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Full text of "The Cambridge ms (University library, Gg. 4.27) of Chaucer's Canterbury tales"

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Cltf ffaps are fiUed in from Earl. 1768 and Sloane 1686.) 

[PrologUS. Libri. [HarL 1758, leaf l] 

P Ere begynnetfi the book . of tales of Caunterburye . com- 
piled by Greflfraie Chancers . of Brytayne chef poete. 

Yxn that Aprille . vriih his schoures swote . 
The drought of Marche. hath perced to jje rote . 
And bathed euery veyne . in suche licoure . 
> )f whiche vertue . engendrid ys the floure . 4 
^Vnd ^ephirus eke . with his swete breth . 
Enspired hath . in euerie holt and heth . 
The tendre croppes . and the yong sonne . 
In to the Ram . his half cours ronne . 8 

And. smale fowles . maken melodye . 
T"ba.t alepcn afl* the nyght . with open eye . 
Bo priketR hem nature . in here corages . 
Than longen folk . to gofi in pilgrymages . 12 

And palmers for to seke . straunge strondes 
To feme halwes . couthe in sondry londes . 
And 8x>ecialy . from euerie schires ende . 
Of Englond to Caunterburye thei wende . 16 

The holy blisfutt martyr . for to seke . 
That hem hath holpen . whan Jat jjei were seke . 
Byfelt that . in that sesouw on a daye . 
In suthwerk . at the Thabard as I laye . 20 

Redy to wenden . on my pilgrymage . 
To Caunterbury . with futt deuoute corage . 
At nyght was come . in to }>at hostelrye . 
Welt nyne and twenty . in a company e . 24 

Of sondry folk . by auenture falle . 
In felschip . and pilgrymes were pei alle . 
That towarde Cauntirbury . wolde rydc . 

1 CAMBRIDGE 1 [this page, Harl. MS. 1768.] 

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2 GROUP A. § 1. GENERAL PROLOGUE. Cambridge MS. 

[The chambres . aiid the stables weren wyde . chmL 1768] 28 

And welt were esid . at the beste . 

And schortly . whan the sonne was to Teste . 

So had I spoken . with hem euerychofl . 

That I was . of here felaschip anofL 32 

And made forward . erly for to ryse . 

To take oure way . there as I you deuyse . 

But natheles . while I haue tymo and space . 

Or that I ferper . in this tale pace .] 36 

Me thynketh it a-cordaunt to resoun t^,iJ^^'^."^-« 

'' leaf lit, begtna here.j 

To telle 30W / al the conchusyoun 

Of eche of hem as it semyth me 

And whiche Jey were & of what degre 40 

And ek in what aray fat they were inne 

And at a knyjt panne wele I ferst begynne 

IT A knyffht beie was & that a worthy man Miles ion the 

'^^ ^ "* ^ft, Ontfuiriqht, 

That from the tyme that he ferst began inaiaterhandjike 

" '^ aU the eubeeouent 

To rydyn out he louede Chyualrye «aw«,] KnytE 

Trouthe honour &edom & curteysie 46 

flful worthi was he in hese lordis werre 

And therto hadde he / redyn noman ferre 48 

As wel in cristyndom as in hetlmesse 

And euere honoured for hese worthynesse 

% At Alisandir he was whan it was wonne 

And ofte tyme / he hadde pe bord begunne 52 

A-bouyn aUe nacyounnys in Pruce 

In lectowe hadde he reysed & in reuce 

l^on cristene man so ofte / of his degre 

In gemage at ])e sege ek hadde he be 56 

Of Algazer & redyn in balmarye 

At leyeys was he & at satalye 

Whan they were wonne & in fe grete see 

At manye a nobil aryue hadde he be 60 

At mortal bataylis hadde he be fifbene 

And [foughten] for oure feith at tramessene 

In lystis thryis I & a,y slayen his fo 


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CBoup A. § 1. GENERAL PBOLoouE. Cambridge MS. 3 

This ilke worihi knyth hadde ben also 64 

Sumtyme with ye lord of Palatye 

Ageyn anothir hetheD / in Turkye 

And eu^remoT he hadde a souereyn prys 

And thow that he weie worthy he was wys 6S 

And of hese port as meke as is a mayde 

He neuere 3it non velany ne sayde 

In al his lyjf vn to no maner wight 

He was a weray pertit gen til kny^t 72 

Bat for to telle ^ow of his aray Hmt i:ts, bKk j 

Hese hors were goode / but he was not gay 

Of fustien he werede a iopoura 

Al besloteryd with hese habirioun • 76 

for he was late come from hese vyage 

And wente for to don here pilgryTTiage 

IT With hym j>ere was / hese sone a jong squyer Squyer 

A louere / & a lusty bacheleer 80 

With lokkis crulle as ]>ey were leyd in presse 

Of twenty ^er / of age he was I gesse 

Of hese stature / he was of euene lentho 

And wonderly delyucre / & of gret strenthe 84 

And he hadde ben sumtyme In chyuachio 

In fflaonderis in artoys / & in pikardye 

And boryn wel as of so litil spase 

In hope to stondyn / in hese lady grace 88 

Enbroudit was he / as it were a luedo 

Al fol of frossche flourys white & rede 

Syngyf7ge he was or floutynge al the day 

He was as frosch as is the monyth of may 92 

Schort was his gounne / with sleuys longe & wide 

Wei coude he sitte on hors / & fayre ryde 

He coude songis make / & fayre endite 

Inste & ek daunse / & wel portreye & wrjiie 96 

8o bote he louede )>at be nyghter tale 

He slepte no more than doth a nyghtyngale 

Corteis he was loueli & seruysable 


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4 GROUP A. § 1. GENERAL PROLOGUE. Cambridge MS. 

And karf be-fom hese fadir at the table 100 

IT A 3emaix hadde he & seraauntys no moo 3eman 

At that tyme / for he leste lyde soo 

And he was clad in cote & hod of grene 

A schef of pekok / arwys bry^te & schene 104 

Vndir his belte he bar fill thryftyly 

Wei coude he dresse hese takil ^emanly 

Hese arwis droupede nonght with federys lowe 

And in his hand he bare a myghty bowe 108 

A not hed hadde he / with a broun vesage Deaf iss] 

Of woda craft wel coude he al pe usage 

Vp on his arm he bar a gay braser 

And by his side / a swerd & a bokeler 112 

And on that ojer side a gay daggere 

Harneysed wel / & schrap as poynt of spere 

A Cristofere / on his brest of siluyr schene 

An horn he bar fe baudiyk was of grene 116 

A foster was he sothli as I gesse 

Ther was also a nu?me a prieresse Pneresse 

% That of here smylyng was ful simple & coy 

Here gretteste oth was but be scynt loy 120 

And sche was clepid Madame Eglentyne 

fful wel sche song / jje seruyse of deuyne 

Entuned in here nose so semely 

And french sche spak ful fayre & fetysely 124 

As aftyr fe schole of stratforthe at the bowe 

fifor french of parys was to here onknowe 

IT At mete wel I-tau3t / was sche with alle 

Sche let no morsel / from here lyppis falle 1 28 

Ne wette hero fyngyr / in here sause depe 

"Wel couthe sche carye a morsel / & wel kepe 

That no drope ne fel vp on here brest 

In curteysie was set ful meche here lyst 132 

Hire ouere lippe wipede sche so klene 

That in hire coppo Jjcr was / no ferthyng sene 

Of gres / whan scho droukyn / hadde her draught 


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fful semely aftyr here mete sche raught 
And sekyxly sche was of gret disport 
And ful plesynge & amyable of port 
And peynede here to contyrfete chere 
Of court & to been / estatly of manere 
And to ben holde dygne of reaerence 
But for to spekyn of here concience 
Sche was so chaiytable & so pitous 
Sche wolde wepe 3if that sche seye a mous 
£[aa3t in a trappe 3if it were ded or bledde 
Of smale houndis hadde sche ]>at sche fedde 
With rostid flesch or mylk or wastelbred 
But sore wepte sche ^if on of hew were ded 
Or jif men smot it with a 3erde smerte 
And al was concience & tendere herte 
•f ffid semely here wimpil pynched was 
Here nose tretis here eyen greye as glas 
Here mouth ful smal & ]>6rto softe & red 
But sekyrly / sche hadde a fayr forhed 
It was almost a spanne brod I trowe 
ffor hardily sche was not vndir-growe 
fiul fetys was here cloke as I was war 
Of smale corl aboute here arm sche bar 
A peyre of bedia I-gaudeit al wtt^ grene 
And ^eron heng a broche of gold so kene 
On wich fere was wretyn a crouwd A 
And aftyr Amor vincit omnia 
^ A nothir nonne with here hadde sche 
% That was here chapelen & prestis thre 
% A monk fere was a fayr for the maystrye 
An out ridere fat louede uenerye 
A manly man to ben an abbot able 
fful manye a deynte hors hadde he in stable 
And whan he rod men my3te his br^-dil here 
Gyngelyn in a whistelyng wynd als clere 
And ek as loude as doth the chapel belle 





[l«af 183, buck] 





Nonne prest 


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There as tliiB lord was kepere of the selle 172 

The reule of seynt Maur / & of seynt benyght 

Be cause that it was old & sumdel streyt 

This ilke monk let olde thynge pace 

And held aftyr the newe world the space 176 

He 3af not of that tixt a pulled henne 

That seith fat hunterys ben not holye menne 

Ke that a monk whan he is rekeles 

Is lykened to a fysch that is watyrles 180 

This is to seyne a monk out of hese cloystre [leaf i84j 

But tlLke tixt held he not worth an oystere 

And I seyde his opynyoun was good 

What schulde he stodie & make hymseluyn wood 184 

Yp on a bok in cloystere alwey to poure 

Of swynkyn with hese hondis & laboure 

As Austyn bit how schal f* world be servid 

Let Austyn han his swynk to hym reservid 188 

Therfore he was a prekasowr ary^t 

Grehou[n]dis he hadde as swift as foul in fly^t 

Of prekyng & huntynge for the hare 

Was al hese lust for no cost wolde he spare 192 

I sey hese sleuys / purfilid at the hand 

With grys / & that the feyneste of a land 

And for to festene his hod yndir his schyn 

He hadde of gold I-wrou3t a ful coryous pyn 196 

A loue knot in the grettere ende pere was 

His hed was ballyd that schon as ony glas 

And ek hese face as he hadde ben enoynt 

He was a lord ful fat & in good poynt 200 

Hese eyen stepe & ToUjiige in hese hed 

That stemyd as a fumeys of a led 

Hese botis souple / his hors in gret estat 

Now serteynly he was a fayr prelat 204 

He nas not pale as a forpynnede gost 

A fat swan louede he best of ony rost 

His palfray was as broun as is a berye 


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A frere fere was a wantoun & a merye 208 v< 

IT A lymytottr a M solempne man ffrere 

In alle tlie orderys foure is non that can 

So mekil of daliauns & fayr langage 

He hadde mad ful manye a maryage 212 

Of ^onge wemen at hese owene cost 

On to his ordere he was a noble post 

fful wel he louyd / & famyliar was he 

With frankeleynys / oucral in his cuntre 216 

And with worthi wemen of the toun We^ia, back] 

ffor he hadde power of confessioun 

As seide hym self more than a curat 

ffor of hese ordere he was licencyat 220 

fful swetli herds he confessioun 

And plesaunt was hese absolucyoun 

He was an esi man to 3eue penaunce 

There as he wiste to han a good petauns 224 

Vnto pore orderis for to jeue 

Is^ ygne that a man Is^ wel I-schreue p • by a later hand] 

ffor ^if he ^af he durste make auaunt 

He wiste that a man was repentannt 228 

ffor manye a man so hard is of hese herte 

He may not wepe though hym sore smerte 

Therfore in stede of wepyng & preyeres 

Men mote ^eue silu^ to the pore freres 2«32 

H Hiae tipet was ay farsed ful of knyuys 

And pynnys for to jeuyn fayre wywes 

And serteynli he hadde a merye throte 

Wel conthe he synge & pleyen on a rote 236 

Of jeddyngis he bar vttyrli the prys 

His nekke whit was as the flour de lis 

Therto he strong was as a chaumpioun 

He knew the tauemys wel in eueiy toun 240 

And eueiyche osteler & tapstere 

l^et than a laser or a bakystere 

ffor vn to swich a worthi man as he 


Digitized by 


8 GROUP A. § 1. OBNERAL PROLOGUE. Cambridge MS. 

Acorditli not as by his faculte 244 

To haue with swiche eike men. a-queyntauwce 

It is not honest it may not aiiau[n]c6 

ifor to dele with non swich parayle 

But al with riche & selleris of vitayle 248 

And oueral there profit schulde aryse 

Curteys he was & louly of seruyse 

Ther was no man now so v^rtywous 

He was the beste begere in hese hoiis 252 


no gap in the MS.] 

ffor thow a wedewe hadde not a scho [ifaf isw 

So plesannt was his in principio 

3it wolde he haue a ferthyng er he wente 

His purchas was wel betyr than hese rente 256 

And rage he couthe as it were ry^t a whelp 

In louedayis there couthe he mekil help 

ifor there he was not lik a cloysterer 

"With a thredbare kope as is a scholei 260 

But he was lik a mystir or a pope 

Of double worstede was hese semeli kope 

Tha[t] Touwded as a belle / out of the presse 

Sumwhat he lipsede for hese wantounnesse 264 

To make hese engelisch swete vp on his tunge 

And in hese harpynge whan that he hadde siinge 

Hese ey^yyn twywkeledyn in hese hed ary^t 

As don the sterrys / in the frosty nyght 268 

This worthi limytour / was cleped hobert 

A marchaunt was there with a forkede herd Marchauwt 

In motle an heigh on horse he sat 

Vp on his hed a flaunderich bemysch hat 272 

Hese botis clospede ful fetusely 

Hese resoun he spak ful plesauntly ' [> in a late hand] 

Sounynge alwey the ores of hese wyrmyng 

He wolde the se / were kept for ony thyng 276 

Be-twixe myddil-bourgh & orewelle 


Digitized by 


GBoup A. § 1. GENERAL PROLOGUE. Cambridge MS. 9 

Wei coaihe en eachaung schildis selle 

This worihi man ful wel his wit be-sette 

Theie wisie no man thai he was in dette 280 

So estatli was he of hese gouamaunce 

With hese bargaynys & hese cheuysance 

ffoisothe he was a worthy man withal 

But sothe to seyn I not how men hy77i cal 284 

A clerk there was of oxsenforthe also ciek of Oxeuforthe 

That vnto logyk hadde longe I-go 

As lene was hese hors as is a rake 

And he nas not / * rygh fat / I vndyrtake * ['-i utter hand] 288 

iful thredbiare was hese oaereste courtepy [iMf iss, i»cki 

[ a line Manic] 

ffor he hadde getyn hy w jit no banefys 

Ne was so wordely for to bauyn offya 292 

ffor hym was lefere to bane at hese bedis bed 

Twenty bokw I-clad in blak or red 

Of Aristotle & his philoso-pbie 

ftai robis ryche or fedele or gay sautrie 296 

But td be fat he was a philisofire 
jMzt hadde but lityl gold in cofre 

But al pat he myjte of bese frendis hente 

On bokis Ss on lernynge he it spente 300 

And besily gan for j^e soulys preye 

Of hem fat jaf hym wherwith to schole heye 

Of stodie tok he most kep & most hede 

Not a word spak he more fsai was nede 304 

And ^t was seyd in forme & reuerence 

And schcrt & quik & ful of hey sentence 

Sounynge in moral uertu was hese speche 

And gladly wolde he leme & gladli te-che 308 

A seiiaunt of the lawe bothe war & wys Seregeaun 

That oftyn hadde ben at y paruys 

He was also ryche of excellence 

Discret he was & of gret reuerenca 312 

He semede swich hese wordis were so wysc 


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lustyae he was ful oftyn in asyse 

Be patent & be pleyn commyssioun 

ifor hese sience & for bese beye renoun 

Of feis & robis badde be manyon 

So gret a purcbasour was neuere nor 

Al was fesymple to hym in effect 

His puTcbase my3te not ben enfect 

Neuere so besy a man as be )>ere nas 

And pat be semede besiere )>an be was 

In termys badde be cas & doniys alle 

\>ai from tbe tyme of kyng welyam were falle 

Tberto be coude endite & make a tbyng 

Tber coude no man pyncbe at bese writyng 

And enerj statut coude be pleyn be rote 

He rod but homely in a medely cote 

Gyrt with a seynt of silk wit/i barrys smale 

Of bese aray telle I no lengere tale 

A frafkkeleyn was in bese cumpanye 

Whit was bese herd as is ])e daysie 

Of complexiouTt be was sanguyn 

"Wei louede be J>* morwe a soppe in wyn 

To leuyn in delit was euere bese wone 

ifor be was epicun^ owene sone 

Tha** held opynyoun pat pleyn delyt 

Was uery felicite parfyt 

An bousboldere &.pat a gret was he 

Seynt lelion be was in that cuntre 

Hese bred bese ale was alwey aftyr on 

A betere enuynede man was nower non 

Wiih-oute bake mete was neuere bis bous 

Of fyscb & flescb & pat so plentyuoui} 

It snowede in his mouth of mete* & diynk 

Of alle deynteis that^ men coude bynk ? t aitend to u tv^uuer 

'•' hand] 

Aftyr J>* sundery sesenys of tbe 3er 

So chauTzgede be bese mete & bese soper 348 

fful manye a fat pertcrych badde be in mewe 












P to to late Jumd] 

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OBoup A. §L GENERAL PBOLoouE. Cambridge MS. 11 

And many a brern / & man ye a luce in stewe 

Wo was hese cook / but ^i£ hese sauce were 

Pojnannt & ledy al hese geere 352 

His table donnaont in bese balle alwcy 

Stod redy keu^red / al the longe day 

At seasioxmnys ^ere was be loid & syre 

ffol ofte tyme be was ]ai[i]ght of tbe schyre 356 

An Anlas & a gipser al of sylk 

Heng at bese gyrdil whit as morwyn mylk 

A scbirreue badde be ben & coimtour 

Was^ nower swich a yanasonr Vammaiaterhamdi 360 

An habirdascbeie & a carpenter Omtiat^ biudc] 

A Webber a dyere & a tapbiser 

And Jey were clothid alle in o|i lyuere 

Of a fill solempne & a gret fratemyte 364 

ffrorscb & newe here ger apikede was 

Here knynes were chapid not with bras 

But al with sylvir wroujt ful clene & wel 

Here grerdelys & here pouchis euerydel 368 

Wel semede ecbe of hem a fayr burgeys 

To sittyn In a ^Ude balle on a deys 

£u£7ycb for the wisdam that he can 

Was scbaply for to ben an aldirman 372 

ffor catel hade pej I-now & rente 

And ek here wyays wolde it wel assente 

And ellis serteyn weryn ]>ey to blame 

It Ib fhl fayr to be clepid madame 376 

And gon to vigilis al be-fore 

And ban a mental ryalliche I-bore 

A cok hadde fej with hem for pe nonys A Cook 

To boile the chekenys & the marye bonys 380 

And poudir Marcbannt tard & galyngale 

Wel coude he knowe a dranjt of londen ale 

He conth roste'& sethe & boyle & frye 

Makyn mortereos & wel bake a pye 384 

Bat gret harm was it as it semede me 


Digitized by 


12 QRoup A. § 1. GBNEBAL PRoix)GUE. Cambridge MS. 

That on hese schene a mormal hadde he 

ffor blanknianger fat made he at the boste 

A Bchipman was fere wonynge fer be weste a Bhipman 

ifoT ou3t I wot he was of dertemouthe 389 

He rod up on a rouncy as he couthe 

In a gou7me of faldynge to the kne 

A daggere hangynge on a lace hadde he 392 

Aboute his nekke vndir his arm adoun 

The hote somyr hadde mad his hew al broun 

And serteynli he was a good felawe 

fEul manye a drau3t of weyn hadde he I-drawe 396 

ffrom bnrdeux ward whil that the chapman slep cieaf is7] 

Of nyce consience tok he none kep 

3if that he fau^t &; hadde the heyere hand 

Be watyr he sente hem hom by euery land 400 

But of hcse craft to rekene wel hese tydis 

Hese stremys & hese daungerys hym besyde 

His herberwe & hese mone his* lodmywgage [> a «• a uuerkand] 

There nas non swich from hul to cartage 404 

Hardy he was & wys to vndirtake 

With manye a tempest hadde his herd ben schake 

He knew alle fe hauenys as )>ey were 

firo gotlond to the kape of fenystere 408 

And euery Cryk in bretayne & in spayne 

His barge clepid was de maudelayne 

With vs fere was a doctowr of phisik Doctor de phyeik 

In al ]»is world was ther non hym lik 412 

To speke of phisik Ss of surgerye 

ffor he was groundit in astronomye 

Hepte hese pacient a ful gret del 

In houres by his Magik nature! 416 

Wel couthe he fortwneTi the ascendent 

Of hese ymagis / for hese pacient 

He knew the cause of enery maladye 

Were it hot or cold or moyst or dreye 420 

And where ^ey engendere & of what humour 


Digitized by 



He was a yeiaj parfyt praktysour 

The cause I-knowe & of hese hann the rote 

Anon he ^af the seke man hese bote 424 

fful ledy hadde he sese apotecaryis 

To sjrndjn hjm hese droggis & hese letewaiyis 

ffor echo of hem made opere for to wynne 

Here frenschepe was not newe to begynne 428 

Wei knew he the olde exculapijs 

And diascorides & ek Eufijs 

Olde ypocTas lylye & galien 

Serapion Ea^is & Auycen 432 

Anezois damascyen & constantyn D«f is7, back] 

Bernaid & Gadeflenn & gilbertyn 

Of hese diete mesnrahle was he 

ffor it was of non sup<jrfluyte 436 

Bat of gret nuiyschynge & digestible 

His stody was wol lytyl in the bible 

In sangnyn & in pers he clad was al 

lynede with taffata & sendal 440 

And }it he was but esy of dispence 

He kepte that he wan in pestelence 

ffor gold in phisik is a cardial 

Therfore he louede gold in special 444 

A good wif was there of beside bathe A wyf of b»the 

But sche was sumdel def & J>at was skathe 

Of cloth makyug sche hade swich an hand 

Sche passed hem of ypres & of gaunt 448 

In al the parich wif was there non 

That to the offerynge to fore her* achulde gon 

And ^if fere dede serteyn so wroth was sche 

That sche was out of alle charite 452 

Here couercheis ful fyne were of ground 

I durste swere J>ey weyedyn a pound 

That on a Sunday weryn vp on here bed 

Here boeyn weryn of fyn skarlet red 456 

fful streyte I-teyede & schois ful moyste & newe 


Digitized by 


HoroupA. §1. GBNBBAL PROLOGUE. Cambridge KB. 

Bold was here face & fayr & red of hewe 

Sche was a worthi woman al here lyue 

Husbondis at cherche dore sche hadde fyue 460 

WWirOuijn ofere compayne in ^outhe 

But perof nedith not to speke as nouthe 

And thryes hadde sche hen at lerusalem 

Scho hadde passed manye a strong strem 464 

At rome she hadde hen & at boloyne 

In galis at seynt lame & at coloyne 

Sche couthe meche of wonderyng be f • weye 

Gat-tofed was sche sothly for to seye 468 

Vp-on an aumbelere ful esily sche sat Vmtim 

I-wympeled wel &, on here hed an hat 

As brod as is a bokeler or a targe 

A fot-mental a-boute here hepis large 472 

And on here fet a peyre of sporys scharpe 

In felaiischepe wel coude sche lawe & carpe 

Of remedijs of loue / sche knew per schannce 

ffor sche coude of that art / the olde daunse 476 

A good man was there of religioun a P^rBouiB 

And was a pore persoun of a toun 

But riche he was of holy thou3t & werk 

He was also a lemed man a clerk 480 

That cristis gospel trewely wolde teche 

Hese parischiens deuoutly wolde he teche 

Benyngne he was & wondyr delygent 

And in aduersite ful pacient 484 

And swich he was preuyd ofte sythis 

fful loth were hym to cursyn for hese tythis 

But rathere wolde he jeuyn out of doute 

Ynto hese pore parschens aboute 488 

Of hese offeryng & hese substau[n]ce 

He couthe in lityl thyng han suffisiaunce 

Wyd was hese parysch & housys fer asundir 

But he ne lyfte not for reyn ne thondii 492 

In seknesse nor in myschif to visite 


Digitized by 


OBocp A. § L oBKERAL PBOLOGUB. Cambridge MS. 15 

The fertheste in hese paiich meche & lite 

Yp on hese fet & in hese hond a staf 

This noble ensaumple to hese schep he jaf 496 

That fjnst he wroujte & aftyrward he tau3te 

Oat of the gospel he to wordis caujte 

And this figore he addede ferto 

That ^ gold Tustede what schal yiyn do 500 

That 3if a piyst be foul on whoT/i we truste 

No wondyr ist ' lewede men to mste \\m8. autnd] 

And schame it is ^if a pryst take kep 

A schetyn schepperde & a clene schop 504 

Wei onthe a prest ensaumple for to ^eue lImT las, bwk] 

By hese dennesse how hese schep schulde leue 

He sette not hese benefys to hyre 

An let hese schep' acumbrit in the myre ttvi»»iaurkandi 

And lan to lundene vn to seynt poulys 509 

To seke hym a chauntriye for soulys 

Or with a broj^erhed to be with holde 

But dwelte at horn & kepte wel hese folde 512 

So that ye wolf ne made it not myscarie 

He was a schepherde & not a mersenarye 

And ]k>w he holy were & vertyuoti* 

He was not to synful men dispitous 516 

Ne of hese speche daungerous ne digne 

But in hese techy wge ' discreet & benygne « i" *• a ia<«r hand] 

To drawyn folk to heuyn be clennesse 

Be good ensaumple this was hese besynesse 520 

But jif it were ony persone obstynat 

What^ he were of hey or low estat i*t ktauueriundi 

Hym wolde he anybbyn scharpli for the nonys 

A bettyr pryst I trowe neuere non is 524 

He waytid aftyr no pompe ne reuerence 

Ne makid [him*] a spisede concience ^iHaiaterkaiui] 

But distis lore & hese apostitt twelue 

He tanghte but fyrst he folwede it hym selue 528 

With hym Jwie was a plowman that was hese broker 

CAIIBBIDGE 16 ^^ Plouman 

Digitized by 



That hadde led of donge manye a fodir 

A trewe swynkere & a good was he 

leuywge in pes & parfit charite 532 

God louede he best with al hese hole herte 

At alle tymys thow hym gamenede or smerte 

And thanne his ny3he-boiir Ti3t as hym selue 

He wolde throsche & perio dyke & delue 536 

ffor cristis sake for / eue[r^]y pore wyght pri«oiai«r*«ikfj 

With-outy» hyre / ^if it leye in his my^t 

Hese tythis payede he ful fayre & wel 

Bothe of [his] propre swynk & his catel 540 

In a tabbard he rod vp on a mere pe»f is9] 

There was also a reue & a mellere lfaitove.a.Mcilere. 


A somnowr & a pardounner also a I'atniohnere. 

^ a Maunciple 

A mauTisiple <fe myn self there were no mo Chaucer 

The meller was a strong carl for the nonys 545 

fill big he was of brauw & ek of bonys 

That preuyd he wel for ouyr al pere he cam 

At wrastelynge he wolde haue alwey the ram 648 

He was schort schulderid brod & thikke knarre 

Ther nas no dore that he wolde heue of harre 

Oor breke it at a rennyng with hese hed 

JUa herd as ony aowe or fox was red 552 

And perto brod as J?ow it were a spade 

Vp on the cop ryjt of hese nose he hade 

A wreto & theron stod a tust of herys 

Red as the brostelis of a sowys erys 55 G 

Hese nosetherlis blake were & wide 

A swerd & a bokeler bar he bi hese syde 

His mouth as a^ gret fumeys [\himaiaterhand] 

He was a ganglere & a galiardeys 560 

And that was most of syyme & harlotrye 

Wel coude he stele com & toUe twye 

And that he hadde a tabbard* of good parte* i^-^inaiaurhand;] 

A whit cote & a blew hod werede he 564 

A bagge pipe wel couthe he blowe & sounne 


Digitized by 


GROUP A. § L 6BKKBAL PBOLOGUB. Cambridge MS. 17 

And ferwithal he broujte / ys out of tounne 

A gentyl maunciple was fere of a temple 

Of whicbe acatouris my3te take exaaumple 

ffor to ben "wys in beyinge of uy tayle 

ffor where that he payede or tok be tayle 

Algate he waytide so in hese acate 

That be was ay be-forin & in good state 

Now is not that of god / a f ul fayr grace 

That swich a lewede manys wit schal pace 

The wisdam of an hep / of lemede men 

Of maystrys* hadde he mo J>aw thryis* ten 

That were of lawe expert & corious 

Of whiche fere were a doseyn iw that hons 

Worthi to ben st3rward of * rente & lond* 

Of ony lord that is in yugelond 

To make hym lyue / by his owene good 

In honour detteles but he werere wod 

Or leue as skarsely as hym liste desire 

And able for to helpyn al a schyre 

In ony cas that my^te falle or happe 

And 3it this mauTisiple / sette here allerys cappe 

The reue was a sclendere colerik man 

Hese berd was schaue as nygh as euere he can 

His her was by hese erys ful rou[n]de I-schom 

His top was dokkyd as a pryst be-fom 

fful longe were hese leggis & ful lene • 

y-lik a staf ther was Ho calf I-sene 

Wei couthe he kepe a gemer & a bynne 

There [was] non auditowr couthe on hym wywno 

Wei wiste he be ]>e droute & be the reyn 

The ^ildynge of hese sed ^ of hese greyn 

His lordis schep hese net hese deyerye 

Hese swyn hese hors hese stoor & his pultrie 

Was holly in J>is revis gouemywge 

And be ]»e couenaunt 3af the rekenynge 

Sy» fat his lord was twenty ^er of ago 


A Maanciple 



[i|.hr: UiUr] 576 
[leaflSB* back] 



A Rcve 





Digitized by 



The[r] coude no man bryngyn hjm in arrerage 

Ther nas bayle herde ne ofer hyne 

That lie knew his aleythe & conynge 604 

The were adred of hym as of the dej> 

Hese wonyng was f ul fayre / vp on an heth 

With grene treis I-schadewid was hese place 

He couthe beteie jian hese lord purchase 608 

fftil riche he was Srstorid preuyly 

Hese lord, wel couthe he plese subtily 

To jeue & lene hjm of hese owene good 

And haue a thank & ^it a cote and* hood*. [t-»iid.hood:iattri 

In ^outhe he hadde lemyd a good my stir Dean*©] 613 

He was a wol good wiyjte a carpenter 

This reue sat vp on a ful good stot 

That was a pomeli grey & hy3te skot 616 

A long surcote of pers vp on he hadde 

And bi hese syde he bar a rusty blade 

Of norfolke was J>is reue of whiche I telle 

Be syde a touw men clepe baldiswelle 620 

Tukkede he was as is a frere aboute 

And euere he rod f^ hemereste of oure route 

A somnot^r was fere vriih vs in that plase A Somenowr 

That hadde a fer red cherubynys face 624 

ffor sausefleme he was with eyen narwe 

As hot he was & lecherous as a sparwe 

With skalede browys blake & pilid herd 

Of hese vesage chylderyn weryn a-ferid 628 

Ther nas quyk siluyr litarge ne bronston 

Boras seruse ne oyle of tartre non 

'Ne oynement fat wolde dense & byte 

That hym my3te helpyn of hese whelkys white 632 

Ne of the knobbis sittynge on liese schekes 

Wel louede he garlek onyounnys & ek lekys 

And for to drynkyn strong wyn red as blod 

Thanne wolde he speke & crye as he were wod 636 

And whan he wel dronkyn hadde J>e wyn 


Digitized by 


oboupA. §1 OBNEBAL FBOLoouE. Cambridge HS. 19 

Thanne wolde he speke no word but latyn 

A fewe tennjs badde he to or tbie 

That he hadde lernyd out of sum decre 640 

No wondir he heide it al the day 

And ek je knowe wel that a lay 

Kan depe watte aa wel as can the pope 

But who so couthe in opere J^yngis hym grope 644 

Thanne hadde he spent al hese philosophie 

Ay qnestio quod luiys wolde he crye 

He was a gentil harlot & a kynde 

A betere felawe schulde men not fyrande 648 

He wolde snffere for a quart of wyn Deaf im, backj 

A good felawe to haue hese concubyn 

A twelmonyth & excusyn hym at the fulle 

fful piyuyly a fync ek couthe he pulle 652 

And }if he fond ower a good felawe 

He wolde techyn hym to haue non awe 

In swich cas of the erchedekenys curs 

But ^if a manys soule were in hese pors 65G 

ffor in hese purs he schulde ponyschid be 

Purs is the erchedekynys helle seyde he 

But wel I wot he lyejj ryjt in dede 

Of curqmg owyth eche gilty man drede 660 

ffor curs wele sle lyjt as asoylyng sauyth 

And also war hym of a sygnyficauyth 

In daunger hadde he at hese owene gyse 

The 3onge gerlys of the diosyse 664 

And knew here conseyl & was al here red 

A garlond hade he set yp on hese bed 

As gret as it were for an ale stake 

A bokeler hadde he mad hym of a cake 668 

With hym there rod a loly pardouwner a P*rdo«iiner 

Of rouncyuale his frend & his cumper 

That streyt was comyn from the court of rome 

fful londe he song loue come hedir come 672 

This somnour bar to hym a stif bordou/^ 


Digitized by 



Was neuere tnompe half of so gret a soun 

This pardounner hade her as ^elw as ony wax 

But smothe it heng as do)> a strik of flex 676 

Be ouncis heng hese lokkys pat he hadde 

And ^erwith he hese schulderys ouerspradde 

But thenne it lay be culpouwnys on & on 

And hod for lolite werede he non 680 

ffor it was trussed vp in hese walet 

Hym thoujte he rod al of the newe iet 

Discheuele saf his cappe he rod al bare 

Sweche glarynge. eyen. hadde. he as an hare 684 

A vernykele hadde he sowyd vp on hese cappe [leaf uij 

Hese walet be-foryn hym in hese lappe 

Bret ful of pardouw come from rome hot 

A uoys he hath as smal as ha]> a got 688 

No herd hadde he ne n&uerQ schulde haue 

As smothe it was / as it were late schaue 

I trowe he were a geldyns or a mare 

But of hese craft from berewik in to ware 692 

Ne was swich a noJ>er pardouwnere 

ifor in his male he hadde a pilwe here 

"Wich J>at he seyde was oure lady ueyl 

He seyde he hadde a gobet of pe seyl 696 

That seynt petyr hadde whan fat he wente 

Vp on j)e se tyl that go^^ hym hente [> tut god: lauri 

He hadde a cros / of latoun . ful of stonys 

And in a gks he hadde piggis bonys 700 

But vriih fese reUkys whan fat he fond*. ud: lauri 

A pouere personal vp on lond 

Vp on a day he gat hym more moneye 

Than J>e persouw gat in monejjis tweye 704 

And f us with feynede flaterj'^e & lapis 

He made the persoun & the puple hese apys 

But trewely to tellyn at the laste 

He was in cherche a noble ecclesiaste 708 

Wei couthe he rede a lessouw or a story 


Digitized by 


GBOUP A. § 1. OBKERAL PROLOGUE. Cambridge MS. 21 




Deaf 141, back] 

But aldirbest he song an of&atoiy 

ifor wel he wiste whan that song was snnge 

He muste preche & wel affile hyse timge 

To Wynne syluer as he wel couthe 

Therfore he song the meryerely & loude 

Now haue I told 30W sothly in a clause 

The estat tharay the nolu^^h^e <& ek the cause 

Whi assemhlid was this cumpayny 

In soathwerk at this ientil ostelry 

That hy^te the tabhard faste by y belle 

But now is tyme to 30W for to telle 

How that we beiyn vs that ilke ny3t 

Whan that we were in that ostelrye aly3t 

And aftyr wole I telle of oure viage 

And al the remenawit of oure^ pilgrymage [' u: later] 724 

But fyist I prey 30W of ^oure curteysye 

That 3e narette not myn velanye 

Thow that I pleynly speke in pia matere 

To telle 30W here wordys & here cher 

Ne thow I speke here wordis properly 

ffor this 3e knowyw als so wel as i* 

Who so schal telle a tale aftyr a man 

He mote reherse as nyh as ouere he can 

EuCTyche a word 3if it be In his charge 

Al speke ho neuere so rewedely & large 

Or elh; he mote telle his tale ontrewe 

Or feyne jjyng or fyndyn wordis newe 

He may not spare al-they he wei* his broj^cr 

He mote as wel seyn on word as a noJ?e/' 

Crist spak hym self ful brode in holy wr^i; 

And wel 30 wote no velany is it 

Ek plato seyth ho so can hym rede 

The wordys' mote be chose to the dede 

Also I preye 30W to for3eue it me 

Al haue I not set folk in here degre 

Here in this tale al as pej schulde stonde 



Pi: later] 




*8: lattr] 


Digitized by 


22 GROUP A. § 1. GENERAL PROLOGUE. Cambridge MS. 

Myn wit is schort 30 may wel vndyistonde 

Gret chere mad ouie ost vs euerychon 

And to the soper sette he vs a-non 748 

He seruede vb wit7< vitayle at the beete 

Strong was the wyn & wel to drynke vs liste 

A semely man oure ost was wit/it al 

fifor to hen a marchal of an hal 752 

A large man he was with eyne stepe 

A fayrere burgeys is fare non in chepe . 

Bold of hese speche & wis & wel I-taitit 

And of manhod hy m lakkede ly^t no3t ^ [OmMdc* gtops uu i. 965] 

Eke therto he was right* a mery man [BiMme KB. 1685, if «, b«jk] 

And aftir soper pleyn he bygan . 

And spak of" mirthe among* and othere thingis 

Whanne that he hadde mad onre rykenynges 760 

And seide thus now lordyngis trewly 

Ye ben to me welcome ryght* hertily 

ffor certis yf that* I shal nof lye 

I sawe nought* this yere so meiy a companye 764 

At ones in this herborowe as if now 

ifayn wolde I don yon myrthe wiste I how 

And of a myrthe I am right* now bithought 

To don yow ese and it* shal coste nought . 768 

Ye gon to Caunterbery god yow spede 

The blisfuit martir quyte you youre mede 

And wel I wote as ye gon by the weye 

Ye schapen yow to talen and to pleye 772 

ffor truly comfort ne mirthe is noon 

To riden by the weye doumbe as a stoon 

And therfore wole y maken you disport 

As I seide arst* and don yow som comfort /. 776 

And if yow liketh alle by oon assent 

fPorto stonden att* my luggement* 

And forto werken as I shal yow seye 

To morowe whanne ye riJen by the weye 780 

"Now so god saue mo at my most nede 

CAMBRIDGE 22 [this page, Sloane MS. 1685.] 

Digitized by 



Bat je be merie I wole yeue yow myn beede [BiMuie hb. less] 

Holde np yonre bondis witbonte more specbe 

Ouie councel was not long* foito secbe 784 

Ys tbongbt* it* wsa not* wortb to make to wys 

And graontide bym witbouten more ayys . 

And bade bym seie bis verdoit as bym liste 

Lordlyngis quod be berlcenetb now for tbe beste 788 

But take if nougbt / I praie ^ow in disdeigne 

Tbis is tbe poynf to speke sbort and pleigne 

Tbat* ecbe of yow to sbort witb oure weye 

In tbis yiage sbal telle tales tweye 792 

To caunterbniy ward I mene it* so 

And bomward be sbal tellen otber two 

Of anentonres tbaf baue bifalle 

And wMcb of yow tbat* beritb bim best* of alle 796 

Tbaf is to seyn tbaf teUitb in tbis cas 

Tales of besf sentence and moosf solas 

Sbal bane a sonper/ at onre aldercosf 

Here in tbis place sittynge bi tbis posf 800 

Wbanne tbaf we comen ageyn fro Canntirbury 

And forto make yow tbe more myry 

I wole my siluen goodly witb 30U ride 

Bigbt af myn owne caste and be yonre gyde 804 

And wbo so wole my ingement witbseye 

Sbal paye al tbaf we spende by tbe weye 

And if* ye voncbe saaf tbaf if be so 

Telle me anoon witbonf ony word moo 808 

And I wole edy sbape me tberfore 

Tbis tbing* was grannted and onre otbes swore 

Witb fill gkd berte and preien bim also 

Tbaf be wolde voncbe saaf forto do soo 812 

And tbat be wolde be onre gonemour 

And of oure tales Ingge and reportonr/ 

And sette a soper / af a certeyn prys 

And we wolen renled ben af youre denys 816 

In bigb and logb and tbns by oon assenf 

CAHBBiDGE 28 [tbis page, Sloane MS. 1685.] 

Digitized by 



We ben acordid to the luggement* [SImum xb. less] 

And theruppon the wyn was fet* anoon 

We dronken and to rest* wente echon 820 

Withouten ony lenger / tariyng 

A morow whanne the day gan to springe 

Vp roos oure oost* and was oure aide cok* 

And gaderede us to gidre in a flok* 824 

And forth we riden a litil more than pas 

Onto the watering* of* seynt Thomas 

And there oure oost gan his hors areste 

And seide lordis herkeneth if* yow leste 828 

Ye wote youre forward and I it yow recorde D«f s, *»<*] 

If euensong* and morowe song accorde 

Let* se now who shal telle the firste tale 

As euere mote I drynke wyn or ale 832 

Who so rebelle to my luggement* 

Shal paye for all that* by the weye is spent* 

Now drawith Cutt* ei* that* ye ferther/ twynue 

Which that* hath the shortest shal bigynne 836 

Sir knyght quod he my maister/ and my lord 

Now drawith Cutt* for that* is accord 

Cometh nere quod he my lady prioresse 

And ye Sir clerk laf be youre shamfastnesse 840 

"Ne studieth noght* leye bond to euery man 

Anoon to drawe euery wight* bigan 

And shortly forto tellen as it* was 

Were it* by auenture or by sort or cas 844 

The sothe is the Cutt* fel to the knyght 

Of* which ful blythe and glad was euery wight 

And tellen he most his tale as if was resoun 

By forward and by composicioun 848 

As ye ban herd what* nedith wordes moo 

And whanne this gode man sawe that* if was soo 

As he thaf wys was and obedienf 

To kepen his forward by his f re assenf 852 

He seide sithen I shal bigynne the game 

CAMBRIDGE 24 [this page, Sloane MS. 1685.] 

Digitized by 


GROUP A. § 1. GENERAL PROLOGUE. Cambridge MS. 25 

What* welcome be the Cut* a goddis name . [SiMoie ms. less] 

Now lat* us ride and herkneth what* I seie 

And with that word we riden forth oure weye 856 

And he bigan with ri3t* a mery cheie 

His tale anoon and seide as ye may heere 

lamqud domes patrias scithie post prelia gentis. 
Prelia laarigero & cetera. ^ Heere endith the prolog 
of this book i and heere bigynneth the first tale which 
is the knyghte tale 

lyoUt r^erred toinfhe r^fereacM to the KnigMes TcOe."] 

CL Boccaccio calls Tneo 'duca di Atone' (I. IS), and says that his father 
,109 vas * re d'Atene ' (L 6}. 

8. '— in giubba iacalza' [en deahabiUe). IIL a 

S. ' Co' biondi crini arvolti alia sua testa.' III. 10. 

4. The whole debate in prison is an imitation of the longer debate (in the 
Tueide) when they meet in the grove. 

5. ' Lore cannot be given up as thou deemest : and he loves but little, who 
ceases loving in order to ke^ a promise.' V. 51. 

«. Comp. Trtrihu and Ora$ttda, IV. st 136: 

— For some men sain, that God soeth all befome, 

Tluui mote it fiUlen, though men had it swome. 
That porveiaunce hath secne befome to be— 
7. Yidevi storie per tutto dipinte 

S'l grand Eroolo vide tra costono. VII. 08. 
& 'Sichessa'^is Porter in the Teaeide, YIL M: the Soman de la Hose is 
followed here. 

9. See If. of Fame, 106; and Albricus Philosophus in Staveren's Auctorea 
Mgthoaruphi, 1703, vol. ii. p. e03. 

10. Boccaccio makes the temple lighted by altar-flres, kindled from the 
flames of plundered cities. VII. 85. 

11. ' Amrddes of the ' place sat ' la virtil tristissima.' VII. 34. 

12. ' La Morte armata vide e lo stupore.' VI I. 35. 

Ub 'Le mivi bellatricl.' VII. 37. Neitlier Boccaccio, nor yet his prototype 
Btatius, speaks of any ships as bumi^ but merelv as trophies. 
14. The points marked VL 21, 22, are taken from the description of ' Aga< 

16. The points here are firom the descriptions of 'Ippodamo' (VL 29), of 
•Pteleo' (VL 17. 16), and of ' I'eritoo' (VI. 41). 

16. Compare abo stanza 42. * con vittime piatose.' 

17. • lo il dilelto, e tu n' abbia I' onore.' VII. 27. 

la. Arcita (in Boccaccio) comes from the quarter of 'Euro' (VII. 114) : Pale- 
mone comes 'Dair altra parte' (VII. 118). No mention is made by Boccaccio 
of their banners being red and whUe. 

10. Bocc. makes manv of them slain : ' Artifllio,' ' Comi^so ' (VIII. 15), ' Rifeo,' 
'Arione' (36). 'Karizio (30), and others, and describes their fUnorals (X. 4—8). 

90. Boccaccio makes only a general mention of the care and comfort bestowed 
on the wounded (X. 10). 

21. 'But [of the wounded! Arcita alone could not be cured : so much was 
he shattered inwardly by his fall ' (X. 11). 

U Point from Boccaccio, differently turned (X. 13). 

21. Points from Boccaccio, diffierentJy turned (X. 13, 12). 

24. ' I await the last kisses firom thee, oh dear spouse' (X. 66). 

SS 'eglidgentUe'(X.62). 

28. 'Jfitm potea raeconsolsr Teseo,' says Boccaccio (XL 0), not excepting 
'Bgeo;' but he immediately goes on to spieak of the old man*s attempt to con- 
sole ' Phlemone,' and the rest,— without the slightest success (XL 11).— {See 
also XL 3a.) 

27. ^ Non men dolente, Emilia pur piangea, 

i cireostanti piA plangerfkc'^a' (XI.' 31). 
2a Right aiid left of Palemone (XL 40). 
20. In the bands of the noblest of the Greeks (XL 87).] 


Digitized by 


GROUP A. § S. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 

^ fbbula militifl. csimuu kb. less, leaf 4] 

ffHylom as olde stories tellen vs ^<w2JtS^^ 

Ther was a Duk* that* Light* Thesius • [• see p. 25. «. 1.1 
Of Athenes he was lord and gouemour 
And in his tyme sich a conqiierour 
That gretter was noon vndir the sonne 
fiful many a riche Contre hadde he wonne 864 
What* with his wisdom and his Chiuahie 
He conqueride al the regne of femyny 
The whylom was clepid sithia 

And weddide the queene ypolita 868 

And brought* hir hom with hym in his Contre 
"With mich glorie and gret* solempnyte 
And eke hir yonge sister Emelye 

And thus with victory and with melodie 872 

Lat I this noble Duk to Athenes ride 
And al his oost in armes hym biside 
And certis if* it ne were to longe to heere 
I wolde haue told fully the manere 876 

How wymmen was the regne of femynye 
By Theseus and by his chyualrie 
And of* the gret batayle for the nones 
Bitwixen athenes and Ama3ones 880 

And how assegid was ypolita 
The fair / hardi queene of scithia 
And of the feeste that was at hir wedding* 
And of the . . . . ' at hir / home comyng* [» Rubbedj 884 
But al that [tjhing I moot as now forbere 
I haue god woot a large feld to ere 

And weyk ben the oxen in* my plough p Rubbed] 

The remenaunt* of the tale is long* ynough 888 

I wole not letten eke noon of this Eoute 

CAMBRIDGE 26 [this page, Sloane MS. 1685.] 


: means trmns- 

I general likeness, 

: Blight Ukenena. 

Books ML 

Digitized by 


GBoup A. § S. knioht'b talb. Cambridge MS. 27 


Lat eoerj fdowe telle his tale a-boute [Omim xb. less] 

And lat* se now who shal the soper wynne 

And ther as I left I wole bygynne 892 

V This Dnk of whom I make mecioun Y lanpk aamdo. 

Whanne he was oomen almost to the town 

In al his wele and his moosf pride n«ftf «» i»ck] 

He was ware as he caste ey3e aside 896 

Where that* ther knelide in the high weye 

A company of* ladies tweye and tweye 

£ch aftir/ other/ cladde in ^ chothes blake [i so in m s.] 

But sich a crie and sich a woo they make 900 

That in this world is creature lyuynge 

That* herde sich another/ weymentyng 

And oi^ this crie thei nolde nenere stente 

Tyl they the reynes of his bridel hente 904 

What* folk* be ye that* at* myn hom comynge 

Distnrblen so my feeste with criynge 

Quod Theseus bane ^e so gret* enuye 

Of myn honour that* thus compleyne and crie 908 • 

Or who hath yow mysboden or ofifendid 

And telleth me if it* may be amendid 

And whi that* ye ben clothed thus in blak* 

The eldest lady of hem alle spak* 912 

Whanne she hadde swouned with a deedly chere 

Tbat^ it* was Teuthe forto seen and here 

She aeide . lord to whom fortune hath 3yuen 

Yictorie and as a conquerour/ to lyuen 916 

Not^ greueth vs youre glorie and youre honour/ • n. ir. 

Bat* we biseke mercy and socour 

Haoe mercy on ouie wo and oure distresse 

Sum drope of pite thorough tM gentilnesse 920 

Vppon VB wrecchid wymmen lat* yow falle 

ifor oerfeis lord ther is noon of vs alle 

That she nath ben a duchesae or a queue 

Now be we cayti& as it is wel sene 924 

Thanked be fortune and hir/ fals wheel 

CAMBKinos 97 [this page, Sloane lliifS. 1685.] 


n. S5. 

(before the car.) 

II. M. 

• 11.28. 

Digitized by 


28 GROUP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 

That noon estat ensuieth forto ben wel [flOoue kb. less] 

Now ceriis lord to abide youre presence 

Heere in this temple of* the goddess clemence 

"We haue be waytyng al this fourte-nyght 

Ilelpe vs lord sith it* is in thy myght . 

IT I wrecche which that wepe and weyle thus 

Was whylom wif of kyng cappaneus 

That* starf at* thebes cursid be that* day 

And all: we that* ben in this array 

And maken alt this lementacioun 

We losten alt oure hosbondis at* that* toun 

While jjat* the assege there abowte lay 

And yet* now the olde Creon weiloway 

That* lord is now of* thebes citee 

fltdfillid with ire and of iniquitee 

He for despite and for his tyrannye 

To don the dede bodies velonye 

Of alle oure lordes which that* ben slawe 

Hath att the bodies on a hepe I-drawe 

And wole not* suffre hem by non assent* 

Neither/ to ben I-buried neither I-brent* 

But* makith houndis ete hem in dispite 

And with that* word with outen more respite 

Thei fyllen gruf and crieden pitously 

Haue on vs wrecchid wymmen sum mercy 

And lat oure sorowe synken in thyne herte 

^ This gentil duke from his Coursour/ he sterte 

With herte pitous whanne he herde hem speke 

Hym thoughte that* his hert* wold breke 

Whanne he sawe hem so pitee and so mate 

That* whilom were of so grete astate 

And in his armes he hem vp hente 

And hem counfortith in ful good entente 

And swoor his oothe as he was trewe knyght / 

He wole doh so ferforthly his myght* 

Vppon the treaunt* Creon hem to wreke 

CAMBRIDGE 28 [tbis page, Sloane MS. 1685.] 












(mentioned In 
11. 17 ) 


11. 31. 

II. 31. 


n. 33. 


Digitized by 


OBoup A. § 8. kmioht's tale. Cambridge MS. 29 

That* alle the pnple of grece shold speke 

How cieon was of thebeus y-serued 

Ajs he thaf hath his deth ful wel disserued 

And ly^t a-non with-oute more abod [Ouabr. m 

Hese haner he displayed & forth rod 

To thebes-ward & al hese ost by hese side 

No ner athenys wolde he go ne lyde 

Xe take hese ese fully haK a day 

But onward on hese way ]>at ny^t he lay 

And sente anon Ipolita the quene 

And emelie here ^ynge systyr schene 

Yn to the toun of Athenys to dwelle 

And forth he lit ther is no more to telle 

The rede statne of mars with spere & targe 

So schynyth in hese white baner large 

That alle the feldis gleder3m vp & dou;» 

And hi hese baner is bom hese penoun 

Of gold ful ryche in whiche fere was I-bete 

The mynatoar whiche pat he slow in Crete 

Thns ry3t ^ denk pna ry^t pia conqueronr 

And in his cost of cheualrie the ^our 

Til that he come to thebes & a-ligthe 

ffiiyre in a feld there he thoute to fyghte 

Bat schortii for to spekyn of this thyng 

Witht Creon which that was of thebes kyng 

He fanght & slow hym manly as a knyght 

In pleyn batayle & pntte the folk to fley^ 

And by assent he wan the sete aftyr 

And rent a-doun bothe wal & spere ^ & raftyr 

And to pe ladyis he restorede ageyn 

The bonys of here frendis pat were slayn 

To don obsequies as was ]^o the gyse 

But it were al to longe for to deuyse 

The grete clamour & the waymentyng 

That fe ladyis made at the brennyng 

Of the bodyis & the grete honour 




fSoaiia extract 

(7^. 4. S7, If 146] 







[i kUe a over «] 





JUL 404. 


11. 80-1. 

Digitized by 


30 oBoup A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge KS. 

That theseiis the noble co^u^ueroar 

Doth to pe ladijs whan J^ey from hym weynte 

But schortely for to telle is myn entente 1000 

Whan that this worthi duk this thesius D^f i*&, b«eki 

Hath Cieon slayn & wonne thebes thus 

Stille in that feld he tok al ny^t hese reste 

And dede with al the cuntre as hym leste 1004 

To ransake in the taas of bed\js dede I 

Hem for to strepe of hameys & of wede | 

The pilouris dydyn besynesse & cure 

Aftyr the batayle & discumfiture 1008 

And so bi-fel that in the taas was founde 

Thorgh girt w?t^ manye a blody wou«de 

Two jonge kny3tys liggynge by & by 

Bothe in on annys WTou^t ful richely 1012 

Of whiche too Aicita hy^te fat on 

And that oper kny^t hy^te palomoun 

Not fully queke ne fiiUy dede J^ey were 

But by here cote armo?^?^ & by here gere 

Theroudis knew hem best in special 

As J?ey fat were of the blod ryal 

Of Thebes & of systeryn to I-bom 

Out of the taas the pilot^ris han he7n torn 1020 

And han hem caryed softe on to the tente 

Of thesyufl & ful sone hew sente 

To Athenes to dwellyn iit presoun 

Perpetually he nolde no raunsom 1024 

And whan this worthi deuk ha]) pua I-don 

He tok hese Ost & horn he rit a-non 

"With laurer crouned as a cowquerour 

And there he lyuyth in ioye & in honour 1028 

Terme of Ijrf what nedi jj wordis mo 

And in a tour in angwisch & in wo 

This Palamoun & hese felawe Arcite 

flfor eu6?remor ther may mo gold hem quyte 1032 

This passeth 3er be 3er & day be day 








II 87. 


m. t. 

Digitized by 


GBoup A. § 3. KNiaHT's TALK. Cambridge MS. 31 

TO it fel onys in a monyth of may Te$ttda, 

That emale that fayreie vas to sene 

Than is the lyiie vp on liese stalke giene 1036 : [9mZIL ml] 

And ftosachest than fe may with flourys newe D«f imj 

ffor with the roae colour fiosch hero hewe 

I net whiche was fynere of hem too 

£r it weie day as was here wone to do 1040 • m. la 

Sche was a-zesin & al ledy dy3t 

ffor may wele haae no slogardye on ny3t 

The sesyn prekyth euery gentyl herte 

And makyth it out of hese slep to sterte 1044 

And seyth a-rys & do ]>yn obseroaunce 

This makith emalie to haue lemembiau^ce 

To don honnie to may & for to lyse 

l-clo}»ed was sche fresch for to deuyse* [* see p. ss, n. so 1048 | lu. s. 

Here ^1 we her was broyded in a tresse t [t see p. 25. ». s.] | hl la 

Be hynde here bak a jerde long I gesse 

And in the gardyn at the eanne yp-riste ul 8-10. 

Sche walkyth yp & doun & as here lyst 1052 

Sche gaderith floiiris party white & rede 

To make a suptyl garlond for here hede • in. 10. 

And as an aungel heueneliche sche song 

The grete tour that was so thikke & strong 1056 ni. u. 

Whiche of the castel was the chef donioun 

There as the knyjtis weryn In presoun 

Of whiche I tolde jow & telle schal 

As euene ioynande to the castel wal 1060 

There as this emale hadde here pleying Emelyc. 

Biy^t was the stmne & cler in that morwenyng 

And palamoun ])i8 woful presoner r^re/ta si levo* 

As was hese wone be leae of hese gayler 1064 

Was resyn & romede in a chau[m]bre an hey 

In whiche he al the cete sey 

And ek the gardyn ful of braum^his grene 

There as this froeche EmeJye the schene 1068 

Was in here walk & romede vp & doun 


Digitized by 


32 OBoup A. § 2. knight's tal& Cambridge MS. 

This sorweful louere this palainoun 

Goth in the chambre romynge to & fro 

And to hymselue cofwpleynynge of hese wo 

That I was bom ful ofte he seyde alias 

And so be-fel be auenture & cas 

That jH)row a wywdowe thikke of manye a barre 

Of yryn gret & squere as ony sparre 

He caste his eye yp on emelyea 

And J?erwithal he blenthe <fe cryede A 

As thow ^e stongy w were to y herte 

And wit^ pat cry a-non arcite vp styrte 

And seyde cosyn myn what eylith fe 

That art so pale & dedly on to se 

Whi cryestow who hath the don oifense 

ifor goddys lone tak al in pacience 

Oure prysouw for it may non oper be 

ffortune hajj ^^ouyn vs jjis aduersite 

Sum wekede aspect or disposicioun 

Of satume by sum constolacioun 

Hath ^ouyn vs J?is al-J?ow we hadde it sworn 

So stod the heuene whan that we were bom 

We muste endure it J?is is the schorte & pleyn 

This Palamoun onswerde & seyde a^eyn 

Cosyn for sothe of this opynyouw 

J?ow hast a vayn ymagynacyouw 

This pr?fiou« causede me not for to crye 

But I was hort ryjt now thorgh-out myn ye 

In-to myn herte that wele myn bane be 

The fayrenesse of myn lady pat I se 

Jond in the gardyn romyn to & fro 

Is cause of al myn cryinge & myn wo 

I ne wot wheper sche be woman or godesse 

But xemis it is sothly as I gesse 

And ferwithal on kneis dou/i he fel 

Aud seyde Venzw jif it be jjyn wil 

Jow in this gardyn thus to transfigure 


[leaf 146, Inck] 



. . . tnttostordltow 

Grid6, Omt I 



P ooU^red] 



1096 I „i^,^ 
I m.90. 


• mil 

Digitized by 


OBoup A. § 2. KNiQHT^s TALB. Cambridge MS. 33 

Be-for me sorwefol wieche cijatme 

Out of this piysoun help fat we may skape 

And 3if BO be myn destene be schape 1 108 

Bj eteme wodd to deyen in pr6soim Hmt in] 

Of onre kynrede haue Bum compassiouTi 

That is so lowe brou^t be tyianye 

And with that word Aicite gan asspie 1112 

Wheze as this lady lomede to & fro 

And with that 8y3t here beute hurte hym so 

That 3if ^ Palamonn was woundede sore 

Aicite is hurt as wel as he or more 1116 

And with a sik lie seyde pitously 

The frossche bente sloth me sodeynly 

Of here that lomyth in the gondii plase 

And hat I hane here meisy & here grase 1 1 20 

That I may sen here at the leste weye 

I nam but ded fere nys no more to seye 

This FkLamoon whan he po wordis herde 

Bispitousli he lokede & answerde 1 124 

VHieper seyst fan this in emest or in pley 

Nay quod arcyte in emest be myn fey 

God help me so me lyst but euel pleye 

This palamoon gan knytte hese browis tweye 1 128 

It weie to the quod he no giet honour* [• Seo p. 26, ». 4.] 

ffor to be &ls ne for to be traytowr 

To me that am thyn cosyn & thyn brothir 

I-swom ful depe & eche of vs to oper 1 132 

That neaere for to deyin in peyne 

Til that the deth departe schal vs tweyTse 

Xeyf «r of vs in loue to hynderyn oper 

^e in non ofer cas myn leue hTofer 1 136 

Bat Jwt Jxra schuldist trewely forj^ere me 

In euery cas & I schal forthere the 

This was )ryn oth & myn also serteyn 

1 wote it wel Jpou darist it not wtt^i-seyn 1 140 

Thus art pon of myn conseyl out of doute 


in. 16-17. 

(reveraing the or- 
der of the luiuica.) 

Digitized by 


34 aaoup A. § 2. knight's talb. Cambridge MS. 

And now pon woldist falsely ben aboute 

To loue myn lady whom I loue & seme 

And euere schal tyl that myn berte eterue 1144 

Now ceitis false arcite ^ou scbat not so Owf U7, back] 

I louede here fyist & tolde y myn wo 

As to myn conseyl & to myn br[o]J)er sworn 

To forthere me as I bane told be-fom 1148 

flfor which povL art bonndyn as a knyjt 

To helpyn me jif it leye in jjy myjt 

Or eUe art ^u fals I dare wel seyn 

This arcite ful proudely spak a-geyn 1152 

pOM scbat quod he be ra]>ere fals than I 

But pou art fals I telle J>* vttyrly 

fTor paramoMr I louede here ferst er fou 

"What wit povL seyn pon wyst no 3it now 1156 

Whefer sche be a woman or goddesse 

Thyn is aflfeccioun of holynesse 

And myn is loue as to creature 

flfor whiche I telle pQ myn auenture 1160 

As to myn cosyn & myn hToper sworn 

I pose that pou louedist here be-fom 

Wist povi not wel the olde clerkys sawe 

That ho schal ^eue a louere ony lawe 1164 

Loue is a grettere lawe be myn pan 

Than may ben jouyn to ony erthely man 

And J?erfore posityf lawe & swich decree 

Is bi-okyn alday for loue in eche degree 1 168 

A man mote nedis loue maugre in hese bed 

He may not flen pat Jjogh he scbulde be ded 

Al be sche mayde or wedew or elle wif 

And it is not likly al thyn lyf 1172 

To stondyn in here grace no more schal I 

flParewel J^ou wist fyn seluyn verayly 

That povL & I ben dampned to presoim 

Perpetuolly vs geynyth no raunsun 1176 

We stryue as dede the houndis for the bon 


[See V. UJ 


Digitized by 


GBoup A. § & KNioBys TALE. Cambridge IDS. 35 

Thej fou}te al day & jit here part was non 

Ther cam a kete whil that ])ey weie wrothe 

That bar awoy the bon be-twixe hem bothe 

And J>«rfoie at the kyngis court myn hiofer 

Eche man for hym self ther is non oyer 

Lone )if the lyst for I lone & ay schal 

And sothli leue bro^ this is al 

Here in this presonn mote we endure 

And en^rych of vs take his auenture 

Gret was the stryf & long be-twixe hem tweye 

3if that I hadde leyser for to seye 

But to fe effect it happede on a day 

To telle it 30W as schortly as I may 

A worthi deuk that hyjte perotheus 

That felawe was yn to deuk Theseu 

Syn thilke day pat pej were childeryn lite 

Was come to athenes hese falawe to visile 

And for to pleye as he was wone to do 

ffor in this world he louede no man so 

And he lonede hym as tendirly ageyn 

So wel pej louedyn as olde bokys seyn 

That whan that on was ded sothly to telle 

His felawe wente & soujte hym doun in helle 

But of that story lists me not to wryte 

Deuk Perotheus louede wel arcite 

And hadde hym knowyn at thebes )>er be ^ere 

And fynelli at requist & at preyere 

Of perotheus witA-outyn ony raunsoun 

Deuk Theseus hym let out of presou?} 

fieli to gon whil that hym leste ouyral 

In swich agyse as I jow telle shal* v ait^nd/rvm caaij 1208 

This was the forward pleynly for tendit 

Be-twixe Thesittf & hym Arcite 

That it were that Arcite were founde 

Euene in his lyf be day or nyjt or stounde 1212 

In ony cuntre of this thesyus 




Deaf 148] 







UI. 47. 

III. 61-4. 

Digitized by 


36 GROUP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 

And hee were cauth it was acordit fxia 

That with a swerd he wolde lese hia hed 

Ther naa non ofer remedie ne red 1216 

But takyth his leue & howiward he hym spedde [UMn48,iMdt] 

let hym be war his nekke lith to weddo 

How gret a sorwe suflferith now arcyte 

The deth he felyth thorgh his herte smyte 

He wepith weyleth crye]) pitously 

To slen hym self he waytyth pnuyly 

He seyde alias that day that I was bore 

Now is myn pn'sou/i werae J^an be-fore 

Kow is me schapyn eternally to dwelle 

Not in purgatory but in helle 

Alias that euere knew I p^otheus 

ffor elle hadde I dwellid with thesyus 

I-fetered in his pnsouri euere mo 

Thanne hadde I ben in blysse & not in wo 

Only the syjthe of hei* whom that I seme 

Though I neuere here grace may disserue 

Wolde han suffysed ryjt I-now for me 

dere cosyn palamoun quod he 

This is the victorie of this auenture 

flful blysful in pr/souw mayst fow endure 

In prysoun nay parde but in paradys 

"Wei hath fortime I-tumede the deys 

That hast the sy3t of here & 1 the absens 

ffor possible is syn J^ow hast here presens 

And art a kny^t a worthi & able 

That by sum cas syn fortune is chaungable 

Thow mayjt to J)yn desyr suwtyme atteyne 

But I that am exiled & barayne 

Of alle grace & in so gret dispeyr 

That pere nys erthe watyr fyre ne eyr 

Ne criatur that of hem makyd is 

That may me helpyn or don comfort 171 this 

Wei oujtc I sterue in wanhope & distrease 












[Gen. resonbl. 
Soe UL 7B. &c.] 

Digitized by 


oBoup A. § 2. KNiGHT*s TALE. Cambridge MS. 37 

ffiuirel mjn lyf mjn lust & 01711 gladnesse TeaeUt. 

Alias wbi pleyne men so in coroune 

On pnmjaunoe of god or of fortune 1252 

That ^uyih hem fill ofte in manye a gyse Dear i48] 

WdL betyr ^an yej can hem self deuyse 

Sam man deaoiyth for to haue lichesse 

That is canse of hese mordere or gret seknesse 1256 

And some wolde ont of hese presoun fayn 

That in hese hons is of hese meyne slayn 

Infynyte hannys ben in this matere 

We wote not what J)yng fat we preyen here 1260 

We £uii as he )»at dionke is as a mons 

A dionke man wot wel that he hath an hoos 

But he not whiche the ly^te weye is f edyr 

And to a dionke man the weye is sledyr 1264 

And sertys in )»i8 world so faiyn we 

We sekyn faste aftyr felycite 

But we gon wrong oftyn trewely 

Thus may we seyn alle & namely I 1268 

That wende & hadde a gret opynyonn 

That I my^ skapyn from prysou7i 

Thaime hadde I he in ioye & parfyt hele 

There now I am exilyd &om myn wele 1272 

Syn that I may not sen 30W emalye . m. 75. 

I nam but ded fere nys non ofer weye • 

Yp on that oper syde palamofi 

Whan that he woete Aicyte was a-gon 1276 

Swich sorwe be makyth that y grete tour 

Reeouimyth of hese joulyng & clamour 

The pure fetexys of hese schenys grete 

Wciyn of hese bittere salte terys wete 1280 

Alias quod he aicita cosyn myn 

Of al ouie stiyf god wot the freut is fjn 

Thow walkyst now in thebes at fyn large 

And of myn wo J>au 3euyst lityl charge 1284 

Thn mayst sen fan hast wisdom & manhede 


Digitized by 


38 GROUP A. § 2. ekioht's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Aseemblyn alle the folk of oure kynrede 

And make a werre so schaip on this cyte 

That by sum auenture or suw trete 1288 

Thw mayst hauo here to lady & to wyf cienf ma, imu*] 

ffor whom that I muflte nedys lese myn lyf 

ffor as be weye of possibilite 

Sithe fovL art at thyn large of pnsuw fre 1292 

And art a lord gret is thyn auau»tage 

More than is myn that sterue here in a cage 

ffor I mot wepe & waile whil I leue 

With al the wo that pnsoun may me jeue 1296 

And ek with peyne that loue me jeuyth also 

That dubelyth al myn turment & myn wo 

Therwith the fyr of ielusye vp sterte 

With-ijme hese brest & hente hyw by the herte 1300 

So wodly that he lyk'was to bi-holde 

The boxteie or the asschyn dede and colde 

Thawne seyde he O crewel goddis fat goueme 

This word woth byndyng of 30Mre word eterne 1304 

And wrety/i in the table of athamaunte 

Thorw parlemen & jowre eteme graimte 

What is mankynde more on to jow holde 

Thus is the schep that rokif in the folde 1308 

ffor slayn is man ryght as a nothir beste 

And dwellith ek in pnsoun & areste 

And hath seknesse & gret aduersite 

And ofte tyme gilteles parde 1312 

'WTiat gouemynge is in this prescience 

That gilteles tuimentyth innocence 

And encreseth fis al my» penauwce 

That man is boundyn to hese obseniawice 1316 

ffor goddis sake to lettyn of hese wille 

Ther as a beste may al hese lust folfylle 

And whan a beste is ded he hath no peyne 

But man aftyr his ded hym muste wepe & plejTie 1320 

Though in fis world he hauo care & wo 


Digitized by 


QBoup A. § 2. KNioHT*s TALB. Cambridge MB. 39 

WttA^ntjn donte it maj stondjn so ivmUi. 

The aoBweie of fis lete I to deuynys 

But wel I wot that in pia world gret peyne ia 1324 

Alias I se a serpent or a tlief p«if iso] 

That manye a trewe man hath don myschef 

Gon at hese laige & wher hym liste may tume 

Bat I mot ben in prtsoun four satome 1328 

And ek thoigft lono ielons & ek wood 

That hath distroyed wol ny al the blood 

Of thebcs wit^ hese waste wallys wyde 

And venna sleth me on fat' ofer syde 1 332 

flbr lelonsie & fer of hym Arcyte "mnMAgeiotia'* 

Kow wele I stynte of palamonn a lite 

And late hym in hese piysoiin stylle dwelle 

And of Arcyta forth I wele 30W teUe Ardta 

The somyr passe)) & the ny^tys longe 

Encresyn douUe wise the peynys stronge 

Bothe of the lonere & the prisounner 

I not ho hath, the wofolere^ myster 

ffor achorth for to seyn this palamonn 

Peipeinelly is dampned to prisonn 

In cheynys & in feterys to ben ded 

And Arcyte is exiled yp hese hed 

fibr eneremo as ont of that cnntre 

Ne nenere mo schal heee lady se 

3ow lonerys axe I now ])is qnestionn 

Ho hath the worse arcyte or Palamonn 1348 

The ton may sen his lady day be day 

Bat in pnsonn ho mot dwelle alway 

That othir where hym leste may ride or go 

Bat sen hese lady schal he neuere mo 1352 

Now demyih as 30W lyste ^e pat can 

ffitt I wele telle forth as I be^^ 

[No gap in the MS,] 

Vlen.later.l 1340 



Digitized by 


40 GROUP A. § 2. KNioHT*8 TALE. CaAibridge MS. 



[PART IL No gap in the MS,] 

Whan that Arcyte to thebes comyn was 

fPol ofte a day he swelte & seyde alias 

ffor sen hese lady schal he neuere mo 

And schortly to concludyn al hese wo 

So meche sorwo hadde neuere creature 

That is or schal whil that f e world may dure 

Hese slep hese mete // hese drynk is hym beraft prison bk] 

That lene he wex / & dreye as is a schaft 

Hese eyne holwe / & gresely to beholde 

Hese he we falwe / & pale as^ asschen colde [i ••: i««erj 

And solitarie he was / & euere alone 

And waylynge al the ny^t makynge hese mone 

And 3if he herde song or instrument 

Thanne my^te he wepe he myjte not be stent 

So feble ek weryn hese spiritis & so lowe 

And chauTigit so ])at no man coude hym knowe 

Hese speche nor hese voys J)ow men it herde 

And in hese ger for al the world he ferde 

Not only lik the louere maladye 

Of hereos but rathere lyk manye 

Engenderid of humourys malencolik 

Be-fom hese owene seUe fantastik 

And schortly turned was al vp so doun 

Bothe abit & ek^ disposiciouw 

Of his this woful louere daun Arcite 

What schulde i of hese wo alday endyt 

Whan he endured hadde a ^er or to 

This crewel turment & this peyne & wo 

At thebes in his court as I seyde 

Vp on a nyjt in slep as he hym leyde 

Hym thoujte that the vengede god mercurye 

Be-fom hym stod & bad hym to be murye 

Hese slepi ^eide in bond he bar vp ry^t 

An hat he werede vp on hese herys bry3t 



IV. «,». 

• IV. 28. 

1364* IV sr. 




pek: later] 




IV. ». 

Digitized by 


GBOiTP A. § 2. knight's talk Cambridge MS. 41 

Anyed was fu god as he tok kep 

As he was whan that Argus tok hese slep 

And seyde hym thus to Athenys achat fon wynde 

There is the schapyn of thi wo an ende 

And with that word Aicyte wok & styrte 

Now tiewely how sore that me smeite 

Qiiod he tathenys / lygh now wele I fare 

Ne for the dred of deth schal I not spare 

To se myn lady that I lone & seme 

In here presence I rekke not to steme 

And with that word he cai^te a gret myror^r 

And saw that schannged was al hese colour 

And say hese vesage al in ano])CT kynde 

And ry^t arnon It ran hym in hese mynde 

That sithe hese face was so disfyguryd 

Of maledye whiche he hadde endured 

He my^te wel ^if that he har hym lowe 

Lenyn in athenys enere more onknowe 

And sen hese lady wel ney day he day 

And ry^t a>non he chaungede hese aray 

And cladde hjm as a pore labourer 

And al alone sane only a squyer 

That knew hese pr^uy teis & al hese cas 

Whiche was disgised porely as he was 

Tatthenys is he gon ])e nexte way 

And to the court he wente yp-on a day 

And at the gate he proferyth hese semyse 

To diogge & drawe what so men wolde deuyse 

And schortly of this mater for to seyn 

He fil in oSyz with a chaumbyrleyn 

The whiche that dwellynge was with emalye 

ffior he was wys & coude sone aspie 

Of eu^ry seruaont whiche that seruyth here 

Wel conde he hewyn wode & watyr here 

fibr he was ^ong & myjty for the nonys 

And feiio he was long & big of bonys 





[leaf 151] 








IV. 38. 

pover vallettOt 

IV. 22. 
wnU garzoWt 

IV. 22. 
povero vaUrtto, 

IV. 40. 

Digitized by 



[Iwf 151, 1»dc] 


42 GROUP A. § 2. knight's talk. Cambridge MS. 

To don that ony with can hym deuyse 

A 3or or too he was in jjis seruyse 

Page of the chauwbere of emale y biyjt 

And philostrate he seyde pat he hy3t 

But half so wel be-louyd a man as he 

Ke was there neuer in court of hese degre 

He was so lentyl of condicioun 

That pour-out al the court was hese renoun 

They seydyn that it were a charite 

That Thesyus wolde enhaunsyn hese degre 

And puttyn hym in worschepful seruyse 

Tliere that he my3te hese vertue excercise 

And ])us wit/i-inne a while his name is spionge 

Bothe of hese dedis & hese goode tunge 

That Thesiw hath takyn hym so ner 

That of hese chaumbere he made hym a squyer 

And 3af hym gold to meyntene his degre 

And ek men brou3tyn hym out of hese cuntre 

fBxMTi jer to jer ful pnuyly hese rente 

But onestly & slyly he it spente 

That no man wonderede how pat he it hadde 

And thie ^er in this wise his lyf he ladde 

And bar hym so in pes & ek in werre 

Ther was no man that thesyus hath dene 

And in this blisse lete I now arcite 

And speke I wele of palamoun a lite 

In derknesse & horrible Ss strong prisoun 

This seuene 3er hath setyn palamoun 

ffor-pynyd what for wo & for distresse 

Who feleth doubble sorwe & heuynesse 

But palamoun fat loue distreynyth so 

That wod of hese wit he goth for wo 

And ek ferto he is a pr^soumier 

Perpetuelly not only for a ^er 

"Who coude ryme in englys properly 

His marterdam for sothe it am> not I 



1428 (Peiil«oIV.S.&e] 




1448 \TV.». 

V I MS.] 






Digitized by 


V. s6-r. 


OBoup A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MB. 43 

Therfoie I passe as ly^tely as I may tb9$U4, 

It fd ibat in the seuynte ^et In may 
The thredde iiy3t as olde bokys seyn 
That al this stoTy tellyn more & pleyn 1464 

Weie it by anenture or destene 
Ab wban a ^yng is 8cb.apyn it schal be 
That Bone afbyr the inydiiy3t palamoun 
Be helpyng of a fxend biak hese presoon 1468 

And fleth the oete faste as he may go omtut] 

ffor he hadde 30uyii hese gayler dronkyn so 

Of a clarie mad of certeyn wyn 

^lih nertotikes & opie of Thebes fyn 1472 

That al that ny3t though pat men wolde hym schake 

The gayler alep be my^te not wake 

And yoB he fleth as faste as eoere he may 

The ny^t was schort & faste by the day 1476 

That nedis cost / he mnste hym seluyra hide 

And tyl a grone faste fere besyde 

With diedfdl fot ])anne stalkyth palamoun 

flbr achortely pis was hese opynnyoun 1480 

That in ^ gioue he muste hytn hide alday 

And in the ny^t fanne wolde he take his way 

To thebes ward hese frendis for to preye 

On Thesyus to helpe hym for to werye 1484 

And flchorUy ofer he wolde lese^ hese lyf [i f ms. ief«] 

Or wyimyn emelye Tn-to hese wyf 

This is theffect & hese entente pleyn 

Kow wele I tnme yn-to Arcite ageyn 1488 

That lityl wiste how nyg^ that was hese care 

Tyl ^t fortune hadde brought hym in pat snare 

The besye larke messenger of the day 

Salueth in here song the morwe gray 1492 

And feiy phebus ryseth vp so bryght 

That al the oryent laugheeth of y lyght 

And with hese stremys dreyeth in y greuys 

Tlie sylu^re diopis hangynge in the leuys 1496 


V. 83. 

Digitized by 


ii GROUP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 

And arcita that is in f ® court royal 

With Theseufl is squyer pryncypal 

Is resyn & lokyth on the merye day 

And for to don hese obseruance to may 

liemembrywge on the i)oynt of hese desyr 

He on a courser stertelynge as the fyr 

Is redyn in to ])• feldis hym to pleye 

Out of the court were it a myle or tweye 

And to y grene of wheche fat I 30W tolde 

By auenture his weye he gan to holde 

To make hym a garlond of the greuys 

Were it of wode-bynde or hawethorn leuys 

And loude he song a-jen the swine schene 

May with alle thywne flourys & thynne grene 

Welcome be fou fayre frosche may 

In hope fat I suw grene getyn may 

And from hese courser wtt^ a lusty herte 

In-to the greue^ ful hastyleche he sterte 

And in a path he romede vp & doun 

There as be auenture this palamoun 

Was In a bosch that no man my3te hy?n se 

ffor sore ofered of hese death was he 

Ne J>yng ne knewe he that it was arcit 

God wot he wolde a trowed it ful lite 

But soth is seyd gon sithe manye ^erys 

That J)e feld hath eyen & fe wode hath erys 

It is ful fayr a man to here hym euene 

ffor al day metif men at vnset* stevene pnaet: uutr] 

fful lityl wot arcyte of hese felawe 

That was so nygh to heryn of hese tale 

ffor in the bosch he sittyth now ful stylle 

Whan fat Arcite Jiadde romede al hese fyUe 

And sungyn al the rouwdele lustyly 

In-to a stodye he fel sodeynly 

As don fese louerys in here queynte geres 

Now in the crop now doun in the brerys 




[leaf 152, bock] 

I IV. 61. 



[1 MS. dUeredi 






Digitized by 


See IT. U. j^4. 

OBOop A. § 2. kkioht's tale. Cambridge MS. 45 

Now vp now donn as boket in a welle r«fc<^ 

Ry^t 88 the fryday sothly for to telle 

Xow it schynyth now it leynyth faste 

Ey^t ao can geiy venus on^rcaste 1536 

The hertys of hero folk ry3t as here ^e ' may p lema: uuer] 

Is gerful ly^t ao channgith ache aray 

Selde is the fryday al the wouke lyk 

Whaizne that Axcyte hadde sunge he gan to sik 1540 

And aette hym donn wit^ntyn ony more {Uatia} 

Alias qttod he that day pat I was boie 

How longe Inno thorw ])yn ciewelte 

Wiltow werreyen Thebes the sete 1544 

Alias Lbionjt is to confosionn 

The hlod royal of Cadme & amphioun 

Of Cadme wich bat was b' feiste man 

That Thebee beelte* / or fyist p^ toun began P«e: later] 1548 

And of the Sete fyist was cronnnede kyng 

Of hese lynage was I / and hese of-spryng 

By yenay lyne / as of the stok royal 

And now I am so kaytif & so thral 

That he that is myn mortal enemy 

I seme hym as hese sqayer pnrely 

And ^t doth luno me more schame 

ffor I dare not bekuowe myn owene name 

There as I was wone to hyjte aicyte 

Xow highte I philostrate not worth a my3te 

Alias }ou f elle Mars alias Inno 

Thus hath ^onre yre onre lynege fordo 1560 

Sane only me wrechede Palamoun 

That Thesyns marteryth in presonn 

And oo^nJ pia to slen me vttyrly 

Lone hath hese fery darte so brennyngely 1564 

I-etekid pour myn trewe earful herte 

That schapyn was myn dep er psn myn scherte 

3e slen me with ymre eyen emelye 

h ben the cause wherfore that I deye 1568 



. See IV. 31. 


See IV. 86. 


• See IV. 84. 

• iPenteo, IV. M.l 

, See IV. IT. 

IV. 83. 

Digitized by 


46 GROUP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Of al the remenaunt of myn ofer care Tmi4- 

Ne sette I not the mountenauns of a tare 

So pat I coude don oujt to ^oure plesaunse 

And mth fat word he fyl down in a trauiM^e 1572 

A long tyme & aftyrwaid he yp styrte 

This palamoon fat thoute fat thorw hese herte 

He felte a cold swerd sodeynliche glyde 

flfor yxe he quok / no lengere wolde he byde 1576 

And whan ])at he hadde herd Arcytis tale ci6afi5S,baek] 

As heweie wod with face ded and pale 

He styrte hym vp out of the boschis ])ikke 

And seyde arcite false traytowr wikke 1580 

Now art f ou hent pat louyst myn lady so 

for whom fat I haue al f is peyne and wo 

And art myn blod & to myn conseyl swom 

As I M oftyn haue seyd fe here be-fom 1584 

And hast beiapid here deuk Thesyus 

And falsely chaiinged fyn name thus 

I wele ben ded or ellys fou schat deye 

fou schat not loue myn lady Emalye 1588 

But I wele loue here only & no mo 

fifor I am palamou7» ^yn mortal fo 

And J)ow fat I no wepene haue in fis place 

But out of prtsoww am styrt by grace 1592 

I drede not fat outher fou schat deye I see v. m. 

Or fou. ne schat not louyn emalye ! 

Ches which fon wit or fou schat not asterte 

This Arcyte with ful dispitous herte 1596 

"Whan he hym knew & hadde hese tale herd 

As fers as lyoun pullede out a swerd 

And seyde J)us bi god that set a-boue 

Nere it pat pon art sek & wod for loue 1600 

And ek for pou no wepen hast in ])is place 

Thow schuldist neuere out of pis grene pase 

That pon ne schuldist deyen of myn bond 

ffor I defie the surete & the bond* [• swp, 25, n.50 1604 | v. ai. 


Digitized by 


6B0UF A. § 2. knioht's tale. Cambridge MS. 47 

IViche ]Hit foa sejst fat I haue mad to pe | r<igiifa. 

What veiay fol J)ink wel that lone is ire ^* "* 

And I wele loue here maugie al pjn. mj^t 

But for as meche p<m art a worthy kny^t 1608 

And wihiyst to darrayne here be batayle 

Hane here myn tronthe to-morwe I nyl not fiayle 

Wiy^-oute wetynge of ony oJ)cr whight 

That here I wele be foiwdyn as a knyght 1612 

And biyngyn barneys ry3t I-now for the Vmtiu] 

And ches the best & lef the werste to ine 

And mete and drynk fUs nyjt wele I biynge 

I-nough for )»• ^ clothis for fyn beddyrzge 1616 

And ^ 80 be fat Jwu myn lady wynne 

And ale me in ])is wode pere I am inne 

^ mayst wel ban ])yn lady as for me 

This pakmoun answerde I graunte it the 1620 

And ])us fey be toparted til a morwe 

Whan eche of hem hadde leyd hese feyth to borwe 

cupide out of aUe charite 

legne that wolde no felawe ban with the 1624 

fiul aoth is it aeyd that loue and lordschep . v. is. 

Wolde not hese J^ankys ban no felauschep 

Wel fyndy fat arcite and palamoun 

Aicite is rydyn anon in to ))e toon 1628 

And on J^ morwyn er it were day ly3t 

fiol fynly to barneys haf he dy^t 

Bothe Bofficiaunt & mete to darreeyne 

The batayle in the feld be-tweixe hem tweyne 1632 

And on hese horse alone as he was bom 

He caryeth al fia barneys hym be-fom 

And in the groue at iyme & place I-set 

This arcite & fiB palamo[n] ben met 1636 

To chaoizge gan the colour in here face 

Hygh as the hunterys in the regn* of trace vu. loe. 

That stondi^ at the gap with a spere 

Whan huntede is the lyoun or the here 1640 


Digitized by 


48 GROUP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 

An herith hym come russcliywge in the grenys 

And brekith. bof e the bowis & the leuys 

And f ynkyth here comyth myn mortal enemy 

With-oute fayle he mote be ded or I 1644 

ffor eyper I mote slen hym at the gap 

Or he slen me jif that me mys hap 

So ferdyn Jjey in chaungyng of here hewe 

As fer as eu^ryche of hem ofer knewe 1648 

Ther nas no good day ne no saluynge Lieaf 154, bMkj 

But stieyt with-oute word or leheisynge 

Eueryche of hem help for to arme o^er 

As frendly as he were hese owene brothyr 1652 

And aftyr fat with scharpe speiys stronge 

They foynedyn eche at ofer wondyr longe 

Thow myjtist wene fat Jjis palamouw 

In hese fyjt were a wood lyoun 1656 

And as a cruel tygre was excite 

As wilde borys gunne J)ey to smyte 

That frothyn white as fom for yie wod 

Yp to the anches foute fey in here blod 1660 

And in this wyse lete I hem fyghtyT^ge dwelle 

And forth I wele of thesyus jow telle 

The destenye mynysteie general • vi. 1. 

That executyth in the world oueral 1664 

The puniyauns fat god hath seyn be-fom* [• See p. a, n. e.] 

So strong it is fat thow Jj* world hadde sworn 

The contrarye of a thyng be 3a or nay 

Jit sumtyme it schal fallyn on a day 1668 • v. 77. 

That faUyth not eft W2t^ inne a thousent 3ere 

ffor certeynly oure aspectis here 

Be it of werre or pes or hate or loue 

Al is J)is reuled be the 8i3te a-boue 1672 

This mene I now be myjty thesyus | v. 77. 

That for to huntyn is so desirous 

And namely at the grete hert in may 

That in hese bed fei'e dawede hyw no day 1676 



Digitized by 




080UP A. § S. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 49 

That he njB dad & ledy for to lyde 

"WlUi hnnte & horn & houndis hjm besyde 

ffor in hese hontynge hath he swych dely^t 

That it 18 al heee loye & apetyt 1680 

To ben hyvn self the grete hertjs bane 

ffor ofte mars he seniyth now dyane 

Cler was )»e day as I haue told or this 

And Thesyos with alle loye & blya CImT issj 

With hese ypolita the &yrB qnene 

And Emale clothod al in grene | cseexiLesj 

On hnntyng be yej ledyn leally 

And to the groue stod fal faste by 1688 

la vhech there was an hert as men him tolde 

Deok thesyns y iy3te weye hath holde 

And to the laonde he lydith hym ful ly^t 

ffor there was the hert wone to have his fly^t 1692 

And on^ a brok & so forth on hese weye 

This denk wele han a couis with hym or tweye 

With houndis which as hym lyste comaunde 

And whan This denk was comyn vn-to y l&wide 1696 

Yndir the sonne he lokyth & )Kzt a-non 

He WBS war of Arcite & Palamon 

That foatyn bieme as it were boris too 

The biy^te swerdis wentyn to & fro 1700 

So hidonaly that with the leste strok 

It semede as it wolde felle an ok 

Bat what pej were no )»yng he ne wot 

This deuk hese courser wit^ the sporys smot 1704 | v. ss. 

And at a stert he was be-twixe hem too 

And pnlle out a swerd & cryede hoo 

No more yp peyne of lesynge of ^oure hed 

Be myghti mars he schal a-non be ded 1 708 

That smyth ony strok that I may een 

Bat telle me what myster men ^e ben | v. sa 

That ben so hardy for to fytyn here 

With-outyn luge or oper offiser 1712 


Digitized by 


50 QBoup A. § 2. KKiaHT's TALE. Cambridge MS. 

As it were in a listis ryaly 

This Palamon anfiweide hastyly 

And seyde sere what nedith wordis xno 

We haue the deth deserayd both^ two 

Two woful wrechis ben we two caytyuys 

That ben encomberit of oure owene lyuys 

And as poM art a ly^tfol lord & luge 

Ne ^if Ys neythir mercy ne refuge 

But sle me ferst for seynte charite 

But sle myn f elawe ek as wel as me 

Or sle hym ferst for f ow Jwu knowist it lyte 

He is Jjyn dedly enemy arcyte 

That fro ])yn lond is banysschid on his hed 

fifor which he hath [de]semyd to ben ded 

fifor this is he that come on to )»yn jate 

And seyde that he hyte philostrate 

Thus hath he lapid f^ ful manye a ^er 

And ]70W hast makid hym ])yn squyer 

And this is he that louyth Emelye 

fibr sithe the day is come that I schal deye 

I make pleyn myn confessioun 

That I am thilke wofiil Palamoun 

That hath thyn presoun broke wekedel^ 

I am thi mortal fo / & it am I 

That louyth so bote Emalia the bryjte 

That I wele deye present in here sy3te 

Wherfore I aske deth & myn lu-wise 

But sle myn felawe in the same wise 

ffor bothe haue we disseruyd to ben slayn 

This worthi deuk answerde anon agayn 

And seyde ])is is a schort conclusyoun 

3oure owene mouth be 30ure confessioun 

Hath dampned 30W & I wele it recorde 

It nedith not to pyne jow with the corde 

3e schul be ded be myjty mars the rede 

The queue a-non for veray woman-hede 










; SmV.01. 



I T.W. 



Digitized by 


OBoup A. § 2. knight's talb. Cambridge MB. 51 

Gan for to wepe & so dede emelye 
And alle the ladjis in the cumpanye 
Gret pete was it as it thoughte h&m alle 

That eufine swich a chaxujse schulde falle 1752 

ffop gentfl men fey were of gret estat 

And nojryng but for lone was this debat 

And saw heie blodj woundis wide & eoie 

And aUe criedyn both lasse & more 1756 

Haue mersi lord "vpon yb wemen alle n«rfiMi 

And on here bare kneis adoim fey falle 

And wUde a kissede hese fet feie as he stod 

Til at the laste arslakede was hese mod 1760 

ffor pete lennyt sone in genta herte 

And though he fexst for yie quok & sterte 

be hath oonsideiyd schortely in a clause 

The tiespase of hem bothe & ek the cause* Peiunce: auenoi 

And al-thow that hese yre hese gUt sensed 1765 

Jit in hese leeoun he hei» bothe excused 

Aa thus he thouthe wel that euery man 

^ele helpe hym selve in loue jif that he can 1768 

And delyueie hym self ^if that he moun* [tmom.: laun 

And ek hese herte hade compassioun 

Of wemen for fey wepyn eu«re in on 

And in hese gentQ herte he thoujte aruon 1 772 

And soffce to hyw self he seyde fy 

Vpon a lord that wele haue no mercy 

Bat by» a lyonn bothe in word & dede 

To hon that ben in repentaxmt & drede 1776 

As wel as to a proud dispitoz» man 

That wele meyntene that he forst b^an 

That lord hath lityl discrecioun 

That in swich cas hath no dyuysioun 1780 

Bat weyeth pride & humblesse aftyr on 

And schortly whan hese yre is |«w agon 

He gan to lokyn vp with ey^yn ly^te 

And spak these same wordis alle on hy^te 1784 


Digitized by 


52 GROUP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MB. 

The god of lone a benediclte 

How myghti & how gret a lord is he 

A-jens hese myjt pere gejnyth none obstakell' 

He may be clepid a god for hese myrakett 

ffor he can makyn at hese owene gyse 

Of eudryche herte as he leste deuyse 

Lo here fiB arcite & pis Palamoun 

That quytely weiyn out of presonrt 

And myjtyn a leuyd in thehes really 

And wetyn I am here mortal enemy 

And that hero deth lyth in myn myjt also 

And 3it hath loue mangry here eyjyn two 

Brought hem hedyr botho for to deye 

Now lokith Ib not this an hey folye 

Who may ben a fol but jif he loue 

Behold for godis sake that sit a-boue 

Se how J>ey blede be J>ey not wel arayed 

Thus hath here lord the god of loue hem payed 

Here wagis & here feis for here seruyse 

And 3it fey wene for to ben ful wyse 

That seyn loue for ou^t that may be-falle 

But ])is is 3it the beste gise of alle 

That sen for whom they han this iolyte 

Kan hem therfore as meche thank as me 

Sche wot no more of al this bote fare 

By god than wot a kokkow or an hare 

But al mote ben asayed hot or cold 

A man mot nede ben a fol or ^ong or old 

I wote it be myn self ful ^ore agon 

ffor in myn tyme a seruaunt was I on 

And perioiQ syn I knowe of loue peyne 

And wot how sore it can a man distreyne 

As he that hath ofte be cau^t in his las 

I 30W for-^eue al holy this tiespas 

At request of the quen that knelitli here 

And ek of emalye myn systir dere 













Digitized by 


QBOD? A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 53 

And 36 sclml bothe ariion vn-to me swere 

That msaere mo 36 sclml myn cantre dere 

Ne mak wezre vp-on me nj^t ne day 

Bat ben myime frendys in al that ^e may 1824 

I 30W foT-3eae fis trespas eu^rydel 

And ^y hym swoiyn bise axinge fayre & wel 

And hyi» of loidscbepe & of mercy pieyede 

And he hem grauntede grace & pns be seyde 1828 

To speke of lyal lynage & of lycbessc p^f 1573 

Thow that scbe were a qnen or a pnncesse 

Echo of 30W botbe is wortbi douteles 

To weddyn whan tyme is / but neuer tbe les 1832 

I spdkB as for myn snstyr Emalye 

fibr whom 30 ban ])is stryf of lelonsye 

Je wote 30ure self scbe may not wedde two 

At onys fey je fyjte en^^ mo 1836 

To on of jow / al be bym lotb or lef 

He mote go pipe in an yuy lef 

This is to seyn scbe may not now ban botbe 

Al be 3e nen^re so lelous ne so wrothe 1840 

And for-tbi I yow pntte in ]>is degre 

That eche of yow scbal ban bese destene 

Ab bym is scbapyn & berkenytb in what wyse 

Lo here )o»re ende of that I scbal 30W deuyse 1844 

Myn wil is ibis for plat conclnsionn 

With-oatyn ony replicacyonn 

}if that 30W likytb tak it for tbe beste 

That eiierycbe of 30W scbal gon Ty3t were by??* leste 1848 

fiiely witA-onte rannsum or dannger 

And fiB day fifty wonkis fer & ner 

Eneiycbe of 30W scbal brynge an hunderit knygbtt^ 

Aimyd for lystis yp at alle rygbtis 1852 

Al redy to darrayne here by batayle 

And this be-bote I 30W wf t/M)atyn fayle 

Vp on myn tioatbe & as I am a kny3t 

That whethir of 30W botbe that bath mygbt 1856 




. Y.06. 



'nel reaero noetro.* 

Digitized by 



54 GROUP A. § 2. knight's TAiiE. Cambridge KS. 

This is to seyne that wheper he or povL 

May vriiih heee hunderede as I spak of now 

Sle hese contraryo or out of lystis dryue 

Than schal I jeue Emalye to wyue 1860 

To -whom that fortune jeuyth so fayr a grace 

The lystis schal I make ryjt here in ]>is plase 

And god so wisely on myn soule rewe 

That I schal euene luge ben & trewe 1864 

3e schul non ofer ende wit^ me make pMfisr^iMwk] 

That on of 30W schal be ded or take 

And jif 30W J)ynkith J>is is wel I-sayd 

Seyth jouie auys and holdith 30W apayed 1868 

This is ^oure ende & jouie conclusyou» 

Who lokyth ly^tely now but palamoun 

Who spryngyth vp for loye but aicite 

Who couthe telle or who oouthe endite 1872 

The loye that is now schewid in the place 

Whan Thesitw hath / don so fayr a grace C*»nt* Rnudu,* 

But doun on kneis wente euery man[er] wi3t ' ^^ 

And fankede hym wi tfe al here herte & myjt 1876 

And nameliche the thebens ofle sythe 

And pus with god hope & with herte blythe 

They take here leue & homward fey guwne ryde 

To Thebes wit^ olde wallys wyde 1880 

[Part III. No gap in the MS,'] 

I trowe men wolde it deme necligence the iysU« 

3if I for-jete to telle y dispence 

Of Theeitis that goth so besily 

To makyn Tp the listis lyally 1884 

That swich a noble theatre as it was 

I dar wel seyn in this world ]>ere nas 

The Cyrcuyt a myle was aboute • vu. los. 

Wallyd of ston & dychid al w?t^-oute 1888 • ciio<u»dh.i 

Bound was the schap in maner of cumpas • 


Digitized by 


OBoup A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge KB. 55 

ffdl of degreis the hey3te of sexty pas 
That whan a man was set on a degre 
He lettyih not his felawe for to se 
Estwaid feie stod a gate of marbil whit 
Westward swich a nofer in the opposit 
And sehortlj for to conclade swich a place 
Was non in erthe of so lytil space 
ffor in the lend pere nas no crafby man 
That iemetiye or anmaetiik can 
Ke portretour ne keraere of ymagis 
That Thesyns hjm jaf mete & wagis 
The theatre for to makyn & deuyse 
And for to don his ryte & saciyfise 
He est-ward hath Tp on the gate a-hone 
In woiBch^pe of venus goddesse of lone 
Don make an anter & an oratoiye 
And on the westward in memoiye 
Of mars he makyd hat ry^t swich a noper 
That coste of goM largely a fother 
And noTward in a toret of the wal 
Of alahastie whit & red coral 
An oratorye ryche for to se 
In worachepe of Diane of chastite 
Hath Thesittf don wron^t in noble wise 
Bat 3it hadde I foi^etyn to deuyse 
The noble kerayng & the portreytare 
The achap the contenannce & the fygure 
That weryn in these oratoiyis thre 
%rst in the temple of Yemts mayst ^n se 
Wion^t on the wal fal pitous to be-hold 
The brokene sLepiB & the sikys colde 
The secret teiys & fe waymentyng 
The fery strokys of the desyryng 
That kmys semanntys of this lyf endaren 
The Cothis that here conenaantys assnryn 
PlfiBaanoe hope desyr folhardynesse 




1892 • 
FoMa Xarmoris • TH. IM 










VII. 68. 

i SeoVn.6M.»«. 

Digitized by 


56 GROUP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge KS. 




Beute & ^outhe baudrie richesse 

Channys & force lesynge & flateiye 

Dispence besynesse & lelousye 1928 

That werede of 3elwe flouiys a garlond 

And a cokkow sittynge on bese band 

ffestis instramentis karolys dauTzsis 

lust & aray & alle ]>e ctrcu^netancis 

Of loue wbiche tbat I reken & rekne scbal 

Be ordere were peyntid on the wal 

And mo ]>an I can make of mencyoun 

fifor sothly al the mount of Cytheioun 

There venw* bath bese pryncipal dwellyng 

Was scbewid in the wal in portreying* 

"With al the gardyn & the besynesse 

Not was forjetyn the portyr ydihiesse f ct soe p. ts, n. b.] 1940 

Ne narcyus the fayie of jore a-gon 

And yi the folye of kyng salamon 

And ek the grete strenthe of eicules^ 

Thenchauntementz of Media / Ss Circes 

Ke of Tumes / wtt^ the hardy ferce corage 

The lyche Cresus caytyf in seruage 

Thus may 30 sen tbat wisdam ne lychesse 

Beute ne sleythe strenthe ne hardynesse 

Ne may with vremis bolde champardye 

ffor as here lust the world panne may sche gye 

Lo alle these folk so cau^t were in here lase 

Til they for wo ful ofbe seyde alias 1952 

Suffyseth here ensaumplys on or to 

And ]iow I couthe rekene a thousent mo 

The statue of Venus gloryoi<« for to se § [§ f^ p. sb, «. g.] Ten«« 

Was makyd fletynge in the large se 1956 

And from the nauelle doun al couared was 

Which was grene & bry^t as ony gks 

A Cythole in here ry^t hand badde scbe 

And on here bed so semely for to se 1960 

A rose garlond frosch & wel smellynge 


Bee YII. M, ft C 
See YU. 6&^ a 

I See Vn. 63. & 


C: See p. 25, 11.7.] 



Digitized by 


0B0I7P A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 57 

A-bone here hed here doniznys flekerynge 

B j'fom here stod here sone cupido ^ [i ^ mxmd o added .- later] 

Vp-on hese schuIderyB wyngis hadde he to^ 1064 

And hljnd he was as it is offce sene 

A boire he hat & arwys bTj3te & kene 

Whi gchulde I not as wel telle 30W al 

The portreytore that was vp-on y wal 1968 

With-iime the wal of myjty mars the rede [Mars] 

Al pejntid was the wal in lenthe & brede 

Lyk to the Estrys of the gresely place 

That hy^te the grete temple of Mars in Trace 1972 

In tylke colde ficosty r^yoiin VMfija} 

Ther as Mais hath hese sonereyne mancyou7» 

fiyrst on the wal was peynted a forest 

In whiche pere dwellith neyjyer man ne heste 

With knotty knarry bareyne treis olde 

Of stahbis schaipe and hidoas to beholde 

In whiche ^rein ran a rambil in a swogh 

As J»w a storm schulde brestyn enery bowgh 

And doun from an hyl vndyr a bente 

There stod the temple of Mars annypotente 

Wrou^t al of bomede stel of wheche thentre 

Was long & stryt and gastely for to se 

And ther-ont come a rage i» swich a wese 

That it made al the gate for to rese 

The northreiL light In at the dorys shon* 

ffor wyndow oa the wal was there non 

Thorw whiche men myghte ony lyth disceme 

The dons were ale of athamanut3 eteme 

I-denchede on^rthwert & endelong 

With yiyn tough & for to make it strong 1992 

£oety peler the temple to snsteyne 

Was tonne giet of yryn biyjt & schene 

Theie sangh I fyrst the derke ymagynyng 

Of fekmye and the compassyng 1996 

The aewel yie red as ony glede 


• YIL38. 

. T1I.S1. 

1976 • [bat ft fwii forest 
there, not a 
■ lonel 


• VIL8J. 


• yu.33. 

[• See p. 26, n. 10.] 



VII. «. 

Digitized by 


58 GROUP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 

The pike-puis & the pale drede • 

The smylere with the knyf vndyr the cloke • ^Vnnei] 

The shepne brennynge wM the blake smoke 2000 

The tresoun & the morderyng in the bed 

The opene werre with wouTidis al be-bled 

Contek with blody knyf & scharp manace • yn. s*. 

Al ful of chyrkyng was that sory place 2004 • 

The sloere of hjm self jit saw I fere 

Hese herte blod hath bathed al hese here 

The nayl I-dreue in the schod a nyjt 

The colde deth with month gapynge vp ryght 2008 

In myddis of the temple there sat niyschaunce*r^JJ^^j^»^**<*] 

With disconfort & sory cnntenauTzs 

Jit saw I wodnesse laughynge in hese rage yii s& 

Armyd compleynt / outes & fers coragef ct see p. 25, ». 12.] 2012 

The careyn in the bosch with throte I-korwe 

A thousent slayn & not of qualm I-storve 

The tyraunt with the pray by forse I-raft 

The toon distroyed there was no fyng laft 2016 | vii. si 

Jit saw I brent the schepis hospesterys X ci bm p. ts, ». isj 

The hunte strangeled with the wilde berys 

The sowe frotyn the child ryjt in f* cradil 

The cook I-skaldit for al hese longe ladil 2020 

Noujt was for-jetyn by the infortune of marthe 

The cartere onyr redyn with hese carte ] tti.» 

Vndir the whil ful lowe lay he a-doun 

There were also of martyrs dyvysioun 2024 

The labourer the bocher & the smyth 

That foigith scharpe swerdis on the steyth 

And al arboute depeyntid in a tour 

Saw I conquest sittynge in gret honour 2028 

With the scharpe swerd ouyr his hed 

Hangyng by a sotyl twynede thred 

Depeyntid was the slautre of lulyus 

Of grete nero & of antonyus 2032 

Al be that ilke tyme they were onbom 


Digitized by 


OBOUP A. § 2. knight's talb. Cambridge MS. 59 

3U was here detii depeyntid fere be-fom 

B7 msDasyi^ of mars ry^t by fygure 

So was it fichewid in that portreture 2036 

As is depeyntid in the serties above 

Who schal be slayn or elle ded for loue 

Snffiseih on ensamnple in storyis oldc 

I may not rekene hem thow I wolde 2040 

The statne of mars yp-on a carte stod 

Annyd & lokede grym as he were wod 

And (mer hese hed pet-e schynyn two figurys 

Of stoiyis fat ben clepid in scripturys 2044 

That on puella that othir Kabens V^ 100] 

This god of armys was arayed thus 

A wolf there stod be-fom hjm at hese fet 

With ey^yn rede & of a man he et 2048 

With sotyl pensel was depeyntid pis story 

In ledoa^mge of mars & of hese glory 

2sow to the temple of dyane the chaste Dysue 

As schortly as I can I wele me haste 2052 

To telle 30W al the discripcioun 

Depeyntid ben the walld Tp & doun 

Of hmityng & of schamfast schastite 

Ther saw I how wofiil Calistope 2056 

Whan that dyane agrenyd was wiih here 

Was tomyd fiom a woman til a here 

And aflyr was ache mad the lode sterre 

That shynyth in the hevyn / from yow so f erre ifohoU Um later] 

Here aone is ek a sterre as men may se 

There saw I dane I-tumede til a tre 

I mene not the goddesse dyane 

Bat PemiytM don^tyr whiche that hy^te dane 2064 

There saw L Attheon / an hert I-maMd 

fibr yengannoe that he saw dyane al nakyd 

I saw how that hese houndis ban hym caut 

And fretyn hym for that J)ey knewe hym not 2068 

3it peyntid was a lityl fer])ere more 


Digitized by 


60 OBOUP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 

How atthalaunte buntid fe wilde bore 

And Melyagre & manye arnoper mo 

ffor wbicbe diane wT0U3te bym care & wo 2072 

There saw I manye arnofer wondir story 

The wheche me lyste not drawe to memoiy 

This goddesse on an hart' / wol hye set partMorZycmMq 

With smale hundys / al aboute here fet 2076 

And yndimethe here fet / sche hadde a mone 

Waxinge it was Ss schulde wanye sono 

In gaude grene here statue clotbede was 

With bowe in bond & arwis in a cas 2080 

Here ey^yn caste sche / ful lowe adonn n«rfieo, luu^] 

Ther pluto hath / here derke regiou» 

A woman trauaylynge / hadde sche be-fom 

But for here child / so longe was on-bom 2084 

fful pitusly lucyane gan sche calle 

And seyde help for J>ou mayst best of alle 

Wei coude he peynte lyfly that it wroujte 

With manye a floreyn / heye it was bou^te 2088 

Xow ben these lystis / made & thesyus 

That at hese grete cost arayed J)us 

The temple & the theatre eneiydel 

Whan it was don / it likede hym wondyr wel 2092 

But stynte I wele of Thesyus a lyte 

And speke of Pakmoun & [of] Arcite 

The day a-prochith of here retumynge 

That eueryche schulde an hunderit kny^tis biywge 2096 

The batayle to darrayn as I ^ou tolde 

And to atenys here couenaunt for to holde 

Hath eueiyche of hem broujt an hunderit knyjtw 

Wel armede foi to werre at alle ry^tis 2100 

And sekyrly ^ere trowede manye a man 

That neu^re sithe that the world be-gan | yj. n. 

As for to 8pe[ke] of knyght-hod of here bond 

As fer as god hath makyd se & sond 2104 

Nas of so fewe so noble a cuwipany i vl n. 


Digitized by 


QBOUP A. § 8. knight's tale. Cambridge KB. 61 

Sof enerj ipy^t that louede chjaalry Ttteuu.' 

And volde hese ^ank han a passaunt name 

Ha^ piejed that he myjte ben of that game 2108 'kIoooo.' vu. l 

And wel was hym that ferio schosyn was 

fhr jxf there fel to-morwe awich a cas 

3e knowe wel thot euery lusty kny^t 

Th[a]t buyth paramouns & hath hese my3t 2112 

Weie it in yngelond or ellys where 

They wolden here thankys willyn to be there 

To fyghtyn for a lady benedicite 

It WBie a lusty sy^te for to ee 2116 

And ryjt so ferdyn fej with Palamoun (knf lei] 

WitA hym Jwre wentyn knyghtys manye on 

Some wele ben annede in an habirioun 

And in a brest plate & in a ly3t loponn 2120 

And some wele bane a peyre platys large 

And some wele bane a pruce schild or a targe 

Some wele ben annyd on hese leggys wel 

And ban an ax & some a mace of stel 2124 

There is non newe gyee that it nas old 

Annede were ^y as I haue 30W told 

Eo^che aftyr hese opynyoun 

Ther mayst Jon sen / comynge with palamoun 2128 ^^ Ardutiido. 

iJgiDge hyi» seine / the grete kyng of trace . vl 14. 

Hlak W8B hese herd / & manlyche was hese face ti. 21. 09«e pss. 

The CerkelyB of hese eyen / in hese bed 

They ^wedyn / by-twethyn ^elw & red 2132 

And lyk a grefoim lokede he a-boute 

With kempe herys on hese browys stoute 

His lemys grete / hese brawnys grete & stronge • vl sl 

Hese achnderys brode hese armys rou7»de & longe 2136 

And as the gyse was in his cuntre 

ffnl heye vp on a char of gold stod he vi- «i- 

Wttft fonie white bolys in the trays I 

In stede of hese cote armour oner hese barneys 2140 • vi- ». 

WitA naylys ^elwe & bryghte as ony gold 


Digitized by 


62 GROUP A. § 2. knight's talb^ Cambridge MS. 

He hadde a beiys skyn / cole blak for old 
Hese longe her was kemb be-hynde bis bak 
As ony lauenys fedyr it scbon for blak 
A wrethe of gold / arm gret of heuge weigbte 
Vp-on bese bed set ful of stonys brygbte 
Of ijnne rabeis Ss of dyamacmtys 
A-bonte bese char there wente why^te Alauntis 
Twenty & mo as grete as ony ster 
To huntyn at the lyomn or the der 
And folwede hym yriik mosel faste I-bonnde 
Colerid of gold / & toretiys fylede rouwde 
An hunderit lordis hadde he in hese route 
Armede ful wel wiiJi hertis steme Ss stoute 
With arcyta in storyis as men fynde 
The grete emetreus the kyng of Xnde 
Vp-on a stede bay trappit in stel 
Couered in cloth of gold diaperyd wel 
Come rydynge liik the god of amiys mars 
Hese cote armeure was of cloth of tans 
Couchede with perlys white & rouwde & grete 
Hese sadil was of brend gold newe bete 
A mantyl vi>-on hese schuldyr hangynge 
Bret fill of Eubyis rede & fer sparkelynge 
Hese crispe her lyk ryngis was I-roune 
And fat was ^elw / & glederit as the Sonne 
Hese nose was hey hese ey3yn bryght sitryne 
Hese lyppis rounds hese colo^^r was sanguyn 
A fewe frakenys in hese face I-sprend 
Be-twixe jelw / & sumdel blak I-meynd 
And as a lyoun he hese lokynge caste 
Of fyue & twenty ^er / hese age I caste 
Hese herd was wel begunne for to spry»ge 
Hese voys was as a trumpe thonderynge 
Vp-on hese bed he werede a laurer grene 
A garlond froech & lusti for to seene 
Vp-on hese bond he bar for hes deduyt 







[leaf 161, iMck 


• VL«. (Seet sac 







' VL41. 


Digitized by 


OBOUP A. § 3. knight's talb. Cambridge MS. 63 

An ogle tame as ony 1 jlje whit 

An hnnderid loidys hadde he wiiJi hjm there 

Alk urmede sone / heze hedis in al here geie 

ffial lychelj in alle maner thyngis 

Sat tmstyth wel that dokis erlys kyngis 

Were gaderid in this nohle ciunpanye 

ffor lone & for enciea of chiwahye 

A-boathfi this kyng / there ran on eu^ry part 

fiul manye a tame / lyoan & lebard 

And in this wise / these lordis alle & some 

Ben on the soneday / to the sete come 

Ahonte prtme & in the tonn a-light 

This ihesyns this deuk this worthi knyght 

Whaane he hadde bron^t hem in-to hese cete 

And innode hem / enerych at hese degre 

He festith hem / & doth so gret labour 

To eeyn hem / & don hem alle honour 

That y% men wenyn / that no mannys wit 

Of non estat / ne conde amendyn it 

The menstralcye / the seruyse at the feste 

The grete ^iftys to the meste & leste 

The ryehe azay of thesyos palays 

Ntt ho sat feist or last vp-on the deys 

What ladyis fayrest ben or best daunsynge 

Or whiche of hem can daoncfyn best or synge 

Xe who most felyngely / spekyth of loue 

What haukys syttyn on the peiche a-boue 

VThai houndys liggyn in the flor adonn 

Of al this make I now no mencyonn 

Bat al theffect that ])ynkyth me the beste 

Now oomyth the poynt / & herkenyth jif jow lyste 2208 

The soneday ny^t er day be-gan to spynge 

Whan palamoon The larke herde synge 

Al-^y it were nought / day be ourys to 

3it song the larke / & palamoun also 

With holy herte & with an hey corage 













VL ee-rc. 



pttlamiM to veniM 


Digitized by 


bi OBOUP A. § 2. knight's talk Cambridge MS. 

He los to wendyn / on hese pilgiymage 
Vn-to the temple blysM Cythera benygne 
I mene yenus honurable & dygne 
And in liere hour he walkith forth a pas 
Vn-to the lystis there here temple was 
And doun he knelith & with vmble cheie 
And herte sor / he seyde as je shal here 
ffayreste of feyre / lady myn venus 
Doughtyr to loue / & spouse of Vlcanus 
Thow gladere of / the mount of Cytherou» 
flfor thilke loue / pou haddyst to Adoun 
Haue pete of myne bittere tens smerte 
And tak myn humble preyere at Jjyw herte 
Alias I ne haue no langage to telle 
TheflpBctis ne the turmentis of myn helle 
Myn herte may myn harm* not bewreyen 
I am so confus ^at I can not seyen 
But mercy lady brygh that knowyst wel 
Myn thought & fest what harmys that I fel 
Considere al this & rew vp-on myn sor 
As wisely as I schal ^it eueremor 
Enforte myn my^t thi trewe seruauwt be 
And holdyn werre alwey with chastite 
That make I myn owene so ^e me helpe 
I kepe not of armys for to gelpe 
Ke I ne axe not / to raorwe to haue victoiye 
Ne renoun in this cas / ne ven glorye 
Of prys of armys blowyn vp & doim 
But I wolde haue fully possessioun 
Of Emelye & deye / in fyn seruyse 
£Eynd pou the maner how & in what wyse 
I reche not but I may betere be 
To haue victoiye of hem & fey of me 
So that I haue myn lady in myne armys 
ffor thow so be / that Mars I god of armys 
Jowre vertu is so gret in heuene a-boue 






TIL 43. 


ncafl62,l»ck] . 


VII. 4a. 


[lum: lour] 









VIL 4?. 

Digitized by 


GBoup A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 65 


That ^ ^a Ijst I schal wel haue myn loue 

Thy» temple wele I woiscbepe eucre mo 

And on ihyn auter where I lyde or go 

I wele don sacnfyse & f eiys bete 

And ^if ^e wele not so myn lady swete 

Thanne prey I the to-morwe with a spere 

That Aicitha / me four the herte here 

Than rekke I not whan I haue last myn lyf 

Thow Aicithe / wynne here to hese wyf 

This is theffect / & ende of myn preyeie 

3yf mo myn lone ]k?u blysfnl lady dere 

Whan y oiysonn was don of palamoun 

Hese sacrifyse lie dede & fat a-non 

fFul pitously with al ciicamstaujice* 

Al telle I not as now hese obeeruaunce 

But at the laate the statwe of Venus schok 

And made a sygne wherby that he tok 

That hese preyere acceptid was that day 

fibr though the sygne schewede a delay 

po wisto he wel pat grauntld was hese bone 

And with glad herto he wente hym horn ful sone 

The thiede liour inequal that Palamoun 

Be-gan to Tenus temple for to gon 

Vp roe the sunne & vp ros Emalye 

And to the temple of dyane gan hye 

Here maydenys ^ot sehe thidir with her kdde 

fful redyly f * fuyr with liem fey hadde 

Thensens tlie dothis & the remenaunt al 

That to the sacrifise longyn schal 

The homys ful of mete / as was the gyse 

Ther lakkede not to don here sacryfise 

Smokynge p* temple ful of dothis fayie 

This Emdye witA herte debonayre^ 

Here body wesch wit^ watyr of a welle 

Bat how sche dede here lyte / I dar not telle 

But jif it be ony J>yng / in general 

5 CAHBEinOE 6$ 

Tea Hde. 
• TIL 48. 


• VII. 40. 










p • aUertdJ)rom o] 


VII. ». 



VII. Tt, 


Digitized by 


66 GROUP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 

And jit it were a game to here it al 

To hym that menyth wel / it were no chaige 

But it is good a man be at hese large 2288 

Here bryghte her was kempt vntrussed al 

A coioun of a grene ok cerial • vn. 74. 

Vp-on her hede was / set / f ul fayre & mete 

Too fyrys on the auter / gan sche bete 2292 . 

And dede here thyngis as men may beholde 

In stace of Thebes & these bokys olde 

Whan kyndelit was this fuyr with pitof£8 chere • vn. n. 

Vn-to dyane sche spak / as je may here 2296 • 

chaste goddesse of the wodys grene Oafias. baek] • yil ». 
To whom bo]>e heuene & erthe & se is sene • vn. n. 
Quen of the regne / of pluto dirk and lowe • 
Goddesse of maydenys / fat myn herte hast knowe 2300 • 

fful manye a jer and wost what I desire 

So kep me from pjn veniance & fyn jre • vii. rs. 

That attheon Aboughte crewelly 

Chaste godesse wel wost pon that I 2304 

Desire to ben a maydyn al myn lyf 

Ne neucre wele I be no loue ne wyf 

1 am Jjou wost jit / of thyn compaygnye • vn. %i. 
A mayde & loue huntyng & venery 2308 • 
And for to walkyn in the wodys wilde 

And not to ben a wyf & ben w^t/i chylde 

Not wele I knowe cowpaynye of man | yj| ^ 

Now help lady sithe je may [&^] can n eromtnj 2312 

ffor to thre formeste that ))ou hast in ]fe 

And palamouw that hath swich loue to me 

And ek arcite that louyth me so sore 

This grace I preie the wtt/t-oute more 2316 • vu. m. 

And send loue & pes be-twixe hem to 

And fiom me tume a-wey here hertis so 

That alle here bote loue & al here dosyr 

And al here besy turment and here fyr 2320 

Be queynt & tume in a nofer place 


Digitized by 


6B0CP A. § 2. KNiGHT^s TALK Cambridge MS. 67 

And 31! so be ^u wilt not do me grace 
Or ^if myn destene Le schapen so 
That I schal nedjs ban on of hem to 
As se3id me bym tbat most des jiytb me 
Be-hold goddesse of clene chastite 
The bittere teiys tbat on wjne cbe-kys falle 
Sjn you. art maydyn & kepere of vs alle 
My iiiayd3riibed ^u kepe & wel conserae 
And whil I leue / a mayde I wele )>* seme 
The fyrys brenne vp on tbe auter clere 
Whyl Emalye was fus in here preyere 
Bat sodeynly ache sey a seygbte qneynte 
ffor rygbt a-non [on] of the ferys qTie3rnte 
And qnekede a-geyn & aftyr that anon 
That otbyr fer was queynt & si a^n 
And as it qneynte it made a whistelyng 
As don tbe wete biondis in here biennyng 
Ant at tbe biondis ende ont lan a-non 
As it were blodi dropis many on 
fibr which so sore agast was emalye 
That scbe was wol nygh mad & gan to crye 
ffor scbe njvbd what it sygnefyed 
Bat only for the fer yus hath scbe cryed 
And wep yat it was pete for to here 
And ^erwithal diane gan apere 
With bowe in bond rygh as an bimteresse 
And seyde dovightir stynt pjn heuynesse 
Among tbe goddys bye it is afermyd 
And by eteme world wretyn and confermyd 
Thow scbalt ben weddit vn-to on of two 
That ban for the so meche care & wo 
Bnt vn-to whiche of hem I can not telle 
^iiwfl for I ne may no lengere dwelle 
The fdrys whiche pat on my/i anter brenne 
Schnl the declaryn or that ]>oa go hemie 
Thyn aoentare / of lone as in this cas 


T mUe. 




• VU.88. 



• VIL 91. 





I ini.w. 

• TiLsai 


• TIL ». 

petmetcrna imr 
ro:«.' VIL 8.VJ 

. VILW. 


• TIL89. 



Digitized by 





68 GROUP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 

And with pat word / pe arwia in the cas 

Of the goddesse clateryn faste & rynge 

And forthe flche wente & made auanysschynge 

ffor wich / this emaly / a-stonyd was 

And seyde what amountjrth this alias 

I putte me in thyn proteccioun 

Dyane & in thyn dispocycyoun 

And hom sche goth anon the nexte weye 

This is theflfect fere is no more to seye 

The nexte hour of Mars folwynge this 

Arcite vn-to the temple walked is 

Of ferae Mara / to don his sacrifyse 

Wtt7i al his rygh / of hese poyn devise 

"With pitous herfce & hey deiiocyoun 

Kygh pm to Mara he seyde hese orysoiin 

stronge god / that in the regnys colde 
Of trace honoured art & lord I-holde 
And hast in enery regne and euery lond 
Of armys al the hiidil in fyn hond 
And hem fortunyst as the lyste deuyse 
Accepte of me myn pitoiis sacrifyse 
3if it so be that myn ^outhe may disserue 
And that myn myght be worthi for to serve 
Thyn godhed that I may ben on of thyne 
Thanne preye I the / to rewe vp-on myn pyne 
ffor thylke pyne & thylke bote fuyr 
In whiche whilhom pon brentist for desyr 
Whan that pou. vsedest the beute 
Of fayie jouthe frossche venus fre 
And haddist here in armys at ]>yn wille 
Al-though the onys on a tyme mysfylle 
TVTian vlcanus hadde caught )>• in hese las 
And fond the lyggynge by his wife alias 
ffor thilkee sorwe / that was in thyn herte 
Eaue routhe as wel vp-on mjTie peynys smerte 

1 am jong / and oncunnynge as pan wyst 





• VIL98. 



• VILH. 


• vn. ». 



• viLsa. 


• VII. at 

Digitized by 


2404 < 



GROW A, § 2. KjfioHT's TALEL Cambridge HS. 

And as I trowe with loue offendit most 

That euere was ony / lyuys ciyature 

ffor sche that doth me al this wo endure 

Ne lechith neuere whedyr I synke or iBeete 

And wel I wot er sche me mercy hete 

I mot with sticnthe wynne liere in the place 

And wel I wot / wtt^-oute helpe or grace 

Of the ! ne may myn stienthe not a-vayle 

Than help me lord to morwe in mjm hatayle 

for thilke fuyr that whilhom biente the 

As wel as thilke fer / now biennyt h me 

And do jMit I to morwe haue victorie 

Myn be y tEanayle & thyn the glorye* 

Hiyn soaereyn tempi wel I muste honours 

Of ony place & alwey most laboore 

In thyn pleasaaRce & in thi craftys stronge 

And in thi temple I mowe myn baner honge 

And alle the annys of myn cumpanye 

And euere mo vn-to pat day I deye 

Eteme fnyr I wele be-fore the fynde 

And ek to this a-wow I wele me bynde 

Myn beid myn her that hangith long adoun 

That neo^re ^^it me felte ofiencyoun 

Of lasotir ne of schere I wele the ^eue 

And ben thyii trewe seruannt whil I leue 

^ow lord hane ronthe vp on mynne sorwis sore 

3if me the Yiciorie I aske the no more 

The pieyer stynte of arcita the stronge 

The ryngis on the temple dore tbat hengo 

And ek the doris clateiedyn fol faste 

Of which arcita snm^what hym gaste 

The fnyres biende Tp on the autyr bryjt 

That it gan al the temple for to ly^t 

A swete smel a-non the ground vp 3af 

And aicita anon hese bond vp haf 

And more ensens in to the fuyr be ^ caste 






2400* yiL26. 

• YiLsr. 

• VIL 28. 


• TU.». 

• VIL 28. 



• vn. 30. 


• VII. 40. 

2428 :-8eeVU.40. 
\}catttndfiromst] | 

Digitized by 



70 GROUP A. § 2. KNiOHT*B TALE. Cambridge MS. 

With othere ry^tys mo and at the laste 

The statue of mars he-gan hese hauherk rynge • vn. 4ol 

And wiifi that soun he herde a murmurynge 2432 • 

jffiil lowe & dym fat seyde Jj2« victorye | 

flfor which he ^af / to Mars^. the glorye^ p-» ewer TictoiyeerMwii 

And pus with loye & and hope wel to fare • vil u. 

Arcita anon vn-to his in is fare 2436 

As fayn as foul is of the hry3te sunne 

And ry^t anon pere is swich stryf he-guwne vturmur • vil er. 

flfor thilke grauntynge in the heuene ahoue 

Be-twixe vent« the goddesse of loue 2440 . 

And mars the steme god Armypotent D«*f i«, i»ck] . 

That lupiter was besi it to stynte 

Til that fe pale satume the colde 

That knowith so manye of auentowris olde 2444 

fifond in hese old experience an art 

That he ful sone hath plesid enerj part 

As soth is seyd elde hat giet auauntage 

In elde is bothe wisda?^ & vsage 2448 

Men may the elde at-renne & not at-rede 

Satume a^non to stynte stryf & drede 

Al be it pat it is ageyn hese kynde 

Of al this stryf he gan remedie fynde 2462 

Myn dere doujtyr yenus iiuod satunie 

Myn cott)*se pat hath so wyde for to tume 

Hath more power than wit ony man 

Myn is the drenchyng in the se so wan 2456 

Myn is the pn'soun in the derke cote 

Myn is the strangelyng & hangywge bi tlie throte 

The murmur & the cherl«^ rebellynge 

The groynyTige & the pnue enpoysounyngo 2460 

I do veniaunce and pleyn corecciouu 

Whyl I dwelle in the sygne of the lyoun 

Myn is the ruyne of the heye hallys 

The fallynge of the tourys & of the wallys 2464 

Vp-on the mynowr or the carpenter 


Digitized by 


GBoup A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 71 

I slow Samson schakynge y piller 

And myne ben the maladys colde 

The darke tresonnnys & the castis olde 

Myn lokynge is pe fadir of pestelence 

Now wep no more I schal don diligence 

That Palamonn that is pjn owene kny3t 

Schal han base lady as fon hast hym hy3t 

Thon^ MaiB schal helpe hese kny^t ;it neuartheles 

Be-twixen 30W there may ben swntyme pes 

Alle be ^e not of on complexioun 

That causeth al day swich dynysionn 

I am thyn aid ledi at thyn wille 

Wep now no more I wil yjn lust fulfylle 

Now wil I stynte of the goddis abone 

^lais & venus goddease of loue 

And telljB ^ow as goodly as I can 

The giete effect for whiche pat I began 






[PART IV. No gap in the MS,] 

Gret was the feste in Athenys \ai day 

And ek the losti sesen of fat may 2484 

Made exwry whitht to ben in swich pleaauwce 

That al that moneday Instene they & daunce 

And spendyn it in vcnns hey seruyse 

And by the cause' that fey schulde ryse 2488 

Eriy for to sen the grete fy^t 

Vnto here reste wente fey fat nygh[t] 

And on the morwe whan fat day gan sprynge 

Of hors & barneys noyse & claterynge 2492 

There was in ostelleryis al aboute 

And to the paleys rod fere manye a route 

Of lordys vp-on stedis & palfreyis 

There mayst f ou sen / deuysyng of barneys 2496 

So vncouth & so ryche & wrough so wel 

Of gold smetheris / of broudynge & of stel 


[Genonl Imita- 
tion of VU. SMW. 

Digitized by 


72 aBOOP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge HS. 

The scheldys bryghte testers & trappuTys Teaode. 

Gold hew helmys hauberkis cote armurjs 2500 

lordis in paramentis on here courserys 

Knyghtis of retenew A ek squyerys 

Naylynge the sperys & hehnys bokelynge 

Giggynge of schyldys wit^ lanyerys la-eynge 2504 

Ther as nede is fey were no )>yng ydyl 

The fomy stedis on the goldene brydyl • vil «. 

Gnawynge faste .the. armurys also . I 

With fyle & hamyr prikynge to & fro 2608 

Thawne on fote comonnnys ' manye on D ms attend] 

With schorte stauys / as thikke as )>ey may gon 

Pypis tnimpis nakerys claryounnys 

That in the batayle blowyn blody sounys 2512 

The paleys ful of peplys vp & doun [leaf 166, b^k] | vn.w. 

Here thre fere ten / holdynge here questyoun . vil w, 

Deuynpige of these / thebene knyghtis too • 

Some seyde thus / some seydyn it schulde be so 2516 j 

Some heldyn with hjm with the blake herd 

Some with the ballede some with the thykke herid 

Some seyde he lokede gryrwme & he wolde fyghto 

He hath a sparth of twenty pound of weighte 2520 

Thus was the haUe ful of dynynynge 

Longe aftyr that the sunne be-gan to spiynge 

The grete thesyus that of hese slep a-wakyd • yil ool 

"With mynstrelsye & noyse that was makyd 2524 

Held jit the chambre of hese paleys ryche • 

Tyl that the theben knyghtis bothe I-liche 

Honoure weryn / in-to the paleys fet 

Deuk thesyus is at a wyndowe set 2528 

Arayed wel as he were a god in trone 

The puple presede dedyrward ful sone 

Hym for to sen & don hey reuerence 

And ek to herkene his best & his sentence 2532 

An heraud on a skaffald made an hoo 

Til al the noyse of the puple was I-do 


Digitized by 


GBOUF A. § S. knight's TALE. Cambridge H8. 73 


See VIL 7-13. 






▼u. u 



VIL 131-132. 

And whan he say / ihe noyse of puple al stylle 

Tho schewede he the myghty dukis wille 2536 

The lord hath of hese hey disciecyoun 

Consyderit fat it were distructyoun 

To gentyl blod to fygtyn in the gyse 

Of mortel batayle now in this empryse 2540 • til r. 

Wherfore to schapyn fat pej schul not dye 

He wele heee feiste pnipos modyfye 

No man ferioie vp peyne of los of lyf 

No maner schort polax / no schort knyf 

In to the lystys sende ne dedyr biynge 

Xe schort swerd for to steke wit^ poynt bytynge 

No man it diawe ne here it by hese syde 

Ke no man schal vn to hese felawe ryde 

But on cours with a scharp I-grounde spere 

ffiiyn jif hym lyst / on fote hym self to were 

And he that is at myschef schal be take 

And not slayn / but ben brought vn-to the stake 

That schal ben ordeynyd on ejfer syde 

Bat dedir he schal be forse & ]>ere abyde 

And 3if so fiftlle the cheuynteyn be take 

On eythyr syde or ellys slen hese make 

No lengere schal the tumyinge leste 

God spede 30W. goth forth / & leyth on faste 

With long swerd & with macys fytyth jowre fylle 

Goth now ^oure wey / this is the lordys wille 2560 

The Yoys of peple touchede the heuene 

So longe cryedyn fey -with merye steuene 

God sawe swich a lord fat is so good 

He wylnyth non distructioun of blod 2564 

Vp goth the trumpys & the melodye 

And to the lystis rit the cumpaynye 

By ordenaurrce Throuout Tho sete large 

Hangit witA cloth of gold & not with sarge 2568 

£ful lyk a lord fis noble deuk gan ryde 

These too thebenys vp on eyfcr syde 


[no laoccs mllowed 

• Vll. 12 [and with 

vn. 14. 


Digitized by 


74 GROUP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge HS. 




And aftyr rod the quen & emelye 

And aftyr pat a noper cumpanye 2572 

Of on & ojer aftyr here degre 

And thus ]>ey passyn thot^r out the cite 

And to the lystis come pej betyme 

It nas not of the day fully pryme 2576 

Whan set was Thesyus ful ryche Ss bye 

Ypolita the quen & Emely 

And o]>CTe ladyis in degreis aboute 

Vnto the setis / presith al the route 2580 

And westwardis thorugh y gatys vndyr raarthe* [• See p. 26^ ». is.] 

Arcite Ss ek the hunderit of hese parte 

With baner red is enteryd rygh a-non 

And in that seluo moment Palamon 2584 

Is vndyr venus Estward in the place [i«af i67, back] 

With baner whit & hardy cher & fac 

In al the world to sekyn yp Ss down 

So euene with-oute variacyoun 2588 

There ne were sweche cumpanyis tweyo 

ffor pere ne was non that coude seye 

That ony hadde of oper auauntage 

Of worthynesse ne of estat ne age 2592 

So euene were fey 'chosen for to gesse vi attend jyomh} 

And too ryngis fayre fey hem dresse 

Whan that here namys rad were euerychon 

That in here noumbre gile was fere non 2596 

Tho were the gatys schette & cryed was loude 

Do now jowre deuer ^ynge knyghtis proude 

The heroudys lefte here prykynge vp & doun 

Now ryngyn trompys loude & claryouw 2600 | vin. «. 

There is no more to seyne but west & est 

In gon the sperys ful gladly in at rest 

In goth the scharpe spere in to f ^ syde 

Ther sen men ho can luste & ho can ryde 2604 

There sleueryn sperys vp-on schildys f ikke 

He felyth thorw the herte spon the piykke 



Digitized by 


GBoup A. § S. icnioht's tale. Cambridi^ H8. 75 

Vp spryngyn sperys twenty fote on beyghte 

Out gon ^ sweidis as tlie syluyr bryght 

Tbe hehnys tbey bewyn Ss to-6cbiede 

Out brest tbe blod with steme stremys lede 

Witb mygbiy macys the bonys they to-bieste 

He thovr the tbikkeste of tbe tbrang ga» thieste 

There semblyn stedys stiOTige & doun gotb al 

He rollitb yndyr fote as dotb a bal 

He foynytb on bese feet vriih bese truncboun 

And be bym bnrtelitb witft bese bors adoun 

He tbottr tbe body is bort & sitbe take 

Magiy bis bed & biougb vn-to tbe stake 

As forward was / ryjt fere be wolde abyde 

Anofer lad is on that oper syde 

And snmtyme dotb hem Tbesiu^ to reste 

Hem to iiosscbe & drynkyn ^f hem leste 

ffol of te a day ban tbese Tbebens two 

To-gedere I-met & wrought bese f elawys wo 

Vn-boisede bath ecbe ofer of bem tweye 

Tber nas no Tigre in tbe yale of Galgopbeye 

Wban that bere whelp is stole wbU it is lyte 

So crewel on tbe bonte as is arcjrte 

ffoT lelons berte vp-on this Palamonn 

Ne in Belmarye pere ne is non so fel lyoun 

Tbat bantid is or for bese bungyr wod 

Ne of bese prey desyretb so tbe blod 

As Palamoon to slen bese fo Arcyte 

Tbe leluse strokys on bere belmys b3rte 

Out reimytb blod on boj^e bere sydis rede 

Snmtyme an ende pere is of ejper dede 

fibr er tbe sunne yn-to y reste wcnte 

The strong kyng / emetryus gan bente 

This Palamoun as be faugbt with Arcyte 

And made bis swerd depe in bese flescb to bite 

And be tbe forse of twenty is be take 

Tn-^oldyn & Idrawyn to tbe stake 













See VIII. 14. 20, 
33, 40. 60. 81, Ac 

VIII. 18. 


Digitized by 


76 GROUP A. § 2. knioht'b tale. Cambridge MS. 

And in the rescous of this palamoun TueUt, 

The stronge kyng lygurge is bom adoun 2644 

And kyng 'Emeinus [al] for hese strenthe 

Is bom out of hese sadil a swerdis lenthe 

So hitte hjm palamoun or he were take 

But al for nought he was brought to the stake 2648 

Hese hardy herte myghte hyni helpe nought 

He muste abyde whan that he was caught 

By forse & ek by compocycioun 

Who sorwith now but woful palamoun 2652 | Tin. i» 

That may* no more gon ageyn to fyghte v aUendAvmmoi 

And whan that Thesii^ hadde seyn that syghte 

Vn-to the folk that foughtyn thus echon 

He cryede ho / no more for it is don 2656 

I wele be trewe iuge Ss no partye [i«if i6b. uok] 

Arcite of Thebes schal haue Emelye 

That bi hese fortune hath here fayre wonne 

A-non pere is a noyse of puple begunne 2660 

ffor ioye of this so loude & heye with al 

It semede )Nzt the lystis Bchulde fal 

What can now fayre venus don aboue 

What seyth sche now / what doth this quen of loue 2664 

But wepith so / for wantynge of here wille 

Tyl pat here terys in the lystis fylle 

Sche seyde I am a-schamyd duteles 

Satume seyde doujtyr hold Jjyn pes 2668 

Mars hath his wille his knyght al hese bone 

And be myn hed pan schat ben esed sone 

The tmnipis with the loude mestrelcye 

The heroudis pat ful loude jelle & crye 2672 

Ben in here wele for ioye of daun Arcyte 

But herkenyth me & styntyth now a lite 

Which a merakele J>cre be-fel a-non 

This ferse arcyte hath of hese helm I-don 2676 vm. isl 

An[d] on a courser for to schewe hese face 

He prikyth endelong the same plase 


Digitized by 


GROUP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 77. 





