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D.C.L., LLD., PH.D. 

Elrington and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon 
and Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge 







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THE SQUIRE END-LINK . . . . 125 

Notes to Group B . . . . . . . 129 

Notes to Group E 195 

Notes to Group F 206 

Glossarial Index 225 

Index of Proper Names ....... 309 

Index of Subjects Explained in the Notes . . . 313 



FOR an account of Chaucer's life, I must beg leave to refer 
the reader to the edition of Chaucer's Prologue, Knightes 
Tale, &c., by Dr. Morris, in the Clarendon Press Series ; a 
volume to which I have frequently had occasion to refer in the 
Notes and Glossary. 

But it is worth while to remark- that Mr. Furnivall, by 
diligent searching amongst old records, has lately succeeded in 
finding out some new facts concerning Chaucer, which have 
been published from time to time in The Athenaeum, and 
since collected and published in his 'Originals and Analogues 
of some of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales,' published for the 
Chaucer Society, and dated (in advance) 1875. We hence learn 
that the poet was the son of John Chaucer, Vintner, of Thames 
Street, London, and Agnes, his wife. Also, that John Chaucer 
had a half-brother, named Thomas Heroun or Heyroun, both 
being born of the same mother, named Maria, who must have 
been married to one of the Heroun family first, and then to Robert, 
John Chaucer's father. The will of Thomas Heyroun is dated 
April ?th, 1349, his executor being his half-brother John Chaucer, 
the poet's father. After Robert's death, Maria married a 
Richard Chaucer, Vintner, who in his will, dated Easter-day 
(April 1 2th) 1349, names Maria his wife, and Thomas Heyroun 
her son. Richard Chaucer and Thomas Heyroun must have 
died nearly at the same time, carried off probably by the memor- 
able plague of 1349. Chaucer's mother, Agnes, had an uncle 


named Hanio de Copton, a moneyer. The most interesting 
entries relating to the above matters are (i) that in which occur 
the words ' me Galfridum Chaucer, filium Johannis Chaucer, 
Vinetarii, Londonie' (City Hustings Roll, no; 5 Ric. II, dated 
June 19, 1380), whereby the poet releases, to Henry Herbury, 
all his right to his father's house in Thames Street ; and (2) that 
in which occur the words ' ego Johannes Chaucer, Ciuis et Vine- 
tarius Ciuitatis Londonie, & Agnes Vxor mea, consanguinea & 
Heres Hamonis de Copton quondam Ciuis & Monetarii Civitatis 
predicte ' (Hustings Roll, 93, dated January 16, 1366), being a 
conveyance by John Chaucer and Agnes his wife, of a part of 
her land inherited from her uncle Hamo de Copton, moneyer l . 
From the Clerk-of-the- Works' Accounts and the Foreign 
Accounts we learn that Chaucer was Clerk of the Works at St. 
George's Chapel, Windsor, on July 12, 1390, and was succeeded 
in the appointment by John Gedney, on July 8, 1391. Whilst 
holding this appointment, viz. on September 3, 1390, Chaucer 
was robbed, near the ' foule Ok ' (foul oak), of 20 of the King's 
money, his horse, and other moveables, by certain notorious 
thieves, as was fully confessed by the mouth of one of them 
when in gaol at Westminster. The King's writ, wherein he for- 
gives Chaucer this sum of ^20, is still extant. In connection 
with the author of The Knightes Tale, it is particularly interest- 
ing to find that there is a writ dated July i, 1390, allowing him 
the costs of putting up scaffolds in Smithfield for the King and 
Queen to see the jousts which took place in May, 1390. See 
Kn. Tale, 1023. 

Chaucer tells us, in his Prologue, 11. 791-795, that it was his 
intention to make each of the pilgrims tell four tales, two on the 
way to Canterbury and two on the return-journey. But so far 
from fulfilling his proposed plan, he did not even complete so 
much as a quarter of it, since the number of talcs do not even 
suffice to go once round, much less four times. No pilgrim tells 
two stories, though the poet represents himself as being inter- 

1 For the quotations, see The Athenaeum, Nov. 29 and Dec. 13, 1873. 


rupted in his Rime of Sir Thopas, and telling the tale of Melibeus 
in its stead ; and we have no story from the Yeoman, the Haber- 
dasher, the Carpenter, the Weaver, the Dyer, the Tapiser, or 
the Ploughman 1 . The series being thus incomplete, it only 
remains to investigate to what degree of completeness the author 
succeeded in attaining. 

It is easy to see that Chaucer may have had a good deal of 
material in hand before the idea of writing a connected series 
of tales occurred to him. The Prologue, answering somewhat 
to a preface, is one of his very latest works, and in his best 
manner ; and before writing it, he had in some measure arranged 
a part of his materials. His design was to make a collection of 
tales which he had previously written, to write more new tales 
to go with these, and to unite them all into a series by means of 
connecting links 2 , which should account for the change from one 
narrator to the next in order. In doing this, he did not work 
continuously, but wrote-in the connecting links as they occurred 
to him, being probably well aware that this was the best way of 
avoiding an appearance of artificiality. The result is that some 
links are perfectly supplied, and others not written at all, thus 
affording a series of fragments or Groups, complete in themselves, 
but having gaps between them. A full account of these Groups, 
showing which tales are inseparably linked together, and which 
are not joined at all, is given in Mr. Furnivall's Temporary 
Preface to the Six-text Edition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, 
published for the Chaucer Society in 1868. The resulting Groups 
are nine. Between these are distinct gaps, and it is by no means 
clear that the order of the Groups relatively to each other was 
finally determined upon. This relative order is, however, settled 
to some extent by occasional references to places passed on the 

1 Warton wrongly adds, or the Host. But the Host was the umpire, 
not a tale-teller himself. 

2 The term ' link,' and such terms as ' head-link,' ' end-link,' and the 
like, are to be found in the Six-text edition published by the Chaucer 
Society, whence I have copied them. See further, on this subject, in my 
Introduction to The Man of Lawes Tale. 


road, and to the time of day. We are also perfectly certain that 
the Knight was to tell the first tale, and the Parson the last of 
the only existing series, thus leaving us only seven Groups to 
arrange. Another question at once arises, however, which must 
be settled before we can proceed, viz. whether the pilgrimage 
was intended to be performed all in one day, or in two, or three, 
or more. Any one who knows what travelling was in the olden 
time must be well aware that the notion of performing the whole 
distance in one day is out of the question, especially as the pil- 
grims were out more for a holiday than for business, that some 
of them were but poorly mounted (Prol. 287, 541), and some of 
them but poor riders (Prol. 390, 469, 622) J . In fact, such an 
idea is purely modern, adopted from thoughtlessness almost as 
a matter of course by every modern reader, but certainly not 
founded upon truth. Fortunately, too, the matter is put beyond 
argument by some incidental remarks. In the first Group, or 
Group A, occurs the line 

' Lo Depeford, and it is half-wey pryme ' 

i. e. it is now half-past seven o'clock (1. 3906). After which the 
Reve is made to tell a story, and the Cook also, bringing the 
time of day to about nine o'clock at the least. But in Group F, 
1. 73, the Squire remarks that ' it is pryme,' it is nine o'clock, 
which can only mean that hour of another day, not of the same 
one. Still clearer is the allusion, in the Canon's Yeoman's Pro- 
logue, to the pilgrims having passed the night in a hostelry, as I 
understand the passage. This once perceived, it is not of much 
consequence whether we allow the pilgrims two days, or three, 
or four ; but the most convenient arrangement is that proposed 
by Mr. Furnivall, viz, to suppose four days to have been occu- 
pied; the more so, as this supposition disposes of another ex- 
tremely awkward allusion to time, viz. the mention of ten o'clock 

1 In 1749, the coach from Edinburgh to Glasgow, forty-four miles, 
took two days for the journey. Twenty miles a day was fast. We may 
allow the pilgrims about fifteen miles a day. See Chambers' Book of 
Days, ii. 2aS. 


in the morning in Group B, 1. 14, which must refer to yet a third 
morning, in order not to clash with the two notes of time already 
alluded to ^ whilst the passage in the Canon's Yeoman's Prologue 
absolutely requires a fourth morning, because of the pilgrims 
having passed the night at a hostelry. The references to places 
on the road can cause no trouble ; on the contrary, these allusions 
aflbrd much help, for we cannot rest satisfied with the arrange- 
ment in Tyrwhitt's edition, which makes the pilgrims come to 
Sittingbourne before arriving at Rochester. 

But the data are not yet all disposed of : for we can fix the 
very days of the month on which the pilgrims travelled. This 
is discussed in the note to B 5 * in the present volume, where 
the day recognised by the Host is shown to have been the 
i8th of April, and not the 28th, as in some editions; which 
agrees with the expression in the Prologue, 1. 8 *. 

Putting all the results together, we get the following con- 
venient scheme of the Groups of tales. It is copied from Mr. 
FurnivalPs Preface, with the mere addition of the dates. 

April 1 6. The guests arrive at the Tabard, late in the evening 
(Prol. 20, 23). 

April 17. GROUP A. General Prologue; Knight's Tale; 
Miller's Prologue and Tale; Reve's Prologue and Tale; Cook's 
Prologue and Tale (the last unfinished). Gap. 

Notes of time and place. In the Miller's Prologue, he tells 
the company to lay the blame on the ale of Southwark if his 
tale is not to their liking ; he had hardly yet recovered from its 

In the Reve's Prologue are the lines 

' Lo Depeford, and it is half-wey pryrne ; 
Lo Grenewich, ther many a shrew is inne.' 

A 3906, 3907. 

1 By B 5* I mean Group B, 1. 5, as numbered in the Chaucer Society's 
Six-text edition ; the arrangement of which I have adopted throughout. 

2 See note to 1. 8 in Dr. Morris's edition of the Prologue, third edition, 
1872. The note as it stood in the/rs/ edition was wrong. The fault was 
mine, and the correction also. 


That is, they are in sight of Deptford and Greenwich at about 
half-past 7 o'clock in the morning. 

This Group is incomplete; I shall give my reasons presently 
for supposing that the Yeoman's Tale was to have formed a 
part of it. Probably the pilgrims reached Dartford that night, 
and halted there, at a distance of fifteen miles from London. 

April 1 8. GROUPS. Man-of-Law Head-link, bis Prologue, 
and Tale (1-1162); Shipman's Prologue and Tale (1163-1624); 
Shipman End-link (1625-1642) ; Prioress's Tale (1643-1880) ; 
Prioress End-link (1881-1901); Sir Thopas (1902-2156); 
Tale of Melibeus (2157-3078); Monk's Prologue and Tale 
3079-3956); Nuns' Priest's Prologue and Tale (3957-4636); 
End-link (4637-4652). Gap. 

Notes tf time and place. In the Man-of-Law Head-link, we 
learn that it was 10 o'clock (1. 14), and that it was the i8th of 
April (1. 5). In the Monk's Prologue, 1. 3 1 1 6, we find that the pil- 
grims were soon coming to Rochester. This Group is probably 
incomplete, rather at the beginning than at the end. Something 
is wanted to bring the time to 10 o'clock, whilst the travellers 
would hardly have cared to pass Rochester that night. Suppose 
them to have halted there, at thirty miles from London. 

April 19. Group G. Doctor's Tale (1-286); Words of the 
Host to the Doctor and the Pardoner (287-328); Pardoner's 
Preamble, Prologue, and Tale (329-968). Gap. 

GROUP D. Wife of Bath's Preamble (1-856); Wife's Tale 
(857-1264) ; Friar's Prologue and Tale (1265-1664) ; Sompnour's 
Prologue and Tale (1665-2294). Gap. 

GROUP E. Clerk's Prologue and Tale (1-1212); Merchant's 
Prologue and Tale (1213-2418); Merchant End-link (2419- 
2440). Gap; but the break is less marked than usual. 

Notes of places, &>c. At the end of the Wife of Bath's Pre- 
amble is narrated a verbal quarrel between the Sompnour and 
the Friar, in which the former promises to tell some strange 
tales about friars before the company shall arrive at Sitting- 
bourne. Again, at the end of his Tale, he says 

'My tale is doon, we ben almost at toune.' D 2294. 


After which, the company probably halted awhile at Sittingbourne, 
forty miles from London, but spent the night at Ospringe. 

It must also be noted that there are at least two allusions to 
the Wife of Bath's Preamble in the course of Group E ; namely, 
in the Clerk's Tale, 1. 1170, and in the Merchant's Tale, E 1685 ; 
and probably a third allusion in the Merchant End-link, E 2438. 
These prove that Group D should precede Group E, and render 
it probable that it should precede it immediately. 

April 20. Group F. Squire's Tale (1-672) ; Squire-Franklin 
Link (673-708) ; Franklin's Tale (709-1624). Gap. 

GROUP G. Second Nun's Tale (1-553); Canon's Yeoman's 
Tale (554-1481). Gap. 

GROUP H. Manciple's Prologue and Tale (1-362). Gap. 

GROUP I. Parson's Prologue and Tale. 

Notes of time and place. In the Squire's Tale, F 73, the 
narrator remarks that he will not delay the hearers, 'for it is 
prime,' i. e. 9 a.m. 

In the Canon's Yeoman's Prologue is a most explicit state- 
ment, which is certainly most easily understood as having refer- 
ence to a halt for the night on the road, at a place (probably 
Ospringe) five miles short of Boughton-under-Blee. The 
Canon's Yeoman says plainly that he had seen the pilgrims ride 
out of their hostelry in the morrow-tide. In the Manciple's 
Prologue there is mention of a little town called Bob-up-and- 
down, ' under the Blee, in Canterbury way ' ; and the Cook is 
taken to task for sleeping on the road at so early an hour in the 
morning, which cannot, in any case, be the morning of the day 
on which they started. In the Parson's Prologue there is 
mention of the hour of 4 p.m., and the Parson undertakes to tell 
the last tale before the end of the journey. 

The above account is useful as shewing the exact extent to 
which Chaucer had carried out his intention ; and at the same 
time shews what is, on the whole, the best arrangement of the 
Tales. This arrangement is not much affected by the question 
of the number of days occupied by the pilgrims on the journey. 
It possesses, moreover, the great advantage of stamping upon the 


work its incomplete and fragmentary character. The arrange- 
ment of the Tales in the various MSS. varies considerably, and 
hence Tyrvvhitt found it necessary in his edition to consider the 
question of order, and to do his best to make a satisfactory 
arrangement. The order which he finally adopted is easily ex- 
pressed by using the names already given to the Groups, only 
Group B must be subdivided into two parts (a) and (b), the first 
of these containing the Man of Law's Prologue and Tale only, 
and the second all the rest of the Tales, &c. in the Group. This 
premised, his result is as follows : viz. Groups A, B (a), D, E, F, 
G, B (b), G, H, I. The only two variations between the two 
lists are easily explained. In the first place, Group G is entirely 
independent of all the rest, and contains no note of time or place, 
so that it may be placed anywhere between A and G ; in this 
case therefore the variation is of no importance. In the other 
case, however, Tyrwhitt omitted to see that the parts of Group B 
are really bound together by the expressions which occur in them. 
For, whereas the Man of Law declares in 1. 46, Group B 

' I can ryght now no thrifty tale seyn,' 

the Host, at the beginning of the Shipman's Prologue, 1. 1165, is 
pleased to give his verdict thus 

' This was a thrifty tale for the nones ' 

and proceeds to ask the Parson for a tale, declaring that ' ye 
learned men in lore,' i. e. the Man of Law and the Parson, know 
much that is good : whence it is evident that B (b) must be ad- 
vanced so as to follow B (a) immediately ; and the more so, 
as there is authority for this in MS. Arch. Seld. B 14 in the 
Bodleian Library ; while the Harleian MS. hints at a similar 
arrangement. The correctness of this emendation is proved 
by the fact that it is necessary for the mention of Rochester in 
B (b) to precede that of Sittingbourne in D. 

It deserves to be mentioned further, that, of the four days 
supposed to be consumed on the way, some of them are in- 
adequately provided for. This furnishes no real objection, 


because the unwritten tales of the Yeoman, Haberdasher, Car- 
penter, Weaver, Dyer, Tapiser, and Ploughman, would have 
helped in some degree to fill up the gaps which have been 
noticed above. 

The whole of Group A is so admirably fitted together, and its 
details so well worked out, that it may fairly be looked upon as 
having been finally revised, as far as it goes ; and I am disposed 
accordingly to look upon the incomplete Cook's Tale as almost 
the last portion of his great work which the poet ever revised. 
There is, in this Group A, only one flaw, one that has often been 
noted, viz. the mention of three Priests in the Prologue (1. 164), 
whereas we know that there was but one Nun's Priest, his name 
being Sir John. At the same place there is a notable omission 
of the character of the Nun, and the two things together point to 
the possibility that Chaucer may have drawn her character in 
too strong strokes, and have then suddenly determined to with- 
draw it, and to substitute a new character at some future time. 
If we suppose him to have left the line ' That was hire chapel- 
leyn ' unfinished, it is easy to see how another hand would have 
put in the words ' and prestes thre ' for the mere sake of the 
rime, without having regard to reason. We ought to reject those 
three words as spurious. 

That Chaucer's work did receive, in some small degree, some 
touching-up, is rendered yet more probable by observing how 
Group A ends. For here, in several of the MSS., we come upon 
an additional fragment which, on the face of it, is not Chaucer's 
at all, but a work belonging to a slightly earlier period ; I mean 
the Tale of Gamelyji. Some have supposed, with great reason, 
that this tale occurs among the rest because it is one which 
Chaucer intended to recast, although, as a fact, he did not live 
to re-write a single line of it. This is the more likely because 
the tale is a capital one in itself, well worthy of having been re- 
written even by so great a poet ; indeed, the plot bears con- 
siderable resemblance to that of the favourite play known to 
us all by the title of As You Like It. But I cannot but protest 
against the stupidity of the botcher whose hand wrote above it 


' The Cokes Tale of Gamelyn.' That was done because it 
happened to be found next after the Cook's Tale, which, instead 
of being about Gamelyn, is about Perkin the reveller, an idle 

The fitness of things ought to shew at once that this Tale of 
Gamelyn, a tale of the woods, in the true Robin-Hood style, 
could only have been placed in the mouth of him ' who bare a 
mighty bow,' and who knew all the usage of woodcraft ; in one 
word, of the Yeoman. (Gandelyn is the name of an archer in 
Ritson's Ancient Songs, i. 82). And we get hence the additional 
hint, that the Yeoman's Tale was to have followed the Cook's 
Tale, a tale of fresh country-life succeeding one of the close 
back-streets of the city. No better place can be found for it. 

There is yet one more Tale, found only in some of the earlier 
printed editions, but in none of the MSS., viz. the Ploughman's 
Tale. This is admittedly spurious, in the sense that it is not 
Chaucer's ; but it is a remarkable poem in its way. The author 
never intended it for an imitation of Chaucer, nor pretended any 
disguise about it ; on the contrary, he says plainly that he was the 
author of the well-known poem in alliterative verse commonly 
known as Pierce the Ploughman's Crede. It can only have 
been inserted by inadvertence, but we need not blame Thynne 
for doing this, since otherwise the poem would not have been 
preserved at all, no MS. of it being now in existence. 

The next question that presents itself is this Have we any 
means of telling which of the Tales are of early, and which of 
late workmanship? In reply to this, we may note, in the first 
place, the following facts and probabilities. . 

The Knight's Tale was almost certainly re-written from be- 
ginning to end. In the first instance Chaucer took a good 
deal of it from Boccaccio's Teseide, and gave it in the name of 
Palamon and Arcite ; see Prologue to Legende of Good Women, 
1. 420. This he would naturally do just after or just before 
writing his Troilus 1 , in which he follows the same author, and 

1 Several lines are common to Troilus and to the Knight's Tale, shewing 
that the former and 'Palamon and Arcite' were probably in hand together. 


he would naturally employ the seven-line stanza. But this is 
not all, for it is obvious upon comparison (and I now find 
that Ten Brink said the same in 1870) that Chaucer 
also pressed into his service, when writing the Knight's Tale, 
a poem also in the seven-line stanza, which has been preserved 
under the title ' Of Queen Annelida and False Arcite.' In this 
poem, after three introductory stanzas, he quotes three lines 
from Statius, beginning ' lamque domos patrias,' &c. ; and it is 
not a little remarkable that the very same three lines reappear 
as a heading at the beginning of the Knight's Tale in many of 
the MSS. It is interesting to note the traces of resemblance 
between this poem and the Knight's Tale, but it must be ad- 
mitted that they are very few, such as these : 

' With Emely her j onge suster schene * 

which reappears in the Knight's Tale, 1. 114 ; with a few similar 
phrases. For example, the first three lines of the prologue run 
thus : 

' O thou fiers God of armes, Mars the rede, 
That in thy frosty country called Thrace, 
Within thy grisly temples full of drede ' 

which may be compared with the Knight's Tale, 1111-1115. The 
general story is, however, widely different, and Chaucer used 
up the latter part of it, not in the Knight's Tale, but in the 
Squire's Tale. I draw attention to this poem chiefly in support 
of a suggestion, to which I shall have occasion to recur, that the 
early draught of Palamon and Arcite may have been in seven-line 
stanzas; as suggested (I find) by Ten Brink in 1870. 

It must next be noted that Mr. Furnivall, who has drawn up, 
tentatively, a list of Chaucer's works in their supposed order, 
puts down amongst the works of the ' Second Period,' i. e. prior 
to the Canterbury Tales, that Tale which is now known as the 
Second Nun's, though formerly called by Chaucer himself the 
. Life of Saint Cecile. Of this result there has never been a 
doubt ; Tyrvvhitt says expressly, ' The Tale of the Nonne is 
almost literally translated from the Life of St. Cecilia in the 

VOL. II. l> 


Legenda Aurea of Jacobus Januensis. It is mentioned by 
Chaucer as a separate work in his Legende of Good Women, 
1. 426, under the title of the Life of Seint Cecile, and it still 
retains evident marks that it was not originally composed in the 
form of a Tale to be spoken by the Nonne V It is, then, little 
more than a translation, and it is in seven -line stanzas. 

Mr. Furnivall assigns to this Second Nun's Tale the con- 
jectural date of 1373; now this is the very year when Chaucer 
met Petrarch at Padua (see note to E 27), and learnt from him 
the tale of Griseldis, now known as the Clerk's Tale. This tale 
is, for the most part, a translation, and it is in seven-line stanzas. 

The Prioress's Tale has a Proem much better suited for a 
formal poem than for a Tale to be told, being much in the same 
strain as one of the author's other poems, known as Chaucer's 
A. B.C. Moreover, it is (by an pversight) still called a song; 
see B 1677. This poem is also in seven-line stanzas. 

The Monk's Tale is in a very peculiar metre, which appears 
nowhere else in Chaucer, except in the above-mentioned poem 
called the A. B.C. (perhaps written before A.D. 1369), and in 
some of Chaucer's latest but very short poems, such as the 
Envoy to Bukton, and the Ballad of the Visage 2 without Painting ; 
so that, considered with reference to metre, this Tale may be 
of any date. The main part of it shews no great originality, and 
seems to me rather early than late. 

Having premised these considerations, I wish now boldly to 
state that we have, in fact, one test of earliness or lateness on 
which we may rely, I believe, with some confidence. It is a 
test so obvious that it is a wonder to me that no one, as far as 
I know, has pointed it out before ; I mean the test of rhythm. 
The canon I propose is simply this. Nearly all of Chaucer's 

1 In the Proem, the Nun calls herself an ' unworthy son of Eve.' 
1 Oddly spelt Vilage in the MSS. ; but the poem is imitated from 
Boethius, and has special reference to the passage ' This ilke Fortune 
hath departyd and vncoueryd to the bothe the certeyn visages, and eke 
the dowloi visages of thy felawes'; Chaucer's Uoethius, td. Morris, 
p. 62. 


tales that are in stanzas are early, and nearly all that are in 
the usual couplets are late. We have seen that this is known 
to be true in the case of the Second Nun's Tale, that it is 
highly probable in the case of the Clerk's Tale (of which more 
hereafter), and there is nothing against it in the case of the 
Monk's Tale, written in the same metre as a poem which is 
said to have been his very first, or nearly so, if there be any 
truth in the statement that it was written for the use of the 
Duchess Blanche, who died in 1369. At the same time, I suppose 
' Palamon and Arcite ' to have been written in stanzas, so that 
the present metre of the Knight's Tale presents no difficulty. 
Of course it will be understood that there is, in these stanza- 
tales, some of Chaucer's latest work, but I shall presently shew 
that this late work is easily picked out. 

The above canon is due to no fancy, but to the simple fact, 
that Chaucer cannot be proved to have used his couplets till he 
was well advanced in composition. Indeed, it has always been 
remarked that no English poet before him ever dreamt of such 
a metre, and it has been a source of wonder, for hundreds of 
years, whence he derived it. To say that it was derived from 
the French ten-syllable verse is not a complete solution of the 
mystery ; for nearly all such verse is commonly either in stanzas, 
or else a great number of successive lines are rimed together. 
What we desire is to find a specimen of French ten-syllable 
verse in which only two successive lines are rimed together ; and 
these, I believe, are rather scarce. After some search I have, 
however, fortunately lighted upon a very interesting specimen, 
among the poems of Guillaume de Machault, a French writer 
whom Chaucer is known to have imitated 1 , and who died in 

1 See Specimens from Chaucer's Book of the Duchess as compared 
with some from Machault's Remede de Fortune in Furnivall's Trial 
Forewords, p. 47, where he quotes from Etude sur G. Chaucer, by 
M. Sandras, p. 290. The obligations to the Remede de Fortune are 
Eomewhat doubtful (Trial Forewords, p. 115): but there are other 
instances which go to shew that Chaucer had read Machault ; see Pro- 
fessor Ten Brink's note (at the same reference) and the last note in Tyr- 
whitt's notes to the Canterbury Tales. 

b 2 


1377. In the edition of Machault's poems edited by Tarbe, 
Reims and Paris, 1849, p. 89, there is a poem of exactly this 
character, of no great length, but fortunately dated; for its 
title is ' Complainte ecrite apres la bataille de Poitiers et avant 
le siege de Reims par les Anglais' (1356-1358). The first four 
lines run thus : 

'A toy, Henry, dous amis, me complain, 
Pour ce que ne cueur ne mont ne plein * ; 
Car a piet suy, sans cheval et sans selle, 
Et si n'ay mais esmeraude, ne belle.' 

The last couplet (the second line of which has two examples of 
the fully-sounded final e) is as follows : 

4 Et que jamais ne feray chant ne lay, 
Adieu te di : car toute joie lay." 

Now as Chaucer was taken prisoner in France in 1359, he had an 
excellent opportunity for making himself acquainted with this 
poem, and with others, possibly, in a similar metre which have 
not come down to us. It is also almost certain that the earliest 
attempt to use this metre in English was made by Chaucer, in 
his Legend of Good Women, commenced, according to Professor 
Ten Brink, in the year 1385 (Furnivall's Trial Forewords, p. in). 
Surely this date is one of considerable importance; for we at 
once derive from it the probability that all of the Canterbury 
Tales written in this metre were written after 1385, whilst those 
not in this metre were probably earlier. With this to guide us, 
I can now proceed to discuss separately such of the Canterbury 
Tales as are printed in the present volume. 

Man-ot'-Law Head-link. This is an important passage, as 
it gives the date (April 1 8) of one of the days of the pilgrimage, 
and a list of the Tales which Chaucer meant to include in his 
Legend of Good Women. These points are discussed in the 

1 Observe particularly this rime of complain with plein. This shews 
whence Chaucer derived such rimes as seke, seke; Prol. 17, 18. There 
is a poem of 92 lines called Le Dit de la Harpe, printed in Bartsch's 
Crestomathie Franchise, p. 408, in which more than half the rimes are of 
this character. 


notes to 11. 3 and 61, which see. The metre, by the canon, shews 
late or new work, as the subject-matter proves. 

Prologue to the Man of Law's Tale. The metre would, 
by the canon, indicate early work, yet it is not wholly such. 
The truth is that the Man of Law's Tale is, in itself, of early 
workmanship, but was revised for insertion amongst the Tales, 
the Prologue being made up of old work and new. Lines 131- 
133 may be taken to mean, in plain English, that ' I, the poet, 
should be in want of a Tale to insert here, and should have 
to write one, only fortunately I have one by me which will do 
very well.' The 'Merchant' who 'taught' Chaucer the Man 
of Law's Tale was his industrious younger self 1 . 

Shipman's Prologue, Tale, and End-link. All in the 
poet's latest and best manner. 

Prioress's Tale. The real Prologue to this Tale is con- 
tained in the Shipman End-link, B 1637-1642. What is now 
called the Prologue is, more strictly, a Proem; and the Tale 
itself is, more strictly, a Legend, or (as the author calls it) a 
'song'; B 1677. The Legend is more original than the Life 
of Saint Cecile, and probably belongs to a later period. The 
Proem closely resembles that to the Life, and contains a similar 
invocation to the Virgin Mary: it seems to have been partly 
adapted from an old Proem, now represented by 11. 1657-1677, 
though 1. 1663 has been altered or re- written. The two first 
stanzas, 11. 1643-1656, belong to the new or revised work, as 
shewn by the introduction of the words 'quod she' (1644), 
and the line 'To tell a storie I wol doon my labour' (1653). 
At the end of 1. 1656 I have inserted a short stroke, by way of 
marking off the new work from the old. 

The Tale itself is taken from a source similar to that of the 
Legend of Alphonsus of Lincoln, a story reprinted by the 
Chaucer Society from the Fortalitium Fidei; Lugdun. 1500, 

1 For farther notes, sec Specimens of English, Part II, ed. Morris and 
Skeat, p. 346, and my edition of the Man of Law's Tale. The French 
original by Nicholas Trivet has lately been published by the Chaucer 


fol. ccviii. In another edition, printed in 1485, the Legend of 
Alphonsus is said to have been composed in 1459, and it is 
stated to be the work of a Minorite friar, whose name, accord- 
ing to Hain and others, was Alphonsus a Spina. The story is, 
that a widow residing in Lincoln has a son named Alphonsus, 
ten years of age, who goes daily to school, singing ' Alma Re- 
demptoris ' as he passes through the street where the Jews 
dwell. One day the Jews seize him, cut out his tongue, tear 
out his heart, and throw his body into a filthy pit. But the 
Virgin appears to him, gives him a precious stone in place of 
a tongue, and enables him to sing ' Alma Redemptoris ' for four 
days. His mother seeks and finds him, and he is borne to 
the cathedral, still singing. The bishop celebrates mass ; the 
boy reveals the secret, resigns the precious stone to the bishop, 
gives up the ghost, and is buried in a marble tomb. A similar 
legend is narrated concerning Hugh of Lincoln; see note to 
B 1874. 

In Originals and Analogues of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, 
pt. iii. (Chaucer Society, 1876) is the story of The Paris Beggar- 
boy murdered by a Jew, printed from the Vernon MS., leaf 123, 
back. It is well told, and has some remarkable points of agree- 
ment with the Prioresses Tale. It clearly identifies the hymn 
Alma Redemptoris Mater as agreeing with the second anthem men- 
tioned in the note to 1. 1708 of Group B, which is translated by 

' Godus Moder, mylde and clene, 
Heuene sate and sterre of se, 
Saue J>i peple from synne and we [woe]' 

The same work contains a similar story, in French verse, of a 
boy killed by a Jew for singing Gaude Maria ; from MS. Harl. 

Tyrwhitt's account of the Prioress's Tale is as follows : ' The 
transition from the Tale of the Shipman to that of the Prioresse 
is happily managed. I have not been able to discover from 
what Legende of the Miracles of Our Lady the Prioress's Tale is 
taken. From the scene being laid in Asia, it should seem, that 


this was one of the oldest of the many stories which have been 
propagated, at different times, to excite or justify several merciless 
persecutions of the Jews, upon the charge of murthering Christian 
children. The story of Hugh of Lincoln, which is mentioned 
in the last stanza, is placed by Matthew Paris under the year 
1255. In the first four months of the Acta Sanctorum by 
Bollandus, I find the following names of children canonized, as 
having been murthered by Jews : xxv Mart. Willielmus Norvi- 
censis, 1144; Ricbardus, Parisiis, 1179; xvii Apr. Rudolphus, 
Bernse, 1287; Wernerus, JVesalise, anno eodem; Albertus, Polo- 
nix, 1598. I suppose the remaining eight months would furnish 
at least as many more. See a Scottish Ballad (Percy's Reliques 
of Ancient Poetry, i. 32) upon one of these supposed murthers. 
The editor [Percy] has very ingeniously conjectured that " Merry- 
land " in verse r is a corruption of ' Milan.' Perhaps the real 
occasion of the Ballad may have been what is said to have hap- 
pened at Trent, in 1475, to a boy called Simon. The Cardinal 
Hadrian, about fifty years after, mentioning the Rocks of Trent, 
adds " quo ludaei ob Simonis cxdem ne aspirare quidem audent ; " 
Praef. ad librum de Serm. Lat. The change of the name in the 
Song, from Simon to Hugh, is natural enough in this country, 
where similar stories of Hugh of Norwich and Hugh of Lincoln 
had been long current.' 

The Ballad alluded to is called ' The Jew's Daughter ' by 
Percy, and is to the effect that a boy named Hugh was enticed 
to play and then stabbed by a Jew's daughter, who threw him 
into a draw-well. His mother, Lady Helen, finds him by hearing 
his voice. 

I may add that the story of Hugh of Lincoln, and a picture of 
the martyrdom of Simon at Trent, are given in an excellent chapter 
concerning the Jews in Manners, Customs, and Dress during the 
Middle Ages, by P. Lacroix, pp. 434-455. 

A last word as to the metre. The question has been raised 
Whence did Chaucer derive his seven-line stanza ? M. Sandras 
(6tude sur G. Chaucer, pp. 76, 288) answers From Guillaume 
de Machault, and quotes a stanza to shew this. The answer is 


right, but the example ill-chosen, as it contains but two rimes 
instead of three. Unexceptionable examples will be found in 
Tarbe's edition of Machault, at pp. 56 and 131. 'This stanza 
was used, but with a restriction to two rhymes, by Jehan de 
Brienne, King of Jerusalem, more than a century before the 
birth of Boccaccio. In England it was afterwards called rhyme 
royal, from its use, not many years after the death of Chaucer, 
by the captive King of Scotland, James I, as the measure of 
" The King's Quair." ' Morley's English Writers, ii. 169. 

The Prioress End-link. This passage, like the other End- 
links and Prologues in rimed couplets, evidently belongs to 
the late period ; we recognise here some of the author's best 

Sir Thopas. Judging by the rhythm-test, this might be of 
early workmanship; but judging by the language, it is late. It 
is, apparently, the only one of all the Canterbury Tales which be- 
longs to the late period, although not written in rimed couplets. 
Tyrwhitt's estimate of it is judicious and correct. He says 
' The Rime of Sir Thopas was clearly intended to ridicule the 
" palpable gross " fictions of the common Rimers of that age, 
and still more, perhaps, the meanness of their language and ver- 
sification. It is full of phrases taken from Isumbras, Li Beaus 
Desconus, and other Romances in the same style, which are still 
extant. . . . For the more complete reprobation of this species 
of Riming, even the Host, who is not to be suspected of too re- 
fined a taste, is made to cry out against it, and to cut short Sire 
Thopas in the midst of his adventures. Chaucer has nothing to 
say for his Rime, but that "it is the best he can" (B 2118), and 
readily consents to tell another Tale ; but having just laughed so 
freely at the bad poetry of his time, he might think it, perhaps, 
too invidious to exhibit a specimen of better in his own person, 
and therefore his other Tale is in prose, a mere translation from 
Le Livre de Melibee et de dame Prudence, of which several copies 
are still preserved in MS T . It is in truth, as he calls it, " a moral 

1 The French version is also not original, but taken from the Liber 
Consolationis ct Consilii of Albertano of Brescia, who died about 


tale vertuous," and was probably much esteemed in its time; 
but in this age of levity, I doubt some readers will be apt to 
regret that he did not rather give us the remainder of Sire 

Sir Thopas is admittedly a burlesque, and several of the 
passages imitated are quoted in the Notes ; but I cannot quite 
resist the suspicion that Chaucer may himself, in his youth, have 
tried his hand at such romance-writing in all seriousness, but 
lived to have a good-humoured laugh even in some degree at his 
own expense; and he seems as if endeavouring to make his 
readers feel that they could wish there was somewhat more of it. 
Yet we cannot but allow that to 

Praise syr Topas for a noble tale, 

And scoine the story that the Knight told' 
is much the same as to 

say that Pan 

Passeth Appollo in musike manifold,' 

as Sir Thomas Wiat has remarked in his second satire. It may 
be added that the usual metrical laws are not quite strictly 
observed in this Tale. 

The Monk's Tale. Judging by the rhythm, this belongs to 
the early period. The subject-matter shews, however, that it 
was probably written at different times, part of it at an early 
period, and part at the period of revision. It can hardly be 
called, in strictness, a tale at all, but consists of a whole series of 
them, and has all the appearance of having been originally an 
independent work, which Chaucer had at one time begun, but, 
in his accustomed manner, had left a little less than half finished. 
It is formed on the model of Boccaccio's book de Casibus vlrorum 
illiistrium, the title of which is actually retained in the rubric 
printed at p. 32. The manner in which the poet contrives to 
assign this string of tragedies to the monk is highly ingenious. 
The Host expects to hear rather a merry and lively story from 
. the jovial and corpulent Monk, and rallies him upon his sleek 

A.D. 1270. This Latin treatise was edited by Thor Sundby for the 
Chaucer Society in 1873. 


appearance; but the Monk, taking all in patience, volunteers 
either the Life of Saint Edward the Confessor or else a few of 
his 'hundred' tragedies; and then, fearful of interruption, pro- 
ceeds to define the word Tragedy, and to start off before any of 
the pilgrims have had time to offer any opinion upon the matter. 
He also offers an apology for not telling all his stories in strictly 
chronological order. This apology is the real key to the whole 
matter. We may well believe that, whilst the collection of 
tragedies was still an independent work, the arrangement was 
strictly chronological, or was intended to have been made such 
when the work was completed. Such was the usual formula; 
and accordingly the author begins, in the most approved fashion, 
with Lucifer, and then duly proceeds to Adam and all the rest. 
But as, in the course of composition, he would naturally first 
write such lives as most pleased him, and by no means succeeding 
in writing anything like a complete collection for out of the 
' hundred ' that existed ' in his cell l ' he produced only seventeen 
in all it clearly became his simplest plan to give specimens only, 
and to abandon the chronological arrangement as no longer 
necessary. Yet it is worth remarking that the tragedies are 
more nearly in chronological order than may at first sight appear. 
If they be compared with such a book as Peter Comestor's 
Historia Scholastica, we shall see this the better. Peter Comestor 
takes the Bible as the foundation of his history, noticing secular 
history as he goes on. We thus find a mention of Hercules in 
the time of Jephthah, judge of Israel. Strictly, then, Hercules 
should precede Samson ; but as they come so near together, the 
scriptural character takes precedence. Again, the tragedies of 
Antiochus and Alexander both belong, in this way, to the first 
book of Maccabees, and therefore come next after the tragedy 
of Holofernes, which belongs to the book of Judith. Here, 
again, Alexander should, in strictness, precede Antiochus, but 
this consideration is overridden by the fitness of coupling 

1 The Monk's cell is mentioned in the Prologue, 1. 172 ; Cbaucer's 
was his ' celle fantastyk '; Kn. Ta. 518. 


Antiochus with Holofernes, and Alexander with Caesar. Allow- 
ing, then, that Samson may precede Hercules, and that Antiochus 
may precede Alexander, we may divide the whole series into six 
groups, as follows : (a) Lucifer, Adam, Samson, Hercules, 
Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar ; (e) l Zenobia ; (/) 2 Pedro of 
Spain, Pedro of Cyprus, Barnabo, Ugolino; (d) Nero; (c) 
Holofernes, Antiochus, Alexander, Caesar; and (b~) Croesus. 
This grouping is far more suggestive than might be expected, 
for it throws some additional light upon the matter, if duly 
considered. In the first place, group (/) consists wholly of 
what have been called 'modern instances,' as referring to 
matters that happened in Chaucer's own time, instead of con- 
taining examples from ancient history; three of the four are 
remarkably short, and all four only make up eleven stanzas. 
One of them, the tragedy of Barnabo, contains the latest allu- 
sion in the whole of the Canterbury Tales, as it has reference 
to the year 1385, the very year mentioned above as the probable 
date of the Prologue to the Legend of Good Women. The 
difference in style between the tragedy of Ugolino and such a 
tragedy as that of Samson or Hercules, must strike the most 
careless reader ; and it is easy to see that this group (/) was an 
afterthought, being a piece added at the period of reyision. So 
much we can tell from internal evidence, but the fact is curiously 
corroborated by evidence that is external. For of course, if 
the poet added a few tragedies as an afterthought, he would 
naturally add them at the end ; and it is accordingly a fact that 
in several good MSS., including the Ellesmere, the Hengwrt, and 
the Cambridge MSS., this group is placed at the end, after the 
tragedy of Croesus. But Chaucer's apology for want of order 
left him free to insert them where he pleased ; and he was 
accordingly pleased to put them in the order in which they 
appear in the present edition, which follows the arrangement of 
the Harleian, Corpus, Petworth, and Lansdowne MSS. That 

1 I put () not (6), in order to show the chronological order, which is 
that of the letters a, b, c, d, e,f. 
* The group (f) has nothing to do with () ; as will appear. 


this removal of group (f) from the end to an earlier place is really 
bis own doing is proved by observing that the tragedy of Croesus 
must come last, (i) because it repeats, in the last stanza, the 
monk's previous definition of tragedy, a repetition of which the 
Knight does not approve, and takes occasion to say so; and (2) 
because the Host also quotes from this last stanza, and ridicules 
the expression about Fortune ' covering things with a cloud ' ; see 
B 3972. 

But we may, with patience, learn a few things more from 
the grouping of the tragedies. Putting aside group (/) as an 
addition at the time of revision, we may note that group (<) 
follows (a), for the simple reason that the story of Zenobia is 
in Boccaccio, whom Chaucer was imitating. We then have only 
groups (d), (c) t and (b) to consider, and we notice at once that 
Chaucer has purposely somewhat mixed up these ; for, if we 
merely transpose (d) and (<:), we bring the tragedy of Nero next 
that of Croesus, and immediately preceding it. That is the 
original order of things, since the stories of Nero and Croesus are 
both taken from the Romaunt of the Rose, where they appear 
together, and Nero preceded Croesus in Chaucer's work as a 
matter of course, because his story preceded that of Croesus in 
the original. We have thus the pleasure of seeing Chaucer 
actually at work ; he begins with Boccaccio and the Vulgate 
version of the Bible, drawing upon his recollections l of Boethius 
for the story of Hercules ; he next takes a leaf or two from the 
Romaunt of the Rose ; the story of Alexander, suggested (see 
B 3845) by the book of Maccabees, leads him on to write the 
tragedy of Caesar ; then he tires of his work, and breaks off. 
Returning to it for the purpose of filling up his great work, he 
adds a few 'modern instances,' mixes up the order of tales, writes 
an apology for their want of order, humorously assigns them to 
the Monk, from whom the Host had expected something widely 
different, and makes the Knight cut him short when the right 
moment comes. 

1 I say ' recollections ' advisedly; see note to B 3293. 


The great collection of tragedies which Chaucer may have 
originally contemplated, in imitation of Boccaccio, was fully 
carried out by his successor Lydgate, one of whose best works 
is the ' Falls of Princes.' This poem, written in Chaucer's 
favourite seven-line stanza, was not, however, taken from 
Boccaccio directly, but through the version of a Frenchman 
named Laurent de Premierfait, an ecclesiastic of the diocese 
of Troyes ; see Morley's Eng. Writers, ii. 429. Lydgate's poem 
long continued in favour, and in its turn suggested the famous 
series of tragedies by Sackville, Baldwin, and others, known by 
the name of the Mirror for Magistrates; see Morley's First 
Sketch of Eng. Lit., pp. 335-337. The most interesting point 
in Lydgate's version is his recognition of Chaucer's Monk's 
Tale in the following stanza of his prologue : 

' My mayster Chaucer * with his fressh commedies 
Is dede, alias, cheif poete of Bretayne, 
That sumtyme made full pitous tragidies; 
The ' fall of princes ' he dide also compleyne. 
As he that was of makynge souereyne ; 
Whom all this londe of right ought[e] preferre, 
Sith of cure langage he was the lode-sterre." 

There is a poem entitled the Fall of Princis in the Percy Folio 
MS., ed. Hales and Furnivall, iii. 168 ; but it is of no great merit. 
The original sources of the various tragedies are sufficiently 
indicated in the Notes. I have only one word more to say, 
which has regard to the metre. The poet first used the eight- 
line stanza, as I suppose, in his poem called A. B. C., though 
the original French from which that poem is translated is in 
short lines. Whence then did he derive it? The answer is 
from the French. A good example of it will be found in a 
ballad by Eustache Deschamps, written upon the Death of 
Guillaume de Machault in 1377 ; see TarbeVs edition of Deschamps, 
p. 30. 

1 Printed ' Chauncer ' in the old edition which I here follow. 


The Prologue to the Nuns' Priest's Tale needs no com- 
ment ; like the tale itself, it is in Chaucer's best manner. 

The Clerk's Tale. Of this tale, the main part is a rather 
close translation from Petrarch's DC obedientia et Jide uxorid 
Mytbologia, as explained in the Notes ; and it must be added 
that Petrarch had it from Boccaccio. It is the very last 
tale the tenth tale of the tenth day in the Decamerone, 
written shortly after the year 1348. Whether Boccaccio 
invented it or not can hardly be determined ; for an expression 
of Petrarch's, to the effect that he had heard it ' many years ' 
(multos annos) before 1373, is not at all decisive on this point, 
as he may easily have beard it twenty years before then, even 
though he had never before read the Decamerone, as he himself 
asserts. There has been some unnecessary mystification about 
the matter. Tyrwhitt wonders why Chaucer should have owned 
an obligation to Petrarch rather than to Boccaccio ; but a very 
cursory examination shews the now undoubted fact, that Chaucer 
follows Petrarch almost word for word in many passages, though 
Petrarch by no means closely follows Boccaccio. In fact, 11. 
41-55 settle the matter. The date of Petrarch's version, though 
a little uncertain, seems to have been 1373 ; and Chaucer himself 
tells us that he met Petrarch at Padua. We may therefore 
readily adopt Mr. Furnivall's suggestion, that ' during his Italian 
embassy in 1373, Chaucer may have met Petrarch.' Only let us 
suppose for a moment that Chaucer himself knew best, that he is 
not intentionally and unnecessarily inventing his statements, and 
all difficulty vanishes. We know that Chaucer was absent from 
England on the king's business, visiting Florence and Genoa, from 
December i, 1372, till some time before November 22, 1373. 
We know that Petrarch's letter to Boccaccio, really forming a 
preface to the tale of Griselda, and therefore written shortly 
after he had made his version of it, is dated in some copies 
June 8, 1373, though in other copies no date appears. And 
we know that Petrarch, on his own shewing, was so pleased with 
the story of Griselda that he learnt it by heart as well as he 
could, for the express purpose qf repeating it to friends, before the 


idea of turning it into Latin occurred to him. Whence we may 
conclude that Chaucer and Petrarch met at Padua early in 1373; 
that Petrarch told Chaucer the story by word of mouth, either 
in Italian or French 1 ; and that Chaucer shortly after obtained a 
copy of Petrarch's Latin version, which he kept constantly before 
him whilst making his own translation 2 . At this rate, the main 
part of the Clerk's Tale was probably written in 1373 or 1374, 
and required but little revision to make it suitable for one of 
the tales of the Canterbury series. The test of metre gives the 
same result, as it shews that it was one of his early works. The 
closeness of the translation also proves the same point. Chaucer, 
in his revised version, adds the Prologue, containing an allusion 
to Petrarch's death (which took place in 1374), and eulogizes the 
great Italian writer according to his desert. At the end of the 
translation, which terminates with 1. 1162, he adds two new 
stanzas, and the Envoy. The lateness of this (undramatic) 
addition is proved at once by the whole tone of it, and, in par- 
ticular, by the mention of the Wife of Bath in 1. 1170. The 
Envoy is a marvel of rhythm, since, though it consists of thirty- 
six lines, it contains but three rime-endings, viz. -entf, -aille, and 
-ynde. Besides this addition, there is yet one more, in the middle 
of the tale, viz. the two stanzas in 11. 995-1008, as pointed out in 
the Notes ; they are conspicuous for their excellence. The story 
of Griselda, as told by Boccaccio, together with Petrarch's Latin 
version of it, and the letter of Petrarch to Boccaccio concerning 
it, are all reprinted in the ' Originals and Analogues of some of 
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Part II, published for the Chaucer 
Society, and dated (in advance) 1875. Were any additional 
proof needed that Chaucer had Petrarch's version before him, it 
is supplied by the fact that numerous quotations from that ver- 
sion are actually written in the margins of the pages of the Elles- 
mere and Hengwrt MSS., each in its proper place. All the 

1 See E 27, 40. 

2 See E 1 147 ' this Petrark wryleth* And yet Wart on could imagine 
that Chaucer did not use a copy of Petrarch's version, hut only wrote 
from recollection of what he had heard 1 Besides, see 11. 42-55. 


passages that are made clearer by a comparison with the Latin 
text are duly considered in the Notes. 

Speaking of the story of Griselda, Warton remarks that it ' soon 
became so popular in France, that the comedians of Paris repre- 
sented a mystery in French verse, entitled Le mystere de Griselidis 
Marquh[f] de Saluces, in the year 1393. Before, or in the same 
year, the French prose version in Le Menagier de Paris was com- 
posed, and there is an entirely different version in the Imperial 
library. Lydgate, almost Chaucer's contemporary, in his poem 
entitled the Temple of Glass, among the celebrated lovers painted 
on the walls of the Temple, mentions Dido, Medea and Jason, 
Penelope, Alcestis, Patient Griselda, Belle Isoulde and Sir Tris- 
tram, Pyramus and Thisbe, Theseus, Lucretia, Canace, Palamon, 
and Emilia.' Elsewhere Warton remarks (Hist. Eng. Poetry, ed. 
Hazlitt, iv. 229, note 3) that 'the affecting story of Patient Grisild 
seems to have long kept up its celebrity. In the books of the 
Stationers, in 1565, Owen Rogers has a licence to print 'a Ballad 
entituled the Songe of Pacyent Gressell vnto hyr make ' [husband] ; 
Registr. A. fol. 132, b. Two ballads are entered in 1565, "to the 
tune of pacyente Gressell" ; ibid. fol. 135, a. In the same year 
T. Colwell has licence to print The History of meke and pacyent 
G resell ; ibid. fol. 139, a. Instances occur much lower.' See also 
Hazlitt's Handbook of Early English Literature. 

There is a ballad called 'Patient Grissell,' in Percy's Folio 
MS., ed. Hales and Furnivall, iii. 421 ; and there is one by 
Thomas Deloney in Professor Child's English and Scottish 
Ballads, vol. iv. Professor Child remarks that ' two plays upon 
the subject are known to have been written, one of which (by 
Dekker, Chettle, and Haughton) has been printed by the Shake- 
speare Society, while the other, an older production of the close 
of Henry VIII's reign, is lost.' 

In Italy the story is so common that it is still often acted in 
marionette theatres ; it is to be had, moreover, in common chap- 
books, and a series of cheap pictures representing various scenes 
in it may often be seen decorating cottage- walls. (Notes and 
Queries, 5 S. i. 105, 255). The same thing was done in England. 


'We in the country do not scorn 
Our walls with ballads to adorn 
Of patient Grissel and the Lord of Lorn.* 

Kitsou's Ancient Songs, i. xcviii. 

Mr. Hales tells me that several scenes of the tale are well ex- 
hibited in an excellent picture by Pinturicchio, in the National 

For remarks upon the conduct of the tale and the character of 
the heroine, see Mr. Hales's criticisms in the Percy Folio MS., Hi. 
421, and in Originals and Analogues of Chaucer, Part II, pp. 173- 
176. There are also a few good remarks on it in Canterbury 
Tales from Chaucer, by J. Saunders, p. 308, where the author 
points out that, as the Marquis was Griselda's feudal lord, she 
could but say ' yes ' when asked to marry him, the asking being 
a mere form ; and that the spirit of chivalry appears in her 
devotion of herself to his every wish. 

The Squire's Tale. This tale is conspicuous as being the one 
which has most resisted all attempts to discover an immediate 
original for it, and because of its connection with the charac- 
teristics of Arabian fiction. Tyrwhitt remarks that he had 
' never been able to discover its probable original, and yet would 
be very hardly brought to believe that the whole, or even any 
considerable part of it, was of Chaucer's invention.' 

It is worth remarking that there is just one other case in which 
Chaucer is connected with an Arabian writer. I have shewn, in 
my edition of Chaucer's treatise on the Astrolabe, that a large 
part of it is immediately derived from a Latin version of a treatise 
written by Messahala, an Arabian astronomer, by religion a Jew, 
who flourished towards the end of the eighth century. So also 
in the case of The Squire's Tale, we may suspect that it was 
through some Latin medium that Chaucer made acquaintance 
with Arabian fiction. But I am fortunate in having found a more 
direct clue to some part, at least, of the poem. I shall shew 
presently that one of his sources was the Travels of Marco Polo '. 

1 Only a few hours after writing this sentence, I found that Mr. 


Warton, in his History of English Poetry, took much pains 
to gather together some information on the subject, and his 
remarks are therefore quoted here, nearly at length, for the 
reader's convenience. 

'The Canterbury Tales,' says Warton, 'are unequal, and of 
various merit. Few perhaps, if any, of the stories are the inven- 
tion of Chaucer. I have already spoken at large of the Knight's 
Tale, one of our author's noblest compositions. That of the 
Canterbury Tales which deserves the next place, as written in 
the higher strain of poetry, and the poem by which Milton de- 
scribes and characterises Chaucer, is the Squire's Tale. The 
imagination of this story consists in Arabian fiction engrafted on 
Gothic chivalry. Nor is this Arabian fiction purely the sport of 
arbitrary fancy : it is in great measure founded on Arabian 
learning. Cambuscan, a King of Tartary, celebrates his birth- 
day festival in the hall of his palace at Sarra with the most royal 
magnificence. In the midst of the solemnity, the guests are 
alarmed by a miraculous and unexpected spectacle : the minstrels 
cease on a sudden, and all the assembly is hushed in silence, sur- 
prise, and suspense ; see 11. 77-88. 

' These presents were sent by the King of Arabia and India to 
Cambuscan, in honour of his feast. The Horse of Brass, on the 
skilful movement and management of certain secret springs, 
transported his rider into the most distant region of the world 
in the space of twenty-four hours ; for, as the rider chose, he 
could fly in the air with the swiftness of an eagle : and again, 
as occasion required, he could stand motionless in opposition 
to the strongest force, vanish on a sudden at command, and 
return at his master's call. The Mirror of Glass was endued 
with the power of shewing any future disasters which might 
happen to Cambuscan's kingdom, and discovered the most 
hidden machinations of treason. The Naked Sword could 

Keightley, in his Tales and Popular Fictions, published in 1834, at 

f. 76, distinctly derives Chaucer's Tale from the travels of Marco Polo. 
let the sentence stand, however, as an example of undesigned coin- 


pierce armour deemed impenetrable, " were it as thikke as is 
a branched ook" (I. 159); and he who was wounded with it 
could never be healed, unless its possessor could be entreated 
to stroke the wound with its edge. The Ring was intended 
for Canace, Cambuscan's daughter, and while she bore it in 
her purse, or wore it on her thumb, enabled her to under- 
stand the language of every species of birds, and the virtues of 
every plant. 

' I have mentioned in another place, the favourite philosophical 
studies of the Arabians. In this poem the nature of those studies 
is displayed, and their operations exemplified : and this considera- 
tion, added to the circumstances of Tartary being the scene of 
action, and Arabia the country from which these extraordinary 
presents are brought, induces me to believe this story to be iden- 
tical with one which was current at a very ancient date among 
the Arabians 1 . At least it is formed on their principles. Their 
sciences were tinctured with the warmth of their imaginations, 
and consisted in wonderful discoveries and mysterious inven- 

' This idea of a Horse of Brass took its rise from their chemical 
knowledge and experiments in metals. The treatise of Jeber, 
a famous Arab chemist of the middle ages, called Lapis Philoso- 
phorum, contains many curious and useful processes concerning 
the nature of metals, their fusion, purification, and malleability, 
which still maintain a place in modern systems of that science. 
The poets of romance, who deal in Arabian ideas, describe the 
Trojan horse as made of brass. These sages pretended the 
power of giving life or speech to some of their compositions in 
metal. Bishop Grosseteste's speaking brazen head, sometimes 
attributed to Roger Bacon, has its foundation in Arabian philo- 
sophy. In the romance of Valentine and Orson, a brazen head 
fabricated by a necromancer in a magnificent chamber of the 

1 So in Mr. Hazlitt's edition ; Warton originally wrote ' to believe 
this story to be one of the many fables which the Arabians imported 
into Europe.' 

c 2 


castle of Clerimond, declares to those two princes their royal 
parentage. We are told by William of Malmesbury that Pope 
Sylvester II, a profound mathematician who lived in the eleventh 
century, made a brazen head, which would speak when spoken 
to, and oracularly resolved many difficult questions. Albertus 
Magnus, who was also a profound adept in those sciences which 
were taught by the Arabian schools, is said to have framed a man 
of brass, which not only answered questions readily and truly, 
but was so loquacious, that Thomas Aquinas, while a pupil of 
Albertus Magnus, and afterwards an Angelic doctor, knocked it 
in pieces as the disturber of his abstruse speculations. This was 
about the year 1240. Much in the same manner, the notion of 
our knight's horse being moved by means of a concealed engine 
corresponds with their pretences of producing preternatural 
effects, and their love of surprising by geometrical powers. 
Exactly in this notion, Rocail, a giant in some of the Arabian 
romances, is said to have built a palace, together with his own 
sepulchre, of most magnificent architecture and with singular 
artifice : in both of these he placed a great number of gigantic 
statues or images, figured of different metals by talismanic skill, 
which in consequence of some occult machinery, performed 
actions of real life, and looked like living men. We must add 
that astronomy, which the Arabian philosophers studied with a 
singular enthusiasm, had no small share in the composition of this 
miraculous steed. For, says the poet, 

" He that it wroughte coude ful many a gin ; 
He way ted many a constellacion, 
Er he had don this operation." (11. 128 130.) 

1 Thus the buckler of the Arabian giant Ben Gian, as famous 
among the Orientals as that of Achilles among the Greeks, was 
fabricated by the powers of astronomy, and Pope Sylvester's 
brazen head, just mentioned, was prepared under the. influence 
of certain constellations. 

' Natural magic, improperly so called, was likewise a favourite 
pursuit of the Arabians, by which they imposed false appear- 


ances on the spectator. . . . Chaucer, in the fiction before us, 
supposes that some of the guests in Cambuscan's hall believed 
the Trojan horse to be a temporary illusion, effected by the 
power of magic (1. 218). . . . 

' Optics were likewise a branch of study which suited the 
natural genius of the Arabian philosophers, and which they pur- 
sued with incredible delight. This science was a part of the 
Aristotelic philosophy which, as I have before observed, they 
refined and filled with a thousand extravagances. Hence our 
strange knight's Mirror of Glass, prepared on the most pro- 
found principles of art, and endued with preternatural qualities 
(11. 225-234, 132-141). 

'Alcen, or Alhazen, mentioned in 1. 232, an Arabic philo- 
sopher, wrote seven books of perspective, and flourished about 
the eleventh century. Vitellio, formed on the same school, was 
likewise an eminent mathematician of the middle ages, and wrote 
ten books on Perspective. The Roman Mirror here mentioned 
by Chaucer, as similar to this of the strange knight, is thus 
described by Gower: 

" Whan Rome stood in noble plight, 
Virgile, whicli was tho parfite, 
A mirrour made of his clergye [by his skill], 
And sette it in the townes ye [eye, sigh:] 
Of marbre on a piller withoute, 
That they, by thritty mile aboute, 
By day and eek also by nighte 
In that mirrour beholde mighte 
Her ennemies, if any were;" Conf- Amant. bk. v. 

' The Oriental writers relate that Giamschid, one of their kings, 
the Solomon of the Persians and their Alexander the Great, 
possessed among his inestimable treasures cups, globes, and 
mirrors, of metal, glass, and crystal, by means of which he and 
his people knew all natural as well as supernatural things. The 
' title of an Arabian book translated from the Persian is The 
Mirror which reflects the World. There is this passage in an 
ancient Turkish poet: "When I am purified by the light of 


heaven, my soul will become the mirror of the world, in which 
I shall discern all abstruse secrets." Monsieur Herbelot is of 
opinion that the Orientals took these notions from the patriarch 
Joseph's cup of divination and Nestor's cup in Homer, on which 
all nature was symbolically represented. Our great countryman 
Roger Bacon, in his Opus Majus, a work entirely formed on the 
Aristotelic and Arabian philosophy, describes a variety of Specula, 
and explains their construction and uses. This is the most 
curious and extraordinary part of Bacon's book, which was 
written about the year 1270. Bacon's optic tube, with which he 
pretended to see future events, was famous in his age, and long 
afterwards, and chiefly contributed to give him the name of a 
magician. This art, with others of the experimental kind, the 
philosophers of those times were fond of adapting to the pur- 
poses of thaumaturgy ; and there is much occult and chimerical 
speculation in the discoveries which Bacon affects to have made 
from optical experiments. He asserts (and I am obliged to cite 
the passage in his own mysterious expressions) ' omnia sciri per 
Perspectivam, quoniam omnes actiones rerum fiunt secundum 
specierum et virtutum multiplicationem ab agentibus hujus mundi 
in materias patientes,' &c. * Spenser feigns that the magician 
Merlin made a glassy globe, and presented it to King Ryence, 
which showed the approach of enemies, and discovered treasons, 
(F. Q^iii. 2. 21). This fiction, which exactly corresponds with 
Chaucer's Mirror, Spenser borrowed from some romance, per- 
haps of King Arthur, fraught with Oriental fancy. From the 
same sources came a like fiction of Camoens in the Lusiad 
(canto x), where a globe is shown to Vasco de Gama, represent- 
ing the universal fabric or system of the world, in which he sees 
future kingdoms and future events. The Spanish historians 
report an American tradition, but more probably invented by 
themselves, and built on the Saracen fables in which they were 
so conversant. They pretended that some years before the 

1 All things can be known by Perspective, because all operations of 
things take place according to the multiplication of forms and forces, by 
means of this world's agents, upon yielding materials.' 


Spaniards entered Mexico, the inhabitants caught a monstrous 
fowl of unusual magnitude and shape on the lake of Mexico. In 
the crown of the head of this wonderful bird there was a mirror 
or plate of glass, in which the Mexicans saw their future invaders 
the Spaniards, and all the disasters which afterwards happened 
to their kingdom. These superstitions remained, even in the 
doctrines of philosophers, long after the darker ages. Cornelius 
Agrippa, a learned physician of Cologne about the year 1520, 
and author of a famous book on the Vanity of the Sciences, 
mentions a species of mirror which exhibited the form of persons 
absent, at command. In one of these he is said to have shown 
to the poetical Earl of Surrey the image of his mistress, the 
beautiful Geraldine, sick and reposing on a couch. Nearly allied 
to this was the infatuation of seeing things in a beryl, which was 
very popular in the reign of James I, and is alluded to by Shake- 
speare (Meas. for Meas. ii. 2. 95.) 

' . . . The Naked Sword, another of the gifts presented by the 
strange knight to Cambuscan, endued with medical virtues, and 
so hard as to pierce the most solid armour, is likewise an Arabian 
idea. It was suggested by their skill in medicine, by which 
they affected to communicate healing qualities to various sub- 
stances, and by their knowledge of tempering iron and hardening 
all kinds of metal. It is the classical spear of Peleus, perhaps 
originally fabricated in the same regions of fancy; see 11. 236- 

' The sword which Berni, in the Orlando Innamorato, gives 
to the hero Ruggiero, is tempered by much the same sort of 

magic : 

"II brando con tal arte fabbricato, 
Che taglia incanto, ed ogni fatagione l ; n 

Orl. Innamor. ii. 17, ft. 5. 
So also his continuator Ariosto : 

" Non vale incanto, ov'ella mette il taglio * ; " ' 

Orl. Fur. xli. 83. 

1 ' That sword, wrought with such art, that it cuts through enchant- 
ment and every charm.' I correct the errors in these quotations. 

2 Enchantment avails not, where it inflicts a cut. 


And the notion that this weapon could resist all incantations is 
like the fiction above mentioned of the buckler of the Arabian 
giant Ben Gian, which baffled the force of charms and enchant- 
ments made by giants or demons. Spenser has a sword endued 
with the same efficacy, the metal of which the magician Merlin 
mixed with the juice of meadow- wort, that it might be proof 
against enchantment ; and afterwards, having forged the blade 
in the flames of Etna, he gave it hidden virtue by dipping it 
seven times in the bitter waters of Styx ; F. Q.,ii. 8. 20. From 
the same origin is also the golden lance of Berni, which Galafron 
King of Cathaia, father of the beautiful Angelica and the in- 
vincible champion Argalia, procured for his son by the help of 
a magician. This lance was of such irresistible power, that it 
unhorsed a knight the instant he was touched with its point ; 
OH. Innamor. i. i. 43. Britomart in Spenser is armed with the 
same enchanted spear, which was made by Bladud, an ancient 
British king skilled in magic ; F. Q^iii. 3. 60; iv. 6. 6 ; iii. i. 10. 

' The Ring, a gift to the king's daughter Canace, which taught 
the language of birds, is also quite in the style of some others 
of the occult sciences of these inventive philosophers; and it is 
the fashion of the Oriental fabulists to give language to brutes 
in general. But to understand the language of birds was pecu- 
liarly one of the boasted sciences of the Arabians, who pretend 
that many of their countrymen have been skilled in the know- 
ledge of the language of birds ever since the time of King 
Solomon. Their writers relate that Balkis, the Queen of Sheba 
or Saba, had a bird called Hudbud, that is, a lapwing, which she 
dispatched to King Solomon on various occasions, and that this 
trusty bird was the messenger of their amours. We are told 
that Solomon having been secretly informed by this winged 
confidant that Balkis intended to honour him with a grand 
embassy, enclosed a spacious square with a wall of gold and 
silver bricks, in which he ranged his numerous troops and atten- 
dants in order to receive the ambassadors, who were astonished 
at the suddenness of these splendid and unexpected preparations. 
Herbelot tells a curious story of an Arab feeding his camels in a 


solitary wilderness, who was accosted for a draught of water by 
Alhejaj, a famous Arabian commander, who had been separated 
from his retinue in hunting. While they were talking together, 
a bird flew over their heads, making at the same time an unusual 
sort of noise, which the camel-feeder hearing, looked steadfastly 
on Alhejaj, and demanded who he was. Alhejaj, not choosing to 
return him a direct answer, desired to know the reason of that 
question. " Because," replied the camel-feeder, " this bird 
assures me that a company of people is coming this way, and 
that you are the chief of them." While he was speaking, Alhejaj's 
attendants arrived. 

' This wonderful Ring also imparted to the wearer a knowledge 
of the qualities of plants, which formed an important part of 
the Arabian philosophy. 

' Every reader of taste and imagination must regret that, 
instead of our author's tedious detail of the quaint effects of 
Canace's ring, in which a falcon relates her amours, and talks 
familiarly of Troilus, Paris, and Jason, the notable achievements 
we may suppose to have been performed by the assistance of the 
horse of brass are either lost, or that this part of the story, by 
far the most interesting, was never written. After the strange 
knight has explained to Cambuscan the management of this 
magical courser, he vanishes on a sudden, and we hear no more 
of him; 11. 302-343. 

' By such inventions we are willing to be deceived. These 
are the triumphs of deception over truth: 

" Magnanima mensogna, hor quando e il vero 
Si bello, che si possa a te preporre ? * " ' 

This learned and curious discourse is well worth perusal ; 
but the reader will probably be led to remark, that Warton 
does not after all tell us whence Chaucer drew his materials, 
but only proves that he drew them from some Arabian source. 

* ' O splendid falsehood, when is truth so beautiful that one can prefer 
her to thee ? ' In Warton's book, the Italian quotations abound in mis- 
prints, not all of which are removed in Hazlitt's edition. I cannot 
construe ' al vcro,' as there printed. 


That source may be indicated a little more distinctly; for, as will 
be shewn more fully below, nearly all the magical particulars 
are to be found in the collection now known as the Arabian 
Nights' Entertainments. For the rest, we may trace most of 
the descriptions to the travels of Marco Polo, with which 
Chaucer must have been acquainted to some extent, either 
immediately or through some channel not easily now pointed 
out. This suggestion occurred to me on reading a note by 
Colonel Yule on the name of Cambuscan ; but in this I have 
been long anticipated by Mr. Keightley, as has been said above. 
The passage in Colonel Yule's edition of Marco Polo to which 
I refer, is as follows : 

' Before parting with Chingis [or Gengis Khan] let me point 
out what has not to my knowledge been suggested before, that 
the name of " Cambuscan bold " in Chaucer's tale is only a cor- 
ruption of the name of Chinghiz. The name of the conqueror 
appears in Friar Ricold as Camiuscan, from which the transition 
to Cambuscan presents no difficulty. Camius was, I suppose, 
a clerical corruption out of Canjus or CianjusS Marco Polo, ed. 
Yule, i. 218. 

On applying to Professor Palmer for information as to the 
meaning of the name, he kindly pointed out to me that, in the 
Dictionnaire Turk-Oriental by M. Pavet de Courteille (Paris, 
1870), p. 289, the word djengtiiz (as M. de Courteille spells it) is ex- 
plained to mean simply^rart. Thus Chingis Khan is no more than 
Great Khan ; and Cambuscan merely represents the same title of 
Great Khan, which appears so repeatedly in Marco Polo's travels. 
The succession of supreme or Great Khans was as follows: (i) 
Chinghiz ; (2) Okkadai ; (3) Kuyuk ; (4) Mangku ; (5) Kublai, &c. 
The first of these is always known by the simple title, though his 
real name was Temugin ; the second was his son ; and the third, 
fourth, and fifth were all his grandsons. The descriptions in 
Marco Polo refer to Kublai Khan, who died in 1294. Marco 
describes his person with some minuteness : 

' The personal appearance of the Great Kaan, Lord of Lords, 
whose name is Cublay, is such as I shall now -tell you. He is 

MARCO POLO. xliii 

of a good stature, neither tall nor short, but of a middle height. 
He has a becoming amount of flesh, and is very shapely in all 
his limbs. His complexion is white and red, the eyes black 
and fine, the nose well formed and well set on:' ed. Yule, 
i. 318. A portrait of him, from a Chinese engraving, is given 
by Colonel Yule on the next page. Kublai was succeeded by 
his grandson Teimur, to the exclusion of his elder brothers 
Kambala (who squinted) and Tarmah (who was of a weak con- 
stitution). Here we might perhaps think to see the original 
of Chaucer's Camballo, but I suspect the real interpretation 
to be very different. It is far more probable that the name 
Camballo was caught, not from this obscure Kambala, but from 
the famous word Cambaluc, really the name (not of a person, 
but) of the celebrated capital which Kublai built and where 
he resided ; so that the name may easily have suggested itself 
from this connection *. For example, in the splendid Bodleian 
MS. No. 264, generally known as the 'Alexander MS.,' there 
is a copy of Marco Polo's Travels, with the colophon Explicit 
le L'rvre nomme du Grant Caan de la Graunt Cite de Cambaluc 
Dieux ayde ; Amen. In fact, Cambaluc is but the old name of 
the city which is still the capital of China, but better known 
as Pekin ; the etymology of the word being merely Kaan-baligh, 
i.e. the city of the Khan. All this may seem a little uncertain 
at first sight ; but if the reader can turn to the second book 
of Marco Polo, he will soon see clearly enough that Chaucer's 
Cambuscan (though the name itself is formed from Chingis 
Khan) is practically identical with Marco's Kublai Khan, and 
that it is to Marco's description of him and his court that 
Chaucer is ultimately indebted for some of his details. This 
will be best illustrated by examples of correspondences. 

' Of a surety he [Kublai Khan] hath good right to such a 
title [that of Kaan or Emperor], for all men know for a cer- 
tain truth that he is the most potent man, as regards forces 
and lands and treasure, that existeth in the world, or ever 

1 I find that Mr. Keightley has already suggested this. 


hath existed from the time of our first father Adam until 
this day; ' Marco Polo, ed. Yule, i. 295. Cf. Sq. Ta. 14. 

' The empire fell to him because of his ability and valour and 
great worth, as was right and reason ; ' id. i. 296. Cf. Sq. Ta. 16. 

' He had often been to the wars, and had shown himself a 
gallant soldier and an excellent captain ; ' id. i. 296. Cf. Sq. 
Ta. 23. 

In Book ii. ch. 4, is an account of his taking the field in per- 
son, and acting with astonishing vigour and rapidity, even at the 
age of seventy-three. 

In Book ii. ch. 5, it is related that the enemy whom he 
then subdued had Christians in his army, some of whom bore 
standards on which the Cross was displayed. After the battle, 
the Christians were bitterly taunted with this, and were told 
that their Cross had not helped them. But Kublai reproved 
the scoffers, saying that the Cross had done its part well in 
not assisting the rebels. ' The Cross of your God did well in 
that it gave him [the rebel chief] no help against the right.' 
Cf. Sq. Ta. 16-21. 

His rewards to his captains are described fully in chap. 7. 
He gave them silver plate, ornaments, 'fine jewels of gold 
and silver, and pearls and precious stones ; insomuch that the 
amount that fell to each of them was something astonishing.' 
Cf. Sq. Ta. 26. 

His palace, ' the greatest palace that ever was,' is described 
in chap. 10. It was situate 'in the capital city of Cathay, 
which is called Cambaluc? The hall of the palace ' could easily 
dine 6000 people.' The parks within its enclosure were full 
of fine trees and ' beasts of sundry kinds, such as white stags 
and fallow deer, gazelles, and roebucks,' &c. Cf. Sq. Ta. 
60-62, 392. 

' And when the great Kaan sits at table on any great court 
occasion, it is in this fashion. His table is elevated a good 
deal above the others, and he sits at the north end of the hall, 
looking towards the south, with his chief wife beside him on 
the left,' &c. ; i. 338. Near the table is a golden butt, at each 


corner of which is one of smaller size holding a firkin, ' and 
from the former the wine or beverage flavoured with fine and 
costly spices is drawn off into the latter;' i. 339. 'And when 
the Emperor is going to drink, all the musical instruments, of 
which he has vast store of every kind, begin to play ; ' i. 340. 
' I will say nought about the dishes, as you may easily con- 
ceive that there is a great plenty of every possible kind. And 
when all have dined and the tables have been removed, then 
come in a great number of players and jugglers, adepts at all 
sorts of wonderful feats,' &c. ; i. 340. Cf. Sq. Ta. 59-68, 
77-79, 266-271, 218, 219. 

' You must know that the Tartars keep high festival yearly 
on their birthdays. . . . Now on his birthday, the Great 
Kaan dresses in the best of his robes, all wrought with beaten 
gold ;' i. 343. ' On his birthday also, all the Tartars in the world, 
and all the countries and governments that owe allegiance to 
the Kaan, offer him great presents according to their several 
ability, and according as prescription or orders have fixed the 
amount;' i. 344. Cf. Sq. Ta. 44-47, 110-114. 

The Kaan also holds a feast called the ' White Feast ' on New- 
year's day. 'On that day, I can assure you, among the cus- 
tomary presents there shall be offered to the Kaan from various 
quarters more than 100,000 white horses, beautiful animals, and 
richly caparisoned;' i. 346. 

When he goes on a hunting expedition, ' he takes with him 
full 10,000 falconers, and some 500 gerfalcons besides peregrines, 
sakers, and other hawks in great number; ' i. 358. He also has 
another ' grand park ' at Chandu ', ' where he keeps his gerfalcons 
in mew;' i. 365. At p. 260 he is described again as 'very fond 
of hawking.' At p. 2 37 the peregrine falcons are described par- 
ticularly. At p. 220 we are told that the Tartars 'eat all kinds 
of flesh, including that of horses and dogs, and Pharaoh's rats.' 
Cf. Sq. Ta. 424-429, 69-71. 

1 Evidently Shangtu, Coleridge's Xanadu. See his well-known lines 
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan/ &c. 


In the great city of Kinsay 'there is an eminence on which 
stands a tower.' This was used as an alarm-tower in case of 
fire; see vol. ii. p. 148. This may serve to illustrate Chaucer's 
' maister tour.' Still more curious is the account of the city of . 
Mien, with its two towers covered with plates of gold and silver, 
which 'form one of the finest sights in the world;' ii. 73. 
These towers were, however, part of a mausoleum. Cf. Sq. Ta. 
176, 226. 

The following note about the Tartar invasion of Russia is also 
worthy of attention. 

' Rosia [Russia] is a very great province, lying towards the 
north. . . . There are many strong defiles and passes in the 
country; and they pay tribute to nobody except to a certain 
Tartar king of the Ponent [i.e. West], whose name is Toctai ; 
to him indeed they pay tribute, but only a trifle.' Marco Polo, 
ed. Yule, ii. 417. On this passage Col. Yule has the note 
' Russia was overrun with fire and sword as far as Tver and 
Torshok by Batu Khan (1237-38), some years before his invasion 
of Poland and Silesia. Tartar tax-gatherers were established in 
the Russian cities as far north as Rostov and Jaroslawl, and for 
many years Russian princes as far as Novgorod paid homage to the 
Mongol Khans in their court at Sarai 1 . Their subjection to the 
Khans was not such a trifle as Polo seems to imply ; and at least 
a dozen princes met their death at the hands of the Mongol 

Some of the Mongolian Tartars, known as the ' Golden Horde,' 
conquered a part of S.E. Russia in 1223; in 1242 they estab- 
lished the Empire of the Khan of Kaptschak (S.E. Russia), and 
exercised great influence there. In 1380 was another Tartar 
war; and in 1383 Moscow was burnt. The Tartar power in 
Russia was crushed by the general of Ivan III in 1481. See 
Haydn's Dictionary of Dates, under Golden Horde and Russia. 

The whole subject of magic is so vast that it is not easy to 
deal with it within a reasonable space. I must therefore content 

1 This is Chaucer's ' Sarra ' ; see note to F 9. 


myself with pointing out a few references, &c., that seem most 
worthy of being here noted. 

the Magic Horse appears in the tale of Cleomades and Clare- 
mond; see Keightley's Tales and Popular Fictions. Cervantes 
has put him to memorable use in his Don Quixote, where he 
describes him as ' that very wooden horse upon which the valiant 
Peter of Provence carried off the fair Magalona *. This horse 
is governed by a pin he has in his forehead, which serves for a 
bridle,' &c. ; see Jarvis's translation, vol. ii. chap, xl., ed. 1809. 
But the best story of the Enchanted Horse is in the Arabian 
Nights' Entertainments, where he is said to have been presented 
by an Indian to the king of Persia on the New Day, i.e. on the 
first day of the solar year, at the vernal equinox. This horse is 
governed by a peg in his neck, which was turned round when 
it was necessary for him to fly : see the Arabian Nights' Enter- 
tainment, published by Nimmo, 1865, p. 483 ; or the excellent 
edition by Lane, vol. ii. p. 463, which varies considerably from the 
more popular editions. Consult also the Story of the City of Brass, 
in Lane's Arabian Nights, iii. 128 ; and the Legend of the Arabian 
Astrologer, in the Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving. 

The tale of Cleomades is alluded to, says Mr. Keightley, in 
Caxton's edition of Reynart the Foxe, printed in 1481, in the 
32nd chapter 2 . He also cites a note by Sir F. Madden that a 
copy of the poem of Cleomades was purchased by Sir Thomas 
Phillipps at Mr. Lang's sale in 1828 ; that an undated edition 
of the Histolre Plaisante ft Recreative du noble et excellent cbe-ualier 
Clamades et de la belle Clermonde was printed at Troyes ; and that 
Les Aventures de Clamades et Clarmonde appeared in Paris in 1733. 
Mr. Lane agrees with Mr. Keightley in considering the Tale of 
Cleomades identical with that of the Enchanted Horse in the 
Arabian Nights' Entertainments, and in supposing that it was 

1 Mr. Keightley shews, in his Tales and Popular Fictions, p. 75, that 
.Cervantes has confused two stories, (i) that of a prince carrying off 
a princess on a wooden horse ; and (2) that of Peter of Provence run- 
ning away with the fair Magalona. 

a See Arber's reprint, p. 85. Reynard, &c. 


originally a Persian story. Mr. Lane thinks it derived from the 
' HezaY Afsdneh '; see his edition, ii. 491. 

It is not out of place to observe that the town of Seville is 
frequently mentioned in Cleomades, and we have seen that Cer- 
vantes had heard of the story. Perhaps, then, we may suppose 
that the story, originally Persian, found its way into Arabic, and 
thence into Spain ; it would then soon be written down in Latin, 
and thence be translated into French, and become generally 
known. This must have happened, too, at an early period ; for 
the French romance of Cleomades, extending to some 19,000 
octosyllabic lines, was written by a poet named Adenes surnamed 
le Roi, a native of Brabant, between the years 1275 and 1283; 
see Keightley's Tales, p. 40. 

Ihe Magic Mirror is much the same as the magic ivory tube, 
furnished with glass, which enabled the user of it to see whatever 
object he might wish to behold. This fancy occurs in the tale of 
the Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Pari Banou, as told in Arabian 
Nights' Entertainments (Nimmo, 1865), p. 501. It is hardly worth 
while to pursue the subject further, as Warton's comments have 
already been cited. 

The Magic Ring is to be referred to the story of the seal-ring 
made partly of brass and partly of iron, by which Solomon ob- 
tained power over the evil Jinn ; see Lane's Arabian Nights, i. 31, 
and consult the article on Finger-rings in the British Quarterly 
Review, July, 1874, pp. 195, 204. The notion of its conferring 
upon the wearer the power of understanding the language of 
birds is connected with it, because this was one of the faculties 
which Solomon possessed ; for we read in the Koran, as trans- 
lated by Sale, that 'Solomon was David's heir; and he said, 
" O men, we have been taught the speech of birds " ' ; ch. xxvii. 
A clever Arabic epigram of the thirteenth century, ascribing to 
King Solomon a knowledge of the language of birds and beasts, is 
cited in Professor Palmer's History of the Jewish Nation, at 
p. 93. Even Hudibras understood the language of birds; Hudib. 
pt. i. c. i. 1. 547. 

With regard to the Falcon, Leigh Hunt has well observed, in 


his Essay on Wit and Humour, that this bird is evidently 'a 
human being, in a temporary state of metempsychosis, a cir- 
cumstance very common in tales of the East.' This is certainly 
true, as otherwise the circumstances of the story become 
poor and meaningless; it is something more than a mere fable 
like that of the Cock and Fox. If the story had been com- 
pleted, shewing how the Falcon ' gat her love again,' we should 
have seen how she was restored to her first shape, by means, 
as Chaucer hints, of the magic ring; see 11. 559, 652. A talking 
bird appears in the Story of the Sisters who envied their Younger 
Sister, the last in some editions of the Arabian Nights' Enter- 
tainments, but it is not transformed. On the other hand, in the 
story of Beder, Prince of Persia, in the same collection which, 
by the way, mentions a magic ring we find Prince Beder trans- 
formed into a white bird, and recovering his shape on being 
sprinkled with magic water ; but he does not speak while so 
metamorphosed. The story of a boy who understands the lan- 
guage of birds occurs in the Seven Sages, ed. Wright, p. 106 ; and 
Mr. Wright shews, in his Introduction, that such oriental tales 
are of great antiquity, and known in Europe in the thirteenth 
century. He refers the reader to an Essai sur les Fables Indiennes, 
ft sur leur Introduction en Europe, by M. Deslongchamps, published 
in 1838. 

The reader should not forget the hint at p. xvii above, that 
some expressions in the Squire's Tale are taken from the poem 
of Queen Annelida. 

With respect to the ending of the Squire's Tale, two attempts 
at least have been made to complete it. Spenser, in his Faerie 
Queene, accounts for the fighting for Canacee, but he omits all 
about Cambuscan and the Falcon. Another ending was written 
by John Lane 1 in 1630, and is contained in MS. Ashmole 6937, 
in the Bodleian Library. It is, according to Warton, a very 
weak performance ; see his Observations on the Faerie Queene, 
.p. 2 1 4 . 

1 A friend of Milton's father; see Masson, Life of Milton, i. 42. 
VOL. H. d 



For an account of the Grammatical Forms occurring in 
Chaucer's English, I may refer the reader to the Introduction 
to Dr. Morris's edition of the Prologue, &c. ; pp. xxxi-xlii (srd 
ed. 1872). The remarks there made of course apply equally 
well to the extracts printed in the present volume. A few of the 
most remarkable features of the grammar are, for convenience, 
cited here, with examples and references. 

(I may here state, by the way, that some account of the 
pronunciation of English in Chaucer's time will be found in the 
Introduction to my edition of The Man of Lawes Tale, in the 
Clarendon Press Series.) 

K"ouns. The nominative plural in -es is mostly used where 
the stem is monosyllabic. (By the stem is meant the form of the 
substantive when divested of inflection ; thus, taking the words 
man, dayes, nyghte, the stems are man, day-, nyght-, since in the 
two last words the suffixes -es and -e are inflectional. Also, the 
two dots over the e in -es signify that the suffix -es forms a dis- 
tinct syllable.) Ex. wyues, B 59 ; woundes, 62 ; fere's, 70 ; muses, 
92. Here the monosyllabic stem gives rise to a dissyllabic form, 
the plural-ending -es constituting a separate syllable. 

When the stem has two or more syllables, the plural-ending 
is sometimes written -s (or -) and sometimes -es, but the ending 
does not increase the number of syllables. Ex. degrees, 812; 
lordinges, 16; metres, 48; loueres, 53; sermouns, 87; marchauntz, 
122. The neuter plural hors is worth notice ; see B 1823. 

The gen. case singular commonly ends in -es, as godd'e's, B 
1166, 1169, 1175; mann'e's, 1630; ivyu'e's, 1631. An example of 
a feminine genitive in -e is seen in sonne strem'e's, 3944. A still 
more curious example, of a masculine genitive in -e, is seen in 
mone fyght, 2070 ; this is explained by remembering that the 
A.S. mona, the moon, does not become mones in the genitive, 
but monan. These examples have a peculiar interest as ex- 
plaining the present forms of the names of the days of the 


week. The A.S. names are Sunnan dxg. Monan dxg, Tiwes dseg, 
Wbdnes dxg, Ihunres dxg, Frige dxg, Sxter dseg 1 ; so that the 
modern English has the letter s only in those names where 
the -es formerly appeared, and in no others. 

Adjectives. The definite form of the adjective (the stem 
being monosyllabic) is well marked by the addition of the 
finale. Ex. whyte, B 1651; grete, 1672; news, 1817. We 
even have excellent e, F 145. 

The vocative is also similarly denoted. Ex. grete, 1797; 
O der'e, 1835 ; O yonge, 1874. 

So also the plural number. Ex. wyse, B 128; smalls', 1691; 
olde, 3164. But not when the stem is of more than one syllable, 
and the accent is thrown back ; see prudent, 123 ; lerned, 1168. 

An instance of an adjective of Romance origin forming the 
plural in -es is afforded by the word rotates, B 2038. The words 
innocent z, B 1798, gent Us, E 480, subgetz, E 482, and others, are 
used as substantives. 

Pronouns. We may note the joining of the pronoun to the 
verb, as in artow, B 1885 ; may stow, 3267 ; tuostow, 325. See 
these forms explained in the Glossary. 

Which tfoat = \vho, 205; which that= whom, B 3938; what 
that = whatsoever, E 165; the ivhiche - who, 269; whiche 
what sort of, E 2421 ; w/w/ = why, B 56, E 1221 ; that . . bis=* 
whose, 1694; what man jo = whatsoever man, F 157; what man 
that = whoever, F 160. See also the Glossary. 

Verbs. There are several examples of the contracted form of 
the present tense singular, 3rd person, from stems ending in d 
or /. Ex. stant for standeth, B 3116 ; sit for sitteth, 3358 ; writ 
for wryteth, 3516 ; hit for hideth, F 512 ; last for lasteth, E 266 ; 
sent for sendeth, E 1151 ; bit for biddeth, F 291. In the past tense 
of such verbs as are entitled to take the full ending in -ede, 
answering to the A.S. -ode, I cannot but suspect that the actual 

1 The form Sateres datg also occurs, in the Blickling Homilies, p. 71. 
We also find Sceternes at a later period. 



suffix used was considerably influenced by the form of the stem. 
In some cases this awkward ending (awkward for verse especially 
because consisting of two unaccented syllables) would most easily 
pass into the form -ed, and in others into the form -de in pronun- 
ciation, whilst at the same time the most careful scribes would 
often write the ending in full. In a word like louede, for example, 
the easier way is to turn it into lov'de, and such I consider to have 
been Chaucer's usage, as seems hinted by the following lines in 
the Knightes Tale (11. 338, 339, 340, 344) 

' For in this world he lov'de no man so, 
And he lov'd' him as tendrely agayn ; 
So wel they lovd\ as olde booke's sayn . . . 
Duk Perotheiis lov'de wel Arcite.' 

So too we find '/ lov'ti' alwey ' in B 1847. In some cases we 
actually find -de written, as in ansiverde, B 1170, E 299, F 599, 
from A.S. andswarode ; and again preyd'e clearly stands for preyede, 
and rimes with deyde and leyde, E 548, although, in E 680, it takes 
rather the form preyed. 

Verbs of this character do not seem to be numerous, and the 
more usual method was to omit the final e instead of the 
medial one; as shewn in words like swowned, F 443, eyled, F 
501, &c., which are sufficiently common. But it is somewhat 
remarkable that the poet seems to have had some aversion for 
the suppression of this e, if we may judge by the numerous cases 
in which he contrives to make (he following word begin with 
a vowel, which rendered the elision of the final -e more tolerable 
and regular. See, for example, peyntede, F 560, demede, 563, 
obeyede, 569, couered(e), 644. The full forms, unabridged and 
unelided, occur occasionally, e.g. seruede, E 640 ; and, in the 
plural, hatede, E 731 ; refuseden, 128. This is an interesting 
point, and deserving one day of being fully worked out. 

Particular attention should be paid to the forms of the past 
tenses of weak and strong verbs. The stem being monosyllabic, 
the past tense singular of a weak verb is of more than one 
syllable; but the past tense singular of a strong verb must 
necessarily remain monosyllabic. This is the more noteworthy, 


because the final -e in Chaucer is pronounced so frequently, and 
for so many reasons, that the student is apt to lose sight of those 
grammatical principles which are the best giiide to the spelling 
and metre. Amidst the crowd of inflections, clear cases of 
non-inflection become both instructive and valuable, and recal 
the reader to a sense of the underlying regularity that governs 
the harmonious whole. Note then the monosyllabic nature of 
words like sey, B i, took, 10, shoon, n, stood, 1163, bar, 1652, and 
a large number of others. Even in the second person, where a 
final -e appears in the Oldest English, I find but few in Chaucer; 
see, e.g. thou drank, B 3416; thou yaf, 3641, though these cases 
are not decisive, because a vowel follows in both instances. In 
E 1068 we find Thou bare, but here again the word him follows, 
and perhaps the form bar may be preferred. However, bigonne 
(Group G, 1. 442) is a clear instance of inflection. 

Another class of words essentially monosyllabic is seen in the 
2nd person singular of the imperative mood, though there are 
a few exceptions. Ex. tel, B 1167, help, 1663, ryd, 3117, eet, 3640, 
tak, 3641. The word herkn'e, 113, is no real exception, because 
the stem is herkn-, not berk- ; it belongs to that interesting class 
of verbs which is best illustrated by the Moeso-Gothic verbs in 
-nan, all of which have a passive or neuter signification. The 
plural imperative in -th or -eth occurs frequently. Ex. gooth, 
bringeth, B 3384, beth, E i,prechetb, E 12. But as, in addressing 
persons, the words thou and ye are sometimes confused (though in 
general well distinguished, as pointed out in the Notes), it is not 
uncommon to find the final -th omitted. For example, in the 
Host's address to the Clerk at the beginning of the Clerk's 
Tale, he endeavours to use the respectful terms ye and your, but 
once raps out the familiar thy (1. 14) ; and accordingly, we find 
telle, not telleth, in 11. 9, 15, and keepe in 1. 17. Similarly, after 
draiueth in B 1632, we have in the next line passe and lat us. 
Cf. accepteth, E 127, with chese, 130. In the past participles of 
weak verbs, the final -ed is usually a distinct syllable, as in par- 
fourned, B 1646, 1648; but just as we saw above an occasional 
tendency to turn -ede of the past tense into -de, so here we find 


the W turned into -d\ as in apayd, 1897, /#?/</, 3713, kembd, E 
379 ; and even when it is written as -ed, it is sometimes sounded 
as -d, or nearly so, especially when a vowel (or b) begins the 
next word, as in ycaried hem, B 3240, ivered it, 3315, <wered 
al, 3320, &c. Sometimes the ending is written /, as in abayst, E 


Stanzas. The stanzas employed by Chaucer have already 
been mentioned. The seven-line stanza, derived from the 
French, is employed in the Man of Law's Prologue, in the 
Prioress's Prologue and Tale, in the Clerk's Tale, .and in other 
Tales and Poems not here printed. The rime-formula is 
ababbcc; by which is meant (see B 99-105) that the first 
and third lines rime together, as denotd by a a (po-verte, herte) ; 
the second, fourth, and fifth lines rime together, as denoted 
by b b b (confounded, wounded, ivounde bid) ; and the last two, 
c r, rime together (indigence, despence). This is Chaucer's 
favourite stanza. 

At the end of the Clerk's Tale is an Envoy, in a six-line 
stanza. The rime-formula is a b a b c b, all the six stanzas having 
the same rimes. The Monk's Tale is in an eight-line stanza, 
also from the French. The rime-formula v-> a b a b b c I c. 
Spenser's stanza, in the Faerie Queene, is deduced from this 
by the addition of a ninth line of twelve syllables (commonly 
called an Alexandrine) riming with the eighth line; according 
to the formula ababbcbcc. 

The Rime of Sir Thopas is in imitation of a favourite 
ballad-metre of the period. The rime-formula is a a b c c b; 
but c often coincides with a, giving the formula a a b a a b, which 
is, indeed, the commoner form of the two. Some stanzas are 
lengthened out by adding a tag beginning with a very short line, 
which introduces an additional half-stanza. The free swing of 
these stanzas introduces a somewhat looser rhythm than in other 
poems. Chaucer takes much care to elide the final -e in many 


places, and in other places disregards it, so as considerably to 
reduce the number of faint additional syllables. On this account 
instances where the final -< is preserved are the more inter- 
esting, and a list of them is here added, neglecting those which 
occur at the ends of lines. I include also the instances where 
the final -es, -en, and -ed form distinct syllables. 

Final -es. The final -es is sounded in the genitive singular; 
as, goddes, 1913, bores, 2060, swerdes, 2066. In the plural; as 
lippes, 1916, herbes, 1950, 2103 ; briddes, 1956 ; sydes, 1967, 2026 ; 
stones, 2018 ; lordes, 2078 ; romances, 2038, 2087 ; popes, cardinales, 
2039. Note also the proper names Flmtndres, 1909, Brugges, 1923. 

It marks an adverbial ending in nedes, 2031. 

Final -ed. The final -ed occurs in the past tense of a weak 
verb, viz. dremed, 1977. 

Final -en. The final -en marks the infinitive mood in abyen, 
2oi2,percen, 2oi^,slepen, 2 100; liggen, 2101; tellen, 2036, is a gerund. 
In one case it marks the plural of a substantive ; viz. in hosen, 1923. 

Final -e. In the following substantives (of A. S. origin), it 
represents the vowels a or e ; ttede (A. S. steda), 1941, 1972, 
2074 ; sonne (A. S. sunne, Moeso-Goth. sunna or sunno), 2069 ; 
spere (A. S. spere, Old Friesic spiri, spere, sper), 2071 ; also name 
(A. S. nama) 1998 ; but in L 1907 it is monosyllabic, or nearly so. 
The word lake answers to the Dutch laken, cloth, 2048. The 
genitive mone for A. S. monan in 1. 2070 has already been com- 
mented on ; p. 1, last line but one. The final -e in a word of 
French origin appears in robe, 1924, answering to the Proven gal 
and Low Latin rauba. 

In the following adjectives we note the definite form used in 
his faire, 1965 ; the softe, 1969 ; the siueete, 2041 ; bis nuhyte, 2047 ; 
bis goode, 2093; his bryghte, 2102. The plural forms are nuilde, 
1926, bothe, 1946, 2030, 2082. In 1. 1974 the word benedicite 
becomes ben'dic'te, as in many other passages, shewing that the 
final -e in O seinte marks the vocative case ; unless indeed we 
pronounce the word se'int as two syllables, as Mr. Ellis pro- 
nounces it in 1. 120 of the Prologue. The latter treatment is 
hardly required here. 


In verbs we have -e in the infinitive mood, as in telle, 1903, 
1939 ; tneete, 2008 ; and in the gerundial infinitive to bynde, 1976. 
Also in the past tense singular of weak verbs; as coste, 1925, 
coude, 1926, sivatte, 1966, dorste, 1995, seyde, 2000, 2035, dide (in 
the sense of put on), 2047, nolde, 2100. Also, in the subjunctive 
mood, as bityde, 2064. And lastly, we even find it in the first 
person singular of the present tense in the word hope, 2010 : in 
which case we may observe that the A. S. verb is hopian, not 
hopan, and the A. S. first person singular present is hopige, not 
hope ; which accounts more easily for the result. 

An e appears in the middle of the following words, and con- 
stitutes a syllable ; launcegay, 1942, 2011 ; notemuge, 1953 ; <wode- 
doivue, 1960; softely, 2076. 

All the above results should be compared with the rules in 
Dr. Morris's Introduction to the Prologue. They exemplify most 
of the more important rules, and may serve to prepare us for 
the consideration of Chaucer's metre as employed in his rimed 
couplets. The whole of the rules for scansion, as regards the 
poems printed in the present volume, may be roughly com- 
pressed into the following practical directions: 

1. Always pronounce the final -es, -ed, -en or -e, as a distinct and 
separate syllable, whether at the end of a line or in the middle of 
one, with the exceptions noted below, and a few others. 

2. The final -e is almost invariably elided, and other light 
syllables (especially -ed,-en,-er,-es) are constantly slurred over 
and nearly absorbed, whenever the next word following begins 
with a vowel or is one of the words (beginning with h) in the 
following list, viz. he, his, him, her, hir, hem, hath, hadde, have, 
hoiu, beer. Ex. open, B 1684 ; yeomen, 1687. 

3. The final -e is sometimes elided or ignored in the words 
haue, hadde (when used as an auxiliary), were, nere, <wo!de, nolde 
(used as auxiliaries), thise, othere, and in a very few other 
cases, best learnt by practice and observation. Ex. volume, 
B 60 ; richesse, 107 ; both due to the position of the accent. 

These three rules will go a very long way, and when 
thoroughly understood, practised, and tested by the requirements 


of grammar, will only require to be supplemented by a few 
other considerations to render the scansion of Chaucer's lines 
a very easy matter. 

As this question of the scansion of Chaucer has attracted a 
good deal of attention, a few general considerations affecting 
the whole subject may not be out of place here. 

Feminine Rimes. We have seen that Chaucer derived the 
forms of his metre from the French. It has been a subject of 
discussion, whether in his rimes he followed the French habit of 
riming, where masculine rimes are the rule, or the Italian habit, 
where feminine rimes are the rule ; it being understood that by 
masculine rimes ai'e meant monosyllabic ones, as in day, lay, and 
by feminine rimes such as are dissyllabic, as in asunder, thunder. 
Undoubted instances of both kinds occur frequently ; but 
as regards the above question, the right answer is that 
Chaucer had no need to follow either the French or the Italian 
in this particular; we had, long before his time, a well estab- 
lished English habit, and it is the Old English of an earlier 
period that we may most reasonably consult for our guidance 
here. Examination of earlier poems shews that he was at perfect 
liberty to use either masculine or feminine rimes at pleasure, 
and this is just what he has done. The English feminine rimes 
are a stumbling-block to some, no doubt because modern English 
is, from the nature of the case, very sparing in their use, but in 
old English they were all-abundant. Dr. Guest, in his History of 
English Rhythms, instances rimes like wide, side, frodne, godne, 
Icenne, scenne, as occurring in early alliterative poems ; and who- 
ever will turn to a curious poem in the Codex Exoniensis 
known as the Riming Poem (p. 353 in Thorpe's edition) will 
find that the masculine and feminine rimes are freely intermixed, 
the number of lines with monosyllabic rime-endings being only 
47 out of 172, or a little more than a quarter of the whole. In 
the remarkable poem called A Moral Ode (printed in Old English 
Homilies, ed. Morris, ist Series, p. 159) consisting of 396 lines, 
there is not one undoubted instance of masculine rime from be- 
ginning to end; and again, in a poem entitled a Good Orison of 

1 viii 1NTR OD UCTION. 

Our Lady (id. p. 191), consisting of 171 lines, the masculine 
lines are in a small minority, though we find just a few, as 
biset, let) <was, }pes, me, e, beo, fyeo, ])/', miti, charite, me, dai, lai, 
leafdi, marie. So again, in such a poem as Havelok the Dane, 
the number of feminine rimes is really very large, though a 
number of them are due to a final -e, and therefore less striking 
to a reader acquainted with modern English only. Yet even 
here, the frequent appearance of rimes like i-maked, naked, 
sellen, diuellen, kesten,festen, maked, quaked, herden,ferden, Jitngen, 
dungen, &c., is quite enough to show even the beginner that 
feminine rimes were distinctly sought after ; especially when he 
observes such lines as 11. 240-245, where the rimes laten, graten, 
ringen, singen, reden, leden, occur in an unbroken succession. 

If again, leaving these early examples, we turn to Spenser's 
Mother Hubbard's Tale, written in the same metre as the greater 
part of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, we find that the fifth and 
sixth lines are as follows : 

And the hot Syrian dog on him awayting, 
After the chafed Lyons cruell bayting,' 

where the effect of the feminine rime is well exemplified. There 
are several more of them in the same poem, as geason, reason, 
11. II, 12 ; betided, misguided, 11. 37, 38 ; civil!, e-vill, 11. 45, 46, and 
the like ; and it is clear that Spenser recognised them as a beauty, 
and would no doubt have employed them more freely, if the 
language of his day had permitted of their frequent use. 
Chaucer was more fortunate, and has accordingly used them 
in abundance. 

A good deal of misconception, and much needless mystification of 
what is really very simple when rightly explained, have arisen from 
the absurdity of confusing different dialects of English. It has 
been argued that we need not expect to find many examples of the 
final -e in Chaucer, because there are few to be found in Robert 
of Brunne, or in Hampole. or in Minot ! The expectation of 
finding examples of the final -e in poems of the Northern dialect 
can only have arisen from not recognising that it is precisely in 


this respect that the Northern and Southern dialects are most 
opposed ; on which account the non-occurrence of the final -e 
in Northern poems is a phenomenon of no importance what- 
ever to the right scansion of Chaucer : and if any one should 
expect to learn something further about Chaucer's metre from 
a consideration of the system of scansion employed in Barbour's 
Bruce, for example, he would certainly meet with disappoint- 
ment. Yet even in a Midland poem with Northern tendencies, 
like Havelok the Dane, we find plenty of examples of feminine 
rimes and of the final -e; much more then may we claim 
feminine rimes and frequent examples of the use of final -e for 
poems like Chaucer's, in which the Midland dialect has ten- 
dencies decidedly Southern. In one word, if the student who 
compares one poem with another neglects the consideration of 
the dialects employed, he will hardly obtain other than confused 
and contradictory ideas upon the subject. 

There is yet another difficulty that has been raised. It has 
been argued that the metre of Occleve's and Lydgate's poems 
is rather rough, halting, and irregular; and that therefore we 
ought not to expect perfect smoothness in Chaucer. Even if 
we grant one of the premises, the conclusion does not follow. 
Chaucer seems to have had a perfect ear for melody, such as his 
successors did not attain to ; and again, Chaucer lived just at the 
very end of the inflected period of English, when the traditions of 
the usages of Anglo-Saxon grammar were only "just preserved in 
the Southern dialect, and in the Midland dialect where it bordered 
on the Southern, but had wellnigh disappeared in the North as 
far as the inflections in -e are concerned. In confirmation of this 
we may point to Gower's Confessio Amantis, written as late 
as 1393, but with an abundance of inflectional endings; whilst 
another excellent example is presented by a translation of Pal- 
ladius on Husbandry, written perhaps after 1400, and lately 
published by the Early English Text Society. In this work, the 
author sometimes copies Chaucer's phrases, and has throughout 
adopted Chaucer's seven-line stanza ; and many of the pecu- 
liarities of Chaucer's diction and metre can be found in it. 


Here, for example, we may find the plural in -es constituting 
a distinct syllable, as in 

'The chenes, holes, poles, mencle;' i. 442. 

'Set rakes, crookes, adse's, and bycornes;' i. 1161. 

Here too is the plural adjective in -e, as in 

' Oute of the kynde of wilde gees cam thay ; ' i. 705. 

Here is the adverbial ending in -es ; 

'Wol ones sitte on eyron [eggs] twies ten;' i. 672. 

So too we find the adverbial -e in Uicbe, i. 167; the -e in a 
nominative case of substantive, due to an A. S. -a, as in balke, 
ii. 16, from the A. S. balca; the -e sounded in the middle of a 
word, as in molde*u>arf>, i. 924 ; the imperative plural in -etb, as 
in ennolnteth, i. 191 ; the coalescence of the definitive article with 
the substantive, as thende for the ende, iii. 1106, and of the word 
to with a gerund, as to e sc hew = te scheiv, i. 776; and many other 
things worthy of note, as being common in the poems of Chaucer. 
Feminine rimes occur frequently, as shewn by such rimes as 
redes, drede is, i. 743 ; season, reason, i. 258 ; mewes, necessarie, 
eschew is, ad<versarie, warit, all in succession, i. 526; and a 
whole host of rimes involving the final -e. 

If then we do not permit our familiarity with modern English 
to stand in our way ; if we will but recognise the fact that the 
Middle-English poets delighted in feminine rimes, such as the 
grammatical usage of the period often furnished in abundance ; if 
we can but remember that the rimes of the Northern dialect are, 
on account of the grammatical difference, more likely to differ 
from than to resemble those of the Southern dialect, and must 
therefore be kept distinct from them ; if we can remember that 
Chaucer's metre is to be compared with Gower's Confessio 
Amantis and such a poem as that of the translation of Palla- 
dius on Husbandry; and if we observe that even Pope did not 
consider it ' incorrect ' to rime cowards with Howards, we shall be 
enabled to steer clear of the worst error which the student of 
Chaucer's metre can commit, viz. the ignoring of final -e as a 


distinct syllable at the end of a line. Instead of this, we shall be 
prepared to expect the frequent occurrence of feminine rimes, 
and to be best satisfied when they come most often. And on 
the other hand, we shall by no means always expect that, after 
ending a line (F 675) \vithyoutbe, the poet will take the trouble 
to end the next line with allow the, merely to impress upon our 
dulness thatyoutbe is dissyllabic. Rather should we be prepared 
to be fully awake to this peculiarity of his, and at once recognise 
whole stanzas equipped with feminine rimes, as in B 99-105, 
113-119, 1713-1719, 1755-1761, 1783-1789, 3317-3324, 3389- 
3396, and a number of others, the discovery of which may now 
be left to the reader's sagacity, noting only, by way of conclusion, 
the wonderful Envoy to the Clerk's Tale, E 1177-1212, with its 
thirty-six consecutive rimes of this character. 

Caesura. The above question, of the frequent occurrence 
of feminine rimes, has been discussed rather fully, because it 
tends to throw some light upon the use made by Chaucer of the 
caesura or middle pause. Let us ask ourselves why feminine rimes 
are permissible, and we shall reflect that it is because, at the ena 
of a line, the poet is FREE ; because the pause that naturally 
occurs there enables him to insert an additional syllable with 
ease, or even two additional syllables, as is so constantly the case, 
for example, in Shakespeare, who thinks nothing of lengthening 
out a line into such a form as 

Untainted, unexamined, free, at liberty;' Rich. Ill, iii. 6. 9. 

Now, just as this pause at the end of the line leaves the poet 
free, so, in a lesser degree, does the medial pause or caesura which 
occurs near the middle of every line, leave him free likewise. 
We might from this naturally expect to find that, at this point 
also, an additional syllable is occasionally inserted. And this 
is precisely what we sometimes do find, the following being 
examples : 

And steleth from us what priuely slepinge ; ' B 21. 
'Or elles, certes ye ben to daiingerous;' 2129. 
4 Which that my fader in his prosperitee ; ' 3385. 


' That god of heuen hath dominacioun ; ' 3409. 
'And him restored his regne and his figure;' 3412. 
' To Mede's and to Perses yiuen quod he ; ' 3425. 
'Why she conquered and what till' had therto ; ' 3512. 
'Out of his dore's anon he hath him dyght;' 3719. 

In the same way, we may expect to find in such a position a 
final -e which ought to be preserved, as in these examples. 

' Was as in lengthe the same quantitee ; ' B 8. 
'If thou noon aske with ned* artow so wounded;' 102. 
'Nay! by my fader soule that shal he nat;' 1178. 
'For to declare thy grete worthynesse ; ' 1672. 
'So loude that al the place gan to ringe;' 1803. 
'Me thoughte she leyd' a greyn vpon my_tonge';' 1852. 
'That shal he fynde that hir misdooth or seith;' 3112. 
' He slow and rafte the skin of the leoiin ; ' 3288. 
' A lemman hadde this noble champioun ; ' 3309. 
'And him birafte the regne that he hadde;' 3404. 
'Eek thou, that art his sone art proud also;' 3413. 
' Within the felde that dorste with hir fyghte ; ' 3530. 
' Thy brother sone that was thy doubl' allye ; ' 3593. 
'The gayler shette the dore's of the tour;' 3615. 
1 His children wende that it for hunger was ; ' 3637. 
'That highte Dante for he can al deuyse ; ' 3651. 

Of course this middle pause often preserves from elision a syllable 
that would otherwise be elided. Examples are : 

'Fro the sentence of this tretis lyte;' 2153. 
'Beth war by this ensample old and playn;' 3281. 
' Than had your tale al be told in vayn ; ' 3989. 

In some cases it makes little difference whether we look upon 
a final syllable as preserved from elision by the caesura, which at 
the same time permits its full sound to be given to it, or to be 
regularly elided according to the usual rule. Either way the 
line scans. Examples are: 


'And therfor by the shad we he took his wit;' B 10. 

'To tell* a storie 1 wol doon my labour;' 1653. 

'This povre widwe awaiteth al that nyght;' 1776. 

Into miserie and endeth wrecchedly;' 3167. 

'Out of misdrie in which that thou art falle;' 3196. 

' In which his glorie and his delyt he hadde ; ' 3340. 

' Toward Cenobie and shortly for to se"ye ; ' 3545. 

And the contrarie is ioie and gre"t solas;' 3964. 
I will merely add that the introduction of an extra syllable 
at the place of the caesura is not peculiar to Chaucer, but a 
common habit of English verse 1 . Indeed, as Mr. Abbott points 
out (Shak. Gram. 3rd ed. p. 398), Shakespeare did not hesitate 
to insert here two additional syllables if he was so minded, as for 
example : 

' To me inveterate hearkens my brother's suit ; ' 

Tempest, I. 2. 122, 

Trisyllabic Feet. The use of feet containing three syllables 
is still common in English verse, as in this line from Pope 
'Or laugh and shake in Rabe/a/s easy chair' 

where the fifth foot, printed in italics, is trisyllabic. Examples 
in Chaucer are : 

'That r&uysedest doun fro the deitee; 1 B 1659. 

'A perilous man of dede;' 1999 (Sir Thopas). 

'And therin silked a lilie flour;' 2097 (id.). 

'Comprehended in this litel tretis heer;' 2147. 

'Or ellw / am but lost, but-if that I; ' 3105. 

' That the king Nabugodonosor ; ' 3335. 

'lie twyes wan Jerusa/em the citee;' 3337. 

' And yaf him wit ; and than, with many a ter'e ; ' 3368. 

' Caught with the lymrod, coloured as the glede ; ' 3574- 

' And cover' hir bryghte fac' as with a cloude ; ' 3956. 

1 ' If there be no Cesure at all, and the verse long, the Jesse is the 
makers skill and hearers delight ; ' Pultenham, Arte of English Poesic, 
ed. Arber, p. 88. 


Accent. The position of the accent in a given word greatly 
affects the preservation or suppression of the final syllable, 
especially in substantives of French origin. Thus in the word 
fortune, if the accent is on the first syllable, the final e is 
troublesome to pronounce, and is dropped, so that it becomes 
fortun\ much the same as in modern English; see B 3185. 
But if the accent be on the second syllable, the final e is easily 
retained, so that we then have the trisyllabic word fortune, as 
in B 3191. For other examples, observe the silent -e in 'volume, 
B 60, and in rtchesse, B 107, as compared with richest e, 795. 
The same remark is equally true for words ending in -es, some- 
times written s ; so that we find batails, B 3509; but baiaiUe, 
E 1198 ; colours, F 39, but colour es, F 511. Further examples 
may be found. 

Licenses. When all allowances have been made for the effect 
of the caesura and the occasional use of the trisyllabic foot, 
all the apparent irregularities in Chaucer's metre are very nearly 
disposed of. If, besides this, the reader is acquainted with 
some scheme that approximately represents the old pronuncia- 
tion and even the mere pronunciation of all the vowels 
according to some continental system is better than nothing 
he will soon enter into the beauty of the melody of the 
versification of a poet who not only naturally possessed an 
exquisite delicacy of ear, but had the advantage of using a 
flexible yet energetic dialect, that combined the softness of the 
Romance with the strength of the Teutonic. Yet we need 
not suppose him to have been a slave to rules, but rather a 
master of language; and if he anywhere chooses to ignore a 
final -e that grammatically ought to be sounded, it need not cause 
us any great surprise. As Mr. Ellis has well pointed out (Early 
Eng. Pronunciation, pt. i. p. 322), poets like Goethe, Schiller, 
and Heine constantly do the same thing ; as when, for example, 
Goethe writes heui 1 for heute in the line (Tasso, Act i.) 

' Ich sah ihn heut' von fern ; er hielt ein Buch.' 
There is, accordingly, one instance in particular where 


Chaucer seems to have really done this, viz. in the first person 
singular indicative of verbs. Ex. warn', B 16 ; bef, 3087 ; prey, 
E 154. There are numerous instances, too, where a few very 
common words, such as haue, hadde, were, nere, ivolde, nolde, 
are mere monosyllables ; but it is remarkable that this is 
seldom the case with shold'e ; see B 1848, 3753. And if, on 
the other hand, the poet wished to use <wo!de as a dissyllable, of 
course he could do so ; see F 577, where wolde and moste 
occur in the same line. Then, again, owing to the more 
equable accent upon certain words in the olden time, he often 
chose to vary the accent, laying the stress at one time upon 
one syllable, and at another time upon another ; so that honour, 
for example, in B 1654, is followed by honour in the very next 
line; and again, fortun' in 1. 3185, with the -e suppressed, be- 
comes fortune only six lines lower (1. 3191) with the -e sounded. 
In order to obtain a rime more easily, he at one time makes 
bees the plural of bee, E 2422, and at another time uses been, 
F 204; cf. Nuns' Pr. Ta. 571. In the Clerk's Tale, he uses 
the various forms Grisild, Grisilde, Grisildls, with a variable 
accent, evidently for mere convenience of rhythm. At one 
time he uses dey'e (pronounced something like dai-ye J ) to 
rime with prey'e, B 3232, and at another has dye (pronounced 
something like dee-ye) to rime with cry'e, tirannye, 3631, 3700. 
Perhaps there may have been a similar uncertainty with re- 
spect to the old word for high ; for though Chaucer uses hy'e 
(riming with folye, C. T. ed. Wright, 12436), the scribes con- 
stantly write heighe or heye, and both pronunciations are indicated 
in the House of Fame (Hi. 43, 72). 

The license that, to us moderns, is the least pleasing, is that 
of making the first foot to consist of a single accented syllable, 
as first pointed out by me in 1866 2 ; the following instances may 
serve to illustrate my meaning : 

1 By at I mean the sound in fail, tail, sail ; by ee that in meet, feet ; by 
-ye I mean German -je, i.e. a.y-sound followed by a German final -e. 

2 In Lowell's article on Chaucer in ' My Study Windows,' it is as- 
serted that ' his ear would never have tolerated the verses of nine 

VOL. ii. e 


' By I a mayde, lyk to hir stature;' E 257. 
' Til / wel ny the day bigan to springe ; ' F 346. 
'Lygkt/ly, for to pley' and walk* on fote ; ' F 390. 
' /a/son ? certe's, ne non other man ; ' F 549. 

In some cases, where the stress is thus thrown on to syllables 
that are ill-suited for bearing so heavy a stress, the effect is 
simply bad. Examples are 

'Bui /a gouernour wyly and wys ; ' 83130. 
Mtf/Hermanno and Thymalao j ' 3535. 

Here an editor is strongly tempted to suggest a correction ; but 
the MSS. afford little help. Perhaps the true reading may be, 
in the former case, ' But lyk [or, art] a governour,' &c. ; but this 
lacks authority. In the latter case, Boccaccio writes Heremianus 
in one of his books, and Herennianus in the other; if we might 
invent either the form Hermiano or Heremanno, it would certainly 
make the line scan better, and at the same time come nearer to 
the original. After all, collation with more MSS. may explain 
some of these apparently imperfect lines. 

There is another license worth a passing mention. Owing 
to the confusion in the declension of substantives due to the 
gradual advance in the language, the tendency was to decline 
substantives according to a formula which made the nominative 
and accusative alike, and assigned -es to the genitive and -e to the 
dative. Many nominatives also came to end in -e, representing 
A. S. -a, -e, -o, -, so that in such substantives the formula was 
reduced to -es for the genitive, and -e for all other cases; a plan 
which was recommended by its superior simplicity. Hence 
some substantives came to claim an -e in the nominative to 

syllables, with a strong accent on the first, attributed to him by Mr. 
Skeate (s/'c) and Dr. Morris.' But we must go by the evidence ; and, as 
for nine-syllable lines, they certainly occur in The Vision of Sin, by 
a poet whose ear no one blames 

Then / methought I heard a hollow sound, 
Gdth / ering up from all the lower ground.' 


which they had no right ; so that we need not be surprised at 
such forms as chllde (A. S. did), B 1996 ; quene (A. S. c-iuen), 3538. 
There are a considerable number of similar forms in Dr. Strat- 
mann's Old-English Dictionary. Out of the abundance of the 
final is as both written and sounded in the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries came the abundance of the same, still 
written but seldom sounded, of the fifteenth century, and the 
well-known final -e, never sounded, of modern times, preserved 
only because it served at last to indicate that the preceding 
vowel was a long one. 


For an account of the pronunciation of English in the time of 
Chaucer, I must refer the reader to the Introduction to my 
edition of Chaucer's Man of Lawes Tale, &c, in the 
Clarendon Press Series. 


Perhaps the following analysis of the first Part of the Squire's 
Tale will best shew which of the rules are of most frequent use. 
The order of them follows that in Dr. Morris's Introduction, 
3rd ed. pp. xliii-xlviii. 

