And with this word this Justin' and his brother Have ta'en their leave, and each of them of other. And when they saw that it must needes be, They wroughte so, by sleight and wise treaty, That she, this maiden, which that *Maius hight,* *was named May* As hastily as ever that she might, Shall wedded be unto this January. I trow it were too longe you to tarry, If I told you of every *script and band* *written bond* By which she was feoffed in his hand; Or for to reckon of her rich array But finally y-comen is the day That to the churche bothe be they went, For to receive the holy sacrament, Forth came the priest, with stole about his neck, And bade her be like Sarah and Rebecc' In wisdom and in truth of marriage; And said his orisons, as is usage, And crouched* them, and prayed God should them bless, *crossed And made all sicker* enough with holiness. *certain
Thus be they wedded with solemnity; And at the feaste sat both he and she, With other worthy folk, upon the dais. All full of joy and bliss is the palace, And full of instruments, and of vitaille, * *victuals, food The moste dainteous* of all Itale. *delicate Before them stood such instruments of soun', That Orpheus, nor of Thebes Amphioun, Ne made never such a melody. At every course came in loud minstrelsy, That never Joab trumped for to hear, Nor he, Theodomas, yet half so clear At Thebes, when the city was in doubt. Bacchus the wine them skinked* all about. *poured And Venus laughed upon every wight (For January was become her knight, And woulde both assaye his courage In liberty, and eke in marriage), And with her firebrand in her hand about Danced before the bride and all the rout. And certainly I dare right well say this, Hymeneus, that god of wedding is, Saw never his life so merry a wedded man. Hold thou thy peace, thou poet Marcian, That writest us that ilke* wedding merry *same Of her Philology and him Mercury, And of the songes that the Muses sung; Too small is both thy pen, and eke thy tongue For to describen of this marriage. When tender youth hath wedded stooping age, There is such mirth that it may not be writ; Assay it youreself, then may ye wit* *know If that I lie or no in this mattere.
Maius, that sat with so benign a cheer,* *countenance Her to behold it seemed faerie; Queen Esther never look'd with such an eye On Assuere, so meek a look had she; I may you not devise all her beauty; But thus much of her beauty tell I may, That she was hike the bright morrow of May Full filled of all beauty and pleasance. This January is ravish'd in a trance, At every time he looked in her face; But in his heart he gan her to menace, That he that night in armes would her strain Harder than ever Paris did Helene. But natheless yet had he great pity That thilke night offende her must he, And thought, "Alas, O tender creature, Now woulde God ye mighte well endure All my courage, it is so sharp and keen; I am aghast* ye shall it not sustene. *afraid But God forbid that I did all my might. Now woulde God that it were waxen night, And that the night would lasten evermo'. I would that all this people were y-go."* *gone away And finally he did all his labour, As he best mighte, saving his honour, To haste them from the meat in subtle wise.
The time came that reason was to rise; And after that men dance, and drinke fast, And spices all about the house they cast, And full of joy and bliss is every man, All but a squire, that highte Damian, Who carv'd before the knight full many a day; He was so ravish'd on his lady May, That for the very pain he was nigh wood;* *mad Almost he swelt* and swooned where he stood, *fainted So sore had Venus hurt him with her brand, As that she bare it dancing in her hand. And to his bed he went him hastily; No more of him as at this time speak I; But there I let him weep enough and plain,* *bewail Till freshe May will rue upon his pain. O perilous fire, that in the bedstraw breedeth! O foe familiar,* that his service bedeth!** *domestic **offers O servant traitor, O false homely hewe,* *servant Like to the adder in bosom shy untrue, God shield us alle from your acquaintance! O January, drunken in pleasance Of marriage, see how thy Damian, Thine owen squier and thy boren* man, *born Intendeth for to do thee villainy:* *dishonour, outrage God grante thee thine *homehy foe* t' espy. *enemy in the household* For in this world is no worse pestilence Than homely foe, all day in thy presence.
Performed hath the sun his arc diurn,* *daily No longer may the body of him sojourn On the horizon, in that latitude: Night with his mantle, that is dark and rude, Gan overspread the hemisphere about: For which departed is this *lusty rout* *pleasant company* From January, with thank on every side. Home to their houses lustily they ride, Where as they do their thinges as them lest, And when they see their time they go to rest. Soon after that this hasty* January *eager Will go to bed, he will no longer tarry. He dranke hippocras, clarre, and vernage Of spices hot, to increase his courage; And many a lectuary* had he full fine, *potion Such as the cursed monk Dan Constantine Hath written in his book *de Coitu;* *of sexual intercourse* To eat them all he would nothing eschew: And to his privy friendes thus said he: "For Godde's love, as soon as it may be, Let *voiden all* this house in courteous wise." *everyone leave* And they have done right as he will devise. Men drinken, and the travers* draw anon; *curtains The bride is brought to bed as still as stone; And when the bed was with the priest y-bless'd, Out of the chamber every wight him dress'd, And January hath fast in arms y-take His freshe May, his paradise, his make.* *mate He lulled her, he kissed her full oft; With thicke bristles of his beard unsoft, Like to the skin of houndfish,* sharp as brere** *dogfish **briar (For he was shav'n all new in his mannere), He rubbed her upon her tender face, And saide thus; "Alas! I must trespace To you, my spouse, and you greatly offend, Ere time come that I will down descend. But natheless consider this," quoth he, "There is no workman, whatsoe'er he be, That may both worke well and hastily: This will be done at leisure perfectly. It is *no force* how longe that we play; *no matter* In true wedlock coupled be we tway; And blessed be the yoke that we be in, For in our actes may there be no sin. A man may do no sinne with his wife, Nor hurt himselfe with his owen knife; For we have leave to play us by the law."
Thus labour'd he, till that the day gan daw, And then he took a sop in fine clarre, And upright in his bedde then sat he. And after that he sang full loud and clear, And kiss'd his wife, and made wanton cheer. He was all coltish, full of ragerie * *wantonness And full of jargon as a flecked pie. The slacke skin about his necke shaked, While that he sang, so chanted he and craked.* *quavered But God wot what that May thought in her heart, When she him saw up sitting in his shirt In his night-cap, and with his necke lean: She praised not his playing worth a bean. Then said he thus; "My reste will I take Now day is come, I may no longer wake; And down he laid his head and slept till prime. And afterward, when that he saw his time, Up rose January, but freshe May Helde her chamber till the fourthe day, As usage is of wives for the best. For every labour some time must have rest, Or elles longe may he not endure; This is to say, no life of creature, Be it of fish, or bird, or beast, or man.
Now will I speak of woeful Damian, That languisheth for love, as ye shall hear; Therefore I speak to him in this manneare. I say. "O silly Damian, alas! Answer to this demand, as in this case, How shalt thou to thy lady, freshe May, Telle thy woe? She will alway say nay; Eke if thou speak, she will thy woe bewray; * *betray God be thine help, I can no better say. This sicke Damian in Venus' fire So burned that he died for desire; For which he put his life *in aventure,* *at risk* No longer might he in this wise endure; But privily a penner* gan he borrow, *writing-case And in a letter wrote he all his sorrow, In manner of a complaint or a lay, Unto his faire freshe lady May. And in a purse of silk, hung on his shirt, He hath it put, and laid it at his heart.
The moone, that at noon was thilke* day *that That January had wedded freshe May, In ten of Taure, was into Cancer glided; So long had Maius in her chamber abided, As custom is unto these nobles all. A bride shall not eaten in the ball Till dayes four, or three days at the least, Y-passed be; then let her go to feast. The fourthe day complete from noon to noon, When that the highe masse was y-done, In halle sat this January, and May, As fresh as is the brighte summer's day. And so befell, how that this goode man Remember'd him upon this Damian. And saide; "Saint Mary, how may this be, That Damian attendeth not to me? Is he aye sick? or how may this betide?" His squiers, which that stoode there beside, Excused him, because of his sickness, Which letted* him to do his business: *hindered None other cause mighte make him tarry. "That me forthinketh,"* quoth this January *grieves, causes "He is a gentle squier, by my truth; uneasiness If that he died, it were great harm and ruth. He is as wise, as discreet, and secre',* *secret, trusty As any man I know of his degree, And thereto manly and eke serviceble, And for to be a thrifty man right able. But after meat, as soon as ever I may I will myself visit him, and eke May, To do him all the comfort that I can." And for that word him blessed every man, That of his bounty and his gentleness He woulde so comforten in sickness His squier, for it was a gentle deed.
"Dame," quoth this January, "take good heed, At after meat, ye with your women all (When that ye be in chamb'r out of this hall), That all ye go to see this Damian: Do him disport, he is a gentle man; And telle him that I will him visite, *Have I nothing but rested me a lite:* *when only I have rested And speed you faste, for I will abide me a little* Till that ye sleepe faste by my side." And with that word he gan unto him call A squier, that was marshal of his hall, And told him certain thinges that he wo'ld. This freshe May hath straight her way y-hold, With all her women, unto Damian. Down by his beddes side sat she than,* *then Comforting him as goodly as she may. This Damian, when that his time he say,* *saw In secret wise his purse, and eke his bill, In which that he y-written had his will, Hath put into her hand withoute more, Save that he sighed wondrous deep and sore, And softely to her right thus said he: "Mercy, and that ye not discover me: For I am dead if that this thing be kid."* *discovered The purse hath she in her bosom hid, And went her way; ye get no more of me; But unto January come is she, That on his bedde's side sat full soft. He took her, and he kissed her full oft, And laid him down to sleep, and that anon. She feigned her as that she muste gon There as ye know that every wight must need; And when she of this bill had taken heed, She rent it all to cloutes* at the last, *fragments And in the privy softely it cast. Who studieth* now but faire freshe May? *is thoughtful Adown by olde January she lay, That slepte, till the cough had him awaked: Anon he pray'd her strippe her all naked, He would of her, he said, have some pleasance; And said her clothes did him incumbrance. And she obey'd him, be her *lefe or loth.* *willing or unwilling* But, lest that precious* folk be with me wroth, *over-nice How that he wrought I dare not to you tell, Or whether she thought it paradise or hell; But there I let them worken in their wise Till evensong ring, and they must arise.