Deaf 1093 

Lokynge Tpwaid vp on fia Emelye 
And ache ageyn hjm caste a frendely ye 


• . no gap in the MS,^ 

And was al bese cber as in hese herte 

Out of tlie ground a furye infernal sterte 

ffirom pluto sent at request of satume 

ffor which hese hois for fer gan to tume 

And lep a syde & foonderede as he lep 

And er fat aicite may takyn kep 

He pyghte hy7» on the pomol of hese hed 

That in p* place he lay as he were ded 

His hrest to-brostyn withe sadiL bowe 

As blak ho lay as ony cole or crowe 

So was the blod ronnyn in hese face 

A-non he was I-bom out of the place 

With herte sor to thesens palcys 

Tho was he korvyn out of hese barneys 

And in a bed I-brout ful fayre & blythe 

ffor he was jit in memory & alyue 

And alwey ciyiuge aftyr Emelye 

Dnk Thesios wit^ al hese cu7?&panye 

Ib oomyn horn to athenus hese cete 

With al blys & gret Bole?7ipnete 

Al be it JKit this / auenture was falle 

He nylde not disconfortyn hem alle 

Men seyde ek that Ardta schal not deye 

He schal ben helyd of hese maladye 

And of a no fer ^yng ]>ey wem as fayn 

That of hem aUe was fere non I^layn * [*seep.s6,n.i9.] 2708 

AUe were ^y sore I-hurt & namely on 

That wit^ a spere was therlyd hese brest bon 

To othere wouf?dis & to brokene armys 

Some haddyn saluys & some liaddyn charmys f Ct Sm p. e5. n. to.] 

ffermacies of erbis & ek sane 2713 

J)cy dronken / for Jey woldyn here lemys bane 


Tin. 131. 

Ol Fury, nUaed by 
Venus, iX. 4.] 

IX. T. 

IX. 8. 

IX. 47. 

2696 I IX. 19. 

I IX. 48. 



IX. 88. 

IX. 98. 

Digitized by 


78 GROUP A. § 2. kkioht's tale. Cambridge MS. 

ffor which this nohle deuk as he wel can Tatide. 

Confortyth & honcmref euery man 2716 

And made reuel al the longe nyght | ix. 6l 

Vn to Jjo straunge^ lordis as was ryght [• owemi awh strongo] 

Ne fere was holdyn non disconfitinge 

But as a iustis or a tumeynynge 2720 

ffor Bothely pere was non disconfiture 

ffor fallynge nys not but an auenture 

Ne to be lad be forse on to the stake 

Vn^oldyn &. with twenty knyghtis I-take 2724 

On persone a-lone w/t/i-oute mo 

And haried by arm fote & to' 

And ek hese stede dreuyw forth with stauys 

With footmen bothe ^emen & ek knavys 2728 

It nas arettyd hym no velanye 

There may no man clepe it cowardye 

ffor which a-non deuk Theseus let crye n««fi»,iiMk) 

To styntyn alle rancure <fe enuye 2732 

The gre as wel on o syde as of othir ix. «. 

And ey thyr syde liche* lyk a of eris brothir P ms. aueredi 

And jeue hew jiftys aftyr here degre xil so. 

And fully held a feste dayis thre 2736 fVt^ ^v*. 

And conueyed f* kyng worthily 

Out of hese town a iume laigely 

And horn wente enerj man the ryghe way | xtl sai 

pere was no more but farwel & heue good day 2740 

Of this batayle I wele no mOre endyte 

But speke we of palamoun & arcite 

Swellyth the brest of Arcite & the sor* [• Soe p. «, «,«!.] ; see x. ii. 

Encreseth at hese herte more & mor 2744 ; 

ITie cloterede blod for ony leche-craft 

Corupteth & is in hese bouk I-laft 

That neyfer veyne blod ne ventusynge 

Ne drynk of erbis may ben hese helpywgef [t S€ep.«5.«.2a.] 

The vertu expulayf of anymal 2749 

ffor thilke vertu clepe I natural 


Digitized by 


6B0UP A* § 2. knight's taub. Cambridge K8. 79 

Ne may the vertu voyde ne expelle TtmUk, 

The pypis of lieae lungys ganne to swelle* (« sm ^.n^ «.».] 2752 

And eiuiry laceite in hese bieet adoun 

Ib schent witA yeitu & corupcyoun 

Hym gaynyth neyjjer for to gete bis lyf 

Yomyt vpwar ne dounward laxatyf 2756 

Al is to-brostyn / tbilke legioon 

Nature hath no domynacyouw f Ct 8« p. 2s, n. b.j 

And serteynly J^ere nature wele not wercb 

fiarwel fysyk go bere the man to schercbe 2760 

This al and sam that arcite mot deye 

for which he sendyth Aftyr Emalye 

And palamoun that was hese cosyn dere 

Thanne seyde he ])iis as 30 schnl aftyr here 2764 

Nowt may the woful spyrt in myn herte 

Declare on poynt of alle mynne sorwis smerte 

Do 30W myn lady that I lone most [kaf 170] 

But I he-qnethe the spyrit of myne gost 2768 

To 50W a-bony» euery cryatnie 

Sjn that myn lyf may no lengere dure 

Alias the wo alias the peynys stronge 

That I for 30W haue suffered & so longe 2772 

Alias the deth alias myn Emelye 

AOas the partynge of oure cumpaynye 

AUas myn hertis queue alias myn wif 

Myn hertis lady endore of myn lyf 2776 

What is this world what askyn men to haue 

Now with hese loue now in hese colde groue 

A4one wit^utyn ony cuwipanye 

feiewel myn swete fo myn emelye 2780 

And sofle tak me in 30ure armys tweye^ CI see p. kfi, 11.(4.] • 

fibr loue of god & herkene what I schal seye 

I haue here wiHi myn cosyn palamoun | z. 9»-i. 

Had etrif & rancnr manye a day agon 2784 

for loue of 30W & for myn lelusye 

And lupiter so wisely myn soule gye 



X.S7. 61. 





Digitized by 




80 GROUP A. § 3. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 

To apekyn of a seruaunt proprely 

With alle circumstauwcys trewely 2788 

That is to seyne / strenth . honour . knyghede . 

Wisdam . vmblesse . estat . & hey kynrede . 

ffrcdom . & al that longith to that art 

So lupiter haue of myn soule part 2792 

As in ))is world now ne knowe I non 

So worthi to be louyd as paJainon 

That seruyth 30W & wele don al hese lyf 

And 9if that euere je schul be a wif 2796 

ffbr-^et not palamoun the gentyl man* c* see p. s&, 11.26.] 

And with that word hese speche fayle gan 

ffor from hese herte vp to hese brest was come • x. m. iw. 

The colde of deth pat hadde hjm onercome 2800 • 

And 3it more ouyr for in hese armys two 

The vital stronthe is lost Ss al a-go 

Only the intellect witA-outyn more cu»fi7<),Uck] 

That dwellede in hese herte syk & sore 2804 • 

Gan fayle whan the herte felte deth 

Dusked hose eyne y & faylede breth 

But on hese lady ^it caste he hese eye • 

Hese laste word was mercy Emelye 2808 • 

Hese spyrit schauncede hous & wente here > see xi. i-s. ud 

'^'f ^ r I the end of rroiiM 

As I cam neuere I can not telle where 1 ** orenida. 

There-fore I stynte I neam no dyuynystere 

Of sonlys fynde I not in )>is registre 2812 

Ne me ne leste thilke opynyouwnys to telle 

Of hem though they write / where pat pey dwelle 

Arcyte is cold there Mars hese soule gye 

Now wele I speke forth of Emelye 281 6 

Schrikte Emelye & houlith palamoun | xl & 

And thesyus hese sistyr tok a-non 

Swounnynge & bar here from the cors away 

Wha helpith it to tarie forth the day 2820 

To telle how sche wep bothe eue & morwe 

ffor in swich cas women haue swich sorwe 


Digitized by 


GROUP A. § 8. kniqht's tale. Cambridgo MS. 81 

Wban that here hosbondys ban &om hem a-go Tudde, 

That for the moie part J>ey sorwe so 2824 

Or eDys falljn in swich maledye 

That at the laste serteynly J^ey deye 

Infynyte hen / the sorwis & pe terys xi. & 

Of olde folk & folk of tendere ^erys 2828 

In al the tonn for deth of this Thehan 

ffop hym there wepith bojj' child & man 

So gret a wepynge was there non sertayn • xl t. 

Whan Ettor^ was brought^ al froseh I-slayn vtL,t: modem] • 

To tioye alias the pete ]>at was theie 2833 

Crachynge of chekys / rentynge of *here ph: uun-i 

Whi iroldist fou ben ded fese wemen crye 

And haddyst gold I-now & emelye 2836 

No man myghte glade Thesyns • [• sm p. », «. m.] . xl ». 

Sauynge hese olde fadyr egyus 

That knew this world is transmntacyoun Pttf i7i] . zl lo, u. 

As he hadde seyn it vp & donn 2840 . 

loye aftyr wo & wo aftyr gladnesse 

And Gchewede hem ensaumplys & lyknesse 

Kyght' as fere deyede nenere man quod he pt: uuer] • xn. a. 

That he ne leuede in erthe in sum degie 2844 < 

Rrght 80 fere leuede neu^e man he seyde 

In al this world that sumtyme he ne deyede 

This world is not hut a thowrfare ful of wo 

And we hen pilgrymys passynge to & fro 2848 

Deth is an ende of euery wordely sore 

And oueral ]}is 3it seyde he mechil more 

To this effect ful wisely to enhorte 

The pule that pej schulde hem reconforte 2852 

Deuk Thesyus with al hese hesi cure • xl is. 

Cast now wher^ fat J>* sepulture Mr: uutr] 

Of goode Arcyt may best I-makyd be 

And ek most honurable in hese degre 2856 • 

And at the laste he tok conclusioun 

That fere as fyrst arcite & palamoun 


Digitized by 


82 GROUP A. § 2. kniqet's talb. Cambridge MS. 

Haddyn for loue the batayle hem be-twene 

That y selue groue sote & grene 

Ther as he hadde hese amerouse desyres 

Hese compleynt & for loue hese hote fyres 

He wolde make a fyr in whiche thoffys 

fane?*al . he myghte al a-complice 

And let comaunde anon to hakke & hewe 

The okys olde & leyn her/i on a rewe 

In cnlpounnys wel arayed for to brenne 

Hese offyserys wftJi swifte feet J>ey renne 

And ryde a-non at hese comaundement 

And aftyr pis thesii^ hath sche sent 

Aftyr a here & it al ouer-spradde 

With cloth of gold the rycheste that he hadde 

And of the same sute he cladde arcite 

Vp-on hese hondis hese glouys whyte 

Ek on hese hed a coroune of laurer grene 

And in hese hand a swerd ful brygh & kene 

He leyde hym bare J>* vesage on the here 

Thprwith he wept pat pete was to here 

And for the puple schulde sen hy?n alle 

Whan it was day he broughte hym to p® halle 

That roryth of y cryinge & p* soun 

Tho caw pis woful Theban Palamun 

With flotery & rogi flateri herys 

In clopys blake I-droppid al with terys 

And passynge opere of wepynge Emelye* 

The reufiileste of al the cumpaynye 

In as meche as the seruyse schulde be 

The more noble & ryche in hese degre 

Duk Thesyus let forth thre stedis brynge 

That trappede were al in stel al glederywge 

And keuered the armys of dauw arcyte 

Vp-on pese stedis grete & white 

There setyn folk of which on bar hese schyld 

Anothir hese spere vp on hese hondys held 







deaf 171, bftck] 


XL 13. 

XI. 14. 


• XI. le. 


• XL 30. 







Digitized by 


OROUP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 83 

The ihredde bar wiih hem hese bowe turkeys | Taeide. 

Of brend gold was the cas & ek the hameys 2896 ^' ^ 

And redyn forth a pas wttA sorweful chere 

Toward the groue as 3e schul aftyr here 

The nobileste of the grekys ])at ^er% were • xl ss. 

Yp on here schnlderyn caryedyn the bere 2900 • 

With slak pas <& eighe?! . reede & wete 

Thorogh-out the Cete / by the maystyr strete 

That sprad was al with blak & wondyr hye 

Byght of the same is the strete I-wrye 2904 

Yp-on the lyght hand wente old egeus* [*sc«p.26,n.86.] • xi. 4a 

And on that 6^ syde deuk Thesyus 

With Tessellys in here hondys of gold fid fyn f [t see p. 25, «. S9.] • xi. sr. 

Al fal of. hony . mylk . blod & wyn . 2908 • xl 4a 

£k Palamoun wtt^ fal gret cumpaynye 

And aflyr that cam wofnl emelye 

With fiiyre in bond as was fat tyme y gyse \3mt1n] 

To don the offyse of feneral seruyse 2912 • 

Hey labour & M gret aparaylynge • xl is. 

Was at the serayse & the fer makynge | 

Thai wit^ hese gret top the heuene raughte | xi. m. 

And twenty fademe of brede y armys straughte 2916 

This is to seyne y bowys were so brode 

Of treis fyrst ^ere were leyd manye a lode | xi. ». 

But how y fuyr was makyd vp on heighte xi. aa-ss. 

Xe ek the namys what y treis hyghte 2920 

As. ook. fjTTe, Birch, asp. Aldyr. Holm. Popeler 

Wylw. Elm. Plane. Assh. Box. chesteyn. lynde. laurer 

Mapil. thorn. Bech. basil. Ew. Whippil. trre 

How ^y were feld schal not be told for me 2924 

Xe how the goddys rennyn vp & doun 

Dysheritid of here abitacyoun 

In wheche )ray wendyn in reste & pes 

Xymphus ffaunes & amadries 2928 

Xe how the bestis & y bryddys alle . xl 21. 

fBeddyn for fer whan the wode was falle • 


Digitized by 


84 GROUP A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambiidge HS. 



Ke how the ground agast was of the lyght 

That was not wont to sen the su«ne brygh[t] 2932 

Xe how the fer was couche fyrst wit^ stre • xLir. 

And )»a7zne with dreye stikkis clouyn a thre 

And panne with grene wode & spicerye 

An panne with cloth of gold & with peirye 2936 • xl it. 

And garlondis hangynge wit^ mani^ a flour pani: ieier\ • xlv. 

The mirre^ Y ensens wtt/t al so gret odowr pirre: toer] • xt & 

Ne how arcite lay a-mong al' pis pi: w«ri i n ai^ 

iNTe what nchesse a-boute hese body Is 2940 J 

Ne how pot Emelye as was te gyse | jx «. 

Putte in the fuyr of funeral seniyse | 

Ke how sche swowmede whan men made y fajr i xl 41-41 

I^e what sche spak ne what was here desyr 2944 | 

Ne what lewett men in the fuyr caste 1 2Xi8.«a 

Whan pat the fuyr was gret & brente faste 

Ne how some caste here schyld & some here spere of 17s, bk] « xl ce. 

And of here vestementis which pat Ihey were 2948 . xl m. 

And cuppis ful of wyn & my Ik & blod 1 xi. m. n. 

In-to the fuyr pat brente as it were wod | 

Ne how the grekys wiiJi. an heuge route | xi. cs. 

Thryes redyn al the fiiyre arboute 2962 • xl a, 

Vp-on the left half with a loud schoutyrige • 

And thryes wit/i here sperys claterynge ^"'^SSwo** 

And thryes how the ladyis guT^ne crye | xl 64. 

Ne how that lad was how-ward Emalye 2956 

Ne how Arcyte was brent to asschyn colde | xl C7. «. 

Ne how that lyche / wake was I-holde xl «Mr. 

Al thilke nyght ne how the grekys pleye 

The wake-pleyis ne kepe I not to seye 2960 

Who wrestelyth best nakyd wtV* oille enoynt 

Ne who pat bar hym best in no disioynt 

I wele not tellyn ek how pat pey gon 

Horn to athenys whan the pley is don 2964 

But schortly to the poynt pawne wele I wende 

And makyn of myn longe tale an ende 


Digitized by 


oBoup A. § 2. knight's tale. OflOnlHidge HS. 85 

Be pioces & be lenthe a certeyn 36178 

Al styntyd is the moumyng <& the terys 

Of grekrs he on general assent 

Than semede me pere was a parlement 

At athenes vp on certeyn poyntys and cas 

A-mong the poyntys spokyn was 

To haae wit^ certeyn poyntys alyance 

And haae folly of thebans obeissaunce 

ffor which this nobil theseos anon 

Let sendyn aftyr gentil palamon 

Vnwist of hyro what was the cause & why 

But in hese blake cloj^is sorwefolly 

He come at hese owene comauTidement in hye 

To eente TheseMs / for emelye 

Whan fey were set & bust was al the place 

And thesyna abedyn hadde a space 

Er ony word cam from hese wyse brest 

Hese eynyn sette he pere as was hese lest 

And. with a sad visage he sikede stille 

And aftyr pat ryght y^s he seyde hese wille 

The ferste mowmere^ of the cause aboue 

Whan he ferst made y* cheyne of loue 

Gret was theffect & by was hese entent 

Wei wiste he why & what Jerof he ment 

ffor with that fayre cheyne of loue he bond 

The fuyr the eyre the watyr & the lond 

In certeyn boundys pat pey may not fie 

That same pWnce Ss fat same Moeuere quod he 

Hath stablyschid in this wrechede world a doun 

Certeyn dayis & duracioun 

To alle ^1 is engenderid in pis place 

Ouer the whiche day pej may not pace 

Alle mowe pey ^it pe dayis wel a-bregge 

pen nedyth non autorite to legge 

ffor it is preuyd be experyence 

Bat pat me lyste to clare myn sentence 



2968 * iSiJSi'Sf^ 


2976 -xiLi. 


[tear 17^ • XII. 6. 






of loue.' 

IX. 61. 

[Sm IX 61. 69; 
and Xn. 0.] 



Digitized by 


86 oBoup A. § 2. knight's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Thanne may men by fis ordeie wel diseme TneUi. 

That tylke moeuere stylle & steme 3004 

Wei may men knowe but it be a fol 

That eu^Ty part dryuyth from hese hoi 

ffoT nature hath takyn hese beg3rnnyng 

Of no party or of a cantel of a Jjyng 3008 

But of a \>Yng ]>at parfyt is & stable 

Dessendynge so tilit be corumpable 

And ferfore for hese wise puruyau»ce 

He hath so wel bewset hese ordenaunce 3012 

That specyfie of pyngis & progressiouftnys 

Shxd endure be succesciounnys 

And not eteme wiVt-outyn ony lye 

This mayst pou. vndyrstondyn & sen at eye 3016 

lo y ok that hath so long a norichynge [tef its, Uck] xu. r. 

ffrom the tyme fat it ferst begynnyth to sprynge 

And hat so long a lyf as we may se 

3it at the laste wastyd is the tre 3020 

Considerith ek how that the harde ston 

Vndir oure fet on whiche we trede A gon 

3it wastith it as it lyth be the weye 

The brode reuyr sumtyme waxeth dreye 3024 

The giete tounnys se we wane & wende 

Than may I say pat al ])i8 th3rng hath ende 

Of man & woman se we we wel alsoo . xii. «. 

Tliat nedyth in on of })ese termys too 3028 • 

This is to seyne in jouthe or ellys age 

He mote be ded the kyng as schal a page 

Some in his bed some in the depe se . xn. lo. 

Some in the large feld as men may se 3032 . 

There helpith not al goth that ilke weye 

Thanne may I seyn al f is fyng mote nedis deye 

What makyth f is but lupiter J>* kyng 

That is prynce & cause of alle thyng 3036 

Conuertynge al vn-to hese propere welle 

ffirom wiche it is deryvit soth to telle 


Digitized by 


GROUP A. § 8. KNioHT^a TALB. Cambridge IDS. 87 






And here ageyn no cryatour on . lyue 

Of no d^re a-ua jlitih for to stiyue 

Thaime is it wisdom as it pynkji me 

To Qiakyn yerta of necessiie 

And take it wel that we may not eschewe 

And nameli that to ys alle is dewe 

And ho so grochit out he doth folye 

And rebel is to hjm fat al may gye 

And serteynly a man hath most honour 

To deyen in hese excellence & flour 

Whsn he is sekyr of hese goode name 

Thanne hath he don hese frend ne hym no schame 

And gladdere owith hese frend to ben of deth 

Whan wttA honour is joldyn vp hese breth 

Than whan his same apeyred is for age 

ffor al foigetyn is his wasseyllage 

Tba»ne is it best as for a worthi fame 

A man to deye whan he is best of name 

The oontrarie of al this is wilfulnes 

Why groche we why hane we heuynes 

That goode arcite of chyoalrye flour 

Departid is with deynte & honour 

Oat of ^18 foole prysonn of ]>is lyf 

Why giochyn here his cosyn & his wif 

Of [his wel&re that loueth hem so wel] 

Can he hem thank nay god wot neu^re adel 

That bo])e hese soule & ek hym self offende 

And 3it ^y mowe here lustis not amende 

What may I conclude of fia longe serye 

Bat aftyr wo I rede vs to be merye 

And thankyn Jupiter of al hese grace 

And er ^t we departe from fis place 

1 rede we make of sorwys too 

On pariyt loye lastynge eueremo 

And lokyth now where most sorwe is her inne 

TlwiB [wil I first* bigynne [BUmimMB. less] 



• xn. 11. 

I ulu. 

XU, 9. IfL 


[BUmim Xa 1685] 


3068 1 



xn. 14-ir. 


Digitized by 


88 GROUP A. § 2. KmoB'fH tale. Cambridge HS. 

[Suster quod he this ia my ful assent dsommMB. i68Q TemUn 

With alle thanes heere of my parlemenf 3076 

That gentjl palamon 3oure owne knyghf 

That scruyth 30U with wil herte and myght 

As euer hath don sithen 36 first hym knewe 

That 39 shul of joure [grace] vpon him rewe 3080 

And taken for hnsbond and for lord 

Lene me joure hond for this is onre acorde 

Lete see now if yonre wommanly pitee 

He is a kingis hrother sone parde 3084 

A[nd thou3 he be a pore bachelere 

S[ithen he hath semed 30U so many a ^ere 

A[nd had for 30U so gret adnersite 

It [most be considered leuyth me] [SUwie ertr. ends] 3088 

ffor gentyl mercy owith to passyn ryght '■^'''^^^SdJj* ^' 

Than seyde he fus to palamoun fill rygh[t] 

I trowe fere nedyth lytil sarmonynge 

To make 30W assente to the thynge 3092 

Come ner & tak 3oiire lady bi the hond 

By-twef yw hem was mad anon the bond xn e&. 

That hyghte matrymonye or mariage 

By al the cuntre & the barounnage 3096 

And fus with al blys & melody ^oi ^^ 

Hath Palamoun I-wedded emely 

And god pat al ]>is wyde word hath wrought 

Synde hym his loue pat hath it dere abought 3100 

flfor now is Palamoun in alle wele 1 xil as. 

leuynge in blysse in richesse & in hele I 

And Emelye hym louyth so tenderely 

And he here seruyth so gentylly 3104 

That neuere was pere no word hem be-twen 

Of lelousye or ony oJ>er teene^ [i teene: lattri 

Thus endyth Palamoun & Emelye 

And god saue al this flfayre cumpaynye. 3108 

[rest of leaf nearly all cut out] 


Digitized by 


O ^^ 

OROCF A. § 3. miller's prologue. Cambridge MS. 89 

;^70 ) (Xhu£ 8. 

So wban Y ^njgbt bath \U8 hese tale told [imfns] 

In al )>* ruute nas ^ere 3yng ne old 
That be ne seyde it nas a noble stoiy 
And wortby for to drawe to memory 3112 

And nameli y gentilis euerycbon 
Our ost longfi and swor so mote I gon 
Tbys gotb aiygbt onbokelcd is the male 
Let sen now wbo schal telle a no^er tale 3116 

ffor trewely tbe game is wel begiinne 
Now tellytb 30 sere monk ^yf fat 30 cunne 
Somwhat to quite vri\h Y knygbtis tale 
The mellere that dronke was al pale 3120 

80 that a-nethe vp on his hors he sat 
He nulde a-vale neythyr hod ne hat 
Ne abyde no man for hese curteysye 
But in pilat voys he gan to crye 3124 

And swor by armys & by blod & bonys 
I can a noble tale for thenonys 
With whiche he wele now quyte J?e kny^t/^ tale 
Oure ost saw J^at he was dronke of ale 3128 

And seyde a-byd Robyn myn leue brothyr 
Sum betere man schal telle vs fyrst a nothyr 
Onbyd & lat vs werke thryftyly 

By goddys soale / q//oJ he fat wele nnt I 3132 

fTor I wele speke 01 ellys gon myn wey 
Oure ost answerde telle on a delewey 
Thow art a fol thy wit is ou^-come 

Now herkenygh q'/o<i the mellere alle h some 3136 

But fyrst I make a protestacyoim 
That I am dronke I knowc it be myn 80U7» 
And ^rfore 3if I mys speke or seye 
Witeit the ale of South werk I preye 3140 


Digitized by 


90 GROUP A. § 3. miller's prologue. Cambridge MS. 

ffor I wele telle a legende & a lyf 

Bothe of a carpenter & hese wyf 

How that a clerk hath set the wiyghtis cappe 

The reue answerde & seyde stynt Jjyw clappe 3144 

let be fyn lewede dronke harlotrye [ieari75,i»ckj 

It is a synne & ek a gret folyo 

To apeyre ony man or hym diffame 

And ek to bryngyn whyuys in swych fame 3148 

pan mayst I-now of operc thyngis sayn 

This dronkyn mellere spak ful sone ageyn 

And seyde leue brothyr Osewold 

Ho hath no wif he is no coukewold 3152 

But I seye not ferfove pat pou art on 

There ben ful goode wivis manyon 

And euer a thousent goode a-^ens on badde 

That knowyst pou wel pyn self / but 3if pou madde 3156 

Why art pou angry wtt/i myn tale now 

I haue a wif also as wel as pou 

Jit nolde I not for the oxsyn in myn plow 

Takyn vp on me more pan I-now 3160 

As demyn in myn self pat pou were on 

I wele be-leue wel pat I ne am non 

An husbonde schal not ben inquysityf 

Of goddis pnuyte nor of hese wyf 3164 

So he may fyndyn godis foysouwn there 

Of the remenauTzt nedyth not tenquyre 

What schalde I seyn But tliis mellere 

Ho wolde hese wordy s for no man forbere 3168 

But tolde hese cherlych tale in hese manere 

Me thynkyth I schal reherse it here 

And perfore cuery gentyl wygh I preye 

ffor goddys loue demyth not pat I seye 3172 

Of euyl entent but for I mot reherse 

Here talys al bo pey betere or worse 

Or ellys fallyn sum of myn matere 

And perfore who so leste it not here 3176 


Digitized by 


GBoup A. § 3. miller's FBOLOGuiL Cftmbridge MS. 91 

Tume ourr the lef & ches a noper tale 

for he schal f jnde I-nowo grete & smale 

Of stoijal thyng fat touchith gentillesse 

An ek Moiallite and holynesse 3180 

Blamyth not me ^if ^e chesyn amys [leaf i76] 

The mellere is a cherl ^e knowe wel this 

So was the reue & opere manye mo 

And hadotrye ^y tolde bothe to 3184 

Avyseth 30W put me out of hiame 

And ek men schal not makyn emest of game 

here endith the prologe/ 

[No gap in the MS.] 


Digitized by 


92 GROUP A. § 4. milleb'b tale. Cambridge MS. 

& here begy^aiyfh the tale. 

liom ]>ere was dwelliwge in Oxenforde 
A rycho gnoff pat gestls helde to borde 3188 
And of his craft a carpenter 
"Wtt/t hjm perQ was dwellywge a pore scoler 

Hadde lemede art but of hese fantasye 

Was turned for to lemyn astronomye 3192 

And coude a certyn of cowclusiounys 

To demyn by interrogacyounnys 

}if that men axsed hym in certeyn hourys 

Whaw men schulde haue droughte or elle schourys 3196 

Or 3if men axsede hywi what schulde be-falle 

Of eueyy thyng I may not rekene hem alle 

I'his clerk was clepid hende nycholas 

Of derne loue he coudc & of solas 3200 

And f erto he was sly & ful preue 

And lyk a niayde mckc for to se 

A chawbre hadde he in that ostebye 

Alone with-outyn ony co7wpaygnye 3204 

fful fctously I-dygh w?t7i erbis soto 

And he hym self as swete as is the rote 

Of licorys or ony Cetewale 

Hese almageste & bokys grete & smale 3208 

Hese augrym stonys lynge fayre apart 

Hese astellabre longynge for hese art 

On scheluys couchede at hese bedys bed 

Hese presse I-couered wit^ a faldynge red 3212 

And al aboue ]>ere lay a gay sautrye 

On whiche he made on nyghtis melodye 

So swetely Jat al the chambere rong cieiiri76.h«ok] 

And Angelus ad uirginem he song 3216 

And aftyr pat he song the k3mgis note 

fful oftyn blyssede was hese mery throte 


Digitized by 


GROUP A. § 4. miller's tale, Cambridge MS. 93 

And yus tbis swete clerk bese tyme be speTite 

Aftyr bese frendys fyndynge & bese rente 3220 

Tbis carpenter badde weddid newe a wyf 

Wbicbe fat be louede more fan bese lyf 

Of eigbtene ^er scbe was of age 

lelons be was & beld bere narwe in cage 3224 

fToT scbe was wilde & ^yng & bo was old 

And demede bym self / ben lyk a coiikewold 

He knew not catoun for bese wit was rude 

Tbat bad men scbulde wedde bere symylitnde 3228 

Men scbulde wedde aftyr bere estat 

ffor 3ongbte & elde ben oftyn at dcbat 

But sytbyn fat be was fallyn in tbe snaro 

He muste endure as opere folk bese care 3232 

flayr was f is 3onge wif & f ^rwitb al 

As ony wesele bere body gent & smal 

A seynt scbe werede y scynt al of sylk 

A barme clotb as wbit as ony mylk 3236 

Vp on bere lend is ful of manye a gore 

Wliit was bere smok I-brouded al be-fore 

And ek be-byndyn on bere coUer aboute 

Of col blak silk w/t/i-inne & ek w?tA-oute 3240 

Tbe tapes of here wbite voluper 

Were of tbe same sute of bere coller 

Hyre Ulet brod of sUk I-set ful bye 

And sekyrly scbe badde a lycorot^ eye 3244 

fful smale I-pullede were bese browis to 

And f ^ were bent & blake as is a slo 

Scbe was more blysful on to se 

Than is tbe newe pere lonete tre 3248 

And softere than is tbe wolle of a wcdyr 

And by here gerdil beng a purs of ledyr 

Tassellid witfc sylk & perlit witJi latoun [leaf 277] 

In al this world to sekyn vp & doun 3252 

There is no man so wys tbat coude thyncbe 

So gay a popelote or swycb a woncho 


Digitized by 


94 GROUP A. § 4. miller's tale. Cambridge K& 

fful bryght was the schynynge of here hewe 

Than in y toiir/ the noble forgit newe 3256 

But of here song it was as londe & ^eme 

As ony swalwe syttynge on a heme 

And ^eiiiO sche coude skippe & make game 

As ony kede or kalf folwende hese dame 3260 

Here mouth was swete as braket or the methe 

Or herd of appillis leyd in hay or hethe 

Wynsynge sche was as is a ioly colt 

Long as a mast & vp ryght as a bolt 3264 

A broche she bar vp on here lowe coler 

As brod as is the bos of a bokeler 

Here schois were lasyd on here leggis hye 

Sche was a pryTnrolo & a piggis nye 3268 

IFor ony lord to liggyn in hese bedde 

Or ek for ony good ^eman to wedde 

Now sere & eft sere so be-fel the cas 

That on a day this hendyn Nicholas 3272 

ffil with ]>is 3yngc wif rage & pleye 

Whil ]>at here husbonde was at Hoseneye 

As clerkys ben ful sotyl & ful queynte 

And pn'uyly he caughte here hi J" qneynte 3276 

And seyde I-wis but I mowe hane myn wille 

ffor derne loue of the le7?^man I spille 

And held here harde be the haunche bonys 

And seyde IcTTiman loue me al at onys 3280 

Or I wele deyin al so god me saue 

And sche sprong as a colt doth in the traue 

And wtt^ here bed sche wrythed faste a-wey 

Sche seyde I wel not kysse f * be my fey 3284 

Whi let be qttod sche let be nycholas 

Or I wele crye out harrow alias 

Do wey ^oure hondis for 30m?\3 curteysy 0«»f m.i)«?k] 

This nycholas gan mercy for to cry 3288 

And spak so fayre & proferede hym so faste 

That sche here loue hjm grauntede at y laste , 


Digitized by 




GROUP A. § 4 MILLER'S TALE. Cambridge KS. 05 

And swor here oth be seynt Thomays of kent 

Thafc be wolde ben at hese comaundement 3292 

Whan pat scbe may bere layser wel a&spye 

Myn busbonde ia so ful of lelousye 

That but 3e waite wel & ben priue 

I wot lyght wel I am but ded qdal scho 

3o muste ben ful deme as in pis cas 

Nay ferof care je not quod iSlcholas 

A derk badde letbyrly be-set hese while 

But jif be coude a carpenter be-gyle 

And pus they ben acoidit & I-swom 

To wayte a tyme as I haue told be-fom 

Whan Nicholas badde don J)is eucry del 

An thakkede here a-boute the lendis wel 3304 

He kyssith here swete & takyth hese sautrye 

And pleyeth faste & makyth melodye 

Thanne fel it thus pat to f« parich cherche 

Ciystys owene werkys for to werche 33O8 

This goode w^f wente on an haly day 

Here forebed schon as bryght as ony day 

So was it wasschyn whan scbe let here werk 

Now was pere of that cherche a parysch clerk 3312 

The wbeclie pat was clepid absolon 

Crol was hese her & as p" gol it schon 

And strut as a fan large & brod 

fful streyt <fe euene lay hese loly schod 3316 

His rode was red hese ey3yn greye as gos 

WitA poulys wyndow I-korwyn on hese schois 

In hosyn rede he wente fetusly 

I-cLod he was ful smal & properly 3320 

Al in a kyrtel of a lyght vachet 

fful fayre & thikke . ben the poyntis set 

And pemjHyn he liadde a gay surplys ti«af ns] 

As whit as is the blome on the rys 332 i 

A merye cbyld he was so god me saue 

Wel coude he letyn blod & wel schauc 


Digitized by 


96 GROUP A. § 4. miller's tale. Cambridge MS. 

And make a chartere of loud & aquitaunce 

In twenty manerys coude he tiippe & dau/^ce 3328 

Aftyr the skole of Oxenforthe ]>o 

And witJi hese leggie castjm to & fro 

And pleyen songys on a smal ruhybe 

Therto he song sumtyme a loud quynyble 3332 

And as wel ccudc he pleye on a geterne 

In al the tou7i nas brew hous ne tauenie 

That he ne visityd w/t/i hese solas 

There ony galiard tapstere was 3336 

But soth to seyn he was suwdel coymous 

Of fartynge & of speche dauwgerous 

This absalon that loly was & gay 

Goth with a senser on the halyday 3340 

Sensynge f* wyuys of the parych faste 

And manye a lonely lok on hem he caste 

And namely on J)is Carpenterys wyf 

To loke on here he thou3te a merye lyf 3344 

Sche was so propere & swete & lycurous 

I dar wel seyn ^if sche hadde ben a mous 

And he a cat he wolde here hente a-non 

This parych clerk fis loly Absalon 3348 

Hath in hese herte swich a louelongynge 

That of no ^vif tok he non offerynge 

ffor ciirteysye he seyde he wolde non 

The mone whaw it was nyght ful bryghtiO it schow 3352 

And absalon hadde hese geterne take 

ffor paramourys he thoughte for to wake 

And forth he goth lolyf & amerous 

Tyl he come to y carpenterys hous 3356 

A lytil aftyr y cokkys hadde crowe 

And dressede hjm vp be a schot wyndowe 

That was vp on the carpenterys wal [leaf its, i«ck] 

He syngyth in hese wois^ gentil & smal t> eometM] 3360 

Now dere lady 3if thyn wille be 

I preye 30W that ^e wele rewe on me 


Digitized by 


GROUP A. § 4. miller's tale. Cambridge KS. 97 

fful wel acordauTit to hese getemynge 

Thia carpentire a-wok & herde hjm aynge 3364 

And spak yn to hese wyf & seyde a-non 

What alysouR heryst not ^on absalon 

That schanntyth yvs vndyr oure bouris wal 

And sche answerde here husbonde )»erwithul 3368 

3i8 god wot Ihun I here it euerydel 

This posseth forth what wele ^e bet ]}an wel 

fftom day to day this loly Absolon 

So wowith here fat hjm is wo begon 3372 

He wakyth al the nyght & al the day 

He kempte hese lokys brode & made hy//i gay 

He wowith here be menys & procage 

And swor he wolde ben here owene page 3376 

He syngyth brokkywge as a nyghtyngale 

He sente here pyment mede & spicede ale 

And waferys pipinge bote out of the gleile 

ffor sche was of tounne he proferede mede 3380 

ffor sum folk wele be wonne for richesse 

And some for strokys & some for gentiUesse 

Smntyme to schewe hese lyghtnesse & maystr/e 

He pleyeth heroudis vp on a skafald bye 3384 

Bat what anaylyth hym in l^is cas 

Sche louyth so ]}is hende Kicolas 

That Absalon may blowe the bukkys horn 

He ne hadde for al hese laboter but a skom 3388 

And sche makyth Absalon here ape 

And al hese emest is turnyd tyl a Tape 

fTol soth is this prouerbe it is no lye 

Men seyth ryght piis the nyght slye 3392 

Makyth the chartere lef to be looth 

ffor thow that absalon be wod or wroth 

Be cause Jwtt he fer was fro;» here syght [i«if 179] 

Tlus nyght Nicholas stod in hese lygbt 3396 

Xow here the wel pan hende nycholas 

ffor absalon may wepe & synge alias 


Digitized by 


98 GROUP A. § 4. MiLLER*s TALE. Cambridge MS. 

And so befel it on a satyrday 

This carpenter vas gon to Osenay 3400 

And hende nycholas & Alysoun 

Acordede ben to this conclusioun 

That Nicholas schal schapyn hym a wile 

This sely lelous husbonde to begyle 3404 

And ^if so be this game wente aryght 

Sche schulde slepe in hese armys al nyght 

ifor this was here desyr Ss hese also 

And rygh a-non witft-outyn woidys mo 3408 

This nicholas no lengere wolde tarye 

But doth ful softe vnto hese cha/nbere carye 

Bothe mete & drynk for a day or tweye 

And to here husbonde bad here for to seye 3412 

3if that he axede aftyr Nicholas 

Sche schulde seye he nyste neuer wher he was 

Of al ^ day sche say hy m not vrith ye 

Sche trowyth pat he was in malady 3416 

ifor no cry here mayde coude calle 

He nulde answere for no thyng that royghte falle 

This passeth forth al pat satyrday 

That Nicholas stille in hese chambere lay 3420 

And et & slep & dede what hym lyste 

Thil sonoday pat the smme goth to reste 

This sely carpenter hath so gret merueyle 

Of Nicholas or what thyng myghte hym eyle 3424 

And seydo I am adred be seynt thomays 

It stendyth not a-rygh y\ith nycholas 

God schylde pat he deyede sodeynly 

This world is now ful tekyl sekyrly 3423 

I saw to day a cors boryn to scherche 

That now on moneday last I saugh hyw werche 

Go yp quod he vn to hese knaue a-non n«ftf 179, buck] 

Clepe at hese dore or knokke wtt/t a ston 3432 

Loke how it is & telle me boldely 

This knaue goth hy?n vp ful sturdyly 


Digitized by 


GBoup A. § 4. miller's tale, Cambridge MS. 99 

And at the chambere doie whil that he stod 

He ciyede & knokkede as fey he were wod 3436 

What how what do ^e Majstyr Nicholay 

How may ^e slepen al the longe day 

Bat al for nought he herde not a word 

An hole he fond ful lowe vp on a bord 3440 

There as the cat was wont in for to crepe 

And at the hole he lokede in ful depe 

And at the laste he hadde of hym a sygh 

This Nicholas sat alwey gapynge vp rygh 3444 

As he hadde kykyd on the newe mone 

Adoon he goth & tolde hese maystyr sone 

In what aiay he saw this ilke man 

This carpenter to blyssyn hym be-gan 3448 

And seyde helpe vs seynte frydiswyde 

A man wot lytyl what hym schal betyde 

This man is falle with hese astronemye 

In Bam wodnesse or in sutti agonye 3452 

I thoughte ay wel how pat it schulde be 

Men schulde not knowe of goddis prtuyte 

}e blyssede be alwey a lewede man 

That nought but only his bileue can 3456 

So ferde a nothyr clerk with astronomye^ I'r: '«'«'-l 

He walkede in the feldis for to prte 

Yp on the storrys what fere schulde befalle 

Til he was in a marbil pyt I-falle 3430 

He say not that but ^it be seynt Thomays 

Me rewyth sore of hendo Nycholas 

He schal be ratyd of hese stodying 

3if that I may be Iheeu. heuono kyng 3464 

Get me a staf that I may vndyr spore 

Whil that fou robyn hevyst vp the dore 

He schal out of hese stodyinge as I gesse n«rf i80] 

And to the cha?»bere dore he gann hym dresse 3468 

Hese knave was a strong carl for the nonys 

And by the haspe he haf it of at onys 


Digitized by 


100 GROUP A. § 4. miller's tale. Cambridge KS. 

And in the flor the dore lay a-non 

This nycholas sat ay as stylle as ston 3472 

And euere gapede vpward in to the eyre 

This Carpenter wende he hadde ^ben in dispeyre^ p-» eorreee«n 

And hente hym by the schulderis myghtyly 

And shok hyw harde & cryede diBpitously 3476 

What Mcholas what how loke adoun 

Awake & thynk on crystis pascioun 

I crouche the from elvys <fe from whitys^ i« wrr. to whiebjv] 

Therwith the nyght speP a-non ryghtis p «>rr. to ffwii 3480 

On foure haluys of the hous aboute 

And on the throsschewald of the dore w/t^-oute 

Ihera cryst & seynt benedyt 

Blysse this hons from euery wede wygh 3484 

ffor the nyghtis verie / the white pater naster 

Where wonyst Jjou now seynte peterys systyr 

And at the laste ))is hende Nicholas 

Gan for to syke sore & seyde alias 3488 

Schal al the world ben lost eftsonys now 

This carpente answerde what seynst pow 

What thynk on god as men don whan fey smwke 

This Nicholas answerde fet me drynke 3492 

And aftyr wele I speke in pr/uyte 

Of serteyn thyng that touchith me & the 

I wele telle it non o\>er man certeyn 

This carpentyr goth dou?i <fe comyth ageyn 3496 

And broughte of myghti ale a large quart 

And whawne that eche of hem haile dronke his part 

This Nicholas hese dore faste schette 

And doun the Carpenter by hywi he sette 3500 

And seyde Ihnn myn ost lef & dere 

Thow schat vp on thi trouthe swere me here 

That to no wyght Jjou schat Jis conseyl wreye cieafi8o,biM>k] 

ffor it is crystis conseyl that I seye 3504 

And jif povL telle it man pon art forlore 

ffor this veniaunce pan schat han f erfore 


Digitized by 


GROUP A. § 4. miller's tale. Cambridge MS. 101 

That ^if foil wieye me pon achat ben wod 

Nay ciyst forbede for hese holy blood 3508 

Quod Y* this selye man I nam no labbe 

Ne )>ow I seye I ne am not lef to gabbe 

Sey what feu wylt I schal it neuere telle 

To chyld ne -wyf by hjm that harwede helle 3512 

l^ow loKn quod Kicholas I nyl not lye 

I haue I-foundyn in myn astionemye 

As I haue lokyd in the mone bryght 

That now a moneday nest at quarter nyght 3516 

Schal falle a reyn & that so wilde & wod 

That half so gret was neue?*e Koyes flod 

This world he seyde in more thn an oure 

Schal be drenk so hydous is the scholar 3520 

Thus schal mankynde drenche & lese here lyf 

This carpenter answerede alias mj7i wif 

And schal scbe drenche alias myn alysou^ 

ifor sorwe of this he fel almost a doun 3524 

And seyde is there no remedye in this cas 

Whi 3is for gode / quod hende Nichola 

Jif fon wilt werkyn afkyr lore & red 

Thow mayst not werkyn aftyr fyw owene red 3528 

ffor thus seyth salamon that was for trewe 

Werk al be conseyl & ]>ou schalt not rew 

And ^if povL werke wylt be good conseyl 

I vndyrtake wiUioute mast or sayl 3532 

3it schal I schaue here & the <& me 

Hast fou. not herd how sauyd was noe 

Whan pat oure lord hadde wamede hym befom 

Tha al the word wit^ wayr schulde be lorn 3536 

iis qitod this carpenter ful 3ore ago 

Hast fovL not herd quod Nicholas also 

The sorwe of Noe vrith hese felauschepe Detfisi] 

E[r] fan he myghte gete hese wyf to schepe 3540 

Hym hadde ben lefere I dar wel vndyrtake 

Al thilke tynie than hese wederis blake 


Digitized by 


102 GROUP A. § 4. miller's tale. Cambridge MS. 

That sche hadde had a schep here self a lone 

And perio west ]povL what is hest to done 3544 

This askyth haste & of an hasty thyng 

Men may not precho ne make taying 

Anon go gete vs faste in to ])ys in 

A knedyng trow or ellys a kemelyng 3548 

ffor eche of vs but loke that pey be laige 

I wheche we mowo sweme as in a bai^e 

And han perinne vitayle suffyciaunt 

But for a day fy on the remenaunt 3552 

The watyr schal asluke & gon away 

Aboute pryme on the nexte day 

But robyn may not wetyn of tliis thy« knave 

Ne ek thym maydyn gilie I may not sve 3556 

Axe not whi for thoAv pon axe me 

I wele not telle godis pmiyte 

Suffyseth pe but ^Lf thy wit luaddo 

To han as gret a grace as Noe hadde 3560 

Thyn wif schal I wel saue out of doute 

Go now thyn wey / & sped the here aboute 

But whan pan hast for here & )>" & me 

I-getyn vs these knedyng tubbys thre 3564 

Tha9me schat pon hangyn hem in the rof ful hye 

That no man of outo puruyau/ice aspye 

And whan pou. hast pus don as I haue seyd 

And hast oure vitayle fayre in hem leyd 3568 

And ek an ax to smyte the conle a two 

Whan that the watyr comyth pat we may goo 

And breke an hole an hey vp on the gable 

Into the gardynward oner the stabele 3572 

That we mowe frely passe forth ore way 

Whan that the grete schot/r is gon a-way 

Than schat pou sweme as merye I vndyrtake [leaf m, iMck] 

As doth the white doke aftyr the drake 3576 

Thanne wele I clepe how alisoun how Ion 

Be mer^'e for the flod wele passe a-non 


Digitized by 


QBOUP A. § 4. miller's tale. Cambridge MS. 103 

And yon wit seyn heyl majstyr Nicholay 

Grood morwre for I se }>• wel for it is day 3580 

And tbanne schiil we be lordys al onre lyne 

Of al the world as Noe was & hese wyue 

But of a^ tbyng I wame the ful ryght p » to«r] 

Be wel auysed on ^at ilke nyght 3584 

That we ben enteryd in to schepys bord 

That non of ys ne speke not a word 

Ne clepe ne crye but ben in hese preyere 

for it is goddys owene heste dere 3588 

Thyn wyf & pon motyn hangyn fer a twen 

fTor that be-twixe 30W schal ben no syn 

No more in lokynge pan pere schal in dede 

This ordenaunce is seyd go god p^ spede 3592 

To morwe at nyght whan we ben alle aslepe 

In to oure knedynge tulbis we schul crepe 

And sittyKge pet-e abydynge goddys grace 

Go now pj7i way I ne haue no lengere space 3596 

To make of thys no lengere sarmoumiyng 

Men seyth pus / synd p* wyse & sey no pyng 

Thow art so wys it nedyth p^ not tcche 

Go sane oure lyf & that I p* beseche 3600 

This sely carpenter goth forth hese way 

fful ofte he seyde alias & welle away 

And to hese wif he tolde hese pmiyte 

And sche was war & knew it bet pan he 3604 

What al this queynte cast was for to say 

^ut neuertheles sche ferde as sche wolde day 

And seyde alias go forth pjn waye a-non 

Help vs to skape / er we ben dede eche on 3608 

I am thyn verray trewe weddede wyf 

Go dere spouse & help to saue oure lyf 

Lo which a gret thyng is affeccyoun ['<»^ i^t] 

Men may deye thour Imagynacyoun 3612 

So depe may impressioun be take 

This sely Carpenter begynnyth to quake 


Digitized by 


104 GROUP A. § 4. MiLLER*s TALE. Cambridge MS. 

Hyw thynkyth verayly pat he may se 

Noyous flod come walwywge as the se 3616 

To drenchyn alysoun hese hony dere 

He wepyth waylyth makyth sory chere 

He sykyth wiili mauye a sory swough 

And goth & getyth hy7n a knedyng trough 3620 

And aftyr a tuhbe & a kemelyn 

And pryuyly he sen to hew to hese in 

And hyng hem in the rof in pn'uyte 

With his owene hand he made ladderys thre 3624 

To klymhyM hi p^ roiingis & the stalkya 

On to the tubbe hangy^^go in the halkis 

And hem vitayledc bo the trow & tubbe 

With bred & chese with good alle in a tubbe 3628 

Suflfysywge rygh I-now as for a day 

But er he hadde mad al thys aray 

He sente hese knaue & ek hese wenche also 

Vp on hese nedis to hmdene for to go 3632 

And on the moneday whan it di*ow to nyght 

He schette hese dore w/t//-outyn candele lygh 

And dressede alle thynge as it schulde be 

And schortly vp they chimbe alle thre 3636 

They setyn sty He wel a furlong wey 

Now pater nostev clum seyde Xicholay 

And clum quod Ion & clum c[uod Alysoun 

This carpentyr seyde hese deuocyoun 3640 

And stylle he sit & biddyth hese preyere 

Awa; tynge on the reyn 3if he it here 

The dede slep for verray besynesse 

ffel on this Carpentyr rygh as I gesse 3644 

A-boute corfeu tyme or lyte more 

Ifor trauayU of hese gost he groynede sore [« i: later] 

And efft he routyth for hese hed mys lay [•cafiF2,b»cki 

Doun on the laddere stalkyth Nicholay 3648 

And Alysoun ful softe a doun sche spedde 

W/t/t-outyn wordys mo fey gon to bedde 


Digitized by 


6BOCP A. § 4. miller's tale. Cambridge MS. 105 

There as the carpentyr is wone to lye 

There was the reuel & the melodye 3652 

And fuB lyth alysoun & Nycholas 

In beeynesBe of inerthe & of solas 

Tyl pat the belle of laudis gan to ryngo 

And frerys in the schaoTZsel gu72ne synge 3656 

Thys paricb clerk this Amerouse Absalon 

That is for lone alwey so wo begon 

Yp on the moneday was at oseneye 

WttA cnmpanye hyTn to disporte & pleye 3660 

And axede vp on cas a cloysterer 

fful pnuyly afliyr Ion the carpenter 

And he drow hym a part out of the cherche 

And seyde I saw here not werche 3664 

Syn satyrday I trowe that he be went 

ffor fymbyr ]^er6 oure abbot hath hym sent 

ffor he is wont for tymbyr for to go 

And dwellyn at the grannge a day or too 3668 

Or efl: he is at hese hons serteyn . 

Where that he be I can not sothly seyn 

This absalon ful loly was & lyght 

And thoughte now is tyme to wakyn al nygh 3672 

ffor sekyrly I say hym not sterynge 

A-bontyn hese dore tyl day be-gan to sprynge 

So mot I the I schal at cokkys crowe 

fiul pnuyly knocke at hese wyndowe 3676 

That stant ful lowe vndyr hese bourys wol 

To alysoun now wele I tellyn al 

Myn lone longynge for ^it I schal not mys<se 

That at the leste weye I schal here kysse 3680 

Sum maner confort schal I haue parfay 

Myn mouth hath ^echid al pi& longe day 

That is a sygne of kyssynge at the leste pear lssj 

Al nyght me mette I was at a feste 3684 

Theifore I wele go slepe an oure or tweye 

And al the nyght Jianne wele I wake & pleye 


Digitized by 


106 GROUP A. § 4. miller's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Whan that the ferste Cok hath crowe a-non 

Vp rist this loly louere thia absalon 3688 

And hjm arayef gay at poyn deuyse 

But fyrst he schewith greyn & licorys 

To smelle sote er he hadde kemb his her 

Vndyr hese tunge a trewe loue he ber 3692 

ffor therby wende he to be gracious 

He romyth to the carpenterys hous 

And stille he stant vndyr the schot wyndowe 

Vn to hese brest it raught it was so lowe 3696 

And sofbe he coude wiiJi a semy soun 

What do 36 hony komb ^e swete alysoun 

M}Ti fayre bryd my» swete synamome 

Awakyth leman myn & spekyth to me 3700 

Wol lytil thynkyn 30 vp on myn wo 

That for 30Mre loue I swete fere I go 

Xo wondyr ist Jjow I swalte & swete 

I mome as doth a lamb aftyr J" tete 3704 

I-wis leman I haue so meche loue longyng 

That lik a turtele I trowe is myn momyng 

I may not ete no more pan a mayde 

Go from the wyndowe lakke fol sche sayde 3708 

As helpe me god it wele not be cumpame 

I loue a-nothir & elt I were to blame 

Wei bet ]>an y be Ihe^u Absalon 

Go forth Jjyn way or I wele caste a ston 3712 

And let me slope a twenty dele wey 

Alias quod absalon & welleawey 

That trewe loue was euere so euele be-sct 

Than kys me syn it may be no bet 3716 

Ifor Jhesits * loue & for the loue of me [* MSihc] 

Wilt f ou Jeanne go thy» wey therew/t/i qiiod sche 

Ja certis leynman quod J)is absalon peaf i8s,b«ck3 

Thanne mak Jj« redi qnod sche I come anon 3720 


no gap in the MS."] 

This Absalon settc hy/?i doun on hese kncis 


Digitized by 


GROUP A. § 4. miller's tale. Cambridge KS. 107 

And seyde I am a lord at alle degreis 3724 

ffor aftyr this I hope fere comyth more 

leman thyn grace & swete bryd ]>yn ore 

The wyndowe sche ondoth & that in haste 

Haue don quod sche come of & sped y faste 3728 

Lest that thyn neyhebot/ris y aspye 

This absalon gan wype his mouth ful drye 

Derk was the nyght as pouche or as the cole 

And out at the wpidovre scho putte here ars hole 3732 

And ahealon fel neyper bet noper wers 

But vrith hese month he kyste here nakede ars 

flul sanourly er he were war of this 

A bakke he etyrte & thouthe it was a mys 3736 

ITor wel he wiste a woman hadde no herd 

He felte a thyng al row & long I-heryd 

And seyde fy alias what haue I do 

Te he qa/xf sche & claptte here wyndowe to 3740 

And absalon goth forth a sory pas 

A berd a herd quod hynde Nicholas 

BL goddis corptis this goth fayre & wel 

This sely absalon herde euerydel 3744 

And on his lippe he gan for angyr bite 

And to hym self he seyde I schal ]>« quyte 

Who mbbyth now ho frotyth now hese lippis 

VTitli dust WitA sond wit/t straw w/t/i cloth wtt/d schippifi 

But abeolon pat seyth ful ofte alias 

Myn soule betake I onto satemas 

Bat me were betere ]>an al this toun quotl he 

Of ^is dispyt a-wrokyn for to be 3752 

Alias qtiod he alias why ne hadde I blcynt 

Hese bote loue was cold & al I-qneynt 

ffor iiotn that t}ine that he hadde kyst his ers 

Of paramour he sette not a kres 3756 

ffor he was heled of hese maladye [i««r im] 

fiiil ofte paramouris he gan defye 

And wepte as doth a chyld fat is I-bete 

A sofle pas he wente oner the strcte 3760 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

108 OBoup A. § 4. miller's tale. Cambridge KS. 

Vn tyl a smyth men clepedyw daun leruys 

That in hese forge he smethode plow barneys 

He scharpith schar & cultyr besyly 

This ahsalon knokyth al besyly 37 G4 

And seyde ondo Geruays & pat a-non 

What ho art pou it am I Absalon 

What Absalon what crystis swete tre 

Whi ryse ^e so rathe ey bcnedicyte 3768 

What eylyth ^ow sum gay gerl god it wot 

Hath brou3t jow ]>us vp on the merytot 

This Absolon no roughte not a bene 

Be seynte note 30 wete wel what I mene 3772 

Of al this pley no word he ne spak 

He hadde more tow on hese rak 

Whan geruays knew & seyde fren so dere 

That bote cultyr in the chomene here 3776 

As lene it me 1 haue perwiih. to done 

I welo bryngyn it y a-geyn ful sone 

Gerueys answerede sertis were it gold 

Or in a poke nobellys al ontold 3780 

Thu scbuldyst haue as I am trewe smyth 

Ey cristis foo what wele 30 do ])erwith 

Ther-of quod Alsalon be as be may 

I schal wel telle it J>* to morwe day 3784 

And caughte J>* cultyr by the colde stele 

fFul softe out at y doro hym gan stele 

And wente vnto J>® carpenterys wal 

He knokyth fyrst & kallyth i ferwithal [■ carr.] 3788 

Vp on J?" wyndowe rygh as he dede er 

This alysoun answerde ho is ther 

That knokyst so I warent the a thef 

Why nay quod he god wot myn swete lef 3792 

I am thyn absalon myn derelyng [icuf is*, uckj 

Of gold quod he I haue J>" brought a ryng 

Myn modyr 3af it me so god me saue 

fful fyn it is <fe \>erio wel I-graue 3796 


Digitized by 


GROUP A. § 4. MiLLER*s TALK Cambridge KS. 109 

This wele I 3euen J>* 3if I J?* kysse 

This Nicholas was resyn for to pysse 

And thoute he wolde a-mendyn al y Jape 

He schidde kysse heso ars er fan he spake 

And vp the wyndowe dede he hastyly 

And out hese are he puttyth pryiiyly 

Ouer the battok / to f® haiutche bon 

And ]y«rwith spak this absolon 

Spek swete brid I not where fon art 

This Nicholas a-non let flye a fart 

As grot as it hadde ben a thondyr dent 

And with y stiok he was almost I-blent 

And he was redy w tt^ hese yryn hot 

And Nicholas a mydde y are he smot 

Off goth the skyn^ / an hande brede aboiite 

The bote cultyr / brende so hese toute 

And for the smert he wende for to deye 

As he were wod / for wo he gan to crye 

Help watyr watyr / help for godys herte 

This carpenter / out of hose slombir sterte 

And herde on cryen / watyr as he were wod 

And thoughte alias now comyth Newet flod 

He sit hyjrt vp wit^/oute wordys mo 

And ^Y^ih hese ax / he smette the corde on to 

A doun he* feL^ he fond no^ thywg^ to selle 

Neyfer bred ne ale / Ne no thyng elle 

Vp on the flor / & fere aswourme he lay 

Vp stjTte here Alysoun & nycholay 

And cryedyn out / harrow in the strete 

The neygheborys boJ?« smale & grete 

In ronne for to gauryn on Jjis man. 

That 3it a swounne he lay boJ>® pale & wan. lOvaAndg^geapt an 

ffor with that fal he brusten hath his arme [Sioane MS icss, 

But* stonden he musf vnto his owne harme 

ffor whanne he spak he was anoon bore doun 

With hynde Nicholas and Ahsoun 3832 





[' eorreeied] 



[•■» eorrecUd] 


Digitized by 


110 GROUP A. § 4. miller's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Thei tolde euery man that he was wood 

He was a-gast* so of* the Nowels flood 

Thuigh fantasie that* of his vanyte 

He hadde bought hym kneding^ tubbes three 3836 

And hadde hem hanged in the roof aboue 

And that he praiede hem for goddis loue 

To sitten in the roof* par companye 

The folk gan laughwen at* his fantasie 3840 

And to the roof* thei kiken and thei gape 

And turned al his harm vnto a Jape 

if or whaf this carpentere answerde 

IV was for nought* no man his resoun herde 3844 

With othes gref he was swome adoun 

That he was holden wood in al that* toun 

ffor euery clerk anoon right* helde with other 

Thei seide the man is wood my leue brother 3848 

And euery wight* gan laughwen at* his stiyf 

Thus swyued was the carpenters wyf 

fifor al his kepyng* and his Jalousie [luf m, bMk] 

And Absolon hath kist* hii' nethir ye 38o2 

And Nicholas is scaldid in his toute 

This tale is don and god saue al the route 

Explicit Cetbnla molendinarij. 

[No break in the MS,] 

lCflea/S6, the Cambridge MS hoe only caa /. 3856, pleye, /. 3858, 
and gr^e /. 8859.] 

CAMBRIDGE 110 [this pngo, Sloauc 1685] 


Digitized by ^ 

GROUP A. §5. reeve's PROLOGUE. Cambridge MS. Ill 

IT Heere bigynneth the prolog* of the Beues Tale.^'^^f^ 

llAUAime folk han laughwen at* this nyce cas 
** Of« Absolon and hynde Nicholas 3856 

Dynerse folk* dyneisely they seide 
But* for the more part* thei lough and pleyde 
Ne af this tale I saw no man liim greue 
But* it? were oonly Oswold the Keue 3860 

By cause he was of* Carpentcres craft* 
A litel ire is in his herte lafb* 
He gan to gnicche and blamede it a lite 
So the yk* quod he ful wel kouthe I 30U quite 3864 

With bleiing* of a proude mellers ye 
If* that* me list' to speke of* rybaudye 
But* yk am old me list* not* pleye for age 
Gias tyme is don my foddere is forage 3868 

This white top writeth myn olde 3eres 
Myn herte is al so mouled as myn heres 
But? if I fare as doth an openers 

That? ilk* fruyf is euere lenger the wars 3872 

Til it be roten in mullok* or in stree 

We olde men I drede so fare we 

Til we be roten can we nought* be ripe 

We hoppen alweye while the world wil pipe 3876 

ffor va oure wille ther stiketh euere a naile 

To bane an hoor her / and a grene taile 

As hath a leek . for though oure might* be gon 

Oure wille desireth folye euere in oon 3880 

ffor wluume we may nought* don than wil we speke 

3it^ in oure asshen old is fire reke 

ffonre gledes haue we whiche I shal diuise 

Auanntyng* . liyng* . Angre . Coueitise 3884 

These foure sparkles longith vnto elde neaf w] 

Oure olde lymes mowe wel be vnwelde 

CAHBRIDOE 111 [this page, Sloane 1685] 

Digitized by 


112 GROUP A. §5. reeve's PROLoouB. Cambridge K8. 

But wille ne shol not* fallen tbaf is soth DOmmXB lass] 

And 3it< haue I olwey a coltes toth 3888 

As manj a jere as if is passed henne 

Sith thaf my tappe of lyf* bigan to renne csioMMeztnetaida.] 

ffor sekyrly whan I was boryn anon ccombr. vs. Ogi, 27,if im] 

Deth drow y tappe of lyf & let it gon 3892 

And euere sithe hath so y tappe Ironne 

Til }fai almost al emty is y tunne 

The stre7?i of lyf now droppith on y chymbe 

The sely tiinge may wel rynge & chymbe 3896 

Of wrechedenesse ^at passede is ful 3010 

Wtt^ olde folk sane dotage is no more 

Whan ]7at y ost hadde herd this sarmounnyng 

He gan to spek as lordly as a kyng 3900 

He seyde what amountyth al ]>is wit 

What schul we speke al day of holy writ 

The deuyl made a reue for to preche 

And of a soutere schipman or a leche 3904 

Sey forth thyn tale & tarye not y tyme 

Lo Depeforthe & it is half weye pryme 

Lo Grenewych J>ere manye a schrewe is inno 

It were hey tymo Jyn tale to begynne 3908 

Now serys qwod this Osovvold the reue 

I preye }ow alle J)«t je nat 30W greue 

Thow I answere & suwulel sette hese howe 

fifor lefful it is ])at forse / forse of schowe 3912 

This dronkene mellere hath I-told ts here 

How \ai begiled was a carpentere 

Parauenture in scorn for I am on 

And by jowre leue I schal 30 w quyte a-uon 3916 

Eyght in hese cherHs termys wele I speke 

I preye to god his nelke mote breke 

He can wel in myn eye sen a stalke 

But in hese owene he can not sen a balke 3920 


Digitized by 


OBOUF A. § 6. BXEVj^s TALE. Cambridge MS. 113 

Here begynayththe »3^^Eeiie his tale 

AT Trompyngtouw not fer ftam cantabregge [leaf im, hack] 
pere goih a brok & ouer fat a bregge 
Vp on y which brok fer stant a moUe 
And thia is veray soth fat 1 30U telle 3924 

A melleie waa fer dwellynge many a day 
Ab ony pekok he was proud & gay 
Pype he coade and fyasche and nctys beete 
And tnzne cnppis & wel wrestele & schete 3928 

Ay by hese belte he bar a long panade 
And of a swerd ful trenchannt was the blade 
A loly poppere bar he in hese pouche 
Ther was no man for peryl durste hym touche 3932 

A sheffeld Thwytel bar he in hese hose 
Round was hese face & kammede was hese nose 
As pelyd as an ape was hese skoUe 

He was a markat betere at ]>* fdlle 3936 

There durste no wygh hand yp on hym leye * [> ye eonteudi 
That he ne swor fat he schulde anon arbeye ^ 
A thef he was for sothe of com & mele 
And ^t a sly & ysaunt for to stele 3940 

And his name was hotyn deynous symkyu 
A wif he hadde comyn of noble kyn ' 
The p^rsoun of the toun here fadyr was 
Wtt7* here he jaf ful many a peny of bras 3944 

ffor ^t Symkyn schulde in hese blod alye 
Sche was fostered in a nunnerye 
ITor Symkyn wolde no wyf as he seyde 
But sche were wel Inoryschid & a mayde 3948 

To sauyn heso estat of jemanrye 
And sche was proud & pert as is a pye 
A ful fayr syghto was it on hem to 
On holye dayis be-fom here wolde he ge 3952 


Digitized by 


114 GROUP A. § 6. REEVE*s TALE. Cambridge KS. 

With hese tjpet boundyn a-boutyw hese hed 

And sche come afbyr in a gite of red 

And symkyn hadde bosyn of the same 

Ther duiste no wygh clepyn here but dame 3956 

Was non hardy J>at wente be f weye [leaf i87] 

That duiste with here rage or onys pleye 

But jif he wolde be slayn of symkyn 

With panade or knyf or boytekyn 3960 

ffor lelous folk ben perelous euere mo 

Algate fey wolde here wyuys wenden so 

And ek for sche was sumwhat smotyrlych 

Sche was as dygne as watyr In a dich 3964 

And ful of hokyr & of bismerye 

Sche thoughte pat a lady schulde here spareye 

What for here kynrede & here Norterye 

That sche hadde lemed in y nunnerye 3968 

A doughtyr hadde fey be-twixe hew too 

Of twenty jer wit/z-outyn ony moo 

Sauynge a chyld pat was of sene ^er ajge 

In cradil it lay & was a propere page 3972 

This wenche thikke & wel I-growy» was 

With cammuse nose & eyen greye as glas 

Buttokkys brode & brestis rounde & hye 

But rygh fayr was here her I wele not lye 3976 

This persoun of the tonn for sche was so fayr 

In purpos was to makyn here hese eyr 

But of hese catel & hese mesewage 

And strauTzge he made it of here maryge 3980 

Hese purpos was for to be-stowe here hye 

In to sum worthi blod of aunceterye 

flPor holicherche good / mote ben dispendit 

On holy cherchis blod / pat is dessendit 3984 

Jjerfore he wolde / hese holy blod honoi^re 

Thow pat he holy cherche / schulde devoure 

Gret sokene hath / this mellere out of doute 

Wit/* whete & malt / of al the lond a-boute 3988 


Digitized by 


GROUP A. § 6. beeye's tale. Cambridge MS. 115 

And namely fere was a gret college 

Men clepyth y aoler halle at cantebrege 

There was heyie wbete & here malt I-grouTvde 

And on a daj it happede in a stoande 3992 

Sek lay y mauitcypele on a malady peaf w, h«ek] 

Men wendyn wisely pat he schulde dey 

fibr which this mellere stal bothe mele & com 

An hundeie tyme more pan be-fom 3996 

ffor fere be-fom he stal but curteysly 

But now he was a thef outiagyously 

ffor whych fe waideyn schod & made fare 

But therof sette this mellere not a tare 4000 

He crakyth host & swor it was not so 

Jeanne were there pore clerkys too 

That dwelledyn in fia halle of whiche I seyde 

Testyf fej were & lusty for to pleye 4004 

And only for here myrthe & reuerye 

Vp on y wardeyn besily fey crye 

To ^eue hem leue but a lite stouTide 

To gon to melle / to sen here com I-^;rou7tde 4008 

And hardely fej durste leyn here nekke 

The mellere schulde not stele hem half a pekke 

Of com be sleyghte ne be forse hem reue 

And at y laste y wardeyn ^af hem leue 4012 

Ion highte fat on & aleyn hyghte fat of or 

Of on toun were )ey bom fat hyghte strother 

ffer in the north I can not tellyn where 

This aleyn makyth redy al hese gere 4016 

And on an hors he caste y sak a-non 

Forth goth aleyn f clerk <& also Ion 

WttA good swerd & bokelei hi here syde 

Ion knew fe weye hem nedy th no gyde 4020 

And at f* melle y sak a-doura he leyth 

Aleyn spak fyrst alheyl symound in feyth 

How farys J>yn fayre dou^tyr & thyn wif 

Aleyn wolcome qwoc? symkyn be myn lyf 4024 


Digitized by 


116 GROUP A. § 6. REEVB^s TALE. Cambridge MS. 

And John also how now what do je here 

Sjmond quod John bi god nede has no pere 

He mnste serue hym self fat has no sweyn 

Or ellis he is a fol as clerkis seyn 4028 

Onre mauneiple I hope he wele be ded n^r isrj 

Swa werkis ay / y wangis in hese hed 

And ^erfore is I come & ek aleyn 

To grynde oure com & carle it horn a-geyn 4032 

1 prey 30W spede vs hene as ^e may 

It schal be don quod sym' yn be myn fay 

What wel je don whil fat it is in hande 

By god ry3t by J>* hopyr wele I stande 4036 

Quod Ion & sen how y com goth in 

Jit saw I neuere be myn fadir kyn 

How pat J>e hopir wagis to & f ra 

Aleyn answerede & seyde wist fou swa 4040 

Thanne wele I be beneth bi myn croun 

And sen how Jat y mele fallyth don 

In to J)e trow Jat schal ben myn dysport* 

ffop lohn yfayth I may ben of 3ore sort 4044 

I is as ille a mellere as is 3e 

This mellere smylede of here nysetee 

And thoa3te al fis it nys don but for a wyle 

They wene pat no man may hem be-gyle 4048 

But be myn thryft / 3it wele I blere here ye 

ffor al J)e sley3te in here philosofye 

The more queynte crokede fat fey make 

The more wele I stele whan I take 4052 

In stede of flowr / 3it wele I 3eue hem bren 

The gretteste clerkys ben not wyseste men 

As whilom to fe wolf f us spak fe mare 

Of al here art I counte not a tare 4056 

Out at f e dore he goth ful pryuyly 

Whan fat he saw hese tyme softely 

He lokyth rp & doun tyl he haue founde 

The clerkys hors fere as it stod I-bounde 4060 


Digitized by 


GROUP iu § 6. REEYE*s TALE. Cambridge MS. 117 

Be-hynde ^ melle Tiidyr a leuesel 

And to fe hors he goth fayre & wel 

He strepith of ^ brydil rygfit a-non 

And whan Jje hors was los he gywnyth gon . 4064 

Toward ]>e fen fere wilde maiys renne [iMf iss, i«ck] 

And forth wiiJi wehe pour theke & thorw thenne 

This mellere gooth a-jen / no word he seyde 

But doth his note <& with ]>e clerkis pleyede 4068 

Til ^t here com was wel & fayre gronnde 

And whan ^ mele is salkyd & I-bouTzde 

This loHn goth out & fynt his hors away 

And.gan to ciye harow & weyleaway 4072 

Oure hoTs is lorn aleyn for godys bonys 

Step on thyn foot* Aleyn come of atonys 

Alias oiiie wardeyn has hese palfrey lorn 

This aleyn for-gaf bothe mele & com 407 G 

Al was out of hese mynde hese hosebondrye 

What whedir is he gon he gan to crye 

The wyf cam lepynge inward vrith a ren 

Sche seyde aks joure hors goth to \>e fen 4080 

Wyth wylde marys as faste as sche may go 

Vn-thank come on hese hand Jat bond hjm so 

And he pat bet^re schulde a knyt pe reyne 

Alias quod aleyn for crystis peyne 4084 

Ley doun fyn swerd / & I wele myn al swa 

I is ful wy3t god woot as is a raa 

By goddis herte / he schal nat skape vs ba))e 

Whi ne haddist J>ou pit J?e capyl in pe lathe 4088 

nie hayl aleyn be god pou. ia a fonne 

These scly clerkis han ful faste I-ronne 

Toward fe fen / bothe aleyn & ek lofin 

And whan fe mellere saw fat j^ey were gon 4092 

He half a buschel of here flour hath take 

And bad hese wif gon knede it in a kake 

He seyde I trowe po clerkys were a-feryd 

Jit can a mellere make a clerkys herd 4096 


Digitized by 


118 GROUP A. § 6. ii£EV£'s TALE. Cambridge MS. 

ffor al here art now lat hem gon here woye 

Lo where he goth Jat lat f e childery» pleye 

They gete hym not so lyjtely / be myn croun 

These sely clerkys renne?^ vp & doiin 4100 

Wyth kep kep / stand stand stand lossa ware f e rere Peirf iw] 

Ga whystele thow & I schal kepe hy7A?m here 

But schortly til pat it was veray nyght 

They coude not Thow they don al here my3t ,• 4104 

Here capil cache he ran al wey so faste 

Tyl in a dych J?ey caughte hj7n at J>e lastc 

Wery & wet as beste is in fe reyn 

Comyth sely ion & with hym corny th aleyn 4108 

Alias quod lohn j?e day fat I was bom 

Now are we dreuyn tyl hethng & to scorn 

Oure corn is stole men wele vs folys calle 

Bof e ])e wardayn & oure felas alle 411 2 

And namely fe mellere weyleawey 

Thus pleynyth lohn as he goth be )>o w^ey 

Toward f e melle / & bayard in hese hond 

The mellere sittynge by J>e fyr he fond 4116 

ffor it was ny3t & ferpcre my^te J?ey nought 

But* for J?e loue of god pey hym besought 

Of herberwe & of cse for here peny 

The mellere seyde a-geyn ^if fere bo eny 4120 

Swich as it is 3 it schal 30 haue 30Mre part 

Myn hous is streyt but 30 haw lernede art* 

Je cunne w/t/i argumeyetis make a place 

A myle brod of twewty fote of space 4124 

Let se now jif fis space may suffyse 

Or make it roum with speche as is 30Mre gj'se 

Now symond seyde John be seynt Cutbert 

Ay art fou merye & J>is is fay re answeryd 4128 

I haue herd seyd men schal tan of too thy^igis 

Swich as he fynd or take swich as he bryngis 

But specially I preye fe hoot & deere 

Gete vs sum mete & drynk & make vs chere 4132 


Digitized by 


oBoup iu § 6. reeve's tale. Cambridge KS. 119 

And we wele paye trewely at Je folle 

With emty liand men may none haukys toUe 

Lo here oure syluyr / redy for to spende 

This to ]>e tounne hese doughtyr sende 4136 

ffor ale & bred & rostede h&m a goos [leaf i89, iwek] 

And bond here liors it schulde not gon loos 

And in hese owene chau^nbir made a bed 

With schetis & with chalot^nnys fayre I-spred 4140 

Not from his owene bed ten fote or twelve 

Hese dou3t3rr hadde a bed al by here selue 

Rygh in pe same sChaumbjT by & by 

It myjte ben no bet & cause why 4144 

There was non roumere herberw in fe plase 

The sonpe & pej speke hem to solase 

And dronkyn ay strong ale at ^ beste 

Abonte medeny3t wente fey to reste 4148 

Wei hath this mellere vemychid hese hed 

fifiil pale he was for-dranke & not red 

He jyksneth & spekyth pouryr pe nose 

As he were on pe quakke or on ]>e pose 4152 

To bedde he go]> & with hym goth his wif* 

As ony iay sche lyjt was & iolyf* 

So was here ioly wlustele wel I- wet* 

The cradil at here beddys feet is set 4156 

To rokke & to ^eue ])e child to souke 

And whan fat dronkyn al was in y crouke 

To bedde wente pe doujtyr ry^t a-non 

To bedde goth aleyn & ek lohn 4160 

Ther nas no mor hem neded no dwale 

This mellere hath so wysely bibbit alle 

That as an hors he snortyth in hese slep 

Ne of hese tayl ne takyth he no kep 4164 

Hese wif bar hym a burdoun a fill strong 

Men my3tyn here hyre ronte too fnrlong 

The wenche routyth ek par cumpaynye 

Aleyn fe clerk pat herde fis melodye 4168 


Digitized by 


120 GROUP iu § 6. reeve's tale. Cambridge MS. 

He pokede ion & seyde slepist ^a 

Heidist povi eueie swich a song er now 

Lo swich a copil is a-mong hem alle 

A wylde fyr mote on here hodyis faUe 4172 

Ho herkenyth eneie swich a ferly thyng neafiM) 

3a yej schal haue ye flour of ille endyng 

This longe ny^t fere tydis me no reste 

But ^it no fors al schal hen for the heste 4176 

ffbr John seyde he as enere mote I thiyne 

Jif fat I may fe wenche wele I schryue 

Sum esement has lawe I-schapyn ts 

ffor lohn fere is a lawe fat says ]>as 4180 

That ^if a man in a poynt he a-grenyd 

That in a nofer he schal ben releuyd 

Oure com is stolit schortly it is non nay 

And we han had an ille fit al fia day 4184 

And syn I schal han non a-mendement 

A-geyn my los I welo haue eysement 

By godys sale it schal non ofer be 

This lohn answerde Aley a- vise fe 4188 

The mellere is a p^Iyous man he seyde 

And jif fat he out of liese slep a-breyde 

He my^te vs don bothe a velanye 

Alyn answerde I counte hym not a flye 4192 

And rp he sterto &hj fe wenche he crepte 

This wenche lay vp ryght & faste slepte 

Tyl he so nygh was er sche myghte aspye 

That it hadde be to late for to crye 4196 

And schortely for to seyn J>ey were at on 

Now pley aleyn for I wele speke of ion 

This lohn lyth stylle a furlong wey or too 

And to hym self he makyth reuthe & woo 4200 

Alias quod he j^is is a wekede iape 

Kow may I seyn fat I is but an ape 

Jit hath myn fekwe sumwhat for hese harm 

He has fe meUeris dou^tyr in hese arm 4204 


Digitized by 


OBoup A. § 6. rebvb's talb. Camliridge KS. 12) 

He aimtcred hjm & has hese nedis sped 

And I lye as a draf sek in mjn bed 

And whan ^is iape is told a noper day 

I schal ben told a dafife a cokenay 4208 

I wele ryse & antere it be myn fay Deaf im, bacfcj 

Vn-hardi la vn-sely Jus men say 

And yp be TOfi & softely he wente 

Yn to ]>e cradil <& in hese hond it hente 4212 

And bar it softe vn to hese bedis feet 

Sone aftyr Jjis fe wyf here routyng let 

And gan to wake & lefte for to pysse 

And cam a-geyn & gan here cradil mysse 4216 

And gropede here & fere / but sche fond non 

Alias quod sche I hadde almost' mys gon 

I hadde al most gon to fe clerkys bed 

£y benedyste ]ninne hadde I foule J-sped 4220 

And forth sche goth tyl sche pe cradel fond 

Sche gropede alwey ferjjere with here hond 

And fond fe bed & thou3te not but good 

Be cause pai fe ciadyl by it stod 4224 

And nyste where sche was for it was derk 

And fayre Ss wel sche crep in hi ]>e clerk 

And lyth ful stylle & wolde a cau3t a slep 

With-inne a while J>is lohn vp lep 4228 

And on fia goode wif he leyth on sore 

So merye a fit ne hadde sche fid jore 

He prikyth harde & sore as he were mad 

This ioly lyf ban fese too klerkis lad 4232 

Tyl jat pe fyrste kok be-gan to synge 

Aleyn wex wery in J?" dawenynge 

ffor he hadde swonkyn al ]>e longe nyjt* 

And seyde farwel malyn swete wy3t 4236 

The day is come I may no lengere byde 

But euere more where so I go or lyde 

I is fjn owene clerk so haue I sel 

Now dere leman qiiod sche go fare weel 4240 


Digitized by 


122 OBoup A. § 6. reeve's tale. Cambridge X& 

But er foil go on thyng I wele jte telle 

Whan pat pOM we?idyst homward be J>o melle 

Eyjt at fe entre of J)e dore be-hynde rie«f wn 

})o\i achat a cake of half a buschel fynde 4244 

pat was I-makyd ry3t of fyw owene mele 

Which fat I halp mjn fadyr for to stele 

And goode leman god pe saue & kepe 

And wWi pat word sche gan almost to wepe 4248 

Aleyn vp ryst & thoughte er pan it dawe 

I wele gon crepo in by mjn felawe 

And fond pe cradyl w/t/i hese hand a-non 

By god J)ou3te he al wrong I haue mys go?* 4252 

My/* hed is toty of myn swynk to ny3t 

fkxt makyth me pat I go not* ary3t« 

I wot wel by pe cradyl I haue mys go 

Here lyth pe mellere & hese wyf also 4256 

And forth he goth a twenty deleway 

Vn to pe bed pere pat pe mellere lay 

He wende a crepid bi hese felawe Ion 

An by pe mellere in he crepede a-non 4260 

And caujte hym by pe nekke softe he spak 

He seyde fou lohn pou sweuenyst a-wak 

ffor cnstis soule & here a nobele game 

jffbr by pat lord pat called is seynt lame 4264 

As I haue thryes in pe schorte ny3t 

Swyuyd pe melleris dou3tyr bolt vp ry3t 

Whil povL hast as a coward been a-gast 

9a false harlot quod pe mellere hast 4268 

A false traytowr false clerk qvvd he 

Thow schat ben ded be godis dynete 

Ho durste ben so bold to disparage 

Myn dou3tyr pat is comyn of swych lenage 4272 

And by the throte bolle he caughte aleyn 

And he hente hym dyspitously a-geyn 

And on pe nose he smot hym with hese fest 

Doun ran pe blod sirem vp on hese brest* 4276 


Digitized by 


«Boup L § 8. BKivs's TILLS. CSufbiiflge X8. 123 

And in fe floor wiik nose 8s month io-broke 

They walwe as don too piggiB in a. poke 

And vp ^j gon & don a-geyn »-non Omf i9i, huk] 

Tjl fat ]>' melleie spinsiede A^en a ston 4280 

And doon he fyl bakward yp on hese wif 

That iriste no pyng of pia nyse stryf 

ffor ache was falle a slepe a lyte wy^ 

With lohn >e clerk fat wakede al ny^t 4284 

And with fe fal out of here slep ache biyde 

Help holy croys of bromeholm ache seyde 

In manns toaa lord to ]« I calle 

A-wake symond |)e fend is on va falle 4288 

Myn herte is brokyn alias I ne am but ded 

There lyth on yp on myn wombe & on myn hed 

Help aymkyn for fe false klerkys fy3te 

This lohn styrte yp as faste as eu^e he myjte 4292 

And graspith by the walle to & fra 

To fynde a staf & sche styrte yp alswa 

And knew fe estis betere f&n dede f\a lohn 

And bi fe wal a staf sche fond a-non 429G 

And saw a lytyl schemeiyDg of a lyjt 

fibr at an hole in schon fe mone bryt^ i^wmeudi 

And by fat lyjt sche say hem bo))e too 

Bnt sekyrly sche nyste ho was who 4300 

Bnt aa ache aay a whit thyng in here eye 

And whan sche gan ])e whyte ])yng espye 

Sche wende fe clerk hadde wered a wolyper 

And with the staf sche drow ay ner & ner 4304 

And wende an hit fea aleyn at fe f ulle 

And amot fe mellere on fe pylede senile 

And donn he goth harow I deye 

These derkys bete hym wel & lete hy?n lye 4308 

And hastede hean & toke here leue arnon 

And ek here mele & on here woye ])ey gon 

And at fe melle jit fey toke hero kake 

Of half a boschel floor wol wel I-bake 4312 


Digitized by 


024 GBouF Al I 6. B£EV£'a'TiLLE. Cambridge VS. 

Thus is J»e proude mellere wel I-bete 
And hath I-lost the gi^wdyng of J>e wete 

And payed for pe soup^ eaery del [leaf i9Q 

Of aley» & of lohn J)at bete hym wel ,-^316 
Hese wyf is swynyd & hese doiightyr als 

Lo swich It is a mellere^ to ben faJis u re. ut^i 

And Jjcrfore this prouerbe is seyd ful soth^ [« aotb: Mer] 

Hym thar not wene wel pat euele doth 4320 

A gylo?ir schal' hym self begylede be I* i- ^"^^^^ 

And god pat settyth hye in* mageste {• in: tour} 
Save all ]>ese cumpanyis grate ^ & smale i^ Jeomeuatogrtu} 

Thns haue I quit pe melleie in myn tale 4324 

[Break of 3 lines in the MS,] 


Digitized by 


GBoup A. § 7. cook's fbologub. Cambridge X8. 125 

THe cook of Inndene wbQ fe leue spak 
fFor ioye hjm thoi^te lie clawede hym on y bak 
Ha ha ha for criatjs passyoun 
This melleie hadde a scharp condnsyoun 432d 
Yp on his alignment of herbeigage 
Wei seyde salamon / on his langage 
Ke biynge not euery with in to pjn hons 
ffor herberwynge be nyjte is parlyous 4332 

Wei an^te a man avysede for to be 
Whom yat he biou^te in to hese pn'uyte 
I preye to god so ^eue me sorwe & care 
Syn euere I highte hoge of ware 4336 

Heide I euere a mellere betere I-set a werke 
He hadde a lape of maleys in pe derke 
Bat god for-bede pat we atentyn here 
And J^erfoie ^if ^e wonche saf to here 4340 

A tale of me pat am a pore man 
I wele yyw telle as wel as enere I can 
A lytyl lape what fel in oure cete 

Oure ost answerde & seyde I graunte it pe 4344 

Now telle on rpger & loke pat it be good 
ffor manye a paste hast pon lefcyn blod 
And manye a rakke of dou^Tie hast pon. sold/ 
That hath ben twyes hot & twyes cold [letf i9t, tNuk] 4348 
Of manye a pilgrym hast pon cristis curs 
ffor of thyn p^rsele ^it thy fare pe wers 
That ^y han etyn with thyn stobil goos 
ffor in thyn schoppe is manye a flye los 4352 

Kow telle on gentyl roger be pyn name 
But ^it I preye pe be not wroth for game 
A man may sey fnl soth in game & play 
Thow seyst fal soth quod roger be myn fay 4356 


Digitized by 


126 GBQUP A. § 7. cook's prologue. Caml^ridge XS. 

But sootli pley qnaad plcy as y flemyng seyth 

And ferfor© herry bayly be pjn feyth 

Be J)<?ii not wroth er we partyn here 

Thow pat myn tale be of an ostelere 4360 

But natheles I wele nat telle it jet 

But er we parte I-wis povi schat be quit 

And perwithal he low & made chere 

And seyde hese tale as je schal aftyr here 4364 

[No break in the MS.] 


Digitized by 


GBoup A. § 8. cook's tale. Caml^ridge MtL 127 
Here begynnyst the kok of Inndene Id tale 

[^ painting of tJie CooJt] 

[Nearly aU leaf 193 of Camb. MS if ettt ottt. Only He 1. 4372, As 
4373, We 4374, At 4375, H 4376, ff 4377, and bits of O and T, 
4378-9, are left, and se ^plase, 1. 4410, and aunce 4412.] 

APrentis whilom dwellid in oure citee '^*]Slif*5?bLck?* 
And of a craft of vitalers was he 
GaillanI he was as gol-fynche in ])e schawe 
Bionn as hery. a proper short felawe 4368 

With lokkes hlake I-kempt ful fetisly 
Daunce he kou])e so wel and lolyly • 
That he clepid perkyn reueilloure 

He was as fal of lone and paramour 4372 

As is ye hive fnl of hony swete 
Wel was fe wenche with him myght mete 
At euerj hridale wold he synge and hoppe 
He loaede hette ye taueme yan ]>e shoppe 4376 

fTor whan yer any ridynge was in chepe cknf 6i] 

Oat of ye Shoppe yeder woldf he lepe 
Til ]»at he had al ye sight I-«eyn 

And daonced wel wold he not come argayne 4380 

And gedrid hym mony of his sort 
To hoppe and syng6 and make suche disport 
And yere yej setten steuene for to mete 
To pleyn at ye dys in suche a strete 4384 

ffor in ye tonn nas ner no prentis 
That fairer couye cast a peyre of dys 
Then perkyn couth arid yei'io he was free 
Of his dispence in place of piyuyte 4388 

That fonde his maister wel in his chafiEai'e 
ffor ofte tyme he fonde his box ful bare 
ffor sikirly a prentis reuelour 

[ no gap in the MS.] 4392 

His maystir shuld it in his shep abye 
Al haue not part of \e mynstralcie 
ffor theft and riot yei ben conuertible 
Al can he pleye on geteme or rubible 4396 

CAMBRiBQE 127 [this page, Sloanc 1686] 

Digitized by 


128 GBOUP A. § 8. cook's tale. Cambridge XS. 

Eeuel and troatH as in lowe degree csimum kb less] 

They ben ful wroth al day as men may see 

This lolye prentis with his mayster boode 

Til he were nyghe oute of his prentis-hoode 4400 

Al were he snybbit erly and late 

And somtyme lad with Eeuel to \Newgate 

But at* last* his' maystir him by-J)og£t 

Ypon a day whan he his paper sought 4404 

Of a prouerbe ])at saith J^is same word . 

Wei bet is roten appel oute of hoorde 

Than ])at it rotefc alle fe remenant 

So farith it by a lyocous seruant 4408 

It is ful ksse harme to late hym passe 

Than he shend alle pe seruauntz in ye place 

Therfore his maystir ^af him a quytaunce 

And bade him go with sorow and myschaunce 4412 

And J)us this loly prentis had his leuee [leaf si.bwki 

Now let hym Eiot al fe nyght or leuo 

And for ther is no theof with-oute a loke 

That helpitfi hym to wasten and to sowke 4416 

Of fat he bribe can or borow may 

AnQon he sent his bede and his array 

Vn to a couper of his owne soort 

That loued dys Eeuel and disport 4420 

And had a vri^ fat heltJ for contyna?ince 

A shopo and swyfed for hir sustynaunce [SlMuie extract ends.] 

CAMBRIDGE 128 [this pagp, Sloane 1665] 


Digitized by ^ 




[Spurious Link.] 

Bat here of I wil passe as now [Imt si, i»cir, line ii] 

And of ^ong Gamelyne I wil telle ^ou 2 


The tale of jong* Gamelyn 
Eiihen and listeneth and herkenyth a right 1 

And shul here of a doughty knyght 
Sir lohan de Boz/ndys was his name 
He conde of nortore and of mochel game 4 

Thie sones pe knyght had and with his body hem wan 
The eldest was a moche schrewe and sone he be-gan 
His brethren loued wel her fader and of hym were a-gast 
Tike eldist disseraed his fader curs and had it at pe last 8 
The gode knyght his fader lyued so 3ore 
That deth was comen hym to . and handelid him ful sore 
The gode knyght cared sore . sike pere he lay 
How his children shuld lyuen aft^r his day 12 

He had ben wide where but non husbond he was 
Al pe londe ))at he had hit was purchas 
f&yn he wold hit were dressed a-mong* horn alle 
That eche of hem hadde his part as it myght falle 1 6 

Tho sente he in to cuntre after wise knyghtes 
To helpen delen his londes and dressen hem to rightes 
He sent hem . word by lettrea J>ai shulcJ hye blyue 
Jif pel wold speke with him while he was on lyue 20 

SLOANE 1685. 1 

Digitized by 



The ]>e koygbtes . herden . sike pat he lay 

Had pej no rest nothir nygfit ne day 

Til ^y come to him pere he lay stille 

On his deth bed to a^bide goddes wiUe . 24 

Then seyde pe goode knyg^t sike pere he lay Deaf ss] 

Lordes I jou warne for sofe witfi-oute nay 

I may no lenger lyuen here in )>is stonde 

ffor thoTUgK goddes wille detii drawes to gronde 28 

Ther nas non of hem alle ])at herde hem a right 

That pej hadden reuthe of J^at ilke knyght 

And seiden sir for goddes loue ne dismay 30U nou3t 

God may done bote of bale fat is now I-wroujt 32 

Than spake pe gode knygtit sike pere he lay 

Bote of bale god may sende I wote it is not nay 

But I beseche 30U knyghtes for pe loue of me 

Groth and dresseth my londes a-mong« my sones thre 36 

And for pe loue of god delit^ not hem amys 

And for-jete)) not Gamelyn my ^ong sone ])at is 

Taketh hede to ])at one as wel as to ))at o]>er 

Selde 30 seen any heire helpen his brother 40 

Tho leten J>ey pe knyght lyen fat was not in hele 

And wenten in to counseil his londis for to dele 

ffor to delen hem alle to oon fat was her foght 

And for Gamelyn wast congest he shuld haue nou^t 44 

Alle pe lond fat per was f ei dalten it in two 

And leten Gamelyn f e jong* with-outen lond go 

And echo of hem saide to other ful lowde 

His brethren myght jeue hym lond when he good cowde 48 

When fey had deled at her wille 

They comen to f e knyght f er he ley stille 

And tolde hym i^non how f ei had wrought 

And fe knyght ther he lay likid it right nought 52 

Than seyde f e knyght by seynt martyfi 

ffor al fat 30 haue don ^et is f e lond myfi 

ffor go goddes loue Neigboures stondith al stille 

And I wil delen my lond right after my wille 56 

SLOANE 1685. 8 

Digitized by 


▲PFESfDix TO OBOUP A. OAMELTN. 8b>aa6 KS 1685. 3 

lo^n my eldest sonc sbal hane plowes fyue 

Thai waa my fadxes heritage while he was oa lyue 

And my mydkst sone fyoe plowes of lond 

That I halp fox to gete with my right hond 60 

And al myn o]»er pnichas of londes and ledes Heaf &^ back] 

That I he-qnee^ Gamelyn and alle my gode ste^les 

And I beeeke 3011 good men ya.% la\r con of lond 

fibr Gamelyns lone J^at my quest stohd 64 

Thus dalt )ie knyght his lond by his day 

Right on his deth bed sike ^ere he l&y 

And sone aftirward he lay stoon stille 

And died whan tyme come as it was cristes wille 68 

A-none as he was deed and vnder gras graue 

Sone ye elder bro^ gyled pe y^ug knaue 

He toke in to his honde and his lede 

And Gamelyn him selfe to clothon and to fede 72 

He closed hym <xnd fedde hym yuel arid eke wrothe 

And lete him his londes foF-fare and his houses bo)m 

His parkes and his wodes and dide no])yug* welle 

And sithen he it a-bow^t on his owne felle 76 

So longe was Gamelyn in his brothers halle 

ffor )ie strengest of good wille pei doutenden alle 

Ther was none pere in . no^er ^ong* ne old 

That wold wrath Gamelyn where he neu^r so bold 80 

Gamelyn stode on a day in his brothers ^erde 

And by-gan with his hand to hondel his berde 

He ^n^t on his landes )>at lay on-sawe 

And his faire okes |»at doune were I-drawe 84 

His parkes were broken and his dere reved 

Of alle his good stedes noon was him by-leued 

His houses were vn-hiled and ful euel dight 

Tho ^u^t Gamelyn it went not a right 88 

Aiiirwaid came his brother walkyng< pete 

And seide to Gamelyn is oure mete ^ere 

Tho wrathed him Gamelyn and swore by goodes booke 

Thou sbalt go bake pj self* I wilnot be pi cooke 92 

SLOAKE 1686. 3 

Digitized by 



Xow hroper Gamelyn hou vnswarest fou now 

Thou spakkest neuer suche a word as J>ou dogt now 

By my feythe seide Gamelyn now me )}ynkith nede 

Of alle ]>e armes f&t I haue I toke neuer ^et hede 9^ 

My parked ben broken and my deie by-re ved Omtss] 

Of myn armes and my stedes nog&t is me byleued 

Al |)at my fader me qvL&p al gotb to scbame 

And perfoTe haue goddes curs broker by J>yn name 100 

Than spak* his brother j^at rape was of rees 

Stand stille gadlyng^ and hold py pees 

Thou shalt fayne to haue pj mete and }fj wede 

What spekest fou gadlyng* of lond or of lede 104 

Than seide Gamelyn pe child pat was ^yng* 

Cristes cuis mote he haue |7at clepith me gadlyng* 

I am no worse gadlyng* ne no worse wigBt 

But borne of a lady and geten of a knyght 108 

Ne dirst he note to Gamelyn neucr a fote go 

But clepid to him his men and saide to heiii ]>o ' 

Goth and bethet J^is boy and reueth him his witte 

And lette hym lerne an o]>er tyme to vnsware me bette 112 

Then seide pe child jong* Gamelyn 

Cristes curs mote ])ou haue brother art ]h)u myn 

And ^if y shal algate be beten a-noon 

Cristes curs mote ])ou haue but pou. be )}at oon 116 

An-noon his brother in ]>at grete bete 

Made his men to fette staffes Gamelyn to bete 

When euery of hem hed a staflte nomen 

Gamelyn was ware tho he seigh hem comen 1 20 

Tho Gamelyn seigh hem comen he lokid oner alt 

And was war of a pestel stood vnder pe watt 

Gamelyn was light and fider he can lepe 

And droff alle his brothers men right sone on hepe ' 1 24 

And lokid as a wild lyon and layde on gode wone 

Tho his brother sei fat he by-gan to gone 

He fley vp in to a loft and shete pe dore fast? 

Thus Gamelyn with his pestel made hem alle a-gasf 1 28 

«LOANB 1685. 4 

Digitized by 


APPENDIX TO QBOUP A. OAMELTN. 8108116 X8 1686. 5 

Some for Gamelyns loue and some for eye 

AUe pQj drowen hem to holues ])oo he gan to flee 

What now seide Gamelyn eael mote je pQ 

Wille 3e hy-gynne contyk* and so sone flee 132 

Gamelyn sou^t his brother whider he was flow cieaf 63» back] 

And saughe where he lokid oute of a wyndow 

Brother seyde Gamelyn come a litul nere 

And I wille teche the a play at the bokelei 136 

His brother him vnswarid and seide by seynt Eichere 

While J>at pestel is in thi hond 1 wole come no nerc 

Brother I wil make thi pees I swere by cr[i]stes ore 

Cast a-way ]>e pestel and wrath the no more HO 

I moste nede saade Gamelyn wrath me at ones 

ffor )K>a wold make pj men to breke my bones 

Ne hadde I hadde mayn and myght in myn armes 

To hane hem fro me thei wold haue do de harmes 144 

Gamelyn saide his brother be pou not wrol£ 

ffor to seen the haue harme me were right loth 

I ne dede it nou^t brother but for a fondyng* 

ffor to loken or pou art strong* and art so 3yng< 148 

Come a doune pen to me and graunt me my bone 

Of o pjng I wil ^e axe and we shul saught sone 

Downe ]>an come his brother p&t fekil was and felle 

And was swi<£ sore a-ferd of the pesteft 152 

He seide brother Gramelyn axe me py bone 

And loke poxx blame but I it graunt sone 

Than seide Gamel3m brother I was 

And we shaft be at one ])ryu most graunt me pia 156 

AUe ^t my fader me by-quaj while fat he was on lyue 

Thou moust do me it haue ^if we shul not stryve 

That shalt p<m haue Gamelyn I swere by cristes ore 

AUe ^t fader pe be-qua]? poxigll pou woldest haue more 160 

Thi lond ^t lith leye . wel it shal be sowe 

And pyn houses reised vp ))at ben leide ful lowo 

Thus seide pe knyght to Gamelyn witfc mouth 

And fou^t on falsenes as he wel couth 164 

SLOANE 1685. 6 

Digitized by 



The knygfit J>ougBt on treson an Cramelyn on none 

And went and kissed hisbroth^an^i^whenne |«y wcien atone 

Alias 3ong« Gamelyn no pjnff he ne wiste 

With suche fals treson his brother hym kyste 1 68 

Lyithenyth and lystnytlL and holdi^ jouie tong< iieftf 64] 

And ^e shul here talkyng* of Cramelyn )»e jong* 

Ther was ther be siden . cried a wrastlyng* 

And ther for ther was sett« a Earn and a ryng* 172 

And Gamelyn was in wille to wende per to 

ffor to preuen his myght what he coude do 

Brother seid Gamelyn be seynt Bichcre 

Thou most lene me to nyght a litel courscre 1 7G 

That is fressh to pe spores on for to ryde 

I most on an Erand a litel here by side 

Be god seide his hioper of stedes in my stalle 

Go and chese the best spare non of hem alle 180 

Of stedes and of coursers that stoden hem be side 

And telle me gode brother whedir pon wilt ride 

Here by side brother ys cried a wrastlyng* 

And perfore shal be set a Ram an a ryng* 184 

Moche worship it were broths to vs alle 

Might je the ram and pa ryng* biyngen home to pis halle 

A stede per was sadeled smertly and skete 

Gamelyn dide a paire of spores fast on his fete 188 

He sctte his foot in pe stirop pe stede he by-etrood 

And toward pe wrastlyng* pe yong child rood 

Tho Gamelyn pe yong was riden oute at gate 

The fals knyght his brother lokid yit after fate 192 

And by-soujt ihesu crist ]>at is heuen kyng* 

He myght breke his nekke in ))at wrastlyng* 

As sone as Gamelyn come pere the place was 

He light doun of his stede on the gras 196 

And ther he hcrde a frankeleyn weylaway synge 

And bi-gan bitterly his hondes for to wrynge 

Gode man saide Gamelyn whi makest pou ]7is fare 

Is ther no man pat may 30U helpen oute of care 200 

SLOANS 1685. 6 

Digitized by 



Alias seide fla f[r]ankel7n y&i euer j was bore 

fTor twej stal worth sones I wene jxzt I haae lore 

A Champyou is in ^e place pat ha]» wron^t me sorowe 203 

fTor he hath slayH my two sones but jif god hera borowe 

I wel ^eufi ten pound by ihe^ crLst and more n«if &i, bock] 

Wi& ]>e nones that I fonde a man to handle hym sore 

Gode man seide Gscmelyn wilt pan wel done 

Holdf my hors while my man drawith of my shone 208 

And helpe my man to kepe my clothes and my stcde 

And I wil in to place gone to loke if y may spede 

By god seyde the frankeleyn it shal be done 

I wille my self* be fy mane * to draw of J>y shone t» ms aunaj 

And wende ^ou in to place Uiesu. crist the spede 

And diede not of thi clothes ne of thi gode Steele 

Barfoot and Togirt Gamelyn In came 

Alle y&t were in pe place hede of him )»ei name 216 

How he dorste auntre him to done his myght 

That was so doughty a champion in wrastlyng< and in fight 

Vp sterte fe Champion rapely a-none 

Toward }ong« Gamelyn he by-gan to gone 220 

And seide who is py fader and who is py sire 

ffor so^e Jk>u art a grete foole fai pon come here 

Gamelyn vnswarid pe Champion tho 

Thon knew wel my fader while he couthe go 224 

Whilis he was on lyue by seynt Martyn 

Sire lohan of Boundis was his name and I Gamelyn 

ifelaw seide the Champion so mote I thryue 

I knewe wel the fader whiles he was on lyue 228 

And thi self Gamelyn I wil pat pon it here 

While Jk)u were a 3ong« boy a moclie schrew fo\i were 

Than saide Gamelyn and swore by cristcs ore 

Now I am older wax ]k)u shal fynde me a more 232 

By god seyde ]>e Champion wel come mote p(m be 

Ccme pon ones in myn honde pan shalt neuer the 

It was wel with-inne nyght and J>e mone shone 

When Gamelyn and the Champion to gedre gon gone 236 

SLOANE 1685. 7 

Digitized by 


8 APPENDIX TO GBOup A. OAMELTN. Bloaiie MB 1686. 

The Champion cast tomes to Gramelyn ])at was prest 
And Gamelyn stode and bade hym done his best 
Than seide Gamelyn to pe Champion 
Thou art fast a-boute to bryng« me a-don . 240 

Now I hane proaed mony tomes of thyne tiMf u] 

Thow most he seide prone on or two of myne 
Gamelyn to the Champion 3ede smertly a-none 
Of alle tomes y&i he couthe he shewed hym but one 244 
,And kest hym on the lift side f&t pre ribbes to-brake 
And perto his on arme pat jaf a grete crak* 
Than sayde Gamelyn smertly a none 
Shal it be hold for a cast or ellis for none 248 

By god seide )»e Champion where it be 
He ^at come^ ones in pj honde shal he neuer the 
Than seide pe frankelyn ))at had his sones |)ere 
Blessed be fou Gamelyn J>at euer pan bore were 262 

The frankeleyn seide to the Champion on hym stood hym no 
This is 3on Gamelyn pai taught the ])is pleie L^^^ 

Ajen vnsward pe Champion J)at liked no Jjyns wel 
He is alther meister and his pleie is right felle 256 

Sithen I wrastelet first it is gon jore 
But I was in my lif handled neuer so sore 
Gamelyn stode in the place a-non with-oute serke 
And seide jif per be mo let hem come to werke 260 

The Champion ])at payned hym to werke sore 
Hit semeth by his contenance )>at he wille nomore 
Gamelyn in the place stoode stille as stoon 
ffor to arbide wrastlyng* but per come non 264 

Ther was none with Gamelyn J)at wold wrastle more 
ffor he handlid pe Champyon so wonderly sore 
To gentil men 3emed pe place 

Come to gamelyn god jyue hym gode grace 268 

And seide to hym to on thi hosen and ])i shone 
ffor so))e at p'la tymo J^is faire is done 
And pan saide Gamelyn so mote I wel fare 
I haue not jet haluendel sold my ware 272 

SLOANE 1G86. 8 

Digitized by 


▲ppBNDix TO GROUP A. 0AM2LTN. Sloaue MS 1685. 9 

Tho seide )» Champion so brok< I my swere 

He is a fool ])at per-oi bief fou sillest it so dere 

Thoo seide the frankeleyn ])at was in moche care 

ffelaw he seide why lakkist ])oa pia ware 276 

By seynt lame in Gales ^at mony man hath sought Of 5Q>bk] 

3it is it to good chepe p&t pon hast bought 

Tho ])at wardeyns were of )>at wrastlyng* 

Come and broujt Gamelyn |>e Ham and pe vjnff 280 


no gap in tlie MS,'\ 

And Gamelyn thou3t it was a faire ^yng* 

And went with moche loy home in \q momyng* 284 

His hroper seie where he came with ])e grete route 

And bade shit ^e gate and hold hjrm with-oute 

The porter of his lord was sore a-gaste 

And stert a-none to the gate ami lokked it faste 286 

Now lyt]>ej and lysteneyth boJ>e yong* and old 

And 36 shul he Gamyn of Gamelyn ^e bolil 

Gamelyn come Jjerto for to haue comyn In 

Tnan was it schet fast with a pyn 292 

Than seide Gamelyn porter Tndo ])e ^ate 

ffor gode mannys sone stond ^r ate 

Than answered ])e porter and sware by goddes berd 

Thou ne shalt Gamelyn come in to this ^erd 29G 

Thou lixt seide Gamelyn so broke I my chyne 

He smote the wiket with his foote and brake arway j^e pyne 

The porter sey tho it myght no better be 

He sette fote on erthe and by-gan to flee 30.0 

Hj my fey seide Gamelyn j^at trauel is lore 

ffor I am on fote as light as pou haddest it swore 

Gamelyn oner toke ])e porter and his tene wrake 

And girt him in the nekke ^at ])e boon to-brake . 304 

And toke him in his arme and threw hym in a welle 

Yij^. fadame it was depe I haue herd telle 

Whan Gamelyn ^e 3ong* J^us had plaide his plaie 

Alle fat in the ^erJe were drowen hem a-waye 308 

10 SLOANE less. 9 

Digitized by 


10 APPENDIX TO GROUP A. GAMfiLYN. Sloane MS 1685. 

They dredein hym fol sore for werke pat he wrought 

And for pe feure companye }»at he ^edlr brought 

Gamelyn 36de to ]>e ^ate and lete hit vp wide 

He lete in alle ]>at gone old or ride 312 

And seide 30 be welcome with-oute eny greue 

ffor we wille be maisters here ami axe no man leue 

^ersterday I left . seyde ^ong* Gamelyn n^f m] 

In my hroper seller fyue tomie wyne 316 

I wilnot J)is companye parten on twyne 

And 30 wille don after me while sope ys per-iniie 

And 3if my brother gruche or make foiile chere 

Other for spence of mete or drynke J^at we spende here 320 

I am oure Catour and bere oure al])er purse 

He shal haue for his gruchyng" seynt marie corse 

My brother ys a nygon y s^ere by cristes ore 

And we wille spende laigely ^at he hath spared 3ore 324 

And who ^at make gruchyng< ]>at we here dwelle 

He shal to porter in to ^e drawe welle 

Vij. dayes and v\j. nyght : Gamelyn held his fest 

With moche solace was there and none chest 323 

In a litel torret his bro]>er ley steke 

And sey hem wast his good and dorst not speke 

£rly in a momyng* on the viij. day 

The gestes come to Gamelyn and wold gone her way 332 

Lordes seide Gamelyn wil 30 so hye 

Alle pe wyne ia not 3et dronke so broke I myn eye 

Gamelyn in his hert was ful wo 

Whenne his gestes toke her leue firo hym for to go 336 

He wold J>ey hadde dwelled longer and J>ey seide nay 

But by-tai]^t Gamelyn god and goode day 

Thus made Gamelyn hia fest and brou3t it wel to ende 

And after his gestes to leue to wende 340 

Lythe]> and lystenyth and holdeth 30ure tonge 

And 30 shul here Gamen of Gamelyn pe ^ong 

Herkenyth lordynges and lystenjrth a right 

Whenne alle gestes were gon how Gamelyn was dight 344 

SLOANE 1686. 10 

Digitized by 


APFKRBix TO oBoup A. OAMELTN. Sloaiie MB 1686. 11 

Alle ^e vbile ^ Gamelyn held liis mangerie 

His bio^ ])og^t on hym be wreke with his trccherie 

Tho Gameljms gestis were riden aTid gone 

Gamelyn stode a-none allone frende hed he none 348 

Tho after felle aone with-In a litul stonde 

Gamelyn was taken attd ful hard I-bonde . 

flcftp come ye fala knyght oate of pe solere penfs^iMMiK] 

To Gamelyn his bro]»er he 3ede ful nere 352 

And saide to Gamelyn ho made pQ so bolde 

iTor to stroien my store of my householde 

Brother seyde Gamelyn wratE the right noght 

ffor it is mony day gone sith it was boght 356 

fTor broker pon Last hadde by seynt Bichero 

Of xv. plowes of lond )^is siztene jere 

And of alle the bestis fon hast for]> bredde 

That my fiider me by-qna]? on his de^ bedde 360 

Of alle ]>is sixtene I ^ene pe pe prowe 

ffor pe mete and the drynke ^t we haue spendcd now 

Than sayde pe falae knyght eajl mote he the 

Uerken bro])er Gamelyn what I wil geve pe 364 

ffor of my body brother here geten haue I none 

I wil make the myn eyer I swere by seynt lohan 

Porfay saide Gamelyn and it so be 

And ]>on )rinkest as pou seist gold jeld it the 368 

1^0 thyng* wist Gamelyn of his bro]>er gyle 

Therfore he hym by-gyled in a litul while 

(jramelyn seide he oo pyng I |^e telle 

Tho thow threw my porter in pe drawe wel 372 

I swor in }»at wrath and in that grete moote 

That )K)n shuldist be bond bot& bond attd foote 



no gap in tlie AIS,] 

ffor to holden my a-you as I the be-hote 

Brother seide Gamelyn as mote ^e the 

J>on shalt be for-swoie for the loue of me 380 

SLOANS 1686. 11 

Digitized by 



The maden ]>ei Gamelyn to sitte mygM he not stonde 

Til pQj hadde him both foot and honde 

The falfl knyght his broker of Gamelyn was a-gast 

And sende after feters to feteren him fast 384 

His brofer made lesynges on hym per he stode 

And tolde hem pai comen In j^at Gamelyn was wode 

Gamelyn stode to a post bonden in the halle 

Tho that comen In . loked on hym alle 388 

Euere stode Gamelyn euen vp right [lemf 571 

But mete and drynke had he none nofer day ne nyght 

Than saide Gamelyn brothir by myn hals 

Xow I haue aspied f on art a party fab 392 

Had I wist pe treson )>at ]>ou hast fond 

I wold haue 3eue strokes or I had be bond 

Gamelyn stode stille bonde as eny stone 

Two dayes and two nyghtes mete hadde he none 396 

Than seide Gamelyn ]}at stode I-bonde strong^ 

Adam spenser me J^inki^ I fast to long* 

Adam spenser now I beseche the 

ffor pe moche loue my fader loued the 400 

5if ]>ou may come to the keyes lese me out of bond 

And I wil parte with the of my fre lond 

Than seide Adam p&i was pe spencer 

I haue serued f y brother Jjis xvj. ^ere 404 

3if I let the gon out of his beure 

He wold saie afterwardf I were a traitour 

Adam seide Gamelyn so brok I myn hals 

Thou shalt fynd my broker at f e last fals 408 

Therfore broJ)«" Adam lose me oute of bondes 

And I wil parte with the of my fre londes 

Vp suche forward seide Adam I-wis 

I wil do ]>e7'to al ])at in me is 4l2 

Adam seide Gamelyn as mote I the 

I wille hold pe couonaunt and pon wil me 

Anone as Adams lord to bedde was gone 

Adam toke pe keyes and lete Gamelyn oute a-none 416 

SLOAKE 16S5. 12 

Digitized by 


APPENDIX TO GROUP A. OAMELTN. 8108116 MS 1685. 13 

He vnloked (xamelyn boj^e bondes and feete 

In hop« of auauncemeiit ^at he him he-hete 

Than seide Gamelyn ])ankid he goddes sonde 

Now I am lose ho^ foote and hande 420 

Hadde I novr eten and dionken a right 

Ther is none in this hous shuld bynde ne pis nyght 

Adam toke Gamelyn as stille as eny stoon 

And lad hym in to spense laply a-none . 42i 

And sette hym to soper right in a pnue stede [leaf 57, back] 

He hadde him do gladly adam so dide 

Anon as Gamelyn had eten wel and fyne 

And J^rto I-dronken wel of j^e rede wyne 428 

Adam seyde Gamelyn what is now J^i redo 

Or I go to my brother and gird of his hede 

Gamelyn seid Adam it shal not be so 

I con teche the a rede J)at is worth ^e two 432 

I wote wel for 8oJ?e J)at J>is is no nay 

We shul hane a mangery right on sonday 

Abbotes and prionres mony here shal be 

And oper men of holy chirche as I teUe the 436 

Thou shalt stond vp by J)e post as ^ou wer bond fast 

And I shal leue hem vnloke fat a-way fon may hem cast 

Whan ^at fei haue eten and wasshen her hondis 

Thou shalt biseke hem aUe to bryng* the oute of bondys 

[ 441 

7io gap in the MS,] 

And if eche of hem say to vs nay 

I shal do an ofer I swere by ^is day 444 

Thou shalt haue a gode staff* I wil haue another 

And cristes curs haue ])at oon |)at falith fat ofiT 

)e for god seide Gamelyn I sey it for me 

3if I faile on my side euel mote I the 448 

3if we shul algate assoile hem of her synne 

Wame me brother Adam whan we shul be-gynne 

Gramelyn saide Adam by seynt charite 

I wil wame the by-fome whan it shal be 453 

SLOANE 1685. 13 

Digitized by 



Whan I wynte on the loke for to goon 

And caste a-way thy feders and come to me anoon 

Adam seyd Gamelyn blessed be )>y bones 

That is a gode conseil ^euen for ]>e nones 456 

Jif J)ey weme me to bryng* J)e oute of bondes 

I wil sette gode strokes right on her lendes 

Tho ])e sonday was comen and folke to )>e feste 

ffaire ]>ei were welcomed bo])e lest and meste 460 

And euere as ]>ey at ]>e halle dore come Inne 

They cast here eye on -^ong* Gamelyn . 

The fals knyght his brothir ful of trecheiye Pflaf nj 

AUe ^e gestes J^at ]>er were at ])e mangerye 464 

Of Gamelyn his brothir he told hem with mouthe 

Alle ])e harme and ^e shame ])at he telle couthe 

Tho ]>ei were I-serued of messes two or thre 

Than scide Gamelyn how serue 30 me 468 

It is noght wel serued by god ^at alt made 

That I sitte fastyng* and 6^ men make glade 

The fals knyght his brother ]>er as he stoode 

Told alle gestes that Gamelyn was woods 472 

And Gamelyn stoode stille and vnswared noght 

But Adams wordes ho held in his fought 

Tho Gamelyn gan speke deolfully with alle 

To ^e grete lordes ]}at saten in ])e halle 476 

Lordes he saide for cristes passion 

Helpe to bryng* Gamelyn oute of pnson 

Than saide an Abbot sorow on his cheko 

He shal haue cristes curs and seynt maryes eke 480 

That Je oute of prison beggef or borowe 

But euer worth hym wel J>at doJ>e j>e moche sorowe 

After |>at abbot ]7an spake an o^er 

I wold Jyn heed were of ))eigh fou were my brother 484 

Alle ^at ])e borow foul mote hem fallo 

Thus J)ei saide alle ])at were in the halle 

Than saide a priour euel mote he preue 

It is grete sorow and care boy fou art on lyue 488 

SLOANK 1686. 14 

Digitized by 



Onr seide Gamelyn so broke I my bone 

Kow I baae spied ])at fiendes haue I nojie 

Coised mote he vortH bot^ flessK and blood 

That euer do^ abbot or priour enj good 492 

Adam pe spense toke vp toke vp ^e clo])e 

And loked on Gamelyn and say ^t he was wioth 

Adam on pe pantrie litnl he )K)nght 

[ no gap in the MS.] 496 

Adam lokitfi on Gamelyn and he was war anone 

And cast a-way pe feters and by-gan to gone 

Tho ho come to Adam he toke pe on stafe 

And by-gan to worche and good strokes jafe 500 

Gamelyn come in to the halle and pe spencer bojie lirss, bkj. 

And lokid hem a-boute as pei hadde be wro])e 

Gamelyn spreynyj holiwater with a Oken spire 

That some )»t stood vp right fel in the fire 504 

Ther was no lewed man ^at in ]>e halle stode 

That wolde do Gamelyn ony ^ing* but gode 

Bat stoden bisiden and leten hem bo|ie wirche 

ffor ^i hadde no rewth of* men of* holy chirche 508 

Abbot or prionr monk* or chanoiin 

That Cramelyn oaertoke anoon pei ^eden donn 

Ther was noon of alle pat with his staff mette 

That he made hem ouerthrow and quitte hem his dette 512 

Gamelyn seide Adam for seint* Charite 

Paye gode lyneray for pe lone of me 

And I wil kepe the dore so enere here I masse 

£r ^i ben assoyled ther shall: noon passe 516 

Donte pee nought seide Gamelyn while we ben in fero 

Kepe poa wel pe dore and I wole worche heere 

Bistere pee gode Adam and lef ther noon fle 

And we shuft telle largely how nuuiy ^at per be 520 

Gamelyn seide Adam do hem but gode 

Thei ben men of hooly chirche drawe of hem no blode 

Sane wel pe coroun and do hemno harmes 

Bat breke bothe her leggis and sithen her armos 524 

SLOANE 1086. 16 

Digitized by 


16 APPENDIX TO GROUP A. OAMELTN. 8108116 K8 168S. 

Thus Gamelyn and Adam wrougbti' right fast 

And playde with the monkes and made hem agast 

Thider j>ei come ryding iolfly with swaynes 

And home a^en pei weren lad in cartes and in waynes 528 

Tho )>ei hadden alle don paime seide a gray fiere 

Alas sir Abbot what dide we now beere 

Tho faf we comen hider it was a cold rede 

Vs hadde ben better at home with water and with brede 

Wbilc Gramelyn made ordres of Monkes and frere 533 

£aer stode his brother and made foule chere 

Gamelyn yp with bis staff ]7at* he wel knewe 

And girt* bym in pe necke J^at be onertbrewe 536 

A litel aboue the girdel pe rigge boon to-brast [iMf u] 

And sette hym in ]>e fetres )>ere be sat saf arsf 

Sitte f er brother seyde Gamelyn 

fforto colen thi body as I dide myne 540 

As swithe as ^ei hadden wroken hem of* her foon 

Thei asked water and wassben anoon 

What some for her loue and some for her awe 

Alle ]>e seniauntes serued hem of fe best la we 544 

The Sherryf was fenne but fyue myle 

And alle was told hym in a lytel while 

How Gamelyn and Adam hadde don a sory res 

Bounden and wounden men ajens pQ kinge^ pes 548 

Tho bigan soone stryf* forto wake 

And J>e Sherryf aboute Gamelyn for to take 

Now lythoth and lystneth so god 3eue jou good fyne 

And )e shullen here good game of jong Gamelyne 552 

ffoure and twenty ^ongemen J^at helden hem fnl boldo 

Come to pe Sherryf and seide fat |>ei wolde 

Gamelyn and Adam fette by her fay 

The Sherryf jeue hem leue soth forto say 556 

They hyeden fast wolde pel not lynne 

Tyl fei come to pe gate ther Gamelyn was Inne 

They knokkiden atte gate fe porter was nygh 

And lokide out at an hole as man pat was sligh 560 

SLOANE 1685. 16 

Digitized by 


APPENDIX TO GROUP A. OAMELYi^. Sloaue MS 1685. 17 

The porter hadde blholde hem a litel while 

He loued wel Gamelyn and was a-drad of gyle 

And let pe wiket stonde ful stille 

And asked hem withonte what was her wille 564 

ffor al ])e gret companye ])an spak* but oon 

Yndo fe gate porter and let ns yn goon 

Thanue seide ^e porter so broke I my chyn 

^ shnllen seye ^ouie erand er 30 come In 568 

Say to Gamelyn and adam if per wille be 

We wille speke wiih hem two wordes or thre 

fTelowe seide fe porter stonde ^ere stille 

And I wil wende to Gramelyn to wite his wille . 572 

In went ^e porter to Gamelyn anoon (letf 59. back] 

And seide sir I wame jon heere be comen ^onre foon 

The Sherrefs men ben atte gate 

fforto take )oa bothe shul 30 not ascape 576 

Port«r seide Gamelyn so mote I wel thee 

I wole allow J>ee J>i wordis whanne y my tyme so 

Go agayn to pe gate and dweUe with hem a while 

And }K>a shalt se right soone porter/ a gyle 580 

Adam seide Gamelyn loke pee to gone 

We haue fomen atte pe gate and freendes neuet'e one 

It ben pe Sherryfs men pat hider ben comen 

They ben swore to-gidre pat we shullen be nomen 581 

Gamelyn seide adam hye pee right blyne 

And if I fayle pee piB day yuel mote I thryue 

And we shullen so welcome ^e Sherrifs men 

That some of hem shullen make her beddes in pe fen 588 

At a poeteme gate Gamylyn out went 

And a good Cartstaff in his bond hent 

Adam hente soone snoper gret* staff 

fforto helpen Gamelyn and good strokes ^af 592 

Adam fel tweyne and Gamelyn fel three 

The Other sette feet on er)>e and bigan to floe 

What seide adam so euere here I masse 

1 haue right good wyne drynk* er 30 passe 596 

SLOANE 1685. 17 

Digitized by 


18 APPJSNDix TO GROUP A. GAMELTN. Sloan6 MS 1685. 

Kay bi god seide ^i )>i diynk* is not goode 

It wolde make mannes brajn to lien in his hoode 

Gamelyn stode stille and lokide hym abonte 

And seide ]>e Sherrif cometh with a gret route 600 

Adam seide Gramelyn what ben now pi redes 

Heere cometh the Shenyf and wil haue onre heedes 

Adam seide to Gamelyn my rede is now piB 

Abide we no lenger lest we fare Amys 604 

I rede fat we to wode gone er pat we be founde 

Better is ^re louse pan. in towne be bounde 

Adam toke by pe bond )ong« Gamelyn 

And euery of hem drank a draught of wyn 60S 

And aftir token her cours and wenten her way n«ar 6oj 

Tho fonde the Shenyf nest* but noon Eye 

The Shenyf light downe and wente into halle 

And fonde pQ lorde fetred fast withalle 612 

The Sherryf vnfetrede hym right soone Anone 

And sente aftir/ a lege to hele his lygge bone 

Lete we now pe fals knyght lie in his care 

And talke we of Gamelyn and loke ho we he fare 616 

Gamelyn into the wode stalkid stille 

And adam spencer/ liked right* illo 

Adam swore to Gamelyn by seint* Richere 

Now I se it* is mery to be a spencere 620 

That leuer/ me were keyes to here 

Thanne walken in tlds wilde wode my clothes to tere 

Adam seide Gamelyn dismay thee right* noght* 

Many goode mannes child in care is broiight 624 

As )»ei Btode talking* bothen in fere 

Adam herde talking* of* men and nygh h3^ thoght J^ei were 

Tho Gamelyn vndir/ wode lokide a right 

Seuene score of* ^ongemen he se wel I-dight 628 

Alle Sate at* ^e mete compas aboute 

Adam seide Gamelyn now haue I no doute 

After bale cometh bote thorogh goddis myght 

Me l^enke of mete and drynk* I haue a slight* 632 

SLOANS 1686. 18 

Digitized by 



Adam lokide tho Yudir/ wode bough 

And tho he Say mete and he ivas glad ynongh 

ffor he hoped to god to haue his dele 

And he was soie alonged aftir a good mele 636 

As he seide pat word ^e majstar outlawe 

Sawgh Adam and Gamelyn Tndir wode shawe 

^ngemen seide fe maister bi ^e goode Bode 

I am war/ of gestes god send ys goode 640 

3onde ben two ^ngemen wel dight 

And paraaentuie ther ben more who so lokid a right 

Arisith np jongemen and fette hem to me 

It' is good that we witen whai^ men they be 644 

Vp ther sterten seuene £ro the dyneie iiMf aa, imk) 

And metten with Gamelyn and adam spenoeie 

Whan }»ei w^ren nygh hem )>anne seide that one 

3eldeth ym jongemen 30010 bowes and 301116 flone 648 

Thanne seide Gamelyn that 3onge was of eelde 

Mich soTowe mote thd haue pat to jon hem 3elde 

I cooiae noon other/ but right my selue 

Though 30 fette to 30U fyue )>an be 30 twelue 652 

Tho ^i herde bi his word that* myght was in his arme 

Ther was noon of hem pat wolde do hem harme 

But seide to Gamelyn myldly and stille 

Ck>me afore our maister and seie to hym ^i wille 656 

^ongemen seide Gamelyn by 30ure lewte 

What man is 30ure maister that* 30 with be 

Alle pei answeride withoute lesyng 

Oure mayster is corouned of outelawis king* 660 

Adam seide Gamelyn go we in cristes name 

He may nei^ mete ne drynk* weme ys for shame 

If ^t he be hende and come of gentyl bloode 

He wole 3eue us mete and drynk* and do us some goode 664 

By seint* lame seide adam what harme pat I gete 

I wil auenture me that* I hadde mete 

Gamelyn and adam wente forth in fere 

And J«i grette fe mayster pat Jei fonde fere 668 


Digitized by 



Thanne seide the m&jeter king^ of outlawls 

What* soke ^e ^ongemen vndir wode shawes 

Cramelyn answeride J)e king* with his coroun 

He must nedis walke in feeld ^at may not walke in toun 672 

Siie we walke not heere noon harme to do 

But if we mete a dere to shete therto 

As men that ben hungry and mowe no mete fynde 

And ben hard bistad vnder wode lynde 676 

Of Cramelyn wordis the maister hadde rathe 

And seide ^e ehal haue ynow haue god my treuthe 

He bad hem sitte doun forto take teste 

And bad hem ete and drynke and that of the beste/ 680 

As pei eten and drunken wel and fyne ucaf ei] 

Thanne seide oon to another/ ^is is Gamelyne 

Tho was the maister outlawe into Counsel nome 

And tolde how it was Gamelyn that* was thider come 684 

Anone as he herde how if was bifalle 

He made hym maister vnder hym ouer hem alle 

"Withynne the thridde woke hym come tydyng* 

To the maister outlawe that wa8 her king* 688 

That he shiilde come home his pees was maad 

And of* that good tyding* he was ful glade 

Tho seide he to his jongemen soth forto telle 

Me ben comen tydynges I may no lenger dwelle 692 

Tho was gamelyn anone ^vithouf taiiyng* 

Made maister/ outlawe and corouned her king* 

Tho was Gamelyn crowned king* of outlawes 

And walkide a while vndir wode shawes 606 

The fals knyght his brother/ was Shereue and sire 

And lete his brother endite for hate and for hire 

Tho were his bondemen sory and no Jjing* glad 

Whanne Gamelyn her lord wolfes heed was cried & maad 700 

And sent* oute of* his men where p&. myght hym fynde 

fforto seke Gamelyn vndir wode lynde 

To telle hym tidyng the wynde was went 

And att Iiis good reued and alle his men shent 704 

SLOANE 1685. 20 

Digitized by 


APPENDIX TO GBoup A. OAMELTM. Sloaue MS 1685. 21 

Whanne yei hadden hym founden on knees yei hem setten 
And a-doun with her hoode and her lord gretten 
Sire wrathe 30a nought for pe goode roode 
ffor we haue brought 30U tydyng bat )>ei be nought gode 708 
Now is pi brother Sherreue and hath the baillie 
And hath endited thee and wolfes heed doth thee crie 
Alias seide Gamelyn pat euere I was so slak* 
That I ne hadde broke his necke tho I his rigge brak* 712 
Goth gretith wel myn hnsbondes and wyf 
I wil be atte p^ next shire and god sende me lyf 
Cramelyn cam redy to j^e next shire 

And there was his brother bo])e lord and sire 716 

Gamelyn booldlich come into the mote halle {\eat91, inck] 
And putte Ordoxm his hoode among the lordis alle 
God saue jou lordis that here bee 

But brok* bak< Sherreue yuel mote thou thee 720 

Why hast thou do me that Shame and vylonye 
fibrto late endite me and wolfes heed do me crie 
Tho thought the fals knyght fforto ben a-wreke 
And lete Gamelyn most he no things speke 724 

Might thei' be no grace but< Gamelyn atte pe laste 
Was cast* in prisoun and fetered faste 
Gamelyn hath a brother that hight Sir Ote 
As good a knyght* and hende as myght gone on fote 728 
Anono 3ede a messager to that* good knyght 
And tolde hym al to-gidre how gamelyn was dight 
Anone as Sir Ote herde how Gamelyn was dight 
He was right Sori . was he no thing* light 732 

And lete sadle a stede and the way he name 
And to his tweye brej^eme ryght* soone he came 
Sir Seide Sir Ote to pe Sherreue tho 
We ben but three bri])eme shullen we neucre be mo 736 
And thou hast prisoned the best of ts alle 
Sich another brother/ yuel mote hym bifalle 
Sir Ote seide the fals knyght lat be thi cours 
Bi god for thy wordes he shal fare the wors 740 

8LOANE 1685. 21 

Digitized by 


22 APPBNBix TO Qfioup A. GAMELTN. Sloaue MB 1685. 

To the kisges priaoun he is nome 

And there he shal abide tyl tJie lustice come 

Farde seide Sir/ Ote better it Shal be 

I bjdde hym to maynprise ]>at ]>oa graunt me 

Tyl the next sitting* of delyueiaunce 

And late thanne Gamelyn stonde to his chaunce 

Biothei' in siche a forward I take hym to pee 

Abd bi pi iadna soole )>at pee bigat and me 

Bat he be redy whanne the lustice Sitte 

Thou shalt here pe Iiigement for al thi grct witte 

I graunt wel seide Sir Ote that it so be 

Late delyuer hym anoon and take hym to me/ 

Tho was gamelyn delyuered to Sir Ote his brother 

And that nyght dwellide the oon with the other 

On the morowen seide Gamelyn to Sir Ote pe hende 

Brother he seide I mote forth fro 30U wende 

To loke how my ^ongemen leden her lyf 

Whether they lyuen in ioye or ellis in stryf 

By god seide sir Ote pat is a cold rede 

Now I see that alle pe cark shall falle on myn hede 

ffor whanne J^e lustice sitte and ^ou be not founde 

I shal anoon be take and in thi stede bounde 

Brother seide Gamelyn dismay thee nought 

ffor by seynt lame in Gales pat many man hath sought 764 

If pat god almyghty holde me my lyf* and my witte 

I wille be redy whanne j^e lustice Sitte 

Thanne seide Sir Ote to Gamelyn god shilde pee fro shaiue 

Come whanne ]>ou seest tyme and bringe vs out* of< blame 

Litheth and listneth and holde 30U stille . 769 

And je shullen heere how Gamelyn hadde his wille 

Gamelyn wente vndii* wode Rys 

And fonde there plaiyng* jongemen of prys 

Tho was 3ong< Gamelyn righf glad ynough 

Whanne he fonde his men vndir/ wode bough 

Gamelyn and his men talkiden in fere 

And they hadde good game her mayster/ to heere 

SLOAXE I6S6. 22 








Digitized by 



His meu tolde hym of Auentures pat pei hadde founde 

And Gamelyn hem told a^en hou lie was fast bounde 

AVhyle Gamelyn was outlawe hadde he no cois 

Ther was no man that for hym faide the wois 780 

Bat Abbotes and priouies Monkes and Chanoun 

On hem left he nought whanne he might hem nome 

Whyle Gamelyn and his men made mirthes Ryue 

The £ds knyght his brother ynel mote he pryue 784 

ffor he was iast aboate boj^e day and other/ 

fforto hire the quest to hangen his brother/ 

Gamelyn stode on a day and biheelde 

The wodes and the shawes and the wylde feelde 788 

He thought on lus brother how he hym byhette Deaf as, back] 

That he wolde be redy whanne the Justice sette 

He thought wel he wolde withoute delay 

Come afoie the lustice to kepen his day 792 

And sayde to his ^onge men dighteth jow ^are 

ffor whanne the lustice sitte we must be thare 

ffor I am vndir borowe tyl thaf I come 

And my brother for me to pnsofi shal be nome 79G 

By seynt lame seyde his ^ongemen and pon rede perto 

Ordeyne how it shal be and it shal be do 

While Gamelyn was comyng pere pe lustice Satt 

The fals knyght his brother for3ate he not ])at 800 

To hire the men on his quest to hangen his brother 

Though they hadde not the oon )>ei wolde hauo ^e oper 

Tho come Gamelyn fro vndir pe wode Eys 

And brought with hym jonge men of prys 804 

I see wel seido Gamelyn the lustice is sette 

Go afom Adam and loke how it spette 

Adam went into ^e halle and lokide al aboute 

He say pere stonde lordes grete and stoute 808 

And sir Ote hir brother fetered ful fast 

Tho wente Adam oute of pe haUe as he were agast 

Adam seyde to Gamelyn and to his felowes alle 

Sir Ote stondith fetered in the mote halle 812 

SLOANE 1686. 23 

Digitized by 




no gap in the M8.^ 

If god jeue vs grace wel for to do 

He shal it abigge that it brought ))6rto 816 

Thanno seide Adam ))at lokkes hadde hore 

Cristes curs mote ho haue ^ai hym bonde so sore 

And )>ou wolt Gamelyn do aftir my rede 

Ther is none in the hallc )>at shal berd awey his hede 820 

Adam seide Gamelyn we wille not do so 

We wil sle f e gyltif and late ]>e other go 

I wil into ]>e halle and with the lustice speke 

On hem fat ben gyltif I wil ben a-wreke 824 

Lete none scape atte ))e dore take ^ongemen 3eme 

ffor I wil be lustice }>i8 day domes to deme l^?*!!^^?* ^'"•^ 

God spede me f is daye And my newe werke [■» t^- i7 b ry. 

