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Introduction vii 

Group B. The Tale of the Man of La we . . i 

Group C. The Words of the Host to the Phy- 
sician AND the Pardoner . . . 38 

„ The Pardoner's Prologue ... 40 

„ The Pardoneres Tale • . . . . 44 

Group G. The Prologue of the Second Nun's 

Tale 61 

„ The Proem to the same ... 64 

„ The Seconde Nonnes Tale . , . 65 

„ The Prologue of the Canon's Yeoman's 

Tale 82 

„ The Chanouns Yemannes Tale . . 88 

Group H. The Manciple's Prologue . . . 114 

Group I. The Parson's Prologue . . . 118 

Notes to Group B 121 

Notes to Group C 139 

Notes to Group G 164 

Notes to Group H 202 

Notes to Group I 206 

Glossarial Index 209 

Index of Names 274 


For remarks upon Grammatical Forms occurring in Chaucer, 
I must beg leave to refer the reader to the Introduction to Dr. 
Morris's edition of the Prologue, Knight's Tale, &c. ; and to 
some further remarks in the Introduction to my edition of the 
Prioresses Tale, &c. (Clarendon Press Series), p. xlix. 

Remarks upon the Metre and Versification will be found in 
the Introduction to the Prioresses Tale, p. liii. ; followed by a 
Metrical Analysis of Part I. of the Squire's Tale, p. Ixvi. 

An account of the manner in which the text of the present 
edition has been formed will be found in the same volume, 
p. Ixxiii. It may suffice to repeat here that the text follows, in 
general, the readings of the Ellesmere MS. (called ' E.' in the 
footnotes), with occasional variations from six others, viz. the 
Hengwrt, Cambridge, Corpus, Petworth, Lansdowne, and Har- 
leian MSS., denoted respectively by the symbols Hn., G., Gp., 
Pt., Ln., and HI, Of these, all but the Harleian MS. are printed 
in full in Mr. Fumivall's splendid Six-text Edition, published for 
the Chaucer Society; whilst MS. HI. is substantially the same as 
the text in Wright's, Morris's and Bell's editions. The text of 
Tyrwhitt's edition comes near to that of the Ellesmere MS., and 
does not much differ from that in the present volume. As in 
* The Prioresses Tale,' &c., the Grouping of the Tales and the 
numbering of the lines exactly correspond with those of the Six- 
text edition, for the purpose of convenience of reference. The 
Tales here chosen belong partly to Group B (see Introd. to 
Prior. Tale, p. xii) ; partly to Group C ; and partly to Groups 
G, H, and I. Group G, containing the Second Nun's Tale and 
the Canon's Yeoman's Tale, is printed here in full. 


In my former Introduction, I endeavoured to explain all that 
seemed necessary for a right understanding of the text. But I 
have been reminded that I gave no explanation of the titles of 
the various parts of the Groups, such as * Man-of-Law Head- 
link,* and the rest; and I have been asked to explain what a 
• Head-link ' means. The answer is, that all these titles are 
copied exactly, for convenience, from Mr. FumivalFs Six-text 
edition, and that they were adopted by him, in the first instance, 
in order to show the exact condition in which the Canterbury 
Tales have come down to us in the existing MSS. Thus, before 
the Man of Law's Tale, we find, in reality, two introductory 
passages. The latter of these is the real Prologue, 11. 99-133. 
But it was necessary to find another name for the preliminary 
dialogue in 11. 1-98. The name fixed upon by Mr. Furnivall was 
a * Link,* a teim adopted in order so to name these connecting 
dialogues as to indicate the connection between the Tales. 
Thus the dialogue or Link connecting the Clerk's Tale with the 
Merchant's Tale (Group E, 11. 1213-1244, in Prioresses Tale, &c. 
pp. 100, 10 1), came to be called the * Clerk-Merchant Link,' and 
so in other cases. Hereupon there arose, however, a new difficulty^ 
The Tales are left in an imperfect state, in unconnected groups, 
and there is nothing to show what Tale was intended to precede 
that told by the Man of Law. The result is, that the passage now 
under discussion, i.e. the first 98 lines of Group B, turns out to be 
a * Blank-Man of Law Link.' To avoid this awkward expression, 
Mr. Furnivall determined to call it the ^ Man-of-Law Head- 
link,' that is to say, a passage preceding the Man of Law's Pro- 
logue, without anything to join it on to anything else. The 
same explanation makes clear the meaning of The Squire Head- 
link, Group F, 11. 1-8, a passage only eight lines long. Similarly, 
at the end of the Man of Law's Tale, there is a passage (Group 
B, 11. 1 163-1 190), which has a double title ; viz. Man-of-Law End- 
link, or Shipman's Prologue. Now for this double title there is 
a special reason. No doubt the passage is, properly, the Ship- 
man's Prologue, as it is rightly called in MS. Arch. Seld. B. 14. 
But it is convenient to have the alternative title, because in some 


MSS. it is wrongly called the Prologue of the Squire's Tale. 
The title Man-of-Law End- link expresses, therefore, that it is, 
in any case, a pendant or tag to the Man of Law's Tale, and that 
it must certainly /0//0W that Tale, whatever other Tale it is to 
precede. These titles are, then, mere explanatory phrases, and 
are in all cases copied exactly from the Chaucer Society's Six- 
text edition. It is easy, by merely observing the names of these 
'links,' to understand and to remember the exact extent to which 
the Tales were partially arranged by their author. 


There is yet one other matter on which I have been asked to 
say somewhat, viz. the Pronunciation of Chaucer's English. 
This matter I purposely left untouched until students should 
have become somewhat more familiar with the nature of the 
Metre and Versification, so far as that can be understood by 
using the modem pronunciation only. It is now, perhaps, high 
time to insist on the importance of making some attempt towards 
understanding, if only in a rough and approximate manner, the 
great changes that have occurred in our pronunciation since 
Chaucer's days, so that the beauty of his rhythm may not be 
marred by the application to it of that system of English pro- 
nunciation which is in use at the present day; a system which 
might be applied to the reading of Dante or Boccaccio with 
the same fitness as to Chaucer, and with a very similar result 
as regards an approximation to the sounds with which the author 
was himself familiar. 

On the subject of Pronunciation, my guide is, as a matter of 
course, Mr. Alexander J, Ellis, whose standard work on Early 
English Pronunciation^ is well-known, at any rate by name, to all 

* On Early English Pronunciation, with especial reference to Shakspere 
and Chaucer. By Alexander J. Ellis, F.R.S., F.S.A., London, Triibner 
and Co. Parts I and II are dated 1869; Part III is dated 1870; Part 
IV is dated 1874, extending" to p. 1432. The work will te completed in 
two more parts. 


who have taken any interest in the matter. Mr. Ellis has treated 
the question so carefully and fully that an attempt on my part 
at giving a general notion of his results would be hardly fair to 
him or satisfactory to the reader ; but he has, fortunately, bimself 
drawn up a brief abstract of his results, wiiich was printed as 
Appendix A (pp, 253* — 264*) in the second issue of the Aldine 
edition of Chaucer, edited by Dr. Morris. It is here reprinted 
by permission of the publishers, after revision by Mr. Ellis, for 
the present work. 

I also draw attention to Mr. Sweet's book, on English Sounds, 
with its full Word-list and abundance of examples ^ The results 
there arrived at sufficiently agree with Mr. Ellis's, and fully con- 
firm them in all that is material. 

The pronunciation of English during the fourteenth century 
differed materially from that now in use. The following is an 
abstract of the conclusions at which Mr. Ellis has arrived respecting 
the pronunciation probably in use among the highly educated 
southern speakers for whom Chaucer wrote, and directions are 
subjoined for modem readers who wish to imitate it. 

A long=flA, as in father, aXms, are\ the usual continental 
sound of long a. The present pronunciation of a^ as ai in «waity 
seems not to have become thoroughly established till the beginning 
of the eighteenth century. 

A short *= ah, the short sound of ah, not now used in received 
English, but still common in the midland and northern provinces ; 
the usual continental sound of short a. The present very dif- 
ferent pronunciation, as a in cat, agreeing with the sound in the 
south-western and eastern counties, was not established till the 
seventeenth century ; those, however, to whom ah is difficult may 
use this a in cat, 

AA, the same as A long. 

^ A History of English Sounds, from the earliest period, including an 
investigation of the general laws of Sound-change, and full Word-lists. 
By H. Sweet, Esq. (Published for the London Philological Society and the 
English Dialect Society; price 45. 6d.) Triibner and Co., 1864. 


hl—ab'ee, a diphthong consisting of ah pronounced briefly but 
with a stress, and gliding on to ee in one syllable; sometimes 
used now in aye, and in the second syllable of Isaiah, as distinct 
from the first; the German sound of at, nearly the Italian abil 
and the French at. Those who have a difficulty with this sound 
may use the ordinary pronoun I. The modem sound at, as in 
wait, was not thoroughly established till the seventeenth century, 
although it began to make its appearance in the first half of the 
sixteenth. Almost all dialects treat this combination differently 
from long A. See EY. 

AU^ab'oo, a diphthong consisting of ab pronounced briefly 
but with a stress, and gliding on to oo In one syllable : not used 
in modern English; the German au, nearly the Italian au in 
Laura, the French aou. Those who have a difficulty with this 
sound may use the ordinary ou in bouse. The modem sound of 
au, as in Paul, was not established till the seventeenth century. 

AW, the same as AU. 

AY, the same as AI. 

B, as at present. 

C—i before a, o, u, or any consonant, and » j before e, i,y. It • 
was never called sb, as in the present sound of 'vicious, which 
then formed three sy liases, vi-ci-ous. 

CCH =tcb, as in/etcb. 

Cli= cb, as in sucb, cbeese, and in Greek words occasionally k, 
as at present. 

D, as at present. 

E long=^ in tbere, ai in pair, a in dare; that is, as ai is now 
pronounced before r, or rather more broadly than before any 
other consonant, and without any tendency to taper into the 
sound of ee ; the German eb long, nearly the French e, and Italian 
open e. Those who find this sound too difficult may say ai as in 
aiL The present use of the sound of ee in eel was not established 
till the beginning of the eighteenth century, although two sounds 
of r as in mere, tbere, were partially marked by ee and ea in the 
latter part of the sixteenth century, and ea very gradually changed 
to the sound of ee in the seventeenth. It is possible that a close 


and open sound of this letter, as in the Italian e ebiuso and e aperto 
(which are allowed to rhyme), or the French e and e (which are 
not allowed to rhyme), may have existed, but as they were allowed 
to rhyme in Chaucer, they cannot be separated with certainty. 
Dickens's Sai-rey Gamp has the close sound, the usual iSarah has 
the open sound. 

E short =* tf in met, pen, <ivelL 

£ final »^', or short e lightly and obscurely pronounced, as the 
final e in the German ein'e berrlicbe gute Gate ; nearly like the pre- 
sent a in idea or final er when the r is not trilled. This sound was 
always used in prose, when the final e was the mark of some final 
vowel in older forms of the language, when it marked oblique cases, 
feminine genders, plurals, inflections of verbs, adverbs, &c. But 
in poetry it was regularly elided altogether before a following 
vowel, and before be, bis, bim, bire — her, bere^iheir, bem^ them, 
and occasionally before batb, badde, bave, bow, ber, bere ^here. 
It was never pronounced in bire ^her, bere^iheir, oure—owr, 
youre = your ; and was frequently omitted in badde ^hsid, etvere, 
time, more. It was occasionally, but rarely, omitted when neces- 
sary for the rhyme and metre, and for force of expression, in 
other positions, especially when it replaced an older vowel, or 
marked an oblique case, precisely as ii^ modem German. As 
this pronunciation of the final e gradually fell out of use during 
the fifteenth century, when most of the MSS. of Chaucer now in 
existence were written, the final e is often incorrectly inserted 
and omitted in their orthography, and has to be omitted or 
restored from metric and other considerations. Practically the 
reader should always insert it when necessary for the metre, and 
never pronounce it as our final ^^y but always as above indicated. 

EA, the same as long E, like ea in break, great, to ^uear, to tear, 
bear ; seldom used except in the words ease, please. The modem 
sound of ea as ee in eel, was not established till the eighteenth 

EE, the same as long E, that is, as e*e in ^Vr ; in frequent use. 
The combination ee, with its modem sound of ee, was not es- 
tablished till past the middle of the sixteenth century. 


£1, the same as AI, with which it was constantly interchanged 
by the scribes, that is, nearly as the present pronoun I. The 
modem sound as ^^ belongs to the eighteenth century. See EY. 

£0, the same as long £; seldom used except in the word 
peopel, often spelled pepeL The modem sound of eo as ee, dates 
from the sixteenth century. 

ES final, the mark of the plural, was generally pronounced as 
es or /J, even in those cases where the e is now omitted. • 

EU. There is much difficulty in arriving at a satisfactory con- 
clusion respecting this combination, which is not frequent in 
rhymes. Very possibly it was = tti in the Scotch puir, the long 
sound of the French u, German u, in all words of French origin. 
This became like our modern nv during the seventeenth century, 
and may be so pronounced by those to whom the French sound 
is too difficult. In words not of French origin, eu — ai'oo, a diph- 
thong consisting of at pronounced briefly, but with a stress, and 
gliding on to oo in one syllable, as in the Italian Europa, Neither 
sound is now used in received English, but both occur pro- 
vincially. See EW. 

EW, like EU, had possibly the sound of ui in the Scotch puir, 
or else ai'oo, precisely as EU. The following words, generally 
written with env in Chaucer, seem to have the sound of ui, or 
French u; blue, due, eschew, glue, a mev) for hawks, remew, 
stetiv, sue. The following on the other hand seem to have had 
the sound of ^7/ 'oo : dronkelettv,fe<w, Jbew, hue, kne<w, ne<uf, re<w » row, 
rue, spew, shre<w, thre<iv, true* 

E Y, the same as AY, with which it is constantly interchanged 
by the scribe. The modern sound as ee belongs to the eighteenth 
century. AY, EY were possibly pronounced as ^ in there during 
the fifteenth century, in the north and west midland counties, 
and hence occasionally interchange with long e in the ortho- 
graphy of some later or northern MSS. Modern dialects treat 
them as they do at and not as they do the long e, 

F ^f, as at present. 

G ^g hard in all words not of French origin, and —j before e, 
i, in words of French origin. Sometimes G was j before other 


vowels in words whe^e the e usually inserted was omitted by the 
scribe, just as at present in judgment, gaol, 

GE final, or before a, o, in French words— y, but the e was 
sometimes omitted in writing. 

GH = kb, the Scotch and German sound of cb, or ib as it is 
best written, produced by making the contact of the tongue with 
the soft palate for k so imperfect that a hissing sound can be 
heard. After e, /, the tongue was probably raised higher, so that 
kb approached to the soifnd of a hissed y ; and after o, u, the 
lips were probably often rounded, giving the effect of the modem 
Scotch quh; the former sound fell into>^ and short i, the latter 
into <ivb and f, or into ob, oo, Gb may be conveniently always 
spoken like the German and Scotch cb, that is kb, but it will have 
to be occasionally omitted where written, and pronounced where 
not written, on account of the negligence of the scribes of the 
old MSS.^, and it is very possible that the changes above indicated 
were already more or less in vogue, and that the poet availed him- 
self of either use according as it suited his rhyme. This guttural 
is still in full force in Scotland and is even still heard in living 
tiise in England from a few old people. 

H initial— i6, just as at present; but it seems to have been 
generally omitted in unaccented be, bis, bim, bire^hev, bere^ 
their ^, bem=^ them, and often in batb, badde, baue,}\j&t as we still 
have Tve tnld *em; and in some French words, as batt, bonour, 
honest, &c. it was probably omitted as at present. H final repre* 
sents a very faint sound of the guttural kb (see GH), into which 
it dwindled before it became entirely extinguished. 

I long was not at all the modern sound of J. It was the 
lengthened sound of i in still, which was nearly but not quite ee ; 
compare still, steal, in singing * Still so gently o'er me stealing,* in 
which also the last syllables of gently and stealing are lengthened 
with the same vowel. Those who think they find it difficult 

^ In the present edition these anomalies are avoided as much as possible. 
' In the present edition, the hire, hire of the MSS. is printed hir, her. 


to lengthen this vowel which, when short, is extremely common 
in English, but is not known in French and Italian^, may say ee, 
as in mieftf mean, but they will be quite wrong if they pronounce 
it as at present in mine, 

I short «i, as in pit, stiff, pin; not as in French or Italian. 
Compare English/»«y,^j/^with French^ni,^cJbe, 

I consonant -y. 

IE, before a consonant in many MSS., but only in French 
words, was possibly the same as long £, with which it was often 
interchanged by the scribe. The modem sound of ee dates from 
the seventeenth century. IE final and unaccented as in 6erie, 
merie, must be pronounced as two syllables i~e, the first prob* 
ably as the short 1 just described, and the second as the final E 
already described. But IE final, then more often written YE, 
has more frequently the accent on the I or Y, and then that 
letter was pronounced as Chaucer's long I, that is nearly as ee. 
Thus melodie (commonly written melodye) had nearly the same 
sound as it has in modern French songs when sung. 

J =y, was not distinguished from 1 consonant in MSS, 

K, as at present. 

L, as at present. 

LE final, probably as at present in little^ lit* I, except when e 
is inflectional. 

LH (which does not occur in this edition) was the same as simple 
L. It was scarcely ever used, but in the thirteenth century it 
was probably a hissed /, not unlike (but not the same as) Welsh //. 

M , as at present. 

N, as at present. There is no reason to suppose that it was 
nasalized in French words as in modem French. An, on, in 
French words were often written aun, oun, and were probably 
always sounded as these combinations in Chaucer's orthography, 
that is as ah'oon, oon. 

' Extensive observation shows that the souad is still very common in 
English, even where the speaker thinks he says ee as in three \ and even 
Italian singers involuntarily introduce it when trying to sing our ee^ their i« on 
a low note. 


NG had probably three values, as at present in jing, singer, 
linger, change. It is not possible to determine with certainty 
whether it was generally a simple ng as in singer, or an ng fol- 
lowed by g, as at present in longer, linger, finger, when medial or 
final, so that the modern custom alone can be followed. 

O long was oa in oar, boar, o in more, that is, a somewhat broader 
sound than oa in moan, o in stone, and with no tendency to taper 
into 00, It is still heard in the provinces, and is like the Italian 
open o or aperto ; approaching au, but not so broad. Those who 
find the sound difficult to pronounce may say oh, which was not 
established till the seventeenth century. It had also the sound 
of 00, generally in those words where it is still oo, ^ prove, move, 
or where it has become u in but, as lo-ve, shove. Just as £ long 
and £E gave place to two sounds, written ee and ea in the latter 
part of the sixteenth century, as in modern peer, pear, so O long 
and OO gave place to two sounds, written oo and oa in the latter 
part of the sixteenth century, as in modem boor, boar. It is pos- 
sible therefore that even as early as the fourteenth century, and 
perhaps still earlier, these changes, were prepared by a division of 
both sounds into close (as in Italian f^e, s^e, avrt^e, vend^, cre- 
d^va &c. ; ombra, cndo, amore, amoroso, &c.) and open (as in 
Italian r^gola, pr^ica, c^o, &c. ; buono, uomo, oro, poco, &c.), 
nearly modern ail, air, mole, more, supposing ail, mole, not to have 
tapering vowels. Mr. Sweet has endeavoured to make these 
distinctions in his ' History of English Sounds,' but there is no 
evidence from rhymes, and dialectal investigations (as yet very 
incomplete) have so far failed to confirm the conclusion. 

O short was oa, the short sound of the last, the regular sound of 
short on the continent, very common in the provinces, but not 
so broad as the modem o in got, which was not established till 
the seventeenth century, but may be used for oa by those who 
find the proper sound too difficult. lA a few words short O 
had also occasionally the sound of short ii in bull, push, put; 
where it replaced Anglo-Saxon u, and was pronounced u in the 
sixteenth century. These cases correspond almost precisely to 
those in which it is now pronounced as 2< in but, as sonne^ nvonder. 


OA does not seem to have been used in Chaucer. It was in- 
troduced for long in the sixteenth century. 

OE is very rarely used, chiefly in poepel for people and in re^ 
proeve for repreve, to show the change of sound. It was the 
same as long £. 

OI was perhaps generally oo'ee, a diphthong consisting of the 
sound of 00 pronounced briefly, but with a stress, gliding on to ee 
in one syllable, as sailors pronounce buoy, almost as in (wooing, or 
Italian /«/, and very like French oui, as distinct from out. It may 
have occasionally had the sound of Chaucer's o short (open o, 
nearly o ingot) followed by ee, nearly as modern yo^'. 

OO, the same as long O, with which it is constantly inter- 
changed. The modern sound of oo in pool dates from after the 
middle of the sixteenth century. 

OU had three sounds : properly it was = modem oo long, as in 
loud, hous, called lood, boos ; occasionally it was used for 2/ in bull, 
as in ous, out her; and sometimes for the diphthong oa'oo, that is, 
the sound of long O gliding into modern 00, almost the same as . 
in modem soul, except that the first sound was broader. The 
three cases may be distinguished pretty accurately thus: — OU 
was 00, where it is now pronounced as in loud; OU was it, where 
it is now pronounced as in double; OU was oaoo where it is 
now occasionally pronounced oh' 00 as in souL 

OUGH must be considered as OU followed by GH. In drought 
it was drookbt, in plough it was plookh; \n fought, bought, where it 
has now the sound of au, it was probably oa'oo-kb, or nearly our 
modem tapering oh followed by kb ; but, if the reader feels any 
difficulty, he may use the modern ow in coeiv followed by the 
guttural kb, 2&fwukht, Many modem dialects treat ought in this 

OW was the same as OU, but was more commonly used when 

OY was the same as OI. 

P, as at present. 

PH =/, as at present. 

QU, as at present. 

VOL. ni. b 


R as r in ring, herrings cany ; always trilled, never as now in 
car, serf, third, cjord. Hence it did not lengthen or alter the 
preceding vowel, so that her in herd must have the r as well 
trilled as in herring, nearly the same as now in Scotland and Ire- 
land, but possibly not so strongly, when not preceding a vowel. 

RE final, probably the same as ER, except when e was inflec- 

RH, where it is found in MSS. of the period (it is not in this 
edition), was probably r as now, but a truly hissed rh occurs in 
some dialects. 

S was more frequently a sharp s when final, than at present, 
thus fivys, tivaj, is, all had s sharp. But between two vowels, and 
when the final es had the e omitted after long vowels or voiced 
consonants, it was probably z, a letter which sometimes inter- 
changed with s, but was rarely used. S was never sh or zh as at 
present, thus vision had three syllables, as vt-si-oon. 

SCH was sh, as in shali. 

SH sometimes used for SCH and pronounced as at present. 

SSH, used occasionally for double SCH when the sound of sh 
followed a short vowel. 

T, as at present, but final -tion was in two syllables, -si-oon, 

TH had two sounds, as in thin, then, and there is no means of 
telling whether these sounds were distributed differently from 
what they now are, except that with probably rhymed to smith. 
They can therefore be pronounced as at present. 

U long only occurred in French words, and probably always 
had the sound of Scotch ui in puir, or French u, German «, a 
sound which remained nearly to the eighteenth century. Those 
who find this sound too difficult, may pronounce as the present 
long English u in tune, which was not considered to be the 
normal sound till the seventeenth century. 

U short was generally short «, as in bull, pull, the modern 
sound of u in hut not having been established till the seventeenth 
century. Occasionally, however, it was used for short i or short 
e, precisely as in the modern busj^, bury ; these cases can generally 
be distinguished by seeing that they would be now so pro- 


nounced. Possibly the u then represented an ancient sound of 
short French «. 

U consonant =*u. In the MSS. u and d are confused as vowel 
or consonant, and u vowel initial is commonly written i;. 

V vowel, the same as U. 

V consonant, the same as at present. 

W vowel, used in diphthongs as a substitute for U, and some- 
times used absolutely for oo, as wde =^oo{ie\ herherw — berheroo, 

W consonant, the same as at present. 

WH, a blowing through the lips when in the position for 
iVf something like a whistle; still generally pronounced in the 
north of England, but commonly confused with qu in the south. 
To foreigners, when initial, it sounds boo, as in whsLn^^booabn 
nearly, but (ivhabn correctly. In Chaucer it often occurs final 
in place of GH (which see) when pronounced as the Scotch qub. 
It was the transition sound of GH from kb to the modem f. 

WR was probably pronounced as an r with rounded lips, 
which produces the effect of a cu; and r sounded together, as in 
the French roi. Those who find a difiiculty in speaking it thus, 
may pronounce w V, with the faintest sound of a vowel between 
the w and r, almost nuereet'e for tmrite, but not making an 
additional syllable ; such sounds are still heard provincially. 

X was ks, as at present. 

Y vowel, long and short, had precisely the same value as I long 
and short. 

Y consonant was generally written with the same character 
as GH, which resembled % (J), and may have had that sound of 
GH which resembled a hissed y. But probably it had become 
thoroughly jr in Chaucer's time, and should be so pronounced. 

Z «z, as now, and never %b» 

The position of the accent was not always the same as at pre- 
sent. French words seem to have been pronounced with equal 
stress on all the syllables, as at present. Some English termina- 
tions, as and, ing, ly, always had a considerable stress, even when 
a preceding syllable was^ accented. 

If we adopt most of the easy modern English substitutes for 



the difficult old sounds, as pointed out in the preceding table, but 
use dh for the flat sound of tb in theej ii for u in bull, ui as in 
Scotch for French «, and aby, abctv for ab'ecy aBoo, as described 
under AT, AW, mark the pronounced final e by e^ and indicate 
the accent, when it does not fall on the first syllable only, by ('), 
we may write the pronunciation of the first lines of the Canter- 
bury Tales as follows. Observe that the first line begins with 
an accented syllable, without a precedent short syllable, as is not 
unfrequent in Chaucer. 

Whan dbat Ah'preel' with 'is shoores swohte 

Dhe drookht of March hath persed toh dhe rohte, 

And bahdhed evree vahyn in swicb lee'koor' 

Of which ver'tui' enjcn'dred is dhe floor ; 

Whan Zeflriis, aik, with 'is swaite braithe 

Enspee'red hath in evree holt and haithe 

Dhe tendre kropes, and dhe yiinge sune 

Hath in dhe ram Ms halfe koors iriin'e. 

And smable fooles mahken melchdee'e 

Dbat slaipen al dhe nikht with ohpen ee'e, — 

Sob priketh 'em nab'tuir' in her kohraa'jes, 

Dhan longen folk toh gohn on pilgrimaa'jes. 

And palmerz for toh saiken strahwnje strondes 

Toh feme halwez kooth in sundree londes, 

And spes'ialee', from evree sheeres ende 

Of Engelond, to Kahwn'ierber'ee dhahy wende 

Dhe hohlee blisfiil raarteer for toh saike 

Dbat hem hath bolpen whan dbat dhahy wair saike. 

Beefel' dbat in dbat sai'zoou' on a dahy 

At Soothwerk at dhe Tab'ard' as Ee lahy, 

Redee toh wenden on mee pilgrimab'je 

Toh Kabwn'terber'ee with ffil dcvoot' kohrab'je, 

At nikht was koom in'toh' dbat ostelree'e 

Well neen and twentee in a kiimpanee'e 

Of sundree folk, bee ah ven'tuir' ifal'e 

In feKabw'sbeep^ and pilgrimz wair dhahy alle, 

Dbat tobwerd Kabwn'terber'ee wolden reede. 

Dhe chabmbrez and dhe stahbMz wairen weede 

And wel wai wairen aized ate beste. 

And shortlee, whan dhe sune was toh reste 

Sob bad Ee spohken with 'em evreech ohn, 

Dbat Ee was of 'er fel'ahw'sheep' anohn', 

And mabde forwerd airlee for toh reeze 

Toh tahk oor waby dhair as Ee yoo d^veeze. 


It is proper to add that Mr. Ellis's results were chiefly obtained 
from a careful examination of the Harleian MS. (HI.), the spell- 
ing of which does not altogether agree with that of the Ellesmere 
MS., here chiefly followed. The only result in which I do not 
feel much confidence is that which makes the sound of ey iden- 
tical with that of ay. I look upon these rather as permisjibU 
rimes than as real ones, and should prefer to regard ey and Ei 
as indicating the sound atee^ that is, a diphthong consisting of e 
long {==em tbercy or ai in pair) pronounced briefly but with a 
stress, and gliding on to ee, I do not find that they are inter- 
changed by the scribe of the Ellesmere MS. in all cases, though 
they are so frequently. There are certain words, such as dtye, 
to die, tfiveye\ twain, hurgeyj, a burgess, eigjbte, eight, queynte, 
quaint, receyue^ to receive, pleye, to play, &c. which seem to be 
spelt with ey rather than with ay ; and, on the other hand, may 
be cited daycf a day, faye, to please, arrayed, arrayed, nay, nay, 
may, may, &c. which seem to be spelt with ay rather than with 
ey. I offer this criticism with diffidence, merely saying that 
I am unable as yet to see how words like A.S. iveg, plega^ t<ivegen, 
should have passed in Middle English into <way, play, tnuayn, as 
pronounced by Mr. Ellis, and have reverted nearly to their original 
sound in our fivay,play, and Uvain. With respect to <way (written 
<u)ay, ivey), which undoubtedly rimes, or seems to rime, with iiay, I 
would suggest that it may have had tfivo pronunciations ; as was 
certainly the case with iieye, to die, which is also spelt dye, and 
made to rime with remedye, sl remedy. With regard also to such 
a word as our modern receive, we can easily understand that it 
was once pronounced so as to rime with the modem word rave, 
but the riming of its vowel very nearly with the modern rive is 
much less clear. On this point, therefore, I should plead that 
some doubt may be allowed to remain. 

I may add here that the long sound of / is generally denoted 
by^ in the Ellesmere MS. Cf. civhyhm, p. i, 1. 134, with ricbe in 

* Not in the Ellesmere MS. only, but in nearly all. Tweye occurs 7 times 
at the end of a line. In 5 places it is spelt with ey or ei in all the 6 MSS. ; 
in I place, in 5 of them ; and in the last instance, in 4 of them. 


the line following. Our modern y is commonly written as capital 
I, as in lugemntt, B. 688 ; but the small i is sometimes used, as in 
iqj^e, B. 409. When u is written between two vowels, it stands 
for v; as in euery (every) f B. 15a ; ileuyse (devyje), B. 154; lyn^n 
(Ifven), B. 175. In a few words, v is written for u, at the begin- 
ning ; as in vp, vje, vntoj for t^, tue, unto. 

I now proceed to some general remarks upon the Tales in the 
present selection. 

The Man of Law's Tale. The Introduction to the Man of 
Law's Prologue (also called, for brevity, the Man-of-Law Head- 
link) and the Prologue itself, are printed in The Prioresses Taie, &c. 
(Clarendon Press), pp. 1-5. See also the Introduction to that 
volume, p. XX. The Head-link and Prologue together contain 
133 lines, so that the Tale itself begins, in the present volume, 
with 1. 1 34. I have already stated my belief that The Man of 
Law's Tale is a piece of Chaucer's earlier workmanship, and that 
it was revised for insertion among the Tales, with the addition 
of a Prologue, about 1386. Tyrwhitt has drawn attention to the 
fact that a story, closely agreeing with The Man of Law's Tale, 
is found in Gower's Confessio Amantis, Book II. He was misled 
by the expression "som men wolde sayn " in 1. 1009 into suppos- 
ing that Chaucer took the story from Gower ; see note to that 
line, p. 1 36. Chronology at once settles the question ; for Chau- 
cer's tale, written before 1385, could not have been derived from 
Gower's, written about 1393. The simple explanation of the 
matter is, that both our poets drew from a common source. 
That common source has, fortunately, been discovered, in the 
Life of Constance, as narrated in the Anglo-Norman Chronicle 
of Nicholas Trivet, written about A. D. 1334. Mr. Thomas 
Wright, in his edition of the Canterbury Tales, pointed out 
Trivet's Chronicle as containing the original of the story as told 
by Gower. That it also contains the original of the story as 
told by Chaucer, is evident from the publications of the Chaucer 
Society. Trivet's version of the story was edited for that Society 
by Mr. Brock in 1872, with an English translation, and a careful 


line-by-line analysis of it, shewing clearly the exact extent to 
which Chaucer followed his original. The name of the publi- 
cation is ' Originals and Analogues of some of Chaucer's Canter- 
bury Tales,* published for the Chaucer Society; Part I, 1872 ; 
Part II, 1875. To this I am indebted for much of the informa- 
tion here given*. It appears that Nicholas Trivet was an English 
Dominican friar, who died some time after 1334. A short ac- 
count of him in Latin, with a list of works ascribed to him, is to 
be found in Quetif and Echard's Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum^y 
tom. i. pp. 561-565 ; also a notice in English of his life and some 
of his works, in the Preface to T. Hog's edition of Trivet's 
Annales. Mr. Brock notices eighteen of his works, amongst 
which it will suffice to mention here his Annales ab origine mundi 
ad Christum (Royal MS. 13 B. xvi, &c.), his Annales sex Regum 
Angliae, qui a comitibus Andegavensibus [counts of Anjou] ori- 
ginem traxerunt (Arundel MSS. 46 and 220, Harl. MSS. 29 and 
4322, &c.); and Anglo-Norman Chronicle, quite a distinct work 
from the Latin Annales (MS. Arundel 56, &c.). Of the last 
there are numerous copies, MS. Ai*undel 56 being one of the 
best, and therefore selected to be printed from for the Chaucer 
Society. The heading runs thus: — *Ci comence les Cronicles 
qe Frere Nichol Trivet escript a dame Marie, la fiUe moun 
seignour le Roi Edward, le fitz Henri ;* shewing that it was 
written for the princess Mary, daughter of Edward I, bom in 
1278, who became a nun at Amesbury in 1285. The story of 
Constance begins on leaf 45, back. Gower follows Trivet rather 
closely, with but few omissions, and only one addition of any im- 
portance, about 30 lines long. * Chaucer tells the same story 
as Trivet, but tells it in his own language, and in much shorter 
compass. He omits little or nothing of importance, and alters 
only the details. . . . Chaucer's additions are many; of the 1029 
lines of which the Tale consists,* about- 350 'are Chaucer's addi- 
tions. The passages are these : — 11. 190-203 ; 270-287 ; 295-315 ; 

* I sometimes copy Mr. Brock's very words. 

* The Dominican friars were also called Friars Preachers, 


330-343; 351-357; 358-371; 400-410; 421-437; 449-462: 470- 
504; 631-658; 701-714; 771-784; 81 1-819; 825-868: 925-945; 
1037-1043; 1052-1078; 1132-1141* (Brock). 

Tyrwhitt pointed out that much the same story is to be found 
in the Lay of Emare (MS. Cotton, Calig. A. ii, fol. 69), printed 
by Ritson in the second volume of his Metrical Romances. He 
observes: — *the chief differences are, that Emare is originally 
exposed in a boat for refusing to comply with the desires of the 
Emperour her father ; that she is driven on the coast of GaJys, 
or Wales, and married to the King of that country. The con- 
trivances of the step-mother, and the consequences of them, are 
the same in both stories.* 

Mr. Thomas Wright further observes:— * The treachery of 
King -flLlla's mother enters into the French Romance of the 
Chevalier au Cigne, and into the still more ancient Anglo-Saxon 
romance of King Oifa, preserved in a Latin form by Matthew 
Paris. It is also found in the Italian collection, said to have been 
composed in 1378, under the title of II Pecorone di ser Giovanni 
Fiorentino (an imitation of the Decameron), gior. x. no. i. The 
treason of the Knight who murders Hermengilde is an incident 
in the French Roman de la Violette, and in the English metrical 
romance of Le Bone Florence of Rome (printed in Ritson's col- 
lection) ; and is found in the English Gesta Romanorum, c. 69 
(ed. Madden), joined, in the latter place, with Constance's ad- 
venture with the steward. It is also found in Vincent of Beau- 
vais ^, and other writers.* The tale in the Gesta Romanorum is 
called • Mercians the Emperor* (MS. Harl. 7333, leaf 201), and 
is printed in the Originals and Analogues (Chaucer Society), 
Part I, pp. 57-70. Mr. Furnivall adds — * This tale was versified 
by Occleve, who called Mercians *' Gerelaus ; *' and Warton 
quotes Occleve*s lines describing how the " feendly man '* stabs 
the Earrs child, and then puts the bloody knife into the sleeping 
Empress's hand — 

* Warton gives the reference, viz. to his Speculum Historiae, lib. vii. 
c. 90, fol. 86 a. 


*For men shoulde have noon othir deemyng 
But she had gilty ben of this murdring.' 

See Warton, Hist. Eng. Poetry, ed. 1871, i. 296/ 

In the Originals and Analogues, Part i. pp. 71-84, is also printed 
an extract from Matthew Paris, Flta Offae Primi, ed. Wats, 1684, 
pp. 965-968, containing the story of * King OfFa's intercepted 
Letters and banished Queen.* 

Some account of Ser Giovanni is given in Dunlop's History of 
Fiction, 3rd ed. 1845, p. 247. He was a Florentine notary, who 
began his Tales in 1378, at a village in the neighbourhood of 
Forli. His work is called II Pecorone, i. e. the Dunce, * a title 
which the author assumed, as some Italian academicians styled 
themselves Insensati, Stolidi, &c., appellations in which there was 
not always so much irony as they imagined/ The ist tdjie of the 
loth Day is thus analysed by Dunlop. * Story of the Princess 
Denise of France, who, to avoid a disagreeable marriage with an 
old German prince, escapes in disguise to England, and is there 
received in a convent. The king, passing that way, falls in love 
with and espouses her. Afterwards, while he was engaged in a 
war in Scotland, his wife brings forth twins; but the queen- 
mother sends to acquaint her son that his spouse had given birth 
to two monsters. In place of his majesty's answer, ordering 
them to be nevertheless brought up with the utmost care, she 
substitutes a mandate for their destruction, and also for that of 
the queen. The person to whom the execution of this command 
is entrusted, allows the queen to depart with her twins to Genoa. 
At the end of some years she discovers her husband at Rome, on 
his way to a crusade ; she there presents him with his children, 
and is brought back with them in triumph to England.' Dunlop 
points out the likeness of this story to those told by Chaucer and 
Gower, mentions the Lay of Emare, and adds : — * it is the sub- 
ject, too, of a very old French romance, published in 4to, with- 
out date, entitled Le Roman de la Belle Helene de Constan- 
tinople. There, as in Emare, the heroine escapes to England 
to avoid a marriage, &c. At length she is ordered to be burnt, 
but is saved by the Duke of Gloster's niece kindly offering to 


personate her on that occasion/ The story appears again in a 
collection of tales by Straparola, in the 4th tale of the first 
night ; but Straparola merely borrowed it from Ser Giovanni. 
See Dunlop, Hist. Fiction, 3rd ed. p. 268. 

It occurs to me, that Shakespeare, in delineating Cymbeline, 
did not forget Chaucer's portrait of Constance. 

The Pardoner's Prologue. In this Prologue, the Pardoner is 
made to expatiate upon the value of his relics. It is very likely 
that Chaucer here remembered one of the tales in Boccaccio's 
Decamerone (Day vi. Tale 10), concerning a certain Friar Ci- 
polla, of the Order of St. Anthony, of which Dunlop gives some 
account in his History of Fiction, 3rd ed. pp. 227, 228. * He 
gave a long account (says Dunlop) of his travels as far as India, 
and told how ©n his return he had visited the Patriarch of Jeru- 
salem, who had shewn him innumerable relics: among others, 
a lock of the hair of the seraph that appeared to St. Francis, a 
paring of the cherub's nail, a few of the rays of the blessed star 
that guided the Magi in the east, the jawbone of Lazarus,' &c. 
He adds — * This tale of Boccaccio drew down the censure of the 
Council of Trent, and is the one which gave the greatest um- 
brage to the church. The author has been defended by his 
commentators, on the ground that he did not intend to censure 
the respectable orders of friars, but to expose those wandering 
mendicants who supported themselves by imposing on the cre- 
dulity of the people ; that he did not mean to ridicule the sacred 
relics of the church, but those which were believed so in conse- 
quence of the fraud and artifice of monks.' But it must have 
been hard to draw this line. In the note to 1. 349, p. 144, 
I have drawn attention to Heywood's close plagiarism from 
Chaucer, in the passage from The Four P.'s, printed in the note 
to 1. 701 of Dr. Morris's edition of Chaucer's Prologue ; also to 
Sir David Lyndesay's Satyre of the Three Estates, 11. 2037-212 1. 

The Pardoner's Tale. A considerable part of this Tale is 
occupied with digressions ; the Tale itself is told simply, briefly, 
and well, occupying II. 463-484, 661-894. Mr. Thomas Wright 
remarks — * This beautiful moral story appeai-s to have been 

THE pardoner's TALE. XXvii 

taken from a Fabliau, now lost, but of which the mere outline 
is preserved [as first noted by Tyrwhitt] in the Cento Novelle 
Antiche, Nov. Ixxxii, as well as the story itself by Chaucer.' 
Dunlop, in his History of Fiction, p. 203, says — *It is evident from 
the title of the Cento Novelle Anticbcy that it was not a new and 
original production, but a compilation of stories already current 
in the world. The collection was made towards the end of the 
13th century, and was formed from episodes in Romances of 
chivalry ; the Fabliaux of the French Trouveurs ; the ancient 
chronicles of Italy; recent incidents; or jests and repartees 
current by oral tradition. That the stories derived from these 
sources were compiled by different authors, is evident from the 
great variety of style ; but who those authors were, is still a 
problem in the literary annals of Italy.* The story is not exactly . 
the same in all the editions of the Cento Novelle ; and two dif- 
ferent forms of it have been printed by Mr. Fumivall, in his 
Originals and Analogues (Chaucer Soc), Pt. iU pp. 1 31-13 3. Of 
these, the former is from the edition of 1535, with the title Le 
Ciento Novelle Antike, where it appears as Nov. Ixxxiii. It is very 
brief, and to this effect. As Christ was walking with his disciples 
through a wild country, some of His disciples espied some golden 
piastres, and said, * Let us take some of these for our use.* But 
Christ reproved them, warning them that they would soon see 
the fatal effects of avarice. Soon after, two men found the gold ; 
and one of them went to fetch a mule to carry it off, whilst the 
other remained to guard it. On his return with the mule, the 
former offered to his companion two loaves which he had bought 
for him. The latter refused at the moment, and shortly after- 
wards took an opportunity of stabbing the other as he chanced 
to be stooping down. He then took the two loaves, gave one to 
the mule, and ate the other himself. The loaves were poisoned ; 
and man and mule fell dead. Then our Lord, passing by once 
more, pointed out to His disciples the three dead bodies. 

The other version is from the edition of 1572, entitled Libro 
di Novelle, et di bel Parlar Gentile; where it is Nov. Ixxxii. 
This is much more like Chaucer's story, and is occasionally 


quoted in the Notes as the * Italian text.' Mr. Furnivall's ana- 
lysis of the story is as follows. 

'A hermit lying down in a cave, sees there much gold. At 
once he runs away, and meets three robbers. They see no one 
chasing the hermit, and ask him what he is running away from. 
" Death, which is chasing me." " Where is he ? shew him us.** 
" Gome with me, and I will." The hermit takes them to the 
cave, and shews them Death— the gold. They laugh at him, and 
make great joy, and say, " The hermit is a fool." Then the 
three robbers consult as to what they shall do. The second pro- 
poses that one shall go to the town, buy bread and wine and all 
things needful ; but the crafty Devil puts into the heart of the 
robber who goes to the town, that he shall feed himself, poison 
his mates, and then have all the treasure, and be the richest man 
in that country. Meantime, the other robbers plot to murder 
their mate as soon as he comes back with the bread and wine, 
and then share the treasure. Their mate returns from the city, 
and they murder him at once. Then they eat the food he has 
brought, and both fall dead. Thus doth our Lord God requite 
traitors. The robbers found death. The wise man fled, and 
left the gold free.' 

As the original is not long, I here reprint it, for the reader's 

* Qui conta d* uno Romito che andando per un luogo forest© 
trouo molto grande Tesoro. 

* Andando vn giorno vn Romito per vn luogo foresto : si 
trou6 vna grandissima grotta, laquale era molo celata, et riti- 
randosi verso 1^ per riposarsi, pero che era assai aifaticato ; 
come e' giunse alia grotta si la vide in certo luogo molto 
tralucere, impercio che vi hauea molto oro: e si tosto come 
il conobbe, incontanente si partio, et comincio a correre per 
lo deserto, quanto e' ne potea andare. Gorrendo cosi questo 
Romito s' intoppo in tre grandi scherani, liquali stauano in 
quella foresta per rubare chi unque vi passaua. Ne gia mai si 
erano accorti, che questo oro vi fosse. Hor vedendo costoro, 
che nascosti si stauano, fuggir cosi questo huomo, non hauendo 

THE pardoner's TALE. xxix 

persona dietro che '1 cacciasse, alquanto hebbero temenza, ma 
pur se li pararono dinanzi per sapere perche fuggiua, che di cio 
molto si marauigliauano. Ed elli rispose et disse. "Fratelli 
miei, io fuggo la morte, che mi vien dietro cacciando mi." Que' 
non vedendo ne huomo, ne bestia, che il cacciasse, dissero : 
" Mostraci chi ti caccia : et menaci cola oue ella e." AUhora il 
Romito disse loro, " venite meco, et mostrerollaui," pregandoli 
tutta via che non andassero ad essa, impercio che elli per se la 
fuggia. Ed eglino volendola trouare, per uedere come fosse 
fatta, nol domandouano di altro. II Romito vedendo che non 
potea piu, et hauendo paura di loro, gli condusse alia grotta, 
onde egli s'era partito, e disse loro, "Qui e la morte, che mi 
cacciaua," et mostra loro 1* oro che u* era, ed eglino il conobbero 
incontanente, et molto si cominciarano a rallegrare, et a fare 
insieme grande soUazzo. AUhora accommiatarono questo buono 
huomo ; et egli sen' ando per i fatti suoi : et quelli cominciarono 
a dire tra loro, come elli era semplice persona. Rimasero questi 
scherani tutti e tre insieme, a guardare questo hauere, e incomin- 
ciarono a ragionare quello che voleano fare. L' uno rispuose et 
disse. " A me pare, da che Dio ci ha dato cosi alta ventura, che 
noi non ci partlamo di qui, insino a tanto che noi non ne porti- 
amo tutto questo hauere." Et 1' altro disse; "non facciamo 
cosi ; r vno di noi ne tolga alquanto, et vada alia cittade et ven- 
dalo, et rechi del pane et del vino, et di quello che ci bisogna, e 
di cio s' ingegni il meglio che puote : faccia egli, pur com' elli ci 
fornisca." A questo s* accordarono tutti e tre insieme. 11 De- 
monic ch' e ingegnoso, e reo d' ordinare di fare quanto male e 
puote, mise in cuori a cestui che andaua alia citta per lo fori- 
mente, "da ch'io sar6 nella cittade" (dicea fra se medesimo) 
" io voglio mangiare et here quanto mi bisogna, et poi fomirmi 
di certe cose delle quali io ho mestiere hora al presente : et poi 
auuelenero quello che io porto a miei compagni : si che, da ch' elli 
saranno morti amendue, si saro io poi Signore di tutto quello 
hauere, et secondo che mi pare egli e tanto, che io saro poi il 
piu ricco huomo di tutto questo paese da parte d' hauere:" et 
come li venne in pensiero, cosi fece. Prese viuanda per se 


quanto gli bisogno, et poi tutta V altra auuelenoe, e cosi U porto 
a que suoi compagni. Intanto ch' ando alia cittade secondo che 
detto hauemo: se elli pensoe et ordinoe male per uccidere li 
suoi compagni, accio che ogni cosa li rimanesse : quelli pensaro 
di lui non meglio ch' elli di lore, et dissero tra loro : " Si tosto 
come questo nostro compagno tomera col pane et col vino, et 
con V altre cose che ci bisognano, si 1* uccideremo, et poi mange- 
remo quanto uorremo, e sara poi tra noi due tutto questo grande 
hauere. Et come meno parti ne saremo, tanto n' haueremo mag- 
gior parte ciascuno di noi." Hor viene quelli, che era ito alia 
cittade a comperare le cose che bisognaua loro. Tomato a suoi 
compagni incontanente che'l videro, gli fiirono addosso con le 
lancie et con le coltella, et V uccisero. Da che V hebbero morto, 
mangiarono di quello che egli hauea recato: et si tosto come 
furono satoUi, amendue caddero morti : et cosi morirono tutti e 
tre : che V vno vccise 1* altro si come vdito hauete, et non hebbe 
r hauere : et cosi paga Domenedio li traditori, che egli andarono 
caendo la morte, et in questo modo la trouarono, et si come 
ellino n' erano degni. Et il saggio sauiamente la fuggio, e V ore 
rimase libero come di prima.' 

Mr. Fumivall has also reprinted Novella xlii from the Novellae 
of Morlinus, ed. Naples, 1530 (reprinted at Paris in 1799) ; cor- 
rected by the Paris edition of Morlinus' Works, 1855. The 
story is very brief, being as follows. 

*De illis qui, in Tiberi reperto thesauro, ad inuicem conspi- 
rantes, ueneno et ferro periere. 

* Magus magico susurro in Tiberi delitere thesaurum quadam 
in cauea spirituum reuelatione cognouit : quo reperto, cum mag- 
num siclorum cumulum aspiceret, communi uoto pars sociorum 
proximum oppidum seu castellum, epulas aliasque res compara- 
turi, accedunt : ceteri uero copiosum interea ignem instruunt, 
thesaurumque custodiunt. Dumque in castellum conuenissent, 
radice malorum cupiditate affecti, ut consocios thesauri parte 
priuarent, diro ueneno illos interimere statueiiint: cum dicto, 
in caupona epulantes, ebrii ac uino sepulti, aliquatenus moram 
fecere. In Tiberi expectantes atque esurientes, consocios de 


mora incusabant : louemque adiurauerunt, repedantes ex op- 
pido atque castello et uita et thesauri parte priuare. Sicque ad 
inuicem conspirantes, non multo post adueniunt ex pago illi, 
uinarios, utres, pullos, pisces, aliaque tucetosi saporis pulmentaria 
atque prelectum hircum ferentes. Quibus obuiam dederunt 
ieiuni, illosque omnes morti imparatos incautosque insecauere 
atque crudeli strage perdiderunt. Pone sumptis cibariis diro 
ueneno tabefactis, insigni iocunditate gnauiter cuncta ministrare 
incipiunt; alter uerrit, alter sternit, pars coquit, atque tuceta 
concinnat. Pone omnibus scitule appositis, ac mensa largiter in- 
structa edere ceperunt, omniaque ingurgitauerunt. Commodum 
ex eis mensa erectis erant (j/r) quod, morte preuenti, cum sociis 
uitam fato reddentes, sub elemento mortui et sepulti remansere. 

* Nouella indicat : nee esse de malo cogitandum : nam quod 
quis seminat, metit/ 

The Second IS'un^s Tale. There is a peculiar interest about 
this Tale, because, as compared with the rest, it so clearly shews 
us Chaucer's mode of compilation ; his advance from close trans- 
lation to a more free handling of materials ; and his change of 
rhythm, from stanzas to rimed couplets. The closeness of the 
translation and the rhythm alike point to early workmanship; 
and, most fortunately, we are not left to conjecture in this 
matter, since our author himself refers to this piece, by the Title 
of the LyfqfSeint CeciUy in his Prologue to the Legend of Good 
Women, 1. 426. It was probably written a considerable time 
before the Legend. Mr. Fumivall assigns to it the conjectural 
date of 1373, which cannot be very far wrong. The expression 
in 1. 78, * Yet preye I yow that reden that I wryte* clearly shews 
that it was neither originally written as a tale of the series, nor 
properly revised 5 and the expression in 1. 62, * And though that 
I, vnworthy sane of Eue,' cannot fail to strike the reader as a 
singular one to be put into the mouth of a nun. We possess, in 
fact, the Tale in its original shape, without either revision or 
introduction. What is called the * Prologue * is, in fact, nothing 
of the sort ; it is merely such an introduction as was suitable for 
the Legend at the time of translation. We have no description 


of the Second Nun, no introduction of her as a narrator, nor 
anything to connect the Tale with those that precede it. There 
is no authority, indeed, for attributing it to the Second Nun at 
all beyond the mere rubrics printed at pp. 6i, 65, and 8i. 