Were it by destiny, or aventure,* * chance Were it by influence, or by nature, Or constellation, that in such estate The heaven stood at that time fortunate As for to put a bill of Venus' works (For alle thing hath time, as say these clerks), To any woman for to get her love, I cannot say; but greate God above, That knoweth that none act is causeless, *He deem* of all, for I will hold my peace. *let him judge* But sooth is this, how that this freshe May Hath taken such impression that day Of pity on this sicke Damian, That from her hearte she not drive can The remembrance for *to do him ease.* *to satisfy "Certain," thought she, "whom that this thing displease his desire* I recke not, for here I him assure, To love him best of any creature, Though he no more haddee than his shirt." Lo, pity runneth soon in gentle heart. Here may ye see, how excellent franchise* *generosity In women is when they them *narrow advise.* *closely consider* Some tyrant is, — as there be many a one, — That hath a heart as hard as any stone, Which would have let him sterven* in the place *die Well rather than have granted him her grace; And then rejoicen in her cruel pride. And reckon not to be a homicide. This gentle May, full filled of pity, Right of her hand a letter maked she, In which she granted him her very grace; There lacked nought, but only day and place, Where that she might unto his lust suffice: For it shall be right as he will devise. And when she saw her time upon a day To visit this Damian went this May, And subtilly this letter down she thrust Under his pillow, read it if him lust.* *pleased She took him by the hand, and hard him twist So secretly, that no wight of it wist, And bade him be all whole; and forth she went To January, when he for her sent. Up rose Damian the nexte morrow, All passed was his sickness and his sorrow. He combed him, he proined him and picked, He did all that unto his lady liked; And eke to January he went as low As ever did a dogge for the bow. He is so pleasant unto every man (For craft is all, whoso that do it can), Every wight is fain to speak him good; And fully in his lady's grace he stood. Thus leave I Damian about his need, And in my tale forth I will proceed.
Some clerke* holde that felicity *writers, scholars Stands in delight; and therefore certain he, This noble January, with all his might In honest wise as longeth* to a knight, *belongeth Shope* him to live full deliciously: *prepared, arranged His housing, his array, as honestly* *honourably, suitably To his degree was maked as a king's. Amonges other of his honest things He had a garden walled all with stone; So fair a garden wot I nowhere none. For out of doubt I verily suppose That he that wrote the Romance of the Rose Could not of it the beauty well devise;* *describe Nor Priapus mighte not well suffice, Though he be god of gardens, for to tell The beauty of the garden, and the well* *fountain That stood under a laurel always green. Full often time he, Pluto, and his queen Proserpina, and all their faerie, Disported them and made melody About that well, and danced, as men told. This noble knight, this January old Such dainty* had in it to walk and play, *pleasure That he would suffer no wight to bear the key, Save he himself, for of the small wicket He bare always of silver a cliket,* *key With which, when that him list, he it unshet.* *opened And when that he would pay his wife's debt, In summer season, thither would he go, And May his wife, and no wight but they two; And thinges which that were not done in bed, He in the garden them perform'd and sped. And in this wise many a merry day Lived this January and fresh May, But worldly joy may not always endure To January, nor to no creatucere.
O sudden hap! O thou fortune unstable! Like to the scorpion so deceivable,* *deceitful That fhatt'rest with thy head when thou wilt sting; Thy tail is death, through thine envenoming. O brittle joy! O sweete poison quaint!* *strange O monster, that so subtilly canst paint Thy giftes, under hue of steadfastness, That thou deceivest bothe *more and less!* *great and small* Why hast thou January thus deceiv'd, That haddest him for thy full friend receiv'd? And now thou hast bereft him both his eyen, For sorrow of which desireth he to dien. Alas! this noble January free, Amid his lust* and his prosperity *pleasure Is waxen blind, and that all suddenly. He weeped and he wailed piteously; And therewithal the fire of jealousy (Lest that his wife should fall in some folly) So burnt his hearte, that he woulde fain, That some man bothe him and her had slain; For neither after his death, nor in his life, Ne would he that she were no love nor wife, But ever live as widow in clothes black, Sole as the turtle that hath lost her make.* *mate But at the last, after a month or tway, His sorrow gan assuage, soothe to say. For, when he wist it might none other be, He patiently took his adversity: Save out of doubte he may not foregon That he was jealous evermore-in-one:* *continually Which jealousy was so outrageous, That neither in hall, nor in none other house, Nor in none other place never the mo' He woulde suffer her to ride or go, *But if* that he had hand on her alway. *unless For which full often wepte freshe May, That loved Damian so burningly That she must either dien suddenly, Or elles she must have him as her lest:* *pleased She waited* when her hearte woulde brest.** *expected **burst Upon that other side Damian Becomen is the sorrowfullest man That ever was; for neither night nor day He mighte speak a word to freshe May, As to his purpose, of no such mattere, *But if* that January must it hear, *unless* That had a hand upon her evermo'. But natheless, by writing to and fro, And privy signes, wist he what she meant, And she knew eke the fine* of his intent. *end, aim
O January, what might it thee avail, Though thou might see as far as shippes sail? For as good is it blind deceiv'd to be, As be deceived when a man may see. Lo, Argus, which that had a hundred eyen, For all that ever he could pore or pryen, Yet was he blent;* and, God wot, so be mo', *deceived That *weene wisly* that it be not so: *think confidently* Pass over is an ease, I say no more. This freshe May, of which I spake yore,* *previously In warm wax hath *imprinted the cliket* *taken an impression That January bare of the small wicket of the key* By which into his garden oft he went; And Damian, that knew all her intent, The cliket counterfeited privily; There is no more to say, but hastily Some wonder by this cliket shall betide, Which ye shall hearen, if ye will abide.
O noble Ovid, sooth say'st thou, God wot, What sleight is it, if love be long and hot, That he'll not find it out in some mannere? By Pyramus and Thisbe may men lear;* *learn Though they were kept full long and strait o'er all, They be accorded,* rowning** through a wall, *agreed **whispering Where no wight could have found out such a sleight. But now to purpose; ere that dayes eight Were passed of the month of July, fill* *it befell That January caught so great a will, Through egging* of his wife, him for to play *inciting In his garden, and no wight but they tway, That in a morning to this May said he: "Rise up, my wife, my love, my lady free; The turtle's voice is heard, mine owen sweet; The winter is gone, with all his raines weet.* *wet Come forth now with thine *eyen columbine* *eyes like the doves* Well fairer be thy breasts than any wine. The garden is enclosed all about; Come forth, my white spouse; for, out of doubt, Thou hast me wounded in mine heart, O wife: No spot in thee was e'er in all thy life. Come forth, and let us taken our disport; I choose thee for my wife and my comfort." Such olde lewed* wordes used he. *foolish, ignorant On Damian a signe made she, That he should go before with his cliket. This Damian then hath opened the wicket, And in he start, and that in such mannere That no wight might him either see or hear; And still he sat under a bush. Anon This January, as blind as is a stone, With Maius in his hand, and no wight mo', Into this freshe garden is y-go, And clapped to the wicket suddenly. "Now, wife," quoth he, "here is but thou and I; Thou art the creature that I beste love: For, by that Lord that sits in heav'n above, Lever* I had to dien on a knife, *rather Than thee offende, deare true wife. For Godde's sake, think how I thee chees,* *chose Not for no covetise* doubteless, * covetousness But only for the love I had to thee. And though that I be old, and may not see, Be to me true, and I will tell you why. Certes three thinges shall ye win thereby: First, love of Christ, and to yourself honour, And all mine heritage, town and tow'r. I give it you, make charters as you lest; This shall be done to-morrow ere sun rest, So wisly* God my soule bring to bliss! *surely I pray you, on this covenant me kiss. And though that I be jealous, wite* me not; *blame Ye be so deep imprinted in my thought, That when that I consider your beauty, And therewithal *th'unlikely eld* of me, *dissimilar age* I may not, certes, though I shoulde die, Forbear to be out of your company, For very love; this is withoute doubt: Now kiss me, wife, and let us roam about."
This freshe May, when she these wordes heard, Benignely to January answer'd; But first and forward she began to weep: "I have," quoth she, "a soule for to keep As well as ye, and also mine honour, And of my wifehood thilke* tender flow'r *that same Which that I have assured in your hond, When that the priest to you my body bond: Wherefore I will answer in this mannere, With leave of you mine owen lord so dear. I pray to God, that never dawn the day That I *no sterve,* as foul as woman may, *do not die* If e'er I do unto my kin that shame, Or elles I impaire so my name, That I bee false; and if I do that lack, Do strippe me, and put me in a sack, And in the nexte river do me drench:* *drown I am a gentle woman, and no wench. Why speak ye thus? but men be e'er untrue, And women have reproof of you aye new. Ye know none other dalliance, I believe, But speak to us of untrust and repreve."* *reproof
And with that word she saw where Damian Sat in the bush, and coughe she began; And with her finger signe made she, That Damian should climb upon a tree That charged was with fruit; and up he went: For verily he knew all her intent, And every signe that she coulde make, Better than January her own make.* *mate For in a letter she had told him all Of this matter, how that he worke shall. And thus I leave him sitting in the perry,* *pear-tree And January and May roaming full merry.