Adam come with me ffor ]>ou schalte be my Clarke 

His Men answerede hym And badde hym doone his best* 

And yefe f ou to vs haue node ]>ou schalte ffynde vs prest* 

"We woft stonde with the whyle fat we maye dure 

Butte we werke Mannelye paye vs none hyere 832 

Yonge Men sayde Gamelyn so motte I welt thee 

As trusty A Mayster ^e schuHe fynde of* me 

Righte there As the lustyce satte in the halle 

In wente Gamelyn Amonges hem att [leaf 79) 836 

Gamelyn lete vnfotter his brother owte of« bonde 

Than sayde Sir Ote his brofere fat was hende 

Thou haddeste Almoste Gamelyn dwellede to longe 

The qweste is owte of* Me fat I schulde honge 840 

Brother sayde Gamelyn As god yeue me gode reste 

This daye fey schidlen be hangede fat bene on thy qweste 

And the lustyce bothe that is the lugge Man 

And f e Schryve bofc froughe hym hitt* biganne 844 

Than sayde Gamelyn to the lustyce 

Now is thy power doone f on Muste nedes Aryse 

Thou haste youen domes fat bene euylte dyghte 

I woft sytten in fe Sete And dressen hem aryghte 848 

SLOANE 1685 & MS REO 17 D XV. 24 

Digitized by 



The lustyce sate Btylte And rose notte andne 

And Gamelyn cleuede liis Cheke bone 

Gamelyn toke hym in his Annes and no more spake 

Butte ^we hym ouer the barre and his Arme brake 852 

Dmste none to Gamelyn saye butte gode 

ffoT ffere of the Company )>at wit^oute stode 

Gamelyn sette hym downe in the lustyce stede 

[ 856 

no gap in the MSJ\ 

Harken of* bourde that Gamelyn tho dyde 

He lette ffettere his brother and ]}e ffalse lustyce 

And lete hem come to ))e barre ))at oone with that other 

Tho Gamelyn hadde ))us ydone hadde he no reste 861 

Tyfte he hadde enquerede who was on the qweste 

ffoT to demen siV Ote his brother ffor to honge 

Or he wyste whiche }>ey were itt* foughte hym to longe 864 

Butte As soone as Gamelyn wyste where they were 

He dydde hem euerychone fettren in flfere 

And bryngen hem to the barre And sette hem in rewe 

By my faythe sayde the lustyce J>e Schryve is A schrewe 

Than sayde Gamelyn to the lustyce 869 

Thou haste youen domes of the worste Assyce 

And the xij sysours that weren of" the qweste 

They schutte to daye be hangede So god yeue me gode reste 

Than sayde the Schryve to yonge Gamelyn 873 

Loide I crye the Mercye brother Arte thou Myne 

Therefor sayde (xamelyn haue thou Cristes curse 

ffor And thou were Mayster yett' schulde I flfare worse [if 7», bkj 

ffor to make schorte tale And notte to longe 

He ordeynede hym A qweste of his men so stronge 

The lustyce and the Schryve bothe hangede hye 

To wayuen wit^ the ropes And wM the wynde drye 880 

And the xij sisours Sorrowe haue fat recke 

Att they were hangede fifaste by the necke 

Thus endede the fifalse knyghte wit/i his treccherye 

That euer hadde ledde his lyfe in ffalsenesse and fifollye 884 

11 SLOAKK 1685 [this pngC, MS REG. 17 D XV.] 25 

Digitized by 


26 APPENDIX TO onoup A. GANELTN. Sloaiie MS 1685. 

He was hangede by the necke and nougbte by the poise 

That was the Mede ]iat he hadde fTor his flfaders cune 

Sir Ote was eldeste And Gamelyn was yonge 

Wenten wiih her ffi^ndes and passede wit& the kynge 888 

They made pease witil the kynge on the beste sysa 

The kynge louede Sir Ote weft And made hym lustyce 

And afiter the kynge made Gamelyn bo])e in Este and Weste 

Chyfe lustyce of* his fre fForeste 892 

AH* his wyghte yonge Men fe kynge foryaue her gylte 

And sythen in gode office )>e kynge hadde aft horn pylte 

Thus wyse wanne Gamelyn his londe a?id his lede 

And wrake hym of< his ennemyes And qwy tte hem her Mede 

And Sir Ote his brother Made hym his heyer 897 

And sythen weddede Gamelyn A wyfe bojw gode and f&yer 

They lyueden togider whyle that Criste wolde 

And sythen was Gamelyn grauen vnder Molde 900 

And So schatt we all: Maye far no Man flee 

God brynge vs to the loye fat eu^r schatt be 

Here endith the tale of the Coke 

sroANE 1685 [this page, MS BKG. 17 d XV.] 26 


Digitized by ^ 

[NOTICE— Inasmuch as, after the Man of Law's Tale, 
the Older of the Tales in the Cambridge MS differs from the 
right order of the Tales in which the Six-Text is to be 
arranged, the further issue of the separate Cambridge Parts 
is suspended till all the Tales before the Shipman^s in the 
Cambridge MS have. been issued in the Six-Text, Then 
the proper pagings of the separate Cambridge sheets can be 
ascertained, and a large Part will be issued, bringing the 
separate issue abreast of the Six-Text, See the following 
scheme : — 

Orwp B 


Nun'i Priest 

Grmp ^\j^Zn^ 

i Wife of Bath 
Grovp D < Friar 

( Summoner 

/I f±S Second Nun 

Group 0| Cation's Yeoman 

Gronp H Manciple 
GroHp I Parson 

1 Janvary, 1871. 

Cambridge MS, 

Grovp D 

Group E 
Grovp P 
Group C 

rest of 
Grovp B 

Grovp G 

Grovp H 
Group I 

( Wife of Bath 

< Friar 

( Summoner 

( Clerk 
\ Merchant 







^Nun's Priest 

Second Nun 
Canon's Yeoman 


Parson ] 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 




[Harleian MS 1758, /ea/55, hack.] 

Here begynnefh the Prolog of the man of lawe. 

uie Oste saugh well that the bright sonne . 
O The arke of his artafici^ day had lonne . 
The fonrthe parte Sc half an houre & more . 
And though he were not deep experte in lore . 4 

He wist it was the .xvi^'. day . 
Of Aprifi that is messager/ to May . 
And sangh w^ that the schadow of euery tre . 
Was as in lengthe the same qnantite . 8 

That was the body erecte that cansid it . [HuL eztna «ids] 
And ^erfore by )>e schadewe he tok hese wit [Oamb. MS, leaf 1913 
That phebns which ])at schon so cler & bry^t 
Begzeis fyne & forty I-clombe on hy3t 12 

And for |)at day as in ]>at latytude 
It was ten of )>e clok he gan conclude 
And sodeynly he ply^te hese hors a-boute 
LoidyngLB ^\uod he I wame yaw al ))is route 16 

The fonrte party of )>is day is gon 
Now for ]>e loue of god & seynt lohn 
Leseth no tyme as fer forth as 30 may 
Lordyngis it wastyth ny^t & day 20 

And stelyth from vs what pnuyly slepy^ige 
And what J)«rwith neclygence In onre wakynge 
As doth \e strem )>at tumyth neuere a-geyn 
Pessendynge from fe monteyn In-to pleyn SI 

Wei can senykeke & manye a phylisofere 
Bewaylyn tyme more fan gold in cofere 
ffor lofl of catel may reconerede be 

But los of tyme schendyth vs qitod he 28 

10 CAMBBIDOB 129 [part Harl. 1768] 

Digitized by 


130 GROUP B. § 1. MAN OF law's HEAD-LINK. Cambridge MS. 

It wele not come a-geyn -witJi-ouijJi drede 

No more f&n wele malkenys maydyy/hede 

Whan sche hath, lost it in here wantou/inesso 

Let YB not moulyn pus in ydylnesse 32 

Syre man of lawe so haue ^e blys 

Telle Ys a tale now as forward is 

3e ben submyttit pour ^onre fre assent 

To stondyn in )>is cas at myn Ingement 3G 

A-quytlit 30W now of ^oure be-heste 

p&nne haue je don ^oure denyr at pe leste 

Host quod he depardeux I assente 

To brekyn forward is not myn entente 40 

Byheste is dette & I wele holde fayn 

Al myn beheste I can no betere seyn 

flfor swich lawe as man jeuyth aruoper wyjt 

He schulde hym selue vse it be rigM 44 

Thus wele oure tyxt / but natheles serteyn 

I can not now non thrifty tale seyn p«rfi»4i buck} 

That Chaucer thoughte he can but lewedcly 

On metris & on rymyng craftyly 48 

As seyde hem in swich engelych as he can 

Of olde tyme as knowyth manye a man 

And 3if he haue not seyde hem leue hroper 

In on bok he hath seyd he7» in a noper 52 

ffor he hath told of louerys vp & down 

Mo fan ouyde made of mencyoun / 

In hese epistelt fat ben ful olde 

What schulde I telle hem syn fat fey ben tolde 56 

In 90uthe he made of Ceys & alceoun 

And syf e haf he spoke of euerychon 

These nobele wyuys & f ese loueris ek 

Who so fat wole hese largo volum sek 60 

Clepid f e seyntis legende of cupide 

There may he se f e large woundis wydo 

Of lucresse & of babiloyn Tisbee 

Tho swerd of dido for feialse Enee 64 


Digitized by 


GROUP B. § 1. MAN OF law's HEAD-LINK. Cambridge MS. 131 

The tre of philt for here demephoim 

The pleynt of dyane & of hermyoim 

Of adryane & of Isiphilee 

The barayne yle standyrzge in fe sc ^ 68 

The dreynte leandere for hese erro 

The terys of elyne & ek fe wo 

Of brixseyde & of pe ladomya 

The cruelte of |)e quene media 72 

Thy lityl childeryra hangynge by pe hals 

ffoT thy lason pat was in loue so fals 

ypermystre penolopee Alceste 

Joure wifhod be cowniendit with }>e beste 76 

But serteynly no word wTyty[t]h he 

Of thilk ensaa7?tple of Canacee 

That louede here owene hroper synfully 

Of swiche cuisede storyis I seye fy 80 

Or eUis of Thiro appolonyns 

[How ye cuisid kynge Anciociis [Sbue K8 less, leaf os.] 

Byiafte hys dou^tir hir Maydenhede 

^t ys so horrible a tale for to here 84 

Whan he hir ])rowe |K)Toagh pe pament 

And J)[eT]fore he of fidl avisement 

Wolde nevere write in none of his sermonoa 

Of whiche vnkynde abhomynacions 88 

Ke I* ne wil non reherse if pai I may 

But of my tale how shalle doo ))i8 day 

Me were lothe he lykned donteles 

To Muses ]>at men clepen pieriedes 92 

Metham-orphaseos wot wat y mene 

Bat natheles I ne reche not a bene 

Thoughe y come after* hym witA aw bake 

1 speke in prose & let hym Eymes make 96 
And witA )>at worde he with a sobre chere 

By-gan his tale as ye shul aftei^ here 98 

Here endiihe pe prolooge & bygynnithe pe tale 

[No break in the MS Itere or between the gtanzas.] 
CAMBRIDGE 181 [part Slosue 1686] 

Digitized by 


132 OBOUP B. § 2. HAK OF law's tale. pbol. Cambridgfe MS. 


Ohatfulle harme condiciofi of pouert DBiouie XB less] 
With throst with colde witA Inmgre so confunded 
To asken helpe pe sliameth in )>me hert 
If J)oa now axe with nede arte ]>oa so wounded 
That verray nede vnwrappid al |)i wonnde liyd D«af es» t^kj 
Mangre J^ine hede |)oa moste for Indegens 
Or stele or begge or borowe |)i dispense 105 

Thou blamest crist & seyst fulle vtterly 

He in his deportitfi rychesse temporal 

Thy neghboure }>ou witest synfully 

And seyste pon haste to ly telle & he hat£ alle 109 

Par fay seyste )>ou some tyme )>ou reken shalle 

Whan pat his tayle shal brenne in pe glede 

ffor he nou3t helpith nedefulle in her nede 112 

Herkene what ys pe menynge of pe wise 

Bet is to dien )>an to haue Indigence ' 

Thy self neghbore wol pe dispice 

If fou be pore fare wele |)i reuerence 116 

Jet of f e wise man take f is sentence • 

Alle dayes of pore men be wykke 

Be ware jjerfore or Jou com in fat prik / 119 

If povL be pore fi Brother hatith fe 

Alle }>i ffrendes fleen fro pe Alias • 

O riche nu?rchantes ful of wele be je^ ii sni* jiar traM- 

p09S$ tk6$t two 

noble prudent folke as in fis cas^ ««^«.] 

youre bagges buth not fullyd wit^ ambes ais 
But vriih sys synke fat renneth of youi* chaunce. 
At cristes masse merie may ye daunce. 126 

CAMBRIDGE 182 [tliis page, Sloane 1686] 

Digitized by 


gboupB. §2. HAK OF law's TALE. PROL. Cambridge MS. 133 

3e sechen londe and See for youi' wynnynges 

As wyse folkes ))at knowen alio Jye staat / 

Of regnes ye ben fadies & tydynges 

And tales botben of pees & debate 130 

I weie ri3t nowe of talys dissolate 

I^eie ^t a marcbannt goon ys many *a' yeere 

Me tangbt* a tale wbicbe as * 30 sbal bere [BiMneaztiMtfliuift.] 

{Linet 981-7, jp. 161, are repeated in the MS, leaf 208. Here 
ii the ieeond version, marked, in a later hand, Tatat, for vacat, at 
the side:-- 

This eenatoniTS wif byre aunte was 

But for al JNit eche knew hyre neuere l^e more 

I wele no lengere taryen in >ia cas 

Bat to kyng alia which I spak of jore 

lliat for Mb wyf wepith & sykyth Bore 

I wele retome & lete I wele custannce 

Yndyr )>e senatouiyB gouemaunce] 

CAMBHIDGE 133 [this page, Sloane 1686] 


Digitized by ^ 

134 GROUP B. § 2. MAN ov laVs talb. Cambridge MS. 



In Surry whilom dwellede a c[u]mpaign7e SSSS^**' 

Of cliapmen riche & perto sadde & trewe 

That wide where sentyn here spicerye 

Clothis of gold & satynys ryche of hewe 137 

Here chaffare vras so thrifty & bo newe 

That euery wight hath deynte to chaffare 

With heffi & ek to sellen hem here ware 140 

Kow fil it that pe mayBtens of pat sort 

Han shapyn hem to rome for to wende 

"Were it for chapmanhod or for disport 

iN'on ofer message wolde he dedyr sende 144 

But comyn hem self to rome J)is is thende 

And in swich place as thoghte hem thawauntage 

ffor hire entent ]>ey take hire herbergage 147 

Soioumyd han ]>ese marchanntis in pat toun 

A serteyn tyme as fel to here plesaunce 

But so be-fel pat thexselent renoun 

Of themperourys doghter dame Custaunce 151 

Reportid was with euery circumstance 

Vn-to thys surryne marchantys in swich wise 

Ifrom day to day as I schal 30W deuyse 154 

This was the comune voys of euery man 

Oure emp^oure of rome god hym se 

A doughtir hath pat syn pe world be-gan 

To rekene as wel here goodnes as here beute 158 

Was neucre swich SL-noper as is sche 

I preye to god in honowr here sustene 

And wolde sche were of al Europe p* queue 161 


Digitized by 


GBoup B. § 2. HAN OF LAw's TALE. Cambridge HS. 135 

In here is high heute wit^onte piyde 

5ouihe with-oute grenehede or f olye ^ P <« a uuer hand} 

To alle here werkys verta is here gyde 

Humblesse hath slayn in here al tyrannye 165 

Sche is myrottr of alle curteysye 

Here herte is verray chanibyr* of holynesse P or chambur] 

Hire hand mynystre of fredom for ahnesse 168 

And al ^is Yoys was soth as god is trewe [i«^i96, baek] 

But now to pnrpos lat vs tume ageyn 

These marchantys han don frau3t here schepis newe 

And whan fey han fis blysfal maydyn seyn 172 

Horn to snrry ben fey went ful feyn 

And on here nedys as bey ^ don ful 3ore /{? han piu-4n in a later hand\ 

And lyuen in wele I can sey jow no more 175 

Kow fil it fat these marchantys stode in grace 

Of hym fat was fe soudoT? of surrye 

£for whan fey come from ony strange place 

He wolde of hese benygne curteysye 179 

Make hem good cher & besyly espye 

Tydyngis of sundery regnys for to lere 

The wonderis fat he myghte sen or here 182 

Amongis of ere thyngis specially 

These marchauntis han hym told of dame Custaurzce 

So gret noblesse in emesf certeynly 

That this soudan hath cau^t so gret plesaunce 186 

To han byre fygure in hese remembraunce 

And al hese lust & al hese besy cure 

Was for to loue here whil his lyf may dure 189 

Perauenture in thilke large boke 

Which fat clepid is fe heuene I-wretyn was 

With sterrys whan fat he hese berthe tok 

That he for loue schulde han hese deth alias 193 


Digitized by 


136 GROUP B. § S. HAN OF LAw's TALE. Cambridge H8. 

ffor in J)e stems cleiere than is glas 

Is wrete god wot ho so coude it rede 

The deth of euery man / with outyn any drede 196 

In sterrys manye a wy^ityr there be-fom 

"Was wretyn fe deth of ector achilles 

Of pompeye lelyns er fey were bom 

The.stryf of thebes & of hercules 200 

Of Sampson Thurnus & of socrates 

The deth but menys wittys ben so duUe 

That no with can wel rede it at fe fulle 203 

This soudon for hese pnuy conseyl sente pe«f i97] 

And schortely of fis matiere for to pace 

He hath to hem declarede his entente 

And seyde sertejm but he my3te han grace 207 

To han custauwce with-inne a lytyl space 

He nas but ded & chargede hem in hye 

To schapyn for hese lyf sum remedye 210 

Dyuerse men dyuerse thyngys seydyn 

They argumentyn & castyn vp & doun 

Manye a subtyle resoun forth fey leydyn 

They spekyn of Magyk & Abusioun 214 

But fynally as in conclusioun 

They can not sen in that non auantage 

Ne in non othir woye saue maryage 217 

Thanne sawe they ferin swich difficulte 

Be weye of resoun for to speke al pleoyn 

Be cause J)6re was / swich dyuercyte 

Be-twethyn here bothe lawys fat fey seyn 221 

They trowede that no crystene prywce wolde fayn 

"Weddyn his chyld vndyr oure lawys swete 

That vs was tau^t be mahouw oure prophete 224 


Digitized by 


GBoup B. § 2. HAN OF laVs TALE. Cambridge HS. 137 

And lie answeide rsifere than I lese 
Constance I wele ben cristened douteles 
I mote ben beis / I may non oper chese 
I prey 30W bolde 3onre argument in pes 
Sauyth myn lyf & beth nat recheles 
To getyn here that hath myn lyf in core 
£for in ]»i8 wo I may not longe endure 

What nedyth grettere dilatacioun 
I sey be tretys & enbassadrye 
And bi j>e popis mediacioun 
And al the cherch & J)e chyualrye 
That in distmceioun of mametrye 
And in enc^es of Crystes lawe dere 
They ben eoordit so as ^e schal hero 





How pat the soudan & hese baronage pear 197, bMk] 

And alle hese lyges schulde cristenede be 

And he schal liaue custaunce in maiyage 

And serteyn gold I not what qnantyte 242 

And heer to fyndyn sufficient suretee 

This same a-oord was sworn on eyper syde 

Kow fayre Custaunce al-my3ty god jow gyde 245 

Kow wolde sum men waytyn as I gesse 

3it I schulde telle al pe puruyaunce 

That fe emparour of his greete noblesse 

Hath schapyn for hese doughtur^ dame^ Custaunce :' »iierecq 

Wei may men knowe pat so gret ordenaunce 

May no man telle in swich a lytyl clause 

As was arayed for so high a cause 252 

Byschopis ben schapyn with here for to wende 
Lordyngis ladyis kny3tis of renonn 
And opere folk I-nowe this is the ende 
And notyfyed is thorw out fe toun 



Digitized by 


138 GROUP B. § 2. MAN OF LAw's TALE. Cambridge MS. 

That euery knjjt with gret deuociouw 

Schulde preye cr/st pat he this maryage 

Beceyne In gre & spede pia viage 259 

The day is come of here departynge 

I sey the woful fatal day is come 

That fere may be no lengere taryinge 

But forward fey hem drese alle & some 263 

Custaunce that was with sorwe al ouyrcome 

fful pale a-iyst & dreseth here to wendo 

ffor weel sche seeth theie is non oper cnde 266 

Alias no wondir is it f ow sche wepte 

That schal be sent in-to strauwge naciouji ' [' ottered} 

ffor frendys that so tenderely here kepte 

And to ben bouwdyn vndyr subieccyonn 270 

Of on sche knowyth not hese condiciou?* 

Housbondis ben alle goode & han been 3ore 

That knowyn wyuys I dar sey jow no moore 273 

ffadyr sche seyde f yn wrechede chyld Custaunce Deaf i99] 

Thi jongo dou3ty fosterede yp so softe 

And je myn modyr myn souereyn plesaunce 

Ouer alle thynge out take cryst on lofte 277 

Custaunce jore child hire recomaundyth ofte 

Vn-to 3oure grace for I schal to surrye 

Ne schal I neuare sen jow more with eye 280 

Alias vn-to fe barbre naciouw 

I muste anon sithe fat it is 3oure wille 

But cryst fat starf for our redempcyoun 

So 3eue me grace hese hestis to fulfylle 284 

I wreche woman no fors thow I spille 

Wemef* are bore to thraldam & penaunce 

And to ben vndyr manys gouernaunce 287 


Digitized by 


GBOTTP B. § 2. MAN OF LAw's ^TALE. Cambridge HSb 139 

I trowe at troye whan piims brak ^ wal 

Or ylion brende at tliebes the cetee 

If at rome for fe hann forw hanybal 

That Tomaynys han enqneschid tymys three 291 

Kas herd swich tendere wepyng for pete 

As in the chaumbeie was for here departynge 

Bat forth sche muste / where so sche wepe or sy72ge 294 

O fyrste moeuyng crewel fyrmament 

With thi dyamal which fat croudist ay 

And hnrlyst al from est til Occident 

That naturally wolde holde a-no)>er way 298 

Thi croudyng set ye heuene in swich aray 

At fe begynynge of this ferse yiage 

That crewel mars hath slaye ))is maryage 301 

Infortonat ascendent tortuous 

Of which fe lord is helpeles falle alias 

Ont of hese angels in-to pe derkeste hous 

mars o atajer as in this cas 305 

febele mone vn-happi ben thi pas 

Thow knyttist Je fere fat art not reseyuyd 

There f ow were wel from thens art thow weyuyd 308 

Inprodent Emperour of Eome alias Deaf ige, back] 

Whas fere no philisophere in al tbyn tonn 

Is no tyme bet fan of er in swich cas 

Of Tiage is fere non eleccioun 312 

And namely to folk of high coTuiicionn 

l(at whan a rote is of a burthe I-knowe 

Alias we ben to lewede & to slows 315 

To schip is bronjt this wof ul fayre mayde 

Solempnely with euery circumstaunce 

Now Ihe/m enst be with 30W alle echo seide^ iia««f«ijvp»«cnde] 

There is namore but fare wel fayre Custaunce 319 


Digitized by 


140 GROUP B. § 2. KAN OF LAw's TALB. Cambridge XS. 

Sche peynyih here to make good cuntenaunce 

And forth I lete here sayle in this manere 

And tame I wele a-geyn to myn mateie 322 

The modyr of the soudon welle of vices 

Espyed hath here sonys pleyn entente 

How he wolde lete his olde sacrifises 

And ly^t a-non sche for here conseyl sente 326 

And they he come to knowe what sche mente 

And whan assemhelede were J)e folk en feero 

Sche sette here doun & seyde as 30 schal here 329 

Lordys quod sche je heryn euerychon 

How fat myn sone in poynt is for to lete 

The holy lawis of onre alkaron 

3euen be goddys message Makomete 333 

But on a wow to grete god I heete 

Tlie lyf schal rafere out of myn body storte 

On makometes lawe out of myn herte 336 

What schulde vs tydyn of this newe lawe 

But thraldam to oure bodyis & penaunce 

And aftyr in helle for to be drawe 

ffor we reneyede mahoun oure creamice 340 

But lordis wele 3e makyn a suraunce 

As I schal seyn assentynge to myn lore 

And I schal make ys saf for euere more 343 

They sworyn & assentyn euery man [toofutj 

To lyue with hyre & deye & by here stonde 

And eueryche in fe beste wyse sche can 

To strenthe here schal alle here frendis fonde 347 

And sche hath this empryse take on honde 

Whiche ;e schal here that I schal deuyse 

An[d] to hem alle sche spak ryth in f is wyse 350 


Digitized by 


OBoup B. § 2. MAN OF law's TALK Cambridge KS. 141 

We sdml fyist fejne ys criistene-dom to take 

Cold watyr schal nat greue vs but a lite 

And I schal swicb a feste Sc reael make 

That as I trowe I schal the soudon qnyte 354 

ffor thow hese wyf be crystenede neuere so whyte 

Sche schal han neede to wasche a-wey the reede 

Thow sche a font fill of watyr with heie leede 357 

O soudonesse roote of iniquite 

Virago thow semiame the secunde 

serpent vndyr femynynyte 

Lyk to the serpent deepe in belle I-bounde 361 

O feynede woman al that may conffounde 

Yertn & innocence thour thyn maleyce 

Is bred in )»e / as nest in euery vice 364 

satan enuyous syn thilke day 

That fou were chasede J)owr oure erytage 

Wei knowyst fou to wemen fe elde way 

Thow madist eua brynge vs in seruage 368 

Thow wilt for-dop this cristene maryage 

Thyn Instremnent so weyleawey the whyle 

Makyst fou of wemen wan fou wit begile 371 

This soudonesse whom I ))as blame & waiye 

Let pryuyly hire conseyi gon here way 

What schulde I in this tale lengere taryo 

Sche rydith to fe soudan on a day 375 

And seyde he wolde receyne hire lay 

And cristendom of prestis hondis fonge 

Bepentynge hire sche hethene was so longe 378 

Be^elynge hem * to don here fat honour ^ SSJi/^iThL] 

That sche muste bane f e crystene folk to feste 

To plesyn hem I wele don myn labour 

The soudon seyth I wele don at joure heste 382 


Digitized by 


142 GROUP B. § 2. MAK OF LAw's TALE. Cambridge KS. 

And keneljnge thankyth here of fat leqneste 

So glad he yras he njste what to seye 

;Sche kyste here sone / & hom sche goth here weye 386 


Aiyiiede ben these ciystene men to londe 

In siuiey with a gret solempne route 

And hastiliche pis sondan sente hese sonde 

ffyist to hese modir & al hese regno a-boute 389 

And seyde hese wyf was comyn oat of doute 

And preyede hire to ryde a-jen fe quene 

The honour of hese regno to sustene 392 

Gref was fe pres & riche was tharay 

Of suireynys & romeynys met in fere 

The modyr of the soudan ryche & gay 

Keceyuyth hire with also glad a chere 396 

As any modir my^te hire dou^tyr dere 

And to fe nexte sete fere be syde 

A softe pas solempnely fej ryde 399 

Noght trowe I f e triumphe of lulius 

Of which yai lucan makyth swich a host 

"Was royallere ne more curyous 

^an was thasemble of J>is blysful ost 403 

But fiB scorpioun ^is wekede gost 

The soudonesse for al hyre flaterywge 

Caste vndyr this ful mortal! to stynge 406 

The soudan comyth hym self sone aftyr this 

So royali fat wondir is to telle 

He wolcomyth hire wtt^ al ioye & blys 

And fua in merthe & ioye I lete hem dwelle 410 


Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 2. MAK OF laVs TALK Cambridge KS. 143 

The freut of this matieTe is pat I telle 

"Whan tjme cam men thou3te it for pe beste 

That leael stjnte & men gone to here reste 413 

The tyme cam this olde soudonesse [iMif £ooj 

Ordeynyd hath this fesie of which I telle 

And to ^e feste cristene folk hjjn dresse 

In general 30 hothe 3ynge & olde 417 

Here may men feste & rialte he-holde 

And deynteis mo fan I can 30W deuyse 

But al to dere they bou^te it er they lyse 420 

O sodeyn wo that euere art successoz^r 

To wordely blysse spreynt with bittymesse 

Thende of the ioye of oure wordely labour 

Who occupiet the fyn of oure gladnesse 424 

Herkenp ])i8 conseyl for thyn sekymesse 

Yp-on thyn glade day haue in thyn mynde 

The onwar wo or harm that comyth be-hynde 427 

fFor schortely for to tellyw at on word 

The soudon & the ciystene euerychone 

Ben al to-hewe & stikid at the bord 

But it were only dame custaunce a-lone 431 

This olde soudanesse cursede crone 

Hath with here frendis don this curssede dcde 

ITor ache here selue wolde at the cuntre lede 434 

Ne fere was surreyn non that was conuertid 

That of the conseyl of the soudon wot 

That he was hewe er that he a-sterted 

And custaunce ban they take a-non fot hot 438 

And in a schip al stereles god wot 

They ban hire set & bidde hire leme sayle 

Out of surrie a-geyn ward to ytayle 441 


Digitized by 


144 GROUP B. §2. MAN OF law's TALE. Cambridge 113. 

A serteyn trosor that sche iheper ladde 

And soth to sayn vitayle gret plenfce 

They ban hyre 3euyn & clothis ech sche haddo 

And forth sche saylyth in the salto see 445 

myn custauwce ful of benyngnete 

O empej-ouris don^tyr ^onge dere 

He that is lord of fortune be thi stere 448 

Sche blysseth hire & with ful pitous voys [leaf 200, back] 

On to the Croys of cn'sf thus seyde sche 

cler o wilful auter holy cros 

Eeed of the lambis blod ful of pite 452 

That wesch ])e world from old iniquite 

Me from the fend & from hese clawis kepe 

That day fat I schal drenchyn in fe deepe 455 

Victorious tre protexiouw of trewe 

That only worthy were for to here 

The kyng of heuene withese woundis newe 

The white lomb that hurt was wyt a spere 459 

fflemere of feendis out of hym & hire 

On which thyw lyfis feythfully extenden 

Me kep & ^if me myjt myw lyf to a-menden 462 

Jeerys & dayis fleth this creature 

Torw-out the strem of grece in-to strayte 

Of marrok whiche that was hese auenture 

On manye a sory Mel now may ^e bey to 466 

Aftyr hire deth ful ofte may sche wayte 

Er than fe wylde wawys wole here dryue 

Vn-to the place there sche schal a-ryue 469 

Men myjtyn axsyn whi sche was not slayn 

£k at the feste ho my^te hire body saue 

And I answere to that demaunde a-gayn 

Ho sauede daniel in pe orybele cane 473 


Digitized by 


OEoup B. § 2. MAN OF laVs talb. Cambridge KS. 145 

There eueiy with saae he maystyr & knave 

Was with the lyoun frete er he a-sterte 

Non wigh but god jwtt he bar in hese herte 476 

God lyste to schewe his wondyrful merakele 

In hire for we schnd sen hise my3ty werkys 

Cryst which fat is / to euery harm tryakele 

Be serteyn nxene oftyw as knowyn klerkes 480 

Doth thyng to serteyn ende fat fill derk is 

To maTznys wit that for oure ignoraur^ee 

Xe knnne not knowe hese prudent puruyaunce 483 

Ifow sythe sche was not at the feste slaweo [leaf boil 

Who kepte hyre from the drenchywge in f e see 

Who kepte lonas in the fyschis mawee 

Thil he was spoutid out at niiiiuee 487 

Wei may men knowe it was no wi3t but ho 

That kepte fe peple Ebrayk from here drenchynge 

With dreye feet thorw-out fe se passynge 490 

WTio bad the foure spirytis of tempest" 

That power ban tanoyen lond & se 

Bothe north & south & also west & est* 

Anoyeth neyfer se lond ne tree 494 

Sothiy the comaumiour was bee 

That frow the tempest ay^ this * woman kepte p aitereai 

Aa wel whan sche wok as whan sche slepte 497 

Where myjte this woman mete or drynk haue 

Thre ^er & more how lastyth hire vitayle 

Ho fedde f e egipcien marye in f e caue 

Or in desert no wi3t but crist sauns fayle 601 

ffyue thousent folk it was a gret meruayle 

With louys fyue & fyschis too to feede 

God sente hese foysoun at here moste neede 



Digitized by 


146 GBouF B. § 2. KAN OF LAw's TALE. Cambridge KS. 

Sche drynyth forth in-to oure occian 

Thour-out oure wilde see til at ))e laste 

Vndyr an hold pat nemenyn I ne can 

ffor in northumbyrlond the wawis hire caste 508 

And in ^e se hire schip stekede so faste 

That f&DB ne wolde it not of al a tide 

The wyl of here was Jat sche schulde a-hyde 511 

The constahele of )>e Castel doun is fare 
To sen pia wrak & alpe schip he 80U3te 
And fond pia wery woman ful of care 
He fond also pe tresore pat sche hrou3te 
In hyre langage mercy sche be-sou3te 
The lyf out of hire body to twynne 
Hire to delyuere of woo pat sche was inne 



A maner latyn corupf was hire speche Deaf toi. twek] 

But algatis perbi was sche vndir-fltonde 

The Constahele whaw hym lyste no lengere seche 

This woful woman brou3te he to the londe 

Sche knelyth doun & thankyth godis sonde 

But what sche was sche durste no man seye 

ffor foul ne fayr thow pat sche schulde deye 



Sche seyde sche was so masede in the see 

That sche forgat hire mynde by hyre^ trouthe V aiter^u} 

The cunstabele hath of hire gret pite 

And ek his wif that ^ey wepe for routhe 529 

Sche was so diligent with-outyn sloutho 

To seme & plese eueryche in pat place 

That alle hyre louyn pat lokyn in hyre face 532 

This constabil & dame hermengylt Ids wyf 
Were payenys in fat cuntrey euery where 
But Ermengylt louede hire ry3t as hire lyf 
And Custaunce hath so longe soiumede ])ere 



Digitized by 


6E0UF B. § 2. HAK OF LAw's TALE. Cambridge HS. 147 

In oiisoTinys with- manye a bittere tere 

Til IhesxL hath connertede four hese grace 

Dame Ermengilt Constabellesse of fat place 539 

In al pat lond no enstene duTste at route 

Alle cristen folk ben fled from pat cuntre 

Thoar poynynw pat conqneredyn al a-boute 

The plagiB of the north & se 543 

To walls fledde pe cristianyte 

Of olde brytunys dweUynge in fis yle 

There was hire refeut for the mene while 546 

But 3it nere cristene britonnys so exiled 

pat pere nere some pat in hire pnnite 

Honourede crist & hethene folk begilede 

And n[i]gh pe castel * swich * pere dweltyn thre p altered] 550 

That on of hem was blynd & my3te not se 

But it were with pe Uke eyen of hise mynde 

Witpi] whiche men sen aftyr fat fey ben blywdo 553 

Biy3t was pe sune as in pat someris day [i«^2«] 

ffor which pe Constabel & hcse wyf also 

And custauTice hath I-take pe ryjte way 

Toward f e se a furlong wey or to 557 

To pleyen & to romyn too & fro 

And in hire walk pia blynde man j>ey mette 

Crokid & old with eyen faste I-schette 560 

In name of cryst cryede f is blynde Erytoun 

Dame Hermengelt 3if me myn syjt a-geyn 

This lady wex arfreyed of pe soun 

Lest pat hire husbonde schortly for [to] seyn 564 

Wolde hire for ihesvL crist han slayn [t altered} 

Til Custau/Mse made hire bold & bad hire for to wercho* 

The wil of crwt as doughtyr of hise cherche 567 


Digitized by 


148 GROUP B. § 2. MAN OF LAw's TALE. Cambridge HS 

The Constabele wex a-bascbid of that sy3fc 

And seyde wbat amounty[t]h al Jis fare 

Custaunce answere syre it is ciistis my^t 

That helpith folk out of fe fendis snare 571 

And so fer forth sche gan oure lay declare 

That sche pe Constabele er )>an it was ene 

Conuertid & on cryst made hym bileue 574 

This Constabele was no fyng lord of fis place 

Of whiche I speke fere he constauwce fond 

But kepte it strongely manye a wynteris space 

Vndir alia kyng of al northhumbir londe 578 

That was ful wys & worthi of hese honde 

A-geyn fe skottis as men may wel hero 

But tume I wele a-gen to myn matyere 581 

Satan fat euere wayth vs to be-gyle 

Saugh of Custauwce al ]>e perfeccioun 

And caste a-non how he myjte quite hire while 

And made a 3ong kn[y]ght fat dwellede in fat toun 585 

Loue hire so bote of foul affecciouTJ 

That verayly hym thou3te ho schulde spille 

But he of hire my^te onys haue hese wille 588 

He wowyth hire but it a-uaylyth nou^t (leaf ««, tack] 

Sche wolde don no sywne be no weye 

And for dispit he compassith in his thou3t 

To makyn byre on schamful deth to deye 592 

He waythith whan f e Constable is a-weye 

And priui vp-on a ny3t he crepte 

In-to Hermengildis chaumbere whil sche slepte 595 

Wery for-wakede in hire orysouns 

Slepith custaunce and hemegild also 

This kny3t four satanys temptacions 

Al softeli is to fe bed I-go 599 


Digitized by 


onoup & § 2. HAN OF LAiv's TALE. Cambridge HS. 149 

And kitte ^e thiote of Hermegild a too 

And leyde fe blodi knyf be dame Custauwce 

And wente his wey pere god jyf hym myscbau72ce 602 

Sone aftyr comytb tbis Constabele bo7n ageyn 

And ek .Alia, fat kyng was of fat lond / 

And saw bis wif dispitously I-slayn 

ffor wbich ful offce be wepte & wrong here bon[d] 606 

And in fe bed ^e blody knyf be fond 

By dame Constance Alias what niy^te scbe seye 

ffor werray woo hire wit was al a-weye 609 

To kyng alia was told fis tale Mischaunce 

And ek pe tyme where & in what wyse 

That in a schyp was founde fia custau7?ce 

As here be-fom fat je ban herd denyse 613 

The kyngis berte of pete gan to gryse 

Wlian he saw so benygne a creature 

filEdle in desese & in mysauentare 616 

ifor as J>e lomb toward )>e deth is broujt 

8o stant this innocent by-fore j)e kynge 

Tbis false knyjt that hath this tresouw wrought 

Beryth hire on honde fat sche bath don fis thynge " 620 

Bat natbeles fere was gret mornyng f* attereo] 

A-mong the puple & seyn fey can not gesse 

That scbe badde don so gret a wekedenesso 623 

ffor they ban seyn hire so vertuoxis Ccaf 203] 

And louynge bermengild ry^t as hire lyf 

Of fia bar witnesse enerj'cbe in that hous 

Sane be fat hermengelt slow with his knyf 627 

This gentil kyng bath caujt a gret motyf 

Of tbis witnesse & thoght be wolde enquire 

Deppcro in tbis trouthe for to lere 630 

CAMBRinOE 149 

Digitized by 


150 ORoup B. § 2. MAN OF LAw's TALE. Cambridge MS. 

Alias Custaurace ]}ou hast no chauTTipioun 

Ne fy^te canst J^ou so weyle-awey 

But lie tliat starf for oure redempciouw 

And bond satan & 3it lyth J?ere he lay 634 

So be pejn stronge champioun J?is day 

ffor but ^if cryst opyn merakele kythe 

"With-outyn gilt J?ou scliat ben slayn aswythe C37 

Sche sette hire dou« on kneis & thus sche seyde 

Inmortal god \>at saucdist susanne 

ffroTTi false blame & f ou merciful mayde 

Maryo I mcne dou3tyr to seynt ann 641 

By-fom hos child awngeH synge osanne 

If I be gilteles of this felonye 

Myn socour be for ellis schal I deye 644 

Han 3e nat seyn sunityme a pale face 

Among a pres of hy?72 J^at hath be lad 

Toward hese deth where as he gat no grace 

And swich a colour in hese face hath had 648 

Men my3te knowe hise face J?at was benstad 

Amongis alle J^e facis in J^at route 

So stant custaunce & lokyth hire< a boute 651 

queenys lyuynge in prosperite 

Duchesses & 3e ladijs euerychone 

Hauyth sutti routhe of hire aduercito 

An emperouris dou3tyr stant a-lone 655 

Sche hath no wy3t to whom to make hire mone 

O blood royal J?at standyst in J?is drede* pa7<«rerf) 

£fer ben thyne frendis at thi grete nede 658 

This alia kyng hath swich compascioun [leaf sos, back] 

As gentyl hcrte is ful fyld of pite 

That from hyse eyen ran the watyr doxm 

Now hastyfliche do feche a bok quod he 662 


Digitized by 


GBOUP B. § 2. MAN OF LAw's TALK Cambridge MS. 151 

And jif this kn[y]3t wele «were ^at ache 

This woman slow 3it wele we ys auyse 

Hom fat we wele pat schal ben oure lustyse 665 

A biytoxin bok wiytyn with euawngilis 

Was fet in on this bok he swor a-non 

Sche gilty was & in the mene whilis 

An hand hjm smot yp-on the nekke bon 669 

That donn he fyl a-tonys as a ston 

And bothe hise eyen broste vp on hise face 

In syjte of enery body in fat place 672 

A woys was herd in general audience 

And seyde fon hast disclannderede gilteles 

The donjtyr of holy cherche in high presence 

Thus hast fon don & ^it I holde myn pees 676 

Of this meryayle argast was al ]>e pres 

As masede folk they stodyn enerychone 

ffor drede of wreche saue CustauTice allone 679 

Gret was y dred & ek y repentannce 

Of hem fat ban wrong suspecionn 

YpH)n fis sely Innocent custannce 

And for this myrakele in conclnsionn 683 

And by Costauncis mediacionn 

The kyng & manye a nof er in fat place 

Conuertede were thankid be godis grace 686 

This false kny3t was slayn for hise ontrouthe 

Be lugement of alia hastifly 

And 3it Cnstanstannce hadde of hise deth routhe 

And aftyr this Ihesua^ of hise mercy D nio] 690 

Made aUa weddyn solempnely 

This holy maydyn fat is so bry^t & scheene 

And fuB hath Cryst mad Custannce a queene 693 


Digitized by 


152 GROUP B. § 2. M^N OF laVs tale. Cambridge MS. 

But who was woful jif I 8c[h]al not lye [Uaf »♦] 

Of this weddyng but donegild & no mo 

The kyngis modir ful of tyrannye 

Hire thoujt hire curssede herte hrast a to 697 

Sche wolde not hire sone hadde don so 

Hire thou^te a dispit fat he schulde take 

So 8trau7ige a cteature vn-to hise make 700 

Me lyste not of fe chaf nor of fe stre 

Makyn so long a tale as of fe corn 

What sholde I telle of the royalte 

At manage or wich cours goth be-fom 704 

Wlio blowith in a trompe or in an horn 

The freut of eueri tale is for to seye 

They ete & drynke & daunce & synge & pleye 707 

Thei gon to bedde as it was skele & ryjt 

ffor fow fat wiuys hen ful holye thyngis 

They muste takyn in pacience at ny3t 

Swiche manere of necessarijs as ben plesywgis 711 

To folk fat ban wedit he77i with ryngis 

And leyn a lityl here bolynesse a-sydo 

As for fe tyme it may non ofer be-tyde 714 

On hire he gat a knave child a-non 

And to a bischop & his constabele ek 

He tok hise wyf to kepe whan he is gon 

To skotlondeward hise fomen for to seke 718 

Now fayre custaunce fat is so vmble & meke 

So longe is gon with cbilde til fat stille 

Sche halt hire chaumbere a-bydywge cnstis wille 721 

The t3rme is come a knaue child scbe beere 

Mauricy?« at f e funtston fey hywi calle 

This Constabele doth forth i a massanger t' ^'^JSJ]^ '** '*^' 

And wrot on-to his kyng fat clepid was alle 725 


Digitized by 


OBOup B. § S. M/LN OF LAw's TALE. Cambridge MS. 153 

How Jwt this- blisf ul tydyng is byfalle 
And of ere tydyngis spedful for to seye 
He taath pe letteie & forth he goth hise weye 


This massanger to don his auauntage 
Tn-to ]» kyngis modyr lidyth swythe 
And saluyth hire ful fare in hyro langage 
Madame qmd he 36 may ben glad & blyj^e 
And thankede god a himderede thousent sythe 
Myn lady quen hath child wtt^-outyn doute 
To loye & blysae to al ]>e regne a-boute 

n«tf 204, back] 



Lo here fe letteris selede of ]7is thyng 
That I mot here with j)e haste I may 
}if ^e wele oujt on-to 30Mre sone J?e kyng 
I am jonre seruaant bothe ny^t & day 
Don^;ild answerede as now at ])is tyme nay 
But here al nyght I wele pon take )>yn reste 
To morwe wele I seye fe what me leste 



This massangere drank faste ale & wyn 

And stole were hise letteiis pr/uyly 

Out of his box whil he slepte as a swyn 

And countyrfetid was ful subtilly 

Anoper lettere wroujt ful synfully ' p altered] 

Vn-to fe kyng direckt of this matere 

ffrom his Constabil as je schal aftyr here 



The lettere spak ^e qiien delyuerede was 
Of so orible & fendlyche cryature 
That in ^e castel non so hardy was 
That ony while durste }ere endure 
The modyr was an elf be nature 
I-comyn by charmys or bi socerye 
And euery wyjt hath hire cumpanye 




Digitized by 


154 GROUP B. § 2. MAN OF LAw's TALE. Cambridge US. 

Wo was this kyng whan he Jis lettere hath seyn 

But to no wjjt he toldo hise sorwis sore 

But of hyse owene hand he wrot a-geyn 

Wolcome Je sonde of cryst for eueie more 760 

To me that am now lernede in fis lore 

Lord wolcome be thyn lust & fyn plesaunce 

Myn lust I putte al in thyn ordenaunce 763 

Kepith this child al be it foid or fayr pear mj 

And ek myn wyf on-to myw how comynge 

Cryst whan hym lyste may sende me an eyr 

More agriable fan this to myw^ lykynge* iyaittred} 767 

This lettere he selyth pryuyly wepynge 

Whiche to f e massangere was take sone 

And forth he goth fere is no more to done 770 

Massanger fulfild of di-onkenesse 

Strong is thi breth thi lemys falteryn ay 

And foM be-wreyest alle sekere-nesse 

Thyw mynde is lorn fou iangelist as a lay 774 

Thjn face is tumede in a newe aray 

There dronkenesse regnyth in ony route 

There is no conseyl hid with-outyn doute 777 

donegilt I haue non engelissh dygne 

Vn-to fyn maleys & thi tyrannye 

And f erfore to f e fend I J>e resigne 

Let hywi endyte of thyn tratorye 781 

ffy mannyssh fy / o nay by god I lye 

ffy fendelyche spirit for I dar wel telle 

Thow J)ow here walke thyw spyrit is in helle 784 

This Massanger comyth from fe kyng a-geyn 

And at fe kyngis moderis court he lyghte 

And sche was of fe massenger ful fayn 

And plesede hym in al f ot euere sche myjte 788 


Digitized by 


QROUP B. § 2. MAN OP law's TALE. Cambridge KS. 155 

He diank & we] hise geidyl Tndyr pyjt 

He slepith & he snortith in hise gyse 

Al nj3t tjl fe sunne gan a-iyse 791 

Eft were hise letteiys stolyn eu^rychon 

And connteifetid letterys in fia wyse 

The kyng comaundyth hise constablis a-non 

Vp peyne of hangynge & heigh luyse 795 

That he ne schulde suffere in no wyse 

CustauTice in whith^ his regne for tabyde [} oztemiyhm whicbe] 

Thre dayis & a quartyr of a tide 798 

Bat in ^ same schip as he hire fond pcaf 205, buck] 

Hire & hyr 3enge sone & al hire geere 

He schulde putte & cronde frowi fe lond 

And charge hire fat sche neuere eft come fere 802 

O myn custaunce wel may \>y gost haue fere 

And slepynge in pjn drem han penauwce 

Whan don^gilt caste al fia ordenauTice 805 

This messenger on morwe he wok 

On-to fe castel holt pe neste wey 

And to fe constabele he fe lettere tok 

And whan fat he fia pitoas lettere say 609 

fful ofte he seyde alias & weyle-away 

Lord crist how may J)is world endure 

So fol of synne is manye a cryature 812 

my^ti god jif pat it be fyn wille 

Sith fou art ry3tful luge how may J)is be 

That fou wit sufPere innocentis to spille 

And wekede folk regnyn in prospmte 816 

O goode CustauTM^e alias so wo is me 

fat I mote be fjn turmentour or deye 

On Bchamys deth fere is now ofer weye 81 9 


Digitized by 


156 GROUP B. § 2. MAN OF LAw's TALB. Cambridge XS. 

Wepyw bothe jynge & olde in J^at place 

Whan fat fe kyng his cursede letere sente 

And Custaunce with a dedly pale face 

The forte day toward hire schip sche wente 823 

But natheles sche takytli in good entente 

The wil of ciist & knelynge on fe stronde 

Sche seyde lord ay wolcome be fyn sonde 826 

He fat me kepte from fe false blame 

Whil I was on fe lond a-mongis jow 

He can me kepe from harm & ek from sclianie 

In fe salte se al f ow I se nat how 830 

As strong as euere he was he is now 

In hym troste I & hyse modyr dere 

That is to me myn sayl & ek myn stere 833 

Hyre lytyl child lay wepy /ige in hire arm [leaf soc] 

And knelynge pitously to hym sche seyde 

Pes lityl sone I wele don f e non harm 

With fat hire couerchif ouer hire bed sche bryde 837 

And ouer hise lityl eyen sche it leyd 

And in hyre arm sche lullede it ful faste 

And in-to heuene hyre eyen vp sche caste 840 

Modyr quod sche & mayde / bryjte marye 

Soth is fat pwir wemanys eggement 

Man kynde was lorn & dampnede for to deye 

ffor wich fyn chyld was on a cros I-rot 844 

Thi blysful eyen saw al his turmenf 

Thanne is f ^e non cowparisoun be-twene 

Thi wo & any wo / man may sustene 847 

Thow saw f yn child slawyw be-fore f yn eyen 

And jit now lyuyth my lityl child parfey 

Now lady bryjt to whom alle folk now cryen 

Thow glory e of womanhede fayre may 851 


Digitized by 


OBOUP B. § 2. MAN OF LAw's TALE. Cambridge HS. 157 

Thow liaaene of refut bryjte sterre of day 
Eewe on myn child fat of ]}yn gentillcsse 
Rewist on euoTj leufal in destresse 854 

lityl child alias what is ^yn gilt 

That neu«re wroughtist synne as 3it parde 

Whi wolde thyn harde fadyr han fe spilt 

mercy dere constabele quod sche 858 

As lat myn lytil child dwelle here wiifi fe 

And ^if fou. darst not sauyn hym from blame 

So kysse hjm onys in hese faderys name 861 

TherwttA sche lokith bakward to Je londe 

And seyde farewep] housbonde routheles 

And vp sche rist & walkyth douw \>e stronde 

Toward J>e schip here folwyth al J?e pres 865 

And eneie sche preyeth hire child to holde hise pes 

And takyth hire leue & with an holy entente 

Sche blysseth hire & in-to schip sche wente 868 

Yitaylid was ]ye schip it is no drede peafsoe^back] 

HabnndauRt for hyre ful longe space 

And of ere necessaryis fat schtddyn nede 

Sche hadde I-now haryed be godis grace 872 

ffor wynd & wedyr al-my^ty god purchase 

And biynge hire hom I can no betere seye 

But in ^ se sche dryuyth forth hire weye 875 


AUa J>e kyng comyth horn soone aftyr fis 

On-to fe Castel whiche I tolde 

And axsith where fat his wif & his child is 

The Constabele gan arboute hise herte colde 879 

CAMBBinOE 167 

Digitized by 


158 GROUP B. § 2. MAN OF LAW*s I'ALE. Cambridge XS. 

And pleynly al pQ nianere hjm told© 

As }e han herd I can telle it no bettie 

As schewith ]>e kyng his sel & hise lettere ' 882 

And seyde lord as je comanndede me 

Vp peyne of deth so haue I do serteyn 

This massanger turmentid was tyl he 

Moste heknowe & telle plat & pleyn 886 

fboin nyjt to ny^t what place he hadde leyn 

And pus by wit & subtyl Inquyrynge 

Ymagined was hi how fis harm gaw sprynge 889 

The hand was knowe fat j)e lettere wrot 

And al f e veny w of J?is cursede dede 

But in what wise serteynli I not 

ThefFect is fis pat Alia out of drede 893 

His modyr slow pat may men pleynly redo 

flfor pat sche traytowr was to hire legiaunce 

Thus endyth donegild w/t/t myschaunce 896 

The sorwe pat fis alia nyjt & day 

Makith for his wif & hise child also 

Ther is no tunge pat it telle may 

But now wolde I on-to CustauTice go 900 

That fletyth in f e se in peyne & wo 

fifyue 3er & more as lykede cristis sonde 

Er pat hir schip aprochede to pe londe 903 

Vndyr an hethene castel at pe laste Deaf 2ot] 

Of which pe name in myn tixt not I fynde 

Custaunce & ek hire child pe se vp caste 

Almy:;ty god pat sawith al mankynde 907 

Haue on custaunce & of hire child sum mynde 

that is fallyn in hethene hand eft sone 

In poynt to spylle as I schal telle 30W sone 910 


Digitized by 


GBoup B. § 2. MAN OF LAw's TALE. Cambridge HS. 150 

DoTin from fe castel comyth fere manye a wy3t 

To gaiuyn on j)i8 wyjt & on cxLBtaunce 

But schoiilj horn j)e castel on a ny3t 

The lordiB stywaid god 3eae hjm myschaTince 

A thef that hadde leneyed oure cre-aunce 

Cam in-to pe schip alone & seyde he schulde 

Hire leman be whejjer sche wolde or nolde 



Wo was fe wrechede woman f o be-gon 

Hire child cryed & sche cryede pitously 

Blysful maiye halp byre ry3t a-non 

ffor with hire strogelyng wel & myytjlj 

The thef fel ouyr bord al sodeynly 

And in ))e se he dreynte for veniaunce 

And fU8 hath ciyst onwe^nmede kept cnstaunce 



fonle Insf of luxurye lo thyn ende 

Not only fat Jou feyntist manys mywde 

But verayly Jwu wilt hise body schende 

Thende of fy werk or of J?ywne lustis blynde 

Is cowpleyny wge how manyon may men fynde 

That not for werk but only fe entente 

To don ^is synne ben owthir slayn or schente 



How may fis wayke woman ban fia strenthe 

Hire to defende a-3en fis Eenegat 

O golyas ynmesurabe of lenthe 

How my3te dauid make fe so maat 

So 3ong <& of armeuie so desolat 

How durste he loke vp-on fyn dredful faco 

"Wel may men sen it was but godis grace 



Ho jaf ludyth corage or hardynesse 
To slen hym Olofermts in hise tente 
And to delyueryn out of wrechedenesse 
The peple of god I sey for fia entente 




Digitized by 


160 OROUP B, § S. HAN OF laVs talb. Cambridge MS. 

But ryjt as gOd spyrit of vigour sent© 

To hjm & sanede hy^ from myscliauwco 

So sente vigo«^r & myji to Cttstaxmce 94§ 

fforih goth the sclup four-oxit pe narwe month 

Of lubaltare / and Cepte drynywge ay 

Sumtyme west & suwtyme north Ss soxtth 

And sumtyme est fill many a wery day 949 

Til Cristis modyr hlyssede be sche ay 

Hath schapyn four hire endeles goodnesse 

To make an ende of al hire heuynesse 952 

Now lat vs stynte of Custaunce but a trowe 

And speke we of f e romayn Emperour 

That out of surry hath bi letterys knowe 

The slauthe of Cristene folk & dishonot^re^ cipawre] 956 

Don to his doujtyr by a fals traytoure 

I mene ^e wikkede cursede soudonesse 

That at ]>e feste let sle bo)»e more & lesse 959 

ffor which fis emperoMr hath sent a-nor 

His senato2ir with royal ordenauTice 

And of ere lordis god wot many on 

On surryens to take yeniaunce 968 

They brenne & slen & brynge hem to myschauTwe 

flful manyaday but schortly J^is is J)e ende 

Homward to lome f&y schapyn hem to wende 966 

This senatour repayreth wictorye 

To romeward saylynge ful ryalye 

And mette fe schyp diyuynge as seyth f e story 

In which Custauwce sit pitously 970 

No Jyng knewe he what sche was ne why 

Sche was in swich a-ray / ne sche wold^ seye 

Of hyre estat fow sche schulde deye 973 


Digitized by 


He bryngiih hire to rome & to hise wyf iiatf ««[] 

He jaf hire & hire 3onge sone aiao 

And with pe senatour ache ledde hire lyf 

Thus can cure lady bryngyn out of wo 977 

Woful cuetaunce & manye a noper mo 

And long tyme dwellede soho in fat ploae 

In holye werkys enere as was hyre grace 98Q 

This senatoniys wyf hyre annte was 

But for al fat sche knew hyre neue^re J^e more 

I wele no lengere taxyen in J^is cas 

Bnt to kyng alia which I spak of ^ore 984 

That for hise wyf wepede & syghede sore 

I wele retome & lets I wele Custaimce 

Vndyr f e senatourrys gouemaunce [Tkt* ttanxa u repeattd in ih» 

Kyng AUa wich fat hadde hise modyr slayn 

Vp-on a day fil In swich repentauwce 

That jif I schortely schulde telle & playn 

To rome he comyth to receyue hese penaunce 991 

And pntte hym in fe popis ordenaunce 

In high & logh & Ihe^n cnst be-8oa3te 

ffo^ene hise wikke werkis pat he wronjte 904 

The fame arnon four rome tonn is bom 

How Alia kyng schal come in pilgrymage 

By herberionrys fat wentyn here be-fom 

ffor which fe senatour as was fe vsage 993 

Bod hym argeyn as was ^e Tsage 

As wel to schewyn bis magnificence 

As to don any kyng a reuerence 1001 

Gret cher doth ^is Qoble senatoar r^m,\mA] 

To kyng alia & he to hym also 

Euerych of hem do^ ofer gret honour 

An[d] that withrin a day or too 1005 

CA]CBBII>aE 161 

Digitized by 


162 GROUP B. § 2. MAN OF LAW'S TALE. Cambridge KS. 

This senatour is to kyng Alia go 

To feste & scbortly 3if I sclial not lye 

Costaancis sone wente in bis cumpanye 1008 

Summon wolde seyn at fe request of Custaunce 

This senatoi^r hath lad fiB child to feste 

I ne may not tellyn eueiy circurnstaunce 

Be as be may ^re was he at pQ leste 1012 

But soth is fis fat at his modeiys heste 

By-fom Alia duiyrige )>e metis space 

This child stod lokynge in Jje kyngis face 1015 

This Alia kyng hath of Je child gret wondyr 

And to ]>e senatour he seyde a-non 

Whos is Jat fayre child fat standis ^ondyr 

I not quod he bi god & bi seynt lohn 1019 

A modyr he hath but fadyr hath he non 

That I of wot & Bchortly in a stouTide 

i]3e tolde alia how fat fe child was founde 1022 

But god wot quod this senatour also 

So yerteuous a leuere in jn.yn lyue 

Ke saw I neu6re as sche ne heide of mo 

Of wordely wemen maydyn nor of wif 1026 

I dare wel seyn hire hadde leuere a knyf 

Thurgh-out hyre brest f&n ben a woman weke 

))ere is no man coude brynge hire to )>e prikke 1029 

Now was fis child as lyk on-to custawice 

As possible is a creatottr to be 

This alia hath f is fSace in remembraunce 

Of dame custaunce & ferou musede he 1033 

3if J'at fe childis modyr were oujt sche 

That is his wyf & pryuyly he sighte 

And sped hywi fro7n fe table fat he myjte 1036 


Digitized by 


OBOUP B. § 2. MAN OF laVs TALE. Cambridge MS. 163 

Parfay thou^te he fantome is in myn lied [leaf aoo] 

I oghte deme of Ty3tfal iugement 

That in )>e salte ee myn wif is ded 

And aftyr he made hise argument 1040 

What wot I if ]yat cnst hath hire I-sent 

Myn wif be se as wel as he hire sente 

To myn cnntre from pens fat sche wente 1043 

And aftyr non hom with pe senatour 

Goth alia for to aepiB wondyr chaunce 

This senatour doth alia gret honour 

And hastilyche he sente aftyr custaunce 1047 

But trustyth wel hire lyste not to daunce 

Whan fat sche wiste wherfore was fat sonde 

Onefe vp-on hire feet sche my^te stonde 1050 

Whan Alia saw his wif fayre he hire grette 

And wep fat it* was routhe for to se 

ffor at fe ferste lok he on hyre sette 

He knewe wel verayly fat it was sche 1054 

And sche for sorwe as doumb stant as a tre 

So was hire herte set in distresse 

Whan sche remembrede hys vnkyndenesse 1067 

Twyes sche swounnyth in hise owene syghit 

He wepte & hyw excuseth pitously 

Now god quod he & hise halwis bry^te 

So wisely on myn soule as haue mercy 1061 

That of 3onre harm as gilteles am I 

As is Manryce myn sone so lyk ^oure face 

Ellis fe fend me feche out of ^is place 1064 

Long was fe sobyng & fe bittere peyne 

£r fat hire wofiil hertis myjtyn cesse 

Gret was fe pyte for to here he?n pleyne 

Thoigh whiche pleyntis gan hire wo encrese 1068 


Digitized by 


IH aBOUpE S& VAN :0F iiiJRr's TAUB. CgittbriAge XS. 

I prey 30W of mjn hhour i» zdeae 

I may nat telle here wo vjx-tyl to zaotrwe 

I am 80 weiy for to speke of sorwe 1071 

But finalli whan fett fe sorwe is wist [iMf ses, back] 

That Alia giltles was of hire wo 

I trowe an hunderede tymjrs ben fey kyst 

And swich a blysse is fere he-twen hem two 1075 

That saue fQ ioyo fat lastyth eu6remo 

There is non lyk fat any creatare 

Hath seyn or schal whil fe word wele dure 1078 

Tho preyede sche hire honsbonde mekely 

In relef of hire longe pitous peyne 

That he wolde preye hire fadyr specially 

That of his maieste he wolde enclyne 1082 

To Youche-saf suTwday with hem to dyne 

Sche preyede hym ek he schulde be no weye 

Vn-to hire fadyr no word of hire seye 1085 

Suwimen wolde seyn how fat f e child mauiyce 

Doth fis message yn-to fia emperour 

But as I gesse aUa was not so nyce 

To hym fat was of so souereyn honour 1089 

As he fat is of cristene folk fe flour 

Sente any child but it is bet to deme 

He wente him seine & may wel ^eme 1092 

This emperour haih gsaontid gentyly 

To come to dyner as he hym be-sou^te 

And wel rede I he lokede besily 

Yp-on fia child & on his dou^tyr thoujte 1096 

Alia goth to liise in and as hym ou)te 

Arayede for fis feste in euery wyse 

As fer forth as hiae kmmynge may suffyoe 10^ 


Digitized by 


OBOUPB. §21 MAK 0» lav's TALB. CBtmhiiig^ MMk. 165 

The morwe cam and alk gazt hjm d r eaw 

And ek his wif )is emp^rour to met^ 

And forth J^ej rede In ioye & in gladnesse 

And whan sche saw hire fadyr in ^ stiete 1103 

Sche ly3te ardoan & fallyth hjm to feete 

ffad jr quod sche ^oure ^onge chyld Oustaunce 

Is now fdl clene out of ^OMre remembiaanoe 1106 

I am ^onre don3ty[r] custaunce qtuxi sche p«f iioj 

Thai whilhom han sent yn-to snnje 

It am I fadyr fat in fe salte se 

Was put a-lone & dampned for to deye 1110 

Now goode fiidyr mercy I jow preye 

Sende me no more yn<^ to no^ hethenesse 

But thanke myn lord here of his kyndenesse 1113 

Who can fe pytous ioye tellyn al 

By-twexe hew thre syn ^ey ben fus I-mette 

But of myn tale makyn an ende I schal 

The day goth faste I wele no lengere lette 1117 

These glade folk to dyner ])ey ben sette 

In ioye & blysse at dyner I lete hem dwelle 

A thousent fold more psn 1 can telle 1120 

This child Maurice was sythe emperour 

Mad bi fe pope & lyuede cristene lyf 

To Cristis cherche he dede gret honour 

But I lete alle hise storyis passyn by 1124 

Of Custaunce is myn tale specially 

In fe olde romayn storyis may men fynde 

Mauryds lyf I bere it not in mynde 1127 

This kyng Alia idian he hise tyme say 
WttA Ids Custaunce his hdy wif so swete 
To ingelond ben J>ey come ^e ryjte way 
Where as ^y lyue In ioye & in quiete 1131 

cAMBiantis iM 

Digitized by 


166 ORoup B. § 2. HAN OF law's tale. Cambridge MS. 

But lytil while it lastyth I 30W hete 

loye of fia world for tyme wele not a-byde 

fiErom day to ny^t it schauTzgith as pe tyde 1134 

Who lyuede euere in swich delyt a day 

That sche ne menede outhir concyence 

Or yre or talent or su?/ikeny8 a-fi»y 

Enuye or pride or pasaioun or offence 1138 

I ne seye bat for pis ende this sentence 

That lytyl while in ioye & in plesaunce 

Lastith ^e ioye of alia with Cu8tau;2ce 1141 

ffor deth fat takyth of high & low hise rente [leaf uo, bade] 

Whan passede was euene a ^er as I gesse 

Out of ^e worid jjis kyng alia he hente 

ffor whom Custaunce hath ful gret heuinesse 1145 

Now let vs preyen god his soule blysse 

And dame Custaunce finally to seye 

Toward fe touw goth hire weye 1148 

To rome is comyn ^is holy creature 

And fyndith hire frendis hole & sounde 

Now is sche scapid al hire Auenture 

And whan fat sche hire fadyr hath I-fouwde 1152 

Douw on hire kneis fallyth sche to grounde 

Wepynge for tendimesse in herte blyfe 

Sche heiye'th god an hundered thousent sythe 1155 

In vertu & holy allemesse dede 

They lyuyn alle & neuere asundyr wende 

Thil deth departyth herw f is lyf fey leede 

And faryth now wel mjn tale is at an ende 1159 

Now Ihera cmt fat of his myjt may sonde 

Ioye aftyr wo goueme vs in hise grace 

And kepe vs alle fat ben in fis place. Amen 1162 

Here endyth the man of lawe hise tale 

[Arwrir of 2 Uiu$, e^fter wkidk it tJU UaOSmo cftJU Wtfs of Bath't Proioffiu.^ 


Digitized by 






\Sloane MS 1685, leaf 103.] 
IT The Prologe IT Of ]» Wyf of Bathe [headUifr] 

Ezpeiyment/ J^ougli none anctoiyte 
Were in f is worlde is ri^t/ ynou3e for me 
To speke of woo J)at ys in maiiage 
flfor lordynges sijjen I twelfe yere was of age i 
Thanked by god ^at ys eteme on lyue 
Housbondes atte Chirche dore haue I hade fyuo 
Tf I 80 ofte my3t haue wedded be 

But aUe were worjd men in her degre 8 

But me was tolde certayne not longe a-gone ys 
f&t sithen cryste ne went nevere but onys 
To weddynge in fe Cane of GaHle 

pgd be pUke ensample tau3t he me 12 

)iat I ne shulde wedded be but onys 
Herke with a sharpe worde wit^ f e nonys 
By syde a welle Ihesu god & man 

Spake in lepiefe of fe Samarytan 16 

Thou haste y-hade .r. husbondes quod he 
And ])at Oke man pat nowe hathe the 
Ts not ^e husbonde ]ms sayde he certayne 
What he mente ^rby I can not sayne 20 

WeH: but I aze why J)e fyfte man 
Was none housbonde to pQ Samarjrtan 
And herde telle in myne age 24 

howe many my^t she haue in maiiage 23 

15 CAMBBiDGE 167 (6-T. 334) [this page, Sloane 1685] 

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168 GROUP D. § 1. wife's preamble. Cambridge MS. 

Ypon ^is nombre of difidiucton [BLmum xb leu] 

Men may deayne and glose yp and doaii 
But wele I wote expresse Wit/t-out lye 
God bad vs wexe and multiplie 28 

))at gentille text/ can I wele vndirstonde 
Eke wele I wote he sayd myn husbonde 
Schulde let ffadir and modir and take to me 
But of none nombie mencion made he 32 

Of Bygamye or of Octogamye \2k!^*^"S^l!?ft 

Whi shulde men of hit haue vilonye S^hSJoiSSiS? 

Loke bettei* f e wyse man kynge Salamon 
I trowe he hade wyues mo fan on 36 

l^ow. wold god hit leffulle were to mo iieqfiia, back} 

To be refiesshid half* so ofte as he 
Whiche yifte of god hade he for alle his wyues 
Ko man f&t hathe suche p&t in pis world ys 40 

God wote p\a noble kynge as to my witte 
The fyrst nyjt/ hade many a mery fytte 
With Iche of hem so wele was he a lyue 
Blissed be god fai I haue weddid fyue 44 

Welle come ^ sixte whan foi euere he shalle 
ffor siche I wille nou3t kepe chaste in aUe 
What myne husbonde ys fix) j>e worlde gone 
Some crysten man shalle wedde me aruon^ 48 

ffor fan f e ApposteH seithe fat I am fre 
To wedde a goddes half where hit likes me 
he seyth fat to be weddid ys no synne 
Bettere ys to be wedded fan to brenne m«i^S*** "*""*'*" 
What recketh me f ouje folke say vilonye 53 

Of shrewed lameche and his Bygamye 
I wote wele Abraham was an holy man 
And lacob eke as fer as I euere can 56 

And eche of [hem] hade wyues mo fan two 
And many an othere man also 
Where can ye say in eny manors age 
fat YB god de£fendid manage GO 

CAMBRIDGE 168 (6-T. 336) [tliis page, Sloaue 1686] 

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GBOUP D. § L wife's preamble. Cambridge MS. 169 

Py expiesse vorde I prey you telle me [fliMuie MB Uttj 

Or where comaundid he virgynyte 

I wote as wele as je hit ys no drede 

The ApostiH whan ^t he speketh of Maydenhede ^64 

he sayd precept fet-oi hade he none 

Men May consayle a woman to ben on^ 

But consaylynge ys none comaundement 

He putte hit in oure owen lugement 68 

fifor hade god commaunded Maydenhede 

pttD. hade he dampned weddynge wtt^ fe dede 

And certes yf fere were no sede y-sowe 

Virgynyte fan where-of shuld hit growe 72 

Foule durste not co?naunden atte leste lu^mi 

A thynge of whiche his Mayst^ yaf hym none heste 

))e dart ys set vp^ for Yirgynite 75 

Chase who so may who so renneth best let see] entU} ' 

But ]iis word Ib not take of enery wyght [MB Of. «. 17, teifsuj 

But J^ere as god lust jeue it of hise my3t 

I wot wel yat thapostele was a mayde 

But natheles thogh fai he wrot & sayde 80 

He wolde ])at euery were swych as he 

Al nys but cunseyl to virginite 

And for to been a wyf he jaf me leue 

Of indulgence so is it no repreue 84 

To wedde me jif myn make deye 

With-oute excepciouTi of bygamye 

Al were it good no woman for to touche 

He mente as in his bed as in hyse couche 89 

ffor peril is fer & tow thasemble 

^e knowe what \\& exsaumple may recemble 

This is al & sum J^ot viiginyte 

More profitith fan weddyng in frelete 92 

f&eleto depe I ji{ fat he & sche 

Wolde leede al here lyf in chastite 

1 graunte it wel I haue non enuye 

Thow maydynhed profere bigamye 9^ 

CAMBBIPQE 169 (6-T. 836) 

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170 GROUP D. § L wife's preahblb. Cambridge KS. 

Hem lykith to be clene body & gost 

Of myn estat I nyl not make no boat 

ffoi wel je wete a lord in byse bousbold 

He bath nat en^ry yessel al of gold 100 

Some ben of tie & don beie lord serayse 

God clepitb folk to hym in snndeiy wyse 

And eneiycbe bath of god a propere 3iflte 

Snmme pia some pai as hym lestyth schyfte 104 

Viiginite ^is gret perfeccyonn' c*— * w*^] 

And contynens ek with reson 

But exist fat of p^eccioun is welle 

Bad nat euery wyjt scbnlde selle lOS 

Al fat he hadde & jeae it to J^e poie 

And in swich wise folwe hym and hese foore 

He spak to hem fat wolde leae perfytly 

And lordyngys by 30ttre leue j)at am nat I 112 

I wele be-stowe fe flour of al myn age 

In the ariys Sciafe freut of maryage 

Telle me also to what conclusyoun (i0aftis.iMckj 

Were membris made of generacioun 116 

And for what profyt was a wyf I-wroujt 

Trostyth ry^t wel fey were nat mad for noujt 

Glose ho so wele I seye yp & doun 

That fey were makyd for puigacyoun 120 

Of Tiyne bo])e & thyngis smale 

And ek to knowe a femel firom a male 

And for non ofer cause sey je no 

The experience wit wel it is nat so 124 

So fat 30 clerkis ben nat with me wrotho 

I seye ^is fat ]yey ben makede for bo^e 

That is to seye for offyse & for ese 

Of engendereure J^ere we not god displese 128 

Whi schuldyn men ellys in here bokis sette 

That a man schal jilde to his wif hire dette 

Now wherewith schulde he make hyse payement 

If he ne vsedo his instrument 132 

CAMBRIDGE 170 (6-T. 337) 

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GROUP D. § L wife's pbeahble. Cambridge MS. . 171 . 

Thanne were fey made vp-on a creature 

To purge viyne & for engendereure 

But I sey not fat euery wy^t is holde 

That hath swicli hameys as I of tolde 136 

To gon & Yse hem in engenderure 

They schul nat take of chastite no cure 

Ciyst was a maydyn & schapyn as a man 

And manye a seynt sithe f e world be-gan v 140 

jit leuede fey eueie in parfyt chastite 

I nyl not enuye swych "virginite ' 

Let hem be bred of puie whete seed 

And lat vs wyuys bote barli breed 144 

And jit with barli bred mark teUe can 

That ouie lord re&oschid manye a man 

In swich estat as god clepith vs 

I wele perseueie I am nat precious 148 

In wyf-hod I wele Tse myn instrument 

As frely as myn makere hath it sent 

jif I be dangerous god gif me sorwe 

Myn housbonde schal it haue on eue & morwe 152 

Whan fat hym lyste come fortb & paye hise dette peaf ais] 

An housbonde wele I haue I nyl nat lette 

Whiche schal be bof e myn detour & myn thral 

And haue hise trybulacioun with-al 156 

Vp-on hise flesch whil I am his wyf 

I haue fe power durynge al myn lyf 

Vp-on hyse proper body & nogtt he 

Byght fU8 thapostele tolde it me 160 

And bad oure housbondys forto loue vs wel 

Al f is sentence me likyth euerydel 

Vp sterte f e pardouner & fat arnon 

Now dame quod he bi god & by seyn John 164 

je ben a noble prechot^r in f is cas 

I was a-bute to wedde a wyf alias 

What schulde I it beye on myn flescb so dere 

jit badde I leuere wedde no wif to jere 168 

CAHBKinOE 171 (S-T. 838) 

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172 OBoiTP D. § L wife's preamble. Cambridge MS. 

A-byde quod scbe mjn tale is nat be-gonne 

K"ay J)Ou scbat diynkyw of a-nofer tunne 

Or pan I go schal sauoure werse pan ale 

And whan pat I baue told forth myn tale 172 

Of tiybulacioun pat is in maryage 

Of which I am expert in al myn age 

This is to seyn myn self hath ben ^e wippe 

Thaime mayjt pOJi chese wheper pou wolt skyppe 176 

Of pat tanne pat I schal a-broche 

Be war of it er paa to nygh Brproche 

ffor I schal telle ensample mo p&n ten 

Who so pat wele nat be war by opere men 180 

By hym schul oj^^re men corectid be 

The same wordys wiytfit piotholome 

Bede it in hise almagestis & take it pere 

Dame I wolde'preye 3if joue wil it were 184 

seyde pla pardounner as ^e be-gan 

Tellyth forth joare tale sparyth nan 

And tellith vs ^ynge men of joure praptik 

Oladly sire sithe it may jow lyk 188 

But jit I preye to al fis cumpaynye 

If pat I speke aftyr myn fantasye 

As takyth nat a gres pat I seye [i«f sis, back] 

ffor myn entent is but for to pleye 192 

!Nbw sere now wele I telle forth myn tale 

As euere mote I drynkyn wyn or ale 

I schal sey soth of housbondis pat I hadde 

As thre of hem were goode & thre were badde 196 

The thre men were goode & rych & olde 

OaepQ mj^t pej pe statut holde 

In which pat pej were boondyn on to me 

je wete wel what I mene of p\a parde 200 

As helpe me god I laughe whan I thynke 

How pytously on uj^t I made hem to swynke 

But be myn fey I tolde of it no stor 

They liaddyn me jeuyn hire lond & hire tresor 204 

OAMBKIBOE 172 (6-T. 830) 

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340 8IX-TEXT 

GROUP D. § L wiFifs PBEAMBLB. Cambridge MS. 173 

Me nedede not do lengeie diligence 

To Wynne hire lone & don hire reuerence 

They lonede me so wel by god a-boue 

That I ne told no deynte of here loue 208 

As wys woman wele sette hire enere in on 

To gete hire lone fere as sche hath non 

Bat sythe I haue horn holy in myn hond 

And sithe ])ey han me ^enyn al here lend 212 

What schnlde I take hed hem for to plese 

But 3if it were for my« profy t & myn ese 

I sette hew so a-werke be myn fey 

That manye a nyjt J>ey sunge weyleawey 216 

The bakon was nat fet for hem I trowe 

That some men ban in exces at dunmowe 

I gou^mede hem so wel aftyr my lawe 

That eche of hem was blysfdl & ful fa we 220 

To biywge me gay ^yng from f e feyre 

They were ful glad whan I spak tyl hem fayre 

ifor god it wot I schid hem spitously 

Now herkenyth how I bar me properly 224 

^e wise wyuys ^at kunne vndyr-stonde 

Thus schul 3e speke & here hem wrong on honde 

ffor half so boldely can pere no man 

Sweie & lye as can a woman 228 

I seye it nat be wyuys fat been wyse pcafsit] 

But ^if it be whan fey hym mysavise 

A wis wif 3if fat sche can hire good 

Schal here hym on hande pe cou is wod 232 

And take witnesse of hire owene mayde 

Of hire asent but herkenyth how I seyde 

Syre olde caynard is fia fjn aray 

Whi is myn neyheborys wif so gay 236 

Sche is honourede euere al pere sche goth 

I sitte at hom & haue no thryfty cloth 

What dost foa at myn neyheboz^ris hous 

Is sche so fayr & fow so amerous 210 

CAMBRIDGE 173 (6-T. 840) 

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174 GROUP D. § 1. wife's preamble. Cambridge M8. 

What TOUTine je with oure maydenys bencdicite 

Sire olde lechovr lat ^oure iapis be 

And jif I haue a gossib or a frend 

"With-outyn gilt ^ou chidist os a fend 244 

jif J)afc I walke or pleye vn-tyl hise hous 

pou comyst hom as dronkyn as a mous 

And prechist on f yn bench with euele pref 

pou seyst to me it is a gret myschef 248 

To wedde a poore woman for costage 

And }if Bche be ryche & of hey parage 

farme seyst pan it is a tuimeterye 

To sufPere hire piyde Ss malencolye 252 

And 3if pat sche be fayr pou veray knaue 

povL seyst pat euery holoMr wele hire haue 

Sche may no while in chastite on byde 

That is a-sayled on eche a-syde 256 

pou. seyst pai some folk desyiyn vs for lychesse 

Summe for onre schap some for onre fayrenesse 

And some for sche can synge & dauTwe 

And some for gentilesse & some for dalyaunce 2G0 

Some for hire handis & for hire armys smale 

Thus goth al to pe deuyl be pjn tale 

Thow seyst men may nat kepe a castel wal 

It may so longe asaylede ben oueral 264 

And 3if pat sche be foul pon seyst pat sche 

Coueytith euery man pat sche may se 

ffor as a spaynel sche wil on hym lepe Deaf 2u, !>«*] 

Til pat sche fynde su77i man hire to schepe 268 

Ke non so grey gos pat goth in ^e lake 

As povL seyst wele be with-oute a make 

And seyst it is an hard f yng for to welde 

A thyng pat no man wele hise thankis helde 272 

Thow seyst horel whan pou. gost to bedde 

How pat no wys man nedyth for to wedde 

Ne no man pat tendyth on-to heuene 

With wylde thundyr dynt in feiy leuene 276 

CA.MBRIDGE 174 (C-T. 34l) 

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GROUP D. § L wife's preamble. Cambndge MS. 175 

Mote pjn wekede neke be to-broke 

]ioa seyst fat dropp jrrge honsis & ek smoke 

And chydyng wyf mak jtb men to fle 

Out of here owene hons a benadicite 280 

Wbat eylytb swich an old man to chyde 

foa seyst fat we wyuis wele oure vicis hyde 

Til we ben fast & ^anne we wele hem schewe 

Wei may pat ben a pronerbe of a schrewe 284 

]ion seyst pat oxsyn Assis hors & houTzdys 

pej ben arsayed at dyneise stoundys 

Basenys lauoniys er pan men hem beye 

sponys & stolis & alle swich husbondrye 288 

And also clo])is pottys & a-ray 

But folk of wynys makyn non a-say 

Til ^ey ben weddit olde dotard schrewe 

Thanne seyst p<m we wele oure vicis schewe 292 

Thou seyst also pat it displese]) me 

But jif pat pen wilt preyse myn beute 

And but pcfu. poure alwey in myn face 

And clepe me fayre dame in euery place 296 

And but ^u make a feste on pat day 

pat I was bom & make me f rosch Ss gay 

And but p<m do to myn noiyce honour 

And to my« chaumberere wtt^-inne myn hour 300 

And to mynne faderys folkys & mynne alycs 

Thus seyst pan olde barel ful of lyis 

And )it of oure apprentys lankyn 

ffor his scrip here schynynge as gold fyii 304 

And for he squyeryth me yp & doun pcnrsis] 

^it hast p<m cau^t &ls suspecioun 

I nyl hym not ^ow [fou] were ded to morwe 

But telle me whi hydistow wit^ sorwe 308 

The keyes of myn cheste al day £rom me 

It is myn good as wel as pjn parde 

What wenyst p<m to make an ydiot of oure dame 

Kow by ]iat lord pat callede is seynt lame 312 

CAMBRIDGE 175 (6-T. 342) 

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176 GROUP D. § 1. wife's preamble. Cambridge HS. 

Thow achat not bofe J)OW fo\x were wood 

Ben maystyr of myn body & ek of myn good 

That on foM achat for-gon maugery J)yn lyen 

What helpith it of me te enquere or spyen 316 

I trowe fan woldist louke me in pyn cheste 

Thow schuldifit sey wyf go where pe leste 

Take joure disport I nyl leue no talys 

I knowe 30W for a trewe wif dame aHs 320 

We loue no man ])at take kep or charge 

Where J)at we gon we wele ben at oure large 

Of alle men blyssede mote he bee 

The wyse Astrolages dann Protholomee 324 

That say ])is prouerbe in his almageste 

Of alle men his wisdom is fe heyesto 

That rekyth neuere ho hath ^e world in hondo 

By J)is prouerbe fan schat vndyrstonde 328 

Haue povL I-now what thar ye reche or care 

How meryly J)at ojere folkys fare 

fibr serteyn olde dotard by ^oure leue 

30 schal haue queynte ryjt I-now at cue 332 

He is a gret nygard pat wolde weme 

A man to ly^te a candele at his kntemo 

He schal haue neuere ^e lease ly3t parde 

Haue pou. I-now J)e thar not pleyne fe 336 

])ou seyst also fat ^if we make vs gay 

With clofynge & with precious aray 

That it is peryl of oure chastyte 

And jit with sorwe foix muste enforse pe 340 

And seye peae wordis in ]>e apostelys name 

In abite mad with chastite & schame 

je wemen schul aparayle 30W quod he ci«»f 2i5> i«ck] 

And not in trussede her & gay parre 314 

As pereles ne with gold ne with cloj^is rycho 

Aftyr pjn tix ne aftyr rubryche 

I wol not werke as meche as a gnat 

pon scydist pia pat 1 was lyk a cat 348 

CAMBRIDGE 176 (6-T. 343) 

Digitized by 



oitoupB. §1. wifk's PBBAMBLE. Cambridge HS. 177 

ffor who 80 wolde senge a cattis skyn 

Thanne wolde pe cat dwelle in his In 

And 3if ^ cattis skyn be slyk & gay 

Scbe wil not dwelle in boose half a day 352 

Bat forth scbe wele er any day be dawyd 

To scbewe bire skyn & gon a catirwawid 

Tbis is to seye ^if I be gay sere scbrewe 

I wele renne a-boute myn borel to scbewe 356 

Sire olde fol wbat eylytb pe to aspien 

Tbow J){ra preye aiguB wtt^ bise C eyen 

To be myn waide cors as be can best 

In feytb be scbal nat kepe me but me lest 360 

3it I coude make bis berd so mote I tbe 

]K>a seydist ek fat pere ben tbyngis tbre 

Tbecbe tbyngis trobelyn al fis erfe 

And pat no wbit may endure pQ i&rpe 364 

leue sire scbrewe Ib^^u scborte pjn lyf 

3it precbist pou & seyst pat an bateftd wyf 

I-rekenede is for on of ]>ese myscbauncis 

Ben pere non opere of pese recemblauncis 3G8 

Tbat 3e may likene 30ure parabele to 

But 3if a sely wif be on of ]>o 

poxL likkenyst womanys loue to belle 

To barayne lond pere no watyr may dwelle 372 

pou likenyst it also to wildefer 

Tbe more it brennytb J>e more it batb desyr 

To consuntme eucry Jynk pat brent wele be 

Tbow seyst ryjt as wermys consume a tre 376 

Ky3t 80 a wif distroyef bire busbonde 

Tbat knowyn fey pat ben to wyuys bonde 

Lordyngis ry3t pus as 3e ban yndyrstoTKle 

Bar I stifly myn olde bousbonde on bonde 380 

Tbat pva pej seydyn in bere dronkenea [k»f sia] 

And al was fSals but pat I tok witnes 

On lankpi & on myn nece also 

O lord pQ peyne I dede bem & pe wo 384 

CAMUniDGE 177 (6-T. 344) 

Digitized by 



178 oboupD. §1. wife's PBEAMBLE. Cambridge KS. 

flEul gilteles by godys swete pyne 

ffor as an hois coude bite & whine 

I conde pleyne & 3it was in f e gilt 

Or ellis I hadde ofte tymys ben spilt 388 

Who so come fyrst to melle fyrst grynt 

I pleynede fyrst so was ouie werre stent 

They were fed glad to excuse hem blyue 

Of thyng fey neuere a-gilt in al here lyue 392 

And of wenchis wolde I bere hem on honde 

Whan )»at for sek onef e my^te stonde 

jit tekelede I his herte for pat he 

Wende fat I hadde had of hym gret chirte 396 

I sey pat al myn walkynge out be nyjte 

Is for to espien wenchis pat he dyjte 

Vndyr pat colour hadde I manye a murthe 

ffor al swych wit is jeuyn vs in oure burthc 400 

Deseyt wepynd spynnyng god hath jeue 

To wemen kyndely whan pat fey may lyue 

And fus of on thyng I arwaunte me 

At f e ende I hadde pe betere in eche degre 404 

Be sleyghe or forse or sum manere thynge 

As by continuel mwrmure & grochynge 

Kameli on bedde hadde fey myschaunce 

There wolde I chide & don hem non plesaunce 408 

I wolde no lengere in f e bed a-byde 

jif fat I felte his arm ouyr myn syde 

Til he hadde mad his raunsum on to me 

Thanne wolde I suffere hym to don hise nyscte 412 

And f arfore euery man hise tale telle 

Wyn ho so may for al is for to selle 

With emty bond men may none haukys lure 

ffor wywnyng wolde I al hise lust endure 416 

And make me a feynede apetit 

And jit in bacoun hadde I neuere delit 

fat made me euere fat I wolde hym chydo [le^tu, )mX} 

ffor f ow f pope hadde sete by hyse syde 420 

CAMBUIDGE 178 (6-T. 345) 

Digitized by 


346 8IZ-TEXT 

GROUP D. § 1. wife's PREAMBLE. Cambridge HS. 179 

I nolde hjm spare at hise owene boord 
ffor by myn trouthe I quitte hyw word for word 
As help me veray god omnypotent 

Thow I schulde make now myn testement 424 

I ne owe bem nat a word pat it nys quit 
I bioo^te it so a-bonte by myn wit 
That J>ey mnste jeue it vp as for pQ beste 
Or ellis bade we neuere ben in reste 428 

ffor ]k>w be lokede as a wood lyou» 
jit be scbulde fayle of bise conclusioun 
Tbanne wolde I seye goode lone take kep 
How mekely lokytb wilkyn oure scbep 432 

Come neer mjn spouse lat me ba fyn scbeke 
je scbnl be al pacient & meke 
And bane a swete spicede concience 
Siibin je precbe so of lobes pacience 436 

Suffeiith alwey sitbe 30 so wel can precbe 
And but je don certeyn we scbul 30W tecbe 
That it is fayr to haue a wyf in pes 
On of Ys to muste bouwe douteles 440 

And seyth a man is more resonable 
fan woman is 30 muste be sufferable 
What eylyth 30W thus to groche & grone 
Is it for 30 wolde ban myn queynte alone 444 

Whi take it al lo haue it euerydel 
Petyr I-scbrewe 30W but 30 loue it wel 
ffor jif I wolde selle myn belecbose 

I coude walke as j&oscb as ony rose 448 

But I wele kepe it for 3oure owene toth 
30 ben to blame by god I seye 30W sotb 
Sweche manere of wordis baddo we on bonde 
Now wele I speke of myn fourte housbondo 452 

Myn fourte bousbonde was a reuelour 
This is to seyne he hadde a paramour 
And I was 3ong & ful of ragerye 
' Stybome & strong and loly as a pye 456 

CAMBRIDGE 179 (6-T. 346) 

Digitized by 



180 OBOUP D. § L wiF£*8 PREAMBLE. Cambridge HS. 

Wei coude I daunce to an harpe smale Ooif 2173 

And synge I-wis aa ony nyghtyTs^gale 

Whaw I hadde dronke a draujt of swete wyn 

Metullios fe foule clerk ])e swyn 460 

That with a staf be-rafte his vif hiie lyf 

ffor 8che drank wyn & I hadde been his wif 

He schulde nat a daimtid me from diynk 

And aftyr wyn on venns muste I thynk 464 

ffoT al 80 sykyr as cold engendeiyth hayl 

A lycorott^ mouth mnste han a licorous tayl 

In woman vinolent is no defence 

This knowyn lechonrjrs bi experyence 468 

But lord cryst whan it remembryth me 

Vp-on myn thout & on myn iolyte 

It tykelith me a-boute myn herte rote 

Vnto J)is day it doth myn herte bote 472 

That I haue had myn world as In myn tyme 

But age alias fat al wole yndyrmyne 

Hath me be-ref t myn beute & myn pith 

Let go farewel pe deuyl go ferwith 476 

The flour is gon fere is no more to telle 

The bren as I best can now muste I selle 

But 3it to ben merye wele I euere fonde 

Now wele I telle of myn fourte husbonde 480 

I seye I hadde in herte gret dispit 

That he of ony ofer hadde delyt 

But he was quit by god & be seynt loce 

I made hym of ^e same wode a croce 484 

Nat of myn body in no foul maner 

But serteynly I made folk swich cher 

That in hise owene grese I made hym frye 

ffor pure angir & for lelouye 488 

Bi god in erj>e he was in purgatorie 

ffor whiche I hope his soule be in glorie 

flbr god it wot he sat ful ofte & song 

Whan fat his schow ful bittyrly him wrong 495 

CAMBUIDGE 180 (6-T. 347) 

Digitized by 



GBoup B. § L wife's preamble. Cambridge HS. 181 

There was no wyjt but god & he fat wiste 

In manye wise how sore I hym twyste 

He deyede whan I cam from lercMalem pMf sn, b«ck] 

And lith I-graue vndir ]>e rode bem 496 

Alls his toumbe not so coryons 

As was ^ sepulcre of hym daiyns 

Whiche J>at Arpelles wrot^te so subtily 

It is but wast to burye hem so prccyously 600 

Lat hym fare wel god ^eue his soule reste 

He is now in hise giaue & in his cheste 

Now of myn fifte husbonde wele I telle 

Crod lete his soule neuere come in belle 604 

And ^it was he to me ]>e moste schrewe 

That fele I on mynne rebis alle be-wrewe 

And euere schal vn-to myn endyng day 

But in oure bed he was so frosch & gay 608 

And ]>0rwithal wel coude he me glose 

Whan fat he wolde haue myn belechose 

That fow he hadde me betyn on euery bon 

He coude wynne myn loue arjen a-non 612 

I trowe I louede hym beste for fat he 

Was of his loue dangerous to me 

We wemen haue 3if I schal nat lye 

In fia matyre a queynte fantasye 516 

That what fyng we may nat lyjtely haue 

^^raffeyr wele most ciye & craue 

fforbede vs thyng fat desyre we 

Piesse on ys faste & fanne wele we fle 620 

With daunger oute we oure chafiare 

Gret pres in market makyth dere ware 

And to good chep is holde of lytyl prys 

This knowyth euery woman fat is wys 524 

Myn fyfte husbonde god his soule blysse 

Whiche fat 1 tok for loue & no rychesse 

He sumtyme was a clerk of ozsene forde 

And hadde left skole & wente at horn to horde 528 

CA^BBIDGE 181 (6-T. 348) 

Digitized by 



182 GROUP D. § 1. wife's preamble. Cambridge MS. 

With my« gossib dwellynge in oure ioxxn 

God haue hiie soule hire name was alysouTi 

Sche knew myn heite & ek myn pryuite 

Bet fan onie paiyche prest so mote I the 532 

To hire be-wreyede I myn conseyl al Deaf ws] 

fifor hadde myn hnsebonde pissede on a wal 

Or don ony thyng pat schulde a cost his lyf 

To hire & to a-noJ)er worfchi wyf 536 

And to myn nece fat I louede wel 

I wolde haue tolde hise conseyl eueiydel 

And so I dede ful ofle god it wot 

That made hise face ofte red & hot 540 

flfor verray schame <& blamede hjm self pat he 

Hadde told me so gret a prynyte 

And so be-fel pat onys in a lente 

So ofte tyme I to myn gossib wente 544 

£for euere pat I lonede to be gay 

And for to walke in marsch auerylle & may 

f££om hous to hous to heryn sundery talis 647 

That lankyn ^ clerk & myn gossib dame Alis u c rubbed <mn 

And I myn self vp to J)e feldis wente 

Myn housbonde was at lundene al pat lente 

And I hadde pe betere leyser for to pleye 

And for to se & ek for to be seye 552 

Of lusty folk what wyste I where myn grace 

Whas schape for to be or in what place 

Therfore I made mynne visitaciounnys 

To vigilis & to procesciouwnys 556 

To prechywgis ek & to pylgrymagis 

To pleyes of myrakelis Ss of mariagis 

And werede vp-on myne scarlet gites 

These wormes these mothis & these mytis 560 

Vp-on myn peryl frete hew neuere a del 

And wost povL why for they were vsede wel 

Nowe wele I telle forth what happede me 

I seye pat in the feldys walkede we 5Qi 

CAMBRIDGE 182 (6-T. 349) 

Digitized by 






oBoup D. § L wife's preamble. Cambridge MS. 183 

Tyl trewelj we haddyn swich a dalyaunce 

This clerk & I pat of mjn purayaunce 

I spak to hym & seyde how pat he 

^if I were wedewe he schulde wedde me 

ffor serteynly I seye for no bobaunce 

jit was I neuere wtt^nte purnyaunce 

Of manage & moie thyngis eek 

I holde a mousys herte not worth a leek 

That hath bat on hole to sterte to 

And that fayle thanne is al I-do 

I bexe hym on honde he enchanntede me 

Myn dame taughte me fat sotylete 

And ek I seyde I mette of hym al nyjt 

He wolde a slayn me as I lay yp ryjt 

And al myn bed was ful of veray blood 

But jit I hope pat he schal do me good 

ffor blood be-tokenyth gold as me was taujt 

And al was fals I dremede of it lyght naujt 

But I folwede ay mjn damys lore 

As wel of this as of opere thyngis more 

But now syre lat se what schal I seyn 

A-ha by god I haue myn tale a-geyn 

What that myn husbonde was on here 

I weep & made a soiy chore 

As wyuys motyn for it is Tsage 

And with myn cou^-echef couerede my« visage 

But for p€Ct I was purueyed of a make 

I wepte but smal & pat I yndyr-take 

To cherche was myn husbond o bom on morwe 

With negheboris pat for hym madyn sorwe 

And lankyn oure klerk was on of thoo 

As help me god whan that I saw hym goo 

Aftyr pe beere me thoughte he hadde a payre 

Of leggis & feet so clone & fayre 

That al myn herte I jaf ynto his hold 

He was I trowe twenty wyntyr old 

U CAHBBIDGE 183 (6-T. 360) 








Digitized by 



184 GROUP D. § 1. wife's preamble. Cambridge ]£8. 

And I was fourty jif I scbal sey sooth 

And }it I hadde alway a coltys toth 

Gat-tothid I was & that be-cam me wel 

I hadde the prente of seynt peterys sel C04 

As help me god I was a lusty on 

ffayr & ryche & firosch & wel be-gon 

And trewely as myn husbowdys toldyn me 

I hadde the beste quoniam that my3te be C08 

fibr sertis I am al venerient [i««f U9j 

In felynge & myn herte is marcient 

Venus me ^af myn lust myn licorousnesse 

And mars ^a£ me myn hardy-nesse 612 

Myn ascendent was taur & mars thor Inne 

Alias alias that euere loue was sy/zne 

I folwede ay myn Inclynacyoun 

By vertu of myn constolacioun 616 

That made me that I coude nat withdrawe 

Myn chambere of venus fix)m a good felawo 

3it haue I Martes mark vp-on myn face 

And also in a-nothyr preue place 620 

fibr god so wis be myn sauacyouT^ 

I ne lewede neuere by non discrecyoun 

But euere folwede myn apetit 

Al were he schort or long or blak or whjt 624 

I tok no kep so fat he lykede mee 

How pore ne ek o what degree 

What schal I sey but at pe monethis ende 

This loly derk lankyn that was so hynde 628 

Hath wedede me with gret solempnetee 

And to hym 3af I al that lond Ss fee 

That euere was me jeuyn fere by-foore 

But aftyrward me repentede sone therfore 632 

He nolde suffere no th3^g of myn lyst 

But onys he smot me with liyse fyst 

ffor I rente onys out of hyse bok a lef 

That for the strok myn ere wex al def 636 

CAMBRIDGE 184 (6-T. 35l) 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 1. "Wife's preamble. Caml>ridge HS. 185 

Stybome I was as a leonesse ^ 

And of myn tonge a veray langeleresse 

And walke I wolde as [I] hadde don by-fom 

fi&om hons to houB al-thow he hadde it sworn G40 

ffor whiche ofte tymys he wolde preche 

And me olde romayn geestys teche 

How he syinplycioiis Grallas lafte his wyf 

And hire for sok for terme of al his lyf G44 

Not but for poynt he hyre say 

Lokynge ont of hyse dore yp-on a day 

Anothir Komayn tolde he by name \\(»iti% imck] 

That for hise wif was at a somer game 648 

With-ontyn hyse wetynge he for-sok hire eke 

And thanne wolde he yp-on hise bible seeke 

That like pronerbe of ecclesiaste 

Where he oomaundyth & forbedyth feuste 652 

Men Bchal not snffere here wyvis to roule arboute 

!Qiaiuie wolde he seye thns with-ontyn doute 

Who-fio byldyth hise hons al of salwys 

And prikyth hyse blynde hors onere pe falewis 656 

And snfTerith his wyf go sekyn halwys 

Is worihi to been hangyn on the galwis 

But al for nonjt I sette nat an hawe 

Of hise pronerbis ne of hise olde sawe 660 

Ne I ntdde of hym corectede be 

I hate hjm that mynne vicis tellyn me 

And so don mo god wot than I 

This made hym holde me wood al outerely 664 

I nolde forbere hym in no manere cas 

Now wele I sey jow soth by seynt Thomays 

Whi that I rente out of hise bok a lef 

ffor whyche he smot me that I was def 668 

He hadde a bok that gladly ny3t & day 

ffor his disport he wolde rede alway 

He clepede it valerye & theofraste 

At which bok he low ful faste 672 

CAMBRIDGE 1S5 (6-T. 862) 

Digitized by 



186 GBOUP D. § L wiF£*8 PBEAMBLB. Cambridge KS. 

And ek he seyde that sumtjme there was a clerk at rome 

A cardenale that hy^t lorome 

That made a bok a-^en louynian 

In whiche bok pere was ek Tertulan 676 

CrisippuB Tortula & Helowys 

That was abbesse not fer from Parys 

And ek the parabele of Salamon 

Ouydis art & bokys many on 680 

And alle these were boundyn In on volome 

And euery day Ss nj^t was hyse custome 

Whan he hadde leyse[r] & vacacyoun 

fl5x)m oj^re woidely ocupacyoun 684 

To redyn on hise bok of wekede wynys ncaf asoj 

He knew of hem mo legendys & lyuys 

Than ben of goode wyuys in the byble 

flfor trostyth wel it is an Impossible 688 

That any clerk schulde speke good of wyuys 

But jif it be of holye seyntis lyuys 

"Ne of non othere woman neuere J)® mo 

Who peyntede f e Ijoun tel me who 692 

Bi god jif women haddyn wietyw storyis 

As clerkis han with inne here oratoryis 

They wolde a wrote of men more wekedenesse 

Than al ^e Mark of adam may redresse 696 

The chylderyn of mercurye & of venus 

Ben in hyre werkys wol contraryous 

Mercurye louyth wysdom & science 

And venus louyth riot & dispence 700 

And for hire dyuerse dispocicioun 

Echo fallyth in oj^eris exsaltacyoun 

And f us wot god Mercurye is desolat 

In Pisses where Mercurye is exaltat 704 

And venus fallyth where Mercuiye is reysed 

Therfore no woman of no klerk is preysed 

The clerk whan he is old & may not do 

Of YeiLUs werkys worth hyse olde scho 70S 

CAMBBIDGE 186 (6-T. 353) 

Digitized by 



GROUP D. § 1. wife's preamble. Cambridge MS. 187 

Thanne sit lie doun & wiyt in hise dotage 

That wemen kunne not kepe heie maryage 

But now to purpos why I tolde the 

That I was betyn for a bok pardee 7 1 2 

Yp-on a ny3t lankyn that was oore syre 

Eadde on his bok as he sat by the fyie 

Of £aa fyrst that for hyre wikkedenes 

Was al mankynde bron3t to wrechedenes 716 

[For whiche ])at Ihesu Crist* hym) selfe was slayne [KB £^. n d 

That boughte vs wit^ his herte blode agayne {JS!<rui*6*"'ia^f 

Lo here expresse of» women) Maye ye flfynde If c af S^^u'sTa^]' 

That women) was the losse of AH Mankynde] 720 

Tho ladde he me how sampson loste hyse hens 

Slepynge his leman kitte hem with hyre scheiys 

ThoTgh whych tresonn loste he bothe hyse eyen 

Tho radde he me jif I schal nat lyen 724 

Of ercnles & of hyse dyanyre 

That cansede hym to sette hym selue a fyre 

No thyng for-gat he the care & the wo [leaf 220, uck] 

That Socrates hadde with hyse wynys two 728 

How Exantippa caste pis yp-on his hed 

This sely man sat stylle as he were deed 

He wypede his hed no more dorste he seyn 

But er thundyr stynte fere comyth a reyn 732 

Of phasippa that was the queen of Crete 

ffor schrewedenesse hym thou3te the tale swete 

ffy spek na more it is a gresely thyng 

Of hire horrible lust & hire lykyng 7 3G 

Of ditemysta for hire lecherye 

That falsely maade hire husboTtde for to deye 

He radde it with ful good deuocioun 

He tolde me ek for what occasyoun 740 

Amphiorax at thebes loste his lyf 

Myn husbonde hadde a legende of his wyf 

Eryphilem ]»at for an Ouche of gold 

Hath prniyly on to J>e grekjrs told 744 

CAMBRIDGE 187 (6-T. 864) 

Digitized by 



188 GROUP D. § 1. wife's fbeamble. Cambrid^ MS. 

Wliere fat hyre hnsbonde bidde hjm in a place 

ffor whiche lie liadde at thebes sory grace 

Of lyma tolde he me & of lucye 

Th[e]y bothe made here housbo?edis for to dye 748 

That on for loue that oper for hate 

Lyma hire housbonde on an eajn late 

Enpoysounede hath for fat sche was his fo 

Lucya lykerons louede hyre housbonde so 752 

That he scholde alwey on hire thynke 

Sche 3af hjm swich a manere loue drynke 

That he was ded er it was by J)' morwe 

And fu8 algatys housbondis haddyn sorwe 756 

Thanne tolde he me how on latymyus 

Compleynede to his felawe Arryus 

That in hyse gardyn growede swych a tre 

On whiche he seyde pat his wyuys thre 760 

Haugede hem self for herte despitous 

leue brothir quod this Arryus 

jif me a plante of that blyssede tre 

And in myn gardyn schal it plauntede be 764 

Of lattere date of wyuys Jeanne he radde [leaf tsi] 

That some han slayn here housbondis in here bedde 

And leet hire lectour dyjte hire al J)e ny3t 

Whils J)at J>e cors lay in Je flor vp-ryjt 768 

And some han dryue a nayl in here brayn 

Whils pat pej slepte & fua pej han hem slayn 

Some han jeue hem poysoun in here drynk 

He spak more harm than herte may be-thynk 772 

And per-withrel he knew mo prouerbis 

Than in this world yere growe gres or erbis 

Bet is quod he fat thyn habitacioun 

Be with a lyoun or a foul dragoun 776 

Than with a waman vsywge for to chyde 

Betere is quod he hye in pe rof a-byde 

Than witA a wekede woman doun in an hous 

They ben so wekke & so contitiryous 780 

CAMBRinGE ISS (6-T. 366) 

Digitized by 



GBOUP D. § L witb's PREAiiBLB. Camlbridge HSi 189 

They hatyn that here housbondys louyn ay 

He seyde a woman caste hiie schame a- way 

Whan sche caste of hire amok & ieifere mo 

A fayr woman but sche be chast also 784 

Is lik a golde lyng in a sowis nose 

Ho wolde wene or ho wolde suppose 

The wo that in myn herte was & pyne 

And I saw fat he wolde neuere fyne 788 

But redyn on hise cuisede bok al nyjt 

Al sodeynly thre leuys haue I plyjt 

Out of his bok as he sat ful make 

And with myn fist so tok I hym on ^q cheke 792 

That in oure fyre he fyl bakwaid a-doun 

And he yp stirte as doth a wood lyoun 

And with his fyst he smt>t me on the hed 

That In the flor I lay as I were ded 796 

And whan he saw how stylle I lay 

He was argast & fledde arway 

Til at J)e kste out of myn swow I breyde 

hast Jou sleyn me thef I seyde 800 

And yus for myn lond wilt ^ou mordere me 

£r I be ded jit wele I kysse the 

And ner he cam & knelede fayre a-doun Clear 82i,bAck] 

And seyde myn dere sistyr alysoun 804 

Als helpe me god I schal pe neuere smyte 

That I haue don It is thyn self to wyte 

ffor jeue it me & fat I ]>e be-seke 

And jit eft-sonys I hitte hjm on the cleke 808 

And seyde thef ]m« meche I may me wreke 

Now wele I deye I may no lengere speke 

But at ^ laste vrith meche care & wo 

We fille a-cordit by oure seluyn two 812 

He jaf me al ])e brydyl in myn bond 

To haue gouemauns of hous & lond 

And of his tunge & of his bond also 

And made hym to brenne his bok ry^t )»o 816 

CAMBRIDGE 189 (6-T. 366) 

Digitized by 



190 GROUP D. § 1. wife's pbeamblb. Cambridge MS. 

And whanne I hadde I-getyn on to me 

By maysterye al f e souereyntee 

Thanne he seyde myn owene trewe wyf 

Do as 30 leste for terme of al ^ot^^-e lyf 820 

Keep thyn honour & thyn estat 

Affcyr fat day we ne haddyn neuere debat 

God help me 80 I was to hyw as kynde 

As ony wif from denmark vn-to Inde 824 

And as trewe & so was he to me 

I preye to god pat sit in mageste 

So blysse his soule for his mercy dere 

Kow wele I seye myn tale ^if 30 wele here 828 

[The Wrangle between the Summoner and Friar,] 

The frere low whan he hadde herd al this 

Kow dame quod, he also haue I loye or blis 

This is a long preamble of a tale 

And whan fe somnour herde ^ frere gale 832 

Lo qtiod the somnotir hi goddys armys too 

A frere wele entirmete hym euere mo 

Lo goode men a flye & ek a frere 

Wele fSalle in eueiy disch & matere 836 

What spekyst pan of perambulacioun 

What amble or trotte or pes or go sit donn 

bou lettyst onre desport in ))is matiere 

3a wilt f€fu. so syre somnoi^r quod fe firere 840 

Now by myn fey I schal er fat I go peaf 222] 

Telle of a sanaiour a tale or too 

That alle fe folk schul law he in ])is place 

Now ellis &ere I benBchrewe thyn face 844 

Quod this sumnottr A I be-schrewe me 

But jif I telle talis too or thre 

Of frens er I come to Sidyngbome 

That I schal make fjn horte for to moome 848 

CAMBUIDGE 190 (6-T. 367) 

Digitized by 



GROUP D. § L wife's pbeamblb. Cambridge MS. 191 

ffor wel I wot fjn pacience is goon 

Oure oat ciyede pees & fat arnon 

And sejde lat ^e woman telle hire tale 

^e faie as folk dronke were of ale 852 

Dotli dame tellyth forth ^oure tale & fat is best 

Al redj sire (luod sche ryght at ^oure lest 

jif I haue 1 jcens of ])is wor])i frere 

;is dame telle forth & I schal here 85 G 

Here endiih ^e prologe of the wyues tale of Bathe. 

[€fap of one line in the MS.] 

C AVBKIDGE 191 (6-T. 368) 


Digitized by ^ 


192 OBOUF D. § 2. wife's tale. Cambridge MB. 

Here begynnyt fhe wyf of bafhe hire tale Deaf ns, bMk] 

IN olde dayis of kyng Arthour 
Of whiclie pat brytoris spekyn gret honoar 
Al was this lond ful fyld of fayrye 
The elf quene wyth hire cumpanye 860 

Dauncede ful ofte in manye a grene mede 
This was the olde opynyoun as I redo 
I speke of manye hunderede 3eris a-go 
But now can no man se eluys mo 864 

ffor now the charite & pe prayeris 
Of lymytouris & of opere holy frerys 
That serchyn euery iond & euery strem 
As thikke as motys in pe sone hem 868 

Blessen halles cliauwzbery[s] kichenys bourys 
Ceteis borwys* castelis hyghe tourys p rwys: later.^ 

Thropes bemys / Schipnes dayryis 

That makyth that pere ben no fayryis 872 

ffor pere as wont was^ for to walke an elf pwm: tater.2 

There walkyth now J>e lymytowr hym self 
In vndirmelys & in morwenywgis 

And seyth hyse matynys & hyse holye thyngis 876 

As he goth in hyse lymytaciouw 
"Wemen mowe go sanely vp & doun 
In euery bussch & vndyr euery tree 
There is nower non Incubus but he 880 

And he wele don hym non dishonour 
And so be-fel pat this kyng Arthour 
Hadde in his hous a ryche bachelcr 
That on a day cam rydywge from reuer 884 

Cambridge 192 (6-t. 359) 

Digitized by 



QBOUP D. § 2. wife's tale. Cambridge MS. 193 

And happede a-lone as sche was bom 

He saw a mayde cam rydynge hym by-forn 

Of whicbe maydyn a-non maugry hire bed 

By YBisy foise by-rafte be hire maydynhed 888 

ffor wbicb appiecioun was swych clamoui 

And swych puisat to kyng arthour 

That dampnede was the knyjt for to be ded 

By conrs of lawe & schulde a lost byse heed 892 

Perauenture swich was the statute fo 

But that pe queen & opere kdyis moo 

So longe preyedyn the kyng of grace neaf 2»] 

Tyl be bis lyf grauTitede at }rat place 896 

And )af hym to the queen at biro wille 

To chese whe^^ sche wolde hjm saue or spille 

The queen thankede pe kyng with al byre my^t 

And aftyr this fus spak sche to p* kny^t 900 

Whan sche saw byre tyme vp-on a day 

Thow stofidist 3it quod sche in swich aray 

That of thyn lyf [thou] bast no surete 

I giaunte Jie lyf ^ ]xm canst telle me 904 

What ibyng ist that women most desyryn 

B^war & kep thyn neke bon firo^n yryn 

And ^if paa canst not telle me anon 

jit wele I jeue fe leue for to goon 908 

A twelyemonytb & a day to lore 

An answere suffidaunt in this matire 

And surete wele I baue er pat pou. pace 

Thyn body for to jildyn in ])is place 912 

Wo was this knyjt & sorwefully be sikede 

But )it may he nat don as hym lykede 

And at fe laste he chee hjm for to weende 

And come a-jen ryjt at ye jerys endo 916 

With swich answere as god wolde hym purueye 

And takyth bis leue & wendyth forth byse weye 

And sekyth euery hous & euery place 

Where as he bopith to fyTuie grace 920 

CAMBRIDGE 103 (S-T. 800) 

Digitized by 




194 GBovF D. § 2. wipe's tale. Cambridge XS. 

To lomyn what thyng wemen louyn most 

But he ne coude aryuyn In no cost 

Where as he myjte fynde in this matyre 

Two wightis a-cordyn in fyre 924 

Some men seydyw women louyn hest lychease 

Some men seyde honour some ^iolynesse^ 

Some men seyde ryche aiay some lust in bedde 

And ofte tyme be wedewe & ofte Lwedde 928 

Some men seyde ouie herte is most I-esed 

Whan ])at we been I-flatered & I-plesed 

He goth ful nygh pe sothe I nyl not lye 

A man schal wynne vs best wzt^ flaterye 932 

And with attendaunce & besynesse n«f as, bMk] 

Be we I-lymyd bo^e more & lesse 

And some men seyn jKit we louyn best 

fTor to be fire & do ryjt as vs lest 936 

And pat no man repreue ys of ouie vice 

But seye pat we be wys & no thyng nyse 

ffor trewely pere is non of vs alle 

3if ony wyjt wele clawe vs on the galle 940 

That we nolde kyke for he seyth vs soth 

Asay he schal fynde it pat so doth 

fibr be we neuere so vicious with-inne 

We wele be holde wis & clene of synne 944 

And some seyn that gret loue haue we 

£for to ben holde wyse & secre 

And in on purpos stedefastly to dwelle 

And not be wreye thyng pat men vs telle 948 

But pat tale nys not worth a rake stele 

Parde we wemen can nothyng hele 

Witnesse of Mida wil ^e here ]>e tale 

Ouyde a-mongis opere thyngis smale 952 

Seyde Mida hadde vndyr hyse longe herys 

Growynge on his hed two assis erys 

The whiche vice he hyde as he best myglite 

flful subtyly from euery manys syjte 956 

CAMBRIDGE 104 (O-T. 86l) 

Digitized by 


GBoup D. § 2. wiFE^s TAUB. Cambridge MS. 195 

That sane his wyf fere wiste of it no mo 

He lonede hyre most & trostid to hyre also 

He preyede hyre fat to no cryature 

Sche schnlde telle of his disfygoie 

Sche swor hym nay for al this world to wywne 

Sche nolde not do pat yilany or synne 

Go make hyre hnsbonde to haue so foul a name 

Sche nele it telle for hyre owene schame 

But neo^'e-J^e-les hire thonjte pat sche dyde 

That sche so longe a conseylde hyde 

Hire thonjte it swal so sore a-boute hyre herte 

That nedely sum word muste a-sterte 

And sythe sche durste teUe it to no man 

Doun to a mareys faste by sche ran 

Tyl sche cam fere hire herte was a fyre 

And as a bitore buTTibith in fe myre 

Sche leyde hyre mouth to fe watyr adoun 

Be-wrey me not fon watyr with thyn soun 

Quod sche to ]>e I telle it Ss no mo 

Myn husbonde hath longe erys too 

Kow is al myn herte hoi now is it oute 

I myjte no lengere kepe it out of doute 

Here may je se fow we no tyme abyde 

^it out mote it we can no conseyl hyde 

The remenaunt of fe tale 3if ^e wele here 

Eede ouyde & fere mowe 30 it leere 

This knyjt of which myn tale is specyally 

Whan he saw he myjte not come ferhj 

This is to seye what wemen lou3m most 

With-inne his brest full sorwefuUy was fe gost 

But hom he goth he my^te not soiome 

The day was come that homward muste he tume 

And In hyse wey as happede hym to ryde 

In al hise care vndyr a forest syde 

Where as he saw yp-on a daunce go 

Of ladyis foure & twenty & 3it mo 

CAaiBRIDGE 195 (S-T. 362) 










Digitized by 



196 GROUP S. § 2. wife's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Toward pia danns he drow ful ^eme 
In hope fat sum wisdam schulde he leme 
But serteyn fully er he cam ther 

Yanysschid was the dauTice he njste wher 996 

No cryateure saw he pat bar lyf 
Saue on pe grene he saw syttywge a wyf 
A fouleie wyjt fere may no man devyse 
A-jens fiB knyjt this olde whi^t gan ryse 1000 

And seyde syre knyjt here forth lyth no weye 
Telle je me what 30 seke be 30wre feye 
Peiauenture ^e betere may it be 

These olde folk can moche thyng quod sche 1004 

My« leue modyr quod this knyght serteyn 
I ne am but deed but jif fat I can seyn 
^ What thyng ist fat wemen most desyre 
Koude 30 me wische I wolde quyte 3oure hyre 1008 

Plyghte me fjn treuth in myn hond quod sche Deatm, back] 
The nexte thyng that I require the 
Thow shalt it do 3if it be in fj myght 
And I wele telle it 30W er it be nyght 1012 

Haue her myn tiouthe qucd fe knyght I graunte 
Thanne quod sche I dar me wel a-vaunte 
Thyn lyf is saf I wele stowde ferhj 
Vp-on myn lyf fe quen wele seye as I 1016 

Lat se which la fe proudest of hem alle 
That weryth on a couerechief or a calle 
Tha[t] dar sey nay of ])at I schal the teche 
Lat vs go forth with oute lengere speche 1020 

Tho rounnede sche a pistyl in hyse ere 
And bad hjm to be glad & haue no feio 
Whan ])ey been comyn to fe court fis kny3t 
Seyde fat he hadde holde his day fat he hy3t 1024 

And redy was his answere as he sayde 
fiul manye a nobele wyf & manye a mayde 
And manye a wedewe for fat fej ben wyse 
The queen hire self syttyiige as a iustyse 1028 

CAMBRIDGE 196 (6-T. 863) 

Digitized by 



GBoup D. § 2, wife's tale. Cambridge MS. 197 

Aflsembelede been bis answerys for to here 

And aftyrward ]>is kny^t was bode to pere 

To enery wyjt was comaundede silence 

And yat pe kny^t scbulde telle in audyence 1032 

What thyng fat wordely women louyn best 

The knyjt stod not stiUe as a beest 

But to his questioon a-non answerde 

With manly voys fat al J>* court it herde 1036 

Myn lige lady generally qtiod he 

Wemen desyryn to ban souereynte 

As wel onyr hire husboTidis as oner hire hove 

And for to been in maystrye hem a-boue 1040 

This ia fe moste desyr thow je me kylle 

Both as 30W leste I am al at 30iire wille 

In al f e court ne was pere wif ne mayde 

l^e wedewe contraryede pat he sayde 1044 

But seydyn fat he was worthi to ban his lyf 

And with that word yp sterte pe olde wyf 

TVhiche pat J>e kny3t saw syttynge on pe grene pcaf 2253 

Mercy quod sche myn souereyn lady qu<me 1048 

J)r pat 30ure court departe doth me ryght 

I taughte this answere to p^ knyth 

ffor which he plyjte me his trouthe ])ere 

The fyrste thyng pat I wolde hym requere 1052 

He wolde it do ^if it lay in his myjt 

By-foro pe court ])anne preye I pe syre kny3t 

Quod sche pat fou me take on to ])yn wyf 

ffor weel pon wist pat I haue kept pjn lyf 1056 

3if I seye fals say nay vp-on py fey 

This kny3t answerde alias & weyleawey 

I wot Ty3t wel pat swich was myn beheste 

ffor goddys loue as ches a newe requeste 1060 

Tak al myn good & lat myn body goo 

Nay panne qtiod sche I be schrewe vs boJ)e too 

ffor pGvr I be foul old & pore 

I nolde for al p"^ motal ne for ore 1064 

CAMBRIDGE 197 (O-T. 364) 

Digitized by 



198 oBoup D. § S. wife's tale. Cambridge MS. 

That vndyr ^e &rfe is graue or lyth a-boue 

But jif pjn wyf I were & ek pjn loue 

Myn loue quod he naj myn dampnac joun 

Alias fat ony of myn nacyoun / 1068 

Schulde eueie so foule dispaiagit be 

But al for noujt Jeanne is pia quod sche 

Constreynede was he nedys he muste hyre wedde 

And takyth his olde wif & goth to bedde 1072 

^ow wil some men seye parauenture 

That for myn neclygens I do no cure 

To telle jow pe ioye & also tharray 

That at fat ilke feste was fat day 1076 

To whiche thyng sothely I answere schal 

And seye fere was no Ioye ne feste at al 

There was but heuynesse & meche sorwe 

ffor priuyly he wedde hire in pe morwe 1080 

And al day aftyr hydde hym as an houle 

So * wo was^ hym his wyf lokede so foule p-» taer^ 

Gret was fe wo fe knyjt hadde in his thoujt 

Whan he was wyth his wyf in bedde I-biou3t 1084 

He walwith & he tumyth too A fro ciMf su^ Uck] 

This olde wif lay smylyTige euere mo 

And seyde o dere husbende ben^cite 

ffaryth euety kny3t with his wyf as 30 1088 

Jsfiafe lawe of kyng arthurea hous 

Is euery knyjt of his ])us daungerous 

I am 30ure owene loue & joure wyf 

I am sche fat sauede hath joure lyf 1092 

And sertis I dede 30W neuere Ynry3t 

Whi fare 30 ftis wiik me fe ferste ny3t 

3e fare lyk a man fat hadde lost his wit 

What ia myn gilt for godis loue telle me it 1096 

And it schal been a-mendit 3if fat I may 

A-mendit quod this kny^t alias nay nay 

It wele not been a-mendit neuere mo 

Thow art so loothly old & so pore also 1100 

CAMBRIDGE 198 (6-T. 365) 

Digitized by 



QBoup D. § 2. wife's tale. Cambridge MS. 199 

And ferto comyn of fio low a kynde 

That lytyl wondir ist fow I walwe & wynde 

So wolde god myn herte wolde bieste 

Is ^is quod sche pe cause of jouie onieste 1 104 

)a serteynly quod he no wondii is 

Now seie quod sche I coude a-mende al J^is 

)if pat me lyste er it were dayis thie 

So wel myjte je here 30W to me 1108 

But for je speke of swich gentillesse 

As is dessendit out of olde richesse 

That l^erfore schul 30 ben holdyn gentil men 

Swich airogauTtce is not worth an hen 1112 

Loke ho pat is most verteuous alwey 

Piyue & apert & most entendyth ay 

To do fe gentyl dedys pat he can 

Take hym for pe gretteste gentil man 1116 

Cryst wele we cleyme of hym oure gentylesse 

No£^t of oure elder3rs for oure olde rychesse 

ffor ]k)w )»ey jeue ys al here erytage 

ffor which we cleymyn to been of high parage 1 120 

)it may poj not by-quethe for no thyng 

To noon of vs here verteuous lyuyng 

That made hem gentylmen I-callede be {mwi} 

And bad ys foldyn hem in swich degre 1124 

Weel can pQ wise poete of florence 

That hy3t dant declare pis centence 

Lo in swych a manere rym is dantes tale 

fEul selde vp rysith by hyse braunchis smale 1128 

Frowesse of man for god of his prowesse 

"Wele pat we cleyme of hjm oure gentillesse 

ffor of oure eldere we may no thyng cleyme 

But temp«rel thyng pat man may hurte & mayme 1132 

Ek euery wyjt wot ])is as wel as I 

)if gentillesse were plantid naturelly 

Yp to a certeyn lennage doun be lyne 

Preue nor apert fanne wolde pQj neuere fyne 1136 

17 CAMBBIPGS 199 (6-T. 866> 

Digitized by 


367 8IX-TKXT 

200 GROUP D. §2. wiF8*8TALB. Cambridge XB. 

To don of gentillesse fe offys 

They iny3te don no vilenye nor vice 

Tak f jr & bere in ^e derkeste hons 

Be-twyxe this & ^e mount of Cankeioua 1140 

And let men schette pe dore A go ]»enne 

^it "wil fe fyr lye as £yr & brenne 

As twenty thousent men my3te it by-holde 

Hlb offifle natuiel ay wel it holde 1144 

Vp peril of myn lyf tyl fat it deye 

Here may ^e wel sen how fat genterye 

Is not annexed to possesdoun 

Sithe folk ne don heie operacioun 1148 

Alwey as doth the fyr in hise kynde 

fibr I wot men may ful ofte fynde 

A loidis sone do schame & yilanye 

And he fat wele haue prys of his genteiye 1152 

ffor he was bore of a gentyl hons 

And hadde hise oldens nobele & yertnous 

And nyle hym self don non gentyle dedis 

Ne folwe his gentyle auncetere fat deed is 1156 

He nys not gentyl be he dak or el 

ffor yiolens synful dedys make eke a cherl 

ffor gentillesse nys but renomee 

Of thynne auncestris for here hygh bonnte 1 IGO 

Whiche is a strong thyng to thyn persona Omstm, taek] 

The gentillesse comyth horn god a-lone 

Thanne comyth onre yerray gentillesse of grace 

It was no thyng be-qnethe ys with onre place 1164 

Thynldth how nobele as seyth yalerius 

Was that ilke tullios hostilins 

That out of pouert ros to gret noblesse 

Eedyth senec & redith eek boece 1168 

Ther schul ^e se expres fat no dred is 

That he is gentyl that doth gentyl dedis 

And fer£oTQ leue husbonde I thus conclude 

Al were it ^ot myne auncestris were rende 1172 

CAMBEIDGB 200 (S-T. 867) 

Digitized by 



GBoup D. § 2. wife's talb. Cambridge MS. 201 

^it may pe hye god & so hope I 

Giaofite me grace to leue verteaosly 

Thanne am I gentyl whan fat I be-gynne 

To lenyn verteuously & lenyn syime 1176 

And fere as 30 of poueit me lepreue 

The hye god of whom ^e me leprene 

In wilfol ponert ches to lede his lyf 

And certys euory man mayde or wyf 1 180 

May Yndyrstondyn Jheeua^ heuene kyng [^ MS Ihc] 

Ke wolde not chese an Ticions leuyng 

Glad ponert is an oneste thyng certeyn 

This wele Senek & of ere clerkys seyn 1184 

Ho so hym halt payed of his ponerte 

I holde hym ryche hadde he but a sherte 

He fat coueytyth is a pore wight 

ffor he wolde han fat is not in his my3t 1188 

But he fat nought haht ne coueythit to baue 

Ja^ riche al-thow men holde hym but a knauo [>■ to<«r] 

Veray pouert it syngith properly 

luenal seyth of pouerte meiyly 1 192 

The poure man whan he goth by the weye 

By-fore fe thewis he may synge Ss pleye 

Pouerte is hateful good as I gesse 

A ful gret bryngere out of besinesse 1 196 

A gret amendere ek of sapience 

To hem fat takyth it in pacienco 

Pouerte is this al-thow it seme alenge [leaf 227] 

Possessioun fat no man wele calenge 1 200 

Pouerte ful ofte whan a man is lowe 

Makyth his god & hym self to knowe 

Pouerte a spectakele is as thynkyth me 

Thorw whech he may his veray frend I-se 1 204 

And fer£oie syre syn fat I 30W not greue 

Of myn pouerte no more je me repreue 

Kow syre of olde je repreue me 

And sertis syde thogh non autoryte 1208 

CAMBRIDGE 201 (6-T. 868) 

Digitized by 


369 8IX-TEXT 

202 GROUP D. § 2. wifb'8 talb. Cambridge KS. 

Were in no bok the gentylys of honowr 

Seyn pat men schuld an old wy^t don &aoiir 

And clepyw hjm fSadyr of joure gentilesse 

And auctouiis echal I fyndyn as I gesse 1212 

Now fere 30 seyn I am foul & old 

Thanne drede 30W not to ben a coukewold 

£fylthe & elde alsomote I the 

Ben gret waidaynjs yp-on chastite 1216 

But natheles sythe I knowe jouie delyt 

I schal falfyUe 3oure wordely apetyt 

Chese now quod ache on of peae thyngis tweye 

To haue me foul & old tyl pat I deye 1220 

And be to 30W a trewe vmble wyf 

And neuere 30W displese in al myn lyf 

Or ellis 3e wele haue me 3yng & fayr 

And take ^e auenture of the repayr 1224 

That schal be to 30uie hous be cause of me 

Or in sum ofer place may wel be 

Now cheseth 3oure selue whefer fat 30W likyth 

This kny3t a-uyseth hym & sore sykyth 1228 

But at fe laste he seyde in |)is manere 

Myn lady & myn lone & myn wyf so dere 

I putte me in 30ure wise gouemaunce 

Cheseth 30uie self whiche may be most plesaunce 1232 

And most honour to 30W Ss me also 

I do no fors whe]>er of the too 

ffor as 30W lykyth it suffyseth me 

Thamie haue I gete pe maysteiye quod sche 1236 

Syn I may chese & goueme as me leste [iMf ssr, t)Mk] 

3a sertys wif quod he I helde it for pe beste 

Kis me quod sche we be no lengere wrothe 

ffoT be myn trouthe I wele be to 30 w bothe 1240 

That is to seyne bothe fayr & good 

I preye to god I mote sterwe wod 

But I to 30W be al so good & trewe 

As euere was wyf syn pat fe world was newe 1244 

CAMBRIDGE 202 (6-T. 869) 

Digitized by 


370 8IX-TEZT 

GROUP D. . § 2. wife's tale. Cambridge MS. 203 

And bnt I be to morwe as fa jr to sene 

As enj lady Emperesse oi quene 

That eueie -was be-twixse J>e Est & J>* west 

Doth with myn lyf & doth lyjt as jow lest 1248 

Cast yp fe cnrtyn & loke how pat it is 

And whan pat pe knyght saw yenaylj al ]>i8 

That scheso f&yr was & so jyng perio 

ffor ioye he hente hyre in hise armys too 1252 

His herte bathit in a bath of blys 

A thonsent sythe a rowe he gan hire kys 

And sche obeyede hyw* in eueiy thyng 

That myjte do hym plesaunce or lykyng 1256 

And pxifi pej lyue yn-to here lyuys ende 

In parfyt Ioye & Ihera cnst vs synde 

Hosbondis meke jinge & frosche in bedde 

And grace to oner byde hem pat we wedde 1260 

And ek I preye Ihera schorte here lyuys 

That wele not been gouemyd by here wyuys 

And olde & angeiy nygardys of dispence 

God sende h&m sone yeriay pestelence 1264 

Here endifh fhe Wif of Bathe hyre tale 

[Gap of one line in the MS,"] 

CAMBRfDGE 203 (6-T. 870) 

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371 8IX-TKXT 

204 ojRouF D. § 3. wiTE-FRiAB LINK. Cambridge XS. 

iaap(ifBUne$imtk4M8. Le^KS (ootUaMna'prolOffe', paimttHa,amdniiite$ 

TKia worthi* lyinytour/ this noble fbeiB. ^^'^^^ 
he made alweie a maner/^ loaiyng chere. ^^^^ 
vp-on the Sompncmr but yef * for honeste. i^^,,]** 
No vilenoufl worde as yet spak/ he . . 1 268 

But at the laste he seide m-to the wif . 
Dame gode god yeue yon right good lif/. 
Te han touched here also mote I the . 
In scole mater/ gret/ difflculte . 1272 

Ye han seide mocheB thyng right weH I 6eie . 'c/«in«, btu*^ 
But dame here as we riden hi the weie . 
Ys nedith not to sp^en but of game . 
And late auctorites go ^ a* goddis name . C go ai marffU} 

To prechyng/ & to scole eke of cleigie . 
But if it like 7n>to this companye . 
I will: you of a somnour telle a game • 
Parde ye may weH knowe be the name . 128d 

That of no somnoz^r may no gode be saide . 
I praye that non of you be euytt a-paide • 
A Somnoetr is a romere rp & doun . 
"With maundementis/ of ffomycacioun . 1284 

And is bete at eueiy townes ende . 
Our/ oost tho spak a sir/ ye schulde ben hende . 
And curteis as man of your/ estate . 
In companye we woti no debate . 1288 

Telleth your/ tale & lateth the Somnour be . 
Kay quod the Somno2«r late hym saie' to me pnietanarpte] 
What so hym list whan it cometh to my lot . 
Bi god I schaH hym quyte euery grot . 1292 

I schati hym telle whiche a gret honour/. 
It is to be a flateiyng* lymytour/. 
And eek/ of full: manye another/ cryme . 
"Whiche nedith not rehersen at this tyme . 1 296 

And his office I schatt hym telle y-wis . 
Our/ hoste answerid pees no more of this • 
And aftirwarde he seide vn-to the fi&ere • 
TeH forth your/ tale my leue maister/ dere . 1300 

Here endith the prolog/. 

CAHBEiDGE 204 (6-T. 37i) [this page, Harl. 1768] 

Digitized by 



.oiiofpD. $4. huab'stalb. Cambridge MS. 205 

and begynneth th e tale f f . ^SSri^^i '^ 

lilam ther/ -was dwellyng/ in my contre . 

An Erchedekene a man of hye degre . 

That boldely dide execncioun . 

In ponyschyng* of ffomycacioun . 1 304 

Of wiccheciafbe <& eek/ of baudrie . 

Of diffamaciotm & avoutrie . 

Of chirche reeues & of testamentis . 

