Imágenes de páginas

The virtue expulsive or animal,
From thilke virtue cleped' natural,
Ne may the venom voiden ne expell;
The pipes of his lunges 'gan to swell,
And every lacert2 in his breast adown
Is shent3 with venom and corruption.
He gaineth neither, for to get his life,
Vomit upward ne downward laxative:
All is to-bursten thilke region;
Nature hath now no domination :
And certainly where nature will not werche,5
Farewell physic; go bear the man to church.
This is all and some, that Arcite muste die;
For which he sendeth after Emily,
And Palamon, that was his cousin dear;
Then said he thus, as ye shall after hear:

Nought may the woful spirit in mine heart
Declare one point of all my sorrows' smart
To you my lady, that I love most,
But I bequeath the service of my ghost
To you aboven every creature,

Since that my life ne may no longer dure.

Alas the woe! alas the paines strong,
That I for you have suffered, and so long!
Alas the death! alas mine Emily!
Alas departing of our company!

Alas mine hearte's queen! alas my wife!
Mine hearte's lady, ender of my life!
What is this world ?-what asken men to have?
Now with his love, now in his colde grave-
Alone withouten any company.
Farewell my sweet-farewell mine Emily!
And softe take me in your armes tway
For love of God, and hearkeneth what I say.

'I have here with my cousin Palamon Had strife and rancour many a day agone For love of you, and for my jealousy; And Jupiter so wis my soule gie,7 To speaken of a servant properly, With alle circumstances truely;

That is to say, truth, honour, and knighthead,
Wisdom, humbless, estate, and high kindred,
Freedom, and all that 'longeth to that art,
So Jupiter have of my soule part,
As in this world right now ne know I none
So worthy to be loved as Palamon,
That serveth you, and will do all his life;
And if that ever ye shall be a wife,
Forget not Palamon, the gentle man.'

And with that word his speeche fail began ;
For from his feet up to his breast was come
The cold of death that had him overnome ;8
And yet, moreover, in his armes two,
The vital strength is lost and all ago ;9
Only the intellect, withouten more,
That dwelled in his hearte sick and sore,
'Gan faillen when the hearte felte death;
Dusked his eyen two, and fail'd his breath :
But on his lady yet cast he his eye;
His laste word was, Mercy, Emily!'


The will of Christ, and kneeling on the strond,
She saide, Lord, aye welcome be thy sond.1
'He that me kepte from the false blame,
While I was in the land amonges you,
He can me keep from harm and eke from shame
In the salt sea, although I see not how :
As strong as ever he was, he is yet now:
In him trust I, and in his mother dear,
That is to me my sail and eke my steer."2

Her little child lay weeping in her arm;
And kneeling piteously, to him she said-
'Peace, little son, I will do thee no harm :'
With that her kerchief off her head she braid,
And over his little eyen she it laid,
And in her arm she lulleth it full fast,
And into th' heaven her eyen up she cast.

'Mother, quod she, and maiden bright, Mary! Soth is, that through womannes eggement,+ Mankind was lorn,5 and damned aye to die, For which thy child was on a cross yrent :6 Thy blissful eyen saw all his torment; Then is there no comparison between Thy woe and any woe man may sustain.

Thou saw'st thy child yslain before thine eyen, And yet now liveth my little child parfay :7 Now, lady bright! to whom all woful crien, Thou glory of womanhood, thou faire May! Thou haven of refute, bright star of day! Rue on my child, that of thy gentleness Ruest on every rueful in distress.

'O little child, alas! what is thy guilt, That never wroughtest sin as yet, pardíe? Why will thine harde father have thee spilt ? 10 O mercy, deare Constable! (quod she) As let my little child dwell here with thee; And if thou dar'st not saven him from blame, So kiss him ones in his father's name.'

Therewith she looketh backward to the land, And saide, Farewell, husband rutheless!' 11 And up she rose, and walketh down the strand Toward the ship; her followeth all the press : And ever she prayeth her child to hold his peace, And tak'th her leave, and with a holy' intent She blesseth her, and into the ship she went.


[Departure of Custance.]

[Custance is banished from her husband, Alla, king of Northumberland, in consequence of the treachery of the king's

mother. Her behaviour in embarking at sea, in a rudderless
ship, is thus described.]