Bright was the day, and blue the firmament; Phoebus of gold his streames down had sent To gladden every flow'r with his warmness; He was that time in Geminis, I guess, But little from his declination Of Cancer, Jove's exaltation. And so befell, in that bright morning-tide, That in the garden, on the farther side, Pluto, that is the king of Faerie, And many a lady in his company Following his wife, the queen Proserpina, — Which that he ravished out of Ethna, While that she gather'd flowers in the mead (In Claudian ye may the story read, How in his grisly chariot he her fet*), — *fetched This king of Faerie adown him set Upon a bank of turfes fresh and green, And right anon thus said he to his queen. "My wife," quoth he, "there may no wight say nay, — Experience so proves it every day, — The treason which that woman doth to man. Ten hundred thousand stories tell I can Notable of your untruth and brittleness * *inconstancy O Solomon, richest of all richess, Full fill'd of sapience and worldly glory, Full worthy be thy wordes of memory To every wight that wit and reason can. * *knows Thus praised he yet the bounte* of man: *goodness 'Among a thousand men yet found I one, But of all women found I never none.' Thus said this king, that knew your wickedness; And Jesus, Filius Sirach, as I guess, He spake of you but seldom reverence. A wilde fire and corrupt pestilence So fall upon your bodies yet to-night! Ne see ye not this honourable knight? Because, alas! that he is blind and old, His owen man shall make him cuckold. Lo, where he sits, the lechour, in the tree. Now will I granten, of my majesty, Unto this olde blinde worthy knight, That he shall have again his eyen sight, When that his wife will do him villainy; Then shall be knowen all her harlotry, Both in reproof of her and other mo'." "Yea, Sir," quoth Proserpine," and will ye so? Now by my mother Ceres' soul I swear That I shall give her suffisant answer, And alle women after, for her sake; That though they be in any guilt y-take, With face bold they shall themselves excuse, And bear them down that woulde them accuse. For lack of answer, none of them shall dien.
All* had ye seen a thing with both your eyen, *although Yet shall *we visage it* so hardily, *confront it* And weep, and swear, and chide subtilly, That ye shall be as lewed* as be geese. *ignorant, confounded What recketh me of your authorities? I wot well that this Jew, this Solomon, Found of us women fooles many one: But though that he founde no good woman, Yet there hath found many another man Women full good, and true, and virtuous; Witness on them that dwelt in Christes house; With martyrdom they proved their constance. The Roman gestes make remembrance Of many a very true wife also. But, Sire, be not wroth, albeit so, Though that he said he found no good woman, I pray you take the sentence* of the man: *opinion, real meaning He meant thus, that in *sovereign bounte* *perfect goodness Is none but God, no, neither *he nor she.* *man nor woman* Hey, for the very God that is but one, Why make ye so much of Solomon? What though he made a temple, Godde's house? What though he were rich and glorious? So made he eke a temple of false goddes; How might he do a thing that more forbode* is? *forbidden Pardie, as fair as ye his name emplaster,* *plaster over, "whitewash" He was a lechour, and an idolaster,* *idohater And in his eld he very* God forsook. *the true And if that God had not (as saith the book) Spared him for his father's sake, he should Have lost his regne* rather** than he would. *kingdom **sooner I *sette not of* all the villainy *value not* That he of women wrote, a butterfly. I am a woman, needes must I speak, Or elles swell until mine hearte break. For since he said that we be jangleresses,* *chatterers As ever may I brooke* whole my tresses, *preserve I shall not spare for no courtesy To speak him harm, that said us villainy." "Dame," quoth this Pluto, "be no longer wroth; I give it up: but, since I swore mine oath That I would grant to him his sight again, My word shall stand, that warn I you certain: I am a king; it sits* me not to lie." *becomes, befits "And I," quoth she, "am queen of Faerie. Her answer she shall have, I undertake, Let us no more wordes of it make. Forsooth, I will no longer you contrary."
Now let us turn again to January, That in the garden with his faire May Singeth well merrier than the popinjay:* *parrot "You love I best, and shall, and other none." So long about the alleys is he gone, Till he was come to *that ilke perry,* *the same pear-tree* Where as this Damian satte full merry On high, among the freshe leaves green. This freshe May, that is so bright and sheen, Gan for to sigh, and said, "Alas my side! Now, Sir," quoth she, "for aught that may betide, I must have of the peares that I see, Or I must die, so sore longeth me To eaten of the smalle peares green; Help, for her love that is of heaven queen! I tell you well, a woman in my plight May have to fruit so great an appetite, That she may dien, but* she of it have. " *unless "Alas!" quoth he, "that I had here a knave* *servant That coulde climb; alas! alas!" quoth he, "For I am blind." "Yea, Sir, *no force,"* quoth she; *no matter* "But would ye vouchesafe, for Godde's sake, The perry in your armes for to take (For well I wot that ye mistruste me), Then would I climbe well enough," quoth she, "So I my foot might set upon your back." "Certes," said he, "therein shall be no lack, Might I you helpe with mine hearte's blood." He stooped down, and on his back she stood, And caught her by a twist,* and up she go'th. *twig, bough (Ladies, I pray you that ye be not wroth, I cannot glose,* I am a rude man): *mince matters And suddenly anon this Damian Gan pullen up the smock, and in he throng.* *rushed And when that Pluto saw this greate wrong, To January he gave again his sight, And made him see as well as ever he might. And when he thus had caught his sight again, Was never man of anything so fain: But on his wife his thought was evermo'. Up to the tree he cast his eyen two, And saw how Damian his wife had dress'd, In such mannere, it may not be express'd, *But if* I woulde speak uncourteously. *unless* And up he gave a roaring and a cry, As doth the mother when the child shall die; "Out! help! alas! harow!" he gan to cry; "O stronge, lady, stowre! what doest thou?"
And she answered: "Sir, what aileth you? Have patience and reason in your mind, I have you help'd on both your eyen blind. On peril of my soul, I shall not lien, As me was taught to helpe with your eyen, Was nothing better for to make you see, Than struggle with a man upon a tree: God wot, I did it in full good intent." "Struggle!" quoth he, "yea, algate* in it went. *whatever way God give you both one shame's death to dien! He swived* thee; I saw it with mine eyen; *enjoyed carnally And elles be I hanged by the halse."* *neck "Then is," quoth she, "my medicine all false; For certainly, if that ye mighte see, Ye would not say these wordes unto me. Ye have some glimpsing,* and no perfect sight." *glimmering "I see," quoth he, "as well as ever I might, (Thanked be God!) with both mine eyen two, And by my faith me thought he did thee so." "Ye maze,* ye maze, goode Sir," quoth she; *rave, are confused "This thank have I for I have made you see: Alas!" quoth she, "that e'er I was so kind." "Now, Dame," quoth he, "let all pass out of mind; Come down, my lefe,* and if I have missaid, *love God help me so, as I am *evil apaid.* *dissatisfied* But, by my father's soul, I ween'd have seen How that this Damian had by thee lain, And that thy smock had lain upon his breast." "Yea, Sir," quoth she, "ye may *ween as ye lest:* *think as you But, Sir, a man that wakes out of his sleep, please* He may not suddenly well take keep* *notice Upon a thing, nor see it perfectly, Till that he be adawed* verily. *awakened Right so a man, that long hath blind y-be, He may not suddenly so well y-see, First when his sight is newe come again, As he that hath a day or two y-seen. Till that your sight establish'd be a while, There may full many a sighte you beguile. Beware, I pray you, for, by heaven's king, Full many a man weeneth to see a thing, And it is all another than it seemeth; He which that misconceiveth oft misdeemeth." And with that word she leapt down from the tree. This January, who is glad but he? He kissed her, and clipped* her full oft, *embraced And on her womb he stroked her full soft; And to his palace home he hath her lad.* *led Now, goode men, I pray you to be glad. Thus endeth here my tale of January, God bless us, and his mother, Sainte Mary.
Notes to The Merchant's Tale
1. If, as is probable, this Tale was translated from the French, the original is not now extant. Tyrwhitt remarks that the scene "is laid in Italy, but none of the names, except Damian and Justin, seem to be Italian, but rather made at pleasure; so that I doubt whether the story be really of Italian growth. The adventure of the pear-tree I find in a small collection of Latin fables, written by one Adoiphus, in elegiac verses of his fashion, in the year 1315. . . . Whatever was the real origin of the Tale, the machinery of the fairies, which Chaucer has used so happily, was probably added by himself; and, indeed, I cannot help thinking that his Pluto and Proserpina were the true progenitors of Oberon and Titania; or rather, that they themselves have, once at least, deigned to revisit our poetical system under the latter names."
2. Seculeres: of the laity; but perhaps, since the word is of two- fold meaning, Chaucer intends a hit at the secular clergy, who, unlike the regular orders, did not live separate from the world, but shared in all its interests and pleasures — all the more easily and freely, that they had not the civil restraint of marriage.
3. This and the next eight lines are taken from the "Liber aureolus Theophrasti de nuptiis," ("Theophrastus's Golden Book of Marriage") quoted by Hieronymus, "Contra Jovinianum," ("Against Jovinian") and thence again by John of Salisbury.