Of contractifl & of lak/ of aacramentia . 1308 
Of vsure & Symonye also . 
Bat certis lecchonrs dide he most wo . 
Thei schnlden syngen if thei were hent . 
And smale titheis weren foule schent . 1312 

Yf ony peiBone wolde vp-on hem pleyne . 
Ther/ myght a-sterte hym no pecunyidl peyne . 
ffor smale tithes & eek/ smale offerynge . 
he made the peple spitonsly to synge . 1316 

ffor or the Bischop caughte hem with his hooke. 
Thei weren in the Erchedekenes booke . 
And then had he thorow his Inrdiccion . [Uafvai 

Power/ to doon on hem coireccion . 1320 

he had a Sompnonr redy to his honde . 
A slier/ boie was non in Engelonde .] [EvL extract ends^ 

ffor subtily he hadde'hise expyayle [KB Gc. i S7, leaf 229] 

That tanjte hyw where hym myjte a-yayle 1324 

He coude spare of lechonrys on or two 
To techyn hym to foure & twenty mo 
ffor J>ow ])is somenotcr wood were as an hare 
To telle his harloterye I wele not spare 1328 

CAMBRIDGE 206 f6-T. 872^ 

Digitized by 



206 GBOUP D. § 4 FBiAB*s TALE. Cambridge 118. 

£for we ben out of hia coreccioun 

Thej ban of vs no luiediccioun 

Ne nenere ne scbnln of alle bere lynys 

Petyr so been wemen at fe styuys 1332 

Quod fe somenottr I-put out of oure cure 

Pees witA myscbaunce & witb mysauentuie 

Tbufl sejde oure ost & lat hjm telle bis tale 

Now tellitb fortb ]k)W fat pe somenour gale 1336 

'Ne sparytb not myn owene maystyr dere 

Tbis false tbef ])is somenour quod pe frere 

Hadde alwey baudys ledj to bis bond 

As onj bank to lure in ingelond 1340 

Tbat tolde hjm al pe secre pat pej knewe 

ffoT biie aqueyntaufts was not comyn of newe 

Tbey were bise approuot^ris pryuyly 

He tok hjm self a profyt perhj 1344 

His maystyr knew not alwej wbat be wan 

Witb-outyn maundement a lewede man 

He coude somounne vp peyne of crystis cars 

And J^y were ful glad to fille bis purs 1348 

And made bym noble fostis at pe nale 

And ryjt as ludas badde purse smale 

And was a tbef iy3t swicb a tbef was be 

Hise mayster badde but balf bis duete 1352 

He was jif I scbal jeuyn bym bise lawede 

A tbef & ek a somenour & a baude 

He badde ek wenclus at bis retenew 

Tbat wheper syre Bobert oper syre Hewe 1 356 

Or lakke or Raf or wbo so pat it were 

Tbat lay by hem pej tolde it in bise ere 

Tbus was pe wencbe & be at on assent 

And be wolde fecbe a feynede mauTidement 1360 

And somoune bem to cbapitere bo]>e two omtm, tack] 

And pile pe man & lete pe wencbe go 

Tbanne wolde be sey frend I scbal for tbyn sake 

Don stryke pe out of oure letteris blake 1364 

CAMBRIDGE 206 (6-T. 878) 

Digitized by 



GBoup D. § 4 fbiab's tale. Cambridge MS. 207 

The thar no more as in ]>is cas irauayle 

I am thyn irend pere I pe may a-vayle 

Certeyn lie knew of brybeiyis mo 

Than possible is to telle in )&nB two 1368 

ffor in ])is world nys doge for fe bowe 

Than kan an hnrt der horn an hoi knowe 

Bet ])an pe somenour knew a sly lechonr 

Or anoutir or a paramonr 1372 

And for pat was po freut of al his rente 

Theifore he sette on it al hyse entente 

And so be-fel ]>at onys on a day 

This somenour enere waytyTsge on hyse pray 1376 

Wente for to somonmie a wedewe an old lybibe 

ffeynynge a cause for he wolde biybe 

And happede he saw by-fore hym ryde 

A gay jeman Tndir a forest syde 1380 

A bowe he bar & arwis bryjte & kene 

He hadde up-on a courfcepy of giene 

An hat Yp-on his hed with frengis blake 

Syre quod ]>e somenour wel a-take 1384 

Wolcome quod he & euery good felawe 

Wheper lydistow vndyr pia grene wode schawe 

Seyde piB jeman wilt pon fer to day 

This somenour answerde & seyde nay 1 388 

Here faste by is myn entente 

To rydyn & to reysyn vp a rente 

That longith on to m3rn lordis duete 

Art p<m Jeanne a baylyf / ye qi^ he 1392 

He duTste not for reray fylthe & schame 

Seye he was a somenour for pe name 

De-pardeus quod ph jeman leue hioper 

Thou art a balyf & I am A-noper 1396 

I am onknowyn as in ])i8 cuntre 

Of ihyn aqueyntau7?8 I wolde preye pe 

And ek of brotherhode jif that 30 w leste peaf 2so] 

I haue gold & siluyr in myn cheste 1 400 

CAMBKIDGB 307 (6-T. 874) 

Digitized by 



20d mofut >. I 4L friar's talb. Canibridge IDL 

jif pat je happyn to comyn in onxe scliyie 

Al schal be ry^t as je wele desyre 

Graont mercy quod pia somenotir be myn f<^[tih] 

Eueryche in operea hand bis troutke leyth 1404 

ffor to ben swoie br^eryn tyl fey deye 

In daliaimce pej ryde f ortb & pleye 

Tbis somenottT* pat was so fill of laogelyv 

As fnl of yenym ben ])ese variangelyB 4408 

And euere enquyrynge vp-on^ueiy tbyng 

Brotbir quod be wbeie is joute dweUyng 

A-noper day ^if pat I scbulde 30W seebe 

Tbis jeman bym answerede in softs speobe 1412 

Broper quod be for in i]>e nortb cuDtfe 

Wbere as I bope sumtyme I sobal ye se 

£r we departe I scbal ]>e l^o wel wiscbe 

Tbat of myn bous ne sbalt fau. neuere mysse 1416 

Now broker quod fe somenour I 30W pieye 

Tecbe me wbils Jwrt 30 ryde by J>e weye 

Byn pab 90 be a balyf ^is am I 

Sum subtilete & telle me feytbfully 1420 

In myn offys bow I may most wynne 

And spaiytb not for condence no for syntie 

But as myn hioper telle me bow do 30 

Now by myn troutbe broJd>" dere seyde b© 1424 

As I scbal telle ]>e a feytbful tale 

Mynne wagis been ful streyte & ful stnale 

Myn lord is bard to me & dawzgerous 

And myn ofi^s is ful laberous il438 

And periote by extorciounnys I leue 

ffor sotbe I take al ])at men wele me jetie 

Algate by sleyjte or by "Holence 

f&om 3er to jer I wynne al myn dispense <1432 

I can no betere telle feytbfully 

Now sertiB quod ]>is somenour so fare I 

I spare not to take god it wot 

But jif it be to beuy or to boot 1436 

CAHBRIDGB 208 (6-T. 876) 

Digitized by 



GBOiTP D. § 4 friab's taia CMiibridg^ KB. 209 

What I may gete i^ consejl prynyly o»^tB$,UA} 

Ko manere concience liane I 

Neie myn extordoun I myjte tiot lyne 

Ne of sweche lapifi I 'Krele not be fichieiie 1 440 

Stoinak no concience knowe H non 

I schiewe ^ese schr jft faderys enezychdii 

"Wei be we met by god & bjf seynt lame 

But lene hroper telle me jmnne fpi name 1444 

Qaod this aomenoni &m ]»is mene while 

This ^eman gan a lytyl fc/t U> smyle 

'Btoper quod lie wilt foa ^ I ']>e telle 

I am a fend 'myn dwellyng is in helle 1 446 

And here I lyde arl)onte m^Jm 'pnicbasyng 

To wete where men wolde ^ene me ony 4hyng 

Myn pmchas is pe effect of al ^yti rent^ 

Loke bow fan rydist for "pe same entente 1452 

To Wynne good pan leldat neneie how 

Byght so fare I for lyde wolde I now 

Vnto pe worldis ende for a prey© 

A quod pe somenonr benediste wblit s^e 1 456 

I wende )e were a jeman trowely 

)e hane a manys schap as wel as I 

H[a]ne 30 a figure Jeanne detetmynat 

In helle pere 30 ben in jouie estat 1460 

Nay serteyn quod he'^^re haue we non 

But whan ys lykyth Jeanne can we tadcyn on 

Or ^ make jow seme ^t we been schape 

Sumtyme lyk a mian or lyk an ap6 1 464 

Or lyk an aungel can I tydie or go 

It is no wondyr thyng ihow it be so 

A lousy iogelouT can dedeyue*^ 

And parde jit can I more craft piiin he 1468 

Whi quod pe somenour ride ;e ])aitne or gon 

In sundery schap & not alwey in on 

ffor we quod he wele ts swieh f oimys make 

As most able is oure prey fbr to take 1472 

CAMBUIDQE 209 (C-T. 876) 

Digitized by 



210 GBOUP D. § 4. fbiar's talb. Cambridge MS. 

What makytli 90W to haue al piB labour 

ffiil manje a cause leue sire Somenour 

Seyde ])is fend but alle thynge hath tyme 

The day is schort / & it is passede pryme 

And 3it ne wan I no thyng on this day 

I wele entende to wynnyng jif I may 

And noght entende oure wordis to declare 

ffor bro^ mjn thyn wit is al to bare 

To vndyrstonde al thow I tolde hem the 

But for fou axsyst why laboure we 

ffor Bumtyme we ben goddys instrumentis 

And meeuy[72] for to don hise comaundementis 

Whan fat hym lyste vp-on hyse creatuiys 

In dyuerse art & in dyuerse figurys 

With-outyn hyw we haue no my3t certeyn 

jif Jxzt him liste stande fere ageyn 

And Bumtyme at oure preyere han we leue 

Only ])e body but not pe soule to greue 

[Wytnesse on lob whom fat we • did woo 

And some tyme haue we myjt of bothe two] 

This is to seyne of soule & body ek 

And sumtyme be we sufferede for to sek 

Yp-on a man & don his soule onreste 

Noght his body & al is for fe beste 

Whan he withstandith oure temptacioun 

It is pe cause of his sauacioun 

Al be it pat it was not oure entente 

He schulde be saf but fat we wolde hym hente 

And sumtyme be we seruauntys vn-to man 

As to fe Erchebischop seynt Dunstan 

And to fe aposteli ek seruauaunt was I 

jit telle me quod fe sumnour feythfdlly 

Make je 30W newe bodyis yua alwey 

Of elementis / f e fend answerde nay 

Sumtyme we f eyne & sumtyme we areyse 

"With deede bodyis in f ul sundery wyse 

CAMBRIDGE 210 (6-T. 877) 

[leaf SSI] 










Digitized by 


378 8IZ-TBZT 

gboufD. §4 fbiar'stalb. Cambridge HS« 211 

And speke as lenable & & jre & wel 

Aato fe Phitonjssa dede Samuel 

And 3it w ele some men seyn it was nat 

I do no fore of jouie dynynyte 1512 

But thyng wame I )>e I wele not iape 

Thow wolt algatiB wete how we ben schape 

Thow schalt heie aftyward myn hioper dere D«af tsi, back] 

Come / where fe nedyth not of me to lere 1516 

ffor pan schat by thyn owene experyence 

Cunne in a chayer panne lede fia sente/ice 

Bet fan yiigilie whilis he w[a8] on lyne 

Or daunt also whils he was on lyue 1520 

ffor I wele holde cumpanye with ])e 

Til it be so ]»at fan f or-sake me 

N&y quod pQ somenour pat schal neuere be-tyde 

I am a ^eman knowyn is ful wyde 1524 

Myn trouthe wele I holde [topeaampia caas JJJjfJ^'SdS*' 

ffor J^ouje ])0U were pe BeueH Sathanas 

My tiou])e wolle I holde] myn leue bro])6r 

As I am sworn and eche of vs tyl oper 1528 

ffor to be trewe bro])^ in ])is cas 

And bo])e we gon a-boute oure purchas 

Take pon pjn part of pat men wele pe ^exxe 

And I schal myn ^us may we bo])e leue 1532 

And jif pat ony of vs haue more pan oper 

Let hym be trowe & parte it with his bro]>^r 

I graunte quod pe deuyl be myn fey 

And with pat word ^y zyde forth here wey 1536 

And ry^t at pe enterynge at pe tounnys ende 

To which ])is somenour schop hym for to weTide 

The[y] saw a carte pat chargede was with hey 

Which pat a Cartere drof ferth in J>e wey 1540 

Dep was pe weye for which ])i9 carte stod 

The cartere smot and cryede as he were wood 

Hayt sket hayt lyarad hat brok atonys 

The fbnd quod he 30W feche body & bonys 1544 

CAMBBIDGE 211 (6-T. 378) 

Digitized by 



212 QBOup B. 1 4. friab's tale, Cambridge MS. 

Ab feiforili as euere were 36 foljd 

So meche woo as I haue with 30W tholyd 

The deajl haue al boj^e hois & carte. & hey 

The somenour seyde here schul we haue a pley 1548 

And ner fe &ere he drow as noujt ne weret 

£Eiil pnuyly & rounnede in his eie 

Herke my» bioj^er herke be thy» f eith 

Heiyst ])ou nought how fe cartere seyth 1552 

Hende it aruon for he hath jouen it pe 

Bo^ hey & carte 4k ek his capiUis thie 

Nay quod fe deuyl neuere a del peaf a62] 

It is not his entente troste wel 1556 

Axe hym thyn self )if f<m not trostiste me 

Or ellis stynte a-while & poM schat se 

This carteie thakkyth liise hors yp-on ^e croupe 

And ^y be-gunne to drawe & to stoupe 1^60 

Hayt now quod he now Ihe^u cryst 30W bly^se 

And al hise hondwerk boj^e more & lesse 

That was wel twyjt myn owene lyaid boy 

I preye god saue l^e body & seynt loy 1564 

Now is myn carte out of the slow parde 

Lo hioper quod pe fend what tolde I the 

Heeie may je seen myn owene dere hioper 

The cherl spak on thyng & mente a-nofer 1568 

Lat YS gon forth a-boutyn oure viage 

Here wynne I no good vp-on caiyage 

Whan pat pej comyn sumwhat out of tounne 

This somenour to his broj^er gan to rounne 1572 

Brofcr quod he here wonyth an old rebekke 

That hadde almost as lef to lose his nekke 

As for to 3eue a peny of hire good 

I wele haue twelue penys thow sche be wood 1576 

Or I wele somounne hyre to oure o%s 

And 3it god wot can I no vys 

But for pan canyst not as in ])is euntre 

Wynne thyn cost take here ensaumple at me 1580 

CAMBBIDGE 212 (6-T. 879) 

Digitized by 


380 Bix-TBrr 

oboxtpD. §4 mAB'sTALB. C^nibriidge. 1C& 213 

This somenour elepith at ^ w edewis gate 
Come out quod he ^u olde vezye crate 
I tiowe JKm hast sum freie or piest with the 
Ho elepith fere sejde ^is widew benadicice 1584 

God sane ^ow ayie what is 301116 swete villa 
I haae quod he of BomoimDjB a biUe 
Vp peyne of cuisynge loke Jwt Jou he 
To morwe hy-foie ^ Eichedekenys kne 1588 

To answere to fe eoort of serteTn thy/^gis 
'Now lord quod ache Ihera kyng of kyngia 
So wyselj helpe me as I ne may 

I haae he sek & fat fdl manye a day 1592 

I may not goon quod sche so fer ne Tyde ciMffta^bMkj 

But I he ded so prykyth it in myn syde 
May I not axe a lihel syie somenour 
And answere ^ere hy myn procatour 1596 

To swich thyng as men wele oposyn me 
)is quod this somenour pay a-non lat se 
Twelne penys lat se & I wele fe aquyte 
I schal no profyit hane ferhj hut lyte 1600 

Myn maystir hath the profit & not I 
Come of & let me lydyn hastely 
jeue me twelve penys I may no lengere lette 
Twelue penys quod sche now lady seynte maiye 1604 
So wysely helpe me out of care & synne 
This wyde world J»ow jKit I schulde wynne 
Ke haue I not twelue penys wtt^-inne myn holld 
' je knowe wel pat I am pore & old 1608 

Eythe joure ahnesse on me pore wreehe 
Nay ^anne quod he pe fend me feche 
;if I ^ excuse th[o]w ^w schuldist he spylt 
Alias quod sche god wot I haue no gilt 1612 

Pay me quod he or he swete seynt anne 
As I wele here a-wey ^yn newe panne 
ffor dette whiche fan owist me of old 
Whan fat pan haddist pjn hushonde coukewold 161^ 

CAMBKIDOB 818 (6-T. 880) 

Digitized by 



214 OBOUP D. § 4. fbiar's tale. Cambridge MS. 

I payede at horn for ^jn coreccioun 
Thow lyxt quod sche be myn sauacyoim 
Ne wafi I nenere er no w edewe ne wj£ 
Somoonede on to 30uie court in al mpt lyf 1620 

Ne neuere I nas but of myn body trewe 
Vn-to J)e deuyl blak & row of hewe 
3eue I thyn body & myn panne also 
And whan fe deuyl berde bire curse so 1624 

Yp-on bire kneis scbe seyde on ])is manere 
Now mabelyn myn owene modir dere 
Is J»is 3oure wille in emest fat 30 seye 
The deuyl quod scbe so fecbe bym er be deye 1628 

And panne & al but be wele bym repente 
Nay olde stot J>at is not myn entente COg. ^2tstop»} 

[Quod pe Somnottr for to repent me [SioMie U85, i«^ia4] 

jBTor eny ^enge )»at I baue bade of ^e 1632 

I wolde I bade f i smok/ & euery clotbe 
Nowe Broker/ quod J>e DeuyH be not wrotbe 
Tby body and J>is panne ys myne by rijt 
Tbou sbalte wtt^ me to belle • jit to nyjt/ 1636 

)>ere fou sbalt/ knowe of/ oure pryuete 
More ]»tn a Maystre of/ Diuinite 
And -with ])at worde fe foule fende bym bent 
Body and soule wttA ])e fende went 1640 

Wbere ])at Somonours baue bir/ berytage 
And god pat made aftyr/ bys Image 
Man-kynde saue and gyde vs alle and somme 
And leue pia Somonour/ gode man by-come/. 1644 

Lordynges I coude a tolde you quod pe frere Ztttffiu, baekj 
Hade I bade leyser/ of tbys Somnour bere 
After/ l^e Tjxt/ Cryst poule & lobfi . 
And of other/ doctours many oil . 1648 

Suche peynes ^t youre bertes may a-giyse . 
Also by byt J>at no f enge may deuyse . 
Thou J»at I myjt/ a ])ousan<$ wynter/ telle . 
The peyne of ])ilke Cursed bouse of belle . 1652 

OAHBEiDOS 214 (6-T. 38i) [Tart, Sloane 1686] 

Digitized by 



GBoup D. § 4. friar's tale. Cambjidge MS. 215 

But for to kepe vs fro f&t cuised place [SImum 16M] 

Wakethe and preithe Ihesu. for his grace 

To kepe ys . fin) J^e Temptour/ Sathanas 

herken pia worde be ware in pia caas 1656 

The lyonn sit in his wayt alway 

To sle ^e Innocent yf fai he may 

Disposethe ay yonie hertes to withstonde 

^ fende J^at you wolde make ])rafi and bonde 1 660 

he may not tempten you ouere your myjt 

And Ciyst wM be youro Champioun and your knyjt 

And preythe fat fia Sompnour/ hym repent 

Of/ hys mysdede or fe fende hym hent 1664 

Here endethe fe ffireres tale 

18 CAMBRIDGE 216 (6-T. 882) [this page, Sloano 1686] 


Digitized by ^ 


216 GROUP D. 1 5. FRiABrfioiuioNER LINK. Cambridge MS. 

[Harl MS 1758, leaf 106, back.] 
[Here begynneth tbe Prolog/ of tbe SomAour/. 

THis Somnour/ in his stirop hye stood . 
Vp-on this f&eie his herte was so wood . 
That like an Aspen leef he quoke fbr yre . 
Lordyngis quod he but oo thyng< I desire . 1668 
I you beseke that of your/ curtesie • 
Sethyns ye ban herd this fals fi&ere lye . 
As sufi&eth me I maye a tale telle . [/rvioTi 

This £&ere bosteth that he knoweth belle . 1672 

And god woot that it is liteH wondir/. 
ffreres & fendes ben but liteH a sondir/. 
ffor parde ye ban ofte tyme herd telle . 
how that a ffrere rauysched was in ^ to belle . D io<f <» aaivtej 
In spirit onys by a yisioun . 
And as an angeH lad hym vp & doun. 
To schewyn hym the peynes that ther/ were . 
In aH the place sawe he not a ffireie . 1680 

Of other/ folke he sawe y-now in woo . 
Yn-to this angeH spake the f&ere tho . 
Now sir/ quod he ban f&eres suche grace . 
That non of hem schaH come to this place . 1684 

Yes quod this angeH manye a mylioun . 
And yn-to Sathanas he lad hym a-doun . 
And now hath Sathanas saith he a taile . 
Eradder/ then of the Carik is the saile . 1688 

Holde yp thyn taile Sathanas quod he . 
Schewe forth thyne ers & lete the f&ere se . 
Where is the neste of ffreres in this place . 
And er/ that half/ a forlong/ wey of space . 1692 

CAUBBIOQ£ 816 (6-T. 388) [this page, Had. 1758] 

Digitized by 



GROUP D. §5. FftiARrSUMHONER LINK. Cambridge MS. 217 

Eight so as Bees swermen out of an hyue . rHuL 17<8] 

Out/ of the deuylles era thei gon dryue . 

.XX? thousande ffreris on a route . 

And thoTow-out helle swarmed aH a-boute . 1696 

And camen a-jen as &st/ as tbei may gone . 

And in his era thei crepedyn euerichone . 

He clapt/ his tale a-yen & laye stiH . 

This flfrere when he lokid had his fiH . 1700 

Vp-on this tormentis of this sory place . 

his spirit god restorid of his grace . 

Vn-to his bodye a-yen & he a-woke . 

But natheles for fere yet he quoke . 1704 

So was the deuelis ara ay in his mynde . 

That is his heritage of verrey kynde . 

God saue you alle saue this curaid flOrero . 

Mi Prolog* wdi I ende in this manere . 1708 

Here endith the Prolog/ 

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218 GROUP D. § 6. summoneb's tale. Cambridge MS. 

[Harl MS 1758, on leaf 106, hack] 

and begynnefh fhe Tale . 

Ordyngis tlier/ is in york schire as I gesse . 

A merschy contre called holdemesse . 

In whiche ther/ wente a lymytour/ arboute . 

To preche & eek/ to begge it ia no doute, 1712 

And so bifeH that on a daye this fi&ere . 

had preched at chirche in this manere . 

And specially a-bouyn euery thyng* . 

Excited he the peple in his prechyng* . 1716 

To trentalis & to yeue for goddis sake . u«qr w, do**] 

■Wher/-with men myghte holi housis/ make . 
Ther/ as denyne serayse is honoured . 
Nought ther/ as it is wasted & deuoured. 1720 

Ne there it nedith not for to be yeue . 
As to possessioners that may ellis lyue . 
Thanked ^be god in wele & habundaunce . 2r^*<S[?o3j ""' 
Trentales seide he delyuerith fro penaunce. 1724 

Here frendes soules as well: olde as jong* . 
y ef* that thei ben hastely song* . 
Nought for to holde a preest ioly & gay . 
he syngeth not but oo messe in a day. 1728 

Delyuerith out/ a man quod he the soulis . 
ffuH hard it is with fleschehoke or with oulis . 
Now spede you hastely for cristes sake . 1 732 

To kepe you fro peynes of fendis blake . 1 731 

And whan the filrere had seide alle his entente . 
With Qui cum patre forth he wente . 
When folke in chirche had yeue hym what hem lest . 
he wente his way no lenger/ wolde he rest . 1736 

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6B0UP D. § 6. smoffONSB's TALE. Cambridge MS. 219 

With Bcrippe & tipped staf tucked fufi lije . [HmL 1768] 

In eneiy hoafi lie gan to pore & prye . 

And beggeth mele or chese or ellis com • 

his felalawe had a staf tipped with horn . 1740 

A peire of/ tablis of ynory . 

And a poynt^ polched fetisly . 

And wrot/ alweye the names thera he stood . 

Of alle folke that yaf hym any good . 1744 

As-caunce as he wolde for hem preie . 

Yene ys a bnsch^ whete malt/ or reie .] [HmI extract eiuU] 

A godis kechil or a trip of chese (JiBOg,^vr, leqfiSR^ 

Or elHs what 30W lyste we may not chese 1 748 

A godis halpeny or a masse pany 

Or jene ys of ^oure braun jif 30 han any 

A dagoun of jonre blanket leue dame 

Onie sistyr dere lo here I wryte ^ot^re name 1752 

Bacoun or bef or swich |>yng as ^e fynde 

A sturdy harlot wente hem ay by-hynde 

That was here ostys man & bar a sak 

And what men ^oue hem leyde it on his bak 1756 

And whan he was out at ])e dore a-non 

He planede a-wey J>e namys euerychon 

That he be-fore hadde wrytyn in hyse tablis 

He servede hem with nyflys & wyth fablys 1760 

'Nay fere fern lext pOM somenour quod fe frere 

Pes quod oure ost for crtstis modyr dere 

Telle forth joure tale & spare it not at al 

So thryue I quod the somenour so I schal 1764 

So longe he wente hous be hous tyl he 

Cam to an hous fere he was wone to be 

Befresched more fan in an hunderede placis 

Sek lay ])e goode man whos ye place is 1768 

Bedrede vp-on a couche lowe he lay 

Deus hie quod he O tomays frend good day 

Seyde |)is &ere curteysly & softe 

Thomas quod he god 3elde 30W ful ofte 1772 

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220 GROUP D. § 6. bumxonbb'8 tale. Cambridge MS. 

Haue I yp-on fla h&achQ fare tol wel 

Here haue I ete ful manje a rnvsje mel 

And &o ^Q bencli he diof awoy ^ cat 

And leyde ardoun his potente & his hat 1776 

And ek his scryppe & sette hjn^ softe adoun 

His felawe was go walkede in fe toon 

fforth with his knawe vn-to fat osteliye 

Where as he schop hym ye ilke nyjt to lye 1780 

dere maystir quod (is syke man 

How haue je &xe sythe fat Maich be-gan 

1 saw 30W not (is fourteny^ or more 

God wot quod he laboured haue I ful sore 1784 

And sp[e]cially for thyn saluacioun ci««r«sft,teekj 

Haue I seyd manye a precious orisouA 

And for oure o(ere &endis god hem blysse 

I haue to day been at joure eherche at inesse 1788 

And seyd a sarmoun aftyr myn symple wit 

Nat al aftyr J>e text of holy wret 

£for it is hard to jow as I suppose 

And (arfore wele I telle 30W al fe glose 1792 

Glosyng is a glorious thyng serteyn 

ffor lettere sleth as we clerkis seyn 

There haue I tau3t hem to be chaiytable 

And spende here good pere it is resonable 1796 

And (ere I saw oure dame a where is sche 

5ond in (e jerd I trowe (at sche be 

Seyde (is man & sche wele come a-non 

£y maystir welcome be ^e by seynt John 1800 

Seyde (is wif how fare je hertely 

This frere arysith vp ful curteysly 

And hire enbraseth in hise armys narwe 

And kysseth hire swete / & chirketh as a sparwe 1804 

With his lippls dame quod he ryjt wel 

As he (at is ^oure seruaunt euerydel 

Thankede be god (at 30W jaf soule & lyf 

jit saw I not (is day so fayr a wyf 1808 

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oboupD« §6. buhmoner'stalb. Cambridge MS, 221 

In al ]»6 cherche god so sane me 

3a god amende ]>e fautis sere quod sche 

Algatis wolcome je by myn fey 

Graunt merci dame ]>is bane I founde alwey 1812 

But of jonre grete goodnesse by ^oure leue 

I wolde preye 30W fat je nat 30W greve 

I wele witb Thomas speke a lytyl throwe 

These curatis been ful neglygent & slowe 181G 

To grope tenderely a concience 

In schrifte in prechynge is myn diligence 

And stodie in peteris wordis & in Ponlis 

I walke to fyche cristene menys soulys 1820 

To ^ilde Ihera crist / hise propere le&te 

To spiede his word is set al myn entente 

Now by )onie lene o deere maystyr quod sche [imttsg) 

Schidith hyifi wel for seynte trynyte 1824 

He is as angery as a pissemyre 

Thow that he haue al pat he can deeyre 

Thow I hywi wiye a nyjt & make hym warm 

And oner hym leye myn leg oper myn arm 1828 

He gronyth lik oure bor lyth in oure sty 

Oper disport ryjt non of hym haue I 

I may not plese hym in no manere cas 

Thomas le vous dy Thomas Thomaa 1832 
This makyth pe feen^' ]hs mnete ben armendit Pd: fo^] 
Ire is a thyng pat Ingbe god defendit 

And per&l wele I speke a word or two 

Now maystir quod fe wyf er J>an I go 1836 

What wele je dyne I wele go pere aboute 

Now dame quod he le vous dy sanz doute 

Haue I nat of a capoun but pe lyuere 

And of 3ouie sofbe bred but a scheuere 1840 

And aftyr pat a rostede pigis bed 

But pat I nolde no beste for me were ded 

Thanne hadde I with 30W homely suffysaunce 

1 am a man of lytyl sustenaunce 1844 

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222 GBovp D. § 6. bummon^b's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Myn spirit hath his fosierynge in pe bihle 

The bodi is ay so redy & penible 

To wake fat myn stomak is distroyed 

I prey jow dame ^e be nat a-noyed 1848 

Thow I so frendely jow mjh coTiseyl schewe 

By god I nolde nat telle it but a fewe 

Now syie qnod sche but on word er I go 

Myn child is deed with-inne these woukis too 1852 

Sone aftyr fat ^e wentyn out of piB toun 

His deth saw I be leuelacioun 

Seyde pia fi^re at hom in ouie dortour 

I dar wel seyn pat er pat half an our 1856 

Aftyr his deth I saw hjM bore to blysse 

In myn auysioun god so me wisse 

So dede oure sexteyn & oure fermorer 

That haw ben trewe fierys fifty jer 1860 

They may now god be thanked of his lone omT ns^iMcki 

Makyn here lubyle & walkyn a-lone 

And vp I ros & al oure couent ek 

With manye a tare tiynkelynge on myn cheke 1864 

With-outyn noyse or claterynge of bellis 

Te deum was oure song & no thyng ellis 

Saue pat to ciyst I seyde an orysouw 

Ihankynge hym of myn reuelacioun 1868 

£for sere & dame trostith to me wel 

Oure orisounys ben more effectuel 

And more we sen of secre thywgis 

Than burel folk al J)ow pej were kyngis 1872 

"We lyue in pouert & in abstinence 

And burel folk in rychesse & dispence 

In mete & drynk & in here foule delyt 

We han pi& wordeHs lust al in dispit 1876 

Lajar & dyuers leuedyn dyueis lyf 

And dyuers gerdoun haddyn fey ferby 

Ho so wele preye / hym muste faste & be clene 

And fattyn his soule & make his body leene 1880 

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GBoup D. § 6. summoneb'b tale. Cambridge MS. 223 

We £Eurjn as seyth fe appostele cloth Ss fode 

Suffysetb vs / f ow fey been not ful goode 

The clenneese & pe fastynge of vs frerys 

Makyth pat cryst / acceptyth oure preyerys 1884 

Lo moyses forty dayis & forty ny3t 

fiDsLstid er pat pe hyghe god of my3t 

Spak with hym in pe mount of synay 

With emty womhe / fasty?ige manye a day 1888 

Besseyuede he pe lawe pat was wietyn 

With godis fyngir & elye wolde wetyn 

In Mount oreb er he hadde any speche 

With bye god pat is oure lynys leche 1892 

He fastede longe & was in contemplaunce 

Aaron pat hadde pe temple in gouemaunce 

And ek pe opere postellis euerychon 

In-to pe temple whan pej schulde gon 1896 

To preye for pe peple & do semyse 

The[y] nolde drynke in no manere wyse 

No diynk whiche pat my^te hem dronke make Deaf sst] 

But pere in abstinence preye & wake 1900 

Lest pat pej dey^dyn tak hede what I seye C'y: later^ 

But pej ben sobere fat for pe puple preye 

War pat I seye no more for it suifyseth 

Oure lord Thesn as holy wryt deuyseth 1904 

jaf vs ensaumple of fastynge & preyerys 

Theie-fore we mendynauntis we frerys 

[Ben weddid to pouerf & contynence . CHarLXS 1758, iM^fiw, back! 

To charite humblenesse Ss pacience . 1908 

To persecucion for rigbtwisnesse . 

To wepjrng/ mysericord & clennesse . 

And therfore maye ye se that our/ praieres . 

I speke of vs we mendenauntis we f&crcs.] tBMA,extrace tiopa^ 

Been to pe bye god more acceptable 

Than joure is / with ^oure festis at pe table 

ffrom paradys fyrst jif I schal nat lye 

Was man out chased for his glotenye 1916 

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224 QBOUP D. § 6. summoneb's tale. Cambridge X8. 

And cbaast was man in parad js serteyn 

But herke now thomas what I achal seyn 

I ne haue of it no text as I suppose 

But I schal fynde it in a-no^er glose 1920 

That specyally oure swete lord Ih^<ra8 

Spak yiB be freris whan he seyde pua 

Bljssede ben yej J>at poore in spiryt been 

And so forth al ]>e gospel may ^e sen 1924 

Whefer it be lykere oure profescioun 

Or hire pat swemyn in possessions 

Sy on hire pompe & on here gletenye 

And for here lewedenesse I hem defye 192d 

Me thynkyth }>ey been lyk to louynyan 

iFat as a whal & walkynge as a swan 

Al yinolent as hotel in fe spefice 

Hire preyere is of ful gret reuerence 1932 

Whan ^ey for soulis seyn fe salme of dauith 

Lo buf fey seye / cor meum erouctauyth 

Ho folwyth cristis gospel & bise fote 

But we pat vmble ben Ss chaste & poore 1936 

Werkeris of godis word not audytouiys 

Therfore ry^t as an hauk lyjt at a sourys 

Vp spryngith in J>e eyre ryjt so preyerys 

Of charytable & chaste besy fi»rys 1940 

Makyn here sours to goddys erys two 

Thomas Thomas so mote I ryde or go 

And by ])e lord fat clepid is seynt lue D^f ss7, Uek] 

Nere povi oure hroper schudist )»au not tlajma 1944 

In oure chapitre preye we day & ny3t 

To cryst fat he pe sends hele & my^t 

Thyn body for to wendyn hastyly 

God wot perof nothyng perot fele I 1948 

So helpe me cnst as in a fewe jcrys 

I haue spendit vp-on dyucrs maner frerys 

fiFul manye a pound 3it fare I neuere pe bet 

Certeyn myn good haue I almost be-set 1952 

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GBOUF S, § 6. suhvoneb's talb. Cambridge KS« 225 

fifarwel myn good for it is al a go 

The frere answerde O thomos dost pon so 

What nedyth jow dyners frerys seche 

What nedyth hym fat hath a parfit leche 1956 

To sechyw o^ere lechis in J>e toun 

Joure inconstauwce is ^oure cowfusiouw 

Holde 3e p&nne me or eilis oure couent 

To preye for 30W hen ensufficient 1960 

Thomas ^t Tape nys nat worth a myte 

3oure malady is for )e han to lyte 

A ^if ]»at couent half a quarter otys 

And 3if }at couent foure & twenty grotis 1964 

And jif pat here a peny & lat hym go 

Nay nay Thomas It^ may no thyng be so Dts lattr] 

What is a ferthy[7i]g worth partid on twelve 

Lo echo thyng pai is onyd in hym selue 1968 

Is more strong paxL whan it is to^kateryd 

Thomas of me f<m schalt not^ ben I-flatered Pnot: uiter^ 

Thow woldyst han oure labour al for noujt 

The hie god pat al pia world hath wrou3t 1972 

Seyth ^t pe werke man worthy is his hyre 

Thomas noght of joure tresore I desyre 

As for myn self but pat al oure couent 

To preye for 30 w is ay so diligent 1976 

And for to bildyn cristis owene chyrche 

Thomas 3if 30 wele leme for to werche 

Of bildyng vp of cherchis may 30 fynde 

Jif it be good in Thomas lyf of ynde 1 980 

3e lye here ful of anguyssch & of yre [leaf 2S8} 

With wych pe deuyl set 30ure hette a-fyre 

And chidy» here f is sely innosent 

3oure wif pat is so meeke & pacient 1984 

And f crfore Thomas trowe me if p^ lest 

Ne stryne nat with pjn wif as for pe best 

And here pia word a-woy now be fyn feyth 

Touchynge swich thyng lo as pe wyse seyth 1988 

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226 GBoup D. § 6. buhhoneb's talb. Cambridge MS. 

"With-iime fjn houa ne be }>ou no lyoan 

To f ynne snbiectis do non oppressioun 

Ke make fjnne aquentauncis not to fle 

And Thomas jit eff sonys I charge ]>e 1992 

By-war from hire fat in pjn bosnm slepith 

By-war from pe serpent fat so slyly crepith 

Vndyr ]»e gres & styngith subtyly 

By-war myn sone & herke pacieutly 1996 

That twenty thousent men ban lost here lyuys 

flfor stryuyng with here lemanys & here wyuys 

Kow sithe je ban so holy meke a wyf 

What nedyth 30W Thomas to makyn stryf 2000 

There is I wis no serpent so crewel 

Wha7» man trat on his tayl ne half so fel 

As woman is whan sche hath caujt an yre 

Yeniaimce is panne el pat fey desyre 2004 

Ire is a synne on of pe gretteste of synnys 

Abomynable vnto pe god of heuene 

And to hjm self it is distruxcioun 

This euery lewede veker or parsoun 2008 

Kan seen how yre engenderyth homysyde 

Ire is in soth executour of pryde 

I conde of Ire sey so meche sorwe 

Myn tale schulde laste tyl to morwe 201 2 

And f arfore preye I god bof e day & nyjt 

An yrous man god sende hym lityl myjt 

It is gret harm & ek greet pete 

To sette an yrous man in heigh degre 201 6 

^ "Whylom pere was an yrous potestat or an iroiupotetut/ 

As seyth Senek pat durynge his estat 

Vp-on a day out rydyn knyjtis too De^ ms, i»ck] 

And as fortune wolde pat it were so 2020 

That on of hem cam bom pat oper noujt 

A-non pe knyjt by-fore pe luge is broujt 

That seyde J>us pou hast pjn felawe slayn 

fTor which I deme pe to pe deth sertayn 2024 

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394 8IX-TBXT 

GROUP D. § 6. bummoneb's tale. Cambridge M9. 227 

And to SL-nofer laiy^t coinaundede he 

Go lede hjm to j>e deth I charge ]>e 

And happid as fey wente hy Je weye 

Toward fe place }ere he schulde deye 2028 

The knyjt cam which men wende he hadde he ded 

Thanne thou^te ]>ey it was ]>e beste red 

To leede hem boJ?e to fe luge argeyn 

They aeyde loid pe knyght ne hath not slayn . 2032 

His felawe here he stondyth hoi a-loone 

3e schul ben ded a-noon so mote I gone 

That is to seyne bo]>e on & too & thre 

And to pe feiste kny3t ])us spak he 2036 

I dampnede pe pn muste algatis be ded 

And povi {dso mnste nedys lese pjn hed 

ffor povi art canse whi thy» felawe deyeth 

And to J)e thredde kny3t ry3t J>us he seyeth 2040 

Thow hast not don pat I comaundede po 

And pus he dede hem slen alio thre 

Irons Cambises was ek dronkelewe 

And ay delitede hym to ben a schrewe 2044 

And 80 be-fel a lord of hid meyne 

That louede yerteuos moralite 

Seyde on a day be-twixe hem ryjt pua 

A lord is lost jif he be vicious 2048 

And dronkenes is ek a foul record 

In any man Ss namely in a lord 

There is ful manye an ye <& manye an ere 

A-wajrtynge on a lord & he not where 2052 

fPor godys loue drynk more a-temperelly 

Wyn makyth man to lesyn wrechedely 

His mynde & hyse lymys euerychon 

The reuers schal ]k)u sen & pat a-non 2056 

And prove it by thyn owene experyence pear sso] 

That wyn ne doth to folk non swich offence 

There is no wyn be-reuyth me myn my3t 

Of hond ne foot ne of myn eye syjt 2060 

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228 OBOUP D. § 6. bummoneb's talb. Cambridge MS. 

And for despit lie drank mekyl ]>e more 

An hunderede part ih&n he hadde don by-fore 

And ry3t a-non ]>i8 yrous cursede wrecbe 

Leet pis laaj^t sone by-fore hym fecbe 2064 

Comaundynge hym be scbulde by-fore hym stonde 

And Bodeynly he tok his bowe on honde 

And yp fe stryng he pullede to hyse ere 

And with a^ arwe he slow pe child ry3t Jpero 2068 

Now whej)er haue I sekyr hand or non 

Quod he is al myn my^t & mynde a-gon 

Hath wyn be-reuyd me myn eyen syth 

What scbulde I telle fe answere of pe kny^t 2072 

His sone was slaye pere is no more to seye 

Beth war f crfore with lordys how je pleye 

Syng placebo & I schal ^if i can 

But jif it be vnto a pore man 2076 

To a pore man men scbulde his vicis telle 

But not to a lord ]>ow he scbulde go to hclle 

Lo yrous Cyrus thilke percyen 

How he distroyed f e Ryuer of Gyseen 2080 

ffor pat an hors of his was drenkt ]>erinne 

Whan pat he wente babylonye to wynne 

He made pat pe ryuer was so smal 

That wemen myghte wade it oueral 2084 

Lo what seyde he pat so wel teche can 

Ne be no felawe to an yrous man 

Ne wyth no wood man walke by pe weye 

Lest J)e repente I wele no fetpere seye 2088 

Now thomos leue broker lef thyn yre 

Th[o]u schalt me fynde as lust as is a squre 

Hold not pe deuyll knyf ay at pj7i herte 

Thyn angyr doth pe al to sore smerte 2093 

But schewe to me al thyn confescioun 

Nay quod pe syke man by seynt symoun 

I haue be schryue this day at myn curat peafttg^bM*] 

I haue hym told al holy myn estat 2096 

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oBoup D. § 6k BUMHONEB*s TALE. Cambridge MS* 229 

Kedith it no more to speke of it seyth he 

But jif me lyste of myn humylite 

3if me of 3ore gold to make ouro cloystere 

Quod he for manye a muskele & manye an oystere 2100 

Whan oJ>ere men han ben ful weel at eyse 

Hath ben ouie fode oure Cloystere for to reyse 

And ^it god wot one])e ]ye fondement 

Parformed is ne of oure pauuement 2104 

"Nia not a tyl 3it with-inne oure wonys 

By god we owyn fourty pound for stonys 

Now help tomays for hym fat harwede helle 

Or ellis muste we oure bokys selle 2108 

And ^if 30W lakke oure predicacioun 

Thanne goth pe world al to distruccioun 

fFor ho so from f is world wolde vs be-reue 

So god me saue thomas be ^oure leue 2112 

He wolde be-reue out of J>is world J)e sunne 

flfor who can teche & werke as we cunne 

And pat is not of lytyme quod he 

But sithe ]>at elye was or elyse 2116 

Han frerys ben pat fynde I of record 

In charyte thankede be oure lord 

Now Thomas help for seynte charyte 

And doun Sruon he sette hym on his kne 21 20 

This syke man wex ny wood for yre 

He wolde pat pe frere hadde bee a-fyre 

With his false dissymylacioun 

Swych thyng as is in myn possessioun 2124 

Quod he may I jeuyw & non oper 

3e sey me piB how pat I am joure bro])er 

3a certis quod pe frere trostyth wel 

I tok oure dame oure lettere with oure sel 2128 

Now wel quod he & sumwhat schal I jeue 

On to joure holy couent whil I leue 

And in pjn hand povi schalt it hald a-non 

On })is condicioun & o]>67-e non 2132 

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230 GROUP D. § e. buhmoner's TALK Cambridge MS. 

That poM de-parte it so my derere hroper [>«f moj 

Tliat euery frere haue as meche as oper 

This schalt fan swere on pyn professiouw 

With-oute fraude or cauelacyouw 2136 

I swere it quod J>e firere vp-on mjn feith 

And ]>erwithal his hand in his he leith 

Lo here myn feyth in me schal ben no lak 

Kow put J>awne J)yn hand doure by myw bak 2140 

Seyde Jis man & grope wel by-hynde 

Be-nethe myn buttok pere schat J>[o]u fynde 

A thyng fat I haue hid in pryuyte 

A thoute pis frere pat schal gon with me 2144 

And doun his hand he lau[n]chith to pe clyfte 

In hope for to fynde pere a ^ifte 

And whan pia syke man felte ]>is frere 

Aboute his tewel grope fere & here 2148 

A*myd his hand he let pe frere a fart 

There nys no capil drawywge in a cart 

That my3t a lete a £Eu*t of swych a soun 

The firere vp-stirte as doth a wood lyouw 2152 

A false cherl he seyde for godys bonys 

This hast pon for dispit don for pe nonys 

J)ow shalt a-beye fis fart jif pat I may 

His meyne pat herdyn fis a-fray 2166 

Come lepynge in & cachede out pe fcere 

And forth he goth with a ful angery chere 

And fette hese felawe pere as haddo his stor 

Ho lokede as it were a wylde boor 2160 

He grynt with his teth so was he wroth 

A sturdy pas doun to pe court he goth 

Where as pere wonede a man of greet honour 

To whom pat he was alwey confessour 2164 

This worthi man was lord of pat village 

This frere cam as he were in a rage 

Where as J^is lord sit etynge at his bord 

0-neJ>e my3te pe frere speke a word 2168 

CAMBRIDGE 330 (6-T. S97> 

Digitized by 



oBoup D. § e. buhiconer's tale. Cambridge KS. 231 

Tyl at pe laste he seyde god 30W se 

This lord gan to loke & seyde benedicite 

What frere Ihli what maner world is Jis Deaf mo, uck] 

I se wel ^t sumthyng fere is a-mys 2172 

36 loke as thow pe wode were fal of thewys 

Sit doun a-non & telle vs what joure gref is 

And it schal ben a-mendyt If I may 

I haue quod he had a dispit to day 21 76 

God jilde 30W a-doun in joure village 

That in pia world nys non so poure a page 

That he nolde haue abomynaciouTi 

Of pat I hare resseyuyd in 3oure tonn 2180 

And 3it me greuyth me no ^yng so sore 

As pat })is olde cherl with lokys hore 

Blasfemyd hath oure holy couent ek 

Now maystir quod pe lord I jow be-sek 2184 

No maystyr quod he sire but seruytour 

Thow I haue had in scole pat honour 

God lykyth not pat rabi men vs calle 

Nejper in market nyn in ^oure large halle 2188 

No fors quod he but telle me al ^oure gref 

Syie quod f is frere an odyous myschef 

piB day is betid to myn ordere & me 

And so par concequens to eche degre 2192 

Of holy cherche god a-mende it sone 

Syre quod pe lord je wete what is to done 

Distemperyth 30W not je ben myn confessour 

je ben pe salt of pe cherche & pe sauour 2196 

ffor godys loue joure pacience je holde 

Telle me 3oure gref & he anon hym tolde 

As je han herd be-fore je wete wel what 

Te lady of pe hous ay stille sat 2200 

Til sche hadde herd what pe frere seyde 

Ey godis modyr quod sche blysful mayde 

Ii« pere not elle telle me feythfully 

Madame quod he how lykyth jow herby 2204 

19 CAMBRIDGE 231 (6-T. 898) 

Digitized by 


399 8IX-TBXT 

232 GROUP D. § 6. sxtmmoner's tale. Cambridge KS. 

How fat me thy?ikyth quod sche so god me speede 

I seye a cherl ha.f don a cherlis dede 

What sclinlde I seye god lete hyw n&uere the 

His syke bed is ful of vanyte 2208 

I holde hjm in a manere of frenesye DeafSii] 

Madame by god I scbal not lye 

But I on ofer wbise may ben wreke 

I scbal de-fame hym ouyral pere I spcke 2212 

Tbis false blasfemour pat cbargede me 

To departe pat wele not departede be 

Wbat eueiy man I-lycbe mecbe with myscbauwce 

The lord sat stylle as be were in a trance 2216 

And in bis berte be rollede yp & doun 

How badde pla cberl pia ymaginaciou;2 

To scbewe J)is probleme to a frere 

Neuere erst er now berde I of swycb matere 2220 

I trowe J>e deuyl put it in bis mynde 

In arsmatryk coude pare no man fynde 

By-fom pia day swicb a questyoun 

Wbo scbulde mak a demonstracioun 2224 

Tbat euery man scbul baue I-lycbe bise part 

As of pe soun or sonour of a fart 

nyse proude cberl I-scbrewe bis face 

Lo serys qiiod pe lord witb barde grace 2228 

Ho berde euere of swicb a tbyng er now 

To euery man I-like telle me bowe 

It is an inpossible it may not be 

Ey nyce cberl god lete bym neuere the 2232 

Tbe rumbelyng of a fart & euery soun 

Nys bot of eyr reuerberacioun 

And cuere it wastitb lyte & lyte awey 

pere is no man can deme be myn fey 2236 

J if pat it were departid equally 

Wbat lo myn cberl lo bow scbrewedely 

Vp to my« confessour to day be spak 

1 bolde bym certaynly demonyak 2240 

CAMBRIDGE 232 (6-T. S90) 

Digitized by 



GROUP D. § 6. bumhoxer's tale. Cambridge MS. 233 

Now ete ^onre mete & lete pQ cherl go pleye 
Let hjm gon hangyn him selue a deuele wey 

[77ie Solution of the ^'Frohleme " fry the LortTa Sguire- 
andr Carver. No break in the MS."] 

Now stod J>e lordys squyer at }>e bord 

That karf his mete & herde word be word 2244 

Of alle thynge whiche I haue 30W sayd 

Myn lord quod he be 30 not euele a-payd . 

I coude telle for a goune cloth pear mi, inwIc] 

To jow sere frere be so 30 ben not wroth 2248 

How ]>at ])i8 fart schulde euene delid be 

A-mong joure couent jif it lyke me 

Telle quod ^ lord & Jtou schat haue a-non 

A gounne cloth by god & be seynt lohn 2252 

Myn lord quod he whan pat ])e wedir is fayr 

"With-oute wynd or pa/turbywge of eyr 

Lat brynge a carte whel here / in to ]>is halle 

But loke pai it haue hyse spokys alle 2256 

Twelue spokys hath a carte whel trowe I 

And brynge me f anne twelve frerys wet je why 

ffor trettene is a couent as I gesse 

The confessour here for his worthyncsse 2260 

Schal parforme yp ])e nombre of his couent 

Thanne schul ])ey knele don be on asent 

And to euery spokys ende in his manere 

ITul sadly leye his nose schal a frere 2264 

^oure nobele confessour ]>ere god hym saue 

Schal holde his nose ypryght vndyr ]>e naue 

Thanne schal \\a cherl yri\h bely steme & stout 

As ony tabour ben hedyr brought out^ C out: uuerl 

And sette hym on ]?e whil ryjt off ^is carte 2269 

Yp-on })e naue & make hym lete a farte 

And je schuln seen vp peryl of myn lyf 

By pref which \ai is demo[n]stratyf 2272 

CAMBRIDGE 233 (6-T. 400) 

Digitized by 



234 GROUP D. § 6. suMMONER^s TALE. Cambridge 

That equally pe soun of it wele vende 

And ek ]>e stynk vnto ]>e spokys ende 

Saue pat J>i8 worthy man pis confessour 

By cause he is a man of gret honour 2276 

Schal ha» ]>e ferste fieut as worthy is 

And as ]>e nobele Ysage ^it of freiys is 

The worthy men of he7n schul ferst be servid 

And serteynly he hath it wel deseruyd 2280 

He hath to day tau3t vs so meche good 

With prechywge in J>e pulpit fere he stod 

That I may vouche saf I sey for ^e 2283 

He hadde ]>e ferste smel of fartys thre [Ot. l f7 stops} 

[And so wolde aH/ his/ couent/ hardeli . CEuLnfiS. Uqfiu, badk} 

He berith hym so faire & holili . 

The Lorde the Ladie & enerj man saf* the f&ero . 

Seiden that/ lankyn spak/ weH in this/ matere . 2288 

As/ weH/ as/ Ouyde or Ptholome . 

Touchyng/ the cherle thei seide that/ subtilite . 

And hye witte made hym speke as/ he spak/. 

He is/ no fodi/ ne no demonyak/. 2292 

And lankyn hath wonne a newe gowne . 

Mi tale is/ done we ben almost* at/ towne . 

Here/ endiih the/ Sompnonrs/ tale/.] [Hwi. nsa ejctraet em<u2 

CAMBRIDGE 234 (6-T. 40l) 


Digitized by ^ 

(Tf, H 



[£«■«« til awl MS (ptntaMma ti4 CttrVt Btot-IMe, Ot pabtttnff i^ktm, 


[SlMiia 1685, let^ 
129, back} 

[Here begTimeJ'e )>e Prologe of/ ]>e Clerk/ of* Ozenford 

[/^ir Clerk/ of Oxenford oure Oste sayd 

Ye ride as stylle as Coy as doihe a mayde 
Weie newe spoused sittynge at ]>e borde 

jds day ne herd/ I of youre mouthe a worde 4 

I tiowe ^t je study a-boute some sophyme 

Bat salamon saithe alle ]>eiige hathe tyme 

ffoT goddes sake bethe of better/ cbere 

hit ys no tyme nowe to study bere 8 

Telle YS som mery tale by your fay 

ffor what man ys entred in to a play 

he nedes mote into ]}at play assent 

But precheth not as freres done in lent 12 

To make us for oure olde synnes to wepe 

Ke ^at ^i Tale ne make vs not to slepe 

Telle YS some mery ]>enge of auentures 

joure termes youi' figoures and youi' coloures 16 

kepe hem in store tyl so be je hem endite 

hie^e style as when men to kynges wiyte 

Spekethe so playne at ^is tyme I you pray rta<riso] 

)mt WQ may Yndirstonde what je say 20 

This worjd Clerke benyngely Ynswared 

Oste quod he I am vnder your/ jerde 

)e haue as nowe of ys ]>e (xouemaunce 

And )>erfore wolle I do ^owe now obeysaunce 24 

20 CAMBRIDGE 885 (6-T. 408) [this page, SloailC 1686] 

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OBoup E. § 1. clerk's head-link. Cambridge MS. 

As fer as reson askethe hardely [BIimum lesc, on Zmi/'iso] 

I wille you telle a tale whiche ]>at I 

lemed at Padow/ of a worf i clerke 

As prouyd by hys wordes and his werk/ 28 

he ys nowe dede and nailid in his chest 

I piay to god to sende his saul gode leste 

Ftaunceys pctiak* ^e laureol poet 

hijt/ J>is Clerk* whos rethorik/ swete 32 

niumyeth alle Italy ^urgh poetrye 

As lynean dyd of philosophi • 

Or lawe or o]>ere art particuler 

But dethe ]>at wolle suf&e no ^inge here 36 

But as hit were twynkelynge of an eye 

Bothe hathe he slayne and alle shalle we deye 

But for to tellen of |^is worth! nlan 

]>at taught me ]>is tale as I first be-gan 40 

I sey ]}at he first yriih hije stile enditethe 

Or he J>e body of his tale writeth 

A prochem in ]>e whiche desemethe he 

The Mounde & of Saluce ]}e centre 44 

.^d spekethe of appenefl ]>e hilles hie 

]>at bene ]>e boundes * of west lumbardye 

And of Mounte resulus in special 

where as )»e Pope out of a welle smal 48 

Taldth his first spryngynge and his sours 

Where as he holte )»e euen streight way his cours 

To enel ward to Ferrar* & to venyse 

The whiche a longe ]>enge were to devise 52 

And truly as to my lugement 

He thynke hit a thinge impMinent/ 

Saue he wolle conueye his matere [.Wiao, *«^3 

But this is ]}e tale whiche ]>at je shulle here 56 

Here endefh )>6 Prologs 

CAMBRIDGE 936 (6-T. 404} [this page, SloaUC 1686] 

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405 8IZ-TBXT 

oBoup E. § 2. clerk's tale. Cambridge MS, 

[Sloane 1685, on leaf 130, hack.] 
[No gaps between the stanzas in the MS.] 

ft here be-gynneih pe Tale 

There ys at ^ waste syde of Itayle 57 

Doun at pe root of yesulus ]»e coIJ 
A lusty playne habimdaunt of Titayle 
Where many a Toufi J>oti mayste be-holde 60 

^t founded were in tyme of eldres olJ 
And many an o]»er/ delectable si^t/ 
And Saluce ^is noble cuntre hi3t 63 

If A marquis whilom was in ]>at londe 64 

As were his wor]>i eldres hym be-fore 

And obeisaunt and redy to his honde 

Were alle his legees bothe lesse & more 67 

Thus in delyte he lyued and hath don^ }ore 

By-loued and drad ]>urgh fauoure & fortune 

Bothe of his lordes and of his comune 70 

// ^ere with he was as to speke of lynage 71 

^ gentelest/ ybome of alle lumbardy 

A fayre persofi and stronge and yonge of age 

And fuUe of honour/ and curtesye 74 

discrete y-nou^e his contrey for to guye 

Saue in some thenges he was to blame 

And Walter was ^is yonge lordes name 77 

If I blame hym fua ]>at he considerith noi^t/ 78 

In tyme comynge what myjt be-tyde 
But on his luste present was alle^ his ]>ou3t 
And forto hauke and hunte on euery syde 81 

Wele nye} alle o]>ere cures let he slyde 
And eke he ne wolde fat was worste of alle 
Wedde no wyf for ou^te J)at myjf be-fisJle 84 

CAXBRIDOB 837 (6-T. 406} [this page, Sloane 1686] 

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OBoup E. § 2. cLEBK*s TALE. Cambridge MS. 

II Only .fat poynt his peple bare 80 sore oiSyiw^i ®^ 

fai flok/ mele on a day f ei went 

[And oon of hem that wisest was of* lore . Snu^ftSS* 

Or ellis that the lorde wolde best/ assent .] 88 

Jwit he shulde telle hym what his peple ment 

Or elles coude he wele shewe suche mater 

he to fe Marq[uis sayd as 3e shulle here 91 

noble Marquis yooi^ humanyte lunrm^ 92 

Assnresse ys and ^eue vs hardynesse 

As ofte tyme as hit ys necessite 

))at we you mowe telle oure heuynesse 95 

Accepteth lord/ of youre gentilnesse 

fat we to you witA pitous hert compleyne 

And let youre Eres nou^t my voyce disdeyne 98 

Alle haue I nou^t/ to done in ]>is matere 99 

None fan an other hathe in f is place 

jit for asmoche as je my lord so dere 

haue alway shewed fauoure & grace 102 

L dare fe better/ aske of you a space 

Of audience to shewen oure request/ 

And je my lorcl to done rijf as you lust 105 

ffor certes lord so wele vs lyketh you 106 

And alle youre werkes and euere haue dofi fat we * 

Ne coude not oure owen self devisen howe 

we myjt more lyf/ in felicite 109 

Safe ofi f enge lord yf hit youre wille be 

fat for to be a wedded man gif f ou lyst 

fan were youre pepuli in soueren hertes rest/ SS^^JJJ,! 

Bowith joure nekke / vndyr fe blysful 30k STmsg^ 
Of souereynte / & not of seruyse "» leaf «♦*] 

Which fat men clepe / sponsayle or wedlok 
And thynkith lord / a-mong joure thoujtys wyse IIS 

CAMBBIDGE 238 (6-T. 40S) [this page, Sloanc 1685] 

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OBOTTP E. § 2. clerk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

How J>at oure dayis / passe in sundeiy wyse 
ffor thow we slepe / or wake or rome or ryde 
Ay fleth Je tyme / it nyl no man arbyde 119 

And J>ow joure / ^ene thou3t floure as ^it 120 

In crepitb age / al-wey as stylle as ston 

And deth manasith / eueiy age & smyt 

In eche estat / for pere escapith noon 123 

And also serteyn / as we knowyn echon 

That we schal deye / as vncertejrn with alle 

Been of fat day / whan deth schal on ys falle 126 

Acceptyth ]>anne / of vs J>e trewe entent 127 

That neueie ^it / refusedyn fjn heste 

And we wele lord / 3if pat je wele assent 

Chese jow a wyf / in schoit tyme at fe leste 130 

Bom of pe / gentiUeste & of fe meste 

Of al fia lond / so pat it oghte seene 

Honour to god / & jow as we can deme 133 

Delyuere vs / ont of al J>is bosy drede 134 

And tak a wif for hyghe godis sake 

ffor )if it / so be-fel as god forbede 

That forw jonre deth jonre lyf schulde slake 137 

And pat a strannge successour schulde take 

^oure erytage o wo were vs on lyue 

Wberfore we prey jow hastyly to wyue 140 

Hire meke preyere & here pitous chire 141 

^iade pe Markis herte to haue pytee 

je wele quod he myn owene peple dere 

To pat I neuere erst thoujte to stieyne me 144 

I me reioysede of mjn libertee 

That selde tyme is founde in maryage 

There I was fre I mote been in seruage 147 

CAMBKinOE 289 (0-T. 407) 

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oBoup E. § S. clbhk's talb. Cambridge XS. 

But* na the lea I se ^oure tiewe entent o^tu, bM^] 

And troste vp-on ^oure wit & han don ay 

Werfore of myn ire wil I wele assente 

To wedde me as sone as eueie I may 151 

But pere as 36 han pioferede me to day 

To chese me a wyf I 50W lelese 

That choys & prey 30W of ^at profeie sese 154 

Let me Srlone In chesynge of myn wyf 162 

That charge vp-on myn bak I wele endure 

But I 30W preye A chaige vp-on 30ure lyf 

What wyf pat I take I 30W ensure 165 

To worschepe hire whil pat hyre lyf may dure ' 

In word & werk bothe here & ellis where 

Ab sche an emperouiys dou3tir were 168 

ffor god it wot pat childeryn oftyn been 155 

Vnlyk here worthy elderys hem be-fore 

Bounte comyth of god / nat of pe treen 

Of whiche pey been engenderede & I-bore 158 

I truste in goddis bounte & perfore 

Myn maryage & myn estat & resste 

I hym be-take / he may don as hym leste 161 

And ferpere more pis schal 3e swere pat 3e 169 

A-geyn myn choys schul neyper groche ne striue 

ffor sythe I schal for-gon myn lyberte 

At 30ure request as ouere mote i thryue 172 

There as myn herte is set pere wele I wyue 

And but 3e wele asente in swych manere 

I prey 30 w spekyth no mor of pis mateere 175 

With hertely wil pey swore & a-sentyn 176 

To al pis thyng pere sey no wigh nay 

Be-sekynge hym of grace er pat pey wente 

That he wolde grauntyn hem a serteyn day 179 

CAMBBIDGB 240 (6-T. 408) 

Digitized by 



GBoup E. § S. clerk's talb. Cambridge XS. 

Of his sponsayle as sone as eueie he may 
ffor ^it alwey ]>e puple snmwhat dredde 
Lest pat ]>e markes no wyf wolde wedde 

He grauntede hem a day swych as hym leste 
On which he wolde be weddit sekyrly 
And seyde he dede al ]?i8 at his lequeste 
And ^ey with humble entent boxsomly 
Knelynge vp-on hire kneis ful reuerently 
Hym thankede alle & ]>as fey han an ende 
Of hire entent & how a-geyn pey wendo 

And here yp on he to hise offyserys 
Comaundith for ]>e feste to pumeye 
And to hyse pnue kny3tiB & squyerys 
Swich charge ^af as hym leste on hem leye 
And pej to hise comandementis obeye 
And ech ^ of hem doth al his dilygence 
To don yn-to ]>e feste leuerence 


n«iifM6] 183 





[}Tn a later Maud 
over an eraeure.^ 



[N^Oght fer from thilke paleys honurable 
Wheie as ]>is Markys / schop his maryage 
Ther was a thorpt of sights delytable 
In which pat poore folk of pat village 
Haddyn here bestis & here herbeigage 
And of hire labour tok here sustenaunce 
Aftyr pat pe erpe / 3af hem habundaunce 

{* A epaee kat'heem 
^ftin the MSM 
tM$ Mttr.} 




A-mongys peae poore / folk pere dwellede a man 

Whiche pat was holds / poreste of hem alle 

But highe god / sumtyme sende can 

His grace in-to / a lytyl oysis stalls 207 

lanicula / men of pat thorp hym calle 

A donghtyr he hadde / fayr & ^yng'to 8y3te \*iuaiater»amd.2 

And Grysilde / ]>is 3ynge maydyn hy^te grisild * 

CAMBEIDOE 841 (S-T. 409) 

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OBOUF E. § 2. clerk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

But for to speke / of verteuous beute 211 

Thanne was sche on / ]>e fayreste yndyr sunne 

ffoT pourely / I-fosterede yp was sche 

No lykeious lust / was thorw hire herte I-ionne 214 

Weel offcere of / J>e weUe fan of pe tuwne 

Sche drank & for / sche wolde vertu plese 

Sche knew wel labour / but non ydyl ese 217 

But thow pia mayd / tendere was of age UmtuA, buck] 218 

jit in ])e 'in here chaste Tiiginite' p-» later} 

There was enclosede rype & sad corage 

And in gret / reuerence & charyte 221 

Hyre olde pore / fadyr fosterede sche 

A fewe schep / spynnynge on feld sche kepte 

Sche wolde not / ben ydyl tyl sche slepte 224 

And whan sche homward / cam sche wolde bryngo 225 

Wortis or opere / erbis tymys ofte 

The whiche sche dalf / & setto for hyre lyuynge 

And made hyre bed / ful harde & nothyng softe 228 

And ay sche kepte hyre faderys lyf on lofte 

"With eueiy obeysaunce & dilygence 

That child may don to / faders reuere^ice 231 

Vp-on Grysilde / fis pore creature 232 

fiful ofte tyme / ]}is Markis sette his eye 

As he an huntyng / rod parauenture 

And whan it fe} / fat he myjte hire espye 235 

He not with wauntoun / lokyng of folye 

His eyen cast on / here / but in sad wyse 

Vp-on hire cher / he wolde hym ofte arvyse 238 

Comendynge in his / herte / hire womanhede 239 

And ek hire verteus / passyTzge ony wyght 

Of so jyng age / as wel in chere as dede 

ffor thogh ]>e puple / hath no gret ensyjt 242 

CA1CBEIDGB 248 (6-T. 410) 

Digitized by 



oBoup E. § 2. clerk's taul Cambridge MS. 

In vertu he / consyderede ful ry3t 

Hire bou[n]teis / & puipoeede fat he wolde 

Wedde hire only / jif J>at he wedde schulde 


The day of weddyng / cam but no wight kan 
Telle what / woman fat it schulde be 
fifor whiche merueyle / wonderede manye a man 
And seydyn whan fat J fey were in pryuyte 
Wele not ouie loid / ^it leue his vanyte 
Wele he not wedde / alias alias ]>e whyle 
Whi wele he fna hjm self & vs begyle 




But natheles fia Markis hath don make (io:if246] 

Of gounnys set / in gold & in asure 

Brochis & ryngis / for grcsildis sa'ce 

And of hire clothy77ge / tok he ]>e mesure 

By a maydyn / lyk to hyr stature 

And ek of of ere / aomementis alle 

That on to swich / a weddyng schidde falle 



The tyme of vnderne / of fe soneday 
Aprochith that / ]>is weddynge schulde bee 
And al fe paleys / put was In aray 
Bothe halle & chaumberys / eche in hese degre 
Housis of offysis / stuffed with gret plente 
There mayst Jwm sen / of deynteuous vitayle 
That may be fou/?de / as fer as last ytaylle 




This riche Markis / ryally aiayed 
Lordis & ladiis in his cumpaynye 
The whech to J>e / feste were I-preyed 
And of his / retente fe bacherye 
And manye a soun / of sundery melodye 
Yn-to J>e village / of fe whiche I tolde 
In f\B aray / fe ry^te weye han holde 

CAMBBIDOS 243 (6-T. 43 1) 




Digitized by 



OBoup E. § S. clerk's talk. Cambridge ItS. 

Gresylde of ^is / god wot ful Innocent 274 

That for hire schapyn / was al ]>is aray 

To feche watyr / at a welle is went 

And comyth horn / as sone as euere sche may 277 

flfor wel sche hadde / herd seyd fat ilke day 

The Markys schulde / wedde & ^\f sche my3t 

Sche wolde feyn / a seyn earn of Jat syjte 280 

Sche thoujte sche wolde / with of ere maydenys stonde 281 

That been myne felas / in oure dore & see 

The Mayrkysesse / & periore wele I fonde 

To doon at horn / as sone as it may bee 284 

The labour which / pat longith on to me 

And ]?aitne I may / at / leysere hire byholde 

3if sche this weye / vn-to J>e castel holde 287 

And as sche wolde / ouyr hyre throswald gon [Uars46» back] 

The Markis cam / and gan hyre for to calle 

And sche sette dourt / hyre watyr pot a-non 

By syde ^e throschewald / in an oxis stalle 291 

And doun yp-on hyre / kneis sche gan to falle 

And y^iiJi sad cuntenaunce / knelede stylle 

Til sche hadde / herd )>e lordis wills 294 

This thoghtful Markys / spak vn-to ])is mayde 295 

fiful sobirly / & seyth / in ))is manere 

Where is jonre fadyr / Giysild he seyde 

And sche with reuerence / In humble chere 298 

Answerde lord / he is al redy here 

And in sche goth / sche ^ wolde no lengere lette^ Si^ JIT'^* 

And to pe Markis / sche hyre £stdyr fette ^S!r !and.2 

Qe by the bond / thanne tok ^is olde man 302 

And seyde pus / whan he hym hadde a syde 

lanicula / I neyper may ne kan 

Lengere J>e plesaunce / of myn herte hyde 305 

CAMBRIDOB 244 (S-T. 41S) 

Digitized by 



OBOup E. § S. clerk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

^if ^ ym vouche saf/ what so be-tjde 

Thyn doujtyr wele I / take ^er J>an I wende^ Sri^rri?*!! 

As for myn wif / vn-to myn lyuys ende ^'^ ******^ 

Thow louyst me / I wot it wel serteyn 309 

And art myn feythfol / lyge man I-bore 

And al ^ai lykyth me / I daie wel seyn 

It lykyth fe / & specially perfore 312 

Tel me fat poynt / ]>at I hane seyd be-foie 

jif that pon wilt / vnto pat purpos diawe 

To take me / as for fja sone in lawe 315 

The sodeyn cas / fis man a-stonede so 316 

That red he wex / a-bayst & al quakynge 

He stod one^ / seyde he wordys moo 

Bat only this / lord quod he myn willy ng 319 

Is as ^e wele / ne a-jens jouie lykyng 

I wele no thyng / je be myn lord so dere 

Byght as 30W lyst / gouemyth fia matyere 322 

That wel I wot / qnod / j)is Markis softely peaf m:] 323 

Thaf in thy chambir / I & ]>oa & sche 

Hane a colacioun / & wyst fovL whi 

ffoT I wele aske ^if it hire wille be 326 

to be myn wif / & lewele hyx aftyr me 

And al fis schal been don / in ]>yn presence 

I wele not spek / out of fjn audience 329 

And in pe chambeie / whU pej were a-boute 330 

This tietys which / pat je schul aftyr here 

The puple cam / ynto pe hous wttA-oute 

And wondere hem / in how oneste manere 333 

And tentyfli sche / kepte hire fadyr dere 

But outyrly / Grisildis wondere myghte 

ffor neuere erst / ne saw sche swich a syghte 336 

CAMBRIDOB 246 (6-T. 418} 

Digitized by 



GROUP E. § 2. clerk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

No wondir ist / ]>ow ]>at sclie were a-stonjd 337 

To seen so greet / a geste come in-to plase 

Sche neuere was / to swich a geste wonjd 

fifor whiclie sche lokede / with ful pale face 340 

But Bchortly piB / matyer for to chase 

These are pe wordis / fat J>e Markis sayde 

To Jis benynge / veray fey[t]hful mayde 343 

Grysilde he seyde / je schul wel vndyrstonde 344 

It lykyt to ^oure / fadyr & to me 

That I )ow wedde / & ek it may so stonde 

As I suppose / 30 wele pat it so be 347 

But ye&Q demaundis / aske I ferst quod he 

That sythe it schal / been don in hasty wyse 

Wele 30 assentyn / or ellis 30W auyse 350 

I seye piahe^e / redy with good herte 351 

To al myn lust / & fat I frely may 

As me best lykyth / do 30W lauhe or smerte 

And neuere ^e / to groche it nyght ne day 354 

And ek whan I seye 3a / ne seye not nay 

Neyther be word / ne ftounnynge cuntenaunce 

Swere fia/& here I swere oure allyaunce 357 

Wonderynge vp-on fia word quakynge for drede {kttwi, bk] 

Sche seyde lord / vnd>-ng & vn-worthy 

I am to thilke honour fat ^e me beede 

But as 30 wele 3oure self ry3t so wele I 361 

And here I swere / fat neuere wyllyngly 

In werk ne thou3t I nyl 30W disobeye 

ffo[r] to be ded ihow me were loth to dye 364 

T[h]is is I-nogh Giysilde myn quod he 365 

And forth he goih with a ful noble cheere 
Out at fe dore & aftyr ^t cam * sche ^ 

And to fe puple he seyde in ^is manere 

CAXBEIBGB S46 (S-T. 414) 

Digitized by 



OROVF E. § 2. cl£rk'8 TALE. Cambridge MS. 

This is myn wif / quod he ]>at standyth heere 

Honoureth hire / & louyth hire I preye 

Who 80 me louyth J>ere is no more to seye 371 

And for J>at nothyng / of hire olde gere 372 

Sche Bchttlde brynge in-to his hous he bad 

That wemen schulde dispoylyn hire ryjt pere 

Of whiche Jjese / ladyis were not ryjt glad 375 

To handele hiie clothis / wherin sche was clad 

But natheles fiB mayde bryjt of hewe 

ffiom foot to heed they clo])ede han al newe 378 

Hyre heris han pej kembit that lay vntrussede 379 

fful rudely & with here fyngeiys smale 

A coroun on hire heed pey han dressyd 

And set hire ful of nouchis grete & smale 382 

Of hire ariay what schulde I make a tale 

One]>e pe puple hire knew for hire faymesse 

Whan sche translatede was in swich rychesse 385 

This Markis hath hire spousede vriih a lyng 386 

Broujt for pe same cause & panne hire sette 

Vp-on an hors snow whit & wel amblenge 

And to his paleys he wolde no lengere lette 389 

With loyful puple ]>at hire ledde & mette 

Conueyede hire & pus fe day pey spende 

In reuel tyl pe sonne gan descende 392 

And shortely forth pis tale for to chace ObT ms] 393 

I seye pat to pis / newe Markysesse 

Grod hath swych fauour sent hire of his grace 

That it semede not bi liklynesse 396 

That sche was bom & fed in rewedenesse 

As in a Cote / or in an oxsis stalle 

But norchede in / an emperourys halle 399 

CAMBRIDGE 247 (6-T. 415) 

Digitized by 



OBOUP E. § 2. clerk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

To euery wight sclie wexen is so dere 400 

And worchepeful / pat folk pere scbe was bore 

And from hjre burthe knew hire jer be ^ere 

One^e trowede J»ey but durste a swore 403 

That to lanykele of which I spak be-fore 

Sche doghtir were / for as be coniecture 

Hem thoujte sche was arno^er cryature 406 

ffor thow J>at euere / verteuous was sche 407 

Schfi was encresede in swych excellence 

Of thewys goode / I-set in high bounte 

And so discret & fayr of eloquense 410 

So benyngne & so dygne of reuerence 

And coude so J>e puples herte embrace 

That eche hire louede ]>at lokede in hire face 413 

Kof only of Saluces in fe toun 414 

Publischid was pQ bounte of hyre name 

But ek be-eydyn in manye a regioun 

jif ony seyde wel aruof^ seyde fe same Jtl 7 

So spradde of hire / high bounte fe fSeime 

That men & wemen as wel jynge as olde 

Com to saluce / vp-on hire to be-holde 420 

This Water lowely nay but roiaUy 421 

Weddede with fortunat oneste 

In godis pes leuyth / ful honestely 

At hom / A outwar / grace T-nogh hap he 424 

And for he saw fat vndyr low degre 

Was ofte VOTtu hid / pe peple hym hilde 

A prudent man / & pat is seyn ful seelde 427 

Not only this Grisyldis thoui^gh hire wit Deaf us, tack] 428 

Koude al pe fet of wyfly humbilnesse 

But ek whan ]>e cas / requyrede it 

The comune profyt coude scher redresse 431 

CAMBRIDGE 248 (6-T. 416) 

Digitized by 



OBouF E. § 2. clerk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

There nas discord rancure ne henynesse 
In al fat lond fat ache ne coude a-pese 
And wysely brynge hem in reste & ese 434 

Thow fat hire husbonde / absent were arnon 435 

jif gentyl men or ofere of hire cuntre 

Were wroth sche wolde / brynge hem at oon 

So wyse & rype wordis hadde she 438 

And lugementis of so gret equite 

^t sche from heuene sent as men wende 

Puple to sane & of ere men tamende 441 

Not longe tjtee aftyr fat fis gresylde 442 

Was I-weddit sche a doughtyr hath I-bore 

Al hadde sche lenere a bom a knaue chyld 

Glad was fe markis & fe folk ferfore 445 

ffor thow a mayde chyld cam al by-fore 

Sche may vn-to a knanechild a-teyne 

By liklyhed syn sche nys nat bareyne 448 


Ther fel as it bi-fel tymys mo 449 

Whan fat )yis child hath sonkede but a throwe 

This markis in his herte longith soo 

To tempte his wyf hire sadnesse for to knowe 452 

That he ne myjte out of his herte throwe 

This meraelious desyr his wyf tasayee 

Nedles god wot he thonjte hyre for taffraye 455 

He hadde a-sayed hire ry^t I-now be-fore 456 

And fond hire eeuere good / what neded it 

Hire for to tempte alwey more & more 

Thow sum men preyse it for a sabtU wit 459 

But as for me I seye fat yuele it sit 

Tassaye a wyf / whan )mt it is noon nede 

And put hire in anguys & in drede 462 

CAMBUIDOE 249 (6-T. 417) 

Digitized by 



GBoup E. § 2. clebk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

fFbr which pis Markys / wrowt in pis maneie D«arM83 463 
. He cam alone / a nyjt fere as sche lay 
With steme face / & with fol sturdy chere 
And seyd thus / Grisilde quod he pat day 466 

That I jow tok / out of joure pore aray 
And put 30W in estat/ of hegh noblesse 
30 ban npt pot / forgetyn as I gesse 469 

I sey Grisilde / this present dignete 470 

In which pat I haue / put jow / as I trowe 

Makyth jow nat / foi^etful for to be 

pat I JOW tok / in pore estaat ful lowe 473 

flfor ony wele / je motyn joure seluyn knowe 

Take heed of / euery word pat I jow seye 

Ther is no wight / pat hereth it but we tweye 476 

Ye woot youie self wel / how that ye cam heere 477 

In-to this hous / it is nat longe a-go 

And thow to me / pat ye been lef & deere 

Vn-to myn sentens ye been nothyng so 480 

They seyn to hem / it is greet schame & wo 

ffor to been subiect / & been in seruage 

To the pat bom art / of a smal village 483 

And nameliche / sithe thy;^ doughtyr was bore 484 

These wordis han / they spoke douteles 

But I desire / as I haue doon by-fore 

To lyue my» lyf / with hem in reste & pees 487 

I may nat in / this cas been rechelees 

I mot doon wttA thyn / doghtyx for the beste 

Kat as I wolde / but as myn peple leste 490 

And jit god wot / it is ful looght to me 491 

But natheles / with-outyn joure wytynge 

I wol not don / but thia wol I quod he 

That je to me / assente as in this thyng 494 

CAMBRIDGE 250 (S-T. 418) 

Digitized by 



OBOup E. § 2. clerk's talb. Cambridge MS 

Schewe now jonre / pacience in joure werkyng 

That je me hy^ie / & swore in pure wyllage 

That day that maked / was onie manage 497 

Whan 8che hadde herd al this she nog^t a-meued cimt M9,bk] 

Kejthir in word / ne chire nor cuntenaunce 

ffor as it semede ache was nat agrenyd 

Sche seyde lord al lyth in ^ore plesannce 501 

Myn chyld & JL / with hertely obey-saunce 

Been joorys tl& je mowe saue or spille 

Youie owene thyng werkyth aftyr ^onre wylle 604 

There may no thyng god so myn soule saue 505 

Lykyn )ow fat may displesyn me 

Ne I desyie nothyng for to haue 

Ne drede for to lose saue only thee 508 

T[h]i8 wil is in myn herte & ay schal bee 

No lenthe of tyme or deth schal this defase 

Ke change myn corage tyl arnofer place 511 

Glad was this markis of this answeryng 512 

But ^it he feynede as it were nat so 

Al drery was hise chir Ss hise lokynge 

Whan pat he schulde out of the chambir goo 515 

8one aftyr this a furlong woy or too 

He piynyly hath told al his entente 

Yn-to a man & to his wif hym sente 518 

A maner seriaunt was this pnue man 519 

The whiche that fei[t]hful ofte he foni»dyn hadde 

In thyngis grete Ss ek swiche folk wel kan 

Doon execnciou» / in thyngis hadde 522 

The lord knew wel that he hym louede & dradde 

And whan this sergeaunt / wiste this lordis wille 

Jn-to fe channtbre / he stalke ful stylle . 525 

21 CAlCBRinOE 251 (6-T. 419) 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 2. olebk'b talb. Cambridge MS. 

Madame he seyde je mote for-jeue it me 526 

Thow I do thyng to whiche I am constreynyd 

Ye ben bo wis that fal weel knewe je 

That lordis hestye mowe not been I-feynyd 629 

They moun been weel bewailyd & compleynyd 

But men mot nede vntyl his lust obeye 

And 80 wele I / J»ere is no more to seye 532 

This child I am comauTidit for to take Deaf 2so] 533 

And spek no more but out the child he hente 

Dispitously & gan a chire make 

As they he wolde a slayn it er he wente 536 

Grysyldis muste / al suffere & el consente 

And as a lomb sche sittyth meke & sty lie 

And leet this crewel seriaunt don his wille 539 

Suspecious was / ))e/ difEame of this man 540 

Suspect his face / suspect his word also 

Suspect the tyme / in which that this be-gan 

Alias hire doghtyr that sche louede so 543 

Sche wende he wolde a slayn it ryght tho 

But natheles sche neyther wept ne sikyd 

Conformyng hire to that J)e markis lykyd 546 

But at the laste speky??. sche be-gan 54 7 

And mekely sche to the seriaunt preydo 

So as he was a worthi gentil man 

That sche muste kysse hire child er J>at it dcycdo 550 

And on hire barm this lytyl child sche leydo 

With ful sad face & gan the child to blysse 

And luUede it & aftyr ga» it to kysse 553 

And thus sche seyde in ful benyngne voys 554 

ffare wel myn child I schal pe neuere so 

But sythe I the haue markede with the croys 

Of thilke fadyr blyssede mote he bee 557 

CAMBRIDGE 269 (6-T. 420) 

Digitized by 



oBoup £. § S. clebk's tale. Cambridge KS. 

That for vs deyede vpon a coioys of tree 

Thyn sotde lytyl chyld I the be-take 

ffor this ny^t schat Jktu deye for myn s^ke 560 

I trowe that to & norys in this cas 561 

It hadde been hard / this routhe for to see 

Weel myghte a modyr / fanne han cryede alias 

Bat nathelas / sad / & stedefast was sche 564 

That sche endurede / al aduercite 

And to pe seigeaunt / mekelyche sayde 

Hane here agayn / ^oure jynge lite xnayde 567 

Seth now qnod sche & doth myn lordis heste o^f sso, buck] 

But on thyng wele I preye jow of ^oure grace 

That but myn lord forbad 30W at the leste 

Berieth this lite bodi in sum place 571 

That bestis ne non opere briddb it to-race 

But he no word wolde to fat purpos seye 

But tok the child & wente vp-on hise weye 574 

This sergeant cam vn-to lus lord a-geyn 575 

And of grysildis wordis & hire chere 

He told hym word in schort pleyn 

And hym presentyth with his doughtyr dere 678 

Sumwhaf this lord hadde routhe in this manere 

But natheles his purpos held he stylle 

As lordys doon whan they welen han here wille 581 

And bad this segeaunt pat he pn'uyly 582 

Schulde this chyld softe wy^wie & wrappe 

With alle cyrcumstauncis tenderely 

And carye it in a cofere or in a lappe 585 

But 7p peyne of his hed of for to swappe 

That no man schulde knowe of his entente 

Ke whens he cam ne whe)>er pat he wente 588 

CAMBBIDGE 253 (6-T. 42l) 


zed by Google 


GBoup E. § 2. clerk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

But at boloyne he to Iiis sostyr deeie 589 

That thilke tjme of pavyk was cuntesse 

He Bchulde it take & schewe hire this matyere 

Bysekynge hire to don hyre bysynesse 592 

This child to fostere in al gentillesse 

And whos chyld pat it was he bad hire hyde 

fiEiom enery wyght for ought pat may be-tyde 595 

This sergeaunt goth A hath ful-fyld this thyng 596 

But to the markis now rotome we 

ffor now goth he ful fiuste ymaginyng 

jif by his wywis cheer he myghte se 599 

Or by hire word aperceyue that sche 

Were chaungede but he neuere hire conde fynde 

But euere in on I>lyke sadde & kynde 602 

As glad as humble as besy in seruyse Deaf m] 603 

And ek in lone as sche was wone to be 

Was sche to hym in eueiy manere wyse 

if^or of hire doughtyr nou^t a word spak she 606 

Kon accident for noon adu^rsite 

Was seyn in hire / ne neuere hire doughtins name 

Ke nemenede sche in emest nor in game 609 


In this estaat there passede been foure ^cer 610 

£r sche with childe was but as god woldo 

A knaue child be this Waltyr 

fiFol gracious & fayr for to be-holde 613 

And whan that folk it to his fadyr tolde 

Not only he but al his court merye 

Was for this child & god fey thankede & heryo 616 

Whan it was two jeer old & f ro ]>e brest 617 

Dcpartede of his norysce on a day 
This Markis caughto jet a-nothir best 

CAMBRIDGE 254 (6-T. 422) 

Digitized by 



GROUP E. § 2. clebk's talb. Cambridge MS. 

To tempte his wyf jit oftere jif lie may 620 

needeles was sche temptid in assay 
But weddede men ne knowe no mesure 

Whan that ])ey fynde a pacient creatine 623 

Wyf quod this Markys je han heid er this G24 

Myn peple heryth hevye oure maryage 

And namely sithe myn sone I-bom is 

Now IB it weiso than enere in al oure age 627 

The mnimur sleth myn herte & myn corago 

ffor to mynne eiis comyth the vols so smerte 

That it wel nygh distroyed hath myn hcrte 630 

Now sey they thus now Waltyr is argoou 631 

Than schal the blood of lanicle succede 

And been oure lord / for o^ere haue we non 

Swich wordis seigh myn peple out of drede 634 

Weel oughte I of swich murmowr takyn heede 

ffor certeynly I drede swich sentence 

Thogh they not pleynly speke in myn audience 637 

1 wolde leue in pees jif that I myjte peaf 251, back] 638 
Wherfore I am disposed vttyrly 

As I Ids sistyr seruede be nyghte 

Ryjt 80 thynke I to serue hym pnuyly 641 

This wame I 30W that ^e nat sodeynly 

Out of joure self / for no woo schnlde out-raye 

Beth padent & ferot I 30W praye 644 

I haue quod sche seyd thns & euere schal 645 

I wol nothyng / ne nyl nothyng certeyn 

But as povL lyst not / greuyth me at al 

Thow that myn donghtir & myn sone be slayn 648 

At joure comaundement it is to seyn 

I haue not had no part of chyldere tweyne 

But fyrst seknesse / & aftyr wo & peyne 651 

CAMBRIDGE 266 (S-T. 423) 

Digitized by 


424 8TX-TEXT 

GROUP E. § 2. clbrk's tale. Cambridge HS. 

Ye "been oure lord doth vriih joure ovene thyng 652 

Ej^t as ^ow leste axseth no reed at me 

ffor as I leffte at horn al myn clothynge 

Whan I ferst cam to 30W ry^t so quod sche 655 

Lefte I myn wil / & myn liberte / 

And tok 3oure dothyng wherfore I 30W preye 

Doth jonre plesaunce I wele ^oure lust obeye 658 

And sertis ^if I hadde prescience 659 

joure wil to knowe er ^e ^onre lust me tolde 

I wolde it don with-outyn nedigence 

But now I wot ^ouie lust & what 30 wolde 662 

Al 30ure plesaunce ferme & stable I holde 

ffor wiste I fat myn deth wolde don jouie ese 

Sy^t gladly wolde I deye 50W to plese 665 

Deth may not make non compaiisoun 666 

Yn-to joure lone & whan this Markys say 

The constaunce / of his wyf he cast a doun 

Hise eyen too / So wonderyth that sche may 669 

In pacience / suffere al this a-iay 

And forth he goth / wtt^ drery cuntenaunce 

But to his herte it was / a fnl gret plesaunce 672 

This vgely seigeaunt in ])e same wyse ri«f ssq 673 

That he hire doujtyr cau^te iy3te so he 

Or worse jif men worse can deuyse 

Hath hent hire sone that fdl was of beute 676 

And eueiy in on so pacient was sche 

That sche no chere made of heuynesse 

But kisse hire sone / & aftyr gan it blysse 679 

Saue this sche preyede hym that ^if he myjte 680 

Hire litille sone he wolde in erthe giaue 

Hise tendere lemys delitat to 8y3te 

firom foulys & from bestis hjm to saae 683 

CAMBRIDGE 256 (O-T. 424) 

Digitized by 



OBOUF E. § 2. clebk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Bat 8che non answeie my^te haue 

Hg wente his wey as hym nothyng rou3te 

But to bolonye he tenderly it biou3te 


Thia Markys wondeiyth enere lengere the more 687 

Vp on hire pacience & jif that he 

Ne hadde sothli knowe ther by-fore 

ITiat parfytly hire childeryn louede sche €90 

He wolde a went / fat of subtilite 

And of maleys or of crewel corage 

That sche hath suffered / this with sad visage 693 

But weel he knew fat next hym self certeyn 
Sche louede hire childeryn best in euery wyse 
But now of women wilde I axsyn fayn 
If these assayis myghte not sufiyse 
. "What coude a sturdy husbonde more deuyse 
To preue hire * wyfFehode* & hire stedefast-nesse J 
And he contynuynge eueie in sturdynesse 



'— Wwa later 


But fere been folk of swich condyciouw 701 

That wha» fey hm a certeyn purpos take 

They can not stynte of here entencioun 

But ryjt as they were boundyn to J>at stake 704 

They wil not of that / ferste purpos slake 

Bight so this like markis fullyche hath supposed 

To tempte his wyf / as he was fyrst purposed 707 

Here waytiih / ^if be word or cuntenaunce Peaf 252, bk] 70g 

Thaf sche to hym was chaungit of corage 

But neuere coude he fynde varyauTice 

Sche was ay on in herte & in visage 7 111 

And ay f e ferthere pat sche was in age 

The moore trewe 3if pat it were possyble 

Sche was to hym in loue & more penyble 714 

CAMBRIDGE 257 (6-T. 426) 

Digitized by 



GROUP E. § 2. cLERK*s TALE. Cambridge MS. 

fibr which it semede thus that of hem two 715 

Nas bat on wil for as Waltyi lesfce 

The same lust was hyre plesau^zce also 

And god he thankede al fyl for the beste 718 

Sche schewede wel for no wordely onreste 

A wyf as of hire self noth jng ne schulde 

Wille in effect / but as hire husbonde wolde 721 

The sdanndere ofte & wyde spradde 722 

That of a crewel herte / he wekkedely 

ffor he a poore woman wedded hadde 

Hath morderyd bothe hise childere priuyly 725 

Swich mordere was armong hem comounly 

"No wj3ndyr is for to J>e peplis ere 

There cam no word / but pat J>ey morderede wore 728 

ffor wych ther as his puple ther by / fore 729 

Hadde loued hym wel the slaundere of his diffame 

Maade hem pat they hym hatid perfoiQ 

To been a morderere is an hateful name 732 

But natheles for emest ne for game 

He of his crewel purpos nolde stente 

To tempte his wyf was set al his entente 735 

Whan fat this doghtyp twelf jeer was of age 736 

He to the court of rome in subtyl wyse 

Enformede of his wil sente his massage 

Comaundynge hem sweche bullys to deuyse 739 

As to his crewel purpos may 6u%8e 

How pat the pope as for the peplis reste 

Bad hym to wedde a-nothir jif hym leste 742 

I aeye he bad th[e]y schulde countrefete poi&rm] 743 

The popis bullis makynge mencioun 

That he hath leue his fyrste wif to lete 

And by the popis dispensacioun 746 

CAMBKIOGfi 268 (6-T. 426) 

Digitized by 



GBOUF E. § 2. clerk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

And stynte rancnre Ss dissencioun 

By-twixe fo puple A hjm thus seyth J»* bnllo 

The whiche they han pupliced at y fulle 749 

The rade peple as it no wondyr is 750 

Wendyn ful wel that it hadde been ry3t so 

Bat whan these tydyngis cam to Giysildis 

I deeme that hiie herte was ful wo 753 

Bat sche I-like sad for eueie mo 

Disposede was this ymble cryature 

Thado^rsite / of fortune al tenduie 756 

Abydynge eaere his lust & his plesaunce 757 

To worn that sche was ^euyn herte A al 

As to hire verray wordely sufifysaunce 

But schortely jif this story I tellyn schal 760 

This Markys wrytyn hath in special 

A lettere in wheche he schewith hys entente 

And secrely he to boloyne it sente 763 

To the erl of panyk which fat hadde tho 764 

Wedded his sistyr preyede he specially 

To brynge hym horn a-geyn his chyldere two 

In honnrable estat al opynly 767 

Bat on thyng he hym preyede vtterely 

That* he to no wyght for no manere. 

Sholde not telle whos childie th[e]y were 770 

But seye the maydyn schulde I-weddid be 771 

Yn-to the markis of saluce a-non 

And as this erl was preyed so dede he 

ffor at the day set he on his weye is goon 774 

Toward saluce & lordis manyon 

In ryche array this made for to gyde 

Hire ^ynge brothir rydynge by hire syde 777 

CAMBKIDG« 250 (6-T. 427) 

Digitized by 



oBoup E. § 2. clerk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

A-rayed was sche toward hire maiyage oaf 2&s, back] 778 

This £re8clie majde ful of gemmys cleere 

Hire brothir which seuene ^eer was of age 

Arayede ek fill frosch in hia xnanere 781 

And thtu3 in gret noblesse & with glad chere 

Towar Saluces schapynge hire lourneye 

ffrom day to day they rydywge in hero woye 784 

[PART F.] 

[ A^]-Mong al this aftyr his wikkede ysage {^ ^TtL* jJ/5S 

This Markys 3it his wif to tewpte more **** i«uer.i 

To the vttyreste prme of hire corage 

ffully to han experience & lore 788 

3if that sche were as stedefast as by-foore 

He on a day in opyn audience 

fful boystously hath seyd hire this sentence 701 

Certis Grisilde I hadde I-now plesauTwe 792 

To han jow to myn wif for ^oure goodnesse 
As for joure trouthe & for jonre obeisaunce 
Not for jorere lynage / ne for jonre rychesse 795 

But now knowe I in verray sothfastnease 
. That in gret lordschepe If I wele auyse 
Ther is gret seruytut in sundery wyso 798 

I may nat do as euery plowman may 799 

Myn puple me constreynyth for to take 

A-noJ)cr wyf & cryen day be day 

And ek fe popis rancure for to slake 802 

Consenteth it fat dar I vndyr-take 

And trewely J)us meche I 30W seye 

Myn newe wif is comynge by the weye 805 

Be strong of herte & woyde a-non hire place 806 

And thilke dowere fat ^e broughte me 
Take it argeyn I graunte it of myn grace 

CAMBBIDOE 260 (6-T. 428) 

Digitized by 


429 8IX-TBXT 

OBOUP E. § 2. clerk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Retomytli to jouie faderis hous quod he 809 

Ko man may han alwey prt^perite 

With euene herte I rede 30W to endure 

The strok of fortune or of auentuie 812 

And sche answerde a-noon in pacience Oaftti] 813 

Myn lord quod sche I wot & wyste alwey 
How that by-twixe ^oure magnificence 
And myn pouerte no wyght can ne may 816 

Makyn comparysoun it is no nay 
I ne hylde me neuere dygne in no manere 
To be 30uie wyf no / ne joure chaumberere 819 

And in this hous theie 30 me lady made 820 

The hyghe god take I for myn witnesse 

And also wysely he myn soule so glado 

I hyld me neuere lady ne maystresse 823 

But vmble seruaunt to 30ure worthynesse 

And euere schal whil myn lyf may dure 

Abovyn eueiy wordely creature 826 

That 3e so longe of joure benyngnetee 827 

Han holde me in honour & nobleye 

Wher as I was not worthy for to bee 

That thanke I god / & jow to whom I preye 830 

ffor jilde it 30W ther is no more to seye 

And to myn fadyr gladly wele I wende 

And with hyw» dwelle vn-to mjn lyuys ende 833 

There I was fostered of a chyld ful smal 834 

Tyl I be deed myn lyf there wele I leede 

A wydewe clene in body herte & al 

ITor sythe I 3af to 30W myn maydynhede 837. 

And am 30UTe trewe wyf it is no drede 

Grod schilde swich a lordis wyf to take 

A-nothir man to husboTide or to make 840 

CAMBRIDQE 261 (6-T. 429) 

Digitized by 



OBOUF E. § 8. clerk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

And of joure newe wif god of his grace 841 

So graunte 30W wele & prospmtee 

fifor I wele gladly jildyn hire mj?i place 

In which fat I was blysful wone to be 844 

flPor syth it lykyth jow myn lord quod sche 

That whilhom were al myn hertis reste 

That I schal gon J. wele goon whan jow leste 847 

But there as 30 me profere swych dewarye [Imt 2H bk] 848 

Ab I fyrst brou3te it is weel in myn mynde 

It were mynne wrechede clothis no thyng fayre 

The wheche to me were hard now for to fyude 851 

goode god how gentyl & how kynde 

30 semedyn be joure speche & ^oure visage 

The day that makyd was oure maryage 854 

But soth is seyd / algate I fynde it trowe 855 

ffor in^effect it preuede is in me 

Loue is not old / as whan pat it is nowe 

But sertis lord for noon aduercite 858 

To deyen in ])e cas it schal nat be 

That euere in word / or werk I schal repente 

That I jow jaf myn herte / wit7t hoi entente 861 

Myn lord 30 wot that In myn faderys place 862 

30 dede me str3rpe out of myn poore weede 

And rychely me claddyn of 30ure grace 

To 30W brou3te I not ellis out of dreede 865 

But feyth & meknesse & maydy72hede 

And heere ageyn myn clothynge I restore 

And ek myn weddynge ryng for euere more 868 

The remenaunt of 30ure lewellys redy bee 869 

In with 3oure chaumbere that dar I sayn 
Nakyd out of mjn faderys hous quod sche 

1 cam / & nakyd I mot / tume ageyn 872 

CAMBRIDGE 262 (6-T. 430) 

Digitized by 



ORODF E. § 2. clerk's tale. Cambridge KS. 

Al jonre plesaunce I wele folwe fayn 

But 3it I hope it be not joure entente 

That I smokies out of joure paleys we7^te 875 

}e coude not don so disonest a thyng 876 

That ilke wombe in whiche 30ure chyldere leye 

Schulde by-fore the peple in my» walkynge 

Be seyn al bare / therfore I jow preye 879 

Lat me not lyk a wenn / goon by the weye 

Eemembrith 30W myn owene lord so deere 

I was joure wyf thow I onworthy weere 882 

Wherfoie in gnerdonn of myn maydynhede [leaf 255] 883 

Whiche that I brou3te & not ageyn I here 

As Youche 30 saf / to 3eae me to my» meede 

But swich a smok as I was wone to were 886 

That I therwith may wrye y wombe of hire 

That was 30ure wyf / & here I take myn leue 

Of 30W myn owene / lest that I 30W greue 889 

The smok quod he that thow hast on thjn bak 890 

Lete it be stylle & here it forth with the 

But wel onethe thilke word he spak 

But wente his wey for reuthe & for pite 893 

By-fom hyre folk / hyre seluyn strepyth sche 

And in hire smok with bed & feet al bare 

Toward hire feuierys hous / forth is sche fare 896 

The folk hyie folwy» / wepywge ^in hire weye' [»-i uuer^ 

And fortune ay they curssyn as they goon 

But sche from wepynge kepte hire eyen dreye 

Ne in this tyme word ne spak sche noon 900 

Hyre fedyr pat of this tydyng herde aruon 

Curseth the day / & tyme that nature 

Schop hym to been a lyuys creature 903 

CAMBSIDOE 263 (6-T. 481) 

Digitized by 



oboupE. §3. OLsaK's TALB. Cambridge MS. 

ffor out of doute this olde pome man 904 

Was euere in suspect of liire maryage 

fifbr euere he demede sythe that it be-gau 

That whau the loid fulfyld hadde his corage 907 

Hym wolde thynke it were a dispai'age 

To his estat so lowe for to a-lyghte 

And woydyn hire / as sone as euere he myghte 910 

A-geyn his doughtyr / hastyliche goth he 911 

ffor he by noyse of folk / knew hire comyng 

And with hire olde coote / as it myghte be 

He cowerith hire / ful sorwefully wepynge 914 

But on hire body / myghte it not brynge 

ffor rude was the cloth / & sche more of age 

By dayis fele / than at hire maryage 91 7 

T[h]us with hire fSeuiyr / for a certeyn space [loaf tss. bk] 918 

Dwellyth this flour of wyfly pacience 

That neythir by hire wordys ne hire face 

By-fore the folk ne ek in hire absence 921 

Ke schewede sche ]>at hire was don offence 

Ne of hire highe estat no remembraunce 

ISe hadde sche as by hyre cuntenauT^ce 924 

No wondyr is / for in hire greete estate 925 

Hyre gost was ay in pleyn humylitee 

No tendere mouth non herte delicate 

No pompe no semblaunt of royaltee 928 

But fill of pacient benygnetee 

Dyscreet & prideles / ay honurable 

And to hire husbonde euere mek & stable 931 

Men speke of lob / & most for his humblesse 932 

As clerkis whan hem leste can wel endite 

Namely of men / but as in sothfastnesse 

Thow Clerkys preysyn women but a lyte 935 

CAMBEIDOE 864 (6-T. 482) 

Digitized by 


433 8TX-TEXT 

GROUP E. § 8. olbrk's'talb. Cambridge MS. 

Tlieie Can no man in humblesse hem arquyte 

As wemen ^can ne ben half so tare we* [j-j later^ 

As wemen ben but it be falle of newe 938 


V fbom Bolojgne as this erl of pauyk come 939 

Of which ye fame yp sprong bothe mpre & lease 

And to the peplis eris alle & some 

Was kouth eek that a newe Markisesse 942 

He with hym bioghte in swich pompe & richesse 

That neuere was there seyn wtt^ manys eye 

So noble a-iay in al west Lumbardye 945 

This Markis which that shoop & knew al this 946 

Er yai this erl was come / sente his massage 

ffor thilke sely pore ^Gresyldis* P-*te««r] 

And sche with ^houmble^ herte & glad visage 949 

Koght in a swollyn thoght in hire corage 

Cam at his heste / & on hire kneis hire sette 

And renerently & wisely / sche hyw gretto 952 

Grisilde quod he / myn wil is outirly peaf Bsaj 953 

This mayde Jwt schal weddit been to me 

Eesseyuede ben to morwe as roially 

As it possible is in myn hous to be 956 

And ek that euery wi3t in his degere 

Haue his estat / in sittynge & seruyse 

And hegh plesauTice / as I can best deuyse 959 

I haue no wemen sufi&saunt certeyn 960 

The chambris for taraye in ordenaunce 

Aftyr myn lust & ]>erfore wolde I fayn 

That thyn were / al swich manere gouemaunce 963 

Thow Knowyst ek of old / al myn plesaunce 

Thow thyn aray be badde & euele be seye 

5)o y<m thyn deuer / at the leste weye 966 

CAMBRIDGE 266 (6-T. 433) 

Digitized by 


434 8IX-TB3nP 

GBoup E. § 8. olbrk's tale. Cambridge KS. 


Kat only loid ]Mit I am glad quod sche 967 

To do joore lost / bnt .L desyie also 

30W for to serue & plese in m jn degre 

With-outyn feyntynge & echal euere mo 970 

Ke neueie for no wele ne no wo 

ITe schal myn gost wiih-inne myn herte stente 

To loue )ow best / mtA al myn hoi entente 973 

And with that word sche gan the hous to dighte 974 

And tabellis for to sette & al redy make 

And peynede hire to don al ])at sche my3te 

PreyiDge y chambereris for godis sake 977 

To haste hem & faste swepe & shake 

And sche y moste / serayable of alio 

Hath eueiy chambre aiayed and his halle 980 

A-boutyn vndiyn gan this erl a-lyjte 9' 1 

That with hym broghte these noble childere tweye 

£Ebr which the peple ran to seen the syght 

Of hire aray so lychely be seye 984 

And thanne at erst a-mongis hem they seye 

That waltyr was no fol thow ]Kzt hym leste 

To chonge hif wyf / for it was for the beste 987 

ffor sche ia ffiiyrere as they demyn alle {inttsA, iwck] 988 

As is Gresilde A moie tendere of age 

And ffiiyreie £reat be-twen hem scholde falle 

And more plesaunt for hire heye lenage 991 

Hire brothir ek so fietyr was of visage 

That hem to sen ]»* peple hath caught plesaunce 

Comendynge now y Markys gouemaunce 994 

stormy puple / on sad & euere vntrewe Auctor 

Ay vndiscret & channgynge as a fane 

Delytynge euere in rumbul pat is newe 

ffor lyk the mone / ay waxe je & wane 998 

CAICBIIIDGB 866 (6-T. 434) 

Digitized by 



OBOUF E. § & clerk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Aj fol of dappyng deere ynogK a lane 

jOTue dom is fals / ^oxue constaunce euel preuyth 

A fxd greet £61 is he Jrot on )ow leayt& 1001 

Thus seydyn sadde folk in fat Cetee 1002 

Whan ])at the peple gajede vp & doun 

ffoi thej were glad rygh for p* noueltee 

To haue a newe lady of hire tonn 1005 

Ko more of this now make I mencioun 

But to grysilde a-geyn wil I mo dresse 

And telle hire constanoe & hire besynesse 1008 

fful bisy was Grisilde / in eueiy thyng 1009 

That to p* feste / was apertynent 

By^ nought was sche / abast of hire clotliy^ige 

Thow it weie rade & sumdel ek to-rent 1012 

But with glad chier to p* jate is went 

With opere folk to greete the Markisesse 

And aftyr doth / forth hire besinesse 1015 

With so glad chiere / hire gestis sche resseyuydh 1016 

And so benyngnely enerych in his degre 

That no defante no man ap^rseyuyth 

But ay they wondere / what sche myghte be 1019 

That in so pore aray / was for to se 

And coude swich honour / & reuerence 

And worthily they preyse hire prudence 1022 

In al this meene while / sche ne stente peaftsr] 1023 

That mayde & ek hire broth[i]r to come^tde 

With al hire herte in ful benyngne entente 

Bo wel pat no man coude hiie pris a-menda 1026 

But at p* laste / whan that p* lordys wende 

To syttyn doun to mete he gan to calle 

Oiysilde as sche was bysy in the halle lOJO 

22 CAMBBIDGB 267 (6-T. 436) 

Digitized by 



GROUP E. § 8. clerk's talk. Cambridge MS. 

Giysilde quod he as it were in his pley 1030 

How lykyth y myn wif & hire beaute 

Eyjt wel quod sche myn lord / for in good fey 

A fayiere saugh I neuere non ]>an sche 1033 

I preye to god / jeue jow prospmte 

And so hope I pat he wele to jow scnde 

Plesaunoe I-now vn-to joure lyuys ende 1036 

thyng hiseke I jow & wame also 1037 
That je ne pryke / with no turmentynge 

This newe mayde as )e han don mo 

ffor sche is fosteryd in hire norychywge 1040 

More tenderely & to myn supposynge 

Sche coude not aduercytee endure 

As coude a poie fosterede creatuie 1043 

And whan tins waltyi saugh hire pacience 1044 

Hire glad cheie & non maleyce at al 

And he so ofte hadde don hiie offence 

And sche ay sad & constaunt as a wal 1C47 

Conteynynge euore / hire innocent ouyr al 

This sturdy Markys gan his herte drosse 

To rewe yp-on hire / wifly stedefastnesse 1050 

That is I-nogh Grisilde myn quod he 1051 

Be now no moore a-gast ne euele a-paycd 

1 haue thyn feyth & thyn benygnetee 

As wel as euere weman was a-sayed 1054 

In gret estat & porely arayed 

Now knowe I deeie wif / thyn stedefastnesse 

And hire in armys took / & gan hyre kesso 1057 

And sche for wondyr tok of it no kep aMf857,back: 1058 
Sche heide not what thyng he to hire seyde 
Sche ferde as sche hadde styrt out of hyre slep 
VTyi sche out of hire masedenesse a-breyde lOCl 

CAMBBIDOE 268 (6-T. 436) 

Digitized by 



oBoup E. § 2. clerk's tals. Cambridge K8. 

OrisQde qnod he bi god that for vs deyede 

Thow art myn wif / ne non ofer ne haue 

Ne neuere ne badde as god mjn soule saue 1064 

This is thyn doujtyr / which ])ow hast supposyd 10G5 

To been myn "wyf / fat o Jer faithfully 

Schal been myn eyr / as I haue ay supposid 

Thow bar hyi» in thy» body trewely 1068 

At Boloyne haue I kept hem pryuyly 

Take hem a-geyn for now )iow mayst nat seye 

That poa hast lost non of thynne childeryn tweye 1071 

And folk that ofere weyis han seyd of mee 1072 

I wame hem weel that I haue don this dede 

ffor no maleys / nor for no creueltee 

But for tassaye in the thyn womanhede 1075 

And not for to sle mynne childeryn god for-beede 

But for to kepe hem pnuyly & stille 

Til I thyi» puipos knew & al thyn wille 1078 

Whan this sche herde / aswounne doun sche fallyih 1079 

ffor pytous loye A aftyr hire swounynge 

Sche be^ hire ;onge chyldere vn-to hyre callyth 

And in hire armys / pitously / wepynge 1082 

Enbiafifyth hym / & tenderely kyssynge 

fiul lyk a modyr with hiie salte terys 

Sche bathith bothe hiie visage & hire herys 1085 

O which a pitous thyng it was to se 1086 

Hire swounnynge & hire humble yoys for to heere 

Giaunt mercy lord / god thanke )ow quod sche 

That je han sauede me mynne chyldere deeie 1089 

Now rekke I neuere to been ded ryjt here 

Sithe I stonde in joure loue & in 3oure grace 

Ko fors of deth ne whan myn spiryt pace 1092 

CAMBRIDGE 869 (6-T. 437) 

Digitized by 



GROUP E. § 2. clerk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

O tendere o jonge o deere cliildere mjime [ittf s»] 1093 

joiire woful modyr / wende stedefastly 

That crewel hoimdis / or sum foul yerm3ni 

Haddyn etyn jow / but god of his mercy 1096 

And 30ure benyngne fadyr tendyrly 

Hath don 30W kept & in that same stouTide 

Al sodeynly sche swapte a-doun to grounde 1099 

And in hire swough so sadly holdyth sche 1100 

Hyre chylderyn two / whan sche gan hem tenbrace 

That with gret 8ley3t / & gret difficultee 

The chyldere from hire arm / they gunne a-race 1 103 

O manye a ter / on manye a pitous face 

Doun ran of hem that stodyn hire besyde 

Vnnethe a-boutyn hire my3te they not a-byde 1 106 

Walter hire gladith /& hire sorwe slakyth 1107 

Sche rysith yp abaschid from hire trauTzce 

And euery wi3t hire loye & feste makyth 

Til sche hath cau3t argeyn hire cuntenauTzce 1110 

Walter hire doth so feythf ol plesaunce 

That it was deynte for to sen the cheere 

By-twixe hem two now the[y] ben met in feere 1113 

These ladyis whan that they here tyme sey 1 1 H 

Han takyn hire & in-to chambere goon 

And strippe hire out of hire rude a-ray 

And in a cloth of gold that bty3te schoon 1117 

With a coroun of manye a ryche stoon 

Vp-on hire heed they in-to halle hire brou3te 

And Jiere sche was honourede as hyre ou3tc 1120 

Thus hath this pitous day a blysful ende 1 121 

flfor euery man & woman doth his my3t 

This day in myrthe & rouel to dispendc 

Tyl on the walkyn schon the stenys ly3t 1 124 

CAMBRIDGE 270 (6-T. 438) 

Digitized by 



GROUP E. § 2. clerk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

ffor more solempne in euery manys syjt 

This feste was & grettere of costage 

Than was the reuel of hyre maryage 1 127 

fful manye a ^eer in hih prosperite peaf aw. bock] 11 28 

Lyuyn these too in concord & in reste 

And richely his doghtyr maryede he 

Vn-to a lord on of the worthieste 1131 

Of al ytayle & )>anne in pees & reste 

Hise wyuys fadyr in his court he kepith 

Tyl pat ye sonle out of the body crepith 1 134 

His sone succedith in his heritage 1 1 35 

In reste & pees afbyr his faderys day 

And fortenat was ek in manage 

Al put he nat his wif in greet assay 1138 

This world is nat so strong It is no nay 

As it hath been in olde tymys 3oore 

And herkenyth what this auctor seyth therfore 1141 

This stori is seyd noght for that wyuys schulde Auctor 

ffolwyn grysilde as in humylitee 

ffor it were importable thogh they wolde 

But for that euery wight in his degree 1 1 45 

Schulde been constaunt in aduersitee 

As was Grisilde / therfore this Petrak wryteth 

This stoiy which he wtt/t high style endyteth 1148 

ffor sythe a woman was so pacient 1149 

Vn-to a mortal man wel more ys ogllte 

Receyuyn al in gre ^at god we see 

ffor greet skele is he / preue that he wroghte 1 1 52 

But he ne temptyth no man that he boughte 


As seith seynt lame / If ye his pistyl reede 

He preuyth folk al day/ it is no drede 1 155 

CAMBRIDGE 271 (O-T. 439) 

Digitized by 


440 8IX-T1EZT 

GROUP E. § 2. clerk's tale. Cambridge KS. 

And soffeiyth vs as for excercice 115ft 

With scbarpe schoiu^s / of adneicitee 

ffdl ofte to be bet in snndeiy wyse 

Not for to knowe ouro wil for cerlis he 1159 

Er we were bom knew al onre fireletee 

And for onre beste is al bis gonemaunce 

Lat Ys tba»ne lyue in yerteuons sufferannce 1162 

But on word lordywyis berkenytb er I go p«f 2»3 11 63 

It were fol bard to fynde now on dayis 

In al a tonn Giysildis thre or two 

ffor jif that tbei were / put to swych arsayis 1 1C6 

The gold of hem ban now so badde alayis 

With biras that thogh the coyn be fayr at lye 

It wele rathere breste atwo than plye 11 69 

ITor which he^e for the wyuys loue of bathe 1 1 70 

Whoe lyf & al byre secte god meynteene 

In high maystiye Sc eUis were it skathe 

I wele with lusty herte frosch & grene 1 1 73 

Sey 30W a song to glade jow I wene 

And let vs stynte of emest-ful matiero 

Herkenyth my?) song / ]>at seyth in this manore 1176 

lenuoy de Chaucer 

Grysilde is deed & ek hire pacience 
And bothe at onoys buiyed in Ttayle 
ffor whiche in opene audience 1 1 79 

No weddede man / so hardy be tassaylle 
His wyuys pacience entrost to fynde 
Orisildis for in certeyn he schal faylle 1182 

CAMBBIDGE 272 (6-T. 410) 

Digitized by 



OBODP E. § 2. clerk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

noble "wyuys ful of prudence 

Let noon hnmilite 3oure tunge nayille 

Ne lat no klerk haue cause nor dilygence 1 185 

To wryte of jow a stoiy of swych meruaile 

As of Gnsildis pacient & kynde 

Lest Chicheuache / you swolwe in hire entrayle 1188 

fPolwith Ecco / that holdyth no sylence 

But euere answerith at the countretayle 

Beth not bedaflfyd for joure Innocence 1191 

But scharpely takyth on 30W the gouemaile 

Enpryntith wel this lessonw in joure mywde 

ffor comune profyt / sithe it may Srwayle 1 194 

Ye Archewyuys stondyth at jowre defence De«f«5«,back] 

Syn je been strongs as is a greet Camayle 

Ne sufferyth nat / Jat men jow doon oflfence 1197 

And sklendere -wyues feble as in batayle 

Beeth egre as is a tigre jong in 3outhe 

Ay clappith as a melle I 30W consayle 1200 

Ne drede hem nat do hem no reuerence 

ffor thow thyn husbond / armede be in maylc 

The arwis of thjn crabbede eloquence 1203 

Schal perce his brest & ek his auentayle 

Li lalusye I reede ek thow hym bynde 

And thow schat make hym couche as doth a quayle 1 206 

If thow be fayr / ther folk been in presence 

Scheweiha thyn visage & t\ijn aparayle 

3if thow be foul be fre of thyn dispence 1209 

To gete the firendys ay do thyn trauayle 

Be ay of chir as lyght as lef on lynde 

And lat hjm care & wepe & wrynge & waylo 1212 

Heere hafh the olerki of Ozenforthe ended his tale 

CAMBRIDGE 273 (S-T. 44l) 

Digitized by 


477 8TX-TBXT 

t ORIGINAL clerk's END LINK. Caiiiliridge K8. 


[; Originate but rejected, End-Link to the ClerHs TaHe, 
perliaps following I. 1162, with which the paraphrase of 
FetrarctHe Latin ends, or 1. 1169.] 

This woithi clerk whan endede was his tale 

Oure ost seyde & swor by godys bonys 

Me were leuere than a baiel ale 

Myn wif at horn hadde herd this legende onys 4 

This was a gentil tale for the nonys 

As to myn poipos woste 3e myn wille 

But thyng that wil nat be lat it be stille 7 

CAHBRIBGE 273* (6-T. 477) 

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oboupE. §3. cLEBK-MSBciHAKT-LiNE. Cambridge MS* 
Heere folwitb fhe prologe of the marchaimtes tale ^^^ 

[X«qf MO {cotttoMnff the Mgrekanft vroloffiu, the pabUinff iffhim^ and 10 Um«§ of the 
tole) ha§ been cut out ttfthe Cambridge MS Gg. 4. 27.] 

\Cambr. Univ. MS Dd. 4. 24.] 
' [ M V T.epyng^andwaylyng*/ care and other sorwe [//loo] 
^ A / I knowe I-now / on Enen and on morwe 
W W Quod the Maichaimt / and so don othere moo 
f f That wedded "ben / I trowe that it be so 
fW wel I wot / it faieth so by me 
I haue a wjf / the werste that may be 
ffoT though the fend / to hire I-conpled were 
She wolde him on^ macche / I dar wel swere 1220 

what shiilde I 30W reherce / in special 
hire heye malice / she is a shrewe with al 
There is a long* / and a large di£ference 
Be-twix Grisildis / grete pacience 1224 

And of my wyf / the passyng* cruelte 
were I vnbonnden / also mot I the 
I wolde nenere eft / comen in the snare 
we wedded men / lyue in sorwe and care 1228 

Afisay who so wyl / and he shal fynde 
That I seye soth / be seynt Thomas of Inde 
As for the more part / I seye nat alle 
God shilde that it shulde / so byfalle 1 232 

A goods sire boost / I bane I-wedded be 
Theise Monthes two / and more nat parde 
And jet I trowe / that he that al his lyue 
wyflees hath ben / though that man wotd him ryue 1236 
Yn-to the hert / ne coude in no manere 
Tellen so meche sorwe / as I now here 
Coude tellen / of my wyues cursidnes 
Kow quod oure Host / Marchaunt so god jow blis 1240 
Syn 30 so mechil knowen / of that art 
fiid hertily I pray 30W / teUe ys part 
Gladly qttad he / but of myn owen sore 
ffor sory hert / I telle may nomore] [Ml m eriraetmids] 

CAMBBIDQE 874 (s-T. 442) [this page, Camb. Dd. 4. 24] 

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GBoup & § 4. MSBCHAHT^s TALE. Cambridge MS. 

[8loanel^B5, leaf S7.] 

[Wliilome fere was dwellynge in Lumbardye 

A wor^i kiiy3t ^t borne was at pavye . 

In whiche he lyued in giete prosperite 

And sixty )ere a wyfles man was he 1248 

And folowyd ay hya hodyly delyte 

On womman pen as was hys appetyte 

As don pGBe fonles ^t ben secoleis 

And whan ^t he was paste sixty jeres 1252 

Were hit for holynesse oi for doteage 

I can not sey but snche a giete corage 

hade ^is kny^t to be a weddid man 

]Mtt day and ny3t he dothe afi ^at he can 1 256 

To aspye where ^t he wedded my^t be 

Praynge onre lorde to graunten hym ^at ho 

Myjt onys knowe ^t blessefulle lyf 

That ys bytwext an hasbonde & his wyf 12G0 

And for to lenen Tnder ^t holy bonde 

With first god man to womman bande 

Non other lyf seyde ho ys worthe a bene 

For wedlok ys so esy & so dene] [mMmimexiraet ends] 

lliat in this world it is a paiadys [Otmk Of. 4. S7, leaf aei] 

Thus seyde this olde knyght ^at was so wys 

And serteynly as soth as god Is kyng 

To take a wyf it is a glorious thyng ] 268 

And nemely whan a man is old & here 

Thanne is a wyf the fireut of his tresorc 

Thanne schulde he take a jong wyf & a iayr 

On whiche he myjte engendere & bcon e3rr 1272 

CAMBRIDGE 273 (6-T. 44d) 

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GROUP E. § 4. mebchant's tale. Cambridge MS. 

And leede lud lyf in ioje & in solace 

Where as these hachelerys synge alias 

Whan that they fynde ony aduercitee 

In lone which is but childis vanytee 1276 

And tiewely it is weel to been so 

That bacheleiys ban ofte peyne & wo 

On brothil ground tbey bylde / & brothelnesse 

They fynde / whan they wene sekymesse 1 280 

They lyne bat as a biyd oi as a beste 

In lyberte & Yudji non aieste 

There as a weddede man in his estat 

Lenyth a lyf blysfol & ordenat 1284 

Yndyr the 30k of maryage I-bonnde 

Wei may his herte in ioye & blisse aboiinde 

fibr who can been so bnxsum as a wif 

Who is so trewe & ek so ententyf 1288 

To keepe hym syk & hoi as is his make 

ffoT weel or wo sche wele hym not for-sake 

Sche is nat weiy hym to loue & serae 

Thogh fat he lye bedrede tyl he sterue 1 292 

And 3it some derkys seyn it is nat so 

Of which y theo&aste is on of tho 

What fora thow Theo£raste lyste to lye 

Ne take no wyf quod he for husbonderye 1296 

As for to spare in houshold thyn dispence 

A trewe seruaunt doth more diligence 

Thyn good to kepe than tyn owene wyf 

ffor sche wele cleyme half part al hire lyf 1300 

And 3yf fon be sek so god me save 

Thynne verray firendys or a trewe knave 

Wele kepe ]>e bet / than sche that wayth ay ciwf mi. back] 

Aftyr thyn good / & hath doon manye a day 1304 

And )if thow take a wyf on to thyn hold / 

fful lyghtely mayst fou been a coukewold V Caue 

This sentence / & manye an hunderede werse 

Wryth this man / there god his bonys cursso 1 308 

CAMBKIDGE 276 (6-T. 444) 

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GBOUP E. § 4. kebchant's tale. Cambridge MS. 

But takjtli no kep of alio swich vanytee 

Defye Theofraste & herke me 

A wyf is godys jifte venayly 

AUe oyere manere jifbys hardyly 

As londys^ lentys / pastoie or commie 

Or meoblys alio been jiftys of fortune 

That passyn / as a scbadewe yp on a wal 

But dredles if pleynly speke I schal 

A wyf wele laste & in thyn hous endure 

Weel lengare than the lyste parauentuie 

Maryage is a ful gret sakxement 

He which that hath no wyf I helde hym schent 

He lyuyth helpeles & al desolat 

I speke of folk in seculeer estat 

And herke why I seye nat this for noght 

That woman is for manys helpe I-wrought 

The heye god' whan he badde adam makyd 

And say hym al arlone bely nakyd / 

€rod of his gieete goodnesse seyde than 

Lat VB now make an helpe yn-to this man 

Lyk to hym self & thanne he made hym Eue 




Heeie may 30 se &^ here may je preue 

That wif is manys helpe & his confort 

His paradys terestre / & his desport 1332 

So buxsum & so yerteyou^ is sche 

They muste nedis line in ynite 

On flesch they been & on blood as I gesse 

Hath but oon herte / in wele & in destresse 1336 

A wif a seynte Marie b^nedicite 

How myjte a man ban ony aduersite 

That hath a wif sertis I can not seye 

The blysse that is be-twixe hew tweye 1340 

Ther may non tunge telle nor herte thynke peaf sesj 

jif he be pore sche helpith hywi to swynke 

Sche kepith his good / & wastyth neuere a dd 

Al that hire husbonde luste hire likyth weel 2344 

CAMBRIDGE 277 (6-T. 416) 

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6B0VFE. § 4. MBBOHANT^s TALK Cambridge MS. 

Scbe seyth nat onys nay whan he seyth ye 

Do this seyth he al redy sere seyth sche 

O blysful ordere of wedlek precious 

Thow art so meiye & ek so vertyuous 1348 

And so comendit & apreuyd ek 

That euery man that halt hym worth a lek 

Vp-on hise bare kneis oghte al his lyf 

Thankyn his god that hym hath sent a wyf 1352 

Or ellys preye to god hjm for to fynde 

A wif to laste vn-to his lyuys ende 

ffoT thamie his lyf is set in sekymesse 

He may not ben disseyuyd as I gesse 1356 

So fat he werche aftyr his wyuys reed 

Thanne may he baldely beryn vp his heed 

They been so trewe & therw/t^al so wise 

ffor which jif fou wilt werkyn as the wyse 1300 

Do alwey so as wemen wele y reede 

Lo how that lacob as these clerkys rede 

By good conseyl of his modyr Rebekko 

Bond the kidis skyn a-bouty?} his nekke 13G4 

ffor which hia faderis benysofL he wan 

Lo ludith as the story telle can 

By good conseyl sche godys peple kcpte 

And slow hym Olefemus as he slepte 1368 

Lo Abigayl bi good conseyl how sche 

Sanede hire husbonde / Naabal wha» ))at he 

Schulde a be slayn & loke Ester also 

By good conseyl deliuerede out of woo 1372 

The peple of god / & made hym Mardoche 

To assure en-hau7isede for to bee 

There nys no thyng In gre superlatyf 

As seyth senec . A-boue an humble wyf 1376 

Suffere thyn wyuys tunge as catoun bit 

Sche schal comaunde & sche schal suffere it 

And jit sche wele obeye of curteysye [leaf ««, bock] 

A wyf is kepere of thyn husbondrye 138(X 

CAMBKIDOE 278 (6-T. 446) 

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Qfiouf E. § 4 msbohant'b talb. Cambridge MS. 

Weel may the syke man bewayle & wepe 

There as J^er is no wif the hous to kepe 

I wame the jif wisely thow wilt wepche 

Loue wel thyn wif / as Ciyst loaede his cherche 1384 

K thow louyst thyn self thow louyst thy» wyf 

"So man hatyth his flesch but in his lyf 

He fosteryth it & therfore bidde I the 

Cheryche thyn wyf or thow schat neuere the 13dd 

Husbonde or wyf / what so men lape or pleyo 

Of wordely folk / holdyn J>e sikere weye 

They been so knyt there may non harm be-tyde 

And namely vp-on the wyuys syde 1392 

ffor which this lanuarye of whiche I tolde 

Gonsiderede hath with hise dayis olde 

The lusty lyf / the vertyvous quiete 

That is in maryage hony swete 1396 

And for hise frendis on a day he sente 

To tellyn hem tefifect of his entente 

% With fjEUse sad / his tale he hath hem told 

He seyde frendis I am hor & old 1400 

And alwey god wot on myn pittis brynke 

Yp-on the soule smnwhat muste I thynke 

I haue myn body folyly dispendit 

Blyssede be god that it schal ben armendit 1 404 

ffor I wele been certayn a weddede man 

And that a-noon / in al the haste I can 

Yn-to sum mayde fayr & tendere of age 

I preye 30W schapith for myn maryage 1408 

Al sodeynly for / I nyl nat a^byde 

And I wele fonde tespie on myn syde 

To whom I may been weddit hastyly 

But for as meche as je been mo than I 1412 

3e schul rathere swich a thyng espyen 

Than I & wheere me best were to allyen 

But on thyng weme I )ow mynne freendis dcere 

I wele non old wyf han in no manere — 1416 

CAMBRIDGE 879 (6-T. 447) 

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GROUP E. § 4. hbbohant's tale. Cambridge MS. 

8che schal not passe twenty ^eer certayn [iMf asq 

Old fysch & jong flesch/ wolde I bane fal fSayn 

Bet is quod he a pyk thsji a pykerel 

And bet than old bef is the tendere veel 1420 

I wil no weman / thietty jeei of age 

It is but benestiaw / & gret forage 

And ek these olde wyuys god it wot 

They cnnne so meche ciaft on wadis boot 1424 

So meche broke harm whan hem leste 

That with hem schulde I neuere lyue in reste 

fibr sondery scolys make subtyl clerkys 

Woman of manye scole half a clerk is 1 428 

But serteynly a jong thyng may men gye 

Byght as men may warm wex with handis plyo 

Wherfore I sey jow pleynly in a clause 

I wele noon old wyf ban for this cause 1432 

ffor ^if so were I hadde swich myschaunce 

That I in hire ne coude haue no plesaunce 

Thanne schulde [I] lede myn lyf in a-vouterye 

And streyt to the deuyl whan I deye 1436 

Ne chyldere schulde I none yp-on hire gete 

Jit were me leuere houTMiis haddyn me etyn 

Than that myn ery tage schulde fedle 

In straunge hand & this I telle jow alle 1440 

I dote not I wot the cause why 

Men schulde wedde & ferthere more wot I 

There spekyth manye a man of mariage 

That wot no more of it tha9» wot myn page 1444 

ffor whiche causis men schulde take a wyf 

Sitli he ne may nat line chast his lyf 

Tak hym a wyf wit^ gret deuociouTi 

By cause of leful procreacioun 1448 

Of childere too thonour of god a-boue 

And nat only / for paramour or loue 

And for they schulde / lecherye eschue 

And ^ilde here dette / whan fat it is dewe 1452 

CAlfBRIBOE 280 (6-T. 448) 

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449 8IZ-TEXT 

gboupE. §4. msbchant'&talb. Cambridge MS. 

Or for eche of hem / schulde lielpyw oyer 

In myschif / as a systyr / schal the brothir 

And lyuyn in chastite fal holj-lj [ImT m, bnk^ 

But siris bi ^oure leue fat am not I 1456 

ffor god be thankjd I dar make arvaunt 

I fele myn lemys starke & suffisaont 

To do al that a man bihouyth to 

I wot myn self best what I may do 1460 

Thow I be hoi I fare as doth a tree 

That blosmeth er than freut I-weze bee 

A blosmy tie is neythir dreye ne ded 

I fele me newer hor but on myn heed 1464 

Myn herte & alle mynne lymys been as grene 

As lanrer thonigh y jeer is ay seene 

And syn that je han herd al myn entente 

I prey 30W to myn wil je wele assente 1468 

V Dyneis men dyuersly hym tolde 

Of manage manye ensaumplis olde 

Some blamede it some preysede it certeyn 

But at the laste schortely for to seyn 1472 

As alday fsdlyth altercacioui» 

By-twyxe fryndys in disputacionn 

There fyl a stryf bi-twyxen hise bretheryn two 

Of which that on is clepid placebo Placebo 

lustinos sothly cleped was that ofer 

Placebo seyde lanuaiye brothii 

fiul lityl neede/ hadde 30 myn lord so deere 

Conseyl to axe of ony that is heeie 1 480 

But that 30 been so ful of sapience 

That jow ne lykyth for jouie hye pradence 

To wyue fro the word of Salamon 

r liycaapUMs^imt 

L J amarkcfomitniom; 

Werke alle thynge by conseyl thus seyth he bl^ii^attkib^Lm 

of the letifjbr tJke 

And thanne schat Jktu not ropente the omuud wordt.} 

And thow that salamon spak swych a word 

Myn owene deere brothir & myn lord 14ii8 

CAMBBIDOB 281 (6-T. 449) 

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450 8IZ-TEXT 

GROUP S. § 4. merchant's tale. Can^bridge MS* 

So wysely god myn soule brynge at reste 

I holde ^ore conseyl is the beste 

ffor brothir myn of me tak this motyf 

I haue now been a court man al myn lyf 1492 

And god it wot thow I onworthy bee peaf smj 

I bane stondyn in fed gret de-gree 

A-boutyn lordis of ful high estaat 

3eet hadde I neueie with non of hem debaat 1496 

I neuere hem contraryed trewely^. 

I woot weel that myn lord can mooie fan I 

What that he seyth I holde it ferme & stable 

I sey the same or ellys thyng semblable 1500 

A ful gret fol is ony conseyllour 

That seruyth ony lord of hey onour 

That dar presume or ellys thynkyn it 

That his conseyl schulde passe his lordis wit 1504 

Kay lordis been none folys be myn fay 

3ee ban joure self schewid heere to day 

So high sentence so holyly Ss so wel 

That I consente & conferme euery deel 1508 

3oure wordis alle & joure opynyoun 

By god there nys no man in al this touiz 

Ke in al ytayil that coude bet a sayd 

Cryst hoold hym of this consayl wol weel apayed 1512 

And trewely it is an hygh corage 

Of ony man that schapyn is in age 

To takyn a ^ong t^yf by mjn fader ken 

3oure herte hangith on a loly pyn 1516 

Doth now in this matyr ry^t as 90W lyst 

ffor finally I holde it for the best 

If lustinus ^t ay stylle sat & herde lustin?^ 

By^t in this wyse / to placebo answerde 1520 

Now brothir myn be padent I preye 

Syn ^e ban seyd & herkenyth what I seye 

Senek a-mong hisa othere wordis wyse Senecai 

£lyn that a man hym oujte rygh weel tavise 1524 

23 CAMBRIDGE 282 (6-T. i60) 

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,dR0up S. § 4. mbbghant's tale. Cambridge MS. 

To whom he ^eujUh his lond or Ids catel 

And syn I oujte a-vise me ij^t wel 

To whom I jeue myn good a-wey fro mo 

Weel more I ou3te avisede be 1528 

To w^om I jeue myn body for alwey 

I wame jow weel it is no childys pley 

To take a wif with-oute a-vyaement otriM. bMkj 

Meen mnste enquyie this is myn assent 1532 

Wher sche be wys & sobeie or dronkelewe 

Or prond or othere weyis a schrewe 

A chidystere .or wastouur of thyn good 

Or lyche or pore or ellis mannyssch wood 1 536 

Al be it so that no man fyndyn scbal 

Koon in this world that tiottyth hool in al 

Ne man ne beste whiche as men coude deuyse 

But nathe-lees it oghte Lnough suffise 1540 

VfiUi ony wyf ^if so were that sche hadde 

Moo thewys goode / than / vicis badde 

And al this askyth leyser for tenqueere 

ffor god it wot I bane wepte manye a tere 1544 

fful pn'uyly syn that I hadde a wyf 

Preyso ho so wole a weddede manys lyf 

Certeyn I fynde it but cost & care 

And obseraancis of alle blyssis bare 1548 

And jit god wot myne neighe-bouris a-boute 

And namely of women manye a route 

Seyn that I haue the moste stedefSast wyf 

And ek the mekeste on that beiyth lyf 1552 

But I wot best where wrywgeth me myn scho 

Ye mowe for lyght as jow leste do 

A-viseth jow je been a man of age 

How that je enteryn / in-to a maryage 1556 

And namely with a jyng wif. & a fayr 

By hym that maade watyr erthe & ayr 

The jyngeste man that is in al this route 

Is bisy I-nogh to biyngyn it a-boute 1560 

CAMBKIDGB 888 (6-T. 45l) 

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oRocjp E. § 4L' merchant's tale. Cambridge MS. 

To han his wif a-lone trostytli me 

36 schul not plese hire fully jerys thre 

This is to seyne to don hire fol plesaunce 

A wyf axeth ful manye an obseTaaii7?ue 1564 

I preye jow that je ben nat euele a-payed 

V Weel quod this lanuarye hast fou sayd 
Straw for thyne senek & for thyw prouerbis 

I counte not a paner ful of erbys 1568 

Of scole termys wisere men than thow Dmf 2053 

As thow hast herd assentedyn right now 

To myn purpos Placebo what sey je 

I seye it is a cursede man quod he 1572 

That lettyth matrimonye sekerly 

And with that word they rysyn sodeynly^ ^oSSn^^^Z^jSt] 

And been assentid fully that he schulde 

Been wedded whan hym leste & where he wolde 1576 

V His fantasye / & curyous besynesse 
ffirom day to day / gan in the soule enpressp 
ffor lanuarye a-boute his maryage 

Manye fayr schap & manye fayr visage 1580 

There passede thorw his herte nygh^ be nyght 
As who 80 take a myrour pulschede bryght . 
And sette it in a comoun market place 
Thanne schnlde he seen manye a figeur pace^ C*^r«< fki^ 
By his myrour & in the same wyse 
Gan lanuarie in with his thought arvyse 
Of maydenys which that dwellyn hym by syde 
He wiste nat where that he myghte a-byde 1588 

ffor jif that on haue beute in his face 
A nothir stant so in the puplis grace 
ffor hire sadnesse & hire benyngnetee 
Tha* of the peple gretteste voys hadde sche 159^ 

And some were ryche & haddyn badde name 
But natheles by-twixe emest & game 
He at the laste apoyntyd hym on on 
. And leet alle ofa-e from his herte goon 1596 

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453 8IX-TRXT 

.GROUP E. § 4.. icebchant's tals. Cambridge MS. 

And chese liire of bis owene antoritee 
ffor loue is bljnd alday & may not see 
And whan that he was in his bedde brought 
He poitreyede in his herte & in his thought 1600 

Hiie frossche beute & hyie age tendere 
Hire mjddyl smal & hiie annjs longe & sklendeie 
Hire wise goueniaunce / hiie gentillesse 
Hire womanly beiynge & hire sadnesse 1604 

And whan that he on hire was condessendit 
Hjm thoujte his choys my^te not been a-mendii 
ffor whan that he hym selue condudede hadde PMf ns^ i»ekj 
Hym thou^te eche otheie manys wit so badde 1608 

That impossible it were to replye 
A-geyn his choys that was his fimtassie 
Hise firendis sente he th**' at his instaunce i}to attend to tb»} 
And preyede hem to do hym that plesauiice 1612 

That hastdy they wolde don hym come 
He wolde abr^ hire lordschej^e alle en some 
l^edyih namore for hym to goon ne ryde 
He* was a-poyntid there he wolde a-bide p e frrmttd\ 1616 
Placebo cam & ek hise frendis soone 
And aldyiferst he had hem alle a boone 
That noone of hem / noone aigumentis make 
Ageyn the puipos which that he hath take. 1620 

Which purpos was pleeaunt to god seyde h3 
And yerray ground of his piosperitee 
He seyde there was a maydyn in the toun 
Which that of beute hadde greet renoun 1624 

Al weere it so sche weere of smal d^^ 
Suffiseth hym hire jouthe & hire beutee 
Whiche mayde he seyde he wolde han to his wyf 
To leede in ese-ft holynesse his lyf 1628 

/Lnd thankede god that he my3te han hire al 
That no wy^t of his blysse partyn schal 
And preyede hem to laboure in this nede 
And schapen that he fiiyle nat to speede 1632 

cAMHRinQE sas (e-T,.463) 

Digitized by 



6R0UF E. § 4. m£rchant's talb. Caoicbridge MEk 

fbi thanne he seyde his spiiyght was at ese * 

Thanne is quod he no thyng may me displese 

Saue on thyng prikyth in myn concience 

The whiche I wele reherce in 30ure presence 1636 

^ I haue he seyde herd seyd / ful jore ago 

There may no man haue parfit blyssis two 

This is to seyne in erthe & ek in heuene 

ffor thow he kepe hym from the synnys seuene 1640 

And ek from eueiy biaunce of tylke tree 

Jit is there so parfit felicite 

And so greet ese & lust in maryage 

That euere I am a^^t / now in myn age 1644 

That I schal leede now so merie a lyf peaf 266} 

So delicat with<oute woo & stiyf 

That I schal han myn heuene in erthe here 

ffor sythe that yeray heuene is boi^t so dere 1648 

With tribulacyowtnys & greet penaunce 

How schulde I thanne lyue in swich plesaunce 

As alle weddede men doon with here wyuys 

Come to the blis there Crist eteme on liue is 1652 

This is myn drede & je myne brethere tweye 

Assoylyth me this questiouTi I preye 

IT lustinus whiche that hatith his folye 

Answerde a-noon ry3t in his laperye 1656 

And for he wolde his longe tale abregge 

He wolde non autorite a-legge 

But seyde sere so there be noon obstakele 

Othir than this god of his heye mirakele 1660 

And of his mercy may so for 30W werche 

That er 30 han joure ryjt of holy cherche 

3e may repente of weddede manys lyf 

In whiche 3e se ther is no woo no stryf 1664 

And ellis god for-beede but he sente 

A weddede man hym grace to repente 

Wei ofte rathere than a sengle man 

And therfore syre the beste reed fat I can 166S 

CAMBBIDOE 886 (6-T. 454) 

Digitized by 



.6B0UP E. § 4. merchant's talb. Cambridge US. 

Dispeyie 50W not but bauyih in memorye 

Perauntir sche may been joure purgatorye 

Sche may been goddis meene & goddys wbippe 

Tbanne scbal joure soule vp to beuene skyppe 1672 

Swiftere tban an arwe out of a bown 

I bope to god bere aftyr 30 scbul knowe 

That ther is non so greet felycite 

In maryage ne neuere moi scbal be 1676 

That 30W scbal lette of 30ure saluacioun 

So that 30 Yse as skil is & resoun 

The lustis of 3oure wyf attemprely 

And that 3e plese hire nat to amourously 1 G80 

And that 3e kepe 30W ek from othere synne 

Myn tale is doon for myn T^it is tbenne 

Bytb not argast beere-of myn brothir dere D«trs08, t^rk] 

But let vs wadyn * out of this mateere p o corrwf«d] 1 684 

The wyf of bathe 3if 3e ban vndyrstonde 

Of maryage wbicb 3e ban on honde 

Declarid batb f ul wel in lytyl space 

ifaryth now weel god baue 30W in bis grace 1688 

And with that word this lustyne & bis brotliir 

They take here leue & echo of bem of otbir 

fibr whan they sagb that it muste needis be 

They wrougbte so sly & wys tretee 1692 

That sche this mayde which ]>at Mayus hygbte 

As hastyly as euere sche mygbte 

Scbal weddede been on to this lanuarye 

I trowe it weere to longe now to tarye 1696 

3if I 30W tolde of euery scrit & bond 

By whicb that sche was fefiFyd in his ^lond pi «orr«j«^ 

Or for to berkene of hire ryche aray 

But fynally is comyn the day 1 700 

That to the cherche bothe be they went 

ffor to resceyue the holy sacrement 

ffbrtb comyth the prest witb stole a-bout bis nekke 

And bad hire be lyk sarra & rebekke 1704 

CAMBRIDGE 287 (S-T. 455) 

Digitized by 



GROUP E. § 4. mebohant's talb. Cambridge MS. 