1. Lines of eleven syllables. These abound, owing to the free 
use of final -e at the end of a line, as above explained ; e.g. F 5, 6, 
9, 10, 19, 20, &c. But the beginner will most easily recognise 
such cases as II. 149, 150, ending with heuem, steuene, and 11. 257, 258 
(wonder, thonder). Also with final -es, 67, 68, 117, 118, 205, 206, 
2 33> 234, 28 3> 284, 285, 286; and with final -ed, 181, 182, 201, 


2. Lines with only one syllable in the first foot. At least three ; 
viz. 346, 390, 549. Probably, 251. 

e 2 


3. I insert here a note of rimes formed by repeating a syllable; 
diademe, deme, 43 ; affecc'ions, protections, 55 ; deuyse, seruyse, 65, 
279; selves, heronsewes, 67; recours, cours, 75; deliriously, sodeynly, 
79; style, style (words thus repeated must be used in different 
senses), 105; constellation, cper acton, 129; see, Canacee, 143; fore, 
adv., here, verb, 145 ; been, verb, been, sb. pi. 203 ; comunly, subtilly, 
221 ; fern, s\).,fern, adv. 255 ; parementz, instrumentz, 269. And 
perhaps, 49, 50; 229, 230. 

4. Two words run into one. Tharray (the array), 63 ; the air 
= tbair, 122; the effect = thejfect, 322. Also nas = ne was, 14 ; 
nis = ne is, 72, 255 ; nin ne in, 35 ; noot - ne <woot or ne wot, 342. 

In 1. 30 which'e is plural ; read it thus 

'Of whiche th'eldest' highte Algarsyf 

the e in highte being preserved by caesura. 

5. trisyllabic measures. The most striking instance is in as 1 
can, 4. In other instances the syllable rapidly pronounced or 
slurred over may be indicated by italics. We find then an- 
swerJ 1 and seyd', 228 (where there is a caesura after answer Je) : 
after the thridde cours, 76. And the following cases, where 
certain final syllables are very lightly pronounced, viz. final 
-y, e.g. many, n; any, 134: final -es, e.g. sones (caesura), 29; 
foulw (caesura), 53: final -er, e.g. eu^r, 108; gossonvr, 259: 
final -ie, e.g. Arable, no; contrar/V, 325: final -en, e.g. won- 
dredfn (caesura), 307: final -ed, e.g. vanfsslW (caesura), 342: 
final -e, e.g. vndertak?, 36, sem<?, 102, ben?, 124, coudf, 128, 
ydraw? n'ybore, 326; ye get? na more, 343. Also, the following 
cases occur where the middle e is slurred over, viz. eu^ry part, 
40; cokrik hote, 51 ; sonvres day, 64; sonvres tyde, 142; eut-ry 
place, 119; logelours, 219; lew^dnes, 223 ; and, in one case, the 
vowel /' is similarly treated, viz. van/she anon, 328. In illustra- 
tion of the last-mentioned word, it may be remarked that it is 
sometimes spelt without the /'; e.g. vanshede, Piers Plowman, 
C. xv. 217. 

6. French words accented in a different manner to that now in use. 
(N. B. the apostrophe in the following words denotes elision ; 


the printing of a final -e in italics means that it is slurred over, 
or else suppressed by poetic license). We find cordg', 22, de*- 
sirous, 23, pers6n', 25, citee, 46, Idus, 47, paleys, 60, mir6ur, 82, 
6beisance, 93, message, 99, langa"ge, 100, eng^n, 184, natuiv, 197, 
pparnc', 218, mag^k, 218, vanfsslW, 342, &c., &c. For the 
-variableness of accent, cf. s61empn', 61, sole'mpne, in; mfrour, 
132, mir6ur, 175; roi'al, 59, roial, 264; lion, 265, Ie6un, 491, &c. 
And for variableness of accent in English words, note conning, 
35, hangfng, 84, as compared with wry thing, 127. Some words 
in -le and -re may have been pronounced much as in modern 
French; perhaps sillable, 101, table, 179, fable, 180, angle, 263, 
ordre, 66, may have sounded nearly as sillabl', tab?, fab?, angl', 
ordr\ Yet we find egle, 123, angles, 230; both followed by a 

7. Genitives in -es. Martes, 50, sonvres, 64, Grekes, 209, 
Canacees, 247. 

8. Plurals in -es. Armes, 23, son, 29, foules, 53, sewes, 67, 
heronsewes, 68, swannes, 68, minstralles, 78, thinges, 78, lordes, 
91, wordes, 103, houres, 117, shoures, 118, woundes, 155, heedw, 
203, witter, 203, skikr, 205, fantasyes, 205, poetryes, 206, winges, 
208, gestes, 211, armes, 213, festes, 219, doutes, 220, thinges, 
222, 227, &c. Note on the other hand, the French plurals 
prese ntes = presents, 174, logehurs, 219, reflexions, 230, &c. ; also 
parementz, 269, instruments, 270. 

9. Adverbs in-'e's. Certes, 2, 196, elles, 118, ehVj, 209, algates, 
246, thennes, 326. 

10. Past participles in -ed. Excused, 7, cleped, 12, 31, armed, 
90, braunched, 159, wounded, 160, remewed, 181, yglewed, 182, 
proporcioned, 192, &c. Probably ordeyned, ITT, is to be read 
ordeyn'd; otherwise, the List measure in the verse is to be re- 
garded as trisyllabic. 

n. Past tense of weak verbs in -de -te, or -ed. Ex. (a) deyde, 
n, hadde (not an auxiliary verb), 29, hadd^, 32, coud', 39, shold', 
40, wold', 64, sholde, 102, wende, 198, seyde, 231, &c. ; (b) 
dwelt', 10, kept', 18, 26, highte, 30, 33, moste, 38, wroughte, 128, 
lyghte, 169, broughte, 210, &c. ; (c) werreyed, 10, lakked, 16, 


seemed, 56, demed, 202, rowned, 216. Note also the plurals 
murmured', 204, wondred', 225, as compared with the full forms 
maden, 205, seyden, 207, wondredf, 307. We also find such 
forms as preyed*, 311. 

12. Infinitives in -en. Discryuen, 40, teller), 63, 67, tarien, 73, 
stroken, 165. Also the gerundial forms : to voyden, 188, to 
gauren, 190. 

13. Past participles in -'en (strong verbs). Geten, 56. The 
final -n is generally dropped. 

14. Present plural in -en. Tellen, 69, wayten, 88, shapen, 214, 
pleyen, 219, wondren, 258; 2 p. pi. subj. slepen, 126. Past 
plural. Seten, 92, maden, 205, seyden, 207, wondred*, 307. 

15. Preposition in -en. Withouten (A.S. wi^-utan), 101, isi, 125. 
The various uses of the final -* follow here, and are numbered 


1. Nouns of A.S. origin and of dissyllabic form. Wille, i, 
from A.S. <wi!!a; sted', 115, 193, sted*, 124, stede, 170, from 
A.S. steda; tale, 6, 102, 168, from A.S. talu; herte, 120, 
hert', 138, from A.S. heorte, gen. beortan; bote, 154, from 
A.S. hot (gen. and dat. bote) ; sonne, 170, from the A.S. junne, 
gen. sunnan. All these are in the nominative or accusative case ; 
for other cases, see below. We should probably add son*? (A. S. 
sunu) 31 ; and met* (A. S. mete~) 70 ; both before a caesura. 

2. Nouns of French origin ; (a) substantives, () adjectives. We 
find (a) centre (Lat. centrum') 22; diademe (Lat. diadema) 43; 
signe (Lat. signum) 51; seruyse (seruitium) 66, nobleye, 77, 
obeisance (obedientiam) 93, &c., &c. The final -e is occasionally 
slurred over, as in diadem*, 60, which is fully pronounced in 
1. 43; plac*, 186, which is fully pronounced in 11. 119, 162; 
fest* (with caesura) 61, fully pronounced in 1. 113; nature, 
197; and it is often elided, as in corag', 22, person', 25, 
form', 100, vie', 101, &c. The clearest cases of the full sound 
are given by: cause, 185, Troye, 210. It is by no means 
easy to find instances of its suppression ; the most likely- 
looking cases are natur*, 197, best*, 264; but they may merely 
be instances of the use of trisyllable measures. 


We find also () noble, 12, 28, riche, 19, 61, benigne, 52, 
s61empn', 6r, pryme, 73, commun', 107, lige, in, solempne, 
1 1 r, platt', 162, platte, 164, &c. The most remarkable instances 
are in 1. in, 

' My lige lord, on this solempne day ; ' 

and (in the definite form) platte, 164. The final e in lalouse, 
286, is merely a mark of the plural number, in writing, and 
not really pronounced. 

With respect to these French words, it is remarkable that 
Chaucer is very fond of using them at the end of a line, for 
the sake of the feminine rime; see 9, 10, 19, 43, 51, 52, 61, 
&c. It may be as well, too, to append the following caution. 
Tyrwhitt, in his edition of Chaucer, was led to a partially 
correct estimate of Chaucer's metre by his observation of the 
final -e in French words, and by noting the frequent use of 
the same in French poetry ; whence he inferred that the final 
-e may have been pronounced in English words also. Though 
his result was partly right, it has yet misled many of his readers, 
because he did, in fact, seize the right idea by the wrong end. 
The final -e in French words seems to have been of a somewhat 
weaker and fainter character than in English ones, the fact 
being that the habit of sounding the inflexional final -e was 
essentially English, due to the traditions of Anglo-Saxon gram- 
mar, and the imported French words (many of which possessed 
a final ~e in their own right) had, at any rate, to conform to 
the use of the period as a matter of course. It is, accord- 
ingly, of no very great consequence to investigate the habits 
of the French poetry of the period. The Englishmen who 
adopted French words into their language did at first very 
nearly what they pleased with them; and, in the conflict be- 
tween two systems of grammar, the English had at first its 
own way; yet the continually increasing influx of French did 
at last begin to tell, and the final result was a confusion in which 
such inflexions as ~es and -e, at first all important, have at last 
sunk into disuse. We see, for instance, in Chaucer, the use of 
the French plural (as in instrument*, F 270) side by side with 


the true English plural (as in lordes, F 91); and, in the end, the 
French form prevailed. But it must be carefully remembered 
for it is a most essential point that French alone would never 
have produced any so great effect. A far more powerful influence 
was at work at the same time, aiding it most fully and efficiently ; 
and this was the ever-increasing importance of the Northern 
and North-Midland dialects, which had simplified their gram- 
matical forms long before Chaucer's time, and at last completely 
set aside the numerous inflexions of the flexible and harmonious 
Southern- English. Having regard to the mere outward form of 
English verse, it cannot be denied that Chaucer's sweetness of 
melody is a thing of the past, and that nothing is now left to us but 
an approach to the less adorned simplicity of Robert of Brunne. 
This note must be regarded as a mere rough sketch of a very 
important subject, which the student may with advantage work 
out for himself in his own way. 

3. Dative Cases. The prepositions for, at, on (or vp-on), by, 
in, of, 1 to (or vn-to), most often govern a dative in Anglo- 
Saxon, and may be considered as always governing a dative in 
Chaucer. The following are examples; lond', 9, tym/?, 13, 
tongf, 35, grene, 54, tyme, 74, dor', 80, thomb', 83, 148, syd', 
84, halk, 86, halle, 92, speche (caesura), 94, specie (or spech'), 
104, mynde, 109, heste, 114, drought', 118, rote, 153, wound', 
165, met', 173, ere, 196, drede, 212, ende, 224. The French 
words conform to the same usage; e.g. courte, 171. The 
prep, ageyn may govern either dative or accusative, but tyde 
(142) is properly a dative form; so also, then, is shene, 53 
(A. S. scenum from nom. scene). Style (106) is probably a dative, 
governed by ouer. 

4. Genitive Cases. We must not omit to notice the genitive 
cases, answering to the A. S. genitives -e or -an. Instances are : 
sonne (A. S. sunnan), 53 ; halle (A. S. healle), 80. 

5. Adjectives; definite form. The definite form is used when 

1 Cyis now regarded as a sign of a possessive or genitive case; but in 
Old English it invariably governs the dative. 


the adjective is preceded by the, this, that, or a possessive 
pronoun. Examples: the hote, 51, the yonge, 54, the thridde, 
76, the hye, 85, this strange, 89, his olde, 95, the hye, 98, 176, 
this same, 124, his newe, 140, her moste, 199, his queynte, 
239, the loude, 268, the grete, 306. So even with French 
adjectives; e.g. your excellente, 145. Note also thilke, 162. 

6. Adjectives; plural forms. Ex. strange, 67, olde, 69, yong', 
88, olde, 88, 206, 211, alle, 91, dep', 155, wyde, 155, diverse, 202, 
grete, 219, somm', 225, slye, 230, all?, 248, fresshe, 284. So 
also: whiche, 30, swiche, 227. 

7. Adjectives; vocative case. No example; see B 1874. 

8. Adjectives ; inflexion of case. Some adjectives occur in Chaucer 
which take final -e even in the nominative. Thus A.S. )>/> is in 
the definite form se ficca; by confusion, Chaucer uses thikke 
even when indefinite; see 'a thikke knarre,' Prol. 549; in the 
Sq. Ta. we have: thikk', 159. Note also liche, 62. The word 
blithe = h.. i>lf6e; Chaucer has blyth<? (with ceesura), 338. The 
notion of expressing a dative case by the inflexional -e extended 
even to adjectives; e.g. alle, 15. 

9. Verbs; infinitive mood. Sey', 4, rebelle, 5, telle, 6, vnder- 
take, 36, spek', 41, occupy', 64, deuyse, 65, pleye, 78, amende, 
97, 197, sem<r, 102, soun', 105, berc, 124, turn', 127, hyde, 141, 
here, 146, know', 151, answer', 152, know^, (ccesura), 154, kerv', 
158, byte, 158, close, 165, here, 188, rede, 211, comprehende, 
223, &c. 

10. Verbs ; gerundial infinitive. To telle, 34, to biholde, 87, to 
pace, 120, to sore, 123, to were, 147, to winne, 214, to here, 271, 
to hye, 291, to seyne, 314, to done, 334. It is very significant 
that there is no case of elision amongst all these examples. 

ir. Strong verbs ; past participles. Holde, 70, spok', 86, com', 
96, bore, 178, knovve, 215, yswore, 325, ydrawe, 326, ybore, 326. 
Only two of these are cases of elision. 

12. Weak verbs; past tense. Examples have been already 
given ; see art. 1 1 above, p. Ixix. 

13. Verbs; subjunctive mood. First person singular', spek', 7. 
Third person singular: leste, 125, were, 195, liste, 327. Plural'. 
reste, 126. 


14. Verbs: various other inflexions', (a) r p. pr. indicative: 
deme, 44, trow?, 213, sey?, 289, let', 290; (b) pr. pi. indicative, 
recche, 71, lere, 104, smyte, 157, mote, 164, 318, iangl', 220, 
trete, 220, iangle, 261, deuyse, 261, get?, 343; (c) subj. pi. used 
as imper. plural: bidd', 321, trill', 321, trille, 328, ryde (?), 334. 
N.B. I believe it will be found that the inflexion of the first 
pers. sing, present tense indicative is very weak, and often 
dropped or neglected ; cf. p. Ixv. Also, that the imperative plural 
is liable to confusion with the imperative singular ; cf. p. liii. 

15. Adverbs. Whether the final -e in an adverb represents 
(a) an older vowel-ending, or is used (b) merely to form adverbs 
from adjectives, or represents (c) the A. S. ending -an, the result 
is much the same, viz. that the final -e is especially preserved in 
them. Examples: much', 3, yliche, 20, loude, 55, euer-more, 
124, bryghte, 170, still', 171, lowe, 216, bothe, 240, sore, 258, 
hye, 267, sone, 276, 333, namor?, 314, namor', 343. This rule 
being so general, we even find the -e wrongly added, by license, 
where we should not expect it; e.g. here (A.S. her), 145; ther- 
fore (A.S. )>#r and/or compounded), 177. There is an example 
of a preposition in -e, viz. bitwixe, 333. We may note also ad- 
verbs in -ely, where e is a syllable ; viz. richely, 90, solempnely, 
179, diversely, 202. 

The whole matter is much simplified by remembering that 
every case of the final -e can be characterised as either (i) essen- 
tial, (2) superfluous, or (3) grammatical. To the two first of these 
classes the guide is etymology, to the last the guide is a know- 
ledge of Anglo-Saxon grammar. For example, the final -e is 
essential where it represents an A.S. or Latin termination, as in 
stede from A.S. steda, or diademe from Lat. diadema. It is super- 
fluous or licentious, if used in a word like quene, B 3538, from A.S. 
civen, or in a word like bitwixe, F 333, where the A.S. form is 
betiuux or betweox ; all such cases being rare. It is grammatical, 
if due to the usage of A.S. grammar. When grammatical, it must 
be either oblique (see classes 3, 4). adjectival (classes 5, 6, 7, 8), 
verbal (classes 9-14), or adverbial (class 15). 


The text of the present selection of the Canterbury Tales is 
founded upon that of the Ellesmere MS. as printed in Mr. Fur- 
nivall's Six-text Edition for the Chaucer Society. As the scribe 
of this MS. almost invariably writes tb instead of j>, and y instead 
of 3, I have been able to dispense with the use of those charac- 
ters without much varying from his practice. The text has been 
collated throughout with six other MSS., five of which are in 
the Six-text edition, and the sixth is the Harleian MS. 7334. 
The Ellesmere MS. (belonging to the Earl of Ellesmere) is denoted 
in the footnotes by E. ; the others are the Hengwrt (belonging 
to Mr. Wm. W. E. Wynne of Peniarth), the Cambridge (marked 
Gg. 4. 27 in the Cambridge University Library), the Corpus (in 
the Library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford), the Petworth 
(belonging to Lord Leconfield), and the Lansdowne (known 
as MS. Lansdowne 851, in the British Museum). These are 
denoted by the abbreviations Hn., Cm., Cp., Pt., and Ln. The 
Harleian MS. (in the Harleian collection in the British Museum) 
is denoted by HI. The text may be best understood by remem- 
bering that it invariably follows that of the Ellesmere MS., 
except where notice is expressly given to the contrary by means 
of a footnote at the bottom of the page, which explains what other 
MS. has, in such a case, been preferred. Thus, at p. i, 1. 4, 
occurs the first variation ; where the reading jstert, of E. Hn. 
(i.e. of the Ellesmere and Hengwrt MSS.) has been rejected 
in favour of expert, the reading of Cp. Pt. and Ln. ; the Cam- 
bridge MS. having a lacuna here. Thus the reader can judge 
for himself in every case whether the alteration made recom- 
mends itself to him or not. The numbering of the lines follows 
that of the Six-text Edition throughout, the Groups being de- 
noted by the letters B, E, and F. Between each section will 
be found a short statement of whatever part has been omitted ; 
see pp. 6, 7, 28, 58, 101, 127. 

Collation of the text with the other MSS. has enabled me also 
to improve the orthography in some instances ; it was found 
impracticable to give an account of this, and such alterations are, 
for the most part, slight. The reasons for them are sufficiently 


obvious to any one who possesses the Six-text Edition, and will, 
besides consulting the other MSS., take the further trouble of 
comparing one part of the Ellesmere MS. with another. Speak- 
ing generally, the orthography represents, on the whole, that of 
the scribe of the Ellesmere MS., whose system was a very good 
one, and tolerably uniform. It may be observed that.y is con- 
stantly used to represent the A.S. /, or is, in other words, the 
long vowel corresponding to that represented by /'. The scribe 
also affects the use of oo to denote a long o-sound, as in looth, B 
91. In a few cases where a final e seems to have been added 
by accident, it has been suppressed, where there was sufficient 
authority for doing so. Also, in the following words, though 
generally written, it has been omitted in order to prevent con- 
fusion, viz. in euere, neuere, here, hire, hise, which are printed ever, 
never, her, hir, bis. The reason why euere, neuere, are commcfh in 
MSS. is that they represent the A.S. of re, ncefre, but in Chaucer 
they are frequently equivalent in time to a mere monosyllable, 
like our modern e'er, ne'er. Here (A.S. hira,of them) is generally 
monosyllabic, and the same is true of hire ( = A.S. hire, Mod. E. 
her), though a remarkable exception occurs in the Man of Law's 
Tale, B 460; see p. 12 of my edition, or Specimens of English, 
ed. Morris and Skeat, p. 260. It may be added that here and 
hire are constantly confused in MSS. ; I mostly keep the form 
her for of them, and hir for Mod. E. her. Hise is written in the 
Ellesmere MS. in the sense of his, before plural nouns ; but there 
seems no reason for supposing this -e to have been sounded by 
Chaucer, though it appears to have been so in the earlier poem 
of Havelok. Thise has been retained as the plural of this, for 
mere distinction ; but it is always a monosyllable. In further 
illustration of the method adopted, I here note every variation 
from the Ellesmere text in the first stanza of the Monk's Tale, 
p. 32. 

L. 3181. E. Hn. biwaille; text, biwayle, suggested by Cm. 
Cp. bewayle, Pt. HI. bywaile, Ln. beweile. E. Hn. Cm. Pt. 
manere; text, maner, as in Cp. Ln. HI.; the accent being on 
the a. 


L. 3182. E. Hn. stoode ; text, stode, suggested by observing 
that the scribes seldom write oo except in the singular member. 

L. 3184. E. Hn. Cm. brynge ; text, bringe, as in the rest, 
because y generally denotes the long vowel /. E. Hn. hir ; Cm. 
Cp. here; text, her, as in Pt. Ln. HI. 

L. 3185. E. ]>at ; text, that. E. Fortune ; text, fortune. 

L. 3186. E. hire; text, hir, as in Pt. HI. 

L. 3188. E. Pt. of; text, by, as in all the rest. This, being a 
real variation of text, is duly accounted for in a footnote. 

It will thus be seen that the variations of the text from the 
Ellesmere MS. are but very slight, that they can be justified 
by collation, and that pains have been taken to make a good 
useful text, on the principle of disturbing that of the Ellesmere 
MS. as little as possible. The text of the Man of Law's Tale 
in the Specimens of English was formed in precisely the same 
way ; and similar remarks apply to my other volume of Chaucer 

The books most useful for explaining Chaucer are much the 
same as those which help to explain ' Piers the Plowman ' ; see 
ihe list of them given in the preface to Piers the Plowman 
(Clarendon Press), 3rd ed. p. xlvi. Such as are cited in the 
Notes are there sufficiently indicated. An excellent article on 
Chaucer, in Lowell's My Study Windows, a delightful book, 
should by all means be consulted. The spelling of the words 
cited in the Clossarial Index has been carefully verified by refer- 
ence to the usual Dictionaries ; for foreign languages, small pocket- 
dictionaries have been used, that the student may easily, if he 
pleases, look out such words for himself, which he is strongly 
recommended to do. The etymologies are merely suggested, in 
the very briefest manner ; in French words, for example, the 
Latin root is often given without any account of the mode of 
derivation. The Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic words cited should 
be looked out, and their various meanings ascertained ; and some 
idea of the grammatical rules of those languages should be attained 
to. The mere ' cramming up ' of such root-words (to be repro- 
duced, as is sometimes done, with some slight change in the 


spelling which at once reveals a most discreditable ignorance), is 
worse than useless. The books actually used were the following. 
Pocket-dictionaries of German (Fliigel's edited by Feiling), of 
Dutch (the Tauchnitz edition), of Danish (by Ferrall and Repp), 
of Welsh (by Spurrell), and of Italian and Spanish (both by 
Meadows) ; Wedgwood's English Etymology ; Bosworth's Anglo- 
Saxon Dictionary ; Skeat's Mceso-Gothic Glossary ; Stratmann's 
Old English Dictionary ; Cleasby and Vigfusson's Icelandic 
Dictionary ; Wackernagel's Altdeutsches Handwb'rterbuch. 
For French words, Brachet's Etymological French Dictionary 
(Clarendon Press) is very useful ; and the Dictionary by Randle 
Gotgrave (ed. 1660) is often quoted. The Old French words 
are taken from Burguy, except when Roquefort is expressly cited. 
The Low-Latin words are from the Lexicon Manuale ad Scrip- 
tores Mediae et Infimae Latinitatis, compiled from Ducange's great 
work by Maigne d'Arnis, and published at Paris by Migne in 
1866; price, 12 francs. Prompt. Parv. is an abbreviation for 
Promptorium Parvulorum, ed. Way (Camden Society). 

With respect to the subject of Chaucer's metre, a brief expla- 
nation is necessary. In an essay by myself, printed at pp. 172-196. 
of vol. i. of the Aldine edition of Chaucer (Bell and Daldy, 1866), 
the results there given were due to an independent investigation, 
before I had met with the work by Professor Child. Nearly all 
of them agree with his, though they were obtained with less care, 
and are deficient in some of the details. But with respect to many 
minuter points, I have no doubt I must have since learnt much 
from him ; and it ought never to be forgotten that the only full and 
almost complete solution of the question as to the right scansion 
of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is due to what Mr. Ellis l rightly 
terms ' the wonderful industry, acuteness, and accuracy ' of Pro- 
fessor F. J. Child, of Harvard College, Cambridge, Mass. U.S. I 
wish also to express my obligations to Tyrwhitt's Chaucer, with 

1 The account of Chaucer's metre by Mr. Ellis (Early English Pro- 
nunciation, pp. 318-342) is much fuller than that in my slight essay, 
and contains the results of independent work. In the main, the results 
obtained thus independently agree very well together. 


its learned and scholarly notes; to Mr. A. J. Ellis's great work 
on Early English Pronunciation ; to Mr. Furnivall's Six-text 
Edition of the Canterbury Tales, and his numerous useful contri- 
butions to our knowledge concerning both the poet and his works ; 
to Mr. H. Bradshaw, Cambridge University Librarian, for much 
help of various kinds ; to Mr. Hales, for a few hints for the second 
edition ; and especially to the Rev. Dr. Morris, who kindly assisted 
me in revising the proof-sheets of the first edition. 


The following list, in which the Works are arranged (approxi- 
mately) in chronological order, is mainly taken from Mr. Fur- 
nivall's ' Trial Fore-words to my Parallel-text edition of Chaucer's 
Minor Poems,' Chaucer Society, 1871. I append some observa- 
tions upon it. 

Chaucer's A. B.C., or, La Priere de Nostre Dame. 
Compleynte to Pite. 

Romaunt of the Rose. [Lines 1-1705 ; rest spurious.} 
1369. Deth of Blaunche. [The Booke of the Duchesse.] 

(Lyf of Sainte Cecile ; afterwards inserted in the Tales.) 
Parlement of Foules. [The Assembly of Foules.] 
The Complaint of Mars. [The Complaint of Mars and 
Venus.] But the Venus is a separate poem ; set below, 
(e) *A Compleint to his Lady. 
Anelida and Arcite. 

(a) *Translation of Boethius ' De Consolatione Philosophise.' 

(b) *The Former Age ; or, jEtas Prima. 

Troilus and Criseyde. 


Chaucer's Words to his Scrivener Adam *. 
ab. 1 384 ? The House of Fame. 

The Legend of Good Women, 
ab. 1386. The Canterbury Tales. 

Good Counseil ; or, Truth ; or, ' Fie from the pres.' 
(f) *A Balade to Rosemounde. 
(c) * Three Roundels (forming one poem). 

Two Proverbes. [Eight lines ; with 16 spurious and un- 
connected lines sometimes appended.] 
i39i(</)*A Treatise on the Astrelabie. 

Complaint of Venus. (See Complaint of Mars, above.) 
Lenvoy to Scogan. 
Lenvoy to Bukton. 

Gentilesse. [A Ballade teaching what is gentilnesse.] 
ab. 1 397? Lack of Stedfastnesse. [A Balade sent to King 

Balade de Visage saunz Peinture. [A Ballade of the 

Village (sic) without Painting.] Or, Fortune. 
1 399. Compleint to his Purse. [To his empty Purse.] 

All the above poems, except those marked with an asterisk, are 
to be found in the common editions. Where the title stands 
somewhat differently in the editions, a note has been made of it. 
The other six pieces may be thus accounted for. (a) Edited by 
Dr. Morris for the Early English Text Society, (b) Printed in 
the Aldine edition, ed. Morris, vol. vi. p. 300. Undoubtedly 
genuine ; and closely connected with the preceding, (c) Printed 
in the Aldine edition, vi. 304. First printed, from a Pepys MS., 
by Percy, in his Reliques of Ancient Poetry, (d) Edited by 
me for the E. E. Text Society, (e) See my edition of the 
'Minor Poems.' (f) Discovered by me, Apr. 2, 1891. 

LOST WORKS. The Book of the Lion; mentioned at the 
end of the Persones Tale. 

1 Genuine : but the third line ' Under thy longe lokkes maist thou 
haue the skalle ' is too long ; omit longe, inserted when lokkes had 
become a monosyllable. 


Origenes upon the Maudeleyne ; mentioned in the prologue to 
the Legend of Good Women \ 

A translation of Pope Innocent's treatise de Miseria Con- 
ditionis Humanae; mentioned in the Cambridge MS. of the 
Legend of Good Women (MS. Gg. 4. 27). 

DOUBTFUL WORKS. A Ballad which Chaucer made against 
women unconstant 2 . An Amorous Compleint ; and a Balade of 
Compleint ; see my edition of Chaucer's Minor Poems. 

SPURIOUS WORKS. The following poems are included in 
modern editions. Complaint of the Black Knight (or, Conlplaint of 
a Loveres Life) ; now known to be Lydgate's. The Cuckow and 
the Nightingale ; first two lines quoted from the Knightes Tale ; 
probably written about 1403, by an author named Clanvowe. 
The Flower and the Leaf; written by a woman, and clearly 
belonging to the fifteenth century. Chaucer's Dream ; first 
printed in 1598. The Court of Love ; written about 1500, and 
first printed in 1561 \ Virelai (no final e). 

The following are to be found in the Aldine edition, vol. vi., 
and elsewhere. A Goodly Ballad, vi. 275. A Praise of Women, 
p. 278. Prosperity (8 lines), p. 296. Leaulte vaut richesse (8 
lines), p. 302. ' Moder of God ' ; by Hoccleve ; p. 308. Chaucer's 
Prophecy (13 lines), p. 307. 

Of works printed in the editions, the principal one is The 
Testament of Love, written by Thomas Usk, in obvious imita- 
tion of Chaucer's translation of Boethius. 

Lastly, I must mention the translation (well-known by name) 
of the Romaunt of the Rose, which appears in all the editions, 
and of which only fragments have come down to us. Only a 
small portion of it is Chaucer's; but, as the whole is frequently 
and commonly attributed to him, I append a discussion of this 
question below ; see p. Ixxxiii. 

1 Hence we find a poem called The Lamentation of Mary Magdalene 
assigned to Chaucer in the old editions. But this is a different poem, by 
an anonymous author. 

2 As it consists of only three stanzas, I print it below ; see p. Ixxxii. 

s The proof that it is not genuine was given by me in The Academy, 
Aug. 3, 1878. 

VOL. II. f 


'The following is the Ballad which I suppose to be Chaucer's, though not 
usually included in modern editions of Chaucer's works : 


[I take this from Chaucer's Works, ed. 1561, fol. cccxl. ; but make a 
few corrections in the spelling to preserve the metre. The dotted e is to 
be fully pronounced.] 

Madame, for your newefangelnesse, 

Many a seruaunt haue ye put out of grace l , 

I take my leue of your vnstedfastnesse, 

For wel I wot, whyl ye to line haue space, 

Ye can not loue ful half yeer in a place ; 5 

To newe thinges, your lust is euer kene ; 

In stede of blew, thus may ye were al grene. 

Right as a mirour, that nothing may enpresse, 

But, lightly as it comth 2 , so moot it pace, 

So fareth 3 your loue, your werkes bereth 3 witnesse 10 

Ther is no feithe may your herte enbrace ; 

But, as a wedercok, that turneth* his face 

With euery wind, ye fare, and that is sene * ; 

In stede of blew, thus may ye were al grene. 

Ye might be shrined, for your brotelnesse 8 , 15 

Bet 6 than Dalida 7 , Criseide, or Candace ; 
For euer in chaunging stant 8 your sikernesse', 

1 The old edition has your grace ; omit your. 

2 Old ed. cometh; but see Group B, 407, 603 (Man of Lawes Tale). 

3 Pronounce far'th, ber'th, tttrn'th, as usual in Chaucer ; see note 2 

4 Sene, evident, visible ; an adj., not a pp. ; see the Glossary. Cf. A. S. 
gesyne, which also appears asysene in Chaucer, Prol. 592. 

* Fickleness ; ' On brotel ground they bilde, and brotelnesse They finden, 
when they wenen sikernesse;' with precisely the same rime; Merch. 
Tale, 35. 

6 Old ed. Setter; wrongly. 7 Dalilah ; as in B. 3253. 

Old ed. stondeth ; but see the Glossary. 


That tache l may no wight from your herte arace a ; 

If ye lose oon, ye 3 can wel tweyn purchace ; 

Al light for somer, ye wot wel what I mene, 20 

In stede of blew thus may ye were al grene. 

There is much in favour of the genuineness of this ballad ; the 
metre is that of the common ballad-stanza, which is distinguished 
by having- only three rime-endings to the three stanzas. We may 
note the peculiar words nenuefangelnesse, enbrace, sene, brotelnesse, 
Dalida, Criseide, Candace 4 , sikernesse, arace, purchace, all of them 
Chaucerian; the occurrence of brotelnesse and sikernesse in two 
consecutive lines of the Marchantes Tale ; and see the note to 
F. 644 in the present volume. The allusion to the weathercock 
reminds us of 'chaunging as a vane,' E. 996. Line 20 may be 
compared with F. 389, 390, and B. 93. 


We know that Chaucer made a translation of the Romaunt of 
the Rose; but of the three fragments now extant, two are 
not his. This point has been obscured by the fact that all the 
editions contain this anonymous translation, and it has always 
been associated with his name. But the internal evidence 
against this hasty conclusion is overwhelming and irrefragable, 
though the poem will long continue to be considered as genuine 
by readers unacquainted with Chaucer's metre and grammar. 
But as the careful perusal of even so small a portion of Chaucer 
as is contained in the present volume will enable a student to 
exercise his own judgment on this point, a few of the arguments 
are here appended. 

It must be observed at the outset that there may have been, 
for all we know, five or six translations of the Romaunt of the 

1 Fault, bad habit ; cf. P. Plowman, B. ix. 146. 

* See the Glossary. 

3 The old ed. omits ye, though required both for sense and metre. 

* Candace is mentioned in the Parlement of Foules, 1. 288, 

5 The suggestion that this Ballad is really Chaucer's came to me from 
Mr. Furnivall, who, however, has since changed his opinion. 



Rose by different authors. Of other similar works there still 
exist several translations, and they are almost all anonymous. 
Thus, of the Troy-book, we not only have a version by Lydgate, 
and another (unpublished and imperfect) by Barbour, but a third 
(also unpublished) in the Bodleian Library, and a fourth, in alli- 
terative verse, published by the Early English Text Society. 
' These versions are independent translations from Guido de 
Colonna, belong to the end of the i4th and beginning of the 
1 5th century, and must have been made within a period of fifty 
years. Probably the earliest was that by Barbour, then the 
Alliterative, then Lydgate's, and last of all the Bodleian ;' Warton, 
Hist. Eng. Poetry, ed. Hazlitt, ii. 129, footnote. So again, of 
the Story of Alexander, we have the version in Weber's Metrical 
Romances, the alliterative Romance printed by Stevenson, the 
Alexander fragment printed by myself as an appendix to William 
of Palerne, Alexander and Dindimus (E.E.T.S.), and so on. We 
find, in fact, that numerous translations, mostly anonymous, 
were made at the end of the fourteenth century; a'nd it is 
extremely unlikely that Chaucer's translation of the Romaunt 
should have been the only one. Moreover, Chaucer either 
intentionally suppressed some of his translations, or took no care 
to preserve them ; so that we have now only his own word for 
his translations of the Book of the Lion, of Origenes upon the 
Maudeleyne, and of Pope Innocent's treatise De Miseria. Hence 
there is actually, at the very outset of the enquiry, a presumption 
in favour of the fact that the existing translation is anonymous, 
and not his. Its presence in the editions proves nothing; it 
was inserted merely on the strength of the title, just as the early 
editions contain The Lamentation of Mary Magdalene, inserted 
to supply the place of Chaucer's Maudeleyne. We have to bear 
in mind (for it is an important point), that we first meet with the 
Romaunt in the edition of 1532, a collection of Chaucer's (sup- 
posed) works made a hundred and thirty years after his death. 
Most critics calmly ignore this, and speak as if it had been asso- 
ciated with Chaucer from the first. A very little reflection will 
shew that the external evidence is simply worthies?, and we are 


driven to examine the poem itself. We then stand on firm 
ground, and the results are interesting and decisive. 

To save trouble, I shall call each of the authors 'the trans- 
lator,' and his work ' the translation,' and proceed to give a brief 
sketch of the nature of the arguments. The translation con- 
sists of three Fragments: A (11. 1-1705), which is genuine; 
B (11. 1706-5810), in a Northern dialect ; G (sSn-end). I only 
argue against the genuineness of fragments B and G 1 . 

TEST I. Ihe Riming of -y with -ye. This is explained in the 
note to B. 2092, p. 169. Chaucer never rimes such a word as 
trewely, ending in -y, with French substantives ending in -ye, such 
asfofye, Jelousye. In the translation, examples abound, e.g.genera/j, 
vilanye, 2I79 2 ; worthy, curtesye, 2209 ; folye, by, 2493, 2521; 
curtesye, gladly, 2985 ; flaterye, utterly, 3387 ; lelousye, I, 3909; 
multiply?, by, 5600. There are plenty more, which the curious 
may discover for themselves. The MS. of the translation often 
has the absurd spellings bye for by, and the like, to keep up a rime 
to the eye ; but the truth lies the other way, that the final -e was 
dropped by the translator, just as it always was by Barbour, who 
rimes foly with <wykkytly, Bruce, i. 221 ; &c., &c. To meet the 
argument drawn from this test, the puerile plea has been set up, 
that Chaucer's practice of riming differed at different periods 
of his life ! This is purely gratuitous, and contrary to all the 
evidence. See, for example, his Book of the Duchesse. 

TEST II. The use of assonant rimes. In the poem of Havelok 
the Dane, we find rimes that are not true rimes, but mere asso- 
nances, such as y erne, quene, 182 ; maked, shaped, 1646; &c., &c. s . 
I need hardly say that no such rimes occur in Chaucer 4 . But, in 

1 Several of the points mentioned below will be found in my letter to 
The Academy on this subject, Aug. 10, 1878, p. 143. 

2 I give the Chaucerian spelling to shew the impossibility of the rimes 
being due to Chaucer. The numbers refer to the lines of the poem, as 
printed in Morris's Aldine edition of Chaucer, vol. vi. 

3 A list is given in my preface to Havelok, p. xlv. 

4 Mr. Bradshaw kindly points out the riming of terme, yerne, Book of 
the Duchess, 11. 79, 80. This is a most instructive instance ; for yerne 
is a mistake of the scribes for erme, the true Chaucerian form, as I shew 
in the note to Group C, 1. 312 ; see Man of Law's Tale, 2nd ed., p. 142. 


the translation, there are numerous examples, which are quite 
decisive. Some are: kepe, eke, 2126; shape, make, 2260; escape, 
make, 2753; take, scape, 3165; laste, to barste, 3185. In the last 
case, we might read to braste. This secures a rime indeed, but it 
brings us no nearer to Chaucer; he rimes laste (to last) with 
words such ssfaste, caste, &c. ; whereas 'to burst' is, with him, 
to breste, riming with leste, it pleased, reste ; &c. He has, indeed, 
brast as a past tense, but that is quite a different matter. 

TEST III. 1 be riming cohere and there. It has been main- 
tained by Dr. Weymouth, in the Transactions of the Philological 
Society, that Chaucer rimes a certain set of words with the word 
here, and another set of words with the word there ; and no word 
in one set ever rimes with a word in the other set. Whether this 
be true or not, it can be maintained and defended, and cannot be 
easily and formally disproved. In other words, Chaucer distin- 
guishes between the open e (as in A. S. \kr) and the close e (as in 
A. S. //). But the author of Fragment B rimes dene (with open 
e) and gr/ne (with close e), 1. 2127 ; and w/ne (close e) with lene 
(open e), 1. 2683. And he actually uses thar in place of there 
(see p. Ixxxviii). 

TEST IV. Strange rimes. We find in the translation all sorts 
of rimes such as Chaucer, judging by the evidence, would never 
have dreamt of. Examples : joynt, queynt, 2037; aboute, sivote, 
1705; desire, nere, 1785, 2441; desire, manere, 2779; storme, 
cor tie, 4343; more, ar, 2215; annoy, away, 2675; iqye, conveye, 
2915; crowne, per s one, 3201; doun, tourne, 5472. In this case, 
I leave the spelling as in the MS. Plenty more such rimes 
may be found. 

TEST V. The grammatical use of final -e. In the translation, 
we find to tel, a gerund, riming with bifel, 3083 ; set, pp., riming 
with the gerund to et (to eat), 2755. I have written the preface 
to this book in vain if even the beginner cannot see that Chaucer 
would have written telle in one place, and etc in the other, and 
would not have tolerated such rimes as these. See p. Ixxiii. 10. 
I adduce no more such instances, but there are, in the transla- 
tion, hundreds of them. [According to Kaluza, there are 198.] 


TEST VI. The test of dialect. This test alone is decisive, and 
deserves great attention. Many have noticed that the translation 
bears obvious marks of a more Northern dialect than that of Chaucer. 
Mr. Arnold, in a letter to the Academy, July 20, 1878, p. 67, says 
'that the language of the only existing MS. of the Romaunt is 
of a somewhat more Northern cast than that of Chaucer's works 
generally, is indisputable. It seems to me tinged by the dialect 
of Norfolk and Lincolnshire. . . Lepand (leaping) occurs a dis- 
tinctly Northern form. But the divergence from the language of 
London is not greater than can be reasonably set down to the 
account of an East-Anglian transcriber, as distinguished from the 
original author. In connection with this point, it may be noted 
that a memorandum inside the Hunterian volume J states that 
the MS. was given in 1720 by Mr. Sturgeon, surgeon, of Bury 
St. Edmunds, to one Thomas Martin V My answer is, that this is 
a misleading statement ; it implies that the Northern participles 
in -and are due to the transcriber. But they are due to the author, 
and cannot be explained away. As this is an important point, 
I cite four lines, in full, properly spelt, omitting be in 1. 2263. 

' Poyntis and slevis wel sittand, 
Righte and streighte on the hand;'' 2263. 

They shal hir tel how they thee /and, 
Curteys and wys, and wel doand;' 2707. 

Change these into Chaucerian spelling, and we have sittinge riming 
with hand; and fond (notfand, see fond in Glossary) riming with 
doing; which is absurd 3 . The \vordfand is just as clear an in- 
dication of Northern dialect (to those who can see) as the use 
of the present participle in -and. I will indicate one more 
Northern form, too important to be passed over, viz. the use of 
the Scandinavian preposition //'/ in place of the Southern English 

1 The MS. of the translation is in the Hunterian collection at Glasgow. 

a Meaning Thomas Martin of Palgrave. 

* Several years ago, I happened to remark to a friend that the suffix 
-and is a sure mark of Northern influence. He observed, that he had 
just found some instances of the use of this suffix in Chaucer. I replied 
' then it was in the Romaunt of the Rose.' Answer ' yes, it was.' 


to. Til occurs as a rime to tail and./?/ thrice; see lines 4593, 
4854, 5816. Now, although til is found in the MSS. of Chaucer, 
A. 1478, it is of doubtful authenticity; if correct, it seems to have 
been used instead of to before a vowel, to avoid the hiatus. But 
in Northern works it is very common ; and the use of it, as in the 
translation, after its case, is notable. 

But the transcript really is often at fault ; being more southern 
in character than the translator's real language. The scribe has set 
down rimes that are no rimes, but which become so when turned 
into the Northern dialect. Thus, he rimes thore (there) with more, 
1853, Chaucer's form being there ; and also more with are, 1. 2215, 
which is no rime at all. Barbour would have written, thar, mar, 
and ar\ which makes the rimes perfect 1 . So also hate (hot) 
riming with state, 2398, is Northern ; Chaucer's form is boot. Cf. 
also avenaunt or avenand (as in Barbour's Bruce), riming with 
plesaunt or plesand, 4621 ; paramount (Bruce), riming with shouris, 
4657; ado (for at do = to do, a well-known Northern idiom), 
riming with^o, 5082 ; certis (a Northern form for Chaucer's certes), 
riming with is, 5544; fa-we (fain, a Northern form), riming with 
saive, a saying, 6477. Chaucer has taughte, taught ; but the 
translator has tec bed, riming with preched, 6681. The continual 
dropping of the final -e, so common in the translation, is a well- 
known mark of Northern idiom ; see p. Iviii. above. For examples, 
takejlitte, it, 5362 ; gete, set, 4828 ; lye, erly, 2645 ; feet, lete, 1981. 
They may be found in large numbers. 

TEST VII. The test of -vocabulary. This is a test I have never 
yet seen mentioned, except in the most hap-hazard way ; thus 
Mr. Arnold observes that smale f aides occurs in the translation, 
1. 106, and also in Chaucer's prologue, 1. 9. 2 But smale foules is 
merely Middle-English for 'little birds,' and might have been 
used by any one. I attach very small importance to this test of 

1 Again,/ wote rimes with estate, 5402 ; read Iwat, estat, the Northum- 
brian forms. To give many such examples is surely needless ; and it 
becomes tedious. 

* The argument is trivial, but the result is correct. For 1. 106 belongs 
to the genuine portion (Fragment A). 


vocabulary, as I believe it to be frequently misleading, and it is 
often misapplied. Its value as a proof is very slight, as compared 
with the tests furnished by metre and grammar. Still, as it carries 
weight with some readers, I will not omit to consider it. 

Whoever will really read the translation, must be struck with 
the extraordinary number of unusual words in it, especially of words 
which never occur in Chaucer. Many of these words have been 
attributed to Chaucer over and over again, but solely on the 
strength of the translation, and quite erroneously. By way of 
illustration, observe knoppe, a rose-bud, in 1. 1691 (Chaucer), but 
bothum, or botoun, a bud, elsewhere, 1. 1721, &c. 

\Ve may particularly notice three facts. 

A. The other translators and Chaucer use different forms of 
the same word. 

B. The other translators and Chaucer use similar forms in 
different senses. 

C. Words occur in the translation which do not occur in 

A. The mod. E. abroad is, in Chaucer, abroad' 1 ; but in the 
translation abrede (miswritten abrade), riming with forivered 
(\vrittenfor<weried), 2563. 

or found, we find f 'and, 2707. Chaucer, fond. 

In Chaucer's translation of Boethius, bk. ii. pr. 5, we find 
distingiied, pp. meaning 'distinguished.' But in RR. 1. 6199, we 
find distincte, used as an infinitive ! 

FarfairttifSJ, we rindfairete/e, 2484. Ch. hasfairnesse, E. 334. 
So also youtbede, 4934. 

F or fared, i.e. gone, we find/or*?, r. w. 2 more, 2709. Ch. has 
fure, E. 896. 

1 I must refer the reader to the Glossaries in Moxon's reprint of The 
Poetical Works of Chaucer, 1855; and in Morris's Aldine edition; also 
to the glossaries appended to the three volumes of Chaucer Selections in 
the Clarendon Press Series. Most words can thus be traced. I give the 
references to the 'translation,' as edited by Morris; remarking that in 
Moxon's edition the numbering of the lines s,ligh:ly differs, but never 
by more than seven lines. 

3 1. e. riming with. 


For to go one's <way, we find nvente her gate (common in the 
North), 3332. Ch. would have said <wente her <way; see to take out 
<wey, Prol. 33. 

For obedience, we find obejsshyng, 3380. Ch. says obeysance, 
E. 24. 

For piercing, we find persaunt, 2809 ; as in the Court of Love, 
849. Surely Ch. would have said percing. 

At 1. 3186, we find barste, to burst, riming with laste. Very 
likely this is an error for braste. But Chaucer's form of the 
infin. mood is neither barste nor braste, but breste\ see Kn. Tale, 


The carelessness of the translator appears in his usingyfrr (fire), 
to rime with desire, 2467 ; whilst, only four lines below, the form 
is fere, to rime with nere (nigher). 

For sojourn, we find sojcur, r. w. /oar, 4281; but Ch. has 
loiorne or soiourne, r. w. tourne, D. 988. 

For / ivot, we find Iiuote, 2402 ; but, as it rimes to estate (read 
estat), it is meant for the Northern / ivat. Ch. has / wot or / 
woot only. 

For grieve, we find engreve, 3444. Ch. has grew. 

For ' masterly workmanship,' we find maistrise, r. w. purprise, 
4171. Ch. has maistrie. For ' impair,' Ch. has both apeire and 
cmpeire. But in 1. 6103, we find the formpeire. Note also bonden, 
hands, 6667. 

B. Different senses of one form. Auaunt means forward, 
3958 ; 4793. In Ch., it means a boast. 

Baillie means custody, government, 4302, 7574. In Ch., it means 
a bailiff. 

Bauds means joyous, 5677. In Ch., it means a baivd*. 

Bourdon means a staff, 3401, 4092. In Ch., it is the burden of a 
song ; Prol. 675. 

1 We may also note different words for the same thing ; as vekke for 
hag, 4286 ; Chaucer's word is rebeJeke. 

" Morris gives only the sense joyous ; but this sense will not suit his 
reference to the Freres Tale, 1. 56. 


Joine is used with the sense of 'I enjoin' or ' command'; 2355. 
In Ch. it has its usual meaning; or else it means 'to adjoin,' 
as in Kn. Tale, 202. 

To congecte means to plan, 6930. In Ch., it means to conjecture 
or suppose ; Troil. iv. 998 (Morris). 

Cheinsaunce means remedy, 3337. In Ch., it means a borrowing, 
an agreement to borrow, or a dealing for profit. 

Quene in Chaucer means a queen ; in the translation, it is used 
in the worst sense, 7034. 

Solein means sullen, 3896. In Ch., it is merely sole or single. 

C. The translation abounds with remarkable words ; all three 
translators (for three they were) had considerable command 
of language ; but many of the words are to be found in Barbour, 
Wyclif, the Promptorium Parvulorum, Havelok, and Piers 
Plowman, rather than in Chaucer 1 . I note a few of these 2 . 

Accusitb, reveals, 1591 ; acoie, to quiet (as in Will, of Palerne), 
35 6 45 agree, adv. in good part, 4349; aguiler, needle-case, 98; 
alege, alleviate (as in the Prick of Conscience), 6628; aleys 
(French alise], lote-trees, I377 2 ; almandres, almond-trees, 1363; 
alpes, bulfinches (Prompt. Parv.), 658 ; among (in the sense now 
and then, as in Barbour), 3771 ; anker, anchorite (P. Plowman), 
6351; anoie, sb. (Barbour), 4404; aqueintable, 2213; arblasters, 
crossbow-men (awblasteris in Barbour), 4196; archangel, not a 
dead nettle (Prompt. Parv.), but a bird, 915 ; assise, situation, 
1237; attour, head-dress, 3718; avaunt, forward, 3958, 4793; 
a-venanl, becoming (Barbour), 1263 ; aumener, purse, 2087. 

Bagginglj, squintingly, 292 ; baillie, custody, 4302, 7574 ; to her 
bandon (Bruce), 1163; basting, sewing slightly, 104 ; batalled, em- 
battled, 4162; baude, joyous, 5677; beau sire, sir, 6056; behove, 
behoof (Havelok), 1092; benomen, taken away, 1509; bigine, 

1 In saying that these words seldom occur in Chaucer, I may make 
a few mistakes. I only say that I have overlooked them. The list 
must be taken as tentative only, for what it is worth. 

' 2 In this case, I give examples from all three fragments, including A, 
which is Chaucer's. 


beguine, 6863, 7368; bimene, bemoan (Hav.), 2667; bleine, blain 
(Wye.), 553; tolas, bullace, 1377; bordellers (bordel in Wye.), 
7036; boserd, buzzard, 4033; bothtim, bud, 1721; bourdon, staff 
(P. PI.), 3401 ; burnette, brown cloth, 226. 

Caleweis, sweet pears (P. PL), 7045; catneline, camlet, 7367; 
canelle, cinnamon, 1370; chelaundre, goldfinch, 81; chevisaunce, 
remedy, 3337 ; chevisaille, necklace, 1082 ; chideresse, 4266; cierges, 
wax-tapers (Hav.), 6251; elopers, rabbitburrows, 1405; clipsy, 
eclipsed, 5352 ; closer, inclosure, 4069 ; ccine, quince, 1374 ; condise, 
conduits, 1414 ; congect, to plan, 6930 ; conisaunce, understanding, 
5468; constablerie, ward of a castle, 4218; cotidien, daily, 2401; 
coure, to squat, 46s 1 ; coivardise, 2490 ; customer, accustomed, 4939. 

Decoped, cut down, 843; disrulily, irregularly, 4903; distorted, 
dissonant, 4248; distinct, to distinguish, 6202; dole, deal, part 2 , 
2364 ; dole, grief (Wye.), 2956 ; dwined, wasted (Wye.), 360. 

Eisel, vinegar (Wye.), 217; elde, to make old (Wye.), 391 ; en- 
doute, to fear, 1664 ; engre-ve, to hurt, 3444 ; entailed, carved, 140, 
162 ; equipolences, equivalents, 7078; erke, weary, 4870; espirituel, 
spiritual, 650; expleite, to perform, 6177. 

Fairhede, beauty, 2484; farce, to paint, 2285; fardel, burden 
(Wye.), 5686; felden, fell, 911; faunce, trust, 5484; jlourette, 
floweret, 891 ; fordwined, wasted away, 366 ; forfare, to fare ill 
(Barbour), 5391 ; forsongen, 664 ; forwandred (P. PI.), 3336 ; for- 
ivelked, 360 ; foriuered, 235 ; foxerie, 6797 ; freshe, to refresh, 1513. 

Codling (Hav., P. PI.), 938 ; gate, way, 3332 ; girdlestede, waist, 
826 ; gisarme, 5981 ; glombe, to be gloomy, 4356 ; gonfanon, 1201, 
2018; gospel/ere 9 , evangelist, 6889; grete, to weep (Barbour), 
4116 ; groine, to pout, 7051.* 

Habite, to dwell, 660 ; hale, 54 ; havoir, wealth, 4723 ; horriblete, 
7189 ; hulstred, hidden, 6149. 

1 Chaucer also has couche ; see Glossary. 

* So in Court of Love, 1098 ; but Chaucer has del. 

3 Chaucer has euangelist, B. 2133. 

4 We find groynyng, Knightes Tale, 1602, which Morris explains by 
1 slabbing.' But it would be better to explain it by ' pouting ' ; in 
which cause groine is a Chaucerian word. 


Joyne, to enjoin, 2355. 

Kernels, battlements (kyrnail, Barbour), 4195 ; knoppe, a button 
(P. PI.), also a bud, 1080, 1702 ; knopped, 7260. 

Lakke, to blame, 284; laverock, 662 ; lettred, learned (P. PI.), 

Maisondeuae (P. PL), 5622; maistrise, 4172; maltalent, ill will 
(cf. talent, Barbour), 274, 330; mavis 1 , thrush, 619; merke, dark 
(Barbour), 5342 ; metely, proportionable (Ormulum), 822; micher, 
thief, 6543 ; minoresse, 149 ; mitche, loaf, 5588 ; moison, growth, 
1677; monest*, to admonish, 3579; mordaunt t buckle-tongue, 
1094; musard, dreamer, 3256, 4034. 

Nokked, notched, 942. 

Obeysing, 3380 ; onde, malice, 148 ; orfrajs, embroidery, 562, 869. 

Paire, to impair (P. PL), 6106; papelard, hypocrite, 7283; 
popeholy, ^iS',persaunt, 2809', pesibie (Barb.), 7413; portecolise, 4168; 
paste, power (pouste, Barb.), 6486, 6535 ; preterit, 5011 ; primetemps, 
4750 ; pullaile (Barb.), 7045 ; purprise, 4171. 

Quarel, crossbow-bolt, 1823 ; quene (in bad sense, as in P. PL), 
7034; querrour, quarry-man, 4149. 

Racine, root, 4884; ramage*, wild, 5387; ravisable, 7018; 
refte, rift, 2661; ribaninges, 1077; rimpled, 4495; rive, 5396; 
riveting, 7262 ; roigne, roignous, 553, 988, 6193 ; roket, 1240, 4757 ; 
roking, 1906. 

Saile, to assail, 7338 ; sailours, dancers (cf. saille in P. PL), 770 ; 
sarsinishe, 1188; savourous, 84; scantilone, a pattern (Prompt. 
Parv., Cursor Mundi), 7066; seignorie (sensory, Barb.), 3213; 
semlyhede, comeliness, 777, 1130 ; sere, dry (Prompt. Parv.), 4752 ; 
slo^ive, moth (?), 4754 ; soigne, care, 3882 ; solein, sullen (Rom. of 
Partenay), 3896; so/our, stay; spannishing, blooming, 3633; 
springold, 4191 ; suckiny, loose frock, 1232 ; swire, neck, 325. 

Tapinage, sculking, 7363; tatariuagges, rags, 7259; timbre, 

1 And in Court of Love, 1388. 

2 Observe that Chaucer has only the comp. amoneste; the form monest, 
without initial a, is Northern, and occurs in Barbour. 

3 Morris refers us also to Ch. C. T., Group G, 887 ; the word there is 
rammish, ram-like ; quite a different word, and of E. origin. 


timbrel, timbestere, timbrel-player, 772, 769 ; tourette, turret, 4164 ; 
trashed, betrayed (betreyss, Barb.), 3231; tree hour, cheat, 197; 
trepeget, 6282 ; truandise, truanding, 6666, 6723. 

Vngodely, uncivil (ungod, Ormulum), 3741 ; unhide, 2168 ; urcbon, 
hedgehog, 3135 ; vecke, old woman, 4286, 4495 ; vendable, 5807 ; 
verger, garden, 3618, 3831; vermeil 'e, 3645 ; voluntee, 5279. 

Welmeth, wells up, 1561; <wirry, to worry, 6267; <wode<wale, 
658 ; twyndre, 1020. 

Touthede, youth, 4934. 

The above list is certainly a remarkable one ; and if any critic 
should succeed in discovering more than two-fifths of the above 
words elsewhere in Chaucer, I shall be much surprised. 

When regard is had to all the tests above, when we find that, 
each and all, they establish a difference between the language of 
fragments B, G, and that of Chaucer, it is surely time to con- 
sider the question as settled. Henceforward, to attribute the 
whole text to Chaucer may be left to those who have no sense 
of the force and significance of such arguments as philology 
readily supplies. I have no doubt whatever that the discovery 
of still greater discrepancies would reward more careful search. 

It remains to state what the translation really is. It scarcely 
belongs to the fourteenth century, as it contains many words sup- 
posed to be of later date; the date of the MS. is about 1440-50. It 
consists of three fragments, certainly by three different authors. The 
original dialect of fragment B was not Northumbrian, but a Mid- 
land dialect exhibiting Northumbrian tendencies; I hesitate to 
make a more explicit statement. The authors, like so many other 
authors of the fourteenth century, are anonymous, except in the 
case of fragment A (11. 1-1705), which alone is Chaucer's. 


The Canterbury Tales were printed by Caxton (1475, 1481), 
Wynken de Worde (1495, 1498), and Pynson (1493, 1526); but 
no collection of his Works was made till 1532. 

i. Edited by Wm. Thynne, London, 1532. Folio. 


2. Reprinted with additional matter, London, 1542. Folio. 
(Here the Plowman's Tale first appears.) 

3. Reprinted, with the matter re-arranged, London, no date, 
about 1551. Folio. 

4. Reprinted, with large additions by John Stowe. London, 
1561. Folio. (Here the Court of Love first appears; Lydgate's 
Siege of Thebes is also included.) 

5. Reprinted, with additions and alterations by Thomas Speght, 
London, 1598. Folio. 

6. Reprinted, with further additions and alterations by Thomas 
Speght, London, 1602. Folio. 

7. Reprinted with slight additions, London, 1687. Folio. 

8. Reprinted, with additions and great alterations in spelling, 
&c., by John Urry, 1721. Folio. 

Later editions only contain the poems. Tyrwhitt's edition of 
the Canterbury Tales, with notes and a glossary, first appeared 
in 5 vols., 8vo., in 1775-8. There is a convenient reprint of 
Chaucer's Poetical Works in a single volume by Moxon, 1843, 
said to be edited by Tyrwhitt; but the statement only applies 
to the Canterbury Tales, the notes, and the glossary. The 
editions by Morris and Bell are well known. Wright's edition 
of the Canterbury Tales follows the Harleian MS., but is no safe 
authority for the readings of that MS. 

POSTSCRIPT (1888). For later information regarding Chaucer's 
Works, see my Introduction to Chaucer's Minor Poems. 

The first edition of the present work appeared in 1874. I 
regret to find that Prof. Ten Brink supposes that I took hints 
from a book of his published in 1870 without acknowledgment, 
but I never saw his book till 1886, nor read it till 1887. By all 
means let his be all the credit. His works on Chaucer are of 
great value, and I am not so presumptuous as to pretend to 
compete with them. 


POSTSCRIPT (1901). I subjoin a few further remarks. 

P. xvi. It is now argued that The Knight's Tale was never re- 
written, and that it preceded the Legend of Good Women. See 
the article in An English Miscellany (Oxford, 1901), p. 301. 

P. xxii, 1. 8 from bottom. The author of this French story was 
Gautier de Coincy. It is probable that Chaucer was acquainted 
with it, and also with another poem by the same author, entitled 
' De Glerico Sancte Virgini devoto, in cuius iam mortui ore flos 
inventus est.' The latter poem is printed in ' La Langue et la 
LitteYature Frai^aises," by K. Bartsch and A. Horning (Paris, 
1887), col. 367; and my verse translation of it was printed in 
The Academy, Sept. 15, 1894, p. 195. 

P. Ixxxiv, 1. 4. It is doubtful if the version is really Barbour's. 

P. Ixxxiv, 1. 24. Fragments of Chaucer's translation of ' De 
Miseria' are found in The Man of Lawes Tale, B 99-121, 
421-427, 771-777, 925-931, 1134-1141 ; and in The Pardoneres 
Tale, between C 483 and C 561. 

P. 1 80, note to 1. 3307. Trophee practically means Guido delle 
Colonne, who records the deeds of Hercules, and mentions the 
pillars, in his Historia Troiana, bk. i. 


[Introduction to the Man of Law's Prologue.] 

The wordes of the Hoost to the compaignye. 

Our hoste sey wel that the bryghte sonne 

The ark of his artificial day hath ronne 

The fourthe part, and half an houre, and more; 

And though he were not depe expert * in lore, 

He wiste it was the eightetethe 2 day 5 

Of April, that is messager to May ; 

And sey wel that the shadwe of euery tree 

Was as in lengthe the same quantitee 

That was the body erect that caused it. 

And therfor by the shadwe he took his wit 10 

That Phebus, which that shoon so clere and bryghte, 

Degrees was fyue and fourty clombe on hyghte ; 

And for that day, as in that latitude, 

It was ten of the 3 clokke, he gan conclude, 

And sodeynly he plyghte his hors aboute. 15 

' Lordinges,' quod he, ' I warne yow, al this route, 

1 Cm. wanting ; Cp. Ft. Ln. expert ; E. Hn. ystert. 

2 Hn. xviijthe; Cp. xviije; Cm. Pt. Ln. xviij ; E. eighte and twentithc; 
HI. threttenthe. 

* Cm. Pt. HI. of the ; E. Hn. at the ; Cp. atte ; Ln. att. 

Cj VOL. II. B 


The fourthe party of this day is goon ; 

Now, for the loue of god and of seint lohn, 

Leseth no tyme, as ferforth as ye may; 

Lordinges, the tyme wasteth nyght and day, 20 

And steleth from vs, what priuely slepinge, 

And what thurgh necligence in our wakinge, 

As dooth the streem, that turneth neuer agayn, 

Descending fro the montaigne in-to playn. 

Wei can Senec, and many a philosophre 25 

Biwailen tyme, more than gold in cofre. 

"For los of catel may recouered be, 

But los of tyme shendeth vs," quod he. 

Sir man of lawe,' quod he, ' so haue ye blis, 33 

Tel vs a tale anon, as forward is ; 

Ye ben submitted thurgh your free assent 35 

To stonde in this cas at my lugement. 

Acquiteth yow, and holdeth l your biheste, 

Than haue ye doon your deuoir atte lesteV 

' Hoste,' quod he, ' depardieux ich assente, 

To breke forward is not myn entente. 40 

Biheste is dette, and I wol holde fayn 

Al my biheste ; I can no better seyn. 

For swich lawe as man 2 yeueth another wyghte, 

He sholde him-seluen vsen it by ryghte; 

Thus wol our text, but natheles certeyn 45 

I can ryght now no thrifty tale seyn, 

But 3 Chaucer, though he can but lewedly 

On metres and on ryming craftily, 

1 HI. and holdeth ; the rest now of (badly). 

2 Cm. man; the rest a man. 

. 3 MS. Camb. Dd. 4. 24 has But; the rest That; see note. 


Hath seyd hem in swich english as he can 

Of olde tyme, as knoweth many a man. 50 

And if he haue not seyd hem, leue brother, 

In o boke, he hath seyd hem in another. 

For he hath told of loueres vp and doun 

Moo than Ovide made of mencioun 

In his Epis toh's, that ben ful olde. 55 

What sholde I tellen hem, sin they ben tolde? 

In youthe he made of Ceys and Alcion, 

And sithen hath he spoke of euerichon, 

Thise noble wyues and thise loueres eke. 

Who so that wol his large volume seke 60 

Cleped the seintes legende of Cupyde, 

Ther may he seen the large woundes wyde 

Of Lucresse, and of Babiloin Tisbee ; 

The swerd * of Dido for the false Enee ; 

The tree of Phillis for hir Demophon; 65 

The pleinte of Dianire 2 and Hermion, 

Of Adriane and of Isiphilee; 

The bareyne yle stonding in the see ; 

The dreynte Leander for his 3 Erro; 

The teres of Eleyne, and eek 4 the wo 70 

Of Brixseide, and of 5 thee, Ladomea; 

The cruelte of thee, queen Medea, 

Thy litel children hanging by the hals 

For thy lason, that was of 6 loue so fals I 

O Ypermistra, Penelope, Alceste, 75 

Your wyfhood he comendeth with the beste! 

1 HI. sorwe ; but the rest swerd. 

* E Cm. HI. Diane ; but Hn. Cp. Pt. Ln. Dianire, or Dyanyre. 
3 HI. hir Erro. 

* E. omits eek, which is in the rest. 
8 E. omits of, but it is in the rest. 

6 E. Cm. in ; the rest of. 


But certeinly no word ne wryteth he 
Of thilke wikke ensample of Canacee; 

And therfor he, of ful auysement, 86 

Nolde neuer wryte in none of his sermouns 

Of swiche vnkynde abhominaciouns, 

Ne I wol noon reherse, if that I may. 

But of my tale how shal I doon this day ? 90 

Me were looth be lykned douteles 

To Muses that men clepen Pierides 

Metamorphoseos wot what I mene 

But natheles, I recche noght a bene 

Though I come after him with hawe bake 1 ; 95 

I speke in prose, and lete him rymes make.' 

And with that word he, with a sobre chere, 

Bigan his tale, as ye shal after here. 

The prologe of the marines tale of lawe. 

hateful harm ! condicion of pouerte ! 

With thurst, with cold, with hunger so confounded ! 100 

To asken help thee shameth in thyn herte ; 

If thou noon aske, with nede artow so wounded 2 , 

That verray need vnwrappeth al thy wounde hid! 

Maugre thyn heed, thou most for indigence 

Or stele, or begge, or borwe thy despence! 105 

Thou blamest Crist, and seyst ful bitterly, 
He misdeparteth richesse temporal ; 

1 Hn. Cp. Pt. HI. hawe bake; E. hawebake; Cm. aw bake; Ln. halve 

* So Hn. ; Cm. Cp. with nede art )>ou so wounded; Ln. with nede )>ou 
art so wounded ; HI. with neede so art thou wounded ; but E. so soorc artow 


Thy neighebor thou wytest sinfully, 

And seist thou hast to lite 1 , and he hath al. 

' Parfay,' seistow, ' somtyme he rekne shal, 1 10 

Whan that his [cors] shal brennen in the glede, 

For he noght helpeth needfulle in her nede/ 

Herkne what is the sentence of the wyse : 

' Bet is to dyen than haue indigence ; ' 

Thy selue neighebor wol thee despyse; n-, 

If thou be poure, farwel thy reuerence ! 

Yet of the wyse man tak this sentence : 

1 Alle the 2 dayes of poure men ben wikke ; ' 

Be war therfor, er thou come in s that prikkc ! 

If thou be poure, thy brother hateth thee, 120 

And alle thy frendes fleen fro thee, alas ! 
O riche marchauntz, ful of wele ben ye, 

noble, o prudent folk, as in this cas ! 
Your bagges ben nat failed with amles as, 

But with sis cink, that renneth for your chaunce; 125 
At Cristemasse merie may ye dauncel 

Ye seken lond and see for your winninges, 

As wyse folk ye knowen al thestaat 

Of regnes ; ye ben fadres of tydinges 

And tales, both of pees and of debat. 130 

1 were ryght now of tales desolat, 

Nere that a marchaunt, goon is many a yere, 
Me taughte a tale, which that ye shal here. 

1 E. Hn. lite ; the rest litel. 2 E. Cm. omit the ; the rest have it. 
1 E. Hu. HI. to ; Cm. Cp. Pt. Ln. in. 


[Here follow s the Man of Lawes Tale, 11. 134-1162. See pp. 
*-37 of The Man of Law's Tale, and other extracts from 
Chaucer, ed. Skeat (Clarendon Press Series).] 

Here endith the man of lawe his tale. And next folwith 
the Shipman his prolog 1 . 

Our hoste vpon his stiropes stood anon, 1163 

And seyde, ' good men, herkeneth euerich on ; 

This was a thrifty tale for the nones ! 1 1 65 

Sir parish prest/ quod he, 'for goddes bones, 

Tel vs a tale, as was thy forward yore. 

I se wel that ye lerned men in lore 

Can moche good, by goddes dignitee !' 

The persone him answerde, ' benedicite ! 1 1 70 

What eyleth the man so sinfully to swere?' 

Our hoste answerde, ' O lankyn, be ye there ? 

I smelle a loller in the wynd/ quod he. 

'Hoo! good men,' quod our hoste, ' herkneth me, 

Abydeth, for goddes digne passioun, 1175 

For we shal han a predicacioun ; 

This loller heer wil prechen vs som-what.' 

' Nay, by my fader soule ! that shal he nat/ 

Seyde the Shipman 2 , 'heer shal he nat preche, 

He shal no gospel glosen heer ne teche. 1180 

We leue 3 alle in the grete god/ quod 1 he, 

'He wolde sowen som difficulte"e, 


1 Tltis rubric is from MS. Arch. Seld. B. 14. In some MSS. it s 
called The prolog of the squyers tale. The text of the prologue itself is 
founded on the Corpus MS. E. Hn. Cm. omit this Prologue ; see note. 

2 MS. Arch. Seld. has Shipman ; Cp. Ft. Ln. |>e squier. 
s MS. Arch. Seld. We leuen ; Cp. Pt. Ln. He leue. 

4 MS. Arch. Seld, inserts quod, which Cp. Ft. Ln. omit. 


Or springen cokkel^ in our clene corn, 

And therfor, hoste, I warne thee biforn, 

My loly body shal a tale telle, 1185 

And I shal clinken yow so mery a belle, 

That I shal waken al this companye, 

But it shal not ben of philosophye, 

Ne of ghisyk l , ne termes queinte of lawe ; 

Ther is but litel latin in my mawe. 1190 

Here endeth the Shipman his prolog. And next 
folwyng he bigynneth his tale, &c. 2 

\Herefolloivs The Shipman's Tale, 11. 1191-1624. After 
which ] 

Bihoold the murie wordes of the Hoost to the 
Shipman and to the lady Prioresse 3 . 

'Wei seyd, by corpus dominus,' quod our hoste, 1625 

' Now longe mot thou sayle by the cos^te,. 

Sir gentil maister, gentil marineer* ^ 

God yeue this monk a thousand last quad yeer ! 

A ha ! felawes ! beth war of swich a lape, 

The monk putte in the mannes hode an ape, 1630 

And in his wyues eek, by seint Austin ; 

Draweth no monkes more in-to your in. 

But now passe ouer, and lat vs seke aboute, 

Who shal now telle first of al this route 

Another tale?' and with that word he sayde, 1635 

As curteisly as it had been a mayde, 

1 Tyrwhitt reads of phisike ; the MSS. have the unmeaning word phislyas ; 
Sloane MS. phillyas. 

3 Rubric from MS. Arch. Seld. 

8 From E. ; here again made the basis of the text. 


'My lady Prioresse, by your leue, 

So that I wiste I shulde you nat greue, 

I wolde demen that ye tellen sholde 

A tale next, if so were that ye wolde. 1640 

Now wol ye vouche sauf, my lady dere?' 

' Gladly,' quod she, and seyde as ye shal here. 



The prologe of the Prioresses tale. 
Domt'ne, dominus nosier. 

O lord our lord, thy name how merueillous 

Is in this large worlde ysprad quod she : 

For noght oonly thy laude precious 1645 

Parfourned is by men of dignitee, 

But by the mouth of children thy bountee 

Parfourned is, for on the brest souking 

Som tyme shewen they thyn herying. 

Wherfor in laude, as I best can or may, 1650 

Of thee, and of the whyte 1 lily flour 

Which that thee bar, and is a mayde ahvay, 

To telle a storie 1 wol doon my labour; 

Not that I may encresen hir honour; 

For she hir-self is honour, and the rote 1655 

Of bountee, next hir sone, and soules bole. SoJttTJ 

O mooder mayde I o mayde mooder free ! 
O bush vnbrent, brenning in Moyses syghte, 
That rauysedest doun fro the deitee, 
Thurgh thyn humblesse, the goost that in thalyghte, 1660 
Of whos vertu, whan he thyn herte lyghte, I '^ 
Conceyued was the fadres sapience, ~~ 
Help me to telle it in thy reuerence i 

1 E. omits whyte, found in the rest. 


Lady! thy bountee, thy magnificence, 

Thy vertu, and thy grete humilitee 1665 

Ther may no tonge expresse in no science; 

For som tyme, lady, er men praye to thee, 

Thou goost biforn of thy benignitee, 

And getest vs the 1 lyght, thurgh 2 thy preyere, 

To gyden vs vn-to thy sone so dere. 1670 

My conning is so wayk, o blisful quene, 
For to declare thy grete worthynesse, 
That I ne may the weighte nat sustene, 
But as a child of twelf monthe old, or lesse, 
That can vnnethes any word expresse, 1675 

Ryght so fare I, and therfor I yow preye, 
Gydeth my song that I shal of yow seye. 

Heere bigynneth the Prioresses tale. 

Ther was in Asie, in a gret citee, 

Amonges cristen folk a lewerye, 

Sustened by a lord of that contree 1680 

For foule vsure and lucre of vilanye, 

Hateful to Crist and to his companye; 

And thurgh the strete men myght ryde or wende, 

For it was free, and open at eyther ende. 

A litel scole of Cristen folk ther stood 1685 

Doun at the ferther ende, in which ther were 
Children an heep, yeomen of Cristen blood, 
That lerned in that scole yeer by yere 
Swich maner doctrine as men vsed there, 

1 Hn. Cm. Ln. HI. the ; E. thurgh ; Cp. Pt. to. 
3 E. Hn. of; but the rest thurgh. 


1 J 

This is to seyn, to singen and to rede, 1690 

As smale children doon in hir childhede. 

Among thise children was a widwes son< 
A litel clergeon, seuen yeer of age, 
That day by day to scole was his wone, 
And eek also, wher as he sey thimage 
Of Cristes mooder, hadde he in vsage, 
As him was taught, to knele adoun and seye 
His Aue Marie as he goth by the weye. 

Thus hath this widwe hir litel sone ytaught 

Our blisful lady, Cristes mooder dere, 1700 

To worshipe ay, and he forgat it naught, 

For sely child wol alday sone lere ; j "&" 

But ay, whan I remembre on this matere, 

Seint Nicholas slant euer in my presence. 

For he so yong to Crist did reuerence. 1705 

This litel chiFd his litel book lerninge, 

As he sat in the scole at his prymer, 

He Alma redemptoris herde singe, 

As children lerned hir antiphoner; 

And, as he dorste, he drough hym ner and ner, 1710 

And herkned ay the wordes and the note, 

Til he the firste vers coude al by rote. 

Noght wiste he whal this latin was to seye, 

For he so yong and tendre was of age; 

But on a day his felaw gan he preye 1715 

Texpounden him this song in his langage, 

Or telle him why this song was in vsage; 

This preyde he him to construe and declare 

Ful ofte tyme vpon his knowes bare. 

" *~ 


His felaw, which that elder was than he, 1720 

Answerde him thus : ' this song, I haue herd seye, 

Was maked of our blisful lady free, 

Hir to salue, and eek hir for to preye 

To been our help and socour whan we deye. 

I can no more expounde in this matere; 1725 

I lerne song, I can but smal grammere.' 

'And is this song maked in reuerence 

Of Cristes mooder?' seyde this Innocent; 

'Now certes, I wol do my diligence 

To conne it al, er Cristemasse is went ; 1 730 

Though that I for my prymer shal be shenr, 

And shal be beten thrye's in an houre, 

I wol it conne, our lady for 1 to honoure." 

His felaw taughte him homward priuely, 

Fro day to day, til he coude it by rote, 17.35 

And than he song it wel and boldely 

Fro word to word, acording with the note; 

T wye's a day it passed thurgh his throte, 

To scoleward and homward whan he wente; 

On Cristes mooder set was his entente. . % 1740 

As I haue seyd, thurgh-out the lewerye 

This litel child, as he cam to and fro, 

Ful inerily than 2 wolde he singe, and crye 

O Alma redempioris euer-mo. 

The swetnes hath 3 his herte perced so 1745 

Of Cristes mooder, that, to hir to preye, 

He can nat stinte of singing by the weye. 

1 Cm. Cp. Pt. HI. omit for ; // seems best retained. 

2 Cm. Cp. Pt. Ln. III. than ; E. Hn. omit it. 
9 Cm. Cp. Pt. Ln. HI. hath ; E. Hn. omit it. 


Our firste foo, the serpent Sathanas, 
That hath in lewes herte his waspes nest, 
Vp swal, and seide, 'o Hebraik peple, alias! 1750 

Is this to yow a thing that is honest, 
jThat swich a boy shal walken as him lest 
fi f^ In Qjir despyt, and singe of swich sentence, 
Which is agayn your 1 lawes reuerence?' 

Fro thennes forth the lewes han conspyred 1755 

This innocent out of this world to chace ; 

An homicyde ther-to han they hyred, 

That in an aley hadde a priuee place; 

And as the child gan forby for to pace, 

This cursed lew him hente and heeld him faste, 1760 

And kitte his throte, and in a pit him caste. 

This poure widwe awaiteth al that nyght 1776 

After hir litel child, but he cam noght; 

For which, as sone as it was dayes lyght, 

With face pale of drede and bisy thoght, 

She hath at scole and elles-wher him soght, 1780 

Til finally she gan so fer espye 

That he last seyn was in the lewerye. 

With moodres pitee in hir brest enclosed, 

She gooth, as she were half out of hir mynde, 

To euery place wher she hath supposed 1785 

By lyklihede hir litel child to fynde; 

And euer on Cristes mooder meke and kynde 

She cryde, and atte laste thus she wroughte, 

Among the cursed lewes she him soughte. 

1 HI. your ; Pt. Ln. soure ; E. Hn. Cm. Cp. cure. 


She frayneth and she preyeth pitously 1790 

To euery lew that dwelte in thilke place, 

To telle hir, if hir child wente ought forby. 

They seyde, 'nay'; but lesu, of his grace, 

Yaf in hir thought, inwith a litel space, 

That in that place after hir sone she cryde, 1795 

Wher he was casten in a pit bisyde. 

grete god, that parfournest thy laude 

By mouth of Innocentz, lo heer thy myghtl 

This gemme of chastitee, this Emeraude, 

And eek of martirdom the Ruby bryght, 1800 

Ther he with throte ykoruen lay vpryght, 

He 'Alma redemp forts' gan to singe 

So loude, that al the place gan to ringe. 

The Cristen folk, that thurgh the strete wente, 

In coomen, for to wondre vp-on 1 this thing, 1805 

And hastily they for the Prouost sente; 

He cam anon with-outen tarying, 

And herieth Crist that is of heuen king, 

And eek his mooder, honour of mankynde, 

And after that, the lewes leet he bynde. 1810 

This child with pitous lamentacioun 

Vp-taken was, singing his song alway; 

And with honour of gret processioun 

They carien him vn-to the nexte abba}-. 

His mooder swowning by the 2 bere lay; 1815 

Vnnethe myght the peple that was there 

This newe Rachel bringe fro his 3 bere. 

1 Cp. Pt. wondrenon; Ln. wonderneof; E. Hn. wondre vpon ; HI. wonder 
vpon; Cm. wonderyn vp-on. 2 E. Hn. his; the rest the; see I. 1817. 

8 Cm. HI. the ; the rest his. 


With torment and with shamful deth echon 

This Prouost dooth the lewes for to sterue 

That of this mordre wiste, and that anon; 1820 

He nolde no swich cursednes obserue. 

Euel shal 1 haue, that euel wol deserue. 

Therfor with wilde hors he dide hem drawe, 

And after that he heng hem by the lawe. 

Vp-on his 2 bere ay lyth this innocent 1825 

Biforn the chief auter, whil masse 3 laste, 

And after that, the' abbot* with his couent 

Han sped hem for to burien him ful faste; 

And whan they holy water on him caste, 

Yet spak this child, whan spreynd was holy water, 1830 

And sorig ' Alma redemptoris mater I' 

This abbot, which that was an holy man 

As monkes been, or elles oughten be, 

This yonge child to coniure he bigan, 

And seyde, { o dere child, I halse thee, 1835 

In vertu of the holy Trinitee, 

Tel me what is thy cause for to singe, 

Sith that thy throte is cut, to my seminge ? ' 

' My throte is cut vn-to my nekke-boon,' 

Seyde this child, ' and, as by wey of kynde, 1840 

I sholde haue deyed, ye, long tyme agoon, 

But lesu Crist, as ye in bokes fynde, 

Wil that his glorie laste and be in mynde, 

And, for the worship of his mooder dere, 

Yet may I singe "O Alma" loude and clere. 1845 

1 E. Cm. shal he ; Pt. he shal ; the rest omit he. 2 Hn. HI. his ; the rest this. 
s E. Hn. Cm. HI. the masse ; Cp. Pt. Ln. omit the. * HI. thabbot. 


This welle of mercy, Cristes mooder swete, 
I louede alwey, as after my conninge; 
And whan that I my lyf sholde forlete, 
To me she cam, and bad me for to singe 
This antem 1 verraily in my deyinge, 1850 

vCvf^ As ye han herd, and, whan that I had songe, 

Me thoughte she leyde a greyn vp-on my tonge. 

Wherfor I singe, and singe I mot certeyn 

In honour of that blisful may den free, 

Til fro my tonge of-taken is the greyn; 1855 

And afterward thus seyde she to me, 

" My litel child, now wol I fecche thee 

Whan that the greyn is fro thy tonge ytake; 

Be nat agast, I wol thee nat forsake.'" 

This holy monk, this abbot, him mene I, 1860 

His tonge out-caughte, and took a-wey the greyn.., 

And he yaf vp the goost ful softely. 

And whan this abbot had this wonder seyn, 

His salte teres trikled 2 doun as reyn, 

And^gruf he fil al plat vp-on the grounde, 1865 

And stille he lay as he had ben 3 ybounde. 

The couent eek lay on the pauement 

Weping, and herien Cristes mooder dere, 

And after that they rise, and forth ben * went, 

And toke awey this martir fro his bere, 1870 

And in a tombe 6 of marbul-stones clere 

1 Cm. Cp. Pt. anteme ; Ln. antime ; HI. antym ; Hn. antheme : E. Anthephen. 

2 E. Hn. Cm. trikled ; Cp. Pt. stryked; Ln. strikled ; HI. striken. 

3 Cp. HI. ben; Pt. Ln. bene ; E. Hn. Cm, leyu 
1 HI. thay ; but the rest been, ben, bene. 

5 E . temple; the rest tombe, touuibe. 

(^ \ 


Enclosen they his litel body swete ; > 
Ther he is now, god leue us for 1 to mete. 

O yonge Hugh of Lincoln, sleyn also 

With cursed lewes, as it is notable, gf** 1875 

For it nis 2 but a litel whyle ago; f 

Prey eek for vs, we sinful folk vnstable, 

That of his mercy god so merciable 

On vs his grete mercy multiplye, 

For reuerence of his mooder Marye. Amen. 1880 

4-<3ru,. 4cX~*-n_/j~; < V'V*~ M 4^' > fi/,^t^Lt<y fa C// . /vW-WH/. 
.3 Heere is ended the Prioresses Tale. 

i] M.X ^MU*. ^MZU^* 


Bihoold the murye wordes of the Hoost to Chaucer. 

n i^fi/t^ 

Whan seyd was al this miracle, euery man 
As sobre was, that wonder was to se, 
Til that our hoste lapen 3 tho 4 bigan, 
And than at erst he loked vp-on me, 
And seyde thus, ' what man artow ? ' quod he ; 1885 

' Thou lokest as thou woldest fynde an hare, 


For euer vp-on the ground I se thee stare. 

Approche neer, and loke vp merily. 

Now war yow, sirs, and lat this man haue place; 

He in the waast is shape as wel as I; 1890 

This were a popet in an arm tenbrace 

For any womman, smal and fair of face. 

He semeth eluish by his contenaunce, 

For vn-to no wyght doth he daliaunce. 

1 E. alle for ; the rest omit alle. * Cp. Pt. Ln. HI. nys ; E. Hn. Cm. is. 

* Only HI. inserts to before lapen. 

4 Cm. Cp. tho ; E. to ; Hn. he ; Pt. Ln. HI. omit. 




Sey now somwhat, sin other folk ban sayd; 1895 

Tel vs a tale of mirthe, and that anoon ; ' 
' Hoste,' quod I, ' ne beth nat euel apayd, 
For other tale certes can I noon, 
But of a ryme I lerned longe agoon.' 
' Ye, that is good/ quod he; ' now shul we 1 here 1900 
Som deyntee thing, me thinketh by his chere.' 

Xxut-t_><" xv<n^^ o.<.^<c_ - 


Heere bigynneth Chaucers tale of Thopas. 

Listeth, lordes, in good entent, 
And I wol telle verrayment 

Of mirthe and of solas; 

Al of a knyght was fair and gent 1905 

In bataille and in tourneyment, 

His name was sir Thopas. 

Yborn he was in fer contree, 
In Flaundres, al biyonde the see, 

At Popering, in the pjace; 
His fader was a man ful free, 
And lord he was of that contree, 

As it was goddes grace. 

Sir Thopas wex a doughty swayn, 

Whyt was his face as payndemayrti ^ 1915 

His lippes rede as rose; 
His rode is lyk scarlet in grayn, 
And I yow telle in good certayn, 

He hadde a semely nose. 

His heer, his berd was lyk saffroun, 1920 

That to his girdel raughte adoun; 
His shoon 1 of Cordewane. 

1 E. shoos ; Hn. Ft. shoon ; the rest schoon, schon, schonc. 
C 2 


Of Brugges were his hosen broun, \^ 

His robe was of ciclatoun, .^D 

That coste many a lane. ^^ ! 9 2 5 


He coude hunte at wilde deer, 
nd ryde an haukyng for 1 riuer, 

With grey goshauk on honde ; 
Ther-to he was a good archeer, \ < 
Of wrastling was ther noon his peer, \ 

Ther any ram shal 2 stonde. 

> ^ 

.. . ^ ^ v ;,.. ; j,,., 

And so bifel 3 vp-on a day, 
For sothe, as I yow telle may, 

Sir Thopas wolde out ryde; 1940 

He worth vpon his stede gray, 
And in his honde a launcegay, 

A long swerd by his syde. 

He priketh thurgh a fair forest, 

Ther-inne is many a wilde best, 1945 

Ye, bothe bukke and hare; 
And, as he priketh 4 North and Est, 
I telle it yow, him hadde almest 

Bitid a sory care. 

Ther springen herbes grete and smale, 1950 

The lycorys and cetewale, 
And many a clowe-gilofre ; 

1 5*0 E. Hn. Cm. HI. ; Cp. by ]>e ; Ft. Ln. for J>e. 

* So E. Hn. Cm. HI. ; Cp. sc'hulde ; Ft. shulde ; Ln. scholde. 

8 Hn. HI. it fel ; Cm. it fil. 4 HI. priketh (not priked). 


And notemuge to putte in ale, 
Whether it be moyste or stale, 

Or for to leye in cofre. 1955 

The briddes singe, ^t is no_jiay, 
The sparhauk and the papeiay, 

That ioye it was to here; 
The thrustelcok made eek his 1 lay, 
The wodedowue vpon the 2 spray 1960 

She sang ful loude and clere. 

Sir Thopas fil in loue-longinge 

Al whan he herde the thrustel singe, 

And priked as he were wood : 

His faire steede in his prikinge 1965 

So swatte that men myghte him wringe, 

His sydes were al blood. 

Sir Thopas eek so wery was 
For prikinge on the softe gras, 

So fiers was his corage, 1970 

That doun he leyde him in that plas 
To make his steede som solas, 

And yaf him good forage. 

'O seinte Marie, 

What eyleth this loue at me 1975 

To bynde me so sore ? 
Me dremed al this nyght, pardee, 
An elf-queen shal my [lady be, 

And loue me euermore.] 

1 E. hir ; the rest his ' E. a ; tie rest the. 


An Elf-queen wol I loue 1 , ywis, . 1980 

For in this world no womman is , t> 

Worthy to be my make O^T 

In toune; T 

Alle othere wommen I forsake, 
And to an Elf-queen I me take 1985 

By dale and eek by doune 1 ' 

In-to his sadel he clamb anoon, 
And priketh ouer style and stoon 

An Elf-queen for tespye 2 , 

Til he so longe had riden and goon 1990 

That he foond, in a priuee woon, 

The contree of Fairye 

So wilde; 

For in that contree was ther noon 
That to him dorste ryde or goon 3 , 1995 

Neither wyf ne childe. 

Til that ther cam a greet geaunt, 
His name was sir Olifaunt, . 

ci * 

A perilous man of dede; 
He seyde 4 , ' child, by Termagaunt, 
But-if thou prike out of myn haunt, 

Anon I sle thy stede 

With mace. 

Heer is the queen of Fairye, 
With harpe and pype 5 and symphonye 2005 

Dwelling in this place.' 

1 Hn. Cm. HI. hane; the rest lone. 

3 So E. Hn. Cm. ; Cp.-Pt. Ln. to aspic; HI. to spye. 

3 This line is from MS. Reg. 17 D. 15. * HI. swar ; the rest teyde. 

6 HI. Inte ; the real pype or p ; pe. 


The child seyde, 'a]_so mote Ijhee, o*3-~-~n l 
Tomorwe wol I meete 1 thee 

Whan I haue myn armoure; 

And yet I hope, par ma fay, 2010 

That thou shall with this launcea 

Abyen it ful soure * ; 

Thy mawe 

Shal I percen, if I may 8 , 
Er it be fully pryme of day, 

For heer thou shalt be slawe.' 

Sir Thopas drow abak ful faste; 
This geaunt at him stones caste 

Out of a fel staf-slinge ; 
But faire escapeth child* Thopas, 
And al it was thurgh goddes gras, 

And thurgh his fair beringe. 

Yet listeth, lordes, to my tale 
Merier than the nyghtingale, 

For now 5 I wol yow roune 2025 

How sir Thopas with sydes smale, 
Priking ouer hil and dale, 

Is come agayn to toune. 

His merie men comanded he 

To make him bothe game and glee, 2030 

For nedes moste he fyghte 

1 E. HI. meete with ; the rest omit with. 

8 E. Hn. sowre ; Cm. HI. soure ; the rest sore. 

3 E. Cm. Thyn hauberk shal I percen, if I may ; but the rest omit Thyn 
hauberk, which is not wanted at all. 

4 E. Cm. sire ; but the rest child. 

* Cp. Pt. Ln. insert For now, which the rest omit. 


With a geaunt with heuedes l three, 
.x For paramour and lolitge 

Of oon that shoon ful bryghte. 

'Do come,' he seyde, 'my minstrales, 1035 

<*- And gestours for to tellen tales 

Anon in myn arminge; 
Of romances that been roiales, 
Of popes and of cardinales, 

And eek of loue-lykinge.' 2040 

They fette 2 him first the 8 sweete wyn, 
And mede eek in a maselyn, 

And roial spicerye ; 
Of 4 gingebreed that was ful fyn, 
And lycorys, and eek comyn, ao45 

With sugre that is so 5 trye. 

He djde ) next his whyte lere 
Of cloth of lake fyn and clere 

A breech and eek a sherte; 
And next his sherte an aketoun, S* rv ~ 2050 

And ouer that an habergeoun 

For percinge of his herte; 

And ouer that a fyn hauberk, * 
Was al ywtoght of lewes werk. 

Ful strong it was of plate ; 2055 

1 K. Hn. heuedes; HI. heedes; Cm. hedis; Cp. Pt. Ln. hcdes. 
* E. sette ; the rest fette or fet. 

3 E. Hn. Cm. omit the ; it occurs in the rest. 

4 E. And ; Hn. Cm. HI. Of. Cp. Pt. Ln. omit II. 7042-4. 

5 E. alone retains so ; the rest omit it. 


And ouer that his cote-armour 
As whyt as is a lily flour, 
In which he wol l debate. 

His sheeld was al of gold so reed, 
And ther-in was a bores heed, 

A charbocle bisyde 2 ; i S 

And there he swoor, on ale and breed, 
How that 'the geaunt shal 3 be deed, 

Bityde what bityde 1 ' 

His lajnbeux were of quyrboilly, 2065 

His swerdes shethe of yuory, 

His helm of laton bryght; 
His sadel was of rewel * boon, 
His brydel as the sonne shoon, 

Or as the mone lyght. 2070 

His spere was 5 of fyn ciprees, 

That bodeth werre, and no thing pees, 

The heed ful sharpe ygrounde ; 
His steede was al dappel-gray, 
It gooth an ambel in the way 2075 

Ful softely and rounde 

In londe. 

Loo, lordes myne, heer is a fit I 
If ye wol any more of it, 

To telle it wol I fonde. 2o8 

1 Cm. wolde ; HI. wold ; the rest wol, wole, wil. 

8 Hn. Cm. Pt. by his syde ; Cp. him besyde. 3 Cm. Cp. Ln. schulde. 

Pt. HI. rowel ; Cp. Lu. ruel. ' E. it was ; the rest omit it. 


[The Second Ftt.\ 

Now hold your mouth, par charite, 
Bothe knyght and lady free, 

And herkneth to my spelle ; 
Of bataille 1 and of chiualry, f^\jj^C 

And of ladyes loue-drury 9 t^^^^^ o8s 

Anon I wol yow telle. 

Men speke of romances of prys, 
Of Horn child and of Ypotys, 

Of Bevys and 8 sir Gy, 
Of sir__Ly_beux and Pleyn-damour ; 2090 

But sir Thopas, he bereth the flour 

Of roial chiualry. 

His goode stede al he bistrood, 
And forth vpon his wey he glood 

As sparcle out of the brqnde ; 
Vp-on his crest he bar a tour, 
And ther-in stiked a lily flour, 

God shilde his cors fro shonde ! 

And for he was a knyght auntrous, 

He nolde slepen in noon hous, aioo 

But liggen in his hoode j s J 1 

His bryghte helm was his wonger. ^' 

And by him baiteth his dextrer 

u u f A ~1 - 

Of herbes fyne and goode. 

1 E. batailles; Hn. bataille; the rest bataile, bntail, batell. 

2 HI. And of laclys loue drewery. 3 E. Pt. and of; the rest omit of. 
* E. rood; but the rest glood, glod, glode. 


Him-self drank water of the wel, 2105 

As did the knyght sir Percyuel, 

So worthy 1 vnder wede. 
Til on a day 

Heere the Hoost stynteth Chaucer of hia tale of Thopas 

' No more of this, for goddes dignitee,' 
Quod our hoste, ' for thou makest me 
^ So wery of thy verray lewgdnesse 
That, also wisly god my soule blesse^ 
Myn eres aken of thy drasty speche; 

This may wel be rym dogerel,' quod he. 2115 

' Why so ? ' quod I, ' why wiltow lette me 
More of my tale than another man, 
Sin that it is the beste rym 2 I can?' 

' Thou dost nought elles but despendest tyme, 2121 
Sir, at o word, thou shall no lenger ryme. 
Lat se wher thou canst tellen ought in geste, 
Or telle in prose somwhat at the leste 
In which ther be som mirthe or som doctrine.' 2125 
' Gladly/ quod I, ' [for Cristes] swete pyne, 
I wol yow telle a litel thing in prose, 
That oughte lyken yow, as I suppose, 
Or elles, certes ye ben to daungerous. 
It is a moral tale vertuous, 2130 

Al be it told 8 som tyme in sondry wyse 
. Of sondry folk, as I shal yow deuyse. 

1 HI. worthy ; E. Hn.worly; Pt. worthely ; Cm. Cp. Ln. omilll. 2105-8. 

8 E. tale ; the rest rym, ryme. 

8 E, take ; the rest told, tolde, toold. 


As thus; ye wot that euery Euangelist, 
That telleth vs the peyne of lesu Crist, 
Ne saith nat al thing as his felaw dooth, 2135 

But natheles, her sentence is al sooth, 
And alle accorden as in her sentence, 
Al be ther in her telling difference. 
For somme of hem seyn more, and somme 1 lesse, 
Whan they his pitous passioun expresse; 2140 

I mene of Mark and 2 Mathew, Luk and lohn; 
But douteles hir sentence is al oon. 
Therfor, lordinges alle, I yow biseche, 
If that ye 8 thinke I varie as in my speche, 
As thus, though that I telle som-what more 2145 

Of prouerbes, than ye han herd bifore, 
Comprehended in this litel tretis heer, 
To enforce with the theffect of my mateer, 
And though I nat the same wordes seye 
As ye han herd, yet to yow alle I preye, 2150 

Blameth me nat; for, as in my sentence, 
Ye shul not fynden moche 4 difference 
Fro the sentence of this tretis lyte 
After the which this mery tale I wryte. 
And therfor herkneth what that I shal seye, 2155 

And lat me tellen al my tale, I preye.' 

[Here follows, in prose, the long and dull Tale of Melibeus ; 
numbered 11. 2157-3078 in the Six-Text edition. After which 
comes The Monk's Prologue.] 

1 E. Hn. Cm. Ln. somme seyn ; but Cp. Pt. HI. omit seyn. 
* Tyr. and ; which the MSS. omit. 3 E. HI. yow ; the rest ye. 

4 Cm. Cp. Ln. Ye schal not fynden moche; E. Hn. Pt. HI. Shul ye nowhet 


The murye wordes of the Hoost to the Monk. 

Whan ended was my tale of Melibee, 

And of Prudence and hir benignitee, 3080 

Our hoste seyde, ' as I am faithful man, 

And by the precious corpus Madn'an, 

I hadde leuer than a barel ale 

That goode lief my wyf hadde herd this tale I 

For 1 she nis no-thing of swich pacience 3085 

Aswas this Melibeus wyf Prudence. 

[So m^Tl thryuelj whan I bete my knaues, 

She bringth me forth the grete clobbed staues, 

And cryeth, ' slee the dogges euerichoon, 

And brek hem, bothe bak and euery boon.' 3090 

And if that any neighebor of myne 

Wol nat in chirche to my wyf enclyne, 

Or be so hardy to hir to trespace, 

Whan she comth hoom 2 , she rampeth in my face, 

And cryeth, 1 false coward, wreck thy wyf, 3095 

rf^H C*^*Y^4,,*TVV<-<^ ,-, T , , ^1 1 f 

[So imoi I thryuen !J I wol haue thy knyf, 

And thou shalt haue my distaf and go spinne ! ' 

Fro day to nyght ryght thus she wol biginne; 

' Alias ! ' she seith, ' that euer I was shape 

To wedde a milksop or a coward ape, 3100 

1 E. Hn. omit For ; the rest have it. 

* Pt. hoom ; HI. horn ; Cp. Ln. home ; E. Hn. omit. 



That wol be ouerlad with euery \vyght! 

Thou darst nat stonden by thy wyues ryght!' 

This is my lyf, but-if that I wol fyghte ; 

And out at dore anon I mot me dyghte, 

Or elles I am but lost, but-if that I 3105 

Be lyk a wilde leoun fool-hardy. 

I wot wel she wol do me slee som day 

Som neighebor, and thanne go my wey. 

For I am perilous with knyf in honde, 

Al be it that I dar nat hir 1 withstonde, 3110 

For she is big in armes, by my feith, 

That shal he fynde, that hir misdooth or seith. . 

But let vs passe awey fro this matere. 

My lord the monk/ quod he, ' be mery of chere ; 

For ye shal telle a tale trewely. 3115 

Lo! Rou[e] Chester stant heer faste by! 

Ryd forth, myn owen lord, brek nat our game, 

But, by my trewthe, I knowe nat your name, 

Wher I shal calle yow my lord dan lohn, 

OrTlan Thomas, or elles dan Albon? 3120 

Of whatjious be ye, by your fader kin? 

I vow [in Teitn], thou hast a ful fair skin, 

It is a gentil pasture ther thou goost; 

Thou art nat lyk a penaunt or a goost. 

Vpon my feith, thou art som officer, 3125 

Som worthy sexteyn, or som celerer, 

For by my fader soule, as to my doom, 

Thou art a maister whan thou art at hoom; 

No poure cloisterer, ne no nouys, 

But a gouernour, wyl/ and wys. 3130 

And therwithal of brawnes and of bones 

A wel -faring persone for the nones.' 

1 E. Cp. Ln. hire nat ; Hn. Cm. Pt. HI. nat liirr 


This worthy monk took al in pacience, 3155 

And seyde, ' I wol doon al my diligence, 

As fer as souneth in-to honeslee, 

To telle yow a tale, or two, or three. 

And if yow list to herkne hiderward, 

I wol yow 1 seyn the lyf of seint Edward; 3160 

Or elles first Tragedies wol I telle 

Of whiche I haue an hundred in my celle. 

Tragedie^is for 2 to seyn a certeyn storie, 

As olde bokes maken vs memorie, 

Of him that stood in greet prosperitee 3165 

And is y-fallen out of heigh degree 

Into miserie, and endeth wrecchedly. 

And they ben versifyed comounly 

Of six feet, which men clepe examelron. 

In prose eek ben endyted many oon, 3170 

And eek in metre, in many a sondry wyse. 

Lo! this declaring oughte ynough suffise. 

Now herkneth, if yow lyketh for to here ; 

But first I yow biseke in this matere, 

Though I by ordre telle nat thise thinges, 3175 

Be it of popes, emperours, or kinges, 

After hir ages, as men writen fynde, 

But telle hem som bifore and som bihynde, 

As it now comth vn-to my remembraunce ; 

Haue me excused of myn ignoraunce. 3180 


- E. omits yow ; the rest have it. 

* Cp. Pt. Ln. for ; the rest omit it. 

, ~. . __ - i h r 

L ^- x -<_ o^-*tX^e--cx- < A-*//O^& ix^ y 



Heere bigynneth the Monkes Tale, de casibus virorum 

I wol biwayle in maner of Tragedie 

The harm of hem that stode in heigh degree 

And fillen so that ther nas no remedie 

To bringe hem out of her aduersitee; 

For certein, whan that fortune list to flee, 3185 

Ther may no man the cours of hir withholde ; 

Lat no man truste on blynd prosperitee; 

Be war by * thise ensamples trewe and olde. 

t i ' 

At Lucifer, though he an angel were, 

And nat a man, at him I wol biginne; v^Y*^ 3'9 

For, though fortune may non angel dere, fifr <</^u^ 

From heigh degree yet fel he for his sinne 

Doun in-to helle, wher he yet is inne. 

O Lucifer ! bryghtest of angels alle, 

Now artow Sathanas, that maist nat twinne 3195 

Out of miserie, in which that thou art falle. 


Lo Adam, in the felde of Damascene, 
. With goddes owen finger wrought was he, 

"V^A"^ r*"** 

i /VAA/vv .[And nat a sone of sinful man unclene], 

And welte al Paradys, sauing o tree. 3200 

Had neuer worldly man so heigh degree 
As Adam, til he for misgouernaunce 
Was driue out of his heigh prosperitee 
To labour, and to helle, and to meschaunce. 
1 E. Pt. of; the rest by. 



Lo Sampson, which that was annunciat 3205 

By thangel 1 , longe er his natiuitee, 

And was to god almyghty consecrat, 

And stood in noblesse, whyl he myghte see. 

Was neuer swich another as was he, 

To speke of strengthe, and therwith hardinesse; 3210 

But to his wyues tolde he his secree, 

Through which he slow hym-self, for wrecchednesse. 

Sampson, this noble myghty champioun, 

Withouten wepen saue his hondes tweye, 

He slow and al to-rente the leoun, 3215 

Toward his wedding walking by the weye. 

His false wyf coude him so plese and preye 

Til she his conseil knew, and she vntrewe 

Vn-to his foos his conseil gan biwreye, 

And him forsook, and took another newe. 3120 

Three hundred foxes took Sampson for Ire, 

And alle her tayles he togider bond, 

And sette the foxes tayles alle on fire, 

For he on euery tayl had knit a brond; 

And they brende alle the comes in that lond, 3225 

And alle her oliueres and vynes eek. 

A thousand men he slow eek with his hond, 

And had no wepen but an asses cheek. 

Whan they were slayn, so thursted him that he 
Was wel ny lorn, for which he gan to preye 3230 

That god wolde on his peyne han som pitee, 
And sende him drinke, or elles moste he deye; 

1 HI. Cp. thangel ; Hi). Pt. Ln. the aungel ; E. Cm. angel. 


And of this asses cheke, that was dreye, 
x Out of a wang-tooth sprang anon a welle, 

Of which he drank ynow 1 , shortly to seye, 3235 

Thus halp him god, as ludicum can telle. 

By verray force, at Gazan, on a nyght, 

Maugre Philistiens of that citee, 

The gates of the toun he hath vp-plyght, 

And on his bak ycaried hem hath he 3240 

Hye on an hille, that men myghte hem see. 

noble almyghty Sampson, leue and dere, 
Had thou nat told to wommen thy secree, 
In al this worlde ne hadde been thy pere I 

This Sampson neuer sicer 2 drank ne wyn, 3245 

Ne on his heed cam rasour noon ne shere, 

By precept of the messager diuyn, 

For alle his strengthes in his heres were; 

And fully twenty winter, yeer by yere, 

He hadde of Israel the gouernaunce. 3250 

But sone shal he wepen many a tere, 

For wommen shal him bringen to meschaunce. 

Vn-to his lemman Dalida he tolde 

That in his heres al his strengthe lay, 

And falsly to his foomen she him solde. 3255 

And sleping in hir barrne vp-on a day 

She made to clippe or shere his heer 8 awey, 

And made his foomen al his* craft espyen; 

And whan that they him fonde in this array, 

They bounde him faste, and putten out his yen. 3260 

1 E. anon ; the rest ynogh, ynough, ynouhe, &c. 

2 Hn. ciser (for sicer) ; HL siser; Cm. Pt. Ln. sythir ; Cp. cyJer. 

* E. HI. heres; the rest heer, here. 4 E. Hn. this ; the rest his. 


But er his heer were 1 clipped or yshaue, 

Ther was no bond with which men myght him bynde; 

But now is he in prisoun in a caue, 

Wher as they made him at the querne grynde. 

O noble Sampson, strongest of mankynde, 3265 

O whylom luge in glorie and in richesse, 

Now maystow wepen with thyn yen blynde, 

Sith thou fro wele art falle in wrecchednesse. 

' f < 

Thende of this caytif was as I shal seye; 

His foomen made a feste vpon a day, 3270 

And made him as her 2 fool bifore hem pleye, 

And this was in a temple of greet array. 

But atte laste he made a foul affray ; 

For he two 3 pilers shook, and made hem falle, 

And doun fil temple and al, and ther it lay, 3275 

And slow him -self, and eek his foomen alle. 

This is to seyn, the princes euerichoon, 

And eek three thousand bodies were ther slayn 

With falling of the grete temple of stoon. 

Of Sampson now wol I no more seyn. 3280 

Beth war by this ensample old and playn 

That no men telle her conseil to her wyues 

Of swich thing as they wolde han secree fayn, 

If that it touche her limmes or her lyues. 


Of Hercules the souereyn conquerour 3285 

Singen his workes laude and hy renoun ; 

1 E. were ; the rest was; see 1. 3328. * E. Cm. a; the rest hire, here. 
8 E. the ; the rest two. 

D 2 


For in his tyme of strengthe he was the flour. 

He slow, and rafte the skin of the leoun ; 

He of Centauros leyde the boost adoun; 

He Arpies slow, the cruel briddes felle ; 3290 

He golden apples rafte of the dragoun ; 

He drow out Cerberus, the hound of helle : 

He slow the cruel tyrant Busirus, 

And made his hors to frete him, flesch and boon ; 

He slow the firy serpent venemous ; 3295 

Of Achelois two homes 1 , he brak oon; 

And he slow Cacus in a caue of stoon ; 

He slow the geaunt Antheus the stronge; 

He slow the grisly boor, and that anoon, 

And bar the heuen on his nekke longe. 3300 

Was neuer wyght, sith that the world bigan, 
That slow so many monstres as dide he. 
Thurgh-out this wyde world his name ran, 
What for his strengthe, and for his hy bountee, 
n And euery reaume wente he for to see. 3305 

. r- He was so strong that no man myghte him lette; u \<- 

LUMk/ At bothe the worldes endes, seith Trpphee, 
In stede of boundes, he a piler sette. 

A lemman hadde this noble champioun, 
That highte Dianira, fresch as May ; 3310 

And, as thise clerkes maken mentioun, 
She hath him sent a sherte fresch and gay. 
Alias I this sherte, alias and weylaway 1 
Envenimed was so subtilly with-alle, 
That, er that he had wered it half a day, 3315 

It made his flesch al from his bones falle. 
1 E. Cm. homes two ; the rest two homes. 


But natheles somme clerkes hir excusen 

By oon that highte Nessus, that it maked ; 

Be as be may, I wol hir noght accusen ; 

But on his bak this sherte he wered al naked, 3320 

Til that his flesch was for the venim blaked. 

And whan he sey noon other remedye, 

In hote coles he hath him-seluen raked, 

For with no venim deyned him to dye. 

Thus starf this worthy myghty Hercules; 3325 

Lo, who may truste on fortune any throwe ? 

For him that folweth al this world of prees, 

Er he be war, is ofte yleyd ful lowe. 

Ful wys is he that can him-seluen knowe. 

Beth war, for whan that fortune list to glose, 3330 

Than wayteth she hir man to ouerthrowe 

By swich a wey as he wolde leest suppose. 

The myghty trone, the. precious tresor, 
The glorious ceptre and roial magestee 
That hadde the king Nabugodonosor, 3335 

With tonge vnnethes may discryued be. 
He twyes wan Jerusalem the citee; 
The vessel of the temple he with him ladde. 
" At Babiloyne was his souereyn see, 

In which his glorie and his delyt he hadde. 3340 

The fairest children of the blood roial 

Of Israel he [with him ladde] anoon, 

And maked ech of hem to been his thral. 

Amonges othere Daniel was oon, 

That was the wysest child of euerychoon; 3345 


For he the dremes of the king expowned 
Wher as in Chaldey clerk ne was ther noon 
That wiste to what fyn his dremes sjp_wned. 

This proude king leet make a statue of golde, 

Sixty cubytes long, and seuen in brede, 3350 

To 1 which image bothe 2 yonge and olde 

Comaunded he 3 to Jojjie, and haue in drede; 

Or in a fourneys ful of flambes rede 

He shal be brent, that wolde noght obeye. 

But neuer wolde assente to that dede 3355 

Daniel, ne his yonge felawes tweye. 

This king of kinges proud was and elaat, 

He wende that god, that sit in magestee, 

Ne myghte him nat bireue of his estaat: 

But sodeynly he loste his dignitee, 3360 

And lyk a beste him semed for to be, 

And eet hay as an ox, and lay ther-oute; 

In reyn with wilde bestes walked he, 

Til certein tyme was ycome aboute. 

And lyk an egles fetheres wexe* his heres, 3365 

His nayles lyk a briddes clawes were; 
Til god relessed him a certein yeres, 
" And yaf him wit ; and than with many a tere 
He thanked god, and euer his lyf in fere 
Was he to doon amis, or more trespace, 3370 

And, til that tyme he leyd was on his bere, 
He knew that god was ful of myghte and grace. 

1 E. The ; the rest To. * E. Hn. Cm. he bothe ; the rest omit he. 

3 E. Hn. Cm. omit Tie ; the rest have it. 

* Such is the right reading, whence Cm. wexsyn, and HI. Cp. were (for 
wexe) ; E. Hn. wax ; Pt. La. was (for wax). 


His sone, which that hyghte Balthasar, 
That heeld the regne after his fader day, 
He by his fader coude nought be war, 3375 

For proud he was of herte and of array; 
And eek an ydolastre was he l ay. 
His hy estaat assured him in pryde. 
But fortune caste him doun, and ther he lay, 
And sodeynly his regne gan diuyde. 3380 

A feste he made vn-to his lordes alle 

Vp-on a tyme, and bad hem blythe be, 

And than his officeres gan he calle 

' Gooth, bringeth forth the vessels/ [tho] quod he, 

'Which that my fader, in his prosperitee, 3385 

Out of the temple of Jerusalem birafte, 

And to our hye goddes thanke we 

Of honour, that our eldres with vs lafte.' 

His wyf, his lordes, and his concubynes 

Ay dronken, whyl her appetytes laste, 3390 

Out of thise noble vessels sundry wynes ; 

And on a wal this king his yen caste, 

And sey an hond armlees, that wroot ful faste, 

For fere of which he quook and syked sore. 

This hond, that Balthasar so sore agaste, 3395 

Wroot Afane, iechel, phares, and no more. 

In al that lond magicien was noon 

That coude expoune what this lettre mente; 

But Daniel expouned it anoon, 

And seyde, 'king, god to thy fader sente 3400 

Glorie and honour, regne, tresouf, rente: 

1 E. he was ; the rest was he. 


And he was proud, and no-thing god ne dradde, 
And therfor god greet wreche vp-on him sente, 
And him birafte the regne that he hadde. 

He was out cast of mannes companye, 3405 

With asses was his habitacioun, 

And eet hey as a beste in weet and drye, 

Til that he knew, by grace and by resoun, 

That god of heuen hath dominacioun 

Ouer euery regne and euery creature ; 3410 

And thanne had god of him compassioun, 

And him restored his regne and his figure. 

Eek thou, that art his sone, art proud also, 

And knowest alle thise thinges verraily, 

And art rebel to god, and art his foo. 3415 

Thou drank eek of his vessels boldely; 

Thy wyf eek and thy wenches sinfully 

Dronke of the same vessels sondry wynes, 

And heriest false goddes cursedly; 

Therfor to thee yshapen ful gret pyne is. 3420 

This hand was sent from god, that on the walle 

Wroot mane, techel, phares, trust to 1 me; 

Thy regne is doon, thou weyest nought at alle; 

Diuyded is thy regne, and it shal be 

To Medes and to Perses yiuen/ quod he. 3425 

And thilke same nyght this king was slawe, 

And Darius occupyeth his degree, 

Thogh he therto had neither ryght ne lawe. 

Lordinges, ensample heer-by may ye take 

How that in lordshipe is no sikernesse; 3430 

1 E. Hn. Cp. HI. truste ; Pt. trest ; Ln. trust ; Cm. trust to. See note. 


For whan fortune wol a man forsake, 

She bereth awey his regne and his richesse, 

And eek his frendes, bothe more and lesse ; 

For what man that hath frendes thurgh fortune, 

Mishap wol make hem enemys, I l gesse : 3435 

This prouerbe is ful sooth and ful commune. 


Cenobia, of Palymerie 2 quene, 

As writen Persiens of hir noblesse, 

So worthy was in armes and so kene, 

That no wyght passede hir in hardinesse, 3440 

Ne in lynage, ne in 8 other gentillesse. 

Of kinges blode of Perse is she descended ; 

I seye nat that she hadde most fairnesse, 

But of hir shape she myghte nat ben amended. 

From hir childhede I fynde that she fledde 3445 

Office of wommen, and to wode she wente ; 

And many a wilde hertes blood she shedde 

With arwes brode that she to hem sente. 

She was so swift that she anon hem hente, 

And whan that she was elder, she wolde kille 3450 

Leouns, lepardes, and beres al to-rente, 

And in hir armes welde hem at hir wille. 

Hir riche array ne myghte nat be told 3493 

As wel in vessel as in hir clothing ; 

1 E. as I ; the resl omit as. 

2 SoE. Hn. Cm.; and Cp. has De Cenobia Palymerie regina. 
* Cp. Pt. Ln. HI. ne in ; E. nor in ; Hn. ne ; Cm. nor. 


She was al clad in perree and in gold, 3495 

And eek she lafte noght, for noon hunting, 

To haue of sondry tonges ful knowing, 

Whan that she leyser hadde, and for to entende 

To lernen bokes was al hir lyking, 

How she in vertu myghte hir lyf dispende. 3500 

And, shortly of this storie * for to trete, 

So doughty was hir housbonde and eek she, 

That they conquered many regnes grete 

In the orient, with many a fair citee, 

Apertenaunt vn-to the magestee 3501; 

Of Rome, and with strong hond helde hem ful faste; 

Ne neuer myghte her foo-men doon hem flee, 

Ay whyl that Odenakes 2 dayes laste. 

Hir batailes, who so list hem for to rede, 

Agayn Sapor the king and othere mo, 3510 

And how that 3 al this proces fil in dede, 

Why she conquered and what title had* therto, 

And after of hir meschief and hir wo, 

How that she was biseged and ytake, 

Let him vn-to my maister Petrark go, 3515 

That writ ynough of this, I vndertake. 

When Odenake 5 was deed, she myghtily 

The regnes heeld, and with hir propre honde 

Agayn hir foos she faught so cruelly, 

That ther nas king ne prince in al that londe 3520 

1 E. proces ; the rest storie. 

2 HI. Odenakes ; the rest Onedakes, Odenake. 
* E. omits that ; tha rest have it. 

4 Cp. Pt. Ln. HI. had ; which E. Hn. Cm. omit. 
' So Gp. Pt. Ln. HJ. ; E. Hn. Cm. Onedake. 


That he nas glad, if that he grace fonde, 
That she ne wolde vp-on his lond werreye; 
With hir they maden 1 alliaunce by bonde 
To ben in pees, and lete hir ryde and pleye. 

The emperour of Rome, Claudius, 3525 

Ne him bifore, the Romayn Galien, 

Ne dorste neuer been so corageous, 

Ne noon Ermyn, ne noon Egipcien, 

Ne Surrien, ne noon Arabien, 

Within the felde 2 that dorste with hir fyghte 3530 

Lest that she wolde hem with hir hondes slen, 

Or with hir meynee putten hem to flyghte. 

In kinges habit wente hir sones two, 

As heires of hir fadres regnes alle, 

And Hermanno, and Thymalao 3535 

Her names were, as Persiens hem calle. 

But ay fortune hath in hir hony galle; 

This myghty quene may no why! endure. 

Fortune out of hir regne made hir falle 

To wrecchednesse and to misauenture. 3540 

Aurelian, whan that the gouernaunce 

Of Rome cam in-to his hondes tweye, 

He shoop vp-on this queen to do vengeaunce, 

And with his legiouns he took his weye 

Toward Cenobie, and, shortly for to seye, 3545 

He made hir flee, and atte laste hir hente, 

And fettred hir, and eek hir children tweye, 

And wan the lond, and hoom to Rome he wente. 

1 The MSS. have made. 

1 Ln. felde ; Pt. feelde ; Cp. feeld ; HI. feld ; E. Hn. Cm. feeldei. - 


Amonges othere thinges that he wan, 

Hir char, that was with gold wrought and perree, 3550 

This grete Romayn, this Aurelian, 

Hath with him lad, for that men sholde it see. 

