ MS. P. _ends_. 1386. C.
T. A. Th. Add. love and; F. Tn. B. and gretter. 1387. C. A. abought; _rest_
bought. C. T. A. Add. his; _rest om._ 1389. C. et (= eteth); _rest_ eteth
(etith). 1391. C. hath; _rest om._ (_badly_). 1392. C. T. Add. Al haue he;
F. Alle thof he haue. 1396. F. Tn. B. and; _rest_ as. C. Guido; T. A.
Guydo; Add. Gwydo; F. Tn. Th. B. Ouyde. 1397. F. Tn. B. knyght; _rest_ kyng
(_see l._ 1401); _see note_. 1405. _So_ C.; _rest_ Of fredom, of strength,
and of lustynesse. 1409. C. T. Add. hadde. 1418. C. To syndyn; T. Add. To
send; Tn. Th. B. That to senden; F. That to selden (!). 1427. F. Tn. Th. B.
ther; _rest_ therin. C. may se. 1433. T. Th. moche; F. muche; C. meche
othir. 1438. C. Oetes; _rest_ Otes (Otys). 1443. C. T. A. Add. a; _rest
om._ 1444. T. A. C. mightest; _rest_ myghte. 1445. C. T. bryngyn; _rest_
brynge (bring). 1448. C. T. A. Add. cost; _rest_ costes. 1449. C. _om._
And. A. ches; F. Tn. T. B. chese; Th. chose; C. Schis (!). C. A. that;
_rest om._ 1452. C. T. Add. _om._ ilke. 1457. T. A. Add. go; _rest om._ C.
ryde; _rest_ rede; _better_ reden. 1460. C. T. Add. that; _rest om._ 1463.
_All insert_ of _after_ yle (_needlessly_). Th. Lemnon; A. Lenno_u_n; C.
lenoun (_for_ l[=e]noun = le_m_noun); F. Tn. B. leono_u_n; T. Add. lenon (=
le_m_non). 1471. F. brake (!); A. bonk; _rest_ banke. 1472. _So_ C. T. A.
Add.; F. Tn. Th. B. Wher lay the shippe, that Iasoun (_no sense_). 1476. C.
F. B. hem; _rest_ him. 1481. C. A. cog; T. Add. boote; _rest_ cogge. 1483.
F. atempree. 1486. C. T. A. Add. axinge; _rest_ askynge. 1487. F. B. _om._
oght. 1489. C. T. A. Add, of; _rest om._ 1490. F. Tn. B. _omit this line_.
1498. C. endelong (_as in_ Kn. Tale); F. endlonge. 1499. C. F. Add. these
other; _rest_ this other. 1506. F. hit; C. Tn. Th. B. it; T. A. Add. they.
1512. F. Tn. Th. B. by the (_for_ by). 1519. F. (_only_) she spake moste;
Add. _om._ most. 1523. C. euyl; A. euill; _rest_ any othir (_caught from_
l. 1522). 1524. C. T. A. Add. so; _rest om._ 1525. C. T. A. Add. him;
_rest_ hyt (it). C. areysid; _rest_ reysed. 1526. C. _om._ half. 1527. C.
cape; _rest_ cope. 1536. F. A. B. Add. He; _rest_ Him (_badly_). 1538. A.
almychti; _rest om._ 1540. C. With nonys; _read_ With th' nones. 1545. T.
made; _rest omit; but sense and metre require it_. 1547. C. T. Add. assent;
B. intente (_which will not rime_); _rest_ entent (_but_ Chaucer _uses_
entente). 1548. F. Thise; B. As; _rest_ And. 1550. F. B. _om._ he. 1552. F.
B. god wolde; _rest_ wolde god. C. T. Add. I; _rest_ that I. 1559. C. T.
somme; A. text; _rest_ sothe (soth). 1564. F. Tn. Th. B. _om._ to. 1569. F.
B. (_only_) _om._ they. 1573. C. Th. Muste; F. Tn. B. Most; T. A. Myght.
1578. F. And; _rest_ Ne. 1582. F. nature; C. matier; Tn. Th. B. matire; T.
A. matyr. C. apetitith; T. Add. appetyteth; _rest_ appeteth (!). 1583. F.
Tn. Th. B. to (_for_ in-to). 1585. A. (_only_) this false; _rest om._ this.
F. Th. B. _om._ fals. (_Accent_ Right.) 1590. C. T. Iaconitos; A.
Iacomitos; F. Tn. Th. B. Iasonicos; (Latin _Iaconites_). 1593. F. Vnto tho
(!). C. Oetes; Add. Cetes; T Cytees (!); _rest_ Otes. 1599. F. Tn. B. Add.
and so feyre. 1605. C. T. Th. B. Add. as a leoun (lyoun). 1613. C. han; T.
A. Add. haue; _rest_ and (!). 1626. T. A. Th. lowly; F. louly; B. loulye;
C. louely; Tn. lowe. 1631. C. T. A. Add. And; _rest om._ F. Tn. _om._ in.
1634. C. T. A. Add. to the point right; _rest_ ryght to the poynt. 1642. C.
T. sauyth; _rest_ saued. F. B. there; _rest_ here. 1643. F. Tn. B. _omit_;
C. _has_ And here vp a nyght, &c. 1649. C. T. gat; A. gatt; Add. Th. gate;
_rest_ gete. F. B. (_only_) _om._ him. T. gret; Add. grete; A. _om.; rest_
a. C. ryth as; T. A. ryght as; Add. lyke as; _rest_ as. 1652. F. Tn. Th. B.
tresoures; C. tresor; T. A. Add. tresour. 1657. T. A. his; C. hire; _rest
om._ 1659. C. thef and (_for_ cheef). 1661. C. A. the; _rest om._ 1667. F.
(_only_) _om._ the. 1668. C. T. A. Add. ther; _rest_ neuer. 1671. C. Fyrst
of his falsenesse whan she hym vpbreyde.



  Now moot I seyn the exiling of kinges                                1680
  Of Rome, for hir horrible doinges,
  And of the laste king Tarquinius,
  As saith Ovyde and Titus Livius.
  But for that cause telle I nat this storie,
  But for to preise and drawen to memorie                              1685
  The verray wyf, the verray trewe Lucresse,
  That, for her wyfhood and her stedfastnesse,
  Nat only that thise payens her comende,
  But he, that cleped is in our legende                                (10)
  The grete Austin, hath greet compassioun                             1690
  Of this Lucresse, that starf at Rome toun;
  And in what wyse, I wol but shortly trete,
  And of this thing I touche but the grete.
    Whan Ardea beseged was aboute
  With Romains, that ful sterne were and stoute,                       1695
  Ful longe lay the sege, and litel wroghte,
  So that they were half ydel, as hem thoghte;
  And in his pley Tarquinius the yonge
  Gan for to iape, for he was light of tonge,                          (20)
  And seyde, that 'it was an ydel lyf;                                 1700
  No man did ther no more than his wyf;
  And lat us speke of wyves, that is best;
  Praise every man his owne, as him lest,
  And with our speche lat us ese our herte.'
    A knight, that highte Colatyne, up sterte,                         1705
  And seyde thus, 'nay, for hit is no nede
  To trowen on the word, but on the dede.
  I have a wyf,' quod he, 'that, as I trowe,
  Is holden good of alle that ever her knowe;                          (30)
  Go we to-night to Rome, and we shul see.'                            1710
    Tarquinius answerde, 'that lyketh me.'
  To Rome be they come, and faste hem dighte
  To Colatynes hous, and doun they lighte,
  Tarquinius, and eek this Colatyne.
  The husbond knew the estres wel and fyne,                            1715
  And prively into the hous they goon;
  Nor at the gate porter was ther noon;
  And at the chambre-dore they abyde.
  This noble wyf sat by her beddes syde                                (40)
  Dischevele, for no malice she ne thoghte;                            1720
  And softe wolle our book seith that she wroghte
  To kepen her fro slouthe and ydelnesse;
  And bad her servants doon hir businesse,
  And axeth hem, 'what tydings heren ye?
  How seith men of the sege, how shal hit be?                          1725
  God wolde the walles weren falle adoun;
  Myn husbond is so longe out of this toun,
  For which the dreed doth me so sore smerte,
  Right as a swerd hit stingeth to myn herte                           (50)
  Whan I think on the sege or of that place;                           1730
  God save my lord, I preye him for his grace:'--
  And ther-with-al ful tenderly she weep,
  And of her werk she took no more keep,
  But mekely she leet her eyen falle;
  And thilke semblant sat her wel with-alle.                           1735
  And eek her teres, ful of honestee,
  Embelisshed her wyfly chastitee;
  Her countenaunce is to her herte digne,
  For they acordeden in dede and signe.                                (60)
  And with that word her husbond Colatyn,                              1740
  Or she of him was war, com sterting in,
  And seide, 'dreed thee noght, for I am here!'
  And she anoon up roos, with blisful chere,
  And kiste him, as of wyves is the wone.
    Tarquinius, this proude kinges sone,                               1745
  Conceived hath her beautee and her chere,
  Her yelow heer, her shap, and her manere,
  Her hew, her wordes that she hath compleyned,
  And by no crafte her beautee nas nat feyned;                         (70)
  And caughte to this lady swich desyr,                                1750
  That in his herte brende as any fyr
  So woodly, that his wit was al forgeten.
  For wel, thoghte he, she sholde nat be geten
  And ay the more that he was in dispair,
  The more he coveteth and thoghte her fair.                           1755
  His blinde lust was al his covetinge.
    A-morwe, whan the brid began to singe,
  Unto the sege he comth ful privily,
  And by himself he walketh sobrely,                                   (80)
  Thimage of her recording alwey newe;                                 1760
  'Thus lay her heer, and thus fresh was her hewe;
  Thus sat, thus spak, thus span; this was her chere,
  Thus fair she was, and this was her manere.'
  Al this conceit his herte hath now y-take.
  And, as the see, with tempest al to-shake,                           1765
  That, after whan the storm is al ago,
  Yet wol the water quappe a day or two,
  Right so, thogh that her forme wer absent,
  The plesaunce of her forme was present;                              (90)
  But natheles, nat plesaunce, but delyt,                              1770
  Or an unrightful talent with despyt;
  'For, maugre her, she shal my lemman be;
  Hap helpeth hardy man alday,' quod he;
  'What ende that I make, hit shal be so;'
  And girt him with his swerde, and gan to go;                         1775
  And forth he rit til he to Rome is come,
  And al aloon his wey than hath he nome
  Unto the house of Colatyn ful right.
  Doun was the sonne, and day hath lost his light;                    (100)
  And in he com un-to a privy halke,                                   1780
  And in the night ful theefly gan he stalke,
  Whan every night was to his reste broght,
  Ne no wight had of tresoun swich a thoght.
  Were hit by window or by other gin,
  With swerde y-drawe, shortly he comth in                             1785
  Ther as she lay, this noble wyf Lucresse.
  And, as she wook, her bed she felte presse.
  'What beste is that,' quod she, 'that weyeth thus?'
  'I am the kinges sone, Tarquinius,'                                 (110)
  Quod he, 'but and thou crye, or noise make,                          1790
  Or if thou any creature awake,
  By thilke god that formed man on lyve,
  This swerd through-out thyn herte shal I ryve.'
  And ther-withal unto her throte he sterte,
  And sette the point al sharp upon her herte.                         1795
  No word she spak, she hath no might therto.
  What shal she sayn? her wit is al ago.
  Right as a wolf that fynt a lomb aloon,
  To whom shal she compleyne, or make moon?                           (120)
  What! shal she fighte with an hardy knight?                          1800
  Wel wot men that a woman hath no might.
  What! shal she crye, or how shal she asterte
  That hath her by the throte, with swerde at herte?
  She axeth grace, and seith al that she can.
  'Ne wolt thou nat,' quod he, this cruel man,                         1805
  'As wisly Iupiter my soule save,
  As I shal in the stable slee thy knave,
  And leye him in thy bed, and loude crye,
  That I thee finde in suche avouterye;                               (130)
  And thus thou shalt be deed, and also lese                           1810
  Thy name, for thou shalt non other chese.'
    Thise Romain wyves loveden so hir name
  At thilke tyme, and dredden so the shame,
  That, what for fere of slaundre and drede of deeth,
  She loste bothe at-ones wit and breeth,                              1815
  And in a swough she lay and wex so deed,
  Men mighte smyten of her arm or heed;
  She feleth no-thing, neither foul ne fair.
    Tarquinius, that art a kinges eyr,                                (140)
  And sholdest, as by linage and by right,                             1820
  Doon as a lord and as a verray knight,
  Why hastow doon dispyt to chivalrye?
  Why hastow doon this lady vilanye?
  Allas! of thee this was a vileins dede!
    But now to purpos; in the story I rede,                            1825
  Whan he was goon, al this mischaunce is falle.
  This lady sente after her frendes alle,
  Fader, moder, husbond, al y-fere;
  And al dischevele, with her heres clere,                            (150)
  In habit swich as women used tho                                     1830
  Unto the burying of her frendes go,
  She sit in halle with a sorweful sighte.
  Her frendes axen what her aylen mighte,
  And who was deed? And she sit ay wepinge,
  A word for shame ne may she forth out-bringe,                        1835
  Ne upon hem she dorste nat beholde.
  But atte laste of Tarquiny she hem tolde,
  This rewful cas, and al this thing horrible.
  The wo to tellen hit were impossible,                               (160)
  That she and alle her frendes made atones.                           1840
  Al hadde folkes hertes been of stones,
  Hit mighte have maked hem upon her rewe,
  Her herte was so wyfly and so trewe.
  She seide, that, for her gilt ne for her blame,
  Her husbond sholde nat have the foule name,                          1845
  That wolde she nat suffre, by no wey.
  And they answerden alle, upon hir fey,
  That they foryeve hit her, for hit was right;
  Hit was no gilt, hit lay nat in her might;                          (170)
  And seiden her ensamples many oon.                                   1850
  But al for noght; for thus she seide anoon,
  'Be as be may,' quod she, 'of forgiving,
  I wol nat have no forgift for no-thing.'
  But prively she caughte forth a knyf,
  And therwith-al she rafte her-self her lyf;                          1855
  And as she fel adoun, she caste her look,
  And of her clothes yit she hede took;
  For in her falling yit she hadde care
  Lest that her feet or swiche thing lay bare;                        (180)
  So wel she loved clennesse and eek trouthe.                          1860
    Of her had al the toun of Rome routhe,
  And Brutus by her chaste blode hath swore
  That Tarquin sholde y-banisht be ther-fore,
  And al his kin; and let the peple calle,
  And openly the tale he tolde hem alle,                               1865
  And openly let carie her on a bere
  Through al the toun, that men may see and here
  The horrible deed of her oppressioun.
  Ne never was ther king in Rome toun                                 (190)
  Sin thilke day; and she was holden there                             1870
  A seint, and ever her day y-halwed dere
  As in hir lawe: and thus endeth Lucresse,
  The noble wyf, as Titus bereth witnesse.
    I tell hit, for she was of love so trewe,
  Ne in her wille she chaunged for no newe.                            1875
  And for the stable herte, sad and kinde,
  That in these women men may alday finde;
  Ther as they caste hir herte, ther hit dwelleth.
  For wel I wot, that Crist him-selve telleth,                        (200)
  That in Israel, as wyd as is the lond,                               1880
  That so gret feith in al the lond he ne fond
  As in a woman; and this is no lye.
  And as of men, loketh which tirannye
  They doon alday; assay hem who so liste,
  The trewest is ful brotel for to triste.                             1885


1681. F. B. dedes; _rest_ doinges. 1682. Addit. (12524) And; _rest om._
1685. F. B. to (_for_ and); _rest_ and. 1686. C. trewe; _rest om._ 1689. F.
Tn. Th. B. _om._ he. 1693. F. _omits this line; I give the spelling as in_
MS. T., _changing_ thyng _into_ thing. 1696, 1697. C. F. Tn. Th. B.
wroughten, thoughten; _but_ thoughten _is bad grammar_; T. A. Add. wrought,
thought. 1701. C. no; _rest om._ 1705. C. highte; Tn. hat; _rest_ hyght
(_perhaps read_ hatte). 1710. _So_ C. T. Add.; _rest_ to Rome to nyght.
1715. B. estres; C. A. estris; F. Tn. esters; T. estes (!); Th. efters
(!!). 1716. _All but_ T. Add. _needlessly insert_ ful _after_ And. 1718. C.
they gan abyde. 1720. C. Discheuele; F. Disshevely. 1721. T. Add. oure boke
seyth; C. seyth (_om._ our book); Th. saith Liui; _rest_ seyth our boke.
1725. C seith; F. sayne. 1727. C. Th. so; _rest_ to. 1728. C. sore; _rest_
to (_badly_). 1729, 1730. C. _has_--That with a swerd me thynkyth that to
myn herte It styngith me whan I thynke on that place. 1730. T. A. Add. the
sege; F. Tn. B. these (_for_ the sege); Th. this. 1731. F. my; _rest_ his
(_before_ grace). 1736. F. the (_for_ her). A. T. honestee; C. oneste; B.
heuyte (!); F. hevytee (!); Tn. Th. heuynesse. 1737. C. Emblemyschid (!).
Th. chastnesse. C. _puts_ ll. 1738-9 _after_ l. 1743. 1744. C. kiste;
_rest_ kissed. 1747. C. T. A. Add. shap; _rest_ bounte. 1749. C. nas;
_rest_ was. 1751. C. brende; B. brente; F. Tn. brent. 1752. C. is al; Th.
A. was al; _rest_ was. 1754. C. T. A. Add. that; _rest om._ 1757. F. Tn.
Th. B. On; _rest_ A. 1760. C. Thymage; _rest_ The ymage. 1763. F. T. This;
_rest_ Thus. 1764. C. A. now; _rest_ newe (new). 1766. C. Yit (_for_ That).
1770. C. _om._ But. 1773. C. T. A. alday; _rest_ alway. 1776. C. forth he
rit; A. Addit. (12524) forth he ride; F. Tn. Th. he forth right (!). 1784.
C. T. A. Add. Were hit; _rest_ Whether. 1787. F. felt; C. felte. 1793. C.
thour-out; T. thorout; A. throughout; _rest om._ out. 1795. C. T. A. Add.
point; _rest_ swerd. C. vp-on; T. opon; Tn. Th. on; _rest_ unto. 1798. C.
T. A. fynt; Add. fyndyth; _rest_ fayneth _or_ feyneth (!). C. lomb; Add.
lombe; T. A. Th. lambe; _rest_ loue (!). 1801. C. T. A. Add. that; _rest
om._ 1802. F. Add. sterte; _rest_ asterte (astert). 1804. C. T. A. Add.
seyth; _rest_ seyde. 1805. C. A. Add. he; T. tho; _rest om._ 1807. F. Tn.
Th. B. _om._ As. 1809. C. auouterye; F. avowtrye. 1811. C. T. A. Add. non
other; _rest_ not. 1815. C. at onys bothe; _rest_ bothe atones. 1816. C.
wex; B. wexe; Tn. wax; T. wexed; A. wox; F. Th. woxe. 1821. F. Tn. Th. B.
_om. 2nd_ as. C. worthi (_for_ verray). 1823. C. T. A. Add. this; _rest_
thy. 1824. C. vileyn; A. T. vileyns; Add. vilons; F. B. Tn. vilenouse; Th.
villaynous. 1825. F. Tn. Th. B. _insert_ the _after_ to. 1829. F. Tn. Th.
B. _om._ al. C. herys; A. heeres; F. heer; Tn. T. Th. B. here (heare,
heere). C. _has lost_ ll. 1836-1907. 1840. Add. made; T. maden; A. maid;
_rest_ make. 1846. _So all but_ F. Tn. B.; F. B. That nolde she suffre; Tn.
That wolde she suffren nat. 1847. T. opon; A. vpon; _rest_ vnto (_badly_).
1857. T. A. Add. she hede; _rest_ hede she. 1862. _So_ T. A. Add.; _rest_
hath by hir chaste blood. 1873. T. A. Add. as; _rest om._ 1876. T. A. Add.
for the; _rest_ in her. 1879. _All_ him-self _or_ him-selfe. 1882. F. Add.
_om._ and. 1883. F. women; _rest_ men. C. _has lost_ ll. 1836-1907.



  Iuge infernal, Minos, of Crete king,
  Now cometh thy lot, now comestow on the ring;
  Nat for thy sake only wryte I this storie,
  But for to clepe agein unto memorie
  Of Theseus the grete untrouthe of love;                              1890
  For which the goddes of the heven above
  Ben wrothe, and wreche han take for thy sinne.
  Be reed for shame! now I thy lyf beginne.
    Minos, that was the mighty king of Crete,
  That hadde an hundred citees stronge and grete,                      1895
  To scole hath sent his sone Androgeus,                               (11)
  To Athenes; of the whiche hit happed thus,
  That he was slayn, lerning philosophye,
  Right in that citee, nat but for envye.
    The grete Minos, of the whiche I speke,                            1900
  His sones deeth is comen for to wreke;
  Alcathoe he bisegeth harde and longe.
  But natheles the walles be so stronge,
  And Nisus, that was king of that citee,
  So chivalrous, that litel dredeth he;                                1905
  Of Minos or his ost took he no cure,                                 (21)
  Til on a day befel an aventure,
  That Nisus doghter stood upon the wal,
  And of the sege saw the maner al.
  So happed hit, that, at a scarmishing,                               1910
  She caste her herte upon Minos the king,
  For his beautee and for his chivalrye,
  So sore, that she wende for to dye.
  And, shortly of this proces for to pace,
  She made Minos winnen thilke place,                                  1915
  So that the citee was al at his wille,                               (31)
  To saven whom him list, or elles spille;
  But wikkedly he quitte her kindenesse,
  And let her drenche in sorowe and distresse,
  Nere that the goddes hadde of her pite;                              1920
  But that tale were to long as now for me.
    Athenes wan this king Minos also,
  And Alcathoe and other tounes mo;
  And this theffect, that Minos hath so driven
  Hem of Athenes, that they mote him yiven                             1925
  Fro yere to yere her owne children dere                              (41)
  For to be slayn, as ye shul after here.
    This Minos hath a monstre, a wikked beste,
  That was so cruel that, without areste,
  Whan that a man was broght in his presence,                          1930
  He wolde him ete, ther helpeth no defence.
  And every thridde yeer, with-outen doute,
  They casten lot, and, as hit com aboute
  On riche, on pore, he moste his sone take,
  And of his child he moste present make                               1935
  Unto Minos, to save him or to spille,                                (51)
  Or lete his beste devoure him at his wille.
  And this hath Minos don, right in despyt;
  To wreke his sone was set al his delyt,
  And maken hem of Athenes his thral                                   1940
  Fro yere to yere, whyl that he liven shal;
  And hoom he saileth whan this toun is wonne.
  This wikked custom is so longe y-ronne
  Til that of Athenes king Egeus
  Mot sende his owne sone, Theseus,                                    1945
  Sith that the lot is fallen him upon,                                (61)
  To be devoured, for grace is ther non.
  And forth is lad this woful yonge knight
  Unto the court of king Minos ful right,
  And in a prison, fetered, cast is he                                 1950
  Til thilke tyme he sholde y-freten be.
    Wel maystow wepe, O woful Theseus,
  That art a kinges sone, and dampned thus.
  Me thinketh this, that thou were depe y-holde
  To whom that saved thee fro cares colde!                             1955
  And now, if any woman helpe thee,                                    (71)
  Wel oughtestow her servant for to be,
  And been her trewe lover yeer by yere!
  But now to come ageyn to my matere.
    The tour, ther as this Theseus is throwe                           1960
  Doun in the botom derke and wonder lowe,
  Was ioyning in the walle to a foreyne;
  And hit was longing to the doghtren tweyne
  Of king Minos, that in hir chambres grete
  Dwelten above, toward the maister-strete,                            1965
  In mochel mirthe, in Ioye and in solas.                              (81)
  Not I nat how, hit happed ther, per cas,
  As Theseus compleyned him by nighte,
  The kinges doghter, Adrian that highte,
  And eek her suster Phedra, herden al                                 1970
  His compleyning, as they stode on the wal
  And lokeden upon the brighte mone;
  Hem leste nat to go to bedde sone.
  And of his wo they had compassioun;
  A kinges sone to ben in swich prisoun                                1975
  And be devoured, thoughte hem gret pitee.                            (91)
    Than Adrian spak to her suster free,
  And seyde, 'Phedra, leve suster dere,
  This woful lordes sone may ye nat here,
  How pitously compleyneth he his kin,                                 1980
  And eek his pore estat that he is in,
  And gilteless? now certes, hit is routhe!
  And if ye wol assenten, by my trouthe,
  He shal be holpen, how so that we do!'
    Phedra answerde, 'y-wis, me is as wo                               1985
  For him as ever I was for any man;                                  (101)
  And, to his help, the beste reed I can
  Is that we doon the gayler prively
  To come, and speke with us hastily,
  And doon this woful man with him to come.                            1990
  For if he may this monstre overcome,
  Than were he quit; ther is noon other bote.
  Lat us wel taste him at his herte-rote,
  That, if so be that he a wepen have,
  Wher that he dar, his lyf to kepe and save,                          1995
  Fighten with this fend, and him defende.                            (111)
  For, in the prison, ther he shal descende,
  Ye wite wel, that the beste is in a place
  That nis nat derk, and hath roum eek and space
  To welde an ax or swerd or staf or knyf,                             2000
  So that, me thinketh, he sholde save his lyf;
  If that he be a man, he shal do so.
  And we shul make him balles eek also
  Of wexe and towe, that, whan he gapeth faste,
  Into the bestes throte he shal hem caste                             2005
  To slake his hunger and encombre his teeth;                         (121)
  And right anon, whan that Theseus seeth
  The beste achoked, he shal on him lepe
  To sleen him, or they comen more to-hepe.
  This wepen shal the gayler, or that tyde,                            2010
  Ful privily within the prison hyde;
  And, for the hous is crinkled to and fro,
  And hath so queinte weyes for to go--
  For hit is shapen as the mase is wroght--
  Therto have I a remedie in my thoght,                                2015
  That, by a clewe of twyne, as he hath goon,                         (131)
  The same wey he may returne anoon,
  Folwing alwey the threed, as he hath come.
  And, whan that he this beste hath overcome,
  Then may he fleen awey out of this drede,                            2020
  And eek the gayler may he with him lede,
  And him avaunce at hoom in his contree,
  Sin that so greet a lordes sone is he.
  This is my reed, if that he dar hit take.'
    What sholde I lenger sermoun of hit make?                          2025
  The gayler cometh, and with him Theseus.                            (141)
  And whan thise thinges been acorded thus,
  Adoun sit Theseus upon his knee:--
  'The righte lady of my lyf,' quod he,
  'I, sorweful man, y-dampned to the deeth,                            2030
  Fro yow, whyl that me lasteth lyf or breeth,
  I wol nat twinne, after this aventure,
  But in your servise thus I wol endure,
  That, as a wrecche unknowe, I wol yow serve
  For ever-mo, til that myn herte sterve.                              2035
  Forsake I wol at hoom myn heritage,                                 (151)
  And, as I seide, ben of your court a page,
  If that ye vouche-sauf that, in this place,
  Ye graunte me to han so gret a grace
  That I may han nat but my mete and drinke;                           2040
  And for my sustenance yit wol I swinke,
  Right as yow list, that Minos ne no wight--
  Sin that he saw me never with eyen sight--
  Ne no man elles, shal me conne espye;
  So slyly and so wel I shal me gye,                                   2045
  And me so wel disfigure and so lowe,                                (161)
  That in this world ther shal no man me knowe,
  To han my lyf, and for to han presence
  Of yow, that doon to me this excellence.
  And to my fader shal I senden here                                   2050
  This worthy man, that is now your gaylere,
  And, him to guerdon, that he shal wel be
  Oon of the grettest men of my contree.
  And yif I dorste seyn, my lady bright,
  I am a kinges sone, and eek a knight;                                2055
  As wolde god, yif that hit mighte be                                (171)
  Ye weren in my contree, alle three,
  And I with yow, to bere yow companye,
  Than shulde ye seen yif that I ther-of lye!
  And, if I profre yow in low manere                                   2060
  To ben your page and serven yow right here,
  But I yow serve as lowly in that place,
  I prey to Mars to yive me swiche a grace
  That shames deeth on me ther mote falle,
  And deeth and povert to my frendes alle;                             2065
  And that my spirit by nighte mote go                                (181)
  After my deeth, and walke to and fro;
  That I mote of a traitour have a name,
  For which my spirit go, to do me shame!
  And yif I ever claime other degree,                                  2070
  But-if ye vouche-sauf to yive hit me,
  As I have seid, of shames deeth I deye!
  And mercy, lady! I can nat elles seye!'
    A seemly knight was Theseus to see,
  And yong, but of a twenty yeer and three;                            2075
  But who-so hadde y-seyn his countenaunce,                           (191)
  He wolde have wept, for routhe of his penaunce;
  For which this Adriane in this manere
  Answerde to his profre and to his chere.
    'A kinges sone, and eek a knight,' quod she,                       2080
  'To been my servant in so low degree,
  God shilde hit, for the shame of women alle!
  And leve me never swich a cas befalle!
  But sende yow grace and sleighte of herte also,
  Yow to defende and knightly sleen your fo,                           2085
  And leve herafter that I may yow finde                              (201)
  To me and to my suster here so kinde,
  That I repente nat to give yow lyf!
  Yit were hit better that I were your wyf,
  Sin that ye been as gentil born as I,                                2090
  And have a rëaume, nat but faste by,
  Then that I suffred giltles yow to sterve,
  Or that I let yow as a page serve;
  Hit is not profit, as unto your kinrede;
  But what is that that man nil do for drede?                          2095
  And to my suster, sin that hit is so                                (211)
  That she mot goon with me, if that I go,
  Or elles suffre deeth as wel as I,
  That ye unto your sone as trewely
  Doon her be wedded at your hoom-coming.                              2100
  This is the fynal ende of al this thing;
  Ye swere hit heer, on al that may be sworn.'
    'Ye, lady myn,' quod he, 'or elles torn
  Mote I be with the Minotaur to-morwe!
  And haveth her-of my herte-blood to borwe,                           2105
  Yif that ye wile; if I had knyf or spere,                           (221)
  I wolde hit leten out, and ther-on swere,
  For than at erst I wot ye wil me leve.
  By Mars, that is the cheef of my bileve,
  So that I mighte liven and nat faile                                 2110
  To-morwe for tacheve my bataile,
  I nolde never fro this place flee,
  Til that ye shuld the verray preve see.
  For now, if that the sooth I shal yow say,
  I have y-loved yow ful many a day,                                   2115
  Thogh ye ne wiste hit nat, in my contree.                           (231)
  And aldermost desyred yow to see
  Of any erthly living creature;
  Upon my trouthe I swere, and yow assure,
  Thise seven yeer I have your servant be;                             2120
  Now have I yow, and also have ye me,
  My dere herte, of Athenes duchesse!'
    This lady smyleth at his stedfastnesse,
  And at his hertly wordes, and his chere,
  And to her suster seide in this manere,                              2125
  Al softely, 'now, suster myn,' quod she,                            (241)
  'Now be we duchesses, bothe I and ye,
  And sikered to the regals of Athenes,
  And bothe her-after lykly to be quenes,
  And saved fro his deeth a kinges sone,                               2130
  As ever of gentil women is the wone
  To save a gentil man, emforth hir might,
  In honest cause, and namely in his right.
  Me thinketh no wight oghte her-of us blame,
  Ne beren us ther-for an evel name.'                                  2135
    And shortly of this matere for to make,                           (251)
  This Theseus of her hath leve y-take,
  And every point performed was in dede
  As ye have in this covenant herd me rede.
  His wepen, his clew, his thing that I have said,                     2140
  Was by the gayler in the hous y-laid
  Ther as this Minotaur hath his dwelling,
  Right faste by the dore, at his entring.
  And Theseus is lad unto his deeth,
  And forth un-to this Minotaur he geeth,                              2145
  And by the teching of this Adriane                                  (261)
  He overcom this beste, and was his bane;
  And out he cometh by the clewe again
  Ful prevely, whan he this beste hath slain;
  And by the gayler geten hath a barge,                                2150
  And of his wyves tresor gan hit charge,
  And took his wyf, and eek her suster free,
  And eek the gayler, and with hem alle three
  Is stole awey out of the lond by nighte,
  And to the contre of Ennopye him dighte                              2155
  Ther as he had a frend of his knowinge.                             (271)
  Ther festen they, ther dauncen they and singe;
  And in his armes hath this Adriane,
  That of the beste hath kept him from his bane;
  And gat him ther a newe barge anoon,                                 2160
  And of his contree-folk a ful gret woon,
  And taketh his leve, and hoomward saileth he.
  And in an yle, amid the wilde see,
  Ther as ther dwelte creature noon
  Save wilde bestes, and that ful many oon,                            2165
  He made his ship a-londe for to sette;                              (281)
  And in that yle half a day he lette,
  And seide, that on the lond he moste him reste.
  His mariners han doon right as him leste;
  And, for to tellen shortly in this cas,                              2170
  Whan Adriane his wyf a-slepe was,
  For that her suster fairer was than she,
  He taketh her in his hond, and forth goth he
  To shippe, and as a traitour stal his way
  Whyl that this Adriane a-slepe lay,                                  2175
  And to his contree-ward he saileth blyve--                          (291)
  A twenty devil way the wind him dryve!--
  And fond his fader drenched in the see.
    Me list no more to speke of him, parde;
  Thise false lovers, poison be hir bane!                              2180
  But I wol turne again to Adriane
  That is with slepe for werinesse atake.
  Ful sorwefully her herte may awake.
  Allas! for thee my herte hath now pite!
  Right in the dawening awaketh she,                                   2185
  And gropeth in the bedde, and fond right noght.                     (307)
  'Allas!' quod she, 'that ever I was wroght!
  I am betrayed!' and her heer to-rente,
  And to the stronde bar-fot faste she wente,
  And cryed, 'Theseus! myn herte swete!                                2190
  Wher be ye, that I may nat with yow mete,
  And mighte thus with bestes been y-slain?'
    The holwe rokkes answerde her again;
  No man she saw, and yit shyned the mone,
  And hye upon a rokke she wente sone,                                 2195
  And saw his barge sailing in the see.                               (311)
  Cold wex her herte, and right thus seide she.
  'Meker than ye finde I the bestes wilde!'
  Hadde he nat sinne, that her thus begylde?
  She cryed, 'O turne again, for routhe and sinne!                     2200
  Thy barge hath nat al his meiny inne!'
  Her kerchef on a pole up stikked she,
  Ascaunce that he sholde hit wel y-see,
  And him remembre that she was behinde,
  And turne again, and on the stronde her finde;                       2205
  But al for noght; his wey he is y-goon.                             (321)
  And doun she fil a-swown upon a stoon;
  And up she rist, and kiste, in al her care,
  The steppes of his feet, ther he hath fare,
  And to her bedde right thus she speketh tho:--                       2210
  'Thou bed,' quod she, 'that hast receyved two,
  Thou shalt answere of two, and nat of oon!
  Wher is thy gretter part away y-goon?
  Allas! wher shal I, wrecched wight, become!
  For, thogh so be that ship or boot heer come,                        2215
  Hoom to my contree dar I nat for drede;                             (331)
  I can my-selven in this cas nat rede!'
    What shal I telle more her compleining?
  Hit is so long, hit were an hevy thing.
  In her epistle Naso telleth al;                                      2220
  But shortly to the ende I telle shal.
  The goddes have her holpen, for pitee;
  And, in the signe of Taurus, men may see
  The stones of her coroun shyne clere.--
    I wol no more speke of this matere;                                2225
  But thus this false lover can begyle                                (341)
  His trewe love. The devil quyte him his whyle!


1886. F. B. Tn. Grece; _rest_ Crete; _see_ l. 1894. 1888. F. B. oonly for
thy sake; _rest_ for thy sake only. F. Tn. Th. B. writen is; T. A. Add.
wryte I. 1890. F. vntrewe; _rest_ vntrouthe (vntrouth). 1891. T. A. Add.
the; _rest om._ (_after_ of). 1895. T. A. Th. had; B. wanne; F. whan (!);
Tn. _om._ 1897. F. happeth; A. hapned; Add. appynyd; _rest_ happed. 1902.
Th. Alcathoe (_rightly_); A. Alcitoe; Tn. Alcie; T. All the cyte; F. B. And
the citee. 1910. F. B. hyt happed; _rest_ happed hit. 1911. C. caughte.
1912. C. T. A. Add. for; _rest om._ C. _om._ 1922, 1923. 1923. Th. As
Alcathoe; A. As Alcitoe; F. B. And Alcites; T. With all the cyte; _see_ l.
1902. 1924. C. But (_for_ And). 1925. F. B. Tn. B. _om._ that. 1927. C. T.
righ[t] as ye shal here; A. rycht thus as ye schall here. 1930. C. T. A.
Add. in; _rest_ in-to. 1932. C. _om._ yeer. 1933. C. T. A. Add. and; _rest
om._ C. fil (_for_ com). 1934. C. or; Th. Add. and; _rest_ on. 1936. T.
Add. Vn-to; _rest_ To. C. Theseus (_for_ Minos). 1938. C. T. A. Th. Add.
right; _rest om._ 1940. F. B. To; _rest_ And. 1941. C. T. A. that; _rest
om._ 1944. C. T. Add. that; _rest om._ 1945. Tn. Mot; C. T. Th. Mote;
_rest_ Moste (Must). 1948. C. gon (_for_ lad). 1949. C. T. A. Add. court;
_rest_ contree. C. T. A. Add. right; _rest_ of might. 1951. A. thilke; C.
the ilke; _rest_ the. 1954. C. T. A. Add. were depe; F. B. depe were; Tn.
depe; Th. arte depe. 1955. C. hym; T. theym; _rest_ whom. 1960. C. A. as;
T. Add. that; _rest om._ 1962. C. T. A. Add. in; _rest_ to. C. Tn. T. A.
Add to; F. B. Th. of. 1964. A. king; _rest om._ C. Of Thesius that, &c.
1965. C. T. A. Add. toward; _rest om._ 1966. T. In mochell myrthe; Add. In
moche myrth; Th. Of the towne; _rest_ Of Athenes(!); _see note_. 1967. C.
Tn. Th. Not; F. A. B. Wot. T. But I not how. A. happi_n_it; _rest_ happed.
Add. ther; T. there; _rest om._ 1969. F. Tn. B. Add. that Adriane
(_badly_); Th. that Ariadne. 1971. C. T. A. Add. compleynyge; _rest_
compleynt. 1972. C. T. lokedyn; _rest_ loked. 1973. F. B. (_only_) _om.
1st_ to. C. A. sone; _rest_ so sone. 1980. F. Tn. B. _om._ he. 1982. C. now
certeyn; T. A. now certes; _rest_ certes now. 1987. F. A. B. _insert_ that
_before_ I. 1991. F. B. the; _rest_ this. 1995. _So_ C.; F. B. that hys lyf
he dar kepe or; Tn. Th. that he his lif dar kepe or; T. that he dar his
lyfe kepe and. 1997. F. Tn. B. Th. ther as; C. T. A. _om._ as. 1998. F. Tn.
B. _omit this line. So_ C. Th. A. Wel wote [gh]e, &c. T. The best, ye wot
well that he ys, &c. 1999. Addit. (12524) rome eke and space; C. bothe
rou_m_ and space; _rest_ roume (roum) and eke space. 2003. F. Tn. B. _om._
him. 2007. C. what (_error for_ whan) that; Th. T. whan that; F. Tn. A. B.
whan. 2008. T. A. C. achoked; Th. acheked (!); F. Tn. asleked; B. aslakyd.
2009. F. (_only_) the (_for_ they). F. to helpe (!); _rest_ to hepe. 2012.
Tn. crenkled; Th. crencled; B. cruklyd. 2015. T. (_only_) _om._ a. 2016. F.
B. clywe. 2019. _So_ C. A.; _so_ Addit. (12625) _with_ monstre _for_ beste;
F. Tn. Th. B. And whan this best ys ouercome (!); T. And when that he thus
hath ouercome (!). 2020. C. T. A. drede; _rest_ stede; (drede _gives the
better rime_). 2025. T. A. Th. sermoun; C. sarmoun; _rest om._ 2027. C.
And; _rest om._ 2028. C. T. A. Adoun; _rest_ Doun. 2031. C. T. A. whil;
_rest_ whiles. F. Tn. Th. B. _om._ lyf or. 2032. F. Tn. B. wolde; _rest_
wil (wol). 2035. C. A. -mo; _rest_ -more. 2039. C. A. so gret a; T. so
gret; _rest_ suche a. 2046. F. B. so me; T. so; _rest_ me so. 2048. C. A.
for; _rest om._ 2051. C. now; _rest om._ 2052. C. F. to; Tn. T. Th. B. so;
A. _om._ 2060. F. Tn. Th. B. _insert_ that _after_ if. 2063. C. A. so (_for
2nd_ to). C. A. a; _rest om._ 2064. C. T. A. Th. deth; F. B. dede; Tn.
deed; _see_ l. 2072. 2065. T. pouert; _rest_ pouerte; _cf._ Cant. Ta. C
441. 2068. A. a traytour; _rest om._ a. 2069. A. go; C. T. goth; Th. mote
go; F. Tn. B. mot go (_for_ mot-e go); _see_ l 2066. [_Go_ = may go.] 2070.
F. B. ever y; T. C. A., I ever. 2071. C. T. A. if; _rest om._ 2073. F. B.
no more; Tn. nat; _rest_ nat elles. 2074. F. Tn. Th. B. this Theseus; C. T.
A. _om._ this. 2075. C. a; _rest om._ 2080. F. Tn. B. _badly have_ And a.
2083. A. leue; Th. lene; C. F. B. leue _or_ lene; Tn. leen; (leve _is
right_); _see_ l. 2086. 2084. C. T. A. But; _rest_ And. 2085. _So_ C. A.
B.; F. Tn. T. Th. to sleen (_badly_). 2086. F. leve (_sic_); A. lyve; C. B.
leue (_or_ lene); Th. lene; Tn. leen; T. graunt. C. T. A. that; _rest om._
2088. C. T. A., I; _rest_ I ne. 2089. C. T. A. that; _rest om._ 2090. C. T.
A. that; _rest om._ 2091. T. reaume; Tn. reame; C. reume; _rest_ realme.
2092. C. T. giltles [gh]ow; A. [gh]ow giltles; F. Tn. Th. B. your
gentilesse (!). 2095. C. that; _rest_ that that. C. men; T. a man; _rest_
man. C. nyl don; A. nyl do; T. wyll do (!); F. Tn. Th. B. wol not do. 2100.
F. B. to be; _rest om._ to. 2102. A. on; _rest_ vpon. 2107. B. lete; F. C.
Tn. T. laten; A. latten; Th. letten. 2109. C. T. A. the; _rest om._ 2111.
C. tacheue; T. A. to acheue; F. Tn. Th. B. to taken (!). C. myn; A. T. Th.
my; F. Tn. B. by (!). 2113. C. prene (_rightly_); F. T. prefe; Tn. A. prof;
Th. profe; B. trouth. 2115. C. I-louyd; A. yloued; _rest_ loved. 2116. F.
Tn. Th. B. _om._ hit. 2119. C. ensure. 2124. C. Th. hertely; B. hertilye;
_rest_ hertly (hertely _is more correct_). F. Tn. Th. B. and at his chere.
2126. C. T. A. Al; _rest_ And. 2134. C. her-of us; _rest_ us her-of. 2138.
_All_ was performed; _the improvement is obvious_. 2139. F. B. the; _rest_
this. 2149. F. hath thys beste; _rest_ this beste hath. 2150-2153. F. Tn.
B. _omit from_ geten _to_ gayler (_owing to repetition of_ gayler). 2150.
_So_ C.; T. _has_ getyn he hath; A. Th. gotten hath. 2151. _So_ C. T. Th.;
A. _has_ he _for_ hit. 2152. _So_ C. T. A. Th. 2155. C. Ennepye; F. Tn. B.
Eunopye _or_ Ennopye; T. Ennopy; A. Ennopie; Th. Enupye. 2160. C. T. A.
newe; _rest_ noble. 2161. F. Tn. B. _om._ ful. 2164. C. dwellede; B. Th.
dwelte; Tn. A. dwelt; F. T. dwelleth. 2168. F. Tn. B. _om._ that. 2182. C.
atake; _rest_ y-take. 2184. C. now; T. A. gret; _rest om._ 2186. C. T.
graspeth; A. grapid; _rest_ gropeth. 2188. C. & al hire her. 2193. F. B.
_omit this line_. 2194. C. shynede; T. shynyd; A. schyneth; F. Tn. Th. B.
shone. 2199. C. Hadde; T. A. Had; _rest_ Hath. F. Tn. Th. _needlessly
insert_ he _after_ that. 2201. F. thy (_for_ his). 2202, 2203. T. _omits
these lines_. 2203. C. Tn. Th. B. Ascaunce; A. Ascances; F. Aschaunce. C.
A. that; _rest om._ 2206. C. I-gon; A. ygone; T. agone; _rest_ goon (gone).
2207. C. T. A. upon; _rest_ on. 2208. C. kyssith; _rest_ kyssed (_but read_
kiste). 2210. C. _om._ she. 2213. C. thyn; T. A. thy; _rest_ the. C. I-gon;
A. y-gone; _rest_ goon (gone). 2214. C. wreche. 2215. _So_ T.; A. that any
bote her come; C. that boot here ne come (_wrongly_); Tn. F. B. that bote
none here come (_wrongly_); _see note._ 2217. C. myn selue; F. my selfe
(_read_ my selven); _rest_ my self. 2221. C. T. A. I telle; _rest_ telle I.
2226, 2227. A. _omits these lines_. 2226. C. T. Th. this false louer; F.
Tn. B. these false lovers. 2227. C. Tn. T. Th. His; F. Hyr; B. Her; _but
all have_ him. _Perhaps_ him quyte _would give a smoother line_.



      _Deus dator formarum._

  Thou yiver of the formes, that hast wroght
  The faire world, and bare hit in thy thoght
  Eternally, or thou thy werk began,                                   2230
  Why madest thou, unto the slaundre of man,
  Or--al be that hit was not thy doing,
  As for that fyn to make swiche a thing--
  Why suffrest thou that Tereus was bore,
  That is in love so fals and so forswore,                             2235
  That, fro this world up to the firste hevene,
  Corrumpeth, whan that folk his name nevene?                          (10)
  And, as to me, so grisly was his dede,
  That, whan that I his foule story rede,
  Myn eyen wexen foule and sore also;                                  2240
  Yit last the venim of so longe ago,
  That hit enfecteth him that wol beholde
  The story of Tereus, of which I tolde.
    Of Trace was he lord, and kin to Marte,
  The cruel god that stant with blody darte;                           2245
  And wedded had he, with a blisful chere,
  King Pandiones faire doghter dere,                                   (20)
  That highte Progne, flour of her contree,
  Thogh Iuno list nat at the feste be,
  Ne Ymeneus, that god of wedding is;                                  2250
  But at the feste redy been, y-wis,
  The furies three, with alle hir mortel brond.
  The owle al night aboute the balkes wond,
  That prophet is of wo and of mischaunce.
  This revel, ful of songe and ful of daunce,                          2255
  Lasteth a fourtenight, or litel lasse.
  But, shortly of this story for to passe,                             (30)
  For I am wery of him for to telle,
  Five yeer his wyf and he togeder dwelle,
  Til on a day she gan so sore longe                                   2260
  To seen her suster, that she saw nat longe,
  That for desyr she niste what to seye.
  But to her husband gan she for to preye,
  For goddes love, that she moste ones goon
  Her suster for to seen, and come anoon,                              2265
  Or elles, but she moste to her wende,
  She preyde him, that he wolde after her sende;                       (40)
  And this was, day by day, al her prayere
  With al humblesse of wyfhood, word, and chere.
    This Tereus let make his shippes yare,                             2270
  And into Grece him-self is forth y-fare
  Unto his fader in lawe, and gan him preye
  To vouche-sauf that, for a month or tweye,
  That Philomene, his wyves suster, mighte
  On Progne his wyf but ones have a sighte--                           2275
  'And she shal come to yow again anoon.
  Myself with her wol bothe come and goon,                             (50)
  And as myn hertes lyf I wol her kepe.'
    This olde Pandion, this king, gan wepe
  For tendernesse of herte, for to leve                                2280
  His doghter goon, and for to yive her leve;
  Of al this world he lovede no-thing so;
  But at the laste leve hath she to go.
  For Philomene, with salte teres eke,
  Gan of her fader grace to beseke                                     2285
  To seen her suster, that her longeth so;
  And him embraceth with her armes two.                                (60)
  And therwith-al so yong and fair was she
  That, whan that Terëus saw her beautee,
  And of array that ther was noon her liche,                           2290
  And yit of bountee was she two so riche,
  He caste his fyry herte upon her so
  That he wol have her, how so that hit go,
  And with his wyles kneled and so preyde,
  Til at the laste Pandion thus seyde:--                               2295
    'Now, sone,' quod he, 'that art to me so dere,
  I thee betake my yonge doghter here,                                 (70)
  That bereth the key of al my hertes lyf.
  And grete wel my doghter and thy wyf,
  And yive her leve somtyme for to pleye,                              2300
  That she may seen me ones er I deye.'
  And soothly, he hath mad him riche feste,
  And to his folk, the moste and eek the leste,
  That with him com; and yaf him yiftes grete,
  And him conveyeth through the maister-strete                         2305
  Of Athenes, and to the see him broghte,
  And turneth hoom; no malice he ne thoghte.                           (80)
    The ores pulleth forth the vessel faste,
  And into Trace arriveth at the laste,
  And up into a forest he her ledde,                                   2310
  And to a cave privily him spedde;
  And, in this derke cave, yif her leste,
  Or leste noght, he bad her for to reste;
  Of whiche her herte agroos, and seyde thus,
  'Wher is my suster, brother Tereus?'                                 2315
  And therwith-al she wepte tenderly,
  And quook for fere, pale and pitously,                               (90)
  Right as the lamb that of the wolf is biten;
  Or as the colver, that of the egle is smiten,
  And is out of his clawes forth escaped,                              2320
  Yet hit is afered and awhaped
  Lest hit be hent eft-sones, so sat she.
  But utterly hit may non other be.
  By force hath he, this traitour, doon that dede,
  That he hath reft her of her maydenhede,                             2325
  Maugree her heed, by strengthe and by his might.
  Lo! here a dede of men, and that a right!                           (100)
  She cryeth 'suster!' with ful loude stevene,
  And 'fader dere!' and 'help me, god in hevene!'
  Al helpeth nat; and yet this false theef                             2330
  Hath doon this lady yet a more mischeef,
  For fere lest she sholde his shame crye,
  And doon him openly a vilanye,
  And with his swerd her tong of kerveth he,
  And in a castel made her for to be                                   2335
  Ful privily in prison evermore,
  And kepte her to his usage and his store,                           (110)
  So that she mighte him nevermore asterte.
  O sely Philomene! wo is thyn herte;
  God wreke thee, and sende thee thy bone!                             2340
  Now is hit tyme I make an ende sone.
    This Tereus is to his wyf y-come,
  And in his armes hath his wyf y-nome,
  And pitously he weep, and shook his heed,
  And swor her that he fond her suster deed;                           2345
  For which this sely Progne hath swich wo,
  That ny her sorweful herte brak a-two;                              (120)
  And thus in teres lete I Progne dwelle,
  And of her suster forth I wol yow telle.
    This woful lady lerned had in youthe                               2350
  So that she werken and enbrouden couthe,
  And weven in her stole the radevore
  As hit of women hath be woned yore.
  And, shortly for to seyn, she hath her fille
  Of mete and drink, and clothing at her wille,                        2355
  And coude eek rede, and wel y-nogh endyte,
  But with a penne coude she nat wryte;                               (130)
  But lettres can she weven to and fro,
  So that, by that the yeer was al a-go,
  She had y-woven in a stamin large                                    2360
  How she was broght from Athenes in a barge,
  And in cave how that she was broght;
  And al the thing that Tereus hath wroght,
  She waf hit wel, and wroot the story above,
  How she was served for her suster love;                              2365
  And to a knave a ring she yaf anoon,
  And prayed him, by signes, for to goon                              (140)
  Unto the quene, and beren her that clooth,
  And by signes swor him many an ooth,
  She sholde him yeve what she geten mighte.                           2370
    This knave anoon unto the quene him dighte,
  And took hit her, and al the maner tolde.
  And, whan that Progne hath this thing beholde,
  No word she spak, for sorwe and eek for rage;
  But feyned her to goon on pilgrimage                                 2375
  To Bachus temple; and, in a litel stounde,
  Her dombe suster sitting hath she founde,                           (150)
  Weping in the castel her aloon.
  Allas! the wo, the compleint, and the moon
  That Progne upon her dombe suster maketh!                            2380
  In armes everich of hem other taketh,
  And thus I lete hem in hir sorwe dwelle.
    The remenant is no charge for to telle,
  For this is al and som, thus was she served,
  That never harm a-gilte ne deserved                                  2385
  Unto this cruel man, that she of wiste.
  Ye may be war of men, yif that yow liste.                           (160)
  For, al be that he wol nat, for his shame,
  Doon so as Tereus, to lese his name,
  Ne serve yow as a mordrour or a knave,                               2390
  Ful litel whyle shul ye trewe him have,
  That wol I seyn, al were he now my brother,
  But hit so be that he may have non other.                           (166)


TITLE. _From_ F. _After which_, F. _has_ Deus dator formatorum; B. _has_
Deus dator formarum. 2233. C. T. A. fyn; _rest_ fende. 2239. C. A. his; F.
Tn. B. this. T. that sorrowfull story. 2241. F. B. laste (_error for_
last); Tn. A. laft (!); C. lestyth; T. Th. lasteth. 2242. C. T. A. it;
_rest om._ C. wele; T. wyll; Add. (12524) woll; _rest_ wolde. 2243. B. Th.
Tereus; A. Tireus; C. Therius; T. Thereus; F. Teseus; Tn. Theseus (!). [_Of
which I tolde_ = whom I mentioned (l. 2234).] _See next line._ 2246. C. T.
A. a; _rest om._ 2249. C. T. A. lyst; Th. lyste; F. Tn. B. baste (!). 2252,
2253. C. Tn. A. brond, wond; _rest_ bronde, wonde. 2256. A. Lestith; _rest_
Laste (Last). 2277. _All but_ C. T. _badly insert_ I _after_ her. 2282. T.
C. loueth. 2285. F. B. Tn. for; _rest_ of. 2286. _So_ F. Tn. Th. B.; C. T.
she loueth so; A. sche loued so. 2287-92. T. _omits_. 2291. B. bounte; F.
bounde (_error for_ bounte); _rest_ beaute (_but see_ l. 2289). A. twys;
Th. to; _rest_ two (twoo); _see_ 736. 2294. C. wilis he so fayre hire
preyede. 2297. C. T. A. here; _rest repeat_ dere. 2301. C. Tn. T. er;
_rest_ or. 2311. F. T. in-to; _rest_ to. 2314. Tn. a-groos; A. agros; Th.
agrose; F. agrosse; T. agrysyd; C. aros (!). 2316. C. Tn. Th. B. wepte; F.
wepe; T. wepyd. 2319. F. Tn. Or of; B. Or; _rest_ Or as. 2320. F. Tn. B.
_om._ his. 2324. C. he; _rest om._ 2325. F. Tn. B. _om._ of her. 2328. F.
B. longe; _rest_ loude. 2329. C. A. and; _rest om._ 2332. F. B. Tn. ferde;
A. fered; _rest_ fere. 2334. A. C. kerveth; T. kutteth; _rest_ kerf
(kerfe). 2338. _So_ C. T. A.; Th. she ne might (_om._ him). F. Tn. B. _omit
this line and have a spurious line after_ 2339. 2339. C. T. A. is; F. Tn.
Th. B. is in. 2345. C. say (_for_ fond). 2346. F. B. the (_for_ this).
2350. C. T. A. lerned; _rest_ y-lerned. 2352. F. Tn. Th. B. _om._ her. F.
Tn. T. Th. B. radeuore (_or_ radenore); C. radyuore (_or_ radynore); A.
raduor. 2353. F. wore (_error for_ yore); _rest_ yore. 2355. C. T. A. and;
_rest_ of. 2356. C. A. coude; _rest_ kouthe (couthe, couth). P. Tn. Th. B.
_put_ and _after_ y-nogh. 2357. C. A. coude she: T. couthe she; _rest_ she
kouthe (couth, coulde). 2359. _All but_ T. A. _om. 2nd_ that. F. (_only_)
_om._ al. 2360. A. C. ywouen; _rest_ wouen (woued). C. T. A. stamyn; _rest_
stames. 2364. C. waf; Tn. B. wafe; _rest_ waue (wave). 2369. F. Tn. Th. B.
signe; _rest_ signes. C. swor hym; T. sware she; A. suore; Th. swore; F. B.
sworne (!); Tn. sworen (!). 2375. C. Th. on; T. A. in; F. Tn. B. a. 2378.
Tn. her; C. here (_for_ her); A. all hir; F. T. Th. B. hir self. 2379. _So_
A.; _so_ T. (_omitting 3rd_ the); C. Allas the compleynt the wo & the mone;
F. Th. Allas the wo constreynt (!) and the mone. 2380. _So all._ 2388. C.
his; _rest om._ 2389. C. so; _rest om._ 2390. B. mordrer; F. morderere; Th.
murtherer; C. T. A. morderour; Tn. mordroure. 2393. C. T. A. non othir;
_rest_ a-nother (!).



  By preve as wel as by auctoritee,
  That wikked fruit cometh of a wikked tree,                           2395
  That may ye finde, if that it lyketh yow.
  But for this ende I speke this as now,
  To telle you of false Demophon.
  In love a falser herde I never non,
  But-if hit were his fader Theseus.                                   2400
  'God, for his grace, fro swich oon kepe us!'
  Thus may thise women prayen that hit here.
  Now to theffect turne I of my matere.                                (10)
    Destroyed is of Troye the citee;
  This Demophon com sailing in the see                                 2405
  Toward Athenes, to his paleys large;
  With him com many a ship and many a barge
  Ful of his folk, of which ful many oon
  Is wounded sore, and seek, and wo begoon.
  And they han at the sege longe y-lain.                               2410
  Behinde him com a wind and eek a rain
  That shoof so sore, his sail ne mighte stonde,
  Him were lever than al the world a-londe,                            (20)
  So hunteth him the tempest to and fro.
  So derk hit was, he coude nowher go;                                 2415
  And with a wawe brosten was his stere.
  His ship was rent so lowe, in swich manere,
  That carpenter ne coude hit nat amende.
  The see, by nighte, as any torche brende
  For wood, and posseth him now up now doun,                           2420
  Til Neptune hath of him compassioun,
  And Thetis, Chorus, Triton, and they alle,
  And maden him upon a lond to falle,                                  (30)
  Wher-of that Phillis lady was and quene,
  Ligurgus doghter, fairer on to sene                                  2425
  Than is the flour again the brighte sonne.
  Unnethe is Demophon to londe y-wonne,
  Wayk and eek wery, and his folk for-pyned
  Of werinesse, and also enfamyned;
  And to the deeth he almost was y-driven.                             2430
  His wyse folk to conseil han him yiven
  To seken help and socour of the queen,
  And loken what his grace mighte been,                                (40)
  And maken in that lond som chevisaunce,
  To kepen him fro wo and fro mischaunce.                              2435
  For seek was he, and almost at the deeth;
  Unnethe mighte he speke or drawe his breeth,
  And lyth in Rodopeya him for to reste.
  Whan he may walke, him thoughte hit was the beste
  Unto the court to seken for socour.                                  2440
  Men knewe him wel, and diden him honour;
  For at Athenes duk and lord was he,
  As Theseus his fader hadde y-be,                                     (50)
  That in his tyme was of greet renoun,
  No man so greet in al his regioun;                                   2445
  And lyk his fader of face and of stature,
  And fals of love; hit com him of nature;
  As doth the fox Renard, the foxes sone,
  Of kinde he coude his olde faders wone
  Withoute lore, as can a drake swimme,                                2450
  Whan hit is caught and caried to the brimme.
  This honourable Phillis doth him chere,
  Her lyketh wel his port and his manere.                              (60)
  But for I am agroted heer-biforn
  To wryte of hem that been in love forsworn,                          2455
  And eek to haste me in my legende,
  Which to performe god me grace sende,
  Therfor I passe shortly in this wyse;
  Ye han wel herd of Theseus devyse
  In the betraising of fair Adriane,                                   2460
  That of her pite kepte him from his bane.
  At shorte wordes, right so Demophon
  The same wey, the same path hath gon                                 (70)
  That dide his false fader Theseus.
  For unto Phillis hath he sworen thus,                                2465
  To wedden her, and her his trouthe plighte,
  And piked of her al the good he mighte,
  Whan he was hool and sound and hadde his reste;
  And doth with Phillis what so that him leste.
  And wel coude I, yif that me leste so,                               2470
  Tellen al his doing to and fro.
    He seide, unto his contree moste he saile,
  For ther he wolde her wedding apparaile                              (80)
  As fil to her honour and his also.
  And openly he took his leve tho,                                     2475
  And hath her sworn, he wolde nat soiorne,
  But in a month he wolde again retorne.
  And in that lond let make his ordinaunce
  As verray lord, and took the obeisaunce
  Wel and hoomly, and let his shippes dighte,                          2480
  And hoom he goth the nexte wey he mighte;
  For unto Phillis yit ne com he noght.
  And that hath she so harde and sore aboght,                          (90)
  Allas! that, as the stories us recorde,
  She was her owne deeth right with a corde,                           2485
  Whan that she saw that Demophon her trayed.
    But to him first she wroot and faste him prayed
  He wolde come, and her deliver of peyne,
  As I reherse shal a word or tweyne.
  Me list nat vouche-sauf on him to swinke,                            2490
  Ne spende on him a penne ful of inke,
  For fals in love was he, right as his syre;
  The devil sette hir soules bothe a-fyre!                            (100)
  But of the lettre of Phillis wol I wryte
  A word or tweyne, al-thogh hit be but lyte.                          2495
    'Thyn hostesse,' quod she, 'O Demophon,
  Thy Phillis, which that is so wo begon,
  Of Rodopeye, upon yow moot compleyne,
  Over the terme set betwix us tweyne,
  That ye ne holden forward, as ye seyde;                              2500
  Your anker, which ye in our haven leyde,
  Highte us, that ye wolde comen, out of doute,
  Or that the mone ones wente aboute.                                 (110)
  But tymes foure the mone hath hid her face
  Sin thilke day ye wente fro this place,                              2505
  And foure tymes light the world again.
  But for al that, yif I shal soothly sain,
  Yit hath the streem of Sitho nat y-broght
  From Athenes the ship; yit comth hit noght.
  And, yif that ye the terme rekne wolde,                              2510
  As I or other trewe lovers sholde,
  I pleyne not, god wot, beforn my day.'--
    But al her lettre wryten I ne may                                 (120)
  By ordre, for hit were to me a charge;
  Her lettre was right long and ther-to large;                         2515
  But here and there in ryme I have hit laid,
  Ther as me thoughte that she wel hath said.--
    She seide, 'thy sailes comen nat again,
  Ne to thy word ther nis no fey certein;
  But I wot why ye come nat,' quod she;                                2520
  'For I was of my love to you so free.
  And of the goddes that ye han forswore,
  Yif that hir vengeance falle on yow therfore,                       (130)
  Ye be nat suffisaunt to bere the peyne.
  To moche trusted I, wel may I pleyne,                                2525
  Upon your linage and your faire tonge,
  And on your teres falsly out y-wronge.
  How coude ye wepe so by craft?' quod she;
  'May ther swiche teres feyned be?
  Now certes, yif ye wolde have in memorie,                            2530
  Hit oghte be to yow but litel glorie
  To have a sely mayde thus betrayed!
  To god,' quod she, 'preye I, and ofte have prayed,                  (140)
  That hit be now the grettest prys of alle,
  And moste honour that ever yow shal befalle!                         2535
  And whan thyn olde auncestres peynted be,
  In which men may hir worthinesse see,
  Than, preye I god, thou peynted be also,
  That folk may reden, for-by as they go,
  "Lo! this is he, that with his flaterye                              2540
  Betrayed hath and doon her vilanye
  That was his trewe love in thoghte and dede!"
  But sothly, of oo point yit may they rede,                          (150)
  That ye ben lyk your fader as in this;
  For he begyled Adriane, y-wis,                                       2545
  With swiche an art and swiche sotelte
  As thou thy-selven hast begyled me.
  As in that point, al-thogh hit be nat fayr,
  Thou folwest him, certein, and art his eyr.
  But sin thus sinfully ye me begyle,                                  2550
  My body mote ye seen, within a whyle,
  Right in the haven of Athenes fletinge,
  With-outen sepulture and buryinge;                                  (160)
  Thogh ye ben harder then is any stoon.'
    And, whan this lettre was forth sent anoon,                        2555
  And knew how brotel and how fals he was,
  She for dispeyr for-dide herself, allas!
  Swich sorwe hath she, for she besette her so.
  Be war, ye women, of your sotil fo,
  Sin yit this day men may ensample see;                               2560
  And trusteth, as in love, no man but me.                            (168)


2400. F. Tn. Th. B. _om._ if. 2402. F. Tn. Th. B. _om._ may. 2408. C. his;
_rest om._ 2409. C. sek (_read_ seek); _rest_ seke. 2410. A. Th. the sege;
F. Tn. B. a sege; T. sege; C. thasege (_good_). 2412. C. T. A. ne myghte;
_rest_ myght not. 2418. C. A. ne; T. noon; _rest om._ 2420. A. So wood. C.
A. now vp now doun; T. now vp and doun; _rest_ vp and doun. 2422. Th.
Chorus; T. Thora; _rest_ Thorus (_see note_). F. Tn. B. _om._ Triton. 2423.
F. Th. B. vp; _rest_ vp-on. 2425. A. B. Ligurgus; C. Tn. T. Ligurges; Th.
Lycurgus; F. Bygurgus (_error for_ Lygurgus). 2430. C. That (_for_ And). C.
almost was (_better than_ was almost _in the rest_). 2435. C. T. A. To;
_rest_ And. 2437. C. T. A. his; _rest om._ 2438. A. _om._ for. 2440. C. T.
A. court; _rest_ contree. 2443. F. Tn. Th. B. hath. 2444. C. T. A. of gret;
_rest_ grete of. 2445. C. of (_for_ in). C. the; T. A. that; _rest_ his.
2449. C. owene (_for_ olde). 2452. A. phillis; C. Philes; Th. T. quene
Phillis; _rest_ quene. 2453. F. B. And; _rest_ Her (Hire, Hir). 2454. A.
Th. agroted; B. agrotyd; C. agrotyed; F. Tn. agroteyd; T. agroteyed. 2455.
C. T. ben in love; A. ar of loue; _rest_ in loue ben. 2459. C. T. A.
deuyse; F. Tn. B. the nyse (_sic_); Th. the gyse. 2470, 1. T. I couthe
ryght well, yef that hyt lykyd me Tell all hys doyng; but hyt ys vanyte.
2472. C. T. vnto; A. into; _rest_ to. F. Th. B. him; _rest_ he. 2475. F. B.
_omit_. 2476. C. hath hire sworn; A. hath to hir suorn; Tn. to her sworne;
F. T. Th. B. to hir swore. 2477. _So_ C. A.; F. Tn. Th. B. ageyn he wolde.
2480. C. homly; F. T. B. homely; A. hui_m_ly; Tn. humble; Th. hombly. C.
let; _rest om._ 2482. C. ne; _rest om._ 2483. A. C. Th. abought; F. Tn. B.
yboght. 2484. F. Tn. B. _om._ as. A. T. stories; _rest_ story (_but this
would require_ recordeth; _indeed_, C. _has_ recordith!). 2485. C. T. A.
ryght; _rest om._ 2487. F. Tn. Th. B. But firste wrote she to hym. 2488. C.
T. A. hire delyuere; _rest_ delyuer hir. F. pyne (_error for_ peyne). 2489.
F. B. oo; Tn. one; _rest_ a; _see_ l. 2495. 2491. C. T. A. Ne spende;
_rest_ Dispenden. 2493. C. a fere; T. afyre; A. in fyre; F. Tn. Th. B. on a
fire (_badly_). 2496. C. Ostesse thyn. T. A. o thow Demophon. 2498. F. Tn.
B. _om._ moot. 2504. F. Tn. B. _om._ hid. 2505. Th. thylke; C. F. Tn. B.
that thilke (!); A. that ilke; T. that. 2506, 7. C. _omits_. 2506. A. hath
lycht this. 2507. T. yef; A. if; F. B. Th. yet (_error for_ yef); Tn. yit
(_error for_ yif). 2508. C. storm (_error for_ streem); _rest_ streme. Th.
Scython; C. B. Sytoye; A. Cytoye; T. Sitoy; F. Tn. Sitoio (Ovid _has_
Sithonis unda). T. y-brought; _rest_ broght (brought). 2509. C. comyth it;
T. A. cometh; F. Tn. B. come hit; Th. came it. 2517. C. A. wel hath; _rest_
hath wel. 2518. C. T. A. thyne (thy); _rest_ the. C. come; T. comen; F. Tn.
Th. B. cometh. 2519. C. T. A. thy_n_ (thy); _rest_ the. 2523. C. T. A. Yif
(_only_); F. Tn. Th. B. That (_only_); _but read_ Yif that. 2525. C. T. A.
pleyne; _rest_ seyne (!). 2527. C. I-wronge; A. yronne (_error for_
ywronge); F. Tn. Th. B. wronge. 2529. A. Quhethir ther may (_but this is
Scottish_). 2532. _All_ mayde. 2539. C. T. A. for by; _rest_ forth by.
2546. A. C. T. subtilitee. 2549. C. T. A. him; _rest om._ A. _has lost_ ll.
2551-2616. 2555. F. Tn. B. _om._ sent. 2561. _So_ C. T.; _so_ Tn. Th.
(_with_ now _for_ as); F. B. And as in love truste no man but me.