Weepen both young and old in all that place
When that the king this cursed letter sent:
And Custance with a deadly pale face
The fourthe day toward the ship she went ;
But natheless10 she tak'th in good intent

1 Called.

4 He is able for.
• Overtaken.

• Muscle.
5 Work.

8 Ruined, destroyed.

6 Surely.
10 Nevertheless.

7 Guide.

Victailled was the ship, it is no drede,13
Abundantly for her a full long space;
And other necessaries that should need
She had enow, heried14 be Goddes grace:
For wind and weather, Almighty God purchase,15
And bring her home, I can no better say,
But in the sea she driveth forth her way..

[The Pardoner's Tale.]

In Flanders whilom was a company
Of youngé folk that haunteden follý,
As hazard, riot, stewés, and taverns,
Whereas with harpés, lutés, and gitterns,16
They dance and play at dice both day and night,
And eat also and drinken o'er their might,
Through which they do the devil sacrifice,
Within the devil's temple', in cursed wise,
By superfluity abominable.
Their oathes been so great and so damnable
That it is grisly17 for to hear them swear.
Our blissful Lordés body they to-tear;
Them thought the Jewés rent him not enough;
And each of them at other's sinné laugh.

And right anon in comen tombesteres 18
Fetis19 and small, and youngé fruitesteres,20

* Guide, helm.
6 Torn.

1 Message.

& Undone.
Have pity.
18 Doubt.
16 Guitars.

19 Well made, neat.

10 Destroyed.
14 Praised.
17 Dreadful

Took. 4 Incitement.
7 By my faith.
11 Pitiless.
15 Procure, provide.

18 Female dancers.

20 Female fruitsellers

8 Refuge 12 Crowd.

Singers with harpés, baudés,1 waferers,2
Which be the very devil's officers,
To kindle and blow the fire of 'luxury,'
That is annexéd unto gluttony.
The holy writ take I to my witness
That luxury' is in wine and drunkenness.
O! wist a man how many maladies
Followen of excesse and of gluttonies,
He wouldé be the moré measurable
Of his diete, sitting at his table.
Alas! the shorté throat, the tender mouth,
Maketh that east and west, and north and south,
In earth, in air, in water, men to swink3
To get a glutton dainty meat and drink.

A likerous' thing is wine, and drunkenness
Is full of striving and of wretchedness.

O drunken man! disfigur'd is thy face,
Sour is thy breath, foul art thou to embrace;
And through thy drunken nose seemeth the soun
As though thou saidést aye Sampsoun ! Sampsoun !
And yet, Got wot, Sampsoun drunk ne'er no wine:
Thou fallest as it were a stickéd swine;

Thy tongue is lost, and all thine honest cure,4 For drunkenness is very sépulture

Of mannés wit and his discretión.

In whom that drink hath dominatión

He can no counsel keep, it is no drede.5

Now keep you from the white and from the rede,6
And namely from the white wine of Lepe,7
That is to sell in Fish Street and in Cheap.
This wine of Spain creepeth subtlely

In other wines growing fasté by,
Of which there riseth such fumosity,8

That when a man hath drunken draughtés three,
And weeneth that he be at home in Cheap,
He is in Spain, right at the town of Lepe,
Not at the Rochelle, or at Bordeaux town,
And thenné will he say Sampsoun ! Sampsoun!
And now that I have spoke of gluttony,
Now will I you defenden hazardry.11
Hazard is very mother of léasings,
And of deceits and cursed forswearings,
Blaspheming of Christ, manslaughter', and waste also
Of cattle, and of time; and furthermo
It is reproof, and contrary' of honour
For to be held a common hazardour,
And ever the higher he is of estate
The more he is holden desolate.
If that a princé useth hazardry,
In allé governance and policy
He is, as by common opinión,
Yhold the less in reputatión.

Now will I speak of oathés false and great
A word or two, as oldé bookés treat.
Great swearing is a thing abominable,
And false swearing is yet more reprovable.
The highé God forbade swearing at all,
Witness on Mathew; but in special
Of swearing saith the holy Jeremie,
Thou shalt swear soth12 thine oathés and not lie,
And swear in doom,13 and eke in righteousness,
But idle swearing is a cursedness.