Biforen 1 his triumphe walketh she 

With gilte cheynes on hir nekke hanging; 

Corouned was she, as 2 after hir degree, 3555 

And ful of perree charged hir clothing. 

I Alias, fortune! she that whylorn was 
Dredful to kinges and to emperoures, 
Now gaureth al the peple on hir, alias! 
And she that helmed was in starke stoures, 3560 

And wan by force tounes stronge and toures^ ^ 

Shal on hir heed now were a vitremyte ; vvCAx^. "j 
And she that bar the ceptre ful of floures-f^ ' LtJ 
Shal bere a distaf, hir cost 3 for to quyte. ~$&lt&uL * 

Cf, J^.a/*,** 


ii.,U*^. V. 1*2. 

O noble, o worthy Petro, glorie of Spayne, ; **^ < ^^5 
Whom fortune heeld so hy in magestee, 
Wei oughten men thy pitous deeth complayne ! 
Out of thy lond thy brother made thee flee; 
And after, at a sege, by subtiltee, 
Thou were bitrayed, and lad vn-to his tente, 3570 

Wher as he with his owen hond slow thee, 
Succeding in thy regne and in thy rente. 

The feeld of snow, with thegle of blak ther-inne, 
Caught with the lymrod, coloured as the glede, 
He brew this cursednes and al this sinne. 3575 

The wikked nest was werker of this nede ; 

1 MSS. Biforn, Bifore. a K. omits as ; the reft have it. 

* Hn. Cm. Ln. cost ; Pt. coste ; E. Cp. costes ; HI. self. 


Nought Charles Olyuer, that ay took 1 hede 

Of trewthe and honour, but of Armorike 

Genylon Olyuer, corrupt for mede, 

Broughte this worthy king in swich a brike. 3580 


O worthy Petro king of Cypre also, 

That Alisaundre wan by hy maistrye, 

Ful many a hethen wroughtestow ful wo, 

Of which thyn owene liges hadde envye, 

And, for no thing but for thy chiualrye, 3585 

They in thy bedde han sleyn thee by the morwe. 

Thus can fortune hir wheel gouerne and gye, 

And out of loye bringe men to sorwe. 

Of Melan grete Barnabo Viscounte, 
God of delyt, and scourge of Lumbardye, 3590 

Why sholde I nat thyn infortune acounte, 
Sith in estaat thou clombe were so hye? 
Thy brother sone, that was thy double allye, 
For he thy nevew was, and sone in lawe, 
With-inne his prisoun made thee to dye; 3595 

But why, ne how, noot I that thou were slawe. 


Of the erl Hugelyn of Pyse the langour 

Ther may no tonge telle for pitee ; 

But litel out of Pyse stant a tour, 

In whiche tour in prisoun put was he, 3600 

And with him been his litel children thre. 

The eldeste scarsly fyf yeer was of age. 

1 E. Hn. Cm. took ay ; the rest ay took. 


Alias, fortune ! it was greet crueltee 

Swiche briddes for to putte in swiche a cage! 

Dampned was he to deye in that prisoun, 3603 

For Roger, which that bisshop was of Pyse, 

Hadde on him maad a fals suggestioun, 

Thurgh which the peple gan vpon him ryse, 

And putten him to prisoun in swich wyse 

As ye han herd, and mete and drink he hadde 3610 

So smal, that wel 1 vnnethe it may suffyse, 

And therwith-al it was ful poure and badde. 

And on a day bifil that in that hour 

Whan that his mete wont was to be brought, 

The gayler shette the dores of the tour. 3615 

He herde it wel, but he ne 2 spak right nought, 

And in his herte anon ther fil a thought, 

That they for hunger wolde doon him dyen. - 

' Alias ! ' quod he, ' alias that I was wrought I ' 

Therwith the teres fillen from his yen. 3620 

His yonge sone, that thre yeer was of age, 

Vn-to him seyde, ' fader, why do ye wepe? 

Whan wol the gayler bringen our potage, 

Is ther no morsel breed that ye do kepe? 

I am so hungry that I may nat slepe. 3625 

Now wolde god that I myghte slepen euer! 

Than sholde nat hunger in my wombe crepe; 

Ther is no thing, saue 3 breed, that me were leuer.' 

Thus day by day this child bigan to crye, 

Til in his fadres barme adoun it lay, 3630 

1 E. Pt. omit wel. ' ne is not in the MSS. 

Ln. HI. saue; Cp. Pt. sauf; E. Hn. but. 


And seyde, ' far wel, fader, I moot dye/ 

And kiste his fader, and deyde the same day. 

And whan the woful fader deed it sey, 

For wo his armes two he gan to byte, 

And seyde, ' alias, fortune ! and weylaway 1 3635 

Thy false wheel my wo al may I wytel' 

His children wende that it for hunger was 

That he his armes gnow, and nat for wo, 

And seyde, ' fader, do nat so, alias 1 

But rather eet the flessh vpon vs two; 3640 

Our flessh thou yaf vs 1 , tak our flessh vs fro, 

And eet ynough;' right thus they to him seyde, 

And after that, with-in a day or two, 

They leyde hem in his lappe adoun, and deyde. 

Him-self, despeired, eek for hunger starf; 3645 

Thus ended is this myghty Erl of Pyse; 

From hy estaat fortune awey him carf. 

Of this Tragedie it oughte ynough suffyse. 

Who-so wol here it in a lenger wyse, 

Redeth the grete poete of Itaille, 3650 

That highte Dante, for he can al deuyse 

Fro point to point, nat o word wol he faille. 


Al-though that Nero were as 2 vicious 
As any feend that lyth in helle adoun, 
'Yet he, as telleth vs Swetonius, 3655 

This wyde world hadde in subieccioun, 
Both Est and West, South 3 and Septemtrioun ; 
Of rubies, saphires, and of perles whyte 

1 E. Hn. omit vs. * E. Hn. Cm. omit as. 

The MSS. have North. 


Were alle his clothes brouded vp and doun; 

For he in gemmes gretly gan delyte. 3660 

More delicat, more pompous of array, 

More proud was neuer emperour than he; 

That ilke cloth, that he had wered o day, 

After that tyme he nolde it neuer see. 

Nettes of gold-thred hadde he gret plentee 3665 

To fisshe in Tybre, whan him liste pleye. 

His lustes were al lawe in his decree, 

For fortune as his frend him wolde obeye. 

In youthe a maister hadde this emperour, 3685 

To teche him letterure and curteisye, 

For of moralitee he was the flour, 

As in his tyme, but-if bokes lye ; 

And whyl this maister hadde of him maistrye, 

He maked him so conning and so souple 3690 

That longe tyme it was er tirannye 

Or any vyce dorste on him vncouple. 

This Seneca, of which that I deuyse, 

By-cause that 1 Nero hadde of him swich drede, 

For he fro vyces wolde him ay 2 chastyse 3695 

Discretly as by worde and nat by dede; 

' Sir,' wolde he seyn, ' an emperour moot nede 

Be vertuous, and hate tirannye' 

For which he in a bath made him to blede 

On bothe his armes, til he moste dye. 3700 

This Nero hadde eek of acustumaunce 
In youthe ageyn his maister for to ryse, 

1 Cm. that ; which the rest omit. a Hn. Cm. ay ; whit h the rest omit. 


Which afterward him thoughte a l greet greuaunce ; 

Therfor he made him deyen in this wyse. 

But natheles this Seneca the wyse 3705 

Chees in a bath to deye in this manere 

Rather than han another tonnentyse; 

And thus hath Nero slayn his maister dere. 

Now fil it so that fortune list no lenger 
The hye pryde of Nero to cheryce; 3710 

For though that he were 2 strong, yet was she strenger; 
She thoughte thus, ' [in feith] I am to nyce 
To sette a man that is fulfild of vyce 
In hy degree, and emperour him calle. 
[Ful sone] out of his sete I wol him tryce; 3715 

When he leest weneth, sonest shal he falle.' 

The peple roos vp-on him on a nyght 

For his defaute, and whan he it espyed, 

Out of his dores anon he hath him dyght 

Alone, and, ther he wende han ben allyed, 3720 

He knokked faste, and ay, the more he cryed, 

The faster shette they the dores alle ; 

Tho wiste he wel he hadde him-self misgyed 3 , 

And wente his wey, no lenger dorste he calle. 

The peple cryed and rombled vp and doun, 3725 

That with his eres herde he how they seyde 

' Wher is this false tyraunt, this Neroun ? ' 

For fere almost out of his wit he breyde, 

And to his goddes pitously he preyde 

For socour, but it myghte nat bityde. 3730 

For drede of this, him thoughte that he deyde, 

And ran in-to a gardin, him to hyde. 

1 E. (only) omits a. * E. Hn. was ; the resl were. 

8 E. Hn. wrongly repeat 1. 3731 fora 

VOL. n. K 


And in this gardin foond he cherles tweye 

That seten by a fyr ful 1 greet and reed, 

And to thise cherles two he gan to preye 3735 

To sleen him, and to girden of his heed, 

That to his body, whan that he were deed, 

Were no despyt ydoon, for his defame. 

Him-self he slow, he coude no better reed, 

Of which fortune lough, and hadde a game. 3740 

Was neuer capitayn vnder a king 
That regnes mo putte in subieccioun, 
Ne strenger was in felde of alle thing, 
As in his tyme, ne gretter of renoun, 
Ne more pompous in hy presumpcioun 3745 

Than Olofern, which that 2 fortune ay kiste 
So [tendirly], and ladde him vp and doun 
Til that his heed was of, er that he wiste. 

Nat only that this world hadde him in awe 

For lesinge of richesse or libertee, 3750 

But he 8 made euery man reneye his lawe. 

' Nabugodonosor was god,' seyde he, 

' Noon other god sholde honoured 4 be.' 

Ageyns his heste no wyght dorste trespace 

Saue in Bethulia, a strong citee, 3755 

Wher Eliachim a prest was of that place. 

But tak kepe of the dethe of Olofern; 

Amidde his host he dronke lay a nyghte, 

With-inne his tente, large as is a bern, 

And yit, for al his pompe and al his myghte, 3760 

1 E. Hn. Cm. omit ful ; the rest have it. " HI. Pt. that ; which the rest omit. 

8 E. Hn. Cm. HI. omit he ; the rest have it. 

4 E. Hn. Cm. adourcd ; Cp. Pt. Ln. HI. honoured. 


Judith, a womman, as he lay vpryghte, 

Sleping, his heed of smoot and from his tente 

Ful priuely she stal from euery wyghte, 

And with his heed vnto hir toun she wente. 3764 


The storie of Alisaundre is so comune, 3821 

That euery wyght that hath discrecioun 
Hath herd somwhat or al of his fortune. 
This wyde world, as in conclusioun, 
He wan by strengthe, or for his hy renoun 3825 

They weren glad for pees vn-to him sende. 
The pryde of man and beste he leyde adoun, 
Wher-so he cam, vn-to the worldes ende. 

Comparisoun myght neuer yit be maked 

Bitwixe him and another conquerour; 3830 

For al this world for drede of him hath quaked, 

He was 1 of knyghthode and of fredom flour; 

Fortune him maad the heir of hir honour; 

Saue wyn and wommen, no thing 2 myghte aswage 

His hy entente in armes and labour; 3835 

So was he ful of leonyn corage. 

What preys 3 were it to him, though I yow tolde 

Of Darius, and an hundred thousand mo, 

Of kinges, princes, erles, dukes bolde, 

Whiche he conquered, and broughte hem in-to wo ? 3840 

I seye, as fer as man may ryde or go, 

The world was his, what sholde I more deuyse ? 

1 E. Hn. Cm. omit was. * E. man; the rest thing. 

* Cm. preys; E. Hn. pris ; Cp. Pt. Ln. HI. pile. 



For though I writ or tolde you euermo 
Of his knyghthode, it myghte nat suffyse. 

Tvvelf yeer he regned, as seith Machabce ; 3^45 

Philippes sone of Macedoyne he was, 

That first was king in Grece the contree. 

O worthy gentil Alisaundre, alias ! 

That euer sholde fallen swich a cas I 

Empoisoned of thyn owen folk thou were; 3850 

Thy sys fortune hath turned into as, 

And yit l for thee ne weep she neuer a tere I 

Who shal me yiuen teres to compleyne 

The deeth of gentillesse and of fraunchyse, 

That al the world welded in his demeyne, 3855 

And yit him thoughte it myghte nat suffyse? 

So ful was his corage of hye empryse. 

Alias! who shal me helpe to endyte 

False fortune, and poison to despyse, 

The whiche two of al this wo I wyte? 3860 


By wisdom, manhode, and by greet 2 labour 

Fro humble bed 3 to roial magestee, 

Vp roos he, lulius the conquerour, 

That wan al thoccident by londe and see, 

By strengthe of hond, or elles by tretee, 3865 

And vn-to Rome made hem tributarie; 

And sith of Rome the emperour was he, 

Til that fortune wex his aduersarie. 

! E. Hn. Cm. omit yit. * E. Cp. Pt. Ln. omit greet. 

E. Hn. Cm. HI. humble bed ; Pt. Cp. Ln. hmnblehede. 


myghty Cesar, that in Thessalye 

Ageyn Pompeius, fader thyn in lawe, 3870 

That of thorient hadde al the chiualrye 

As fer as that the day biginneth dawe, 

Thou thurgh thy knyghthode hast hem take and slawe, 

Saue fewe folk that with Pompeius fledde, 

Thurgh which thou puttest al thorient in awe. 38 75 

Thanke fortune, that so wel thee spedde ! 

But now a litel whyl I wol biwaille 

This Pompeius, this noble gouernour 

Of Rome, which that fley at this bataille; 

1 seye, oon of his men, a fals traitour, 3880 
His heed of smoot, to winnen him fauour 

Of lulius, and him the heed he broughte. 

Alias, Pompey, of thorient conquerour, 

That fortune vnto swich a fyn thee broughte I 

To Rome ageyn repaireth lulius 3885 

With his triumphe, laureat ful hye, 

But on a tyme Brutus Cassius 1 , 

That euer hadde of his hye estaat envye, 

Ful priuely hath maad conspiracye 

Ageins this lulius, in subtil wyse, 3890 

And cast the place, in whiche he sholde dye 

With boydekins, as I shal yow deuyse. 

This lulius to the Capitolie wente 

Vpon a day, as he was wont to goon, 

And in the Capitolie anon him hente 389; 

This false Brutus, and his othere foon, 

1 So in the MSS. ; observe hath hi I. 


And stikede him with boydekins anoon 

With many a wounde, and thus they lete him lye ; 

But neuer gronte he at no strook but oon, 

Or elles at two, but if his storie lye. 3900 

Lucan, to thee this storie I recomende, 

And to Sweton, and to Valerie also, 3910 

That of this storie wryten ord 1 and ende, 

How that to thise grete conqueroures two 

Fortune was first frend, and sithen foo. 

No man ne truste vp-on hir fauour longe, 

But haue hir in awayt for euer-moo. 3915 

Witnesse on alle thise conqueroures stronge. 


This riche Cresus, whylom king of Lyde, 
Of whiche Cresus Cyrus sore him dradde, 
Yit was he caught amiddes al his pryde, 
And to be brent men to the fyr him ladde. 3920 

But swich a reyn doun fro the welkne shadde 
That slow the fyr, and made him to escape ; 
But to be war no grace yet he hadde, 
Til fortune on the galwes made him gape. 

Whan he escaped was, he can nat stente 3925 

For to biginne a newe werre ageyn. 
He wende wel, for that fortune him sente 
Swich hap, that he escaped thurgh the reyn, 
That of his foos he myghte nat be sleyn ; 
And eek a sweuen vp-on a nyghte he mette, 7,930 

Of which he was so proud and eek so fayn, 
That in vengeaunce he al his herte sette. 
8 The MSS. have word ; see the note. 


Vp-on a tree he was, as that him thoughte, 

Ther luppiter him wesh, bothe bak and syde, 

And Phebus eek a fair towaille him broughte 3935 

To drye him with, and ther-for wex his pryde ; 

And to his doughter, that stood him bisyde, 

Which that he knew in hy science habounde, 

He bad hir telle him what it signifyde, 

And she his dreem bigan ryght thus expounde. 3940 

' The tree,' quod she, ' the galwes is to mene, 

And luppiter bitokneth snow and reyn, 

And Phebus, with his towaille so clene, 

Tho ben the sonne stremes * for to seyn ; 

Thou shalt anhanged be, fader, certeyn; 3945 

Reyn shal thee wasshe, and sonne shal thee drye ; ' 

Thus warned she 2 him ful plat and ful pleyn, 

His doughter, which that called was Phanye. 

Anhanged was Cresus, the proude king, 
His roial trone myghte him nat auaille. 3950 

Tragedie is 3 noon other maner thing, 
Ne can in singing crye ne biwaille, 
But for 4 that fortune alwey wol assaille 
With vnwar strook the regnes that ben prcude ; 
For when men trusteth hir, than wol she faille. 3955 
And couere hir bryghte face as with a cloude. 
Explicit Tragedia. 

Heere stynteth the Knyght the Monk of his tale. 

1 E. bemes ; the rest stremes. 2 Pt. Ln. HI. she ; uhich the rest omit. 

8 Cm. Tragedy is ; so Cp. Pt. ; Ln. Tregedrye in ; E. Ha. Tragedies ; HI. 
Tegredis (sc). 

1 Cm. HI. for; which the rest omit. 


The prologue of the Nonne preestes tale. 

' Ho !' quod the knyght, ' good sir, no more of this, 

That ye han seyd is right ynow, ywis, 

And mochel more; for litel heuinesse 

Is ryght ynow to mochel folk, I gesse. 3960 

I seye for me, it is a greet disese 

Wher as men han ben in greet welthe and ese, 

To heren of her sodeyn fal, alias ! 

And the contrarie is loie and greet solas, 

As when a man hath ben in poure estaat, 3965 

And clymbeth vp, and wexeth fortunat, 

And ther abydeth in prosperitee, 

Swich thing is gladsom, as it thinketh me, 

And of swich thing were goodly for to telle.' 

'Ye,' quod our hoste, 'by seint Poules belle, 3970 

Ye seye ryght sooth; this monk, he clappeth loude, 

He spak how " fortune couered with a cloude " 

I noot neuer what, and als of a " Tragedie " 

Ryght now ye herde, and parde ! no remedie 

It is for to biwaille, ne compleyne 3975 

That thatJs doon, and als it is a peyne, 

As ye han seyd, to here of heuynesse. 

Sir monk, no more of this, so god yow blesse ! 


Your tale anoyeth al this companye ; 

Swich talking is nat worth a boterflye ; 3980 

For ther-in is ther no disport ne game. 

Wherfor, sir Monk, or 1 dan Piers by your name, 

I preye yow hertely, telle vs somwhat elles, 

For sikerly, nere clinking of your belles, 

That on your brydel hange on euery syde, 3985 

By heuen king, that for vs alle dyde, 

I sholde er this han fallen doun for slepe 

Although the slough had neuer ben so depe; 

Than had your tale al be told in vayn. 

For certeinly, as that thise clerkes seyn, 3990 

Wher as a man may haue noon audience, 

Nought helpeth it to tellen his sentence. 

And wel I woot the substance is in me, 

If any thing shal wel reported be. 

Sir, sey somwhat of hunting, I yow preye/ 3995 

' Nay,' quod this monk, ' I haue no lust to pleye ; 

Now let another telle, as I haue told.' 

Than spak our host, with rude speche and bold, 

And seyde vn-to the nonnes preste anon, 

' Com neer, thou prest, com hider, thou sir lohn, 4000 

Tel vs swich thing as may our hertes glade. 

Be blythe, though thou ryde vp-on a lade. 

What though thyn hors be bothe foule and lene, 

If he wol serue thee, rek nat a bene ; 

Look that thyn herte be merie euermo.' 4005 

' Yis, sir,' quod he, ' yis, host, so mote I go, 

But I be merie, ywis I wol be blamed : ' 

And ryght anon his tale he hath attained, 

1 Pt. or; Hn. o; which the rest omit, 


And thus he seyde vn-to vs euerichon, 

This swete prest, this goodly man sir John. 4010 


[Here follows The Nonne Prestes Tale, printed in Chaucer's 
Prologue, &c., ed. Morris (Clar. Press Series) pp. 97-116; lines 
numbered 4011-4636 in the Six-Text; next comes The Nuns' 
Priest's End-link, //. 4637-4652, with which Group B ends. 

Group C begins with The Doctor's Tale, //. 1-286 ; after 
which come The Wordes of the Hoost to the Phisicien and 
the Pardoner, //. 287-328, and then The Pardoner's Preamble 
and Tale, 11. 329-968. See Man of Law's Tale, &c.; pp. 38-60. 

Group D contains The Wife of Bath's Tale, the Friar's Tale, 
and the Summoner's Tale.] 


Heere folweth the Prologe of the clerkes tale of 

' Sir clerk of Oxenford/ our hoste sayde, 

as coy and stille as dooth a mayde, 
Were newe spoused, sitting at the bord ; 
This day ne herde I of your tonge a word. 
I trowe ye studie aboute som sophyme, 5 

But Salomon seith, " euery thyng hath tyme"<J-<it < zj Lt/ ^.t. 

For goddes sake, as beth of bettre chere, ^^^^ p- 
It is no tyme for to studien here. <J 

Telle vs som merie tale, by your fey; 
For what man that is entred in a pley, 10 

He nedes moot vnto the pley assente. 
But precheth nat, as freres doon in lente, 
To make vs for our olde synnes wepe, 
Ne that thy tale make vs nat to slepe. 

Telle vs som merie thing of auentures; 15 

Your termes, your colours, and your figures, 
Keepe hem in stoor til so be ye 1 endyte 
Hjf style, as whan that men to kinges wryte. 
Speketh so pleyn at this tyme, 1 2 yow preye, 
That we may vnderstonde what ye seye.' 20 

1 E. HI. that ye ; the rest omit that. * E. Hn. HI. we ; the rest I. 


This worthy clerk benignely answerde, 
' Hoste,' quod he, ' I am vnder your yerde ; 
Ye han of vs as now the gouernaunce, 
And therfor wol I do yow obeisaunce, 
As fer as reson axeth, hardily. 25 

I wol yow telle a tale which that I /^ -t"j3"7< t 
Lerned at Padowe of a worthy clerk, V***-*-^ 
As preued by his wordes and his werk. 
He is now deed and nailed in his cheste, 
I prey to god so yiue his soule reste! 30 

Fraunceys Petrark, the laureat poete, 
Highte this clerk, whos rethoryke sweete. 
Enlumined al Itaille of poetrye. "*&*** 

As Linian dide of philosophye 
- r f J 

Or lawe, or other art particuler; 35 

' But deeth, that wol nat suffre vs 1 dwellen heer 
But as it were a twinkling of an ye, 
Hem bothe hath slayn, and alle shul we dye. 

But forth to tellen of this worthy man, 
That taughte me this tale, as I bigan, 40 

/ \* I seye that first with hy style he endyteth, 

he the body of his tale wryteth, 
A proheme, in the which discryueth he 

Pemond. and of Saluces the contree, 


And speketh of Apennyn, the hilles hye, 45 

That been the boundes of West Lumbardye,^ 
And of Mount Vesulus in special, VhnUA* 
Where as the Poo out of a welle smal 
Taketh his firste springing and his sours, 

t Estward ay encresseth in his cours ,-, ^ 50 
o Emelward, to Ferrare)' and Venyse; 
The which a long thing were to deuyse. 
1 E. omits suffre vs. 


And trewely, as to my lugement, 

Me thinketh it a thing impertinent, 

Saue that he wol conueyen his matere, 55 

But this his tale 1 , which that ye may here. 

Heere bigynneth the tale of the Clerk of Oxenford. 

Ther is, at the West syde of Itaille, 

Doun at the roote of Vesulus the colde, 

A lusty playne, habundant of vitaille, 

Wher many a tour and toun thou mayst biholde, 60 

That founded were in tyme of fadres olde, 

And many another delitable syghte, 

And Saluces this noble contree hyghte. 

A markis whylom lord was of that lond$, 

As were his worthy eldres him bifore ; 65 

And obeisant and redy to his hond$ 

Were alle his liges, bothe lasse and more. 

Thus in delyt he liueth, and hath doon yore, 

Biloued and drad thurgh fauour of fortune 

Bothe of his lordes and of his commune. 70 

Therwith he was, to speke as of linage, 

The gentilleste yborn of Lumbardye, 

A fair persone, and strong, and yong of age, 

And ful of honour and of curteisye; 

Discreet ynough his contree for to gye, 75 

Saue 2 in somme thinges that he was to blame, 

And Walter was this yonge lordes name. 

1 E. Hn. this his .tale, omitting is ; HI. Pt. this is the tale ; Ln. this is tale. 
* E. Saue that ; the rest omit that. 


I blame him thus, that he considereth nought 

In tyme coming what myghte him 1 bityde, 

But on his lust present was al his thought, 80 

As for to hauke and hunte on euery syde ; 

Wei ny alle othere cures leet he slyde, 

And eek he nolde, and that was worst of alle, 

Wedde no wyf, for ought 2 that may bifalle. 

Only that point his peple bar so sore, 85 

That flokmele on a day they to him wente, 

And oon of hem, that wysest was of lore, 

Or elles that the lord best wolde assente 

That he sholde telle him what his peple niente, 

Or elles coude he shewe wel swich matere, 90 

He to the markis seyde as ye shul here. 

' O noble markis, your humanitee 

Assureth vs and yiueth 3 vs hardinesse, 

As ofte as tyme is of necessitee 

That we to yow mowe telle our heuinesse; 95 

Accepteth, lord, now for your gentillesse, 

That we with pitous herte vn-to yow pleyne, 

And lete your eres nat my voys disdeyne. 

Al haue I nought to doone in this matere 

More than another man hath in this place, 100 

Yet for as muche as ye, my lord so dere, 

Han alwey shewed me fauour and grace, 

I dar the better aske of yow a space 

Of audience to shewen our requeste, 

And ye, my lord, to doon ryght as yow leste. 105 

1 So Hn. Ln. ; E. hym myghte; C. Pt. myjt; HI. mighte. 

*. C. Cp. Pt. Ln. oujte ; E. Hn. noght ; HI. no thing. 

* So Hn. Pt. HI. ; E. to jeue ; C. and jeue ; Ln. and whisse. 



For certes, lord, so wel ^ys_lyketh vow 0U~*- / ^ 
*- And al your werk and euer han doon, that we ^' " 
Ne coude nat vs 1 self deuysen how 
We myghte liuen in more felicitee, 
Saue o thing, lord, if it 2 your wille be, no 

That for to been a wedded man yow leste, 
Than were your peple in souereyn hertes reste. 

Boweth your nekke vnder that blisful yok 

Of soueraynetee, nought of seruyse, 

Which that men clepeth spousail or wedlok ; 115 

And thenketh, lord, among your thoughtes wyse, 

How that our dayes passe in sondry wyse; 

For though we slepe or wake, or rome, or ryde, 

Ay fleeth the tyme, it nil no man abyde. 

And though your grene youthe floure as yit, 120 

In crepeth age alwey, as stille as stoon, 

And deeth manaceth euery age, and smit 

In ech estaat, for ther escapeth noon : 

And al so certein as we knowe echoon 

That we shul deye, as vncerteyn we alle 125 

Been of that day whan deeth shal on vs falle. 

Accepteth than of vs the trewe entente, 

That neuer yet refuseden your 3 heste, 

And we wol, lord, if that ye wol assente, 

Chese yow a wyf in short tyme atte leste, 130 

Born of the gentilleste and of the meste 

Of al this lond, so that it oughte seme 

Honour to god and yow, as we can deme. 

1 Pt. Ln. cure ; E. Hn. Cp. vs. * E. Ln. omit it, 

3 So Cp. Pt. Ln. HI. ; E. Hn. Cm. thyn. 


Deliuer vs out of al this bisy drede, 

And tak a wyf, for hye goddes sake; 135 

For if it so bifelle, as god forbede, 

That thurgh your deeth your linage 1 sholde slake, 

And that a straunge successour sholde take 

Your heritage, o ! wo were vs alyue ! 

Wherfor we pray you hastily to wyue.' 140 

Her meke preyere and her pilous chere 
Made the markis herte han pitee. 
' Ye wol,' quod he, ' myn owen peple dere, 
To that I neuer erst thoughte streyne me. 
I me reioysed of my libertee, 145 

That selde tyme is founde in mariage; 
Ther I was free, I moot been in seruage. 

But nathelees I se your trewe entente, 

And truste vpon your wit and haue doon ay; 

Wherfor of my free wille I wol assente 150 

To wedde me, as soone as euer I may. 

But ther as ye han profred me this day 

To chese me a wyf, I yow relesse 

That chois, and prey yow 2 of that profre cesse. 

For god it woot, that children ofte been 155 

Vnlyk her worthy eldres hem bifore; 

Bpuntee comth al of god, nat of the 

(5F which they been engendred and ybore; 

I truste in goddes bountee, and therfore 

My mariage and myn estaat and reste 160 

I him bitake; he may doon as him leste. 

1 Cp. Ft. lynage ; Ln. HI. Hgnage ; E. lyne ; Hn. ligne ; Cm. lyf. 
* E. (only) omits yow. 


Lat me alone in chesing of my wyf, 

That charge vp-on my bak I wol endure; 

But I yow preye, and charge vp-on your lyf, 

That what 1 wyf that I take, ye me assure 165 

To worshipe hir, whyl that hir lyf may dure, 

In word and werk, bothe here and euerywhere, 

^As she an emperoures doughter were. 

And forthermore, this shal ye swere, that ye 

Agayn my choys shul neither grucche ne stryue ; 1 70 

For sith I shal forgoon my libertee ___ 

At your requeste, as euer moot I thryue, oo43 'v'UTP* * 

Ther as myn herte is set, ther wol I wyue ; 

And but ye wole assente in swich 2 manere, 

I prey yow, speketh naniore of this matere.' 175 

With hertly wil they sworen, and assenten 

To al this thing, ther seyde no wyght nay j 

Bisekinge him of grace, er that they wenten, 

That he wolde graunten hem a certein day 

Of his spousaille, as sone as euer he may ; 180 

For yet alwey the peple som-what dredde 

Lest that this markis no wyf wolde wedde. 

He graunted hem a day, swich as him leste, 

On which he wolde be wedded sikerly, 

And seyde he dide al this at her requeste; 185 

And they with humble entente buxomly 

Knelinge vp-on her knees ful reuerently 

Him thanken alle, and thus they han an ende 

Of her entente, and hoom agayn they wende. 

1 So Hn. Cp. Ln. ; E. Cm. omit That ; Pt. om. what. 
' E. this ; the rest swich, such. 

VOL. H. F 


And heer-vp-on he to his officeres 190 

Comaundeth for the feste to purveye, 

And to his priuee knyghtes and squieres 

Swich charge yaf, as him liste on hem leye ; 

And they to his comandement obeye, 

And ech of hem doth al his diligence 195 

To doon vn-to the feste reuerence. 

Explicit prima pars. Incipii secunda pars. 

Noght fer fro thilke paleys honurable ^ ,d*4 t *" l ~ 

Ther as this markis shoop his mariage, X^fe^ 

Ther stood a throp, of site delytable, 

In which that poure folk of that village 200 

Hadden her bestes and her herbergage, 

And of her labour tooke her sustenance 

After that the erthe yaf hem habundance. 

Amonges this poure folk ther dwelte a man 

Which that was holden pourest of hem alle; 305 

But hye god som tyme senden can 

His grace in-to a litel oxes stalle: 

lanicula men of that thrope him calle. 

A doughter hadde he fair ynough to syghte, 

And Grisildis this yonge may den hyghte. 210 

But for to speke of vertuous beautee 1 , 

Than was she oon the faireste vnder sonne; 

For poureliche yfostred vp was she, 

No [sinful] lust was thurgh hir herte yronne; 

Wei ofter of the welle than of the tonne 215 

She drank, and for she wolde vertu plese, 

She knew wel labour, but noon ydel ese. 

1 E bountee ; the rest beautee, beute. 


But though this mayde tendre were of age, 

Yet in the brest of hir virginitee /-HI^O-W. r 

Ther was enclosed type and sad corage ; - ao . 

And in greet reuerence and charitee 

Hir olde poure fader fostred she; 

A fewe sheep spinning on feeld she kepte, 

She wolde nought been ydel til she slepte. 

And whan she homward cam, she wolde bringe 225 
Wortes or othere herbes tymes ofte, 
The whiche she shredde and seeth for hir liuinge, 
And made hir bed ful harde and no thing softe ; 
And ay she kepte hir fadres lyf on-lofte gufoffr' 
With euerich obeisaunce and diligence 230 

That child may doon to fadres reuerence. 

Vp-on Grisild this poure creature 

Ful ofte sythe this markis sette 1 his ye' 

As he on hunting rood parauenture; 

And whan it 2 fil that he myghte hir espye, 335 

He nought with wantoun loking of folye 

His yen caste on hir, but in sad wyse ^^(-^J^L. 

Vp-on hir chere he wolde 8 him ofte auyse, 

Commending in his herte hir wommanhede, 

And eek hir vertu, passing any wyght 240 

Of so yong age, as wel in chere as dede. 

For though the rjeple. haue * no greet insyght 

In vertu, he considered ful ryght 

Hir bountee, and disposed that he wolde 

Wedde hir oonly, if euer he wedde sholde. 245 

1 E. caste ; the rest sette. * E. that it ; the rest omit that. 

* E. gan; the rest wolde. E. hadde ; Hn. Cm. hath ; Cp. Pt. Ln. HI. haue. 

F 2 



The day of wedding cam, but no wyght can 

Telle what womman that it sholde be ; 

For which merueille wondred many a man, 

And seyden, whan they 1 were in priuetee, 

' Wol nat our lord yet leue his vanitee ? 250 

Wol he nat wedde ? alla's, alias the whyle ! 

Why wol he thus him-self and vs bigyle ? ' 

But natheles this markis hath doon make 
Of gemmes, set in gold and in asure, 
Broches and ringes, for Grisildis sake, 
And of hir clothing took he the mesure 

T/ / / / ' . 

By a mayde, lyk to hir stature", 
And eek of othere ornamentes alle 
That vn-to swich a wedding sholde falle. 

The tyme of _yndern of the same day 

Approcheth, that this wedding sholde be ; 

And al the paleys put was in array, 

Bothe halle and chambres, ech in his degree; 

Houses of office stuffed with plentee 

Ther maystow seen of deynteuous vitaille, 265 

That may be founde, as fer as last Itaille. 

This roial markis richely arrayed, 

Lordes and ladyes in his companye, 

The whiche vnto 2 the feste were yprayed, 

And of his retenue the bachelrye, 170 

With many a soun of sondry melodye, 

Vn-to the village, of the which I tolde, 

In this array the ryghte wey han holde. 

1 E. Cm. that they ; the rest omit that. 

9 Cp. Ln. HI. vnto ; Cm. Pt. to ; E. Ho. that to. 


Grisilde of this, god wot, ful innocent, 

That for hir shapen was al this array, 275 

To fecchen water at a welle is went, 

And cometh hoom as soone as euer she may. 

For wel she had herd seyd, that thilke day 

The markis sholde wedde, and, if she myghte, 

She wolde fayn han seyn som of that syghte. 280 

She thoughte, 'I wol with othere maydens stonde, 

That been my felawes, in our dore, a 

The markisesse, and therfor wol I fonde 

To doon at hoom, as soone as it may be, 

The labour which that longeth vn-to me ; 285 

And than I may at leyser hir biholde, 

If she this wey vn-to the castel holde.' 

And as she wolde ouer hir threshfold goon, 

The markis cam and gan hir for to calle ; 

And she sette doun hir water-pot anoon 290 

Bisyde the threshfold, in an oxes stalle, 

And doun vp-on hir knees she gan to falle, 

And with sad contenance kneleth stille 

Til she had herd what was the lordes wille. 

This thoughtful markis spak vn-to this mayde 295 

Ful sobrely, and seyde in this manere, 

' Wher is your fader 1 , Grisildis?' he sayde, 

And she with reuerence, in humble chere, 

Answerde, ' lord, he is al redy here.' 

And in she gooth with-outen lenger lette, 300 

And to the markis she hir fader fette. 

1 E. HII. Cm. insert o after fader. 


He by the bond than took this olde man, 

And seyde thus, whan he him hadde asyde, 

' lanicula, I neither may ne can 

Lenger the plesance of myn herte hyde. 305 

If that thou vouche sauf, what so bityde, 

Thy doughter wol I take er that I wende 

As for my wyf, vn-to hir lyues ende. 

Thou louest me, I wot it wel certeyn, 

And art my feithful lige man ybore; 310 

And al that lyketh me, I dar wel seyn, 

It lyketh thee, and specially therfore 

Tel me that poynt that I haue seyd bifore, 

If that thou wolt vn-to that purpos drawe, 

To take me as for thy sone in lawe?' 315 

This sodeyn cas this man astonied so, 

That reed he wex, abayst, and al quaking 

He stood; vnnethes seyde he wordes mo, 

But only thus : ' lord,' quod he, ' my willing 

Is as ye wole, he ayeins youre lyking 320 

I wol no-thing; ye be my lord so dere; 

Ryght as yow lust gouerneth this matere.' A^VM^UW^I^ 

' Yet wol I,' quod this markis softely, 

' That in thy chambre I and thou and she 

Haue a collacion, and wostow why? 325 

For I wol axe if it hir wille be 

To be my wyf, and reule hir after me; 

And al this shal be doon in thy presence, 

I wol nought speke out of thyn audience.' 

And in the chambre whyl they were aboute 330 

Her tret^s, which as ye shal after here, 
The peple cam vn-to the hous with-oute, 


And wondred hem in how honest manere 

And tentifly she kepte hir fader dere. 

But outerly Grisildis wondre myghte, 335 

For neuer erst ne sey she swich a syghte. 

No wonder is though that 1 she were astoned 

To seen so greet a gest come in that place; 

She neuer was to swiche gestes woned, 

For which she loked with ful pale face. 340 

But shortly forth this tale for to chace, 

Thise arn the wordes that the markis sayde 

To this benigne verray feithful mayde. 

' Grisilde,' he seyde, ' ye shul wel vnderstonde 

It lyketh to your fader and to me 345 

That I yow wedde, and eek it may so stonde, 

As I suppose, ye wol that it so be. 

But thise demandes axe I first,' quod he, 

' That, sith it shal be doon in hastif wyse, 

Wol ye assente or elles yow auyse? 

I seye this, be ye redy with good herte 

To al my lust, and that I frely may, 

As me best thinketh, do yow laughe or smerte, 

And neuer ye to grucche it, nyght ne day? 

And eek whan I sey ' ye,' ne sey nat ' nay,' 355 

Neither by word ne frowning contenance; 

Swer this, and here I swere our 2 alliance.' 

Wondring vp-on this word, quaking for drede, 

She seyde, ' lord, vndigne and vnworthy 

Am I to thilke honour that ye me bede; 360 

1 E. Pt. omit that * E. yow ; the re.t oure. 


But as ye wol your-self, ryght so wol I. 
And heer I swere that neuer willingly 
In werk ne thought I nil yow disobeye, 

to be deed, though me were loth to deye.' 

' This is ynough, Grisilde myn ! ' quod he. 

And forth he goth with a ful sobre chere 

Out at the dore, and after that cam she, 

And to the peple he seyde in this manere, 

' This is my wyf,' quod he, ' that standeth here. 

Honoureth hir, and loueth hir, I preye, 370 

Who so me loueth; ther is namore to seye.' 

And for that no-thing of hir olde gere 

She sholde bringe in-to his hous, he bad 

That wommen sholde dispoilen hir ryght there; 

Of which thise ladyes were nat ryght glad 375 

To handle hir clothes wher-in she was clad. 

But natheles this mayde bryght of hewe 

Fro foot to heed 'they clothed han al newe. 

Hir heres han they kembd, that lay vntressed 

Ful rudely, and with her fingres smale 380 

A corone on hir heed they han ydressed, 

And sette hir ful of nowches grete and smale; 

Of hir array what sholde I make a tale? 

Vnnethe the peple hir knew for hir fairnesse, 

Whan she translated was in swich richesse. 385 

This markis hath hir spoused with a ring 

Brought for the same cause, and than hir sette 

Vp-on an hors, snow-whyt and wel ambling, 

And to his paleys, er he lenger lette, 

With ioyful peple that hir ladde and mette, 390 


Conueyed hir, and thus the day they spende 
In reuel til the sonne gan descende. 

And shortly forth this tale for to chace, 

I seye that to this newe markisesse 

God hath swich fauour sent hir of his grace, 395 

That it ne semed nat by lyklinesse 

That she was born and fed in rudenesse, 

As in a cote or in an oxe-stalle, 

But norished in an emperoures halle. 

To euery wyght she woxen is so dere 400 

And worshipful, that folk ther she was bore 

And from hir birthe knewe hir yeer by yere, 

Vnnethe trowed they, but dorste han swore 

That 1 to lanicle, of which I spak bifore, 

She doughter nas 2 , for, as by coniecture, 405 

Hem thoughte she was another creature. 

For though that euer vertuous was she, 
She was encressed in swich excellence 


Of the we s goode, yset in heigh bountee, 

And so discreet and fair of eloquence, 410 

So benigne and so digne of reuerence, 

And coude so the peples herte embrace, 

That ech hir louede that loked on hir face. 

Nought only of Saluces in the toun 

Publisshed was the bountee 3 of hir name, 415 

But eek bisyde in many a regioun, 

If oon seyde wel, another seyde the same; 

So spradde of hir heigh bountee the fame 4 , 

1 E. That she ; the rest omit she. 

2 Cp. Ln. nas ; E. Hn. Cm. Hl.were ; Ft. ne were. 

8 E. beautee ; the rest bountee. * E. name ; the rest fame. 


That men and wommen, as wel yonge as olde, 

Gon to Saluce, vpon hir to biholde. 420 

Thus Walter lowly, nay but roially, 

Wedded with forlunat honestetee, 

In goddes pees lyueth ful esily 

At hoom, and outward grace ynough had he; 

And for he sey that vnder low 1 degree 425 

Was ofte 2 vertu hid, the peple him helde 

A prudent man, and that is seyn ful selde. 

Nat only this Grisildis thurgh hir wit 

Coude al the feet of wyfly homlinesse 3 , 

But eek, whan that the cas requyred it, 430 

The commune profit coude she redresse. 

Ther nas discord, rancour, ne heuinesse 

In al that lond, that she ne coude apese, 

And wysly bringe hem alle in reste and ese. 

Though that hir housbonde absent were anoon, 435 

If gentil men, or othere of hir contree 

Were wrothe, she wolde bringen hem atoon; 

So wyse and rype wordes hadde she, 

And Ingementz of so greet equitee, 

That she from heuen sent was, as men wende, 440 

Peple to saue and euery wrong tamende. 

longe tyme after that this Grisild 
Was wedded, she a doughter hath ybore, 
Al had hir leuer haue born a knaue 4 child. 
Glad was this markis and the folk therfore ; 445 

For though a mayde child come al bifore, 

1 E. heigh ; the rest lowe, low. " E. omits ofte. 

8 So Cp. Ln. ; the rest humblenesse ; see note. 
* E. man ; the rest knaue. 


She may vnto a knaue 1 child atteyne 
By lyklihed, sin she nis nat bareyne. 

Explicit secunda pars. Incipit tercia pars. 

Ther fil, as it bifalleth tymes mo, 

Whan that this child had souked but a throwe, 450 

This markis in his herte longeth so 

To tempte his wyf, hir sadnesse for to knowe, 

That he ne myghte out of his herte throwe 

This merueillous desyr, his wyf tassaye, 

Needlees, god wot, he thoughte hir for taffraye. 455 

He hadde assayed hir ynough bifore 
And fond hir euer good; what neded it 
Hir for to tempte and alwey more and 
Though som men preise it for a subtil wit,, 
But as for me, I seye that yuel it sit ^ 
Tassaye a wyf whan that it is no nede, 
And putten her in anguish and in drede. 

For which this markis wroughte in this manere ; 

He cam alone a-nyghte, ther as she lay, 

With sterne face and with ful trouble chere, 465 

And seyde thus, ' Grisild,' quod he, ' that day 

That I yow took out of your poure array, 

And putte yow in estaat of heigh noblesse, 

Ye haue nat that forgeten, as I gesse. 

I seye, Grisild, this present dignitee, 470 

In which that I haue put yow, as I trowe, 

* E. man ; the rest knaue. 


Maketh yow nat foryetful for to be 

That I yow took in poure estaat ful lower 

For any wele ye moot your-seluen knowe. 

Tak hede of euery word that I yow seye, 475 

Ther is no wyght that hereth it but we tweye. 

Ye woot your-self wel, how that ye came here 

In-to this hous, it is nat longe ago, 

And though to me that ye be lief and dere, 

Vn-to my gentils ye be no-thing so ; 480 

They seyn, to hem it is greet shame and wo 

For to be subgetz and 1 been in seruage 

To thee. that born art of a smal village. 

And namely, sith thy doughter was ybore, 

Thise wordes han they spoken doutelees ; 485 

But I desyre, as I haue doon bifore, 

To Hue my lyf with hem in reste and pees; 

I may nat in this caas be recchelees. 

I mot don with thy doughter for the beste, 

Nat as I wolde, but as my peple leste. 490 

And yet, god wot, this is ful looth to me; 

But natheles with-oute your witing 

I wol nat don, but this wol I,' quod he, 

' That ye to me assente as in this thing. 

Shewe now your pacience in your werking 495 

That ye me hyghte and swore in your village 

That day that maked was our mariage.' 

Whan she had herd al this, she nought ameued 

Neither in word, or chere, or countenance; 

For, as it semed, she was nat agreued : 500 

1 E. and to ; the rest omit to. 


She seyde, 'lord, al lyth in your plesance, 
My child and I with hertly obeisance 
Ben youres al, and ye mowe saue or 1 spille 
Your owen thing ; werketh after your wille. 

Ther may no-thing, god so my soule saue, 505 

Lyken to yow that may displese me ; 

Ne I ne 2 desyre no-thing for to haue, 

Ne drede for to lese, saue only ye 3 ; 

This wil is in myn herte and ay shal be. 

No lengthe of tyme or deeth may this deface, 510 

Ne chaunge my corage to another place.' 

Glad was this markis of hir answering, 

But yet he feyned as he were nat soj 

Al drery was his chere and his loking 

Whan that he sholde out of the chambre go. 515 

Sone after this, a furlong wey or two. #. Xx/flZe <X/-R 

He priuely hath told al his entente 

Vn-to a man, and to his wyf him sente. 

A maner sergeant was this priuee man, 

The which that feithful ofte he founden hadde 520 

In thinges grete, and eek swich folk wel can 

Boon execucion on thinges badde. 

The lord knew wel that he him louede and dradde, 

And whan this sergeant wiste his* lordes wille, 

In-to the chambre he stalked him ful stille. 

'Madame,' he seyde, 'ye mote foryiue it me, 
Though I do thing to which I am constreyned; 
Ye ben so wys that ful wel knowe ye 

1 E. Cp. Pt. Ln. and ; the rest or. 2 E. Ha. Ne 1 ne ; the rest omit ne. 
s E. Hn. thee vel yee ; Pt. HI. je ; Cm. Cp. Ln. thee. 
* E. the ; Cm. this ; the rest his. 


That lordes hestes mowe nat ben yfeyned; 

They mowe wel ben biwailled or 1 compleyned, 530 
put men mot nede vn-to her lust obeye, 
JAnd so wol I; ther is namore to seye. 

This child I am comanded for to take' 
And spak namore, but out the child he hente 
Despitously, and gan a chere make 535 

As though he wolde han slayn it er he wente. 
Grisildis mot al suffren and consente; 
And as a lamb she sitteth meke and stille, 
And leet this cruel sergeant doon his wille. 

uspecipus was the diffame of this man, 540 

Suspect his face, suspect his word also; 
Suspect the tyme in which he this bigan. 
Alias 1 hir doughter that she louede so 
She wende he wolde han slawen it ryght tho. 
But natheles she neither weep ne syked, 545 

Consenting hir to that the markis lyked. 

But atte laste speken 2 she bigan, 

And mekely she to the sergeant preyde, 

So as he was a worthy gentil man, 

That she moste kisse hir child er that it deyde; 550 

And in her barm this litel child she leyde 

With ful sad face, and gan the child to kisse 

And lulled it, and after gan it blisse. 

And thus she seyde in hir benigne voys, 

'Far wel, my child; I shal thee neuer see; 555 

But, sith I thee haue marked with the croys, 

1 E. Cm. and ; the rest or. * E. to speken ; the rest omit to. 


Of thilke fader blessed mote thou * be, 

That for vs deyde vp-on a croys of tree. 

Thy soule, litel child, I him bitake, 

For this nyght shallow deyen for my sake.' 560 

I trowe that to a norice in this cas 

It had ben hard this rewthe for to se; 

Wei myghte a moder than han cryed ' alias !' 

But natheles so sad 2 stedfast was she, 

That she endured all aduersitee, 565 

And to the sergeant mekely she sayde, 

1 Haue heer agayn your litel yonge mayde. 

Goth now/ quod she, 'and doth my lordes heste, 

But 3 o thing wol I preye yow of your grace, 

That, but my lord forbad yow, atte leste 570 

Burieth this litel body in som place 

That bestes ne no briddes it to-race.' 

But he no word wol to that purpos seye, 

But took the child and wente vpon his weye. 

This sergeant cam vn-to his lord ageyn, 575 

And of Grisildis wordes and hir chere 

He tolde him point for point, in short and playn, 

And him presenteth with his doughter dere. 

Somwhat this lord hath rewthe in his manere; 

B"ut natheles his purpos heeld he stille, 580 

As lordes doon whan they wol han hir wille; 

And bad his sergeant that he priuely 

Sholde this child ful 4 softe wynde and wrappe 

1 E. Hn. Cm. he ; the rest thou. 2 E. Cm. Pt. sad and ; the rest omit and. 
8 E, Pt. And ; the rest But. * Cp. Pt. Ln. ful ; the rest omit it. 


With alle circumstances tendrely, 

And carie it in a cofre or in a lappe ; 

But, vp-on peyne his heed of for to jwa 

That no man sholde knowe of his entente, 

Ne whenne he cam 1 , ne whider that he wente; 

But at Boloigne to his suster deere, 

That thilke tyme of Panik 2 was countesse, 590 

He sholde it take and shewe hir this matere, 

Bisekinge hir to don hir bisinesse 

This child to fostre in alk gentilesse ; 

And whos child that it was he bad hir 8 hyde^_ 

From euery wyght, for ought that may bityde. 595 

sergeant goth, and hath fulfild this thing; 
But to this markis now retourne we ; 
For now goth he ful faste ymagining 
If by his wyues chere he myghte se, 
Or by hir word aperceyue that she 600 

Were chaunged; but he neuer hir coude fynde 
. But euer in oon ylyke sad and kynde. 

^*- ' 

As glad, as humble, as bisy in seruyse, 

And eek in loue as she was wont to be, 

Was she to him in euery maner wyse; 605 

Ne of hir dought'er nought a word spak she. - 

Noon accident fornoon aduersitee c *~f~' > ^**\\p' 

Was seyn in hir, ne neuer hir doughter name 

Ne nempned she, in ernest nor in game. 

Explicit tercia pars, Sequilur pars quaria. 

1 Hn. Cm. Cp. Pt. HI. he cam ; E. Ln. omit. 
8 Cp. HI. Panyke ; the rest Pavik, Pauyk, Pavte. 
3 E. him ; the rest hire, hir. 


In this estaat ther passed ben four yeer 610 

Er she with childe was; but, as god wolde, 
A knaue 1 child she bar by this Walter, 

ul gracious and fair for to biholde. 
And whan that folk it to his fader tolde, 
Nat only he, but al his contree, merie 615 

Was for this child, and god they thanke and herie. 

Whan it was two yeer old, and fro the brest 
Departed of his norice, on a day 
This markis caughte yet another lest 
To temple his wyf yet ofter, if he may. 

needles was she tempted in assay 1 
But wedded men ne knowe no mesure, 

Whan that they fynde a pacient creature.)""' ft 

1 Wyf/ quod this markis, ' ye han herd er this, . 

My peple sikly berth our mariage, tv7/c & 1 ^ 625 

And namely sith my sone yboren is, 

Now is it worse than euer in al our age. 

The murmur sleeth myn herte and my coragej \r 

For to myne eres comth the voys so smerte, 9^^ 

That it wel ny destroyed hath myn herte. 630 

Now sey they thus, 'whan Walter is agoon, 
Than shal the blood of lanicle succede 
And been our lord, for other haue we noon ; 
Swiche wordes seith my peple, out of drede. 
Wel oughte I of swich murmur taken hede ; 635 . 

4 For certeinly I drede swich sentence, 

.Though they nat pleyn speke in myn audience. 

wolde liue in pees, if that I myghtej 
herfor I am disposed outerly, 

1 E. man ; the rest knaue. 


As I his suster seruede by nyghte, 640 

Ryght so thenke I to serue him pryuely ; 
This warne I yow, that ye nat sodeynly 
Out of your-self for no wo sholde outraye; 
Beth pacient, and ther-of I yow preye.' 

' I haue/ quod she, ' seyd thus, and euer shal, 645 

I wol no thing, ne nil no thing certayn 

But as yow list; nought greueth me at al, 

Though that my doughter and my sone be slayn, 

At your comandement, this is to sayn. 

I haue nought had no part of children tweyne 650 

But first siknesse, and after wo and peyne. 

Ye ben our lord, doth with your owen thing 

Ryght as yow list; axeth no reed at_me. 

For, as I lefte at hoom al my clothing, 

Whan I first cam to yow, ryght so," quod she, 655 

' Lefte I my wil and al my libei tee, 

And took your clothing; wherfor I yow preye, 

Doth your plesance, I wol your lust obeye. 

And certes, if I hadde prescience 

Your wil to knowe er ye your lust me tolde, 660 

I wolde it doon with-outen necligence ; 

But now I wot your lust and what ye wolde, 

Al your plesance ferme and stable I holde ; 

For wiste I that my deeth wolde do yow ese, 

Ryght gladly wolde I deyen, yow to plese. 665 

Deth may nought make no comparisoun 

Vn-to your loue:' and, whan this markis sey 

The Constance of his wyf, he caste adoun 

His yen two, and wondreth that she may 

In patience suffre al this array. 670 


And forth he goth with drery contenance, 

But to his herte it was ful erect plesance. /-" 

** _-jP t />*> 

This ygjy_ sergeant in the same wyse 

That he hir doughter caughte, ryght sohe7 

Or worse, if men worse can deuyse, 

Hath hent hir sone, that ful was of beautee. 

And euer in oon so pacient was she, 

That she no chere made of heuinesse, 

But kiste hir _sone. and after gan it blesse ; JL ^ C (^ 

*t^X*j 4&>. <li-4 W<Ua. ^^ 4v CL, *^A~ ft &Jl^rwJ^**. 

Saue; this; she preyede him that, if Jhe myghte, 680 

Hir litel sone he wolde in erthe graue, 

His tendre lymes, delicat to syghte, 

Fro foules and fro bestes for to saue. 

But she non answer of him myghte haue. 

He wente his wey, as him no thing ne roughte; 685 

But to Boloigne he tendrely it broughte. 

This markis wondreth 1 euerjenger thejnore^* 

Vp-on hir pacience, and if that he 

Ne hadde soothly knowen ther-bifore, 

That parfitly hir children louede she, 690 

He wolde haue wend that of som subtiltee, 

And of malice or for cruel corage, 

That she had suffred this with sad visage. 

But wel he knew that next him-self certayn 
She louede hir children best in euery wyse. 
But now of wommen wolde I axen fayn, 
If thise assayes myghte nat suffyse ? 
What coude a sturdy housbond more deuyse 
To preue hir wyfhod and 2 hir stedfastnesse, 
And he continuing euer in sturdinesse? 

1 E. wondred ; the rest wondreth. J E. or ; the rest and. 

G 2 


But ther ben folk of swich condicion, 

That, whan they haue a certein purpos take, 

They can nat stinte of hir entencion, 

But, ryght as they were bounden to a 1 stake, 

They wol nat of that firste purpos slake. 705 

Ryght so this markis fulliche hath purposed 

To tempte his wyf, as he was first disposed. 

He waiteth, if by word or contenance 

That she to him was changed of corage ; 

But neuer coude he fynde variance; 710 

She was ay oon in herte and in visage ; 

And ay the ferther that she was in age, 

The more trewe, if that it were possible, 

She was to him in loue, and more penible. 

which it semed thus, that of hem two 
Ther nas but o wil; for, as Walter leste, 
The same lust was hir plesance also, 
And, god be thanked, al fil for the beste. 
She shewed wel, for no worldly vnreste 
A wyf as of hir- self no thing ne sholde \ ^^" 720 
Wille in effect, but as hir housbond wolde. 

The sclaundre_pf Walter ofte and wyde spradde, 

That of a cruel herte he wikkedly, 

For he a poure womman wedded hadde, 

Hath mordred bothe his children priuely. 735 

Swich murmur was among hem comunly. 

No wonder is, for to the peples ere 

Ther cam no word but that they mordred were. 

For which, wher as his peple ther-bifore 

Had loued him wel, the sclaundre of his diffame 730 

1 E. Hn. Cm. that; the rest a. 


Made hem that they him hatede therfore, 

To ben a mordrer is an hateful name. 

But natheles, for ernest ne for game " 

He of his cruel purpos nolde stente ; ("- r ^*^T- <*- ) 

To tempte his wyf was set al his entente. 735 

Whan that his doughter twelf yeer was of age, 

He to the court of Rome^ in subtil wyse, 

Enformed of his wil, sente his message, -^^ju^^*^-*^ * 

Comaunding hem swiche bulles to deuyse 

As to his cruel purpos may suffyse, 740 

How that the pope, as for his peples reste, 

Bad him to wedde another, if him leste. 

I seye, he bad they sholde countrefete 

The popes bulles, making mencion 

That he hath leue his firste wyf to lete, 
1 As_ by the popes dispensacion, 
- To stinte rancour and dissencion 

Bitwixe his peple and him; thus seyde the bulle, 

The which they han publisshed atte mile. 

The rude peple, as it no wonder is, 750 

Wenden ful wel that it had ben ryght so; 

But whan thise tydinges cam to Grisildis, 

I deme that hir herte was ful wo. 

But she, ylyke sad for euermo, 

Disposed was, this humble creature, 755 

Thaduersitee of fortune al tendure. 

Abyding euer his lust and his plesance, 

To whom that she was yeuen, herte and al, 

As to hir verray worldly suffisance; 

But shortly if this storie I tellen shal, 760 

This markis writen hath in special 


A lettre in which he sheweth his entente, 
And secrely he to Boloigne it sente. 

To the erl of Panik, which that hadde tho 

Wedded his suster, preyde he specially 765 

To bringen hoom agayn his children two 

In honurable estaat al openly. 

But o thing he him preyede outerly, 

That he to no wyght, though men wolde enquere, 

Sholde nat telle, whos children they 1 were, 770 

But seye, the mayden sholde ywedded be 

Vn-to the markis of Saluce anon. 

And as this erl was preyed, so dide he; 

For at day set he on his wey is goon 

Toward Saluce, and lordes many oon, 775 

In riche array, this mayden for to gyde; 

Hir yonge brother ryding hir bisyde. 

Arrayed was toward hir mariage 

This fresshe mayde, ful of gemmes clere; 

Hir brother, which that seuen yeer was of age, 780 

Arrayed eek ful fresh in his manere. 

And thus in greet noblesse and with glad chere, 

Toward Saluces shaping her iourney, 

Fro day to day they ryden in her wey. 

Explicit quarta pars. Sequitur pars quinta. 

Among al thisjil after his wikke vsage, v 785 

This markis, yet his wyf to temple more 
To the vttereste preue of hir corage, 

1 E. Hn. Cp. Ln. that they ; the rest omit that. 


Fully to ban experience and lore 

If that she were as stedfast as bifore, 

He on a day in open audience 79 

Ful boistously hath seyd hir this sentence: 

' Certes, Grisild, I hadde ynough plesance 

To han yow to my wyf for your goodnesse, 

As for your trewthe and for your obeisance, 

Nought for your linage ne for your richesse; 79? 

But now knowe I in verray soothfastnesse 

That in greet lordshipe, if I wel auyse, 

Ther is greet seruitute in sondry wyse. 

I may nat don as euery plowman may; 

My peple me constreyneth for to take 800 

Another wyf, and cryen day by day; 

And eek the pope, rancour for to slake, 

Consenteth it, that dar I vndertake; 

And treweliche thus muche I wol yow seye, 

My newe wyf is coming by the weye. 805 

Be strong of herte, and voyde anon hir place, 

And thilke dower that ye broughten me 

Tak it agayn, I graunte it of my grace; 

Retourneth to your fadres hous,' quod he; 

' No man may alwey han prosperitee ; 810 

With euene herte I rede yow tendure 

The 1 strook of fortune or of auenture.' 

And she answerde agayn in pacience, 

' My lord/ quod she, ' I wot, and wiste alway 

How that bitwixen your magnificence 815 

And my pouerte no wyght can ne may 

Maken comparison; it is no nay. 

1 E. This ; the rest The. 


I ne heeld me neuer digne in no manere 
To be your wyf, no, ne your chamberere. 

And in this hous, ther ye me lady made 820 

The heiehe god take I for my witnesse, 

*"w? -n^yt^^ 

And also wisly Qie my soule glade 

I neuer heeld me lady ne maistresse, 

But humble seruant to your worthinesse, 

And euer shal, whyl that my lyf may dure, 8zs 

Abouen euery worldly creature. 

That ye so longe of your benignitee 

Han holden me in honour and nobleye, 

Wher as I was nought worthy for to 1 be, 

That thonke I god and yow, to whom I preye 830 

Foryelde it yow; there is namore to seye. 

Vn-to my fader gladly wol I wende, 

And with him dwelle vn-to my lyues ende. 

And of your newe wyf, god of his grace 841 

So graunte yow wele and prosperitee: 
For I wol gladly yelden hir my place, 
In which that I was blisful wont to be. 
For sith it lyketh yow, my lord,' quod she, 845 

'That whylom weren al myn hertes reste, 
That I shal goon, I wol goon whan yow leste. 

But ther as ye me profre swich dowaire 

As I first broughte, it is wel in my mynde 

It were my wrecched clothes, no-thing faire, 850 

The whi^h to me were hard now for to fynde. 

O goode god! how gentil and how kynde 

1 E. omits for to. 


Ye semed by your speche and your visage 
The day that maked was our manage! 

k*. cnjU. *r-6 
But sooth is seyd, algate I fynde it trewe 855 (( 

For in effect it preued is on me fcixZ-4 f /4-vt-*-< 
Loue is noght old as whan that it is newe. ' 
But certes, lord, for noon aduersitee, 
To deyen in the cas, it shal nat be 
That euer in word or werk I shal repente 
That I yow yaf myn herte in hool entente. 


remenant of your lewels redy be 
n- with ^nnre chambre, dar I saufly sayn; 
Naked out of my fadres hous/ quod she, 
' I cam, and naked mot I turne agayn. 
Al your plesance wol I folwen fayn; 
But yet I hope it be nat your entente 
That I smokies out of your paleys wente.' * 875 

' The smok,' quod he, ' that thou hast on thy bak, 890 
^ Lat it be stille, and ber it forth with thee,' 
t/ W"' But wel vnnethes thilke word he spak, 

But wente his wey for rewthe and for pitee. 

Biforn the folk hir-seluen strepeth she, 

And in hir smok, with heed and foot al bare, 895 

Toward hir fader hous forth is she fare. 

The folk hir folwe wepinge in hir weye, 

And fortune ay they cursen as they goon; 

But she fro weping kepte hir ye'n dreye, 

Ne in this tyme word ne spak she noon. > 900 

Hir fader,' that this tyding herde anoon, \O ' 

Curseth the day and tyme that nature ^ 

Shopp him to ben a Ivues creature/0-^^o-^ 


For out of doute this olde poure man 

Was euer in suspect of hir mariage ; 905 

For euer he demed, sith that it bigan, 

That whan the lord fulfild had his corage, 

Him wolde thinke it were a disparage 

To his estaat so lowe for talyghte, 

And voyden hir as sone as euer he myghte. 910 

his doughter hastilich goth he, 
For he by noyse of folk knew hir cominge, 
And with hir olde cote, as it myghte be, 
He couered hir, ful sorwefully wepinge; 
But on hir body myghte he it nat bringe. 915 

For rude was the cloth, and 1 more of age 
By dayes fele than at hir mariage. 

Thus with hir fader for a certeyn space 

Dwelleth this flour of wyfly pacience, 

That neither by hir wordes ne hir face 920 

Biforn the folk, ne eek in her absence, 

Ne shewed she that hir was doon offence; 

Ne of hir heigh estaat no remembrance 

Ne hadde she, as_ by hir contenance. $44L/c/x/-tf, 

No wonder is, for in hir grete estaat 

Hir goost was euer in pleyn humylitee; 

No tendre mouth, non herte delicat, 

No pompe, no semblant of roialtee, 

But ful of pacient benignitee, 

Discreet and prydeles, ay honiirable, c-^/la**^ 93 G 

And to hir housbonde euer meke and stable. 

1 E. Hn. Cm. HI. and she ; the rest omit she. 


Men speke of lob and most for his humblesse, 
As clerkes, whan hem list, can we] endyte, 

of men, but as in soothfastnesse, 
Though clerkes preise wommen but a lyte, 935 

Ther can no man in humblesse him acquyte 
As womman can, ne can J ben half so trew,e i. 
As wommen ben, but it be falle of-newe. . 

[Pars Sex/a.] 

Fro Boloigne is this erl of Panik come, f^juf^Ar^-^-, 

Of which the fame vp sprang to more and lesse, 949 

And in the peples eres alle and some 

Was couth eek, that a newe markisesse 

He with him broughte, in swich pompe and richesse, 

That neuer was ther seyn with mannes ye 

So noble array in al West Lumbardye. 945 

The markis, which that shoop and knew al this, 

Er that this erl was come, sente his message 

For thilke sely poure Grisildis; 

And she with humble herte and glad visage, ^ 

Nat with no swollen thought in hir corage, Y*^*^ 95 

Cam at his heste, and on hir knees hir sette, 

And reuerently and wysly she him grette. 

1 Grisild,' quod he, ' my wille is outerly, 

This mayden, that shal wedded ben to me, 

Receiued be to-morwe as roially , 955 

As it possible is in myn hous to be. 

And eek that euery wyght in his degree 

Haue his estaat in sitting and seruyse 

And heigh plesance, as I can best deuyse. 

1 Hn. kan ; Cp. Ln. HI. can ; which the rest omit. 


I haue no wommen sumgant certayn 960 

The chambres for tarraye in ordinance ^rttx/ 
After my lust, and therfor wolde I fayn 
That thyn were al swich maner gouernance; 
\Thou knowest eek of old al my plesance; \* 
[Though thyn array be badde and yuel biseye, 
Do thou thy deuoir at the leste \veye.' 

' Nat only, lord, that I am glad,' quod she, 
'To doon your lust, but I desyre also 
Yow for to serue and plese in my degree 
With-outen feynting, and shal euermo. 970 

Ne neuer, for no wele ne no wo, 
Ne shal the gost with-in myn herte stente 
To loue yow best with al my trewe entente.' 

And with that word she gan the hous to dyghte, 

And tables for to sette and beddes make; 975 

And peyned hir to don al that she myghte, 

Preying the chambereres, for goddes sake, 

To hasten hem and faste swepe and shake; 

And shl, the mo'ste se'ruisable of die, *^U>^* ' 

Hath euery chambre arrayed and his halle. 980 

Abouten vndern gan this erl alyghte, 

That with him broughte these noble children tweye, 

For which the peple ran to seen the syghte 

Of hir array, so richely biseye; 

And than at erst amonges hem they seye, 985 

That Walter was no fool, though that him leste 

To chaunge his wyf, for it was for the beste. 

For she is fairer, as they demen alle, 
Than is Grisild, and more tendre of age, 


And fairer fruyt bitwene hem sholde falle, 990 

And more plesant, for hir heigh lynage; 

Hir brother eek so fair was of visage, 

That hem to seen the peple hath caught plesance, 

Commending now the markis gouernance. 

Auctor. *O stormy peple! vnsad and euer vntrewe! 995 

Ay vndiscreet and chaunging as a vane, 

Delyting euer in rombel that is newe, ,/VCovH r-^ 

For lyk the mone ay wexe ye and wane ; 

Ay ful of clapping, dere ynough a lanej Gt*^-**-**' a 

Your doom is fals, your Constance yuel preueth, khcoo 

A ful greet fool is he that on yow leueth!' 

Thus seyden sadde folk in that citee, 

Whan that the peple gazed vp and doun, 

For they were glad, ryght for the noueltee, 

To han a newe lady of her toun. 1005 

Namore of this make I now mencioun; 

But to Grisild agayn wol I me dresse, 

And telle hir Constance and hir bisinesse. 

Ful bisy was Grisild in euery thing 

That to the feste was apertinent; 1010 

Ryght nought was she abayst of hir clothing, 

Though it were rude and somdel eek to-rent. 

But with glad chere to the yate is 1 went 

With other folk to grete the markisesse, 

And after that doth forth hir bisinesse. 1015 

~ f 
With so glad chere his gestes she receyueth, 

And 2 conningly, euerich in his degree, 

1 E. Hn. HI. is she ; the rest omit she. 

1 E. Hn. Cm. HI. And so ; Cp. Ft. Ln. omit so. 


That no defaute no man aperceyueth; 

But ay they wondren what she myghte be 

That in so poure array was for to see, 1020 

And coude swich honour and reuerence; 

And worthily they preisen hir prudence. 

In al this mene whyle she ne stente 

This mayde and eek hir brother to commende 

With al hir herte, in ful benigne entente, - ' 1*025 

So wel that no man coude hir pjys amende. 

But atte laste, whan that thise lordes wende 

To sitten doun to mete, he gan to calle ^ 

Grisild, as she was bisy in his halle. 

1 Grisild/ quod he, as it were in his pley, I 

'How lyketh thee my wyf and hir beautee? 1 

' Ryght wel/ quod she, ' my lord ; for, in good fey, 

A fairer sey I neuer non than she. 

I prey to god^iue hir prosperitee; f 

And so hope I that he wol to yow sende 1035 

Plesance ynough vn-to your lyues ende. 

O thing biseke I yow and warne also, 

That ye ne prikke with no tormentinge ^7 

,. If, /, / , / , / ^(tLAX/. 

This tendre mayden, as ye nan doon moj 

For she is fostred in hir norishinge 1040 

More tendrely, and, to my supposinge, 

She coude nat aduersitee endure, 

As coude a poure fostred creature.' 

And whan this Walter sey hir pacience, 

Hir glade chere and no malice at al, 1045 

And he so ofte had doon to hir offence, 

And she ay sad and constant as a wal, 

Continuing euer hir Innocence oueral, 


This sturdy markis gan his herte dresse ^^ji^n^u^, 
To rewen vp-on hir wyfly stedfastnesse. 1050 

' This is ynough, Grisilde myn/ quod he, ^ _ r 

' Be now namore agast ne yuel apayed; **** |j|"^ 

I haue thy_feith and thy benignitee, 

As wel as euer womman was, assayed, 

In greet estaat and poureliche arrayed. 1055 

Now knowe I, dere * wyf, thy stedfastnesse/ 

And hir in armes took and gan hir kesse. 

And she for wonder took of it no kepe; 
She herde nat what thing he to hir seyde; 
She ferde as she had stert out of a slepe, 
Til she out of hir masednesse 


' Grisild/ quod he, ' by god that for vs deyae, 
Thou art my wyf, ne 2 non other I haue, 
Ne neuer hadde, as god my soule saue! 

This is thy doughter which thou hast supposed 1065 

To be my wyf; that other feithfully 

Shal be myn heir, as I haue ay purposed 8 ; 

Thou bare him in thy body trewely. 

At Boloigne haue I kept hem priuely, 

Tak hem agayn, for now maystow nat seye 

That thou hast lorn non of thy children tweye. 

And folk that otherweyes han seyd of me, 

I warne hem wel that I haue doon this dede 

For no malice ne for no crueltee, 

But for tassaye in thee thy wommanhede, 1075 

And nat to sleen my children, god forbede! 

1 E. goo<Ie; rest dere. 2 Cm. Cp. Ln. HI. ne; Pt. and ; E, Hn. omit ne. 
5 Cp. Lu. HI. purposed ; E. Hu. Cm. supposed (wrongly) ; Pt. disposed. 


But for to kepe hem priuely and stille, 
Til I thy purpos knew and al thy wille.' 

K , fcivJi .Whan she this herde, as^vowne doun she falleth 

// :, For pitous loye, and after hir swowning 1080 

H./fy. (A She bothe hir yonge children vn-to hir calleth, 
And in hir armes, pitously weping, 

Embraceth hem, and tendrely kissing 
^-wcvjjw ' . . J 

"'. rul lyk a mooder, with hir sake teres 

She batheth bothe hir visage and hir heres. 1085 

O, which a pitous thing it was to se 

Hir swowning, and hir humble voys to here ! 

' Graunt mercy, lord, that thanke I yow,' quod she, 

' That ye han saued me my children dere 1 

Now rekke I neuer to ben deed ryght here; 1090 

Sith I stonde in your loue and in your grace, 

No fors of deeth, ne whan my spirit pace I 

O tendre, o dere, o yonge children myne, 

Your woful mooder wende stedfastly 

That cruel houndes or som foul vermyne 1095 

Hadde eten yow ; but god, of his mercy, 

And your benigne fader tendrely 


Hath doon_yow*kept;' and in that same stounde 
Al sodeynly she swapte adoun to grounde. 

And in hir swough so sadly holdeth she iico 

Hir children two, whan she gan hem tembrace, 
That with greet sleighte and greet difficultee 

\f^* &BT^^^ i*i^^^ 

The children from hir arm they gonne arace. 

O many a teer on many a pitous face 

Doun ran of hem that stoden hir bisyde; 1105 

Vnnethe abouten hir myghte they abyde. 


Walter hir gladeth and hir sorwe slaketh ; ' 

She ryseth vp abaysed from hir trance, 

And euery wyght hir ioye and feste maketh, 

Til she hath caught agayn hir contenance. mo 

Walter hir dooth so feithfully plesance, 

That it was deyntee for to seen the chere ^\ 

Bitwixe hem two, now they ben met yfere. 

Thise ladyes whan that they her tyme sey, 

Han taken hir, and in-to chambre gon, 1115 

And strepen hir out of hir rude array, 

And in a cloth of gold that bryghte shoon, 

With a coroune of many a riche stoon 

Vp-on hir heed, they in-to halle hir broughte, 

And ther she was honoured as hir oughte. 1120 

Thus hath this pitous day a blisful ende, 

For euery man and womman doth his myght 

This day in murthe and reuel to dispende 

Til on the welkne shoon the sterres lyght. 

For more solempne in euery mannes syght 1125 

This feste was, and gretter of costage, 

Than was the reuel of hir mariage. 

Ful many a yeer in heigh prosperitee 

Liuen thise two in concord and in reste, %ji>s> % ) 

And richely his doughter maried he 1130 

Vn-to a lord, oon of the worthieste 

Of al Itaille; and than in pees and reste \^ 

His wyues fader in his court he kepeth, 

Til that the soule out of his body crepeth. v 

His sone succedeth in his heritage 1135 

In reste and pees, after his fader day; 
VOL. n. H 

9 8 


And fortuhat was eek in mariage, 

Al putte he nat his wyf in greet assay. 

This world is nat so strong, it is no nay, 

As it hath ben of olde tymes yore, 

And herkneth what this auctour seith therfore. 

This storie is seyd nat for that wyucs sholde 
Folwen Grisild as in humilitee, 
--< / For it were importable, though they wolde; 
But for that euery wyght in his degree 
Shokle be constant in aduersitee 
As was Grisild, therfor this 1 Petrark wryteth 
This storie, which with hy style he cndyteth. 

For, sith a womman was so pacient 
Vn-to a mortal man, wel more vs oughte 
tyju Receyuen al in gree that god vs senL; tm/r 
"Q L>^lFor greet skile is, he l tfr$ur' that he wroughte, 

**\ -r, ' 1 - ""~ I I , 

But ne ne tempteth no man that he boughte, 
As seith seint lame, if ye his pistil rede; 
He preueth folk al day, it is no drede, 

And suffreth vs, as for our excercyse, 
With sharpe scourges of aduersitee 
Ful ofte to be bete in sondry wyse; 
Nat for to knowe our wil, for certes he, 
Er we were born, knew al 2 our freletee; 
for our beste is al his governance; 
'Lat vs than Hue in vertuous suffrance. 






. But o word, lordinges, herkneth er I 
It were ful hard to fynde ngw a day 
$4^4 Q& Av^jCxOL-C* | XfvJr A&jfijL* ^o *^. 
1 Cm. this ; which the rest omit. 
1 E. omits al ; the rest have it. 

, r t 


In al a toun Grisildes thre or two; ___ 1165 

For, if that they were put to swiche assaves. UM****** 
The gold of hem hath now so badde alayes o t/t ^**V-^ 
With bras, that though the coyne be fair at ye, 
It wolde rather breste atwo than plye. 


For which Beer, for the wyues loue of Bathe, 1170 

Whos lyf and al hir secte god mayntene 

In heigh maistrie, and elles were it scathe, 

I wol with lusty herte fresshe and grene 

Seyn yow a song to glade yow, I we'ne, 

And lat vs stinte of ernestful matere: 1175 ( 

Herkneth my song that seith in this manere. ^V p v 

Lenuoy de Chaucer ' \ 'L^f * c \M(v 


i^ V- 

Grisild is deed, and cek hir patience, ^^-i* .JU. \us\ 
And bothe atones buried in Itaille ; 


For which I crye in open audience, ^ 

No wedded man so hardy be tassaille 1180 

His wyues pacience, in hope to fynde 
Grisildes, for in certein he shal faille I 

O noble wyues, ful of heigh prudence, 

Lat non humilitee your tonge naille, 

Ne lat no clerk haue cause or diligence 1185 

To wryte of yow a storie of swich meruaille 

As of Grisildis pacient and kynde; 

Lest Chicheuache vow swelwe in hir entraille! f 

Fojweth Ekko. that holdeth no silence, 

But euere answereth at the countretaille ; 1190 

Beth nat bidaffed for your innocence, 

But sharply tak on yow the gouernaillc. 

H 2 

^uj, h_t^ 

v i'oo GRO 



Emprinteth wel this lesson in your mynde 
For commune profit, sith it may auaille. 

Ye archewyues, stondeth at defence, 1195 

Sin ye be stronge as is a greet camaille; 

Ne suffreth nat that men yow don offence. 

And sklendre wyues, fieble as in bataille, 

Beth egre as is a tygre yond in Ynde; 

Ay clappeth as a mille, I yow consaille. 1200 

Ne dreed hem .nat, do hem no reuerence; 

For though thyn housbonde armed be in maille, 

The arwes of thy crabbed eloquence 

Shal perce his brest, and eek his auentaille ; 

In lalousye I rede eek thou him bynde, 1205 

And thou shalt make him couche as doth a quaille. 

If thou be fair, ther folk ben in presence 

Shew thou thy visage and thyn apparaille; 

If thou be foul, be fre of thy dispence, 

To gete thee frendes ay do thy trauaille; mo 

Be ay of chere as lyght as leef on lynde, 

And lat him care, and wepe, and wringe, and waillel 

The prologe of the Marchantes tale. 

' Weping and wayling, care and other sorwe 

I knowe ynow, on euen and on morwe,' 

Quod the Marchant, ' and so doon othere mo 1215 

That wedded ben, I trowe that it be so., 

For wel I wot it fareth so with me. 

I haue a wyf, the worste that may be; 

For though the feend to hir ycoupled were, 

She wolde him ouermacche, I dar wel swere. 1220 



What sholde I yow reherce in special 

Hir hy malice P she is a sjjrew.e at al. t^*J^ 

Ther is a long and large difference 

Bitwix Grisildes grete pacience 

And of my wyf the passing crueltee. 1225 

Were I vnbounden, al so mote I thee! 

I wolde neuer eft comen in the snare. 

We wedded men liuen in sorwe and care; 

Assaye it who so wol, and he shal fynde, 

I seye sooth, by seint Thomas of Ynde, 1230 

As for the more part, I seye nat alle. 

God shilde that it sholde so bifalle! 

A ! good sir hoste ! I haue ywedded be 

Thise monthes two, and more nat, pardee; 

And yit I trowe that he, that al his lyue 1235 

Wyflees hath ben, though that men wolde him ryue 

Vn-to the herte, ne coude in no manere 

Tellen so moche sorwe, as I now here 

Coude tellen of my wyues cursednesse 1 ' 

' Now,' quod our host, ' marchaunt, so god yow blesse, 
Sin ye so moche knowen of that art, 
Ful hertely I preye yow telle vs part.' 
' Gladly,' quod he, ' but of myn owen sore, 
For sory herte, I telle may no more^*-^ 


lie, numbert 

[Here follows The Merchant's Tale, numbered 11. 1245-2418 i. 
the Six-Text edition ; after <which comes The Merchant's End-link, 
called The Squire's Prologue in the Ellesmere MS., as follows^ a ff^ 

The Prologe of the Squieres Tale. 

/~ iV^iV* V 
&^ It** rft^ 

' Ey ! goddes mercy !' seyde our hoste tho, VW 

' Now swich a wyf I preye god kepe me fro fyu *jufa* . *^ 

/^ A I jJ*^ 




Lo whiche sleightes and subtilitees 

In wommen ben ! for ay as bisy as bees 

Ben they, vs sely men for to deceyue, 

And from a sothe euer wol they weyue ; 

By this marchauntes tale it preueth \veel. 3425 

But douteles, as trewe as any steel 

I haue a wyf, though that she poure be; 

But of hir tonge a labbing shrewe is she, 

And yet she hath an heep of vices mo ; 

Ther-of no fors, lat alle swiche thinges go. 2430 

But, wite ye what? in conseil be it seyd, 

Me reweth sore I am vn-to hir teyd. 

For, and I sholde rekenen euery vice 

Which that she hath, ywis I were to nice, 

And cause why; it sholde reported be 2435 

And told to hir of somme of this meynee, 

Of whom, it nedeth nat for to declare, 

Sin wommen connen outen swich chaffare, 

And eek my wit suffiseth nat ther-to 

To tellen al; wherfor my tale is do.' 2440 

[Here ends Group E, or the fifth fragment, which is followed in 
the Ellesmere MS. (without any break) by Group F.J 


' Squyer, com neer, if it your wille be, 

And sey sormvhat of loue; for certes ye 

Konnen ther-on as muche as any man.' 

' Nay, sir,' quod he, ' but I wol seye as I can 

With hertly wille ; for I wol nat rebelle 5 

Agayn your lust; a tale wol I telle. 

Haue me excused if I speke amis, ^ 

My wille is good; and lo, my tale is this. 

Heere bigynneth the Squierea Tale. 

At Sarray, in the londe of Tartarye, 

Ther dwelte a king, that werreyed Russye, 10 

Thurgh which ther deyde many a doughty man. 

This noble king was cleped Cambynskan, *s 

Which in his tyme was of so greet renoun 

That ther nas no-wher in no regioun 

So excellent a lord in alle thing; 15 

Him lakked nought that longeth to a king. 

As of the secte of which that he was born 

He kepte his lay, to which that he was sworn ; 

And ther-to he was hardy, wys, and riche, 

And pitous [eek] and lust, alwey ylichej 20 


Sooth of his word, benigne and honurable, 

Of his corage as any centre stable; 

Yong, fresh, strong, and in armes desirous 

As any bacheler of al his hous. 

A fair persone he was and fortunat, 5 

And kepte alwey so wel roial estat, 

That ther was nowher swich another man. 

This noble king, this Tartre Cambynskan 

Hadde two sones on Elpheta his wyf, 

Of whiche the eldeste highte Algarsyf, 30 

That other sone was cleped Cambalo. * 

A doughter hadde this worthy king also, 

That yongest was, and highte Canacee. 

But for to telle yow al hir beautee 

It lyth nat in my longe, nin my conning; 35 

I dar nat vndertake so hy a thing. 

Myn english eek is insufficient; 

It 1 moste ben a rethor excellent, 

That coude his colours longing for that art, 

If he sholde hir discryuen euery part. 40 

I am non swich, I mot speke as I can. 

And so bifel that, whan this Cambynskan 

Hath twenty winter born his diademe, 

As he was wont fro yeer to yeer, I deme, 

He leet the feste of his natiuitee 4$ 

Don cryen thurghout 2 Sarray his citee, 

The last Idus of March, after the yeer. 

Phebus the sonne ful ioly was and cleer; 

For he was neigh his exaltacion 

In Martes face, and in his mansion 50 

In Aries, the colerik hote signe. 

1 E. I, perhaps miswritten ; HI. he ; the rest It. 

2 Hn. thurghout ; the rest thurgh. 


Ful lusty was the weder and benigne, / 

For which the foules, agayn the sonne/shene, 

What for the seson and the yonge grene, 

Ful loude songen hir affections ; 55 

Him seined han geten hem proteccions 

Agayn the swerd of winter kene and cold. 

This Cambynskan, of which I haue yow told, 

In roial vestiment sit on his deys, 

With diademe, ful ny in his paleys, 60 

And halt his feste, so solempne and so riche 

That in this world ne 1 was ther noon it liche. 

Of which if I shal tellen al tharray, 

Than wolde it occupye a someres day; 

And eek it nedeth nat for to deuyse 65 

At euery cours the ordre of her seruyse. 

I wol nat tellen of her strange sewfe, "^ 

Ne of her swannes, ne 2 of her heronsewes. ^ 

Eek in that lond, as tellen knyghtes olde, 

Ther is som mete that is ful deyntee holde, 70 

That in this lond men recche of it but smal; 

Ther nis no man that may reporten al. 

I wol nat tarien yow, for it is pryme, 

And for it is no fruyt but los of tyme; 

Vn-to my firste 1 wol haue my recours. 75 

And so bifel that, after the thridde cours, 

Whyl that this king sit thus in his nobleye, 

Herkning his minstralles her thinges pleye 

Biforn him at the bord deliciously, 

In at the halle dore al sodeynly 80 

Ther cam a knyght vp-on a stecle of bras, 

And in his hond a brood mirour of glas. 

Vpon his thombe he hadde of gold a ring, 

1 E. HI. omit ne ; the rest have it. 2 E. nor; the rest ne. 


And by his syde a naked swerd hanging; 
And vp he rydeth to the hye bord. 85 

In al the halle ne was ther spoke a word 
For merueille of this knyght; him to biholde 
Ful bisily ther wayten yonge and olde. 
/ This strange knyght, that cam thus sodeynly, 
Al armed saue his heed ful richely, 90 

Salueth king and queen, and lordes alle, 
By ordre as they seten in the halle, 
With so hy reuerence and obeisance 
As wel in speche as in contenance, 
That Gawayn with his olde curteisye, 95 

Though he were come ageyn out of Fairye, 
Ne coude him nat amende with a word. 
And after this, biforn the hye bord, 
He with a manly voys seith his message, 
After the forme vsed in his langage, 100 

With-outen vice of sillable or of lettre. 
And, for his tale sholde seme the bettre, 
Accordant to his wordes was his chere, 
As techeth art of speche hem that it lere; 
Al be it 1 that I can nat soune his style, 105 

Ne can nat clymben ouer so hy a style, 
Yet seye I this, as to commune entente, 
Thus much amounteth al that euer he mente, 
If it so be that I haue it in mynde. 
He seyde, ' the king of Arabic and of Ynde, no 

My lige lord, on this solempne day 
Salueth yow as he best can and may, 
And sendeth yow, in honour of your feste, 
By me, that am al redy at your heste, 
This stede of bras, that esily and wel 115 

1 Cp. Pt. Ln. HI. it ; E. Hn. Cm. omit it. 


Can, in the space of o day natural, 

This is to seyn, in foure and twenty houres, 

Wher so yow list, in droughte or elles shourcs, 

Beren your body in-to euery place 

To which your herte wilneth for to pace 120 

VVith-outen wem of yow, thurgh foul or fair ; 

Or, if yow list to fleen as hy in the air 

As doth an egle, whan 1 him list to sore, 

This same stede shal here yow euer-more 

With-outen harm, til ye be ther yow leste, 12$ 

Though that ye slepen on his bak or reste; 

And turne ayeyn, with wrything of a pin. 

He that it wroughte coude ful many a gin; 

He wayted many a constellacion 

Er he had don this operacion ; 130 

And knew ful many a seel and many a bond. 

This mirour eek, that I haue in myn hond, 

Hath swich a myght, that men may in it see 

Whan ther shal fallen any aduersitee 

Vn-to your regne or to your-self also; 135 

And openly who is your frend or foo. 

And ouer al this, if any lady bryght 

Hath set hir herte on 2 any maner wyght, 

If he be fals, she shal his treson see, 

His newe loue and al his subtiltee 140 

So openly, that ther shal no thing hyde. 

Wherfor, ageyn this lusty someres tyde, 

This mirour and this ring, that ye may sec, 

He hath sent to* my lady Canacee, 

Your excellente doughter that is here. 145 

The vertu of the ring, if ye wol here, 

1 E. whan |at ; the rest omit {>at. 2 E. Pt. in ; the rest on. 

4 E. va-to; Cm. on-to; the rest to. 


Is this ; that, if hir lust it for to were 

Vp-on hir thombe, or in hir purs it bere, 

Ther is no foul that fleeth vnder the heuene 

That she ne shal wel vnderstonde his steuene, 150 

And knowe his mening openly and pleyn, 

And answere him in his langage ageyn. 

And euery gras that groweth vp-on rote 

She shal eek knowe, and whom it wol do bote, 

Al be his woundes neuer so depe and wyde. 155 

This naked swerd, that hangeth by my syde, 

Swich vertu hath, that what man so ye smyte, 

Thurgh-out his armure it wol 1 kerue and byte, 

Were it as thikke as is a branched ook ; 

And what man that is wounded with the 2 strook 160 

Shal neuer be hool til that yow list, of grace, 

To stroke him with the platte in thilke 3 place 

Ther he is hurt : this is as muche to seyn, 

Ye mote with the platte swerd ageyn 

Stroke 4 him in the wounde, and it wol close; 165 

This is a verray sooth, with-outen glose, 

It failleth nat whyl it is in your hold.' 

And whan this knyght had thus his tale told, 

He rydeth out of halle, and doun he lyghte. 

His stede, which that shoon as sonne bryghte, 170 

Slant in the courte, stille as any stoon. 

This knyght is to his chambre lad anon, 

And is vnarmed and to 5 mete yset. 

The presentes ben ful roially yfet, 

This is to seyn, the swerd and the mirour, 175 

And born anon in-to the hye tour 

1 E. wol hym ; the rest omit hym. 2 E. a ; Cm. that ; the rest the. 

9 E. Cm. that ; the rest thilke. * E. Cm. Strike ; the rest Stroke. 

8 E. vn-to ; the rest to. 


With certeine officers ordeyned therfore ; 

And vn-to Canacee this ring was bore 

Solempnely, ther she sit at the table. 

But sikerly, with-outen any fable, iGo 

The hors of bras, that may nat be remewed, 

It slant as it were to the ground yglewed. 

Ther may no man out of the place it dryue 

For noon engyn of wyndas or 1 polyue; 

And cause why, for they can nat the craft. 185 

And therefor in the place they han it laft 

Til that the knyght hath taught hem the manere 

To voyden him, as ye shal after here. 

Greet was the pres, that swarmeth to and fro, 

To gauren on this hors that standeth so ; 190 

For it so hy was, and so brood and long, 

So wel proporcioned for to ben strong, 

Ryght as it were a stede of Lumbardye ; 

Ther-with so horsly, and so quik of ye 

As it a gentil Poileys courser were. 195 

For certes, fro his tayl vn-to his ere, 

Nature ne art ne coude him nat amende 

In no degree, as al the peple wende. 

But euermore her moste wonder was, 

How that it coude gon, and was of bras ; 200 

It was of 2 Fairye, as the 8 peple semed. 

Diuerse folk diuersely they demed; 

As many heedes, as many wittes ther been. 

They murmurede as doth a swarm of been, 

And maden skiles after her fantasyes, 205 

Rehersinge of thise olde poetryes, 

And seyden, it 4 was lyk the Pegasee, 

1 E. ne ; the rest or. ' E. Hn. a ; Cm. as ; the rest of. 

* E. Cm. al the ; the rest omit al. * E. that it ; the rest omit that. 


The hors that hadde winges for to flee; 

Or elles it was the Grekes hors Synon, 

That broughte Troye to destruccion, 210 

As men may 1 in thise olde gestes rede. 

'Myn herte,' quod oon, 'is euermore in drede; 

I trowe som men of annes ben ther-inne, 

That shapen hem this citee for to winne. 

It were ryght good that al swich thing were knowe.' 215 

Another rowned to his felawe lowe, 

And seyde, 'he lyeth, it is rather lyk 

An apparence ymaad by som magyk, 

As logelours pleyen at thise festes grete.' 

Of sondry doutes thus they langle and trete, 220 

As lewed peple demeth comunly 

Of thinges that ben maad more subtilly 

Than they can in her lewednes comprehende ; 

They demen gladly to the badder ende. 

And somme of hem wondrede on the mirour, 225 

That born was vp in-to the maister 2 tour, 

How men myghte in it swiche thinges se. 

Another answerde and seyde it myghte wel be 

Naturelly, by composicions 

Of angles and of slye reflexions, 230 

And seyde that in Rome was swich oon. 

They speken of Alocen and Vitulon, 

And Aristotle, that writen in her lyues 

Of queynte mirours and of prospectyues, 

As knowen they that han her bokes herd. 235 

And othere folk han wondred on the swerd 

That wolde percen thurgh-out euery-thing; 

And h'lle in speche of Thelophus the king, 

1 HI. may, which the rest omit. 

8 E. hye ; Cm. liyghc ; the rest maister. 


And of Achilles with his queynte spere, 

For he coude with it bothe hele and dere, 240 

Ryght in swich wyse as men may with the swerd 

Of which ryght now ye han your-seluen herd. 

They speke of sondry harding of metal, 

And speke of medicynes ther-with-al, 

And how, and whan, it sholde yharded be; 245 

Which is vnknowe algates vnto me. 

Tho speke they of Canacee's ring, 

And seyden alle, that swich a wonder thing 

Of craft of ringes herde they neuer non, 

Saue that he, Moyses, and king Salomon 250 

Hadde 1 a name of konning in swich art. 

Thus seyn the peple, and drawen hem apart. 

But natheles somme seyden that it was 

Wonder to maken of fern-asshen glas, 

And yet nis glas nat lyk asshen of fern; 255 

But for they han yknowen 2 it so fern, 

Therfor cesseth her langling and her wonder. 

As sore wondren somme on cause of thonder, 

On ebbe, on flood, on gossomer, and on mist, 

And on al thing, til that the cause is wist. 260 

Thus langle they and demen and deuyse, 

Til that the king gan fro the bord aryse. 

Phebus hath laft the angle meridional, 

And yet ascending was the beste roial, 

The gentil leon, with his Aldiran 3 , 265 

Whan that this Tartre king, this 4 Cambynskan, 

Ros fro his bord, ther that he sat ful hye. 

Toforn him goth the loude minstralcye, 

1 HI. Had ; the rest Hadde. 2 HI. i-knowen; the rest knoweu. 

s Hn. Aldiran; the reft Aldrian ; see note. 
* III. this which the rest omit. 


Til he cam to his chambre of parementz, 

Ther as they sownen diuerse instrumentz, 270 

That it is lyk an heuen for to here. 

Now dauncen lusty Venus children dere, 

For in the fish her lady sat ful hye, 

And loketh on hem with a frendly ye. 

This noble king is set vp in his trone. 275 

This strange knyght is fet to him ful sone, 

And on the daunce he goth with Canacee. 

Heer is the reuel and the lolitee 

That is nat able a dul man to deuyse. 

He moste han knowen loue and his seruyse, 280 

And ben a festlich man as fresh as May, 

That sholde yow deuysen swich array. 

Who coude telle yow the forme of daunces, 

So vncouthe and so fresshe contenaunces, 

Swich subtil loking and dissimulinges 285 

For drede of lalouse mennes aperceyuinges ? 

No man but Launcelot, and he is deed. 

Therefor I passe of al this lustiheed ; 

I seye namore, but in this lolynesse 

I lete hem, til men to the soper dresse. 290 

The sty ward bit the 1 spyces for to hye, 

And eek the wyn, in al this melodye. 

The vsshers and the squyers ben ygon; 

The spyces and the wyn is come anon. 

They ete and drinke ; and whan this hadde an ende, 295 

Vn-to the temple, as reson was, they wende. 

The seruice don, they soupen al by day. 

What nedeth yow 2 rehercen her array? 

Ech man wot wel, that at 3 a kinges feste 

1 HI. the ; which the rest omit. a E. me ; the rest yow. 

3 HM. Cp. Pt. Ln. that at ; rest om. at ; see note. 


Hath plentee, to the moste and to the leste, 300 

And deyntees mo than ben in my knowing. 

At-after soper goth this noble king 

To sen this hors of bras, with al the route 

Of lordes and of ladyes him aboute. 

Swich wondring was ther on this hors of bras 305 

That, sin the grete sege of Troye was, 

Ther as men wondreden on an hors also, 

Ne was ther swich a wondring as was tho. 

But fynally the king axeth this knyght 

The vertu of this courser and the myghr, 310 

And preyede him to telle his gouernaunce. 

This hors anon bigan to trippe and daunce, 

Whan that this knyght leyde hond vp-on his reyne, 

And seyde, ' sir, ther is namore to seyne, 

But, whan yow list to ryden any- where, 315 

Ye moten trille a pin, stant in his ere, 

Which I shall telle yow 1 bitwix vs two. 

Ye mote nempne him to what place also 

Or to what contree that yow list to ryde. 

And whan ye come ther as yow list abyde, 310 

Bidde him descende, and trille another pin, 

For ther-in 2 lyth the effect of al the gin, 

And he wol doun descende and don your wille; 

And in that place he wol abyde 3 stille, 

Though al the world the contrarie hadde yswore; 325 

He shal nat thennes ben ydrawe ne 4 ybore. 

Or, if yow liste 5 bidde him thennes gon, 

1 E. Hn. Cm. yow telle ; the rest telle yow. 

* E. ther ; Cm. theere ; the rest ther-iime, ther-in. 

3 Cp. HI. abyde ; Hn. abiden ; Ft. Ln. abide ; E. Cm. stonde ; see 
I. 7,20. 

4 E. Hn. nor; the rest ne. 

5 Cp. liste ; Lu. luste ; HI. lust to ; Cm wit ; E. Hn. Pt. list. 



Trille this pin, and he wol vanishe anon 

Out of the syghte of euery maner wyght, 

And come agayn, be it by 1 day or nyght, 330 

When that yow list to clepen him ageyn 

In swich a gyse as I shal to yow seyn 

Bitwixe yow and me, and that ful sone. 

Ryde whan yow list, ther is namore to done.' 

Enformed whan the king was of that knyght, 335 

And hath conceyued in his wit aryght 

The maner and the forme of al this thing, 

Thus 2 glad and blythe this noble doughty 3 king 

Repeireth to his reuel as biforn. 

The brydel is vn-to the tour yborn, 340 

And kept among his Jewels leue and dere. 

The hors vanisshed, I noot in what manere, 

Out of her syghte; ye gete namore of me. 

But thus I lete in lust and lolitee 

This Cambynskan his lordes festeyinge, 345 

Til wel ny the day bigan to springe. 

Explicit prima pars, Sequitur pars sectmda. 

The norice of digestioun, the slepe, 

Gan on hem winke, and bad hem taken kepe, 

That muchel drink and labour wolde han reste ; 

And with a galping mouth hem alle he keste, 350 

And seyde, ' it was tyme to lye adoun, 

For blood was in his dominacioun ; 

Cherissheth blood, natures frend,' quod he. 

They thanken him galpinge, by two, by thre, 

And euery wyght gan drawe him to his reste, 355 

1 HI. by ; which the rest omit. * So E. Cm. ; the rest Ful. 

3 E. Cm. omit doughty. 


As slepe hem bad; they toke it for the bcste. 

Her dremes shul nat ben ytold for me; 

Ful were her heedes of fumositee, 

That causeth dreem, of which ther nis no charge. 

They slepen til that it was pryme large, 360 

The moste part, but it were Canacee ; 

She was ful mesurable, as wommen be. 

For of hir fader hadde she take leue 

To gon to reste, sone after it was cue; 

Hir liste nat appalled for to be, 365 

Nor 1 on the morwe vnfestlich for to se; 

And slepte hir firste slepe, and thanne awook. 

For swich a ioye she in hir herte took 

Bothe of hir queynte ring and hir mirour, 

That twenty tyme she changed hir colour; 370 

And in hir slepe, ryght for impression 

Of hir mirour, she hadde a vision 2 . 

Wherfor, er that the sonne gan vp glyde, 

She cleped on hir maistresse hir bisyde, 

And seyde, that hir liste for to ryse. 375 

Thise olde wommen that been gladly wyse, 

As is 3 hir maistresse, answerde hir anon, 

And seyde, ' madame, whider wole ye gon 

Thus erly? for the folk ben alle on reste.' 

' I wol,' quod she, ' aryse, for me leste 380 

No lenger for to slepe, and walke aboute. 5 

Hir maistresse clepeth wommen a gret route. 

And vp they rysen, wel a ten or twelue ; 

Vp ryseth fresshe Canacee hir-selue, 

As rody and bryght as doth the yonge sonne, 385 

That in the Ram is four degrees vp-ronne; 

1 Hn. Cm. Nor; E. HI. Ne; Cp. Ft. Ln. For [for NorJ. 

8 E. Avision ; the rest a vision. 3 E. omits is ; the rest have it. 

I 2 


Noon hyer was he, whan she redy was; 

And forth she walketh esily a pas, 

Arrayed after the lusty seson sote 

Lyghtly, for to pleye and walke on fote ; 390 

Nat but with fyue or six of hir meynee ; 

And in a trench, forth in the park, goth she. 

The vapour, which that fro the erthe glood, 

Made the sonne to seme rody and brood; 

But natheles, it was so fair a syghte 395 

That it made alle her hertes for to lyghte, 

What for the seson and the morweninge, 

And for the foules that she herde singe; 

For ryght anon she wiste what they mente 

Ryght by her song, and knew al her entente. 400 

The knotte why that euery tale is told, 

If it be taried til that lust be cold 

Of hem that han it after herkned yore, 

The sauour passeth euer lenger the more, 

For fulsomnesse of his prolixitee. 405 

And by the same reson thinketh me, 

I sholde to the knotte condescende, 

And maken of hir walking sone an ende. 

Amidde a tree fordrye 1 , as whyt as chalk, 

As Canacee was pleying in hir walk, 410 

Ther sat a faucon ouer hir heed ful hyc, 

That with a pitous voys so gan to crye 

That all the wode resouned of hir cry. 

Ybeten hath she hir-self so pitously 

With bothe hir winges til the rede blood 415 

Ran endelong the tree ther as 2 she stood. 

1 E. fordryed ; Cm. fordreyed ; but Hn. Cp. Pt. I.n. for-drye ; 111. fordruye. 
* E. Cm. omit as. 


And euer in oon she cryde alwey and shryghte, 

And with hir beek hir-seluen so she pryghte, 

That ther nis tygre, ne non so cruel beste, 

That dwelleth either 1 in wode or in foreste 420 

That nolde han wept, if that he 2 wepe coude, 

For sonve of hir, she shryghte alwey so loude. 

For ther nas neuer yet no man 3 on lyue 

If that I coude a faucon wel discryue 

That herde of swich another of fairnesse, 425 

As wel of plumage as of gentillesse 

Of shap, and al that myghte yrekened be. 

A faucon peregryn than semed she 

Of fremde londe; and euermore, as she stood, 

She swowneth now and now for lakke of blood, 430 

Til wel ny is she fallen fro the tree. 

This faire kinges doughter, Canacee, 

That on hir finger bar the queynte ring, 

Thurgh which she understood wel euery thing 

That any foul may in his ledene seyn, 435 

And coude answere him in his ledene ageyn, 

Hath vnderstonde what this faucon seyde, 

And wel ny for the revvthe almost she deyde. 

And to the tree she goth ful hastily, 

And on this faucon loketh pitously, 440 

And held hir lappe abrood, for wel she wiste 

The faucon moste fallen fro the twiste, 

When that it swowned next, for lakke of blood. 

A longe while to wayten hir she stood, 

Til atte laste she spak in this manere 445 

Vn-to the hauk, as ye shul after here. 

' What is the cause, if it be for to telle, 

1 E. Hn. outher ; the rest eyther. a E. Pt. she ; tits reft he. 

8 So Cp. HI. ; E. Hn. Cm. neuerc man yet ; Pt. Ln. ncuere yit man. 


That ye be in this furial pyne of helle?' 

Quod Canacee vn-to this 1 hauk aboue. 

' Is this for sorwe of deth or los of loue ? 450 

For, as I trowe, thise ben causes two 

That causen 2 most a gentil herte wo; 

Of other harm it nedeth nat to speke. 

For ye your-self vpon your-self yow wreke, 

Which proueth wel that either 3 loue or drede 455 

Mot ben encheson of your cruel dede, 

Sin that I see non other wyght yow chace. 

For loue of god, as doth your-seluen grace 

Or what may ben your help; for West nor Est 

Ne sey I neuer er now no brid ne best . 460 

That ferde with him-self so pitously. 

Ye sle me with your sorwe, verraily; 

I haue of yow so gret compassioun *. 

For goddes loue, com fro the tree adoun; 

And, as I am a kinges doughter trewe, 465 

If that I verraily the cause knewe 

Of your disese, if it lay in my myght, 

I wolde amende it, er that it were nyght, 

As wisly helpe me gret 6 god of kynde 1 

And herbes shal I ryght ynowe yfynde 470 

To hele with your hurtes hastily.' 

Tho shryghte this faucon yet more 8 pitously 

Than 'euer she dide, and fil to grounde anon, 

And lyth aswowne, deed, and lyk a stoon, 

Til Canacee hath in hit lappe hir take 475 

Vn-to the tyme she gan of swough awake. 

1 E. the ; the rest this. * E. causeth ; the rest causen. 

3 E. Hn. outher ; the rest either. * E. passioun ; the rest compassioun. 

'' E. the grete; the rest omit the. 

6 Hn. Cp. Pt. yet moore ; E. Cm. moore yet ; HI. Ln. more. 


And, after that she of hir swough gan breyde, 

Ryght in hir haukes ledene thus she seyde: 

'That pitee renneth sone in gentil herte, 

Feling his similitude in peynes smerte, 480 

Is preued al-day, as men may it 1 see, 

As wel by werk as by auctoritee ; 

For gentil herte kytheth gentillesse. 

I se wel, that 2 ye han of my distresse 

Compassion, my faire Canacee, 485 

Of verray wommanly benignitee 

That nature in your principles hath set 3 . 

But for non hope for to fare the bet, 

But for to* obeye vn-to your herte free, 

And for to maken other be war by me, 490 

As by the whelp chasted is 8 the leoun, 

Ryght for that cause and that conclusioun, 

Whyl that I haue a leyser and a space, 

Myn harm I wol confessen, er I pace.' 

And euer, whyl that oon hir sorwe tolde, 495 

That other weep, as she to water wolde, 

Til that the faucon bad hir to be stille; 

And, with a syk, ryght thus she seyde hir wille. 

' Ther 7 I was bred, alias ! that harde day, 

And fostred in a roche of marbul gray 500 

So tendrely, that nothing eyled me, 

I niste nat what was aduersitee, 

Til I coude flee ful hye vnder the sky. 

Tho dwelte a tercelet me faste by, 

That semed welle of alle gentillesse; 505 

1 E. HI. omit it. 2 E. Cm. omit that. 

3 E. yset ; Cm. I-set ; the rest set, sette. * E. omits to. 

s / should propose to read is chasted ; but authority is lacking. 
So HI. ; the rest for that. 7 E. Cm. That ; the rest Ther. 


Al were he ful of treson and falsnesse, 

It was so wrapped vnder humble chere, 

And vnder hewe of trewthe in swich manere, 

Vnder plesance, and vnder bisy peyne, 

That I ne coude han wend he coude feyne, 510 

So depe in greyn he dyed his coloures. 

Ryght as a serpent hit him vnder floures 

Til he may sen his tyme for to byte, 

Ryght so this god of loue, this ypocryte, 

Doth so his cerimonies and obeisances, 515 

And kepeth 1 in semblant alle his obseruances 

That sowneth in-to gentillesse of loue. 

As in a toumbe is al the faire aboue, 

And vnder is the corps, swich as ye wot, 

Swich was this 2 ypocrite, bothe cold and hot, 520 

And in this wyse he serued his entente, 

That (saue the feend) non wiste what he mente. 

Til he so longe had wopen and compleyned, 

And many a yeer his seruice to me feyned, 

Til that myn herte, to pilous arid to nyce, 5*5 

Al innocent of his crouned malice, 

For-fered of his deth, as thoughte me, 

Vpon his othes and his seurelee, 

Graunted him loue, on s this condicioun, 

That euermore myn honour and renoun 530 

Were saued, bothe priuee and apert; 

This is to seyn, that, after his desert, 

I yaf him al myn herte and al 4 my thought 

God wot and he, that otherwyse nought 

And took his herte in chaunge for myn for ay. 535 

1 Pronounced kep'th. * E. the ; the rest this. 3 The MSS. have vp-on. 
1 Cm. Ln. HI. al ; which the reit omit. 


But sooth is seyd, gon sithen many a day, 

"A trew wyght and a theef thenken nat oon." 

And, whan he sey the thing so fer ygon, 

That I had graunted him fully my loue, 

In swich a gyse as I haue seyd aboue, 540 

And yiuen him my trewe herte, as fre 

As he swoor he his herte yaf 1 to me; 

Anon this tygre, ful of doublenesse, 

Fil on his knees with so deuout humblesse, 

With so hey reuerence as 2 by his chere, 545 

So lyk a gentil louere of manere, 

So rauisshed, as it semed, for the loye, 

That neuer lason s , ne Paris of Troye, 

lason ? certes, ne non other man, 

Sin Lameth was, that alderfirst bigan 550 

To louen two, as wry ten folk biforn, 

Ne neuer, sin the firste man was born, 

Ne coude man, by twenty thousand part, 

Countrefete the sophimes of his art; 

Ne were worthy vnbokele his galoche, 555 

Ther doublenesse or feyning sholde approche, 

Ne so coude thanke a wyght as he did me I 

His maner was an heuen for to see 

Til any womman, were she neuer so wys; 

So peyntede he and kembde at point- deuys 560 

As wel his wordes as his contenance. 

And I so * louede him for his obeisance, 

And for the trewthe I demede in his herte, 

That, if so were that any thing him smerte, 

Al were it neuer so lyte, and I it wiste, 565 

1 All he yaf his herte. a Cm. as; the rest and as. 

* E. Cm. Troilus ; the rest lason ; see note. * E. Cm. omit so. 


Me thoughte I felte deth myn herte twiste. 

And shortly, so ferforth this thing is went, 

That my wil was his willes instrument; 

This is to seyn, my wil obeyede his wil 

In alle thing, as fer as reson fil, 570 

Keping the boundes of my worshipe euer. 

Ne neuer hadde I thing so leef, ne leuer, 

As him, god wot 1 ne neuer shal namo. 

This lasteth lenger than a yeer or two, 

That I supposed of him nought but good. 575 

But fynally, thus atte laste it stood, 

That fortune wolde that he moste twinne 

Out of that place which that I was inne. 

Wher me was wo, that is no questioun; 

I can nat make of it discripcioun ; 580 

For o thing dar I tellen boldely, 

I knowe what is the peyne of deth ther-by ; 

Swich harm I felte for he * ne myghte bileue. 

So on a day of me he took his leue, 

So sonvefully eek, that I wende verraily 585 

That he had felt as muche harm as I, 

Whan that I herde him speke, and sey his hewe. 

But natheles, I thoughte he was so trewe, 

And eek that he repaire sholde ageyn 

With-inne a litel whyle, soth to seyn; 590 

And reson wolde eek that he moste go 

For his honour, as ofte it happeth so, 

That I made vertu of necessitee, 

And took it wel, sin that it moste be. 

As I best myghte, I hidde fro him my sorwe, 595 

And took him by the hond, seint lohn to borwe, 

1 E. has I ; the rest he. 


And seyde him thus: "lo, I am youres al; 

Beth swich as I to yow haue ben, and shal." 

What he answerde it nedeth nat reherce, 

Who can seyn bet than he, who can do werse ? 600 

Whan he hath al wel 1 seyd, thanne hath he doon. 

" Therfor bihoueth him 2 a ful long spoon 

That shal ete with a feend," thus herde I seye. 

So atte laste he moste forth his weye, 

And forth he fleeth, til he cam ther him leste. 605 

Whan it cam him to purpos for to reste, 

I trowe he hadde thilke text in mynde, 

That " alle thing, repeiring to his kynde, 

Gladeth him-self"; thus seyn men, as I gesse; 

Men louen of propre kynde newfangelnesse, 610 

As briddes doon that men in cages fede. 

For though thou nyght and day take of hem hede, 

And strawe hir cage faire and softe as silk, 

And yiue hem sugre, hony, breed and milk, 

Yet ryght anon, as that his dore is vppe, 615 

He with his feet wol spume adoun his cuppe, 

And lo the wode he wol and wormes ete ; 

So newefangel ben they of hir mete, 

And louen nouelries 3 of propre kynde; 

No gentillesse of blood ne 4 may hem bynde. 620 

So ferde this tercelet, alias the day! 

Though he were gentil born, and 6 fresh and gay, 

And goodly for to seen, and 6 humble and free, 

He sey vp-on a tyme a kyte flee, 

1 Hn. Cp. Pt. Ln. HI. wel seyd ; Cm. I-seyd ; E. seyd. 

* E. Hn. Cm. hire ; the rest him. 

3 E. nouelrie ; the rest have tJie plural, except Ln. none leueres ; which it 
a curious corruption of nouelrie?. * I supply ne ; which all omit. 

* Hn. has and ; which the rest omit. 6 E. Pt. omit and. 


And sodeynly he loued this kyte so, 625 

That al his loue is clene fro me ago, 

And hath his trewthe falsed in this wyse ; 

Thus hath the kyte my loue in hir seruyse, 

And I am lorn with-outen remedye ! ' 

And with that word this faucon gan to crye, 630 

And swowned eft in Canacees barme. 

Greet was the sorwe, for the haukes harme, 

That Canacee and alle hir wommen made; 

They nisten how they myghte the faucon glade. 

But Canacee horn bereth hir in hir lappe, 635 

And softely in piastres gan hir wrappe, 

Thcr as she with hir beek had hurt hir-sclue. 

Now can nat Canacee but herbes delue 

Out of the grounde, and make salues 1 newe 

Of herbes precious, and fyne of he\ve, 640 

To helen with this hauk; fro day to nyght 

She doth hir bisynesse and al hir 2 myght. 

And by hir beddes heed she made a mewe, 

And couered it with velouettes blewe, 

In signe of trewthe that is in wommen sene. 645 

And al with-oute, the mewe is peynled grene, 

In which were peynted 3 alle thise false foules, 

As beth thise tidifs, tercelets, and oules; 

And pyes, on hem for to crye and chyde, 

Ryght for despyt were peynted hem bisyde 4 . 650 

Thus lete I Canacee hir hauk keping; 

I wol namore as now speke of hir ring, 

Til it come eft to purpos for to seyn 

How that this faucon gat hir loue ageyn 

1 E. Hn. saues ; the rest salues. * E. hire fuile ; the rest al hir. 

3 E. ther were ypeynted ; the rest were peynted. 

4 The MSS, transpose 11. 649, 650 ; the correction was made by Tyrwhitu 


Repentant, as the storie telleth vs, 655 

By mediation of Cambalus, 

The kinges sone, of whiche 1 I yow tolde. 

But hennes forth I wol my proces hol'de 

To speke of auentures and of batailles, 

That neuer yet was herd so grete meruailles. 660 

First wol I telle yow of Cambynskan, 

That in his tyme many a citee wan ; 

And after wol I speke of Algarsyf, 

How that he wan Theodora to his wyf, 

For whom ful ofte in greet peril he was, 665 

Ne hadde he ben holpen by the stede of bras; 

And after wol I speke of Cambalo, 

That faught in listes with the bretheren two 

For Canacee, er that he myghte hir winne. 

And ther I lefte I wol ageyn biginne. 670 

Explicit secunda pars. Incipit pars lercia. 

Appollo whirleth vp his char so hye, 

Til that the god Mercurius hous the slye 2 


Heere folwen the wordes of the Frankelyn to the 
Squier, and the wordes of the hoost to the Frankelyn. 

' In feith, Squyer, thou hast thee wel yquit, 
And gentilly I preise wel thy wit/ 

1 Ln. whiche ; rest which ; Hn. of which I to yow tolde. 
* Here the MSS. fail. HI. omits 11. 671, 672, and La. has eight spurious 
lines in their place. HI. also omits 11. 1617-670. 


Quod the Frankeleyn, ' considering thy youthe, 675 

So feelingly thou spekest, sir, I allow the ! 

As to my doom, ther is noon that is here 

Of eloquence that shal be thy pere. 

If that thou Hue, god yiue thee good chaunce, 

And in vertu sende thee continuaunce ! 680 

For of thy speche I haue greet deyntee. 

I haue a sone, and, by the Trinitee, 

I hadde leuer than twenty pound worth lond, 

Though it ryght now were fallen in myn hond, 

He were a man of swich discrecioun 685 

As that ye ben! fy on possessioun 

But-if a man be vertuous with-al. 

I haue my sone snibbed, and yet shal, 

For he to vertu listeth 1 nat entende; 

But for to pleye at dees, and to dispende, 690 

And lese al that he hath, is his vsage. 

And he hath leuer talken with a page 

Than to comune with any gentil wyght 

Ther he myghte lerne gentillesse aryght/ 

' Straw for your gentillesse,' quod our host; 695 

' What, frankeleyn? parde, sir, wel thou wost 

That eche of yow mot tellen atte leste 

A tale or two, or breken his biheste.' 

' That knowe I wel, sir,' quod the frankeleyn; 

' I preye yow, haueth me nat in disdeyn joo 

Though to this man I speke a word or t\vo.' 

' Tel on thy tale with-outen wordes mo.' 

' Gladly, sir host,' quod he, ' I wol obeye 

Vn-to your wil j now herkneth what I seye. 

1 E. listneth ; the rest listeth, lusteth. 


I wol yow nat contrarien in no wyse 705 

As fer as that my wittes wol suffyse; 

I preye to god that it may plesen yow, 

Than wot I wel that it is good ynow.' 708 


[Here follows the Franklin's Tale, //. 709-1624 in the Six-Text 
edition ; with which Group F ends. Group G contains the Second 
Nun's Tale and End-link, and the Canon's Yeoman's Tale. Group 
H contains the Manciple's Prologue and Tale. Group I contains 
the Parson's Prologue and Tale ; and concludes the series.] 


[I am indebted to Dr. Morris for numerous hints, and, in particular, for 
the notes marked ' M.'] 


1. If, as Mr. Furnivall supposes, the time of the telling of the 
Canterbury tales be supposed to be longer than one day, we may 
suppose the Man of Lawes Tale to begin the stories told on the second 
morning of the journey, April 18. Otherwise, we must suppose all the 
stories in Group A to precede it, which is not impossible, if we suppose 
the pilgrims to have started early in the morning. 

Hoste. This is one of the words which are sometimes dissyllabic, 
and sometimes monosyllabic ; see the Preface. It is here a dissyllable, 
as in 1. 39. See note to line 1 883 below. 

Sty, i. e. saw. The forms of ' saw ' vary in the MSS. In this line 
we find saugh, sank, segh, sauhe, sawh, none of which are Chaucer's own, 
but due to the scribes. The true form is determined by the rime, as in 
the Clerkes Tale, E. 667, where most of the MSS. have say. A still 
better spelling is sey, which may be fo*und in the Aldine edition of 
Troilus and Creseyde, vol. iv. p. 204, 1. 1265, where it rimes with day 
and array. The A. S. form is sedh. 