  In Grece whylom weren brethren two,
  Of whiche that oon was called Danao,
  That many a sone hath of his body wonne,
  As swiche false lovers ofte conne.                                   2565
  Among his sones alle ther was oon
  That aldermost he lovede of everichoon.
  And whan this child was born, this Danao
  Shoop him a name, and called him Lino.
  That other brother called was Egiste,                                2570
  That was of love as fals as ever him liste,                          (10)
  And many a doghter gat he in his lyve;
  Of which he gat upon his righte wyve
  A doghter dere, and dide her for to calle
  Ypermistra, yongest of hem alle;                                     2575
  The whiche child, of her nativitee,
  To alle gode thewes born was she,
  As lyked to the goddes, or she was born,
  That of the shefe she sholde be the corn;
  The Wirdes, that we clepen Destinee,                                 2580
  Hath shapen her that she mot nedes be                                (20)
  Pitouse, sadde, wyse, and trewe as steel;
  And to this woman hit accordeth weel.
  For, though that Venus yaf her greet beautee,
  With Iupiter compouned so was she                                    2585
  That conscience, trouthe, and dreed of shame,
  And of her wyfhood for to kepe her name,
  This, thoughte her, was felicitee as here.
  And rede Mars was, that tyme of the yere,
  So feble, that his malice is him raft,                               2590
  Repressed hath Venus his cruel craft;                                (30)
  What with Venus and other oppressioun
  Of houses, Mars his venim is adoun,
  That Ypermistra dar nat handle a knyf
  In malice, thogh she sholde lese her lyf.                            2595
  But natheles, as heven gan tho turne,
  To badde aspectes hath she of Saturne,
  That made her for to deyen in prisoun,
  As I shal after make mencioun.
    To Danao and Egistes also--                                        2600
  Al-thogh so be that they were brethren two,                          (40)
  For thilke tyme nas spared no linage--
  Hit lyked hem to maken mariage
  Betwix Ypermistra and him Lino,
  And casten swiche a day hit shal be so;                              2605
  And ful acorded was hit witterly;
  The array is wroght, the tyme is faste by.
  And thus Lino hath of his fadres brother
  The doghter wedded, and eche of hem hath other.
    The torches brennen and the lampes brighte,                        2610
  The sacrifices been ful redy dighte;                                 (50)
  Thencens out of the fyre reketh sote,
  The flour, the leef is rent up by the rote
  To maken garlands and corounes hye;
  Ful is the place of soun of minstralcye,                             2615
  Of songes amorous of mariage,
  As thilke tyme was the pleyn usage.
  And this was in the paleys of Egiste,
  That in his hous was lord, right as him liste;
  And thus the day they dryven to an ende;                             2620
  The frendes taken leve, and hoom they wende.                         (60)
  The night is come, the bryd shal go to bedde;
  Egiste to his chambre faste him spedde,
  And privily he let his doghter calle.
  Whan that the hous was voided of hem alle,                           2625
  He loked on his doghter with glad chere,
  And to her spak, as ye shul after here.
    'My righte doghter, tresor of myn herte!
  Sin first that day that shapen was my sherte,
  Or by the fatal sustren had my dom,                                  2630
  So ny myn herte never thing me com                                   (70)
  As thou, myn Ypermistra, doghter dere!
  Tak heed what I thy fader sey thee here,
  And werk after thy wyser ever-mo.
  For alderfirste, doghter, I love thee so                             2635
  That al the world to me nis half so leef;
  Ne I nolde rede thee to thy mischeef
  For al the gode under the colde mone;
  And what I mene, hit shal be seid right sone,
  With protestacioun, as in this wyse,                                 2640
  That, but thou do as I shal thee devyse,                             (80)
  Thou shalt be deed, by him that al hath wroght!
  At shorte wordes, thou nescapest noght
  Out of my paleys, or that thou be deed,
  But thou consente and werke after my reed;                           2645
  Tak this to thee for ful conclusioun.'
    This Ypermistra caste her eyen doun,
  And quook as dooth the leef of aspe grene;
  Deed wex her hewe, and lyk as ash to sene,
  And seyde, 'lord and fader, al your wille,                           2650
  After my might, god wot, I shal fulfille,                            (90)
  So hit to me be no confusioun.'
    'I nil,' quod he, 'have noon excepcioun;'
  And out he caughte a knyf, as rasour kene;
  'Hyd this,' quod he, 'that hit be nat y-sene;                        2655
  And, whan thyn husbond is to bedde y-go,
  Whyl that he slepeth, cut his throte a-two.
  For in my dremes hit is warned me
  How that my nevew shal my bane be,
  But whiche I noot, wherfor I wol be siker.                           2660
  Yif thou sey nay, we two shul have a biker                          (100)
  As I have seyd, by him that I have sworn.'
    This Ypermistra hath ny her wit forlon;
  And, for to passen harmles of that place,
  She graunted him; ther was non other grace.                          2665
  And therwith-al a costrel taketh he,
  And seyde, 'herof a draught, or two or three,
  Yif him to drinke, whan he goth to reste,
  And he shal slepe as longe as ever thee leste,
  The narcotiks and opies been so stronge:                             2670
  And go thy wey, lest that him thinke longe.'                        (110)
    Out comth the bryd, and with ful sober chere,
  As is of maidens ofte the manere,
  To chambre is broght with revel and with songe,
  And shortly, lest this tale be to longe,                             2675
  This Lino and she ben sone broght to bedde;
  And every wight out at the dore him spedde.
    The night is wasted, and he fel a-slepe;
  Ful tenderly beginneth she to wepe.
  She rist her up, and dredfully she quaketh,                          2680
  As doth the braunche that Zephirus shaketh,                         (120)
  And husht were alle in Argon that citee.
  As cold as any frost now wexeth she;
  For pite by the herte her streyneth so,
  And dreed of death doth her so moche wo,                             2685
  That thryes doun she fil in swiche a were.
  She rist her up, and stakereth heer and there,
  And on her handes faste loketh she.
  'Allas! and shul my handes blody be?
  I am a maid, and, as by my nature,                                   2690
  And by my semblant and by my vesture,                               (130)
  Myn handes been nat shapen for a knyf,
  As for to reve no man fro his lyf.
  What devil have I with the knyf to do?
  And shal I have my throte corve a-two?                               2695
  Than shal I blede, allas! and me beshende;
  And nedes cost this thing mot have an ende;
  Or he or I mot nedes lese our lyf.
  Now certes,' quod she, 'sin I am his wyf,
  And hath my feith, yit is it bet for me                              2700
  For to be deed in wyfly honestee                                    (140)
  Than be a traitour living in my shame.
  Be as be may, for ernest or for game,
  He shal awake, and ryse and go his way
  Out at this goter, or that hit be day!'--                            2705
  And weep ful tenderly upon his face,
  And in her armes gan him to embrace,
  And him she roggeth and awaketh softe;
  And at the window leep he fro the lofte
  Whan she hath warned him, and doon him bote.                         2710
    This Lino swifte was, and light of fote,                          (150)
  And from his wyf he ran a ful good pas.
  This sely woman is so wayk, allas!
  And helples so, that, or that she fer wente,
  Her cruel fader dide her for to hente.                               2715
  Allas! Lino! why art thou so unkinde?
  Why ne haddest thou remembred in thy minde
  To taken her, and lad her forth with thee?
  For, whan she saw that goon awey was he,
  And that she mighte nat so faste go,                                 2720
  Ne folwen him, she sette her doun right tho,                        (160)
  Til she was caught and fetered in prisoun.
    This tale is seid for this conclusioun....


2563. C. clepid; _rest_ called. 2571. F. B. in; _rest_ of. 2574. F. B. hyt
(_for_ her). 2577. C. T. thewis goode I-born. 2578. Tn. B. goddesse (!); F.
goddesses (!). 2581. C. mot; _rest_ moste (muste, most). 2582. F. B.
Pitouse (_fem._); C. Pyetous; Tn. T. Piteous. Th. sadde (_fem.?_); _rest_
sad. C. T. and; _rest om._ 2590. C. beraft. 2592. Th. And what; C. T. That
what; F. Tn. B. And; _I propose_ What. 2597. C. F. Tn. B. To; T. Ryght; Th.
Two. 2598. C. for; _rest om._ 2599. C. T. As; _rest_ And. 2600. Th. Of
(_for_ To); _without authority_. 2601. C. Al thow; _rest_ And thogh (_less
clearly_). 2603. T. C. Th. lyked; _rest_ lyketh. 2606. F. Tn. B. witterly;
_rest_ vttyrly. 2615. F. Tn. B. _om._ of soun. 2619. F. Tn. B. _om._ right.
2620. F. Tn. Th. B. that (_for_ the). 2624. F. Tn. Th. B. _om._ he. 2625.
F. Tn. Th. B. voided was. F. B. _om._ hem. 2627. F. _om._ after. 2629. F.
_om. 1st_ that. 2632. C. myn; T. A. _ins._ my _before_ doghter; _rest om._
2633. F. Tn. Th. B. _om._ I. T. say; A. seye; _rest_ seyth. 2637. C. A., I;
_rest om._ 2640. C. A. as in this; T. now on thys; F. Tn. Th. B. as seyn
these. 2643. C. nescapist; Tn. Th. B. ne scapest; F. ne schapest (!). 2652.
F. Tn. Th. B. be to me. 2655. Tn. Th. y-sene; _rest_ sene. 2656. Tn. y-goo;
A. ygo; _rest_ goo (go). 2661. F. make; _rest_ haue. 2666. _So_ C. T. A.
(_but with_ costret _for_ costrel); _rest_ And with-al a costrel taketh he
tho (_badly_). 2667. F. Tn. Th. B. _om._ or three (_leaving the line too
short_). 2668. A. to; _rest om._ 2670. F. B. Martotikes (_for_ narcotikes).
T. A. opies; C. opijs; Th. apies; F. Tn. B. Epies (_for_ opies). 2671. F.
Tn. Th. B. _ins._ to _before_ longe. 2674. F. Tn. Th. B. _om._ is. 2676. F.
B. beth. T. sone byn; _rest om._ sone. C. a (_for_ to). 2682. F. hushst
(_for_ husht); Th. hushte; C. A. hust; Tn. houste. 2684. F. Tn. B.
streyneth hir; Th. strayned her; C. T. hire streynyth; A. hir stryngith.
2686. F. Th. B. swich (suche) a were; Tn. suche awere; C. this awer; A.
this awere; T. that were. 2689. F. Tn. Th. B. _om._ and. 2696. F. Tn. Th.
B. _om._ me. 2697. F. B. (_only_) Or _for_ And. 2709. C. T. A. at a (_for_
at the). 2712. _So_ T. A.; C. from his wif ran; _rest_ from her ran. 2714.
C. A. or that; _rest om._ that. C. forth (_for_ fer). 2717. C. T. haddist;
_rest_ hast. 2718. C. T. To; _rest_ And. 2721. Addit (12524), sette hyr; C.
set hire; T. A. sat hyr; _rest_ sate (_om._ her). 2722. F. Tn. Th. And til
(_for_ Til); B. And then.



  Litell Lowis my sone, I have perceived wel by certeyne
  evidences thyn abilite to lerne sciencez touchinge noumbres
  and proporciouns; and as wel considere I thy bisy preyere in
  special to lerne the Tretis of the Astrolabie. Than, for as mechel
  as a philosofre seith, 'he wrappeth him in his frend, that
      condescendeth                                                       5
  to the rightful preyers of his frend,' ther-for have I
  geven thee a suffisaunt Astrolabie as for oure orizonte, compowned
  after the latitude of Oxenford; up-on which, by mediacion of this
  litel tretis, I purpose to teche thee a certein nombre of conclusions
  apertening to the same instrument. I seye a certein of conclusiouns,   10
  for three causes. The furste cause is this: truste wel that alle the
  conclusiouns that han ben founde, or elles possibly mighten be
  founde in so noble an instrument as an Astrolabie, ben un-knowe
  perfitly to any mortal man in this regioun, as I suppose. A-nother
  cause is this; that sothly, in any tretis of the Astrolabie that I
      have                                                               15
  seyn, there ben some conclusions that wole nat in alle thinges
  performen hir bihestes; and some of hem ben to harde to thy
  tendre age of ten yeer to conseyve. This tretis, divided in fyve
  parties, wole I shewe thee under ful lighte rewles and naked
  wordes in English; for Latin ne canstow yit but smal, my lyte          20
  sone. But natheles, suffyse to thee thise trewe conclusiouns in
  English, as wel as suffyseth to thise noble clerkes Grekes thise same
  conclusiouns in Greek, and to Arabiens in Arabik, and to Iewes in
  Ebrew, and to the Latin folk in Latin; whiche Latin folk han hem
  furst out of othre diverse langages, and writen in hir owne tonge,     25
  that is to sein, in Latin. And god wot, that in alle thise langages,
  and in many mo, han thise conclusiouns ben suffisantly lerned and
  taught, and yit by diverse rewles, right as diverse pathes leden
  diverse folk the righte wey to Rome. Now wol I prey meekly
  every discret persone that redeth or hereth this litel tretis, to have 30
  my rewde endyting for excused, and my superfluite of wordes, for
  two causes. The firste cause is, for that curious endyting and hard
  sentence is ful hevy atones for swich a child to lerne. And the
  seconde cause is this, that sothly me semeth betre to wryten un-to
  a child twyes a good sentence, than he for-gete it ones. And           35
  Lowis, yif so be that I shewe thee in my lighte English as trewe
  conclusiouns touching this matere, and naught only as trewe but
  as many and as subtil conclusiouns as ben shewed in Latin in any
  commune tretis of the Astrolabie, con me the more thank; and
  preye god save the king, that is lord of this langage, and alle that   40
  him feyth bereth and obeyeth, everech in his degree, the more and
  the lasse. But considere wel, that I ne usurpe nat to have founde
  this werk of my labour or of myn engin. I nam but a lewd compilatour
  of the labour of olde Astrologiens, and have hit translated
  in myn English only for thy doctrine; and with this swerd shal I       45
  sleen envye.

  I. The firste partie of this tretis shal reherse the figures and the
  membres of thyn Astrolabie, bi-cause that thou shalt han the
  grettre knowing of thyn owne instrument.

  II. The second partie shal teche thee werken the verrey                50
  practik of the forseide conclusiouns, as ferforth and as narwe
  as may be shewed in so smal an instrument portatif aboute.
  For wel wot every astrologien that smalest fraccions ne wol
  nat ben shewed in so smal an instrument, as in subtil tables
  calculed for a cause.                                                  55

  III. The thridde partie shal contienen diverse tables of
  longitudes and latitudes of sterres fixe for the Astrolabie, and
  tables of declinacions of the sonne, and tables of longitudes
  of citeez and of townes; and as wel for the governance of a
  clokke as for to finde the altitude meridian; and many another         60
  notable conclusioun, after the kalendres of the reverent clerkes,
  frere I. Somer and frere N. Lenne.

  IV. The ferthe partie shal ben a theorik to declare the
  moevinge of the celestial bodies with the causes. The whiche
  ferthe partie in special shal shewen a table of the verray             65
  moeving of the mone from houre to houre, every day and in
  every signe, after thyn almenak; upon which table ther folwith
  a canon, suffisant to teche as wel the maner of the wyrking of
  that same conclusioun, as to knowe in oure orizonte with which
  degree of the zodiac that the mone ariseth in any latitude;            70
  and the arising of any planete after his latitude fro the ecliptik

  V. The fifte partie shal ben an introductorie after the statutz
  of oure doctours, in which thou maist lerne a gret part of the
  general rewles of theorik in astrologie. In which fifte partie         75
  shaltow finde tables of equacions of houses aftur the latitude of
  Oxenford; and tables of dignetes of planetes, and other noteful
  thinges, yif god wol vouche-sauf and his modur the mayde, mo
  than I be-hete, &c.



  1. Thyn Astrolabie hath a ring to putten on the thoumbe of
  thy right hand in taking the heighte of thinges. And tak keep, for
  from hennes-forthward, I wol clepe the heighte of any thing that
  is taken by thy rewle, the altitude, with-oute mo wordes.

  2. This ring renneth in a maner turet, fast to the moder of
  thyn Astrolabie, in so rowm a space that hit desturbeth nat the
  instrument to hangen after his righte centre.

  3. The Moder of thyn Astrolabie is the thikkeste plate, perced
  with a large hole, that resseyveth in hir wombe the thinne plates
  compowned for diverse clymatz, and thy riet shapen in manere
  of a net or of a webbe of a loppe; and for the more declaracioun,
  lo here the figure.                                                     5

  4. This moder is devyded on the bak-half with a lyne, that
  cometh dessendinge fro the ring down to the nethereste bordure.
  The whiche lyne, fro the for-seide ring un-to the centre of the
  large hole amidde, is cleped the south lyne, or elles the lyne
  meridional. And the remenant of this lyne downe to the bordure          5
  is cleped the north lyne, or elles the lyne of midnight. And for
  the more declaracioun, lo here the figure.

  5. Over-thwart this for-seide longe lyne, ther crosseth him
  another lyne of the same lengthe from est to west. Of the
  whiche lyne, from a litel croys + in the bordure un-to the centre
  of the large hole, is cleped the Est lyne, or elles the lyne Orientale;
  and the remenant of this lyne fro the forseide + un-to the bordure,     5
  is cleped the West lyne, or the lyne Occidentale. Now hastow
  here the foure quarters of thin Astrolabie, devyded after the foure
  principals plages or quarters of the firmament. And for the more
  declaracioun, lo here thy figure.

  6. The est side of thyn Astrolabie is cleped the right side, and
  the west side is cleped the left side. Forget nat this, litel Lowis.
  Put the ring of thyn Astrolabie upon the thoumbe of thy right
  hand, and thanne wole his right syde be toward thy left syde, and
  his left syde wol be toward thy right syde; tak this rewle general,     5
  as wel on the bak as on the wombe-side. Upon the ende of this
  est lyne, as I first seide, is marked a litel +, wher-as evere-mo
  generaly is considered the entring of the first degree in which the
  sonne aryseth. And for the more declaracioun, lo here the
  figure.                                                                10

  7. Fro this litel + up to the ende of the lyne meridional, under
  the ring, shaltow finden the bordure devyded with 90 degrees;
  and by that same proporcioun is every quarter of thin Astrolabie
  devyded. Over the whiche degrees ther ben noumbres of augrim,
  that devyden thilke same degrees fro fyve to fyve, as sheweth by        5
  longe strykes by-twene. Of whiche longe strykes the space by-twene
  contienith a mile-wey. And every degree of the bordure
  contieneth foure minutes, that is to seyn, minutes of an houre.
  And for more declaracioun, lo here the figure.

  8. Under the compas of thilke degrees ben writen the names of
  the Twelve Signes, as Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo,
  Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces; and
  the nombres of the degrees of tho signes ben writen in augrim
  above, and with longe devisiouns, fro fyve to fyve; devyded fro         5
  tyme that the signe entreth un-to the laste ende. But understond
  wel, that thise degrees of signes ben everich of hem considered
  of 60 minutes, and every minute of 60 secondes, and so
  forth in-to smale fraccions infinit, as seith Alkabucius. And
  ther-for, know wel, that a degree of the bordure contieneth foure      10
  minutes, and a degree of a signe contieneth 60 minutes, and
  have this in minde. And for the more declaracioun, lo here
  thy figure.

  9. Next this folweth the Cercle of the Dayes, that ben figured
  in maner of degrees, that contienen in noumbre 365; divyded
  also with longe strykes fro fyve to fyve, and the nombres in
  augrim writen under that cercle. And for more declaracioun, lo
  here thy figure.

  10. Next the Cercle of the Dayes, folweth the Cercle of the
  names of the Monthes; that is to seyen, Ianuare, Februare,
  Marcius, Aprile, Mayus, Iuin, Iulius, Augustus, Septembre,
  October, Novembre, Decembre. The names of thise monthes
  were cleped in Arabiens, somme for hir propretees, and some by          5
  statutz of lordes, some by other lordes of Rome. Eek of thise
  monthes, as lyked to Iulius Cesar and to Cesar Augustus, some
  were compowned of diverse nombres of dayes, as Iuil and
  August. Thanne hath Ianuare 31 dayes, Februare 28, March
  31, Aprille 30, May 31, Iunius 30, Iulius 31, Augustus 31,             10
  September 30, Octobre 31, Novembre 30, December 31.
  Natheles, al-though that Iulius Cesar took 2 dayes out of Feverer
  and put hem in his moneth of Iuille, and Augustus Cesar cleped
  the moneth of August after his name, and ordeyned it of 31 dayes,
  yit truste wel, that the sonne dwelleth ther-for nevere the more ne    15
  lesse in oon signe than in another.

  11. Than folwen the names of the Halidayes in the Kalender,
  and next hem the lettres of the Abc. on which they fallen. And
  for the more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.

  12. Next the forseide Cercle of the Abc., under the cros-lyne,
  is marked the scale, in maner of two squyres, or elles in manere
  of laddres, that serveth by hise 12 poyntes and his devisiouns of
  ful many a subtil conclusioun.  Of this forseide scale, fro the
  croos-lyne un-to the verre angle, is cleped _umbra versa_, and the      5
  nether partie is cleped the _umbra recta_, or elles _umbra extensa_.
  And for the more declaracioun, lo here the figure.

  13. Thanne hastow a brood Rewle, that hath on either ende a
  square plate perced with a certein holes, some more and some
  lesse, to resseyven the stremes of the sonne by day, and eek
  by mediacioun of thyn eye, to knowe the altitude of sterres by
  nighte. And for the more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.              5

  14. Thanne is ther a large Pyn, in maner of an extree, that
  goth thorow the hole that halt the tables of the clymates and the
  riet in the wombe of the Moder, thorw which Pyn ther goth a
  litel wegge which that is cleped 'the hors,' that streyneth alle
  thise parties to-hepe; this forseide grete Pyn, in maner of an          5
  extree, is imagined to be the Pol Artik in thyn Astrolabie.
  And for the more declaracioun, lo here the figure.

  15. The wombe-side of thyn Astrolabie is also devyded with a
  longe croys in foure quarters from est to west, fro south to north,
  fro right syde to left syde, as is the bak-syde.  And for the more
  declaracioun, lo here thy figure.

  16. The bordure of which wombe-side is devyded fro the poynt
  of the est lyne un-to the poynt of the south lyne under the ring,
  in 90 degres; and by that same proporcioun is every quarter
  devyded as is the bak-syde, that amonteth 360 degrees. And
  understond wel, that degrees of this bordure ben answering and          5
  consentrik to the degrees of the Equinoxial, that is devyded in
  the same nombre as every othere cercle is in the heye hevene.
  This same bordure is devyded also with 23 lettres capitals and a
  smal croys + above the south lyne, that sheweth the 24 houres
  equals of the clokke; and, as I have said, 5 of thise degrees          10
  maken a mile-wey, and 3 mile-wey maken an houre. And every
  degree of this bordure conteneth 4 minutes, and every minut 60
  secoundes; now have I told thee twye. And for the more
  declaracioun, lo here the figure.

  17. The plate under thy riet is descryved with 3 principal
  cercles; of which the leste is cleped the cercle of Cancer, by-cause
  that the heved of Cancer turneth evermor consentrik up-on
  the same cercle. In this heved of Cancer is the grettest declinacioun
  northward of the sonne. And ther-for is he cleped the                   5
  Solsticioun of Somer; whiche declinacioun, aftur Ptholome, is 23
  degrees and 50 minutes, as wel in Cancer as in Capricorne. This
  signe of Cancre is cleped the Tropik of Somer, of _tropos_, that is
  to seyn 'agaynward'; for thanne by-ginneth the sonne to passe
  fro us-ward. And for the more declaracioun, lo here the figure.        10
  The middel cercle in wydnesse, of thise 3, is cleped the Cercle
  Equinoxial; up-on whiche turneth evermo the hedes of Aries and
  Libra. And understond wel, that evermo this Cercle Equinoxial
  turneth iustly fro verrey est to verrey west; as I have shewed thee
  in the spere solide. This same cercle is cleped also the Weyere,       15
  _equator_, of the day; for whan the sonne is in the hevedes of
  Aries and Libra, than ben the dayes and the nightes ilyke of
  lengthe in al the world. And ther-fore ben thise two signes
  called the Equinoxies. And alle that moeveth with-in the
  hevedes of thise Aries and Libra, his moeving is cleped northward;
  and alle that moeveth with-oute thise hevedes, his moeving
  is cleped south-ward as fro the equinoxial. Tak keep of thise
  latitudes north and sowth, and forget it nat. By this Cercle
  Equinoxial ben considered the 24 houres of the clokke; for
  everemo the arysing of 15 degrees of the equinoxial maketh an          25
  houre equal of the clokke. This equinoxial is cleped the girdel
  of the firste moeving, or elles of the _angulus primi motus vel
  primi mobilis_. And _nota_, that firste moeving is cleped 'moeving'
  of the firste moevable of the 8 spere, whiche moeving is fro est to
  west, and eft agayn in-to est; also it is clepid 'girdel' of the first 30
  moeving, for it departeth the firste moevable, that is to seyn, the
  spere, in two ilyke parties, evene-distantz fro the poles of this

  The wydeste of thise three principal cercles is cleped the
  Cercle of Capricorne, by-cause that the heved of Capricorne            35
  turneth evermo consentrik up-on the same cercle. In the heved
  of this for-seide Capricorne is the grettest declinacioun southward
  of the sonne, and ther-for is it cleped the Solsticioun of Winter.
  This signe of Capricorne is also cleped the Tropik of Winter, for
  thanne byginneth the sonne to come agayn to us-ward. And for           40
  the more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.

  18. Upon this forseide plate ben compassed certein cercles
  that highten Almicanteras, of which som of hem semen perfit
  cercles, and somme semen inperfit. The centre that standith
  a-middes the narwest cercle is cleped the Senith; and the
  netherest cercle, or the firste cercle, is clepid the Orisonte, that    5
  is to seyn, the cercle that devydeth the two emisperies, that is,
  the partie of the hevene a-bove the erthe and the partie be-nethe.
  Thise Almicanteras ben compowned by two and two, al-be-it so
  that on divers Astrolabies some Almicanteras ben devyded by oon,
  and some by two, and somme by three, after the quantite of the         10
  Astrolabie. This forseide senith is imagened to ben the verrey
  point over the crowne of thyn heved; and also this senith is the
  verrey pool of the orisonte in every regioun. And for the
  more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.

  19. From this senith, as it semeth, ther come a maner crokede
  strykes lyke to the clawes of a loppe, or elles like to the werk of a
  womanes calle, in kerving overthwart the Almikanteras. And
  thise same strykes or divisiouns ben cleped Azimuthz. And they
  devyden the orisonte of thyn Astrolabie in four and twenty              5
  devisiouns. And thise Azimutz serven to knowe the costes of the
  firmament, and to othre conclusiouns, as for to knowe the cenith
  of the sonne and of every sterre. And for more declaracioun, lo
  here thy figure.

  20. Next thise azimutz, under the Cercle of Cancer, ben ther
  twelve devisiouns embelif, moche like to the shap of the azimutes,
  that shewen the spaces of the houres of planetes; and for more
  declaracioun, lo here thy figure.

  21. The Riet of thyn Astrolabie with thy zodiak, shapen in
  maner of a net or of a loppe-webbe after the olde descripcioun,
  which thow mayst tornen up and doun as thy-self lyketh, conteneth
  certein nombre of sterres fixes, with hir longitudes and latitudes
  determinat; yif so be that the makere have nat erred. The names         5
  of the sterres ben writen in the margin of the riet ther as they sitte;
  of whiche sterres the smale poynt is cleped the Centre. And
  understond also that alle sterres sittinge with-in the zodiak of thyn
  Astrolabie ben cleped 'sterres of the north,' for they arysen by
  northe the est lyne. And alle the remenant fixed, out of the           10
  zodiak, ben cleped 'sterres of the south;' but I sey nat that they
  arysen alle by southe the est lyne; witnesse on Aldeberan and
  Algomeysa. Generally understond this rewle, that thilke sterres
  that ben cleped sterres of the north arysen rather than the degree
  of hir longitude, and alle the sterres of the south arysen after the   15
  degree of hir longitude; this is to seyn, sterres fixed in thyn
  Astrolabie. The mesure of this longitude of sterres is taken in the
  lyne ecliptik of hevene, under which lyne, whan that the sonne
  and the mone ben lyne-right or elles in the superfice of this lyne,
  than is the eclips of the sonne or of the mone; as I shal declare,     20
  and eek the cause why. But sothly the Ecliptik Lyne of thy
  zodiak is the outtereste bordure of thy zodiak, ther the degrees ben

  Thy Zodiak of thyn Astrolabie is shapen as a compas which that
  conteneth a large brede, as after the quantite of thyn Astrolabie;     25
  in ensample that the zodiak in hevene is imagened to ben a superfice
  contening a latitude of twelve degrees, wheras al the remenant
  of cercles in the hevene ben imagined verrey lynes with-oute eny
  latitude. Amiddes this celestial zodiak ys imagined a lyne, which
  that is cleped the Ecliptik Lyne, under which lyne is evermo the       30
  wey of the sonne. Thus ben ther six degrees of the zodiak on
  that on side of the lyne, and six degrees on that other. This
  zodiak is devided in twelve principal devisiouns, that departen the
  twelve signes. And, for the streitnes of thin Astrolabie, than is
  every smal devisioun in a signe departid by two degrees and two;       35
  I mene degrees contening sixty minutes. And this forseide
  hevenissh zodiak is cleped the Cercle of the Signes, or the Cercle
  of the Bestes; for _zodia_ in langage of Greek sowneth 'bestes' in
  Latin tonge; and in the zodiak ben the twelve signes that ban
  names of bestes; or elles, for whan the sonne entreth in any of the    40
  signes, he taketh the propretee of swich bestes; or elles, for that
  the sterres that ben there fixed ben disposed in signes of bestes,
  or shape like bestes; or elles, whan the planetes ben under thilke
  signes, they causen us by hir influence operaciouns and effectes
  lyk to the operaciouns of bestes. And understonde also, that whan      45
  an hot planete cometh in-to an hot signe, than encresseth his hete;
  and yif a planete be cold, thanne amenuseth his coldnesse, by-cause
  of the hote signe. And by this conclusioun maystow take ensample
  in alle the signes, be they moist or drye, or moeble or fix; rekening
  the qualitee of the planete as I first seide. And everich of           50
  thise twelve signes hath respecte to a certein parcelle of the body
  of a man and hath it in governance; as Aries hath thyn heved, and
  Taurus thy nekke and thy throte, Gemini thyn armholes and thyn
  armes, and so forth; as shal be shewed more pleyn in the fifte
  partie of this tretis. This zodiak, which that is part of the eighte   55
  spere, over-kerveth the equinoxial; and he over-kerveth him again
  in evene parties; and that on half declineth southward, and that
  other northward, as pleynly declareth the tretis of the spere. And
  for more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.

  22. Thanne hastow a label, that is schapen lyk a rewle, save that
  it is streit and hath no plates on either ende with holes; but, with
  the smale point of the forseide label, shallow calcule thyne
  equaciouns in the bordure of thin Astrolabie, as by thyn almury.
  And for the more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.                      5

  23. Thyn Almury is cleped the Denticle of Capricorne, or elles
  the Calculer. This same Almury sit fix in the bed of Capricorne,
  and it serveth of many a necessarie conclusioun in equaciouns of
  thinges, as shal be shewed; and for the more declaracioun, lo here
  thy figure.                                                             5






  Rekene and knowe which is the day of thy monthe; and ley
  thy rewle up that same day; and thanne wol the verray point of
  thy rewle sitten in the bordure, up-on the degree of thy sonne.
  Ensample as thus; the yeer of oure lord 1391, the 12 day of
  March at midday, I wolde knowe the degree of the sonne. I               5
  soughte in the bak-half of myn Astrolabie, and fond the cercle of
  the dayes, the which I knowe by the names of the monthes writen
  under the same cercle. Tho leide I my rewle over this forseide
  day, and fond the point of my rewle in the bordure up-on the
  firste degree of Aries, a litel with-in the degree; and thus knowe     10
  I this conclusioun. Another day, I wolde knowe the degree of
  my sonne, and this was at midday in the 13 day of Decembre; I
  fond the day of the monthe in maner as I seide; tho leide I my
  rewle up-on this forseide 13 day, and fond the point of my rewle
  in the bordure up-on the first degree of Capricorne, a lite with-in    15
  the degree; and than hadde I of this conclusioun the ful
  experience. And for the more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.



  Put the ring of thyn Astrolabie up-on thy right thoumbe, and
  turne thy lift syde agayn the light of the sonne. And remeve
  thy rewle up and doun, til that the stremes of the sonne shyne
  thorgh bothe holes of thy rewle. Loke thanne how many degrees
  thy rewle is areised fro the litel crois up-on thyn est line, and tak   5
  ther the altitude of thy sonne. And in this same wyse maistow
  knowe by nighte the altitude of the mone, or of brighte sterres.
  This chapitre is so general ever in oon, that ther nedith no more
  declaracion; but forget it nat. And for the more declaracioun,
  lo here the figure.                                                    10



  Tak the altitude of the sonne whan thee list, as I have said; and
  set the degree of the sonne, in cas that it be by-forn the middel of
  the day, among thyn almikanteras on the est side of thyn
  Astrolabie; and yif it be after the middel of the day, set the degree
  of thy sonne up-on the west side; tak this manere of setting for a      5
  general rewle, ones for evere. And whan thou hast set the degree
  of thy sonne up as many almikanteras of heyghte as was the
  altitude of the sonne taken by thy rewle, ley over thy label, up-on
  the degree of the sonne; and thanne wol the point of thy label
  sitten in the bordure, up-on the verrey tyd of the day. Ensample       10
  as thus: the yeer of oure lord 1391, the 12 day of March, I wold
  knowe the tyd of the day. I took the altitude of my sonne, and
  fond that it was 25 degrees and 30 of minutes of heyghte in the
  bordure on the bak-syde. Tho turnede I myn Astrolabie, and by-cause
  that it was by-forn midday, I turnede my riet, and sette the           15
  degree of the sonne, that is to seyn, the 1 degree of Aries, on the
  right syde of myn Astrolabie, up-on that 25 degrees and 30 of
  minutes of heyghte among myn almikanteras; tho leide I my label
  up-on the degree of my sonne, and fond the poynte of my label in
  the bordure, up-on a capital lettre that is cleped an X; tho rekened   20
  I alle the capitalles lettres fro the lyne of midnight un-to this
  lettre X, and fond that it was 9 of the clokke of the day.
  Tho loked I down up-on the est orisonte, and fond there the 20
  degree of Geminis assending; which that I tok for myn assendent.
  And in this wyse hadde I the experience for ever-mo in which           25
  maner I sholde knowe the tyd of the day, and eek myn assendent.
  Tho wolde I wite the same night folwing the hour of the
  night, and wroughte in this wyse. Among an heep of sterris fixe,
  it lyked me for to take the altitude of the feire white sterre that is
  cleped Alhabor; and fond hir sitting on the west side of the lyne      30
  of midday, 18 degres of heighte taken by my rewle on the bak-syde.
  Tho sette I the centre of this Alhabor up-on 18 degrees among
  myn almikanteras, up-on the west syde; by-cause that she was
  founden on the west syde. Tho leide I my label over the degree
  of the sonne that was descended under the weste orisonte, and          35
  rikened alle the lettres capitals fro the lyne of midday un-to the
  point of my label in the bordure; and fond that it was passed 8 of
  the clokke the space of 2 degrees. Tho loked I doun up-on myn
  est orisonte, and fond ther 23 degrees of Libra assending, whom I
  tok for myn assendent; and thus lerned I to knowe ones for ever        40
  in which manere I shuld come to the houre of the night and to
  myn assendent; as verreyly as may be taken by so smal an instrument.
  But natheles, in general, wolde I warne thee for evere, ne
  mak thee nevere bold to have take a iust ascendent by thyn
  Astrolabie, or elles to have set iustly a clokke, whan any celestial   45
  body by which that thow wenest governe thilke thinges ben ney
  the south lyne; for trust wel, whan that the sonne is ney the
  meridional lyne, the degree of the sonne renneth so longe consentrik
  up-on the almikanteras, that sothly thou shalt erre fro the iust
  assendent. The same conclusioun sey I by the centre of any             50
  sterre fix by night; and more-over, by experience, I wot wel that
  in oure orisonte, from 11 of the clokke un-to oon of the clokke,
  in taking of a iust assendent in a portatif Astrolabie, hit is to hard
  to knowe. I mene, from 11 of the clokke biforn the houre of
  noon til oon of the clok next folwing. And for the more declaracion,   55
  lo here thy figure.



  The assendent sothly, as wel in alle nativitez as in questiouns
  and elecciouns of tymes, is a thing which that thise astrologiens
  gretly observen; wher-fore me semeth convenient, sin that I
  speke of the assendent, to make of it special declaracioun. The
  assendent sothly, to take it at the largeste, is thilke degree that     5
  assendeth at any of thise forseide tymes upon the est orisonte;
  and there-for, yif that any planet assende at that same tyme in
  thilke for-seide degree of his longitude, men seyn that thilke
  planete is _in horoscopo_. But sothly, the hous of the assendent,
  that is to seyn, the firste hous or the est angle, is a thing more     10
  brood and large. For after the statutz of astrologiens, what
  celestial body that is 5 degres above thilk degree that assendeth,
  or with-in that noumbre, that is to seyn, nere the degree that
  assendeth, yit rikne they thilke planet in the assendent. And
  what planete that is under thilke degree that assendith the space      15
  of 25 degrees, yit seyn they that thilke planete is lyk to him that
  is in the hous of the assendent; but sothly, yif he passe the
  bondes of thise forseide spaces, above or bynethe, they seyn
  that the planete is failling fro the assendent. Yit sein thise
  astrologiens, that the assendent, and eke the lord of the assendent,   20
  may be shapen for to be fortunat or infortunat, as thus: a fortunat
  assendent clepen they whan that no wykkid planete, as Saturne
  or Mars, or elles the Tail of the Dragoun, is in the hous of the
  assendent, ne that no wikked planete have non aspecte of enemite
  up-on the assendent; but they wol caste that they have a fortunat      25
  planete in hir assendent and yit in his felicitee, and than sey they
  that it is wel. Forther-over, they seyn that the infortuning of an
  assendent is the contrarie of thise forseide thinges. The lord of
  the assendent, sey they, that he is fortunat, whan he is in good
  place fro the assendent as in angle; or in a succedent, where-as       30
  he is in his dignitee and conforted with frendly aspectes of planetes
  and wel resceived, and eek that he may seen the assendent, and
  that he be nat retrograd ne combust, ne ioigned with no shrewe
  in the same signe; ne that he be nat in his descencioun, ne
  ioigned with no planete in his discencioun, ne have up-on him          35
  non aspecte infortunat; and than sey they that he is wel. Natheles,
  thise ben observauncez of iudicial matiere and rytes of payens,
  in which my spirit ne hath no feith, ne no knowing of hir _horoscopum_;
  for they seyn that every signe is departed in 3 evene
  parties by 10 degrees, and thilke porcioun they clepe a Face.          40
  And al-thogh that a planete have a latitude fro the ecliptik, yit
  sey some folk, so that the planete aryse in that same signe with
  any degree of the forseide face in which his longitude is rekned,
  that yit is the planete _in horoscopo_, be it in nativite or in
  &c. And for the more declaracioun, lo here the figure.                 45



  For as moche as the almikanteras in thyn Astrolabie been
  compouned by two and two, where-as some almikanteras in
  sondry Astrolabies ben compouned by on and on, or elles by two
  and two, it is necessarie to thy lerning to teche thee first to knowe
  and worke with thyn owne instrument. Wher-for, whan that the            5
  degree of thy sonne falleth by-twixe two almikanteras, or elles yif
  thyn almikanteras ben graven with over gret a point of a compas,
  (for bothe thise thinges may causen errour as wel in knowing of
  the tyd of the day as of the verrey assendent), thou most werken
  in this wyse. Set the degree of thy sonne up-on the heyer              10
  almikanteras of bothe, and waite wel wher as thin almury toucheth
  the bordure, and set ther a prikke of inke. Set doun agayn the
  degree of thy sonne up-on the nethere almikanteras of bothe, and
  set ther another prikke. Remewe thanne thyn almury in the
  bordure evene amiddes bothe prikkes, and this wol lede iustly the      15
  degree of thy sonne to sitte by-twixe bothe almikanteras in his
  right place. Ley thanne thy label over the degree of thy sonne;
  and find in the bordure the verrey tyde of the day or of the night.
  And as verreyly shaltow finde up-on thyn est orisonte thyn assendent.
  And for more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.                         20



  Set the nadir of thy sonne up-on 18 degrees of heighte among
  thyn almikanteras on the west syde, and ley thy label on the degree
  of thy sonne, and thanne shal the poynt of thy label schewe the
  spring of day. Also set the nadir of thy sonne up-on 18 degrees
  of heighte a-mong thyn almikanteras on the est side, and ley over       5
  thy label up-on the degree of the sonne, and with the point of
  thy label find in the bordure the ende of the evening, that is,
  verrey night. The nadir of the sonne is thilke degree that is
  opposit to the degree of the sonne, in the seventhe signe, as thus:
  every degree of Aries by ordre is nadir to every degree of Libra       10
  by ordre; and Taurus to Scorpion; Gemini to Sagittare; Cancer
  to Capricorne; Leo to Aquarie; Virgo to Pisces; and yif any degree
  in thy zodiak be dirk, his nadir shal declare him. And for the
  more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.



  Set the degree of thy sonne up-on thyn est orisonte, and ley
  thy label on the degree of the sonne, and at the poynt of thy
  label in the bordure set a prikke. Turn thanne thy riet aboute
  til the degree of the sonne sit up-on the west orisonte, and ley
  thy label up-on the same degree of the sonne, and at the point of       5
  thy label set a-nother prikke. Rekne thanne the quantitee of
  tyme in the bordure by-twixe bothe prikkes, and tak ther thyn ark
  of the day. The remenant of the bordure under the orisonte is
  the ark of the night. Thus maistow rekne bothe arches, or
  every porcion, of whether that thee lyketh. And by this manere         10
  of wyrking maistow see how longe that any sterre fix dwelleth above
  the erthe, fro tyme that he ryseth til he go to reste. But
  the day natural, that is to seyn 24 houres, is the revolucioun of
  the equinoxial with as moche partie of the zodiak as the sonne
  of his propre moevinge passeth in the mene whyle. And for the          15
  more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.



  Knowe the nombre of the degrees in the houres in-equales, and
  departe hem by 15, and tak ther thyn houres equales. And for
  the more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.



  Know the quantitee of thy crepusculis, as I have taught in the
  chapitre bi-forn, and adde hem to the arch of thy day artificial;
  and tak ther the space of alle the hole day vulgar, un-to verrey
  night. The same manere maystow worke, to knowe the quantitee
  of the vulgar night. And for the more declaracioun, lo here the         5



  Understond wel, that thise houres in-equales ben cleped houres
  of planetes, and understond wel that som-tyme ben they lengere
  by day than by night, and som-tyme the contrarie. But understond
  wel, that evermo, generaly, the hour in-equal of the day
  with the houre in-equal of the night contenen 30 degrees of the         5
  bordure, whiche bordure is ever-mo answering to the degrees of
  the equinoxial; wher-for departe the arch of the day artificial in
  12, and tak ther the quantitee of the houre in-equal by day.
  And yif thow abate the quantitee of the houre in-equal by daye
  out of 30, than shal the remenant that leveth performe the houre       10
  inequal by night. And for the more declaracioun, lo here the



  The quantitee of houres equales, that is to seyn, the houres of
  the clokke, ben departed by 15 degrees al-redy in the bordure
  of thyn Astrolabie, as wel by night as by day, generaly for evere.
  What nedeth more declaracioun? Wher-for, whan thee list to
  know how manye houres of the clokke ben passed, or any part of          5
  any of thise houres that ben passed, or elles how many houres or
  partie of houres ben to come, fro swich a tyme to swich a tyme,
  by day or by nighte, knowe the degree of thy sonne, and ley thy
  label on it; turne thy riet aboute ioyntly with thy label, and with
  the point of it rekne in the bordure fro the sonne aryse un-to         10
  the same place ther thou desirest, by day as by nighte. This
  conclusioun wol I declare in the laste chapitre of the 4 partie of
  this tretis so openly, that ther shal lakke no worde that nedeth to
  the declaracioun. And for the more declaracioun, lo here the
  figure.                                                                15



  Understond wel, that evere-mo, fro the arysing of the sonne til
  it go to reste, the nadir of the sonne shal shewe the houre of the
  planete, and fro that tyme forward al the night til the sonne
  aryse; than shal the verrey degree of the sonne shewe the houre
  of the planete. Ensample as thus. The 13 day of March fil               5
  up-on a Saterday per aventure, and, at the arising of the sonne, I
  fond the secounde degree of Aries sitting up-on myn est orisonte,
  al-be-it that it was but lite; than fond I the 2 degree of Libra,
  nadir of my sonne, dessending on my west orisonte, up-on which
  west orisonte every day generally, at the sonne ariste, entreth        10
  the houre of any planete, after which planete the day bereth his
  name; and endeth in the nexte stryk of the plate under the
  forseide west orisonte; and evere, as the sonne climbeth uppere
  and uppere, so goth his nadir dounere and dounere, teching by
  swich strykes the houres of planetes by ordre as they sitten in        15
  the hevene. The first houre inequal of every Satterday is to
  Saturne; and the secounde, to Iupiter; the 3, to Mars; the 4,
  to the Sonne; the 5, to Venus; the 6, to Mercurius; the 7, to
  the Mone; and thanne agayn, the 8 is to Saturne; the 9, to
  Iupiter; the 10, to Mars; the 11, to the Sonne; the 12, to             20
  Venus; and now is my sonne gon to reste as for that Setterday.
  Thanne sheweth the verrey degree of the sonne the houre of
  Mercurie entring under my west orisonte at eve; and next him
  succedeth the Mone; and so forth by ordre, planete after
  planete, in houre after houre, al the night longe til the sonne        25
  aryse. Now ryseth the sonne that Sonday by the morwe; and
  the nadir of the sonne, up-on the west orizonte, sheweth me the
  entring of the houre of the forseide sonne. And in this maner
  succedeth planete under planete, fro Saturne un-to the Mone,
  and fro the Mone up a-gayn to Saturne, houre after houre               30
  generaly. And thus knowe I this conclusioun. And for the
  more declaracioun, lo here the figure.



  Set the degree of the sonne up-on the lyne meridional, and
  rikene how many degrees of almikanteras ben by-twixe thyn est
  orisonte and the degree of the sonne. And tak ther thyn altitude
  meridian; this is to seyne, the heyest of the sonne as for that day.
  So maystow knowe in the same lyne, the heyest cours that any            5
  sterre fix climbeth by night; this is to seyn, that whan any sterre
  fix is passed the lyne meridional, than by-ginneth it to descende,
  and so doth the sonne. And for the more declaracioun, lo here
  thy figure.



  Sek bysily with thy rewle the heyest of the sonne in midde of
  the day; turne thanne thyn Astrolabie, and with a prikke of ink
  marke the nombre of that same altitude in the lyne meridional.
  Turne thanne thy riet a-boute til thou fynde a degree of thy
  zodiak acording with the prikke, this is to seyn, sittinge on the       5
  prikke; and in sooth, thou shalt finde but two degrees in al the
  zodiak of that condicioun; and yit thilke two degrees ben in
  diverse signes; than maistow lightly by the sesoun of the yere
  knowe the signe in whiche that is the sonne. And for the
  more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.                                 10



  Loke whiche degrees ben y-lyke fer fro the hevedes of Cancer
  and Capricorn; and lok, whan the sonne is in any of thilke
  degrees, than ben the dayes y-lyke of lengthe. This is to seyn,
  that as long is that day in that monthe, as was swich a day in
  swich a month; ther varieth but lite. Also, yif thou take two           5
  dayes naturaly in the yer y-lyke fer fro eyther pointe of the
  equinoxial in the opposit parties, than as long is the day artificial
  of that on day as is the night of that othere, and the contrarie.
  And for the more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.



  Understond wel that thy zodiak is departid in two halfe cercles,
  as fro the heved of Capricorne un-to the heved of Cancer; and
  agaynward fro the heved of Cancer un-to the heved of Capricorne.
  The heved of Capricorne is the lowest point, wher-as the sonne
  goth in winter; and the heved of Cancer is the heyest point, in         5
  whiche the sonne goth in somer. And ther-for understond wel,
  that any two degrees that ben y-lyke fer fro any of thise two
  hevedes, truste wel that thilke two degrees ben of y-lyke declinacioun,
  be it southward or northward; and the dayes of hem
  ben y-lyke of lengthe, and the nightes also; and the shadwes           10
  y-lyke, and the altitudes y-lyke at midday for evere. And for
  more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.



  Tak the altitude of this sterre whan he is on the est side of the
  lyne meridional, as ney as thou mayst gesse; and tak an assendent
  a-non right by som maner sterre fix which that thou
  knowest; and for-get nat the altitude of the firste sterre, ne thyn
  assendent. And whan that this is don, espye diligently whan this        5
  same firste sterre passeth any-thing the south westward, and hath
  him a-non right in the same noumbre of altitude on the west side
  of this lyne meridional as he was caught on the est side; and tak
  a newe assendent a-non right by som maner sterre fixe which that
  thou knowest; and for-get nat this secounde assendent. And             10
  whan that this is don, rikne thanne how manye degrees ben by-twixe
  the firste assendent and the seconde assendent, and rikne
  wel the middel degree by-twene bothe assendentes, and set thilke
  middel degree up-on thin est orisonte; and waite thanne what degree
  that sit up-on the lyne meridional, and tak ther the verrey degree     15
  of the ecliptik in which the sterre stondeth for the tyme. For in
  the ecliptik is the longitude of a celestial body rekened, evene fro
  the heved of Aries un-to the ende of Pisces. And his latitude is
  rikned after the quantite of his declinacion, north or south to-warde
  the poles of this world; as thus. Yif it be of the sonne or of any     20
  fix sterre, rekene his latitude or his declinacioun fro the equinoxial
  cercle; and yif it be of a planete, rekne than the quantitee of his
  latitude fro the ecliptik lyne. Al-be-it so that fro the equinoxial
  may the declinacion or the latitude of any body celestial be rikned,
  after the site north or south, and after the quantitee of his
      declinacion.                                                       25
  And right so may the latitude or the declinacion of any
  body celestial, save only of the sonne, after his site north or south,
  and after the quantitee of his declinacioun, be rekned fro the
  ecliptik lyne; fro which lyne alle planetes som tyme declynen
  north or south, save only the for-seide sonne. And for the more        30
  declaracioun, lo here thy figure.



  Set the centre of the sterre up-on the lyne meridional, and tak
  keep of thy zodiak, and loke what degree of any signe that sit on
  the same lyne meridional at that same tyme, and tak the degree in
  which the sterre standeth; and with that same degree comth that
  same sterre un-to that same lyne fro the orisonte. And for more         5
  declaracioun, lo here thy figure.



  Set the centre of the sterre up-on the est orisonte, and loke
  what degree of any signe that sit up-on the same orisonte at that
  same tyme. And understond wel, that with that same degree
  aryseth that same sterre; and this merveyllous arysing with a
  strange degree in another signe is by-cause that the latitude of the    5
  sterre fix is either north or south fro the equinoxial. But sothly
  the latitudes of planetes ben comunly rekned fro the ecliptik,
  bi-cause that non of hem declineth but fewe degrees out fro the
  brede of the zodiak. And tak good keep of this chapitre of arysing
  of the celestial bodies; for truste wel, that neyther mone ne sterre   10
  as in oure embelif orisonte aryseth with that same degree of his
  longitude, save in o cas; and that is, whan they have no latitude
  fro the ecliptik lyne. But natheles, som tyme is everiche of thise
  planetes under the same lyne. And for more declaracioun, lo
  here thy figure.                                                       15



  Set the degree of any signe up-on the lyne meridional, and rikne
  his altitude in almikanteras fro the est orizonte up to the same
  degree set in the forseide lyne, and set ther a prikke. Turne up
  thanne thy riet, and set the heved of Aries or Libra in the same
  meridional lyne, and set ther a-nother prikke. And whan that            5
  this is don, considere the altitudes of hem bothe; for sothly the
  difference of thilke altitudes is the declinacion of thilke degree
  fro the equinoxial. And yif so be that thilke degree be northward
  fro the equinoxial, than is his declinacion north; yif it be southward,
  than is it south. And for the more declaracioun, lo here               10
  thy figure.



  Rikne how manye degrees of almikanteras, in the meridional
  lyne, be fro the cercle equinoxial un-to the senith; or elles fro the
  pool artik un-to the north orisonte; and for so gret a latitude or
  for so smal a latitude is the table compouned. And for more
  declaracion, lo here thy figure.                                        5



  Understond wel, that as fer is the heved of Aries or Libra in the
  equinoxial from oure orisonte as is the senith from the pole artik;
  and as hey is the pol artik fro the orisonte, as the equinoxial is
  fer fro the senith. I prove it thus by the latitude of Oxenford.
  Understond wel, that the heyghte of oure pool artik fro oure north      5
  orisonte is 51 degrees and 50 minutes; than is the senith from
  oure pool artik 38 degrees and 10 minutes; than is the equinoxial
  from oure senith 51 degrees and 50 minutes; than is oure south
  orisonte from oure equinoxial 38 degrees and 10 minutes. Understond
  wel this rekning. Also for-get nat that the senith is 90               10
  degrees of heyghte fro the orisonte, and oure equinoxial is 90
  degrees from oure pool artik. Also this shorte rewle is soth, that
  the latitude of any place in a regioun is the distance fro the senith
  unto the equinoxial. And for more declaracioun, lo here thy
  figure.                                                                15



  In some winters night, whan the firmament is clere and thikke-sterred,
  waite a tyme til that any sterre fix sit lyne-right perpendiculer
  over the pol artik, and clepe that sterre A. And
  wayte a-nother sterre that sit lyne-right under A, and under the
  pol, and clepe that sterre F. And understond wel, that F is nat         5
  considered but only to declare that A sit evene overe the pool.
  Tak thanne a-non right the altitude of A from the orisonte, and
  forget it nat. Lat A and F go farwel til agayns the dawening a
  gret whyle; and come thanne agayn, and abyd til that A is evene
  under the pol and under F; for sothly, than wol F sitte over the pool, 10
  and A wol sitte under the pool. Tak than eft-sones the altitude of
  A from the orisonte, and note as wel his secounde altitude as his
  firste altitude; and whan that this is don, rikne how manye degrees
  that the firste altitude of A excedeth his seconde altitude, and tak
  half thilke porcioun that is exceded, and adde it to his seconde       15
  altitude; and tak ther the elevacioun of thy pool, and eke the
  latitude of thy regioun. For thise two ben of a nombre; this is
  to seyn, as many degrees as thy pool is elevat, so michel is the
  latitude of the regioun. Ensample as thus: par aventure, the
  altitude of A in the evening is 56 degrees of heyghte. Than            20
  wol his seconde altitude or the dawing be 48; that is 8 lasse than
  56, that was his firste altitude at even. Take thanne the half of
  8, and adde it to 48, that was his seconde altitude, and than
  hastow 52. Now hastow the heyghte of thy pol, and the latitude
  of the regioun. But understond wel, that to prove this conclusioun     25
  and many a-nother fair conclusioun, thou most have a plomet
  hanging on a lyne heyer than thin heved on a perche; and thilke
  lyne mot hange evene perpendiculer by-twixe the pool and thyn
  eye; and thanne shaltow seen yif A sitte evene over the pool and
  over F at evene; and also yif F sitte evene over the pool and          30
  over A or day. And for more declaracion, lo here thy figure.



  Tak any sterre fixe that nevere dissendeth under the orisonte in
  thilke regioun, and considere his heyest altitude and his lowest
  altitude fro the orisonte; and make a nombre of bothe thise
  altitudes. Tak thanne and abate half that nombre, and tak ther
  the elevacioun of the pol artik in that same regioun. And for           5
  more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.



  Understond wel that the latitude of any place in a regioun is
  verreyly the space by-twixe the senith of hem that dwellen there
  and the equinoxial cerkle, north or southe, taking the mesure in
  the meridional lyne, as sheweth in the almikanteras of thyn
  Astrolabie. And thilke space is as moche as the pool artik is hey       5
  in the same place fro the orisonte. And than is the depressioun
  of the pol antartik, that is to seyn, than is the pol antartik by-nethe
  the orisonte, the same quantite of space, neither more ne lasse.
  Thanne, yif thow desire to knowe this latitude of the regioun, tak
  the altitude of the sonne in the middel of the day, whan the sonne     10
  is in the hevedes of Aries or of Libra; (for thanne moeveth the
  sonne in the lyne equinoxial); and abate the nombre of that same
  sonnes altitude out of 90, and thanne is the remenaunt of the
  noumbre that leveth the latitude of the regioun. As thus: I
  suppose that the sonne is thilke day at noon 38 degrees and 10         15
  minutes of heyghte. Abate thanne thise degrees and minutes out
  of 90; so leveth there 51 degrees and 50 minutes, the latitude.
  I sey nat this but for ensample; for wel I wot the latitude of
  Oxenforde is certein minutes lasse, as I mighte prove. Now yif
  so be that thee semeth to long a taryinge, to abyde til that the       20
  sonne be in the hevedes of Aries or of Libra, thanne waite whan
  the sonne is in any other degree of the zodiak, and considere the
  degree of his declinacion fro the equinoxial lyne; and yif it so be
  that the sonnes declinacion be northward fro the equinoxial, abate
  thanne fro the sonnes altitude at noon the nombre of his declinacion,  25
  and thanne hastow the heyghte of the hevedes of Aries
  and Libra. As thus: my sonne is, par aventure, in the firste
  degre of Leoun, 58 degrees and 10 minutes of heyghte at noon
  and his declinacion is almost 20 degrees northward fro the
  equinoxial; abate thanne thilke 20 degrees of declinacion out of       30
  the altitude at noon, than leveth thee 38 degrees and odde minutes;
  lo ther the heved of Aries or Libra, and thyn equinoxial in that
  regioun. Also yif so be that the sonnes declinacioun be southward
  fro the equinoxial, adde thanne thilke declinacion to the
  altitude of the sonne at noon; and tak ther the hevedes of Aries       35
  and Libra, and thyn equinoxial. Abate thanne the heyghte of
  the equinoxial out of 90 degrees, and thanne leveth there the
  distans of the pole, 51 degrees and 50 minutes, of that regioun
  fro the equinoxial. Or elles, yif thee lest, take the heyest altitude
  fro the equinoxial of any sterre fix that thou knowest, and tak his    40
  nethere elongacioun lengthing fro the same equinoxial lyne, and
  wirke in the maner forseid. And for more declaracion, lo here
  thy figure.



  The excellence of the spere solide, amonges other noble conclusiouns,
  sheweth manifeste the diverse assenciouns of signes
  in diverse places, as wel in the righte cercle as in the embelif
  cercle. Thise auctours wryten that thilke signe is cleped of right
  ascensioun, with which more part of the cercle equinoxial and           5
  lasse part of the zodiak ascendeth; and thilke signe assendeth
  embelif, with whiche lasse part of the equinoxial and more part of
  the zodiak assendeth. Ferther-over they seyn, that in thilke
  cuntrey where as the senith of hem that dwellen there is in the
  equinoxial lyne, and her orisonte passing by the poles of this         10
  worlde, thilke folke han this right cercle and the right orisonte;
  and evere-mo the arch of the day and the arch of the night is ther
  y-like long, and the sonne twyes every yeer passinge thorow the
  senith of her heved; and two someres and two winteres in a yeer
  han this forseide poeple. And the almikanteras in her Astrolabies      15
  ben streighte as a lyne, so as sheweth in this figure. The utilite to
  knowe the assenciouns in the righte cercle is this: truste wel that
  by mediacioun of thilke assenciouns thise astrologiens, by hir
  tables and hir instrumentz, knowen verreyly the assencioun of
  every degree and minut in al the zodiak, as shal be shewed. And        20
  _nota_, that this forseid righte orisonte, that is cleped _orison
  divydeth the equinoxial in-to right angles; and the embelif orisonte,
  wher-as the pol is enhaused up-on the orisonte, overkerveth the
  equinoxial in embelif angles, as sheweth in the figure. And for
  the more declaracioun, lo here the figure.                             25



  Set the heved of what signe thee liste to knowe his assending in
  the right cercle up-on the lyne meridional; and waite wher thyn
  almury toucheth the bordure, and set ther a prikke. Turne
  thanne thy riet westward til that the ende of the forseide signe
  sitte up-on the meridional lyne; and eft-sones waite wher thyn          5
  almury toucheth the bordure, and set ther another prikke. Rikne
  thanne the nombre of degrees in the bordure by-twixe bothe
  prikkes, and tak the assencioun of the signe in the right cercle.
  And thus maystow wyrke with every porcioun of thy zodiak, &c.
  And for the more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.                     10



  Set the heved of the signe which as thee list to knowe his
  ascensioun up-on the est orisonte, and waite wher thyn almury
  toucheth the bordure, and set ther a prikke. Turne thanne thy
  riet upward til that the ende of the same signe sitte up-on the est
  orisonte, and waite eft-sones wher as thyn almury toucheth the          5
  bordure, and set ther a-nother prikke. Rikne thanne the noumbre
  of degrees in the bordure by-twixe bothe prikkes, and tak ther the
  assencioun of the signe in the embelif cercle. And understond
  wel, that alle signes in thy zodiak, fro the heved of Aries unto the
  ende of Virgo, ben cleped signes of the north fro the equinoxial;      10
  and these signes arysen by-twixe the verrey est and the verrey
  north in oure orisonte generaly for evere. And alle signes fro the
  heved of Libra un-to the ende of Pisces ben cleped signes of the
  south fro the equinoxial; and thise signes arysen ever-mo by-twixe
  the verrey est and the verrey south in oure orisonte. Also every       15
  signe by-twixe the heved of Capricorne un-to the ende of Geminis
  aryseth on oure orisonte in lasse than two houres equales; and
  thise same signes, fro the heved of Capricorne un-to the ende of
  Geminis, ben cleped 'tortuos signes' or 'croked signes,' for
  they arisen embelif on oure orisonte; and thise crokede signes         20
  ben obedient to the signes that ben of right assencioun. The
  signes of right assencioun ben fro the heved of Cancer to the
  ende of Sagittare; and thise signes arysen more upright, and they
  ben called eke sovereyn signes; and everich of hem aryseth in
  more space than in two houres. Of which signes, Gemini obeyeth         25
  to Cancer; and Taurus to Leo; Aries to Virgo; Pisces to Libra;
  Aquarius to Scorpioun; and Capricorne to Sagittare. And thus
  ever-mo two signes, that ben y-lyke fer fro the heved of Capricorne,
  obeyen everích of hem til other. And for more declaracioun, lo
  here the figure.                                                       30

      AND SOWTH.


  Take the altitude of thy sonne whan thee list, and note wel the
  quarter of the world in which the sonne is for the tyme by the
  azimutz. Turne thanne thyn Astrolabie, and set the degree of
  the sonne in the almikanteras of his altitude, on thilke side that
  the sonne stant, as is the manere in taking of houres; and ley thy      5
  label on the degree of the sonne, and rikene how many degrees of
  the bordure ben by-twixe the lyne meridional and the point of thy
  label; and note wel that noumbre. Turne thanne a-gayn thyn
  Astrolabie, and set the point of thy gret rewle, ther thou takest
  thyne altitudes, up-on as many degrees in his bordure fro his          10
  meridional as was the point of thy label fro the lyne meridional on
  the wombe-syde. Tak thanne thyn Astrolabie with bothe handes
  sadly and slely, and lat the sonne shyne thorow bothe holes of thy
  rewle; and sleyly, in thilke shyninge, lat thyn Astrolabie couch
  adoun evene up-on a smothe grond, and thanne wol the verrey            15
  lyne meridional of thyn Astrolabie lye evene south, and the est
  lyne wole lye est, and the west lyne west, and north lyne north, so
  that thou werke softly and avisely in the couching; and thus
  hastow the 4 quarters of the firmament. And for the more
  declaracioun, lo here the figure.                                      20



  Lok whan that a planete is in the lyne meridional, yif that hir
  altitude be of the same heyghte that is the degree of the sonne for
  that day, and than is the planete in the verrey wey of the sonne,
  and hath no latitude. And yif the altitude of the planete be
  heyere than the degree of the sonne, than is the planete north fro      5
  the wey of the sonne swich a quantite of latitude as sheweth by
  thyn almikanteras. And yif the altitude of the planete be lasse
  than the degree of the sonne, thanne is the planete south fro the
  wey of the sonne swich a quantite of latitude as sheweth by thyn
  almikanteras. This is to seyn, fro the wey wher-as the sonne           10
  wente thilke day, but nat from the wey of the sonne in every place
  of the zodiak. And for the more declaracioun, lo here the figure.



  Thou most first considere that the sonne aryseth nat al-wey
  verrey est, but some tyme by north the est, and som tyme by southe
  the est. Sothly, the sonne aryseth never-mo verrey est in oure
  orisonte, but he be in the heved of Aries or Libra. Now is thyn
  orisonte departed in 24 parties by thy azimutz, in significacion of     5
  24 partiez of the world; al-be-it so that shipmen rikne thilke
  partiez in 32. Thanne is ther no more but waite in which azimut
  that thy sonne entreth at his arysing; and take ther the senith of
  the arysing of the sonne. The manere of the devisioun of thyn
  Astrolabie is this; I mene, as in this cas. First is it devided in     10
  4 plages principalx with the lyne that goth from est to west, and
  than with a-nother lyne that goth fro south to north. Than is it
  devided in smale partiez of azimutz, as est, and est by southe,
  whereas is the firste azimut above the est lyne; and so forth, fro
  partie to partie, til that thou come agayn un-to the est lyne.         15
  Thus maistow understond also the senith of any sterre, in which
  partie he ryseth, &c. And for the more declaracion, lo here
  the figure.



  Considere the tyme of the coniunccion by thy kalender, as thus;
  lok how many houres thilke coniunccion is fro the midday of the
  day precedent, as sheweth by the canoun of thy kalender. Rikne
  thanne thilke nombre of houres in the bordure of thyn Astrolabie,
  as thou art wont to do in knowing of the houres of the day or of        5
  the night; and ley thy label over the degree of the sonne; and
  thanne wol the point of thy label sitte up-on the hour of the
  Loke thanne in which azimut the degree of thy sonne
  sitteth, and in that partie of the firmament is the coniunccioun.
  And for the more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.



  This is no more to seyn but any tyme of the day tak the altitude
  of the sonne; and by the azimut in which he stondeth, maystou
  seen in which partie of the firmament he is. And in the same
  wyse maystou seen, by the night, of any sterre, whether the
  sterre sitte est or west or north, or any partie by-twene, after the    5
  name of the azimut in which is the sterre. And for the more
  declaracioun, lo here the figure.



  Tak the altitude of the mone, and rikne thyn altitude up among
  thyne almikanteras on which syde that the mone stande; and set
  there a prikke. Tak thenne anon-right, up-on the mones syde,
  the altitude of any sterre fix which that thou knowest, and set his
  centre up-on his altitude among thyn almikanteras ther the sterre       5
  is founde. Waite thanne which degree of the zodiak toucheth the
  prikke of the altitude of the mone, and tak ther the degree in
  which the mone standeth. This conclusioun is verrey soth, yif
  the sterres in thyn Astrolabie stonden after the trowthe; of
  comune, tretis of Astrolabie ne make non excepcioun whether the        10
  mone have latitude, or non; ne on whether syde of the mone the
  altitude of the sterre fix be taken. And _nota_, that yif the mone
  shewe himself by light of day, than maystow wyrke this same
  conclusioun by the sonne, as wel as by the fix sterre. And for the
  more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.                                 15



  Tak the altitude of any sterre that is cleped a planete, and note
  it wel. And tak eek anon the altitude of any sterre fix that thou
  knowest, and note it wel also. Come thanne agayn the thridde or
  the ferthe night next folwing; for thanne shaltow aperceyve wel the
  moeving of a planete, whether so he moeve forthward or bakward.         5
  Awaite wel thanne whan that thy sterre fix is in the same altitude that
  she was whan thou toke hir firste altitude; and tak than eftsones
  the altitude of the forseide planete, and note it wel. For trust
  wel, yif so be that the planete be on the right syde of the meridional
  lyne, so that his seconde altitude be lasse than his firste altitude   10
  was, thanne is the planete directe. And yif he be on the west
  syde in that condicion, thanne is he retrograd. And yif so be
  that this planete be up-on the est syde whan his altitude is taken,
  so that his secounde altitude be more than his firste altitude,
  thanne is he retrograde, and yif he be on the west syde, than is he    15
  directe. But the contrarie of thise parties is of the cours of the
  mone; for sothly, the mone moeveth the contrarie from othere
  planetes as in hir episicle, but in non other manere. And for
  the more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.



  Set the by-ginning of the degree that assendeth up-on the ende
  of the 8 houre inequal; thanne wol the by-ginning of the 2 hous
  sitte up-on the lyne of midnight. Remove thanne the degree that
  assendeth, and set him on the ende of the 10 hour inequal; and
  thanne wol the byginning of the 3 hous sitte up-on the midnight         5
  lyne. Bring up agayn the same degree that assendeth first, and
  set him up-on the orisonte; and thanne wol the be-ginning of the
  4 hous sitte up-on the lyne of midnight. Tak thanne the nadir of
  the degree that first assendeth, and set him on the ende of the 2
  houre inequal; and thanne wol the by-ginning of the 5 hous sitte       10
  up-on the lyne of midnight; set thanne the nadir of the assendent
  on the ende of the 4 houre, than wol the byginning of the 6 house
  sitte on the midnight lyne. The byginning of the 7 hous is nadir
  of the assendent, and the byginning of the 8 hous is nadir of the
  2; and the by-ginning of the 9 hous is nadir of the 3; and the         15
  by-ginning of the 10 hous is the nadir of the 4; and the byginning
  of the 11 hous is nadir of the 5; and the byginning of the 12 hous
  is nadir of the 6. And for the more declaracion, lo here the



  Tak thyn assendent, and thanne hastow thy 4 angles; for wel
  thou wost that the opposit of thyn assendent, that is to seyn, thy
  by-ginning of the 7 hous, sit up-on the west orizonte; and the
  byginning of the 10 hous sit up-on the lyne meridional; and his
  opposit up-on the lyne of midnight. Thanne ley thy label over           5
  the degree that assendeth, and rekne fro the point of thy label
  alle the degrees in the bordure, til thou come to the meridional
  lyne; and departe alle thilke degrees in 3 evene parties, and take
  the evene equacion of 3; for ley thy label over everich of 3 parties,
  and than maistow see by thy label in which degree of the zodiak is     10
  the by-ginning of everich of thise same houses fro the assendent:
  that is to seyn, the beginning of the 12 house next above thyn
  assendent; and thanne the beginning of the 11 house; and
  thanne the 10, up-on the meridional lyne; as I first seide. The
  same wyse wirke thou fro the assendent doun to the lyne of             15
  midnight; and thanne thus hastow other 3 houses, that is to seyn,
  the byginning of the 2, and the 3, and the 4 houses; thanne is
  the nadir of thise 3 houses the by-ginning of the 3 houses that
  folwen. And for the more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.



  Tak a rond plate of metal; for warping, the brodere the bettre;
  and make ther-upon a iust compas, a lite with-in the bordure; and
  ley this ronde plate up-on an evene grond, or on an evene ston, or
  on an evene stok fix in the gronde; and ley it even by a level.
  And in centre of the compas stike an evene pin or a wyr upright;        5
  the smallere the betere. Set thy pin by a plom-rewle evene
  upright; and let this pin be no lengere than a quarter of the
  diametre of thy compas, fro the centre. And waite bisily, aboute
  10 or 11 of the clokke and whan the sonne shyneth, whan the
  shadwe of the pin entreth any-thing with-in the cercle of thy plate    10
  an heer-mele, and mark ther a prikke with inke. Abyde thanne
  stille waiting on the sonne after 1 of the clokke, til that the
  schadwe of the wyr or of the pin passe ony-thing out of the cercle
  of the compas, be it never so lyte; and set ther a-nother prikke
  of inke. Take than a compas, and mesure evene the middel               15
  by-twixe bothe prikkes; and set ther a prikke. Take thanne
  a rewle, and draw a stryke, evene a-lyne fro the pin un-to the
  middel prikke; and tak ther thy lyne meridional for evere-mo, as
  in that same place. And yif thow drawe a cros-lyne over-thwart
  the compas, iustly over the lyne meridional, than hastow est and       20
  west and south; and, par consequence, than the nadir of the
  south lyne is the north lyne. And for more declaracioun, lo here
  thy figure.


  This lyne meridional is but a maner descripcion of lyne
  imagined, that passeth upon the poles of this world and by
  the senith of oure heved. And hit is y-cleped the lyne meridional;
  for in what place that any maner man is at any tyme of the yeer,
  whan that the sonne by moeving of the firmament cometh to his           5
  verrey meridian place, than is hit verrey midday, that we clepen
  oure noon, as to thilke man; and therfore is it cleped the lyne of
  midday. And _nota_, for evermo, of 2 citees or of 2 tounes, of
  whiche that o toun aprocheth more toward the est than doth
  that other toun, truste wel that thilke tounes ban diverse meridians.  10
  _Nota_ also, that the arch of the equinoxial, that is conteyned
  or bounded by-twixe the 2 meridians, is cleped the longitude
  of the toun. And yif so be that two tounes have y-lyke
  meridian, or oon meridian, than is the distance of hem bothe y-lyke
  fer fro the est; and the contrarie. And in this manere they            15
  chaunge nat her meridian, but sothly they chaungen her almikanteras;
  for the enhausing of the pool and the distance of the
  sonne. The longitude of a clymat is a lyne imagined fro est to
  west, y-lyke distant by-twene them alle. The latitude of a clymat
  is a lyne imagined from north to south the space of the erthe,         20
  fro the byginning of the firste clymat unto the verrey ende of
  the same climat, evene directe agayns the pole artik. Thus seyn
  some auctours; and somme of hem seyn that yif men clepen the
  latitude, thay mene the arch meridian that is contiened or intercept
  by-twixe the senith and the equinoxial. Thanne sey they that           25
  the distaunce fro the equinoxial unto the ende of a clymat,
  evene agayns the pole artyk, is the latitude of a clymat for sothe.
  And for more declaracioun, lo here thy figure.


  Knowe by thyn almenak the degree of the ecliptik of any signe
  in which that the planete is rekned for to be, and that is cleped
  the degree of his longitude; and knowe also the degree of his
  latitude fro the ecliptik, north or south. And by thise samples
  folwinge in special, maystow wirke for sothe in every signe of the      5
  zodiak. The degree of the longitude, par aventure, of Venus or
  of another planete, was 6 of Capricorne, and the latitude of him
  was northward 2 degrees fro the ecliptik lyne. I tok a subtil
  compas, and cleped that oon poynt of my compas A, and that
  other poynt F. Than tok I the point of A, and set it in the            10
  ecliptik lyne evene in my zodiak, in the degree of the longitude
  of Venus, that is to seyn, in the 6 degree of Capricorne; and
  thanne sette I the point of F upward in the same signe, bycause
  that the latitude was north, up-on the latitude of Venus, that is to
  seyn, in the 6 degree fro the heved of Capricorne; and thus have       15
  I 2 degrees by-twixe my two prikkes. Than leide I doun softely
  my compas, and sette the degree of the longitude up-on the
  orisonte; tho tok I and wexede my label in maner of a peyre
  tables to resceyve distinctly the prikkes of my compas. Tho tok
  I this forseide label, and leide it fix over the degree of my          20
  longitude; tho tok I up my compas, and sette the point of A in
  the wex on my label, as evene as I coude gesse over the ecliptik
  lyne, in the ende of the longitude; and sette the point of F
  endlang in my label up-on the space of the latitude, inwarde and
  over the zodiak, that is to seyn, north-ward fro the ecliptik. Than    25
  leide I doun my compas, and lokede wel in the wey upon the
  prikke of A and of F; tho turned I my riet til that the prikke of
  F sat up-on the orisonte; than saw I wel that the body of Venus,
  in hir latitude of 2 degrees septentrionalis, assended, in the ende
  of the 6 degree, in the heved of Capricorne. And _nota_, that in the   30
  same maner maistow wirke with any latitude septentrional in alle
  signes; but sothly the latitude meridional of a planete in Capricorne
  may not be take, by-cause of the litel space by-twixe the ecliptik
  and the bordure of the Astrolabie; but sothly, in alle other signes
  it may.                                                                35

  Also the degree, par aventure, of Iuppiter or of a-nother planete,
  was in the first degree of Pisces in longitude, and his latitude was
  3 degrees meridional; tho tok I the point of A, and sette it in
  the firste degree of Pisces on the ecliptik, and thanne sette I the
  point of F dounward in the same signe, by-cause that the latitude      40
  was south 3 degrees, that is to seyn, fro the heved of Pisces; and
  thus have I 3 degrees by-twixe bothe prikkes; thanne sette I the
  degree of the longitude up-on the orisonte. Tho tok I my label,
  and leide it fix upon the degree of the longitude; tho sette I the
  point of A on my label, evene over the ecliptik lyne, in the ende      45
  evene of the degree of the longitude, and sette the point of F
  endlang in my label the space of 3 degrees of the latitude fro the
  zodiak, this is to seyn, southward fro the ecliptik, toward the
  bordure; and turned my riet til the prikke of F sat up-on the
  orisonte; thanne saw I wel that the body of Iuppiter, in his           50
  latitude of 3 degrees meridional, ascended with 14 degrees of Pisces
  _in horoscopo_. And in this maner maistow wirke with any latitude
  meridional, as I first seide, save in Capricorne. And yif thou wolt
  pleye this craft with the arysing of the mone, loke thou rekne wel
  hir cours houre by houre; for she ne dwelleth nat in a degree of       55
  hir longitude but a litel whyle, as thou wel knowest; but natheles,
  yif thou rekne hir verreye moeving by thy tables houre after houre,
  [thou shall do wel y-now].