4. Mebles: movables, furniture, &c.; French, "meubles."
5. "Wade's boat" was called Guingelot; and in it, according to the old romance, the owner underwent a long series of wild adventures, and performed many strange exploits. The romance is lost, and therefore the exact force of the phrase in the text is uncertain; but Mr Wright seems to be warranted in supposing that Wade's adventures were cited as examples of craft and cunning — that the hero, in fact, was a kind of Northern Ulysses, It is possible that to the same source we may trace the proverbial phrase, found in Chaucer's "Remedy of Love," to "bear Wattis pack" signifying to be duped or beguiled.
6. Stopen: advanced; past participle of "step." Elsewhere "y-stept in age" is used by Chaucer.
7. They did not need to go in quest of a wife for him, as they had promised.
8. Thilke tree: that tree of original sin, of which the special sins are the branches.
9. Skinked: poured out; from Anglo-Saxon, "scencan."
10. Marcianus Capella, who wrote a kind of philosophical romance, "De Nuptiis Mercurii et Philologiae" (Of the Marriage of Mercury and Philology) . "Her" and "him," two lines after, like "he" applied to Theodomas, are prefixed to the proper names for emphasis, according to the Anglo- Saxon usage.
11. Familiar: domestic; belonging to the "familia," or household.
12. Hewe: domestic servant; from Anglo-Saxon, "hiwa." Tyrwhitt reads "false of holy hue;" but Mr Wright has properly restored the reading adopted in the text.
13. Boren man: born; owing to January faith and loyalty because born in his household.
14. Hippocras: spiced wine. Clarre: also a kind of spiced wine. Vernage: a wine believed to have come from Crete, although its name — Italian, "Vernaccia" — seems to be derived from Verona.
15. Dan Constantine: a medical author who wrote about 1080; his works were printed at Basle in 1536.
16. Full of jargon as a flecked pie: he chattered like a magpie
17. Nearly all the manuscripts read "in two of Taure;" but Tyrwhitt has shown that, setting out from the second degree of Taurus, the moon, which in the four complete days that Maius spent in her chamber could not have advanced more than fifty- three degrees, would only have been at the twenty-fifth degree of Gemini — whereas, by reading "ten," she is brought to the third degree of Cancer.
18. Kid; or "kidde," past participle of "kythe" or "kithe," to show or discover.
19. Precious: precise, over-nice; French, "precieux," affected.
20. Proined: or "pruned;" carefully trimmed and dressed himself. The word is used in falconry of a hawk when she picks and trims her feathers.
21. A dogge for the bow: a dog attending a hunter with the bow.
22 The Romance of the Rose: a very popular mediaeval romance, the English version of which is partly by Chaucer. It opens with a description of a beautiful garden.
23. Priapus: Son of Bacchus and Venus: he was regarded as the promoter of fertility in all agricultural life, vegetable and animal; while not only gardens, but fields, flocks, bees — and even fisheries — were supposed to be under his protection.
24. Argus was employed by Juno to watch Io with his hundred eyes but he was sent to sleep by the flute of Mercury, who then cut off his head.
25. "My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone: The flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of the birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land." — Song of Solomon, ii. 10-12.
26. "That fair field, Of Enna, where Proserpine, gath'ring flowers, Herself a fairer flow'r, by gloomy Dis Was gather'd." — Milton, Paradise Lost, iv. 268
27. "Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account: Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man amongst a thousand have I found, but a woman among all those I have not found. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright." Ecclesiastes vii. 27-29.
28. Jesus, the son of Sirach, to whom is ascribed one of the books of the Apochrypha — that called the "Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach, or Ecclesiasticus;" in which, especially in the ninth and twenty-fifth chapters, severe cautions are given against women.
29. Roman gestes: histories; such as those of Lucretia, Porcia, &c.
30. May means January to believe that she is pregnant, and that she has a craving for unripe pears.
31. At this point, and again some twenty lines below, several verses of a very coarse character had been inserted in later manuscripts; but they are evidently spurious, and are omitted in the best editions.
32. "Store" is the general reading here, but its meaning is not obvious. "Stowre" is found in several manuscripts; it signifies "struggle" or "resist;" and both for its own appropriateness, and for the force which it gives the word "stronge," the reading in the text seems the better.
THE SQUIRE'S TALE.
"HEY! Godde's mercy!" said our Hoste tho,* *then "Now such a wife I pray God keep me fro'. Lo, suche sleightes and subtilities In women be; for aye as busy as bees Are they us silly men for to deceive, And from the soothe* will they ever weive,** *truth **swerve, depart As this Merchante's tale it proveth well. But natheless, as true as any steel, I have a wife, though that she poore be; But of her tongue a labbing* shrew is she; *chattering And yet* she hath a heap of vices mo'. *moreover Thereof *no force;* let all such thinges go. *no matter* But wit* ye what? in counsel** be it said, *know **secret, confidence Me rueth sore I am unto her tied; For, an'* I shoulde reckon every vice *if Which that she hath, y-wis* I were too nice;** *certainly **foolish And cause why, it should reported be And told her by some of this company (By whom, it needeth not for to declare, Since women connen utter such chaffare ), And eke my wit sufficeth not thereto To tellen all; wherefore my tale is do.* *done Squier, come near, if it your wille be, And say somewhat of love, for certes ye *Conne thereon* as much as any man." *know about it* "Nay, Sir," quoth he; "but such thing as I can, With hearty will, — for I will not rebel Against your lust,* — a tale will I tell. *pleasure Have me excused if I speak amiss; My will is good; and lo, my tale is this."
Notes to the Prologue to the Squire's Tale
1. Women connen utter such chaffare: women are adepts at giving circulation to such wares. The Host evidently means that his wife would be sure to hear of his confessions from some female member of the company.
*Pars Prima.* *First part*
At Sarra, in the land of Tartary, There dwelt a king that warrayed* Russie, *made war on Through which there died many a doughty man; This noble king was called Cambuscan, Which in his time was of so great renown, That there was nowhere in no regioun So excellent a lord in alle thing: Him lacked nought that longeth to a king, As of the sect of which that he was born. He kept his law to which he was y-sworn, And thereto* he was hardy, wise, and rich, *moreover, besides And piteous and just, always y-lich;* *alike, even-tempered True of his word, benign and honourable; *Of his corage as any centre stable;* *firm, immovable of spirit* Young, fresh, and strong, in armes desirous As any bachelor of all his house. A fair person he was, and fortunate, And kept alway so well his royal estate, That there was nowhere such another man. This noble king, this Tartar Cambuscan, Hadde two sons by Elfeta his wife, Of which the eldest highte Algarsife, The other was y-called Camballo. A daughter had this worthy king also, That youngest was, and highte Canace: But for to telle you all her beauty, It lies not in my tongue, nor my conning;* *skill I dare not undertake so high a thing: Mine English eke is insufficient, It muste be a rhetor* excellent, *orator *That couth his colours longing for that art,* * see * If he should her describen any part; I am none such, I must speak as I can.
And so befell, that when this Cambuscan Had twenty winters borne his diadem, As he was wont from year to year, I deem, He let *the feast of his nativity* *his birthday party* *Do crye,* throughout Sarra his city, *be proclaimed* The last Idus of March, after the year. Phoebus the sun full jolly was and clear, For he was nigh his exaltation In Marte's face, and in his mansion In Aries, the choleric hot sign: Full lusty* was the weather and benign; *pleasant For which the fowls against the sunne sheen,* *bright What for the season and the younge green, Full loude sange their affections: Them seemed to have got protections Against the sword of winter keen and cold. This Cambuscan, of which I have you told, In royal vesture, sat upon his dais, With diadem, full high in his palace; And held his feast so solemn and so rich, That in this worlde was there none it lich.* *like Of which if I should tell all the array, Then would it occupy a summer's day; And eke it needeth not for to devise* *describe At every course the order of service. I will not tellen of their strange sewes,* *dishes Nor of their swannes, nor their heronsews.* *young herons Eke in that land, as telle knightes old, There is some meat that is full dainty hold, That in this land men *reck of* it full small: *care for* There is no man that may reporten all. I will not tarry you, for it is prime, And for it is no fruit, but loss of time; Unto my purpose* I will have recourse. *story And so befell that, after the third course, While that this king sat thus in his nobley,* *noble array Hearing his ministreles their thinges play Before him at his board deliciously, In at the halle door all suddenly There came a knight upon a steed of brass, And in his hand a broad mirror of glass; Upon his thumb he had of gold a ring, And by his side a naked sword hanging: And up he rode unto the highe board. In all the hall was there not spoke a word, For marvel of this knight; him to behold Full busily they waited,* young and old. *watched
This strange knight, that came thus suddenly, All armed, save his head, full richely, Saluted king, and queen, and lordes all, By order as they satten in the hall, With so high reverence and observance, As well in speech as in his countenance, That Gawain with his olde courtesy, Though he were come again out of Faerie, Him *coulde not amende with a word.* *could not better him And after this, before the highe board, by one word* He with a manly voice said his message, After the form used in his language, Withoute vice* of syllable or letter. *fault And, for his tale shoulde seem the better, Accordant to his worde's was his cheer,* *demeanour As teacheth art of speech them that it lear.* *learn Albeit that I cannot sound his style, Nor cannot climb over so high a stile, Yet say I this, as to *commune intent,* *general sense or meaning* *Thus much amounteth* all that ever he meant, *this is the sum of* If it so be that I have it in mind. He said; "The king of Araby and Ind, My liege lord, on this solemne day Saluteth you as he best can and may, And sendeth you, in honour of your feast, By me, that am all ready at your hest,* *command This steed of brass, that easily and well Can in the space of one day naturel (This is to say, in four-and-twenty hours), Whereso you list, in drought or else in show'rs, Beare your body into every place To which your hearte willeth for to pace,* *pass, go Withoute wem* of you, through foul or fair. *hurt, injury Or if you list to fly as high in air As doth an eagle, when him list to soar, This same steed shall bear you evermore Withoute harm, till ye be where *you lest* *it pleases you* (Though that ye sleepen on his back, or rest), And turn again, with writhing* of a pin. *twisting He that it wrought, he coude* many a gin;** *knew **contrivance He waited* in any a constellation, *observed Ere he had done this operation, And knew full many a seal and many a bond This mirror eke, that I have in mine hond, Hath such a might, that men may in it see When there shall fall any adversity Unto your realm, or to yourself also, And openly who is your friend or foe. And over all this, if any lady bright Hath set her heart on any manner wight, If he be false, she shall his treason see, His newe love, and all his subtlety, So openly that there shall nothing hide. Wherefore, against this lusty summer-tide, This mirror, and this ring that ye may see, He hath sent to my lady Canace, Your excellente daughter that is here. The virtue of this ring, if ye will hear, Is this, that if her list it for to wear Upon her thumb, or in her purse it bear, There is no fowl that flyeth under heaven, That she shall not well understand his steven,* *speech, sound And know his meaning openly and plain, And answer him in his language again: And every grass that groweth upon root She shall eke know, to whom it will do boot,* *remedy All be his woundes ne'er so deep and wide. This naked sword, that hangeth by my side, Such virtue hath, that what man that it smite, Throughout his armour it will carve and bite, Were it as thick as is a branched oak: And what man is y-wounded with the stroke Shall ne'er be whole, till that you list, of grace, To stroke him with the flat in thilke* place *the same Where he is hurt; this is as much to sayn, Ye muste with the flatte sword again Stroke him upon the wound, and it will close. This is the very sooth, withoute glose;* *deceit It faileth not, while it is in your hold."