In wisdam & in trouthe of maryage 

And seyde his orysounnys as is vsage 

And crouchith hem & bit god schulde hem blysse 

And made al sikyr I-nough vriUi holynesse 1708 

Thus been they weddit with solempneteo 

And at the laste sittyth he & sche 

With otheie worthi folk vp on the deys 

Al fill of loye & blisse is the paleys 1712 

And fnl of instnunentis & of vitayle 

The moste deynteuou^ of al Itaylle 

By-fom hem stood swich instrament of soun 

That Orpheus nor ^ Thebes Amphiou/t [» r corrected 1716 

Ne made neuere swich a melodye 

At enery cours ))an cam loud menstialsye 

That neuere tnuriped leob for to heere 

Ne Theodomas jit half so cleere 1720 

At Thebes whan the Citee was in doute Dtafw?! 

Bacus the wyn hem shynketh alle arboute 

And venus laugheth vp-on euery wyght 

iTor January e bycomyn was hire knyght 1724 

And wolde bothe asaye hise corage 

In liberte & ek in maryage 

And with hire fyr brond in hire han* arboute 

Daunceth by-fore the bryde & al the route 1728 

And certeynly I dare ryjt wel sey this 

Ymeneus / that god of weddyng is 

Saw neuere his lyf / so merye a weddede man 

Hold thow thyn pees / thow poete Marcian 1732 

That wiytist vs that ilke weddyng murye 

Of hire Philologie / & hym mercurie 

And of the song that the Musys sunge 

To smal is bothe thi penne & ek thyn tuuge 1736 

ffor to discryue of thy;?, maryage 

Whan tender jouthe haue weddit stoupy^ige age 

There is swych myrthe It may not been I-wretyn 

Assayeth it joure self thanne may je wetyn 1740 

CAMBRIDGE 288 (6-T. 466) 

Digitized by 



^aBoup Ei § 4. XERCHANT*8 TALB. Canibridge MS. 

3if that I lye or noon / in this matjie 

Mayus that sit with / so benynge a cheere 

Hire to byholde it semede fayrye 

Queen Ester lokede neuere yfith swich an eye 1744 

On Assure / so meke a lok hath sche 

I may )ow nat deuyse al hure beutee 

But thus meche of hire beute telle I may 

That sche was lyk the bryjte morwe of may 1748 

fful fyld of alle beute & of plesaunce 

This lanewaiye is rauyst in a traunce 

At euery tyme ho lokede on hire face 

But in his herte he gan hire manace 1752 

That* he that nyght in armys wolde hire streyne 

Hardere than euere paiys dede Eleyne 

But natheles ^it hadde he greet pitee 

That ilke nyjt offendyn hire muste hee 1756 

And thoujte alias o tendere creature 

Ifow wolde god je myjte wel endure 

Al myn corage it is so scharp & keene PMf W7. back] 

I am a-gast je schul it not susteene 1760 

But god for-beede pat I dede al myn my3t 

Now wolde god^ that it were waxe nyght r,*»«goodj 

And that the ny^t / wolde lastyn euere mo 

I wolde that al this peple were a-go 1764 

And fynally he doth al his labour 

As he best myghte / sauynge his honour 

To haste hem from the meete in subtyl wyse 

The tyme cam that resoun was to ryse 1 768 

And aftyr that men daunce / & drynkyn faste 

And spicis al aboute the hous they caste 

And ful of ioye & blysse is euery man 

Alle but a squier* hyte Damyan 1772 

The whiche carf by-fore )>* knyght manye a day 

He was rauysschd on his lady May 

That for the yerray peyne he was nygh wood 

Almost he schulde a swounnede as he stod 1776 

CAMBRIDGE 289 (6-T. 467) 

Digitized by 


458 8IX-TBZT 

OBOUP E. § 4. i^erchant's talb. Cambridge MS. 

So sooie liath yenus hurt him with hire brond 

Ab that sche bar daunsynge in hire hand^ [» ajww^ altered u> o] 

And to here bed they wenty w hastyly 

^a moore at this tyme speke I 1 780 

But theere I leete hym weepe I-nogh & pleyne 

Tyl frosche may wele rewyn on his peyne 

perylona fyr J>at in the bed straw bredyth Auctor 

famulier fo that Ms seruise beedith 1784 

O seroamit traitour false homeli hewe 

Lyk to the neddere in bosuTn sly ontrewe 

God schilde yb alle from ^oure aqueyntaunce 

O lanuarie dronkyn in plesaunce 1 788 

In manage se how thyn damyan 

Thyn owene squyer & thyn bore man 

Entendyth for do the velanye 

God graunte the thyn homely fo tespye 1792 

ffor in this world is wersse pestelence 

Than homely foo alwey in thyn presence 

IT Parformede hath the sunne his ark dynme 

2^0 lengere may the body of hyy/i soiume 1796 

On thorisonte / as in that latitude [leaf ses] 

Kigh with his mental that is derk & rude 

Gan ouexsprede Themysperie a-boute 

fibr which departid is this bUsful route 1800 

ffirom lanuarie with stant on euery syde 

Hoom tyl here housis hastily they ryde 

Where as they don heie thyngis as hem leste 

And whan they saw here tyme goon to reste 1804 

Soone aft3rr that this lusty Januarys 

Wol go to bedde he wil no lengere tarye 

He drynkith Ipocras clarre^ <& yemage C* ^Ant dene] 

Of spicis hoote tencresyn his corage 1808 

And manye a letuarie hadde he ful fyn 

Swych as the cursede Monk daun Constantyn 

Hath wretyn in his cursede bok de Coita 

To ete hem alle he was no thyng eschu 1812 

CAMBBIDQB 290 (6-T. 468) 

Digitized by 



GBouF E. § 4. mkrchant's tal£. Cambridge MS. 

And to hise priue frendis thus seyde he 

ffor godis loue as soone as it may bee 

Let voydyn al this hous in curteys wyse 

And they han doon ry^t as they wole deuyse 1816 

Men drynkyn & the trauys drawe a-non 

The bryde was brough a bedde as stylle as ston 

And whan the bed was was with the prest I-blyssid 

Out of the chambeie hath euery wygh hym dressid 1820 

And lanuarye hath faste in armys take 

His frosche May his paradys his make 

He lullyth hiie he kissith hire ful ofbe 

With thiike brustelis of his herd on-softe 1824 

Lyk to the skyn of houndfysch scharp as brere 

ffor he was schaae al newe in his manere 

He rubbith hire a-boute hire tendcre face 

Ajid seide thus alias I mote trespace 1828 

To jow myn spouse & 50 w gretly offende 

£r tyme come that I schal dowi dessende 

But nathe-les consideryth this quod he 

There wot no werkeman what so euere he be 1832 

That may bothe werke weel & hastely 

This wil been don at leyser parfitly 

It is no fors how longe that we pleye [leftf mb, i»ck] 

In trewe wedlok coupplit been we tweye 1836 

And blyssede be the )ok that we been inne 

ffor in [oure] actis we mowe don no synne 

A man may doon no synne with his wif 

Ke hurte hym selue with his owene knyf 1840 

ffor we han leue to pleye ts bi the lawe 

Thus labourith he tyl the day gan dawe 

And thaTme he takyth a soppe in fyn clarree 

And vp iy3t in his bed thanne sittyth hee 1844 

And aftyr that he song ful loude & clere 

And kyste his wif & made wantoun cheere 

He was al coltissh / ful of ragerye 

And ful of largoun / as a flekkede pye 1848 

CAMBRIDGE 291 (6-T. 459) 

Digitized by 



GBODP Ei § 4. mebghant's tale. CaiD^bridge MS. 

The slakke skyn a-boute hie nekke shakyth 

"VVhil that he song so chuntyth he & crakyth 

But god wot wat that May thou3te in hire herte 

Whan sche hym say yp syttyn in his scherte 1852 

In his nyght cappe & in his nekke lene 

Sche preyseth nat his pleying worth a beene 

Thanne seyde he thus myn teste wele I take 

Kow day is come I may no lengere waake 1856 

And doun he leyde his heed & slep tyl pryme 

And afbyrwaid whan that he saugh his tyme 

Vp lyseth lamiarie but frosche may 

Held^ hire chaumbere tyl the fourte day [' id corrected] 1860 

As Ysage is of wyuys for the beste 

ffor euery labour sumtyme mote han reste 

Or eUis longe may he not endure 

This is to seyne no lyuys creature 1864 

Be it of fysch or bryd or beste or man 

IT Now wele I speke of woful Damian 

That languysse)) for loue as )e schal heere 

Therfore I speke to hym in this maneere 1868 

I seye sely Damyan / alias 

Answere to myn demaunde as in this cas 

How schalt thow to thyw lady frosche May 

Telle thyn wo / sche wele alwey seye nay 1872 

Ek 3if thu speke sche wele thyn wo bi-wreye^ n^af «<»] 

God be thyn helpe I can no betere seye ^ **'^^ 

This syke Damyan in Venus fyr 

So brennyth that he deyeth for desyr 1873 

ffor which he put his lyf in auenture 

No lengere myghte he in this lyf endure 

But pryuyly a pennere gan he borwe 

And in a lettere wrot he al his sorwe 1880 

In maner of a compleynt or a lay 

Vn-to his fayre frosche lady May 

And in a purs of silk he hyng on his scherte 

fio haih it put <& leyd it at his herte 1884 

CAMBRIDGE 292 (6-T. 46Q) 

Digitized by 


461 8IX-TBZT 

GROUP Ei § 4. JosBCHANx'a TALE. Cambridge MS. 

The mone that at noon was thiike day 

That lanuarie hath weddyd frosche May 

In two of Taur was in-to Cancre glydyn 

So longe hath Mayus in hire chaumbre a-bedyn 1888 

As cttstome is vn-to these nobles alle 

A bryde schal nat etyn in the halle 

Til foure or thre dayia at the leste 

I-passede been thanne lat hire goon to feste 1892 

The fourte day compleef from noon to noon 

Wha* that the hie masse was I-doon U^nt whatj 

In halle sit this lanuarye & May 

As &osche as is the bryghte somerys day 1896 

And so bi-fel how that this goode man 

Bemembrede hym vp-on Damyan 

And seyde seyntemarye how may this be 

That damyan entendith nat to me 1900 

Is he ay sik or how may it be-tyde 

Hise squyeris that stodyn there by syde 

Excusede hym by cause of his siknesse 

Whiche lettede hyn to don his busynesse 1904 

Koon othir cause my^t make hjm to tarye 

That me forthy/zkyth quod this lanuarye 

He is a gentil squyer by myn treuthe 

jif that he deye it were harm & reuthe 1908 

He is as wys descreet & as secre 

As ony man I wot of hys degre 

And therto manly & ek seruysable peaf m9. i»ck] 

And for to been a thrifty man ry3t able 1912 

But aftyr mete as sone as euere I may 

I wele myn self visite hym & eek May 

To don hym al the confort pat 1 kan 

And for that ilke word hym blyssede euery man 1016 

That of his bounte & his gentillesse 

he wolde so confortyn in seknesse 

his squyer for it was a gentyl dede 

]}«me quod this lanuarye tak good heede 1920 

CAMBRIDOS 998 (S-T. 461) 

Digitized by 



GROUP Ei § 4. msbchamt's talb. Cambridge MS. 

At aftyr mete ^e with jore women alle 

Whan 3e han been in chaumbere out of this halle 

That alle ^e go to se this damyan 

Both hjm disport he is a gentil man 1924 

And telljth hym that I wele hym visite 

Haue I no thyng biit lestede me a lyte 

And speede 30W £sLste for I wele a-byde 

Til that je slepe faste by myn syde 1928 

And with that word he gan to hym to calle 

A squyer that was marchale of his halle 

And told hym serteyn wordis that he wolde 

This fiosche May hath streyt hire woye I-holde 1932 

With alle hire wemen on to Damyan 

Donn by his beddis syde sit sche than 

Confortyytge hym as goodly as sche may 

This damyan whan that his tyme he say 1936 

In secre wyse his purs & ek his bille 

In which that he I-wrytyn hadde' his wille ph««ra»«f] 

Hath put In-to hire hand wttA-outyn moore 

Sane pat he sikyth wondyr deepe & soore 1940 

And sofbely to hire thus seyde he 

Mercy & that je nat discouere me 

ffor I am deed jif that this thyng be kyd 

This purs hat^ sche / in with hire bosum hid 1944 

And wente hyre woy je gete no more of me 

But vn-to lanuarye I-comyn is. sche 

That on his. beddis. syde sat ful softe 

And t^kyth hire & kysseth hire ful ofte 1948 

And leyde hym doun to slepe & that a-non ci«af 270] 

Sche feynede hire as that sche muste goon 

There as je wot that euery man mot neede 

And whan sche of that bille hath takyn heede 1952 

Sche rente it al to cloutis at the laste 

And in the pryue sofbely it caste 

IT Who stodyeth now but fayre frosche May 

A-doun by olde lanuarye sche lay 1956 

eAMBBIDGE 1i94 (6-T. 46S) 

Digitized by 



QBoup S. § 4. merchant's tale^ Calnbridge HS. 

That slepte tyl that the co^e* hath hywiti-wakyd 

A-non he preyede hire to stryppe hire al nakyd *^ * 

He wolde of hire he seyde han sum plesaunce 

And seyde hire clothis dide hym enctimbrauwce 1 960 

And sche obeyeth be hire lef or loth 

But lest the precious folk be with me wroth 

How that he wrou^te I dar not to jow telle 

Or whethir hire thoughte it ^aradys or helle 1964; 

But heere I lete hem werke in hire wyse 

Til euynsong rong & thanne they muste ryse 

"Were it by desteny or by auenture 

Were it by influence or by nature 1968 

Or constellacioun / that in swich estat 

The heuene stood / that tyme fortunat 

jffor to putte a bille / forth of venus werkis 

ifor aUe thywge hath tyme / as sey these clerkys 1972 

To ony woman for to geete hire loue 

I can not seye but greete god a-boue 

That knowith that noon act is causeles 

He decme of alle / for I wil holde myn pees 1976 

But soth is this how that this frossche May 

Hath take swich emprescioun that day 

Of pite of this ilke damyan 

That from hire herte sche ne dryue can 1980 

This ^remembrauwce for to doon hym ese P fm» aiurtd] 

Sertayn thou3te sche / who7?i that this thyng displese 

I rekke not / for here I hym assure 

To loue hym best/ of ony criature 1984 

Thow he namore / hadde thaw his scherte 

Lo pete rennyth sone / in gentyl herte 

Heere may je se how excellent fraunchise [torf«7o,b«ck] 

In wemen is whan they hem weel a-vise 1988 

Sum tyraunt is as theere been manyon 

That hath ^ an herte as hard as is a ston c>hifwer<Af] 

Which wolde a lat hym steruyw in the place 

Wei rathere than grawityn hym hire grace 1992 

CAMBRIDGE 295 (6-T. 4^3) 

Digitized by 


464 8IX-TEXT 

GROUP E. § 4. merchant's talb. Cambridge MS. 

And hem reioysjm in hire crewel pryde 

And rekkyn nat to been An homytyde 

This gentil May fulfyld of pitee 

By^t of hire owene hand makede sche 199d 

In which sche grauntyth hym hire werra^ grace 

There lakkyth not but only day & space 

Where that sche my^te vn-to his lust sufiyse 

ffor it schal been ry3t as 30 wele deuyse 2000 

And whan sche saugh hire tyme vp-on a day 

To yisite J>iB Damyan/ goth May 

And subtyly this lettere doun sche threste 

Vndyr his pilwe rede it jif him leste 2004 

Sche takyth hym by the hand & harde^ hym twyste 

So secrely that no man of it wyste ^"^ 

And bad hym been al hoi / & forth sche wente 

To lanuarye whan that he for hire sente 2003 

IT Vp ryseth Damyan^ the nexte morwe pa«orr«r<«f] 

Al passede was his siknesse & his sorwe 

And kymbith hym & proynyth' hym & pikyth ^l^^lf^f' 

He dooth al th»* hym luste & lykyth 2012 

And ek to lanuarye he goth as lowe 

As euere dede a dogge for the bo we 

He IB so plesau7it on to euery man 

ffor craft is al / ho so do it can 2016 

That euery wyjt \a fayn to don hy?^ good 

And fully in his ladyis grace he stood 

Thus leete I Damyan a-boute his neede 

And in myn tale forth I wele procede 2020 

% Some clerkis seyn that felicitee 

Stant in delyt / & therfore scrteyn he 

This noble lanuarie with al his my^t 

In honeste wys as longith to a kny^t 2024 

Schop hym to lyue ful delyciously [\mivin 

His housynge his a-ray as honestcly 

To his degre was makyd as a kyng is 

A-mongis his othere honeste thyngis 2028 

CAMBRIDGE 296 (S-T. 464) 

Digitized by 



6B0UP E. § 4. merchant's tale. Ca]iil>riclge MS< 

He made a gardyn wallede al wyth stoon 

So fayr a gardyn woot I nowher noon 

flfor out of doute I verrayly suppose 

That he that wrot the romauns of the rose 2032 

Ne coude of it the heute weel deuyse 

Ke priapus ne my^te nat suffyse 

Thow he be god of gaidynys for to telle 

The beaute of the gardyn & the welle 2036 

That stood vndyr a laurer al wey grene 

fful ofte tyme he pluto & his queene 

Proserpen & al hire fayrye 

Disportyn hem & makyn melodye 2040 

A-houte that welle & dauncedyn as men tolde 

This noble knyght this lanuarye the olde 

Swich deynte hath^ //initio walke & pleye ^\JSSS^' 

That he wele no 'wy3t suffere to here J>* keye 2044 

But he hym self / for of the smale wiket 

He bar alwey of syluyr a Clyket 

Of which whan that hym lykith he it on-schette 

And whan he wolde paye his wyf hire dette 204S 

In somyr sesoun thidyr wolde he go 

And May his wyf & no wyjt but they two 

And thyng that were nat doon a bedde 

He in the gardyn parfornede hem <& spedde 2052 

And in this wyse manye a merye day 

Lyuede this lanuarye & frossche May 

But wordely ioye may non alwey dure 

To lanuarie ne to non creature 2056 

IT O sodeyn hap o fortune onstable 

Lyk to the scorpioun so deceyiuible 

That flateris wythyn hed wha^i fou wolt stywgo 

Thyn tayl is deeth thourgh thyn enuenymyuge 2060 

bretil Ioye o sweete venym queynte 

O Monstre that so subtyly canst peynte 

Tynne jiftys vndyr colour of stedefastnesse [ie»ft7i,i»cki 

That thow disseuyst bothe moore & lesse 2064 

qAMBRIDOE 297 (S-T. 46o) 

Digitized by 



OBOUP E. § 4. mebohant's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Wlihy bast tbow lanuaris tbus disseyuyd 

Tbat baddjst bym for tbyn fulle frend rescoyuyd 

And now tbow hast by-raft bym botbe bis lyen 

ffor sorwe of wbicb desyrytb be to deycn 2068 

Alias tbis noble lanuarye free 

A-mydde bis lust & bis prospmtee 

Is waxen blynd / & tbat al sodeynly 

He wepitb & be waylytb pitoosly ' [i pitouaiy eorreeud] 2072 

And tberwitbal tbe fyr of lelusye 

Lest tbat bis wif scbulde falle in bum folye 

So brente bis berte tbat be wolde fayn 

Tbat sum man botbe bym & bire badde slayn 2076 

ffor neytbir aftyr bis detb ne bis lyf 

Ke wolde be tbat scbe weere loue ne wyf 

But euere lyue as widewe in clotbis blake 

Soul as tbe turtle tbat bat lost bire make 20S0 

But at tbe laste afbyr a monytb or tweye 

His sorwe gan answage sotb to seye 

ffor wban be wiste / be may noon ofer bee 

He paciently tak3rtb bis aduersite 2084 

Sane out of doute be may not for-goon 

Tbat be was lelous eueremor in oon 

Whicbe lelusye it was so outrageous 

Tbat neytbir in balle ne in noon otbir bous 2088 

I^e in non otbir place neuere tbe mo 

He nolde suffere bire neytbir to ryde or go 

But )if tbat be badde band on bire alwey 

ffor wbicb ful ofte wepitb frescbe May 2092 

Tbat lou3rth Damyan so benygnely 

Tbat scbe mot otbir deye sodeynly 

Or ellys scbe mote ban bym as bire leste 

Scbe waytb wban bire berte wolde breste 2096 

IT Yp-on tbat otbir syde ek damyan 

By-comyn is tbe sorwefuleste man 

Tbat euere was for neytbyr nyjt ne day 

Ife my3te be speke a worde witb froscbe May 2100 

24 CAMBBinOE 29S (S-T. 466) 

Digitized by 



GROUP E. § 4. merchant's tale. Cambridge MS. 

As to his purpos of no s^^ich matcere 
But If that lanuarie muste it heere 
That hadde an hand vp-on hire euere mo 
But natheles hy wrytyng too & froo 
And prtue sygnys wiste he what sche mente 
And sche knew ek the fyn of his entente 
lanuarye what my3te it the a-vayle 
Thow my^tist se as fer as schepis sayle 
ffor also good is hlynd disseyuyd hee 
As to he disseyuyd whan a man may see 
Lo Argus which that hadde an hunderede eyen 
ffor al that he coude poure or pryen 
Jit was he hlynd as god wot so been mo 
That wenyn wisely that it be nat so 
Passe ouyr is an ese I seye namoore 
This &osche May that I spak of so jore 
In waim wex hath enpiyntit the klyket 
That lanuarye^ bar of that smale wiket 
By which in to his gardyn ofte he wente 
And Damyan that knew al his entente 
The klyket countirfetid pnuyly 
There nys no more to seye but hastily 
Sum wondyr hi this cliket schal by-tyde 
Which )e schul here jif ^e wele on bydo 
noble ouyde ful soth is soyd god wot 
What sleyjtd is it thow it be longe & hoot 
That he nyle it {ynde out in sum manero 
By Piramtw & Tisbee / may men leere 
Thow they were kept ful longe streyt ouyral 
They been a-cordit rounynge thorw a wal 
Thei^ no with koude a founde swich a sh'ghtj 
But now to purpos er than dayis eyghte 
Were passed er the mon3rth of luil^ be-fel 
That lanuarie hath caujt so greet a wyl 
Thour eggyng of his wif hym for to pleye* 
In his gardyn & no wight but thy tweye 

CAMBRIDGE 209 (S-T. 467) 






V/lrtt laaaeoej 





P ail eorreettd] 
P ye eorrteted] 


Digitized by 



oBoup E. § 4. meboh^nt's tale. Cambridge MS. 

That in a morwe vn-to this May sente hee 

Rys vp myn wyf myn loue myn lady free 

The turteti voys is herd myn douwe sweete Umivn, b«5kj 

The wyntir is goon with hise reynys weete^ p^^iweete] 

Come forth with thynne eyne columbyn 2141 

Hon fayiere been thynne brestis than is wyn 

The gardyn is enclosede al a-boute 

Come foith myn leue spouse out of doute 2144 

Thow hast me wounded in myn heite o wyf 

Wo spot of the ne knowe I al myn lyf 

Come forth & lat vs takyn oure disport 

I cheese the for Myn wif & myn confort 2148 

Sweche olde lowede wordys vsede he 

On Damyan a signe made sche 

That he schulde go bi-fom wt't/t his Cliket 

Damyan hath thaTine openid the weket 2152 

And in he sterte & that in swich manere 

That no wyght myghte it wetyn nothir I-here 

And stylle he sit vndyr a busch a-noon 

This lanuarie as blynd as is a ston 2156 

With Mayus in his hand no wy3t mo 

In to his frosche gardyn is go 

And clapte to the weket sodeynly 

Now wyf he seyde heere nys but thow & J. 2160 

That art the creatour that I best loue 

ffor by that lord that sit in heuene a-boue 

Leuere I hadde to deyin on a knyf 

Than 30 w offendyn trewe deere wyf 2164 

for godys sake thynk how I the chees 

Noaght for no coueytyse douteles 

But only for the loue I hadde to the 

And thow that I be old & may not so 2168 

Beth to me trewe & I telle jow whi 

Thre thyngis certis schul je wynne J)er-by 

ffyrst loue of ensf & to joure self honour 

And al myn eritage toun & tour 2172 

CAMBRIDGE 800 (6T. 468} 

Digitized by 



GROUP E. § 4. HERGHANT*s TALE. Cambridge Hff. 

I jeue it }ow makyth charteris as jow loste 

This scbal been don to morwe er snnne leste 

So wysely mjn sonle good brynge to bl jsse 

I prey jow fyrst in couenau[n]t je mo kysse 

And thow that I be lalous wite me noght 

3e been so deepe enpiyntid in myn thought 

That whan that I consideie joure beute 

And therwithal the onlikely elde of me 

I may not certis thow I schulde deye 

fforbeere to been out of joure cuTwpaynye 

ffor verray loue this is with-outyn doute 

Now kys me wif & lat ys rome a-boute * 

This frosche may whan sche these woidys herdo 

Benyngnely to lanuaiye answerde 

But fyrst & forward sche be-gan to wepe 

I haue quod sche a soule for to kepe 

As wel as )e & also my honour 

And of myn wyf hod ' theilke tendir flour p h au«r«d] 

Whiche that I haue assurede in joure bond 

Whan that the prest to jow the body bond 

Wherfore I wele answere in this manere 

By the leue of jow myn lord so deere 

I preye to god that neuere dauwe y day 

That I ne sterye as foule as woman may 

3if euere I do on to myn kyn that schame 

Oyer ellys I enpeyre so myn name 

That I be fals / & if I do that lak 

Do strepe me & putte me in a sak 

And in the nexte ryuer do me drencho 

I am a gentil woman & no wenche 

Whi speke je thus but men been euere vntrewe 

And women haue repref of jow ay newe 

30 can noon othir cuntenauns I leue - 

But speke to rs of onthrift & repreue 

And with that word sche saw where Darayan 

^at in the busch & coghe sche be-gan 

CAMBBIDOE 801 (S-T. 469) 










Digitized by 



Deaf 278, bock] 




GBoup E. § 4. MEBCHANT*s TALE. Cambridge HS. 

And with hire fyngir signis made sche 

That Damyan schulde clymbe yp on a tre 

That chaigede was with freut & yp he wente 

for veiraylj he knew al hire entente 

And euery signe that sche coude make 

Wei bet than lanuarje hire owene make 

ffor in a lettere sche hadde tolde hym al 

Of this matire how he werchin schal 

And thns 1 leete hym sitte vp on the pyrye 

And lanoarye & May romynge merie 

IT Bryjt was the day & blev the fyimament 

Phebns hath of gold hise stremys doa?i sent 

To gladyn euery flour with his gladnesse 

He was that tyme in gemynys as I gesse 

But lytyl from his declinaciou» / 

Of Cancer louis exaltacioim 

And so byfel that bry^te morwe tyde 

That in that gardyn * in the ferthere syde 

Pluto that is kyng of fayrye 

And manye a lady in his cumpainygnye * P nyg corrwud i 

ffolwynge his wyf the queen Proserpyne 

Eche aftyr othir right as ony lyne 

Whil that sche gaderede flourys in the mede 

In Claudian je may the storijs rede 

How in his gi^sely carte he hire sette 

This kyng of fayrye thanne a-dou» hym sette 

Vp-on a benche of turuys frosche &, greene 

And ryght a-non thus seyde he to his queene 

% Myn wyf quod he there may no man sey nay 

Thexpmence so preuyth euery day 

The tresoun / which that wemen doon to man 

Ten hunderede thousent tellyn I can 

Notable of ^oure ontrouthe & brotilnesse 

salamon^ wys & rycheste of rychesse 

fful fyld of sapience & of wordely glorye 

fful worthi been thywne wordis to memorie 

CAMBBIDGE 302 (6-T. 470) 




[* 7 Salomon] 


Digitized by 



oaoup £. § 4. ukrohant's tal^ Cambridge HS. 

To euery witht that wit & resoun can 

Thus pieyse]) he ^it the bounte of man 

A-mongis a thousent men ^it fond I oon 

But of wemen alle fond I noon 2248 

Thus seyde y kyng fat knowith joure wikkedenesse 

And Ihegus^ filjus Sjrac as I gesse [^ MS The] 

Ne spekyth of 30U but selde leuerence 

A wylde fyr & corupt pestjlence 2252 

So falle vp-on joure bodyis ^it tonyght cieaf«7i3 

Ne se je nat this honurable knyght 

By cause alias that he is blynd & old 

His owene man schal make him Cokewold 2256 

Lo heeie he sit the lecchot^r in the tree 

Now wele I grauntyn of myn mageste 

On-to this olde blynde worthi knyght 

That he schal han a-jyn hie eyen sight 2260 

Whan that his wyf wolde don hym vilenye 

Thanne schal he knowe al hire harloterye 

Bothe in repref of hire & of othere mo 

3e shal / quod Proserpyne wol je so 2264 

Now by myn moderys syris soule I swere 

That I schal jeue hire sufficiauw[t] answere 

And alle women aftyr for hire sake 

That thow they ben in ony gilt I-take 2268 

With face bold they schuln hem self excuse 

And bere heTTi doun that wolde hem accuse 

flfor lak of answere non of hem schal deye 

Al hadde men seyn a thyng with bothe hise cyen 2272 

Jit schul we wemen visage it hardely 

And weepe & swere & chyde subtyly 

So pat je men schul been as lewede as gees 

What rekkith me of ^oure autoriteis 2276 

I wot wel that this lew this Salamon^ p arterai to s^omon] 

ifond of vs wemen folis many on 

But thow he ne fond no good woman 

Jit hath there fouwdyn manye a nothir man 2280 

CAMBRIDGE 303 (O-T. 471) 

Digitized by 



GBoup E. § 4. merchant's talb. Cambridge HS. 

wemen fdl trewe f ol goode & verteaoxu 

vitnesse that dwelle in cryBtis hons 

with martyrdom thy preuyn here C50wstau[«]ce 

The romayn geestis ek makyn remembraunce 2284 

Of manye a verray trewe wyf also 

Bat sire be nat wroth / al be it so 

Thow that he seye he fond no good woman 

I prey 30W takyth the sentense of the man 2288 

He mente thus that in souereyn bonntea 

Kis noon but god that sit in trynitee 

% Ey for verray god that is but on Deaf «74. backj 

What make 3e so meche of salamon 2292 

What thow he made a temple godys hous 

What thow he weere ryche & gloryous 

So maade he ek a temple of false goddis 

How my3te he don a thyng that moore forbodyn is 2296 

Parde as fayre as 30 his name enplaystre 

He was a lechour & an ydolastere 

And in his elde he yerray god for-sok 

And ^if god ne hadde as seyth the bood 2300 

I-sparede fot his faderis sake he schulde 

Haue lost his regno rathere than he wolde 

I sette ryght noght at^ al the vilanye [» P jbr at] 

That 30 of wemen wryte a Botyrflye 2304 

I am a woman nedis muste I speke 

Or ellis swelle tyl myn herte breke 

ffor sithyn he seyde we been langleressis 

As euerre mote I brouke mynne tressis 2308 

I schal nat spare for no?i curteysye 

To speke hyw harm that wolde hym vilanye 

Dame quod tlus pluto be no lengere wroth 

I 3eue it vp but sithe I swor myn oth 2312 

That I wolde graunte hym his syghte ageyn 

Myn word schal stonde I wcrne 30W ccrtcyn 

I am a kyng it sit me not to lye 

And I quod schc a qucn of fa3rTye 2316 

CAMBRIDGE 304 (6-T. 472) 

Digitized by 



GROUP E. § 4L. merchant's tale. Cambridge HS. 

Hire answere schal sche ban I yndyr-take 

Lat YB no moore woidis hereof make 

ITor Boihe I wele no lengere 30W contiaiye 

IT Now lat vs tume a-geyn tQ lannaryo 2320 

That in the gardyn with his fayre May 

Syngith ful muriere than the popyniay 

3ow lone I best & schal & othir noon 

So longe a-boate the aleyis is he goon 2324 

Til he was comyn a^eyn thilke pine 

Where as this Damyan sittyth ful merye 

And bye a-mong the frossche leuys grene 

This fioscbe may that is so bry^t & schene 2328 

Gan for to sike & seyde aUas myn syde [}mxmq 

Now sire quod sche for ough that may be-tyde 

I muste ban of the peiys that I se 

Or I mot deye so sore longith me 2332 

To etyn of the smale perys grene 

Help for hire loue that is / of heuene queene 

I telle 30W weel a woman In myn plyt 

May ban to freui so greet an apetyt 2336 

That sche may deyen but sche of it haue 

Alias quod be that I ne hadde here a knaue 

That coude clymbe alias alias quod be 

That I am blynd 3a sere no fors quod sche 2340 

But wolde je vouche saf for godis sake 

The pirie inwit^ joure armys for to take 

ffor weel I wot that je mystroste me 

Thanne scbulde I klymbe wel I-nougb quod sche 2344 

So I myn foot my^te sette vp-on joure bak 

Certys quod he thereon schal been no Jak 

Myghte I 30W helpyw with myn herte blod 

He stoupede doun & on his bak sche stod 2348 

And caughte hire by a twyste A vp sche goth 

Ladyis I preye jow pat je been nat wroth 

I can nat glose I am a rude man 

And sodeynly a-noon this Damyan 2352 

CAHBBIDGE 805 (6-T. 47S) 

Digitized by 



QBOUP E. § 4L. icerchant's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Gan pullyn vp the amok & in he throng 

And whan that pluto saw this greete wrong 

To lanuaiye he jaf a-geyn his syght 

And maade hym se as wel as euere he myght 2356 

And whan that he hadde cai^t his si^t a-geyn 

Ke was there neuere man of thyng so fayn 

Bat on his wyf his thon^t was euere mo 

Yp to the tre he caste his eyen two 2360 

And saw that Damyan his wyf hadde dressed 

In swich maner it may not been expressed 

But 3if I wolde speke vncurteysly 

And vp he jaf a roiyng & a cry 2364 

As doth the modyr whan the schild schal deye 

Out help alias / harrow he gan to crye 

stronge lady stoore what dost thow n«" sts, bwk] 
And sche answerde sire what eylyth jow 2368 
Hauyih pacience & resoun in joure mynde 

1 haue JOW holpyn on bothe joure eyen blynde 
Vp peril of myn soule I schal not lyen 

As me was taujt to hele with joure eyen 2372 

Was no thyng bet to makyn 30W to see 

Than strogele* Wit/t a man vp on a tree p;fr»<rtrngeie] 

God wot I dede it with ful good entente 

Strogele quod he / ja algate in it weute 2376 

God jeue 30W bothe on schamys deth to deyen 

He swyuede the I say it with my/me eyjen 

And ellis be I hangid hi the hals 

Thane is quod sche myn medecyn al fals 2380 

ffor certeynly jif that je myjte see 

3e wolde not seyn these wordys vn-to me 

3e han sum glemesyng & no parfyt syght 

I se quod he as weel as euere I myjt 2384 

Thankyd be god with bothe myne eyen two 

And bi myn treuthe me thynkyth he dede J»* soo 

^ maje ma3e good sere quod sche 

This thank haue I for I maade 30W to se 2388 

CAMBRIDGE 300 (6-T.^474) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


OBoup £. § 4L. mbbchakt'b tale. Cambridge MS. 

Alias quod sche that euere I was so kynde 

2^ow dame quod he lat al passe out of myndo 

Come doun myn lyf & If I haue myssayd 

God helpe me so as I am euele a-payid 2392 

But by myn fadyr soule I wendo haue seyn 

How that this Damyen hadde by the leyn 

And that ihjn smok hadde leyn yp-on his brest 

Ja sere quod sche ^e may wene * as 30W lyst [» ne aiured} 

But sere a man that wakyth out of slep 

He may not sodeynly takyn kep 

Vp-on a thyng ne seen it parfytly 

Til that he be a-dawed verrayly 2400 

Eygh so a man that longe hath blynd ybe 

Ne may not sodeynly so weel I-see 

flfyrst whan his syjte is come newe ageyn 

As he that hath a day or too I-seyn [i iw^fotu qfOtah. kb] 

[Tylle pat youre si3t y-stabled by a while ^^ ^^^^ 

pere may fulle many a si3t you be-gyle 

By ware I prey you for by heuen kynge 

Fulle many a man weneth to see a thynge 2408 

And hit ys ati an opere pan hit semyth 

he mysse conceyueth mysse demetH 

And wit^ pat worde she lepe doun of pat tre 

Thys lanuarye who was glade but she 2412 

he kyssith and clypythe hir fulle ofte 

And on hir wombe he strokethe hir foUe softe 

And to hys palys home he hathe hir laddo 

Novre gode men I prey you to be glad 2416 

Thus endethe here my tale of lanuarye 

God blesse vs and his modir/ Seynt Mary Amen] ^^^•^^"' 

CAMBRIDGE 307 (B-T. 476) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

476 snc-TBXT 
GROUP E. § 5. msbchant's end-link. Cambridge MS. 

[Harl MS 7335, on leaf 129.] 

[b J goddes mercy seide oure ost tho 

Now swicll a wif y preye god kepe me fipo 2420 

lo swiche sleigbtlies and subtilitea 
In wommen ben for ay as besy as bees 
Ben tbey vs sely men for to deseyue 
And from a sothe euere wil tbey weyue 2424 

Bi this marcbauntis tale hit preueth wol 
And natbeles as trewe as ony steel 
I baue a wii^ tbogll that she poore be 
But of* hir tonge a labbyng shreve is she 2428 

And yit she hath an heepe of» vices moo 
Ther-of' no fors let al swiche thynges goo 
But wite ye what in connseil be it seide 
Me reweth sore y am vn to here teyed [im^iw, saok] 2432 
ffor and y shulde rekene eaery vice 
whic& that she hath y-wis y were to nyse 
And cause whi it shulde reported be 
And told to here of* sume of< this compaignie 2436 

Of whom it nedith nat for to declare 
8yn wommen konnen oute swiche chaiTare 
And ek* my wit sufficeth not thcr too 
To tellen al wherfore my tale is do] 2440 

CAIIBEIDGE 308 (6-T. 476) [this page, Harl. 7336] 


Digitized by ^ 



[Earl MS 7335, on leaf 129, hack.] 

[Squyer come ner if* it youre will© be 
And sey snmwliat of* loue for certes ye 
Konnen ther on as moche as ony man 
Nay sere quod he but swecbe thyng* as y can 
Witfi fiertly wille for y wil not lebelle 
Ageyn youie lust a tale wol y telle 
haue me ezcusid if y speke a mys 
Mi wille is good and lo my tale is this] 

Oi.MBRIDOE 808* (6-T. 478) [this page, Hari. 7S3«j 


Digitized by ^ 


GBoup F. § 2. bquibb'b tale. Cambridge MS. 

[Here bygynnelA >6 tale . 





T Sarray in f e londe of Sarcarye [feqf 78, Jw*] 

There dwelt / a kynge pat weryd Russye 
Thoa^e whiche pere dyede many a du^ty man 
Thys noble kynge was clepyd Kambynskan 12 

whiche in bis tyme was of so giete rennoun 

That per was nouthir/ in regioun 

8o excellent a lord / in alle pinge 

Hym lakkiti^ nou3t pat longitb to a kynge 

As of pe Cite whiche he was bomo 

he kepte hys lawe to whiche pat he was swome 

And perto he was hardy wyse & ryche 

And pitoase & Inste aUe wey yliche 

Sothe of/ hys worde benygne & honorable 

Of/ lus corage as eney centre stable] 

^3on[ge fresshe stronge in armes desyrous] 

As on[y bachelere of alle hys hous] 

A fayr per[son he was & fortunat] 

And kepte a[lle wey so wele ryalle estate] 

That there na[8 nouthir suche a ncpere man] 

This noble kyng [of Tartre pis Kambynskan] 

Hadde two sonys on [Eltheta his wif ] 

Of whiche the eldeste \}d^t Algaisife] 

That oper sone was clepid [Camballo] 

A doughtyr hadde this worth[y kynge also] 

Tha*2 jyngeste was & hyghte Canace 

Bat for to telle 30W al hire beantee 

It lyth not in myn tunge nyn myn kiuinyng 

I dar nat yndyrtake so high a thyng 

CAMBRIDGE 300 (6-T. 479) 

ri Camb. M8, leaf 
£77 ; fart of Uaf 
torn off'; Jtti0d-tn 


p ha* eorreeftO) 


Digitized by 



GROUP F. § 3. squire's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Myn engelysch is ek insufficient 

It muste be a Eethor excellent* 

That coude hise colouris / longynge for that arf 

jif he schulde disciyuyn euery parf 40 

I am non schich I mot speke as I can 

And so by-fil that this Cambynskan 

Hath twenty wyntyr boryn his diademe 

As he was wone ffrom jer to 3eeT I deme 44 

He leet the feste of his natyuitee 

Doon cryen thottr Sarray his Citee 

[The last Idns of Maiche aftir ^e yere [siMBie less, UttfTV] 

Phebus pe Sonne fulle lolyf was & dere 48 

ffor he was nyh * his exaltacion 

In martes feice and his mancioil 

In aries )»e Coloiyk ]»e hoot signe 

fftil lusty was pe wedei* & benygne 52 

ffor whiche pe foules ayeyn )»e son shene 

what for ]»e seson and pe yonge grene 

fful lowde songe hir affecciouTss 

hem semyd pei hade goten hem protecciou72s 56 

A-yeyne pe swerde of wynter kene & Colde 

This Kambynskan of whiche I haue you tolde 

In liaH vestement syt on hys deys 

with a Dyademe foH hi^e in his paleys 60 

And holte his feste sollempne & so liche 

))at in ]»is worlde ne was ]>ere none hit lyche 

Of whiche yf I * shalle telle alle ]»e array 

That wolde hit occupie a somers day 64 

And eke hit nedyth not to devise 

At euery couis ]»e ordre of h]ere seruyse [Cambr. us, irm. t>k] 

[I wolle not telle of her straun]ge sewys 

[Ne of here swannes ne of i] here heirouwnsewis £J3|^Jf ^, 

[Eke in bat londe as telllyn knysti? olde ^SSiui^Jim 

Bart 17M 

[There ys some mete ]»at ys fulle] deynte holde ua/o^ ba^2 

[That in ]»is l]ond men reche of it but smal 

{There ys] no man that may reportyn al 72 

CAMBRIDGE 810 (6>T. 480) 

Digitized by 



GROUP F. § 2. squire's tale. Cambridge MS. 

[I wol] not taiyin jow for it is prime ^ p • prime corrtetsdi 

[And] for it is no freut / but los of tyme 

Vn-to myn fyrste I wele ban myn recours 

And so be-fel tbat aftyr the tbredde cours 76 

Wbil that this kyng sat thus in bis nobloye 

Herkenynge bis mynstn^ here thywgis pleye 

By-fom hym at the bord deliciously 

In at the balle dore al sodeynly 80 

There cam a knygbt yp on a stede of bras 

And in bis band a brood myrour of glas 

Vp on bis thumbe be bar of gold a ryng 

And by bis syde a nakede swerd bangyng 84 

And yp be ridytb to the beye bord [leaf zts] 

In al the balle ne was there spokyn a word 

ffor memeyle of this knygbt to be-bolde 

fful besily they wayte ^ynge & olde 88 

This straunge kny3t that cam thus sodeynly 

Al armede sane bis bed ricbely 

Saluyth kyng & queen & lordis alio 

By ordere as the setyn in the balle 92 

With so beigb reuerence & obeysaunces 

As weel in his specbe as in bise cuntenaunces 

That Gaweyn wit/i bis olde curteysye 

Thow be weere comyn &}en out of fayrye 96 

Ne coude hym not amendyn / with a word 

And aftyr thys by-fore the beye bord 

He wyth a ma/ily voys seyth bis message 

Aftyr the forme Ysed in bise age ^ {^asteorr^eud] 100 

With-outyn yice of sillable or of lettere 

And for bis tale schulde seme the bettre 

Acordau[n]t to bise wordis was hise chere 

As techith the art of specbe hem that it lere , 104 

Al be that I can not soune bis style 

Ne can not clymbyn ouyr so begh a style 

jit seye i this as to comune entent 

Thus meche a-mountytb al tbat euere be ment 108 

CAMBRIDQE 811 (S-T. 4Sl) 

Digitized by 



GROUP F. § 2. squibb's tale. Cambridge MS. 

)if it so be fat I haue it in mynde 

He seyde J»* kyng of arabye & of ynde 

Myn lige loid on this solempne day 

Saluetb 30W as be best can or may 

And sendyih jow in honour of jowre feste 

By me fat am al redy to jouere heste 

This steede of bras that esyly & wel 

Can in the space of a day natnrel 

This is to seyne in f onre & twenty onrys 

Where so jow liste in drou^te or ellis schottris 

Beiyn joure body in-to euery place 

To whiche joure herte willyth for to pace 

With-outy» wem of jow thowr foul or fayr 

Or 3if 30W leste to flien as hyghe in y ayr 

As doth an egele whan hym lyste to soore 

This same steede schal here 30W euere moore 

"With-outyn harm tyl ^30 been there 30W lesten 

Thow that 30 slepyw on his bak or restyn 

And tume a-3en with wrythyng of a pyn 

He that it wrou3te it coude ful manye a gyn 

He waytede ful manye a constelacioun 

Er he hadde doon this operacioun 

And knew ful manye a sel & manye a boond 

IT This myrour ek that I haue in my» bond 

Hath swich a my3t that men may in it se 

Whan there schal falle ony aduercite 

Vn-to 3oure regne / & to 3oure self also 

And opywly ho is 30ure frend or^ foo {^reorreet^ 

And ouyral this 3if ony lady bry3t 

Hath set hire herte on ony maner wyjt 

3if he be fals sche schal his tresoun see 

His newe loue & al his subtiletee 

So opynly that ther schal nothyng hyde 

Wherfore a-geyn this lusty somerys tyde 

This myrour & this ryng^ that 30 may see 

He hath sent on-to myn lady Canacee 

CAlCBRmaS 812 (6-T. 482) 





P ? Jf Sy or f 





[» g corrected} 


Digitized by 



§ 8. squiRE's TALE. Cambridge MS. 

joure excellent doughtyr that is here 

Te vertu of the lyng ^if 30 wile heere 

Is this that jif hire laste it for to weere 

Vp^n hyre thumbe or in hire puis it heere 

There is no foul that flyeth vndyr the heuene 

That sche ne schal weel vndyrstondyn his steueue 

And knowe his menyng opynly & pleyn 

And answere hym in his langage a-geyn 

And eueiy gres that growyth vp on roote 

Sche schal ek knowe & whom it schal don hoote 

Alle he hise woundys neeuere so deepe & wyde 

This nakede swerd that hangyth by myn syde 

Wich wertew hath Jthat what man f* smyte 

Thoi/ru out his amieur it wele byte 

Were it as thikke as is a biauncheede 00k 

And what man is wounded with that strok 

Schal neuere be hoi tyl fat pon lest of grace 

To stroke hym with the plat / in fat place 

Theere he is hurt this is as meche to seyn 

je moote with the plat swerd a-geyn 

Stryke hym on the wounde & it wele close 

This a yerray soth witA-oute glose 

It &ylyth not whil it is in ^oure hoolld 

And whan this kny^t hat thus his tale told 

He lydyth out of halle & doun he lytyth 

His steede whiche ]fat schon as sunne brighto 

Stant in the court stylle as ony stoon 

This knyght is to hise chambere lad a-noon 

And is on arayed & to mete I-set 

These presentis been ful lyaUy Lfet 

This is to seyne the swyrd & the myrour 

And bom Srnon in-to the hye tour 

with serteyn offyceiys^ ordeynyd there fore 

And on to Canacee this ryng was bore 

Solempnely ther sche sit at f* table 

But sikyrly with-outyn ony fable 

25 CAMBEIDQE 818 (6-T. 488) 










[1 J9 eorrtcUd\ 


Digitized by 



OBoup F. § 8. 8QuiBE*s TALE. Cambridge MS. 

The hois of bias that may not been lemeuyd 

It stant as it weie to the giound I-glewyd 

Thei may no man oat of the place it diyue 

ffoi noon engyn of wyndas oi palyne 184 

And cause whi foi they can not the ciaft 

And theifoie in the place they han it laft 

Til that ye knyght hath taughte hem the manere 

To Yoydyn hym as je schal aftyr heeie 188 

IT Giet was the pies that swaimyth to & fro 

To gauiyn on this hois that stamlyth so 

ffoi it so hi^ was & so biod & long 

So wel propoicioonnyd foi to been strong 192 

Byjt as it weie a stede of lumbaidy 

Theito so hoisely & so qnyk of lye 

As it a gentil poleys Conisei weie 

fibi ceitis from his tayl Tn-to his eeie 196 

Katoie ne ait ne coude hjm nat a-mende 

In no degie as al the peple wende 

But eueie moie here moste wondii was pe«f 279. iMdt] 

How that it coude goon & was of bias 200 

And^ was as fayi as al the peple seemede i^nd eorr^etadi 

Dyuers folk dyuersly they demyd 

As^ manye hedis as many wittis pere been [•• eMTwecevi} 

They murmuiedyn as don a swaim of been 204 

And madyn skiH aftyi heie fantasyis 

Beheisynge of these olde poetiyis 

And seydyn it was lik the pegasee 

The hois that hadde wyngis foi to flee 208 

Oi ellis it was y Giekis hois SynouA 

That biQUjte Troye to distiuccioun 

As men in these olde gestis leede 

Myn heite quod on is eueiemoi in diede 212 

I tiowe some men of aimys been ]>erinne 

That schapin hem this cete foi to wynne 

It weie light good that alle thynge weie knowe 

A nothii rounede to his felawe lowe 219 

CAMBRIDGE 814 (6-T. iS4i) 

Digitized by 



GBoup F. § 8. squirb's tale. Cambridge HSr 

And seyde he lyede it is rathere lik 

An apparence mad by sum Magyk 

As logelooris pleye at these ^festis greeted i^^eorrmtt^a} 

Of sundery doutis thus they langele & trete* ptwto««T«««ij 

As lewede peple demyth comou/dy 

Of thyngis that been mad more subtily 

Than they can in here louvedenesse comprdheride 

They demyn gladly to the baddere ende 224 

And some of hem wonderedyn on the myrour 

That bom was Tp in the hyghe tour 

How men my3tyn in it sweche thyngis see 

A no]>er answerde & seyde it may wel be 228 

Katurelly by compociciounnys 

Of angles & of slygh reflecciouns 

And seydyn ^ai in rome was swich on 

They spoken of Alocen & Vitulou» 232 

And Aristotle fat wrytyn in here lyuys 

Of queynte Mirouris & of prospectyuys 

As knowyn they that ban here bokys herd 

And ofere folk ban wo72derede on the swerd 235 

That wolde part3m thour out euery thyng {jk^t^j 

And fille in speche of Tholophu^ fe k3nig 

And of achiUes with his queynte speere 

ffor he coude with it bothe hele & dere 240 

Hygh in swich wise as men my3te with the swerd 

Of which lyjt now ^e ban 30tfre selue herd 

They spekyn of sundeiy hardyng of metal 

And spoke of medycynys therwet^al 2ii 

And how & whanne it schidde I-hardit be 

Whiche is vnknowe algate^ on-to me \*ucorrtet€d] 

Tho speke they of Canaceis ryng 

And seydyn alle of that swych a wondyr thyng 248 

Of craft of ryngis herde they neuere noon 

Saue that he moyses & kyng Salomon 

Hadde a name of rounnynge in swich art 

Thus seyth the peple & drawyn hem a part 252 

CAMBaiPOB 816 (S-T. 48o) 

Digitized by 



GROUP F. § 8. squibb's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Bat natheles some seydyn that it was 

Wondyr io makyn oof fern aschyn glas 

And 3it ne is glas lich aschyn of fem^ P ft^w^TI^wSSIi^Sm 

But for they han knowyn it so fern ** "* »«v»«] 

There-fore chesen hire langelyng & hire wondyr 

As Boore wonderyn some of on cause of joundyr 

On ebbe on flod on gossomyr & on myst 

And alle thynge tyl that the cause is wist 260 

Thus langele they & deeme & deuyse 

Til that )>e kyng gan from his bord a-ryse 

Thehua hath lefb the angle meridional 

And 3it ascendyng was the beste royal 264 

The gentyl lyoun with his aldryan^ fneorreetedj 

Whan that this tartre Cambynscan' ppjcsrcunbTiucaD} 

Eos from his bord peare that he sat ful hye 

Tchfore hym goth the loude menstialcye 26S^ 

Tyl he cam to hise chambere of parementis 

There as they sounyn dyuerse Instrumentia 

That is lyk an heuene for to here 

Now dauncyn lusty venus chylderyn deere 272 

ifor in the fych hire *lady sat ful hyghe i*icorrteua} 

And lokyn on hem with a frendely lye 

This noble kyng is set vp in his trone n««f 2m, buk} 

This stronge knyght / is* fet to hym ful sone c»j»r»«it] 276 

And on the daunce he goth yfith Canacee 

Here is the reuel & the lolyte 

That is nat able a dul man to deuyse 

He muste haue knowe loue & his seruyse 28(K 

And been a festelyche man as May 

That Bchulde 30W deuyse swioh aray 

Who coude tellen 30W the forme of dauncis 

So vncouth & so frosche cuntenauTicia 284 

Swich subtyl / lokyngis & dissimulyngis 

ffor drede of laluse mennys aperceyvyngis 

No man but lancelot & he is deed 

Thore-fore I passe ouyr al this lusty hed 28&* 

CAHBRIDGE 316 (6-T. 486) 

Digitized by 



GROUP F» § 2. squire's tale. Cambridge MS, 

I seye namoie but in this ioljnesse 

I leete hem tyl men to the soper dresse 

The styward bit spicis for to hye 

And ek the wyn in al this melodye 292 

The vsscheris & the squyeris been I-goon 

The spicis & the wyn be comyn a-noon 

They ete & d[r]ynke & whan this hadde an ende 

Vn-to the temple as reson was they wende 296 

The seruyse doun they soupyn al be day 

What nedyth ^me reherce al here a-ray i^m eorreeMCj 

£che man wiste wel pat a kyngis feste^ ^Anteearreettoi 

Hath plente to meste & ek to leste 300^ 

And deynteis moo than been to myn knowyng 

At aftyr sopir goth this noble kyng 

To seen this hois of bras wiVi al the loute 

Of lordis & of ladyis hym a-boute 304 

Swich wonderyng was on this hors of bras 

That syn the greete sege of Troye was 

Ne was there swich a wonderyng as was tho 

There as men wonderedyn on an hors also 308 

But finally this kyng askyth this knyght 

The vertu of this courser & the my3t 

And preyede hym to telle his gouernaunce 

This hors anon be-gan to tryppe & daunce 312 

Whan that this knyght leyde hand vp-on his regne peaf ssi] 

And seyde sire there nys no moore to seyne 

But whan thu lyste to ryde any where 

^e mote tryUe a pyn stant in his eere 316 

Whiche I schal jow telle be-twyice vs two 

je mote nemenyn hym to what place also 

Or to wat cnntre pat thow lyste to ryde 

And whan je come there as 30W leste abyde 320 

Bydde hym discende & trylle a nothir pyn 

ffor theere lyth theffect of al the gyn 

And he wele doun descends & don 30ure wille 

And in that place he wele stonde sty lie 324 

CAMBRIDGE 317 (S-T. 487) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

488 8IX-TBXT 

GROUP F. § 2. 8QuiRK*8 TALB. Cambridge HS. 

Thow al the world the co77trarye haddyn swore 

He schal not thens been drawe ne bore 

Or 3if fovL wit bidde hym thenys goon 

Tnlle this pyn & he wele vanyche a-noon 328 

Out of the By3te of euery maneere wy^t 

And come a-geyn be it day or nyght 

Whan that pan lystist to clepyn hy7» a-geyn 

In swich a gyse as I schal to 30W seyn 332 

Bi-twixe 30W & hym & that fol sone 

Hide whan fan lyste there is no moore to doone 

Enformede whan that kyng was of that knyght 

And hath co/tseyuid in his wit a ryjt 336 

The manere & the forme of al this thyng 

Thus glad & blythe this nobele kyng 

Repeyrith to his reuel as by-foryn 

The biydyl is in to the tour I-boryn 340 

And kept a-mong hyse * lewelys leue & deere V ew it>rr*rt«i] 

The hors vanyschit I not in what maneere 

Out of hire sy^te ^e gete no more of me 

But thus I lete in lust & iolyte 3-! 4 

This Cambiscan hese lordis festenynge 

Tyl wol nygh f e day be-gan to sprynge 

Secunda pars 

THe noryce of digestyouw the sleep 
Gan on hem wynke & bad hem take kep 348 

That muche drynk & labour wolde han reste 
And wttA a galpynge mouth hem alle keste [loaf f8i, iKck] 
And seyde it was tyme to lye a-doun 
ffor blood was in his domynacioun 352 

Cherisshet blod naturys frend quod he 
They thankyn hym galpynge bi too by thre 
And euery wyght gan drawyn hym to his reste 
As slep he7?i hadde they take it for the beste 356 

CAMBRIDOR 818 (6-T. 488) 

Digitized by 



GBoup F. § 2. SQuiBs's TALE. Cambridge HS. 

Here dremys schul not been told for me 

iful weero here heedjs of fdmositee 

That canseth diem of whiche pere is no charge 

They slepyn tyl it wa« pryme large 360 

The moste part but it were Canacee 

Sche was fal mesurable as wemen bee 

ffor of hire fadyr hadde sche takyn leue 

To gon to Teste sone aftyr it was eue 364 

Hire lyste not appallid for to bee 

Kor on the morwe onfestelyche for to se 

And slepte hire fyrste sleep & thanne a-wok 

ffor swich a slep sche^ in hire herte tok i^fMSe] 368 

Bothe of hyre queynte ryng & hire Mirour 

That twenty tyme sche ^changede hire colour p PiMrachimgwie] 

And in hire sleep lyjt for imprescioun 

Of hire Mirour sche hadde a visioun 372 

Where fore the sunne gan yp glyde 

Sche clepede on hire maysteresse hire be syio 

And seyde fat hire luste for to ryse^ P ■ eorreeMi] 

These olde wemen that been gladly wyse 376 

As is hire Maysteresse answerede hire a-non 

And seyde madame wheper wele ^e goon 

Thus erly for the folk been alle at reste 

I wele quod sche Sriyse for me leste 380 

No lengere for to slepe & walke a-boute 

Hire Maystresse clepid wemen a greet route 

And vp they lyse weel a ten or twelue 

Yp lysyth frossohe Canace hire selve 384 

As rody as brygh as doth the ^onge suf?ne 

That in the Bam is foure degreis vpronne 

Noon heyero was he / whan sche redy was [ka'Mi] 

And forth sche walkyth esyly a pas 388 

A-rayed aftyr the lusty sesouro soote 

Lyjtely for to pleye & walke on foote 

Not but wf tA fyue or sexe of hyre meyne 

And in a trench forth in the park goth sche 392 

CAMBRIDGE 819 (0-T. 489) 

Digitized by 



GROUP F. § 2. sQuiBi's TALB. Cambridge H8. 

Tlie vapour which that from the erthe glod 

Made the Bwme to seme rodj & brood 

But natheles it was so fayr a sy3t 

That it made alle here hertis for to ly^t 396 

That for the sesoun & the morwenyTzge 

And for the foulys that sche herde synge 

ffor lyjt ariioon she wiste what they mente 

By^t by here song & knew al here entente 400 

The kn te » whi that eueri tale is told P f^m knitej 

}if it be tarj'ed tyl that lust be cold 

Of hem that han it aftyr herkenyd joore 

The sauour passith euere lengere the moore 404 

ffor fulsumnesse of his prolixite 

And *by the same resoun thynkyth me 

I schulde to ]>* knotte condescende 

And makyn of hire walkynge sone an ende 403 

IT A-mydde a tre fordreyed as whyt as chalk 

As canascee was pleyinge in hire walk 

There sat a &coun ouyr hire heed ful hye 

That with a pytous voys so gan to crye 1 12 

That al the wode resouwnede of hire cry 

I-beetyn hath sche hire self so pitously 

With bothe hire wyngis tyl the reede blood 

Ban endelyng the tree there sche stood 416 

And euere in on sche cryede al wey & 8chr[i]kte 

And with hire bek hire seluyw so sche prykte 

That pere nys tygre ne non so crewel beste 

That dwellyth eythir in wode or in foreste 420 

That nolde a wept 3if that he weepe coude 

flfor sorwe of hire sche shrikte alwey so loude 

flTor there was neuero man 3it on lyue 

If that I coude a facoun weel dyscryue 4 24 

That herde of swich a nothyr / jit/ of faymese [ipmf ms, bk} 

As weel of plumage as of gentyllesse 

Of schap & of al that myghte I-rekenede bee 

A facoun p^regryn thanne semeede sche 428 

CAMBRIDOE 820 (6-T. 490) 

Digitized by 



oBoup V. § 8. s(^uire's tale. Cambridge HS. 

Of fremde lond / & eueremore as sche stood 

Sche swounnyth now & now for lak^ of blod P oriak eorr.^ 

Tyl wel nygh is sche falljn from the tree 

This fayre kyngis doughtir Canacee 432 

That on hire fyngyr bar the queynte ryng 

Thowr whiche sche vndyratod weel eaery thyng 

That ony foul myghte in hise ledene seyn 

And coude answere in his ledene ageyn 43G 

Hath Tndyrstonde what this facoun seyde 

And wel nygh for the routhe almost sche deyede 

And to the tre sche goth ful hastyly 

And on this facoun lokyth pitously 440 

And held hire lappe arbrod for well sche wyste 

The facoun muste falle from the twyste 

Whan that it swounnede next for lak of blood 

A long while to waytyn hire sche stood 444 

Til at the laste sche spak in this maneere 

Yn-to the hauk as ^e schul aftyr here 

IT What is the cause jif it be for to telle 

That je been in this furyal peyne of helle 448 

Quod Canace yn-to this hauk arboue 

Is this for sorwe of deth or los of loue 

ffor as I trowe these been causys two 

That causyn most a gentyl herte wo 452 

Of oJ>er harm it needyth not to spekyn 

ffor }e joMre self vp-on ^oure self ben wrekyn 

Whiche previth weel that eythir luue or drede 

Moot been enchesoun of joure crewol deede 456 

Syn that I se non oper wight )ow chaco 

ffor loue of god as doth ^oure self sum grace 

Or what may been joure helpe for west nor est 

Ne saugh I neuere er now no brid ne beste 4G0 

That ferde with hym self so pitously 

)e sle me wyth 30ure sorwe verrayly 

I haue of 30W so greet compassioun [kartss] 

ffor godis loue come from the tre a-doun 464 

CAMBRIDOK 321 (6-T. 49l) 

Digitized by 



GROUP F. § 8. squibb's taijl Oaadiridge KS. 

And as I am kyngis doughtyr trowe 

}if that I Yerrayly the cause knewe 

Of joure deseese jif it lay in myn mygh[t] 

I wole amendyn it er it weere nyght 468 

As wisely helpe me greete god of kynde 

And erhis schal I ryjt I-nowe fynde 

To heele with ^oure huxtis hastely 

Tho schrykt this facoun mooie jit pitonsly 472 

Than eueie sche dede & fyl to grounde a-noon 

And lith^ a swounne ded lych a stoon P uth comeutn 

Tyl canace hath in hire lappe hire take 

Yn-to the tyme sche gan of swow a-wake 476 

And afbyr that sche of hire swow a-breyde 

Bygh in hire haukys ledene thus sche seyde 

That pete rennyth sone in gentyl herte 

ffelynge hb simylitud in peynys smerte 480 

Is preuyd alday as men may it I-se 

As weel by werk as by autorite 

ffor gentyl herte kytheth gentillesse 

I se weel je han of myn distresse 484 

Cowipassioun myn fayre Canacee 

Of verray womanly benygnetee 

That nature in joure prynciples han I-sot 

But for noon hope for to iaxe the bet 488 

But for to obeye vnto joure herte free 

And for to makyn ofere / be war by me 

And hi the whelp chastysed is the lyoun 

Rygh for that cause & for that conclusioun 492 

Whil that I haue a leyser & a space 

Myn harm I wele co^fesse er I pace 

And eu^re whil that on hire tolde 

That othir wepte as sche to watyr wolde 496 

Tyl that the facoun bad hire to been stylle 

And wyth a syk ryjt thus sche seyde hire tille 

IF That I was brad alias that harde day 

And fosterede in a roche of marbyl gray 500 

CAMBRIDGE 822 (6-T. 492) 

Digitized by 



gboupF. §S. ek^uibe's tale. Cambridge HS. 

So tenderely eylyth / it^ ejlede me p t eorreeuo] peaf sss, i»ck] 

I nyste^ not what was aduercyte c 7 eorrwud} 

Tyl I coude fle ful hye vndyr the skye 

Tho dwellede a tercelet me faste bye 504 

That semede weel of alle gentillesse 

Al weere he fal of tresonn & falsenesse 

It was 80 wrappid vndyr humble chire 

And vndyr hewe of tiouthe in swych maneere 508 

Vndyr plesannce & vndyr bisy pyne 

That I not * cude a wend he coude feyne P a ward $erateht <mi] 

So deepe in greyn he dyede his colour^'^s 

By^t as a serpent hid hym vndyr flourys 512 

Tyl he may seen his tyme for to byte 

Bygh so this god of loue this ypocryte 

Doth so hise setmonys & obeysauncis 

And kepyth in semblaunt alle hise ^cuntenauncys^ i*-* mr.} 

That sounnyn in to gentilesse of loue 

As in a toumbe is al the fayrenesse a-boue 

And vndir is y cors swich as ^e woot 

Swich was this ypocryte bothe cold & hoo^ 520 

And in this wise he seruede his entent 

That saue the feend non wiste what he ment 

Til he so longe hadde wepid & compleyned 

And manye a jeer his seruyse to me feynyd 524 

Tyl that my» herte to pitous & to nyce 

Al innocent of his crounede malyce 

ffor-fered of his deth as thoughts me 

Yp-on hise othis & hise seuretee 528 

Giauntede hym loue vp-on this coTidicioun* m^Mn^^* 

That euere more myn honour Ss renoun 

Were sauyd bothe pnue & apert 

This is to seyne that aftyr his desert 532 

I jaf hym al myn herte & al myn thought 

God wot & he / J>at operwyse noght 

And tok his hert in chong of myn for ay 

But soth is seyd goon sithe manye a day 536 

CAMBRIDGE 823 (S-T. 493) 

Digitized by 


494 8IX-TEXT 

GROUP F. § 2. squire's tale. Cambridge MS. 

A trewe wigh & a thef thynkyn nat oon 

J^nd whan he saugh the thyng bo fer a-goon 

That I hadde graiuztede fully myn looue ci««f tsii 

In swich a gise as it was seyd a-boue 540 

And jeuyn hym myn trewe herte as fre 

As he swoor he ^af his herte to me 

A-non this tigre fill of doubilnesse 

f&l on hise kneis with so denont humblesse 544 

With so high reuerence as bi hire cheere 

So lyk a gentil loaere of manere 

So rauyschid as it semede for the loye 

That neuere Troylis Ne paiys of Troye 548 

lason certis ne non oper man 

Syn lameth was / fat aldyrferst bc-gan 

To louyn too as wrytyn folk by-forn 

Ke neuere syn the fyrste man was bom 552 

Ne coude man by twenty thousent part 

Countyrfete the sophemys of his art 

Ne were worthi onbokele his galoche 

There doubilnesse or feynynge schulde aproche 556 

Ne so coude thanke a whit as he dede me 

His manere was an heuene for to se 

To ony weman were [sjche neuere so wys 

So peyntede he & kembede at poynt deuys 560 

As weel hise wordis as hise contenaunce 

And I louede hjm for his obeysaunce 

And for the trouthe I demede in his herte 

That ^if so were that ony thyng hym smerte 564 

Al were it neuere so lyte & I it wiste 

Me thoujte I felte deth myn herte twyste 

And schortely so fer forth this thyng went 

That myn wil was his willis instrument 5G8 

This is to seye myn wil obeyede his wil 

In alle thynge as fer as resoun fil 

Kepynge the boundis of myn worchepe euere 

Ne neuere hadde I thyng so leef ne leuere 572 

CAMBRIDGE 824 (6-T. 494) 

Digitized by 



GROUP F. § 2. SQUIRES TALB. Cambridge MS. 

As hjm god wot ne neuere Bchal no mo 

This kstede lengere than a jeer or two 

That I supposede of hiie not but good 

But finally thus at the laste it stood 576 

That fortune wolde that he muste twynne Deaf »i, back] 

Out of that place which that he is inne 

Where me was woo that is no questjouit 

I can not make of it discripcioun 580 

ffor on thjng dar I telle baldely 

I knowe what is the peyne of deth therby 

Swich hann I felte for he ne myjte beleue 

So on. a day of me he tok his leue 584 

So sorwefully ek that I wende verrayly 

That he hade felt as meche harm as I 

Whan that I herde hym speke & saw his hewe 

But natheles I thoute he was so trewe 588 

And ek that he repeyre schulde ageyn 

WM-inne a lytil while sotth to seyn 

And lesoun wolde ek that he moste go 

ffor his honour as ofte it happith so 592 

That I maade vertn of necescitee 

And tok it weel syn that it muste bee 

As I best myghte I hidde &om hym myn sorwe 

And tok hym by the hond seynt lohn to borw 596 

And seyde hym thus lo I am jourys al^ g £?fIrft»lS^ *"* 

Beth swich as I to 30W haue been Se schal^ 

What he answerde it nedyth not reherce 

Who can seye bet than he / ho can seye werse 600 

Whan he hath al I-seyd tha^ine hath he don 

Therefore byhouyth hire a ful long spon 

That schulde ete with a feend thus haue I herd seye 

So at the laste he mote forth his weye 604 

And forth he flyeth til he cam there hy?^ leste 

Whan it cam hym to purpos for to reste 

I trowe he hadde thilke tyxt in mynde 

That alle thyrige repeyrynge to hise kynde 60S 

CAMBRIDGE 826 (6-T. 496) 

Digitized by 


496 8IX-TBXT 

OBOup F. § 2. SQUiRi's TALE. Cambridge MS. 

Gladjth hjm self thus seye men as I gesse 

Men loue of propyr kynde newefangilnesse 

As bryddys don that men in cage feede 

ifor thow thu nyjt & day of hem take heede 612 

And strawe hyre ^ cage / as softe as ony silk V^^ordtcratcM 

And jeue hym sugere hony breed & Mylk gjJJJ"^^ **^'** 

[Jit rijt a none as pai hys dore ys vppe SJ^*^*** ^^ 

he vriik hys feete wUle epmne doune hys Cnppe 616 

And to fe woode he wolle & wormes ete 

So newefangylle bene ^i of hyr mete 

And louen noueleiyes of propre kynde 

Ko gentyHnesse of bloode may hem bynde 620 

So farithe fia Tarselet alias fe day 

Thou3e he were gentylle fresshe & gay 

And goodly for to sene and humble & &e 

he sawe opon a tyme a kyte fle 624 

And Bodeynly he louythe ]»is kyte so 

fat alle his loue ys clene fro me goo 

And hathe his trouthe falsehede in pis wyse 

Thus hathe fe kyte my loue in hys seruyce 628 

And I am lome wit^ oute remedy 

And wtt^ put worde pis faucon gan to crye 

And swoned efte in Canaces barme Li^^gi 

Grete was p&t sorowe of ]?at haukes harme 632 

pat Canacee and alle hir women made 

]»ei * nyste howe ]>ei my^t J»e faucon glade 

But Canace home berithe hir in hir lappe 

And softely in piastres gan hir wrappe 636 

There as she with hir beeke hathe hurte hir silfe 

Kowe can not Canace but erbys delue 

Of herbes precious and fyne of hewe 

Oute of pe grounde and maken salues newe 640 

To helyn yrith f e hauke fro day to ny3t 

Scho dothe hir besynesse Ss alle hir my3t 

And by hir beddys hede sho made and muwe 

And couerid hit witA velowetys blewe 644 

CAMBRIDOE 826 (S-T. 496) [this page, SIOUUC 1685] 

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497 8IX-TBZT 

GBoup F. § 2. squire's tale. Cambridge MS. 

In sene of trouthe p&i ys in woman sene 

And alle vriih oute fe mnwe ys • peyntyd grene 

In whiche were paynted alle J^ese false fonles 

And bethe })e Tydifs terseleitys & owlys . 648 

Rijt for dispyte were peyntid hem by syde 

Pyes on hem for to crye and chyde 

])as lete I Canace hir hauke kepynge 

I wolle no more as nowe speke of hir rynge 652 

Tylle hit come efte to puipos for to sayft 

how ^t p\a fancon gate hir loue a jeyfi 

Eepentaunt as fe story tellithe va 

By mediacion of Cambassus 656 

The kynges sone of whiche y yon tolde 

Bat hennes I wolle processe holde 

To speken of aventnres and of batayles 

^t jit was neuere herde so grete mervayles 660 

ffirst wolle I telle you of kambynskan 

^t in hys tyme many a Citee wan 

And aftyr wolle I speke of Algarsyf 

how ]?at he wan Theodora to his wyf 664 

ffor whanne folle ofte in grete p^elle he was 

Ke hade he ben holpen by ))e hors of bras 

And aftyr wolle I speke wit/t Camballo [tsitfM,back} 

f&i faujt in lystes wttA pe bretheren two * 668 

ffor Canace or fat he myjt hir wynne 

And ]>ere I lefte I wolle a-gayne by-gynno 

Appollo whirlithe vp hys chare so hyje 

Tylle pAt fe god Marcurius hows ]>e skye 672 

Here enditH >e tale of fe s^yer^] [Siouw less extract wtopt} 

CAMBBIDOE 8S7 (s-T. 497) [this page, Sloane less] 


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OBoup F. § 8. SQui&E-FRANKLiN LINK. , Cambridge MS. 

[Sloane MS 1686, on Zea/86, back.] 
[Here begynnytti pe prologga of fe Karohaunt;' 

IN faythe sqyere ]»oa haste ]»e vrele quyt 
And gentely I preyse wele pi wytte 
Qt/od pe Marchaunte considerynge pis 3outhe 
So felyngely tlioujihe spekist sir I the allouthe 676 

As to my dome pere ys none ptA, ys hero 
Of eloquence ^t shalle be ]>i pere 

[And if ]?ou lif god [3]if pe goode chaunce cxattoa MB i] 

And in vertu send pe perseneraunce j 680 

for of ]»i speche I haue grete deynte 
I haue a . sone and by pe trinite 
I hade leuere J?an twenty pounds worth of londe 
povc^e hit ri^t nowe were fallen in myne honde 684 

ye are a man of suche discrecion 
As J?at ye ben fy vpon possession 
But yf a man by vertuous witfi alle 
I haue my sone snybbyd and ^it I shalle 688 

ffor he to yertu listith not entende 
But for to pley at dyes and to dispende 
And lese alle |>at he hathe ys hys vsage 
And he hade leuere talke wiUi a ps^ 692 

fan to commime wiHi eny gentille wijt 
Where he myjt leme gentilnesse arijt 
Strawe for youre gentilnesse quod oui* Oste 
What Marchaunt Sir parde wele povL woste 696 

fat eche of you mot tellen atte leste 
A tale or twoo or breken hys by-heste 
fat knowe I wele qwod f e Marchaunt certayne 
I prey you not hauethe me in disdeyne 700 

CAMBRIDGE 328 (6-T. 498) [this page» Sloane IBSo] 

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GROUP F. § 3. 8QniBs-FBANELiN LINK. Cambridge MS. 

Thoti3e to pis man yf I speke a woide or two [SImum i686] 

Telle on pi tale w»t^ out wordes moo 

Gladly Sir Oste quod, he I woUe obey [fa^rs:] 

Vnto youie wille nowe herkeneth what I seye 704 

I woUe not contiaiye you in no wyse 

As fer as my wyttes woli suffice 

I prey to god ])at hit mot pleeen you 

yan wote I wele J>at hit ys gode ynowe 703 

Here endithe ye jfrologge of ]>e Karohannt] 

26 CAVBHIDGE 320 (6-T. 499) [this page, Sloanc 168o] 


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GROUP F. § 4. franklin's tale. Cambridge KB. 

[Sloane MS 1685, on leaf 145, hack.] 

[and bygynnefhe fe tato 

Thys olde genteH Biytotins in hir/ dayes 
Of dyuerse auentuies maden layes 
Bemedyn in hert / first Britoun tonge 711 

Whiche layes with her/ Instnimentes fei songe 
OpetQ elles radden hem for her plesaunce 
And oil of heme haue I in remembraunce 
Whiche shalle seye witfi as goode wille as I can 
But Sires be cause ]>at I am a burett man 716 

At my begynnynge firste I you be-seche 
hauethe me excused of my rude speche 
I lemed neuere rethorike certayne 

penge yaX I speke hit mote be bare & playne 720 

I slepe neuere on fe Mount of p^maso 
Ne neuere lered marchus Tullius ne Cithero 
Colours of rethoryke ne knew I none vrith outen drede 
But suche Colours as growen in pQ mede 724 

0]>ere elles suche as men dye or peynte 
Coloures of rethorike ben me to queynte 
Myne sperit feiiye * nou^t of suche matere 
But y£ you luste my tale shalle }e not herej iBLata»exir.muU2 



"N Armoryk that callyd is Britayne i:Gunb.xs, lesf 2S73 
There was a knyjt that louede & dedo his payne 
To serue a lady in his beste wyse 
And manye a labour / manye a gret empiyse 732 

CAMBRIDGE 330 (6-T. 600) [part, SloaUC 16S6] 

Digitized by 


501 8IX-TKir 

OBouF F. § 4. frakklim's talk. Cambridge KS. 

He for Ms lady wrou^te er ache weeie wotme 

ffor sche was on the fayieste yndyr sunne 

And ek therto come of so hegh kynrede 

That weel oneihe duiste this kny^t for drede 736 

Telle hire his woo his peyne & his distresse 

But at the laste / sche for his worthynesse 

And namely for his meke obeysaunce 

Hath swich a pete cai^t for his penaunce 740 

That praynyly sche fel of his acord 

To take hyne for hire husbonde & for hire lord 

Of swich lordschepe as men han of here wyuys 

And for to leede fe more in blysse hire lyuys 744 

Of his fiewil he swoor hire as a knyjt 

That he neuere his lyue day ne nyjt 

Ke scbnlde yp on hym take maystrye 

A-geyn hire wil ne kythe hire lalnsye 748 

But hire obeye & folwe hire wil in al 

As ony louere to his lady schal 

8aae that the name of sonereynte 

That wele lie haue for schame of his degre 752 

Sche thankede hym with fnl greet humblesse 

And seyde sire seyth of joore gentillesse 

)e profere me to haue so greet a reyne 

H'e wolde nenere god be-twyn vs tweyne 756 

As in myn gylt were other werre or stryf 

Syre I wele be }oure hufnble trewe wyf 

Hane here myn trouthe tyl myn herte breste 

Thns been they in quyete & in reste 760 

ffor o tbyng syrys sanely dare I seye 

That frendys eueryche oper moote obeye 

jif they wde longe holde campannye^ p p MsiaiM nn] 

Lone wele not been constreynede by maystrye 764 

Whan myaystiye comyth the god of lone anon 

Bethith his wyngis & fftrewel he is goon 

Lone is a tbyng as ony spyryt free ci0ftrs87,i»at] 

Wemen of kynde desire libertee 76S 

CAMBBIDOB 8S1 (6-T. 60l) 

Digitized by 



oRoup F. § 4. franklin's tale. Cambridge H8. 

And not to been constrejnd as a thral 

And so don men ^if I soth seyn schal 

Loke bo so most is pacient in lone 

He is at bis auauntag al a-boue 772 

Paci'ence ia an bigb yertu certeyn 

fibr it yenquyscbitb as tbese clerkis seyn 

Tbyngis pat rygour scbulde nenere atteyne 

ffor euery word men may not cbide or pleyne 776 

Lemytb to suffere or elHs so mote I goon 

je scbul it leme wheper je wele or non 

IT fTor in this world serteyn there no wyjt is 

That he ne doth or seytb sumtyme a^mys ' 780 

Ire seeknesse or constelacioun 

Wyn wo or chaungyng of complexioun 

Causeth oftyn to don amys or spekyn 

On euery wrong a man may not been wrekyn 784 

Aftyr the tyme muste be thatemperaunce 

To euery wyjt that can on gouemaunce 

And therfore hath this wyse worthi kny^t 

To leue in ese suffeiaunce to hire hy3t 788 

And sche to hy7» ful wisely gan to swere 

That there scbulde neuere been defaute in hire 

IT Heere may men se an humble wys accord 

Thus bath sche take hire seruaunt & hire lord 792 

Seruaunt in loue & lord in maryago 

Tharine was he bothe in lordschepe & seruage 

Seruage nay but in lo[r]dschepe a-bouo 

Sythe he hath bothe his lady & his loue 796 

His lady certis & his wyf also 

To whiche the lawe of loue a-cordyth perio 

And whan he was in this prosperitee 

Hojn with his wyf he goth to his cuntre 800 

Nough fer fro pedmark pere his dwellynge was 

Where as he lyuyth in blysse & in solas 

Who coude telle but he hadde weddede bee 

The loye / the ese / & the prospcrite 804 

CAMBRIDGE 832 (6-T. 602) 

Digitized by 



oaoup F. § 4 franklin's tale. Cambtidge MS. 

That is be-twyn an husbonde Ss his wyf D«f sss] 

A jeer & more lastyth this blysM lyf 
Tyl that the knyjt of whom I spak of thus 
That of kayiTud was clepid Aiueiagus 808 

Schoop hym to goon & dwelle a jeer or tweyne 
In Ingelond that clepid was er Breteyne 
To seeks in aimys worschepe & honour 
ffor al his lust he sette in swich labour 812 

And dwelte there too jeer the bok seyth thus 
Now wele I stynte of this ^ Arueragus L^ A,jint a] 

And speke I wele of dorigious his wyf 
That louyth hire husbonde as hire lyf 816 

ffor hyse^ absence wepith sche & sykyth {^^r$t hire] 

As doon these noble wyuys whan hem lykyth 
Sche / momyth / wakyth / waylyth / fastith pleynyth 
Desyr of hise presens so hire streynyth 820 

That al this wyde world sche sette at noujt 
Hire frendys whiche that knewe hyre heuy thoujt 
Confortyn 'here i» al^ that euere they may {}-^ eorreeua} 
They preche hire they telle hire nyght & day 82i 

That causeles sche sleth hyre selue alias 
And eueiy confort possible in this cas 
They don to hire with al here besynesse 
Al for to make hire leue hire heuynesse 828 

By proces as je^ knowyn euerichoon i* )• eorr«ett4} 

Man may so longe grauyn in a stoon 
Tyl sum fygure ther-in enpryntid be 
So longe ban they confortid tyl that sche 832 

Kesceyuede hath by hope & by resoun 
Thenprentyng of ^hire consolacyouA ^ h,/tnt |i 

Thorw whiche / al hire sorwe gan swage 
Sche may not al wey duryn in swych rage 836 

And ek ^AraeragtM in al this care [* A,^r«i •! 

Hath sent hire lettere hom of his weelfare 
And that he hastely wele come a-geyn 
; Or ellb hadde tins sorwe hire herte slayn 840 

CAMBRIDGE 333 (6-T. 503) 

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QBoup F. § 4. fbanklin's talb. Cambridge Hft 

Here fieendis saw hyre sorwe gan a-elake 

And preyede hire / on kneis for godis sake 

To comyn & romyn heere in cnmpanye o«rf«8,iMcki 

A-wey to dryne hire derke fantasye S44 

And finally sche granntede that requeste 

ffor wel Bche thou^te it was for the beste 

Now stood hire castel faste by the see 

And oftyn with hiie frendis walkede sche 848 

Hire to disporte on this banke an high 

Where that sche manye a schip & barge seigh 

Seylynge here cours / where as hem leste goo 

But thanne was that a parcel of hire woo 852 

ffor to hiie self fnl ofte seyde sche 

Is there no schip / of so manye as I se 

Wil bryngyn hom myn lord thanne were myn berie 

Al warychid of hire bittere peynys smerte 856 

A nothir tyme there wolde sche sitte & thynke 

And caste hire eyen / doun fro the brynke 

Bat whan sche say / the gresely rokis blake 

ffor yerray feer / so wolde hyre herte quake 860 

That on hire feet / sche myjt hire not sustene 

Thanne wolde sche sitte / adotm yp on the grene 

And pitonsly / in-to the se by-holde 

And seye ryjt thus / wtt/i sorweful sikys colde 864 

Eteme god / that thour thyn puniyaunce 

Ledist the world / be luste gouemaunce 

In ydil as men seyn / je nothyng make 

But lord these grysely / feendly rokkis blake 868 

That semyn rathere / a foul confusioun 

Of werk than ony fayr creacioun 

Of which / a parfyt / wys god & stable 

Why ban je wroiyt this werk onresonable 872 

ffor bi this werk. South. North / West & Est 

There is I-fostered . no man / ne brid ne best 

It doth no good / to myn wit but a-noyith 

Se ^e nat lord how mankynde it distroyeth 876 

CA&fBKIDOE 334 (6-T. 604) 

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OBoup F. § 4. trakklin'b talb. Cambridge MS. 

An bunderede thoosent / bodyis of mankynde 

Han rolkis slayn / al ben tbey nat in mynde 

Wbiche mankynd is / so fayr a part of thy» werk 

That povL it madist / lyk to thyn owene merk 880 

Thanne semytbit je badde a gret cbiertee [Umt sao] 

Toward ' mankynde but bow tba7»ne may it be p o corr0et9dj 

Tbat 3e swecbe meenys make it to distroyen 

Wbicbe menys doon no good bat euere a-noyen 884 

I wot wel clerkys wele seye as hem leste^ Perteowrwttrfi 

By aigumentis tbat al is for the beste 

Tbow I ne can the causis not I-knowe 

But that god / that made wynd to blowe 888 

As keepe myn lord / this is myn conclusion?! 

To clerkis leete I al discripcioun 

But wolde god that alio these lokkis blake 

Were sunkyn in-to belle for bis sake 892 

These rokkis sleen myn herte for the fere 

Thus seyde sche with manye a pitous teere 

Hire fryndys saw that it was no disport 

To romyn by the se but disconfort 896 

And schopyn for to pleyen sum wher ellis 

Tbey leddyn hire by reueris & by weUis 

And ek in otbere places delectables 

Tb[e]y dauncedy» thejj] pleyedyn at ches & tablys 900 

So on a day ry^t in the morwetide 

Yn-tyl a gardyn that was ther byside 

In wbiche they haddyn mad here ordenaunce 

Of vitaylis & of otbere puruyaunce 904 

They goon & pleye hem al the longe day 

And this was on the sexte morwe of may 

Wbiche may badde peyntid wit*" * hise softe schourys P h later-} 

This gaidyn ful of leuys & of flouris 908 

And craft of manys hand so curiously 

Arayed badde this gardyn trewely 

That neuere was thare^ gordy of swich a prys !•>»/»< ih«t] 

But it badde been the yerray paradys 9 12 

CAMBRIDGE 836 (6-T. 606) 

Digitized by 



6B0UP F. § 4. FBiiKKLtN's TALE. Cambridge MS. 

The odour of flourys & the fiosche syght 

Wolde han maad ony herto for to ly^t 

That euere was bom but ^i£ to giet seknesse 

Or to greet sorwe hadde it in distresse 016 

So fol it was of beute with plesaunce 

At af tyr dyner gonne thei ' to daunce D i rote-i 

And synge also sane dorygeen' alone [^arnemeor.2 [if2».bki 

Whiche maade alwey hire compleynt & hyre mone 920 

fibr sche no saw hjm on the daonce go 

That was hire husbonde & hire lone also 

But natheles sche mote a tyme ( a-byde 

And wyth good hope lete hire here^ slyde pore«>rrert«r] 924 

Yp on this daunce a-mongis opere men 

Daunsede a squier bi-f ore Dorigen ♦ E* o «or»«<«fi 

That froschere was & lolyere of aray 

As to myn doon as is the monyth of may 928 

lie syngith daunseth passynge ony man 

That is or was syn the world be^an 

Ther-with he was jif men schulde hym discryno 

On of te beste faiynge man on lyue 932 

jong . strong . ryght verteuous . & ryche . & wys 

And weel be-louyd & holdyn in greet piys 

And schortely 3if the sothe tellyn schai 

Onwetyng of this Dorygen at al 936 

This lusty squyer seruaun to venus 

Whiche pat I-depede was aurelius 

Hadde louyd hire best of ony creature 

Too jeer & more as was his auenture 940 

But neuere durste he telle hire his greuance 

"Wyth-oute cuppe he drank al his penauwce 

He was dispeyred nothyng durste he seye 

Sane in his songis sumwhat wolde he wreye 944 

His woo as in a gentyl compleynynge 

He seyde he louede & was belouyd nothyng 

Of swiche matiere made he manye layis 

Songis conipleyntis / roundelis virelayes 948 

CAMBRIDGE 336 (6-T. 606) 

Digitized by 



dRoup F. § 4 franklin's talb. Camliridge MS. 

How be duiste not his sorwe telle 

But languscht as a fuiye doth in helle 

And deye he muste he seyde as dede Ekko 

ffor Narcisos' that doiste not telle his wo i^svmeorrtet^ai 952 

In othere maner than ^e heie me seye 

Ke duiste he nat to hire his woo be-wieye 

Sane that parauentuie sujntyme at daunces 

There jonge folk kepyn here obseruaunces 

It may wel he he lokede on hire &ce 

In swich a wyse as men that askyth grace 

But no thyng wiste sche of his entente 

Kathe-les it happid er they thens wente 

By cause that he was hire n^hebour 

And was a man of worchepe & honour 

And hadde I-knowyn hym of tyme jore 

They iille in speche & they more & more 

Yn-to his purpos drow aurelius 

And whan he saw his tyme he seyde thus 

Madame quod he by god that this world maade 

So that I wyste it myjte joure herte glade 

I wolde ^ that ^oure arueragus 

Wente onyr the se that I Aurelyus 

Hadde went there neuere I schulde a comyn a-geyn 

ffor weel I woot myn seruyse is in veyn 

My guerdoun is but brestynge of my» herte 

Madame rewyth on myTtne peynys smerte 

ffbr with a word je may ne sle & saue 

Heere at 30ure feet god wolde that I were graue 








I ne haue as now no leyser more* to seye pm<»re«»rr«rf«f] 

Hauyth mercy swete or ellis 30 do me deye 

IT Sche gan to lokyn yp on aurelius 

Is this joure wil quod sche & seye je thus 980 

l^eueie erst quod sche ne wiste I' what 30 mente p 1 eon-wted] 

But now* Aurelius I knewe 30ure entente [«wewTtrt«rf] 

By-twixe god that 3af me soxile & lyf 

He schal I neuere been vntrewe wyf 984 

CAMBRIDGE 837 (6-T. 507) 

Digitized by 


S08 siz-TErr 

OBOUF F. ^ 4 fbakklin's tau. Camilhrids^e KS. 

In woid ne werk as fer as I haue wit 

I wele been his to whom that I am knyt 

Take this for fynal aoswere as of me 

Bat aft^ in pleyn thus seyde sche 988 

Aurele quod sche bi hye god a-houe 

$t wolde I giaimtyn jow to been ^ouie loue 

Sjn I se 30W so pitously compleyne 

Loke what day that endelyng Bieteyoe 992 

Je remoue alle the rolkis ston be ston 

That they ne lette schyp^ ne boot to goon ^^r$t aouppi 

I seye whan je ban mad the cost so clene fiMif sm, teek] 

Of rokkis that there ne is no stoon I-seene 996 

Thanne wele I lone 30W best of ony man 

Haue here myn trouthe In al that euere I can 

Is there noon othis grace quod he 

No be that lord quod sche that makede me 1000 

ffor wel I wot that P schal neuere betyde 

Lat sweche folyis out of 30ure herte slyde 

What deynte schulde a man han in his lyf 

ffor to go loue Brnofer manys wyf 1004 

That hath hire body whan so that hym lykyth 

Aurelius ful ofte sore sykyth 

Wo was aurelius whan that he this heide 

And with a sorweful herte he thus answerde 1008 

Madame quod he this were an Impossible 

Thanne mote I deye on sodeyn deth horrible 

And with that word he tumede hym a-non 

Po come here othere firendis manyon 1013 

And in the aleyijs they romede vp & doun 

And no thyng wiste of this oofidusioun 

But sodeynly begunne reuel newe 

Til that the bry^te suTme loste his hewe 1016 

ffor thorisonte refke j^e suTtne his ly3t 

This is as meche to seye as it was nyjt 

And hom they goon In loye & in solas 

8aue only wreche Aurelias alias 1020 

CAMBRIDGK 338 (6-T. ZeS) 

Digitized by 



« GBOup F. § 4. pbanklin's tale. Camliridg^e MS. 

He to his hous is goon with sorwefol herte 

He seth he may not from his deth asterte 

Hjm somede that he felte his herte colde 

Vp to the heuene hise hondis he gan holde 1024 

And on hise kneis haie he sette hym doun 

And in his lanynge seyde his oiysonn 

fFor verray woo out of his wit he broyde 

He nyste what he spak but thus he seyde 1028 

With pitous herte his pleynt hath he bygunne 

Ynto the goddis & fyist vp to the sunne 

IT He seyde AppoUo god & gouemour 

Of euery plaunte herbe tre & flour 1032 

That ^euyst aftyr thi declinacioun {Unf ceij 

To eche of hem his tyme & his sesoun 

As thyn herberwe chaufigith lowe & hyghe 

Lard phebus cast thyn merciable lye 103C 

On wrechede auryele wheche that am but lorn 

Lo lord myn lady hath myn deth I-ewom 

With-outyn gilt but thyn benyngnete 

Yp^n myn dedly herte haue earn petee 1040 

ffor wel I wot lord phebus If thow lest 

je may me helpe saue myn lady best 

Now vouchith saf that I may 30W deuyse 

How that I may been holpe & in what wyse 1044 

IT ^ure blysful systyr luciane the schene 

That of the see is cheef goddesse & queene 

Thow neptinius haue deyte on the see 

3it Enaparensse a-bouyn hytn is sohe 1048 

30 knowyn weel lord that ryjt as hire desyr 

is to been quykyd & lyghtenyd of joure fyer 

ffor whiche sche folwyth 30W ful busyly 

Ey3t so the see desyryth naturelly 1052 

To folwyn hire as sche that is goddesse 

Bothe in the se Ss ryueiys more & lease 

Therfore lord phebus this is myn request 

Do this myrakele or do myn herte brest 1056 

CAHBRIDOB 889 (6-T. 609) 

Digitized by 



GROUP F. § 4 franklin's tale. Cambridge MS. 

That now next at this opposicioun 

Which in the sygne schal be of the lyoun 

As preyeth hire so greet a flood to brynge 

That fyne fademe at the leste it onyr spryTzge 1060 

The hyeste rok in annorik biiteyne 

And lat this flod endure ^eiys tweyne 

Thanne sertys to myn lady may I seye 

Holdyth 30iire heste the rokkis been a-wey 1064 

Lord phebus doth this myrakele for me 

Preyeth hyr sche go no fastere cours than je 

I seye preye ^oure systyr that sche goo 

Kon fastere course / these ^erys two 1068 

Thai/ne schal sche been at the f ulle alwey 

And spryng flood laste bothe nyght & day 

And but she wouchesaf in swich maneere Omt»i, back] 

To graunte me myn souereyn lady deere 1072 

Preye hire to synke eueiy rokke a-doovn 

In to hire owene derke regioun 

Vndyr the ground there ^pluto d welly th Inne [}p\neorr«aed} 

Or neuere more schal I myn lady wynne 1076 

Thy temple in delphos wil I barfoot seke 

Lord phebus se the teris on myn cheke 

And of myn peyne haue compassioun 

And wtt^ word for sorwe he fel a-doun ■ 1080 

*And long tyme he lay / forth in a traunce^ i}-» mum erasure} 

His brothir which that knew of his penaunce 

Vp cau3te hym / & to bedde hath hym brou3t 

Dispeyrede in this tnmement & this thoght 1084 

Lete I this woful creature lye 

Cheee he for me / where he wele leue or dye 

IT Arueragus / with heye^ & gret honour P r wrrtdeo} 

As he that was of chyualrye the flowr 1088 

Is comyn horn & othere worthy men 

O blysful art tow now thow Dorigeoun 

That hast thyn lusty husbonde in thyne armys 

The frosche kny^t the worthi man of armys 1092 

CAMBBinOE 340 (6-T. 510) 

Digitized by 



GROUP P. § 4 7rai7klik's TALE. Cambridge MS. 

That louyt tlie as Ids owene hertis lyf 

Koth'ng luste hjm to be ymaginatyf 

}if ony wight hadde spoke whil he was oute 

To hire of lone he hadde of it no doate 1096 

He not entendyth to no swich matere 

Bat dauncith lastyth makyth hiie good cheid 

And thus in loye & blysse I leete hem dwelle 

And of the sike Auielyos I wele 30W telle 1100 

IT In languie & in tomemen fuiyus 

Two jeer & moore lay wreche aurelyus 

Er ony foote he myjte on erthe goon 

Ne confoit in this tyme ne hadde he noon 1104 

Saue of his biothir which that was a clerk 

He knew of al this wo & al this werk 

fibr to noon othii creature certeyn 

Of this mateie he durste no word seyn 1 108 

Vndyp his bresfc he bar it sore D«f »«} 

And so far forth it greuede hym *** mooro [spuriotia] 

Than euere dede Pamplit/^ or Galatheene 

His brest was sor wft/i-outyn for to sene 

But in his herte ay was the arwe kene 1112 

And weel je knowe that of a sursanure 

In suigerye is parlious the cure 

But men myjte tuche the arwe or come therby 

His brothrr wep & waylede pryuyly 1116 

Til at the laste hym fil in remembraunce 

That whil he was at orlionys in f raunce 

As jonge clerkis that been likerous 

To rendyn artis that been curious 1 120 

8ekin in eueri halk & euery heme 

Particuler sciencis for to leme 

He hym remembrede that vp-on a day 

At orlionys in stodie he say 1124 

Of magyk naturel whiche that his felawe 

That was that tyme a bacheler of lawe nq^ bacaiariu» 

Al were he there to leme a nothlr craft 

Hadde pnuyly vp on his deske laft 112S- 

CAIiBRIDOE 341 (6-T. 611> 

Digitized by 



GROUP F. § 4. franklin's talb. Cambridge KS. 

Touchynge the eyghte & twenty manciounnys 1 1 30 

That longyn to the moone & swich folye 1131 

Swich hook that spak meche of the operaciouy^nys 1129 

[As in onie dayes nys not wor^ a flye] , [siMyM 1686] 

ffor holycheichis feyth in onre beleue 1133 

Ke suffere noone illusioannys vs to greue 

And whayi this hok was in remembraunce 

Anoon for ioye lus herte gan to daunce 1136 

And to hym self he seyde piyuyly 

Myn brother schal been waiahit^ hastily p rodi mitwm] 

ffor I am sekyr that theere ben sciencis 

By whiche men mak diners apparencis 1140 

Sweche as these subtyle tregettourys pleye 

ffor ofte at festis / haue I weel herd seye 

That tiegettooiis wtt^inne an hallo large 

Hane mad come in a watyr & a baige 1144 

And in the halle rowyn vp & doun 

Snmtyme hane semyd to come a grym lyouTi 

And snmtyme flooris sprynge as in a mode [toarns; b«(^] 

Sumtyme a vine & grapis white & reede 11 48 

Sumtyme a castel al of lym & stoon 

And whan hjm lykith woydede it anoon 

Thus semede it to eueiy manys sy^t 

Kow thanne conclude I thus as ^if I myght 1 152 

At orlyonys sum old felaue I fynde 

That hadde these monys manciowmys in mynde 

Or othere Magyk naturel a-bone 

He schulde weel make myn brothir han his love 1156 

ffor with apparens a clerk may make 

To mannys syjt that alle the rokkis bkke 

Of Brytaygne were voydede euerychon 

And schippis by the brynke comyn & goon 1160 

And in swich forme endure a day or two 

Thamie were myn brothir warsched of his woo 

Thanne muste sche nedys holdyn hyre by-hesto 

Or ellis he schal schame hire at the leste 11G4 

CAKBRIDGE 842 (6-T. 618) 

Digitized by 


513 8TX-TEZT 

6B0UP F. § 4 franklin's tale. Cambridge MS. 

What schxilde I make a lengere tale of this 

Vnto hise biotheris bed he comyn is 

And swich confort he ^af hjni for to goon 

To Orlyonys that he vp styrte a-noon 1168 

And in his weye forward is he feire 

In hope for to been lessede of his care 

Whan thej were come / ahnost to that cete 

But ^ it were a two furlong or thre 1172 

A 3ong clerk romynge by hym self he mette 

Whiche that in latyn tluystily hym grette 

And aftyr that he seyde a wondyr thyng 

I knowe qnod he the cause of ^oure comyng 1 1 76^ 

And er they ferthere ony foote wente 

He told hem al that was in here entente 

This Britoun Clerk hym askede of felawys 

The whiche hem had knowe of olde dawis 1 180 

And he answerde hem that they dede were 

ffor which he wepte ful ofte manye a teere 

DouA of his hors Aurelyus ly^te a-non 

And with this Magicien forth is he gon 1184 

Horn t<) his hous & maade hem wel at eese om^ t»] 

Hem lakkede no yitayle that myghte hem pleese 

So weel arayede hous as there was oon 

Aurelyus in his lyf saw neuisre noon 1188 

He sbewede hym er he wente to soper 

fforeptis / parkis ful of wylde deer 

There saugh he hertis wiih here homys hye 

The gretteste that eaere were seyn^ wit^ lye VAnttmn) 

He saw of hem an hunderede weere slayn wtt^ houndis 

And some wtt7« arwis bledde of bittere wmtdys 

lie say whayi woyded were the wylde deer 

The fauoounneris yp-on a fayr reuer 1 196 

That with here haukys han the heyronn slayn 

Tho saugh he knyjtis slayn in a playn' c aoMr««« 

And aftyr this he dede hym swich plesaunce 

That he hym schewede his lady on a dau[A]ce 1200 

OAKBRinOS 548 (6-T. 513) 

Digitized by 



oBoup F. § 4 FRAXKLiN's TALE. Cambridge MS. 

On whiche hjm selue daunsede as hjm thou^te 

And whanne this Maystyr that this Magik wroujt 

Saw it was tyme he clapte hise handis two 

And &rweel al onre leuel was a go 1204 

And remouuede they neuere out of the hous 

Whil they seye al the syght meraelious 

But in hise stodie there as hise bokys be 

They seetyn stille & no whit but they tbre 1208 

To hym his maystir callede his squyer 

And seyde thus is ledy oure ^soper d w aturedj 

AJmost an hour it is I vndyrtake 

Sythe I 30W bad oure sop^r for to make 1212 

Whan that these worthi men wewtyn wit/i m3 

In-to myne stodye there as mynne bokis bo 

8yre quod this squyer whan that it lykyth 30W 

It is al redy thow je wele rygh now 1216 

Go we tha^me suppe as for the beste 

These amerouse folk sumtyme mote han reste 

At afkyr soper felle they in tretee 

What summe schulde this maysteris gerdou/& bee 1220 

To remeuyn alle the rokkis of bretayne 

And ek from Gerounde to the mount of Sayne ^jint atnmg] 

He made it straztng^ & swor so god hym saue Dmt 20s, bock] 

Lasse than a thousent pound wolde he nat haue 1224 

"Se gladli^ for that summe wolde he nat goon \^iiaur} 

Aurelyus with blysful herte a-noon 

Answerde thus fy on a thousent pound 

This wide world which that men seyn is round 1228 

I wolde it 3eue jif I weere lord of it 

This bargayn is ful drewyn for we been knyt 

^ schal been payed trewely be myn trouthe 

But lokyth now for no nedigonce ne slouthe 1232 

3e tarye vs no lengere than to morwe 

Kay quod this clerk / here myn feyth to borwe 

To bedde is goon Aurelius whan hym leste 

And wel nygh al that nyght he hadde his reste 1236 

CAHBBIDGB 844 (6-T. 614} 

Digitized by 


515 MX-TRXT 

<3Roup P. § 4 FBANELm's TALE. Cambridge HS. 

"What for his labour & his hope of blys 

His wofiil herte of penaimce hadde a lys 

Yp on the morwe whaT^ that it was day 

To bryteyne toke they the ryjte way 1240 

Amelyus & the Magicyoun by syde 

And been descendit there they wele vubyde 

And this was as the bokys me remembre 

The colde frosty sesouw of deoembre * P c eorrecud} 1 244 

Phebttf wex old & hewid lyk latoun 

That in his hoote declynacioun 

Schon as the bumet gold with streemys bry3te 

But now in Capiycom adoun he lyghte 1248 

Wheeie as he schon ful pale I dar weel seyn 

The bittere frostis with the sleet & reyn 

Distroyed hat the grene & euery ^erd * P r auer^d] 

lanns sit by the fyr vriUi double herd 1252 

And diynkyth of hyse bugle horn the wyn 

By-fom hym stant braun / of the tuskyd swyn 

An Nowel syngyth / eueuery lusty man 

Aurelius in al that euere he can 1256 

Doth to his maystyr chier & reueience 

And pieyeth hym to don his dilygence 

To bryngyn hym out of hise peynys smerte 

Or with a swerd that he wolde slytte his herte 1260 

This sublyl clerk swych routhe hadde of this man D^f 2M] 

That nygh[t] & day he spedde hym as he kan 

To waytyn a tyme of his conclusiou7» 

That is to seyne to makyn Ulusioun 1264 

By swich an apparens or iogilrye 

I ne can no termys of astrologie 

That sche & euery wygh[t] schulde wene & seye 

That of Brytayne the rokkys were a-weye 1268 

Or ellys they were sunkyn vndyr grounde 

So at the laste he hath his tyme I-founde 

To make hise lapis & hise wrechedenesse 

Of swich a supe^-sticious cursedenesse 1273 

27 CAMBRIDGS 345 (6-T. 615) 

Digitized by 


516 8IZ-TEXT 

OBoup F. § 4. franklin's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Hise tablis colletanes / forth he broujte 

fiul weel coirectid / ne there lakkede nough[t] 

Neythir his collect / ne his expans jeeris 

Ne hise rotis ne hise othere geris 1276 

As been hise sentiis & hise aigomentis 

And hise propoiciounnys conuenyentis 

ffor hise eqnatiou[n]s / in eueiy thyng 

And by his .8*. speere / in his werkyng 1280 

He knew M weel / hu fer Alnath was schoue 

£^ the hed of thilke^ / fixe aries a-boue DAnttukkti 

That in the nynte speoie considored is 

ffdl subtily he calkelid al this 1284 

Whan he hadde founde his fyiste mancioun 

He knew the remenannt / by proporcyoun 

And knew tharysyng of the moone weel 

And in whos face & terme euerideel 1288 

And knew ful weel the monys mancioun 

A-cordaunt to his operacioun 

And knew also hise othere obseroauncis 

ffor sweche illusionnnys & sweche myschaiincis 1292 

As bethene folk ysedyn / in thilke dayis 

ffor which no lengere makyth he delayis 

But thour his magik for a wyke or tweye 

It semede fat alle the rokkys were aweye 1296 

f Aurelyus which that 3it dispeyred is 

Wheie he schal ban his lone / or fare a niys 

Awaytht nygh[t] & day on this myrakele VmftH, \m^] \ 

And whan he knew fat there was noon obstakele 1300 

That woydede weere the rokkys euerychon 

Doun to hise maysteris feet he fel a-noon 

And seyde I woful wreche anrelyns 

Xhanke I' 30W lord Ss lady myn Yenus c*! }oeorr«eMr] 1304 

That me ban holpyn of myne caris colde 

And to the temple his weye forth hath helde 

Where as be knew he schulde his lady see 

Axid whan he saw his tyme a-noon ryght he 1308 

CAMBRIDGE 846 (S-T. 616) 

Digitized by 


517 8IX-TBXT 

QBoup F. § 4. FiiANKLiN*8 TALE. Cambridge MS. 

With dredful herte & with humble cheere 

Saluyth hath his souereyn lady deere 

f Myn ryghte lady quod this woful man 

Whom I most dreede & loue as I best can 1312 

And lothest weere of al this world displeese 

Neeie it pat I for 30W / haue swich disese 

That I muste deyen here at ^ouie fot a-non 

Nat wolde I telle how me is wo bygoon 1316 

But sertys othir muste I deye or pleyne 

Je ale me giltles for veray peyne 

But of myn deth thow 30 han no routhe 

A-vyseth jow er than 30 breke )oure tiouthe 1320 

repente 30W for thilke god arboue 

£r 36 me sle by cause that I 30W loue 

fibr madame weel 30 wot what 30 han hj^t 

Nat that I chalange onj thyng of lyght 1324 

Of 30W myn soueieyn lady but 30ure grace 

But in a gardyn / 3ond in swich a place 

Je woot ry3t wed what 30 be-hyghtyw me 

And in myn hand 30ure trouthe plyghte 36 1328 

To loue me god wot 30 seyde so 

Al be that I vnworthi am therto 

Madame I speke it for the honour of 30W 

Moore than to saue myn hertys lyf ry3t now 1332 

I haue don so as 36 comaundede me 

And 3if 36 vouche saf 30 may go se 

Doth as 30W lyste hauyth 30ure heste in mynde 

ffor quyk or ded rygh[t] there 36 schul me fynde 1336 

In 30W lyth al to do me lyue or deye Peaf »5] 

But weel I wot the rolkis been a-weye 

He takyth his leue & sche arstonyd stod 

In al hire fistce nas a drope of blood 1340 

Sche wenede neuere / haue come in swich a trappe 

Alias quod sche that euere this schulde happe 

ffor wende I neuere by possibilite 

That swich a monstre or merueyle myghte be 1344 

CAXBBIDGE 847 (6-T. ol7) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


GROUP F. § 4. franklin's tale. Cambridge KS. 

It is ageyn the prosses of nattue 

And hom sche goth a Borweful mature 

ffor verray fer onethe/ may eche go 

Sche wepith wajlyth al a day or two 1348 

And swounnyth that routhe it was to see 

But whi it was to no wy^t tolde schee 

ffor out of tounne was goon arueragus 

But to hire self sche spak & seyde thus 1352 

Wtt^ pale face & with ful sorweful cheere 

In hire compleynt as ^e schal aftyr heere 

IT Alias quod sche on the fortune I pleyne 

That vndyr wrapped / hast me in thyn cheyne 1356 

fifor which to skape* woot I no socour i^ k«p «rr«ctoi] 

Saue only deth / or ellys dishonour 

Oon of these two / by-howith me to cheese 

But na-theles ^it haue I leuere to lese 1360 

Myn lyf than of myn body to han a schame 

Or knowyn myn self ^ fals or lese myn name pei«orrceiai] 

And with myn deth I may been quit I-wis 

Hat there nat manye a noble wyf er this 1364 

And manye a maydyn I-slayn hire self alias 

rathere than with hire "body don trespas 

^LB certis lo these storyis bere witnesse 

Wha9» thretty tirauntis ful of cursedenesse 136S 

Hadde slayn Phidoun in atthenes' at the feste \* h aum^di 

They comaundit his doughtren for tareste 

And bryngyn her«* by-fbm hym in despit i^jtntwi 

Al nakid to fiilfylle his fbule delyt 1372 

And in here fadyris blood they made hem daunoe 

Yp on the pauement god jeue hym myschance 

ifor which these woful maydenys M of drede Oif t94, \mAz 

Kathere than thy wolde lese here maydywheede 1376 

They* pnHiyly ben styrt in-to a welle p ey corrMCarf] 

And drenkte hem seluyn as the bokys telle 

IT They of Messene lete enquire & seke 

Of liitedomye fifty madenys eke 1380 

CAMBRIDOB 848 (6-T. olS) 

Digitized by 



GROUP F. § 4. franklin's tale. Cambridge MS. 

On whiclie they wolde doon here lecherye 

But was theere noon of al that cumpaynye 

That ache nas slayn & miJi a good^ entente [}Antgoi^ 

Ches rathere for to deye / than assente 1384 

To been oppressed of hire maydynhede 

Whi schulde 1 thanne to deye been en drede 

IT Loke ek the ^tyraunt aristoclides P ty corrected] 

That louede a mayden / hyghte styniphabides 1388 

Whan that hire fadyr slay was on a nyght 

On to dyane temple goth sche ry^t 

And hente the emage in hire armya two 

ffrom which I-mage wolde sche nat go 1392 

No whygh[t] myghte hire handys of it a-race 

Tyl sche was slayn ry^t in the selue place 

IT Now sythe that roaydenys / "haddyn swich dispit Pad «>r.] 

To been defoyled vrith manys foule delyt 1396 

Weel oghte a wyf * rathere hyre selue slee i*t corrected} 

Tha7i been defoyled as it semyth mee 

What schal I seye of hasdrubales wyf 

That at cartage be-rafte hire self hire lyf 1400 

Whan* sche say that romaynys wan the tounn ^ )?^'' ecrateht 

Sche tok hire chyldere alle & skypte a>doun 

In-to the fer Ss ches rathere to deye 

Than ony romayn dede hire vilanye® p n altered} 1 404 

H Hath not lucresse I-slayn hire self alias 

At rome whan sche oppressed^ was [;o,pnseorreetedj 

Of Tarqnyn for hire thoughte it was a schame 

To lynyn whan sche hadde lost hire name 1408 

iT The seuene maydenys of Melesye also 

Han slayn hew self for verray drede & wo 

rathere than folk of gaule hem schulde opperesse 

Mo tha;? a thousent storyis as I gesse 1412 

Coude I now telle as touchy nge this mateere [lemrcM] 

if Whan Hadrabate was slayn his wyf so deere 

Hire selvyn slow / & leet hire blood to glyde 

In Hadrabis woundis deepe <& wyde 1416 

CAMBRIDGE 849 (6-T. 619) 

Digitized by 



OBOUP F. § 4. franklin's tale. Cambridge KS. 

And seyde myn body at the leste way 

There schal no man defoylyn jif I may 

What schulde I mo ensaumplys hereof sayn 

Syn that so manye / han hem selue slayn 1420 

Wei lathere than they wolde defoyled be 

I wele coTzclude that it is bet to me 

To slen myn self than ben defoyled thus 

I wele been trewe vn-to ^Arueragus VAeomrtetr] 142i 

Or ratheie slen myn self* in sam manere pei«»rr«**ii 

IT As dede democienys doughtyr deere 

Bi-cause sche wolde not defoylyd be 

IT Cedasus it is fid greet pite 1-128 

To redyn how thynne doughteryn deyedyn alias 

That slow hem self for swych manere cas 

IT As greet a pyte was it or wel moore 

The theban maydyn that for nychanore 1432 

Hire seluyn slow / ryjt for swych manor wo 

% A nothir theban maydyn dede ly^t so 

£for on of massedoyne hadde hire oppressed 

Sche with hyre deth hyre maydynhed redressed 143^ 

IT What schal I seyn of n jrcherates wyf 

That for swich cas berafte hire self hyre lyf 

IT How trowe ^e ek was Althebiades 

Hyre loue al rathere for to deyen chees 1440 

Than for to sufiferyn hyse* body onburyede be i^jint i»yre] 

IT Loo which a wyf was Alceste quod sche 

% What sey th Omer of goode penolopee 

As Crece knowyth of hire chastitee 1444 

^ Parde of Lacedomya is wrytyn thus 

That whan at troye was elayn Protheselaus 

No lengere wolde sche leuyn aftyr hise* day [*jir»tMre} 

IT The same of noble porcya tellyn I may 1448 

Wtt^-outyn Brutus coude sche nat lyue 

To whom sche hadde al hoi hire herte ^yue 

IT The parfyte wif hod of Arthemesye n««f »«. »»ck] 

Honoured is thour al the Barbarye 1452 

CAMBEIDGK 350 (6-T. 620) 

Digitized by 



GROUP F. § 4. f&axxun's tale. Cambridge HS. 

IT Teata queen / thyn wyfly chastitee 
To alle wyuyg may a myrour bee 

r llfot in any Brit. Mum., 

L • Cambr.f or Boditian Jf9, 

no gap in the Mb,\ 

Thus pleynede Dorigen a day or tweye 1457 

Puiposynge eueie that sche wolde deye 

But natheles yp-on the thredde nyjt 

Horn cam Arueiagus thia worthy kny^t 14 GO 

And axed hire why that sche weep so sore 

And sche gan wepyn euere longere the more 

IT Alias quod sche that euere was I bom 

Thus haue I seyd quod sche thus haue I sworn 1464 

And tolde hym al as ^e han herd be-fore 

It nedith nat leherse 30W no moore 

This husbonde witA glad cheere in frendely wyse 

Answerede & seyde as I schal 30W deuyso 1468 

Is there ought ellis / Dorigene but this 

Kay nay quod sche god helpe me so as wis 

This is to meche & it were godys wiUe 

3a wyf (\UQd he / lat slepyn & be stylle 1472 

[hit may be wele 3it perauenture to say [simum I686, (/»i55, hkl 

30 sholen yuore trouthe holden by youre fay] 

ffor god so wysely haue mercy yp-on me 

2 hadde wel leuere I-stekyd for to be 1476 

ffor yerray loue whiche that I to 30W haue 

But 3if ^e schulde joure trouthe kepe & ^saue c^^ii-tthane] 

Trouthe is the heyeste thyng that man may kepe 

And with that word he brast anon to weepe 1480 

And seyde I 30W forbede yp peyne of deth 

That neu^re whil jow lastyt lyf or breth 

To wyght telle thow of this auenture 

As I best may I wele myn wo endure 1484 

Ke make no cuntenaunce of heuynesse 

That folk of )ow may deme harm or gesse 

And forth he clepith a squyer & a mayde 

Goth forth a-non wit^ Dorigene he sayde l4dS 

CAMBRIDGS 351 (6-T. 681) 

Digitized by 



GROUP F. § 4. franklin's talb. Cambridge HS. 

And biyngith hire to swich a place a-non 

They take here leue & on here weye they gon 

But they ne wyste why she thidyr wente 

He nolde no wight tellyn his entente 1492 

f [Kot inam^MSintht BHf, 

L Mms.^ Oamtbrtdfft or Ojjbrd, 

or the Hetwumoham MS. 
/. 140S-8 »NMnt oii/y M <te 

BlUtattrw MS.} 


no gap in the MS.^ 

This squier which that hy^te au rely us Oaf tg7 

On Dorigene that was so amerous 1500 

Of auenture happede hire to meete 

A-myd the toun rygh[t] in the ^quykkeste strete i^jtour^i 

As sche was boun to go the woye ful ry^t 

Toward the gardyn there that sche hadde hight 1504 

And he was to the gardynward also 

ffor weel he spyed whan sche woldo go 

Out of hire hous to ony maner place 

But thus they mette of auenture or grace 1508 

And he saluyth hire with good entente 

And axed hire whidyrward sche wento 

And sche answerde half as sche were mad 

Yn-to the gardyn as myn husbonde bad 1512 

Myn trouthe for to holde alias alias 

If Aurelius gan wonderyn of this cas 

And in his herte hadde greet compassioun 

Of hire & of hire lamentacioun 1516 

And of Arueragus the worthi k"ight 

That bad hire holdyn al that sche hadde hi^t 

So loth hym was his wyf schulde breke hire troutho 

And in his herte he caughte of this greet routhe 1520 

Considerynge the beste on euery syde 

That for his lust ^it were hym leuere a-byde 

ThaTi don so high a cherliche wrechedenesse 

Agayns frau^ichese of alle gentillesse^ c> ■« lottf^ 1524 

CAMBRIDGE 352 (6-T. 622) 

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GROUP F. § 4. franklin's talb. Cambridge MS. 

ffor which in fewe wordys seyde he thus 

Madame eythe to 301116 lord Arueiagus 

That sithe I se his grete gentillesse 

To jow & eek I se wel 3oure distresse 1528 

That he were leuere han schame & that were routhe 

Than 30 to me schulde breke thus joure trouthe 

I haue wel leuere euere to sulfere wo 

Than I departe the loue by-twixe jow two 1532 

I 30W relese madame in-to joure bond 

Quyt euery surement & euery bond 

That 50 han mad to me as here be-fom 

Sith thylke tyme which that ^e were bom 1536 

Myn trouthe I ^ plyghte I schal 30 w neuere re-preue yw, bk] 

Of no beheste & here I take myn leeue {} iyjir$t m] 

As of "*• treweste & the beste wyf 

That euere jit I knew in al myn lyf 1540 

But euery wif be war of hire byheste 

On Dorigene / remembr[i]th at the leste 

Thus can a squyer doon a gentyl deede 

As weel as kan a kny3t / w/t^utyn drede 1544 

If Sche thankede hjm vp-on hire kneis al bare 

And hom yn-to hire husbonde is sche fare 

And told hjm al a* 30 han herd me seyd/ 

And be 30 sykyr / he was so weel apayed 1548 

That weere impossible me to wryte 

What schulde I lengere / of this cas endyte 

Arueragus & Dorygene / his wyf 

In souereyn blysse leedyn forth here lyf 1552 

Keuere eft ne was there angyr hem be-twene 

He cherysseth hire ry3t as sche were a queene 

And sche was with hym trewe* for eueremoore p^»urowtj 

Of these two folk 36 gete of me no more 1556 

IT Aurelyus that his cost hath al for*lom 

Cursith the tyme that eu^re was he bom 

Alias quod he alias that I be-hy3te 

Of puiede gold a thousent pound of wighte 1560 

CAMBRIDGE 8S8 (6-T. 628) 

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QBoup F. § 4. F£ULNJciJN*s TALB. Cambridge XS. 

On to this philysopliere how schal I do 

I 86 namoore but that I am fordo 

Myn erytage mote I nedis selle 

And ben a beggere heere may I nat dwells ' 1564 

And schamyn al myn kynrede in this place 

But I of hym may getyn beteie grace 

But natheles I wele of hym assaye 

At serteyn dayis jeer be jer to paye 1508 

And tha^ike hym of his greete curteysye 

Myn trouthe wele I kepe I wele nat lye 

With herte sor he goth vnto his^cofere 

And bryngith gold vn-to this philisophere 1572 

The yalew of fyue hunderede pound I gesse ri ^j^^ m^ ^^^^ 

And hym be^echith of hise gentUessei SS'^'^Jl!?;]^*''- 

[To graunten hym dayes of ]>e payment ca0ntMK,o»{ri57] 

And sayde Maystere .1. dare wele make a vaunte 1576 

I fayled neuere of my troupe jet 

ffor sykerly my dette shalle be qu}'t 

Towardes jowe howe )>at euere I fare 

To gone a beggere in my kirtett bare 1580 

But wolde je Youche saue ypon suerte 

Two jere or )}re for to respiten me * 

Then were I welle for elles mot I selle 

M}aie herytage ^ere nys no more to telle 1584 

Thys phylosophre soberly vnswarecl 

And said ^us when he pia woide herde 

haue I not holde Couenaunte vnto pe 

jee certes wele and truly quod he 1588 

haste povL not hade fi lady as )}e lykest 

No no qt^od he and sorowfuH he sije))e 

What was ]>e cause telle me yf fon can 

Aurelius his tale a-none be-gan 1592 

And tolde hym alle as je han hard by-fore 

hit nedith not to rehersen hit no more 

he sayd Arueragus of gentilnes [/«<^i6?, *«*] 

hade leuere dye in sorowe and dystresae 1596 

CAMBRIDGE 854 (6-T. 624) [part, SloaUC 1685] 

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GROUP F. § 4. franklin's talb. Cambridge HS. 

Than hjs wyf were of hir/ troupe false [Oouu iwf} 

The • sorowe of Doregen he tolde hjm alse 

howe • loj>e hir/ was to beii a wykked wyf 

And J>at she lenere fat day loste * hir lyf 1600 

And ]»t hir/ troxipe she ' swore }»orough Innocence 

Sche neueie erste herd speke of apparence 

fat made me han of hir/ so grete pite 

And rijt as frely as he sent hir/ me 1604 

Aa frely sent I hir/ to hym a-gayne 

Thys ys alle and somme fere nys no more to sayne 

Thys phylosofre answered leue brof ei* 

Euere yche of/ you did gentilnesse to of ere 1608 

fou ai-te a squyer/ and he ys a kny^t 

But god for-bede foe hys bl^'sfuH myjt 

But )if a. Clerk< coufe do a gentel dede 

As wele as ony of you wMouten drede 1612 

8ir/ I relese fe f i f ousand ponnde 

As fou rijf nowe were cropen oute of grounde 

Nq neuere or nowe hadest fou knowe me 

ffor 1 wylle not taken a peny of f e 1616 

ffor alle my craft and nou3t for my travayle 

fou haste y-payed wele for my vitayle 

It ys y-nouje and fare wele and haue god day 

And toke his hors and fortiL he gothe hys way 1620 

Lordynges . f is question wylle I axe nowe 

Whiche was f e most fre as feukef e you 

Xow tellef e me or fat I ferthere wende 

I can no more my tale ys at an ende 1624 

Here endithe f e Frankeleyns tale] 

[The Doctor^s Tale followed in the Cambridge MS: one 
leaf onli/, 302, is left] 

CAMBRTDOS 856 (s-T. 626) [this page, Sloane 1686] 

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[and bennmeth J>e tale f^^S^i/r 

There was as tellitb me Titus lyueus . 
A knyjt/ J>at clepid was yirgineus 
Fulfyllyd of honoures and of worj^inesse 
And stronge of ffrendes and of grete rychesse V^ l7^ itek] 
A dou^tyr/ he hade by hys wj'f/ 5 

And neuere hade he mo in alle hys lyf * 
&jTe was pia mayde in excellent* beute 
A-bouen euery wyjt/ fat man may see • 8 

ffor natare haj^e with soueieyne diligence 
ffourmyd hir/ in so grete excellence 
As )}OU}e she wolde say loo I nature 
Thus can I forme and peynt/ a creature 12 

Whan fat/ me lyst/ who can me counterfet/ 
Pignalyon noujt poxi^e he alwey forge and bete 
Or graue or peyute for y dare wele sayne 
Apollus ^epherus shulde worche in yayne 16 

To graue or peynte or forge or bete 
jif/ fei presumyd me forto conterfete 
ffor he fat ys f e formour principal 

Hath made me his Yiker/ general 20 

To forme and peynte eche erthly ci-eature 
Ry3t/ as me lyste for alle thynge ys in my cure 
Vnder/ f e mone fat may wane or waxe 
And for my werke no fenge wille I axe 24 

CAMBRIDGE 866 (s-T. 303) [this page, Sloanc 1685] 

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GROUP C. § 1. doctor's tale. Cambridge MS. 

My lord/ and I ben fiilly at accorde cnouie xs 1635} 

I made bir/ to pe worsbipe of my lord 

So do I alle myne o^ere creatures * 

Of wbat coloiire ^i be or wbat figures 28 

puB semetbe me )>at nature woUe say 

This mayde was of/ age twelue jeere & twey 

In wbicbe pot nature bath sucbe delyte 

For ri3t/ as sbe can peynte as lyly white 32 

And rudy as roose ri^t wt't/f sucbe paynture 

She paynt-etb bath ))is noble creature 

Or she was borne vpon hir/ lymes fre 

Were also bryjt/ as sucbe coloures shuld be 36 

And Phebus dyed bade hir/ tressys grete 

Lyke to pe stremes of his bomyd heete 

And jif }»at excellent was hir/ beaute • 

A )}ousand sithe more Yertuouse was she Oarm] ^ 40 

In her/ ne lacked no condiciot^n 

That/ ys to preyse as by discreciot/n 

As wele in body as goste Chast was she 

fFor whiche she floured in Virgynite 44 

With alle humilite and abstynence 

WtiJi alle temperance & pacience 

Wtt^ mesure eke and berynge of array 

Discrete she was in answerynge alway 48 

Though she were wys as FaUas dar I sayne 

hir/ fSaucond eke fulle womanly & pleyne 

None counterfotid termes bade she 

To seme wys but / ftftyr/ hir/ degre- 52 

Sche spake alle hir/ wordes more and lesse 

Sounynge in yertu and in gentilnesse 

Constant in bert / and euere in besynesse 56 

Scbamefaste she was in maydens shamefastnesse 55 

To dryue hir/ oute of* hir/ slougardye 

Bacus hade of/ hir/ mouthe no Maystrie 

ffor wylle and ]^oujt done Venus encrece 

As men in fyre wille casten oyle or grece 60 

CAMBRIDGE 867 (6-T. 804) [this page, Sloanc 1686] 

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305 61X-TEXT 

GBoup C. § 1. dootor's tale. Cambridge KS. 

And of/ hir/ owen vertu vnconatrejmed [Hmm w$ mwfj 

She hathe fulle ofke tyme hir/ eeeke feyned 
ffoT )>at she wolde fle ]^e companye 

Where likly was to tieten of foly 64 

As ys at feestes Beaeles and at daunces 
fat/ bene occasions of/ dalyaunoes 
Sache thynge maken • Chyldren for to be 
To sone rype and bolde as men may see 68 

Whyche ys fulle peryllous and hath bene yore 
ffor alle to sone may she leme lore 
Of/ boldenesse whan she ys a wyf 

And je maystresses in youre olde lyf 72 

pat/ loides doubters han in gouemaunce 
Ke taketh of/ my worde no displesaunce 
Thynges )>at ben sette in gouemynges * 
Of lordes doubters only for two thynges [ttB/m, back] 76 
OuJ>er for je han kepte youre honeste 
0]>ere elles je han fallen in delete 
And knowen wele ynou3e J>e olde daunce 
And conne for-sake fully myschaunce 80 

ffor euermo * ]>erfore for crystes sake 
kepith wele po * pai ^e Yndirtake 
A theefe of venesofi )>at hath for-Iaft 
his lycouresnesse and alle his peiea craft 84 

kan kepe a forest* best/ of any man 
Nowe kepeth hem wel for and 30 wele kan 
\6kepe wele fat to no vice je assent 
Leest/ 30 be dampned for youre euel entent 88 

flfor who so dothe a traytowr ys certeyn 
And taketh of pat pai I shal sayn 
Of/ alle tresoun suffreyn pestelence 

Ys whan a wyjf be-trayth Innocence 92 

je fadres and ^q modres eke also 
Thogh }e haue Childre by it one or two 
3oure ys pe charge of alle her/ sufferaunce 
Whiles }»ei bene vnder/ gouemaunce 96 

CAMBDiDGK 858 (6-T. 306) [this page, Sloaue leas] 

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GROUP C. § 1. doctor's talk Cambridge MS. 

Be ware ^t be ensample of/ youre liuynge [BImum xs 19U] 
Outher by necligence of Chastisynge 
That ^i ne peryssK for I dare wele say 
3if fat/ fei done je sboUe fulle sore obeye 100 

Ynder .a. sheperd softe and necligente 
The wolfe hath many an sheepe & lambe to-rente 
Snffisel^ on * ensample nowe as here 
flPor I mote tnme a-yeyne to my matere 104 

Thys mayde of whiche I telle my tale expresse 
Sche kepte hir selfe hir/ nedeth no maystresse 
ffor in hir lyuynge maydens my^t/ rede 
As in a booke euery gode worde & dede 108 

That longethe to a mayde yertuous 
Sche was so pradent and so bounteuous * 
for whiche oute spronge on euery syde 
Bothe of hir/ beaute and of hir/ bounte wyde [/«^i8oj 112 
fat/ }K>rou3e pe londe )>ei preysed hir eccheon6 
That/ louyd yertu safe Enyie allone 
fat/ sorye ys of o}»ere mennes wele 

And glad ys of* hys sorowe and ynhele 116 

The doctare maketh fiB discripciot/n 
Thys mayde wente on a day into fe toun 
Toward J)e temple wit^ hir/ moder/ dei-e 
As ys of* yonge maydens )>e manere 120 

// Now was )>ere a lustico in pe toun 
)»at/ gouemottr was of f&t regioun 
And so by-felle thys luge hys ey^en caste 
Ypon fla mayde ayisynge hir/ fulle faste 124 

As she come forth by fere pe luge stoode 
A-none his hert* chaungeth and hys mode 
So was he/ cau^t/ vriiJi beaute of ])is mayde 
And to hym • self/ fulle pryuely he saide 128 

Thys mayde shalle be myne for ony man 
A-noone pe feende in-to hys hert/ ranne 
And taujte hym sodeynly by/ what slei3t/ 
Je mayde to hys purpos wynne he myjt/ 133 

CAMBRiDOX 36g. («-T. 806) [this page, Sloaue 168«j 

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oBoup C. § L docttob's tale. Cambridge MS. 

ffoT certeB b j no force ne by no mede [Sioae xs less] 

hym }K>ii)t^ he was not able for to spede 
ffor he was stronge of frendes and eke she 
Confeimyd was in snche souere^^e beaute 136 

yei/ wele he wjste he myjt/ hir/ nevere wynne 
As for to make hir wtt/i hir/ body synne 
ffor whiche wtt^ grete delibeiaciotm 
he sent/ aftyr/ a Clerk/ in-to pe toun 140 

The whiche he knewe for sotelle and for bolde 
Thys luge vnto fls Clerk* his tale hathe tolde 
I secre wyse and made hym to assure 
he shulde telle it to no creature 144 

And jif/ he did he shulde lese hys hede 
Whan ascented was J>is cursid reede 
Glad was ]>e luge and made glad chere 
And 3afe hym jiftes precious & dere luqfin, back} 148 
Whan shapen was alle J>is conspiracie 
firom poynt to poynt how )>at his lecherie 
Perfourmed shulde be fuUe sotelly 

As je shalle here and afterwan) opunly 152 

home gothe p\B . Clerk* fsAf hi^f Claudius . 
Thys false luge fsX/ hi^t Apius. 
So was hys name for it ys no fable 
But/ knowen for an historialle )>enge notable 156 

The sentence of/ hit • sothe ys oute of/ doute 
Thys false luge gothe nowe faste a-boute 
To hasten his delyte al pat/ he may 
And so by-felle sone after/ on a day 160 

Thys false luge as tellethe vs pe storie 
As he was wonte sat* in his consistorie 
And jaue his domes vpon sundry caas . 
This false derke come forthe a wele gode paas . 164 

And said lord ^if* it be youre wille 

Jis dothe me rijt/ vpon fis pitous bille] [BImdm M<rM<#Mi«] 

In which I pleyne rp^n viiginius SJaIi? toSr««]"* 

And jif he wele seyn it is not thus 168 

CAMBBIDGS 860 (6-T. 807) [this page, Sloane 1685] 

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6B0UF C. § L doctor's TALE. Cambridge HS. 

I wele it prene / & fynde it good witnesse 

That soth is that myn bille wele expresse 

The luge onswerde / of this in his absence 

I xnaj not ^eue diffynytine sentence 1 72 

Lat do hjm calle & I wele gladli here 

Thow schalt haue alle rjjt & no wrong hcere 

Yiigynyns cam to wete the lugis wille 

And rj^t a-non was lad this cuissede bylle 176 

The sentence of it was as 30 schul here 

To 30W myn lord sire apius so deeie 

Schewith jonre pouie 8eruaun[t] claudyus 

How that a knygh[t] / cailyd viigynyus 180 

A-geyns the lawe a-geyn alle equyte 

Holdyth expres argeyn the wil of me 

Myn semant which that *i3 myn' thral be rj'jt t^> /«/«■) 

Whiche from myn hous was stole vp-on a ny^t 184 

Whil that sche was ful 3yng this wele I pieue 

By witnesse lord so that it nat 30W greue 

Sche nys his doaghty[r]/ nat what so he seye 

Wherefore to jow myn lord 90 luge I preye 188 

3ilde me my thral / jif fat it be joure wille 

Lo this was al the sentens of his bille 

Yiiginius gon vp-on the cherl be-holde 

But hastyly er he his tale iolde 192 

And wolde a preued it as schulde a kny3t 

And ek by witnesse of manye a wight 

That it was f als that seydo his adaeisarya 

This cuisede Inge wolde no thyng tarye 190 

'Ne here a word more of viiginius 

But jaf his lugement & seyde thus 

I deme a-noon / this cherl his semawtt haue 

Thow schalt no leugere / in thyn hous^ becB saue® ^'oSSi^ij* 

Go brynge hire forth / & putte hire in owere wards 201 

This cherl schal ban / his thral this I awrardQ 

And whan this worthi / kny^t virgynyus 

Thour sentence / of this lustyse Apyus 204 

2S CjiMBBiPQS S9l (6-T. Sf>d) 

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GBoup C. § 1. doctor's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Muste be forse bis dero doa3tyr 3ouy [:iMfsof,baaj 

Vn-to tbe luge in lecberye to lyuyn 

He gotb bym bom & settytb bym in bis balle 

And leet a-non bis deere doi^tyr calle 208 

And witb a face ded as ascbjn colde 

Vp-on bire bumble face be gan by-bolde 

Witb fadeiys pite styngynge tbovr bis berte 

Al wolde be not fiom bis purpos conuerte 212 

Dou^tyr quod be Virginia bi tbyn name 

Tbeie been two woyis otbir ded or scbame 

Tbat )>{m muste suffere alias tbat I was bore 

ffor neuere tbow deseruedist wbeiefoie 216 

To deyen witb a sweid or wit a knyf 

O deere doujtyr endere of myn lyf 

Wbicb I bane fostered vp witb swieb plesauuce 

Tbat tbow were neuere out of myn remembraunce 220 

O doujtyr^ wbicb tbat art myn laste wo nyr«emcMr) 

And in myn lyf myn laste loye also 

O gemme of cbastite in pacience 

Take tbow tbyn detb for tbis is myn sentence 224 

ffor loue & not for bate \oxi muste be deed 

Myn pitous band mote smytyn of tbyn beed 

Alias that euere apius tbe say 

Tbus batb be falsely luged tbe to day 228 

And tolde bire al tbe case as je be-fore^ . p etecer] 

Han berd / nought nedytb for to telle it more . 

mercy dere fadyr quod this mayde . 231 

And witb that word sche botbe' bire vrmjB layde phecorr.] 

Aboute his nekke as scbe was wont to do . 