  Yif it so be that thou wilt werke by _umbra recta_, and thou may
  come to the bas of the toure, in this maner thou schalt werke.
  Tak the altitude of the tour by bothe holes, so that thy rewle ligge
  even in a poynt. Ensample as thus: I see him thorw at the
  poynt of 4; than mete I the space be-tween me and the tour, and I       5
  finde it 20 feet; than be-holde I how 4 is to 12, right so is the space
  betwixe thee and the tour to the altitude of the tour. For 4 is the
  thridde part of 12, so is the space be-tween thee and the tour the
  thridde part of the altitude of the tour; than thryes 20 feet is the
  heyghte of the tour, with adding of thyn owne persone to thyn          10
  eye. And this rewle is so general in _umbra recta_, fro the poynt of
  oon to 12. And yif thy rewle falle upon 5, than is 5 12-partyes
  of the heyght the space be-tween thee and the toure; with adding
  of thyn owne heyght.


  Another maner of werkinge, by _vmbra versa._ Yif so be that
  thou may nat come to the bas of the tour, I see him thorw the
  nombre of 1; I sette ther a prikke at my fote; than go I neer to
  the tour, and I see him thorw at the poynt of 2, and there I sette
  a-nother prikke; and I beholde how 1 hath him to 12, and ther           5
  finde I that it hath him twelfe sythes; than beholde I how 2
  hath him to 12, and thou shalt finde it sexe sythes; than thou shalt
  finde that as 12 above 6 is the numbre of 6, right so is the space
  between thy two prikkes the space of 6 tymes thyn altitude. And
  note, that at the ferste altitude of 1, thou settest a prikke; and     10
  afterward, whan thou seest him at 2, ther thou settest an-other
  prikke; than thou findest between two prikkys 60 feet; than thou
  shalt finde that 10 is the 6-party of 60. And then is 10 feet the
  altitude of the tour. For other poyntis, yif it fille in _umbra versa_,
  as thus: I sette caas it fill upon 2, and at the secunde upon 3;       15
  than schalt thou finde that 2 is 6 partyes of 12; and 3 is 4 partyes
  of 12; than passeth 6 4, by nombre of 2; so is the space between
  two prikkes twyes the heyghte of the tour. And yif the differens
  were thryes, than shulde it be three tymes; and thus mayst thou
  werke fro 2 to 12; and yif it be 4, 4 tymes; or 5, 5 tymes; _et sic    20
  de ceteris_.


  An-other maner of wyrking be _umbra recta_. Yif it so be that
  thou mayst nat come to the baas of the tour, in this maner thou
  schalt werke. Sette thy rewle upon 1 till thou see the altitude,
  and sette at thy foot a prikke. Than sette thy rewle upon 2, and
  beholde what is the differense be-tween 1 and 2, and thou shalt         5
  finde that it is 1. Than mete the space be-tween two prikkes, and
  that is the 12 partie of the altitude of the tour. And yif ther were
  2, it were the 6 partye; and yif ther were 3, the 4 partye; _et sic
  deinceps_. And note, yif it were 5, it were the 5 party of 12; and
  7, 7 party of 12; and note, at the altitude of thy conclusioun,        10
  adde the stature of thyn heyghte to thyn eye.



  In this maner shall thou worche: consider thy rote first, the
  whiche is made the beginning of the tables fro the yere of oure
  lord 1397, and entere hit in-to thy slate for the laste meridie of
  December; and than consider the yere of oure lord, what is the
  date, and be-hold whether thy date be more or lasse than the yere       5
  1397. And yf hit so be that hit be more, loke how many yeres
  hit passeth, and with so many entere into thy tables in the first
  lyne ther-as is writen _anni collecti et expansi_. And loke where the
  same planet is writen in the hede of thy table, and than loke
  what thou findest in directe of the same yere of oure lord whiche      10
  is passid, be hit 8, or 9, or 10, or what nombre that evere it be, til
  the tyme that thou come to 20, or 40, or 60. And that thou
  findest in directe wryte in thy slate under thy rote, and adde hit
  to-geder, and that is thy mene mote, for the laste meridian of the
  December, for the same yere whiche that thou hast purposed.            15
  And if hit so be that hit passe 20, consider wel that fro 1 to 20
  ben _anni expansi_, and fro 20 to 3000 ben _anni collecti_; and if thy
  nombere passe 20, than take that thou findest in directe of 20, and
  if hit be more, as 6 or 18, than take that thou findest in directe
  there-of, that is to sayen, signes, degrees, minutes, and secoundes,   20
  and adde to-gedere un-to thy rote; and thus to make rotes; and
  note, that if hit so be that the yere of oure lord be lasse than the
  rote, whiche is the yere of oure lord 1397, than shalt thou wryte in
  the same wyse furst thy rote in thy slate, and after entere in-to thy
  table in the same yere that be lasse, as I taught be-fore; and         25
  than consider how many signes, degrees, minutes, and secoundes
  thyn entringe conteyneth. And so be that ther be 2 entrees,
  than adde hem togeder, and after with-drawe hem from the
  rote, the yere of oure lord 1397; and the residue that leveth
  is thy mene mote fro the laste meridie of December, the whiche         30
  thou hast purposed; and if hit so be that thou wolt weten thy
  mene mote for any day, or for any fraccioun of day, in this
  maner thou shalt worche. Make thy rote fro the laste day
  of Decembere in the maner as I have taught, and afterward
  behold how many monethis, dayes, and houres ben passid from            35
  the meridie of Decembere, and with that entere with the laste
  moneth that is ful passed, and take that thou findest in directe
  of him, and wryte hit in thy slate; and entere with as mony
  dayes as be more, and wryte that thou findest in directe of the
  same planete that thou worchest for; and in the same wyse in           40
  the table of houres, for houres that ben passed, and adde alle these
  to thy rote; and the residue is the mene mote for the same day
  and the same houre.


  Whan thou wolt make the mene mote of eny planete to be by
  Arsechieles tables, take thy rote, the whiche is for the yere of oure
  lord 1397; and if so be that thy yere be passid the date, wryte
  that date, and than wryte the nombere of the yeres. Than withdrawe
  the yeres out of the yeres that ben passed that rote.                   5
  Ensampul as thus: the yere of oure lord 1400, I wolde witen,
  precise, my rote; than wroot I furst 1400. And under that
  nombere I wrote a 1397; than withdraw I the laste nombere
  out of that, and than fond I the residue was 3 yere; I wiste
  that 3 yere was passed fro the rote, the whiche was writen in          10
  my tables. Than after-ward soghte I in my tables the _annis
  collectis et expansis_, and amonge myn expanse yeres fond I
  3 yeer. Than tok I alle the signes, degrees, and minutes, that
  I fond directe under the same planete that I wroghte for, and
  wroot so many signes, degrees, and minutes in my slate, and            15
  afterward added I to signes, degrees, minutes, and secoundes,
  the whiche I fond in my rote the yere of oure lord 1397;
  and kepte the residue; and than had I the mene mote for
  the laste day of Decembere. And if thou woldest wete the
  mene mote of any planete in March, Aprile, or May, other               20
  in any other tyme or moneth of the yere, loke how many
  monethes and dayes ben passed from the laste day of Decembere,
  the yere of oure lord 1400; and so with monethes
  and dayes entere in-to thy table ther thou findest thy mene
  mote y-writen in monethes and dayes, and take alle the signes,         25
  degrees, minutes, and secoundes that thou findest y-write in
  directe of thy monethes, and adde to signes, degrees, minutes,
  and secoundes that thou findest with thy rote the yere of
  oure lord 1400, and the residue that leveth is the mene mote
  for that same day. And note, if hit so be that thou woldest            30
  wete the mene mote in ony yere that is lasse than thy rote, withdrawe
  the nombere of so many yeres as hit is lasse than the
  yere of oure lord a 1397, and kepe the residue; and so many
  yeres, monethes, and dayes entere in-to thy tabelis of thy mene
  mote. And take alle the signes, degrees, and minutes, and              35
  secoundes, that thou findest in directe of alle the yeris, monethes,
  and dayes, and wryte hem in thy slate; and above thilke nombere
  wryte the signes, degrees, minutes, and secoundes, the whiche
  thou findest with thy rote the yere of oure lord a 1397; and
  with-drawe alle the nethere signes and degrees fro the signes and      40
  degrees, minutes, and secoundes of other signes with thy rote;
  and thy residue that leveth is thy mene mote for that day.

      OR EBBE.

  First wite thou certeinly, how that haven stondeth, that thou
  list to werke for; that is to say in whiche place of the firmament
  the mone being, maketh fulle see. Than awayte thou redily in
  what degree of the zodiak that the mone at that tyme is inne.
  Bringe furth than the labelle, and set the point therof in that         5
  same cost that the mone maketh flode, and set thou there the
  degree of the mone according with the egge of the label. Than
  afterward awayte where is than the degree of the sonne, at that
  tyme. Remeve thou than the label fro the mone, and bringe and
  sette it iustly upon the degree of the sonne. And the point of         10
  the label shal than declare to thee, at what houre of the day or of
  the night shal be flode. And there also maist thou wite by the
  same point of the label, whether it be, at that same tyme, flode or
  ebbe, or half flode, or quarter flode, or ebbe, or half or quarter
  ebbe; or ellis at what houre it was last, or shal be next by night or  15
  by day, thou than shalt esely knowe, &c. Furthermore, if it so be
  that thou happe to worke for this matere aboute the tyme of the
  coniunccioun, bringe furthe the degree of the mone with the
  labelle to that coste as it is before seyd. But than thou shalt
  understonde that thou may not bringe furthe the label fro the          20
  degree of the mone as thou dide before; for-why the sonne is
  than in the same degree with the mone. And so thou may at that
  tyme by the point of the labelle unremeved knowe the houre of
  the flode or of the ebbe, as it is before seyd, &c. And evermore
  as thou findest the mone passe fro the sonne, so remeve thou the       25
  labelle than fro the degree of the mone, and bringe it to the
  degree of the sonne. And worke thou than as thou dide before,
  &c. Or elles knowe thou what houre it is that thou art inne, by
  thyn instrument. Than bringe thou furth fro thennes the labelle
  and ley it upon the degree of the mone, and therby may thou wite       30
  also whan it was flode, or whan it wol be next, be it night or
  day; &c.

  [_The following sections are spurious; they are numbered so as to shew
      what propositions they repeat._]

  41_a_. UMBRA RECTA.

  Yif thy rewle falle upon the 8 poynt on right schadwe, than make
  thy figure of 8; than loke how moche space of feet is be-tween thee
  and the tour, and multiplye that be 12, and whan thou hast multiplied
  it, than divyde it be the same nombre of 8, and kepe the residue; and
  adde therto up to thyn eye to the residue, and that shal be the verry   5
  heyght of the tour. And thus mayst thou werke on the same wyse, fro
  1 to 12.

  41_b_. UMBRA RECTA.

  An-other maner of werking upon the same syde. Loke upon which
  poynt thy rewle falleth whan thou seest the top of the tour thorow two
  litil holes; and mete than the space fro thy foot to the baas of the
  tour; and right as the nombre of thy poynt hath him-self to 12, right
  so the mesure be-tween thee and the tour hath him-self to the heighte   5
  of the same tour. Ensample: I sette caas thy rewle falle upon 8;
  than is 8 two-thrid partyes of 12; so the space is the two-thrid partyes
  of the tour.

  42_a_. UMBRA VERSA.

  To knowe the heyghth by thy poyntes of _umbra versa_. Yif thy
  rewle falle upon 3, whan thou seest the top of the tour, set a prikke
  there-as thy foot stont; and go ner til thou mayst see the same top at
  the poynt of 4, and sette ther another lyk prikke. Than mete how
  many foot ben be-tween the two prikkes, and adde the lengthe up to      5
  thyn eye ther-to; and that shal be the heyght of the tour. And note,
  that 3 is [the] fourthe party of 12, and 4 is the thridde party of 12.
  Now passeth 4 the nombre of 3 be the distaunce of 1; therfore the
  same space, with thyn heyght to thyn eye, is the heyght of the tour.
  And yif it so be that ther be 2 or 3 distaunce in the nombres, so
      shulde                                                             10
  the mesures be-tween the prikkes be twyes or thryes the heyghte of
  the tour.


  To knowe the heyghte of thinges, yif thou mayst nat come to the
  bas of a thing. Sette thy rewle upon what thou wilt, so that thou may
  see the top of the thing thorw the two holes, and make a marke ther
  thy foot standeth; and go neer or forther, til thou mayst see thorw
  another poynt, and marke ther a-nother marke. And loke than what        5
  is the differense be-twen the two poyntes in the scale; and right as
  that difference hath him to 12, right so the space be-tween thee and
  the two markes hath him to the heyghte of the thing. Ensample: I
  set caas thou seest it thorw a poynt of 4; after, at the poynt of 3.
  Now passeth the nombre of 4 the nombre of 3 be the difference of 1;    10
  and right as this difference 1 hath him-self to 12, right so the mesure
  be-tween the two markes hath him to the heyghte of the thing, putting
  to the heyghte of thy-self to thyn eye; and thus mayst thou werke
  fro 1 to 12.


  Furthermore, yif thou wilt knowe in _umbra versa_, by the craft of
  _umbra recta_, I suppose thou take the altitude at the poynt of 4, and
  makest a marke; and thou goost neer til thou hast it at the poynt of
  3, and than makest thou ther a-nother mark. Than muste thou
  devyde 144 by eche of the poyntes be-fornseyd, as thus: yif thou        5
  devyde 144 be 4, and the nombre that cometh ther-of schal be 36, and
  yif thou devyde 144 be 3, and the nombre that cometh ther-of schal be
  48, thanne loke what is the difference be-tween 36 and 48, and ther
  shalt thou fynde 12; and right as 12 hath him to 12, right so the space
  be-tween two prikkes hath him to the altitude of the thing.            10


Little Lewis my son, I perceive that thou wouldst learn the Conclusions of
the Astrolabe; wherefore I have given thee an instrument constructed for
the latitude of Oxford, and purpose to teach thee _some_ of these
conclusions. I say _some_, for three reasons; (1) because some of them are
unknown in this land; (2) because some are uncertain; or else (3) are too
hard. This treatise, divided into five parts, I write for thee in English,
just as Greeks, Arabians, Jews, and Romans were accustomed to write such
things in their own tongue. I pray all to excuse my shortcomings; and thou,
Lewis, shouldst thank me if I teach thee as much in English as most common
treatises can do in Latin. I have done no more than compile from old
writers on the subject, and I have translated it into English solely for
thine instruction; and with this sword shall I slay envy.

The _first_ part gives a description of the instrument itself.

The _second_ teaches the practical working of it.

The _third_ shall contain tables of latitudes and longitudes of fixed
stars, declinations of the sun, and the longitudes of certain towns.

The _fourth_ shall shew the motions of the heavenly bodies, and especially
of the moon.

The _fifth_ shall teach a great part of the general rules of astronomical

Here begins the _first_ part; i.e. the description of the Astrolabe itself.

1. _The Ring._ See figs. 1 and 2. The Latin name is _Armilla suspensoria_;
the Arabic name is spelt _alhahuacia_ in MS. Camb. Univ. Ii. 3. 3, but
Stöffler says it is _Alanthica_, _Alphantia_, or _Abalhantica_. For the
meaning of 'rewle,' see § 13.

2. _The Turet._ This answers nearly to what we call an _eye_ or a _swivel_.
The metal plate, or loop, to which it is fastened, or in which it turns, is
called in Latin _Ansa_ or _Armilla Reflexa_, in Arabic _Alhabos_.

3. _The Moder._ In Latin, _Mater_ or _Rotula_. This forms the body of the
instrument, the back of which is shewn in fig. 1, the front in fig. 2. The
'large hole' is the wide depression sunk in the front of it, into which the
various discs are dropped. In the figure, the 'Rete' is shewn fitted into

4. See fig. 1; Chaucer describes the 'bak-half' of the instrument first.
The centre of the 'large hole amydde' is the centre of the instrument,
where a smaller hole is pierced completely through. The _Southe lyne_
(marked _Meridies_ in figs. 1 and 2) is also called _Linea Meridiei;_ the
_North lyne_ is also named _Linea Mediæ Noctis_.

5. The _Est lyne_ is marked with the word _Oriens;_ the _West lyne_, with

6. The rule is the same as in heraldry, the _right_ or _dexter_ side being
towards the spectator's left.

7. As the 360 degrees answer to 24 hours of time, 15° answer to an hour,
and 5° to twenty minutes, or a _Mile-way_, as it is the average time for
walking a mile. So also 1° answers to 4 minutes of time. See the two
outermost circles in fig. 1, and the divisions of the 'border' in fig. 2.

8. See the third and fourth circles (reckoning inwards) in fig. 1.

9. See the fifth and sixth circles in fig. 1.

10. See the seventh, eighth, and ninth circles in fig. 1. The names of the
months are all Roman. The month formerly called _Quinctilis_ was first
called _Julius_ in B.C. 44; that called _Sextilis_ was named _Augustus_ in
B.C. 27. It is a mistake to say that Julius and Augustus made the
alterations spoken of in the text; what Julius Cæsar really did, was to add
2 days to the months of January, August (Sextilis), and December, and 1 day
to April, June, September, and November. February never had more than 28
days till he introduced bissextile years.

11. See the two inmost circles in fig. 1. The names given are adopted from
a comparison of the figures in the Cambridge University and Trinity MSS.,
neither of which are quite correct. The letters of the 'Abc.' are what we
now call the Sunday letters. The festivals marked are those of St. Paul
(Jan. 25), The Purification (Feb. 2), The Annunciation (Mar. 25), The
Invention of the Holy Cross (May 3), St. John the Baptist (June 24), St.
James (July 25), St. Lawrence (Aug. 10), The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin
(Sept. 8), St. Luke (Oct. 18), St. Martin of Tours (Nov. 11), and St.
Thomas (Dec. 21).

12. The 'scale' is in Latin _Quadrans_, or _Scala Altimetra_. It is certain
that Chaucer has here made a slip, which cannot be fairly laid to the
charge of the scribes, as the MSS. agree in transposing _versa_ and
_recta_. The side-parts of the scale are called _Umbra versa_, the lower
part _Umbra recta_ or _extensa_. This will appear more clearly at the end
of Part II. (I here give a _corrected text_.)

13. See fig. 3, Plate III. Each plate turns on a hinge, just like the
'sights' of a gun. One is drawn flat down, the other partly elevated. Each
plate (_tabella vel pinnula_) has two holes, the smaller one being the
lower. This _Rewle_ is named in Arabic _Alhidada_ or _Al´id[=a]da;_ in
Latin _Verticulum_, from its turning easily on the centre; in Greek
_Dioptra_, as carrying the sights. The straight edge, passing through the
centre, is called the _Linea Fiduciæ_. It is pierced by a hole in the
centre, of the same size as that in the _Mother_.

14. See fig. 4, Plate III. The _Pin_ is also called _Axis_ or _Clavus_, in
Latin-Arabic _Alchitot;_ it occupies the position of the Arctic or North
Pole, passing through the centre of the plates that are required to turn
round it. The _Wedge_ is called _cuneus_, or _equus restringens_, in Arabic
_Alfaras_ or the horse, because it was sometimes cut into the shape of a
horse, as shewn in fig. 7, Plate IV, which is copied from MS. Univ. Camb.
Ii. 3. 3.

15. See fig. 2, Plate II. In the figure, the cross-lines are partly hidden
by the _Rete_, which is separate and removable, and revolves within the

16. The _Border_ was also called _Margilabrum_, _Margolabrum_, or _Limbus_.
It is marked (as explained) with hour-letters and degrees. Each degree
contains 4 minutes _of time_, and each of these minutes contains 60 seconds
_of time_.

17. We may place under the _Rete_ any plates we please. If only the
_Mother_ be under it, without any plate, we may suppose the _Mother_ marked
as in fig. 2. The plate or disc (_tympanum_) which was usually dropped in
under the _Rete_ is that shewn in fig. 5, Plate III, and which Chaucer now
describes. Any number of these, marked differently for different latitudes,
could be provided for the Astrolabe. The greatest declination of the sun
measures the obliquity of the ecliptic, the true value of which is slightly
variable, but was about 23° 31' in Chaucer's time, and about 23° 40' in the
time of Ptolemy, who certainly assigns to it too large a value. The value
of it must be known before the three circles can be drawn. The method of
finding their relative magnitudes is very simple. Let ABCD (fig. 8, Pl. IV)
be the tropic of Capricorn, BO the South line, OC the West line. Make the
angle EOB equal to the obliquity (say 23½°), and join EA, meeting BO in F.
Then OF is the radius of the Equatorial circle, and if GH be drawn parallel
to EF, OH is the radius of the Tropic of Cancer. In the phrase _angulus
primi motus_, _angulus_ must be taken to mean angular motion. The 'first
moving' (_primus motus_) has its name of 'moving' (_motus_) from its
denoting motion due to the _primum mobile_ or 'first moveable.' This
_primum mobile_ (usually considered as the _ninth_ sphere) causes the
rotation of the _eighth_ sphere, or _sphæra stellarum fixarum_. See the
fig. in MS. Camb. Univ. Ii. 3. 3 (copied in fig. 10, Pl. V). Some authors
make 12 heavens, viz. those of the 7 planets, the _firmamentum_ (_stellarum
fixarum_), the _nonum coelum_, _decimum coelum_, _primum mobile_, and
_coelum empyræum_.

18. See fig. 5, Pl. III. This is made upon the alt-azimuth system, and the
plates are marked according to the latitude. The circles, called in Latin
_circuli progressionum_, in Arabic _Almucantar[=a]t_, are circles of
altitude, the largest imperfect one representing the horizon (_horizon
obliquus_), and the central dot being the zenith, or pole of the horizon.
In my figure, they are 'compounded by' 5 and 5, but Chaucer's shewed every
second degree, i.e. it possessed 45 such circles. For the method of drawing
them, see Stöffler, leaf 5, back.

19. Some Astrolabes shew 18 of these azimuthal circles, as in my figure
(fig. 5, Pl. III). See Stöffler, leaf 13, where will be found also the
rules for drawing them.

20. If accurately drawn, these _embelife_ or oblique lines should divide
the portions of the three circles below the _horizon obliquus_ into twelve
equal parts. Thus each arc is determined by having to pass through three
known points. They are called _arcus horarum inequalium_, as they shew the
'houres inequales.'

21. In fig. 2, Pl. II, the _Rete_ is shewn as it appears when dropped into
the depression in the front of the instrument. The shape of it varied much,
and another drawing of one (copied from Camb. Univ. MS. Ii. 3. 3, fol. 66
_b_) is given in fig. 9, Pl. IV. The positions of the stars are marked by
the extreme points of the metal tongues. Fig. 2 is taken from the figures
in the Cambridge MSS., but the positions of the stars have been corrected
by the list of latitudes and longitudes given by Stöffler, whom I have
followed, not because he is _correct_, but because he probably represents
their positions as they were supposed to be in Chaucer's time very nearly
indeed. There was not room to inscribe the names of all the stars on the
_Rete_, and to have written them _on the plate below_ would have conveyed a
false impression. A list of the stars marked in fig. 2 is given in the note
to § 21, l. 4. The Ecliptic is the circle which crosses the Equinoctial at
its East and West points (fig. 2). In Chaucer's description of the zodiac,
carefully note the distinction between the Zodiac of the Astrolabe and the
Zodiac of Heaven. The former is only _six_ degrees broad, and shews only
the northern half of the heavenly zodiac, the breadth of which is
_imagined_ to be 12 degrees. Chaucer's zodiac only shewed _every other_
degree in the divisions round its border. This border is divided by help of
a table of right ascensions of the various degrees of the ecliptic, which
is by no means easily done. See Note on l. 4 of this section. I may add
that the _Rete_ is also called _Aranea_ or _Volvellum_; in Arabic,
_Al´ancab[=u]t_ (the spider).

22. _The Label._ See fig. 6, Pl. III. The _label_ is more usually used on
the _front_ of the instrument, where the _Rete_ and other plates revolve.
The _rule_ is used on the _back_, for taking altitudes by help of the

23. _The Almury_; called also _denticulus_, _ostensor_, or 'calculer.' In
fig. 2, it may be seen that the edge of the _Rete_ is cut away near the
head of Capricorn, leaving only a small pointed projecting tongue, which is
the almury or denticle, or (as we should now say) pointer. As the _Rete_
revolves, it points to the different degrees of the border. See also fig.
9, where the almury is plainly marked.

Part II, § 1. [The Latin headings to the propositions are taken from the
MS. in St. John's College, Cambridge.] See fig. 1. Any straight edge laid
across from the centre will shew this at once. Chaucer, reckoning by the
old style, differs from us by about eight days. The first degree of Aries,
which in his time answered to the 12th of March, now vibrates between the
20th and 21st of that month. This difference of eight days must be
carefully borne in mind in calculating Chaucer's dates.

2. Here 'thy left side' means the left side of thine own body, and
therefore the right or Eastern edge of the Astrolabe. In taking the
altitude of the sun, the rays are allowed to shine through the holes; but
the stars are observed by looking through them. See figs. 1 and 3.

3. Drop the disc (fig. 5) within the border of the mother, and the _Rete_
over it. Take the sun's altitude by § 2, and let it be 25½°. As the
altitude was taken by the _back_ of the Astrolabe, turn it over, and then
let the _Rete_ revolve westward till the 1st point of Aries is just within
the altitude-circle marked 25, allowing for the ½ degree by guess. This
will bring the denticle near the letter C, and the first point of Aries
near X, which means 9 A.M. At the same time, the 20th degree of Gemini will
be on the _horizon obliquus_. See fig. 11, Pl. V. This result can be
approximately verified by a common globe thus; elevate the pole nearly 52°;
turn the small brass hour-circle so that the figure XII lies on the
equinoctial colure; then turn the globe till IX lies under the brass
meridian. In the next example, by the Astrolabe, let the height of Alhabor
(Sirius) be about 18°. Turn the denticle Eastward till it touches the 58th
degree near the letter O, and it will be found that Alhabor is about 18°
high among the _almicanteras_, whilst the first point of Aries points to
32° near the letter H, i.e. to 8 minutes past 8 P.M.; whilst at the same
time, the 23rd degree of Libra is almost on the _Horizon obliquus_ on the
Eastern side. By the globe, at about 8 minutes past 8 P.M., the altitude of
Sirius is very nearly 18°, and the 23rd of Libra is very near the Eastern
horizon. See fig. 12, Pl. V.

4. The ascendent at any given moment is that degree of the zodiac which is
then seen upon the Eastern horizon. Chaucer says that astrologers reckoned
in also 5 degrees _of the zodiac_ above, and 25 below; the object being to
extend the planet's influence over a whole 'house,' which is a space of the
same length as a _sign_, viz. 30°. See § 36 below.

5. This merely amounts to taking the mean between two results.

6. This depends upon the refraction of light by the atmosphere, owing to
which light from the sun reaches us whilst he is still 18° below the
horizon. The nadir of the sun being 18° high on the W. side, the sun itself
is 18° below the Eastern horizon, giving the time of dawn; and if the nadir
be 18° high on the E. side, we get the time of the end of the evening
twilight. Thus, at the vernal equinox, the sun is 18° high soon after 8
A.M. (roughly speaking), and hence the evening twilight ends soon after 8
P.M., 12 hours later, sunset being at 6 P.M.

7. Ex. The sun being in the first point of Cancer on the longest day, its
rising will be shewn by the point in fig. 5 where the _horizon obliquus_
and _Tropicus Cancri_ intersect; this corresponds to a point between P and
Q in fig. 2, or to about a quarter to 4 A.M. So too the sunset is at about
a quarter past 8, and the length of the day 16½ hours; hence also, the
length of the night is about 7½ hours, neglecting twilight.

8. On the same day, the number of degrees in the whole day is about 247½,
that being the number through which the _Rete_ is turned in the example to
§ 7. Divide by 15, and we have 16½ equal hours.

9. The 'day vulgar' is the length of the 'artificial day,' with the length
of the twilight, both at morn and at eve, added to it.

10. If, as in § 7, the day be 16½ hours long, the length of each 'hour
inequal' is 1 h. 22½ m.; and the length of each 'hour inequal' of the night
is the 12th part of 7½ hours, or 37½ m.; and 1 h. 22½ m., added to 37½ m.,
will of course make up 2 hours, or 30°.

11. This merely repeats that 15° of the border answer to an hour of the
clock. The '4 partie of this tretis' was never written.

12. This 'hour of the planet' is a mere astrological supposition, involving
no point of astronomy. Each hour is an 'hour inequal,' or the 12th part of
the artificial day or night. The assumptions are so made that _first_ hour
of every day may resemble the _name of the day_; the first hour of Sunday
is the hour of the _Sun_, and so on. These hours may be easily found by the
following method. Let 1 represent both Sunday and the Sun; 2, Monday and
the Moon; 3, Tuesday and Mars; 4, Wednesday and Mercury; 5, Thursday and
Jupiter; 6, Friday and Venus; 7, Saturday and Saturn. Next, write down the
following succession of figures, which will shew the hours at once.


Ex. To find the planet of the 10th hour of Tuesday. Tuesday is the third
day of the week; begin with 3, to the left of the upright line, and reckon
10 onwards; the 10th figure (counting 3 as the _first_) is 6, i.e. Venus.
So also, the planet of the 24th hour of Friday is the Moon, and Saturday
begins with Saturn. It may be observed that this table can be carried in
the memory, by simply observing that the numbers are written, beginning
with 1, in the _reverse order of the spheres_, i.e. Sun, Venus, Mercury,
Moon; and then (beginning again at the outmost sphere) Saturn, Jupiter,
Mars. This is why Chaucer takes a _Saturday_; that he may begin with the
remotest planet, _Saturn_, and follow the reverse order of the spheres. See
fig. 10, Pl. V. Here, too, we have the obvious reason for the succession of
the names of the days of the week, viz. that the planets being reckoned in
this order, we find the Moon in the 25th place or hour from the Sun, and so

13. The reason of this is obvious from what has gone before. The sun's
meridional altitude is at once seen by placing the sun's degree on the
South line.

14. This is the exact converse of the preceding. It furnishes a method of
testing the accuracy of the drawing of the almikanteras.

15. This is best done by help of the _back_ of the instrument, fig. 1. Thus
May 13 (old style), which lies 30° to the W. of the S. line, is nearly of
the same length as July 13, which lies 30° to the E. Secondly, the day of
April 2 (old style), 20° above the W. line, is nearly of the same length as
the night of Oct. 2, 20° below the E. line, in the opposite point of the
circle. This is but an approximation, as the divisions on the instrument
are rather minute.

16. This merely expresses the same thing, with the addition, that on days
of the same length, the sun has the same meridional altitude, and the same
declination from the equator.

17. Here _passeth any-thing the south westward_ means, passes somewhat to
the westward of the South line. The problem is, to find the degree of the
zodiac which is on the meridian with the star. To do this, find the
altitude of the star _before_ it souths, and by help of problem 3, find out
the ascending degree of the zodiac; secondly, find the ascending degree at
an equal time _after_ it souths, when the star has the same altitude as
before, and the mean between these will be the degree that ascends when the
star is on the meridian. Set this degree upon the Eastern part of the
_horizon obliquus_, and then the degree which is upon the meridional line
souths together with the star. Such is the solution given, but it is but a
very rough approximation, and by no means always near to the truth. An
example will shew why. Let Arcturus have the same altitude at 10 P.M. as at
2 A.M. In the first case the 4th of Sagittarius is ascending, in the second
(with sufficient accuracy for our purpose) the 2nd of Aquarius; and the
mean between these is the 3rd of Capricorn. Set this on the Eastern horizon
upon a globe, and it will be seen that it is 20 min. past midnight, that
10° of Scorpio is on the meridian, and that Arcturus has past the meridian
by 5°. At true midnight, the ascendent is the 29° of Sagittarius. The
reason of the error is that right ascension and longitude are here not
sufficiently distinguished. By observing the degrees of the _equinoctial_,
instead of the _ecliptic_, upon the Eastern horizon, we have at the first
observation 272°, at the second 332°, and the mean of these is 302°; from
this subtract 90°, and the result, 212°, gives the right ascension of
Arcturus very nearly, corresponding to which is the beginning of the 5° of
Scorpio, which souths along with it. This latter method is correct, because
it assumes the motion to take place round the axis of the equator. The
error of Chaucer's method is that it identifies the motion of the equator
with that of the ecliptic. The amount of the error varies considerably, and
may be rather large. But it can easily be diminished, (and no doubt was so
in practice), by taking the observations _as near the south line as
possible_. Curiously enough, the rest of the section explains the
difference between the two methods of reckoning. The modern method is to
call the co-ordinates _right ascension_ and _declination_, if reckoned from
the equator, and _longitude_ and _latitude_, if from the ecliptic. Motion
in _longitude_ is not the same thing as motion in _right ascension_.

18. The 'centre' of the star is the technical name for the extremity of the
metal tongue representing it. The 'degree in which the star standeth' is
considered to be that degree of the zodiac which souths along with it. Thus
Sirius or Alhabor has its true longitude nearly equal to that of 12° of
Cancer, but, as it souths with the 9th degree, it would be said to stand in
that degree. This may serve for an example; but it must be remembered that
its longitude was different in the time of Chaucer.

19. Also it rises with the 19th degree of Leo, as it is at some distance
from the zodiac in latitude. The same 'marvellous arising in a strange
sign' is hardly because of the latitude being north or south from the
_equinoctial_, but rather because it is north or south of the _ecliptic_.
For example, Regulus ([alpha] Leonis) is on the ecliptic, and of course
rises with that very degree in which it is. Hence the reading _equinoctial_
leaves the case in doubt, and we find a more correct statement just below,
where we have 'whan they have no latitude fro the ecliptik lyne.' At all
places, however, upon the earth's equator, the stars will rise with the
degrees of the zodiac in which they stand.]

20. Here the disc (fig. 5) is supposed to be placed beneath the Rete (fig.
2). The proposition merely tells us that the difference between the
meridian altitudes of the given degree of the zodiac and of the 1st point
of Aries is the _declination_ of that degree, which follows from the very
definition of the term. There is hardly any necessity for setting the
second prick, as it is sufficiently marked by being the point where the
equinoctial circle crosses the south line. If the given degree lie
_outside_ this circle, the declination is _south;_ if _inside_, it is

21. In fig. 5, the almicanteras, if accurately drawn, ought to shew as many
degrees between the south point of the equinoctial circle and the zenith as
are equal to the latitude of the place for which they are described. The
number of degrees from the pole to the northern point of the _horizon
obliquus_ is of course the same. The latitude of the place for which the
disc is constructed is thus determined by inspection.

22. In the _first_ place where '_orisonte_' occurs, it means the _South_
point of the horizon; in the _second_ place, the _North_ point. By
referring to fig. 13, Plate V, it is clear that the arc [Aries]S,
representing the distance between the equinoctial and the S. point, is
equal to the arc ZP, which measures the distance from the pole to the
zenith; since PO[Aries] and ZOS are both right angles. Hence also Chaucer's
second statement, that the arcs PN and [Aries]Z are equal. In his numerical
example, PN is 51° 50'; and therefore ZP is the complement, or 38° 10'. So
also [Aries]Z is 51° 50'; and [Aries]S is 38° 10'. Briefly, [Aries]Z
measures the latitude.

23. Here the altitude of a star (A) is to be taken twice; firstly, when it
is on the meridian in the most _southern_ point of its course, and
secondly, when on the meridian in the most _northern_ point, which would be
the case twelve hours later. The mean of these altitudes is the altitude of
the pole, or the latitude of the place. In the example given, the star A is
only 4° from the pole, which shews that it is the Pole-star, then farther
from the Pole than it is now. The star F is, according to Chaucer, any
convenient star having a right ascension differing from that of the
Pole-star by 180°; though one having the _same_ right ascension would serve
as well. If then, at the first observation, the altitude of A be 56, and at
the second be 48, the altitude of the pole must be 52. See fig. 13, Plate

24. This comes to much the same thing. The _lowest_ or northern altitude of
Dubhe ([alpha] Ursæ Majoris) may be supposed to be observed to be 25°, and
his _highest_ or southern altitude to be 79°. Add these; the sum is 104;
'abate' or subtract half of that number, and the result is 52°; the

25. Here, as in § 22, Chaucer says that the latitude can be measured by the
arc Z[Aries] or PN; he adds that the depression of the Antarctic pole, viz.
the arc SP' (where P' is the S. pole), is another measure of the latitude.
He explains that an obvious way of finding the latitude is by finding the
altitude of the sun at noon at the time of an equinox. If this altitude be
38° 10', then the latitude is the complement, or 51° 50'. But this
observation can only be made on two days in the year. If then this seems to
be too long a tarrying, observe his midday altitude, and allow for his
declination. Thus, if the sun's altitude be 58° 10' at noon when he is in
the first degree of Leo, subtract his declination, viz. 20°, and the result
is 38° 10', the complement of the latitude. If, however, the sun's
declination be _south_, the amount of it must be added instead of
subtracted. Or else we may find [Aries]A', the highest altitude of a star
A' above the equinoctial, and also [Aries]A, its nether elongation
extending from the same, and take the mean of the two.

26. The 'Sphere Solid' answers nearly to what we now call a globe. By help
of a globe it is easy to find the ascensions of signs for _any latitude_,
whereas by the astrolabe we can only tell them for those latitudes for
which the plates bearing the almicanteras are constructed. The signs which
Chaucer calls 'of right (i.e. direct) ascension' are those signs of the
zodiac which rise more directly, i.e. at a greater angle to the horizon
than the rest. In latitude 52°, Libra rises so directly that the whole sign
takes more than 2¾ hours before it is wholly above the horizon, during
which time nearly 43° of the equinoctial circle have arisen; or, in
Chaucer's words, 'the more part' (i.e. a larger portion) of the equinoctial
ascends with it. On the other hand, the sign of Aries ascends so obliquely
that the whole of it appears above the horizon in less than an hour, so
that a 'less part' (a smaller portion) of the equinoctial ascends with it.
The following is a rough table of Direct and Oblique Signs, shewing
approximately how long each sign takes to ascend, and how many degrees of
the equinoctial ascend with it, in lat. 52°.

  _Oblique  Degrees of the  Time of   | _Direct   Degrees of the  Time of
   Signs._   Equinoctial.  ascending. |  Signs._   Equinoctial.  ascending.
  Capricornus      26°     1 h. 44 m. | Cancer           39°     2 h. 36 m.
  Aquarius         16°     1 h. 4 m.  | Leo              42°     2 h. 48 m.
  Pisces           14°     0 h. 56 m. | Virgo            43°     2 h. 52 m.
  Aries            14°     0 h. 56 m. | Libra            43°     2 h. 52 m.
  Taurus           16°     1 h. 4 m.  | Scorpio          42°     2 h. 48 m.
  Gemini           26°     1 h. 44 m. | Sagittarius      39°     2 h. 36 m.

These numbers are sufficiently accurate for the present purpose.

In ll. 8-11, there is a gap in the sense in nearly all the MSS., but the
Bodley MS. 619 fortunately supplies what is wanting, to the effect that, at
places situated on the equator, the poles are in the horizon. At such
places, the days and nights are always equal. Chaucer's next statement is
true for _all_ places _within the tropics_, the peculiarity of them being
that they have the sun vertical twice in a year. The statement about the
'two summer and winters' is best explained by the following. 'In the
tropical climates, ... seasons are caused more by the effect of the winds
(which are very regular, and depend mainly on the sun's position) than by
changes in the direct action of the sun's light and heat. The seasons are
not a summer and winter, so much as recurrences of wet and dry periods,
_two in each year_.'--English Cyclopædia; _Seasons, Change of_. Lastly,
Chaucer reverts to places on the equator, where the stars all seem to move
in vertical circles, and the almicanteras are therefore straight lines. The
line marked _Horizon Rectus_ is shewn in fig. 5, where the _Horizon
Obliquus_ is also shewn, cutting the equinoctial circle obliquely.

27. The real object in this section is to find how many degrees of the
equinoctial circle pass the meridian together with a given zodiacal sign.
Without even turning the _rete_, it is clear that the sign Aries, for
instance, extends through 28° of the equinoctial; for a line drawn from the
centre, in fig. 2, through the end of Aries will (if the figure be correct)
pass through the end of the 28th degree below the word _Oriens_.

28. To do this accurately requires a very carefully marked Astrolabe, on as
large a scale as is convenient. It is done by observing where the ends of
the given sign, estimated along the _outer_ rim of the zodiacal circle in
fig. 2, cross the _horizon obliquus_ as the _rete_ is turned about. Thus,
the beginning of Aries lies on the _horizon obliquus_, and as the _rete_
revolves to the right, the end of it, on the outer rim, will at last lie
exactly on the same curved line. When this is the case, the _rete_ ought to
have moved through an angle of about 14°, as explained in § 26. By far the
best way is to tabulate the results once for all, as I have there done. It
is readily seen, from fig. 2, that the signs from Aries to Virgo are
_northern_, and from Libra to Pisces are _southern_ signs. The signs from
Capricorn to Gemini are the _oblique_ signs, or as Chaucer calls them,
'tortuous,' and ascend in less than 2 hours; whilst the _direct_ signs,
from Cancer to Sagittarius, take more than 2 hours to ascend; as shewn in
the table on p. 209. The _eastern_ signs in fig. 2 are said to _obey to_
the corresponding _western_ ones.

29. Here _both_ sides of the Astrolabe are used, the 'rewle' being made to
revolve at the _back_, and the 'label' in _front_, as usual. First, by the
back of the instrument and the 'rewle,' take the sun's altitude. Turn the
Astrolabe round, and set the sun's degree at the right altitude among the
almicanteras, and then observe, by help of the label, how far the sun is
from the meridian. Again turn the instrument round, and set the 'rewle' as
far from the meridian as the label was. Then, holding the instrument as
near the ground and as horizontal as possible, let the sun shine through
the holes of the 'rewle,' and immediately after lay the Astrolabe down,
without altering the azimuthal direction of the meridional line. It is
clear that this line will then point southwards, and the other points of
the compass will also be known.

30. This turns upon the definition of the phrase 'the wey of the sonne.' It
does not mean the zodiacal circle, but the sun's apparent path on a given
day of the year. The sun's altitude changes but little in one day, and is
supposed here to remain the same throughout the time that he is, on that
day, visible. Thus, if the sun's altitude be 61½°, the _way of the sun_ is
a small circle, viz. the tropic of Cancer. If the planet be then on the
zodiac, in the 1st degree of Capricorn, it is 47° S. from the way of the
sun, and so on.

31. The word 'senith' is here used in a peculiar sense; it does not mean,
as it should, the _zenith_ point, or point directly overhead, but is made
to imply the point on the horizon, (either falling upon an azimuthal line,
or lying between two azimuths), which denotes the point of sunrise. In the
Latin rubric, it is called _signum_. This point is found by actual
observation of the sun at the time of rising. Chaucer's azimuths divide the
horizon into 24 parts; but it is interesting to observe his remark, that
'shipmen' divide the horizon into 32 parts, exactly as a compass is divided
now-a-days. The reason for the division into 32 parts is obviously because
this is the easiest way of reckoning the direction of the wind. For this
purpose, the horizon is first divided into 4 parts; each of these is
halved, and each half-part is halved again. It is easy to observe if the
wind lies half-way between S. and E., or half-way between S. and S.E., or
again half-way between S. and S.S.E.; but the division into 24 parts would
be unsuitable, because _third-parts_ are much more difficult to estimate.

32. The Latin rubric interprets the conjunction to mean that of the sun and
moon. The time of this conjunction is to be ascertained from a calendar.
If, e.g. the calendar indicates 9 A.M. as the time of conjunction on the
12th day of March, when the sun is in the first point of Aries, as in § 3,
the number of hours after the preceding midday is 21, which answers to the
letter X in the border (fig. 2). Turn the _rete_ till the first point of
Aries lies under the label, which is made to point to X, and the label
shews at the same moment that the degree of the sun is very nearly at the
point where the equinoctial circle crosses the azimuthal circle which lies
50° to the E. of the meridian. Hence the conjunction takes place at a point
of which the azimuth is 50° to the E. of the S. point, or 5° to the
eastward of the S.E. point. The proposition merely amounts to finding the
sun's azimuth at a given time. Fig. 11 shews the position of the _rete_ in
this case.

33. Here 'senyth' is again used to mean azimuth, and the proposition is, to
find the sun's azimuth by taking his altitude, and setting his degree at
the right altitude on the almicanteras. Of course the two  co-ordinates,
altitude and azimuth, readily indicate the sun's exact position; and the
same for any star or planet.

34. The moon's latitude is never more than 5¼° from the ecliptic, and this
small distance is, 'in common treatises of Astrolabie,' altogether
neglected; so that it is supposed to move in the ecliptic. First, then,
take the moon's altitude, say 30°. Next take the altitude of some bright
star 'on the moon's side,' i.e. nearly in the same azimuth as the moon,
taking care to choose a star which is represented upon the _Rete_ by a
pointed tongue. Bring this tongue's point to the right altitude among the
almicanteras, and then see which degree of the ecliptic lies on the
almicantera which denotes an altitude of 30°. This will give the moon's
place, 'if the stars in the Astrolabe be set after the truth,' i.e. if the
point of the tongue is exactly where it should be.

35. The motion of a planet is called _direct_, when it moves in the
direction of the succession of the zodiacal signs; _retrograde_, when in
the contrary direction. When a planet is on the right or east side of the
Meridional line, and is moving forward along the signs, without increase of
declination, its altitude will be less on the second occasion than on the
first at the moment when the altitude of the fixed star is the same as
before. The same is true if the planet be retrograde, and on the western
side. The contrary results occur when the second altitude is greater than
the first. But the great defect of this method is that it may be rendered
fallacious by a change in the planet's declination.

36. See fig. 14, Plate VI. If the equinoctial circle in this figure be
supposed to be superposed upon that in fig. 5, Plate III, and be further
supposed to revolve backwards through an angle of about 60° till the point
1 (fig. 14) rests upon the point where the 8th hour-line crosses the
equinoctial, the beginning of the 2nd house will then be found to be on the
line of midnight. Similarly, all the other results mentioned follow. For it
is easily seen that each 'house' occupies a space equal to 2 hours, so that
the bringing of the 3rd house to the midnight line brings 1 to the 10th
hour-line, and a similar placing of the 4th house brings 1 to the 12th
hour-line, which is the _horizon obliquus_ itself. Moving onward 2 more
hours, the point 7 (the nadir of 1) comes to the end of the 2nd hour,
whilst the 5th house comes to the north; and lastly, when 7 is at the end
of the 4th hour, the 6th house is so placed. To find the nadir of a house,
we have only to add 6; so that the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th
houses are the nadirs of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th houses

37. Again see fig. 14, Plate VI. Here the 10th house is at once seen to be
on the meridional line. In the quadrant from 1 to 10, the even division of
the quadrant into 3 parts shews the 12th and 11th houses. Working downwards
from 1, we get the 2nd and 3rd houses, and the 4th house beginning with the
north line. The rest are easily found from their nadirs.

38. This problem is discussed in arts. 144 and 145 of Hymes's Astronomy,
2nd ed. 1840, p. 84. The words 'for warping' mean 'to prevent the errors
which may arise from the plate becoming warped.' The 'broader' of course
means 'the larger.' See fig. 15, Plate VI. If the shadow of the sun be
observed at a time _before_ midday when its extremity just enters within
the circle, and again at a time _after_ midday when it is just passing
beyond the circle, the altitude of the sun at these two observations must
be the same, and the south line must lie half-way between the two shadows.
In the figure, S and S' are the 2 positions of the sun, OT the rod, Ot and
Ot' the shadows, and OR the direction of the south line. Ott' is the metal

39. This begins with an explanation of the terms 'meridian' and
'longitude.' 'They chaungen her Almikanteras' means that they differ in
latitude. But, when Chaucer speaks of the longitude and latitude of a
'climate,' he means the length and breadth of it. A 'climate' (_clima_) is
a belt of the earth included between two fixed parallels of latitude. The
ancients reckoned _seven_ climates; in the sixteenth century there were
_nine_. The 'latitude of the climate' is the breadth of this belt; the
'longitude' of it he seems to consider as measured along lines lying
equidistant between the parallels of latitude of the places from which the
climates are named. See Stöffler, fol. 20 _b_; and Petri Apiani
Cosmographia, per Gemmam Phrysium restituta, ed. 1574, fol. 7 _b_. The
seven climates were as follows:--

1. That whose central line passes through Meroë (lat. 17°); from nearly 13°
to nearly 20°.

2. Central line, through Syene (lat. 24°); from 20° to 27°, nearly.

3. Central line through Alexandria (lat. 31°); from 27° to 34°, nearly.

4. Central line through Rhodes (lat. 36°); from 34° to 39°, nearly.

5. Central line through Rome (lat. 41°); from 39° to 43°, nearly.

6. Central line through Borysthenes (lat. 45°); from 43° to 47°.

7. Through the Riphæan mountains (lat. 48°); from 47° to 50°. But Chaucer
must have included an _eighth_ climate (called _ultra Mæotides paludes_)
from 50° to 56°; and a _ninth_, from 56° to the pole. The part of the earth
to the north of the 7th climate was considered by the ancients to be
uninhabitable. A rough drawing of these climates is given in MS. Camb.
Univ. Lib. Ii. 3. 3, fol. 33 _b_.

40. The longitude and latitude of a planet being ascertained from an
almanac, we can find with what degree it ascends. For example, given that
the longitude of Venus is 6° of Capricorn, and her N. latitude 2°. Set the
one leg of a compass upon the degree of longitude, and extend the other
till the distance between the two legs is 2° of latitude, from that point
inward, i.e. northward. The 6th degree of Capricorn is now to be set on the
horizon, the label (slightly coated with wax) to be made to point to the
same degree, and the north latitude is set off upon the wax by help of the
compass. The spot thus marking the planet's position is, by a very slight
movement of the _Rete_, to be brought upon the horizon, and it will be
found that the planet (situated 2° N. of the 6th degree) ascends together
with the _head_ (or beginning of the sign) of Capricorn. This result, which
is not _quite_ exact, is easily tested by a globe. When the latitude of the
planet is _south_, its place cannot well be found when in Capricorn for
want of space at the edge of the Astrolabe.

As a second example, it will be found that, when Jupiter's longitude is at
the _end_ of 1° of Pisces, and his latitude 3° south, he ascends together
with the 14th of Pisces, nearly. This is easily verified by a globe, which
solves all such problems very readily.

It is a singular fact that most of the best MSS. leave off at the word
'houre,' leaving the last sentence incomplete. I quote the last five
words--'þou shalt do wel y-now'--from the MS. in St. John's College,
Cambridge; they also occur in the old editions.

41. Sections 41-43 and 41_a_-42_b_ are from the MS. in St. John's College,
Cambridge. For the scale of _umbra recta_, see fig. 1, Plate I. Observe
that the _umbra recta_ is used where the angle of elevation of an object is
greater than 45°; the _umbra versa_, where it is less. See also fig. 16,
Plate VI; where, if AC be the height of the tower, BC the same height
_minus_ the height of the observer's eye (supposed to be placed at E), and
EB the distance of the observer from the tower, then _bc_ : E_b_ :: EB :
BC. But E_b_ is reckoned as 12, and if _bc_ be 4, we find that BC is 3 EB,
i.e. 60 feet, when EB is 20. Hence AC is 60 feet, _plus_ the height of the
observer's eye. The last sentence is to be read thus--'And if thy "rewle"
fall upon 5, then are 5-12ths of the height equivalent to the space between
thee and the tower (with addition of thine own height).' The MS. reads '5
12-p_ar_tyes þe hey[gh]t of þe space,' &c.; but the word _of_ must be
transposed, in order to make sense. It is clear that, if _bc_ = 5, then 5 :
12 :: EB : BC, which is the same as saying that EB = 5/12 BC. Conversely,
BC is 12/5 EB = 48, if EB = 20.

42. See fig. 1, Plate I. See also fig. 17, Plate VI. Let E_b_ = 12, _bc_ =
1; also E'_b'_ = 12, _b'c'_ = 2; then EB = 12 BC, E'B = 6 BC; therefore EE'
= 6 BC. If EE' = 60 feet, then BC = 1/6 EE'=10 feet. To get the whole
height, add the height of the eye. The last part of the article, beginning
'For other poyntis,' is altogether corrupt in the MS.

43. Here _versa_ (in M.) is certainly miswritten for _recta_, as in L. See
fig. 18, Plate VI. Here E_b_ = E'_b'_ = 12; _b'c'_ = 1, _bc_ = 2. Hence E'B
= 1/12 BC, EB = 2/12 BC. whence EE' = 1/12 BC. Or again, if _bc_ become =
3, 4, 5, &c., successively, whilst _b'c'_ remains = 1, then EE' is
successively = 2/12 or 1/6, 3/12 or 1/4, 5/12, &c. Afterwards, add in the
height of E.

44. Sections 44 and 45 are from MS. Digby 72. This long explanation of the
method of finding a planet's place depends upon the tables which were
constructed for that purpose from observation. The general idea is this.
The figures shewing a planet's position for the last day of December, 1397,
give what is called the _root_, and afford us, in fact, a _starting-point_
from which to measure. An 'argument' is the angle upon which the tabulated
quantity depends; for example, a very important 'argument' is the planet's
_longitude_, upon which its _declination_ may be made to depend, so as to
admit of tabulation. The planet's longitude for the given above-mentioned
date being taken as the _root_, the planet's longitude at a second date can
be found from the tables. If this second date be less than 20 years
afterwards, the increase of motion is set down separately for each year,
viz. so much in 1 year, so much in 2 years, and so on. These separate years
are called _anni expansi_. But when the increase during a large round
number of years (such as 20, 40, or 60 years at once) is allowed for, such
years are called _anni collecti_. For example, a period of 27 years
includes 20 years _taken together_, and 7 separate or _expanse_ years. The
mean motion during smaller periods of time, such as months, days, and
hours, is added in afterwards.

45. Here the author enters a little more into particulars. If the mean
motion be required for the year 1400, 3 years later than the
starting-point, look for 3 in the table of expanse years, and add the
result to the number already corresponding to the 'root,' which is
calculated for the last day of December, 1397. Allow for months and days
afterwards. For a date earlier than 1397 the process is just reversed,
involving subtraction instead of addition.

46. This article is probably not Chaucer's. It is found in MS. Bodley 619,
and in MS. Addit. 29250. The text is from the former of these, collated
with the latter. What it asserts comes to this. Suppose it be noted, that
at a given place, there is a full flood when the moon is in a certain
quarter; say, e.g. when the moon is due east. And suppose that, at the time
of observation, the moon's actual longitude is such that it is in the first
point of Cancer. Make the label point due east; then bring the first point
of Cancer to the east by turning the _Rete_ a quarter of the way round. Let
the sun at the time be in the first point of Leo, and bring the label over
this point by the motion of the label only, keeping the _Rete_ fixed. The
label then points nearly to the 32nd degree near the letter Q, or about
S.E. by E.; shewing that the sun is S.E. by E. (and the moon consequently
due E.) at about 4 A.M. In fact, the article merely asserts that the moon's
place in the sky is known from the sun's place, if the difference of their
longitudes be known. At the time of conjunction, the moon and sun are
together, and the difference of their longitudes is zero, which much
simplifies the problem. If there is a flood tide when the moon is in the
E., there is another when it comes to the W., so that there is high water
_twice_ a day. It may be doubted whether this proposition is of much
practical utility.

41_a_: This comes to precisely the same as Art. 41, but is expressed with a
slight difference. See fig. 16, where, if _bc_ = 8, then BC = 12/8 EB.

41_b_: Merely another repetition of Art. 41. It is hard to see why it
should be thus repeated in almost the same words. If _bc_ = 8 in fig. 16,
then EB = 8/12 BC = 2/3 BC. The only difference is that it inverts the
equation in the last article.]

42_a_ This is only a particular case of Art. 42. If we can get _bc_ = 3,
and _b'c'_ = 4, the equations become EB = 4BC, E'B = 3BC; whence EE' = BC,
a very convenient result. See fig. 17.]

43_a_: The reading _versam_ (as in the MS.) is absurd. We must also read
'_nat_ come,' as, if the base were approachable, no such trouble need be
taken; see Art. 41. In fact, the present article is a mere repetition of
Art. 43, with different numbers, and with a slight difference in the method
of expressing the result. In fig. 18, if _b'c'_ = 3, _bc_ = 4, we have E'B
= 3/12 BC, EB = 4/12 BC; or, subtracting, EE' = (4-3)/12 BC; or BC = 12
EE'. Then add the height of E, viz. E_a_, which = AB.

42_b._: Here, 'by the craft of _Umbra Recta_' signifies, by a method
similar to that in the last article, for which purpose the numbers must be
adapted for computation by the _umbra recta_. Moreover, it is clear, from
fig. 17, that the numbers 4 and 3 (in lines 2 and 4) must be transposed. If
the side parallel to _b_E be called _nm_, and _mn_, E_c_ be produced to
meet in _o_, then _mo_ : _m_E :: _b_E : _bc_; or _mo_ : 12 :: 12 : _bc_; or
_mo_ = 144, divided by _bc_ (= 3) = 48. Similarly, _m'o'_ = 144, divided by
_b'c'_ (= 4) = 36. And, as in the last article, the difference of these is
to 12, as the space EE' is to the altitude. This is nothing but Art. 42 in
a rather clumsier shape.

Hence it appears that there are here but 3 independent propositions, viz.
those in articles 41, 42, and 43, corresponding to figs. 16, 17, and 18
respectively. Arts. 41_a_ and 41_b_ are mere repetitions of 41; 42_a_ and
42_b_, of 42; and 43_a_, of 43.


As, in the preceding pages which contain the text, the lower portion of
each page is occupied with a running commentary, such Critical Notes upon
the text as seem to be most necessary are here subjoined.

TITLE. Tractatus, &c.; adopted from the colophon. MS. F has 'tractatus
astrolabii.' A second title, 'Bred and mylk for childeren,' is in MSS. B.
and E.

[The MSS. are as follows:--A. Cambridge Univ. Lib. Dd. 3. 53.--B. Bodley, E
Museo 54.--C. Rawlinson 1370.--D. Ashmole 391.--E. Bodley 619.--F. Corpus
424.--G. Trin. Coll. Cam. R. 15. 18.--H. Sloane 314.--I. Sloane 261.--K.
Rawlinson Misc. 3.--L. Addit. 23002. (B. M.)--M. St. John's Coll. Cam.--N.
Digby 72.--O. Ashmole 360.--P. Camb. Univ. Lib. Dd. 12. 51.--Q. Ashmole
393.--R. Egerton 2622 (B. M.).--S. Addit. 29250 (B. M.) See the
descriptions of them in the Introduction.]

PROLOGUE. l. 26. thise B; þese C; _miswritten_ this A; see above, ll. 21,

32. curious BC; _miswritten_ curios A.

Many similar very slight alterations of spelling have been silently made in
the text, and are not worth specifying here. A complete list of them is
given in my edition of this treatise for the Early English Text Society. I
give, however, the real variations of reading. Thus, in l. 58, A. has _som_
for _sonne_; and in l. 64 omits the second _the_.

PART I. § 1, l. 3. wol B; wolde AC.

§ 2, l. 2. _Rowm_ is here an adjective, meaning _large_, _ample_. It is the
right reading; we find Rowm AB rowme C; rvm M.

§ 3, l. 1. AB _omit_ the.

§ 9, l. 3. nombre AB; nou_m_bre C; _but_ nombres _in old editions_.

§ 12, l. 5. The MSS. all[60] read--'_vmbra recta_ or elles _vmbra extensa_,
& the nether partie is cleped the _vmbra versa_.' This is certainly wrong.

§ 13, l. 2. a certein] _so in_ AB; CM _omit_ a. But Chaucer certainly uses
the phrase 'a certain'; cf. 'of unces a certain,' C. T., G 776; and see G

§ 14, ll. 2, 5. The word _halt_ for _holdeth_, and the expression
_to-hepe_, together, both occur in Troil. iii. 1764:--

  'And lost were al, that Love _halt_ now _to-hepe_.'

§ 17, l. 1. principal C; tropikal AB; M _om._ The reading _tropikal_ is
absurd, because there are but _two_ such; besides which, see l. 34 below.

17. the nyht (_over an erasure_) B; thee nyht (_over an erasure_) A; þe
ni[gh]tes C; þe ny[gh]tes M.

§ 20, l. 4. figure; _here (and sometimes elsewhere) miswritten_ vig_ur_ A.
Throughout the whole treatise, the scribe has commonly written 'vig_ur_';
in many places, it has been corrected to 'fig_ur_e.'

§ 21, l. 15. the (_before_ sterres) _supplied from_ BC.

27. where as C; wher AB.

56. ou_er_keruyd A; ou_er_kerued B; ou_er_kerueth (_the latter part of the
word over an erasure_) C; _first time only_.

PART II. § 2, l. 8. eu_er_ M; euere C; eu_er_y (_wrongly_) AB.

§ 3, ll. 31, 32. A _has_ 12 degres, _corrected to_ 18 degres; B. _has_ 12
degrees; C _has_ 18. The numbers in the MSS. in these propositions are
somewhat uncertain; it seems probable that some alteration was made by
Chaucer himself.

The readings in MS. B give one set of calculations, which are no doubt the
original ones; for in MS. A the same set is again found, but altered
throughout, by the scribe who drew the diagrams. The sets of readings are

Ll. 31, 32. 12 degrees B; _so in_ A, _but altered to_ 18; C _has_ 18.

37. passed 9 of the clokke the space of 10 degrees B; _so in_ A, _with_ 9
_altered to_ 8, _and_ 10 _altered to_ 2; C _has_ ij _for_ 9, _but agrees
with_ A _in the reading_ 2.

39. fond ther 10 degrees of taur_us_ B; _so in_ A _originally, but_ 10 _has
been corrected to_ 23, _and_ libra _is written over an erasure_. C _agrees
with neither, having_ 20 _for_ 10, _but agreeing with_ A _as to_ libra. The
later MSS. sometimes vary from all these.

42. an _supplied from_ C; AB _omit._

§ 4, l. 5. largest C; largesse AB.

6. upon C; vn (!) AB.

8. forseide degree of his longitude] forseyde same degre of hys longitude
C; forseid same gre of his longitude P; forseyde latitude his longitude
(_sic!_) AB.

9. planete ys C; _miswritten_ planetes AB, _but_ is _is added in margin of_

16. For '25 degrees,' all the MSS. have '15 degrees.' The mistake is
probably Chaucer's own; the correction was made by Mr. Brae, who remarks
that it is a mere translation from the Latin version of Ptolemy's
Tetrabiblos, which has--'Signum ascendentis, quod est a _quinque_ gradibus
qui super horizontem ante ipsum ascenderant usque ad _viginti quinque_ qui
ad ascendentem remanserint'; Lib. iii. c. 10. In fact, it is clear that 25
must be added to 5 to make up the extent of a 'house,' which was 30

16. ys like C; is lik P; _miswritten_ illyk AB.

17. in _is supplied from_ GM; ABC _omit it_.

23. _second_ the _supplied from_ CP; AB _omit_.

32. wel _supplied from_ CPM; AB _omit_.

36. than] þan CM; þenne P; AB _omit_.

40. _The number_ 10 _is supplied from_ C; AB _omit_.

42. some folk _supplied from_ CPG; AB _omit_.

44. yit is] AB _wrongly have_ yit it is; _but_ CPGM _omit_ it.

§ 5, l. 3. by 2 and 2 ACG; by 3 and 3 P; _left blank in_ B. Either reading
makes sense, but it is clear that divisions representing three degrees each
must have been very awkward.

10. of _supplied from_ CPGM: AB _omit_.

§ 6, l. 5. est C; west A (_which is absurd_); west (_corrected to_ est) B.

9. signe CGP; signes ABM.

§ 10, l. 3. than B; þan C; A _has_ & by nyht, _which is absurd_.

4, 5. A _omits_ day with the howr inequal of the, _which is supplied from_
BCP; _the number_ 30 _is also supplied from_ BCM, _as_ A _has a blank space
here_; see l. 10.

§ 11, l. 12. _The number_ 4 _is from_ CP; AB _omit; old edd._ fourthe.

13. ther _supplied from_ PM; þere C; AB _omit_.

§ 12, l. 1. the _supplied from_ BC; A _omits_.

8. _The figure_ 2 _is from_ BCP; G _has_ secunde; A _omits_.

§ 14, l. 9, 10. The last clause supplied from B.

§ 15, l. 6. pointe] point P; pointes A; pointz B; poy_n_tes C; _but grammar
requires the singular_.

9. the _supplied from_ CP; AB _omit_.

§ 16, l. 5. AB _wrongly insert_ the _before_ Cancer; CP _omit it_.

8. y-lyke] Ilyke G; ilik P; y-like C; ilke AB; see l. 7.

§ 17. _Latin rubric_; for _latitudinem_ (as in M) read _longitudinem_. l.
18. heued B; hed ACP; see sect. 16, l. 3. The word 'the' (rightly placed in
BCMP) is, in A, wrongly placed before 'Aries' instead of before 'ende.'

23. _second_ the] þe C; AB _omit_.

§ 19. _Latin Rubric_; for _orizon_ (as in M) read _statio_.

§ 20. _Latin Rubric_; the MS. (M) transposes the words _in_ and _a_, having
_a zodiaco in circulo_, which contradicts the sense.

§ 22. _Latin Rubric_; for _centri_ (as in M) read _regionis_.

§ 23, l. 21. The figure '8' is omitted in AB.

23. than] A _omits_; thanne _inserted afterwards in_ B.

§ 25, l. 3. _first_ the] _supplied from_ B; AC _omit_.

15. CP _om._ and 10 minutes.

16. CP _om._ and minutes out. _For_ 51 degrees and 50 minutes, C _has_ 52,
þan is 52 degrees; _and_ P _has_ 52. Þenne is .52. grees.

19. CP _om._ as I mighte prove.

20. the _supplied from_ CP; AB _om._

27. the firste degree] 10 degrees C; 10 gree P.

28. 58 degrees and 10 minutes] almost 56 C (_meaning_ 56 degrees); almost
.56. grees P.

29. almost 20] almost 18 C.

31. thee] C _om._ and odde Minutes] CP _om._

It thus appears that there is a second set of readings, involving a
different calculation. The second set supposes the Sun to be in the 10th
degree of Leo, his altitude to be 56°, and his declination 18°; the
difference, viz. 38°, is the complement of the latitude. Either set of
readings suits the sense, but the one in the text agrees best with the
former latitude, viz. 51°. 50'.

37. _After_ there, C _inserts_ 38 grees, þat is; _and omits the words_ of
the pole, 51 degrees and 50 minutes. But this is a mere repetition of the
'height of the Equinoctial,' and is obviously wrong. _After_ pole, _in_ l.
38, A _inserts_ an that, _which is unmeaning, and omitted in_ B.

§ 26, l. 8. Nearly all the MSS. omit from _Fertherover_ down to _right
orisonte_. The missing clause appears in MS. Bodley 619; I have not found
it elsewhere. It is obviously correct, and agrees sufficiently closely with
the conjectural addition by Mr. Brae, in his edition of Chaucer's
Astrolabe, p. 48.

§ 27, l. 2. _second_ the] _supplied from_ BCPM; A _om._

§ 28. _Latin Rubric._ MS. has _in recto circulo_; read _obliquo_.

3. set] sett C; sete P; AB _omit_.

11. these] þese C; thise B; the A.

23. ende] heed A; heued C. In fact, _heed_, _heued_, or _hed_ seems to be
the reading of all the MSS. and printed copies, and may have been a slip of
the pen in the first instance. The reading _ende_ is, however, amply
justified by its previous occurrence, four times over, in lines 10, 13, 16,
18. We thus have

  Six Northern signs. From _head_ of Aries to _end_ of Virgo.
  Six Southern signs. From _head_ of Libra to _end_ of Pisces.
  Six Tortuous signs. From _head_ of Capricorn to _end_ of Gemini.
  Six Direct signs. From _head_ of Cancer to _end_ of Sagittarius.

Opposite 'sagittare' is written 'sagittarie' in the margin of A, probably
as a correction; but it is left uncorrected in l. 27.

§ 29, l. 3. Turne thanne] Turne þan C; turn_e_ the thanne AB.

9. thou] þou C; two AB.

14. rewle] rule CP; _miswritten_ rewles AB; _see_ l. 9.

§ 30. l. 11. wey A; place C. _After_ zodiak C _inserts_--for on þe morowe
wol þe s_on_ne be in a-noþer degre þan þan, et cetera; P _inserts_--For yn
þe morowe wol þe sonne be yn an oþer gree, & norþ_er_ or souþ_er_ par
aventure. Nothing can be plainer than that 'the way of the sun' in this
passage means the small circle formed by the sun's apparent path during a
day; the text says expressly--'the wey wher as the sonne wente thilke day.'
We need not argue about the impossibility of a planet being found in 'the
way of the Sun' at midnight at the time of the Summer solstice, because
Chaucer makes no assertion whatever here about the relative positions of
the sun and planet; indeed, he carefully repeats 'if' three times. He is
only concerned with defining the phrase--'the latitude of a planet from the
way of the sun'; and in every possible case, it is clear that a planet can
be either (1) situate in the small circle called in the Latin rubric
_cursus solis_, or (2) to the north of such a circle, or (3) to the south
of such a circle. About this there need be no difficulty at all. It is all
copied from Messahala.

§ 31, l. 7. azimut] azymutz ABC; cf. sect. 32, l. 8.

§ 33, l. 2. Azimut] Azymutz ABC; minutis P; _the same error as in_ sect.
31, l. 7; _but see_ sect. 32, l. 8.

3. _second_ in] yn P; ABC _omit_.

4. the night] _so in_ AB; CP _om._ the.

§ 34. _English Rubric_; latitude for] _so in_ CP; latitude and for AB.

6. toucheth] touchiþ P; to which (_sic_) ABC; _see_ sect. 27, l. 6.

§ 35, l. 15. _After_ west side, AB _add_ & yf he be on the est syde, _a
mere superfluous repetition_; see l. 11.

17. sothly] soþly CP; _miswritten_ he settes (!) AB.

18. hir Episicle] _so in_ CP; _by an odd mistake_, AB _put_ hire _after_
manere, _instead of before_ Episicle.

§ 37, l. 10. than] þan C; AB _omit_. is] AS _omit; but it is obviously
wanted_; C _varies here_.

12. 12 house next] 12 hous next C; howses nex (_sic_) AB.

13. thanne] þan C; A _omits_. howse] hous C; howses AB.

17. AB _absurdly insert_ fro _before_ the byginning.

18. _first_ the] þe C; AB _omit_.

§ 38, l. 1. warpyng MP; werpynge C; weripinge (_sic_) A.

2. _first_ a CP; AB _omit_.

3, 4. an euene C; a enene AB (_twice_).

8. fro the centre; i.e. _above_ the centre. The length of the pin, measured
from the centre in which it is inserted, is to be not more than a quarter
of the diameter, or half the radius. This would make the ratio of the
gnomon to the shadow (or radius) to be one-half, corresponding to an
altitude _a_, where tan _a_ = ½; i.e. to an altitude of about 26½°. As
Chaucer talks about the sun's altitude being 25½° at about 9 o'clock, at
the time of the equinoxes (sect. 3), there is nothing that is particularly
absurd in the text of this section. For Mr. Brae's conjectural emendations,
see p. 56 of his edition.

16. tak thanne] _so in_ P; tak me thanne AB; take me þan C. But there seems
no sufficient reason for thus inserting _me_ here.