These riotourés three of which I tell,
Long erst1 ere primé rung of any bell,
Were set them in a tavern for to drink,
And as they sat they heard a bellé clink
Before a corpse was carried to his grave;
That one of them 'gan callen to his knave ;15
'Go bet,'16 quod he, ‘and aské readily
What corpse is this that passeth here forth by,

And look that thou report his name well.'
'Sir,' quod this boy, it needeth never a deal ;1
It was me told ere ye came here two hours;
He was pardé an old felláw of yours,
And suddenly he was yslain to-night,
Fordrunk as he sat on his bench upright;
There came a privy thief men clepen Death,
That in this country all the people slay'th,
And with his spear he smote his heart atwo,
And went his way withouten wordés mo.
He hath a thousand slain this pestilence;
And, master, ere ye come in his presénce,
Me thinketh that it were full necessary
For to beware of such an adversary:
Be ready for to meet him evermore ;
Thus taughté me my dame; I say no more.'
By Sainte Mary,' said this tavernere,
'The child saith soth, for he hath slain this year,
Hence over a mile, within a great village,
Both man and woman, child, and hind and page;
I trow his habitatión be there :

To be aviséd3 great wisdóm it were Ere that he did a man a dishonour.'

'Yea, Goddes armés!' quod this rioter, 'Is it such peril with him for to meet ? I shall him seek by stile and eke by street, I make a vow by Goddés digné bones. Hearkeneth, fellaws, we three been allé ones Let each of us hold up his hand to other, And each of us becomen other's brother, And we will slay this false traitour Death: He shall be slain, he that so many slay'th, By Goddes dignity, ere it be night.'

Together have these three their truthés plight To live and dien each of them for other, As though he were his owen boren brother. And up they start all drunken in this rage, And forth they gone towardés that village Of which the taverner had spoke beforen, And many a grisly7 oath then have they sworn, And Christés blessed body they to-rent,8 'Death shall be dead, if that we may him hent.

When they had gone not fully half a mile, Right as they would have trodden o'er a stile, An old man and a pooré with them met: This oldé man full meekely them gret,10 And saidé thus: Now, Lordés, God you see !'ll The proudest of these riotourés three Answer'd again: What? churl, with sorry grace, Why art thou all forwrapped save thy face? Why livest thou so long in so great age?

2 Sellers of wafer-cakes. 3 Labour.

Red. 7 A place in Spain.
Thinketh, imagineth.
19 True. 18 Judgment.
16 Better go.

1 Mirthful, joyous.

8 Fumes from drinking.

10 Forbid.

14 Before.

11 Gaming.

15 Servant lad.

This oldé man 'gan look in his visage,
And saidé thus: "For I ne cannot find
A man, though that I walked into Ind,
Neither in city nor in no village,
That wouldé change his youthé for mine age;
And therefore must I have inine agé still
As longé time as it is Goddés will.

Ne Death, alas! ne will not have my life:
Thus walk I, like a restéless caitiff,12

And on the ground, which is my mother's gate,
I knocké with my staff early and late,
And say to her, "Level3 mother, let me in.
Lo, how I vanish, flesh, and blood, and skin.
Alas! when shall my bonés be at rest?
Mother, with you would I change my chest,
That in my chamber longé time hath be,
Yea, for an hairy clout to wrap in me."
But yet to me she will not do that grace,
For which full pale and welked14 is my face.

1 Not a whit.

9 Truth.

4 Worthy.

5 All one, or, in unity.
7 Fearful.
8 Defaced. 9 Catch.
11 That is, God preserve you in his sight.'
18 Wretch.
18 Dear.

Watchful, prepared

6 Born. 10 Greeted.

14 Wrinkled.

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" But, Sirs, to you it is no courtesy To speak unto an old man villainy, But hel trespass in word or else in deed. In holy writ ye may yourselven read; 66 Against an old man, hoar upon his hede, Ye should arise :" therefore I give you rede? Ne do'th unto an old man none harm now, No more than that ye would a man did you In age, if that ye may so long abide ; And God be with you whe'r ye go or ride: I must go thither as I have to go."