2. The ark, &c. In Chaucer's Treatise on the Astrolabe, pt. ii. ch. 7 
(ed. Skeat), is the proposition headed ' To knowe the arch of the day, 
that some folk kallen the day artificial, from the sonne arisyng til hit go 
to rest.' Thus, while the ' day natural ' is twenty-four hours, the ' day 
artificial ' is the time during which the sun is above the horizon. The 
4 arc ' of this day merely means the extent or duration of it, as reckoned 
along the circular rim of an astrolabe ; or, when measured along the 
horizon (as here), it means the arc extending from the point of sunrise 
to that of sunset. 

Ronne, -run, performed, completed. 

3. The fourthe part. The true explanation of this passage, which 
Tyrwhitt failed to discover, is due to Mr. A. E. Brae, who first published 
it in May, 1851, and reprinted it at p. 68 of his edition of Chaucer's 
Treatise on the Astrolabe. His conclusions were based upon actual 



calculation, and will be mentioned in due order. In re-editing the 
' Astrolabe,' I took the opportunity of roughly checking his calculations 
by other methods, and am satisfied that he is quite correct, and that the 
day meant is not the 2 8th of April, as in the Ellesmere MS., nor the 
1 3th of April, as in the Harleian MS., but the i8th, as in the Hengwrt 
MS. and most others. It is easily seen that xviii may be corrupted into 
xxviii by prefixing x, or into xiii by the omission of v ; this may account 
for the variations. 

The key to the whole matter is given by a passage in Chaucer's 
' Astrolabe,' pt. ii. ch. 29, where it is clear that Chaucer (who, however, 
merely translates from Messahala) actually confuses the hour-angle with 
Ihe azimuthal arc ; that is, he considered it correct to find the hour of 
the day by noting the point of the horizon over which the sun appears to 
stand, and supposing this point to advance, with a uniform, not a 
variable, motion. The host's method of proceeding was this. Wanting 
to know the hour, he observed how far the sun had moved southward 
along the horizon since it rose, and saw that it had gone more than 
half-way from the point of sunrise to the exact southern point. Now 
the 1 8th of April in Chaucer's time answers to the 26th of April at 
present. On April 26th, 1874, the sun rose at 4!!. 43m., and set at 7h. 
1 2m., giving a day of about 14!!. 3om., the fourth part of which is at 
8h. 2om., or, with sufficient exactness, at half-past eight. This would 
leave a whole hour and a half to signify Chaucer's ' half an houre and 
more,' shewing that further explanation is still necessary. The fact is, 
however, that the host reckoned, as has been said, in another way, viz. 
by observing the sun's position with reference to the horizon. On April 
18 the sun was in the 6th degree of Taurus at that date, as we again 
learn from Chaucer's treatise. Set this 6th degree of Taurus on the 
East horizon on a globe, and it is found to be 22 degrees to the North 
of the East point, or 1 1 2 degrees from the South. The half of this is at 
56 degrees from the South ; and the sun would seem to stand above this 
56th degree, as may be seen even upon a globe, at about a quarter past 
nine ; but Mr. Brae has made the calculation, and shews that it was at 
twenty minutes past nine. This makes Chaucer's 'half an houre and 
more ' to stand for half an hour and ten minutes ; an extremely neat 
result. But this we can check again by help of the host's other observa- 
tion. He also took note, that the lengths of a shadow and its object 
were equal, whence the sun's altitude must have been 45 degrees. 
Even a globe will shew that the sun's altitude, when in the 6th degree 
of Taurus, and at 10 o'clock in the morning, is somewhere about 45 or 
46 degrees. But Mr. Brae has calculated it exactly, and his result is, 
that the sun attained its altitude of 45 degrees at two minutes to ten 
exactly. This is even a closer approximation than we might expect, 


and leaves no doubt about the right date being the eighteenth of April. 
For fuller particulars, see Chaucer on the Astrolabe, ed. Brae, p. 69 ; 
and ed. Skeat, p. 1. (preface). 

5. Eightetethe, eighteenth. Mr. Wright prints eighletene, with the 
remark that 'this is the reading in which the MSS. seem mostly to 
agree.' This is right in substance, but not quite exact. None of 
the copies have eightetene at full length ; most of the MSS. denote 
the number by an abbreviation, as stated in the foot-note. The 
Hengwrt MS. has xviijthe, and the Middle English for eighteenth must 
have been eightetethe, the ordinal, not the cardinal number. Though 
I can give no instance of this very word, its form is easily inferred from 
the numerous examples in which -teenlh is represented by -tethe; see 
feowerlethe, fijtethe, &c. in Stratmann's Old English Dictionary. Eighte 
is of two syllables, from A. S. eahta, cognate with Lat. octo. Eightetethe 
has four syllables; just as eightetene is of four syllables in C. T. 3223, 
where Tyrwhitt wrongly inserts I gesse. 

8. As in lengthe, with respect to its length. 

13. The astrolabe which Chaucer gave to his little son Lewis was 
adapted for the latitude of Oxford. If, as is likely, the poet-astronomer 
checked his statements in this passage by a reference to it, he would 
neglect the difference in latitude between Oxford and the Canterbury 
road. In fact, it is less than a quarter of a degree, and not worth con- 
sidering in the present case. 

14. Gan conclude, did conclude, concluded. Gan is often used thus 
as an auxiliary verb. 

I 5- Plyght", plucked ; cf. shryghte, shrieked, in Kn. Ta. 1959. M. 
1 6. Lordinges, sirs. This form of address is exceedingly common in 
Early English poetry. Cf. the first line in the Tale of Sir Thopas. 

1 8. Seint John. See the Squire's Tale, 1. 596. 

19. Leseth, lose ye ; note the form of the imperative plural in -eth ; cf. 
1. 37. ,Asferforth as ye may, as far as lies in your power. 

20. Wasteth, consumeth ; ch. wastour, a wasteful person, in P. Plowm. 
B. vi. 154. M. HI. has passeth, i.e. passes away; several MSS. insert 
it before wasteth, but it is not required by the metre, since the e in time 
in fully sounded ; cf. A. S. tima. Compare 

'The time that passeth night and day, 
And rest[e]lesse travayleth ay, 
And stealeth from us so privyly, 

As water that down runneth ay, 
But never drop returne may, 1 &c. 

Romaunt of the Rose, 1. 369. 
See also Clerkes Tale, 1. 118. 

K 2 


21. What. We now say what with. It means, ' partly owing to.' 

22. Waliinge; strictly, it means watching ; but here, in our ivakinge=* 
whilst we are awake. 

23. Cf. Ovid, Art. Amat. iii. 62-65 : 

'Ludite; eunt anni more fluentis aquae. 

Nee quae praeteriit, cursu reuocabitur unda ; 
Nee, quae praeteriit, hora redire potest. 

Utendum est aetate ; cito pede labitur aetas.' 
25. Seneca wrote a treatise De Breuitate Temporis, but this does not 
contain any passage very much resembling the text. I have no doubt 
that Chaucer was thinking of a passage which may easily have caught 
his eye, as being very near the beginning of the first of Seneca's epistles. 
' Quaedam tempora eripiuntur nobis, quaedam subducuntur, quaedam 
efflwtnt. Turpissima tamen est iactura, quae per negligentiam fit. Quem 
mihi dabis, qui aliquod pretium tempori ponat ? qui diem aestimet ? 
... In huius rei unius fugacis ac lubricae possessionem natura nos misit, 
ex qua expellit quicumque uult ; et tanta stultitia mortalium est, ut, 
quae minima et uilissima sint, certe reparabilia, imputari sibi, quum 
impetrauere, patiantur ; nemo se iudicet quidquam debere, qui tempus 
accepit, quum interim hoc unum est, quod nt gratus quidem potest reddere;' 
Epist. I. ; Seneca Lucilio suo. 

33. Man ofLawe. This is the 'sergeant of the lawe' described in the 
Prologue, 11. 309-330. So have ye blis, so may you obtain bliss ; as you 
hope to reach heaven. 

34. As forward is, as is the agreement. See Prologue, 1. 829. 

35. Ben submitted, have agreed. This illustrates the common usage 
of expressing a perfect by the verb to be and the past part, of an 
intransitive verb. Cf. is went, in 1. 1730. M. 

36. At my lugement, at my decree; ready to do as I bid you. See 
Prologue, 11. 818 and 833. 

37. Acquiteth yow, acquit yourselves, viz. by redeeming your promise. 
Holdeth your biheste, keep your promise. Acquit means to absolve or free 
oneself from a debt, obligation, charge, &c. ; or to free oneself from the 
claims of duty, by fulfilling it. 

38. Devoir, duty ; see Knightes Tale, 1. 1 740. 

A tie leste, at the least. A tie or alien is common in old English 
for at fhe or at then ; the latter is a later form of A. S. eel pant, where 
then (=pam) is the dative case of the article. But for the explan- 
ation of peculiar forms and words, the Glossarial Index should be 

39. For ich, Tyrwhitt reads jeo*=je, though found in none of our 
seven MSS. This makes the whole phrase French de par dieux jeo 
assente. Mr. Jephson suggests that this is a clever hit of Chaucer's, because 


he makes the Man of La we talk in French, with which, as a lawyer, he 
was very familiar. However, we find elsewhere 

' Quod Troilus, " depardieux ich assente " ; ' 
and again 

' " Depardieux" quod she, " God leve all be wele " ; 

Troilus and Cres. ii. 1058 and 1212; 
and in the Freres Tale, Group D, 1. 1395 

' " Depardieux," quod the yeman, " dere brother." ' 
It is much more to the point to observe that the Man of Lawe talks 
about law in 1. 43. Cotgrave, in his French Dictionary, under par, 
gives ' De par Dieu so//, a [i. e. in] God's name be it. De par may, by 
my means. De par le roy, by the king's appointment.' De par is a 
corruption of O. Fr. de part, on the part or side of ; so that de par le roy 
means literally, ' as for the king,' i. e. ' in the king's name.' Similarly, 
de par Dieu is, ' in God's name.' See Burguy, Grammaiie de la Langue 
D'oil, ii. 359. The form dieux is a nominative, from the Latin deus ; 
thus exhibiting an exception to the almost universal law in French, that 
the substantives are formed from the accusative cases of Latin substantives, 
zs Jleur horn florem, &c. Other exceptions maybe found in some proper 
names, as Charles, Jacques, from Carolus, Jacobus, and mfils, fromjilius. 
41. In the Morality entitled Everyman, in Hazlitt's Old Eng. Plays, 
i. 137, is the Proverb 'Yet. promise is debt.' Mr. Hazlitt wrongly 
considers that as the earliest instance of the phrase. M. 

Holde fayn, &c. ; gladly perform all my promise. 
43. Man . . . another = one . . . another. The Cambridge MS. is right. 
M. ' For whatever law a man imposes on others, he should in justice 
consider as binding on himself." This is obviously a quotation, as ap- 
pears from 1. 45. The expression referred to was probably proverbial. 
An English proverb says ' They that make the laws must not break 
them ;' a Spanish one ' El que ley establece, guardarla debe,' he who 
makes a law ought to keep it ; and a Latin one ' Patere legem quam 
ipse tulisti," abide by the law which you made yourself. The idea is ex- 
panded in the following passage from Claudian's Panegyric on the 4th 
consulship of Honorius, carm. viii., 1. 295 

' In commune iubes si quid censesue tenendum, 
Primus iussa subi, tune obseruantior aequi 
Fit populus, nee ferre negat cum uiderit ipsum 
Autorem parere sibi.' 

45. Text, quotation from an author, precept, saying. Thus wol our 
text, i. e. such is what the expression implies. 

47. But. This reading is given by Tyrwhitt, from MS. Dd. 4. 24 in 
the Cambridge University Library and two other MSS. All our seven 
MSS. read That; but this would require the word Nath (hath not) 


instead of Hath, in 1. 49. Chaucer talks about his writings in a similar 
strain at a still earlier period, in his House of Fame, ii. 112, where 
Jupiter's eagle says to him : 

' And natheles hast set thy wit, 

Although [that] in thy heed ful lyt is, 

To make bookes, songes, and dities 

In ryme, or elles in cadence, 

As thou best canst, in reverence 

Of Love, and of his servaunts eke ;' &c. 
Cf. Prol. 1. 746 ; Kn. Tale, 1. 602. 

Can but lewdly on metres, is but slightly skilled in metre. Can = 
knows here ; in the line above it is the ordinary auxiliary verb. 

54. Ovid is mentioned for two reasons, because he has so many love- 
stories, and because Chaucer himself borrowed several of his own from 

Made ofmencioun; we should now say made mention of. 

55. Epistolis, Epistles. Here the Latin ablative is used after in, but it 
is more usual in old English to quote Latin titles in the genitive case; 
see note to 1. 93. The book referred to is Ovid's Ileioides, which 
contains twenty-one love-letters. See note to 1. 61. 

56. What, why, on what account ? cf. Prologue, 184. 

57. 'The story of Ceyx and Alcyone is related in the introduction to 
the poem which was for some time called "The Dreme of Chaucer," 
but which, in the MSS. Fairfax 16 and Bodl. 638, is more properly 
entitled, " The Boke of the Duchesse." ' Tyrwhitt. Chaucer took it 
from Ovid's Metamorphoses, bk. xi. 

59. Thise is a monosyllable ; the final e is only added for distinction. 

61. The seintes legende of Cnpyde ; better known now as The Legend of 
Good Women. Tyrwhitt says ' According to Lydgate (Prologue to 
Boccace), the number [of good women] was to have been nineteen ; and 
perhaps the Legend itself affords some ground for this notion ; see 
1. 283, and Court of Love, 1. 108. But this number was never com- 
pleted, and the last story, of Hypermnestra, is seemingly unfinished. . . . 
In this passage the Man of Lawe omits two ladies, viz. Cleopatra and 
Philomela, whose histories are in the Legend ; and he enumerates eight 
others, of whom there are no histories in the Legend as we have it at 
present. Are we to suppose that they have been lost?' The Legend 
contains the nine stories following ; i. Cleopatra ; 2. Thisbe ; 3. Dido ; 
4. Hypsipyle and Medea; 5. Lucretia; 6. Ariadne; 7. Philomela; 
8. Phyllis ; 9. Hypermnestra. Of these, Chaucer here mentions, as 
Tyrwhitt points out, all but two, Cleopatra and Philomela. Before dis- 
cussing the matter further, let me note that in medieval times, proper 
names took strange shapes, and the reader must not suppose that the 


writing of Adrians for Ariadne, for example, is peculiar to Chaucer. The 
meaning of the other names is is follows : Lucresse, Lucretia ; Babiloin 
Tisbee, Thisbe of Babylon ; Enee, ^Eneas ; Dianire, Deianira ; Hermion, 
Hermione ; Adriatic, Ariadne ; Isiphilee, Hypsipyle ; Leander, Erro, 
Leander and Hero ; Eleyne, Helena ; Brixseide, Briseis (ace. Briseida) ; 
Ladomea, Laodamia ; a, Hypermnestra ; Alceste, Alcestis. 

Returning to the question of Chaucer's plan for his Legend of Good 
Women, we may easily conclude what his intention was, though it was 
never carried out. He intended to write stories concerning nineteen 
women who were celebrated for being martyrs of love, and to conclude 
the series by an additional story concerning queen Alcestis, whom he 
regarded as the best of all the good women. Now, though he does not 
expressly say who these women were, he has left us two lists, both 
incomplete, in which he mentions some of them ; and by combining 
these, and taking into consideration the stories which he actually wrote, 
we can make out the whole intended series very nearly. One . of the 
lists is the one given here ; the other is in a Ballad which is introduced 
into the Prologue to the Legend. The key to the incompleteness of 
the present list, probably the later written of the two, is that the 
poet chiefly mentions here such names as are also to be found in 
Ovid's Heroides ; cf. 1. 55. Putting all the information together, it is 
sufficiently clear that Chaucer's intended scheme must have been very 
nearly as follows, the number of women (if we include Alcestis) being 

(i) Cleopatra; (2) Thisbe; (3) Dido; (4) and (5) Hypsipyle and 
Medea; (6) Lucretia; (7) Ariadne; (8) Philomela; (9) Phyllis; (10) 
Hypermnestra (unfinished); after which (n) Penelope; (12) Briseis; 
(13) Hermione; (14) Deianira; (15) Laodamia; (16) Helen; (17) 
Hero; (18) Polyxena (see the Ballad); (19) either Lavinia (see the 
Ballad), or Oenone (mentioned in Ovid, and in the House of Fame) ; 
and (20) Alcestis. 

Since the list of stories in Ovid's Heroides is the best guide to the 
whole passage, it is here subjoined. 

In this list, the numbers refer to the letters as numbered in Ovid ; 
the italics shew the stories which Chaucer actually wrote ; the asterisk 
points out such of the stories as he happens to mention in the present 
enumeration ; and the dagger points out the ladies mentioned in his 
Prologue to the Legend of Good Women. 
I . Penelope Ulixi.* ) 
a. Phyllis Demophoonti. * f 

3. Briseis Achilli.* 

4. Phaedra Hippolyto. 

5. Oenone Paridi. 


6. Hypsipyle lasoni;* f I*- Medea lasoni * 

7. Dido Aeneae* f 

8. Hermione Orestae *. 

9. Deianira Herculi*. 

10. Ariadne Theseo.*-^ 

11. Canace Macareo* t (expre&tly rejected}. 

13. Laodamia Protesilao.*f 

14. Hypermnestra Lynceo* f 

15. Sappho Phaoni. 

16. Paris Helenae ; 1 7. Helena Paridi.* f 
18. Leander Heroni ; 19. Hero Leandro.*t 
20. Acontius Cydippae ; 21. Cydippe Acontio. 

Chaucer's method, I fear, was to plan more than he cared to finish. 
Tie did so with his Canterbury Tales, and again with his Treatise on 
the Astrolabe ; and he left the Squire's Tale half-told. According to 
his own account (Prologue to Legend of Good Women, 1. 481) he never 
intended to write his Legend all at once, but only ' yeer by yere.' Such 
proposals are dangerous, and commonly end in incompleteness. To 
Tyrwhitt's question 'are we to suppose that they have been lost?' 
the most likely answer is, that they were never written. 

Chaucer alludes to Ovid's Epistles again in his House of Fame, bk. i., 
where he mentions the stories of Phyllis, Briseis, Oenone (not mentioned 
here), Hypsipyle, Medea, Deianira, Ariadne, and Dido ; the last being 
told at some length. Again, in the Book of the Duchesse, he alludes to 
Medea, Phillis, and Dido (11. 726-734) ; to Penelope and Lucretia 
(1. 1081) ; and to Helen (1. 331). As for the stories in the Legend 
which are not in Ovid's Heroides, we find that of Thisbe in Ovid's 
Metamorphoses, bk. iv ; that of Philomela in the same, bk. vi ; whilst 
those of Cleopatra and Lucretia are in Boccaccio's book De Claris 
Mulieribus, from which he imitated the title ' Legend of Good Women,' 
and derived also the story of Zenobia, as told in the Monkes Tale. 

With regard to the title ' seintes legend of Cupyde,' which in modern 
English would be ' Cupid's Saints' Legend,' or ' the Legend of Cupid's 
Saints,' Mr. Jephson remarks 'This name is one example of the way 
in which Chaucer entered into the spirit of the heathen pantheism, as 
a real form of religion. He considers these persons, who suffered for 
love, to haTe been saints and martyrs for Cupid, just as Peter and Paul 
and Cyprian were martyrs for Christ.' 

63. Gower also tells the story of Tarquin and Lucrece, which he took, 
says Professor Morley (English Writers, ii. 131), from the Gesta Ro- 
manorum, which again had it from Augustine's De Civitate Dei. 

Babiloin, here Babylonian; elsewhere Chaucer has Babiloine** 
Babylon, riming with Macedoine; Book of the Duchesse, 1. 1061. 


64. Swerd. sword ; put here for death by the sword. See Virgil's 
Aeneid, iv. 646 ; and Chaucer's Legend of Good Women. 

65. Tree, put here, most likely, for death by hanging ; cf. last line. 
In Chaucer's Legend we find 

' She was her owen death with a cord?? 

The word may also be taken literally, since Phyllis vis metamorphosed 
after her death into a tree ; Gower says she became a nut-tree, and 
(wrongly) derives filbert from Phyllis ; Conf. Amant. bk. iv. Lidgate 
writes filbert instead of Phyllis ; Complaint of Black Knight, 1. 68. 

66. The pleinte of Dianire, the complaint of Deianira, referring to 
Ovid's letter 'Deianira Herculi'; so also that of Hermion refers to the 
letter entitled ' Hermione Orestae'; that of Adriane, to the 'Ariadne 
Theseo ' ; and that of Isiphilee, to the ' Hypsipyle lasoni.' 

68. Bareyne yle, barren island; of which I can find no correct explana- 
tion by a previous editor. It refers to Ariadne, mentioned in the previous 
line. The expression is taken from Ariadne's letter to Theseus, in Ovfd's 
Heroides, Ep. x. 59, where we find 'uacat insula cultn'; and just below 

' Omne latus terrae cingit mare ; nauita nusquam, 

Nulla per ambiguas puppis itura uias.' 

Or, without referring to Ovid at all, the allusion might easily have been 
explained by observing Chaucer's Legend of Ariadne, where the island 
is described as solitary and desolate. It is said to have been Naxos. 

69. Dreynt-e, drowned, is here used in the definite form. 

75. Alceste. The story of Alcestis 'that turned was into a dayesie' 
is sketched by Chaucer in his Prologue to the Legend, 1. 511, etc. 
No doubt he intended to include her amongst the Good Women, as the 
very queen of them all. 

78. Canacee; not the Canace of the Squieres Tale, whom Chaucer 
describes as so kind and good as well as beautiful, but Ovid's Canace. 
The story is told by Gower, Confess. Amantis, book iii. We have to ob- 
serve that Gower's poem really exists in two editions. It seems to have 
been in hand in 1386-90; but the date of the later edition is 1393. 
Chaucer's Tale first appeared about 1380, and Gower seems to have copied 
several expressions from it. This may have aroused Chaucer's resentment; 
as he certainly seems to speak harshly of Gower's work in the present 
passage, written, apparently, about 1387. 

89. If that I may, as far as lies in my power (to do as I please) ; a 
common expletive phrase, of no great force. 

90. Of, as to, with regard to. Doon, accomplish it. 

92. Pierides; Tyrwhitt rightly says 'He rather means, I think, the 
daughters of Pierus, that contended with the Muses, and were changed 
into pies ; Ovid, Metam. bk. v.' Yet the expression is not wrong ; it 
aignifies ' I do not wish to be likened to those would-be Muses, the 


Piericles'; in other words, I do not set myself up as worthy to be 
considered a poet. 

93. Metamorphoseos. It was common to cite books thus by a title in 
the genitive case, since the word Liber was understood. There is, 
however, a slight error in the substitution of the singular for the plural ; 
the true title being P. Ovidii Nasonis Metamorphoseon Libri Quindecim. 
See the use of Eneydos in the Nonne Prestes Tale, 1. 538 ; and of 
Judicum in Monk. Ta. 3236. 

94. ' But, nevertheless, I care not a bean.' Cf. 1. 4004 below. 

95. With hawe bake, with plain fare, as Dr. Morris explains it ; it 
obviously means something of a humble character, unsuited for a refined 
taste. This was left unexplained by Tyrwhitt, but we may fairly trans- 
late it literally by 'with a baked haw/ i.e. something that could just be 
eaten by a very hungry person. The expression / sette not an hawe ( = I 
care not a haw) occurs in the Wyf of Bathes Prologue, 1. 6241. Haws 
are mentioned as given to feed hogs in the Vision of Piers Plowman, 
B. x. 10; but in The Romance of William of Palerne, 1. 1811, a lady 
actually tells her lover that they can live in the woods on haws, hips, 
acorns, and hazel-nuts. There is a somewhat similar passage in the 
Legend of Good Women, Prol. 11. 73-77. I see no difficulty in this 
explanation. That proposed by Mr. Jephson 'hark back' is out of 
the question ; we cannot rime bale with make, nor does it make sense. 

96. / speke in prose, I generally have to speak in prose in the law 
courts ; so that if my tale is prosy as compared with Chaucer's, it is only 
what you would expect. 

98. After, afterwards, immediately hereafter. Cf. other for otherwise 
in Old English. M. 


99. Pouerte =poverte, with the accent on the second syllable, as it rimes 
with herte; in the Wyf of Bathes Tale, it rimes with sherte. Poverty is 
here personified, and addressed by the Man of Lawe. The whole pas- 
sage down to 1. 121, is a translation from Pope Innocent's treatise 
De Contemptii Mundi or De Miseria Condi tionis Humanae, lib. i. c. 16 ; and 
thus preserves a piece of the lost work mentioned at p. Ixxxi. 1. 3. 

101. Thee is a dative, like me in 1. 91. M. See Gen. ii. 25(A.S. 
version), where him pas tie sceamode = they were not ashamed of it; lit. 
it shamed them not of it. 

102. Artow, art thou ; the words being run together ; so also seistow=* 
sayest thou, in 1. no. 


104. Mangre thyn heed, in spite of all you can do; lit. despite thy 
head; see Knyghtes Tale, 11. 311, 1760. 

105. Or ... or = either ... or ; an early example of this construction. 

1 08. Neighebor is a trisyllable, as in 1. 115; observe that in the 
middle of a word is frequently sounded. Wytest, blamest. 

no. 'By my faith, sayest thou, he will have to account for it here- 
after, when his body shall burn in the fire (lit. glowing coal), because he 
helps not the needy in their necessity.' 

1 14. 'It is better (for thee) to die than be in need.' Tyrwhitt says 
'This saying of Solomon is quoted in the Romaunt of the Rose, 1. 8573 
Mieux vault mourir que pauvres estre.' But the quotation is not 
from Solomon, but from Jesus, son of Sirach; see Ecclus. xl. 28. 

115. Thy seine neighebor, thy very neighbour, even thy next neighbour. 
See note to 1. 108. 

116. Poure is written far fovre, O. F. povre, Mod. F. pauvre. Gower 
Conf. Amantis, ed. Pauli, ii. 393, rimes potter with recover, i.e. recover. 

118. In Prov. xv. 15, the Vulgate version has 'Omnes dies pauperis, 
mali ;' where the A. V. has ' the afflicted.' 

1 19. The reading to makes the line harsh, as the final e in come requires 
elision. In that prikke, into that point, into that condition. 

1 20. Cf. Prov. xiv. 20 ' the poor is hated even of his neighbour ' ; 
and Prov. xix. 7 ' all the brethren of the poor do hate him ; how much 
more do his friends go far from him ! ' So too Ovid, Trist. i. 9. 5 

'Donee eris felix, multos numerabis amicos, 

Tempora si fuerint nubila, solus eris.' 

Chaucer has the same thought again in his Tale of Melibeus (Six-text. 
Group B. 2749) ' an d if tn y fortune change, that thou wexe poure, 
farewel frendship and felaweship ! ' See also note to 1. 3436. 

133. As in this cas, as relates to this condition or lot in life. In 
Chaucer, cas often means chance, hap. 

124. Ambes as, double aces, two aces, in throwing dice. Ambes is Old 
French for both, from Lat. ambo. The line in the Monkes Tale ' Thy 
sys fortune hath turned into as' (B. 3851) helps us out here in some 
measure, as it proves that a six was reckoned as a good throw, but an ace 
as a bad one. So in Shakespeare, Mids. Nt. Dream, v. i. 314, we find 
less than an ace explained as equivalent to nothing. In the next line, sis 
cink means a six and a five, which was often a winning throw. The 
allusion is probably, however, not to the mere attempt as to which of 
two players could throw the highest, but to the particular game called 
hazard, in which the word chance (here used) has a special sense. 
There is a good description of it in the Supplemental volume to the 
English Cyclopaedia, div. Arts and Sciences. The whole description 


has to be read, but it may suffice to say here that, when the caster 
is going to throw, he calls a main, or names one of the numbers five, six, 
seven, eight, or nine ; most often, he calls seven. If he then throws 
either seven or eleven (Chaucer's s/s cM), he wins ; if he throws aces 
(Chaucer's ambes as) or deuce-ace (two and one), or double sixes, he 
loses. If he throws some other number, that number is called the 
caster's chance, and he goes on playing till either the main or the chance 
turns up. In the first case he loses, in the second, he wins. If he calls 
some other number, the winning and losing throws are somewhat 
varied ; but in all cases, the double ace is a losing throw. 

Similarly, in The Pardoneres Tale, where hazard is mentioned by 
name (Group C. 1. 591), we have 'Seuen is my chaunce, and thyn is 
cinq and treye' ; 1. 653. 

In Lydgate's Order of Fools, printed in Queen Elizabeth's Academy, 
ed. Furnivall, p. 81, one fool is described 

4 Whos chaunce gothe nether yn synke or syse; 

With ambes ase encressithe hys dispence.' 

And in a ballad printed in Chaucer's Works, ed. 1561, fol. 340, back, we 

'So wel fortuned is their chaunce 

The dice to turne[n] vppe-so-doune, 
With sise and siacke they can auaunce.' 

Dr. Morris notes that the phrase ' aums ace ' occurs in Hazlitt's O. E. 
Plays, ii. 35, with the editorial remark ' not mentioned elsewhere ' (!) 

126. At cristemasse, even at Christmas, when the severest weather 
comes. In olden times, severe cold must have tried the poor even more 
than it does now. 

' Muche myrthe is in mayamonge wilde bestes. 
And so forth whil somer lastep heore solace durejj ; 
And muche myi the amonge riche men is J>at ban meoble [property] 

ynow and heele [health']. 

Ac beggers aboute myd-somere bredlees pei soupe, 
And 3ut is wynter for hem wors for wet-shood )>ei gangen, 
A-furst and a-fyngred [Athirst and ahungered~\ and foule rebuked 
Of J>ese worlde-riche men'J>at reuthe hit is to huyre [hear of it].' 
Piers Plowman, C. xvii. 10; B. xiv. 158. 

127. Selten, search through; much like the word compass in the 
phrase 'ye compass sea and land' in Matth. xxiii. 15. 

128. Thestaat for the estaat, i.e. the estate. This coalescence of the 
article and substantive is common in Chaucer, when the substantive 
begins with a vowel; cf. thoccident, 1. 3864; thorient, 1, 3871. 

129. Fadres, fathers, originators; by bringing tidings from afar. 

130. Debat, strife. Merchants, being great travellers, were expected 
to pick up good stories. 


131. Desolat, destitute. The E. E. word is westi; 'westi of alle gode 
Jieawes,' destitute of all good virtues ; O. Eng. Homilies (ed. Morris), i. 
p. 285. M. 

132. Nere, for ne were, i.e. were it not. Goon is many a yere, many a 
year ago, long since. 


1165. The host refers to the Man of Lawes Tale, which had just been 
told, and uses the expression ' thrifty tale ' with reference to the same 
expression above, 1. 46. Most MSS. separate this end-link widely from 
the Tale, but MS. HI. and MS. Arch. Seld. B. 14 have it in the right 
place. For the nones, for the nonce, for the occasion ; see Dr. Morris's 
note to Chaucer's Prologue, 1. 379. It may be added that the A.S. dnes 
( = once) is an adverb with a genitive case-ending ; and, being an adverb, 
becomes indeclinable, and can accordingly be used as a dative case after 
the preposition /or, which properly governs the dative. 

1 166. The Host here turns to the Parson (see Prol. 1. 477), and adjures 
him to tell a tale, according to the agreement. 

1167. Yore, formerly, already. The phrase of yore is later. 

1169. Can tnoche good, know (or are acquainted with) much good; 
i.e. with many good things. Cf. 1. 47. 

1 1 70. Benedicite, bless ye ; i.e. bless ye the Lord ; the first word of 
the Song of the Three Children, and a more suitable exclamation than 
most of those in common use at the time. In the Knightes Tale, 1. 927, 
where Theseus is pondering over the strange event he had just witnessed, 
the word is pronounced in full, as five syllables. But in 1. 1257 it is 
pronounced, as here, as a 'mere trisyllable. So also in Cant. Tales, ed. 
Tyrwhitt, 11. 5823, 5862. The syllables to be dropped are the second 
and fourth, so that we must say ben'dic'te. This is made tolerably certain 
by a passage in the Townley Mysteries, p. 85, where it is actually spelt 
benste, and reduced to two syllables only. Cf. note to 1. 1974. 

1171. Man; dat. case after eyleth. Swearing is alluded to as a preva- 
lent vice amongst Englishmen in Robert of Brunne, in the Persones Tale 
of Chaucer, and elsewhere. M. . 

1172. O lankyn, &c. ; 'O Johnny, you are there, are you?' That is, 
' so it is you whom I hear, is it, Mr. Johnny?' A derisive interruption. 
It was common to call a priest, Sir John, by way of mild derision ; see 
Monkes Prol. (B. 3119), and Nonne Prestes Prol. (B.. 4000). The Host 
carries the derision a little further by using the diminutive form. See 
note to 1. 4000. 

1173. A toiler, a term of reproach, equivalent to a canting fellow. 
Tyrwhitt aptly cites a passage from a treatise of the period, referring to 
the Harleian Catalogue, no. 1666: 'Now in Engelond it is a comun 


protectioun ayens persecutioun, if a man is customable to swere nedeles 
and fals and unavised, by the bones, nailes, and sides, and other mem- 
bres of Christ. And to absteyne fro othes nedeles and unleful, and 
repreve sinne by way of charite, is mater and cause now, why Prelates 
and sum Lordes sclaundren men, and clepen hem Lollardes, Eretikes,' &c. 
The reader will not clearly understand this word till he distinguishes 
between the Latin lollardns and the English toiler, two words of different 
origin which were purposely confounded in the time of Wyclif. The 
Latin Lollardns had been in use before Wyclif. Ducange quotes from 
Johannes Hocsemius, who says, under the date 1309 'Eodem anno 
quidam hypocritae gyrovagi, qui Lollardi, sive Deum laudantes, voca- 
bantur, per Hannoniam et Brabantiam quasdam mulieres nobiles dece- 
perunt.' He adds that Trithemius says in his Chronicle, under the year 
1315 'ita appellatos a Gualtero Lolhard, Germano quodam.' Kilian, 
in his Dictionary of Old Dutch, says ' Lollaerd, mussitator, mussita- 
bundus ' ; i.e. a mumbler of prayers. This apparently gives two etymo- 
logies for Lollardns ; but they are really only one, the use of the word as 
a surname being due to its previous use as a nickname. Being thus 
already in use as a term of reproach, it was applied to the followers of 
Wyclif, as we learn from Thomas Walsingham, who says, under the 
year 1377 'Hi uocabantur a uulgo Lollardi, incedentes nudis pedibus' ; 
and again 'Lollardi sequaces Joannis Wiclif.' But the Old English 
loller (from the verb to loll) meant simply a lounger, an idle vagabond, 
as is abundantly clear from a notable passage in Piers the Plowman, 
C-text (ed. Skeat), x. 188-218; where William tells us plainly 
' Now kyndeliche, by crist be]> suche callyd lolleres, 
As by englisch of oure eldres of olde menne techynge. 
He that lolle\ is lame oj^er his leg out of ioynte,' &c. 
Here were already two words confused, but this was not all. By a 
bad pun, the Latin lolium, tares, was connected with Lollard, so that we 
find in Political Poems, i. 232, the following 
' Lollardi sunt zizania, 
Spinae, uepres, ac lollia, 

Quae uastant hortum uineae.' 

This obviously led to allusions to the Parable of the Tares, and fully 
accounts for the punning allusion to cockle, i.e. tares, in 1. 1183. Mr. 
Jephson observes that lolium is used in the Vulgate Version, Matt. xiii. 25; 
but this is a mistake, as the word there used is zizania, Gower, Prol. 
to Conf. Amant. {ed. Pauli, i. 15), speaks of 

' This newe secte of lollardie, 
And also many an heresie.' 
Also in book v. (ed. Pauli, ii. 187) 

' Be war that thou be nought oppressed 
With anticristes lollardie,' &c, 


See Mosheim, Eccl. Hist. iii. 355-358 ; Wordsworth's Eccl. Biography, 
' 33 !> note. 

1 1 80. ' He shall not give us any commentary on a gospel.' To glose 
is to comment upon, with occasional free introduction of irrelevant 
matter; the^ospeHs the text, or portion of the Gospel commented upon. 

1181. 'We all agree in the one great fundamental article of faith;' 
by which he insinuates ' and let that suffice ; we want no theological 
subtilties discussed here.' 

1183. Springen, scatter, sprinle-le. The pt. t. is spreynde or spreynte ; 
the pp. spreynd occurs at p. 15, 1. 1830. M. Gower, Conf. Amant. 
bk. v. (ed. Pauli, ii. 190), speaks of lollardie 

' Which now is come for to dwelle, 
To sowe cockel with the corne.' 

1185. Body, i.e. self. Cf. lyf=& person, in P. PI. B. iii. 292. M. 

1186. See 1. 3984 below, which suggests that there is a play upon 
words here. The Shipman is going to make the bells upon his horse 
ring loud enough to wake them all ; or otherwise, he is going to ring so 
merry a peal, that he will rouse them as a church-bell rouses a sleeper. 
The reader can interpret it as he pleases. Cf. note to B. 3984. 

1189. I do not know that Tyrwhitt had any authority for reading of 
phisike here ; but it recommends itself to one's common sense at once, 
as nothing can be made of the readings in the MSS. 


1625. Corpus dominus; of course for corpus domini, the Lord's body. 
But it is unnecessary to correct the Host's Latin. 

1626. 'Now long mayest thou sail along the coast!" 

1627. Marineer t Yr.marinier; we now use the ending -er ; but modern 
words of French origin shew their lateness by the accent on the last 
syllable, as engineer. M. The Fi.pionnier is pioner in Shakespeare, but 
is now pioneer. 

1628. ' God give this monk a thousand cart-loads of bad years !' He 
alludes to a deceitful monk described in the Shipman's Tale. A last is 
a very heavy load. In a statute of 31 Edw. I, a weight is declared to be 
14 stone; 2 weights of wool are to make a sack; and 12 sacks a last. 
This makes a last of wool to be 336 stone, or 42 cwt. But the dic- 
tionaries shew that the weight was very variable, according to the 
substance weighed. The word means simply a heavy burden, from 
A.S. hlast, a burden, connected with hladan, to load; so that last and 
lading are related words. Laste, in the sense of heavy weight. 


occurs in Richard the Redeles, ed. Skeat, iv. 74. Quad is the Old 
English equivalent of the Dutch kwaad, bad, a word in very common 
use ; cf. Cant. Tales, 1. 4355. In M. E., \>e qued means the evil one, the 
devil; P. PI. B. xiv. 189. The omission of the word of before quad may 
be illustrated by the expression ' four score years,' i.e. of years. 

1630. ' The monk put an ape in the man's hood, and in his wife's too.' 
We should now say, he made him look like an ape. The contents of 
the hood would be, properly, the man's head and face ; but neighbours 
seemed to see peeping from it an ape rather than a man. It is a way of 
saying that he made a dupe of him. In the Milleres Tale (1. 3389, ed. 
Tyrwhitt), a girl is said to have made her lover an ape, i.e. a dupe ; an 
expression which recurs in the Chanones Yemannes Tale, 1. 16781. 
Spenser probably borrowed the expression from this very passage; it 
occurs in his Faerie Queene, iii. 9. 31 : 

' Thus was the ape 

By their faire handling put into Malbeccoes cape' 
1632. 'Never entertain monks any more.' 
1637. See the description of the Prioress in the Prologue. 


1643. Cf. Ps. viii. 1-2. The Vulgate version has ' Domine Dominus 
noster, quam admirabile est nomen tuum in uniuersa terra ! Quoniam 
eleuata est magnificentia tua super caelos ! Ex ore infantium et lacten- 
lium perfecisti laudem,' &c. 

1650. Can or may, know how to, or have ability to do. 

1651. The 'white lily' was the token of Mary's perpetual virginity. 
See this explained at length in Rock, Church of our Fathers, Hi. 245. 

1655. 'For she herself is honour, and, next after her Son, the root of 
bounty, and the help (or profit) of souls.' 

1658. Cf. Chaucer's A. B. C., or Hymn to the Virgin, where we find 
under the heading M 

' Moyses, that saw the bosh of flambis rede 
Brenning, of which than never a sticke brend[e], 
Was sign of thine unwemmed maidenhede ; 
Thou art the bosh, on which there can descend[e] 
The Holyghost, which that Moyses weend[e] 
Had been on fire.' 

So also in st. 2 of an Alliterative Hymn in Warton, Hist. Eng. Poetry, ed. 
Hazlitt, ii. 284. 


1659. 'That, through thy humility, didst draw down from the Deity 
the Spirit that alighted in thee.' 

1660. Thalyghte = thee alyghte, the two words being run into one. 
Such agglutination is more common when the def. art. occurs, or with 
the word to; cf. Texpounden in 1. 1716. 

1661. Lyghle may mean either (i) cheered, lightened; or (2) il- 
luminated. Tyrwhitt and Richardson both take the latter view; but 
the following passage, in which hertes occurs, makes the former the 
more probable : 

' But natheles, it was so fair a syghte 
That it made alle her hertes for to lyghte.' 

Sq. Ta.;F. 395. 

1664. Partly imitated from Dante, Paradise, xxxiii. 16 
'La tua benignita non pur soccorre 
A chi dimanda, ma molte fiate 
Liberamente al dimandar precorre. 
In te misericordia, in te pietate, 
In te magnificenza, in te s'aduna 
Quantunque in creatura e di bontate.* 

1668. Goost biforn, goest before, dost anticipate. Of, by. The eighth 
stanza of the Seconde Nonnes Tale closely resembles 11. 1664-70. 

1677. Gydeth, guide ye. The plural number is used, as a token of 
respect, in addressing superiors. By a careful analysis of the words thou 
and ye in the Romance of William of Palerne, I deduced the following 
results, which are generally true in Old English. ' Thou is the language 
of a lord to a servant, of an equal to an equal, and expresses also 
companionship, love, permission, defiance, scorn, threatening : whilst ye 
is the language of a servant to a lord, and of a compliment, and further 
expresses honour, submission, or entreaty. Thou is used with singular 
verbs, and the possessive pronoun thine ; but ye requires plural verbs, and 
the possessive your. 1 Pref. to Will, of Palerne, ed. Skeat, p. xlii. Cf. 
Abbott's Shakespearian Grammar, sect. 231. 

For a general account of this Tale, see the Preface. 

1678. Asie, Asia; probably used, as Tyrwhitt suggests, in the sense of 
Asia Minor, as in the Acts of the Apostles. 

1679. A lewerye, a Jewry, i.e. a Jews' quarter. In many towns there 
was formerly a Jews' quarter, distinguished by a special name. There 
is still an Old Jewry in London. In John vii. I the word is used as 

equivalent to Judea, as also in other passages in the Bible and in 
Shakesp. Rich. II, ii. i. 55. Chaucer (House of Fame, iii. 338) says of 

'And he bar on his shulders hye 
The fame up of the Jeweryt? 


Thackeray used the word with an odd effect in his Ballad of ' The 
White Squall.' See also note to 1. 1 749. 

1681. Vilanye. So the six MSS. ; HI. has felonye, wrongly. In the 
margin of the Ellesmere MS. is written ' turpe lucrum,' i.e. vile gain, 
which is evidently the sense intended by lucre of vilanye, here put 
for villanous lucre or filthy lucre, by poetical freedom of diction. See 
Chaucer's use of vilanye in the Prologue, 1. 70 and 1. 726. 

1684. Free, unobstructed. People could ride and walk through, there 
being no barriers against horses, and no termination in a cul de sac. 

1687. Children an keep, a heap or great number of children. Of is 
omitted before children as it is before quad yere in 1. 1628. For heep, see 
Prologue, 1. 575. 

1689. Maner doctrine, kind of learning, i.e. reading and singing, as 
explained below. Here again of is omitted, as is usual in M.E. after the 
word maner; as 'In another maner name,' Rob. of Glouc. vol. i. 
p. 147; 'with somme manere crafte,' P. Plowm. B. v. 25; 'no maner 
wight,' Ch. Prol. 71 ; &c. See Matzner, Englische Grammatik, ii. 2. 
313. Men vsed, people used; equivalent to was used. Note this use of 
men in the same sense as the French on, or German man. This is an 
excellent instance, as the poet does not refer to men at all, but to 
children. Moreover, men (spelt me in note to 1. 1702) is an attenuated 
form of the sing, man, and not the usual plural. 

1693. Clergeon, not 'a young clerk' merely, as Tyrwhitt says, but a 
happily chosen word implying that he was a chorister as well. Ducange 
gives ' Clergontis, junior clericus, vel puer choralis ; jeune clerc, petit 
clerc ou enfant de chceur ;' see Migne's edition. And Cotgrave has 
'Clergeon, a singing man, or Quirester in a Queer [choir].' It means 
therefore ' a chorister-boy.' 

1694. That, as for whom. A London street-boy would say 'which 
he was used to go to school.' That . . . his = whose. 

1695. Wher as, where that, where. So in Shakespeare, 2 Hen. VI, 
i. 2. 58 ; Spenser, F. Q. i. 4. 38. See Abbott's Shakesp. Grammar, 
sect. 135. Thimage, the image; alluding to an image of the Virgin 
placed by the wayside, as is so commonly seen on the continent. 

1698. Aue Marie; so in Spenser, F. Q. i. i. 35. The words were 
Aue Maria, gratia plena ; Dominus tecum ; benedicta tu in mulieribus, 
et benedictus fructus uentris tui. Amen.' See the English version in 
Specimens of Early English, ed. Morris and Skeat, p. 106. It was made 
up from Luke i. 28 and i. 42. Sometimes the word Jesus was added 
after tui, and, at a later period, an additional clause ' Sancta Maria, 
Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. 
Amen.' See Rock, Church of our Fathers, iii. 315 ; and iii. pt. 2, 134. 

1 702. ' For a good child will always learn quickly.' This was a 


proverbial expression, and may be found in the Proverbs of Hending, 
st. 9- 

Me may lere a sely focle [one may teach a good child] 
That is euer toward gode 

With a lutel lore ; 

Yef me nul [if one will not] him farther teche, 
Thenne is [his] herte wol areche 

Forte lerne more. 

Sely chyld is sone ylered; Quoth Hendyng.' 

T 704. Slant, stands, is. Tynvhitt says ' we have an account of the 
very early piety of this Saint in his lesson; Breviarium Romanum, vi. 
Decernb. Cuius uiri sanctitas quanta futura esset, iam ab incunabulis 
apparuit. Nam infans, cum reliquas dies lac nutricis frequens sugeret, 
quarta et sexta feria (i. e. on Wednesdays and Fridays,) semel duntaxat, 
idque uesperi, sugebat.' Besides, St. Nicholas was the patron of 
schoolboys, and the festival of the ' boy-bishop ' was often held on his 
day (Dec. 6); Rock, Church of our Fathers, iii. 2. 215. 

1708. Alma redemptoris mater. There is more than one hymn with 
this beginning. I may first . mention one of five stanzas printed in 
Hymni Latini Medii JEvi, ed. F. J. Mone, vol. ii. p. 200, from a St. 
Gallen MS. no. 452, p. 141, of the thirteenth century. The first and 
last stanzas were sung in the Marian Antiphon, from the Saturday 
evening before the ist Sunday in Advent to Candlemas day. These two 
stanzas are as follows 

' Alma redemptoris mater, 
quam de caelis misit pater 
propter salutem gentium; 
tibi dicunt omnes "aue!" 
quia mundum soluens a uae 

mutasti uocem flentium 

Audi, mater pietatis, 
nos gementes a peccatis 
et a malis nos tuere ; 
ne damnemur cum impiis, 
in aetemis suppliciis, 

peccatorum miserere.' 

Another anthem is expressly alluded to in a version of the 
Prioress's Tale, as printed in Originals and Analogues, pt. iii. p. 282, 
published by the Chaucer Society. It occurs in the Roman Breviary, 
ed. 1583, p. 112, and was said at compline from Advent eve to 
Candlemas day, like the other ; cf. 1. 1 730. The words are 
Alma redemptoris mater, quae peruia caeli 
Porta manes, et stella mans, succurre cadenti, 
L 2 


Surgere qui curat, populo : Tu quae genuisti. 

Natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem, 

Uirgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore 

Sumens illud " Aue 1" peccatorum miserere.' 

In the Myrour of Our Lady, ed. Blunt, p. 174, an English translation 
of the latter anthem is given, with the heading 'Alma redemptoris mater.' 
And this anthem seems intended ; compare the expression ' socour 
whan we deye ' with the Lat. succitrre cadenti. 

1709. Antiphoner, anthem-book. 'The Antiphoner, or Lyggar, was 
always a large codex, having in it not merely the words, but the music 
and the tones, for all the invitatories, the hymns, responses, versicles, 
collects, and little chapters, besides whatever else belonged to the 
solemn chanting of [masses and lauds, as well as the smaller canonical 
hours'; Rock, Church of our Fathers, v. 3, pt. 2, p. 212. 

1710. Ner and tier, nearer and nearer. The phrase come neor and 
neor ( = come nearer and nearer) occurs in King Alisaunder, in Weber's 
Metrical Romances, 1. 599. 

1713. Was to seye, was to mean, meant. To seye is the gerundial 
or dative infinitive; see Morris, Hist. Outlines of English Accidence, 
sect. 290. 

1716. Texpounden, to expound. So also (allege = to allege, Kn. Ta. 
2142; tathenes = lo Athens, id. 1. 165; tespye = io espy, Nonne Pr. Ta. 
1. 467. See note to 1. 1733. 

1726. Can but smal, know but little. Cf. 'the compiler is smal 
learned'; Old Plays, ed. Hazlitt, i. 10. M. Cf. co//ofe = knew, in 

1- >735- 

Z 733- To honoure; this must be read tonoure, like texpounden in 
1. 1716. 

1739. To scoleward; cf. From Bordeaux ward in the Prologue, 
1. 397. M. 

1 749. The feeling against Jews seems to have been very bitter, and 
there are numerous illustrations of this. In Gower's Conf. Amant. bk. 
vii (ed. Pauli, iii. 194), a Jew is represented as saying 
I am a Jewe, and by my lawe 
I shal to no man be felawe 
To kepe him trouth in word ne dede.' 

In Piers the Plowman, B. xviii. 104, Faith reproves the Jews, and says 
to them 

Je cherles, and jowre children chieue [thrive] shal je neure, 
Ne haue lordship in lond ne no londe tylye [till] 
But al bareyne be & vsurye vsen, 
Which is lyf pat owre lorde in alle lawes acurseth.' 
See also P. PI., C. v. 194. Usury was forbidden by the canon law, and 
those who practised it, chiefly Jews and Lombards, were held to be 


grievous sinners. Hence the character of Shylock,- and of Marlowe's 
Jew of Malta. Cf. note on the Jews in England in the Annals of 
England, p. 162. 

1751. Honssl, honourable; as in the Bible, Rom. xii. 17, &c. 

1752. Swich, such. The sense here bears out the formation of the 
word from so-like. M. 

1753. Your, of you. Shakespeare has 'in your despite,* Cymb. i. 6. 
135; 'in thy despite/ I Hen. VI, iv. 7. 22. Despite is used, like the 
Early and Middle English mangre, with a genitive; as maugre J>/n, in 
spite of thee, in Havelok, 11. 1128, 1789 M. 

1 754. ' Which is against the respect due to your law.' Cf. ' spretae- 
que iniuria formae'; ^Eneid, i. 27. 

1761. I give an omitted stanza here, from Wordsworth's modernised 
version : 

I say that him into a pit they threw, 
A loathsome pit, whence noisome scents exhale; 
O cursed folk ! away, ye Herods new ! 
W 7 hat may your ill intentions you avail? 
Murder will out ; cerles, it will not fail ; 
Know, that the honour of high God may spread, 
The blood cries out on your accursed deed.' 

1793. le&u. This word is written 'Ihu' in E. Hn. Cm.; and 'ihc' 
in Cp. Pt. Ln. ; in both cases there is a stroke through the h. This is 
frequently printed Ihesn, but the retention of h is unnecessary. It is not 
really an h at all, but the Greek H, meaning long e (e). So, also, in 
' ihc,' the c is not the Latin c, but the Greek c, meaning 2 or ; and ihc 
are the first three letters of the word 1HCOYC = <;<7ovy = iesus. lesu, 
as well as lesiis, was used as a nominative, though really the genitive or 
vocative case. At a later period, ihs (still with a stroke through the h) 
was written for ike as a contraction of iesus. By an odd error, a new 
meaning was invented for these letters, and common belief treated them 
as the initials of three Latin words, viz. lesus Hominum Salvator. But 
as the stroke through the h or mark of contraction still remained 
unaccounted for, it was turned into a cross ! Hence the common 
symbol I.H.S. with the small cross in the upper part of the middle 
letter. The wrong interpretation is still the favourite one, all errors 
being long-lived. Another common contraction is Xpc., where all the 
letters are Greek. The * is ch (x), the p is r (/>) and c is s, so that Xpc 
= chrs, the contraction for chrisius or Christ. This is less common in 
decoration, and no false interpretation has been found for it. 

1 794. Inwith, within. This form occurs in E. Hn. Pt. Ln. ; the rest 
have within. Again, in the Merchant's Tale (E. I944\ MSS. E. Hn. 
Cm. HI. have the form ivuith. It occurs in the legend of St. Katharine, 
ed. Moiton, 1. 172; in Sir Perceval (Thornton Romances), 1. 611 ; in 


Alliterative Poems, ed. Morris, A. 970; and in Palladius on Husbandry, 
ed. Lodge, iii. 404. Dr. Morris says it was (like utwith = without) 
originally peculiar to the Northern dialect. 

1805. Coomen; so in E. Hn. ; comen in Ft. Cp. But it is the past 
tense = came. The spelling comen for the past tense plural is very 
common in Early English, and we even find com in the singular. Thus, 
in 1. 1807, the Petworth MS. has ' He come.' But herieth in 1. 1808 is 
a present tense. 

1814. Nexle, nighest, as in Kn. Ta. 555. So also hext - highest, as 
in the Old Eng. proverb ' When bale is hext, then bote is next,' i. e. 
when woe is highest, help is nighest.' 

1817. Newe Rachel, second Rachel, as we should now say; referring 
to Matt. ii. 18. 

1819. Dooth for to sterne, causes to die. So also in 1. 1823, Aide hem 
drawe = caused them to be drawn. And cf. leet bynde in 1. 1810. 

1822. Evidently a proverb; perhaps from the French honi soil qui mal 
y pense. In Old French we commonly find the spelling honni, from the 
verb honnir, to contemn, put to shame. 

1826. The body occupied the place of honour. 'The bier, if the 
deceased had been a clerk, went into the chancel ; if a layman, and not 
of high degree, the bearers set it down in the nave, hard by the church- 
door;' Rock, Ch. of our Fathers, ii. 472. He cites the Sarum Manual, 
fol. c. 

1827. The abbot; pronounced lhabbbt. Coueiit, convent ; here used for 
the monks who composed the body over which the abbot presided. 
So in Shakespeare, Hen. VIII, iv. 2. 18 'where the reverend abbot, 
With all his covent, honourably received him.' The form covent is Old 
French, still preserved in Covent Garden. 

1835. Halse; two MSS. consulted by Tyrwhitt read conjure, a mere 
gloss, caught from the line above. Other examples of halse in the sense 
of conjure occur. ' Ich halsi )>e o godes nome ' = I conjure thee in God's 
name; St. Marherete, ed. Cockayne, p. 17. Again, in Joseph of 
Arimathie, ed. Skeat, 1. 400 

' Vppon f e heise trinite I halse )>e to telle ' 
which closely resembles the present passage. 

1838. To my seminge, i.e. as it appears to me. 

1840. 'And, in the ordinary course of nature.' 

1843. Wil, wills, desires. So in Matt. ix. 13, I will have mercy = I 
require mercy ; Gk. t\tov Ol\<u ; Vulgate, misericordiam uolo. Cf. 1. 45. 

1848. In the Ellesmere MS. (which has the metrical pauses marked) 
the pause in this line is marked after lyf. The word sholde is dissyllabic 
here, having more than the usual emphasis ; it has the sense of was 
about to. Cf. E. 7146. 


1857. Now is used in the sense of take notice that, without any reference 
to time. There is no necessity to alter the reading to than, as proposed 
by Tynvhitt. See Matzner, Engl. Gram, ii, 2. 346, who refers to Luke ii. 
41, John. i. 44, and quotes an apt passage from Maundeville's Travels, 
p. 63 ' Now aftre that men han visited the holy places, thanne will they 
turnen toward Jerusalem.' In A.S. the word used in similar cases is 
styllce = soothly, verily. 

1873. Ther, where. Leue, grant. No two words have been more 
confused by editors than lene and hue. Though sometimes written 
much alike in MSS., they are easily distinguished by a little care. The 
A.S. ly/an or lefan, spelt lefe in the Ormulum (vol. i. p. 308), answers 
to the Germ, erlauben, and means grant or permit, but it can only be 
used in certain cases. The verb lene, A. S. l&nan, now spelt lend, often 
means to give or grant in Early English, but again only in certain cases. 
I quote from my article on these words in Notes and Queries, 4 Ser. ii. 
127 'It really makes all the difference whether we are speaking of to 
grant a thing to a person, or to grant that a thing may happen. " God 
lene thee grace," means "God grant thee grace," where to grant is to 
impart; but "God leiie we may do right" means " God grant we may 

do right," where to grant is to permit Briefly, lene requires an 

accusative case after it, lene is followed by a dependent clause.' Lene 
occurs in Chaucer, Prol. 61 1, Milleres Tale, 589, and elsewhere. 
Examples of lene in Chaucer are (i) in the present passage, misprinted 
lene by Tynvhitt, Morris, Wright, and Bell, though five of our MSS. 
have lene; (2) in the Freres Tale, 346, printed lene by Tynvhitt 
(1. 7226), leene by Morris, leeve by Wright and Bell ; (3) (4) (5) in three 
passages in Troilus and Creseyde (ii. 1212, iii. 7, v. 1749), where 
Tyrwhitt prints leve, bub unluckily recants his opinion in his Glossary, 
whilst Morris prints lene. For other examples see Stratmann, s.v. lantn 
and leven. 

It may be remarked that leve in Old English has several other senses ; 
such as (i) to believe; (2) to live; (3) to leave; (4) to remain; (5) 
leave, sb. ; (6) dear, adj. I give an example in which the first, sixth, 
and third of these senses occur in one and the same line 

' What I leuestow, leue lemman, that i the [thee~\ leue wold ?' 

Will. ofPalerne, 2358. 

1874. Hugh of Lincoln. The story of Hugh of Lincoln, a boy 
supposed to have been murdered at Lincoln by the Jews, is placed by 
Matthew Paris under the year 1255. Thynne, in his Animadversions 
upon Speght's editions of Chaucer (p. 45 of the reprint of the 
E. E. T. S.). addresses Speght as follows ' You saye, that in the 29 
Henry iii. eightene Jewes were broughte frowi Lincolne, and hanged for 
crucifyinge a childe of eight yeres olde. Whiche facte was in the 39 


lien, iii., so that yow mighte verye well haue sayed, that the same 
childe of eighte yeres olde was the same hughe of Lincolne ; of whiche 
name there were twoe, viz. thys younger Seinte Hughe, and Seinte 
Hughe bishoppe of Lincolne, which dyed in the yere 1 200, long before 
this little seinte hughe. And to prove that this childe of eighte yeres 
olde and that yonge hughe of Lincolne were but one ; I will sett downe 
two auctoryties out of Mathewe Paris and Walsinghame, whereof the 
fyrste wryteth, that in the yere of Christe 1255, being the 39 of Henry 
the 3, a childe called Hughe was sleyne by the Jewes at Lyncolne, 
whose lamentable historye he delyvereth at large ; and further, in the 
yere 1256, being 40 Hen. 3, he sayeth, Dimissi sunt quieti 24 Judei a 
Turri London., qui ibidem infames tenebantur compediti pro crucifixione 
sancti Hugonis Lincolniae : All which Thomas Walsingham, in 
Hypodigma Neustriae, confirmeth; sayinge, Ao. 1255. Puer quidam 
Christianus, nomine Hugo, a Judeis captus, in opprobriuw Christiahi 
nominis crudeliter est crucifixus.' There are several ballads in French 
and English, on the subject of Hugh of Lincoln, which were collected 
by M. F. Michel, and published at Paris in 1834, with the title 
' Hugues de Lincoln, Recueil de Ballades Anglo-Normandes et Ecos- 
soises relatives au Meurtre de cet Enfant.' The day of St. Hugh, 
bishop of Lincoln, is Aug. 27; that of St. Hugh, boy and martyr, is 
June 29. See also Brand's Pop. Antiq. ed. Ellis, i. 431. 

1875. With, by. See numerous examples in Matzner, Engl. Gram, 
ii. i. 419, amongst which we may especially notice 'Stolne is he with 
lues '; Towneley Mysteries, p. 290. 


1881. Miracle, pronounced miracf. Tyrwhitt omits al, and turns the 
word into miracle, unnecessarily. 

1883. Hoste is so often an evident dissyllable (see 1. 1897), that there 
is no need to insert to after it, as in Tyrwhitt. 

1885. What man arlow, what sort of a man art thou? 

1886. Woldest fynde, wouldst like to find. We learn from this 
passage, says Tyrwhitt, that Chaucer ' was used to look much upon the 
qround ; that he was of a corpulent habit ; and reserved in his be- 
haviour.' Cf. Lenvoy to Scogan, st. 5. 

1889. War you, mind yourselves, i. e. make way. 

1890. As viel as I; said ironically. Chaucer is as corpulent as the 
host himself. See note to 1. 1886 above. 


1891. Were, would be. Tenbrace, to embrace. In the Romaunt of 
the Rose, true lovers are said to be always lean ; but deceivers are often 
fat enough 

'For men that shape hem other way 
Falsely hir ladies to betray, 
It is no wonder though they be fatte'; 1. 2690. 

1893. Bluish, elf-like, akin to the fairies ; alluding to his absent looks 
and reserved manner. See Elvish in the Glossary, and cf. ' this eluish 
nyce lore ' ; Can. Yeom. Tale Group G, 1. 842. Palsgrave has 
' I waxe eluysshe, nat easye to be dealed with, le deniens mal traictable.' 

1900. Ye, yea. The difference in Old English between ye and yis 
(yes) is commonly well marked. Ye is the weaker form, and merely 
assents to what the last speaker says ; but yis is an affirmative of great 
force, often followed by an oath, or else it answers a question containing a 
negative particle, as in the House of Fame, ii. 356. Cf. 1. 4006 belpw. 


Rime. This word is now almost universally misspelt rhyme, owing to 
confusion with the Greek rhythm ; but this misspelling is never found in 
old MSS. or in early printed books, nor has any example yet been 
found earlier than the reign of Elizabeth. The old spelling rime is 
confirmed by the A. S. rim, Icel. rim, Dan. rim, Swed. rim, Germ, reim, 
Dutch rijm, Old Fr. rime, &c. Confusion with rime, hoarfrost, is 
impossible, as the context always decides which is meant ; but it is 
worth notice that it is the latter word which has the better title to an h, 
as the A. S. word for hoarfrost is hrim. Tyrwhitt, in his edition of 
Chaucer, attempted two reforms in spelling, viz. rime for rhyme, and coud 
for could. Both are most rational, but probably unattainable. 

Thopas. In the Supplement to Ducange we find ' Tkopasins, pro 
Topazius, Acta S. Wencesl. torn. 7. Sept. p. 806, col. i." The Lat. 
topazius is our topaz. The whole poem is a burlesque (see the Preface), 
and Sir Topaz is an excellent title for such a gem of a knight. The 
name Topyas occurs in Richard Coer de Lion, ed. Weber, ii. 11, as that 
of a sister of King Richard I ; but no such name is known to history. 

The metre is that commonly used before and in Chaucer's time by 
long-winded ballad-makers. Examples of it occur in the Romances of 
Sir Percevall, Sir Isumbras, Sir Eglamour, and Sir Degrevant (in the 
Thornton Romances, ed. Halliwell), and in several romances in the 
Percy Folio MS. (ed. Hales and Furnivall), such as Libius Disconius, 
Sir Triamour, Sir Eglamour, Guy and Colbrande, The Grene Knight, 


&c. ; see also Amis and Amiloun, and Sir Amadas in Weber's Metrical 
Romances ; and Lybeaus Disconus, The King of Tars, Le Bone 
Florence, Emare, The Erie of Tolous, and Horn Childe in Ritson's 
collection. To point out Chaucer's sly imitations of phrases, &c., 
would be a long task ; the reader would gain the best idea of his man- 
ner by reading any one of these old ballads. To give a few illustrations 
is all that can be attempted here. It is remarkable that we find in 
Weber a ballad called ' The Hunting of the Hare,' which is a pure 
burlesque, like Chaucer's, but a little broader in tone and more ob- 
viously comic. 

1902. Listeth, lordes, hearken, sirs. This is the usual style of 
beginning. For example, Sir Bevis begins 

Lordynges, lystenyth, grete and smale'j 
and Sir Degare begins 

1 Lystenyth, lordynges, gente and fre, 
Y wylle yow telle of syr Degare.* 

Warton well remarks ' This address to the lordings, requesting their 
silence and attention, is a manifest indication that these ancient pieces 
were originally sung to the harp, or recited before grand assemblies, 
upon solemn occasions ' ; Obs. on F. Queene, p. 248. 

1904. Solas, mirth. See Prol. 1. 798. ' This word is often used in 
describing the festivities of elder days. " She and her ladyes called for 
their minstrells, and solaced themselves with the disports of dauncing " ; 
Leland, Collectanea, v. 352. So in the Romance of Ywaine and 

" Full grete and gay was the assemble 
Of lordes and ladies of that cuntre, 
And als of knyghtes war and wyse, 
And damisels of mykel pryse ; 
Ilkane with other made grete gamen 
And grete solace, &c." ' (1. 19, ed. Ritson.) 

Todd's Illust. of Chaucer, p. 378. 

1905. Gent, gentle, gallant. Often applied to ladies, in the sense of 
pretty. The first stanzas in Sir Isumbras and Sir Eglamour are much 
in the same strain as this stanza. 

1910. Papering. ' Peppering, or Poppeling, was the name of a parish 
in the Marches of Calais. Our famous antiquary Leland was once 
rector of it. See Tanner, Bib. Brit, in v. Leland? Tyrwhitt. Here 
Calais means the district, not the town. Poperinge has a population of 
about 10,500, and is situate about 26 miles S. by W. from Ostend, in 
the province of Belgium called West Flanders, very near the French 
1 marches,' or border. Place, the mansion or chief house in the town. 
Dr. Pegge, in his Kentish Glossary (Eng. Dial. Soc.), has ' Place, that 


is, the manor-house. Hearne, in his pref. to Antiq. of Glastonbury, p. xv, 
speaks of a manour-place.' He refers also to Strype's Annals, cap. xv. 

1915. Payndemayn. 'The very finest and whitest [kind of bread] 
that was known, was simnel-bread, which . . . was as commonly known 
under the name of pain-demayn (afterwards corrupted into payman} ; 
a word which has given considerable trouble to Tyrwhitt and other 
commentators on Chaucer, but which means 110 more than " bread of 
our Lord," from the figure of our Saviour, or the Virgin Mary, impressed 
upon each round flat loaf, as is still the usage in Belgium with respect 
to certain rich cakes much admired there ; ' Chambers, Book of Days, i. 
119. The Liber Albus (ed. Riley, p. 305) speaks of ' demesne bread, 
known as demeine,' which Mr. Riley, annotates by ' Panis Dominicus. 
Simnels made of the very finest flour were thus called, from an 
impression upon them of the effigy of our Saviour.' Tyrwhitt refers to 
the poem of the Freiris of Berwick, in the Maitland MS., in which 
occur the expressions breld of mane and mane breid. It occurs also in 
Sir Degrevant (Thornton Romances, p. 235) 
' Paynemayn prevayly 

Sche broujth fram the pantry,' &c. 

It is mentioned as a delicacy by Gower, Conf. Amantis, bk. Vi (iii. 22). 
1917. Rode, complexion. Scarlet in grayn, i. e. scarlet dyed in grain, 
or of a fast colour. Properly, to dye in grain meant to dye with grain, 
i. e. with cochineal. In fact, Chaucer uses the phrase ' with grayn ' in 
the epilogue to the Nonne Prestes Tale. See the long note in Marsh's 
Lectures on the English Language, ed. Smith, pp. 54-62, and the 
additional note on p. 64. 

1920. Saffroun ; i. e. of a yellow colour. Cf. Bottom's description of 
beards ' I will discharge it in either your straw-colour beard, your 
orange-tawney beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your French 
crown-colour beard, your perfect yellow ' ; Mds. Nt. Dr. i. 2. In Lybeaus 
Disconus (ed. Ritson, Met. Rom. ii. 6) a dwarfs beard is described as 
' yelow as ony wax.' 

1924. Ciclatoun, a costly material. From the O. Fr. clclaton, the 
name of a costly cloth, called in Latin cyclas, which Ducange explains 
by 'veslis species, et panni genus.' The word cyclas occurs in Juvenal 
(Sat. vi. 258), and is explained to mean a robe worn most often by 
women, and adorned with a border of gold or purple. The Greek form 
KVK\ds is in Propertius, 4. 7, 40. The etymology is given from the 
Greek KVK\OS, a circle, and the robe is said to have been circular ; but 
it appears to me that the robe is more likely to have been named from 
the material. Possibly the word is of Eastern origin, as suggested in 
the following note by Col. Yule in his edition of Marco Polo i. 


' The term sukldt is applied in the Punjab trade-returns to broad-cloth. 
Does not this point to the real nature of the siclatonn of the Middle 
Ages ? It is, indeed, often spoken of as used for banners, which 
implies that it was not a heavy woollen. But it was also a material for 
ladies' robes, for quilts, leggings, housings, pavilions. Michel does not 
decide what it was, only that it was generally red and wrought with 
gold. Dozy renders it " silk stuff brocaded with gold," but this seems 
conjectural. Dr. Rock says it was a thin glossy silken stuff, often with 
a woof of gold thread, and seems to derive it from the Arabic sakl, 
"polishing" (a sword), which is improbable. Perhaps the name is 
connected with Sikiliyal, Sicily.' Compare the following examples, 
shewing its use for tents, banners, &c. 

' Off silk, cendale, and syclatonn 
Was the emperours pavyloun' ; 
'Kyng Richard took the pavylouns 
Off sendels and off sykelatouns ' ; 

Rich. Coer de Lion (Weber, ii. 90, and 201). 
' There was mony gonfanoun 
Of gold, sendel, and siclatoun ' ; 

Kyng Alisaunder (Weber, i. 85). 

In England, the cyclas was the transitional stage of garment between 
the surcoat of the thirteenth centui'y, and the jupon of the fourteenth. 
' The cyclas opened up the sides instead of the front, and it had this 
curious peculiarity, that the front skirt was cut much shorter than the 
hind skirt ; behind, it reached to the knees, but in front, not very much 
below the hips ' ', Cults, Scenes and Characters of the Middle Ages, 
p. 342. It dates about 1325-1335. 

The matter has been much confused by a mistaken notion of Spenser's. 
Not observing that Sir Thopas is here described in his robes of peace, 
not in those of war (as in a later stanza), he followed Speght's reading, 
viz. chekelatoun, and imagined it was the same as ' that kind of guilded 
leather with which they [the Irish] use to embroder theyr Irish jackes ' ; 
View of the State of Ireland, in Globe edition, p. 639, col. 2. And 
this notion he carried out still more boldly in the lines 
' But in a jacket, quilted richly rare 

Upon cheHaton, he was straungely dight'; F. Q. vi. 7. 43. 
1925. Jane, a small coin. The word is known to be a corruption of 
Genoa, which is spelt Jeans in Hall's Chronicles, fol. xxiv. So too we 
find Jawtweys and yam/ayes for Genoese. See Bardsley's English Surnames, 
s. v. J oneway. Stow, in his Survey of London, ed. 1599, p. gf, says that 
some foreigners lived in Minchin Lane, who had come from Genoa, and 
were commonly called galley-men, who landed wines, &c. from the 
galleys at a place called 'galley-key' in Thames Street. ' They had a 


certaine coyne of silver amongst themselves, which wore half-pence of 
Genoa, and were called galley half-pence. These half-pence were for- 
bidden in the i jth year of Henry IV, and again by parliament in the 
3rd of Henry V, by the name of half-pence of Genoa .... Notwith- 
standing, in my youth, I have seen them passe currant,' &c. Chaucer 
uses the word again in the Clerkes Tale, and Spenser adopted it from 
Chaucer ; F. Q. iii. 7. 58. Mr. Wright observes that ' the siclaton was a 
rich cloth or silk brought from the East, and is therefore appropriately 
mentioned as bought with Genoese coin.' 

1927. For 'riuer, towards the river. This appears to be the best 
reading, and we must take for in close connection with ride ; perhaps it 
is a mere imitation of the French en riviere. It alludes to the common 
practice of seeking the river-side, because the best sport, in hawking, 
was with herons and waterfowl. Tyrwhitt quotes from Froissart, v. i . 
c. 140 'Le Comte de Flandres estoit tousjours en riviere un jour 
advint qu'il alia voller en la riviere et getta son fauconnier un faucon 
apres le heron' And again, in c. 210, he says that Edward III ' alloit, 
chacun jour, ou en chace on en riviere? &c. So we read of Sir 

'Sir Eglamore tooke the way 

to the riuer fful right ' ; Percy Folio MS. ii. 347. 
Of Ipomydon's education we learn that his tutor taught him to sing, to 
read, to serve in hall, to carve the meat, and 

' Bothe of howndis and haukis game 
Aftir he taught hym, all and same, 
In se, in feld, and eke in ryuere, 
In wodde to chase the wild dere, 
And in the feld to ryde a stede, 
That all men had joy of his dede.' 

Weber's Met. Romances, ii. 283. 
See also the Squire of Low Degree, in Ritson, vol. iii. p. 177. 

1931. Ram, the usual prize at a wrestling match. Cf. Gk. Tpayeudta. 
Stonde, i. e. be placed in the sight of the competitors ; be seen. Cf. 
Prol. 1. 548, and the Tale of Gamelyn. Tyrwhitt says ' Matthew Paris 
mentions a wrestling-match at Westminster, A.D. 1222, in which a ram 
was the prize, p. 265.' Cf. also 

'At wresteling, and at ston-castynge 
He wan the prys without lesynge,' &c. ; 

Octouian Imperator, in Weber's Met. Rom. iii. 194. 
1938. Compare 'So hyt be-felle upon a day'; Erie of Tolous, 
Ritson's Met. Rom. iii. 134. Of course it is a common phrase in these 


1941. Worth, lit. became; worth vpon = became upon, got upon. It 
is a common phrase ; compare 

' Ipomydon sterte vp that tyde ; 
Anon he worthyd vppon his stede*; 

Weber, Met. Rom. ii. 334. 

1942. Lattncegay, a sort of lance. Gower has the word, Conf. Amant. 
bk. viii (iii. 369). Cowel says its use was prohibited by the statute of 7 
Rich. II, cap. 13. Camden mentions it in his Remains, p. 209. Tyrwhitt 
quotes, from Rot. Parl. 29 Hen. VI, n. 8, the following ' And the said 
Evan then and there with a launcegaye smote the said William Tresham 
throughe the body a foote and more, wherof he died.' Sir Walter 
Raleigh (quoted by Richardson) says 'These carried a kind of lance de 
gay, sharp at both ends, which they held in the midst of the staff.' But 
this is certainly a corrupt form. It is no doubt a corruption of lance- 
zagay, from the Spanish azagaya, a word of Moorish origin. Cotgrave 
gives 'Zagaye, a fashion of slender, long, and long-headed pike, used 
by the Moorish horsemen.' It seems originally to have been rather a 
short weapon, a kind of half-pike or dart. The Spanish word is well 
discussed in Dozy, Glossaire des mots Espagnols et Portugais derives de 
1'Arabe, 2nd ed. p. 225. The Spanish azagaya is for az-zagaya, where 
az is for the definite article al, and zagaya is a Berber or Algerian word, 
not given in the Arabic dictionaries. It is found in Old Spanish of the 
fourteenth century. Dozy quotes from a writer who explains it as a 
Moorish half-pike, and also gives the following passage from Laugier 
de Tassy, Hist, du royaume d'Alger, p. 58 ' Leurs armessont tazagaye, 
qui est une espece de lance courts, qu'ils portent toujours a la main.' 
I suppose that the Caffre word assagai, in the sense of javelin, was 
simply borrowed from the Portuguese azagaia. 

1949. A sory care, a grievous misfortune. Chaucer does not say what 
this was, but a passage in Amis and Amiloun (ed. Weber, ii. 410) makes 
it probable that Sir Thopas nearly killed his horse, which would have 
been grievous indeed ; see 1. 1965 below. The passage I allude to is 
as follows 

'So long he priked, withouten abod, 
The stede that he on rode, 

In a fer cuntray, 

Was ouercomen and fel doun ded ; 
Tho couthe he no better red {counsel] ; 

His song was " waileway ! " ' 

Readers of Scott will remember Fitz- James's lament over his ' gallant 

1950. This can hardly be otherwise than a burlesque upon the Squire 
of Low Degree (ed. Ritson, iii. 146), where a long list of trees is followed 


tp, as here, by a list of singing-birds. Compare also the Romaunt of 
the Rose, 1. 1367 

' There was eke wexing many a spice, 

As clowe-gilofre and licorice, 

Gingere, and grein de Paris. 

Canell, and setewale of pris,' &c. 
Line 21 of the Milleres Tale runs similarly 

' Of licoris or any setewale.' 

Maundeville speaks of the clowe-gilofre and notemnge in his 26th chapter ; 
see Specimens of E. Eng. ed. Morris and Skeat, p. 171. Cetewale is 
generally explained as the herb valerian, but is rather to be taken as 
meaning zedoary ; see the Glossary. Clowe-gilofre, a clove ; notemuge, a 
nutmeg. ' Spiced ale ' is amongst the presents sent by Absolon to 
Alisoun in the Millers Tale. 

1955. Leye in cofre, to lay in a box. 

1956. Compare Amis and Amiloun, ed. Weber, ii. 391 

' She herd the foules grete and smale, 
The swete note of the nightingale, 

Ful mirily sing on tre.' 

See also Romaunt of the Rose, 11. 613-728. But Chaucer's burlesque is 
far surpassed by a curious passage in the singular poem of The Land of 
Cockaygne (MS. Hail. 913), 11. 71-100 

' In J;e praer [meadow] is a tre 
Swi]>e likful for to se. 
f>e rote is gingeuir and galingale, 
pe siouns bej> al sed[e]wale ; 
Trie maces be> pe flure; 
f e rind, canel of swet odur ; 
pe frute, gilofre of gode smakke, &c. 

per bej> briddes mani and fale, 
prostil, fruisse, and nijtingale, 
Chalandre and wod[e]wale, 
And ojier briddes wi]>out tale [number] 
pat stinte)) neuer by har mi3t 
Miri to sing[e] dai and nijt,' &c. 

1964. As he were wood, as if he were mad, 'like mad. 1 So in Amis 
and Amiloun (ed. Weber), ii. 419 . 

4 He priked his stede night and day 
As a gentil knight, stout and gay." 
Cf. note tol. 1949. 

1974. Seinte, being in the vocative case, is probably a dissyllable here 
' O seinte Marie, ben' 'die' le. Cf. note to 1. 1 1 70 above. 

1977. Me dremed, I dreamt. Both dremen (to dream) and nieten 


(also to dream) are sometimes used with an objective case or reflexively 
in Middle English. In the Nonne Prestes Tale we have me mette (1. 74) 
and this man mette (I. 182). 

1978. An elf-queen. Mr. Price says ' There can be little doubt that 
at one period the popular creed made the same distinctions between the 
Queen of Faerie and the Elf-Queen that were observed in Grecian 
mythology between their undoubted parallels, Artemis and Persephone.' 
Chaucer makes Proserpine the ' queen of faerie ' in his Merchaunts 
Tale ; but at the beginning of the Wyf of Bathes Tale, he describes the 
elf-queen as the queen of the fairies, and makes elf and fairy synonymous. 
Perhaps this elf-queen in SireThopas (called the queen of fairy e in 1. 2004) 
may have given Spenser the hint for his Faerie Queene. But the subject 
is a vast one. See Price's Preface, in Warton's Hist. Eng. Poetry, 
ed. Hazlitt, pp. 30-36; Halliwell's Illustrations of Fairy Mythology ; 
Keightley's Fairy Mythology; Warton's Observations on the Fairie 
Queene, sect, ii ; Sir W. Scott's ballad of Thomas the Rhymer, &c. 

1983. In toune, in the town, in the district. But it must not be 
supposed that much sense is intended by this inserted line. It is a mere 
tag, in imitation of some of the romances. Either Chaucer has 
neglected to conform to the new kind of stanza which he now introduces 
(which is most likely), or else three lines have been lost before this one. 
The next three stanzas are uniform, viz. of ten lines each, of which only 
the seventh is very short. For good examples of these short lines, see 
Sir Gawayne and the Greene Knyjt, ed. Morris. 

1993. Sowilde. Instead of this short line, Tyrwhitt has 
'Wherin he soughte North and South, 
And oft he spied with his mouth 

In many a forest wilde.' 

But none of our seven MSS. agree with this version. The notion of 
spying with one's mouth seems a little too far-fetched. 

1995. This line is in the Royal MS. only, but something is so 
obviously required here, that we must insert it to make some sense. 
Even then it seems an anti-climax to say that ' neither wife nor child 
durst oppose him.' We may, however, bear in mind that the meeting 
of a knight-errant with one of these often preceded some great adven- 
ture. ' And in the midst of an highway he [Sir Lancelot] met a damsel 
riding on a white palfrey, and there 1 either saluted other. Fair damsel, 
said Sir Lancelot, know ye in this country any adventures ? Sir knight, 
said that damsel, here are adventures near hand, and thou durst prove 
them ' ; Sir T. Malory, Morte Arthur, bk. vi. cap. vii. The result was 
that Lancelot fought with Sir Turquine, and defeated him. Soon after, 
he was ' required of a damsel to heal her brother ' ; and again, ' at the 
request of a lady ' he recovered a falcon ; an adventure which ended in 
a fight, as usual. 


1998. OUfauni, i. e. Elephant ; a proper name, as Tyrwhitt observes, 
for a giant. Maundeville has the form olyfauntes for elephants. By some 
confusion the Mceso-Goth. ulbandvs and A.S. olfend are made to signify 
a camel. Spenser has put Chaucer's Olifaunt into his Faerie Queene, bk. 
iii. c. 7. st. 48, and makes him the brother of the giantess Argante, and 
son of Typhoeus and Earth. The following description of a giant is 
from Libius Disconius (Percy Folio MS. vol. ii. p. 465) 
' He beareth haiies on his brow 

Like the bristles of a sow, 
His head is great and stout; 

Eche arme is the lenght of an ell, 

His fists beene great and fell, 

Dints for to driue about.' 
Sir Libius says 

'If God will me grace send, 

Or this day come to an end 

I hope him for to spill,' &c. 

Another giant, 20 feet long, and 2 ells broad, with two boar's tusks, 
and also with brows like bristles of a swine, appears in Octouian 
Imperator, ed. Weber, iii. 196. See also the alliterative Morte Arthure, 
ed. Brock, p. 33. 

2000. Child; see note to 1. 2020. Termagaunt; one of the idols 
whom the Saracens (in the mediaeval romances) are supposed to 
worship. See The King of Tars, ed. Ritson (Met. Rom.), ii. 174-182, 
where the Sultan's gods are said to be Jubiter, Jovin (both forms of 
Jupiter), Astrot (Astarte), Mahoun (Mahomet), Appolin (Apollo), 
Plotoun (Pluto), and Tirmagaunt. Lybeaus Disconus (Ritson, Met. 
Rom. ii. 55) fought with a giant ' that levede yn Termagaunt.' The 
Old French form is Tervagant, Ital. Tervagante or Trivigante, as in 
Ariosto. Wheeler, in his Noted Names of Fiction, gives the following 
account ' Ugo Foscolo says : " Trivigante, whom the predecessors of 
Ariosto always couple with Apollino, is really Diana Trivia, the sister 
of the classical Apollo." . . . According to Panizzi, Trivagante or 
Tervagante is the Moon, or Diana, or Hecate, wandering under three 
names. Termagant was an imaginary being, supposed by the crusaders, 
who confounded Mahometans with pagans, to be a Mahometan deity. 
This imaginary personage was introduced into early English plays and 
moralities, and was represented as of a most violent character, so that a 
ranting actor might always appear to advantage in it. See Hamlet, iii. 
2. 15.' Fairfax, in his translation of Tasso (c. i. st. 84) speaks of 
Termagaunt and Mahound, but Tasso mentions ' Macometto ' only. See 
also Spenser, F. Q. vi. 7. 47. Hence comes our termagant in the sense 

VOL. n. M 


of a noisy boisterous woman. Shakespeare has ' that hot termagant 
Scot ' ; i Hen. IV, v. 2. 114. 

2002. Sle, will slay. In Anglo-Saxon, there being no distinct future 
tense, it is expressed by the present. Cf. go for will go in ' we also go 
with thee ' ; John xxi. 3. 

2005. Symphotiye, the name of a kind of tabor ; see Glossary. 

2007. Al so mote I thee, so may I thrive ; or, as I hope to thrive; a 
common expression. Cf. ' So mote y thee ' ; Sir Eglamour, ed. Halli- 
well, 1. 430 ; Occleve, De Regimine Principum, st. 620. Chaucer also 
uses ' so the ik,' i. e. so thrive I, in the Reves Prologue and else- 

2012. Abyen itful soure, very bitterly shalt thou pay for it. There is 
a confusion between A.S. sur, sour, and A.S. sdr, sore, in this and 
similar phrases ; both were used once, but now we should use sorely, 
not sourly. In Layamon, 1. 8158, we find ' ]>ou salt it sore abugge,' 
thou shalt sorely pay for it ; on the other hand, we find in P. Plowm. B. 
a. 140 

It shall bisitte jowre soules ful soure atte laste.' 
So also in the C-text, though the A-text has sore. Note that in another 
passage, P. Plowm. B. xviii. 401, the phrase is 'Thow shalt abye it 
bittre' For abyen, see the Glossary. 

2015. Fully pryme. See note to Nonne Prestes Tale, 1. 35. Prime 
commonly means the period from 6 to 9 a.m. Full prime refers to the 
end of that period, or 9 a.m. ; and even prime alone may be used with 
the same explicit meaning, as in the Nonne Pres. Ta. 1. 376. 

2019. Staf-slinge. Tyrwhitt observes that Lydgate describes David 
as armed only ' with a staffe-slynge, voyde of plate and mayle.' It 
certainly means a kind of sling in which additional power was gained 
by fastening the lithe part of it on to the end of a stiff stick. Staff- 
slyngeres are mentioned in the romance of Richard Coer de Lyon, 1. 4454, 
in Weber's Metrical Romances, ii. 177. In Col. Yule's edition of Marco 
Polo, ii. 122, is a detailed description of the artillery engines of the 
middle ages. They can all be reduced to two classes; those which, 
like the trebuchet and mangonel, are enlarged staff-slings, and those 
which, like the arblast and springold, are great cross-bows. Conversely, 
we might describe a staff-sling as a hand-trebuchet. 

2020. Child Thopas. Child is an appellation given to both knights 
and squires, in the early romances, at an age when they had long passed 
the period which we now call childhood. A good example is to be 
found in the Erie of Tolous, ed. Ritson, iii. 123 

' He was a feyre chylde, and a bolde, 
Twenty wyntur he was oolde, 
In londe was none so free.' 


Compare Romance of ' Horn Childe and Maiden Rimnild,' pr. in 
Ritson, iii. 282 ; the ballad of Childe Waters, &c. Byron, in his preface 
to Childe Harold, says 'It is almost superfluous to mention that the 
appellation "Childe," as "Childe Waters," "Childe Childers," &c., is 
used as more consonant with the old structure of versification which I 
have adopted.' He adopts, however, the late and artificial metre of 

2023. A palpable imitation. The first three lines of Sir Bevis of 
Hampton (MS. Camb. Univ. Lib. Ff. ii. 38, leaf 94, back) are 
'Lordynges, lystenyth, grete and smale, 
Meryar then the nyghtyngale 

I wylle yow synge.' 

In a long passage in Todd's Illustrations to Chaucer, pp. 284-292, it is 
contended that mery signifies sweet, pleasant, agreeable, without relation 
to mirth. Chaucer describes the Frere as wanton and merry, Prol. 208 ; 
he speaks of the merry day, Kn. Ta. 641 ; a merry city, N. P. Ta. 251 ; 
of Arcite being told by Mercury to be merry, i. e. of good cheer, Kn. Ta. 
528; in the Manciple's Tale, the crow sings merrily, and makes a sweet 
noise ; Chanticleer's voice was merrier than the merry organ, N. P. T. 31 ; 
the 'erbe yve ' is said to be merry, i. e. pleasant, agreeable, id. 146 ; the 
Pardoner (Prol. 714) sings merrily and loud. We must remember, how- 
ever, that the Host, being 'a mery man," began to speak of 'myrthe' ; 
Prol. 757, 759. A very early example of the use of the word occurs in 
the song attributed to Canute ' Merie sungen the Muneches binnen Ely,' 
&c. See the phrase ' mery men ' in 1. 2029. 

2028. The phrase to come to toune seems to mean no more than simply 
to return. Cf. Specimens of E. Eng. ed. Morris and Skeat, p. 48 

'Lenten ys come wij) loue to toune' 

which merely means that spring, with its thoughts of love, has returned. 
See the note on that line. 

3033. For paramour, for love ; but the par, or else the for, is redun- 
dant, lolite, amusement ; used ironically in the Kn. Ta. 949. Sir 
Thopas is going to fight the giant for the love and amusement of one 
who shone full bright ; i. e. a fair lady, of course. But Sir Thopas, in 
dropping this mysterious hint to his merry men, refrains from saying 
much about it, as he had not yet seen the Fairy Queen, and had only 
the giant's word for her place of .abode. The use of the past tense shone 
is artful ; it implies that he wished them to think that he had seen his 
lady-love; or else that her beauty was to be taken for granted. 
Observe, too, that it is Sir Thopas, not Chaucer, who assigns to the giant 
his three heads. 

2035. Do come, cause to come; go and call hither. Cf. House of 
Fame, bk. iii 

M a 


' Of alle manner of minstrales, 
And jesfours, that tellen tales 
Both of weeping and of game' 

Tyrwhitt's note on gestours is ' The proper business of a gestour was to 
recite tales, or gestes; which was only one of the branches of the 
Minstrel's profession. Minstrels and gestours are mentioned together in 
the following lines from William of Nassyngton's Translation of a 
religious treatise by John of Waldby ; MS. Reg. 170. viii. p. 2 
I warne you furst at the beginninge, 
That I will make no vain carpinge 
Of dedes of arrays ne of amours, 
As dus mynstrelles and jestonrs, 
That makys carpinge in many a place 
Of Octoviane and Isembrase, 
And of many other jesles, 
And namely, whan they come to festes ; 
Ne of the life of Bevys of Hampton, 
That was a knight of gret renoun, 
Ne of Sir Gye of Warwyke, 
All if it might sum men lyke, &c. 

I cite these lines to shew the species of tales related by the ancient 
Gestours, and how much they differed from what we now call jests.' 

The Gesta were stories, as in the famous collection called the Gesta 
Romanorum. See also Piers the Plowman (Clar. Press Series), note to 
1. 3 4. of the Prologue. 

2038. Roiales, royal ; some MSS. spell the word reales, but the meaning 
is the same. In the romance of Ywain and Gawain (Ritson, i. 130) a 
maiden is described as reading ' a real romance.' Tyrwhitt thinks that 
the term originated with an Italian collection of romances relating to 
Charlemagne, which began with the words 'Qui se comenza la 
hysteria el Real di Franza,' &c. ; edit. Mutinae, 1491, folio. It was 
reprinted in 1537, with a title beginning '/ reali di Franza' &c. He 
refers to Quadrio, t. vi. p. 530. The word roial (in some MSS. real) 
occurs again in 1. 2043. 

2047. Dide, did on, put on. The arming of Lybeaus Disconus is thus 
described in Ritson's Met. Rom. ii. 10 

' They caste on hym a scherte of selk, 
A gypell as whyte as melk, 

In that semely sale; 

And syght [/or sith] an hawberk bryght, 
That rychely was adyght 

Wytb. mayles thykke and smale.' 
1050. Aketoun, a short sleeveless tunic. Cf. Liber Albus, p. 376. 


And Florentyn, with hys ax so broun, 

All thorgh he smoot 
Arm and mayle, and akltetoun, 
Thorghout hyt hot [bit] '; 

Octouian, ed. Weber, iii. 205. 
For plate, ne for ncketton, 
For hauberk, ne for cnmpeson ' ; 

Richard Coer de Lion, ed. Weber, ii. 18. 

The Glossary to the Percy Folio MS., ed. Hales and Furnivall, has 
'Acton, a wadded or quilted tunic worn under the hauberk. Plancke, 
i. 108.' Thynne, in his Animadversions (Early Eng. Text Soc.), p- 24, 
szys'Haiteton "is a slevelesse jackett of plate for the warre, couered 
withe anye other stuffe ; at this day also called a jackett of plate.' 

2051. Habergeonn, coat of mail. See Prol. 76, and the note. 

2052. For percinge, as a protection against the piercing. So in P. 
Plowm. B. 6. 62, Piers puts on his cufls, ' for colde of his nailles,' i.e. as 
a protection against the cold. So too in the Rom. of the Rose, 1. 4229. 

2053. The hauberk is here put on as an upper coat of mail, of finer 
workmanship and doubtless more flexible. 

'The hauberk was al reed of rust, 
His platys thykke and swythe just ' ; 

Octouian, ed. Weber, iii. 200. 
He was armed wonder weel, 
And al with plates off good steel, 
A nd ther aboven, an hauberk ' ; 

Richard Coer de Lion, ed. Weber, ii. 222. 

2054. Jewes werk, Jew's work. Tyrwhitt imagined that Jew here 
means a magician, but there is not the least foundation for the idea. 
Mr. Jephson is equally at fault in connecting Jew with jewel, since the 
latter word is etymologically connected with joke. The phrase still re- 
mains unexplained. I suspect it means no more than wrought with rich 
or expensive work, such as Jews could best find the money for or 
undertake to supply. It is notorious that they were the chief capitalists, 
and they must often have had to find money for paying armourers. 

2055. Plate. Probably the hawberk had a breastplate on the front 
of it. But on the subject of armour, I must refer the reader to Godwin's 
English Archaeologist's Handbook, pp. 252-268; Planche"s History of 
British Costume, and Sir S. R. Meyrick's Observations on Body-armour, 
in the Archaeologia, vol. xix. pp. 120-145. 

2056. The cote-armour was not for defence, but a mere surcoat on 
which the knight's armorial bearings were usually depicted, in order to 
identify him in the combat or ' debate.' Hence the modern coat-of- 


2059. Reed, red. In the Romances, gold is always called red, and 
silver white. Hence it was not unusual to liken gold to blood, and this 
explains why Shakespeare speaks of armour being gilt with blood (King 
John ii. i. 316), and makes Lady Macbeth talk of gilding the groom's 
faces with blood (Macbeth ii. 2. 56). See also Coriol. v. i. 63,64; 
and the expression ' blood betokneth gold'; Cant. Tales, 1. 6163. 

2061. 'A carbuncle (Fr. escarboucle) was a common [armorial] 
bearing. See Guillim's Heraldry, p. 109.' Tyrwhitt. 

2062. Sir Thomas is made to swear by ale and bread, in ridiculous 
imitation of the vows made by the swan, the heron, the pheasant, or 
the peacock, on solemn occasions. 

2065. lambeux, leggings, perhaps boots. Spenser bdrrows the word, 
but spells it giambeux, F. Q. ii. 6. 29. 

Quyrboilly, i. e. cuir bouilli, leather soaked in hot water to soften it 
that it might take any required shape, after which it was dried and 
became exceedingly stiff and hard. In Matthew Paris (anno 1 243) it is 
said of the Tartars ' De coriis bullitis sibi arma leuia quidem, sed tamen 
impenetrabilia coaptarunt.' In Marco Polo, ed. Yule, ii. 49, it is said 
of the men of Carajan, that they wear armour of boiled leather (French 
text, armes cuiraces de cuir bouilli). Froissart (v. iv. cap. 19) says the 
Saracens covered their targes with cuir bouilli de Cappadoce, ou nul fer 
ne peut prendre n'attacher, si le cuir n'est trop echaufe.' When Bruce 
reviewed his troops on the morning of the battle of Bannockburn, he 
wore, according to Barbour, ' ane hat of qwyrbolle ' on his ' basnet,' and 
'ane hye croune' above that. Some remarks on cuir bouilli will be 
found in Cutts, Scenes and Characters of the Middle Ages, p. 344. 

2068. Rewel boon ; Rewel has never been quite explained, and, in the 
first edition of the present work, I expressed a belief that it is, in some 
one of its meanings, the French rouelle, Lat. rotella. Du Cange gives 
' Rotella, (i) parva rota ; (2) species clypei.' Roquefort gives ' Rouele, 
roelle, rouelle: Fortune, roue de fortune. Sous Philippe- Auguste on 
nommoit ainsi une arme blanche fort large ; depuis on lui a donne la 
forme d'un poignard ou d'une dague ; partie arrondie d'une lance.' 
Also ' Roelle, sorte de bouclier.' Cotgrave has ' Rouelle, a little flat 
ringe, a wheele of plate or iron in horse's bitts ; also, a round plate of 
armour for defence of the arme hole when the arme is lifted up : and 
generally, any small hoope, circle, ring, or round thing, thats moveable 
in the place which it holds.' In modern English, the rowel of a spur is 
well understood ; in the sense of a part of a bit, it occurs in Spenser, F. 
Q- i 7- 37- I n the Alliterative Morte Arthure, ed. Brock, 1. 3262, rowelle 
means the rim of Fortune's wheel. In the Turnament of Tottenham, as 
^printed in Percy's reliques, we read that Tyb had ' a garland on her hed 
ful of rounde bonys,' where another copy has (says Halliwell, s. v. ruel) 


the reading 'fulle of ruelle bones.' These melie-'bones were probably 
merely round pieces of bone, pierced with a hole, and strung on a string. 
Halliwell adds 'In the romaunce of Rembrun, p. 458, the coping of a 
wall is mentioned as made ' of fin ruwal, that schon swithe brighte.' 
And in MS. Camb. Univ. Lib. Ff. v. 48, fol. 119, is the passage 
' Hir sadille was of renylle bone, 

Semely was Jxit sight to se, 
Stifly sette wt& precious stone, 

Compaste about w/tA crapote [toad-stone f].' 

Again, in Sir Degrevant, 1. 1429, ed. Halliwell (in the Thornton 
Romances, p. 236) : 

' Hyt [the roof~\ was buskyd above 
With besauntus ful bryghth 

All of ruel-bon.' 

But I have lately come across another solution of the difficulty, en- 
tirely different in character, yet worth some consideration. It may be 
that rewel stands for the old Norman-French roal, ivory got from the 
teeth of a whale. Quite near the beginning of the Vie de Seint Auban, 
ed. Atkinson, we have 

' mes ne ert d'or adubbee, ne d'autre metal, 
de peres premises, de ivoire ne roa/;' 

i. e. but it was not adorned with gold nor other metal, nor with precious 
stones, nor ivory, nor with roal. Du Cange gives a Low Lat. form 
rohanlum, and an O. Fr. rochal, but Prof. Atkinson tells us that the MS. 
quoted has rohallum and rohal. The passage occurs in the Laws of 
Normandy about wreckage, and should run ' dux sibi retinet . . ebur, 
rohallum, lapides pretiosas;' or, in the French version, Tivoire, et le 
rokal et les pierres precieuses.' In this case ruwel-boon might mean 
ivory obtained from the cachalot, or narwhal, or walrus. 

2071. Ciprees, cypress-wood. In the Assembly of Foules, 1. 179, we 

' The sailing firre, the cipres death to plaine * 
i. e. the cypress suitable for lamenting a death. Virgil calls the cypress 
1 atra,' JEn. iii. 64, and ' feralis,' vi. 216; and as it is so frequently a 
symbol of mourning, it may be said to bode war. 

2078. In Sir Degrevant (ed. Halliwell, p. 191) we have just this 

'Here endyth the furst fit. 
Howe say ye? will ye any more of hit?' 

2085. Loue-dmry, courtship. All the six MSS. have this reading. 
The Had. MS. also has ' And of ladys loue drewery,' which Wright 
silently altered. 

2088. The romance or lay of Horn appears in two forms in English. 


In King Horn, ed. Lumby, Early Eng. Text Soc. 1866, printed also in 
Matzner's Altenglische Sprachproben, i. 207, the form of the poem 
is in short rimed couplets. But Chaucer no doubt refers to the 
other form with the title Horn Childe and Maiden Rimnild, in the same 
metre as Sir Thopas, printed in Ritson's Metrical Romances, iii. 282. 
The Norman-French text was printed by F. Michel for the Bannatyne 
Club, with the English versions, in a volume entitled Horn et Riemen- 
hild ; Recueil de ce qui reste des poemes relatifs a leurs aventures, &c. 
Paris, 1845. See Mr. Lumby's preface and the remarks in Matzner. 

It is not quite clear why Chaucer should mention the romance of Sir 
Ypotis here, as it has little in common with the rest. There are four 
MS. copies of it in the British Museum, and three at Oxford. ' It pro- 
fesses to be a tale of holy writ, and the work of St. John the Evangelist. 
The scene is Rome. A child, named Ypotis, appears before the 
Emperor Adrian, saying that he is come to teach men God's law ; 
whereupon the Emperor proceeds to interrogate him as to what is 
God's law, and then of many other matters, not in any captious spirit. 

but with the utmost reverence and faith There is a little tract 

in prose on the same legend from the press of Wynkyn de Worde ; ' 
J. W. Hales, in Hazlitt's edition of Warton's Hist, of Eng. Poetry, 
ii. 183. 

The romance of Sir Bevis of Hampton (i. e. Southampton) has been 
printed from the Auchinleck MS. for the Maitland Club in 1838, 410. 
Another copy is in MS. Ff. 2. 38, in the Cambridge University Library. 
There is an allusion in it to the Romans, meaning the French original. 
It appears in prose also, in various forms. See Warton's Hist, of Eng. 
Poetry, ed. Hazlitt, ii. 142, where there is also an account of Sir Guy, 
in several forms ; but a still fuller account of Sir Guy is given in the Percy 
Folio MS., ed. Hales and Furnivall, ii. 509. This Folio MS. itself con- 
tains three poems on the latter subject, viz. Guy and Amarant, Guy and 
Colbrande, and Guy and Phillis. 

By Lybenx is meant Lybeaus Disconus, printed by Ritson in his 
Metrical Romances, vol. ii, from the Cotton MS. Caligula A. 2. A later 
copy, with the title Libius Disconius, is in the Percy Folio MS. ii. 404, 
where a good account of the romance may be found. The French 
original was discovered in 1855, "* a MS. belonging to the Due 
d'Aumale. Its title is Li Biaus Desconneus, which signifies The Fair 

Fleyndamoiir evidently means plein d'amonr, full of love, and we may 
suspect that the original romance was in French ; but there is now no 
trace of any romance of that name. Spenser probably borrowed hence 
his Sir Blandamour, F. Q. iv. I. 32. 

2094. Glood, glided. So in all the MS. except E., which has the 


poor reading rood, rode. For the expression in 1. 2095, compare the 
following : 

'But whenne he was horsede on a stede, 
He sprange als any sparke one [read of] glede ' ; 

Sir Isumbras, ed. Halliwell, p. 107. 
'Lybeaus was redy boun, 
And lepte out of the arsoun [saddle-bow] 
As sperk thogh out of glede ' ; 

Lybeaus Disconus, in Ritson, ii. 27. 
' Then sir Lybius with ffierce hart, 
Out of his saddle swythe he start 
As sparcle doth out of fyer ' ; 

Percy Folio MS. ii. 440. 

2092. After examining carefully the rimes in Chaucer's Canterbury 
Tales, Mr. Bradshaw finds that this is the sole instance in which a word 
which ought etymologically to end hi -ye is rimed with a word ending 
in y without a following final e. A reason for the exception is easily 
found ; for Chaucer has here adopted the swing of the ballad metre, 
and hence ventures to deprive chiualrye of its final e, and to call it 
chivalry 1 so that it may rime with Gy, after the manner of the ballad- 
writers. So again chiualrye, drurye become chiualry, drury; 11. 2084, 

2106. The first few lines of the romance of Sir Perceval of Galles 
(ed. Halliwell, p. i) will at once explain Chaucer's allusion. It 

Lef, lythes to me 
Two wordes or thre 
Of one that was faire and fre 

And felle in his fighte; 
His right name was Percyvelle, 
He was fostered in the felle, 
He dranlee water of the welle, 
And jitt was he wyghtel" 

Both Sir Thopas and Sir Perceval were water-drinkers, but it did not 
impair their vigour. 
In the same romance, p. 84, we find 

' Of mete ne dryiike he ne roghte, 

So fulle he was of care I 
Tille the nynte daye byfelle 
That he come to a welle, 
Tker he was wonte for to dtielle 

And drynlt take him thare.' 
These quotations set aside Mr. Jephson's interpretation, and solve 


Tyrwliitt's difficulty. Tynvhitt says that 'The Romance of Perceval 
le Galois, or de Galis, was composed in octosyllable French verse by 
Chrestien de Troyes, one of the oldest and best French romancers, 
before the year 1191 ; Fauchet, 1. ii. c. x. It consisted of above 60,000 
verses (Bibl. des Rom. t. ii. p. 250) so that it would be some trouble 
to find the fact which is, probably, here alluded to. The romance, under 
the same title, in French prose, printed at Paris, 1530, fol., can only be 
an abridgement, I suppose, of the original poem.' 

2107. Worthy vnder wede, well-looking in his armour. The phrase 
is very common. Tyrwhitt says it occurs repeatedly in the romance of 
Emare, and refers to folios 70, 71 b, 73 a, and 74 b of the MS. ; but the 
reader may now find the romance in print ; see Ritson's Metrical 
Romances, ii. pp. 214, 229, 235, 245. The phrase is used of ladies also, 
and must then mean of handsome appearance when well-dressed. See 
Amis and Amiloun, ed. Weber, ii. pp. 370, 375. 

2108. The story is here broken off by the host's interruption. 
MSS. Pt. and 111. omit this line, and MSS. Cp. and Ln. omit 11. 2105-7 
as well. 


21 1 1. Of, by. Lewed/iesse, ignorance ; here, foolish talk. 

21 1 2. Also, &c. ; as verily as (I hope) God will render my soul 
happy. See Kn. Ta. 11. 1005, 1376. 

2113. Drasty, filthy. Tyrwhitt and Bell print drafty, explained by 
full of draff or refuse. But there is no such word ; the adjective (were 
there one) would take the form draffy. See the Glossary. 

2123. In geste, in the form of a story such as are in the Gesta 
Romanorum. The Host means a tale in prose; there is no contradic- 
tion, if lines 2124 and 2125 be kept together. 'Tell us,' he says, 'a 
tale like those in the Gesta, or at least something in prose that is either 
pleasant or profitable.' 

2131. 'Although it is sometimes told in different ways by different 

2137. 'And all agree in their general meaning.' Sentence, sense; 
see 11. 2142, 2151. 

2148. Read it Tenforce with, &c., 'to enforce the moral of my story 

3156. Al, the whole of; do not interrupt me again. 



3079. The tale of Melibee is about a certain Melibeus and his wife 
Prudence, who had a daughter called Sophie. One day, while Melibeus 
is absent, four of his enemies break into his house, beat his wife, and 
wound his daughter. On returning, he takes counsel as to what must 
be done. He is for planning a method of revenge, but his wife advises 
him to forgive the injuries, and in the end her counsels prevail. 

3082. Corpus Madrian, body of Madrian : which has been inter- 
preted in two ways. Urry guessed it to refer to St. Materne, bishop of 
Treves, variously commemorated on the I4th, igih, or 25th of September, 
the days of his translations being July 18 and October 23. Mr. Steevens 
suggested, in a note printed in Tyrwhitt's Glossary, that the ' precious 
body ' was that of St. Mathurin, priest and confessor, commemorated on 
Nov. i or Nov. 9. The latter is more likely, since in his story in the 
Golden Legende, edit. 1527, leaf 151 back, the expressions ' the precious 
body ' and ' the holy body ' occur, and the story explains that his body 
would not stay in the earth till it was carried back to France, where he 
had given directions that it should be buried. 

3083. ' Rather than have a barrel of ale, would I that my dear 
good wife had heard this story.' Cf. note to 1. 3624. 

Lief is not a proper name, as has been suggested, I believe, by some 
one ignorant of early English idiom. Cf. ' Dear my lord,' Jul. Caesar, 
ii. i. 255 ; and other instances in Abbott's Shakesp. Grammar, sect. 13. 

3101. ' Who is willing (or who suffers himself) to be overborne by 

3108. Neighebor, three syllables, as in 1. 3091 ; thannk, two syllables. 

3112. Observe the curious use of seith for misseith. 

3114. Monk. See him described in the Prologue, 1. 165. 

3116. Rouechester. The MSS. have Rouchester, but the line then 
halts. Tyrwhitt changed slant into stondeth, but all our seven MSS. 
have slant. The name of the town was certainly Roveche^ter, in four 
syllables. The spelling Hrofeceastre occurs in the A. S Chronicle, anno 
1114, and this changes to Rotteceastre, anno 1130; later, Rouecestre, 
Old Eng. Miscellany, ed. Morris, p. 145. Note too that the Latin 
name was Rovecestria, Rhoffa, or Roffa. The presence of the / 
( = v) points clearly to an omission of the e ; for otherwise the scribes 
should have written Rochester simply. Otherwise, we must put Lo into 
a foot by itself, and scan the line thus L6/Rouches/ter stant/heei 
fdst/e by. 

According to the arrangement of the tales in Tyrwhitt's edition, the 
pilgrims reach Rochester after coming to Sittingborne (mentioned in 


the Wife of Bath's Prologue), though the latter is some eleven miles 
nearer Canterbury. The present arrangement of the Groups remedies 
this. See note to B 1165. 

3117. Ryd forth, ride forward, draw near us. 

3119. Wher, whether. Dan, for Dominus, a title of respect com- 
monly used in addressing monks. But Chaucer even uses it of Arcite, 
in the Knightes Tale. 

3120. The monk's name was Piers. See 1. 3982, and the note. 
31 24. Cf. ' He was not pale as a for-pyned goost ' ; Prol. 205. 
3127. As to my doom, in my judgment. 

3130. Scan the line But/a g<5u/ernour/wyly/and wys/. ThePetworth 
MS. inserts 'boj>* before 'wyly'; but this requires the very unlikely 
accentuation ' governour ' and an emphasis on a. The line would scan 
better if we might insert art, or lyk, after But, but there is no authority 
for this. 

3132. Read A wil-farlng persdne, after which comes the pause, as 
marked in E. and Hn. 

3157. Souneth into, tends to, is consistent with; see Prol. 307, and 
Sq. Ta. 517. The following extracts from Palsgrave's French Dictionary 
are to the point. ' I sownde, I appartayne or belong, It tens. Thys 
thyng sowndeth to a good purpose, Ceste chose tent a bonne fin? Also, 
' I sownde, as a tale or a report sowndeth to ones honesty or dyshonesty, 
le redonde. I promise you that this matter sowndeth moche to your 
dishonoure, le vous promets que ceste matyere redonde fort a vostre deshon- 

3160. Seint Edward. There are two of the name, viz. Edward, king 
and martyr, commemorated on March 16, 18, or 19, and the second 
King Edward, best known as Edward the Confessor, commemorated on 
Jan. 5. In Piers the Plowman, B. xv. 217, we have 

' Edmonde and Edwarde eyther were kynges, 
And seyntes ysette tyl charite hem folwed." 

But Edward the Confessor is certainly meant ; and there is a remarkable 
story about him that he was ' warned of hys death certain clayes before 
hce dyed, by a ring that was brought to him by certain pilgrims coming 
fiom Hierusalem, which ring hee hadde secretly given to a poore man 
that askyd hys charitie in the name of God and sainte Johan the Evan- 
gelist.' See Mr. Wright's description of Ludlow Church, where are 
some remains of a stained glass window representing this story, in the 
eastern wall of the chapel of St. John. See also Chambers, Book of 
Days, i. 53, 54, where we read ' The sculptures upon the frieze of the 
present shrine [in Westminster Abbey] represent fourteen scenes in the life 
of Edward the Confessor. . . . He was canonized by Pope Alexander 
about a century after his death . . . He was esteemed the patron-saint 


of England until superseded in the thirteenth century by St. George.' 
These fourteen scenes are fully described in Brayley's Hist, of West- 
minster Abbey, in an account which is chiefly taken from a Life of St. 
Edward written by Ailred of Rievaulx in 1163. Three 'Lives of 
Edward the Confessor' were edited, for the Master of the Rolls, by 
Mr. Luard in 1858. See Morley's Eng. Writers, i. 434. 

3163. Celle, cell. The monks call it his cell because he was 'the 
keper'ofit; Prol. 173. 

3163. Tragedie; the final it would be slurred over before is, so that 
for is required for the metre ; the phrase for to seyn is sufficiently 
common. The definition of ' tragedy ' here given is repeated from 
Chaucer's own translation of Boethius, which contains the remark 
' Glose. Tragedie is to seyne, a dite [ditty] of a prosperite for a tyme, 
pat endij) in wrechednesse ' ; ed. Morris, p. 35. This remark is Chaucer's 
own, as the word Glose marks his addition to, or gloss upon, his original. 
His remark refers to a passage in Boethius immediately preceding, viz. 
' Quid tragoediamm clamor aliud deflet, nisi indiscrete ictu fortunam 
felicia regna uertentem '? De Consolatione Philosophiae, lib. ii. prosa 2. 
See also the last stanza of ' Cresus ' in the Monkes Tale. 

3169. Examelron, hexameter. Chaucer is speaking of Latin, not of 
English verse ; and refers to the common Latin hexameter used in heroic 
verse ; he would especially be thinking of the Thebaid of Statius, the 
Metamorphoseon Liber of Ovid, th Aeneid of Virgil, and Lucan's 
Pharsalia. This we could easily have guessed, but Chaucer has himself 
told us what was in his thoughts. For at the conclusion of his Troilus 
and Creseide, which he calls a tragedie, he says 

And kisse the steps whereas thou seest pace 
Of Vergil, Ovid, Homer, Lucan, and Stace.' 
Lucan is expressly cited in 1. 3909. 

3170. In prose. For example, Boccaccio's De Casibus Virorum and 
De Claris Mulieribus contain 'tragedies' in Latin prose. Cf. 11. 3655, 

3171. In metre. For example, the tragedies of Seneca are in various 
metres, chiefly iambic. See also note to 1. 3285. 

3177. After hir ages, according to their periods ; in chronological 
order. The probable allusion is to Boccaccio's De Casibus Virorum, 
which begins with Adam and Nimrod, and keeps tolerably to the right 
order. For further remarks on this, see the Preface, 



3181. Tragedie ; accented on the second syllable, and riming with 
remtdie; cf. 1. 3163. Very near the end of Troilus and Creseide, we 
find Chaucer riming it with comedie. That poem he also calls a 

Go, lytel book, go, my lytel tragtdie? &c. 

3183. Fillen, fell. Nas no, for ne was no, a double negative. Cf. Ch. 
tr. of Boethius ' and eke of present tyme now is ful of ensaumples how 
J>at kynges ben chaunged in-to wrechednesse out of hir welefulnesse ' ; 
ed. Morris, p. 75. 

3186. The Harl. MS. has 'Ther may no man the cours of hir 
whiel holde,' which Mr. Wright prefers. But the reading of the Six-text 
is well enough here ; for in the preceding line Chaucer is speaking 
of Fortune under the image of a person fleeing away, to which he adds, 
that no one can stay her course. Fortune is also sometimes represented 
as stationary, and holding an ever-turning wheel, as in the Book of the 
Duchesse, 643 ; but that is another picture. 

3188. Be war by, take warning from. 


3189. Lucifer, a Latin name signifying- light-Wringer, and properly 
applied to the morning-star. In Isaiah xiv. 12 the Vulgate has ' Quo- 
modo cecidisti de caelo, Lucifer, qui mane oriebaris ? corruisti in terram, 
qui uulnerabas gentes?' &c. St. Jerome, Tertullian, St. Gregory, and 
other fathers, supposed this passage to apply to the fall of Satan. It 
became a favourite topic for writers both in prose and verse, and the 
allusions to it are innumerable. See note to Piers the Plowman, i. 105 
(Clar. Press Series). Gower begins his eighth book of the Confessio 
Amantis with the examples of Lucifer and Adam. 

3192. Sinne, the sin of pride, as in all the accounts; probably from 
I Tim. iii. 6. Thus Gower, Conf. Amant. lib. i. (vol. i. p. 153) 
' For Lucifer, with hem that felle, 
Bar pride with hym into helle. 
Ther was pride of to grete cost, 
Whan he for pride hath heuen lost.' 

3195. Artow, art thou. Sathanas, Satan. The Hebrew satan means 
simply an adversary, as in i Sam. xxix. 4; 2 Sam. xix. 22; &c. 
A remarkable application of it to the evil spirit is in Luke x. 18. 
Milton also identifies Lucifer with Satan; Par. Lost, vii. 131 ; x. 425 ; 
but they are sometimes distinguished, and made the names of two 


different spirits. A remarkable example of this occurs in Piers the 
Plowman, B. xviii. 270-283. 

3196. The Ellesmere MS. has a mark for a metrical pause after 
miserie, pronounced misfrie. 


3197. Boccaccio's De Casibus Virorum Illustrium begins with a 
chapter ' De Adam et Eua.' It contains the passage ' Et ex agro, qui 
postea Damascenus, . . . ductus in Paradisum deliciarum.' Lydgate, in 
his Fall of Princes (fol. a 5) has 

' Of slyme of the erlhe, in damascene the feelde 
God made theym above eche creature.' 

The notion of the creation of Adam in a field whereupon afterwards 
stood Damascus, occurs in Peter Comestor's Historia Scholastica, where 
we find (ed. 1526, fol. vii) 'Quasi quereret aiiquis, Remansit homo in 
loco vbi factus est, in agro scilicet damasceno ? Non. Vbi ergo trans- 
latus est ? In paradisum.' See also Maundeville's Travels, cap. xv ; 
Genesis and Exodus, ed. Morris, 1. 207 ; and note in Matzner's Alten- 
glische Sprachproben, ii. 185. 

3200. So Boccaccio 'O caeca rerum cupiditas! Hii, quibus rerum 
omnium, dante Deo, erat imperium,' &c. Cf. Gen. i. 29 ; ii. 16. 


3205. The story of Sampson is also in Boccaccio, lib. i. c. 17 (not 19, 
as Tyrwhitt says). But Chaucer seems mostly to have followed the 
account in Judges xiii-xvi. The word annunciai, referring to the an- 
nouncement of Samson's birth by the angel (Judges xiii. 3) may have 
been suggested by Boccaccio, whose account begins Praenunciantt 
per angelum Deo, ex Manue Israhelita quodam et pulcherrima eius 
vxore Sanson progenitus est.' Thangel in 1. 3206 the angel. 

3207. Consecrat, consecrated. A good example of the use of the end- 
ing -at ; cf. situate for situated. M. Shakespeare has consecrate ; Com. 
of Err. ii. 2. 134. 

3208. Whyl he myghte see, as long as he preserved his eyesight. 

3210. To speke of strengths, with regard to strength ; to speke of is a 
kind of preposition. M. Cf. Milton's Samson Agonistes, 126-150. 

3211. Wyues. Samson told the secret of his riddle to his wife, 
Judges xiv. 1 7 ; and of his strength to Delilah, id. xvi. 1 7. 