It is not even made quite clear to us who the Second Nun 
was. We may, however, conclude that, as the Prioresse was 
herself a Nun, i.e. the /rj/ nun (see Prol. 1. 118), the person 
intended is the * Another Nonne ' mentioned in the Prologue, I. 
163, but mentioned nowhere else. The first line of the Canon's 
Yeoman's Prologue (p. 82) merely mentions *the lyf of Seint 
Cecile * without any hint as to the supposed narrator of it. Xhe 
Prioress herself, on the other hand, is properly introduced to us, 
and her Tale is carefully inserted in its right place. 

An analysis of the so-called Prologue to this Tale is given in 
, the Notes, at p. 164 ; cf. note to 1. 84, p. 168. Tyrwhitt pointed 
out that the Tale itself is translated from the Life of St. Cecilia 
as given in the Legenda Aurea (or Golden Legend) of Jacobus 
Januensis, or Jacobus a Voragine, who was archbishop of Genoa 
at the close of the 13th century. Tyrwhitt calls it 'literally* 
translated, but this is not quite the case ; for our author has made 
several judicious alterations, suppressions, and additions, some of 
which are pointed out in the notes; see, e.g. notes to 11. 346, 
380, 395, 442, 489, 505, and 535. However, most of the altera- 
tions occur towards the end of the story, and Chaucer follows 
the original rather closely as far as 1. 343 ; see note to 1. 346. 
The best text of this Life of St. Cecilia is that given in the 
second edition of the Aurea Legenda by Dr. Th. Grasse, pub- 
lished at Leipsic in 1850. Mr. Furnivall has printed it at length, 
from Grasse's first edition, 1846, in his Originals and Analogues, 
Pt. ii. pp. 192-305 ; side by side with the French version of La 
Legende Dor^e, as translated by Jehan de Vignay, printed at Paris 
in 15 1 3. The suggestion was made in 'Bell's' edition of Chaucer 
(really edited by Mr. Jephson), that Chaucer's original was not 
the Latin, but the French text. A very slight comparison shews 
at once that this idea is wrong (as Mr. Furnivall points out), 
and that Chaucer unquestionably followed the Latin original ; see 


note to 1.319, p. 173. It is, however, probable that Chaucer 
may have seen the French version also, as he seems to have 
taken from it the idea of his first four stanzas, 11. 1-28. How- 
ever, he has taken thence merely the general idea, and no 
more; see notes to 1. 1, p. 164, and to 1. 7, p. 165. The Invoca- 
tion to the Virgin bears some resemblance to the Prioresses 
Prologue; see note to 1. 50, p. 167. It contains, moreover, a 
passage which is a free translation of one in Dante's Paradiso ; 
see note to 1. 36, p. 166. I may add here that Mr. Furnivall has 
also reprinted two more lives of St. Cecilia, one from Caxton's 
Golden Legende, in English prose, ed. 1483, fol. ccclxxVij, back; 
the other in English verse, in a metre similar to that used by 
Robert of Gloucester, from MS. Ashmole 43, leaf 185, back, in 
the Bodleian library, Oxford. These do not throw much further 
light upon the matter; and, in fact, the only text really worth 
consulting is the Latin one of Jacobus a Voragine, which is fre- 
quently quoted in the notes. Of this Dunlop says, in his History 
of Fiction, 3rd ed. p. 286 — 'The grand repertory of pious fiction 
seems to have been the Legenda Aurea of Jacobus de Voragine, 
a Genoese Dominican, a work entitled Golden from its popu- 
larity, on the same principle that this epithet was bestowed on 
the 'Ass' of Apuleius. A similar composition in Greek, by 
Simon Metaphrastes, written about the end of the loth century, 
was the prototype of this work of the 1 3th century, which com- 
prehends the lives of individual saints, whose history had already 
been written, or was current from tradition. The Golden 
Legend, however, does not consist solely of the lives of saints, 
but is said in the colophon to be interspersed with many other 
beautiful and strange relations, which were probably extracted 
from the Gesta Longobardorum, and other sources too obscure 
and voluminous to be easily traced ; indeed, one of the original 
titles of the Legenda Aurea was Historia Lombardica. The 
work of [Jacobus a] Voragine was translated into French by 
Jean de Vignai, and was one of the three books from which 
Caxton's Golden Legend was compiled.' 

In The Military and Religious Life in the Middle Ages, by 

VOL. in. c 


Paul Lacroix, at p. 426, is the following brief account of Saint 
Cecilia. * Under the reign of Alexander Severus, many illustrious 
martyrs were put to death : St. Cecilia, her husband, and her 
brother-in-law among the number. St. Cecilia was descended 
from a very ancient family which dated back to the time of Tar- 
quin the Proud; she belonged to the same house as Metella, 
many of whose children were raised to the honours of triumph 
and of the consulate in the heyday of the Roman republic. Her 
parents gave her in marriage to a young Roman patrician, named 
Valerian. But Cecilia had dedicated her virginity to God, and 
her husband, converted to the faith by her arguments and en- 
treaties, respected her vow, and himself converted his brother 
Tiburcius. They all three relieved their persecuted brethren, 
and this Christian charity betrayed them. In spite of their dis- 
tinguished birth, their wealth and their connections, they were 
, arrested, and their refusal to sacrifice to the false gods led to 
their being condemned to death. We find a multitude of analo- 
gous occurrences in Gaul, and also in the most distant provinces 
of the East.' On the preceding page of the same book is figured 
a copy of a piece of mosaic work of the third or fourth century, 
which was taken from the cemetery of St. Sixtus, and is 
preserved in the church of St. Cecilia, at Rome. It represents 
St. Cecilia and St. Valerian, with roses and lilies in bloom at their 
feet, and having on each side of them a palm-tree laden with 
fruit, a symbol of their victories and of their meritorious martyr- 
dom. Upon one of the palm-trees is a phoenix with a ' gloria ' 
round its head, the ancient symbol of resurrection. 

The following interesting account of the church and statue of 
St. Cecilia is extracted from Mrs. Jameson's beautiful work upon 
Sacred and Legendary Art. 

' According to her wish, the house of Cecilia was consecrated 
as a church, the chamber in which she suffered martyrdom being 
regarded as a spot of peculiar sanctity. There is mention of a 
council held in the church of St. Cecilia by Pope Symmachus, in 
the year 500. Afterwards, in the troubles and invasions of the 
barbarians, this ancient church fell into ruin, and was rebuilt by 


Pope Paschal I in the ninth century. It is related that, while 
engaged in this work, Paschal had a dream, in which St. Cecilia 
appeared to hira, and revealed the spot in which she lay buried ; 
accordingly search was made, and her body was found in the 
cemetery of Calixtus, wrapt in a shroud of gold tissue, and round 
her feet a linen cloth dipt in her blood : near her were the re- 
mains of Valerian, Tibertius, and Maximus, which, together with 
hers, were deposited in the same church, now St. Cecilia-in- 
Trastevere. The little room, containing her bath, in which she 
was murdered or martyred, is now a chapel. The rich frescoes 
with which it was decorated are in a state of utter ruin from age 
and damp; but the machinery for heating the bath, the pipes, 
the stoves, yet remain. This church, having again fallen into 
ruin, was again repaired, and sumptuously embellished in the 
taste of the sixteenth century, by Cardinal Sfondrati. On this 
occasion the sarcophagus containing the body of St. Cecilia was 
opened with great solemnity in the presence of several cardinals 
and dignitaries of the Church, among others Cardinal Baronius, 
who has given us an exact description of the appearance of the 
body, which had been buried by Pope Paschal in 820, when 
exhumed in 1599. "She was lying," says Baronius, "within a 
coffin of cypress wood, enclosed in a marble sarcophagus ; not in 
the manner of one dead and buried, that is, on her bac^, but on 
her right side, as one asleep; and in a very modest attitude; 
covered with a simple stuff of taiFety, having her head bound 
with cloth, and at her feet the remains of the cloth of gold and 
silk which Pope Paschal had found in her tomb." Clement VIII 
ordered that the relics should remain untouched, inviolate ; and 
the cypress coffin was enclosed in a silver shrine, and replaced 
under the altar. This re-interment took place in presence of 
the pope and clergy, with great pomp and solemnity, and the 
people crowded in from the neighbouring towns to assist at the 
ceremony. Stefano M ademo, who was then in the employment 
of the Cardinal Sfondrati as sculptor and architect, and acted as 
his secretary, was not, we may suppose, absent on this occasion ; 
by the order of the Cardinal he executed the beautiful and cele- 

c 2 


brated statue of *' St. Cecilia lying dead/' which was intended to 
commemorate the attitude in which she was found. It is thus 
described by Sir Charles Bell : — " The body lies on its side, the 
limbs a little drawn up ; the hands are delicate and fine, — thev 
are not locked, but crossed at the wrists : the arms are stretched 
out. The drapery is beautifully modelled, and modestly covers 
the limbs. The head is enveloped in linen, but the general form 
is seen, and the artist has contrived to convey by its position, 
though not offensively, that it is separated from the body. A 
gold circlet is round the neck, to conceal the place of decolla- 
tion(?). It is the statue of a lady, perfect in form, and affectmg 
from the resemblance to reality in the drapery of white marble, 
and the unspotted appearance of the statue altogether. It hes 
as no living body could lie, and yet correctly, as the dead when 
left to expire, — I mean in the gravitation of the limbs." 

* It must be remembered that Cecilia did not suffer decollation ; 
that her head was not separated from the body; and the gold 
band is to conceal the wound in the neck: otherwise, this 
description of the statue agrees exactly with the description 
which Cardinal Baronius has given of the body of the saint when 
found in 1599. 

'The ornaments round the shrine, of bronze and rare and 
precious marbles, are in the worst taste, and do not harmonize 
with the pathetic simplicity of the figure. 

' At what period St. Cecilia came to be regarded as the patron 
saint of music, and accompanied by the musical attributes, I 
cannot decide. It is certain that in ancient devotional repre- 
sentations she is not so distinguished; nor in the old Italian 
series of subjects from her life have I found any in which she is 
figured as singing, or playing upon instruments ^.' 

The Canon's Yeoman^s Prologue, and Tale. The Pro- 
logue, as well as the Tale itself, belongs to the very latest period 
of Chaucer's work. This is clear at once, from its originality, 
as well as from the metre, and the careless ease of the rhythm, 

^ See my note to 1. 134 of the Tale, pp. 169, 170. 

THE CANOlfS yeoman's TALE, XXXvil 

which sometimes almost degenerates into slovenliness, as though 
our author had written some of it in hot haste, with the inten- 
tion of revising it more carefully afterwards. Besides, the poet 
has boldly improved upon his plan of the pilgrims' stories as 
laid down in his Prologue. We have there no hint of the 
Canon nor of his Yeoman; they are two new pilgrims who 
join themselves to the rest upon the road. A dispute arising 
between the master and the man, the former is put out of 
countenance, and actually rides away for very sorrow and shame 
(1. 702) ; but the man remains, to denounce the cupidity of 
the alchemists and to expose their trickery. Tyrwhitt re- 
marks: — *The introduction of the Chanouns Yeman to tell 
a tale, at a time when so many of the original characters re- 
main to be called upon, appears a little extraordinary. It 
should seem, that some sudden resentment had determined 
Chaucer to interrupt the regular course of his work, in order 
to insert a satire against the alchemists. That their pretended 
science was much cultivated about this time, and produced 
its usual evils, may fairly be inferred from the Act, which was 
passed soon after, 5 Henry IV, cap. iv. to make it Felonie to 
muhrplie gold or siluery or to vse the art qf multiplication* He 
adds — *The first considerable coinage of gold in this country 
was begun by Edward III in the year 1343, and according to 
Camden (in his Remains, art. Money), ''the Alchemists did 
affirm, as an unwritten verity, that the Rose-nobles, which 
were coined soon after, were made by projection or multi- 
plication Alchemical of Raymund Lully in the Tower of 
London." Ashmole, in his Tbeatrum Cbemicum, p. 443, has 
repeated this ridiculous story concerning Lully with additional 
circumstances, as if he really believed it ; though Lully, by the 
best accounts, had been dead above twenty years before Edward 
III began to coin gold^.' 

^ Tyrwhitt further explains that a poem in Ashmole's volume, called 
Hermes Bird, and by him attributed to Raymund Lully, is really a poem of 
Lydgate's, printed by Caxton with the title ITie Chorle and the Bird, 


The above-mentioned volume by Ashmole, entitled Theatnim 
Chemicum^, is a very singular production. And, perhaps, not 
the least singular circumstance is that Ashmole actually gives 
* The Tale of the Chanon's Yeman, written by our ancient and 
famous poet, Geoifry Chaucer/ Prologue and all, at full length 
(pp. 227-356), under the impression, apparently, that Chaucer 
was really a believer in the science! He says— * One reason 
why I selected out of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales that of the 
Chanon's Yeoman was, to let the world see what notorious 
cheating there has beene ever used, under pretence of this 
true (though injur'd) Science ; Another is, to shew that Chaucer 
himselfe was a Master therein.' It is indeed true that Chaucer 
had examined into alchemy very closely, but it is perfectly 
clear that he had made up his mind, with his strong English 
common sense, that the whole matter was a delusion. Had 
he lived in the present century, he could hardly have spoken 
out in more assured terms. In a similar manner he had studied 
astrology, and was equally a disbeliever in all but the terms 
of it and a few of its most general and vague assertions. He 
says expressly, in his Treatise on the Astrolabie (ed. Skeat, 
pt. ii. sec. 4, i. 34) — 'natheless, theise ben obseruauncez of 
iudicial matiere & rytes of paiens [pagans], in which my spirit 
ne hath no feith, ne no knowyng of hir boroscopum* But it 
is evident that the believers in alchemy had to make the best 
use they could of Chaucer's language, by applying it as being 
directed only against notorious cheats; and accordingly, we 
find in The Ordinall of Alchimy, by Thomas Norton of Bristol, 
printed in Ashmole's collection, various passages imitated from 
Chaucer, such as, e. g. that at p. 17 : — 

' The fals man walketh from Towne to Towne, 
For the most parte in a threed-bare Gowne/ Sec, 

And again, George Ripley, in his Compound of Alchymie, 

^ It is a totally different work from the Latin collection of alchemical 
works, also called Theatram Chemicum, so often dted in my notes. 

THE canon's yeoman's TALE, XXXIX 

dedicated to King Edward IV, printed in the same collection, 
says, at p. 153: — 

•Their Clothes be bawdy and wor3m threde-bare, 
Men may them smell for Multjrplyers where they go,* &c.* 

Ashmole's work contains several treatises which profess to ex- 
plain alchemy, nearly all alike couched in mysterious, and often 
in ridiculous language. Such are Norton's Ordinall of Alchimy, 
Ripley's Compound of Alchymie, Liber Patris Sapientiae, Hermes 
Bird (really Lydgate's poem of The Churl and the Bird), 
Chaucer's Canon's Yeoman's Tale (!), Pearce the Blacke Monke 
upon the Elixir, Charnock's Breviary of Naturall Philosophy', 
Ripley's Mistery of Alchymists, an extract from Gower's Con- 
fessio Amantis, Aristotle's Secreta Secretorum, translated by 
Lydgate ; and so on. On the whole, the book is equally curious 
and dull. 

It would hardly be possible to give much idea of alchemy in 
a brief space, and it would certainly be unprofitable. The 
curious will find an excellent article upon it (entitled 'Alchemy') 
in the new edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica; and a 
history of it, by no means uninteresting, in the first volume 
of Thomson's History of Chemistry. In Whewell's History 
of the Inductive Sciences, 2nd edition, 1847, vol. i. p. 320, the 
following notice of it occurs, which I quote for the reader's 
convenience. — *Like other kinds of Mysticism, Alchemy seems 
to have grown out of the notions of moral, personal, and 
mythological qualities, which men associated with terms, of 
which the primary application was to physical properties. This 
is the form in' which the subject is presented to us in the 
earliest writings which we possess on the* subject of chemistry, 

^ At p. 470, Ashmole gives a brief account of Chaucer, made up from 
Speght, Bale, Pits, and others, of no particular value. At p. 226, he gives 
an engraving of t^ie marble monument erected to Chaucer's memory in 
Westminster Abbey, by Nicholas Brigham, aj>. 1 556. 

' This is somewhat amusing. Charnock describes his numerous mis- 
adventures, and it is not clear that he preserved his faith in alohemy 


those of Geber of Seville, who is supposed to have lived in 
the eighth or ninth century. The very titles of Geber's works 
show the notions on which this pretended science proceeds- 
They are, "Of the Search of Perfection;" "Of the Sum of 
Perfection, or of the Perfect Magistery;" "Of the Invention 
of Verity, or Perfection." The basis of this phraseology is 
the distinction of metals into more or less perfect; gold being 
the most perfect, as being the most valuable, most beautiful, 
most pure, most durable; silver the next; and so on. The 
" Search of Perfection " was, therefore, the attempt to convert 
other metals into gold; and doctrines were adopted which re- 
presented the metals as all compounded of the same elements, 
so that this was theoretically possible. But the mystical trains 
of association were pursued much further than this; gold and 
silver were held to be the most noble of metals; gold was 
their King, and silver their Queen. Mythological associations 
were called in aid of these fancies, as had been done in astrology. 
Gold was Sol, the sun ; silver was Luna, the moon ; copper, iron, 
tin, lead, were assigned to Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. The 
processes of mixtin*e and heat were spoken of as personal actions 
and relations, struggles and victories. Some elements were 
conquerors, some conquered; there existed preparations which 
possessed the power of changing the whole of a body into a 
substance of another kind: these were called magijteries ^. When 
gold and quicksilver are combined, the king and the queen are 
married, to produce children of their own kind. It will easily 
be conceived, that when chemical operations were described 
in phraseology of this sort, the enthusiasm of the fancy would 
be added to that of the hopes, and observation would not be 
permitted to correct the delusion, or to suggest sounder and 
more rational views. 

* The exaggeration of the vague notion of perfection and power 
in the object of the alchemist's search, was carried further still. 
The same preparation which possessed the faculty of turning 

^ Thomson's Hist. Chemistry, i. 25. 

THE canon's yeoman's TALE. xli 

baser metals into gold, was imagined to be also a universal 
medicine, to have the gift of curing or preventing diseases, 
prolonging life, producing bodily strength and beauty: the 
philosophers* stone was finally invested with every desirable effi- 
cacy which the fancy of the " philosophers " could devise.' 

See also Dr. Whewell*s account of the doctrine of " the four 
elements" in the same work; vol. iii. p. 121. 

The history of the rise and growth of the ideas involved in 
alchemy is ably treated of in the article in the Encyclopaedia 
Britannica already referred to; it is of some interest to note 
how some of the more important notions were developed. . From 
ancient Persia came the idea of a correspondence between the 
heavenly bodies and parts of the human frame, alluded to in 
Chaucer's Treatise on the Astrolabie, and in Shakespeare's 
Twelfth Night, i. 3. 148^. From ancient India came the idea 
of a peregrination of sinful souls through the animal, vegetable, 
and even the mineral world, till they were absorbed into Deity. 
Hence was further evolved the notion of a transmutation of 
elements. The Greeks held that different deities had under 
their protection and guidance different types of men; an idea 
still preserved in our words mercurialy jo*vialy and saturnine. 
The school of Hippocrates held the doctrine of the four ele- 
ments, or primary substances of which all others were made, 
an idea first mentioned (it is said) by Empedocles; to which 
Aristotle added a fifth element, that of ether (Arist. de Caelo, 
i. 2). But this idea is probably older ; for we find five bhuta^s, 
or elements, enumerated in Sanskrit, viz. earth, fire, water, 
air, and ether; see Benfey's Skt. Diet. s. v. bhuy p. 658. 
Another very ancient notion is that male and female prin- 
ciples existed in all three worlds alike, animal, vegetable, and 
mineral; from which it followed that the union of two metals 

* * Sir To, What shall we do else ? Were we not born under Taurus ? 
Sir And. Taurus ! that's sides and heart. Sir To. No, sir ; it*s legs and 
thighs.* Both are wrong, of course, as Shakespeare knew. Chaucer says — 
* Aries hath thin heued [head], and Taurus thy nekke and thy throte;' 
Astrolabie, pt. i. sec. 21. 1. 50. 


could produce a third. It was argued that 'monstrosities are 
the production of diseased metals (really alloys), which, if 
properly treated, may be cured, and will turn to gold, or at 
least silver. The second stage in this imitation of nature is 
to obtain, by tincture or projection, solid or liquid gold, the 
cure of all evils;' Encycl. Brit. i. 463, col. 2. This notion 
is still preserved in the word arsenic (Gk. dpaeyusovy male). It 
was universally believed that nature produced changes in the 
substance of various metals by slow degrees, and the great object 
of alchemy was to produce the same changes quickly. The 
chief names in connection with the progress of alchemy are 
Geber, a Sabaean, who flourished about a.d. 800; Avicenna, 
a native of Shiraz, bom a.d. 980, died June, 1037; Albertus 
Magnus, bom about 1193, died Nov. 15, 1280, who uses much 
more intelligible language than alchemists usually indulge in; 
Raymund LuUy, bom at Majorca in 1235, a scholar of Roger 
Bacon, who was himself deeply imbued with the mystery of 
alchemy; Araoldus de Villa Nova (mentioned by Chaucer), so 
named because bom at Villeneuve, in Provence, in 1240; and 
others: Paracelsus^, a Swiss physician (bom in 1493, died 
1 541) was something better than a mere alchemist. He did 
something towards destroying the notion of the necessity g£ 
consulting astrological influences, and prepared the way for 
the discoveries of Van Helmont (bora at Brussels in 1577, 
died 1644), with whom the history of modem chemistry may 
be said to begin. Van Helmont was the inventor of two new 
terms, gas ^ and 6Iaj, the former of which remains in common 
use, though the latter is wholly forgotten. 

The great store-house of treatises upon alchemy is the Latin 
collection, in five volumes, called Theatrum Chemicum. I have 
made considerable use of the edition of this work published 
in 1660, which I have frequently quoted in the Notes. We 

^ See Browning's drama entitled * Paracelsus.' 

' It is useless to try and discover an etymology for this word. It was 
invented wittingly. The most that can be said was that Van Helmont 
may have been thinking of the Dutch geest, a spirit ; £. ghost. 

THE canon's yeoman's TALE. xliil 

hence gather that most of the authors upon the subject 
wished men to believe that the true secrets of the science 
were known to themselves only; yet they all learnt more or 
less of a certain jargon which they continually repeated, attri- 
buting their empirical rules to Hermes, or Geber, or other 
supposed masters. The same ideas, alleged results, and sup- 
posed principles continually recur; and the brief statement of 
a few of these will at once shew what the reader of an al- 
chemical treatise may expect to find. Much depended on the 
supposed powers of certain numbers. Thus, there were three 
primary colours, black, white, and red*, from which all others 
were produced by combination; Theat. Chem. iv. 536. Ac- 
cording to Gower, there were really three kinds of the philo- 
sopher's stone, viz. animal, vegetable, and mineral. Some said 
it was composed of three parts; body, spirit, and soul — corpus j 
spirituSf and anima; Ashmole's Th. Ch. p. 383. Again, there 
were four elements; four complexions of nature or tempera- 
ments; four colours (said some), viz. white, black, citrine, and 
red; four savours, insipid, acid, sweet, and bitter; four odours, 
sweet, fetid, intense, and slight (remissus\ Theat. Chem. iii. 
82. In particular, they were four spirits, sulphur, sal ammoniac, 
quick-silver, and arsenic; see note to line 778, p. 188; also 
four states or conditions, hot, cold, wet, and dry; Theat, 
Chem. iv. 537. There were seven planets; and because there 
were seven planets, it followed that every planet had a cor- 
responding note in the musical scale of seven notes. Every 
planet had its proper colour; and, in this view, there were 
seven colours, sable, vert, gules, or, argent, sanguine, and umber ; 
Batman upon Bartholome, lib. 19. c. 37. Every planet had its 
proper metal; there were therefore seven metals; see the 
extract from Gower, p. 192. Now, as all substances are made 
of the same four elements, it follows that if a substance can 
be decomposed, and reunited in diiferent proportions, its nature 
may be so changed that it shall become another substance. 

' A strange selection ; red, blue, and yellow would have been better. 


Many substances, if subjected to heat, are destroyed; but 
metals are not so, and therefore became the favourite subject for 
experiments. It was laid down that one metal could be trans- 
muted into another, but only after having been first reduced 
into its primary elements; Theat. Chem. iv. 531. Ere long, 
it was accepted as an axiom that all baser metals could be 
transmuted either into gold, or jo/, typified by the sun, or 
into silver, or luna, typified by the moon; these being the 
two extremes between which the other five metals were ranged. 
It was agreed that the chief agents in producing this transmu- 
tation were quicksilver and sulphur, and of these quicksilver 
was the more important; so much so, that the mention of 
quicksilver meets us everywhere, and no alchemist could work 
without it^. It was also agreed that certain processes must 
be gone through in a due order, generally ten or twelve in 
number ; and if any one of them failed, the whole work had to 
be begun afresh. They are commonly described as (i) cal- 
cination, (2) solution, (3) separation of the elements, (4) con- 
junction, (5) putrefaction, (6) coagulation, (7) cibation, (8) sub- 
limation, (9) fermentation, (10) exaltation, (11) augmentatipn 
or multiplication; and (13) projection; Theat. Chem. ii. 175, 
and Ripley's Compound of Alchemy. By insisting on the 
necessity of all these processes, they sufficiently guarded against 
all chances of an unfavourable result by securing that a result 
could not very well be arrived at. 

The moment that we attempt to analyse their processes more 
closely, we are met by two difficulties that are simply insuper- 
able; the first, that the same name is clearly used to denote 
quite different substances, and the second, that the same sub- 
stance is called by many different names. Hence also arose 
endless evasions, and arrogant claims to pretended secrets; it 

^ The Indian god 5'iva was actually worshipped under the form of quick- 
silver. Professor Cowell refers me to Marco Polo, ed. Yule, ii. 300, and to 
his own edition of Colebrooke's Essays, i. 433 ; also to the semi-mythic 
life of ^ankara A'ch4rya, the great reformer of the eighth century. 


was often said that the quicksilver of the alchemists was a 
substance only known to adepts, and that those who used 
only ordinary quicksilver knew nothing of the matter. The 
master could thus always mystify his pupils, and make it appear 
that he alone, and no one else, knew what he was talking 

Yet it was frequently alleged that the experiments did succeed. 
The easiest explanation of this matter is, that the hopes of the 
alchemists were doubtless buoyed up by the fact that every now 
and then the experiments appeared to succeed; and it is easy 
to shew how. The close affinity of quicksilver for gold is well 
known. I copy the following from a book on experiments, 
which really suffices to explain the whole matter. * If a sovereign 
be rubbed with mercury, it will lose its usual appearance, and 
appear as if silvered over*; the attraction of the gold for the 
mercury being sufficient to cause a coating of it to remain. 
When it is wished to remove the silvery appearance, dip the 
sovereign in a dilute solution of nitric acid, which will entirely 
take it off.* Now the alchemists tell us that quicksilver must 
always be used in all experiments ; and they constantly recom- 
mend the introduction into the substances experimented on of a 
small quantity of gold, which they thought would be increased. 
The experiments constantly failed ; and whenever they failed, the 
pieces of molten metal were carefully saved, to be used over and 
over again. The frequent introduction of small quantities of 
gold caused that metal to accumulate ; and if, by any favourable 
process, the quicksilver was separated from the mass, a con- 
siderable quantity of gold would now and then actually appear. 
This account is so much in accordance with all that we read that 
we may confidently accept the conclusion of Dr. Thomson, 
the author of the History of Chemistry, that the vaunted philo- 
sopher's stone was certainly an amalgam of gold; which, *if 
projected into melted lead or tin, and afterwards cupellated, 

^ This explains why the alchemists, in seeking gold, sometimes supposed 
that they had obtained silver. 


would leave a portion of gold; all the gold, of course, that 
exkUd previously in the amalgam.' He adds that 'the alche- 
mists who prepared the amalgam could not be ignorant that 
It contained gold;' a statement which I am inclined to modify 
by suggesting that it may very easily have contained more gold 
than ibey supposed It did* In a word, we may conclude that 
some deceived themselves, and others were conscious cheats. 

The real secret of the long reign of alchemy, and of the 
tardy appearance of scientific chemistry, lies in this — that men, 
as a rule, have more faith in their theoretical notions than in 
the practical evidence of their senses. The history of alchemy 
is, in fact, full of instruction, and its lessons have not yet all 
been learnt. Not to apply them to any of the more popular 
delusions of the day (which would here b^ out of place), I 
would apply them to a subject in which students of Chaucer 
may be supposed to take a special interest, viz. that of Em^lisb 
etymology, A good deal of what is called * etymology' is the 
merest alchemy; and the guesswork which is sometimes digni- 
fied by that name is often as baseless and as valueless as the 
dreams of the so-called adepts. Perhaps there is no book 
which better illustrates the history of the English language 
than Richardson's Dictionary; the value of the profusion of 
quotations, each with its proper reference, is very great. Yet 
the etymology is remarkably poor, owing to the number of 
guesses which were too rashly recorded there. Take, e.g. 
his account of the word hod, ^Hod, perhaps boved^ hov*d^ bod; 
past part, of A. S. beafan^ to heave. That which is beaved or 
raised,' &c. Yet the whole of this breaks down when we 
remember that beqfan is a strong verb, and that its past part, 
became boven, whilst still conjugated as a strong verb; and 
afterwards beav'd, when it was treated as a weak one: the 
form bov'd being simply impossible either way. Students may do 
better than this, if they will bear in mind two or three leading 
principles, such as (i) that the investigation of the bistory of 
a word must precede all attempts to 'derive' it; (2) that it 
is of small utility to imagine how a word migbt have been 


formed, especially when, as is sometimes the case, there is 
good evidence as to how it fivas formed; (3) that the laws 
of language must be studied, it being absurd to make up words 
in opposition to all that we know of Anglo-Saxon grammar; 
and (4) that the light afforded by comparative philology is to 
be thankfully accepted, and not shut out as if it were non- 
existent. In particular, it is to be remembered that the history 
of many words is insufficiently recorded, and in such cases we 
have no right to assume an origin which we cannot prove, but 
should be content to say that we do not know it. The one 
besetting sin of students of English etymology is that few are 
content to give up the pursuit of that which lies beyond them ; 
like the alchemists, men are prone to pretend to know that 
of which they can, after all, give no intelligible explanation. 
Like the alchemists, many invent their facts, or distort and 
wrest them, so as to make them agree with preconceived 
theories. This is strikingly exemplified in many of our older 
provincial glossaries, wherein the definitions of words, instead 
of being honestly stated, are often tortured into agreement 
with a supposed * etymology.' Thus Ray, in his excellent Col- 
lection of Provincial Words, defines belive as * anon, by and by, 
or towards night;' merely in order to introduce his * etymology,' 
that beii've is a corruption of by the eve, with a substitution of 
the French le for the English the. Skinner's Lexicon contains 
hundreds of such absurdities, many of which. were copied into 
Johnson's Dictionary, and some of them are certainly still be- 
lieved in. For a sample of these, see the ' Garland culled from 
Skinner' in my Introduction to Ray's Collection of Provincial 
Words, pp. xxi-xxvi, published by the English Dialect Society. 
And to this day correspondents write to Notes and Queries about 
certain hard words, asking for the * etymology' of them, instead 
of asking for the history of them, vdiich is the more important 
matter. No wonder that they often receive six or seven dif- 
ferent answers, all perhaps equally unsatisfactory and useless, 
and learn no more about the matter than they knew at first. 
Of course the etymology will explain a word, but only if it 

xlviii jyTRODUCTioy, 

bapperu to be right ; the history of the word is» howerer, a surer 
guide, because it deals with quotations and facts, not with 
theories and fancies. I fear that we English have still much to 
learn before we are finally delivered from the alchemy of those 
who only work by guess, and firom the tyranny of ingenious 
assertions *. 

A list of books most useful for explaining Chaucer^ and of 
the Dictionaries used in compiling the Glossarial Index, is given 
in my former Introduction, at p. Ixxvi. 

The present volume is, in the main, my own work. My 
chief obligations have been to Mr. Fumivall's Six-text edition, 
and to Tyrwhitt's notes. I wish to record my thanks to Miss 
Wilkinson, of Dorking, who considerably lightened the labour 
of preparing the Glossary by copying out, with proper references, 
and in many cases, with explanations, the words explained there. 
I have added the explanations where they were omitted, and 
revised the whole; the etymological remarks being my own 
throughout. A considerable part of the Notes is due to my own 
reading, and has not appeared before; this is particularly the 
case with respect to the Canon's Yeoman's Tale. 

With a view to making the Notes, &c. as complete as possible, 
any corrections or necessary additions will be thankfully received, 
and should be forwarded to me at Cambridge. 

Cambridge^ Dec. 30, 1876. 

* Such ai that of Verttegan, when deriving almanack from al-mon-agkty 
i.e. all* moon-heed, a form which it is needless to say he invented. I 
poiicii a bock on English etymology, which absolutely swarms with similar 
abiurditiet ; yet it it only twenty years old. 


[TJbe Introduction to the Man of Law's Prologue, and the 
Prologue itsejf, are printed in The Prioresses Tale, &c. (Clarendon 
Press Series), pp. 1-5. A long extract from The Tale itself 
(11. 134-693) is given in Specimens of Early English, ed. Morris 
and Skeat, pp. 249-269.] 

Here begynneth the man of lawe his tale. 

In Sunye whylom dwelte a companye 

Of chapmen riche, and therto sadde and trewe, 135 

That wyde-wher senten her spicerye, 

Clothes of gold, and satins riche of hewe ; 

Her chaflfar was so thrifty and so newe, 

That euery wyght hath deyntee to chaflfare 

With hem, and eek to sellen hem her ware. 140 

Now fel it, that the maistres of that sort 

Han shapen hem to Rome for to wende ; 

Were it for chapmanhode or for disport, 

Noon other message wolde they thider sende, 

But comen hem-self to Rome, this is the ende; 145 

And in swich place, as thoughte hem auantage 

For her entent, they take her herbergage. 

Soiourned han thise marchants in that toun 
A certein tyme, as fel to her plesance, 
And so bifel, that thexcellent renoun 150 

Of themperoures doughter, dame Custance, 
Reported was, with euery circumstance, 
VOL. ra. B 


Vn-to thise Sorryen marchants in swich wyse*. 
Fro day to day, as I shal yow deuyse. 

This was the comniime voys of eoery man — 1=5 

' Our Emperour of Rome, god him see, 

A doaghter hath that, sin the worid bigan. 

To rekne as wel hir goodnesse as beantee, 

Nas neuere swich another as is she ; 

I prey to god in honoar hir susteene, 160 

And wolde she were of al Europe the queene. 

In hir is hey bcautee, with-oute pryde, 

Yowthe, with-oute grenehede or folye ; 

To alle hir werkes vertu is hir gyde, 

Humblesse hath slayn in hir al tirannye. 165 

She is mirour of alle curteisye ; 

Hir herte is verray chambre of holynesse, 

Hir hand, ministre of fredom for almesse.' 

And al this voys was soth, as god is trewe, 

})ut now to purpos lat vs turne agayn ; 1 70 

Thise marchants han doon fraught her shippes newe. 

And, whan they han this blisful mayden seyn, 

Hoom to Surrye ben they went ful fayn. 

And doon her nedes as they han doon yore, 

And iyucn in wele ; I can sey yow no more. 175 

Now fel it, that thise marchants stode in grace 

Of him, that was the sowdan of Surrye ; 

For whan they came from any strange place, 

He wolde, of his benigne curteisye. 

Make hem good chere, and bisily espye 180 

* E. swkh « wyse ; kui iki other MiSS. omit a. 


Tydings of sondry regnes, for to lere 

The wondres that they myghte seen or here.. 

Amonges othere thinges, specially 

Thise marchants han him told of dame Custance, 

So gret noblesse in ernest, ceriously, 185 

That this sowdan hath caught so gret plesance 

To han hir figure in his remembrance, 

That all his lust and al his bisy cure 

Was for to loue hir whyl his lyf may dure: 

Parauenture in thilke large book 190 

Which that men clepe the heuen, ywriten was 

With sterres, whan that he his birthe took, 

That he for loue shulde han his deth, alias ! 

For in the sterres, clerer than is glas, 

Is writen, god wot, who so coude it rede, 195 

The deth of euery man, withouten drede. 


In sterres, mkny a winter ther-biforn. 

Was writen the deth of Ector, Achilles, 

Of Pompei, lulius, er they were bom ; 

The stryf of Thebes ; and of Ercules, 200 

Of Sampson^ Tumus, and of Sbcrates 

The deth ; but mennes wittes ben so dulle. 

That no wyght can wel rede it atte fuUe. 

This sowdan for his priuee conseil sente, 
And, shortly of this •mater for to pace, 205 

He hath to hem declared his entente, 
And seyde hem certein, * but he myghte haue grace 
To han Custance with-inne a litel space. 
He nas but deed ; ' and charged hem, in hye, 
To shapen for bis lyf som remedye. axo 

B 2 


Diuerse men diuerse thinges seyden ; 

They argumenten^, casten vp and doun ; 

Many a subtil resoun forth they leyden, 

They speken of magik and abusioun ; 

But finally, as in conclusioun, 215 

They can not seen in that non auantage, 

Ne in non other wey, saue manage. 

Than seye they ther-in swich difl5cultee 

By way of resoun, for to speke al pla)m, 

By cause that ther was swich diuersitee 220 

Bitwene her bothe lawes, that they sayn, 

They trowe * that no christen prince wolde fayn 

Wedden his child vnder oure lawes swete 

That vs were taught by Mahoun our prophete/ 

And he answerde, * rather than I lese 225 

Custance, I wol be cristned doutelees ; 

I mot ben hires, I may non other chese. 

I prey yow holde youre arguments in pees ; 

Saueth my lyf, and beth nought recchelees 

To getten hir that hath my lyf in cure ; 230 

For in this wo I may not longe endure/ 

What liedeth gretter dilatacioun ? 

I seye, by tretys and embassadrye, 

And by the popes mediacioun, 

And al the chirche, and al the chiualrye, 235 

That, in destruccioun of Maumettrye, 

And in encrees of cristes lawe dere, 

They ben accorded, so as ye shal here ; 

' Harl., Corp. argumentes; hut see 1. 228. 


How that the sowdan and his baronage 

And alle his lieges shulde ycristned be, 240 

And he shal han Custance in mariage, 

And certein gold, I not what quantitee, 

And her-to founden suffisant seurtee ; 

This same accord was sworn on eyther syde ; 

Now, fayre Custance, almyghty god thee gyde I 245 

Now wolde som men wayten, as I gesse, 

That I shulde tellen al the purveiance 

That themperour, of his gret noblesse, 

Hath shapen for his doughter dame Custance. 

Wei may men knowe that so gret ordinance 350 

May no man tellen in a litel clause 

As was arrayed for so hey a cause. 

Bisshopes ben shapen with hir for to wende, 

Lordes, ladyes, knyghtes of renoun, 

And other folk ynow, this is the ende ; 255 

And notifyed is thurgh-out the toun 

That euery wyght, with gret deuocioun, 

Shulde preyen crist that he this manage 

Receyue in gree, and spede this viage. 

The day is comen of hir departing, 260 

I sey, the woful day fatal is come. 

That ther may be no lenger tarying, 

But forthward they hem dressen, alle and some ; 

Custance, that was with sorwe al ouercome, 

Ful pale arist, and dresseth hir to wende ; 265 

For wel she seeth ther is non other ende. 


Alias ! what wonder is it though she wepte, 

That shal be sent to strange nacioun 

Fro frendes, that so tendrely hir kepte, 

And to be bounden vnder subieccioun 270 

Of oon, she knoweth not his condicioun. 

Housbondes ben alle goode, and han ben yore. 

That knowen wyues, I dar say yow no more. 

* Fader/ she sayde, ' thy wrecched child Custance, 

Thy yonge doughter, fostred vp sp softe, 275 

And ye, my mooder, my souerayn plesance 

Ouer alle thing, out-taken crist on lofle, 

Custance, your child, hir recomandeth ofte 

Vn-to your grace, for I shal to Surryfe*, 

Ne shal I neuer seen yow more with y6'. 280 

Alias I vn-to the Barbre nacioun 

I moste gon, sin that it is your wille ; 

But crist, that starf for our sauacioun. 

So yeue me grace, his hestes to fulfiUe ; 

I, wrecche womman, no fors though I spille. 285 

Wommen are born to thraldom and penance, 

And to ben vnder mannes gouei:nance/ 

I trowe, at Troye whan Pirrus brak the wal. 

Or [Theseus]^ brende Thebes the citee, 

Nat' Rome, for the harm thurgh Hanybal 290 

That Romayns hath venquisshed tymes thre, 

Nas herd swich tendre weping for pitee 

* All the best MSS. read ylion^ wMch is obviously wrong; the substitution 
o/Theieus is without authority , but receives some support fiom the * Knightes 
Tale/ 1. 132. 

' Nat is the reading of the EUesoiere, Hengwrt, and Cambridge MSS. ; 
but in this instance it is probably a contraction of ne at, instead cf being 
equivalent to not, as usual, Thf Harl. MS. rea^ Ne at accordingly. 


As in the chambre was for hir departinge ; 
Bot forth she moot, wher-so she wepe or singe. 

O firste moeuyng cruel firmament, 295 

With thy diurnal sweigh that crowdest ay 

And hiirlest al from Est til Ocddent, 

That naturelly wolde holde another way, 

Thy Crowding set the heuen in swich array 

At the biginning of this fiers viage, 300 

That cruel Mars hath slayn this mariage. 

Infortunat ascendent tortuous, 

Of which the lord is helplees falle, alias I 

Out of his angle in-to the derkest hous. 

O Mars, O Atazir, as in this cas ! 305 

O feble moone, vnhappy ben thy pas'! 

Thou knyttest thee ther thou art not receyued, 

Ther thou werfe wel, from thennes artow weyued. 

Imprudent emperOur of Rome., alias ! 

Was ther no philosophre in al thy toun ? 310 

Is no tyme bet than other in swich cas ? 

Of viage is ther non eleccioun. 

Namely to folk of hey condicioun, 

Not whan a rote is of a birthe yknowe ? 

Alias 1 we ben to lewed or to slowe. 315 

To shippe is broflght^ this woM faii'e mayde 

Solempnely with eueiy circumstance. 

* Now lesu crist be with yow alle,* she «ayde, 

Ther nis no more but * farewel ! faire Custance V 

She peyneth hir to make good countenance, 320 

And forth I lete hir sayle in this marifei^e, 

And turne I wol agayn to my matere. 

' £. come ; brought in tks rest. 


TTic mooder of the sowdan, welle of vices, 

Kspyed hath hir sones pleyn entente, 

How he wol lete his olde sacrifices, 325 

And ryght anon she for hir conseil sente ; 

And they ben come, to knowe what she mente. 

And when assembled was this folk in-fere, 

She sette hir doun, and sayde as ye shal here. 

' Lordes,' quod she*, * ye knowen euerichon, 330 

How that my sone in point is for to lete 

The holy lawes of oure Alkaron, 

Yeuen by goddes message* Makomete. 

But oon auow to grete god I hete. 

The lyf shal rather out of my body sterte 335 

Than Makometes lawe out of myn herte 1 

What shulde vs tyden of this newe lawe 

But thraldom to our bodies and penance ? 

And afterward in helle to be drawe 

For we reneyed Mahoun our creance ? 340 

But, lordes, wol ye maken assurance. 

As I shal seyn, assenting to my lore, 

And I shal make vs sauf for euermore ?' 

They sworen and assenten, euery man, 

To lyue with hir and dye, and by hir stonde ; 345 

And euerich, in the beste wyse he can, 

To strengthen hir shal alle his frendes fonde ; 

And she hath this emprise ytake on honde, 

Which ye shal heren that I shal deuyse. 

And to hem alle she spak ryght in this wyse. 350 

' E. the leyde ; quod she in the rest, 

* nieitagcr Corp., Petw., and Landi. MSS. ; but see the note. 


* We shul first feyne vs cristendom to take, 

Cold water shal not greue vs but a lyte ; 

And I shal swich a feste and reuel make, 

That, as I trowe, I shal the sowdan quyte. 

For though his wyf be cristned neuer so whyte, 355 

She shal haue nede to wasshe awey the rede. 

Though she a f«nt-ful water with hir lede/ 

O sowdanesse, rote of iniquitee, 

Virago, thou Semyram the secounde, 

O serpent vnder femininitee, 360 

Lyk to the serpent depe in helle ybounde, 

O feyned womman, al that may confounde 

Vertu and Innocence, thurgh thy malice. 

Is bred in thee, as nest of euery vice I 

P Satan, enuious sin thilke day 365 

That thou were chased fro our heritage, 

Wei knowestow to wommen the olde way ! 

Thou madest Eua bring vs in seruage. 

Thou wolt fordoon this cristen mariage. 

Thy instrument so, weylawey the whyle I 370 

Makestow of wommen, whan thou wolt begyle. 

This sowdanesse, whom I thus blame and warye. 

Let priuely hir conseil goon her way. 

What shulde I in this tale lenger tarye ? 

She rydeth to the sowdan on a day, 375 

And seyde him, that she wold reneye hir lay, 

And cristendom of preestes handes fonge, 

Repenting hir she hethen was so longe, 


Biseching him to doon hir that honour, 
That she mo$te han the cristen'men to fe^te; 380 

' To plesen hem I wol do my labour/ 
The sowdan seith, ' I wol doon at your heste/ 
And kneling thanketh hir of that requeste. 
So glad he was, heniste what to seye; 
She kiste hirsone, and hom she gothhir weye. 385 

Explicit prima pars, Sequiiur pars secunda, 

Arryued ben this cristen folk to londe, 

In Surrye, with a gret solempne route, 

And hastily this sowdan sente his sonde, 

First to his mooder, and al the iiegne aboute, 

And seyde, his wyf was comen,'Out of^doute, 390 

And preyde hir for to ryde agayn the queene, 

The honour of his regne Xo susteene. 

Gret was the prees, and riche was tharray 

Of Surryens and Romayns met yfere ; 

The mooder of the sowdan, riche andgay^ 395 

Receyueth hir with al so glad a ohere 

As any mooder myghte hir doughter dere, 

And to the nexte cite ther bisyde 

A softe pas solempnely they Tyde. 

Nought trowe I the triumphe of lulius, 400 

Of which that Lucan maketh swich a host, 

Was roialler, ne ^ more curious 

Than was thassemblee of this blidfuliiost 

But this scorpioun, this wikked gost. 

The sowdanesse, for ai hir flateringfe, 405 

Caste vnder this ful mortally to stinge. 

^ £. or; ntin tk^rMi, 


The wdan xomth him-self - soone rafter this 

So roially, that wonder is to telle, 

And welcometh hirvrith al ioye and:blls. 

And thus in.mertheand ioye Llete hem dwdle. 410 

The fruyt of this matere is that I telle. 

Whan tyme cam, men thoughte it for the beste 

That* reuel stinte, and men goon to hirrreste. 

The tyme cam, this olde sowdanesse 

Ordeyned hath this feste of which I tolde, 415 

And to the .feste cristen folk hem dresse 

In general, ye J bqthe yonge and- olde. 

Here may men feste and roialtee biholde. 

And deyntees mo than I can yow deuyse, 

But al to dere ,they boughte it er they rjrse. 420 

O sodeyn wo I tbait euer art successour 

To worldly blisse, spreynd with bittemesse ; 

Thende ' of the ioye of our worldly labour.; 

Wo occupieth the iyn of our gladnesse. 

Herke this conseil for thy sikerness.e, 425 

Vp-on thy glade day baue in thy mynde 

The vnwar wo or barm that comth bibyiide. 

For shortly ' for to tellen at a word, 

The sowdan and the cristen euerichone 

Ben al tohewe and stiked at the bord, 430 

But it were only dame Custance allone. 

This olde sowdanesse, this * cursed crone, 

Hath with her frendes doon this cursed dede, 

For she hir-self wolde al the contree lede. 

1 E. The ; That in the rest, 

* So in Camb. ; the rest have The ende. * So in the rest ; E. «oothly. 

* So in Petw. and Harl. ; ike rest emit this. 


Ne ther * was Sunyen noon that was conuerted 435 

That of the conseil of the sowdan wot, 

That he nas al tohewe er he asterted. 

And Custance han they take anon, foot-hot, 

And in a shippe al sterelees, god wot, 

They han hir set, and bidde ' hir lerae sayle 440 

Out of Surrye agaynward to Itayle. 

A certein tresor that she thider ' ladde, 

And, soth to sayn, vitaille gret plentee 

They han hir yeuen, and clothes eek she hadde, 

And forth she sayleth in the salte see. 445 

O my Custance, ful of benignytee, 

O emperoures yonge doughter dere, 

He that is lord of fortune be thy stere 1 

She blesseth hir, and with ful pitous voys 

Vn-to the croys of crist thus seyde she, 450 

* O cleere, o welful * auter, holy croys, 

Reed of the lambes blood full of pitee. 

That wesh the world fro the olde iniquitee. 

Me fro the feend, and fro his clawes kepe 

That day that I shal drenchen in the depe. 455 

Victorious tree, proteccioun of trewe, 

That only worthy were for to bere 

The king of heuen with his woundes newe. 

The whyte lomb, that hurt was with the spere, 

Flemer of feendes out of hym and here, 460 

* So in ike rest ; E. omits ther. 

* Hcng. and Camb. bidde; Corp. and Petw. bidden ; Lansd. beden ; E. 
biddeth ; Harl. bad. 

' £. with hir«; but the rest have thider. 

* E. woful ; the rest, welful, wilful, weleful. 


On which thy lymes feithfully extenden, 

Me keep \ and yif me myght my lyf tamenden/ 

Yeres and dayes fleet ^ this creature 

Thurghout the see of Grece vn-to the strayte 

Of Marrok, as it was hir auenture ; 465 

On many a sory meel now may she bayte ; 

After her deeth ful often may she wayte, 

Er that the wilde wawes wole hir dryue 

Vn-to the place ', ther she shal arryue. 

Men myghten asken why she was not slayn ? 470 

Eek at the feste who myghte hir body saue ? 

And I answere to that demaunde agayn, 

Who saued danyel in the horrible caue, 

Ther euery wyght saue he, maister and knaue, 

Was with the leoun frete er he asterte ? 475 

No wyght but god, that he bar in his herte. 

God list to shewe his wonderful miracle 

In hir, for we shulde seen his myghty werkes ; 

Crist, which that is to euery harm triacle. 

By certein menes ofte, as knowen clerkes, 480 

Doth thing for certein ende that ful derk is 

To mannes wit, that for our ignorance 

Ne conne not knowe his prudent purueiance. 

Now, sith she was not at the feste yslawe, 

Who kepte hir fro the drenchyng in the see ? 485 

Who kepte lonas in the fisshes mawe 

Til he was spouted vp at Niniuee ? 

Wei may men knowe it was no wyght but he 

^ Camb., Lands, kep ; Heng., Petw., Harl. kepe ; Corp. keepe ; E. helpe. 
* E. fleteth; but the form fleet occurs in Heng., Corp., and Pctw. 
' Probably read place ; Harl. alone inserts as after ther. 


That kepte peple Ebrayk fro hir dreachidg, 

WitU drye feet thurgh-out the see passing, 490 

Who bad the foure spirits of tempest, 

That power han tanoyen lond and see, 

' Bothe north and south, and also west and est, 

Anoyeth neither see, ne lond, ne tree ? ' 

Sqthly the comaundour of that was he ^95 

That fro the tempest ay this womman kepte 

As wel whan she wook as whan she slepte. 