§ 39. At this point MS. A, which has so far, in spite of occasional errors
of the scribe, afforded a very fair text, begins to break down; probably
because the corrector's hand has not touched the two concluding sections,
although section 40 is much less corrupt. The result is worth recording, as
it shews what we may expect to find, even in good MSS. of the Astrolabe.
The section commences thus (the obvious misreadings being printed in

'This lyne M_e_ridional ys but a Man_er_ desc_r_ipc_i_on _or the_ ymagined,
that passeth vpon the pooles of þis _the_ world And by the cenyth of owre
heued / And hit is _the same_ lyne M_er_idional / for in what place þat any
maner man [_omission_] any tyme of the yer / whan that the sonne _schyneth
ony thing_ of the firmament cometh to his verrey _Middel lyne of the_ place
/ than is hit verrey Midday, þat we clepen owre noon,' &c.

It seems clear that this apparent trash was produced by a careless scribe,
who had a good copy before him; it is therefore not necessary to reject it
all as unworthy of consideration, but it is very necessary to correct it by
collation with other copies. And this is what I have done.

MS. B has almost exactly the same words; but the section is considerably
better, in general sense, in MSS. C and P, for which reason I here quote
from the former the whole section.

  [_Rawl. MS. Misc. 1370, fol. 40 b._]


  39. _conclusio._ This lyne meridional is but a man_er_ discripcio[=n] or
  lyne ymagyned, þat passeþ upon þe pooles of þis worlde, and by þe Cenith
  of oure heued. ¶ And yt is cleped þe lyne meridional, for in what place
  þat any man ys at any time of þe [gh]ere, whan þat þe so_n_ne by menynge
  of þe firmament come to his uerrey meridian place / þan is it þe u_er_rey
  mydday þat we clepe none, as to þilke man. And þerefore is yt cleped þe
  lyne of mydday. And no_ta_, þat eu_er_mo of any .2. citees or of 2
  townes, of which þat oo towne a-procheþ neer þe est þan doþ þe oþer
  towne, trust wel þat þilke townes han diuerse meridians. No_ta_ also, þat
  þe arche of þe equinoxial, þat is contened or bownded by-twixe þe two
  meridians, is cleped þe longitude of þe towne. ¶ & [gh]if so be / þat two
  townes haue I-like meridian or one merydian, ¶ Than ys þe distaunce of
  hem boþe I-like fer from þe est, & þe contrarye. And in þis maner þei
  chaunge not her meridyan, but soþly, þei chaungen her almyka_n_teras, For
  þe enhaunsynge of þe pool / and þe distau_n_ce of þe so_n_ne. ¶ The
  longitude of a clymate ys a lyne ymagyned fro þe est to þe west, I-like
  distaunte fro þe equinoxial. ¶ The latitude of a clymat may be cleped þe
  space of þe erþe fro þe by-gynnynge of þe first clymat unto þe ende of þe
  same clymat / euene-directe a-[gh]ens þe pool artyke. ¶ Thus seyn so_m_me
  auctours / and so_m_me clerkes seyn / þat [gh]if men clepen þe latitude
  of a contrey[61], þe arche mer[i]dian þat is contened or intercept
  by-twixe þe Cenyth & þe equinoxial; þan sey þei þat þe distaunce fro þe
  equinoxial unto þe ende of a clymat, euene[62] a-gaynes þe pool artik, is
  þe latitude off þ_a_t climat[62] forsoþe.

The corrections made in this section are here fully described.

1. of lyne P; of a line I; or lyne C; or the AB.

2. this] þis the AB, _absurdly;_ CP _omit_ the, _rightly_.

3. ycleped the] y-clupid þe P; cleped þe C; the same (_sic_) AB.

4. is at; _supplied from_ PCI; AB _omit_.

5. by moeving] by meuynge C; by mevyng PI; schyneth ony thing (_sic_) A;
schyned eny thing B; _for the spelling_ moeving, _see_ sect. 35, l. 5.

6. meridian CP; meridianale I; Middel lyne of the (_sic_) AB.

8. 2 citees CI; too citees P; any lynes (_sic_) AB.

9. aprocheth] a-procheþ C; ap_ro_chiþ P; _miswritten_ aprochid AB.

more toward] neer C; ner P; neerer I; thoward AB.

11. conteyned I; conteynyd P; contened C; consideer_e_d (_sic_) A; contined

13. yf P; [gh]if C; if it I; AB _omit_. N.B. It is best to use the spelling
_yif_, as the word is commonly so spelt in A.

22. same CPI; s_e_c_on_de AB. The reading _same_ is right; for the
'latitude of a climate' means the breadth of a zone of the earth, and the
latitude of the first climate (here chosen by way of example) is the
breadth as measured along a great circle perpendicular to the equator, from
the beginning of the said first climate to the end of _the same_. The words
'evene-directe agayns the poole Artik' mean in the direction of the North
pole; i.e. the latitude of a climate is reckoned from its beginning, or
_southernmost_ boundary-line, towards the end of the same, viz. its
_northern_ boundary-line.

22. þe poole Artik P; þe pool artyke C; the pole artike I; from north to
south AB. Observe that this singular error in A, 'euene direct_e_ agayns
from north to south,' probably arose from a confusion of the text 'euene
direct_e_ agayns þe poole Artik' with a gloss upon it, which was 'from
north to south.' It is important as throwing light on the meaning of the
phrase, and proving that the interpretation of it given above (note to l.
22) is correct.

24. intercept CP; intercepte I; except (_over an erasure_) AB.

The only reading about which there is any doubt is that in line 18, which
may be either 'illike distant by-twene them alle' (A), or 'I-like distaunte
fro þe equinoxial' (C). But it is immaterial which reading be adopted,
since _Illike-distant_ is here used merely in the sense of _parallel_, and
the boundaries of the climates are parallel both to one another, and to the
equinoctial. The climates themselves were of different breadths.

§ 40, l. 4. this samples AB; þese ensamples C.

5. for sothe] _miswritten_ for sonne AB; in gen_er_al C; yn special P; _the
reading_ sonne _points to_ sothe, _and makes it very probable that_ for
sothe _is the true reading_.

6. the longitude] þe longitude C; latitude AB (_absurdly_); see l. 11.

7. planete; _miswritten_ that A, _but corrected_ to planete _in the
margin_; C _has_ planete, _correctly_. The figure 6 is omitted in C; so are
all the other figures further on. him] hir C.

8. I tok] Than toke I C. 8, 16. 2 degrees A; 3 degrees B.

10. Than tok I] Than toke I C; _for_ tok AB _wrongly have_ stykke,
_afterwards altered to_ stokke _in_ A. _second_ the] _supplied from_ C,
_which has_ þe; AB _omit_.

23. the] þe C; AB _omit_.

27. prikke] prickes C; _perhaps_ prikkes _would be a better reading_.

29. AB _omit the figure_ 2; _but see_ l. 8.

31. in alle] in al C; A _has_ septe_n_t_r_ionalle, _an obvious mistake for_
septe_n_trional in alle, _by confusion of the syllable_ 'al' _in the former
with_ 'al' _in the latter word_; B _has_ septentrional, _omitting_ in alle.

34. signes C] tymes AB (_wrongly_); see l. 32.

46. _Perhaps_ evene _before_ of _should be omitted, as in_ C. AB _have_ in
the ende euene ou_er_ of thee, _where_ euene ouer _is repeated from the
former part of the line_.

47. F endlang] F endlonge C; A euene AB; _but see_ ll. 23, 24.

A _omits_ of _and_ degrees, _yet both are required_; BC _omit_ of 3 degrees

49. til] tyl þat C; tho AB (_absurdly_).

50. saw] sey C; may AB; _see_ l. 28.

56. hir] his ABC. a] ABC _omit_.

57. _At the word_ houre _four of the best_ MSS. _break off_, viz. MSS.
ABCE, _although_ E _adds one more section, viz._ sect. 46; _others come to
a sudden end even sooner_, viz. MSS. DFGHK. _But_ MS. P _carries us on to
the end of_ sect. 43, _and supplies the words_--þu shalt do wel ynow, _as
in the old editions_.

§ 41. 7. betwixe] be M (_wrongly_); betwixe R; by-twyx L.

M _inserts_ & _before_ to þe altitude; _a mere slip_. For; _miswritten_ Fro

8. thridde; _miswritten_ ridde M; þrydde R.

13. LM _wrongly place_ of _after_ the hey[gh]t _instead of before it_.

§ 42, l. 2. see] _so in_ LR; _miswritten_ sette M; see sect. 41, l. 4.

3. _second_ I] _so_ L; y R; M _omits_.

8. M _omits_ as, above, _and_ is þe; L _has_ 12 passethe 6 the.

11. seest] _so in_ LR; _miswritten_ settest M.

12. 60] _so in_ LNR; sexe M.

13. M _omits from_ 10 is _to_ 10 feet, _which is supplied from_ NLPR.

14. For] _so in_ LNR; fro M.

15. _For_ 2, M _has_ 6; _so also_ R. _For_ 3, M _has_ 4.

16. _For_ 2, M _has_ 6; _for_ 6, M _has_ 2; _and the words_ and 3 is 4
p_ar_tyes of 12 _are omitted, though_ L _has_--& 4 is the thrid p_ar_tye of

17. betwen R] by-twene L; bitwixe P; _miswritten_ be M; cf. sect. 41, 7.

19. thre R] 3 LP; _miswritten_ þe M.

§ 43. Rubric _in_ M, _Umbra Versa_; obviously a mistake for _Recta_. The
error is repeated in l. 1. LPR rightly read _Recta_.

3. M _omits_ 1, _which is supplied from_ LPR; see l. 5.

11. _After_ heythe (_as in_ M), LNR _add_ to thyn eye. _In place of lines_
9-11, P _has_--& so of all_e_ oþ_er_, &c.

§ 44. From MS. Digby 72 (N). Also in LMOR.

2. fro] _so in_ LO; for M.

3. into] _so in_ L; in M. for] _so in_ O; fro M.

6. [gh]eris M; LNO _omit_.

7. tabelis NO; table M; tables L.

8. where L; qwere O; wheþ_er_ N.

9. loke LM; N _omits_.

11, 2. NM _omit from_ or what _to_ or; _supplied from_ O, _which has_--or
qwat nombre þat euere it be, tyl þe tyme þat þ_o_u come to 20, or 40, or
60. _I have merely turned_ qwat _into_ what, _as in_ L, _which also has
this insertion_.

13. wreten N; _the alteration to_ wryte _is my own_; see l. 23.

under] _so in_ L; vndirneþe M.

14. to-geder] too-geder M; _miswritten_ to 2 degreis N; to the 2 degrees L.

15. hast M; _miswritten_ laste N; last L.

16. that (1); _supplied from_ M; LN _omit. For_ 1 (_as in_ M) LN _have_ 10.

21. to-gedere M; to the degreis N; 2 grees O; to degrees L.

22. that (2); _supplied from_ M; LNO _omit_.

lasse] passid LNO; M _omits_. Of course _passid_ is wrong, and equally of
course _lasse_ is right; see ll. 5, 6 above, and l. 25 below.

25. that] _so in_ L; þ_a_t MO; if h_i_t N.

27. entringe] e_n_tre M; entre L. ther] _so in_ M; _miswritten_ the [gh]ere
N; the [gh]eer L.

30. m_er_ydie LM; m_er_die N.

32. for LM; fro N (_twice_).

34. tha[gh]the N; have tau[gh]t M; have taw[gh]t O; haue tauht L.

36. the (1); _supplied from_ M; LNO _omit_.

w_i_t_h_ the] _so in_ M; wyche N; _see_ l. 36.

40. in (2)] in-to N; yn M.

§ 45. From MS. Digby 72 (N); also in LOR; but not in M.

4. that N; the L; þe O (_after_ wryte _in_ l. 3).

6. wrytou_n_ O; Iwyton N. _But_ L _has_ I wold wyttyn; _read_--I wolde
witen precise my rote; cf. ll. 19, 30.

8. 1397] _miswritten_ 1391 LN; O _has_ 1391, _corrected to_ 1397; see l. 3.

11. so[gh]th N; sowte O; sowthe L; _read_ soghte.

14. vnd_er_ N; vndyr-nethe O; vndre-nethe L.

20, 1. oþer i_n_ any oþ_er_ tyme or monyth N; or any oder tymys or monthys
O; or i_n_ eny other moneth L.

27. adde] _supplied from_ L; NO _omit_. There is no doubt about it, for see
l. 16.

31. wete the] _so in_ O; wete thi L; _miswritten_ with thy N; see l. 19.

35. and (3)] _supplied from_ LO; N _omits_.

§ 46, 5, 6. þat same E; þe same S.

10. it S; E _omits_.

13. þ_a_t same (_om._ tyme) E; þe same tyme S.

16. þ_o_u þan esely E; than shallt thou easly S.

17. tyme of E; tyme of the S.

20. S meve (_for_ bringe furþe).

§ 41_a_. This and the remaining sections are certainly spurious. They occur
in LMNR, the first being also found in O. The text of 41_a_-42_b_ is from

3. hast] _supplied from_ LR; M _omits_.

§ 42_a_, 1. heyth by þy N; heyth by the L; heythe bi þi R; M _om._

4. lyk] lykk M; L. _omits_. mete] mette M; mett L.

9. is L; _miswritten_ bys M.

§ 43_a_, 1. nat] not R; nott L; M _omits_; see the footnote. In the rubric,
M has _versam_; but L has the rubric--_Vmbra Recta_.

§ 42_b_, 5. as] _so in_ LR; _miswritten_ & M.

6. 4 _is supplied from_ LR; M _omits_.



Written in three Books; but I number the lines consecutively throughout,
for convenience; at the same time giving the _separate_ numbering (of Books
II. and III.) within marks of parenthesis. The title of the poem is
expressly given at l. 663. The author gives his name as Geffrey; l. 729.

Lydgate's Temple of Glass is partly imitated from the House of Fame;
Warton, Hist. E. Poetry, 1871, iii. 61. The same is true of the Palice of
Honour, by Gawain Douglas. For further remarks, see the Introduction.

As the poem is not quite easy to follow, I here subjoin a brief Argument of
its contents.

BOOK I. A discussion on dreams. I will tell you my dream on the 10th of
December. But first let me invoke Morpheus. May those who gladly hear me
have joy; but may those who dislike my words have as evil a fate as
Croesus, King of Lydia! (1-110).

I slept, and dreamt I was in a temple of glass, dedicated to Venus. On a
table of brass I found the opening words of Vergil's Æneid; after which I
saw the destruction of Troy, the death of Priam, the flight of Æneas, the
loss of Creusa, the voyage of Æneas to Italy, the storm at sea sent by
Juno, the arrival of Æneas at Carthage, how kindly Dido received him, and
how Æneas betrayed and left her, causing Dido's lament and suicide. Similar
falsehood was seen in Demophon, Achilles, Paris, Jason, Hercules, and
Theseus. Next, Æneas sailed to Italy, and lost Palinurus; he visited the
lower regions, where he saw Anchises, Palinurus, Dido, and Deiphobus.
Afterwards he warred in Italy, slew Turnus, and won Lavinia (111-467).

After this I went out of the temple, and found a large plain. Looking up, I
saw an eagle above me, of enormous size and having golden feathers

BOOK II. Such a strange vision as mine never appeared to Scipio,
Nebuchadnezzar, Pharaoh, or Turnus. O Venus and Muses, help me to tell it!
The great eagle swooped down upon me, seized me, and bore me aloft, and
told me (in a man's voice) not to be afraid. I thought I was being borne up
to the stars, like Enoch or Ganymede. The eagle then addressed me, and told
me some events of my own life, and said that he would bear me to the House
of Fame, where I should hear many wonderful things (509-710).

The House stood in the midst, between heaven, earth, and sea; and all
sounds travelled thither, 'Geoffrey,' said he, 'you know how all things
tend to seek their own proper place; a stone sinks down, while smoke flies
up. Sound is merely broken air, and if you would know how all sounds come
to Fame's House, observe how, when a stone is thrown into water, the rings
made by the ripples extend from the spot where it fell till they reach the
shore. Just so all earthly sounds travel till they reach Fame's House.' He
then bade me look below me, and asked what I saw. I saw fields, hills,
rivers, towns, and sea; but soon he had soared so high that the earth
dwindled to a point. I was higher up (I said) than ever was Alexander,
Scipio, or Dædalus. He then bade me look upward; I saw the zodiac, the
milky way, and clouds, snows, and rain beneath me. Then I thought of the
descriptions of heaven in Boethius and Marcian. The eagle would have taught
me the names of the stars; I refused to learn. He then asked if I could now
hear the sounds that murmured in the House of Fame. I said they sounded
like the beating of the sea on rocks (711-1045).

Then he set me down upon my feet in a way that led to the House, and bade
me go forward; observing that I should find that the _words_ that flew
about in Fame's House assumed the outward forms of the _men_ upon earth who
uttered them (1046-90).

BOOK III. Apollo, aid me to write this last book! My rime is artless; I aim
at expressing my thoughts only (1091-1109).

The House of Fame stood high upon a lofty rock, which I climbed
laboriously. The rock was formed of ice. On the southern side it was
covered with names, many of the letters of which were melted away. On the
northern side, it was likewise covered with names, which remained unmelted
and legible. On the top of the mountain I found a beautiful House, which I
cannot describe though I remember it. It was all of beryl, and full of
windows. In niches round about were harpers and minstrels, such as Orpheus,
Arion, Chiron, and Glasgerion. Far from these, by themselves, was a vast
crowd of musicians. There were Marsyas, Misenus, Joab, and others. In other
seats were jugglers, sorcerers, and magicians; Medea, Circe, Hermes, and
Coll Tregetour. I next beheld the golden gates. Then I heard the cries of
those that were heralds to the goddess Fame. How shall I describe the great
hall, that was plated with gold, and set with gems? High on a throne of
ruby sat the goddess, who at first seemed but a dwarf, but presently grew
so that she reached, from earth to heaven. Her hair was golden, and she was
covered with innumerable ears and tongues. Her shoulders sustained the
names of famous men, such as Alexander and Hercules. On either side of the
hall were huge pillars of metal. On the first of these, composed of lead
and iron, was the Jew Josephus; the iron was the metal of Mercury, and the
lead of Saturn. Next, on an iron pillar, was Statius; and on other iron
pillars were Homer, Dares, Dictys, Guido, and the English Geoffrey, who
upbore the fame of Troy. On a pillar of iron, but covered over with tin,
was Vergil; and beside him Ovid and Lucan. On a pillar of sulphur stood
Claudian (1110-1512).

Next I saw a vast company, all worshipping Fame. These she rejected, but
would say of them neither good nor bad. She then sent a messenger to fetch
Æolus, the god of wind, who should bring with him two trumpets, namely of
Praise and Slander. Æolus, with his man Triton, came to Fame. And when many
undeserving suppliants approached her, she bade Æolus blow his black trump
of Slander. He did so, and from it there issued a stinking smoke; and so
this second company got renown, but it was evil. A third company sued to
her, and she bade Æolus blow his golden trump of Praise. Straightway he did
so, and the blast had a perfume like that of balm and roses. A fourth
company, a very small one, asked for no fame at all, and their request was
granted. A fifth company modestly asked for no fame, though they had done
great things; but Fame bade Æolus blow his golden trumpet, till their
praise resounded everywhere. A sixth company of idle men, who had done no
good, asked for fame; and their request was granted. A seventh company made
the same request; but Fame reviled them; Æolus blew his black trump, and
all men laughed at them. An eighth company, of wicked men, prayed for good
fame; but their request was refused. A ninth company, also of wicked men,
prayed for a famous but evil name, and their request was granted. Among
them was the wretch who set on fire the temple at Athens (1513-1867).

Then some man perceived me, and began to question me. I explained that I
had come to learn strange things, and not to gain fame. He led me out of
the castle and into a valley, where stood the house of Dædalus (i.e. the
house of Rumour). This strange house was made of basket-work, and was full
of holes, and all the doors stood wide open. All sorts of rumours entered
there, and it was sixty miles long. On a rock beside it I saw my eagle
perched, who again seized me, and bore me into it through a window. It
swarmed with people, all of whom were engaged in telling news; and often
their stories would fly out of a window. Sometimes a truth and a lie would
try to fly out together, and became commingled before they could get away.
Every piece of news then flew to Fame, who did as she pleased with each.
The house of Dædalus was thronged with pilgrims, pardoners, couriers, and
messengers, and I heard strange things. In one corner men were telling
stories about love, and there was a crush of men running to hear them. At
last I saw a man whom I knew not; but he seemed to be one who had great
authority--(_here the poem ends, being incomplete_; ll. 1868-2158).

The general idea of the poem was plainly suggested by the description of
Fame in Vergil, the house of Fame as described near the beginning of the
twelfth book of Ovid's Metamorphoses, and various hints in Dante's Divina
Commedia. For a close and searching comparison between the House of Fame
and Dante's great poem, see the article by A. Rambeau in Engl. Studien,
iii. 209.

1. For this method of commencing a poem with a dream, compare The Book of
the Duchesse, Parl. of Foules, and The Romance of the Rose.

For discourses on dreams, compare the Nonne Preestes Tale, and the remarks
of Pandarus in Troilus, v. 358-385. Chaucer here propounds several
problems; first, what causes dreams (a question answered at some length in
the Nonne Preestes Tale, B 4116); why some come true and some do not
(discussed in the same, B 4161); and what are the various sorts of dreams
(see note to l. 7 below).

There is another passage in Le Roman de la Rose, which bears some
resemblance to the present passage. It begins at l. 18699:--

 'Ne ne revoil dire des songes,
  S'il sunt voirs, ou s'il sunt mençonges;
  Se l'en les doit du tout eslire,
  Ou s'il sunt du tout à despire:
  Porquoi li uns sunt plus orribles,
  Plus bel li autre et plus paisible,
  Selonc lor apparicions
  En diverses complexions,
  Et selonc lors divers corages
  Des meurs divers et des aages;
  Ou se Diex par tex visions
  Envoie revelacions,
  Ou li malignes esperiz,
  Por metre les gens en periz;
  De tout ce ne m'entremetrai.'

2. This long sentence ends at line 52.

7. This opens up the question as to the divers sorts of dreams. Chaucer
here evidently follows Macrobius, who, in his Commentary on the Somnium
Scipionis, lib. i. c. 3, distinguishes _five kinds_ of dreams, viz.
_somnium_, _visio_, _oraculum_, _insomnium_, and _visum_. The fourth kind,
_insomnium_, was also called _fantasma_; and this provided Chaucer with the
word _fantome_ in l. 11. In the same line, _oracles_ answers to the Lat.
_oracula_. Cf. Ten Brink, Studien, p. 101.

18. _The gendres_, the (various) kinds. This again refers to Macrobius, who
subdivides the kind of dream which he calls _somnium_ into five species,
viz. _proprium_, _alienum_, _commune_, _publicum_, and _generale_,
according to the things to which they relate. _Distaunce of tymes_, i.e.
whether the thing dreamt of will happen soon, or a long time afterwards.

20. 'Why this is a greater (more efficient) cause than that.'

21. This alludes to the four chief complexions of men; cf. Nonne Preestes
Tale, B 4114. The four complexions were the sanguine, phlegmatic,
melancholy, and choleric; and each complexion was likely to have certain
sorts of dreams. Thus, in the Nonne Preestes Tale, B 4120, the _choleric_
man is said to dream of arrows, fire, fierce carnivorous beasts, strife,
and dogs; whilst the _melancholy_ man will dream of bulls and bears and
black devils.

22. _Reflexiouns_, the reflections or thoughts to which each man is most
addicted; see Parl. of Foules, 99-105.

24. 'Because of too great feebleness of their brain (caused) by
abstinence,' &c.

43. _Of propre kynde_, owing to its own nature.

48. The _y_ in _By_ is run on to the _a_ into _avísióuns_.

53. 'As respects this matter, may good befall the great clerks that treat
of it.' Of these great clerks, Macrobius was one, and Jean de Meun another.
Vincent of Beauvais has plenty to say about dreams in his Speculum
Naturale, lib. xxvi.; and he refers us to Aristotle, Gregory (Moralia, lib.
viii.), Johannes de Rupella, Priscianus (ad Cosdroe regem Persarum)
Augustinus (in Libro de diuinatione dæmonum), Hieronimus (super Matheum,
lib. ii.), Thomas de Aquino, Albertus, &c.

58. Repeated (nearly) from l. 1.

63. I here give the text as restored by Willert, who shows how the
corruptions in ll. 62 and 63 arose. First of all _dide_ was shifted into l.
62, giving _as dide I_; as in Caxton's print. Next, an additional _now_ was
put in place of _dide_ in l. 63; as in P., B., F., and Th., and _dide_ was
dropped alltogether. After this, F. turned the _now_ of l. 64 into _yow_,
and Cx. omitted it. See also note to l. 111.

64. 'Which, as I can (best) now remember.'

68. Pronounced fully:--With spé-ci-ál de-vó-ci-óun.

69. Morpheus; see Book of Duch. 137. From Ovid, Met. xi. 592-612; esp. ll.
602, 3:--

     'Saxo tamen exit ab imo
  Riuus aquae Lethes.'

73. 'Est prope Cimmerios,' &c.; Met. xi. 592.

75. See Ovid, Met. xi. 613-5; 633.

76. _That ... hir_ is equivalent to _whose_; cf. Kn. Tale, 1852.

81. Cf. 'Colui, che tutto move,' i.e. He who moves all; Parad. i. 1.

88. Read _povért_; cf. Clerkes Tale, E 816.

92. MSS. _misdeme_; I read _misdemen_, to avoid an hiatus.

93. Read _málicióus_.

98. 'That, whether he dream when bare-footed or when shod'; whether in bed
by night or in a chair by day; i.e. in every case. The _that_ is
idiomatically repeated in l. 99.

105. The dream of Croesus, king of Lydia, and his death vpon a gallows,
form the subject of the last story in the Monkes Tale. Chaucer got it from
the Rom. de la Rose, which accounts for the form _Lyde_. The passage occurs
at l. 6513:--

              'Cresus ...
  Qui refu roi de toute _Lyde_, ...
  Qu'el vous vuet faire au _gibet_ pendre.'

109, 10. The rime is correct, because _abreyd_ is a _strong_ verb. Chaucer
does not rime a pp. with a _weak_ pt. tense, which should have a final _e_.
According to Mr. Cromie's Rime-Index, there is just _one_ exception, viz.
in the Kn. Tale, A 1383, where the pt. t. _seyde_ is rimed with the 'pp.
_leyde_.' But Mr. Cromie happens to have overlooked the fact that _leyde_
is here _not_ the pp., but the _past tense_! Nevertheless, _abreyd-e_ also
appears in a _weak_ form, by confusion with _leyd-e_, _seyd-e_, &c.; see C.
T., B 4198, E 1061. Cf. Book of the Duchess, 192. In l. 109, he refers to
l. 65.

111. Here again, as in l. 63, is a mention of Dec. 10. Ten Brink (Studien,
p. 151) suggests that it may have been a _Thursday_; cf. the mention of
_Jupiter_ in ll. 608, 642, 661. If so, the year was 1383.

115. 'Like one that was weary with having overwalked himself by going two
miles on pilgrimage.' The difficulty was not in the walking two miles, but
in doing so under difficulties, such as going barefoot for penance.

117. _Corseynt_; O.F. _cors seint_, lit. holy body; hence a saint or
sainted person, or the shrine where a saint was laid. See Robert of Brunne,
Handlyng Synne, 8739:--

 'And hys ymage ful feyre depeynte,
  Ry[gh]t as he were a _cors seynt_.'

See also P. Plowman, B. v. 539; Morte Arthure, 1164; and (the spurious)
Chaucer's Dream, 942.

118. 'To make that soft (or easy) which was formerly hard.' The allusion is
humorous enough; viz. to the bonds of matrimony. Here again Chaucer follows
Jean de Meun, Rom. de la Rose, 8871:--

 'Mariages est maus liens,
  Ainsinc m'aïst saint Juliens
  Qui pelerins errans herberge,
  Et saint Lienart qui defferge
  Les prisonniers bien repentans,
  Quant les voit à soi démentans';

i.e. 'Marriage is an evil bond--so may St. Julian aid me, who harbours
wandering pilgrims; and St. Leonard, who frees from their fetters (lit.
un-irons) such prisoners as are very repentant, when he sees them giving
themselves the lie (or recalling their word).' The 'prisoners' are married
people, who have repented, and would recall their plighted vow.

St. Leonard was the patron-saint of captives, and it was charitably hoped
that he would extend his protection to the wretched people who had
unadvisedly entered into wedlock, and soon prayed to get out of it again.
They would thus exchange the _hard_ bond for the _soft_ condition of
freedom. 'St. Julian is the patron of pilgrims; St. Leonard and St. Barbara
protect captives'; Brand, Pop. Antiquities, i. 359. And, at p. 363 of the
same, Brand quotes from Barnabee Googe:--

 'But Leonerd of the prisoners doth the bandes asunder pull,
  And breaks the prison-doores and chaines, wherewith his church is full.'

St. Leonard's day is Nov. 6.

119. The MSS. have _slept-e_, which is dissyllabic. Read _sleep_, as in C.
T. Prol. 397.

120. Hence the title of one of Lydgate's poems, The Temple of Glass, which
is an imitation of the present poem.

130. Cf. the description of Venus' temple (Cant. Tales, A 1918), which is
imitated from that in Boccaccio's Teseide.

133. Cf. 'naked fleting in the large see.... And on hir heed, ful semely
for to see, A rose garland, fresh and wel smellinge'; Cant. Tales, A 1956.

137. 'Hir dowves'; C. T., A 1962. 'Cupido'; id. 1963.

138. _Vulcano_, Vulcan; note the Italian forms of these names. Boccaccio's
Teseide has _Cupido_ (vii. 54), and _Vulcano_ (vii. 43). His face was brown
with working at the forge.

141, 2. Cf. Dante, Inf. iii. 10, 11.

143. A large portion of the rest of this First Book is taken up with a
summary of the earlier part of Vergil's Aeneid. We have here a translation
of the well-known opening lines:--

 'Arma uirumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
  Italiam, fato profugus, Lauinia uenit

147. _In_, into, unto; see note to l. 366.

152. _Synoun_, Sinon; Aen. ii. 195.

153. I supply _That_, both for sense and metre.

155. _Made the hors broght_, caused the horse to be brought. On this idiom,
see the note to Man of Lawes Tale, B 171.

158. _Ilioun_, Ilium. _Ilium_ is only a poetical name for Troy; but the
medieval writers often use it in the restricted sense of the citadel of
Troy, where was the temple of Apollo and the palace of Priam. Thus, in the
alliterative Troy-book, 11958, _ylion_ certainly has this sense; and Caxton
speaks of 'the palays of _ylyon_'; see Spec. of English, ed. Skeat, p. 94.
See also the parallel passage in the Nonne Preestes Tale, B 4546. Still
more clearly, in the Leg. Good Women (Dido, 13), Chaucer says, of 'the tour
of Ilioun,' that it 'of the citee was the cheef dungeoun.' In l. 163 below,
it is called _castel_.

160. _Polites_, Polites; Aen. ii. 526. Also spelt _Polite_ in Troil. iv.

163. _Brende_, was on fire; used intransitively, as in l. 537.

164-73. See Aen. ii. 589-733.

174. Read _this_, rather than _his_. Cf. Aen. ii. 736.

177. Iulus and Ascanius were one and the same person; see Æn. i. 267.
Perhaps Ch. was misled by the wording of Æn. iv. 274. (On the other hand,
Brutus was _not_ the same person as Cassius; see Monkes Tale, B 3887).
Hence, Koch proposes to read _That hight_ instead of _And eek_; but we have
no authority for this. However, Chaucer has it right in his Legend of Good
Women, 941; and in l. 192 below, we find _sone_, not _sones_; hence l. 178
may be merely parenthetical.

182. _Wente_, foot-path; Aen. ii. 737. Cf. Book Duch. 398.

184. 'So that she was dead, but I know not how.' Vergil does not say _how_
she died.

185. _Gost_, ghost; see Aen. ii. 772.

189. Repeated from l. 180.

198. Here Chaucer returns to the first book of the Æneid, which he follows
down to l. 255.

204. 'To blow forth, (with winds) of all kinds'; cf. Æn. i. 85.

219. _Ioves_, Jove, Jupiter. This curious form occurs again, ll. 586, 597,
630; see note to l. 586. Boccaccio has _Giove_.

226. _Achatee_ (trisyllabic), Achates, Æn. i. 312; where the abl. form
_Achate_ occurs.

239. The story of Dido is told at length in Le Rom. de la Rose, 13378; in
The Legend of Good Women; and in Gower, Conf. Amantis, bk. iv., ed. Pauli,
ii. 4. Chaucer now passes on to the fourth book of the Æneid, till he comes
to l. 268 below.

265. 'Mès ja ne verrés d'aparence Conclurre bonne consequence'; Rom. Rose,

272. 'It is not all gold that glistens.' A proverb which Chaucer took from
Alanus de Insulis; see note to Can. Yem. Tale, G 962.

273. 'For, as sure as I hope to have good use of my head.' _Brouke_ is,
practically, in the optative mood. Cf. 'So mote I brouke wel myn eyen
tweye'; Cant. Ta., B 4490; so also E 2308. The phrase occurs several times
in the Tale of Gamelyn; see note to l. 334 of that poem.

280-3. These four lines occur in Thynne's edition only, but are probably
quite genuine. It is easy to see why they dropped out; viz. owing to the
repetition of the word _finde_ at the end of ll. 279 and 283. This is a
very common cause of such omissions. See note to l. 504.

286. _By_, with reference to.

288. _Gest_, guest; Lat. _aduena_, Æn. iv. 591.

290. 'He that fully knows the herb may safely lay it to his eye.' So in
Cotgrave's Dict., s.v. _Herbe_, we find; '_L'herbe qu'on cognoist, on la
doit lier à son doigt_; Prov. Those, or that, which a man knowes best, he
must use most.'

305. In the margin of MSS. F. and B. is here written:--'Cauete uos,
innocentes mulieres.'

315. _Swete herte_; hence E. _sweetheart_; cf. l. 326.

321. Understand _ne_ (i.e. neither) before _your love_. Cf. Æn. iv. 307, 8.

329. I have no hesitation in inserting _I_ after _Agilte_, as it is
absolutely required to complete the sense. Read--_Agílt' I yów_, &c.

343. Pronounce _détermínen_ (_i_ as _ee_ in _beet_).

346. Cf. Æn. iv. 321-3.

350. 'Fama, malum quo non aliud _uelocius_ ullum,' Æn. iv. 174; quoted in
the margin of MSS. F. and B.

351. 'Nichil occultum quod non reueletur'; Matt. x. 26: quoted in the
margin of MSS. F. and B.

355. _Seyd y-shamed be_, said to be put to shame.

359. _Eft-sones_, hereafter again. In the margin of MSS. F. and B. we here
find:--'Cras poterunt turpia fieri sicut heri.' By reading _fieri turpia_,
this becomes a pentameter; but it is not in Ovid, nor (I suppose) in
classical Latin.

361. _Doon_, already done. _To done_, yet to be done. Cf. Book Duch. 708.

366. I read _in_ for _into_ (as in the MSS.). For similar instances, where
the scribes write _into_ for _in_, see Einenkel, Streifzüge durch die
Mittelengl. Syntax, p. 145. Cf. l. 147.

367. In the margin of MSS. F. and B. is an incorrect quotation of Æn. iv.
548-9:--'tu prima furentem His, germana, malis oneras.'

378. _Eneidos_; because the books are headed _Æneidos liber primus_, &c.

379. See Ovid, Heroides, Epist. vii--Dido Æneæ.

380. _Or that_, ere that, before.

381. Only Th. has the right reading, viz. _And nere it to longe to endyte_
(where _longe_ is an error for _long_). The expressions _And nor hyt were_
and _And nere it were_ are both ungrammatical. _Nere_ = _ne were_, were it

388. In the margin of F. and B. we find:--'Nota: of many vntrewe louers.
Hospita, Demaphoon, tua te R[h]odopeia Phyllis Vltra promissum tempus
abesse queror.' These are the first two lines of Epistola ii. in Ovid's
_Heroides_, addressed by Phyllis to Demophoon. All the examples here given
are taken from the same work. Epist. iii. is headed _Briseis Achilli_;
Epist. v., _Oenone Paridi_; Epist. vi., _Hypsipyle Iasoni_; Epist. xii.,
_Medea Iasoni_; Epist. ix., _Deianira Herculi_; Epist. x., _Ariadne
Theseo_. These names were evidently suggested by the reference above to the
same work, l. 379. See the long note to Group B, l. 61, in vol. v.

Demophoon, son of Theseus, was the lover of Phyllis, daughter of king
Sithon in Thrace; she was changed into an almond-tree.

392. _His terme pace_, pass beyond or stay behind his appointed time. He
said he would return in a month, but did not do so. See the story in The
Legend of Good Women. Gower (ed. Pauli, iii. 361) alludes to her story, in
a passage much like the present one; and in Le Rom. de la Rose, 13417, we
have the very phrase--'Por _le terme qu'il trespassa_.'

397. In the margin of F. and B.:--'Ouidius. Quam legis a rapta Briseide
litera venit'; Heroid. Ep. iii. 1.

401. In the same:--'Ut [_miswritten_ Vbi] tibi Colc[h]orum memini regina
uacaui'; Heroid. Ep. xii. 1. For the accentuation of _Medea_, cf. Leg. of
Good Women, 1629, 1663.

402. In the margin of F. and B.:--'Gratulor Oechaliam'; Heroid. Ep. ix. 1;
but _Oechaliam_ is miswritten _yotholia_.

405. Gower also tells this story; ed. Pauli, ii. 306.

407. In F. and B. is quoted the first line of Ovid, Heroid. x. 1.
_Adriane_, Ariadne; just as in Leg. Good Wom. 2171, &c., and in C. T.,
Group B, l. 67. Gower has _Adriagne_.

409. 'For, whether he had laughed, or whether he had frowned'; i.e. in any
case. Cf. l. 98.

411. 'If it had not been for Ariadne.' We have altered the form of this

416. _Yle_, isle of Naxos; see notes to Leg. Good Wom. 2163, and C. T.,
Group B, l. 68 (in vol. v.).

426. _Telles_ is a Northern and West-Midland form, as in Book Duch. 73. Cf.
_falles_, id. 257. A similar admixture of forms occurs in Havelok, Will. of
Palerne, and other M.E. poems.

429. _The book_, i.e. Vergil; Æn. iv. 252.

434. _Go_, gone, set out; correctly used. Chaucer passes on to Æneid, bk.
v. The _tempest_ is that mentioned in Æn. v. 10; the _steersman_ is
Palinurus, who fell overboard; Æn. v. 860.

439. See Æn. bk. vi. The _isle_ intended is Crete, Æn. vi. 14, 23; which
was not at all near (or 'besyde') Cumæ, but a long way from it. Æneas then
descends to hell, where he sees Anchises (vi. 679); Palinurus (337); Dido
(450); Deiphobus, son of Priam (495); and the tormented souls (580).

447. _Which_ refers to the various sights in hell.

449. _Claudian_, Claudius Claudianus, who wrote De raptu Proserpinae about
A.D. 400. _Daunte_ is Dante, with reference to his Inferno, ii. 13-27, and
Paradiso, xv. 25-27.

451. Chaucer goes on to Æn. vii-xii, of which he says but little.

458. _Lavyna_ is Lavinia; the form _Lavina_ occurs in Dante, Purg. xvii.

468. I put _seyën_ for _seyn_, to improve the metre; cf. P. Pl. C. iv. 104.

474. 'But I do not know who caused them to be made.'

475. Read _ne in_ as _nin_; as in Squi. Tale, F 35.

482. This waste space corresponds to Dante's 'gran diserto,' Inf. i. 64;
or, still better, to his 'landa' (Inf. xiv. 8), which was too sterile to
support plants. So again, l. 486 corresponds to Dante's 'arena arida e
spessa,' which has reference to the desert of Libya; Inf. xiv. 13.

487. 'As fine [said of the sand] as one may see still lying.' Jephson says
_yet_ must be a mistake, and would read _yt_. But it makes perfect sense.
Cx. Th. read _at eye_ (put for _at yë_) instead of _yet lye_, which is
perhaps better. _At yë_ means 'as presented to the sight'; see Kn. Ta., A

498. _Kenne_, discern. The offing at sea has been called the _kenning_; and
see _Kenning_ in Halliwell.

500. _More_, greater. Imitated from Dante, Purgat. ix. 19, which Cary
translates thus:--

 'Then, in a vision, did I seem to view
  A golden-feather'd eagle in the sky,
  With open wings, and hovering for descent.'

Cf. also the descent of the angel in Purg. ii. 17-24.

504-7. The omission of these lines in F. and B. is simply due to the scribe
slipping from _bright_ in l. 503 to _brighte_ in l. 507. Cf. note to l.


511. _Listeth_, pleases, is pleased; the alteration (in MS. F.) to
_listeneth_ is clearly wrong, and due to confusion with _herkneth_ above.
(I do not think _listeth_ is the imp. pl. here.)

514. _Isaye_, Isaiah; actually altered, in various editions, to _I saye_,
as if it meant 'I say.' The reference is to 'the vision of Isaiah'; Isa. i.
1; vi. 1. _Scipioun_, Scipio; see note to Parl. Foules, 31, and cf. Book of
the Duch. 284.

515. _Nabugodonosor_, Nebuchadnezzar. The same spelling occurs in the
Monkes Tale (Group B, 3335), and is a mere variant of the form
_Nabuchodonosor_ in the Vulgate version, Dan. i-iv. Gower has the same
spelling; Conf. Amant. bk. i., near the end.

516. _Pharo_; spelt _Pharao_ in the Vulgate, Gen. xli. 1-7. See Book of the
Duchesse, 280-3.

_Turnus_; alluding to his vision of Iris, the messenger of Juno; Æneid ix.
6. _Elcanor_; this name somewhat resembles _Elkanah_ (in the Vulgate,
_Elcana_), 1 Sam. i. 1; but I do not know where to find any account of his
vision, nor do I at all understand who is meant. The name _Alcanor_ occurs
in Vergil, but does not help us.

518. _Cipris_, Venus, goddess of Cyprus; called _Cipryde_ in Parl. Foules,
277. Dante has _Ciprigna_; Par. viii. 2.

519. _Favour_, favourer, helper, aid; not used in the ordinary sense of
Lat. _fauor_, but as if it were formed from O.F. _faver_, Lat. _fauere_, to
be favourable to. Godefroy gives an example of the O.F. verb _faver_ in
this sense.

521. _Parnaso_; the spelling is imitated from the Ital. _Parnaso_, i.e.
Parnassus, in Dante, Par. i. 16. So also _Elicon_ is Dante's _Elicona_,
i.e. Helicon, Purg. xxix. 40. But the passage in Dante which Chaucer here
especially imitates is that in Inf. ii. 7-9:--

 'O Muse, o alto ingegno, or m' aiutate;
  O mente, che scrivesti ciò ch' io vidi,
  Qui si parrà la tua nobilitate.'

This Cary thus translates:--

 'O Muses! O high genius, now vouchsafe
  Your aid. O mind, that all I saw hast kept
  Safe in a written record, here thy worth
  And eminent endowments come to proof.'

Hence _ye_ in l. 520 answers to Dante's _Muse_, the Muses; and _Thought_ in
l. 523 answers to Dante's _mente_, Cf. also Parad. xviii. 82-87. And see
the parallel passage in Anelida, 15-19.

The reason why Chaucer took _Helicon_ to be a well rather than a mountain
is because Dante's allusion to it is dubiously worded; see Purg. xxix. 40.

528. _Engyn_ is accented on the latter syllable, as in Troil. ii. 565, iii.

529. _Egle_, the eagle in l. 499; cf. ll. 503-7.

534. Partly imitated from Dante, Purg. ix. 28-30:--

 'Poi mi parea che, più rotata un poco,
  Terribil come fulgor discendesse,
  E me rapisse suso infino al foco.'

Cary's translation is:--

 'A little wheeling in his aëry tour,
  Terrible as the lightning, rushed he down,
  And snatch'd me upward even to the fire.'

But Chaucer follows still more closely, and verbally, a passage in
Machault's Jugement du Roi de Navarre, ed. Tarbé, 1849, p. 72, which has
the words--

                       'la foudre
  Que mainte ville mist en poudre';

i.e. literally, 'the _foudre_ (thunder-bolt) which reduces many a town to
powder.' Machault nearly repeats this; ed. Tarbé, p. 97.

Curiously enough, almost the same words occur in Boethius, bk. i. met. 4,
where Chaucer's translation has:--'ne þe wey of thonder-leyt, that is wont
to smyten heye toures.' It hence appears that Chaucer copies Machault, and
Machault translates Boethius. There are some curious M.E. verses on the
effects of thunder in Popular Treatises on Science, ed. Wright, p. 136.

_Foudre_ represents the Lat. _fulgur_. One of the queer etymologies of
medieval times is, that _fulgur_ is derived _a feriendo_; Vincent of
Beauvais, Spec. Nat. iv. 59. It was held to be quite sufficient that both
_fulgur_ and _ferire_ begin with _f_.

537. _Brende,_ was set on fire; cf. l. 163. The idea is that of a falling
thunderbolt, which seems to have been conceived of as being a material
mass, set on fire by the rapidity of its passage through the air; thus
confusing the flash of lightning with the fall of a meteoric stone. See Mr.
Aldis Wright's note on _thunder-stone_, Jul. Cæs. i. 3. 49.

543. _Hente_, caught. We find a similar use of the word in an old
translation of Map's Apocalypsis Goliæ, printed in Morley's Shorter Eng.
Poems, p. 13:--

 'And by and by I fell into a sudden trance,
  And all along the air was marvellously _hent_.'

544. _Sours_, sudden ascent, a springing aloft. It is well illustrated by a
passage in the Somp. Tale (D 1938):--

 'Therfor, right as an hauk up, at a _sours_,
  Up springeth into their, right so prayeres
  Of charitable and chaste bisy freres
  Maken hir _sours_ to Goddes eres two.'

It is precisely the same word as M.E. _sours_, mod. E. _source_, i.e. rise,
spring (of a river). Etymologically, it is the feminine of O.F. _sors_, pp.
of _sordre_, to rise (Lat. _surgere_). At a later period, the _r_ was
dropped, and the word was strangely confused in sound with the verb
_souse_, to pickle. Moreover, the original sense of 'sudden ascent' was
confused with that of 'sudden descent,' for which the correct term was (I
suppose) _swoop_. Hence the old verb to _souse_, in the sense 'to swoop
down,' or 'to pounce upon,' or 'to strike,' as in Shak. K. John, v. 2. 150;
Spenser, F. Q. i. 5. 8; iii. 4. 16; iv. 3. 19. 25; iv. 4. 30; iv 5. 36; iv.
7. 9. The sense of 'downward swoop' is particularly clear in Spenser, F. Q.
ii. 11. 36:--

 'Eft fierce retourning, as a faulcon fayre,
  That once hath failed of her _souse_ full neare,
  Remounts againe into the open ayre,
  And unto better fortune doth her-selfe prepayre.'

Such is the simple solution of the etymology of Mod. E. _souse_, as used by
Pope (Epilogue to Satires, Dial. ii. 15)--'Spread thy broad wing, and
_souse_ on all the kind.'

557. Cf. Dante, Inf. ii. 122:--'Perchè tanta viltà nel core allette?' Also
Purg. ix. 46:--'Non aver tema.'

562. 'One that I could name.' This personal allusion can hardly refer to
any one but Chaucer's wife. The familiar tone recalls him to himself; yet
the eagle's voice sounded kindly, whereas the poet sadly tells us that his
wife's voice sounded far otherwise: 'So was it never wont to be.' See
Ward's Chaucer, pp. 84, 85; and cf. l. 2015 below. Perhaps Chaucer disliked
to hear the word 'Awak!'

573. It would appear that, in Chaucer, _sëynt_ is sometimes dissyllabic;
but it may be better here to use the feminine form _seynt-e_, as in l.
1066. Observe the rime of _Márie_ with _cárie_.

576. 'For so certainly may God help me, as thou shall have no harm.'

586. _Ioves_, Jove, Jupiter; cf. l. 597. This remarkable form occurs again
in Troil. ii. 1607, where we find the expression '_Ioves_ lat him never
thryve'; and again in Troil. iii. 3--'O _Ioves_ doughter dere'; and in
Troil. iii. 15, where _Ioves_ is in the accusative case. The form is that
of an O.F. nominative; cf. _Charles_, _Jacques_, _Jules_.

_Stellifye_, make into a constellation; 'whether will Jupiter turn me into
a constellation.' This alludes, of course, to the numerous cases in which
it was supposed that such heroes as Hercules and Perseus, or such heroines
as Andromeda and Callisto were changed into constellations: see Kn. Tale, A
2058. Cf. 'No wonder is thogh Iove hir stellifye'; Leg. Good Women, prol.
525. Skelton uses the word (Garland of Laurell, 963); and it is given in

588. Perhaps imitated from Dante, Inf. ii. 32, where Dante says that he is
neither Æneas nor Paul. Chaucer here refers to various men who were borne
up to heaven, viz. Enoch (Gen. v. 24), Elijah (2 Kings ii. 11), Romulus,
and Ganymede. Romulus was carried up to heaven by Mars; Ovid, Metam. xiv.
824; Fasti, ii. 475-512. Ganymede was carried up to heaven by Jupiter in
the form of an eagle; cf. Vergil, Æn. i. 28, and see Ovid, Metam. x. 160,
where Ovid adds:

             'qui nunc quoque pocula miscet,
  Invitaque Iovi nectar Iunone ministrat.'

In the passage in Dante (Purg. ix. 19-30), already alluded to above (note
to l. 534), there is a reference to Ganymede (l. 23).

592. _Boteler_, butler. No burlesque is here intended. 'The idea of
Ganymede being _butler_ to the gods appears ludicrous to us, who are
accustomed to see the office performed by menial servants. But it was not
so in the middle ages. Young gentlemen of high rank carved the dishes and
poured out the wine at the tables of the nobility, and grace in the
performance of these duties was highly prized. One of the oldest of our
noble families derives its surname from the fact that its founder was
_butler_ to the king'; Bell. So also, the royal name of _Stuart_ is merely

597. _Therabout_, busy about, having it in intention.

600-4. Cf. Vergil's words of reassurance to Dante; Inf. ii. 49.

608. The eagle says he is Jupiter's eagle; 'Iouis ales,' Æn. i. 394.

614-40. A long sentence of 27 lines.

618. I supply _goddesse_, to complete the line. Cf. 'In worship of Venús,
goddésse of love'; Kn. Tale, A 1904; and again, 'goddésse,' id. A 1101, 2.

621. The necessity for correcting _lytel_ to _lyte_ is obvious from the
rime, since _lyte is_ rimes with _dytees_. Chaucer seems to make _lyte_
dissyllabic; it rimes with _Arcite_, Kn. Ta., A 1334, 2627; and with
_hermyte_ in l. 659 below. In the present case, the _e_ is
elided--_lyt'is_. For similar rimes, cf. _nones_, _noon is_, C. T. Prol.
523; _beryis_, _mery is_, Non. Pr. Ta., B 4155; _swevenis_, _swevene is_,
id. B 4111.

623. In a note to Cant. Ta. 17354 (I 43), Tyrwhitt says that perhaps
_cadence_ means 'a species of poetical composition distinct from riming
verses.' But it is difficult to shew that Chaucer ever composed anything of
the kind, unless it can be said that his translation of Boethius or his
Tale of Melibeus is in a sort of rhythmical prose. It seems to me just
possible that by _rime_ may here be meant the ordinary riming of two lines
together, as in the Book of the Duchess and the House of Fame, whilst by
_cadence_ may be meant lines disposed in stanzas, as in the Parliament of
Foules. There is nothing to shew that Chaucer had, at this period, employed
the 'heroic verse' of the Legend of Good Women. However, we find the
following quotation from Jullien in Littré's Dictionary, s.v.
_Cadence_:--'Dans la prose, dans les vers, la cadence n'est pas autre chose
que le rhythme ou le nombre: seulement on y joint ordinairement l'idée
d'une certaine douceur dans le style, d'un certain art dans l'arrangement
des phrases ou dans le choix des mots que le rhythme proprement dit ne
suppose pas du tout.' This is somewhat oracular, as it is difficult to see
why _rhythm_ should not mean much the same thing.

637. 'And describest everything that relates to them.' (Here _hir_ =
their), with reference to lovers.

639-40. 'Although thou mayst accompany those whom he is not pleased to
assist.' Nearly repeated in Troilus, i. 517, 518.

652. In a note upon the concluding passage of the Cant. Tales, Tyrwhitt
says of the House of Fame:--'Chaucer mentions this among his works in the
Leg. Good Women, verse 417. He wrote it while he was Comptroller of the
Custom of Wools, &c. (see Bk. ii. l. 144-8 [the present passage]), and
consequently after the year 1374.' See Ward's Chaucer, pp. 76, 77, with its
happy reference to Charles Lamb and his 'works'; and compare a similar
passage in the Prol. to Legend of Good Women, 30-6.

662. Cf. Dante, Inf. i. 113, which Cary thus translates:--

                        --'and I, thy guide,
  Will lead thee hence through an eternal space.'

678. _Long y-served_, faithfully served for a long time, i.e. after a long
period of devotion; alluding to the word _servant_ in the sense of lover.

681. Alluding to sudden fallings in love, especially 'at first sight.' Such
take place at haphazard; as if a blind man should accidentally frighten a
hare, without in the least intending it. We find in Hazlitt's collection of
Proverbs--'The hare starts when a man least expects it'; p. 373.

682. _Iolytee and fare_, happiness and good speed. The very same words are
employed, but ironically, by Theseus in the Knight's Tale, A 1807, 1809.
The _hare_ also accompanies them; id. A 1810.

683. 'As long as they find love to be as true as steel.' Cf. Troilus, iv.
325:--'God leve that ye finde ay love of steel.'

689. 'And more beards made in two hours,' &c. 'Yet can a miller make a
clerkes berd'; (Reves Tale), C. T., A 4096. 'Yet coude I make his berd'; C.
T., D 361. Tyrwhitt's note on the former passage is: '_make a clerkes
berd_,' i.e. cheat him. _Faire la barbe_ is to _shave_, or _trim_ the
beard; but Chaucer translates the phrase literally, at least when he uses
it in its metaphorical sense. Boccace has the same metaphor, Decamerone,
viii. 10. Speaking of some exorbitant cheats, he says that they applied
themselves 'non a radere, ma a scorticare huomini' [not to shave men, but
to scarify them]; and a little lower--'si a soavemente _la barbiera_ saputo
menare il rasoio' [so agreeably did the she-barber know how to handle the
razor]. _Barbiera_ has a second and a bad sense; see Florio's Dictionary.

 'Myght I thaym have spyde,
  I had _made thaym a berd_.'
                      Towneley Mysteries, p. 144.

692. _Holding in hond_ means keeping in hand, attaching to oneself by
feigned favours; just as _to bear in hand_ used to mean to make one believe
a thing; see my note to Man of Lawes Tale, B 620.

695. _Lovedayes_, appointed days of reconciliation; see note in vol. v. to
Chaucer's Prol. 258, and my note to P. Plowman, B. iii. 157. 'What, quod
she, maked I not a _louedaie_ bitwene God and mankind, and chese a maide to
be nompere [umpire], to put the quarell at ende?' Test. of Love, bk. i. ed.
1561, fol. 287.

696. _Cordes_, chords. Apparently short for _acordes_, i.e. musical chords,
as Willert suggests. It is rather a forced simile, like _cornes_ in l. 698.

698. _Cornes_, grains of corn; see note to Monkes Tale (Group B, 3225).

700. _Wis_, certainly; cf. _y-wis_. The _i_ is short.

702. _Impossíble_, (accent on _i_); cf. Clerkes Tale, E 713.

703. _Pyes_, mag-pies, chattering birds; Squi. Ta., F 650.

708. _Worthy for to leve_, worthy to believe, worthy of belief.

712. _Thyn owne book_, i.e. the book you are so fond of, viz. Ovid's
Metamorphoses, which Chaucer quotes so continually. Libraries in those days
were very small (Cant. Ta. Prol. 294); but we may be almost certain that
Chaucer had a copy of the Metamorphoses of his own. The reference here is
to Ovid's description of the House of Fame, Metam. xii. 39-63. See
Golding's translation of this passage in the Introduction.

730. This passage is founded on one in Boethius; cf. Chaucer's translation,
bk. iii. pr. 11, ll. 98-110. Imitated also in Le Rom. de la Rose, 16963-9.
Cf. Dante, Par. i. 109, which Cary thus translates:--

           'All natures lean,
  In this their order, diversely,' &c.

738. _That_ practically goes with _hit falleth doun_, in l. 741. The
sentence is ill-constructed, and not consistent with grammar, but we see
what is meant.

742. _By_, with reference to (as usual in M. E). Cf. Dante, Purg. xviii.
28, which Cary thus translates:--

 'Then, as the fire points up, and mounting seeks
  His birth-place and his lasting seat,' &c.

745. _At his large_, unrestrained, free to move. Cf. _at thy large_, Cant.
Ta., A 1283, 1292.

746. _Charge_, a heavy weight, opposed to _light thing_. The verb _seke_ is
understood from l. 744. 'A light thing (seeks to go) up, and a weight
(tends) downwards.' In Tyrwhitt's glossary, the word _charge_, in this
passage, is described as being a verb, with the sense 'to weigh, to incline
on account of weight.' How this can be made to suit the context, I cannot
understand. _Charge_ occurs as a sb. several times in Chaucer, but chiefly
with the secondary sense of 'importance'; see Kn. Tale, A 1284, 2287; Can.
Yem. Ta., G 749. In the Clerkes Tale, E 163, it means 'weight,' nearly as

750. _Skilles_, reasons. The above 'reasons' prove nothing whatever as
regards the fish in the sea, or the trees in the earth; but the eagle's
mode of reasoning must not be too closely enquired into. The fault is not
Chaucer's, but arises from the extremely imperfect state of science in the
middle ages. Chaucer had to accept the usual account of the four elements,
disposed, according to their weight, in four layers; earth being at the
bottom, then water, then air, and lastly fire above the air. See the whole
scheme in Gower, Conf. Amant. bk. vii.; ed. Pauli, ii. 104: or Popular
Treatises on Science, ed. Wright, p. 134.

752. See Chaucer's tr. of Boethius, bk. iii. pr. 11, l. 72. Hence Boethius
is one of the 'clerkes' referred to in l. 760.

759. Dante mentions these two; Inf. iv. 131-4.

765. So also in Cant. Tales, D 2233:--

                       'every soun
  Nis but of eir reverberacioun,
  And ever it wasteth lyte and lyte awey.'

The theory of sound is treated of in Vincent of Beauvais, Speculum
Naturale, lib. iv. c. 14. The ancients seem to have understood that sound
is due to the vibration of the air; see ll. 775, 779. Thus, in the treatise
by Boethius, De Musica (to which Chaucer expressly refers in Non. Preest.
Tale, B 4484), lib. i. c. 3, I find:--'Sonus vero præter quendam pulsum
percussionemque non redditur.... Idcirco definitur sonus, aeris percussio
indissoluta usque ad auditum.'

788. _Experience_, i.e. experiment. The illustration is a good one; I have
no doubt that it is obtained, directly or at secondhand, from Boethius.
Vincent of Beauvais, Spec. Nat. lib. xxv. c. 58, says:--'Ad quod
demonstrandum inducit idem Boetius tale exemplum: Lapis proiectus in medio
stagni facit breuissimum circulum, et ille alium, et hoc fit donec vel ad
ripas peruenerit vel impetus defecerit.' This merely gives the substance of
what he says; it will be of interest to quote the original passage, from
the treatise De Musica, lib. i. c. 14, which chapter I quote in full:--

'Nunc quis modus sit audiendi disseramus. Tale enim quiddam fieri consuevit
in uocibus, quale cum paludibus uel quietis aquis iactum eminus mergitur
saxum. Prius enim in paruissimum orbem undam colligit, deinde maioribus
orbibus, undarum globos spargit, atque eo usque dum fatigatus motus ab
eliciendis fluctibus conquiescat. Semperque posterior et maior undula pulsu
debiliori diffunditur. Quod si quid sit, quod crescentes undulas possit
offendere, statim motus ille reuertitur, et quasi ad centrum, unde
profectus fuerat, eisdem undulis rotundatur. Ita igitur cum aer pulsus
fecerit sonum, pellit alium proximum, et quodammodo rotundum fluctum aeris
ciet. Itaque diffunditur et omnium circunstantium (_sic_) simul ferit
auditum, atque illi est obscurior uox, qui longius steterit, quoniam ad eum
debilior pulsi aeris unda peruenit.'

792. _Covercle_, a pot-lid. Cotgrave cites the proverb--'_Tel pot tel
couvercle_, Such pot, such potlid, like master, like man.'

794. _Wheel_ must have been glossed by _cercle_ (circle) in an early copy;
hence MSS. F. and B. have the reading--'That whele sercle wol cause another
whele,' where the gloss has crept into the text.

798. _Roundel_, a very small circle; _compas_, a very large circle.
_Roundel_ is still a general term for a small circular charge in heraldry;
if _or_ (golden), it is called a _bezant_; if _argent_ (white), it is
called a _plate_; and so on. In the Sec. Non. Tale, G 45, _compas_ includes
the whole world.

801. _Multiplying_, increasing in size.

805. 'Where you do not observe the motion above, it is still going on
underneath.' This seems to allude to some false notion as to a transmission
of motion below the surface.

808. This is an easy way of getting over a difficulty. It is no easy task
to prove the contrary of every false theory!

811. _An air aboute_, i.e. a surrounding layer, or hollow sphere, of air.

822. I would rather 'take it in game'; and so I accept it.

826. _Fele_, experience, understand by experiment.

827. I here take the considerable liberty of reading _the mansioun_, by
comparison with l. 831. Those who prefer to read _sum place stide_, or _som
styde_, or _some stede_, can do so! The sense intended is obviously--'And
that the dwelling-place, to which each thing is inclined to resort, has its
own natural stead,' i.e. position. Fishes, for example, naturally exist in
_water_; the trees, upon the _earth_; and sounds, in the _air_; water,
earth, air, and fire being the four 'elements.' Cf. the phrase--'to be in
his _element_.'

836. _Out of_, i.e. not in; answering to l. 838.

846. Referring to Ovid's description, Met. xii. 39, 40.

 'Orbe locus medio est inter terrasque fretumque
  Coelestesque plagas, triplicis confinia mundi.'

I suspect that Ovid's _triplicis confinia mundi_ is the origin of Chaucer's
phrase _tryne compas_, in Sec. Non. Tale, G 45.

857. The 'terms of philosophy' are all fully and remorselessly given by
Gower, Conf. Amant. bk. vii.

861. It is remarkable that Chaucer, some years later, repeated almost the
same thing in the Prologue to his Treatise on the Astrolabe, in somewhat
different words, viz. 'curious endyting and hard sentence is full hevy
atones for swich a child to lerne'; l. 32.

866. _Lewedly_, in unlearned fashion; in his Astrolabe, l. 43, Chaucer says
he is 'but a _lewd_ compilatour of the labour of olde Astrologiens.'

868. The eagle characteristically says that his reasons are so 'palpable,'
that they can be shaken by the _bills_, as men shake others by the hand. It
is perhaps worth adding that the word _bill_ was too vulgar and familiar to
be applied to a hawk, which had only a _beak_ (the French term, whereas
_bill_ is the A.S. _bile_). 'Ye shall say, this hauke has a large _beke_,
or a shortt beke; and call it not _bille_'; Book of St. Alban's, fol. a 6,
back. The eagle purposely employs the more familiar term.

873. Chaucer meekly allows that the eagle's explanation is a _likely_ one.
He was not in a comfortable position for contradiction in argument, and so
took a wiser course. The eagle resents this mild admission, and says he
will soon find out the truth, 'top, and tail, and every bit.' He then eases
his mind by soaring 'upper,' resumes his good temper, and proposes to speak
'all of game.'

888. Cf. Dante, Par. xxii. 128, which Cary thus translates:

 'Look downward, and contemplate, what a world
  Already stretch'd under our feet there lies.'

900. _Unethes_, with difficulty; because large animals could only just be
discerned. The graphic touches here are excellent.

901. _Rivér-es_, with accent on the former _e_ (pronounced as _a_ in
_bare_). Cf. Ital. _riviera_.

907. _Prikke_, a point. 'Al the environinge of the erthe aboute ne halt nat
but the resoun of a _prikke_ at regard of the greetnesse of hevene'; tr. of
Boethius, bk. ii. pr. 7. 17.

 'And doun fro thennes faste he gan avyse
  This litel spot of erthe, that with the see
  Enbraced is';
                                 Troilus, bk. v. ll. 1814-6.

                   'Vidi questo globo
  Tal, ch' io sorriso del suo vil sembiante.'
                                 Dante, Parad. xxii. 134.

See also Parl. Foules, 57, 58; and note that the above passage from Troilus
is copied from the Teseide (xi. 2).

915. The note in Gilman's Chaucer as to Alexander's _dreams_ is entirely
beside the mark. The word _dreme_ (l. 917) refers to Scipio only. The
reference is to the wonderful mode in which Alexander contrived to soar in
the air in a car upborne by four gigantic griffins.

 'Now is he won þur[gh]e þar wingis vp to the wale cloudis;
  So hi[gh]e to heuen þai him hale in a hand-quile,
  Midil-erth bot as a mylnestane, na mare, to him semed.'
             Wars of Alexander, ed. Skeat (E.E.T.S.), 5523.

_Macedo_, the Macedonian.

916. _King_, kingly hero; not king in the strict sense. _Dan Scipio_, lord
Scipio. See notes to Parl. Foules, 29; Book of the Duch. 284; Ho. Fame,

917. _At point devys_, with great exactness; see Rom. Rose, 830, 1215.

919. _Dedalus_ (i.e. Dædalus) and _Ycarus_ (Icarus) are mentioned in the
Rom. de la Rose, 5242; and cf. Gower, Conf. Amant. bk. iv., ed. Pauli, ii.
36; and Dante, Inf. xvii. 109. All take the story from Ovid, Metam. viii.
183. Dædalus constructed wings for himself and his son Icarus, and flew
away from Crete. The latter flew too high, and the sun melted the wax with
which some of the feathers were fastened, so that he fell into the sea and
was drowned. Hence Dædalus is here called _wrecche_, i.e. miserable,
because he lost his son; and Icarus _nyce_, i.e. foolish, because he
disobeyed his father's advice, not to fly too high.

922. _Malt_, melted. Gower has the same word in the same story; ed. Pauli,
ii. 37.

925. Cf. Dante, Par. xxii. 19, which Cary thus translates:

 'But elsewhere now I bid thee turn thy view.'

930. See note to l. 986 below, where the original passage is given.

931. This line seems to refer solely to the word _citizein_ in l. 930. The
note in Bell's Chaucer says: 'This appears to be an allusion to Plato's
Republic.' But it was probably suggested by the word _respublica_ in Alanus
(see note to l. 986).

932. _Eyrish bestes_, aerial animals; alluding to the signs of the zodiac,
such as the Ram, Bull, Lion, Goat, Crab, Scorpion, &c.; and to other
constellations, such as the Great Bear, Eagle, Swan, Pegasus, &c. Chaucer
himself explains that the 'zodiak is cleped the cercle of the signes, or
the cercle of the _bestes_; for _zodia_ in langage of Greek sowneth
_bestes_ in Latin tonge'; Astrolabe, Part 1, § 21, 1. 37. Cf. 'beasts' in
Rev. iv. 6. The phrase recurs in l. 965 below; see also ll. 1003-7.

934. _Goon_, march along, walk on, like the Ram or Bull; _flee_, fly like
the Eagle or Swan. He alludes to the apparent revolution of the heavens
round the earth.

936. _Galaxye_, galaxy, or milky way, formed by streaks of closely crowded
stars; already mentioned in the Parl. of Foules, 56; see note to the same,
l. 50. Cary, in a note to Dante, Parad. xxv. 18, says that Dante, in the
Convito, p. 74, speaks of _la galassia_--'the galaxy, that is, the white
circle which the common people call the way of St. James'; on which
Biscioni remarks:--'The common people formerly considered the milky way as
a sign by night to pilgrims, who were going to St. James of Galicia; and
this perhaps arose from the resemblance of the word _galaxy_ to _Galicia_;
[which may be doubted]. I have often,' he adds, 'heard women and peasants
call it the Roman road, _la strada di Roma_.'

The fact is simply, that the Milky Way looks like a sort of road or street;
hence the Lat. name _uia lactea_, as in Ovid, Metam. i. 168. Hence also the
Roman peasants called it _strada di Roma_; the pilgrims to Spain called it
_the road to Santiago_ (Quarterly Review, Oct. 1873, p. 464); and the
English called it the _Walsingham way_, owing to this being a route much
frequented by pilgrims, or else _Watling-street_, which was a famous old
road, and probably ran (not as usually said, from Kent to Cardigan Bay,
but) from Kent to the Frith of Forth; see Annals of England, p. 6. The name
of _Vatlant Streit_ (Watling Street) is given to the milky way in the
Complaint of Scotland, ed. Murray, p. 58; and G. Douglas calls it _Watling
Streit_ in his translation of Vergil, Æn. iii. 516, though there is no
mention of it in the original; see Small's edition of the Works of G.
Douglas, vol. ii. p. 151. And again, it is called _Wadlyng Strete_ in
Henrysoun's Traite of Orpheus; see Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary. So also:
'Galaxia, that is Watling-Strete'; Batman on Bartholome, lib. viii. c. 33.
See my note to P. Plowman, C. i. 52; Florence of Worcester, _sub anno_
1013; Laws of Edward the Confessor, cap. 12; Towneley Myst., p. 308; Cutts,
Scenes, &c. of the Middle Ages, p. 178; Grimm's Mythology, tr. by
Stallybras, i. 357.

942. Gower also relates this story (Conf. Amant. ii. 34), calling the sun
_Phebus_, and his son _Pheton_, and using _carte_ in the sense of
'chariot,' as Chaucer does. Both copy from Ovid, Metam. ii. 32-328.

944. _Cart-hors_, chariot-horses (plural). There were four horses, named
Pyroeïs, Eous, Aethon, and Phlegon; Met. ii. 153. Hence _gonne_ and _beren_
are in the plural form; cf. l. 952.

948. _Scorpioun_, the well-known zodiacal constellation and sign; called
_Scorpius_ in Ovid, Met. ii. 196.

972. _Boece_, Boethius. He refers to the passage which he himself thus
translates: 'I have, forsothe, swifte fetheres that surmounten the heighte
of the hevene. Whan the swifte thought hath clothed it-self in tho
fetheres, it dispyseth the hateful erthes, and surmounteth the roundnesse
of the greet ayr; and it seeth the cloudes behinde his bak'; bk. iv. met.
1. Hence, in l. 973, Ten Brink (Studien, p. 186) proposes to read--'That
wryteth, Thought may flee so hye.'

981, 2. Imitated from 2 Cor. xii. 2.

985. _Marcian._ Cf. C. T., E 1732 (March. Tale):--

 'Hold thou thy pees, thou poete Marcian,
  That wrytest us that ilke wedding murie
  Of hir, Philologye, and him, Mercurie.'

Martianus Minneus Felix Capella was a satirist of the fifth century, and
wrote the Nuptials of Mercury and Philology, De Nuptiis inter Mercurium et
Philologiam, above referred to. It consists of two books, followed by seven
books on the Seven Sciences; see Warton's Hist. E. Poetry, ed. 1871, iii.
77. 'Book viii (l. 857) gives a hint of the true system of astronomy. It is
quoted by Copernicus'; Gilman.

986. _Anteclaudian._ The Anticlaudianus is a Latin poem by Alanus de
Insulis, who also wrote the De Planctu Naturæ, alluded to in the Parl. of
Foules, 316 (see note). This poem is printed in Anglo-Latin Satirical
Poets, ed. Wright, pp. 268 428; see, in particular, Distinctio Quarta,
capp. 5-8, and Distinctio Quinta, cap. 1; pp. 338-347. It is from this poem
that Chaucer probably borrowed the curious word _citizein_ (l. 930) as
applied to the _eyrish bestes_ (l. 932). Thus, at pp. 338, 360 of Wright's
edition, we find--

 'Vestigans, videt intuitu meliore _vagantes
  Aerios cives_.'

 '_Hic cives habitant_ supremi regis in urbe;
  Civibus his servanda datur _respublica_ coeli.'

So again, ll. 966-969 above may well have been suggested by these lines (on
p. 340), and other similar lines:--

 'Aeris excurso spatio, quo nubila coeli
  Nocte sua texunt tenebras, quo pendula nubes
  In se cogit aquas, quo grandinis ingruit imber,
  Quo certant venti, quo fulminis ira tumescit,
  Æthera transgreditur Phronesis.'

1003. _Or him or here_, or him or her, hero or heroine; e.g. Hercules,
Perseus, Cepheus, Orion; Andromeda, Callisto (the Great Bear), Cassiopeia.
Cf. Man of Lawes Tale, B 460.

1004. _Raven_, the constellation _Corvus_; see Ovid, Fasti, ii. 243-266.
_Either bere_; Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.

1005. _Ariones harpe_, Arion's harp, the constellation Lyra; Ovid's Fasti,
i. 316; ii. 76.