Nay, oldé churl, by God thou shalt not so,' Saidé this other hazardour4 anon; "Thou partest not so lightly, by Saint John. Thou spake right now of thilkes traitour Death, That in this country all our friendés slay'th; Have here my truth, as thou art his espy, Tell where he is, or thou shalt it aby,6 By God and by the holy sacrament, For sothly thou art one of his assent To slay us youngé folk, thou falsé thief." 'Now, Sirs,' quod he, if it be you so lief7 To finden Death, turn up this crooked way; For in that grove I left him, by my fay, Under a tree, and there he will abide, Nor for your boast he will him nothing hide. See ye that oak? right there ye shall him find. God save you that bought again mankind, And you amend!' Thus said this olde man. And evereach of these riotourés ran


Thy profit will I tell thee right anon.
Thou wott'st well that our fellow is agone;
And here is gold, and that full great plenty,
That shall departed be among us three;
But nathéless, if I can shape it so
That it departed were among us two,
Had I not done a friendés turn to thee?"

That other answer'd: 'I n'ot1 how that may be : He wot well that the gold is with us tway. What shall we do? what shall we to him say?'

Shall it be counsel?' said the firsté shrew,2 'And I shall tellen thee in wordés few What shall we do, and bring it well about.'

'I granté,' quod that other, 'out of doubt, That by my truth I will thee not betray.'

'Now,' quod the first, 'thou wott'st well we be tway;
And tway of us shall stronger be than one.
Look, when that he is set, thou right anon
Arise, as though thou wouldest with him play,
And I shall rive him through the sides tway:
While that thou strugglest with him as in game;
And with thy dagger look thou do the same;
And then shall all this gold departed be,
My dearé friend! betwixen thee and me;
Then may we both our lustés all fulfil,
And play at dice right at our owen will.'
And thus accorded been these shrewés tway
To slay the third, as ye have heard ine say.

This youngest, which that wenté to the town,
Full oft in heart he rolleth up and down
The beauty of these florins new and bright.


O Lord!' quod he, if so were, that I might
Have all this treasure to myself alone,
There is no man that liv'th under the throne
Of God that shouldé live so merry' as I.'
And at the last, the fiend, our enemy,
Put in his thought that he should poison buy
With which he mighté slay his fellows tway:
For why the fiend found him in such living,
That he had leve3 to sorrow him to bring;
For this was utterly his full intent,

Till they came to the tree, and there they found
Of florins fine of gold ycoined round
Well nigh an eighté bushels, as them thought;
No longer then after Death they sought,
But each of them so glad was of the sight,
For that the florins been so fair and bright,
That down they set them by the precious hoard:
The worst of them he spake the firsté word.

'Brethren,' quod he, take keep what I shall say;
My wit is great, though that I bourdes and play.
This treasure hath Fortúne unto us given,
In mirth and jollity our life to liven,
And lightly as it com'th so will we spend,
Ey! Goddés precious dignity! who ween'd9
To-day that we should have so fair a grace?
But might this gold be carried from this place
Home to my house, or ellés unto yours,
(For well wot that all this gold is ours)
Thenné were we in high felicity;
But truely by day it may not be ;-
Men woulden say that we were thieves strong,
And for our owen treasure done us hong.10
This treasure must ycarried be by night
As wisely and as slyly as it might;
Wherefore I redell that cut12 among us all
We draw, and let see where the cut will fall;
And he that hath the cut, with hearté blithe,
Shall runnen to the town, and that full swith,13
And bring us bread and wine full privily;
And two of us shall keepen subtlely

This treasure well; and if he will not tarrien,
When it is night we will this treasure carrien
By one assent where as us thinketh best.'

That one of them the cut brought in his fist,
And bade them draw, and look where it would


And it fell on the youngest of them all ;
And forth toward the town he went anon:
And all so soon as that he was agone,
That one of them spake thus unto that other;
Thou wottest well thou art my sworen brother,

1 Unless he, &c.

5 This same.

9 Guessed. 12 Lot.

2 Advice.

3 Whether.
6 Suffer for. 7 Pleasant.
10 Have us hanged.
18 Quickly.

4 Gamester.
8 Joke.

11 Advise.

To slay them both and never to repent.
And forth he go'th, no longer would he tarry,
Into the town unto a 'pothecary,
And prayed him that he him wouldé sell
Some poison, that he might his ratouns quell;
And eke there was a polecat in his haws
That, as he said, his capons had yslaw ;6
And fain he would him wreaken if he might,
Of vermin that destroyed them by night.