And when this knight had thus his tale told, He rode out of the hall, and down he light. His steede, which that shone as sunne bright, Stood in the court as still as any stone. The knight is to his chamber led anon, And is unarmed, and to meat y-set.* *seated These presents be full richely y-fet,* — *fetched This is to say, the sword and the mirrour, — And borne anon into the highe tow'r, With certain officers ordain'd therefor; And unto Canace the ring is bore Solemnely, where she sat at the table; But sickerly, withouten any fable, The horse of brass, that may not be remued.* *removed It stood as it were to the ground y-glued; There may no man out of the place it drive For no engine of windlass or polive; * *pulley And cause why, for they *can not the craft;* *know not the cunning And therefore in the place they have it laft, of the mechanism* Till that the knight hath taught them the mannere To voide* him, as ye shall after hear. *remove
Great was the press, that swarmed to and fro To gauren* on this horse that stoode so: *gaze For it so high was, and so broad and long, So well proportioned for to be strong, Right as it were a steed of Lombardy; Therewith so horsely, and so quick of eye, As it a gentle Poileis courser were: For certes, from his tail unto his ear Nature nor art ne could him not amend In no degree, as all the people wend.* *weened, thought But evermore their moste wonder was How that it coulde go, and was of brass; It was of Faerie, as the people seem'd. Diverse folk diversely they deem'd; As many heads, as many wittes been. They murmured, as doth a swarm of been,* *bees And made skills* after their fantasies, *reasons Rehearsing of the olde poetries, And said that it was like the Pegasee,* *Pegasus The horse that hadde winges for to flee;* *fly Or else it was the Greeke's horse Sinon, That broughte Troye to destruction, As men may in the olde gestes* read. *tales of adventures Mine heart," quoth one, "is evermore in dread; I trow some men of armes be therein, That shape* them this city for to win: *design, prepare It were right good that all such thing were know." Another rowned* to his fellow low, *whispered And said, "He lies; for it is rather like An apparence made by some magic, As jugglers playen at these feastes great." Of sundry doubts they jangle thus and treat. As lewed* people deeme commonly *ignorant Of thinges that be made more subtilly Than they can in their lewdness comprehend; They *deeme gladly to the badder end.* *are ready to think And some of them wonder'd on the mirrour, the worst* That borne was up into the master* tow'r, *chief How men might in it suche thinges see. Another answer'd and said, it might well be Naturally by compositions Of angles, and of sly reflections; And saide that in Rome was such a one. They speak of Alhazen and Vitellon, And Aristotle, that wrote in their lives Of quainte* mirrors, and of prospectives, *curious As knowe they that have their bookes heard. And other folk have wonder'd on the swerd,* *sword That woulde pierce throughout every thing; And fell in speech of Telephus the king, And of Achilles for his quainte spear, For he could with it bothe heal and dere,* *wound Right in such wise as men may with the swerd Of which right now ye have yourselves heard. They spake of sundry hard'ning of metal, And spake of medicines therewithal, And how, and when, it shoulde harden'd be, Which is unknowen algate* unto me. *however Then spake they of Canacee's ring, And saiden all, that such a wondrous thing Of craft of rings heard they never none, Save that he, Moses, and King Solomon, Hadden *a name of conning* in such art. *a reputation for Thus said the people, and drew them apart. knowledge* Put natheless some saide that it was Wonder to maken of fern ashes glass, And yet is glass nought like ashes of fern; *But for* they have y-knowen it so ferne** *because **before Therefore ceaseth their jangling and their wonder. As sore wonder some on cause of thunder, On ebb and flood, on gossamer and mist, And on all things, till that the cause is wist.* *known Thus jangle they, and deemen and devise, Till that the king gan from his board arise.
Phoebus had left the angle meridional, And yet ascending was the beast royal, The gentle Lion, with his Aldrian, When that this Tartar king, this Cambuscan, Rose from the board, there as he sat full high Before him went the loude minstrelsy, Till he came to his chamber of parements, There as they sounded diverse instruments, That it was like a heaven for to hear. Now danced lusty Venus' children dear: For in the Fish* their lady sat full *Pisces And looked on them with a friendly eye. This noble king is set upon his throne; This strange knight is fetched to him full sone,* *soon And on the dance he goes with Canace. Here is the revel and the jollity, That is not able a dull man to devise:* *describe He must have knowen love and his service, And been a feastly* man, as fresh as May, *merry, gay That shoulde you devise such array. Who coulde telle you the form of dances So uncouth,* and so freshe countenances** *unfamliar **gestures Such subtle lookings and dissimulances, For dread of jealous men's apperceivings? No man but Launcelot, and he is dead. Therefore I pass o'er all this lustihead* *pleasantness I say no more, but in this jolliness I leave them, till to supper men them dress. The steward bids the spices for to hie* *haste And eke the wine, in all this melody; The ushers and the squiers be y-gone, The spices and the wine is come anon; They eat and drink, and when this hath an end, Unto the temple, as reason was, they wend; The service done, they suppen all by day What needeth you rehearse their array? Each man wot well, that at a kinge's feast Is plenty, to the most*, and to the least, *highest And dainties more than be in my knowing.
At after supper went this noble king To see the horse of brass, with all a rout Of lordes and of ladies him about. Such wond'ring was there on this horse of brass, That, since the great siege of Troye was, There as men wonder'd on a horse also, Ne'er was there such a wond'ring as was tho.* *there But finally the king asked the knight The virtue of this courser, and the might, And prayed him to tell his governance.* *mode of managing him The horse anon began to trip and dance, When that the knight laid hand upon his rein, And saide, "Sir, there is no more to sayn, But when you list to riden anywhere, Ye muste trill* a pin, stands in his ear, *turn Which I shall telle you betwixt us two; Ye muste name him to what place also, Or to what country that you list to ride. And when ye come where you list abide, Bid him descend, and trill another pin (For therein lies th' effect of all the gin*), *contrivance And he will down descend and do your will, And in that place he will abide still; Though all the world had the contrary swore, He shall not thence be throwen nor be bore. Or, if you list to bid him thennes gon, Trill this pin, and he will vanish anon Out of the sight of every manner wight, And come again, be it by day or night, When that you list to clepe* him again *call In such a guise, as I shall to you sayn Betwixte you and me, and that full soon. Ride when you list, there is no more to do'n.' Informed when the king was of the knight, And had conceived in his wit aright The manner and the form of all this thing, Full glad and blithe, this noble doughty king Repaired to his revel as beforn. The bridle is into the tower borne, And kept among his jewels lefe* and dear; *cherished The horse vanish'd, I n'ot* in what mannere, *know not Out of their sight; ye get no more of me: But thus I leave in lust and jollity This Cambuscan his lordes feastying,* *entertaining Until well nigh the day began to spring.
*Pars Secunda.* *Second Part*
The norice* of digestion, the sleep, *nurse Gan on them wink, and bade them take keep,* *heed That muche mirth and labour will have rest. And with a gaping* mouth he all them kest,** *yawning **kissed And said, that it was time to lie down, For blood was in his dominatioun: "Cherish the blood, nature's friend," quoth he. They thanked him gaping, by two and three; And every wight gan draw him to his rest; As sleep them bade, they took it for the best. Their dreames shall not now be told for me; Full are their heades of fumosity, That caused dreams *of which there is no charge:* *of no significance* They slepte; till that, it was *prime large,* *late morning* The moste part, but* it was Canace; *except She was full measurable,* as women be: *moderate For of her father had she ta'en her leave To go to rest, soon after it was eve; Her liste not appalled* for to be; *to look pale Nor on the morrow *unfeastly for to see;* *to look sad, depressed* And slept her firste sleep; and then awoke. For such a joy she in her hearte took Both of her quainte a ring and her mirrour,. That twenty times she changed her colour; And in her sleep, right for th' impression Of her mirror, she had a vision. Wherefore, ere that the sunne gan up glide, She call'd upon her mistress'* her beside, *governesses And saide, that her liste for to rise.