Where myghte this womman mete and drinke h'aue ? 

Thre year and more how lasteth her vitaille ? 

Who fedde the Egypcien Marie in the caue, 500 

Or in desert ? no wyght but crist, sans faille. 

Fyue thousand folk it was as gret meruaille 

With loues fyue and fisshes two to fade. 

God sent his foyson at hir grete nede. 

She dryueth forth in-to our occean 505 

Thurgh-out our wilde see, til, atte laste, 

Vnder an hold that nempnen I ne can, 

Fer in Northumberlond the wawe hir caste. 

And in the sond hir ship stiked so faste, 

That thennes wolde it noght of al a tyde, 510 

The wille of crist was that she shulde abyde. 

The constable of the castel doun is fare 

To seen this wrak, and al the ship he soughte. 

And fond this wery womman ful of care ; 

He fond also the tresor that she broughte. 515 

In hir langage mercy she bisoughte 

The lyf out of hir body for to twinne, 

Hir to deliuere of wo that she was inne. 


A maner latyn corrupt was hir speche, 

But algates therrby was she vnderstonde ; 5 20 

The constable, whan him list no lenger seche, 

This woful womman brought he to the londe ; 

She. knete(h d6un, and thanketh goddes sonde. 

But what she. was shewolde no man seye, 

F.or foul ne fayr^ thogh that she shulde deye. 525 

She seydcj she was so mased in the see 

That she forgat hir mynde, by hir trewthe ; 

The constable hath of hir so gret pitee, 

And eek his wyf, that they wepen for rewthe, 

She was so diligent, with*outen slewthe, 530 

To serue and plese[n] euerich in that place 

That alle hir louen that looken on * hir face. 

This constable and dame Hermengild his wyf 

Were payens, and that contree euery -where ; 

But Hermengild louede hir lyght as hir lyf, 535 

And Custance hath so longe soiourned ' there, 

In orisons, with many a bitter tere, 

Til lesu hath conuerted thurgh his grace 

Dame Hermengild, constablesse of that place. 

In al that ]ond no cristen durste route, . 540 

Alle cristen folk ben fled fro that contree 

Thurgh payens, that conquereden al aboute 

The plages of the North, by land and see ; 

To Walys fled the cristianitee 

Of olde Britons, dwellinge in this He ; 545 

Ther was hir refut for the mene whyle. 

» E. and Camb. in ; the rest on»' ^ Hari. only ha& hcrberwed. 

t6 group b. the tale of the man of la we. 

But yet nere cristen Britons so exiled 

That ther nere somine that in hir priuitee 

Honoured crist, and hethen folk bigiled ; 

And neigh the castel swiche ther dwelten three. 550 

That oon of hem was blynd, and myghte not see 

But it were with thilke y€n of his mynde, 

With whiche men seen, whan that they ben blynde. 

Bryght was the sonne as in that someres day, 

For which the constable and his wyf also 555 

And Custance han ytake the ryghte way 

Toward the see, a furlong wey or two, 

To playen and to romen to and fro ; 

And in hir walk this blynde man they mette 

Croked and old, with yen faste y-schette. 560 

* In name of Crist,' cryede this blynde * Britoun, 

* Dame Hermengild, yif me my syghte agayn.' 
This lady wex aifrayed of the soun, 

Lest that hir housbond, shortiy for to sayn, 
Wolde hir for lesu cristes loue han slayn, 565 

Til Custance made hir bold, and bad hir werche 
The wil of Crist, as doughter of his chirche. 

The constable wex abasshed of that sight, 

And seyde, * what amounteth al this fare ? ' 

Custance answerde, * sire, it is Cristes might 570 

That helpeth folk out of the feendes snare/ 

And so ferforth she gan our lay declare, 

That she the constable, or that it were eue, 

Conuerted ^, and on Crist made ' him bileue. 

* E. olde ; Harl. old ; but the rest blynde or h\ynd. 

* Harl. Conuerted ; Camb. Conuertid ; the rest Conuerteth. 
' £. maketh; Laosd. maad; the rest made. 


This constable was no-thing lord of this place 575 

Of which I speke, ther he Custance fond, 

But vkepte it strongly, many wintres space, 

Vnder Alia, king of al Northumberlond, 

That was ful wys, and worthy of his hond 

Agayn the Scottes, as men may wel here, 580 

But turne I wol agayn to my matere. 

Sathan, that euer vs waiteth to bigyle, 

Sey of Custance al hir perfeccioun, 

And caste anon how he myghte quyte hir whyle. 

And made a yong knyght, that dwelte in that toun, 585 

Loue hir so hote of foul affeccioun. 

That verraily him thoughte he shulde spille 

But he of hir myghte ones haue his wille. 

He woweth hir, but it auailleth nought, 

She wolde do no sinne, by no weye ; 590 

And, for despit, he compassed in his thought 

To maken hir on shamful deth to deye. 

He wayteth whan the constable was aweye. 

And priuely, vp-on a njrght, he crepte 

In Hermengildes chambre whyl she slepte, 595 

Wery, for-waked in her orisouns, 

Slepeth Custance, and Hermengild also. 

This knyght, thurgh Sathanas ^ temptaciouns, 

Al softely is to the bed ygo, 

And kitte the throte of Hermengild atwo, 600 

And leyde the blody knyf by dame Custance, 

And wente his wey, ther god yeue him meschance I 

^ E. and Heng. Sathans ; Harl. Satanas ; hut Sathaoas m Coip., Petw., 
and Lansd. 



Sone after comth this constable hoom agayn. 

And eek Alia, that king was of that lond, 

And sey his wyf despitously yslayn, 605 

For which ful ofte he weep * and wrong his bond. 

And in the bed the blody knyf he (bnd 

By dame Custance ; alias ! what myghte she seye ? 

For verray wo hir wit was al aweye. 

To king Alia was told al this meschance, 610 

And eek the tyme, and wher, and in what wyse 

That in a ship was founden dame Custance, 

As her-biforn that ye ban herd deuyse. 

The kinges herte of pitee gan agryse, 

Whan he sey so benigne a creature 615 

Falle in disese and in misauenture. 

For as the lomb toward his deth is brought, 

So stant this Innocent bifore the king ; 

This false knyght that hath this tresoun wrought 

Berth ^ hir on bond that she hath doon this thing. 620 

But natheles, ther was gret moorning ' 

Among the peple, and seyn, * they can not gesse 

That she hath doon so gret a wikkednesse. 

For they han seyn hir euer so vertuous, 

And louing Hermengild ryght as her lyf/ 625 

Of this bar witnesse euerich in that hous 

Saue he that Hermengild slow with his knyf. 

This gentil king hath caught a gret motyf 

Of this witnesse, and thoughte he wolde enquere 

Depper in this, a trewthe for to lere. 630 

* E, Hn. weep or yrttpe ; Camb. Corp. Petw. wepte. 
hi £ ; the rest Bereth. ' Harl. murmuryng ; see note to L 348, 


Alias I Custance I thou hast no champioun 

Ne fyghte canstow nought, so weylawey ! 

But he, that starf for our redempcioun 

And bond Sathan (and yit lyth ther he lay) 

So be thy stronge champioun this day ! 635 

For, but if crist open miracle kythe, 

Withouten gilt thou shalt be slayn as swythe. 

She sette ^ her doun on knees, and thus she sayde, 

' Immortal god, that sauedest Susanne 

Fro false blame, and thow, merciful mayde, 640 

Mary I mene, doughter to Seint Anne, 

Bifore whos child aungeles singe Osanne, 

If I be giltlees of this felonye. 

My socour be, for ' elles I shal dye !' 

Haue ye not seyn som tyme a pale face, 645 

Among a prees, of him that hath be lad 
Toward his deth, wher as him gat no grace, 
And swich a colour in his face hath had. 
Men myghte knowe his face, that was bistad,. 
Amonges alle the faces in that route : 650 

So stant Custance, and looketh hir aboute. 

O queenes, lyuinge in prosperitee. 

Duchesses, and ladyes euerichone, 

Haueth som rewthe on hir aduersitee ; 

An emperoures doughter stant allone ; 655 

She hath no wight to whom to make hir mone» 

O blood roial I that stondest in this drede, 

Fer ben thy frendes at thy grete nede I 

^ £. sit ; Heng. Camb. Petw. sette. 
* £. or ; the r$&t for. 

C 2 


This Alia king hath swich compassioiin, 

As gentil herte is fulfild of pitee, 660 

That from his ydfn ran the water doun. 

* Now hastily do fecche a book/ quod he, 

* And if this knyght wol sweren how that she 
This womman slow, yet wole we vs auyse 

Whom that we wole that shal ben our lustyse/ 665 

A Briton book, writen with Euangyles, 

Was fet, and on this book he swor anoon 

She gilty was, and in the mene whyles 

A hand him smot vpon the nekke-boon, 

That doun he fel atones as a stoon, 670 

And both his y^'n braste out of his face 

In sight of euery body in that place. 

A voys was herd in general audience, 

And seyde, * thou hast disciaundered giltelees 

The doughter of holy chirche in hey presence ; 675 

Thus hastou doon, and yet holde I my pees/ 

Of this meruaille agast was al the prees ; 

As mased folk they stoden euerichone, 

For drede of wreche, saue Custance allone. 

Gret was the drede and eek the repentance 680 

Of hem that hadden wrong suspecciouti 

Vpdn this sely innocent Cuslance ; 

And, for this miracle, in conclusioun, 

And by Custances mediacioun. 

The king, and many another in that place, 685 

Conuerted was, thanked be cristes grace 1 


This false knyght was slayn for his vntrewthe 

By lugement of Alia hastily ; 

And yet Custance hadde of his deth gret rewthe. 

And after this lesus, of his mercy, 690 

Made Alia wedden ful solempnely 

This holy mayden, that is so bright and sheene, 

And thus hath Crist ymaad Custance ^ queene. 

But who was woful, if I shal nat lye, 

Of this wedding but Donegild, and na mo, 695 

The kinges moder, ful of tirannye ? 

Hir thoughte hir cursed herte brast atwo ; 

She wolde nought hir sone had do so ; 

Her thoughte a despit, that he sholde take 

So strange a creature vn-to his make. 700 

Me list nat of the chaf nor * of the stree 

Maken so long a tale, as of the corn. 

What sholde I tellen of the roialtee 

At mariage *, or which cours goth bifom, 

Who bloweth in a ' trompe or in an horn ? 705 

The fruyt of euery tale is for to seye ; 

They ete, and drinke, and daunce, and singe, and pleye. 

[JiLtng Alia is called away to Scotland^ to fight against enemies; 
he leaves Constance in the care of his Constable^ 

* Cm. nor ; E. or ; the rest nc. 

' £. Hn. mariages ; HI. this mariage ; Ln. \t mariage ; the rest mariage. 

' £. the; Hn. Pt. omit; the rest sl. 


The tyme is come, a knaue child she ber ; 

Mauricius at the fontstoon they him calle ; 

This Constable doth forth come a messager. 

And wroot vn-to his king, that cleped was AUe, 725 

How that this blisful tyding is bifalle, 

And othere tydings speedful for to seye ; 

He taketh th6 lettre, and forth he goth his weye. 

This messager, to don his auantage, 

Vn-to the kinges moder rydeth swythe, 730 

And salueth hir fill fayre in his langage, 

* Madame,' quod he, ' ye may be glad and bl)rthe. 

And thanke * god an hundred thousand sjrthe ; 

My lady queen hath child, with-outen doute, 

To loye and blisse of* al this regne aboute. 735 

Lo, heer the lettres seled of this thing. 

That I mot here with al the haste I may; 

If ye wol ought vn-to your sone the king, 

I am your seruant, bothe nyght and day.* 

Donegild answerde, ' as now at this tym, nay ; 740 

But heer al nyght I wol thou take thy reste, 

Tomorwe wol I sey thee what me leste/ 

This messager drank sadly ale and wyn. 

And stolen were his lettres priuyly 

Out of his box, whyl he sleep as a swyn ; 745 

And countrefeted was ful subtilly 

Another lettre, wrought ful sinfully, 

Vn-to the king direct of this matere 

Fro his Constable, as ye shul after here. 

^ Cp. HI. thanke ; E. Hn. thanketh ; Cm. thankede ; Pt. Ln. thonketh* 

' £. Cm. to ; the rest of. 


The lettre spak, * the queeti deliuered was 750 

Of so horrible a feendly creature, 

That in the castel noon so hardy was 

That any whyle dorste ther endure. 

The moder was an elf, by auenture 

Ycome, by charmes or by sorcerye, 755 

And euery wyght* hateth hir companye/ 

Wo was this king whan he this lettre had seyn, 

But to no wyghte he tolde his sorwes sore, 

But of his owen honde he wroot agayn, 

* Welcome the sonde of crist for euermore 760 

To me, that am now lerned in his lore ; 

Lord, welcom be thy lust and thy plesaunce, 

My lust I putte al in thyn ordinaunce I 

Kepeth this child, al be it foul or fayr. 

And eek my wyf, vn-to myn boom-cominge ; 765 

Crist, whan him list, may sende me an heyr 

More agreable than this to my lykinge.' 

This lettre he seleth, priuely wepinge, 

Which to the messager was take Tsone, 

And forth he goth; ther is no more to done. 770 

O messager, fulfild of dronkenesse, 

Strong is thy breeth, thy lymes faltren ay. 

And thou biwreyest alle secrenesse. 

Thy mynd is lorn, thou langlest as a lay, 

Thy face is turned in a newe array I 775 

Ther dronkenesse regneth in any route, 

Ther is no conseil hid, with-outen doute. 

^ £. Hn. omit wyght. 


O Donegild, I ne haue noon english digne 

Vn-to thy malice and thy tirannye ! 

And therfor to the fende I thee resigne, 780 

Let him endyten of thy traitorye ! 

Fy, mannish, fy ! o nay, [parfay], I lye, 

Yyjfeendly spirit, for I dar wel telle. 

Though thou heer walke, thy spirit is in helle 1 

This messager comth fro the king agayn, 785 

And at the kinges modres court he lyghte. 

And she was of this messager ful fayn, 

And plesed him in al that euer she myghte. 

He drank, and wel his girdel vnderpyghte. 

He slepeth, and he snoreth in his gyse 790 

Al nyght, vn-til * the sonne gan aryse. 

Eft were his lettres stolen euerichon | 

And countrefeted lettres in this wyse ; j 

' The king comandeth his Constable anon, 

Vp peyne of hanging and of ^ hey luy se, 795 

That he ne scholde suffren in no wyse 

Custance in-with his regne for tabyde 

Thre dayes and a quarter of a tyde ; 

But in the same ship as he hir fond 

Hir and hir yonge sone, and al hir gere, 800 

He sholde putte, and croude hir fro the lond, 

And charge hir that she neuer eft com there/ 

O my Custance, wel may thy gost haue fere 

And sleping in thy dreem been in penance. 

Whan Donegild caste al this ordinance I 805 

^ HI. vn-to ; the rest til ; but vn-til (a« in Tyrwhitt) seems better. 
' HI. of; £. Hn. on ; the rest corrupt. 


This messager on morwe, whan he wook, 

Vn-to the castel halt the nexte wey, 

And to the Constable he the lettre took ; 

And whan that he this pitous lettre sey, 

Ful ofte he seyde * alias T and * weylawey T 810 

* Lord crist,' quod he, ' how may this world endure ? 

So ful of sinne is many a creature 1 

O myghty god, if that it be thy wille, 

Sith thou art ryghtful luge, how may it be 

That thou wolt suffren Innocents to spille, 815 

And wikked folk regne in prosperite ? 

O good Custance, alias I so *wo is me 

That I mot be thy tormentour, or deye 

On shames^ deeth ; ther is noon other weye V 

Wepen both yonge and olde in al that place, 8ao 

Whan that the king this cursed letter sente, 

And Custance, with a deedly pale face. 

The ferthe day toward hir^ ship she wente. 

But natheles she taketh in good entente 

The wille of Crist, and, kneling on the stronde, 825 

She seyde, * lord ! ay wel-com be thy sonde I 

He that me kepte fro the false blame 

Whyl I was on the londe amonges yow, 

He can me kepe from harme and eek fro shame 

In salte see, al-though I se nat how. 830 

As strong as euer he was, he is yet now. 

In him triste I, and in his moder dere, 

That* is to me my seyl and eek my stere.' 

^ So all but HI., which has schamful. * E. Ln. the ; the rest hir. 



Hir litel child lay weping in hir arm, 

And kneling, pitously to him she seyde, s 

' Pees, litel sone, I wol do thee noon harm.' 

With that hir kercheP of hir heed she breyde, 

And ouer his litel y€n she it leyde ; 

And in hir arm she luUeth it ful faste, 

And in-to heuen hir y£n vp she caste. 840 

' Moder/ quod she, * and mayde bright, Marye, 

Soth is that thurgh womannes eggement 

Mankynd was lorn and damned ay to dye. 

For which thy child was on a croys yrent ; 

Thy blisful yfe'n seye aljiis torment; 845 

Than is ther no comparisoun bitwene 

Thy wo and any wo man may sustene. 

Thou sey thy child yslayn bifor thyn yfe'n, 

And yet now lyueth my litel' child, parfay I 

Now, lady bryght, to whom alle woful cryfe'n, 850 

Thou glorie of wommanhede, thou fayre may, 

Thou hauen of refut, bryghte sterre of day, 

Rewe on my child, that of thy gentillesse 

Rewest on euery rewful in distresse I 

O litel child, alias I what is thy gilt, 855 

That neuer wroughtest sinne as yet, parde. 

Why wil thyn harde fader han thee spilt ? / 

O mercy, dere Constable !' quod she ; 

* As lat my litel child dwelle heer with thee ; 

And if thou darst not sauen him, for blame, 860 

So* kis him ones in his fadres name !' 

* Ln. HI. kerchef; Pt. keerchef; E. Hn. couerchief; Cm. couerchif; 
Cp. cooerchef. 

' £. Hn. Cm. oner {wrongly) ; the rest of. 

^ £. Ln. om. litel ; the rest have it, * £. Yet ; the rest So. 


Ther-with she loketh^ bakward to the londe, 
And seyde, * far-wel, housbond rewthelees ! ' 
And vp she rist, and walketh doun the stronde 
Toward the ship ; hir folweth al the prees, 865 

And euer she preyeth hir child to holde his pees ; 
And taketh hir leue, and with an holy entente 
She blisseth hir ; and in-to ship she wente. 

Vitailled was the ship, it is no drede, 

Habundantly for hir ful longe space, 870 

And other necessaries that sholde nede 

She hadde ynough, heried be goddes grace ! 

For wynd and weder almyghty god purchace 

And bringe hir hoom 1 I can no bettre seye ; 

But in the see she dryueth forth hir weye. 875 

Explicit secunda pars, Sequitur pars tercia. 

Alia the king comth hoom, sone after this, 

Vnto his castel of the which I tolde, 

And axeth wher his wyf and his child is. 

The Constable gan aboute his herte colde, 

And pleynly al the maner he him tolde 880 

As ye han herd, I can telle it no bettre. 

And sheweth the king his seel and [eek] ' his lettre. 

And seyde, * lord, as ye comaunded me 
Vp peyne of deeth, so haue I doon certeyn/ 
' This messager tormented was til he 885 

Moste biknowe and tellen, plat and pleyn, 
Fro nyght to nyght, in what place he had leyn. 
And thus, by wit and subtil enqueringe, 
Ymagined was by whom this harm gan springe. 

^ E. Ln. looked ; t}i% rest looketb, loketh. 

' Thi word eek seitns wanted ; but is not in the MSSL 


The bond was knowe that the lettre wroot, 890 

And al the venim of this cursed dede, 

But in what wyse certeynly I noot 

Theflfect is this, that Alia, out of drede, 

His moder slow, that men may pleynly rede, 

For that she traytour was to hir ligeaunce. 895 

Thus endeth olde Donegild with meschaunce. 

The sorwe that this Alia nyght and day 
Maketh for his wyf and for his child also, 
Ther is no tonge that it telle may. 
But now wol I vn-to Custance go, 900 

' That fleteth in the see, in peyne and wo, 
Fyue yeer and more, as lyked cristes sonde, 
Er that hir ship approched vn-to ^ londe. 

Vnder an hethen Castel, atte laste, 

Of which the name in my text nought I fynde, . 905 

Custance and eek hir child the see vp-caste. 

Almighty god, that saueth* al mankynde 

Haue on Custance and on hir child som mynde, 

That fallen is in hethen land eft-sone, 

In point to spille, as I shal telle yow sone. 910 

Doun from the Castel comth ther many a wyght 

To gauren on this ship and on Custance. 

But shortly, from the Castel on a nyght 

The lordes styward — god yeue him meschaunce ! — 

A theef, that had reneyed our creaunce, 915 

Com in- to' ship allone, and seyde he sholde 

Hir lemman be, wher-so she wolde or nolde. 

» So Hn. Cp. Pt. HI. ; E. Ln. vn-to the ; Cm. to the. 
^ E. saued ; the rest saueth. ' £. Cm. in-to the ; the rest omit the. 


[The story relates that, by Gods grace ^ the thief fell 
cm er hoard and was drowned^ 

How may this wayke womman han this strengthe 

Hir to defende agayn this renegat ? 

O Golias, vnmesurable of lengthe, 

How myghte Dauid make thee so mat, 935 

So yong and of armure so desolat ? 

How dorste he loke vp-on thy dredful face ? 

Wei may men seen it nas^ but goddes grace ! 

Who yaf Judith corage or hardinesse 

To sleen him, Olofernus^, in his tente, 940 

And to deliueren out of wrecchednesse 

The peple of god ? I seye for this entente, 

That ryght as god spirit of vigour sente 

To hem, and saued hem out of meschance, 

So sente he myght and vigour to Custance. 945 

Forth goth hir ship thurgh-out the narwe mouth 

Of lubaltar and Septe, dryuing alway', 

Som-tyme West, and som-tym North and South, 

And som-tyme Est, ful many a wery day, 

Til cristes moder (blessed be she ay !) 950 

Hath shapen, thurgh hir endeles goodnesse. 

To make an ende of al hir heuinesse. 

^ So £. Hi. ; Ln. is ; tht rest was. 

' £. Oloferne ; HI. Olefernes ; the rest Oloferaus, Oleferaas, or Oles- 
pheraus ; see note, 

' £. HI. alway ; the rest ay. The latter would he better, but is hardly 
admimbUt on account ofiu terminating 1. 950* 


Now lat vg stinte of Custance but a throwe. 

And speke we of the Romayn Emperour, 

That out of Surrye hath by lettres knowe ^.i- 

The slaughtre of cristen folk, and dishonour 

Don to his daughter by a fals traytour, 

I mene the cursed wikked sowdanesse, 

That at the feste leet sleen both more and lesse. 

For which this emperour hath sent anoon 96c 

His senatour, with roial ordinance, 

And othere lordes, got wot, many oon, 

On Surryens to taken hey vengeance. 

They brennen, sleen, and bringe hem to meschance 

Ful many a day; but shortly, this is thende, 965 

Homward to Rome thei shapen hem to wende. 

This senatour repaireth with victorie 

To Romeward, sayling ful roially, 

And mette the ship dryuing, as seith the storie, 

In which Custance sit ful pitously. 970 

No-thing ne^ knew he what she was, ne why 

She was in swich array; ne she nil seye 

Of hir estaat, although' she sholde deye. 

He bringeth hir to Rome, and to his wyf 

He yaf hir, and hir yonge sone also ; 975 

And with the senatour she ladde her lyf. 

Thus can our lady bringen out of wo 

Woful Custance, and many another mo.. 

And longe tyme dwelled she in that place. 

In holy werkes euer, as was hir grace. 980 

^ E. Cm. om. ne ; the rest have it, 

* HI. although ; Pt. though that ; the rest though. 


The senatoufes wyf hir aunte was, 

But for al that she knew hir neuer the more ; 

I wol no lenger tarien in this cas, 

But to king Alia, which I spak of yore, 

That for his wyf wepeth ^ and syketh sore, 985 

I wol retourrie, and lete I wol Custance 

Vnder the senatoures gouernance. 

King Alia, which that hadde his moder slayn, 

Vpon a day fil in swich repentance, 

That, if I shortly tellen shal and playn, 990 

To Rome he comth, to receyuen his penance 

And putte him in the popes ordinance 

In hey and low, and lesu Crist bisoughte 

Foryeue his wikked werkes that he wroughte. 

The fame anon through Rome toun* is born, 995 

How Alia king shal come in pilgrimage, 

By herbergeours that wenten him bifom ; 

For which the senatour, as was vsage, 

Rood him agayn, and many of his linage, 

As wel to shewen his hey magnificence 1000 

As to don any king a reuerence. 

Greet chere doth this noble senatour 

To king Alia, and he to him also ; 

Euerich of hem doth other greet honour ; 

And so bifel that, in a day or two, , icx>5 

This senatour is to king Alia go 

To feste, and shortly, if I shal nat lye, 

Custances sone wente in his companye. 

* So all but E., which puts wepeth after That. 

^ £. through out the toun ; the rest through Rome touo. 


Som men wolde seyn, at requeste of Custance, 

This senatour hath lad this child to feste; mo 

I may nat tellen euery circumstance, 

Be as be may, ther was he at the leste. 

But soth is this, that, at his modres heste, 

Biforn Alia, during the metes space, 

The child stood, loking in the kinges face. 1115 

This Alia king hath of this child greet wonder, 
And to the senatour he seyde anon, 

* Whos is that fayre child that stondeth yonder ? ' 

* I noot,' quod he, * [parfay], and by seint John ! 

A moder he hath, but fader hath he non 11 20 

That I of wot' — but shortly, in a stounde, 
He told AUa how that this child was founde. 

Now was this child as lyk vn-to Custance 1030 

As possible is a creature to be. 

This AUa hath the face in remembrance 

Of dame Custance, and ther-on mused he 

If that the childes moder were aught she 

That was his wyf, and priuely he syghte, 1035 

And spedde him fro the table that he' myghte. 

* Parfay,' thoughte he, * fantome is in my heed ! 
I oughte deme, of skilful lugement. 

That in the salte see my wyf is deed.' 

And afterward he made his argument — 1040 

* What wot I, if that Crist haue ^ hider ysent^ 
My wyf by see, as wel as he hir sente 

To my contree fro thennes that she wente ? ' 

^ E. haue ; ihe rest hath. ^ £. ysent; Cm. I-sent ; the rest sent. 


And; after noon, hoom with the senatour 

Goth Alia, for to seen this wonder chaunce. 1045 

This senatour doth Alia greet honour, 

And hastily ^ he sente after Custaunce. 

But trusteth wel, hir liste nat to daunce 

Whan that she wiste whereft>r was that sonde. 

Vnnethe vp-on hir feet she myghte stonde. 1050 

Whan Alia sey his wyf, fayre he hir grette. 

And weep, that it was rewthe for to see. 

For at the firste look he on hir sette 

He knew wel verraily that it was she. 

And she for sorwe as domb stant as a tre ; 1055 

So was hir herte shet in hir distresse 

Whan she remembred his vnkyndenesse* 

Twyes she swowned in his owen syghte ; 

He weep, and him excuseth pitously t — 

*Now god,' quod he, 'and alle* his halwes bryghte 1060 

So wisly on my soule as haue mercy, 

That of your harm as giltelees am I 

As is Maurice my sone so lyk yotir face ; 

EUes the feend me fecche out of this place ! ' 

Long was the sobbing and the bitter peyne 1065 

Er that her woful hertes myghte cesse; 

Greet was the pite for to here hem pleyne 

Thurgh whiche pleyntes gan her wo encresse. 

I prey yow al my labour to relesse ; 

I may nat telle her wo vn-til tomorwe^ 1070 

I am so wery for to speke of sorwe. 

^ E. Pt. hastifly ; the rest hastily, hastely. 
* HI. alle ; which the rest omit^ 

VOL. ra. 


But fynally, when that the soth is wist 

That Alia giltelees was of hir wo, 

I trowe an hundred tymes been ' they kist, 

And swich a blisse is ther bitwix hem two io}-5 

That, saue the loye that lasteth euermo, 

Ther is noon lyk that any creature 

Hath seyn or shal, why! that the world may dure. 

Tho preyde she hir housbond mekely. 

In relief of fair longe pitous pyne, 1080 

That he wold preye hir fader specially 

That, of his magestee, he wolde enclyne 

To vouche sauf som day with him to dyne ; 

She preyde him eek, he sholde ^ by no weye 

Vn-to hir fader no word of hir seye. 1085 

Som men wold seyn, how that the child Maurice 

Doth this message vn-to this emperour ; 

But, as I gesse. Alia was nat so nyce 

To him, that was of so souereyn honour 

As he that is of cristen folk the flour, 1090 

Sente any child, but it is bet to deme 

He wente him-self, and so it may wel seme. 

This emperour hath graunted gentiUy 

To come to dyner, as he him bisoughte ; 

And wel rede I, he loked bisily 1095 

Vp-on this child, and on his daughter thoughte. 

Alia goth to his in, and, as him oughte, 

Arrayed for this feste in euery wyse 

As ferforth as his conning may suflfyse. 

^ So in all the seven MSS* ' £. wolde ; the rest sbolde. 


The morwe cam, and Alh gd.n him dref&se, iioo 

And eek his wyf, this emperour to mete ; 
And forth they ryde in loye and in gladnesse. 
And whan she sey hir fader in the strete, 
She lyghte doun, and falleth him to fete. 

* Fader/ quod she, * your yonge child Custance 1 105 
Is now ful clene out of your remembrance. 

I am your doughter Custance ^' quod she, 

* That whylbm ye han sent vn-to Surrye. 
It am I, fader, that in the sake see 

Was put allone and dampned for to dye. mo 

Now, gode fader, mercy I'yow crye, 
Send me namore vn-to noon hethenesse, 
But thonketh my lord heer of his kyndenesse/ 

Who can the pitous loye tellen al 

Bitwix hem thre, sin they ben thus ymette ? 1115 

But of my tale make an ende I shal; 

The day goth faste, I wol no lenger lette. 

This glade folk to dyner they hem sette ; 

In loye and blisse at mete I lete hem dwelle 

A thousand fold wel more than I can telle. 11 20 

This child Maurice was sithen emperour 

Maad by the pope, and lyued cristenly. 

To Cristes chirdie he dide gret honour ; 

But I lete al his storie passen by, 

Of Custance is my tale specially. 1125 

In olde Romayn gestes may men fynde 

Maurices lyf ; I here it nought in mynde, 

* 1^0 in all the MSS. ; to he read as Custance (three syllables). See th$ note. 

D 2 


This king Alia, whan he his t3rme sey, 

With his Custance, his holy wyf so swete, 

To Engelond ben they come the ryghte wey, 1130 

Wher-as they lyue in loye and in quiete. 

But litel whyl it lasteth, I yow hete, 

loye of this world, for tyme wol nat abyde ; 

Fro day to nyght it changeth as the tyde. 

Who lyued euer in swich' delyt o day 1135 

That him ne moeued other conscience^ 

Or Ire, or talent, or som kin ^ afifray, 

Envie, or pryde, or passion, or offence ? 

I ne sey but for this ende this sentence, 

That litel whyl in loye or in plesance 1140 

Lasteth the blisse of Alia with Custance. 

For deth, that taketh of hey and low his rente. 

Whan passed was a yeer, euen as I gesse, 

Out of this world this king Alia he hente, 

For whom Custance hath ful g^et heuynesse. 1 145 

Now lat vs pi*eyen' god his soule blesse I 

And dame Custatice, fynally to seye. 

Toward the toun of Rome goth hir weye. 

To Rome is come this holy creature. 

And fyndeth ther ' hir frendes hole and sounde ; 1 150 

Now is she scaped al hir auenture ; 

And whan that she hir fader hath yfounde, 

Doun on hir knee's falleth she to grounde ; 

Weping for tendrenesse in herte blythe. 

She herieth god an hundred thousand sythe. 1155 

^ £. som kynnes ; Cm. sumkenys ; HI. soih maner ; Hn. Cp. Pt. som kjn ; 
Ln. sumkin. 

■ E. prayc to ; HI. pray that ; the rest prcyen, prayen, preien, or prcync. 
' Supplied from 111. The rest omit ther, but the omission spoils the line. 


In vertu and in holy almes-dede 

They lyuen alle, and neuer a-sonder wende ; 

Til deth departed hem, this lyf they lede. 

And fareth now wel, my tale is at an ende. 

Now lesu Crista that of his myght may sende 1160 

loye after wo, goueme vs in his grace, 

And kepe vs alle that ben in this place I Amen. 

Heere endeth the tal^ of the man of Iiawe. 

[Here follows The 8hipman's Prologue (misealled in most MSS, 
The Squire's Prologue), 11. 11 63-1 190; printed in ' The Prioresses 
Tale, &€., ed. Skeat, p. 6, See that volume for an account of the 
rest £^ Group B.] 


[Group G begins with The Phisiciens {or Doctor's) Tale, 
II. 1-286. After vMcb there foil<Wfs^-\ 

Tha wordOB of the Hoost to the Fhisioieii scad tlie 


Our hoste gan to swere as he were woo^ 

' Harrow 1' quod he, * by nayles and by blood, 

This was a fals cherl and a false lustise I 

As shamful deeth as herte may deuyse. 290 

Come to thise luges ^ and her aduocatsi 

Algate this sely mayde is slayn, alias !* 

Alias 1 to dere boughte she beautee I 

Wherfor I seye al day, as men may see, 

That yiftes of fortune or* of nature 295 

Been cause of deeth to* many a creature. 

Hir beautee was hir deeth, I dar wel sayn ; 

Alias ! so pitously as she was slayn 1 ' 

Of bothe yiftes that I speke of now 

Men han ful ofte more harm* than prow. 300 

^ £. false luges ; hut no other MS, inserts false. 

^ Lines igi, 292, stand thus in E. Hn. Cm. Pt. ; but Cp. has — ^So falle 
vpon his body and his bones The deuyl I bekenne him al at ones ; so also 
Ln. HI. 

' £. Hn. and ; the rest or. 

* So E. Hn. ; the rest of. 

* So Cp. Ln. HI.; E. Hn. Cm. Pt. omit II, 297, 298. 

" £. Hn. for harm ; the rest omit for. HI. omits U. 299, 500, 


But trewely, myn owen mayster dere, 
This is a pitous tale for to here. 
But natheles, passe ouer, is^ no fors; 
I prey to god, so saue thy gentil cors, 

• ♦ * • • * 505 

Thyn Yppcras, and eek thy Galianes, 

And euery boist ful of thy letuarie ; 

God blesse hem, and our lady seinte Marie 1 

So mot I theen, thou art a propre man, 

And lyk a prelat, by seint Ronyan 1 3 to 

Seyde I nat wel ? I can nat speke in terme ; 

But wel I wot, thou dost my herte to erme, 

That I almost haue caught a cardiacle. 

By corpus bones I but I haue triacle, 

Or elles a draught of moyste and corny ale, 31^ 

Or but I here anon a mery tale, 

Myn herte is lost for pitee of this mayde* 

Thou bel amy, thou pardoner,* he seyde, 

' Tel vs som njirthe or lapes ryght anon/ 

' It shal be doon,' quod he, ' by seint Ronyon I 320 

But first,' quod he, ' heer at this ale-stake 

I wol both drinke, and eten of a cake/ 

But^ ryght anon thise gentils gonne to crye, 

' Nay I lat him teUe of vs no ribaudye* ; 

Tel vs som moral things Uiat we may lere 3^5 

Som wit, and thanne wol we gladly here/ 

' I graunte, ywis,' quod he, ' but I mot thinke* 

Vp-on som honest thing, whyl that I drinke. 

^ HI. this is ; the rest omit this. 

* E. Hn. And ; the rest But. 

' E. Hn. Cp. HI. ribaudye ; Ln. rebaudie ; Cm. rebaudrye ; Pt. rybaudrye. 

* For II. 326, 327, HI. has — Gladly, quod he, and sayde as ye schal heere. 
But in the cuppe wil I me bethinke. 


Heere folweththe Frologe of the Pardoners Tale. 

Radix malorum est Cuptdtias : Ad Tliimoiheum^ sexto, 

Lordings/ quod he, * in chirches whan I preche, 

I peyne me to han an hauteyn speche, 330 

And ringe it out as round as goth a belle^ 

For I can al by rote that I telle. 

My theme is alwey oon, and euer was — 

" Radix malorum est CupidiiasV 

First I pronounce whennes that I come, 335 

And than my bulles shewe I, alle and somme. 
Our lige lordes seel on my patente 
That shewe I first, my body to warente, 
That no man be so bold, ne preest ne clerk, 
Me to destourbe of Cristes holy werk; 340 

And after that than telle I forth my tales, > 
BuQea of popes and of cardinales, 
Of patriarkeSy and bishoppes I shewe ; 
And in Latyn I speke a wordes fewe, 
To saffron with my predicacioun, 345 

And for to stire men^ to deuocioun. 
Than shewe I forth my longe cristal stones, 
Ycrammed ful of cloutes and of bones ; 
Reliks been they, as wenen they echoon. 
Than haue I' in latoun a shoulder-boon 350 

Which that was of an holy lewes shepe. 
' Good men,' seye I,* * tak of my wordes kepe ; 
If that this boon be wasshe in any welle, 
If cow, or calf, or sheep, or oxe swelle 
That any worm hath ete, or worm ystonge, 355 

Tftk water of that welle, and wash his tonge, 

> E. Hn. hem ; ih% rest men. ' £. omits I by acddmt, 

* £. Hn. I seye ; tht rest say I, sale I. 


And it is hool anon ; and forthennore, 

Of pokkes and of scabbe, and euery sore 

Shal euery sheep be hool, that of this welle 

Drinketh a draughte ; tak kepe eek what I telle. 360 

If that the good-man, that the bestes oweth, 

Wol euery wike, er that the cok him croweth, 

Fastinge, drinken of this welle a draughte, 

As thilke holy lewe our eldres taughte. 

His bestes and his stoor shal multiplye. 365 

And, sirs^ also it heleth lalousye ; 

For, though a man be falle in lalous rage, 

Let maken with this water his potage, 

And neuer shal he more his wyf mistriste, 

Though he the soth of hir defaute wiste. 370 

Heer is a miteyn eek, that ye may see. 
He that his hond wol putte in this miteyn. 
He shal haue multiplying of his greyn, 
Whan he hath sowen, be it whete Tor otes, 375 

So that he offre pens, or elles grotes. 

Good* men and wommen, o thing wame I yow, 
If any wight be in this chirche now, 
That hath doon sinne horrible, that he 
Dar nat, for ^ame, of it yshriuen be, 380 

Swich folk shul haue no power ne no grace 

To ofifren to my reliks in this place. 

And who so fyndeth him out of swich blame', 385 

He* wol come vp and offre in" goddes name, 

' E. Hn. sire ; the rest sires, sisr. ^ E. Hn. Goode ; the rest And. 

■ E. feme ; the rest blam«. * Hn. He ; the rest They. 

E. on ; Hn, a ; M# rest in. 



And I assoille him^ by the auctoritee 
Which that by buUe ygraunted was to me.' 

By this gaude haue I wonne, yeer by yere, 
An hundred mark sith I was Pardonere. 390 

I stonde lyk a clerk in my pulpet, 
And whan the lewed peple is doun yset, 
I preche^ so as ye haue herd bifore, 
And telle an hundred false lapes more. 
Than peyne I me to strecche forth the nekke, 395 

And est and west vpon the peple I bekke, 
As doth a dowue sitting on a heme. 
Myn hondes and my tonge goon so yeme, 
That it is loye to se my bisynesse. 
Of auarice and of swich cursednesse 400 

Is al my preching, for to make hem fre 
To yeue her pens, and namely vn-to me. 
For my entent is nat but for to winne, 
And no-thing for correccioun of sinne. 
I rekke neuer, whan that' they ben beryed, 405 

Though that her soules goon a blakeberyed I 
For certes, many a predicacioun 
Comth ofte tyme of yuel entencioun ; 
Som for plesaunce of folk and flaterye, 
To been auaunced by ypocrisye, 410 

And som for veyne glorie, and som for hate. 
For, whan I dar noon other weyes debate, 
Than wol I stinge him with my tonge smerte 
In preching, so that he shal nat asterte 
To been defamed falsly, if that he 415 

Hath trespased to my brethren or to me. 
For, though I telle nought his propre name, 
Men shsd wel knowe that it is the same 

^ £. HI. hem ; tki nst him or hym. ' E. HI. omii ihaA; tie rest Juwe it. 

GROUP C. THE pardoner's PROLOGUE, 43 

By signes and by othere circumstances. 

Thus quyte I folk that doon vs displesances ; 420 

Thus spitte I out my venim vnder hewe 

Of holynesse, to seme holy and trewe. 

But shortly myn entente I .wol deuyse ; 
I preche of no-thing but for coueityse. 
Therfor my theme is yet, and euer was — 425 

" Radix malorum est cupidtias.*^ 
Thus can I preche agayn that same vice 
Which that I vse, and that is auarice. 
But, though my-self be gilty in that sinne, 
Yet can I maken other folk to twinne 430 

From auarice, and sore to repente. 
But that is nat my principal entente. 
I preche no-thing but for coueityse ; 
Of this matere it oughte ynough suffyse. 

Than telle I hem ensamples many oon 435 

Of olde stories, longe tyme agoon ; 
For lewed peple louen tales olde ; 
Swich thinges can they wel reporte and holde. 
What ? trowe ye that, whyles ^ I may preche, 
And winne gold and siluer for I teche, 440 

That I wol lyue in pouert wilfully ? 
Nay, nay, I thoughte it neuer trewely ! 
For I wol preche and begge in sondry londes ; 
I wol nat do no labout with my hondes, 
Ne mak-e baskettes, and lyue therby, 445 

Because I Wol nat beggen ydelly. 
I wol noon of the apostles counterfete ; 
I wol haue money, woUe, chese, and whete. 

^ So Hn., E. Pt. the whiles ; Cm. that whilis that ; Cp. Lb. whiles that ; 
HI. whiles. 


Al were it yeuen of the pourest* page, 

Or of the pourest widwe in a village, 450 

Al sholde hir children sterue for famyne* 

Nay ! I wol drinke licour of the vyne I 

• '• • • • • • 

But herkneth, lordings, in conclasioun ; 

Your lyking is that I shal telle a tale. 455 

Now haue I dronke a draughte of corny ale, 

[Parfay], I hope I shal yow telle a thing 

That shal, by resoun, been at your lyking. 

For, though myself be a ful vicious man, 

A moral tale yet I yow telle can, 460 

Which I am wont to preche, for to winne. 

Now holde your pees, my tale I wol beginne. 

Heere bigynneth the Pardoners tale. 

In Flaundres whylom was a companye 
Of yonge folk, that haunteden folye. 
As ryot, hasard^ stewes, and tauernes, 465 

Wher as, with harpes, lutes, and gitemes. 
They daunce and pleye at dees bothe day and nyght. 
And ete also and drinken ouer her myght, 
Thurgh which they doon the deuel sacrifyse 
With-in that deueles temple, in cursed wyse, 470 

By superfluitee abhominable ; 
Her othes been so grete and so dampnable, 
That it is grisly for to here hem swere ; 
Our blissed lordes body they to-tere ; 
Hem thoughte lewes ^ rente him nought ynough ; 475 
And ech of hem at otheres sinne lough. 

* HI. prestes. 

' So Cp. Ln. HI. ; E. Hn. Cm. that lewes; Pt. }« Iwcs. 



And ryght anon than comen tombesteres 

Fetys and smale, and yonge fniytesteres, 

Singers with harpes [eek, and] wafereres, 

Whiche been the verray deueles officeres 480 

To kindle and blowe the fyr of [luxurye], 

That is annexed vn-to glotonye ; 

The holy writ take I to my witnesse, 

That luxurie is in wyn and dronkenesse. 

Herodes (who so wel the stories soughte)\ 
Whan he of wyn was replet at his feste, 
Ryght at his owen table he yaf his heste 490 

To sleen the Baptist lohn ful giltelees. 

Senek seith eek' a good word doutelees ; 
He seith he can no difference fynde 
Bitwix a man that is out of his mynde 
And a man which that is dronkelewe, 495 

But that woodnesse, yfallen in a shrewe^ 
Perseuereth lenger than doth dronkenesse. 
O glotonye, ful of cursednesse, 
O cause first of our confusioun, 
O original of our dampnacioun, 500 

Til Crist had bought vs with his blood agayn 1 
Lo, how dere, shortly for to sayn, 
Abought was thilke cursed vilanye ; 
Corrupt was al this world for glotonye I • 

Adam our fader, and his wyf also, 505 

Fro Paradys to labour and to wo 
Were driuen for that vice, it is no drede ; 
For whyl that Adam fasted, as I rede, 

^ E. Hn. Cm. Pt. HI. agree here ; Cp. Ln. have two additional lines, hut 
they are probably spurious. 
* Cp. Ln. eek ; the reet omit it. 


He was in Paradys ; and whan that he 

Eet of the fruyt defended on the tree, 5 10 

Anon he was out cast to wo and pejme. 

glotonye, on thee wel oughte vs pleyne I 
O, wiste a man how many maladyes 
Folwen of excesse and of glotonyes. 

He wolde been the more mesurable 515 

Of his diete, sittinge at his table. 

Alias 1 the shorte throte, .the tendre jnoutb, 

Maketh that Est and West, and North and South, 

In erthe, in eir, in water men * to-swinke 

To gete a glotoun deyntee mete and drinke I 520 

Of this matere, o Paul, wel canstow trete, 

* Mete vn-to wombe, and wombe eek vn-to mete, 
Shal god destroyen bothe,' as Paulus seith. 
Alias I . a foul thing is it, by my feith, 

To seye this word, and fouler is the dede, 525 

Whan man so drinketh of the whyte and rede, 
That of his throte he maketh his pryuee^ 
Thurgh thilke cursed superfluitee. 
The apostel weping seith ful pitously, 

* Ther walken many of whiche yow told haue I, 530 

1 seye it now weping with pitous voys, 
That thai ' been enemys of Cristes croys, 

Of whiche the ende is deth, wombe is her god/ 

How gret labour and cost is thee to fynde 1 537 

Thise cokes, how they stampe, and streyne, and grynde, 
And tumen substaunce in-to accident, 
To fulfille al thy likerous talent 1 540 

^ E. HI. man ; iht rest men. 

* That thai is Tyrwhitt's nading; HI. Thay; bwt A* rtsi kave Ther, 
^fobabiy repiottd by mistak*Jrom /. 530. 


Out of the harde bones knokke they 

The mary, for they caste nought a-wey 

That may go thurgh the golet softe and swote ; 

Of spicerye, of leef, and bark, and rote 

Shal been his sauce ymaked by delyt, 545 

To make him yet a newer appetyt. 

But certes, he that haunteth swich delices 

Is deed, whyl that he lyueth in tho vices. 

A [cursed] thing is wyn, and dronkenesse 
Is ful of stryuing and of wrecchednesse. 550 

O dronke man, disfigured is thy face, 
Sour is thy breeth, foul artow to embrace, 
And thurgh thy dronke nose semeth the soun 
As though thou seydest ay * Sampsoun, Sampsoun '; 
And yet, god wot, Sampsoun drank neuer no wyn. 555 
Thou fallest, as it were a stiked swyn. 
Thy tonge is lost, and al thyn honest cure ; 
For dronkenesse is verray sepulture 
Of mannes wit and his discrecioun. 
In whom that drinke hath dominacioun, 560 

He can no conseil kepe, it is no drede. 
Now kepe yow fro the whyte and fro the rede. 
And namely fro the whyte wyn of Lepe, 
That is to selle in Fishstrete or in Chepe. 
This wyn of Spayne crepeth Subtilly 565 

In othere wynes, growing faste by, 
Of which ther ryseth swich fumositee. 
That whan a man hath dronken draughtes thre, 
And weneth that he be at hoom in Chepe, 
He is in Spayne, ryght at the toune of Lepe, 570 

Nat at the Rochel, ne at Burdeux toun ; 
And thanne wol he seye, * Sampsoun, Sampsoun/ 


But herkneth, lordings *, o word, I yow preye. 
That alle the souereyn actes, dar I seye, 
Of victories in the olde testament, 575 

Thurgh verray god, that is omnipotent. 
Were doon in abstinence and in preyere ; 
Loketh the Bible, and ther ye may it lere. 

' Loke, Attila, the grete conquerour, 
Deyde in his sleep, with shame and dishonour, 580 

Bledinge ay at his nose in dronkenesse ; 
A capitayn shoulde lyue m sobrenesse. 
And ouer al this, auyseth yow ryght wel 
What was comaunded vn-to Lamuel — 
Nat Samuel, but Lamuel, seye I — 585 

Redeth the Bible, and fynde it expresly 
Of wyn yeuing to hem that han lustise ; 
Namore of this, for it may wel suffise^ 

And now that ^ I haue spoke of glotonye, 
Now wol I yow defenden hasardrye. 590 

Hasard is verray moder of lesinges. 
And of deceit, and cursed forsweringes, 
Blaspheme ' of Crist, manslaughtre, and wast also 
Of catel and of tyme ; and forthermo. 
It is repreue and contrarie of honour 595 

For to ben holde a commune hasardour. 
And euer the heyer he is of estaat, 
The more is he holden desolaat. 
If that a prince vseth hasardrye> 

In alle gouemaunce and policye 600 

He is, as by commune opinoun, 
Yholde the lasse in reputacioun. 

^ E. lordes ; the rest lordinges, lordynges, lordyngs. ■ 

' £. omits that ; the rest htrtfe it, 

' £. Blasphemyng ; the rest Blaspheme. 


Stilbon, that was a wys embassadour, 
Was sent to Cbrinthe, in ful greet honour, 
Fro Lacidomie, to make her alliaunce. 605 

And whan he cam, him happede, par chaunce, 
That alle the grettest that were of that lond, 
Pleyinge atte hasard he hem fond. 
For which, as sone as it myghte be, 
He stal him hoom s^yn to his contree, 610 

And seyde, * ther wol I nat lese my name ; 
Ne I ^ wol nat take on me so greet defame, 
Yow for to allye vn-to none hasardours. 
Sendeth som * othere wyse embassadors ; 
For, by my trouthe, me were leuer dye, 615 

Than I yow sholde to hasardours allye. 
For ye that been so glorious in honours 
Shul nat allyen yow with hasardours 
As by my wil, ne as by my tretee.' 
This wyse philosophre thus seyde he. 6ao 

Loke eek that to ' the king Demetrius 
The king of Parthes, as the book seith vs, 
Sente him a paire of dees of gold in scorn. 
For he hadde vsed hasard ther-bifom ; 
For which he heeld his glorie or his renoun 625 

At no value or reputacioun. 
Lordes may fynden other maner pley 
Honeste ynough to dryue the day awey. 

Now wol I speke of othes false and grete 
A word or two, as olde bokes trete. 630 

Gret swering is a thing abhominable, 
And fals swering is yet * more repreuable. 

* Hn. Ny ; Cm. Nay (60/A put for Ne I) ; which shews tbe scansion. 
' HI. som ; which the rest omit, 

' Hn. Cm. Cp. Pt. to ; which E. Ln. Hi. omiL 

* Cp. Ln. HI. om. yet. 

VOL. m. E 


The heye god forbad swering at al, 

Witnesse on Mathew ; but in special 

Of swering seith the holy leremye, 635 

' Thou shalt seye sooth thyn othes, and nat lye, 

And swere in dome, and eek in ryghtwisnesse ;' 

But ydel swering is a cursednesse. 

Bihold and se, that in the firste table 

Of heye goddes hestes honurable, 640 

How that the seconde heste of him is this — 

' Tak nat my name in ydel or amis/ 

Lo, rather he forbedeth swich swering 

Than homicyde or many a ^ cursed thing; 

I sey that, as by ordre, thus it stondeth ; 645 

This knowen, that his hestes vnderstondeth. 

How that the second heste of god is that. 

And forther ouer, I wol thee telle al plat, 

That vengeance shal nat parten from his hous, 

That of his othes is to outrageous. 650 

' By goddes precious herte, and by his nayles. 