3215. Alto-rente, completely rent in twain. The prefix to- has two 
powers in Old English. Sometimes it is the preposition to in composi- 
tion, as towards, or M. E. toflight (G. zuflvcht), a refuge. But more com- 
monly it is a prefix signifying in twain, spelt zer- in German, and dis- in 
Mceso-Gothic and Latin. Thus (o-ren!e = rent in twain ; to-burst = burst 


in twain, &c. The intensive adverb al, utterly, was used not merely (as 
is commonly supposed) before verbs beginning with to-, but in other 
cases also. Thus, in William of Palerae, 1. 872, we find ' He was al 
a-wondred? where al precedes the intensive prefix a- = A. S. of-. Again, 
in the same poem, 1. 661, we have ' al bi-weped for wo,' where al now 
precedes the prefix bi-. In Barbour's Bruce, ed. Skeat, x. 596, is the 

4 For, hapnyt ony to slyde or fall, 

He suld be soyne to-fruichit al' 

Where al to-fruschit means utterly broken in pieces. Perhaps the clearest 
example of the complete separability of al from to is seen in 1. 3884 of 
William of Palerne : 

' Al to-tare his atir J>at he to-lere mist'; 

i. e. he entirely tore apart his attire, as much of it as he could tear apart. 
But at a later period of English, when the prefix to- was less understood, 
a new and mistaken notion arose of regarding al to as a separable prefix, 
with the sense of all to pieces. I have observed no instance of this use 
earlier than the reign of Henry VIII. Thus Surrey, Sonnet 9, has 'al-to 
shaken ' for shaken to pieces. Latimer has 'they love and al-to love 
(i. e. entirely love) him ' ; Serm. p. 289. For other examples, see Al-to 
in the Bible Word-book ; and my notes in Notes and Queries, 3 Ser. xii, 

4 6 4. 535- 

3220. Samson's wife was given to a friend ; Judges xiv. 20. She was 
afterwards burnt by her own people ; Judges xv. 6. 

3224. On every tayl; one brand being fastened to the tails of two 
foxes ; Judg. xv. 4. 

3225. Comes. The Vulgate has segetes and fruges ; also uineas for 
vynes, and oliueta for oliueres. The plural form cornes is not uncommon 
in Early English. Cf. ' Quen thair corns war in don,' i. e. when their 
harvests were gathered in ; Spec, of Eng., pt. ii. ed. Morris and Skeat, 
p. 70, 1. 39. And again, 'alle men-sleeris and brenneris of houses and 
cornes [misprinted corves] ben cursed opynly in parische chirches"; 
Wyclifs Works, ed. Arnold, iii. 329. 

3234. Wang-loth, molar tooth. This expression is taken from the 
Vulgate, which has ' Aperuit itaque Dominus molarem dentem in 
maxilla asini ' ; where the A. V. has only ' an hollow place that was in 
the jaw'; Judg. xv. 19. 

3236. Judicum, i. e. Liber Judicum, the Book of Judges. Cf. note 
to 1. 93 above. 

3237. Gazan, a corruption of Gazam, the ace. case, in Judg. xvi. I. 
Vulgate version. 

3244. Ne hadde been, there would not have been. Since hadde is here 
the subjunctive mood, it is dissyllabic. Read- worlds n' hadde. 


3245. Sicer, from the Lat. sicera, Greek aiKtpa, strong drink, is the 
word which we now spell cider; see Wyclif's Works, ed. Arnold, i. 
363, note. It is used here because found in the Vulgate version of 
Judges xiii. 7 ; ' caue r.e uinum bibas, nee siceram.' I slightly amend 
the spelling of the MSS., which have citer, siser, sythir, cyder. Wyclif 
has sither, cyther, sidir, sydt/r. 

3249. Twenty winter, twenty years; Judg. xvi. 31. The English used 
to reckon formerly by winters instead of years; as may be seen in a great 
many passages in the A.S. Chronicle. 

3253. Dalida. The Vulgate has Dalila; but Chaucer (or his scribes) 
naturally adopted a form which seemed to have a nearer resemblance to 
an accusative case, such being, at that time, the usual practice ; cf. 
Briseide (from Briseida), and Annelida. Lydgale also uses the form 
Dalida, as in the Septuagint and in Wyclif. 

3259. In this array, in this (defenceless) condition. 

3264. Querne, hand-mill. The Vulgate has 'et clausum in carcere 
molere fecerunt ' ; Judg. xvi. a i . But Boccaccio says ' ad molas 
manuarias coegere.' The word occurs in the House of Fame, iii. 708 ; 
and in Wyclif's Bible, Exod. xi. 5 ; Mat. xxiv. 41. In the Ayenbite of 
Inwyt, ed. Morris, p. 181, the story of Samson is alluded to, and it is 
said of him that he 'uil [fell] into )>e honden of his yuo [foes'], J>et him 
deden grinde ate qverne ssamuolliche,' i.e. who made him grind at the 
mill shamefully (in a shameful manner). Lydgate copies the passage 
rather closely, in his Fall of Princes, fol. e 7 : 
' And of despite, after as I fynde, 
At their quernes made hym for to grinde.' 

3269. Thende, the end. Caytif means (i) a captive, (2) a wretch. It 
is therefore used here very justly. 

3274. Two filers, better than the reading the pilers of MS. E. ; because 
two are expressly mentioned ; Judg. xvi. 29. 

3282. So Boccaccio 'Sic aduersa credulitas, sic amantis pietas, sic 
mulieris egit inclyta fides. Vt quern non poterant homines, non uincula, 
non ferrum uincere, a mulieribus latrunculis uinceretur.' Lydgate has 
the expressions 

'Beware by Sampson your counseyll well to kepe, 
Though [misprinted That] Dalida compleyne, crye, and wepe'; 
and again: 

'Surfre no nightworm within your counseyll crepe,' 
Though Dalida compleyne, crye, and wepe.' 


3285. There is little about Hercules in Boccaccio ; but Chaucer's 
favourite author, Ovid, has his story in the Metamorphoses, book ix, 



and Heroides, epist. 9. Tyrwhitt, however, has shewn that Chaucer 
more immediately copies a passage in Boethius, de Cons. Phil. lib. iv, 
met. 7, which is as follows : 

Herculem duri celebrant labores ; 

Ille Centauros domuit superbos; 

Abstulit saeuo spolium leoni ; 

Fixit et certis uolucres sagittis; 

Poma cernenti rapuit draconi, 

Aureo laeuam grauior metallo; 

Cerberum traxit triplici catena. 

Uictor immitem posuisse fertur 

Pabulum saeuis dominum quadrigis. 

Hydra combusto periit ueneno ; 

Fronte turpatus Achelous aninis 

Ora demersit pudibunda ripis. 

Strauit Antaeum Libycis arenis, 

Cacus Euandri satiauit iras, 

Quosque pressurus foret altus orbis 

Setiger spumis humeros notauit. 

Ultimus caelum labor irreflexo 

Sustulit collo, pretiumque rursus 

Ultimi caelum meruit laboris.' 

But it is still more interesting to see Chaucer's own version of this pas- 
sage, which is as follows (ed. Morris, p. 147) : 

' Hercules is celebrable for his harde trauaile ; he dawntede )>e proude 
Centauris, half hors, half man ; and he rafte ]>e despoylynge fro J>e cruel 
lyoun ; J>at is to seyne, he slous ]>e lyoun and rafte hym hys skyn. He 
smot J>e birds J>at hysten arpijs in ]>e palude of lyrne wty certeyne arwes. 
He rauyssede applis fro ])e wakyng dragoun / & hys hand was ]>e more 
heuy for J>e goldene metal. He drous Cerberus ]>e hound of helle by his 
treble cheyne ; he, ouer-comer, as it is seid, hap put an vnmeke lorde 
fodre to his cruel hors; J)is is to sein, )>at hercules slouj diomedes and 
made his hors to etyn hym. And he, hercules, slou} Idra J?e serpent & 
brende )>e venym ; and achelaus ]>e flode, defoulede in his forhede, dreinte 
his shamefast visage in his strondes ; ]>is is to seyn, ]>at achelaus couj>e 
transfigure hymself into dyuerse lykenesse, & as he faujt wi]> ercules, at 
| e laste he turnide hym in-to a bole [bull] ; and hercules brak of oon of 
hys homes, & achelaus for shame hidde hym in hys ryuer. And he, 
hercules, caste adoun Antheus ]>e geaunt in J?e strondes of libye ; & kacus 
apaisede )>e wra)> of euander ; Jus is to sein, J>at hercules slous ]>e 
monstre kacus & apaisede wij) ]>at deej> J>e wra}>)>e of euander. And ]>e 
bristlede boor markede wij> scomes [scums, foam] \>e sholdres of hercules, 
\ e whiche sholdres pe heye cercle of heuene sholde Jireste [was to rest 


vpon\. And )>e laste of his labours was, J>at he sustenede ]>e heuene upon 
his nekke unbowed ; & he deseruede eftsones pe heuene to ben ])e pris of 
his laste trauayle.' 

And in his House of Fame, book iii, he mentions 
' Alexander, and Hercules, 
That with a sherte his lyf did lese.' 

3288. Hercules' first labour was the slaying of the Nemean lion, 
whose skin he often afterwards wore. 

3289. Centauros; this is the very form used by Boethius, else we might 
have expected Centaurus or Centaures. After the destruction of the Ery- 
manthian boar, Hercules slew Pholus the centaur; and (by accident) 

3290. Arpies, harpies. The sixth labour was the destruction of the 
Stymphalian birds, who ate human flesh. 

3291. The eleventh labour was the fetching of the golden apples, 
guarded by the dragon Ladon, from the garden of the Hesperides. 

3292. The twelfth labour was the bringing of Cerberus from the 
lower world. 

3293. Bmirus. Here Chaucer has confused two stories. One is, 
that Busiris, a king of Egypt, used to sacrifice all foreigners who came 
to Egypt, till the arrival of Hercules, who slew him. The other is ' the 
eighth labour,' when Hercules killed Diomedes, a king in Thrace, who 
fed his mares with human flesh, till Hercules slew him and gave his 
body to be eaten by the mares, as Chaucer himself says in his transla- 
tion. The confusion was easy, because the story of Busiris is mentioned 
elsewhere by Boethius, bk. ii. pr. 6, in a passage which Chaucer thus 
translates (ed. Morris, p. 53) : ' I have herd told of busirides Jat was 
wont to sleen hys gestes [guests] fat herburghden [lodged] in hys hous ; 
and he was slayn hym-self of ercules J?at was hys gest.' Lydgate tells 
the story of Busiris correctly. 

3295. Serpent, i.e. the Lernean hydra, whom Chaucer, in the passage 
from Boethius, calls ' Idra the serpent.' 

3296. Achelois, seems to be used here as a genitive form from a nomi- 
native A chelo; in his translation of Boethius we find Achelaus. The 
spelling of names by old authors is often vague and uncertain. The line 
means he broke one of the two horns of Achelous. The river-god 
Achelous, in his fight with Hercules, took the form of a bull, where- 
upon the hero broke off one of his horns. 

3297. The adventures with Cacus and Antaeus^ are well known. 

3299. The fourth labour was the destruction of the Erymanthian 

3300. Longe, for a long time; in the margin of MS. Camb. Univ. Lib. 
Dd. 4. 24, is written the gloss diu. 

N 2 


3307. The allusion is to the 'pillars' of Hercules. The expression 
1 both ends of the world ' refers to the extreme points of the continents 
of Europe and Africa, world standing here for continent. The story is 
that Hercules erected two pillars, Calpe and Abyla, on the two sides of 
the Straits of Gibraltar. The words ' seith Trophee ' seem to refer to 
an author named Trophaeus. In Lydgate's prologue to his P'all of 
Princes, st. 41, he says of Chaucer that 

'In youth he made a translacion 
Of a boke whiche called is Trophe, 
In Lumbarde tonge, as men may rede and sc; 
And in our vulgar, long er that he deyde, 
Gave it the name of Troylus and Creseyde.' 

This seems to say that Trophe was the name of a book in Italian, 
whence Chaucer drew his story of Troilus. But the notion must be 
due to some mistake, since that work was taken from the ' Filostrato ' 
of Boccaccio. The only trace of the name of Trophoeus as an author is in 
a marginal note possibly Chaucer's own which appears in both the 
Ellesmere and Hengwrt MSS., viz. ' Ille vates Chaldeorum Tropheus.' 

3311. Tkise clerkes, meaning probably Ovid and Boccaccio. See 
Ovid's Heroides, epist. ix, entitled Deianira Herculi, and Metamorph. 
lib. ix ; Boccaccio, De Casibus Virorum Illustrium, lib. i. cap. xviii., and 
De Mulieribus Claris, cap. xxii. See also the Trachinise of Sophocles. 
33!5- Wered, worn ; so in 1. 3320 we find wered for the form of the 
past tense. Instances of verbs with weak preterites in Chaucer, but 
strong ones in modern English, are rare indeed ; but there are several 
instances of the contrary, e.g. wsp, slep, wesh, wex, now wept, slept, 
washed, waxed. Wore is due to analogy with bore ; cf. could for coud. 

3317. Both Ovid and Boccaccio represent Deianira as ignorant of the 
fatal effects which the shirt would produce. See Ovid, Metam. ix. 133. 
Had Chaucer written later, he might have included Gower among the 
clerks, as the latter gives the story of Hercules and Deianira in his 
Conf. Amantis, lib. ii., following Ovid. Thus he says 
' With wepend eye and woful herte 
She tok out thilke vnhappie sherle, 
As she that wende wel to do.' 

3326. For long upbraidings of Fortune, see The Boke ot the Duchesse, 
617; Rom. Rose, 5407; Boethius, ed. Morris, p. 35. 



3335. Nabngodonosor ; generally spelt Nabtichodonosor in copies of 
the Vulgate, of which the other spelling is a mere variation Gower 
has the same spelling as Chaucer, and relates the story near the end of 


book i. of the Conf. Amantis. Both no doubt took it directly from 
Daniel i-iv. 

3338. The vessel is here an imitation of the French idiom ; F. vaisselle 
means the plate, as Mr. Jephson well observes. Cf. 1. 3494. 

3349. In the word statue the second syllable is rapidly slurred over, 
like that in glorie in 1. 3340. See the same effect in the Kn. Tale, 
11- "7. I0 97- 


3373- Balthazar; so spelt by Boccaccio, who relates the story very 
briefly, De Cas. Virorum Illust., lib. ii. cap. 19. So also, by Peter 
Comestor, in his Historia Scholastica ; and by Gower, Conf. Amant., 
lib. v. The Vulgate generally has Baltassar; Daniel, cap. v. 

3379. And ther he lay; cf. 1. 3275 above. 

3384. The word tho is supplied for the metre. The scribes have con- 
sidered vesselles (sic) as a trisyllable; but see 11. 3391, 3416, 3418. 

3388. Of, for. Cf. the old phrase 'thank God of all,' i.e. for all; 
occurring in Chaucer's ' Fie fro the pres,' 1. 19. M. 

3422. Trust to. This reading, from the Cambridge MS., is perhaps 
the best; cf. 'trust nat to hem,' B. 2374. Tynvhitt has trusteth in the 
plural, but thou is used throughout. The singular imperative, however, 
may take the form trus/e. Elsewhere Chaucer also has ' on whom \ve 
trvste,' Prol. 501 ; ' truste on fortune,' B. 3326; cf. ' syker on to trosten,' 
P. PI. Crede, I. 350. 

3427. Darius, so accented. Degree, rank, position. 

3436. Prouerbe. The allusion is, in the first place, to Boethius, de 
Cons. Phil., bk. iii. pr. 5 ' Sed quern felicitas amicum fecit, infortunium 
faciet inimicum ' ; which Chaucer translates ' Certys swiche folk as 
weleful fortune make]) frendes, contrarious fortune make> hem enmyse' ; 
PP- ?6 77 (ed. Morris). Cf. Prov. xix. 4 'Wealth makelh many 
friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour,' &c. So also 
'If thou be brought low, he [i.e. thy friend] will be against thee, and 
will hide himself from thy face' ; Ecclus. vi. 12. In Hazlitt's Collection 
of English Proverbs, p. 235, we find 

' In time of prosperity, friends will be plenty ; 
In time of adversity, not one among twenty.* 

See also note to 1. 120 above, p. 139; and, not to multiply instances, 
note st. 19 of Goldsmith's Hermit : 

' And what is friendship but a name, 

A charm that lulls to sleep; 
A shade that follows wealth or fame, 
And leaves the wretch to weep?' 



3437. Cenobta. The story of Zenobia is told by Trebellius Pollio, 
who flourished under Constantino, in cap. xxix. of his work entitled Tri- 
ginta Tyranni ; but Chaucer no doubt followed later accounts, one of 
which was clearly that given by Boccaccio in his De Mulieribus Claris, 
cap. xcviii. Boccaccio relates her story again in his De Casibus Viro- 
rum, lib. viii. c. 6 ; in an edition of which, printed in 1 544, I find 
references to the biography of Aurelian by Flavius Vopiscus, to the 
history of Orosius, lib. vii. cap. 23, and to Baptista Fulgosius, lib. iv. 
cap. 3. Palmyra is described by Pliny, Nat. Hist. lib. v. cap. 25. 
Zenobia's ambition tempted her to endeavour to make herself a Queen 
of the East, instead of remaining merely Queen of Palmyra ; but she 
was defeated by the Roman emperor Aurelian, A.D. 373, and carried to 
Rome, where she graced his triumph, A.D. 274. She survived this dis- 
grace for some years. 

Palymerie. Such is the spelling in the best MSS. ; but MS. HI. 
reads ' of Palmire the queene.' It is remarkable that MS. Trin. Coll. 
Cam. R. 3. 19 has the reading ' Cenobia, of Belmary quene,' which 
suggests that Belmarie, in the Prol. 1. 57, is merely another form of 
Palmyra ; but see Barbour's Bruce, xx. 393. It occupied the site of the 
ancient Tadmor, or ' city of palmtrees,' in an oasis of the Great Syrian 
desert. It has been in ruins since about A.D. 1400. 

3441. In the second ne in, the e is slurred over; cf. /, Sq. Tale 35. 

3442. Perse. This seems to be Chaucer's mistake. Boccaccio says 
expressly that she was of the race of the Ptolemies of Egypt ; but further 
on he remarks ' Sic cum Persis et Armenis principibus, vt illos urbani- 
tate et facetia superaret.' This may account for the confusion. 

3446. Boccaccio says (de Mul. Clar.) ' Dicunt autem hanc a pueritia 
sua spretis omnino muliebribus officiis, cum iam corpusculum eduxisset 
in robur, syluas & nemora incoluisse plurimum, & accinctam pharetra, 
ceruis caprisque cursu atque sagittis fuisse infestam. Inde cum in 
acriores deuenisset uires, ursus amplecti ausam, pardos, leonesque insequi, 
obuios expectare, capere & occiclere, ac in praedam trahere." This 
accounts for the word office, and may shew how closely Chaucer has 
followed his original. 

3497. She was acquainted with Egyptian literature, and studied Greek 
under the philosopher Longinus, author of a celebrated treatise on ' The 

3502. Housbonde. Her husband was Odenathus, or Odenatus, the 
ruler of Palmyra, upon whom the emperor Gallienus had bestowed the 
title of Augustus. He was murdered by some of his relations, and 
some have insinuated that Zenobia consented to the crime. She 


succeeded him, and assumed the imperial diadem, A.D. 266. Most 
scribes spell the name OnedaJte, by metathesis for Odenake (Odenate), 
like the spelling Adrians for Ariadne. 

3507. Doon hem flee, cause them (her and her husband) to flee. 

3510. Sapor I reigned over Persia A.D. 240-273. He defeated the 
emperor Valerian, whom he kept in captivity for the rest of his life. 
After conquering Syria and taking Csesarea, he was defeated by Odenatus 
and Zenobia, who founded a new empire at Palmyra. 

3511. Proces, succession of events. Fil, fell, befell. 

3512. Title, pronounced nearly as title in French, the e being elided 
before had. 

3515. Petrark. Tyrwhitt suggests that perhaps Boccaccio's book had 
fallen into Chaucer's hands under the name of Petrarch. We may, 
however, suppose that Chaucer had read the account in a borrowed 
book, and did not quite remember whether Petrarch or Boccaccio was 
the author. Instances of similar mistakes are common enough in Early 
English. Modern readers are apt to forget that, in the olden times, 
much information had to be carried in the memory, and there was seldom 
much facility for verification or for a second perusal of a story. 

3519. Cruelly. The Harl. MS. has the poor reading trewely, mis- 
written for crewely. 

3525. Claudius II, emperor of Rome, A.D. 268-270. He succeeded 
Gallienus, as Chaucer says, and was succeeded by Aurelian. 

3535. Boccaccio calls them Heremianvs and Timolatts. 

3550. Char, chariot. Boccaccio describes this ' currum, quern sibi ex 
auro gemmisque praeciocissimum Zenobia fabricari fecerat.' 

3556. Charged, heavily laden. She was so laden with chains of 
massive gold, and covered with pearls and gems, that she could scarcely 
support the weight ; so says Boccaccio. 

3562. Vitremyte. I have no doubt this reading (as in Tyrwhitt) is 
correct. All the six MSS. in the Six-text agree in it. The old printed 
editions have aittremiie, a mere corruption ; and the Harl. MS. has 
wyniermyte, which I take to be an attempt to make sense of a part of the 
word, just as we have turned ecrevisse into cray-jish. What the word 
means, is another question ; it is perhaps the greatest ' crux ' in Chaucer. 
As the word occurs nowhere else, the solution I offer is a mere guess. 
I suppose it to be a coined word, formed on the Latin vitream mitram, 
expressing, literally, a glass head-dress, in complete contrast to a strong 
helmet. My reasons for supposing this are as follows. 

(i) With regard to mitra. In Low-Latin, its commonest meaning 
is a woman's head-dress. But it was especially and widely used as 
a term of mockery, both in Latin, Italian, Spanish, and French. The 
mitra was the cap which criminals were made to wear as a sign of 


degradation ; see Carpenter's Supp. to Ducange, s. v. Mitra; Vocabulario 
degli Accad. della Crusca, s. v. Mitera; and any large Spanish Diet. s. v. 
Mitra. Even Cotgrave has 'Mitre, mitred; hooded with a miter, 
wearing a miter; set on a pillory or scaffold, with a miter of paper on 
his head.* The chief difficulty in this derivation is the loss of the r. 

(a) With regard to vitream. This may refer to a proverb, probably 
rather English than foreign, to which I have never yet seen a reference. 
But its existence is clear. To give a man ' a glazen hood ' meant, in 
Old English, to mock, delude, cajole. It appears in Piers the Plowman, 
B. xx. 171, where a story is told of a man who, fearing to die, consulted 
the physicians, and gave them large sums of money, for which they 
gave him in return ' a glasen houve,' i. e. a hood of glass, a thing that 
was no defence at all. So also ' And madest me an houve of glas ' ; 
Poems of Walter Mapes, ed. Wright, p. 337, 1. 6. Still clearer is the 
allusion to the same proverb in Chaucer himself, in a passage never yet 
explained, in Troil. and Cres. v. 469, where Fortune is said to have an 
intention of deluding Troilus ; or, as the poet says, 

' Fortune his howne intended bet to glase,' 

i.e. literally, Fortune intended to glaze his hood still better for him, i.e. 
to make a still greater fool of him. In the Aldine edition, howue is 
printed howen in this passage, but howue occurs elsewhere ; Tyrwhitt 
has hove, a common variation of hoivue. If this note is unsatisfactory, 
I may yet claim to have explained in it at least one long-standing 
difficulty ; viz. this line in Troilus. Tyrwhitt long ago explained that, 
in Chaucer, the phrases to set a man's hood, and to set a man's cap, have a 
like meaning, viz. to delude him. Chaucer uses verre for glass in 
another passage of a similar character, viz. in Troil. and Cres. ii. 867, 
where we read 

And forthy, who that hath an hede of verre 
Fro cast of stones ware him in the werre." 

3564. A distaf. This is from Boccaccio's other account, in the De 
Casibus Virorum. ' Haec nuper imperatoribus admiranda, mine uenit 
miseranda plebeis. Haec nunc galeata concionari militibus assueta, 
mine uelata cogitur muliercularum audire fabellas. Haec nuper Orienti 
praesidens sceptra gestabat, nunc Romae subiacens, colum, sicut ceterae, 
baiulat.' Zenobia survived her disgrace for some years, living at Rome 
as a private person on a small estate which was granted to her, and 
which, says Trebellius Pollio, ' hodie Zenobia dicitur.' 


3565. See the Preface for the order in which the parts of the Monk's 
Tale are arranged. I follow here the arrangement in the Harleian MS. 
Peter, king of Castile, born in 1334, is generally known as Pedro the 


Cruel. He reigned over Castile and Leon from 1350 to 1362, and his 
conduct was marked by numerous acts of unprincipled atrocity. After 
a destructive civil war, he fell into the hands of his brother, Don 
Enrique (Henry). A personal struggle took place between the brothers, 
in the course of which Enrique stabbed Pedro to the heart ; March 23, 
1 369. See the ballad by Sir Walter Scott, entitled the Death of Don 
Pedro, in Lockhart's Spanish Ballads, commencing 
' Henry and Don Pedro clasping 

Hold in straining arms each other; 
Tugging hard and closely grasping, 

Brother proves his strength with brother.* 

It is remarkable that Pedro was very popular with his own party, despite 
his crimes, and Chaucer takes his part because our Black Prince fought 
on the side of Pedro against Enrique at the battle of Najera, April 3, 
1367; and because John of Gaunt married Constance, daughter of 
Pedro, about Michaelmas, 1371. 

3573- See the description of Du Gueschlin's arms as given below. 
The ' field ' was argent, and the black eagle appears as if caught by 
a rod covered with birdlime, because the bend dexter across the shield 
seems to restrain him from flying away. The first three lines of the 
stanza refer to Bertrand Du Gneschlin, who ' brew,' i. e. contrived 
Pedro's murder, viz. by luring him to Enrique's tent. But the last three 
lines refer to another knight who, according to Chaucer, took a still 
more active part in the matter, being a worker in it. This second 
person was a certain Sir Oliver Mauny, whose name Chaucer conceals 
under the synonym of wicked nest, standing for O. Fr. matt ni, where man 
is O. Fr. for mal, bad or wicked, and ni is O. Fr. for nid, Lat. nidus, a 
nest. Observe too, that Chaucer uses the word need, not deed. There 
may be an excellent reason for this ; for, in the course of the struggle 
between the brothers, Enrique was at first thrown, ' when (says Lock- 
hart) one of Henry's followers, seizing Don Pedro by the leg, turned 
him over, and his master, thus at length gaining the upper hand, 
instantly stabbed the king to the heart. Froissart calls this man the 
Vicomte de Roquebetyn, and others the Bastard of Anisse.' I have no 
doubt that Chaucer means to tell us that the helper in Enrique's need 
was no other than Mauny. He goes on to say that this Mauny was not 
like Charles the Great's Oliver, an honourable peer, but an Oliver of 
Armorica, a man like Charles's Ganelon, the well-known traitor, of 
whom Chaucer elsewhere says (Book of the Duchess, 1. 1121) 
' Or the false Geniloun, 
He that purchased the trayson 
Of Rouland and of Olivere.' 
This passage has long been a puzzle, but was first cleared up by an 


excellent letter by Mr. Furnivall in Notes and Queries, which I here 
subjoin ; I may give myself the credit, however, of identifying ' wicked 
nest ' with O. Fr. man ni. 

' The first two lines [of the stanza] describe the arms of Bertrand du 
Guesclin, which were, a black double-headed eagle displayed on a silver 
shield, with a red band across the whole, from left to right [in heraldic 
language a bend dexter, gules] " the lymrod coloured as the glede " or 
live coal as may be seen in Anselme's Histoire G6nealogique de France, 
and a MS. Genealogies de France in the British Museum. Next, if we 
turn to Mr. D. F. Jamison's excellent Life and Times of Bertrand du 
Guesclin, we not only find on its cover Bertrand's arms as above 
described, but also at vol. ii. p. 92-4, an account of the plot and murder 
to which Chaucer alludes, and an identification of his traitorous or 
" Genylon " Oliver, with Sir Oliver de Mauny of Brittany (or Armorica), 
Bertrand's cousin [or, according to Froissart, cap. 245, his nephew]. 

After the battle of Monteil, on March 14, 1369, Petro was besieged 
in the castle of Monteil near the borders of La Mancha, by his brother 
Enrique, who was helped by Du Guesclin and many French knights. 
Finding escape impossible, Pedro sent Men Rodriguez secretly to Du 
Guesclin with an offer of many towns and 200,000 gold doubloons if 
he would desert Enrique and reinstate Pedro. Du Guesclin refused the 
offer, and " the next day related to his friends and kinsmen in the camp, 
and especially to his cousin, Sir Oliver de Mauny, what had taken place." 
He asked them if he should tell Enrique ; they all said yes : so he told 
the king. Thereupon Enrique promised Bertrand the same reward that 
Pedro had offered him, but asked him also to assure Men Rodriguez of 
Pedro's safety if he would come to his (Du Guesclin's) lodge. Relying 
on Bertrand's assurance, Pedro came to him on March 23 ; Enrique 
entered the lodge directly afterwards, and after a struggle, stabbed Pedro, 
and seized his kingdom. 

' We see then that Chaucer was justified in asserting that Du Guesclin 
and Sir Oliver Mauny "brew this cursednesse"; and his assertion has 
some historical importance; for as his patron and friend, John of 
Gaunt, married one of Pedro's daughters [named Constance] as his 
second wife [Michaelmas, 1371], Chaucer almost certainly had the 
account of Pedro's death from his daughter, or one of her attendants, 
and is thus a witness for the truth of the narrative of the Spanish 
chronicler Ayala, given above, against the French writers, Froissart, 
Cuvelier, &c., who make the Begue de Villaines the man who inveigled 
Pedro. This connection of Chaucer with John of Gaunt and his second 
wife must excuse the poet in our eyes for calling so bad a king as Pedro 
the Cruel "worthy" and "the glovie of Spayne, whom Fortune heeld so 
heigh in magestee." 


' In the Corpus MS. these knights are called in a side-note Bertheun 
Claykyw (which was one of the many curious ways in which Du 
Guesclin's name was spelt) and Olyuer Mawny ; in MS. Harl. 1758, 
they are called Barthilmewe Claykeynne and Olyuer Mawyn ; and in 
MS. Lansdowne 851 they are called Betelmewe Claykyn and Oliner 
Mawnye. Mauni or Mauny was a well-known Armorican or Breton 
family. Chaucer's epithet of "Genylon" for Oliver de Mauny is 
specially happy, because Genelon was the Breton knight who betrayed 
to their death the great Roland and the flower of Charlemagne's knights 
to the Moors at Roncesvalles. Charles's or Charlemagne's great paladin, 
Oliver, is too well known to need more than a bare mention.' F. J. 
Furnivall, in Notes and Queries, 4th Series, viii. 449. 


3581. In a note to Chaucer's Prologue, 1. 51, Tyrwhitt says 
' Alexandria in Egypt was won, and immediately afterwards abandoned, 
in 1365, by Pierre de Lusignan, king of Cyprus. The same Prince, soon 
after his accession to the throne in 1352, had taken Satalie, the antient 
Attalia ; and in another expedition about 1367 he made himself master 
of the town of Layas in Armenia. Compare n Memoire sur les 
Ouvrages de Guillaume de Machaut, Acad. des Ins. torn. xx. pp. 426, 
432, 439 ; and Memoire sur la Vie de Philippe de Maizieres, torn. xvii. 
p. 493.' He was assassinated in 1369. 


3589. 'Bemabo Visconti, duke of Milan, was deposed by his nephew 
and thrown into prison, where he died in 1385.' Tyrwhitt. This date 
of 1385 is that of the latest circumstance incidentally referred to in the 
Canterbury Tales. 


3597. ' Chaucer himself has referred us to Dante for the original of 
this tragedy: see Inferno, canto xxxiii.' Tyrwhitt. An account of 
Count Ugolino- is given in a note to Gary's Dante, from Villani, lib. vii. 
capp. 120-127. This account is different from Dante's, and represents 
him as very treacherous. He made himself master of Pisa in July 
1288, but in the following March was seized by the Pisans, who threw 
him, with his two sons, and two of his grandsons, into a prison, where 
they perished of hunger in a few days. Chaucer says three sons, the 
.eldest being five years of age. Dante says/cwr sons. 

3606. Roger; i. e. the Archbishop Ruggieri degli Ubaldini, who was 
Ugolino's enemy. 

3616. I have ventured to insert ne to improve the scansion of the line. 
Besides, it is usual to insert it in such a case, and perhaps the scribes 


simply omitted it by accident. The Harl. MS. has ' lie herd it wel, 
but he saugh it nought'; where Mr. Jephson inserts tie before saugh 
without any comment. 

The hour drew near 

When they were wont to bring us food ; the mind 
Of each misgave him through his dream, and I 
. Heard, at its outlet underneath, lock'd up 

The horrible tower: whence, uttering not a word, 
I look'd upon the visage of my sons. 
I wept not: so all stone I felt within. 
They wept: and one, my little Anselm, cried, 
"Thou lookest so! Father, what ails thee?"'&c. 

Gary's Dante. 

3621. Dante does not mention the ages; but he says that the son 
named Gaddo died on the fourth day, and the other three on the fifth 
and sixth days. Observe that Chaucer's tender lines, 11. 3623-8, are his 

3624. Morsel breed, morsel of bread ; cf. barel ale for barrel of ale, 
L 3083.- M. 

3636. ' I may lay the blame of all my woe upon thy false wheel.' 
Cf. 1. 3860. 

3640. Two ; there were now but two survivors, the youngest, accord- 
ing to Chaucer, being dead. 

'They, who thought 
I did it through desire of feeding, rose 
O' the sudden, and cried, " Father, we should grieve 
Far less, if thou wouldst eat of us : thou gavest 
These weeds of miserable flesh we wear, 
And do thou strip them off from us again.'" 

Gary's Dante. 

3651. Dante; i.e. Dante Alighieri, the great poet of Italy, born in 
1 265, died Sept. 14, 1321. Chaucer mentions him again in his House 
of Fame, book i, as the author of the Inferno, in the Prologue to the 
Legend of Good Women, 1. 361, and in the Wyf of Bathes Tale. 


3655. Swetonius; this refers to the Lives of the Twelve Caesars by 
Suetonius; but it would be a mistake to suppose that Chaucer has 
followed his account very closely. Our poet seems to have had a habit 
of mentioning authorities whom he did not immediately follow, by which 
he seems to have meant no more than that they were good authorities 
upon the subject. Here, for instance, he merely means that we can 
find in Suetonius a good account of Nero, which will give us all minor 


details. But in reality he draws the story more immediately from other 
sources, especially from Boccaccio, De Casibus Virorum, lib. vii. cap. 4, 
from the Roman de la Rose, and from Boethius, de Cons. Fhilos. lib. ii. 
met. 6, and lib. iii. met. 4. The English Romaunt of the Rose does not 
contain the passage about Nero, but it is interesting to refer to Chaucer's 
translation of Boethius. Vincent of Beauvais has an account of Nero, 
in his Speculum Historiale, lib. ix. capp. 1-7, in which he chiefly 
follows Suetonius. See also Orosius, lib. vii. 7 ; and Eutropius, lib. vii. 
3657. South; the MSS. have North, but it is fair to make the 
correction, as Chaucer certainly knew the sense of Septemtrioun, and the 
expression is merely borrowed from the Roman de la Rose, 1. 6501, 
where we read, 

'Ce desloyal, que je te dy, 
Et d'Orient et de Midy, 
D'Occident, de Septentrion, 
Tint il la jurisdicion.' 

And, in his Boethius, after saying that Nero ruled from East to West, 
he adds ' And eke Jris Nero gouemede by Ceptre alle }>e peoples fat 
ben vndir fe colde sterres J>at hyjten fe seuene triones ; fis is to seyn, 
he gouernede alle fe poeples |)at ben vndir fe parties of J>e norfe. And 
eke Nero gouerned alle J>e poeples fat J>e violent wynde Nothus 
scorchif, and bakif }>e brennynge sandes by his drie hete; fat is to 
seyne, alle fe poeples in fe sof'; ed. Morris, p. 55. 

3665. This is from Suetonius, who says ' Piscatus est rete aurato, 
purpura coccoque funibus nexis'; cap. xxx. So also Orosius, vii. 7; 
Eutropius, vii. 9. 

3685. A maister; i.e. Seneca, mentioned below by name. In the 
year 65, Nero, wishing to be rid of his old master, sent him an order 
to destroy himself. Seneca opened a vein, but the blood would not 
flow freely ; whereupon, to expedite its flow, he entered into a warm 
bath, and thence was taken into a vapour stove, where he was suffocated. 
' Nero constreinede his familiar & his maistre seneca to chesen on what 
deef he wolde deien'; Chaucer's transl. of Boethius, lib. iii. pr. 5, ed. 
Morris, p. 76. 

3692. 'It was long before tyranny or any other vice durst attack 
him'; literally, 'durst let dogs loose against him.' To uncouple is to 
release dogs from the leash that fastened them together; see P. PL B. 
pr. 206. Compare 

'At the uncoupling of his houndis.' 

Book of the Duchesse, 1. 377. 

' The latind on which they fought, th* appointed place 
In which th' uncoupled hounds began the chace.' 

Dryclen; Palamon and Arcite, bk. ii, 1. 845. 


3720. ' Where he expected to find some who would aid him. 1 
Suetonius says ' ipse cum paucis hospitia singulorum adiit. Verum 
clausis omnium foribus, respondente nullo, in cubiculum rediit,' &c. ; 
cap. xlvii. He afterwards escaped to the villa of his freedman Phaon, 
four miles from Rome, where he at length gave himself a mortal wound 
in the extremity of his despair. 

3736. Girden of, to strike off; cf. ' gtirdeth of gyles hed,' P. PI. B. ii. 
201. A gird is also a sharp striking taunt or quip. M. 


3746. Olofern. The story of Holofernes is to be found in the 
apocryphal book of Judith. 

3750. Forlesinge, for fear of losing, lest men should lose. 

3752. 'He had decreed to destroy all the gods of the land, that all 
nations should worship Nabuchodonosor only,' &c. ; Judith iii. 8. 

3756. Eliachim. Tyrwhitt remarks that the name of the high priest 
was Joacim ; Judith iv. 6. But this is merely the form of the name in 
our English version. The Vulgate version has the equivalent form 
Eliachim ; cf. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 4. 

3761. Vpryghte, i.e. on his back, with his face upwards. See 
Knightes Tale, 1. 1150. 


3821. There is a whole cycle of Alexander romances, in Latin, French, 
and English, so that his story is common enough. He was, indeed, 
one of the "nine worthies"; see Love's La. Lost, v. i. 130; 2. 565. 
There is a good life of him by Plutarch, but in Chaucer's time the principal 
authority for an account of him was Quintus Curtius. In Boccaccio's 
De Casibus Virorum there is only a casual mention of Alexander, in the 
story of Darius, lib. iv. cap. 9. See Warton's Hist, of English Poetry. 

3826. ' They were glad to send to him (to sue) for peace.' 

3843. Writ, should write, pt. subj. ; hence the change of vowel from 
indie, wroot. M. The MSS. have write (grammatically). 

3845. 'So Alexander reigned twelve years, and then died'; i Mac- 
i. 7. Machabee, i. e. the first book of the Maccabees, in the Apocrypha. 

3851. 'Fortune hath turned thy six (the highest and most fortunate 
throw at dice) into an ace (the lowest).' Cf. note to 1. 124, p. 139. 

3860. ' Which two (fortune and poison) I accuse of all this woe.' 


3862. For humble bed Tyrwhitt, Wright, and Bell print humblehede, as 
in some MSS. But this word is an objectionable hybrid compound, and 
I think it remains to be shewn that the word belongs to our language. 


In the Knightes Tale, Chaucev has humblesse, and in the Persones Tale, 
hitmilitee. Until some authority for humblehede can be adduced, I am 
content with the reading of the three best MSS. 

3863. Julius. For this story Chaucer refers us below to Lucan, 
Suetonius, and Valerius ; see note to 1. 3909. There is also an interest- 
ing life of him by Plutarch. Boccaccio mentions him but incidentally. 

3866. Tributdrie; observe the rime with aduersdrie. Fortune in 1. 3868 
is a trisyllable; so also in 1. 3876. 

3870. 'Against Pompey, thy father-in-law.' Caesar gave Pompey 
his daughter Julia in marriage ; hence fader is an error for sone. 

3875. Fullest; to be read as puli'sl; and thorieiit as in 1. 3883. 

3878. Pompeius. Boccaccio gives his life at length, as an example of 
misfortune ; De Casibus Virorum, lib. vi. cap. 9. He was killed Sept. 
29, B.C. 48. 

3881. Him, for himself; but in the next line it means 'to him." M. 

3885. Chaucer refers to this triumph in the Man of Lawes Tale, 
1. 400. Cf. Shak. Henry V, v. prol. 28. 

3887. Chaucer is not alone in making Brutus and Cassius into one 
person ; see note to 1. 3892. 

3891. Cast, contrived, appointed. 

3892. Boydekins, lit. bodkins, but with the signification of daggers. 
It is meant to translate the Lat. pugio, a poniard. In Barbour's Bruce, 
i. 545, CaesaF is said to have been slain with a weapon which in one 
edition is called a punsoun, in another a botkin, and in the Edinburgh 
MS. a pusoune, perhaps an error for pitnsoime, since Halliwell's 
Dictionary gives the form pwichion. Hamlet uses bodkin for a dagger ; 
Act iii. Sc. 1. 1. 76. In the margin of Stowe's Chronicle, ed. 1614, it is 
said that Caesar was slain with bodkins ; Nares' Glossary. Nares also 
quotes 'The chief woorker of this murder was Bruins Cassius, with 260 
of the senate, all having bodkins in their sleeves'; Serp. of division, 
prefixed to Gorboduc, 1590. 

3909. Recomende, commit. He means that he commits the full telling 
of the story to Lucan, &c. In other words, he refers the reader to 
those authors. 

Lucan (born A.D. 39, died A.D. 65) was the author of the Pharsalia, an 
incomplete poem in ten books, narrating the struggle between Pompey 
and Caesar. There is an English translation of it by Rowe. 

Suetonius Tranquillus (born about A.D. 70) wrote several works, the 
principal of which is The Lives of the Twelve Caesars. 

Valerius. There were two authors of this name, (i) Valerius Flaccus, 
author of a poem on the Argonautic expedition, and (2) Valerius 
Maximus, author of De Factis Dictisque Memorabilibus Libri ix. Mr. 
Jephson says that Valerius Flaccus is meant here, I know not why. Surely 


the reference is to Valerius Maximus, who has at least a passing refer- 
ence to Caesar ; lib. vii. cap. 6. 

3911. Ord and ende, beginning and end. Tyrwhitt notes that the 
suggested emendation of ord for word was proposed by Dr. Hickes, in 
his Anglo-Saxon Grammar, p. 70. Hickes would make the same 
emendation in Troil. and Cres. v. 1683 ; 

'And of this broche he told him ord and ende,' 

where the editions have word. He also cites the expression ord and ende 
from Caedmon ; see Thorpe's edition, p. 225, 1. 30. We also find from 
orde oft ende = from beginning to end, in the poem of Elene (Vercelli MS.) 
ed. Grein, 1. 590. Ord and ende occurs also at a later period, in the 
Ormulum, 1. 6775 ; and still later, in Floriz and Blancheflur, 1. 47, ed. 
Lumby, in the phrase, 

' Ord and ende he ha]) him told 

Hu blauncheflur was ]>arinne isold.' 

Tyrwhitt argues that perhaps Chaucer may himself have mistaken the 
true spelling of the phrase ; but perhaps we may put down the error to 
the scribes. If conjectural emendation be admissible in rare cases, this 
is one where there need be little hesitation in restoring the true 
text. Ord and ende explains our modern odds and ends; see Garnett's 
Essays, p. 37- Moreover, it is not uncommon to find a w prefixed to a 
word where it is not required etymologically, especially before the 
vowel o. The examples mocks, oaks, won, one, wodur, other, wostus, 
oast-house, wo/A, oath, wots, oats, are all given in Halliwell's Prov. 


3917. Crestjs; king of Lydia, B.C. 560-546, defeated by Cyrus at 
Sardis. Cyrus spared his life, and Croesus actually survived his bene- 
factor. Chaucer, however, brings him to an untimely end. The story 
of Croesus is in Boccaccio, De Casibus Virorum, lib. iii. cap. 20. See 
also Herodotus, lib. I ; Plutarch's life of Solon, &c. But Boccaccio repre- 
sents Croesus as surviving his disgraces. Tyrwhitt says that the story 
seems to have been taken from the Roman de la Rose, 11. 6512-6571 
(ed. Meon) ; where 1 the English Romaunt of the Rose is defective. In 
Chaucer's translation of Boethius, bk. ii. pr. 2, ed. Morris, p. 35, we 
find this sentence. 'Wost [Jtnowesi] ])ou not how Cresus, king of 
lyndens (sic), of whiche kyng Cirus was ful sore agast a litel byforne, 
J>at ]>is rewlyche [pitiable] Cresus was caujt of [by] Cirus, and lad to fe 
fijr to be brent; but fat a reyne descendede doun from heuene, J>at 
rescowede him ?' In the House of Fame, bk. i. 1. 104-6, we have an 
allusion to the ' avision" [vision, dream] of 

' Cresus, that was king of Lide, 
That high upon a gibbet dide.' 


See also Nonne Pr. Ta. 1. 318. The tragic version of the fate of Croesus 
is given by Vincent of Beauvais, Speculum Historiale, iii. 1 7 ; and I give 
an extract, as it seems to be the account which is followed in the 
Roman de la Rose. It must be premised that Vincent makes Croesus to 
have been taken prisoner by Cyrus three times. 

'Alii historiographi narrant, quod in secunda captione, iussit eum 
Cyrus rogo superponi et assari, et subito tanta pluuia facta est, vt eius 
immensitate ignis extingueretur, vnde occasionem repperit euadendi. 
Cumque postea hoc sibi prospere euenisse gloriaretur, et opum copia 
nimium se iactaret, dictum est ei a Solone quodam sapientissimo, non 
debere quemquam in diuitiis et prosperitate gloriari. Eadem nocte uidit 
in somnis quod Jupiter eum aqua perfunderet, et sol extergeret. Quod 
cum filiae suae mane indicasset, ilia (vt res se habebat) prudenter absol- 
uit, dicens : quod cruci esset affigendus et aqua perfundendus et sole 
siccandus. Quod ita demum contigit, nam postea a Cyro crucifixus est.' 
Compare the few following lines from the Roman de la Rose, with 
11. 3934^8 and 1. 3948 

' Jupiter, ce dist, le lavoit, 

Et Phebus la toaille avoit, 

Et se penoit de 1'essuier . . 

Bien le dist Phanie sa fille, 

Qui tant estoit sage et soutille,' &c. 

3951. The passage here following is repeated from the Monkes Pro- 
logue, and copied, as has been said, from Boethius, bk. ii. pr. 2. It is 
particularly to be noted that the passage quoted from Boethius in the 
note to 1. 391 7 almost immediately precedes the passage quoted in the 
note to 1. 3163. 

3956. See note to 1. 3972 below. 


3957. The knight. See the description of him, Prol. 1. 43. 

3961. For me, for myself, for my part. Cp. the phrase 'as for me.' 
M. We also find for me, by my means ; F. 357. 

3970. 'By the bell of Saint Paul's church (in London).' 

3972. The host alludes to the concluding lines of the Monkes Tale, 
! 3956, then repeats the words no remedie from 1. 3183, and cites the 
word biwaille from 1. 3952. Compare all these passages. 

3982. Piers. We must suppose that the host had by this time learnt 
the monk's name. In 1. 3120 above, he did not know it, 


3984. ' Were it not for the ringing of your bells'; lit. were there not 
a clinking of your bells (all the while). 'Anciently no person seems to 
have been gallantly equipped on horseback, unless the horse's bridle or 
some other part of the furniture was stuck full of small bells. Vincent 
of Beauvais, who wrote about 1 264, censures this piece of pride in the 
knights- templars ; Hist. Spec. lib. xxx. c. 85 '; &c. Warton, Hist. Eng. 
Poetry (ed. Hazlitt), ii. 160 ; i. 264. See also note to Prol. 1. 170. 

3990. ' Ubi auditus non est, non effundas sermonem ' ; Ecclus. xxxii. 
6. (Vulgate) ; the A. V. is different. The common proverb, ' Keep 
your breath to cool your broth,' nearly expresses what Chaucer here 

3993. Substance is explained by Tyrwhitt to mean ' the material part 
of a thing.' Chaucer's meaning seems not very different from Shake- 
speare's in Love's La. Lost, v. 2. 871 

' A jest's prosperity lies in the ear 
Of him that hears it ; never in the tongue 
Of him that makes it.' 

3995. 'For the propriety of this remark, see note to Prol.'l. 166'; 

4000. Sir; 'The title of Sir was usually given, by courtesy, to priests, 
both secular and regular ' ; Tyrwhitt. Tyrwhitt also remarks that, ' in 
the principal modern languages, John, or its equivalent, is a name of 
contempt or at least of slight. So the Italians use Gianni, from whence 
Zani [Eng. zany] ; the Spaniards Juan, as Bobo Juan, a foolish John ; 
the French Jean, with various additions.' The reason (which Tyrwhitt 
failed to see) is simply that John is one of the commonest of common 
names. For example, twenty-three popes took that name ; and cf. our 
phrase John Bull, which answers to the French Jean Crapaud, and the 
Russian Ivan Ivanovitch, ' the embodiment of the peculiarities of the 
Russian people'; Wheeler's Noted Names of Fiction. Ivan Ivanovitch 
would be John Johnson in English and Evan Evans in Welsh. Hence 
sir John became the usual contemptuous name for a priest ; see abundant 
examples in the Index to the Parker Society's publications. 

4004. Serue is two syllables. Relt in the Harl. "MS. is more correct 
than rekke of the other MS. The 2nd pers. imper. sing, exhibits the 
stem of a verb, without addition. A bene, the value of a bean ; in the 
Milleres Tale a iers (i.e. a blade of grass) occurs in a similar manner; 
which has been corrupted into ' not caring a curse ' ! 

4006. Ye, yea, is a mild form of assent ; yis is a stronger form, gene- 
rally followed, as here, by some form of asseveration. See note to 1. 1900 
above, p. 153. 

4008. Attamed, commenced, begun. The Lat. attaminare and Low 
Lat. inlaminare are equivalent to contaminate, to contaminate, soil, 


spoil. From Low Lat. tntammare comes the French entamer, to cut 
into, attack, enter upon, begin. From attaminare comes the M.E. attame 
or atame, with a similar sense. The notion of beginning is taken from 
that of cutting into a joint of meat or of broaching or opening a cask. 
This is well shown by the use of the word in Piers the Plowman, B. 
xvii. 68, where it is said of the good Samaritan in the parable that he 
'breyde to his boteles, and bothe he alamede' ; i.e. he went hastily to 
his two bottles, of wine and oil, and broached or opened them both. 
So here, the priest broached, opened, or began his tale. 


I. Clerk. See the description of him, Prol. 1. 285. 

3. Were newe spoused, who should be (i.e. is) newly wedded. 

6. See Eccles. iii. i ; ' To every thing there is a season,' &c. 

7. As beth, pray be. The word as, nearly equivalent to ' I pray,' is 
sometimes used thus with the imperative mood. Since as is short for 
al-so, it means literally even so, just so. Cp. as keep, Kn. Ta. 1444; as 
sende, id. 1459; as doth, Sq. Ta. 458; 'as beth not wroth with me'; 
Troil. and Cress, v. 145 ; ' as go we scene,' i. e. pray let us go to see, 
id. 523 ; see also Cant. Ta. 1. 3775 (ed. Tyrwhitt). See Matzner, Engl. 
Gram. ii. 2. 505. 

1 8. Hy style, lofty, learned, somewhat pedantic style ; see 1. 41. 

22. Yerde, control, governance ; lit. yard, rod ; so we say 'under the 
rod.' This expression occurs also in the Shipman's Tale. 

27. Padowe, Padua, in the N.E. of Italy. Petrarch resided at Arqua, 
two miles from Padua. He died July 18, 1374. See note m, p. x. of 
Dr. Morris's edition of the Prologue, &c. I cannot see the slightest 
reason for supposing Chaucer to have told a deliberate and unnecessary 
falsehood. Supposing that Petrarch did not write out his Latin version 
of the story till June 1373, we may still take Chaucer's words literally, 
that he first learnt or heard the story from Petrarch himself, and not 
long afterwards translated it from a MS. copy. See Preface, p. xxx. 

33. Ofpoetrye, with his poetry. Of is similarly used in 1. 34. 

34. Linian ; ' the canonist Giovanni di Lignano, once illustrious, now 
forgotten, though several works of his remain. He was made Professor 
of Canon Law at Bologna in 1363, and died at Bologna in 1383'; 
Morley's English Writers, ii. 322. Tyrwhitt first pointed out the person 
here alluded to, and says ' there is some account of him in Panzirolus, 
de Cl. Leg. Interpret. 1. iii. c.xxv: Joannes, a Lignano, agri Mediolanensis 

O 2 


vico oriundus, et ob id Lignanus dictus, &c. One of his works en- 
titled Traciatns de Bella, is extant in MS. Reg. 13 B. ix. [Brit. Mus.]. 
He composed it at Bologna in the year 1360. He was not however a 
mere lawyer. Chaucer speaks of him as excelling in philosophy, and so 
does his epitaph in Panzirolus. The only specimen of his philosophy 
that I have met with is in MS. Harl. 1006. It is an astrological work, 
entitled Conclusiones Judicii composite per Domnum Johannem de 
Lyniano super coronacione Domni Urbani Pape VI. A.D. 1378,' &c. 
Lignano is here said to be near Milan, and to have been the lawyer's 
birthplace. In 1. 38, Chaucer speaks of his death, shewing that Chaucer 
wrote this prologue later than 1383. 

43. Proheme, proem, introduction. Petrarch's treatise (taken from 
Boccaccio's Decamerone, Day x, Novel 10) is entitled 'De obedientia ac 
fide uxoria Mythologia.' It is preceded by a letter to Boccaccio, but 
this is not here alluded to. What Chaucer means is the first section of 
the tale itself, which begins thus : ' Est ad Italiae latus occiduum 
Vesulus, ex Apennini iugis mons unus altissimus . . . Padi ortu nobilis- 
simus, qui eius a latere fonte lapsus exiguo orientem contra solem fertur, 
mirisque mox tumidus incrementis . . . Liguriam gurgite uiolentus inter- 
secat ; dehinc Aemiliam, atque Flaminiam, Venetiamque discriminans 
... in Adriaticum mare descendit.' Pemond, Piedmont. Sahices, 
Saluzzo, S. of Turin. Vesulus, Monte Viso. See the description of the 
route from Mont Dauphin to Saluzzo, by the Col de Viso, in Murray's 
Guide to Switzerland and Piedmont. 

51. To Emelward, towards Aemilia. Tyrwhitt says 'One of the 
regions of Italy was called Aemilia, from the via Aemilia, which crossed 
it from Placentia [Piacenza] to Rimini. Placentia stood upon the Po. 
Pitiscus, Lex. Ant. Rom. in v. Via Aemilia. Petrarch's description . . . 
is a little different.' See note above. Ferrare, Ferrara, on the Po, not 
far from its mouth. Venyse, rather the Venetian territory than Venice. 

54. ' It seems to me a thing irrelevant, excepting that he wishes to 
introduce his story ' ; or it may mean, ' impart his information.' 

56. this ; a contraction for this is ; formerly common. 


57. In many places this story is translated from Petrarch almost word 
for word ; and as Tyrwhitt remarks, it would be endless to cite illus- 
trative passages from the original Latin. The first stanza is praised by 
Professor Lowell, in his Study Windows, p. 208, where he says ' What 
a sweep of vision is herel* Chaucer is not quite so close a translator 
here as usual ; the passage in Petrarch being ' Inter caetera ad radicem 


Vesuli, terra Salutiarum, uicis et castellis satis frequens, Marchionum 
arbitrio nobilium quorundum regitur uirorum.' 

82. Leet he slyde, he allowed to pass unattended to, neglected. So we 
find ' Let the world slide ' ; Induction to Taming of the Shrew, 1. 5 ; and 
' The state of vertue never slides'; The Sturdy Rock (in Percy's Re- 
liques). See Marsh's Student's Manual of Eng. Lang. p. 125, where the 
expression is noted as still current in America. Petrarch has 'alia 
pene cuncta negligeret.' With 11. 83-140, cf. Shakesp. Sonnets, i-xvii. 

86. flockmele, in a flock or troop ; Pet. has cateruatim.' Palsgrave's 
French Diet, has ' Flockmeale, par troupeaux ' ; fol. 440, back. Cf. E. 
piece-meal ; we also find witkemalum, week by week, Ormulum, 536 ; 
Hm-mele, limb from limb, Layamon, 25618; hipyllmelum, by heaps, 
Wycl. Bible, Wisdom xviii. 25: Koch, Eng. Gramm. ii. 292. 

99. 'Although I have no more to do with this matter than others 
have who are here present.' Observe that the Marquis is addressed as 
ye, not thoti, the former being a title of respect. 

103-105. These three lines are not in the original. 

106. We should have expected to find here us lyketh ye, i.e. you are 
pleasing to us ; but we rather have an instance of a double dative, so 
that s lyketh yow is equivalent to 'it pleases us with respect to you.' 
The nominative case is ye, the dative and accusative yow or you. Yow 
leste, it may please you, in 1. ill, is the usual idiom. 

107. And euer hati doon, and (both you and your doings) have ever 
brought it about. Such is the usual force of dcon; cf. 11. 253, 1098. 

115. Cf. Barbour's Bruce, ed. Skeat, i. 266-8. M. 

118, 119. Expanded from 'uolant enim dies rapidi.' 

121. Still as stoon; Latin text, ' tacita.' Cf. Group F, 1. 171. 

129. We wol chese yow, we will choose for you. 

147. Ther, where. This line is Chaucer's own. 

157. Bountee, goodness. Streeti, race, stock. Petrarch has ' Quic- 
quid in homine boni est, non ab alio quam a Deo est.' 

168. As, as if. This line, in Petrarch, comes after 1. 173. Lines 174, 
1 75 are Chaucer's own. 

172. As euer, &c. as ever I may thrive, as I hope to thrive. 

190-196. Expanded from ' Et ipse nihilominus earn ipsam nup- 
tiarum curam domesticis suis imposuit, edixitque diem." 

197-203. Expanded from ' Fuit baud procul a palatio uillula pau- 
corum atque inopum incolarum.' 

211-217. Sometimes Chaucer translates literally, and sometimes he 
merely paraphrases, as here. Lines 215-217 are all his own. 

220. Rype and sad corage, a mature and staid disposition. Petrarch 
has ' sed uirilis senilisque animus uirgineo latebat in pectore.' 

223. Spinning ; i.e. she spun whilst keeping the sheep; see a picture 


of Ste. Genevieve in Mrs. Jameson's Sacred and Legendary Art. Line 
224 is Chaucer's. 

227. Shredde and seetk, sliced and sod (or boiled). Lat. 'domum 
rediens oluscula et dapes fortunae congruas praeparabat, durumque 
cubiculum sternebat,' &c. 

229. On-lofie, aloft. She kept up her father's life, i.e. sustained him. 

234. For this line the Latin has only the word transiens. 

237. In sad wyse, soberly ; Lat. senili grauitate. 

242. Here the people .means the common people; Lat. 'uulgi oculis.' 
In the next line he is emphatic, meaning that his eyes were quicker to 
perceive than theirs. 

253. Hath doon make, hath caused to be made. Lat. ' Ipse interim et 
anulos aureos et coronas et balteos conquirebat.' Chaucer inserts asure, 
the colour of fidelity; see Squieres Tale, 1. 644, and note. For balteos, 
he substitutes the familiar English phrase broches and ringes; cf. P. 
Flowm. B. prol. 75. 

257. Scan By | a mayd | e lyk | to hir | stature.|| 

259. Here Chaucer seems to omit a material sentence : ' Uenerat 
expectatus dies, et cum nullus sponsae rumor audiretur, admiratio omnium 
uehementer excreuerat.' But he has it above ; 11. 246-8. 

260. Undern (lit. the intervening or middle period) has two meanings 
in the Teutonic tongues; (i) mid-forenoon, i.e. 9 a.m. ; and (2) mid- 
afternoon, or 3 p.m. In this passage it is clearly the former that is 
meant; indeed in 1. 981, where it occurs again, the original has 
'proximae lucis Itora tertia,' i.e. 9 a.m. In this passage, the original 
has hora prandii, meaning luncheon -time, which in Chaucer's time 
would often be 9 a.m. See note to Piers PI. B. vi. 147 ; and see Undern 
in the Glossary. 

260-294. Expanded and improved from the following short passage 
' Hora iam prandii aderat, iamque apparatu ingenti domus tota feruebat. 
Turn Gualtherus, aduentanti ueluti sponsae obuiam profecturus, domo 
egreditur, prosequente uirorum et matronarum nobilium caterua. Gri- 
seldis omnium quae erga se pararentur ignara, peractis quae agenda 
domi erant, aquam e longinquo fonte conuectans paternum limen intra- 
bat: ut, expedita curis aliis, ad uisendam domini sui sponsam cum 
puellis comitibus properaret.' 

322. Goiierneth, arrange, dispose of. Observe the use of the plural 
imperative, as a mark of respect. When the marquis addresses Griseldis 
as ye, it is a mark of extreme condescension on his part ; the Latin text 
has hi and te. 

337-343. Expanded from ' insolito tanti hospitis aduentu stupidam 
inuenere; quam iis uerbis Gualtherus aggreditur.' 

350. Yoiv anyse, consider the matter; really a delicate way of ex- 


pressing refusal. Compare the legal formula le roy s'avisera for expressing 
the royal refusal to a proposed measure. 

364. For to be deed, even if I were to be dead, were to die ; Lat. ' et 
si me mori iusseris, quod moleste feram.' 

375, 376. These characteristic lines are Chaucer's own. So are 11. 382, 


381. Corone, nuptial garland ; Lat. ' corona.' See Brand's Pop. Antiq. 
ed. Ellis, ii. 123. 

388. Snow-why t; Lat. ' niueo.' Perhaps Spenser took a hint from 
this; F. Q. i. i. 4. 

393. Repeated, slightly altered, from 1. 341. 

409. Thewes, mental qualities. So also in Cant. Ta. 9416 (Tyrwhitt); 
Gower, Conf. Amant. lib. vii, sect, i ; Spenser, F. Q. i. 9. 3 ; i. 10. 4 ; 
ii. i. 33, &c. ' The common signification of the word thews in our old 
writers, is manners, or qualities of mind and disposition ... By thews 
Shakespeare means unquestionably brawn, nerves, muscular vigour 
( Jnl. Cses. i. 3 ; 2 Hen. IV, iii. 2 ; Hamlet, i. 3). And to this sense, 
and this only, the word has now settled down ; the other sense, wLich 
was formerly so familiar in our literature, is quite gone out and forgotten. 
[With respect to theawe = sinew, in Layamon, 1. 6361] Sir F. Madden 
remarks (iii. 471) : " This is the only instance in the poem of the word 
being applied to bodily qualities, nor has any other passage of an earlier 
date than the sixteenth century been found in which it is so used." It 
may be conjectured that it had only been a provincial word in this 
sense, till Shakespeare adopted it'; Craik's English of Shakespeare; 
note on Jul. Ccesar, i. 3. 

412. Embrace, hold fast; 'omnium animos nexu sibi magni amoris 
astrinxerat? Compare Tennyson's Lord of Burleigh with 11. 394-413. 

421. Roially; alluding to the royal virtues of Griseldis, 

429. Not only the context, but the Latin text, justifies the reading 
hotnlinesse. Feet is fact, i. e. act. The Latin is ' Neque uero solers 
sponsa muliebria tan turn haec domes/tea, sed, ubi res posceret, publica 
etiam obibat oftlcia.' Lines 432-434 are Chaucer's own. 

444. ' Although it would have been liefer to her to have borne a male 
child'; i.e. she would rather, &c. The Latin has 'quamuis filium 

449-462. Expanded from ' Cepit (ut fit) interim Gualtherum, cum 
iam ablactata esset infantula (mirabilis quaedam quam laudabilis, [aliler, 
an mirabile quidem magis quam laudabile,] doctiores iudicent) cupiditas 
satis expertam charae fklem coniugis experiendi altius [aliter, ulteriusl, 
et iterum atque iterum retentandi.' 

483. Note Walter's use of the word thee here, and cf thy twice in the 
next stanza, instead of the usual y&. It is a slight, but significant sign 


of insult, offered under pretence of reporting the opinion of others, fn 
1. 492 we have your again. 

504. Thing, possession. Lat. 'de rebus tuis igitur fac ut libet.' 

516. A furlong wey or two, the distance of one or two furlongs, a 
short distance, a little. Merely an almost proverbial way of expressing 
distance, not only of space, but of time. The line simply means ' a 
little after.' 

525. Stalked him; marched himself in, as we should say. This use of 
him is remarkable, but not uncommon. 

533-539- Lat. ' lussus sum hanc infantulam accipere, atque earn 
Hie sermone abrupto, quasi crudele ministerium silentio exprimens, 
subticuit.' Compare ' Quos ego ' ; Virgil, Aen. i. 135. 

540-546. Lat. ' Suspecta uiri fama ; suspecta facies ; suspecta hora ; 
suspecta erat oratio ; quibus etsi clare occisum iri dulcem filiam intel- 
ligeret, nee lachrymulam tamen ullam, nee suspirium dedit.' Mr. Wright 
quotes this otherwise, putting dulce for dulcem, and stopping at intel- 

547-56?- Chaucer expands the Latin, and transposes some of the 
matter. Lines 561-563 precede 11. 547-560 in the original, which 
merely has ' in nutrice quidem, nedum in matre durissimum ; sed 
tranquilla fronte puellam accipiens aliquantulum respexit & simul 
exosculans benedixit, ac signum sanctae crucis impressit, porrexitque 

570. After That in this line, we ought, in strict grammar, to have ye 
burie in the next line, instead of the imperative burieth. But the phrase 
is idiomatic, and as all the seven best MSS. agree in this reading, it is 
best to retain it. Tyrwhitt alters That but to But if. 

579. Somwhat, in some degree. But Petrarch says differently ' tieJie- 
menter paterna animum pietas mouit.' 

582-591. Lat. ' lussit satelliti obuolutam pannis, cistae iniectam, ac 
iumento impositam, quiete omni quanta posset diligentia Bononiam 
deferret ad sororem suam, quae illic comiti de Panico nupta erat,' &c. 

586. 'But, under penalty of having his head cut off' ; lit. of cutting 
off his head. 

589. Boloigne, Bologna, E. by S. from Modena, and a long way from 
Saluzzo. Panik answers to the de Panico in note to 1. 582 ; Boccaccio 
has Panago. I observe in the map the river Panaro flowing between 
Modena and Bologna; perhaps there is some connection between the 
names. Tyrwhitt has Pavie (Pavia) in his text, but corrects it in the 

602. In oon, in one and the same state: euer in oon, always alike; so 
also in 1. 677. Cf. Kn. Ta. 913. 

607. This must mean ' no accidental sign of any calamity.* 


615. Merit; three syllables; cf. Non. Pr. Ta. 146. LI. 621-623 are 
Chaucer's own. 

625. Sikly berth, hardly bear, dislike. Lat. ' populum aegreferre? &c. 

643. Lat. ' ne te inopinus et subitus dolor tuibet.' 

645-651. Expanded from ' Dixi (ait) et repeto, nihil possum seu 
uelle, seu nolle, nisi quae tu; neque uero in ijs filiis fjuicquam habeo, 
praeter laborem.' 

663. Plesance, three syllables ; slabf, one syllable. 

666. The pain of death is not to be compared to the pleasure of your 
love. Lat. 'nee mors ipsa nostro fuerit par amori.' Cf. 11. 817, 1091. 

687. Euer longer, &c. i.e. ever the longer (he thinks of it) the more 
he wonders. In the more, the word the is for A.S. J>y. 

700. And he; cf. And ye, 1. 105. 

701-707. Expanded from 'sed sunt qui, ubi semel inceperint, non 
desinant; immo incumbant, haereantque proposito.' 

704. A stake ; cf. Macb. v. 7. I ; Jul. Caesar, iv. I. 48. 

714. More penible, more painstaking ; Lat. ' obsequentior.* 

719. ' She made it clear that no wife should of herself, on account of 
any worldly anxiety, have any will, in practice, different from that of 
her husband.' 

7 .'2. Sclaundre, ill fame, ill report concerning Walter. See 1. 730. 

738. Message, a messenger ; Lat. ' nuncios Romam misit.' So in Mid. 
English we find prisoun or prison for prisoner ; Piers. PL B. vii. 30. 

773. Anon, immediately. It was not uncommon in olden times for 
girls to be married at twelve years of age. The Wife of Bath was first 
married at that age. 

797. Lat. 'magna omnis fortuna seruitus magna est.' 

850. Were agrees with the word clothes following; cf. it ben, Piers 
Plowm. B. vi. 56. She did not really bring her husband even the dower 
of her old clothes, as they had been taken from her. Lines 851-861 are 
all Chaucer's own, and shew his delicacy of touch. 

871. Probably suggested by Job i. 31. So 1. 902 is from Job iii. 3. 

903. Lyues, alive ; a lynes creature, a creature alive, a living being. 
Lyues is an adverb, formed like nedes, from the genitive case of the sub- 
stantive. There are other instances of its use. 

'Yif I late him Hues go,' Havelok, 509. 

i.e. if I let him go away alive. And again lyues = alive, in Piers PI. 
B. xix. 154. 

910. After this line, Chaucer has omitted the circumstance of Jani- 
cola's preserving his daughter's old clothing ; ' tunicam eius hispidam, 
et attritam senio, abditam paruae domus in parte seruauerat.' Seel. 913. 

911. Agayns, towards, so as to meet. To go agayns, in Mid. English, 
is to go to meet. So also to come agayns, to ride agayns, (or agayn). See 


Agayn in Glossary to Spec, of Eng. (Morris and Skeat). LI. 915-917 
are Chaucer's own. 

916. ' For the cloth was poor, and many days older now than on the 
day of her marriage.' 

934. Namely of men, especially of men, where men is emphatic. The 
whole of this stanza (932-938) is Chaucer's. 

938. But, except, unless ; falle, fallen, happened ; of newe, newly, an 
adverbial expression. It means then, ' unless it has happened very 
lately.' In other words, If there is an example of a man surpassing a 
woman in humility, it must have happened very lately ; for I have never 
heard of it.' 

939. Pars Sexta. This indication of a new part comes in a fitting 
place, and is taken from Tyrwhitt, who may have found it in a MS. But 
there is no break here in the Latin original, nor in any of the eight MSS. of 
Chaucer which I have consulted. Erl of Panik ; Lat. ' Panicius comes.' 

940. More and lesse, greater and smaller ; i.e. everybody. So also in 
the Frank. Tale, 'riueres more and lesse'; Cant. Ta. 11366. So also 
moche and lite, great and small, Prol. 494 ; mosle and leste, greatest and 
least, Kn. Ta. 1340. Spenser has, F. Q. vi. 6. 12, 

' 'Gainst all, both bad and good, both most and least.' 

941. Alle and some, i.e. all and one, one and all. See Morris's Eng. 
Accidence, sect. 218, p. 142. 

960. Wommen; some MSS. have vmmman, as in Tyrwhitt. But MS. 
E. is right. Petrarch uses the word foeminas, not foeminam. 

965. Yuel biseye, ill provided ; lit. ill beseen. The word yuel is pro- 
nounced here almost as a monosyllable (as it were >'/), as is so com- 
monly the case with etier; indeed generally, words ending with el and 
er are often thus clipped. A remarkable instance occurs in the Milleres 
Tale (Six-text, A. 3715), where we not only have a similar ending, but 
the word euer in the same line 

4 That trewe loue was euer so yuel biset.' 

See also yuel apayed in line 1053 below. The converse to yuel biseye, is 
richely biseye, richly provided or adorned, in 1. 984 below. 

981. Lat. ' Proximae lucis hora tert r a comes superuenerat ' ; see note 
to I. 260. 

995-1008. These two stanzas ar-j Chaucer's own, and are so good 
that they may have been a later addition. In MS. E. the word Aucfor 
is inserted in the margin, and 1. 995 begins with a large capital letter. 
At the beginning of 1. 1009 is a paragraph-mark, shewing where the 
translation begins again. Vnsad, unsettled. Cf. Shakesp. Cor. i. i. 186, 
Jul. Caesar, i. I. 55 ; Scott, Lady of the Lake, v. 30. 

999. ' Ever full of tittle-tattle, which would be dear enough at a half- 
penny.' lane, a small coin of Genoa ( Janua) ; see Rime of Sir Thopas, 


1925. The first stanza (995-1001) is supposed to be uttered by the 
sober and discreet part of the population ; see 1. 1002. 

1031. Lyketh thee, pleases thee. The marquis addresses her as thou, 
because all suppose her to be a menial. 

1039. M> lit- m ore ; but also used in the sense of others, or, as here, 
another. The modern phrase would be, ' as you did somebody else.' 
The extreme delicacy of the hint is admirable. This use of mo is not 
common, but there are a few examples of it. Thus, in Specimens of 
English, ed. Morris and Skeat, we have, at p. 47, 1. 51 
' Y sike for vnsete ; 

Ant mourne ase men do]> mo ' ; 

i. e. 'I sigh for unrest, and mourn as other men do.' And on the next 
page, p. 48, 1. 22, we have 

1 Mody rnenej) so do]) mo, 
Ichot ycham on of fo ' ; 

i.e. ' The moody moan as others do ; I wot I am one of them.' And 
again ' Slanderit folk vald euir haue ma,' i.e. slandered folks always 
want others to be like themselves ; Appendix to Barbour's Bruce, ed. 
Skeat, p. 53.?, 1. 240. Somewhat similar is the expression o]>er mo, 
where we should now say others as well; Piers Plowman, C. v. 10, 
xxii. 54, Barbour's Bruce, v. 152. Tyrwhitt's suggestion that Chaucer 
has licentiously turned me into mo for the mere sake of getting a rime, 
in which he has hitherto been followed by every editor, is only to be 
repudiated. It may well have been with the very purpose of guarding 
against this error that, in the Ellesmere and Hengwrt MSS., the ori- 
ginal Latin text is here quoted in the margin ' unum bona fide te 
precor ac moneo : ne hanc illis aculeis agites, quibus alteram agitasti.' 
Chaucer, who throughout surpasses his original in delicacy of treatment, 
did not permit himself to be outdone here ; and Boccaccio also has the 
word altra. The use of me would have been a direct charge of un- 
kindness, spoiling the whole story. See 1. 1045 an d 1. 449- 

1049. Gan his herte dresse, addressed his heart, i. e. prepared it, 
schooled it. The M. E. dresse is our modem direct; both being from 
Lat. dirigere. 

1053. Here we may once more note the use of the word thy, the more 
so as it is used with a quite different tone. We sometimes find it used, 
as here, between equals, as a term of endearment ; it is, accordingly, very 
significant. See 1. 1056. 

1066. That other, the other, the boy. 

1071. Non, any, either. The use of it is due to the preceding nat. 

1079. Professor Morley, in his English Writers, ii. 324, aptly remarks 
here ' And when Chaucer has told all, and dwelt with an exquisite 
pathos of natural emotion all his own upon the patient mother's piteous 


and tender kissing of her beloved children for there is nothing in 
Boccaccio, and but half a sentence in Petrarch, answering to these four 
beautiful stanzas (1079-1106) he rounds all, as Petrarch had done, with 
simple sense, which gives religious meaning to the tale, then closes with a 
lighter strain of satire which protects Griselda herself from the mocker.' 

1098. ' Hath caused you (to be) kept.' For the same idiom, see Kn. 
Tale, 1055 ; Man of Law's Tale, 171. 

1133. His wyues fader, i.e. Janicola. This circumstance should have 
been mentioned before I. 1128, as in the original. 

1140. For o/(Ellesmere MS.) the other MSS. read in. 

1141. Aucfour, author, i. e. Petrarch, whom Chaucer follows down to 
1. 1162. LI. 1138-1141 are Chaucer's own, and may be compared with his 
poem on the Golden Age; see Chaucer's Boethius, ed. Morris, pp. 50, 180. 

1144. Importable, intolerable; Lat. 'huius uxoris patientiam, quae 
mihi nix imitabilis uidetur.' Of course 11. 1147-8 are Chaucer's. 

1151. ' Receive all with submission.' Fr. en gre, gratefully, in good 
part. Sent, sendeth ; present tense, as in Piers Plowman, C. xxii. 434. 
The past tense is sente, a dissyllable, which would not rime. 

1153. 'For it is very reasonable that He should prove (or test) that 
which He created.' 

1153. Bonghte, (hath) redeemed. See St. James i. 13. 

1162. Here Petrarch ends his narrative, and here, beyond all doubt, 
Chaucer's translation originally ended also. From this point to the end 
is the work of a later period, and in his best manner, though unsiiited 
to the coy Clerk. He easily links on his addition by the simple expression 
lordinges, herkneth ; and in 1. 1 1 70, he alludes to the Wife of Bath, of 
whom probably he had never thought when first translating the story. 

1 1 77. Here the metre changes ; the stanzas are of six lines, and all 
six stanzas are linked together. There are but three rimes throughout ; 
ence in the first and third lines of every stanza, -aille in the second, 
fourth, and sixth (requiring eighteen rimes in all), and -ynde in the fifth 
line. It is a fine example even from a metrical point of view alone. 

1188. Chichenache for chiche vache, i.e. lean cow. The allusion is to 
an old fable, apparently of French origin, which describes a monstrous 
cow named Chiche Vache as feeding entirely upon patient wives, and 
being very lean in consequence of the scarcity of her diet. A later form 
of the fable adds a second beast, named Bicorne (two-horned), who, by 
adopting the wiser course of feeding upon patient husbands, was always 
fat and in good case. Mr. Wright says' M. Achille Jubinal, in the 
notes to his Mysteres inedits dtt xv Siccle, torn. i. p. 390, has printed a 
French poetical description of Chichevache from a MS. of the fourteenth 
century. In the French miracle of St. Genevieve, of the fifteenth century 
(Jubinal, ib. p. 281), a man says satirically to the saint, 


' Gardez vous de la chicheface, 
El vous mordra s'el vous encontre, 
Vous n'amendez point sa besoigne.' 

A poem by Lydgate on Bycorne and Chichevache is printed in Mr. 
Halliwell's Minor Poems of Dan John Lydgate, p. 129 (Percy Society) ; 
see Morley's English Writers, ii. 426, and his Shorter English Poems, 
p. 55. The passage in Chaucer means, ' Beware of being too patient, 
lest Chichevache swallow you down.* 

1189. Folweth Eltko, imitate Echo, who always replies. 

1 200. ' Always talk (or rattle) on, like a mill ' (that is always going 
round and making a noise). ' Jangling is whan man spekelh to 
moche before folk, and clappeth as a mille, and taketh no kepe what 
he seith ' ; Ch. Persones Tale, De Stiperbia. Palsgrave's French Diet, 
has ' I clappe, I make a noyse as the clapper of a mill, le clacque.' 
Cf. 'As fast as millwheels strike'; Tempest, i. 2. 281. 

1204. Aventaille, the lower half of the moveable part of a helmet 
which admitted air ; called by Spenser the ventail, F. Q. iv. 6. 19 ; v. 8. 
12 ; and by Shakespeare the beaver, Hamlet, i. 2. 230. It is explained, 
in Douce's Illustrations of Shakespeare, that the moveable part of the 
helmet in front was made in two parts, which turned on hinges at the 
sides of the head. The upper part is the visor, to admit of vision, the 
lower the ventail, to admit of breathing. Both parts could be removed 
from the face, but only by lifting them upwards, and throwing them 
back. If the visor alone were lifted, only the upper part of the face was 
exposed ; but if the ventail were lifted, the visor also went with it, 
and the whole of the face was seen. Compare Fairfax's Tasso, vii. 7 
' But sweet Erminia comforted their fear, 

Her ventail up, her visage open laid.' 

So also in Hamlet. With reference to the present passage, Mr. Jephson 
says that and eek his auentaille is a perfect example of bathos. I fail to 
see why ; the weapon that pierced a ventail would pass into the head, 
and inflict a death-wound. The passage is playful, but not silly. 

1211. 'As light as a leaf on a linden- tree ' was an old proverb. See 
Piers PI. B. i. 154. 


1213. Weping and vjayling ; an expression caught from 1. 1212, and 
linking this prologue to the foregoing tale. Yet in 14 MSS. the 
Merchant's Tale is separated from the Clerk's ; Trial Forewords, by 
F. J. Furnivall (Chaucer Soc.), p. 28. 

1 22 1, 1222. What, why. At al, in every respect; like Lat. omnino. 


1227. This theme is enlarged upon in Lenvoy de Chaucer a Bukton, 
a late minor poem. 

1230. Seme Thomas. Whenever this Apostle is mentioned, he is nearly 
always said to be of India, to distinguish him, it maybe, from Saint 
Thomas of Canterbury. Some account of the shrine of St. Thomas, of 
the manner of his death, and of miracles wrought by him, is given in 
Marco Polo, bk. iii. ch. 18. Colonel Yule tells us that the body of 
St. Thomas lay at Mailapur, a suburb of Madras. The legend of 
St. Thomas's preaching in India is of very high antiquity. St. Jerome 
speaks of the Divine Word being everywhere present in His fulness 
' cum Thoma in India, cum Petro Romae,' &c. ; Sci. Hieronomi Epist. 
lix., ad Marcellam. Gregory of Tours (A.D. 544-595) speaks of the 
place in India where the body of St. Thomas lay before it was trans- 
ported to Edessa in the year 394. See the whole of Colonel Yule's long 
note upon the subject ; and the account of Saint Thomas in Mrs. 
Jameson's Sacred and Legendary Art. 


2420. Swich a wyf, i.e. the wife described in the Marchauntes Tale, as 
deceiving her husband. 

2422. Bees. In the Clerk. Ta. 204, Chaucer has been as the plural of 
bee ; see Been in the Glossary, and cf. Nonne Pr. Ta. 571. 

2431. Inconseil, in (secret) council, between ourselves. 

2435. The phrase cause why is now considered vulgar; it is common 
in London. The word cause is dissyllabic. 

2436. Of somme, by some, by some one. So of whom = by whom, in 
the next line. He says he need not say by whom it would be told ; 
women are sure to utter such things. This is a clear allusion to the 
ladies in the company, and to the Wife of Bath in particular, who 
certainly would not have kept such things to herself. Outen, to utter, 
occurs again in the Chanouns Yemannes Tale, Group G, 1. 834. It is 
a rare word. 


Group F, I. There is nothing to link this tale inseparably with the 
preceding one, and, accordingly, in the Six-text edition, the sixth frag- 
ment is made to begin here. In the Ellesmere MS., and several others, 
the Squire Head-link follows the Merchant End-link without any 
break. In many MSS. it follows the Man of Law's Tale ; but that is 
the wrong place for it. See note to Group B, 1, 1165, p. 141. 


i. An allusion to Prol. 1. 97, unless (which is quite as probable) the 
passage in the Prologue was written afterwards. 

9. Sarray, Sarai. This place has been identified, past all doubt, by 
Colonel Yule in his edition of Marco Polo's Travels, vol. i. p. 5, and 
vol. ii. p. 424. The modern name is Tsarev, near Sarepta. Sarepta is 
easily found on any good map of Russia by following the course of the 
Volga from its mouth -upwards. At first this backward course runs 
N.W. till we have crossed the province of Astrakhan, when it makes a 
sudden bend, at Sarepta and Tsaritzin. Tsarev is now a place of no 
importance, but the ancient Sarai was so well-known, that the Caspian 
Sea was sometimes named from it; thus it is called 'the sea of 
Sarain* in Marco Polo, ed. Yule, ii. 424: 'the sea of Sarra' in the 
Catalan map of 1375 ; and Mare Seruanicum, or the Sea of Shirwan, by 
Vincent of Beauvais. Thynne, in his Animadversions on Speight's 
Chaucer, speaks to the same effect, and says of ' Sara ' that it is ' a place 
yet well knowen, and bordering vppon the lake Mare Caspium.' But 
it is still more to the point to observe that Sarai was the place where 
Batu Khan, the grandson of Gengis Khan, held his court. Batu, with 
his Mongolian followers known as the Golden Horde, had established an 
empire in Kaptchak, or Kibzak, now S. E. Russia, about A.D. 1224. 
The Golden Horde further invaded Russia, and made Alexander Newski 
grand-duke of it, A.D. 1252. (See Golden Horde in Haydn's Dictionary 
of Dates.) 

It is also quite clear that Chaucer has here confused two accounts. 
There were two celebrated Khans, both grandsons of Gengis Khan, who 
were ruling about the same time. Batu Khan held his court at Sarai, 
and ruled over the S.E. of Russia ; but the Great Khan, named Kublai, 
held his court at Cambaluc, the modern Pekin, in a still more magni- 
ficent manner. And it is easy to see that, although Chaucer names 
Sarai, his description really applies to Cambaluc. See the Preface. 

10. Rtissye, Russia; invaded by the Golden Horde, as just explained. 
The end of the Tartar influence in Russia was in the year 1481, when 
Svenigorod, general of Ivan III, defeated them at the battle of Biela- 
wisch. In the following year Ivan assumed the title of czar. 

12. Cambynskan; so in all seven MSS. (Six-text and Harleian) except 
that in the Ellesmere MS. it more resembles Cambynskan. Yet Tyrwhitt 
prints Cambuscan, probably in deference to Milton, who, however, 
certainly accents the word wrongly, viz. on the second syllable ; II 
Penseroso, 1. 1 10. Thynne, in his Animadversions on Speight's Chaucer, 
speaking of the year 1 240, says ' whiche must be in the tyme of the 
fyrst Tartariane emperor called Caius canne, beinge, I suppose, he 
whome Chaucer namethe Cambiuscan, for so ys [it in] the written 
copies, such affynytye is there betwene those two names.' Now, 


although the celebrated Gengis Khan died probably in 1227, the 
allusion to the ' fyrst Tartariane emperor ' is clear ; so that Thynne 
makes the forms Cambitis, Cains (perhaps miswritten for Caius, i.e. 
Cawius) and Gengis all equivalent. But this is the very result for 
which Colonel Yule has found authority, as explained in the Preface, to 
which the reader is referred. It is there explained that Chaucer has 
used the title as a name ; and, whilst he names Gengis Khan (the first 
' Grand Khan '), his description really applies to Kublai Khan, his grand- 
son, the celebrated ' Grand Khan ' described by Marco Polo. 

18. Lay, religious profession or belief. See the Preface, p. xliv. 

20. This line scans ill as it stands in the MSS. unless we insert eek, as 
proposed in the text. Tyrwhitt inserts and before alwey, which Wright 
adopts ; but this makes the line intolerable, as it gives two accented 
' amis ' 

And pi I tons and /just dnd / alwty /yliche. 
The Hengwi t MS. has 

Pietous and lust, and euere moore yliche, 

which suggests that pilous sometimes took the trisyllabic form pietous ; 
as, indeed, in Troil. iii. 1444, v. 451. With this form, eek is needless ; 
and this I take to be, on the whole, the best solution of the difficulty. 

22. Centre; often used in the sense of a fulcrum or point of extreme 
stability. Cf. Milton, Par. Reg. iv. 533 

' Proof against all temptation, as a rock 
Of adamant, and, as a centre, firm.' 

In the old astronomy, the centre of the earth was the centre of the uni- 
verse, and therefore immoveable. 

30. Tyrwhitt inserts sone after elde&te; fortunately, it is not in the 
MSS. Whiche is a dissyllable, the e denoting the plural form. The 
words tV eldest' form but two syllables, the e's being elided ; but we 
may fairly preserve the e in highte (cf. 1. 33) from elision, for the 
greater emphasis, by a short pause, and we then have a perfect line 

Of which/e th' el/dest' high/te Al/garsif/. 

3 1 . Canibalo. I have no doubt that this name was suggested by the 
Cambaluc of Marco Polo. See the Preface, p. xliii. 

39. Longing for, belonging to. Cf. longen, Kn. Ta. 1420. 

44. I deme, I suppose. This looks as if Chaucer had read some 
account of a festival made by the Grand Khan on one of his birthdays, 
from which he inferred that he always held such a feast every year ; as, 
indeed, was the case. See the Preface, p. xlv. 

45. He leet don cryen, he caused (men) to have the feast cried. The 
use of both leet and don is remarkable ; cf. E. 253. He gave his orders 
to his officers, and they took care that the proclamation was made. 

47. It is not clear why Chaucer hit upon this day in particular. 


Kublai's birthday was in September, but perhaps Chaucer noted that the 
White Feast was on New Year's day, which he took to mean the vernal 
equinox, or some day near it. The day, however, is well denned. The 
'last Idus ' is the very day of the Ides, i. e. March 15. The sun entered 
Aries according to Chaucer (Treatise on the Astrolabe, ii. i. 4), on the 
1 2th of March, at the vernal equinox; and, as a degree answers to a 
day very nearly, would be in the first degree of Aries on the 1 2th, in the 
second on the J3th, in the third on the I4th, in the fourth on the I5th, 
and in the fifth (or at the end of the/or/A) on the i6th, as Chaucer 
most expressly says below ; see note to 1. 386. The sign Aries was 
said, in astrology, to be the exaltation of the Sun, or that sign in which 
the Sun had most influence for good or ill. In particular, the igth 
degree of Aries, for some mysterious reason, was selected as the Sun's 
exaltation, when most exactly reckoned. Chaucer says, then, that the 
Sun was in the sign of Aries, in the fourth degree of that sign, and 
therefore nigh to (and approaching) the igth degree, or his special 
degree of exaltation. Besides this, the poet says the sun was in the 
' face ' of Mars, and in the mansion of Mars ; for ' his mansion ' in 1. 50 
means Mars' mansion. This is exactly in accordance with the astrology 
of the period. Each sign, such as Aries, was said to contain 30 degrees, 
or 3 faces; a. face being 10 degrees. The first face of Aries (degrees i- 
10) was called the face of Mars, the second (11-20) the face of the Sun, 
the third (21-30) that of Venus. Hence the sun, being in the fourth 
degree, was in Mars's face. Again, every planet had its (so-called) 
mansion or house ; whence Aries was called the mansion of Mars, Taurus 
that of Venus, Gemini that of Mercury, &c. See Chaucer's Astrolabe, 
ed. Skeat, pref. pp. Ivi, Ixvi ; or Johannis Hispalensis Isagoge in 
Astrologiam, which gives all the technical terms. 

50. Maries is a genitive formed from the nom. Marte (Kn. Ta. 1163), 
which is itself formed, as usual, from the Latin ace. Martem. 

51. In the old astrology, different qualities are ascribed to the different 
signs. Thus Aries is described as choleric and fiery in MS. Trin. Coll. 
Cam. R. 15. 1 8, tract. 3, p. n. So too, Tyrwhitt quotes from the 
Calendrier des Bergers that Aries is ' chault et sec,' i. e. hot and dry. 

53. Agayn, against, opposite to ; hi return for the sunshine, as it were. 
So also in Kn. Ta. 651. 

54. What for ; cf. Mod. Eng. what with. See Kn. Tale, 595. 

59. Deys, raised platform, as at English feasts. But this is in Marco 
Polo too; see the Preface. Cf. Kn. Tale, 1. 1342; and note to Prol. 
1. 37. 

63. In a similar indirect manner, Chaucer describes feasts, &c., else- 
where: see Kn. Ta. 1339-1348; Man of Lawes Tale (Clar. Press), 
701-707. And Spenser imitates him ; F. Q. i. 12. 14 ; v. 3. 3. 



68. Mr. Wright's note on the line is' It is hardly necessary to olv 
serve that swans were formerly eaten at table, and considered among the 
choicest ornaments of the festive board. Tyrwhitt informs us that at the 
intronization of Archbp. Nevil, 6 Edward iv, there were " Ileronshawes 
iiijc." [i. e. 400] ; Leland's Collectanea, vi. a : and that at another feast in 
1530 we read of " 16 Heronsews, every one i 2d " ; Peck's Desiderata Cu- 
riosa, ii. 12.' Heronshawis said to be derived from the French heron feau, 
a young heron, a form not given in Burguy or Roquefort, and Cotgrave 
only has ' Haironneau, a young heron,' and ' Hairon, a heron, heme, herne- 
shaw.' Still, heronfeau is a true form, like lionpeau from lion. Halliwell 
quotes ' Ardeola, an hearnesew,' from Elyot's Diet. 1559, and the form 
herunsew from Reliquiae Antiquse, i. 88. Heronsewe is clearly the name of 
a bird, not of a dish, as some have supposed ; and the very word heronsew 
(for heron) is still used in Swaledale, Yorkshire. And in Hazlitt's old 
Plays (The Disobedient Child), vol. ii. p. 282, we have 
' There must be also pheasant and swan ; 
There must be heronsew, partridge, and quail.* 

See the quotations in Nares; also Notes and Queries, ist Ser. iii. 450, 
507 ; iv. 76 ; vii. 13. Cf. handsaw, for hernshaw, in Hamlet, ii. 2. 

70. Som mete; viz. 'horses, dogs, and Pharaoh's rats.' See the 
Preface, p. xlv. 

73. Pryme ; the word prime seems to mean, in Chaucer, the first 
quarter of the day, reckoned from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. ; and more particu- 
larly, the end of that period, i. e. 9 a.m. In the Nonne Prestes Tale, 
1. 376, the cock crew at prime, or 9 a.m. So here, the Squire says it is 
9 o'clock, and he must proceed quickly with his story. The word is 
used in different senses by different writers. 

75. Firste, first design or purpose. I believe this reading is right. 
MS. Harl. has purpos, which will not scan : unless my be omitted, as in 
Tyrwhitt, though that MS. retains my. MSS. Cp. Ln. insert purpos as 
well asjirste, making the line too long : whilst Hn. Cm. Pt. agree with 
the text here given, which is from MS. E. 

76. The second syllable in after is rapidly pronounced, and thridde is 
a dissyllable. 

78. TAinges, pieces of music. Minstrelsy at feasts was common ; cf. 
Man of Lawes Tale, 705 ; March. Tale (C. T. 9592). 

80. The incident of a man riding into the hall is nothing uncommon 
Thus we have, in the Percy Folio MS. ii. 486, the line 

'The one came ryding into the hall.' 

Warton observes 'See a fine romantic story of a Comte de Macon 
who, while revelling in his hall with many knights, is suddenly alarmed 
by the entrance of a gigantic figure of a black man, mounted on a black 
steed. This terrible stranger, without receiving any obstruction from 


guards or gates, rides directly forward to the high table, and, with an im- 
perious tone, orders the count to follow him. Nic. Gillos, Chron. ann. 
1 1 20.' See also Warton's Obs. on the Fairy Queen, p. 202 ; the Ballad 
of King Estmere; and Stowe's Survey of London, p. 387, ed. 1599; 
p. 131, ed. 1842. In Scott's Rokeby, Bertram rides into a church. 

81. Stede of bras, &c. See note to 1. 209, and the Preface, p. xxxiv. 

95. Sir Gawain, nephew to King Arthur, according to the British 
History which goes by the name of Geoffrey of Monmouth, is always 
upheld as a model of courtesy in the French romances and the English 
translations of them. He is often contrasted with Sir Kay, who was 
equally celebrated for his churlishness. See the Percy Folio MS. ; Sir 
Gawain, ed. by Sir F. Madden ; Sir Gawain and the Grene Knight, ed. 
by Dr. Morris ; the Morte D'Arthur, &c. Cf. Rom. Rose, 2205-12. 

103. Accordant, according. The change from the Fr. -ant to the 
common Eng. -ing should be noted. M. 

106. Style, stile. Such puns are not common in Chaucer; cf. E. 
1148. M. 

116. Day naturel. In his Treatise on the Astrolabe, pt. ii. c. 7 (ed. 
Skeat, p. 21) Chaucer explains that the clay artificial is the time from 
sunrise to sunset, which varies ; to which he adds ' but the day naturel, 
}>at is to seyn 24 houris, is the reuolucioun of the equinoxial with as 
moche partie of the zodiak as the sonne of his propre moeuinge passeth 
in the mene while.' See note to Group B, 1. 2, p. 129. 

122. The air, pronounced th'air, as usual with Chaucer. 

129. Wayted, watched ; alluding to the care with which the maker 
watched for the moment when the stars were in a propitious position, 
according to the old belief in astrology. 

131. Seel, seal. Mr. Wright notes that 'the making and arrangement 
of seals was one of the important operations of medieval magic, and 
treatises on this subject are found in MSS.' He refers to MS. Arundel, 
no. 295, fol. 265. Solomon's seal is still commemorated in the name of 
a flower. 

132. Mironr. For some account of this, see the Preface, p. xxxvii, 
and note to 1. 231. 

137. Ouer al this, besides all this. Elsewhere ouer-al is a compound 
word, meaning everywhere ; as in Prol. 216. M. 

154. And whom, Sec., and to whom it will do good, or operate as a 
remedy; alluding to the virtues attributed to many herbs. So Spenser, 
F. Q. i. 2. 10 

' O who can tell 

The hidden power of herbes, and might of magicke spell!' 
162. With the platte, with the flat side of it ; see 1. 164. 
171. Slant, stands; contracted from standeth; so also in 1. 182. Cf. 
P 2 


sit for silteth in I. 179, hit for hideth in 1. 512, and note to E. 


184. ' By means of any machine furnished with a windlass or a pulley.' 
The modern windlass may be compounded of wind and lace, but it is 
much more probably a corruption of the form windas here used. The 
confusion would be facilitated by the fact that there really was a form 
windlas (doubtless from wind and lace) with a different meaning, viz. 
that of a circuitous way or path ; see note to Hamlet, ii. i. 65 (Clar. 
Press). In the Promptorium Parvulorum, our word is spelt both 
wyndlas and wyndas; p. 529. The Mid. E. wiiidas may have been derived 
from the Low-German directly, or more probably from the Old French, 
which has both guindas and windas. The meaning and derivation are 
clearly shewn by the Du. windas, which means a winding-axle or capstan, 
from the sb. as, an axle; so, too, the Icel. vind-dss. In Falconer's 
Shipwreck, canto i, note 3, the word windlass is used in the sense of 

190. Ganren, gaze, stare. Used again by Chaucer, B. 3559> an d in 
Troil. and Cres. ii. 1157, v. 1152 ; also in A 3827, B 912, F 190. In 
the New English Dictionary it is explained by ' to stare, gape, gaze in 
wonder or astonishment.' I believe the word to be of Scandinavian 
origin, as it can be derived (phonetically) from Norw. gagra, to stand 
with the neck stretched out and chin in the air (Ross) ; which exactly 
expresses the gazer's attitude. This is a frequentative form from Norw. 
gaga, to bend back (Aasen), allied to Icel. gfigr, bent back. The 
N. E. D. also quotes examples from Lydgate's Bochas, and from 
Skelton's Magnificence, 1. 2275. It occurs, too, in Caxton's Eneydos, c. 
61 : 'And thou art here, gawrynge about nought.' 

Gauring, i. e. stupor, occurs in Batman upon Bartholome, lib. vii. c. 7. 

193. Ltttnbardye, Lombardy, formerly celebrated for horses. Tyrwhitt 
quotes from a patent in Rymer, 2 Edw. II. ' De dextrariis in Lumbardid 
emendis,' i. e. of horses to be bought in Lombardy. 

195. Poileys, Apulian. Apulia was called Poille or Poile in Old 
French, and even in Middle English ; the phrase ' king of Poile 1 occurs 
in the Seven Sages (ed. Weber), 1. 2019. ^ was celebrated for its horses. 
Tyrwhitt quotes from MS. James vi. 142 (Bodleian Library) a passage 
in which Richard, archbishop of Armagh, in the fourteenth century, has 
the words ' nee mulus Hispanige, nee dextrarius Apuliae, nee repedo 
JEihiopix, nee elephantus Asise, nee camelus Syriae.' Chaucer ascribes 
strength and size to the horses of Lombardy, and high breeding to those 
of Apulia. 

200. Gon, i. e. move, go about, have motion. 

aoi. Offairye, of fairy origin, magical. I do not subscribe to Warton's 
opinion (Obs. on Faerie Queene, p. 86) that this necessarily means that 


it was ' the work of the devil.' Cf. the same expression in Piers PI. B. 
prol. 6. 

203. Compaie the Latin proverb ' quot homines, tot sentenliae.' 
See Hazlitt's Eng. Proverbs, pp. 340, 437. A good epigram on this 
proverb is given in Camden's Remaines concerning Britaine, ed. 1657, 
sig. Gg. 

'So many heads, so many wits fie, fie I 
Is't not a shame for Proverbs thus to lie? 
My selfe, though my acquaintance be but small, 
Know many heads that have no wit at all.' 

207. The Pegasee, Pegasus. In the margin of MSS. E. Hn. HI. is 
written ' i. equs Pegaseus,' meaning ' id est, equus Pegaseus ' ; shewing 
that Chaucer was thinking of the adjective Pegaseus rather than of the 
sb. Pegasus, the name of the celebrated winged horse of Bellerophon 
and of the Muses. Cf. Complaint of the Black Knight, 1. 92. 

209. ' Or else it was the horse of the Greek named Sinon.' This very 
singular-looking construction is really common in Middle English ; yet 
the scribe of the Harleian MS. "actually writes ' the Grekissch hors 
Synon,' which makes Sinon the name of the horse ; and this odd blunder 
is retained in the editions by Wright and Bell. The best way of clearing 
up the difficulty is by noting similar examples ; a few of which are here 

The kinges meting Pharao'; 
i. e. the dream of King Pharaoh ; Book of the Duchesse, 1. 282. 

' The erles wif Alein ' ; 

i. e. the wife of earl Alein ; Rob. of Gloucester, in Spec, of Eng. ed. 
Morris and Skeat, p. n, 1. 303. 

'Themperours moder william,' 
i.e. the mother of the Emperor named William ; Will, of Palerne, 1. 5437. 

' Pieres pardon j>e plowman ' ; 
i. e. the pardon of Piers the Plowman ; P. Fl. B. xix. 182. 

'In Piers berne )>e plowman'; 
i. e. in the barn of Piers the Plowman ; id. xix. 354. 

' For Piers loue j-e plowman ' ; 

i.e. for love of Piers the Plowman ; id. xx. 76. Chaucer again alludes 
to Sinon in the House of Fame, i. 152, and in the Legend of Good 
Women, Dido, 8 ; which shews that he took that legend partly from 
Virgil, Aen. ii. 195. But note that Chaucer here compares a horse of 
brass to the Trojan horse ; this is because the latter was also said to 
have been of brass, not by Virgil, but by Guido de Colonna ; see note 
tol. 211. This is why Gower, in his Confess. Amant. bk. i, and Caxton, 
in hisRecuyell of the Historyes of Troy, both speak of the Trojan horse 
as a ' horse of brass ;' see Spec, of English, 1394-1579,, 1. 67. 


211. Olde gestes, old accounts. The account of the taking of Troy 
most valued in the middle ages was not that by Virgil, or Homer, but 
the Latin prose story written in 1287 by Guido de Colonna, who ob- 
tained a great reputation very cheaply, since he borrowed his work 
almost entirely from an old French Roman de Troie, written by Benoit 
de Sainte-Maure. See the preface to The Gest Hystoriale of the 
Destruction of Troy, ed. Panton and Donaldson (Early English Text 

219. Jogelovrs, jugglers. See the quotation from Marco Polo, i. 340, 
in the Preface, p. xlv; and Tyrwhitt's note to Cant. Tales, 1. 11453. 

224. ' They are very prone to put down things to the worst cause.' 

226. Maister tour, principal tower, the donjon or keep-tower. So also 
maistre strete, principal street, Kn. Ta. 2044 ; maistre temple, Leg. of 
Good Women, 1. 1014. 

230. For slye, MS. HI. has heigh, an inferior reading. Mr. Marsh 
observes upon this line ' This reasoning reminds one of the popular 
explanation of table-turning and kindred mysteries. Persons who 
cannot detect the trick . . . ascribe the alleged facts to electricity. . . . 
Men love to cheat themselves with hard words, and indolence often 
accepts the name of a phenomenon as a substitute for the reason of it ' ; 
Origin and Progress of the English Language, Lect. ix. p. 427. 

231. The magic mirror in Rome was said to have been set up there 
by Virgil, who was at one time reverenced, not as a poet, but as a great 
enchanter. The story occurs in the Seven Sages, in the Introduction to 
his edition of which Mr. Wright says, at p. lix. ' The story of Virgil's 
tower, which was called sahatio Roma, holds rather a conspicuous place 
in the legendary history of the magician. Such a tower is first men- 
tioned, but without the name of Virgil, in a Latin MS. of the eighth 
century, in a passage published by Docen and republished by Keller, in 
his introduction to the Sept Sages. Vincent of Beauvais, in the thirteenth 
century . . . describes Virgil's tower ; and it is the subject of a chapter 
in the legendary history of Virgilius.' See also the other version of the 
Seven Sages edited by Weber, and reprinted in Matzner's Sprachproben, 
i. 254. We there find that besides the tower, 

' Amiddeward the cite, on a stage, 
Virgil made another ymage, 
That held a miroiir in his bond, 
And oversegh al that lond.' 

Govver tells the story of this mirror in his Confessio Amantis, bk. v. 
It occurs also in the Chronicle of Helinand, and in the Otia Imperialia 
of Gervase of Tilbury; Morley's Eng. Writers, ii. 126. Warton notes 
that the same fiction is in Caxton's Troybook, bk. ii. ch. 22. 

232. 'Alhazeni et Vitellonis Opticae are extant, printed at Basil, 157*. 


The first is supposed by his editor to have lived about A.D. noo, and 
the second to A.D. 1270.' Tyrwhitt. Hole's Brief Biographical Dic- 
tionary has the notices ' Alhazel or Alhazen, Arabian Astronomer and 
Optician ; died A.D. 1038 ' ; and ' Vitello or Vitellio, Polish Mathema- 
tician ; floruit circa 1254.' See also the Preface, p. xxxvii. 

233. Aristotle, the famous Grecian philosopher, born B. c. 384, died 
322. Writen in hir lynes, wrote in their life-time. Observe that ivriten 
is here the past tense. The pres. pi. is uryten ; pt. s. wrat, two/, or 
wroot ; pt. pi. writen ; pp. ivriten. 

238. Thelophus. Telephus, king of Mysia, in opposing the landing of 
the Greeks in the expedition against Troy, was wounded by the spear 
of Achilles. But as an oracle declared that the Greeks would require 
his aid, he was healed by means of the rust taken from the same spear. 
Chaucer may easily have learnt this story from his favourite Ovid, who 

Telephus aeterna consumptus tabe perisset 
Si non quae nocuit dextra tulisset opera. 

Tristium lib. v. El. 2. 15. 
And again 

Uulnus Achilleo quae quondam fecerat hosti, 
Uulneris auxilium Pelias hasta tulit. 

Remcd. Amor. 47. 

See also Met. xii. 112 ; xiii. 171 ; Ex Ponto ii. 2. 26. Or he may have 
taken it from Dante, Inferno, xxxi. 5. Cf. Shak. a Hen. VI, v. I. 

247. Canacees; four syllables, as in 1. 631. 

250. Great skill in magic was attributed in the middle ages to Moses 
and Solomon, especially by the Arabs. Moses was supposed to have 
learnt magic from the Egyptians; cf. Acts vii. 22; Exod. vii. n. See 
the story of the Fisherman and Genie in the Arabian Nights' Entertain- 
ments, where the genie invokes the name of Solomon. 

253- 'Some said it was a wonderful thing to make glass from fern- 
ashes, since glass does not resemble fern-ashes at all.' Glass contains 
two principal ingredients, sand and some kind of alkali. For the latter, 
the calcined ashes of seaweed, called kelp, were sometimes used; or, 
according to Chaucer, the ashes of ferns. Modern chemistry has 
developed many greater wonders. 

256. ' But, because men have known it (the art of glass-making) so 
long, their talking and wonder about it ceases.' The art is of very high 
antiquity, having been known even to the Egyptians. So fern, so long 
ago ; Chaucer sometimes rimes words which are spelt exactly alike, but 
only when their meanings differ. See Prol. 1. 1 7, where selte, to seek, 
rimes with stke, sick. Other examples are seen in the Kn. Tale, see 


being repeated in 11. 1097, IO 98 5 caste in 11. 1313, 1314; eaas in 11. 1499, 
1500; and fare in 11. 1577, 1578. Imperfect rimes like disport, port, 
Prol. 137, 138, are common; see Prol. 241, 433, 519, 579, 599, 613, 
811 ; Kn. Ta. 379, 381, &c. For examples of fern compare 

Ye, fanvell all the snow of feme yere,' 

i.e. good bye to all last year's snow; Troil. and Cres. v. 1177 (ed. 
Tyrwkitt). So also fernyere, long ago, in P. PL B. v. 440 ; spelt uern- 
yere, in Ayenbite of Inwyt, ed. Morris, p. 92. Adverbs commonly 
terminate in -e, but the scribes are right in writing fern here; see A.S. 
Gospels, Matt. xi. 21, for the forms gefyrn, gefern, meaning long ago. 
Occleve, in a poem on himself, uses the expression fern ago, i. e. long 
ago ; Morley, Eng. Writers, ii. 435. And in Levins's Manipulus Vocabu- 
lorum, ed. Wheatley, we find ' Old fame years, anni praeteriti, seculum 

With these examples in view, we might interpret feme halwes in 
Chaucer's Prologue, 1. 14, by ' olden ' rather than by ' distant ' saints ; 
but the latter would appear to be authenticated by a passage in his 
translation of Boethius, bk. ii. met. 7, where the expression ' renoune, 
yspradde to feme poeples, goth by dyuerse tongues,' can only mean 
' distant ' peoples. Fern, in the sense of old, is explained at once by the 
Gothic/airwz's, old ; but, in the sense of distant, would seem to be cor- 
ruptly and incorrectly formed, since the A.S. feorran, meaning far, is 
strictly an adverb, from the adjective feorr. But in course of time this 
adverb came to be declined as an adjective ; see the examples in Strat- 
mann, s.v. fsorren. 

258. Cf. ' What is the cause of thunder ;' K. Lear, iii. 4. 160. 

263. For a full explanation of this difficult passage, I must be content 
to refer the reader to Mr. Brae's edition of Chaucer's Astrolabe, pp. 77 
and 86, and my own edition of the same, p. Ivi. The chief points that 
now seem tolerably certain are these. 

(1) The Angle Meridional was an astrological term. The heavens 
were divided into twelve equal parts called ' mansions,' and four of 
these mansions were technically called ' angles ' ; the angle meridional 
was the same as the tenth mansion, which was bounded on the one edge 
by the meridian, and on the other by a semi-circle passing through the 
N. and S. points of the horizon, and lying 30 to the E. of the meridian ; 
so that, at the equinoxes, at any place situate on the equator, the sun 
would cross this portion of the sky between 10 a.m. and the hour of noon. 

(2) Since this 'angle ' corresponds to the end of the forenoon, the sun 
leaves the said angle at the moment of noon, and 1. 263 means no more 
than ' it was now past noon.' 

(3) The 'royal beast' means the king of beasts, the lion, and (here 
in particular) the sign of the zodiac named Leo. This sign, on the I5th 


of March, in Chaucer's time, and in the latitude of London, began to 
' ascend,' or rise above the horizon, just about noon. An additional 
reason for calling Leo ' royal ' is because the principal star in the con- 
stellation is called Regulus in Latin, Bcun\iffKos in Greek, and Melikhi 
in Arabic, all epithets signifying kingly or royal. 

(4) But, before the Tartar king rose from the feast, the time past 
noon had so increased that the star called Aldiran, situate in Leo, was 
now rising above the horizon. In other words, it was very nearly two 
o'clock. It may be added, that, by the time the whole of the sign had 
ascended, it would be about a quarter to three. Hence Chaucer speaks 
of the sign as yet (i. e. still) ascending. 

The chief remaining point is to fix the star Aldiran. 

Most MSS. read Aldrian, owing to the frequent shifting of r in a 
word ; just as brid, for instance, is the old spelling of bird. But the 
Hengwrt MS. is right. The name Aldiran, Aldurin, orAldiraan, occurs 
in the old Parisian star-lists as the name of a star in the constellation 
Leo, and is described in them as being ' in fronte Leonis.' The word 
means ' the two fore-paws,' and the notes of the star's position are such 
that I am persuaded it is the star now called Hydra, situate near the 
Lion's fore-paws, as commonly drawn. The only objection to this ex- 
planation arises from the comparative insignificance of the star, but any 
who will take the trouble to examine the old lists will see that certain 
stars were chosen quite as much for the sake of position as of brightness. 
When it was desired to mark particular points in the sky, bright stars 
were chosen if they were conveniently placed ; but, failing that, any 
would serve the purpose that were fairly distinct. This is why, in a 
star-list of only 49 stars in MS. Camb. Univ. Lib. li, 3. 3, such stars as 
SCapricorni, 8 Aquarii, 8 Ophiuchi, &c., find a place. The star Aldiran 
(0 Hydra) was remarkable for rising, in the latitude of Paris, just before 
the splendid star a Leonis of the first magnitude, whose coming it thus 
heralded. That star is also found in the same star-lists, with the name 
Calbalesed, or ' the lion's heart ' ; in Latin, Cor Leonis ; another name 
for it being Regulus, as stated above. 

On the whole, we fairly suppose Chaucer's meaning to be, that before 
the feast concluded, it was not only fast noon, but nearly two hours past 

269. Chambre of parements. Tyrwhitt's note is ' Chambre de paremenl 
is translated by Cotgrave, the presence-chambre, and lit de parement, a 
bed of state. Parements originally signified all sorts of ornamental 
furniture or clothes, from Fr. purer, to adorn. See Kn. Ta. 1643, and 
Legend of Good Women ; Dido, 1. 181.' He adds that the Italians use 
camera de' paramenti in the same sense. 

272. Venus children, the worshippers or subjects of Venus. It merely 


means the knights and ladies at the feast, whose thoughts then turned 
upon love, because the season was astrologically favourable for it ; cf. 
Kn. Tale, 1628, 1629. The reason is given in 1. 273, viz. that 'her 
lady,' i. e. (heir lady or goddess, as represented by the planet Venus, 
was then situate in the sign Pisces. This sign, in astrology, is called 
the ' exaltation ' of Venus, or the sign in which she exerts most power. 
Hence the expression ful hye, and the statement that Venus regarded 
her servants with a friendly aspect. In the Wyf of Bathes Prol., 
Chaucer has the line 

' In Pisces, wher Venus is exaltat.' 

' Who will not commend the wit of astrology ? Venus, born out of 
the sea, hath her exaltation in Pisces ' ; Sir T. Browne, Works, ed. 
Wilkin, iv. 382. 

287. Lancelot, the celebrated lover of queen Guinever in the Arthur 
romances. Cp. Dante, Inf. v. 128. 

291. 'The steward bids (them) to be quick with the spices.' 
299, 300. Here Hath is used for is; cf. French il y a. 
316. ' You must twirl round a pin (which) stands in his ear.' 
318. 'You must also tell him to what place or country you wish to ride.' 
334. Ryde, ride ; so in all six MSS. MS. Harl. has Byd, i. e. bid. 
340. The bridle is here said to have been put away with the jewels. 
So also, when Richard I, in a crusade, took Cyprus, among the treasures 
in the castles are mentioned precious stones, golden cups, &c., together 
with golden saddles, bridles, and spurs ; Geoffrey of Vinsauf, Iter 
Hierosol. c. xli. p. 328; in Vet. Script. Angl. torn. ii. 

346. Tyrwhitt inserts that after Til, to fill up the line. It is not 
necessarily required ; see the note in the Preface upon lines in which 
the first syllable is lacking ; p. Ixv. 

347. 'Sleep, digestion's nurse, winked upon them, and bade them 
take notice, that much drink and exercise must require repose." Cf. 
2 Hen. IV, Hi. i. 6. Tyrwhitt supposes 1. 349 to be corrupt, but it 
may perhaps stand. 

351. To scan the line, retain the e in seyde, preserved by the caesura. 

352. By the old physicians, blood was supposed to be in domination, 
or chief power, for seven hours, from the ninth hour of the night 
(beginning at 8 p.m.) to the third hour of the day. Tyrwhitt quotes 
from a book De Natura, ascribed to Galen, torn. v. p. 327 'Sanguis 
dominatur horis septem, ab hora noctis nona ad horam diei tertiam.' 
Other authorities were pleased to state the matter somewhat differently. 
' Six houres after midnight bloud halh the mastery, and in the sixe houres 
afore noon choler reigneth, and six houres after noon raigneth melan- 
choly, and six hours afore midnight reigneth the flegmatick" ; Shepheardes 
Kalender, ed. 1656, ch. xxix. Chaucer no doubt followed this latter 


account, which he may have found in the original French Calendrier des 
Bergers ; see note to 1. 51, p. 209. 

357. Forme, for my part, by my means ; still common. 

358. Fumositee, fumes arising from wine-drinking. SeeC. T. 12501 ; 
and concerning dreams, see the Nonne Prestes Tale, 103-149. 

359. No charge, no weight ; to which no weight, or no significance, 
can be attached. 

360. Pryme large ; probably much the same as fully pryme, Sir Thop. 
2015, which see. It must mean the time when the period of prime was 
more than ended ; i. e. past 9 a.m. This would be a very late hour for 
rising, but the occasion was exceptional. 

365. Appalled, enfeebled ; literally, pallid, as Tyrwhitt explains it. 
See the Glossary ; and cf. Kn. Ta. 2195 ; and Shipm. Tale, C. T. 
13030-2 : 

' " Nece," quod he, " it oughte ynough suffise 
Fiue houres for to slepe upon a nyght, 
But it were for an old appalled wyght," ' &c. 

373. ' Before the sun began to rise ' ; i. e. before 6 a.m., as it was near 
the equinox. 

374. Maistresse, governess ; as appears from the Doctoures Tale. 
376, 377. Though the sense is clear, the grammar is incurably wrong. 

Chaucer says ' These old women, that would fain seem wise, just as 
did her governess, answered her at once.' What he means is ' This 
governess, that would fain seem wise, as such old women often do, 
answered her,' &c. The second part of this tale seems to have been 
hastily composed, left unfinished, and never revised. Cf. 1. 382. 
383. Wei a ten, i. e. about ten. Cf. Prol. 1. 24. 

386. Four. The Harl. MS. wrongly has (en. There is no doubt about 
it, because on the I5th of March, the day before, the sun was in the third 
degree of the sign ; on the i6th, he was in Ihe fourth degree. 

387. It means 'and, moreover, the sun had risen but four degrees 
above the horizon ' ; i. e. it was not yet a quarter past six. 

396. Her hertes, their hearts. Lyghle, to feel light, to feel happy ; 
an unusual use of the verb, and a hasty expression. In 1. 398, the 
sudden change to the singular she is harsh. 

401. Again hastily written. Chaucer says 'The point for which 
every tale is told if it be delayed till the pleasure of them that have 
hearkened after (or listened attentively to) the former part of it grows 
cold then the pleasantness of it passes off, on account of the prolixity 
in telling it ; and the more so, the longer it is spun out.' Knotte 
here takes the sense of the (unrelated) Lat. nodus, as used by Horace, 
ArsPoet. 1. 191. 

409. Fordrye, exceedingly dry. The tree was white too, owing to 


loss of its bark. Possibly an allusion to the famous Arbre Sec, or Dry 
Tree; see Marco Polo, cd. Yule, i. 119; Maundeville, ed. Halliwell, 
p. 68 ; Matzner, Sprachproben, ii. 185. 