These olde women, that be gladly wise As are her mistresses answer'd anon, And said; "Madame, whither will ye gon Thus early? for the folk be all in rest." "I will," quoth she, "arise; for me lest No longer for to sleep, and walk about." Her mistresses call'd women a great rout, And up they rose, well a ten or twelve; Up rose freshe Canace herselve, As ruddy and bright as is the yonnge sun That in the Ram is four degrees y-run; No higher was he, when she ready was; And forth she walked easily a pace, Array'd after the lusty* season swoot,** *pleasant **sweet Lightely for to play, and walk on foot, Nought but with five or six of her meinie; And in a trench* forth in the park went she. *sunken path The vapour, which up from the earthe glode,* *glided Made the sun to seem ruddy and broad: But, natheless, it was so fair a sight That it made all their heartes for to light,* *be lightened, glad What for the season and the morrowning, And for the fowles that she hearde sing. For right anon she wiste* what they meant *knew Right by their song, and knew all their intent. The knotte,* why that every tale is told, *nucleus, chief matter If it be tarried* till the list* be cold *delayed **inclination Of them that have it hearken'd *after yore,* *for a long time* The savour passeth ever longer more; For fulsomness of the prolixity: And by that same reason thinketh me. I shoulde unto the knotte condescend, And maken of her walking soon an end.
Amid a tree fordry*, as white as chalk, *thoroughly dried up There sat a falcon o'er her head full high, That with a piteous voice so gan to cry; That all the wood resounded of her cry, And beat she had herself so piteously With both her winges, till the redde blood Ran endelong* the tree, there as she stood *from top to bottom And ever-in-one* alway she cried and shright;** *incessantly **shrieked And with her beak herselfe she so pight,* *wounded That there is no tiger, nor cruel beast, That dwelleth either in wood or in forest; But would have wept, if that he weepe could, For sorrow of her; she shriek'd alway so loud. For there was never yet no man alive, If that he could a falcon well descrive;* *describe That heard of such another of fairness As well of plumage, as of gentleness; Of shape, of all that mighte reckon'd be. A falcon peregrine seemed she, Of fremde* land; and ever as she stood *foreign She swooned now and now for lack of blood; Till well-nigh is she fallen from the tree.
This faire kinge's daughter Canace, That on her finger bare the quainte ring, Through which she understood well every thing That any fowl may in his leden* sayn, **language And could him answer in his leden again; Hath understoode what this falcon said, And well-nigh for the ruth* almost she died;. *pity And to the tree she went, full hastily, And on this falcon looked piteously; And held her lap abroad; for well she wist The falcon muste falle from the twist* *twig, bough When that she swooned next, for lack of blood. A longe while to waite her she stood; Till at the last she apake in this mannere Unto the hawk, as ye shall after hear: "What is the cause, if it be for to tell, That ye be in this furial* pain of hell?" *raging, furious Quoth Canace unto this hawk above; "Is this for sorrow of of death; or loss of love? For; as I trow,* these be the causes two; *believe That cause most a gentle hearte woe: Of other harm it needeth not to speak. For ye yourself upon yourself awreak;* *inflict Which proveth well, that either ire or dread* *fear Must be occasion of your cruel deed, Since that I see none other wight you chase: For love of God, as *do yourselfe grace;* *have mercy on Or what may be your help? for, west nor east, yourself* I never saw ere now no bird nor beast That fared with himself so piteously Ye slay me with your sorrow verily; I have of you so great compassioun. For Godde's love come from the tree adown And, as I am a kinge's daughter true, If that I verily the causes knew Of your disease,* if it lay in my might, *distress I would amend it, ere that it were night, So wisly help me the great God of kind.** *surely **nature And herbes shall I right enoughe find, To heale with your hurtes hastily." Then shriek'd this falcon yet more piteously Than ever she did, and fell to ground anon, And lay aswoon, as dead as lies a stone, Till Canace had in her lap her take, Unto that time she gan of swoon awake: And, after that she out of swoon abraid,* *awoke Right in her hawke's leden thus she said:
"That pity runneth soon in gentle heart (Feeling his simil'tude in paines smart), Is proved every day, as men may see, As well *by work as by authority;* *by experience as by doctrine* For gentle hearte kitheth* gentleness. *sheweth I see well, that ye have on my distress Compassion, my faire Canace, Of very womanly benignity That nature in your princples hath set. But for no hope for to fare the bet,* *better But for t' obey unto your hearte free, And for to make others aware by me, As by the whelp chastis'd* is the lion, *instructed, corrected Right for that cause and that conclusion, While that I have a leisure and a space, Mine harm I will confessen ere I pace."* *depart And ever while the one her sorrow told, The other wept, *as she to water wo'ld,* *as if she would dissolve Till that the falcon bade her to be still, into water* And with a sigh right thus she said *her till:* *to her* "Where I was bred (alas that ilke* day!) *same And foster'd in a rock of marble gray So tenderly, that nothing ailed me, I wiste* not what was adversity, *knew Till I could flee* full high under the sky. *fly Then dwell'd a tercelet me faste by, That seem'd a well of alle gentleness; *All were he* full of treason and falseness, *although he was* It was so wrapped *under humble cheer,* *under an aspect And under hue of truth, in such mannere, of humility* Under pleasance, and under busy pain, That no wight weened that he coulde feign, So deep in grain he dyed his colours. Right as a serpent hides him under flow'rs, Till he may see his time for to bite, Right so this god of love's hypocrite Did so his ceremonies and obeisances, And kept in semblance all his observances, That *sounden unto* gentleness of love. *are consonant to* As on a tomb is all the fair above, And under is the corpse, which that ye wet, Such was this hypocrite, both cold and hot; And in this wise he served his intent, That, save the fiend, none wiste what he meant: Till he so long had weeped and complain'd, And many a year his service to me feign'd, Till that mine heart, too piteous and too nice,* *foolish, simple All innocent of his crowned malice, *Forfeared of his death,* as thoughte me, *greatly afraid lest Upon his oathes and his surety he should die* Granted him love, on this conditioun, That evermore mine honour and renown Were saved, bothe *privy and apert;* *privately and in public* This is to say, that, after his desert, I gave him all my heart and all my thought (God wot, and he, that *other wayes nought*), *in no other way* And took his heart in change of mine for aye. But sooth is said, gone since many a day, A true wight and a thiefe *think not one.* *do not think alike* And when he saw the thing so far y-gone, That I had granted him fully my love, In such a wise as I have said above, And given him my true heart as free As he swore that he gave his heart to me, Anon this tiger, full of doubleness, Fell on his knees with so great humbleness, With so high reverence, as by his cheer,* *mien So like a gentle lover in mannere, So ravish'd, as it seemed, for the joy, That never Jason, nor Paris of Troy, — Jason? certes, nor ever other man, Since Lamech was, that alderfirst* began *first of all To love two, as write folk beforn, Nor ever since the firste man was born, Coulde no man, by twenty thousand Counterfeit the sophimes* of his art; *sophistries, beguilements Where doubleness of feigning should approach, Nor worthy were t'unbuckle his galoche,* *shoe Nor could so thank a wight, as he did me. His manner was a heaven for to see To any woman, were she ne'er so wise; So painted he and kempt,* *at point devise,* *combed, studied As well his wordes as his countenance. *with perfect precision* And I so lov'd him for his obeisance, And for the truth I deemed in his heart, That, if so were that any thing him smart,* *pained All were it ne'er so lite,* and I it wist, *little Methought I felt death at my hearte twist. And shortly, so farforth this thing is went,* *gone That my will was his wille's instrument; That is to say, my will obey'd his will In alle thing, as far as reason fill,* *fell; allowed Keeping the boundes of my worship ever; And never had I thing *so lefe, or lever,* *so dear, or dearer* As him, God wot, nor never shall no mo'.