And by the blode of Crist, that it ia in Hayles, 

Seuen is my chaunce, and thjni is cink and treye ; 

By goddes armes, if thou falsly pleye. 

This dagger shal thurgh-out thyn herte go ' — 655 

This fruyt cometh of the bicched * bones two, 

Forswering, ire, falsnesse, homicyde. 

Now, for the loue of Crist that for vs dyde, 

Leueth * yeur othes, bothe grete and smale ; 

But, sirs, now wol I telle forth my tale. ' 660 

Thise ryotoures three, of whiche I telle, 
Longe erst er pryme rong of any belle, 

* Hn. Cm. HI. many a ; E. any ; Cp.' Pt. Ln. cny other. 

3 So E. Cp.; HI. bicchid; Ln. becched; Hn. Cm. bicche; Pt. thilk. 

' E. Hn. X/ete ; the rest Leueth. 


Were set hem in a tauerne for* to drinke ; 

And as they satte, they herde a belle clinke 

Bifom a corS) was caned to his graue ; 665 

That oon of hem gan callen to his knaue, 

' Go bet,' quod he, * and axe redily, 

What cors is this that passeth heer forby ; 

And look that thou reporte his name weL' 

* Sir,' quod this boy, * it nedeth neueradel. 670 

It was me told er ye cam heer two houres ; 
He was, parde, an old felawe of youres ; 
And sodeynly he was yslayn to-nyght, 
For-dronke, as he sat on his bench vpryght; 
Ther cam a priuee theef, men clepeth deeth^ 675 

That in this contree al the peple sleeth, 
And with his spere he smoot his herte atwo, 
And wente his wey with-outen wordes mo. 
He hath a thousand slayn this pestilence : 
And, maister, er ye come in his presence, 680 

Me thinketh that it were necessarie 
For to be war of swich an aduersarie : 
Beth redy for to mete him euermore. 
Thus taughte me my dame, I sey namore/ 
'By seinte Marie,' seyde this tauerner, 685 

' The child seith sooth, for he hath slayn this yeer, 
Henne ouer a myle, with-in a greet village, 
Both man aiid womman, child and hyne, and page. 
I trowe his habitacioun be there ; 
To been auysed greet wisdom it were, 690 

£r that he dide a man a dishonour.' 
* Ye, goddes armes,* quod this ryotour. 

^ Cp. Pt. HI. for ; which thi nst omit, 

E 2 


* Is it swich peril with him for to mete ? 

I shal him seke by weye and eek by strete, 

I make auow to goddes digne bones I 695 

Herknetby felawes, we thre been al ones ; 

Lat ech of vs holde vp his bond til other, 

And ech of vs bicomen otheres brother, 

And we wol sleen this false traytour deeth ; 

He shal be slayn, which that so many sleeth, 700 

By goddes dignitee, er it be nyght.' 

Togidres ban thise thre her trouthes plyght, 
To lyue and dyen ech of hem for other. 
As though he were his owen yboren* brother. 
And vp they sterte al^ dronken, in this rage, 705 

And forth they goon towardes that village. 
Of which the tau«mer had spoke bifom, 
And many a grisly 00th than ban they sworn, 
And Cristes blessed body they to-rente — 

* Deeth shal be deed, if that they may him hente.' 710 

Whan they han goon nat fully half a myle, 
Ryght as they wolde han troden ouer a style, 
An old man and a poure with hem mette. 
This olde man ful mekely hem grette, 
And seyde thus, * now, lordes, god yow see T 715 

The proudest of thise ryotoures three 
Answerde agayn, * what ? carl, with sory grace. 
Why artow al forwrapped saue thy face ? 
Why lyuestow so longe in so greet age ?' 

This olde man gan loke in his visage, 720 

And seyde thus, * for I ne can nat fynde 
A man, though that I walked in-to Ynde, 
Neither in citee nor in no village. 

* E. ybom ; Hn. ybore ; Cm. bore ; Pt. bom ; Cp. Lji. HI, swome. 
Hn. Cp. Ln. HI. al ; E. Cm. Pt. and. 



That wolde chaunge his youthe for myn age ; 

And therfore mot I han myn age stille, 725 

As longe tyme as it is goddes wille. 

Ne deeth, alias ! ne wol nat han my lyf ; 
Thus walke I, lyk a restelees caityf, 
And on the ground, which is my modres gate, 
I knokke with my staf, bothe erly and late, 730 

And seye, " leue moder, leet me in 1 
Lo, how I vanish, flesh, and blood, and skin I 
Alias ! whan shul my bones been at reste ? 
Moder, with yow wolde I chaungen my cheste, 
That in my chambre longe tyme hath be, 735 

Ye ! for an heyre clowt to wrappe me !" 
But yet to me she wol nat do that grace. 
For which ful pale and welked is my face. 

But, sirs, to yow it is no curteisye 
To speken to an old man vilanye, 740 

But he trespasse in worde, or elles in dedc. 
In holy writ ye may your-self wel rede, 
'' Agayns an old man, hoor vpon his heed, 
Ye sholde aryse," wherfor I yeue yow reed, 
Ne doth vn-to an old man noon harm now, 745 

No more than^ ye wolde men dide to yow 
In age, if that ye so longe abyde ; 
And god be with yow, wher ye go or ryde. 
I mot go thider as I haue to go/ 
* Nay, olde cherl, by god, thou shalt nat so,' 750 

Seyde this other hasardour anon, 
' Thou partest nat so lyghtly, by seint John ! 
Thou spak ryght now of thilke traitour deeth, 
That in this contree alle our frendes sleeth. 

^ E. Hn. tfaaa that ; tht rest omit that. 


Haue heer my trouthe, as thou art his aspye, 755 

Tel wher he is, or thou shalt it abye, 

By god, and by the holy sacrament I 

For soothly thou art oon of his assent. 

To sleen vs yonge folk, thou false theef T 

* Now, sirs,' quod he, * if that yow* be so leef 760 

To fynde deeth, tume vp this croked wey. 

For in that groue I lafte him, by my fey, 

Vnder a tree, and ther he wol abyde ; 

Nat for your host he wol him no-thing hyde. 

Se ye that ook? ryght ther ye shul him fynde. 765 

God saue yow, that boughte agayn mankynde. 

And yow amende !' — thus seyde this olde man. 

And euerich of thise ryotoures ran, 

Til he cam to that tree, and ther they founde 

Of florins fyne of golde ycoyned rounde 770 

Wei ny an eighte busshels, as hem thoughte. 

No lenger thanne after deeth they soughte. 

But ech of hem so glad was of that syghte, 

For that the florins been so fayre and bryghte, 

That doun they sette hem by this precious hord. 775 

The worste of hem he spak the firste word. 

* Brethren/ quod he, * tak kepe what I seye ; 
My wit is greet, though that I bourde and pleye. 
This tresor hath fortune vn-to vs yeuen, 
In mirthe and lolitee our lyf to lyuen, 780 

And lyghtly as it comth, so wol we spende. 
Ey I goddes precious dignitee I who wende 
To-day, that we sholde han so fayr a grace ? 
But myght this gold be caried fro this place 
Hoom to myn hous, or elles vn-to youres — 785 

* E. Cm. ye ; Hn. HI. yow ; Cp. Pt. you.. 


For wel ye wot that al this gold is oures— 

Than were we in hey felicitee. 

But trewely, by daye it may nat be ; 

Men wolde seyn that we were theues stronge^ 

And for our owen tresor doon vs honge. 790 

This tresor moste ycaried be by nyghte 

As wysly and as slyly as it myghte. 

Wherfore I rede that cut among vs alle 

Be drawe, and lat se wher the cut wol falle ; 

And he that hath the cut with herte blythe 795 

Shal renne to the^ toune, and that ful swythe. 

And bringe vs breed and wyn ful priuely. 

And two of vs shul kepen subtilly 

This tresor wel ; and, if he wol nat tarie, 

Whan it is nyght, we wol this tresor carie 800 

By oon assent, wher as vs thinketh best/ 

That oon of hem the cut broughte in his fest, 

And bad him drawe, and loke wher it wolde' falle ; 

And it fil on the youngest of hem alle ; 

And forth toward the toim he wente anon. 805 

And al so sone as that he was gon, 

That oon of hem ' spak thus vn-to that other, 

* Thou knowest wel thou art my sworen* brother, 

Thy profit wol I telle thee anon. 

Thou wost wel that our felawe is agon ; 810 

And heer is gold, and that ful greet plentee, 

That shal departed been among vs thre* 

Biit natheles, if I can shape it so 

That it departed were among vs two, 

' HI. Ln. the ; which the rest omit, 

* E. Hn. Cp. wol; HI. wil ; Cm. Pt. Ln. wolde. 

* E. omits of hem ; the rest have it, 

* Tliis seems best; E. Hn. Pt. sworn; Cm. swore ; Cp. Ln. HI. swome. 


Hadde I nat doon a frendes torn to thee ?' 815 

That other answerde, 'I not how that may be; 
He wot how that the gold is with vs tweye, 
What shal we doon, what shal we to him seye ?' 

* Shal it be conseil ?' seyde the firste shrewe, 

* And I shal tellen thee^ in' wordes fewe, 820 
What we shal doon, and bringe it wel aboute.' 

* I gramite,' quod that other, * out of doute. 
That, by my trouthe, I shal thee nat biwreye.' 

* Now,' quod the firste, * thou wost wel we be tweye. 
And two of vs shul strenger be than oon. 825 
Lok whan that he is set, and ryght* anoon 

Arys, as though thou woldest with him pleye ; 

And I shal ryue him thurgh the sydes tweye 

Whyl that thou strogelest with him as in game, 

And with thy dagger lok thou do the same ; 830 

And than shal al this gold departed be, 

My dere frend, bitwixen me and thee ; 

Than may w^ bothe our lustes al fiilfille. 

And pleye at dees ryght at our owen wille/ 

And thus acorded been thise shrewes tweye 835 

To sleen the thridde, as ye han herd me seye. 

This yongest, which that wente vn-to the toun, 
Ful ofte in herte he rolleth vp and doun 
The beautee of thise florins newe and bryghte. 

* O lord I' quod he, * if so were that I myghte 840 
Haue al this tresor to my self allone, 

Ther is no man that lyueth vnder the trone 
Of god, that sholde lyue so mery as 1 1' 
And atte laste the feend, our enemy, 

^ HI. the ; which the rest omit, 

' E. Hn. Cm. in a ; the rest omit a. 

' £. Hn. Cm. that right ; HI. thou right ; Cp. and thanne ; Pt. La. and 

\t. I take znd from Cp. Pt. Ln., and ryght from E. Hn. Cm. HI. 


Putte in his thought that he shold poyson beye, 845 

With which he myghte sleen his felawes tweye ; 

For why the feend fond him in swich lyninge, 

That he had leue him * to sorwe bringe, 

For this was outrely his ful entente 

To sleen hem bothe, and ncuer to repente. 850 

And forth he goth, no lenger wolde he tarie, 

Into the toun, vn-to a pothecarie, 

And preyede him that he him wolde selle 

Som poyson, that he myghte his rattes quelle ; 

And eek ther was a polcat in his hawe, 855 

That, as he seyde, his capouns hadde jrslawe. 

And fayn he wolde wreke him, if he myghte, 

On vermin, that destroyede him by nyghte. 

The pothecarie answerde, * and thou shalt haue 
A thing that, al so god my soule saue, 860 

In al this world ther nis ' no creature, 
That ete or dronke hath of this confiture 
Nought but the mountance of a com of whete, 
That he ne shal his lyf anon forlete ; 
Ye, sterue he shal, and that in lasse whyle 865 

Than thou wolt gon a paas nat but a myle ; 
This poyson is so strong and violent.' 

This cursed man hath in his bond yhent 
This poyson in a box, and sith he ran 
In-to the nexte strete, vn-to a man, 870 

And borwed of him large hotels thre ; 
And in the two his poyson poured he ; 
The thridde he kepte clene for his * drinke. 
For al the nyght he shoop him for to swinke 

^ £. Cm. hem ; the rest h3rm or him. 

' E. Hn. Cm. is ; ihs rest nys or nis. ^ HI. of; which the rest omit. 

* E. his owene ; but the rest omit owene. 


In car3ringe of the gold out of that place. 875 

And whan this ryotour, with sory grace, 
Had filled with wyn his grete hotels thre, 
To his felawes agayn repaireth he. 

What nedeth it to sermone of it more ? 
For ryght as ^ they had cast his deeth bifore 880 

Right so they han him slayn, and that anon. 
And whan that this was doon, thus spak that oon, 
' Now lat ys sitte and drinke, and make vs merie. 
And afterward we wol his body berie/ 
And with that word it happede him, par cas, 885 

To take the hotel ther the poyson was, 
And drank, and yaf his felawe drinke also, 
For which anon they storuen bothe t\^'0. 

But, certes, I suppose that Auicen 
Wroot neuer in no canon, ne in no fen, 890 

Mo wonder signes * of empoisoning 
Than hadde thise wrecches two, er her ending. 
Thus ended been thise homicydes two, « 

And eek the false empoysoner also. 

O cursed sinne, ful of cursednesse ! 895 

O traytours homicyde^ o wikkednesse ! 
O glotonye, luxurie, and hasardrye 1 
Thou blasphemour of Crist with vilanye 
And othes grete, of vsage and of pryde I 
Alias ! mankynde, how may it bityde, 900 

That to thy creatour which that thee wroughte, 
And with his precious herte-blood thee boughte, 
Thou art so fals and so vnkynde, alias ! 

Now, good men, god foryeue yow your trespas, 

^ £. so as ; the rest omit so. 

' E. Hn. Cm. singes ; Cp. Ln. HI. sorwes ; Pt. sorowes. 

' E. Hn. Cm. of alle ; Cp. Ln. HI, ful of; Pt. fill of al. 


And ware yow fro the sinne of auarice. 905 

Myn holy pardoun may yow alle warice, 

So that ye ofFre nobles or sterlinges, 

Or elles siluer broches, spones, ringes. 

Boweth your heed vnder this holy buUe I 

Cometh ^ vp, ye wyues, offreth of your woUe I 9 10 

Your name * I entre beer in my rolle anon ; 

In-to the blisse of heuen shul ye gon ; 

I yow assoille, by myn hey power, 

Yow that wol oflfre, as clene and eek as cleer 

As ye were born; and, lo, sirs, thus I preche. 915 

And lesu Crist, that is our soules leche, 

So graunte yow his pardon to receyue ; 

For that is best ; I wol yow nat deceyue. 

But sirs, o word forgat I in my tale, 
I haue reliks and pardon in my male, 920 

As fayre as any man in Engelond, 
Whiche were me yeuen by the popes bond 
If any of yow wol, of deuocioim, 
OfFren, and ban myn absolucioun, 
Cometh' forth anon, and kneleth beer adoun, 925 

And mekely receyueth my pardoun : 
Or elles, taketh pardon as ye wende, 
Al newe and fresh, at euery myles ende, 
So that ye ofFren alwey newe and newe 
Nobles and * pens, which that be gode and trewe. 930 
It is an honour to euerich that is beer. 
That ye mowe haue a suffisant pardoneer 
Tassoille yow, in contree as ye ryde, 
For auentures which that may bityde. 

^ E. Com ; the rest Cometh, Comyth. 
' E. HI. names; th$ rest name. 
' £. Hn. Com ; the rest Cometh, Comyth. 
* £. Hn. or ; the rest and. 


Perauenture ther may fallen oon or two 935 

Doun of his hors, and breke his nekke atwo. 

Lok which a seurtee is it to yow alle 

That I am in your felawship yfalle, 

That may assoille yow, both more and lasse, 

Whan that the soule shal fro the body passe. 940 

I rede that our host heer shal biginne, 

For he is most envoluped in sinne. 

Com forth, sir host, and ofFre first anon, 

And thou shalt kisse the ^ reliks euerychon, 

Ye, for a grote I vnbokel anon thy purs.' 945 

* Nay, nay,' quod he, * than haue I Cristes curs I 
Lat be,' quod he, * it shal nat be, so theech I * 
Thou woldest make me kisse thyn olde breech, 
And swere it were a relik of a seint ! * 

This pardoner answerde nat a word ; 956 

So wroth he was, no word ne wolde he seye. 
- * Now,' quod our host, * I wol no lenger pleye 
With thee, ne with noon other angry man/ 
But ryght anon the worthy knyght bigan, 960 

Whan that he sey that al the peple lough, 
* Namore of this, for it is ryght ynough ; 
Sir pardoner, be glad and mery of chere ; 
And ye, sir host, that ben to me so dere, 
I prey yow that ye kisse the pardoner. 965 

And pardoner, I prey thee, draw thee neer. 
And, as we diden, lat vs laughe and pleye.' 
Anon they kiste, and riden forth her weye. 

Heere is ended the FardonerB tale. 

^ £. my ; Cm. myne ; the rest the. ' So all but Hn. ; Hn. thee ich. 

The prologe of the Seconde Nonnes tale. 

THE ministre and the nonce vn-to vices, 
Which that men clepe in English ydelnesse, 
That porter of the gate is of delices, 
To eschue, and by hir contrarie hir oppresse, 
That is to se)ai, by leueful bisinesse, 5 

Wei oughten we to doon al our entente, 
Lest that the feend thurgh ydelnesse vs hente \ 

For he, that with his thousand cordes slye 

Continuelly vs waiteth to biclappe, 

Whan he may man in ydelnesse espye, lo 

He can so lyghtly cacche him in his trappe, 

Til that a man be hent ryght by the lappe, 

He nis nat war the feend hath him in honde ; 

Wei oughte vs werche, and ydelnes withstonde. 

And though men dradden neuer for to dye, 15 

Yet seen men wel by resoun doutelees, 

That ydelnesse is roten ® slogardye, 

Of which ther neuer comth no good encrees ' ; 

And seen, that slouthe hir ^ holdeth in a lees 

Only to slepe, and for to ete and drinke, 20 

And to deuouren al that othere swinke. 

^ Hn. Cm. Cp. HI. hente ; E. shente, Pt. shent, Lo. cbent, wrongly. 

* So E. Hn. Pt. Ln. ; Cm. rote ; Cp. hoten ; HI. rote of. 

* E. Hn. no good nencrees ; Cp. Pt. Ln. noon encrese ; HI. good encres ; 
Cm. encrees. 

* Cm. hire ; Pt. hure ; Hn. Cp. Ln. hir ; E. it ; HI. he. 


And for to putte vs fro swich ydelnesse, 

That cause is of so greet confusioun, 

I haue heer doon my feithful bisinesse, 

After the legende, in translacioun 25 

Right of thy glorious lyf and passioun, 

Thou with thy gerland wrought oP rose and lilie ; 

Thee mene I, mayde and martir seynt ' CeciUe ! 

Inuocacio ad Mariam, 

And thou that flour of virgines art alle, 
Of whom that Bernard list so wel to wryte, 30 
To thee at my biginning first I calle ; 
Thou confort of vs wrecches, do me endyte ' 
Thy maydens deeth, that wan thurgh hir meryte 
The eternal lyf, and of the feend victorie, 
As man may after reden in hir storie. 35 

Thou mayde and moder, doughter of thy sone, 

Thou welle of mercy, sinful soules cure, 

In whom that god, for bountee, chees to wone, 

Thou humble, and hey ouer euery creature, 

Thou nobledest so ferforth our nature, 40 

That no desdeyn the maker hadde of kynde. 

His sone in blode and flesshe to clothe and wynde. 

Withinne the cloistre blisful of thy sydes 

Took mannes shap the eternal loue and pees, 

That of the tryne compas lord and gyde is, 45 

Whom erthe and see and heuen, out of relees, 

Ay herien ; and thou, virgin wemmeless, 

* Hn. Cp. Pt. of; E. Cm. Ln. HI. with. 

^ Cp. Hn. Cm. Pt. Ln. martir seint ; HI. martir ; E. mooder. 

' Hn. mendite (shetoing the scansion). 


Bar of thy body, and dweltest mayden pure, 
The creatour of euery creature. 

Assembled is in thee magnificence 50 

With mercy, goodnesse, and with swich pitee 

That thou, that art the sonne of excellence, 

Nat only helpest hem that prayen thee. 

But ofte tyme, of thy benignitee, 

Ful frely, er that men thyn help biseche, 55 

Thou goost bifom, and art her lyues leche. 

Now help, thou meke and blisful fayre mayde, 

Me, flemed wrecche, in this desert of galle ; 

Think on the womman Cananee, that sayde 

That whelpes eten somme of the crommes alle' 60 

That from her lordes table been yfalle ; 

And though that I, vnworthy sone of Eue, 

Be sinful, yet accepte my bileue. 

And, for that feith is deed with-outen werkes, 

So for to worchen yif me wit and space, 65 

That I be quit fro thennes that most derk is ! 

O thou, that art so fayr and ful of grace. 

Be myn aduocat in that heye place 

Ther as withouten ende is songe ' Osanne,' 

Thou Cristes moder, doughter dere of Anne I 70 


And of thy lyght my soule in prison lyghte, 

That troubled is by the contagioun 

Of my body, and also by the wyghte 

Of erthly luste and fals affeccioun ; 

O hauen of refiit, o saluacioun 75 

Of hem that been in sorwe and in distresse, 

Now help, for to my werk I wol me dresse. 


Yet pi:eye I yow that reden that I wryte, 

Foryeue me, that I do no diligence 

This ilke stone subtilly to endyte * ; 80 

For bothe hane I the wordes and sentence 

Of him ' that at the seintes reuerence 

The stone wroot, and folwe ' hir legende, 

And * prey yaw, that ye wol my werk amende. 


Interpretacio nomtnts Cecilie^ quam ponii/raUr lacobus 

lanuensts in legenda. 

First wolde I yow * the name of seint Cecilie 85 

Expoune, as men may in hir stone see, ^^ 

It is to seye in english * heuenes lilie/ 
For pure chastnesse of virginitee ; 
Or, for she whytnesse hadde of honestee, 
And grene of conscience, and of good fame 90 

The sote savour *, * lilie ' was hir name. 

Or Cecile is to seye * the wey to blynde,' 

For she ensample was by good techinge ; 

Or elles Cecile, as I writen fynde, 

Is ioyned, by a manere conioyninge ' 95 

Of 'heuene' and Mia'; and heer, in figuringe, 

The ' heuen ' is set for thought of holinesse. 

And ' lia ' for hir lasting bisinesse. 

> Hn. tendite (shemng the scansion), 

' So E. Hn. Cm. HI. ; but Cp. Pt. Ln. hem. 

^ Cm. folwe ; E. Hn. HI. folwen ; Cp. Pt. Ln. fotowen. 

* E. I pray ; Cp. And pray I ; the rest And pray (or prei, or preye). 

* E. omits yow ; the rest retain it. 

* £. favour ; the rest savour ; see 1. 329. ' 


Cecile may eek be seyd in this manere, 

' Wanting of blyndnesse,' for hir grete lyghte 100 

Of sapience, and for hir thewes clere ; 

Or elles, lo I this may dens name bryghte 

Of * heuene * and * leos ' comth, for which by ryghte 

Men myghte hir wel ' the heuen of peple' calle, 

Ensample of gode and wyse werkes alle. 105 

For * leos ' * peple ' in english is to seye, 

And ryght as men may in the heuene see 

The Sonne and mone and sterres euery weye, 

Ryght so men gostly, in this mayden free, 

Seyen of feith the magnanimitee, no 

And eek the cleemesse hool of sapience, 

And sondry werkes, bryghte of excellence. 

And ryght so as thise philosophres wryte 

That heuen is swift and round and eek brenninge, 

Ryght so was fay re Cecilie the whyte 115 

Ptil swift and bisy euer in good werkinge, 

And round and hool in good perseueringe, , 

And brenning euer in charite ful bryghte ; 

Now haue.I yow declared what she hyghte. 



Here bigynneth the Seconde Nonnes tale, of the lyf 

of Seint^ Cecile. 

This mayden bryght Cecile, as hir lyf seith, 1 20 

Was comen of Romayns, and of noble kynde. 
And from hir cradel vp fostred in the feith 



Of Crist, and bar his gospel in hir mjmde ; 

She neuer cessede, as I writen fynde. 

Of hir preyere, and god to loue and drede, 125 

Biseking him to kepe hir maydenbede. 

And whan this mayden sholde vnto a n^m 

Ywedded be, that was ful yong of age, 

Which that ycleped was Valerian, 

And day was comen of hir mariage, 130 

She, ful devout and humble in hir corage, 

Vnder hir robe of gold, that sat ful fayre, 

Had next hir flesshe yclad hir in an heyre. 

And whyl the organs * maden melodye, 

To god alone in herte thus sang she; 135 

' O lord, my soule and eek my body gye 

Vnwemmed, lest that I * confounded be :' 

And, for his loue that deyde vpon a tree, 

Euery seconde or ' thridde day she faste, 

Ay biddinge in hir orisons ful faste. 140 

» [The tyme is comen, whan she mostej gon 
With hir housbonde, as ofte is the manere, 
And priuely to him she seyde anon, 
* O swete and wel bilpued spouse dere, 
Ther is a conseil, and ye wolde it here, 145 

Which that ryght fayn I wolde vnto yow seye, 
So that ye swere ye shul me* nat biwreye.' 

Valerian gan faste vnto hir swere, 

That for no cas, ne thing that myghte be, 

He sholde neuer mo biwreyen here ; 150 

^ HI. Hn. organs ; Ln. orgens ,* £. Orgues ; Cp. Orgl^ ; Pt. Orgels. 
" E. it ; the rest I. " E. Hn. and ; the rest or. 

* £. me ; the re9t it ; see /. 150. 


And thanne at erst to him thus seyde she, 
' I haue an angel which that loaeth me. 
That with greet loue, wher so I wake or slepe. 
Is redy ay my body for to kepe.' 

Valerian, corrected as god wolde, 

Answerde agayn, ' if I shal trusten thee, 

Lat me that angel se, and him biholde; 

And if that it a verray angel be, 165 

Than wol I doon as thou hast preyed me ; 

And if thou loue another man, for sothe 

Ryght with this swerd than wol I sle yow bothe.' 

Cecile answerde anon ryght in this wyse, 

* If that yow list, the angel shul ye see, 170 
So that ye trowe in Crist and yow baptyse. 

Goth forth to Via Apia,' quod she, 

* That fro this toun ne stant but myles three, 
And, to the poure folkes that ther dwelle, 

Sey hem ryght thus, as that I shal yow telle. 175 

Telle hem that I, Cecile, yow to hem sente, 

To shewen yow the gode Vrban the olde. 

For secre nedes ^ and for good entente. 

And whan that ye seint Vrban han biholde, 

Telle him the wordes whiche I^ to yow tolde; 180 

And whan that he hath purged yow fro sinne, 

Thanne shul ye se that angel, er ye twinne.' 

' E. thynges ; the rest nedes, nedis, needes. 

> £. Cp. Ln. HI. whiche ]>at I ; hut Hn. Cm. Pt. omit that. 

F 2 


Valerian is to the place ygon, 

And ryght as him was taught by his leminge, 

He fond this holy olde Vrban anon 185 

Among the seintes buriels lotinge. 

And he anon, with-outen taryinge, 

Dide his message ; and whan that he it tolde, 

Vrban for ioye his hondes gan vp holde. 

The teres from his yfe'n leet he falle — 190 

* Almyghty lord, o lesu Crist,' quod he, 

' Sower of chast conseil, herde of vs alle, 

The fruyt of thilke seed of chastitee 

That thou hast sowe in Cecile tak to thee ! 

Lo, lyk a bisy bee, with-outen gyle, 195 

Thee serueth ay thyn owen thral Cecile ! 

For thilke spouse, that she took but * now 

Ful lyk a fiers leoun, she sendeth here, 

As meke as euer was any lamb, to yow I' 

And with that worde, anon ther gan appere 200 

An old man, clad in whyte clothes clere. 

That hadde a book with lettre of gold in honde, 

And gan biforn ' Valerian to stonde. 

Valerian as deed fil doun for drede 

Whan he him sey, and he vp hente him tho, 205 

And on his book ryght thus he gan to rede— 

* Oo Lord, 00 feith, 00 god with-outen mo, 
Oo ' Cristendom, and fader of alle also, 
Abouen alle and * ouer al euerywhere ' — 

Thise wordes al with golde ywriten were. 210 

* E. HI. right ; the rest but. 

* E. bifore ; HI. to-forn ; the rest biforn, biforne, beforne. 

* E. Hn. Cm. O ; HI. On; Cp. Pt. Ln. Of. 

* £. onUts and ; the rest have it. 


Whan this was rad, than seyde this olde man, 

* Leuestow this thing or no ? sey ye or nay.' 

* I leue al this thing/ quod Valerian, 

For sother^ thing than this, I dar wel say, 

Vnder the heuen no wyght thinke may.' 215 

Tho vanisshed the ' olde man, he niste where. 

And Pope Vrban him cristened lyght there. 

Valerian gooth hoom, and fynt Cecilie 

With-inne his chambre with an angel stonde ; 

This angel hadde of roses and of lilie 220 

Corones two, the which he bar in honde ; 

And first to Cecile, as I vnderstonde. 

He yaf that oon, and after gan he take 

That other to Valerian, hir make. 

* With body clene and with vnwemmed thought 225 
Kepeth ay wel thise corones,' qudfl he ' ; 

* Fro Paradys to yow haue I hem brought, 
Ne neuer mo ne shal they roten be, 

Ne lese her sote sauour, trusteth me ; 

Ne neuer wyght shal seen hem with his y£F, 230 

But he be chaast and hate vilany€. 

And thou. Valerian, for thou so sone 

Assentedest to good conseil also, 

Sey what thee list, and thou shalt han thy bone.' 

* I haue a brother,* quod Valerian tho, 235 

* That in this world I loue no man so. 

I pray yow that my brother may han grace 
To knowe the trouthe, as I do in this place.' 

^ £. oother ; the rest sother. 

* E. Hn. Cm. this ; Pt. that ; Cp. Ln. HI. the ; set note, 

* £. three ; HI. tuo quod he ; ike rest quod he. 


The angel seyde, 'god Ijketh thy requeste. 

And bothe, with the palm of martirdom, 240 

Ye shullen come vnto his blisfiil feste.' 

And with that word Tiburce his brother com. 

And whan that he the sauour vndemcHxi 

Which that the roses and the lilies caste, 

With-inne his herte he gan to wondre faste, 245 

And seyde, ' I wondre this tyme of the yeer 

Whennes that sote sauour cometh so 

Of rose and lilies that I smelle heer. 

For though I hadde hem in myn hondes two, 

The sauour myghte in me no depper go. 250 

The sote ^ smel that in myn herte I fynde 

Hath chaunged me al in another kynde/ 

Valerian seyde, * two corones han we, 

Snow-whyte and rose-reed, that shynen clere, 

Whiche that thyn y6'n han no myght to see ; 255 

And as thou smallest hem thurgh my preyere. 

So shaltow seen hem, leue brother dere. 

If it so be thou wolt, withouten slouthe, 

Bileue aryght and knowen verray trouthe.' 

Tiburce answerde, * seistow this to me 260 

In sothnesse, or in dreem I herkne this ?' 

* In dremes,' quod Valerian, *han we be 
Vnto this tyme, brother myn, ywis. 

But now at erst in trouthe our dwelling is/ 

* How wostow this,* quod Tiburce, *in what wyse ?' 265 
Quod Valerian, ' that shal I thee deuyse. 

1 The MSS, have swete here ; hut in 1. 347 vfe find only sote, soote» 
swote, suote, except swete in Pt.; in 1. 229 we find £. soote ; Ho. swote; 
Cm. sote ; HI. swoote ; Cp. Ft. Ln. swete. 


The angel of god hath me the ^ trouthe ytanght 

Which thoi^ shalt seen, if that thou wolt reneye 

The ydoles and be clene^ and elles naught/ — 

And of the miracle of thise corones tweye 370 

Seint Ambrose in his preface list to seye ; 

Solempnely this noble doctour dere 

Comm^ndeth it ^, and seith in tins manere : 

The palm of martirdom for to rece)aie, 

Seint Cecilie, fulfild of goddes yifte, 275 

The world and eek hir chambre gan she wejrue ; 

Witnes Tyburces and Valerians ' shrifte, 

To whiche god of his bountee wolde shifte 

Corones two of floures wel smellinge, 

And made his angel hem the corones bringe : 280 

The mayde hath broght thise * men to blisse abotie ; 

The world hath wist what it is worth, certejoi, 

Deuocioun of chastitee to loue. — • 

Tho shewede him Cecile al " open and plejm 

That alle ydoles nis but a thing in veyn ; 285 

For they been dombe, and thefto they been deue, 

And charged him his ydoles for to leue. 

* Who so that troweth nat this, a beste he is,' 

Quod tho Tiburce, ' if that I shal nat lye.' 

And she gan kisse his brest, that herde this, 290 

And was fid glad he coude trouthe espye. 

' This day I take thee for myn aHye,' 

Seyde this blisful fayre mayde dere ; 

And after that she seyde as ye may here : 

^ E. Ln. HI. omit the ; the rest have it. ^ E. hym ; th$ rett it. 

' T7te MSS. have Cecifies, wrongly ; see note. 

* E. Hn. omit thise ; but the rest retain it, except Cm., which has brought 
hem to blysse. ' Cp. Pt Ln. omit li ; bia the rest retain it. 


* Lo, ryght so as the loue of Crist/ quod. she, 295 

* Made me thy brotheres wyfy ryght in that wyse 
Anon for myn allye heer take I thee, 

Sin that thou wolt thyn ydoles despyse. 

Go with thy brother now, and thee baptyse, 

And make thee clene ; so that thou mowe biholde 300 

The angels face of which thy brother tolde.' 

Tiburce answerde and seyde, * brother dere. 
First tel me whider I^ shal, and to what man?' 

* To whom ?' quod he, ' com forth with ryght good 

I wol thee lede vnto the pope Vrban/ 305 

* Til Vrban ? brother myn. Valerian,' 
Quod tho Tiburce, * woltow me thider lede ? 
Me thinketh that it were a wonder dede. 

Ne menestow nat Vrban,' quod he tho, 

' That is so ofte dampned to be deed, 310 

And woneth in halkes alwey to and fro. 

And dar nat ones putte forth his heed ? 

Men sholde him brennen in a fyr so reed 

If he were founde, or that men myghte him spye ; 

And we also, to here him companye — 315 

And whyl we seken ihilke diuinitee 
That is yhid in heuene priuely, 
Algate ybrend in this world shul we be ! ' 
To whom Cecile answerde boldely, 

* Men myghten dreden wel and skilfully 320 
This lyf to lese, myn owen dere brother, 

If this were lyuinge only and non other. 

^ £. Hn. Cm. that I ; the rest omit that. 


But ther is better lyf in other place, 

That neuer shal be lost, ne dred thee nought, 

Which goddes sone vs tolde thurgh his grace ; 325 

That fadres sone hath alle thinges wrought ^ ; 

And al that wrought is with a skilful thought, 

The gost, that fro the fader gan procede. 

Hath sowled hem, withouten any drede. 

By word and by miracle goddes sone, 330 

Whan he was in this world, declared here 

That ther was other lyf ther men may wone.' 

To whom answerde Tiburce, * o suster dere, 

Ne seydestow ryght now in this manere, 

Ther nis but o god, lord in sothfastnesse ; 335 

And now of three how may stow here witnesse ?' 

* That shal I telle,' quod she, * er I go. 

Ryght as a man hath sapiences three, 

Memorie, engyn, and intellect also. 

So, in o ^ being of diuinitee, 340 

Thre persones may ther ryght wel be/ 

Tho gan she him ful bisily to preche 

Of Cristes come, and of his peynes teche. 

And many pointes of his passioun ; 

How goddes sone in this world was withholde, 345 

To doon mankynde pleyn remissioun, 

That was ybounde in sinne and cares colde : 

Al this thing she vnto Tiburce tolde. 

And after this Tiburce, in good entente. 

With Valerian to pope Vrban he wente, 350 

* E. thyng ywroght ; Hn. Cm. thynges wroght. 
^ £. omits o ; the rest have it. 


That thanked god ; and with glad herte and lyght 

He cristned him, and made him in that place 

Parfit in his lerninge, goddes knyght 

And after this Tiburce gat swich grace, 

That eueiy day he sey, in tyme and space, 355 

The angel of god ; and euery maner bone 

That he god axed, it was sped fill sone. 

It were ful hard by ordre for to seyn 

How many wondres lesus for hem wroughte ; 

But atte laste, to tellen short and pleyn, 360 

The sergeants of the toun of Rome hem soughte. 

And hem bifom Almache the prefect broughte, 

Which hem apposed \ and knew al her entente. 

And to the image of lupiter hem sente, 

And seyde, *who so wol nat sacrif)rse, 365 

Swap of his heed, this is * my sentence here/ 

Anon thise martirs that I yow deuyse 

Oon Maximus, that was an officere 

Of the Prefectes and his comiculere, 

Hem hente ; and whan he forth the seintes ladde, 370 

Him-self he weep, for pitee that he hadde» 

Whan Maximus had herd the seintes lore, 

He gat him of the tormentoures leue, 

And ladde hem to his hous withoute more ; 

And with her preching, er that it were eue, 375 

They gonnen fro the tormentours to reue, 

And fro Maxime, and fro his folk echone 

The false feith, to trowe in god allone* 

^ HI. apposed ; the rest opposed, wrongly; see the note, 
^ £. Cm. HI. omit is ; the rest have it. 


Cecilie cam, whan it was woxen nyght, 

With prestes that henf cristnede alle yfere, 380 

And afterward, whan day was wOxen lyght, 

Cecile hem seyde with a ful sobre ^ chere, 

* Now, Cristes owen knyghtes leue and dere, 
Caste alle awey the werkes of derknesse, 

And armeth yow in armure of bryghtnesse. 385 

Ye han for sothe ydoon a greet bataille, 

Your cours is doon, your feith han ye conserued, 

Goth to the corone of lyf that may nat faille ; 

The ryghtful luge, which that ye han serued, 

Shall yeue it yow, as ye han it desenied.' 390 

And whan this thing was seyd as I deuyse. 

Men ladde hem forth to doon the sacrifyse. ^ 

But whan they weren to the place brought. 

To tellen shortly the conclusioun. 

They nolde encense ne sacrifice ryght nought, 395 

But on hir knees they setten hem adoun 

With humble herte and sad deuocioun, 

And losten bothe hir hedes in the place. 

Her soules wenten to the king of grace. 

This Maximus, that sey this thing bityde, 400 

With pitous teres tolde it anon ryght, 

That he her soules sey to heuen glyde 

With angels ful of cleemes and of lyght. 

And with his* word conuerted many a wyght ; 

For which Almachius dide him so to-bete ' 405 

With whippe of leed, til he his* lyf gan lete, 

^ E. Hn. HI. fill stedefast; Cm. ful sobere; Cp. Pt. Ln. sobre. 

' E. this ; the rest his. 

' E. Hn. Cm. HI. so bete ; Cp. Pt. Ln. so to-bete ; see the note. 

* £. the ; the rest his. 


Cecile him took and buryed him anoon 

By Tiburce and Valerian softely, 

Withinne hir burying-place, vnder the stoon. 

And after this Almachius hastily 410 

Bad his ministres fecchen openly 

Cecile, so that she myghte in his presence 

Doon sacrifice, and lupiter encense. 

But they, conuerted at hir wyse lore, 

Wepten ful sore, and yauen ful credence 415 

Vnto hir word, and cryden more and more, 

* Crist, goddes sone withouten difference, 
Is verray god, this is al ^ our sentence. 
That hath so good a seruant him to seme ; 

This with o voys we trowen, though we sterue V 420 

Almachius, that herde of this doinge. 

Bad fecchen Cecile, that he myghte hir see. 

And alderfirst, lo I this was his axinge, 

* What maner womman artow ?* tho * quod he. 

* I am a gentil womman bom,' quod she. 425 

* I axe thee,' quod he, * though it thee greue, 
Of thy religioun and of thy bileue.* 

* Ye han bigonne your questioun folily,' 
Quod she, * that wolden two answeres conclude 

In 00 demande ; ye axed lewedly/ 430 

Almache answerde vnto that similitude, 

*0f whennes comth thyn answering so rude?' 

* Of whennes ?* quod she, whan that she was freyned, 

* Of conscience and of good feith vnfeyned/ 

^ E. omits al ; the rest have it, 

' Cp. Pt. Ln. tho ; which the rest omit. 


Almachius seyde, * ne takestow noon hede 435 

Of my power?' and she answerde him this^ — 

' Your myght/ quod she, ' ful litel is to drede ; 

For euery mortal mannes power nis 

But lyk a bladdre, ful of wynd, ywis. 

For with a nedles poynt, whan it is blowe, 440 

May al the bost of it be leyd ful lowe.' 

' Ful wrongfully bigonne thou/ quod he, 

' And yet in wrong is thy perseueraunce ; 

Wostow nat how our myghty princes free 

Han thus comanded and maad ordinaunce, 445 

That euery cristen wyght shal han penaunce 

But if that he his cristendom withseye, 

And goon al quit, if he wol it reneye ?' 

* Your princes erren, as your nobley doth,' 

Quod tho Cecile, * and with a wood sentence 450 

Ye make vs gilty, and it ^ is nat soth ; 

For ye, that knowen wel our innocence, 

For as muche as we doon a reuerence 

To Crist, and for we here a cristen name, 

Ye putte on vs a cryme, and eek a blame. 455 

But we that knowen thilke name so 

For vertuous, we may it nat withseye,' 

Almache answerde, ' chees oon of thise two, 

Do sacrifice, or cristendom reneye. 

That thou mow now escapen by that weye.' 460 

At which the holy blisful fayre mayde 

Gan for to laughe, and to the luge seyde, 

^ Hn. HI. this ; Cm. Cp. Pt. Ln. thus ; E. omits, 
' E. Hn. Cm. wnit it ; iht rest have U. 


* O luge, confus in thy nycctee, 
Woltow that I reneye innocence, 

To make me a wikked wyght?' quod she; 465 

' Lo ! he dissimuleth here in audience, 

He stareth and ^ woodeth in his aduertenoe 1' 

To whom Ahnachius, * vnsely wrecche, 

Ne wostow nat how fan my myght may strecche ? 

Han nought our myghty princes to me yeuen, 470 

Ye, bothe power and auctoritee 

To maken folk to deyen or to lyuen? 

Why spekestow so proudly than to me?' 

* I speke nought but stedfastly,' quod she, 

' Nat proudly, for I seye \ as for my syde, 475 

We haten deedly thilke vice of pryde. 

And if thou drede nat a soth to here. 

Than wol I shewe al openly, by ryght, 

That thou hast maad a ful gret lesing here. 

Thou seyst, thy princes han thee yeuen myght 480 

Bothe for to sleen and fdr to quike a wyght ; 

Thou, that ne mayst but only lyf bireue, 

Thou hast noon other power ne no leue ! 

But thou mayst seyn, thy princes han thee maked 
Ministre of deth ; for if thou speke of mo, 485 

Thou lyest, for thy power is ful naked/ 

* Do wey thy boldnes,' seyde Almachius tho, 
' And sacrifice to our goddes, er thou go ; 

I recche nat what wrong that thou me profre. 

For I can suffre it as a philosophre ; 490 

^ E. and he ; tkt rest omit he. 
^ £. speke ; the rest seye. 


But thilke wronges may I nat endure 

That thou spekest of our goddes here,* quod he. 

Cecile answerde, * o nyce creature, 

Thou seydest no word sin thou spak to me, 

That I ne knew therwith thy nycetee ; 495 

And that thou were, in euery maner wyse, 

A lewed officer and a veyn lustise. 

Ther lakketh no thing to thyn utter ySn 

That thou nart blynd, for thing that we seen alle 

That it is stoon, that men may wel espyen, 500 

That ilke stoon a god thou wolt it calle. 

I rede thee, lat thyn hand vpon it falle. 

And taste it wel, and stoon thou shalt it fynde. 

Sin that thou seest nat with thyn y6n blynde. 

It is a shame that the peple shal 505 

So scome thee, and laughe at thy folye ; 

For communly men wot it wel oueral, 

That myghty god is in his heuenes hye, 

And thise images, wel thou mayst espye, 

To thee ne to hem-self^ mowe nought profyte, 510 

For in effect they been nat worth a myte/ 

Thise wordes and swiche othere seyde she, 

And he weex wroth, and bad men sholde hir lede 

Hom til hir hous, * and in hir hous,' quod he, 

* Brenne hir ryght in a bath of flambes rede/ 515 

And as he bad, ryght so was doon in dede ; 

For in a bath they gonne hir faste shetten, 

And nyght and day greet fyr they vnder betten. 

^ E. Ln. insirt ne before mowe ; the rest omit it. 


The longe nyght and eek a day also, 

For al the fyr and eek the bathes hete, 520 

She sat al cold, and feelede no wo, 

It made hir nat a droppe for to swete. 

But in that bath hir lyf she moste lete ; 

For he, Almachius, with fill ^ wikke entente 

To sleen hir in the bath his sonde sente. 525 

Thre strokes in the nekke he smoot hir tho, 

The tormentour, but for no maner chaunce 

He myghte nought smyte al hir nekke atwo ; 

And for ther was that tyme an ordinaunce, 

That no man sholde doon man^ swich penaunce 550 

The ferthe strook to smyten, softe or sore, 

This tormentour ne dorste do namore. 

But half-deed, with hir nekke ycoruen there, 

He lefte hir lye, and on his wey is ' went. 

The cristen folk, which that aboute hir were, 535 

With shetes han the blood ful faire yhent 

Thre dayes lyued she in this torment, 

And neuer cessed hem the feith to teche ; 

That she hadde fostred, hem she gan to preche ; 

And hem she yaf hir moebles and hir thing, 540 

And to the pope Vrban bitook hem tho, 

And seyde, * I axed this at* heuene king, 

To han resp)t thre dayes and namo. 

To recomende to yow, er that I go, 

Thise soules, lo I and that I myghte do werche 545 

Here of myn hous perpetuelly a cherche/ 

^ E. Hn. a ful ; Cm. a ; the rest omit a. 

* E. men ; the rest man. 

' Cm. is went ; the rest he wcntc {or he went) wrongly ; see the note. 

* E. at; the rest of; see Q 621, 


Seint Vrban, with his deknes, priuely 

The ^ body fette, and buried it by nyghte 

Among his othere seintes honestly. 

Hir hous the chirche of seint Cecilie hyghte ; 550 

Seint Vrban halwed it, as he wel mj'ghte ; 

In which, into this day, in noble wyse, 

Men doon to Crist and to his seint seruyse. 

Heere is ended the Seoonde Nonnes tale. 

* E. This ; the rest The. 



The prologe of the Chanons yemannes tale. 

Whan ended was ' the lyf of seint Cecile, 

Er we had riden fully fyue myle, 555 

At Boughton vnder Blee vs gan atake 

A man, that clothed was in clothes blake, 

And vndernethe he wered a surplys ". 

His hakeney, that ' was al pomely grys, 

So swatte, that it wonder was to see ; 560 

It semed he * had priked myles three. 

The hors ' eek that his yeman rood vpon 

So swatte, that vnnethe myghte it gon. 

Aboute the peytrel stood the foom ftil hye, 

He was of fome al flekked as a pye •. 565 

A male tweyfold on "^ his croper lay, 

It semed that he caried lyt array. 

Al lyght for somer rood this worthy man, * 

And in myn herte wondren' I bigan 

What that he was, til that I vnderstood 570 

How that his cloke was sowed to his hood ; 

For which, when I had longe auysed me, 

I demede him som chanon for to be. 

^ E. toold was al ; Cm. told was ; the rest ended was. 

^ iS'o E. ; the rest have And vnder that he hadde a whit surplis. 

' E. which ]>zt ; the rest omit which. 

* E. as he ; Cm. that he ; the rest he. ' E. hakeney ; the rest hors. 

* E. omits U. 564, 565 ; the rest retcUn them. 

' £. vpon ; the rest on. ' E. to wondren ; the rest omit to. 


His hat heng at his bak doun by a laas, 

For he had riden more than trot or paas ; 575 

He had ay priked lyk as he were wood. 

A clote-leef he hadde vnder his hood 

For swote, and for to kepe his heed from hete. 

But it was ioye for to seen him swete ! 

His forhed dropped as a stillatorie, 580 

Were ful of plantayn and of paritorie. 

And whan that he was come, he gan to crye, 

* God saue/ quod he, * this ioly companye ! 

Faste haue I priked,' quod he, * for your sake, 

By cause that I wolde yow atake, 585 

To ryden in this ^ mery companye/ 

His yeman eek was ful of curteisye, 

And seyde, * sirs, now in the morwe tyde 

Out of your hostelrye I sey you ryde. 

And warned heer my lord and my souerayn, 590 

Which that ^ to ryden with yow is ful fayn. 

For his desport ; he loueth daliaunce/ 

* Frend, for thy warning god yeue thee good' chaunce,' 
Than seyde our host, ' for certes *, it wolde seme 

Thy lord were wys, and so I may wel deme ; 595 

He is ful iocund also, dar I leye. 

Can he aught telle a mery tale or tweye, 

With which he glade may this companye?' 

* Who, sir ? my lord ? ye, ye, withouten lye, 

He can of murthe, and eek of lolite 600 

Nat but ynough ; also sir, trusteth me. 

And ye him knewe as wel as do I, 

Ye wolde wondre how wel and craftily ^ 

^ £. som ; the rest this. ^ E. omits that. 

' £. omits good. ^ £. certein ; the rest certes. 

* So E. Cm. ] the rest thriftily. 

G 2 


He coude werke, and that in sondry wyse. 

He hath take on hhn many a greet empryse, 605 

Which were fal hard for any that is here 

To bringe aboote, but they of him it lere. 

As homly as he rit aroonges yow, 

If ye him knewe, it wolde be for yom* prow ; 

Ye wolde nat forgon his aqueyntaunce 610 

For mochel good, I dar leye in balannce 

Al that I haue in my possessioun. 

He is a man of hey discredoun, 

I warae yow wel, he is a passing man/ 

* Wei/ quod our host, * I pray thee, tel me than, 615 
Is he a clerk, or noon ? tel what he is/ 

* Nay, he is gretter than a clerk, ywis,' 
Seyde this yeroan, ' and in wordes fewe, 
Host, of his craft som-what I wol yow sliewe. 

I seye, my lord can swich subtilitee— 620 

(But al his craft ye may nat wite at^ me ; 
And som-what helpe I yet to his werkinge)— 
That al this ground on which we been tydinge. 
Til that we come to Caunterbury toun, 
He coude al clene tume it vp so doun, 625 

And pane it al of siluer and of gold.* 

And whan this yeman hadde thus * ytold 
Vnto our host, he seyde, ' henedicite I 
This thing is wonder merueillous to me. 
Sin that thy lord is of so hey prudence, 630 

By cause of which men sholde him reuerence. 
That of his worship rekketh he so lyte ; 
His oversloppe nis nat worth a mjrte. 

^ £. for ; HI. of; Oit rest at. 

' £. this tale ; Cm. this ; tht rest thus. 



As in effect, to him, so mot I go ! 

It is al baudy and to-tore also. 635 

Why is thy lord so sluttish, I thee preye, 

And is of power better cloth to beye, 

If that his dede accorde with thy speche ? 

Telle me that, and that I thee biseche.* 

' Why ?* quod this yeman, * wherto axe ye me ? 640 
God help me so, for he shal neucr thee ! 
(But I wol nat auowe that I scye, 
And therfor kepe it secre, I yow preye). 
He is to wys, in feith, as I bileue; 
That that is ouerdoon, it wol nat preue 645 

Aryght, as clerkes seyn, it is a vice. 
Wherfor in that I holde him lewed and nyce. 
For whan a man hath ouer-greet a wit, 
Ful oft him happeth to misusen it ; 
So doth my lord, and that me greueth sore. J650 

God it amende, I can sey yow namore.' 

* Ther-of no fors, good yeman,* quod our host ; 
* Sin of the conning of thy lord thou wost, 

Tel how he doth, I pray thee hertely, 

Sin that he is so crafty and so sly. 655 

Wher dwellen ye, if it to telle be?' 