1006. _Castor_, _Pollux_; Castor and Pollux; the constellation Gemini.
_Delphyn_, Lat. Delphin; the constellation Delphin (Ovid, Fasti, i. 457) or
Delphinus, the Dolphin.

                         'Astris Delphina recepit
  Iupiter, et Stellas iussit habere nouem.'
                                    Ovid's Fasti, ii. 117.

1007. _Atlante_ does not mean Atalanta, but represents _Atlante_, the
ablative case of _Atlas_. Chaucer has mistaken the form, having taken the
story of the Pleiades (the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione) from
Ovid's Fasti, v. 83:--

 'Hinc sata _Pleïone_ cum coelifero _Atlante_
    iungitur, ut fama est; _Pleïadas_que parit.'

1021. _Up the heed_, up with your head; look about you.

1022. 'St. Julian (to our speed); lo! (here is) a good hostelry.' The eagle
invokes or praises St. Julian, because they have come to their journey's
end, and the poet may hope for a good reception in the House of Fame. St.
Julian was the patron saint of hospitality; see Chaucer's Prologue, 340. In
Le Roman de la Rose, 8872, I find (cf. note to l. 118 above):--

 'Ainsinc m'aïst saint Juliens,
  Qui pelerins errans herberge.'

In Bell's Chaucer, i. 92, is the following: '"Ce fut celluy Julien qui est
requis de ceux qui cheminent pour avoir _bon hostel_"; Legende Dorée.
Having by mischance slain his father and mother, as a penance he
established a hospital near a dangerous ford, where he lodged and fed
travellers gratuitously.'

See Tale xviii. in the Gesta Romanorum, in Swan's Translation; Caxton's
Golden Legende; and the Metrical Lives of Saints in MS. Bodley 1596, fol.
4, 'I pray God and St. Julian to send me a good lodging at night';
translation of Boccaccio, _Decam._ Second Day, nov. 2; quoted in Swan's tr.
of Gesta Romanorum, p. 372. See Warton, Hist. Eng. Poet., ed. Hazlitt, i.
247; ii. 58.

1024. 'Canst thou not hear that which I hear?'

1034. _Peter!_ By St. Peter; a common exclamation, which Warton amazingly
misunderstood, asserting that Chaucer is here addressed by the name of
Peter (Hist. E. P., ed. Hazlitt, ii. 331, note 6); whereas it is _Chaucer
himself_ who uses the exclamation. The Wyf of Bathe uses it also, C. T., D
446; so does the Sumpnour, C. T., D 1332; and the wife in the Shipman's
Tale, C. T., B 1404; and see l. 2000 below. See also my note to l. 665 of
the Canon's Yeoman's Tale. But Warton well compares the present passage
with Ovid, Met. xii. 49-52:--

 'Nec tamen est clamor, sed paruae murmura uocis;
  qualia de pelagi, si quis procul audiat, undis
  esse solent: qualemve sonum, quum Iupiter atras
  increpuit nubes, extrema tonitrua reddunt.'

1044. _Beten_, beat, occurs in MSS. F. and B. But the other reading _byten_
(bite) seems better. Cf. Troil. iii. 737, and the common saying 'It won't
bite you.'

1048. Cf. Dante, Purg. iii. 67-69. So also Inf. xxxi. 83.

1063. _Lyves body_, a person alive; _lyves_ is properly an adverb.

1066. _Seynte_; see note to l. 573. _Seynte Clare_, Saint Clara, usually
Saint Clare, whose day is Aug. 12. She was an abbess, a disciple of St.
Francis, and died A.D. 1253.


1091-1109. Imitated from Dante, Parad. i. 13-27. Compare ll. 1106, 1107,
with Cary's translation--

 'If thou to me of thine impart so much, ...
  Thou shalt behold me of thy favour'd tree
  Come to the foot, and crown myself with leaves.'

And compare l. 1109 with--'Entra nel petto mio.'

1098. This shews that Chaucer occasionally, and intentionally, gives a
syllable too little to the verse. In fact, he does so just below, in l.
1106; where _Thou_ forms the first foot of the verse, instead of _So thou_,
or _And thou_. This failure of the first syllable is common throughout the

1099. _And that_, i.e. And though that; see l. 1098.

1109. _Entreth_ is the imperative plural; see note to A. B. C. 17.

1114. MSS. _cite_, _cyte_ (F. _citee_!); but _site_ in Astrol. pt. ii. 17.
25 (p. 201).

1116. 'Fama tenet, summaque domum sibi legit in arce'; Ovid, Met. xii. 43.
Cf. Dante, Purg. iii. 46-48; also Ovid, Met. ii. 1-5.

1131. 'And swoor hir ooth by Seint Thomas of Kent'; C. T., A 3291. It
alludes to the celebrated shrine of Beket at Canterbury.

1136. _Half_, side; _al the half_, all the side of the hill which he was
ascending, which we find was the _south_ side (l. 1152).

1152. This suggests that Chaucer, in his travels, had observed a snow-clad
mountain; the snow lies much lower on the north side than on the south
side; see ll. 1160 (which means that it, i.e. the writing, was preserved by
the shade of a castle), 1163, 1164.

1159. _What hit made_, what caused it, what was the cause of it.

1167-80. This passage somewhat resembles one in Dante, Par. i. 4-12.

1177. _Craft_, art; _cast_, plan. _Craft_, in the MSS., has slipt into l.

1183. _Gyle_, Giles; St. Ægidius. His day is Sept. 1; see note to Can. Yem.
Tale, G 1185, where the phrase _by seint Gyle_ recurs.

1189. _Babewinnes_ is certainly meant; it is the pl. of _babewin_ (O. Fr.
_babuin_, Low Lat. _babewynus_, F. _babouin_), now spelt _baboon_. It was
particularly used of a grotesque figure employed in architectural
decoration, as in Early Eng. Allit. Poems, ed. Morris, B. 1411, where the
pl. form is spelt _baboynes_, and in Lydgate, Chron. Troy, II. xi; both
passages are given in Murray's Dict., s.v. _Baboon_. 'Babewyn, or babewen,
_detippus_, _ipos_, _figmentum_, _chimera_'; Prompt. Parv. 'Babwyne, beest,
_baboyn_'; Palsgrave. In Shak. _Macb._ iv. 1. 37--'Coole it with a báboones
blood'--the accent on the _a_ is preserved. The other spellings are
inferior or false.

1192. _Falle_, pres. pl., fall; (or perhaps fallen, the past participle).

1194. _Habitacles_, niches; such as those which hold images of saints on
the buttresses and pinnacles of our cathedrals. They are described as being
_al withoute_, all on the outside.

1196. _Ful the castel_, the castle (being) full, on all sides. This line is

1197. Understand _Somme_, some, as nom. to _stoden_. 'In which stood ...
(some) of every kind of minstrels.' So in l. 1239. As to minstrels, &c.,
see note to Sir Topas (B 2035).

1203. _Orpheus_, the celebrated minstrel, whose story is in Ovid, Met. x.
1-85; xi. 1-66. Chaucer again mentions him in C. T., E 1716; and in Troil.
iv. 791.

1205. _Orion_; so in all the copies; put for _Arion_. His story is in Ovid,
Fasti, ii. 79-118.

Spelt _Arione_ in Gower, Conf. Amant. (end of prologue), ed. Pauli, i. 39.
We might read _Arion_ here; see l. 1005.

1206. _Chiron_; called _Chiro_ in Gower, C. A. ii. 67 (bk. iv). Chiron, the
centaur, was the tutor of Achilles; and Achilles, being the grandson of
Æacus, was called Æacides; Ovid, Met. xii. 82; Fasti, v. 390. Hence
_Eacides_ is here in the genitive case; and _Eacides Chiron_ means
'Achilles' Chiron,' i.e. Chiron, tutor of Achilles. In fact, the phrase is
copied from Ovid's _Æacidæ Chiron_, Art of Love, i. 17. Another name for
Chiron is _Phillyrides_; Ovid, Art of Love, i. 11; or _Philyrides_; Verg.
Georg. iii. 550; cf. Ovid, Fasti, v. 391. In a similar way, Chaucer calls
the paladin _Oliver_, friend of _Charles_ the Great, by the name of
_Charles Olyuer_; Monkes Tale, B 3577.

1208. _Bret_, Briton, one of the British. This form is quite correct, being
the A.S. _Bret_, a Briton (see A.S. Chronicle, an. 491), commonly used in
the pl. _Brettas_. This correct spelling occurs in MS. B. only; MS. P.
turns it into _Bretur_, Th. and Cx. read _Briton_, whilst MS. F. turns
_Bret_ into _gret_, by altering the first letter. The forms _gret_ and
_Bretur_ are clearly corruptions, whilst _Briton_ spoils the scansion.

_Glascurion_; the same as Glasgerion, concerning whom see the Ballad in the
Percy Folio MS., ed. Hales and Furnivall, i. 246. Of this 'a traditional
version, under the name of _Glenkindie_, a various form of Glasgerion, is
given in Jamieson's Popular Songs and Ballads, and in Alex. Laing's Thistle
of Scotland (1823).' G. Douglas associates 'Glaskeriane' with Orpheus in
his Palice of Honour, bk. i. (ed. Small, i. 21); this poem is a palpable
imitation of Chaucer's House of Fame. The name is Celtic, as the epithet
_Bret_ implies. Cf. Irish and Welsh _glas_, pale.

1213. 'Or as art imitates nature.' Imitated from Le Rom. de la Rose, where
Art asks Nature to teach her; l. 16233 is--

 'E la _contrefait comme singes_.'

1218. There is a similar list of musical instruments in Le Rom. de la Rose,

 'Puis _chalemiaus_, et chalemele
  Et tabor, et _fléute_, et timbre ...
  Puis prent sa muse, et se travaille
  As estives de Cornoaille.'

And in Le Remède de Fortune, by G. de Machault, 1849, p. 87, is a similar
long list:--

 '_Cornemuses_, flaios, chevrettes,
  Dousainnes, cimbales, clochettes,
  Timbre, la _flahute_ brehaigne,
  Et le grant cornet d'Alemaigne,
  Flaiot de saus, fistule, _pipe_'; &c.

And a few lines below there is mention of the _muse de blez_ (see note to
l. 1224). Warton, Hist. E. Poet., ed. Hazlitt, iii. 177. quotes a similar
passage from Lydgate's poem entitled Reason and Sensualite, ending with--

 'There were trumpes, and trumpettes,
  Lowde shallys [shalmys?] and _doucettes_.'

Cf. also Spenser, F. Q. vi. 9, 5; Shep. Kal. _Feb._ 35-40. In the latter
passage, the imitation of ll. 1224-6 is obvious. _Cornemuse_ is a bagpipe;
_shalmye_ is a shawm, which was a wind-instrument, being derived from Lat.
_calamus_, a reed; Chaucer classes both instruments under _pipe_. Willert
(on the House of Fame, p. 36) suggests (and, I think, correctly) that
_doucet_ and _rede_ are both adjectival. Thus _doucet_ would refer to
_pipe_; cf. '_Doucet_, dulcet, pretty and sweet, or, a little sweet';
Cotgrave. _Rede_ would also refer to _pipe_, and would mean 'made with a
reed.' A reed-instrument is one 'in which the sound was produced by the
vibration of a reed, as in the clarionet or hautboys'; note in Bell's
Chaucer. There is no instrument properly called a _doucet_ in Old French,
but only _dousainne_ (see above) and _doucine_ (Godefroy).

1222. _Brede_, roast meat; A.S. _br['æ]de_, glossed by '_assura_, vel
_assatura_' in Ælfric's Glossary, ed. Wülcker, col. 127, l. 17. Cf. G.
_Braten_. Not elsewhere in Chaucer, but found in other authors.

 'To meit was greithed beef and motoun,
  _Bredes_, briddes, and venysoun.'
                   Kyng Alisaunder, ed. Weber, 5248.

In the allit. Morte Arthure, it occurs no less than five times. Also in
Havelok, l. 98, where the interpretation 'bread' is wrong. Also in
Altenglische Dichtungen, ed. Böddeker, p. 146, l. 47--'Cud as Cradoc in
court that carf the _brede_,' i.e. carved the roast meat; but the glossary
does not explain it. The scribe of MS. F. turns _brede_ into _bride_,
regardless of the rime. I cannot agree with the wholly groundless
conjecture of Willert, who reads _rude_ in l. 1221, in order to force
_brude_ into the text. For minstrelsy at feasts, see C. T., A 2197.

1223. Cf. G. Douglas, tr. of Vergil, Æn. vii. 513, 4:--'And in ane bowand
_horne_, at hir awyne will, A feindlych hellis voce scho _lyltis_ schyll.'

1224. Alluding to the simple pipes fashioned by rustics. The glossary to
Machault's Works (1849) has: '_Muse de blez_, chalumeau fait avec des brins
de paille.' The O.F. _estive_, in the quotation in the note to l. 1218, has
a like sense. Godefroy has: '_estive_, espèce de flûte, de flageolet ou
pipeau rustique, qui venait, ce semble, de Cornouaille.' Cf. the term
_corne-pipe_, in the Complaint of Scotland, ed. Murray, p. 65, l. 22; also
my note to R. Rose, 4250 (vol. i. p. 436).

1227-8. Nothing is known as to Atiteris (or Cytherus); nor as to Pseustis
(or Proserus). The forms are doubtless corrupt; famous musicians or poets
seem to have been intended. I shall venture, however, to record my guess,
that _Atiteris_ represents _Tyrtaeus_, and that _Pseustis_ is meant for
_Thespis_. Both are mentioned by Horace (Ars Poet. 276, 402); and Thespis
was a native of Attica, whose plays were acted at Athens. Another guess is
that _Atiteris_ means Vergil's _Tityrus_; Athenæum, Apr. 13, 1889. Willert
suggests that there is here an allusion to the so-called Ecloga Theoduli, a
Latin poem of the seventh or eighth century, wherein the shepherd Pseustis
and the shepherdess Alithia [who represent Falsehood and Truth] contend
about heathendom and Christianity; and Pseustis adduces various myths and
tales, from Ovid, Vergil, and Statius. He refers us to H. Dunger, Die Sage
v. troj. Kriege in den Bearbeitungen des Mittelalters: Dresden, 1869, p.
76; cf. Leyser, Hist. Poet. Medii Aevi, p. 295. This only accounts for
Pseustis; Atiteris can hardly be Alithia.

1229. This is a curious example of how names are corrupted. _Marcia_ is
Dante's _Marsia_, mentioned in the very passage which Chaucer partly
imitates in ll. 1091-1109 above. Dante addresses Apollo in the words--

 'Entra nel petto mio, e spira tue
  Si come quando Marsia traesti
  Della vagina delle membra sue.'

As Chaucer had here nothing to guide him to the gender of _Marsia_, he
guessed the name to be feminine, from its termination; and Dante actually
has _Marzia_ (Inf. iv. 128), with reference to _Marcia_, wife of Cato. But
Dante's _Marsia_ represents the accus. case of Marsyas, or else the Lat.
nom. _Marsya_, which also occurs. Ovid, Met. vi. 400, has '_Marsya_ nomen
habet,' and tells the story. Apollo defeated the satyr Marsyas in a trial
of musical skill, and afterwards flayed him alive; so that he 'lost his

1231. _Envyën_ (accent on _y_), vie with, challenge (at a sport). So strong
is the accent on the _y_, that the word has been reduced in E. to the
clipped form '_vie_; see _Vie_ in my Etym. Dict. It represents Lat.
_inuitare_, to challenge; and has nothing to do with E. _envy_. Florio's
Ital. Dict. has: '_Inuito_, a vie at play, a vie at any game; also an

1234. 'Pipers of every Dutch (German) tongue.'

1236. _Reyes_, round dances, dances in a ring. The term is Dutch. Hexham's
Du. Dict. (1658), has: _een Rey_, or _een Reye_, a Daunce, or a round
Daunce'; and '_reyen_, to Daunce, or to lead a Daunce.' Cf. G. _Reihen_, a
dance, _Reihentanz_, a circular dance; M.H.G. _reie_, _reige_; which does
not seem to be connected, as might be thought, with G. _Reihe_, a row; see
Kluge and Weigand. Perhaps the Du. word was borrowed from O.F. _rei_,
_roi_, order, whence also the syllable _-ray_ in E. _ar-ray_; and the G.
word may have been borrowed from the Dutch; but this is a guess. 'I can
daunce the raye'; Barclay's First Egloge, sig. A ii. ed. 1570; quoted in
Dyce's Skelton, ii. 194.

1239. Understand _Somme_, some; see note to l. 1197. The expression _blody
soun_ recurs in Kn. Tale, A 2512, in connection with _trumpe_ and
_clarioun_. Our author explains his meaning here; ll. 1241-2.

1243. _Missenus_, Misenus, son of Æolus, trumpeter to Hector, and
subsequently to Æneas; Verg. Æn. iii. 239; vi. 162-170.

1245. _Joab_ and _Theodomas_ are again mentioned together in a like passage
in the Merch. Tale (C. T., E 1719). 'Joab blew a trumpet'; 2 Sam. ii. 28;
xviii. 16; xx. 22. Theodomas is said by Chaucer (Merch. Tale) to have blown
a trumpet 'At Thebes, when the citee was in doute.' He was therefore a
trumpeter mentioned in some legendary history of Thebes. With this hint, it
is easy to identify him with Thiodamas, mentioned in books viii. and x. of
the Thebaid of Statius. He succeeded Amphiaraus as augur, and furiously
excited the besiegers to attack Thebes. His invocation was succeeded by a
great sound of trumpets (Theb. viii. 343), to which Chaucer here refers.
But Statius does not expressly say that Thiodamas blew a trumpet himself.

1248. _Cataloigne and Aragon_, Catalonia and Arragon, in Spain, immediately
to the S. of the Pyrenees. Warton remarks: 'The martial musicians of
English tournaments, so celebrated in story, were a more natural and
obvious allusion for an English poet'; Hist. E. P. ii. 331. The remark is,
I think, entirely out of place. Chaucer is purposely taking a wide range;
and, after mentioning even the pipers of the Dutch tongue, as well as Joab
of Judæa and Thiodamas of Thebes, is quite consistent in mentioning the
musicians of Spain.

1257. Repeated, at greater length, in C. T., Group B, ll. 19-28; see note
to that passage.

1259. _Iogelours_, jugglers. See Squi. Tale, F 219.

1260. _Tregetours_; see C. T., F 1141, on which Tyrwhitt has a long note. A
_jogelour_ was one who amused people, either by playing, singing, dancing,
or tricks requiring sleight of hand; a _tregetour_ was one who brought
about elaborate illusions, by the help of machinery or mechanical
contrivance. Thus Chaucer tells us (in the Frank. Tale, as above) that
_tregetoures_ even caused to appear, in a dining-hall, a barge floating in
water, or what seemed like a lion, or a vine with grapes upon it, or a
castle built of lime and stone; which vanished at their pleasure. Sir John
Maundeville, in his Travels, ch. 22, declares that the 'enchanters' of the
Grand Khan could turn day into night, or cause visions of damsels dancing
or carrying cups of gold, or of knights justing; 'and many other thinges
thei don, be craft of hire Enchauntementes; that it is marveyle for to
see.' See note to l. 1277 below. Gawain Douglas imitates this passage in
his Palice of Honour; see his Works, ed. Small, i. 65.

1261. _Phitonesses_, pythonesses. The witch of Endor is called a
_phitonesse_ in the Freres Tale, C. T., D 1510; and in Gower, Conf. Amant.
bk. iv, ed. Pauli, ii. 66; in Barbour's Bruce, ed. Skeat, iv. 753; and in
Skelton's Phyllyp Sparowe, 1345. The Vulgate version has _mulier pythonem
habens_, 1 Sam. xxviii. 7 (cf. Acts xvi. 16); but also the very word
_pythonissam_ in 1 Chron. x. 13, where the witch of Endor is again referred
to. Ducange notices _phitonissa_ as another spelling of _pythonissa_.

1266. Cf. Chaucer's Prologue, 417-420. There is a parallel passage in
Dante, Inf. xx. 116-123, where the word _imago_ occurs in the sense of
'waxen image.' This of course refers to the practice of sticking needles
into a waxen image, with the supposed effect of injuring the person
represented. See Ovid, Heroid. vi. 91, and Ben Jonson's Masque of Queens
(_3rd Charm_). But this is only a particular case of a much more general
principle. Images of men or animals (or even of the things representing the
zodiacal signs) could be made of various substances, according to the
effect intended; and by proper treatment were supposed to cause good or
evil to the patient, as required. Much could be done, it was supposed, by
choosing the right time for making them, or for subjecting them to
celestial influences. To know the right time, it was necessary to observe
the _ascendent_ (see note to l. 1268). See much jargon on this subject in
Cornelius Agrippa, De Occulta Philosophia, lib. ii. capp. 35-47.

1268. The _ascendent_ is that point of the zodiacal circle which is seen to
be just ascending above the horizon at a given moment. Chaucer defines it
in his Treatise on the Astrolabe, and adds that astrologers, in calculating
horoscopes, were in the habit of giving it a wider meaning; they further
reckoned in 5 degrees of the zodiac above the horizon, and 25 degrees below
the ascending point, so as to make the whole _ascendent_ occupy 30 degrees,
which was the length of a 'sign.' In calculating nativities, great
importance was attached to this ascendent, the astrological concomitants of
which determined the horoscope. The phrase to be 'in the ascendant' is
still in use. Thus _in certeyn ascendentes_ is equivalent to 'in certain
positions of the heavens, at a given time,' such as the time of one's
birth, or the time for making an _image_ (see last note). See p. 191

1271. _Medea_, the famous wife of Jason, who restored her father Æson to
youth by her magical art; Ovid, Met. vii. 162. Gower tells the whole story,
C. A. bk. v. ed. Pauli, ii. 259.

1272. _Circes_, Circe, the enchantress; Homer's Odyssey, bk. x; Ovid, Met.
xiv. Ovid frequently has the form _Circes_, in the gen. case; Met. xiv. 10,
69, 71, 247, 294. Cf. Chaucer's Boethius, b. iv. met. 3. 24.

_Calipsa_, Calypso, the nymph who detained Ulysses in an island; Odyssey,
bk. i; Ovid, ex Ponto, iv. 10. 13.

1273. _Hermes_ is mentioned in the Can. Yeom. Tale, C. T., Group G, 1434,
where the reference is to Hermes Trismegistus, fabled to have been the
founder of alchemy, though none of the works ascribed to him are really
his. The name _Balenus_ occurs, in company with the names of _Medea_ and
_Circe_, in the following passage of the Rom. de la Rose, l. 14599:--

 'Que ja riens d'enchantement croie,
  Ne sorcerie, ne charroie,
  Ne _Balenus_, ne sa science,
  Ne magique, ne nigromance, ...
  Onques ne pot tenir _Medée_
  Jason por nul enchantement;
  N'onc _Circe_ ne tint ensement
  Ulixes qu'il ne s'enfoïst,' &c.

(_Charroie_ is the dance of witches on their sabbath.) _Hermes Ballenus_ is
really a compound name, the true significance of which was pointed out to
me by Prof. Cowell, and explained in my letter to The Academy, Apr. 27,
1889, p. 287. _Ballenus_ is 'the sage Belinous,' who discovered, beneath a
statue of _Hermes_, a book containing all the secrets of the universe.
Hence _Hermes' Ballenus_ (where _Hermes_ is an epithet) means 'Belinous,
who adopted the philosophy of Hermes.' For an explanation of the whole
matter, see the fourth volume of the Notices et Mémoires des Manuscrits de
la Bibliothèque du Roi, p. 107. In this there is an article by De Sacy,
describing MS. Arabe de la Bibl. du Roi, no. 959, the title of which is 'Le
Livre du Secret de la Creature, par le sage Belinous.' Belinous possessed
the art of talismans, which he professed to have learnt from Hermes. There
is some reason for identifying him with Apollonius of Tyana.

1274. _Lymote_, according to Warton, is Limotheus; but he omits to tell us
where he found such a name; and the suggestion seems no better than his
mistake of supposing _Calipsa_ (l. 1272) to mean the muse Calliope!
Considering that he is mentioned in company with Simon Magus, or Simon the
magician (Acts viii. 9), the suggestion of Prof. Hales seems probable, viz.
that _Lymote_ or _Lymete_ (as in F.) means Elymas the sorcerer (Acts xiii.

1275. 'I saw, and knew by name, those that,' &c.

1277. _Colle tregetour_, Colle the juggler; see l. 1260. _Colle_ is here a
proper name, and distinct from the prefix _col-_ in _col-fox_, Non. Pr.
Tale, B 4405. _Colle_ is the name of a dog; Non. Pr. Tale, B 4573. _Colyn_
and _Colle_ are names of grooms; Polit. Songs, p. 237. Tyrwhitt quotes a
passage from The Testament of Love, bk. ii:--'Buserus [Busiris] slew his
gestes, and he was slayne of Hercules his gest. Hugest betraished many
menne, and of _Collo_ was he betraied'; ed. 1561, fol. 301, col. 2. With
regard to _tregetour_, see the account of the performances of Eastern
jugglers in Yule's edition of Marco Polo; vol. i. p. 342, and note 9 to Bk.
i. c. 61. Col. Yule cites the O.F. forms _tregiteor_ and _entregetour_;
also Ital. _tragettatore_, a juggler, and Prov. _trasjitar_, _trajitar_, to
juggle. Bartsch, in his Chrestomathie Française, has examples of
_trasgeter_, to mould, form, _tresgeteïs_, a work of mechanical art; and,
in his Chrestomathie Provençale, col. 82, has the lines--

 'Non saps balar ni _tras-gitar_
  a guiza de juglar guascon';

i.e. thou know'st not how to dance, nor how to juggle, after the manner of
a Gascon juggler. A comparison of the forms leaves no doubt as to the
etymology. The Prov. _trasgitar_ answers to a Low Lat. form _trans-iectare_
= _tra-iectare_, frequentative of Lat. _trans-icere_, _tra-icere_, to throw
across, transfer, cause to pass. Thus, the orig. sense of _tregetour_ was
one who causes rapid changes, by help of some mechanical contrivance. The
F. _trajecter_, to ferry, transport, in Cotgrave, is the same word as the
Prov. _trasgitar_, in a different (but allied) sense.

1292. 'As is the usual way with reports.'

1295. Accent _Which_ and _so_.

1297. 'And yet it was wrought by haphazard quite as often as by heed.'

1300. _To longe_, too long; not 'to dwell long.' The barbarous practice of
inserting an adverb between _to_ and an infinitive, as in 'to
ungrammatically talk,' is of later date, though less modern than we might
perhaps imagine. Cf. l. 1354.

1302. Elide the former _Ne_; read _N'of_.

1303. Read--Ne hów they hátt' in másonéries; i.e. nor how they are named in
masonry, as, for example, corbets full of imageries. _They hatte_, i.e.
they are called, was turned into _hakking_, and the sense lost.

1304. _Corbets_, corbels. Florio's Ital. Dict. has, '_Corbella_,
_Corbetta_, a little basket'; shewing the equivalence of such forms. The E.
_corbel_ is the same word as O.F. _corbel_ (F. _corbeau_), apparently from
the Lat. _coruus_. The spelling with _z_ (= _ts_) in MSS. F. and B. shews
that the form is really _corbetts_ or _corbets_, not _corbelles_. Spenser
has the simple form _corb_; F. Q. iv. 10. 6:--

 'It was a bridge ybuilt in goodly wise
  With curious _corbes_ and pendants graven faire.'

'A _Corbel_, _Corbet_, or _Corbill_ in masonrie, is a iutting out like a
_bragget_ [bracket] as carpenters call it, or shouldering-peece in
timber-work'; Minsheu's Dict. ed. 1627. Tyrwhitt explains _corbets_ by
'niches for statues'; but 'imageries' are not necessarily statues or
_images_, but rather specimens of carved work.

1309. 'A bounty! a bounty! hold up (your hands) well (to catch it).' Sir W.
Scott explains _largesse_ as 'the cry with which heralds and pursuivants
were wont to acknowledge the bounty received from the knights'; note to
Marmion, canto i. St. 11. The word is still in use amongst gleaners in East
Anglia; see my note to P. Plowman, C. viii. 109.

1311. In Anglia, xiv. 236, Dr. Köppell points out some resemblances between
the present poem and Boccaccio's Amorosa Visione. He compares this line
with the A. V. vi. 75:--'Io son la Gloria del popol mondano.'

1316, 7. _Kinges_, i.e. kings-at-arms; _losenges_, lozenges (with _g_ as

1326. _Cote-armure_, surcoat; see Way's note in Prompt. Parv.

1329-35. Imitated from Rom. Rose, 6762-4.

1330. _Been aboute_, used like the old phrase _go about_.

1342-6. Cf. Boccaccio, Amorosa Visione, iv. 9:--'Ed in una gran sala ci
trovammo; Chiara era e bella e risplendente d'oro.'

1346. _Wikke_, poor, much alloyed.

1352. _Lapidaire_, 'a treatise on precious stones, so entitled; probably a
French translation of the Latin poem of Marbodus _De Gemmis_, which is
frequently cited by the name of _Lapidarius_; Fabricius, Bibl. Med. Æt., in
v. _Marbodus_'; Tyrwhitt's Glossary. The Lapidarium of Abbot Marbodus
(Marboeuf), composed about 1070-80, is chiefly taken from Pliny and
Solinus. A translation in English verse is given in King's Antique Gems.
See note to l. 1363 below. There is some account of several precious stones
in Philip de Thaun's Bestiary, printed in Wright's Popular Treatises on
Science; at p. 127 he refers to the _Lapidaire_. Vincent of Beauvais refers
to it repeatedly, in book viii. of his Speculum Naturale. There is a note
about this in Warton, Hist. E. P. ed. 1871, ii. 324. And see note to l.

1360. _Dees_, daïs; see the note to Prol. 370, in vol. v. Lines 1360-7 may
be compared with various passages in Boccaccio's Amorosa Visione, which
describe a lady in a rich vesture, seated on a royal throne:--

 'Tutti li _soprastava_ veramente
  Di _ricche pietre_ coronata e d'oro' ...
 'Il suo vestire a guisa _imperiale_
  Era, e teneva nella man sinestra
  Un pomo d'oro; e'n _trono_ alla reale
  Vidi sedeva' ...
 'Odi: che mai _natura_ con sua arte
  _Forma_ non diede a si bella figura' ...
 'Donna pareva li leggiadra e pura'....

See Am. Vis. vi. 49, 58, 43, 48. See note to l. 1311 above.

1361. The reading _Sit_ would mean 'sitteth' or 'sits'; the reading _Sat_
would mean 'sat.' Both are wrong; the construction is _sitte I saugh_ = _I
saugh sitte_, I saw sit; so that _sitte_ is the infin. mood.

1363. _Carbuncle._ Vincent of Beauvais, Spec. Nat bk. viii. c. 51, has:
'_Carbunculus_, qui et Græcè _anthrax_ dicitur, vulgariter _rubith_.' An
account of the _Carbunculus_ is given in King's Natural History of Precious
Stones and Gems. He remarks that the ruby 'must also be included among the
numerous species of the _carbunculus_ described by Pliny, although he gives
the first rank to the _Carbunculi amethystizontes_, our Almandines or
Garnets of Siam.' See also his Antique Gems, where he translates sect. 23
of the Lapidarium of Marbodus thus:--

 'The _Carbuncle_ eclipses by its blaze
  All shining gems, and casts its fiery rays
  Like to the burning coal; whence comes its name,
  Among the Greeks as _Anthrax_ known to fame.
  Not e'en by darkness quenched, its vigour tires;
  Still at the gazer's eye it darts its fires;
  A numerous race; within the Lybian ground
  Twelve kinds by mining Troglydytes are found.'

1368-76. Cf. Boethius, in Chaucer's translation; bk. i. pr. 1, ll. 8-13
(vol. ii. p. 2).

1376. _Sterres sevene_, the seven planets.

1380. _Tolde_, counted; observe this sense.

1383. _Bestes foure_, four beasts; Rev. iv. 6. Cf. Dante, Purg. xxix. 92.

1386. Thynne remarks that _oundy_, i.e. wavy, is a term in heraldry; cf. E.
_ab-ound_, _red-ound_, _surr-ound_ (for _sur-ound_); all from Lat. _unda_.
Cf. Chaucer's use of _ounded_ in Troilus, iv. 736, and Le Roman de la Rose,
21399, 21400:--

 'Et voit ses biaus crins blondoians
  Comme undes ensemble ondoians.'

1390. 'And tongues, as (there are) hairs on animals.' 'Her feet are
furnished with partridge-wings to denote swiftness, as the partridge is
remarkable for running with great swiftness with outstretched wings. This
description is taken almost literally from the description of Fame in the
Æneid [iv. 176-183], except the allusion to the Apocalypse and the
partridge-wings'; note in Bell's Chaucer. But it is to be feared that
Chaucer simply blundered, and mistook Vergil's _pernicibus_ as having the
sense of _perdicibus_; cf. '_pedibus_ celerem et _pernicibus alis_'; Aen.
iv. 180.

1400. _Caliopee_, Calliope the muse; her eight sisters are the other Muses.
With ll. 1395-1405 cf. Dante, Par. xxiii. 97-111.

1411. Read--Bóth-e th'ármes. _Armes_, i.e. coats of arms. _Name_, name
engraved on a plate or written on a scroll.

1413. _Alexander_; see Monkes Tale, in C. T., B 3821. _Hercules_; see the
same; the story of the shirt is given in B 3309-3324. In Le Roman de la
Rose, l. 9238, it is called 'la venimeuse chemise.' Cf. Dante, Inf. xii.

1431. _Lede_, lead, the metal of Saturn; _yren_, iron, the metal of Mars.
See note to Can. Yeom. Tale, G 820, and ll. 827, 828 of the same; also ll.
1446, 1448 below.

1433. Read--Th'Ebráyk Jósephús. In a note on Gower's Conf. Amantis, Warton
remarks--'Josephus, on account of his subject, had long been placed almost
on a level with the Bible. He is seated on the first pillar in Chaucer's
House of Fame. His Jewish History, translated into Latin by Rufinus in the
fourth century, had given rise to many old poems and romances; and his
Maccabaics, or History of the seven Maccabees, martyred with their father
Eleazar under the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, a separate work
translated also by Rufinus, produced the Judas Maccabee of Belleperche in
the year 1240, and at length enrolled the Maccabees among the most
illustrious heroes of romance.'--ed. Hazlitt, iii. 26.

1436. _Iewerye_, kingdom of the Jews; cf. Prior. Tale, B 1679.

1437. Who the other seven are, we can but guess; the reference seems to be
to Jewish historians. Perhaps we may include Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Isaiah,
Daniel, Nehemiah; and, in any case, Ezra. The number _seven_ was probably
taken at random. With l. 1447 cf. Troil. ii. 630.

1450. _Wheel_, orbit. The orbit of Saturn is the largest of the (old) seven
planets; see Kn. Tale, 1596 (A 2454). The reason why Josephus is placed
upon Saturn's metal, is because history records so many unhappy casualties,
such as Saturn's influence was supposed to cause. All this is fully
explained in the Kn. Tale, 1597-1611 (A 2455-69).

1457. _Yren_, the metal of Mars; see note to l. 1431.

1459. This allusion to 'tiger's blood' is curious; but is fully accounted
for by the account of the two tigers in bk. vii. of the Thebaid. A peace
had nearly been made up between the Thebans and the other Greeks, when two
tigers, sacred to Bacchus, broke loose, and killed three men. They were
soon wounded by Aconteus, whereupon 'They fly, and flying, draw upon the
plain A bloody line'; according to Lewis's translation. They fall and die,
but are avenged; and so the whole war was renewed. Lydgate reduces the two
tigers to one; see his chapter 'Of a tame Tigre dwelling in Thebes'; in
part 3 of his Sege of Thebes.

1460. _Stace_ (as in Troil. bk. v, near the end, and Kn. Tale, A 2294) is
Publius Papinius Statius, who died A.D. 96, author of the Thebais and
Achilleis (see l. 1463), the latter being left incomplete. _Tholosan_ means
Toulousan, or inhabitant of Toulouse; and he is here so called because by
some (including Dante, whom Chaucer follows) he was incorrectly supposed to
have been a native of Toulouse. He was born at Naples, A.D. 61. Dante calls
him _Tolosano_ in Purg. xxi. 89, on which Cary remarks:--'Dante, as many
others have done, confounds Statius the poet, who was a Neapolitan, with a
rhetorican of the same name, who was of Tolosa or Thoulouse. Thus Chaucer;
and Boccaccio, as cited by Lombardi: "E Stazio di Tolosa ancora caro";
Amorosa Vis. _cant._ 5.'

Dr. Köppell quotes the last passage, from Boccaccio, Am. Vis. v. 34, in
Anglia, xiv. 237, and shews that other passages in the same resemble other
lines in the Hous of Fame. See notes to ll. 1311, 1342, 1360, 1483, 1487,
and 1499.

1463. 'Cantai di Tebe, e poi del grande Achille'; Dante, Purg. xxi. 92.

1466. _Omeer_, Homer; see ll. 1477-1480 below.

1467. In Chaucer's Troil. i. 146, is the line--'In Omer, or in Dares, or in
Dyte.' _Dares_ means Dares Phrygius; and _Tytus_ is doubtless intended for
the same person as _Dyte_, i.e. Dictys Cretensis. See the account in
Warton, Hist. E. Poet., ed. Hazlitt, ii. 127, beginning:--'But the Trojan
story was still kept alive in two Latin pieces, which passed under the
names of Dares Phrygius and Dictys Cretensis,' &c.; and further in vol.
iii. p. 81. The chief source of the romantic histories of Troy in the
middle ages is the Roman de Troie by Benoit de Sainte-Maure, which appeared
between 1175 and 1185, and has lately been edited by M. Joly. This was
copied by Guido delle Colonne (see note to l. 1469 below), who pretended,
nevertheless, to follow Dares and Dictys. Chaucer cites Dares and Dictys at
second-hand, from Guido.

1468. _Lollius_; evidently supposed by Chaucer to be a writer on the Trojan
war. See Tyrwhitt's note on the words _the boke of Troilus_, as occurring
at the end of the Persones Tale. Chaucer twice quotes _Lollius_ in Troilus,
viz. in bk. i. 394 and bk. v. 1653. At the beginning of sect. xiv of his
Hist. of Eng. Poetry, Warton shews that there was a Lollius Urbicus among
the _Historici Latini profani_ of the third century; 'but this could not be
Chaucer's Lollius; ... none of his works remain.' The difficulty has never
been wholly cleared up; we know, however, that the Troilus is chiefly taken
from Boccaccio's Filostrato, just as his Knight's Tale is chiefly taken
from Boccaccio's Teseide. My idea of the matter is that, in the usual mode
of appealing to old authorities, Chaucer refers us (not to Boccaccio, whom
he does not mention, but) to the authorities whom he supposed Boccaccio
must have followed. Accordingly, in his Troilus, he mentions Homer, Dares,
Dictys, and Lollius, though he probably knew next to nothing of _any one_
of these authors. On this account, the suggestion made by Dr. Latham
(Athenæum, Oct. 3, 1868, p. 433) seems quite reasonable, viz. that he got
the idea that Lollius wrote on the Trojan war by misunderstanding the lines
of Horace, Epist. i. 2:--

 'Troiani belli scriptorem, maxime Lolli,
  Dum tu declamas Romæ, Præneste relegi.'

See Ten Brink, Studien, p. 87. This supposition becomes almost a certainty
when we observe how often medieval writers obtained their information from
MSS. containing short extracts. Chaucer clearly never read Horace at all;
he merely stumbled on a very few extracts from him in notebooks. In this
way, he may easily have met with the _first line_ above, apart from its
context. Cf. vol. ii. pp. lii, liii.

1469. Guido delle Colonne, or Guido de Columnis (_not_ da Colonna),
finished his translation or version of Benoit de Sainte-Maure's Roman de
Troie in the year 1287. His work is called Historia Troiana. The 'Geste
Hystoriale' of the Destruction of Troy, edited by Panton and Donaldson for
the Early English Text Society, is a translation of Guido's Historia into
Middle English alliterative verse. See Warton, Hist. E. P., ed. Hazlitt,
iii. 81; and Introd. to vol. ii. pp. liv-lxv.

1470. _Gaufride_, Geoffrey, viz. Geoffrey of Monmouth, who died A.D. 1154,
and wrote a History of the Britons in Latin, full of extravagant but lively
fictions, which was completed in 1147; see Morley's Hist. E. Writers, i.
496. He is rightly mentioned among the writers who 'bore up Troy,' because
he makes the Britons the descendants of Æneas. See note below.

1477. _Oon seyde_, one (of them) said. Guido was one of those who said
this; this appears from the Gest Hystoriale above mentioned, which was
translated from Guido; see ll. 41-47, and 10312-10329 of Panton and
Donaldson's edition. Guido asserts, for example, that Achilles slew Hector
by treachery, and not, as Homer says, in fair fight; and Chaucer asserts
the same, Troil. v. 1560. The fact is, that the Latin races declined to
accept an account which did not sufficiently praise the Trojans, whom they
regarded as their ancestors. Geoffrey of Monmouth ingeniously followed up
this notion, by making the Trojans also the ancestors of the ancient
Britons. Hence English writers followed on the same side; Lydgate, as well
as Chaucer, exclaims against Homer. See Warton, ed. Hazlitt, iii. 82. But
Dante exalts Homer above Horace, Ovid, and Lucan: Inf. iv. 88.

1482. 'Homer's iron is admirably represented as having been by Virgil
covered over with tin'; note in Bell's Chaucer.

1483. There is a similar mention of Vergil in Boccaccio, Amorosa Visione,
v. 7. See note to l. 1460.

1487. _Ovide_, Ovid; from whom perhaps Chaucer borrows more than from any
other Latin writer. He stands on a pillar of copper, the metal sacred to
Venus. See note to l. 820 of Can. Yeom. Tale. And cf. Boccaccio, Amorosa
Visione, v. 25: 'Eravi Ovidio, lo quale poetando Iscrisse tanti versi per

1494. _High the_ (as in F.) is an error for _highthe_, height; Cx. Th. have
_heyght_. Read _highte_, as in l. 744.

1499. _Lucan_; alluding to Lucan's Pharsalia, which narrates the war
between Cæsar and Pompey. See Man of Lawes Tale, B 401; Monkes Tale, De
Caesare, B 3909 (and note), and a fourth mention of him in Troilus, v.
1792. There is an English translation by Rowe. Cf. Boccaccio, Amorosa
Visione, v. 19: 'A' quai Lucan seguitava, ne' cui Atti parea ch'ancora la
battaglia Di Cesare narrasse, e di colui Magno Pompeo chiamato.'

1509. Claudius Claudianus, in the fourth century, wrote a poem De Raptu
Proserpinæ, alluded to here and in the Merchant's Tale (C. T., E 2232), and
several other pieces. See note to Parl. Foules, 99.

1512. Imitated from Dante, Inf. ix. 44: 'Della regina dell' eterno pianto.'

1519. _Write_, wrote; pt. t. pl. _Highte_, were named.

1521. Perhaps from Dante, Inf. xvi. 1, which Cary translates:--

 'Now came I where the water's din was heard,...
  Resounding like the hum of swarming bees,
  When forth together issued from a troop,' &c.

1527. Cf. Ovid, Met. xii. 53: 'Atria turba tenent; ueniunt leue uulgus,

1530. _Alles-kinnes_ is in the gen. sing., and _Of_ governs _condiciouns_;
thus the line is equivalent to--'Of conditions of every kind'; whereas
modern English uses--'Of every kind of condition.' This peculiar idiom was
formerly common; and precisely similar to it is the phrase _noskinnes_, for
which see note to l. 1794. Observe that the phrase is oddly written _alle
skynnes_ in MS. F., by a misdivision of the words. So in Piers Plowman, A.
ii. 175, we have the phrase _for eny kunnes yiftus_, for gifts of any kind,
where one MS. has _any skynes_. In my note to P. Plowman, C. xi. 128, I
give numerous examples, with references, of phrases such as _none kynnes
riche_, _many kynnes maneres_, _summes kunnes wise_, _what kyns schape_,

1550. 'Those that did pray her for her favour.'

1564. 'Because it does not please me.'

1570. I here alter _Vpon peyne_ to _Vp peyne_, as the former will not scan,
and the latter is the usual idiom. See _up peyne_ in Kn. Tale, A 1707,
2543; Man of Lawes Tale, B 795, 884. Cf. _vp the toft_, upon the toft, P.
Plowman, B. i. 12; _vp erthe_, upon earth, id. B. ix. 99.

1571. Cf. Rom. Rose, 18206--'Car Eolus, li diex des vens.' From Vergil, Æn.
i. 52; cf. Ovid, Met. xiv. 223, where Æolus is said to reign over the
Tuscan sea. The connection of Æolus with Thrace is not obvious; cf. l.
1585. Ovid, however, has 'Threicio Borea'; Art. Am. ii. 431. And see
Lounsbury, Studies in Chaucer, ii. 382.

1596. _Took to_, delivered to. _Triton_, Triton; imitated from Ovid, Met.
i. 333, where Neptune calls Triton, and bids him sound his 'shell,' the
sound of which resounded everywhere.

1598. We rarely find _to_ used after _leet_; the usual formula is _leet
go_. But cf. _leet to glyde_ in Cant. Ta., F 1415. Or read _to-go_,

1618. _Wite_ is badly spelt _wete_ or _wote_ in the MS. copies; but the
very phrase _wite ye what_ occurs in C. T., E 2431. However, Ch. certainly
uses the phrase _ye woot_ instead of _ye wite_, more than once.

1640. _Overthrowe_, be overthrown; as in the Tale of Gamelin, 512. Cf.
Melibeus, B 2755.

1643. A _pelet_ was a stone ball, such as used to be fired from the
earliest kind of cannon, of which this is a very early mention. See my
glossary to P. Plowman (Clar. Press).

1670. _Lat goon_, let go, lay aside.

1702. The word _turned_, which is dissyllabic, has evidently been
substituted here in the printed editions and in MS. P. for the older and
rare word _clew_, which does not occur elsewhere in Chaucer. The line
means--'With that (therupon) I rubbed my head all round'; which is a rustic
way of expressing perplexity. The verb _clawen_, to scratch, stroke, is not
uncommon, but the usual pt. t. is _clawed_. We find, however, at least one
other example of the strong form of the past tense in the Seven Sages, ed.
Weber, l. 925--He _clew_ the bor on the rigge,' he stroked the boar on the
back, and made him go to sleep; cf. 'thi maister the _clawes_,' i.e. your
master strokes you, to flatter you, in l. 937 of the same. Chaucer has, 'to
_clawen_ [rub] him on his hele' [heel], Troil. iv. 728; 'he _clawed_ him on
the bak,' he stroked him on the back, to encourage him, Cook's Prol., A
4326 (where _clew_ would suit the line better). See _claw_ in Jamieson's
Scot. Dict.

1708. 'They would not give a leek.' Cf. 'dere ynough a leek'; Can. Yeom.
Tale, Group G, 795.

1740. 'Although no brooch or ring was ever sent us.'

1742-4. 'Nor was it once intended in their heart to make us even friendly
cheer, but they might (i.e. were ready to) bring us to our bier'; i.e. so
far from caring to please us, they would be satisfied to see us dead.

The M.E. _temen_, to produce, to bring, is the same word as mod. E. _teem_,
to produce. _To temen on bere_ is parallel to the old phrase _to bringen on
bere_; cf. Gaw. Douglas, tr. of Æneid, bk. x. ch. 10, l. 138 (ed. Small,
iii. 326), where _brocht on beyr_ means 'brought to their grave.' See
_Bier_ in the New Eng. Dictionary.

1747. _For wood_, as (if) mad, 'like mad.' The same phrase recurs in Leg.
Good Women, _Phyllis_, l. 27; cf. _as it were wood_, Kn. Tale, A 2950; and
_for pure wood_, Rom. Rose, 276.

1759-62. Cf. Rom. de la Rose, 9887-90:--

 'Si se sunt maint vanté de maintes;
  Par paroles fauces et faintes,
  Dont les cors avoir ne pooient,
  Lor non à grant tort diffamoient.'

1761. _The name_, the name of it, the credit of it.

1777. _Masty_ (miswritten _maisty_ in F., but _masty_ in the rest) means
fat, fattened up, and hence unwieldy, sluggish. Bell alters it to _maisly_,
and Moxon's edition to _nastie_; both being wrong. Palsgrave has: '_Masty_,
fatte, as swyne be, _gras_.' The Promp. Parv. has: 'Mast-hog or swyne, [or]
mastid swyne, _Maialis_'; and 'Mastyn beestys, _sagino, impinguo_.' Way
rightly explains _masty_ as 'glutted with acorns or berries'; cf. 'Acorne,
_mast_ for swyne, _gland_,' in Palsgrave. See The Former Age, l. 37.

1779. _Wher_, whether, 'is it the case that?'

1782. As the word _oughte_ is never followed by _to_ with a following
gerund, it is certain that _to-hangen_ is all one word, the prefix _to-_
being intensive. MSS. F. and B. omit _to_, but the rest have it, and the
syllable is wanted. I know of no other example of _to-hangen_, to hang
thoroughly, but this is of little moment. The prefix _to-_ was freely added
to all sorts of verbs expressing strong action; Stratmann gives _more than
a hundred_ examples. Cf. note to l. 1598.

1783. We must read _sweynte_, the form preserved in MS. B, where the final
_e_ is added to the pp. _sweynt_, as if it were an adjective used in the
definite form. The reading _swynt_ is false, being an error for _sweynte_.
The reading _slepy_ is a mere gloss upon this rare word, but fairly
expresses the meaning. Bell's Chaucer has _swynt_, which the editor
supposes to be put for _swinkt_ = _swinked_, pp. of _swinken_, to toil, as
in Milton's 'swinkd hedger'; Comus, 293. He is, however, entirely wrong,
for Milton's _swink'd_ is quite a late form; in Chaucer's time the verb
_swinken_ was strong, and the pp. was _swunken_! Chaucer has _queynt_ as
the pp. of _quenchen_, Kn. Tale, A 2321; and _dreynt_ as the pp. of
_drenchen_, Non. Prest. Tale, B 4272. Similarly _sweynt_ is the pp. of
_swenchen_, to cause to toil, to fatigue, tire out, the causal verb formed
from the aforesaid strong intransitive verb _swinken_, to toil. For
examples, see _swenchen_ in Stratmann; I may instance, 'Euwer feond eou ne
scal ... _swenchen_,' your enemies shall not harass you, Old Eng. Homilies,
ed. Morris, i. 13; and 'hi _swencten_ swiðe heom-seolfe,' they sore
afflicted themselves, id. 101. Hence, 'the sweynte cat' means the
over-toiled or tired-out cat; or, secondarily, a cat that will take no
trouble, a slothful or _sleepy_ cat, as the gloss says. Compare Gower,
Conf. Amant. ed. Pauli, ii. 39, where the same cat is brought forward as an
example of the deadly sin of _Sloth_:--

 'For he [a knight] ne wol no travail take
  To ride for his ladies sake,
  But liveth al upon his wisshes,
  And--as a cat wolde ete fisshes
  Withoute weting of his clees--
  So wolde he do, but netheles
  He faileth ofte of that he wolde.'

The 'adage' is referred to in Macbeth, i. 7. 45. It occurs in MS. Harl.
2321, fol. 146, printed in Reliq. Antiquæ, i. 207, in the form: 'The cat
doth love the fishe, she will not wett her foote.' In Heywood's Proverbs,
1562 (p. 28, ed. Spenser Soc.): 'The cat would eate fyshe, and would not
wet her feete.' So also in Camden's Remains, 1614, p. 312. Hazlitt gives a
rimed version:--

 'Fain would the cat fish eat,
  But she's loth to wet her feet.'

In Piers the Plowman's Crede, 405, is the allusion:--

 'Thou woldest not weten thy fote, and woldest fich cacchen.'

In a medieval Latin verse, it appears as: 'Catus amat piscem, sed non vult
tingere plantam'; see Proverbialia Dicteria ... per A. Gartnerum, 1574,
8vo. Ray quotes the French: 'Le chat aime le poisson, mais il n'aime pas à
mouiller la patte.' The German form is--'Die Katze hätt' der Fische gern;
aber sie will die Füsse nit nass machen'; N. and Q. 4 S. ix. 266.

1794. _Noskinnes_; miswritten _no skynnes_ in MSS. F. and B.; Th. and Cx.
_no kyns_. _Nos-kinnes_ is short for _noneskinnes_, of no kind; _noskinnes
labour_ is 'work of no kind'; in mod. E. 'no kind of work.' It also occurs
without the former _s_; as in _no kyne catel_, property of no kind, P.
Plowm. C. xi. 250; _none kynnes riche_, rich men of no kind, id. B. xi.
185. Cf. also _of foure kunne thinges_, of things of four kinds, of four
kinds of things, where one MS. has _of foure skynnes thinges_; P. Plowm. A.
x. 2. And see note to l. 1530 above.

1796. _Bele Isaude_, Isaude (or Isoude, or Isolde) the fair; here a type of
a high form of female beauty. See Parl. Foules, 290; and the note.

1798. 'She that grinds at a hand-mill'; a poor slave.

1810. _Hir_ (their) refers to the 'seventh company.' 'Such amusement they
found in their hoods'; a phrase meaning 'so much did they laugh at them';
see Troil. ii. 1110. Cf. the phrase 'to put an ape in a man's hood,' i.e.
to make him look like an ape, or look foolish; see note to C. T., Group B,

1823. 'Then a company came running in.'

1824. _Choppen_, strike downwards. They began hitting people on the head,
regardless of consequences. The same expression occurs in Richard the
Redeless, iii. 230--'And ich man i-charchid to schoppe at his croune';
where _i-charchid_ = _i-charged_, i.e. was charged, was commanded, and
_schoppe_ = _choppe_.

1840. _Pale_, a perpendicular stripe; chiefly used as an heraldic term. The
object of the conspicuous stripe upon the hose was to draw men's attention
to him; for the same reason, he wore a bell on his tippet, and, in fact,
his dress resembled that of the professional fool. _Paled_ or striped hose
were sometimes worn for display.

 'Buskins he wore of costliest cordwayne,
  Pinckt upon gold, and _paled_ part per part,
  As then the guize was for each gentle swayne.'
                                 Spenser, _F. Q._ vi. 2. 6.

I.e. his buskins were adorned with golden dots or eyelets, and regularly
intersected with stripes arranged perpendicularly.

1844. _Isidis_, Isis; _Isidis_ being a form of the genitive case. Chaucer
doubtless refers to Herostratus, the wretch who set fire to the temple of
Diana at Ephesus, in order to immortalise his name. Why Diana here appears
as Isis, and Ephesus as Athens, I cannot explain. Perhaps it was due to a
defect of memory; we are apt to forget how _very_ largely medieval authors
had to trust to their memories for names and facts. It is almost impossible
for us moderns, with our facilities for reference, to imagine what were the
difficulties of learned men in the olden time. Perhaps Chaucer was thinking
of Ovid's line (ex Ponto, i. 1. 51)--'Uidi ego linigerae numen uiolasse
fatentem _Isidis_.' The story is in Solinus, Polyhistor, cap. xl. § 3.

 'See, Erostratus the second
  Fires again Diana's fane.'
        Rejected Addresses; _Drury's Dirge_, st. 5.

1853. Thynne prints--'(Though it be naught) for shreudness'; but this is
very forced. MS. B. and Caxton both omit _noght_, rightly.

1857. 'And, in order to get (some) of the meed of fame.'

1880. An allusion to the old proverb--'As I brew, so must I needs drink';
in Camden's Remains. Gower has it, Conf. Amant. bk. iii, ed. Pauli, ii.

 'And who so wicked ale breweth,
  Ful ofte he mot the werse drinke.'

1908. The form _bringes_, for _bringest_, though (strictly speaking) a
Northern form, is not uncommon in East Midland. It occurs frequently, for
example, in Havelok the Dane. But, as there is no other clear example in
Chaucer, Koch thinks the passage is corrupt, and proposes to read:--

 'Which than be, lo! thise tydinges,
  That bringe thee hider, and thise thinges
  That thou wilt here'; &c.

1920. Here _that_ means 'that very.' The description of 'the house of
Dædalus' is in Ovid, Met. viii. 159; and the word _labyrinthus_, used with
reference to it, is in Vergil, Æn. v. 588. Chaucer again refers to it in
the Leg. of Good Women (Ariadne), 2010; and it is mentioned in his
translation of Boethius, bk. iii. pr. 12. 118 (vol. ii. p. 89). And see
Gower, Conf. Amant. ed. Pauli, ii. 304.

1926. This somewhat resembles Dante, Inf. iii. 53, which Cary translates:--

 'Which whirling ran about so rapidly
  That it no pause obtain'd.'

1928. _Oise_, a river which flows into the Seine, from the north, not far
below Paris. Chaucer says the sound might have been heard from there to
Rome. From this vague statement, Warton would wish us to infer that the
whole poem was founded on some foreign production now (and probably always)
unknown. There is no need to draw any such conclusion. The English were
fairly familiar with the north of France in days when a good deal of French
soil belonged more or less to the king of England. The Oise, being a
northern affluent of the Seine, must have been a well-known river. I think
the allusion proves just nothing at all.

1933. This is an excellent and picturesque allusion, but in these days can
no longer be appreciated. Compare Barbour's Bruce, xvii. 681:--

 'The engynour than deliuerly
  Gert bend the gyne in full gret hy,
  And the stane smertly swappit out.
  It flaw out, quhedirand, with a _rout_.'

1940. Though the authorities read _hattes_ (Th. _hutches_), I alter this
word to _hottes_ without hesitation. We do not make _hats_ with twigs or
osiers. Chaucer says that some of the twigs were white, such as men use to
make cages with, or panniers (i.e. baskets), or _hottes_, or _dossers_. Now
Cotgrave explains F. _Panier_ by 'a Pannier, or Dosser; also, a Pedlers
Pack; also, a fashion of trunke made of wicker'; and he explains F. _Hotte_
by 'a Scuttle, Dosser, Basket to carry on the back; the right _hotte_ is
wide at the top, and narrow at the bottom.' Dr. Murray kindly refers me to
Cursor Mundi, l. 5524:--

 'Apon þer neckes sal þai bere
  _Hott_ wit stan and wit morter.'

He also tells me that in Caxton's Golden Legend (1483), fol. cix. col. 2,
is the sentence--'And bare on hys sholdres vij. _hottis_ or baskettis fulle
of erthe.' In a Glossary of North of England Words, printed as Gloss. B. 1,
by the Eng. Dial. Society, I find: '_Hots_, s. pl. a sort of panniers to
carry turf or slate in'; and Halliwell gives it as a Cumberland word.
Dickenson's Cumberland Glossary has: '_Muck-hots_, panniers for conveying
manure on horseback.' Brockett's Gloss. of Northern Words has: '_Hot_, a
sort of square basket, formerly used for taking manure into fields of steep
ascent; the bottom opened by two wooden pins to let out the contents.' Thus
the existence of the word in English is fully proved; and the fitness of it
is evident.

1943. 'Al ful of chirking was that sory place'; Kn. Tale, A 2004.

1946. Again from Ovid, Met. xii. 44-47.

1970. Read--'Of estáts and éek of regióuns.' The _e_ in _estat_ was very
light; hence mod. E. _state_.

1975. _Mis_ is here an adjective, meaning 'bad' or 'wrong'; cf. 'But to
correcten that is _mis_ I mente'; Can. Yeom. Tale, G 999.

1980. 'Although the timber,' &c.

1982. 'As long as it pleases Chance, who is the mother of news, just as the
sea (is mother) of wells and springs.'

1997. _Paráventure_; also spelt _paraunter_, shewing how rapidly the third
syllable could be slurred over.

2000. _Peter!_ by St Peter; see note to l. 1034.

2004. _Cunne ginne_, know how to begin. (_Gin_, a contrivance, is

2009. I substitute the dissyllabic _swich-e_ for the monosyllabic _these_,
to preserve the melody.

2011. 'To drive away thy heaviness with.'

2017. MS. F. has _frot_, which has no meaning, but may be a misspelling of
_froit_, which is another form of _fruit_. As Koch says, we must read _The
fruit_, remembering that Chaucer uses _fruit_ in the peculiar sense of
'upshot' or 'result.'

 'And for it is no _fruit_ but los of tyme'; Squi. Ta., F 74.

 'The _fruyt_ of this matere is that I telle'; Man of Lawes Ta., B 411.

In the present case, it would be used in a _double_ sense; (1) of result,
(2) of a fruit that withers and is ready to burst open. As to the spelling
_froit_, we find _froyte_ in the Petworth MS. in the latter of the above
quotations, where other MSS. have _fruyt_ or _fruite_. _The swote_ (Cx.
Th.) means 'the sweetness.'

2019. _That_, in this line, goes back to _Sith that_ in l. 2007.

2021. I suppress _in_ after _yaf_, because it is not wanted for the sense,
and spoils the metre.

2034-40. Suggested by Dante, Inf. iii. 55-57, just as ll. 1924-6 above are
by the two preceding lines in Dante; see note to l. 1926. Cary has:--

                           'and following came
  Such a long train of spirits, I should ne'er
  Have thought that death so many had despoil'd.'

In l. 2038, _left_ means 'left alive.'

2044. I substitute _ech_ for _euerych_ (in Caxton). The two MSS. (F. and
B.) have merely _Rouned in others ere_, which is of course defective.

2048. I here follow B. (except that it wrongly omits _lo_).

2059. _Wondermost_; superl. of _wonder_, which is very common as an

2076. As the reading of the MSS. is obviously wrong (the word _mouth_ being
repeated three times), whilst the reading of the printed editions (_Wente
every tydyng_) cannot be right on account of the scansion, I put _word_ for
the first of the three _mouths_. This gives the right sense, and probably
Chaucer actually wrote it.

2089. Again from Ovid, Met. xii. 54, 55. _A sad soth-sawe_, a sober truth.

2099. _With the nones_, on the condition; see Leg. of Good Women, 1540; and
the note. So also in the Tale of Gamelyn, 206.

2101. See Kn. Tale, 273, 274 (A 1131).

2105. _Beside_, without; without asking his leave.

2119. Cf. Cant. Tales, D 1695--'Twenty thousand freres on a route,' where
Tyrwhitt prints _A twenty_. But the MSS. (at least the seven best ones) all
omit the _A_. Just as the present line wants its first syllable, and is to
be scanned--'Twénty thoúsand ín a roúte'; so the line in the Cant. Tales
wants its first syllable, and is to be scanned--Twénty thoúsand fréres ón a
roúte. For having called attention to this fact, my name (misspelt)
obtained a mention in Lowell's My Study Windows, in his (otherwise
excellent) article on Chaucer. 'His (Chaucer's) ear would never have
tolerated the verses of nine[63] syllables with a strong accent on the
first, attributed to him by Mr. Skeate and Mr. Morris. Such verses seem to
me simply impossible in the pentameter iambic as Chaucer wrote it.' Surely
this is assumption, not proof. I have only to say that the examples are
rather numerous, and nine-syllable lines are not impossible to a poet with
a good ear; for there are twelve consecutive lines of this character in
Tennyson's Vision of Sin. It may suffice to quote one of them:--

 'Pánted hánd in hánd with fáces pále.'

I will merely add here, that similar lines _abound_ in Lydgate's 'Sege of
Thebes,' and that there are 25 clear examples of such lines in the Legend
of Good Women, as I shew in my Introduction to that Poem.

2123. Cf. P. Plowman; B. prol. 46-52. _Bretful_, brim-ful, occurs in P. Pl.
C. i. 42; also in Chaucer, Prol. 687; Kn. Tale, 1306 (A 2164).

2130. _Lyes_; F. _lies_, E. _lees_. '_Lie_, f. the lees, dregs, grounds';

2140. Sooner or later, every sheaf in the barn has to come out to be

2152. 'And cast up their noses on high.' I adopt this reading out of
deference to Dr. Koch, who insists upon its correctness. Otherwise, I
should prefer the graphic reading in MS. B.--'And up the nose and yën
caste.' Each man is trying to peer beyond the rest.

2154. 'And stamp, as a man would stamp on a live eel, to try to secure it.'
Already in Plautus, Pseudolus, 2. 4. 56, we have the proverb _anguilla est,
elabitur_, he is an eel, he slips away from you; said of a sly or slippery
fellow. In the Rom. de la Rose, 9941, we are told that it is as hard to be
sure of a woman's constancy as it is to hold a live eel by the tail. 'To
have an eel by the tail' was an old English proverb; see _Eel_ in Nares'
Glossary, ed. Halliwell and Wright.

2158. The poem ends here, in the middle of a sentence. It seems as if
Chaucer did not quite know how to conclude, and put off finishing the poem
till that more 'convenient season' which never comes. Practically, nothing
is lost.

The copy printed by Caxton broke off still earlier, viz. at l. 2094. In
order to make a sort of ending to it, Caxton added twelve lines of his own,
with his name--Caxton--at the side of the first of them; and subjoined a
note in prose, as follows:--

  And wyth the noyse of them [t]wo[64]
  I Sodeynly awoke anon tho[65]
  And remembryd what I had seen
  And how hye and ferre I had been
  In my ghoost / and had grete wonder
  Of that [that?] the god of thonder
  Had lete me knowen / and began to wryte[66]
  Lyke as ye haue herd me endyte
  Wherfor to studye and rede alway[67]
  I purpose to doo day by day
  Thus in dremyng and in game
  Endeth thys lytyl book of Fame.

I fynde nomore of this werke to-fore sayd. For as fer as I can vnderstonde
/ This noble man Gefferey Chaucer fynysshed at the sayd conclusion of the
metyng of lesyng and sothsawe / where as yet they ben chekked and may nat
departe / whyche werke as me semeth is craftyly made'; &c. (The rest is in
praise of Chaucer). But, although Caxton's copy ended at l. 2094, lines
2095-2158 appear in the two MSS., and are obviously genuine. Thynne also
printed them, and must have found them in the MS. which he followed. After
l. 2158, Thynne subjoins Caxton's ending, with an alteration in the first
three lines, as unsuitable to follow l. 2158. Hence Thynne prints them as

  And therwithal I abrayde
  Out of my slepe halfe a frayde
  Remembri[n]g wel what I had sene.

We thus see that it was never pretended that the lines following l. 2158
were Chaucer's. They are admittedly Caxton's and Thynne's. Even if we had
not been told this, we could easily have detected it by the sudden
inferiority in the style. Caxton's second line will not scan at all
comfortably; neither will the third, nor the fourth. (The seventh can be
improved by altering _began_ to _gan_). And Thynne's lines are but little



  *** N.B. The references are to the B-text, except where special mention
  of the A-text is made. The latter is denoted by the letter 'A', preceded
  by a short line.

2. Compare Chaucer's Troilus, book ii. ll. 894-6.

5. _Nis noon_ = _ne is noon_, is not none, i.e. is no one. This use of the
double negative, as in modern provincial English, is extremely common, and
need not be again remarked upon. Cf. ll. 7, 15, &c.

9. 'For there may no man prove it by actual trial.'

10. _Leve_, believe. Notice the numerous senses of _leve_, viz. (1)
believe; (2) leave, _v._; (3) grant; (4) dear; (5) leave, _sb._; (6) leaf
(dat. case).

11. _Wel more thing_, many more things. The word _thing_ was originally
neuter, and long remained unchanged in the plural. In l. 23, we have
_thinges_. The M.E. _more_ usually means 'greater'; it is seldom used (as
here) in the modern sense.

12. _Men shal nat_, people ought not to. The use of _men_ in the general
sense of 'people' is extremely common in Chaucer, and the student should
notice that it usually takes a _singular_ verb, when thus used. With ll.
12, 13 cf. Hamlet, i. 5. 166.

13. _But-if_, unless, except. Great attention should be paid to the exact
sense of these apparently less important words. Frequently the whole sense
of a sentence is missed, even by editors, owing to inattention to their

14. 'For, God knoweth, a thing is none the less true, although no one can
see it.'

16. In the margins of MSS. C. and F. is written the Latin proverb here
referred to, viz. 'Bernardus monachus non uidit omnia'; i.e. Bernard the
monk (even) did not see everything. The reference is to the great learning
and experience of St. Bernard of Clairvaux (born A.D. 1091, died Aug. 20,
1153). This we know from an entry in J. J. Hofmann's Lexicon Universale
(Basileæ, 1677), s.v. _Bernardus_, where we find: 'Nullos habuit
præceptores præter quercus et fagos. Hinc proverb: _Neque enim Bernardus
vidit omnia_.' See an account of St. Bernard in Alban Butler's Lives of the
Saints, or in Chambers' Book of Days, under the date of Aug. 20.

18. _Minde_, remembrance; see l. 26. Cf. 'to bear in _mind_.'

25. Cf. Le Rom. de la Rose, ed. Méon, 9669-72:--

 'Car par l'escript que nous avons,
  Les fais des anciens savons;
  Si les en devons mercier,
  Et loer et regracier.'

26. _Rémembráunce_; accented on the first and last syllables. The melody of
innumerable lines in Chaucer is only apparent to those who perceive the
difference between the present and the old accentuation, especially in the
case of French words. Besides, such accent is frequently variable; Chaucer
has _hónour_, _rénoun_, &c. at one time, and _honóur_, _renóun_, &c. at
another. Thus in l. 27 we have _honóuren_; and in l. 31 _credénce_.

27. _Wel oghte us_, it is very necessary for us, it well behoves us. _Us_
is here the dative case, and _oghte_ is the impersonal verb; in accordance
with Chaucer's usual method. But, in this case, there is a grammatical
difficulty; for the past tense _oghte_ is here used with the sense of the
present; the right form would be expressed, in modern English, by _oweth_,
and in M.E. by _ah_ (also _awe_, _o[gh]e_). Such use of the right form of
the present tense is exceedingly rare; and (possibly owing to a sense of
uncertainty about its true form) the form of the past tense was used both
for past and present, whether personal or impersonal, precisely as we now
use _must_ in place both of M.E. _mot_ (present) and _moste_ (past).
Mätzner only gives three examples of the present tense of this verb, when
used impersonally; viz. '_Hym awe_ to rise,' it behoves him to rise,
Metrical Homilies, p. 77; '_Vus o[gh]e_,' it behoves us, Allit. Poems, ed.
Morris, i. 552; '_Him owith_ to mynystre,' Reliquiæ Antiquæ, ii. 48.

The only right way of thoroughly understanding Chaucer's grammar is by
comparing one passage with another, observing how particular expressions
occur. This is best done by the proper process of reading the text; but
even the usual glossarial indexes will often furnish ready examples. Thus
the glossary to the Prioresses Tale gives the following examples:--

 'And ther she was honoured as _hir oughte_'; E 1120.

                     --'wel more _us oughte_
  Receyven al in gree that god us sent'; E 1150.

The glossary to the Man of Law's Tale gives:--

 'Alla goth to his in, and, as _him oughte_,' &c.; B 1097.

 'But that they weren as hem _oughte be_'; G 1340.

 'Wel _oughten we_ to doon al our entente'; G 6.

 'Wel _oughte us_ werche, and ydelnes withstonde'; G 14.

As to the spelling of the word, it may be remarked that _oghte_ is the more
correct form, because _[=o]_ answers to A.S. _[=a]_, and _gh_ to A.S. _h_
in the A.S. form _[=a]hte_. But a confusion between the symbols _ogh_,
_ugh_, and _ough_ soon arose, and all three were merged in the form _ough_;
hence neither _ogh_ nor _ugh_ occurs in modern English. See Skeat, Eng.
Etymology, § 333, p. 361.

The full explanation of this and similar phrases would extend these notes
to an inordinate length. Only brief hints can here be given.

28. _Ther_, where. The sense 'where' is commoner than the sense 'there.'

29. _Can but lyte_, know but little. Cf. Prior. Tale, B 1726, 1898.

30. _For to rede_, to read. The use of _for to_ with the gerundial
infinitive is found in Layamon and the Ormulum, and may have been suggested
by the like use of the French _pour_, O. Fr. _por_ (and even _por a_). See
Mätzner, Engl. Grammatik, ii. 2. 54. Compare Parl. Foules, 16, 695; Ho.
Fame, 657.

36. This connection of 'the month of May' with song and poetry is common in
Mid. Eng. poetry, from the natural association of spring with a time of joy
and hope. We even find something of the kind in A.S. poetry. See The
Phoenix, l. 250; Menologium, l. 75.

The earliest song in Middle English relates to the cuckoo; and, before
Chaucer, we already find, in the Romance of Alexander, l. 2049, such lines

 'In tyme of May hot is in boure;
  Divers, in medewe, spryngith floure;
  The ladies, knyghtis honourith;
  Treowe love in heorte durith'; &c.

See also the poem on Alisoun, in Morris and Skeat, Spec. of Eng., part ii.
p. 43. Again, we have a like mention of the May-season and of the singing
of birds in the introduction to the Roman de la Rose; see vol. i. p. 96.

Nevertheless, the whole of the present passage is highly characteristic of
the author, and extremely interesting. Cf. ll. 108, 176.

40. _Condicioun_, temperament, character, disposition. Prof. Corson here
refers us to Shakespeare, Merch. Ven. i. 2. 143; Cor. v. 4. 10; Oth. iv. 1.
204; Jul. Cæs. ii. 1. 254, &c.