Tbe teris broste out of bise eyen two 

And seyde goode fadyr schal I deye 

Is there no grace is there no remedye 236 

1^0 certis dere doujtyr myn quod be 

Thanne jeue me leue fadyr myn quod scho 

Myn detb for to compleyne a lytyl space 

Panic lepte yol his doujtyr grace 240 

CAMBRIDGE 368 (S-T. 309) 

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GROUP C. § 1. doctor's tale. Cambridge HS. 

ffor to compleyne er he hiie slow alias 
And god it wot no thyng was hire tiespas J^J JP **• ^**^ 
[But J>at she ranne hir/ fadir/ fyrst/ to see SSSSrw^^Sq 
To welcome hym wtt^ grete soUempnite 2ii 

And with f&i woide she felle on swoone a-noone 
And aftyr/ whan hir/ swonynge was gone 
Sche risethe vp and to hir/ fadir/ sayde 
Blessyd be god )»at I shalle deye a mayde 2i& 

jif/ me my dethe or ^at/ I haue a shame 
Dothe wil£ youre childe joxae wille of goddos name 
And with yat worde she praythe f ulle ofte 
Jntt wit^ his swerde he shnlde smyte hir/ softs 252 

And wtt^ y&i/ worde on swone doune she felJe 
Hir fadyr/ wit^ fulk sorowfuUe hert/ and fel 
Hir/ heede of/ smote and by Je top it hent/ 
And to pe luge he yaue it/ to present [/«(// is:] 256 
As he sat in hys dome in consistorie 
Wliat pQ luge it sawe as saithe po storie 
He bade take hym and honge hym also faste 
Bat Ti3t/ a-ndon aUe ^e peple in Jiraste 260 

To saue ye kny^V for reuthe and for pite 
ffor knowen was J>e folys Iniquyte 
The peple a-none hade suspecte in j^is thynge 
By manere of thys Clerkes chalengynge 204 

That it was by pe assent/ of Apius " 
They wyste wele )»at he was lecherous • 
ffor whiche vnto yia Apius J^ei gone 
And kysten hym in prison rijf anone 268 

Where as he slou^e hym self/ and claudius 
y&i seruatint was vnto ^is apius • 
Was domed for [to] hange vpofii a tre 
But Yiigineus of/ his grete pite 272 

Prayde for hym fat he was exiled 
And elles certes he hade be begyled * 
The lemenaunt were honged more & lease 
f9,\f consentid weren to his cursidnesse 276 

OAUBRIDOB 863 (6-T, 310) [this page, Sloane 1635] 

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6B0VP C. § 1. doctor's talk. Caailuidge X8. 

here may men see how synne haihe hys meiite [OmmD uiQ 

Be ware for no man wote howe god wille smyte 

In no degre ne in whiche manere wyse * 

The worme of conscience wylle aiyse 280 

Of wycked lyf/ youje it/ so prene be 

fat/ no man woote of hit* but god and he . 

Whe^ere he be lowed man or leryd 

he note howe sone ^at he may ben a-feryd * 284 

Therfore I rede you ^is counselle take 

ffor-sake^ synne or synne you forsake 

Here endeihe >e tale of pe Kayster of pbisyk/ 

CA]fBBino£ 364 (6-T. 8ii) [this page, Sloane 1685] 

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•)12 BlZ-TEXT 


[Sloans MS 1685, on leaf 182.] 
[Here begynneth yt prologge of/ ^ Perdonere 

* /^ure oete gan swere as he were "woode d ? ms z, i, or i.i 
I I Harrowe quod he by nayles and by bloode 288 
\^ Thys was a false Clerk/ and a false Justice 

As shamefalle deth as tonge can deuyse irta/in, baek^' 

Come to )»e lustice and hir/ aduocase 

Algate ^is sely woman ys slayne Alas . 292 

Alas [to] dere a-boU)te she Bewte 

Wherfore I say al day ^at men may see 

^t ^ift/ of fortune or of nature 

Ben cause of/ dethe of* many a creature 296 


no gap in the MS.] 

Ab bothe ^if tes as I speke of nowe 
Men ban fulle ofte more harme fen prowe 300 

But/ truly myn owen Maystre dere 
Thys ys a pitous tale forto here 
But natheles passe ouere ys no force 
I pray to god so sane )»i gentel coise 304 

And ^ine vrynales/ and Jjyne loudans 
Ihyne ypocras and eke ^i galyans * 
And euery Boxe fulle of ^i letuaiy 
God blesse hem and oure lady seynt/ mary 308 

So mot I the ^u art/ a propre man 
And I-lyke a prelate be seynt Eunyan 
Saue )»at/ I kon not/ speke wele in terme 
But/ wele I woote J>ou doest/ myn herf erme "^-^ 312 
pat/ I haue almoste cau}f a Cardiache 
By corps bones but/ yf/ I haue treacle 
Or . elles a draujt/ of moost* or corny ale 
Or but/ I here a-none a mery tale 316 

CAMBKiDGB 36» (6-T. 8l2)^[tbis pnge, ^oaiie 1885J 

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OBouF C. § 2. DOGTOB-PABDOKEB LINK. Cambridge KS. 

Mj hert/ ys loste for pite of pia majde [Omm Msior 

Than beUun j lohli perdoner/ he sayd 

Telle TS some myiihe or some lapes here anone 

hit shal be done quod he by seynt/ nrnjon 320 

But first/ qtiod/ be at ye next/ ale stake 

I vol bothe diyng and ete of a kake 

But/ njV anone )»ise gcntelys gan to cije 

Nay let/ hym telle ys of/ no lebaudiye 324 

Tel TS some moral tbenge )»at/ ire may beie 

Some -wytte and ]MLn inlle ve gladly heie 

I graunte I-wys quod he but/ I mot/ thynke 

Tpon some honest/ ihynge irhyle ^af I drynke Veqn^ 3S8 

[Here] endeffi >e Prdooge 

CAMBBiBGS 866 (6-T. sis) [tiMS pngp, Sloane i«^l 


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GBoup C. § 3. FARDONBR*s PREAMBLE. Cambridge MS. 

[Sloane MS 1685, on leaf 183.] 

and beg3r]me^ pe tale 

[ V ' or]dyiige8 quod/ he in Chirche whan I pieche 
I L^] P^y^^ ^^ ^ h&ne an hautyn speche 

I I [And] rynge it/ oute as rounde as goth a belle 
M A ffor I con alle by roote Jat I telle 332 

[My teme] ys alle-vray on and enere was 

Kadix omm'um maloTum esf cupiditas 

fiyist/ I pronounce whens )»at I come 

And )»an my holies shewen alle and somme 336 

Oure lege lordes seal on my patent* 

Jat/ shewe I fyrst/ my body to warant/ 

That* no man be so bolde prest* nor Clerk' 

Me to distnrbe of/ crystes holy werke 340 

And after Jjat telle I forthe my talcs 

Bolles of Popes and of/ Cardynales 

Of" Patryarkes and Bysshopes I shewe 

And in laten I speke wordes fewe 344 

To sauere wiih my predicacionn 

And forto styrre men to deuocionn 

^an shewe I fortti my looge Cristal stones 

I^rommed fulle of/ cloutys and of bones 348 

Eelikes yei bene as wene fei ychone 

^an haue I in laton a shulder bone 

Whiche |»t was an holy lewes shepe 

Goode men say I take at my wordes kepe 352 

3if |»t fis bone be wasshen in a wcUo 

3if/ cowe or Calf/ shepe or Ox swelle 

)rat any worme hathe ete or stonge 

A-boute pe herte or elles J^e longe 356 

CAMBEIDQE 307 (6-T. 314) [this page, Sloane 1686] 

)^ Digitized by Google 


gaodpC. §3. FABD0NiB*8 PREAMBLE. Cftmbridge MS. 

And it is hole a-none and ferthermore comm xb leas} 

Of/ pockes and of scabbe and of/ eneiy sore 

Shatt eneiy shepe be bole yoi of^ ^is welle 

Drenkytli a diangbt/ take hede what I telle 360 

Jif fai ye godeman )»at )»e bestes onjte 

WoUe enery wooke or ^at/ ^o Cok/ bym crotitbe/ 

ffastynge diynke of/ J^Lb welle a dran^t/ [km^iss, &ceij 

As ))ilke holy lewe ouie eldres taujt/ 364 

bys beestes and bys store sbal molteplie 

And sires also it beleth lelousey 

And ^Q)e a man be fallen in a Teloose lage 

let maken wit& ^is water/ bys potage 368 

And nenere sbal be bys wyf mystmste 

TboQje be ye sotbe of bis defaute wyste 

AUe bade she taken proestes two or tbre 

here ys a myteyne eke y&i/ ye may se 372 

be ^at/ bys honde wylle putte in bis myteyne 

he sballe bane multiplyenge in bis greyne 

Whan he bathe sowen be it Whete or Otes 

So y&i/ he brynge me gode pans or elles grotes 376 

And men and women oo ))enge I wame you 

3if/ ony wi^t/ be in yia Chircbe nowe 

yai/ bathe done synne horrible ])at/ he 

Daie not/ for shame of it/ shrynen be 380 

Or ony woman be she yonge or olde 

y&t/ hath made hir/ bnsbonde Cokcwolde 

Suche folke shul bane no power ne no grace 

To ofi&e to my relleckes in )ris place 384 

And who fyndel^ bym onte of suche blame 

They wol come vp and oflQre in goddes name] ^JjJ?*'''^*^ 

And I assolie bym be the autorite i^^ SfLj?* " 

Which that by bolle is graontid on-to me 3Sd 

By this gaude baue I wonne jeer be jeer 

An bnnderede mark sytbe I was pardounncer 

I stonde lyk a clerk in myn pulpet 

And whan that the lewede peple is doun I-sct 303 

CAMBUIDOE 368 (6-T. 316) 

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OBoo^ C. § 3. fardoi7£b's PREAMBLE. Cambridge MS. 

I preche so as je han herd by-fore 

And telle an hunderede false lapis mote 

Tbanne peyne I me to strecbe forth myn nekke 

And est & west yp-on the peple I bekke 396 

As doth a douue syttyTzge on a heme 

Mynne handys & myn tunge goon so ^eme 

That it is loye to se myn besynesse 

Of auaiice & of swich cnrsedenesso 400 

Is al myn piechyng for to makyn hem fre 

To jeuyn here penys i, nameli on-to me 

ffor myn entent is not but for to wynne 

And no thyng for correccionw of synne 404 

I rekke nenere whanne that they been beryed 

Thow tha*' here sonlis goon a blakeberyed [}*eorr0etea2 

ffor certis manye a predicacionn 

Comyth ofte of euele entencionra 408 

Some for plesaunce of folk & flaterye 

To been a^yansed be ypocrysie 

And some for yeynglorie & some for hate 

And whanne I dar non othere woyis debate 412 

Thanne wele I stynge men with myn tunge smerte 

In piechynge so that I schal nat asterte 

To been defamyd falsely that he 

Hath trespased to myne brothir or to me 416 

fTor thow I telle nat his proper name 

Men schal wel knowe fat it is the same 

Py sygnys & be othere circuTnstauncis 

Thus quyte I folk that don ys displesauncis 420 

Thus spitte I out myn yenym yndyr hewe 

Of holynesse to semyn holy & trewe 

^ut schortely myn entent I wele deuyse 

I preche of no thyng but of coueytyse 424 

Therefore myn teme is ^it & euere was [leaf so5, back] 

Kadix malon^Tn est cupiditas 

Thus can I preche a-jen the same yice 

"VVhiche that I yse & that is aueryce 428 

CAMBRIDQE 369 (S-T. 316) 

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OAoup C. § 3. fabdoneb's preamble. Cambridge HS. 

But thow myn self be gilty in that synne 

3it can I make otbeie folk to twynne 

ffrom aueryce & sore to repente 

But that is nat myn pryncipal entente 432 

I preche no thyng bnt for coueytyse 

Of this matiie it oujte I-nogh snffise 

Thanne telle I hem ensaumplys many on 

Of olde storyis long tyme a goon 436 

ffor lewede peple louyn talys olde 

Sweche thyngis can they wel reporte & holde 

What trowe je that whilis that I may preche 

And Wynne gold & syluyr for I teche 440 

That I wele lyne in ponerte wilfully 

Nay nay I thoujte it neueie trewely 

ffor I wele preche & begge in sundeiy landis 

I wele don no labour vriih mynne handys * 444 

Ne make basketys & lyue therby 

By cause I wele nat beggen ydely 

I wele none of the apostelys cou/ityrfete 

I wele haue monye / woUe / cheese / & wheete 448 

Al weere it jeuyn of the poreste page 

Or of the poreste wedew in a village 

Al schulde hire chyldeiyn sterue for famyne 

Nay I wele drynke licour of the ^ vyne p x,jir*t w] 452 

And haue a loly wenche in euory toun 

But herkenyth lordyngis in conclusioun 

Joure lykynge is that I schal telle a tale 

Kow haue I dronke a draught of corny ale 456 

By god I hope I schal jowe telle a thyng 

That schal be resou?t been at joure lykyng 

ffor thow myn self be a ful vicious man 

A moral tale jit I 30 w telle can 460 

Whiche I am wonet to preche for to wy»?ne 

Now holde joure pes myn tale I wele begynne 

CAMBRIDQE 370 (6-T. 217) 

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oboufC. §4. pardoner's TALE. Cambridge HS. 

iPainUnff itftks Pardoutr.^ OmT 306] 

» Here begynnytli the Pardonnner his tale 

[1 Tit I runt tU lenga cfthe page] 

^ TN flandeiyi lehilhom dwellede a cmnpaynye 
JL Of 3onge folk that haantedyn folye 464 

As lyot hasard stevys & tauemys 
Where as with haipys lutys & getemys 
They dazmce & pleye at dels bothe day & nyght 
And ete & drynke also onyr here myjt 468 

Thoure whiche they don the deuyl sacryfise 
With-inne that denyit * te^nple in^ cnisede wyse P-* oorreHetX] 
By superfluyte / abominable 

Here othis been so greete & so dampnable 472 

That it is gresely for to here hem swere 
Oore blyssede loidis body they to-tere 
Hem thoa^te that lewis rente hym not I-noagh 
And eche of hem at otherys sywne longh 476 

And thanne ryjt a-non / comyn Tumbesteiis 
ffetyse & smale & ^ynge fratesteris 

Syngeris with harpis / Eaudis wafeieris 479 

Whiche been / the * werray deviti oflfiserys' P-* «»rr«?f«o 
To kyndele & bio we the fyr of lecherye Deaf soc, i»ck] 

That is annexed on-to Glotenye 
The holy writ take I to witnesse 

That loxniye is in wyn & dionkenesse 484 

Lo how that dionkyn looth vnkyndely 
Lay by his doughterys two on-wityngely 
So dronke he was he nyste what he wroujte 
Heiodes who so weel the storyis soujte 488 


no spurious lines in this MS^ 

CAMBRIDGE 871 (C-T. 318) 

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QBouF C. § 4. pabdoneb's TALE. Cambridge H8. 

Whan he of wyn was leplet at his feste 489 

Eygh at his owene table he 3af his heste 

To slen the Baptist lohn ful gilteles 

Senek seyth a good word douteles Seneca . 492 

He seyth he can no diffeience fynde 

By-twixe a man that is out of his mynde 

And a man which that ia dronkelewe 

But that wodnesse I-fiedlyn in a schrewe 496 

Peiseueryth lengeie than doth dronkenesse 

O glotenye ful of cuisedenesse 

cause fyrst of ouie confusioun 

O original of ouie dampnacioun 500 

Til Cryst hadde bou3t vs wtt^ his blod a-geyn 

Lo how deeie schortely for to seyn 

Aboyghte was thilk cursede vilanye 

Comip was al this world for glotenye 504 

Adam oure fadyr & his wif also 

ffrom paradys to labour & to wo 

Were dreuyn for that vice it is no drcde 

ffor whil that adam fasted as I rede 508 

He was in paradys / & thil that he 

Eet of the &eut defendit of the tre 

A-non he was out cast to wo & pyne 

O glotenye on the / wel ou3te vs pleyne 512 

wiste a man how manye maladyia 

ffolewyn * of exces & of gloteny is u • huerteo} 

He wolde been the moore mesurable 

Of his dyete syttynge at his table 516 

Alias the schorte throte the tendere mouth 

Makyth that est & west & north Ss South 

In erthe in Ayr / in watyr men to swynke n«*rso7] 

To gete a glotoun / deinte mete & drynke 520 

Of this matire / paul weel canst thow trcte 

Mete on-to wombe / & wombe weel vn-to meto 

Schal god distroyen / bothe as paul seyth 

Alias a foul thyng is it / be myn feith 524 

CAMBUIDGB 372 (3-T. 319) 

Digitized by 



GROUP C. §4. pardoner's TALE. Cambridge HS. 

To seye this word / & foulere ia the dede 

Whan man so diynkyth / of the white & reede 

That of his thxote / he makyth his pnue 

Thorgh thilke cuisede / snperfluite 528 

The apostele wepynge / seyth ful pytously 

T[h]ere walkyn manye / of whiche jow told haue I 

I seye it now / wepywge with pitous woys 

There been enemyis / of ciystis croys 532 

Of whiche the ende is deth / wombe is here god 

O worobe / O bely / stynkynge Cod 

ffulfyld of dnnge & of coirupcionn 

At eythyr ende of the foul is the soun 536 

How greet labour & cost is the to fynde 

These cookis^ how they stampe & streyne & grynde D is eorrj 

And tumyn substauTts in-to accident 

To fulfiUe al the lykerous talent 540 

Out of the harde bonys knokke they 

The mary for thei caste nat arwey 

That may goon thurgh the golet softe & soote 

Of spicerye / of lef / of bark / of roote 544 

8chal been his saus / makyd bi delyt 

To make hym jit / a newere apetit 

But certis he that / hauntyth swyche delicis 

Is ded whil that he / lyuyth in swiche vicis 548 

A lecherous thyng / is wyn and^ dronkenesso paad iaterj 

Is fill of stryuyng & of wrechedenesse 

O dronke man / disfigured is thyn face 

Sour is thyn breth / foul art pou to enbrace 552 

And thour thyn dronke nose / semyth the soun 

As thow fan seydyst euere / sampsoun Sampsoun 

And jit god wot/ Sampsoun drank neuere no wy7» 

Thow fallist* / as it weere a stekyd swyn 556 

Thyn tunge is lost & al thyn honeste cure cieof so?, back} 

ffor drunkenesse is verray sepulture 

Oof mannys wit & his discrecioun 

In whom that drynk hath dominacioun 560 

CAMBRIDGE 878 (6-T. 820) 

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321 81X-TKXT 

enoupC. §4. fabdoneb's taol Cambridge MS. 

He can no conaeyl kepe it is no drede 

Kow kepe jov from the white & from the reede 

And namel J firom the white wyn of lepe 

That Ib to selle in fiche streete or in Chepe 564 

This wyn of spayne crepyth snhtily 

In others wynys giowyng© fuste by 

Of which there lysith swich fmnosite 

That whan a man haue dronkyn diao^tis thre 568 

And weneth that he be at hom in chepe 

He iB in spayne ly^t at the tonn of leepe 

Kat at rochel / ne at biirdeux toun 

And thaime wele he seye sampsonn sampsoun 572 

But herkenyth lordyngis o word I )ow preye 

That alle the sonereyn actis dar I seye 

Of victoiyis in the olde testament 

Thoigh Temy god that is omnypotent 576 

Were don in abstinence & in preyere 

Lokyth the bible & there }e may it leere 

Loke attilla the greete oonqnerour 

Deyede in his slep / with schame & dishonour 580 

Bledynge at his nose in dronkeneBse 

A Capitayn schulde lene in soberenesse 

And onyr al this / aviseth jow ly^t wed 

What was comaoiidit to Lamael 584 

Kat Samnel but Lamael seye I 

Bedyth the byble / & fynde it ezpresly 

Of wyn jeuynge to hem that han instise 

Kamoie of this for it may I-nongh snfiyse 588 

And now that I hane spokyn of glotenye 

Kow wele I }ow defende hasardeiye 

Hasard is yenay modyr of lesyngis 

And of disseyd & cnrsede forsweryngis 593 

Blaspheme of Ciyst manalaujt & wast also 

Of catel of tyme / & ferthere mo 

T It is repref & contrarye to hononr pnf sm) 

ffor to ben holdyn a comoon hasardovr 596 

CAHBEIBGX 874 (6-T. 82l) 

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GROUP C. § 4. pardoner's talb. Cambridge MS. 

H^eorrtettd] ' 

And euere the lieyere he is of ^estat^ 

The moore is he holdjn desolat 

^if that a piynce vseth hasarderye 

In alle goueniaunce & polycie 

He is as be comune opinioun 

I-holde the lesse in repntacioun 

Stilboun )»at was a wys Embassadonr 

Was sent to Corenthe in ful greet honot^r 

ffrom latidomye to makyn hire allyaurtce 

And whan he cam hym happede par chauwce 

That alle the gretteste that were of that lond 

Pleyinge at the hasard he hem fond 

ffor which as soone as it myghte be 

He stal hym horn a-geyn in-to his cnntre 

^ And seyde there wel I nat leese myn name 

Nay wil nat take on me so greet diffame 

3ow for to a-lye vn-to none hasardooiys 

Sendyth othere wyse embassadourys 

ffor be myn trouthe me were leuere dye 

Than I jow schnlde to hasardonrys alye 

flbr je that been so gloryous in honourys 

Schal not a-lye jow to hasardonrys 

By myn wil ne as bi myn tretee 

This wyse philisophere thus seyde he 

Loke ek that to the kyng demetryus 

The kyng of Farthes as the bok sey th vs 

Sente hym a payre of deis of gold in scorn 

ffor be hadde vsed hasard there by-fom 

ffor which he held his glorye or his renoun 

At no vala or repntacioun 

T Lordis may fynde other maner pley 

Honeste I-now to diyue the day a-wey 

Now wele I speke of othes false & greete 

A word or two as olde bokys trete 

Greet swerynge is a thyng abhominable 

And Ms swerynge ^ is jit* more repreuable i*^ correeutt] 

CAMBKIDGE 375 (6-T. 822) 

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oboupC. §4. pabdoneb's TALE. Cambridge KS. 

The hye god^ forbad sweiynge at al QAntgooS} [iMfm^ineki 

Witnesse of Mathew but in special 

Of Bweiynge seyth the holy leremye 

Thow schalt swere soth thynne othis & not lye 636 

And swere in dom & ek in ryghtwysnesse 

But ydele swerynge is a cursedenesse 

Bi-hold & se that in the ferste table 

Of heye goddys heetis honurable 640 

How that the secounde heste of hym is this 

Take nat myn name in idil or a-mys 

liO rathere he forbedyth sweche swerynge 

Than homyside or manye a cursede thyng 644 

I seye that as by ordere thus it sta^idith 

This knowith that his bokys yndirstonde 

How that the secunde heste of god is that 

And ferthere ouyr / I wele the telle al plat 648 

That vengeaunce schal nat passe from his hoos 

That of hise othis is to outrageous 

By godys precyu« herte & by hise naylys 

And by the blod o cnst that is in haylys 652 

Seuene is myn chaance / & thyn is synk & treye 

By godys armys ^if thow falsely pheye 

This daggar schal thoigh out thyn herte go 

This freut comyth of J^e bicche bonys two 656 

flforswerynge Ire falsenesse homysyde 

Now for the loue of cryst fat for vs deyede 

Leyeth ^oure swerynge bothe greete & smole 

But setys now wele I telle forth myn tale 6G0 

Theise riotourys thre of whiche I telle 

Longe erst er pryme rong the belle 

Were sett hem in a taueme to drynke 663 

And as the[y] sat / they herde a belle ^cljoike* i*-^uu€rx 

By-fom a cors was caryed to his graue 

That on of hem gan callyn to his knaue 

Go bet quod he and axe redyly 

What C0I8 is this that caryed is forby 6G& 

CAMBBmoS 376 (6-T. 323} 

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OB017F C* § 4. FABDONEB*s TALE. Cambridge MS. 

And loke that thow reporte his name vrel 
Sere qnod this boy it nedyth neuere a deel 
It was me told er je cam hero thro onris [kaf so9}: 

He was parde an old felawe of ouris 672 

And sodeynly he was I-slayn to nyght 
ffoi^dxonke as he sat on his bench vp ry3t 
There cam a pHue thef men clepyn deth 
That in this cuntre al the peple sleth ' 676; 

And with his spere he smot his herte atwo 
And wente his weie wtt^-outyn wordis mo 
.And maystir er je come in his presence 680 

He hath a thousent slayn this pestelence 679 

Methynkyth that it were necessarye 
ffor to ben war of swich an aduersarye 
Beth redy for to mete hym euero moro 
Thus thaute me myn dame I seye nomoro 684 

Be seynte marie seyde this tauemero 
The child seyth soth for he hath slayn this 3ero 
Hene ouyr a myle with-inne a groet village 
Bothe man & woman child & hewe & page 688 

I trowe his habitacioun be thero 
To been a-vised greet wisdawi it weero 
£r that he deyede a man a dishonour 
T Ye goddis armys quod this notour 692 

Is it swich peril with hym for to mete 
I schal hym seeke by woye & ek bi streete 
I make a wow to goddys digne bonys 
Herkenyth felawis we thro been a-lonys 696 

Lat ych of vs holdyn yp his hand to othir 
And eche of vs bi-comyn otherys brothir 
And we wele sleen this false traytour deth 
He schal been slayn he that so manye sleth 700 

By godis dygnete er it be nygh 
To-gederys han these thro here trouthes plyght 
To lyuyn Ss deyen eche of hem with othyr 
As though he wero Ids owe boro brothir 704 

29 CAMRBinOB 877 (6-T. 32d} 

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325 8IZ-TSXT 

oBoup C. § 4. fabdokeb's tale. Cambridge MS. 

And yp they stertyn & dronkyn in this rage 

And forth they gon towardys that village 

Of whiche the tauemer hadde spoke by-fom 

And manye a gresely oth thanne han they sworn 708 

And crystis blyssede body they to-rente [ieiifaM,iMk] 

Deth schal ben ded jif they may hym herite 

Whan they han goon nat folly half a myle 

Ryght afi they woldyn a trodyn onyr a style 712 

An old man & a poure *wM hem* mette C»-J comettn 

This olde man ful mekely hem grette 

And seydyn thus now lordis god ^ow see 

The prondeste of these ryatourys three 716 

Answexede a-gayn what cherl with sory grace 

"Why art thow for-wrappid sane thyn face 

Why lyggist thow so longe in so greet age 

This olde man gan lok3m in his visage 720 

And seyde thus for I ne can nat fynde 

A man thow I walkede in-to ynde 

Neythir in cete ne in non village 

That wolde chaunge his ^outhe for myn age 724 

And therfore mote I holde myn age stylle 

As long tyme as it is godys wille 

Ke deth alias wele nat han myn lyf 

Thus walke I lych a recheles caytyf 728 

And on the ground whiche is myn moderys gate 

I knokke with myn staf bothe erly & late 

And seye leue modyr lete me in 

Lo how I vanyche bothe flesch & blood & skyn TS2 

Alias whanne schal myne bonys been at reste 

Modyr with )ow wolde I schau/zge myn cheste 

That in myn chaumbre long tyme hath be 

3a for an heyre clout to wrappe me 736 

But )it to me ^e wele nat do that grace 

ffor which ful pale & welkid is myn face 

But syrys to jow it is no curteysye 

To spekyn to an old man vilanye 7^^ 

CAMBRIDGE 878 (6-T. 825) 

Digitized by 



GROUP C. § 4. pardoner's tale. Cambridge MS. 

But he trespace in word or ellis in dede 

In holy wryt ye may yonre seluyn weel reede 

[A-geyns an olde man / hoor vp-on his hed ^L^iJ^i^f^i 

3e shulde aryse / wherfore I ^eue 30W red] 744 

"Ne doth vn-to an old man noon harm now 

Ka more than 30 wolde men dede to 30W 

In age jif that ^e so longe a-hyde 

And god be wyth jow where ^e go or ryde 748 

I mot go thedyr there I haue to go (iMf sio] 

IT Nay olde cherl by god thow schat nat so 

Seyde this othir hasardour a-non 

Thow partist nat so lyjtely by seynt lohn 752 

Thow speke ryjt now of thilke traytowr deth 

That in oore cuntre alle oure frendys sleth 

Haue here myn trcuthe as thow art his espie 

Telle where he is /.or / thow schalt it a-bye 756 

By god & by holye sacrement 

ffor sothly thow art of his assent 

To sleen ys ^onge folk thow false thef 

Now seiis quod he syn that ye be so lef 760 

To fynde deth tume vp this crokede wey 

ffor in that grone I lefte hyw by myn fey 

Vndyr a tre & there he wolde a-byde 

Nat for youre host he wele hyw nat hyde 764 

Se ye that 00k i^'jt there ye schul hywi fy^ide 

God sane yow that boughte a-^en man-kynde 

And 30W a-mende thus seyde tlus olde man 

^ And eueryche of these ryotourys ran 768 

TQ they come to that tre & there they founde 

Of floreynys fyne of gold I-coynede rounde 

Wei nygh an viij buschellis as hem thoujte 

No lengere tha^me aftyr deth they sou^te 772 

But eche of hem so glad was of the syght 

ffor that floreynys been so fayre & biy^t 

That dotm they sette hem by this precious hord 

The werste of hem spak the ferste word 776 

CAMBRIDGE 379 (6-T; 826) 

Digitized by 


327 81X-TKXT 

GROUP C. § 4. pardoner's tale. Cambridge MS. 

I>retheryn quod he th3Tig what I seye 

Myn wit is greet thow that I borde & pleye 

This tresore hath fortune vn-to vs ^euyn 

In myrthe & lolyte ouie lyf to leuyn 780 

And lyghtely as it comyth so wele we spende 

£y godys precyous dignetee ho wende 

To day that we schuldyn han so fayr grace 

Eut myghte this gold been caiyed frojn this place 784 

Horn to myn hous or ellys vn-to jourys 

ffor weel ye wot that al this gold is ourys 

Thanne were we in high felicite o«fsio,iniij 

But tieweU by day it may nat be 788 

Men woldyn seyn that we were thevis stronge 

And for oure owene tresore doon ys honge 

This tresore muste Icaiyede been by nyght 

As wysely & as slyly as men myght 792 

Therefore I rede that cut a-mong vs alle 

Be diawe & kt se where the cut wele falle 

And he that hat the cut wtt^ herte blythe 

Schal renne to touitne A that fill swythe 796 

And brynge vs breed & wyn pryuyly 

And two of vs schal kepen subtily 

This tresor wel / if he wele nat tarye 

Whan it is nyght we wele this tresore carye 800 

By on assent / where as vs tbynXytb b^ t 

That on of hem the Cut broujte in his fest 

And bad hem drawe & loke wheere it wolde falle 

And it fel on the congest of hem alle t04 

And forth toward the touii he wente a-non 

And al so soone as ^t he was goon 

That oon of hem spak on-to that oihyr 

Thow knowyst weel thow art myn swore brothir 808 

Thyn profyt wele I telle the a-noon 

Thow wist weel that oure falawe is goon 

And heere is gold & that ful greet plentee 

That schal departid be among vs three 813 

CAIIB«1D6S 980 (6-T. 387^ 

Digitized by 



GROUP C. §4. pardoner's TAiJL Cambridge HS. 

Bxd nathelea If I can speke it so 

That it departjd were a-mong vs two 

Hadde I nat doon a firendjs tiim to thee 

That othir answerde I not how that may bee 816 

He wot that the gold is with vs tweye 

What schal we do what schal we to hym seye 

Schal it be conseyl seyde the ferste schrewe 

And I schal tellyn in a wordys fewe 820 

What we schal doon & brynge it weel a-boute 

I graunte quod that othyr out of doute 

That by myn trouthe I wele the nat by-wrye 

Now quod he thow wost weel that we hen twye 

And two of vs schal strengere been than oon 

Loke whan he is set that ry^t a-noon 

Aiys as thow woldys with hym pleye 

And I schal lyue hym ihour the sydys tweye 

Whil that thow strogelyst with hym as in game 

And with thyn daggere loke thow do the same 

And thanne schal al this gold departid be 

Myn deeie trend be-twixe me & the 

Thanne may we bothe oure lustis al fulfylle 

And pleye at the deis ry^t at oure owene wille 

And thus acordede been these schrewys tweye 

To sleen the thredde as ^e han herd me seye 836 

IT This congests wyght that wente to the toun 

fful offce in hese^ herte he roUede vp & doun v •• eorreeted} 

The beute of the floreynys newe & brighte 

O lord quod he K so were that I myjte 840 

Haue al thee tresor to myn self a-lone 

There is no man that lyuyth yndyr the trone 

Of good that schulde Hue so merye as I 

And at the laste the fend oure enemy 844 

Put in his herte/ that he schulde poysouwne *beye' P-* eorr.} 

With whiche he myghte sleen hise felawis tweye 

ffor why the fend fond hym in swich lyuynge 

That he hadde leue hem to sorwe brynge 848 

CAMBRIDGE 881 (S-T. 828) 


Oaf 811] 



Digitized by 


329 8ix-TEn 

GROUP C. § 4. pardonee's tale. Cambridge MS. 

This was vttyrly his entente 

To slen hem bothe & neuere to lepente 

And forth he goth no lengere wolde he taiye 

In-to the tonn vn-to a potecarye 852 

And preyede hyw that he hym wolde selle 

Sum poysoun that he niy^te hise lattis quelle 

And eek there was a polkat in his hawe 

That as he seyde his capounnys hadde he slawe 856 

And fayn he wolde wreke hym jif he my3te 

On vermyn that destroyede hym be nyghte 

IT The potecarye answerde & thow schalt haue 

A thyng that also god myn soule saue 860 

In al this world there is no creature 

That etyn or drynk of this confytuie^ p y eomcted} 

Nat biit the moutenaunee of a com of wheete D«af sii, bock] 

That he schal his lyf a-noon for-leete 864 

Ya sterue he schal and that in lasse while 

Than thow wylt gon a pas nat but a myle 

The poysoun is so strong & violent 

IT This cuTsede man hath in his bond I-hent 868 

The poysoun in a box & sythe he ran 

In-to the nexte streete vn-to a man 

And borwede hym large botellys tre 

And in the two his pousouw pourede he 872 

The thredde he kepte clone for his diynk 

ffor al the nygh[t] he schop hy7n for to swynk 

In caryinge of that gold out of that place 

And whan this ryotowr with sory grace 876 

Hadde fylled wyth wyn hise greete botellis thre 

To hise felas a-geyn repayrede bee 

IT What neode of it to sarmone moore 

ffor ry^t as they hadde cast his deth byfore 880 

Rygh[t] so they ban hym slayn & that a-noon 

And whan this was doon thus spak that oon 

Now lat vs sitte & drynke & make vs meiye 

And aftyr that we wele his body berye 884 

CAMBRIDGE 383 (6-T. 320) 

Digitized by 


330 8IX-TBXT 

GROUP C. § 4. pardoner's tale. Cambridge MS. 

And with that word it happede hym pe^*cas 

To take the hotel there the poysoun was 

And drank is jaf his felawe d[r]7nke also 

fFor whiche a-noon they storve hothe two 888 

IT But certys I suppose that Aucyen 

Wrot neuere in no canoun ne in no fen 

Mo wondere sygnys of enpoysouwnynge 

Than hadde these wrechis two er hire endynge 892 

Thus endede been these homycidis two 

And ek the false enpoysonere also 

IT O cursede synne of alle cursedenesse 

O traytouiys homycyde / o wikkedenesse 896 

glotonye / luxurye / & hasarderye 
Thow blasphemere of cryst with vilonye 
And othis gieete of rsage & of pryde 

Alias mankynde how may it betyde 900 

That to thyn creatour whiche that the wrough [tarfsw] 

And with hise precious blood the bough 

Thow art so fals & so vnkynde. alias 

Now goode men god for-jeue jow joure trespas 904 

And ware 30W from the synne of aueryce 

Myn holy pardoun may jow alle waryce 

So that ^e ofiere / noblis or starlyngis 

Or ellys syluyr sponys broclus ryngis 908 

Bowith joure heed vndyr this holy bulle 

Comyth vp je wyuys offerith of joure woUe 

^oure name I entere here in myn rolle a-non 

In-to the blysse of heuene schul 30 gon 912 

1 30W assoyle by myn heye power 

Tow that wele offere as clone & eek as cleer * 

As jc weryn bom & lo sens thus I preche 

And Jheevi ciyst that is oure soulys leche . 916 

So graunte jow his pardoun to resceyue 

fifor that w best I wele 30U nat disceyue 

But sens on word forgat I in myn tale 

I haue relikys & pardoun in myn male 920 

CAMBBIDQE 888 (6-T. 880) 

Digitized by 



GROUP C. §4. pardoner's TALB. Cambridge XS. 

As fayre as ony man in yngeland 

Whiche were me jouyn by the popis hand 

3yf ony of yow wele of deuocyouw 

Offeryn & ban myn absolucioun 924 

Comytb forth anon A, knelyth here a-doun 

And mekely resseyuyth myn paidoun 

Or ellis takyth pardoun as ^e weende 

Al newe & frosch at euery mylys ende 928 

So that je offere alwey newe & newe 

Nobelis & penys whiche that been goode & trewe 

It is an honour to eueriche that is here 

That ye mowen haue a suffycient pardouere 932 

To a-soyle jow in cuntre as je ryde 

ffor auenture whiche that may be-tyde 

Perauenture there may falle on or two 

Poon of his hors & breke his nekke a two 936 

Loke which a seurete it is to jow alle 

That I am in joure fekneschepe I-falle 

That may assoyle jow bothe more & lasse peif sis. lade] 

Whan that the soule schal from the body passe 940 

I rede that oure ost here schal begynne 

ffor he is most enuolupid in synne 

Come forth sere ost & offere here a-non 

And thow schat kysse myne relykys enerychoon 944 

Te for a groote Ynbokele a-noon thyn pors 

Nay nay quodd ^ he / thanne hane I ciystis curs p d iaurf} 

Lat be quod he it schal nat be so theech 

Thow woldyst make me to kysse thynno olde brech 948 

And swere it weere a relike of a seynt 

They it were with tyn fundement depeynt 

But by the cros that seynt eljme fond 

I wolde I hadde thyne colyouwnys in myn bond 952 

In stede of relikys or of seyntewarye 

Let kutte hem of I wele from the hem carye 

They schul been schrynyd in an hoggis tord 

This pardouner answerde nat a word 956 

CAMBRIDGE 884 (6-T. 83l) 

Digitized by 



gboupC. §4 pardoner's TALB. Cambridge MS. 

So wroth he was he wolde no word seye 

Kow quod oure ost I wele no lengere pleye 

With the ne with noon othyr angery man 

But rygh a-noon the worthy knygh be-gan 9G0 

Whan that he saw that al the peple lough 

Na moore of this for it is ryght I-nough 

Sire panionder ho merie & glad of cheere 

And sere ost that been to me so deere 964 

I preye 30W that je kysse the pardounneer 

And pardounner I preye the drawe the neer 

And as we dede lat vs laughe & pleye 

Anon they kyste & rede forth here weye 968 

Here endiih the pardonneris^ tale r p 9M>nd nj 

CAMBHIBGE 886 (S-T. 832) 

Digitized by 




[ft begynneihtf ]>e tale [»«• hb i«m. m m] 

AMarchaunt whilofi^ dwellyd at seynt denys 
]>at riche was for whicH men helde hjm wjs 
A Mryfe he hade of* exoellenf beante 
And compenable and leuerenf was she 
Whiche ys a thynge ]>at causetli more dispense 
]>an worthe ys alls ^e chere and renerence 1196 

^at men hem done at festees and af daunces . 
Suche Balutacions and contenaunces 
Fasseth as doth fe shadowe vpon a walle 
But* woo ys hym fat pay en mot for alle 1200 

fe cely husbonde algate he mot paie 
he mote vs clothe and vs arraie 
Alle for hid owne worship rychely 
In whiche arraie we dauncen lolilye 1204 

And yf fat he may not* parauenture 
Or elles luste none suche espense to endure 
Butthynkit^ fat it is waste and y-loste 
fan mote a^nofere paien for oure coste 1208 

Or lene ts golde & fat* ys perilous 
This noble Marchaunt hylde a noble house 
ffor wwhiche he hade alday giete repaire 
ffor hys largesse and for hys wyf was faire 2212 

fat wonder ys but herkeneth to my tale 
Amonges alle hys gestes grete & snude 
fere was a monke a faire man & a bolde 
I trowe .XX. wynter he was olde 1216 

fat euere in on was drawynge to fat place 
fis yonge Monke fat was so faire of face 

CAif BRIDGE 886 (6-T. 168) [this page, Sloane 1685] 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


GBoup B. § 4 shipman's talb. Cambridge MS. 

A-qaeynted was so with ^at gode man [81o«m X8 I6tf] 

[ 1220 

no gap in the Sloane MS, in Hart 1758, or Reg, 18 C ii.] 
And eke ]>is Monkeof wbiche I be-gan 1224 

Were bothe two borne in oo vilage 
pe Monke bym cleymed as for cosynage 
And be a-jeyne sai^ not* onys nay 
But was as glade as any foule of day 1228 

ffor in his bert* it was a grete plesaunce 
Tbos bene ^e knyt wit/t et^me aliaunce 
Of Bretberbeed/ wbiles fat ber lyf may dure 
And ilke of bem gan of ere assure 1232 

£&e was dan lobn and namly of dispense 
As in |»at bous and fulle of diligence 
To do plesaunce and also grete costage 
be nou3f for-yate to ^eue fe lasts page 1236 

In alle fat bous but aftyr bir degre 
be 3ave fe lord / and sif ens bis meyne 
wban fat be came some manere boneat tbynge 
ffor wbicbe fei were as glade for bys comynge 1240 

As foule ys fayne wban f e sonne vp rysetbe 
Komore bere-of as nowe for f is suiiicetbe 
But so befelle f is Marcbaunt on a day 
Scbope bym to make redy bys array 1244 

Toward fe town of Bruggeys for to fare 
To byen fere a porcion of ware 
ffor wbicbe be batbe to parys / sent anone 
A messangere and prayed batbe Dan lobn 1248 

fat be sbulde come to seynt Denys to pleye 
with bym and wM bis wyf a day or tweye 
Or be to bruggeys went in alle wyse 
Tbis noble Monke of wbicbe I you deuyse] ^^ «*"*«* 
Hatb of bis abbot as bym leste lycence co«mb. MB, leaf 314 
By-cause be was a man of bygb prudence 

CAMBEIDGE 387 (6-T. 169) [tbis page, Sloane 1685] 

Digitized by 



QBoup B. § 4. bhipicah's taix Cambridge HS. 

And ek an ofiycer ont for to lyde 

To seen here granges & here bemys wyde 1256 

And Yn-to seynt Denys he comyth a-noon 

Who was so wolcome as myn lord daun lo&n 

Oure deere cosyn ful of curteysye 

With hym he brou^ie a lubbe of Maluesye 1260 

And ek a nothir ful of fyn vemage 

And Yolatyl as was his ysage 

And thus I lete hem drynke & ete & pleye 

This Marchaunt A, this Monk a day or tweye 1264 

The thredde day this Marchaunt yp a-ryseth 

And on hise nedis sadly hym auyseth 

And yp in-to his countour house goth he 

To rekene with hym self weel may be 1268 

Of thilke 3eer how that it with hym stod 

And how that he dispendit hadde his good 

And 3if that he encresede were er non 

Hise bokis & hise baggis manyon 1272 

He leyth be-fom hym on his coanty[n]g bord 

fful ryche was his tresor & his hord 

ffor which ful faste his countour dore he schette 

And ek he nolde that no man schulde hym lette 1276 

Of hise acountis for the mene tyme 

And thus he syt^ tyl it was passid pryme ifutrtd] 

IT Daun lohn was rysyn in the morwe also 

And in the gardyn walkith to & firo 1280 

And hath hise thyngis seyd ful curteysly 

This goode wyf cam walkynge pryuyly 

In-to the gardyn there as he walkyth softe 

And hym saluyth as he hath doon ofte 1284 

A maydechild cam in hyre cumpaynye 

Whiche as hyre lyste sche may goueme & gye 

ffor )it yndyr the jerde was the mayde 

IT O deere Cosyn myn daun John sche sayde 1288 

What aylyth jow so rathe for to ryse 

Nece quod he it oghte Lnogh su%8e 

CAMBRIDGE 38S (6-T. 170 ) 

Digitized by 


171 8IX-TKXT 

GROUP B. § 4. amrMAN's tale. Cambridge MS* 

ffyne houiys for to slepe vp-on a nyght peaf sii, back] 

But it were for an old appoUyd wyght 1292 

As been these weddede men that lye & dare 

As in a forme sit a very hare 

Were al for-stran^t with houndys greet & smale 

But dere nece why be je so pale 1296 

I trowe certis that 30ure goode man 

Hath 30W laboured sythe the nyght be-gan 

That 30W were nede to restyn hastily 

And with that word he lough ful meryely 1300 

And of his owene thou^t he wex al red 

This fayre wyf gan for to schake hire heed 

And seyde thus ;a god wot al quod she 

[Nay cosyn myne hit stont not so -with me ^^^nw^b^S*' 

fTor by J»t god fat yave me soule & lyf 

In alle fe reme of fraunce ys fere no wyf 

fat lasse luste hathe to fat sorie playe 

ffor;! may syngen alas and weel awaye 1308 

fat I was borne but to no wi^t quod she] Qenoaaa octmot ends] 

Dare I nat telle how that it stant with me CO^m^^. ms] 

(no ffap above) 

Wherefore I thynke out of this world to wende 

Or eUis of myn self to make an ende 1312 

So ful am I of drede & of care / 

This Monk be-gan vp-on this wif to stare 

And seyde alias myn nece god for-beede 

That ^e for ony sorwe or ony drede 1316 

flfor-do 3oure self but tellyth me ^oure greef 

Parauenture I may in ^oure myschif 

Conseyle or helpe / & therfore tellyth mee 

Alle 30ure a-noy for it schal be secree 1320 

ffor on myn portoos here I make an oth 

That neuere in myn lyue for lef ne loth 

Ne schal I of no cowseyl jow be-wreye 

The same a-geyn to 30W quod sche I seye 1324 

By god & by this portos I jow swere 

Thow men woldyn me al in-to pecis tere 

CAMBHIDOE 389 (6-T. 17l) 


zed by Google ' 


GuouF B. § 4. SHipif an's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Ne sclial I neuere for to goon to helle 

Be-wreye a word of thyng that ^e me telle 1328 

Noght for no Cosynage ne allyaun^je 

But verrayly for loue & a%aunce 

Thus been th[e]y swore & here vp-on they keste 

And eche of hem told othir what hem leste 1332 

Cosyn quod sche jif that I hadde a space 

As I haue non & namely in this place 

Thanne wolde I telle a legende of myn lyf onssa] 

What I haue suffered sithe that I was a wyf 1336 

With myn^ husbonde al be he youre cosyn p auendi 

Nay quod this monk by god & seynt martyn 

He nys no moore Cosyn vpon to me 

Than is the lef that hangyth on the tre 1340 

I clepe hym so by seynt denys of fraunce 

To han the moore cause of acqueyntauwce 

Of jow whiche I haue louyd specyally 

A-bouyn alle women sikyrly 1344 

This swere I 30W on myn perfeccioun 

Tellyth ^oure gref lest that he come a doun 

And bastyth jow & goth a-wey a-non 

Myn deere loue quod sche o myn dauw lohn 1348 

fful leef were me this conseyl for to hyde 

But out if mot it may no moore a-byde 

IT Myn husbonde is to me the worste man 

That euere was sithe the world be-gan 1352 

But sithe I am a wyf it sit nat me' 

To telle no wigh of oure pryuyte 

Neythir a bedde ne in non othyr place 

God schilde I schulde it telle for his grace 1356 

A wyf ne schal nat seyn of hyre housbonde 

But al honour as I can vndyrstonde 

Saue on to 30W thus teUyn I schal 

As helpe me god he nys nat worth an al 1360 

In no degre the valeu of a flye 

But pt me greuyth that most his negarderye 

CAMBRIDGE 390 (6-T. 172) 

Digitized by 



OBOUP B. § 4. bhipman'b tale. Cambridge M8« 

And weel je wot that wemen naturellj 

Desyiyn thjngis gaye' as wel as I p auens} 1364 

They wolde that here husbondys schulde bee 

Hardy . & ryche & wys Ss therto free 

And bnxsom vnto his wyf & frosch a-bedde 

But by that ilke lord that for vs bledde 1368 

ffor his honour mynself for to araye 

A Sunday next I mot nedys paye 

An hunderede frankis or ellys am I lorn 

3it weere me leuere that I weere on bom 1372 

Than me were don a slaundere or velanye peaf n\ i»ck] 

And 3if myn husbonde ek myghte it espye 

I nere bat lost & therefore I 30W preye 

Lene me this snmme or ellys mote I deye 1376 

Dann Ion I seye lene me these hunderede frankys 

Parde I wele nat fayle yow myn thankys 

If that yow lyste to don that I 30W praye 

ffor at a certeyn day I wele 30W paye 1380 

And don to jow that plesaunce & seruyse 

That I may don ryght as ^ow leste denyse 

And but I do god take on me vengeannce 

As foul as hadde Genyloun of fraunce 1384 

IT This gemtil Monk answerde in this manere 

Now trewely myn owene lady dere 

I haue quod he on 30W so greet routhe . 

That I 30W swere & plyjte jow myn trouthe 1388 

That whan youre husbonde is to flaunderys fare 

I wele delyuere yow out of this care 

ffor I wele biynge ;ow an hunderede frankys 

And with that word he caughte hire by the flankys 1392 

And hire enbrasith harde & kyste hire ofte 

Goth now joure wey quod he al stylle & softe 

And lat ts dyne as sone as euere he may 

ffor by myn Chylendere it is pryme of day 1396 

Goth now & beth as irewe as I schal be 

Now ellys god forbeede sire quod sche 

GAMBBIDGE 891 (O-T. 178) 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 4. 8HiFMAN*s TALB. Cambridge MS. 

And forih sche goth as I0I7 as a pje 

And bad the Cokjs that thej schulde hem hye 1400 

80 that men myghte dyne and that a-non 

Yp to this hushonde is this wjf a-gon 

And knokkyth at his countour boldely 

Who there quod he / petyr it am I 1404 

Quod sche what sere how longe wele je faste 

How long tyme wele je / rekene & caste 

Youre snmmys & youre hokys & joure thyngis 

The deuyl haue part of alle sweche lekenyngis 1408 

Ye haue I-now parde of godys sonde 

Come doun to day & lat ^ouie haggis stonde 

Ne be )e nat aschamyd that daun lohn [leaf siej 

Schal fastynge al this day alenge goon 1412 

What lat vs heere a masse & go we dyne 

Wyf quod this man lytyl canst thow deuyne 

The Curyouse besynesse that we haue 

ffor of ys Chapmen al so god me saue 1416 

And by that lord that clepid is seynt Yue 

Skarsely a-mongis twelve ten schul thryne 

Contynewelly kstynge vn-to oure age 

"We may wel make cher & good visage 1420 

And diyue forth the world as it may be 

And kepyn oure estat in pryuytee 

Tyl we been ded or ellis that we pleye 

A pylgrymage or goon out of the weye 1424 

And therefore haue I greet necessite 

Vp-on this queynte world tauyse me 

ffor eu^re mo we mote stonde in drede 

Of hap & fortune in oure Chapmanhede 1428 

To flaunderis wele I go to morwe at day 

And come a-geyn as sone as euere I may 

ffor whiche myn deere wyf I the beseke 

As beth to to euery whit buxsom Ss meke 1432 

And for to keepe oure good been curyous 

And honestely goueme weel oure hous 

CAMBRIDGE 802 (6-T. 174) 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 4 shifman'b talk. Cambridge HS. 

Thow hast I-nongh in eueiy maner wyse 

That to a thryfty houshold may sufiyse 1436 

The lakkyth non aiay ne non yitayle 

Of syluyr in thyn purs schalt thow non fayle 

And with that word his conntour dore he schette 

And doon he goth no lengere wolde he lette 1440 

And hastily a masse was theeie seyd 

And spedyly the tabelys weeie I-leyd 

And to the dyner faste hem spedde 

And lychely this Monk the Chapman fedde 1444 

At aftyr dyner dann lofen sobyrly 

This Chapman tok apart & pryuyly 

He seyde hym thus / Cosyn it standyth so 

That wel I se to Broggis wele lego 1448 

God & seynt Augiistyn speede 30W & gyde [leaf sio^ uck] 

I preye 30W cosyn wysely that je ryde 

Gonemyth ^w also of joure dyete 

Attemprely & namely in this heete 1452 

By-twixe vs two nedyth ne straunge fare 

&re weel cosyn god schylde 30W from care 

And jif that ony by day or by nyght 

If it lye in myn power & myn myght 1456 

That je me wele^ comaunde in ony wyse P taterj 

It achal be don r}'ght as 30 wele deuyse 

othyng Or that ^e go If it may be 

I wolde preye jow for to lene me 1460 

An hunderede frankys for a wyke or tweye 

ffor serteyn bestes that I muste beye 

To store with a place & that is onrea 

God helpe me so I wolde it were ^onrys 1464 

I Bchal not feyle surely of myn day 

Nat for a thousent frankys a myle way 

But lat this thyng been secre I 30W prey 

ffor jit to nygh[t] these bestis mot I beye 1 468 

And fare now weel myn owene cosyn deere 

Graant mercy of joure cost & of joure goodely chere 

30 CAMBHIDOE 893 (6-T. 175) 

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GROUP B. § 4. sHiPHAK*s TALE. Camlxridge XS. 

This noble Maichaimt gentelj a-non 

Answeiede & seyde o cosyn myn daun loBn 1472 

JN'ow sekyrly this is a smal lequeste 

Myn gold is jOuiys whan that it 30W leste 

And not only myn gold hut myn chafare 

Taake what 30W lyste god schilde that je spare 1476 

But o thyng is je knowe it wel I-now 

Of chapmen that here monye is here plog^ 

"We may encrece whil we han a name 

But goldeles for to been it is a schame 1480 

Payeth it a-geyn whan it lyth in joure ese 

Aftyr myn myth ful fayn I wolde jow plese 

These hunderede i^aokys he fette forth arnoon 

And pryuyly he tok hem to daun lofin 1484 

No whyt of al this world wyste of this lone 

Sauynge this maxchaunt & daun John Srlone 

They drynke & speke & rome a whyle & pleye [haftiT} 

Tyl that daun lohn rydyth to his abbey 1488 

The moxwe cam & forth this maxchaunt ridith 

To flOaunderis ward his prentys weel hym gydith 

Tyl te cam in-to Bruggis myriely 

Now goth this Marchaunt faste & busyly 1492 

Aboute his neede & byeth Ss creaunceth 

He neythir pleyeth at deis ne daunceth 

But as a marchaunt schortely for to telle 

He lat his lyf & there I lete hym dwelle 1496 

The soneday next the marchaunt was argoon 

To B&jni Denys is come daun Io6n 

With croune & herd al frosch & newe schaue 

In al the hous ne was so lyte a knawe 1500 

Ne no whit ellys that he nas ful fayn 

That myn lord daun lo^ was come a-gayn 

And schortely to the poynt rygh[t] for to goon 

This fayre wyf a-cordyt with daun John 1504 

That for hise hunderede frankys he schulde al nyght 

Haue hyre in hise armys bolt vp ry^t 

CAMBRIDGE S94 (6-T. 176) 

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OBoop B. § 4. SHiPMAN'a TAUL Cambridge KS. 

Aud ihifl acord porfomed was in deede 

In myrthe al nyght a busy lyf they leede 1508 

Til it was day that daim lo&n wente his way 

And bad the meyne fare wel haae good day 

fibr non of hem ne no wyght in the toun 

Hath of dau» lohn lygh non suspecyoun 1512 

And forth he lydyth horn to his abbey 

Or wheere hym Inste no more of hym I seye 

% This MarchauAt whan that endit was the fayre 

To seynt Denys he gan for to rapayre 1516 

And with his wyf he maky th feste & cheers 

And tellyth hyre that chafGue is so deere 

That nedys mnste he make a cheyayseanoe 

ffor he was boojcdyn in a reconyssance 1520 

To payen twenty thonsent sheeld a-non 

ifor with this maichannt is to paiys goo 

To borwe of certeyn frendys that he hadde 

A certeyn frankys & some with hym he kdde 1524 

if And whan that he was come in to the toun i\t^ si?, i»ck] 

ffor gret chieretee & greet facoun 

Yn-too daun lohn he fyrst goth hym to pleye 

Nat for to axe or borwe of hym monye 1528 

But for to wete & ae of his weel fare 

And for to tellyn hym of hys chaffare 

Aa frendys doon whan they been met in feere 

Daun lohn hym makyth feste & myry chieere 1532 

And hym tolde argeyn ful specially 

How he hadde weel I-bou3t & graciously 

Thankede be god al hoi his marchau9?dy8e 

Sane that he wolde in alle wyse 1536 

Makyn a cheuyciaunce as for hise beste 

And thanne he.schulde ben In loye & reste 

IT Daun lotLn answerede sertis I am fayn 

That ^e in heele are comyn hom a-gayn 1540 

And 3if that I were ryche as I haue blys 

Of twenty thousant sheld schulde ^e nat mys 

CAMBBIDOB 806 (S-T. 177) 

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178 Bix-TBrr 

GROUP B. § 4. bhipman's tale. Camlxridge KS. 

ffor je 80 kyndely this othir daj 

Lente me gold & as I can & may 1544 

I-thankede be god & by seynt lame 

But natheles I tok vn-to onre dame 

Jouie wyf at hom the same gold agayn 

Yp-on 3ouie benche sche wot it wel certeyn 1548 

By certeyn tokenys that I can ^ow telle 

Now by joure leue I may no lengere dwelle 

Oure abbot wole out of this toun a-noon 

i^nd in his cumpaynye mote I goo 1652 

Giete weel ouie dame myn owene nece sweete 

And fare wel deere cosyn tyl we meete 

IT This marchaunt which that was ful war & wys 

Creanced hath & payed ek in parys 1550 

To certeyn lumbardys redy in here bond 

The summe of gold & gat of hem his bond 

And hom he goth myiye as a popyniay 

ffor weele he knew he stood In swich aray 15C0 

That nedys mote he Wynne in that yyage 

A thousent frankys a-bouyn al his Costage 

[Hys wyf fulle ledy mette hym at fe jaate ^"TSr" ]**' 

And she was wonte of olde Tsage algate 1564 

And alle ))at ny3t in myrthe ])ei be sette 

ffor he was lyche and cleiely oute of dette 

Whan it was day ])is Marchaunt* gan enbrace 

Hys wyf alle newe and kyssed here in ^e face 1568 

And pp he gothe and makethe hit wonder towe 

"No more quod she be god ye haue ynou^e 

And wantonly with hym agayne she playde 

Tylle at ^ laste ))is Marchaunt* sayde 1572 

By god qtM>d he I am a lytelle wrothe 

"Witfi you my wyfe alle ^uje yt be me lothe 

And woote ;e why by god as ))at I gesse 

ffor ye haue made a manere of straungenesse 1576 

Be-twexte me and my Cosyn Daun lohn 

3e shulde haue warned me or I hade goofi . 

CAMBBIDGB 896 (6-T. 178) 

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179 8IX-TKXT 

GROUP B. § 4. shiphak'b tale. Cambridge MS» 

yat he hade you an htmdied fiankes payde [BIimm xb iwr, 

Be ledy token ' and he helde hym euel y-payde 1580 

ffor pat I to hym spake of Cheuesaunce 

Me semyd so as by hys contenaunce 

But nathelees be god ^at ys heuen kynge 

I ^oujte noujt to axe of hym no thynge 1584 

I pray fe wyf ne do no more soo . 

Telle me alle way or ])at I fro ^e goo 

3eue eny detoure hathe in myn absence 

I-payede fe laste ^oroue ^i necligence [leaf 19:, backi 

I my3t hym axe as thynge ))at he hade payde 

Thys wyf was not aferde nor afrayde 

But boldely she sayd and ])af a-none 

Mare I defye fsX false Monke Daufl lohn 1592 

I kepe not of hys tokens neuere a dele 

He toke me certayne golde I woote hit wele 

What euel ))edom of hys monke snowet 

ffor god it woote I wende mihoute doute 159G 

^t he hade yeue it me be cause of you 

To done fere-with myne honoure & my prowe 

ffur cosynage and eke for beel chere 

^t he hath hade fuH ofte tyme here 1600 

But sij^n I see I stonde in suche disioynt 

I wylle answere you shortly to J)e poynt 

Je haue mo slacker' dettours ]»an am I 

ffor I wille pay you wele and redely 160.4 

ffiro day to day and if so be ))at I fayle 

I am youre wyf score it on my tayle 

And I shalle pay as sone as eucre I may 

ffor be myn trou)^ I haue on myn array 1608 

And not in waste bestowed euery dele 

And for I haue bestoyed it so wele 

To youre honour' for goddes sake y say 

As be not wrothe bot let vs jape & play 1612 

)e shalle my loly body haue to wedde 

Be god I nelle not pay you but a bed 

iCAXBKiooB 89T (fi-T. 179) [this page, Sloaue 1685] 

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oRoup B. § 4 bhipkan's tale. Cambridge MB. 

fifoT-yeiie yt i&e m jn owen sponse dere DDon* xs uu] 

Tume hyderward and make me betW cheie 1616 

Thys Marchannt sawe fere was no remedy 

And forto chyde it nere but foly 

Sepen hit may not amendid be 

And wyfe lie sayde I foijene it ])e 1620 

But by ^i lyf be no more so laige . 

Kepe better my gode ])is ^ene I ^ in charge 

Thus endeth nowe my tale and god ys sende 

Talynge ynon3e vnto ooi^ lyfes ende // Amen n«f isQ 

Here endeth ye tale of )e Shipman 

. CAKBRtnos 308 (6-T* i8o) [thli page« Slpane 16S3] 

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181 SIX-TEXT ' 

GBOUP B. § 5. 8HIFM A17-PRIOR1S8S LINK. CftOlbridgt HS. 

Here begyxmeth ])e Proloog^ of fe Pryoresse csiMuie ms im, 


WTEle y-sayde be corpus Domimia qiiod oure boost 
Nowe longe mote ye sayle be see cooste 
Sir gentil mayster gentil marynere 
God yeue fe Monke a ]K)ii8an(} laste of quad jeere 1628 
A ba felaw be ware of sucbe a jape 
Tbe Monke putte in ^e mannes boode an ape 
And yn bys wyfes eke by seynt Diinstyfi 
Drowetb nofl monkes to yoitf ynne 1632 

Bat nowe. passe onere and let vs seke aboute 
Wbo sballe nowe telle of alle pia route 
An oyete tale and mifi fat worde be sayde 
As cnrteysely as bif bade bene a Mayde 1636 

My lady Pryoresse with oui' lene 
So y&i I you not wille to greue 
I wolde deme ])at ye telle sbulde 

A tale nexte yf so be ])at ye wolde 1640 

Nowe woUe je yowcbesafe my lady dere 
Gladly qiM>d sbe and sayde as ye sbaH bore 

Here endettl fe Prolooge and begynnetb ]>e tale 

CAMBRIDGE 809 (s-T. 18l) [this page, Sloaoe 1685J 


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GROUP B. § 6. prioress's talk. Cambridge XS* 

[No breaksbeiweenthe^anzasinSloaney Canibr.orHarLMS.'] 
[The Prologue.] 

01or<) ome lord ^i nane so marvelous csmum mb lais] 
ys in ])is worlds y-sprad quod she 
ffor not only ^i laude precious 
performed ys by men of dignyte 1646 

But be fe mouthe of Children ]fi bownte 
Perfourmed ys for in oure brest soukynge 
Some tyme shewen fei j)ine heryinge 1649 

Wherefore in lawde as I can beste & may 
Of the ))at and of }e ])at holy floure 

[ no gap in the M8,\ 

To teUen a storie I woH do my laboui' 1653 

Kot ])at I may encrece hir honoure 

ffor she hir self ys honoure & |)erto roote 

Of bounte next hir sone of saules bote 1656 

[ no gap in the MS.] 

O . bussh vnbrent brennynge in Moses si3f 

But rauysshe]^ doun fro ]>e dignete n«f i«, i»ek] 

Thorou3e )»ine humblenesse ]>e goste ]iat in )>e ly^t 1660 

Of* whos vertu whan he in fine hert ly^t 

Conceyued was ])o fadres sapience 

helpe me to telle yt in ])ine reuerence 1663 

IT Lady ))i bounte aod ]>i magnificenoe 
Thy vertu and thy grete humilite 
There may no ])inge expresse in no sentence 
fibr som tyme lady or men pray to Je 166T 

Jou geste be-fore of fi benygnite 
And geteste vs fe lyjt/ Jjorouje fi prayere 
To leden vs vnto fi sone so clere 1670 

CAMBRIDGE 400 (s-T. 182) [this page, Sloauc 16$5] 

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GROUP B. § 0. prioress's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Ij comynge ys to weyko O . blysfuH quene ddmum xb lewj 

fforto declare ]>i grate worthynesse 

^t I ne may J>e wyjt not sustene 

But as a chylde of twelfe monetfi of age or lesse 1674 

^t can Timet& eny woide expresse 

ffor so fare I and ))eifoie I you pray 

Gydetfi my songe fat I shalle to you say 1677 


There was a Chylde in a grete cite 

Amonge ciysten folke in ])e lewrye 

Susteyned by a lord of ]>at countre 

ffor foule vsuiye and lucre of» vlanye 1681 

)»t felle to Ciyste and to hys companye 

And J^orou^e ^ streete men my3t lyde & wende 

ffor hyt was fre and open at ey])ere ende 168i 

Plyte scoole of" ciysten folke fere stoode 

Doun atte fyrthere ende in whiche ])ere were 

Chyldien an heepe comen of crysten bloode 

pai lemed in J^t scole yere by 3eere 1688 

Suche maneie doctiyne as men vsyd j)ere 

Thys ys to say to synge and to rede 

As smale Chyldien do in hir Chylde-heede 1691 

Amonge peso childien was a wydowe sone 
A lytel Cleiygion seuen yeeie of age 
))at day by day to scole was hys wone 
And also eke wheie as he saw fe ymage [leaf isq 1695 
Of ciystes modere hade he in Tsage 
As hym was taujte to knele a-doun & say 
hys Aue marie as he goth by pe way 1698 

CAMBRiBOB 401 (o-T. 183) [this page, Sloaue 1685.] 

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GBoup B. § 6. FRiOBBss's TALE. Cambridge MS. 

Tbos hathe fia wydowe hir litel Child tan^t chmm mb leuo 

Oure blysfiiH lady Crystes modir dere 

To worships ay and he for-yate hit nou^t 

ffor'sely Chyldo wylle al day aone leie 1702 

Bat ay when I rememhre me of ])is matere 

Seynt Kicholace stonte eueie in my pies^oe 

ffor he 80 yonge to Crist dyd renerence 1705 

Thys Child hia lytel booke lemynge 

As he sat in pe scole at hys primere 

he alma redemptoris mater herd synge 

As Children lemyd hir antephonere 1709 

As * as he durste he drowe hym nere & nere 

And herkened ay ]>e wordes & ))e noote 

Tylle he J>e fyiste verse coude hy roote 1712 

Hot what ])at latyne was to seye 

ffor he so yonge and tendre was of age 

But on a day hys felawe he gan preye 

To expoune hym ^is songe in hys langeage 1716 

Or tellen hym why ])is songe was in vsage 

Thus prayde him to construe and declare 

fPulle ofte tymes. on his knees hare 1719 

Hys felawe whiche was eldere fan he 

Answeryd hym ]>us . f is songe I herde seyc 

was made of oure blesfulle lady fre 

here to salowe and eke hir to preye 1723 

To bene oure helpe and oui^ socoui' whan we deye 

I can no more expone in f is matere 

I leme songe I can but lytel gramere 1726 

And ys ]»is songe made in reuerence 
Of* crystes moder sayd J>is Innocent 
Now certes I wylle do my diligent 

To konne J>is or crystemasse be went 1 730 

CAMBBiDGB 402 (6-T. 184) [this p^e, Sloauc 1683.] 

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6BOUF B* § 6. FBioBBss's TALK. Qambridgo H8. 

Thouje I for my piymer shalle be sbent cnMneX8lflM,lf I99,bk3 

And to be beteH frjae on an oure 

I woUe yt konne oure lady to honoute 1733 

Hys felawe tau^te bym hamwaixJ prynely 
ffro day to day til he coude yt by roote 
And ^Bn he songe it wele and boldely 
f&o worde to Worde accordynge wiih f e note 
Thrys on a day it passed J^orou^e hys ])rote 
To scolewan) and hamward whan he went 
On Ciystes modir sett was hys entente 



IT As 1 haue sayd forou^e oute ])e lewrie 
Thys Chylde as he came to & fix) 
ffiiUe merely J»n wolde he synge & crye 
alma ledemptoris mater eueie mo 
The swetnesse hath hys hert percid so 
Of Crystes moder f at to hir to praye 
he can not stynte of syngynge by ^e weie] 


[Sloaae extnwt ends.] 

Oure fyiste fo the serpent satimas ccuib. KB, loif ni] 

That hath in leues herte his waspis nest 

Yp swal & seyde O ebraik peple alias 

Is this to yow a thyng that is honest 

That swich a boy schal walkyn as hym lest 

In joure despyt & syngyn of swich centence 

Which is a-jens oure lawys reuerence 



ffrom thenys forth the lewys ban conspyred 
This innocent out of this world to chace 
An homycyde thereto ban they heryd 
Eygh in an aley at a pryue place 
And as the child gan forth by-for to pace 
This cursede lew hym hente & held hym faste 
And kitte his throte & in a pit hym caste 

CAMBBIDOE 403 (6-T. 185) 



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GROUP B. § 6. FBioBEsa's TALE. Cambridge KS. 

I seje that in a wardeiope they hym tbiewe ' 

Where as these lewys puigyn here entrayle 

O cuisede folk of herodes al newe 

What may jotue euele entent 30W a-vayle 1765 

Mordere wele out certeyn it wele nat fayle 

And namely there as thonour of god schal sprede 

The blod out cryeth on youre cursede dede 1768 j 

O martyr soudede to virginite I 

Now mayst tow syngyn folwynge euere in on ! 

The whyte lamb celestial quod sche 
Of whiche the greete euangelyst seynt lohn 1772 

In patlLmos wrot / which seyth that they that gon 
£y-fom this lamh & synge a song al newe 
That neu^re fleschely woman they ne knewe 1775 

This pore widewe which that waytith al that nyjt 

Aftyr hire lytyl chil[d] & he cam noujt 

£for which as sone as it was dayis ly^t 

With face pale of drede & busy thoujt 1779 

Sche hath at scole & elles were hym soujt 

Tyl fynally sche gan so fer espye 

That he last seyn was in the leuerye 1782 

With moderis pite in hire brest enclosed [i«iifai,bMk] 

Sche goth as sche were half out of hire mynde 

To eueriplace where as sche hath supposid 

B^liklyhede / hire litU child to fynde 1786 

And euere on crystis modyr meke & kynde 

Sche cryede & at the laste thus sche wrou^to 

Among the cursede lewys sche hym soughte 1789 

Sche askyth & sche fra}'nyth pitously 

Of euery lue that dwelte in thilke place 

To telle hire of hire child wente out forth by 

They seydyn nay but Ihera of his grace 1793 . 

CAHBRIDOK 404 (6-T. 186) 

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isBoup B. § 6. PRioRFjss's TALB. Cambridge MS. 

Yaf in hire thoujt with inne a lytyl space 

That in that place aftyr hire sone sche cryede 

"Where he was casten in a pit be-syde 1796 

greete god that parfomedist this laude 

By mouth of innocentis lo here thyn myght 

This gemme of chastite this emeroude 

And ek of martyredom the rabye bryjt 1800 

There he with throte I-korvyn lygh vp ryght 

He alma redemptoris gan to synge 

So loude that al the place gan to rynge 1803 

The cristene folk that thurgh the strete we^te 

In comyn for to wonderyn vp-on this thyng 

And hastyliche they for the prouost sento 

He cam arnon with-ontyn taiyeng 1807 

And heryeth Crist that is of heuene kyng 

And his modyr honour of mank3mde 

And aftyr that the lewis leet he bynde 1810 

This child with pitous lamentacioun 

Yp takyn was syngynge his song alwey 

And with honour of greet processyoun 

They caiyen hym yn-to the nexte abbey 1814 

His modyr swounynge by the beere lay 

Ynnethe mygh[t]e the puple that was there 

This newe Rachel bryngyn from the beere 1817 

With tumement & with schameful deth echon pear sss] 

This prouoet doth these lewis for to sterue 

That of this mustere wiste & that a-noon 

He nolde non swich cursedenesse obserue 1821 

Eaele schal he haue that euele wele disserue 

Therefore with wilde hors he dede hem drawe 

And afiyr that he hyng hem by the lawe 1824 

CAMBRIDGE 406 (6-T. 187) 

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QBOUP B. § 6. PBiOBxss's TALK. Cambridge HS. 

Yp-on this beere lyth ay this Innocent 

Byfore the highe auteer whil the masse laste 

And aft jr that the albot with his couent 

Han sped hem for to buryen hjm ful faste 1828 

And whan they holy watyr on hi&m caste 

3it spak this child whan sprent was holy watyr 

And song . O ahna redemptons mater 1831 

This Abbot which that was an holy man 

As monkys been or ellis oughten bee 

This yonge child to coniure he be-gan 

And seyde o deeie child I halse the 1835 

In vertu of the holy tiynytee 

Telle me what*ls thyn cause for to synge 

Sithe that thyn throte is kit to myn lokynge 1838 

Myn throte is kit yn-to myn nekke bon 

Seyde this child & as be woye of kynde 

I schulde a deyed 3a longe tyme a-gon 

But IhesvL Crist as ^e in bokys fynde 1842 

Wele that his glorye laste & be in mynde 

And for the woischepe of his modyr deere 

5it may I synge Alma . loude & cleere 1845 

This welle of mercy cristis modyr swete 

I louede alwey as aftyr myn cunnynge 

And whan that I myn lyf schulde for-lete 

To me sche cam & bad me for to synge 1849 

This anteme verayly in myn deyinge 

As )e ban herd & whan that I hadde sunge 

Me thouthe sche leyde a greyn vp-on myn tunge 1852 

Wherfore I synge & synge mot certeyn p«rf ss^badc} 

In honour of that blysf ul maydyn fre 

Tyl fro myn tunge I-takyn is the greyn 

And aftyr that thus seyde sche to me 1856 

CAMBRIDGE 406 (6-T. 188) 

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BBouF B. § 6. p&ioRBss's TALB. Cambridge X8. 

Myn lytyl child now wele I feche the 

Whan that the greyn is from ih.jn tunge take 

Be nat agast I wele ]>e nat for-eake 1859 

This holy monk this abhot hytn mene I 

His tunge out caughte & tok awey the greyn 

And he jaf vp the goat ful softely 

And whan this abbot hadde this wondyr seyn 1863 

Hise salte teris trekelede doun as leyn 

And grof he fel al flat yn-to the grouTMlo 

And stille he lay / as he hadde leyn I-bounde 1866 

The Conuent ek lay on the pauement . 

Wepynge & herynge CWstis modyr deeie 

And aftyr that they ryse & forth been went 

And toke awey this martir from his beere 1870 

And in a toumbe of marbilstonys deere 

Enclosyn they this lytil body sweete 

There he is now god leue vs for to meete 1873 

O yonge Hugh of Lyncoln slayn also 

With cursede lewis as it is notable 

ffor it is but a lytil while I-go 

Preye ek for vs we synful folk vnstable 1877 

That of his mercy god so merciable 

On vs his greete mercy multyplye 

ffor reueience of his modyr marye / Amen 1880 

Eeere hath the Prioretse endid hire tale 

CAMBBIDOB i07 (6-T. 180) 

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190 Bn-TEXT 

OBoup B. § 7. PBI0BB8S-TH0PAB usK. Cambridge MS. 

Byhold the myrie talkynge of the Hoosf to ci«if sss, back] 

WHan sejd was al this myiakele enery man [W to] 
As sobere was that wondir was to see 
Til that oure boost lapyn tho* be-gan c» m^^ 
And thanne at erst he lokede Tp-on mee x ciiaueer 
And seide thus what man art thow quod be 
Thow lokyst as thu woldyst fynde an hare 
ffor euere vp-on the ground I se the staare 18S7 

Approchith neer & loke vp myryely 

Kow waie 30W sens & lat this man baue place 

He in the wast is schape as weel as I 

This weere a popet in an arm tenbrace 1891 

ffor ony weman smal & fayr of face 

He semyth eluych by his cuntenaunce 

ffor vn-to no wygh doth he no dalyauTsce 1894 

Sey now sumwhat syn othere folk ban seyd 

Telle Ys a tale of myrthe & that aruon 

Hoost quod I ne beth nat yuele apayed 

ffor othir tale certis can I non 1898 

But of a rym I lemede longe a-goon 

Je that is good quod be now schul we here 

Sum deynte thyng me thynkyth by hise cheere 1901 

CAMBRIDQB 408 (6-T. 190} 


Digitized by ^ 

191 BIX-THXT ' ^ 

oBoup B. § 8. BIB THOPA8. Cambridge KS. 

[No breaks in the M8 between the stanzas: third lines set 
on tlie rigid.'] 

Heere bagyiinyfh Chanoers tale of lere Thopas 

[Fyt J.] 


PEstyth loidyngifl in good entent [> n«i 
And I wele telle Tenayment dtno t t o .^ 

Of myrthe & solas 1904 

And of a kn jght was fayr & gent 
In batayle & in tumement 
His name was sere Thopas 1907 

I-bom he was in fer cnntie 
In flaonderis al be-jounde y see 

At popeiyng in the place 1910 

His fadir was a man fill fie 
And lord he was of that cuntre 

As it was godis grace 1913 

8jTe Thopas wex a doghty sweyn 
Whit was hise hce as payn demayn 

Hise lippis lede as rose 1916 

HiB rode is lyk skarlet engiayn 
As I )ow telle in good certayn 

He hade a semely nose 1919 

Hie heer his herd was lik saferon DMf so, tMok] 
That to his geidil mnghte ardoun 

Hise schon of coidewayne 1922 
Of bragis were hiie hosyn bionn 
His robe was of siklatoun 

' That coete manye a layne 1925 

31 CAlCBKinOS 409 (6-T. 19l) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


oBoup B. § 8. BIB TH0FA8. Cambridge HS. 

He conde hxmte at wilde deer 
Aud ryde on hanking for lyueer 

With grey goshaok & hunde 1928 

Therto he was a good archier 
Of wiastelyng was theere non his pir 

Theere onj ram schal stonde 1931 

ffhl inanye a maydyn brygh in honr 
They moxnede for hym paramour 

whan hem were bet to slope 1934 

But he was chast and no lechour 
And sweete as is the brymbil flour 

that beiyth the rede hepe 1937 

And so it fil Tp-on a day 
ffopsothe as I jow telle may 

Sire Thopas wolde out lyde 1940 

He worthith vp-on luse stede bay 
And in his hand a launcegay 

A long Bweid by his syde 1943 

He piykyth thorw a fayr forest 
Therein is manye a wylde best 

ye bothe bukkys & hare 1946 

And as he prykyth north & est 
I telle it 30W hym hadde al-mest 

Bytid a sory care 1949 

Theere spiyngyn erbis grete & smale 
The lycorys & the Cetewale 

And manye a dowe lelofere 1952 

And notemuge to putte in ale 
Whethir it be moyst or stale 

Or for to leye in cofere 1955 

CAMBRIDGB 410 (S-T. 199) 


Digitized by ^ 


193 SIX-TEXT ■ - 

QBoup B. § 8. ^iB THOFAs. Cambridge MS. 

The bijddys synge it is non nay 
The sperhauk & the popyniay 

That loye it was to heeie 1558 

The thrustilcok made ek his lay 
The wode douwe vp-on the spray ^ 

sche song ful loude & cleeie 1961 

Sire Thopas fil in lone longynge 

Al whan he heide the thrustil synge -; 

And prikede as he were wod . 1964 

Hise fayre stede in hise prykynge 
So swatte that men myjte hyw wrywge 

Hise sydys wera al blod 1967 

Sere topas en so wery was 
fTor prykynge on the softs gras 

So filers was hise corage 1970 

That donn he leyde hym in the plas 
To makyn his stede sum solas 

And jaf hym good forage 1973 

O seynte marye benedicite 
What eylyth this loue at me 

To bynde me so soore 1976 

Me dremede al this nyght parde Peaf ss4] 

An Elf qneene schal myn leman be 

And slepe yndyr myn goore 1979 

An Elf qneene wele I haue I-wis 
ffor in this world no woman is 

Worthi to ben myn make 1982 

In tot/nne 
Alle othere women I forsake 
And to an elf queene I me be-take 

by dale & ek by doune 1986 

CAHBBinOE 411 (6-T. 193) 

Digitized by 



OBoup B. § 8. SIB THOPA& Cambridge X8. 

In-to his sad jl &e domb ariion 
And piykyth oayr style & ton 

An elf queen for tespje 1989 

Til he so longe hatJi rydyn & goon 
That he fond in a pijne woon 

The contre of fayiye 1992 

for in that cofttree was there non 
[«,... no gap in the M&] 

D'eythir wif ne childe 1996 

Til that theeie cam a gieet geamit 
His name was sire ol j&unt 

A parliotw man of dede 1999 

He seyde child by tennagaunt 
Bat 3if thow piyke out of myn haunt 

Anon I sle thyn steede 2002 

With Mace 
Aeie is this queen of fayiye 
With harpe & pype & Symphonye 

DweUynge in this place 2006 

The child seyde also mote I the 
To morwe wele I meete the 

Whan I haue myn aimouie 2009 

And )it I hope parmafieiy 
That thow achat with thyn launcegay 

Ahyen it fol soure 2012 

Thy mawe. 
Thyn hauberk schal I persen if I may 
Er it be fully piyme of tiie day 
' fibr heere schalt thow > been slawe PoUirwq 2016 

CAMBBXDOZ 419 (6-T. IM) 

Digitized by 


196 8CE-TEZT 

GROUP B. § 8. SIB THOPAs. Cambndgo. KS., 

Syie Thopas diow a-bok fill fiute 
This leannt at hjm stonys caste 

Out of a fel staf slynge 2019 

But fistyie eschapith sire thopas 
And al was thotir godys gias 

And thotir his fayie beiynge 

lit lestyih loidyngis to myn tale 
Murjere than the njghtjngiJe 

I wele 30W rouue 2025 

How siie Thopas with sydis smale 
Prykynge ouyr hil & dale 

Is comyn argoyn to toune 2028 

Hise mexye men comaundede hee 
To make hym hothe gamyn & glee 

for nedys muste he fyghte 2031 

With a geaunt with hedis thie 
ffat paramour & lolyte 

Of oon that schon f ul biyjt 2034 

Do come he seyde myne mynstialis 
And Oestouiys for to tellyn talys 

A-non in myn aimyng* 2037 

Of romauncis that been loyalis PmT m^ bMk] 

Of popis & of Caidenalys 

And ek of loue lykynge 2040 

They fette hjtn fyist swete wyn 
And mede ek in a Mahelyn 

And loyal spicerye 2043 

Of gynge breed that was fdl fyn 
And lychorys & ek comyn 

With sugere that is tiye 2046 

CAHBBIDOB 41S (S-T. 106) 

Digitized by 


196 81X-TKXT 

GBoup B. § 8. SIB THOFAS. Cambridge MS. 

He dede next bis white leie 
Of doth of lake fyn & cleeie 

A biech & ek a scherte 2049 

And next his schirte an aketoun 
And ouyr that an habyrioun^ P «tt»«i] 

for persjnge of his herte 2052 

And ouyr that a fyn hauberk 
Was al I-wrou3t of lewys work 

fal stronge it was of plate 2055 

And ouyr that his coote annour 
As whit as is a lylye flour 

In whiche he wolde debate 2058 

Hese shild was al of gold so red^ P S^iSSSi-'^SfSS^o 
And there in was a borys hed^ 

A Charbokele by his syde 2061 

And there he swor on ale & breed 
How that the leaunt schulde be deed 

By-tyde what betyde 2064 

Hise lambieux were of quyrboyly 
His swerdys schede of yuory 

Hise helm of latoun bry3t 2067 

His sadil was of rewel boon 
His biydyl as the sunne It schon 

Or as the moone lyght 2070 

Hise spere was of fyn cipres 

That biddyth werre and no thyug pees 

The hed ful scharpe Igrounde 2073 

Hise steede was of dapil gray 
It goth an ambil in the way 
- ful softeli & rou/ide 2076 

CAMBBIDGB 414 (S-T. 196) 

Digitized by 


197 8IZ-TBZT 

OBoup B. § 8. ant thopas. Cambridge KB, 

Lo lordy«gw^ myne here is a fyt pawawd] 

If 30 wele on J mooie of it 

To telle it wele I fonde 2080 

[Fyt //.] 

Now holdjrth jouie month for cbaryte 
bothe kn jgh & lady ^e 

And herkenyth to my7» spelle 2083 

Of batayle & of chyualry 
And of ladyis lone diewery 

A-noon I wele jow telle 

Men spekyn of lomannciB of prys 
Of homchild & of Ipotys 

Of Beeyis & sire Gy 2089 

Of siie lybens & playndamour 
Bnt sire Thopas beiyth the flour 

Of loyal chyualry 2092 

His goode stede al he be-stiod 
And forth vp-on his weye he glod 

As sparkele out of bronde 2095 

[Vpon his creste he bar a tour. cBnLiiBi7Mk]Mfi68,bMok] 
And ther yn stiked a lilye flour. 

God schilde his cots fro schonde . 2098 

% And for he was knyght Auntrous . 
He ne slepte in non hous . 

But logged in his hood . 2101 

His blight helme was his wonger . 
And bi hym baited his dester . 

Of herbis fyn & good • 2104 

CAHBBIDOS 416 (6-T. 197) 

Digitized by 



OBoup B. § 8. SIB TH0PA8. Cambridge KB. 

V Hym self! drank* water of the welle . [Had. MB iTsq 

As dide the knyght sir Percjuelle . 

So worthel J ynder wede . 
^it was onadaye. 2108 

IT Here endefh Sir Thopas .] 

CAMBRIDGE 416 (o-T. ifis) [tilis page, Harl. 1768.] 


Digitized by ^ 


QBoup B. § 9. THOPAs-MBLiBB UNK. Cambridge US* 

[The prolog of Kellibe cmB<r.uon,ieafi96,bMk.] 

"^ "^T^^ T^oie of this for goddes dignite 
^^L Quod ouie oost for ]K)a makest me 
% So wery of J>in lewdenes 

..^ 1 That fdso wisly god me bles 2112 

Myn eies ake of thi darsty speche 

Now suche a lyme )»e deuel I be-teche 

This may be wel lyme dogei^ qt^od he 

Whi so quod I why wilt ^ou lette me 2116 

Moie of my tale than an other man 

Sethyns it is pe beste ryme I can 

By god q«od be pleynly I the say 

Thou shalt no lenger r3rmen here to day 2120 

Thow dost noght elles but dyspendest tyme 

Sire 00 word ]>oii shalt no lenger ryme 

Let see whefer pou canst telle ought in geste 

Or telle in prose somwhat at ]>e leste 2124 

In whiche }er be somme meithe & som doctnne 

Gladly quod I by goddes swete pyne 

I wil 30U telle a litel thing in prose 

That oughte lyke 30U as I suppose 2128 

Other elles certes je ben to daungerous 

Hit is a moral tale yertuous 

Al be hif tolde somtyme in sundry wyse 

Of Bondry folic as I shal jou deuyse 2132 

As pUB je wote wel eu^ euaungeliste 

^t telleth Ys of Ihesu Crist 

Ne saith not al pmg as his felawe doth 

But! natheles her sentence is al soth 2136 

And alle accorden as in her sentence 

Al be ther in her tellynge difference 
CAMBBIDOB 417 (6-T. 199) [this page, MS Beg. 18 C ii] 

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oBoup B. § 9. THOPAi^HBLifiK LINK. Cambxidge MS. 

for some of hem seyn more & somme seyn lesse 

when ^ej his pitoos passiofi expresse 2140 

I mene of Maic> Mathen Luke and lohn 

But* donteles her sentence is al on pMf i^ 

))erfore lordjnges alle [I] 30U beseche 

3if ))at 30 )»inke I vaiye in my speche 2144 

As yoiB jif jMit I telle somwhat more 

Of prouerbes ^n 30 haue herd byfore 

Compiehendid in ]>is litel tretys here 

To enforce with |>e effecte of my matere 2148 

And ^oughe I nadde )>e same woides saye 

As 30 han herd ^it to alle 30a I praye 

Blameth me not for as in myn sentence 

30 schal not fynden moche difference 2152 

fi^o ]>e sentence of ^e tretys lyte 

After fe whiche )>i8 mery tale I wryte 

And herkeneth what I schal seye 

And lete me telle my tale I preye 2156 

Here endith the prolog //3 

CAMBBIDOE 418 (6-T. 200) [this page, MS Eeg. 18 C ii] 


Digitized by ^ 


QBOUF B. § 10. MSLIBEU& Cambridge MS. 

ll%ere are no line-nvmben or Ifreaks between the paragrapht in 
the M8. l^rwhitt'i breaks are kept here to prevent ilight 
differeneee in the 3iw Texts throwing out many Kn**.] 

[MS Beg. 18 C II, on leaf 197.] 

[Here endith the prolog // And begynne]) the tale of Kelibe 


AYong man whilom celled Melibe myghU and ryche 
bygat vpon his wyf" J«t called was prudence a 
doughter whlche ]>at deped sapience. 
[2158] ypon a day fel ^t be for his disport 
18 went in to ]>e feldes him to pleye / [2159] his wyf 
and eke his doghter hath he left with-ynne his hons of 
whiche fe dores weie faste.I-schet // [2160] ffonie of his 
olde foos ban hit aspyed . and . setten laddies to ^e walles 
of his hons and by ^e wyndowes ben entred [2 161] and 
betyn hys wyf and wounded his doughter with fyue 
mortal wonndes in fyue sondiy places / [2162] This is to 
sayn in here feet in here bond and in here eres in hire 
nose and in here mouth & laften her for deed and 
wenten here way // 

[2 163] When Melibeus retomed was c^eyn vntil his hous 
and sawh all ))is meschief // And he I-lyke a mad man rend- 
yng his clothes gan to wype and crye euerlenger fe more // 

[2164] Prudence his wyf* as ferforih as sche durste 
byHSOght him of his wepyng* for to stynte [2165] but noght 
for-thi he gan to wipe & crye euer the lenger J>e more // 

[2166] This noble wyf prudence remembred here 
on fe sentence of Ovide in his book< ]^at cleped is pe oridiu 
lemedye of loue / where he saith : [2167] he is a fool 
^at deeturbeth pe moder for to wipe in fe deeth of hire 
child til sche haue wepte her fille for a certeyn tyme : 
[2168] Then schal man don his diligence with 
amyable woides hire to conforte and 'to preye hire of p'^^fw, 
PAMBBIDGE 419 [this page, MS Reg. 18 C ii] (e-T. 201) 

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OBoup B. § 10. HELIBBU& Cambridge MS. 

IMS Riff. her wepyng^ for to styntef [2169] for whiche reson this 

iM^m.i noble prodence snf&ed her housbonde for to wepe 

and crye as for a certayn space // [2170] And when she 

sawh her tyme she saide him in ])is wyse / Alas my 

lord quod she whi make je joure self for to be lyke a 

foolf [2 1 71] fforsothe it perteyneth not to a wisman 

to maken suche a sorwe / [2172] ^oiire Donghter with 

^ grace of god shal be warisched and askape / [2 1 73] And aH 

were it so ))at sche right nowe were deed ^e oughte 

p iMtfur, not as for her deth] * joure self dystroye // [2174] IT Senec 

xitr. us seyth the wyse man schal nat take to greet disconfort for 

htgtmtkinj] the deth of hise childeryn / [2175] but certis he schulde 

sufferyn it in pacience As wel as he arbydyth the deth 

of hise propere persone / 

[2176] IT This Melibens answerde a-noon & seyde / 
What man qaod he schulde of his wepynge stynte / that 
hath so greet a cause for to weepe / [2177] JhesvL cr&t 
oure lord hym self wepte for the deth of lasarus his 
ficeend [2178] IT Prudence answerede / crertjrs wed I wot/ 
Atempfe wepyng is no thyng defendit to hym that 
sorwefol is a-mongis folk/ in sorwe/ but it is rathere giaunted 
hyw» to weepe [2179] IT The apostele paule vn-to the 
romaynys wiythth / Man schal reioyse with he??» that makyn 
loye / And wepyn with sweche folk as wepyn / [2180] but 
thogh attempere wepyng be grauntid / outrageous 
wepynge certis is defendid / [2 181] mesure of wepynge 
schulde been consideiyd aftyr the loore that techith vs Senek 
[2182] IT Whan that thyn frend is deed quod he / let not 
thynne eyen to moyste been of teerys / ne to meche dieye / 
Al-thow thynne terys comyn to thynne eyen / lat hem nat 
fallyn [2183] And whan thov bast forgoon thyn fi»end 
[ ... no gap in the MS.] & this is moore wysdom / than 
for to wepyn for thyn frend / whiche that thow hast loiyn / 
for theere-inne is no boote / [2184] And therfore 3if je 
goueme 30W be sapience putte awey sorwe out of joure 
hertis / [2185] Remewibeiyth yow that Ihesua Syrat seyth. 

CAMBRIDGE 420 (6-T. 202) 

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203 8IZ-TEZT 

GROUP B. § 10. losLiBsus. Cambridge MS. 

A man that is iojotis & glad in heite / it hjm con* 
serajth floiyschynge in hia Age / & sothly sorweful herte 
makjt hise bonya dreye [2186] be seytb ek tbua 
that sorwe in herte f aleth ful manye a man [2187] IT Sa- 
lomon seyth / that ryght as mothis in the scbepis flesch 
anoyeth to the dothis / & the smale wermys to the tiee / 
lygh 80 anoyith sorwe to the herte. [2188] Wherefore 
T8 oogbte as weel in the deth of oure childeryn f as in the 
loos of onie goodys temperelys haue pacience 

[2189] IT Bemembiith yowvp-on the paciente lob/ 
Whan he hadde lost hise childeiyn & his temperel snl- 
stannce / & in his body endoiynge & resceyuyd ful manye a 
greuow trybulacionn / yet seyde ^he thus [2190] IT Onre 
lord hath [sente it me / onre lord hath] be-raft it me / 
lygh so as oure lord hath wold / rygh so it is don / I-blyssede 
be the name of oure lord / [2 191] IT To these forseyde 
thyngiif Answeide Melybeus to his wyf prudence 
IT Alle thynne wordys quod he been sothe & therto pro- 
fitabele / but tre wely myn herte is troubeled / with this sorwe 
so greuoualy / that I not what to don . [2192] IT Lat calle 
quod Prudence thyn trewe frendys alle And thy» lynage / 
whiche that been wyse teUyth joure.cas And herkenyth 
what they seye in conseylynge And jow goueme afbyr here 
sentente [2193] IT Salomon seith werke alle thyn thyngis 
by conseyl f & thow schalt neuere repente 

[2194] IT Thanne by the conseyl of his wyf Prudence 5 
this Mellibeus leet caUyn / a gret congregacioun / of folk / 
[2195] as Surgeons Phisiciens olde folk And jynge & 
some of hise olde enemyis reconsyled As by here semblaunt / 
to his loue & in to hise grace / [2196] & therewithal 
theere come some of hise negheboris That dydyn hem 
reuerence / moore for dreede than for loue as it happith 
ofte / [2197] There comyn also manye subtyle flatererys / 
& wise aduocatys / lemede in the lawe 

[2198] IT And whan these folk togedere assemblede were/ 
this Mellibeus in sorweful wyse / schewede hem his cas / 

CAMBRIDGE 4S1 (6-T. 203) ni««f8H,Uck] 

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QROUP B. § 10. MELIBEU8. Cambridge MS. 

[2199] & bj the maneie of hise specbe / it semyd 
that in herte he bar a crewel yre / redy to doon venge- 
aunce vp-on hise fois / & sodeynly desyrede that the 
wene schulde begynne / [2200] but neueie the lea jit axede 
he here conseyl / vp-on this matyere / [2201] A surgeen by 
lycence / And assent of sweche as were wyse vp roe & vn- 
to Melybens seyde as ye may here 

[2202] IT Sire quod he / as to vs surgeenys apertenyth 
that we do to euery wight the beste / that we can wheere as 
we been wiih holdyn / And to oure pacient that we don no 
damage / [2203] Wherfore it happith manye tyme / & ofte 
that whan twey men / hath euerych woundyd othyr .0. 
same surgeen helyth hem bothe / [2204] Wherfore vn-to 
oure art it is nat perteynent to noryche werre / ne partyis 
to supporte [2205] IT But sertys as to the waryschyng 'of 
joure doughtir Al be it so sche be pcrlyously 
woundit we schul do so ententyf bysynesse / frow day to 
nygh That with the grace of god sche schal been hool & 
sound / as soone as is possible / [2206] Almost lyjt 
in the same wyse the phisycionys answeredyn / Saue that 
they seydyn a fewe wordys moore / [2207] that ryght 
as maladyis ben cureede by here contraryis / rygb so schal 
men waryche / werre i by vengeauiice [2208] IT Hise neghe- 
boris ful of enuye / Hise feynede frendis that semede 
reconsyled & hise flatererys [2209] madyn semblauTit 
Of wepyng / & empeyrede & agregede meche of this 
matyr . in preysynge greetly Mellibie / of mygh of power / 
of rychesse & of frendys / despisynge the power of hise 
aduersaryis [22 10] & seydyn vtrely that thy schuldyn Anon 
wrekyn hyw on hise fois & begynne werre / 

[22 11] vp ros thanne an Aduocat / that was wys / 
by leue & by conseyl of othere / that weere wyse & seyde 
[2 2 1 2] IT Lordyngis the neede which that we been assembled 
in this place / is ful heuy thyng / & an heygh matire 
[2213] by cause of the wrong & the wikkedenesse that 
hath been doon / & ek by resoun of the greete damages / that 

CAMBRIDGS 422 (6-T. 204) PJ«if«»] 

Digitized by 



oRoup B. f 10. MELiBEus. Cambridge MS. 

in tpne comynge been possible to fallyn for the same / 
[2214] & ek by resoun of the greete ijcbesse & 
power of thepartyis bothe [2215] for the whiche resonys / 
it weera a ful greet peril /to enyn in this matyer [2216] 
IT Wherefore Mellybens this is onre sentens . we conseyle 
^ow a-bouyn alle thynge / that rygh a-non thow do thyn 
dylygence / in kepynge of tbyn propra persone in swich a 
wyse / that thow ne wante noon espie / ne wache thyn body 
for to sane [2217] IT And aftyr that we conseyle That in 
thyn bons thn sette suffyciaunt gamysonn. so that they may 
as weel thyn body as thyn boos defende [2218] But certys 
for to mene werre / ne sodeynly for to doon vengeauns 
we may not deme in so lytyl tyme . that it weere profit- 
able / [22x9] Wbeifore we axe leyser & espase to bane 
ddyberacioun / in this cas to deeme [2220] ffor the comune 
pzonerbe seyth this / He tbat soone demytb sone 
schal repentef [2221] & ek men seyn that ^thylke luge'is 
wys that sone Tndyrstondytb a matiere And lugith be 
leyseer / [2222] for al be it so that alle taryinge be a-noyeful 
algatis it is not to be repreuyd in yeuynge of iugement / ne in 
yengeannce takynge whan it is sufiisaunt Ss resonabele / 
[2223] & that scbewede onre lord Ihera ciyst by en- 
sanmple / for whan tbat woman was takyn in 
auonteiye was brongb in his presence to knowyn what 
scbulde been don of hire persone / al be it that he wyste 
weel / bym self what that be wolde answere f yet ne wolde he 
nat answere sodeynly but be wolde haue deliberacioun & 
in the ground be wrot / twyis / [2224] & by these 
causisf we axe deliberacioun & we schul thanne by 
the grace of god conseyle the thyng that schal been 
profitable // 

[2225] vp styrtyn thanne tbe jouge fok at onys & 
the moste partye of that cumpanye / ban skomed this olde 
wise man And begunne to make noyse / & seydyn / that 
[2226] rygbt so as whil that yryn is hoot / men schuldyn 
smytyn • rygh so schuldyn men wreke here wrongis / whil 

CAMBRIDOB 423 (S-T. 206) pi«irfW8,bMk] 

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oBoup B« § 10. MELiBBUs. Cambridge XS. 

that they been firoscbe & newe & with loude yoys. 
[w eKTihrent^ ^'guerre! guerre! guerre!^ 

[2227] Adonc 96 leva un dea ancieM^'] And 
with hise hand made contenaunce that men echuldyn 
holdyn hem stylle / and jeuyn hym audience . [2228] 
loidyngis quod he theere is fol manye a man that 
cryeth werte wenef that wot ful lytil what wene 
amountyth / [2229] wetre at hise begynny[n]g hath so greet 
an entie and so large; that euery whight may entre 
whan hym lykyth / & lyghtely fynde wene / [2230] hut 
certis what ende therof schal fallef it is nat lyght 
to knowe [2231] ffor sothly whan that wene is onys 
b^unnef- there is ful manye a child bom of hise modyi 
that schal sterae jong be cause of thilke werre / & ellys 
lyue in sorwe & deye in wrechedenesse / [2232] And 
therefore or that ony werre b(^nne men must haue 
gret conseyl / & gret deliberacyoun [2233] And whan 
this olde man wende for to enforse his tale be resouAS 
wel nygh alleattonys /bygunne they to ryse/for to brekyn his 
tale & bodyn hym ful oftyn hise wordis to abr^go 
[2234] for sothly he that pre^chith to hem /that lestytb 
not to heere hise wordys f his f sarmoun hem anoyeth [2235] 
IT ffor Jhesus Syrak seytb. that Musik in wepyngef is 
a-noyous thyng this is to seyne / as meche avaylyth to 
speke by-fore folk / to whiche hise speche anoyeth as doth 
to synge be-fore hym that wepith [2236] % And whan that 
^Ls wyse man wantede audience f al schamefast 
he sette hym doun / agayn [2237] % fkft Salomon seyth. 
There as thow magbt haue noon audience / enforce the not 
to speke / [2238] I se weel quod this wyse man that the 
comune prouerbe is soth that good conseyl wantyth 
whan it is most neede. [2239] 

And jit hadde this Mellibeus in his conseyl manye folk 
that pWuyly in hise eereconseylede hym /certeyn thyng. 
& conseyllede hym the contraryef in general audyence// 
[3240] Whanne Melibeus hadde herd that the gretters 

CAMBBmOB 424 (6-T. 206) [>lMfSI9] 

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GROUP B. § 10. MELiBEus. Cambridge MS. 

partje of his conseyl were acorded that he schulde make 
werre i a-noon he concentede to here conseylynge And fully 
affennede hire centence [2241] IT Thanne dame . prudence / 
whan that sche saw how that hire husbonde schop hym 
for to wreke hym on hise fois & to begynne werre / Sche 
in ful humble wyse whan sche sagh hire tyme / seyde 
hym these wordys [2242] Myn lord quod sche / I 30W 
beseche al hertyly / as I dar & can . ne hastyth 30W to 
faste / And for alle guerdounnys as jeuyth me audyence 
[2243] IT £for Piers Alfonce seyth / who so that doth to 
the othir good or harm / haste the not to quite it / for 
in this wise / thi frend wole abyde / & thyn enemy schal 
the lengere lyue in drede // [2244] The p'ouerbe seyth / he 
hastyth weel that wisely can abyde / And in wikke hast 
is no profyt 

[2 245] H This Melibee answerede Tn-to his wyf prudence 
I purpose [.-..] not to werkyn by thyn conseyl for 
manye causis & resonys / for certys euery whit wele 
holdyn me thanne a fool / [2246] this is to seyne / If I 
for thyn conseylynge wolde schaunge thyngis that been 
ordeyned And afformede be so manye wise [2247] IT Sec- 
undely I seye. ^That alle wemen been wekke & noon 
good of hem alle . ffor of a thousent men seyth Salomon / 
I fond on good man / but certis of alle wemen good 
weman fond I neuere [2248] IT And also certys ^if I 
gouemede me by thyn conseyl 5 it schulde seme that I hadde 
jouyn the the maisterye / & goddys forbode that 
it so were / [2249] for Jhems Sirak seyth / that jif the 
wyf haue the maysterye/ sche is contraryous to hire husbonde 
[2250] IT And Salomon seyth neuere in thyn lyf to thyn 
wyf / ne thyn child / ne to thyn frcTid ne jeue power 
ouyr thyn self / for bettere it weere That thynne childeiyn 
axsyn of thyn persone thyngis that hem nedyth f than thow 
see thyn self in the hondys of thynne childeryn / [225 1] And 
also jif I wolde werke by thyn conseylyng/ certis myn conseyl 
muste been secre til it weere tyme that it muste ben 

82 CAMBEIDGE 425 (6-T. 207) Pl«af«»,l»ck] 

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QBoup B. § 10. uELiBEUB. Cambridge MS. 

knowe & this it may nat hee [2252. For it is written^ 
' the langeleiye of women can hide thjngis 
that they wot nonght.* [2253] Furthermore the philo- 
sopher saith, * in wikkede conseyl wemen venqnysse men ; ' 
and for these reasons I ought not to make use of thy 
counsel /See Zine» 2274, 2280, p. 209, 210, &eZow.] [2254] 

WHan dame Prudence ful dehonerly & 
with greet pacience hadde herd al that hire 
hushonde hadde seyd & that hym likede for 
to seyne / thanne axed sche of hywi lycence for to spekyn 
& seyde in this wyse [2255] IT Myn lord quod sche as 
to jowre fyrste resoun certis it may lyghtely been answeryd 
ffor I seye that it ia no folye for to chaunge conseyl / whan 
the thyng is chaungit / or ellys whan the ^yng semyth othir 
wyse than it was by fom / [2256] And moore-ouyr I seye / 
that thogh that je han sworn & by-hight to perfome joure 
empryse/<fe nathe-les ye weyue to perfome tilkesameempryse 
by iuste cause / men schulde nat seyn therefore / that je 
weere a lyere ne for-swom [2257] for the bok seyth that the 
wyse man makyth no lesynge f whan he tumyth hise corage 
to the bettere . [2258] And al be it so that joure empryse be 
establid & ordeined / by giet multitude of folk / 3it thar ^e 
not accomplysscho thikke same ordynau[n]ce but jow lyke // 
[2259] ffor the trouthe of thywgis & the profyt been 
rathere ffouwdyw in fewe folk that been wyse & ful of 
resoun than by greet multytude of folk theere euery man 
cryeth & clateryth what that hym lykyth / sothly 
swich 1 multytude is nat honest / [2260] And to the secunde 
resou» wheere that je seyn that alle wemen been wekke . 
saue ^oure grace / certis ^e dispise alle wemen in this 
wyse / & he that alle dispiseth f alle displesyth as seyth the 
book / [2261] & senek seyth / that who so wele haue sapi- 
ence . schal no mau dispreyse / but he schal gladly teche the 
cience that he canf with-outyn prcsuwpciou« or pride / 
[2262] And sweche thyngis as he nought ne canf he 
Bchal not been aschamed to leme hem / & enquyre of lasse 

CAMBBIDGB 426 (6-T. 208) [MeafSSO] 

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GROUP B. § 10. MELiBEus. Cambridge MS. 

folk thaw hjm self [2263] And syre that theere hath 

been ful manye a good woman i may lyghtely been preuyd / 

[2264] for certys / sere oure lord Ihera cnst / wolde 

neuere ban descendit to been bom of a woman f ^ii alle 

wemen hadde been wekke / [2265] And aftyr that for 

the greete bounte / that is in onre lord Ihera crist / 

whan he was resyn from deth to lyue / aperede rathere to a 

woman than to hise apostellis / [2266] And thogh 

ilutt Salomon seyth that he ne fond neuere woman 

goodf it ne folwyth nat therfore that alle wemen been 

wikke / [2267] for thow that he ne fond no good 

woman f certys manye a nothir man hat foundyn 

manye a woman fal good & trewe [2268] IT Or ellis 

the entent of Salomon p^rauenture was this / that as in 

sonerein bounte he fond no woman / [2269] this is to 

seyne that theere is no wyjt that hath souereyn bountee 

saue god a-lone / as he hym self recordyth in hise TAiaun- 

gelie [2270] for theere is no cryature so goodf that he 

ne wanthith sumwhat of the p^eccioun of god that is his 

makere [2 2 7 1] If Youre thredde resoun is this / je seyn J>at 3if 

je goueme 30W by myn conseyl f it schulde seme that 30 

hadde jeue me the maystrye & the loidschepe ouyr joure 

pe»*8one / [2272] Sire saue joure grace / it is nat so / for 

if it 80 were that no man schulde been conseyled but only 

of hem that hadde lordschepe & maystrye of his persone f 

men wolde nat been conseyled / so ofte / [2273] for sothly 

thilke man that axsith conseyl of a purpos / jit hath he 

fre choys whether he wele werke by that conseyl / or 

noon [2274] If And ^as to joure forte resoun / there 30 

seyen that the langelerye of women can hide thyngis that 

tbey wot nought As ho sey that a woman can not 

hyde that sche wot [2275] Sire these wordys been vndyr- 

Bionde / of women that been langleressis / & wekkede / 

[2276] of whiche wemen men seyn / that thre thyngis 

dryuyn a man out of his hous / that is to seyne smoke / 

droppynge of reyn & wikkede wyuys / [2277] And 

CAMBRIDGE 427 (6-T. 20«) P leaf 830, back] 

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GROUP S. § 10. HRLiBEus. Cambridge H8. 

of sweclie wemen seytli Salomon / that it weere bettere to dwelle 
in disert f than with a wekkede woman that is ryotoufi/ [2278] 
And sire by ^oure leue that am not .L [2279] for je ban ful 
ofte assayed myn grete sylence & myn gieete pacience / & 
ek how wel that I can hyde & helyn ihyngis that 
men oughtyn secrely to hidyn [2280] IT And sothly as to 
^oure fyfte lesonn where as je seyn that in wikkede con- 
seyl / wemen yenquysse men / god wot thikke resonn 
Btant heere in no stede / [2281] for vndyrstojide now je 
axe conseyl to do wekkedenesse / [2282. et se tu vouloies user 
de mativais conseil et de inalfaire\ & 30iire wif restreynyth 
thilke wekkede purpos / & ouyr-comyth 30W be resoun & be 
good conseyl / [2283] certys 30iire wyf f oughte rathere been 
preysed / than I-blamyd / [2284] thus schul je Tndyr- 
fitonde the philysophere / that seyth In wekkede conseyl 
women wenquysschyn here husbondys [2285] IT And theere 
as 3e blamyn alle wemen & here resonys / I schal Bchewe 
manye ensaumplys that manye a woman hath 
been ful good and jit been / & here conseylys holsom 
& profitable [2286] IF Ek sum men ban seyd that the 
conseylynge of women is othir to dere or to 
lytyl of prys [2287] but al be it so that ful manie a 
woman is badde & here conseyl vile / & not worth / 
3it ban men foundyn ful manye a good woman / & ful 
descreet & wis in conseyllynge / [2288] lo lacob by 
conseyl of hise moodyr Eebekka / wan the benysoun of 
ysaak his fadyr & the lordschepe ouyr alle hise bretheryn / 
[2289] ludith by hire goode conseyl f delyuerede the cete of 
Bethulye in whiche sche dwellede out of the bondys of 
Olofemus / that hadde it be-segit & wolde it al distrojo 
[2290] IF Abygail deliuerede Kabal hire husbonde ^fiom 
Dauid the kyng \at wolde ban slayn hym & a-paysed 
the yre of the kyng bi hire wit / & by byre goode con- 
seylyng [2291] Hester by hire goode conseyl / enhauwsedo 
gretly the peple of god in the regne / of Assuerus the kyng 
[2292] % And the same bountee in good conseyljiig* of 

CAMBKIDGE 428 (6-T. 210) pieaf»U 

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211 8IX-TEXT 

GROUP B. § 10. icELiBEus. Cambridge MS. 

manje a good woman may men telle / [2293] ^ moore 
ouyr / whan that oure lord hadde creat Adam / oure forme 
iBdyrJ he eeyde in this wyse / [2294] It is not good to be a 
man a-loone / make we to hy?/* an helpe / semblable to hym 
self // [229s] Heere may je se / that if that wemen 
weere not goode / ne here conseyl good & profytablel 
[2296] oure lord god of heuene wolde neythir haw wroujt 
hem/ ne callede hew helpeof man / but rathere confusyouw of 
man / [2297] And there seyde onys a clerk in two wers / 
What is betere tha» gold. laspre. What is betere than 
laspre / Wysdom / [2298] What is betere than 
wysdom / woman / & What is betere thaw good 
woman / no thywg, [2299] And sire by manye ofero 
lesonys may 30 se ])at manye weemen been goode / 
& here conseyl good & profitable / [2300] and therfore 
jif 3e wele troste to myn conseyl i I schal restore 30W 
3onre doii3tyT hoi & sound / [2301] and ek I wele do 30 w 
so mechil that 30 schul haue honour in this cause [2302] 

WHan Melibee / hadde herd the wordys / of his wyf 
Prudence / he seyde thus [2303] IF I se wel that the 
word of Salomon is soth // he seyth that wordis / 
that been spokyn discreetly by ordenauwcef been hony- 
combis / for they 3eue swetenesse / to the soule / & holsom- 
nesse to the body [2304] IT And wif by cause / ofTe thy/^ne 
swete wordys / and ek for I haue asayed & preuyd thy w greete 
sapience / & thy/i greete trouthe / 1 wele goueme me by thy» 
conseyl in alle tliynge /. [2305] 

"Tk "TOw seere quod dame prudence / an syn 3e wouche 
I %| saf to been gouemyd by myn coTiseyl / I wele 
-A- 1 enforme 30W / how 3e schul goueme 30W / self* in 
chesynge of 3oure conseyl [2306] IF 30 schal fyrst in alle 30ure 
werkys / meekely besekyn to the hye god that he wele 
been 3oure conseylour / [2307] and schapith 30W to swych 
entente that he 3eue 30W conseyl & confort as tau3te 
Thobie his sone // [2308] At alle tymys thow schat ' pleso 

CA.MBBIDGE 429 (6-T. 21l) [> leaf 331, Uck] 

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GROUP B. § 10. MELIBEU& Cambridge MS. 

god / And preye Ixym to dresse tliynne weyis / and loke fat 
alle thynne conseylia / been in hym for euere mooie / [2309] 
aeynt lame / ek seyth / If onye of 30W haue nede of sapience / 
axe it of god / [2310] And aftyrward tbanne schal ^e take 
Gonseyl in jOTire self / & examyne wel jonre thou^tis / of 
swecbe thyngis / as 30W thynkyth that been best for jonie 
profyt [231 1] and thanne schul je dryue forth / from 30016 
herte the thyngis that been contrarioos to good conseyl / 
[2312] that is to seyne / yre coueytyse / & hastyfnesse / 

[2313] ffyrst he that axsith conseyl of hymself / certis 
he mnste ben with-outyn Ire / for manye causes // [2314] 
The ferste is this / he that hat gret wrathe & yre in 
hym self he wenyth alwey that he may don thyng f that he 
may not doon / [2315] And secundely he that is yrous / 
& wratheful / he ne may not wel deme / [2316] And he 
that may not wel deme / may not wed conseyle [23 1 7] H A- 
nothir is this / that he that is yrous & wratheful as seyth 
Senek / ne may not spekyn but blameful thyngis / [2318] 
and with luse vicyous wordis he steryth othere folk to 
angir / & to yre [2319] IF And ek sere ^e muste dryue 
coueytyse out of 3oure herte [2320] ffor thapostele seyth / 
that coueytyse / is rote of alle harmys / [2321] & truste 
weel / that a coueytous man ne can not deeme ne thy^ikef 
but only to fulfylle the ende of his coueytyse / [2322] and 
sertis that ne may neuere / been aconplichit / ffor euers 
the moore habundaunce that he hath of rychesse the mors 
he desyxyth [2323] IT And the moste also diyuyth out 
of 3oure herte / hastyfnesse / for certys [2324] 3e may 
not demyn for the beste of a sodeyn thou^t that &llyth in 
3oure herte but 30 muste avyse 30W on it ful ofte / 
[2325] for as 3e herde heere be-fom / the comune prouerbe / is 
this / that he that sone demyth soone repentyth // 

[2326] Sire 3e been not alwey I-lyk in disposicioun / 
[2327] for certys sum thyng / that sumtyme semyth to 
30W that it is good for to do f a nothir tyme it semyth 
to 30W the contrarye 

CAMBRIDGE 430 (S-T. 212) 

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GROUP S. § 10. HELiBEus. Cambridge MS. 

[2328] IT Whan je han takyn conseyl in ^oure self / & 
ban demyd by good deliberaciouw / swycb thyng as ^ow 
semytk best/ [2329] tbanne rede I ^ow Hbat je kepe it 
secree / [2330] bewreye not 30111:6 conseyl to no persone / 
but if so be that 30 wenyn sekyrly / that tborw 30ure 
bewreyinge / 30ure condycioun scbal ben to 30W the moore 
profitable // [2331] ffor Ihesus Syiak seyth neythir to thyn 
fo ne to thy» frend / discouere not thyw secre ne thyn foJye / 
[2332] for they wele 3eue 30W andyence & lokynge & 
suppoitacioun in 30016 presence / & skome 30W in 30ure 
absence / [2333] A nothir clerk seyth / that skarsely schalt 
thow fyndyn ony persone / that may kepe conseyl secrely / 
[2334] the bok seyth / whil that thow kepist thyn conseyl 
in thyn herte thow kepist it in thyn prysonn / [2335] And 
whan thow bewieyist thyn conseyl to ony whit he holdyth 
the in his snare [2336] And therfore 30W is betero / to 
hyde 30ure conseil in 30ure herte f than preyen hym to 
whom 36 ban bewreyed 3oure conseyl f that he wele kepe 
it cloe & stylle [2337] IT ffor Seneca seyth If so be 
that thow ne mayst / not thyn owene conseyl hyde f how 
mayst thow preye ony othir whit thyn conseyl secrely to 
kepyn / [2338] But natheles 3if thow wene sekyrly that 
thyn bewreyinge of thyn conseyl to a persone wele make thyn 
condyciouii stondyn in the betere plyt thanne schat thow 
telle hym tyn conseyl in this wyse [2339] flyrst thow 
Bchat make no semblaont whethir the were leuere pes or 
werre / or this or that / ne shew hym nat thyn wil ne 
Uiyn entent / [2340] for troste weel that comounly these / 
conseylourys been flatererys [2341] namely the conseylourys 
of greete lordis / [2342] for they enforse hem alwey 
rathere to spcke plesaunte wordis enclynynge to othere lordys 
lust f than othere that been trewe / & profitable / [2343] And 
therfore men seyn / that ryche men / ban selde good con- 
seyl / but if he haue it of hym self / [2344] and aftyr that 
thow schat considere tbyne frend ys / & thynne enemyis . 
[2345] And as touchi7igo thyno frendys / thow schat con- 

CAMBKinOE 431 (C-T. 218) [McofSSS] 

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oBoup S. § 10. MELiBEus. Cambridge MEL 

sideryn whiclie aie most feythfiil / & nioet 
wys & oldeste & most apreuid in consoylynge / 
[2346] & of hem schalt thow axe thyne oonaeylef aa the 
caas lequiiyth / 

[2347] I seyde that fyist ^je Bchul depyn to jojue con- 
seyl jowre frendis that heen trewe // [2348] ffor Salomon 
seyth that iy3t as the heite of a man delythth in saaonr 
that is sote / ry3t so the conseyl of trewe frendys 
3euy th swetuesse to the soule / [2349] & he seyth also theeie 
may no thyng [be] to the trewe frend / [2350] for 
certis gold ne syluyr ben not so meche worth f as the 
goode wyl of a trewe frend [2351] IT And ek he seyth 
that a trewe frend / is a strong defens / who so that 
it fyndyth f sertis he fyndyth a greet tresor 
[2352] IT Thanne schul 30 ek considere If that jonro 
trewe frendisf been descreete / & wise ffor the bok 
seyth / Axse alwoy thyn conseyl of hem that been wyse / 
[2353] And by this same resonn / schul je depyn to joure 
conseyl / of joure firendis / that been of age / Sweche as han 
seyn / & been expert in manye thy^zgis And been apreuyd 
in manye thyngis co;?seilynge / [2354] ffor the bok seyth 
that in olde men is the sapience / & m long tyme 
the prudence // [2355] And tuUius seyth / that greete 
thyngis ne ben not ay accompliced / be strenthe ne be 
delyuerenesse of body / But by conseyl be autoritee 
of personys / & by science / the whiche thre thywgis 
ben not feblid by age / but certys they enforsyn & en- 
cresyn day be day // [2356] And thanne schal 3e keepe 
this for a general reule / ffyrst schal 3e clepe to 3oure 
conseyl a fewe of 30Mre frendys that been especial 
[2357] ffor Salomon seyth / Manye frendis haue thow / 
but a-mong a thousent cheese the on to been thyn conseyl- 
our [2358] ffor al be it so / that thow ne telle thyn 
conseyl but to a fewe / thow mayst af tyrward tellyn it to 
mo yf it be neede / [2359] but loke alwey that thyn 
qonseylouris haue thilke thre condiciounnys/that I haueseyd 

CAMBRIDGE 432 (6-T. 2U) [ilMtfSSt^bMk] 

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GROUP B. § 10. HELIBBU8. Cambridge MS. 

before / pat is to seye / that they been trewe wyse & 
of old experience / [2360] And werke not in enery 
thingis alwey be on cowseylot^r alone / for suwityme byhouyth 
it to been conseyled by manye / [2361] ffor Salomon seyth / 
Salnacioun of thyngis is / where as there been manye 

[2362] IT Kow sithe that I haue told 30W /of whech folk 
je schul be7i conseylid. now wele I teeche 30W whiche 
conseyl je onghte to eschewe [2363] IFffyrst 3eschul eschewe/ 
the con^seylyng of folys / for Salomon seyth take no con- 
seyl of a fool / for he ne can not conseyle but aftyr his 
owene lust & his aflfeccioun / [2364] The book seyth / 
that the prope^te of a fol is this he trowyth lyghtely 
harm of euery wight / & lyjtely trowyth alle bouwte in 
hym self/ [2365] Thow schalt ek eschewe / the conseylynge 
of alle flatereiia wheche as enforsen hem rathere to preysyn 
joure persone by flaterye than to telle 30W the sothe- 
fCastnesse of thyngis / 

[2366] Wherfoio Thullyus seyth / among alle the 
pestelences that been / in frenchepe / the gretteste is 
flaterye / & tiieifore it is more neede / that thow eschewo 
& drede flatereiys than ony othir peple // [2367] The 
hok seyth thow schalt rathere drede & fle from the 
swete wordis of flaterynge preyseris / than from the egere 
wordis of thyn frend that seyth the thy7me sothis [2368] 
IT Salomon seyth that the wordis of a flaterere ia a snare 
to cachyn innocentis / [2369] he seyth also / that he 
that spekyth to hise frend / wordis of swetnesse Ss of 
plesauTice f settith a net be-fom hise feet to cachyn hym / 
[2370] & therfore seyth Tullius / Enclyne not thyne 
eris to flatereris / ne take no conseyl of wordis of 
flateiye / [2371] And Catoun seyth Auyse the weel & 
eschewe wordis of swetnesse & of plesau7^ce 
[2372] IT And ek thow schalt eschewe the conseylynge of 
thyne olde enemyis that been reconsyled // [2373] The 
bok seyth that no wight retomyth sanely into the 

CAMBBIDGE 483 (6-T. 215) V leafsss] 

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QBoup B. § 10. MSLIBEU8. Cambridge M8. 

grace of hiae olde enemy [2374] IT And ysope seyth / ne 
truste not to hem to wkeche tliow hast had sumtyme werre 
or emnytee ne telle hem not thyn conseyl / [2375] And 
Seneca tellyth the cause why / It may not be seyth he / 
that where as greet feer long tyme hath deuredf that 
there ne dwellyth sum vapour of warmnesse [2376] And 
therfore Seyth Salomon / in thyn olde fo truste neuere / 
[2377] ffor sekirly / thow thyn enemy be reconsyled / 
& makyth the cheer of humylite / & loutyth to the 
with hise heed / ne truste hym neuere / [2378] ffor sekyrly 
he makyth thilkefeynede humyliteemore for hisowene prof}'t 
than for loue of thyn persone / by cause that he dem- 
yth to haue victorie ouyr thyn persone / by swich feynede 
contenaunce / the ^ whiche victohe / he my3te not haue be 
stryf or werre / [2379] & Petyr Alfonce seyth make non 
felaueschepe with thynne olde enemyis / for jif thow do hem 
bounte f they wele peruertyn it in to wikkedenesse // 
[2380] And ek thow muste eschewe the wekedenesse of hem 
& the coTiseyil that been thynne seruauntis & beryn the grete 
reuerence /for pcrauenture they seyn / it moore for drede than 
for loue. [2381] And theifore seyth a philisofere in this 
wyse / There is no whit perfytely trewe to hym that he to 
Boore dredyth / [2382] And Tullius seyth / theere is no 
myjt so greet of ony Emperour / that longe may endure / 
but 3if he haue moore loue of the peple than drede 
[2383] IT Thow schalt also enchewe the conseylynge of folk 
that been dronkelewe / for they ne can no consejl hyde / 
[2384] ffor Salomon seyth there is no pnuyte f theere as 
regnyth dronkenesse // [2385] ^e schal also han in suspect / 
the conseylynge of sweche folk as conseyle 30W ihyng 
prmyly / & conseyle 90W the contraiie opynly [2386] 
IT ffor Cassiodere seyth / that it is a nianere sleyte to 
hynderyn whan a man schewith to don on thyng piyuyly & 
werkyth the contrary e opynly / [2387] Thow schalt also 
haue in suspect / the conseylynge of wekede folk ffor the 
bok seyth the conseylynge of wekede folk f is alwey ful 

CAMBKIDGB 434 (O-T. 216) [i iMf 8SS, b^lO 

Digitized by 



oBoup B. § 10. MELIBEU& Cambridge KS. 

of fraude / [2388] And Dauid Beyth blisfdl is that man 
that hath* not folwid the conseylynge of schiewis / [2389] 
Thow schalt also eschewe the conseylynge of jonge folk 
for here conseyl is not lype [2390] 

NOw sere sithe I haue schewyd to 30W of whiche folk 
30 sehnl take 30ure conseyl / & of whiche folk 30 schni' 
folwe the conseyl f [2391] now wele I teche 30W 
how 30 schul examyne 30ttre conseyl aftyr the doctryne of. 
thullyus [2392] IT In examynynge of 3W*re conseylouiysf 
30 schul consideie many thyngis / [2393] Aldyrfeist thow 
achat consideie that in thilke thyng that thow purposyst 
& vp^n what thyi^ thow wilt haue C07iBeyl / that verray 
trouthe be seyd & conseruyd / This is to seyne / Telle 
trewely thyn tale / [2394] for he that seyth fals may not 
weel been conseyled / in that cas of whiche he lyeth / [2395] 
And ^ aftyr this thow schat consideie the thyngis that 
acordyn to that / thow purposist to don by thyn conseyl- 
ours 3if resoun acordyn therto / [2396] & ek 3if thyn 
my3t may atteyne therto / & jif the more part / & the 
betere part of thyne conseylouris acordyn therto / 01 no // 
[2397] Thanne schalt thow consideie / What thyng schal 
folwe of that conseyllyng as. hate. pees. w[e]rre. 
grace, profyt or damage & manye othere thyngis / 
[2398] [et en toutes ces choses] thow schalt chese the 
beste / & weyuyn alle othere thyngis [2399] IF Thajine 
schalt thow considere / of what rote isengenderedo the matyre 
of this conseyl / & what freut it may conteyne / & engen- 
deryn [2400] IF Thanne schalt [thow] considere ek alle these 
causes from whens they been sprongyn [2401] And 
whanne 30 ban examynyd 3oure conseyl as 30 haue seyd / 
& whiche partye is the betere & more profitable And 
han aproued it be manye wyse folk & olde. [2402] 
thanne schat thow considere f 3if thow mayjt perfome it >& 
makyn of it a good ende / [2403] fFor resoun wele / 
that ony man schulde begynne a thyng / but 3if he my3te 
pcrforne it as hyw oughte / [2404] No no wi3t schulde 

CAMBRIDGE 436 (B-T. 217) [UoafSMJ 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 10. MBLiBBus. Cambridge MS. 

take yp-on hym / so heuy cbaige / that lie my^te not bere 
it / [2405] for the prouerbe seyth / lie that to meche 
enbiaset distreynyth lityl / [2406] And catoun seyth / 
Assay to don swich thyng as thow hast power to don / 
lest that the charge appresse the not so sore / that the 
be-houith to weyue thyng that thow hast begiumo 
[2407] & jif so be that thow be endoute / whe^ thow- 
m&j^t perfome it or non chese rathere to sufifere 
than begynne / [2408] And Petyr Alfonce seyth / jix 
thow hast my3t to doon a thyng / of whiche thow niuste 
xepente f it is betere // 3a // than nay / [2409] this is 
to seyne the is betere to helde thyn tunge styllef than 
for to spekyn / [2410] Thanne may 3e vndeistonde by 
strongere resonys / that jif thow hast power / to perfome a 
werk of whiche thow auht repente f thanne is it betere / 
that thow sufFere / than begynne / [241 1] weel seyn they that 
defendyn euery wi^t to asay a thyng of whiche he is 
endoute / whethir he may perfome it or no [2412] 
And aftyr whan 30 ban examynyd 3oure ^conseyl as I 
haue seyd befom / & knowyn weel that 3e may per- 
fome 3oure emprise conforme it thanne sadll til it be at 
an ende — [2413] 

'T^"TOw is it resoun & tyme that I schewe 30W 
I %| whanne & wherfore / that 3e may chauTzge 3oure con- 
-A- 1 seylourys wit^-outyn repreve / [2414] Sothly a man 
may chaungyn hise [eonseil et son] purpos IT 3if the cause 
cesseth or whanne a new cas betydyth [241 5] IT ffor the lawe 
seyth that vp-on thyngis / that newely betydyn / byhouyth 
newe conseyl / [2416] & seneca seyth / 3if thyn conseyl 
is come to the eeris of thynne enemy / chauwge thyn conseyl . 
[2417] Thow mayst also chauwge thyn conseyl f 3if so be 
tliat thow fynde that be errowr / or be othere 
cause / harm or damage / may betyde / [2418] Also 
3if thyn conseyl [ed dSshonneste, ou vient de cmise 
dSshonneste, [2419] car lea lots dient que touies pro- 
messes that] be dishonest, been of no value / 

CAMBRIDGE 436 (S-T. 218) P leaf W4, btck] 

Digitized by 


219 8IX-TBXT 

GROUP B. § 10. vELiBEns. Cambridge MS. 

[2420] And ek ^i£ it so be / that it be inpossible / or may 
not been goodly perfonnyd or kept // 

[2421] And take this for a general rewle / that enery 
conseyl pai is affennyd so stro77geIy that it may not been 
chongit for no condicioun that may betyde / 1 seye that 
thilke conseyl is wikke [2422] 

THis Melibeus whan he hadde herd the doctryne / of 
his wyf / Dame Pradence f answerede in this -wise 
[2423] Dame quod he as jit into this tyme / ;e 
ban weel & conabely tanjt me as in general / how I 
Bchal goueme me in chesynge & in wotholdynge 
of myne conseylouiis [2424] IT But now wolde I fayn that 
je woldyn condessendyn in especial / [2425] & tellyn 
how }ow lykyth or what semyth 30W by oure conseylouris 
ibat we ban chosyn in oure present neede / [2426] 

MYn lord quod sche I beseke 30W in alle humblesse that 
je wele nat wilfully repleye // a-jen myne resonys / 
ne distempare joure herte thow I speke thyng that 
30W displese / [2427] ffor god wot that as in myn entent / 
I speke it for joure beste. for joure honour & for joure 
profit ek / [2428] And sothly I hope that joure be- 
nyngnete wele takyn it in pacience / [2429] Trustith me 
weel / quod sche that joure conseyl / as in this cas ^ ne schuldo 
nat as to spekyn propirly / been callyd a conseylynge / But a 
mocioun or a meuynge of foly [2430] in whiche conseyl 
30 ban erred / \en moult de mani^e] 

[2431] [Premikrement, tu as erre] in the assem- 
blynge of jowre conseylowris / [2432] ffor je schulde 
ferst a clepid a fewe folk / [et puis aprks 
plusieurs] if it hadde been neede / 
[2433] But certis 30 ban clepid sodeynly to jot^re con- 
seyl / a greet multitude of peple fill chargeaunt & fal 
anoyous for to heere [2434] IT Also je ban errid for 
theere as 30 schulde only haue clepid to joure conseyl 
^oure trewe fiendis olde & wyse / [2435] J® ^*^ I-depid 
strauitge folk. 3onge folk, false flatereris / & encmyis 

CAMBKIBGE 487 (6-T. 219) Dl«iifae5] 

Digitized by 



oBoup B. § 10. MELTBEua Cambridge MS. 

Teconsyled / & folk pat don 30W leuerence wtt/*-outyn 
loue / [2436] And ek also ^e han erred / for je han 
bron^t with 30W to jonie conseylf Ire. Coueytyse. & 
Hastifnesse / [2437] the wheche thre thyngis been con- 
traryons / to eueiy conseyl honeste & profitable / [2438] And 
the whiche thre thyngis f je ban not anientissed or destroyed 
hem neythir in ^oure self ne in ^ouro conseylonrys /as ^e on3te 
[2439] ^ 3^ ban erred also for ^e han schewid to jonie 
conseylonns joure talent & joure affeccionn to makyn 
werre anon & for to doon vengeaunce / [2440] they han 
espied be joure wordis to what thyng je been enclyned / 
[2441] & therefore han they conseylid 30W. rathere to 
joure talent f than to ^oure profit [2442] IT Je han errid 
also / for it semyth that 30W suffysith to han been con- 
seylid by these coTiseylouris only / Ss with litil avis 
[2443] wheere as in so greet & in so high a neede / it liadde 
been neoessarye / mo conseylouris / & moore deliberacioun / 
to p^rfome ^oure emprise [2444] % 3e ban errid also fibr 
^e han not examynyd / jonre conseyl in the for seyde 
manere / ne due maneere / as the caas requiryth [2445] IT 3e 
han errid also for je han makid non deuysionn / bytwixe 

^onre conseylot^m / [ 

no gap] [2446] ne ^e ne haue 

not knowe / the wil of 30ure trewe fiendis olde & wyse / 
[2447] but je han cast alle here wordys in an hochepot / 
*. enclyned joure herte to the more part & to the 
grettere noumbere // And theeie been je condescendit / 
[2448] & sith je wote weel that men schal *alwey fynde a 
grettere noumbre of folys than of wise men / [2449] & 
therfore in the conseylis that been at congregaciounnys & 
mtdtitudis of folk there as men take more reward to the 
nombre than to the sapience of p^rsonis / [2450] ^e seen weel 
that in sweche conseylyngis foolis han the maistrie [2451] 

MElibeus answerede agen & seyde I graunte wel that 
I bane erryd / [2452] bnt theere as thow hast told / 
me heerebe-fom/that he nys to blame that chaungith his con* 

CAUBKIDOE 438 (6-T. S20) piMfSSS^tadi] 

Digitized by 



oBoup B. § 10. MELiBEus. Cambridge KS. 

seyl in certeyn cas / & for certeyn luste causis 
[2453] I am al redy to schatu?ge myn conseylouris / ry^t 
as thow wolt deuyse / [2454] the pronerhe seytli that 
for to do syBne / is mannyssch / But certw to perseucre 
longe- therinne f is werk of the deuyl [2455] 

TO this centence answerede anon Dame prudence / 
& seyde // [2456] Examynyth quod sche ^oure con- 
seyl / & lat vs se the whiche of hem han spokyn 
moost resonablely & taught 30 w best conseyl // [2457] 
And for as meche as the examynacioun is necessarie / 
lat vs begynne at the Surgens / & at the phisiciens / that 
fyrst spekyn in this matyere / [2458] I seye }ow that the 
enrgeens & phisiciens han seyd 30W in ^oure conseyl 
descietly as hem ou^te / [2459] & in here space 
seydyn M wysely / that to the oflfyse of hem aperteyny th to 
doon to euery wyjt honour & profyt / & no wy^t 
to anoyen [2460] & aftyr here craft to don greet diligence 
vnto the cure of hem whiche that they han in here goucm- 
aunce / [2461] And sire ryjt as they han answerid 
-wisely & discretly / [2462] ryjt so rede I that they 
been heyly & souereynly gwerdouwnyd for here noble 
speche / [2463] And ek for they schuldyn don the moore 
ententif besynesse in the curacioun of thy» doughtyr deere / 
[2464] for al be it so / that they been joure frendis / 
therfore schal je nat sufferynf that they serve jow for 
naught [2465] but je oughtyn rathere gvrerdounnyn hem Ss 
fichewyw hem joure largesse / [2466] And as touchywge the 
prqpociciowi whiche the phisiciounnys encresedyn in this 
cas / this is to seyne / [2467] that in maladyis / that on 
(M)ntrarye is war^chid by a-nothir contrarye / [2468] I 
-wolde feyn knowyn how je yndyrstonde thilke text / & 
what is 30ure sentence. [2469] CErtis quod Melibeus I 
vndiretonde it in this wise / [2470] that ryjt as they han 
don . a contrarye ryjt so schulde I doon hem a-nothir / 
(^2471] fifor ryjt as they han vengede hem on me / & 
don me wrong i ry^t so schal I wengyn me vp-on hem 

CAMBRIDGE 438 (6-T. 22l) [Meaf836j 

Digitized by 



QBOUP & § 10. MSLiBEus. Caxubridge KS. 