• In the suburbes of a toun,' quod he, 

' Lurkinge in hemes and in lanes blynde, 
Wher as thise robbours and thise theues by kynde 
Holden her pryue fereful residence, 660 

As they that dar nat shewen her presence ; 
So faren we, if I shal seye the sothe.' 
' Now,' quod our host, ' yit * lat me talke * to thee ; 

' Cm. HI. yit, wlueh the rest omit. 
^ £. telle ; Cm. ipeke ; the rest talke. 

86 QRoup G. The canon^s yeoman's prologue. 

Why artow so discoloured of thy face ?' 

* Peter !' quod he, * god yeue it harde grace, 665 

I am so vsed in the fyr to blowe. 
That it hath chaunged my colour, I trowe. 
I am nat wont in no mirour to prye. 
But swinke sore and leme multiplye. 
We blundren euer and pouren in the fyr, 670 

And for al that we fayle of our desyr. 
For euer we lakken our * conclusioun. 
To mochel folk we doon illusioun. 
And borwe gold, be it a pound or two, 
Or ten, or twelue, or many sommes mo, 675 

And make hem wenen, at the leste weye. 
That of a pound we coude make tweye 1 
Yet is it falg, but ay we han good hope 
It for to doon, and after it we grope. 
But that science is so fer vs biforn, 680 

We mowen nat, al though we hadde it' sworn. 
It ouertake, it slit awey so faste ; 
It wol vs maken beggers atte laste.' 

Whyl this yeman was thus in his talking, 
. This chanoun drough him neer, and herde al thing 685 
Which this yeman spak, for suspecioun 
Of mennes speche euer hadde this chanoun. 
For Catoun seith, that he that gilty is 
Demeth al thing be spoke of him, )rwis. 
That was the cause he gan so ny him drawe 690 

To his yeman, to herknen al his sawe. 
And thus he seyde vn-to his yeman tho, 
* Hold thou thy pees, and spek no wordes mo, 
For if thou do, thou shalt it dere abye ; 
Thou sclaundrest me heer in this companye, 695 

' E. of oure ; the rest omit of. * £. otnitt it. 


And eek discouerest that thou sholdest hyde/ 

* Ye,' quod our host, * telle on, what so bityde ; 
Of al his * threting rekke * nat a myte I ' 

' In feith,' quod he, * namore I do but lyte/ 
And whan this chanon sey it wolde nat be, 700 

But his yeman wolde telle his priuyte. 
He fledde awey for verray sorwe and shame. . 

* A !' quod the yeman, *heer shall ar}'se game, 
Al that I can anon now wol I telle. 

Sin he is gon, the foule fend him quelle 1 705 

For neuer her-after ' wol I with him mete 

For peny ne for pound, I yow bihete I 

He that me broughte first vnto that game, 

£r that he deye, sorwe haue he and shame I 

For it is emest to me, by my feith ; 710 

That fele I wel, what so * any man seith. 

And yet, for al my smert and al my grief, 

For al my sorwe, labour, and meschief, 

I coude neuer leue it in no wyse. 

Now wolde god my wit myghte sufifyse 715 

To tellen al that longeth to that art I 

But' natheles yow wol I tellen part; 

Sin that my lord is gon, I wol nat spare ; 

Swich thing as that I knowe, I wol declare. — 719 

Feere endeth the prologe of the Chanouns 

yemazmes tale. 

* So E. ; th$ rest this. 

' So E. Cm. ; Cp. recche I ; HI. Pt. Ln. recche thee. 

* So HI. Cp. Pt. Ln. ; E. omits after, having hcer only, 

* E. that ; tlu rest so. • E. And ; tht rest But. 


Heer biginnetli the Chiyioiuui yeman Us tale. 

[Prima pars.] 

With this chanoun I dwelt haue seuen yeer, 720 

And of his science am I neuer the neer. 

Al that I hadde, I hauie ylost ther-by ; 

And god wot, so hath many mo than L 

Ther I was wont to be ryght fresh and gay 

Of clothing and of other good array, 725 

Now may I were an hose vpon myn heed ; 

And wher my colour was bothe fre$h and reed. 

Now is it wan and of a ^ leden hewe ; 

Who SQ it vseth, sore shal he rewe. 

And of my swink yet blered is myn y^, 730 

Lo I which auantage is to multiplye 1 

That slyding science hath me maad so bare« 

That I haue no good, wher that euer I fare ; 

And yet I am endetted so ther-by 

Of gold that I haue borwed, trewely, 735 

That whyl I lyue, I shal it quyte neuer. 

Lat euery man be war by me for euer I 

What maner man that casteth him ther-to, 

If he continue, I holde his thrift ydo. 

So * helpe me god, ther-by shal he nat winne, 740 

But empte his purs, and make his wittes thinne. 

And whan he, thurgh his madnes and folye, 

Hath lost his owen good thurgh lupartye, 

Thanne he excyteth other folk ther-to. 

To lese her good as he him-self hath do. 745 

For vnto shrewes ioye it is and ese 

To haue her felawes in peyne and disese ; 

> E. omits a. « E. Pt. Ln. For to ; but Cp. HI. omit For. 


Thus was I ones lef ned of a clerke. 

Of that no charge, I wol speke of our werke. 

Whan we been tbcr as we shul exercyse 750 

Our eluish craft, we semen wonder wyse, 
Our termes been so clergial and so queynte. 
I blowe the iyr til that myn herte feynte. 

What sholde I tellen ech proporcioun 
Of thinges whiche that we werche vpon, 755 

As on fyue or sixe ounces, may wel be, 
Of siluer or som other quantite, 
And bisie me to telle yow the names 
Of orpiment, brent bones, yren squamea, 
That into poudre grounden been ful smal ? 760 

And in an erthen potte how ^ put i$ al, 
And salt yput in, and also pepeer^ 
Biforn thise poudres that I speke of heer, 
And wel ycouered with a lampe ' of glas. 
And mochel other thing which that ther was ? 765 

And of the pot and glasses enluting. 
That of the eyre myghte passe out no thing ? 
And of the esy fyr and smart also, 
Which that was maad, and of the care ^nd wo 
That we hadde in our matires subiyming, 770 

And in amalgaming and calcening 
Of quik siluer, yclept Mercurie crade? 
For alle our sleightes we can nat conclude. 
Our orpiment and sublymed Mercuric, 
Our grounden litarge eek on * the porphurie, 77s 

' E. on^ts how ; the rest have it, 

* The MSS. have papeer, paupere. Tyrwhitt reads pcpere, 
' The MSS. have lamped or laumpe. Sef the note* 

* £. iu ; Cm. & ; the rett on. 


Of ^ ech of thise of ounces a certevn 

Nought helpeth vs, our labour is in veyn. 

Ne eek our spirites ascencioun, 

Ne our materes that lyen al fixe adoun, 

Mowe in our werking no thing vs auayle. 780 

For lost is al our labour and trauayle, 

And al the cost, a ' twenty deuel weye, 

Is lost also, which we vpon it leye. 

Ther is also ful many another thing 
That is vnto our craft apertening ; 785 

Though I by ordre hem nat reherse can, 
By cause that I am a lewed man, 
Yet wol I telle hem as they come to mjmde, 
Though I ne can nat sette hem in her kynde ; 
As bole armoniak, verdegrees, boras, 790 

And sondry vessels maad of athe and glas, 
Our [many hotels] and our descensories, 
Violes, croslets, and sublymatories, 
Cucurbites, and alembykes eek, j 

And othere swiche, dere ynough a leek. 795 \ 

Nat nedeth it for to reherse hem alle, I 

Watres rubifying and boles galle, 
Arsenik, sal armoniak, and brimstoon ; 
And herbes coude I telle eek many oon, 
As egremoin, valerian, and lunarie, 800 

And othere swiche, if that me liste tarie. 
Our lampes brenning bothe nyght and day, 
To bringe aboute our craft, if that ' we may. 
Our fourneys eek of calcinacioun, 
And of watres albificacioun, 805 

^ E. And ; the rest Of. 

' E. Cm. a ; Ln. in ; the rest on. 

' E. purpos if; the rest craft if that. 


Vnslekked lym, chalk, and gleyre of an * ey, 

Poudres diuerse, asshes, [and muk], and cley, 

Cered pokets ^, sal peter, vitriole ; 

And diuers fyres maad of wode and cole ; 

Sal tartre, alkaly, and sal preparat, 810 

And combust materes and coagulat, 

Cley maad with hors or ' mannes heer, and oile 

Of tartre, alum *, glas, berm, wort, and argoile, 

Resalgar, and our materes enbibing ; 

And eek of oiir materes encorporing, 815 

And of our siluer citrinacioun, 

Our ^ cementing and fermentacioun, 

Our ingottes, testes, and many mo. 

I wol yow telle, as was me taught also, 
The foure ' spirites and the bodies seuene, 820 

By ordre, as. ofte I herde my lord hem neuene. 
The firste spirit quik-siluer called is. 
The second orpiment, the thridde, ywis, 
Sal armoniak, and the ferthe brimstoon. 
The bodies seuene eek, lo I hem heer anoon : 82s 

Sol gold is, and Luna siluer we threpe. 
Mars yren, Mercurie quik-siluer we clepe, 
Satumus leed, and lupiter is tin, 
And Venus coper, by my fader kin ! 

This cursed craft who so wol exercyse, 830 

He shal no good han that him may suffyse ; 
For al the good he spendeth ther-aboute, 
He lese shal, ther-of haue I no doute. 
Who so "^ that listeth outen his folye, 
Lat him come forth, and lerne multiplye ; 835 

• The MSS. all retain an. « Miswritten pottes in E. 

• E. and ; the rest or. * Accent alum on the u. 

• E. And of oure ; the rest omit And of. • E. seuene ; the rest foure. 
^ E. omits so ; the rest have it» 


And euer)' man that ought hath in his cofrei 

Lat him appere, ajid wexe a philosofre. 

Ascaunce that craft is so lyght to ler^ ? 

Nay, nay, god wot, sJ be he monk or frer^ 

Freest or chanoun, or any other wyght, 840 

Though he sitte at his book bothe day and nyght, 

In lern3mg of this eluish nyce lore, 

Al is in veyn, and parde» mochel more I 

To lerne a lewed man this subtilte, 

Fy ! spek nat ther-of, for it wol nat be; 845 

Al ^ conne he letterure, or csonne he noon, 

As in effect, he shal fynde it al oon. 

For bothe two, by my sauacioun, 

Concluden, in multiplicacioun, 

Ylyke wel, whan they han al ydo ; 850 

This is to seyn, they faylen bothe two. 

Yet forgat I to make rehersaille 
Of watres corosif and of lymaille, 
And of bodies moUi6cacioun, 

And also of her induracioun, 855 

Oyles, ablucions^ and metal fusible, 
To tellen al wolde passen any Inble 
That owher is ; wherfor, as for the beste. 
Of alle thise names now wol I me reste. 
For, as I trowe, I haue yow told ynow 860 

To reyse a feend* al loke be neuer so row. 

A ! nay 1 lat be ; the philosophres stoon. 
Elixir clept, we sechen faste echoon ; 
For, hadde we him, than were we • sikcr ynow. 
But, vnto god of heuen I make avow, 865 

For al our craft, whan we han al ydo, 
And ' al our sleighte, he wol nat come vs to. 

* E. Cm. And ; the rest Al. * E. it ; the rest wc. 

« E. With ; the rest And. 


He hath ymaad vs ^ spenden mochel good, 

For sorwe of which almost we wexen wood, 

But that good hope crepeth in our herte, 870 

Supposinge euer', though we sore smerte. 

To be releued by him afterward ; 

Swich supposing and hope is sharp and hard ; 

I warne yow wel, it is to seken euer ; 

That futur temps hath maad men to ' disseuer 875 

In trust therof, from al that euer they hadde. 

Yet of that art they can nat wexen sadde, 

For vnto hem it is a bitter swete ; 

So semeth it ; for nadde they but a shete 

Which that they myghte wrappe hem inne a* nyght, 880 

And a bak ' to walken inne by day-lyght. 

They wolde hem selle and spenden on this • craft ; 

They can nat stinte til no thing be laft. 

And euermore, wher that euer they goon, 

Men may hem knowe by smel of brimstoon; 885 

For al the world, they stinken as a goot ; 

Her sauour is so rammish and so hoot, 

That, though a man from hem a myle '' be, 

The sauour wol infecte him, trusteth * me ; 

Lo •, thus by smelling ^^ and threedbare array 890 

If that men list, this folk they knowe may. 

And if a man wol aske hem pryuely, 

Why they been clothed so^vnthriftily. 

They ryght anon wol rownen in his ere. 

And seyn, that if that they espyed were, 895 

1 Cm. I-mad vs ; HI. i-made vs ; £. maad vs ; the rest vs made. 
' £. omits euer ; the rest have it, ' Cm. to, which the rest omit, 

* E. Inne at ; the rest in a. " E. brat ; the rest bak ; see note, 

* E. the ; the rest this. 

^ £. a Mile from hem ; the rest from hem a myle. 

' E. truste ; the rest trusteth. * £. And ; the rest Lo. 

^ £. smel ; the rest smellyng. 


Men wolde hem slee, by cause of her science ; 
Lo, thus this folk bitrayen innocence 1 

Passe ouer this ;. I go my tale vn-to. 
Er than ^ the pot be on the fyr ydo, 
Of metals with a certeyn quantite, 900 

My lord hem tempreth, and no man but he — 
Now he is goon, I dar seyn boldely — 
For, as men seyn, he can doon craftily ; 
Algate I wot wel he hath swich a name, 
And yet ful ofte he renneth in a blame ; 905 

And wite ye how ? ful ofte it happeth so. 
The pot tobreketh, and farewel I al is go I 
Thise metals been of so greet violence, 
Our walles mowe nat make hem resistence, 
But if they weren wrought of lym and stoon ; 910 

They percen so, and thurgh the wal they goon, 
And somme of hem sinken in-to the ground — 
Thus han we lost by tymes many a pound — 
And somme are scatered al the floor aboute, 
Somme lepe^ in-to the roof; with-outen doute, 915 

Though that the feend nought in our syghte him shewe, 
I trowe he with vs be, that ilke shrewe I 
In helle wher that he is lord ' and sire, 
Nis ther more wo, ne more rancour ne ire. 
Whan that our pot is broke, as I haue sayd, 920 

Euery man chit, and halt him yuel apayd. 

Som seyde, it was long * on the fyr-making, 
Som seyde, nay I it was on the blowing ; 
(Than was I fered, for that was myn ofl&ce) ; 
* Straw r quod the thridde, * ye been lewed and nyce, 

* E. Ln. that ; the rest than. * E. leptc ; the rest lepe, lepen. 

^ E. lord is ; the rest is lord. * E. Cm. along; the rest long. 



It was nat tempred as it oughte be.' 926 

* Nay !* quod the ferthe, * stint, and herkne me ; 

By cause our fyr ne was nat maad of beech, 

That is the. cause, and other noon, so theech I' 

I can nat telle wher-on it was long ^, 930 

But wel I wot greet stiyf is vs ^ among. 

* What r quod my lord, * ther is namore to done, 
Of thise perils I wol be war eft-sone ; 
I am ryght siker that the pot was erased. 
Be as be may, be ye no thing amased ; 935 

As vsage is, lat swepe the floor as swythe, 
Plukke vp your hertes, and beth gladde and blythe.' 

The muUok on an hepe ysweped' was, 
And on the floor yeast a canevas. 
And al this mullok in a syve ythrowe, 940 

And sifted, and ypiked many a throwe. 

' Parde,* quod oon, * somwhat of our metal 
Yet is ther heer, though that we han nat al. 
Al-though this thing mishapped haue as now. 
Another tyme it may be wel ynow, 945 

Vs moste putte our good in auenture ; 
A marchant, parde 1 may nat ay endure, 
Trusteth me wel, in his prosperite ; 
Somtym his good is drenched in the see. 
And somtym comth it sauf vn-to the londe/ 950 

' Pees !' quod my lord, * the next tyme I wol * fonde 
To bringe oiir craft al in another plyte ; 
And but I do, sks ^ lat me han the wyte ; 
Ther was defaute in som what, wel I wot.' 

Another seyde, the fyr was ouer hot : — 955 

^ Cm. HI. long ; the rest along; seel. g22. ^ £. vs is; the rest is vs. 

' Cm. I-swepid ; Ln. yswepped ; E. sweped ; Cp. Pt. HI. yswoped. 

* £. shal ; the rest wol, wil, welei ^ £. omits sirs ; the rest have it. 



But S be it hot or cold, I dar seye this, 

That we concluden euerbiore amis. 

We fayle of that which that we wolden haue, 

And iti our madnesse euermore we raue. 

And whan we been togidres euerichoon, 960 

Euery man semeth a Salomon. 

But al * thing which that shyneth ' as the gold 

Nis nat gold, as that I haue herd it * told ; 

Ne euery appel that is fair at ^ y€ 

Ne is • nat good, what so men clappe or crye. 965 

Ryght so, lo r fareth it amonges vs; 

He that semeth the wysest, by lestis ! 

Is most fool, whan it cometh to the preef ; 

And he that semeth trewest is a theef ; 

That shul ye knowe, er that I fro yow wende, 970 

By that I of my tale haue maad an ende. 

Explicit prima pars, Et sequitur pars secunda, 

Ther is ^ a chanoun of religioun 
Amonges vs, wolde infecte al a toun, 
Though it as greet were as was Niniue, 
Rome, Alisaundre, Troye, and othere three. 975 

His sleightes ' and his infinit falsnesse 
Ther coude no man wryten, as I gesse, 
Though that he myghte lyue ^® a thousand yeer. 
In al this world of falshede nis " his peer ; 
For in his termes so he wolde him wynde, 980 

And speke his wordes in so sly a kynde, 

» E. And ; the rest Bat. * E. tMery\ the rest al, alle. 

» Cm. schynyth ; Ln. schyneth ; HI. schineth ; E. seinoth ; Cp. semeth. 

• Cp. Pt. Ln. it ; E. Cm. HI. omit it. ■ E. to ; the rest at. 

• E. Nis ; the rest Ne is. "^ E. omits lo ; the rest have it, 

• E. was ; the rest is. Cf. 1. 987. • E. HI. slcighte ; the rest sleightes. 
*® E. lync myghte ; the rest myghte lyue. 

" E. nas; Ln. ne is ; the rest nis, nys. 


Whan he commune shal with any wyght, 
That he wol make him doten anon rj'ght, 
But it a feend be, as him-seluen is. 
Ful many a man hath he bigyled er this, 985 

And wol, if that he lyue may a whyle ; 
And yet men ryde and goon ful many a myle 
Him for to seke and haue his aqueyntaunce, 
Nought knowinge of his false gouemaunce. 
And if yow list to yeue me audience, 990 

I wol it tellcn heer in your presence. 
But worshipful chanouns religious, 
Ne demeth nat that I sclaundre ^ your hous, . 
Al-though ^ my tale of a chanoun be. 
Of euery ordre som shrewe is, parde, 995 

And god forbede that al a companye 
Sholde rewe a singuler mannes folye. 
To sclaundre yow is no thing myn entente. 
But to correcten that is mis I mente. 
This tale was nat only told for yow, 1000 

But eek for othere mo ; ye wot wel how 
That, among Cristes apostelles twelue, 
Ther nas no traytour but ludas him-selue. 
Than why sholde al the remenant haue blame ' 
That gildees were? by yow I seye the same. 1005 

Saue only this, if ye wol herkne me. 
If any ludas in your couent be, 
Remeueth him bitymes, I yow rede. 
If shame or los may causen any drede. 
And beth no thing displesed, I yow preye, 10 10 

But in this cas herkneth what I shal seye. 

^ E. desclaundre ; the rest sclaundre ; see\. 998. 
^ E. Although that ; the rest omit that. 
' E. HI. a blame ; the rest omit a. 

VOL. in. H 


In London was a preest, an ^ annueleer, 
That therin dwelled hadde ' many a yeer, 
Which was so plesaunt and so seruisable 
Vnto the wyf, wher as he was at table, 1015 

That she wolde suffre him no thing for to paye 
For bord ne clothing, wente he neuer so gaye; 
And pending siluer hadde he ryght ynow. 
Therof no fors; I wol procede as now, 
And telle forth my tale of the chanoun, 1020 

That broughte this preest to confusioun. 

This false chanoun cam vp-on a day 
Vnto this preestes chambre, wher he lay, 
Biseching him to lene him a certeyn 
Of gold, and he wolde quyte it him ageyn. 1025 

' Lene me a mark,' quod he, * but dayes three, 
And at my day I wol it quyten thee. 
And if so be that thou me fynde fals, 
Another day do hange me by the hals 1* 

This preest him took a mark, and that as swythe. 
And this chanoun him thanked ofte sithe, 1031 

And took his leue, and wente forth his weye, 
And at the thridde day broughte his moneye, 
And to the preest he took his gold agayn, 
Wherof this preest was wonder glad and fayn. 1035 

* Certes,' quod he, * no thing anoyeth me 
To lene a man a noble, or two or thre, 
Or what thing were in my possessioun, 
Whan he so trewe is of condicioun, 
That in no wyse he breke wol his day; 1040. 

To swich a man I can neuer seye nay.' 

* E. omiu an ; the rest have it, 

* £. had dwelled ; the rest dwelled hadde (or had). 


* What I' quod this chanoun, *sholde I be vntrewe ?^ 
Nay, that were thing ^ yfallen al of-newe. 

Trouthe is a thing that I wol euer kepe 

Vn-to'* that day in which that I shal crepe 1045 

In-to my graue, and^ elles god forbede; 

Bileueth this as siker as your * crede. 

God thanke I, and in good tyme be it sayd, 

That ther was neuer man yet yuel apayd 

For gold ne siluer that he to me lente, 1050 

Ne neuer falshede in myn herte I mente. 

And sir/ quod he, ' now of my priuetee, 

Sin ye so goodlich han been vn-to me. 

And kjrthed to me so greet gentiUesse, 

Somwhat to quyte with your kyndenesse, 1055 

I wol yow shewe, and, if* yow list to lere, 

I wol yow teche pleynly the manere^ 

How I can werken in philospphye. 

Taketh good heed, ye shul wel seen at yS, 

That I wol doon a maistrie er I go.' 1060 

* Ye,' quod thepreest, *ye, sir*, and wcrt y-e so? 
Marie I ther-of I pray yow hertdy J ' 

* At your comanderoent, sir, trewely,^ 
Quod the chanoun, * and elles god forbedel ' 

Lo, how this theef coude his seruyse bedei 1065 

Ful soth it is, that swich profred seruyse 
Stinketh^ as witnessen thise olde wyse,; 
And that ful sone I wol it verifye 
In this chanoun, rote of al trecherye, 
That euer-jnore delyt hath and gladnesse — 1070 

Swich feendly thouglites in his herte impresse— 

* E. Cm. a thyng ; the rest omit a. * E. Ln. In-to ; the rest Vn-to. 
^ E. or ; the rest and. * E. the; HL your; the rest is your. 

* E.. if that ; the rest and if (or yif). 

* After sir, E, ivrongly inserts quod he. 

H 2 


How Cristes peple he may to meschief bringe ; 
God kepe vs from his fals dissimulinge I 

-Nought wiste this preest with whom that he delta, 
Ne of his harm cominge he no thing felte. 1075 

O sely preest 1 o sely Innocent ! 
With coueityse anon thou shalt be blent ! 
O gracelees, ful blynd is thy conceit, 
No thing ne artow war of the deceit 
Which that this fox yshapen hath to * thee 1 1080 

His wyly wrenches thou ne mayst nat flee. 
Wherfor, to go to the conclusioun 
That refereth to thy confusioun, 
Vnhappy man I anon I wol me hye 
To tellen thyn vnwit and thy * folye, 1085 

And eek the falsnesse of that other wrecche, 
As ferforth as that ' my conning may strecche. 

This chanoun was my lord, ye wolden wene ? 
Sir host, in feith, and by the heuenes queue, 
It was another chanoun, and nat he, 1090 

That can an hundred fold more subtilte ! 
He hath bitrayed folkes many tyme ; 
Of his falshede it duUeth me to ryme. 
Euer whan that I speke of his falshede, 
For shame of him my chekes wexen rede ; 1095 

Algates, they biginnen for to glowe, 
For reednesse haue I noon, ryght wel I knowe, 
In my visage ; for fumes dyuerse 
Of metals, which ye han herd me reherse, 
Consumed and wasted han my reednesse. 1 100 

Now tak heed of this chanouns cursednesse 1 

* E. for ; the rest to, * E. his ; Cm, heigh ; the rest thy, 

' Cm. that, which seems required ; yet the rest omit it. 


' Sir/ quod he to the preest, ' lat your man gon 
For quik-siluer, that we it hadde ^ anon ; 
And lat him bringen ounces two or three ; 
And whan he comth, as faste shul ye see 1105 

A wonder thing which ye sey neuer er this.' 

* Sir^' quod the preest, ' it shal be doon, ywis/ 
He bad his seruaunt fecchen him this thing, 
And he al redy was at his bidding. 
And wente him forth, and cam anon agayn 1 1 10 

With this quik-siluer, sothly for to sayn, 
And took thise ounces thre to the chanoun ; 
And he hem * leyde fayre and wel adoun, 
And bad the seruaunt coles for to bringe. 
That he anon myghte go to his werkinge. 11 15 

The coles ryght anon weren yfet, 
And this chanoun took out a crosselet 
Of his bosom, and shewed it the ' preest. 
* This instrument,' quod he, * which that thou seest, 
Tak in thyn hand, and put thy-self ther-inne 1120 

Of this quik-siluer an ounce, and heer biginne. 
In the name of Crist, to wexe a philosofre. 
Ther been ful fewe, whiche that * I wolde profre 
To shewen hem thus muche of my science. 
For ye shul seen heer, by experience, 1125 

That this quik-siluer wol I mortifye 
Ryght in your syghte anon, withouten ' lye, 
And make it * as good siluer and as fyn 
As ther is any in your purs or myn. 

* E. Cm. hadde it ; the rest it hadde. * E. Cm. hem ; the rest it. 
3 E. to the ; the rest omit to. 

* E. to whiche ; Cm. to whiche that ; the rest whiche that. 

* E. I wol nat ; HI. with-outen ; Cm. w/tA-outyn ; the rest withoute {or 
without.) ' £. omits it ; the rest have it. 


Or elleswher, and make it malliable ; 1130 

And elles, holdeth me fals and vnable 

Amonges folk for euer to appere 1 

I haue a poudre heer, that coste me dere^ 

Shal make al good, for it is cause of al 

My .conning, which that I yow ^ she wen shal. 1 135 

Voydeth your man, and lat him be ther-oute,. 

And shet the dore, whyls we been aboute 

Our priuetee,. that no man vs espye 

Whyls that we werke in this philosophye;' 

Al as he bad, fulfilled was in dede, 1 140 

This ilke seruant anon-ryght out yede,. 

And bis maister shette the dore anon. 

And to her labour speedily they gon* 

This preest, at this cursed chanouns bidding,. 
Vp-on the fyr anon sette this thing, M45 

And blew the fyr, and bisied him ful faste ;. 
And this chanoun in-to the croslet caste 
A poudre, noot I wher-of that it was 
Ymaad, other of chalk, other ^ of glas. 
Or som what elles, was nat worth a flye, 1 150 

To blynde with the preest ; and bad him hye 
The coles for to couchen al aboue 
The croslet, * for, in tokening I thee loue,' 
Quod this chanoun,. * thyn owene hondes two 
Shul werchen^ al thing which shal heer be doJ 1 155 

* Graunt mercy,' quod the preest, and was ful glad. 
And couched coles * as the ^ chanoun bad. 
And whyle he bisy was, this feendly wrecche. 
This fals chanoun, the foule feend him fecche I 

1 E. to yow ; tile rest omit to. ' E, op; Pt. or ellis.; the rest other. 

' TTie MSS. have werche, worche, wirchc-; spoiling the metre; see 1. 1058. 
* E. Cm. cole ; the rest coles. ' £. that ; Cm. that the ; the rest the. 


Out of his bosom took* a bechen cole, 1160 

In which ful subtilly was maad an hole^ 

And ther-in put was of siluer lymaille 

An ounce, and stopped was, with-outen fayle,. 

The hole with wex, to kepe the lymaiL in. 

And vnderstondeth, that this false gin 1165 

Was nat maad ther, but it was maad bifore ;. 

And othere thinges I shall telle more 

Herafterward, which that he with him broughte ; 

Er he cam ther, him to bigyle he thoughte, 

And so he dide, er that they wente atwinne;. 11 70 

Til he had torned him, he coude not blinne. 

It dulleth me whan that I of him speke. 

On his falshede fayn wolde I me wreke, 

If I wiste how; but he is heer and ther; 

He is so variaunt, he * abit no wher. 1175 

But taketh heed now, sirs, for goddes loue 1 
He took his ' cole of which I spak aboue. 
And in his hond he baar it priuely. 
And whyles the * preest couched busily 
The coles, as I tolde yow er this, 1180 

This chanoun seyde, * frend, ye doon amis ;. 
This is nat couched as it oughte be ; 
But sone I shal amenden it,' quod he. 
* Now lat me medle tberwith but a whyle. 
For of yow haue I pite, by seint Gyle I 1185 

Ye been ryght hoot, I se wel how ye swete, 
Haue heer a cloth, and wype awey the wete.' 
And whyles that the preest wyped his face, 
This chanoun took his cole with harde grace ^ 

^ £. he took ; the rest omit he. ^ £. Cp. that he ; the rest omit that. 
' £. thi.« ; the rest his ; see 1. 1 189. ^ Read this? See 11. 1181, 1030. 
* iSo E. ; Cm. with sory grace {see 1. 665). Most MSS. have I shrewe 
his face, and make 1. 1 18$ end with him wyped has. 


. And lejde it vp aboue, on ^ the midward 1190 

Of the croslet, and blew wel afterward. 
Til that the coles gonne faste brenne. 

' Now yeue vs drinke/ quod the chanoun thenne, 
' As swythe al shal be wel, I vndertake ; 
Sitte we doun, and lat vs mery make.' 1195 

And whan that this chanounes bechen cole 
Was brent, al the lymaille, out of the hole, 
Into the croslet fil anon adoun ; 
And so it moste nedes, by resoun, 
Sin it so euen aboue ^ couched was ; 1 200 

But ther-of wiste the preest no thing, alas 1 
He demed alle the coles yliche good, 
For of that sleighte he no thing vnderstood. 
And whan this alkamistre sey his tyme, 
* Ris vp/ quod he, * sir preest, and stondeth * by me ; 
And for' I wot wel ingot haue I noon, 1 206 

Goth, walketh forth, and brynge vs a chalk-stoon ; 
For I wol make oon of the same shap 
That is an ingot, if I may han hap. 
And bringeth eek with yow a bolle or a panne, 12 10 
Ful of water, and ye shul se wel thanne 
How that our bisinesse shal thryue and preue. 
And yet, for ye shul han no misbileue 
Ne wrong conceit of me in your absence, 
I ne wol nat been out of your presence, 1215 

But go with yow, and come with yow ageyn.' 
The chambre dore, shortly for to seyn, 
They opened and shette, and wente her wey. 
And forth with hem they carieden the key, 

^ I propose this reading; E. has aboue vp on ; Cm. the same, but omitting- it ; 
HI. abouen on ; the rest vpon abouen. ' £. abouen it ; the rest aboue. 

^ Lichf. Cp. Pt. stondeth ; Lu. HI. stonde ; Cm. stand; £. sit. 


And come agayn with- oaten any delay. 1220 

What sholde I tarien al the longe day ? 
He took the chalk, and shoop it in the wyse 
Of an ingot, as I shal yow deuyse. 

I seye, he took out of his owen sleue, 
A teyne of siluer (yuel moot he cheue 1) 1225 

Which that ne ^ was nat but an ounce of weighte ; 
And taketh heed now of his cursed sleighte ! 

He shoop his ingot, in lengthe and eek ■ in brede. 
Of this ' teyne, with-outen any drede. 
So slyly, that the preest it nat espyde ; 1 230 

And in his sleue agayn he gan it hyde ; 
And fro the fyr he took vp his matere, 
And in thingot putte it with mery chere, 
And in the water-vessel he it caste 
Whan that him luste, and bad the preest as faste, 1235 

* Look what ther is *, put in thyn hand and grope, 
Thow fynde shalt ther siluer, as I hope ; 

What, [by myn honour,] sholde it elles be ? 

Shauing of siluer siluer is, parde I* * 

He putte his bond in, and took vp a teyne 1240 

Of siluer fyn, and glad in euery veyne 

Was this preest, whan he sey that * it was so. 

* Goddes blessing, and his modres also, 
And alle halwes haue ye, sir chanoun,' 

Seyde this preest, 'and I her malisoun, 1245 

But and ye vouche-sauf to techen me 
This noble craft and this subtilite ; 

* Cm. ne ; which the rest omit. " E. eek ; which the rest omit, 
' Tyrwhitt reads Of thilke ; / propose — As of this teyne. 

* E. What that heer is ; the rest Look what ther is. 

* E. omits 11. 1238, 1239. 

* £. HI. omit that ; it is found in Cm. Cp. Pt. Ln. 


I wol be your in al that euer I may I ' 

Quod the chanoun ^, * yet wol I make assay 

The second tjrme, that ye may taken hede 1250 

And been expert of this, and in your nede 

Another day assaye in rayn absence 

This disciplyne and this crafty science. 

Lat take another ounce/ quod he tho^ 

* Of quik-siluer, with-outen wordes mo, 1155 

And do ther-with as ye han doon er this 

With that other, which that now siluer is/ 
This preest him bisieth in al that he can 

To doon as this chanoim, this cursed man, 

Comanded him-, and faste he blew the fyr, 1 260 

For to come to theflfect of his desyr. 

And this chanoun, ryght in the mene whyle, 

Al redy was, the preest eft tobigyle. 

And, for a contenaunce, in his honde he bar 

An holwe stikke, (tafc keep and be war t) 1265 

In thende of which an ounce, and namore. 

Of siluer lymail put was, as bifore 

Was ' in his cole, and stopped with wex wel 

For to kepe in his lymail euery del. 

And whyl this preest was in his bisinesse, 1270 

This chanoun with his stikke gan him dresse 

To him anon, and his pouder caste in 

As he dide er ; (the deuel out of his skin 

Him torne ', I pray to god, for his lalshede ; 

For he was euer fals in thought and dede); 1275 

And with this stikke aboue the croslet, 

That was ordeyned with that false get *, 

' £. preest ; the rest ehanouih ' E. omks Was ; the rest have it, 

' E. tcrve ; Cm. Pt. turne ; the rest torne. 

* E. Cm. let (=jet); HI. get; Ln. gett; Cp. Pt. gette. 


He stired the coles tfl relente gan 

The wex agayn the fyr, as euery maiij 

But it a fool be, wot wel it mot nede, n8o 

And al that in the stikke was out yede, 

And in the croslet hastily it fel. 

Now gode sirs, what wol ye bet than wel ? * 
Whan that this preest thus was bigyled ageyn ^ 
Supposing nought but trewthe, soth to seyn, 1 285 

He was so glad, that I can • nat expresse 
In no manere hi3 mirthe and his gladnesse, 
And to the chanoun he profred eftsone 
Body and good; *ye,' quod the chanoun sone, 
'Though poure I be, crafty thou shalt me fjmde,*^ 1290 
I wame thee, yet is ther more bihynde. 
Is ther any coper her-inne,' seyde he. 
* Ye,' quod the preest, * sir, I trowe wel ther be.' 
' Elles go by vs som, and that as swythe, 
Now, gode sir, go forth thy wey and hy the/ 1295 

He wente his wey, and with the coper cam^ 
And this chanoun it in his hondes nam, 
And of that coper weyed out but an ounce. 
Al to sin^)le is my tonge to pronounce. 
As ministre of my wit, the doublenesse 1300 

Of this chanoun, rote of al cursednesse. 
He semed frendly to hem that knewe him nought, 
But he was feendly bothe in herte and thought. 
It werieth me to telle of his falsnesse,. 
And nathelees yet wol I it expresse, 1305 

To thentent that men may be war therby^ 
And for noon other cause, trewely. 

* Cp. Pt. Ln. The preest supposede nothing but wel. 

' Cp. Pt. Ln. But bus3red him faste, and was wondjer fayn. 

' E. ne kan ; the rest omit ne. 


He putte his ^ ounce of coper in the croslet, 
And on the fyr as swythe he hath it set, 
And caste in poudre, and made the preest to blowe, 
And in his werking for to stoupe lowe, 131 1 

As he dide er, and al nas but a lape ; 
Ryght as him liste, the preest he made his ape ; 
And afterward in thingot he it caste, 
And in the panne putte it at the laste 13 15 

Of water, and ^ in he putte his owen hond. 
And in his sleue, (as ye biforn-hond 
Herde me telle,) he ' hadde a siluer teyne. 
He slyly took it out, this cursed heyne — 
Vnwiting this preest of his false craft — 1320 

And in the pannes botme he hath it laft ; 
And in the water rombled to and fro. 
And wonder priuely took vp also 
The coper teyne, nought knowing this preest,. 
And hidde it, and him hente by the breest, 1325 

And to him spak, and thus seyde in his game, 
* Stoupeth adoun, [parde], ye be to blame, 
Helpeth me now, as I * dide yow whyl-er, 
Putte in your hond, and loketh what is ther.' 

This preest took vp this siluer teyne anon, 1330 

And thanne seyde the chanoun, * lat vs gon 
With thise thre teynes, which that we han wrought, 
To som goldsmith, and wite if they been ought. 
For, by my feith, I nolde, for myn hood, 
But if that they were siluer, fyn and good, 1335 

And that as swythe preued shal it * be.' 

Vn-to the goldsmith with thise teynes three 

* Cm. his ; E. the ; the rest this. " E. the water ; the rest water and. 
3 E. omits he ; the rest have it. * E. a ; the reit I, 

' E. it shal ; Ln. schal he ; the rest shal it. . 


They wente, and putte thise teynes in assay 

To fyr and hamer ; myghte no man sey nay, 

But that they weren as hem oughte be. 1340 

This sotted preest, who was gladder than he ? 
Was neuer brid gladder agayn the day, 
Ne nyghtingale, in the sesoun of May, 
Nas neuer noon ^ that luste bet to singe ; 
Ne lady lustier in carolinge 1345 

Or for to speke of love and wommanhede, 
Ne knyght in armes to doon an hardy dede, 
To stonde in grace of his lady dere. 
Than had this preest this sory craft to lere ; 
And to the chanoun thus he spak and seyde, 1350 

* For loue of god, that for vs alle deyde, 
And as I may deserue it vn-to yow. 
What shal this receit coste ? telleth now !' 

* By our lady,' quod this chanoun, * it is dere, 

I wame yow wel ; for, saue I and a frere, 1355 

In Engelond ther can no man it make/ 

* No fors,' quod he, * now, sir, for goddes sake. 
What shal I paye ? telleth me, I preye/ 

* Ywis,' quod he, * it is ful dere, I seye ; 

Sir, at o word, if that thee list it haue, 1360 

Ye shul paye fourty pound, so god me saue I 
And, nere the frendship that ye dide er this 
To me, ye sholde paye more, y-wis.' 

This preest the somme of fourty pound anon 
Of nobles fette, and took hem euerichon 1365 

To this chanoun, for this ilke receit ; 
Al his werking nas but fraude and deceit. 

* Sir preest,' he seyde, ' I kepe han no loos 
Of my craft, for I wolde it kept were cloos ; 

^ £. man ; the rest DOon (non). 


And as ye loue me, kepeth it secre ; 1370 

For, and men knewen al my sotilte, 

[Parde], they wolden han so greet enuye 

To me, .by cause of my philosophye, 

I sholde be deed, ther were noon other weye/ 

* God it forbede 1* quod the preest, * what sey ye ?' 
Yet hadde I leuer spenden al the good 1376 
Which that I haue (and^ elles wexe I woodl) 

Than that ye sholden falle in swich mescheef/ 

* For your good wil, ar, haue ye ryght good preef,' 
Quod the chanoun, * and farwel, grant mercy !' 1380 
He wente his wey and neuer the preest him sy 

After that day.; and whan that this preest sholde 

Maken assay, at swich tyme as he wolde. 

Of this receit, farwel I it wolde nat be 1 

Lo, thus byiaped and bigyled was he I 1385 

Thus maketh he his introduccioun 

To bringe folk lo her^ destruccioun. — 

Considereth, sirs, how that, in ech estaat. 
Bitwise men and gold ther is debaat 
So ferforth, that vnnethes is ther noon. 1390 

This multiplying blent so many oon. 
That in good feith I trowe that it be 
The cause grettest of swich scarsetc. 
Philosophres speken so mistily 

In this craft, that men can nat come therby, 1395 

For any wit that men han now a dayes. 
They mowe wel chiteren, as doon thise ' layes. 
And in her termes sette her lust and peyne. 
But to her purpos shul they neuer atteyne. 

* E. or ; the rest and. ' E. Cm. onut her. 
^ £. as that doon ; Cm. as don ; the rest as doon thise. 


A man may lyghtly lerne, if he haue ought, 1400 

To multiplye, and bringe his good to nought I 

Lo I swich a lucre is in this lusty game, 
A mannes mirthe it wol tome -vn-to grame, 
And empten also grete and heuy purses. 
And maken folk for to purchasen curses 1405 

Of hem, that han her good therto ylent. 
O ! * fy I for shame ! they that han b'een brent, 
Alias I can thei nat flee the fyres hete ? 
Ye -that it vse, I rede ye it lete, 

Lest ye lese ai ; for bet than neuer is late, 14 10 

Neuer to thryue were to long a date. 
Though ye prolle ay, ye shul it neuer fynde; 
Ye been as 4>olde as is Bayard the blynde. 
That blundreth forth, and peril casteth noon ; 
He is as bold to renne agayn astoon 141 5 

As for to gon besydes in the weye. 
So fare ye that multiplye, I seye. 
If that your yfe'n can nat seen aryght, 
Loke , that your mynde lakke nought his'syght. 
For, though ye loke neuer so brode, and stare, 1420 
Ye shul nat winne a myte ' in that chaffare. 
But wasten al that ye may rape and renne. 
Withdrawe the fyr, lest it to faste brenne ; 
Medleth namore with that art, I mene. 
For, if ye doon, yowr thrift is goon ful clene. 1425 

And ryght as swythe I wol yow tellen here. 
What ' philosophres seyn in this matere. 

Lo, thus seith Arnold of the newe toun. 
As his Rosarie maketh mencioun ; 

' E. omits O ; the rest have it, 

' E. Cm. no thyng wynne ; the rest nat wynce a myte. 

3 HI. What ; Cm. What that 3e ; the rest What that the {badly). 


He seith ryght thus, with-outen any lye, 1430 

* Ther may no man Mercuric mortifye, 
But it be with his brother knowleching ; 

Lo, how ^ that he, which that first seyde this thing, 
Of philosophres fader was ^, Hermes ; 
He seith, how that the dragoun, doutelees, 1435 

• Ne deyeth nat, but if that he be slajm 
With his brother ; and that is for to sayn, 
By the dragoun, Mercurie and noon other 
He vnderstood ; and brimstoon by his brother, 
That out of sol and iuna were ydrawe, ' 1440 

And therfor,' seyde he, * tak heed to my sawe, 
Let no man bisy him this art for to seche. 
But if that he thentencioun and speche 
Of philosophres vnderstonde can ; 
And if he do, he is a lewed man. 1445 

For this science and this conning,' quod he, 

* Is of the secre of secrees ^ parde/ 

Also ther was a disciple of Plato, 
That on a tyme seyde his maister to, 
As his book Senior wol bere witnesse, 1450 

And this was his demande in sothfastnesse : 

* Tel me the name of the priuy stoon ?' 

And Plato answerde vnto him anoon, 

* Tak the stoon that Titanos men name/ 

* Which is that ?' quod he. * Magnesia is the same,' 
Seyde Plato. * Ye, sir, and is it thus ? 1456 
This is tgnqtum per ignotius. 

What is Magnesia, good sir, I yow preye?' 

* It is a water that is maad, I seye, 

* HI. Lo how ; the rest How ; see 1. 1428. 

* E. first was ; the rest omit first. 

' E. Cm. of the secretes ; Pt. of secrees ; HI. of secretz ; La. of secretees. 


Of elementes foure/ quod Plato. 1460 

* Tel me the rote ^, good sir/ quod he tho, 
* Of that water, if that * it be your wil ?' 

* Nay, nay,' quod Plato, ' certein, that I nil. 
The philosophres sworn were euerichoofi, 

That they sholden discouere it vn-to noon, 1465 

Ne in no book it wryte in no manere ; 

For vn-to god ^ it is so leef and dere 

That he wol nat that it discouered be, 

But wher it lyketh to his deite 

Man for tenspyre, and eek for to defende 1470 

Whom that him lyketh ; lo, this is ihe ende.' 

Than thus conclude I * ; sith that god of heuene 
Ne wol nat that the philosophres neuene 
How that a man shal come vn-to this stoon, 
I rede as" for the beste, let it goon. 14; 5 

For who so maketh god his aduersarie. 
As for to werche any thing in contrarie 
Of his wil, certes neuer shal he thryue, 
Though that he multiplye terme of his ' lyue. 
And ther a poynt ; for ended is my tale ; . 1450 

God sende euery trewe man bote of his bale I * — 

Heere is ended the Chanoiuis Yemannes tale. 

' E. roote ; the rest roche, rooche, roches. 
■ Cm. that ; which the rest omit, 

* So the Lichfield MS. ; the rest have Crist ; see 1. 1476. 

* So HI. ; the rest conclude I thus. • E. vs ; the rest as. 

* E. Cm. omit his ; the rest have it. 



Heere folweth the Frologe of the Maunoiples 


Wite ^ ye nat wher ther stant a litel toun 

Which that ycleped is Bob-vp-and-doun, 

Vnder the Blee, in Caunterbury weye ? 

Ther gan our hoste for to lape and pleye, 

And seyde, * sirs, what ! Dun is in the myre I 5 

Is ther no man, for preyer ne for hyre, 

That wol awake our felawe heer ^ bihynde ? 

A theef myghte him ful lyghtly robbe and bynde. 

Se how he nappeth ! se ', for cokkes bones, 

As he wol falle from his hors at ones. 10 

Is that a cook of Londoun, with meschaunce ? 

Do him come forth, he knoweth his penaunce, 

For he shal telle a tale, by my fey I 

Al-though it be nat worth a hotel hey. 

Awake, thou cook,' quod he, ' god yeue the sorwe, 15 

What eyleth the to slepe by the morwe ? 

Hastow had fiieen al nyght, or artow dronke, 

So that thou mayst nat holden vp thjm heed V 
This cook, that was ful pale and no-thing reed, ao 

» E. Hn. Wool; Cp. HI. Wot; Cm. Wote; Pt. Ln. Wcte; hui Wite U 
better, cw w 1. 82. 

' Cm. here ; E. Hn. HI. al ; the rest insert neUher. 
* So Cp. HI.; £. see how ; Hn. Cm. $e how. 


Seyd to our host, * so god my soule blesse, 
As ther is falle on me swich heuinesse, 
Not I nat why, that me were leuer slepe 
Than the beste galoun wyn ^ in Chepe/ 

* Wei,' quod the maunciple, * if it may doon ese 25 
To thee, sir cook, and to no wyght displese 
Which that heer rydeth in this companye, 
And that our host wol of his curteisye, 
I wol as ^ now excuse thee of thy tale ; 
For, in good feith, thy visage is ful pale, 30 

Thyn y€n daswen ' eek, as that me thinketh, 
And wel I wot, thy breeth ful soure stinketh, 
That sheweth wel thou art not wel disposed ; 
Of me, certein, thou shalt nat been yglosed. 
Se how he ganeth, lo, this dronken wyght, 35 

As though he wolde vs swolwe * anon ryght. 
• ••••••« 

Thy cursed breeth infecte wol vs alle ; 

Fy, stinking swyn, fy 1 foule mot thee ' falle I 40 

A 1 taketh heed, sirs, of this lusty man. 

Now, swete sir, wol ye lusten atte fan ? 

Ther-to me thinketh ye been wel yshape 1 

I trowe that ye dronken han wyn ape, 

And that is whan men pleyen with a straw.' 45 

And with this speche the cook wex wroth and wraw. 

And on the maunciple he gan nodde faste 

For lakke of speche, and doun the hors him caste, 

Wher as he lay, til that men him vp ^ took ; 

This was a fayr chiuache of a cook 1 50 

^ HI. wyn that is ; the rest omit that is ; see note. 

' £. omits as ; the rest have it. 

' So E, Hn. HI. ; Cm. daswe ; Cp. dasewen ; Pt. dasen ; Ln. dasowe])e. 

* So Cp. Ln. ; the rest swolwe vs. * E. thou ; the rest thee or the. 

• 'E. Hn. vp hym ; the rest him vp. 



Alias ! he nadde holde him by his ladel ! 

And, er that he agayn were in his sadel, 

Ther was greet showuing bothe to and fro, 

To lifte him vp, and mochel care and wo, 

So vnweldy was this sory palled gost. 55 

And to the maunciple than spak our host, 

* By- cause drink hath dominacioun 

Vpon this man, by my sauacioun, 

I trowe he lewedly * wold telle his tale. 

For, were it wyn, or old or moysty ale, 60 

That he hath dronke, he speketh in his nose, 

And fneseth * faste, and eek he hath the pose. 

He hath also to do more than ynough 

To kepe him and his capel out of slough ; 

And, if he falle from his capel eft-sone, 65 

Than shul we alle haue ynough to done. 

In liftinge vp his heuy dronken cors. 

Tel on thy tale, of him make I no fors. 

But yet, maunciple, in feith thou art to nyce. 
Thus openly repreue him of his vyce. 70 

Another day he wol, perauenture, 
Reclayme thee, and bringe thee to lure ; 
I mene, he speke wol of smale thinges. 
As for to pinchen at thy rekeninges. 
That wer not honeste, if it cam to preef/ 75 

*No,' quod the maunciple, * that were a' greet mescheef ! 
So myghte he lyghtly bringe me in the snare. 
Yet hadde I leuer payen for the mare 
Which* he rit on, than he shold with me stryue; 
I wol nat wrathe him, al-so mot I thryue ! 80 

\ E. Cm. Ln. put lewedly be/ore he. 

* So E. Hn. Cp. Ln. ; Cm. HI. sneseth ; Pt. galpeth. 

^ All the 7 MSS. retain a ; see the note. HI. omits No, 

* E. Which that ; the rest omit that. 


That that I spak, I seyde it in my bourde, 

And wite ye what ? I haue heer, in a gourde, 

A draught of wyn, ye, of a rype grape, 

And ryght anon ye shul seen a good lape. 

This cook shal drinke ther-of, if ^ I may ; 85 

Vp peyne of deeth, he wol nat sey me nay V 

And certeinly, to tellen as it was, 
Of this vessel the cook drank faste, alias 1 
What neded him ^ ? he drank ynough biforn. 
And whan he hadde pouped in this horn, 90 

To the maunciple he took the gourde agayn ; 
And of that drink the cook was wonder fayn, 
And thanked him in swich wyse as he coude. 

Than gan our host to laughen wonder loude, 
And seyde, * I se wel, it is necessarie, 05 

Wher that we goon, good ' drink we with vs carie, 
For that wol turne rancour and disese 
Tacord * and loue, and many a wrong apese. 

O thou * Bachus, yblessed be thy name. 
That so canst turnen ernest in-to game ! 100 

Worship and thank be to thy deitee ! 
Of that matere ye gete namore of me. 
Tel on thy tale, maunciple, I thee preye/ 

' Wel, sir,' quod he, * now herkneth what I seye/ 

[Here follows^ The Manciple's Tale, 11. 105-362, <ix)itb which 

Group H ends,] 

* E. Pt. if that ; the rest omit that. 

* 5*0 E. ; Cm. nedith hym ; Hn. HI. neded it ; the rest needeth it. 
^ E. that ; the rest good 

* So E. Hn. ; Cm. Cp. Ln. HI. To acord ; Pt. To pees. 