428. Fancon peregryn. ' This species of falcon is thus described in the 
Tresor de Brunei Latin, P. i. ch. Des Faucons; MS. Reg. 19 C. x. " La 
seconde lignie est fancons, qui horn apele pelerins, par ce que nus ne 
trove son ni ; ains est pris autresi come en pelerinage, et est mult legiers 
a norrir, et mult cortois et vaillans, et de bone maniere " [i. e. the second 
kind is the falcon which is called the pilgrim (or peregrine), because no 
one ever finds its nest; so it is otherwise taken, as it were on pilgrimage, 
and is very easily fed, and very tame and bold, and well-mannered]. 
Chaucer adds that this falcon was of fremde land, i. e. from a foreign 
country.' Tyrwhitt. 

435. Ledene, language ; from A. S. leden, lyden, sometimes used in 
the sense of language, though it is certainly, after all, a mere corrup- 
tion of Latin, which is the sense which it most often bears. Thus, the 
inscription on the cross of Christ is said to have been written ' Ebreis- 
ceon stafon, and Grecisceon, and Leden stafon,' in Hebrew letters and 
in Greek and Latin letters ; John xix. 20. So also ' on Ledenisc gereorde,' 
in the Latin language; Beda/ bk. iv. c. I. Hence the word was used 
more generally in the sense of language ; as, ' Mara is, on ure lyden, 
biternes,' i. e. Marah is, in our speech, bitterness ; Exod. xv. 23. This 
extension of the meaning, and the form of the word, were both influenced, 
probably, by confusion with the sb. hlyd, a noise, and the adj. Mud, 
loud. In one instance we find, in Northumbrian English, the word 
lydeng with the sense of noise or cry ; Matthew xxv. 6 (ed. Kemble). 
The student should learn to distinguish this word from the A. S. lead, 
G. lied, i. e. a song. Tyrwhitt notes that Dante uses latino in the sense 
of language ; ' E cantine gli augelli Ciascuno in suo latino ; ' Can- 
zone i. 

458. As doth, so do, pray do. See Note to Cler. Tale, 1. 7. P- r 95- 

469. ' As verily as may the great God of nature help me.' Wisly, 
verily, is quite different from vysly, wisely; cf. Kn. Ta. 1376. 

471. 'To heal your hurs with quickly. 1 Note the position of with; 
and cf. 1. 641. 

474. A swowne = a swowne = on swoime, in a swoon. 

479. Chaucer's favourite line ; he repeats it four times. See Kn. Ta. 
903; March. Ta. 9860 (ed. Tyrwhitt); Prol. to Leg. G. W. 503. 
Also, in The Man of Lawes Ta. 660. we have it again in the form 
' As gentil herte is fulfild of pitee.' 

480. Similitude is pronounced nearly as similitude. 
483. Kytheth, manifests. Cf. Rom. Rose, 2187-2238. 

490. ' And to make others take heed by my example, as the lion is 


chastised (or reproved) by means of the dog.' The explanation of this 
passage was a complete riddle to me till I fortunately discovered the 
proverb alluded to. It appears in George Herbert's Jacula Prudentum 
(Herbert's Works, ed. Willmott, 1859, p. 328) in the form 'Beat the 
dog before the lion,' where before means in the sight of. This is cleared 
up by Cotgrave, who, in his French Dictionary, s. v. Batre, has the 
proverb ' Batre le chien devant le Lion, to punish a mean person in 
the presence, and to the terror of, a great one.' It is even better 
explained by Shakespeare, Othello, ii. 3. 272 'What, man! there 
are ways to recover the general again : you are but now cast in his 
mood, a punishment more in policy than in malice ; even so as one would 
beat his offenceless dog to affright an imperious lion.' 

499. Ther, where. The numerous expressions in this narrative 
certainly shew that the falcon was really a princess (cf. 1. 559) who had 
been changed into a falcon for a time, as is so common in the Arabian 
Tales. Thus, in 1. 500, the roche or rock may be taken to signify a 
palace of gray marble, and the tercelet (1. 504) to be a prince. This 
gives the whole story a human interest. 

505, 506. Welle, well, fountain. Al were he, although he was. 

511. Colour es, colours; and, in a secondary sense, pretences, which 
meaning is also intended ; cf. 1. 560. On dyeing in grain, i. e. of a fast 
colour, see note to Sir Thopas, B. 1917. 

512. Hit him, hideth himself. See Preface, p. li. The allusion is to 
the well-known lines ' Qui legitis flores . . . fugite hinc, latet anguis 
in herba ;' Verg. Bucol. iii. 92. Cf. Macbeth, i. 5. 66. 

517. Sowneth into, tend to, are consonant with ; see Prol. 307. 

518. Cf. P. Plowm. B. xv. 109. Both passages are from Matt, 
xxiii. 27. 

537. Chaucer clearly quotes this as a proverb ; true man means honest 
man, according to Dogberry ; Much Ado about Nothing, iii. 3. 54. 
The sense seems to be much the same as You cannot make a silk purse 
of a sow's ear,' or ' Once a knave, always a knave.' Compare 
1 Alas ! I see a serpent or a theef 
That many a trewe man hath do mescheef '; 

Knightes Tale, 1. 467. 

548. The reading Troilns must be a mistake, because he was not 
guilty of transferring his love to another ; it was Cressida who did that, 
so that the falcon would take care not to refer to that story. Paris 
deserted Oenone for Helen, and Jason deserted Medea for Glauce. 
Lamech was the first to have tsvo wives, viz. Adah and Zillah, Gen. 
iv. 23. The whole of this passage is a 'recast of Chaucer's earlier 
poem on Queen Annelida, where Lamech is introduced just in the same 


555. Imitated, but not with good taste, from Mark i. 7. 

579- ' Whether it was a grief to me, does not admit of doubt.' 

583. 'Such grief I felt because he could not stay.' 

593. Chaucer has this expression again, Kn. Ta. 2184; Troilus, iv. 
1586. It was a common proverb. Shakespeare has it frequently ; Two 
G. of Ver. iv. i. 62 ; Rich. II, i. 3. 278 ; King Lear, Hi. 2. 70. 

596. To borwe, for a security ; borwe being a sb., not a verb. Cf. Kn. 
Ta. 360, 764. Hence it means, ' Saint John being for a security/ i e. 
Saint John being my security ; as in The Complaint of Mars, 1. 9. She 
pledges herself by Saint John, the apostle of truth ; see i John iii. 19, 
iv. 20. Lydgate has ' seint John to borowe ' in his Complaint of the 
Black Knight, st. 2. 

601. 'When he has well said everything, he has done (all he means 
to do).' 

602. This is a common proverb; cf. Com. of Errors, iv. 3. 64; 
Tempest, ii. 2. 103 ; Marlowe, Jew of Malta, iii. 4. 

607. From Boethius, De Cons. Phil. lib. iii. met. 2 
'Repetunt proprios quaeque recursus 

Redituque suo singula gaudent.' 

Chaucer translates this (ed. Morris, p. 69) ' Alle Binges seken ajein 
into hir propre cours ; and alle Binges reioisen hem of hir retournynge 
ajein to hir nature.' A few lines above is a passage answering to 
11. 611-620, which in the original runs thus: 
' Quae canit altis garrula ramis 

Ales, caueae clauditur antro : 

Huic licet illita pocula melle, 

Largasque dapes dulci studio 

Ludens hominum cura minislret, 

Si tamen, arto saliens tecto, 

Nemorum gratas uiderit umbras, 

Sparsis pedibus preterit escas, 

Siluas tantum maesta requirit, 

Siluas dulci uoce susurrat.' 

This Chaucer translates ' And ]>e langland brid )>at syngijj on ]>e heye 
braunches, J>is is to sein, in }>e wode, and after is inclosed in a streit 
cage ; alj>ou3 ]>at fe pleiyng besines of men seuej) hem honiede drinkes 
and large metes wi]> swete studie ; sit najjeles yif J>ilke brid skippynge 
oute of hir streite cage see]) J>e agreable shadewes of J>e wodes, she 
defoule|> wi]> hir fete hir metes yshad, and sekej) mournyng oonly )>e 
wode, and twitri]), desirynge J>e wode, wij> hir swete voys." And 
Chaucer repeats the example yet a third time, in the Manciple's Tale, 


618. Neicef angel, of four syllables, as in 1. 89 of the Manciple's Tale. 
The word newefangeltiesse will be found in the poem of Annelida, and in 
Leg. of Good Worn. Prol. 154. 

624. Ky'e. Mr. Jephson notes that ' the kite is a cowardly species of 
hawk, quite unfit for falconry, and was therefore the emblem of every- 
thing base.' 

644. Blue was the colour of truth and constancy; hence the ex- 
pression ' true blue,' as in Butler's Hudibras, pt. i. c. i. 1. 191 ; cf. Cler. 
Tale, 254. Green (1. 646) signified inconstancy. Lydgate, in his Fall of 
Princes, fol. e 7, speaking of Dalilah, says 

4 In stede of blewe, which stedefast is and clene, 

She louyd chaungys of many diuers grene! 

Tyrwhitt draws attention to a Ballade upon an inconstant lady, among 
Stowe's additions to Chaucer's works, the burden of which is 
' Instede of blew thus may ye were al grene.' 

648. Tidifs. The tidifis mentioned as an inconstant bird in Prol. to 
Leg. G.W.I. 154- 

' And tho that hadde don unkyndenesse 
As doth the tidif, for newfangelnesse,' &c. 

Draj ton uses tydy as the name of a small bird (see Nares) ; perhaps the 

649, 650. These lines are transposed in all the MSS. and editions, 
according to Tyvwhitt. He rightly says that no sense is to be got out 
of the passage except by putting them in the order in which they stand 
here. All the later editors accept his emendation. 

667. Observe that Catnbalo, if not inserted here in the MSS. by error. 
is quite a different person from the Cambalns in 1. 656 (called Catnbalo 
in 1. 31). He is Canace's lover, who is to fight in the lists against her 
brothers Cambalo and Algarsif, and win her. Spenser (F. Q. iv. 3) 
introduces three brethren as suitors for Canace, who have to fight 
against Cambello her brother; this is certainly not what Chaucer 
intended, nor is it very satisfactory. 

671, 672. Some suppose these two lines to be spurious. I do not 
feel sure about that ; for they occur in MS. E. Hn. Cp. Pt., and others, 
and are not to be too lightly rejected. The Lansdowne MS. has eight 
lines here, which are ceitainly spurious. In MS. E., after 1. 672, the 
rest of the page is blank. The lines are quite intelligible, if we add the 
words He entreth. We then have ' Apollo (the sun) whirls up his 
chariot so highly (continues his course in the zodiac) till he enters the 
mansion of the god Mercury, the cunning one ' ; the construction in the 
last line being similar to that in 1. 209. The sun was described as in 
Aries, 1. 51. By continuing his upward course, i.e. his Northward 
course, by which he approached the zenith daily, he would soon come 


to the sign Gemini, which was the mansion of Mercury. It is a truly 
Chaucerian way of saying that two months had elapsed. I cannot 
believe these lines to be spurious. It may be added that they are 
imitated at the beginning of the poem called The Flower and the Leaf, 
and in Skelton, Garland of Laurel, 1. 1471. 


675. Fonthe is a dissyllable; observe the rime with allow the, i.e. 
commend thee, which is written as one word (allowihe) in several MSS. 
677. As to my doom, in my opinion. 

683. Pound, i.e. pounds worth of land. See the Glossary. 
688. And yet shal, and shall still do so. 


B = Group B. E = Group E. F = Group F. 
The following are the principal contractions used : 

A.S. = Anglo-Saxon (i.e. Old English 
words in Bosworth's A.S. Diet.). 

Dan. = Danish. 

Du. = Dutch. 

E.= English. 

E.E. = Early English (A.D. 1100- 

F. = French. 

G. = German. 
Gk. = Greek. 
Icel. = Icelandic. 
Ital. = Italian. 
La t. = Latin. 

M.E. = Middle English (A.D. 1250- 


M.H.G. = Middle High German. 
Mceso-Goth. or Goth. = Mceso- 


O.F. = Old French. 
O.H.G. = Old High German. 
PromptParv. = Promptorium Parvu- 

lorum, ed. Way, Camden Society, 


Sp. = Spanish. 
Sw. = Swedish. 
W. = Welsh. 

The Dictionaries used for these languages are mentioned at the end of 
the Preface. Note also, that v. = a verb in the infinitive mood; pr. s. or 
pt, s. means the third person singular of the present or past tense, except 
when I p. or 2 p. (first person or second person) is added ; pr. pi. or pt. pi, 
means, likewise, the third person plural of the present or past tense ; imp. s. 
means the second person singular of the imperative mood. Other contrac- 
tions, as s. for substantive, pp. for past participle, will be readily understood. 
In the references, when the letter is absent before a number, supply the 
letter last mentioned ; thus, under Abayst, all the references refer to 
Group E. 

The contraction ' Mor. Gloss.' signifies Dr. Morris's Glossary to the Pro- 
logue, Knightes Tale, &c. in the Clarendon Press Series. 


A, art. a ; al a = the whole of a, E 
1165. A.S. an, G. ein. Of the 
indef. article, an is the original, a 
the abbreviated form. 

A ha, interj. Aha ! B 1629. 

A, prep, on, upon, in, by ; a nyghte, 
by night, B 3758 ; now a dayes, 
now in these days, E 1164. A.S. 
on, E.E. an, a. 

Abak, adv. backwards, B 2017. 
A.S. onbcEC, on the back, behind, 

VOL. n. < 

Abayst, pp. abashed, disconcerted, 
E 317, ion; amazed, 1108. 
O. Fr. esbahir, to frighten, from 
bahir, to express astonishment. 

Abbay, s. abbey, B 1814. Low 
Lat. abbatia, an abbey, from Lat. 
abbas, father; from Syriac abba, 

Abhominaciouns, s. pi. abomi- 
nations, horrible occurrences, B 
88. Lat. abominor, to deprecate 
an omen, from ab, and omen. 



Abouen, prep, above, E 826. 
A. S. dbiifan, where bufan is for 
be-ufan, so that dbufan = on-be- 
vfan, where vfan means up- 

Abouten, prep, about, around, 
near, E 1106. A.S. dbulan, 
where butan is for be-ufan, so 
that about = on-by-out. 

Abreyde, pt. s. started, awoke, E 
1061. A.S. dbregdan, to twist 
out, from bregdan, to twist, 
braid. See Mor. Gloss. 

Abrood, adv. abroad, i.e. wide 
open, F 441. A.S. on breede, 
lit. on breadh, from A. S. brad, 
broad. Cf. M. Goth, braidei, 
breadth, braids, broad. 

Abyde, v. to remain, wait, E 
1 106 ; imp. pi. Abydeth, 81175; 
pres. part. Abyding, awaiting, E 
757- A.S. dbidan, from bidan, 
to wait 

Abyen, v. to pay for, B 2012. 
A.S. dbycgan, to redeem, pay for, 
from bycgan, to buy. See A boughte 
in Mor. Gloss. 

Accepteth, imp. pi. accept, E 96, 
127. Fr. accepter, Lat. acceptare. 

Accident, s. accidental disturbance, 
unusual appearance, E 607. Lat. 

Accordant, adj. according, agree- 
ing, suitable, F 103. 

Accorden, pr. pi. agree, B 2137. 
Fr. accorder, Lat. accordare, from 
cor, the heart. 

According, pres. part, agreeing, B 


Acounte, v. to consider, B 3591. 
O. Fr. acompter, from Lat. ad 
and computare, to count. 

Acquyte, v. to acquit oneself, E 
936; imp. pi. Acquiteth, B 37. 
Fr. acquitter, Lat. adquietare, 
from qtties, rest. 

Acustumaunce, s. custom ; had 
of acustumaunce = was accustom- 
ed, B 3701. From O. Fr. 

couslvme, Low Lat. costuma, cor- 
rupted from consuetudinem. 

Adoun, adv. down, B 3630; F 
351, 464. A.S. of-ddne, lit. off 
the down or hill, from dun, a hill, 
a down. 

Aduersarie, s. adversary, foe, B 
3868. Fr. adver&alre, from ad- 
verse, which from Lat. ad and 
vertere, to turn. 

Aduersitee, s. adversity, F 502. 

Affray, s. terror, B 3273. Fr. 
effroi, terror, effrayer, to terrify, 
Provengal effreidar, orig. to break 
the peace, cause a fray (affray); 
from Lat. ex and O.H.G. fridtt, 

After, prep, according to, F 100; 
after me = according to my com- 
mand, E 327; after the year = 
according to the time of year, F 
47. A. S. after, where trie base 
is af= Greek diro, E. of, and -ter 
is a comparative suffix. 

After, adv. afterwards, B 98. 

After that, conj. according as, E 

Agaste, pt. s. terrified, B 3395 ; 
pp. Agast, terrified, afraid, B 
1859, E I0 5 2 - The prefix a = 
A. S. d-, Ger. er-, Mceso-Gothic 
its-; cf. Goth, usgaisjan, to terrify. 

Agayn, prep, against, B 1754, F 
6> 57 ; Ageyn, F 142 ; Ageyns, 
B 3754- A. S. on-gedii, against, 

Agayns, prep, towards, to meet, 
E 911. Formed from A.S. 
ongedn, by adding adverbial 
suffix -es. The M. E. agayns is 
now corrupted into against. 

Age, s. life, E 627; pi. Ages, 
times, periods, B 3177. Fr. age, 
O.Fr. edage, Low Lat. tetaticum, 
derived from Lat. cetatem, 

Ageyn, adv. again, F 654. Sec 

Agoon, pp. departed, i. e. dead, E 
631; Ago, gone away, F 626; 



Agoon, ago, B 1841 ; Ago, 

1876. A. S. dgdn, pp. of verb 

dgdn, to go by, pass by, which is 

equivalent to G. ergehen. 
Agreued, pp. aggrieved, E 500. 

O. Fr. agrever, from Lat. grants, 

Aken, pr. pi. ache, 82113. A. S. 

acan, acian, to ache, pain; also 

(Ece, pain. 
Akctoun, s. a short sleeveless 

tunic, worn under the hauberk, 

B 2050. Fr. hoqueton, O. Fr. 

anqueton, a cloak, a stuff for 

cloaks ; originally alqueton, Span. 

alcolon, Arabic al-qoton, where 

al is the def. article, and qoton is 

our cotton. 
Al, adj. all, in phr. temple and al, 

83275; herte and al, E 758; at 

al = in every respect, E 1222; pi. 

Alle, B 118, 121, 1181; Alleand 

some = one and all, E 941. A. S. 

eal, Mceso-Goth. alls. 
Al, adv. completely, B 3215, 

3451 ; all blood = completely 

covered with blood, 1967 ; conj. 

although, E 99; Al be, F 155; 

Al be it, F 105, Al so = so, E 

Alayes, s. pi. alloy, E 1167. Cf. 

O. Fr. a lei, according to law ; Fr. 

aloi, a standard, 0. Fr. alei, 

which for a lei = Lat. ad legein ; 

alloy being supposed to mean ac- 
cording to the standard. 
Alday, adv. continually, F 481 ; 

always, B 1702. 
Alderfirst, adv. first of all, F 550. 

A. S. alra, ealra, gen. pi. of eal, 

all, became M. E. oiler, alther, 

and alder. 
Ale, s. ale ; ale and breed = ale and 

bread, drink and meat, B 2062 ; 

gen. Ale, of ale, 3083. A. S. 

ealu, O. Icel. 51. 
Aley, s. an alley, B 1758. Fr. 

allee, a walk, from alter, to go. 
Algate, adv. in all respects, E 

855 ; Algates, at any rate, in 
every way, wholly, F 246. Hera 
gate means way ; cf. always. 
Ice\.gata, a path, road; G.gasse, 
a street. 

Alliauuce, .s. alliance, B 3523; 
Alliance, i. e. marriage, espousal, 
E 357. From F. allier, Lat. 
alligare, from ligare, to bind, tie. 

Allow, i p. s. tr. I approve, I ap- 
plaud, F 676. O. F. alouer, 
which has two sources, often con- 
fused, -viz. Lat. locare and Lat. 
latidare. In this case it is the 

Allye, s. ally, relative, B 3593. 
See Alliaunce. 

Allyed, pp. provided with friendly 
aid, B 3720. 

Almest, adv. almost, B 1948. 

Als, conj. also, B 3973, 3976. 
A. S. eall-swd, ail-so, corrupted to 
also, als, and as. 

Alwey, adv. continually, always, 
E 458, 810 ; ceaselessly, F 422. 

Alyghte, v. to alight, E 981. 
A. S. dlili tan, to descend, alight ; 
cf. to light upon. 

Alyue, adv. alive; lit. in life, E 
139. E. E. on liue = A..S. on 
life, i. e. in life. 

Ambel, s. amble ; an ambel = in 
an amble, at an ambling pace, B 
2075. Fr. ambler, from Lat. 
ambnlare, to walk. 

Ambes as, i.e. double aces, B 
124. See note. O.F. ambes, a 
pair, Lat. ambo. ' The word sur- 
vives as a gambling term ; thus, 
J'ai gagne tine ambe a la loterie, 
i. e. I have drawn two figures, a 
pair of chances.' Brachet. 

Ambling, pres. part, ambling, E 

Amende, v. to improve, F 197 ; 
to surpass in right demeanour, 97 ; 
pp. Amended, surpassed, B 3444. 
F. amender, from Lat. emendare, 
by an unusual change. 

Q 2 



Ameued, pt. s. moved, changed ; 
nought ameued = changed not, 
altered not, E 498. From Lat. 
amouere, through O. French. 

Amidde, prep, amid, in the midst 
of, F 409. A.S. on-middan, in 
the middle. 

Amis, adv. amiss, wrongly, B 
3370, F 7- For on misse, m a 
mistake; cf. Icel. missa, a loss, 
Du. mis, an error. 

Amonges, prep, amongst, B 3344. 
A. S. onmang, among. The -es 
is an adverbial suffix ; amonges is 
now corrupted to amongst. 

Amounteth, pr. s. amounts to, F 
108. O. Fr. amonter, to ascend, 
increase, from Lat. admontare, to 
go uphill, to mount, from Lat. 

And, conj. if, E 2433. Cf. Icel. enda, 
if, the same word as E. and. 

Angle, s. ' angle,' a term in as- 
trology (see note), F 263 ; pi. 
Angles, angles, 230. Lat. angulus. 

Anhanged, pp. hung, B 3945, 
3949. A.S. onhangian, to hang on. 

Annunciat, pp. pre-announced, i.e. 
whose birth was foretold, B 3205. 
From Lat. nuncius, a messenger. 

Anoon, adv. suddenly, immedi- 
ately, B 3299, E 435; Anon, 
B 34, 1896. A.S. on an, lit. in 
one, i.e. in one moment. 

Anoyeth, pr. s. annoys, displeases, 
B 3979. O. Fr. anoier, to dis- 
please ; cf. O. Fr. anoi, F. ennui, 
displeasure ; der. from Lat. in 
odio, in the phrase in odio habui; 
see Brachet. 

Answerde, pt. s. answered, B 
1170, 1172; E 21. A.S. and- 
swerian, where and- = in return, 
and swerian = to swear, affirm. 

Antem, s. anthem, B 1850. A.S. 
antefn, which from Lat. antiphona, 
Gk. pi. avriffxava, from ovri and 
Quvfto, I sound in answer. Hence 
also F. antienne. 

Antiphoner, s. anthem-book, an- 
tiphonarium, B 1 709. See above. 

A-nyghte, adv. in the night, by 
night, E 464. A. S. on nihte, in 
the night. 

Apart, adv. apart, F 252. F. a 
part, from Lat. partem. 

Apayed, pp. pleased : euel apayed 
= ill-pleased, E 1052; Apayd, B 
1897. O. F. apaier, to appease, 
from Lat. ad and pacare, to 
satisfy ; cf. E. pay. 

Ape, s. ape, B 1630 (see the note), 
3100. A.S. apa, Icel. apt, G. 
ajfe, &c. ; cf. Sanskrit leapt, a 
monkey, shewing the loss of an 
initial guttural. 

Aperceyue, v. to perceive, E 600 ; 
pr. s. Aperceyueth, 1018. F. 
apercevoir, from Lat. ad and per- 
cipere =per-capere. 

Aperceyuinges, s. pi. perceivings, 
perceptions, observations, F 286. 

Apert, adv. openly, F 531. O. F. 
apert, Lat. aperlus, open. 

Apertenaunt, adj. appertaining, 
belonging, B 3505. F. appar- 
tenir, from Lat. adperlinere. 

Apertinent, adj. appertaining, 
suitable, E 1010. 

Apese, appease, pacify, 433. 
F. apaiser, derived from Lat. 
pacem through O. F. pais, peace. 

Appalled, pp. enfeebled, languid, 
F 365. Perhaps from F. appalir, 
cf. Welsh pallu, to fail, pall, 
loss of energy. ' I palle, I fade of 
freshenesse in colour or beauty, le 
flaitris;' Palsgrave's French Diet. 

Apparaille, s. apparel, dress, E 
1208. F. appareil, preparation, 
from appareillir, to join like to 
like; F. />ar7 = Lat. paricnlus, 
dimin. of par, like. Not derived 
from Lat. parare. 

Apparence, s. appearance, F 218. 
From Lat. apparere, from ad and 
parere, to be open to view. 

Appetytes, s. pi. appetites, B 



3390. F. appetit, Lat. appetites, 
from petere. 

Arace, v. to tear away, remove 
forcibly, E 1103. O.K. aracer, 
F. arracher, from Lat. eradicare; 
cf. O. F. raw, a root, from Lat. 

Archeer, s. archer, B 1929. From 
Lat. arcus, a bow. 

Archewyues, s. pi. archwives, 
ruling wives, E 1195. The pre- 
fix arch- is Greek ; cf. Gk. dpx'-i 
chief, from apx 5 ?' a beginning ; 
the latter part is from A. S. wif, 
a woman, wife. 

Ark, s. arc, referring to the arc of the 
horizon extending from sunrise to 
sunset, B 2. See note. From Lat. 
arcus, an arc, bow. 

Arminge, s. arming, putting on of 
armour, B 2037. From Lat. arma. 

Armlees, adj. armless, without an 
arm, B 3393. A. S. arm, an 
arm ; and suffix -leas, Mceso- 
Goth. -laus, deprived of. 

Armoure, s. armour, B 2009 ; 
Armure, F 158. F. armure, 
contr. from Lat. armatura, from 

Am, pr. pi. are, E 342. A.S. 
aron, Icel. eru, from root es, to be. 

Array, s. order, E 262 ; arrange- 
ment, ordinance, 670. O.F.arroi, 
order, from sb. roi, which from a 
Scandinavian source ; cf. Swed. 
reda, to prepare, Moeso-Goth. 
garaidjan, to make ready. 

Arrayed, pp. dressed, F 389. 

Art, s. kind, sort, E 1241. From 
Lat. arteni. 

Artificial, adj. artificial, in astro- 
logy, B 2. See note. 

Artow,/or art thou, B 102, 1885, 

Aryght, adv. rightly, properly, F 

Arwes, s. pi. arrows, B 3448, E 

1203. A.S. arewe. 
As, conj. like, B 1864 ; as if, 1636; 

As after, according to, 3555 ; As 
in, i. e. for, 3688 ; As now, at 
this time, F 652; As of, with 
respect to, 17; As to, with refer- 
ence to, 107 ; As that, as soon as, 
615 ; As ferforth as, as far as, B 
19. Ash short for also ; see Als. 

As, s. an ace, B 385 1 ; ambes as 
= double aces, 1 24. From Lat. as, 
a unit. 

Ascending, pres, part, ascending, 
in the ascendant, i. e. near tie 
eastern horizon, F 264. From 
Lat. scandere, to climb. 

Asken, v. to ask, B 101 ; 2 p. s. 
pr. subj. Aske, 102. A. S. dcsian. 

Assaille, v. to assail, attack, B 
3953. F. assailler, Lat. assalire, 
from ad and salire, to leap. 

Assay, s. trial, E 621, 1138; pi. 
Assayes, trials, 697, 1166. 

Assaye, imp. s. 3 p. let him try, E 
1229; pp. Assayed, tried, 1054. 
Another form of essay, from F. 
essayer, which from essai, a trial, 
Lat. exagium, a weighing; from 
ex and agere. 

Assenten, pr. pi. assent, agree, E 
176. From Lat. ad and sentire, 
to feel. 

Asshen, s. //. ashes, E 255. A. S. 
axan, ascan, ashes, pi. of axe, 
asce, an ash, cinder. 

Assured, pt. s. confirmed, B 3378. 
Cf. Kn. Ta. 1066. 

Astonied, pt. s. astonished, E 
316. Compounded from A. S. 
prefix d-, completely, and stunian, 
to stun, amaze. Probably further 
confounded with O. F. es/onner, F. 
etonner, to astonish, said to be de- 
rived from a supposed Lat. exto- 
nare attonare, to thunder at. Cf. 
G. erstaunen, from er-, prefix, and 
G. staunen. 

Asure, s. azure, blue, E 254. 
O. F. aster, F. azur, G. lasur, 
from Lat. lapis lazuli, a word of 
Persian origin, signifying blue- 



stone. Probably the / was mis- 
taken for the French def. article. 

Aswage, v. to assuage, B 3834. 
O. F. assoager, where the prefix 
= Lat. ad, and soager is to 
sweeten, from O. F. soef, Lat. 
suauis, which is the same with 
Gk. i^Svy, and E. sweet. 

Aswowne, adv. in a swoon, E 1079. 
F 474. Here a- is for on, in. 

Asyde, adv. aside, E 303. For on 

At, prep, at; at me = with me, 
with respect to me, B 1975 ; 
from (after axe) E 653. A. S. 
at: cf. Lat. ad. 

At-after, prep, after, F 302. At- 
after is still used for after in pro- 
vincial English (S. Yorkshire). 

Atones, adv. at once, E 1178. 
A. S. <et, at, and dues, once, geni- 
tive of an, one. 

Atoon, adv. at one, E 437. A.S. 
at, at, an, one ; hence E. atone, 
to set at one, reconcile, and 
atonement, i. e. at-one-ment, a 
setting at one, a reconciliation. 
Cf. alone from all-one. 

Attained, pp. broached, B 4008. 
From Low Lat. altaminare, to 
contaminate, from an obsolete 
Lat. taminare; cf. F. entamer, 
from a form intaminare. 

Atte, for at the; Atte leste = at 
the least, B 38, E 130; Atte 
fulle = fully, E 749; Atte laste 
at the last, at last, B 1788, 3546. 

Atteyne, v. to attain, E 447. F. 
atteindre, from Lat. attingere, i.e. 
ad and tangere, to touch. 

Atwo, in twain, E 1169. For on 

Auaille, v. to avail, E 3950 ; to 
be useful, E 1194. From Lat. 
ad and valere, to be worth ; cf. 
F. valoir. 

Auctoritee, s. authority, i. e. 
statements of good authors, F 
483. From Lat. attctoritatem, 

which from anclor, an increaser, 
from attgere, to increase. 

Auctour, s. author, E 1141. See 

Audience, s. hearing, E 329, 637, 
1179; audience, B 3991. From 
Lat. andire, to hear. 

Auentaille, s. aventail, E 1204. 
See note. O. F. ventaille, breath- 
ing-piece of a helmet, from 
Lat. uentus, which is E. wind. 

Auenture, s. chance, E 812; pi. 
Auentures, adventures, E 15, F 
659. O. F. aventure, from Lat. ad 
and uenlura, from venire, to come. 

Auntrous, adj. adventurous, B 
2099. Short for aventrons, from 
O.F. aventnros, bold ; see above. 

Auter, s. altar, B 1826. F. autel, 
O.F. altel, alter, Lat. altar. Here 
the form outer lies between alter 
and ante!. 

Auyse, v. refl. to deliberate, recon- 
sider, take counsel with oneself, 
E 238, 350. F. aviser, from 
avis, advice ; from a and vis, Lat. 
uisum, a thing seen, an opinion ; 
from uideri, to seem. 

Auysement, s. deliberation, B 86. 
See above. 

Awaiteth, pr. s. waits, watches, 
B 1776. O.F. agaitier, to act 
as spy, to look out. The prefix 
is clearly the G. er- ( = Mceso- 
Goth. s-, A. S. a-), just as the 
word gaitier or guaiter (now spelt 
guetter) is from O. H. G. wahtan, 
now wachten. Thus await is. 
through the French, from the 
German word now spelt erwachten. 

Awake, v. to wake, F 476. A. S. 
onwacan, awacian, to awake. 
The prefix may be either on- or a- 
( = G. er~, Goth. KS-) ; A. S. wacan 
is cognate with wait, which is 
derived from the German through 
the French. See above. 

Awayt, s. await, watching; haue 
hir in away t = watch her, B 3915. 



Awe, . awe (dative), B 3875 ; 

terror, dread, 3749. Icel. agi; 

A.S. dga, egisa, Moeso-Goth. agis t 

Awook, pi. s. awoke, F 367. 

See Awake. 
Axen, v. to ask, E 696; Axe, 

326; l p. s. pr. Axe, 348; pr. 

s. Axeth, requires, E 25 ; asks, 

F 309; imp. pi. Axeth, E 653. 

A. S. dcsian. 
Ay, adv. ever, B 1701, 3721; for 

ay, for ever, F 535. Icel. '. A.S. 

a, <z, ever. 
Ayeyn, adv. again, F 127. See 

Ayeins, prep, against, E 320. Sec 



Bachelor, s. bachelor, F 24. See 
the etymology suggested by 
Brachet from Low Lat. bacca- 
larius, a boy attending a bacca- 
laria or dairy farm ; from Low 
Lat. bacca, Lat. uacca, a cow. 
Cf. F. brebis from Lat. ueruieem. 

Bachelrye, s. company of young 
men, E 270. 

Bad, pt. s. bade, E 373, F 497. 
A. S. beodan, to command ; to be 
distinguished from A. S. biddan, 
to pray. 

Badde, adj. bad, B 3612; pi. E 
522; cnmp. Badder, F 224. 

Bagges, s. pi. bags, B 124. Icel. 
baggi, a bag, pack, bundle ; cf. 
Goth, balgs, a bag. 

Baiteth, pr. s. feeds, B 2103. 
Icel. beila, to make to bite, bila, 
to bite. 

Bake, pp. baked, B 95. A.S. 
bacan, Icel. baka, Gk. (pwyetv, to 

Bar, pt. s. bare, bore, B 3300, 
3563; E 85, 612; 2 p. Bare, 
barest, E 1068. See Bere. 

Barel, 5. a barrel, B 3083. F. 
baril, barriqtte. 

Bareyne, adj. barren, B 68, R 

448. F. breJiaigne, O.F. baraigne. 

Etym. not known. 
Barme, s. (dat.) bosom, lap, TC 

325 6 363. F 631; Barm, E 

551. A. S. bearm, Moeso-Goth. 

barms, bosom, lap; cf. Gk. <o/>/to's, 

a wicker-basket ; from A.S. heron, 

Gk. <ptpuv, to bear. 
Bataille, s. a battle, B 3879; pi. 

Batails, 3509 ; Batailles, F 659. 

F. bataille, Low Lat. batalia, a 

Beautee, s. beauty, F 34. O. F. 

beltet, from Lat. ace. bellitatem, 

from adj. bellus, fair. 
Bed, s. a bed, i. e. station, B 3862 ; 

gen. Beddes, F 643. A. S. bed, 

Mceso-Goth. badi. 
Bede, 2 p. pi. pr. offer, E 360. 

A. S. beodan, to offer, command. 
Beek, s. beak, F 418. F. bee, 

probably of Celtic origin ; Gael. 

beic, a point, peak, bill of a bird ; 

cf. W. pig, a pike or peak, F. pic. 
Been, s. pi. bees, F 204 ; Bees, E 
2422. A. S. be6, a bee; pi. bedn. 
Begge, v. to beg, B 105. A. F. 

begger, from the sb. Begard. 
Belle, s. a bell, B 1 186, 3970 ; pi. 

Belles, 3984. A.S. belle, from 

whence the Icel. bjalla is bor- 
Ben, v. to be, B 3524; pr. pi. i 

p. 35, 122, 129; Be, 1172; pr. 

pi. Ben, 1 18, 124 ; Beth. F 648 ; 

imp. pi. Beth, B 1629, 1897; 

Beth war = beware, 3281, 3330; 

pr. s. subj. Be, F i ; Be as be 

may, i.e. be it as it may, B 3319. 

A. S. bedn, to be, from same root 

as Lat. fui, I was, and Sanskrit 

bhd, to be. 
Bene, s. a bean, B 94, 4004. A. S. 

bedn, Icel. batm ; cf. Lat. faba, a 

Benedicite, i.e. bless ye (the 

Lord), pronounced ben'dic'te in 

three syllables, B 1170, 1974. 



Lat. bene, well, dieite, speak ye ; 
from dicere, to say. 

Benigne, adj. benign, F 21. From 
Lat. benignus. 

Benignely, adv. benignly, court- 
eously, 21. 

Benignitee, s. benignity, goodness, 
F 486. From Lat. benignitatem, 
through the French. 

Bere, v. to bear, carry, 3564; to 
transport, F 119; to carry about, 
148; pr. s. Bereth, B 2091, F 
635 ; Berth, in phr. sikly berth 
= take with ill will, dislike, E 
625. A. S. beran, Icel. bera, 
Moeso-Goth. bairan, Lat. ferre, 
Gk. <t>tpttv. 

Bere, s. bier, B 1815, 1825, 3371. 
A. S. bar, from beran, to bear, 
carry; cf. Gk. (ptperpoy, a bier, 
from (ptpfiv, to bear. 

Beres, s. pi. bears, B 3451. A. S. 
bera, a bear, Icel. bera, a she- 
bear; a he-bear is denoted in 
Icel. by bjorn. 

Beringe, s. bearing, behaviour, B 

Bern, s. barn, B 3759- A. S. 
bern, berern, ber-ern; the latter 
form is actually found in the 
Northumbrian Gospels, St. Luke 
iii. 17, and means a barley- 
receptacle, from here, barley, and 
ern, a secret place, closet, &c. 

Best, s. beast, F 460; Best roial 
= royal beast, i. e. Leo, 264 ; pi. 
Bestes, B 3363, E 201, 572, 
683. O. F. beste, Lat. bestia. 

Beste, adj. sttperl. best ; for the 
beste = for the best, F 356. A. S. 
belst = bet-est, superl. from a root 
bat, signifying good, profitable. 

Bet, adv. better, B 114, F 488, 
600. A.S. bet, better. 

Bete, pp. beaten, E 1158; Beten, 
B 1732. A. S. bedtan, to beat. 

Bidaffed, pp. befooled, E 1191. 
O. E. daffe, a foolish person ; 
distinct from E. deaf, A. S. 

dedf. 'Daffe, or dastard, or ho 
that spekythe not yn tyme. 
Oridnrus ; ' Prompt. Parv. 

Bidde, v. to bid, F 327; imp. pi. 
Bidde, 321. A. S. beodan. 

Bifalleth, pr. s. happens, E 449 ; pt. 
s. Bifel, it came to pass, F 42 ; 
Bifil, B 3613; pt. s. subj. Bifelle, 
were to befall, E 136. A. S. befeal- 
lan, to happen, homfeallan, to fall. 

Biforn, adv. before, in anticipation, 
B 1668; before, F 339; be- 
forehand, B 1184; of old time, 
F 551"; Bifore, first, E 446. 

Biforn, prep, before, F 79, 98; 
Biforen, B 3553. A. S. beforan. 

Big, adj. big, B 3111. Connected 
with bulge, bag, bole, &c., with 
the notion of swelling. 

Bigan, pt. s. began, B 98, 1883. 
A. S. ginnan, to begin, with prefix 
bi added at a later time. 

Bigyle, beguile, deceive, 252. 
Prefix bi- or be-, and O. F. guile, 
from a Teutonic source ; cf. E. wile. 

Biheste, s. promise, B 37, 41, 42, 
F 698. A. S. behces, a promise, 
from prefix be and Aces, a promise ; 
from hdtan, to promise, ordain. 

Bihoueth, pr. s. impers. it behoves 
(him) to have, F 602. A. S. 
behofian, to befit; cf. Icel. kesfa, 
to hit, to fit, to behove. 

Bileue, v. to remain, stay behind, 
F 583. A. S. l&fan, to leave, to 
leave behind ; whence M. E. bl- 
leue, to remain behind ; cf. G. 

Bireue, v. to bereave, B 3359 ; 
pt. s. Birafte, bereft, took away, 
3386, 3404. A. S. beredfian, from 
redfian, to seize, strip, from red/, 
a garment. 

Birthe, s. birth, E 402. A.S. 
beor$, fiom beran, to bear. 

Biseged, pp. besieged, B 3514. 
Prefix bi- or be-, and F. sieger, to 
sit ; from Low Lat. sediare, to 
sit, sedium, a seat, from sedes. 



Cf. Lat. obsidere, to besiege, from 
the same root. 

Biseke, v. to beseech, B 3174; 
i p. s. pr. I beseech, E 1037 ; 
pres. part. Bisekinge, beseeching, 
E 178, 592. From A.S. secan, 
to seek. 

Biseye, pp. displayed, made appar- 
ent; hence yuel biseye = ill to 
look at, ill looking, E 965 ; 
richely biseye = rich looking, 
splendid, 984. A. S. besegen, pp. 
of beseon, to look about, from 
sedn, to see. Hence "another 
spelling is beseen, as in Spenser, 
F. Q^i. I a. 5 'And sad habili- 
ments right well beseene.' 

Bisily, adv. busily, F 88. See Bisy. 

Bisinesse, s. diligence, E 1008 ; 
Bisynesse, F 642. 

Bistrood, pt. s. bestrode, B 2093. 
A. S. be- and stridan, to walk 
about, pt. t. ie strdd. 

Bisy, adj. busy, attentive, F 509. 
A. S. bysig. 

Bisyde, prep, beside, E 777, 1105 ; 
F 374. 650. 

Bit,pr. s. bids, F 291. A.S. bed- 
dan, to bid. The form bit occurs 
in A. S. as equivalent to biddaft, 
asks, from biddan, to beg, ask. 
The forms beddan and bidaatt 
were early confused. 

Bitake, I p. s. pr. I commend, 
commit, E 161, 559. A.S. be- 
teecan, to deliver, commend to, 
from tdcan, to teach, influenced 
the sense of be-take. 

Bitid, pp. befallen, B 1949. See 

Bitokneth, pr. s. betokens, signifies, 
B 3942. A.S. bi- and tdcnian, 
to point out ; from tdcen, a token, 
sign ; cf. Gk. Sttievwai. 

Bitrayed, pp. betrayed, B 3570. 
A hybrid word ; from A. S. prefix 
it- and F. trahir, to betray, Lat. 

Bitwise, prep, between, B 3830, 

F 33; Bitwixen, E 815; Bitwix, 
F 317. A.S. betwix, belwux, 
from twd, two. 

Bityde, v. to befall, E 79 ; to hap- 
pen, arrive, B 373 ; pr. s. *ubj. 
Bityde, may betide, E 306; Bi- 
tyde what bityde, let that happen 
that may, whatever may happen, 
B 2064. A. S. tidan, to happen, 
from tid, tide, time. 

Biwailen, v. to bewail, lament, B 
25 ; Biwaille, 3952 ; pp. Biwailled, 
E 530. Cf. Icel. vcela, vdla, to 
wail ; Ital. guqiolare, to lament ; 
Ital. gnat, woe ! so that wail is to 
say woe I 

Biwreye, v. to bewray, unfold, re- 
veal, B 3219. A.S. wregan, to 
accuse, Mceso-Goth. wrohjan, Icel. 
rcegja, to slander, defame. 

Blaked, pp. blackened, rendered 
black, B 3321. A.S. blcec, black, 
dblacian, to blacken. 

Blame, to, gerund, to blame, E 76 ; Blameth, B 2151. O. F. 
blasmer, from Lat. blasphemare, 
Gk. QKaaty-liptiv, to speak inju- 

Blesse, imp. s. 3 p. (God) bless, 
B 3978, E 1240. A. S. blttsian, 
to bless, O. Northumb. bloedsia, 
orig. to sacrifice, from bldd, blood. 

Blewe, adj. pi. blue, F 644. O. F. 
bleu ; cp. Icel. bldr. 

Blis, s. bliss, happiness, B 33. A. S. 
bits, joy, from blfSe, joyful, blithe. 

Blisful, adj. happy, E 844, 1 12 1. 

Blisse, v. to bless, E 553. A.S. 
bletsian, blessian. 

Blood, s. progeny, offspring, E 632. 
A.S. bldd, blood, Mceso-Goth. 

Blythe, adj. blithe, B 4002. A. S. 
blfiSe, Icel. blffir, Mceso-Goth. 
bleiths, glad, merciful, mild. 

Body, s. principal subject, E 42; 
my body = myself, B 1185; pi. 
Bodies, people, B 3278. A.S. 



Boistously, adv. loudly, E 791. 

WeUh bwystus, rude, brutal ; but 

this word is of doubtful origin ; 

hence the later form boisterous 

Boke, s. a book, B 52 ; />/. Bokes, 

3499. A. S. bdc. 
Boldely, adv, boldly, F 581. A.S. 

bald, beald, Icel. ballr, Mceso- 

Goth. balths, bold. 
Bord, pt. s. bound, B 3222. A. S. 

bindan, to bind. pt. t. ic band. 
Bond, s. a band, F 131. 
Boon, s. bone, B 3090. A. S. ban, 

Icel. bein, a bone. 
Boor, s. a boar, B 3299; gen. 

Bores, 2060. A. S. bar. 
Boost, s. boast, pride, B 3289. 

Of unknown origin. 
Bord, s. board, table, E 3, F 79. 

A. S. bord. 
Bore, pp. born, E 401 ; borne, 

carried, F 178; Born, borne, 

E 444 ; carried, F 1 76 ; worn, 

F 43. A. S. beran, to bear, pp. 


Bores, gen. sing, boar's, B 2060. 
Borwe, s. a pledge ; to borwe, as a 

pledge, F 596. A.S. borh, a 

security, pledge. 
Borwe, v. to borrow, B 105. A. S. 

borgian, from borh, a pledge. 
Bote, s. safety, salvation, B 1656; 

remedy, good, F 154. A. S. bot, 

E. boot, a remedy, from root bat 

in Mceso-Goth. batizo, better. See 

Beete in Mor. Gloss. 
Boterflye, s. a butterfly, B 3980. 

A.S. buter-fleoge. See Wedg- 
wood's Etym. Diet. 
Boughte, pt. s. redeemed, E 1153. 

A. S. bohte, I bought, pt. t. of byc- 

gan, to buy. 
Bounden, pp. bound, E 704. A.S. 

bunden, pp. of bindan, to bind. 
Boundes, s. pi. bounds, limits, F 

571. O.F. bonne, F. borne, spelt 

Inning in nth century, from Low 

Lat. boiiina, a bound, limit. 

Bountee, s. bounty, goodness, B 

1647, E 157, 415. From Lat. 

bonitatem, through the O. F. 

Boweth, imp. pi. bow, E 113. 

Cf. A. S. bugdS, imp. pi. ofbugan, 

to bow.- 
Boydekins, s. pi. poniards, lit. 

bodkins, B 3892, 3897. Of 

doubtful origin; perhaps allied 

to W. bidog, a dagger ; cf. Gael. 

biodag, a dagger, from biod, a 

pointed top. 
Branched, adj. full of branches, F 

156. F.branche; cf. Welsh braich, 

Lat. brackinm, an arm. 
Bras, s. brass, F 115, 181, 303. 

A. S. bras. 
Brawnes, s. pi. muscles, B 3131. 

O. F. braion, braon, a morsel of 

flesh, from M.H.G. brdte, O.H.G. 

prdlo, a piece of flesh ; cf. G. 

braten, roast meat, braten, to 

Bred, pp. bred up, F 499. A. S. 

bre"dan, to nourish. 
Brede, s. breadth, B 3350. A. S. 

braedo, breadth, from brad, broad. 
Breech, s. a pair of breeches, 62049. 

A. S. brec, a pair of breeches, pi. 

of brdc ; cf. E. brogues (from the 

Irish), Lat. braccce (of Celtic 

Breed, s. bread, B 3624, F 614. 

A. S. bredd, Icel. bravS, G. brot. 
Broke, v. to break, B 40. A. S. 

brecan, Mceso-Goth. brilean; cf. 

Lat. frangere. 
Brennen, v. to burn, B in; pt. 

pi. Brende, burnt, 3225; pp. Brent, 

3354- 39 2 ; pres.part. Brenning, 

1658. Icel. brenna, A. S. byrnan, 

Mceso-Goth. brinnan, G. brennen. 
Brest, s. breast, E 617. A.S. 

breost, Icel. brjdst, Mceso-Goth. 

Breste, v. to burst, break, E 1169. 

Icel. bresta, A. S. berstan, Swed. 

brista, to burst, break violently. 



Bretheren, s. // brethren, F 668. 
A.S. broftor, pi. broftra, brdftru; 
Icel. brttiSir, pi. 6r<ci5r. We find 
also O. E. brether as the pi. ; the 
termination -en makes it doubly 

Brew, pt. s. brewed, contrived, B 
3575- A. S. breowan, to brew. 

Breyde, v. to start suddenly, awake, 
F 477; pt. s. Breyde, started, 
went (out of his wits), B 3728. 
See Abrayde in Morris's Gloss. ; 
see also Abreyde. 

Brid, s. a bird, F.46o ; gen. Briddes, 
B 3366; pi. Briddes, B. 3290, 
3604, E 572, F 611. A. S. brid, 
the young of birds. 

Brike, s. a trap, snare, 'fix,' di- 
lemma, B 3580. O. F. bricque, 
variant of briche, brice, ' trappe, 
atlrape, pifege ' ; Godefroy. 

Bringen, v. to bring, B 3623 ; 
imp. pi. Bringeth, 3384. A. S. 

Broches, s. pi. brooches, E 255. 
F. broche, a spit, O. F. broche, a 
lance, pointed stick, from Low 
Lat. brocca, a needle, from Lat. 
broccus, a point ; cf. Gael, brog, a 
goad, Welsh proc, a stab, prog. 
The brooch took its name from 
the essential part of it, the pin. 
In the Prompt. Parv. we find 
' Broche, juelle, Morale, armilla,' 
and Way quotes from the Ortus 
Vocabulorum as follows 'Fibula, 
a boton, or broche, prykke, or a 
pynne, or a lace, monile ; orna- 
mentum est quod solet ex femi- 
narum pendere collo, quod alio 
nomine dicitur firmaculum ; a 

Erode, adj. pi. broad, thick, B 
3448. See Brood. 

Brond, s. brand, i. e. a firebrand, 
B 3224; dat. Bronde, a piece of 
hot metal on the anvil, 2095. 
.A. S. brand, brand, a brand ; cf. 
byrnan, to burn. 

Brood, adj. broad, thick, large, F 

82, 191, 394; pi. Erode, B 3448. 

A. S. brad, Icel. bretiir, Mceso- 

Goth. braids. 
Brother, gen. sing, brother's, B 

3593- A. S. brdftor ; gen. broiSor, 

like the nom. 
Brouded, pp. embroidered, B 3659. 

F. broder, border; but possibly 

these have been confused with 

M. E. brcwden (A. S. brogden), pp. 

of M. E. breyden (A. S. bregdatt), 

to braid. Cf. also Span, bordar, 

to embroider, to work on an edge, 

Span, borde, a border, a hem. 
Brydel, s. a bridle, B 3985, F. 

340. A. S. brldel. 
Bryghte, adv. brightly, B n, -2034. 

A.S. beorht, Icel. bjarlr, bright; 

Mceso-Goth. bairhts, evident. 
Bukke, s. buck, B 1946. A.S. 

Bulles, s. pi. bulls (from the Pope), 

E 739, 744. So named from the 

bulla, or leaden ball affixed to it, 

which bore a stamp. 
Burieth, imp. pi. bury, E 571. 

A. S. byrgan, connected with A. S. 

beorgan, to hide. 
But, conj. unless, E 1 74. A. S. 

bute, except ; from prefix be or 

bi and tit, out. 
But-if, conj. except, unless, B 2001, 

3688, F 687. 
Buxomly, adv. obediently, E 186. 

A. S. biihsom, obedient, yielding, 

pliant, from bugan, to bend, bow. 
By, adv. at hand, B 3116. A.S. 

be, bi, by, near. 
Bynde, 2 p. s. pr. subj. bind, E 

1205. A.S. bindan, to bind. 
Byte, v. to bite, B 3634 ; to sting, 

F 513; to cut deeply, 158. A. S. 

bitan ; cf. Icel. bita, to bite, to cut 

as a weapon does ; Lzt.foidere. 


Cage, s. a cage, F 613 ; pi. Cages, 
611. F. cage, from Lat. cauea, 



used by Cicero in the sense of a 
cage for birds, lit. a hollow place, 
from caiius, hollow. 

Calle, v. to call, cry out, B 3724. 

' Icel. kalla, to call, cry out. 

Cam, pt. s. came, F 81. A. S. cum' 
an, to come ; pt. t. ic com. 

Camaille, s. a camel, E 1196. 
From Lat. camehts, Hebrew ga- 
mal. In the Northumbrian Gos- 
pels (Lindisfarne MS.), S. Luke 
xviii. 25, the Lat. camelnm is 
glossed by ' se carnal J)set micla 
dear,' i. e. the camel, that great 

Can, i p. s. pr. I know, B 1726, 
1 898 ; I know how, am able, E 
304, F 4 ; I can, B 42, 46 ; pr. 
s. Can, knows, B 47, 49 ; pr. pi. 
2 p. ye know, 1 169 ; pr. pi. know, 
F 185. A. S. cunnan, to know, 
ic can, I know, ic cufie, I knew. 

Capitayn, s. captain, B 3741. F. 
capitane, Low Lat. capitaneus, 
from caput, the head. 

Cardinales, s. pi. cardinals, B 
2039. F. cardinal, from Lat. 
cardinalis, chief, lit. that on which 
all hinges ; from Lat. cardinem, a 

Care, v. to feel anxiety, E 1212. 
A. S. cearian, to be anxious, from 
cant, cearv, care, anxiety, Moeso- 
Goth. kara, care. 

Care, s. anxiety, trouble, B 1949. 

Carf, pt. s. carved, cut, B 3647. 
A. S. ceorfan, to cut, carve ; pt. t. 
ic cearf, pp. corf en. 

Carie, v. to carry, E 585 ; pr. pi. 
Carien, carry, B 1814. O. F. 
carter, F. charrier, to carry as in 
a car, from O. F. car, F. char, 
from Lat. carrus (a Celtic word). 

Cas, s. case, occasion, B 36 ; cir- 
cumstance, state, condition, 123; 
case, 430; chance, hap, 316; 
to deyen in the cas = though death 
were the result, 859. F. cas, 
Lat. casus, from cadere, to fall. 

Caste, pt. s. cast, B 1761, 2018 ; 
pp. Cast, i.e. contrived, 3891; 
Casten, 1796- A Scandinavian 
word ; Icel. leas/a, Swed. itaala, 
Dan. kaste, to throw. It is con- 
jugated sometimes as a strong 
verb, even in Tudor English, as 
' Aside he kest his eye ' ; Hick- 
scorner, in O. E. Plays, i. 179. 

Catel, s. chattels, property, 27. 
O. F.'calel or chatel, property, F. 
chaptel, leased-out cattle, from 
Lat. capitals ; which from capiit, 
a head. Cf. E. chattels, cattle, 

Caue, s. a cave, B 3297. From 
Lat. cauus, hollow. 

Caughte, pt. s. took, conceived, E 
619 ; pp. Caught, obtained, mo. 
E. catch O. F. coder, chacier, F. 
chasser, formed as if from a Low 
Lat. captiare, readily suggested by 
Low Lat. capita, a chase ; and this is 
a mere variation of Lat. captare, to 
catch, from capere, to take, seize. 
Thus E. catch and chase are really 
the same word, or are doublets. 
The pt. t. cattghte was suggested 
by the conjugation of the similar 
word lacche, to seize, pt. t. laugkte, 
which is from A. S. leeccan, pt. t. 
leehte. See Chace. 

Cause, s. reason, F 466 ; cause 
why = the reason why is this, E 
2435, F 185. F. cause, Lat. 

Causen, pr. pi. cause, F 452. 

Caytif, s. wretch, wretched or un- 
fortunate man, B 3269. O. F. 
caitif, chaitif, F. chelif, miserable, 
from Lat. captiuus. See Brachet. 

Celerer, s. cellarer, keeper of a 
cellar, B 3126. From Low Lat. 
cellerarins (Ducange), of same 
signification as Lat. cellarius, a 
butler. See Cello. 

Celle, s. a cell, B 3162. From 
Lat. cella. 

Ceptre, s. a sceptre, B 3334, 3563, 



F. sceptre, Lat. sceptrum, Gk. 

aKrjirrpov, a staff, from ffK^nrfir, 

to lean upon. 
Cerimonies, s. pi. ceremonious 

acts, acts of courtship, F 515. 

F. cercmonie, Lat. c&rimonia, a 

religious observance. 
Certayn, s. certainty, B 1918. F. 

certain, from Lat. cerlus, sure, 

with suffix = Lat. -anus. 
Certayn, adv. certainly, assuredly, 

F 694; Certeyn, B 45, 1853, 


Certein yeres, i.e. a certain num- 
ber of years, B 3367. 

Certeinly, adv. assuredly, B 3990. 

Certes, adv. certainly, B 1729, 
1898, E 106, 659, F 2. F. 
cerles, Lat. certe, surely. There 
are other instances of addition of*; 
see Brachet, Hist. Grammar, p. 80. 

Cesse, v. to cease, F 1 54. F. cesser, 
Lat. cessare, to leave off. 

Cetewale, s. either (i) zedoary; 
or (2) the herb valerian, B 
1951. Explained as valerian by 
Halliwell, s. v. Setewale, who 
quotes from Gy of Warwike, p. 
421, the following ' Fykes,reisin, 
dates, Almaund, rys, pomme-gar- 
nates, Kanel and setewale.' The 
explanation is no doubt Somner's, 
as we find in his A. S. Diet, the 
entry ' Sydewale, setwall, set- 
well, herba quacdam, valeriana.' 
But Mr. Cockayne (Leechdoms, 
Hi. 344) gives the A. S. word as 
sideware, meaning zedoary ; and 
Matzner, in his note upon the 
Land of Cockaygne, 1. 7> quotes, 
from the Promptorium Parvu- 
lorum the following ' Seluale, or 
seduale, setwale, setwaly, herbe, 
Zedoarinm.' And we find in 
Webster, ed. Mahn, the following 
' Zedoary, n. (F. zedoaire, Prov. 
zednari, Ital. zedoario, zeltovario, 
Span, and Port, zedoario, zo- 
doario, Low Lat. amomnm ze- 

doaria, Ger. zilwer, O. H. Ger. 
zitawar, Arab. Pers. Hind, djad- 
wdr) a medicinal substance ob- 
tained in the East Indies, having 
a fragrant smell, and a warm, 
bitter, aromatic taste, used in 
medicine as a stimulant. " It is 
the root of a species of Cucuma, 
and comes in short, firm pieces, 
externally of a wrinkled gray, 
ash - coloured appearance, but 
within of a brownish-red colour. 
There are two kinds : round 
zedoary, said to be the root of 
Cucuma zerumbet, or Keempferia 
rotunda, and long zedoary, of 
Cvciima zedoaria." Dunglison." 
The English Cyclopaedia has Cur- 
cuma, not Cucuma, and explains 
C. Zedoaria as broad-leaved tur- 
meric, and says that ' its sensible 
properties are very like those of 
ginger, but not so powerful.' All 
the curcuma belong to the natural 
order of Zingiberaceee, or Ginger 
tribe. The way in which cetewale 
is generally classed with ginger 
and spices renders the explanation 
' zedoary ' much more probable 
than ' valerian,' which I take to 
be a bad guess. And since the F. 
zedoaire takes in O. French the 
forms citoal, citoual, citouart (Ro- 
quefort), it is quite clear that 
Chaucer's cetewale is the O. F. 
citoal, and therefore only another 
spelling of zedoary. 

Chace, v. to chase, continue, E 
341 ; to pursue, E 393, F 457. 
F. chasser. See Caughte. 

Chaffare, s. merchandise ; hence, 
matter, subject, E 2438. For 
chap-fare, from A. S. cedp, mer- 
chandise, and A. S.feriati, to carry 
about ; in the Ayenbite of Inwyt, 
ed. Morris, we have the verb 
chapfari, to trade, p. 162; and 
the substantive chapfare or chap- 
uare, chaffer, unfair dealing, pp. 


34. 35, 44. 9. I2 - See 
in Mor. Gloss, 

Chalk, s. chalk, F 409. A. S. 
cealc, borrowed from Lat. calcem, 

Chamberere, s. maidservant, 
chambermaid, E 819; pi. Cham- 
bereres, 977. O. F. chamber ere, 
ckamberiere, from chambre, a 
chamber ; from Lat. camera. 

Chambre, s. a chamber, F 269 ; 
pi. Chambres, sleeping-rooms, 
E 263. F. ckambre, Lat. camera. 

Char, s. a chariot, car, B 3550, F 
671. F. char. See Carie. 

Charbocle, s. carbuncle, a precious 
stone, B 2061. F. carboucle, 
escarboucle, from Lat. carbim- 
culus, a kind of precious stone ; 
which from carbo, a burning 

Charge, s. responsibility, E 163, 
193; importance, F 359. F. 
charger, Ital. caricare, to load ; 
from Low Lat. carricare, to load, 
from carnts. See Carie. 

Charge, i p. s. pr. I charge, I com- 
mand, E 164 ; pp. Charged, 
loaded, laden, B 3556. 

Charitee, s. love, 221. O. F. 
charitet, from Lat. caritatem, from 
earns, dear. 

Chasted, pp. chastened, taught, 
F 491. O. F. castier, chastier, 
F. chatter, Lat. castigare, to cas- 
tigate, chastise. 

Chastyse, v. to rebuke, restrain, 
B 3695. See above. 

Chaunce, s. chance, B 125. F. 
chance, O. F. cheance, Lat. cad- 
entia, from cadere, to befall. 

Chaunge, s. change, exchange, F 

Chaunged, pp. changed, E 601. 

E. changer, Ital. and Low Lat. 

cambiare, Lat. cambire. 
Cheek, s. cheek, i. e. cheekbone, B 

3228 ; dat. Cheke, 3233. A. S. 

ceuce, a cheek. 

Chees, pt. s. chose, B 3706. See 

Chere, s. demeanour, mien, B 97, 
1901 ; E 238, 241, 782; F 103, 
545; show, E 678; kindly ex- 
pression, ii 12. O. F. chere, F. 
chere, Low Lat. cara, a face. 

Cheryce, v. to cherish, indulge, B 
3710; Cherisshelh, cherish 
ye, F 353. F. cherir, to hold 
dear, from F. cher, dear, Lat. 

Cherles, s. pi. churls, B 3733. 
A. S. ceorl, a countryman, G. kerl, 
a fellow. 

Chese, v. to choose, E 130, 153; 
pt. s. Chees, B 3706. A. S. ceosan, 
G. kiesen, Du. leiezen, Mceso-Goth. 
kiusan, to choose. 

Chesing, s. choosing, choice, 162. 

Cheste, s. a chest, coffin, E 29. 
A. S. cist, G. kiste, Lat. cista. See 
Chest in Trench's Select Glossary. 

Cheynes, s. pi. chains, B 3554. 
F. chains, Lat. catena. 

Child, s. child, a term of address to 
a young man, B 2000 ; a young 
man, 3345. A. S. did, G. kind. 

Childhede, s. (dat.) childhood, B 
1691, 3445. A. S. cildhdd, G. 

Chiualrye, s. chivalry, chivalrous 
daring, B 3585 ; (spelt Chiualry) 
2084 ; cavalry, troops of horse, 
3871. F. chivalerie, cavalerie, 
from F. cheval, Lat. caballus, a 

Chois, s. choice, 154; Choys, 
170. F. choisir, to choose, bor- 
rowed from O. H. G. chiosan. 

Chyde, v. to chide, complain, F 
649. A. S. cldan. 

Ciclatouu, s. a costly kind of thin 
cloth, B 1924. See note. I may 
add that the expression ' hwite. 

' cidatune'** white ciclatoun occurs 
in O. Eng. Homilies, ed. Morris, 
1st Ser. p. 193. 

Gink. See Sis. 


Ciprees, s. cypress, B 2071. F. 
cypres, Lat. cupressiis. 

Citee, s. city, F. 46. F. ate, O. F. 
citet, Lat. ciullatem. 

Clad, pp. clothed, E 376. A. S. 
gecladed, clothed ; a pp. of which 
the infin. does not appear. 

Clamb, pt. s. climbed, B 1987. 
A. S. climban, pt. t. ic clamb ; G. 
klimmen, pt. t. ic Itlomm. 

Clappeth, pr. s. talks fast, B 3971; 
imp. pi. make a constant clatter, 
keep chattering, E 1200. A. S. 
clappan (?), to clap, Icel. Happa, 
G. Idopfen. Cf. E. clap-trap. 

Clapping, s. chatter, idle talk, E 
999. See above. 

Clawes, claws, B 3366. A. S. 
cldwti, Icel. Jelo, G. klave, a claw. 

Clene, adj. (def. form) clean, pure, 
unmixed, B 1183; adv. entirely, 
F 626. A.S. claene, pure. 

Clepen, v. to call, F 331 ; pr. s. 
Clepeth, calls, F 382 ; men cle- 
peth = people call, E 115; 
Clepen, B 92; pp. Cleped, called, 
named, B 61, F 12, 31, 374. 
A. S. cleopian, clypian, to call. 

Clere, clear, bright, 779. 
F. clair, Lat. clams. 

Clergeon, s. a chorister-boy, B 
1693. See the note. 

Clerk, s. a clerk, learned man, stu- 
dent, E l ; pi. Clerkes, writers, 
B 3990, E 933. F. clerc, Lat. 
clericus, Gk. K\i)piKos t one who be- 
longs to the chosen, from K\rjpos, 
a lot. 

Clinken, v. to clink, to jingle, to 
ring, B 1 1 86. Du. klinken, G. 
klingen, to clink, ring. 

Clinking, s. tinkling, B 3984. 

Clippe, v. to clip, cut, B 3257 ; 

pp. Clipped, 3261. Icel. klippa, 

to clip, cut ; klippa hdr, to cut 


Clobbed, adj. clubbed, B 3088. 

Icel. klnmba, klubba, a club. 
Cloisterer, s. a cloister-monk, B 

3129. From F. cloitre, O. F. 

cloistre, Lat. claustruni. 
Clokke, s. a clock ; of the clokke = 

by the clock, 814. Du. klokke, 

a bell ; cf. G. glocke, F. cloche, 

Irish clog, a bell. 
Clombe. See Clymben. 
Clowe-gilofre, s. clove, spice, B 

1952. F. clou de girofle. The 

F. clou is from Lat. clonus, a nail, 
from the shape ; F. girofle, is cor- 
rupted from Lat. caryophyllum, 
Gk. napv6(pv\\ov, lit. nut-leaf, 
from tcapvov, a nut, and (pv\\ov, 
a leaf. 

Clymben, v. to climb, F 106 ; pr. 
s. Clymbeth, B 3966 ; pp. Clombe, 
B 12; were clombe = hadst 
climbed, 3592. A.S. climban, 

G. klimmen. 

Cofre, s. a coffer, box, B 26, 1955, 
E 585. F. coffre, O.F. cofre, cofin, 
from Lat. cophintis, Gk. Kwpivos, 
a basket ; whence also E. coffin. 

Cokkel, s. cockle, i. e. the corn - 
cockle, Agrostemma githago, B 
1183. Gael, cogall, tares, husks, 
the corn-cockle ; Cotgrave has 
' Coquiol, a degenerate barley, or 
weed commonly growing among 
barley, and called havergrasse.' 

Colerik, adj. choleric, an epithet of 
the sign of Aries, as supposed to 
induce choler or anger in those 
whom it influenced, F 51. Lat. 
colericus, Gk. xoA.c/>(Kor, from 
X<>A.i7, cognate with Eng. gall. 

Coles, s. pi. coals, 63313. A.S. 
col, Icel. kol, a coal, G. kohle. 

Collacion, s. a conversation, con- 
ference, E 325. F. collation, 
from Lat. ace. collalionem. Col- 
latio sometimes means a disputing 
or debating. 

Coloured, pp. coloured, painted, 
of the same colour (with), B 
3574. F. couletir, Lat. colorem. 

Coloures, s. pi. colours, pretences, 
F 511 (there is a pun on the 



double sense of colour = hue and 
colour = pretence) ; ornaments of 
diction, E 16. 

Comandement, s. commandment, 
order, E 649. F. commande- 
inettt, from commander, Lat. com- 

Come, pp. come, F 96 ; pr. s. siibj. 
3 p. mayst come, B 119 ; 3 p. 
may come, comes, F 653. A. S. 
cuman, G. kommen. 

Comendeth, pr. s. commends, 
praises, B 76, Lat. commendare. 

Commune, adj. common, general, 
B 3436, E 431 ; s. commons, E 
70. F. commitn, Lat. communis. 

Companye, s. company, B 1187. 
F. compagnie, a company ; com- 
pagne, a companion ; Low Lat. 
companium, a company, society. 

Comparisoun, s. comparison, E 
666; Comparison, 817. F. com- 
paraison, from Lat. comparare, to 

Compassioun, s. compassion, F 
463. F. compassion, Lat. ace. 
compassionem, from cum, with, 
and pad, to suffer. 

Compleyne, v. to complain of, B 
3975 ; pp. Compleyned, uttered 
his plaint, F 523. O. F. com- 
plaindre; F.plaindre, Lul.plang- 
ere, to wail, lament. 

Composicions, s. //. suitable ar- 
rangements, F 229. F. compo- 
sition, Lat. compositionem ; from 
cum, with, and ponere, to place. 
The F. composer seems to have 
been influenced by the meaning of 
Lat. pausare, to pause, from which 
the simple verb poser was derived. 
See poser in Diez. 

Comprehende, v. to comprehend, 
conceive of, take in (in the mind), 
F 223. Lat. comprehendere, from 
cum, with, and prehendere, to lay 
hold of. 

Cornlh, pr. s. comes, B 3094, 

Comunly, adv. commonly, E 736. 

Comyn, s. cummin, 2045. Lat. 
cuminum, Gk. itvfuvov, Heb. kam- 
mon. 'A dwarf umbelliferous 
plant, somewhat resembling fennel, 
cultivated for its seeds, which have 
a bitterish, warm taste, with an 
aromatic flavour, and are used 
like those of anise and caraway.' 

Conclude, v. to conclude, draw a 
conclusion, 614. See below. 

Conclusioun, s. reason, F 492. 
F. conclusion, Lat. conclusionein ; 
from cum, with, and clandere, to 

Condescende, v. to condescend, 
stoop to, come down to, F 407. 
Lat. condescendere, from scandere, 
to climb. 

Condiciou, s. condition, state, B 

99. F. condition, Lat. condi- 

Confounded, pp. overwhelmed, B 

100. Cf. the use of the word in 
the E. translation of the Te Deum. 
From Lat. confundere. 

Coniure, v. to conjure, B 1834. 

F. conjurer, Lat. coniurare. 
Conue, v. to con, learn, B 1730, 

1 733. A. S. cunnian, to inquire 

into, to con; from cunnan, to 

Conning, adj. skilful, B 3690. 

From A. S. cunnan, to know ; 

Mceso-Goth. kunnan, G. Itonnen. 
Conning, s. cunning, skill, expe- 
rience, B 1671, F 35 ; dot. 

Conninge, B 1847. A. S. cunning, 

from cunnan, to know. 
Conningly, adv. skilfully, E 1017. 
Conseil, s. secret counsel, B 3218. 

3219; in conseil = in secret, E 

2431. F. conseil, Lat. consil- 

Conspiracye, s. a plot, B 3889. 

From F. conspirer, Lat. conspirare, 

to conspire. 
Constance, s. constancy, E 668, 



1000, 1008. F. Constance, from 
Lat. itare, to stand. 

Constellacion, s. constellation, 
cluster of stars, F 1 29. 

Constreyneth, fr. s. constrain, E 
800. F. conlraindre, formerly 
constraindre, from Lat. constring- 

Construe, v. to construe, to trans- 
late, B 1718. F. construir, Lat. 

Contenance, s. demeanour, E 924 ; 
self-possession, mo. F. conte* 
nance, bearing, contenir, to con- 
tain, Lat. continere. 

Contrarien, v. to go contrary to, 
oppose, F 705. From Lat. con- 
trarius, contrary, contra, against. 

Contrarie, adj. contrary, B 3964. 

Contree, s. country, B 1908, 1912, 
E 436, F 319. F. contree, Ital. 
contrada, from Lat. contrata, the 
country over against one, from 
contra, against. Cf. G. gegend, 
country, from gegen, against. 

Conueyen, v. to convey, introduce, 
E 55 ; pt. pi. Conueyed, accom- 
panied, went as convoy, 391. F. 
conveyer, O. F. conveier, Low Lat. 
conuiare, to go on the way with, 
from via, a way. 

Co omen, pt. pi. came, B 1805. 
See Come. 

Corage, s. courage, B 1970, 3836; 
mind, E 511, 950; feeling, dis- 
position, E 220, 692, 787; will, 
907; of his corage = in his dispo- 
sition, F 22. F. courage, O. F. 
corage, courage ; derived from 
Lat. cor, the heart. 

Corageous, adj. courageous, bold, 

Cordewane, s. Cordovan leather, 

B 1922. 
Cornea, s. pi. corn-fields, pieces of 

standing corn, B 3225. 
Corone, s. crown, garland, E 381 ; 

Coroune. 1 1 18. O. F. corone, from 

Lat. corona. 


Corouned, pp. crowned, B 3555. 

Corps, s. corpse, F 519. F. corps, 
Lat. corpus, a body. 

Corpus, s. body ; corpus Dominus, 
false Latin for corpus Domini, the 
body of the Lord, B 1625 ; corpus 
Madrian (see note), 3082. 

Cors, s. body, Bin, 2098. 

Cost, s. cost, B 3564. F. couter, 
O. F. coster, couster, to cost, from 
Lat. cons/are, which sometimes 
has the same meaning. 

Costage, s. cost, expense, outlay, 
E 1126. 

Coste, s. the coast, B 1626. O. F. 
coste, from Lat. costa, a rib, side- 

Coste, pt. s. cost, B 1925. 

Cote, s. a cot, E 398. A. S. cote, 
Icel. kot, a cottage. 

Cote, s. a coat, outer garment, used 
of a part of a woman's apparel, E 
913. F. cotte, O. F. cote; O. H. G. 
chozzo, a coat or mantle of a thick 
woolly substance, G. kotze, a 
shaggy covering, G. kutte, a cowl. 

Cote-armour, s. coat with armorial 
bearings, B 2056. See Mor. Gloss. 

Couche, v. to cower, E 1 206. F. 
coucher, O. F. coucer, colcker, from 
Lat. collocare, to place together ; 
from locus, a place. 

Coude, pt. s. (perhaps subj.) knew, 
or should know, F 39 ; knew, B 
1735; knew how, 1926, 3375; 
could, F 97. See Can. 

Couent, s. conventual body, the 
monks composing the conventual 
body, B 1827, 1867. F. couvent, 
O. F. convent, from Lat. convening, 
a coming together; from venire, 
to come. 

Couered, pi. s. covered, E 914. 
F. couvrir, from Lat. cooperire, to 
cover up, from operire, to hide. 

Countenaunces, s. pi. looks, F 
284. See Contenance. 

Countrefete, v. to counterfeit, 
imitate, F 554. F. contrefaire, 
to counterfeit; but the E. verb 



seems to have been formed from 
the pp. contrefait. 

Countesse, s. a countess, E 590. 
O. F. contesse, F. comtesse; from 
O.F. conte, comte, F. comte, Lat. 
comitem, a companion. 

Countretaille. s. lit. countertally, 
i.e. correspondence (of sound) ; at 
the countretaille = corresponding- 
ly, in return, E 1190. F. centre, 
against, tattle, a cut, incision, from 
tattler, to cut, Low Lat. la Hare, 
taleare, to cut; cf. Lat. talea, a 
cutting, shoot cut off, a stake. 
The idea is here taken from the 
cutting of corresponding notches on 
two corresponding sticks or tallies. 

Cours, s. course, B 3186, F 66. 
F. cours, Lat. cursus. 

Courser, s. courser, horse, F 310. 
F. coursier, lit. a runner, from 
course, running, coursing ; Low 
Lat. cnrsa, an expedition, from 
currere, to run. 

Couth, pp. known, E 942. A. S. 
cdS, known, pp. of cunnan, to 
know ; Mceso - Goth, kunths, 
known, from kunnan, to know ; 
so that cu'S = cunlS. 

Coward, adj. cowardly, B 3100. 
F. couard, cowardly ; lit. one who 
drops his tail, first spoken of ani- 
mals ; from F. cone, Lat. cauda, a 
tail. So also Ital. codardo, a 
coward, from coda, a tail, Lat. 
cauda. Mr. Wedgwood explains 
it of the hare, making couard 
mean the bobtailed, since in the 
Venery de Twety (Reliquiae An- 
tiquae, p. 153) the hare is spoken 
of as ' le coward ou le court cow ' 

Coy, adj. or adv. still, quiet, E 2. 
F. coi, from Lat. quietus, quiet ; 
so that E. coy and quiet are 
doublets; coy being the older. 
The / is preserved in the F. fem. 
form coite. 

Coyn, s. coin, E 1168. F. coin, 

a coin : also a stamp upon coin, 
from Lat. cuneus, a wedge, no 
doubt used in the stamping pro- 

Crabbed, adj. shrewish, cross, bit- 
ter, E 1203. 

Craft, s. skill, way of doing a thing, 
F 185 ; secret power, might, B 
3258; subtle contrivance, F 249. 
A. S. craft, skill, Icel. kraptr, G. 

Craftily, adv. cunningly, skilfully, 
B 48. 

Crepe, . to creep, B 3627 ; pr. s. 
Crepeth, E 1134. A. S. creopan, 
Icel. Ttrjupa, to creep. 

Cristen, adj. Christian, B 1679. 

Crist emasse, s. Christmas, B 1 26, 


Crouned, pp. crowned, i.e. su- 
preme, F 526. See Corone. 

Croys, s. cross, E 556. F. croj*, 
O. F. crois, Lat. ace. crucem. 

Crueltee, s. cruelty, 1225. F. 
cruaute, O. F. crualle, cruelte, 
Lat. crudelitatem; from crudelis, 

Cubytes, s. pi. cubits, B 3350. 
Lat. cnbitus, the elbow; also a 
cubit, the distance of the elbow to 
the end of the middle finger, 
about 1 8 inches. 

Cuppe, s. a cup, F 616. A. S. 
cuppe, from Lat. cupa, a cup. 

Cures, s. pi. cares, pursuits, 82. 
F. cure, Lat. cura, care ; cf. E. 
cure (i. e. care) of souls. 

Cursedly, adv. wickedly, abomi- 
nably, B 3419. A. S. cursian, to 
curse, curs, a malediction. 

Cursednes, s. malice, B 1821 ; 
wickedness, 3575 ; Cursednesse, 
shrewishness, E 1 239. 

Curteisly, adv. courteously, B 

Curteisye, s. courtesy, refinement, 
B 3686, E 74, F 95. F. conrt- 
oisie, O. F. curteisie, courtesy, 
O.F. curteis, courteous, from O. F. 



cort, a court, Lat. cohortem, used 
by Palladius to mean a farm ; cf. 
court as a suffix in names of 


Daliaunce, s. playful demeanour; 
he doth daliaunce, he behaves 
playfully and goodnaturedly, B 
1 894. Evidently formed after the 
French manner ; but not in most 
French dictionaries. However, 
Godefroy has : ' dallier, railler,' 
i. e. to mock. From prov. G. 
dalen, dahlen, to prattle, to trifle. 
The Exmoor dwallee means ' to 
talk incoherently.' 

Dampned, pp. condemned, B 
3605. F. damner, O. F. damp- 
neir, Low Lat. dampnare, Lat. 
damnare, to condemn. 

Dan, s. (for Dominus), sir, B 3982. 
F. dom, lord, O. F. dans, from 
Lat. dominus. 

Dappel-gray, s. dapple gray, B 
2074. Dapple is a Low-German 
word ; cf. E. dab, a spot ; Icel. 
depill, a spot, dot; a dog with 
spots over the eyes is also called 

Dar, i p. s. pr. I dare, B 3110, E 
803, F 36, 581. A. S. ic dear, I 
dare; pt. t. ic dorste, I durst. 

Daunce, s. dance, F 277; pi. 
Daunces, 283. 

Daunce, v. to dance, B 126, F 
312 ; pr. pi. Dauncen, F 272. F. 
danser, from O. H. G. danson, to 
draw along; see Brachet and 

Daungerous, a<//. difficult to please, 
B 2129. See Daunger in Mor. 

Dawe, v. to dawn, B 3872. A. S. 
dagian, to become day, from 
dag, day. 

Day, s. day, time, B 3374; pi. 
Dayes, days, lifetime, 118; now a 

dayes, now-a-days, at this time, 
E 1164. A. S. dag, Icel. dagr, 
Mceso-Goth. dags, G. tag. 

Debat, s. debate, strife, war, B 1 30. 
F. debat, from debattre, to debate, 
O. F. debatre , desbatre ; from pre- 
fix = Lat. dis, and Lat. batvere, to 

Debate, v. to fight, war, B 2058. 
See above. 

Declaring, s. declaration, B 3172. 

Dede, s. deed, action (dot.), B 
1999, E 241, F 456; in dede = 
indeed, in reality, B 3511. A. S. 
dad, Mceso-Goth. deds. 

Deed, pp. dead, B 3517, 3633, 
3737, F 287, 474. A. S. dead, 
dead ; yet the A. S. verb for to die 
is steorfan. See Deyen. 

Deer, s. pi. animals, B 1926. A. S. 
deor, an animal, a neuter noun, 
unchanged in the nom. plural. It 
is a general noun, like the G. 
thier, not restricted to the animals 
now so called. 

Dees, s. pi. dice, F 690. F. de, a 
die ; O. F. plural dez, dice (Cot- 
grave) ; O. F. del, a die (Burguy) ; 
Provencal dat, Ital. dud a, said to 
be from Lat. datum (Brachet). 

Deeth, s. death, B 3567, E 36, 
510. A. S. dea$, Icel. daiiQi, 
Mceso-Goth. dauthus, G. tod. 

Deface, v. to obliterate, 510. 

Defame, s. dishonour, B 3738. F. 
diffamer, to defame, Lat. dif- 
famare. Wyclif has diffame, but 
only in the sense of to publish 
abroad. See Diffame. 

Defaute, s. default, fault, wicked- 
ness, B 3718; defect, E 1018. 
F. defaut, from favte, Ital. falta, 
from Lat. fallere, to fail. 
Degrees, s. pi. degrees of the 
zodiac, F 386. F. degri, Prov. 
degrat, from Lat. de, down, and 
gradus, a step. 

Delue, v. to dig up, F 638. A. S. 
delfan, Du. delven. 

R 2 



Delyt, s. delight, pleasure, B 3340, 
3590, E 68. O. F. delit, deleft, 
from Lat. delectare, to delight. 

Delytable, adj. delectable, delight- 
ful, E 62, 199. O. F. delitable, 
Lat. delectabilis. 

Delyting, pres. fart, delighting, E 
997. O. F. deliter, deleiter, Lat. 
delectare, to please. 

Demandes, s. pi. questions, E 348. 
F. demande, from Lat. demand- 

Dome, v. judge, E 133 ; Demen, to 
give judgment, B 1639 : I p. s. 
pr. Deme, I suppose, E 753 ; pr. 
pi. Demen, E 988, F 224; 
Demeth, F 221 ; I p. s. pt. Dem- 
ede, F 563 ; pt. pi. Denied, 20-2 . 
A. S. demon, to judge, to deem. 
See Doom, Do. 

Demeyne, s. dominion, B 3855. 
O. F. demeine, from Low Lat. 
dominium, power; from Lat. do- 
minus, a lord. 

Depardieux, inter j. on the part of 
God, by God's help, B 39. See 

Depe, adj. deep, B 3988 ; adv. 
deeply, 4. A. S. deop, Icel. djupr, 
Goth, divps. 

Dere, adj. dear; voc. case, B 1641, 
E 101, 1056; pi. E 999, 1089, 
1093, F 272, 341. A. S. dedre, 
dyre, Icel. dyrr, G. theuer. 

Dere, v. to injure, wound, harm, B 
3191, F 240. A. S. derian, Du. 
deren, to injure. 

Desert, s. desert, deserving, merit, 
F 532. O. F. deserte, merit, 
deservir, to deserve; from Lat. 
seruire, to serve. 

Desirous, adj. ardent, F 23. F. 
dteireux; from desirer, Lat. de~ 
siderare, to wish for. 

Desolat. adj. desolate, i. e. void of, 
lacking in, B 131. F. d&oler, to 
ravage ; Lat. desolare, to leave 
alone, from solus, alone, sole. 

Despeired, pp. filled with despair, 

B 3645. Lat. desperare, to give 
up hope, from spes, hope. 

Despence, s. expenses, expenditure, 
money for expenses, B 105. O. F. 
despense, F. depense, expense ; 
from Lat. dispendere, to spend, 
pendere, to weigh out, to pay. 

Despendest, 2 p. s. pr. spendest, 
wastest, B 2121. 

Despitously, adv. despitefully, 
cruelly, E 535. 

Despyse, v. to despise, B 115. 
Lat. despicere. 

Despyt, s. despite, a deed expres- 
sive of contempt, B 3738 ; in 
your despyt = in spite of you, in 
contempt of you, 1753. f.depil, 
O. F. despit, Lat. despectus, a 
looking down upon; from de, 
down, specere, to look. 

Dette, s. a debt, obligation, B 41. 
F. dette, Lat. debita, a sum due ; 
from debere, to owe. 

Deuoir, s. duty, B 38, E 966. F. 
devoir, to owe ; Lat. debere. 

Deuyse, v. to relate, B 2132, 3842, 
52; to describe, F. 6e, 279; 
to plan, E 698 ; to frame, E 739 ; 
Deuysen, to imagine, E 108 ; i 
p. s. pr. Deuyse, I tell, B 3693; 
pr. pi. Deuyse, imagine, discourse, 
F 261. F. deviser, to talk; Low 
Lat. diuisa, a division of goods, 
a judgment, opinion ; from Lat 
diuidere, to divide. 

Dextrer, *. a courser, war-horse, 
B 2103. F. destrier, a war-horse; 
Low Lat. dexlrarius, from Lat. 
dextra, the right hand. The 
squire rode his own horse, and 
led his master's horse beside him, 
on his right hand. 

Deyen, v. to die, E 665, 859; 
Deye, B 3232, E 364; pt. s. 
Deyde, E 550, 1062 ; pp. Deyed, 
B 184!. Icel. deyja, to die; the 
A. S. has only the derivative 
deddian, seldom used ; the A, S. 
for to die is swellan or steorfan. 



Deyinge, s. dying, death, B 1850. 
A true s6. ; not a pres. part. 

Deyned him, pt. s. it deigned him, 
i. e. he deigned, B 3324. F. 
daigner, O. F. deigner, Lat. dig- 
nan, to think worthy ; from dig- 
nns, worthy. 

Deyntee, s. pleasure, F 681 ; pi. 
Deyntees, dainties, 301. O. F. 
daintie, agreeableness, from Lat. 
dignitatem, honour. See Deyned. 

Deyntee, adj. dainty, pleasant, rare, 
B 1901, E III2, F 70. The 
sense rare explains Spenser, F. CL 
i. 2. 27 ' dainty maketh derth,' 
i. e. rarity makes a thing dear or 

Deynteuous, adj. dainty, E 265. 

Days, s. dais, F 59. O. F. deis, 
Lat. discus. See Mor. Gloss. 

Diademe, s. diadem, crown, F 43, 
60. Lat. diadema, Gk. StaSrjfia, 
a fillet, that which is bound round, 
from Std, across, and Sefv, to bind. 

Dide, pt. s. did, E 185; put on, 
B 2047 ; dide hem drawe = 
caused to be drawn, B 1823. 
A. S. dyde, a past tense formed by 
reduplication, from don, to do ; 
cf. O. H.G. dede, or teta, I did, 
from duon or tuon, to do. 

Diffame, s. evil name, ill report, E 
540, 730. See Defame. 

Digestioun, s. digestion, F 347. 
F. digestion, Lat. digestionem, 
from digerere, to distribute, di- 
gest ; dis, apart, gerere, to carry. 

Digne, adj. worthy, noble, B 1175, 
E 8 1 8. F. digue, Lat. dignus. 

Dignitee, s. dignity, rank, E 470. 
F. dignite, O. F. digniteit, Lat. 
dignitatem; from dignus. 

Discriptioun, s. description, F 
580. From Lat. describere. 

Discryue, v. to describe, F 424; 
Discryuen, 40; pt. s. Discryueth, 
describes, E 43 ; pp. Discryued, B 
3336. F. decrire, O. F. descrire, 
Lat. describere. 

Disdeyne, v. to disdain, E 98. F. 
dedaigner, O. F. desdaigner, Lat. 
dedignari, to scorn. Cf. M. E. 
dedain (Allit. Poems). 

Disdeyn, s. disdain, contempt, F 
700. F. dedain, O. F. desdain. 

Disese, s. discomfort, source of pain, 
distress, B 3961 ; misery, F 467. 

Disparage, s. disparagement, dis- 
grace, E 908. O. F. desparager 
(Cotgrave), Low Lat. disparag- 
iare, to form a misalliance; 
paragium, equality of rank ; from 
Lat. par, equal. 

Dispence, s. expense, expenditure, 
E 1209. See Despence. 

Dispende, v. to spend, B 3500, 
F 690. 

Dispensacion, s. dispensation, E 

Displese, v. to displease, E 506. 

Dispoilen, v. to despoil, i. e. strip, 
E 374. Lat. spoliare, to strip; 
spolium, spoil. 

Disport, s. sport, diversion, B 
3981. O. F. desporter, to amuse 
oneself (Roquefort); from Lat. 
portare, to carry. 

Dissimulinges, s. pi. dissimula- 
tions, pretences that things are 
not so, F 285. Lat. dissimvlare, 
to pretend that a thing is not. 

Distaf, s. a distaff, B 3097, 3564. 
A. S. distaef; here staef is our 
modern staff; Mr. Wedgwood 
cites the Platt-Deutsch diesse, 
meaning the bunch of flax on the 
distaff, and quotes from Palsgrave 
the phrase ' I dyayn a dystaffe,' 
meaning ' I supply a distaff with 
flax ; ' perhaps the first element 
is cognate also with E. Fries. 
dissen, a bunch of flax on a 
distaff, Low G. diisse, the same 
(Berghaus), or dise (Liibben). 

Diuerse, adj. pi. diverse, F 202. 
Lat. diuersus. 

Diuersely, adv. in different ways, 
F 202. 



Diuyde, v. to divide, B 3380 ; pp. 
Diuyded, 3424. Lat. diuidere. 

Diuyn, adj. divine, B 3247. Lat. 

Do, v. to cause, B 3107, E 353 ; 
imp. s. Do come = cause to come, 
B 2035 ; a p. pi. pr. Do kepe = 
cause to be kept, 3624; pp. Do, 
done, ended, E 2440. A. S. don, 
Du. doen, G. thun, O. H. G. duon, 
tuon; the original sense is to 
place, as in Sanskr. dha, to place, 
put, Gk. TiOijfjtt, I place. From 
the same root is the Gk. Offus, 
A. S. dom, judgment, doom ; 
whence the verb to deem. 

Dogerel, adj. doggrel, B 2115. 

Dogges, s. pi. dogs, B 3089. Du. 
dog, a large dog, mastiff. 

Dominacioun, s. domination, su- 
premacy, chiefest influence, F 
352 ; dominion, B 3409. From 
Lat. dominus, a lord. 

Dominus. See Corpus. 

Don, v. to do, F 323 ; Doon, to 
act, B 90; to ply, B 1653; to 
cause, 3618; to make, 3507; 
leet don crye = caused to be cried, 
F 46 ; pr. s. Doth forth = con- 
tinues, E 1015; Dooth, doth, B 
23 ; gerund, to Done, F 334 ; to 
Doone, E 99 ; imp. pi. Doth, do, 
E 568, 652 ; as doth = pray do, 
F 458 ; pp. Don, F 130 ; ended, 
F 297; Doon, B 38;' ended, B 
3423, F 601 ; doon make = caused 
to be made, E 253; hath doon 
yow kept = hath caused you to be 
kept, E 1098. See Do. 

Doom, s. judgment, opinion, B 
3 1 2 7, E looo, F 677. A. S. dom, 
judgment, Gk. (?</.?, judgment, 
decision; cf.ri$rj/ju, 1 place, Sanskr. 
dkd, to place. 

Dore, s. a door, E 282, F 80, 615 ; 
pi. Dotes, B 3615, 3719. A. S. 
darn, Goth, daur, Gk. Ovpa. 

Dorste, pi. s. durst, B 1995, 3527, 
403 See Dar. ' 

Doubelnessc, s. duplicity, F 556. 

F. double, double, Lat. duplus, 

Gk. oiir\6os, twofold. 
Doughter, gen. sing, daughters, E 

608. A. S. dohtor, a daughter ; 

gen. dohtor; Gk. Ovyaryp, Sanskr. 

duAitri, i. e. a milker, one who 

milks the cows, from duh, to 

Doughty, adj. doughty, strong, B 

1914, 3502, F 338 ; warlike, F 

II. A. S. doktig, valiant, from 

diigan, to profit ; so G. tuchtig, 

from taugen. 
Doun, adv. down, F 323; up and 

down = in all directions, in all 

ways, B 53. See Adoun. 
Donne, s. down, hill (dative), B 

1986. A. S. dun, a hill; dat. 

Douteles, adv. doubtless, without 

doubt, certainly, B 91, 2142; 

Doutelees, E 485. 
Doutes, s. pi. fears, F 2 20. ' Double, 

{. a doubt ; suspect ; feare, scruple; 

mistrust,' &c. Cotgrave. 
Dowaire, s. dower, E 848 ; Dower, 

807. F. douer, to endow, Lat. 

dotare ; donaire, a dowry, Lat. 

doiarium; from Lat. dos. 
Dradde, pt. s. dreaded, feared, B 

3402, E 523; Dradde him = was 

afraid, B 3918; pp. Drad, dreaded, 

E 69. See Drede. 
Dragoun, s. dragon, B 3291. F. 

dragon, Lat. draconem, Gk. 

SpaKovra ; probably it meant 

originally a watcher, guardian, 

from SfpKOfiat, I see, opaKtiv, to 

Drank, (or Dranke), 2 p. s. pr. didst 

drink, B 3416; pt. s. drank, E 

2 1 6. A. S. drincan, pt. t. ie dranc. 
Drasty, adj. filthy, worthless, 

trashy, B 2113. An adj. formed 

from A. S. dresten, dregs, dterst or 

doerste, leaven, in the O.Northumb. 

version of Matt. xiii. 33. Note 

also Goth, drauhma, drausna, a 



crumb, fragment. Hence the word 
means full of lees, or dregs. The 
Promp. Parv. gives ' drestys of 
oyle, drestys or lyys [/] of wine ' 
as synonymous with 'dregges.' 
Mr. Way's note says The Me- 
dulla renders 'fecula, a little traist,' 
'feculentus, fulle of traiste ' (Had. 
MS. 2 2 5 7) ; in the Ortus, ' dregges.' 
Amurca is explained by Elyot to 
mean ' the mother or feme of all 
oyles,' in Harl. MS. 1002, ' drastus.' 
Palsgrave gives ' dresly, full of 
drest, liettx.' Horman says ' the 
drastys (floces) of the wyne be 
medicynable.' There is then no 
doubt about the true reading in 
this passage. 

Drawe, v. to draw, incline, E 314 ; 
Drawe him, to withdraw himself, 
F 355 ; Drawen hem, with- 
draw themselves, F 252; 
Draweth, invite, B 1632. A. S. 
dragon, to drag, draw, G. Iragen. 

Drede, I p. s. pr. I dread, fear, E 
636 ; imp. s. Dreed, dread, fear, 
1 201; pt. s. Dredde, dreaded, 
feared, 1 8 1. A.S. on drcedan, to 
fear ; the simple verb is not used. 

Drede, s. dread, fear, awe, B 3694, 
373*. E 358, 462 ; jt is no 
drede = there is no fear"*or doubt, 
beyond doubt, E 1155; out of 
drede = out of doubt, certainly, 


Dredful, adj. terrible, B 3558. 

Drery, adj. sad, E 514. A.S. 
dreorig, sorrowful ; lit. bloody, 
from dreor, blood. Cf. G. traurig, 
sad ; O. H. G. tror, blood, dew, 
that which falls ; A. S. dredran, 
Mceso-Goth. driusan, to fall. 

Dresse, v. to address oneself, E 
1007; to address, prepare, 1049; 
pr. pi. Dresse hem, direct them- 
selves, i. e. go, draw near, F 290. 
F. dresser, Ital. dirizzare ; from 
Lat. directus, direct ; from regere, 
to rule. 

Dreye, adj. dry, B 3233; pi. 
Dreye, E 899. A. S. dryge, dry. 

Dreynt,/>p. drenched, i.e. drowned, 
B 69. A. S. drencan, to make 
to drink, drench, drown; pp. 

Driue, pp. driven, B 3203. 

Dronke, pt. pi. drank, B 3418; 
Dronken, 3390 ; pp. Dronke, 
diunk, 3758. 

Drough, pt. s. refl. drew himself, 
approached, B 1710; pt. s. Drow, 
drew, 3292. 

Droughte, s. drought, F 118; 
A. S. drrigaft, dryness ; drdgian, 
drigan, to dry; from dryge, dry. 

Dryue, v. to drive, F 183; pp. 
Driue, driven, B 3203. A.S. 
drifan, to drive, pp. drifen. 

Dul, adj. dull, F 279. A.S. dol, 
Goth, dwals, foolish. 

Dure, v. to last, endure, E 166, 
825. F. durer, Lat. durare; from 
dttrus, hard. 

Dyed,/)/, s. dyed, steeped, F 511. 
A.S. dedgian, to dye; dedg, a 
dye, a colour. 

Dyen, v. to die, B 114, 3618; 
Dye, 3324, E 38; pt. s. Dvde, 
died, B 3986. See Deyen. 

Dyghte, v. to dight, prepare, E 
974; Dyghte me, prepare myself 
to go, B 3104; pp. Dyght, pre- 
pared himself to go, 3719. A. S. 
dihlan, to prepare; G. dichten, 
O. H. G. tihten, to set in order. 


Ebbe, s. ebb, F 259. A. S. ebba, 
an ebb, reflux ; ebbian, to ebb. 

Echon, adj. each one, B iSiS; 
Echoon, E 124. 

Eek, adv. eke, also, B 59, 70, 
1877. A. S. edc, Du. oo*, G. 
auch, Mceso-Goth. auk. 

Eet, pt. s. ate, B 3362, 3407 ; imp. 
s. eat, 3640. A. S. etan, pt. t. ic 
at; cf. G. essen, pt. t. ich ass. 



Eft, adv. again, E 1227, F 631. 
A.S. eft, again, back, after. 

Egle, s. eagle, F 123; gen. Egles, 
B 3365. F. aigle, Lat. aquila. 
The A.S. word is ern, earn. 

Egre, adj. eager, sharp, fierce, E 
1199. F. aigre, Lat. ace. acrem, 
from acer. 

Eightetethe, orJ. adj. eighteenth, 
65. A. S. eahlaleti'Sa. 

Ekko, s. echo, E 1189. Lat. echo, 
Gk. r'ixw ; from ?jx os > a noise. 

Elaat, adj. elate, B 3357. Lat. 

Elder, adj. eomp. older, B 1720, 
3450. A. S. eald, old ; comp. 
yldra, older. 

Eldres, s. pi. elders, forefathers, B 
3388, E 65, 156. A. S. yldra, 
older ; the pi., yldran, means 
elders, parents. 

Elf-queen, s. fairy queen, B 1978, 
1980. A.S. celf, an elf, whence 
JElf-red (elf-counsel), Alfred ; Icel. 
dlfr, an elf, fairy; spelt ouphe 
in Shakespeare. 

Elles, adv. else, otherwise, B 2129, 
3232, 3983. A.S. elles, other- 
wise ; the A. S. prefix el- means 
other, foreign, strange ; cf. Lat. 
al-ias, al-ius, al-ienus, al-ter. 

Eluish, adj. elvish, i. e. abstracted, 
vacant, absent in demeanour, 
B 1893. The word occurs as 
aluhch in Sir Gawain and the 
Grene Knight, 68 1, where it 
seems to mean having super- 
natural power ; but no such 
compliment is intended here. 
* As the elves had power to be- 
witch men, a silly, vacant person 
is in Icelandic called dlfr; hence 
dlfalegr, silly ; dlfaskapr and dlfa- 
hdttr, silly behaviour ' ; Cleasby's 
Icel. Diet. See the note. 

Emeraude, s. emerald, B 1799. 
F. cmeraude, O. F. estneralde, 
from Lat. stnaragdus. 

Emperoures, s. pi. emperors, B 

3558. F. emperetir, O. F. em* 
pereor, Lat. imperatorem. 

Empoisoned, pp. poisoned, B 
3850. F. empoisonner, to poison ; 
poison is a doublet of potion ; from 
Lat. potionem, a drink ; from 
po'.are, to drink ; whence also 

Emprinteth, imp. pi. imprint, im- 
press, E 1193. F. empreindre, 
from Lat. imprimere ; from prem- 
ere, to press. 

Empryae, s. enterprise, B 3857. 
O. F. emprise, emprinse, an enter- 
prise ; F. prendre, to take, Lat. 
prekendere, prendere. 

Encheson, s. occasion, cause, F 
456. O. F. enckaison, an occa- 
sion (Roquefort) ; from ehaoir, 
to happen, Lat. cadere. 

Encresen, v. to increase, B 1654; 
pr. s. Encresseth, E 50; pp. En- 
cressed, 408. Norman Fr. en- 
crecer, from Lat increscere. 

Endelcmg, prep, down along, F 
416. A.S. andlang, G. entlang, 
along; the prefix is seen in full 
in Moeso-Goth. anda, Lat. ante, 
Gk. dm-, Sanskr. anti (Vedic), 
signifying against, opposite, &c. 

Endure, v. to last, B 3538; F. 
endurer, Lat. indurare. See 

Endyte, v. to indict, B 3858 ; pr. 
pi. 2 p. endite, compose, E 17; 
pr. s. Endyteth, endites, composes, 
E 41, 1148; pp. Endyted, com- 
posed, B 3170. O. F. endider, 
enditier, to indicate, from diiier, 
to dictate, Lat. dictare. 

Enformed, pp. informed, E 738, 
F 335. Lat. informare, through 
the French. Cotgrave has ' En- 
former, to form, fashion,' &c. 

Engendred, pp. engendered, be- 
gotten, E 158. F. engendrer, 
Lat. ingenerare, to implant ; 
from Lat. genus = E. kin. 

Engyn, s. a 'gin,' machine, F 184. 



F. engin, meaning (i) skill, (2) 
an engine; from Lat. ingenium, 

Enlumined, ft. s. illumined, E 
33- F. enlttminer, Lat. illumin- 
are; from lumen, light, which 
from lux, light. 

Enquere, v. to enquire, E 769. 
F. enqtierir, Lat. inquirers; from 
quaerere, to seek. 

Ensample, s. example, B 78, 
3281. O. F. ensample (Roque- 
fort), Lat. exemplum. 

Entencion, s. intention, purpose, 
E 703. O. F. intention, a design 
(Roquefort) ; Lat. intentionem. 

Entende, v . to direct one's atten- 
tion, apply oneself, B 3498 ; to 
attend, dispose oneself, F 689. 
F. entendre, Lat. intendere. 

Entente, s. intention, B 40, E 
735, 874; meaning, F 400; 
design, B 3835, F 521 ; wish, 
E 189; mind, B 1740; in good 
entent = with good will, B 1902; 
as to commune entente, with 
reference to its common (i. e. 
plain) meaning, i. e. in plain in- 
telligible language, F 107. 

Entraille, s. entrails, inside, E 
1188. F. entrailles, Low Lat. 
intrania, Lat. interanea (Pliny), 
from interus, inward, intra, with- 

Envenimed, pp. envenomed, poi- 
soned, B 3314. F. envenimer, to 
poison ; F. venin, Lat. venenum, 

Envye, s. envy, jealousy, B 3584, 
3888. F. envie, Lat. inuidia. 

Epistolis, dat. case pi. (Latiti), 
epistles, B 55. 

E quite e, s. equity, justice, E 439. 
F. eqvite, Lat. aequitatem. 

Er, conj. ere, B 119, 1667, aoi 5 5 
F 130; er now, ere now, F 
460; er that, before, E 178. A. S. 
air, Mceso-Goth. air, whence E. 

Ere, s. ear, F 196, 316; pi. Ere?, 
B 3726, E 629. A. S. tare, 
Mceso-Goth. atiso, Lat. auris. 

Erl, s. earl, B 3597, 3646; pi. 
Erles, 3839. A.S. eorl, Icel.jarl, 
a chief. 

Erly, adv. early, F 379. A. S. 
eerlice; see Er. 

Ernest, s. earnest, 723. A. S. 
eornost, certain, sure, G. ernsl; 
allied to Icel. ern, brisk, vigorous, 
and Gk. opvvfu, I excite. 

Ernestful, adj. serious, E 11/5. 

Erst, adv. before, E 336; at erst 
= at first, first of all, B 1884, E 
985. A. S. eerest, first, superl. of 
<er, before, ere. 

Erthe, s. earth, E 203. A. S. 
eorfte, Icel. jorS, Mceso-Golh. 
airtha, G. erde. 

Ese, s. ease, 217, 434. F. ahe. 

Esily, adv. easily, F 115; softlv, 
slowly, 388. 

Espyen, v. to espy, spy, see, B 
3258; pt. s. Espyed, 3718. F. 
epier, O. F. espier, from O. H. G. 
spehen, to spy, G. spahen. 

Est, s. east, B 3657 ; as adv. in 
the east, F 459. A. S. east, Icel. 
austr ; cf. Lat. A urora ( = A nsosa) 
and Sanskr. itshas, the dawn, from 
the root us, to burn ; which from 
an older root vas, to shine ; Peile's 
Greek and Latin Etymology, 2nd 
ed. p. 142. 

Estaat, s. estate, condition, rank, 
B 359 2 . 3647. 3965; state, E 
160, 767; way, E 610; Estat, 
state, F 26. F. etat, O. F. estat, 
Lat. status. 

Estward, adv. eastwards, E 50. 

Ete, v. to eat, F 617; pp. Eten, 
E 1096. See Eet. A. S. elan, 
Mceso-Goth. itan, to eat. 

Euangelist, s. Evangelist, writer 
of a Gospel, B 2133. 

Eue, s. eve, evening, F 364. A. S. 
efen; cf. G. abend. 

Euel, adv. ill, B 1897. See Yusl. 



Euene, adj. even, E 811. A. S. 
efen, eefen, equal, Mceso-Goth. 

Euerich, adj. every one, E 

Euerichon, every one, B 1164; 
Euerichon, 4009 ; Euerichoon, B 
58, 3089; with pi. sb. 3277. 

Euermo, adv. evermore, continu- 
ally, B I744> 4005; for euermo 
= continually, E 754 ; Euermore, 
F 124. 

Exametron, s. a hexameter, B 3 1 69. 
Gk. (^afntrpov, neuter of If a/^frpos, 
a six-foot verse ; from f(, six, and 
Utrpov, a metre, measure. 

Excellente, adj. excellent, F 145. 
F. excellent, Lat. excellentem. 

Expert, adj. experienced, B 4. F. 
expert, Lat. expertns. 

Expoune, v. to expound, explain, 
B 3398 ; Expounde, 3940 ; pt. 
s. Expouned, 3399 ; Expowned, 
3346. O. F. espondre, to ex- 
pose, Lat. exponere. 

Ey, inter), eh ! E 2419. Cf. G. . 

Eyleth, pr. s. ails, B 1171, 1975; 
pt. s. impers. Eyled, ailed, F 501. 
A. S. eglian, to feel pain, eglan, 
to give pain, egl, trouble ; Moeso- 
Goth. agio, tribulation, aglns, 
troublesome; cf. Goth, agis, E. 


Pace, s. face; a technical term in 
astrology, signifying the third part 
of a sign (of the zodiac) ; a part 
of the zodiac ten degrees in ex- 
tent, F 50. See the note. 

Fader, gen. sing, father's, B n/8, 
3121, 3127; fader day, father's 
day, father's time, 3374, E 1136; 
we also find Fadres, B 3534, 
3630, E 809 ; pi. Fadres, fathers, 
ancestors, E 61 ; parents, origi- 
nators, B 129. A. S. fader (gen. 
fader} G. vater, Lat. pater. Sanskr. 

pilrl, a father, guardian ; from pa, 
to guard, nourish. 

Faille, v. to fail, B 3955. F. 
faillir, Lat. fallere. 

Paire, adj. def. as sb. the fair part, 
F 518 ; voc. case Faire, 485. A. S. 
faegr, Moeso-Goth. fagrs, fair; 
cf. Gk. 111770$, well-fastened, 
strong, from irrf^vviM, I fasten ; 
cf. Goth.fahan, to seize. 

Pairnesse, s. fairness, beauty, E 
384. A. S.fcegsrnes. 

Pairye, s. fairyland, B 1992, 2004, 
F 96 ; fairy contrivance, magic, 
F 201. .f eerie, O. F. faerie, en- 
chantment; F. fee, Ital. fata, a 
fairy, from Low Lat. fata, a 
witch, who presides over fate; 
Lat. fatum, destiny. 

Palle, v. to fall, happen, light, E 1 26 ; 
to suit, E 259 ; Fallen, to happen, 
F 134; pp. Falle, fallen, B 3196, 
3268 ; happened, E 938 ; Fallen, 
accidentally placed, F. 684. A. S. 

Pals, adj. false, B 74 ; def. False, 
3727. F. faux, O. F. fals, Lat. 

Palsed, pp. falsified, broken (faith), 
F 627. 

Fame, s. good report, E 418. F. 
fame, Lzt.fama. 

Pantasyes, s. pi. fancies, F 205. 

F. fantaisie, Gk. <pavraala, from 
<paiveiv, to appear; whence also 
phantom, phantasm. Fancy is a 
doublet of phantasy. 

Pare, v. to fare, get on, F 488; 
i p. s. pr. Fare, I am, B 1676 ; 
pr. s. Fareth, it fares, it is, E 
1217; pp- Fare, fared, gone, E 
896 ; imp. s. Far wel, farewell, 
B Il6, 3631, E 555. A. S.faran, 
to go, proceed, fare, Du. varen, 

G. fahren, to travel ; cf. Gk. 
iroptvu, I carry, noptvoftai, I 
travel ; Gk. nopos, E. ferry. 

Paste, adv. fast, closely, E 598 ; 
quickly, B 2017; Paste by, close 



at hand, B 3116; adv. comp. 

Faster, closer, 3722. A.S. fast, 

fast, firm ; faeste, firmly, also 

Faucon, s. a falcon, F 411, 424, 

&c. F.faucon, Lat. falconem. 
F aught, ft. s. fought, B 3519. 
Fauour, s. favour, B 3914. F. 

faveur, L&t.fauorem. 
Fayn, adv. gladly, willingly, B 

41, 3283; wolde fayn = would 

fain, would be glad to, E 696. 

A..S.f<egn, fain, glad, Icel. feginn. 
Fayre, adj. fair, B 69. 
Fecche, v. to fetch, B 1857; 

Fecchen, E 276. See Fette. 
Feeld, s. field, in an heraldic sense, 

B 3573! da*- Felde, field, plain, 

3197. A.S.feld; dat.felde. 
Feend, s. the fiend, F 522; a 

fiend, B 3654. The Moeso-Goth. 

fijan, to hate, has a pres. part. 

fijands, used in the sense of an 

enemy; so A.S. feon, to hate, 

fednd, a fiend. 
Feet, s. performance, E 429. F. 

fait, Lat. facium. Thus feat is 

an older doublet of fact. 
Fel, adj. fell, cruel, terrible, B 

2019 ; //. Felle, 3290. A.S. fell, 

cruel ; O. F.fel, cruel (Roquefort). 

Cf. Low Lat./<?//o,/<?/o, a traitor, 

rebel ; whence E. felon, 
Felaw, s. fellow, companion, B 

1715, 2135; pi. Felawcs, B 

1629, 3356, E 282. IceLfelagi, 

a companion ; from fe, cattle, 

property, and lagi, law, society; 

applied to one who possesses 

property in partnership with 

Felde, s. dot. field, B 3197. See 

Fele, adj. pi. many, E 917. A.S. 

fela, G. viel, Du. veel, Gk. TTO\VS. 
Felle. See Fel. 
Felte, I p. s. pi. felt, F 566. 
Fer, adj. far, B 1908,3157; adv. 

1781, 3872. A S.feorr. 

Ferde, pi. s. fared, i.e. behaved, 
E 1060, F. 461, 621. See Fare. 

Fere, s. dot. fear, B 3369, 3394, 
3728. A.S. feer, dat. fare, fear, 
danger ; cf. G. gefaftr, danger. 

Ferforth, adv. far forward; so 
ferforth = to such a degree, F 567 ; 
as ferforth as = as far as, B 19. 

Ferme, adj. firm, E 663. F. ferine, 

Fern, adv. long ago ; so fern = so 
long ago, F 256. A.S. fyrn, 
O.H.G. firni, old. Cf. prov. G. 
firner wein, last year's wine. The 
root appears also in the Greek 
irtpvfft, as in i) irtpvffi Ktuf^caSla, 
last year's comedy (Curtius). 

Fern, s. fern, ferns, F 255. A.S. 

Fern-assh.en, s. pi. fern-ashes, 
ashes produced by burning ferns, 

Ferther, adj. further, B 1686; 

adv. E 712. 
Feste, s. feast, festival, E 191, F 

61,113. F. fete, O. F.feste, Lat. 

festa, pi. offeslum. 
Festeyinge, pres. part, feasting, 

entertaining, F 345. F.festoyer, 

O.Y.festier, to feast. 
Festlich, adj. festive, fond of 

feasts, F 281. 
Fette, pt. s. fetched, 301; pi. 

Fette, B 2041; pp. Fet, F 276. 

A. S. feccan, to fetch; pt. t. ic 

feahte, pp. gefetod. 
Fetheres, s. pi. feathers, B 3365. 

A.S. fe~Ser, cognate with Lat. 

penna (whence E. pen), and Gk. 

irtTo/xeu, I fly, Sanskr. patra, a 

bird's wing. 
Fettred, pi. s. fettered, B 3547. 

A.S.feter, Icel. fjottur, G. fessel, 

a fetter ; cf. Lat. com-pes. 
Fey,^s. faith, E 9, 1032. F. foi, 

O.F.fei,feid, L&t.Jidem. 
Feyne, v. to feign, F 510; pp. 

Feyned, pretended, 524. F. 

feindre, Lat. finger e. 


Feyning, s. pretending, cajolery, 

F 556. 
Feynting, s. fainting, failing, E 

970. Orig. pp. of F. feindre, to 

Fieble, adj. feeble, weak, E 1198. 

F.faible, O.F. foible, floible, Ital. 
fievole, feeble. Derived from Lat. 

flebilis, lamentable. 
Fiers, adj. fierce, B 1970. Roque- 
fort gives O.F. 'fers, fier, hautain, 

severe ; ' it seems to be from Lat. 

nom. ferns, not from Lat. ace. 

Figure, s. shape, i.e. man's shape 

or form, B 3412; pi. Figures, 

figures of speech, E 16. F. figure, 

Fil, pt. s. fell, occurred, happened, 

B 186;, 1962, 3275, 449, 718; 

as fer as reason til = as far as 

reason extended, F 570; pt. pi. 

Fille, fell, F 238; Ffflen, fell, 

B 3183, 3620. A.S. feallan, to 

fall; pt. t. icfeol, pp. gefeallen. 
Fingres, s. pi. ringers, E 380. 

A.S. finger. 
Firste, adj. tised as a sb.; my 

firstc = my first narration, F 75. 
Fish, s. the sign Pisces, F 273. 

See note. A. S. fisc, Lat. piseis ; 

thus fishes and pisces are the same 

Fit, s. a ' fyt ' or ' passus, 1 a portion 

of a song, B 2078. A. S. fit, a 

Flambss, s. pi. flames, B 3353. 

F. flamme, O.F. flambe, Lat. 

Flae, v. to fly, F 502 ; Flcen, 122; 

pr. pi. Fleen, flee, B 121 ; pr. s. 

Fleeth, flies, E 119, F 149; pi. 

s. Fledde, fled, avoided, B 3445, 

3874; Fley, fled, 3879. A.S. 

fleon, to flee ; fleogan, to fly. 
Flokmele, adv. in a flock, in a 

great number, E 86. A.S. floe, 

a. flock ; masl, a portion ; hence 

dat. pi. as adv. mcelum, in parts, 

and the compound flocmJelum, by 

divisions or companies. 
Flood, s. flood, flowing of the sea, 

F 259. A. S. fldd, Mceso-Goth. 

Flour, s. flower, B 2091, 3287, 

3687; choice, pattern, E 919. 

Y.fleur, Lat. florem. 
Floure, pr. s. subj. flower, flourish. 

E 1 20. 
Folweth, pr. s. follows, B 3327, 

imp. pi. follow, imitate, E 1189. 

A. S. folgian,fyligean, Icel.fylgja, 

G. folgen. 
Folye, s. folly, E 236. F. folie, 

from fol, fou, mad. 
Fond, pt. s. found, E 457 ; Foond, 

B J 99i. 3733; P>- pl- Fonde, 

B 3 2 59 p 1 ' * subj. Fonde, 

35 2 i. 
Fonde, v. to endeavour, B 2080; 

to attempt, try, E 283. A. S. 

fandian, to try, tempt, search 

out ; connected with findan, to 

Foo, s. foe, enemy, B 1748, 3415, 

F 136; pl. Foon, foes, B 3896; 

Foos, B 3219, 3519. A.S. f ah, 

a foe ; pl./a; from the same root 

zs fiend. See Feend. 
Fool, s. a fool, employed to make 

sport, B 3271. F. fol, fan. 
Fool-hardy, adj. foolishly bold, 

B 3106. 
Foo-men, *. pl. foes, B 3255, 


Foon, Foos. See Foo. 

Foond. See Fond. 

For, conj. because, B 1705, F 74; 
in order that, F 102 ; frep. as 
regards, with respect to, B 13, 
474; on account of, B 3321; 
against, 2052; for me = by my 
means, F 357. A.S. for. 

Forage, s. forage, food, B 1973. 
F. fourrage, O. F. fourage, from 
O. F. forre, fodder, Low Lat. 
fodrum, fodder; from a Teutonic 
source; cf. O. H.G. fuo.'ar, E. 



fodder; which from the root of 
Moeso-Goth. fodjan, to feed; cf. 
E. food. To forage is therefore 
to search for fodder and food. 

Forbede, imp. s. 3 p. may he for- 
bid; god f orbed e = God forbid, E 
136, 1076 ; pt. s. Forbad, forbade, 
570. A. S. forbeddan, Mceso- 
Goth. faurbiudan. 

Forby, adv. past, B 1759, I79 2 - 
Cf. Dan. forbi, past, gone; G. 

Fordrye, adj. very dry, exceed- 
ingly dry, withered up, F 409. Cf. 
A. S. fordrigan, to dry up, parch. 

Forfered, pp. exceedingly afraid; 
forfered of, very afraid for, F 527. 
The prefix for- is the A. S. for-, 
G.ver-, Mceso-Goth./ra-, or some- 
times four-, as in faurbiudan, to 

Forgeten, pp. forgotten, E 469. 
A. S. forgitan, to forget, pp. for- 
geten, G. vergessen. 

Forgoon, v. to forgo (commonly 
misspelt forego), E 171. A.S. 
forgdn, to forgo, pass by, Mceso- 
Goth. faurgaggan, to pass by; 
different from Moeso-Goth. fau- 
ragaggan, to go before, which 
might be represented by forego, 
as, indeed, it is in the phrase 
1 a foregone conclusion,' Othello, 
iii. 3. 428 ; cf. G. vergehen and 

Forlete, v. to leave, yield up, B 
1848. A. S. forlfetan, to let go ; 
G. verlassen, to leave. 