& doon hem wrong / [2472] And thaTine hane I cured on 
contiaiye by a-nothir [2473] 

LO lo quod Dame Pmdenence how Iy3iel7 is euery 
man endyned to his owene desyr / & to his owene 
plesaunce / [2474] Certis quod see the wordis of the 
phifiiciens ne schuldy7i not han been yndyrstondyn in thia 
wise / [2475] for certis wikkedenesse is not contrarye 
to wikkedenesse / ne vengeaunce to vengeaunce / ne wrong 
to wrong / but [aont semhlahles [2476] Et pour 
c«, vengence par vengence, ne ir^ure 

par tfy«r«, finest pas eurS^ [2477] maii\ 
euerich of hem encresith & morith othir // [2478] 
But certis the wordis of the phisiciens / schuldyn ben 
'vndirstondyn in this wise / [2479] ^^^ S^^ ^ wekede- 
nesse been two contraryis / & pees & weire / & venge- 
aunce & sufferraunce / discord & acord / and manye 
othere thyngis / [2480] But certis wikkedenesse f may been 
waiyschid by goodnesse discord I by acord / werre 1 by pees / 
& so forth of othere thyngis // [2481] And heereto a-coidyth 
seynt Poule the apostelle in manye placis [2482] he 
seyth / Ke 3ildith not harm for harm / ne wikkede speche 
for wikkede speche / [2483] but doth weel to hym that doth 
the harm / And blysse hym that seyth to the harm / [2484] 
& in manye othere placis he amonestyth pees & 
accord / [2485] But now wele I spekyn to jow of the con- 
seyl that was jouyn to jow of the meen of lawe / 
and the wise folk [2486] that seydyn alle by on aoord / 
as je han herd by-fore / [2487] That oner alle thynge je 
schal don ^oure diligence to kepyn joure persone & 
to wamestore joure hous / [2488] and seydyn also that 
in this caas je" oughtyn for to werkyn fill a-yisely / & 
with greet delib[er]acioun / [2489] And sere as to the fyrste 
poynt that touchith to the kepynge of ^oure persone / 
[2490] ^e schul vndyistonde that he that hath werre schal 
eueremore deuoutely & meekely preyen ^before alle 
thynge [2491] that JhesvL cryst of his mercy / wele 

CAMBRIDGE 440 (6-T. 222) [ilMfmbMiO 

Digitized by 



6B0UP B. § 19. MELiBEus. Caxnbridge KS. 

han liyin in liise protexioun / & ben his soueieyn helpyngo 

at hise neede / [2492] for certys in this world / theeie is no 

wy^t that may been conseylyd ne kept sufficyantly / with- 

outyn the keping of onre lord Ihem Ciyst / [2493] To this 

centence acoidyth y prophete daoid / that seyth / [2494] 

If god ne kepe the cete . In idyl . wake he that kepeth 

[2495] ^ ^^^ ^^ thanne schul je commytte the kepynge of 

jouie persone to ^oure trewe tiendis that been aprouyd 

& I-knowe / [2496] & of hem schul ^e axen helpe jouie 

p^Tsone for to kepe IF fifor catoun seyth / }if thu hast 

nede of helpe i axe it of thynne firendis / [2497] flfor theere ne 

is noon so good a phisicien as thyn trewe frend / [2498] 

And aftyr this thanne schul 50 keepe ^w fifrom alle 

straufige folk and from lyeris / and haue alwey in suspekt / 

hire compaynye / [2499] ®^' P®" Alphonse seyth Ke 

take no compaignye by the weye of a Strang maii but )if it 

be so that thow haue knowyn hym by a long tyme befom / 

[2500] A jif so be that he falle / in-to thyn cumpanye per* 

auenture with-outyn thyn assent / [2501] enquire thanne 

as subtyly as thu mayst / of his conuersacioun / & of his lyf 

be-fore / & feyne thyn weye / Sey that thow wel go thedyp 

there that thow wilt not go / [2 502] an 3if he beryth a spere / 

hold the on the Ty3t syde / & jif he here a swerd / 

bold the on the left syde [2503] IF And aftyr this 

thanne echal 30 kepe 30W wisely from alle sweche manere 

peple / as I haue seyd be-fore / And hem & here conseyl 

e6chewe / [2504] And aftyr this thanne schal 30 kepyn 30W 

in swich maner / [2505] that for ony presumpcioun of 30ure 

strenthe / that je ne dispise / ne attempte not the 

myjte of 3oure aduersarye / so lite that 3e lete the 

kepynge of 3oure persone / for 30ure presumpcioun / [2506] 

for euery wise man dredyth his enemy / [2507] And 

Salomon seyth / Weleful is he that of alle thynge hathdreede/ 

[2508] ffor certys he that four the hardynesse of his 

herte or thorw the hardynesse of hym-self / hath to 

greet presumpcioun/ hyw schal euele betyde/ [2509] Thanne 

33 CAMBRinOC 441 (6-T. 223) 

Digitized by 



GROUP & § 10. MELiBEua. Cftoibridge KB. 

«chal je eueremoore conntie wayte enibusschement^ / & 
espiaifi // [2510] for Seneca seyth / that the wise man 
that dredith harmys / eschewith hannys / [2511] ne 'he ne 
Mlyth in-to perilys / that pmlis eschewyth / [2 5 1 2] And al* 
be-it 80 / that it eeeme that thow art in Bekyi place / ^it 
echalt thowalwey doondiligenceiiikepyngeof thynpersoone/ 
[2513] this is to seyn ne be not necligent to keepen thyn 
persone / not only for thynne gretteste enemyis / but from 
thyn leste enemye / [2514] Seneca seyth / a man / that is 
weel auysed / he diedyth his leste enemye // [2515] Ouyde 
seith / that the litelle wesele / wele sle the greete bole & the 
vilde hert // [2516] And the book seyth that the lytil thorn f 
may pryke a kyng wol sore / & an hound -wele 
holde the wylde boor / [2517] Bat nathelees I sey nat fat 
thow schat been so coward that thow donte there wheere-as is 
no drede / [2518] The book seyth / that sum folk han 
greet lust / to dissey ue f but ^it they dredyn hem to been dis- 
seyuyd / [2 5 1 9] ^it schalt thow dreede to ben enpoy sounnyd / 
And keepe the from the cumpaygnye of skomerys / [2520] 
ffor the book seyth / woth skomeiys make no compaignye / 
but fie here wordys as venym / 

[2521] Kow as to the secunde poynt / wheer&as ^ure 
wise conseylourys / conseylede 30W to wamesiore/ ^ouie hous 
with greet diligence / [2522] I wolde knowe how that ^ 
Tndyrstande / thilke wordis & what is joure centence [2523] 

MElibeus answerede & seyde / certis I vndyrstonde 
it in this wyse / That I schal wamestore myn hous / 
with touris & sweche as han castefi & othere manere 
edifices & aimure and artelleryes / [2524] by whiche 
thyngis I may myn peTisone & mjn hous so kepyn d? 
defendyn / that myne enemyis schul been in dreede inyn 
hous for to aprochyn [2525] 

TO this centence answerede anon Prudence // wame- 
storyngeis quodsche of heye tourys & of greete edifices/ 
[appertaining aucune ffois a orgueU [2526] apreaan 
fait lea tours et lee grane ec^(/?ce«(MSEeg. 19Cyii,lf 133, bk)] 

CAHBRIDGS i4S (6-T. 2S4) riMfSST] 

Digitized by 


225 8IZ-TEXT 

OBoup B. § 10. MELiBBUB. Cambridge K8. 

with greete coetagis & vitti greete trauayle / And whan that 
they been aocomplesed/ jit be they notworth a stre but if they 
beendefendit by trewefrendys that beenolde& wyse// [2527] 
And vndyistonde weel that the gretteste & the strengeste 
gamesoun that a ryche man may han / as weel to kepyn his 
persone ^as hese goodis / is [2528] that he be belonyd with 
hise subiectis . And with hiae neigheboris / [2529] ffor thus 
seyth thullyus that there is a manere gamesoun / that no 
man may venqnische / Ne desconfite / & that is [2530] a 
lord to been belonyd / of hise citesynys & of his peple [2531] 

NOw sere as to the thiedde poynt wheer-as 
jonie olde & wise conseylouris / seydyn that jow ne 
onjtyn / not sodeynly ne not to hastifly procedyn in 
this neede / [2532] But that 30W oujtyn purueyen / Ss appar- 
aylyn )ow / in this cas/ with greet diligence/ & greet delyber- 
acioun / [2 533] trewely I trowe that they seydyn / ryjt wisely 
A ryjt soth / [2534] for tuUyns seyth in euery 
neede / er thow begynne it / apparayle the wtt/i gret 
diligence / [2535] Thanne seye I that in vengeaunce 
takynge in werre / in batayle / & in wamestoiyinge / 
[2536] er thow begynne I leede / that thow apparayle the 
not therto& do it with greet dyligence & greet deliberacioun// 
[2537] ffor ThuUyns seyth that longe apparaylynge / by-fom 
y batayle / makyt schort victorye [2538] IF And Cassiodorus 
■eythThe gamesoun is strongere whan it is longe tyme auysed 

But now kt vs spekyn of the conseyl / that was 
acoidit be joure neigheboris / Sweche as doon 30W 
reuerence wttA-outyn lone / [2540] joure olde enenyis 
leoonsyled / )oure flatereris [2541] that conscyledyn jow cer- 
teyn thyngis piynyly / & opynly conseylcdyn 30W / the 
contrarye / [2542] The jonge folk also that conseylede 
JOW / to Yenge jow & make werre a-noon [2543] And 
certis sere as I haue seyd bo-fom f je han greetly errid / 
to han depid / swich manere folk to jonre conseil [2544] 
wiiiche conseylouris / been I-nowgh repreuyd / be the resonys 
a^fore^eyd / [2545] but natheles kt vs now dessende to 

CAMBBIDOB 448 (6-T. S8o) C^lMfm.tack] 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

226 81Z-TEXT 

OBoup B. § 10. MELiBEus. Cambridge KS. 

the special // ^e scliul fyrst procedyn / aftyr the doctrme / of 
thullios / [2546] Certis the trouthe of thifi matire or of 
this conseyl / nedyth not diligently enquire [2547] for ii 
is weel wist whlche they heen that han don to 90W this 
trespas / and vilenye / [2548] and how manye trespasoutis / 
and in what manere they han doon to 30W al this 
wrong & al this vilenye // [2549] And aftyr this 
je ^schuln examyne al the socunde condicioun whiche 
fat the same thullyus addyth in this mateere / [2550] ffor 
tiUliutf put a thyng whiche that he clepiih consenty nge / This 
is to seyne / [2551] who been they / & whiche 
been they / and how manye been they / & whiche 
been thei that consentedyn to joure aduersaryis / 
[2552] [et considSrons auasi qui aont eeulx, et quans^ 
qui 86 cansentent d tes adversaires, (Le M^n. i 211.)] [2553] 
And certis as to the fyrste poynt / it is weel knowyn whiche 
folk been they / that consentedyn to joure hastif wilfol- 
nesse / [2554] ffor trewely alle tho that coitsentcde }ow 
to makyn sodeyn werre / ne been not joure fiendis / [2555} 
lat YS now considers [qui tu es et] whiche been they that 
3e holdyn jowre frendis / as to joure persone [2556] ffor 
al be it so / that ^e been myghty & ryche / Certis ^e ne 
been but a-loone / [2557] for certis je ne han no child 
but a dou^tyr / [2558] ne je ne han breteren ne oosynys 
germaynys / ne noon othir nygh kenrede [2559] wherefore 
that 30ure enemyis / for drede schulde stynte to plede / vrtih 
jow or distroye joure persone / [2560] je knowyn 
also that 30ure xychesse mote been despendit in 
dyuerce partis / [2561] and whan that euery wigh hath 
his part / they ne wele takyn but lityl reward to vengyn 
thyn deth // [2562] But thynne enemyis been thre and 
they han manye childeryn / bretheryn cosynys & othere nygh 
kenrede / [2563] and thow so weeie / tliow hadyst 
slayn of hem two or thre / ^et dwellyn fere I-nowe to wrekyn 
here deth / & to sle tyn persone / [2564] & thow so 
be that joure kynreede / be moore sekyr & stefast / than 

CAMBRIDGE 444 (6-T. 226) [Ucafmj 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 10. MELiBEus. Cambridge KS. 

the keiareede of jonre adnersarye / [2565] ^et natheles / joure 
keniede nys but a fer kynrede they been but lytil sibbe 
to jow / [2566] and the kyn of joure enenyis been nygh sibbe 
to hem / & certis as in \ai heere condicioun is betere than 
is ^ourys // [2567] Tanne lat vs considere also / if the 
conseylynge of hem that coTiseyledyn / jow to takyn sodeyn 
Tengeauns / whethir it acorded to resoun or no / [2568] And 
certis je knowe wel nay / [2569] for as be ryjt & resouw / 
theeie may no man ta^kyn yenieaunce on no wight but the 
luge that hath the lurysdixioun of it / [2570] whanne it is 
I-grauntid / to take thilke Ye/rgeaunce / hastily or at- 
temprelly as the lawe requyrith / [2571] & }it moore 
ouyi / of thilke word that ThuUius clepith consentyrzge 
[2572] thow schalt considered jif thyn myjt & thyn power / 
may consente & suffise / to thyn wilfulnesse / & to thynne 
conseylourys [2573] and sertis thow mayst weel seyn 
fat nay / [2574] ffor sekirly^as for to spekyn proprely. 
we may doon nothyng but only swich thyng as we may 
don it rithtfuUy / [2575] & certis ry3tfully may je 
take no yenieaunce / as of 30ure propre autorite [2576] 
thanne may je seen / that ^oure power ne consentith 
nat ne acordith nat with joure wilfulnesse [2577] IF Lat 
V8 now ezamyne the thredde poynt that / ThuUius clepith 
consequent / [2578] Thow schalt yndyrstonde / that the 
yengeaunce that thow purposest for to take is the conse- 
quent / [2579] And therof folwith a-nothir uengeau[?i]s / 
p«ril & werre & othere yengeauTice & damagis with-outyn 
noumbere / of whiche we been not war as at this tyme // 
[2580] Afid as touchynge the / fourte poynt / That ThuUius 
clepith engenderynge / [2581] thow schalt considere that 
.this wrong whiche that is doon to the f is engenderyd / of 
the hate of thynne enemyis / [2582] & of the yengeaunce 
takyng< yp-on that / wolde engendere a-nothir / yengeaunce . 
And meche sorwe / in wastynge of rychessis as I seyde 

[2583] IF Now sere as to the poynt that tulliutf 
clepith causes / with that is the laste poynt/ [2584] thow 

CAMBEIDGB 445 (O-T. 227) £Meaf8S8,bMk] 

Digitized by 



GBoup B. § 10. MSLiBBUB. Cambrid^ US. 

Bchalt Tiidiistonde / that the wrong that thow haat resceyuid 
hath certeyn causes / [^5^5] "^hiche that derkis clepyn 
Oriens / & efficiens / And Cansa longinqua / & Causa 
Propinqua / this is to seyne the ffer cause / & the nygli 
cause / [3586] the fer cause is almyghti god / that is 
cause of alle thyTigis / [2587] the nygh cause is thy7?ne 
thre enemyis / [2588] the cause accidental was hate / 
[2589] the cause material f been the fyue woundis of 
thyn doughtre [25^0] The cause formal is the manere of 
here werkynge / that brougtyn ladderys & clombyn in at 
thyne wyndowis / [2591] the cause final was for to sle thyn 
dougtyr / It lettede nat in as meche as in hem ^ was // [2592} 
But for to spekyn of the ferthe cause as to what ende they 
schul come / or what schal finally betyde of hem in this 
caas / ne can I nat deeme / but be coniectynge & by 
Bupposynge [2593] for we schul suppose / that they schul 
come to a wekkede ende / [2594] bi-cause that the bok of 
Decreis seyth / Seldeorwoth greet peyne been causis I-brou)t 
to a good ende / Whan they been baldely begumie [2595] 

NOw sere ^if meen wolde axsyn me whi that god 
sufferede / men to doon 30W this veleny certis I can- 
not weel answeryn as for no Sothfastnesse/ [2596] for 
thapostelle seyth that the sciencis & the iugementis of 
oure lord god / almyjty f been fill deepe / [2597] there may 
no man comprehende / ne serchyn hem sufficiently [2598] 
IT Nathelees / bi certeyn presumpciounnys / & coneytyngis 
I holde & bileeue / [2599] that god whiche that is ful of 
iustise / & of ryghtwisnesse hath suffered this betyde by 
iuste cause / resonable 

[2600] Thyn name is Melibee this is to seyne a man / 
that drynkyth hony / [2601] or he that hath I-dronkyu 
hony / so meche of sweete temperel richesse & delicis of 
honouris of this world [2602] that thow art dronkyn / & 
hast forgetyn Jhesu. cryst thyn creature / [2603] thow ne 
hast nat doon to hym swich honour & reuerence / as the 
oujte [2604] ne thow ne hast not weel takyn keep to 

CAMBBIDGB 446 (6-T. 228) piMfSSQ] 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 10. MELiBEus. Cambridge KB. 

tho wordis of Ouide that seyth [2605] vndyr the hony 
of the goodis / of the body is hid the venym that sleth 
the 80ule / [2606] And Salomon seyth 3if thow hast 
foundyn hony / ete of it that suffyseth / [2607] ffor }if thow 
ete of it out of meseni / thow schalt spewe / & been nedy / 
& pome / [2608] & p6}'auenture / cryst hat the in 
dispyt and hath tumede awey from the hys face & hise 
eeris of myseiicorde / [2609] And also he hath sufferede / 
that thow hast been ponyschid / in tte maneere that thow 
hast trespased / [2610] Thow hast doon synne a-geyn 
oure lord Ihesu ciyst / [261 1] ffor certis the thre enemyis / 
of mankynde that is to seyne / the fiesch the feend & the 
world / [2612] thow hast snf^fred hem to entre in-to thyn 
herte wilfulli by the wyndowys / of thyn body / [2613] Ss 
hast not defendit thyn self sufiGlcianntly a-geyn here assautis / 
& here temptaciouTis So that they han woundede thyn 
soule in fyue placis [26x4] this is to seyne f the dedly 
synnys that been entered in-to thyn herte / by thywne fyue 
wittis / [2615] And in the same manere / oure lord crist 
hath wold & suffered that thyne .iij. enemyis been entrede 
in-to thyn hous by the wyndowys [2616] And han 
I-wounded thynne doujtyr / in the forseyde manere / [26 1 7] 

CErtis quod Melibee I se wel that je enforce 
}ow mechel by wordis to ouyrcome me in swich 
manere f that I schal nat venge me of myne enemyis / [2618] 
Schewynge me the pmlis & the eu^ that my^tyn fallyn 
of this TengeauTtce // [2619] But who so wolde considere / 
in alls yengeauncis the perilis & the yuyllys that myjte sewe 
of Tengeaunce takynge / [2620] a man wolde neuere take 
vengeaunce / & that were harm / [2621] for by the venge- 
aunce takynge f been the wikkede men disseuered from the 
goode men / [2622] And thei that han wil to doon wikkede- 
nesse f restreyne here wikkede purpos / whan they seen the 
ponyschynge & the chastisynge of the trespasourys / [2623] 
[ ytd ce respont dame prudence Certea diet die le te 
^^ ottroie que de vengance vient moult de Mens 

CAMBBIBGE 447 (6-T. 229) Cil6af»»,l»ekl 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

230 8IZ-TEZT 

GBoup & § 10. MsuBEUB. Cambridge KB. 

[2624] Mais /aire vengance nappsntient pas a vn eJiaacun 
fors aux iuges j Et a ceulz qui (mt les iuridicians 
sur les malfautems (MS Reg. 19 C xi, leaf 59, back, coL 2.)] 
[2625] And jit seye I mooie / that ryjt as a senguler 
p^yisone synnyth in takynge yengeaunce / of a-nothir man 5 
[2626] righ so synnyth the luge jif he do no vengeaunce / 
of hem that it han deseruyd / [2627] for Senek eeyth / 
that maystir is good that pienytli Bchiewis / [2628] 
And as Gassiodere seyth / A man dredith to doon 
outrages / whan he wot & knowith that it displeseth to the 
lugis / & to the souereynys / [2629] And arnother seyth / 
The luge that dredith to doon ryjt i maky th men schrewis // 
[2630] And seynt poule thapostelle seyth in his epistelle / 
whan he wrythith. vnto the romaynys / that the luges berith 
not the spere / with-outyn cause f [2631] but they beiyn it 
to ponysche ]?e schrewis & mysdoeiys / & for to defendyn 
the Goode men [2632] 3if je wele tha^t^ne take yengeaunce 
of joure enemyis / je schul retume or haue joure reeonis / 
to the luge that hath the lurisdiccioun/yp-on hem/ [2633] & 
he schal pimyschyn hem as the lawe axit & requirith [2634] 

A quod Melibee this yengeaunce likyth me nothyng / 
[2635] I bethynke me now & take heed how 
fortune hath noricbid me / from myn chyldeheede / 
& hath holpyn me to passyn manye a strong paas / [2636] 
now wele I assayen hire trowyngo with godis helpe / that 
scbe schal helpyn me myn schame for to yenge [2637] 

CErtis quod Prudence / If je wele werke by myn con- 
seyl / je schul not assaye fortune by no way/ [2638] ne 
je schul not lene / or bowe / on to here aflyr the word 
of senek / [2639] for tbyy^gis that been folyly doon / & that 
been doon in hope of fortune / schuln neu^re been broujt to 
good ende / [2640] And as the same Senek seyth / the moore 
cleer & the more schynyiige that fortune isf the moore 
bretil & the sunnere brokyn scbe is / [2641] truste nat 
in here for scbe nys nat stedefast ne stable / [2642] ffor 
.whan thow trowist to been most sekyr or sewir of hire 

CAMBRIDGE 448 (6-T. 230) [MMfSM] 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 10. VELiBBUs. Cambrid^ MB. 

helpef 8che wele fayle & dlsseyue the / [2643] And 
wheere as je seyn that Fortune hath norichid 301110 
childheede [2644] I seje that in so meche schul je 
the lasse trnste in here wit / [2645] ^^^ senek 
seyth / what man that is noiichid by ffbrtune f sche makyth 
hym a greet fool / [2646] Now thanne syn je desyre 
& aske yengeaonce / & the yengeau7»ce that is doon aftyr 
the lawe / & by-fore the Inge / ne likyth jow nat [2647] 
And the yengeannce that is doon in hope of fortune is perli- 
ous & yncerteyn / [2648] thanne haue 30 noon othir 
remedie / but for to haue joure recours / vn-to the souereyn 
luge that yengith alle vilanyis / & wrowgis / [2649] 
is he schal yenge 30W aftyr / that hym self witnessith 
where as he seyth / [2650] leuyth the yengeaunce IT to me 
& I Bchal doon it [2651] 

MElibie answerede / If I ne yenge me not of the 
yilanye that men doon to me / [2652] I somoune or 
^ wame hem that han doon to me that yilenye & alle 
othere to doon to me a-nothir yilenye / [2653] for it is wretyn/ 
jif thowtake ne yengeaunce of anopynyilanye/thowsomoun- 
yst thynne aduersaryis f to do the a newe yelanye [2654] 
And also for myn sufferaunce men woldyn do me so 
meche yilenye / that I ne myghte neythir beere it ne sus- 
teene / [2655] & so schulde I bee put & holdyn ouyr 
lowe / [2656] ffor men seyn in meche sufferynge schal 
manye thyngis fSetlle yn-to the whiche thow schalt nat 
mowe suffere [2657] 

CErtis quod .prudence. I graunte now that ouyr 
meche sufferaunce / is nat good [2658] But jit ne 
folwith it not therof / that eueiy persone to whom men 
doon yilenye f tak of it yengeaunce / [2659] for that apcr- 
tenyth & longith al only to the lugis / for they schul 
yenge / the yilanyis & the Iniurijs / [2660] And therfore 
to two autoriteis / that je han seyd a-bouyn / been only 
yndyrstondyn In the lugis / [2661] For whan they sufferyn 
Ofuermeche the wrongis is yilenyis to been doon 

CAMBRIDGE 4i9 (S-T. 23l) [Me»fMO,l»ck] 

Digitized by 


232 aiz-TBXT 

OBoup B. § 10. 1IBLIBBU& Cambrid^ KB. 

with-outyn pnnyBchyTige [2662] Ox&y somone nat a man al 
only for to doon newe wiongis / but they comaundyn it / 
[2663] also a wjB man seyth / tbat the Inge that cor- 
ectith nat the synneie comanndyth / & biddyth bym to do 
aynne / [2664] A the lugia & sonereynys / my^tyn in 
heie land so meche aoffeie of the schrewis & mysdoeiys f 
[2665] that they schuldyn by swich sufferaunce / by piocesse 
of tyme / waxen of swich poweer & my3t / that they schuldyn 
pattyn out / the lugis & the sonereynys from here placis 
[2666] & at the laste makyn hem to lesyn here lordschepe // 

[2667] But lat vs now putte that ye ban lene to 
vengen 90W / [2668] I seye je been nat of myjt & 
power as now to yenge jow / [2669] ffor jif je wele make, 
compaiisoun vn-to y mj^t of joure aduersaryis / ^e schnl 
fynde in manye thyngis that I haue schewid 30W er this / 
that hire condicioun is bettere than ^oures [2670] & 
therfore seye I that it is good / as now / that je suffere & 
been pacient 

[2671] Fertheremore je knowe wel / that aftyr the 
comu^ne sawe . it is a woodnesse a man to stiyue with a 
strongere / or a moore myjty man / than he is hym selue / 
[2672] A for to stryue with a man of enene strenthe / 
that is to seyne with as strong a man as he is hymselue / it is 
peril / [2673] And for to stiyue with a weykere manf it is 
folye / [2674] & therfore schulde a man fle stiyuynge / as 
meche as he my^te // [2675] ^^^ Salomon seyth it is a 
greet worschepe / to a man to kepyn hym from noyse / & 
stryf . [2676] & K it so befalle or happe / that a man be 
of grettere my^t A strenthe / than thow art / do the 
greuaunce / [2677] stodye A besye the rathere to stylle 
the same greuaunce f than to yenge the / [2678] ffor 
senek seyth / that he puttith hym in greet peryl / that 
8tr3ruyth with a grettere man than he is hym self* / [2679] 
And catonn seyth // K a man of heyere staat or degre or 
moore myjt than thow / do the ony noye or greuaunce / 
suffere hym / [2680] ffor he that onys hath greuyd the / 

CAMBBIDQE 460 (6-T. 288) piMfSil] 

Digitized by 



Gaoup B. § 10. HBUBEus. Cambridge KS. 

mai a-nothir tyme releue the & helpe // [2681] Jit 
sette I caas je ban bothe a lycence / for to 
Tenge 30W / [2682] I seye that theere been ful manye 
tbyitgis / that scbul restreyne jow of yengeaunce takynge / 
[2683] & make jow for to enclyne to sufferre & for 
to ban pacience / in tbe wrongis tbat ban been don to 
y>w I [2684] fferst & foreward 3if je wele / consideie 

tbe defautiB / [ [2685] 

no gap] god batb suffered 30W to bane this 

tribolacioun / as I bane seyd jow beeie by-fore / [2686] For 
tbe Poete seytb tbat we ou^tyn paciently / takyn tbe tWbu- 
laciounnys tbat oomyn to yb wban tbat we tbynkyn & con- 
sideryn tbat we ban deseraydto ban bem [2687] IT Andseynt 
Giegorie seytb tbat wban a man consideiitb weel tbe 
noambere of bise defautis Sl of bise synnys / [2688] tbe 
peynys A tbe tribukcioonnys tbat be sufferytb semyn tbe 
lasse ynto bym / [2689] And in as mecbo as bym sem- 
ytb bis syime is moore beuy / & greuous [2690] in so 
mecbe semytb bis peyne tbe lyjtere & tbe esiere vnto 
bym // [2691] Also je owyn to enclyne / & bowe ^oure 
berte to 'take tbe pacience^ of onie loid JheavL cryst / as {*Mareptau 
seytb seynt petyr / In bise episteles / [2692] Jhegu. Crist be *** 

seitb batb suffered for yb / & jeuyn ensample to euery 
man to folwe / A sewyn bym / [2693] for be dede neuere 
synne ne neuere cam tbere / A yileyns word out of bis 
moutb [2694] wban men cursede hjmi be cursede bem 

not /[ no gap 

in ihs MS!\ [2695] Also tbe grecte pacience / wbicbe 
seyntis tbat been in paradys ban bad in tnbiilaciounnys/tbat 
tbey been I-sufferid witb-outyn bere desert or gilt / [2696] 
ougbte mecbe stere jow to pacience / [2697] Fortbere 
more je scbul enforse 30W to baue pacience / [2698] 
considerynge tbat tbe tribulaciou72nys / of tbis world but 
lityl wbile endure / & soone passede been & goone / 
[2699] And tbe loye tbat a man sekytb for to ban bi 
pacience in trybulaciounnys / is perdurable / aftyr tbat 

CAMBRIDQE 461 (6-T. 233) D leaf Ml. tack] 

Digitized by 



GBoup B. § iO. MELIBE1T& Cambridge KB. 

thapoetele seyth in his epistele [2700] IT The loye of God 
is p^niable that is to seyne euere lastynge / [2701] 
Also irowith & bileuyth stedefastly / that he nys not 
weel I-noryschid / ne weel I-taujt that can nothaue pacience / 
or wele not receyue pacyence / [2702] For Salomon seyth/ 
that the doctiyne & the wit of a man is knowyn by 
pacience / [2703] And in a-nothir place he seyth that be 
that is pacient gouemyth hym by greet pradence / [2704] 
And the same Salomon seyth / That the angry & the wiatheful 
manf makyth noysis / & the pacient man attemp^retb 
hym & stillith / [2705] he seyth also it is mooie 
worth to ben pacient f than for to ben ly^t strong / [2706] 
And he that may haue the lordschepe of hese owene hertef 
he is moore to preyse / than he that by his force or strenthe f 
takyth greete ceteis [2707] And therefore seyth seynt 
lame In his epistle / that Pacience is a greet vertn of 
p^ifeccioufi . [2708] 

CErtis quod Melibee I graunte 30W dame Prudence/ 
that Pacience is a greet vartu of perfecciou9» [2709] 
But eueiy man may not hara the perfeccioun that 30 
seekyn / [2710] ne I am not of the noumbre of ryjt pev*- 
fite men / [271 1] For myn herte may neuere been in 
pees / vnto the tyme it be ven^git / [2712] And al be it so / 
that it was greet pml to mynne enemyis to doon mc a 
vilenye / in takynge yengeaunce vp-on mef [2713] jit 
take they noon heede at the pml / but fulfilledyn here 
wekede wil / & here corage / [2714] & therfore me 
thynkyth men oujte nat repreue me thogh I putte me 
in a lityl peril / For to vengyn me / [27 15] And thow I do 
a greet excesse / that is to seyne that I venge oon outrage / 
by aruothir. [2716] 

A quod dame Prudence / je seyn jotire wil &, As jow 
likyth / [2717] but in noo cas of the world a man 
sclmlde nat doon outrage ne exces . ffor to vengyn 
hym / [2718] For Cassiodere seyth / that as euele doth 
he that vengith hym by outrage f as he that doth the 

CAMBBIDQE 46S (6-T. 834) piMfSIt] 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 10. MELiBEus. Cambridge MS. 

outrage / [2719] And therefore je schul yenge jowf aftyr 
the ordere of ryjt / that is to seyne by the lawe / & nat 
by excesse / ne by outrage [2720] And also jif je wele 
venge 30W / of the outrage of ^oure aduersar^js in othere 
maneere than ry3t comautzdyth / ^e synnyn [2721] & 
theifore seyth Senek / that a man schal neuere venge 
schrewedenesse by schrewedenesse / [2722] & jif je seyn 

that ryjt axeth a man to defende violence / [ ] 

& fyjtynge. By fytynge [2723] certis je seyn soth / 
whan the defence is doon a-noon with-outyn internal or 
vith-outyn taryinge or delay [2724] for to defende hymf 
& not for to venge hyw / [2725] And it behouth 
that a man putte swich attemp6rau}?ce in his defence / 
[2726] that men haue no cause / ne matere to repr^uyn 
liym f that defendyth hym from excesse & outrage / for eUts 
vreere it a-geyn resoun / [2727] IT Parde je knowyn weel 
that jQ makyn no defence / as now for to defende jow i 
but for to venge 30W / [2728] And so sewith it that je 
ban no wil/ to doon joure deede atemperelly / [2729] And 
therforo me thynkyth / that Pacience is good ifor Salomon 
seyth / that he that is not pacientf schal haue greet 
harm [2730] 

CErtis quod Melibee I graunte 30W that whan a man 
is inpacient & wroth of that that touchith hym / 
not / & that apertenyth 'nat vn-to hymf thow it 
hai-me hym it is no wondyr / [2731] for the lawe seyth 
that he is coupable that entyrmetith or medelyth with 
swich thyng / as apertenyth nat vn-to hym [2732] IT And 
Salomon seith that he that entirmetyth hym of the 
noyse of stryf / of a-nothir man / is lyk to hym that takith 
an hound bi the eens / [2733] For ry^t as he that takith 
a strong hound bi the erisf is othirwhile betyn with 
the hound / [2734] Ry^t in the same wise is it resoun that 
he haue harm that by his enpacience medelyth hymself bi 
the noyse of a-nothir man where as it aperteynyth not vn-to 
hym/ [2735] But ^e knowyn weel that this deede that 

' CAMBRIDGE 468 (6-T. 286) pi«Bf84S,teek] 

Digitized by 


236 81X.TEXT 

•GROUP B. § 10. MELiBEcs. Cambridge MS. 

is to seyne / myn greef & myn deeeese toucbith me ryjt 
now / [2736] And therfore thow I b6 wroth & in- 
pacientf it is no meruayle // [2737] And sauynge jouie 
grace / I can not seen that it myjte greatly kanne me 
thow I tok vengeaufice [2738] flfor I am richere & 
moore myjty thaw myne enemy is been // [2739] And weel 
knowe ^e that by monee & by hauynge / greete posses- 
siouns been alle thyngis of this world / gouemyd [2740] 
If And Salomon seith That alle these thyngis obeye to 
monye , [2741] 

WHanne Prudence hadde herd these wordis of hire 
hosisbonde how he auaa}2ted hym of hese richesse / 
and of hise mene/ dispreysynge the poweer/of hise 
aduersaryis / sche spak & seyde in this wyse / [2742] Certis 
deere sere / I grannte jow that je been riche / & myghty / 
[2 743] & that the richessis been goode to hem / that han weel 
I-getyn hem and that weel cuwne vse hem // [2 744] For rygh 
as the body of a man may not leue with-outyn the soule f no 
moore may it leue with-oute the temp^rel goodis / [2745] and 
by richessis may a man getyn hyw best frendis / [2746] And 
therefore seyth Pamphilles IT If Auerthes doughtir he sey th 
be ryche / Sche may chesen of a thousent men [ • . • 

[2747] . . 

no gap in the MSJ] / oon Wele not forsakyn hyre ne refnsyn 
hire / [2748] And this Pamphiles seith also / If thow be 
ryjt happy / that is to seyne / If ^ thow be ry^t ryche / thow 
schat fyndyn a greet nouwbere of felawys & frendis / [2749] 
And jif thyn fortune chonge Fare weel 
freendschepe & felaweschepe / [2750] for thow schat been 
a-loone / with-outyn ony cumpanye But if it be the 
cumpanye of poore folk [2751] IT And ^it seyth this 
Pamphilles moore ouyr That they that been / boonde & 
thialle / of linage schuln been made worthy & noble hi 
the richesses [2752] & ry3t so as by richessis theere 
comyn manye goodys f ryjt so by pouerte / comyn theere 
manye harmys / & euellis / [2753] For greet pouerte f co«- 

CAMBBIDGB 464 (6-T. 236) V lanf S4S] 

Digitized by 


237 81X-TKXT 

GROUP B. § 10. HELiBBUs. Caiubridge MS. 

stiejiiyth a man to doon manye euellis / [2754] And th[e]T- 
foie clepith Cassiodeie / pouerte the moodyr of ruine / 
[2755] that is to seyne the modyr of ouyrthrowynge or 
of fallynge donn / [2756] And theirefore seyth Peers alfonce 
On of the gretteste aduersiteis of this world is [2757] 
whan a fre man by kynde / or of Lurthe is cotistreyned / 
hi pouerte / to ete te aknesse / of hise enemy / [2758] & 
the same seyth Innocent in oon of hise bookis / he seith 
that sorweful & myshappi * is the condicionn of a poore 
beggere / [2759] for if he axe nat his meete / he dieth fore 
hungir / [2760] And ^if he axe / he dieth for IT schame / 
And algatis necescitee constreynyth hym to axe / [2761] 
And theifore seith Salomon / betere is it to deye than 
for to hane swich pouerte / [2762] And as the same Salo- 
mon seith Betere it is to deye of bittere deth f than for to 
leuyn in swich wyse / [2763] By these resonys that I 
haue seyd yn-to 90W / & by manye othere resonys / that I 
coude seye / [2764] I graunte 30W that richessis been 
goode to hem that hem getyn weel / And to hem that weel 
vsyn the rychessis / [2765] and therffore wele I schewe 
)ow how ^e schul haue 30W in [amassani lea 
(Le Mdnagier, i. 222)] rychessis & in what maneere 3e schul 
vse hem / 

[2766] Fyrst je schul geete hem wit^-outyn greet 
desyr / hi good leyseer / sokyngely but nat oxxer hastyfely / 
[2767] For a man that is to desyrynge / to geete rychessis / 
abandonyth hym fyrst to thefte & to alle othere euyllis / 
[2768] And therfore seyth Salomon he that hasty tli hym to 
busily to wexen ryche / he schal been noon innocent / [2769] 
he ^ seyth also that the rychesse that hastily comyth to 
a man 5 soone aTzlyghtely goth & passith from a man / 
[2770] But that richesse that comyth lityl & lyjtil / 
wexeth alwey & multyplyeth/ [2771] And sere 30 schul 
gete richessis by ^oure wit / & by joure trauayle / vn-to 
joure profyt [2772] & that with-outyn wrong or harm 
doinge to ony othir pf^rsone / [2773] For the law 

CAHBRinOB 456 (6-T. 237) C>l«BfS4S,bMk] 

Digitized by 


238 8IX-TEXT 

GROUP B. § 10. KELIBEU8. Cambridge MS. 

seyth / that there makyth no man hym ryche / jif he do 
harm to a-nothyr witht. [2774] this is to seyne / that 
naturo defendyth / & forhedyth by ryght / that no man 
make hym self ryche f vn-to the harm of a-nothyr / persone . 
[2775] And thullius seyth / that no sorwe ne no dredo / 
of deth ne nothing that may falle vn-to a man [2776] 
is 80 meche ageyns nature f as a man to encrese his 
wene profit / to the harm of arnothir man / [2 7 7 7] And thow 
the greete men / & the my^ty men / getyn richessis / moore 
lyjthely than thow / [2778] ^it schalt thu nat been ydyl ne 
slow to don thyn profit ffor thow schalt in alle wise / fleeil 
ydilnesse / [2779] ffor Salomon seyth / that idilnesse techith 
a man to doon manye euyllis / [2780] And the Same Salomon 
seyth that he that trauaylith / & bes^jth hym to tilyin 
his lond schal etyn breed / [2781] But he that is idyl & 
castyth hym to no besynesse / ne ocupacioun schal falle in-to 
pouerte / & deye for hungir / [2782] And he that is 
ydil & slow / can neuere fywdy;* conabele tyme for to 
doon his profyt [2783] Ifor there is a versefiour seyth / that 
the ydele man excuseth hym in wyntyr bi cause of 
greet cold / & in somyr by cause of the greete heete / 
[2784] For these causes / seyth catouw wakyth & enclynyth 
jow nat ouyrmeche for to slepe / flfor ouyrmeche slep 
causeth & norichith manye vicis [2785] And therfore 
seyth seynt lerome / doth some goode dedys / that the deuyl 
whiche is oure enemy / ne fynde )ow nat vn-ocupied / 
[2786] For the deuyl takyth nat lyjtely vn-to hise werk- 
ynge sweche as he fyndyth ocupied in goode werkis / 

[2787] Thanne thus in getywge richesses the 
muste fleen Idilnesse / [2788] & aftyrward je schul vse 
the rychesses / whiche je han gety« by joure wit And by 
30ure trauayle / [2789] in swich manere that men 
holdyn ^ jow nat to scars ne to sparynge / ne fool large / 
that is to seyne ouyr large a spendere / [2790] For ry3t ad 
men blamyn an auericious man / by cause of hise scarcite & 
chyncheryef [2791] ryjt so / in the same wise / is he to blame 

CAMBBIDGE 456 (6-T. 238) pioifSHl 

Digitized by 



GBouF B. § 10. MBLiBEus. Cambridge MS. 

that spendyth ouyr largely / [2792] And therefere seyth. 

Catoun Tse he seyth thynne richessis / that p"" hast getyn 

[2793] in swicli a maner / that men haue ne matter ne 

cause to calle the neythir wreche ne chiwchere / [2794] 

ffoT it is greet schame to a man to haue a poore herte 

& a ryche purs [2795] he seyth also the goodie that 

thow hast getyn / vse hem by meseur / that is to 8[e]yne 

spende mesniabely / [2796] for they that folyly wastyn 

& despendyn the goodis that they han / [2797] whan 

they han no moore propcre of here owene / they schapyn he??» 

to takyn the goodis of a-nothyr man [2798] IT I seye thanne 

je achul fleen aueryce [2799] vsynge joure richessis 

in swicb manere / that men seye nat that joure richessis 

been I-buiyed / [2800] But that 30 haue he7» in joure 

myjt & in joure weldynge // [2801] ffor a wys man 

reprenyih the auericious man / Ss seyth thus in two 

vers / [2802] Wherto & whi buiyeth a man hise 

goodis bi his greete aueryce / & knowyth weel that nedis 

mnste he deye / [2803] for deth is the ende of euery man 

as in this present lyf / [2804] And for what cause & what 

enchesoun / ioynyth he hym or knyttyth he hjm / so feste 

Tnto hise goodis / [2805] that alle hise wittys moun nat 

disseu^ren hym ne departyn hjm from hise goodis / 

[2806] & knowith weel or oughte to knowyn / that whan he 

is deed he schal no thyng here with hym / ou^t of ))is 

world / [2807] And therefore seyth seynt Augustyn / that 

the aoarycious man is lykkened vn-to belle/ [2808] that the 

more it swolwith / the moode desyr it hath to swolwo / & 

deuoure / [2809] And as weel as je wolde eschewe / to been 

called an auerycious man / or chynche / [2810] as weel 

scholde je keepe 30W & goueme 30W in swich a wyse / 

that men ne calle 30W nat fool laige / [281 1] Therfore seyth 

Tullius / the goodis he seyth of thyn hous schulde 

not been kept ^ne hid so cloos / But that they myjtyn 

l)een openyd bi pete & debonayeretee / [2812] that is to 

aeyne to jeuyn hem part / that han greet neede / [2813] 

34 CAMBBIDGB 467 (6-T. 239) Pl««f 844, tack] 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


GROUP S. § 10. MELiBEua. Cambridge H8. 

Ke tliynne goodie schulde not been so opyn / to been eueiy 
manys goodis [2814] IT Aftyrward in getynge of jooie 
richesse & in vsynge hem / 30 schul alwey haue thre 
thywgis in ^oure herie / [2815] that is to seyne oure lord 
god Concience / And good name // [2816] ffyrst ^e schid. 
haue god in ^oure heite / [2817] And for no Tychesse ^e 
schul doon no thyng that schulde displese oure 
lord good / that is ^oure creature & makeie / [2818] fifor aftyr 
the word of Salomon / It is bettere to haue a lytil good with 
the loue of god [28 1 9] than to haue meche good/<& tresor And 
leese the loue of hise lord god / [2820] And the prophete 
seyth / that t[h]e moore prophit & the betere it is to been a 
good man / & haue lytil good & tresoref [2821] than to 
been heldjm a schrewe & haue greete rychessis [2822] 
And 3it seye I ferthere moore / that 30 sohul alwey 
doon 30ure besynesse to gete 30W richessis [2823] so that 
je gete hem with good concience // [2824] And thapostelle 
seyth / that there ne is thyng in this world of whiche je 
schulde haue so greet loye / as whan oure cowcience beiyth 
vs witnesse / [2825] And the wise man seyth. The 
substaunce of a man is ful good / whan synne is not in 
mannys concience / [2826] Aftyrward in getywge of ^oure 
richessis / & in vsynge of hem [2827] 30W muste haue 
greet besynesse / And greet dilligence / that 3oure goode 
name be alwey kept & conseruyd / [2828] ffor Salo- 
mon seyth that betere it is / & moore it a-vaylith a ma» 
to haue a good name thofi for to haue manye rych[e]8si8 / 
[2839] And therfore he seyth in a-nothir place / Doo greet 
diligence seyth Salomon in kepynge of ihjft frend & of 
thyn goode name / [2830] for it schal longero a-bydyn / with 
the than ony tresore be it neuere ao precious / [2831] 
and certis he schulde nat been callid a gentil man that 
aftyr god & good concience / alle thynge left / ne. doth 
his diligence / & bisynesse to kepyn his goode name // 
[2832] And Cassiodere seyth / That it is ^signe of a gentil 
herte / whan a man louyth & desiryth to haue a good name / 

CAMBRIDGE 458 (6-T, 240) pioafS45] 

Digitized by 



QBoup B. § 10. MisLiBEus. Cambridge MS; 

[2833] And therfore seyth seynt austyn / that there 
been two thyngis that been necessarye & nedefal 
[2834] & that is good Concience & good loos / [2835] 
that is to seyne good concienoe to thyn owene parsone / 
In -word and good los / for thyn neyghebore owtward / 
[2836] And he that trostith hym so meohil in hise goode 
concience / [2837] that he displesith & settyth at 
noii)t / his goode name or los / & lekkilAi nat thow 
he kepith nat his goode name / nys but a crewel cherl / 

[2838] Sire now bane I schewid jow / how je schuldyn 

doon to getyn rychessis / & how ^e schuldyn vsyn hem / 

[2839] And I se weel that for the trust that je ban in 

jonre ricbessis / 30 wele meue werre / & batayle [2840] 

IT I conseyle jow that 30 begyrzne no werre in trust of 

30010 rychessis / for they ne suflyse not / werrys to mayn- 

tene / [2841] And therfore seyth a philysophere That 

man that desyryth & wele algatis ban werre / schal 

nenere ban suffisaunce / [2842] for the rychere that he is 

the gietteie dispencis wolde he makyn / ^if he wele haue wor- 

scbepe & victorie [2843] ^^^ Salomon seyth / that the 

grettere rychessis that a man hath f the mo dispendouris / he 

hath [2844] IT And deere sere / al be it so that for joure 

yjchessis / 30 mowe haue meche folk / [2845] 3^^ behouyth 

it nat / ne it is nat good to bryng3ni werre / where as )e 

mowe in othere manere haue pees / vn-to joure worscbepe 

& profyt I [2846] ffor the victorye of bataylis / that been 

in this world / lyth not in grete nou[fn]bre or multitude of 

peple / ne in the vertew of man / [2847] ^^^ ^^ ^J^^ ^. 

the wil & in the vertu of oure lord god / almighty / 

[2848] & therfore ludas / Machabeus / whiche was 

goddis knygh / [2849] whanne he schulde fyghto ajen byse 

ada^rsaryis that a grettere noumbre 8t a grettere mul- 

titade of puple of folk & was strongere / than was his puple of 

Macbabye / [2850] ;it be reconfortyth his litil cumpanye / & 

aeyde ryjt in this wise / [2851] Also lyghtely quod he 

snay oure lord god / almyghty ^eue victorye to a fewe folk f 

CAMBRIDGE 459 (6-T. 241) 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 10. MELIBEU8. Cambridge KS. 

as to manye folk / [28 5 2] ^ for the victorie of batayle/comyth 
not by the greete noumbre of peple [2853] but it comyth 
from oure lord god / of heiiene [2854] IT And deere sere for 
as meche as theeie is no man / certeyn if it be worthi that 

god jeue hym victorie / [ 

no gap in the MS.] or nog^t aftyr that 

Salomon seyth / [2855] theifore euery man / schulde greetly 
drede werris / to begynne / [2856] And by cause that in 
bataylis fallyn manye perilis / [2857] And happith othi> 
while / that as soone as the greete man slayn as the litjl 
man / [2858] And as it is I-wretyn in the secunde book of 
kjmgis / the deedis of bataylis been auenturouse And no 
thyng certeyn / [2859] for as ly^tely is on hurt with a 
spere as a-nothir / [2860] And for there is gret peril in 
werre / theifore schulde a man fle & eschewe werre in 
as meche as a man may goodly / [2861] fibr Salomon 
seyth / he that louyth peril / schal falle in peril / [2862] 

Aftyr that Dame Prudence hadde spokyn in this 
maneere / Melibee answerede^A seyde [2863] I se 
weel dame prudence / that be joure fayre wordys and 
by ^oure resonys / that 30 han schewede me i that the werre 
lykyth jow no thyng / [2864] but I haue not jit herd jonre 
conseyl / how I schal doon / in this neede [2865] 

CErtis quod sche / I conseyle jow that je 
acorde vriih joure aduersaryis / & that 30 han pees 
with hem / [2866] ffor seynt lame seyth / in hise 
epistellis That by concord & pees / the smale rychessLs waxen 
greete / [2867] & by debat & discord / the greete richessis 
fallyn doun [2868] & je knowyw weel that on of the 
gretteste / & most souereyn thyng that is in this world / 
is vnytee & pees / [2869] and therfore seyde oure lord 
Ihe^u Cnst to hise aposteH in this wyse / [2870] wol 
happi & blyssede been they / that louyn & purchasyn 
pees / for they been callede childeryn of god / [287 1] A QuoJ 
Melibee / Now so I that 30 louyw not myn honour / 
ne myn worchepe / [2872] 30 knowyn weel that mpne 

CAMBRIDGE 460 (S-T. 242) [»larfa4S.I»*J 

Digitized by 



OBouF B. § 10. MELiBEUs. Cambridge MS. 

aduersaiyis ban beganne this debaat* & brige / by here 
outrage [2873] & je seen weel tbat they ne requiryn ne 
prey en me nat of pees / ne they axsyn nat to been recowsylid / 
[2874] wele ^e thanne that I goo and meeke / me & 
obeye me to hem / & crye hem mercy / [2875] ^^^ sothe 
that weere nat myn worschepe/ [2876] flFor ry^t as men * seyn/ 
that pure greete homelynesse / engenderyth dispressynge so 
faryth it / by too gret hnmilte or meeknesse [2877] 

Thanne bygan Daame Pnidence / to makyn semT 
blaunt of irrethe & seyde [2878] Certis sire saue 
)onre grace / 1 loue jonie honour & joure profy t as I do 
myn owcne / & euere hane do / [2879] ne 3e ne noon 
othir seyen nenere the contrarye / [2880] And ^it If I 
badde seyd / that 30 schulde / han purchasyd / the pees & 
the reconsyliacyoun / I ne hadde nat meche mystake me / 
ne sayd a-mys // [2881] ffor the wise man seyth / The dis- 
scncioun begynnyth by arnothir man / & the reconsylyng 
bygynnyth by thi self / [2882] And the prophete seyth 
file schrewedenesse & do goodnesse / [2883] Seeke pees & 
folwe it in-asmeche as ^e may / [2884] 3it seye I nat / 
that 36 schul rathere / pursewe to 3oure aducrsarye / for pees / 
than they schul to 30W / [2885] ffor I knows weel that 30 
been so hard hertid / that 3e weele doon no thyng for me // 
[2886] And Salomon seyth / that he that hath ouyr hard an 
herte / that he at the laate schal myshappe or mystyde . 

W'hanne Melibee hadde herd dame Pradence makyn 
semblaunt / of wrathe / he seyde in this wise / 
[2888] Dame I preye30wthat3ebeennatdisplesid/ 
of ihyngis that I seye / [2889] ffor 3e knowe weel / that I am 
angery & wroth / & that is no wondyr / [2890] &; they that 
been wrothe i wetyn nat weel what they doon / ne what they 
seyn / [2891] Therfore the prophete seyth / that 
tronblede eyen han no cleer sy3t / [2892] but seyth 
& conseylyth me / as 30U lyky th / for I am redy to do / 
ryght as 30 wele desire / [2893] and 3if 3e r^preue me of myn 
folye / I am the moore holdyn for to loue 30W & to preyse 

CAHBRIDQB 461 (S-T. 248) pieafSiSJ 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


GROUP B. § 10. 1IELIBED8. Cambridge MS. 

)ow // [2894] ffor Salomo9» seyth / that he that lepieuyth 
hym that doth folye [2895] he schal fjnde grettere grace / 
tha^i he that diaseynyth hym with sweete woidys / [2896] 

Thanne seyde dame Prudence / 1 make no semblatmd / 
of wrathe ne of angir : hut for jonre greete profyth / 
[2897] ffor Salomon seyth he is more worth / that re- 
preuyth or chydyth / a fool for hise folyee / schewynge hym 
aemelaunt of wrethef [2898] than he that 8upport[it]h hyw/ 
& preysith hym in his mysdoinge. ^and laughit al hise 
folye / [2899] and this same salamon seyth aftyrward / 
that by the sorwefol yisage of a man that is to seyne by 
the soiye & heuy cuntenaunce / of a man [2900] the fool / 
correctyth & amendyth hywiself / [2901] 

Thanne seyde Melibee / 1 schal nat cnnne onswere ia 
so manye & fayr resonys as je puttyn on to me / & 
schewyn / [2902] seyth schortely vn-to me jonre wil 
& jonre conseyl / & I am al redy to pdrforme it & fulfille it / 

Whanne Dame Prudence discouerede al hire wit on to 
hym 4& seyde / [2904] I conseyle jow quod sche 
abouyn alle thy wges / that je makyn pees by-twexe 
god and jow/ [2905] & beth recowsyled vn-to hym/ & to hise 
grace / [2906] ffor as I haue seyd jow heere by-fom / God 
hath snfferid 30W to haue this tribulacioun & dissese for 
)oure synnys / [2907] and jif je do as I seyde 30W / god wele 
sende ^ore adu^rsarijs vn-to 30W / [2908] & make hem 
to falle at ^oure feet* / redy to doon ^oure wil & jouie com- 
aundement / [2909] for Salomon seyth / whanne the con- 
dicioun of a man / is plesaunt & lykynge to god / [2910] he 
chaungith the hertis of the mannys aduersargs & con- 
streynyth hetn to beseke hym of pees & of grace 
[2911] &I preye 30 w lat me spekyn with ^oure adu^rsarijs 
pryuyly / [2912] for they schal nat knowe that it 
be of joure wil / or jowre assent / [2913] and thanne whanne 
I knowe here wil Ss here ente/it I may conseyle jow 
the moore sewerly 

[2914] DAme quod Melibee doth joure wil & 

CAMBUlDOfi 469 (G-T. 2U) [UeafSM^back] 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 10. HELIBBU8. Cambridge MS. 

^oure lykynge / [2915] for I putte me holly in joure 
dispofiicioun and ordynaunce [2916] 

Tlianne dame Prudence whanne sche saw the greete 
"wil of hire hnshonde / delibc^-ed & took aiiys in 
hireself / [2917] thynkynge how sche my3te brynge this 
neede into a good conclusioun / & to a good ende 
[2918] And whan sche saw hire tyme sche sente for hise 
adueTisaryis / to come vn-to hire into a pnue place / 
[2919] & schewede wisely vn-to hem / the greete goodis 
that comyn of pees [2920] & the greete harmys / & 
perilis that comyn in werre / [2921] & seyde to hem in 
a goodely manere / how that ^ hem onghte to ban greet re- 
pentaunce / [2922] of the Iniiirie & the wrong that they 
hadde doon to hire lord / and vn-to hire & to 
byre doujtyr [2923] 

And whanne / they herdyn the goodelyche wordis off 
Dame Prudence/ [2 9 24] they weere so8uppreysed/& 
rauyschit & haddyn so greet loye of hire that wondyr 
was to seen / or telle // [2925] A kdy quod they je ban 
schewyd vnto vs /the blyssynge of swettnesse/ aftyr the sawe 
of dauyth the prophete / [2926] ffor the reconsilyng whiche 
we ne been nat worthi for to haue/in no maneere / [292 7] but 
we ou^tyn to requiryn it wttA vericontrycioun / & humUitee 
that [2928] 3e of jowre greete goodnesse /haue presentid vn- 
to vs / [2929] Now so we weel / that the science & the cvltp- 
nynge / of Salomon is ful trewe / [2930] ffor he seyth that 
eweete wordys / multiplyen & encresyn frendis / & 
makyn schrewys to been debonayre & meeke / 

[2931] Certis quod they / we putte oure deede & 
al oure matyere & cause al only in ^oure goode wil / 
[2932] and been redy to obeye to the comauTide- 
ment of myn lord / Melibee / [2933] And therefore deere 
& benygne lady / we preye 30W & beseke 30W as 
mekely as we cunne /And moun / [2934] that it like vnto 
^oure greete goodnesse / to fulfylle in deede 3owre good- 
ly che wordis // [2935] ffor we consideryn & knowelechy?* / 

CAMBRIDGE 463 (6-T. 246) i(lcifa47] 

Digitized by 


246 8IX-TEXT 

OBOUF B. § 10. MELiBEus. Cambridge MS. 

tliat we haue offendit & greuyd myn lord Melibee out of 
mesuie [2936] so fer forth that we been nat of poweer / to 
makyn hise amendis / [2937] And therfore we obligyn & 
byndyn vs & oure frendis for to doon his wil / & al his 
comaundementz / [2938] but p^rauenture he hath swich 
henynesse & swich wrathe to vsward / by cause of ouie 
oifence [2939] that he wele enioynyn vs swich a peyne 
as we mowe nat here ne susiene / [2940] And thetibre 
noble lady we besekyn to thyn womanly piete / [2941] 
to takyn swich auysement / in this neede / that we ne oure 
frendis been nat diseritid ne distroyed / thorw oure 
folye [2942] 

CErtis quod Prudence / it is an hard thyng [et per- 
Uleuse] [2943] that a man putte hym al ytreely 
in arbitracioun / and lugement & in the mygh & 
power of hyse enemyis / [2944] ffor Salomon seyth / Leeuyth 
me ^ & jeuyth credence to that that I schal seyn / I seye 
quod he the puple / folk / & gouemouris of holy cherche 
[2945] to thyn sone to thyri wif / to thyn fiend ne to 
thyn brothyr [2946] ne jeue thow neucre mygh ne 
maystrye / of thyn body whil thow leuyst [2947] IT Kow 
8ithy7i that he defendyth that a man schulde nat jeuyn to 
hise brothir ne to his frend the my3t of hise body / 
[2948] by a strongere resouw / he defendith & forbedyth a 
man / to jeuyn hjm self to his enemy / [2949] And nathe- 
les I conseyle 30W that ^e mystruste nat myn lord / 
[2950] for I wot weel & knowe verrayly / that he is 
debonayre / and meeke large curteys / [2951] & no- 
thyng desyrous / ne coueytous of good ne lychesse / [2952] 
for there ne is no thyng in this world / that he desiryth f 
saue only worschepe & honour / [2953] fferthere-moore 
I knowe & am lyjt sekyr that he schal nothyng 
doon in tlus neede with-outyn my7i conseyl/ [2954] And I 
schal so werkyn in this cause / that by the grace of oure 
lord god je schul been reconsyled vn-to vs 

[2955] Thanne seydyn they with oon wois / worachepe- 

CAHBRIDQE 464 (6-T. 246) [iloarM7,bftek] 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. ^ 10. MELiBEus. Cambridge MS. 

ful lady we putte vs & alle oure goodis // all fully in ^oure 

wil & disposiciouT? [2956] and been redy to come / what 

day it lyke vnto joure noblesse / to lymite vs / or assigne 

V8 / [295 7] for to makyn oure obligacioun / & boond as strong 

as it likith vn-to joure goodnesse / [2958] that we mowe 

fulfylle the wil of 30W // and of myn lord Melibee [2959] 

m m r hanne Dame Prudence / hadde herd the answeiys 

Wl of these men / sche bad hem gon a-gayn pWuyly / 

f T [296o]andscheretomedetohireloi'dMelibee/and 

tolde hynt how sche foond hise aduersarijs ful repentaunt / 

[296 1] knowelechynge ful lowely here synnys & trespase and 

how they were ledy / to suffere alle peyne / [2962] requirynge 

& preyinge hym / of merci & pete [2963] 

T hanne seyde Melibee / he is weel worth! to haue 
pardonn & forjeuenesse of hise synne / that excusith 
nat his synne / [2964] but ^knowelecheth & repentith 
hym axinge indulgence [2965] ffor Senek saith theere 
is the remissioun & for^euenesse of synne / wheere as the con- 
fescioun is / [2966] neighbore to innocence f is confessioun / 

[2967] [ • • • 

: no gap in the MS.] 

And theifore I assente / & conferme me to haue pees / 
[2968] but it is good that we doon not with-outyn the assent 
& wil of oure frendis [2969] 

T hanne was prudence / ryjt glad & loyeful and 
seyde / [2970] Certis sere quod sche / ^e han weel & 
goodly answeryd / [297 1] for rygh as by the conseyl / 
assent & helpe of 30ure frendis / je han been stirid 
to venge 30W / & make weire / [2972] ry3t so wit/i- 
outyn hire conseyl / schul ^e nat acordyn / jow / ne haue 
pees wit/i joure aduersarijs / [2973] flfor the la we seith 
There ne is no thyng so good be woye of kynde as a thyng 
to been onbounde / by hym that it was I-bou[n]de // 

[2974] And thanne Dame Prudence / with-outyn delay 
or taryinge / sente a-non hire message for hire kyn & for 
hire olde frendis / whiche that were trewe / & Avyse [2975] 

CAUBBIDGE 465 (6-T. 247) [MeafS4S] 

Digitized by 



oBoup B. § 10. MsuBBua. Cambridge US. 

& tolde hem bi oidere in the presence of Melibee / al 
this matieere as it is arbone expressid / & declared / [2976] 
And preyede hem that they wolde ^eue hire a-vis & con- 
aeyl / what best were to don in this neede // [2977] And 
whafine Melibees frendis haddyn takyn hire anys / & deliber- 
acioQJi of the foiseyde matieere [2978] & hadde exaniynede 
it bi greet aayaement & besynesse & greet diligence / [2979] 
they leve fol oonseyl / for to hane pees & reste / [2980] And 
that melibee schulde resseyne with good herte hise adaer- 
aaiyis / to foijenenesse & meicy 

[2981] % And whaane dame Pradence / hadde herd 
thassent of hire lord / Melibee A the conseyl of hise firendis / 
[2982] acord / with hire wil / ik hyre entencioun [2983] 
ache was wondirly glad / in hire herte / & seyde / [2984] 
there is an old prouerbe / quod sche / that seyth That the 
goodnesae that thow mayght don this day do it / [2985] & 
abyde not ne delaye it not til tomorwe / [2986] Ss 
theifoie I conseyle that 30 sende ^onre massagis / sweche 
as been discreete / & wyse . [2987] vn-to ^oure adaersaT3ri8 / 
tellynge ^hem on jonre behalne / [2988] that ^if they wele 
trete of pees / & of acord / [2989] that they schape hem 
wttA-ontyn delay or taiynge to comyn vn-to vs / [2990] 
whiche thing peHbmede was / in deede [2991] & 
whaiine these trespasooris & repentynge folk of here 
folyis / that is to seyne the aduersaiyis of Melibee / [2992] 
haddyn herd what these messageris seydyn yn-to hem / 
[2993] they weere light glad & ioyefol / & answeredyn 
fid mekely & benygnely [2994] ^eldynge gracis / & 
thankyngis to here lord Melibee & to alle his cumpaynyo / 
[2995] & schopyn hem with-outyn delay to gon with the 
massangeris / & obeye to the comaundement of here lord 
MeUbee '/ 

[2996] & iy3t a-noon they toke here woye to the 
oonrt / of Melibee / [2997] & tokyn with hem snmme 
of here trewe frefidis to make feith for hem / & for to 
been here borwys / [2998] And whanne they were come to 

CAMBBIDGB 466 (6-T. 248) [> leaf S4M»ckJ 

Digitized by 



GBoup S. § 10. MELiBEus. Cambridgo MS. 

the pieeence / of Melibed / ke seyde hew these woidys / 
[2999] It standith thus quod Meliboe / & soth it is 
that [3000] causeles & with-outyn skille / & leaoun je 
[3001] han doon greete Iniurijs & wrongis / to me & 
to myn wif Prudence And to myn doughtyr also / [3002] for 
je han entred in-to myn hous by violence / [3003] & han 
doon swich outrage that alle men knowyw wel / that 30 han 
deseruyd the deth / [3004] And therfore wele I knowe 
& wete of jow [3005] whethir 30 wele putte the 
ponyschy77ge and the chastisynge in-to vengeaunce / of 
this outrage in the wil of me / & of myn wjrff 
or je wele nat [3006] 

ifXlHanne the wyseste of hem thre / answerede for u-^Jntkk 


hew alle & seyde / [3007] Siie we knowe i* repeated 

_ ht the MSf beffitt' 

-*- wel that we been onworthy to come to the court i^v whanne 


of SO gret a lord & so worthy as ^e been [3008] ffor Thume.] 
we han so greetly mystakyn vs / & han oifendit & agilf 
in swich a wise ageyn ^oure hye lordschepe / [3009] that 
trewely we han deseruyd the deth / [3010] But jit fot 
the greete goodnesse & debonaierete / that al the world 
witnessith of ^oure persoone / [301 1] we submyttyn vs to 
the excellence & the benygnete of joure graciouse lordschepe 
[30 1 2] And been redy toobeye ^ to alle jourecomandementis/ 
[3013] besekynge jow that of joure Merciable pete / je 
wolde considere oure geeete repentaunce & lowe submissioun 
[3014] & graunte vs forjeuenesse of oure outrageous 
trespacis and offence [301 5] for weel we knowyn / that joure 
liberal grace / & mercy / strechyn hem ferthere / in-to good- 
nesse f than don onre outrageous giltis & trespacis in-to 
wekedenesse [3016] Albe-it that cursedely & dawp- 
nably we han gilt agen jouie highe lordschepe .^ [3017] 

THanne Melibee tok hem vp frow the ground ful 
benygnely / [3018] & resseyuede here oblygacyounys 
& here bondis / by here othis vpon here plegges / & 
borewis / [30 1 9] and assignede hem a certeyn day to retoM^ne 
vn-tohiseco«Ht [3020] fortoresceyue&acceptethesentence/ 

CAMBRIDGE 467 (6-T. 249) pieaf8«] 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 10. MELiBEUB. Cambrij^ MS. 

& lugcmont that Melibee wolde commannde to been doon on 
hem / by the cause afforseid. [3021] whyche thyiigis or- 
deynyd / eueiy man retoM?Tied to his hous // 

[3022] And wha7mo that dame Prudence saw hire 
tyme sche fcynode and axede hire lord Melibee [3023] ^ what 
vengeawzce he thoujte to takyn of hise adu^rsaries [3024] 

TO whiche Melibee answerede & seyde certis 
quod he I thynke & purpose me fully [3025] to dys- 
erite hem of al that they han / & for to putte 
hc7n in exil for euere . [3026] 

OErtis quod dame prudence this were a crewel 
sentence / & mechil a-geyn resow} / [3027] for je been 
riche I-now / & han non ned of othere menys / [3028] 
& je myjtyn lyjtely in this wyse / getyn jow a coueytoua 
name [3029] whiche is a vicious thyng & oughte to been 
eschewid of euery good man / [3030] ffor aftyr the sawe of 
the word of thapostele / Coueytyse is roote of alle harmys / 
[3031] & therfore it were betere / for jow to lese so mcche 
good / of jOMj-e owene f than for to takyn of hire good / in this 
manere [3032] ffor betere it is to lese good / with worchepe f 
thanne it ia to-wywne good with vilanye / & schame / [3033] 
And eu^ryman oughte to doon his diligence /<& his besynesse/ 
to getyn hym a good name / [3034] & 3it schal h^ nat 
only / besye hym in kepy??ge his good namef [3035] but 
he schal also enforsyn hym alwey to' doon sumthiwg by 
whiche he may renouelle / hise goode name [3036] ffor it is 
wretyn / that the olde goode loos / or goode name / of a man 
is soone goon & passid / whanne it nys nat newid ne re- 
nouellyd / [3037] And as touchy?ige that 30 seyn 30 
wele exile 3oure aducrsaryis / [3038] that thynkyth me 
mekyl ageyn reSoun And out of meseure / [3039] con- 
syderede the power that they han 3euyn 30W vp-on hem-self/ 
[3040] And it ia wretyw tliat he is worthy to leese hise 
pWuylege that mysuseth & the poweer / that 
is 3euyn hym / [3041] & I sette caas / 30 my3te enioyne 
hem / that peyne by r}^3t / & by lawe / [3042] whiche I 

CAMBRIDGE 468 (6-T. 2o0) [Uoaf 849. hark] 

Digitized by 



OBoup B. § 10. MBLiBEUs. Cambridge MS. 

trowe je ne may not do / [3043] I seye je myght nat 
putie it to execucioun parauenttue [3044] & thanne 
weere it likly to retume to the werre as it was by-fom 
[3045] & therfore jif je wele that men doon 30W obeys- 
aunce / je muste deeme moore curteysly [3046] this is to 
seye ^e muste ^eue moore esy 6entence3 & lugementis / 
[3047] ffor it is wrete / that he that most curteysli 
comanndyth / to hym f meen muste obeye / [3048] & there- 
fore I preye jow / that in this necescite / & this neede 
3e caste jow to ouercome ^oure herte // [3049] ffor senek \} tta/vA u 
seyth that he that [ones] ouyrcomyth^ ^ [his/herte ouercome]) p Hwi XB 1758, 
twies/ [3050] And Tullius/ seith. fer is/ no }>iwg/ so ^TniUni/. 
comendable in a gret* loide. [3051] as/ when he is/ debon- 
eire & meke. & appesi]> hym mekeli. [3052] And I praie 
you • Jat ye woft/ forbere now to do vengeauTice [3053] in 
suche a maner ]>at your good name maie be kept* & 
construed . [3054] & \ai men maie haue cause So 
maXeT/ to preise you in pite & mercy. [3055] & 
Jwt ye haue no cause to repent* you of* }>i«g/ fat ye done . 
[3056] ffor Senek* seit&. he ouercome]> in euyH/ y8«bm«. 
maner J>at repentif hym of* his/ victorie. [3057] Wher- 
fore I praie you lat/ mei'cj ben in yo«r 
herte [3058] to p* effecte & y entente ]>at god 
almyjti haue mercy vp-on you in his/ last* iugement* [3059] 
•IT ffor seynt/ lame seith in his/ episteH/. lugemenf ' with ^uoOmf, 
out' mercy schaH/ be do to. hym. J>at haf no mercy of" t*-*'«««'fi^»J 
ano]yer wight* . 

[3060] Wben Me^libe had herd J>* grete skiles/ [♦i«^/i8ii 
& resons/ of* dame Prudence & of/ her/ wise informacions/ 
& techinges/. [3061] his herte gan enclyne to ]>* wille ofi 
his/ wif". consideriwg/ to her trewe entent/. [3062] con- 
formed hym anon & assentid fulli to wirchen aftir/ hir/ 
counceile . [3063] & ]}ankid god of/ whom procedif aH/ 
goodnes/ pat hym sent* a wif/ of* so gret* 
diBcrecion . [3064] And when ]>* daie come pat his/ aduer- 
saries/ schulden appere in his presence . [3065] ho spak/ 
CAMBRrDGE 469 (6-T. 26l) [this page, Hail. 1768] 

Digitized by 


252 snr-TKXT 

GROUP B. § 10. XEUBBua. Cambrij^ MS. 

to hem f uH/ goodli & seide to hem in ]>is/ wise. [3066] IT AH/ 
he it/ 80 fat of yottr pnde So hie presumpcion & folia 
& of your necligence & ynkonnyng*. [3067] Te haue 
mys/ bom you & trespaced to me. [3068] Yet* for as/ 
meche as/ I se & beholde your gref humylite 
[3069] & }at ye ben sorie & repentauwt' of/ jour giltes/. 
[3070] it/ constreyne]) me to do yow grace & mercy 
[3071] wherfore I receyue you to my grace. [3072] & 
foryeuefi/ you intierli alle f* offences/ yniuries/ & "wrongis/* 
fat ye han done ayenst/ me & myn. [3073] to Jis/ 
effecte & to pia/ ende ]>at god of his/ endeles/ m^rcy* 
[3074] wiH/ af fe tyme of" diyng/. foryeuew/ our/ 
giltes/ ]>at we haue trespaced vn-to hym in fia/ wrecchid 
worlde. [3075] ffor doutles/ if/ we be sorie & lepentaunt/ 
of y synnes/ & giltes/' in y whiche we han trespaced in ]>* 
sight/ of« our/ lord god . [3076] he is/ so fire A so merci- 
fuH/. [3077] fat he wifl/ foryeuew/ vs/ our/ giltes/. [3078] 
& bryngen vs/ to f ilke blis/ fat neuar hath ende • 
To whiche bhs/ he vs/ brynge ' fat blood on crois/ for vs/ 
did sprynge . Qui cum deo patie. & cetera.// 

Here/ endith Chaucers/ tale/ ofi Xelibe/ And Prndenoe/] ^ 

C" Earl. XS 17W «r<rao« eiMb] 

CAMBHID6E 470 (6-T. 262) [this page, Harl. 1758] 


Digitized by ^ 


oBoup B. § 11. MELiBE-HOKK LINK. Cambridge MS. 

[Here be-gynnetli J>e Proloog6 of J>e Konke. 'wSSr^ilw] 

m m f nan endid was f is tale of Melybe 

W And of / Prudence and of hip/ benygnyte 3080 
f T Oure lioste sayd as I am a * feyifi-foH man 
And by ^e preciouse corpus madiyan 
I hade leuere J^'an a Barelle of ale 

^at godeleve my wyf hade hanl ^is tale 3084 

ffor she nys no J>enge of suche pacience • 
As was ]>is Melibeus wyfes prudence 
Be godes bones whan I bete my knaues • 
8che brynget^ me ]}6 gfete clubbed staves • 3088 

And cryethe slee fe dogges eueieycheon 
And breke bothe backe and bone 
And 3if ]>at ony negheboui' of myne 
WoUe not in chiiche to my wyf enclyne 3092 

Or be so hardy to her/ to trespace 
When she cometh home she rennets in my face 
And ciyeth false coweox} wreke J>i wyfe 
By corpus bonus I wylle haue fi knyfe 3096 

And ]>ou shalte haue my distafe and go spynne 
ffro day to nyjt rijt fus she woUe begynne 
Alas she seithe ]>at euere I was shape 
To wedde a melke soppe or so grete an ape 3100 

fat wolle bene ouere lade yrith euery wyjt 
Jou dorste not stonde by fi wyf a lyjt 
Thys ys my lyfe but ^if I wolde fyjt 
And oute at ]>e dore arnone I mote me dyjt 3104 

Or elles I am lost but jif ]>at I 
Be lyke a wylde lyonn foule hardy 
I wote wele she wylle do me slee som day LiMfsot] 3107 
Bome neyjeboMre and J>an go my way] [BImui* extract ends] 
For I am perilous with knyf in honde ^S^lSj^i?^ 
Al be it that I dar nat hire with-stonde 

CAHBKiDGE 471 (s-T. 269) [this page, SloBue MS] 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 11. M ELiBE-xoKK LINE. Cambridge MS. 

For sclie is big in annys by myn feyth 

That schal he fynde that hire mys doth or seyth 3112 

But lat V8 passe a-way from this matieie 

Myn lord the Monk be merye of cheere 

For 36 schul telle a tale trewely 

Lo Touchestie stant heere faste by 3116 

Kyde forth myn owene lord / brek nat onre game 

^But by myn troathe I knowe nat joiue name 

Wher schal I calle 30W myn lord daund loBn 

Or daun Thomas or ellis daon AlboSl 3120 

Of what hous be je by jowre fadyr kyn 

I voue to god thow hast a fdl fayr skyn 

It is a gentyl pasture theere thow gost 

Thow art nat lyk a penaunt or a gost 3121 

Vp-on myn feyth thow art sum offyseer 

Sum worthi Sexteyn or sum Celereer 

ffor by myn fadyr soule as to myn doom 

Thow art a maystyr whan thow art at horn 3128 

No poore Cloysterer ne non nouys 

But a gouernowr worthy & wis 

And therwithal of braun & of bonys 

A weel farynge persone for the nonys 3132 

I preye to god ^eue hem confusioun 

That ferst the broujte vn-to relygeotm 

Thow woldyst a been a tredefowel aryjt 

Haddyst thow as greet a leue as thow hast myglxt 3136 

To perfome al this lust in engendemge 

Thow haddyst begetyn manye a creature 

Alias why werys thow so syd a cope 

God jeue me sorwe but & I were a pope 3140 

Nat only thow but euery myghty man 

Thow he were schore hye vp on his pan 

Schulde ban a wif for al the world is lorn 

Keligeous hath takyn vp al the corfi 3144 

Of tythyng / & we borel meen been schiympis Dmt ssi,tMk] 

Of fable treis theere comyn febele ympis 

CAMBBIDGE 47^ (6-T. 254) 

Digitized by 


255 8IZ-TBXT 

yOboup B. § 1L kblub-monk link. Cambridge M8. 

This makytli that oure eyris been so sklendere 

And feble that they may not weel engendere 3148 

This makyth that onre wiuys wele assaye 

Belygeous folk for 30 mowe the betere paye 

Of Yenus payementis than mowe we 

God wot no lusschebruys paye je 3152 

Bat be nat wroth myn lord thow that I pleye 

Fnl ofte in game a sothe I haue herd seye 

THis worthy Monk tok al in pacience 
And seyde I wele don al myn diligence 3156 

As fer as soonyth in-to honeste 
To telle 30W a tale or two or three 
And jif thow leste to herkyn hedyrward 
I wele 30W seyn the lyf of seynt Edeward 3160 

Or elUs fyist tragedeis wele I telle 
Of whiche I haue an hnndered in myn celle 
Tragedie is to seyne a certeyn storye 
As olde bokys makyn vs memorie 3164 

Of hym that stod in greet pr^Tsperitee 
& is I-faUyn out of hygh degre 
In-to myserye & endyth wrechedely 
And they been yercifiod comoonly 3168 

Of sexe feet whiche men callyn ezametronn 
In prose ek endytid been many on 
And ek in metre in manye a sundery wyse 
Lo this declaiynge oughte I-nough suffyse 3172 

Now herkyth jif jow lyke for to heere 
But fyist I 30W be-seke in this matiere 
Thow I be ordere telle nat these thyngis 
Be it of popis emperourys or kyngis 3176 

Aftyr here agis as men rede & fynde 
Bat teUe hem some by-fore & some be-hynde 
As it comjrth to myn remembraunce 
Haae me excusede of myn ygnoraunce 3180 

S5 CAMBRIDGE 473 (6-T. 266) 

Digitized by 



OBoup B. § 12. vonk's tale. Cambridga XB. 

iPohUiMff cftkt Monk on terwdodt.] [laif »<] 

Here begynnyfh tlie Honk his tale 

II Wole be-wayle in manere of Tragedie LSSi*1SL' £ 
The hann of hem that stood in hey degre '*~ ""^ '" ^^ 
And fellyn so that theere nas no i-emedio 
To biynge heTn out of here aduercitee 3184 

For certeyn whan that fortune leste to fle 
Theeie may no man the cours of hire withholde 
Lat not man truste on blynd prospmtee 
By-war by these exsaumplys trewe & olde 3188 

At lucyfer thow he an aungel weere Ludfer 

And not a man at hym I wele begynne 
For thow fortune may noon aungel deere 
Prom high degre jit fel he for his synne 3192 

Doun in-to helle where as he jit is inne 
O lucifer bryjteste / of auwgellt« alle 
Kow art thow satenas that mayst not twynne 
Out of myserie / in which that thow art falle 3196 

Loo Adam in the feeld of damassene Adam 

With goddys owene fyngyr mad was hee 
And not begetyn of manys sperme onclene 
And welte al paradys sauywge on tree 3200 

Hadde neuere wordely man so heigli degree 
As adam tyl he for mysgouemau/ice 
Was dreue out of his hye prosperite 
To labour & to helle & to myschauwce 3204 

CAMBRIDGE 474 (6-T. 266) 

Digitized by 



0BOUF B. § 12. mokk's talb. Cambridge X& 

Loo Sampson that was annunciat ciQ«fS5s,backi Samson 
Bj aungel longe er his natynite 
And was to god almyghty cojisecrat 
And stood in noblesse whil he mjjte see 3208 

"Was neaere swich arnothir as was hee 
To speke of strenthe & therwy th haidynesse 
But to hise wiuys tolde he his secree . 
Thorw whiche he slow hym self for wrechedenesse ^212 

Sampson this noble almyghty champiouTZ 

With-outyn wepene saue hise handis tweye 

He slow & al to-iente the lyoun 

Toward his weddyng walkywge by the weye 3216 

His false wif conde hym so pleese & preye 

Til sche his conseyl knew & sche vntrewe 

Vn-to hise fois his conseyl gan be-wreye 

And hym forsok & tok a-nothir newe 3220 

Thre honderede foxis tok Sampson for yre 

And alle here taylys he to-gedere bond 

And sette the foxis taylys alle on feere 

Fop he on euery tayl hadde knyt a brond 3224 

And they brende alle the com in that lond 

On alle hire Oliueis' & vinys ek p i« earreeteO] 

A thousent men ek slow he with his bond 

And hadde no» wepene but an assis cheeke 3228 

Whan they were slayn so trusted e hym that he 

Was wol nygh lorn for which he gan to preye 

That god wolde on his peyne ban sum pete 

And sende hym drynk / or ellis muste he deye 3232 

And of this Assis cheke that was dreye 

Owt of a wange tooth / sprong a-noon a welle 

Of whiche he drank I-nough schortely to seye 

Thus helpede hy?n god as ludicu??? can telle 3236 

CAMBBTDGE 475 (6-T. 267) 

Digitized by 


258 8IZ-TKXT 

OBoup B. § IS. KoirK*8 TALE. Cambridge XS. 

By Tenay force at a Ga^an on a nyght 

Maugsre philistienys of that Citee 

The jatiB of the toun he hath vp plyjt [iMf m 

And on hiii bak I-karyede hem hath hee 3240 

Hye on an hil wheeie as men my^te hym ae 

O noble almyghty Sampson leae & deere 

Haddist thow nat told to women thyn secre 

In al this world ne hadde be thyn peeie 3344 

This Sampson neythir Sythir diank ne wyn 

Kor on his heed cam lasor non ne scheeie 

By precept of the massangeer deuyn / 

For alle hise strenthis in hise heris weere 324S 

And folly twenty wyntyr }eer be jeere 

fie hadde of Xsrael the gouemaunce 

But soone schal he wepe ful manye a teere 

For women schal hym biynge to myschaoAce 3252 

Yn-to his leman Dalida he tolde 

That in hise heiis al hise strenthe lay 

And falsely to hise fomen sche hym solde 

And slepynge vp in hire barm rp^n a day 3256 

Sche maade to clippe or schere his heer a-way 

And made his fomen his ciaft espyen 

And whan that they hym fond in this aray 

They boondyn hym faste & puttyn out hise eyen 3260 

But er his heed / was clyppid or I-schane 

Theere was no bond' / with wbiche men' mygh hym bywde 

But now IS he / in pnsoun in a Caue 

"VVheere as they made / hym at the quenie to grynde 3264 

O noble Sampson / strongeste of man kyude 

O whilom luge / in gloiye & in Tychesse 

Now mayst thow wepyn / with thynne eyen Uynde 

Sythe thow from wele / art fellyn in wrechedenessc 3268 

CAMBRIDGE 47e (6-T. 85R) 

Digitized by 



QBOUF B. § 12. honk's tale. Cftmbrij^ MS. 

The ende of this cajtyf was as I schal seye 

Rise fomen made / a feste yp-on a day 

And made hym as a fool / by-foie hem pleye 

And this was in a temple / of greet aray 3272 

But at the laste he maade a foul afiEray cimTsbs, iwek] 

For he two pilleris schok / & made hew felle 

And doun fil temple <& al there it lay 

And slow hym self <& ek hise fo-men alle 3276 

This is to seyne the pryncis euerychon 

And ek thie hundeiede bodyis weere theere slayn 

With fallyTige of the greete temple of stoon 

Of Sampsoun wele I no mooie seyn 3280 

Beth war hi this * exsaummple olde & pleyn^ p-» iat0r\ 

That no man telle heie conseyl to here wyuys 

Of swich thyng as they wele haue secie fayn 

If that it touche / hire / lymys or hire lyuys 3284 

Of Hercules the souereyn conquerour IT Hercules 

Syngyn his laude his werkis & his renoun 
For in his tyme of* strenthe he was the flour ^ of mrrtetM] 

He fiiow & rafbe the skyn from the lyoun 3288 

He of Centauroe leyde the beste a-doun 

He aipijs slow the crewel briddys felle 

He goldene appillis / rafke Of the dragoun 

He drow out Cerben^ out of helle 3202 

He slow the crewel tyraunt Busirus , 

And made his hors to frete hym flesch & boon 

He slow the fery serpent venymous 

Of Achilcw homys » too / he brak on^ [*-• c^frteMfi 3296 

And he slow Cakus in a Caue of stoon . 

ITe slow the geaunt Antheus the stronge 

He slow the gresely boor & that a-noon 

And bar the heed vp-on his spere longe 3300 

CAMBRIDQE 477 (6-T. 259) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


GROUP B. § 12. MONK*s TALB. CambriJ^ US. 

Was neu67*e wight swicli eithe that this world be-gan 

That slow so manye monstris as dede he 

Thourw out this wide world his name ran 

What for his strenthe & for his hye bouwte 3304 

And euery reume wewte he for to se 

He was so strong that no man myghte hym lette 

At hoothe the wordys endis seyth trophee Deaf sm] 

In-stede of boi^ndis / he a piller sette 3308 

A lemman hadde this noble Champioun 

That highte dianira / frosch as may 

And as these clerkis maky^i mencyoun 

Sche hath hym sent a scherte firosch & gay 3312 

Alias this scherte alias & weyleaway 

Enuenymyd was so subtyl with alle 

That er that he hadde wered it half a day 

It made his flesch al from hise bonys faUe 3316 

But natheles suTTzme clerkis hire excusyn 

By on that hyghte Kessius that it makid 

Be as be may I wele hire not excusyn 

But on his bak this scherte he werede al nakid 3320 

Til that the scherte was for the venym blakid 

And whan he saw noon othir remedye 

In hoote colys he hath hym self I-rakyd 

For vith no venym deynede hym to deye 3324 

Thus starf this myghti Hercules 

Lo ho may truste on fortune ony throwe 

ffor hy7n that folwith al this world of prees 

Er he be war is ofte I-leyd ful lowe 3328 

fful wis Is he that can hym seluyw knowe 

Beeth war for whaTjne that fortune leste to glose 

Tha7me waytith^ sche hire man to ouerthrowe p uh eomettdi 

By swich a weye as he wolde lest suppoose 3332^ 

CAMBRIDGE 478 (6-T. 260) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

261 8IZ-TBXT 

QBOUP B. § 12. monk's talbl Cambridge MS. 

IT The myjty trone the precious tiesor IT Kab^odonosor 
The gloriouse Ceptre & royal mageste 
That hadde the kyng Kabegodonosor 
With tunge onethe may discryuede be 3336 

He tw^s wan lerusalem Cete 
The vessel of the temple he Tvith hym ladde 
At babiloine was his souereyn see 
In whiche his glorye & his delyt he ladde 3340 

The fayreste childeryn of the blod royal 
Of Israel he leet do gilde a-noon 
And makede eche of hem to been his thral 
A-mongis othere Danyel was oon 
That was the wiseste child of enerichon 
For he the dremys of the child expoungnede 
Where-as in chaldeye clerk was theere noon 
That wiste to what fyn hise dremys sounede 




The pronde kyng leet make a statute of gold 
Syxti Cubitis longe & seuene in breede 
To whiche ymage he bothe jonge & olde 
Comaundod to loute A haue in dreede 
Or in a fumeys ful of flaumbis reede 
He schal been brend that wolde not obeye 
But neuere wolde assente to that deede 
Danyel ne bise jonge felawys tweye 

This kyng of kyngis proud was & elayt 
He yreiide that god that sit in Mageste 
Ne myghte hym not byreue of his estat 
And sodeynly he loste his dygnetee 
And lik a beste hym semede for to bee 
And eet hey as an oxe & lay there oute 
In reyn with wilde bestis walkede he 
Tyl certeyn tyme was I-comyn Srboute 

CAMBRIDGE 479 (6-T. 2«l) 





Digitized by 


262 8IX-TBZT 

GROUP B. §18. monk's TALK. Cambxidg8 US* 

And Ijk an ^llis federis wexsyn bis eiys 

Hise naylis lyk a briddis clawis weere 

Til god lelesede hjm a certeyn ^ery^ 

And jaf bym wit A tbanne witb manye a teera 3368 

lELe tbankede god & eaere bis lyf in feere 

Was be to doon a-mys or moore trespace 

And tyl tbat tyme / be leyd was on bis beeie 

He knew tbat god was ful of niy3t & graace 3372 


His sone wbicb tbat by^te Baltbasar 
Tbat beld tbe legne aftyr bire fadyris day 
He by bis £suler coude not be war 
JTor proad be was of berte & of aray 
And ek an ydolastre was be ay 
Hise bye estat assurede bym in pryde 
But fortune caste bym doun & tbere be ky 
And sodeynly bis regne be gan deuyde 

A feste be made vnto bise loidis alle 
Vpon a day & bad bem blytbe bee 
And tbanne bise offiseiis gan be calle 
Gotb bryngitb fortb tbe vessett quod be 
Wbicb tbat myn fadyr in bis prosperite 
Out of tbe temple of ^lerusalem* berafbe 
And to oure bye goddis tbanke we 
Of bonour tbat oure olderis witb ys lafte 






His wif bise lordis & bise concubynys 
Ay dronkyn wbil bere apetitis laste 
Out of tbese noble, vessellis sundery wyny^ 
And on a wal tbis kyng bis eyen caste 
And saw an band armies tbat wrot ful faste 
flfor ^ feere* of wbicbe be quok & eykede soore 
Tbis band tbat baltbasar so spore a-gaste 
-Wroot Mane ^tecbel* pbares & na moore 

CAMBRIPOE 480 (6-T. 263) 



Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 12. monk's tale. Camlbrij^ MS. 

In al that land magicien was non 

That coude expoungne what these letterys mente 

But danyel expoungnede it arnoon 

And seyde kyng god to thyn fadyr sente 3400 

Glorie & honour / r^rne tresor rente 

And he was pioud / & no thyng god ne dradde 

And therfore god greet ^ wreche^ on hym sente P-J wr^eudi 

And hym berafte / the regne that he hadde 3404 

He was out cast of nianny cumpaynye 

With assis was his habytaciou7» 

And eet hay as a beste / in weet & drye 

Tyl that he knew by grace & by resoun 3408 

That god of heuene hath domynacioun \\mtK^ uu^] 

Of enery regne / & euery creature 

And thanne hadde god of hym compasciou7» 

And hym restorede his regne & his figure 3412 

Ek thow that art his sone art proud also 

And knowist alle these sygnys verrayly 

And art rebel to god & art his foo 

Thow drank ek of hise wellys boldely 3416 

Thyn wyf ek & thynne wenchis synfully 

Dronke of the same vessel sundery wynys 

And heiyist false goddis cursedely 

Therfore to the I-«chapyn ful greet pyne is 3420 

This hand was sent from god that on the wal 

Wroot mane techel phaies trust to me 

Thyn regne is doon thow weyest noght at al 

I>euidit is thyn rggne / A it schal bee 3424 

To Medes & to parses )euyn quod he 

And tilke same ny^t this kyng was slawe 

And Daryus ocupied his degree 

Thow he thereto hadde neythir ryjt ne lawe 3428 

CAMBRIPGE 481 (S-T. 283) 

Digitized by 






QBoup B. § 18. monk's talb. Gunbxilge KEL 

Lordyngis enBaumpIe hereby laay je take . 

How that in lordschepe is no sekyrmeeae. 

For -vrhan fortune wele a man forsake . 

Sche beryth a-wey his regne & hys zjchesae . 3432 

And ek hiae firendis bothe moore & lasae . 

For what that hath frendis thourr fortune . 

Mishap wele make hem enemyis I gesse. 

This prouerbe is ful soth & M comune . 3436 


IT Cenobia of palimerye queene IT Cenobia 

As wrytyn percyens of hire noblesse 

So worthi was in axmys A so keene 

That no whit passede hire in hardynesse 

Ke in lynage nor othir gentillesse 

Of kyngis blod of perse is sche dessendid 

I seye that sche hadde not mooste fayrenesse 

Bat of hire schap sche myjte nat been a-mendid 

From hire childhod / I fynde that sche fledde 

Offise of wemen A to wode sche wente 

And manye a wylde hertis blood sche schedde 

With arwis broode that sche to hym sente 3448 

Sche was so swift that sche anoon hem hente 

And whan that sche was eldere sche wolde kylle 

Leonys lebardis & beris al to-rente 

And in hire armys wilde hem at hire wille 3453 

Sche durste wilde beestis denys seeke 

And rennyn in the mounteigny[s] al be ny^t 

And slepyn yndyr the busch / <& sche coude fk 

Wrastellyn by verray forse & verray myght 3456 

With any ^ong man were he neuere so wight 

There myghte no thyng in hire armys stonde 

Sche kepte hire maydynheed from enery wyght 

To no man degnede hire for to been bonde 3460 

CAMBRIDGB 48S (S-T. 264) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

265 siz-TSXT 

OBODP B. § 12. monk's talc Cambridge MS. 

But at the laste hire frendys haddyn hire maryed 

To onedake a prynce of that cuntree 

Al weeie it so that sche hem longe taiyed 

And 30 schal yndyistonde how that he ^ c* he comeud] 3464 

Hadde swiche fantasyis as hadde sche 

But nathelees wha/i they weeie knyt in feere 

They leuede in loye & in felycite 

For eche of hem hadde othir leef & deere 3468 

Saue on thyng that sche wolde neu^re assente 

By no wey . that he schulde by hire lye 

But ones : for it was hire pleyn entente 

To htLQB a child the world to multyplye 3472 

And also sone as sche myghe espye 

That sche was nat with childe with that deede 

Thanne wolde sche suffere hym don his £uitasye 

Eft sonys & not but on3rs out of dreede 3476 

And If sche were with childe « at tylke cast g-'SS; SSJ2 

Namore* schulde he pleyen tylke game corr^etto] 

Tyl fynally fourty dayis weere past 

Thanne wolde eche onys suffere hym the same 3480 

Al weere this Onedake wilde or tame 

He gat na mooro of hire for thus sche sayde 

It was to wyuys lecherye & schame 

In othir cas jif men with hem playede 3484 

Two sonys bi this Onedake hadde sche 

The whiche sche kepte / in vertu & lettyrure 

But now vn-to oure tale tume we 

I seye so worschepeful a cWature 3488 

And wis therewith & large with mesure 

So peynyble in the werre & curteys ek 

Ne moore labowr myghte in werre endure 

Was noon thow al this world men schulde seeks 3492 

CAMBBIBOK 4S3 (6-T. 265) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


GAoup B. § 12. honk's tale. Cambridge XSL 

Hyre ijche aiay myghte not be told 

As wel in vessel as in hyre clothynge 

Sche was al clad in peire & in golde 

And ek sche lafte not for noon huntynge 3496 

To haue of sondeiy tungis ful knowynge 

Whan that sche leyseer hadde / & for to entende 

To leme bokys was hire lykynge 

Kow sche myghte in wertu hire lyf dyspende 3500 

And schortely of this story for to trete 

So doughty was hire husbonde & ek sche 

That they conquerede manye regnys greete 

In the oryent with manye a fayr cete 350i 

Ap^rtenaunt vn-to the mageste 

Of rome & with strong hand held hem £aste 

Ke neuere myghte hire fomen don hem fle 

Ay whil 'that Onadakys dayis laste^ {}^ lattr eorrtcthn] 3508 

Hyre bataylia who so lyste hem for to reede 

A-gayn soper the kyng & othere moo 

And how that al this proces fyl in deede [i««f sst] 

Why sche conquerede & what tytle therto 3512 

And aftyr of hire myschif & hire wo 

Hov 2 that sche was be-scgit & I-take P hot ecmottii 

Let hym vn-to myn maystir Petraik go 

That writ I-nough of this I vndyrtake 3516 

Whan Onedake was deed sche myghtyly 

The regnys held & with hire propre bond 

A-gayns hire fois sche faught so crewelly 

That theere nas kyng nor prynce in al that lond 3520 

That he nas glad jif he that grace fond 

That sche ne wolde vp-on his lond werreye 

With hire they made aUyauwce by bond 

To been in pees & leete hire ryde & pleye 3524 

CAHBRIDOE 484 (6-T. 266} 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

267 BlZ-TEXT 

JOBOVF B. § 18. monk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

The Empercmr of rome Claadius 

Ne hjm be-fom the ^Eomen Galyeeu 

Ke durste neuere been so corageous 

Ke noon Eimyn ne non Egipcien 

Ne Soireyn ne non Arabieen 

With-inne the feeldys that duiste with hire fyjt 

Lest that sche wolde hem wit hire handis sleen 

Or with hire meyne puttyn hem to flyght 

P Bmitm^ 



In kyngis habite wente hire sonys two 

As heyris of hire fadeiys regnes alle 

And hermanno / & thimalao 

Hire namys were as .p^rsiens . hem calle^ VAnt odde] 3536 

But ay fortune hath in hire hony galle 

This myghty queen may no while endure 

Fortune out of hire regno / made hire falle 

To wrechedenesse & to mysauenture 3540 

Aurelyan whan that the gouemauTtce 
Of Eome cam In-to hire handis tweye 
He schop ypon his queen to doon vengeaunce 
And with hise legiounnys he tok his weye 
Toward Senobie & schortely for to seye 
He made hire fie / & at the laste hire hente 
And feterede hire & ek hire ehyMere tweye 
And wan the lond Ss hom to rome he wente 





A-mongis othere thyngis that he wan 

Hire chaar that was with gold wrought & perre 

This greete roman this aurelian 

Hath with hym lad for that men schulde it se 3552 

By-fom his triumphe walkyth sche 

With gilte cheynys ^vp-on here nekke hangynge^ 

Corounede was sche as* aftyr hyre degree [}—\*'«t*reorr§etiMi9} 

And ful of perre chaigit hire clothynge 3556 

CAMBRIDGE 486 (6-T. 267) 

Digitized by 


268y 271 8IX-TEXT 

QBOUP B. § IS. monk's tale. Gft]n))ridg8 K8. 

Alias fortune sche that whilom was 

Dredeful to kyngis & to emperoniys 

Now gauryth al the peple on hire alias 

And sche that helmede was in starke stonrys 3560 

And wan hj foice tounnys stioisge & tonrvs 

Schal on hiie heed now were a vitremyte 

And sche that bar the Ceptre fdl of flour 

Schal here a distaf hire cost forto qnyte 3564 



Al-thow that Nero were vicious Kero 

As ony feend that lyth ful lowe a-doun 3654 

5it as tellyth ys Switonyus 

This wide world hadde in suhieccioun 3656 

Bothe est & west / Korth & Septemptrioun 

Of Eubees Safferys / & of pcrlys whyte 

Weere aUe hise clothis broudede vp & doun 

For he in gemmye gretly gan delyte 3660 

More delicat / more pompous of aray 

Moore proud was neucre emperour than hee 

That ilke cloth that he hadde wered a day 

Aftyr that tyme he wolde it nenere se 3664 

Nettis of gold thred hadde he greet plewte 

To fyscbe in tibre whan hym lyste to pleye 

His lustis were alle lawe in his decree EU«f sm] 

For fortune as his frend / hym wolde obeye 3668 

He Rome brende for his delicasie 

The Senato«ris he slow vp-on a day 

To heere how that men schulde weepe & crye 

And slow his brothir & by his sistyr lay 3672 

His modyr made he in pytous array 

fifor he hyre wombe slytte to byholde 

Wheere be conseyuede was so weyle-awey 

That he so lytyl of his modyr tolde 3676 

CAMBRIDGE 4S6 (S-T. 96S, S7l) 

Digitized by 


271, 272 siz-TSXT 

GBoup B. S 12. monk's tale. Canjtbridge MS. 

Ko teer out of hise eyen for that sjght 

Ne cam but seyde a fayr woman was sche 

Greet wondyr is how that he coude or myghte 

Be domysman of hire deede beaute 3680 

The wyn to bryngyn hym comaundede he 

And drank a-noon / non othyr wo he made 

Whan myght is loyned on to creweltee 

Alias to deepe wil the venym wade 3684 

In }Outhe a maystyr hadde this Emperour 

To teche hym letterore & curteysye 

Por of moralite he was the floure 

As in his tyme but ;if holds lye 3688 

And whil this Maystyr hadde of hym maystrye 

He makede hym so cunning ^ & so souple C> i«« MmeM] 

That long tyme it was er tyranye 

Or ony vice durste on hym oncouple 3692 

This Seneca / of which that I deuyse 

By cause that Nero hadde of hym swich dreede 

For he from vicis wolde hym ay chastyse 

Disoretly by word & not by deede 3696 

Syre wolde he sejm an emperour mot neede 

Been vertyuous & hatyn tyrannye 

Por which he in a bath made hym to bleede 

On bothe hise armys tyl he muste deye S700 

This Nero hadde ek of a custnmance pmfiss, btek] 

In ^outhe a-geyn his maystyr for to ryse • 
Which af tyrward hym thoughte a greet greuaunce 
^erfore he made hym deye in this wyse 3704 

But natheles this Seneca the wise 

Ches in a bath to deye in this * manere • \*~^mTactt^ 

Eathere than ban Sruothir •turmantrise' p-«ui^ii»«orfwf^ 
And thus hath Nero slayn his maystir deere 370^ 

CAMBEIOOS 487 (6-T. 27l| S7S) 

Digitized by 


272, 273 8IX-TBXT 

aBoup B. § 18. jcoKK*8 TALE. Cambridge XS. 

Now fil it 80 that f ortane leste no lengete 

The hyghe pryde of neio to cheijce 

Por thow that he were strong }it was ache strengeie 

Sche thonjte thus hi god I am to nyce 3712 

To sette a man that is f olfyld of vice 

In high degie & emperour hjm calle 

By god out of his seete I wele hym tiyce 

Whan he lest wenyth / sonest schal he falle 3716 

The peple roe vp on hym on a nygh[t] 

For his defaute & whan he it espyed 

Out of his doris he hath arnon hym dygh[t] 

A-loone & theere he wende a heen alyed 3720 

He knokkede faste & ay the more he ciyede 

The £astere schettyn they the doiys alle 

Tho wiste he weel he hadde hym self mys gyede 

And wente his wey do lengere durste he calle 3724 

The peple ciyede / & rumblede vp & doun 

That with luse ens hetde he how they seyde 

Wheere is this Mse tyiaunt this neroun 

For fer almost out of his wit he broyde 3728 

And to hise goddis pitously he preyede 

For socour but it myghte not be-tyde 

For dreed of this hym thoughte he deyede 

And ran in-to*a gaidyn hym to hyde 3732 

And in this gardyn fond he cherlys tweye 

That seetyw by a fyr / greet & reed 

And to these cherlys two he gan to preye Omt »] 

To sleen hym & to gyrdyn of lus heed 3736 

That to his body whan that he was deed 

Weere no dispyt doon / for his de&me 

Hjm seine he alow be coude no betere red 

Of whiche fortune lough & hadde game 3740 

CAMBRIDOK 488 (8-T. 978, 878) 

Digitized by 


273, 274 Buc-TBXT 

GROUP B. § 12. monk's talb. Cambridge MS. 


V Was neuere a capitayn vndyr a kyng Olifern 

That legnjQ mo pute in subieccioun 

Ke strongero was in feeld' of alle thy;^ v d lat^r] 

Ab in his tyme ne grettere of renoun 3744 

Ke moore pompous in high pT^umpcioun 

Than olofeme whiche fortune ay kyste 

8o licorously & ladde hym yp & doun 

Til that his hed was of or that he wyste 

Kat only that this world hadde hym in awe 
For lesynge of rychesse or liberte 
But made euery man reneye his lawe 
Kabugodonosor was god seyde hee 
Noon othir god schulde adowred bee 
A-geyn this heste no whigh dar trespace 
Saue in Bethulia a strong cete 
Where Eliachym a prest was of that place 

But tak keep of the deth of Olofeme 
A-mydde his ost / he dronke lay a.nyght 
With-inne his tente / as large as is a berne 
And jit for al his pompe & al his myght 
ludith a woman as he lay yp-right 
Slepynge his heed of smot / & from his tente 
Ful prniyly sche stal fron^ euery wight 
And with his heed / vn-to hire towr sche wente 


What nedyth it of kyng antiochus 
To telle his hyghe royal magestee 
His hyghe pnde hise werkys venymous 
For swich a-nothyr was theere non as he 
Keede which that he was in machabee 
And reede the proude wordis that he seyde 
And whi he fyl from high prosperite 
And in an hil how wrechedely he deycde 

36 CAMBBIDGE 489 (6-T. 273, 274) 









Digitized by 


274, 275 SIX-TEXT 

GROUP B. § 12. honk's tale. Cambridge K8. 

Fortune hadde hym^ enchauniede so in pr/de ['?iisi7»J 

That verrayly he wewde he myghte attayne 

Onto the stems vp-on euery syde 

And in a balaunce weyn eche moantayne S776 

And alle the flodys of Uie see lestrayne 

And goddis peple hadde he most in hate 

Hem wolde he slen in tomement & in peyne 

Wenynge that god ne myghte his pnde a-bato 3780 

And for that nychanore & thymothee 

With lewis were yenquischid myghtily 

Yn-to the lewis swich an hate hadde he 

That he bad ordeyne his char fol hastily 3784 

And swoor & seyde fdl dispitously 

Yn-to lerusalem he wolde efl soone 

To wreeke his yre on it fdl crewelly 

But of his purpos he was let ful soone 3788 

God for his manace hym so soore smot 

With inuisible wounde ay incurable 

That in hise guttis carveit so & hot 

That hise peynys were Importable 3792 

And certeynly the wrec^ was resonable 

For manye a manys guttis dede he peyne 

But from his purpos cursede Ss dampnable 

For al his sniert he wolde hym nat restrayne 3796 

•But bad a-noon aparaylyn his host 

And sodeynly er he was of it war 

God dauntede al his pryde <& al his host 

For he so sore fil out of his Chaar 3S00 

That *it hese^ lymys & his skyn to4ar ^— »«rTwtofj 

So that he neythir myghte go ne lyde 

But in a chaar men a-boute hym bar * (Wmtw^i 

*A1 fbrbrosed bothe bak & syde KOi 

CAMBRIDGE 490 (6-T. 274, 276) 

Digitized by 


276, 276 SIX-TEXT 

GROUP B. § 12. monk's taub. Cambridge MS. 

The WTeche of god hym smoot so crewelly 

That thnigh his body wikkede wermys ciepte 

And iherwythal he stank so hoiybely 

That noon of al his meyne that hym kepte 3808 

Wheihir so ho Srwok or ellis sleepte 

Ne myghte not the stynk of hym endure 

In this myschef he waylede & ek wepte 

And knew god lord of euerj ciyatore 381 2 

To al his host & to hym self also 

Ful wlatsom was the stynk of his carayne 

No man myghte hym beiyn to ne fro 

And in this stynk & in this horible pejrne 3816 

He staif ^ wrechedely in a mounteyne 

Thus hath this robbonr & this homycyde 

That manye a man made to weepe & pleyne 

Swich gwerdoun as bylongith on-to piyde 3820 

{Alexander the Great,] 

if The stoiye of alysauitdir is so comune AlisaiuulyT 

That eueiy wight that hath discrecioun 

Hath herd al or sumwhat of his fortune 

This wyde world as in conclusioun 3824 

He wan by strenthe / & for his highe renoun 

The J weere glad for pees vn-to hym sende 

The prtde of man & beste he leyde a-dou/» 

Wheere so he cam vn-to the worldis ende 3828 

Comparisoun myghte neuere jit been makyd 
Bj-twixen hym & a-nothir conquerour 
For al this world for dreed of hym hath quakyd 
He of knyghthod & of firedom flour 
Foitnne hym made the heyere of hire hono«r 
Save wyn & wemen no thyng my3te aswage 
His hye entente in armys & labour 
So fill he was of lyonyn corage 

CAMBRIDGB 491 [fi-T, 276, 27^ 



Digitized by 


276, 277 SIX-TEXT 

OBOup B. § 12. HONK*s TALG. Cambridge K8. 

Wliat preys weere it for hym thow that I tolde iw no^bMkj 

Of daiyus & an huitderede thousent mo 

Of Kyngis Dukis . Erlys . piyncia bolde 

Whicbe he conquerede & broughte in-to woo 3840 

I seye as fer as men may lyde or go 

The world was his what schulde I moore deuyse 

For thow I wiyte or tolde jow euere mo 

Of his knyghthod it myghte not sufifyse 3844 

Twelue jeer he r^piede / as seyth Machabee 

Philippis sone of Macidonye he was 

That fyrst was kyng of grece the ciDztre 

worthi gentile Alisaundere alias 384S 

That enere schulde fedlyn swich a cas 

Enpoisounnede of thynne owene folk thow weere 

Thyn sys fortune hath tumede in-to aas 

And for the ne wepe sche neuere a teere 3853 

Who schal me jeuyn teerys to compleyne 

The deth of gentilesse & of fraunchise 

That al this world weldede in his demeigne 

And jit hym thoughte it myghte nat sufTyse 3856 

So f ul was his corage / of high empiyse 

Alias ho schal me helpe to endyte 

ffals fortune & poysomi to dispise 

The whiche two of al this wo I wyte 3860 

[Julius CcBsar,] 

II By wisdam manhod & by greet labour Julias 
From homble bed to royal mageste 

Yp ros he lulius the conquerour 

That wan al th ^occydent bothe lond & se cioeonvetAO 3864 

By strenthe of hand or oUys by tretee 

And vn-to Eoome made hem trybutarye 

And sithe the £mpe?x)iu: of rome was he 

Tyl that fortune wex his Aduersarye 3868 

CAMBEIDGE 492 (6-T. 276, 277) 

Digitized by 


277, 278 SIX-TEXT 

onoup B. § 12. MOKE'b TALE. Cambridge MS. 

IT myghty Cesar that in Thessalye Cesar 

A-geyns Pompeynys fadyr thyn in lawe 

That of thorient hadde al the Chiuahye rtentxii 

As fer as that the day be-gynnyth dawe 3872 

Thow thour thyn kynghod hast hem take & slawe 

Saue fewe folk that with Pompeiou^ fledde 

Thorw which thow pnttist al the oryent in awe 

Thanke fortune that so weel the spedde 3876 

But now a lytyl while I wele bewayle / 

This Pompeyott* this nobele gouemour 

Of Borne whiche that fleigh at this bataylo 

I seye on of his men a fals traytour 3880 

His hed of smot to wynnyn hyw fauour 

Of lulius & hjm the hed he broughte 

Alias Pompeye of thorient Conqnerowr 

That ffortune vn-to swich a fjm the broughte 3884 

To Borne argayn repayrith lulius 

With his tryuwiphe lauryat ful hye 

Bat on a tyme Brutus Cassius 

That euere hadde of his estaat enuye 3888 

Ful piyuyly hath mad conspiracye 

A-geyns this lulius in subtyl wise 

And caste the place in whiche he schulde dcye 

With boydekynys / as I schal 30W deuyse 3892 

This lulius to the capitolye wefite 

Vp-on a day as he was wone to goon 

And in the Capitolye aruon hym hente 

This false Brutus & ^hese othere ffoon^ o-^i mreeted] 3896 

And stikede hym with Boydekynys a-noon 

With manye a wouwde & thus they loete hym lye 

But neu^re ^nt he at no strok but oon 

Or ellis at two / but if his stoiye lye 3900 

CAMBBIDOE 493 (6-T. 277, 278) 

Digitized by 


278, 279 Bix-TBXT 

aaoup B. § 12. honk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

So manly was this lulyns at herte 
And 80 wed louyd estatly honeete 
That thow hise dedly woundis soore smerte 
His mental ouer his hepis castyth he 
For non man schulde seen his prmyte 
And as he lay on deyiuge in a trauf7ce 
And wiste verrayly that deed he muste bee 
Of honeste ^it hadde he remembraunce 


[leaf Ml, Ittck] 


Lucan to this storye I recomende 
And to Swetom» & to Valerius also 
That of the storye wrytyn word Ss ende 
How that these greete Conquerourys two 
Fortune was fyrst freend & sithe a foo 
No man ne tniste vp-on hire fauour longe 
But haue hire in a-wayte for euere mo 
Witnesse on alle these conquerourys stronge 


IT This ryche xjrysus whilom kyng of lyde 
Of whiche Cresus / Cirus soore hym dradde 
^it was he caught a-mydde al his pryde 
And to be brent men to the fuyr hym ladde 
But swich a reyn doun from the walkyn shadde 
That slow the fuyr & made hym to escape 
But to be war no grace ^it he hadde 
Til fortune on the galwis made hym gape 

Whan he escapid was ^he can nat stente^ 
For to begy72ne a newe werre a-gayn 
He wende weel for that fortune hym sente 
Swich hap that he escapid thot^r the rayn 
That of hise fois he myghte nat been slayn 
And ek a sweuene vp-on a nyght he mette 
Of which he was so proud & ek so fayn 
That in vengeaunce he al his herte sette 

CAMBRIDGE 494 (6-T. 278, 279) 






[^1 oorrMtoQ 



Digitized by 


279, 280, 268 six-text 

oBocp B. § 12. monk's talk Cambridge MS. 

YpH>ii a tie he was as that hym thou^te 

Where lubiter hjm wesch bothe bak & syde 

And phebus ek a fayr towayle hym broughte 

To dreye hym with & therfore wex his pryde 3936 

And to his doughtyr which that stod hym besyde 

Which that he knew in high science habounde 

He bod hire telle hym^ what it signefye [} m conreeted] (leaf ms] 

And sche his dreem bygan ryght thus expou/tgne 3940 

The tie qnod sche the galwis is to meene . 

And Inbiter bitokenyth snow & reyn . 

And PhebiM with his towayle so clecne . 

Tho been the sonnys stremys for to seyn . 3944 

Thow schat an hangede been fadyr certayn . 

Keyn schal the wasche & sounne schal the dreye . 

Thus wamede hym ful plat & fol pleyn . 

His doughtyr which that callede was Phanye . 3948 

An hangede was Cresos the proude kyng 

His royal trone myghte hym not a-vayle 

Tragedy is noon othir maneie thyng 

Ne can in syngynge ciye ne bewayle 3952 

But for that fortune al day wele assayle 

With yn-war strok the regnys that been proude 

For whan men trustyth hire thanno wele sche fayle 

And couere hire brighte face with a cloude 3956 

intm 4 MOitom imt4mee$ ikouid/bfUm * Xenobia; p. 486 (6-T. 268).] 

[Peler the Crudy of Spaiiu] 

.0. noble .0. worthy Petro glorie of Spayne Petro 

Whom fortune heeld' so highe in mageste p a iat«\ 

Weel oughtyn men thy^i petous deth to compleyne 

Out of thyn land thyn brothir made the fle 3568 

And aftyr at a sege by subtyletee 

Thow were betraysed & lad vn-to his tente 

Wheere as he with his owene hand slow the 

Succedy77ge in thy regno & in thyn rente 3572 

CAMBRIDGB 496 (6-T. 879, 280, 868) 

Digitized by 


268, 269 Bix-TETP 

GROUP B. § 12. honk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

The feldi of enow / with the egel^ of blak^ thetin ^J^Jj} 

Caugh with the lymerod colonrede al with glede . SS^SJ? **" 

He brew this carsedenesse & al this ajnuQ 

The wekede nest was werkere of this neede 3576 

Nought Charles / Oljuer that tok ay hede 

Of trouthe & honour but of annoryke ^ J?^«ai^**"' 

Genylouji Olyuer corrupt for meede 

Broughte this worthi kyng to swich a bryke 3580 

[Peter of Cyprus.] 
worthy Petro Kyng of Cipre also [ieafaB.b«dc] Petro 
That Alisaundere wan by high maystrye 
fTul manye an hethene wroughtist thow ful wo 
Of whiche tweyne oune lyges hadde envie 3584 

And for no thyng but for thy chiualrye 
They in thyn bed han slayn the by the morwe 
Thus can fortune / hire wheel goueme & gye 
And out of loye brynge men to sorwo 3588 

[Bemaho Visconii, of Milan.] 
IT Of Molan grete *Bemabo Viscounte p?MS. ?g3 

God of delyt & schorge of lumbardye 
Whi sdiulde I nough thyn Infortune acou7£to 
Syn in estat thow clombyn weere so hye 3592 

Thyn brotheiys sone that was thyn double allye 
fTor he thyn nevew was & sone in lawe 
With-inne his prysoun made the to deye 
But why he how not I that thow weere slawe 3596 

[Ugolino, Count of Pisa.] 
IT Of the Erl hugelyn of Pyre the langour 
Theere may no tunge telle for pite 
But lytyl out of Pize stant a tour 

In which tour in piysoun put was he 3600 

And with hym been hise lyte childere thre 
The oldeste skarsely fyue jeer was of age 
Alias fortune it was greet crewelte 
Swiche biyddis to putte in swich a cage 3604 

CAMBRIDGE 496 (6-T. 268, 269) 

Digitized by 


269, 270 SIX-TEXT 

GROUP B. § 12. monk's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Dampnede was he to deye in that piysotm 

For Roger which that hischop was of Pyze 

Hadde on hjm mad a fals suggestioun 

Thottr the peple gan vp-on hjm lyse 3608 

And puttyn hym in prysouw in swich wyse 

As 3e han herd & mete & drynk he hadde 

So smal that wel anethe it may soffyse 

And there withal it was fful poore & badde 3612 

And on a day by-fel that in that hour 

*^ *^ iLeaw$ S(S^ Camb, MS, 

Whan that his meete / wont was to been brought JJJ r^jM V 

[The leylour shet ye dores of pe toore [SUMme ks leas, on leqf^odi 

he hercl it wele but he sawe it noii3t 3616 

As in hys herte arnone fere felle a ])0U3t 

J»t pel for hnngre wolde done hem dye 

Alas . qjtwd he Alas psA I was wroujt 

]«re-wit£ pe teeres felle fro pe eye 3620 

Mis jonge sonne |>re jeere was of age 

Vnto hym said fadei^ why do 30 wepe 

Whan wille pe Gaylowr brynge our* potage 

Is {rare no morselle brede pBt 30 do kepe 3624 

I am so hongeiye pat I may not slepe 

Nowe wolde god fat I my3te slepen euere 

[Than schulde non hungre in my wombe crepe . JS^J;;^''^ 

Ther/ is/ nothyng^ sane breed that me were leuyr/.] 3628 

Jrhys day by day pe childe gan to ciye [SiouMKSiess, on {f 209] 

Tylt in hys ffadere barme a donne hit lay 

And said fadir/ fare wele I mof deye 

And kyste hys fadei* and deyde pe same daye 3632 

And whan hys woofolle feidere did hym sayo 

ffor . woo hys armes too he gan to byte 

And sayde fortune Alas and weylaway 

p\ . false wyles my woo I may wyte 3636 

CAHBRIDOB 497 (6-T. 260, 270) 

Digitized by 



OBOUP B. § 12. uoNK*8 TALE. Cambridge MS. 

His cliildien )»at f oitime Imngiy was [siocm xb vm\ 

pB,i he hys annes gnewe and not for woo 

And said fadei' do not so Alas . 

Bnt laiheie ete fe flesshe Tpofi yb twoo 3640 

Ouie . flessK ])oa yaveste vs take ouie flesshe vs fro . 

And ete j-nouje zijt )»us to hym ^ saide [/eqr«a,»«Kfe] 

And after ]»t wi1^-In a day or two 

]^ leyde hem doun^ in his lappe & dyed 3644 

Mym selfe dispeyred eke for hongcr starfe 

Thus endid ys fe my^ti Erie of pyse 

ffro hy^e estate fortune fro hym carf 

Of ]>is Tregedye hit ou^t ynouje suffice 3648 

ho * so wylle here hit/ in a lengei' wyse 

Bedell pe grete poete of Itayle 

^at/ hyjt/ Daunte for he can hit deuyse 3651 

ffiopoyntetopoyntenotoowordewillehefeyle] ^''""•J^ 

CAMBBiDOE 498 (s-T. 27o) [this page, Sloanc 1686] 


Digitized by ^ 

281 8IX-TEXT 

GROUP B. § 13. monk-nun's-priest's link. Cambridge MS. 

[Sloane MS 1685, on leaf 213, hack,] 
[Here begynnetb ^e Proloogd of pe Hnnne Preoste- 

Hoo qmd / pe knyjt gode sir / no more of thys 
])at je ban sayde ys rijt ynowe; y-^trys . 
And mochel more for litel hevynesse 
ys ryjt ynoi]^e to mechel folk* as I gesse 39G0 
I sey for me bit ys a grete disese 

Wbere as men bail befi in grete belt& & eese owrsu] 

To berene of ber/ sodeyfi faH Alas 

And pQ Contrarye is . grete loy & solace 3964 

And wban a man ha,& be& in pore estate 
And clymbil^ yp and wexetb fortunate 
And ^ere abydel^ in prosperite 

Sucbe tbynge ys gladsom as bit tbynket^ me 3968 

And ^ou^e sucbe tbynge were goodely forto telle 
// Ye . quod/ oure boost by Seynt Ponies belle 
Ye say rijt sotbe ^is Monke clappetb loude 
be . spake bowe fortune couered with a cloude 3972 

I note neuere wbat & also of a treaide 
Eyjt/ nowe ye berd & parde no remedie 
bit ys forto be-wayle & complayne . 
pat ]>at ys done and als bit ys a payne 3976 

As ye bane sayd/ to bere of/ bevinesse 
Sir/ Monke no more of< pw so god you blesse 
Your/ tale annoyetb al piB companye 
Sucbe talkynge ys not wort& a buttei'-flye} 3980 

And ])ere-in ys . no sporte nor/ no game 
Wbere-fore Sir/ Monke doun Piers by youi^ name 
I pray you bertely telle ys som wbat elles 
ffor sikei' nere clynkynge of/ youi^ belles 3984 

CAMBBinOE 490 (o-T. 28i) [tliis page, Sloane lesuj 

Digitized by 


282 six-TvzT 

GROUP B. § 13. honk-nun's-pbib8t*s link. Cambridge MS. 

J)at in youi' brideli hongetK on euery sydo caiono MB uai] 

By heuen kynge pat for vs alle d jede 

I shalle for J^is falle doun for slepe 

Al-poM^e pe slowe^ hade neuere be so depe 3988 

pan hatli youre tale ben tolde in yayne 

ffor certeynly as pese clerkes saync 

Where as a man may ban none audience 

Noujf helpeth to telleu hys sentence 3992 

And wele I woote pQ substaunce ys in me 

yf ony thynge shal wele leportid be 

Sir/ saye some what of huntynge I you praye 

Nay qMod / pQ Monke I* haue no luste to playe 3996 

Nowe let a no]^ei^ telle as I haue tolde 

J)an spake our Oste with rude speche and bolde Zft^tfta, *«(*] 

And sayd vnto pe Nonnes Preost a-none 

Come nere Sir Preost comme nere sir lohn 4000 

Telle vs suche thenges as may oui^ hertes glade • 

Be mery ]^ou3e ]^ou ryde vpoii A lade . 

J)at/ ]^ei ^ine hors . be foul or lene 

Yf/ he wille serve pe recke pe uoMyt/ a bene 4004 

looke ]^at ^ine hert/ be mery euere mo ' 

3is . hoste [qjttod he so mote I lyde or go • 

But/ I be meiy y-wys I wille be blamed 

And rijt/ a-none he bathe hys tale y-tamed ' 4008 

And pna he sayde to vs euereichoil 

Thys swete preost/ pis gode man Sir/ John 

Here endeffi pe trologge 

CAMBRIDGE 500 (6-T. 282) [this page, Sloane 1685] 


Digitized by ^ 


OBOUF B. § 14. kun's priest's tale. Cambridge MS. 

[Sloane MS 1685, m leaf 214, hack,] 
& begynnet^L >e tale 

A pore wydowe some dele stope in age 
Was whilom dwellynge in a narow cotage 4012 
Be-sydes a grove stondynge in a dale 
Thys vydow of whiche I telle you my tale 
Sy]»en8 ^ilke day pai she was laste a wyfe 
In pacience ladde a fulle symple lyf 4016 

for lytelle was hir/ catelle & hir rent 
By husbondry of suche p&t god hir/ sent 
Sche fond<f hir/ self / & eke hir dou3tren two • 
Thre large sowes hade she & no moo 4020 

Thre kyne Ss eke a shepe p&t hijt/ mal 
ffnl soty was hir/ bouie and eke hir / haH 
In whiche she ete many a sclendei^ mele 
Of/ poynaunte sawce hir nedeth nevere a dele 4024 

Ko deynte MorseH passed hir/ throote 
hir diete was accordaunt to hir coote 
Keplecion ne made her neuere seke 

A-tempre dyete was alle hir/ physike 4028 

And excercise & hert sufficiaunce . 
fe gowte let hir/ no thynge to daunce 
Ne poplexie ne shente noujf hir/ heede 
Ne wyne dronke she nei}>ei* whyte nor reede 4032 

Her boix) was served moste wi1& white & blake ttm^ su] 
Mylke and browne brede in whiche she fonde no lake 
8eynde bakoii and sojme tyme an eye or tweie 
ffor she was as hit were a manere of a deie 4036 

A gardeyne she hade enclosed alle aboute 
"With stykes and a drye dyche with-oute 
In whiche she hade a Cok/ ^at hy3t Chauntelcre 
In alio J>e londe of Crawynge was hys peere 4040 

CAMBfiiDGE 501 (6-T. 283) [tbis page, Sloaue 1685] 

Digitized by 



OBOUP B. § 14. KUN^s pribbt's talk. Cambridgfs KS. 

hya voice was muryer fan fe murye orgon [BIohu mb i««] 

On maase dayes ]>at in ^e Cliirche goon 

Wele sykeiere waa pQ crowynge in hys loggo 

Then ya a Clok /. or an Abbey orlogge 4044 

Be nature he knewe eche aacencioun 

Of equynoxiol of f ilke toune 

ffor when degreea xv were discended 

^n knewe he fat it my^t not* be amendid] [IImm eartnu4 end*} 

Hia colottr waa reddere than the fyne coral ST^h'Sf aSi 

And batayled aa it were a caatel wal 

His byl was blak / and aa the leet it schoon 

like aaure weere hise leggis & hiae toon 4053 

Hiae naylia whittere / than the lylye flour 

And lik the bumede gold waa hia colour 

Thia gentil kok hadde in hia gouemaunce 

Seuene hennys for to doon al his plesaunce 4056 

Whiche weere hise susterys & hise paramouris 

And wondyr lyk to hym of colourya 

Of whiche the fayreste hewyd on hire throte 

Was clepid fayre dameselle Pertelote 4060 

Curteys sche was / discreet & debonayre 

And compaynable & bar hire self so fityre 

Syn thilke day that sche was seue jeer old 

That trewely sche hath the herte in hold 4064 

Of Chauntecleer lokyn in euery lith 

He louede hym so that weel was hym therwith 

But swich a loye it was to heere hew synge 

Whan that the bryghte sune be-gan to sprywge 4068 

With sweete a-cord myn lef is faryn on londe 

ffor thilke tyme as I haue vndyrstonde 

Bestis & bryddis coude speke & synge 

And so be-fel that in a dawenywge 4072 

As Chauntecleer arinong hise wyuys alle 

Sat on his perche that was in an halle 

And next hym sat Dame Pertelote 

This Chauntecleer gan gronyn in his thiote 4076 

CAMBRIDGE 602 (6-T. 284) 

Digitized by 


28.5 SIX-TKXT 

GBOUF B. § 14. nun's prikst's talb. Cambridge MS. 

As man that in his dieem is drechid sore 

And whan that pertelote thos heide hym rooie 

Sche was a-gast & seyde herte deere 

What eylyth 30W to groone in this maneeie 4080 

36 heen a yeiray slepeie fy for schame 

And he answerde thus / & seide Madame 

I pieye 30W that je take it nat at gref 

By god me mette I was in swich myschef 4084 

Bygh now that jit myn herte is score a£rit 

Kow god qaod he myn swenene leche a-rygh[t] 

And kepe myn body out of foul pry soun OMf <«, back] 

Me mette how that I romede yp & dou» 4088 

With-inne onre jerd where that I saw a beste 

Was lik an hound & wolde han mad ariest^ 

Yp-on myn body & anhad me deed 

His colour was be-twixe jelw & reed 4092 

And typpid was his tayl & bothe hise eris 

With blak onlyk the remenaunt of hise hens 

His snoute smal wttA glowynge eyen tweye 

3it for his lok for fer almost I deye 4096 

This causede me myn gronyng douteles 

Avoy quod sche fy on 30W herteles 

Alias quod sche for by that god a-boue 

Now han 30 lost myn herte & b1 myn loue 4100 

I can nat loue a coward by myn fey th 

ifor certys what so any woman seyth 

We alle desyryn jif it myghte be 

To han husbondis hardy wyse & fre 4104 

And secre / & no nygard ne no fool 

Ne hym that is agast of euery tool 

Ne noon auauntour by that god a-boue 

How durste 30 seyn for schame on to 30ure loue 4108 

That any thyng myghte make 30W a-feryd 

Han 30 no manys herte & han a herd 

Alias & cunne 30 been agast of sweuenys 

No thyng god wot but vanite in sweuen is 4112 

CAMBBinOB 603 (6-T. 2S3) 

Digitized by 



oaouF B. § 14. nun's priest's tale. Cambridge KB. 

Sweuenys engenderyn / of lepleciounnys 

And ofte of fume & of complexiounys 

Wliamie humouris been to haboundaunt in a vriglit 

Sertis this diem whiehe je ban met to nygbt 4116 

Comjtb of tbe greete superfluite 

Of ymre leede coleia parde 

Wbicbe causyn folk to dredyn in bere diemys 

Of arwis & of fyr witb rede lemys 4120 

Of rede beatis tbat tbey wele bym byte 

Of contek & of wbelpis gieete & lite 

Bigb as tbe bumour of malencolye 

Cansitb ful manye a man in slep to ciye 4124 

£fbr feer of blake bens / or of bolys blake Lieaf m8J 

Or ellis blake deuyllis wole bem take 

Of otbere bumouns coude I telle also 

That werkyn manye a man in sleep ful wo 4123 

But I wele passe as lygbtely as I can 

To Catoun wbicb tbat was so wis a man 

Seyde be nat tbus ne do no fors of dremys somimbiiennv* 

Now sire quod scbe wban we flye from tbe bemys 4132 

ffor godis loue tak sum laxatyf 

Vp peril of myn soule & of myn lyf 

I conseyle 30W tbe bests I wele nat lye 

Tbat botbe of colere & of malencolye 4136 

je porge 30W & for 30 scbal nat tarye 

Tbow in this toun is non apotecaiye 

I scbal myn self to erbis tecbyn 30W 

Tbat scbul been for joure bele & for yiur^ prow 4140 

And in oure ^erd two erbis scbal I fynde 

The wbicbe ba» of bere pwpirte by kynde 

To porge jow be-netbe & ek arbove 

ffor-^et nat this for godis owene lowe 4144 

je been ful colerik of complexioun 

Ware tbe sunne in bis ascencioun 

l^e fynde 30W nat replet / of bumottjis boote 

ffor yef be do / I dar leye a grote 4 1 4^ 

CAMBBinOB 504 (S-T. 2S6) 

Digitized by 


287 aix-TEXT 

OBoup B. § 14. NUK*s priest's tale. Cambridge MS. 

That je schul han a feu^re terciane 

Or an agu that may been ^oure bane 

A day or two )e schul haue digestiyis 

Of wermys er ^e take 30ure laxatynes 4152 

Of lauriole sentaurye / & fumeteere 

Or ellis of Elebre that growith theeie 

Of Catapuce / or of Gattris beiyis 

Or £rbe Ine that growith bi oure ^erd theere moiye is 

Pikke hem yp righ as they growe & ete hem in 4157 

Be merye husbonde for ^oure iadyr kyn 

Dredyth no dieem I can seye jow no moore 

Madame quod he grau^mt mercy of jot^re lore 4160 

Bat natheles as touchith Daun Catoun 

That hath of wisdam swich a greet renoun 

Thow that he bad no diemys for to dreede [ImT sm, b^kj 

By god men may in olde bokis rede 4164 

Of manye a man moore of autorite 

Than euere catoun was so mote I the 

That al the reuers seyn of his sentence 

And han weel foundyn by experience 4168. 

That dremys been signyficaciounnys 

As wel of ioye as of tribulaciounnys 

That iblk enduryn in this lyf present 

Theere nedyth of this makyn non argument 4172 

The Terray preue schewith it in dede 

V Some of the gretteste autourys as men reede Kanoio 

Seyth thus that to felawys wente 

On pilgrymage with a ful good ente[nte] 4176 

And happede so they comyn in a toun 

Where as theere was swich a congregacioun 

Of peple & ek so streyt of herbigage 

That they ne founde as meche as a cotage 4180 

In whiche they myghe bothe I-loggede be 

Wherefore they musten of necescite 

Aa for that nyght departyn cumpaynye 

And eche of hem goth to his ostellerye 41S4 

37 CAMBEIDGE 606 (6-T. 287) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


oboupB. §14. nun's priest's TALK Cambridge MB. ^ 

Asd tok his logjng as it wolde falle 

That on of hem was logit in a stalle 

ffer in a ^eid with oxiu of the plough 

That^ othir man was logid weel I-nongh 4188 

As was his auentore / or his fortune 

That vs goaemyth alle as in comune 

And so be-fel that longe er it was day 

This man mette in his hed there as he lay 4I9S 

How that his felawe gan vp-on hym calle 

And seyde alias for in an oxis stalle 

This nyght I sdial been morderid there I lye 

Kowhelp me deere brotyr er I deye 4196 

In aUe haste come to me he seyde 

This man out of his slep for fer abreyde 

And whair that he was wakeHede of his slep 

He tornede hym & tok of this no keep 4200 

Hym thoughte his dreem nas but a vanyte [harxT) 

Thus twyis in his slepyiige diemede he 

And at the thredde i^me / ^it his felawe 

Canb'as hym thoughts / & seyde I am now slawe 4204. 

Byhold mynne blody wonndis deepe & wyde 

A-ris vp erly in the morwe tyde 

And at the west gate / of the touT^ quod he 

A ciffteful of donge / there thu schat se 4208 

In wich myn body is hid ful pryuyly 

Do thilke carte a-reste boldely 

Myn gold causede myn mordere certeyn 

And tolde hym euery poynt how he was slayn 4212 

With a wol pitous face pale of hewe 

And truste weel this drem he fond ful trewe 

ffor on the morwe as sone as it was day 

To his felawe he tok te nexte way 4216 

And whan that he cam to his oxis stalle 

Aityr his felawe he be-gan to calle 

IT The hosteleer answerede hym a-non 

And seyde sere jowre felawe is a-goon 422Q 

CAMBRIDGE 506 (S-T. 2S8) 

Digitized by 


289 SIX-TEXT • - 

OBoup B. § 14. nuk's priest'^, tajue, Cambridge KS. 

As sone as day he wente out of the tou» 
This man gan fallyn in snspecioun 

Remembiynge hym on the dremys that he mette 

And jforth he goth no lengere wolde he lette 4224 

Vn-to the Westgate of the touw & fond 

A dong^ carte wente as it weere to dunge-lond 

That was a-rayed in that same wyse 

As ^e han herd the dede man deuyse • 4228 

And with an hardy herte he gan to crye 

Vengeaunce & lustise of this felonye 

Myn.felawe morderede is this same nyght 

And in this carte heere he l}iih gapynge yp-ryght 4232 

I crye out on the mynystris quod he 

That schulde kepe & rewele this cete 

Harrowe alias here lyth myn felawe slayii 

What schulde I moore vnto this tale sayn . 4236* 

The peple out sterte & caste the carte to grounde ;; 

And in the myddyl of the donge they founde 

The dede man that morderede was al newe ciaafser.bMk] 

O blysful god that art so luste & trewe ^^^^ 

Lo how that thow bewreyis mordere alway 

Mordere wele out that se we day be day 

Mordere is so wlatsome & abhomynable 

To god that is so lust & resonable 4244 

That he ne wele not suffere that it helid be > 

Thow it abyde a jeer or two or thre 

Mordere wele out this myn cowclusioun 

And ryght a-noon mynyste of that toun 4248 

Han hent the cartere & so sore hyw pynyd 

And ek the hosteller so soore engyned • 

That they be-knewe here wikkedenesse a-non 

And weere an hangede by the nekke boon 4252 

Here may men seen that dremys been to drede 

V And certis in the same bok I reede 

Kygh in the nexte chapit«*e aftyr this 

I gabbe not so liaue I ioye or blys 425$ 

CAMBRIDGE 607 (6-T. 8S9), 

Digitized by 


290 8IZ-TE&T 

GROUP B. § 14. vuk'b pbiest'b tale. Cambridge MB. 

Two men that wolde a passed ouyr the see . 

ffoT ceiieyn cause in-to a fer cimtre 

If that the wynd ne hadde been contrarye 

That made hem in a cete for to tarye 4260 

That stod ful meiye yp-on an hauene syde 

But on a day argeyn the euetyde 

The wynd gan schaunge & blew lygh as hem leste 

lolyf & glad they wente to here reste 4264 

And castyn hem ful erly for to sayle 

But herkenyth to that on man fyl a gret meruayle 

That on of hem in slepynge as he lay 

Hym mette a wondyr drem a-geyn the day 4268 

Hym though[t]e a man stod hi his bedys side 

And hym comaunded that he schulde a-byde 

And seyde hym thus ^if thow to morwe wende 

Thow schat ben dreynk / myn tale is at an ende 4272 

He wok & tolde / his felawe what he mette 

And preyede hym his Tiage for to lette 

As for that day he preyede hym for to a-bide 

His felawe that lay bi his bedys syde 4276 

Gan for to lauhe & skomde hym ful faste vmftmj 

No drem quod he may so myn herte agaste 

That I wele lette for to do myne thyngis 

1 sette not a straw / by thynne dremyngis 43S0 

ffor dremys been but uanyteis & lapis 

Men dreme al day of oulis & of apis 

And of manye a mase there withal 

Hen dreme of thyng that neu«re was ne schal 4284 

But sithe I se that thow wild here a-byde 

And thus for slouthen / wilfully thyn tyde 

€rod wot it rewith me / & haue good day 

And thus he tok his leue & wente his way 4268 

But er that he hadde half his cours I-seyled 

Not I not why / ne what myschaunce it eyled 

But casewclly / the schipis boteme it rente 

And schip & man vndyr the watyr wente 4292 

CAHBBIDGK o08 (6-T. 29o) 

Digitized by 



GBoup B. § 14. nun's PRiEst's TALE. Cambridge KS. 