"This lasted longer than a year or two, That I supposed of him naught but good. But finally, thus at the last it stood, That fortune woulde that he muste twin* *depart, separate Out of that place which that I was in. Whe'er* me was woe, it is no question; *whether I cannot make of it description. For one thing dare I telle boldely, I know what is the pain of death thereby; Such harm I felt, for he might not byleve.* *stay So on a day of me he took his leave, So sorrowful eke, that I ween'd verily, That he had felt as muche harm as I, When that I heard him speak, and saw his hue. But natheless, I thought he was so true, And eke that he repaire should again Within a little while, sooth to sayn, And reason would eke that he muste go For his honour, as often happ'neth so, That I made virtue of necessity, And took it well, since that it muste be. As I best might, I hid from him my sorrow, And took him by the hand, Saint John to borrow,* *witness, pledge And said him thus; 'Lo, I am youres all; Be such as I have been to you, and shall.' What he answer'd, it needs not to rehearse; Who can say bet* than he, who can do worse? *better When he had all well said, then had he done. Therefore behoveth him a full long spoon, That shall eat with a fiend; thus heard I say. So at the last he muste forth his way, And forth he flew, till he came where him lest. When it came him to purpose for to rest, I trow that he had thilke text in mind, That alle thing repairing to his kind Gladdeth himself; thus say men, as I guess; *Men love of [proper] kind newfangleness,* *see note * As birdes do, that men in cages feed. For though thou night and day take of them heed, And strew their cage fair and soft as silk, And give them sugar, honey, bread, and milk, Yet, *right anon as that his door is up,* *immediately on his He with his feet will spurne down his cup, door being opened* And to the wood he will, and wormes eat; So newefangle be they of their meat, And love novelties, of proper kind; No gentleness of bloode may them bind. So far'd this tercelet, alas the day! Though he were gentle born, and fresh, and gay, And goodly for to see, and humble, and free, He saw upon a time a kite flee,* *fly And suddenly he loved this kite so, That all his love is clean from me y-go: And hath his trothe falsed in this wise. Thus hath the kite my love in her service, And I am lorn* withoute remedy." *lost, undone
And with that word this falcon gan to cry, And swooned eft* in Canacee's barme** *again **lap Great was the sorrow, for that hawke's harm, That Canace and all her women made; They wist not how they might the falcon glade.* *gladden But Canace home bare her in her lap, And softely in plasters gan her wrap, There as she with her beak had hurt herselve. Now cannot Canace but herbes delve Out of the ground, and make salves new Of herbes precious and fine of hue, To heale with this hawk; from day to night She did her business, and all her might. And by her bedde's head she made a mew,* *bird cage And cover'd it with velouettes* blue, *velvets In sign of truth that is in woman seen; And all without the mew is painted green, In which were painted all these false fowls, As be these tidifes,* tercelets, and owls; *titmice And pies, on them for to cry and chide, Right for despite were painted them beside.
Thus leave I Canace her hawk keeping. I will no more as now speak of her ring, Till it come eft* to purpose for to sayn *again How that this falcon got her love again Repentant, as the story telleth us, By mediation of Camballus, The kinge's son of which that I you told. But henceforth I will my process hold To speak of aventures, and of battailes, That yet was never heard so great marvailles. First I will telle you of Cambuscan, That in his time many a city wan; And after will I speak of Algarsife, How he won Theodora to his wife, For whom full oft in great peril he was, *N'had he* been holpen by the horse of brass. *had he not* And after will I speak of Camballo, That fought in listes with the brethren two For Canace, ere that he might her win; And where I left I will again begin. . . . .
Notes to the Squire's Tale
1. The Squire's Tale has not been found under any other form among the literary remains of the Middle Ages; and it is unknown from what original it was derived, if from any. The Tale is unfinished, not because the conclusion has been lost, but because the author left it so.
2. The Russians and Tartars waged constant hostilities between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries.
3. In the best manuscripts the name is "Cambynskan," and thus, no doubt, it should strictly be read. But it is a most pardonable offence against literal accuracy to use the word which Milton has made classical, in "Il Penseroso," speaking of
"him that left half-told The story of Cambuscan bold, Of Camball, and of Algarsife, And who had Canace to wife, That owned the virtuous Ring and Glass, And of the wondrous Horse of Brass, On which the Tartar King did ride"
Surely the admiration of Milton might well seem to the spirit of Chaucer to condone a much greater transgression on his domain than this verbal change — which to both eye and ear is an unquestionable improvement on the uncouth original.
4. Couth his colours longing for that art: well skilled in using the colours — the word-painting — belonging to his art.
5. Aries was the mansion of Mars — to whom "his" applies. Leo was the mansion of the Sun.
6. Sewes: Dishes, or soups. The precise force of the word is uncertain; but it may be connected with "seethe," to boil, and it seems to describe a dish in which the flesh was served up amid a kind of broth or gravy. The "sewer," taster or assayer of the viands served at great tables, probably derived his name from the verb to "say" or "assay;" though Tyrwhitt would connect the two words, by taking both from the French, "asseoir," to place — making the arrangement of the table the leading duty of the "sewer," rather than the testing of the food.
7. Heronsews: young herons; French, "heronneaux."
8. Purpose: story, discourse; French, "propos."
9. Gawain was celebrated in mediaeval romance as the most courteous among King Arthur's knights.
10. Gin: contrivance; trick; snare. Compare Italian, "inganno," deception; and our own "engine."
11. Mr Wright remarks that "the making and arrangement of seals was one of the important operations of mediaeval magic."
12. Remued: removed; French, "remuer," to stir.
13. Polies: Apulian. The horses of Apulia — in old French "Poille," in Italian "Puglia" — were held in high value.
14. The Greeke's horse Sinon: the wooden horse of the Greek Sinon, introduced into Troy by the stratagem of its maker.
15. Master tower: chief tower; as, in the Knight's Tale, the principal street is called the "master street." See note 86 to the Knight's Tale.
16. Alhazen and Vitellon: two writers on optics — the first supposed to have lived about 1100, the other about 1270. Tyrwhitt says that their works were printed at Basle in 1572, under the title "Alhazeni et Vitellonis Opticae."
17. Telephus, a son of Hercules, reigned over Mysia when the Greeks came to besiege Troy, and he sought to prevent their landing. But, by the art of Dionysus, he was made to stumble over a vine, and Achilles wounded him with his spear. The oracle informed Telephus that the hurt could be healed only by him, or by the weapon, that inflicted it; and the king, seeking the Grecian camp, was healed by Achilles with the rust of the charmed spear.
18. Ferne: before; a corruption of "forne," from Anglo-Saxon, "foran."
19. Aldrian: or Aldebaran; a star in the neck of the constellation Leo.
20. Chamber of parements: Presence-chamber, or chamber of state, full of splendid furniture and ornaments. The same expression is used in French and Italian.
21. In Pisces, Venus was said to be at her exaltation or greatest power. A planet, according to the old astrologers, was in "exaltation" when in the sign of the Zodiac in which it exerted its strongest influence; the opposite sign, in which it was weakest, was called its "dejection."
22. Launcelot: Arthur's famous knight, so accomplished and courtly, that he was held the very pink of chivalry.
23. Trill: turn; akin to "thirl", "drill."
24. Ride: another reading is "bide," alight or remain.
25. Feastying: entertaining; French, "festoyer," to feast.
26. The old physicians held that blood dominated in the human body late at night and in the early morning. Galen says that the domination lasts for seven hours.
27. Fumosity: fumes of wine rising from the stomach to the head.
28. Fremde: foreign, strange; German, "fremd" in the northern dialects, "frem," or "fremmed," is used in the same sense.
29. Leden: Language, dialect; from Anglo-Saxon, "leden" or "laeden," a corruption from "Latin."
30. Tercelet: the "tassel," or male of any species of hawk; so called, according to Cotgrave, because he is one third ("tiers") smaller than the female.
31. "And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one Adah, and the name of the other Zillah" (Gen. iv. 19).
32. Galoche: shoe; it seems to have been used in France, of a "sabot," or wooden shoe. The reader cannot fail to recall the same illustration in John i. 27, where the Baptist says of Christ: "He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me; whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose."
33. Byleve; stay; another form is "bleve;" from Anglo-Saxon, "belitan," to remain. Compare German, "bleiben."
34. This sentiment, as well as the illustration of the bird which follows, is taken from the third book of Boethius, "De Consolatione Philosophiae," metrum 2. It has thus been rendered in Chaucer's translation: "All things seek aye to their proper course, and all things rejoice on their returning again to their nature."
35. Men love of proper kind newfangleness: Men, by their own — their very — nature, are fond of novelty, and prone to inconstancy.
36. Blue was the colour of truth, as green was that of inconstancy. In John Stowe's additions to Chaucer's works, printed in 1561, there is "A balade whiche Chaucer made against women inconstaunt," of which the refrain is, "In stead of blue, thus may ye wear all green."
37. Unless we suppose this to be a namesake of the Camballo who was Canace's brother — which is not at all probable — we must agree with Tyrwhitt that there is a mistake here; which no doubt Chaucer would have rectified, if the tale had not been "left half-told," One manuscript reads "Caballo;" and though not much authority need be given to a difference that may be due to mere omission of the mark of contraction over the "a," there is enough in the text to show that another person than the king's younger son is intended. The Squire promises to tell the adventures that befell each member of Cambuscan's family; and in thorough consistency with this plan, and with the canons of chivalric story, would be "the marriage of Canace to some knight who was first obliged to fight for her with her two brethren; a method of courtship," adds Tyrwhitt, "very consonant to the spirit of ancient chivalry."
38. (Trancriber's note) In some manuscripts the following two lines, being the beginning of the third part, are found: -
Apollo whirleth up his chair so high, Till that Mercurius' house, the sly...
THE FRANKLIN'S TALE.
"IN faith, Squier, thou hast thee well acquit, And gentilly; I praise well thy wit," Quoth the Franklin; "considering thy youthe So feelingly thou speak'st, Sir, I aloue* thee, *allow, approve *As to my doom,* there is none that is here *so far as my judgment Of eloquence that shall be thy peer, goes* If that thou live; God give thee goode chance, And in virtue send thee continuance, For of thy speaking I have great dainty.* *value, esteem I have a son, and, by the Trinity; *It were me lever* than twenty pound worth land, *I would rather* Though it right now were fallen in my hand, He were a man of such discretion As that ye be: fy on possession, *But if* a man be virtuous withal. *unless I have my sone snibbed* and yet shall, *rebuked; "snubbed." For he to virtue *listeth not t'intend,* *does not wish to But for to play at dice, and to dispend, apply himself* And lose all that he hath, is his usage; And he had lever talke with a page, Than to commune with any gentle wight, There he might learen gentilless aright."