Fors, s. force, matter; no fors = 
no matter, E 1092, 2430. F. 
force, Low Lat. fortia, strength ; 
fiomforlis, strength. I gyue no 
force, I care nat for a thyng, // 
ne men chault' ; Palsgrave's French 

Forsake, v. to forsake, leave, B 
3431. A.S. forsacan. 

Forth, adv. forth, F 605 ; used as 
v. = go forth, F 604. A.S./orS. 

Forthermore, adv. furthermore, 

moreover, 169. 
Forward, s. an agreement, B 34, 

1167; promise, 40. A. S. fore- 

vieard, an agreement ; from fore, 

before, and vieard, a ward, or 

guard; not connected with word. 
Foryelde, v. to requite, yield in 

return, E 831. A. S. forgyldan, 

to recompense; from gyldan, to 

pay, to yield; cf. Mceso-Goth. 

fragildan, G. vergelten. 
Foryetful, adj. forgetful, E 472. 

The A. S. form isforgitol. 
Foryiue, v. to forgive, E 526. 

A.S.forgifan, Mceso-Goth. fragib- 

an, G. vergeben. 
Fostred, pt. s. nurtured, kept, E 

322; pp. E 1043, F 500. A.S. 

fosterian, to nourish, faster, food ; 

from the same root as food and 

fodder. See Forage. 
Fote s. a foot ; on fote, on foot, 

F 390. A.S. f6t, G. fuss; Lat. 

ace. pedem, Gk. ace. voSa, Sanskr. 

Foul, adj. ugly, E 1209; Foule, 

poor, wretched, B 4003 ; Foul, 

adj. as sb. foul weather, F lai. 

A.S. fill, Mceso-Goth. fuls, foul. 
Foul, s. bird, F 149, 435; //. 

Foules, 53, 398. A. S. fugel, G. 

Founde, pp. found, E 146; 

Founden, 520. 
Fourneys, s. a furnace, B 3353. 

F. fournaise, 'Lai. fornacem. 
Foxes, s. pi. foxes, B 3121 ; gen. 

pi. 3223. A., G. fucks. 
Frankeleyn, s. franklin, F 675. 
Fraunchyse, s. liberality, B 3854. 

F. franchise, freedom, franc, free. 
Frayneth, pr. s. prays, beseeches, 

B 1790. A.S. fregnan, Icel. 

fregna, Mceso-Goth. fraihnan, to 

ask; cf. G.fragen, Lat. precari. 
Fredom, s. liberality, B 3832. 
Free, adj. liberal, bounteous, B 

1854; Fre, profuse, E 1209; 



Free, noble, B 1911. A.S.freo, 


Frely, adv. freely, E 352. 
Freletee, s. frailty, E 1160. F. 

frele, frail, fragile. Frailty is a 

doublet of fragility, from Lat. 

Fremde, adj. foreign, F 429. 

A. S. fremed, foreign, Mceso-Goth. 

framatkeis, G.fremde, strange. 
Frendes, s. pi. friends, B 121. 

A.S.frednd, Mceso-Goth. frijonds, 

a loving one, from Goth. Jrijon, 

to love, Sanskr. pri, to love. 
Freres, s. pi. friars, E 12. Y.frere, 

Lat. fratrem. 
Frete, v. to eat up, devour, B 

3294. A.S. frelan, G. fresseti, 

Mceso-Goth. fra-itan, to devour ; 

lit. tofor-eat, eat up. 
Fro, prep, from, B 24, 121, F 464. 

Fruyt, s. fruit, i.e. result, F 74. 

F. fruit, Lat. frttctus. 
Ful, adj. full, B 86 ; adv. very, B 

3506, F 52 ; Ful many, very 

many, F 128. A.S. full, G. 

Fulfild, pp. fulfilled, E 596 ; filled 

full, B 3713. 

Fulliche, adv. fully, E 706. 
Fulsomnesse, s. satiety, profuse- 
ness, F 405. 
Fumositee, s. fumosity, i.e. the 

fumes of drink, F 358. From 

Lat./wmws, smoke, fume. 
Furial, adj. tormenting, F 448. 

Lat. furialis, furious. 
Furlong, s. a furlong; furlong 

wey = a distance of a furlong, 

i.e. a short time, 516. A.S. 

furh, a furrow; it means fitrrow~ 

long, the length of a furrow. 
Fy, inter j. fie 1 F 686. Welsh ffi ; 

cf. G. pfui. 
Fyf, num. five, B 3602. A. S. ftf, 

Mceso-Goth. fimf, G. funf, Lat. 

quinque, Gk. irivrf, vi^itf, Sanskr. 


Fyn, s. end, purpose, result, B 

3348, 3884. Y.fin, Lat./nw. 
Fynally, adv. finally, at last, F 

Fyne, adj. pi. fine, good, F 640. 

F.Jin, G.fein. 
Fyr, s. fire, B 3734. A. S. fyr, G. 

fever, Gk. irvp. 
Fyue, num. five, Bis. See Fyf. 


Galle, s. gall, B 3537. A. S. gealla, 
Lat./e/, Gk. \O\TI. 

Galoche, s. a shoe, F 555. F. 
galoche, Low Lat. calopedia, sug- 
gested by Gk. Ka\oirfdi\a, a 
wooden shoe; properly a piece 
of wood tied to a cow's legs, a 
clog ; from K&Xov, a log, irtStA.op, 
a clog, fetter. 

Galping,/r<?s. part, gaping, F 350 ; 
Galpinge, 354. 

Galwes, s. pi. gallows, B 3924, 
394 1 . A.S. gealga, Icel. gdlgi. 

Game, s. sport, E 609 ; joke, 733 ; 
amusement, merriment, jest, B 
2030, 3740, 3981. A.S. gamen, 
Icel. gaman, a game, sport. 

Gan, pt. s. began, B 3230 : as anx. 
= did, B 14, E 393, 679; pi. 
Gonne, did, E 1 103. A. S. ongin- 
nan, pt. t. ic ongan; the simple 
vb. not being used. 

Gape, v. to gape, gasp, B 3924. 
Icel. gapa, to open wide, Swed. 
gap, a mouth, abyss, Icel. gap, 
a gap ; Du. gapen, to yawn. 

Gardin, s. a garden, B 3732. F. 
jardin, O. F. gardin, Low Lat. 
gardinum, from O. H. G. gartin, 
gen. case of O. H. G. gart, a yard, 
Cf. E. yard, G. garten. 

Gat, pt. s. got, obtained, F 654. 

Gauren, v. to gaze, stare, F 190; 
pr. s. Gaureth, gazes, stares, B 
3559. Apparently gaure is a 



Scand. word ; cf. Norw. gagra, to 
stand with outstretched neck, with 
the chin in the air (Ross). 

Gayler, s. a gaoler, B 3615. F. 
geolee, a gaol, O. F. gaiole, from 
Lat. caueola, dimin. of causa, a 

Gazed, pt. s. gazed, E 1003. By 
no means from the same root as 
Moeso-Goth. us-gaisjan, to terrify, 
but from Swed. dial. gasa. 

Geaunt, s. a giant, B 1997, 3298. 
F. giant, Lat. gigantem. 

Gemmes, s. pi. gems, precious 
stones, E 254, 779. F. gemme, 
Lat. gemma. 

Gent, adj. gentle, noble, B 1905. 
F. gent, comely; Lat. genitus, 

Gentil, adj. gentle, worthy, B 
1627, F 452 ; excellent, B 3123 ; 
compassionate, F 483 ; pi. as sb. 
Gentils, gentry, people of rank, 
E 480. F. gentil, Lat. gentilis. 

Gentillesse, s. nobleness, B 3441, 
F 483. 505; nobility, B 3854; 
worth, E 96; slenderness, sym- 
metry, F 426 ; delicate nurture, 
E 593. 

Gentilleste, adv. noblest, 72. 

Gentilly, adv. in a frank or noble 
manner, frankly, F 674. 

Gere, s. gear, clothing, E 372. 
A. S. gearwa, clothing, prepara- 
tion, gearo, ready, yare. 

Gesse, i p. s. pr. I suppose, B 
3435. 396o, E 469, F 609. Du. 
gis'sen, to conjecture; cf. Icel. 
gizlta, to guess. 

Gest, s. a guest, E 338 ; pi. Gestes, 
339. A. S. gaest, a guest, Lat. 
hostis, a stranger. 

Geste, s. a tale (told in the manner 
of the gestours), a stock story; 
in geste = like the common stock 
stories, B 2123; pi. Gestes, 
stories, F ail. O. F. geste, a 
tale, Lat. gestum; Lat. pi. gesia, 

Gestours, *. pi. story-tellers, B 

2036. See above. 
Gete, v. to get (genmd), E 1210; 

a p. ye get, F 343; 2 p. 

s. pr. Getest, obtainest, B 1669 ; 

pp. Geten ; han geten hem = to 

have acquired for themselves, F 

56. A. S. gitati, Icel. geta. 
Gilte, adj. pi. gilt, B 3554. 
Gin, s. a contrivance, F 128, 332. 

Said to be a shortened form of F. 

engin, a machine. See Engyu. 
Giugebreed, s. gingerbread, B 

Girdel, s. a girdle, B 1921. A. S. 

gyrdels, Icel. gyrftill, G. gurtel ; 

A. S. gyrdan, Icel. gyrfta, to 

Girden, v. to strike, B 3736. 

Properly to switch; from A.S. 

gerd, a yard, a rod, a switch ; 

cf. G. gerte, a switch. Mceso- 

Goth. gazds, a sting, is not a 

connected word. 
Glade, v. to make glad, comfort, 

cheer, B 4001, E 1174; pr. s. 

Gladeth, pleases, cheers, E 1107, 

F 609 ; imp. s. 3 p. Glade, may 

he comfort, E 822. Cf. A.S. 

gladian, to be glad ; from glced, 

Gladly, adv. willingly, F 2 24 ; 

that been gladly wyse = that 

wish to be thought wise, 376. 
Gladsom, adj. pleasant, B 3968. 
Glas, s. glass, F 254. A.S. gl<es, 

Icel. gler. 
Glede, s. a burning coal, B in, 

3574' coloured as the glede = 

of a bright red colour. A. S. 

gled, Icel. gltfS, a burning coal ; 

from A. S. glfavan, Icel. glda, 

to glow. 
Glee, s. entertainment, B 2030. 

A. S. gle6, joy, mirth, glee, music, 

Tobal [Tubaf] thair brothir first 

Musyk, that es the sonne of sang ; 



Organis, harpe, and other gleu, 
He drou thaini ut of music neu.' 
Cursor Mundi, ed. Morris, G 1519. 

Glood, pt. s. glided, went quickly, 
B 2094, F 393. A. S. glidan, 
to glide ; pt. t. ic glad. 

Glose, s. glosing, comment, F 166. 
F. glose, a gloss, from Lat. glossa, 
Gk. f\>aaa, the tongue ; also a 
language; also, a word needing 
explanation ; hence, an explana- 

Glose, v. to flatter, B 3330; 
Glosen, to comment upon, 1180. 

Glyde, v. to glide ; vp glyde = to 
rise up gradually, F 373; pt. s. 
Glood, q. v. ' 

Gnow, pt. s. gnawed, B 3638. 
A. S. gnagan, to gnaw; pt. t. ic 

Goddes, gen. sing. God's, B 1166, 
1169, 1175. 

Gold-thred, s. gold thread, golden 
twine, B 3665. 

Gon, v. to go, proceed, F 200, 327 ; 
Goon, E 847 ; 2 p. s. pr. Goost, 
goest, walkest about, B 3123; 
pr. pi. Goon, go, proceed, E 898 ; 
pp. Goon, gone, B 17, E 774; 
goon is many a yere = many a 
year ago, B 132. A.S. gdn, also 
gangan ; G. gehen, Mceso-Goth. 
gaggan (pronounced gangan). 

Gonne, pt. pi. did ; gonne arace = 
did tear away, removed, E 1103. 
See Gan. 

Goode, adj. voc. good, E 852; 
nom. def. B 3084. A.S. god, 
Icel. gtfSr, G. gut. 

Goodly, adj. good, proper, pleas- 
ing, right, B 3969 ; good-looking, 
portly, 4010. A.S. gddltc. 

Goon, Goost. See Gon. 

Goost, s. a' ghost, B 3124; spirit, 
E 926, 972 ; the Hcly Ghost, B 
1660; yaf vp the goost=died, 
1862. A.S. gdst, G. geist, the 
breath, a spirit. 

Goshauk, s. goshawk, B 1928. 

A.S. gos, a goose; gdshafoc, a 
goosehawk, a hawk used to chase 
wild geese ; cf. gos-ling. 

Gospel, s. gospel ; here, a text from 
a gospel, B 1 180. A. S. godspell, 
at first from god, good, spell, a 
story, as a translation of the Gk. 
tvayy(\iov ; but afterwards a life 
of Christ, lit. the story of God, as 
appears from O. H. G. golspel and 
Icel. guftspjall. 

Gossomer, s. gossamer, F 259. 

Goth, pr. s. goes, B 1698, F 392 ; 
imp. pi. Goth. E 568; Gooth, B 
3384. See Gon. 

Gouernaille, s. management, mas- 
tery, E 1192. Properly it means 
the steering, management of the 
helm; from F. goiivernail, Lat. 
gubernacvlum, the helm of a ship. 

Gouernance, s. providence, E 
1161; arrangement, plan, 994; 
Gouernaunce, control, E 23 ; 
sovereignty, B 3541 ; his gouern- 
aunce = the way to manage him, 

Gouerne, v. govern, control, B 
3587 ; imp. pi. Gouerneth, ar- 
range, 322. F. gouverner, Lat. 

Gouernour, s. governor, master, 
principal, B 3130. F. gouvernevr, 
Lat. gubernatorem. 

Grace, s. favour, kindness, F 458 ; 
Gras, grace, B 2021 ; of grace, 
out of favour, in kindness, F 
161. F. grace, Lat. gratia. 

Grammere, s. grammar, B 1726. 
F. grammaire, Low Lat. gram- 
maria; from Low Lat. gramma, 
Gk. fpapua, a letter; fpd<ptiv, 
to write. 

Gras, s. grace, B 2021. See 

Gras, s. grass, F 153. A, S. gars, 
grces, Icel. gras, G. gras. 

Graue, v. to bury, E 681. A.S. 
grafan, to dig; Icel. grafa, G. 



mercy, inlerj. many 
thanks, E 1089. F. grand nurd. 

Graunten, v. to grant, fix, name, 
E *79,' pt. s. Graunted, 183; 
imp. s. 3 p. Graunte, may he 
graunt, 843. O.K. graanler, to 
grant, later form of O. F. 
craanter, to caution; the latter 
is from the Lat. credere, through 
a form credentare. The change 
of initial may have been due to 
confusion with O. F. garatitir, to 

Grayn, s. dye; in grayn = in dye, 
i.e. dyed of a fast colour, B 1917. 
See Greyn. 

Gree, s. gratitude, good part, E 
1I 5 1 - F- S r ^i inclination, from 
Lat. gratus, pleasing. 

Greet, adj. great, B 3403. See 

Grene, adj. def. green, E 120; 
of a green colour, F 646 ; as sb. 
greenery, greenness, F 54. A. S. 
grene, Icel. greenn. 

Gret, adj. great, F 463; def. 
Grete, B 1181; voc. Grete, B 
1797; pi. Grete, E 382. See 

Grette, pt. s. greeted, E 952. A.S. 
gretan, pt. t. ic grette. 

Gretter, adj. comp. greater, E 

Greuaunce, s. grievance, hardship, 
B 3703. O. F. grevance, pain, 
hardship, grever, to grieve, weigh 
down, from Lat. gravi?, heavy. 

Greue, v. to grieve, vex, B 1638; 
pr. s. impers. Greueth, it vexes, 
it grieves, E 647. F. grever, 
Lat. gravare, to weigh down. 

Greyn, s. a grain, B 1852, 1855; 
in greyn = in grain, i.e. of a fast 
colour, F 511. F. graine, Low 
Lat. grana, Lat. granum. 

Grisly, adj. terrible, B 3299. 
A. S. grysUe, grisly, horrible ; 
dgrisan, to shudder at ; cf. G. 
graufig, terrible, gransen, to 


shudder. Distinct from grizzly, 

Gronte, pt. s. groaned, B 3899. 

A. S. grdnian, to groan ; pt. t. it 

Gracche, v. to murmur, E 170; 

grucche it = to murmur at it, 

354; O. F. groucher, grocer, to 

Gruf, adv. grovellingly, all along, 

flat down, B 1865. Cf. Icel. 

phrase a grufu, said of one who 

lies grovelling, or who lies face 

downwards ; from grilfa, to cower, 

crouch down. 
Gyde, v. to guide, lead, E 776. 

Gyden, to guide, B 1670; imp. 

pi. Gydeth, guide, direct, 1677. 

O. F. gtiider, another form of 

guier. See Gye. 
Gye, w. to guide, rule, B 3587, E 

75. O. F. guier, to guide, Ital. 

guidare; Old Saxon wltan, to 

observe, O. H. G. wizan, to ob- 
Gyse, s. guise, wise, way, manner, 

F 332, 54- F - * from - 
H. G. wise, G. weise, a manner, 
cognate with E. wise, from A. S. 


Habergeoun, . a habergeon, hau- 
berk, B 2051. O. F. haubergon, 
hauberjon, a small hauberk; diniin. 
of hauberc or halberc, from O. 
H. G. hahberc, the same as A.S. 
heahbeorga, lit. a neck-defence, 
from heals (G. hals), the neck, 
and beorgan (G. bergen), to hide, 
protect. The ending -on should 
rather signify augmentation, as in 
the common Ital. -one, and in 

E. balloon, an augmentative of 

Habounde, v. to abound, B 3938. 

F. abonder, O. F. habonder, Low 
Lat. habundare, written for abun- 



Habundanoe, s. abundance, plenty, 

E 203. 

Habundant, adj. abundant, E 59. 
Hadde, pt. s, had, possessed, E 

438, F 29, 32 ; took, E 303; pt. 

pi. Hadden, had, kept, E 201 ; I 

hadde leuer=I would rather, B 

Halle, gen. sing, of the hall ; halle 

dore = door of the hall, F 80; 

dot. Halle, 86. A. S. heall, a 

hall, a fern. sb. ; gen. healle. 
Halp, pt. s. helped, B 3236. A.S. 

helpan, pt. t. ic healp, pp. holpen. 
Hals, s. neck, B 73. A.S. heals, 

G. hals, Icel. kdls. 
Halse, I p. s. pr. I conjure, B 

1835. See note. The proper 

meaning of A.S. healsian is to 

clasp round the neck (A.S. heals), 

and thence to beseech, supplicate; 

but the %vord seems to have been 

influenced by the Icel. heill, omen, 

good luck, heilla, to enchant. 
Halt, pr. s. holdeth, F 61. 
Han, v. to have, B 1176, F 56; 

pr. pi. Han, have, E 188, 381. 
Handle, v. to handle, touch, E 

376. A. S. handlian. 
Hap, s. good fortune, luck, B 3928. 

Welsh hap, luck, Icel. happ, luck, 

Happeth, pr, s. chances, F 592. 

See above. 
Harde, adj. def. hard, cruel, F 

499. A. S. heard, Icel. hafftr, 

G. hart. 
Hardily, adv. boldly, without 

doubting, without question, E 


Hardinesse, s. boldness, B 3210, 
3440, E 93. 

Harding, s. hardening, tempering, 
F 243. A.S. heardian, to harden. 

Hardy, adj. bold, sturdy, F 19. 
F. hardi, from M. H. G. hert- 
en, O. H.G. hartjan, to make 
strong, from adj. hart, strong = E. 

Hare, sb. a hare, B 1886, 1946. 
A. S. hara, G. hase. 

Harme, s. harm, injury, suffering 
(dative), F 632. A.S. hearm, 
Icel. karmr. 

Harpe, s. harp (dat.), B 2005. 
Icel. harpa. 

Hastif, adj. hasty, E 349. O. F. 
hastif, from haste, F. hate; of 
Germ, origin; cf. G. hast, haste. 

Hastily, adv. soon, F 471 ; Hasti- 
lich, quickly, 911. 

Hatede, pt. s. hated, E 731. A. S. 
kalian, Icel. hata, G. Aassen. 

Hauberk, s. a hauberk, B 2053. 
See Habergeoun. 

Haue, v. to have, B 114; imp. s. 
Haue, hold, consider, F 7 ; receive, 
E 567; 3 p. Haue, let him have, 
B 3915 ; 2 p. pi. Haue ye, may 
ye have, B 33 ; imp. pi. Haueth, 
hold, F 700. 

Hauk, s. a hawk, F 446; gen. 
Haukes, 631. A.S. hafoc, Icel. 
hankr, G. habicht, Welsh hebog. 

Hauke, v. to hawk, E 81. 

Haukyng, s. hawking; anhaukyng, 
= a-hawking; lit. on hawking, B 

Haunt, s. abode, B 2001. F. 
hanter, to haunt. 

Hawe, s. a haw ; with hawe bake, 
with baked haws, with coarse fare, 
B 95. See note. A.S. haga, a 
haw, a hedge. 

Hede, s. care, heed, B 3577, F 
612. A. S. kedan, to take care of. 

Heed, s. a head, B 2060, 2073, F 
411, 643; pi. Heedes, F 203, 
358; Heuedes, B 2032; maugre 
thyn heed = in spite of thy head, 
in spite of all thou canst do, B 
104. Contracted from E.E. heued, 
A.S. heafod; cf. Icel. hofitt, 
Mceso-Goth. haubith, O. H. G. 
houbit, G. hatipt, Lat. caput, Gk. 
/re</>aAij ; cf. S.inskr. kapdla, a 
skull (Curtius). 

Eeeld, i p. s. pt. held, considered, 



E 818; ft. s. Heeld, held, B 

1760,3374; possessed, 3518; pi. 

Helde, held, B 3506 ; considered, 

E 426. A. S. healdan, pt. t. ic 


Heep, s. a heap, i. c. a great num- 
ber, quantity, B 1687, E 2429. 

A. S. heap ; note the use of the 

G. katife, a heap, a great number, 

a throng. 
Hesr, adv. here, B 1177, 1180, 

E 36. A. S. her. 
Heer-vp-on, adv. hereupon, here- 

on, E 190. 
Heigh, adj. high, lofty, B 3192. 

See Hy. 
Heir, s. heir, B 3833 ; //. Heires, 

3534- O.F. heir, hoir, Lat. 

Hele, v. to heal, F 240, 471 ; 

Helen (gerund), 641 . A. S. h&lan, 

to make whole ; from hdl, whole ; 

cf. Icel. heill, hale. 
Helde. See Heeld. 
Helle, s. (dative), hell, B 3292. 

A. S. hell, gen., and dat. helle. 
Helmed, pp. provided with a 

helmet, B 3560. A. S. helm, a 

helmet ; lit. a covering, from 

helan, to cover. 
Help, s. help, F 459. A.S. help, 

Icel. hjalp, G. hulfe. 
Hem, pron. pi. ace. them, B 51, 

52, 56, &c.; dat. E 614, &c. 

A.S. him, dat. pi. of he. 
Heng, pt. s. (transitive), hung, B 

1824. A.S. h6n, to hang; pt. t. 

ic hing, pp. hangen. 
Hermes forth, adv. henceforth, F 

658. The A. S. form is heonan- 

Hente, pt. s. seized, caught, B 1 760, 

3895 ; seized, took forcibly, E 

534; took in hunting, B 3449; 

pp. Kent, seized, E 676. A.S. 

kentan, to seize; the Moeso- 

Goth. has the compound verb 

fra-hinthan, to take captive ; cf. 

E. hand, hunt. 

Her, pron. poss. their, B 3284, 
339. 3536, E 185. A. S. heora, 
gen. pi. of he. 

Herbergage, s. lodging, abode, E 
20 1. O. F. herberage, herbergage, 
lodging (Roquefort); from her- 
berge (F. auberge), a lodging; 
O. H. G. heriberga, cognate with 
Icel. herbergi, a station where 
an army rests on its march ; Icel. 
herr, an army, bergi, a shelter; 
the modern spelling of herbergi 
is harbour. 

Herbes, s. pi. herbs, E 226, F 
470, 640. F. kerbe, Lat. herba. 

Here, v. to hear, B 98, 133, 1642 ; 
Keren, 3963 ; pt. s. Herde, heard, 
1708; pp. Herd, 2146, 3823. 
A. S. keran. 

Heres, s. pi. hair, B 3248, E 379, 
1085. A.S. hoar. 

Herieth, pr. s. praises, B 1808 ; 
2 p. Heriest, praisest, worshippest, 
3419; pr. pi. Herie, E 616 ; 
Herien, B 1868. A.S. herian, 
to praise, from here, fame. 

Herkne, v. to hearken, listen to, 
B 3159; imp. s. Herkua, B 113; 
imp. pi. Herkneth, B 1 1 74, 2083, 
2155, 3 1 73. El 141, 1 163; Herk- 
eneth, B 1164; pt. s. Herkned, 
B 1711; pres. part. Herkning, 
listening to, F 78; pp. Herkned 
after = listened for, expected, F 
403. A.S. heorcnian, to listen 

Heronsewes, s. pi. hernshaws, 
young herons, F 68. Cotgrave 
has ' Hairon, a heron, herne, 
herneihawe? The spelling hern- 
show is to be found in Spenser, 
F. Q^ vi. 7. 9. Halliwell has 
' Hernshaw, a heron,' and quotes 
' Ardeola, an hearnesew' from 
Elyot's dictionary, 1559 ; and 
also notes the spelling Heronsew 
in Reliquiae Antiquae, i. 88. 
Heironsew occurs in a list of 
birds in the Babees Boke, ed. 

S 2 



Furnivall, p. 165. The term 
keronsew for a heron is still 
known in Swaledale, Yorkshire, 
and in other parts of England 
is found as hernshaw or harnsa. 
The sense is quite certain, though 
the etymology is less clear. It 
answers, however, to O. F. 
heronfeau, found as herouncel 
in Anglo-French. And, as it is 
correctly formed, like lionpeau 
from lion, this suggestion is pro- 
bably correct. 

Herying, s. praise, B 1649. See 

Herte, *. heart, B 101, 1661, 
1745, 412; sing, or pi. gen. 
Herte?, hearts, E 112. A. S. 
heorte, Moeso-Goth. hairto, G. 

Hertely, adv. heartily, B 3983. 

Hertes, s. gen. hart's, B 3447. 
A. S. heorot, heart, G. hirsch. 

Hertly, adj. hearty, lit. heart-like, 
E 176, 502, F 5. 

Heste, s. command, B 3754, E 
128, 568, F 114; pi. Hestes, 
529. A.S. has, a command; 
the addition of / after s is com- 
mon in English, as in amongst, 

Heuedes, s. pi. heads, B 2032. 
See Heed. 

Ileuen, s. heaven, the celestial 
sphere, B 3300 ; a heaven, a 
supreme delight, F 558 ; gen. 
Heuen, of heaven, B 3986 ; dot. 
Heuene, F 149. A.S. heofon. 

Heuinesse, s. heaviness, grief, 
sorrow, B 3959, E 432, 678. 
A. S. hefignes, from hefig, heavy. 

Hewe, s. hue, appearance, mien, E 
377- F 58, 587. 640. A.S. 
hiw, hue, colour, form. 

Hey, s. hay, grass, B 3407. A. S. 
Aig, Moeso-Goth. hawi, G. hen. 
The word in this passage probably 
means green growing grass uncut. 
Cf. A.S. Gospels, S. Mark vi. 39, 

where ' on the green grass * is ex- 
pressed by 'ofer thaet grene hig.' 

Hey, adj. high, F 545. See Hy. 

Hidde, I p. s. pt. hid, F 595. 
A. S. hydan, pt. t. ic hydde. 

Hider, adv. hither, nearer, B 4000. 
A.S. hider. 

Hiderward, adv. hither, in this 
direction, B 3159. A.S. hider- 

Highte, pt. s. was called, was 
named, B 3310, F 30, 33; is 
called, B 3651. See Hyghte. 

Him, dot. pi. to them ; him semed, 
it seemed to them, they supposed, 
F 56 ; dot. sing, to him ; him 
semed, it seemed to him, he 
appeared, B 3361. A.S. him, 
dat. sing, and pi. of he. 

Him-seluen, pron. himself, B 44. 

Hir, pron. poss. their, B 112 
(better spelt Her) ; her, B 65, 
3438. A.S. hira, of them, gen. 
pi. ; hire, of her, to her, gen. and 
dat. sing. ; often used instead of 
the ace. hi. , 

Hir-selue,/>roH. herself, F 384. 

His, poss. pron. neut. its, E 263, 
F 405. A.S. his, gen. sing, 
neuter of he. 

Hit, pr. s. hides, F 512. Hit is 
a contracted form, equivalent to 
hideth. It also appears as hut; 
as in ' yef me hut ant heleS it.' 
if one hides and conceals it ; St. 
Marharete, p. 15. 

Ho, inttrj. halt! B 3957. Cf. Du. 
hou, hold I from houden, to hold. 

Hode, s. dat. a hood, B 1630; 
Hoode, 2101. A.S. hdd. 

Hold, s. hold, grasp, F 167. 

Holde, v. to hold, keep, B 41 ; to 
keep to, F 658 (see Proces); pr. 
s. subj. keep, take, E 287; pp. 
Holde, held, kept, E 273; con- 
sidered to be, F 70 ; Holden, 
considered, E 205, 8 a 8 ; imp. pt. 
Holdeth, B 37. A.S. healdan, 
Icel. halda, Moeso-Goth. haldan. 



Holpen, pp. helped, aided, F 666. 

Horn, adv. home, homewards, F 
435. A. S. ham, a home, house, 
village ; G. helm, Gk. KW/XOS. 

Homicyde, s. homicide, assassin, 
B 1757. Lat. homicida, a man- 

Homlinesse, s. homeliness, domes- 
ticity, E 429. 

Horn-ward, adv. homeward, B 1 739. 
A. S. hdtnweard, hdmweardes. 

Hond, s. hand, B 3393, 3506; 
pi. Hondes, 3214, 3542. A. S. 
hand, hand; cf. hentan, to grasp. 

Honest, adj. honourable, worthy, 
B 1751, E 333. F. honnete, O.F. 
fr.oneste, Lat. honeslits. 

Honestee, s. honour, dignity, B 


Honestetee, s. honourableness, 
honour, E 422. 

Honoureth, imp. pi. honour ye, 
E 370 ; pp. Honoured, wor- 
shipped, B 3753. O. F. honourer, 
Lat. honorare. 

Honurable, adj. honourable, E 

Hony, s. honey, B 3537, F 614. 
A. S. hunig. 

Hoo, inter/, hoi B 1174. See 

Hoode, s. dot. a hood, B 2101. 
See Hode. 

Hool, adj. whole, E 861 ; well, F 
161. A. S. Ml, cognate with 
Gotb. hails, whole. 

Hcom, adv. homewards, B 3548. 

Hope, s. hope, F 487. A. S. hopa. 

Hors, s. a horse, B 15, E 388; pi. 
Hors, horses, B 1823, 3294. A. S. 
hors, a neuter noun, with pi. hors ; 
Icel. Aross, pi. hross, sometimes 
spelt hors; O.H.G.hros; whence 
G. ross. Hors occurs as a plu- 
ral in Trevisa, Spec, of English, 
xviii a. 108. Cf. A. S. horse, swift, 
Lat. currere, to run. 

Horsly, adj. horselike, like all that 
a horse should be, F 194. 

Hosen, s. pi. hose, B 1923. A. S. 
hose, a stocking ; pi. hosan. 

Hoste, s. host, B r, 39, i62e,, 3970, 
E i. F. hole, O.F. hoste, Portu- 
guese hospede, Lat. hospidcm. 

Hote, adj. hot, an epithet of Aries, 
as supposed to induce anger and 
heat of blood, F 51. A.S. hat, 
G. heiss. 

Hous, s. a ' house,' or ' mansion,' 
in astrology, F 672 ; a house- 
hold, 24. A. S. hus. 

Housbond, s. a husband, E 698 ; 
Housbonde, B 3502. A.S. hus- 
bonda; Icel. husbondi, which is 
a pres. part, contracted from hus- 
bdandi, or hus-buandi, the inhabi- 
tant or occupier of a house ; from 
bua, to inhabit. The sense is there- 
fore that of the possessor of a 
farm or master of a house. No 
connection with bond or bind. 

Houndes, s. pi. dogs E 1095. 
A. S. Inind, Icel. hundr, Lat. 
canem, Gk. it'vva. 

Human! tee, s. kindness, 92 
From Lat. hvmanus, kind. 

Humblesse, s. humility, B 1660, 
F 544. Cotgrave gives this form, 
which he says has the same sense 
as F. humilite, 

Humilitee, s. humility, E 1143. 
O. F. humilittit, Lat. hvmilitafem. 

Hunte, v. to hunt, E 81. A.S. 
hunt tan, to hunt; cf. hentan, 
to catch. 

Huntyng, Hunting, *. hunting, 
B 349 6 > 3995 5 on huntyng = a- 
hunting, for the purpose of the 
chase, E 234. A. S. huntung, a 
hunting, sb. ; quite distinct from 
huntiende, pres. part, of huntian. 

Hurtes, s. pi. hurts, F 471. O.F. 
hurt, a stroke, hit, from hurter, F. 
heurter, to strike, hit ; whence E. 

Hy, adj. high, learned, E 18; dot. 
Hye, great, 135 ; def. Hye, F 85, 
98 ; pi. Hye, high, E 45 ; comp. 


Hyer, F 387. A. S. hedh, Icel. 

bar, G. hoch. 
Hyde, v. to hide, used intransitively, 

i.e. lie concealed, F 141 ; gerund, 

to hide, B 3732. A. S. hydan, 

cognate with Gk. icevOtiv. 
Hye, adv. high, aloft, B 3592, F 

411,671. A. S. he dge, high, adv. ; 

hedh, high, adj. 
Hye, v. or gerund, to hasten, to 

bring hastily, F 291. A. S. higan,' 

higian, to haste ; cf. Lat. citus, 

quick, Gk. KIVV/MLI, I go. 
Hyghte, s. height, B 12. A. S. 

Hyghte, pt. pi. 2 p. promised, E 

496. A. S. hdtan, to promise ; 

pt. t. ic heht, pi. heton. 
Hyghte, pt. s. was called, was 

named, B 3373, E 32, 2IO. 

See Highte. A. S. hdtan, to 

be named, pt. t. ic hdtte. This 

verb and the preceding were 

often confused. 
Hyred, pp. hired, B 1757. A. S. 

hyrian, to hire ; pt. t. hyrode, 

pp. hyrod. 


lade, s. a jade, i. e. a miserable 
hack, B 4002. 

lalouse, adj. pi. jealous, F 286. 
F.jaloux, O.F. jalous, Lat. zelo- 
sus. Thus jealous is a doublet of 

lalousye, s. jealousy, E 1205. 

lambeuz, s. pi. leggings, leg- 
armour, B 2065. From F.jambe, 
the leg. 

lane, s. a small coin, properly of 
Genoa, B 1925, E 999. Lat. 
Janua, Genoa. 

laugle, pr. pi. talk, prate, F 220, 
261. O. f.jangler, from a Teu- 
tonic source ; cf. Du. janken, to 

Tangling, s. prating, idle talking, 
disputing, F 257. 

lape, s. a jape, a jest, a trick, B 1629. 

lapen, v . to jest, B 1883. 

Ich, pers. pron. I, B 39. A. S. ie. 

Idus, s. pi. ides, F 47. The ides 
is a name given to the fifteenth 
day of the months of March, May, 

' July, and October, and the thir- 
teenth of other months. 

lewerye, s. Jewry, Jews' quarter, 
B 1679, I 74 I . 1782. See the 
note, p. 145. 

like, adj. same ; that ilke, that 
same, B 3663. 

Impertinent, adj. not pertinent, 
irrelevant, E 53. 

Importable, adj. intolerable, in- 
sufferable, E 1144. Lat. impor- 
tabilis, that cannot be carried ; 
from for tare, to carry. 

Impression, s. impression, re- 
membrance, F 371. 

In, s. inn, lodging, B 1632. A. S. 
inn, an inn, house, chamber. 

In, prep, into, B 119. A. S. in, G. 
in, Lat. in, Gk. kv. 

Infortune, s. misfortune, B 3591. 
F. infortune, Lat. infortunium. 

Inne, adv. in, B 3193 ; as prep, in, 
F 578. A. S. innan, adv. within, 

Instrumentz, s. pi. instruments of 
music, F 270. 

Inwith, prep, within, B 1794, E 

logelours, s. pi. jugglers, men who 
exhibit feats of legerdemain and 
pretended magic, F 219. F. 
jongleur, O.Y.jogleor, Lat. ace. 
ioculatorem,one who makes sport; 
from iocus, sport. 

loie, 5. joy, B 3964 ; loye, F 368. 
F. joie ; from Lat. gaudium. 

lolitee, s. amusement, B 2033 ; 
enjoyment, F344; joviality, 278. 

loly, adj. pleasant, F 48 ; festive, 
B 1185. F. joli, from a Scandi- 
navian source ; Icel. j6l, Yule, a 
great feast held in midwinter. 

lolynesse, s. festivity, F 289. 

lourney, s. journey, F 783. F. 



journee, a day's time, jour, a day ; 

from Lat. diurnus, daily, dies, a 

loye, s. joy, F 368 ; loie, B 3964. 

See loie. 
Ire, s. anger, B 3221. F. ire, Lat. 

Is, pr. s. (used with two sbs.), F 

luge, s. a judge, B 3266. F.juge, 

Lat. iudicem. 
lugement, s. judgment, decision, 

B 36 ; opinion, K 53 ; pi. luge- 

mentz, decisions, E 439. 


Kembde, pt. s. combed, F 560 ; 

pp. Kembd, E 379. A. S. cemb- 

an, to comb ; pt. t. ic cembde. 
Kene, adj. keen, bold, B 3439, F 

57. A. S. cene, G. Ituhn. 
Kepe, s. heed, E 1058; taken 

kepe = take heed, F 348. 
Kepeth, pr. s. keeps, E 1133; 

observes, F 516; pt. s. Kepte, 

kept, E 223; pres. part. Keping, 

keeping, tending, F 651 ; pp. 

Kept, E 1098. A. S. cepan, pt. 

t. ic cepie. 
Kerue, v. to carve, cut, F 158. 

A. S. ceorfan. 
Kesse, v. to kiss, E 1057 ', pt. s. 

Keste, kissed, F 350 ; Kiste, B 

3632, 3746, E 679. A. S. cys<an, 

pt. t. ic cyste; Icel. kyssa, G. 

Kin, s. kin, kindred, B 3121. A. S. 

cyn, Icel. kynni, Moeso-Goth. 

Jtuni, Lat. genus. 
Kinges, s. pi. kings, B 3558. 

A. S. cing, cyn'tng, Icel. Itonungr, 

G. konig. 
Kitte, pt. s. cut, B 1761. M.E. 

ctttten, to cut ; not in A. S. Of 

obscure origin ; we find, however, 

O. Swed. kot.'a, to cut; Icel. 

kvti, a little blunt knife, Norw. 


Knaus, s. boy, male, E 444, 447 ; 
Knaue child, man-child, boy, 
612; pi. Knaues, boys, lads, B 
3087. A. S. cnapa, cnafa, a boy, 
youth ; G. knabe. 

Knewe, i p. s. pt. sub}, could know, 
F 466; pt. s. Knew, 131; pp. 
Knowe, known, 215; Knowen, 
E 689. A. S. cndivan ; pt. t. ic 
cnedw, pp. cndwen ; cf. Lat. gnos- 
cere, Gk. fiyvuff/ceiv. 

Knit, pp. knit, B 3224. A. S. 
cnyttan, to knit. 

Knokked, pt. s. knocked, B 3721. 
A. S. cnocian, to knock. 

Kuotte, s. knot, principal point of 
a story, gist of a tale, F 401, 407. 
A. S. cnotta. 

Knowe, pp. known, F 215 ; 
Knowen, E 689 ; 2 p. pi. pr. 
Knowen, ye know, B 128. 

Knowes, s. pi. knees, B 1719. 
A. S. cne6iv, pi. cnedwas, Lat. 

Knowing, s. knowledge, F 301. 

Knyghthode, s. dot. knighthood, 
B 3832. A. S. cnihthdd. 

Konnen, a p. pi. pr. ye know, F 
3. See Can. 

Konning, s. cunning, skill, F 251. 
See Conning, sb. 

Kynde, s. dot. nature, B 1840 ; 
the natural world, creation, F 
469 ; nature, natural bent, 608, 
619. A. S. cynd, nature. 

Kyte, s. a kite, F 624. A. S. 

Kytheth, pr. s. makes known, dis- 
closes, shews, F 483. A. S. 
cy'iSan, to make known, whence 
CM S, known (cf. E. mKOUlk) ; cy'S, 
knowledge ; cunnan, to know. 


tabbing, />m. part, blabbing, bab- 
bling, E 2427. Cf. Du. labben, 
to tell tales, labbei, gofsip. 

Ladde, //. s. led, carried, B 3338 ; 



conducted, 3747 ; pt. pi. Ladde, 
led, 3920, E 390; pp. Lad, B 
3552. 357. F !7 2 - A - s - l&dan, 
pt. t. ic lasdde; Icel. leifta, G. 

Lady, s. lady, B 1637. A.S. 

Lafte, //. s. ceased, B 3496 ; pt. 
pi. Lafte, left, 3388 ; pp. Laft, F 
186, 263. A.S. Ids/an, pt. t. ic 
latfde ; Icel. //. 

Lake, s. a kind of fine white linen 
cloth, B 2048. Halliwell notes 
that shirts were formerly made of 
it, and quotes a passage containing 
the phrase ' white as lake.' The 
word probably was imported from 
the Low Countries, as laken is a 
common Dutch word for cloth ; 
the Dutch for ' a sheet ' is also 
laken or bedlaken. 

Lakke, s. dni. lack, want, loss, F 
43> 443- Cf. Icel. lakr, lacking, 

Lakked, pt. s. wanted, lacked; 
him lakked = there lacked to 
him, i. e. he lacked, F 16. See 

Langage, s. language, F 100. F. 
langage; from Lat. lingua, a 

Langour, s. languishment, slow 
starvation, B 3597. F. languetir, 
Lat. languorem. 

Lappe, s. lap, fold of the dress, F 
441; a wrapper, E 585; dat. 
Lappe, B 3644, F 475. A.S. 
Iceppa, a lap, border, hem ; Du. 
lap, a remnant, shred, rag. 

Lasse, adj. pi. smaller, of less rank ; 
lasse and more, smaller and 
greater, i. e. all, E 67 ; cf. F 300. 
A.S. leessa, less. 

Last, s. pi. lasts, i.e. burdens, loads, 
B 1628. See the note. A.S. 
Mast, a burden, load, a ship's 
freight, from hladan, to lade ; cf. 
Icel. Mats, a cartload, from hla$a, 
to lade. 

Last, pr. s. lasteth, extends, E 
266; pt. s. Laste, lasted, B 1826; 
pt. pi. Laste, 3390, 3508. A. S. 
last an. 

Lat, imp. s. let, B 1633, 163; B 2156. See Lete. 

Latitude, s. latitude (in an astro- 
nomical sense), B 13. 

Laton, s. latten, or latoun, a mixed 
metal, closely resembling brass, 
B 2067. See Halliwell. F. 
laiton, O. F. laton, Low Lat. 

Laude, s. praise, honour, B 1645, 
3286. Lat. laudem, from Ictus. 

Laughe, v. to laugh, E 353. A.S. 
hleahan, hlihan, Icel. lilaja, Goth. 
hlahjan, G. lachen. 

Launcegay, s. a kind of lance, B 
1942,2011. See note to 1. 1942. 

Laureat, adj. laureate, crowned 
with laurel, B 3886, E 31. From 
Lat. laureates; from laurus, a 

Lawe, s. law, B 1189, 3870. 
A. S. lagu, Icel. lag, log ; cf. Lat. 
legem. See below. 

Lay, s. religious belief, creed, F 18. 
So also in the Cursor Mundi, 
1. 21616. From O. F. lei, F. lot, 
law ; cognate with A. S. lagu, 
whence M. E. lawe, E. law. 

Lay, s. a song, lay, B 1959. O. F. 
lai, of Celtic origin ; cf. W. llais, 
voice, sound (Brachet). We find 
also A. S. led, G. lied, a song. 

Lay, pi. s. lay, B 3630, F 467. 

Ledene, s. (dat.) language, talk, F 
435, 478. A.S. leden, a corrup- 
tion of the word Latinus, meaning 
(i) Latin; (a) any language or 
speech. Not to be confused with 
G. lied, which = A. S. leoft. 

Leef, adv. dear; comp. Leuer. 
dearer, liefer, F 572. See Lief, 

Lsef, s. a leaf, E 1211. A. S. leaf, 
Icel. latif, G. laub. 

Leet, pt. s. let, E 82 ; caused, as in 



lect don cryen caused to be pro- 
claimed, F 45; leet mdke = caused 
to be made, B 3349 ; leet bynde = 
caused to be bound, 1810. A. S. 
l&lan, to let. Ste Lete. 

Lefte, I p. s. pt. I left off, F 

Legiouiis, s. pi. legions, B 3544. 

Lsmmau, s. sweetheart, B 3253. 
A. S. Ie6fman } lit. a dear person, 
man being of either gender ; as in 
wifman, a woman. Cf. Lammas 
for loaf-mass, 

Lene, adj. lean, B 4003. A. S. 
Maine, lean, meagre, thin. 

Lenger, adj. longer, E 30x3 ; adv. 
B 2122, 3709, F 381; euer 
lenger the more = the longer, the 
more, E 687, F 404. A. S. leng- 
ra, comp. of long, 

Lente, s. Lent, E 1 2. A.S.lencten, 
the springtime. 

Lenuoy, s. f envoy, i. e. the epilogue 
or postscript addressed to the 
hearers or readers, E 1 1 77 ( rw * 
brio). F. ? envoi, lit. the sending, 
from envoyer, to send. 

Leonyn, adj. lionlike, B 3836. 
F. leonin, Lat. leoninus. 

Leoun, s. a lion, B 3106, 3215, 
3288, F 491 ; pi. Leouns, B 
3451 ; Leon, the sign Leo, F-a65. 
F. lion, O. F. leon, Lat. leonem. 

Lepardes, s. pi. leopards, B 3-451. 
From Lat. leopardus. 

Lere, s. flesh, skin, B 2047. This 
is quite a different word from M.E. 
lere, the face, countenance, from 
A.S. hledr. Properly it means 
the muscles, especially the muscles 
of the thigh, which special sense 
is perfectly suitable here. It is 
the A. S. lira, flesh, muscle, Icel. 
leer, the thigh, the leg above the 
knee, the ham, Danish laar, the 
thigh. Halliwell gives ' Lire 
(i) flesh, meat ; swynes lire 
[swine's flesh], Ord. and Reg. p. 
442 ; lyery, abounding with lean 

flesh; North of England; (2) face, 
countenance;' &c. 

Lere, v. to learn, B 1702 : pr. 
pi. Lere, learn, F 104. Chaucer 
uses the word wrongly; it pro- 
perly means to irach, from A. S. 
leeran; the contrary error, of 
using learn in the sense of to 
teach, is common still. 

Itemed, pp. as adj. learned, B 

Lese, v. to lose, E 508, F 691 ; Leseth, B 19; pp. Lorn, 
q. v. A. S. levsan, Mceso-Goth. 

Lesing, s. losing, loss ; for lesinge, 
for fear of losing, B 3750. See 

Lest, s. desire, 619. See Lust. 

Leste, adj. sup. least, E 966; at 
the leste weye = at any rate ; atte 
leste = at the least, at least, B 38 ; 
pi. Leste, F 300, cf. E 67. ' At 
the leste way, an moyns ; ' Pals- 
grave's French Diet. fol. 438, 

Leste, pr. s. subj. itnpers. it may 
please, E 105, F 125; it may 
(i. e. can) please, F 380 ; pt. s. it 
pleased, E 716, 986, F 605. 
A. S. lystan, to choose ; generally 
used impersonally. 

Lete, v. to let, B 3524 ; i p. s. pr. 
Lete, I leave, B 96, F 290, 344, 
651; pt. pi. Lete, let, B 3898; 
imp. pi. Lete, let, E 98. See 
Lat, Leet. A. S. latan, to let. 

Lette, v. to hinder, B 2116; to 
oppose, stay, 3306 ; pt. s. intrans. 
Lette, delayed, E 389. A. S. let- 
tan, to hinder; Du. letten; Icel. 
letja, to hold back; cf. E. late. 

Lette, s. let, impediment, hindrance, 
delay, E 300. Cf. Icel. leti, lazi- 
ness, sloth ; from letja, to hinder. 
See above. 

Letterure, s. literature, B 3686. 
O. F. letreure, from Lat. litera- 



Lettre, s. writing, B 3398. F. 
leltre, Lat. litera. 

Leue, v. to leave, give up, E 250. 
A.S. l&fan, Icel. leifa. 

Leue, I p. pi. pr. we believe, B 
1181; pr. s. Leueth, E icoi. 
A. S. lyfan, Du. ge-looven, G. 

Leue, imp. s. 3 p (God) grant, B 
1873. See note. A. S. lyfan, to 
permit ; G. erlauben. 

Leue, s. leave, B 1637, F 363, 
584. A.S. leaf, leave, permis- 

Leue, adj. (voc.) dear, 851, 3242 ; 
pi. Leue, dear, valued, F 341. 
See Leef, Lief. A.S. led/, G. 

Leuer, adj. comp. liefer, dearer, 
more desirable, B 3628. 

Leuer, adv. liefer, rather, B 3083, 
F 444, F 683, 692. 

Leueth, pr. s. believes, E 1001. 
See Leue, 

Lswed, adj. ignorant, F 221. 
A. S. laewed, belonging to the 

Lewedly, adv. ignorantly, B 47. 

Lewednesse, s. lewdness (in the 
old sense), ignorance, stupidity, B 
am, F 223. See Lewed. 

Leye, v. to lay, E 193; gerund, 
B 1955; pt. s. Leyde, laid, B 
1971, 3289, 3827; pp. Leyd, 
3371. A. S. lecgan, pt. t. iclegde, 
pp. gelegd, geled; Icel. leggja, 
Du. leggen, G. legen. 

Leyser, s. leisure, B 3498, E 286, 
F 493. F. loisir, originally an 
infin. mood of a verb, viz. Lat. 
licere, to have time for. 

Liche, adj. like; it Iiche = like it, 
F 62. A. S. lie, Icel. likr, com- 
monly glikr; cf. G. gleick, Du. 

Lief, adj. dear, cherished, E 479 ; 
goode lief my wyf=my dear good 
wife, B 3084. See Leef. A. S. 
leof, G lieb. 

Lige, adj. liege, E 310, F in; 
pi. sb. lieges, subjects, B 3584, E 
67. F. lige, a word of G. origin; 
G. ledig, free (Brachet). 

Liggen, v. to lie, lie down, B 2101. 
A.S. licgan, Icel. liggja, Du. lig- 
gen, G. liegen. 

Limmes, s. pi. limbs, B 3284. 
A. S. lint, Icel. Itntr. 

Linage, s. lineage, E 71, 795. F. 
lignage, O. F. linage; from Lat. 
linca, a line. 

List, pr. s. pleases, 63185, 3330, 
359. 379; Listeth, likes, F 
689 ; impers. List, it pleases, E 
647. 933, F 118, 122, 161, 315 ; 
pt. s. impers. Liste, B 3666, F 
365 ; pr. s. impers. subj. it may 
please, F 327. A.S. lystan, to 

Listes, s. pi. the lists, F 668. List 
is sometimes a border, bound ; cf 
A.S. list, the list or border of 
cloth. But in the sense here in- 
tended, it was corrupted from O. F. 
lices, pi. of lisse, lice, a barrier ; 
Low Lat. licice duelli, the lists for 

Listeth, imp. pi. listen ye, B 
1902, 3023. A. S. hlystan, to 

Lite, adj. little, B 109. A. S. lyt, 
little, few. 

Litel, adj. little, B 73, 1190. A. S. 

Liuen, v. to live, E 109. A.S. 
lybban, Icel. Ufa, G. leben. 

Loked, pt. s. looked, E 340. A.S. 
locian, pt. t. ie lucode. 

Loking, s. looking, looks, aspect, 
E 514; glances, looks, F 285. 

Loller, s. a loller, a lollard, 61173. 
On the confusion of these terms, 
see the note. Cf. Icel. lull a, to 
loll about ; litllari, a sluggard. 

Lond, s. land, B 127, 3225; 
country, 3548 ; dat. Londe, 2077. 
A. S. land, land. 

Longe, adv. long, a long while, B 



1626, 33o. In the latter place, 

the word is glossed by the Latin 

Longeth, pr. s. belongs, E 285, F 

16. Cf. Du. langen, to reach, 

belangen, to concern, G. gelangen, 

to arrive at. 
Longing for, i. e. belonging to, 

suitable for, F 39. 
Looth, adj. loath, displeasing ; me 

were looth = it would be displeasing 

to me, B 91. A.S. /o"S, hateful, 

Icel. letiSr. 
Lordes, s. pi. lords, F 91. A. S. 

hldford, Icel. Idvarftr, a lord. The 

original meaning may have been 

Lordinges, s. pi. sirs, B 16, 2143, 

Lordshipe, s. lordship, rank, E 797. 

A. S. hldfordscipe. 
Lore, s. lore, learning, experience, 

knowledge, B 4, 1168, 87, 

788. A. S. Idr. 
Lorn, pp. lost, B 3230, E 1071, 

F 629. See Lese. A. S. leosan, 

to lose, pp. loren ; cf. G. verlieren, 

to lose, pp. verloren. 
Los, s. loss, 627, 28, F 450. 
Loude, def. adj. loud, F 268 ; 

adv. loudly, B 1803, F 55. 

A. S. hlud, loud ; cf. Gk. K\vfiv, 

to hear. 
Loue, s. love, B 18, 74. A. S. Infe, 

Louede, pt. s. loved, E 413, 690 ; 

imp. pi. Loueth, love ye, 370. 

A. S. lufigan. 
Loue-drury, s. affection, B 2085. 

The latter part of the word is O.F. 

drurie, druerie, love, passion ; 

from drvt, a lover, which is 

O. H. G. true, G. trnut, dear, be- 
loved ; from O. H. G. trinwa = 

Loue-longinge, s. desire, fond 

affection, B 1962. The O. E. 

langung expresses a strong feeling 

of deep regret in the Blickling 

Homilies, ed. Morris, p. 1 13, 1. 10, 

and p. 131, 1. 12. 
Loue-lykinge, s. love-liking, loving 

affection, love, B 2040. 
Louere, s. a lover, F 546 ; pi. 

Loueres, B 53, 59. 
Loueth, imp. pi. love ye, E 370. 
Lough, pt. s. laughed, B 3740. 

A. S. hleahan, to laugh ; pt. t. ie 

Loute, v. to bow down, B 3352. 

A. S. lutan, Icel. luta. 
Lowe, adv. in a low voice, F 216. 
Lucre, s. lucre, gain; lucre of 

vilanye = villanous lucre, vile gain, 

B 1681. F. lucre, Lat. lucrum. 
Lulled, pt. s. soothed, E 553. 
Lust, s. pleasure, E 80, 963, F. 6, 

344; will, desire, wish, E 658; 

interest (of a story), F 402 ; pi. 

Lustes, desires, wishes, B 3667. 

A. S. lust, pleasure, will. 
Lust, pr. s. impers. it pleases, E 

3:2, F 147. See List. 
Lustiheed, s. pleasure, enjoyment, 

F 288. Cf. Du. Imtigheid, G. 

lustigkeit, merriment. 
Lusty, adj. pleasant, E 59, F 52, 

142, 389 ; jocund, 272. Cf. Du. 

lustig, merry. 
Lycorys, s. liquorice, B 1951, 

2045. Evidently through the O. 

French; from Gk. y\vKvpfiia, 

lit. sweet root; from f\vicvs, 

sweet, and /5t'd, root. 
Lyf, s. life; his lyf= during his 

life, B 3369. A.S. lif, Icel. 

Lyght, s. light, shining, E 1124. 

A.S. leoht, Icel. lettr, G. lickt, 

Lat. lucem, 
Lyghte, v. lit. to lighten, render 

light, but here to feel light, F 

396 ; pt. s. Lyghte, lighted ; 

either in the sense (i) lightened, 

made light, made happy (see the 

note); or (2) illuminated, B 

1661. A.S. ledhtan, to lighten, 




Lyghte, pi. s. alighted, F 169; 
cf. in thalyghte = in thee alyghte, 
alighted in thee, B 1660. A. S. 
lihtan, to alight, descend. 

Lyghtly, adv. lightly, F 390. 

Lyk, adj. like, B 3361, F 207. 
See Liche. 

Lyken, v. to please, B 2128, E 
506 ; pr. s. Lyketh, it pleases, E 
311, 845; vs lyketh yow = it 
pleases us with respect to you, 
106; how lyketh thee my wyf= 
how does it please you with re- 
spect to my wife, 1031. A. S. 
lician, to delight. 

Lyking, s. liking, pleasure, delight, 
B 3499. A. S. licung, pleasure. 

Lyklihede, s. likelihood, proba- 
bility, 61786. 

Lyklinesse, s. probability, E 396. 

Lykned, pp. likened, compared, B 
91. Cf. Swed. likna, to compare, 
resemble, liken. 

Lymes, s. pi. limbs, 682. See 

Lymrod, s. lime-rod, lime-twig, B 
3574. A. S. lint, lime, and r6d, 
a rood, rod. 

Lynage, s. lineage, high birth, B 
3441, 991. See Linage. 

Lynde, s. a linden-tree, E 12 it. 
A. S. lind, linde, a linden-tree, Icel. 
lind, G. linde. 

Lyte, adj. little, B 2153, F 565; 
adv. a little, E 935. See Lite. 

Lyth, pr. s. lies, is situate, is, B 
3654. ? 35. 322. A.S. /, lies, 
from licgan, to lie. 

Lyue, dat. from Lyf, whence on 
lyue = during life, i.e. alive, F 
423 ; pi. Lyues, lives, B 3284, 
F 233; 8 en - sin S- Lyues, life's, 
E 308. A. S. /*/, life ; gen. lifes, 
dat. life. 

Lyues, gen. sing, used as adv. 
living, E 903. So in Havelok, 1. 
509 'Yif y late him lives go,' 
i,e. if I let him go alive; it 
occurs also in Piers Plowm. B. 

x!x. 154; C. xxii. 159. Also in 
Gower, Conf. Amant. ii. 14 
' Right as a Hues creature She 
temeth,' &c. 


Maad, pp. made, B 3607, F 222. 
See Make. 

Mace, s. a mace, club, B 2003. 
F. masse, O. F. mace ; this word 
preserves the original Latin matea, 
only known otherwise by its di- 
minutive mateola, a mallet. 

Madame, s. madam, F 378. 

Made, pt. s. composed, B 57 ; pi. 
pi. Maden, made, 3523 ; pp. 
Maad, 3607. 

Magestee, s. majesty, dominion, B 
3334. 355. 3862. F. majeste, 
O. F. majestet, Lat. maies.'atem. 

Magicien, s. magician, B 3397. 

Magyk, s. magic, F 218. From 
Lat. magia, Gk. fiayela, sorcery. 

Maille, s. mail, ringed armour, E 
1202. F. maille, a mesh, Lat. 

Maister, s. master, B 1627, 3128 ; 
maister tour = principal tower, F 
226. F. maitre, O. F. maistre, 
Lat. magi&trnm. 

Maistresse, s. mistress, F 374. 

Maistry, . mastery, victory, B 
3582 ; governance, control, 3689. 

Make, s. mate, companion, wife, 
B 1982. A. S. maca, Icel. maki. 
Make and mate are unallied. 

Make, v. to compose (said of 
poetry, &c.), B 96 ; pt. s. Maked, 
made, 3318, 3690; pp. Maked, 
1722, 1727; Maad, 3607. A. S. 
macian, pt. t. ic macode ; pp. 
macod; cf. G. machen. 

Man, s. man, esp. a devoted servant, 
one who has vowed homage, B 
3331 ; used for one, 43 ; gen. sing. 
Mannes, man's, 1630. A.S. man, 
Icel. mannr. 

Manaoeth, pr. s. menaces, E 1 2 2. 



F. menacer, O. F. manacer ; from 
Lat. minacia, a threat. 

Maner, s. manner, kind, used with- 
out of following, as in maner doc- 
trine, kind of doctrine, B 1689 ; 
maner thing, 3951 ; maner ser- 
geant, E 519 ; maner wyse, 605 ; 
maner wyght, F 329. 

Manere, s. manner, way, B 3706, 
E 781; of manere = in his be- 
haviour, F 546. F. maniere, 
Low Lat. maneria, kind, lort; 
from Lat. mantis, a hand (Bra- 

Mansion, 5. mansion (a term in 
astrology), F 50. See note. Lat. 

Marbul, s. marble, F 500. F. 
marbre, Lat. marmorem. 

Marbul-stones, s. pi. blocks of 
marble, B 1871. 

Marchaunt, s. merchant, 6132; 
//. Marchauntz, 122. F. mar- 
ckand, O. F. marchant, Low Lat. 
mercatantem, a trafficker, from 
mercatare, to traffic ; from Lat. 

Maried, pt. s. trans, he caused to be 
married, E 1130. F. marier, Lat. 
maritare ; maritus, a husband. 

Marineer, *. mariner, B 1627. 
F. marinier ; from Lat. marinus, 
marine, mare, the sea. 

Markis, 5. a marquis, E 64 ; gen. 
sing, marquis's, 994. E. marchis, 
Low Lat. marchensis, a governor 
of the marches or frontiers ; 
O. H. G. marcha, a mark, a 

Markisesse, s. a marchioness, E 
283, 394, 942, 1014. 

Masednesse, s. amaze, E 1 06 1. 
Cf. Norwegian masast, to fall into 
a slumber (Aasen) ; Icel. masa, to 

Maselyn, s. a bowl of maple-wood, 
B 2042. [Distinct from maslin or 
brass, a metal mentioned in Gy 
of Warwike, p. 421, 'bras, 

maslyn, yren and stel' (Halli- 
well). Cf. A. S. mcestling, a brass 
vessel, moestlen, maslen, brass. In 
St. Mark vi. 8, the phrase ' nor 
money in their purse ' is expressed 
by ' ne on gyrdils maslen ' in 
the Northumbrian glosses.] O. F, 
maselin, allied to the M. E. 
mazer, a drinking cup made of 
maple-wood; Icel. mosurr, a 
maple tree. 

Matere, s. matter, subject, business, 
B 1703, 2148, E 90, 1176. O.F. 
malere, Lat. materia. 

Maugre, prep, in spite of; maugre 
thyn heed = in spite of thy head, 
despite all thou canst do, B 104 ; 
maugre Philistiens, in spite of the 
Philistians, 3238. F. man gre, 
mal gr6, ill will. 

Mawe, 5. maw, B 1190, 2013. 
A. S. maga, the maw, stomach ; 
Icel. magi, G. magen. 

May, I /. s. pr. I may, B 89, 2014, 
E 304 ; pr. s. May, has power, 
F 112 ; 2 p. pi. pr. May, B 19. 
A. S. mvgan, pr. t. ie mceg ; pt. t. 
ic mihte; Icel. mega, G. mo gen, 

Mayde, s. maid, maiden, B 1636, 
E 257, 377, 446, 779. A.S. 
magf}, G. magd. 

Mayntene, pr. s. imp. may he 
maintain, E 1171. Y.maintenir, 
from main, Lat. manus, the hand, 
and tenir, Lat. tenere, to hold ; 
lit. to hold by the hand, support 
by force. 

Maystow,/or mayst thou, B 3267, 
E 265, 1070. 

Mede, s. meed, reward, a bribe, B 
3579. A - s - m ^> G- miethe. 

Mede, s. mead, B 2042. A.S. 
medu, Icel. mjifSr, Welsh medd, 
Gk. pe6v ; Sanskr. madhu, sweet, 
also honey, nectar. 

Meke, adj. meek, E 141. E. E. 
meoc (not in A. S.) ; Icel. mjultr, 
Mceso-Goth. tnuks, soft, mild. 

Melodye, s. melody, E 271. 



Memorie, s. mention, remem- 
brance, B 3164. O. F. memorie, 
Lat. memoria. 

Mencioun, s. mention; made of 
mencioun = made mention of, B 
54; Mentioun, 3311. From Lat. 

Mene, I p. s. pr. I mean, B 93, 
1860, 2141; gerund to mene = 
to signify, 3941 ; pt. s. Mente, 
meant, F 108. 522. A.S. man- 
on, to have in mind, to intend, 
mean, G. meinen. 

Mening, s. meaning, intent, F 

Merciable, adj. merciful, B 1878. 
O. F. merciable, from tnerci, mer- 
cit ; Lat. mercedem, which came 
to mean favour. 

Meridional, adj. southern, F 263. 
See Angle. From Lat. meridies, 
the South. 

Merie, adj. glad, E 615; Mery, 
pleasant (to hear), B ll86;pl. 
Merie, merry (i.e. merrily), B 
126 ; Merie men, followers, 2029 ; 
comp. Merier, pleasanter, 2024. 
A. S. myrig. 

Meruaille, s. marvel, wonder, E 
1 1 86; Merueille, 248; merueille 
of = wonder at, F 87; pi. Mer- 
uailles, marvels, F 660. F. 
merveille, O. F. mervaille ; from 
Lat. mirabilia, wonderful things. 

Merueillous, adj. marvellous, B 

Meschaunce, s. misery, a miser- 
able condition, B 3204. O. F. 
ineschaance, a mishap ; from Lat. 
minus, less, badly, and cadentia, 
hap ; from cadere, to fall, hap- 

Meschief, s. misfortune, B 3513. 
F. mechef, O. F. meschief; from 
Lat. minus, less, badly, and caput, 
the head ; from the latter came 
O. F. ckevir, to accomplish, and 
chief, accomplishment. 

Messager, s. a messenger, B 6, 

3247. F. messager, from message, 
Low Lat. missatictim, a message. 
Meste, adj. superl. most, i.e. 
highest in rank, most considerable, 
131. A.S. mast. 
Mesurable, adj. moderate, F 
362. F. mesurable, Lat. mensura- 

Mesure, s. measure, E 256 ; mo- 
deration, 622. F. mesure, Lat. 
mensiira ; from metiri, to mete. 
Metal, s. metal, F 243. F. metal 

Lat. metallum. 

Metamorphoseos, gen. s. (the 
book) of Metamorphosis ; it 
should be pi. Metamorphoseon ; B 
93. Gk. ntTafj.op<fxiiff(a)s, gen. of 
HtTa.i>.6p<f>ajffis, a transformation, 
from ptTO,, with, across, and fiop<f>rj, 
form, figure. Ovid's poem treats 
of the transformation of men and 
women into birds, &c. 
Mete, s. food, meat, F 173, 618. 
A. S. mete,lce\. matr, Moeso-Goth. 

Mete, v. to meet together, B 
1873. The old meaning is to 
find; so here it implies to find 
each other. See Mette. 
Metres, s. pi. metres, B 48. 
Mette, pt. s. dreamt, B 3930. 

A. S. mditan, to dream. 
Mette, pt. pi. met, E 390. A. S. 

metan, to meet, Icel. mceta. 
Mewe, s. a mew, F 643. F. mue, 
a coop ; a mew in which birds 
were kept when moulting ; F. 
muer, to moult, change feathers, 
Lat. mutare, to change. 
Meynee, s. company, E 2436 ; fol- 
lowers, army, B 3532 ; attend- 
ants, suite, F 391. O. F. maisne, 
mesnee, meignee, a household, said 
to be from Low Lat. maisnada 
(as though for Lat. mansionata), 
a company of menials. 
Milk, s. milk, F 614. A. S. mile, 
meolc, G. milch ; cf. Lat. mttlgere, 



Milksop, s. a milk-sop, lit. a piece 
of bread sopped in milk ; hence, 
anything soft, esp. a weak effemi- 
nate man, B 3100. 

Mille, s. a mill, 1200. A.S. 
miln, whence milner, a miller ; 
cf. Lat. mo/a. 

Miustralcye, s. minstrelsy, a play- 
ing upon instruments of music, the 
sound made by a band of minstrels, 
F 268. 

Minstrales, s. pi. minstrels, B 
2035; Minstralles, F 78. F. 
menestrel, Low Lat. ministralis, a 

Mirour, s. mirror, F 82, 132, 143, 
175. F. miroir, mirror ; mirer, 
to look at, Lat. mirari, to 

Miracle, s. miraculous story, legend, 
B 1881. F. miracle, Lat. mira- 

Misauenture, s. ill fortune, mis- 
fortune, B 3540. 

Misdeparteth, pr. s. parts or 
divides amiss, B 107. The use 
of the Teutonic prefix mis- before 
the French verb was made easier 
by its similarity to the French pre- 
fix mes (Lat. minus). 

Misdooth, pr. s. doeth amiss to, ill 
treats, B 3112. 

Miserie, s. misery, B 3167. Lat. 
miseria, from miser, wretched. 

Misgouernaunce, s. misconduct, 
B 3202. 

Misgyed, pp. misguided, miscon- 
ducted, B 3723. See Gye. 

Mishap, s. ill luck, B 3435. 

Mist, s. mist, F 259. A. S. mist. 

Mo. See Moo. 

Moche, adj. much, B 1169, 2152 ; 
Muchel, a great deal of, F 349. 
A. S. mycel, much. 

Mochel, adv. much, B 3959 ; adj. 
960. A. S. mycel. 

Mone, s. moon, E 928 ; gen. 
Mone, moon's, B 2070. A. S. 
mono, a masc. sb. with gen. 

mdnan ; I eel. man!, G. mond, 
Moaso-Goth. mena ; all mascu- 

Monk, s. a monk, B 3114; pi. 
Monkes, 1632. A.S. mvnuc, 
borrowed from Lat. monachtts. 

Monstres, s. pi. monsters, B 3302. 
Lat. monstrum. 

Montaigne, s. a mountain, B 24. 
F. monlagne, O. F. monlaigne, 
Low Lat. monlanea; from Lat. 

Monthe, s. pi. months, B 1674. 
A. S. mdnctfS, Icel. mdnaftr, G. 
monal. See Mone. 

Moo, adj. pi. comp. more, B 54 ; 
Mo, 3742, 3838, E 318, F 301, 
702; tymes mo = at more times, 
at other times, E 449 ; mo = more 
than her, others, 1039; see note. 
A. S. via, more. See More. 

Mooder, s. a mother, B 1657, 
1696, &c. gen. Moodres, mo- 
ther's, 1783. A.S. modor, Icel. 
mobir, G. mutter, Lat. mater, Gk. 
HTJTTJP, Sanskr. ma/ri. 

Moralitee, s. morality, B 3687. 

Mordre, s. murder, B 1820. A.S. 
wzor'Sor, murder, moriS, death ; 
Moeso-Goth. maurthr; cf. Lat, 

Mordred, pp. murdered, E 725, 

Mordrer, s. murderer, E 733. 

More, adj. comp. greater, E 1231 ; 
pi. More, in phr. more and lesse, 
greater and lesser, all alike, B 
3433, E 940 ; adv. more, fur- 
ther, in a greater degree, B 3745, 
3842. A.S. mare. See Mo. 

Morsel, s. a morsel; morsel breed 
= morsel of bread, B 3624. F. 
morceau, O. F. morsel, Low Lat. 
morsellum, a little bit or bite, 
from mordere, to bite. 

Morwe, s. morrow, morning ; by 
the morwe = in the morning, early 
in the day, B 3856. A. S. morg- 
en, G. morgen, the morning. 



Morweninge, s. morning. F 397. 

Moste, adj. superl. greatest, F 
199 ; chiefest, 361 ; //. Moste, in 
phr. moste and leste, greatest and 
least (see More) 300. A. S. 

Mot, I p. fr. s. I must, B 1853, 
3104, E 872, F 41 ; Moot, E 
172; sitbj. Mote in phr. mote I 
thee = may I thrive, B 2007; 2 
p. s. pr. mbj. mot thou = majst 
thou, B 1626, E 557 ; pr. s Mot, 
he must, F 456 ; Moot, B 3697 ; 
pr. pi. 2 p. Mote, ye must, ought 
to, should, E 526, F 164 ; pt. s. 
a p. Most, B 104 ; pt. s. Moste, 
must, ought to, B 2031, 3232, F 
442; ought to (be), F 38; was 
obliged to, was made to, B 3700 ; 
pt. s. subj. Moste, might, E 550. 
A. S. ic mot, pt. t. ic moste. 

Mowe, pr. pi. may, E 530. A. S. 
magon, we may. 

Moyste, adj. fresh, new, B 1954. 

F. moite, O. F. moiste, Lat. must- 
eus, new, fresh ; from musttts, 
fresh. The signification moist is 

Muchel, adj. much, a great deal 
of, F 349. A. S. mycel. 

Murmurede, pt. pi. murmured, 
talked continually in a low voice, 
buzzed, F 204. F. murmurer, 
Lat. murnntrare, from murmur. 

Murthe, s. mirth, joy, E 1123. 
A. S. wyrU. 

Myght, 3. might, power, F 467 ; 
magic power, 133. A. S. miht, 

G. macht. 

Myghte, //. *. could, B 3444 ; I p. 
s. pt. subj., I could, E 638. 

Myghtily, adv. mightily, B 3517. 

Myn, pass. pron. mine, my (used 
before a vowel), B 40 ; (used 
after a name}, E 365. A. S. mln, 
properly gen. case of ic, I. 

Mynde, s. memory, F 109, 607 ; 
in mynde = in remembrance, B 
1843. A. S. mynd; from mynan, 

to remember ; cf. Lat. mfmini, 
Gk. fif/o'rjfMi. 


Naille, imp. s. 3 p. let it nail, let it 
fasten, E 1184; pp. Nailed, fas- 
tened, 29. A.S. nttgel, Icel. 
nagl, G. nagel, a nail ; A. S. 
nceglian, to nail. 

Namely, adv. especially, E 484, 

Namo,/or na mo, no more, F 573 ; 
Namore, for na more, no more, 
289, 314. 

Nas,/or ne was, was not, 405, 
F 14. A. S. naf, was not. 

Nat, adv. not, B 1 24, &c. ; Nat 
but, only, F 391, 638. Short for 
nd iviht, i. e. no whit ; whence 
naught, not. See Naught. 

Natheles, adv. nevertheless, none 
the less, B 45, 94, 3317. A.S. 
nd, not. 

Natiuitee, s. nativity, birth, B 
3206, F 45. From Lat. natiuita- 
tem ; which from Lat. nascor. 

Nature!, s. natural, F 116. A 
' day natural ' meant a period of 
24 hours ; as differing from the 
' day artificial.' See Artificial. 

Naturelly, adv. naturally, by natu- 
ral causes, F 229. 

Naught, adv. not, B 1 702. See 

Nay, adv. no, nay, 177; opposed 
to yea, 355 ; answers a direct 
question, B 1 793 ; it is no nay = 
there is no denying it, B 1956, E 
817, 1139- Icel. net. 

Nayles, s. pi. nails, B 3366. A. S. 
nagel. See Naille. 

Ne, adv. (i) not ; when used with 
a verb, a second negative is often 
added, as in no ne, B 77 ; ne 
noon, 89 ; (2) nor, B 1180, 1189. 
A. S. ne, not, nor ; not bor- 
rowed from the French. 

Necessitee, s. necessity, F 593. 
From Lat. necessitatem. 



Necligence, s. negligence, B 22, 

E 66 1. From Lat. negligenlia. 
Need, s. need, indigence, B 103 ; 

dot. Nede, 102, 112; extreme ne- 
cessity, peril, 3576 ; see the note. 

A. S. nedd, Icel. nan's, G. noth. 
Nede, adv. (dative form) needs, B 

3697, E 53* J (genitive form) 

Nedes, B 2031, E n. A. S. nedd, 

need ; gen. neddes, dat. nedde. 
Nedeth, pr. s. needs it, it needs, F 

65, 298 ; pt. s. Neded, it needed, 

E 457- A. S. neddian, to compel. 
Needles, adv. needlessly, E 621; 

Needlees, without a cause, 455. 
Neer, adv. near ; or perhaps adv. 

comp. nearer, B 4000. See Ner. 
Neigh, adj. near, nigh, F 49. See 

Neighebor, 5. neighbour, B 108, 

115, 3108. A. S. nedh-biir, from 

nedh, near, and bur, a dweller; 

from buan, to dwell. 
Nekke, s. neck, B 3300, 113. 

A.S. necca, hnecca. 
Nekke-boon, *. neck-bone, B 

Nempne, v. to name, tell, F 318; 

pt. s. Nempned, named, E 609. 

A. S. nemnan, to name, call ; cf. 

G. nennen, to name ; Lat. nornen, 

a name. 
Ner, adv. nearer; ner and ner = 

nearer and nearer, B 1710. See 

Neer. A. S. nedh, nigh (adv.) ; 

comp. nedr, nyr, nigher ; cf. G. 

Nere, pt. s. subj. were not, B 3984 ; 

were it not, 133. A.S. naeron, 

were not. 
Nest, s. nest ; wiMied nest, \. e. man 

ni, or Mauny, B 3576. See note. 

A.S. nest, G. nest. 
Nettes, s. pi. nets, B 3665. A. S. 

and Icel. net, G. netz. 
Neuer, adv. never, B 87. A. S. 

Nevew, s. nephew, B 3594. F. 

neveu, Lat. nepotem, 

VOL. II. 1 

Newe, adj. def. new, E 841 ; adv. 
Newe, newly, afresh, E 3, 378. 
A. S. niive, neowe, adj. ; niwan, 
adv. anew ; cf. Icel. nyr, Lat. 
nouus, Gk. vfos, Sanskr. nava. 

Newefangel, adj. newfangled, 
taken with novelty, F 618. Cf. 
A. S. fangennes, a taking ; the 
root is clearly A. S. f6n, Goth. 
fahan, to take ; cf. G. fangen ; 
whence also A. S. unbefangenlic, 
incomprehensible, onfengnes, a 

Newfangelnesse, s. newfangled- 
ness, fondness for novelty, F 610. 
See above. 

Nexte, superl. adj. nearest, B 
1814. A.S. ncksta, nighest; from 
nedh, nigh. 

Nice, adv. foolish, E 2434. F. 
nice, Span, necio, Port, nescio or 
necio, foolish, ignorant, from Lat. 
nescius, ignorant. This is clearly 
the etymology of ' nice ' as used 
by Chaucer ; the modern word nice 
is the same, differently used. 

Nil, i p. s. pr. I desire not, I dis- 
like, E 646 ; I will not, 363 ; pr. 
s. will not, 119. A.S. nyllan, to 
be unwilling, Lat. nolle. 

Nin, for ne in, i. e. nor in, F 35. 

Nis, for ne is, is not, B 1876, E 

448. F 72- 

Niste, i p. s. pt. knew not, F 502 ; 
pt. pi. Nisten, knew not, 634. 
A. S. nytan, not to know, pt. t. ic 
nyste ; from ne, not, and ivilan, to 

Noblesse, s. nobility, magnificence, 
B 3438, E 782 ; high honour, B 
3208. F. noblesse; Low Lat. 
nobililia ; from Lat. nobilis, noble, 

Nobleye, s. nobleness, i. e. dignity, 
state, F 7 7. Cf.O.Fr. nobloier, 
to shine, lit. to look noble; from 
Lat. nobilis. 

Noght, adv. not ; shortened from 
nought, and signifying in no re- 
spect, B 94, 112. See Nat. 



Nolde, pi. s. would not, B 87, 
1821, 3664. A. S. nyllan, pt. t. 
ic nolde; see Nil. 

Nones, in pkr. for the nones = for 
the nonce, for the once, for the oc- 
casion, B 1165, 3133. Originally 
for then ones, for the once ; where 
then is dative of art. the, and ones 
is an adverb used as a noun. 

Nonnes, s. pi. gen. nuns', B 3999. 
F. nonne, Low Lat. nonna, used 
by St. Jerome (Brachet). 

Noon, adj. none, no, B 102 ; pi. 
Noon, 89. A. S. nan. 

Noot, I p. s. pr. I know not, B 

359 6 . 3973. F 34 2 - A - s - ndt > 

for ne wot, knows not; I and 3 

p. s. pr. indie. 
Norice, s. a nurse, E 561, 618, F 

347. Y. nourrice, O. F. norris, 

Lat. nulricem. 
Norished, pp. nourished, brought 

up, E 399. 
Norishiuge, s. nurture, bringing 

up, E 1040. 
Notable, adj. notorious, B 1875. 

Lat. notabilis. 
Note, s. a note (of music), B 1737. 

Lat. no/a. 
Notemuge, *. nutmeg, B 1953. 

Note is A. S. hnut, G. nuss ; the 

ending muge = O. F. muguet, Lat. 

muscata, musk - scented ; from 

muscus, scent, musk. 
No-thing, adv. in no respect, not 

at all, B 3402, E 228, 480. 
Nouelries, s. pi. novelties, F 619. 

Cf. House of Fame, ii. 178. O. F. 

novelerie, which commonly means 

a quarrel ; O. F. novel, new, Lat. 

nouellus; from nouus. 
Noueltee, s. novelty, E 1004. 

O. F. noveliteit, Low Lat. nouelli- 

tatem; from nouus. 
Nouys, s. novice, B 3129. F. 

novice, Lat. nouicius ; from nouus. 
Now and now, adv. at times, 

from time to time, occasionally, F 


Nowches, s. pi. jewels, E 382, 
O. F. noitche, nosche, a buckle, 
bracelet ; Low Lat. nusca, a 
brooch ; O. H. G. nusca, an orna- 
ment, brooch, bracelet ; cf. O. H. 
G. nusta, a knitting tog?ther. 
Spenser has ouch. 

Ny, adv. nearly, F 346 ; wel 
ny = almost, E 82. A. S. nedh. 

Nyce, adj. weak, foolish, B 3712. 
F 525. See Nice. 

Nyghte, s. dat. night; a nyghte, 
at night, by night, B 3758. A. S. 
nihtf Icel. ndtt, Lat. nocleni. 


O, adj. one, B 52, 2122, 3663. 

Shortened from M. E. on, A. S. an, 

Obeisaunce, s. obedience, 24, 

502 ; obedient act, E 230 ; pi. 

Obeisances, submissive acts, acts 

expressing obedient attention, F 


Obeisant, adj. obedient, E 66. 

Obeye, v. to obey, F 489 ; pt. s. 
Obeyede, 569. F. obtir, Lat. 

Obseruances, s. pi. duties, atten- 
tions, F 516. 

Obserue, v. to give countenance to, 
favour, B 1821. F. observer, 
Lat. obseruare. 

Occupye, v. to occupy, take up, F 
64. F. occuper, Lat. occtipare. 

Of, prep, by, B 2132, E 70, 2436; 
with, for, B 1779, E 33 ' as re ' 
gards, with respect to, B 90, 3388, 
F 425 ; of grace = by his favour, 
out of his favour, E 178. A. S. o/, 
Icel. a/, G. ab. Lat. ab, Gk. diro. 

Of, adv. off, away, B 3748, 3762. 

Office, s. duty, employment (see 
note), B 3446 ; houses of office = 
servants' offices, pantries, larders, 
&c. E 264. From Lat. qfficium. 

Of-newe, adv. newly, lately, E 
938. Hence E. anew. 



Of-ta!*en, pp. taken off, taken 
away, B 1855. Cf. 1. 1858. 

Ofte, adj. pi. many, frequent, E 
226 ; adv. often, 722 ; adv. coinp. 
Ofter, oftener, 215, 620. A. S. 
oft, Icel. off, oft, Goth, tifta, often, 

Olde, adj. pi. old, F 69. A. S. 
eald, G. alt, Goth, altheis. 

Oliueres, s. pi. oliveyards, B 3226. 
The O. F. oliver is used to trans- 
late Lat. oliueta (Burguy). 

On, prep, upon, concerning, B 48 ; 
on, in, at; on cue = in the even- 
ing ; on morwe = in the morning, 
1214; on reste = at rest, F 
379. A. S. on, Icel. d, G. an, 
Goth. ana. 

On, adj. one; euerich on, every 
one, B 1164. See O, Oon. 

Onlofte, adv. aloft, i. e. still above 
ground, E 229. Icel. lopt (pron. 
loft), cognate with A. S. lyft, air. 

Ook, s. an oak, F 159. A. S de, 
Icel. eik, G. eiche. 

Oon, adj. one, B 2034, 3880 ; the 
same, 2142, 711; the same 
thing, alike, F 537 ; oon the 
faireste = one who was the fairest, 
one of the fairest, E 212; euer 
in oon = continually alike, con- 
stantly in the same manner, E 
602, 677, F 4*7? many oon, 
many a one, E 775. A. S. an, 
Icel. einn, Goth, ains, Lat. unus. 

Open, adj. open, B 1684. A. S. 
open, Icel. opinn, G. off en. 

Ord, s. beginning ; ord and ende = 
beginning and end, B 3911. 
A. S. ord, a beginning, a point of 
a sword, Icel. oddr, whence E. 
odd. We find pennys ord = a 
point of a pen, in Cursor Mundi, 
G 10626, altered to penne poynt 
in text T. 

Ordeyned, pp. appointed, F 177. 
O. F. ordener, F. ordonner, Lat. 

Orient, s. the east, B 3504. Sec 
Thorient. From Lat. orienlem. 

Othere, adj. pi. other, B 3344 

?5 lo i 3896 ; sing. Other ; whence 

that other = the other, answering 

to that oon = the one, F 496. 

A.S. o'&Vr, G. ander. 
Otherweyes, adv. otheiwise, E 

1072. Lit. other-ways. 
Otherwyse, adv. on any other 

condition, F 534. 
Othes, s. pi. oaths, F 528. A. S. 

a5, Icel. v oV, Goth, aiths. 
Ouer, prep, besides, F 137. A.S. 

ofer, Icel. yfir, G. iiber. 
Ouer, adv. over, on, B 1633. 
Oueral, adv. in every respect, 

throughout, E 1048. Cf. G. 

Ouerlad, pp. put upon, B 3101. 

Lit. led over. See P. Plowm. B 

Ouermacche, v. to overmatch, 

overreach, conquer, E 1220. 
Ought, adv. at all, B 1792. A.S. 

dht, for an hwit, a whit. 
Oughte,pt. s. subj. it should behove 

us, E 1150; pt. s. indie, it was 

fit, it was due, 1120; pt. pi. 

Oughten, ought, B 1833, 3567. 

A. S. dgan, to owe, to own ; pt. t. 

ic dhte. 
Oules, i. pi. owls, F 648. A.S. 

ule, Icel. vgla, G. enle, Lat. ulula. 
Out-caughte, pt. s. caught out, 

drew out, B 1 86 1. 
Outen, v. to come out with, to 

utter, E 2438. A. S. Man, to put 

out, to eject ; cf. O. H. G. uzon, 

to put out. The word is very rare. 
Outerly, adv. utterly, entirely, E 

335. 639. 768, 953- A. S. a/or, 

Outrage, v. to become outrageous, 

to lose patience, lose temper, E 

643. F. outrer, O. F. oltrer, to 

pass beyond bounds ; O. F. ollre , 

Lat. ultra, beyond. 
Owen, adj. own, B 3198, 3571, 

E 504, 652 ; pi. Owene, B 3584. 

A. S. dgen, G. eigen, own, peculiar. 

T 2 


Oxes, gen. sing, ox's, E 207, 291. 
A. S. oxa, Icel. oxi, vxi, Goth. 
auksa, G. ochs. 

Oxe-stalle, s. oxstall, E 398. A. S. 
oxaii steal, where oxan is the gen. 
case of oxa, or it may be con- 
sidered as a compound, oxa-steal. 
In either case the sonant e after x 
is accounted for. 


Pace, v. to pass, go. B 1759, F 
120; pr. s. subj. 1 p. er I pace 
=ere I depart, ere I die, F 494; 
pr. s, subj. may pass away, may 
depart, E 1092. F. passer, Low 
Lat. passare, to pass over ; from 
pandere. See Passe. 

Page, s. a page, boy, F 692. F. 
page, Low Lat. pagius, a servant. 
Deduced by Diez from Gk. irais, 
iraiSiov. Ducange gives pagius, 
pagita,pagesius, pagensis (whence 
F. pays), all meaning a domestic 
servant or a rustic. Surely from 
the sb. pagus, a village, whence 
also Lat. paganus. 

Paleys, 5. palace, E 197, F 60. F. 
palais, Lat. palatium. 

Papeiay, s. a popinjay, a parrot, B 
I 957- F papegai, from Span. 
papagayo ; hardly from Arab, ba- 
bagd, a parrot, a late word (Diez). 

Paradys, s. Paradise, B 3200. Gk. 
irapaSeiaos, a pleasure-ground, 
Heb. pardes, known to be of Aryan 
(Persian) origin. 

Paramour, i. e. par amour, for love, 
B 2033. See note. 

Parauenture, adv. peradventure, 
by chance, E 234. 

Pardee, interj. an oath, from French 
par dieu, B 1977, 1234; Parde, 
B 3974, F 696. 

Pareinentz, s. pi. ornaments ; 
chambre of paramentz = orna- 
mented chamber, F 269. F. 
parement, an ornament, from 
parer, to adorn, Lat. parare. 

Parfay, interj. by my faith, B HO. 
O. F. parfei, F. par foi. 

Parfitly, adv. perfectly, E 690. 
F. parfait, Lat. perfectus. 

Parfournest, pr. s. 2 p. perform- 
est, B 1797; pp. Parfourned, 
1 646. Cotgrave has ' Parfour- 
nir, to perform, consummate,' &c. 
From O.F.fornir (F. fournir\ 
to accomplish ; from O. H. G. 
frumjan, to accomplish, whence 
also G.frommen, to avail ; which 
from O. H. G. frum, good ; cf. 
Mceso-Goth. frums, beginning, 
fruma, first, Lat. primus ; from the 
root of G. i/or, E.fore, Lat. prae. 

Park, s. a park, F 392. Cf. F. pare, 
probably from a Teut. source; cf. 
Welsh pare, parwg, an enclosure ; 
there is also A. S. pearroc, an en- 
closure, park, which gives the ety- 
mology of the E. word. The root 
is seen in M. E. parre> to enclose. 

Party, s. a part, 817. F. parti, 
divided, from partir, to divide, 
Lat. partiri. 

Pas, s. a pace, i. e. a footpace, at 
a slow rate, F 388. See Prol. 1. 
825. Lat. passus. 

Passe, imp. s. or pi. pass (over), go 
(on), proceed, B 1633 ; I p. s. pr. 
Passe of = pass by, F 288 ; pr. s. 
Passeth, passes away, 404 ; pp. 
Passed, past, spent, E 610 ; pres. 
part. Passing, surpassing, extreme, 
240,1225. See Pace. 

Passioun, s. passion, suffering, B 
1175. Lat. passionem. 

Pauement, s. pavement, B 1867. 
O. F. pavement, Lat. pavimentum. 

Payndemayn, s. bread of a peculiar 
whiteness, B 1915. See note. 
From Lat. pants Dominicus. 

Peer, s. peer, equal, B 1930. See 

Pees, s. peace, B 130, 3524, 3826. 
O.F. pes, F. paix, Lat. pacem. 

Penaunt, s. a penitent, one who 
does penance, B 3124. O.F. 



peneant, penitent; from Lat. 
poena, pain. 
Penible, adj. painstaking, careful 

to please, E 714. F. penible, 

from peine, Lat. poena. 
Peples, gen. sing, people's, E 412. 

F. penple, Lat. populiis. 
Perce, Percen, v. to pierce, B 

2014, E 1204, F 237; pp. 

Perced, B 1745. F. percer. 
Percinge, s. piercing ; for percinge 

= to prevent any piercing, B 2052. 
Pere, s. peer, equal, B 3244, F 678. 

See Peer. O. F. per, F. pair, 

Lat. par, 
Peregryn, adj. peregrine, i. e. 

foreign, F 428. Lat. peregrinus. 
Perilous, adj. dangerous, terrible, 

B IQ99) 3 1O 9- From Lat. peri- 

Perles, s. pi. pearls, B 3658. F. 

perle,Port.perola, Low Lzt.pernla. 
Perree, s. jewellery, precious stones, 

B 3495. 355. 355 6 - F.pierrerie ; 

Low Lat. petrarice, jewels ; from 

Lat. petra, a stone. 
Persone, s. parson, B 1170; per- 

son, E 73. Lat. persona. 
Peyne, s. pain, suffering, B 2134; 

trouble, care, F 509 ; gen. 

Peynes, F 480 ; vpon peyne = 

under a penalty, E 586. F. peine, 

Lat. poena. 
Peyned hir, pt. s. refl. took pains, 

Peyntede, pt. s. painted, F 560; 

pp. Peynted, 646. F. peindre, 

Lat. ping ere. 
Philosophre, s. a philosopher, di- 

dactic writer, B 25. 
Phisyk, s. physic, the art of medi- 

cine, B 1189. F. physique; Gk. 

Pitee, s. pity, B 3231, F 479. F. 

pitie, O. F. piled, Lat. pietatem. 

Thus pity is a doublet of piety. 
Pitous, adj. sad, B 2140, 3567, E 

1121; pitiful, full of compassion, 

F 20. O. F.pitos, F.piteux ; Lat. 

Pitously, adv. piteously, sadly, 

pitiably, B 3729, F 414, 461. 
Place, s. manor-house, residence of 

a chief person in a village or 

small town, B 1910. See note. 

F. place, Lat. plalea. 
Piastres, s. pi. plaisters, or plasters, 

F 636. F. platre. Low Lat. plas- 

trum, short for emplastrum, Gk. 

Piler, s. a pillar, B 3308 ; pi. 

Filers, 3274. F. pilier ; from 

pile, Lat. pila, a pillar. 
Pin, s. a pin, small peg, F 127, 316. 

From Lat. pinna, for penna. 
Pistil, s. epistle, E 1154. 

Plat, adv. flat, B 1865; flatly, 

bluntly, 3947. F.plat, G. platt ; 

both from Gk. irXarvs, broad. 
Plate, s. plate, stiff iron defence for 

a hauberk, B 2055. O. F. plate, 

a flat piece of metal ; see above. 
Platte, adj. dot. flat, flat side (of a 

sword), F 162, 164. See Plat. 
Playn, adj. plain ; in short and 

piayn = in brief plain terms, E 

577. F. plain, Lat. plantts. 
Playn, s. a plain, B 24 ; Playne, 

E 59. 
Pleinte, s. complaint, lament, B 

66. F.plainte,from La.t.plangere, 

to wail. See Pleyne. 
Plentee, s. plenty, abundance, E 

264, F 300; gret plentee = in 

great quantity, B 3665. O. F. 

plentet, Lat. plenitatem, from 

pie mis, full. 
Plesaiice, s. pleasure, will, E 501, 

659, 663, 672, 959, 964; kind- 

ness, II II; pleasing behaviour, 

F 509. F. plaisance, from Lat. 

Plesen, v. to please, F 707. F. 

flaisir, Lat. placere. 
Pley, s. a play, sport, diversion, E 
10, II, 1030. A.S.plega, sport. 
Pleye, v. to amuse oneself, B 3524, 

3666, 3996 ; pres. part. Pleying, 



amusing herself, F 410. A. S. pleg- 

Pleyn, adv. plainly, B 3947, E 19 ; 
openly, E 637. See Plasm. 

Pleyne, pr. pi. subj. I p. we may 
complain, 97. F. plaindre, Lat. 

Plowman, s. ploughman, E 799. 

Plumage, s. plumage, F 426. F. 
plumage, Lat. plutna, a feather. 

Plye, v. to bend, E 1169. Y.plier, 
Lat. plicare. 

Plyghte, pt. s. plucked, pulled, 
B 15. Cf. A.S. plucdan, pt. t. 
pluccode ; though this hardly ac- 
counts for the present form. We 
may note, however, similar forms 
in Chaucer elsewhere, viz. shryghte 
(shrieked), Kn. Ta. 1959; twygh'.e 
(twitched), Tro. and Cres. iv. 
"85 ; pryghte, F 418. 

Poetrye, s. poetry, E 33 ; pi. Poe- 
tryes, poems, F 206. 

Point, s. point ; fro point to point 
= from beginning to end, B 3652 ; 
point for point, exactly, in every 
detail, E 577. F. point, Lat. 

Point-deuys, s. point-device, F 

Poison, s. poison, B 3859. F. poi- 
son, Lat. potionem ; lit. a potion. 

Polyue, s. a pulley, F 184. F. 
poulie; the Prompt. Parv. has 
f'oleyn, but the rime is decisive as 
to the form used here. 

Pompous, adj. stately, magnificent, 

B 3745- 

Pope, s. the pope, E 74 T ! * 
Popes, 746; pi. Popes, B 2039. 
A. S. papa, Lat. papa, a father. 

Popet, s. poppet, puppet, doll ; 
spoken ironically, and therefore 
here applied to a corpulent per- 
son, B 1891. Cotgrave has 
' Poiipstte, a little b.iby, puppet, 
bable* [i.e. bauble]. Cf. F. 
poupee, a doll ; Lat pupa, a doll. 

Possessioun, s. possession, i. e. 

large property, great possessions. 

wealth, F 686. 
Potage, 5. pottage, broth, B 3623. 

F. potage, from pot (Welsh pot), a 

Pouerte, s. poverty, B 99, E 816. 

O. F. povrete, poverle, Lat. pauper- 

latem. Note ; the u in this word 

is sounded as v. 
Pound, s. pi. pounds, F 683. A. S. 

fund, a pound ; a neut. sb. with 

pi. pund ; cf. Icel. and Goih.pund. 
Poure, adj. poor, B 116, 120; pi. 

Poure, 188. The M is here a v; 

povre = O.F. povre, F. pauvre ; 

from Lat. pauperem. 
Poure, adv. poorly, E 1043. See 

Pourest, adj. svperl. poorest, E 

205. See Poure. 
Poureliche, adj. poorly, in poverty, 

213, 1055. See Poure. 
Preche, v. to preach, B 1179; 

Prechen, 1177; imp. pi. Precheth, 

E 1 2. F. precher, Lzt.praedicare. 
Predicacioun, *. preaching, ser- 
mon, B 1176. 
Prees, s. press, crowd, B 3327 ; 

Pies, F 189. F. presse; from 

Lat. premere. 
Preise, I p. s. pr. I praise, F 674. 

O. F. preiser, to praise ; preis, 

price, Lat. pretium. 
Prescience, *. foreknowledge, E 

659. From Lat. praescire. 
Presence, s. presence ; in presence 

= in company, in a large assem- 
bly, E 1207. 
Prest, s. priest, B 1166, 4000. O. F. 

prestre, F. pretre ; Lat. presbyter. 
Presumpcioun, s. presumption, 

pride, B 3745. 
Preue, s. proof, E 787. F.preuve, 

from Lat. probare. 
Preue, v. to test ; E 699 ; pr. s. 

snbj. may test ; he preue = that he 

test or try, 1152 ; pr. s. Preueth, 

proves, 1000 ; tries, tests, 1155 ; 

shews, 2425 ; pp. Preued, ap- 



proved, 38 ; exemplified, 856 ; 
shewn, F 481. See above. 

Freyede, pt. s. prayed, besought, F 
311 ; Preyde, B 3729, E 548, 
765 ;pp. Preyed, 7 73. O.V.preier, 
F. prier ; Lat. precari. 

Preyere, s. prayer, B 1669, 141. 
F. priere. 

Preys, s. praise, B 3837. O. F. 
preis, Lat. pretium. See Preise. 

Priketh, pr. s. spurs, rides, B 1944 ; 
pt. s. Priked, 1964; Pryghte, F 
418 ; 2 p. s. fubj. Prike, B 2001 ; 
Prikke, prick, goad, torture, E 
1038. A. S. priccian, to prick, 
goad. See Pryghte. 

Prickinge, s. spurring, hard riding, 
B 1965. 

Prikke, s. prick, point, critical 
condition, B 119. A. S. prica, a 
prick, point. 

Principles, s. pi. principles, deep 
feelings, natural disposition, F 48 7. 

Prioresse, s. prioress, B 1637. 

Priuee, adj. secret, privy, closely 
attendant, E 192, 519; secret, B 
1991. F. prive, Lat. privates. 

Priuee, adv. privately, secretly, F 
531; Priuely.B 21, 3889. 

Priuitee, privity, secrecy, E 249. 

Proces, s. narrative, history, occur- 
rence of events, B 3511 ; proces 
holde = keep close to my story, F 
658. F. proces, a suit at law, 
Lat. processtts. 

Profred, pp. offered, E 152. O. F. 
profrir, porofrir ; from O. F. por- 
(Lat. pro) and o/rir, to offer. 

Proheme, *. a proem, prologue, E 
43. F. proeme (Cotgrave), Gk. 
irpootfuov, a prelude ; from irpo, 
before, and o?//o?, a way, also, a 
strain of song. 

Prolixitee, s. prolixity, tediousness, 
F 405. From Lat. prolixus. 

Prologe, s. prologue, rubric to B 
99. Gk. irpo\oyos. 

Proporcioned, pp. made in pro- 
portion, F 192. 

Propre, adj. own, peculiar, B 3518 ; 
of propre kynde = by their own 
natural bent, F 610, 619. F. 
propre, Lat. proprius. 

Prose, s. prose, B 96. Lat. prosa. 

Prospectyues, s. pi. perspective- 
glasses, lenses, F 234. No doubt 
Chaucer here makes the usual dis- 
tinction between reflecting mirrors 
and refracting lenses. Milton (Va- 
cation Exerc. 1. 71) seems to apply 
the word to a combination of 
lenses, or telescope. See Trench, 
Select Glossary, s. T. Perspective. 

Prouerbe, s. a proverb, B 3436 ; 
pi. Prouerbes, proverbial sayings, 
saws, 2146. Lat. prouerbium. 

Proueth, pr. s. proves, F 455. See 

Prouost, s. provost, chief magis- 
trate, B 1806. A.S. prdfosl, from 
Lat. praepositus ; F. privot. 

Prydeles, adj. void of pride, E 
930. A. S. pryta, pride. 

Pryghte, pt. s. pricked, F 418. 
A. S. priccian, pt. t. priccode, 
whence pryghte is contracted. 

Pryme, s. prime, i. e. nine o'clock, 
F 73 ; fully pryme, the end of the 
period of prime, i. e. nine o'clock, 
B 2015; pryme large, just past 
nine o'clock, F 360. Lat. prima. 

Prymer, s. primer, elementary 
reading-book, B 1707. Lat. prim- 

Prys, s. price, value, estimation, B 
2087 ; praise, E 641 ; Pryse, E 
1026. O. F. pris, preis, Lat. pre- 
tium. Thus price and prize are 
the same word as praise. 

Pryuely, adv. secretly, 641. 

Publisshed, pp. published, spread 
abroad, E 415, 749. 

Purpos, s. purpose ; it cam him to 
purpos = he purposed, F 606. F. 
propos, Lat. propositnm. We find 
the verb spelt proposer and pur- 
poser in Old French. 

Purposed, pp. purposed, E 1067. 



Purs, s. purse, F 148. A. S. purs, 

Gk. &\jpaa, a skin. 
Purveye, v. to purvey, provide, E 

191. F. pourvoir, Lat. prouidere. 

Thus purvey is a doublet of pro- 

Putte, pt. s. put, B 1630, 3742 ; 

2 p. Puttest, didst put, 3875 ; pp. 

Put, E 471. Cf. Welsh pwtio, to 

push, poke; Gael, put, to push. 

The E. E. form pulte, with the 

sense of put, is Mod. E. pelt. 
Pyes, s. pi. pies, magpies, F 649. 

F. pie, Lai. pica. 
Pyne, s. pain, suffering, the passion, 

B 2126; woe, torment, 3420, F 

448. A. S. pin, from Lat. poena. 
Pype, s. pipe, a musical instrument, 

B 2005. A.S. pip, Icel. pipa, 



Quad, a<#. bad, B 1628. Du. 
Itvaad, bad, evil ; O. Du. quad. 
'Een qitade boom brenght voort 
qttade vruchten,' a corrupt tree 
brlngeth forth evil fruit ; Matt. 
vii. 1 7, in Dutch New Test. A. D. 

Quaille, s. quail, E 1 206. O. F. 
quaille, F. caille, Low Lat. 
qnaqttila, of Teutonic origin ; cf. 
Du. kwakkel, a quail, lewdken, to 
croak, to quack. The name is 
from the sound made. 

Quaking, pres. part, quaking, E 
3*7. 358; pp. Quaked, B 3831 ; 
pt. s. Quook, quaked, shook, 
3394. A. S. cwacian, to quake. 

Quene, s. queen, B 1671. A.S. 
cwen, Icel. kvdn, Goth. Inverts, 
Gk. yvvfi, a woman. Quean and 
queen are doublets. 

Querne, s. (dot.) a handmill, B 
3264. A.S. cweorn, cwyrn, Icel. 
levern, Goth, kwairnus. In the 
Mceso-Gothic version of St. Mark 
ix. 42, the word ' mill-stone ' is 
rendered by asila-kwairnus, i. e. a 

quern turned by an ass, a quern of 
large size. In Iceland Iwern is a 
handmill, which used to be turned 
by bondwomen, who sang as they 
sat at work. 

Queynte, adj. def. quaint, curious, 
F 369 ; dot. 239 ; pi. Queinte, 
B 1189; Queynte, curiously con- 
trived, F 234. O. F. cointe, in- 
structed, Lat. cognitus; but it has 
probably been influenced in its 
meanings by the Lat. comptus, 

Quod, pt. s. quoth) said, B 16, 28, 
II 66, &c. A.S. cweftan, to say, 
speak ; pt. t. ic cwce^S ; pi. we 
cwadon ; Icel. kvefta, Goili.kwith- 
an, to speak. 

Quook, pt. s. quaked, shook, B 
3394. See Quaking. 

Quyrboilly, s. boiled leather, B 
2065. F. cuirbouilli; see note. 

Quyte, v. to acquit, free ; hir cost 
for to quyte = to pay for her ex- 
penses, B 3564. O. F. gutter, F. 
quitter; Lat. quietare ; from quiet, 


Baffce, pt. s. reft (from the vb. 
reue, to reave), B 3288, 3291. 
A. S. reafian, pt. t. ic redfode ; 
Icel. raufa, G. rauben ; cf. E. rob. 

Baked, pp. raked, B 3323. Lite- 
rally, the sentence is ' Amongst 
hot coals he hath raked himself; ' 
the sense is, of course, ' he hath 
raked hot coals around himself.' 
A. S. racian, to rake together, 
Icel. rdka ; cf. ' Rakyn, rastro,' 
Prompt. Parv. 

Bam, s. the ram, the sign Aries, F 

Bampeth, pr. s. (lit. ramps, romps, 
rears, but here) rages, acts with 
violence, B 3094. We should 
now say ' she flies in my face.' 
The following quotation, in which 
rampe means an ill-conditioned 



woman, a romp, 5s much to the 
purpose. ' A woman ought not 
to striue with her husbonde, nor 
yeae him no displesaunce, ... as 
dede onis a woman that dede an- 
suere her husbonde afore straun- 
gers like a rampe, with gret 
uelonis [felon's] wordes, dis- 
praising hym and setting hym atte 
not [at naught]' The Knight of 
la Tour-Landry, ed. Wright, p. 25. 

Rancour, s. rancour, malice, E 
432, 747. O. F. rancor, Lat. 
rancor, rancidity ; from rancere, 
to be rancid. 

Rasour, s. razor, B 3246. F. 
rasoir, Low Lat. rasorium, from 
Lat. radtre, to scrape. 

Bather, adj. comp. sooner, E 
1169. A. S. hrafte, soon ; comp. 

Raughte, pi. s. reached, B 1921. 
A. S. racan, pt. t. ic rcehte; G. 

Rauysedest, 2 p. s. pt. didst ra- 
vish, didst draw (down), B 1659 ; 
pp. Rauisshed, ravished, overjoyed, 
F 547. F. ravir, Ital. rapire, 
Lat. rapere, to snatch away. 

Reaume, s. realm, country, B 
3305. F. royanme, Low Lat. 
regalimen, from regalis; from 
Lat. rex, a king. 

Rebel, s. a rebel; or adj. rebel- 
lious, B 3415. F. rebelle ; Lat. 
rebellis, one that renews war ; 
from re, again, and bellum, war. 

Recche, I p. s. pr. I reck, care, B 
94 P 1 "- pl- reck, care ; recche of 
it = care for it, F 71. See Rek. 

Recchelees, adj. reckless, careless, 
indifferent, E 488. A. S. receleds. 

Receyuen, v. to receive, E 1151. 
F. recevoir, Lat. recipere. 

Recovered, pp. recovered, regain- 
ed, B 27. F. recouvrer, Lat. recii- 

Recours, s. recourse ; I wol have 
my recours = 1 will return, F 75. 

F. recours, Lat. recnrsns ; from 
cnrstis, a course. 

Rede, adj. def. red, F 415. A. S. 
redd, Icel. rauftr, G. roth, Gk. 
tpvOpus. See Reed. 

Rede, v, to read, B 1690, F 211 ; 
I p. s. pr. Rede, I advise, E 811, 
1 205 ; imp. pi. Redeth, read, B 
3650. A. S. raedan, G. ralhen. 

Redresse, v. to set right, E 431. 
See Dresse. 

Redy, adj. ready, E 299, F 114; 
dressed, 387. A. S. raede, ready ; 
cf. Swed. redig, evident, orderly. 

Reed, adj. red, B 2059, 3734, E 
317. See Rede. 

Reed, s. counsel, B 3739, E 653. 
A. S. r&d, G. rath. 

Reflexions, s. pi. reflexions by 
means of mirrors, F 230. 

Refuseden, pt. pi. refused, E 128. 
Due to Lat. refntare. Refuse and 
refute are (nearly) doublets. 

Regne, *. kingdom, dominion, 
reign, B 3401, 3404, 3432, F 
1355 t l - Regnes, B 129, 3518; 
governments, 3954. F. regne, 
Lat. regntim. 

Regned, pt. s. reigned, B 3845. 

Reherse, v. to rehearse, relate, re- 
count, B 89, E 1 221 ; Reher- 
cen, F 298 ; pres. part. pi. Re- 
hersinge, relating, F 206. O. F. 
rehercer, to repeat (Roquefort) ; 
lit. to harrow over again, as one 
does a field ; from O. F. herce, a 
harrow, F. herse ; Lat. herpicem, a 
harrow, used by Varro (Brachet). 

Reioysed, pt. s. i p. reflex. I re- 
joiced, 145. 

Rek, imp. s. reck, care, B 4004, 
i p. s. pr. Rekke, I care, E 1090. 
See Recche. 

Rekne, v. to reckon, account, B 
no; Rekenen, reckon, count, E 
2433. A. S. recnan, G. rechnen. 

Relesse, I p. s. pr. I release, E 
153; pt. s. Relessed, forgave, B 
3367. O. F. relaitser, Lat. relax- 



are. Relay, release, and relax 

are all the same word. 
Remedie, s. remedy, B 3974. Lat. 

Hemenant, s. remnant, rest, E 869. 

From Lat. manere, to remain. 
Remewed, pp. removed, F 181. 

From Lat. mouere, to move. 
Reneye, v. to deny, renounce, B 

3751. From Lat. negare, to deny. 
Kenneth, pr. s. runs, F 479 ; renn- 

eth for = runs in favour of, B 

125; see the note; pp. Ronne, 

B 2. A. S. rennan, yrnan, to 

run, G. rennen, Icel. retina. 
Rente, s. rent, i. e. revenue, B 

3401, 3572. F. rente, from F. 

rendre, Lat. reddere. 
Repaire, v. to repair, return, F 

589 ; pr. s. Repaireth, returns, 

339 ; g es . B 3 88 5 : pres. fart. 

Repeiring, returning, F 608. 

O. F. repairer, repairier, from 

Low Lat. repatriare, to return to 

one's native country (Lzt.patria'). 
Rsporten, v. report, tell, F 72. 

F. reporter, Lat. reportare. 
Reson, s. reason, E 25 ; Resoun, 

63408. F. raison, Lzt.ra.'ionem. 
Resouned, pi. s. resounded, F 413. 

From Lat. resonart. 
Reste, v. to rest, F 606 ; 2 

snbj. may rest, 126. A. S. restart. 
Reste, s. rest, F 355. 
Retsnue, s. retinue, suite, E 270. 

F. relenue ; from Lat. retinere. 
Rethor, s. orator, F 38. Lat 

rhetor, Gk. fr/Toip. 
Rethoryke, s. rhetoric, 32. 
Retourneth, imp. pi. return, E 

809. F. retovrner ; from Lat. 

tornare, to turn. 
Reuel, s. revelry, E 392, 1123, F 

278, 339. O.F. revel, rebellion; 

also tumult, joyous noise ; from 

O. F. reveler, Lat. rebellare, to 

rebel. Not from Dutch, as Mr. 

Wedgwood suggests. 
Reuerence, s. reverence, respect. 

honour, E 196; thy reuerence= 

the respect shewn to thee, B 116. 

From Lat. reuerentia. 
Reule, v. to rule ; reule hir = guide 

her conduct, 327. A.S. regol, a 

rule; borrowed from Lat. regtila. 
Rewelboon, s. a kind of ivory, 

obtained from the sperm-whale, 

narwhal, or walrus, B 2 068. 
Rewen, v. to rue, have pity, E 

1050 ; pr. s. impers. me Reweth, 

I rue, I am sorry, 2432. A. S. 

hreow, grief; hredwian, to be 

Rewthe, s. ruth, pity, E 579, 893, 

F 438; a pitiful sight, 'lit. ruth, 

Reyn, s. rain, 1864, 3363, 3921. 

A. S. regen, G. regen, Goth, rign ; 

cf. Lat. rigare. 
Reyne, s. rein, F 313. O. F. re^ue, 

F. rene, Ital. redina ; prob. from 

Lat. retinere, to hold back. 
Riche, adj. pi. rich, B 122. A.S. 

rice, Goth, reiks, O. H. G. riche. 

The Norman pronunciation of 

A. S. rice produced riche, which 

nearly agreed with the French 

pronunciation of O. H. G. riche. 
Richely, adv. richly, F 90. 
Richesse, s. riches, B 107, 3432, 

3750. F. richesse, a sing, noun ; 

from F. riche. See Riche. 
Riden, pp. ridden, B 1990. See 

Ring, s. ring, F 83, 143, 247 ; pi. 

Ringes, E 255. A. S. hring, Lat. 

Rise, pt. pi. rose, B 1869. See 

Riuer, s. river ; ryde for riuer = 

ride towards the river, B 1927. 

F. riviere, Low Lat. riparia, a 

river ; from Lat. ripa, a bank. 
Roche, s. rock, F 500. F. roche; 

from Late Lat. rocca. 
Rode, s. complexion, B 1917- 

A. S. rndu, redness, from rud,redd, 



Body, adj. ruddy, F 385, 394. See 

Boial, adj. royal, F 59 ; pi. 

Roiales, B 2038. F. roial, Lat. 

regal is. 
Boially, adv. royally, E 955 ; with 

pomp, F 1 74. 

Boialtee, s. royalty, 928. 
Bomances, s. pi. romances, B 

2038,2087. F. romance, roman, 

lit. Roman, a term applied to the 

vulgar tongue of Italy and some 

of its dependencies. 
Bombel.s. rumour, 997. Cf. Du. 

rommeln, to rumble, to buzz. 
Bombled, pt. s. made a murmuring 

noise, rumbled, buzzed, muttered, 

B 37 2 5- The infin. romblen = 

to rumble like thunder, occurs in 

the Legend of Good Women, 1. 

1216. See Bomb el. 
Borne, pr. pi. i p. we roam, E 118. 
Bonne, pp. run, B 2. See Ch. 

Prol. 1. 8. See Benneth. 
Bood, pt. s. rode, E 234 ; pp. 

Riden, B 1990. See Byden. 
Boos,//, s. rose, B 3717, 3863; 

Ros, F 267 ; pi. Rise, rose, B 

1869. See Byse. 
Bote, s. root, source, B 1655 ; dot. 

Rote, F 153 ; Roote, root, i. e. 

foot, E 58. Icel. rdt; cf. Lat. 

Bote, s. rote ; by rote, by heart, B 

1712. Conjectured to be from 

the O. F. rote, a way, spelt route 

in modern French ; a derivative 

of route is routine, O. F. ratine, 

and Cotgrave gives ' Par ratine, 

by rote.' 
Boughte, pt. s. impers. it recked ; 

him roughte = he recked, 685. 

A. S. recan, to reck ; pt. t. ie 

rdhte. See Becche. 
Bounde, adv. roundly, i. e. easily, 

with an easy motion, B 2076. 

O. F. roond, round, F. rand, Lat. 

Boune, v. to whisper, B 2025; 

pt. s. Rowned, whispered, F 216. 
A. S. rilnian, to whisper, speak 
mysteriously ; from rUn, a rune, 
a magical character, a mystery. 
See a note on runes in Earle's 
Philology of the Eng. Tongue. 

Boute, s. company, B 16, 1634, 
E 303, 382. F. route, from Lat. 
rupta, which from rumpere, to 
break ; cf. G. rolte. 

Buby, s. ruby, B 1800 ; pi. Rubies, 
3658. Lat. rubeus, red; ruber, 

Bude, adj. common, rough, poor, 
916. Lat. rudis. 

Budely, adv. rudely, E 380. 

Budenesse, s. rusticity, E 397. 

Byden, pr. pi. ride, E 784 ; pt. s. 
Rood, 234; pp. Riden, B 1990. 
A. S. rtdan, Icel. rifta, G. reiten; 
pt. t. ie rdd; pp. riden. 

Byghte, s. dot. right ; by ryghte = 
by rights, B 44. 

Byght, adv. precisely, just, exactly, 
F 193, 492. A.S. rih'e, adv.; 
riht, adj. ; cf. Icel. rettr, G. reckt, 
Lat. reetus. 

Bym, s. rime, rhyme, B 2115, 
21 18; a tale in verse, 1899; /' 
Ryrnes, verses, B 96. The spell- 
ing with h is later than A.D. 1550. 
With the old spelling rime or 
ryme cf. A. S. rim, Icel. rlma, G. 
reim, Du. rijm, Swed. rim, Dan. 
riim, F. rime, Ital. rima, Span. 
rima, Port. rima. The introduc- 
tion of the h, being due to confu- 
sion with rhythm, is of later date 
than the introduction of a know- 
ledge of Greek, temp. Edward VI. 

Byrne, v. to rime or rhyme, to 
make rimes, to tell a tale in verse, 
B 2122. A. S. riman, F. rimer. 

Byming, s. the art of riming, B 
48. See Bym. 

Bype, adj. ripe, mature, E 220; 
/>/. Rype, seasonable, 438. A. S. 
ripe, mature; rip, a reaping, 
harvest, rlpan, to reap. 



Kyse, v. to arise, get up, F 375 ; 

pr. pi. Rysen, rise, 383 ; pi. s. 

Roos, B 3717, 3863; Ros, F 

267 ; pi. Rise, rose, B 1869. 

A. S. rtsan, pt. t. ic rds, pi. we 

rison, pp. risen ; Icel. risa. 
Ryue, i/. to rive, tear, E 1236. 

Icel. rifa, Dan. rive, to tear, 



Sad, adj. sedate, fixe-i, constant, 

unmoved, settled, E 693, 754; 

sober, E 220, 237; pi. Sadde, 

discreet, grave, 1002. A. S. saed, 

originally ' sated.' 
Sadly, adv. firmly, tightly; E 

Sadnesse, s. soberness, constancy, 

patience, 452. 
Saffroun, s. saffron ; like saffroun 

= of a bright yellowish colour, B 

1920. F. safran ; from Arab. 

Salte, adj. pi. salt, E 1084. A. S. 

sealt, Icel. salt, Lat. sal, salt. 
Salue, v. to salute, greet, B 1723 ; 

pr. s. Salueth, salutes, F 91, 112, 

F. saltier, Lat. salutare. 
Salues, salves, F 639. A. S. 

sealf, G. salbe. (Here u =v). 
Saphires, s. pi. sapphires, B 3658. 