In sight of othere schepis besyde 

That with hem seyled at the morwe tyde 

And therefore fayre ^erielote bo deere 

By sweche ensaumplis olde mayst thow leere 4296 

That no man schulde been so recheles 

Of dremys for I seye the douteles 

That manye a drem / fill soore is for to drede 

Lo in the lyf of seynt kenelm I reede 4300 

That was kenulphus sone the noble kyng 

Of Merturyke how kenelm mette a thyng 

A lite er he was mordered on a day 

His mordere in his auysioun he say 4304 

His noryce hym expoungnede enerydel 

His sweuene / & bad hym / for to keepe hym weel 

flrom tresoun but he was but seuene ^eer old 

And therfore lytil taale hath he told 4308 

Of any drem so holy was his Jierte 

By god I hadde leuere than myn scherte 

That ^e hadde rad his legende as haue I 

Dame p^rtelote I seye jow trewely • 4312 

Matrobeus that wret thauysioura 

In Affryk of the worthi Cipnoun 

AfTermyth dremys & seyth that they been [iMirMs^bMk] 

Warnynge of thyTzgis that men aflyr seen 4316 

And ferthere more I prey 30W lokyth weel 

In the olde testement of danyel 

^if he helde dremys ony vanyte 

l^yth ek of losep & there ^e schul se 4320 

Wheere dremys ben sumtyme I seye nat alle 

Wamynge of thyngis that schul aftyr falle 

Loke of Egip the kyng daun pharao 

His bakere & his boteler also 4324 

Wheere they ne feltyn non effect in dremys 

Who so wele seke actis of sundery remys 

May reede of dremys manye a sundeiy thyng 

Ix> Cresus that was of lide kyng 4328 

CAMB&IDOB 509 (6-T. 29l) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

292 8IX-TKZT 

GROUP B. § 14. nun's pri£st's tal£. Cambridge KS. . 

Metie he nat how that he sat yp-on a tre 

Whiche signefyed anhangid schulde bee 

Lo heeie Andromatha ectoris wif 

Thai day that Ector schulde lese his lyf 4332 

Sche dremede on the same nyght by-foren 

How that the lyf of Ector schulde been loryn 

^if thilke day he werate in-to batayle 

Sche wamede hym but it myghte nat aiiayle 4336 

He wente for to fyghte netheles 

But he was slayn a-noon of Achilles 

But tylke tale is al to long to telle 

And ek it is nygh day I may nat dwelle 4340 

Certeynly I seye as for conclusiou» 

That I schal han of this auysioun 

Aduersite / & I seye ferthere-moore 

That I ne telle of laxatyuys no store 4344 

ffor they been venimes I wot it weel 

I hem defye I loue hem neue/'e a deel 

Now lat vs speke ef myrthe & stynte al this 

Madame pertelote so haue I blys 4348 

Of on thyng god hath sent me large grace 

ffor whaTine I se the beute in joure face 

30 been so skarlet red aboute ^oure eyen 

It nmkyth al myn dred / for to deyen 4352 

ffor al so sekyr as In principio [iMf s»] 

Malier est homin[i]s confusio 

Madame the sentence of tlus laty?) is 

Woihan is manys loye & al his blys 4356 

ffor whan I fele a nyght ^oure softe syde 

Al be it that I may nat on 30W ryde 

ffor that oure perche is mad so narw alias 

I am so ful of loye & of solas 4360 

That I defye bothe sweuene & drem 

And with th[a]t word he fley doun fro?7i the beem 

ffor it was day & ek hise hennys alle 

And with a chuk he gan hem for to ctiUe 4364 

CAMBRIDGE 610 (O-T. 20-*) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

293 SIX-TEXT . : ' : 

OBOUF B. § 14. hun's priest's tale. Cambnd^ XS^ . > 

ffor he hadde foundyn a com lay in the jerd 

Royal he was he nas no mbore aferyd 

He feterede P^rtelote twenty tyme 

And trad as ofte er it was pryme 4368 

He lokyth as it weere a grym lyouw 

And on hise tois he romyth yp <fc donn 

Hym deynyth nat to sette hise feet to grounde 

He ehukkith whan he hath a corn I-founde 4372 

And to hy w lennyn thanne hise wyuys alle 

Thus royal as a prynce is in an halle 

Leue I this chaantecleer in his pasture 

And^aftyr wele I telle his auenture 4376 

IT Whan that the monythe / in which that the world be^ga^ 

That high[t]o March / whan god ferst inakede man 

Was compleet & passede weere also 

Byn March bygan .30. day is &, two 4380 

By-fel that chauntecleer in al his pryde 

His seuene wyuys walkynge hym by-syde 

Caste yp hire eyen to the bryghte sunne 

Thai in the signe of< taurus hadde I-rou/ine 4384 

Twenty degreis & on & sumwhat moore 

And knew by kynde & by noon othir lore 

That It was pryme & krew with b[l]ysful steuene 

The-sunne on heye w clombyn vp on heuene 4388 

.90. degreis & on & moore I- wis 

Madame pertelote myn wordelis blys 

Herkenyth these blysful brydis how they synge ci«af mo, bm*] 

And se the frosche flot^ns how they sprynge 4392 

fful is my« h^rte of reuel <& solas 

liut sodeynly hyw fel a sorweful cas 

ffor euere the lattere ende of loye is wo 

God wot that wordely ioye / is soone ago 4396 

And jif a retor coude fayre endyte 

He in a cronicle sauely myghte it wryte 

As for a souereyn notabilyte 

Now euery wise man now herkene me 4400 

CAMBUIDQE 611 (0-T. 293) 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 14. kuk's pbiest's tale. Oambridge "MS. 

This stoTje is also trewe I yndyiiake 

As Is the bok of lau7]tcelot de lake 

That women heelde in ful greet reoerenoe 

Now wele I tiime a-geyn to mjn setitenoe 4404 

A col fox ful of sly Iniquite 

That in the groue hadde dwelled 3eris thte 

Bj hygh Imaginacioiui for-cost 

The same nyght thot^r-ont the hegis brast 4408 

Inrto the jerd there chauntecleer the fayre 

Was wont & ek hlse wyuys to repay re 

And In a bed of wortis sty He he lay 

Til it was passed onderen of the day 4412 

Waytynge his tyme on Chauntedeer to falle 

As gladly doon these homycidis alle 

That in a-wayt liggyn to morderen men 

O false morderouT larky nge in thy?! den 4416 

newe Scariot / newe Genysoun 

fEalse dissimylowr / O Grek Synoun 

That broughtist Troye al vttyrly to sorwe 

O Chauntecheer a-cuisede be that morwe 4420 

That thow in-to that ^erd / flaw fro?» the bemya 

Thow weere ful weel I-wamede be thy/me dremys 

That thilke day was perlyous to the 

But what that god forwot mot nedis be 4424 

Aftyr the opyniouw of certeyn clerkis 

Witnesse on hym that ony p«rfyt clerk is 

That in scole is greet altercacionn 

In this matiere & greet disputacioun 4428 

And ban been of an hunderede thousent men ciMftTtf) 

But I can not butte it to the brecu 

As can the holy doctour Augustyn 

Or Boece or the bisshop Bradwardyn 4433 

Whethir that goddys worthi forwetyng 

Streynyth me nedely for to do that thyng 

Needely clepe I symple necescite 

Or ellis fre choys be grauntede me 4436 

CAMBRIDGE 612 (6-T. 894) 

Digitized by 



GBOUP B. § 14. NUN*s pbdbst's TALE. Cambridge HS. 

To do that same thjng or do it not 

Thow god fore-wot it er that I was wrought 

Or ^if his wetynge streynyth neneie a deel 

But by necescite condiciounuel 4440 

I wele not han to done of swich mateere 

Myn tale is of a cok as ^e may here 

That tok his conseyl of his wif with sorwe 

To walkyn in the ^erd vp-on that morwe 4444 

That he hadde met the drem that I 30W tolde 

Womenys conseylis been ful oftyn colde 

Womenys conseylis broughte vs ferst to woo 

And made Adain from panidys to go 4448 

Theere as he was fill merye & weel at ese 

But for I not to whom I myghte displcse 

jif I conseyl of women wolde blame 

Passe ouyr for I seyde it in myn game 4452 

Eeede autouris wheere they trete of sweche matiere 

And what they sey / of women / ^e may here 

These been the cokkis wordis & nat myne 

I can noon harm on no woman dcuy»ne 445G 

fDEtyre in the sond to bathe hire meryely 

Lyth Pertelote & alle hire susteryn by 

A-geyn the sunne & Chau?itecleer so free 

Song meryere than the mermeydyn in the se 4460 

ffor phiaiologus seyth sekyrly 

How that they sywgyn weel & meryely 

And so be-fel that as he caste his yen 

A-mong the wortis on a botyrflye 4464 

He was war of this fox that lay ful lowe 

No thyng ne lyste hym thanne for to crowe 

But criede a-noon kok kok & vp he styrte [!•»' «7o, twck] 

As man that was afrayed in his herte 4468 

ffor naturelly / a beste desirith fle 

ffrom his contrarye / jif he myghte it se 

Thow he neu&ro erst hadde sey it with his lye 

IT This chauntccleor whan he gan hyw espye 4472 

CAMBRIDGE 618 (O-T. 20:i) 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 14. nun's pribst's tale. Cambridge. MS. 

He wolde a fled but that the fox a-noon 

Seyde gentyl sire / alias whidyr wole je goon 

Be ^e afrayed of me that,am joure freend 

!Now certys I were werse than a feend 4476 

jyf I to jow harm or velenye 

I am nat come ^oure conseyl for tespie 

But trewely the cause of myn comynge 

Was only for to herkene how that 30 synge 4480 

ifor trewely 30 ban so merie a steuene 

As ony aungel hath that is in heuene 

Therewith 3e han In musik moore felyng 

Than hadde . boece . or ony that can syng 4484 

Myn lord ^oure fadyr god his soule blys 

And ek 3oure modyr of hire gentilles 

Han in myn hous I-been to myn greete ese 

But certys syre ful fayn wolde I 30W pleese 4488 

IT But for men speke of syngyng I wil seye 

So mote I broukyw weel myn eyen tweye 

Saue 30W I herde neu^e man so synge 

As dede 30ure fadyr in the morwenynge 4492 

Certis it was of herte al that he song 

And for to make his voys the moore strong 

He wolde peyne hyw that with bothe hise eyen 

He miiste wynke so loude he muste cryen 4496 

And stondyn on his typton therewithal 

And streche forth his nekke long & smal 

And ek he was of swich discrecyouu 

That there was no man in no regioun 4500 

That hy?7i in song or wisdam myghte passe 

I haue weel red in daun burnel the Asse 

A-mong hise vers how that ther was a kok 

ffor a prestis sone 3af hym a knok 4504 

Vp-on his leg whil he was 3ond & nyce [ierf37i] 

He made hym for to lese his benefice 

But certeyn there ne is no co7nparisou?e 

By-twixe the wisdom & discreciou7j 4508 

CAMBRIDGE 514 (6-T. 296) 

Digitized by 



GROUP B. § 14. nuk's priest's tale. Cambridge HS. 

Of jotire &dyT & of his subtiletee 

iN^ow syngitli sere for sejnte charite 

Lat se cunne 30 ^oure fedyr countyrfete 

This chauntecleer hise wyngis gan to beete 4512 

As man that coude his tresoun nat aspye 

So was he rauyscbid with his iiaterye 

IT Alias 3e lordis manye a ilateronr 

Is in ^oure court A manye a losengeour 4516 

That plesen 30W weel more be myn fayth 

Than he that sothfastmesse vn to 30W sayth 

Eedyth ecclesiaste of flaterye 

Beth war je loidis of hire trecherye 4520 

This Chauntecleer stood bye yp-on hise tois 

Strechynge his neke Se held his eyen clos 

And gan to crowe loude for the nonys 

And daun Busett the fox styrte vp at at anys 4524 

And by the garget hente Chauntecleer 

And on his bak to the wode hym beer 

ffor jit theere ne was no man that hyjn sewid 

O destene that mayst nat been eschewid 4528 

Alias that Chauntecleer fley from the bemys 

Alias his wyf ne roughte nat of dremys 

And on a fryday fil al this niyschaunce 

O \emi8 that art goddesse of plesaunce 4532 

Syn that thyn seruaunt was this chau[n]tecleer 

And in thyn seruyse dede al his power 

Moore for delyt than world to multeplye 

Why woldist tow suffere hym on thyn day to deye 4536 

O ganfryd deere maystyr souereyn 

That whan thyn worthy kyng Richard was slayn 

With schot compleynedist his deth so soore 

Whi ne haddo I-nough thyn centence A thyn loore 4540 

The fryday for to chide as dedyn je 

flfor on a fryday sothly slayn was he 

Thanne wolde I schewyn how that I coude pleyne a««fs7i.»«ck] 

ifor Chauntecleeres drecde & for his peyne 4544 

CAMBRIDGE 515 (6-T. 297) 

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oBoup B. § 14 HiTsr's fribbt^b talk. Oaabzidg« KS. 

IT Certis Bwich cij ne lamentacionn 

Ws8 neoere of ladijs mad whan jljoun 

Was wone & 'Pirns with bis stre jte sweid 

WbiEB ihat he hadde hent kyng priame hi the herd 454S 

And slayn hym as seyth ts Enidos 

As madjn alle the hewDys in the doos 

Whan they hadde of Chaimtecler the sygfat 

But Boaeieynly dame Pertdote shiyght 4553 

fful loudere than dede Hasdrabalis wyf 

Whan that hire hnsbonde hadde y-lost his \jf 

And that the Bomaynys haddyn bient Cartage 

8che was so fol of tnmement & of rage 455^ 

That wilfully in-to the feer sche steite 

And brende hire selnyn with a 8tede£ute herte 

O wofiil hennys lyght so ciyedyn ^e 

As whan that nero brende the Cete 4560 

Of Borne cryedyii / Senatonris wynys 

ffor that here hnsbondys loetyn alle here lyuys 

With-ontyn gylt this Nero hath hem slayn 

Now wole I tnme to myn tale agayn 4564 

IT The sely wedewe & ek here donghteiyn two 

Herdyn these hennys crye & makyn wo 

And out at the dorys stiite they a-non 

And seyen the fox toward the grone gon 4508 

And bar Tp-on his bak the Cok away 

And ciyedyn out haiow & weyleawey 

.Ha. ha. the for & aftyr hym they ran 

And ek with st<my8 many a-nothir man 4572 

Ban CoUe oore doge & talbot & Grarland 

And Malkyn with a distaf iu hire hand 

Ban cow & Calf & ek the vemy hoggis 

ffor-fered for berkynge of the dnggis 4576 

And schoatyng of the men & women ek 

They ronne so they thoute here herte brek 

They ^elledyn as fendis doon in heUe 

The dolus ciyedyn as men wolde hem qneUo f^n^&r' jr«'w 

CAVBBIDQS Slf (6-T. 298) 

Digitized by 



6B0UP B. § 14. nun's priest's talb. Cambridge MS. 

[Out of the hyues/ come the swarme of bees/. [Bttii7M^o»{^i99] 

The gees/ for feer/ flowyn ouyr/ the trees/. 

So hidous/ was/ the nois/ a benedicite . 

Certis/ he lak/ strawe & his/ meyne . 4584 

Ke made neuyr/ schoutis/ half* so schrille . 

When that thei wolde anye fflemyng* kille . 

As/ that/ like dale was/ made yp-on the ffox . iii«qf iw] 

Of/ bras/ thei broghf hemes/ & of box . 4588 

Of horn A boon in whiche thei poupid . 

And ther with &/ thei schrichid & sohoutid . 

If semyd as/ that/ heuyn schnlde falle . 

Kow good men I piaie you herkenyth alle . 4592 

Lo how fortune tumeth sodenlye . 

The hope & eke pride of* her/ enuye . 

This/ Cok/ that* laie vp on the ffox bak« . 

In aH his/ drede vn-to the ffox spak/. 459G 

And seide sir/ if/ I were as/ ye . 

Yef schulde I seie as/ wis/ god helpe me. 

Tume a-yen ye proude chides/ alle . 

A verry pestilence vpon you falle . 4600 

1^'ow am I come vn-to this/ Wode side . 

Maugre your/ heed the Cok* schaH/ here a-bide. 

I woH/ hym etc in feyth & that* a-non . ' 

The ffox answerid in feith it* schati be don . 4604 

And he spak/ that* word aH/ sodenly . 

This Cok brak/ fro his/ mouthe delyuerly. 

And bye vp on a tre he flewe a non . 

And when the ffox sawe that/ he was/ gon. 4608 

Alas quod he O chauntecler/ alias/. 

I haue quod he don to you trespas/. 

In as/ meche as/ I made you a-ferde . 

When I you bent* & broghf out/ of/ the yerde . 4612 

But* sir/ I dide it* noght in no wicked entent/. 

Cometh downe & I schaH/ telle you what* I ment*. 

I schatt/ seie soth so god helpe me so . 

Naie than quod he I schrewe vs/ bothe two . 4616 

CAMBEIDGB 617 (6-T 299) [this pngC, Harl 1768] 

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300 8IX-TEXT 

OROVF B. § 14. nuk's priest's tale. Cambridge MS. 

And first/ 1 schrewe my self* botbe blood & bones/. ch«l rm^ 

If tbou be-gile me ofter/ tban ones . 

Thou scbalt/ no more with thi fiaterie . 

Do me syng* & wynke with myn ye . 4620 

ffor he that wynketh when he schulde se . 

As/ wisly god lete hym neuyr/ the . 

Naie quod the ffox god yeue hym myschaunce . 

That* is/ so vndiscrete of* goucrnaunce . 4624 

That iangleth when he schulde haue pees/. 

Lo SQche is/ for to be recheles/. * 

And nedigent/ A trusteth on flateiie . 

But ye that/ holdyn this/ folie . 4628 

As/ of a ffox of a Cok/ <& of an hen . 

Taketh the moralite good men . 

ffor seynt Poule seith all thaf writen is/. 

To our/ doctryne it* is/ writen y-wis/. 4632 

Taketh the fruyt & letith the chaf be stille/. 

Kow good god if if be thi wille . [if^raeo] 

As/ seith my lorde so make vs/ alle good men . 

And bryng* vs/ alle to his/ hye blis/ amen . 4636 

Here endifh the/ tale/ of the Honnes/ Freeet/J 2S^^ 

[The Manciple's Prologue foUoios in Harl 1758, afta' a 
apace of 28 lines in the middle of page 200.] 

CAMBBIDGE 518 (S-T. 800) [this pagc, Harl. l7o8l 


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[Here begynnefhe be Prologge of >e Seconnd Himne 

rBUMii«1685,(m(/'167.6Ar: nobreal 
between ike atanzaa in SloaneZ 


The mynystre of fe Noryce vnto vices . 1 

whiche Jjat men clepen in englys ydylnesse 
The portere of fe gate ys of delyces 
To eschewe and by hir contraryry hym opprease 4 
pBi ys to say by lefefulle besynesse [i^^riMj 

Trele ou^te we dofi oore entent 
leste fskt pe fende J^orouje ydebiesse ys hent 7 

ffor he ]»t wti^ his }»oiiaand coides slij 8 

Contynuelly vs awayteth to be-clappe 
^an he may man in ydehies aspye 

he can so lijtly cacche hym in his trappe 1 1 

Tylle ]»t a man be hent ri^t/ by pQ lappe 
he nys not ware pe fende ha])e hyra in honde 
wele oujt vs worche and ydelnesse with stonde] ^JJJSJiSi] 

Asid thow men dreddyra neuere for to deyin ^^^j?" ^' ** ''' 
jit seen men weel by resou/i donteles 
That ydilnesse is rote slogardye 

Of whiche there neuere comyth encrees 18 

And seen that slonthe hire holdyt in a lees 
Only for to slepe & ete & drynke 

And to denoure al that othir swynke 21 

CAMBBIDOB 610 (6-T. 687) [part, Sloane 1686J 

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528 8U-TEXT 

GROUP 0. § 1. SBGOND nun's tals. Cambridge XSr 

And for to putte vs from swich ydilnes 22 

That cause is of so gieet conf asiou/t 
I haue here don myn feythful businesse 
Aftjrr the legende in translacioun 25 

Bygh of thyn glorious lyf & pascioon ,\d est, cecilie 

Thow with thyn garland wrogh[t] wttA rose & lilye 
Tho meene I majde & martyr Seyn Cecyl» %S 

And thow that iiour of yirgynis art alle 29 

Of whom that bemaid lyste so weel to writ» 

To the at myn begynnynge I leste to caULa .iih^nur [MSffic] 

Thow confort of vs wrechis do me endite 32 

Thyn maydenys deth / that wan thour hir^ vteryte 

The eternal lyf & ouyr the fend victoiye 

As man may aftyr redyn in h[i]re storye 39 

Thow maydyn & modyr doghtir of the 80&« Zi 

Thow welle of mercy synful soulys cure 
In whom that god of mercy ches to wone 
Thow humble A heig ouer euery creature 39 

Thow nobledist so far forth oure nature 
That no disdayn the makere hadde of kynde 
His sone in blood & flesch to clothe & wynds 42 

With-inne the cloystre blisful of thynne sydis 43 

Tok mannys schap the eternal loue & pees 
That of the tryne cumpas lord & gide ia 
Won heuene & se & erthe out of reles 46 

Ay heryen & * thow virgyne wemmelees p h o/iamo 

Bar of thyn body & dweldist mayde pure 
The creatour of euery creature 49 

^OAMBBIDQie 620 (6-T. 628} 

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529 8IX-TEXT • / ^ 

Gfioup 0» § 1. SECOND nun's TALE. Cambridge MS. 

Assembled is in the magnyficence DwfSTs^backi 50 

With mercy goodnesse & swich pete 
That thow that art the sunne of excellence 
Kat only helpist hem that preyen the 53 

But ofte tyme of thy» benygnetee 
ffol finely er that men thyn helpe bo-seche 
Thow gost by-fom & art oure lyuys leche 56 

Now help thow meke & blysful fayre mayde 57 

Me flemede wreche in this desert of galle 
Thynk on the woman Canane that sayde J. Maria \iat4ir\ 
That whelpis etyn some of the cromys alle 60 

That fro7n hire lordis table been I-falle 
And thow that 1 onworthi sone of ene 
Be synful ^it accepte my/i beleue 63 


And for that feyth is deed with outyn werkis 64 

So for to werkyn 3eue me wit & space 

That I be quyt from thens that most derk is 

O thow that art so &yr & ful of grace 67 

Be myn adnocat in that hyge place 

Theere that withbuty7» ende is sunge osanne 

Thow cristis modir doughtir deere of Anne^ [» firu anne] 


And of thyn grace^ myw soule in prisoun lighte \?wrT.-\ 71 

That troblid is bi the cogitacioun* [»«iiiA'c*.«»*<f.B.u] 

Of myn body <& also by the whighte 

Of ertheli Inst & fals affeccioun 74 

O hauen of refut / O saluacioun 

Of hem that been in sorwe & in distresse 

Now help for to myn werk I wele me dresse 77 

33 CAMBBIDUE odl (6-T. 529) 

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oBoup 0. § 1. SECOND Nux^s TALE. Cambridge MS. 

3it preye ych ^ jow pai^ redyn thafc I wryte [»-» eometed:} 78 
fror-3eae me that I do / no diligence 
This ilke story / subtily tendite 

ffor bothe haue I / the woidis & the sentence 81 

Of hym that at the / seyntis reuerence 
The storye wrot / & folwe hire legende 
And preye jow that ^e / wele my» werk amende ^{^Jli^Ss.^ 

(13) [THE TALE.] 

[ffyist wolle I you fe name of Seynt Cecile SwJS/ iS* 

Expoune as men may in hir stories see 

hit ys to say on englysshe heuen lilie 

Pure Chastnesse of Viiginite 88 

Or for she wytnesse hade of honeste 

Of greue of conscience and of gode fame 

The swoote sauouro lylie was hir name 91 


Other / Cecile ys to say J)e wey to blynde 92 

Sot she ensample was by god techynge 

Or elles Ceciles as I wryten fynde 

Is ioyned by manere comoynynge 95 

Of heuen and lya and h^er/ in figurynge 

pe heuen ys . sette for Jjou^t of holynesse 

And lya for hir lastynge besynesse 98 


Cecile may eke be sayde in ])is manere 99 

Wantynge hir blynednesse for hir grete li3t 

Of sapience for hir/ thewes dere 

Or elles lo ph maydons name bri^t 102 

Of/ heuen and loos comethe for whiche be ri3b 

Men myjt pe heuen of peple hir/ calle 

Ensample of god and wyse werkes wit^ alle 105 

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QAoup 0. § 1. 8JBC0ND nun's TALE. Cambridge MS. 

fibr leo6 peple in Englyssh in to say [Smom 1686] 106 
And ri^t/ as men may in pis henen se 
The Sonne and mone and sterres euery way 
Rijt/ so gostely in J)is mayden fire 109 

Seyen fe feithe of Magnificence 
And eke of helthe and of sapience 
And sondiy werkes bri3t of Excellence 112 

And ri^t as po phylosopbie wiyte c^furiso, back-] 113 

f&t beuen ys swyfte lounde and brennynge 
Ri3t 80 was fayie Cecile ^e white 

ffulle swyfte and besy eueie in goode wirkynge 116 

And ronnde and hoole in goode perseuerynge 
And brenne eueie in Charite li^t 
Nowe haue I declared you what she hi^t 119 

Here endethe ]>e Prologge and begynnethe ft tale 


This mayd bryjt Cecile as hir/ lyf sayj^e 120 

Was comen of Romayns & of noble kynde 
And 80 forthe forstred yp in ]>e feij^e 
Of Cryst and baie his Gospel in hir myndo 123 
Sche nenere sesede as I wiyten fynde 
Of hir/ prayers but god to loue & drede 
Besechyngo hym to kepen hir/ maydenhede 126 

And whan ])is Mayde shulde vnto a man 127 

y-wedded be J>at was so 3onge of age 
The whiche y-deped was Valerian 

And J)e day was come of/ hir/ maiyage 130 

She fulle deuoute and humble in hir corage 
Vnder hir robe of golde fat sat fulle fayre 
And nexte hir/ flesshe ycladde was in heyre 133 

CAMBRIDGE 623 (6-T. 53l) [this page, Sloane 1686] 

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OBoup 0. § 1. SECOND nun's TALE. Cambiidj^e MS. 


And while ]>e Oi^ganes made melodye [SmuuISN] 134 
To god alle loue pus in hert sange she 

lord my eaule and eke my body gye 
Vnwemmed leste I confounded be 137 
And for hys loue fat deyde vpon a tre 

Euery second or ]}rid day she faste 

Ay bydynge in hir Orisons fulle faste] [SiMae im extract itop*: 


1 The nyghf caw & to bedde muste sche goon j£f^ " ^' *" "' 
With her husbond as ofte is the manner P^^^j^ ^^y** *' ^ 
And preuyly to hym sche saide A-noon^ 

sweete Ss weel belouyd spouse deere 144 
There is a conseyl & 30 wele it here 

Whiche that lygh fayn I wolde vn-to 30W seye 

So that je swere je schul it nat bewreye 147 

Valerian gan faste vn-to hire swere 148 

That for no cas ne thyng that myghto be 
He schulde neuej'emoie bewreyen hire 
And thanne at erst to hym seyde sche 151 

1 haue an auiigel whiche that louygh me 

That with greet loue wheere so I wake or sleepe 

Is redy ay myn body for to keepe 154 


But jif that he m*y folyn out of dreede 155 

That 3e me touche or loue in vilenye 

He rygh a-noon wele sle jow with the dede 

[And in youi* yowthe thus ye shulden dye] J^^^JJ^fSiJ^ 

And jif that je in cleene loue me gye tJfvJS^ ttiJl'^ 

He wele jow loue as me for jowre clennesse ***** . * • 

And schowe to jow his ioye & his bryghtnesse 161 

CAMUKIDGE 52h (6-T. 532) 

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533 8IX-T1SXT 

OBoup 0. § 1. SECOND nun's TALE. Cambridge MS. 

This valeriau corektid as god wolde 162 

Answerede a-geyn as I schal taruste the 
Lat me that angel se & ek beholde 

And jif that it a verray aungel bo 165 

Thawne wele I doon as thow hast preyed me 
And ^if thow loue a-nothir man forsothe 
Ryght with this swerd I wele sle 30W bothe 168 

Cecyle answerede a-noon lygh in this wise 169 

9if that 3e lyste the aungel schal 30 se 
So that ^e trowe on cryst & 30W baptyse 
Goth forth to via apia quod sche 172 

That flow this toun stant but mylis three 
And to the poure folkys that theere dwelle 
Seye hem righ as I schal 30W telle I75 


Telle hem that I Cecile 30W to hem sente [Imt srs, back] 

To shewyn 30W the goode vrban the olde 

ffor secre nedis & for good entente 

And whan that 30 seynt vrban ban beholde 179 

Telle hyw the wordis whiche I to 30W tolde 

And whan that he hath purgede 30W from synne 

Thanne schal 30 seen that aungel er 30 twynne 182 


This valerian is to the place I-gon 183 

And rygh as he was taught by his lemynge 

He fond this holye olde vrban a-non 

A-mong the seyntis veryely lokynge 186 

And he a-non with-oute taryinge 

Dede his massage & whan that he it tolde 

Vrban for loye / hise handys gan vp holde 189 

CAMBRIDGE 625 (6-T. 633) 

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OBOUF 0. § 1. ssooitn kx^'b talb. Cambridge W* 

The teem from hise eyen leet he falle 190 

Ahnyghty lord now Ihesa cryst quod he 
Soweie of chast conseyl / herde of ys alle 
The frevLt of thilke seed of chastite 193 

That thow hast sowe in Cecyle take to the 
Lo lyk a bisy bee 'with-ontyn gile 
The serayth ay thy» owene thial Cecile- 196 


ffor thilke spouse that sche tok but now 197 

£Eul lik a feeis^ leoun / sche sendyth hire t^jmntaiM} 

As meke* as euere was ony lamb to 30W ^Umreeudj 

And with that word a-noon there gan apeere 200 

An old man clad in white clothis cleere 

That hadde a bok with lettere of gold in honde 

And gan byfom valeryan to stonde 203 


Valerian as deed fil doun for dreede 204 

Whan he hym saw / & he vp hente hym tho 

And on his bok rygh thus he gan to reede 

O lord god o feith with-outy» mo 207 

cristendom & &dyr of alle also 
Abouyn alle & oner alle euerywheere 

These wordys alle of gold I-wretyn weere 210 

Whanne this was rad thanne seyde this olde man [iMf sts] 
Leuyst this thyng or no sey ^e or nay 

1 leue al this thyng quod Yaleiyan 

ffor sothere thyng this / I dar wed say 214 

Vndyr the heuene no wight thynkyn may 

Tho yaneschid this olde man he nyste wheere 

And Poope yrban hym cristenede ryght theere 217 

CAMBRIDGE 626 (6-T. 6S4) 

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. 635 SIX-TEXT 

oaoup 0. § 1. SECOND nun's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Valarian goth horn & fynd Cecile 218 

In-with his chambir with an Au[w]gel stojide 
This aungel hadde of rosis & of lylye 
Coionnnys two the whiche he bar in howde 221 

And fyrst to cedlie as I vndiistonde 
He ^af that on & af tyr gan he take 
That othir to valeryan hire make 224 


With body deene & with vnwemmede thought 225 

Kepith ay deene these coronys qnod he 

f&om paradys to jow / 1 haue hem brought 

2^e nenere mo ne sdial they rote be 228 

Ke leese here sote sauour trustith me 

Ne neuere wigh schal seen hew with his ye 

But he be chast A haate vilenye 231 


And thow Valerian for thow so soone 232 

Assentedist to good conseyl also 

Sey what the lyste <& thow schat haue thyw boone 

I haue a brothir quod valeryan tho 235 

That in this world I loue no man so 

I preye jow that myn brothir may ha« grace 

To knowe the trouthe as I do in tlus place 238 


The aungel seyde god lykyth thyn requeste 239 

And bothe with the palm of martyrdom 

je schul come yn-tyl his blysful feste 

And with that word Tiburse his brothyr coom 242 

And whan that he the saudur Vndymom 

Which that the rosis & the lylyis caste 

With-inne his herte he gan to wondere faste 245 

CAHBRinOE 627 (6-T. 686) 

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536 8IX-TBXT 

oRoup 0. § 1. SECOND nun's TALE. Cambridge MS. 


And eeyde I wondere this tyme of tlie ^eer Veatna, h^vj 

Whena that the sole sauour comjrth so 

Of rose & Ijlyis / that I smelle heere / 

fifor thow I hadde hem in myne handis two 249 

The sauovr myghte in me no deppeie go 

The swete smel that in my» herte I fynde 

Hath chaunged me al in a nothir kyndo 252 


Valerian seyde two corounnys han we 253 

Snow whit & rose reed that schynyw cleere 

"VVhiche that thynne eyne han no myght to se 

And as thow smellyst hem thowr myn preyere 256 

So schalt thow seen hem leue brothir deere 

3if it so be thow wolt wttA-outyn slouthe 

Byleue arygh & knowyn werray trouthe 259 


TibuTse answerde seyst thow this to me 260 

In sothnesse or in drem I herkene this 

In dremys quod Valerian haue wo be 

Vn-to this tyme brothir myn I-wis 263 

But now at erst in trouthe oure dweUywge is 

How wost thow this quod Tiburce & in what wyse 

Quod valerian that schal I the deuyse 266 


The Au[w]gel of god hath me the trouthe taught 267 

Which thow schalt se 3if that thow wilt reneye 

Thynne Idolis & been cleene & ellis not 

And of the myrakele of these coronys tweye 270 

Seynt Ambrose in his prefas leste to seye 

Solempnely this noble doughtyr dere 

Commend yth it & seyth in this maneere 273 

CAMBRIDGE 628 (6-T. 686) 

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GROUP 0. § L SECOND nun's TALE. Cambridge MS. 


The palme of marterdam for to reseeyue 274 

Sejnt Secile fdl£ld of godis jifte 

The world & ek hire^ chambre gan sche weyue i^jintute} 

Witnesse Tibuice & Cecilies schryfte 277 

To whiche god of his bounte wolde shifte 

Corounnys two of fLouria sweete smellynge 

And made his aungel hem the corounnys to brynge 280 


This maydyn hath brought hem to blysse a-boue \\mxm] 

The world hat wist / what it is wroth certeyn 

Deuocioun of chastite to loue 

Tho schewede hym Cecile al opyn & pleyn 284 

That alle ydolis nys but a thyng in veyn 

ifor they been dombe & therto they been deeue 

And chaigede hym hise ydolis for to leue 287 


Who so that trowith not this a beste he is 288 

Quod tho tyburse jif that I schal nat lye 

And sche gan kisse his brest that herde this 

And was ful glad he coude trouthe espye 291 

ThiB day I take the for myn dye 

Seyde this blysful fayre mayde deere 

And aftyr that sche seyde as 30 may here 294 


Lo right so as the loue of Crist quod she 295 

Made me thyn brothir wif rygh in that wise 

A-noon for myn alye I here take the 

80 that thow wolt thyvine ydolis espie 298 

Go with thyn brothir now & the baptyse 

And make the clene so that thow mowe be-holde 

The aungellis face of which then brothir tolde 301 

CAMBBIDGE 629 (S-T. 637) 

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OBOUF 0. § 1. sBGONi) nuk's talb. Cambridge HS 


Tyburce answerde & scyde brothir deere 302 

fifyrst telle me whidyr that I scbal & to i?vhat man 

To wbom quod he come forth with lygh good cheeie 

I wele the lede vn-to the pope vrban 305 

Tyl vrban brothir myn yalerian 

Quod tho Tiburce / wilt thow me dedyr leede 

Methynkyth that it were a wo/wiyr deede 308 


Ne knowyst tow nat vrban quod he tho 309 

That is 80 ofte dampned to be deed 

And wonyth in halkis alwey two & fro 

And dar nat onys putte forth his heed 312 

Men schulde hym brenne in a fyr so reed 

jif he were founde or jif men myghte hym spye 

And we also to here hym compaynye^ V o oiurttn 315 


And whil we seke thilke dyuinite Qeafsn^bMk] 

That is I-hid in heuene pryuyly 

Algate I-brend in this world schul we be 

To whom Cecile answerde boldely 319 

Men myghtyw dredyw weel & skylfully 

This lif to lese myn owene dere brothir 

If this weere lyuynge only & non othir 322 


But theere is betere lyf in othir place 323 

That neuere schal been lost ne drede the not 

"With godys sone / vs tolde thottr his grace 

That faderis sone hath alle thyngis wrou^t 326 

And al that wroujt is with a skylful thoujt 

The gost that from the fadyr gan precede 

Hath soulede hem with-outy» ony dreede 329 

CAMBRIDGE 530 (6-T. 638) 

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eBouF O. §1. SECOND nun's TALB. Cambridge KS. 


By word & by myrakele he goddis sone 330 

Wban be was in this world declared heere 

That theere is othir lyf / theere men may wone 

To whom answeido Tiburce o sistyr deere 333 

JNTe seydist tow right now in this maneere 

Theere nys but on god / in sothfastnesse 

And now of thie / how maystow here witnesse 336. 


That schal I telle quod sche er ^than I^ go [}-^ ottered] 337 
Kyght as a man hath sapiencis thre 
•Memorye engyn & intellect also 

So in o beyinge of dyuynytee 340 

Thre pe/sonys may theere weel bee 
Tho gan sche hym fnl busUi to preche 
Of Cristis sone & of hise peynys teche 343 


And manye poyntis of hise passioun 344 

How goddis sone in this world was with-holde 

To doon mankynde pleyn remyssiouw 

That was I-bou7idyn in synne & cans colde 347 

Al this thyng sche vn-to tibuice tolde 

And aftyr this Thiburce with good entente 

With valerian to pope vrban he wente 350 


That thankede god & with good heri» & lyght Deaf stb] 

He cristenede hym & made hym in that place 

Paifit in his lemynge goddis knyght 

And aftyr this Tibar[c]e gat swich grace 354 

That eueri day he saw in tyme & space 

The anngel of god & eaery manere b«one 

That he god axed it was sped ful soone 357 

CAMBBIDOE 631 (6-T. 639) 

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QRooF 0. § 1. SECOND Nux*s TALE. Cambridge KB. 


It weere ful hard by ordere for to 8«yn 358 

How manye wonderis Jhesu. for hem wroughte 

But at the laste to tellyn schort & pleyn 

The seigeauntis of the toun of rome hem sonata 361 

And hem by-fom almache the prefect broughtc 

Which hem opposede & knew al hire entente 

And to the ymage of lupiter hejn sente . — 364 


And seyde ho 80 wele not sacrifise 365 

Swap of hiB heed this myn centence heere 

Anoon these martiris that I ^ow deuyse 

On Maximus that was an officeere 308 

Of the Prefectis & his Comiculeere 

Hem hente & whan he forth the seyntis ladde 

Hym self he wepte for pite that he hadde 371 


Whan Maximus hadde herd the seyntis loore 372 

He gat hym of the turmentoi^ns leeue 

And ladde hem to his hous with-outyn moore 

And with heere prechyng er than it was eue 375 

They gunne from the turmentouris to reue 

And from Maxime & from hise folk echoone 

The false feith to trowe in god a-loone 378 


Cecile cam whan it was wexe nyght 379 

With prestis that hem cristenede alle in fccre 

And aftyrward whan day was wexen lyght 

Cecile hem seyde with a ful sobere cheere 382 

Now cristis owene knyghtis leuo & deere 

Cast al arwey the werkis of derknesae 

And armyth 30W in armys / of brightnesse . 385 

CAMBRIDGE 632 (6-T. 640) 

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ofiouF 0. § 1. SECOND nun's TALE. Cambridge MS. 


^e han forsothe don a greet batayle / [leaf sts, back] 386 

^oure cours is don / jowre feytli haue ^e C07iseruyd 

Goth to the coronn of lyf that may nat fayle 

The rightful luge / which that ^e han seruyd 389 

Schal ^eue it ^ovr right as 30 han ' seruyd p dis ^ Me Margin] 

And whan this thyng was seyd as I deuyse 

Men ledde hem forth / to don the sacriiise 392 


But whan they weere to the place brought 393 

To tellyn schortely the conclusyouTi 

The nolde encense^ ne sacrifise right noght pyirt* enienie] 

But on here kneis they settyn hem a-doun 396 

With humble herte & sad deuocioun 

And leftyn bothe here heuedis in the place 

Hero soulis wentyn to the kyng of grace 399 


This Maximus that saw this thyng betyde 400 

With pituse teris tolde it a-non right 

That he here soulis saw to heuene glyde 

With aungellis ful of cleemesse & of ligh 403 

And with his word conuertede manye a wight 

ffor whiche Alniachius dide hym so beete 

With whippe of leed til he his lyf gan lete 406 


Cecile hym tok & buried a-non 407 

Bi Tiburce & Valirian softely 

With-inne hire buriinge place vndyr the stoon 

And aftyr this Almathiu^ hastili ' 410 

Bad hise mynystris fighty» opynly 

Cecile so that sche myghte in hise presence 

Don sacrifise & lupiter encence 413 

CAMBRIDGE 533 (fi-T. 541) 

Digitized by 



ofioup Q, § 1. SECOND nun's TALE. Cambridge MS. 


But they conuertid at here wise loore 414 

Weptyn ful soore & jeuyji ful credence 

Vn-to hire word & cryedyn moore & moore 

Crist goddis sone with-outyn difference 417 

Is verray goddys sone this al cure centewco 

That hath so good a seroaunt hym to seme 

This with on vois we trowyn thow we stenie 420 


AlmachitM that heide al this doing iieatm} 421 

Bad feche CecUe that he myghte hire se 

And aldyr ferst lo this was his axsyng 

What manere woman art thow quod he 424 

I am a gentil woman horn quod sche 

I axe the quod he thow it the greeue 

Of thjn religioun & of thin beleeue 427 


je han begunne joure questioun folyly 428 

Quod sche that woldyn to answeris conclude 

In on demaunde je axsyn lewedely 

Almache answerede vnto that simylitude 431 

Of whens comyth thy« answeiynge so rude 

Of whens quod sche / wha» that sche was freynyd 

Of concience & of good feyth vnfeynyd 434 


AlmachitM seyde ne takist thow noon hede 435 

Of myn powere & sche answerde hiTTt thus 

joure myght quod sche fai lytil is to drede 

ffor euery manys mortal power nys 438 

But lyk a bladdere ful of wynd I-wis 

ffor with a nedellis poynt whan it is blowe 

May al the host of it been leyd ful lowe 441 

CAMBBISQE 634 (6-T. 642) 

Digitized by 



oBpup 0. § 1% SECOND nun's TALE. Cambridge MS. 


£ful wrongfully bigunne thow quod sche 442 

And jit in wrong is al thjn p&rseueraunce 

Wost tow not how oure myghti pryncis free 

Han thus comaundit & mad ordenaunce 445 

That euery ciistene whight schal han penau/zce 

But jif that he his cristendom withseye 

And goon al quik jif he wele it reneye 448 


Joure pryncis erryn as jowre nobleye doth 449 

Quod tho Cecile / & with a wood centence 

je makyn vs gilty & is nat soth 

ffor je that knowyn weel oure Innocence 452 

' ffor as meche as we doon a reuerence 
'To Cryst A for we here a cristene name 

3e puttyn on ys a cryme & ek a blame 455 


But we that knowen thilke name oaf879,i»ck] 456 

ffor vertuous we may it not with-seye 

Almache answerde chees on of these two 

Do sacrifise & cristendam reneye 459 

That thow mowe escape by that weye 

At which this holy blysful fayre mayde 

Gan for to laughe & to the luge sayde 462 


O luge confus in thy» nycete 463 

Wilt thow that I reneye Innocence 

To makjm me a wikkede wight quod sche 

Lo he dissimulyth here in audience 466 

He starith & wodit in hise aduMence 

To who»/» Almachit« onsely wreche 

Ne wost thow not how fer ■*'* mygh may streche 469 

CAMBRIDGE 535 (S-T. 543) 

Digitized by 



OBOup 0. § 1. SECOND NUN 8 TALK Caoibridf^e KfiL 


Han not ouie might! pryncis to me 360711 470 

^e boothe power & autorite 

To makyn folk to deyin or to leuyn 

Whi spekist thow so proudely tha?jne to me 473 

I speke noght but stedefastly quod sche 

Kat proudely I seye as for my^z side 

We haty;i dedly thilke vyce of pryde — 476 


And jif tbow dreede nat a soth to beere 477 

Tbanne wele I schewe al opynly be rygbt 

That Ihow hast mad a ful greet lesyng heere 

Thow seyst thynne pryncis han the jonyn myght 480 

Bothe for to slen & for to quekyn a wight 

Thow that ne mayst but only lyf bereue 

Thow hast non othir power ne no leue 483 


But thow mayst seyn thynne pryncis ban the makid 484 

Ministre of deth / for ^if thow speke of mo 

Thow lyist for thy» power is ful nakyd 

Do wey thyn boldenesse seyde AlmathitM thoo 487 

And sacrifise to the goddis er thow go 

I reche nat what wrong that thow mo profere 

fifor I can sufifere it as a Philisophero 490 

But thilke wrongLs may I not endure neafSM] 491 

That thow spekist of oure goddis heere qnod he 
Cecile answerde nyce creature 

Thow seydist no word syn thow spake with me 494 

That I ne knew therwtt/^ thyn nycetee 
And that thow were in euery m&ner wise 
A lewede offiser & veyn lustise 497 

CAUBRIDGE 536 (6-T. 544 

Digitized by 


5i5 BIZ-T£XT 

GBOUP 0. § 1. SECOND nun's TALE. Cambridge MS. 


Teere lakkyth no thyng to thy?! vtter lyen 498 

That thow nart blynd / for thyng that we seen aDe 

That is a stoon that men may wel espyen 

That ilke stoon a god thow wilt it calle 501 

I rede the let thyn hond vp-on it Mle 

And taste it weel & ston thow schalt it fynde 

Syn that thow sest nat with thynne eyin blynde 504 


It is schame that the peple schal 505 

So scome the & laghe at thyn folye 

iTor comounly men wot it weel oueral 

That myghty god is in hise heuenys hye 508 

And these ymagis weel thow mayst espie 

To the ne to hem self may nought profyghte 

ffor in effect they been nat worth a myghte 511 


These woidis & swiche otheie seyde sche 512 

And he wex wroth & bad men schulde hire leede 

Hom to hire hous / & in hire hous quod he 

Brenne hire right in a bath with flambis reede 515 

And as he bad ry^t so was doon the dede 

ffor in a bath the gune hire faste schette 

And nygh & day greet fyr they vndyr bette 518 


The longe nyght <& ek a day also 519 

ffor al the feer & ek the bathis heete 

Sche sat al cold Ss felede no woo 

It made hire not a drope for to sweete 522 

But in that bath hire lyf muste sche lete 

ffor he Almachiti^ with a wekkede entent 

To sleen hire in the bath his sonde sent/ 525 

39 CAMBRIDGE 637 (6-1. 546) 

Digitized by 


546 8IX-TEXT 

OBOUF Gt. § 1. sEcx)KD nun's TALE. Cambridge VS. 

Thie strokis in the.nekke he smoot liire tlio [iflif»o,bMk] 
The tnrmentour hut for no manere chaunce 
He mjghte nat smyte al hire nekke a two 
And for there was that tynie an ordynannce 529 

That no man schulde doon / man swich penaunce 
The foTirte strook to smyte soffte or sore 
This turmentovr ne durste doon no moore 532 

But half deed with hire nekke I-korujn thecre 533 

He lefte hire lye / & on his woye is went 
The cristene folk whiche that arboute hire weere 
"With scheetis han the blood ful fayre I-hent 536 

Thre dayis leuede sche in that tumement 
And neuere sesede hem the feyth to teche 
That sche hadde fosterede hem sche gan to preche 539 

And hem sche jaf hire meoblis & hire th}'ng 540 

And to the Poope Vrban bi-tok hem tho 
And seyde I axede this of heuene kyng 
To haue thre dayis respit & namo 543 

To recommende to 30W / er that I go 
These sonlis lo & that I myghte do wercho 
Heere of myn hous perpetuelly a cherche 546 

Seynt vrban with hise dekenjrs priuily 547 

The body fette & beriede it be nyght 
Among hise othere seyntis honestely 
Hyre hous the cherche of seynt cecile hyghto 550 

Seynt Vrban halwede it as he wed myght 
In which in to this day in noble wyse 
Meen don to Cryst & to his seynt seruyse 553 

CAMBBIDGE 638 (6-T. 646) 

Digitized by 



gboupO. §2. 2» NUN-CAN.-TEo. LINK. Cambridge ICS. 

Here folwyn the mery wordys of chancer ft of ])* host 
And the prologe of the chanonnys man ion i«irs8o. baeuj 

hat told was the lif of seynt Cecile cieKfasi] 

[> Er w]e fuUy haddy» ledyn fyue myle L^isfC^niS! 
[At «Bong]hto» vndyr Blee vs gan a take ^sS^^f'**^ 
[ A man] that clothede was in clothis blake 557 

[And Tn]dyT that he hadde a whit surplys 
[hys ha]keny that was al pomele gris 
[So swa]tte that it woTidir was to se 
[hit 8eme]de that he hadde prekede mylis thre 561 

[The hors eke p&t hys yoman rjod Tpon 
[So swef ^at Ynne]>e my]hte' it goon p«*my}t,- in sioatu less] 
Abonte Je pey[trelle stode the] fom ful hye 
He was of foom al flekked as a pye 565 

A male twifold on his ciopdr lay 
It semede that he cariede lyte aray 
Al lygh for somyr rod this worthi man 
And in myn herte wondeiyn I began 569 

What that he was that I yndyistood 
How that his cloke was sowid to his hood 
ffor which whanne I longe hadde auysede me 
I demede hym * schanonn for to be 573 

His hat hyng donn at his bak by a lace 
ffor he hadde redyn mooie than trot or pace 
He hadde ay prikyd lyk as he were wood 
A doote lef he hadde vndyr his hood 577 

fiio swot & for to kepe his heed from heete 
But it was loye for to seen hym sweete 
His forhed dropped as a stillatorie 
Were ful of plauntayn & of permytorye 681 

CAMBRIDGE 639 (S-T. 647) 

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oboupO. §2. 2» NUN-CAN. -TEo. LINE. Cambridge MS. 

And whan that he was come he gan to crye 532 

God saue quod he this fayre compaynye 

ffaste haue I prikyd quod he for ^ouie sake 

By cause that I wolde 30W a take 585 

To rydyn in this murye cumpaynye 

His ^eman ek was ful of curteysie 

And seyde sens now in the morwe tyde 

Out of 30Mre hostelrye I saw 90W ryde 589 

And wamede heere myn lord & mjn souereyn 

^Vhich for to ridyn with 30W is ful fayn 

fibr his disport he lout[hi dalyaunce] tiwf «i. b«*l 

ilreend for thyyj wamy[nge god jeue pe gode chaunce] 593 

Thanne seyde oure h[Oste certes hit wolde seme] ^^/ST^oi** 

Thyn lord weere w[yse and so I may wele deme] ^ 

He is ful locunde a[lso dare I leye] 

Can he ough a me[ry tale or tweye] 597 

Wtt/i which he glade [may fis companye] 

// Who sere myn lord [3e with out lie] 

He can of merthe & [eke of lolyte] 

Nat but I-now also [sir trestyth me] 601 

And 30 hym knewe a[lso wele as] that do I 

Je woldyn wondere how weel & craftyly 

He coude werke & that in sundery wise 

He hath takyn on hym manye a greet emprise G05 

TVhiche were ful hard for ony that is he^re 

To brynge arboute but ^they of hym it leere * p-«te<«r] 

As hoomely as he ht a-mongis 30W 

Jif 30 hym knewe it wolde be for 30Mre prow 609 

3e wolde nat forgoon his aqueyntaunce 

ilbr meche good I dare leye in balauwce 

Al that I haue in layn posscssioun 

He is a man of heigh discrecioun 613 

I wame 30W weel he is a passynge man 

Weel quod oure host I preye the telle me than 

Is he derk or noon I preye the telle me this 

I^ay he is grettere tha?i a clerk I-wis 617 

CAMBRIDGB 540 (6-T. 648) 

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qboufG. §2. 2"> NUN-GAN.-YEO. LINE. Cambridge HS. 

Seyde this jeman & in wordis fewe 618 

Hoost of his craft snmwhat I wele jow schewe 

I seye mjn lord can s-wich sotyletee 

But al his craft je may nat wete at me 621 

And sumwhat helpe I jit to his werkyng 

That al this ground on which we been rydyng 

Til that we comyn to cauwtyrbery toun 

He coude al clene tume vp so doun 625 

And paue it al of syluyr & of gold / 

And whan this jeman hadde this I-told 

Yn-to oure host he seyde benadicite 

This thyng is wondyr meruelious to me 629 

Syn that thyn lord is of so hegh prudence p«af sss] 

By cause of which men wolde hym reuerence 

That of his worschepe rekkith he but lyte 

His ou&re sloppe nys nat worth a myte G33 

As in effect to hym so mote I go 

It IB al baudit & to-tore also 

Whi is thyn lord so slottysch I the preye 

And is of power betere cloth to beye 637 

If that his deede a-cordit with his speche 

Tel me that & that I the be-seche 

// Whi quod this jeman wherto axe je me 

God help me so for he schal neusre the 641 

But I wele nat a-wowe that I seye 

And therfore kepe it secre I 30W preye 

He is to wis in feyth as I be-leue 

That is ouerdone it wele nat preue 645 

Aryght / as cletkis seyn it is a vice 

Wherfore in that I helde hym lewid & nyce 

ffor whan a man hath ouergreet a wit 

fiul ofte hym happith to mysusen it 649 

So doth myn lord & that me greuyth soore 

God it amende I can sey 30W na moore 

Therof no fors goode jeman quod oure hoost 

Syn of the cunnyng of thpt lord thow west 653 

CAMBRIDGE 641 (6-T. 649) 

Digitized by 


550 8IX-TEXT 

oboupO. §2. 2»NUN-cAN.-TEo. LINK. Cambridge IS. 

Telle how he doth I preye the hertyly 654 

Syn that he is so crafty & so sly 

Wheere dwellyn je / jif it to tellyn he 

In the suharhlis of a toun quod he ^^7 

Lurkynge in hemys & in ^lanys hlynde [»xr^i«yii 

Where as these rohhouris & these theays by kynde 

Holdyn here pnue ferful residence 

As they that dore nat schewe here presence ^^^ 

So £»ro we ^if I schal seye the sothe 

Now quod oure hoost 3it lat me speke to the 

Whi art thow so discoloniyd in thyn &ce 

Fetir quod he god }eue it haide grace ^^^ 

I am so Ysed in the fiiir to hlowe 

That it hath chaujiged myn colour I trowe 

I am not wone in no myrour to piye parfi^taAl 

But swynke sore & leme multeplye ^^^ 

We blunders euere is poure in the fuyr 

And for al that we fEiyle of oure desyr 

£for euere we lakke oure conclusioun 

To muche folk we doon illusyoun ^^^ 

And borwe gold be it a pound or two 

Or ten or twelve or manye summys mo 

And makyn hem to wenyn at the leste weye 

That of a pound we ooudyn make tweye ^"^^ 

jit is it feds but ay we ban good hope 

It for to doon & aftyr it we grope 

But that science is so fer vs be-foren 

We mow not al-thogh we haddyn it sworen 681 

It ouyrtake it slyt awey so iaste 

It wele Ys make beggeris at the Iaste 

// Whil this jeman was thus in his talkyng 

This chanoun drew hym neer & heide alle thyng 685 

Which this jeman spak . for suspecioun 

Of menys speche / euere hadde this chanoun 

for Catoun seyth he that gilty is caaOmmmML 

Demyth alle thynge is seyd of hym I-wis 689 

CAMBBtPOK 643 (S-T. 660) 

Digitized by 



GROUP 0. §2. 2»NUK-0AN.-Txo.LiNE. Cambridge M& 

That was the cause he gan so nygh hjm drawe G90 

To his 3einan to heikenyn al his sawe 

And thus he seyde vn-to his 3enian tho 

Hold thow thy» pees & spek no wordis mo 693 

ffor ^if thow do thow schat it dere a-beye 

Thow slaunderyst me / heere in this cumpaynye 

And ek discouerist that thow sQliiildist hide 

Ja quod oure ost telle on whatso betyde 697 

Of al this thietyng relke nat a myte 

Infeyih quod he namore I do but lyte 

And whan this chanoun saw it wolde nat be 

But his 3eman wolde telle his pryuyte 701 

He fledde arwey^for verray sorwe & schame 

A quod the ^eman here schal aryse game 

Al that I can aruon now wele I telle 704 

Syn he is goon the foule fend by w quelle J^cSLriSi 

[fifoie neuere here aftere woUe with hym mete [Sz^i?*' ^"^ 

ffor peny ne for pounde I be-hete 

he ^at me brou^t/ fyrst/ in to ]>at game 

Er/ ]>at he deyde soiowe haue he & shame 709 

ffor hit ys emest/ to me by my fay]>e 

l^at fele I wele what- so ony man saythe 

And 3it for alle my smerf and alle my groef / 

And alle my sorowe laboure and myschef 713 

I cou])e neuere leeue hit / in no wyse 

Nowe wolde god my wytte myjt / suffice 

To tellen alle ]>at longethe to ]>at arte 

But nathles jit wyUe I telle you part 717 

Sy]>ens ]>at my lorde ys gone I wolle not spare 

Suche penge as I knowe I wille declare 

Here endith ]>e Prologge 

CAMBRIDGE 643 (6-T. 66l) [part, SloaUC IGSo] 


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GROUP 0. §3. CAN.-YEOM. FKSAMfiLEL Camlffidge lUL 

[Sloane 1685, on leaf 167, hack.] 

and be-gyime)^ ye tale 

Wyth J»is Cbanon dwelljd liaue I seuen 3eeie 
And of hys science neuere pe neie 721 
And ]>at I bade I haue loste parhj 
And god woote so hathe mony mo ^an 1 
There I was wonte to be 1131 fccssbe & gay 
Of clo]>inge and of gode array 725 

Nowe may I were afl bose vpon myne hede 
And where my colonre was bothe fressh & recde 
Nowe it ys wan and of a len hewe 
Who so hit Tse]>e sore shalle he rewe 729 

And of my swynke blered ys myn eyee 
Lo whiche avauntage hit ys to multiply 
^at slydynge science bathe me made so bare 
That I haue no gode where pat euere I iaxe 735 

And jit / I am endetted so per by 
Of golde J>at I haue borowed truly 
])at whyle I lyue hit/ shalle I quyte nevere 
lat euery man by ware by me for euere 737 

what manere man pat casteth hym per to 
yf/ he contynewe I holde hys thryfte y-do . 
[But so helpe me god ther/-by schaH he noght wynne . 
But empten his/ purs/ & make his/ wittis/ thynne. 741 
And whan he thorough his/ madnesse & folye/. 
Hath lost his/ owne good thorough iopardye . 
Than he exitith other/ men therto . 744 

To lese her/ good as/ hym self ha]> do .] [H«d. nn, wusi 
ffor vnto shrewes loye hit ys and ese iu^fl^] 

To haue hir/ felawes in peyne and dissese 

CAMBRiDOS 644 (6-T. 662) [this page, Sloaue 1686] 

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OBoup 0. § 3. CAN.-TBOM. PREAMBLB. Cambridge MS. 

Th j8 was I oones lerned of a Gierke [BUmm lesq 

Of fat no Charge I wolle speke of oure werke 749 

whan we bene ]>ere as we shati exercise 

Ouie Eluysshe crafte we seem wonder/ wyse 

Oure termes ben so clergial and so queynte 

I blowe fe fyre tylle Jjat myn hert/ feynte 753 

what/ shnlde I telle ecche proporcioun 

Of/ Jyenges whiche J»at we worchen vppou/i 

As on fyue or sixe vnces may wele be 756 

Of siluere or of* som o])ere quantite] [SImim 1686 extract ends} 

And besye me to telle 30W the namys ^^'iSf'^ ^' ** "' 

Of orpemynt brend bonys / Iren squamys 

That in to poudere grounde been ful smal 

And in an erthene pot how put is al 7G1 

And salt I-put in & also papeer 

Ey-fore these pouderis that I speke of heer 

And weel I-kenered with a laumpe of glas 

And of muche othir thyng whiche there was 765 

And of the pot & glasis enluty7%ge 

That of the ayr myghte passe out nothynge 

And of the esy fuyr & smert also 

Whiche that was mad & the care & wo 769 

That we hadde in oure mateeris sublymyng 

And in a-malgamynge & calcenyng 

Of quik siluyr I-clepede Mercurye Crude 

ffor alle oure slytis we cunne not conclude 773 

Of oure orpemynt & sublimyd mercurye 

Oure grourwiyn lytarge ek & the porphurye 

Of eche of these / of ounces a certeyn 

l^oght helpith vs oure labour is in veyn 777 

2^6 ek oure spiritis ascencioun 

Ne oure matieris that lyn al fyx a-dou» 

Mowe in oure werkynge no thyng vs avayle 

ffor lost is al oure labowr & trauayle 781 

And al the cost a twenty deuelleweye 

Is lost also which we on it leye 

CAMBmiDGB 646 (6-T. 663) [part, Sloanc 1686] 

Digitized by 



QBoup O. § 8. cAN.-TBox. FBEAMBLB. Cambridge KS. 

Ther ^s also ful manye anothir thjng 

That is vnto oure ciait aperteynynge 785 

Thow I be ordere / hem nat reberce can 

By cause that I am a lewede man 

That wele I telle bem as tbey come in mynde 

Tbow I ne can nat sette hem in bir^ kynde [^ h r aiured} 789 

As bole armonyak veidegres boras 

And sunderi vessellys mad of ertbe & glas 

Ouie vrynallis & ouie discensories 

Yiolys / Ciosletis / & sablymatoiies 793 

Cucurbites / & alembikes eek 

And otbere swicbe / deeie I-nogb a leek 

Kot nedytb it for to reberse bem alle [iMf »i» iwcki 

Watens rubifyinge & bolis galle 797 

Arsenyk Salarmoniak & bronston 

And erbis coude I telle ek manyon 

Of Egremoyne Walerian & lonaiye 

And otheie swecbe / If tbat me leste taiye 801 

Oure laumpis brennynge botbe nygb* A day 

To brynge aboute oure craft ^if tbat we may 

Oure fumeys ek of Calcinacioun 

And of oure wateris albifacacioun 805 

Ynslekkid lym chalk & gleyer of an ey 

Foudens dyuerce Aschis donge / pisse & cley 

Cerede pokettis Sal petyr vithole 

And dyuerse feris mad of wode & cole 809 

Sal tartere altaly / And Sal preparaat 

And combust matiers / & coagulaat 

Cley mad with hors beer or manis & oyle 

Of Tartere Alumglas . berme wort & aigoyle 813 

Rosealger & othere matieris enbibyng 

And ek of othere matieris / encorporyng 

And of oure siluyr citrynaciouw 

Oure cymentynge / & formentacyoun 817 

Oure ingotis testis & manyon mo 

I wele 30W telle as was me taught also 

CAMBRIDGE 646 (6-T. 654) 

Digitized by 


555 fiix-xszt 

OBoup O. § 3. GAK.-TBOH. FAEAMBLE. Cambridge MS. 

// The foTue spiritis & tlie bodjis seuene 

By ordeie As ofte herde I mjn lord hem nemene 821 

The fyiste spirit quik siluys callid is 

The secunde oipemynt & the thiedde I-wis 

Sal Aimonyak & the fourte brunston 

The bodyis seuene lo hem ek here Sriion 825 

Sol gold is & luna sylayr whe treepe 

Mars yryn . Mercmie quik siluyr we clepe 

Satumus led & lupiter is tyn 

And Venus Copir be myn fadir kyn 829 

This cursede craft who so wele excercyse 

He schal no good han that hym may suffyse 

ffor al the good he spendyth theeie aboute 

He lese schal Uierof haue I no doute 833 

Ho so that lystyth outyn his folye [leaf sss] 

Let hym come forth & leme multeplye 

And eueiy man that hat ought in his cofere 

Lat hjm apere & wexe a philysophere 837 

Ascauns that craft is so lyght to lere 

Nay nay god wot al be he monk or frere 

Prest or chanoun or ony othir whit 

Thow he sete at his bok day or nygh[t] 841 

In lemynge of this eluyssch nyce loore 

Al is in yeyn & parde meche moore 

To leme a lewede man this sotylete 

ffy spek nat therof for it wele nat be 845 

And kuTsne he lettereure or cunne he non 

As in effect he schal fynde it al oon 

For bothe to be myn saluaciouw 

Concludyn as in multiplicacyoun 849 

I-ljche wed / whan they han al I-do 

This is to seyn they fayle bothe twe 

// jit foigat I to make rehersayle 

Of wateris coresif & of lemayle 853 

And of bodyis mollyficacioun 

And also of here induracioun 

CAMBRIBGE 647 (6-T. 666) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


GROUP 0. § 3. CAN.-TE03L PREAMBLE. Camfaridgo KS. 

Oyles absolucioun / <& metal fusible 

To tellyn al wolde passyn any bible 857 

That ower is / wherefore as for the beste 

Of alle 1 these namys now wele I me reste v wntenkktimi] 

ffor as I trowe I haue 50W told I-nogh 

To reyse a fend al loke he neuere so rogh 8G1 

// A nay lat be the philisopheris stoon 

Elixei clepid / we sekyn faste echon 

ffor hadde we hym we were sekyr I-nogh 

But on to god of heuene I make a wow 8C5 

ffor al ouie craft whan we han al I-do 

And al oure sleyghte he wele nat come ys to 

He hath I-mad vs spe/ide mechil good 

ffor sorwe of whiche almost ' we wexe wood BCD 

But that good hope crepith in oure herte 

Supposynge euere thow we sore smerte 

To be releuyd by hym aftyrward / [toifsa^tafk, 

Swich supposynge & hope is scharp & hard 873 

I wame 30W wel it is to sekyn euere 

That future temps that made men to disseuere 

In trust therof from al that euere they hadde 

3it of that art they can not wexe sadde 877 

ffor yn-to hem it is a bittyr swete 

So semyth it for ne hadde they but a schete 

Whiche that they myghte wrappe hem in a nyght 

And a bakke for to walke in be day light 831 

lliey wolde hem selue / & spendyn on this craft 

They can not stynte til no thyng be laft 

And euere more where that euere they goon 

Men may hem knowe by smel of bronston 8S5 

ffor al the world they stynkyn as a got 

Here sauour is so rammysch & so hot 

That thow a man^ from hem a myle bee SrSw'iSSr 

The sanour wele enfecte hem trustyth mo 839 

Lo thus be smellynge & thredbare aray 

3if that men lyste these folk knowe may 

CAMBRIDGE 648 (6-T. 656) 

Digitized by 



OBOUP 0. § 3. CAN.-TEOM. PREAMBLE. Can bridge MS. 

And jif a man wele a^ke hem prynyly 

WM that they been clothid so vn-thriftyly 893 

They righ a-non wele rounne in his ere 

And seyn ^if that they espied were 

Men woldyn hem sle by cause of here science 

Lo thus these folk betiayen innocence 897 

Passe Guer this I go my^i tale vnto 

Er than the pot be on the fyre I-do 

Of metallis wit^ a certeyn quantite 

Myi» lord hem tempereth & no man but he 901 

Now he is goon I dar say boldely 

ffor as men saye he can do craf tyly 

Algate I wot wel he hath swich a name 

And ^it ful ofte he lennyth in a blame 905 

// And wete je how ful offcy?* it happith soo 

The pot to-brekith & farwel al is go 

These metallis been of so greet violence 

Ouie wallis mowe not make hem resistence 909 

But ^if they were wrought of lym / & ston peitf ase] 

They perce so & thour the wal they gon 

And some of hem synke in-to the ground 

Thus haue we lost be tymys manye a pound 913 

And some are skaterede in the flor a-boute 

Some lepe in-to the rof / witArOutyn doute 

Thow that the fend nat in the sight hym schewe 

I trowe he with vs be that ilke schrewe 917 

In helle where as he is lord & syre 

Ke is there more wo ne more rancoz^r ne yre 

Whan that oure pot as I haue sayd / 

Euery man chit / & halt hym euelle a-payod 921 

//Some seyn it was a-long on the fyr makyng 

Some seydyn nay / it was on the blowyug 

Thanne was I aferid / for that was myn offis 

Straw quod the thredde / 30 been lewede & nys 925 

It was nat tempered as it aughte to be 

Nay quod the forte stynt & lestene to me 

CAHBBIDGE 649 (6-T. 667) 

Digitized by 



GBoup 0. § 3. CAN.-TEOH. PREAMBLE. Cambiidgfe MB, 

By cause ooie fyr was not mad of bec& 

That is the cause & othir noon so theecfi 929 

I can not telle wheron it was long 

But wel I wot greet stryf is vs a-mong 

// What quod mjn lord there is no more to done 

Of these perilis I wele be war eft sone 933 

I am lygh sek jr that the pot was erased 

Be as be may be je no thyng a-mased 

As ysage is lat swepe the flor aswythe 

Pluk vp joure hertys & beth glad & blythe 937 

The mullok on an hep I-swepid was 

And on the flor I-caste a canevas 

And al the mullok in a seue I-throwe 

And syftid & I-pikid manye a throwe 941 

// Parde quod on / sumwhat of oure metal 

jit is ther heere they that we haue nat al 

And thow this thyng mys happe as now 

A-nothir tyme it may be weel I-now 945 

Ys muste putte oure good in auenture 

A marchaunt parde may not al-wey endure 

Trustyth me wel in his prosperite n^f t86» uaz 

Sumtyme his good is drouned in the se 949 

And sumtyme comyth it saf vn-to the londe 

Pes quod myn lord the nexte tyme wele I fonde 

To brynge oure craft al in a-nothir plit 

And but I do sere lat me ban the wit 953 

There was defaute in sumwhat wel I wot 

A-nothir seyde the fuyr was ouyr hot 

But be it hot or cold I dare seye this 

That we coTUsludyn euere more amys 957 

We fayle of that whiche that we woldyn haue 

And in oure madnesse eueremore we raue 

And whan we been to-gederis euerichon 

Euery man semyth a salamon 961 

But alle thywge whiche that schynyth as the gold JSuiTScT 

2^is nat gold / as I haue herd told 

CAUBEIDOE 650 (6-T. 668) 

Digitized by 



OBoup O. § 3. CAN.-TEOM. PREAMBLE. Cambridge MS. 

Ke eneri appil that is fayr at eye 

!Ne is nat good / what so men dappe or ciye 965 

High so lo faiyth it a-mongis vs 

He that semyth the wiseste be lesns 

Is most fol whan it comyth to the pref 

And he that semyth tieweste is a thef 969 

That schal je knowe er that I from 30W we?ide 

By that I of myn tale bane mad an ende 

[No break in the M8,] 

CAMBRIDGE 661 (6-T. 669) 


Digitized by ^ 


OROUF G. § 4. can.'&-tboman's tale. Cambridge VS. 



II There is a chanoun of religioun 

A-mongis ts wolde enfecte al a toon 

They it as gret were as was nynjue 

Borne Alysaundir Troye / & othere thre 

Hise sleyghtis & his infiait falsenesse 

There coude no man write as I gesse 977 

Thow that he myghte lene a thousend ^ecr 

In al this world of falshed nys his per 

ffor in hise termys he so wel hym wyTzdis 

And spekyn hise wordis in so slye kyndis 981 

Wha« he comune schal w/t^ ony wight 

That he wele make hym dote a-non ryght 

But it a fend be as hyTTt selayn is 

fful manye a man hath he begyled er this ^^ 

And wele jif that he leue may a while a^«7J 

And }it men ride & goon fal manye a myle 

Hym for to soke & haue his acqueyntaunce 

Not knowynge of his false goucmaunce 9^^ 

And 3if 30W liste to ^eae me audyence 

I wole it telle / here in ^oure presence 

But worschepful Chanony[8] relygious 

IS^e demyth nat that I slau[n]dere 30ure hous 

Al thow myn tale of a chanou;i be 

Of euery ordere sum schrewe is pardee 

That god forbede that al a cumpayny 

Schulde rewe a synguler manys foly 997 

To slaundere 30W is nothyng myn entent 

But to correcte that is mys I-ment 

CAMBRIDGE 662 (6-T. 660) 


Digitized by 



OBoup 0. § 4. cAN.'a-TEOMAN's TALB. Cambridge HS» 

This tale was nat only told for 30W 

But foT othere mo 30 wete wel how 1001 - 

That a-mongis ciistis apostellis twelwe 

There was no tiajtot^r but ludas hjm selue 

Thanne why schulde the remenaunt ban blame 

That gilteles were / be 30W seye I the same 1005 

Saue only this ^if 30 wele herkene me 

If ony Judas in ^oure couent be 

Remeuyth hym be tymys I jow rede 

If schame or los may causen ony drede 100^ 

And beth nothyng displesid I 30W preye 

But in this cas herkenyth what I schal seye 

// In lundene was a prest an annueler 

That therin dwellede hadde manye a 3er 1013* 

Whiche was so plesamtt & so seruysable 

Yn-to the wif where as sche was at table 

That sche wolde suffere hjm no thyng for to paye 

ffbr bord ne clothing wente he neuere so gaye 1017; 

And spendynge siluyr hade he righ I-now 

Therof no fois I wele procede as now 

And telle forth mjn tale of the Chanoun 

That brougte this prest to confusion;^ 1021 

// This false Chanoun cam yp on a day 

Yn-to this prestis chaumbere where he lay 

Be-sekynge him to leny?^ hym a certeyn [Ustas?, i»ckt 

Of gold & he wolde quite it hym ageeyn 1025 

Lene me a mark quod he but dayis thre 

And at myn day I wele it quytyn the 

And If so be that thow me fynde fala 

A-nothir day do hange me by the hals 1029 

// This man^ hym tok a mark & that aswythe l}jint monk] 

And this chanoun hym thankede ofte sythe 

And tok his leue & wente forth his weye 

And at the thredde day broughte his monye 103S 

And to the prest tok his gold a-geyn 

Wherof this prest was wondir glad & fayn 

40 CAMBRIDOE 563 (S-T. Ml) 

Digitized by 



GROUP O. § 4. CAN. Vteoman's TALE. Gambtidge IB. 

Certis quod he no thyng a-noyeth me 

To lene a man a nobele or to or thre 1037 

Or what thyng were in myn possession;? 

Whan he so trewe is of comlicionn 

That in nowise he breke wele his day 

To swich a man I can nen^re seyn nay 1041 

// What quod this chanoun schulde I be ontrewe 

Kay that were a thyng I-falle were al of newe 

Trouthe is a thyng that I wele euere kepe 

Yn-to that day In whiche that I schal crepe W^ 

[In to my graue or elles god for-bede [Oou* as leff, tatTiT^l 

Beleueth ^is as sykere as ys youre crede] 

God thanke I & in good tyme be it seyd 

That there was neu^re man jit euele apayed 10^^ 

ffor gold ne siluyr that he to me sente 

Ke neuere falshed in myn herte I mente 

And sere quod he now of myn prjniyte 

Syn je godly ban ben on to me 10^^ 

And kythed to me so gret gentillesse 

Sumwhat to kythe with joure kyndenesse 

I wele jow schewe & jif jow lyste to iere 

i wele JOW teche pleynly the manere 105T 

How I can werke in philosophic 

Takith good bed je schul wel sen at Ije 

That I wele don a maystrie er I go 

// 5e quod the prest / je sere & wele je so 1061 

Marie therof I preye jow hertely 

At joure comaundement trewely 

Qu[o]d the chanoun & ellis god for-beede Omim 

Lo how this thef coude his seruyse bede 1065 

iffdl soth it is that swich profered semyse 

Stynkyth as wytnesseth these oldo wise 

And that ful sone I wele it veiyfye 

In this chanoun rote of alle trecherye 1069 

That eueremore delit hath & gladnesse 

Sweche fendely thoujtis in his herte inpresse 

CAMBRIDGE £54 (6-T. 56:^ 

Digitized by 



gboupO. §4. cam/s-yeohan s TAL8. Cambridge MS. 

Hov cnstis peple he may to myschef biynge 

God kepe ys from his false dlBsymulynge 1073 

// Not wiste this prest ynth hom that he delte 

Ne of his harm comynge he no thyng felte 

O aely prest o sely innocent 

With coueytyse a-non thow schat ben blent 1077 

O giaceles ful blynde is thyr^ conceyte^ {}jir$i ooMuUi 

No thyng art tho v war of the disseyte 

Whiche that this fox I-schapyn hat to thee 

Hise -wyly wrenchis / thow ne mayst not fle 1081 

Wherfore to the conclusioun 

That leferith to thyn confusyoun 

Vnhappi man a-non I wele me hie 

To tellyw thyn vnwit & heigh folye 1086 

And ek the falsenesse of that othir wreche 

As fer forth as that mjn conyng wele streche 

// This Chanoun was myn lord je wolden wene 

Sire hnst in feyth & by the heuenys queene 1089 

It was a nothir Chanoun & not he 

That can an hunderede fold more subtylete 

He hath betrayed folkis suTidery tyme 

Of his falsenesse it dullyth me to ryme 1093 

Eaere whan that I speke / of his falshede 

ffor schame of hym mynne chekis waxen reede 

AlgatiB they begynne for to glowe 

ffor rednesse haue I non righ wel I knowe 1097 

In myn visage for fnmys dyuerse 

Of metallis whiche as je han herd me reheise 

Consumyd & wastid han myn rednesse 

Kow tak bed of this Chanounnys cuissedeneaBe 1101 

Sere qaod he to the prest let joure man gon Umita^ bMk] 

ffor quik siluyr that we hadde it arnon 

And lat hjm bryngyn ouuncis two or thre 

And whan he comyth as faste schul 30 se 1105 

A wondyr thyng whiche ^e say neu^re er this 

// Sere quod the prest it schal ben don I-wis 

CAMBRIIMBE 656 (6-T. 563) 

Digitized by 



qbodpO. §4. oAir/a-YEOicAN's TAUi. Cambridge MS.^ 

He bad bis seruaunt / fecbyn hym tbis ihyng 

And Jie al redy was at bis bedyng 1109 

And wente bym fortib & cam a-non a-geyn 

Witb tbis quik syluyr 8ot[h]ly for to seyn 

And tok tbese ouTicis tbre to the Cbanoun 

And hem * leyde fayre & weel a doun D ijirtt h] 1113 

And bad tbe seruaunt colis for to brynge 

Tbat be a-non mygbt go to bese werky^ige 

Tbe colis rigbt a-non weren I-fet 

And tbis Cbanoun tok out a croslet 1117 

Of bis bosum & scbewed it tbe prast 

Tbis instrument wbecbe tbat tbow sest 

Take in tbyn band / & put tbyn self tber-inne 1120 

Of tbis quiksiluir [an vnee and bere be-gynne] ffijS!flS«'iCS 

In name of cryst to wexe a pbilysopbere omtimC:9k.Ms.] 

Tbere ben but fewe to wbicbe tbat I wolde p/*ofere 

To scbewyn bem tbus mecbe of uiyn science 

£E6r je scbul sen bere be experience H'-^ 

Tbat tbis quik siluyr I wele mortifye 

Eygb in 30ure sigbte a-non wit^-outyn lye 

And make it as good silu&r & as fyn 

As tbere is ony in jowre pors or myn 1129 

Or ellis wbere & make it malliable 

And ellis belditb me fals & vn-stable 

Amongis folk for euere to appere 

// I baue a poudere bere that coste me ful dere 1133 

Scbal make al good for it is cause of al 

Myn kunnyng wbicbe tbat I jow scbewe scbal 

Yoyditb joure man & lat hywi be ther oute 

And'scbet tbe dore whil we ben a-boute 1137 

Oure pryuyte tbat no man vs espye 

Wbilis tbat we werke in tbis pbilosephie 

Al as be bad fulfyld was in dede pwf «) 

This ilke seniau72[t] a-non rygbt out ^ede H^l 

And bis maystyr scbette tbe dore a-non 

And to hero labour spedyly they gon 

CAMBEIDGX 656 (d-T. 564} 

Digitized by 



GROUP 0. § 4. can/8-tboman's tale. Cambridge M9. 

This prest at this chanonys biddy[n]g i 

Yp-on the fer a-non sette this thjng 1145 

And blew the fuyr & besiede hym fol faste 

And this chanoan in-to the croslet caste 

A poudere not I wheiof that it was 

I-mad othir of chalk otbir of glas 11 49 

Or sumwhat ett / was nat worth a flye 

To blynde wit^ this prest & bad hyw hye 

The colls for to couche al a-boue 

The croslet for in tokenynge I the loue 1153 

Qaod the chanoun thynne owene handis two 

Schul weiche aUe thynge whiche that schal here be do 

Graiutt mercy quod the prest & was fol glad 

And couchede cole as that the chanoun bad 1157 

And whil he besi was this fendeli wreche 

This false chanoun the foule fend hym feche 

Out of his bosum tok a bechene cole 

In which ful subtily was mad an hole 1161 

And there in was put of siluyr lymayle 

An ounce Ss stoppid was wit^-outyn fayle 

This hole with wex to putie the lymayl in 

And vndyr-stondith that this tsjJae gyn 1166 

Was not mad there but it was mad byfore 

And othere thyngis that I schal telle more 

Here aftyrward which that he with hym broughte 

£r he cam ther hym to begile he thoughte 116.9 

And 80 he dede er than they wente a twynne 

Til he hadde temede hym coude he not blynne 

It dullede me whan I of hym speke 

On his falsehed fayn wolde I be wreke 1173 

3if I wiste how but he is her & ther 

He is so varyaunt he abit nower 

But takyth hed seiis now for godis lowe 

He tok his cole of which I spak a-boue 1177 

And in his hand he bar it pryuyly [iMf sa», buk] 

And whilis the prest couchede besili^ [} Antprroyiti 

CAMBRIDGE 667 (d-T. 666) 

Digitized by 


566 BUrTEXT 

GROUP 0. § 4. gan.'s-teomak's talb. Cambridge KB. 

The colis as I tolde 30W er this 

This chanoun seyde frend je don a-mys 1 181 

This is nat couched as it oughte be 

But sone I schal amendyn it quod he 

Now lat me medle theiewit/^ but a while 

ffor of 30W haue I pete be seynt gyle 1 185 

je been lygh hot I se wel how je swete 

Haue here a doth & inpe awoy the weete 

And whilis that the prest wipede his face 

This chanoun tok his cole wtt A Bory grace 1189 

And leyde a-bouo vp on the mydward 

Of the croslet Ss blew wel aftyrward 

Til that the colys b^ynne faste brenne 

Now jeue VB drynke quod the Chanoun thanne 1193 

As swythe al schal be wel I yndirtake 

Sitte we doun & lat ys merye make 

And whan that this chanonys bechene cole 

Was brent al the lemayle out of the hole 1197 

In-to the croslet fyl a-non a-doun 

And BO it muste nedis be resou?^ 

Syn it so euene arboue couchede was 

But therof "* wyste the prest alias 1201 

He demede alle the colis lyche goode 

ffor of the sleyghte he nothyng vndyrstode 

And whan this alcamystre saw his tyme 

'BSse yp quod he sere prest & stand by me 1205 

And for I wot weel Ingot haue je non 

Goth walkyth forth & bryngeth a chalk ston 

ffor I wele make it of the same schap 

That is an Ingot / ^if I may han hap 1209 

And brynge ek with 30W a bolle or a panne 

fful of watyr & je schul wel se thanne 

How that oure besynesse schal thryue & preue 

And jit for 36 schal han non mys-beleue 1213 

Ne wrong conceite of me in )ou7'e absence 

I wele not ben out of jotere presence 

CAMBRIDGE 668 (6-T. 666) 

Digitized by 



GBoup G. § 4. oan.'s-yboican's talb. Cambridge MS. 

But gon with 30W & come with 30 w a-geyn peaf sm] 

The chambeie dore scliortly for to seyn 1217 

Thej openede & schette & wente liere weye 

And forth, wtt^ hem they caryedyn the keye 

And come ageyn wit^outyn ony delay 

What schulde I taryen al the longe day 1221 

He tok the chalk & schop it in the wise 

Of an Ingot as I schal 30W deuyse 

I seye he tok out df his owene sleue 

A teyne of syluyr euele mote he cheue 1225 

Whiche that ne was hut an ounce of weighte 

And taketh hed now of his owene sleighte 

He schop his Ingot in lenthe & in breede 

Of this teigne wtV^-outyn ony drede 1229 

So slyly that the prest it nat espide 

And in his sleue a-non he gan it hide 

And from the fuyr he tok vp his mater 

And in the Ingot put it "with merye cheer 1233 

And in the watyr vessel he it caste 

Whan that hym leste & bad the prest as faste 

Loke what there is put in thyn hand & grope 

Thow fynde schalt there syluyr as I hope 1237 

What deuyl of helle schulde it ellis be 

SchauyT^e of syluyr syluyr is parde 

// He put his hand in & tok vp a teyne 

Of silluyr fyn & glad in eueiy veyne 1241 

Was this prest whan he seyg[h] that it was so 

Goddis blyssyngis & hise moderis also 

And alle halwis haue the sere chanoun 

Seyde the prest & I here malysoun 1245 

But & je Youchen saf to techyn it me 

This nobelle craft & this sotylete 

I wele been 3oure in al that euere I may 

// Quod the chanoun 3it wele I make asay 1249 

The secunde tyme that 3e may takyn hede 

And )>een expert of this / & in 30ure nede 

CAMBRIDQS 669 (6-T. 667) 

Digitized by 


568 8IX-TEXT 

oBoup 0. § 4. cAN.'s-TBOMAs*B TALK. Cambridge MS. 

•A-nothir day assay in mjn alisence 

This diflciplyne & this crafty science 1253 

Let take a-nothir vnce quod he tho pcaf sm. i»ckj 

Of quyk siluyr with-outyw wordis mo 

An[d] do therwith as ^e han don er this 

Whith that othyr which that now syluyr is 1267 

// The prest hym besyed in al that euere he can 

To doon as this Chanoun this cursede man 

Comaundede hym & faste blew the fyr 

ffor to come theffect of his desyr 1261 

And this chanoun rygh in the meene whUe 

Al redy was this prest eft to begyle 

And for a cu/itenauitco in his hand he bar 

An holmene stikke / taak keepe & be war 1265 

In the ende of which an ounce & nomore' i^jimmamnfi 

Of silvir lemail put was as byfore 

Was in his cole / & stoppid vriih wex weel 

-ffor to kepe in his lymayl euerydel 1269 

And whil the prest was in his besynesse 

This chanoun with his stikke gan hym dresse 

To hym a-non & his poudere caste in 

As he dede er ^the deuyl out of his skyn [■ tAmd] 1 273 

Hym tume I preye to god for his falsehede 

ffor he was euere fals in thought & dede 

And with this stikke a-boue the Croslet 

That was oideynyd with that false let 1277 

He styre* the colis til relente gan p ly tMn^d} 

The wez arjen the fer as euery man 

But it a fol be wot wel it mot neede 

And al that in the stikke was out 3ede 1281 

And in the croslet hastyliche it fel 

// Kow goode sere what wele ^e bet than weel 

Whan that this prest was begiled ageyn 

^upposynge nought but trouthe sothe to seyn 1285 

He was so glad that I can not expresae 

In no manere his trouthe & his gladnesse 

CAMBRIDGE 660 (6-T. 568) 

Digitized by 


569 8IX-T2ZT 

oaouF 0. § 4. gan.'s-teoman's tale. Cambridge MS. 

And to the Chanoiui he profeiede eft sone 

Body & good je quod the Chanoim sone 1289 

Thow pore I ^be crafty thow echat me fy«de P haiuna\ 

I wame the 3it is there more be-hywde . . 

Is there *ony copyr / herinne seyde he* Oeafspi] ^;;;^.J^2] 

3a quod the prest / sere I trowe wel there be 1293 

EUIb go beye vs sum & that aswythe 

Now goode sere go thyw wey an hithe 

He wente his wey & wM this coper cam 

And this chanoun it in his handis nam 1297 

And of that copar weyed vp but an ounce 

Al to symple is myn tunge to pronounce 

As mynystre of myn wit the doubilnesse 

Of this Chanoun rote of alle cursedenesse 1301 

He semede frendely to hem that knewyn hym not 

But he was feeply bothe in werk & thoujt 

It deryeth me to telle of his falsenesse 

And neuer the les ^it wele I it expresse 1305 

To the entent that men may be war therby 

And for non othir cause trewely 

// He putte his Ounce of copir in the croslet 

And on the fer aswythe he hath it set 1309 

And cast in poudyr & made the prest to blowe 

And in his werkyng for to stoape lowe 

As he dede er & al was but a lape 

Rygh as hym lyste the prest he made 1313 

And aftyrward in the Ingot it caste 

And in the panne put it as the laste 

Of watyr / & in he putte his owene hand 

And in his sleue as 3e be-forynhand 1317 

Herde me telle he hadde a syluyr teyne 

He slyly tok it out this cursede heyne 

VHwetynge this prest of this false craft 

And in the pannys boteme he hath it laft 1321 

And in the watyr roumbelynge to & fro 

And wo?idyr pryuyly tok vp also 

CAMBRIDOB 661 (6-T. 660) 

Digitized by 


570 BIX-TMT 

OBO0P 0. § 4. oak.Vtboman's talb. Cambridge MS. 

The copyr teyne nonglit knowynge this piest 

And hedde it & hym hente by the breet 1325 

And to bym spak & thus seyde in his game 

^ sToupith a-doun by god )e be to blame [* ■ tateri 

Helpith me now as I dede 30W whil er 

Put in ^oure Hand & lokyth what is ther 1329 

This prest tok vp the syluyr teyn a-non p^f m. iMck] 

Tha»ne seyde the chanoun lat hym gon 

With these thie teynys ^ which thatwe han wrought ' [*-* <»»-.] 

To sum gold smyth & loke ^if they been ou3t 1333 

ffor be myn feyth I nolde for myn hood 

But 3if there were siluyr fyn & good 

And that aswithe preuyd schal ^it be^ // 

// Vn-to the goldsmyth ynih these teynys thre 1337 

They wente & putte these teynys in asay 

To fier & hamyr ne myghte no man sey nay 

But that they were as hem oghte bee 

// This sottede prest ho was gladdere tha» he 1341 

Was neuere brid gladdere a-jen the day 

Ne nyghtyngale in the sesoun of may 

Was neuere non that leste bet to synge 

jN'e lady lustiere in caxolynge 1345 

Or for to speke of loue & womanhede 

Ne knyght in armys to don an hardy dede 

To standyn in grace of his lady dere 

Than hadde this prest thb sory crafb to lere 1349 

And to the Chanou?? thus he spak & seide 

ffor loue of god that for vs alle deyede 

And as I may deserue it yn-to )ow 

What schal this resceyt coste tellith me now 1353 

// By oure lord quod this Chanoun it is dere 

I wame 30W wel / for saue I & a frere 

In ^Ingelond there can no man it make ^ijmtiz 

No fors quod he now sere for godys sake 1357 

What schal I paye tellith me I preye 

I-wis quod he it is wol deere I seye 

CAMBaiDQB 56S (6-T. 670) 

Digitized by 



asoup 0. § 4. oan.'b-yboman's talb. Cambridge MS. 

Siie at on word jif that 30W leste it haue 

ye achvl payo foorty pound so god me saue 1361 

And nere the frenchepe that je dede er this 

To me je schtddyn paye more I-wis 

This prest the summe of fourty pound anon 

Of noblis fette Ss tok hem euerichon 1365 

To this Channn for this iike resseit 

Al his werkyng was but fraude & disseid 

Siie prest quod he / I kepe to ha» no loos dmitmj 

Of myn craft for I wolde it kept weere dos 1369 

And as je loue me kepith it secre 

ffor and men knewyn al myn subtilete 

By god they woldyn haue so gret enuye 

To me by cause of myn philosophie 1373 

I schulde been deed there were non othir weye 

God it foi^bede quod the piest what sey^e 

^it hadde I leuere to spendyn al myn good 

Whiche that I haue & ellis wexe I wood 1377 

Than that ^e schuldyn faHjn in swich myschef 

fifor ^oure goode wil seie haue je rygh good pief 

Quod the chanoun & farewel graunt mercy 

He wente his wey & neu^re the prest hym sey 1381 

Aftyr that day & whan the piest schulde 

Makyn assay at swych tyme as he wolde 

Of this resseit farewel it wolde not be 

Lo thus be-Iapid Ss begiled was he 13^ 

Thus made he his introductioun 

To brynge folk to distruccioun 

// Consideiith sens / how that in eche estat 

By-twixe men & gold there is debat 1389 

So fer forth that onethia is there non 

This multiplyinge thus blent manyon 

That in good fey I trowe that it be 

The cause grettest of swich skarsete 1393 

Philisopheris spekyn so mystily 

In this craft that men may not come therbr 

CAMBBIDGB 668 (6-T. 671) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


gboupO. §4. can.'s-tbohan'b TALK. Caiiibridgv U. 

ffor ony wit that men ban now on dajis 

They mowe weel cheteiyn as don layis 1397 

And in here tennys sette here lust & peyne 

Bat to here pnipos schul they neu^re atteyne 

A man may lightely leme 3if he haue ought 

7^0 multyplye & tame his good to noght HOI 

Lo swich a lukere is in this lusty game 

A manys murthe it wolde tume in-to giame 

And emptyn grete & heay puisis 

And makyn folk for to purchase cuisis 1405 

Of hem that han here good theie-to I-lent p«f«>teki 

O fy for schame they that han been brent 

Alias can they nat flen the feris hete 

^e that it Tse I rede ^e it lete H^ 

Lest ^e lese al / for bet than neuere is late 

Keuere to thryue were to longe a date 

Thow 5e proUe ay je schul it neuere fynde 

^e been as bold as is bayard the blynde 

That blundeiith forth & peril castyth non 

He is as bold to renne ageyn a ston 

As for to gon besydis in the weye 

So &re je that multyplie I seye ^^^ 

3[i]f that 30ure eye can not seen a ryght 

Loke that jotire mynde lakke not ^oure sight 

ffor thow je loke neuere so broode & stars 

3e schul no thyng wynne on that chaffare 

But waste al that je may rape & renne 

With-drawe the fuyr lest it to faste brenne 

Medelyth no more with that art I meene 

ffor jif 3e don ^oure thrift is goon ful deene 

And rygh aswithe I wele ^ow tellyn heere 

What that ^e philisopheris seyn in this mateeze 

// Lo thus seyth amold of the newe toun 

As his rosarie makyth me;?cyoun ^*^ 

He seyth rijt thus wtt^utyn ony lye 

Theere may no man Mercuiye mortifye 

CAlTBRIDaB 664 (S-T. 679) 




Digitized by 


573 8IZ-TSXT 

GROUP G. § 4. CAN.'a-TBOMAK's TALB. Csiiibridge MS. 

But )if it be with his hrotheris knowelechyng 

How that he / which that fyrst seyde this thing 1433 

Of philosopheris fadir was / hermes 

He sej how that he dragoun douteles 

Xe deyeth nat but jif that he be slayn 

With his brothir & that is for to sayn 1437 

By dragoun mercurye & non othir 

He vndyr-stod A brymston by his brothyr 

That out of sol & hina weere I-drawe 

And theifore tak heed / seyde he to myn sawe 1441 

Lat no man besye this art for to seche 

But 3if that he thentencioun & speche 

Of philisopheris yndyrstonde can OmttMj 

An[d] ^if he do he is a lowede man 1445 

ffor this science & this cunnynge quod he 

Is of the secre of the secretis parde 

// Alao there was a disciple of plato 

That on a tyme he seyde his maystii* to 1449 

Ab his bok Senyor wele here witnesse 

And this was his demaunde in sothfastnesse 

Teelle me the name of the pryue st^on 

And plato answerde vn-to hym a-noon 1453 

Take the ston that Titanos men name 

Whiche is that quod he Magnasia is the same 

Seyde plato ^a syre & is it thus 

This is ignotum per ignocius 1457 

What is magnacia goods sere I 30W preye ' 

// It is a watyr that is mad I seye 

Of elementis foure quod Plato 

Telle me the rooche goode sire quod he tho 1461 

Of that watyr jif that it be ^oure wil 

Kay nay quod plato serteyn that I nyl 

// The philisopheris sworn were euerichon 

That they schulde discouere it on to non 1465 

Nor in the bok it write in no manere 

ffor on to cryst it is so lef & deere 

CAMBSIDOB. 666 (S-T. 67?) 

Digitized by 


574 8IX-TEXT 

GBoup 0. § 4. GAN,'s-YE0iCAN*8 TALK. Cambridgt WL 

That he wele not that it diacooej'ed be 

But wheere it likyih to his deitee 1469 

Men for to enspire & ek for to defende 

Whom that hjm likith lo this is the ende 

Thanne cofidade^ I thus syn that god of heuene v^^f^^ 

Ne wele not that the philisophms neuene U75 

How that a man schal come vn-to this stoon 

I rede as for the heste lat it gon 

ffor ho so makyth good his aducrsaiye 

As for to werkyn ony thyng In contraiye HT7 

Of his wil sertiB neu^re schal he thiyue 

Thow that he multyplie terme of lyue 

And there a poynt for endit is mjn tale 

God sende eu^ry Ixewe man bote of his bale HSl 

Here is endit fhe ehanonnnys Biaiiys tale cm«m3 

[Slighi break w the MS.] 

cAMBRinox see (e-T. if 4) 


Digitized by ^ 



Heryth the merye wordys of fhe Host to the cok of 
Lundene . Im m^ran, back} 

iOap qf two linn in tJU MS.Z 

Ote ^ not where there stant a litjl toun 

Which 1 that I-clepid is Bobbe vp <& dou» 

Vndyr the ble in Cauntyrbnry weye 

Theere gan oure est for to lape & pleye 4 

And sejde sens what donn is in the myre 

Is there no man for preyere ne for hire 
That wole a- wake oure felawe here be-hynde 
A thef myghte fill lightely hyni robbe & bynde 8 

8e how he nappith so how for^ Cokkis bonys n vordutatehtomti 
That he wele falle isom his hors at onys 
Is that a <x)k of lundene with myschauTioe 
Do hym come forth he knowith his penaunce 12 

ffor he schal telle a tale be myn fey 

Al thow it be not worth a hotel hey* p otoi h^y, laur^^ 

A-wake thow cok quod he god jeue the sorwe 
What eylith the to slepe by the morwe 16 

Hast thow had flen al nyght or art thow dronke 
Or hast thow ^ith sum queue al nyght I-swonkyn 
So that thow mayst nat holdyn yp thyn hed 
This cok that was ful pale & no thing red 20 

Seyde to oure boost so god me blysse 
As there is fallyn on me swich heuynesse 
Not I not why that me were leuere slepe 
Than the beste galoun yrfu in chepe 24 

CAMBBinOE 5e7 (6-T. 676) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

577 8IX-TBXT 

OBoup H. § 1. manciple's head-link. Cambridge MS. 

// Wei quod the Maunciple 3if it may doon eae 25 

To the seie Cook & to no whight displese 

Whiche that here rydyth in this cumpaynye 

And that ouie host wele of his curteysye 28 

I wele as now excuse the of thyn tale 

ffor in good fey thyn visage is ful pale 

Thynne eyne daswe ek as that me thynkith 

And weel I wot thyn breth ful soure stynkith 32 

That schewith weel thow art nat weel disposed pesf »4] 

Of me certeyn thow schalt nat been I-glosed 

Se how he ganyth lo this dronkene wight 

As thow he wolde swelwe vs a-noon right 36 

Hold clos thyn mouth man by thyn fadyr kyn 

The deuyl of heUe set his foot ther in 

Thyn cursede breth wele enfecte vs alle 

fify stynkynge swyn fy foule mote the be-falle 40 

A takyth hede seris of this lusty man 

Now swete seris wole 36 luste at the fan 

There-to me thynkyth je been weel I-schape 

I trowe that ^e dronkyn ban wyn ape 44 

And that is whan men pleyen with a straw 

And wtt^ his speche the Cook wex wroth & wraw 

And on the Manciple he gan nodde faste 

ffor lak of speche & doun the hors hy?n caste 48 

Wheere as he lay tyl that the hym vp tok 

This was a fayr chiuache of a cook 

Alias ne hadde holde hy/n bi his ladil 

And er tliat he ageyn were in his sadil 52 

Theere was greet schowyng / bothe two & fro 

To lyfte hym vp & meche care & wo 

So vnwery was this sorye pallede gost 

And to the mau7u:yple thanne spak oure boost 5^ 

By-cause drynk liat do/nmacioun 

Yp-on this man by myn saluacioun 

I trowe lewedely he wolde telle his tale 

tfor were it wyn or old / or moysti ale 60 

CAMBHIOGE 668 (S-T. 577) 

Digitized by 


578 8IX-TBXT 

GROUP H. § 1. manciple's head-link. Cambridge MS. 

That he hath dronkyn he spekyth in his nose 61 

And sneseth faste & ek he hath the pose 

He hath also to don moore than I-nogh 

To kepe hjm & his capil out of the slow 64 

And If he falle from his capil eft sone 

Thanne schal we alle han I-nogh to done 

To hftjn vp his heoy dronkene cors 

Telle on thjn tale of hjm make I no fors 68 

// But 3it Manciple In feyth thow art to nyce 

Thus opywly repreue hym of his vyce 

Anothir day he wele parauenture peaf S94, back] 

Beclayme the & brywge the to loure 72 

I mene he speke wele of smale thyngis 

As for to py?whe at thynne rekenyngis 

That wei-e nat onest ^if that it come to pref 

// No quod the Manciple that were a greet myschef 76 

So myght he lyghtely brynge me in the snare 

3it hadde I leuere payen for the mare 

Whiche he rit on than he schulde wiiJi me st^yue 

I wele nat wrathe hym also mote I thyrue 80 

That that I spak I seyde but in horde 

And wete 30 weel I haue heere in a gorde 

A draght of wyn ja of a ripe grape 

And right a-noon ^e schul seen a good lape 84 

This cok schal drenke theiof If I may 

Vp peyne of deth he wele nat sey me nay 

And certeynly to tellyn as it was 

Of this vessel this Cook drank faste alias 88 

What nedith hym he drank I-now by-fom 

And whan he hadde poupid in this horn 

To the manciple he tok the gorde a*geyn 

And of that drenk the Cook was wondyr fayn 92 

And thankede hym in swich wyse as he coude 

Thanne gan oure boost to lagbe wondyr loude 

And seyde I se weel it is necessarie „ , 

Wbeere that we goon / we good drynk ^ with vs cane * 96 

41 CAMBRIDGE 669 (6-T. 578) 

Digitized by 



OBOUP H. § 1. xanciplb's head-link. Cambridge MS. 

ffor that wele tunie rancour & disese . 97 

To a-cord & lone & manye a wrong appese . 

O Bacus I-blyssede *be thyn name.^ [u-iMrrecW] 

That so canst tome emest in-to game . 100 

Woichipe & thank be to thyn deite . 

Of that matiere ^e gete namore of me . 

Telle on thyn tale manciple I the preye . 

Weel sere quod he herkenyth what I schal seye . lOi 

[The remainder of tiie page is blank.] 

CAMBRIDGE 570 (e-T. «79) 


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OBoup H. § S. manciple's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Here begynneth tbe Kaaci pie bys tale Wsmtm] 

iPaimtinff qftk* MaueipU on kortebaek.^ 

lait phebus dwellede beere in tbis ertbe adoa» 
As olde bokys makyn menciou/i 
He was tbe moste lusti bacbeleere 
In al tbis world & ek tbe beste arcbeie 108 
He slow Pbitoun tbe serpent as be lay 
Slepywge argeyn tbe sunne vp-on a day 
And manye a notbir^ noble wortbi dede 
He witb bis bowe ^wrougbte as ^e may rede* 

Pleeyen be coude on euery menstrelsye C ^^SSmS 

And syngy n tbat it was a melodye ^ '*** "^'^ **"^ 

To beiyn of bis cleere voys tbe soun 

Sertis tbe kyng of tbebes Ampbioun 116 

Tbat wttA bid syngyng wallede tbat cete 

Koude neuere syngyn balf so wel as be 

Tberto be was tbe eemylyeste man 

Tbat is or was sitbe tbat tbe world be-gan 120 

TV'bat neditb it bise feturis to discryue 

ffor in tbis world was non so fayr on lyue 

He was tberwitb f ulfyld of gentylesse 

Of bonour & of parfyt wortbynesse . 1 24 

// Tbis pbebiM tbat was flour of baclulleri* [leaf S95, bMk] 

As wel in hedom as in cbyualiye 

ffor bis disport in signe ek of victorye 

C3f pbitonn so as tellytb vs tbe stoiye 128 

Was wont to beryn in bis band a bowe 

// Now badde tbis pbeb?^* in bis *bous a * Crowe [• o,»c a/««-«rf] 

Wbicbe in a cage be fosterede manye a day 

And taugbte it speke as men tecbe a lay 132 

CAMBRIDGE 671 (S-T. 580) 

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QBOUP H. § 2. MANCIPLE'S TALs. Cambridge 18. 

Widt was thid crowe as ia a snow whit swan 1^3 

And countyifetid the speche of eueiy man 

He coude whan he schulde telle a tale 

TherwitA in al this world non nyghtynghale 136 

Ne coude by an hunderede thonsent deel 

Sjngyn so wondir meiyely & weel 

// Now hadde this phebtw in his hous a wyf 

Whiche that he louede moore than his lyf ^^^ 

And nyght & day dede eu^re his diligence 

Hire for to pleese & don hire reuerenoe 

Saue only the sothe that I schal sayn 

lalos he was & wolde haue kep here fayn 1^^ 

fifor hym were loth byiapid for to bee 

And 80 is euery wight in swich degre 

Bat al in ydyl for it auaylyth noght 

A good wif that is slene in werk & thought 1^ 

Schulde not been kept in noon a-wayt certeyn 

And trewely the labour is in veyn 

To kepe a schrewe for it wele nat bee 

This holds I for a verray vanytee l*'" 

To spille labour for to kepe wivis 

Thus wrytyn olde clerkis in here lyuys 

But now to purpos as I ferst be-gan 

This worthi phebutf doth al that he can ^'^ 

To plesyn here / wenynge that sweche plesaunce 

And for his manhede & hise gouemaunce 

That no man schulde haue put hire from hire grace 

But god it wot there may no man enbrace ^^^ 

As to discryue a thyng / whiche that nature 

Hath natureUy set in a ciyature 

// Take any thyng & put it in a cage P^"*^ 

And do al thyn entent & thyn corage ^^* 

To foetere it tenderely witJi mete Ss drynk 

Of alle deynteis that thow canst be-thynk 

And keepe it also clenly as thow may 

Al thow his cage of gold be neu^re so gay ^^ 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 


GROUP H. § 2. manciple's tale. Cambridge MS. 

^it hath this bryd be twenty thousend fold 169 

Jj&uere in a forest that is rude & cold 

Gon ete wermjs & sweche wrechedenesse 

fFor euere this bryd wele doon his busynesse 172 

To escapyn out of his cage ^if he may 

His lyberte this brid desiryth ay 

// Lat take a Cat & fostere hym weel vrith mylk 

And tendere flesch & make his couche of silk 176 

And lat hym seen a mous goon by the wal 

A-non he weyrith Milk & flesch & al 

And eueri deynte that is in that hous 

Swich apetit hath he / to ete a mous 180 

Loo heere hat lust his dominncionn 

And apetit flemyth dLscrecioun 

// A sche wolf hath also a dyuers kynde 

The lewedeste wolf that sche may fynde 184 

Or lest of reputacioun that wele sche take 

In tyme whanne hire lust to ban a make 

// Alle these ensaumplis speke I by these men 

That been ontrewe & no thyng by wemen 188 

ffor men ban euere a lykerous apetit 

Ou lowere thyng to parfomyn here delyt* [» deiyt wrrec/M] 

Than on here wyuys ben they neu^re so fayre 

Ne neuere so trewe ne neuere so debonayre 192 

ffiesch is so newefangil with myschaunce 

That we ne cunne in nothyng ban plesaunce 

That sounyth in-to wertew ony whyle 

This phebtM which that thoughte on no gyle 196 

Disceynede was for al his lolyte 

ffor vndyr hym a-nothir hadde sche 

A man of litil reputacioun 

Not worth to phehus in comparisoun 200 

The more harm is it ofte happith so D«r««. b**! 

Of whiche there comyth meche harm & wo 

And so be-fel that phebt/8 was absent 

His wif arnon hath forth his leman sent 204 

CAMBBIDQE 678 (6-T. 589) 

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OBOup H. § 2. makgiflb's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Hire leman Cortis this is a knaaych speche 205 

fFor^-^euyth it me & that I 30W be-seche p rjinrt 33 

The wjse plato seyth as 30 may leede 

The word mote nede arcoide wiiJi the dede 208 

jif men schal telle propirly a thyng 

The word mot Cosyn be to the werkyng 

I am a boystous man ryght thus seye I 

Theeie is no differens trewely 21 2 

Be-twixe a wyf that is of high degie 

Jif of hire body disonest sche be 

[And a pouer/ wenche othir/ than this/. [HiH. rtn, iftxa, hkz 

lij it so be thei wirko bothe a mys/.] 216 

But that the gentile in hire stat a-boue 

8che schal be clepid his lady as in loue 

And for that othir is a pore woman 

Sche schal be clepid his weTiche or his le»iman 220 

And god it wot myn owene deere brothir 

Men leyn that on as as lowe / as lyth that othir 

// Eigh so by-twixe a titeleles tyiannt 

And an outlawe or a thef *erraunt \}vteonrteMr^ 224 

The same I seye there is no difference 

To alysaundere was told this sentence 

That for the tyraunt is of grettere myght 

By force of meyne for to slen dou» ryght 228 

And brennyn hons & hom & make al pleyn 

Ix> therfore is he clepid a capitayn 

// And for the outlawe hat but smal meyne 

And may not doon so gret an harm as he 232 

Ne brynge a cuntre to so greet myschif 

Men clepe hym an outlawe or a thef 

But for I am a man not textuel 

I wele not telle of textys neu^re a del • 236 

I wele go to myn tale as I be-gan 

Whan Phebti^ wif hath sent for hire leman 

Anon they wroughtyn al here lust volage 

The white Crowe that heng ay in the cage 240 

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584 8IX-TEXT 

OBoup H. § 8. manciple's tale. Cambridge MS. 

Beheld here werk & sejde neuere a word Omism 

And whan that horn was come 'PhehiM the lord 

This Crowe song Cokhow cokhow cokhow^ C»w.^f*we] 

// What brid quod Phebus what song syngist thow 244 

Ke were thow wone so meryely to synge 

That to mjn herte it was a reioysywge 

To here thyn voys alias what loye is this 

By god quod he I synge nat a-mys 248 

Phebutf quod he for al thyn worthynes 

ffor al thyn beute & thyn gentiles 

ffor al thyn song & thyn menstralsye 

ffor al thyn waytyng blered is thy» eye 252 

Wit/i on of lytyl reputacioun 

Kogh[t] worth to the in contputacioun 

The mountenaunce of a gnatte so mot I thryue 

ffor on thyn bed thyn wif I saw hym swyue 256 

What wele ^e more the crowe a-non hym tollde 

By sadde tokenys & hi wordis bolde 

How that his wif hadde doon hire lecherye 

Hym to gret schame & to greet vilenye 260 

And tolde hym oftyn he saw it wWi hise yen 

// This Phebti^ gan arwoyward for to wryon 

And thoute his sorweful herte brast a-to 

His bowe he bente & sette theiin a flo 264 

And in his yre his wif thanne hath he slayn 

This is theffect there is no more to seyn 

ffor sorwe of which he biak his menstrelcie 

Bothe harpe & lute geteme & sauterye 268 

And ek he brak hise arwis & his bowe 

And aftyr that thus spak he to the crowe 

// Traytour quod he wttA tunge of Scorpioun 

Thow hast me brought to myn confusioun 272 

Alias that I was^ wrought why nere I ded [>wMi!or/ve/«i] 

O deere wyf o gemme of lustiheed 

That were to me so sad / & ek so trewe 

2^ow lyst thow deed / with face pale of hewe 276 

CAMBRIDGE 576 (S-T. 684) 

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GBOUP H. § 2. manciple's tale. Cambridge MS. 

ffol gylteles that durste I swere I-wis 277 

O lakele hand to doa so foule a-mys 

troubele wit yre lecheles [leifsn.bMk] 

That on auysid smytist gilteles 280 

IT O wantrufit ful of fals suspecioun 

Where was thyn wit & thyn discreciou?i 

eueri man be war of rakihiesse 

Ne trowe no thyng w/tft-oute gret witnesse 284 

8myt nat to sore er than je wetyn why 

And beth auysed weel & sgbirly 

Er je doon ony execucioim 

Vp-on ^oure yre for suspecioun 288 

Alias a thousent folk ban rakil yre 

fully fordon & brough hew in the myre 

Alias for sorw I wele myn seluyn sle 

And to the crowe o false thef quod he 292 

1 wele the quite a-non thyn false tale 
Thow sunge whilho7» lich a Nyghtyngale 
^N'ow schalt thow false thef thyn song forgon 

Aa ek thynne white federis euerichon 296 

Ne neuere in al thyn lyf ne schalt tow speke 

Thus schal men on a traytour been a-wreke 

Thow & thynne ospryng / Schul been blake 

Ne neuere swete noyse schul ^e make ^ 

But eueie crye a-3en tempest & reyn 

In tokeny^ige that thour the myn wif is slayn 

And to the Crowe he styrte & that a-non 

And pullede hise white federis euerychon ^^^ 

And made hy77i blak & raft hym al his song 

And ek his speche Ss out ate dore hym slong 

Vnto the devil whiche I hym be-take 

And for this cas been alle crowis blake ^^ 

IF Lordy^igis by this exsaumple I 90W preye 

Beth war & takyth kep what that I seye 

. f Ne tolly th neuere no man In 30ure lyf 

How that a nothir man hath dyght his wyf ^** 

CAMBRIDGE 576 (6-T. 686) 

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GBoup H. § 2. makoiple's tale. Cambridge Kfik 

He wele 90W hatyn mortally certeyn 313 

Dauri Salomon as wise clerkis seyn 

Techith a man to kepe his tunge weel 

But as I seyde I ne am not tixtuel 316 

But natheles that taughte me myn dame cimtsos] 

// My» sone thynke on the Crowe a godis name 

Myn sone kep weel thyn tunge & kep thy?) frend 

A wekede tunge is weise than a feend 320 

Myn sone from a feend men may he7n blysse 

Myn sone god of his endeles goodnesse 

Wallede a tunge w»tA teth & lippis ek 

ffoT man schulde hym a-vise what he spek 324 

Myn sone ful ofte for to meche speche 

Hath manye a man been ^pilt as clerkis teche 

But for lytil speche auysely 

I no man schent to speke generally 328 

Myn sone thyn tunge schuldist thow restreyne 

At alle tymys but whan thow dost thyn peyne 

To speke of god in honour & preyere 

// The fyrste vertu sone ^if thow wilt leere 332 

Is to restreyne & kepe weel thyn tunge 

Thus lemede childeryn whan that they ben 3onge 

Myn sone of mekyl spekyrige euele avysed 

There lasse spekynge hadde I-now sufi&sed 336 

Comyth meche harm it was me told & taught 

In mechil speche synne wantyth naught 2t*pao2i't!S!*^ "*" '**' 

Wist thow wh[e]rof rakyl tunge seruyth 

Right as a swerd forkyttyth & for-keruyth 340 

An arm on two myn deere sone ryght so 

A tunge kyttyth frendsche[pe] al atwo 

A langelere is to god abamynable 

Beede Salomon so wys & honurable 344 

Beede Dauyth in hise psalmys rede Senekke 

Myn sone spek nat but wtt^ thyn heed thow bekke 

Dissymule as thow weere def jif that thow heere 

A langelere speke / of parlyous mateere 343 

CAfliBBIDOE 677 (6-T. 686) 

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587 8IX-TBXT 

QBoup H. § 8. makoiple'b talk. Cambridge H8. 

The flemyiig sejth & leme it ^if the leste 349 

That lytil langel jng causyth meche leste 

Myn sone )if thow no wekede word hast sejd 

The thar nat drede the for to been bj-wieyd 352 

Bat he that hath mysseyd / I daie veel sen 

He may by no weye clepe his woid a-geyn 

Thyng that is seid / is seyd & forth it goth [i«r«^bMk] 

Thow hym lepente or be hym lef or loth 356 

He is his thial to whom that he hath sayd 

A tale of whiche he is now euele apayed 

Myn sone be war & be non autour newe 

Of tydyTtgis whedyr they been false or trewe 360 

Wheere so thow come a-mongis highe or lowe 

Keek weel thyn tunge & think vp-on the Crowe 36f 

Here it endit fhe Xauneipeli: tale/ 

CAMBBinOS 678 (6-T. 5S7) 


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iTUg i* remlfp a Hnk bttWMn mm* uwmrUUn Tale and the Paraon*$. It ka» heem 
made into th* Manei^U-Panom Lktk (or Teoman-Parmm bp tMo CMrkt-Ckurek MS) 
bif Ckameer'9 eopien, Ikotiok mot moaiU/br tt.] 


And here folwyn 
the wordy t of chancer to the host [<m unrw, badt: 

BY that the Manciple hadde his tale I-eudid 
The sunne from the south lyne was descendid 
So lowe that he ne was not to mjn sight 
Degreis nynne & twenty as in hight 4 

I Ten of the clok it was tho as I gesse 
ffor eleuene fote or lytil more or lesse 
Myn schadew was at tilke tyme as theere 
Of swiche feet as in myn lenthe partede weere 8 

In sexe feet equal of proporcyoun 

Therwit[h] the ^ monys exaltacyoun ^ [»-» opa- an eramrt} 

I mene libra alwey gan assende 

As we were enterynge at a thorpis ende 12 

ffor which oure host as he was wone to gye 
As in this cas this loly cumpaynye 
Seyde in this wise lordyngis euerichon 
Kow lakkith vs no talys mo than on 16 

ffulfillyd is myn sentence & myn decre 
I trowe that we han herd of eche deg[r]e 
Almost is fulfyld al myn ordenaunce 
I preye to god so ^euo hym righ good chaunce 20 

That tellyth tis tale to vs lustily 
IT Sere prest quod he art tow a vicaiy 
Or art a Persoun sey soth by thyn fey „ ^^^^ j^ 

Be what thow be ne breke thow nat oure pleye* JUfoiSj "'"' 

CAMBRIDGE 679 (C-T. 689) 

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oBoup L § L BLANK-PABSOK UNK. Cambridge KS. 

[ffor euerj man aaue thou hath tolde his/ tale/. KL^B 
Yn-bode & schewe vs/ what/ is/ in thi male . 
ffor truly me thjnketh be thi chere . 
Thou schuldist^ knyt/ yp weH/ a gret/ matere . 28 

Telle Ts/ a fable arnon for coclds/ bones/ . 
This/ Person answerde aH/ at/ ones . 
Thou getist/ £Eible non y-tolde for me . 
ffor Poule that/ vriteth vn to Tjmothe . 32 

Bepreuyth hem that/ waifen sothfSftstnesse . 
And tellen f&blis/ & suche wrecchidnesse . 
Whi schulde I schewen diaf out/ of/ my feste . 
When I maie schewe whete if/ that/ me leste . 36 

ffor whiche I seie if/ that/ thou Ust/ to here . 
Moralite & vertuous/ matere . 
And then that/ ye wolen ^ue me audience . 
I wott/ fuH/ feyne at/ cristes/ reueience , 40 

Don you plesaunce leefuH/ as/ I can . 
But trustith w^/ I am a sothiyn man . 
I can noght/ geste rem ram ruf* bi lettre . 
Ne god woot/ rym holde I buf litefi/ bettre . 44 

And therfore if> you list/ I wott/ noght/ glose . 
I w(^/ you telle a meiye tale in prose . 
To knyt/ vp aH/ this/ feste & make an ende . 
And ihera for his/ grace/ witt/ me sende . [iM/tos] 48 
To schewe you the weie in this/ yiage . 
Of/ thilke parfite glorious/ pilgrymage . 
That/ bight/ hiertwalem oelestiafi/ . 
And if/ ye Touche saf/ aruon ye schafi/ . 52 

Beg3rnne Tp on my tale for whiche I preie . 
Telle your/ a-vys/ I can no better/ seie . 
But/ natheles/ this/ meditacion. 

I put/ hit/ aye vndir/ correeclon . 56 

Of/ clerkis/ for I am noght/ text/ wd!/. 
I take but/ the sentence trustith weU/ . 
Therfore I make protestacion . 

That/ I wott/ stonde to corieccion . 60 

CAHBRiDGX 6ao (e-T. 60o) [this page, Harl. I758j 

Digitized by 


591 8IX-TBXT 

GROUP I. § 1. BLANK-PARSON UNK. Cambridge MS. 

Vp on this/ word we ban assentid sone . [Kwi nu] 

ffor as/ it/ semyd it/ was/ for to done . 

To endyn in some vertuons/ sentence . 

And for to jeue bym space & audience . 64 

And bad our/ Ost/ be scbulde to bym seie . 

That alle we to telle bis/ tale we preie . 

Our/ Ost/ bad the wordis/ for vs/ alle . 

Sir/ preest/ q2M>c{ be now faire mote you bifalle . 68 

Seie what/ you list/ & we scbulen gladly here . 

And with that/ word be seide in this/ manere . 

Tellitb quod be your/ meditacioun . 

But/ bastetb you the sonne woti/ adoun . 72 

Beth fructuous/ & that in liteH:/ space . 

And to do wd}/ god sende you bis/ grace . 74 

Here endiih the Prolog/.] 

GAKBEIDOE 581 (6-T. 50l) [this page, HarL 1758] 


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692 aix-TEXT 




Part I. On Penitenoa^ and its 1st requisite Owitritioa (A) (p. 
Part II. On its Snd requisite, Confbsaioii (B) (p. 612-679). 
Part III. On its 2fd requisite, Satisfaetian (C) (p. 679—684), with 
the Writer's Leave-taking and Retractations (p. 684-85). 

PAET L (p. 593—612). 
Proem on Jeremiah vL 16. The Tale is to be on Penitence as a foU 
noble way to lead folk to Christ, and is to treat of 
i. * what is Penitence' (p. 594). 
ii. 'whennes it is cleped Penitence', [mt in the TaU.] 
iii. ''in how manve maneres been the acckmns or weikynges of 

Penitence ^ (p. 594-5). 
iy. ' how many speces ther been of Penitence ' (p. 595). 
V. * whiche thynges apertenen and bihouen to Penitence' (p. 595 — 

682 : nearly all Parts I and III, and aU Part II). 
t1. 'whiche thynges destourben Penitence' (at end of Part III, 

p. 682) gp. 593). 
i. Penitence defined, b]r a. St Ambrose; 5. 'som doctour'; c. the 
writer. Its requisites: 1. bewailing of sins; 2. purpose to 
have shrift, to do satisfaction, never to sin agisdn, to continue 
in good works (p. 594). 
[ii. not given.] 

iiL The 3 actions of Penitence : 1. Baptism after sin ; 2. not to do 
deadly sin after baptism ; 3. not thus to do venial sm (p. 594-95). 
iT. The 3 speces or kinos of Penitence : 1. Solemn (to be put out of 
churcn, or do open penance) ; 2. Common (to go naked on pil- 
grimage) ; 3. ravate (|9. 595). 
▼. The 3 necessities or requisites for Penitence (p. 596—682) : 

A. Contrition of heart (p. 596—612). 

B. Confession of month (Part II, p. 612--679). 

C. SatisfMtion (Part III, p. 679—682). 

Penitence avails against 3 things, by which we wrath Christ (p. 595). 
A. Contrition is the root of Penitence, whose stem bears brandies 

and leaves of Confession, and fruit of Satisfaction. 
Contrition also bears a seed of grace, whose heat draws men to 

God. (Simile of the child and his niuse*s milk.) 
Penance is the tree of life (p. 596). 
Four Points to be known about Contrition : 

1. What it is; 2. the causes that move a man to it ; 3. how to 
be contrite : 4. what it avails the soul (p. 597). 
2. The 6 Causes tnat should move a man to Contrition : 

a. Remembrance of Sins (p. 597-8). 

6. Whoso does sin is the Thrall of Sin (p. 598-99). 

c. DreadoftheDavofDoomandthePainsof Hell(p.59^— 604). 
These described: the Doom (p. 599-600); Job's 'lond of 

mysese and of derknesse' (p. 600-1) ; the 3 shames in hell 
against (1) ' Honours, (2) deuces, and (3) richesses' (p. 611) ; 
poverty in 4 things : no treasure, food, clothing, or Mends 
(p. 602) ; and no delights of the 5 senses. The pain shall be 
eternal (p. 603). Hell is orderless (p. 603-4). The 7 causes 
why the damnd have lost all hope (p. 604). 

d. Remembrance of the good works weVe left undone, and the 

loss of the ^pod works done while we were in sin (p. 604-6). 
Deadly sin wipes out all good works formerly done (p. 605) ; 
and no good works can be done in deadly sin (p. 605-6). 
The new French song, </'ai tout perdu mon tanps (also 
quoted in Chaucer's late poem of Fa-tune). 

(for GAMDRIDOB 582) Digitized by VjUUVIC 



«. Remembrance of Chilst's sufiering for our sins (p. 60G). In 
man's sin. every ordinance is tumd up-so-down (p. 607). 
For this disorder (Christ sufferd (p. 608). 

/. The hope of 3 things : 1. Forgiveness of Sins, 2. the Gift of 
Qrace to do well, 3. the Glory of Heaven (p. 609). 

3. How to be contrite. Contrition must be universal and total : 

for sins of thought, for desires against God's law, for wicked 
words as well as wicked deeds (p. 610). Contrition must be 
angwishous and continual (p. 609-11). 

4. How Contrition helps the soul. It sometimes delivers a man 

from sin: destroys the prison of hell : cleanses the soul ; 
changes the son of Wrath to the son of Grace (p. 611-12). 

PAET II (no, V. continued). 


(p. 612-679). 
B. ConfMsion. j 1. (1. 317) 'what is confession' (p. 612). 

!2. ' wheitner it oghte nodes be doon or noon' (p. 672-9). 
3. 'whiche thynges been oouenable to v^rray Confession' (p. 

1. 'Confession is verray shewynge of synnes to the preest' 
(L 318) (p. 612). We must understand too 

a. (1. 321) '^whennes that synnes spryngen ' (p. 612—15). 

b. 'how they encreessen' (p. 615-16; 672-74). 

c. *whiche they been' (p. 616—672). 

l.a. Sin sprang from tne fall of Adam (p. 612). The le^d of 
Adam and Eve told (p. 613). From Adam we took Original 
Sin, and were bom sons of eternal damnation ; but Baptism 
rescues us ; though we keep liability to temptation, or Con- 
cupiscence (p. 613-14). 
Concupiscence^ or the nourishing and occasion of sin. St Paul 
and St Jerome's temptations (p. 614-15). 
1.6. How Sin grows in a man. 1. b^ Concupiscence; 2. Subjec- 
tion to the Devil; 3. Hesitation; 4. Doing, the Sin be- 
coming Actual (p. 615-16). 
he. Sin is a. venial, /3. deadly (or mortal). 

a. 1. Venial Sin defined. It skips into Deadly Ban, (Simile 
of the drops of water into a vessel's hold drowning 
the ship;) (p. 616). 
p. 1. Deadly &n defined (p. 617). 

a. 2. Of divers small venial sins, hardly thought sins (p. 617- 
18) ; eating, drinldng^ talking, too much ; using your 
wife too much ; not visiting we sick (p. 617) ; talking 
vanities at church, &c. (p. 618). Cure of venial sins 
by love to Christy prayer, confession, good works, re- 
ceiving the Sacrament holy- water, iui. (p. 618). 
he. p. 2. The Seven Deadly Sins. The Chieftains, head and 
spring, of all other Sins (p. 619). 
i. Pride (p. 619-26), and its Bemedy (p. 626-8). 
IL Envy (h. 628-30), and its Bemedy (p. 630-1). 
iiL Ire or Anger (p. 631-42), and its Bemedy (p. 642-5). 
iv. Accidie or Slotn (Discontent, Eimui) (p. 645-49), and 

its Bemedy (p. 650-1). 
V. Avarice or Covetousness (p. 651-7)i and its Bemedy 

(p. 657-8). 

vi. Gluttony (p. 658-9), and its Bemedy (p. 660). 

' viL Lechery (p. 660-8), and its Bemedy (p. 668-72). 

L Pride (p. 619—626). Its 16 (and more) Twigs. 1. Disobedience, 

2. Boasting, 3. Hypocrisy, 4. Despite, 5. Arro^ce (p. 619), 

6. Impudence, 7. Swelling of Heart (rejoicing m harm done), 

8. Insolence, 9. Elation, 10. Impatience. 11. Contumacy, 12. 

^POB CAMBRIDGE 682 a) Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Presmnptioii, 13. Iireyerenoe, 14. Pertmadty, 15. Yain-j^iy, 
16. Janglinff (chattering). 
A private kind of pride (the Hosf s Wife's and Wife of BaUi's>)» 

wanting to go to offering first, &c. (p. 620). 
Two kinds of Pride, a, ' within man's heart ' 6. without ; h. \asD% 
the t^ga of a., 'as the gaje leefeel atte Taveme is sign of the 
wp that b in the Oeler'^ (p. 620-21), 6. outside pride. 
a. in dear clothing, 1. supemuity of it : its ooet^ furrii^, chisel- 
holes, dragging in the dung, waste of material (p. 621), un- 
fitness for givmg to the poor: 2. scantneas of it: showiDg 
men's priyy members, ana buttocks (like a she-ape's nimp), 
and the former as half-flayd, in parti-coloard hose'. The 
'outrageous arraj of Women' (p. 623). 
/3. in horses {p, 623), and vicious grooms to tend 'em; pkte- 

hamess. £c. 
y. in housenold : keeping too jnany retainers or senrants, ivho 

oppress the poor (p. 624). 
^. in table : not asking the poor to feasts ; having burning and 
ornamented dishes^ ; too costly cups, &c.y and too dicice 
minstrelsy (p. 624). 
What Pride sins are deadly, and what venial (p. 624). 
The Sources of Pride (p. 624) : goods of Nature, Fortune, Giace 
(p. 624). The Folly of Pride m any of these goods of Nature : 
' we ben alle of o fader and of o mooder, and . . of o natDre'^ 
The general si^s of Gentleness, (The flies calld 'bees', and 
their stinMess king) (p. 625) ; 3 gifts of Grace; 3 of Fortune. 
The brittleness of popular praise* (p. 626). 
The Remedy against Frtde, 
Humility or Meekness, and its 3 kinds: in 1. heart, 2. mouth, 
3. works. 4 kinds of each of these (p. 626-27). 

ii. Ehvt (p. 627-30) : defined by the Philoeopher and St Angns&ie. 
It spnngs from Malice (p. 627). 
Malice ; 2 lands of : 1. hardness of hearty or recklessness; 2. op- 
posing truth ^. 627). 
The 2 kmds of Envy {p. 628} : 1. sorrow at other men's proflper- 
itv; 2. joy at other men's nann : whence comes 

Backbiting; 5 kinds (p. 628) : 1. praise with a 6tc< at the end ; 8L 
turning well-meant things upside down to ill ones ; 3. lessening 
a neighbour's goodness : 4. putting one man above another; & 
glad listening to scandal (p. 628). 

Grudging or murmuring (p. 628) : 1. against God (p. 629) ; 2. 
Murmuring from avance, 3. from wide, 4. from envy ; 5. amoqg 
Servants, who say 'the Devil's T^ofemocter'; 6. Murmuriitf 
from ire or hate : thence, a. Bitterness of Heart, h. Disoordt 
c. Scorning; d. Accusing (p. 629) ; e. Malignity (p. 630). 
The Remedy against Enpy ^. 630-31). 

Love of God and one's neighbour. How a man shall love his 

neighbour. How an enemy is included in the name 'nagh- 

bour' (p. 630). 3 Remedies of Love, against 3 deeds ol Hate 

(p. 631). Love is the medicine that casts out the venom of 

Envy from man's heart (p. 631). 

iii. Ikb or Anqbr (p. 631-42), and its 2 kinds: a. good Ireor Wtath 

(p. 632) ; b. wicked Ire, and its 2 kinds: sudden ire, and ire 

of malice aforethought (p. 632-33). 

Three Shrews that foige m the Devil's furnace: Pride, Envy, 
and 0>ntumely (p. 633). 

1 Mellbe-Monk Link, B. 8 U ; and G«a««l Pralogiw, A. 
s Cliaocer*! btbar no dooM bad a sign oataida hia wtne-ahop or taTam In nmm 
Street, Londmt. 

* The ontipokan and aomawhafc ooarae abnaa of tha nair Cuhiooa in drcia ia a gn^ 
change fVom Chaoeer'a admlraMa Ttiird-Pariod ohaff of tha moral ihort-oomh«i « 
tha monka and frlara, Ac Jn tha Prologua and mJddla Taiaa. If thia la not change or 
man, it'a changa of mood. 

* Chanoar most have aeen plentj of thaaa when ha waa paea. TalcC, and Mivlra._ 

* Compare Ohaooar'a Genthneu, Ac. • Compare aa^ tala^ Part Vl, aU Uk 

(for CAMBBIDOB 582 6) edbyVjUUVlC 

8IX-TBZT 592 

Wrath takes away a man's wit and spiritual life (p. 634). 
Fruits of Wrath : 1. Hate. 2. War and wrong. 3. Manslaughter, 
a. spiritual ; 6. bodily (p. 634). 

a. The 3 kinds of spiritual Manslaughter (3, calld 6 in MSS. 
p. 634) : 1. by Hate. 2. by Backbiting. 3. Giving wicked 
Counsel, by Fraud (p. 634). 

b. bodily Manslaughter: slaying with your tongue, giving 
orders or counsel to slay a man (p. 634). 

Manslaughter in deed : its 4 (that is, 7) lands (p. 635) : 1. by law : 
a Justice condemning a man to death ; 2. justifiable homicide, 
in defence of one's own life ; 3. by misadventure : diootinff an 
arrow, &c. ; 4. a woman overlving her child ; 5. a man msSdng 
a woman barren by diinks, £a. killing the foetus within her. 
shedding his seed in the wron^ place : a woman killing the chUa 
in her womb ; 6. a woman Killing her child (after l)irth) for 
shame ; 7. a man by lechery or blows killing a foetus. 

(Sixteen) other sins coming irom Ire or Anger. 

1. bkming or despising God, as hazarders do {Op. Pardoner's 

Tale) (p. 636) ; and those who treat of the Sacrament of 
the altar irreverently (p. 636). 

2. Attry anger : making aiippry false excuses for sin. 

3. Swearing, which dismembers Christ (p. 636). 

a. Of lawful Swearing, before a Judge : its 3 conditions, and 
its motives ; b. God's name and Christ's, not to be taken 
in vain (p. 637) ; c. swearing for gentiiitrf or manliness 
(p. 638) ; d, swearing suddenly; e. of Ac^uration and 
Conjuration by enchanters and necromancers ; /. of 
Divination by Dreams, &c.; g, of Charms for Wounds 
and Makidies (p. 638). 
4 Lving (p. 638), and its 6 kinds. 

5. Flattering. How Flatterers are the Devil's Nurses, his 

Enchanters and Chaplains (p. 639). 

6. Cursing that comes of irons heart : Malison. 

7. Chiding and Reproach (p. 640); (specially a chiding wife^) 
(p. 640-41). 

12. Betraying of Counsel (p. 

13. Menace. 

14. Idle words. 

15. Jangling(chattermg)(p.642). 

16. Japing (joking) (p. 642-43). 

a Scorning (p. 641). 
9. Giving wicked Counsel 
(p. 641). 

10. Sowing and making Dis- 

cord (p. 642). 

11. Double tongue (p. 642). 

The Remedy against Anger (p. 643-5). Debonairtee and Patience 
(p. 643). Four kinds of grievances, and their remedies: 1. 
wicked words, 2. loss of goods, 3. harm of body, 4. outrageous 
labour (p. 644}. 
Incentives to Patience. Story of the Philosopher and Child 
(p. 644-45). Obedience comes from Patience (p. 645). 

iv. AocmiE, or Sloth (Discontent, Ennui) (p. 645-49), is an enemy 
to the 3 states of man, — 1. innocence (p. 645), 2. prayer (p. 646), 
3. grace;— and to one's livelihood. Its 12 bad consequences (p. 
646) : 1. Sloth (and its remedy) ; 2. Dread to bedn good works 
(p. 646) ; 3. Wanhope, or Despair (and its Remedy) $>• 647) ; 4. 
Somnolence (p. 648), and 5. Negligence, or 6. Recklessness, and 
the Remedy for each ; 7. Idleness ; 8. Tarditas, or tarrying 
before turning to God (p. 649) ; 9. Lachesse^ or giving up a 
good work b^m ; 10. Coldness; 11. Undevotion; 12. Worldly 
sorrow (p. 649). 

The Remedy against Accidie (p. 650-61) : Fortitude or Strength, 
and its 5 kinds. 1. Magnanimity' or great Courage ; 2. Faith 
or Hope; 3. Assurance; 4. Magnificence; 5. Constancy (p. 

I Doet Chaucer here refer to his former wife P ^-> y 

• Mlewrltten 'Maifiiiflceiice' in Elletmere and Lanedowne USS. pj m^e^j ^v VjOOQIC 
(for CAMBRIDGE 583) O 


Y. AvABioB ft). 651-67). The difference between Avarice and Covet- 
ousness (p. 651) ; and between an Idolater and an avaridous 
man (p. 652). Of Govetousness, and lords' extortion from their 
bondmen : *' humble folk been Cristes freendes" (p. 652-53). The 
Duty of lords to their thralls or churls. Of those that pillage 
Uoly Church (p. 653-54) ; lords who plunder the poor are life 
wolves (p. 654). Of Deceit between Merchant and Merchant 
(p. 654). Of honest bodily Merchandise (the surplus of one 
country may be sent to help another) (p. 654). Of spiritual 
Merchandise, or Simony, and its 2 kinds {p. 655), — ^thieves that 
steal Christ's souIb ffet uyings (p. 655-56) ; — Hasardry or Games 
of Chance (p. 656). Other outcomes of Avarice (p. 656) : l.*Lying, 
2. Theft (bodily and spiritual) (p. 656-57), 3. False Witness, 

4. False Oaths (p. 657). 

The Remedy against Avarice (p. 657) : Mercy ajid Pity, and reason* 
able Liberality (p. 658). Ot foolish Uu^gess (p. 658). 

vi. Gluttony (p. 658-59). and its 5 kinds (p. 659) : 1. Drunkenness, 
or the bunal of man's reason ; 2. a troubled spirit ; 3. bad way 
of eating; 4. distemperd bodily humours; 5. forgetfubess. Or, 
as St Gregory says, 1. eating too soon ; 2. eating too delicate 
food ; 3. taking too much ; 4. troubling too much about cooking 
food; 5. eating greedily : these are the 5 fingers of the devil's 
hand (p. 659). 

The Remedy against Gluttony (p. 660) : Abstinence, and its fellows. 
Temperance, Shame, Content with phiin food, Moderation, So- 
berness, Sparing (p. 660). 

vii. Leohekt (p. 660). Its punishment in the Old Testament (p. 
660). Adultery, and the desire of it (p. 661-62). 
The 5 fingers of the Devil's other hand (p. 662) ; 1. fooUsh look- 
ing: 2. villainous touching ; 3. foul words ; 4. kissing (old do- 
taras. and dry dogs at a rose-tree (p.