The 'pothecary answer'd: Thou shalt have
A thing, as wisly8 God my soulé save,
In all this world there n'is no creáture
That eat or drunk hath of this cónfecture
Not but the mountance of a corn of wheat,
That he ne shall his life anon forlet,10
Yea, starvell he shall, and that in lesse while
Than thou wilt go a pace not but a mile;
This poison is so strong and violent.'

This cursed man hath in his hand yhent12
This poison in a box, and swith13 he ran
Into the nexté street unto a man,

And borrowed of him largé bottles three,
And in the two the poison poured he;
The third he kepté cleané for his drink,
For all the night he shope him for to swink14
In carrying of the gold out of that place.

And when this rioter with sorry grace15
Hath filled with wine his greaté bottles three,
To his fellows again repaireth he.

1 Know not.

A cursed man. 5 Farm-yard.

4 Rats.

7 Revenge himself if he could.
10 Give over.
11 Die.
14 Labour, work.

9 Amounting.

13 Immediately.

3 Inclination.

6 Slain.

8 Certainly.

12 Taken.

15 Evil, or misfortune.

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What needeth it thereof to sermon more !
For right as they had cast his death before,
Right so they have him slain, and that anon.
And when that this was done thus spake that

one :
Now let us sit and drink, and make us merry,
And afterward we will his body bury.'
And with that word it happen'd him par casi
To take the bottle where the poison was,
And drank, and gave his fellow drink also,
For which anon they storveno bothé two.

But certés I suppose that Avicenne
Wrote never in no canon ne' in no fenne3
More wonder signés of empoisoning
Than had these wretches two, or their ending.
Thus ended been these homicidés two,
And eke the false empoisoner also.

[The Good Parson.]
A true good man there was there of religion,
Pious and poor-the parson of a town.
But rich he was in holy thought and work ;
And thereto a right learned man; a clerk
That Christ's pure gospel would sincerely preach,
And his parishioners devoutly teach.
Benign he was, and wondrous diligent,
And in adversity full patient,
As proven oft ; to all who lack'd a friend.
Loth for his tithes to ban or to contend,
At every need much rather was he found
Unto his poor parishioners around
Of his own substance and his dues to give :
Content on little, for himself, to live.

Wide was his cure ; the houses far asunder,
Yet never fail'd he, or for rain or thunder,
Whenever sickness or mischance might call,
The most remote to visit, great or small,
And, staff in hand, on foot, the storm to brave.

This noble ensample to his flock he gave,
That first he wrought, and afterward he taught.
The word of life he from the gospel caught;
And well this comment added he thereto,
If that gold rusteth what should iron do ?
And if the priest be foul on whom we trust,
What wonder if the unletter'd layman lust!
And shame it were in him the flock should keep,
To see a sullied shepherd, and clean sheep.
For sure a priest the sample ought to give
By his own cleanness how his sheep should live.

He never set his benefice to hire,
Leaving his flock acomber'd in the mire,
And ran to London cogging at St Poul's,
To seek himself a chauntery for souls,
Or with a brotherhood to be enrollid;
But dwelt at home, and guarded well his fold,
So that it should not by the wolf miscarry.
He was a shepherd, and no mercenary.

Tho holy in himself, and virtuous,
He still to sinful men was mild and piteous :
Not of reproach imperious or malign;
But in his teaching soothing and benign.
To draw them on to heaven, by reason fair
And good example, was his daily care.
But were there one perverse and obstinate,
Were he of lofty or of low estate,
Him would he sharply with reproof astound.
A better priest is no where to be found.

He waited not on pomp or reverence,
Nor made himself a spiced conscience.
The lore of Christ and his apostles twelve
He taught : but, first, he followed it himselve.

[An Ironical Ballad on the Duplicity of Women.)