* HI. thou ; which the rest omit. 


Heere folweth the Frologe of the Persones Tcile. 

By that the maunciple hadde his tale al ended, 

The Sonne fro the south lyne was * descended 

So lowe, that he nas nat, to my syghte. 

Degrees nyne and twenty as in hyghte, 

Foure * of the clokke it was tho, as I gesse ; 5 

For eleuen foot, or litel more or lesse, 

My shadwe was at thilke tyme, as there. 

Of swich feet as my lengthe parted were 

In six feet equal of proporcioun. 

Ther-with the mones ' exaltacioun, 10 

I mene * Libra, alwey gan ascende, 

As we were entringe at a thropes ende ; 

For which our host, as he was wont to gye, 

As in this cas, our loly companye, 

Seyde in this wyse, 'lordings euerichoon, 15 

Now lakketh vs no tales mo than oon. 

Fulfild is my sentence and my decree ; 

I trowe that we han herd of ech. degree. 

Almost fulfild is al myn ordinaunce, 

I prey to god, so yeue him ryght good chaunce, 20 

That telleth this tale to vs lustily. 

Sir preest,' quod he, * artow a vicary ? 

' E. Cm. was ; the rest is. * The MSS. have Ten ; but see the note, 

* Perhaps for the mones we should read Saturaes ; see the note. 

* So all but HI., which has In mena. 


Or art a person ? sey soth, by my fey I 

Be what thou be, ne brek thou nat our pley ; 

For euery man, saue thou, hath told his tale, 25 

Vnbokel, and shew vs what is in thy male ; 

For trewely, me thinketh, by thy chere, 

Thou sholdest knitte vp wel a greet matere. 

Tel vs a tale anon, for cockes bones !' 

This persone him * answerde, al at ones, 30 

• Thou getest fable noon ytold for me ; 

For Paul, that wryteih vnto Timothee, 

Repreueth hem that weyuen sothfastnesse 

And tellen fables and swich wrecchednesse. 

Why sholde I sowen draf out of my feste, 35 . 

Whan I may sowen whete, if that me leste ? 

For which I seye, if that yow list to here 

Moralitee and vertuous matere, 

And than that ye wol yeue me audience, 

I wol ful ^ fayn, at Cristes reuerence, 40 

Do yow plesaunce leueful, as I can. 

But trusteth wel, I am a Southren man, 

I can nat geste — rom, ram, ruf — by lettre, 

Ne, god wot, rym holde I but litel bettre ; 

And therfor, if yow list, I wol not glose. 45 

I wol yow telle a mery tale in prose 

To knitte vp al this feste, and make an ende. 

And lesu, for his grace, wit me sende 

To shewe yow the wey, in this viage. 

Of thilke perfit glorious pilgrimage 50 

That hyghte Jerusalem celestial. 

And, if ye vouche sauf, anon I shal 

Biginne vpon my tale, for which I preye 

Telle your auys, I can no bettre seye. 

HI. him ; which the rest omit, * £• omiti ful ; the rest have it. 


But natheleSj this meditacioun 55 

I putte it ay vnder correccioun 

Of clerkes, for I am nat textuel ; 

I take but the ^ sentens, trusteth wel. 

Therfor I make protestacioun 

That I wol stonde to correccioun/ 60 

Vp-on this word we han assented sone, 
For, as vs ^ semed, it was for to done, 
To enden in som vertuous sentence, 
And for to yeue him space and audience ; 
And bede our host he sholde to him seye, 65 

That alle we to telle his tale him preye. 

Our host hadde the wordes for vs alle : — 
' Sir preest/ quod he, ' now fayre yow bifalle ! 
Sey what yow list, and we wol gladly here'^- 
And with that word he seyde in this manere — 70 

' Telleth,' quod he, * your meditacioun. 
But hasteth yow, the sonne wol adoun ; 
Beth fructuous, and that in litel space, 
And to do wel god sende yow his grace ! ' 

Explicit prohemiuLxa. 

[Herefollcnvs The Parson's Tale, fivitb which Group I endj,'\ 

' £. omits X. t\ the rest have it. ^ SoE,; the rest it, which is ir^ferior. 



A story, agreeing closely with The Man of Lawes Tale, is found in 
Book II. of Gower's Confessio Amanti^, from which Tyrwhitt supposes 
that Chaucer borrowed it. He observes further that it resembles in 
many points The Lay of Emare, which is printed in the second volume 
of Ritson*s Metrical Romances. The story also exists in French prose 
(by Nicholas Trivet) in MS. Arundel 56, printed for the Chaucer 
Society in 187^. In some places Chaucer agrees with this French 
version rather closely, but he makes variations and additions at pleasure. 

The first ninety-eight lines of the preceding Prologue are written in 
couplets, in order to link the Tale to the others of the series ; but there 
is nothing to show which of the other tales it was intended to follow. 
Next follows a more special Prologue of thirty-five lines, in five stanzas 
of seven lines each ; so t;hat the first line in the Tale is 1. 1 34 of Group 
B, the second of the fragments into which the Canterbury Tales are 
broken up, owing to the incomplete state in which Chaucer left them. 

Wherever a final e occurs, it is, in general, to be pronounced as a 
distmct syllable, unless elided before a vowel or h following. In like 
manner -«s and -^d generally form distinct syllables. There are, in 
general, sufficient reasons for the full pronunciation of these final 
syllables, but these cannot here be stated. The reader is referred to 
Morris's edition of Chaucer's Prologue and Knightes Tale (Clarendon 
Press Series), p. xliv. and to the Preface to my edition of The Prioresses 
Tale, pp xlviii.-lxxii. for general rules : and to Ellis's Early English 
Pronunciation for a full discussion of the subject. In the first stanza, 
for example, the word trrwe is disyllabic, being plural : hewe is so, 
because it is a dative case governed by the prep, q/", which formerly 
governed a dative, though now associated with the idea of a possessive 
case ; newe is so, because modified from the A. S. disyllabic niwe. 
Ckaffdfre (1. 139) is a gerund, and gerunds are commonly marked by 
the termination -e or -en (A. S. -anne). Ware is disyllabic, being the 
A. S. wdru. Sometimes an e is sounded in the middle of a word, as in 
wydewher (three syllables). Observe also clothes (A.S. c/a^os). In'some 


French words, such as companye, the pronunciation of the e final is less 
certain, and seems to partake of poetic license ; yet there is nothing very 
remarkable in the assumption, since the same word contains four 
syllables to this day, and is accented on the penultimate, both in 
Spanish and Italian; cf. Span, compania and Ital. eompagnia. Again, 
such words as grace, space, from the Latin gratiam, spatium, may fairly 
be allowed two syllables ; especially when we find cause (Lat eausam) 
with two syllables; Cant. Tales, 4143, 5705. If, however, the final 
e be followed by a vowel, or (in some cases) by the letter h, it is elided, 
or, to speak more strictly, slurred over by rapid pronunciation. This 
is the case in the words dwelte (124), riche, sadde (135). and riche 
again (137). Chaucer's lines, if read with attention, are beautifully 

Line 134. Surrye, Syria; called Sarazine (Saracen-land) by N. Trivet. 

1. 143. Were it, whether it were. 

1. 144. Message, messenger, not message ; see 1. 333, and the note. 

1. 145. The final e in Rome is pronounced, as in 1. 142 ; but the words 
the ende are to be run together, forming but one syllable, thende, accord- 
ing to Chaucer's usual practice; cf. note to 1. 255. Indeed, in 1. 423, 
it is actually so spelt ; just as, in 1. 150, we have thexeellenty and in 1. 151, 

1. 151. Themperoures, the emperor's. Gower calls him Tiberius Con- 
stantine, who was Emperor (not of Rome, but) of the East, a.d. 578, and 
was succeeded, as in the story, by Maurice, a.d. 582. His capital was 
Constantinople, whither merchants from Syria could easily repair ; but 
the greater fame of Rome caused the substitution of the Western for the 
Eastern capital. 

1. 156. God him see, God protect him. See note to C. 715. 

1. 161. Al Europe, In the margin of MSS. E. Hn. Cp. Pt. Ln. is 
written the note • Europa est tercia pars mundi.' 

1. 171. Han doon fraught, have caused to be freighted. All the MSS. 
hsLve fraught, not fraughte. In the Glossary to Specimens of English, I 
marked ^attg'A/ as being the infinitive mood, as Dr. Stratmann supposes, 
though he notes the lack of the final e, I have now no doubt that 
fraught is nothing but the past participle, as in William of Paleme, 
1. 2732— 

* And feithlicheyrat/^A/ ful of fine wines,* 
which is said of a ship. The use of this past participle after a perfect 
tense is a most remarkable idiom, but there is no doubt about its 
occurrence in the Clerkes Tale, Group E. 1098, where we find • Hath 
doon yow Itept^ where Tyrwhitt has altered Itept to hepe. On the other 
hand, Tyrwhitt actually notes the occurrence of * Hath doon wrought ' 
in Ki^. Tale, 1055, which he calls an in-egularity. A better name for it 
is idiom. I cannot believe that fraughte, even with the final e added, was- 


the true infinitive at this period. The diphthong is wrong ; it ought to be 
«, not au ; and the form would have been Jreighte. It is not easy, how- 
ever, to find an early example of it, and Shakespeare has Jraughting, I 
subjoin other instances, from another author, of the idiom here noted. 

'Thai strak his hed of, and syne it 
Thai haf gert saldt in-til a kyt.* 

Barbour*s Bruce, ed. Skeat, xviii. 167, 
I.e. they have caused it (to be) salted. And again — 

* Of Cwnyngame the mast party 
He gert held till his senzory;' id. viii. 13. 
Compare also the following :— 

* And thai sail let thame trwmpit ill ;' id. xix. 71 2. 
I.e. and they shall consider themselves as evilly deceived. 

1. 166. Mirour^ mirror. Such French words are frequently accented 
on the last syllable. Cf. tninistr' in 1. 768. 

1. 185. Cerioudy, with great minuteness of detail. It is the Low Latin 
seriose, used in two senses ; (i) seriously, gravely ; (a) minutely, fully. 
In the latter case it is perhaps to be referred to the Lat. series^ not 
serins, A similar word, cereatly (Lat. seriatim) is found three times in ■ 
the Romance of Partenay, ed. Skeat, with the sense of in due order, 
1. 190. This refers to the old belief in astrology and the casting of 

nativities. Cf. Prol. 414-418. 

1. 197. Tyrwhitt shews that this stanza is imitated closely from some. 
Latin lines, some of which are quoted in the margin of many MSS. of 
Chaucer. He quotes them at length from the Megacosmos of Bemardus 
Silvestris, a poet of the twelfth century (extant in MS. Bodley 1 265). 
The lines are as follows, it being premised that those printed in italics 
are dted in the margin of MSS. E. Hn. Cp. Pt. and Ln. 
Prseiacet in stellis series, quam longior setas 

Explicet et spatiis temporis ordo suis, 
Sceptra Pkoronei, fratrum discordia IViebis, 

Flamrna Phaethontis, Deucalionis ague. 
In stellis Codri paupertas, copia Croesi, 
Incestus Paridis, Hippolytique pudor. 
In stellis Priami species, audacia Tumi, 

Sensus Ulixeus, Herculeusque uigor. 
In stellis pugil est Pollux et nauita Typhis, 

Et Cicero rhetor et geometra Thales. 
In stellis lepidum dictat Maro, Milo figurat, 

Fulgurat in Latia nobilitate Nerp. 
Astra notat Persis, ^gyptus parturit artes, 
Grsecia docta legit, prselia Roma gerit.' 
The names Ector (Hector), &c. are too well known to require comment 
The death of Tumus is told at the end of Virgil's iEneid. 


11. 207, 308. Here kaue seems to be used as the form of the auxiliary 
verb, whilst han signifies possession. See kan again in 1. 241. 

1. 211. Compare Squieres Tale, F. 202, 203, and the note thereon. 

1. 224. Mahoun, Mahomet. The French version does not mention 
Mahomet. This as an anachronism on Chaucer's part; the Emperor 
Tiberius II. died a.d. 582, when Mahomet was but twelve years old. 

1. 2 28. I prey yow holde, I pray you to hold. Here kolde is the infinitive 
mood. The imperative plural would be holdeth; see sauetk, next line. 

1. 236. Maumettrye, idolatry; from the Mid. £. tnaumet, an idol, corrupted 
from Mahomet. The confusion introduced by using the word Mahomet 
for an idol may partly account for the anachronism in 1. 224. The 
Mahometans were falsely supposed by our forefathers to be idolaters. 

1. 242. Not^ put for ne toot, know not. 

1. 248. An imperfect line. There are a few such lines in Chaucer, in 
which the csesural pause seems to count for a syllable. Scan it thus : — 

That th^m | perour || — of | his gret | noblfese I 
Again, 1. 621 below may be read in a similar manner: — 

But n& I theirs li — th^r | was gr^t | mooming 11 

1> 253' * So, when Ethelbert married BertHa, daughter of the Christian 
King Charibert, she brought with her, to the court of her husband, a 
Gallican bishop named Leudhard, who was permitted to celebrate mass 
iu the ancient Biitish Church of St. Martin, at Canterbury.' Note in 
Bell's Chaucer. 

1- 255. Ynow, being plural, may take a final e\ we should then read 
tKende, as explained in note to 1. 145. The pi. inoihe occurs in the 

1. 263. Alle and some, collectively and individually; one and all. See 
Cler. Tale, E. 941. 

1. 277. The word alle, being plural, is disyllabic. Thing is often a 
plural form, being an A. S. neuter noun. The words ouer, euer, 
neuer are, in Chaucer, generally monosyllables, or nearly so,* just 
as o*ert e'er, ne'er are treated as monosyllables by our poets in general. 
Hence the scansion is — * O'er al | le thing | ,* Sec. 

1. 289. Of course the substitution of Theseus for the Vlion of the MSS. is 
a conjectural emendation ; still it was Theseus who burnt Thebes, as 
Chaucer himself says ; Kn. Tale, 132. Tyrwhitt reads • Or Ylion brent, 
or Thebes the citee.' Of course he means brende, past tense, not brent, 
the past participle; and his conjecture amounts to inserting or before 
Thebes. Nevertheless, the bolder emendation reads better, as it makes 
this line the exact parallel of the preceding one. Indeed, Tyrwhitt saw 
this, and even proposed to read Philip in place of Flion. Tyrwhitt well 
observes that * Thebes the citee' is a French phrase. He quotes 
* dedans Renes la ciie,^ Froissart, v. i. c 225. 

1. 395. In the margin of the Ellesmere MS. is written — ' Vnde Ptholo- 


meusy libro i. cap. 8. Primi motus cell duo sunt, quorum vnus est qui 
mouet totum semper ab Oriente in Occidentem vno modo super orbes, 
&c. Item aliter vero motus est qui mouet orbem stellarum currencium 
contra motum primum, videlicet, ab Occidente in Orientem super alios 
duos polos.* The old astronomy imagined nine spheres revolving round 
the central stationary earth ; of the seven innermost, each carried with it 
one of the seven planets, viz. the Moon, Venus, Mercury, Sun, Mars, 
Jupiter, and Saturn ; the eighth sphere, that of the fixed stars-, had a 
slow motion from west to east, to account for the precession of the 
equinoxes, whilst the ninth or outermost sphere, called the primutn 
mobile^ or the sphere of first motion, had a diurnal revolution from east 
to west, carrying everything with it. This exactly corresponds with 
Chaucer's language. He addresses the outermost sphere or primutn 
mobile (which is the ninth if reckoning from within, but the Jirst from 
without), and accuses it of carrying with it everything in its irresistible 
westward motion ; a motion contrary to that of the * natural' motion, 
viz. that in which the sun advances along the signs of the zodiac. The 
result was that the evil influence of the planet Mars prevented the 
marriage. It is clear that Chaucer was thinking of certain passages in 
Boethius, as will appear from consulting his own translation of Boethius, 
ed. Morris, pp. 21, 22, 1 06, and no. I quote a few lines to shew this — 

* O })ou maker of "pe whele )>at bere)> )>e sterres, whiche )>at art fastned* 
to ]>i perdurable chayere, and turnest ]>e heuene wij? a rauyssyng sweighe^ 
and constreinest ])e sterres to suffren \\ lawe ;* pp. 21, 22. 

* )je regioun of J^e fire )>at eschaufib by Jje swifte moeuyng of )» firma- 
ment;* p. lie. 

The original is — 

• O stelliferi conditor orbis 
Qui perpetuo nixus solio- 
Rapidum calum turbine uersas, 
I^gemque pati sidera cogis;* 

Boeth. Cons. Phil. lib. i. met. 5. 
•Quique agili motu calet atheris;' id. lib. iv. met. I. 
Compare also the foUow^ing passage : — 

, • The earth, in roundness of a perfect ball, 
Which as a point but of this mighty all 
Wise Nature *fix'd, that permanent doth stay, 
Wheras the spheres by a diurnal sway 
Of the first Mover carried are about.* 

Drayton : The Man in the Moon. 

1. 299. Crowding, pushing. This is still a familiar word in East Anglia. 

Forby, in his Glossary of the East Anglian Dialect, says — * Crowd, v. to 

push, shove, or press close. To the word, in its common acceptation, 

Mitnber seems necessary. With us, one individual can crowd anoth^r<' 


To crowd a wheelbarrow means to push it. The expression • erod in a 
barwe/ i.e. wheeled or pushed along in a wheelbarrow, occurs in the 
Taston Letters, a.d. 1477, ed. Gairdner, iii. 215. 

1. 303. A planet is said to ascend directly, when in a direct sign ; but 
tortuously when in a tortuous sign. The tortuous signs are those which 
ascend most obliquely to the horizon, viz. the signs from Capricomus to 
Gemini inclusive. Chaucer tells us this himself; see his Treatise on the 
Astrolabe, ed. Skeat, part ii. sect. 28. The most ' tortuous' of these 
are the two middle ones, Pisces and Aries. Of these two, Aries is called 
the mansion of Mars, and we may perhaps suppose the ascending sign 
to be Aries, the lord of which (Mars) is said to have fallen * from his 
angle into the darkest house.* The words ' angle * and 'house ' are used 
technically. The whole sphere was divided into twelve equal parts, or 
• houses.' Of these, four were termed * angles,' four others * succedents,* 
and the rest * cadents.* It appears that Mars was not then situate in an 
•angle' or lucky 'house,' but in the unluckiest of the four 'cadent 
houses,* and so in the darkest house of all. See the explanation in 
Chaucer's Astrolabe, ed. Skeat ; pref. p. Iii. 

1. 305. The meaning of Atazir has long remained undiscovered. But 
by the kind help of Mr. Bensly, one of the sub-librarians of the Cam- 
bridge University Library, I am, enabled to explain it. In Spanish, the 
letter z (or c before 1) is pronounced like th ; hence atazir or atacir is 
the Spanish spelling of the Arabic attatkir, influence, given at p. 13 of 
Freytag's Arabic Lexicon. It is a noun derived from dthara, a verb of 
the second conjugation, meaning to leave a mark on, from the substantive 
athar, a mark. Its use in astrology is commented upon by Dozy, who 
gives it in the form atacir^ in his Glossaire des Mots Espagnols d^riv^ 
de I'Arabique, p. 207. It signifies the influence of a star or planet up6n 
other stars, or upon the fortunes of men. In the present case it is 
clearly used in a bad sense ; we may therefore translate it by * evil in- 
fluence.' On this common deterioration in the meaning of words, see 
Trench, Study of Words, p. 52. The word craft, for example, is a very 
similar instance ; it originally meant skillt and hence, a trade, and we 
find star-craft used in particular to signify the science of astronomy. 

1 307.* * Thou art in conjunction in an unfavourable position ; from the 
position in which thou wast favourably placed thou art moved away.* 

1. 31 2. * Is there no choice as to when to fix the voyage V The favour- 
able moment for commencing a voyage was one of the points on which 
it was considered desirable to have an astrologer's opinion. Travelling, 
at that time, was a serious matter. Yet this was only one of the many 
undertakings which required, as was thought, to be begun at a £Eivour- 
able moment. Whole books were written on * elections,' i.e. favourable 
times for commencing operations of all kinds. Chaucer was thinking, 
in particular, of the following passage, which is written in the margins 


of the Ellesmere and Hengwrt MSS. * Omnes concordati sunt quod 
elecciones sint debiles nisi in diuitibus : habent enim isti, licet debiliten- 
tur eorum elecciones, radicem, i. \id est] natiuitates eonim, que confortat 
omnem planetam debilem in itinere.* The sense of which is — * For all 
are agreed, that ** elections" are weak, except in the case of the rich ; for 
these, although their elections be weakened, have a " root" of their own, 
that is to say, their nativities {or horoscopes) ; which root strengthens 
every planet that is of weak influence with respect to a journey/ This 
is extracted, says Tyrwhitt, from a Liber Electionum by a certain Zael ; 
see MS. Harl. 80 ; MS. Bodley 1648. This is a very fair example of the 
jargon to be found in old books on astrology. The old astrologers used 
to alter their predictions almost at pleasure, by stating that their results 
depended on several causes, which partly counteracted one another ; an 
arrangement of which the convenience is obvious. Thus, if the aspect 
of the planets at the time inquired about appeared to be adverse to a 
journey, it might still be the case (they said) that such evil aspect might 
be overcome by the fortunate aspect of the inquirer's horoscope; or, 
conversely, an ill aspect in the horoscope could be counteracted by a fit 
election of a time for action. A rich man would probably be fitted with 
a fortunate horoscope, or else why should he buy one ? Such horoscope 
depended on the aspect of the heavens at the time of birth or * nativity,* 
and, in particular^ upon the * ascendent* at that time; i.e. upon the planets 
lying nearest to the point of the zodiac which happened, at that moment, 
to be ascending^ i.e. just appearing above the horizon. So Chaucer, in his 
Treatise on the Astrolabe, ed. Skeat, bk. ii. § 4, explains the matter, 
saying — ' The assendent sothly, as wel in alle natiuitez as in questiouns 
and elecciouns of tymes, is a thing which l^at thise Astrologiens gretly 
obseruen ;* &c The curious reader may find much more to the same 
effect in the same Treatise, with directions to * make roots * in pt. ii. § 44. 

The curious may further consult the Epitome Astrologise of Johannes 
Hispalensis. The whole of Book iv. of that work is * De Electionibus,* 
and the title of cap. xv. is * Pro Itinere.' See Chaucer's Astrolabe, ed. 
Skeat, pref. p. liv. 

Lydgate, in his Siege of Thebes, just at the beginning, describes the 
astronomers as casting the horoscope of the infant CEdipus. They were 


• to yeue a judgement 
The roote i-take at the ascendent, 
Truly sought out, by minute and degre. 
The selfe houre of his natiuite, 
Not foryet the heauenly mansions 
Clerely searched by smale fraccions,* &c. 
-To take a different example, Ashmole, in his Theatrum Chemicum, 
1652, says in a note on p. 450 — * Generally in all Elections the Efficacy 


of the Starrs are (sic) used, as it were by a certaine application made 
thereof to those anformed Natures that are to be wrought upon ; 
whereby to further the working thereof, and make them more available 

to our purpose And by such Elections as good use may be made 

of the Celestiall influences, as a Physitian doth of the variety of herbes. 

But Nativities are the Radices of Elections, and therefore we 

ought chiefly to looke backe upon them as the principal Root and 
Foundation of all Operations ; and next to them the quality of the Thing 
we intend to fit must be respected, so that, by ah apt position of 
Heaven, and fortifying the Planets and Houses in the Nativity of the 
Operator, and making them agree with the thing signified, the im- 
pression made by that influence will abundantly augment the Operation,' 
Sec.; with much more to the same effect. Several passages in Norton's 
Ordinall, printed in the same volume (see pp. 60, 100) shew clearly 
what is meant by Chaucer in his Prologue, 11. 415-7. The Doctor 
could * fortune a person's ascendent,' i.e. render his horoscope lucky, by 
the election of a time, suitable to that horoscope, when the prescribed 
remedies were to be applied. 

1. 314. Roote is the astrological term for the epoch from which to reckon. 
The exact moment of a nativity being known, the astrologers were sup- 
posed to be able to calculate everything else. See the last note. 
1. 333. Alkarofit the Koran ; al is the Arabic article. 
1. 333. Here Makomete is used instead of Mahoun (1. 324), See Irving^s 
Life of Mahomet. 

Message, messenger. This is a correct form, according to the 
usages of Early English ; cf. 1. 144. In like manner, we find prison used 
to mean a prisoner, which is often puzzling at first sight. 
1. 340. * Because we denied Mahomet, our (object of) belief.* 
1. 360. * O serpent under the form of woman, like that Serpent 
that is bound in hell.' The allusion here is not a little curious. 
It clearly refers to the old belief that the serpent wh6 tempted Eve 
appeared to her tvith a ft/Oman's head, and it is sometimes so represented. 
I observed it, for instance, in the chapter-house of Salisbury Cathedral ; 
and see the woodcut at p. 73 of Wright's History of Caricature and 
Grotesque in Art. In Peter Comestor's Historia Libri Genesis, we read 
of Satan — * Elegit etiam quoddam genus serpentis (vt ait Beda) virgineum 
vultum habens.' In the alliterative Troy Book, ed. Panton and Donald- 
son, p. 144, the Tempter is called Lyuyaton (i.e. Leviathan), and it is 
said of him that he 

* Hade a face vne fourmet as a fire ptqydon ;*' I, 4451. 
And, again, in Piers the Plowman, B. xviii. 335, Satan is compared to a 
' lusarde [lizard] with a lady visage* In the Ancren Riwle, p. 207, we 
are gravely informed that a scorpion is a kind of serpent that has a fac6 


somewhat like that of a woman, and puts on a pleasant countenance. 
To remember this gives peculiar force to 11. 370, 371, 

I. 367. Knowestow is probably a trisyllable ; and the olde to be read 
tholdi. But in I. 371, the word Makestow^ being differently placed in the 
line, is to be read with th^ e slurred over, almost a disyllable. 

1. 380. Moste, might. It is not always used like the modem must. 

1. 401. See Lucan^s Pharsalia. 

I. 404. There are undoubtedly a few lines in Chaucer, in which the 
first foot consists of one syllable only ; this is one of them, the word 
But standing by itself as a foot. See Ellis's Early English Pronun- 
ciation, pp. 333, 649. This peculiarity was pointed out by me in 1,866, 
in the Aldine edition of Chaucer, i. 174. For the sense of scorpion, see 
the extract from the Ancren Riwle, in note to 1. 360. So also wikked 
gost means the Evil Spirit, the Tempter. 

I. 421. Pronounce euer rapidly, and accent successour on the first 
syllable. In the margin of MSS. E., Hn., Pt., and Cp. is the following 
note: 'Nota, de inopinato dolore. Semper mundane letjcie tristicia 
repentina succeOit. Mundana igitur felicitas multis amaritudinibus est 
respersa. Extrema gaudii luctus occupat. Audi ergo salubre consilium ; 
in die bonorum ne immemor sis malorum.' These maxims seem to be 
scraps taken from different authors. I have found one of them in 
Boethius, De Consolatione Philosophise, lib. ii. pr. 4 — • Quam multis 
amaritudinibus humanse felicitatis diilcedo respersa est' ; which Chaucer 
translated by — * |:e swetnesse of mannes wellfulnesse is yspranid wip 
manye bitternesses * ; ed. Morris, p. 42 ; and the same expression is repeated 
here, in 1. 422. Gower quotes the same passage from Boethius in the 
prologue to his Confessio Amantis. The next sentence is firom Prov. 
xiv. 13 — * Risus dolore miscebitur, et extrema gaudii luctus occupat* 
With the last clause, in 11. 426, 437, compare Eccl. xi. 8. 

L 438. Compare Trivet's French prose version : — * Dount ele fist estorier 
vne neef de vitaile, de payn quest apele bisquit, & de peis, & de feues, de 
Sucre, & de meel, & de vyn, pur sustenaunce de la vie de la pucele pur. 
treis aunz ; e en cele neef fit mettre la richesse & le tresour que lempire 
Tiberie auoit maunde oue la pucele Constaunce, sa fille ; e en cele neef 
fist la soudane mettre la pucele saunz sigle, & sauntz neuiroun, & sauntz 
chescune maner de eide de homme.' I.e. * Then she caused a ship to be 
stored with victuals, with bread that is called biscuit, with peas, beans, 
sugar, honey, and wine, to sustain the maiden^s life for three year^. And 
in this ship she caused to be placed the riches and treasure which the 
Emperor Tiberius had sent with the maid Constance his daughter ; and 
in this ship the Sultaness caused the maiden to be put, without sail or 
oar, or any kind of human aid.* 

Foot-hot, hastily. It occurs in Gower, in The Romaunt of the Rose, 
VOL. m. K 


1. 3827, and in Barbour's Bruce, iii. 418. Compare the term hot-frod, 
explained by Sir W Scott to mean the pursuit of marauders with blood- 
hounds ; see note 3 H to the Lay of the Last Minstrel. We also find hot 
foi, i.e. immediately, in the Debate of the Body and the Soul, I. 481. 

I. 460. Hym and here, him and her, i.e. man and woman ; as in Piers 
the Plowman, A. Pass. i. I. 100. The allusion is to the supposed power 
of the cross over evil spirits. See The Legends of the Holy Rood, ed. 
Morris ; especially the story of the Invention of the Cross by St. Helen, 
p. 160 — * And anone, as he had made the [sign of the] crosse, ]>e grete 
multitude of deuylles vanyshed awaye*; or, in the Latin original, 
*statimque ut edidit signum crucis. omnis ilia daemonum multitudo 
euanuit'; Aurea Legenda, ed. Grasse, 2nd ed. p. 311. Cf. Piers Plow- 
man, B. xviii. 429-431. 

1. 464. See of Greece^ here put for the Mediterranean Sea. 

1. 465. Marrokt Morocco ; alluding to the Strait of Gibraltar. 

1.474. T^^r, where; as usual. 

1 475- * Was eaten by the lion ere he could escape.' 

1. 491. See Revelation vii. 1-3. 

1. 497. Here As seems to form a foot by itself. See note to 1. 404. 

1. 500. Alluding to St. Mary the Egyptian {Maria Egipdaed) who, ac- 
cording to the legend, after a youth spent in debauchery, lived entirely 
alone for the last forty-seven years of her life in the wilderness beyond 
the Jordan. She lived in the fifth century. Her day is April 9. See 
Mrs. Jameson's Sacred and Legendary Art ; Rutebuef, ed. Jubinal, ii. 
106-150; Maundeville*s Travels, ed. Halliwell, p. 96; Aurea Legenda, 
ed. Grasse, cap. Ivi. She was often confused with St. Mary Magdalen. 

1. 508. Northumberlond, the district, not the county. Yorkshire is^ in 
fact, meant as the French version expressly mentions the Humber. 

1. 512. The constable ; named Elda by Trivet and Gower. 

1. 519. Trivet says that she answered Elda in his own language, ' en 
sessoneys,' in Saxon, for she had learnt many languages in her youth. 

1. 535* The word deye seems to have had two pronunciations ; in 1. 644 
it is dye, with a different rime. In fact, Mr. Cromie's * Ryme-Index * to 
Chaucer proves the point. On the one hand deye rimes to aweyg, 
disoheye, dreye^ preye^ seye^ tweyet weye; and on the other dye rimes to 
ttvoutrye, bigamye, compaignye, Efnelye, genterye, lye, mahuiye, 8cc. 

1. 527. Forgai hir mynde, lost her memory. 

1. 531. The final e in plese is preserved from elision by the csesural 
pause. Or, we may read plesen ; yet the MSS, have pUse. 

1. 578. il//a,i.e..£lla,kingofNorthumberland, A j>. 560-588; the same 
whose name Pope Gregory turned, by a pun, into Alleluia, according to 
some versions of the celebrated story about Gregory and the English 


1. 584. Quyte her whyle, repay her time ; i.e. her pains, trouble ; as 
when we say * it is worth while* Wile is not intended. 

1. 585. * The plot of the knight against Constance, and also her subse- 
quent adventure with the steward, are both to be found, with some vari- 
ations, in a story in the Gesta Romanorum, ch. loi ; MS. Harl 2270. 
Occleve has versified the whole story ' ; Tyrwhitt. See the Preface for 
further information. Compare the conduct of lachimo, in Cymbeline. 

1. 6ao. Berth hir on hond, affirms falsely ; lit. bears her in hand. 
Chaucer uses the phrase *to bere in hond' with the sense of false 
affirmation, sometimes with the idea of accusing falsely, as here and in 
the Wyf of Bathes Prologue, C. T. 5975 ; and sometimes with that of 
persuading falsely, C. T. 5814, 5962. In Shakespeare the sense is 
rather — ' to keep in expectation, to amuse with false pretences' ; Nares's 
Glossary. Barbour uses it in the more general sense of * to affirm,' or • to 
make a statement,* whether falsely or truly. 

1. 634. ' And bound Satan ; and he still lies where he (then) lay.' In 
the Apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus, Christ descends into hell, and 
(according to some versions) binds him with chains; see Piers Plow- 
man, B. xviii. 401. 

1. 639. Susanne ; see the story of Susannah, in the Apocrypha. 

1. 641. The Virgin's mother is called Anna in the Apocryphal Gospel 
of James. Her day is July 26. See Aurea Legenda, ed. Grasse, cap. 
cxxxi ; Cowper's Apocryphal Gospels, p. 4. 

1. 645. Here pale is pronoimced as a disyllable. • 

1. 660. * For pite renneth sone in gentil herte ; * Knightes Tale, 1. 903. 
And see note to Sq. Tale, F. 479. 

1. 664. Vs auyse, deliberate with ourselves, consider the matter again. 
Compare the law-phrase Le roi s*avisera, by which the king refuses assent 
to a measure proposed. 

1. 666. I. e. a copy of the Gospels in Welsh or British, called in the 
French prose version * liure des Ewangeiles.* Agreements were some- 
times written on the fiy-leaves of copies of the Gospels, as may be seen 
in two copies of the A. S. version of them. 

1. 669. A very similar miracle is recorded in the old alliterative romance 
of Joseph of Arimathea. The French version has : — * a peine auoit 
fini la parole, qe vne mayn close, com poyn de homme, apparut deuant 
£lda et quant questoient en presence, et ferri tiel coup en le haterel le 
feloun, que ambedeus lez eus lui enuolerent de la teste, & les dentz hors 
de la bouche ; & le feloun chai abatu a la terre ; et a ceo dist vne voiz 
en le oyance de touz : Aduersus filiam matris ecclesie ponebas scandalum; 
hec fedsti, et tacui.' I. e. * Scarcely had he ended the word, when a 
closed hand, like a man's fist, appeared before Elda and all who were in 
the presence, and smote such a blow on the nape of the felon's neck that 

K 2 


both his eyes flew out of his head, and the teeth out of his mouth; and 
the felon fell smitten down to the earth ; and thereupon a voice said in 
the hearing of all, " Against the daughter of Mother Church thou wast 
laying a scandal ; this hast thou done, and I held my peace." ' The 
reading tacui suggests that, in 1. 676, the word holde should rather be 
helde ; but the MSS. do not recognise this reading. 

I. 697. Hir tkoughie, it seemed to her ; thoughte is here impersonal ; • so 
i 1. 699. The French text adds that Domulde (Donegild) was, more- 
over, jealous of hearing the praises of Constance*s beauty. 

1. 701. Me list natf it pleases me not, I do not wish to. He does not 
wish to give every detail. In this matter Chaucer is often very judicious ; 
Gower and others often give the more unimportant matters as fully as 
the rest. Cf. 1. 706 ; and see Squyeres Tale, F, 401. 

1. 703. Whatt why. Cf. Squyeres Tale, F, 283, 298. 

1. 707. Trivet says — * Puis a vn demy aan passe, vint nouele al Roy que 
les gentz de Albanie, qe sountz les Escotz, furent passes lour boundes et 
guerrirent les terres-le Roy. Dount par comun counseil, le Roi assembla 
son ost de rebouter ses enemis. Et auant son departir vers Escoce, baila 
la Reine Constaunce sa femme en la garde Elda, le Couestable du chastel, 
et a Lucius, leuesqe de Bangor ; si lour chargea qe quant ele fut deliueres 
denfaunt, qui lui feisoient hastiuement sauoir la nouele ;' i.e. Then, after 
half-a-year, news came to the king that the people of Albania, who are 
the Scots, had passed their bounds, and warred on the king's lands. 
Then by common counsel the king gathered his host to rebut his foes. 
And before his departure towards Scotland, he committed Queen Con- 
stance his wife to the keeping of Elda, the constable of the castle, and 
of Lucius, bishop of Bangor, and charged them that when she was 
delivered, they should hastily let him know the news.* 

1. 722. Knaue child, male child ; as in Clerkes Ta. E, 444. 

1. 723. At the fontstoon, i. e. at his baptism ; French text — ' al baptisme 
fu nome Moris.* 

1. 729. To don his auantage, to suit his convenience. He hoped, by 
going only a little out of his way, to tell Donegild the news also, and to 
receive a reward for doing so. Trivet says that the old queen was then 
at Knaresborough, situated * between England and Scotland, as in an 
intermediate place. Its exact site is less than seventeen miles west of 
Yoi:k. Donegild pretends to be very pleased at the news, and gives the 
man a rich present. 

1. 736. Letires: so in all 7 MSS.; Tyrwhitt reads lettre. But it is right 
as it is. Lettres is sometimes used, like Lat. literce, in a singular sense, 
and the French text has * les lettres.' Examples occur in Piers Plowman, 
B. ix. 38 ; Bruce, ii. 80. See 1. 744, and note to 1. 747. 

L 738. If ye wol ought, if you wish (to say) anything. 


1. 740. Donegild is disyllabic here, as in 1. 691;, but in 1. 805 it appears 
to have three syllables. I have before remarked that Chaucer alters 
proper names so as to suit his metre; see Pref. to Prioresses Tale, 
p. Ixiii, 1. 13. 

1. 743. Sadly, steadily, with the idea of long continuance. 

1. 747. Lettre; here the singular form is used, but it is a matter of in- 
difference. Exactly the same vatiation occurs in Barbour's Bruce, ii. 80 — 
'And, among othir, Uttres ar gayn 
To the byschop off Androwis towne, 
That tauld how slayn wes that baroun. 
The lettir tauld hym all the deid,* &c. 
This circumstance, of exchanging the messenger's letters for forged ones, 
is found in Matthew Paris*s account of the Life of Offa the first ; ed. 
Wats, pp. 965-968. See the Preface. 

1. 748. Direct, directed, addressed ; French text ' maundez.' 

1. 751. Pronounce horrible as in French. 

1. 754. Elf; French text — 'ele fu malueise .espirit en fourme de 
femme/ she was an evil spirit in form of woman. Elf is the A. S. €Blf, 
Icel. dlfr, G. alp and elfe; Shakespeare writes ouphes for elves, *The 
£dda distinguishes between Lj6s^lfar, the elves of light, and Dokk&lfar, 
elves of darkness ; the latter are not elsewhere mentioned either in 
modem fairy tales or in old writers. . . In the AlvismAl, elves and 
dwarfs are clearly distinguished as different. The abode of the elves in 
the Edda is 'Alfheimar, fairy land, and their king the god Frey, the god 
of light. In the fairy tales the Elves haunt the hills ; hence their name 
Hulduf61k, hidden people ; respecting their origin, life, and customs, see 
I'slenzkar ]?j6©s6gur, i. i. In old writers the Elves are rarely mentioned ; 
but that the same tales were told as at present is clear ; ' note on the 
word (Ufr, in Cleasby and Vigfiisson's Icelandic Dictionary. See also 
Keightley's Fairy Mythology, and Brand's Popular Antiquities. The 
word is here used in a bad sense, and is nearly equivalent to witch. In 
the Prompt. Parv. we find — * Elfe, spryte. Lamia * ; and Mr. Way notes 
that these elves were often supposed to bewitch children, and to use 
them cruelly. 

1. 767. Pronounce agreahle as in French, and with an accent on the 
first syllable. 

1. 769. Take, handed over, delivered. Take often means to give or 
hand over in Middle English : very seldom to convey or bring. 

1. 771. In the margin of MSS. E., Hu., Cp., and Pt. is written — * Quid 
turpius ebrioso, cui fetor in ore, tremor in corpore, qui promit stulta, 
prodit occulta, cuius mens alienatur, facies transformatur ? nullum enim 
latet secretum ubi regnat ebrietas.' This is no doubt the original of the 
stanza, 11. 771-777. There is nothing answering to it in Trivet. 


1. 782. Mannish, man-like, i.e. harsh and crael, not mild and gentle 
like a woman. But Chaucer is not satisfied with the epithet, and says 
he ought rather to call her * fiend-like.' 

1. 789. • He stowed away plenty (of wine) under his girdle/ i.e. drank 
his fill. 

1. 794, Pronounce constdbV much as if it were French, with an accent 
on a. In 1. 808 the accent is on o. Lastly, in 1. 858 all three syllables 
are fully sounded. 

1. 798. • Three days and a quarter of an hour ; * i.e. she was to be 
allowed only three days, and after that to start off as soon as possible. 
Tide (like tVS in Icelandic) sometimes means an hour. The French 
text says — 'deynz quatre iours,' within four days. 

I. 801. Croude, push; see 11. 296, 299 above. 

II. 813-826. Lines 813-8T9 are hot in the French, and 11. 820-826 are 
not at all close to the original. 

11. 827-833. The French text only has — 'en esperaunce qe dure 
comencement amenera dieu a bon fyn, et qil me purra en la mere 
sauuer, qi en mere et en terre est de toute puissaunce.' 

1. 835. The beautiful stanzas in 11. 834-868 are all Chaucer's own ; 
and of the next stanza, 11. 869-875, the French text gives but the 
merest hint. 

1. 842. Eggement, incitement. The same word is used in other 
descriptions of the Fall. Thus, in Piers Plowman, B. i. 65, it is said 
of Satan that * Adam and £ue he egged to ille' ; and in AUit. Poems, 
ed. Morris, B. 241, it is said of Adam that * thurgh the eggyng of £ue 
he ete of an apple.' 
. 1. 859. As lat, pray, let. See note to Clerkes Prologue, E, 7. 

1. 873. Purchace, provide, make provision. So in Troilus, bk. ii. 
1 1 25, the line * And of some goodly answer you purcliace' means — and 
provide yourself with some kind answer, i.e. be ready with a kind reply. 

1. 875-884. Much abridged from the French text. 

1. 885. Tormented t tortured. However, the French text says the 
messenger acknowledged his drunkenness freely. Examination by 
torture was so common, that Chaucer seems to have regarded the 
mention of it as being the most simple way of telling the story. 

1. 893. Out of drede, without doubt, certainly. The other equally 
common expression out of doute comes to much the same thing, because 
doute in Middle- English has in general the meaning oifear or dread, not 
of hesitation. See Group E, 634, 1155 ; and Prol. 487. 

1. 894. Pleynly rede, fully read, read at length. In fact, Chaucer 
omits the details of the French text, where we read that King i^Ua 
rushed into his mother's room with a drawn sword as she lay asleep. 


roused her by crying ' traitress I * in a loud voice, and. after hearing the 
full confession which she made in the extremity of her terror, slew her 
and cut her to pieces as she lay in bed. 

1. 901. Fleietk, floats. French text — 'le quinte an de cest exil, come 
ele iviflotaunt sur le mere,' &c. 

1. 905. The name of the castle is certainly not given in the French 
text, which merely says it was * vn chastel dun Admiral de paens,* i.e. 
a castle of an admiral of the Pagans. . 

1. 913. Gauren, stare. See note to Squ. Tale, F, 190. 

I. 913. Shortly, briefly; because the poet considerably abridges this 
part of the narrative. The steward's name was Thelous. 

II. 933-945. These two stanzas are wholly Chaucer*s, plainly written as 
a parallel passage to that in 11. 470-504 above. 

1. 934. Golias, Goliath. See I Sam. xvii. 35. 

1. 940. See the story of Holofemes in the Monkes Tale, B. 3741 ; and 
the note. I select the spelling Olo/ernus here, because it is that of the 
majority of the MSS., and agrees with the title De Oloferno in the 
Monkes Tale. 

1. 947. In 1. 465 Chaucer mentions the * Strait of Marrok,' i. e. 
Morocco, though there is no mention of it in the French text ; so here 
he alludes to it again, but by a different name, viz. *the mouth of 
Jubalter and Septe.' Jubaltar (Gibraltar) is said to be derived from 
Gibel-el-tarif, i.e. the mountain of Tarif ; who was the leader of a band of 
Saracens that made a descent upon Spain in the eighth century. Septi 
is Ceuta, on the opposite coast of Africa. 

. 1. 965. Shortly, briefly ; because Chaucer again abridges the original 
here, which relates that the Romans burnt the Sultaness, and slew more 
than 11,000 of the Saracens, without a single death or even wound on 
their own side. 

1. 967. Senatour. His name was Arsemius of Cappadocia ; his wife's 
name was Helen. 

1. 969. As seith the storie, as the history says. The French text relates 
this circumstance fully. 

1. 971. The French text says that, though Arsemius did not recognise 
Constance, she, on her part, recognised him at once, though she did not 
reveal it. 

1. 981. Aunte, Helen, the wife of Arsemius, was daughter of Sallus- 
tius, brother of the Emperor Tiberius, and Constance s uncle. Thus 
Helen was really Constance's first cousin. Chaucer may have altered it 
purposely; but it looks as if he had glanced at the sentence — *Cest 
heleyne, la nece Constaunce, taunt tendrement ama sa nece,' &c., and 
had read it as — * This Helen. . . . loved htimece so tenderly.' In reality, 


the word neee means ' cousin' here, being applied to Helen as well as to 

1. 982. She, i.e. Helen; for Constance knew Helen. 

1. 991. To receyuen, i.e. to submit himself to any penance which the 
Pope might see fit to impose upon him. Journeys to Rome were 
actually made by English kings ; Alfred was sent to Rome as a boy, 
and his father, i^thelwulf, also spent a year there, but (as the Chronicle 
tells us) he went • mid micelre weoriJnesse,* with much pomp. 

1. 994. Wikked tuerkes ; especially the murder of his mother, as Trivet 
says. See note to 1. 894. 

1. 999. Rood him agayn, rode towards him, rode to meet him. See 
Cler. Tale, £.911, and the note. 

1. 1009. Som men wolde sayn, some relate the story by saying. The 
expression occurs again in 1. 1086. On the strength of it, Tyrwhitt 
concluded that Chaucer here refers to Gower, who tells the story of 
Constance in Book ii. of his Confessio Amantis. He observes that 
Gower's version of the story includes both the circumstances which are 
introduced by this impression. To me, this is not conclusive. I find it 
very hard to believe that Chaucer's Tale was written at so late a date. 
I do not see why som men may not refer to Nicholas Trivet, who also 
makes mention of these circumstances. See this further discussed in the 
Preface. In the present instance the French text has — * A ceo temps de 
la venuz le Roi a Rome, comensca Moris son diseotisme aan. Cist estoit 
apru priuement de sa mere Constance^ qe, quant il irreii a la fette ou son 
seignur le senatourj &c.; i.e. At this time of the king*s coming to Rome, 
Maurice began his eighteenth year. He was secretly instructed by liis 
mother Constance^ that, when he should go to the feast with his lord the 
senator, &c. See also the note to 1. 1086 below. 

1. 1014. Metes space, time of eating. This drcumstance strikingly 
resembles the story of young Roland, who, whilst still a child, was 
instructed by his mother Bertha to appear before his uncle Charlemagne, 
by way of introducing himself. The story is well told in Uhland's 
ballad entitled ' Klein Roland,* a translation of which is given at pp. 
335-340 of my * Ballads and Songs of Uhland.' 

'They had but waited a little while. 
When Roland returns more bold; 
With hasty step to the king he comes, 
And seizes his cup of gold. 

"What ho, there! stop! you saucy imp!" 

Are the words that loudly ring. 
But Roland clutches the beaker still 

With eyes fast fixed on the king. 


The king at the first looked fierce and dark. 

But soon perforce he smiled — 
" Thou comest" he said, " into golden halls 
As though they were woodlands wild," ' &c. 
The result is also similar; Bertha is reconciled to Charlemagne, much as 
Custance is to JElla.. 
1. 1034. Aught, in any way, at all ; lit. • a whit.* 
1. 1035. >^yg^*^* sighed. So i\sopyghtet 'pitched*; plyghte, 'plucked'; 
and skrygkie, * shrieked.' It occurs again in the Romaunt of the Rose, 

I. 1746— 

•Than took I with myn hondes tweye 
The arwe, and ful faste it out plyghte. 
And in the pulling sore I syghie,* 
" 1. 1036. That he myghte, as fast as he could. 

L 1038. * I ought to suppose, in accordance with reasonable opinion.* 
Chaucer tells the story quite in his own way. There is no trace of 

II. 1038-1042 in the French, and scarcely any of 11. 1048- 1071, which is 
all in his own excellent strain. 

1. 1056. Shett shut, closed. Compare the description of Griselda in 
the Clerkes Tale, E, 1058-1061. 

1. 1058. Both twyes and owen are disyllabic. 

1. 1060. Alle his halwes, all His saints. Hence the term All-hallow- 
mas, i.e. All Saints* day. 

1. 1061, Wisly^ certainly,' As haue^ I pray that he may have ; see 
note to 1. 859 above. * I pray He may so surely have mercy on my 
soul, as that I am as innocent of your suffering as Maurice my son is 
like you in the face.' 

1. 1078. After this line, the French text tells us that King ^Ua 
presented himself before Pope Pelagius, who absolved him for the death 
of his mother. 

1. 1086. Here again Tyrwhitt supposes Chaucer to follow Gower. 
Rather, I suppose, Chaucer and Gower both consulted Trivet, who says 
here — 'Constaunce charga son fitz Morice del messager \or message] 
. . . . Et puis, quant Morice estoit deuaunt lempereur venuz, oue la 
compaignie honurable, et auoit son message fest de part le Roi son 
pere,* &c.; i.e. Constance charged her son Maurice with the meS^age 
.... and then, when Maurice was before the emperor, with the 
honourable company, and had done his message on behalf of the king 
his father,' &c. 

1. 1090. As he ; used much as we should now use * as one.' It refers 
to the Emperor, of course. 

1. 1 09 1. Sente, elliptical for * as that he sent.' Tyrwhitt reads send; 
but it is best to leave an expression like this as it stands in the MSS.- 



It was probably a colloquial idiom ; and, in the next line, we have 

1. 1 107. Chaucer so frequently varies the length and accent of a proper 
name that there is no objection to the supposition that we are here to 
read Custance in three syllables, with an accent on the first syllable. In 
exactly the same way, we find Grisildis in three syllables (£. 948), 
though in most other passages it is GrisUd. We have had Custance, 
accented on the first syllable, several times; see 11. 438, 556, 566, 576, 
&c.; also Custjince, three syllables, 11. 184, 274, 319, 612, Sec. Tyrwhitt 
inserts a second your before Cusiance, but without authority. Perhaps 
it improves the line, but it is better to leave the text untouched. 

1. 1 109. // am I; it is I. It is the usual idiom. So in the A. S. 
version of St. John vi. 30, we find ' ic hyt eom,' i.e. I it am, and in a 
Dutch New Testament, a.d. i 700, I find * Ick ben 't,' i.e. I am it. The 
Mceso-Gothic version omits it, having simply ' Ik im'; so does Wydifs, 
which has * I am.' Tyndale, aj>. 1526, has ' it ys I.' 

1. 1113. Thonketht pronounced ikonkUh ; so also eyl''lk, B, 11 71, 
Abycfih, B, 1275: Prioresses Tale, &c. p. 6. So also tak'th, 1. 114a 
below. Of, for. 