Straw for your gentillesse!" quoth our Host. "What? Frankelin, pardie, Sir, well thou wost* *knowest That each of you must tellen at the least A tale or two, or breake his behest."* *promise "That know I well, Sir," quoth the Frankelin; "I pray you have me not in disdain, Though I to this man speak a word or two." "Tell on thy tale, withoute wordes mo'." "Gladly, Sir Host," quoth he, "I will obey Unto your will; now hearken what I say; I will you not contrary* in no wise, *disobey As far as that my wittes may suffice. I pray to God that it may please you, Then wot I well that it is good enow.
"These olde gentle Bretons, in their days, Of divers aventures made lays, Rhymeden in their firste Breton tongue; Which layes with their instruments they sung, Or elles reade them for their pleasance; And one of them have I in remembrance, Which I shall say with good will as I can. But, Sirs, because I am a borel* man, *rude, unlearned At my beginning first I you beseech Have me excused of my rude speech. I learned never rhetoric, certain; Thing that I speak, it must be bare and plain. I slept never on the mount of Parnasso, Nor learned Marcus Tullius Cicero. Coloures know I none, withoute dread,* *doubt But such colours as growen in the mead, Or elles such as men dye with or paint; Colours of rhetoric be to me quaint;* *strange My spirit feeleth not of such mattere. But, if you list, my tale shall ye hear."
Notes to the Prologue to the Franklin's Tale
1. In the older editions, the verses here given as the prologue were prefixed to the Merchant's Tale, and put into his mouth. Tyrwhitt was abundantly justified, by the internal evidence afforded by the lines themselves, in transferring them to their present place.
2. The "Breton Lays" were an important and curious element in the literature of the Middle Ages; they were originally composed in the Armorican language, and the chief collection of them extant was translated into French verse by a poetess calling herself "Marie," about the middle of the thirteenth century. But though this collection was the most famous, and had doubtless been read by Chaucer, there were other British or Breton lays, and from one of those the Franklin's Tale is taken. Boccaccio has dealt with the same story in the "Decameron" and the "Philocopo," altering the circumstances to suit the removal of its scene to a southern clime.
In Armoric', that called is Bretagne, There was a knight, that lov'd and *did his pain* *devoted himself, To serve a lady in his beste wise; strove* And many a labour, many a great emprise,* *enterprise He for his lady wrought, ere she were won: For she was one the fairest under sun, And eke thereto come of so high kindred, That *well unnethes durst this knight for dread,* *see note * Tell her his woe, his pain, and his distress But, at the last, she for his worthiness, And namely* for his meek obeisance, *especially Hath such a pity caught of his penance,* *suffering, distress That privily she fell of his accord To take him for her husband and her lord (Of such lordship as men have o'er their wives); And, for to lead the more in bliss their lives, Of his free will he swore her as a knight, That never in all his life he day nor night Should take upon himself no mastery Against her will, nor kithe* her jealousy, *show But her obey, and follow her will in all, As any lover to his lady shall; Save that the name of sovereignety That would he have, for shame of his degree. She thanked him, and with full great humbless She saide; "Sir, since of your gentleness Ye proffer me to have so large a reign, *Ne woulde God never betwixt us twain, As in my guilt, were either war or strife:* *see note * Sir, I will be your humble true wife, Have here my troth, till that my hearte brest."* *burst Thus be they both in quiet and in rest.
For one thing, Sires, safely dare I say, That friends ever each other must obey, If they will longe hold in company. Love will not be constrain'd by mastery. When mast'ry comes, the god of love anon Beateth his wings, and, farewell, he is gone. Love is a thing as any spirit free. Women *of kind* desire liberty, *by nature* And not to be constrained as a thrall,* *slave And so do men, if soothly I say shall. Look who that is most patient in love, He *is at his advantage all above.* *enjoys the highest Patience is a high virtue certain, advantages of all* For it vanquisheth, as these clerkes sayn, Thinges that rigour never should attain. For every word men may not chide or plain. Learne to suffer, or, so may I go,* *prosper Ye shall it learn whether ye will or no. For in this world certain no wight there is, That he not doth or saith sometimes amiss. Ire, or sickness, or constellation,* *the influence of Wine, woe, or changing of complexion, the planets* Causeth full oft to do amiss or speaken: On every wrong a man may not be wreaken.* *revenged After* the time must be temperance *according to To every wight that *can of* governance. *is capable of* And therefore hath this worthy wise knight (To live in ease) sufferance her behight;* *promised And she to him full wisly* gan to swear *surely That never should there be default in her. Here may men see a humble wife accord; Thus hath she ta'en her servant and her lord, Servant in love, and lord in marriage. Then was he both in lordship and servage? Servage? nay, but in lordship all above, Since he had both his lady and his love: His lady certes, and his wife also, The which that law of love accordeth to. And when he was in this prosperrity, Home with his wife he went to his country, Not far from Penmark, where his dwelling was, And there he liv'd in bliss and in solace.* *delight Who coulde tell, but* he had wedded be, *unless The joy, the ease, and the prosperity, That is betwixt a husband and his wife? A year and more lasted this blissful life, Till that this knight, of whom I spake thus, That of Cairrud was call'd Arviragus, Shope* him to go and dwell a year or twain *prepared, arranged In Engleland, that call'd was eke Britain, To seek in armes worship and honour (For all his lust* he set in such labour); *pleasure And dwelled there two years; the book saith thus.
Now will I stint* of this Arviragus, *cease speaking And speak I will of Dorigen his wife, That lov'd her husband as her hearte's life. For his absence weepeth she and siketh,* *sigheth As do these noble wives when them liketh; She mourneth, waketh, waileth, fasteth, plaineth; Desire of his presence her so distraineth, That all this wide world she set at nought. Her friendes, which that knew her heavy thought, Comforte her in all that ever they may; They preache her, they tell her night and day, That causeless she slays herself, alas! And every comfort possible in this case They do to her, with all their business,* *assiduity And all to make her leave her heaviness. By process, as ye knowen every one, Men may so longe graven in a stone, Till some figure therein imprinted be: So long have they comforted her, till she Received hath, by hope and by reason, Th' imprinting of their consolation, Through which her greate sorrow gan assuage; She may not always duren in such rage. And eke Arviragus, in all this care, Hath sent his letters home of his welfare, And that he will come hastily again, Or elles had this sorrow her hearty-slain. Her friendes saw her sorrow gin to slake,* *slacken, diminish And prayed her on knees for Godde's sake To come and roamen in their company, Away to drive her darke fantasy; And finally she granted that request, For well she saw that it was for the best.
Now stood her castle faste by the sea, And often with her friendes walked she, Her to disport upon the bank on high, There as many a ship and barge sigh,* *saw Sailing their courses, where them list to go. But then was that a parcel* of her woe, *part For to herself full oft, "Alas!" said she, Is there no ship, of so many as I see, Will bringe home my lord? then were my heart All warish'd* of this bitter paine's smart." *cured Another time would she sit and think, And cast her eyen downward from the brink; But when she saw the grisly rockes blake,* *black For very fear so would her hearte quake, That on her feet she might her not sustene* *sustain Then would she sit adown upon the green, And piteously *into the sea behold,* *look out on the sea* And say right thus, with *careful sikes* cold: *painful sighs* "Eternal God! that through thy purveyance Leadest this world by certain governance, *In idle,* as men say, ye nothing make; *idly, in vain* But, Lord, these grisly fiendly rockes blake, That seem rather a foul confusion Of work, than any fair creation Of such a perfect wise God and stable, Why have ye wrought this work unreasonable? For by this work, north, south, or west, or east, There is not foster'd man, nor bird, nor beast: It doth no good, to my wit, but *annoyeth.* *works mischief* See ye not, Lord, how mankind it destroyeth? A hundred thousand bodies of mankind Have rockes slain, *all be they not in mind;* *though they are Which mankind is so fair part of thy work, forgotten* Thou madest it like to thine owen mark.* *image Then seemed it ye had a great cherte* *love, affection Toward mankind; but how then may it be That ye such meanes make it to destroy? Which meanes do no good, but ever annoy. I wot well, clerkes will say as them lest,* *please By arguments, that all is for the best, Although I can the causes not y-know; But thilke* God that made the wind to blow, *that As keep my lord, this is my conclusion: To clerks leave I all disputation: But would to God that all these rockes blake Were sunken into helle for his sake These rockes slay mine hearte for the fear." Thus would she say, with many a piteous tear.
Her friendes saw that it was no disport To roame by the sea, but discomfort, And shope* them for to playe somewhere else. *arranged They leade her by rivers and by wells, And eke in other places delectables; They dancen, and they play at chess and tables.* *backgammon So on a day, right in the morning-tide, Unto a garden that was there beside, In which that they had made their ordinance* *provision, arrangement Of victual, and of other purveyance, They go and play them all the longe day: And this was on the sixth morrow of May, Which May had painted with his softe showers This garden full of leaves and of flowers: And craft of manne's hand so curiously Arrayed had this garden truely, That never was there garden of such price,* *value, praise *But if* it were the very Paradise. *unless* Th'odour of flowers, and the freshe sight, Would have maked any hearte light That e'er was born, *but if* too great sickness *unless* Or too great sorrow held it in distress; So full it was of beauty and pleasance. And after dinner they began to dance And sing also, save Dorigen alone Who made alway her complaint and her moan, For she saw not him on the dance go That was her husband, and her love also; But natheless she must a time abide And with good hope let her sorrow slide.