41. On the scansion, see note to l. 67.

43. _Daysyes_, daisies; here dissyllabic. But in l. 182 we have the full
form _day-es-y-e_, of four syllables, answering to the A.S. _dæges éage_
(or _ége_), lit. day's eye, or eye of day, as Chaucer himself says in l.
184. And it is worth adding that his etymology is perfectly correct; for,
in the few instances in which etymologies are suggested in Middle English,
they are usually ludicrously wrong. In l. 184, the word is only trisyllabic
(_day-es-y'_), the last syllable suffering elision. The A.S. _dægesége_
occurs in a list of plants in A.S. Leechdoms, ed. Cockayne, iii. 292, l. 8;
and we also find in Wright's A.S. Vocabularies, ed. Wülker, col. 135, l.
22, and col. 322, l. 11, the following entries:--'_Consolda_, dægesege,'
and '_Consolda_, dægeseage.'

The primary meaning of _dæges éage_ is doubtless the sun; the daisy is
named from its supposed likeness to the sun, the white petals being the
rays, and the yellow centre the sun's sphere.

Compare Lydgate's Troy-book, ed. 1555, fol. K 6, back:--

 'And next, Appollo, so clere, shene, and bright,
  The _dayes eye_, and voyder of the nyght.'

46. 'That, when in my bed, no day dawns upon me on which I am not (at once)
up, and (am soon) walking in the meadow.' _Nam_ = _ne am_, am not.

49. _By the morwe_, with the (dawn of the) morning.

50. _Sight-e_ is dissyllabic, as the scansion shews. In l. 15, _wight_ is
monosyllabic. It is often difficult to ascertain Chaucer's usage of such
forms, and we have to observe, where we can, any instances that are
helpful. The Rime-Indexes to the Canterbury Tales and to the Minor Poems
are often of great service. We learn from them that _wight_ rimes with the
monosyllables _bright_, _knight_, _might_, _night_, _right_, &c., whereas
_sighte_ rimes with the infin. moods _light-e_, _fight-e_, &c., as well as
with monosyllables, and is therefore used somewhat capriciously. Another
helpful list is that given in Ellis's Early Eng. Pronunciation, ch. iv. §
5, founded upon Prof. Child's articles on Chaucer and Gower. This at once
refers us to C. T. 2118 (It were a lusty _sight-e_ for to see); 2335 (But
sodeinly she saugh a _sight-e_ queynte); &c.

We should also consider the etymology. Now _wight_ = A.S. _wiht_, is
monosyllabic, and gives no difficulty. On the other hand, the A.S. for
'sight' is _gesiht_ or _gesihþ_; but it is a fem. sb., and makes _all_ its
oblique cases with a final _-e_, viz. _gesiht-e_ or _gesihþ-e_. In such
instances, the nominative case often lost its distinctive form, and took
the form of the other cases, so that already in the Ormulum (l. 12670) we
find the nom. case _sihhþ-e_, dissyllabic. Such usages have received
careful attention in the present edition, and in almost every case the
addition of a final _e_ in an unexpected place can be amply justified by
instances of Chaucer's usage in other passages. If the student will
endeavour to _verify_ some of the examples here given, he will soon come to
a clearer knowledge of the matter.

52. _Hit_, it, i.e. the daisy. But in l. 53 it is referred to as _she_. We
shall see why this is hereafter. As a mere flower, it is neuter; but as
being the type of Alcestis, it is feminine. Cf. ll. 62, 63.

53. We have come to the first instance in which Chaucer transposed the
order of his material in the course of revision. Line 53 of the B-text
corresponds to A. 55, whilst B. 61 corresponds to A. 51. All such instances
are clearly shewn by printing the transposed passages twice over, once in
their right place, and again in their changed place _in a smaller type_. By
this arrangement all such transpositions can be understood at a glance.

The blank space which here appears in the A-text corresponds to ll. 50-52
in B, which are marked with an asterisk as being peculiar to the latter
text. In order to save space, a small blank space (of one or two lines
only) often corresponds to an insertion in the other text of some length.

56. 'And I love it, and ever (do so) equally anew,' i.e. unalterably.

57. The word _herte_ is so common that it is worth while to remember that
it is usually dissyllabic; the A.S. form being _heorte_.

58. _Al_, although (very common). _Of this_, in this matter.

61. _Weste_, is here a verb; 'to turn to the west.' See l. 197.

65. Probably to be scanned thus: Óf | the sónn' | for thér | hit wól |
unclós-e. See note to l. 67, and cf. l. 111.

66. _Ne had_, pronounced as _nad_; and often so written.

67. The first syllable of a line is often wanting in Chaucer; so that the
first foot consists of a single emphatic syllable. Such lines are now
considered faulty, though examples may be found in Tennyson's 'Vision of
Sin,' which cannot be called unmelodious; but they were once common,
especially in Lydgate. Some examples from the present poem are the

  That | of alle the floures in the mede; 41.

  Suf | fisant this flour to preyse aright; 67.

  Of | this flour, whan that hit shulde unclose; 111.

  Made | hir lyk a daysie for to sene; 224.

So also ll. 245, 303, 722, 783, 797, 859, 863, 901, 911, 1024, 1030, 1076,
1187, 1275, 1324, 1342, 1498, 1551, 1828, 1996, 2471, 2575.

68. _Conning_, knowledge. Many words now used with a changed signification
are well explained in Trench's Select Glossary, which should be consulted
for them. Thus, in the article upon _cunning_, Trench quotes the following
from the examination of Wm. Thorpe, as preserved in Foxe's Book of
Martyrs:--'I believe that all these three Persons [in the Godhead] are even
in power and in _cunning and in might_'.

69. _Make_, compose poetry; _of sentement_, concerning your feelings. So in
l. 74, _making_ is 'poetry.' See Trench, s.v. _make_; where it is shewn
that the use of the word arose quite independently of the Gk. use of
[Greek: poiein] and [Greek: poiêtês]. 'One of the earliest instances of the
use of _makyere_ in the sense of "author" occurs in the Kentish Ayenbite of
Inwyt, ed. Morris, p. 269; written A.D. 1340. The A.S. _scóp_ and O.H.G.
_scóf_ mean "a shaper." The G. _Dichter_ means an "arranger"; the Fr.
_trouvère_, Provençal _troubadour_, and Ital. _trovatore_ means a
"finder."'--Skeat, note to P. Plowman, B. xii. 16 (where _makynges_ means

72. Cf. l. 193. There appears to be here some reference to a poem of the
kind called in F. _tenson_ (O.F. _tençon_) or in O. Provençal _tenso_, i.e.
'dispute,' in which the relative merits of two subjects are discussed. An
early example in English is the poem called The Owl and the Nightingale, in
which these birds contend for the superiority. In the present case, the
suggestion is to discuss the value of the Leaf, representing no doubt
constancy or any enduring virtue, as compared with that of the Flower, the
representative of perishable beauty and the freshness of first love.
Chaucer probably refers to some such poem in French, but I cannot point out
the exact source.

On the other hand, the present passage doubtless suggested the poem called
'The Flower and the Leaf,' a pretty but somewhat tedious poem of the
fifteenth century, in which Chaucer's style is imitated with no remarkable
exactness or success. This poem was formerly rashly attributed to Chaucer
himself without any evidence, though it was printed for the first time as
late as 1598. See it discussed in vol. i. p. 44. Gower also refers to the
present passage; C. A. iii. 358.

In scanning this line, remember to pronounce _Whether_ as _Whe'r_, a
monosyllable. This is common also in Shakespeare, as in his 59th Sonnet:
'_Whe'r_ we are mended, or _whe'r_ better they.'

74. _Making_, poetry; _ropen_, reaped. 'For I well know, that ye (poets)
have long ere this reaped the field of poetry, and carried away the corn
from it; and I come after you as a gleaner.' See note to l. 69. Compare
Parl. Foules, 22-25.

The A.S. _rípan_, to reap, was a strong verb; pt. t. _ráp_, pp. _ripen_.
The M.E. forms are various and corrupt, and not very common. In P. Plowman,
B. xiii. 374, the pt. t. is _rope_, pl. _ropen_. The proper form of the pp.
is _r[)i]pen_; the form _ropen_ is due to that confusion between the past
tense and past participle which is so extremely common in English. See
Morris, Hist. Outlines of Eng. Accidence, p. 160.

80. _Evel apayd_, ill pleased, displeased; a common phrase. See Cler. Tale,
E 1052; Can. Yem. Tale, G 921, 1049. _Apayd_, pleased, occurs in the Kn.
Tale, 1010 (A 1868).

85. _Wynt_, windeth, turns (me) about, directs (me). These contracted forms
of the third person singular of the present indicative are almost universal
in Anglo-Saxon, and very common in M.E. Chaucer has _fynt_ = findeth, _rit_
= rideth, _hit_ = hideth, _et_ = eateth, l. 1389, &c. A much earlier
example of _wint_ for _windeth_ is in the Ancren Riwle, p. 296.

86. _In-with_, within. This curious form is not very common in Chaucer.
Still it occurs in l. 228 below; in the Prior. Tale, B 1794; Cler. Tale, E
870; March. Tale, E 1944; Troilus, ii. 508, iii. 1499, &c. See Mätzner.

88. _Nothing I_, I am not at all (the master of it).

90. This is a fine simile. His lady sovereign can evoke from him any tone
at will. _And maketh_ = and (the hand) makes. Bell puts _That_ for _And_,
without authority.

93. _Yow list_, it pleases you. _List_ = _listeth_; cf. note to l. 85.

97. 'But why said I that we should give credence?' See ll. 10, 20.

In the A-text (l. 81) _But wherfor_ is used differently, and means--'But
the reason why,' &c.

100. _Seen at eye_, see evidently. So in the Can. Yem. Tale, G 1059. Cf.
_fair at yë_, fair to the sight, id. G 964; Cler. Tale, E 1168. The promise
made in l. 101 was not fulfilled.

103. _Besy gost_, active spirit. _Thrusteth_, thirsteth.

105. _Gledy_, glowing; an adj. formed from _gleed_, a glowing coal. I know
of no other example of this word. The compound adj. _gled-read_, glede-red,
i.e. red as a glowing coal, occurs in O. Eng. Homilies, ed. Morris, i. 249.

108. The first of May was a favourite time for joyful observances. See note
to Kn. Tale, A 1500.

109. _Dredful_, timid, timorous; as in Kn. Tale, A 1479.

112. _Agayn_, against, towards, turned towards; as in l. 48.

113. _The beste_, i.e. the Bull, the sign Taurus. _Agenores doghter_ is
Europa, daughter of Agenor of Phoenicia, who, according to the fable, was
carried off by Jupiter in the form of a bull. Hence Ovid uses the
expression 'Agenoreus bos,' Fast. vi. 712; and calls Europa 'Agenore nata,'
Met. ii. 858. For the story, see the latter reference.

Chaucer here tells us that the Sun, on the 1st of May, was 'in the breast'
of Taurus, i.e. in the middle of it. It was, in fact, far advanced in the
sign, near the 20th degree. See Fig. 1 in this volume, which shews the back
of the Astrolabe.

118. Cf. Book of the Duchesse, 399.

125. Cf. Book of the Duchesse, ll. 410-2, which is a parallel passage. Both
passages are borrowed from the Roman de la Rose, 55-58; see vol. i. p. 95.

126. _Mat_, dead; a term borrowed from the game of chess. See Anelida, 176;
Book Duch., 660; and Kn. Tale, A 955.

128. _Atempre_, temperate, mild. See Book of the Duch., 341, and the note.
This again is from the Rom. de la Rose, 125. _Releved_, raised up again,
revived. Cotgrave gives: '_Relevé_, raised, lift, or set up again;
relieved, revived, fully restored.'

130. 'In the classical and middle ages small birds were a common article of
food, as they are on the continent at the present time; and the season for
catching them with a _panter_, or bag-net, was winter, when the scarcity of
food made them tame. The poet here represents their songs in the spring, as
the expression of their exultation at having baffled the stratagems,
quaintly called _sophistries_, by which the fowler had endeavoured to lure
them to their destruction.'--BELL.

The word _panter_ is curiously preserved in the mod. E. _painter_, a rope
for mooring a boat. I quote the following from my Etym. Dict.: '"_Painter_,
a rope employed to fasten a boat"; Hawkesworth's Voyages, 1773, vol. i. p.
xxix. Corrupted (by assimilation to the ordinary sb. _painter_) from M.E.
_panter_, a noose, esp. for catching birds. See Chaucer, Leg. of Good
Women, 131; Prompt. Parv., p. 381; spelt _paunter_, Polit. Songs, ed.
Wright, p. 344.--O.F. _pantiere_, a kind of snare for birds, Roquefort;
_panthiere_, "a great swoop-net"; Cotgrave. Cf. Ital. _pantiera_, "a kind
of tramell or fowling net"; Florio; _panthera_, "a net or haie to catch
conies with, also a kind of fowling-net"; id.--Lat. _panther_, a
hunting-net for catching wild beasts. Cf. _panthera_, an entire
capture.--Gk. [Greek: panthêros], catching all; cf. [Greek: panthêra], the
whole booty (a very late word).--Gk. [Greek: pan], neut. of [Greek: pas],
every; and [Greek: thêr], a wild beast.

'The Irish _painteir_, Gael. _painntear_, a gin, snare, are forms of the
same word [but were borrowed from English or French]. It is remarkable
that, in America, a _panther_ is also called a _painter_. See Cooper, The
Pioneers, cap. xxviii.'

132. _Upon_, against, in scorn of; cf. _in his despyt_, l. 134. _A-whaped_,

--A. 127. The A-text is hereabouts very imperfect, and some lines are too
short. I supply words within square brackets, in order to fill out the
lines, and to make sense.

145. See Parl. of Foules, 309, 683, and the note to the former passage in
vol. i. p. 516. Birds were supposed to choose their mates on St.
Valentine's day (Feb. 14).

146. _Chees_, chose: the past tense; A.S. _céas_.

154. _Tydif_, the name of some small bird, guessed by Skinner to be the
_titmouse_; more probably the _tydy_ mentioned by Drayton, which is
supposed to mean a wren. See _Tydy_ in Nares. Cf. Squi. Tale, F 648; id.
610, 611.

158. 'Provided that their mates would pity them.'

160. _Daunger_ usually means 'power to harm.' These allegorical personages
were suggested by the Roman de la Rose. In the English version (l. 3018)
_Daunger_ is the name of the 'foul churl,' who is set beside the Rose, to
prevent strangers from plucking it. In Chaucer's Complaint unto Pite, he
introduces such personages as Crueltee (corresponding to Daunger), Pite,
Bountee, Gentilesse, and Curtesye. So here, we are told that although
Daunger (i.e. power to harm or to repel) seemed for a time to have the
upper hand, yet at the last Pity induced relenting, and caused Mercy to
surpass (or prevail over) Right (or Justice). Just as Pity is opposed to
Danger or Cruelty, so we find, in the old theological allegories, that
Mercy is opposed to Justice. The pleading of Mercy against Justice will be
found at length in Grosteste's Chastel d'Amour, in the Cursor Mundi, p.
550, and in the Gesta Romanorum, Tale 55. See my note to P. Plowman, C.
xxi. 120.

163. 'By means of innocence and well-mannered courtesy.'

164. 'But I do not call folly, or false pity, by the name of innocence';
i.e. the poet does not approve of immodesty or weakness, because in all
things the chief virtue is moderation, or the 'golden mean.' Beauty should
be neither too yielding nor too pitiless.

166. _Etik_, Lat. _Ethica_; alluding to the Ethics of Aristotle, in which
happiness and virtue are discussed, and the nature of virtue is said to
shew itself in its appearing as the medium or mean between two extremes.
Similarly, Gower in his Conf. Amantis (ed. Pauli, iii. 153) refers us to
Aristotle's advice to Alexander, to keep the mean between avarice and
prodigality. See also Gower's remarks on _ethique_; id. iii. 140. Cf.
Lounsbury, Studies in Chaucer, ii. 387.

170. So in the Parl. of Foules, 680, the birds are described as joining in
the roundel--'Now _welcom somer_, with thy sonne softe.'

171. Here again is a reminiscence of the Roman de la Rose, ll. 8449-51:--

 'Zephirus et Flora, sa fame,
  Qui des flors est deesse et dame,
  Cil dui font les floretes nestre,' &c.

i.e. Zephirus and his wife Flora, who is the goddess and lady of flowers,
these two make the little flowers grow. See Book of the Duchesse, 402; and
the note upon it.

184. 'The daisy, or, otherwise, the eye of day'; see note to l. 43.

186. 'I pray that she may fall fairly,' that she may light upon good
fortune. All the MSS. have _she_; otherwise we might read _her_, as such is
the more usual idiom, in which case it would mean--'that it may befall her
fairly.' We have a similar case in the Manciple's Prologue, H 40, where six
MSS. have the usual idiom 'foule mot _thee_ falle,' whilst the Ellesmere
MS. alone has 'foule mot _thou_ falle.' For a similar variation, cf. l. 277
below with A. 180, i.e. with the corresponding line in the earlier text.

191. 'For, as regards me, neither of them is dearer or more hateful than
the other; I am not yet retained on the side of either of them.' The sense
_with-holden_ is detained, kept back, hence reserved to one side, committed
to a particular view.

195. _Thing_ = _werk_ (A. 79), i.e. poem. _Of another tonne_, out of quite
a different cask. Cf. 'Nay, thou shalt drinken of another tonne Er that I
go'; C. T., D 170. Cf. Rom. Rose (French Text), 6838.

196. _Swich thing_, such a thing as the strife between the Leaf and the
Flower. The A-text (l. 80) helps us here, as it reads 'swich stryf.'

203. _Herber_, an arbour. This difficult word is fully explained in the New
E. Dict., s.v. _arbour_. It is there shewn that the original sense of the
M.E. _herber_ or _erber_ was 'a plot of ground covered with grass or turf;
a garden-lawn or green.' In the Medulla Grammatices, ab. 1460, we
find:--'_Viretum, locus pascualis virens_, a gres-yerd, or an herber.'
Subsequently it meant a herb-garden or flower-garden; a fruit-garden or
orchard; trees or shrubs trained on frame-work; and then a bower, or 'shady
retreat, of which the sides and roof are formed by trees and shrubs closely
planted or intertwined, or of lattice-work covered with climbing shrubs and
plants, as ivy, vine, &c.' Dr. Murray remarks that 'the original
characteristic of the arbour seems to have been the floor and benches of
herbage [as here]; in the modern idea the leafy covering is the prominent

The present passage was imitated and amplified by the authoress of The
Flower and the Leaf, beginning at l. 49:--

          'a pleasaunt herber well ywrought,
  That benched was, and with turfes new,
  Freshly turved, wherof the grene gras,
  So small, so thicke, so short, so fresh of hew,
  That most like unto green woll wot I it was;
  The hegge also, that yede in compas
  And closed in all the grene herbere,
  With sicamour was set and eglatere'; &c.

So too, in the Assembly of Ladies, st. 7:--

 'Which broght me to an herber fair and grene
  Made with benches ful crafty and clene.'

208. _Hed_, hidden. This rare form occurs again in Will. of Palerne, 688.
The usual M.E. forms are _hud_ and _hid_. Similarly Chaucer uses _ken_ for
'kin' in Book Duch. 438, the usual M.E. forms being _kun_ and _kin_; and we
find _ken_ also in Will. of Palerne, 722. These forms are Southern, and
mostly Kentish.

213. _The god of love_, Cupid; cf. Parl. Foules, 212. Cf. the description
in the E. version of the Rom. of the Rose, ll. 890, 1003.

_In his hande_, i.e. leading by the hand; see l. 241.

_A quene_, a queen, viz. Alcestis, as we afterwards learn. She is so
clothed as to represent a daisy; hence her green dress, golden
hair-ornament or caul, and white crown; see l. 218, and note to l. 227.

215. _Fret_ here means a caul of gold wire. They were sometimes set with
stones. Cf. Rom. Rose, 1108, and The Flower and the Leaf, 152:--'A riche
_fret_ of gold,' &c. See Fairholt, Costume in England.

217. The pause after _smale_ saves the final _e_ from elision. See examples
in the Cant. Tales, B 2153, 3281, 3989; &c. We may translate the phrase
_and I shal nat lye_ by 'if I am not to lie'; see l. 357, and the note.

221. _Oriental_, eastern; here, of superior quality. 'The precious stones
called by lapidaries _oriental ruby_, _oriental topaz_, _oriental
amethyst_, and _oriental emerald_ are red, yellow, violet, and green
sapphires, distinguished from the other gems of the same name which have
not the prefix _oriental_, by their greatly superior hardness, and greater
specific gravity'; Engl. Cyclopædia, s.v. Adamantine Spar. Cf. P. Plowman,
B. 2. 14.

223. _For which_, by means of which, whereby.

227. In the Rom. of the Rose the 'god of love' is said to be clothed 'not
in silk, but all in flowers'; his garment was all covered with flowers,
intermingled with rose-leaves; and he had a chaplet of red roses upon his
head. See the E. version, l. 890. In l. 228, _fret_ means merely 'ornament'
or 'border' of embroidery, whereas in l. 215 it is used in the sense of a
caul or net worn on the head. The A-text (160) has _garlond_, and adds that
lilies were stuck about among the rose-leaves. Moreover, a 'rose-leaf' here
means a petal, or it would not be described as red. _Greves_ is properly
'groves or bushes,' but must here mean sprays or small boughs.

231. _For hevinesse_, to save him from the heaviness and weight of gold.
The peculiar use of _for_ in the sense of 'against,' or 'to prevent,'
should be noticed. See the note to Sir Thopas, B 2052.

242. _Corouned_ is pronounced as _Coróun'd_.

--A. 179. Notice this mention of Alcestis in the A-text. This is altered in
the later version, so that the poet does not know who the queen is till l.
511, though she actually announces herself in l. 432. See note to l. 255
(B.) below.

249. _Absolon_, Absalom; remarkable for the beauty of his hair; see 2 Sam.
xiv. 26. Cf. 'Absalom o ses treces soves'; Rom. de la Rose, 14074. I have
little doubt that the general idea of this Ballade is taken from one quoted
from MS. du Roi, à Paris (fonds de Saint-Victor, no. 275, fol. 45, recto,
col. 2), by M. Michel, in his edition of Tristan, i. lxxxviii. It begins as

 '_Hester_, Judith, _Penelope_, _Helaine_,
  Sarre, _Tisbe_, Rebeque, et Sairy,
  _Lucresse_, _Yseult_, Genèvre, chastelaine
  La très loial nommée de Vergy,
  Rachel, et la dame de Fayel
  _Onc ne furent si precieulx jouel_
  D'onneur, bonté, senz, beauté et valour
  _Con est ma très doulce dame d'onnour_.

  Se d'_Absalon_ la grant beauté humaine,' &c.

The refrain being, as before, 'Con est ma très doulce dame d'onnour.'

250. _Ester_, Esther; cited as an example of 'debonairte' in the Book of
the Duch. 986; see also C. T., E 1371, 1744 (Merch. Tale); and the Tale of
Melibeus, B 2291.

251. _Ionathas_, Jonathan; remarkable for his 'friendliness' towards David;
1 Sam. xix. 2.

252. _Penalopee_, Penelope, wife of Ulysses; see the note to Book of the
Duch. 1081; and Ovid, Her. i. _Marcia Catoun_, formerly said to be Marcia,
wife of M. Cato Uticensis [not Cato the Censor, as Bell says]. Bell notes
that 'her complaisance, apparently, in consenting to be lent to Cato's
friend, Hortensius, is the ground of her praise in this place.' Gilman
refers us to Clough's tr. of Plutarch, iv. 394, where the story is given.
This, however, is not the right solution. Prof. Lounsbury (Studies in
Chaucer, ii. 294) points out that the reference is clearly to Marcia,
_daughter_ of the same Cato, because Chaucer got the story from Hieronymus
contra Iovinianum (i. 46), where we find:--'Marcia Catonis filia minor,
quum quæreretur ab ea, cur post amissum maritum, denuo non nuberet,
respondit, non se inuenire uirum, qui se magis vellet quam sua.' A much
better example would have been her sister Porcia, the devoted wife of
Marcus Brutus (Jul. Cæsar, ii. 1).

254. _Isoude_, the heroine of the romance of Sir Tristram; see Parl. of
Foules, 288 (and the note on the line); also Ho. Fame, 1796. _Eleyne_,
Helen, heroine of the Trojan war.

255. Note how the original refrain of this Balade, beginning 'Alceste is
here,' is altered to 'My lady cometh'; in order to prevent the premature
mention of Alcestis' name. See note to A. 179 above, following the note to
l. 242. _Disteyne_, bedim; viz. by outshining them.

257. _Lavyne_, Lavinia, the heroine of the latter part of the Æneid; cf.
Book of the Duch. 331; Ho. Fame, 458. _Lucresse_, Lucretia of Rome, whose
'Legend' is related at length below; l. 1680. Cf. Cant. Tales, F 1405.

258. _Polixene_, Polyxena, daughter of Priam, who, like Lucretia, bought
love too dearly; for she was sacrificed on the tomb of Achilles, according
to Ovid, Met. xiii. 448. But according to Guido delle Colonne, whom Chaucer
probably regarded as a better authority, she was slain by Pyrrhus. Cf. Book
of the Duch. 1071. Note also:--'Alas, your love, I bye hit al to dere';
Anelida, 255.

259. _Cleopatre_, Cleopatra; whose Legend is the first of the series below:
l. 580.

261. _Tisbe_, Thisbe; whose Legend follows that of Cleopatra; l. 706.

263. _Herro_, Hero of Sestos, beloved by Leander; see Ovid, Her. xviii,
xix. Spelt _Erro_, Pref. to Man of Law, B 69; whence we learn that the
Legend of Hero was intended to be one of the set. _Dido_; whose Legend
occurs below; l. 924. _Laudomia_, Laodamia, wife of Protesilaus; see Ovid,
Her. xiii. Spelt _Ladomea_, and accented (as here) on the _o_; Pref. to Man
of Law, B 71. And see Cant. Tales, F 1445.

264. _Phyllis_; whose Legend occurs at l. 2394.

265. _Canace_, daughter of Æolus, beloved by Macareus; see Ovid, Her. xi.
See Pref. to Man of Law, B 78; whence we learn that Chaucer had _no_
intention of including her Legend in the set, but expressly rejected it.
_Chere_, sad countenance.

266. _Ysiphile_, Hypsipyle; whose Legend occurs at l. 1368.

268. _Ypermistre_, Hypermnestra; whose Legend occurs at l. 2562.

_Adriane_, Ariadne; whose Legend occurs at l. 1886.

For further remarks, see my long note to the Man of Law's Tale, B 61.

270. Bell remarks that the above beautiful Balade has been often imitated;
and cites a poem by Surrey with the title 'A Praise of his Love, wherein he
reproveth them that compare their ladies with his,' and beginning--'Geue
place, ye louers, here before That spent your bostes and bragges in vaine.'
See Tottell's Miscellany, ed. Arber, p. 20. Another such poem occurs in the
same collection, at p. 163; beginning--'Geue place, you Ladies, and begon';
this, it appears, was written by John Heywood; Warton, Hist. E. Poet.
(1840), iii. 56 (note). With respect to Surrey's verses, Warton (Hist. E.
P. 1840, iii. 33) remarks that 'the leading compliment, which has been used
by later writers, is in the spirit of Italian fiction.' But it is probable
that we here see Surrey's original before us. Among the beautiful songs on
this theme, we should not neglect 'You meaner beauties of the night,' by
Sir Henry Wotton. Cf. ll. 274, 275 below.

271. _By_, with respect to. _My lady_ is the queen Alcestis, whose name
Chaucer is supposed not to know as yet. See l. 432.

277. See note to l. 186 above.

278. _Nadde_ = _ne hadde_. 'For, had not the comfort of her presence
existed.' We should now say, 'Had it not been for the comfort.' Cf. Spec.
Eng. Literature, pt. iii. note to § xv (_b_). l. 96.

295. _For the nones_, for the once, for this special occasion. See the note
to Chaucer's Prologue, l. 379. The phrase was first explained, carefully
and fully, by Price, in a note to Warton's Hist. Eng. Poet. ed. 1840, ii.
74, 75.

298. 'That bears away the prize from us all in external beauty or figure.'
_Our alder_, of us all; where _our_ = A.S. _úre_, gen. pl. of the first
personal pronoun, and _alder_ is a more emphatic form of _aller_ (A.S.
_ealra_), gen. pl. of _all_. See Chaucer's Prol. 586, 710, 799, 823. Hence
_alderliefest_, dearest of all, in 2 Hen. VI. i. 1. 28; probably borrowed
from _alderlevest_ in Chaucer's Troilus, v. 576 (in vol. ii.). Prof. Corson
cites _altherbeste_, best of all, from Gower, C. A. ed. Pauli, i. 106;
_althermest_, most of all, from the same, i. 147; _althertrewest_, id. i.
176; _altherwerst_, id. i. 53. In Chaucer's Minor Poems the reader will
find _our alder_, of us all, ABC, 84; also _alderbeste_, Book Duch. 246;
_alderfaireste_, id. 1050; and _aldernext_, Parl. Foules, 244.

300. _A-compas enviroun_, in a circle, all round about.

304. _By and by_, one after another, in order; see the New E. Dict.

307. _Furlong-wey_, lit. two minutes and a-half; or the time of walking a
furlong, at 3 miles an hour. See Anelida, 328; Ho. Fame, 2064.

314. _Hit am I_, it is I; the usual M.E. idiom. See Kn. Tale, A 1736; Man
of Law's Tale, B 1109, and note. _Him neer_, nearer to him: _neer_ is the
comparative of _neh_ or _nigh_; cf. l. 316.

318. Dante has 'che noi siam vermi'; Purg. x. 124.

323. _Servaunt_ in Chaucer frequently means 'lover'; such is necessarily
the case here.

329. Chaucer here certainly seems to imply that he translated the whole of
the Romance of the Rose, or at any rate that part of it which is especially
directed against women. The existing English version consists of three
fragments, apparently by different authors, and I see little reason for
connecting more than fragment A (ll. 1-1705) with Chaucer. None of the
fragments contain such passages as the God of Love would most have objected
to; but we find some of them practically reproduced in the Prologue to the
Wyf of Bathes Tale. We also find numerous imitations of passages from that
poem scattered up and down throughout Chaucer's works; and it is remarkable
that such passages usually lie outside the contents of the English
fragments. Where they do not, Chaucer frequently varies from the English
version of the Romance. Thus where Chaucer (Book Duch. 419) has:--

 'And every tree stood by himselve
  Fro other wel ten foot or twelve.
  So grete trees, so huge of strengthe'--

the Eng. version of the Rom. of the Rose (1391) has:--

 'These trees were set, that I devyse,
  Oon from another, in assyse,
  Five fadome or sixe, I trowe so,
  But they were hye and grete also.'

We may here note the variation between _ten foot or twelve_ and _five fadom
or six_; the original has _cinq toises, ou de sis_. Other passages in the
Book of the Duchesse which resemble the existing E. version of the Rom. of
the Rose are these. (1) Book Duch. 424; cf. R. R. 1396. (2) Book Duch. 291;
cf. R. R. 49. (3) Book Duch. 410; cf. R. R. 59. (4) Book Duch. 283; R. R.
7. (5) Book Duch. 340; R. R. 130. (6) Book Duch. 1152; R. R. 2084.

For a fuller discussion of this question, see the Pref. to Ch. Minor Poems,
in vol. i. p. 1.

--A. 260. _Paramours_ seems to be an adverb here, meaning 'with a lover's
affection.' So in the Kn. Tale, A 1155:--

 'For _par amour_ I loved hir first er thow.'

And again, in A 2112:--

 'Ye knowen wel, that every lusty knight
  That loveth _paramours_, and hath his might.'

So also in Troilus, v. 158, 332, and in Barbour's Bruce, xiii. 485--'he
lufit his [Ross's] sistir _paramouris_.' Tyrwhitt quotes from Froissart,
bk. i. c. 196--'Il aima adonc _par amours_, et depuis espousa, Madame
Ysabelle de Juiliers.'

The following phrase 'too hard and hot' merely intensifies the sense of

332. _Criseyde._ The allusion is to Chaucer's long poem entitled _Troilus
and Criseyde_ (or _Creseyde_). The A-text is more outspoken here, as it
alludes to the inconstancy of the heroine in direct terms.

--A. 280. _Valerie_, Valerius; see note to A. 281 below.

_Titus_; Titus Livius; see l. 1683, and the note. _Claudian_; Claudius
Claudianus, who wrote, amongst other things, a poem De Raptu Proserpinae,
to which Chaucer refers; see Ho. Fame, 449, 1509. He flourished about A.D.

--A. 281. _Ierome_; Hieronymus, usually known as St. Jerome, a celebrated
father of the Latin Church; died Sept. 30, 420. In the Wyf of Bathes
Prologue (C. T. 6251, Group D, l. 669) we find:--

 'He hadde a book, that gladly, night and day,
  For his desport he wolde rede alway;
  He cleped it Valerie and Theofraste,
  At whiche book he lough alwey ful faste.
  And eek ther was somtyme a clerk at Rome,
  A cardinal, that highte Seint Ierome,
  That made a book agayn Iovinian'; &c.

In Tyrwhitt's Introductory discourse, he says of this Prologue--'The
greatest part must have been of Chaucer's own invention, though one may
plainly see he had been reading the popular invectives against marriage and
women in general; such as, the Roman de la Rose; Valerius ad Rufinum _de
non ducenda uxore_; and particularly Hieronymus _contra Iovinianum_.' He
adds, in a note--'The holy Father, by way of recommending celibacy, has
exerted all his learning and eloquence (and he certainly was not deficient
in either) to collect together and aggravate whatever he could find to the
prejudice of the female sex. Among other things he has inserted his own
translation (probably) of a long extract from what he calls "Liber aureolus
Theophrasti de nuptiis."

'Next to him in order of time was the treatise entitled _Epistola Valerii
ad Rufinum de non ducenda uxore_ (MS. Reg. 12 D. iii.). It has been
printed, for the similarity of its contents, I suppose, among the works of
St. Jerome, though it is evidently of a much later date.... To these two
books _Jean de Meun_ has been obliged for some of the severest strokes in
his [part of the] _Roman de la Rose_; and Chaucer has transfused the
quintessence of all the three works, upon the subject of Matrimony, into
his _Wife of Bathes Prologue_ and _Merchant's Tale_.'

Tyrwhitt further observes that the _Epistola Valerii_ was written,
according to Tanner, by Walter Map; of this there appears to be no doubt.
Lounsbury (Studies, ii. 276) takes _Valerie_ to mean Valerius Maximus,
which is here improbable.

It is, at first, not very clear why the God of Love is here represented as
appealing to books _against_ women; but we are bidden to observe that, even
there, good women are incidentally mentioned; see A. 284. Even Valerius
praises Lucretia and Penelope.

--A. 288. Cf. the long passage in the Franklein's Tale about chaste women;
C. T. 11676-11766 (F 1364-1456). It is nearly all taken from Jerome.

--A. 305. _Epistels_ rather than _epistelle_ in the singular. The reference
is to Ovid's Heroides, which contains twenty-one love-letters. Cf.
Chaucer's Introd. to Man of Law, B 55, where he alludes to Ovid's mention
of lovers 'in his _Epistelles_.'

--A. 307. _Vincent_ is Vincent of Beauvais, who compiled an encyclopædia of
universal knowledge in the 13th century. One portion of this great work,
treating of universal history, is called _Speculum Historiale_, which
Chaucer has here turned into _Storial Mirour_. See Lounsbury's Studies in
Chaucer, ii. 375.

338. As Chaucer is pleased to call his poem by the name of 'seintes legende
of Cupyde' in the Introd. to Man of Law, B 61, he here turns Venus into a
saint, to keep up the analogy between his present undertaking and the
Legenda Sanctorum. But John de Meun had previously said much the same
thing. In Le Rom. de la Rose, 10863, Cupid is made to swear 'par _sainte_
Venus ma mere.' See the Eng. version, l. 5953. (Perhaps read _seynte_ in
Text B.)

343. In accordance with the proverb--'Audi alteram partem.' See A. 325. Cf.
Seneca, _Medea_, 195.

348. 'And even if you were not an omniscient god.'

352. From the Rom. of the Rose; the E. version has (ll. 1050, 1):--

 'Hir court hath many a losengere,
  And many a traytour envious.'

Again repeated in Cant. Tales, B 4515-8.

353. _Totelere_ (C. _totulour_), tattling; properly a sb., meaning
'tattler,' but here used in apposition, and, practically, as an adjective.
Tyrwhitt explains it by 'whisperer.' Halliwell quotes 'Be no _totiler_'
from MS. Bibl. Reg. 17 B. xvii. fol. 141. It clearly means a gossiping
tattler, or tale-bearer.

The word is scarce, but we find a helpful passage in P. Plowman, B. xx.

 'Of alle taletellers and _tyterers_ in ydel.'

Here _tyterers_ means gossipers, or retailers of tittle-tattle; and various
readings give the forms _titeleris_ (as printed by Wright) and _tutelers_
(as printed by Crowley). The last form _tuteler_ is clearly identical with
Chaucer's _totelere_, spelt _tutelere_ in MS. Arch. Selden B. 24.

357. 'These are the causes why, if I am not to lie'; &c. See note to l.

358. _Lavender_, laundress, washerwoman; (Bell's interpretation of 'gutter'
is utter nonsense). See _Laundress_ in my Etym. Dict., where I refer to the
present passage. _Laundress_ is formed by adding _-ess_ to _launder_ or
_laundre_, the contracted form of _lavender_ as here used. In Barbour's
Bruce, ed. Skeat, xvi. 273, 292, the word for 'washerwoman' is spelt
_lauender_, _laynder_, and _landar_. Palsgrave's Eng. and Fr. Dict.
gives--'_Laundre_, that wassheth clothes; _lauendiere_'; and Cotgrave
explains the Fr. _lauandiere_ by the Eng. _launderesse_. Chaucer's
presentation to us of Envy as the person who washes all the dirty linen in
the court, is particularly happy. As a matter of fact, he is here quoting
Dante, but he has substituted _lavender_ (perhaps in an ill sense, though I
do not feel sure of this) for the _meretrice_ of the original. The passage
referred to is in the Inferno, xiii. 64:--

 'La meretrice, che mai dall' ospizio
    Di Cesare non torse gli occhi putti,
    Morte comune, e delle corti vizio,
  Infiammò contre me gli animi tutti.'

Cary's translation has:--

 'The harlot, who ne'er turned her gloating eyes
  From Cæsar's household, common vice and pest
  Of courts, 'gainst me inflamed the minds of all.'

Gower (C. A. ed. Pauli, i. 263) says:--

 'Senec witnesseth openly
  How that envie properly
  Is of the court the comun wenche.'

Note that _parteth_ in l. 359 means 'departeth.'

361. 'Whoever goes away, at any rate she will not be wanting.' Men come and
go, but Envy remains. This is the right sense; but Bell, whom Prof. Corson
follows, gives it quite a false twist. He says, 'Whosoever goes, i.e.
falls, she will not be in want'; a desperate and unmeaning solution, due to
not appreciating the force of the verb _to want_, which here simply means
'to be absent,' and can be applied to _persons_ as well as to _things_.
'There _wanteth_ but a mean to fill your song'; Two Gent. of Verona, i. 2.
295; 'though bride and bridegroom _wants_,' i.e. are absent, Tam. Shrew,
iii. 2. 248: 'There _wanteth_ now our brother of Gloucester here'; Rich.
III. ii. 1. 43.

364. 'But only because he is accustomed to write poems.'

366. 'Or it was enjoined him by some patron to compose those two poems (the
Romaunce of the Rose and Troilus; _see_ A. 344); and he did not dare to

371. _As thogh that_, as he would have done if.

372. _And had_, i.e. and had composed it all himself.

374. 'The allusion is to the several successful adventurers, like the
Visconti, who in the 13th and 14th centuries succeeded in seizing upon the
governments of Milan, and other free cities of Lombardy'; Bell. See the
article _Visconti_ in the Eng. Cyclopædia; we are there referred to Verri,
Storia di Milano, and to Muratori, Annali d' Italia. Cf. Dante, Inf.
xxviii. 74, 81; and see Chaucer's reference to 'Barnabo Viscounte' in the
Monkes Tale, B 3589.

375. _Reward at_, regard to. _Reward_ and _regard_ are etymologically
identical. Observe the accent on the _former_ syllable. Cf. l. 399.

378. _Fermour_, a farmer of taxes; who is naturally exacting and

380. Before _is_ supply _hit_, which, as in l. 379, refers to a suppliant
culprit. His own vassals are a lord's treasures, to be cherished, not

381. Bech refers us to Seneca, De Clementia, lib. i. c. 3, § 3; c. 5, § 4.
Or perhaps Aristotle is meant, whose supposed advice to Alexander is fully
given in Gower's Confessio Amantis, bk. vii. See particularly the passage
in Pauli's edition, iii. 176:--

 'What is a king in his legeaunce,
  Wher that ther is no law in londe?'

There is a similar long and tedious passage in Lancelot of the Laik, ed.
Skeat, ll. 1463-1998. Gower calls Aristotle 'the philosophre'; C. A. iii.
86. We may also compare Hoccleve, De Regimine Principum, ed. Wright, pp.
102-3, translated from Ægidius, De Reg. Princ., lib. i. pars 1, cap. xiv;
where the reference to Aristotle is:--'Propter quod V. Ethicorum scribitur,
quod _principatus uirum ostendit_.'

384. _Al_, although. 'Although he will preserve their rank for his lords.'
Note that _his lordes_ is in the dative case. It was probably from not
observing this that Thynne's edition and the Pepys MS. have needlessly
inserted the word _in_ before _hir_. Cf. A. 370.

387. _Half-goddes_, demi-gods. Cf. 'the demi-god Authority'; Meas. for
Meas. i. 2. 124.

391. So, in his Epitaph on Inigo Jones, Ben Jonson says:--'The Libyan lion
hunts no butterflies'; which he took from Martial, Epig. xii. 61. 6. And
see Pliny, Nat. Hist. viii. 16.

397. _Areste._ Bell seems to suggest the sense of 'restraint,' and Prof.
Corson, following him, suggests 'self-command'; but such a sense does not
exactly appear in Murray's Dictionary. Nevertheless, 'self-restraint' suits
not only this passage, but also the passage cited from the Harleian MS. in
the foot-note to the Somnour's Tale, D 2048, in vol. iv. p. 381.

399. Here, as in l. 375, _reward_ means 'regard,' and is accented on the

400. _Maystrie_, masterly act; _no maystrie_, an easy matter.

405. This is not altogether a metaphorical expression. We remember
something very like it at the siege of Calais in 1347, when, according to
Froissart, Edward III. sent for the six inhabitants of Calais, who were to
present themselves 'with bare heads and feet, with ropes round their
necks'; see Froissart, tr. by Johnes, bk. i. c. 145.

415. In the earlier text (A 403), the word _He_ stands alone in the first
foot, which is less pleasing.

417. See Introd. to the Minor Poems (in vol. i.) for a discussion of some
of the poems here mentioned. He here mentions, first of all, three of his
lesser poems, in the order of their length; viz. the Hous of Fame, the
Deeth of Blaunche, and the Parlement of Foules.

420. The 'Palamoun and Arcyte' here referred to was no doubt a translation
of Boccaccio's Teseide, or of selections from it, in seven-line stanzas.
Though not preserved to us in its entirety, several fragments of it remain.
These are to be found (1) in sixteen stanzas of the Parl. of Foules (ll.
183-294), translated from the Teseide, bk. vii. st. 51-66; (2) in part of
the first ten stanzas of Anelida, from the same, bk. i. st. 1-3, and bk.
ii. st. 10-12; (3) in three stanzas near the end of Troilus (viz. st. 7, 8,
and 9 from the end), from the same, xi. 1-3; and (4) in a re-written form,
in what is now known as the Knightes Tale. See Notes to Anelida, in vol. i.
pp. 529, 530.

421. 'Though the story is little known.' Tyrwhitt remarks that these words
'seem to imply that it [Chaucer's original version of Palamon and Arcite]
had not made itself very popular.' Unfortunately, Tyrwhitt, who so very
seldom goes astray, has here misled nearly all who have consulted him.
Chaucer is not referring to his own version of the story, nor even to
Boccaccio's version, but to the old story _itself_; and he is merely
repeating Boccaccio's own remark, when (in the Teseide, i. 2) he speaks of
it as

         '--una storia antica,
  Tanto negli anni riposta e nascosa,
  Che Latino autor non par ne dica,
  Per quel ch'io senta, in libro alcuna cosa.'

And, in truth, the story must have been known but to very few, till
Boccaccio rescued it from oblivion. This is all that is meant; and there is
no difficulty. Note further that Chaucer refers to the very same passage in
another poem; see note to Anelida, l. 8.

423. A Balade is, properly, a poem in three stanzas, in which each stanza
ends with the same line, called the refrain. There is also usually a fourth
stanza, called _Lenvoy_, or the Envoy, which is sometimes shorter than the
other three. Most of Chaucer's Balades have probably perished, as only a
few are now known. These are: _Fortune_, consisting of 3 Balades, each in
8-line stanzas, followed by a single Envoy; _Truth_, a Balade with Envoy,
in 7-line stanzas; _Gentilesse_, without Envoy; _Lak of Stedfastnesse_,
with Envoy; (probably) _A Balade against women unconstaunt_, without Envoy;
_The Complaint of Venus_, consisting of 3 Balades, with a general Envoy;
_The Compleint to his Purse_, with Envoy of five lines only; _To
Rosemounde_, without Envoy; and the Balade included in the present poem, at
ll. 249-269 above.

A _Roundel_ is a poem of from nine to fourteen lines, in which only eight
lines are different from each other, the rest being repetitions of lines
that have already occurred. See this fully explained in the note to l. 675
of the Parl. of Foules. The one certain example is the Roundel included in
the Parl. of Foules, beginning at l. 680. There is also a beautiful example
of a Triple Roundel, which I have included in the Minor Poems, with the
title of Merciless Beauty. No doubt Chaucer wrote many more, but they are

A _Virelay_ is a poem in an unusual metre, of which examples are very rare.
Only one entire poem of this character has been conjecturally assigned to
Chaucer, but it is written in later English, and cannot possibly be his. It
is not a true Virelay (in the French sense), and first appeared in the
edition of 1561; see vol. i. p. 33. In this poem, lines 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7
all rime together; and l. 4 rimes with l. 8. Then comes the 'veer' or
'turn,' which requires that, in the next stanza, lines 9, 10, 11, 13, 14,
15 shall rime with lines 4 and 8, as, in fact, they do; but lines 12 and 16
introduce a _new_ rime, as they should _not_ do. We find, however, two fair
examples of the Virelay in the poem of Anelida, viz. in lines 256-271 and
317-332. In the former of these, the rime in _-ee_ (_-e_) appears in lines
256-8 and 260-2, and the rime in _-yte_ ends lines 259 and 263; whereas,
conversely, the rime in _-yte_ ends lines 264-6 and 268-270, whilst lines
267 and 271 repeat the rime in _-ee_. Similarly, ll. 317-332 exhibit
veering rimes in _-eye_ and _-ure_.

In Hoccleve's Poems, ed. Furnivall (Early Eng. Text Soc., Extra Series,
1892), there are several clever and intricate examples of the Virelay.
Thus, in Balade IV, at p. 39, there are five stanzas, but only three rimes,
viz. in _-al_, _-ee_, and _-ay_. The formula of rimes, for the first and
third stanzas, is _a b a b b c b c_; for the second and fourth stanzas, _c
b c b b a b a_; and for the fifth stanza, _a c a c c b c b_. See also the
same, pp. 41, 47, 49, 58, 59, 61, 62. Beyond all doubt, Hoccleve copied the
forms of Chaucer's lost virelays.

424. _Holynesse_, holy employment, religious composition. This is, clearly,
an intentional substitution for the _besinesse_, i.e. 'laborious
employment,' in the A-text, l. 412.

425. Chaucer made an excellent prose translation of Boethius de
Consolatione Philosophiæ, a Latin treatise much admired in the middle ages,
and still worthy of admiration. For further remarks, see vol. iii.

--A. 414. This is the only notice we possess of a work by Chaucer which is
no longer extant. We gather from it that he made a translation of the Latin
prose treatise by Pope Innocent III., entitled De Miseria Conditionis
Humanæ, a gloomy enumeration of human woes without a single alleviating
touch of hope, fiercely and unrelentingly set forth. It is probable that it
was written in 7-line stanzas; for portions of it appear to be preserved in
the Prologue to the Man of Lawes Tale, B 99-126, and in other stanzas of
the same (B 421-7, 771-7, 925-931, 1135-8).

426. _The Lyf of Seynt Cecyle_ is happily preserved. It was one of
Chaucer's early productions; but he himself rescued it from possible
disappearance by introducing it into the Canterbury Tales, with the title
of the Second Nonnes Tale.

428. This is another of the lost works. We gather that he made a
translation from a piece attributed to Origen, one of the most eminent of
the early Christian writers, who was born at Alexandria in 186. Tyrwhitt
says the piece meant is doubtless 'the Homily _de Maria Magdalena_, which
has been commonly, though falsely, attributed to Origen; see Opp. Origenis,
Tom. ii. p. 291, ed. Paris, 1604.' Tyrwhitt adds, very justly and
incontrovertibly--'I cannot believe that the Poem entitled The Lamentation
of Marie Magdaleine, which is in all the [older] editions of Chaucer, is
really that work of his. It can hardly be considered as a translation, or
even as an imitation, of the Homily; and the composition, in every respect,
is infinitely meaner than the worst of his genuine pieces.'

432. Here, in the B-text, the name of Alcestis is first mentioned; yet
strange to say, Chaucer does not realise who she is till later; see l. 518.
She was the wife of Admetus, not king of Thrace (as here said) but of Pheræ
in Thessaly. Apollo obtained from the Moiræ a promise to grant Admetus
deliverance from death if, at the hour of his death, his father, mother, or
wife, would consent to die for him. Alcestis consented to die in his stead,
and is therefore here taken as the chief type of wifely devotion. The
mention of Alcestis in the Court of Love, st. 15, is merely copied from
Chaucer; so also Lydgate's use of _Alceste_ to mean 'a daisy,' in his
Legend of St. Edmund, l. 235 of the additional stanzas found in MS. Ashmole
46, as printed in Horstmann, Alteng. Legenden, Neue Folge (1881), p. 443.
Gower has the story of Alcestis in his Confessio Amantis; ed. Pauli, iii.

452. An allusion to the common proverb--'Bis dat, qui cito dat'; he who
gives at once, gives twice. Publius Syrus has: 'Bis gratum est, quod dato
opus est, ultro si offeras,' v. 44; and again: 'Inopi beneficium bis dat,
qui dat celeriter'; v. 235.

465. 'Has no participation in the deed of a thief.' Similarly, in the Squi.
Tale, F 537, Chaucer tells us that 'A trew wight and a theef thenken nat
oon,' i.e. do not think alike. _Trew_ means 'honest.'

466. The first foot contains _Ne a trew-_; _e_ in _Ne_ is elided.

475, 6. Closely imitated in the Court of Love, st. 61:--

 'And argue not for reason ne for skill
  Againe thy ladies pleasure ne entent,
  For love will not be counterpleted indeede.'

The substitution of the dissyllabic _indeede_ for Chaucer's monosyllabic
_be_ just ruins the scansion of the line; but we must not expect always to
find melody in that grossly over-rated poem.

496, 7. Observe that these lines are not in the A-text. They must
necessarily have been added after 1382, when Richard II. married Anne of
Bohemia, and of course long before 1394, when 'the good queen Anne' died,
and her husband at once forsook their favourite residence of Shene, now
Richmond; see Annals of England, p. 201.

499. This is a strange question, seeing that Alcestis has already announced
her name at l. 432; we must suppose that the poet did not realise that she
was _the very_ Alcestis whom he longed to see. But it looks like an
oversight, due to his partially rewriting this Prologue.

503. Literally Chaucer's favorite line; for it reappears three times more,
viz. in the Kn. Ta., A 1761; March. Ta., E 1986; and Squi. Ta., F 479. And,
in the Man of Law's Tale, B 660, we have--'As gentil herte is fulfild of
pitee.' It is admirable.

510. Here Chaucer seems to be imitating Froissart; see the Introduction. I
cannot find any early account of Alcestis that turns her into a daisy[68].
See notes to ll. 432, 515.

515. Alcestis 'was afterwards brought back from the lower world by
Hercules, and restored to her husband'; Lewis and Short, Lat. Dict. s.v.
_Alcestis_. And see the Introduction.

522. _Bountee_, goodness. See Clerk. Ta., E 157, 415; and Trench, Sel.

526. _Agaton_, Agathon or Agatho; Dante's _Agatone_ (Purg. xxii. 107). An
Athenian poet (B.C. 447-400); who wrote a tragedy called 'the Flower.' See
the Introduction.

531. _Cibella_, Cybela, or more commonly Cybele, a Phrygian goddess, later
worshipped at Rome as Ops or Mater Magna. She was the goddess of the earth,
and especially represented its fertility; hence she is naturally said to
produce flowers. She here answers to the 'Ceres' of Froissart; see the

533. The reference is to the red tips on the white petals of the daisy, the
'wee, modest, crimson-tippèd flower.' This is said to be the gift of Mars,
as he was associated with that colour. He is called 'Mars the rede'; see l.
2589 below; Anelida, l. 1; Kn. Ta., A 1969. The colour of the planet Mars
is reddish.

In the present passage _reed_ is a sb.; 'And Mars gave redness to her

539. Referring to the Balade at l. 249. In the A-text, Alcestis was
actually mentioned in the refrain; but Chaucer rewrote it so as to exclude
her name. He now writes (in l. 540) as if he had forgotten to put it in. Of
course ll. 539-541 are peculiar to the B-text, as marked.

542. _Kalender._ 'A kalendar is an almanac by which persons are guided in
their computation of time; hence it is used, as here, for a guide or
example generally'; Bell. The New E. Dict. quotes this passage, and
explains the word by 'a guide, directory; an example, model'; and cites
Hamlet, v. 2. 114--'He is the card or _calendar_ of gentry.' Nevertheless,
I doubt whether this sense arose from the mere _usefulness_ of the
calendar. I believe that Chaucer regarded it in quite another aspect, viz.
as containing the _record_ or _list_ of the saints whose lives are worthy
of imitation. Hence Schmidt explains the word in Hamlet as 'note-book' or
'record'; as is certainly the case in All's Well, i. 3. 4, which Murray
duly quotes with the sense of 'record.' So in the present case _kalender_
does not mean 'example' merely, but _a whole list_ or _complete record of
examples_, which gives the word a much greater force. Compare Chaucer's
ABC, under the letter _K_, and the note (l. 73).

549. We hence learn that Chaucer's nineteenth[69] and last Legend was to
have been the Legend of Alcestis; but he never wrote more than the former
_half_ of the work. Cf. A-text, 532.

555. _Thy balade_; see ll. 249-268; F. and Th. read _my_. We here learn
that the Ladies about whom the Legends were to be written (l. 557) are all
mentioned in the Ballad, which is an important hint. We must of course
remove the names of Absalom and Jonathan; and there is reason for supposing
that we should exclude Esther. Next, we set aside Lucretia, Cleopatra,
Thisbe, Dido, Phyllis, Hypsipyle, Hypermnestra, and Ariadne, whose Legends
we possess; observing at the same time that we also have the Legend of
Philomela (though she is not mentioned), and of Medea, who shares a Legend
with Hypsipyle. The names still left are those of Penelope, Martia, Isoude,
Helen, Lavinia, Polyxena, Hero, Laodamia, Canace, and Alcestis. But this
list only partially agrees with Chaucer's scheme as given elsewhere, viz.
in the Introduction to the Man of Law's Tale. See further in the

574. _The grete_, the substance; as in Book of the Duch. 1242; Parl.
Foules, 35.

575. 'According as these old authors are pleased to treat (them).'

576. _Shal telle_, has to narrate.


It is not clear what account Chaucer followed; see the Introduction. The
chief sources for the history are Plutarch, Appian, Dion Cassius, and
Orosius (bk. vi. c. 19). I shall refer to the Life of M. Antonius in my
edition of Shakespeare's Plutarch (denoted below by Sh. Plut.). Bech points
out that one of Chaucer's sources was Florus; see note to l. 655.

581. Ptolemy XI., or Ptolemy Auletes, king of Egypt, died B.C. 51, leaving
two sons, _both_ called Ptolemy, and two daughters, Cleopatra and Arsinoe.
Cleopatra was then 17 years of age, and was appointed queen of Egypt in
conjunction with her brother, the elder Ptolemy, whom she was to marry; but
she was expelled from the throne by Ptolemy's guardians. In B.C. 47 she was
replaced upon it by Julius Cæsar, but still in conjunction with her
brother. This led to the Alexandrine war, in the course of which this elder
Ptolemy perished. After this, she reigned, nominally, in conjunction with
the _younger_ Ptolemy, to whom also she was nominally married; but he was
still quite a child, and was murdered by her orders in less than four
years, after which she was sole queen, in name as well as in reality.

We thus see that the Ptolemy here mentioned may be either of Cleopatra's
brothers of that name; but it is more likely that Chaucer refers to the
elder of them. Shakespeare also uses the expression 'queen of Ptolemy';
Ant. i. 4. 6.

583. _On a tyme_; viz. not long after the battle of Philippi, which took
place in B.C. 42. 'Antonius, going to make war with the Parthians, sent to
command Cleopatra to appear personally before him when he came into
Cilicia, to answer unto such accusations as were laid against her, being
this: that she had aided Cassius and Brutus in their war against him ...
Cleopatra on the other side ... guessing by the former access and credit
she had with Julius Cæsar and C. Pompey (the son of Pompey the Great) only
for her beauty, she began to have good hope that she might more easily win
Antonius. For Cæsar and Pompey knew her when she was but a young thing, and
knew not then what the world meant; but now she went to Antonius at the age
when a woman's beauty is at the prime, and she also of best judgment.'--Sh.
Plut. p. 174. Almost immediately after this passage follows the celebrated
description of Cleopatra in her barge upon the Cydnus, familiar to all in
the words of Shakespeare; Ant. and Cleop. ii. 2. 196.

591. 'Octavius Cæsar reporting all these things unto the Senate, and
oftentimes accusing him to the whole people and assembly in Rome, he
thereby stirred up all the Romans against him.'--Sh. Plut. p. 202.

592. After the death of his first wife, Fulvia, Antony had married Octavia,
sister of Octavianus (better known to us as Augustus). But in a few years
he deserted her, and surrendered himself wholly to the charms of Cleopatra.
Cf. Ant. and Cleop. iii. 6.

597. Cf. Sh. Plut. p. 192; Ant. and Cleop. i. 4. 55.

605. _Sterve_, to die. See _Starve_, in Trench, Sel. Glossary.

624. _Octovian_, Octavianus. 'Now for Cæsar, he had 250 ships of war,
80,000 footmen, and well near as many horsemen as his enemy Antonius'; Sh.
Plut. p. 207.

634. See the account of the battle of Actium, B.C. 31; in Sh. Plut. p. 210.
The vivid description here given by Chaucer resembles the parallel passage
in the Kn. Tale, A 2600-20, which should be compared. 'The soldiers fought
with their pikes, halbards and darts, and threw halbards and darts with
fire. Antonius' ships, on the other side, bestowed among them, with their
crossbows and engines of battery, great store of shot from their high
towers of wood that were set upon their ships.'--Sh. Plut. p. 211. There is
some description of the hostile fleets and of the battle in Florus (see
note to l. 655), who tells us that, whilst Octavius had 400 ships against
the 200 ships of Antony, the latter were nearly double the size of the
former; so that the fleets were thus of equal strength.

637. Bell says this is 'a ludicrous anachronism'; but it is nothing of the
kind. The word _gonne_ is here used in the sense of 'shot' or 'missile';
and the line means--'with terrible sound out rushes the huge missile,'
being hurled from one of the 'engines of battery' mentioned in the last
note. It is the missile, not the engine, that 'out goth'; as a moment's
reflection would have informed the commentator, whose remark was needless.
The use of _gonne_ in the sense of 'missile' is curious, but not
unexampled; for, in the Avowynge of Arthur, st. 65, we read that 'there
come fliand a _gunne_,' i.e. there came flying along a missile. I believe
it is also used in the sense of missile in Sir Ferumbras, 5176, though the
passage is not decisive.

Even if this were not the case, there is no 'anachronism'; for _gonne_ was
originally used in the sense of 'catapult,' as may be seen by consulting
the Prompt. Parvulorum, where the Latin for it is _petraria_, and
_mangonale_. The _grisly soun_ alludes to the whizzing of the ponderous
missile through the air; Barbour says of a great stone, hurled from a
catapult, that 'It flaw out, quhedirand, with a rout,' i.e. it flew out,
whirring, with a great noise. See The Bruce, xvii. 684.

On the other hand, in Ho. Fame, 1643, Chaucer certainly uses _gonne_ in the
sense of 'cannon'; but that does not affect the sense of the present

638. _Hurtlen_, push, dash, ram one against the other; cf. Kn. Ta., A 2616.
'Somtyme they _hurtled_ to-gyder that they felle grovelyng on the ground';
Morte Arthure; by Sir T. Malory, bk. vii. c. 12. _Heterly_, vehemently,
fiercely, occurs frequently in the Wars of Alexander, ed. Skeat (E. E. T.
S.) Compare Vergil's description of the battle, in Æn. viii. 689, &c.: 'Una
omnes ruere.'

640. _In goth_, in there go. _Goth_ is singular in form, because of its
position in the sentence; but it has two nominatives, viz. 'grapnel' and
'shearing-hooks.' The former was a contrivance for clutching the ropes, and
the latter for severing them.

642. This is wonderfully graphic. A boarder bursts in with a pole-axe; a
sailor, on the defence, flees behind the mast, then dashes forward again,
and drives the assailant overboard.

646. _Rent_, rendeth; the present tense.

648. By pouring hard peas upon the hatches, they became so slippery that
the boarders could not stand.

649. Some carried pots full of quicklime, which they threw into the eyes of
their enemies. See Notes and Queries, 5 S. x. 188. The English did this
very thing, when attacking a French fleet, in the time of Henry III. Strutt
(Manners and Customs, 1774, ii. 11) quotes from Matthew Paris to this
effect:--'Calcem quoque vivam et in pulverém subtilem reductam, in altum
projicientes, vento illam ferente, Francorum oculos excaecaverunt.' Cf. Æn.
viii. 694.

652. _Put_, short for _putteth_, puts; pres. tense.

653. _To-go_, disperse themselves; pres. tense. The prefix _to_ has the
same force as the Lat. _dis-_, i.e. 'in different directions.' We even find
_to-ga_ used as a past tense in Barbour's Bruce (viii. 351, ix. 263, 269,
xvii. 104, 575), with the sense 'fled in different directions,' or 'fled
away.' Cf. 'the wlcne _to-gað_,' the clouds part asunder; Morris; Spec. of
Eng. pt. I. p. 7, l. 169. And again, 'thagh the fourme of brede _to-go_,'
though the form of bread disappear; Shoreham's Poems, p. 29.

_That best go mighte_, each in the way he could best go; each made the best
of his way to a safe place. 'Sauve qui peut.'

655. 'Suddenly they saw the threescore ships of Cleopatra busily about
their yard-masts, and hoising sail to fly'; Sh. Plut. p. 212. Cf. Ant. and
Cleop. iii. 10. 10; Vergil, Æn. viii. 707-8. The remark about Cleopatra's
'purple sails' may remind us of Plutarch's description of Cleopatra on the
Cydnus, already referred to above (note to l. 583):--'the poop [of her
barge] was of gold, _the sails of purple_'; Sh. Plut. p. 174; Ant. and
Cleop. ii. 2. 198.

The truth is, however, that (as Bech points out) Chaucer has borrowed this
and a few other incidents from L. Annaeus Florus, who wrote an Epitome
Rerum Romanarum in the second century. In relating the battle of Actium, he
says:--'Prima dux fugae regina, cum aurea puppe _ueloque purpureo_, in
altum dedit. Mox secutus Antonius: sed instare uestigiis Caesar. Itaque nec
praeparata in Oceanum fuga, nec munita praesidiis utraque Ægypti cornua,
Paraetonium atque Pelusium, profuere: prope manu tenebantur. Prior ferrum
occupauit Antonius. Regina ad pedes Caesaris prouoluta tentauit oculos
ducis: frustra. Nam pulchritudo intra pudicitiam principis fuit. Nec illa
de uita, quae offerebatur, sed de parte regni, laborabat. Quod ubi
desperauit a principe, seruarique se triumpho uidit, incautiorem nacta
custodiam, in Mausoleum se (sepulcra regum sic uocant) recipit: ibi
maximos, ut solebat, induta cultus, in differto odoribus solio, iuxta suum
se collocauit Antonium: admotisque ad uenas serpentibus, sic morte quasi
somno, soluta est.'--Florus, Epit. Rerum Romanarum, lib. iv. c. 11.

662. Chaucer (following Florus) has hastened the catastrophe. Antony
stabbed himself at Alexandria, in the following year, B.C. 30. See Sh.
Plut. 221; Ant. and Cleop. iv. 14. 102.

672. _Shryne_; for 'solio' in Florus; cf. l. 675. Plutarch says only that
Cleopatra 'did sumptuously and royally bury him with her own hands'; Sh.
Plut. p. 224. Afterwards, however, she 'crowned the tomb with garlands and
sundry nosegays, and marvellous lovingly embraced the same'; Sh. Plut. p.
227. But see the account by Florus, in the note to l. 655.

677. _Dede cors_, dead body; as in l. 876. Chaucer uses _cors_ of the
living body, as, e.g. in Sir Thopas, B 2098.

678. Chaucer seems to think that Florus meant, 'in sepulcrum [suum] se
recipit ... iuxta Antonium.'

679. Shakespeare follows closely the account in Plutarch, except that he
makes mention of _two_ asps, whereas Plutarch mentions but one, called by
Sir Thos. North 'an aspick'; Sh. Plut. p. 227. However, Florus uses the
plural _serpentibus_. Cf. Cower, C. A., iii. 361.

681. Cf. Cleopatra's lament in Sh. Plut. p. 226; Ant. and Cleop. iv. 15.
59; v. 2. 283.

691. Pronounce _unreprovable_, as _unréprovábl'_.

694. _Sene_, evident. Note that this is an adjective (A.S. _gesýne_), and
not the past participle; cf. l. 2655, and note. See also ll. 340, 741, and
my note to the Balade against Women Inconstaunt, l. 13.

696. _Naked._ It looks as if Chaucer took _induta_ (note to l. 655) to mean
'not clothed.' Perhaps he read it as _nudata_.

702. _Storial sooth_, historical truth. The old editions actually put the
comma after _storial_ instead of after _sooth_; and modern editors have
followed them. Surely the editors, in some passages, have never attempted
to construe their own texts.


Chaucer follows Ovid, Metamorph. iv. 55-166; and frequently very closely.
The reader should compare the Latin text throughout. For example, Ovid
begins thus:--

 'Pyramus et Thisbe, iuuenum pulcherrimus alter,
  altera, quas Oriens habuit, praelata puellis,
  contiguas habuere domos, ubi dicitur altam
  coctilibus muris cinxisse Semiramis urbem.'

In Golding's translation, fol. 43, back, thus:--

 'Within the town (of whose huge walles so monstrous high and thicke,
  The fame is giuen Semiramis for making them of bricke)
  Dwelt hard together two young folke in houses ioynde so nere,
  That under all one roofe well nie both twaine conuayed were.
  The name of him was Pyramus, and Thisbe call'd was she;
  So faire a man in all the East was none aliue as he.
  Nor nere a woman, mayde, nor wife in beautie like to her.'

This at once explains the allusion to Semiramis, the celebrated but
mythical queen who was said to have surrounded Babylon with walls of
fabulous strength, having a deep ditch outside them. See Orosius, as
translated by King Alfred, in Sweet's A.S. Reader, fourth ed. pp. 28, 29.
Gower tells the same story, and likewise follows Ovid; C. A. i. 324.

718. _Estward_; evidently from Ovid's 'Oriens'; see above.

722. The first foot consists of the single syllable _Mai-_.

725. _Naso_, i.e. Ovid; really named Publius Ouidius Naso.

726. _Réport_; accented on the _e_. _Y-shove_, pushed (into notice); cf. l.

727. 'Tempore creuit amor'; Met. iv. 60.

730. 'Sed uetuere patres'; id. 61.

735. 'As (to quote the proverb) cover up the glowing coal, and the hotter
the fire becomes.' Ovid has--'Quoque magis tegitur, tanto magis aestuat
ignis'; 64. _Wry_ is in the imperative mood, singular. Cf. Troilus, ii.

741. _Sene_, visible; see note to l. 694. _Dere y-nogh a myte_, even in a
slight degree; lit. '(to an extent) dear enough at a mite.' A singular use
of the phrase. Cf. 'dere ynogh a leek'; Can. Yem. Ta., G 795; 'not worth a
myte'; id., G 633.

742. 'Quid non sentit amor?' Met. iv. 68.

745. 'In a tone as low as if uttering a confession.' A curious medieval
touch. Ovid says, 'murmure ... minimo'; 70.

756. 'Inuide, dicebant, paries, quid amantibus obstas?' 73.

763. _Holde_, beholden. 'Nec sumus ingrati'; 76.

773. Chaucer practically transposes the offices of Phoebus and Aurora.

 'Postera nocturnos Aurora remouerat ignes,
  solque pruinosas radiis siccauerat herbas'; 82.

782. _And for_, and because, &c.

783. _For_ stands alone in the first foot. Cf. l. 797.

784. 'Conueniant ad busta Nini, lateantque sub umbra Arboris'; 88. Ll. 786,
787 are explanatory, and added by Chaucer. Ninus, the supposed founder of
Nineveh, was the husband of Semiramis. Cf. Shak. Mid. Nt. Dr. v. 1. 139.

786. Lounsbury (Studies in Chaucer, i. 403) says that the pt. t. of
_herien_ is _heried-e_, with final _e_. But the form is right; _héried-e_
is hardly pronounceable, and the final _e_ is naturally dropped when the
accent is thrown so far back. The forms of the past tenses of weak verbs
are variable; whether they take a final _e_ or not often depends on the
form of the stem. See Ten Brink, Chaucer's Sprache, § 194.

797. _Y-wimpled_, covered with a wimple, or cloth covering the neck and
fitting close round the face, chiefly worn by nuns. Another medieval touch.
Ovid has 'adopertaque uultum'; 94. See note to l. 813.

798-801. These four lines are mainly original, and quite in Chaucer's own
manner. Ovid has merely 'fallitque suos.'

803. 'Audacem faciebat amor'; 96.

804. _She gan her dresse_, she settled herself, lit. directed herself. Lat.

810. _Rist_, riseth; pres. tense, as in l. 887. So _arist_, Man of Law's
Tale, B 265.

811. _With dredful foot_; so again in Kn. Ta., A 1479. 'Timido pede fugit
in antrum'; 100. See _Dreadful_ in Trench, Select Glossary; and cf. ll.
109, 404 above.

813. 'Dumque fugit, tergo uelamina lapsa reliquit'; 101. 'For fere, and let
her wimple falle.'--Gower, Conf. Amant. i. 326.

814-6. These three lines are original. _Sit_, sitteth. _Darketh_, lies
close. 'The child than _darked_ in his den'; Will. of Palerne, 17; 'drawe
[drew] him into his den, and _darked_ ther stille'; id. 44. And again in
the same poem, ll. 1834, 2851.

823-31. Considerably expanded from the Latin:--

 'Serius egressus uestigia uidit in alto
  puluere certa ferae, totoque expalluit ore
  Pyramus'; 105.

830. _Agroos_, shuddered; and again in l. 2314; and in Troil. ii. 930. The
infin. _agryse_ is in the Man of Law's Tale, B 614.

834. 'Una duos, inquit, nox perdet amantes'; 108.

835. This line is Chaucer's own.

842. _What_, whatsoever; 'quicunque ... leones'; 114.

847-9. 'Accipe nunc, inquit, nostri quoque sanguinis haustus'; 118.


                     'Cruor emicat alte
  non aliter quam quum uitiato fistula plumbo
  scinditur, et tenues stridente foramine longe
  eiaculatur aquas, atque ictibus aera rumpit'; 121.

With much good taste, Chaucer omits the next three lines, just as he has
omitted to tell us that the trysting-tree was 'a faire high Mulberie with
fruite _as white as snow_,' as Golding says. The blood of Pyramus turned
this fruit _black_, and so it remains to this day! Gower likewise
suppresses the mulberry-tree, but Shakespeare mentions it; see Mid. Nt. Dr.
v. 1. 149.

853-61. Admirably expanded out of three lines:--

 'Ecce metu nondum posito, ne fallat amantem,
  illa redit; iuuenemque oculis animoque requirit;
  quantaque uitarit narrare pericula gestit'; 128.

859. The first syllable of _Bothe_ forms a foot by itself. So also in ll.
863, 901, 911, &c.


 'Dum dubitat, tremebunda uidet pulsare cruentum
  membra solum; retroque pedem tulit; oraque buxo
  pallidiora gerens, exhorruit aequoris instar,
  quod fremit, exigua quum summum stringitur aura'; 133.