F. sapkir, Lat. saphirt/s. 
Sapience, s. Wisdom, i. e. the book 

so called, B 1662. Lat. sapientia. 
Saue, prep, save, except, B 3214, 

3628 ; E 76, 508. F. sauf; Lat. 

Saue, v. to save, keep, E 683 ; imp. 

s. 3 p. may he save, E 505, 1064 ; 

pp. Saued, saved, kept inviolate, 

F 531. F. sauver, O. F. saver, 

Lat. saluare. 

Saufly, adv. safely, certainly, E 870. 
Sailing, prep, except, B 3200. 
Sauour, s. savour, pleasantness, F 

404. F. saveur, Lat. saporem. 
Sayde, pt. s. said, B 1635, &c. 

See Seye. 

Sayle, v. to sail, B 1626. A. h. 
seglian, Icel. sigh. 

Scarlet, adj. scarlet, B 1917. Of 
Persian origin. 

Scarsly, adv. scarcely, B 3602. 
O. F. escars, scarce, small ; Low 
Lat. excarpsim, for excerptus; 
from excerpere, to select. 

Scathe, s. scathe, harm, pity, E 
1172. A. S. sceaftian, to injure. 

Science, s. learning, learned writing, 
B 1666. 

Sclaundre, s. slander, i. e. ill fame, 
E 722. F. esclandre, O. F. es- 
candle, Lat. scandalum, a scandal. 
Scandal and slander are doublets. 

Scole, s. school, B 1685, 1694. 
A. S. sc6lii, from Lat. schola ; 
Gk. <TX<>\T), leisure, time for study. 

ScoleTvard ; to scoleward = toward 
school, B 1 739. Cf. Bnrdenx- 
wnrd in the Prologue, 1. 397 ; 
Thebesward, Kn. Tale, 1. 109. 

Scourges, s. pi. scourges, whips, 
plagues, 1157. O. F. escorgi', 
a scourge, thong ; answering to a 
Lat. form excoriata, from corium, 

Se, v . to see, look, F 366 ; Sen, 
203 ; Seen, B 62 ; gerund, F 
623 ; i p. s. pr. Se, I see, B 1 168 ; 
pt. s. Sey, saw, B i, 7; I p. F 
460; pp. Seyn, B 1863. A. S. 
se6n, pt. t. ic sedh, pp. gesegen , 
G. sehen, Goth, saikwan. 

Secrely, adv. secretly, E 763. 
From Lat. secernere, to put sepa- 

Secree, s. a secret, B 3211. 

Secte, s. suite, company, E 1171; 
religion, faith, (lit. following), F 
17. Low Lat. secta, a following, 
applied to a following of people 
or suite; also to a suit at law or 
a suit of clothes ; from Lat. seqni, 
to follow, not from secare, to 

See, s. sea, B 68, 127. A. S. see, 
G. see, Du. zee. 



See, s. seat, sc. of empire, B 3339. 
O. F. se, sied, Lat. sedem. 

Seek, v. to search through, B 60. 
See Seke. 

Seel, s. seal, F 131. O. F. seel, 
Lat. sigillum. 

Seen. See Se. 

Sseth, pt. s. sod, seethed, boiled, E 
227. A. S. setfian, to seethe ; pt. 
t. ic sea'^, pp. soden ; Icel. sju^a, 
pt. t. sau^, pp. softinn. 

Sege, s. siege, B 3569, F 306. F. 
siege, Low Lat. sedium, Lat. se- 
dem, a seat. 

Seint, s. saint, B 1631 ; gen. pi. 
Seintes, B 61. F. saint, Lat. 

Seist, 2 p. s. pr. sayest, B 109 ; 
seistow = sayest thou, no. See 

Seke, v. to seek, B 1633 > 3 P- P^- 
pr. Seken, ye seek, search through, 
127. A. S. secan, Icel. sokja. 

Selde, adj. pi. seldom, few ; selde 
tyme = few times, E 146; adv. 
seldom, 427. A. S. seld, seldan, 

Selue, adj. self, very; thy selue 
neighebor, thy very neighbour, 
B 115. A.S. self, sylf; cf. G. 

Sely, adj. simple, good, innocent, 
B 1702, E 948. A. S. salig, 
happy, G. selig; hence E. silly, 
which is much altered in mean- 

Semblant, s. outward show, sem- 
blance, appearance, E 928, F5i6. 
F. semblant; from sembler, Lat. 

Seme, v. to seem, appear, E 132, 
F 102 j pt. s. itnpers. Semed, it 
seemed, E 396; him semed=it 
appeared to them, they supposed, 
F 56 ; the peple semed = it seemed 
to the people, the people supposed, 
F 201. A. S. seman. 
Semely, adj. seemly, comely, B 

Seminge, s. appearance; to my 
seminge = as it appears to me, B 

Sen. See Se. 

Sene, adj. apparent, F 645. A. S. 
gesyne, visible, Icel. synn, evident. 
It is used as a veritable adjective, 
with a final e ; as is proved by 1. 
2173 of the Ormulum. 

Sent, pr. s. sendeth, sends, E 1 15 1 ; 
pt. s. Sente, sent, B 3927. A. S. 
sendan ; 3 p. s. pr. he sent or he 
sendeft ; pt. t. ic stride. 

Sentence, s. opinion, B 113, 3992 ; 
meaning, subject, result, B 1753, 
2136. F. sentence, Lat. sentenlia. 

Septemtrioun, s. north, B 3657 
From Lat. septem triones, the 
seven stars of Ursa Major com- 
monly known as Charles's wain. 

Sergeant, s. sergeant, officer, E 
519. F.sergent, Lat. seruientem. 
Thus sergeant and servant are 
very nearly doublets. 

Sermouns, s. pi. writings, B 87. 
From Lat. sermonem. 

Seruage, s. service, E 147 ; servi- 
tude, 482. F. servage, from serf, 
Lat. seruus. 

Serue, v. to serve, B 4004 ; I p. s. 
pt. Seruede, served, E 640 ; pt. s. 
Serued, preserved, kept hid, F 521. 
F. server, Lat. seruare. 

Seruisable, adj. serviceable, use- 
ful, 979. 

Seruitute, s. servitude, E 798. 
O. F. servitttt, Lat. seruitutem. 

Seruyse, 5. service, serving, E 603, 
958, F 66, 280, 628. F. service, 
Lat. seruitium. 

Seson, s. season, F 54, 389. O. F. 
seson, F. saison, Lat. sationem, 
a sowing-time. 

Sette, v. to set, E 975 ; pi. s. Sette, 
set, placed, B 3932 ; cast, E 233 ; 
put, 382 ; pp. Set, appointed, 774. 
A. S. settan, pt. t. ic setle, pp. 

Bete, s. seat, B 3715. Icel. steli, in 



A. S. we find the dimin. sell, a 

settle, a stool. 
Seten, pt. pi. sat, B 3734, F 92. 

A. S. sittan, pt. t. ic scet, pi. we 


Seuretee, s. assurance, sure pro- 
mise, trustworthiness, F 528. 

O. F. seurte, Lat. securitatem. 
Sewes, s. pi. lit. juices, gravies; 

prob. used here for seasoned dishes, 

delicacies, F 67. A. S. seaw, 

juice, moisture. The Prompt. 

Parv. has " Sew, cepulatum ; " 

cepulatitm means broth seasoned 

with onions. 
Sexteyn, s. sacristan, B 3126. 

Sexton is a contracted form of 

Sey, imp. s. say, tell, B 3995, F 2. 

See Seye. 
Sey, pt. s. saw, B i, 7, 1695; E 

1044; i p. F 460. See Se. 
Seyde, pt. s. said, B 1 1 79 ; pt. pi. 

Seyden, F 207, 253 ; pp. Seyd, B 

49, 51, 52. See Seye. 
Seye, v. to say, F 4, 332 ; Seyn, 

532 ; I p. s. pr. Seye, I say, 107; 

imp. s. Sey, B 3995, F 2 ; 2 p. s. 

pr. Seist, sayest, B 109 ; Seistow 

= sayest thou, no; pt. s. Seyde, 

said, B 1179; pi. Seyden, F 207, 

253: pp. Seyd, B 49, 51, 52. 

A. S. secgan, pt. t. ic segde, pp. 

gesaed; Icel. segja, G. fagen. 
Seyn, pp. seen, B 1863, E 280. 

See Se. 
Seyn, v. to say, B 42, 46 ; pr. pi. 

say, F 609. See Seye. 
Seyne, gerund, infin. to say, F 

314. A. S. to secganne, gerund 

of secgan. 
Seyst, 2 p. 5. pr. sayest, B 106. 

See Seist. 
Shadde, pt. s. shed, poured, B 3921. 

See Shedde. 
Shadwe, s. shadow, B 7, 10. A. S. 

sceadu, Goth, skadus. 
Shake, v. to shake, E 978. A. S. 

scacan, Icel. sltaka. 

Shal, i p. s. pr. I shall (do so), F 

688 ; pr. s. Shal, must, is to, 603. 

i p. pi. Shul, we must, E 38. 

A. S. ic sceal. 

Shaltow,/or shall thou, E 560. 
Shameth, pr. s. impers. ; thee 

shameth=it shameth thee, thou 

art ashamed, B 101. A. S. sceam- 

ian, to be ashamed ; commonly 

used impersonally. 
Snap, s. shape, F 427. A.S. ge- 

sceap, Icel. skap. 
Shape,//, shaped, B 1890; created, 

B 3099 ; Shapen, planned, E 275 ; Shapen hem = dispose them- 
selves, intend, F 214. A.S. scap- 

an, Icel. skapa. 
Sharpe, adv. sharply, B 2073. 

A. S. scearp, sharp. 
Shedde, pt. s. shed, B 3447. 

A. S. sceddan ; cf. Lat. scindere, 

Gk. <rx l 'C"'- 
Shendeth, pr. s. ruins, confounds, 

B 28; pp. Shent, scolded, 1731. 

A. S. scendan, G. schdnden. 
Shene, adj. bright, F 53. A.S. 

scene, scyne, G. schon. 
Shent. See Shendeth. 
Shore, v. to shear, cut, B 3257. 

A.S. sceran, Icel. sJtera, G. scheren. 
Shore, s. shear, a cutting instru- 
ment, scissors, B 3246. 
Sherte, s. a shirt, B 2049, 3312. 

Icel. skyrta; cf. G. schurz, an 

apron. Shirt is a doublet of 

Shethe, s. sheath, B 2066. Icel. 

skeifiir, G. scheide. 
Shette, shut, B 3615, 3722. 

A. S. scyttan, to lock up, pt. t. ic 

Shilde, imp. s. 3 p. may he shield, 

may he defend, B 2098, E 1232. 

A. S. seildan, to protect, scild, a 

shield ; cf. Sansk. sku, to cover. 
Shipman, s. a shipman, skipper, B 

1 1 79. A. S. sciptnann, a sailor ; 

cf. Du. scUpper, a captain, skipper. 
Sholde, i p. s. pt. I should, B 56 ; 



pt. s. ought to, B 44. E 247, 261 ; 

had to, E 515, F 40; was to, B 

3891; would, 3627. A.S. sceolde, 

pt. t. of sceal. 
Shonde, s. shame, disgrace, harm, 

B 2098. A. S. sceond, shame. 

See Shendeth. 
Shoon, s.-pl. shoes, B 1922. A.S. 

sc6, seed, a shoe ; pi. seeds, scedn, 

Shoon, pt. s. shone, B n, 2034, E 

1124, F 170. A.S. sctnan, pt. t. 

Shoop, pt. s. plotted, lit. shaped, B 

3543 ' prepared for, E 198 ; 

created, E 903 ; contrived, 946. 

A.S. scapan, to shape; pt. t. 

ic sc6p. 
Shoures, s. pi. showers, F 1 1 8. 

A. S. scur, Icel. skur. 
Shredde, pt. s. shred, cut, E 227. 

A. S. screadian, to cut, pt. t. 

ic screadode. 
Shrewe, s. a shrew, peevish woman, 

E 1222, 2428. ' Schrewe, Pra- 

vus ' ; Prompt. Parv. 
Shryghte, pt. s. shrieked, F 417, 

422, 472. Swed. slirika, stria, 

to shriek, screech ; Icel. sliriJtja, 

the shrieking bird, the shrike. 
Shul, i p. pi. pr. shall, must, B 

1900, E 38. The sing, is Shal, q.v. 
Shulde, I p. s. pr. stibj. I should, 

B 1638. See Sholde. 
Sicer, s. strong drink, B 3245. 

Lat. sicera, Gk. aiitfpa, strong 

drink ; from the Hebrew. 
Signifyde, pt. s. signified, B 3939. 

From Lat. significare. 
Sikerly, adv. certainly, assuredly, 

surely, 3 3984, E 184, F 1 80. 

From Lat. securus (Kluge). 
Sikernesse, s. security, B 3430. 
Sikly, adv. ill, with ill will, E 625. 
- A. S. sedc, sick; Icel. sjukr. 
Siknesse, s. sickness, E 651. A. S. 

Silk, s. silk, F 613. A.S. seolc, 

Icel. silki, from Lat. Sericum; 

which from Lat. Seres, the 

Sillable, s. syllable, F 101. F. 

syllabe, Lat. syllabum ; from the 

Similitude, s. similitude, likeness, 

sympathy, F 480. From Lat. 

similis, like. 
Sin, conj. since, B 56, E 448, F 

306, 550. Contr. from A. S. 

si'Sftan, since. See Sithen. 
Singing, s. a singing, song, B 

J 747- 

Sir, s. sir, a title of respectful ad- 
dress ; sir man of lawe, B 33 ; 
sir parish prest, 1166; dr gentil 
maister, 1627. F. sire; Lat. senior, 

Sis cink, i. e. six-five or eleven, a 
throw with two dice, which often 
proved a winning one in the game 
of 'hazard,' B 125. See note. 
F. six cinq. See Sys. 

Sit, pr. s. itnper. it sitteth, i. c. it 
suits; yuel it sit = it ill suits, it is 
quite misbecoming, E 460 ; pr. s. 
sits, B 3358, F 59, 77,179. A.S. 
sittan, pr. s. sit. " It sytteth, it 
becometh, U sied;" Palsgrave's 
French Diet. 

Site, s. site, situation, E 199. Lat. 

Sith, conj. since, B 1838, 3268, 
3867; Sith that, since that, 3301. 
A. S. sffi, afterwards. 

Sithen, adv. since, afterwards, B 
58, 3913, F 536. A. S. slfttian, 
since. See Sin. 

Skile, s. reason; gret skile = good 
reason, E 1152 ; pi. Skiles, rea- 
sons, reasonings, arguments, F 
205. Icel. skil, distinction, dis- 
cernment; Icel. skilja, A.S. scilian, 
to separate. 

Sklendre, slender, E 1198. 
O. Du. slinder, thin, slender 

Slake, v. to slacken, desist from, 
E 705 ; to cease, 137 ; to end, 

2 88 


802 ; pr. s. Slaketh, assuages, 

1107. A.S. slacian, to slacken. 
Slawe, pp. slain, B 2016, 3426, 

3596 ; Slawen, E 544 ; Slayn, B 

3708, E 536. See Sleen. 
Sleen, v. to slay, B 3736; gerund, 

E 1076 ; 2 p. pi. pr. Sle, ye slay, 

F 462 ; pr. s. Sleeth, slays, E 628 ; 

imp. s. Slee, B 3089 ; I p. s. pr. 

as future, Sle, I shall slay, B 2CO2 ; 

pt. s. Slow, slew, B 3212; extin- 
guished, 3922 ; pp. Slawe, slain, 

2016; Slayn, 3708; Slawen, E 

544. A. S. sledn, pt. t. sl6h, pp. 

slagen ; Icel. sld, G. schlagen, to 

Sleighte, s. contrivance, E no2j 

pi. Sleightes, tricks, 2421. Icel. 

slcegft, slyness ; slcegr, slogr, sly. 
Slen, v. to slay, B 3531. See 

Slepe, s. sleep, F 347. A. S. sleep; 

the MSS. have slepe, riming with 

Itepe ; the readings sleep, keep, 

would be better. See p. Ixvi. 
Slepen, v. to sleep, B 2100; pr. 

pi. Slepen, sleep, F 360 ; pt. s. 

Slepte, slept, E 224, F 367. A. S. 

slapatt, G. schlafen. 
Sleyn, pp. slain, B 1874, 3586, 

3929. See Sleen. 
Slough, s. slough, mire, B 3988. 

A. S. sl6g, a slough, a hollow 

Slow, //. s. slew, B 3212, 3293, 

3 2 97'357!; extinguished, 3922. 

See Sleen. 
Slyde, v. to slide, pass, E 82. 

A. S. slidan. 
Slye, adj. def. sly, crafty, skilful, F 

672 ; pi. Slye, artfully contrived, 

230. Icel. sl<egr, slogr, sly ; cf. 

G. slauheit, slyness. 
Smal, adj. little, B 1726; adv. but 

smal = but little, F 71; adj. pi. 

Smale, E 380, 382. A. S. smal. 
Smelle, I />. s. pr. I smell, B 1173. 
Smerte, adv. smartly, sorely, E 629. 
Smerte, v. to smart, to feel grieved, 

E 353 ; pi. s. subj. impers. Smerte, 

grieved, F 564. Observe that the 

pt. t. is smerle like the present ; see 

Gloss, to Prologue, ed. Morris. 

Du. smarten, to give pain. 
Smerte, s. smart, dolour, F 480. 

See Cant. Ta. 3813. Du. smart, 

G. schmerz. 
Smit, pr. s. smites, E 12 3. See 

Smok, s. smock, E 890. Icel. 

smokier. ' Smok, schyrt, Cami- 

sia' ; Prompt. Parv. 
Smokies, adj. without a smock, E 

Smyte, 2 p. pi. pr. ye smite, F 157; 

pt.s. Smoot, smote, B 3762, 3881. 

A. S. smltan, pt. t. smdl ; G. 

Snare, s. snare, trap, E 1227. 

Icel. snara, a snare of string, a 

noose ; Du. snaar, a string, G. 

Snibbed, pp. snubbed, reproved, F 

688. Cf. Du. snibbig, snappish. 

'Snybbyn or vndurtakyn, Repre- 

hendo, deprehendo ' ; Prompt. 

Snow, s. snow, i. e. argent in 

heraldry, white, B 3573. A.S. 

Snow-whyt, adj. snow-white, E 

Sobre, adj. sober, sedate, B 97. F. 

sobre, Lat. iobrius. 
Socour, s. succour, B 3730. F. 

secour, O. F. socors ; from Lat. 

Sodeyn, adj. sudden, B 3963, E 

316. F. sondain, Lat. tubitaneus. 
Sodeynly, adv. suddenly, B 15, 

3380, F 80, 89. 
Softe, adv. softly, E 583. A.S. 

s6ft, G. san//, .soft, mild. 
Softely, adv. softly, F 636. 
Solas, s. rest, relief, B 1972; diver- 
sion, 1904; comfort, solace, plea- 
sure, 3964. O. F. solaz, Lat. 




Solempne, adj. grand, festive, mag- 
nificent, E 1125; superb, F 61 ; 
illustrious, Fill. O. F. solempne, 
celebre, de grande reputation, 
illustre (Roquefort) ; Lat. solennis. 

Solempnely, adv. with state, with 
pomp, F 179. 

Som, indef. pron. some, B 1182, 
1667; pi. Somme, 2139, E 76. 
A. S. som, sum, some. 

Somdel, adv. partially, lit. some 
deal, E 1012. 

Someres, gen. sing, summer's, F 
64, 142. A. S. siimer, Icel. sumar. 

Somtyme, adv. at some time, some 
day, at a future time, B 1 10. 

Sondry, adj. sundry, diverse, va- 
rious, B 2131, 3418, 3497, E 
271. A. S. syndrig, separate; 
synder, sunder, different. 

Sone, adv. soon, B 1702. A. S. 

Sone, s. son, F 688 ; pi. Sones, 29. 
A. S. suntt, Icel. sonr, G. sohn. 

Sone-in-lawe,s. son-in-law, E 315. 

Sonest, adv. svperl. soonest, B 
3716. See Sone, adv. 

Song, pt. s. sang, B 1736, 1831 ; 
pt. pi. Songen, F 55 ; pp. Songe, 
B 1851. A. S. singan, pt. t. ie 
sang ; pi. vie sungon. 

Sonne, s. the sun, F 48, 53; gen. 
Sonrie, sun's, B 3944. A. S. 
stmne, Icel. sunna, Goth, sunno, 
G. sonne, all fern. ; but Goth. 
sunna is masc. ; the gen. of stmne 
is sunnan. 

Sooth, s. truth, B 3970, E 1230, 
F 166; dot. Sothe, B 1939, E 
2424. A. S. sdi5, true, Gk. T<5s; 
so'S, truth. Cf. Skt. sant, being, 
pres. part, of as, to be ; used as an 
adj. in the sense of ' right.' The 
A. S. so'5 has lost an n, and stands 
for sonS or satriS. 

Sooth, adj. true, B 2136, 3436, F 
21 ; as adv. truly, F 536. 

Soothfastnesse, s. truth, E 796, 
934. A. S. softftEstnes, veracity. 


Soothly, adv. verily, E 689. A. S. 
stfSlice, verily. 

Soper, s. supper, E 290. F. soitfer, 
O. F. soper, to take supper, to 
sup; O. F. sope, F. soupe, of Teu- 
tonic origin ; cf. Icel. supa, A. S. 
suppan, to sup. 

Sophyme, s. a sophism, trick of 
logic, E 5 ; pi. Sophimes, subtle- 
ties, deceits, F 554. Lat. sophis- 
ma, through the French; Gk. 
aotyifffM, a device. 

Sore, v. to soar, mount aloft, F 
123. F. essorer, to soar, Low 
Lat. exaurare; from Lat. aura, 
the air. 

Sore, s. sore, misery, E 1243. A.S. 
s/tr, Icel. sdr, a wound. 

Sore, adv. sorely; bar so sore = 
bore so ill, E 85. A. S. sore, 

Sorwe, s. sorrow, grief, sympathy, 
compassion, F 422. A.S. sorh, 
gen. sorge; Icel. sorg, Goth. 
saurga, G. sorge. 

Sorwefully, adv. sorrowfully, F 

8ory,adj. sad, unfortunate, B 1949. 

A. S. sdrig, sore, wounded, sad ; 

from sa'r, a sore, not from sorh, 

Sote, adj. sweet, F 389. Icel. stetr, 

Goth, suts, G. siiss, Gk. ijSvs ; 

cf. A. S. swete, swet, sweet, Lat. 


Sothe. See Sooth. 
Soure, adv. sourly, bitterly, B 

2012. A. S. stfr, sour, Icel. siirr. 
Souereyn, adj. sovereign, chief, B 

3339' E 112. F souverain, O.F. 

soverain, Low Lat. superanus, one 

who is above ; from super, above. 
Soueraynetee, s. sovereignty, E 

Souked, pp. sucked, been at the 

breast, E 450 ; pres. part. Souk- 
ing, sucking, B 1648. A. S. 

stlcan, Icel. suga, G. saugeti, Lat. 




Soun, s. sound, E 271. F. sow, 
Lat. sotmm. 

Soune, v. imitate in sound, speak 
like, F 105 ; pr. s. Souneth, tends 
(to), is consonant (with), B 3157. 
See Sownen. 

Soupen, pr. pi. sup, F 297. See 

Souple, adj. supple, obedient, yield- 
ing, B 3690. F. souple; Lat. 
stipplicem, beseeching. 

Sours, s. source, origin, E 49. F. 
source; from Lat. surgere, to 

Sowen, v. to sow, B 1182. A.S. 
si'iwan, Icel. sd, G. saen. 

Sownen, sound, i. e. play, F 
270; pr. pi. Sowneth, tend (to), 
are consonant (with), 517; pt. pi. 
Sowned, tended, B 3348. F.son- 
ner, Lat. sonare. See Soun. 

Space, s. an opportunity, leisure, E 
103. F. espace, Lat. spatium. 

Sparcle, s. sparkle, spark, B 2095. 
A. S. spearca, a spark ; Du. sparkel- 
en, to sparkle. 

Spak, pt. s. spake, E 295, F 445. 
See Speken. 

Sparhauk, s. a sparrow-hawk, B 
1957. A. S. spear-hafoc, from 
fpearwa, a sparrow, and hafoc, a 

Speohe, s. (dative) speech, elocu- 
tion, oratory, F 104. A.S. spaec, 
sprac, G. spreche, Du. spraak. 

E. speech should rather have been 

Specially, adv. especially, 313. 

F. special. 

Spedde, pt. s. prospered, made to 
prosper, B 3875. A.S. spedan, 
pt. t. spedde, Du. spoeden, to 

Speken, v. to speak, E 547; pt. t. 
Spak, E 295, F 445 ; imp. pi. 
Speketh, E 175 ; pp. Spoke, B 58, 
F 86. A. S. sprecan, Du. spreken, 
. G. fprechen, E. tpeak stands for 

Spelle, 5. dal. a spell, relation, story, 
B 2083. A.S. spel, a history, 
dat. spelle. 

Spere, s. spear, F. 239. A.S. spere, 
Du. and G. speer. 

Spicerye, s. mixture of spices, B 
2043. ' Espicerie, f. a spicery; 
also, spices. Es petis sacs son/ les 
fines espiceries, the finest spices are 
in little bags; Proverb.' Cot- 
grave. From Lat. species. 

Spille, v. to destroy, E 503. A.S. 
spillan, Icel. spilla. 

Spoke, pp. spoken, B 58, F 86. 
See Speken. 

Spoon, s. spoon, F 602. A.S. span, 
a chip, a splinter of wood, Icel. 
spdnn, sponn, a shaving, a wooden 
tile, a spoon. The primitive 
spoons were of wood. 

Spousaille, s. espousal, wedding, E 
1 80; Spousail, 115. Cotgrave 
has ' Espousailles,f, an espousals, 
or bridall ; a wedding, or mar- 
riage.' Lat. spoiisalia, nuptials. 

Spoused, pp. espoused, wedded, E 
3, 386. O. F. esponser, Lat. 

Spradde, pt. s. spread, E 418, 72 3. 
A. S. spraedan, Du. spreide/i, G. 

Spray, s. spray, sprig, B 1960. 
A. S. spree, a sprig, a branch. 

Spreynd, pp. sprinkled, B 1830. 
See Springen. 

Springe, v. to rise, dawn, F 346. 
Cf. E. dayspring. 

Springen, v. to sprinkle, scatter, 
sow broadcast, B 1183; pp. 
Spreynd, sprinkled, 1830. A. S. 
sprengan, to make to spring, to 
scatter, pp. sprenged ; cf. G. 
sprengen, to cause to break, to 
sprinkle, Du.sprengen,to sprinkle. 

Springing, s. beginning, source, E 
49. A. S. springan, to spring up. 

Spume, v. to spurn, kick, F 616. 
A. S. spnrnan, Icel. spyrna ; cf. 
Icel. fpyrja, A S. spyriau, to track 



footsteps, A. EL spot; a foot-track, 
spora, a spur. 

Spycas, s. pi. spices, F 291, 204. 
F. epice, O. F. espices, Lat. species, 
which is sometimes used with the 
sense of spice. 

Squyer, s. a squire, F I ; pi. 
Squieres, 192. E. esquire, F. 
ecuyer, from O. F. escuyer, Low 
Lat. scutarius, a shield -bearer, 
from Lat. scutum, a shield. 

Stable, at/;, stable, constant, firm, 
fixed, E 664, 931. F. stable, 
Lat. stabilis; from store, to stand 

Staf-slinge, s. a stafT-sling, B 2019. 
See note. 

Stake, s. a stake, E 704. A. S. 
staca, a stake, pole. 

Stal, pt. s. stole, went stealthily, B 
3763. See Stele. 

Stalle, s. da!, a stall, E 207, 291. 
A. S. steal, steel ; gen. stealles, dat. 

Stalked him, pt. s. walked slowly, 
E 525. A. S. stahan, to walk 
slowly. ' Stalkyn, or gon softe or 
softely, Serpo, clamculo, et clan- 
culo '; Prompt. Parv. The It is a 
mere suffix, as in Aar-k. compared 
with hear. See Stele. 

Stant, pr. s. stands, B 3599, F 171, 
182; is, B 3116; Standeth, F 
190. A. S. standan, to stand; pr. 
s. he stent or he stynt; cf. Goth. 
standan, Lat. stare. 

Stare, v. to stare, gaze, B 1887. 
A. S. starian, Icel. stara. ' Staryn 
wythe brode eyne or iyen, Patent- 
ibus oculis respicere'; Prompt. 

Starf, pt. s. died, B 3325, 3645. 
See Sterue. 

Starke, adj. pi. severe, B 3560. 
A. S. stearc, stark, strong, severe, 
hard, rough ; G. stark. 

Stede, s. place; in stede of=in 
stead of, B 3308. A. S. stede, 
Icel. sta'Sr, Goth, staths, a place. 

Stede, s. steed, horse, F 81. A. S. 

Stedefastnesse, s. steadfastness, 

firmness, E 699. A. S. sled/ast, 

firm; from slede, a place, and 

fast, firm, fast. 

Stedfastly, adv. assuredly, E 1094. 
Steel, s. steel, E 2426. A. S. styl, 

Icel. stdl, G. stakl. 
Stele, v. to steal, B 105; pr. s. 

Steleth, steals away, 21; pt. s. 

Stal, stole away, 3763. A. S. 

stelan, IceL.stela, Goth, stilan. 
Stente, v. to cease, stint, leave off, 

B 3925, E 734, 972 ; ft. s. Stente, 

1023. See Stinte. 
Sterres, gen. pi. of the stars, E 

1 1 24. A. S. steorra, a star ; cf. 

Lat. aslrum, and stella (for sterula, 

a little star). 
Stert, pp. started, E 1060. Cf. Du. 

slorten, to plunge, fall, rush, G. 

stiirzen, to dash. 
Sterue, v. to die, B 1819; pt. s. 

Starf, died, 3325, 3645. A. S. 

steorfan, pt. t. stearf; cf. Du. 

sterven, G. sterben, to die. 
Steuene, s. voice, language, F 1 50. 

A. S. stefen, a voice. 
Stiked, pt. s. stuck, fixed, B 2097 ; 

Stikede, pierced, 3897. A. S. site- 

tan, to stick, stab, pt. t. ic sticode. 
Stille, adv. stilly, quietly, still, E 

1077, F 171, 497. A.S. still, 

quiet, stille, quietly. 
Stinte, v. to stint, to cease, leave 

off, B 1747, E 1175; to end, E 

747. See Stente. A. S. stintan, 

to be blunt, to be weary ; hence 

E. stunted. 
Stiropes, s. pi. stirrups, B 1163. 

A. S. stlg-rdp, lit. a mounting- 
rope, from stigan, to mount, and 

rdp, a rope. 
Stonde, v. to stand, B 36 ; to be 

understood, be fixed, E 346 ; to 

be set in view (as a prize at a 

game), 81931; imp. pi. Stondeth, 

stand, E 1195; pres. part. Stond- 

U 2 


ing, B 68 ; pt. s. Stood, E 318 ; Stoden, stood, 1105. See 

Stoon, s. a stone, B 3297, E 121 ; 

a precious stone, gem, 1 1 18. A.S. 

stdn, Du. steen, G. stein. 
Stoor, *. store, 17. O. F. e- 

storer, to furnish ; Lat. instatirare. 
Storie, s. tale, history, B 3900, F 

655. O.F. estoire, Lat. kisloria. 

History and story are doublets. 
Stounde, s. hour, time, instant, E 

1098. A. S. stund, stand, a space 

of time ; cf. G. stunde, an hour. 
Stoures, s. pi. battles, combats, B 

3560. O. F. estour, a combat ; 

cf. Icel. styrr, a tumult, battle, a 

stir ; connected with Icel. styrma, 

to storm. 
Strange, def. adj. strange, F 89 ; 

pi. 67. O.F. estrange, F. etrange ; 

Lat. extraneus ; from extra, with- 
Straw, inter}, a straw! F 695. 

A.S. streaw, Icel. strd. 
Strawe, 2 p. s. pr. subj. strew, F 

613. A.S. stredwian, Icel. strd, 

Goth, stratijan, G. strenen, to 

strew, cover. 

Streen, s. strain, i.e. stock, pro- 
geny, race, E 157. A.S. strynd, 

stock, race, breed ; from strynan, 

to produce. 
Stremes, s. pi. rays, beams, B 

3944. A. S. stream, a stream, 

river ; stredmian, to flow ; cf. E. 

Stronger, adj. comp. stronger, B 

3711. A.S. strong, comp. 

Strengthes, s. pi. sources of 

strength, B 3248. A. S. streng'Su, 

Strepeth, pr. s. strips, E 894; pi. 

Strepen, 1116. A.S. bestrypan, 

to strip, rob. 
Btreyne, v. to constrain, E 144. 

O. F. estreindre, F. etreindre, Lat. 

stringere, to compel. 

Stroken, v. to stroke, F 165. A. S. 
strdcian, G. streichen. 

Strook, s. a stroke, B 3899, 39541 
E 812, F 160. A.S. strica, G. 

Stryue, v. to strive, oppose, E 170. 
O. F. estriver, to contend ; estrif, 
strife, from Icel. strlft ; cf. 
O.H.G. stritan, G. streiten, to 
contend ; G. streit, a dispute. 

Studien, v. to study, E 8 ; 2 p. pi. 
pr. Studie, E 5. From Lat. ttudium. 

Sturdinesse, s. sternness, E 700. 

Sturdy, adj. cruel, stern, E 698, 
1049. Apparently O. F. estourdi, 
F. etoiirdi, deafened ; hence dull, 

Style, s. style, mode of writing, E 
1 8, 41. Lat. stilus. 

Style, s. a style, a means to get 
over a barrier by climbing, F 106. 
A. S. stigel, dimin. of stig, a way, 
path ; cf. Prov. Eng. stee, a 

Styward, s. steward, F 291. A.S. 
stige, a sty, pen for cattle, and 
weard, a ward or keeper ; cf. Icel. 
stivar%r, from stia, a sty. The 
Icel. word seems to have been 
borrowed from the English (Cleas- 
by and Vigfusson). 

Subgetz, s. pi. subjects, E 482. 
F. sujet, O. F. sosgeit, Lat. sub- 

Subieccioun, s. subjection, govern- 
ance, B 3656, 3712. 

Submitted, pp.; ye ben submit- 
ted = ye have submitted, B 35. 

Subtilly, adv. subtly, F 2.22. 

Subtiltee, s. a trick, device, E 
691 ; subtlety, F 140; pi. Subtili- 
tees, subtleties, tricks, E 2421. 
Lat. subtilitatem. 

Sufflsance, s. sufficiency, that which 
is sufficient for one, E 759. F. 
suffisance, from sujftre, to suffice. 
Lat. stifficere. See Suffyse. 

Sufflsant, adj. sufficient, i. e. suf- 
ficiently good, E 960. 



Suffraunce, s. endurance, patience, 
1 162. O. F. sojfrance, from sof- 
frir ; from Lat. snfferre, to bear. 

Suflfreth, suffer, E 1197. 

Suffyse, v. to suffice, B 3648, E 
739. Lat. sitjflcere. 

Suggestioun, s. a criminal charge, 
B 3607. 

Sugre, s. sugar, B 2046, F 614. F. 
sucre, Lat. saccarum. 

Supposinge, s. supposition, im- 
agining, E 1041. 

Suspecious, adj. suspicious, omin- 
ous of evil, E 540. 

Suspect, s. suspicion, E 905. 

Suspect, adj. suspicious, ominous 
of evil, E 541. Lat. smpectus, 

Sustenance, s. sustenance, support, 
living, E 202. 

Susteue, v. to sustain, B 1673; 
pp. Sustened, 1680. Lat. snsiinere. 

SuEter, s. sister, E 589, 640. A.S. 
sweostor, swustor, G. schwester; 
cf. Lat. soror (for sosor). 

Swal, pt. s. swelled ; vp swal, 
swelled up, was puffed up with 
anger, B 1750; pp. Swollen, 
proud, E 950. A.S. swellan, 
pt. t. sweall, pp. sivollen. 

Swannes, s. pi. swans, F 68. 
A.S. swan, G.schivan, Icel. svanr. 

Swappe, v. to swap, strike, E 586 ; 
pt. s. intrans. Swapte, fell suddenly, 
1099. Akin to sweep and swoop. 

Swarm, s. a swarm, F 204. A/S. 
swearm, G. schwarm. 

Swarmeth, pr. s. swarms, gathers, 
F 189. See above. 

Swatte, pt. s. sweated, B 1966. 
A. S. swcetan, to sweat ; swat, 
sweat, blood, G. sclweiss. 

Swayn, s. lad, young man, B 1914. 
Icel. sveinn, A. S. ^w&n, a lad. 

Sweete, def. adj. sweet, B 2041. 
See Sote. 

Swelwe, pr. *. tubj. swallow, E 
1188. A.S. stvelgan,G. schwelg- 
en, to devour greedily. 

Swepe, v. to sweep, E 978. A. S. 
swdpan, G. schweifen. 

Swere, v. to swear, B 1171; pt. s. 
Swoor, 2062 ; pi. Sworen, 176; 
2 p. Swore, 496 ; pp. Swore, 
sworn, 403 ; Sworn, bound by 
oath, F 1 8. A. S. swerian, G. 

Swerd, s. sword, B 64, F 57, 84. 
A.S. sweord, G. schwert, Icel. 

Sweuen, *. a dream, B 3930. 
A. S. swefen, Icel. svefn ; cf. Lat. 
somnium, somnus, Gk. vn-voy. 

Swich, such, B 43, 49, 1629; pi. 
Swiche, B 88 ; Swich a, such a, B 
3921, F 133 ; Swich oon, such an 
one, F 231. Goth, swa-leiks, lit. 
so-like ; A. S. swylc. 

Swollen, pp. swollen, i. e. proud, E 
950. See Swal. 

Swoor, pt. s. swore, B 2062, F 
542; pi. Sworen, E 176; a p. 
Swore, 496 ; pp. Swore, sworn, 
403; Swoin, bound by oath, F 
1 8. See Swere. 

Swough, s. swoon, E noo, F 
476. This word seems to esta- 
blish a connection between the 
words sough and su/oon. 

Swowneth, pr. s. swoons, F 430 ; 
pt. s. Swowned, swooned, 44.?, 
631 ; pres. part. Swowning, B 
1815. Cf. A. S. geswogen, in 
a swoon ; orig. pp. of swdgan. to 
sough, to sigh as the wind. See 
my Etym. Diet. 

Swowning, s. a swooning, swoon, 
E 1080. 

Syk, s. a sigh, F 498. 

Syked, pt. s. sighed, B 3394, E 
545. A. S. skew, to sigh. 

Symphonye, s. an instrument of 
music, B 2005. From the Greek. 
In Ritson's Ancient Songs, i. Ixiv, 
is a quotation from Hawkins's 
History of Music, ii. 284, in 
which Hawkins cites a passage 
from Batman's translation of Bar- 



tholomaeus dc Proprietatibus Re- 
rum, to the effect that the *y//j- 
phonie was ' an instrument of 
musyke, . . made of an holowe 
tree [i. e. a piece of wood], closyd 
in lether in eyther syde, and 
mynstrels beteth it wyth styckes.' 
That is, it was a kind of tabor. It 
was probably the same as a sym- 
phangle, which, according to Hal- 
liwell $ Dictionary, occurs in MS. 
Harl. 1701, fol. 32, in the lines 
' Yn harpe, yn thabour and sym- 

Wurschepe God yn troumpes 

and sautre.' 

Query is symphangle miswritten 
for symphonyet Halliwell also 
has : ' Simphoner, a musician.' 

Sys, num. six, B 3851. See Sis. 

Sythe, s. pi. times ; ful ofte sythe 
= full oftentimes, E 233. A. S. 
sty, a path, a journey, a time; 
the long i shews loss of ; cf. 
Goth, siiiths, Icel. sinn, a way, 
W. hynt, a way. 


Tafifraye,/or to affraye, to frighten, 


Tak, imp. s. take, receive, 8117; 
tak kepe = take heed, observe, 
3757 ! * P" s - P r - Take me, offer 
myself, betake myself, 1985 ; 
pp. Take, taken, E 702, F 475. 
Icel. taka, Goth, tekan. 

Tale, s. a long story, E 383 ; pi. 
Tales, B 130. A.S. getal, number, 
order, a tale. 

Talyghte, for to alyghte, i. e. to 
alight, E 909. 

Tamende, for to amende, to re- 
dress, 441. 

Tarien, v. to delay, used actively; 
F 73 ; pp. Taried, delayed, 402. 
This word seems to be due to the 
confusion of two others ; see 
Teryar in Prompt, Parv. These 

two are (i) A. S. tlrlan, tyrgan, 
to irritate, vex, to ' tane ' oa, as 
when one sets on a dog, Du. 
tergeti, to provoke, O. F. tarier, 
to irritate, torment ; and (2) O.F. 
targier, to delay, from Lat. tar- 
dare. In borrowing the latter 
word, English has allowed it to 
approach the form of the former. 

Tarraye, for to arraye, to array, 
arrange, 961. 

Tassaille, for to assaille, i. e. to 
assail, E 1180. 

Tassaye, for to assaye, to test, 
prove, try, E 454, 1075. 

Taughte, pi. s. taught, B 133. 

Tayl, s. tail, B 3224, F 196; pi. 
Tayles, 3222. A.S. tagel,lcel 
tagl, G. zagel; cf. E. tag. 

Teche, v. to teach, B 1180 ; pt. s. 
Taughte, q. v. A. S. t<eean, pt. t. 
tashte, pp. ttfhl, lit. to show, point 
out, allied to E. token; cf. Gk. 
otiKw/Mi, Lat. dicere. 

Teer, s. a tear, E 1104; pi. Teres, 
1084. A.S. taker, cognate with 
Lat. lacruma (for dacruma) and 
Gk. S<iftpv ; and therefore the 
same word with F. lanne. 

Tellen, v. to tell, relate, B 56, 
1639; F63, 67; Telle, B 1185, 
1634 ; gerund, F 447 ; pr. pi. 
Tellen, tell, F 69 ; imp. s. Tel, B 
1167. A. S. tellan, to count, tell, 
G. zahlen, erziihlen. 

Tembraoe, for to embrace, E 

Temple, s. a temple, F 296. 

Tenbrace, for to enbrace = to em- 
brace, B 1891. 

Tendrely, adv. tenderly, E 686. 
F. tendre, Lat. lenernm. 

Tendure, v. to endure, E 756, 

Tente, s. tent, B 3570, 3762. F. 
tente; Lat. tentus, stretched, from 

Tentifly, adv. attentively, care- 
fully, E 334. Cf. F. atttntif, 



Lat. attenttuiis; the simple stem 
is found in E. tend, and Scot. 
tent, to take heed. 

Tercelet, s. a small hawk, F 504, 
621 ; pi. Tercelets, 648. ' Tier- 
celet, m. the tassell, or male of 
any kind of hawke, so tearmed, 
because he is, commonly, a third- 
part lesse then the female ' ; Cot- 
grave's French Diet. F. tiercelet, 
O. F. tierfol, from Low Lat. 
tertiolus, a goshawk, in medieval 
Latin texts (see Brachet). Ter- 
tiolus is from Lat. tertins, third, 
from tres, three. 

Tere, s. a tear, B 3852 ; pi. Teres, 
7. 3853- See Teer. 

Termes, s. pi. terms, pedantic ex- 
pressions, B 1189. F. terme, Lat. 

Tespye, for to espye, to espy, B 

Texpounden, for to expounden, 
i.e. to expound, to explain, B 

Text, s. text, quotation from an 
author, B 45. F. texte, Lat. 

Teyd, pp. tied, bound, E 2432. 
A. S. tygan, to tie ; from teon, to 
tug. Cf. tug. 

Thaduersitee, s. the adversity, E 

Thalyghte, for the alyghte; in 
the alyghte = alighted in thee, B 

Than, adv. then, B 3368, &c. A. S. 

Thangel,/or the angel, B 3206. 

Thanke, l p. s. pr. I thank, E 
1088 ; pr. pi. Thanken, F 354. 
A. S. pane/an, Icel. ]>akka, G. 

Tharray,/or the array, F 63. 

That that, that which, B 3976. 

The, pron. thee, F 676. 

Thee, r. to thrive, prosper, suc- 
ceed ; also mote I thee = so may 
I thrive, B 2007, E 1226. A. S. 

\>e6n, to prosper, flourish, G. 

Theef, s. thief, F 537. A. S. pf/, 

Icel. ]>jofr, G. dieb. 
Theffect, for the effect, i. e. the 

moral, B 2148. 
Thegle, for the egle, i. e. the eagle, 

B 3573- 
Thende, for the ende, i. e. the end, 

B 3269. 
Thenke, I p. s. pr. I think, I in- 

tend, E 641 ; pr. pi. Thenken, F 

537; imp- pi- Thenketh, E 116. 

A.S. \>encan, G. denJeen; distinct 

from the impers. Thinketh, q. v. 
Thennes, adv. thence, F 326, 327. 

A. S. pflHon. 
Thennes-forth, adv. thenceforth, 

B I755- 

Ther, adv. there, B 62, 1190; 
where, 1873, 1931, F 125, 16.}, 
499 ; there as = there where, F 
416 ; ther that = where, 267. 
A. S. par. 

Therbifore, adv. beforehand, E 
689, 729. 

Therfore, adv. on that account, E 
445; on that point, 1141; for 
that purpose, F J 77. Ther- (A. S. 
\&re) is the dat. fem. sing, of the 
def. art. ; understand a fem. sb. as 
sacu, sake, and we have therefore 
=/or p<re sace, for the sake. 

Ther-inne, adv. therein, in it, B 
1945.3573' A.S. Jxeriuw. 

Ther-of, adv. with respect to that, 
to that end, E 644. 

Ther-on, adv. thereupon, thereof, 
F 3. A. S. ]>eer-on. 

Ther-oute, adv. out there, out in 
the open air, B 3362. A. S. \<krfae. 

Therto, adv. besides, moreover, F 
19. A.S. ]>d;rtd. 

Therwith, adv. besides, at the 
same time, B 3210, F 194. A.S. 

Therwithal, adv. besides all that, 

as well, B 3131, 3612. 
Thestaat, for the estaat, i. e. tl:e 



state, condition, B 128. O.F. estat, 

F. ctat, Lat. status. 
Thewes, s. pi. qualities, E 409. 

A. S. \eaw, manner, quality ; from 

\ie6n, to grow, flourish, prosper. 
Thikke, adj. thick, F 159. A.S. 

\iic, \>icca, Du. dik. 
Thilke, dem. pron. that, B 78, 

1791, 3426, E 892, F 607. A.S. 

]>ylc, \>yllc; from \y, instrumental 

case of se, seo, JXB/, and lie, like. 
Thimage,/or the image, B 1695. 

Lat. imago. 
Thinges, s. pi. things ; but used in 

the sense of pieces of music, 

musical compositions, F 78. Cf. 

Ch. Prol. 1. 325. A. S. tyng, Icel. 

tyng, G. ding. 
Thinketh, pr. s. impers. it seems, 

B 1901, 3968, F 406; pt. s. 

Thoughte, B 3703, E 406, F 527. 

A. S. me )>ynriS, it seems to me ; 

G. mir diinkt ; see Thenke. 
Thise, pi. of This, but a monosylla- 
ble, B 59, &c. 

Tho, adv. then, E 544, F 308. 

A. S. \>d. 
Thoccident, for the Occident, B 

3864. Lat. occidens, the west. 
Thoght, s. care, anxiety, B 1779. 

Thought, E 80. A.S. ge]>oht, 

properly pp. of \encan, to think ; 

Icel. \6tti; cf. G. gedacht, pp. of 

Thombe, *. thumb, F 83, 148. 

A. S. ]>uma, G. daum. 
Thonder, s. thunder, F 258. A.S. 

Jjwnor, G. donner, Lat. tonitru; 

cf. Gk. T<5j/or, a sound, Sanskr. 

tan, to sound. 
Thonke, I p. s. pr. I thank, E 830. 

See Thanke. 
Thorient,/or the orient, the east, 

83871,3883. Lat. orient. 
Thought, s. anxiety, E 80. See 

Thoughte, pt. s. impers. seemed, 

B 3703, E 406, F 527. See 


Thral, s. thral, slave, B 3343. A.S : 
}>r<2/, Icel. \rcell. 

Threshfold, s. threshold, E ?88, 
291. Sometimes also tAresh- 
tvold=A. S. tyrsc-wald, from 
]>encan, to thresh, beat, and wald, 
wood, as if the piece of wood 
which receives the ' tread * of feet. 
Cf. arche-wold, the wood of 
Noah's ark, in Genesis and Exo- 
dus, ed. Morris, 1. 576. 

Thridde, ord. third, F 76. A. S. 
\>ridda, Icel. bntK, G. dritte. 

Thrifty, adj. profitable, B 1165. 
Icel. JTI//, profit, tyrlfa-sk, to 

Throp, s. a thorpe, small village, E 
199; dot. Thrope, 208. A.S. 
brq/>, fyorpe, Icel. bor/>, G. dorf, 
Goth, tkaurp; cf. Lat. turba, a 

Throwe, s. a short time, a period, 
a while, B 3326, E 450. A.S. 
]>rdg, ]>rdh, a short space of time, 
a period. 

Thrustel, s. a throstle, thrush, B 
1963; Thrustelcock, 1959. A.S. 
]>ros!le, Lat. tttrdus. 

Thryes, adv. thrice, B 1732. A.S. 
]>rywa; but M.E. thryes is from 
A.S. bry, three, with adverbial 
ending -es. 

Thryue, v. to thrive, prosper, E 
172. Icel. ]>rifask, to prosper, a 
reflexive verb, from a form ]>rifa, 
with the suffix -s& = G. sick. 

Thurgh, prep, through, by help of, 
by means of, B 1669, 3434; by, 
22, 35, F II. A.S. \>nrk, Goth. 
ba>A, G. dnrch. 

Thurghout, prep, throughout, B 
3303, F 46. 

Thurst, s. thirst, B 100. A. S. 
)>urst, Icel. l>orsti, Goth. \>anrstei, 
G. durst. 

Thursted him, pt. s. impers. he 
was thirsty, B 3229. A.S. ]>yrst- 

Thyn, poss. pron. thine, B 101, 



104, 3584; Thy, 73, 74. A.S. 
\>in, gen. case of J>ii, thou. 

Tidifs, s. pi. small birds, F 648. 
Skinner guessed this to mean a 
titmouse, but adduced no author- 
ity; cf. Icel. tittr, a tit, small 
bird ; and cf. Eng. titmouse, tit- 
lark. Drayton, in his Polyolbion, 
bk. xiii, mentions a singingbird 
which he calls a tydy, whose notes 
are as delicate as those of the 
goldfinch, and Nares supposes him 
to refer to the golden-crested 
wren, motacilla regulus. See 
Nares. Whether a tidifis a tit- 
mouse or a wren can hardly now 
be determined. 

Tirannye, *. tyranny, tyrannous 
behaviour, B 3691, 3698. Cot- 
grave has ' Tyrannie, f. tyranny, 
lordly cruelty, a violent or bloody 
government.' From Lat. lyran- 
nus, Gk. rvpavvos, a tyrant. 

Title, s. title, B 3513. O.F. title, 
F. litre, Lat. titulus. 

To, adv. too, B 2129, 3712. 

Toforn, prep, before, F 268. A.S. 
t of or an. 

Toke, pt. pi. took, received, F 356. 

Togider, adv. together, B 3222. 
A. S. tdgcedre. 

Tolde, pp. told, B 56; Ytold, F 
357. See Tellen. 

Tombe, s. tomb, B 1871 ; Toumbe, 
F 518. F. tombe, Lat. tumba. 

Tonge, s. tongue, B 1852, E 1184, 
F 35 ; //. Tonges, languages, B 
3497. A.S.tunge; cognate with 
O.Lat. dingua, Lat. lingua. 

Tonne, s. a tun, winecask, E 215. 
A.S. tunne, Icel. tunna. 

To-race, pr. pi. sttbj. may scratch 
to pieces, 572. The prefix lo- 
is the same as in to-rente, q. v. 
The word is a hybrid, as race is 
for F. raser, Lat. radere, with 
the original sense of scrape or 
scratch. 'Rasyn or scrapyn, the 
same as racyn' ; Prompt. Parv. 

And Palsgrave uses race with the 
sense of erase, efface. See Way's 
note to Prompt. Parv. s. v. Rasyn. 

To-rente, pt. s. rent in twain, rent 
in pieces, B 3215, 3451 ; pp. 
Torent, torn to pieces, E 1012. 
The prefix /o- = G. z<?r- = Goth. 
and Lat. dis-, meaning in twain, 
apart, and is not uncommon in 
A. S. and M. E. For the root, cf. 
A. S. rendan, O. Friestan renda, 
to rend. The compound verb 
torcnda \o rend apart, occurs in 
O. Friesic. 

Tormentinge, s. tormenting, tor- 
ture, E 1038. From Lat. torment- 

Tormentyse, s. torment, B 3707. 

Touche, pr. s. subj. affect, concern, 
B 3284. Cf. phr. 'as touching.' 

Toumbe, s. a tomb, F 518; Tombe, 
B 1871. See Tombe. 

Toune, s. (dative) town, B 1983, 
2028. See the notes. A. S. tun, 
a hedge, enclosure, farmyard, 
village ; Icel. tun, G. zatm. 

Tour, s. a tower, B 3599, 3615, F 
176; in B 2096, it means that 
his crest was a miniature tower, 
with a lily projecting from it ; pi. 
Toures, B 3561. F. tour, Lat 

Tourneyment, s. a tournament, 
B 1906. F. tournoiement, Low 
Lat. torneamentum, from tornare, 
to turn about. 

Towaille, s. a towel, B 3935, 3943, 
F. toiiaille, O.F. toailIe,Lovt Lat. 
toacula, of Teut. origin ; M.H.G. 
twehel, dwehele, G. zwehle, Du. 
dwell, a clout, towel. In East 
Anglia, dwlle (with long ') is a 
familiar word for a clout. The 
root is seen in the Dan. toe, 
M.H.G. dwahen, O.H.G. twahen, 
A. S. \wean, to wash. 

Tragedie, s. a tragedy, tragic tale, 
B 3163, 3648, 3951 ; pi. Trage- 
dies, 3161. Lat. tragoedia. 



Trance, s. trance, E 1108. F. 
iranse, from transir, to be chilled, 
Lat. transire, which in late Latin 
means to pass away, to die. 

Translated, pp. changed, dressed 
afresh, E 385. From Lat. trans- 

Trauaille, s. travail, toil, labour, 
pains, E 1 2 1 o. F. travail. 

Tree, *. a tree, B 3933, 3941 ; 
wood, E 558. A.S. treow, Icel. tn', 
Goth, triii ; cf. Gk. Spvs, an oak. 

Trench, s. a hollow walk, alley, F 
392. F. (rancher, to cut. 

Treson, s. treason, treachery, false- 
hood, F 139, 506. F. trahison, 
O. F. traison, Lat. traditionem. 
Treason and tradition are doublets. 

Tresour, s. treasure, B 3401. F. 
tresor ; Lat. thesaurus ; from Gk. 
riOrjfu, I lay up in store. 

Trespace, v. to trespass, transgress, 
sin, B 3370. F. trepasser, O. F. 
trespasser, Lat. trans-passare, to 
pass across or beyond. 

Trete, v. to treat, B 3501 ; pr. pi. 
treat, discourse, F 220. F. trait' 
er, Lat. tractare. 

Tretee, s. a treaty, B 3865. F. 
traite., Lat. tractatus. 

Tretis, s. treatise, tract, story, 
B 2146 ; Tretys, a treaty, E 331. 

Trew, adj. true, F 537; Trewe, 
465. A.S. tredwe, Icel. trur, G. 
treu. See Trowe. 

Trewely, adv. truly, E 53 ; Trewe- 
liche, 804. 

Trewthe, s. truth, troth, B 3118, 
F 627. A.S. tredwft. 

Tributarie, adj. tributary, B 3866. 

Trikled, trickled, B 1864. 

Trille, v. to turn, F 316; imp. pi. 
Trille, 321. Cf. Swed. trilla, to 
roll, turn round ; trilla, a roller, 
trind, round ; and Du. drillen, to 
drill, bore, turn round and round. 

Trippe, v. to trip, to move briskly 
with the feet, F 312. Cf. Du. trip- 
pen, to $kip,trippelen, to trip along. 

Trone, s. throne, F 275. F. tr'me; 
from Gk. 0p6vos, a seat. 

Trouble, adj. troubled, gloomy, E 
465. F. tronbler, to trouble, Low 
Lat. tnrbulare; from tnrbare, to 

Trowe, I p. *. pr. I believe, 471, 
F 213, 451 ; pt. pi. Trowed, be- 
lieved, 210. A. S. tre6wian, Icel. 
trtia, to believe. 

Truste, imp. s. 3 p. let him trust, B 
3914. Icel. traust, sb. trust, 
traustr, trusty, treysta-sk, to trust in . 

Tryce, v. to pull away, B 3715. 
Apparently the same as E. trice, 
to hoist a sail ; with which cf. 
Swed. trissa, Dan. tridse, a 
pulley ; Dan. tridse, to trice ; 
Low G. trllzen, trlssen, to trice 

Trye, adj. choice, excellent, B 20.) 6. 
From F. trier, to choose, select. 

Twelf, num. twelve, E 736, F 383. 
A. S. twelf, Goth, tivalif. 

Tweye, twain, two, B 3214, 3356, 
3547, E 476; Tweyne, E 650. 
A. S. twegen (twain) used in masc. 
and two, in fern, and neut. Cf. 
G. zwei, Lat. duo, Gk. Svo. 

Twinkling, s. a twinkling, momen- 
tary blinking, 37. A. S. twine- 
lian, to twinkle, glitter. 

Twinne, v. to separate oneself, de- 
part from, B 3195; to depart, F 
577. From two, A. S. twd. 

Twiste, v. to twist, wring, torment, 
F 566. Du. twist, discord, tuist- 
en, to dispute, quarrel, contend. 

Twiste, s. (dative), twig, spray, F 

Twyes, adv. twice, B 1738, 3337. 
See Thryes. 

Tyde, s. tide, time, season, F 142. 
A. S. tid, Icel. ti$, G. zeit, a time. 

Tyding, s. tidings, E 901 ; //. 
Tydinges, B 129, E 752. Icel. 
ttiSindi, tidings, news, from ti'S, 
time. In the OrmuUim, it is 
spelt tfyenndt. 



Tygre, s. tiger, F 419, 453. Lat. 

Tyme, s. time, B 19, 20 ; sometimes 

a monosyllable, F 476, &c. ; pi. 

Tyme, F 370; Tymes, E 226. 

A.S. tima, Icel. ttmi; the pi. of 

tima is tlman, whence tymen, tyme ; 

tymes is a later form. 
Tyraunt, s. tyrant, B 3727. F. 

tyran, from Gk. rvpavvos. 


Vane, s. a vane, E 996. A. S. fana, 
a flag, standard ; G. fahne, a ban- 

Vanishe, v. to vanish, F 328 ; pt. 
s. Vanished, 342. Cf. F. evanouir, 
to vanish ; from Lat. itanus, empty. 

Vanitee, s. vanity, folly, E 250. 
Lat. vanitatem. 

Vapour, s. vapour, mist, F 393. 
Lat. tiaporem. 

Velouettes, s. pi. velvets, F 644. 
F. velours, velvet, veloule, velvety; 
from Lat. uillosus, shaggy, hairy. 

Venim, s. venom, poison, B 3321. 
O. F. venim, F. venin, Lat. 

Vennyne, s. vermin, E 1095. 
From Lat. iiermis, a worm. 

Verraily, adv. verily, truly, B 
1850, 3414. 

Verray, adj. very, true, B 103, E 
343 ; verray force = main force, 
B 3 2 37- O. F. verai, F. vrai, 
Lat. ueracem ; cf. Lat. uerus, true. 

Verrayment, adv. verily, B 1903. 

Versifyed, pp. put into verse, B 

Vertu, s. virtue, F 593 ; vertu plese 
= satisfy virtue, be virtuous, E 
216; magic power, magic in- 
fluence, F 146, 157. F. vertu, 
Lat. virtutem. 

Vessel, s. (collective) vessels, plate, 
B 3338, 3494. Cf. F. vaisselle, 
plate. See below. 

Vessels, s. pi. vessels, B 3384, 

3416. O. F. vesstl, F. vaisseatt, 

vascel, Lat. vascellum, dimin. of 

uas, a vessel. 
Vestiment, s. vestment, clothing, 

robes, F 59. From Lat. uestire, 

to clothe. 
Vgly, adj. ugly, E 673. Icel. 

uggligr, terrible, uggi, fear, vgga, 

to fear ; cf. Goth, ogan, to fear. 
Vice, s. fault, mistake, error, F 101. 

F. vice, Lat. uitium. 
Vilanye, s. villany, evildoing, B 

1681. O. F. vilanie, from vilaitt, 

Lat. ttillantis, a farm-labourer ; 

Lat. uilla, a farm. 
Visage, s. face, E 693. F. visage; 

from Lat. IIMIS, mdere. 
Viscounte, s. a viscount, B 3589. 

O. F. viscomte, F. vicomte, Lat. 

uice-comitem, a vice-count. 
Vision, s. a vision, F 372. Lat. 


Vitaille, s. victuals, food, provi- 
sions, E 59, 265. O. F. vitaille, 

Lat. uictnalia, victuals; from 

viuere, to live. 
Vitremyte, s. a woman's cap, an 

effeminate headdress, B 3562. 

See note. 
Vnbokele, v. to unbuckle, F 555. 

F. boucle, Low Lat. bucula, boss 

of a shield. 
Vnbounden, pp. unbound, unwed- 

ded, divorced, E 1226. A.S. 

bindan, to bind. 
Vnbrent, pp. unburnt, B 1658. 

Icel. brenna, to burn, pp. brunnit. 
Vncerteyn, adj. uncertain, E 125. 
Vncouple, v. to let loose, B 3692. 

See note. F. couple, Lat. copula, 

a link. 
Vnoouthe, adj. pi. strange, F 284. 

A. S. vncitiS, lit. unknown ; from 

ciffi, known, pp. of cunnan, to 

Vndern, s. a particular period of 

the day, generally from 9 a.m. 

to midday ; it here probably 

means the beginning of that 



period, or a little after 9 a.m., 
E 260, 981. Icel. undor/t, mean- 
ing either mid-forenoon, i.e. 9 
a.m., halfway between 6 a.m. 
and noon, or else mid-afternoon, 
i.e. 3 p.m. In Mceso-Goth. we 
have undaurni-mals = undern- 
meat, to translate Gk. apiarov, 
Luke xiv. 12. 

Vnderstonde, v. to understand, E 
20, F 150; pp. Vnderstonde, 


Vndertake, v. to undertake to 
affirm, to affirm, E 803 ; I p. s. 
pr. Vndertake, I am bold to say, 

Vndigne, adj. unworthy, E 359. 

See Digue. 
Vndiscreet, adj. indiscreet; or 

rather, undiscerning, E 996. 
Vnfestlich, adj. unfestive, jaded, 

F 366. Here the O. F. feste (F. 

fete) is found between an A.S. 

prefix ttn- and an A. S. suffix -lie. 
Vnknowe, pp. unknown, F 246. 

Vnknowe is short for unknowen. 
Vnkynde, adj. pi. unnatural, B 88. 
Vnlyk, adj. unlike, E 156. 
Vnnethe, adv. scarcely, hardly, 

with difficulty, B 1816, 3611, E 

384, 403. A. S. ot5, easy, ediSe, 

easily., adv. scarcely, hardly, 

B 1675, 3356, E 318, 893. 
Vnreste, s. unrest, want of rest, 

Vnsad, adj. unsettled, E 995. See 

Vnstable, adj. unstable, weak, B 

1877. See Stable. 
Vntressed,/>/>. undight, unarranged, 

E 3 79. F. tresser, to plait ; pro- 

bably to plait in three, from Gk. 

T/M'X. tripartite (Brachet). 
Vntrewe, arf/.untrue, false, B 3218. 
Vnwar, adj. unexpected, B 3954. 

A. S. war, cautious, wary, pre- 

Vnwrappeth,/>r.s. discloses, B 103. 

Vouche, v. to vouch ; vouch e 
sauf, to vouchsafe, deign, B 1641 ; 
2 p. s. pr. subj. E 306. O. F. 
vocher, voucher, to call, Lat. 
ttocare; voucher sauf = to pro- 
claim as safe, to assure. 

Voyden, v. to get rid of, E 910, F 
1 88 ; imp. s. depart from, E 806. 
O. F. voidier, F. vider, to empty, 
deprive of. Of disputed origin ; 
see Korting. 

Voys, s. voice, E io87,.F 99, 412; 
rumour, E 629. F. voix, Lat. 
tiocem, ace. of ttox. 

Vp and down, adv. up and down, 
i.e. in all directions, all over, in 
various ways, B 53, 3725, 3747. 

Vpon, prep, upon, B 1 163, 3640, 

Vppe, adv. up, i.e. left open, F 615. 
A. S. uppe, aloft. 

Vp-plyght, pp. plucked up, pulled 
U P. B 3239. 

Vpronne, pp. run up, i. e. ascended, 
F 386. See Ironne in Prologue, 1. 8. 

Vpryght, adv. on one's back, B 
1806; Vpryghte, on his back, 
3761. See Kn. Ta. 1150. 

Vs, pron. us, B 21, 34, &c. A.S. 
MS, G. uns. 

Vs self, ourselves, E 108. 

Vsage, s. usage, custom, E 785, F 
691 ; hadde in vsage = was accus- 
tomed, B 1696; was in vsage = 
was used, 1717. F. usage; from 
Lat. uti, to use. 

Vsen, v. to use, B 44 ; pt. s. or pi. 
Vsed, B 1689. F. user; from 
Lat. uti, to use. 

Vsshers, s. pi. ushers, F 293. O.F. 
uissier, F. huissier, Lat. ostiarius, 
a doorkeeper. 

Vsure, s. usury, B 1681. From Lat. 

Vttereste, adj. superl. utterest, 
supreme, E 787. A badly formed 
word. A. S. tit, out ; it/or, outer ; 
hence vtterest = outerest. The A.S. 
form is yteniest, E. utmost. 




Waast, s. waist, B 1890. 

Waille, v. to wail, lament, E 1212. 
Cf. Icel. vala, to wail ; Ital. 
giiaiolare, to wail ; gtiai, wo ! 

Waiteth, pr. s. watches, E 708. 
O.F. gv alter, waiter, F.guetler; 
from O. H. G. wahtan, G. wachlen, 
cognate with E. wake. 

"Waken, v. act. to awake, B 1187. 
A.S. wacan, G. wachen. 

Wakinge, s. a keeping awake, 
period of wakefulness, B 22. 

Wai, s. wall, B 3392, E 1047. A.S. 
iveall, \V. gwal, both perhaps 
borrowed from Lat. itallnm, a 
rampart ; the true A. S. word for 
wall is wdh. 

Walking, s. a walking, walk, F 408. 

Wan, pt. s. won, conquered, B 
3337. 3548. 356i, 3825. F 664. 
A. S. winnan, pt. t. ic wan, pp. 

Wane, 2 p. pi. pr. wane, grow slack 
(in applauding), E 998. A.S. 
wanian, to diminish, wana, defi- 
ciency, Icel. vanr, lacking. 

Wang-tooth, s. molar tooth, B 
3234. A. S. wangle's, a molar 
tooth, lit. a cheek-tooth, from 
wang, the cheek. 

Wantoun, adj. wanton, E 236. 
For wan-towen, where wan = A. S. 
wan-, Du. wan-, denoting lack, 
used in the same sense as the 
prefix wi-; and towen = A.S. logen, 
pp. oftedn = G. ziehen, to educate ; 
thus wanton = G. vngezogen, un- 
educated, ill brought up. 

War, adj. aware, wary, on one's 
guard ; be war = beware, take 
heed, B 119, 3188; belli war, 
1629, 3281. A.S. war, wary, 
cautious ; cf. Lat. nereor, I fear. 

War, imp. s. as pi. war yow, take 
care of yourselves, make way, B 
1889. A.S. Wfirian, to be on 
one's guard, from war, wary. 

Warne, 2 p. s. pr. I warn, I bid 
you take heed, B 16, 1184. A.S. 

Waspes, gen. sing, wasp's, B 1749. 
A. S. wtsps, Lat. uespa. 

Wasteth, pr. s. wastes away, passes, 
B 20. O.F. waster, guaster, Ital. 
gnastare, from the Teutonic; 
O. H. G. wuasti, G. wiist, waste, 

Waterpot, s. a waterpot, E 290. 
A. S. wceter, F. pot. 

Wayk, adj. weak, B 1671. Cf. 
A. S. wdc, Icel. veikr. Wayk is 
a form due to the der. verb 
wcecan. The A.S. wdc produced 
the M. E. wok or wook. 

Wayten, v. to watch, F 444 ; pr.s. 
Wayteth, B 3331 ; pr. pi. Wayten, 
F 88 ; pt. s. Wayted, watched, ob- 
served, 1 29. See Waiteth. 

Wede, s. a 'weed,' a garment, B 
2107. A. S. wad, a garment. 

Weder, s. weather, F 52. A.S. 
weder, Icel. t/eftr, G. wetter. 

Wedlock, s. wedlock, 115. A.S. 
wed-lac, a pledge of espousal ; from 
wed, a pledge, and lac, a gift, a 
play, sport. 

Weel, adj. well, E 2425. A.S. wel. 

Weep, pt. s. wept, B 3852, E 545, 
F 496. A. S. wepan, to weep, 
pt. t. wedp, pp. wepen. 

Weet, s. wet, B 3407. A. S. w&t, 
Icel. vdlr. 

Wel, adv. well, B 25 ; very, as in 
wel roial = very royal, F 26 ; about 
(used with numbers), F 383 ; cer- 
tainly, by all means, E 635. 

Wel ny, adv. very nearly, B 3230. 

Welde, pt. s. wielded, overpowered, 
B 3452; Welded, 3855. A.S. 
wealdan, Goth, waldan, Icel. 
valda, to exercise power. 

Wele, s. wealth, well-being, pros- 
perity, B 122, 3268, E 474, 842, 
971. A.S. wela, weal. 

Wei-faring, adj. wellfaring, thriv- 
ing, prosperous, B 3132. 


Welkne.s. welkin, BSQJI.E 1124. 
A. S. wolcen, a cloud, the welkin ; 
cf. Du. wolk, a cloud, G. wolke. 

Welle, s. well, source, B 1846, 
3234, E 215, 276, F 505. A.S. 
well, wyl, Du. wel ; but we also 
find the dissyllabic A.S. tvella, 
Icel. vella. 

Welte, pi. s. wielded, i.e. lorded it 
over, possessed for use, B 3200. 
See Welde. 

Wem, s. injury, hurt, F 121. A.S. 
went, Icel. vamm, Goth, wamm, 
a spot, blemish. 

Wenches, s. pi. women, B 3417. 
Cf. A.S. wencle, a maid ; probably 
allied to wancol, tottering, weak, 
unsteady. Cf. G. wanken, to 

Wene, I p. s. pr. I ween, imagine, 
suppose, E 1174; pr. s. Weneth, 
supposes, B 3710; I p. s. pt. 
Wende, supposed, F 585 ; pt. s. 
Wende, B 3358, 3927; ex- 
pected, 3720; pt. pi. Wende, 
3637, F 198; Wenden, E 751; 
pp. Wend, imagined, thought, E 
691, F 510. A.S. wenan, Icel. 
vcena, Goth, wenjan, G. wiihnen, 
to imagine, from A. S. wen, Icel. 
van, Goth, wens, G. wahn, expec- 
tation, hope. 

Wende, v. to wend, go, pass, B 
1683 ; pr. pi. wend, go, E 189, F 
296 ; I p. s. pr. subj. Wende, E 
307 ; pt. s. Wente, went, B 1739 ; 
pp. Went, gone, B 1730, 1869, E 
276. A. S. wendan, G. wenden, 
to turn. 

Wepen, s. weapon, B 3214, 3228. 
A. S. ivtipen, Icel. vdpn, G. 

Were, pt. s. subj. were, should be, 
in modern English was, B 3189, 
3711; it were = it was, E 850; 
if so were = if so be, B 1640; as 
it were = as if it was, F 195; 
I p. s. I were = I should be, B 
131 ; 2 p. Were = wast, B 3592; 

indie, wast, B 3570; 2 p. pi. pr. 
Weren, were, E 846. 

Were, v. to wear, F 147; //. s. 
Wered, wore, B 3320 ; pp. Wered, 
worn, 3315. A..S.werian, to wear, 
Icel. verja, Goth. wasjan t \.o put on 
clothing ; cf. Lat. uestis, clothing. 

Work, s. work, i.e. reality, prac- 
tice, F 482. A.S. weorc, Icel. 
verb, Gk. tpyov. 

Werketh, imp. pi. act, E 504. 
A. S. weorcan, to work. 

Working, s. deeds, actions, E 495. 

Werre, s. war, B 3926. O. Du. 
werre, O. H. G. werra, discord ; 
from the O. H. G. comes F. 
guerre (O. F. werre). The com- 
mon A. S. word for war is wig ; 
and it is quite possible that even in 
the following quotation the word 
' wyrre may have been taken, after 
all, from the Old French. ' Her 
call this gear wunode se cyng 
Henri on Normandig, for )>es 
cynges wyrre of France' ; ' here, 
all this year, King Henry dwelt in 
Normandy, on account of the 
war of the king of France ' ; A.S. 
Chron. anno i iiS. 

Werreye, v. to make war, B 3522 : 
pt. s. Werreyed, made war upon, 
warred against, F 10. O. F. 
werrier, to make war, werre, war ; 
from a Teutonic root (Roque- 
fort). See above. 

Wery, adj. weary, B ail I. A.S. 
werig, weary; werian, to become 

Wesh, pt. s. washed, B 3934. A. S. 
wascan, to wash, pt. t. ic wusc, pp. 

West, s. as adv. in the west, F 459. 

Wexe, a p. pr. pi. wax, increase, 
grow (in applauding), E 998 ; pr. s. 
Wexeth, grows to be, B 3966 ; 
pt. s. Wex, waxed, became, grew, 
increased, B 1914, 3868, 3936, E 
3 1 7 J pt- pi- Wexc, B 3 365 . A.S. 
weaxan, Icel.vaxa, Goth, wahsjan, 



G. wachsen, Lat. augere, Gk. 
avfavtiv, to grow. 

Wey, s. way, E 273 ; a furlong \vey 
= a small distance, a short time, 
516; by the weye, by the way, 
B 1698, 1747; dat. Weye, on 
(his) way, F 604. A. S. weg, Icel. 
vegr, Goth, wigs, Lat. via. 

"Weyest, i p. s. pr. dost weigh, B 
3423. A.S. wegan, to carry, to 
weigh, Icel. vega, Lat. uehere. 

"Weylaway, inter j. wellaway! B 
3313, 3635. A. S. wd la wd, lit. 
woe 1 lo I woe ! Welladay, and 
wellaway are meaningless corrup- 

Weyue, v. to turn aside, twist 
away, E 2424. O. F. weiver, 
guesver, guever. ' Guesver, to 
waive, refuse, abandon, give over ; 
also, to surrender, give back, re- 
signe, redeliver'; Cotgrave. 

Whan, adv. when, B in, &c. 
A. S. hwanne. 

.What, int. pron. why, B 56, 3842, 
E 283, E 1 2 21 ; rel. pron. as adv. 
what with, B 21, 22 ; What that 
= whatever, E 165 ; What for = 
because of, F 54 ; What man so, 
or that = whomsoever, 157, 160; 
What man that, B 3434 ; What 
and, both and, B 3304 ; cf. Kn. 
Ta. 595. 

Whelp, *. a dog, F 491. A. S. 
hweolp, Icel. hvelpr, a cub. 
Whelp, lytyl hounde, Catulus'; 
Prompt. Parv. Wyclif uses the 
word ' welpis' in his translation, 
S. Mark vii. 28. 

Whenne, adv. whence, E 588, 

A. S. hwanon. 

Wher, adv. whether, B 3119, F 

579; adv. where, 1785, &c. 

Wher as a contraction of whether 

is very common in M. E. 

Wher- as, adv. where that, B 3347, 


Wherein, adv. in which, E 376. 
Whcr-so, adv. whithersoever, F 1 1 8. 

Which, for whom ; of which = 

concerning whom, F 58; //. 

Whiche, which, B 3860, F 30. 

A.S. hwylc, Goth, hwa-letks, lit. 

who-lilte, Lat. qualis. 
Whider, adv. whither, E 588, F 

378. A.S.Awider. 
Whirleth, pr. s. whirls, wheels 

swiftly, F 671. Icel. hvirfla, to 

whirl, from Icel. hverfa, A. S. 

hweorfan, to turn round. 
Whos, rel. pron. gen. whose, B 

1661, E 770; dat. Whom, to 

whom,F 154. A.S. hwd, gen. hwds. 
Whyl, s. while, time, B 3538; 

conj. whilst, 3208. A. S. hwil, 

Goth, hweila, a time. 
Whylom, adv. once, formerly, B 

3266, 3557, 3917, E 64, 846. 

A.S. hwilmn, lit. at times, dat. pi. 

of hwil, a time. 
Whyte, adj. white, B 2047 ; pi. 

3658. A.S. hwit, Icel. hvitr, Goth. 

hweits, G. weiss. 
Widwe, s. widow, B 1699; gen. 

Widwes, 1692. A.S. widwe, vmdn- 

we, G. wittwe, Goth, widtiwo, Lat. 

Wikke, adj. wicked, B 78, E 785 ; 

pi. B 118; Wikked, B 3576 (see 

note). Cf. A. S. wiceian, to use 

witchcraft, wicca, a wizard, wicce, 

a witch ; or else A. S. wlcan, to 

give way. 

Wikkedly, adv. wickedly, E 723. 
Wille, s. will, pleasure, desire, E 

326, F i, 8; gen. Willes, 568; 

dat. Wille, 5. A.S. willa, Icel. 

vili, Goth, wilja. 
Wille, v. to will, desire, E 721; 

pr. s. Wil, desires (Lat. wilt), B 

1843. A. S. willan, Goth, wiljan, 

Lat. nelle, Gk. @ov\tffOai. 
Willing, s. desire, E 319. A.S. 

willvng, a wish. 

Willingly, adv. of free will, E 362. 
Wilneth, pr. s. desires, F 120. A. S. 

wilnian, to desire ; a derivative of 

willan, to will. 



Wiltow,/or Wilt thou, i.e. wishest 
thou, B 2116. 

Winges, s. pi. wings, F 415. Dan. 
vinge, Icel. vangr. 

"Winke, v. to wink, nod, F 348. 
A. S. wincian. 

Winne, v. to win, conquer, F 214. 
A. S. winnan, Icel. vinna, Goth. 
winnan, G. winnen. 

Winninges, s. pi. winnings, gains, 
B 127. 

Winter, s. pi, winters, years, B 
3249, F 43. A. S. winter, pi. 
winter, used in the sense of years. 

Wisly, adv. certainly, verily, surely, 
B 2112, 822, 469. Icel. viss, 
sure, Du. gewis, G. gewiss; from 
the root witan, to know. 

Wiste, I p. s. pt. I knew, 814; 
pt. s. knew, B 5, 3348, 3723, 
3748, F 399; pi. B 1820; i p. 
s. pt. subj. F 565; pp. Wist, F 
260. See Wite. 

Wit, *. intelligence, a proof of in- 
telligence, E 459 ; judgment, B 
10, F 674; understanding, B 
3368 ; pi. Wittes, wits, F 706 ; 
opinions, 203. A. S. wit. See 

Wite, 2 p. pi. pr. know, E 2431 ; 
pt. s. Wiste, pp. Wist, q. v. A. S. 
witan, to wit; pres. ic wdt, bti 
wdst, he wdt, I wot, thou wost 
(wottest), he wot (not wots) ; pi. 
we, ge, hi witon, we, ye, they wit ; 
pt. ic wisle, I wist; pp. ^uiten, 
wist. The pres. t. is an old pre- 
terite = Gk. ofSa ; in fact, it is the 
same word. Cf. Goth, witan, to 
know, see (Lat. ttidere"), pres. ik 
wait, pt. ik wissa; Icel. vita, pres. 
veil, pt. vissa ; G. wissen, pres. 
iveiss, pt. wusste. 

Witing, s. knowledge, cognisance, 
E 492. 

With, prep, with ; to hele with 
your hertes = to heal your hurts 
with, F 471, 641 ; by, B 1875. 
A. S. wiQ, Icel. vid. 

With-al, adv. therewith, F 687. 

With-inne, prep, within, F 590. 
A. S. wffi-innan, prep, and adv. 

With-outen, prep, without, E 66 1, 
F 121, 166, 702 ; With-oute, adv. 
outside, E 332. A. S. wtiS-iitan, 
prep, and adv. 

Withstonde, v. to withstand, op- 
pose, 63110. A. S. wifi-standan, 
to oppose, Icel. vffistanda. 

Wo, s. woe ; wo were vs = woe 
would be to us, E 139. A.S. wd; 
cf. Icel. vei, G. wehe, Lat. vae, 
inter), wo 1 

Wo, adj. sad, E 753. A. S. wd, 
sb. and adj. It is used adjectively 
in Caedmon, ed. Thorpe, p. 40 
bi5 bam men full wd, it will be 
very sad for the man. 

Wode, s. a wood, B 3446, F 413, 
617. A.S.wudu. 

Wode-dowue, s. wood-dove, wood- 
pigeon, B 1960. A. S. wvdti, a 
wood ; A. S. dufa, Icel. dufa, G. 
taube, Goth, dubo, a dove. 

Wol, I p. s. pr. I desire, E 646 ; 
I will, B 41, 89 ; 2 p. Wolt, wilt, 
E 314; pr. s. Wol, will, B 60, 
115; will go, F 617; 2 p. pi. 
Wol, will, B 1641; Wole ye = 
wish you, F 378; I p. s. pt. 
Wolde, I should like, B 1639, E 
638 ; pt. s. Wolde, would, would 
like to, B 1182; would, F 64; 
required, F 577; would go, would 
turn, 496 ; pt. pi. Wolde, wished, 
E 1144. A.S. will an, pres. ic 
wile, pt. ic wolde. 

Wombe, s. belly, B 3627. A.S. 
wamb, Goth, wamba, Lat. venter. 

Wommanhede, s. womanhood, E 
239, 1075. The A.S. word is 
wlfhdd, wifehood. 

Wonder, s. as adj. a wonder, 
wonderful, B 1882, F 248, 254. 
A. S. wundor, G. wander, Icel. 

Wondre, v. to wonder, B 1 805 ; 
pr. pi. Wondren, F 258 ; pt. pi. 



Wondreden, 307 ; pp. Wondred, 
236. A. S. wundrian, Icel. undra. 

Wondring, s. wondering, amaze, 
F 305. A. S. wundrung. 

Wone, s. wont, custom, B 1694. 
A.S. wuna, Icel. vani; cf. G. 

Woned, pp. accustomed, wont, E 
339. See Wont. A. S. wunian, 
to dwell, remain, pp. wunod, ac- 
customed ; Icel. vanr, accustomed ; 
cf. G. gewohnt. 

Wonger, s. pillow, B a 102. A.S. 
wangere, a pillow, rest for the 
cheek, from wang, a cheek ; Goth. 
waggari, a pillow. 

Wont, pp. wont, accustomed, B 
3614, 3894. E 844, F 44. See 
Woned. From this word has 
been formed the modern wonted, 
with a needless repetition of the 
pp. ending. 

Wood, adj. mad, B 1964. A.S. 
w6d, Goth, weds, Icel. o&V; cf. G. 
wuthend, raging. 

Woon, s. abode, B 1991. Cf. 
A. S. wunung, an abode ; from 
wunian, to dwell. 

Woot, i p. s. pr. I know, B 3993. 
See Wot, Wite. 

Wopen, pp. wept, F 523. See 

Wormes, s. pi. worms, F 617. 
A. S. wyrm, Icel. ormr, G. ivurm, 
Lat. uermis. 

Worse, adv. comp. worse, E 675. 
A. S. wyrs, Goth, wairs. 

Worshipe, v. to honour, respect, 

Worshipe, s. honour, F 571. A.S. 
weorftscipe, honour; lit.worthship. 

"Worshipful, adj. worthy of 
honour, E 401. 

Worste, adj. superl. def. worst, 
E 1218. A.S. wyrsta. 

Wortes, s. pi. worts, roots, vege- 
tables, E 226. A.S. wyrt, Goth. 
waiirts, G.ti'urze, Lat. radix, Gk. 
f>ifa; see Curtius. 


Worth, pr. s. becomes ; worth 
vpon = gets upon, B 1941. A.S. 
weorfSan, Icel. ver 5a, Goth, wairth- 
an, G. werden, to become, Lat. 
vertere, to turn. 

Worthy, adj. worthy, brave, B 
2107. A. S. wut^Sig, G. wurdig. 

Wost, 2 p. s. pr. thou knowest, F 
696. See Wot, Wite. 

Wostow,/or wost thou, i.e. know- 
est thou, 325. 

Wot, I p. s. pr. I know, E 814, F 
708; i p. Wost, F 696; pr. s. 
Wot, knows, B 93, E 274, F 299, 
534; a p. pi. Wot, B 2133, F 
519. See Wite. 

Woundes, s. pi. wounds, B 62. 
A. S. wund, Icel. wid, G. wunde. 

Woxen, pp. grown, E 400. See 

Wrappe, v. to wrap, envelop, E 
583, F 636 ; pp. Wrapped, F 507. 

Wrastling, s. wrestling, B 1930. 
A. S. wrdxlung, from wrdxlian, 
wr(tstlian, to wrestle ; which 
from wr&stan, to turn, wrest. 

Wrecchednesse, s. misery, B 
3212, 3540. A.S. wrcecca, an 
exile, a wretch, from wr<ee, 
punishment, banishment. 

Wreehe, s. vengeance, B 3403. 
A.S. wrcec, punishment, ven- 
geance ; wrecan, to wreak, af- 
flict ; G. racke, revenge. 

Wreck, imp. s. wreak, avenge, B 
3095 ; 2 p. pi. pr. Wreke, F 454. 
A. S. wrecan, G. rdchen. 

Wringe, v. to wring the hands, E 
1212; to force wet out by pres- 
sure, B 1966. A.S. wringan, to 
press, wring; G. ringen, to 

Writ, pr. s. writeth, B 3516 ; pt. s. 
Wroot, wrote, 3393 ; i p. s. pt. 
subj. Writ, I were to write, 3843 ; 
pt. pi. Writen, wrote, F 233 ; pp. 
Writen, E 761, B 3177. A.S. 
writan, Icel. rita, to write ; but 
the original meaning is to scratch, 

3 6 


to scratch strokes, still kept in G. 
reissen, to tear. 

Wrothe, adj. pi. wroth, angry, E 
437. A. S. wrdU, Icel. ra'oV. 

Wroughte, pt. s. made, E 1152, F 
1 28 ; pt. s. worked, contrived, B 
1788, E 463; pp. wrought, cre- 
ated, B 3619. A. S. wear can, to 
work, pt. t. worhte, pp. geworht. 

Wroughtestow, for wroughtest 
thou, thou didst cause, B 3583. 

Wryte, v. to write, B 87; pr. s. 
Wryteth, 77; contracted to Writ, 
3516 ; pr. s. Wroot ; pp. Writen ; 
see "Writ. 

Wrything, s. turning, F 127. 
A. S. wriftan, to writhe, twist, 
Icel. rffia. 

Wyde, adj. def. wide, B 3824; pi. 
B 62 ; adv. widely, E 722. A.S. 
wid, Icel. v$r, G. weit. 

'Wyfh.ood, s. wifehood ; or rather, 
womanhood, B 76. A. S. wlfhad, 
G. weibheit; A. S. wif, G. weib, 
a woman. 

Wyflees, adj. wifeless, E 1236. 

Wyfly, adj. wifelike, E 429, 919, 
1050. A.S. wifllc. 

Wyght, s. a wight, person, B 1894, 
3822, E 177; dat. Wyghte, B 
43. A.S. wiht, wuht, Goth. 
waiht, G. wicht ; E. wight and 

Wyly, adj. wily, wary, B 3130. 
A. S. wile, Icel. nil, veel, a wile, a 
trick ; the O. F. guile is from a 
Teutonic source ; thus guile and 
wile are doublets. 

Wynd, s. wind, B 1173. A.S. 
wind, Icel. vindr, Goth, winds, 
Lat. uentus. 

Wyndas, s. windlass, F 184. Da. 
windas, from winden, to wind, 
and as, an axle-tree; so in Ice- 
landic, we find vind-dss, from 
vinda, to wind, and ass, a beam. 

Wynde, v. to wind, bind with 
cloths, E 583. A. S. windan, Icel. 
vinda, G. vjinden. 

Wynes, s. pi. wines, B 3391, 3418. 
A. S. win, G. wein, Lat. uinum. 

Wys, adj. wise, B 3 1 30 ; def. Wyse, 
i'3> li?> 3755 />/. Wyse, 128; 
superl. Wysest, 3345. A. S. wif, 
Icel. vlss, G. weise; from witan, 
to know. 

Wyse, s. (dative), wise, way, man- 
ner, B 2131, 3704, E 673. A. S. 
wise, a way, G. weise ; F. guise is 
from O.H.G. ; wise and guise are 

Wyte, v. to blame, B 3636; I p. 
s. pr. Wyte, 3860; 2 p. Wytest, 
108. A. S. witan, to blame, 
punish ; Icel. vita, to fine, mulct. 

Wyue, v. to wive, to marry, E 
140, 173. A.S. wifian, to take 
a wife, from wif, a woman, 

Wyues, gen. sing, wife's, B 1631, 
E 599 ; pi. Wyues, wives, women, 
B 59. 3 2 " A.S. wif, Icel. vif, 
G. weib, a woman. 


Yaf, I p. s. pt. I gave, E 861, F 

533! 3 P- Yaf=gavest, B 3641 ; 

pt. s. Yaf, 1862, 1973, 3368, E 

!93 2 >3- See Yiue. 
Yate, s. gate, 1013. A.S. geat. 
Ybeten, pp. beaten, F 414. A. S. 

bedtan, pt. t. be6t, pp. beaten. 
Ybore, pp. born, E 158, 310, 484; 

Yborn, 72; Yboren, 626 ; Ybore, 

borne, carried, moved, 443, F 

326 ; Yborn, carried, F 340. 

A. S. beran, pp. geboren. 
Ybounde, pp. bound, B 1866. 

A. S. bindan, pp. gebunden. 
Ycaried, pp. carried, B 3240. 

O.F. carter, to carry, char, a car. 
Ycorne, pp. come ; ycomeaboute = 

come about, passed, B 3364 ; 

Yeomen, come, 1687. A. S. cum- 

an, pp. cutnen, gecumen. 
Ycoupled, pp. coupled, wedded, E 

1219. F. coupler, Lat. copulare. 



Ydel, adj. idle, E 217. A.S. {del, 
G. eitel. 

Ydolastre, 5. an idolater, B 3377. 
F. idolatre, Lat. idolatra ; from 
ti$<a\ov t an idol, Karptvtiv, to 
serve. The circumflex in the 
F. form points to an O. F. idolas- 
tre, and accounts for the form. 

Ydoon, pp. done, B 3738. A.S. 
dun, to do ; pp. ged6n. 

Ydrawe, pp. drawn, F 326. A.S. 
dragon, to draw, drag ; pp. ge- 
d rag en. 

Ydressed, pp. dressed, arranged, 
set, 381. F. dresser, to arrange ; 
Lat. dirigere. 

Ye, s. (pronounced as long e, fol- 
lowed by e obscure, i. e. like G. ie 
followed by G. e final), eye, E 37, 
F 194; at ye = to sight, to view, 
E 1168 ; pi. Yen, B 3260, 3392, 
3620, E 669. A.S. edge, Icel. 
auga, Goth, augo, G. auge, Lat. oc- 
ulus. The A. S. pi. is <ig-a,whence 
Chaucer's yen, Shakespeare's eyne. 

Ye, adv. yea, B 1900, E 355. A. S. 
ge,gea, G.ja. 

Ye, pron. nom. ye; saue only ye, 
you alone except, E 508. See 
Yow. A. S. ge, nom. ; edw, ace. 

Yeer, s. year, F 44, 524 ; pi. Yeer, 
years, B 1628, 3602, E 610 ; 
Yeer by yere, B 1688, E 402. 
A. S. gear, Icel. dr, Goth.jer, G. 
jaTir; the A. S. pi. is also gear. 

Yelden, v. to yield, E 843. A. S. 
gildan, gyldan, to pay; Icel. 
gjalda, G. gel ten. Hence E. 
yield and sb. guild. 

Yen, s. pi. eyes ; see Ye. 

Yerde, s. yard, rod ; hence, correc- 
tion, 22. A.S. gyrd, gerd, a 
rod, stick ; G. gerte, a switch. 

Yere, s. year, B 132. See Yeer. 

Yeue, pr. s. imp. may he give, B 
1628 ; pr. s. Yeueth, gives, B 43 ; 
/>/>.Yeuen, given, E 758. SeeYiue. 

Y-fallen, pp. fallen, B 3166. A. S. 
feallan, pp. gefeallen. 

Yfere, adv. together, E 1113. Cf. 

A. S. gefera, a travelling comrade, 

homfaran, to fare, go. 
Yfet, pp. fetched, F 174. A.S. 

fetian, pp. gefetod. 
Yfeyned, pp. feigned (to be done), 

evaded, E 529. Cf. F. feindre, 

Yfostred, pp. fostered, E 213. 

A. S. fostrian, pp. gefdstrod; 
foster, food, nourishment ; from 

the same root as food; cf. Sanskr. 

pa, to protect. 
Yfynde, v. to find, F 470. A. S. 

gejindan, to find. 
Yglewed, pp. glued, fixed tight, F 

182. Cf. F. en-glner, to glue 

together, glu t glue ; from Lat. 

glus, gin/is (Ausonius) ; cf. Lat. 

Ygon, pp. gone, F 293, 538. A. S. 

gdn, to go ; pp. gegdn. Not to 

be confused with Ago, q. v. 
Ygrounde, pp. ground, sharpened, 

pointed, B 2073. A. S. grindan, 

pp. grunden, gegrunden. 
Yharded, pp. hardened, F 245. 

A. S. heardian, to harden ; pp. 

heardod, geheardod. 
~Yis,adv. yes, 64006. A.S.gys,gese. 
Yit, adv. yet, B 3760; as yit= 

hitherto, now, E 1 20. A. S. git, gyt. 
Yiue, v. to give, E 1034 ! Yiuen, 

B S^SS; pr- s. Yiueth, gives, E 

93 ! pr. s. imp. Yiue, may he 

give, E 30, F 679 ; 3 p. s. pr. 

subj. F 614; pp. Yiuen, given, B 

34 2 5, F 54 1 - A. S. gifan, pt. t. 

g<zf, geaf, pp.gifen; Icel. gefa, 

Goth, gifan, G.geben. 
Yknowen, />/>. known, F 256. A.S. 

cndwan, pp. cndwen, gecndwen. 
Ykoruen, pp. cut, B 1801. A.S. 

ceorfan, to carve ; pp. corfen, ge- 

Yle, s. isle, B 68. F. He, O. F. He, 

isle, Lat. insula. 
Yleyd, pp. laid, B 3328. A. S. lecg- 

an, to lay ; pp. geled, gelegd. 

X 2 

3 o8 


Yliclie, adv. alike, equally, F 20. 

A. S. gelice, adv. ; cf. G. gleich. 
Ylyke, adv. alike, equally, 602, 

754. See Yliche. 
Ymaad, pp. made, F 218. A. S. 

macian, pp. macod. Thus made 

is a contraction of malted. 
Ymagining, pres. part, imagining, 

E 59 8. 
Yuough, adv. enough, E 365 ; 

Ynow, B 3235, 3958, E 1214, F 

708. A. S. genohf sufficiently ; 

G. gemig. 
Ynowe, adj. pi. enough, F 470. 

A. S. genoh, sufficient, pi. gendge ; 

Goth, ganohs, sufficient. 
Yond, adv. yonder, E 1199. A.S. 

geond, yonder; cf. G.jener, that, 

Yonge, adj. def. young, B 1834, E 

777. F 54. 3 8 5! vocative, B 

1874. A.S. geong, Icel. ungr, 

Golh.juggs (= jungs), G.jung. 
Yore, adv. formerly, B 1167, E 

1140; of long time, for a long 

time, E 68. A.S. gedra, formerly ; 

from gear, a year. 
Youres, pron. yours, F 597. 
Yourseluen, pron. yourself, F 242. 
Youthe, s. youth, F 675. A.S. 

geoguft. See Yonge. 
Yow, pron. pers. ace. you, B 16, 

37, 1 1 86. A. S. eow, ace. ofge, 


Ypocryte, . hypocrite, F 514, 520. 
Yprayed, pp. bidden, asked to 

come, invited, E 269. F. prier, 

O. F. preier, Lat. precari. 
Yquit, pp. quit, acquitted, F 673. 

F. quitter, to hold free, quittt, 

freed, Lat. quietus, left in peace. 
Yrekened, pp. reckoned, consid- 

ered, taken into account, F 417. 

A. S. recnan, to reckon. 
Yronne, pp. run, E 214. A.S. 

rennan, to run. 
Yset, pp. set, E 409 ; set down, F 

1 73. A. S. settan, to set ; pp. geset. 
Yshapen, pp. shaped, i. e. prepared, 

B 3420. A. S. scippan, to shape ; 

pp. scapen, gescapen. 
Yshaue, pp. shaved, B 3261. A. S. 

scafan, to shave ; pp. scafen, ge~ 

Ysprad, pp. spread, B 1644. A. S. 

spratdan, to spread. 
Yswore, pp. sworn, F 325. A. S. 

swerian, to swear ; pp. gesworen. 
Ytake, pp. taken, captured, B 3514 ; 

taken away, 1858. Icel. taka, A. S. 

tacan, to take ; pp. getacen. 
Ytaught, pp. taught, B 1699. A. S. 

tacan, to teach ; pp. t&ht, getceht. 
Ytold, pp. told, F 357. A. S. tell- 
on, pp. geteald. 
Yuel, adv. ill, E 460, 965. A. S. 

yfel, Goth, ubils, G. ubel, evil, 

bad ; yfele, evilly, ill. 
Yuory, s. ivory, B 2066. F. 

ivoire; Lat. eboreus, made of 

ivory ; from Lat. ebur, ivory. 
Ywedded, pp. wedded, E 771, 

J2 33- A. S. weddian, to pledge, 

pp. vieddod, geweddod; from wed, 

a pledge. 
Yvris,adv. certainly, B 1980,3958, 

4007, E 2434. A. S. gewis, Du. 

gewis, G. gewiss, adv. Often 

wrongly supposed to mean I know, 

but the latter is properly repre- 
sented by 7 wot. See Wite. 
Ywroght, pp. wrought, made, B 

2054. A.S. weorcan, to work; 

pp. worht, geworht. 


N.B. Many of the names are commented upon in the Notes. 

Aehelois, Achelous, B 3296. 

Achilles, F 239. 

Adam, B 3197. 

Adriane, Ariadne, B 67. 

Albon, Alban, B 3120. 

Alceste, Alcestis, B 75. 

Alcioun, Halcyone or Alcyone, B 
57. Hence E. halcyon. 

Aldiran, the name of a star, F 265. 
See note. 

Algarsyf, F 30, 663. 

Alisaundre, Alexander, B 3821. 

Alisaundre, Alexandria, B 3582. 

Alma redemptoris, the first two 
words of a Latin hymn, B J 708, 
1744, 1802; Alma redemptoris 
mater, benign mother of the Re- 
deemer, 1831. 

Alocen, Alhazen, F 233. 

Antheus, Anteus, B 3298. 

Apennyn, the Apennines, 44. 

Arable, s, Arabia, F no. 

Arabieu, adj. Arabian, B 3529. 

Aries, s. the Ram, the sign of the 
zodiac for the latter part of March 
and the former part of April, F 


Aristotle, F 233. 
Armorike, Armorica, Brittany, B 

Arpies, s. pi. the Harpies, B 3290. 

Asie, s. Asia, put for Asia Minor, 

B 1678. 

Aurelian, B 3541. 
Austin, Augustine, B 1631. 

Babiloin, adj. Babylonian, B 63. 
Babiloyne, Babylon, B 3339. 
Balthasar, Belshazzar, B 3373. 
Barnabo, B 3589. 
Bathe, Bath, 1170. 
Bethulia, 83755. 
Bevys, Bevis, B 2089. 
Boloigne, Bologna, E 686, 763, 

Brixseide, Briseis, B 71. This 

form is from the ace. Briseida. 
Brugges, Bruges, B 1923. 
Brutus, B 3896; Brutus Cassius 

(see note), 3887. 
Busirus, Busiris, B 3293. 

Cacus, B 3297. 

Cambalo, F 31, 667 ; Cambalus, 

Cambynskan, F 12. Sec note. 

Canacee, (O B 78; (2) F 33, 
J78; g"*- Canacees, 247, 631. 

Capitolie, s. the Capitol, B 3893. 

Cenobia, Zenobia, B 3437. 

Centauros, Centaurus, the Cen- 
taur, B 3289. 



Cerbsrus, B 3292. 

Cesar, Caesar, B 3869. 

Ceys, Ceyx, 657. 

Chaldey^ Chaldea, B 3347. 

Charles, B 3577. 

Chicheuache, s. (lit. a lean cow, 
from F. chicke, niggardly, lean, 
which from Lat. ciccum, a trifle, 
and F. vache, Lat. uacca, a cow), 

Claudius, B 3525. 

Cresus, Croesus, B 3917. 

Crist, Christ, B 106. 

Cristemasse, s. Christmas, B 126, 


Cupyde, Cupid, B 61. 
Cypre, Cyprus, B 3581. 
Cyrus, B 3918. 

Dalida, Delilah, B 3253. 
Damascene, adj. as sb. Damascene, 

used for Damascus, B 3197- 
Daniel, B 3344. 
Dante, 63651. 
Darius, B 3427, 3838. 
Demophon, B 65. 
Dianire, Deianira, B 66 ; Dianira, 

Dido, B 64. 

Edward, 83160. 

Egipcien, adj. Egyptian, B 3528. 

Eleyne, Helen, B 70. 

Eliachim, Eliakim or Joachim, B 


Elpheta, F 29. 
Emelward; to Emel ward = to wards 

the JEmilian Way, 51. 
Enee, /Eneas, B 64. 
English, adj. as sb. English, i..e. 

English talk, B 49, F 37. 
Ermyn, adj. Armenian, B 3528. 
Erro, Hero, B 69. 

Ferrate, Ferrara, E 51. 
Flaundres, Flanders, B 1909. 
Fraunceys, Francis, E 31. 

Qalien, Gallienus, B 3526. 

Gawayn, Gawain, F 95. 

Gazan, Gaza, B 3237. From Lat. 

ace. Gazam. 
Genylon, Genilon, Ganelon, B 


Grece, Greece, B 3847. 
Grekes, s. gen. Greek's, F 209- 

The Grekes hors Synon = the 

horse of Sinon the Greek. 
Grisildis, Griselda, E 210; Gri- 

sild, 232. 
Gy, Guy, B 2089. 

Hebraik, adj. Hebrew, B 1750. 

Lat. Hebraicus. 
Hermanno, B 3535. 
Hermion, Hermione, B 66. 
Horn, B 2088. 
Hugelyn, Ugolino, B 3597. 
Hugh, B 1874. 

lame, James, E 1154. 

lanicle, Janicola, E 404, 632 ; 

Janicula, 208, 304. 
lankyn, a diminutive of John, B 


lason, Jason, B 74, F 548. 
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, B 3337. 
lewerye, s. Jewry, Jews' quarter, B 

1679, 1741, 1782. 
lewes, s. pi. Jews, B 1755, 1810; 

gen. 2054. 
lob, Job, E 932. 
lohn, John, B 3119; St. John, F 

596 ; (used as a term of mild con- 
tempt) B 4000. 
Isiphilee, Hypsipyle, B 67. 
Itaille, s. Italy, B 3650, E 266. 
ludicum, for liber Judicum, i. e. 

the book of Judges, B 3236. 
ludith, Judith, B 3761. 
lulius, Julius, B 3863. 
luppiter, Jupiter, B 3934, 3942. 

Ladomea, Laodamia, 671. 
Lameth, Lamech, F 550. 
Launcelot, Lancelot, F 287. 
Leander, B 69. 
Leon, s. the sign Leo, F 265. 


Lincoln, B 1874. 
-Linian, E 33. See note. 
Lucan, Lucanus, 8 3909. 
Lucifer, 63189. 
Lucresse, Lucretia, B 63. 
Lumbardye, Lombardy, B 3590, 

E 72, F 193 ; West, E 46, 945. 
Lybeux, B 2020. O. F. It betix, 

the fair. 
Lyde, Lydia, B 3917. 

Macedoyne, Macedonia, B 3846. 

Machabee, Machabeus, B 3845. 

Madrian, probably St. Mathurin, B 
3083. See note. 

Mane, i. e. mene, B 3396. It sig- 
nifies ' numbered.' 

Martes, gen. s. Mars's, F 50. 

Medea, B 72. 

Medes, Medes, B 3425. 

Melan, Milan, B 3589. 

Melibee, Melibeus, B 30/9 ; spelt 
Melibeus, 3086. 

Mercurius, gen. sing. Mercury's, 

Moyses, Moses, F 250. 

Muses, s. pi. the Muses, 693. 

Nabugodonosor, Nebuchadnez- 
zar. B 3335. 375 2 - 

Nero, B 3653 ; Neroun (from Lat. 
ace. Neronem), 3727- 

Nessus, B 3318. 

Odenake, Odenates, B 3517; gen. 

Odenakes, 3508. 
Olifaunt, signifying elephant, B 


Olofern, Holophernes, B 3746. 
Olyuer, Oliver, B 3577, 3579. 
Ovide, Ovid, B 54. 
Oxenford, Oxford, E I. 

Padowe, Padua, 27. 
Palymerie, Palmyra, B 3437. 
Panik, s. the name of a district in 

Italy, E 764, 939. 
Pegasee, s. the Pegasean horse, i. e. 

Pegasus, F 207. 

Pemond, Piedmont, E 44. 
Penelope, B 75. (Pronounced 


Percyuel, Percival, B 2106. 
Perse, Persia, B 3442 ; Perses, i. e. 

Persians, 3425, &c. 
Petrark, Petrarch, B 3515, 31, 


Petro, Pedro, or Peter, B 3565,3581. 
Phanye, B 3948. 
Phares, i. e. phares, or peres, B 

3396. The word signifies a breach .' 
Phebus, s. Phcebus, i. e. the sun, B 

". 3935. 3943. F 48. 
Philippes, gen. sing. Philip's, B 


Philistiens, . pi. Philistines, B 

Phillis, Phyllis, B 65. 

Pierides, s. pi. the Pierides, daugh- 
ters of Pierus, B 92. 

Piers, Pierce, i. e. Peter, B 3982. 

Pleyn-damour, B 2090. It mean$ 
' full of love,' F. plein d'amonr. 

Poileys, adv. Apulian, F 195. 

Pompeius, Pompey, B 3870. 

Poo, the Po, E 48. 

Popering, B 1910. See note. 

Poules, gen. sing. Paul's, B 3970. 

Prudence, B 3080. 

Pyse, Pisa, B 3597, 3606. 

Bachel, B 1817. See note. 
Boger,/or Ruggieri, B 3606. 
Bomayn, adj. Roman, B 3526, 


Borne, 63525, 3542, E 737, F 231. 
Bouechester, Rochester, B 3116. 

Salomon, Solomon, E 6, F 250. 
Saluces, Saluzzo, E 44, 64,414; 

Saluce, 420. 
Sampson, Samson, B 3205, 3213, 


Sapor, B 3510. 
Sarray, Sarai, F 9, 46. 
Sathanas, Satan, B 1748, 3195. 
Senec, Seneca, B 25; spelt Seneca, 

B 3693- 



Spayne, Spain, B 3565. 
Surrien, adj. Syrian, B 3529. 
Sweton, Suetonius, B 3910 ; spelt 

Swctonius, 3655. 
Synon, Sinon, F 209. 

Tartarye, Tartary, or rather, Ta- 
tary, F 9. 

Tartre, adj. Tartar, or rather, 
Tatar, F 266. 

Teehel, i. e. tekel, B 3396. It sig- 
nifies 'weighed.' 

Termagaunt, Termagant, a hea- 
then idol, B 2000. 

Thelophus, F 238. 

Theodora, F 664. 

Thessalye, Thessaly, B 3869. 

Thomas, B 3120, E 1230. 

Thopas, B 1907, &c. 
Thymalao, B 3535. 
Tisbee, Thisbe, B 63. 
Trophee, B 3307. 
Troye, Troy, F 210, 306. 

Valerie, Valerius, i. e. Valerius 

Maximus, B 3910. 
Venus, F 272. 
Venyae, Venice, ESI. 
Vesulus, Monte Viso, E 47, 58. 
Vitulon, F 232. 

Walter, E 77, &c. 

Ynde, s. India, E 1199, F no. 
Ypermistra, Hypermnestra, B 75. 
Ypotys, B 2088. 



For explanations of words, see the preceding Glossarial Index. A few 
words are also more particularly explained in the Notes ; these are indicated 
in the following Index by being printed in italics. The references are to 
the pages of the volume. 

A. B. C., Chaucer's, 144. 

abyen, 162. 

Adam, 175. 

agayns, 201. 

aketoun, 164. 

Aldiran, 217. 

Alcestis, 137. 

Alexander, 190. 

Alhazen, 215. 

alle and some, 201. 

Alma redemptoris mater, 147. 

atnbes as, 139, 140. 

Angle meridional, 216. 

Antiphoner, 148. 

Ape, to put in one's hood an, 144. 

appalled, 219. 

April 1 8, position of sun on, 130. 

Apulian horses, 212. 

Ariadne, 137. 

Aries, sign of, 209. 

ark (of the day), 129. 

Armour, 164, 165, 166. 

artow, 139, 152,174. 

as (I pray), 195, 220. 

as (ace), 139, 140, 190. 

Asie (Asia Minor), 145. 

assegai, 158. 

Astrolabe, 131. 

-at, (-ate), suffix, 1 75. 

attained, 194. 

atte (at the), 132. 

Ave Maria, 146. 

aventayl, 205. 

avyse you, 198. 

Baraabo of Lombardy, 187. 

be, with pp. of verb, 132. 

been, bees, (pi. of bee), 206. 

Bells, clinking of, 143, 194. 

Belshazzar, 181. 

benedicite, how pronounced, 141. 

Benoit de Sainte-Maure, 214. 

Bevis, Sir, 168. 

Bier, where to be placed, 150. 

biseye, 202. 

Black Prince, 185. 

Blood in domination, 218. 

Blue, colour of truth, 223. 

Boccaccio, 173, 175, 177, 180-184, 

189, 192. 
bodkins, 191. 
Boethius, 178, 193, 223. 
borwe, to, 222. 
Bridles, value of, 2 1 8. 
Brutus and Cassius, 191. 
Bush, the burning, 144. 
Busiris, 179. 

Cambynskan, 207. 
can (know), 141, 144, 148. 
Canace, 137. 
Carbuncle, 166. 
Caxton, 213. 
centre, 208. 
Ceyx, story of, 134. 
charge, 219. 

Chaucer's corpulence, 152; his self- 
depreciation, 134. 
Chichevache, 204. 


child, 162. 

Christmas weather, 140. 
cidatoun, 155. 
cider, 177. 
clergeoun, 146. 
comes, corn, 1 76. 
corone, 199. 
cote-armour, 165. 
covent, 150. 
Croesus, 192. 
'curse,' to care a, 194. 
Cypress, 167. 

Damascus, 175. 

dan (dominus), 172. 

Dante, 147, 187, 188. 

Date of Man of Law's Prologue, 130. 

Day, artificial, 129, 130, 21 1 ; natural, 

130, 211. 

Deianira, 137, 180. 
depardieux, 133. 
Domination, blood in, 2 1 8. 
doo.'h (causes), 150 ; do (cause), 163. 
drasly, 170. 
Du Gueschlin, 185, 186. 

Edward, Saint, 172. 

eer (-), suffix, 143. 

eighletetne, 131. 

Elf-queen, 160. 

eluish, 153. 

Equinox, vernal, 209. 

eth, (imp. pi. suffix), 131, 132. 

examelron, 173. 

Face (in astrology), 209. 
Fairies, 160, 212. 
Falcons, 220, 221. 
Feasts described, 209. 
feme, 215, 216. 
// (canto), 167. 
Jlocfunele, 197. 
for (against), 165. 
for me, 193, 219. 
fumositee, 219. 
furlong wey, 200. 

Galley halfpence, 157. 

pan (did), 131. 

Gaunt, John of, 185, 186. 

gauren, 212. 

Gawain, Sir, 211. 

Genoa, coins of, 157. 

gent (gentle), 154. 

gesles, 214. 

gesioiirs, 164. 

Giants, 161. 

gird, 190. 

Glass-making, 215. 

glose, 143. 

Gold called 'red,' 166. 

Good Women, Legend of, 134. 

Gower, 137, 142, 148, 174, jSo. 

213, 214. 

grain, to dye in, 155. 
Guy, Sir, 168. 

Jiabergeon, 165. 
halse (conjure), 150. 
hauberk, 165. 
hawe bake, 138. 
Hazard, game of, 140. 
Herbs, power of, 211. 
Hercules, 177 ; pillars of, 180. 
heronsew, 210. 
Hexameters, 173. 
Holofernes, 190. 
Hood, ape in a, 144. 
Horn, romance of, 168. 
Horse of brass, 213. 
hoste (dissyllabic), 129, 152. 
Hugh of Lincoln, 151. 

ihu (contraction forjesu'), 149; ih!, 

tnwith, 149. 

jambeux, 1 66. 
Jane (a coin), 156, 202. 
jangle, 205. 
Jankyn, 141. 
Jesters, 164. 

Jesus, son of Sirach, 139. 
Jewry, 145. 

Jews, feeling against the, 148. 
Jews' work, 165. 

John, name of contempt, 141, 194. 
Judith, 190. 
Jugglers, 214. 
Julius Caesar, 190. 



Khan, Great, 207. 
Kite (bird), 223. 

Lancelot, 218. 

last (load), 14.?. 

Latitude of Oxford, 131. 

launcegay, 158. 

ledene, 220. 

leet don, 208. 

Legend of Good Women, 1 34. 

Leo, 216. 

hue and lene, confused, 151. 

Lignano, 195. 

Lily, emblem of virginity, 144. 

toiler, lollard, 141, 142. 

Lombardy horses, 212. 

Longinus. 182. 

lordinges (sirs), 131, 154. 

Lucan, 173, 191. 

Lucifer, 174. 

Lucrece, 136. 

Lybeaus Disconus, 168. 

Lydgate, 177, 205. 

lyghte, verb, 145. 

lyues (alive), 201. 

Maccabees, 190. 

Madrian, corpus, 171. 

Magic, 214, 215. 

maister tour, 214. 

matter (without of), 1 46. 

maugre, 139. 

Mauny, Sir Oliver, 185, 186, 187. 

me dremed, 159. 

-meal (suffix), 197. 

Melibee, tale of, 171. 

men (one), 146. 

mery, 163. 

message, 201. 

Metamorphoses, Ovid's, 138, 173. 

M etre of Sir Thopas, 153; of Clerk's 

Envoy, 204. 
Minstrels, 164. 
Mirror, magic, 214. 
mo (others besides), 203. 
more and lesse, 202. 

Nebuchadnezzar, 180. 
ner (nearer), 148. 

Nero, 1 88, 189. 
newefangel, 223. 
next (nighest), 150. 
Nicholas, Saint, 147. 
nones, for the, 141. 

Odenatus, 182. 

of, (by), 206; (as to), 137 ; strange 

position of, 21 3; omitted, 146,189. 
Olifaunt, Sir, 16 1. 
con, in, 2OO. 
ord and ende, 192. 
Ovid, 134, 136, 137, 138, 173, 177. 


Palmyra, 182. 

parements, 217. 

payndemayn, 155. 

Pegasus, 213. 

Percival, Sir, 169. 

peregrine, 220. 

Peter of Cyprus, 187. 

Peter of Spain, 184, 185. 

Petrarch, 183, 195, 196, 204. 

Pierides, 137. 

Plate armour, 165. 

plyghte (plucked), 131. 

Pompey, 191. 

Peppering, 154. 

Poverty, 138. 

Pride, sin of, 1 74. 

Prime, hour of, 162, 210, 219. 

Proverbs alluded to : ' as spark out 
ofglede,' 169; 'as many heads, 
so many wits,' 213 ; ' good child 
soon learns,' 146, 147; 'fortune 
and friends,' 181 ; 'light as linden- 
leaf,' 205 ; ' long spoon for him 
who sups with fiend,' 222 (1. 602) ; 
'lion chastised by dog,' 221; 'make 
virtue of necessity,' 222 (1. 593); 
promise is debt,' 133; 'the poor 
is hated,' 139; 'they that make 
laws,' 133. 

quad, 144. 
querne, 177. 
quyrboilly, 166. 



Rani, prize for wrestling, 157. 

Regulus, 217. 

rewel-boon, 166. 

Riding into a hall, 210. 

rime, so spelt, 153; rimes, 215. 

riiter,for, 157. 

Rochester, old spelling of, 171, 172. 

rodt (complexion), 154. 

roiales, 164. 

Roman de la Rose, 189, 192, 193. 

Russia, 207. 

Saffron, 155. 

Sampson, 175. 

Sapor, 183. 

Sarai, 207. 

Satan, 174. 

s becomes r, 212. 

Seals, 211. 

Seneca, 132 ; his death, 189. 

sey (saw), 129. 

steer (cider), 177* 

sink (five), 140. 

sir (a title), 194. 

sise (six), 140, 190. 

Skelton, 224. 

slide, 197. 

solas, 154. 

Solomon, 139. 

souneth into, 172, 221. 

springen (sprinkle), 143. 

Squire of Low Degree, 158. 

Staff-sling, 162. 

Statius, 173. 

Suetonius, 188, 189, 190, 191. 

Sun, position of, April 18, 130. 

Swans eaten, 210. 

Swearing, vice of, 141. 

swich (so-like), 149. 

Telephus' spear, 215. 

Termagaunt, 161. 

that his (whose), 146. 

the more, 201. 

thee (thrive), 162. 

thee (dative), 138. 

ther (where), 151. 

thestaat, for the enfant, &c., 140. 

thewes, 199. 

Thomas, Saint, 206. 

Thopas, meaning of, 153 ; metre of, 


thon and ye, use of, 145. 
thy, use of, 203. 
tidif, 223. 

Time, flight of, 131, 132. 
to, coalesces with vowel, 148. 
to-ward, 148. 
to-, prefix, 175. 
tonne, come to, 163. 
Tragedy defined, 173, 174. 
tree (death by hanging), 137. 
Trophe, 180. 
Troy, story of, 214. 

Ugolino, Count, 187. 
uncouple, 189. 
undern, 198. 
Usury, 148. 

Valerius, 191. 
Venus, planet, 218. 
Virgil the enchanter, 2 1 4, 
Vitellio, 215. 
vitremite, 183. 
Vows, 1 66. 

wang-tooth, 176. 

were (would be), 153, 195. 

wered (worn), 180. 

what (what with), 132 ; (why), 134, 


wher, (whether), 1 72 ; wher as, 146. 
Wikkednest (Mauny), 185. 
wil (wishes), 150. 
windas, 150. 
with, curious position of, 220; (by), 


worth upon (got on), 158. 
worthy under wede, 1 70. 

y, -ye, rime, 169. 

ye (yea), 153, 194. 

ye used for thou, 198, 199. 

ye, you, 197. 

your (of you), 149. 

yuel, adv., 202. 

Ypotis, Sir, 168. 

Zenobia, 182. 


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