1. 1 123. The French text tells us that he was named Maurice of Cap- 
padocia, and was also known, in Latin, as Mauritius Christianissimus 
Imperator, Trivet tells us no more about him, except- that he accounts 
for the title * of Cappadocia * by saying that Arsemius (the senator who 
found Constance and Maurice and took care of them) was a Cappado- 
cian. Gibbon says — *The Emperor Maurice derived his origin from 
ancient Rome ; but his immediate parents were settled at Arabissus in 
Cappadocia, and their singular felicity preserved them alive to behold 

and partake the fortune of their august son Maurice ascended the 

throne at the mature age of 43 years ; and he reigned above ao years 
over the east and over himself.* Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 
cap. xlv. He was murdered, with all his seven children, by his suc- 
cessor, Phocas the Usurper ; Nov. 27, a.d. 6oa. His accession was in 
Aj>. 582. 

1. 1 1 27. The statement *I here it not in mynde,' i.e. I do not remem- 
ber it, may be taken to mean that Chaucer could find nothing about 
Maufice in his French text beyond the epithet Chrintianissimus, which he 
has skilfully expanded into 1. 11 23. He vaguely refers us to *olde 
Romayn gestes,' that is, to lives of the Roman emperors, for he can 
hardly mean the Gesta Romanorum in this instance. In the Marchauntes 
Tale, where he really refers to the Gesta, he uses the definite article, and 
calls them 'the Romain gestes'; C. T. 10158. Gibbon refers us to 
Evagrius, lib. v. and lib. vi.; Theophylact, Simocatta; Theophanes, 
Zonaias and Cedrenus. 


1. 113a. In the margin of MSS. E., Hn., Cp., Pt. is written — ^* A mane 
usque ad vesperam mutabitur tempus. Tenent tympanum et gaudent ad 
sonum organi/ &c. 

l. 1 135. In the margin of MSS. E., Hn., Cp..'Pt. is written — *Quis 
vnquam vnicam diem totam duxit in sua dilectione \yel delectatione] 
iocundam ? quem in aliqua parte diei reatus consciencie, vel impetus Ire, 
vel motus concupiscencie non turbauerit ? quem liuor Inuidie, vel Ardor 
Auaricie, vel tumor superbie non vexauerit? quem aliqua iactura vel 
offensa, vel passio non commouerit, &c' Cp. Pt. insert inde before non 
turbauerit. This corresponds to nothing in the French text, but is what 
Chaucer in 1. 11 39 calls * a sentence/ i.e. a choice saying. 

L 1143. / gesse^ I suppose. Chaucer somewhat alters the story. 
Trivet says that MWa died at the end of nine months after this. Half-a- 
year after, Constance repairs to Rome. Thirteen days after her arrival, 
her father Tiberius dies. A year later, Constance herself dies, on St. 
Clement's day (Nov. 33), a.d. 584, and is buried at Rome, near lier 
father, in St. Peter's church. The date 584, here given by Trivet, 
should rather be 583 ; the death of Tiberius took place on Aug. 14, 
583; see Gibbon. 


1. 287. Wood^ mad, frantic, furious; especially applied to the transient 
madness of anger. See Kn. Ta. 443, 471, 720; also Mids. Nt. Dream, 
ii. I. 192. Cf. G»wuthend, raging. 

1. 288. Harrow, also spelt hcu'o, a cry of astonishment; see Non. 
Prest. Tale, 225. * Haro, the ancient Norman hue and cry; the 
exclamation of a person to procure assistance when his person or 
property was in danger. To cry out haro on any one, to denounce 
his evil doings'; HalliwelPs Dictionary. Spenser has it, F. Q. ii. 6. 43 ; 
see Harrow in Kitchin's Gloss, to Spenser, bk. ii. 

On the oaths used by the Host, see note to 1. 651 below. 

1. 289. The Host is denouncing the decemvir Appius Claudius, whose 
£edse judgment had previously been described by the Doctor, who tells 
the story of Virginia. 

1. 293. * She (Virginia) bought her beauty too dear* ; she paid too high 
a price ; it cost her her life. 


1. 299. Bothe yiftes, both (kinds of) gifts ; i.e. gifts of fortune, such as 
wealth, and of nature, such as beauty. Compare Dr. Johnson's poem, 
on The Vanity of Human Wishes, imitated from the tenth satire of 

1. 302. Pitous, piteous, pitiful. Such is the reading of all the seven 
best MSS. Tyrwhitt foimd the reading erneful in some MSS., which he 
correctly supposes to be bad spelling for crw^/, miserable, from A.S. earm, 
wretched ; see note to 1. 312. The meaning, in £a.ct, is the same. 

!• 303- ^^ no/ors, it is no matter. Here ii must be supplied, the full 
phrase being it is no fors. In some cases Chaucer not only omits t/, but 
is also ; writing simply no fors, as in Group E, 1092, 2430. We also 
find 7 do no force, i.e. I care not, C. T. 6816 ; and Tliey yeve no force, 
they care not, Romaunt of the Rose, 4826. Palsgrave has — * I gyue no 
force, I care nat for a thyng, // ne men chauU* 

1. 306. ypocras is the usual spelling, in English MSS., of Hippocrates ; 
see" Prologue, 1. 431. So also in the Book of the Duchess, 571, 572 — 

•Ne hele me may no physicien, 
Nought Ipocras, ne Galien.' 
In the present passage it does not signify the physician himself, but 
a beverage named after him. * It was composed of wine, with spices 
and sugar, strained through a cloth. It is said to have taken its name 
from Hippocrates* sleeve, the term apothecaries gave to a strainer'; 
Halliwell's Diet. s.v. Hippocras, In the same work, s.v. Ipocras, are 
several receipts for making it, the simplest being one copied from 
Arnold's Chronicle : — * Take a quart of red wyne, an ounce of synamon, 
and half an unce of gynger ; a quarter of an ounce of greynes, and long 
peper, and halfe a pounde of sugar ; and brose all this, and than put 
them in a bage of wuUen clothe, made therefore, with the wyne ; and 
lete it hange over a vessel, tyll the wyne be nine thorowe.' Halliwell 
adds that— 'Ipocras seems to have been a great favourite with our 
ancestors, being served up at every entertainment, public or private. It 
generally made a part of the last course, and was taken immediately 
after dinner, with wafers or some other light biscuits ; * &c. See Pegge's 
Form of Cury, p. 161 ; Babees Book, ed. Fumivall, pp. 125-128, 267 ; 
and Nares's Glossary, s.v. Hippocras. 

Galianes. In like manner this word (hitherto unexplained as &r as I 
am aware) must signify drinks named after Galen, whose name is spelt 
Galien (in Latin, Galienus) not only in Chaucer, but in other authors, as 
pointed out by Tyrwhitt. 

1. 310. Lyk a prelat, like a dignitary of the church, like a bishop or 
abbot. Mr. Jephson, in Bell's edition, suggests that the Doctor was in 
holy orders, and that this is why we are told in the Prologue, 1. 438, 
that ' his studie was but litel on the bible/ I see no reason for this 


guess, which is quite unsupported. Chaucer does not say he is a prelate, 
but that he is like one ; because he had been highly educated, as a 
member of a * learned profession ' should be. 

Ronyan is here of three syllables and rimes with man ; in 1. 320 it is 
of two syllables, and rimes with anon. It looks as if the Host and 
Pardoner were not very clear about the saint's name, only knowing him 
to swear by. In Pilkington's Works (Parker Society), we find a mention 
of 'St. Tronian's fast,* p. 80; and again, of *St. Riuian's fast,' p. 551, 
in a passage which is a repetition of the former. The forms Ronyan 
and Rinian are evidently corruptions of Ronan, a saint whose name is 
well known to readers of * St. Ronan's Well.' Of St. Ronan scarcely 
anything is known. The fullest account that can easily be found is the 
following : 

* Ronan, B. and C. Feb. 7. — Beyond the mere mention of his com- 
memoration as S. Ronan, bishop at Kilmaronen, in LeVenax, in the 
body of the Breviary of Aberdeen, there is nothing said about this 
saint. . . Camerarius (p. 86) makes this Ronanus the same as he who is 
mentioned by Beda (Hist. Ecc. lib. iii. c 35). This Ronan died in 
A.D. 778. The Ulster annals given at [a.d.] 737 (736) — " Mors Ronain 
Abbatis Cinngaraid." ^ngus places this saint at the 9th of February,* 
&c.; Kalendars of Scottish Saints, by Bp. A. P. Forbes, 1872, p. 441. 
Kilmaronen is Kilmaronock, in the county and parish of Dumbarton. 
There are traces of St. Ronan in about seven place-names in Scotland, 
according to the same authority. Under the date of Feb. 7 (February, 
voL ii. 3 B), the Acta Sanctorum has a few lines about St. Ronan, who, 
according to some, flourished under King Malduin, a.d. 664-684 ; or, 
according to others, about 603. The notice concludes with the remark 
— *Maiorem lucem desideramus.* Beda says that 'Ronan, a Scot by 
nation, but instructed in ecclesiastical truth either in France or Italy,' 
was mixed up in the controversy which arose about the keeping of 
Easter, and was *a most zealous defender of the true Easter.* This 
controversy took place about a.d. 652, which does not agree with the 
date above. 

1. 311. Tyrwhitt thinks that Shakespeare remembered this expression 
of Chaucer, when he describes the Host of the Garter as frequently 
repeating the phrase * said I well '; Merry Wives of Windsor, i. 3. 1 1 ; 
ii. I. 226; ii. 3. 93, 99. 

In terme, in learned tertns; cf. Prol. 323. 

1. 312. Emtef to grieve. For the explanation of xmususihtuords, the 
Glossary should, in general, be consulted ; the Notes are intended, for 
the most part, to explain only phrases and allusions, and to give 
illustrations of the use of words. Such illustrations are, moreover, often 
onutted when they can easily be found by consulting such a work as 


Stratmann's Old English Dictionary. In the present case, for example, 
Stratmann gives nine instances of the use of earm or arm as an adjective, 
meaning wretched ; three examples of ermlic, miserable ; four of earming, 
a miserable creature; one of erming^ misery; and three of earmthe, 
misery. These twenty additional examples shew that the word was 
formerly well understood. 

1. 314. The Host's form of oath is amusingly ignorant ; he is con- 
fusing the two oaths * by corpus Domini ' and * by Christes bones,' and 
evidently regards corpus as a genitive case. Tyrwhitt alters the phrase 
to * By corpus domini,* which wholly spoils the humour of it. 

TViacle^ a restorative remedy; see Man of Lawes Tale, Group B, 
1. 479. 

1. 315. Mayste, new. The word retains the sense of the Lat. musteut 
and mustus. In Group H. 60 (see p. 1 16), we find moysty ale spoken of as 
differing from old ale. But the most peculiar use of the word is in the 
Prologue, 1. 457, where the Wyf of Bath's shoes are described as being 
moyste and nerve. 

1. 318. Bel amy, good friend; a common form of address in old 
French. We also find biaus douz amis, sweet good friend ; as in — 
* Chariot, Chariot, biatis doux amis'; 

Rutebuef ; La Disputoison de Chariot et du Barbier, 1. 57. 
Belamy occurs in an Early Eng. Life of St. Cecilia, MS. Ashmole 43, 
1. 161. Similar forms are beau filtz, dear son (Piers Plowman, B. vii. 
162), beau per e, good father ; beau sire, good sir. Cf. beldames. 

1. 331. Ale-stake, inn-sign. Speght interprets this by • may-pole.* He 
was probably thinking of the ale-pole, such as was sometimes set up 
before an inn as a sign ; see the picture of one in Larwood and Hotten*s 
History of Signboards, Plate II. But the ale-stakes of the fourteenth 
century were differently placed ; instead of being perpendicular, they 
projected horizontally from the inn, just like the bar which supports 
a painted sign at the present day. At the end of the ale-stake a large 
garland was commonly suspended, as mentioned by Chaucer himself 
(Prol. 667), or sometimes a bunch of ivy, box, or evergreen, called 
a * bush '; whence the proverb ' good wine needs no bush,' i.e. nothing 
to indicate where it is sold ; see Hist. Signboards, pp. 3, 4, 6, 233. The 
clearest information about ale-stakes is obtained from a notice of them 
in the Liber Albus, ed. Riley, where an ordinance of the time of Richard 
II is printed, the translation of which runs as follows : * Also, it was 
ordained that whereas the ale-stakes, projecting in front of the taverns in 
Chepe and elsewhere in the said dty, extend too far over the king's 
highways, to the impeding of riders and others, and, by reason of their 
excessive weight, to the great deterioration of the houses to which they 
are fixed, .... it was ordained, .... that no one in future should have 


a stake bearing either his sign or leaves [i.e. a bush] extending or lying 
over the King's highway, of greater hngth than 7 feet at most^* &c. And^ 
at p. 292 of the same work, note a, Mr. Riley rightly defines an ale-stake 
to be * the pole projecting from the house, and supporting a bunch of 

The word ale-stake occurs in Chatterton's poem of JElla., stanza 30, 
where it is used in a^ manner which shews that the supposed * Rowley' 
did not know what it was like. See my note on this ; Essay on the 
Rowley Poems, p. xix. 

1. 333. Of a cake ; we should now say, a bit of bread ; the' modem 
sense of * cake * is a little misleading. The old cakes were mostly made 
of dough, whence the proverb * my cake is dough,' i.e. is not properly 
baked; Taming of the Shrew, v. i. 145. Shakespeare also speaks of 
* cakes and ale,' Tw. Nt. ii. 3. 1 24. The picture of the * Simnel Cakes ' 
in Chambers' Book of Days, i. 336, illustrates Chaucer's use Of the word 
in the Prologue, 1. 668. 

I. 324. The Pardoner was so ready to tell some * mirth or japes' that 
the more decent folks in the company try to repress him. It is a curious 
comment on the popular estimate of his character. He has, moreover, 
to refresh himself, and to think awhile before he can recollect * some 
honest thing.' 

II. 327, 328. The Harleian MS, has — 

• But in the cuppe wil I me bethinke 
Upon som honest tale, whil I drmke.' 


Title. The Latin text is copied from 1. 334 below ; it appears in the 
Ellesmere and Hengwrt MSS. The A. V. has — • the love of money 
is the root of all evil * ; i Tim. vi. 10. It is well worth notice that the 
novel by Morlinus, quoted in the Preface as a source of the Pardoner's 
Tale, contains the expression — * radice malorum cupiditate affecti.* See 
the Preface. 

1- 336. Bulles, bulls from the pope, whom he here calls his 'liege 
lord' ; see Prol. 687, and Piers the Plowman, B. Prol. 69. 

Alle and somme, one and all. Cp. Clerkes Tale, £ 941, and the note. 


1. 337. PcUente; defined by Webster as * an official document, conferring 
a right or privilege on some person or party*; etc. It was so called 
because 'patent' or open to public inspection. *When indulgences 
came to be sold, the pope made them a part of his ordinary revenue ; 
and, according to the usual way in those, and even in much later times, 
of farming the revenue, he let them out usually to the Dominican 
friars'; Massingberd, Hist. £ng. Reformation, p. 126. 

!• 345- 'To colour my devotion with.* For saffron, MS. Harl. reads 
savore. Tyrwhitt rightly prefers the reading saffron, as *more ex- 
pressive, and less likely to have been a gloss.' And he adds — * Saffron 
was used to give colour as well as flavour.' For example, in the 
Babees Book, ed. Fumivall, p. 275, we read of * capons that ben 
coloured with saffron.' And in Winter's Tale, iv. 3. 48, the Clown 
says — * I must have saffron to colour the warden-pies.' Cf. Sir Thopas, 
Group B, 1. 1920. As to the position of with, cp. Sq. Ta. 471, 641. 

1. 346. According to Tyrwhitt, this line is, in some MSS., replaced 
by three, viz. — 

* In euery village and in euery toun, 

This is my terme, and shal, and euer was. 
Radix malorum est cupiditas* 
1. 347. Cristal stones, evidently hollow pieces of crystal in which relics 
were kept ; so in the Prologue, 1. 700, we have — 

* An4 in a glas he hadde pigges bones.' 

1. 348. Cloutes, rags, bits of cloth. * The origin of the veneration for 
relics may be traced to Acts xix. i a. Hence clouts, or cloths, are among 
the Pardoner's stock' ; note in Bell's edition. 

1. 349. Relik^. In the Prologue, we read that he had the Virgin 
Mary's veil and a piece of the sail of St. Peter's ship. Below, we have 
mention of the shoulder-bone of a holy Jew's sheep, and of a miraculous 
mitten. See Heywood's impudent plagiarism from this passage in his 
description of a Pardoner, as printed in the note to 1. 701 of Dr. 
Morris's edition of Chaucer's Prologue. See also a curious list of relics 
in Chambers* Book of Days, i. 587; and compare the humorous 
descriptions of the pardoner and his wares in Sir David Lyndesa/s 
Satyre of the Three Estates, 11. 2037-2121. 

1. 350. Latoun. The word latten is still in use in Devon and tbe 
North of England for plate tin, but as Halliwell remarks, that is not 
the sense of latoun in our older writers. It was a kind of mixed metal, 
much, resembling brass both in its nature and colour. It was used 
for helmets (Rime of Sir Thopas, B, 2067), lavers (P. PL Crede, 196), 
spoons (Nares), sepulchral memorials (Way in Prompt. Parv.), and 
other articles. Todd, in his Illustrations of Chaucer, p. 350, remarks 
that the escutcheons on the. tomb of the Black. Prince are of laton 


over-gilt, in accordance with the Prince's instructions; see Nichols's 
Royal Wills, p. 67. He adds — * In our old Church Inventories a cross 
cf laton frequently occurs.' See Prol. 699. 

1. 351. The expression *holy Jew* is remarkable, as the usual feeling 
in the middle ages was to regard all Jews with abhorrence. It is 
suggested, in a note to Bell's edition, that it * must be understood of 
some Jew before the Incarnation.' Perhaps the Pardoner wished it 
to be understood that the sheep was once the property of Jacob ; this 
would help to give force to 1. 365. Cp. Gen. xxx. 

The best comment on the virtues of a sheep's shoulder-bone is 
afiforded by a passage in the Persones Tale (De Ira), where we find — 
*Swering sodenly without avisement is also a gret sinne. But let us 
go now to that horrible swering of adiuration and coniuration, as don 
thise false enchauntours and nigromancers in basins ful of water, or 
in a bright swerd, in a cercle, or in a fire, or in a skolder-bone of a 
shepe;* &c. Sir David Lyndesay inserts a cow's horn and a cow's 
tail in his list of pardoner's relics ; cp. note to 1. 349 above. 

1. 355. The «ense is — ^ which any snake has bitten or stung.' The 
reference is to the poisonous effects of the bite of an adder or venomous 
snake. The word worm is used by Shakespeare to describe the asp 
whose bite was fatal to Cleopatra; and it is sometimes used to describe 
a dragon of the largest size. In Icelandic, the term * mi^gar^sormr,' 
lit. worm of the middle-earth, signifies a great sea-serpent encompassing 
the entire world. 

1- 3<53. Fastinge. This word is spelt with a final e in all seven MSS. ; 
and as it is emphatic and followed by a slight pause, perhaps the final e 
should be pronounced. Cp. A.S. fcestende, the oldest form of the 
present participle. 

It is not, perhaps, absolutely essential to the metre, for the word may 
be pronounced /as/Zng", with an accent on the first syllable, thus making 
the first foot consist of but one syllable. See other examples of this in 
my Preface to the Prioresses Tale, p. Ixiii. 

I. 366. For keleth, MS. HI. has kelith, i.e. cooleth. 

1* 379* The final e in siftne must not be elided ; it is preserved by the 
caesura. Besides, e is only elided before h in the-''case of certain words ; 
see Pref. to Prioresses Tale. p. Uv. 

1. 387. Assoille, absolve. In Michelet's Life of Luther, tr. by W. 
Hazlitt, chap, ii, there is a very similar passage concerning Tetzel, the 
Dominican friar, whose shameless sale of indulgences roused Luther 
to his famous denunciations of the practice. Tetzel * went about from 
town to town, with great display, pomp, and expense, hawking the 
commodity [i.e. the indulgences] in the diurches, in the public streets, 
in taverns and ale-houses. He paid over to his employers as little 

VOL. m. L 


as possible, pocketing the balance, as was subsequently proved against 
him. The faith of the buyers diminishing, it became necessary to 
exaggerate to the fullest extent the merit of the specific .... The 
intrepid Tetzel stretched his rhetoric to the very uttermost bounds 
of amplification. Daringly piling one lie upon another, he set forth, 
in reckless display, the long list of evils which this panacea could 
cure. He did not content himself with enumerating known sins; 
he set his foul imagination to work, and invented crimes, infamous 
atrocities, strange, unheard of, unthought of; and when he saw his 
auditors stand aghast at each horrible suggestion, he would calmly 
repeat the burden of his song : — ^Well, all this is expiated the moment 
your money chinks in the pope's chest* TJiis was in the year 151 7. 

1. 390. An hundred mark, A mark was worth about 131. 4J., and 
100 marks about £66 13s. 4^/. In order to make allowance for the 
difference in the value of money in that age, we must at least multiply 
by ten; or we may say in round numbers, that the Pardoner made 
at least £700 a year. We may contrast this with Chaucer s own pen- 
sion of twenty marks, granted him in 1367, and afterwards increased 
till, in the very last year of his life, he received in all, according to Sir 
Harris Nicolas, as much bs£6i 13s. 4</. Even then his income did hot 
quite attain to the hundred marks which the Pardoner gained so 

1. 397. Dottme, a pigeon ; lit a dove. Chaucer, in the Milleres Tale^ 
• has a line very like this, viz.— 

'As any swallow sitting on a heme.' 

1. 40a. Namely, especially, in particular ; cf. Kn. Ta. 410. 

1.'405' Blakeberyed, The line means — 'Though their souls go 
a-blackbenying' ; i.e. wander wherever they like. This is a weU-known 
crux, which all the editors have given up as unintelligible. I have been 
so fortunate as to obtain the complete solution of it, which was printed 
in Notes and Queries, 4 S. x.aas, xii. 45, and again in my preface to the 
C-text of Piers the Plowman, p. Ixxxvii. The simple explanation is 
that, by a grammatical construction which was probably really due (as 
will be shown) to an error, the verb go could be combined with what 
was apparently a past participle, in such a manner as to give the 
participle the force of a verbal substantive. In other words, instead 
of saying ' he goes a-hunting,' our fore&thers sometimes said * he goes 
a-hunted.' The examples of this use are at least six. The clearest is in 
Piers Plowman, C. ix. 138, where we read of 'folk that gon a-begged/ 
i.e. folk that go a-begging. In Chaucer, we not only have an instance 
in the present passage, but another in the Wyf of Bath's Tale, Group D, 
!• 354» where we have * to gon a-caterwawed,' with the sense of * to go 
.a-caterwauling'; apd it is a fortunate circumstance that in both these 


cases the unusual forms occur at the end of a line, so that the rime has 
preserved them from being tampered with. Gower (Conf. Amant. 
bk. i. ed. Chalmers, pp. 33, 33) speaks of a king of Hungary riding out 
• in the month of May,* adding — 

•This king with noble purueiance 
Hath for him-selfe his chare [car] arayed, 
"^Tierein he wolde ryde amayed,* &c. 
that is, wherein he wished to ride ^.-Maying, Again (in bk. V, ed. 
Chalmers, p. 1 24, col. 2) we read of a drunken priest losing his way : — 

• This prest was dronke, and goth a-strayed* ; 
i.e. he goes a-straying, or goes astray. 

The explanation of this construction I take to be this ; the -ed was 
not really a sign of the past participle, but a corruption of the ending 
'Bth (A. S. -tfS) which is sometimes found at the end of a verbal sub- 
stantive. Hence it is that, in the passage from Piers Plowman above 
quoted, one of the best and earliest MSS. actually reads * folk that gon 
a-beggeth.' And again, in another passage (P. PI. C. ix. 246) is the 
phrase *gon abrybeth,' or, in some MSS., *gon abrybed,* i.e. go 
a-bribing or go a-thieving, since Mid. Eng. briben often means to rob. 
This form is clearly an imitation of the form a-hunteth in the old! 
phrase gon a-hunteth or riden an honteth, used by Robert of Gloucester 
(Specimens of English, ed. Morris and Skeat, p. 14, 1. 387) — 
' *As he rod an honteth, and par-auntre [h]is hors spumde.' 
Now this honteth is the dat. case of a substantive, viz. of the A. S?^ 
huntafS or huntoiS, This substantive would easily be mistaken for a part 
of a verb, and, particularly, for the past participle of a verb ; just as 
many people at this day are quite unable to distinguish between the 
true verbal substantive and the present participle in -ing. This mistake 
once established, the ending -ed would be freely used after the verbs go 
or ride. 

The result is that the present ''phrase, hitherto so puzzling, is a mere 
variation for * gon a blake-berying,' i. e. * go a-gathering blackberries,' a 
humorous expression for * wander wherever they please.' A not very- 
dissimilar expression occurs in the proverbial saying — * his wits are gone 

The Pardoner says, in efifect, * I promise them full absolution ; 
however, when they die and are buried, it matters little to me in what 
direction their souls go.' 

1. 407. Tyrwhitt aptly adduces a parallel passage from the Romaunt 
of the Rose, 1. 5766 — 

• For oft good predicatioun 
Cometh of euil intentioun.' 
* Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife'; Phil. i. 15. 

L 2 


I. 413. In Piers Plowman (B-text), v. 87, it is said of Envy that— 
' Eche a worde that he warpe * was of an addres tonge.' 
Cf. Rom. iii. 13 ; Ps. cxl. 3. 

1. 440. For I teehe, because I teach, by my teaching. 

1. 441. Wilful pouerte signifies voluntary poverty. This is well 
illustrated by the following lines concerning Christ in Piers Plowman. 
B. XX. 48, 49 : — 

*Syth he that wroughte al the worlde * was wilfuUieh nedy, 
Ne neuer non so nedy • ne pouerer deyde/ 
Several examples occur in Richardson's Dictionary in which wilfully has 
the sense of willingly or voluntarily. Thus — * If they wylfully would 
renounce the sayd place and put them in his grace, he wolde vtterlye 
pardon theyr trespace'; Fabyan's Chronicle, c. 114. It even means 
gladly; thus in Wyclifs Bible, Acts xxi. 17, we find, •britherin res- 
seyuyden us wil/ulli.' Speaking of palmers, Speght says — 'The 
pilgrim travelled at his own charge, the palmer professed wilful poverty.' 

The word wilful still means willing in Warwickshire ; see Eng. Dialect 
Soc. Gloss. C. 6. 

1. 445. The context seems to imply that some of the apostles made 
baskets. So in Piers Plowman, B. xv. 285, we read of St. Paul — • 

•Poule, after his prechyng • panytrs he made.' 
Yet in Acts xviii. 3 we only read that he wrought as a tent-maker. 
However, it was St. Paul who set the example of labouring with his 
hands ; and, in imitation of him, we find an early example of basket- 
making by St. Arsenius, ' who, before he turned hermit, had been the 
tutor of the emperors Arcadius and Honorius,' and who is represented 
in a fresco in the Campo Santo at Pisa, by Pietro Laurati, as ' weaving 
baskets of palm-leaves '; whilst beside him another hermit is cutting 
woodeu spoons, and another is fishing.. See Mrs, Jameson's Sacred and 
Legendary Art, 3rd ed. ii. 757. 

1. 448. The best description of the house-to-honse system of begging, 
as adopted by the mendicant friars, is near the beginning of the 
Sompnour's Tale. They went in pairs to the farm-houses, begging a 
bushel of wheat, or malt, or rye, or a piece of cheese or brawn, or bacon 
or beef, or even a piece of an old blanket. Nothing seems to have 
come amiss to them. 

1. 450. See Prologue, L 355 ; and cf. the description of the poor widow 
at the beginning of the Nonne Prestes Tale. 



For some account of the source of this Tale, see the Preface. The 
account which I here quote as the ' Italian ' text is that contained in 
Novella Ixxxii. of the libro di Novelle. 

1. 463. In laying the scene in Flanders, Chaucer probably followed an 
original which is now lost. Andrew Borde, in his amusing Introduction 
of Knowledge, ch. viii. says: — 'Flaunders is a plentyfuU coimtre^ of 
fyshe & fieshe & wyld fowle. Ther shal a man be denly serued at his 
table, & well ordred and vsed for meate & dr3mke Sc lodgyng. The 
countre is playn, & somwhat sandy. The people be gentyl, but the 
men be great drynkers ; and many of the women be vertuous and wel 
dysposyd.' He describes the Fleming as saying — 

'I am a Fleming, what for all that. 
Although I wyll be dronken other whyles as a rat? 
'* fiuttermouth Flemyng " men doth me call/ &c, 

1. 464. HauntedeHt followed after. The same expression occurs in The 
Tale of Beryn, a spurious (but not ill-told) addition to the Canterbury 

*Foly, I haunted it ever, ther myght no man me let.' 
1. 473. Grisly, terrible, enough to make one shudder. It is exactly the 
right word ; see the Glossary. The mention of these oaths reminds us 
of the admission of my Uncle Toby in Sterne's Tristram Shandy, ch. xi., 
that ' our armies swore terribly in Flanders* 

1. 474. To-tere, tear in pieces, dismember. Cf. to-rente in Gloss, to 
Prioresses Tale (Clar. Press). Chaucer elsewhere says — * For Cristes 
sake swere not so sinnefully, in dismembring of Crist, by soule, herte, 
bones, and body ; for certes it semeth, that ye thinken that the cursed 
lewes dismembred him not ynough, but ye dismembre him more*; 
Persones Tale, De Ira. And see 11. 629-659 below. 

'And than Seint Johan seid — "These [who are thus tormented in 
hell] ben thei that sweren bi Goddes membris, as bi his nayles and 
other his membris, and thei thus dismembrid God in horrible swerynge 
bi his limmes'; Vision of Wm. Staunton (a.d. 1409), quoted in Wright's 
St. Patrick's Purgatory, p. 146. In the Plowman's Tale (Chaucer, ed. 
1561, fol. xci) we have — 

*And Cristes membres al to-tere 
On roode as he were newe yrent.' 
Barclay, in his Ship of Fools (ed. Jamieson, i. 97), says — 
* Some sweryth armes, naylys, herte, and body, 
Terynge our Lord worse than the Jowes hym arayed/ 

150 . NOTES TO GROUP €. 

And again (ii. 130) he complains of swearers who crucify Christ afresh, 
swearing by * his holy membres,' by his * blode/ by ' his foce, his herte, 
or by his croune of thome/ etc. Todd, in his Illustrations of Chaucer, 
p. 264, quotes (from an old MS.) tlie old second commandment in the 
following form : — • 

' II. Thi goddes name and b[e]autte 

Thou shalt not take for wel nor wo; 
Dismembie hym not that on rode-tre 
For the was mad boyth blak and bio.' 

477. Tombesteres, female dancers. *Sir Perdicas, whom that kinge 
Alysandre made to been his heire in Grece, was of no kinges blod ; his 
dame [mother] was a tombystere'; Testament of Love, Book ii. ed. 
1 56 1, fol. ccxcvi b. 

Tombestere is the feminine form ; the A. S. spelling would be /umfr- 
estre ; the masc form is the A. S. tumhere, which is glossed by salttuor, 
i. e. a dancer ; the verb is tumbian, to dance, used of Herodias's daughter 
in the A. S. version of Mark vi. 22. 

On the feminine termination ^ster (formerly -eMtre, or •sire) see the 
remarks in Marshes Lectures on the English Language, printed in (the 
so-called) Smith's Student's Manual of the English Language, ed. 186 a, 
pp. 207, 208, with an additional note at p. 217. Marsh's remarks are, 
in this caSe, less clear than usual. He shews that the termination was 
not always used as a feminine, and that, in fact, its force was early lost. 
It is, however, merely a question of chronology. That the termination 
was originally feminine, is sufficiently proved by the A. S. version of the 
gospels. There we find the word witega frequently used in the sense of 
prophet; but, in one instance, where it is necessary to express the 
feminine, we find this accomplished by the use of this very termination. 
' And anna wses witegystre (another MS. witegestre) '; i. e. and Anna was 
tL prophetess, Luke ii. 36. Similar instances might easily be multiplied ; 
see Dr. Morris's Hist. Outlines of Eng. Accidence, pp. 89, 90. Thus, 
jwassbestren (pi.) is used as the translation of lotrices; Old. Eng. 
Homilies, ed. Morris, ii. 57. But it is also true that, in the fourteenth 
century, the feminine force of this termination was becoming very weak, 
so that, whilst in P. Plowman, B. v. 306, we find ' Beton the brewestere * 
applied to a female brewer, we cannot thence certainly conclude that 
* brewestere ' was always feminine at that period. On the other hand, 
we may point to one word, spinster, which has remained feminine to this 
very day. 

Dr. Morris remarks that tombestere is a hybrid word; in which I 

believe he has been misled by the spelling. It is a pure native word^ 

.from the A. S. tumbian, but the scribes have turned it from tumbestere 

into tombestere, by confusion with the French tomber. Yet even the 


Fr. tomber was once spelt tumber (Burguy, Roquefort), being, in fact, 
a word of Germanic origin. An acrobat can still be called a tumbler \ 
we find * rope-dancers and tumblers ' in Locke ; Conduct of the Under- 
standing, § 4. Indeed, the Cambridge MS. has here the true spelling 
tumbesteris, whilst the Corpus, Petworth, and lAnsdowne MSS. have 
the variations tomblisteres and tomblesters, 

I. 478. Fruytesteres, female sellers of fruit ; see note to last line. 

1. 479. Wafereresy sellers of confectionery, confectioners. The feminine 
form wafrestre occurs in Piers Plowman, v. 641. From Beaumont and 
Fletcher we learn that * wafer-women * were often employed in amorous 
embassies, as stated in Nares' Glossary, q. v. 

1. 483. Holy writ. In the margin of the MSS. £., Hn., Cp., Pt., and HI. 
is the note — * Nolite inebriari vino, in quo est luxuria, * quoted from the 
Vulgate version of £ph. v. 18. 

1. 488. * Herod, (as may be seen by any one) who were to consult the 
** stories " carefully.' The Harleian MS. has the inferior reading story ; 
but the reference is particular, not vague. Peter Cbmestor (died a. d. 
1 198) was the author of an Historia Scholastica, on which account he was 
called * the maister of stories,' or * clerk of the stories,' as explained in the 
note to Piers Plowman, vii. 73 (Clar. Press). The use of the plural 
is due to the fact that the whole Historia Scholastica, which is a sort 
of epitome of the Bible, with notes and additions, is divided into 
sections, each of which is a/50 called * Historia.' The account of Herod 
occurs, of course, in the section entitled Historia Evangelica, cap. 
Ixxii. ; De decollatione ioannis. Cf. Matt, xiv ; Mark vi. 

L 49 a. Seneky Seneca. The reference appears to be, as pointed out by 
Tyrwhitt, to Seneca's Letters ; Epist. Ixxxiii. * Extende in plures dies 
ilium ebrii habitum : numquid de furore dubitabis ? nimc quoque non 
est minor, sed brevior.' 

L 496. ' Except that madness, when it has come upon a man of evil 
nature, lasts longer than does a fit of drunkenness.' 

1. 499. ' First cause of our misfortune '; alluding to the Fall of Adam. 
See 1. 505. 

L 501. Bought us age^n, redeemed us ; a translation of the Latin 
redemit» Hence we find Christ called, in Middle English, the A^enbyer. 
'See now how dere he [Christ] boughte man, that he made after his 
owne ymage, and how dere he a^enboght us, for the grete love that he 
hadde to us '; Sir J. Maundeville, Prologue to his Voiage (Specimens 
of Eng. 1 298-1393, p. 165). See 1. 766 below. 

1. 505. Here, in the margin of MS. E., Hn., Cp. ,Pt., HI. is a quotaticm 
from ' Hieronymus contra Jovinianum ' (i. e. from St. Jerome). * Quam- 
diu ieiunauit Adam, in Paradiso fuit ; comedit et eiectus est ; statim 
duxit uxorem.' See Hieron. contra Jqv. lib. ii. c. 15 ; ed. Migne, ii. 305. 


I. 510. Defended^ forbidden. Even Milton has it ; see P. Lost, xi. 86. 
See also 1. 590 below. 

I. 512. ' O gluttony I it would much behove us to complain of thee f 

I. 522. In the margin of MSS. £. and Hn. is written the quotation — 
* Esca ventri, et venter escis. Deus autem et hunc et illam destruet.' 
For tV/am, the usual reading of the Vulgate is Aos ; see i Cor. vi. 13. 

1. 526. Whyte and rede, white wine and red wine; see note to Piers 
Plowman, B. prol. 228 (Clar. Press). 

1. 529. In the margin of MSS. £. and Hn. is written — * Ad Philipenses, 
capitulo tertio.' See Phil. iii. 18. 

!• 537- * How great toil and expense (it is) to provide for thee I' Chaucer 
is here addressing man s appetite for delicacies. Cf. fond^ Non. Pr. 
Tale. 9. 

1* 539. Here Chaucer humorously alludes to the famous disputes 
in scholastic philosophy between the Realists and Nominalists. To 
attempt any explanation of their language is to become lost in subtleties 
of distinction. It would seem however that the Realists maintained 
that everything possesses a eubstancet which is inherent in itself, and 
distinct from the accidentt or outward phenomena which the thing 
presents. According to them, the form, smell, taste, colour, of anything 
are merely accidents^ and might be changed without affecting the 
substance itself. See the excellent article on Substance in the Engl. 
Cyclopaedia ; also that on Nominalists, 

According to Chaucer, then, the cooks who toil to satisfy man's 
appetite change the nature of the things cooked so effectually as to com- 
found substance with accident. Translated into plain language, it 
means that those who partook of the meats so prepared, could not, by 
means of their taste and smell, form any precise idea as to what they 
were eating. The art is not lost. 

1. 547. Hauntetk, practises, indulges in. In the margin of MSS. K and 
Hn. is written — * Qui autem in deliciis est, viuens mortuus est.* This 
is a quotation from the Vulgate version of i Tim. v. 6, but with ^i for 
qu<Bt and mortuus for mortua, 

1. 549. In the margin of MSS. E. and Hn. is written — * Luxuriosa res 
vinum, et contumeliosa ebrietas.* The Vulgate version of Prov. xx. i. 
agrees with this nearly, but has tumultuosa for contumeliosa. This is of 
course the text to which Chaucer refers. 

1. 554. He means that the drunkard's stertorous breathing seems to 
repeat the sound of the word Sampso&n, The word was probably 
chosen for the sake of its nasal sounds, to imitate a sort of grunt. 
Pronounce the m and » as in French, but with exaggerated emphasis. 
So also in 1. 572. 

1. 555- See note to the Monkes Tale, Group B, 1. 3345. In Judges 


xiii. 4, 7, the command to drink no wine is addressed, not to Samson, 
but to his mother. Of Samson himself it is said that he was *a 
Nazarite,' which implies the same thing ; see Numbers vi. 3, 5. 

1. 561. In Chaucer's Tale of Melibeus (Six-text, B. a 38 3) we find— 
* Thou shalt also eschue the conseiling of folk that been dronkelewe ; for 
they can no conseil hyde ; for Salomon seith, Ther is no pruietee ther-as 
regneth dronkenesse.' The allusion is to Prov. xxxi. 4 — * Noli regibus, 
O Lamuel, noli regibus dare uinum; quia nullum secretum est ubi 
regnat ebrietas.* This last clause is quite different from that in our own 
version; which furnishes, perhaps, a reason why the allusion here 
intended has not been perceived by previous editors. 

1. 563. Namely^ especially. Tyrwhitt*s note is as follows : * According 
to the geographers, Lepe was not far from Cadiz. This wine, of what- 
ever sort it may have been, was probably much stronger than the 
Gascon wines, usually drunk in England. La Rochelle and Bordeaux 
(1.- 571)* the two chief ports of Gascony, were both, in Chaucer's time, 
part of the English dominions.' 

' Spanish wines might also be more alluring upon account of their 
greater rarity. Among the Orders of the Royal Household, in 1604, is 
the following (MS. Harl. 393, fol. 162): * And whereas, in tymes past, 
Spanish wines, called Sacke, were little or noe whit used in our courte, 
and that in later years, though not of ordinary allowance, it was thought 
convenient that noblemen . . . might have a boule or glas, &c. We 
tmderstanding that it is now used as common drinke . . . reduce the 
allowance to xii. gallons a day for the court,' &c. Several regulations 
to be observed by London vintners are mentioned in the Liber Albus, 
ed. Riley, pp. 614-618. Amongst them is — 'Item, that white wine of 
Gascoigne, of la Rochele, of Spain, or other place, shall not be put in 
cellars with Rhenish wines.' 

L 564. To sdlt, for sale ; the true gerund, of which to is, in Anglo- 
Saxon, the sign. So also ' this house to let ' is the correct old idiom, 
needing no such alteration as some would make. Cf. Morris, Hist. 
Outlines of Eng. Accidence, sect. 290, subsect 4. Fish Street leads out 
of Lower Thames Street, close to the North end of London Bridge. 
The Harleian MS. alone reads Fleet Street^ which is certainly wrong. 
Considering that Thames Street is especially mentioned as a street 
for vintners (Liber Albus, p. 614), and that Chaucer's own father was a 
Thames Street vintner, there can be little doubt about this matter. The 
poet is here speaking from his own knowledge ; a consideration which 
gives the present passage a peculiar interest. Chepe is Cheapside. 

1. 565. This is a fine touch. The poet here tells us that some of this 
strong Spanish wine used to find its way mysteriously into other wines ; 
-not (he ironically, suggests) because the vintners ever mixed their wine6» 


but because the vines of Spain notoriously grew so close to those of 
Gascony that it was not possible to keep them apart ! Crepeth tuhtUly « 
finds its way mysteriously. Observe the humour in the word growing, 
which expresses that the mixture of wines was due to the proximity of 
the vines producing them in the vineyards, not to any acci- 
dental proximity of the casks containing them in the vintners' 
cellars. In fact, the differei^t kinds of wine were to be kept in different 
cellars, as the Regulations in the Liber Albus (pp. 615-618) shew. 
' Item, that no Tavemer shall put Rhenish wine and White wine in a 
cellar together.' ' Item, that new wines shall not be put in cellars vdth 
old wines.* * Item, that White wine of Gascoigne, of la Rochele, of 
Spain, or other place, shall not be put in cellars with Rhenish wines.' 
' Item, that White wine shall not be sold for Rhenish wine.' ' Item, 
that no one shall expose for sale wines counterfeit or mixed, made by 
himself or by another, under pain of being set upon the pillory.' 

I. 570. 'He is in Spain'; i.e. he is, as it were, transported thither. 
He imagines he has never left Cheapside, yet is far from knowing where 
he is, as we should say. 

1. 571. • Not at Rochelle,' where the wines are weak. 

1- 579- ' The death of Attila took place in 453. The commonly 
received account is that given by Jomandes, that he died by the bursting 
of a blood-vessel on the night of his marriage with a beautiful maiden, 
whom he added to his many ether wives; some, with a natural suspicion, 
impute it to the hand of his bride. Priscus observes, that no one ever 
subdued so many countries in so short a time. . . . Jomandes, De Rebus 
Gettcist and Priscus, Exeerpta de LegaHonihus, furnish the best existing 
materials for the history of Attila. For modem compilations, see 
Buat, Histoire des Peuples de F Europe, and De Guignes, Hist, des Huns ; 
and Gibbon, capp. xxxiv and xxxv '; English Cyclopaedia. 

Mr. Jephson (in Bell's Chaucer) quotes the account of Attila's death 
given by Paulus Diaconus, Gest, Rom, lib. xv. * Qui reuersus ad proprias 
sedes, supra plures quas habebat uxores, valde decoram, indicto nomine^ 
sibi in matrimonium iunxit. Ob cuius nuptias profusa conuiuia 
exercens, dum tantum uini quantum nunquam antea insimul bibisset, 
cum supinus quiesceret, emptione sanguinis, qui ei de naribus solitus 
erat effluere, suifocatus et extinctus est.' 

I. 585. Lemuel, i.e. King Lemuel, mentioned in Prov. xxxi. i, q.v. ; 
not to be confused, says Chaucer, with Samuel. The allusion is to 
Prov. xxxi. 4, 5 ; and not (as Mr. Wright suggests) to Prov. xxiii. In 
fact, in the margin of MSS £. and Hn. is written — * Noli uinum dare/ 
words found in Prov. xxxi. 4. See note to 1. 561. 

1. 591. Hasard, gambling. In the margin of MSS. £. and Hn. is 
written — *Policratici libro primo; Mendaciomm et periuriarum mat^ 


csl Alea.' This shews that the line is a quotation from lib. i. [cap. 5] 
of the Polycraticus of John of Salisbury, bishop of Chartres, who died 
in 1 1 80. See some account of this work in Prof. Morley's Eng. 
Writers, i. 597. 'In the first book, John treats of temptations and 
duties and other vanities, such as hunting, dice, music, mimes and 
minstrelsy, magic and soothsaying, prognostication by dreams and 
astrology.' See also the account of gaming, considered as a branch of 
Avarice, in the A^enbyte of Inwyt, ed. Morris, pp. 45, 46. 

1. 603. Stilbon, It should rather be Chilon, Tyrwhitt remarks — 
* John of Salisbury, from whom our author probably took this story and 
the following, calls him Chilon ; Polycrat. lib. i. c. 5. " Chilon Lacedse- 
monius, iungendae societatis causa missus Corinthum, duces et seniores 
populi ludentes inuenit in alea. Infecto itaque negotio reuersus est 
|dicens se nolle gloriam Spartanorum, quorum uirtus constructo 
Byzantio clarescebat, hac maculare infamia, ut dicerentur cum aleatori- 
bus contraxisse societatem]." Accordingly, in ver. 12539 [1. 605], MS. 
C. I [i.e. MS. Camb. Univ. Lib. Dd. 4. 24] reads very rightly Laeedomye 
instead of Calidont, the common reading [of the old editions]. Our 
author has used before Laeedomie for Lac«</<sinon, v. 11 69 2 [Frank. Tale, 
f 1380].' 

In the Petw. MS., the name Stilbon is explained as meaning Mereurius, 
So, in Liddell and Scott's Gk. Lexicon, we have ' ot(X/3w» -wtos, 6, ihe 
planet Mercury, Arist. Mund. 2. 9 ; cf. Cic. Nat. D. a. 20* But the note 
is clearly wrong in the present instance. It points, however, to the 
original sense of the word, viz. * shining,* from the verb criK^tiv, to glitter. 

1. 608. The first foot has but one syllable, viz. Pley. Atte, for at the, 
Tyrwhitt oddly remarks here, that * atte has frequently been corrupted 
into a/ the,* viz. in the old editions. Of course atte is rather, etymologi- 
cally, a corruption of at the ; Tyrwhitt probably means that the editors 
might as well have let the form atte stand. If so, he is quite right ; for, 
though etymologically a corruption, it was a recognised form at that date. 

I. 6a I. This story immediately follows the one quoted from John of 
Salisbury in the note to 1. 603. After * societatem,' he proceeds : — * Regi 
quoqtle Demetrio, in opprobrium puerilis leuitatis, tali aurei a rege 
Parthorum dati sunt.* What Demetrius this was, we are not told ; 
perhaps it may have been Demetrius Nicator, king of Syria, who was 
defeated and taken prisoner by the Parthians in 138 b.c, and detained in 
captivity by them for ten years. This, however, is but a guess. Compare 
the story told of our own king, in Shakespeare's Henry V, Act i. sc. 2. 

1. 628. To dryue the day awey, to pass the time. The same phrase 
occurs in Piers Plowman, B. prol. 224, where it is said of the labourers 
who tilled the soil that they ' dryuen forth the longe day with Dieu vous 
saue. Dame emme,* i.e. amuse themselves with singing idle songs. 


1. 633. In the margin of MSS. £., Hn., and P€. is fhe qudtation 
' Nolite omnino iurare/ with a reference (in Hn. only) to Matt v. The 
Vulgate version of Matt. v. 34 is — * Ego autem dico nobis, non iuraie 
omnino, neque per caelum, quia thronus Dei est.' 

1. 635. In the margin of MSS. £., Hn., and Ft. is written — * leremie 
quarto. lurabis in veritate, in ludicio et lusticia ' ; see Jer. iv. 2. 

There are several points of resemblance between the present passage 
and one in the Persones Tale {De Ira) part of whidt has been already 
quoted in the note to 1. 474. * Also our Lord lesu Crist sayth, by the 
word of seint Mathew: Ne shal ye nat swere in alle manere, n^yther by 
heven, &c. And if so be that the lawe compelle you to swere, than 
reuleth you after the lawe of god in your swering, as sayth leremie ; 
Thou shalt kepe three conditions; thou shalt swere in trouth, in dome, 
and in rightwisenesse, &c. And think wel this, that euery gret swerer. 
not compelled lawfully to swere, the plage shal not depart fro his hous, 
while he useth unleful swering. Thou shalt swere also in dome, when 
thou art constreined by the domesman to witnesse a trouth*; &c. So 
also Wyclif : — * ^it no man schulde swere, nouther for life ne dethe, no 
but with these thre condiciones, that is, in treuthe, in dome, and iii 
rightwisenes, as God sais by the prophet leremye*; Works, ed. Arnold, 
iii. 483. 

1. 639. Thefirste tahle^ i.e. the commandments that teach us our duty 
towards God; those in the second table teach us our duty to our 

1. 641. Seeonde heste, second conmiandment. Formerly, the first two 
commandments were considered as one ; the third commandment was 
therefore the second, as here. The tenth commandment was divided 
into two parts, to make up the number. See Wyclif s treatise on * The 
ten Comaundements*; Works, ed. Arnold, iii. 82. Thus Wyclif says— 
' The secounde maner maundement of God perteyneth to the Sone. 
Thow schalt not take the name of thi Lord God in veyn, ne])]>er in word* 
neiper in lyvynge.* And see note to 1. 474. 

1. 643. Rather, sooner; because this commandment precedes those 
which relate to murder, &c. 

1. 646. ' They that understand His commandments know this,' &c. 

1. 649. Wyclif says — * For it is written in Ecdesiasticus, the thre and 
twenti chapitre, there he seith this: A man much sweringe schal be 
fulfilled with wickidnesse, and veniaunce schal not go awey fro his 
hous' ; Works, iii. 84. Chaucer here quotes the same text ; see Ecclus; 
xxiii. II. 

1. 651. So Wyclif, iii. 483 — * hit is not leeful to swere by creaturis, no 
by Goddys bonys, sydus; naylus, ne annus, or by ony membre of Cristis 
body, as j^e moste dele of men usen.' . ^ 


Tyrwhitt says — * his nayles, i.e. with which he was nailed to the cross. 
Sir J. Maundeville, c. vii— "And thereby in the walle is the place where 
the 4 Nayles of our Lord weren hidd ; for he had 2 in his hondes, and 
2 in his feet : and one of theise the Emperoure of Constantynoble made 
a brydille to his hors, to bere him in bataylle ; and thorgh vertue thereof 
he overcame his enemies/' &c. He had said before, c. ii., that " on of the 
nayles that Crist was naylled with on the cross** was " at Constantynoble ; 
and on in France, in the kinges chapelle/' ' 

Mr. Wright adds, what is doubtless tnte, that these nails *were 
objects of superstition in the middle ages.' Notwithstanding these 
opinions, I am not satisfied that these comments are quite correct. I 
strongly suspect that swearers did not stop to think, nor were they 
at all particular as to the sense in which the words might be used. 
Here, for example, nails are mentioned between heart and blood ; in the 
quotation from Wyclif in the note to 1. 65 r, we find mention of * bones, 
sides, nails, and arms/ followed by * any member of Christ's body.' Still 
more express is the phrase used by William Staunton (see note to 1. 474 
above) that * God's members* include * his nails.' On the other hand, 
in Lewis*s Life of Pecock, p. 155 [or p. 107, ed. 1820], is a citation from 
a MS. to the effect that, in the year 1420, many men died in England 
*emittendo sanguinem per iuncturas et per secessum, scilicet in illis 
partibus corporis per quas horribiliter iurare consueuerunt, scilicet, 
per oculos Christi, per faciem Christi, per latera Christi, per sanguinem 
Christi, per cor Christi preciosum, per elauos Christi in suis manibus et 
pedibus.* A long essay might be written upon the oaths found in our 
old authors, but the subject is, I think, a most repulsive one. 