869-82. Fourteen lines where Ovid has eight. Chaucer has greatly improved
l. 882, where Ovid makes Thisbe _ask_ Pyramus to lift up his
head:--'uultusque attolle iacentes'; 144.

887. This line is original. _Bost_, noise, outcry; such is the original
sense of the word now spelt _boast_, which see in the New E. Dict. Cf. 'Now
ariseth cry and _boost_'; King Alisaunder, 5290; and see P. Plowman, C.
xvii. 89. Whitaker, writing in 1813, remarks that _boost_, in the sense of
noise, is 'a provincial word still familiar in the Midland counties.'


 'Persequar extinctum; letique miserrima dicar
  caussa comesque tui'; 151.

905-12. Admirably substituted for Thisbe's address to the mulberry-tree,
requesting it to keep its berries always black thenceforth.

913, 14.

 'Dixit; et aptato pectus mucrone sub imum
  incubuit ferro, quod adhuc a caede tepebat'; 162.

916-23. These lines are original. With l. 917 cf. Le Rom. de la Rose,
14345:--'Mes moult est poi de tex amans.'


This Legend purports to be taken from Vergil and Ovid; see l. 928. There is
very little of it from Ovid, viz. only the last 16 lines, which depend on
Ovid's Heroides, vii. 1-8, and ll. 1312-6, which owe something to the same

The rest is from the Æneid, bks. i-iv, as will be pointed out.

Note that Chaucer had already given the story of Dido at some length in his
Hous of Fame, 151-382, which should be compared. He mentions Ovid there
also; l. 379.

924. _Mantuan_, born near Mantua. Publius Vergilius [not Virgilius] Maro
was born on the 15th Oct., B.C. 70, at Andes, now Pietola, a small village
near Mantua in Cisalpine Gaul; and died Sept. 22, B.C. 19. It is said that
an inscription was placed on his tomb, beginning 'Mantua me genuit.'

926. Cf. 'chi vi fu lucerna?' Dante, Purg. i. 43.

927. _Eneas_, Æneas, hero of the Æneid.

928. The late editions, for some mysterious reason, put a full stop after
_Eneid_ and insert _of_ before _Naso_. The sense is--'I will take the
general tenour (of the story as I find it) in thine Æneid and in Naso,'
i.e. in Ovid; 'and I will versify the chief circumstances.'

Roughly speaking, ll. 930-949 are from the Æneid, bk. ii; ll. 950-957 from
bk. iii; ll. 958-1155 from bk. i; and ll. 1156-1351 from bk. iv.

931. 'By the craft of the Greeks, and especially by Sinon.' Sinon allowed
himself to be taken prisoner by the Trojans, and persuaded them to take in
a wooden horse through the walls, which he said had been made as an
atonement to Minerva for the Palladium carried away by the Greeks. In the
dead of night Sinon let out the armed men concealed within the horse, and
thus Troy was taken by a stratagem. See Æn. ii. 57-267; and cf. Ho. Fame,

934. The ghost of Hector appeared to Æneas, and advised him to flee; Æn.
ii. 268-298.

935. The verb agreeing with _fyr_ is _appered_. 'And there appeared also so
mad a fire that it could not be controlled.' See Æn. ii. 311.

936. _Ilioun_, the usual M.E. form of _Ilium_; Æn. i. 68, ii. 241, 325,
625. Ilium is only another name for Troy, but the medieval writers invented
the explanation here adopted by Chaucer, viz. that it was the palace of
Priam, and the _castle_ of Troy in particular. Perhaps they interpreted the
word _domus_ in too narrow a sense in the passage--'O patria, O Divum domus
Ilium'; Æn. ii. 241. This use of the word is invariable in Guido delle
Colonne, author of the Historia Destructionis Troie, a work which was
considered of the highest authority in the middle ages, though it was
shamelessly copied from the French Roman de Troie by Benoit de
Sainte-Maure. In fact, a long description of Priam's palace, called
_Ilion_, is given in the alliterative Troy-book, l. 1629, which is
translated from Guido; and in Lydgate's Troy-book, ed. 1555, fol. F 6,
back, and R 5, back. See the notes to Book Duch. 1070, Ho. Fame, 158, 1467,
1469, 1477.

939. For the death of Priam, killed by Pyrrhus, see Æn. ii. 531-558.
_Fordoon_, slain. _Noght_, nothing; this alludes to Vergil's 'sine nomine
corpus'; Æn. ii. 558.

940. Venus appears to her son Æneas; Æn. ii. 591. Cf. Ho. Fame, 162.

942. Cf. 'dextrae se paruus Iülus [Ascanius] Implicuit'; Æn. ii. 724. See
note to Ho. Fame, 177.

945. _Lees_, lost; 'erepta Creüsa'; Æn. ii. 738; Ho. Fame, 183.

947. _Felawshippe_, company, companions; 'ingentem comitum numerum'; Æn.
ii. 796.

949. _Stounde_, hour, time; usually dissyllabic in M.E.

953. For these adventures, see Æn. bk. iii; which Chaucer passes over. But
see Ho. Fame, 198-221.

959. _Libye_, Libya, on the N. coast of Africa; Æn. i. 158. For the seven
ships saved, see the same, i. 170.

960, 1. These two lines are in no previous edition, (except my own), being
preserved only in MSS. C. and P. But they are obviously genuine and
necessary; otherwise, the word _So_ (l. 962) is meaningless.

962. _Al to-shake_, all shaken to pieces, sorely distressed. Cf. l. 820.

964. Æneas and Achates sally forth, Æn. i. 312; Ho. Fame, 226.

971. _Hunteresse_, huntress; i.e. Venus so disguised; id. i. 319. 'As she
had been an _hunteresse_'; Ho. Fame, 229.

973. _Cutted_, cut short; 'nuda genu'; id. i. 320. The same expression
occurs as 'cutted to the kne' in P. Ploughman's Crede, 296. Compare also l.
434 of the same poem:--

 'His wyf walked him with, with a longe gode [goad],
  In a _cutted_ cote, _cutted_ full hey[gh]e.'

The editions have _knytte_, which is an erroneous spelling either of _knyt_
or of _knytted_; neither of which readings can be right.

978-82. Translated from Æn. i. 321-4.

982. _Y-tukked up_, with robe tucked up; 'Succinctam.' This settles the
meaning of _tukked_ in Ch. Prol. 621.

983-93. Shortened from Æn. i. 325-340.

986. 'Phoebus' sister'; Vergil has 'Phoebi soror'; 329.

994-1001. Alluding to Æn. i. 341-410.

997. _Hit nere but_, it would only be; _nere_ = _ne were_.

998. _Al and som_, the whole matter; wholly and in particulars.

1005. _Sitheo_, so in all the copies. Nothing is commoner than a confusion
between _c_ and _t_ in old MSS.; hence _Sitheo_ is for _Sichco_, i.e.
Sichaeus. Sichaeus (Æn. i. 343) is Vergil's name for Acerbas, a wealthy
Tyrian priest, who married Elissa (Vergil's Dido) sister of Pygmalion.
Pygmalion murdered Acerbas, hoping to appropriate his treasure; but Elissa
fled from Tyre, taking the treasure with her, and founded Carthage. Dante
has the form _Sicheo_; Inf. v. 62.

1010. _Fredom_, liberality; the old sense of _free_ being 'liberal.' _Of_
here means 'for'; in l. 1012 it means 'by.'

1016. _Maister-temple_, chief temple; cf. _maistre-strete_, chief street
(Kn. Ta., A 2902), and _maistre-tour_, chief tower (Squi. Tale, F 226). It
was the temple of Juno; Æn. i. 446.

1022. 'So the book says'; Vergil says that Venus shrouded Æneas and Achates
with a cloud (i. 412, 516).

1024. The first syllable of _Hadden_ forms a foot by itself; cf. l. 1030.
_Ov'r al_ forms the last foot.

1025. 'Uidet Iliacas ex ordine pugnas'; i. 456.

1028. 'Bellaque iam fama totum uulgata per orbem'; i. 457.

1032. _Kepe_, care; usually with a negative; see Kn. Ta., A 2238, 2960.

1035. See Æn. i. 496, &c. Vergil likens Dido to Diana. In l. 1039 Chaucer
uses _god_ in the heathen sense, meaning Jupiter.

1044-6. These lines are original. _Fremd_, strange; A.S. _fremede_. In the
Squi. Tale, F 429, it means 'foreign.' 'To frende ne to _fremmed_,' to
friend nor to stranger; P. Plowm. B. xv. 137. Misspelt _frenne_ (riming
with _glenne_) in Spenser, Shep. Kal. April, 28, with the sense of
'stranger'; unless he means it for _foreign_.

1047-60. Epitomised from Æn. i. 509-612.

1048. _Wende han loren_, he supposed to have lost, he supposed that he had

1050. _For which_, on which account, wherefore.

1059. _Meynee_, attendants, followers, lit. household; O.F. _meisnee_,
_mesnee_, _meinee_. Very common in Chaucer. The derived adj. _menial_ is
still in use. See l. 1089.

1061-5. From Æn. i. 613, 614. Ll. 1066-1074 are from the same, 588-591.

1075. 'Non ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco'; id. 630.

1076. The first syllable of _Lyked_ forms a foot by itself. _God do bote_,
may God give (us) help! A parenthetical explanation. All former editions
(except my own) omit the necessary comma after _as_.

1077-85. Chaucer here gives a general outline of the state of the case,
without following Vergil's words.

1086-90. This answers to Æn. i. 615-630.

1091-1102. From Æn. i 631-642.

1099. _His lyve_, in his life, during his life.

1103-27. This passage is, practically, original. Chaucer here tells the
story in his own language, and gives it a wholly medieval cast.

1104. The M.E. _swolow_ usually means 'a whirlpool' or 'gulf,' and such is
Tyrwhitt's explanation. See the Catholicon Anglicum, p. 373, note 1, for
examples. Thus, in Wyclif's Works, ed. Matthew, p. 97, we find--'_Swolwis_
of the see and _helle_, that resceyuen al that thei may and [gh]elden not
a[gh]en.' Very rarely, it is used of an open mouth; thus in Allit. Poems,
ed. Morris, iii. 250, it is said that the whale 'opened his _swol[gh]_' to
engulf Jonah. Hence, probably, arose the suggestion in Bell's note, that
the reference is to the open mouth of hell, as represented in medieval
drawings. Nevertheless, I believe Tyrwhitt is right; though either sense
will serve. It is the mod. E. _swallow_, used as a sb. Cf. Dante, Inf.
xxxiv. 137-9.

1106. _Parements_, ornaments; probably hangings. Cf. 'chambre of parementz'
in Squi. Ta., F 269, and Tyrwhitt's note, quoted in my note to the line. In
the Kn. Ta., A 2501, _paramentz_ means 'rich clothes.' See Æn. i. 637-9.

1107. For _ornaments_, which is preserved in MSS. C. and T. only, the other
MSS. and all the old editions have the odd reading _pavements_, which is
strangely out of place. I think it clear that this arose from a repetition
of the word _parements_, which was afterwards turned into _pavements_ by
way of desperate emendation. The letters _v_ and _r_ are often somewhat
alike, and have been mistaken for one another, as shewn in my paper on
'ghost-words' in the Phil. Soc. Transactions, 1886.

1109. The MSS. (except T.) and the black-letter editions have _he_.
Morris's, Bell's, and Corson's editions have _she_, which gives no sense,
and will not suit l. 1111. I do not undertake to notice all the vagaries of
the various editions, as the readings of the MSS. are so much more
satisfactory. In the present case, I suppose that _she_ is a mere misprint
in Bell, preserved in the editions that follow him. _Sete_ is short for
_seten_, the usual M.E. pp. of _sitten_, to sit; see Kn. Ta., A 1452. It
answers to the A.S. pp. _seten_, with short _e_. The _e_ in _mete_ was also
short in A.S.; hence the rime is perfect.

1110. Cf. Squi. Ta., F 294--'The spyces and the wyn is come anon.' This
refers to the custom of serving wine mixed with spices to the guests before
going to rest; see a long note in Warton, Hist. E. Poetry, ed. 1840, i. 178
(on the word _piment_); Weber's note on King Alisaunder, 4178; and Our
English Home, p. 85.

1114. The first syllable _Ther_ probably constitutes the first foot of the
line. I believe Chaucer accents _courser_ on the former syllable; see Kn.
Ta., A 1502, 1704; Squi. Ta., F 195, 310.

1117. _Fretted_, adorned; not 'fraught,' as in Corson's note.

1119. _Shynedè_; trisyllabic; in MS. C. only; rest, _shyned_, _shyneth_,
which will not scan. Cf. _lakkedè_, Prol. 756; _knokkeden_, Compl. Mars,
84. Line 2194 has _shinèd_, and l. 1428 has _shoon_. _Shynede_ occurs in
_both_ the Wycliffite versions of Luke ii. 9; and is therefore an old form.
We still have _shined_ as a pt. t. in Ezek. xliii. 2, Acts ix. 3, xii. 7.

1120. 'Nor gentle high-flying falcon for striking herons.' Chaucer has
_gentil faucon_ in his Parl. of Foules, 337. Cotgrave, s.v. _haultain_,
has:--'_Faulcon haultain_, a high-flying hawke.' _Heronere_ means 'used for
flying at herons'; only the best hawks would serve for this.

1122. _Y-bete_, in the Knight's Ta., A 979, means 'ornamented with beaten
gold,' or with gold flattened out by the hammer (F. _or batu_). It might
mean 'ornamented by means of the hammer'; but as 'new florins' can hardly
be said to be used for decorating cups, it seems best to take _with_ in the
sense of 'as well as'; in which case _florins newe y-bete_ means 'florins
newly struck.' The allusion to _florins_ is curious; see note to P.
Plowman, B. iii. 45. Cf. Æn, i. 640--'Ingens argentum mensis, caelataque in
auro Fortia facta patrum.'

1128-35. From Æn. i. 643-656.

1135. _Take_, present, offer, deliver. This sense was once common; see Sec.
Non. Ta., G 223; Can. Yem. Ta., G 1030, 1034, 1365; P. Plowman, B. i. 56,
iv. 58, &c.

1136-49. Much abridged from Æn. i. 657-722.

1145. 'Let it be as it may; I care little about it.'

1150-55. Chaucer here comes to the end of Æn. bk. i, and passes over the
second book with the remark in l. 1153.

1155. _Entendeden_, gave their attention. Corson and Gilman explain it by
'attend,' as if it were the present tense.

1156. Chaucer here passes on to Vergil's fourth book, which he epitomises,
and seldom follows quite exactly.

1157. _Sely_, simple, unsuspecting; see l. 1254. See _Silly_ in Trench,
Select Glossary.

1161. 'Why I have told the story so far, and must tell the rest.'

1163. The reading _his_ (for _her_) in MS. C. can be justified, and may be
right. The A.S. _móna_ was masculine, but the Lat. _luna_ was feminine.
Hence arose a confusion, so that the M.E. _mone_ was of either gender.
Hence, in Chaucer's Astrolabe, pt. ii. § 34, l. 12, we find--'And _nota_,
that yif the mone shewe _himself_ by light of day,' &c.; whereas in the
same, pt. ii. § 40, l. 54, we find--'the mone, loke thou rekne wel _hir_
cours houre by houre; for _she_,' &c.

1166. _Brayd_, start, sudden movement. In the Cursor Mundi, 7169, we read
of Samson, that--

 'Vte of thair handes son he stert
  And gaue a _braid_ sa fers and fast,
  That all the bandes of him brast.'

See _Braid_ in the New E. Dictionary.

1170-81. From Vergil's Æn. iv. 9-29.

1174. 'And eke so likely to be a hero.' _Man_ is here used emphatically;
cf. 'quam forti pectore et armis'; iv. 11.

1182, 3. Cf. Æn. iv. 31-53; but Chaucer cuts it short.

1187. _Love_ (A.S. _lufu_) is here monosyllabic; cf. Kn. Ta., A 1135. 'Love
desires (to have) love; for no one will it desist.' Cf. A.S. _wandian_, to
turn aside, blench, fear. And see _wol_, in l. 1191.

1188-1211. From Æn. iv. 129-159.

1191. _An hunting_, on hunting, a-hunting. Here _an_ is another form of the
prep. _on_, and _hunting_ is a substantive, like Lat. _uenatio_. See Skeat,
Principles of Eng. Etymology, Ser. 1, p. 260.

_Wol_, desires (to go); cf. _wol_ in l. 1187.

1196. _Hoven_, wait in readiness, hover. Cf. 'where that she _hoved_ and
abode'; Gower, C. A. iii. 63; and see P. Plowman, B. prol. 210, xviii. 83.
It just expresses the notion of slight movement, whilst remaining nearly in
the same place. The old editions read _heven_, which gives no sense; for it
never means 'mount,' as has been suggested. Cf. Vergil's 'expectant'; iv.

1198. _Paper-whyt_, as white as paper; a curious and rare compound. Printed
_paper white_ (as two words!) in former editions.

1200. The 4th sense of _Bar_ in the New E. Dict. is--'An ornamental
transverse band on a girdle, saddle, &c.; subsequently, an ornamental boss
of any shape.'

1201. _Sit_, sits. _Wrye_, covered; A.S. _wrigen_, pp.

1204. _Startling_, moving suddenly; the frequentative form of _starting_,
which Chaucer preferred when repeating this same line in his Kn. Tale, A

1205. _A litel wyr_, i.e. a small bridle-bit. See l. 1208.

1206. _Phebus_; Vergil's 'Apollo'; iv. 144. _To devyse_, to describe (him).

1209. _Wold_, willed, desired; the pp. of _willen_. This form is very rare,
but we again find _hath wold_ in l. 11 of the Compl. of Venus; and _hadde
wold_ in P. Plowman, B. xv. 258. Prof. Corson aptly quotes three examples
from Malory's Morte Arthur, ed. T. Wright, with the references 'vol. i. c.
33, vol. iii. c. 119, and vol. iii. c. 123.' The first of these answers to
bk. ii. c. 8, p. 54 in the 'Globe' edition, where we find--'Then said
Merlin to Balin, Thou hast done thyself great hurt, because thou savedst
not this lady that slew herself, that might have saved her and thou
_wouldest_.' Caxton (ed. 1485) also has _woldest_; but Wright, following
the edition of 1634, has _had would_. For the other passages, see bk.
xviii. capp. 15 and 19, where Caxton has 'and he _had wold_,' and 'and I
_had wolde_.'

1212-31. From Vergil, Æn. iv. 154-170.

1213. _Go bet_, go more quickly, hasten; a term of encouragement. See Pard.
Tale, C 667, and the note. _Prik thou_, spur thou, push on; a like term.
_Lat goon_, let (the dogs) go.

1230. 'Ille dies primus leti, primusque malorum Causa fuit'; iv. 169. It
looks as if Chaucer has translated _leti_ by 'gladnesse,' as if it were
_letitiae_. (Bech makes a similar remark.)

1232-41. These lines are original. Cf. Ho. Fame, 253-292.

1242. Here follows, in Vergil, the celebrated description of Fame, which
Chaucer had already introduced into his Hous of Fame, 1368-1392; it is
therefore here omitted. He passes on to Æn. iv. 195.

1245. _Yarbas_, i.e. Iarbas, son of Ammon; Æn. iv. 196.

1254-84. Original; but see Ho. Fame, 269-292.

1262. _Pilled_, robbed. 'A knight ... sholde deffenden holy chirche, and
nat robben it ne _pilen_ it'; Persones Tale, _De Avaritia_, I 767.

1277. _Ther-as_, whereas. _Sterve_, to die.

1287. Perhaps copied by the author of fragment B. of the Romaunt of the
Rose. We there find (l. 4838, Glasgow MS.)--'The hoote ernes [ernest?] they
al foryeten'; there being nothing answering to it in the French text.

1288. 'And he secretly causes his ships to be prepared'; lit. 'causes (men)
to prepare his ships.'

1289. _Shapeth him_, intends, purposes. See Prologue, 772.

1295. 'Me patris Anchisae ... Admonet ... imago'; iv. 351.

1297. _Mercurie_, Mercury; 'interpres Divûm'; iv. 356.

1305. _What womman_, what sort of a woman.

1310. _Seketh halwes_, repairs to saints' shrines; a curious medieval
touch. Vergil only mentions the sacrifice; iv. 453. Cf. Prologue, 14, and
the note. 'To go _seken halwes_'; C. T. (Wyf of Bathes Prol.), D 657.

1312, 3. 'Si pudet uxoris, non nupta, sed hospita dicar,' &c.; Ovid, Her.
vii. 167.

1316. Cf. 'Sed neque fers tecum'; Her. vii. 79.

1317. _Thise lordes_; 'Nomadumque tyranni'; Æn. iv. 320. Also Pygmalion and
Iarbas, id. 325, 6.

1324. The former syllable of _Mercy_ forms the first foot in the line; cf.
l. 1342. 'Have pitee on my sorwes smerte!' Ho. Fame, 316; which see.

1331. _Lavyne_, Lavinia, daughter of King Latinus; Æn. vii. 359.

1332. _A cloth._ This refers to the Trojan garments left behind by Æneas;
'Iliacas uestes'; iv. 648. The sword is mentioned by Vergil just two lines
above; 646.

1338-40. Here the _cloth_ answers to the Lat. _exuuiae_; and _whyl hit
leste_ = whilst it pleased. These three lines are a close imitation of
Vergil, Æn. iv. 651-3:--

 'Dulces exuuiae, dum fata Deusque sinebant;
  Accipite hanc animam, meque his exsoluite curis;
  Vixi, et quem dederat cursum fortuna, peregi.'

We hence see that, in l. 1339, the right reading is _unbind me of this
unreste_, a close translation from the Latin. _Me of_ are run together; see
note to Complaint to Pitè, l. 11.

1341. _Withouten_, without any succour from Æneas.

1346. _Her norice_, her nurse, or rather the nurse of Sichæus, named Barce;
Æn. iv. 632.

1351. 'She roof hir-selve to the herte'; Ho. Fame, 373.

1352. Here Chaucer, having done with Vergil, takes up Ovid, who is intended
by the words _myn autour_.

1354. _A lettre_, i.e. the 7th Epistle in Ovid's Heroides. See l. 1367.

1355-65. From the first 8 lines in the above Epistle.

 'Sic, ubi fata uocant, udis abiectus in herbis,
    ad uada Maeandri concinit albus olor.
  Nec, quia te nostra sperem prece posse moueri,
    alloquor. Aduerso mouimus ista deo.
  Sed merita et famam, corpusque animumque pudicum
    quum male perdiderim, perdere uerba leue est.
  Certus es ire tamen, miseramque relinquere Dido;
    atque îdem uenti uela fidemque ferent.'


The chief sources of this fourth Legend are Guido delle Colonne's Historia
Troiana, Ovid's Metamorphoses, bk. vii, and Heroides, letters vi. and xii.
The story of Hypsipyle is also in Statius' Thebaid, bk. v, and in l. 1437
(see note) there is a reference to the Argonauticon of Valerius Flaccus.
See further in the Preface; and see the notes to ll. 1396, 1467.

1368-95. This is a Prologue to the Legend, and is original.

1371. _Reclaiming_, enticement, power to subdue; lit. a calling back.
Halliwell has: 'To _reclaim_ a hawk, to make her gentle and familiar, to
bring her to the wrist by a certain call. It is often used metaphorically,
to tame.' Cf. 'since this same wayward girl is so _reclaimed_'; Romeo, iv.
2. 47.

1373. _Of_, by means of. _Farced_, stuffed; as in Prol. to C. T., 233.

1377. 'Where others betray one, thou betrayest two.'

1381. _Shove_, pushed forward, brought into notice; cf. l. 726.

1383. _Have at thee!_ let me attack (or pursue) thee. _Thyn horn is blowe_,
the horn is blown that summons all to pursue thee; a metaphor taken from
the chase.

1387. _Aboght_, bought; pp. of _abye_, which was corrupted into _abide_;
whence 'thou shalt dearly _abide_ it.'

1388. _Box_, blow, buffet; now only used of 'a box on the ear.'

1389. _Et_, eateth; pres. tense. So in the Ayenbite of Inwyt, p. 135, l.
10, and in Ælfric's Grammar, ed. Zupitza, p. 200.

1391. Prof. Lounsbury would read 'the goodë man that ther-for payede,' and
remarks that this gives a false rime, because the preterite form _payede_
will not rime with the pp. _betrayed_. He adds--'in order to follow the
reading of the one MS. that makes _payed_ a participial form, the adj.
_goode_, of the definite declension, has to be shorn of its final _e_ in
pronunciation.'--Studies in Chaucer, i. 405. I take _good-man_ to be,
practically, one word, as in the A. V., Matt. xx. 11, so that the def. form
of the adj. is not really required. And I prefer the reading _hath payed_,
though it rests on the authority of one (the best) MS. only. If, however,
we adopt the proposed reading, it makes no difference at all to the rime.
For the pt. t. of verbs of F. origin, as _payen_, _serven_, is usually
_payed_, _served_, the full ending _-ede_ (with both syllables sounded)
being extremely rare in Chaucer; cf. note to l. 1119. We even have
_shined_, not _shinede_, in l. 2194, in a word of E. origin. Hence there is
really no fault to be found, whichever reading be taken; and the cricitism,
which is quite superfluous, comes to nothing.

1394, 5. _On_, in the case of. _Y-sene_, evident; as in l. 2655. _By_, with
reference to.

1396. The reading _Guido_ (in MSS. C., T., A.) where the other MSS. and the
editions have _Ouyde_, is important; especially as it is correct, and gives
us a new clue. The Historia Troiana of Guido delle Colonne begins with the
story of Jason, and it is evident that Chaucer follows him, at least as far
as l. 1461. This can easily be seen by comparing the present passage with
the beginning of Book I. of the alliterative Troy-book, ed. Panton and
Donaldson, otherwise called the Gest Historiale of the Destruction of Troy,
which is closely translated from Guido; or else with Lydgate's Troy-book,
bk. i. capp. 1-3. Gower also tells the story of Jason (C. A. ii. 236), and
says that the tale 'is in the boke of Troie write.'

1397. _Pelleus_; so spelt in the allit. Troy-book, l. 104; Gower has
_Peleus_. Medieval names are strangely confused. The right form is not
_Peleus_, but _Pelias_. He was king of Thessaly, half-brother of Æson, and
guardian of Jason. The reading _king_ gives him his title in anticipation,
but is right. So also, in the allit. Troy-book, l. 103: 'There was a _kyng_
in that coste,' &c.; and Guido has 'rex' here.

1398. _Eson_ (as in Gower); Æson, the aged father of Jason.

1420. _Al made he_, although he made.

1425. _Colcos_, properly Colchis, now Mingrelia; between the Caucasus and
the Eastern shore of the Black Sea. In the allit. Troy-book, it is called
_Colchos_, l. 152; and so in Gower. It is not really an island, but Chaucer
follows the Latin text, which has 'insula'; see note to l. 1590.

1430. _Kept_, guarded; _with_, by. Compare the Troy-book, l. 164:--

 'Thus coyntly it kept was, all with clene art,
  By too oxen, oribull on for to loke,
  And a derfe dragon, drede to behold.'

1438. _Oëtes_ (as in Guido); properly _Aeëtes_, Ovid, Her. xii. 51. He was
king of Colchis, and father of Medea.

1447. 'Then should I be bound to requite thy toil.'

1453. _Argus_, the builder of the ship Argo, in which Jason undertook the
voyage. The name is given by Guido (see the E. Troy-book, l. 273), by
Valerius Flaccus, in his Argonauticon, lib. i. 314, and in the Argonautics
of Apollonius Rhodius.

1457. As Bech points out, Chaucer here copies the remark in
Dares:--'Demonstrare cos qui cum Iasone profecti sunt non uidetur nostrum
esse: sed qui uolunt eos cognoscere, Argonautas legant.'--De excidio Troiae
historia, ed. Meister, 1873; cap. 1. The reference is to the Argonauticon
of Valerius Flaccus, lib. i., where the list of the Argonauts may be found.
It also occurs in bk. i. of the Argonautics of Apollonius Rhodius. It is a
dreary catalogue; or, as Chaucer says, a sufficiently long tale. There is a
shorter list in Statius, Thebaid, bk. v. All the lists make much of
Hercules (see l. 1454).

1459. _Philotetes_ (so spelt by Guido, see the Eng. version, p. 12, ll. 6
and 10, where the passage from Guido is quoted) was the name of the pilot
to the expedition. Valerius Flaccus identifies him with Philoctetes, son of
Poeas or Pæas; as he introduces him by the name of Poeantius; Argon, i.

1463. _Lemnoun_, Lemnos; it is very common to quote proper names in forms
resembling the accusative case. This, as Chaucer says, is not in Guido, but
in Ovid; see Ovid's Heroid. vi. 50, 117, 136. At the same time it would be
interesting to know _what version_ of Guido Chaucer followed; for it is a
very singular fact, that whilst the story of Hypsipyle is neither in the
alliterative Eng. version, nor in Lydgate, it _does_ occur, at this point,
in a _Spanish_ version, printed at Medina in 1587. There the heading of bk.
ii. c. x. is--'Como Iason aporto co_n_ tormenta a la Isla de Lemos, y caso
con la infanta Hisifile.'

1467. _Isiphilee_, Hypsipyle, daughter of Thoas, and queen of Lemnos; she
saved her father when the women of Lemnos killed all the other men in the
island, and subsequently entertained Jason. As the letter in Ovid does not
give all the circumstances, perhaps Chaucer consulted Valerius Flaccus,
Argonauticon, lib. ii., and Statius, Thebais, lib. v., or, perhaps, the
Fables of Hyginus, cap. xv.; but he makes more of Hercules than do these
authorities, and seems to be inventing.

1468. _Thoas doghter the king_, the daughter of king Thoas. This is the
usual idiom; see my note to Squi. Tale, F 209.

1469. Cf. Valerius Flaccus, Argon. ii. 311:--

 'Ecce procul ualidis Lemnon tendentia remis
  Arma notant: rapitur subito regina tumultu,
  Conciliumque uocat: non illis obuia tela
  Ferre, nec infestos deerat furor improbus ignes,
  Ni Ueneris saeuas fregisset Mulciber iras.'

In Statius, Theb. v., the Lemnian women receive the Argonauts with
hostility at first, and attack them with missiles.

1476. _Socour_; cf. 'succurrere disco'; Verg. Æn. i. 630.

1479. This is a curious error; _him_ should be _her_. As the Lemnian women
had just killed every man in the island, the messenger must needs have been
a woman. In fact, her name was Iphinoë; Val. Flacc. Argon. ii. 327. The
account in Apollonius Rhodius is somewhat fuller; but I find no mention of
the _cogge_.

1481. _Cogge_, a cock-boat; from the O. Fr. _coque_, also spelt _cogue_, a
kind of vessel, sometimes a ship of war, but also a merchant-vessel, and
here a small boat. See _coque_ or _cogue_ in Godefroy's O. Fr. Dict.
_Cogge_ occurs in the Morte Arthure, 476, 738; Allit. Poems, ed. Morris,
iii. 152; &c. 'Cogboote, cokbote, _scafa_'; Prompt. Parv.

1487. _Broken_, ship-wrecked. 'The ships were _broken_' 1 Kings xxii. 48;
cf. Jonah i. 4. _Oght wo begoon_, in any way distressed. Note resemblances
to the tale of Dido.

1488. _Lodesmen_, pilots; see note to Ch. Prol. 403. 'Lodesman of a shippe,
_pilotte_'; Palsgrave.

1509. Cf. Valerius Flaccus, Arg. ii. 351:--

 'Praecipueque ducis casus mirata requirit
  Hypsipyle; quae fata trahant, quae regis agat uis.'

1514. _Los_; spelt _loos_ in MS. Tn.; for the _o_ is long. It means
'praise' or 'renown,' and occurs six times in Ho. Fame (1620, 1621, 1626,
1722, 1817, 1900). _Los_, with short _o_, means 'loss.'

1515. Read _th'áventúres_, in four syllables.

1528. Prof. Corson cites some parallel passages, viz:--

 'And therto he was _hardy_, _wys_, and _riche_'; Squi. Ta., F 19.

 '_Hardy_, and _wyse_, and _riche_, and therto _free_'; Ship. Ta., B 1366.

 'We alle desyren, if hit mighte be,
  To have housbondes _hardy_, _wyse_, and _free_,
  And _secree_'; Non. Pr. Ta., B 4103.

1529. _Three pointes._ The reference is not to l. 1528, which mentions
_four_ points, but to ll. 1530-3 following. I.e. the three points are
_fredom_, _lustihede_, and being _a greet gentil-man_; or otherwise,
liberality, youthful vigour, and high birth. Cf. l. 1405.

1533. Accent _Tessálie_ on the second syllable.

1535. _Shamefast_ (from A.S. _sceamu_) is here trisyllabic. On the corrupt
modern spelling _shamefaced_ see Trench, Eng. Past and Present.

1536. _He hadde lever_, he would have it dearer, he would rather.

1538-40. In order to scan l. 1538, the word _almighty_ is necessary, though
found in MS. A. only. Or else we must insert _him_, and read--'As wolde God
that I hadde him i-yive.' The sense is--'As (I pray) that God would permit
that I might have given [him] my blood and flesh, provided that I might
still live (to see the result), on the condition that he had anywhere a
wife (suitable) to his rank.' _So that_ means 'provided that'; as in '_so
that_ ye be not wroth,' C. T., D 2248 (Sompnoures Tale), in the Harleian
MS.; and in the following:--

 'Sche saide, sire, ich wille help the,
  _So that_ thou wille spousi me.'--Seven Sages, ed. Weber, 2663.

As to the expression _with the nones_, we may compare it with such
expressions as _with-than_, _with-thon-that_, _with-tho-the_, _with-that_,
all meaning 'provided that,' and all occurring in the Glossary to Spec. of
Eng., Part I. And since _for the nones_ means 'for the occasion' (see
Prologue to C. T., 379), so _with the nones_ is 'with the occasion,' and
hence 'provided that.' I cannot at all agree with what seems to me the
ludicrous emendation in some late editions, which change _nones_ into
_bones_, and delete the comma after _live_; 'provided that I might live
with the bones.' At any rate, there is _no authority_ for this. The old
editions and MSS. all alike read _nones_; and we have the phrase again
(pronounced _with th' non-es_), in the Ho. Fame, 2099.

1546. _To come to hous upon_, to become at home with, to become familiar

1551. The former syllable in _Yiftes_ forms a foot by itself.

1552. _As wolde god_, as (I wish) that God might will or permit; as in l.

1558. _Thoriginal_, the original. As this 'tells all the case,' i.e. all
Jason's subtlety, he is probably referring to Ovid, Her. Ep. vi. Flaccus
says that Hercules induced Jason to quit Lemnos, and proceed on his voyage.
Statius mentions Hypsipyle's twin sons, and relates some of her later

1564. Chaucer here follows the sixth letter of Ovid's Heroides. Lines
1569-1575 follow four lines of the Latin text, viz. 123-4, and 159-60,
which refer to the twins and Medea:--

 'Si quaeris, cui sunt similes; cognosceris illis.
    Fallere non norunt; caetera patris habent....
  Quam fratri germana fuit, miseroque parenti
    filia; tam natis, tam sit acerba uiro.'


1580. From this line to l. 1655 Chaucer mainly follows the second book of
Guido delle Colonne's Historia Troiana, which he epitomises. See Gower, C.
A. ii. 236-258.

1581. 'Who is a devourer of love, and a very dragon'; with reference to the
supposed insatiability of dragons.

1582. 'As matter always seeks to have a definite form, and may pass from
one form into another.' Mr. Archer Hind refers me to Aristotle,
Metaphysica, [LAMDA]. vii. 1072 b. 3:--[Greek: kinei de hôs erômenon,
kinoumenon de talla kinei]. Bech shews that this is all from Guido, who
has: 'Scimus enim mulieris animum semper uirum appetere, sicut appetit
materia semper formam.... Sed sicut ad formam de forma procedere materiam
notum est, sic mulieris concupiscentia dissoluta procedere de uiro ad uirum
... sine fine, cum sit quaedam profunditas sine fundo,' &c. Hence Lydgate,
in his Troy-book, bk. i. c. 5 (fol. C 6, back) has:--

 'For as nature by kyndly appetyte
  Kyndly seketh to sewen after fourme,' &c.

1590. _Iaconitos_, Iaconites. This is a clear proof that Chaucer follows
Guido. At p. 12* of the alliterative Troy-book, ed. Panton and Donaldson,
the following passage is quoted from Guido, lib. ii.: 'In insula igitur
Colcos erat tunc temporis quaedam ciuitas nomine _Iaconites_, caput regni
pro sua magnitudine constituta.' Further extracts from this Latin text are
given by Horstmann, in his edition entitled 'Barbours Legendensammlung,'
vol. ii. (Heilbronn, 1882), p. 221; where will also be found a parallel
passage in a fifteenth-century poem which has wrongly been ascribed to
Barbour. Hence Lydgate, in his Troy-book, bk. i. c. 5 (fol. C 3, back),
says of the chief city of Colchos:--'And Iaconites tho it bare the name.'

1594. Read _Preyíng_; and drop the final _e_ of _moste_.

1597. Compare the allit. Troy-book, ll. 388-391:--

 'The kyng was full curtais, calt on a maiden,
  Bede his doughter come downe, and his dere heire,
  To sit by that semely, and solas to make.
  This mayden full mylde Medea was callid.'

1605. 'And in his mien as royal as a lion.'

1606. _Famulere_, familiar, affable. See Ch. Prol. 215.

1609. 'And, as Fortune owed her an evil mishap.'

1617. Cf. the Troy-book, l. 544:--

 'That causes me with counsell to caste for your helpe,
  And put you in plite your purpos to wyn,
  In sound for to saile home, and your sute all.'

1620. Cf. the same, l. 554:--

 'Now louely and leell, for your lefe speche
  I thanke you a thowsande tymes in my thro hert,
  That ye kythe me suche kyndnes withouten cause why;
  And here I put me full plainly in your pure wille,
  To do with me, damsell, as your desyre thynke.'

1631. _Disioint_, perilous situation, peril. Cf. Kn. Ta., A 2962. 'But sith
I see I stonde in this _disioint_'; Shipman's Tale, B 1601.

1639. Cf. the Troy-book, 942; and 711:--

 'Yow swiftly shall sweire vppon swete goddes,
  This couenaunt to kepe and for no case chaunge.'

 'And swiftly he sware on that swete[70] god,
  All tho couenaundes to kepe, and for no cause let,
  Whill hym lastes the lyffe; he laid on his hond.'

1653. _Unwist of_, unknown to. Cf. Troy-book, 987:--

 'Then leuyt thai the lond, and no leue toke,
  Stale from the styth king stylle by night;
  With the maiden Medea and myche other goodes,
  Thai turne into Tessaile with-outen tale more.'

Here Chaucer ceases to follow Guido, except in ll. 1662-6.

1661. Her name was Creusa; cf. Ovid, Met. vii. 391-6; Horace, Epod. v. 64.

1662. Cf. the Troy-book, l. 718:--

 'And thou hedis not the harme of that hend lady,
  Ne tentes not thy trouth that thou tynt has;
  Soche a maiden to mar that the most louet,
  That forsec hir fader and hir fre londe.'

1667. _Vassalage_, prowess; cf. Kn. Ta., A 3054. It is here used
ironically. Trench refers us to Lydgate's Minor Poems, ed. Halliwell, p.

 'And Catoun seith, is noon so greet encress
  Of wordly tresour, as for to live in pees,
  Which among vertues hath the _vasselage_.'

1670. _Lettre_, letter; i.e. the 12th letter in Ovid's Heroides; see l.
1678. Lines 1672-7 answer to lines 13, 14, and 19 in Ovid:--

 'Cur mihi plus aequo flaui placuere capilli,
    et decor, et linguae gratia ficta tuae?...
  Quantum perfidiae tecum, scelerate, perîsset!'

1672. _Why lyked me_, why did it please me? But, in l. 1674, _lyked_ is a
personal verb.


Chaucer cites Ovid and Livy, and in l. 1873 again appeals to Livy as the
authority. The story is in Livy, bk. i. c. 57-59; and in Ovid, Fasti, ii.
721-852. Chaucer doubtless appeals to Livy as being a professed historian,
but the reader will find that, as a matter of fact, he follows mainly the
account in Ovid from beginning to end, and sometimes almost word for word.
Livy and Ovid were contemporary; the former was born B.C. 59, and died A.D.
17; the latter was born B.C. 43, and died A.D. 18. Gower also tells this
story, and likewise follows Ovid and (near the end) Livy; C. A. iii. 251.

1680. Ovid tells the story of Lucretia under the date Feb. 22 (viii Kal.
Martii), which was commemorated as 'Fuga Tarquinii Superbi,' and begins his
account in the Fasti, ii. 685. Chaucer here borrows from Ovid's first line,
viz.:--'Nunc mihi dicenda est regis fuga.'

Ll. 1680-1693 form Chaucer's own Prologue to the story.

1682. The 'last king' of Rome was Tarquinius Superbus, father of the
Tarquinius Sextus whom Chaucer calls in l. 1698 'Tarquinius the yonge.' The
word _And_, at the beginning of the line, though absolutely necessary to
the sense, is preserved only in MS. Addit. 12524, a bad copy from a good
type. It reads:--'And specially off the last king Tarquinius'; but no other
MS. retains _specially_, and of course it makes the line too long.

1684. 'I do not tell the story for the sake of Tarquin's exile.'

1690. 'St. Augustin, commenting on the story in the milder and more
rational spirit of Christian morality, while he admires the purity of
Lucrece, blames her folly in committing the crime of self-murder as a
punishment on herself for that of which she was really innocent. "Si
adultera," he asks, "cur laudata? Si pudica, cur occisa?" See August. _De
Civitate Dei_, c. xix.'--Bell.

1694. Here Chaucer begins his close copy of Ovid, Fast. ii. 721:--'Cingitur
interea Romanis Ardea signis.' The original should be compared throughout.
_Ardea_, capital of the Rutuli; in Latium.

1696. _Wroghte_, pt. t. 'The siege (or the besiegers) lay before the city
long, and accomplished little'; G. L. Kittredge, Harvard Studies, p. 7.

1698. 'Tarquinius iuuenis'; i.e. Tarquinius Sextus.

1705. _Colatyne._ Chaucer found the name in Livy (or Augustine). Ovid
merely has: 'cui dederat clarum Collatia nomen.' Livy has: 'ubi et
Collatinus cenebat Tarquinius, Egerii filius.' Collatinus was the cousin of
Sextus, and took his name from Collatia, an ancient town of the Sabines, in
the neighbourhood of Rome.

1707. From Ovid: 'Non opus est uerbis, credite rebus, ait.'

1708. From Livy: 'paucis id quidem horis posse sciri, quantum ceteris
praestet Lucretia sua.'

1711. 'That pleases me.' Ovid: 'Dicta placent'; l. 736.

1715. Cf. 'And knew the _estres_ bet than dide this John'; C. T., A 4295
(Reves Tale); and see Kn. Ta., A 1971; also, in particular, the Romaunt of
the Rose, 1448, where the F. text has _l'estre_ (shewing where Ch. found
the word); see vol. i. p. 153.

We may explain _estres_ by 'inner premises' of a house or building.
Godefroy's O. Fr. Dict. gives numerous examples. Cotgrave gives the verb
_estre_, to be; whence the sb. _estre_, a being, substance, state; and then
cites: '_les estres d'une maison_, the inward conveyances, private windings
and turnings within, entries into, issues out of, a house.' The word is
very common in Old French, and not uncommon in Middle English. Gower even
has the sing. _estre_ in the sense of 'state'; C. A. i. 272. Cf. F. 'il
sait tous les êtres de cette maison.'

For all this, the old editions turned the form into _efters_, and Bell
follows them! Moreover, _eftures_ is gravely quoted in Halliwell's
Dictionary, with a reference to Sir T. Malory. The passage is:--'Pleaseth
it you to see the _eftures_ of this castle?' bk. xix. c. 7 (p. 444 in the
Globe edition). Here _eftures_ is a mere misprint (in Caxton's original
edition) for _estres_, due to reading the long _s_  as an _f_. _Efters_ and
_Eftures_ are mere 'ghost-words,' the products of ignorance.

1716, 7. 'Tecta petunt; custos in fore nullus erat'; l. 738.

1720. _Dischevele_, with hair hanging loose. _Malice_, evil.

1721. 'Ante torum calathi _lanaque mollis_ erat'; l. 742. Of course 'our
book' means Ovid; yet Thynne reads 'saith Liui.'

1729. A fine line; but I think Chaucer has wholly misunderstood l. 752 of
the original.


 'Desinit in lacrimas, intentaque fila remittit,
    in gremium uultum deposuitque suum.
  Hoc ipsum decuit: lacrimae decuere pudicae,
    et facies animo dignaque parque fuit'; l. 755.

1740-3. 'Pone metum, ueni, coniux ait. Illa reuixit.'

1745-55. Six lines in Ovid; ll. 761-6.

1757. 'Iam dederat cantus lucis praenuntius ales'; l. 767.

1759-71. Twelve lines in Ovid; ll. 769-80.

1765. _Al to-shake_, wholly tossed about; see l. 962.

1771. 'Or a wicked inclination, with malice.' 'The original meaning (as of
_talento_ in Italian, _talante_ in Spanish) was will, inclination, from
_talentum_ ([Greek: talanton]), balance, scales, and then inclination of
balance.'--Trench, Select Glossary, s.v. _Talent_.

1773. 'Audentes Forsque deusque iuuant.' We say, 'Fortune favours the
bold.' Cf. 'Audentes fortuna iuuat'; Verg. Æn. x. 284; 'Audentes deus ipse
iuuat'; Ovid, Met. x. 586.

1774. 'Whatever the event may be, my resolve is taken.' Audebimus ultima,
dixit'; l. 781.

1775. _Girt_, girdeth; pr. t. So _rit_, rideth, in l. 1776.

1780. _Halke_, corner, hiding-place; as in Sec. Non. Ta. G 311.

1781. _Gan he stalke_, he moved stealthily; as in Clerk. Ta. E 525. It is
remarkable that Shakespeare uses the same word in his Lucrece, l.
365:--'Into the chamber wickedly he _stalks_.' Prof. Corson notices its use
by Gower; see Pauli's edition, vol. i. pp. 72, 187; ii. 256, 346, 347, 353,

1798. 'Parua sub infesto quum iacet agna lupo'; l. 800.

1800-3. Cf. Fast. ii. 801, 2:--

 'Quid faciat? Pugnet? uincetur femina pugna;
    Clamet? at in dextra, qui uetet, ensis erat.'

1812-26. These lines are original, and breathe the spirit of chivalry.

1827-36. Eight lines in Ovid; 815, 816; 813, 814; 817-20.

1838-46. This passage is original.

1847-53. Compare Ovid, 829, 830. But Chaucer here follows Livy, who has:
'Dant ordine omnes fidem; consolantur aegram animi, auertendo noxam ab
coacta in auctorem delicti; mentem peccare, non corpus; et unde consilium
afuerit, culpam abesse.' Cf. Gower, C. A. iii. 261.

1856-60. Two lines in Ovid; 833, 834:--

 'Tunc quoque, iam moriens, ne non procumbat honeste,
    respicit. Haec etiam cura cadentis erat.'

1861. Chaucer here tells the tale more succinctly. Ll. 1864-5 answer to ll.
849, 850 in Ovid; l. 1866 answers to l. 847 and l. 1869 to l. 852. The rest
is, practically, all Chaucer's own.

1871. This canonisation of Lucretia is strikingly medieval. It was
evidently suggested by the fact that Ovid gives her story under a
particular date, so that she seemed to have _her own day_, like a saint.
Cf. note to l. 1680.

1880. Probably the syllables _That in Is-_ form the first foot of the line.
Otherwise, _Israel_ is dissyllabic.

1881. The reference must be to the Syro-phenician woman; Matt. xv. 28;
Mark, vii. 29. But it may be feared that Chaucer was really thinking of the
centurion; Matt. viii. 10; Luke, vii. 9. Read _he ne_ as _he n'_.

1883, 4. _As of_, in the case of. _Alday_, always; F. _toujours_. 'Let
whoever wishes (it) test them.'


For a remark upon the title, see note to l. 1966.

It is difficult to say whence Chaucer derived all of this Legend. The
beginning is from Ovid, Metam. vii. 456-8, viii. 6-176; the main part of
the story is like Plutarch's Life of Theseus, or some similar source; and
the conclusion from Ovid's Heroides, epist. x. Further, ll. 2222-4 refer to
Met. viii. 176-182. See also Hyginus, Fabulae, capp. xli-xliii; Æneid, vi.
20-30; and cf. Gower, C. A. ii. 302-311.

1886. 'O Minos, king of Crete, judge in the infernal regions, now comes thy
lot, now comest thou into the ring (concourse).' In l. 1894 we again have
mention of Minos, king of Crete; which looks as if Chaucer has confused the
two kings of this name. The 'infernal judge' was, however, the grandfather
of the second Minos; at least, such is the usual account. The mention of
'the lot' in connection with Minos looks as if Chaucer was thinking of
Vergil's lines, Æn. vi. 431, 2:--

 'Nec uero hae _sine sorte_ datae, sine iudice sedes.
  Quaesitor Minos _urnam mouet_.'

Cf. also Æn. vi. 22:--'stat ductis sortibus urna.'

1889. _Memóri-e_ has four syllables, and is accented on the second.

1895. _Hadde_, had, possessed; referring to Crete. This seems better than
the reading _wan_ (i.e. won), referring to Minos. Cf. Ovid, Her. x.
67:--'Non ego te, Crete, centum digesta per urbes.'

1896. Cf. Ovid, Met. vii. 456-8:--

 'Bella parat Minos ...
  Androgeique necem iustis ulciscitur armis.'

Androgeus is again mentioned in Ovid, Her. x. 99; and in Vergil, Æn. vi.

'There came certain of king Minos' ambassadors out of Creta, to ask a
tribute, being now the third time that it was demanded; which the Athenians
paid for this cause. Androgeus, the eldest son of king Minos, was slain by
treason within the country of Attica: for which cause Minos, pursuing the
revenge of his death, made very hot and sharp wars upon the Athenians, and
did them great hurt.'--Shakespeare's Plutarch, p. 280.

1900. From this point to l. 1921 Chaucer follows Ovid, Met. viii. 6-176,
but gives a mere outline of the story of Scylla. See note to l. 1908.

1902. _Alcathoe_, the citadel of Megara, and hence a name for Megara. It
was named after Alcathous, founder of Megara; indeed, in Ovid, Met. viii.
8, it is called _Alcathoi urbs_; but Chaucer found the right form in Met.
vii. 443.

1904. _Nisus_, Nisus, king of Megara; Met. viii. 8.

1908. Nisus' daughter was named Scylla. In order to gain the love of Minos,
she cut off her father's purple hair, on which the safety of his kingdom
depended; whereupon Nisus was changed into a sparrow-hawk, and Scylla into
the bird _ciris_; Met. viii. 9-151. But Chaucer omits these details. Cf.
Parl. of Foules, 292, and the note.

1922. Chaucer here leaves Ovid; this part of the story is partly given in
Plutarch and Hyginus, but Chaucer seems to have filled in details from some
source unknown to me.

1925. 'Whereupon the Athenians sent immediately unto him, and intreated him
for peace: which he granted them, with condition that they should be bound
to send him yearly, into Creta, seven young boys and as many young girls.
Now thus far all the historiographers do very well agree, but in the rest
not. And they which seem furthest off from the troth [including Chaucer] do
declare, that when these young boys were delivered in Creta, they caused
them to be devoured by the Minotaur within the labyrinth.'--Shakespeare's
Plutarch, p. 280.

1928. The Minotaur was a monster, half bull and half man, dwelling in a
labyrinth at Crete, constructed by Dædalus. He annually devoured the
fourteen Athenian young people, as above said, till slain by Theseus. Cf.
Ovid, Met. viii. 155.

1932. _Every thridde yeer_, every third year. This is due to Ovid's
expression--'tertia sors annis domuit repetita nouenis' (Met. viii. 171),
which Golding translates by--'The third time at the ninth yeares end the
lot did chance to light On Theseus,' &c. But Hyginus (Fab. xli)
says:--'Instituit autem ut anno unoquoque septenos liberos suos Minotauro
ad epulandum mitterent.'

1944. _Egeus_, Ægeus, king of Athens; Met. vii. 402, 404.

1954. 'That thou wouldst be deeply indebted to any one who,' &c.

1960. 'Furthermore, after he [Theseus] was arrived in Creta, he slew there
the Minotaur ... by the means and help of Ariadne: who being fallen in
fancy with him, did give him a clue of thread, by the help wherof she
taught him, how he might easily wind out of the turnings and crancks of the
labyrinth.'--Shak. Plutarch, p. 283. Cf. Ovid, Met. viii. 172; Hyginus,
Fab. xlii.

1962. _Foreyne_, outer chamber; belonging to the _chambres grete_, or set
of larger rooms occupied by the daughters of the king. It seems to answer
to the A.S. _búr_, mod. E. _bower_, explained in Murray's Dict. as 'an
inner apartment, esp. as distinguished from the "hall," or large public
room; _also_, esp. applied to a lady's private apartment; boudoir.' It is
merely a peculiar use of our word _foreign_; the O. Fr. _forain_ (fem.
_foraine_) often meant 'outer,' as in the phrases _une foraine rue_, an
outer (more retired) street; _es tenebres forennes_, into outer darkness;
see Godefroy's F. Dict. I agree with Mätzner, that there is no sufficient
reason for explaining the word in this passage by 'privy,' though it
admittedly has that meaning also (as given in Levins).

1965. _Maister-strete_, principal street; as in Kn. Ta., A 2902.

1966. Most MSS. begin the line with _Of Athenes_, as in l. 2306. This would
be a most extraordinary oversight, as the scene is laid in Crete, in the
town of Gnossus. MS. T. substitutes 'In mochell myrthe'; and the old
printed editions have 'Of the towne,' which scans badly, though 'Of thilke
toune' would do well enough. We seem justified in rejecting the reading _Of
Athenes_, because Chaucer distinctly mentions _Athenes_ in ll. 1940, 1944,
as being the place whence Theseus was sent 'unto the court of Minos'; l.
1949. Besides this, in l. 2122 Theseus calls Ariadne by the prospective
title of 'duchess of Athens'; on which Ariadne playfully remarks that she
and her sister are now 'assured to royal positions in Athens'; l. 2128.
From all which it does not seem fair to charge the error upon Chaucer
himself; and I therefore make the bold alteration suggested by MS. T., and
supported by MS. Addit. 9832, which has 'In moche myrth.' In the title of
the poem, Ariadne is called 'Adriane de Athenes,' but this is another
matter, and has reference to l. 2122. She became 'duchess of Athens' in the
right of her husband Theseus.

1969. _Adrian_ or _Adriane_, the M.E. spellings of Ariadne: see Ho. Fame,
407; Prol. to Man of Law, B 67. Ariadne and Phædra were the daughters of
Minos; Theseus took both of them away from Crete; and, on the voyage,
deserted Ariadne for her sister.

1990. 'And make this sorrowful man come with him.'

1992. _Quit_, free, delivered. It seems to have been an understood thing,
that if a captive Athenian should succeed in slaying the Minotaur, he
should go free, and the tribute paid by the Athenians should be remitted.
One account in Plutarch says that Minos himself 'chose Theseus, upon
condition agreed between them; ... and that after the death of the Minotaur
this tribute should cease.'--Sh. Plut. p. 282. One condition was, that the
captives should be _unarmed_. This explains Phædra's plan, in l. 1994, for
arming Theseus surreptitiously; cf. l. 2011.

1993. _Taste_, test. The word _test_ was formerly used only as a sb., of a
vessel in which gold or silver was tested; the place of the mod. E. verb to
test was supplied by the M.E. _tasten_, and there can be little doubt that
the words _taste_ and _test_ have been partially confused; see these words
in my Etym. Dict., whence I quote the following: 'The M.E. _tasten_ meant
both to feel and to taste. "I rede thee, lat thyn _hand_ upon it falle, And
_taste_ it wel, and stoon thou shalt it finde"; Ch. C. T. 15970 (G 502).
"Every thyng Himseolf schewith in _tastyng_;" King Alisaunder, 4042.--F.
_taster_, to taste or take an assay of; also to handle, feel, touch;
Cotgrave. Cf. mod. F. _tâter_; Ital. _tastare_, "to taste, to assaie, to
feele, to grope, to trye, to proofe, to touch"; Florio.'

1996. The former syllable of _Fighten_ forms a foot by itself.

1997. 'Where he will have to descend.'

2002. _Shal do_, will be sure to do.

2004. Bell remarks that this resembles the stratagem by which Daniel
destroyed the dragon at Babylon. 'Tulit igitur Daniel picem, et adipem, et
pilos, et coxit pariter: fecitque massas, et dedit in os draconis, et
diruptus est draco'; Dan. xiv. 26 (Vulgate).

2009. _To-hepe_, together; i.e. 'before they come to closer quarters.' Bell
alters this, the reading of all the MSS. and old editions, to _to kepe_,
which gives no sense; and Morris and Corson follow suit. Yet _to-hepe_,
lit. 'to a heap,' but used adverbially in the precise sense of 'together,'
is not a recondite expression. Morris explains it rightly elsewhere, viz.
in Chaucer's tr. of Boethius, bk. iv. pr. 6, l. 182, where 'y-medled
to-hepe' means 'mixed together.' It is also in Troil. iii. 1764:--'that
Love halt now _to-hepe_,' which Love now holds together. And yet again, in
Ch. Astrolabe, pt. i. § 14. 5. See also P. Plowm. Crede, 727.

2012. _The hous_, i.e. the famous labyrinth. _Crinkled_, full of turns or
'cranks'; see note to l. 1960. Cf. Mid. Du. _krunckel-winckel_, or
_krinckel-winckel_, 'crooked here and there'; Hexham (A.D. 1658); Du.
_krinkel_, a winding, _krinkelen_ or _kronkelen_, to wind about; all allied
to E. _crank_, a twist, hence a twisted handle. Cf. Ovid, Met. viii. 173;
Æn. vi. 27. And see Trevisa, tr. of Higden, i. 9.

2020. Read _drede_, dread; not _stede_, place. The Rime-indexes shew that,
in the ending _-ede_ in Chaucer, the former _e_ is usually long (_-[=e]de_,
_-eede_). However, _st[)e]de_, in the sense of 'stead' (A.S. _st[)e]de_),
rimes once with _dr[=e]de_, in Ho. Fame, 829.

2028. _Sit on his knee_, kneels down. We also find _to setten him on
knees_, _to fallen on knees_, _to knelen on knees_, _he lay on kne_, &c.
See Mätzner, s.v. _cneo_, p. 442. 'On knes she sat adoun'; Lay le Freine,
159. Cf. Man of Lawes Tale, B 638.

2029. _The righte_; here used as a vocative case.

2037. Cf. Arcite's service as a page; Kn. Ta., A 1427.

2040. _Nat but_, only, merely; the familiar Northern E. _nob-but_. See l.

2041. _Swinke_, toil, labour hard. It is curious that this word should be
obsolete. Perhaps no word that is now obsolete was once more common. It
occurs in Chaucer, Langland, Gower, Spenser, &c.; but not in Shakespeare.

2044. 'Nor any one else, shall be able to espy me.'

2048. 'In order to have my life, and to retain your presence.' The sense is
quite clear. The note in Corson--'_presence_ seems to mean here
presentiment or suspicion'--is due to some mistake.

2051. Only MS. C. retains _now_; and it would be better before _is_ than
after it.

2056. _Yif_, if; answering to _than_, then, in l. 2059.

2063. 'I pray Mars to do me such a favour.'

2064. _Shames deeth_, a death of shame; see l. 2072.

2065. _Póvert_ occurs as a dissyllable, in Cant. Ta., C 441.

2066. Pronounce _spirit_ nearly as _spir't_.

_Go_, walk about, roam. He prays that he may be punished by being made to
walk as a ghost after death. A reference to the supposed restlessness of
the spirits of wicked men; see Parl. of Foules, 80. But good spirits also
'walked' sometimes; Wint. Tale, iii. 3. 17.

2069. _For which_, for which cause, on which account. _Go_, may walk; the
subjunctive mood.

2070. _Other degree_, i.e. a higher degree than that of page. He professes
not to aspire to this, _unless_ she vouchsafes to give it him.

2072. 'May I die by a death of shame.' The _of_ depends on _deye_; cf. Man
of Lawes Tale, B 819.

2075. _A twenty_, about twenty. _A_ is here used as expressly an
approximative result; as in '_an_ eight days,' Luke ix. 28; so '_a_ ten,'
Squi. Tale, F 383. Only MS. C. retains _a_, but it is wanted for the metre.

2082. _God shilde hit_, God defend or forbid it.

2083. _Leve_, grant. We also find _lene_, to grant, give, but it is only
used with a following _case_; whilst _leve_ is only used with a following
_clause_. _Me_ is governed by _befalle_. 'And grant that such a case may
never befall me,' i.e. for Theseus to be merely her page.

2086. _And leve_, and may He also grant.

2089. 'Yet it would be better'; followed by _Then_ (= than) in l. 2092.

2094. The latter syllable of _profit_ comes at the caesura, and is easily
read quickly. We need not change _unto_ into _to_, as in MS. A. only.

2096. _To my_, as for my.

2099. _That_, (I propose) that. _Sone_, Hippolytus. Yet, in l. 2075,
Theseus was only 23 years old! Perhaps she proposes, in banter, a purely
whimsical condition; cf. ll. 2102, 2120, 2127.

2100. _Hoom-coming_, arrival at home; cf. Kn. Tale, 26 (A 884).

2101. _Fynal ende_, definite settlement.

2105. _To borwe_, as a pledge; cf. Squi. Ta., F 596.

2107. To draw blood on oneself was a frequent mode of attestation. Cf.
Wright's note on K. Lear, ii. I. 34; and note how Faustus stabs his arm in
Marlowe's play; Act ii. sc. 1.

2120. _Servant_, devoted lover; the usual phrase. This asseveration of
Theseus shews that he thought Ariadne immeasurably credulous.

2122. _Of Athenes duchesse_, (whom I hail as) duchess of Athens. That is,
he promises her marriage. In l. 2127 Ariadne grows pleasant on the subject.

2128. 'And assured to the royalties (or regal attributes) of Athens'; i.e.
we are secure of our future royal rank.

2130. _And saved_, and we have saved. Chaucer has _be_ just above; so that
he has changed the idiom.

2132. _Emforth hir might_, even-forth with her might, to the extent of her
power; cf. Kn. Ta., 1377 (A 2235).

2134. 'It seems to me, no one ought to blame us for this; nor give us an
evil name on this account.'

2145. _Geeth_, goeth, goes; A.S. _g['æ]ð_. For two more examples, see _geð_
in Gloss. to Spec. of English, Part I.

2150. _By_, by help of, with the help of.

2151. _Of_, with. _Gan hit charge_, did load it. 'And they say, that having
killed this Minotaur, he returned back again the same way he went, bringing
with him those other young children of Athens [whom Chaucer forgets to
mention], whom with Ariadne also he carried afterwards away.'--Sh.
Plutarch, p. 283.

2155. _Ennopye_, Oenopia, another name for Ægina; which was on their way
from Crete to Athens. Chaucer got the name from Ovid, Met. vii. 472, 473,
490; and introduces it naturally enough, because Æacus, then dwelling
there, was an old ally of the Athenians; id. 485; cf. l. 2156 in our poem.
Gilman suggests that Enope (i.e. Gerenia in Messenia) is meant, which is
merely a wild guess.

2161. _Woon_, number. Originally, a hope; also, a resource, a store, a
quantity; and hence _gret woon_ = a great number. For examples, see
_w[=a]n_ in Stratmann; and cf. note to Troil. iv. 1181.

2163. _Yle_, island; usually said to be Naxos, on the supposition that it
is not much out of the way in sailing from Gnossus in Crete to Attica.
Chaucer has inadvertently brought Theseus to Ægina already; but we need not
trouble about the geographical conditions. The description of the island is
from Ovid, Her. x. 59:--'Uacat insula cultu'; &c.

2167. _Lette_, tarried; pt. t. of the weak verb _letten_; quite distinct
from _leet_ or _l[=e]t_ (pt. t. of _leten_), which would not rime with
_set-te_. This latter part of the story is nearly all from Ovid, Her. x.

Compare, e.g. ll. 4-6:--

   'unde tuam sine me uela tulere ratem;
  In quo me somnusque meus male prodidit, et tu,
     pro facinus! somnis insidiate meis.'

2176. _To his contre-ward_, i.e. toward his country. Cf. 'To Thebes-ward';
Kn. Ta. 109 (A 967).

2177. _A twenty devil way_, in the way of twenty devils; i.e. in all sorts
of evil ways or directions; cf. Can. Yem. Ta., G 782.

2178. _His fader_, king Ægeus (l. 1944). The story is that Theseus went to
Crete in a ship with a black sail, in token of his unhappy fate. He had
agreed to exchange this for a white sail, if his expedition was successful;
but this he omitted to do. Hence Ægeus, 'seeing the black sail afar off,
being out of all hope ever more to see his son again, took such a grief at
his heart, that he threw himself headlong from the top of a cliff, and
killed himself.'--Shak. Plutarch, p. 284.

2182. _Atake_, overtaken with sleep; cf. C. T. 6966 (D 1384).

2186. 'Perque torum moueo brachia; nullus erat'; Her. x. 12.

2189, 90.

   'Alta puellares tardat arena pedes.
  Interea toto clamanti littore, Theseu!' id. 20.

2192. Suggested by Ovid; ll. 81-6.

2193. 'Reddebant nomen concaua saxa tuum'; id. 22. The Latin and English
lines are alike beautiful.

2194. 'Luna fuit; specto, si quid, nisi littora, cernam'; id. 17.

2195-7. These three lines represent eight in Ovid; 25-32.

2198. This line answers to the first line in Ovid, Epist. x.

2200, 1. _His meiny_, its (complete) crew. _Inne_, within; A.S. _innan_.

 'Quo fugis, exclamo, scelerate? Reuertere, Theseu;
    flecte ratem; numerum non habet illa suum'; id. 35.


 'Candidaque imposui longae uelamina uirgae,
    scilicet oblitos admonitura mei'; id. 41.

2208-17. Paraphrased from Ovid; Her. x. 51-64.

2212. _Answere of_, answer for; 'redde duos.'

2214. _Wher shal I become?_ Where shall I go to? the old idiom. We now say,
'what will become of me?' On this expression, see _Bicome_ in my Gloss. to
P. Plowman (Clar. Press Series).

2215. 'For even if a ship or boat were to come this way, I dare not go home
to my country, for fear (of my father).'

The reading _that bote none here come_ is nonsense, and expresses the
converse of what is meant. The corresponding line in Ovid is--'Finge dari
comitesque mihi, uentosque, ratemque'; 63.

2218. _What_, for what, why? See Cant. Ta., B 56, &c.

2220. _Naso_, Ouidius Naso. _Her epistle_, the epistle above quoted, the
title of which is--'Ariadne Theseo.'

2223, 4. The story is that Bacchus took compassion on Ariadne, and finally
placed her crown as a constellation in the heavens; see Ovid, Fasti, iii.
461-516; Met. viii. 178-182. This constellation is the Northern Crown, or
Corona Borealis, which is just in the opposite side of the sky from Taurus.
Ovid says--'qui medius nixique genu est anguemque tenentis,' Met. viii.
182. Here the holder of the snake is Ophiuchus; and _Nixus genu_ or
_Engonasin_ ([Greek: en gonasin]) was a name for Hercules; see Hyginus,
Poet. Ast. lib. ii. c. 6; lib. iii. c. 5; Ausonius, Eclog. iii. 2. The
Northern Crown comes to the meridian with the sign Scorpio, not Taurus. We
can only bring the sense right by supposing that _in the signe of Taurus_
means when the _sun_ is in that sign, viz. in April. In the nights of
April, in our latitude, the Northern Crown is very conspicuous.

2227. _Quyte him his whyle_, repay him for his time, i.e. for the way in
which he had spent his time; cf. Man of Law's Ta., B 584.


Chaucer's Prologue ends at l. 2243. The tale is from Ovid, Met. vi.
424-605, with some omissions, and ends at l. 2382. Gower has the same
story; C. A. bk. v. ed. Pauli, ii. 313.

2228. The words 'Deus dator formar_um_' are written after the title in MS.
B.; and part of the first line corresponds to this expression. In MS. F. it
appears as 'Deus dator formator_um_[71],' which can hardly be right.

Corson has the following note:--'In these verses (2228-30) the Platonic
doctrine of forms or ideas is expressed. For whatever knowledge Chaucer may
have had of the philosophy of Plato, he was probably indebted to the
Italian poets, with whom, especially Petrarch, Plato was a favourite.'
Corson also quotes the following from Sir Wm. Hamilton:--'Plato agreed with
the rest of the ancient philosophers in this--that all things consist of
matter and form; and that matter of which all things were made, existed
from eternity, without form; but he likewise believed that there are
external _forms_ of all possible things which exist, without matter; and to
these eternal and immaterial forms he gave the name of ideas. In the
Platonic sense, then, ideas were the patterns to which the Deity fashioned
the phenomenal or ectypal world.' See also Spenser, Hymne in honour of
Beautie, st. 5. And cf. l. 1582 above.

However, Chaucer here follows Boethius, De Consolatione Philosophiae, lib.
iii. met. 9:--

                      ... 'Tu cuncta superno
  ducis ab exemplo, pulcrum pulcerrimus ipse
  mundum mente gerens, similique in imagine formans.'

See Chaucer's version of the same, ll. 1-12. Cf. Le Rom. de la Rose,
16931-8, also copied from Boethius, who follows Plato.

2233. _As for that fyn_, with that particular object.

2236. _Fro this world_, i.e. from the centre of the universe; according to
the old Ptolemaic system which made the earth the fixed centre of all
things. _The firste hevene_, the first or outermost sphere, that of Saturn;
see note to Complaint of Mars, 29.

2237. Understand _al_ (everything) as the nom. case to _corrumpeth_; i.e.
everything becomes corrupt, is infected.

2238. _As to me_, as for me, in my opinion.

2241. _Yit last_, still lasts, still endures.

2243. Read--The stóry of Térë-ús, &c.; the _-y_ in _story_ being rapidly
slurred over.

2244. Here begins Ovid, Met. vi. 424:--'Threïcius Tereus.' Tereus was king
of Thrace; and Ovid says he could trace his descent from Gradivus, i.e.
Mars (l. 427).

_Marte_, Mars. Corson here notes that '_Marte_ is the ablative case of
Mars, as _Jove_ is of Jupiter.' It is worth while to say that this view is
quite erroneous; for these forms did not arise in that way. _Marte_ was
formed from _Martem_, the accusative case, by dropping the final _m_; and,
generally, the Romance languages formed most of their substantives from
_accusative_ cases, owing to the frequent use of that case, especially in
the construction of the accus. with the infinitive, which in medieval Latin
was very common. See Sir G. Cornewall Lewis' Essay on the Romance
Languages, and Diez, Grammatik der Romanischen Sprachen, vol. ii. Thus the
F. _corps_ represents the Lat. acc. _corpus_, not the abl. _corpore_; as is
sufficiently obvious.

2247. Read--_Pán-di-ón-es_. Pandion, a king of Athens, was father of Progne
and Philomela. Cf. The Passionate Pilgrim, xxi. 395.

2249. The original Latin should be consulted, as Chaucer sometimes copies
Ovid literally, and sometimes goes his own way.

               'Non pronuba Iuno,
  non Hymenaeus adest illi, non Gratia lecto.
  Eumenides tenuere faces de funere raptas:
  Eumenides strauere torum: tectoque profanus
  incubuit bubo, thalamique in culmine sedit.'--428.

2253. _Wond_, wound; _aboute the balkes wond_, kept winding (flying in
circular wise) round about the balks (or transverse beams beneath the
roof). Three good MSS. read _wond_, which is the past tense of _winden_, to
wind. Bell and others read _wonde_, explained by 'dwelt'; but this is open
to two objections, viz. (1) the pt. t. of _wonien_ to dwell, is _woned_ or
_wonede_, not _wonde_; and (2) an owl cannot dwell _about_ a balk, but only
_on_ it. The pt. pl. _woneden_ (three syllables) occurs in the Kn. Ta. 2069
(A 2927); and we learn from the Clerkes Tale, E 339, that the pp. _woned_
rimes with _astoned_. Ovid, indeed, has _incubuit_ and _sedit_; but that
does not prove much; for Chaucer expresses things in his own manner at

2256. This original line refers to the medieval wedding-feasts, which
sometimes lasted even forty days. See Havelok, l. 2344; and the note.

2259-68. From Ovid, Met. vi. 438-442.

2261. _Saw not longe_, had not seen for a long time.

2264. _Moste_, might. _Ones_, for once; lit. once.

2265. _And come anoon_, and return again soon.

2266. 'Or else, unless she might go to see her.'

2270. 'Caused his ships to be made ready.'

2270-8. From Ovid, Met. vi. 444-450. Chaucer next passes on to ll. 475,
483. Ll. 2288-2294 are abridged from ll. 451-471 of the Latin. Ll.
2295-2301 answer to ll. 495-501; ll. 2302-2307 to ll. 488, 489; but many
touches are Chaucer's own, and he is seldom literal.