This world is full of variance
In everything, who taketh heed,
That faith and trust, and all constance,
Exiléd be, this is no drede,
And save only in womanhead,
I can ysee no sikerness;2
But for all that yet, as I read,
Beware alway of doubleness.

Also that the fresh summer flowers,
The white and red, the blue and green,
Be suddenly with winter showers,
Made faint and fade, withouten ween,
That trust is none, as ye may seen,
In no thing, nor no steadfastness,
Except in women, thus I mean ;
Yet aye bewa doubleness.

The crooked moon, (this is no tale),
Some while isheent and bright of hue,
And after that full dark and pale,
And every moneth changeth new,
That who the very sothés knew
All thing is built on brittleness,
Save that women alway be true ;
Yet aye beware of doubleness.

The lusty freshé summer's day,
And Phæbus with his beamés clear,
Towardés night they draw away,
And no longer list t' appear,
That in this present life now here
Nothing abideth in his fairness,
Save women aye be found entere,?
And devoid of all doubleness.

The sea eke with his sterné wawes8
Each day yfloweth new again,
And by the concourse of his lawes
The ebbe floweth in certain ;
After great drought there cometh rain ;
That farewell here all stableness,
Save that women be whole and plein 9
Yet aye beware of doubleness.

Fortunés wheel go’th round about
A thousand timés day and night,
Whose course standeth ever in doubt
For to transmuelo she is so light,
For which adverteth in your sight
Th’untrust of worldly fickleness,
Save women, which of kindly rightil
Ne hath no touch of doubleness.

What man ymay the wind restrain,
Or holden a snake by the tail ?
Who may a slipper eel constrain
That it will void withouten fail ?
Or who can driven so a nail
To maké sure newfangleness,19
Save women, that can gie13 their sail
To row their boat with doubleness !

At every haven they can arrive
Whereas they wot is good passáge ;
Of innocence they cannot strive
With wawés, nor no rockés rage ;
So happy is their lodemanagelt
With needle' and stone their course to dress, 15
That Solomon was not so sage
To find in them no doubleness :


1 By accident.
9 Storven (perfect tense of starve)-died.

8 The title of one of the sections in Avicenne's great work, entitled Canun.

8 Doubtless. I Fear.

Surety, steadfastness. 4 Shining.

6 Truth. 6 Pleasant. 7 Entire, whole, sounde 8 Waves. 9 Complote.

10 Change

13 Guida Il Natural right. 19 Novelty, inconstancy. 14 Steering, pilotage.

15 Manage.

Therefore whoso doth them accuse

Waiveth thy lust and let thy ghost1 thee lead,
Of any double intention,

And truth thee shall deliver 't is no drede.
To speaké rown, other to muse,
To pinch at? their condition,

However far the genius of Chaucer transcended All is but false collusión,

that of all preceding writers, he was not the solitary I dare right well the soth express,

light of his age. The national mind and the national They have no better protection,

language appear, indeed, to have now arrived at a But shroud them under doubleness.

certain degree of ripeness, favourable for the proSo well fortunéd is their chance,

duction of able writers in both prose and verse. * The dice to-turnen up so down,

Heretofore, Norman French had been the language With sice and cinque they can advance,

of education, of the court, and of legal documents; And then by revolution

and when the Normanised Anglo-Saxon was emThey set a fell conclusión

ployed by literary men, it was for the special purOf lombés,3 as in sothfastness,

pose, as they were usually very careful to mention, Though clerkés maken mention

of conveying instruction to the common people. But Their kind is fret with doubleness.

now the distinction between the conquering Normans

and subjected Anglo-Saxons was nearly lost in a Sampson yhad experience

new and fraternal national feeling, which recognised That women were full true yfound ;

the country under the sole name of England, and the When Dalila of innocence

people and language under the single appellation of With shearés 'gan his hair to round ;4

English. Edward III. substituted the use of English To speak also of Rosamond,

for that of French in the public acts and judicial proAnd Cleopatra's faithfulness,

ceedings; and the schoolmasters, for the first time, The stories plainly will confound

in the same reign, caused their pupils to construe Men that apeach their doubleness.

the classical tongues into the vernacular.t The Single thing is not ypraised,

consequence of this ripening of the national mind Nor of old is of no renown,

and language was, that, while English heroism was In balance when they be ypesed, 6

gaining the victories of Cressy and Poitiers, English For lach of weight they be borne down,

genius was achieving milder and more beneficial triAnd for this cause of just reason

umphs, in the productions of Chaucer, of Gower, and These women all of rightwisness7

of Wickliffe. Of choice and free election Most love exchange and doubleness.


JOHN Gower is supposed to have been born some L'Envoye.

time about the year 1325, and to have consequently O ye women ! which be inclinéd

been a few years older than Chaucer. He was a By influence of your natúre

gentleman, possessing a considerable amount of proTo be as pure as gold yfinéd,

perty in land, in the counties of Nottingham and And in your truth for to endure,

Suffolk. In his latter years, he appears, like Chaucer, Armeth yourself in strong armúre,

to have been a retainer of the Lancaster branch of (Lest men assail your sikerness),

the royal family, which subsequently ascended the Set on your breast, yourself t'assure,

throne; and his death took place in 1408, before A mighty shield of doubleness,

which period he had become blind. Gower wrote a

poetical work in three parts, which were respectively [Last Verses of Chaucer, written on his Deathbed.]

entitled Speculum Meditantis, Vox Clamuntis, and Fly from the press, 9 and dwell with sothfastness ;10 Confessio Amantis; the last, which is a grave disSuffice unto thy goodll though it be small;

cussion of the morals and metaphysics of love, being For hoard bath hate, and climbing tickleness,

the only part written in English. The solemn senPressl2 hath envy, and weal is blent13 o'er all ;

tentiousness of this work caused Chaucer, and subSavour14 no more than thee behoven shall; Redel5 well thyself, that otherfolk can’st rede,

1 Spirit. And truth thee shall deliver 't is no drede.16

* It is always to be kept in mind that the language employed Pain thee not each crooked to redress

in literary composition is apt to be different from that used by

the bulk of the people in ordinary discourse. The literary lanIn trust of her that turneth as a ball ;

guage of these early times was probably much more refined Great rest standeth in little business ;

than the colloquial. During the fourteenth century, various Beware also to spurn against a nalle ;17

dialects of English were spoken in different parts of the country, Strive not as doth a crockels with a wall ;

and the mode of pronunciation also was very far from being Deemeth 19 thyself that deemest other's deed,

uniform. Trevisa, a historian who wrote about 1380, remarks And truth thee shall deliver 't is no drede.

that, • Hit semeth a grete wonder that Englyssmen have so That20 thee is sent receive in buxomness ;21

grete dyversyte in their owin langage in sowne and in spekyin

of it, which is all in one ilonde.' The prevalent harshness of The wrestling of this world asketh a fall;

pronunciation is thus described by the same writer : Some Here is no home, here is but wilderness ;

use straunge wlaffing, chytryng, harring, garrying, and grysForth, pilgrim, forth, 0 beast out of thy stall ;

byting. The langage of the Northumbres, and specyally at Look up on high, and thank thy God of all ;

Yorke, is so sharpe, slytting, frotyng, and unshape, that we

Nothern men maye unneth understande that langage. Even 1 Either in whispering or musing. ? To find a flaw in. in the reign of Elizabeth, as we learn from Holinshed's Chro

3. Though clerks, or scholars, represent women to be like nicle, the dialects spoken in different parts of the country were lambs for their truth and sincerity, yet they are all fraught, exceedingly various. or filled with doubleness, or falsehood.' -Urry.

† Mr Hallam mentions, on the authority of Mr Stevenson, * To round off, to cut round.



5 Impeach.

sub-commissioner of public records, that in England, all letters, 6 Ypesed, Fr. pese weighed. 7 Justice. 8 Security. even of a private nature, were written in Latin till the beginning 9 Crowd.

10 Truth. 11 Be satisfied with thy wealth. of the reign of Edward I., soon after 1270, when a sudden change 12 Striving. 18 Prosperity has ceased.

brought in the use of French.-Hallam's Introduction to the Lite13 Counsel. 16 Without fear.

17 Nail 18 Earthen pitcher. rature of Europe in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth cene 20 That (which). 21 Humility, obedience. | turies, i. 63.

14 Taste.

19 Judge.

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