2282. Read _lovede_ as _lov'de_; cf. _preyde_, 2294. This line is imitated
in Kn. Ta. 338 (A 1196)--'For in this world he lovede no man so.'

2290, 1. 'And that there was none like her in (royal) array'; Met. vi. 451.
_Two so riche_, twice as rich; cf. _ten so wood_, in l. 736.

2308. Cf. Ovid, Met. vi. 512.

2312, 3. 'If it might please her, or (even) if it might not please her.'

2318-22. Ovid has these images of the lamb (l. 527) and of the dove (529).

2335. This 'castle' answers to Ovid's 'custodia' (572).

2340. 'God avenge thee, and grant thee thy petition (for vengeance).'

2342-9. Cf. Ovid, Met. vi. 563-570.

2352. _Stole_, stool, frame for tapestry work. Hexham's Du. Dict. (1658)
gives: '_Stoel-doeck_, Tapistrie, or Hangings'; lit. stool-cloth. Cf. G.
_Weberstuhl_, a loom; lit. weaver-stool. _Radevore_, a kind of serge; here,
the material on which tapestry-work was executed. The only other example I
have met with is in a poem beginning--'As ofte as syghes ben in herte
trewe,' in the Tanner MS. 346, fol. 73. One stanza begins thus:--

 'As ofte tymes as Penelapye
  Renewed her werk in the _raduore_,
  To saue her-selfe onely in honeste
  Vnto Vlixes, that she louyd so sore.'

(Another copy of these lines is in MS. Ff. 1. 6 in the Cambridge Univ.
Library, fol. 11.)

Here _raduore_ is clearly an error for _radeuore_ or _radevore_, as the
scansion shews. Urry's Glossary gives the following explanation: '_Ras_ in
French means any stuff [it means serge or satin], as _Ras de Chalons_, _Ras
de Gennes_; _Ras de Vore_ or _Vaur_ may be a stuff made at such a place.'
On which Tyrwhitt remarks--'There is a town in Languedoc called _La Vaur_;
but I know not that it was ever famous for tapestry.' Cotgrave gives:
'_Ras_, serge'; also '_Ras de Milain_, the finest kind of bare serge, or a
silke serge.' Littré cites _ras de Châlons_ from Scarron, Virg. iv.; also
'bas de soye, _raz de Millan_ et d'estame.' _Ras_, in fact, is the same as
the Tudor-English word _rash_. The loss of the _s_ in _ras de Vore_ is
regular, because _s_ drops before _d_ in Anglo-French, though it is
preserved in _ras_ when used alone. I find, on consulting the English
Cyclopædia, that _La Vaur_, in the department of Tarn, produces silk and
serge to this day; so that Urry is certainly right. The whole account in
ll. 2350-72 is expanded from five lines in the Latin text, 576-580:--

 'Stamina barbarica suspendit candida tela:
  purpureasque notas filis intexuit albis'; &c.

Observe that, in l. 2360, the stuff is called 'a _stamin_.'

2359. _By that_, by the time that.

2360. _A stamin large_, a large piece of stamine. _Stamin_ or _stamine_ is
usually explained as a kind of woollen cloth. Cotgrave gives: '_Estamine_,
the stuffe tamine.' Godefroy gives both _estamin_, masc. and _estamine_,
fem. explained by 'tissu léger de laine ou de coton.' Palsgrave
has:--'Stamell, fyne worstede, _estamine_'; and--'Stamyne, _estamine_.' The
Prompt. Parv. has:--'Stamyn, clothe, _stamina_.' _Stamin_ was used as a
material for shirts, and was worn by way of penance; Fosbrooke explains it
as 'a shirt made of woollen and linen, used instead of a penitentiary
hair-shirt.' '_Stamin_ habbe whoso wule,' whoso will may have a stamin;
Ancren Riwle, p. 418. Chaucer uses it thus near the end of the Persones
Tale (I 1052); 'Also in weringe of heyres or of _stamin_ or of haubergeons
on hir naked flesh for Cristes sake, and swiche manere penances.'

MSS. C. T. A. have _stamyn_, which seems the better form; the rest (like
the printed editions) have _stames_, which may be an error for _stamel_,
O.F. _estamel_, used in the same sense as O.F. _estamine_. Else it may
answer to O.F. _estame_, 'laine peignée, tricot de laine' in Godefroy. The
fact that Ovid's word is _stamina_ is in favour of the spelling _stamin_.
(Bell remarks that 'the printed copies read _flames_, which is nonsense.'
He seems to have misread _stames_ (with long _s_) as _flames_. The editions
of 1532, 1550, and 1561 certainly have _stames_.)

2373-82. Abridged from Met. vi. 581-605. Ovid mentions the triennial
festival to Bacchus.

2379. _Compleint_ is a much better reading than the _constreynte_ of the
old editions.

2383. _No charge_, of no consequence; Squi. Ta., F 359.

2383-93. All Chaucer's own. The last line is characteristic: 'unless it
happens to be the case that he cannot get another,' i.e. a new love. For
_non other_, old editions have _another_!

2385. Here _deserved_ is the usual Chaucerian form of the pt. tense. Prof.
Lounsbury (Studies in Chaucer, i. 403) calls this a false form. But cf.
_wyped_, _lipsed_ (in _-ed_, not _-ede_); Prol. to C. T., 133, 264.


Gower tells the same story in his Confessio Amantis, bk. iv. (ed. Pauli,
ii. 26); and it is likely that he and Chaucer derived it from the same
source, whatever that may have been. A portion of the latter part, from l.
2496, is taken from Ovid, Heroides, Ep. ii. And see note to l. 2423.

2395. An allusion to Matt. vii. 16, and to Legend VI, above.

2398. _Demophon_, usually Demophoön, son of Theseus and Phædra, who, on his
return from Troy, gained the love of Phyllis, daughter of Sithon, king of
Thrace. Observe that Gower says that Demophoön was on his way _towards_

2400. 'Unless it were.'

2401. Observe that _grac-e_ is dissyllabic, as in l. 2433.

2403. 'Now I turn to the effect (the pith) of what I have to say.'

2413. _Him_ seems to stand alone in the first foot; for _were_, in this
phrase, is usually monosyllabic; cf. Mancip. Prol., H 23. But it also
occurs as a dissyllable, in which case the line is normal. Or else the
_-er_ in _lever_ is dwelt on.

2416. 'And his rudder was broken by a wave.'

2420. _For wood_, as (if) mad, 'like mad.' _For_ is not a prefix, but a
separate word; as shewn by 'for pure wood,' Rom. Rose, 276; and see Ho.
Fame, 1747. _Posseth_, pusheth, tosseth. Bech observes that ll. 2411-21 are
from Vergil, Æn. i. 85-90, 102, 142.

2422. _Chorus_; so in Thynne's edition; the MSS. have _Thorus_ (except T.,
which has _Thora_). Both _Chorus_ and _Thorus_ are unknown as
sea-divinities; but I think I can guess Chaucer's authority, viz. Verg. Æn.
v. 823-5:--

 'Et senior Glauci _chorus_, Inousque Palaemon,
  _Tritones_que citi, Phoreique _exercitus omnis_.
  Laeua tenent _Thetis_ et Melite, Panopeaque uirgo.'

Here we find _Thetis_, _chorus_, _Triton_; whilst 'and they alle' answers
to _exercitus omnis_. (So also Bech.) _Chorus_ is used for Caurus, the
north-east wind, in Chaucer's Boethius, bk. iv. met. 5. 17; but this is not
the purpose.

2423. _Lond_, i.e. Thrace. Phyllis, as said above, was the daughter of
Sithon, king of Thrace; but both Chaucer and Gower make her father's name
to be 'Ligurgus,' i.e. Lycurgus. This substitution may have been suggested
by Ovid, Her. ii. 111--'quae tibi subieci latissima regna _Lycurgi_.' He is
the same as the Lycurgus in Statius, Theb. iv. 386; in Ovid, Met. iv. 22,
and in Homer, vi. 130; and was king of the Edoni, a people of _Thrace_.
This accounts also for the introduction into the Knight's Tale of 'Ligurge
himself, the grete king of Thrace'; l. 1271 (A 2129). Prof. Lounsbury
(Studies in Chaucer, ii. 232) has usefully pointed out that the immediate
authority for making Lycurgus the _father_ of Phyllis was Boccaccio's De
Genealogia Deorum, lib. xi. c. 25, headed--'De Phyllidi Lycurgi filia.'

2425. _On to sene_, to look upon; cf. the parallel line, Kn. Ta., 177 (A

2427. _Is y-wonne_, is arrived. Cf. Æn. i. 173.

2434. _Chevisaunce_, borrowing; properly an agreement for borrowing money.
See C. T. 13259, 13277, 13321 (B 1519, 1537, 1581); P. Plowman, B. 5. 249,
and the note; and the Gloss. to Spenser.

2438. _Rodopeya_, the country near Rhodope, which was a mountain-range of
Thrace, now a part of the Hæmus range. See l. 2498.

2448. 'As Reynard the fox doth, so (doth) the fox's son.' The line is
incomplete, but the sense is clear. 'Reynard, which with us is a duplicate
for fox, while in the French _renard_ has quite excluded the older
_volpils_, was originally not the name of a kind, but the proper name of
the fox-hero, the vulpine Ulysses, in that famous beast-epic of the middle
ages, _Reineke Fuchs_; the immense popularity of which we gather from many
evidences, from none more clearly than this. _Chanticleer_ is in like
manner the name of the cock, and _Bruin_ of the bear in the same
poem.'--Trench, Eng. Past and Present. _Reynard_ is from M.H.G.
_ragin-hart_, strong in counsel; from _ragin_, counsel, and _hart_, strong.

2454. _Agroted_, surfeited, cloyed. A rare word; used also by Lydgate. See
the New E. Dict.

2456. This is a hint that Chaucer was already getting tired of his task.

2477. _In a month._ So in Ovid; see l. 2503.

2485. _With a corde_, i.e. by hanging. Cf. Ovid, Her. ii. 141:--

 'Colla quoque, infidis quae se nectenda lacertis
    praebuerant, laqueis implicuisse libet.'

2493. _Hir soules_, their souls; of Theseus and Demophoön.

2495. 'Although it be but a small part of the whole letter.' In fact,
Chaucer gives us ll. 1-8 of Ovid's second Epistle (in the Heroides); and,
from l. 2518 onward, sentences made up from ll. 26, 27, 43, 44, 49-52,
63-68, 73-78, and 134-137 of the same.

2496. Compare these lines with Ovid, Her. ii. 1-8:--

 'Hospita, Demophoon, tua te Rhodopeïa Phyllis
    ultra promissum tempus abesse queror.
  Cornua quum Lunae pleno semel orbe coissent,
    litoribus nostris ancora pacta tua est.
  Luna quater latuit, toto quater orbe recrevit,
    nec uehit Actæas Sithonis unda rates.
  Tempora si numeres, bene quae numeramus amantes,
    non uenit ante suum nostra querela diem.'

_Hostess-e_ is trisyllabic; MS. C. has--'Ostess-e thyn.'

2502. _Highte_, promised. But Chaucer seems to have mistaken the sense of
Ovid's fourth line (in the note to l. 2496).

2508. 'Sithonis unda'; see note to l. 2496. Here _Sithonis_ is an adj.
(gen. _Sithonidis_), and means 'Sithonian,' i.e. Thracian; because Sithon
or Sitho, her father, was king of Thrace. I substitute _Sitho_ for the MS.

2518. See note to l. 2495 for references.

2521. _For_, because: 'quid feci, nisi non sapienter amaui?'

2529. _May_ occupies the first foot of the line.

2534. She prays that the glory of having betrayed her will be the greatest
glory he will ever attain to. 'Di faciant, laudis summa sit ista tuae!'

2551. _Mote ye_, may ye. 'Ad tua me fluctus proiectam littora portent';

2556. _And knew_, i.e. and _she_ knew.

2558. Read--'Such sórw' hath shé,' &c. Bell altered the second _she_ in
this line to _he_, without authority, and unnecessarily. The word _besette_
does not mean 'served' or 'treated,' as those who keep this reading have to
assert, but 'bestowed' or 'gave up,' and _her_ means 'herself.' The sense
is therefore--'Such sorrow hath she, because she so disposed of herself.'
See _Beset_ in the New E. Dict. § 7. Caxton has: 'Orgarus thought his
doughter shol wel be maryed, and wel _beset_ upon hym'; Chron. Eng. cxii.

2561. _Trusteth_, imp. pl. _As in love_, in the matter of love. This
playful line is in the same spirit as l. 2393 above.


The story is told in Ovid, Her. xiv. But Chaucer has taken some of the
details from Boccaccio, De Genealogia Deorum, lib. ii. c. 22. Cf. Hyginus,
Fab. 168. See the Introduction.

2563. _Danao_, Danaus. Danaus and Ægyptus were twin brothers. Ægyptus had
50 sons, and Danaus 50 daughters. Danaus had reason to fear his nephews,
and fled with his daughters to Argos. Thither he was followed by the sons
of Ægyptus, who demanded his daughters in marriage, and promised faithful
alliance. Danaus distributed his daughters amongst them, but to each of
them gave a dagger, with which they were to kill their husbands on the
bridal night. They all did so, except Hypermnestra, who saved her husband
Lynceus. Thus the attempt of Danaus failed, and he was slain by Lynceus, in
accordance with the destiny predicted for him.

It must be particularly noted that Chaucer makes Ægyptus and Danaus change
places. According to him, Ægyptus was the father of the _daughters_, and
consequently attempted the life of Lynceus; whilst Danaus was the father of
the _sons_, and therefore of Lynceus.

2569. _Lino_; by which perverted name Lynceus is meant; Boccaccio has
'_Lino_ seu _Linceo_' (dat. case).

2570. _Egiste_ represents Boccaccio's Ægistus, i.e. Ægyptus.

2574. 'And caused (men) to call her,' i.e. had her named.

2575. _Ypermistra_, i.e. Hypermestra, a corrupter form of Hypermnestra; see
the account in the Introduction. Note that the first syllable _Y-_ forms
the first foot in the line.

2576. _Of her nativitee_, by her horoscope; see l. 2584.

2577. _Thewes_, qualities. Craik has a long note on this word in his
edition of Julius Cæsar. It merely comes to this, that _thew_ must have
meant strength or some excellent _bodily_ quality in the first instance,
and some excellent _mental_ quality afterwards. Nevertheless it is
remarkable that (with one exception in Layamon, 6361) the usual _old_ sense
is the latter; and the usual _modern_ sense (notably in Jul. Cæs. i. 3. 81,
2 Hen. IV. iii. 2. 276) is the former. The A.S. form is _þéaw_. Craik's
notion that this word was confused with A.S. _þéoh_, the thigh, is entirely
out of the question, and gives no help.

2580. _Wirdes_, Fates; Lat. Parcæ; Gk. Moiræ. Corson shews that G. Douglas
translates the Lat. _fata_ by _werdes_ in Æn. i. 18, and _Parcæ_ by _werd
sisteris_ in the same, iii. 379. He also quotes from Holinshed's Hist. of
Scotland--'the _weird sisters_, that is, as ye would say, the goddesses of
destinie'; reproduced by Shakespeare in Macb. iv. 1. 136.

2582. The scansion suggests that _Pitous-e_, _sad-de_, are treated like
French adjectives, the final _e_ denoting the feminine gender. This is
natural in the case of _pitous-e_, fem. of _pitous_, just as we have
_dispitous-e_, Book of the Duch. 624; but the distinction is not often made
in M.E. Sweet's A.S. grammar gives _til-u_ as an occasional fem. form of
the nom. of the indef. adjective; so that _sæd-u_ might have been used.
_Wys-e_ is likewise dissyllabic, though the A.S. form was _wís_ even in the
feminine. But the _definite_ forms of the M.E. adj. were _sad-de_, _wys-e_;
and there may have been consequent confusion. In fact, Prof. Child gives a
list of adjectives of this kind, being monosyllabic in A.S., but
dissyllabic in Chaucer. He includes _wise_, but not _sad_, his examples
being taken from the Canterbury Tales only, and thence only in clear cases.
_Dispitous-e_ occurs as a vocative case, in Troil. ii. 435.

2584. Here comes in the old belief in astrology. Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and
Saturn, as here mentioned, are not the gods, but the planets; and each
planet had (it was thought) its peculiar influence, which was stronger or
weaker according to its position in the heavens at the time of birth of the
person whom it affected. The influences of Venus and Jupiter were for good
(see note to Troil. iii. 1417); whilst the influences of Mars and Saturn
were evil. See further below.

2585. _With_ is explained by Corson to mean 'by'; and such a sense is, of
course, usual and common. For all that, it may here mean 'with.' The sense
seems to me to be--'For, though the influence of the planet Venus gave her
great beauty, she was (also) so compounded with a share of Jupiter,' &c. It
does not make much difference, and the reader can choose.

2588. _Thoughte her_, it seemed to her.

2589. _Rede Mars_, red Mars, because the planet is reddish; see note to l.
533. Cf. Kn. Ta., 1111 (A 1969). As to the bad influence of Mars, compare
the following:--

 'Allas! thou _felle_ Mars!' Kn. Ta. 701 (A 1559).
 'Noght was foryeten by the _infortune_ of Marte'; id. 1163 (A 2021).
 'By _manasyng_ of Mars'; id. 1177 (A 2035).
  ... 'that no _wykkid_ planete, as Saturne or Mars'
               Treatise on the Astrolabe, ii. 4. 22 (p. 192, above).

2592. Venus was supposed to have much influence in repressing the evil
influence of Mars, on account of their connection in mythology. See the
Compleint of Mars. Moreover Mars is here said to be suppressed by 'the
oppression of houses'; i.e. by the fact that he was in a 'house' or
'mansion,' which had such effect. The terms 'house' and 'mansion' are
equivalent, and are names given to the signs of the zodiac. Every sign had
a planet assigned to it, and was called the 'house' of that planet. When a
planet was in its own house, its influence would be felt. The mansions of
Mars were Aries and Scorpio. Besides this, each planet had a sign called
its 'exaltation,' in which it had the greatest power of all. The
'exaltation' of Mars was Capricornus. Mars had also his positions of least
influence; two of these, called his 'fall,' were the signs opposite to his
mansions, viz. Libra and Taurus, and the third, called his 'depression,'
was the sign opposite his exaltation, viz. Cancer. We may conclude that, at
the period of taking Hypermnestra's horoscope, Mars was in Cancer, or else
in Taurus or in Libra. Both Taurus and Libra were mansions of Venus; and,
if Mars was in either of these, his evil influence would be kept under by

2594. Probably the whole of Chaucer's astrological talk was intended to
shew _why_ Hypermnestra disliked handling a knife in malice. He has made
much of the weak influence of Mars, precisely because those who were born
under his influence were very ready with a knife. See the note to the Kn.
Ta., 1163 (A 2021), where the Compost of Ptolemeus is quoted to shew that a
man born under Mars is apt to be 'a maker of swordes and knyves, and a
sheder of mannes blode, ... and good to be a barboure and a blode-letter,
and to draw tethe, and is peryllous of his handes.'

2597. 'She had too evil aspects of Saturn, which caused her to die in
prison.' All the MSS. have _To_ (= too, excessively), except T., which has
_Ryght bad_. Thynne has _Two_, but there is no authority for this, nor does
it give any sense. The evil influence of Saturn is spoken of at length in
the Kn. Tale, 1596-1611 (A 2454-69). Note especially l. 1599, where Saturn

 'Myn is the _prison_ in the derke cote,
  Myn is the strangling and hanging by the throte.'

2600. Here _Egiste_ (see l. 2570) is turned into _Egistes_.

2602. 'For, at that time, no lineage was spared'; i.e. no consanguinity was
considered as being a bar to marriage.

2603. _Hem_ is in apposition with _Danao_ and _Egistes_; 'it pleased these

2604. Note the shifted accentuation--Ypérmistrá. Chaucer (except in l.
2660) entirely drops all mention of Hypermnestra's 49 sisters, and of
Lynceus' 49 brothers. This is extremely judicious, as it concentrates the
interest on the heroine.

2610. Chaucer is here thinking of Ovid, Her. xiv. 25:--

 'Undique collucent praecinctae lampades auro.
    Dantur in inuitos impia tura focos.
  Uulgus "Hymen, Hymenaee" uocant.'

2624. 'He caused men to call his daughter'; he had his daughter called to

2629. 'Ever since the day when my shirt was first shaped for me.' The sense
is--'ever since the day of my birth.' The _shirt_ here refers, as Tyrwhitt
remarks, to the linen in which a new-born babe is wrapped. See Kn. Ta., 708
(A 1566); and cf. Troil. iii. 733:--

 'O fatal sustren, which, er any cloth
  Me shapen was, my destenee me sponne.'

2630. Supply _I_ before _had_. Cf. note to l. 2580.

2634. _After thy wyser_, according to the advice of thy superior in
wisdom.' Cf. 'Thenne doth we as the wise'; O. English Miscellany, ed.
Morris, p. 79, l. 228. 'And gif yow list nocht wirk eftir the wise'; G.
Douglas, tr. of Vergil, Prol. to bk. vi. l. 15.

2637. Read _Ne I_ as _N'I_. 'Nor would I advise thee to thy harm.'

2640. 'And, at the same time, I make protestation in this manner, viz.
that, unless thou do as I shall direct thee.'

2653. 'I will not have any reservation.'

2655. _Y-sene_, visible; an adj., not a pp. See l. 1394; and Prol. to Cant.
Tales, 592.

2660. _Siker_, secure. The use of the word is precisely like that in the
well-known anecdote of Kirkpatrick of Closeburn. Meeting Bruce at the door
of the Greyfriars' Church in Dumfries, he asked what tidings. 'Bad
tidings,' answered Bruce, 'I doubt I have slain Comyn.' 'Doubtest thou?'
said Kirkpatrick; 'I make _sicker_.' With these words, he and Lindsay
rushed into the church and despatched the wounded Comyn. See Note K to
Scott's Lord of the Isles, c. 1. st. 27, c. 2. st. 13.

2661. _Biker_, quarrel, altercation; also a skirmish, encounter.

2662. 'By him that I have (already) sworn by.' See l. 2642.

2666. _Costrel_, a flask, a kind of bottle. '_Costred_, or _costrelle_,
grete botelle, _Onopherum_, _aristophorum_'; Prompt. Parv.; see Way's note.
'A _Costrelle_, oneferum, &c., vbi a flakett'; Cath. Angl. p. 77; see
Herrtage's note. See _costa_, _costarez_, _costarium_, _costrelli_, in
Ducange; and _coste_, _costeret_, _costerel_, in Godefroy. In the Craven
dialect, a _costril_ is the little wooden barrel carried by reapers.

2671. 'Lest that the time may seem long to him.' Ovid alludes to the
narcotic drink; Her. xiv. 42:--'quaeque tibi dederam uina, soporis erant.'
Cf. Kn. Tale, 614 (A 1472).

2676. The line is too short in most MSS. Unless _sone_ be supplied from MS.
T., we shall have to scan the line by putting _This_ (with a strong accent)
alone in the first foot. Cf. l. 2711, and slur over the _o_ in _Lino_
before _and_.

2680. Cf. Her. xiv. 44:--'Erigor, et capio tela tremente manu.'

2681. Accent _Zephírus_ on the _i_. From Her. xiv. 39:--

 'Utque leui Zephyro graciles uibrantur aristae,
    frigida populeas ut quatit aura comas.'

2682. From Her. xiv. 34:--'Securumque quies alta per Argos erat.'

2683. 'Sanguis abit; mentemque calor corpusque reliquit'; Her. xiv. 37.
And, in the next line--'frigida facta.'

2686. 'Ter male sublato decidit ense manus'; 46.

2690. From Her. xiv. 55, &c.:--

 'Femina sum et uirgo, natura mitis et annis.
    Non faciunt molles ad fera tela manus....
  Quid mihi cum ferro? Quo bellica tela puellae?'

2696. _And me beshende_, and bring myself to ruin, and perish. I know of
only one other example of this rare word, viz. the example given by Murray
from Cursor Mundi, l. 14838, where the Trinity MS. has: 'Allas! nu has he
[gh]u _bischent_'; alas! now has he ruined you. But it is a perfectly
legitimate compound from the M.E. _shenden_. All former editions give this
line wrongly; they omit _me_, and read 'and be shende,' explained by 'and
be destroyed.' Now, in the first place, this will not scan; and secondly,
the idea of adding a final _e_ to the pp. _beshend_ (more correctly
_beshent_) is a characteristic commentary on that ignorance of M.E. grammar
which is only too common. Yet the final _e_ must needs be added, for _ende_
(in l. 2697) is essentially dissyllabic. Hence it follows, irresistibly,
that _shende_ is not a past participle; and we are driven to see that
_beshende_ is the infinitive mood of a compound verb.

2697. _Nedes cost_, by condition of necessity, i.e. necessarily; see Kn.
Ta., 619 (A 1477), and the note.

2700. Supply _he_ before _hath_; cf. note to l. 2630.

2705. _Goter_, gutter, channel for water. This is an addition. The original
merely has (ll. 77, 78):--

 'Quaerenti caussam, "Dum nox sinit, effuge," dixi;
   "dum nox atra sinit, tu fugis, ipsa moror."'

2708. _Roggeth_, shaketh. '_Roggyn_, or mevyn, or scogghyn, rokkyn.
_Agito_'; Prompt. Parv. See P. Plowman, B. xvi. 78; and _ruggen_ in
Stratmann. Cf. Icel. _rugga_, to rock a cradle. Prof. Napier tells me that
the A.S. _roccan_, to rock, has been found in a gloss. Bell's edition has
the singular and unauthorised reading _jeggeth_ (_sic_).

2709. The rest of the story seems to be Chaucer's addition. Ovid merely has
(ll. 83, 84):--

 'Abstrahor a patriis pedibus; raptamque capillis
    (haec meruit pietas praemia) carcer habet.'

2710. _Doon him bote_, given him assistance.

2715. 'Her cruel father caused her to be seized,' lit. caused (men) to
seize her.

2723. 'This tale is told for the following reason.' And here the MSS. break
off, in the middle of the sentence.


The title 'Tractatus de Conclusionibus Astrolabii' is suggested by the
wording of the colophon on p. 223. But a better title is, simply,
'Tractatus de Astrolabio,' or 'Treatise on the Astrolabe,' as the
'Conclusiones' only occupy the Second Part of the work; see p. 188. Indeed
MS. F. has 'Tractatus Astrolabii'; see p. 233. MSS. B. and E. have the
singular title--'Bred and mylk for childeren.'

PROLOGUE, l. 1. _Lowis_ was at this time (1391) ten years old (see l. 18);
he was therefore born in 1381, whence it is possible that his mother was
the Cecilia de Chaumpaigne who, on May 1, 1380, released the poet from all
liability _de raptu meo_. This is, of course, a mere conjecture. Probably
Lowis died young, as nothing more is known concerning him.

5. _philosofre_; possibly Cicero. 'Haec igitur prima lex amicitiae
sanciatur, ut ... amicorum causâ honesta faciamus'; Lælius, cap. xiii.

7. _suffisaunt_, sufficiently good. In the best instruments, the
Almicanteras, or circles of altitude, were drawn at distances of one degree
only; in less-carefully made instruments, they were drawn at distances of
two degrees. The one given to his son by Chaucer was one of the latter; see
Part I, sect. 18, l. 8.

10. _a certein_, i.e. a certain number; but the word _nombre_ need not be
repeated; cf. _a certein holes_, Pt. I. sect. 13, l. 2, and see the very
expression in the Milleres Tale, l. 7 (A 3193).

21. _suffyse_, let them suffice.

32. Repeated from Ho. Fame, 861-2, q.v.

62. 'Nicolaus de Lynna, i.e. of Lynn, in Norfolk, was a noted astrologer in
the reign of Edward III., and was himself a writer of a treatise on the
Astrolabe. See Bale--who mentions "Joannes Sombe" as the collaborateur of
Nicolaus--"Istos ob eruditionem multiplicem, non vulgaribus in suo
Astrolabio celebrat laudibus Galfridus Chaucer poeta lepidissimus;" BALE
(edit. 1548), p. 152.'--Note by Mr. Brae, p. 21 of his edition of the

Warton says that 'John Some and Nicholas Lynne' were both Carmelite friars,
and wrote calendars constructed for the meridian of Oxford. He adds that
Nicholas Lynne is said to have made several voyages to the most northerly
parts of the world, charts of which he presented to Edward III. These
charts are, however, lost. See Hakluyt's Voyages, i. 121, ed. 1598; Warton,
Hist. E. P. ii. 357; ed. 1871.

Tyrwhitt, in his Glossary to Chaucer, s.v. _Somer_, has the following. 'The
Kalendar of John Somer is extant in MS. Cotton, Vesp. E. vii. It is
calculated for 140 years from 1367, the year of the birth of Richard II.,
and is said, in the introduction, to have been published in 1380, at the
instance of Joan, mother to the king. The Kalendar of Nicholas Lenne, or
Lynne, was calculated for 76 years from 1387. Tanner in v. _Nicolans
Linensis_. The story there quoted from Hakluit of a voyage made by this
Nicholas in 1360 _ad insulas septentrionales antehac Europæis incognitas_,
and of a book written by him to describe these countries _a gradu .54.
usque ad polum_, is a mere fable: as appears from the very authorities
which Hakluit has produced in support of it.' It seems probable, therefore,
that the 'charts' which Warton says are 'lost' were never in existence at
all. The false spelling 'Some' no doubt arose from neglecting the curl of
contraction in Som_er_e.

PART I. § 5, l. 5. _the remenant_, &c. i.e. the rest of this line (drawn,
as I said,) from the foresaid cross to the border. This appears awkward,
and we should have expected 'fro the forseide _centre_,' as Mr. Brae
suggests; but there is no authority for making the alteration. As the
reading stands, we must put no comma after 'this lyne,' but read right on
without a pause.

8. _principals._ It it not unusual to find adjectives of French origin
retaining _s_ in the plural; only they commonly _follow_ their nouns when
thus spelt. Cf. _lettres capitals_, i. 16. 8; _sterres fixes_, i. 21. 4. On
the other hand, we find _principal cercles_, i. 17. 34.

§ 7. 4. _noumbres of augrim_; Arabic numerals. The degrees of the border
are said to contain 4 minutes _of time_, whilst the degrees of the signs
are divided into minutes and seconds of angular measurement, the degrees in
each case being the same. There is no confusion in practice between these,
because the former are used in measuring time, the latter in measuring

§ 8. 9. _Alkabucius_; i.e. (says Warton, Hist. E. P. ii. 357, ed. 1871)
Abdilazi Alchabitius, whose Introductiorium ad scientiam judicialem
astronomæ was printed in 1473, and afterwards. Mr. Brae quotes the very
passage to which Chaucer refers, which I here quote from the edition of
1482, as described in my note to l. 119 of The Compleint of Mars (see vol.
i. p. 500); viz. 'Unumquodque istorum signorum diuiditur in 30 partes
equales, que gradus vocantur. Et gradus diuiditur in 60 minuta; et minutum
in 60 secunda; et secundum in 60 tertia. Similiterque sequuntur quarta,
scilicet et quinta, ascendendo usque ad infinita'; Alchabitii Differentia

These minute subdivisions were never used; it was a mere affectation of
accuracy, the like of which was never attained.

§ 10. 5. _in Arabiens_, amongst the Arabians. But he goes on to speak only
of the Roman names of the months. Yet I may observe that in MS. Ii. 3. 3,
at fol. 97, the Arabian, Syrian, and Egyptian names of the months are given
as well as the Roman.

§ 16. 12. _& every minut 60 secoundes_; i.e. every minute contains 60
seconds. The sentence, in fact, merely comes to this. 'Every degree of the
border contains four minutes (_of time_), and every minute (of time)
contains sixty seconds (of time).' This is consistent and intelligible. Mr.
Brae proposes to read '_four_ seconds'; this would mean that 'every degree
of the border contains four minutes (of time), and every minute (_of the
border_) contains four seconds (of time).' Both statements are true; but,
in the latter case, Chaucer should have repeated the words 'of the
bordure.' However this may be, the proposed emendation lacks authority,
although the reprint of Speght changed 'lx' into 'fourtie,' which comes
near to 'four.' But the reprint of Speght is of no value at all. See Mr.
Brae's preface, p. 4, for the defence of his proposed emendation, which is
entirely needless.

§ 17. 6. _Ptholome._ The St. John's MS. has _ptolomeys almagest_.
'_Almagest_, a name given by the Arabs to the [Greek: megalê syntaxis], or
_great collection_, the celebrated work of Ptolemy, the astronomer of
Alexandria [floruit A.D. 140-160]. It was translated into Arabic about the
year A.D. 827, under the patronage of the Caliph Al Mamun, by the Jew
Alhazen ben Joseph, and the Christian Sergius. The word is the Arabic
article _al_ prefixed to the Greek _megistus_, "greatest," a name probably
derived from the title of the work itself, or, as we may judge from the
superlative adjective, partly from the estimation in which it was
held.'--English Cyclopædia; Arts and Sciences, i. 223. The Almagest 'was in
thirteen books. Ptolemy wrote also four books of judicial astrology. He was
an Egyptian astrologist, and flourished under Marcus Antoninus. He is
mentioned in the Sompnour's Tale [D 2289], and the Wif of Bathes Prologue,
ll. 182, 324.'--Warton, Hist. E. P. ii. 356, ed. 1871. The word _almagest_
occurs in the Milleres Tale, near the beginning (A 3208), and twice in the
Wif of Bathes Prologue (D 183, 325).

Chaucer says the obliquity of the ecliptic, according to Ptolemy, was 23°
50'. The _exact_ value, according to Ptolemy, was 23° 51' 20"; _Almagest_,
lib. i. c. 13. But Chaucer did not care about the odd degree, and gives it
nearly enough. See note to ii. 25. 19.

8. _tropos_, a turning; Chaucer gives it the sense of _agaynward_, i.e. in
a returning direction.

14. The equinoctial was supposed to revolve, because it was the 'girdle' of
the _primum mobile_, and turned with it. See note below to l. 28.

14, 15. 'As I have shewed thee in the solid sphere.' This is interesting,
as shewing that Chaucer had already given his son some lessons on the
motions of the heavenly bodies, before writing this treatise.

27. _angulus._ We should rather have expected the word _spera_ or _sphera_;
cf. 'the sper solide' above, l. 15.

28. 'And observe, that this first moving (_primus motus_) is so called from
the first movable (_primum mobile_) of the eighth sphere, which moving or
motion is from East to West,' &c. There is an _apparent_ confusion in this,
because the _primum mobile_ was the _ninth_ sphere (see Plate V, fig. 10);
but it may be called the movable of the eighth, as _giving motion to it_.
An attempt was made to explain the movements of the heavenly bodies by
imagining the earth to be in the centre, surrounded by a series of
concentric spheres, or rather shells, like the coats of an onion. Of these
the seven innermost, all revolving with different velocities, each carried
with it a planet. Beyond these was an eighth sphere, which was at first
supposed to be divided into two parts, the inner part being the
_firmamentum_, and the outer part the _primum mobile_; hence the _primum
mobile_ might have been called 'the first moving of the eighth sphere,' as
accounting for the more important part of the motion of the said sphere. It
is simpler, however, to make these distinct, in which case the eighth
sphere is _firmamentum_ or _sphæra stellarum fixarum_, which was supposed
to have a very slow motion from West to East round the poles of the
_zodiac_ to account for the precession of the equinoxes, whilst the ninth
sphere, or _primum mobile_, whirled round from East to West once in 24
hours, carrying all the inner spheres with it, by which means the ancients
accounted for the diurnal revolution. This ninth sphere had for its poles
the north and south poles of the heavens, and its 'girdle' (or great circle
equidistant from the poles) was the equator itself. Hence the equator is
here called the 'girdle of the first moving.' As the planetary spheres
revolved _in an opposite direction_, thus accounting for the _forward_
motion of the sun and planets in the ecliptic or near it, the _primum
mobile_ was considered to revolve in a _backward_ or _unnatural_ direction,
and hence Chaucer's apostrophe to it (Man of Lawes Tale, B 295):--

 'O firste moevyng cruel firmament,
  With thy diurnal sweigh that crowdest ay
  And hurlest all from Est til Occident,
  That naturelly wolde holde another way.'

That is--'O thou _primum mobile_, thou cruel firmament, that with thy
diurnal revolution (or revolution once in 24 hours round the axis of the
equator) continually forcest along and whirlest all the celestial bodies
from East to West, which _naturally_ would wish to follow the course of the
sun in the zodiac from West to East.' This is well illustrated by a
sidenote in the Ellesmere MS. to the passage in question, to this
effect:--'Vnde Ptholomeus, libro i. cap. 8. Primi motus celi duo sunt,
quorum vnus est qui mouet totum semper ab Oriente in Occidentem vno modo
super orbes, &c. Item aliter vero motus est qui mouet orbem stellarum
currencium contra motum primum, videlicet, ab Occidente in Orientum super
alios duos polos[72].' That is, the two chief motions are that of the
_primum mobile_, which carries everything round from East to West, and that
of the fixed stars, which is a slow motion from West to East round the axis
of the zodiac, to account for precession. This exactly explains the
well-known passage in the Frankeleines Tale (C. T., F 1280):--

 'And by his eighte spere in his werking,
  He knew ful wel how fer Alnath was shove
  Fro the heed of thilke fixe Aries above
  That in the ninthe spere considered is.'

Here the eight spheres are the eight inner spheres which revolve round the
axis of the zodiac in an easterly direction, whilst the ninth sphere, or
_primum mobile_, contained both the theoretical or _fixed_ first point of
Aries from which measurements were made, and also the _signs_ of the zodiac
as distinct from the _constellations_. But Alnath, being an actual star,
viz, [alpha] Arietis[73], was in the _eighth_ sphere; and the distance
between its position and that of the first point of Aries at any time
afforded a measure of the amount of precession. Mr. Brae rightly remarks
that Tyrwhitt's readings in this passage are correct (except that _eighte
speres_ should be _eightespere_), and those of Mr. Wright and Dr. Morris
(from the Harleian MS.) are incorrect.

It may be as well to add that a later refinement was to insert a
crystalline sphere, to account for the precession; so that the order stood
thus: seven spheres of planets; the eighth, of fixed stars; the ninth, or
crystalline; the tenth, or _primum mobile_; and, beyond these, an empyræan
or theological heaven, so to speak, due to no astronomical wants, but used
to express the place of residence of celestial beings[74]. Hence the
passage in Milton, P. L. iii. 481:--

 'They pass the planets seven, and pass the fix'd,
  And that crystalline sphere whose balance weighs
  The trepidation talk'd, and that first mov'd.'

i.e. They pass the seven planetary spheres; then the sphere of fixed stars;
then the crystalline or transparent one, whose swaying motion or libration
measures the amount of the precession and nutation so often talked of; and
then, the sphere of the _primum mobile_ itself. But Milton clearly himself
believed in the Copernican system; see Paradise Lost, viii. 121-140, where
the _primum mobile_ is described in the lines--

                           'that swift
  Nocturnal and diurnal rhomb supposed,
  Invisible else above all stars, the wheel
  Of day and night.'

§ 18. 8. _compowned by 2 & 2._ This means that in the _best_ astrolabes,
_every_ almicantarath for every degree of latitude was marked; as may be
seen in Metius. In others, including the one given by Chaucer to his son,
they were marked only for every other degree. See Part II. sect. 5, l. 2.

§ 19. 7. _cenith_, as here used, has a totally different meaning from that
of _senith_, in l. 1 above. The _senith_ in l. 1 is what we still call the
_zenith_; but the _cenith_ in l. 7 means the point of the horizon denoting
the sun's place in azimuth. Contrary to what one might expect, the _latter_
is the true original meaning, as the word _zenith_ is corrupted from the
root of the word which we now spell _azimuth_. The Arabic _as-sant_ is a
way or path; _al-samt_, a point of the horizon, and, secondly, an azimuthal
circle. The plural of _al-samt_ is _assum[=u]t_, whence _azimuth_. But
_zenith_ is a corruption of _semt_, from _samt al-r[=a]s_, the Arabic name
of the vertex of heaven (_r[=a]s_ meaning _a head_); and the qualifying
_al-r[=a]s_, the most important part of the phrase, has been improperly
dropped. So far from the reading _cenith_ being wrong here, it is most
entirely right, and may be found (better spelt _cenit_) in the same sense
in Messahala. See p. 213, second footnote. For _cenith_, some late copies
have _signet_, evidently taken from the Latin word _signum_. They make the
same mistake even in l. 12 of section 18.

§ 21. 4. _sterres fixes_, fixed stars; here the _s_ again appears in a
plural adjective of French derivation; see note above, to § 5. 8. In MSS.
Ii. 3. 3 and Ii. 1. 13 in the Cambridge University Library, is an
interesting list of the 49 stars most usually placed upon the Astrolabe.
The stars which are represented by the points of the tongues in Fig. 2 are
the same as those in the diagram from which Fig. 2 is copied, the original
of which is in MS. A. I have slightly altered the positions of the points
of the tongues, to make them somewhat more correct. The following is the
list of the stars there shewn; most of their names are written in the MS.
Cf. footnote on p. 186.

_Within the Zodiac._ In _Aries_, Mirach, or [beta] Andromedæ, shewn by a
short tongue above Aries; in _Taurus_, Algol, or [beta] Persei, as marked;
in _Libra_, Aliot or Alioth, i.e. [epsilon] Ursæ Majoris (the third horse,
next the cart, in Charles's Wain), as marked; also Alramech, Arcturus, or
[alpha] Boötis, shewn by the tongue projecting above Libra; in _Scorpio_,
Alpheta, Alphecca, or [alpha] Coronæ Borealis, as marked; in _Sagittarius_,
Raz Alhagus, or [alpha] Ophiuchi, near Alpheta; in _Capricornus_, Altair or
[alpha] Aquilæ and Vega or [alpha] Lyræ, as marked, whilst near Vega is the
unmarked Arided, or [alpha] Cygni; and in _Pisces_, Markab or [alpha]

_Without the Zodiac._ In _Aries_, under _Oriens_, the slight projection
marks [beta] Ceti or Deneb Kaitos, the Whale's Tail, and the next curiously
shaped projection (with side-tongues probably referring to other stars)
means Batnkaitos, the Whale's Belly, apparently [zeta] Ceti; next come the
long tongue for Menkar or [alpha] Ceti, the Whale's Nose; the star
Aldebaran or Bull's Eye, [alpha] Tauri; Rigel or [beta] Orionis, Orion's
Foot; Alhabor or Sirius, the Dog-star, marked by a rude drawing of a dog's
head, the star itself being at the tip of his tongue; then Algomeisa,
Procyon, or [alpha] Canis Minoris, marked by a tongue pointing to the left,
whilst the long broad tongue pointing upwards is Regulus, Kalbalased, or
[alpha] Leonis; the small tongue above the letter I in the border is
Alphard or Cor Hydræ. Above _Occidens_, in _Libra_, the first tongue is
Algorab or [delta] Corvi, and the next Spica Virginis or Azimech; close to
the 8th degree of Scorpio is [alpha] Libræ, and close to the beginning of
Sagittarius is a small head, denoting the Scorpion, at the tip of the
tongue of which is the bright Kalbalacrab or Antares. The last, a
projection below the letter X, is Deneb Algebi or the Goat's Tail, i.e.
[delta] Capricorni.

7. That is, the little point at the end of each tongue of metal is
technically called the 'centre' of the star, and denotes its exact

9. The stars of the North are those to the North of the _zodiac_, not of
the _equator_.

12. _Aldeberan_, &c.; the stars Aldebaran ([alpha] Tauri) and Algomeisa
([alpha] Canis Minoris) are called stars of the south, because they are to
the south of the ecliptic; but as they are meanwhile (see Fig. 2) also to
the north of the equator, they of course rise to the N. of the Eastern
point of the horizon. The longitude of stars was always measured along the
ecliptic, which is denoted in Fig. 2 by the outermost circle of the metal
ring on which the names of the signs are written.

In one of the tracts in MS. G (dated A.D. 1486), p. 30, we find 'Aldebaran,
in the first gre of ge_min_is (_sic_), of the nature of Mars and Venus';
and 'Algomeisa, canis minor, in the xvij gr_e_ of Canc_er_, of the nature
of Mars and M_er_cury.'

29. _Amiddes_, &c. Observe that the Ecliptic line _in the midst_ of the
_celestial_ zodiac, a belt 12° broad, is on the _outer edge_ of the zodiac
as shewn in the astrolabe, which is only 6° broad and shews only the
northern half of that belt. The 'way of the sun' is elsewhere used of the
sun's apparent _diurnal_ path (see Part ii. sect. 30); but it here refers,
as is more usual, to the _annual_ path.

34. _streitnes_, narrowness, closeness, smallness of size. In Fig. 2, I
have marked every degree in the southern half of the zodiac, but only every
_fifth_ degree in the northern, in order to avoid an appearance of crowding
in so small a figure. In Chaucer's own Astrolabe, every _other_ degree was
marked all round.

40. Here Chaucer gives at least three reasons for the name of 'zodiac.' The
true one is the second, 'for that the sterres that ben there fixed ben
disposed in signes of bestes, or shape like bestes.' But these imaginary
shapes are very absurd and arbitrary.

50. Not only the influences here assigned to the signs, but others due to
planets, may be found in 'Porphyrii Philosophi introductio in Claudii
Ptolomæi opus de affectibus astrorum,' fol. Basileæ, n.d. p. 198. I here
add a few extracts from the MS. in Trinity College, Cambridge (marked R.
15. 18), to shew the nature of the old astrology. I choose them with
especial reference to Aries. The other signs are spoken of in a similar
manner. 'It is principally to be considered that the signes of hevyn haue
their_e_ strenght and propre significaciou_n_ vpon the membris of eny man;
as, Aries hath respect to the hed, taurus to the neck, ge_min_is (_sic_)
the Armys, Cancer the brest, leo the hert, virgo the bowels, &c.; as it
shall shew in the Chapiters folowyng. Secundarily it is to be noted that
plotholomee (_sic_) saith, that to touche with instrument of yrou_n_ while
the mone is in the signe of the same membre, is for to be dred; let the
surgen beware, and the letter of blode, let hym be aferd to touche that
membre w_i_t_h_ yren_e_, in the which the mone shal be.'--MS. G; Trad C. p.

'Thenne Aries hath respect to the hed; And this signe is hote and dry,
fiery & colerik. Saturne hath ij witnes in Ariete, a triplicitate and a
terme. Jubit_er_ also hath ij, a triplicitate and a term_e_. Mars hath iij
testimonials or iij fortitudis in Ariete, A hows, A face, and A terme. The
sonne hath iij fortitudis in Ariete, s_cilicet_, an exaltaciou_n_, a
triplicite, and a face. Venus hath ij testimonials, A terme and a face.
M_er_cury hath on_e_ testymony, that is to sey, a term_e_. And luna in
Ariete hath no testimoniall. For the which it is to know, that the influens
of the planet_is_ may be fortyfied v maner of wayes. And these v man_er_ be
called v fortitud_is_ of planet_is_, or testimonials, which be these:
_domus_, _exaltacio_, _triplicitas_, _terminus_, and _facies_. _Domus_
gevith to a planet v fortitud_is_; And a planet in his hows is lyke a kynge
in his hall, And in the high trone of his gl_or_ie. A planet in his
_exaltacioun_ is lyke a kynge when he is crowned. A planet in his
_triplicite_ is like a kynge in hono_ur_, Amonge his sencible people. A
planet in his _terme_ is As a man_n_ among_es_ his kynnesmen_n_ And
fryndis. _Facies_ gyvith to a planet that thyng the which rowme gyvith to a
maistre. Wherfore _facies_ gyvith only on fortitude, _Terminus_ ij,
_Triplicitas_ iij, _Exaltacio_ iiij, And _domus_ v. And for the more clere
declaraciou_n_, the dignytes of planet_is_ in signes be co_m_p_re_hendid in
this figure ensuynge, &c.[75]'--Same MS., Tract C. p. 13.

'The dygnytes of planet_is_ in the signes, most speciall they be to be
noted in iudicials. When the mone is _in Ariete_, it is not gode, but
vtterly to be exshewed, both for seke And disesid, for to shafe their_e_
hede or to boist in the eris or in the nek; nor loke þou let no blode in
the vayn of the hede. How-be-it, benyficiall it is to begynne eu_er_y worke
that þou woldest bryng aboute son_e_. But that thynge that is stabill ought
to be eschewed. In this signe it is necessary to dele with noble estat_is_
And rich men, And for to go in-to A bayn_e_ [_bath_][76].'--Same MS., Tract
C. p. 14.

54, 5. See Prologue, l. 73. As the zodiak is here called a part of the
eighth sphere, so we have been before told that the equinoctial is the
girdle of the ninth sphere; see note above to sect 17. l. 28.

57. _evene parties_, equal parts. That is, the equinoctial bisects the
zodiac. But the northern half _looks_ much smaller than the southern on the
Astrolabe, owing to the manner in which the zodiac is there represented,
viz. by projection on the plane of the equator.

PART II. § 1. Rubric, _hir cours_. The gender of the sun was feminine in
Anglo-Saxon, and that of the moon masculine; but in Chaucer's time, the
gender was very variable, owing to the influence of Latin and French.

§ 3. Between sections 2 and 3, a section is inserted in the late copies,
which merely repeats section 1, and is clearly spurious. It does not appear
at all in the best MSS.; though it is found in the black-letter editions. I
quote it here from MS. L.


'[T]hanne iff þou wylte wete thatt / rekyn & knowe / qwych is the day off
the monyth thatt thow arte yn_n_e, & ley thy rewle of thy astrolabye, that
is to sey, the allydatha, vpon þe day in the kalendr_e_ off the Astrolabye,
& he schall schewe the thy degree of the sonne.'

26, 7. After 'assendent,' the following additional paragraph occurs in MS.
Bodley 619; fol. 21. It is worthy of notice, because the original of it
appears in Messahala's treatise, with the title 'De noticia stellarum
incognitarum positarum in astrolabio.' The paragraph runs thus:--

'Nota. þat by þis conclusio_n_ þou may knowe also where ben at þat same
tyme all_e_ oþir sterres fixed þ_a_t ben sette in thin Astrelabie, and in
what place of þe firmament; And also her arising in thy orizonte, and how
longe þ_a_t thei wol ben aboue þe erthe wiþ þe Arke of þe nyght / And loke
eu_er_more hov many degrees þou fynde eny sterre at þat tyme sitting vpon
þin Almycant_er_as, and vp-on as many degrees sette þou þe reule vpon þe
altitude in þe border_e_; And by the mediaciou_n_ of þy eye through þe .2.
smale holes shalt thou se þe same sterre by the same altitude aforseid, And
so by this conclusiou_n_ may þou redely knowe whiche is oo sterre from
a-noþ_er_ in the firmament / for as many as ben in the Astrelabie. For by
þ_a_t same altitude shal thou se that same sterre, & non othir / for þ_er_e
ne woll_e_ non othir altitude accorde þerto.'

30. _Alhabor_; i.e. Sirius or the Dog-star, as is evident from the fact of
its being represented by a dog's head on the Astrolabe; see also the table
of stars marked on the Astrolabe (in MS. Camb. Univ. Lib. li. 3. 3, fol.
70, back), which gives the declination 15° S, the latitude 39° S, and
places the star in Cancer. It is also plainly described in the same table
as being 'in ore canis', so that it is difficult to resist the conclusion
of the identity of Alhabor and Sirius. Mr. Brae, following later copies
that have different readings of the numbers employed, identifies Alhabor
with Rigel or [beta] Orionis. This is impossible, from the fact that Rigel
and Alhabor _both_ occur in the diagrams and tables; see, for instance,
Fig. 2. It is true that Rigel was sometimes called _Algebar_, but _Alhabor_
stands rather for the Arabic _Al-'ab[=u]r_. The Arabic name for the
constellation Canis Major was _Al-kalb al-akbar_, 'greater dog,' as
distinguished from _Al-kalb al-asghar_, or 'lesser dog'; and the star
[alpha] Canis Majoris was called _Al-shi'ra al-'ab[=u]r_, the former of
which terms represented the Greek [Greek: seirios] (_Sirius_), whilst from
the latter (_al-'ab[=u]r_) we have our _Alhabor_. See Ideler, Über den
Ursprung und die Bedeutung der Sternnamen, pp. 237, 256.

§ 4. 'The houses [in astrology] have different powers. The strongest of all
these is the first, which contains the part of the heaven about to rise:
this is called the _ascendant_; and the point of the ecliptic which is just
rising is called the horoscope.'--English Encyclopædia; art. Astrology.

21. In the English Cyclopædia, art. Astrology, a quotation is given from an
astrological work, in reply to the question whether the 'querent' should
succeed as a cattle-dealer. It contains some words very similar to
Chaucer's. 'If the lord of the sixth be in quartile, or in opposition to
the dispositor of the part of Fortune, or the Moon, the querent cannot
thrive by dealing in small cattle. The same if the lord of the sixth be
afflicted either by Saturn, Mars, or the Dragon's Tail; or be found either
retrograde, combust, cadent, or peregrine. [See l. 33.] The Dragon's Tail
and Mars shew much loss therein by knaves and thieves, and ill bargains,
&c.; and Saturn denotes much damage by the rot or murrain.' The evil
influence of the Dragon's Tail is treated of in the last chapter of
'Hermetis Philosophi de revolutionibus nativitatum', fol. Basileæ; n.d.

32. 'May seen the ascendant.' Cf. 'Cum dominator ascendens viderit, res quæ
occulta est secundum ascendentis naturam erit; quod si non videt, illud
erit secundum naturam loci in quo ipse est dominator'; Cl. Ptolemæi
_Centiloquium_; sect. 90.

33. _combust_, said of a planet when its light is quenched by being too
near the sun. Tyrwhitt, in his Glossary, says that it is used when the
planet is not more than 8½ degrees distant from the sun. Cf. Troilus, iii.
717, and the note.

40. _Face._ See note to Part I. sect. 21. l. 50 (p. 359). The late copies
are very incorrect hereabouts.

§ 6. 9. Mr. Brae well calls attention here to the absurd errors in the
printed copies. Thynne has 'in the 320 signe,' and Speght 'in the xxiii
signe.' The signs of the zodiac are only twelve, and the one opposite to
the 1st is the 7th.

§ 8. I see no reason for supposing this proposition to be an interpolation,
as Mr. Brae suggests. Though similar to § 11, it is not identical with it.
Moreover, it occurs in Messahala.

§ 9. 2. _the chapitre beforn_, i.e. a previous chapter, viz. in sect. 6.
The expression supplies no argument for altering the order of the

4. _same manere_, i.e. a like manner. The 'vulgar night' clearly means that
the quantity of the 'crepuscules' must be _subtracted_ from the 'arch of
the night.'

§ 13. 5. _cours_, course; _heyest cours_, highest point of the path. Late
copies have _lyne_; for which Mr. Brae suggested _degre_.

§ 14. 6. _but 2 degrees_. Suppose the sun's midday altitude is 49°, in
latitude 52°. Then the co-latitude is 38°, and the sun's declination 11°
North. This corresponds nearly (roughly speaking) to the 1st degrees of
Taurus and Virgo. Which is right can 'lightly' be known by the time of
year, for the sun cannot be in Virgo if the month be April. Compare sect.

§ 17. This conclusion, as pointed out in the footnote, is not correct in
theory, but can be made nearly so in practice, by taking the two altitudes
_very near_ the meridian. This is directly implied in the words 'passeth
any-thing the sowth westward,' i.e. passes _ever so little_ westward of the
south line; cf. note below to 38. 10. Consequently, the first observation
must also be taken very near the meridian.

25. _site_, situation. Late copies, _sight_. This proves that the word
_site_ is Chaucerian, and clears up the reading in Ho. Fame, 1114.

§ 18. Instead of reckoning a star's right ascension by referring it to the
equator, it was reckoned by observing the degree of the zodiac which
southed along with it. This is expressed in the first 'Table of fixed
stars' in MS. Camb. Univ. Lib. Ii. 3. 3 (fol. 70, back) by the phrase 'cum
gradibus, quibus celum mediant'; the other co-ordinate of position was the
star's declination from the equator, as in the modern method. The ancients
also used the co-ordinates of longitude and latitude of a star, the
longitude being reckoned along the ecliptic, and the latitude along great
circles through the poles of the ecliptic; as appears from the second Table
in the same MS.

§ 19. 6. _equinoxial._ This, as explained in the footnote, should be
'ecliptik'; but I can find no MS. authority for the alteration, though the
correction is practically made in l. 13.

§ 22. 13. _place._ Late copies and old editions, _planet_; absurdly.
Latitudes of several places are given in old Latin MSS. They are frequently

§ 23. 3. The star A is shewn by the numbers to be the Pole-star, and is
obviously the one to be observed in order to find the altitude of the Pole.
What the star F is, is of no consequence. The numbers used in other copies
are different, and much less satisfactory. That the star A is the Pole-star
or some star near the pole in this 'conclusion' is rendered probable also
by the wording of the next 'conclusion'; which extends the working of it to
the case of any other star, provided it be a star that never sets.

§ 25. 19. When Chaucer says that the latitude of Oxford is 'certain minutes
less,' he probably means no more than that the latitude of Oxford was 51
degrees and 50 minutes, as in the text. For I suspect the original reading
of the passage made the sun's altitude 38 degrees only, and the latitude 52
degrees; indeed, the passage stands so in MSS. C and P, both good
authorities. But he added the statement that the latitude of Oxford was
less than 52 degrees. It is probable that, on second thoughts, he put in
the number of _minutes_, and forgot to strike out the clause 'I sey nat
this,' &c., which was no longer necessary. Minutes were seldom reckoned
otherwise than by _tens_; 'a few minutes less than 50' (say 47) is a
refinement to which the ancients seldom attained. Hence the amount of 10
minutes is vaguely spoken of in l. 31 as 'odde Minutes.' Minutes were
clearly not much considered. In the present case, we are assisted by
Chaucer's express statement in sect. 22. l. 6. The true latitude of Oxford
is between 51° 45' and 51° 46'.

§ 26. 8-11. It is singular that this sentence, obviously wanted, should
appear only in one MS., and has, accordingly, been omitted in all previous
editions. There can be no doubt about the genuineness of it, as it so
exactly gives the right sense, and happily supplies the words 'right
orisonte' in l. 11; thus enabling the author to say, as in l. 21 he _does_
say--'this _forseid_ righte orisonte.'

16. _this figure._ Here occurs, in some of the MSS., a diagram representing
a circle, i.e, a disc of the astrolabe, with straight lines drawn across it
from left to right.

17. _assensiouns in the righte cercle._ This exactly answers to our modern
'right ascension.' We hence obtain the true origin of the phrase. 'Right
ascension' was, originally, the ascension of stars at places situate _on
the equator_, and was most conveniently measured along the equatorial
circle, by observation of the times of transit of the various stars across
the meridian. In other latitudes, the ascension of every degree of the
_zodiac_ could be easily tabulated by observing what degree of the equator
came to the meridian with the said degree of the zodiac; see l. 20. It
hence appears that, whilst persisting in using 'longitudes' and reckoning
along the zodiac, the ancients were obliged, in practice, to refer the
degrees of longitude to the equator. The modern method of recognizing this
necessity, and registering right ascensions as of more importance than
longitudes, is a great improvement. The ancients were restrained from it by
their unnecessary reverence for the zodiac. Cf. Ptolemy's Almagest, lib. i.
c. xiii.

§ 29. Chaucer omits to say that the experiment should be made when the sun
is very nearly on the meridian. Otherwise, the confusion of the azimuth
with the hour-angle might cause a considerable error.

§ 30. 3. That the phrase 'wey of the sonne' really means the sun's apparent
_diurnal_ course in this conclusion, may be further seen by consulting the
Latin of Messahala. Cf. the Critical Note on p. 236.

§ 31. In my footnote, I have used the expression 'it does not mean, _as it
should_, the zenith point.' I mean--'as, according to our modern ideas, it
should';--for the derivation of _zenith_ shews that the meaning used in
this proposition is the older meaning of the two. See note above to i. 19.
7 (p. 357).

6. _24 parties._ These 24 parts were suggested by the 24 hours of the day.
The '32 parts' used by 'shipmen' are due to the continual halving of
angles. Thus, the four cardinal points have points half-way between them,
making eight points; between which, we can insert eight more, making
sixteen; and between these, sixteen more, making thirty-two. Hence the 32
points of the compass.

§ 33. 5. We should probably insert _or south_ after the word _north_. Such
an insertion is authorised by MSS. B. and C.

§ 34. 3. That 'upon the mones syde' means nearly in the same azimuth as the
moon, is apparent from l. 11 below, where Chaucer says that some treatises
make no exception even if the star is _not_ quite in the same azimuth. This
was certainly a rough mode of observation.

§ 35. 9. _right side_, East side. See i. 6. 1 (p. 179).

18. _episicle_, epicycle. To account for the planetary motions, epicycles
were invented. The moon, for instance, was supposed to revolve round a
_moving_ centre, which centre itself moved round the earth in a perfect
circle. This came a little nearer to the true motion in some instances, but
was hopelessly wrong, and nothing could be made of it, even when a _second_
epicycle, revolving about a centre which moved in the _first_ epicycle, was
superadded. All that Chaucer says here is, that, whilst the centre of the
moon's epicycle had a direct motion, the moon's motion in the epicycle
itself was a reverse one, unlike that of the other planetary bodies. The
subject is hardly worth further discussion, so I merely refer the reader to
the Almagest, lib. iv. c. 5; and lib. ix. c. 5.

§ 36. The 'equations of houses' means the dividing of the sphere into
_equal_ portions, and the right numbering of those portions or houses. The
most important house was the first, or ascendent, just rising; the next in
importance was the tenth, which was just coming on the meridian; then come
the seventh or descendent, just about to set, and the fourth, just coming
to the line of midnight. The next in importance were the _succedents_, or
houses immediately following these, viz. the second, the eleventh, the
eighth, and the fifth. The least important were the third, twelfth, ninth,
and sixth. See Fig. 14.

§ 37. 18. _thise 3 howsez._ That is, the nadirs of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th
houses give the houses that 'follow,' i.e. the 8th, 9th, and 10th. The word
'follow' here seems to refer, not to position, but to the order in which
the houses may most conveniently be found. Chaucer omits to add that the
beginnings of the 5th and 6th houses can be found in a similar way, because
it is sufficiently evident. It is all from Messahala.

§ 38. 1. _for warping, the brodere the bettre._ This may mean, either (1)
to prevent warping, the thicker the better; or (2) to prevent the errors
arising from warping (for fear of warping), the larger the better. I
believe the latter to be the true interpretation; for it is better thus to
guard against possible errors than to make the plate very thick and, at the
same time, small. Besides which, the usual meaning of _brodere_ is _wider,
larger, more ample_. Indeed, we find the very expression 'non sit tamen
nimis parvus' in the 4th section of the Practica Chilindri of John Hoveden,
published by the Chaucer Society; which see.

8. _fro the centre_, i.e. sticking up above the centre, the length of the
wire being equal to a fourth of the diameter, or half the radius, of the
circle. This proportion would do for many days in the year; but in the
summer time, the pin would bear to be rather longer. Still, we need not
alter the text. Cf. the Critical Note on p. 237.

10. _any-thing_, i.e. ever so little; so _ony-thyng_ in l. 13; cf. § 17. 6.

§ 39. Though MS. A is rather corrupt here, there is little doubt about the
corrections to be made. See the Critical Notes, p. 237.

19. That is, the latitude, or breadth, of a climate, or belt, is measured
along a line which goes from North to South as far as the earth extends; so
that the latitude of the _first_ climate, for example, is measured from the
beginning of it to the end of the same, in a due northerly direction. Other
authors, he explains, reckoned the latitude of a climate always from the
equinoxial line, instead of from the parallel of latitude which terminated
the climate immediately to the south of it. Thus the latitude of the fourth
climate might mean, either the breadth of that belt _itself_, or the
_whole_ breadth from the equator to the Northern limit of that climate. The
MS. E. 2 in St. John's College, Cambridge, contains (besides Chaucer's
'Astrolabe') a Latin treatise entitled 'De septe_m_ climatib_us_
expositio.' We find mention of the 'climates' also in MS. Camb. Ii. 3. 3,
fol. 33 _b_, where a diagram appears representing a hemisphere, divided by
parallels of latitude into 9 climates or belts, which, beginning from the
equator, are as follows. 1. Inhabitabile propter Calorem. 2. Primum clima
dia Meroes. 3. Secundum clima dya cienes. 4. Tertium clima di' alexandrios.
5. Quartum clima dia rodos. 6. Quintum clima dia romes. 7. Sextum clima dia
boristenes. 8. Septimum clima dia rifeos. 9. Inhabitabile. This agrees with
the list in the footnote on p. 221.

There is a passage in Mandeville which well illustrates Chaucer; I quote
the part of it which more immediately relates to the Climates. 'For the
Superficialtee of the Erthe is departed in 7 parties, for the 7 Planetes;
and the parties ben clept Clymates. And oure parties be not of the 7
Clymates: for they ben descendynge toward the West. And also these yles of
Ynde, which beth evene a[gh]enst us, beth noght reckned in the Climates:
for thei ben a[gh]enst us, that ben in the lowe Contree. And the 7 Clymates
strecchen hem, envyrounynge the World,' &c. Mandeville's Voiage, ed.
Halliwell, p. 186. See also Ptolemy's Almagest, lib. ii.

As regards the longitudes of towns, it may be observed that in MS. F. 25 in
St. John's College, Cambridge, the longitudes of Rome, Cordova, London,
Paris, and Malta, are said to be 34° 24', 9° 30', 19°, 20°, and 38°
respectively. These do not well agree together, but they suggest a
reckoning from a meridian situated some 20° W. from that of Greenwich.
Chaucer says nothing as to what meridian was used for reckoning longitudes
from; and Messahala says, vaguely enough, that longitudes were reckoned 'a
meridiano circulo ultime regionis habitabilis in occidente,' i.e. from the
most westward habitable place, which possibly once meant Madeira.

§ 40. It is possible that this conclusion was really intended to belong to
the Fourth Part of the treatise, and was written by way of instalment. See
the Prologue, ll. 67-72. It is curious that in all the best MSS. (P.
excepted) the last sentence should be incomplete.

13. This sentence is very awkward. It seems to mean--'and then set I the
point of F upward in the same sign, because that the latitude was north,
upon the latitude of Venus; that is to say, (I set it upward) keeping it in
the 6th degree of Capricorn.' _Upward_ means inward, i.e. towards the
centre or towards the north; the opposite being expressed by southward, or
outward, or toward the border, as in l. 48 below. _Upon the latitude of
Venus_ means that the point F of the compass was set above the second
degree of latitude, so that the space between the legs of the compass
became equal to 2 degrees, as said in l. 16. Lastly, the words _that is to
seyn, in the 6 degree_, &c., are an explanation of the vaguer expression
_in the same signe_. The repetition of the words _that is to seyn_, &c.
(ll. 12 and 14), is intended to draw attention to the necessity of keeping
_both_ legs of the compass in the same degree of longitude (A on the
zodiac, and F to the north of it).

57. Possibly Chaucer left the sentence incomplete. The words 'thou shalt do
well enough' may easily have been added by another hand to bring the
sentence to an apparent, though not wholly satisfactory, conclusion. The
colophon is written (in a later hand) in MS. A. at the bottom of the page,
a part of which, after the words 'howre after howre,' is left blank.

41-43. I have mended the text as well as I could by inserting words, and
adopting different readings. Nearly all the emendations rest on authority;
see the Critical Notes. The text is not a good one, but I do not see why
these sections may not have been written by Chaucer. For a definition of
the terms 'Umbra Extensa' and 'Umbra Versa' see sections 5 and 6 of the
Practica Chilindri of John Hoveden, published by the Chaucer Society. The
_umbra extensa_ or _recta_ is the shadow cast on a plain by any perfectly
upright object; but the restriction is commonly introduced, that the
altitude of the sun shall exceed 45º. The _umbra versa_ is the shadow cast
_perpendicularly_ downwards along a wall by a style which projects from the
wall at right angles to it; the restriction is commonly introduced, that
the sun's altitude shall be less than 45°. The _umbra versa_ is the one
which appeared on the 'chylindre'; hence John de Hoveden explains how to
calculate the altitude of an object by it.

44. This article and the next may possibly be Chaucer's. It is well known
that he speaks of 'collect' and 'expans yeres' and 'rotes' in the
Frankeleines Tale; Cant. Ta., F 1275, 6, the note upon which in the
glossary to Urry's Chaucer may be found also in Tyrwhitt's Glossary, s.v.
_Expans_; but it is worth while to repeat it here. 'In this and the
following verses, the Poet describes the Alphonsine Astronomical Tables by
the several parts of them, wherein some technical terms occur, which were
used by the old astronomers, and continued by the compilers of those
tables. _Collect_ years are certain sums of years, with the motions of the
heavenly bodies corresponding to them, as of 20, 40, 60, &c., disposed into
tables; and _Expans_ years are the single years, with the motions of the
heavenly bodies answering to them, beginning at 1, and continued on to the
smallest _Collect_ sum, as 20. A _Root_, or _Radix_, is any certain time
taken at pleasure, from which, as an era, the celestial motions are to be
computed. By 'proporcionels convenientes' [C. T., F 1278] are meant the
Tables of Proportional parts.' To which Moxon adds, from Chamber's
Encyclopædia, with reference to C. T., F 1277, that '_Argument_ in
astronomy is an arc whereby we seek another unknown arc proportional to [or
rather, dependent upon] the first.'

Tables of mean motions of the Sun are given in Ptolemy's Almagest, lib.
iii. c. 2; of the Moon, lib. iv. c. 3; of the Planets, lib. viii. c. 3;
also in MS. Ii. 3. 3, fol. 88_b_, &c.

41_A_-42_B_. The fact that these articles are mere repetitions of sections
41-43 is almost conclusive against their genuineness. I do not suppose that
sect 46 (at p. 229) is Chaucer's either, but it is added for the sake of




§ 1. The series of Tales. § 2. The Prologues to Piers the Plowman and to
the Canterbury Tales compared. § 3. Date of the Tales; from 1386 onwards. §
4. Number of the Tales. § 5. Old and new material. § 6. Days of the month
for the various Groups. § 7. Arrangement of the Groups. § 8. Group A nearly
finished. § 9. The Tale of Gamelyn. § 10. The Plowman's Tale. § 11. Early
and late Tales. § 12. The test of rhythm. § 13. Origin of the heroic
couplet. § 14. Modification of Chaucer's original scheme. § 15. The Tale of
Beryn. § 16. Lydgate's Storie of Thebes. § 17. GROUP A. The Prologue. § 18.
The Knightes Tale: Palamon and Arcite. § 19. Boccaccio's Teseide. § 20.
Tyrwhitt's analysis of the Teseide. § 21. Resemblances to Troilus. § 22.
Later versions of the Knightes Tale. § 23. The Miller's Prologue. § 24. The
Milleres Tale. § 25. The Reeve's Prologue. § 26. The Reves Tale. § 27. The
Cook's Prologue. § 28. The Cokes Tale. §§ 29-34. The Tale of Gamelyn. § 35.
GROUP B. The Words of the Host to the Company. § 36. The Man of Law's
Prologue. § 37. The Man of Lawes Tale. § 38. The same Tale, as told by
Gower. § 39. The Shipman's Prologue. § 40. The Shipmannes Tale. § 41. The
Prioress's Prologue. § 42. The Prioresses Tale. § 43. Prologue to Sir
Thopas. § 44. Sir Thopas. § 45. Prologue to Melibeus. § 46. The Tale of
Melibeus. § 47. The Monk's Prologue. § 48. The Monkes Tale. § 49. The
Prologue of the Nonne Preestes Tale. § 50. The Nonne Preestes Tale. § 51.
Epilogue to the Nonne Preestes Tale. § 52. GROUP C. The Spurious Prologues
to the Phisiciens Tale. § 53. The Phisiciens Tale. § 54. Words of the Host
to the Phisicien and the Pardoner. § 55. Prologue of the Pardoneres Tale. §
56. The Pardoneres Tale. § 57. GROUP D. The Wife of Bath's Prologue. § 58.
The Wyf of Bathes Tale. § 59. The Friar's Prologue. § 60. The Freres Tale.
§ 61. The Somnour's Prologue. § 62. The Somnours Tale. § 63. GROUP E. The
Clerk's Prologue. § 64. The Clerkes Tale. § 65. The Merchant's Prologue. §
66. The Marchantes Tale. § 67. GROUP F. The Squire's Prologue. § 68. The
Squieres Tale. § 69. Words of the Frankeleyn. § 70. The Franklin's
Prologue. § 71. The Frankeleyns Tale. § 72. GROUP G. The Seconde Nonnes
Tale. § 73. The Canon's Yeoman's Prologue and Tale. § 74. GROUP H. The
Manciple's Prologue. § 75. The Manciples Tale. § 76. GROUP I. The Parson's
Prologue. § 77. The Persones Tale.



§ 1. The idea of joining together a series of Tales by means of fitting
them into a common frame-work is a very old one, and doubtless originated
in the East. There is an English collection of this character known as 'The
Seven Sages,' of which various versions have come down to us. The earliest
of these, as published in the second volume of Weber's Metrical Romances,
has been dated about 1320; and is, at any rate, older th