1. 652. Here Tyrwhitt notes — *The Abbey of Hailes, in Glocester- 
shire, was founded by Richard, king of the Romans, brother to Henry 
III. This precious relick, which was afterwards called "the blood of 
Hailes," was brought out of Germany by the son of Richard, Edmund, 
who bestowed a third part of it upon his father's Abbey of Hailes, 
and some time after gave the other two parts to an Abbey .of his 
own foundation at Ashrug near Berkhamsted. Hollinshed, vol. ii. 
p. 275.' 'A vial was shewn at Hales in Glocestershire, as containing 
a portion of our blessed Saviour's blood, which suffered itself to be 
seen by no person in a state of mortal sin, but became visible when 
the penitent, by his offerings, had obtained forgiveness. It was now 
discovered that this was performed by keeping blood, which was 
renewed every week, in a viAl, one side of which was thick and opaque, 
the other transparent, and turning it by a secret hand as the case 
required. A trick of the same kind, more skilfully executed, is still 
annually performed at Naples.* — Southey, Book of the Church, ch. xii. 
He refers to Fuller, b. vi. Hist, of. Abbeys, p» 323; Burnet, i, 32 3> 


ed. t68i. See also the word Halet in the Index to the works published 
by the Parker Society ; and Pilgrimages to Walsingham and Canterbury 
(by Erasmus), ed J. G. Nichols, and ed. 1875, p. 88. 

1. 653. * My chance is seven ; yours is five and three.' This is an allusion 
to the particular game called hazardt not to a mere comparison of throws, 
to see which is highest A certain throw (here seven) is called the caster's 
chance. This can only be understood by an acquaintance with the rules of 
the game. See the article Hazard in Supplement to £ng. Cyclopsedia* 
or in Hoyle's Games. Cf. Man of Lawes Prologue, B 124; Monkes 
Tale, B 3851. Compare — * Not unlike the use of foule gamesters, who 
having lost the maine by [i.e. according to] true judgement, thinke to 
face it out with a false oath* ; Lyly*s Euphues and his England (qu. 
in Halliweirs edition of Nares, s.v. Main), 

1. 656. In the Towneley Mysteries, p. 241, when the soldiers dice for 
Christ's garments, one says — 

'I was falsly begyled withe thise byehed bonet^ 
Ther cursyd thay be.' 
On the following page (p. 242), Pilate addresses a soldier with the 
words — 'Unbychid, unbayn.' Unbayn (Icel. H-beinn) means, literally, 
crooked ; metaphorically, perverse ; and is a term of reproach. This 
suggests that unbyehid could be similarly used. 

The readings are: — E. Cp. bicched; Ln. beeched; HI. biccked; Hn. 
Cm. bicche; Pt. and old edd. thilk, thilke (wrongly). Besides which, 
Tyrwhitt cites bichet, MS. Harl. 7335 ; beeched, Camb. Univ. Lib. Dd. 4« 
24 ; and, from other MSS., bicched, bicchid, bitched, bicche. The general 
consensus of the MSS. and the quotation from the Towneley Mysteries 
establish the reading given in the text beyond all doubt. Yet Tyrwhitt 
reads bicchel, for which he adduces no authority beyond the following. 
' Bickel, as explained by Kilian, is lalue, ovillus et lusorius ; and hickeUn^ 
talis ludere. See also Had. Junii Nomencl. n. 213. Our dice indeed 
are the ancient teaerce (tcvfim) not /o/i {currparfoXot); but, both being 
games of hazard, the implements of one might be easily attributed 
to the other. It should seem from Junius, loc cit., that the Germans 
had preserved the custom of playing with the natural bones, as they 
have different names for a game with iali ovilli, and another with tali 

1 find in the Tauchnitz Dutch Dictionary — ' Bihkel, cockal. Bikkelen, 
to play at cockals.' Here cockal is the old name for a game with four 
hucklebones (Halliwell), and is further made to mean the hucklebone 
itself. The same Dutch Dictionary gives — ' Bihhen, to notch (the mill- 

In Wackemagel's Altdeutsches Handworterbuch, we find — *BicJtel^ 
Picket, Spitzhacke; Wtirfel,' i.e. (i) a pick-axe; (2) a die. AlsQ 


*Biekel$piU Warfelspiel'; i.e. a game at dice. Wackernagel refers the 
etym gy to the verb hichen or picken, to pick or peck, which is clearly 
the sarnie as the Dutch bikken, to notch. 

We may safely conclude (i) that the reading hicehed is correct; 
(2) that the English term bicehtd boon is equivalent to the Dutch bikkel, 
Ger. bkhtl, and means a die. Further, it seems to nfe a fair conclusion 
that bicehed means pecked or pitted, or notched, in allusion to the spots 
marked on it by making slight holes on the surface ; thus the bicehed 
bones two would mean * the two spotted bones,* a sufficient equivalent 
for ' a piar of dice.' Nor is it out of place to observe that picks, in the 
North of England, means the suit of diamonds at cards; whilst, in 
French, picque means a spade, also at cards. Whence it is not im- 
probable that picks once meant what we now call pips. According 
to this hypothesis, bicehed is nothing more than a various spelling of 
picked or pecked. The change from 6 to ^ is fairly supported by the 
German bicke, also spelt picke, a pick-axe (Fliigel's Diet.), and by the 
change in the English word beak as compared with peak ; cf. Welsh pig, 
meaning both beak and peak. The equivalence of the forms pick and 
pitch is familiar to all readers of Shakespeare; see Cor. i. i. 204 — *as 
high As I could pick my lance.* Of course cch is the usual fourteenth^ 
century spelling for the later tch, as in picche atwo, to peck in twain. 
Piers Plowman, B. vi. 105. 

Further research confirms the above conclusions, and renders theni 
certain. I quote a few more authorities, for the reader's satis&ction, 
without by any means exhausting the subject. 

Hexham's Dutch Dictionary gives : — • Een Bickel, ofte [or] Pickel, 
a hucklebone, or a die. Bickel, a pounce, or a graver. Bickelen, ofte 
Pickelen, to play at dice. Bickelen, ofte Bicken, to cutt, pink, or 
engrave. Een Bickeler, ofte Bicker, a stone-hewer, a stone- carver, 
or a cutter. Bicken, to cut or came.* The Icel. pikka means both to 
pick and to prick. The A. S. picung means a stigma, or mark caused 
by burning. The German Pickel is explained by Heinsius as * ein 
kleines Fleck, ein kleines Geschwiir auf der Haut* ; and pickeln, he says, 
is ' sanft picken, mit etwas Spitzigem leise beriihren.' In Kiittner and 
Nicholson's German Dictionary I find ' Picken, to peck with the bill, as 
birds do. Ein Vogel, der sich picket, a bird that picks, pecks, or 
proins itself.' This last throws a clear light on apiked in Chaucer's 
Prologue, I. 365, 

Perhaps also wtbychid may mean unmarked, and therefore useless; 
this would exactly suit the context 'Unbychid, unbayn,* useless and 

I hope this long note on a crucial point may be excused. 

1. 663. Pryme, about nine o'clock; see notes to Non. Pr. Tale, 35; 


and to Gronp B. 2015 (Sir Thopas). Here it means the canonical hoar 
for prayer so called, to announce which bells were rung. 

1. 664. A hand-bell was carried before a corpse at a funeral by the 
sexton. See Rock, Church of Our Fathers, ii. 471 ; Grindal*s Works, 
p. 136. 

1. 666. TluU oon of them, the one of them ; the old phrase for ' one of 
them.' Knave, boy. 

1. 667. Go bet, lit. go better, i.e. go quicker; a term of encourage- 
ment to dogs in the chase. So in the Legend of Good Women (Dido, 
1. 288) we have — 

* The herde of hartes founden is anon, 
With "hey! go bet! prick thou! let gon. let gon!'" 
Halliwell says — * Go bet, an old hunting cry, often^ introduced in a more 
general sense« See Songs and Carols, xv. ; Shak. Soc. Pap. i. 58 ; 
Chaucer, C. T. 12601 [the present passage]; Dido, 288; Tyrwhitt's 
notes, p. 278 ; Ritson's Anc. Pop. Poetry, p. 46. The phrase is men- 
tioned by [Juliana] Bemers in the Boke of St. Alban's, and seems 
nearly equivalent to go along* It is strange that no editor has per- 
ceived the exact sense of this very simple phrase. Cf. * Keep het my 
good/ i.e take better care of my property; Shipmannes Tale, third 
line from the end. 

1. 679. This pestilence, during this plague. Alluding to the Great 
Plagues that took place in the reign of Edward III. There were four 
such, viz. in 1348-9, 1361-2, 1369, and 1375-6. As Chaucer probably 
had the story from an Italian source, the allusion must be to the first 
and worst of these, the effects of which spread nearly all over Europe, 
and which was severely felt at Florence, as we learn from the descrip- 
tion left by Boccaccio. See note to Piers Plowman, B. v. 13 (Clar. 

1. 684. My dame, my mother ; as in Piers Plowman, B. v. 37. 

1. 695. Auow, vow ; to make auow is the old phrase for to vow, 
Tyrwhrtt alters it to a vow, quite unnecessarily ; and the same alteration 
has been made by editors in other books, owing to want of familiarity 
with old MSS. It is true that the form vow does occur, as, e.g. in 
P. Plowm. B. prol. 71 ; but it is no less certain that emow occurs also, 
and was the older form ; since we have, in another passage, the phrase 
• I make myn avou* P. Plowman, A. v. 218 ; where no editorial sophistica- 
tion can evade giving the right spelling. Equally clear is the spelling 
in the Prompt. Parv. — *Avowe, Votum. Awowyn, or to make awowe, 
Voveo.* And Mr. Way says — * Auowe, veu ; Palsgrave. This word 
occurs in R. de Brunne, Wiclif, and Chaucer. The phrase " performed 
his auowe" occurs in the Legenda Aurea, fol. 47.' Those who are 
familiar with MSS. know that a prefixed a is often written apart from 


■the word; thus the word now spelt aeeotd is often written *a 
corde* ; and so on. Hence when the word is really ont word, it is still 
often written *a now/ and is naturally printed a vow in two words, 
where no such result was intended. T3rrwhitt himself prints nun 
avow in the Knightes Tale, 1. 1379, ^^^ again this avow in the same, 
1* 1556; where no error is possible. See more on this word in my 
note to 1. I of Chevy Chase, in Spec, of Eng. I394-I579< I have 
there said that the form vow does not occur in early writers ; I should 
rather have said, it is not the usual form. For the etymology, see the 

1. 698. Brother, i.e. sworn friend; see Kn. Tale, 273, 289. In 1. 704, 
yboren brother means brother by birth. 

1. 709. To-rente, tare in pieces, dismembered. See note to 1. 474 

1. 713. This ' old man' answers to the romiio or hermit of the Italian 

1.715. Tyrwhitt, in his Glossary, remarks — * God you see! 775 1- 
God him seel 4576. May God keep you, or him, in his sight! In 
Troilus, ii. 85, it is fuller : — God you save and see /* Gower has — * And 
than I bidde, God hir seeV Conf. Amant. bk. iv (ed. Chalmers, p. 116, 
col. 2). Cf. ' now loke the owre lorde I' P. Plowman, B. i. 207, See 
also 1. 766 below. 

1. 727. This is a great improvement upon the Italian tale, which 
represents the hermit as fleeing from death. * Fratelli miei, io fuggo la 
morte, che mi vien dietro cacciando mi.* 

1. 731. Leue moder, dear mother Earth. 

1. 734. Cheste. Mr. Jephson (in Bell's edition) is puzzled here. He 
takes cheste to mean a coffin, which is certainly the sense in the Clerk's 
Prologue, E. 29. The probable solution is that cheste refers here, not to 
a coffin, but to the box for holding clothes which, in olden times, almost 
invariably stood in every bedroom, at the foot of the bed. ' At the 
foot of the bed there was usually an iron-bound hutch or locker, which 
served both as a seat, and as a repository for the apparel and wealth of 
the owner, who, sleeping with his sword by his side, was prepared 
to protect it against the midnight thief;' Our English Home, p. loi. 
It was also called a coffer, a hutch, or an ark. This makes the sense 
clear. The old man is ready to exchange his chest, containing all 
his worldly gear, for a single hair-doth, to be used as his shroud. 

1. 743. In the margin of MSS. £., Hn., and Pt., is the quotation 
* Coram canuto capite consurge,' from Levit. xix. 32. Hence we must 
understand Agayns in 1. 743, to mean before, or in presence of, 

1. 748. God be with you is said, with probability, to have been the 
original of our modem unmeaning Good bye I Go or ride, a general 



phrase for locomotion ; go here means wtdk, Cp. ' ryde or' go ' ; Kn. 
Tale, 493. Cf. note to 1. 866. 

1. 771. The readings are: — E. Hn. Cm. an ,viij,; Ln. a .vij.; Cp. Pt, 
HI. a seuen. The word eigkte is disyllabic; cf. A. S. taJuot Lat octo. 
Wei ny an eighie husshels — y try nearly the quantity of eight bushels. 
The mention oi florins is quite in keeping with the Italian character of 
the poem. Those coins were so named because originally coined at 
Florence, the first coinage being in 1252; note in Cary's Dante, In- 
ferno, c. XXX. The value of an English florin was 6s. %d, ; see note 
to Piers Plowman, ii. 143 (Clar. Press). There is an excellent note 
on florins in Thynn^'s Animadversions on Speght's Chaucer, ed. 
Fumivall, p. 45. 

1. 781. In allusion to the old proverb— * Lightly come, lightly go.* 
Cotgrave, s.v. Fleute, gives the corresponding French proverb thus : — 
* Ce qui est venu par la fleute s'en retoume avec le tabourin ; that the 
pipe hath gathered, the tabour scattereth; goods ill gotten are com- 
monly ill spept.' 

1. 782. Wende, would have weened, would have supposed. It is the 
past tense subjunctive. 

1. 790. Doon vs konge, lit cause (men) to hang us ; we should now 
say, cause us to be hanged. * The Anglo-Saxons nominally punished 
theft with death, if above i2d. value; but the criminal could redeem his 
life by a ransom. In the 9th of Henry I. this power of redemption was 
taken away, 1 108. The punishment of theft was very severe in England, 
till mitigated by Peel's acts, 9 and 10 Geo. IV. 1829.* — Haydn, s.v. 

1. 793. To draw citts is to draw lots ; see Prologue, 835, 838, 845. 
A number of straws were held by one of the company ; the rest drew 
one apiece, and whoever drew the shortest was the one on whom the lot 
fell. The shortest straw was the cut, i.e. the one cut short ; cf. Welsh 
ewtau, to shorten ; cwta, short ; ewiws, a lot. In France the custom 
was reversed ; the lot fell on him who drew the longest ; so that their 
phrase was — * tirer la longue paille.* 

1. 797. So in the Italian story — ' rechi del pane e del vino,' let him 
fetch bread and wine. 

1. 806-894. Here Chaucer follows the general sense of the Italian 
story rather closely, but with certain amplifications. 

1. 807. Tliai oon, the one ; that other, the other. 

1. 819. Conseil, a secret; as in P. Plowman, B. v. 168. We still 
say — ' to keep one's own counsel.* 

1. 844. So the Italian story — * II Demonio . . . mise in cuore a costui,* 
&c. ; the" devil put it in his heart. 

1. 848. Leue, leave. * That he had leave to bring him to sorrow.' 


1. 851-878. Of this graphic description there is no trace in the Italian 
story as we now have it. Cf. Rom. and Juliet, v. i. 

L 860. Al so, as. The sense is — as (I hope) God may save my soul. 
That our modem as is for ah, which is short for also, from the A. S. 
eallswa, is now well known. This fact was doubted by Mr. Singer, 
but Sir F. Madden, in his Reply to Mr. Singer's remarks upon Havelok 
the Dane, accumulated such a mass of evidence upon the subject as to 
set the question at rest for ever. It follows that as and also are 
doublets, or various spellings of the same word. 

1. 865. Sterue, die ; A. S. steorfan. The cognate German sUrben 
retains the old general sense. See 1. 888 below. 

1. 866. Goon a paas, walk at an ordinary foot-pace ; so also, a litd 
more than paas, a little faster than at a foot-pace, Prol. 825. Cotgrave 
has — 'AUer le pas, to pace, or go at a foot-pace; to walk fair and 
softly, or &ire and leisurely.' Nat but, no more than only ; cf. North of 
England nobbut. The time meant would be about twenty minutes at 

1. 888. In the Italian story — ' amendue caddero morti,' both of them 
fell dead. 

889. Auyeen, Avicenna; mentioned in the Prologue, 1. 432. Avi- 
cenna, or Ibn-Sina, a celebrated Arabian philosopher and physician, 
bom near Bokhara a.d. 980, died ▲.d. 1037. His chief work was a 
treatise on medicine known as the Canon (* Kit4b al-Kanun fi'1-Tibb,' 
that is, * Book of the Canon in medicine*). This book, alluded to in 
the next line, is divided into books and sections ,* and the Arabic word 
for * section* is in the Latin version denoted by fen, from the Arabic 
fana, a branch. Chaucer's expression is not quite correct; he seems 
to have taken canon in it usual sense of rule, whereas it is really the 
title of the whole work. It is much as if one were to speak of Dante's 
work in the terms — * such as Dante never wrote in any Divina Com- 
media nor in any canto^' Lib. iv. Fen i of Avicenna's Canon treats 
•De Venenis.' 

1. 895. Against this line is written, in MS. £. only, the word 
'Auctor'; to shew that the paragraph contained in 11. 895-903 is a 
reflection by the author. 

1. 897. The final e in glutonye is preserved by the csesural pause ; but 
the scansion of the line is more easily seen by supposing it suppressed. 
Hence in order to scan the line, suppress the final e in glutonye, lay the 
accent on the second u in luxurie, and slur over the final -ie in that 
word. Thus — 

O glut I ony* I luxii | Tie and has | ardrye || 

1. 904. Good men is the common phrase of address to hearers in old 
homilies, answering to the modem *dear brethren.* The Pardoner, 

M 2 


having told his tale (after which Chaucer himself has thrown in a 
moral reflection) proceeds to improve his opportunity by addressing 
the audience in his usual professional style ; see 1. 915. 

1. 908. So in P. Plowman, B. prol. 75, it is said of the Pardoner that 
he ' raughte with his ragman [bull] rynges and broekes* 

1. 910. Cometh is to be pronounced Conith, as in ProL 839 ; so also in 
L 925 below. 

1. 920. Male, bag ; see Prol. 694. 

1. 930. Nohle, a coin worth 6s. 8J., fiist coined by Edward III. about 
1339. See note to P. Plowman, B. iii. 45 (Clar. Press). 

1.935. The first two syllables in peraudnture are to be very rapidly 
pronounced; it is not uncommon to find the spelling peraunter^ as 
in P. Plowman, B. zi. 10. 

1. 937. Whieh a, what sort of a, how great a, what a. 

1. 945. ye^for a grote, yea, even for a groat, i.e. 4A 

1. 946. Haue 7, may I have ; an imprecation. 

L 947. So theech, a colloquialism for so thee ieh, so may I thrive. 
The Host proceeds to abuse the Pardoner in no very decent terms. 

1. 962. Ryght enough^ quite enough ; ryght is an adverb. 


For general remarks on this Tale, see the Preface. 

Prozx>oue. This consists of twelve stanzas, and is at once divisible 
into three parts. 

(i) The first four stanzas, the idea of which is taken from Jehan de 
Vignay*s Introduction to his French translation of the Legenda Aurea. 
This Introduction is reprinted at length, from the Paris edition of 1 513, 
in the Originals and Analogues published by the Chaucer Society, 
pt. ii. p. 190. 

(2) The Invocation to the Virgin, in stanzas 5-1 1; see note to 
11. 29, 36. 

(3) An Envoy to the reader, in stanza 1 2 ; see note to 1. 78. 

Line i. Jehan de Vignay attiibutes the idea of this line to St. Bernard. 
He says — * Et pour ce que oysiuete est tant blasmee que sainct Bernard 
dit qu'elle est mere de truffes [mother of trifles], marrastre de vertus : . . . 
et &it estaindre vertu et nourrir orgueil* 8cc. Chaucer says again, in 
his Persones Tale (de Acddia) — 'And though that ignorance be the 
mother of aUe harmes, certes, negligence is the noriee.* 


I. 2. Tdelnesse, idleness ; considered as a branch of Sloth, which was 
one of the Seven Deadly Sins. See Chaucer's Persones Tale, De Aecidia, 

1. 3. Chaucer took this idea from the Romaunt of the Rose; see 
11. 538-594 of the English version, where a lover is described as 
knocking at the wicket of a garden, which was opened by a beautiful 
maiden named Idleness. He afterwards repeated it in the Knightes 
Tale, 1. 1082; and again in the Persones Tale (de Aecidia) — 'Than 
cometh ydelnesse, that is the jrate [gatt\ of all harmes . . . Certes 
heuen is yeuen to hem that will labour, and not to ydel folke.' 

4. To eschue, to eschew; the gerund. The sentence really begins 
with 1. 6, after which take the words to esckue; then take 11. 1-3, 
followed by the rest of 1. 4 and by 1. 5. 

7. Jehan de Vignay's Introduction begins &us. ' Monseigneur sainct 
hierosme dit oeste auctorite — ** Fays tousiours aucune chose de bien, que 
le dyable ne te trouue oyseux.*" That is, he refers us to St. Jerome for 
the idea. We are reminded, too, of the familiar lines by Dr. Watts — 

*For Satan finds some mischief still 
For idle hands to do.' 

8. Cf. Persones Tale (de Aecidia) — * An idel man is like to a place 
that hath no walles, theras deuiles may enter on euery side.* 

14. Cf. Pers. Tale (de Aecidia) — * Ayenst this roten sinne of accidie 
and slouthe shulde men exercise hemself, and use hemself to do good 
werkes;' &c. 'Laborare «st orare' was the &mous motto of St. 

]. 15. Thovgh men dradden, even if men should fear. 

1. 17. Roten, rotten; the Harleian MS. reads rou of, i.e. root of. 
Yet roten seems right ; observe its occurrence in the note to 1. 14 above. 

1. 19. ' And (men also) see that Sloth holds her in a leash, (for her) to 
do nothing but sleep, and eat and drink, and devour all that others 
obtain by toil.' The reading hir refers to Idleness, which, as I have 
before explained, was a branch of Sloth, and was personified by a 
female. See notes to 11. 2 and 3 above. Tyrwhitt has kem, which 
is not in any of our seven MSS. 

1. 21. Compare Piers Plowman, B. prol. 21, 22 — 

* In settyng and in sowyng ' swonken ful harde. 
And wonnen that wastours • with glotonye destruyeth.' 

1. 25. A/ier the legende, following the Legend ; i. e. the Legenda 

1. 27. St. Cecilia and St. Dorothea are both depicted with garlands. 
Mrs. Jameson tell us how to distinguish them in her Sacred and 
Legendary Art, 3rd ed. 591. She also says, at p. 35 — *The wreath 
of roses on the brow of St. Cecilia, the roses or fruits borne by 
St. Dorothea, are explained by the legends.* And again, at p. 36-— 


'White and red roses expressed love and innocence, or love and 
wisdom, as in the garland with which the angels crown St. Cecilia.' 
Red was the symbol of love, divine fervour, &c. ; white, of light, purity, 
innocence, virginity. See 11. 220, 244, 279. The legend of St Dorothea 
forms the subject df Massinger's Virgin Martyr. 

1. 29. Virgines must be a trisyllable here; such words are often 
shortened to a disyllabic. The word thou is addressed to the Virgrin 
Mary. In the margin of MSS. £. and Hn. is written — 'Inuocatio 
ad Mariam.' 

1. 30. Speaking of St. Bernard, Mrs. Jameson says—' One of his most 
celebrated works, the Missus est, was composed in her honour [i. e. in 
honour of the Virgin] as Mother of the Redeemer; and in eighty 
Sermons on texts from the Song of Solomon, he set forth her divine 
perfection as the Selected and Espoused, the type of the Churdi on 
earth' ; Legends of the Monastic Orders, 2nd ed. p. 144. 

See a further illustration of the great favour shewn by the Vii^c 
to St. Bernard at p. 142 of the same volume; and, at p. 145, the 
description of a painting by Murillo, quoted from Stirling's Spanish 
Painters, p. 914. See also Dante, Paradiso, xxxi. 102. 

1. 32. Confort of us wreeches^ comfort of us miserable sinners ; see 
note to 1. 58. 

Do me endyte, cause me to indite. 

1* 54* Ofihefeend, over the Fiend. Tyrwhitt reads over for rf, but it 
is unnecessary. 

1. 36. Lines 36-51 are a free . translation of a passage in Dante's 
Paradiso, Canto xxxiii. 11. 1-2 1 ; and are quoted In the notes to Cary's 

*■ Vergine madre, figlia del tuo Figlio, 
Umile ed alta piii che creatura, 
Termine fisso d'etemo consiglio, 
Tu se' colei che 1' umana natura 
Nobilitasti si, che il suo Fattore 
Non disdegnd di farsi sua fattura. 
Nel ventre tuo si raccese 1' amore. 
Per lo cui caldo nell' eterna pace 
Co^ h germinato questo fiore. 
Qui sei a noi meridiana face 

Di caritade, e giuso, intra i mortali, 
S4' di speranza fontana vivace. 
Donna, se' tanto grande, e tanto vali, 

Che qual vuol grazia, e a te non ricorre. 
Sua disianza vuol volar senz' ali. 
^ hit 54* La tua benignity non pur soccorre 
















1^* 53» 54* A chi dimanda, ma molte fiate 

11> 55> 36. Liberamente al dimandar precorre. 

1. 51. In te misericordia, in te pietate, 

L 50. In te magnificenza, in te sVduna 

Quatunque in creatura e di bontate.' 

The numbers at the side denote the corresponding lines. 

1. 40. Nobledest, didst ennoble ; Dante^s ' nobilitasti.* 

1. 42. The translation is inexact. Dante says — 'that its Maker (i.^. 
the Maker of human nature) did not disdain to become His own 
creature,' i.e. born of that very human nature which He had Himself 
created. Cf. 1. 49. 

1. 45. *That is, Lord and Guide of the threefold space'; i.e. of the 
three abodes of things created, viz. the earth, the sea, and the heavens. 

1. 46. Out of releeSf without release, i. e. without relaxation, without 
ceasing. Out of means without, as is clear from Prol. 487 ; Kn. Tale, 
283; and relees means acquittance (O. Fr. relais); see Cler. Tale, E. 
153, and Relesse in Gloss. Index to Prioresses Tale, &c. There has 
been some doubt about the meaning of this phrase, but there need be 
none ; especially when it is remembered that to release is another form 
of to relax, so that relees ^relaxation, i.e. slackening. The idea is the 
same as that so admirably expressed in the Prolog im Himmel to 
Goethe's Faust. 

1. 50. Assembled is in tJiee, there is united in thee ; cf. Dante — ' in te 
s'aduna.* This stanza closely resembles the fourth stanza of the 
Prioresses Prologue, B. 1664-1670; see Prioresses Tale, p. 10. 

1. 52. Sonne, By all means let the reader remember that sonne was 
probably feminine in English in Chaucer's time, as it is in German, 
Dutch, and Icelandic to this day. It will be found, however, that 
Chaucer commonly idendifies the sun with Phoebus, making it mas- 
culine ; see Prol. 8, Kn. Tale 635. Still, there is a remarkable example 
of the old use in the first rubric of Part ii. of Chaucer's Astrolabie 
— *To fynde the degree in which the sonne is day by day, after hir 
cours a-bowte.' So again, in Piers Plowman, B. xviii. 243 — • And lo ! 
how the Sonne gan louke ker lighte in herself* 

1. 56. Her lyues leche, the physician of their lives (or life). 

1. 58. Flemed wrecehe, banished exile. The proper sense of A. S. 
wrcecca is an exile, a stranger ; and thence, a miserable being, an exile. 
The phrase 'fleming of wrecches,' i.e. banishment of the miserable, 
occurs in Chaucer's Troilus, iii. 935 (ed. Tyrwhitt). And see above, 
B. 460. 

Gcdle^ bitterness. There is probably an allusion to the name Mary, 
and- to the Hebrew mar, fem. m&rdh, bitter. Cf. Exod. xv. 23 ; Acts 
viii. 23; Ruth i. 20. 


1. 59. Womman Cananee, a translatioit of mutter Chananaa in the 
Vulgate version of Mat. xv. 22 » Wyclif calls her *a womman of 

1. 60. Compare Wydifs version — • the Utel whelpis eten of the 
crummys that fallen doun fro the bord of her lordis' ; Mat. xv. 27. 

1. 62. Sone of Eut, son of Eve, i.e. 'the author himself. This, as 
Tyrwhitt remarks (Introd. Discourse, note 30) is a clear proof that the 
Tale was never properly revised to suit it for the cc^ection. The 
expression is unsuitable for the supposed narrator, the Second Nun. 

1. 64. See James ii. 17, 

1. 67. Full of grace; alluding to the phrase *Aue gmtia plena* in 
Luke i. 28. 

1. 68. Adu6cat, accented on the penultinutte. 

1. 69. Thtr as, where that. Osanne, Hosanha, i.e. 'Save, we pray,' 
from Fs. cxviii. 25. See Concise Diet, of the Bible. 

1. 70. The Virgin Mary was said to have been the daughter of 
Joachim and Anna ; see the Pi^tevangelion of James, and the Legenda 
Aurea, cap. cxxi — ' De natiuitate beatae Maitae uirginis.* 

1. 75. Hauen ofrefui, haven of refuge. See the same term similarly 
applied in B. 852, above. 

1. 78. Reden, read. This is still clearer prbof that the story was not 
originally meant to be narrated. Cf. note to 1. 62. 

1. 82. Hinit i.e. Jacobus Januensis; see the Pre&ce. 

1. 83. Hir legende, her (St. Cecilia's) legend as told in the Aurea 

L 84. The five stanzas in IL 85-119 really belong to the Legend itself, 
and are in the original Latin. Throughout the notes to the rest of this 
Tale I follow the 2nd edition of the Legenda Aurea, cap. clxix, as 
edited by Dr. Th. Grasse ; Leipsic, 1850. 

1. 87. Several of the Legends of the Saints begin with ridiculou& 
etymologies. Thus the Legend of S. Valentine (Aur. Leg. cap. xlii) 
begins with the explanation that Valentinus meiuis ualorem tenens, 
or else ualens tyro. So here, as to the etymology of Csedlia, we are 
generously offered five solutions, all of them being wrong. As it is 
hopeless to understand them without consulting the original, I shall 
quote as much of it as is necessary, arranged in a less confused order. 
The true etymology is, of course, that Csecilia is the feminine of 
Caecilius, a name borne by members of the Csecilia gens, which claimed 
descent from Cseculus, an ancient Italian hero, son of Vulcan, who is 
said to have founded Prseneste. Cseculus, probably a nickname, can 
hardly be other than a mere diminutive of caeus, blind. The legendary 
etymologies are right, accordingly, only so £eu- as they relate to c<ec«s. 
Beyond that, they are strange indeed. 


The following are the etymologies, with their reasons. 

(i) Caecilia :=: coeli lilia (stV), i.e. heuenes lilie. Reasons:^*-' Fuit enim 
coeieste lilium per uirginitatis pudorem ; uel dicitur liliunit quia habuit 
candorem munditiae, uirorem consdentiae, odorem bonae famae.' See 
11. 87-91. Ihxi&grene (—greenness) translates uirorem, 

(2) Csecilia = caecis uia, i.e. the vtey to blynde, a path for the blind. 
Reason : — ' Fuit enim caecis uia per exempli informationem.* See 11. 9a, 


(3) Ceecilia is from eoelum and /ya. * Fuit enim • . . eoelvm per iugem 

contemplationem, lya per assiduam operationem.* Here lya, having no 
sense in Latin, must be the Gk. Xicof, very much, sometimes appearing 
as Xi- in compounds. See U. 94 -98. 

(4) Csecilia, * quasi caecitate carens.* This is on the celebrated 
principle of ' lucus a non lucendo.* Reason :— ' fuit caecitate carens per 
sapientiae splendorem.* See. 11. 99-101. 

(5) * Uel dicitur a coelo et 7ms, i. e. populus.' Here, again, recourse 
is had to Greek, viz. Gk. Xc^s, the Attic form of Xa^«. Reason : — * fuit 
et eoelum populi, quia in ipsa tamquam in coelo spirituali populus 
ad imitandum intuetur eoelum, solem, lunam, et Stellas, i.e. sapientiae 
perspicacitatem, fidei magnanimitatem et uirtutum uarietatem.' See 
11. 102-112. 

11. 1 1 3-1 18. Chaucer has somewhat varied the order; this last stanza 
belongs in the Latin to derivation (3), though it may serve also for deriva* 
tion (5). It is probably for this reason that he has reserved it. The Latin 
is — 'Uel dicitur eoelum, quia, sicut didt Ysidorus, eoelum philosophi 
uolubile, rotundum et ardens esse dixerunt. Sic et ipsa fuit uolubilis 
per operationem soUicitam, rotunda per perseuerantiam, ardens per 
caritatem succensam.' For the swiftness and roundness of heaven, see 
note to B 295. The epithet burning is due to quite another matter, 
not explained in that note. The nine astronomical spheres there 
mentioned did not suffice for the wants of theology. Hence a tenth 
sphere was imagined, external to the ninth, and revolving with it 
(apparently). This outermost sphere was called the empyrceum (from 
Gk. l/iirvpos, burning, which from &, in, and nvp, fire) where the 
pure element of fire sub^ted alone, and it was supposed to be the 
abode of saints and angels. Milton, in his Paradise Lost, uses the 
word empyrean six times, ii. 771, iii. 57, vi. 833, vii. 73, 633, x. 321 ; and 
the word empyreal eleven times. 

1. X20. For some account of St. Csedlia, see the Preface. 

1. 133. An heyre, a hair shirt. The usual expression ; see P. Plow- 
man, B. V. 66. Lat. text — ' dlido erat induta.' 

1. 134. The organs ; I-at. * cantantibus organis.' We should now say 
* the organ' ; but in old authors the plural form is commonly employed. 


Sometimes the word organ seems to refer to a single pipe only, and the 
whole instrument was called 'the organs' or *a pair of organs/ where 
pair means a set, as in the phrase *a peire of bedes'; Ch. Prol. 159- 
Thus, in a burlesque poem in Reliquiae Antiquae, i. 81, a porpoise is 
described as playing on the organ : — * On tho organs playde tho porpas.* 
In a note to Sir J. CuUum's Hist of Hawsted, 2nd. ed. p. 33, the expres- 
sion 'pair of organs' is shewn to occur in three accounts, dated 1521, 
1536, and 1 61 8 respectively. See another example in Dr. Morris's note 
to Nonne Prestes Tale, 1. 3it where Chaucer uses orgoon as a plural, 
equivalent to the Lat. organa. On the early meaning of organum, see 
ChappeU's Hist, of Music, i. 327. The invention of organs dates from 
the third century' b.c. ; id. i. 325. See Dante, Purg. ix. 144, and the 
note to Gary's translation. It is worth adding, that another interpre- 
tation of organs is equally possible here ; it may mean musical instru- 
ments of all kinds ; since St. Augustine says — ' organa dicuntur omnia 
instrumenta musicorum* ; Comment, in Psalm 56 ; ChappelVs Hist. 
Music, i. 375, note a. In accordance with this view, the French text 
translates organis by les instrumens, 

St. Cecilia is commonly considered the patroness of music; see 
Dryden's Ode for St. Cecilia's day, and Alexander's Feast, 11. 1 32-1 41. 
But the connection of her with music is not very ancient, as Mrs. 
Jameson explains. The reason for this connection seems to me dear 
enough, viz the simple fact that the word organis occurs in this very 
passage. The workers at various trades all wanted patron saints, and 
must in many cases have been driven to select them on very trivial 
grounds. Thus, because St. Sebastian was shot by arrows, he became 
the patron saint of archers ; and so on. See several examples in 
Chambers, Book of Days, ii. 388. Besides, St. Cecilia is here represented 
as singing herself—* in corde soli domino decantabat dicens' ; see L 

1. 145. Conseil, a secret; Lat. 'mysterium.' And so in 1. 192, and in 

P. Plowm. B. V. 168 ; see note to C. 819 above. And, if. 

1. 150. Here, her, is a disyllabic in Chaucer whenever it ends a line, 
which it does six times ; see e. g. B. 460 ; Kn. Tale 1 199. This is quite 
correct, because the A.S. form hire is disyllabic also. 

1. 173. Chaucer has here mistranslated the Latin. It is not said that 
the Via Appia (which led out of Rome through the Porta Capena to 
Aricia, Tres Tabemse, Appii Forum, and so on towards Capua and 
Brundusium) was situated three miles from Rome ; but that Valerian is 
to go along the Appian Wayas far as to the third milestone. *Uade 
igitur in tertium milliarium ab urbe uia quae Appia nuncupatur.' 

1. 177. Vrban, St. Urban's day is May 25. This is Urban I., pope, 
who succeeded Calixtus, a.d. 22a. Besides the notice of him in diis 


Tale, his legend is given separately in the Legenda Aurea, cap. Ixxvii. 
He was beheaded May 25, 230, and succeeded by Pontianus. 

1.178. Seere nedes, secret necessary reasons; Lat. *secreta man- 

1. 181. Pvirgedyow, viz. by the rite of baptism. 

1. 186. LoHnget lying hid. In MS. E., the Latin word latitantetn 
is written above, as a gloss. This was taken from the Latin text* 
which has — ^* intra sepulchra martirum latitantem.' Stratmann gives 
six examples of the use of lotien or lutien, to lie hid. It occurs once in 
P. Plowman, B. xvii. 102, where outlaws are described as lurking in 
wood^s and under banks. 

* For outlawes in ])e wode • and vnder banke lotyeth,^ 

Seintes buriels, burial-places of the saints ; Lat. * sepulchra martirum.' 
It is worth observing, perhaps, that the word bttrieh is properly singular, 
not plural ; of. A. S. byrigels, a sepulchre, and see ' the examples in 
Stratmann. In P. Plowman, B. xix. 14 a, the Jews are represented 
as guarding Christ's body because it had been foretold that He should 
rise from the tomb — 

' ]>at ])at blessed body * of hurieUs shulde rise.' 
Of course the mistake of supposing s to be the mark of a plural was 
made in course of time, and Ae singular form biryel was evolved. This 
mistake occurs as early as in Wyclifs Bible, IV Kings xxiii. 17; see 
Way's note in Prompt. Parv. p. 37, note i. Consequently, it is most 
likely that Chaucer has made tiie same mistake here. 

There is here a most interesting allusion to the celebrated catacombs 
of Rome, which are subterranean passages cut in the rock, and were 
used by the early Christians for the purpose of sepulture. See Chambers, 
Book of Days, i. loi, 102. 

1. aoi. An eld man ; i.e. an angel in the form of an old man, viz. 
St. Paul. Cf. note to 1. 207. 

1. 202. With httre of gold; Lat. *tenens librum aureis litteris scrip- 
tum.' L. 203 is not in the original. 

1. 305, 'When he (Valerian) saw him (the old man); and he (the 
old man) lifted up him (Valerian) ; and then he (Valerian) began thus 
to read in his (the old man's) book.' This is very ambiguous in 
Chaucer, but the Latin is clear. ' Quem uidens Ualerianus prae nimio 
timore quasi mortuus ceddit, et a sene leuatus sic legit.* 

1. 207. Oo lord, one lord. Tyrwhitt prints on, * to guard against the 
mistake which the editions generally have fallen into, of considering o, 
in this passage, as the sign of the vocative case.' For the same reason, 
I have printed Oo, as in MS. Pt., ia preference to the single o, as in 
most MSS. Even one of the scribes has fallen into the trap, and 
!faas written against this passage-*-' Et lamentat.' See MS. Cp., in the 


Six text edition. The fkct is, obviously, that It. 207-209 are a dose 
translation of £ph. iv. 5, 6. Hence the old man must be St PauL 

1. 208. Christendonit baptism ; Lat. 'baptisma/ See 1. 217. 

1. 223, 224. That oon, the one; sometimes written thi ton or tke Akw. 
That other, the other; sometimes written th^ totktr. *The ton* is 
obsolete; but 'the tother' may still be heard. Thai is the neuter of 
the A. S. def. article ce, t«o, "pat; cf. Germ, der, die, doe. 

As to the signification of the red and white flowers, see note to 
1. 27 above. 

Compare Act v. Sc. i of Massinger*s Virgin Martyr, where an angel 
brings flowers from St Dorothea, who is in paradise, to Theophilns. 
See note to 1. 248 below. 

1. 232. For, because; Lat 'quia.' 

1. 236. Afterwards repeated, very nearly, in Kn. Tale, 1. 338. 

1. 243. Sauour vndemom, perceived the scent; Lat. 'sensisset 

1. 248. Rose, We should have expected roses. Perhaps this is due 
to the peculiar form of the Latin text, which has — 'roseus hie odor 
et liliorum.* 

Compare the words of Theophilus in the Viigin Martyr, v. i. 

*What flowers are these? 
In Diocletian's gardens the most beauteous. 
Compared with these, are weeds; is it not February* 
The second day she died? frost, ice, and snow 
Hang on the beard of winter : where's the sun 
That gilds this summer? pretty, sweet boy, say, 
In what country shall a man find this garden?' 

1. 270. LI. 270-283 are certainly genuine, and the passage is in the 
Latin text. It is also in the French version, but it does not appear in 
the Early English version of the story printed by Mr. Fumivall from 
MS. Ashmole 43, nor in the English version printed by Caxton in 
1483. Tyrwhitt's supposition is no doubt correct, viz. that this passage 
'appears evidently to have been at first a marginal observation and 
to have crept into the [Latin] text by the blunder of some copyist.' 
He truly observes that these fourteen lines 'interrupt the narrative 
awkwardly, and to little purpose.' 

1. 271, Ambrose, *Huic miraculo de coronis rosarum Ambrosias 
attestatur in praefatione, sic dicens,' &c. I cannot find anything of the 
kind in the indices to the works of St. Ambrose. 

1. 276. Eek hir chambre, even hir marriage-chamber, i.e. even marriage. 
Weyue, waive, abandon. Lat. 'ipsum mundum est cum thalamis ex- 

1.377. Shrifte, confession. Lat*' testis est Ualeriani coniugis et 


Tiburtii prouocata confessio, quos, Domine, angelica manu odoriferis 
fioribus coronasti.' For Valerians^ all the MSS. have CtcUies, Whether 
the mistake is Chaucer's or his scribes', I cannot say; but it is so 
obviously a mere slip, that we need not hesitate to correct it. The 
French text is even clearer than the Latin ; it has — * et de cest tesmoing 
valerien son mary et t;burcien son frere.' Besides, the express mention 
of * these men' in 1. 281 is enough, in my opinion, to shew that the slip 
was no/ Chaucer's own ; or, any rate, was a mere oversight. 

1. 382. * The world hath known (by their example) how much, in all 
truth, it is worth to love such devotion to chastity.' Lat *mundus 
agnouit quantum ualeat deuotio castitatis; — haec Ambrosius.' This 
is quoted as St. Ambrose's opinion. The parenthesis ends here. 

1. 388. Bestt, i.e. void of understanding, as a beast of the field is. 
Lat. ' pecus est.' 

1. 315. And we, Tyrwhitt remarks that tot should have been us. 
But a glance at the Latin text shews what was in Chaucer's mind ; he 
is here merely anticipating the «/tf in 1. 518. Lat. 'et nos in illius 
flammis pariter inuoluemur, et dum quaerimus diuinitatem latentem 
m coelis, incurremus furorem exurentem in terris.* The sentence is 
awkward; but few was intended. The idiom has overridden the 

1. 319. CedU. This is one of the clearest instances to shew that 
Chaucer followed the Latin and not the French version. Lat. *Cui 
Caecilia'; Fr. *et valerien dist.' Mr. Fumivall has noted this and 
other instances, and there is no doubt about the matter. 

1. 32a SldlfuHy, reasonably; the usual meaning at this date. See 

1. 327. * And all that has been created by a reasonable Intelligence.' 

1. 329. Hath touded, hath endued with a soul, hath quickened ; Lat. 
' animauit* 

1. 335. godt one God. We must suppose this teaching to be in- 
cluded in the mention of Christ in 1. 295 ; otherwise there is no allusion 
to it in the words of Cecilia. The doctrine had been taught to Valerian 
however ; see 11. 207, 208. 

There are continual allusions, in the Lives of the Saints, to the 
difficulty of this doctrine. 

L 338. Chaucer is not quite exact. The Latin says that three things 
reside in a man's wisdom, the said wisdom being but one, * Sicut in 
una hominis sapientia tria sunt, ingenium, memoria et intellectus.' The 
notion resembles that in a favourite passage from Isidore quoted in 
Piers Plowman, B. xv. 39, to the effect that the soul (anima) has 
different names according to its functions. When engaged in remem* 
bering, we call it memoiy {memoria); when in judging, we call -it 


reason {ratio); and so on. Compare the curious illustrations of the 
doctrine of the Trinity in Piers Plowman, B. xvi. 220-224, xvii. 137— 
249. The illustration 'in the text is, as Mr. Jephson points out, by 
no means a good one. 

1. 341. The word Thre stands alone in the first foot. 

Thr^ I person | es miy | ther ryght | wel b^ j) 
See note to 1. 353. 

1.343. ConUf coming, i.e. incarnation; Lat. 'aduentu.' Tyrwhitt 
read sonde, i.e. sending, message; but incorrectly. 

1.345. WUkholde, detained, constrained to dwell; Lat. *tentiis'; 
Fr. * tenu.* 

1. 346. Hitherto Chaucer*s translation is, on the whole, irery close. 
Here he omits a whole sentence, and begins to abbreviate the story 
and alter it to suit himself. See his hint in 1. 360. 

1. 351. Tliat, who. In MS. E., the word is glossed by — 'qui. scilicet 
Vrbanus.' It is remarkable that the relative toko (as a simple relative^ 
without so suffixed) is hardly to be found in English of this date, in 
the nominative case. The A. S. -kwd is only used interrogatively. 
* Hwd (who) appears as a proper relative first in its dative warn or wan 
in Layamon, ii. 632, iii. 50 [about aj). 1200] ; in its genitive whas and 
dative wham in Ormulum, 3425, 10370 [about the same date]. The 
nominative who is found sometimes with a pronominal antecedent in 
Wycliffe, a.d. 1 382-3 (Isaiah i. 10), and becomes common as a full 
relative in Bemers' Froissart, a.d. 1523*; March, Anglo-Saxon Gram- 
mar, p. 179. 

1. 353. Goddes knyght, God's servant, or rather, God's soldier; see 
1. 383, and the note. In the A. S. version of the Gospels* Christ's 
disciples are called • leoming-cnihtas.' In the Ormulum and in Wyclif 
emht or kni'it sometimes means a servant, but more commonly a soldier. 
Priests are called 'goddes knyghtes' in Piers Plowman, B. xi. 304. 
In scanning this line, either leminge is of three syllables (which I doubt) 
or else the first syllable in Parfyt forms a foot by itself; see note 
to 1. 341 above. 

1. 362. Almache; Lat. * Almachius praefectus.' The reigning emperor 
was Alexander Severus (a.d. 222-235). 

1* 363. Apposed, questioned, examined ; written opposed in most MSS., 
but corrected by Tyrwhitt. Ed. 1561 also has aposed. A similar 
confusion occurs in the Freres Tale, D. 1597, where only two MSS., 
viz. Pt. and Ln., have the right spelling apposen, as 'against five 
others which wrongly read opposen. The right spelling occurs in 
MSS. of Piers the Plowman, where we find appose, to question, B. iii. 5 ; 
apposed, i. 47; apposeden, vii. 138. Skelton has it, in his Colin Clout, 


*For that they are not apposed 
By iust examinacyon 
In connyng and conuersacyon.* 
Mr. Dyce (note on this line) quotes from Horman— * He was apposed, 
or examyned of his byleue, De religione appellatus est;' Vulgaria, 
sig. Dii. ed. 1530. In Prompt. Parv. it is confused with oppose, 
Wedgwood explains that appose, or pose, lit. to lay near (Fr. apposer), 
was used in the particular sense of putting specific questions to a 
candidate for examination; whence the phrase an apposite answer, 
applied to one that was to the point; see his article on Pose, The 
shorter form pose occurs in Piers the Plowman, B. xvii. 293. 

1. 365. Saerifyse, sacrifice to the idol. This was the usual test to 
which Christians were" subjected ; see note to 1. 395. Compare Dan. 
iii. 14, 18. So in the Virgin Martyr, iv. a— 

*Bow but thy knee to Jupiter, and offer 
Any slight sacrifice; or do but swear 
By Caesar's fortune, and — be free!' 

1. 367. Thise martirs ; note that this is an accusative case. 

1. 369. Corniculere, a sort of officer. The note in Bell's edition, that 
the French version has prevost here, is wrong. The word prevost (Lat. 
praefectus) is applied to Almachius. Maximus was only a subordinate 
officer, and is called in the Early Eng. version (MS. Ashmole 43) the 
* gailer.' It is remarkable that Chaucer should make use of this strange 
word, because it is found neither in the Latin nor the French version. 

Riddle's Lat. Diet, gives — * Cornictdarius, -i. m. a soldier who was 
presented with a comiculum, and by means of it promoted to a higher 
rank ; hence, an assistant of an officer, Suetonius, Domit. 1 7 ; then also 
in the civil service, an assistant of a magistrate, a clerk, registrar, 
secretary; Cod. Just* 

* Comiculum, -i.n. (dimin. ofcomu), I. A little horn, Pliny; also, a 
small funnel of horn, Columella. 2. An ornament in the shape of a horn 
worn on the helmet, with which officers presented meritorious soldiers ; 
Livy, 10. 44.* 

Ducange gives several examples, shewing that the word commonly 
meant a secretary, clerk, or registrar. Tyrwhitt refers us to Pitiscus, 
Lex. Ant. Rom. s.v. Comicularius. 

1.373. Tormentoures, executioners; Lat. 'camifices.' See 1. 527. 
Cf. tormentor in Matt, xviii. 34. See Eastwood and Wright's Bible 

1. 380. Prestes, priests. The original says that pope Urban came 

1. 383. Knyghtes, soldiers ; as in 1. 353. Lat. * Eia milites Christi, 
abiidrte opera tenebrarum, et induimini arma luds.' See Rom. xiii. 12. 


1. 386. Tyrwhitt notes a slight defect in the use of ydoom in L 386* 
followed by doom in I. 387. The first six lines in this stanza are not in 
the original, but are imitated from a Tim. iv. 7, 8. 

L 395. ' This was the criterion. The Christians were brought to the 
image of Jupiter or of the Emperor, and commanded to join in the 
sacrifice, by eating part of it, or to throw a few grains of incense into 
the censer, in token of worship ; if they refused, they were put to death. 
— See Pliny*s celebrated letter to Trajan. Those who complied were 
termed saerijieaii and thurificati by the canons, and were excluded from 
the conmiunion for seven or ten years, or even till their death, according 
to the circumstances of their lapse. — See Binghism's Antiqtaiiest b. zvi. 
4. 5.* — Note in Bell's edition of Chancer. 

This stanza is represented in the original (in spite of the hint in 
1. 394) by only a few words. ' Quarto igitur mUliario ab urbe sancti ad 
statuam lovis ducuntur, et dum sacrificare nollent, pariter decollantur.' 

1. 405. To-hete, beat severely; didi him so io^te^ caused (men) to 
beat him so severely, caused him to be so severely beaten. I have 
no hesitation in adopting the reading of ed. 1561 here. To-beU is just 
the right word, and occurs in MSS. Cp. Ft Ln.; and, though these 
MSS. are not the best ones, it is dear that io-hett is the original reading, 
or it would not appear. I give two examples of the use of the word. 
* Ure men hi /o-6«/e/,* i.e. they severely beat our men ; Layamon's Brut, 
1. 3308. 'Me to-^Moi his cheoken, and spette him a schom;* men 
severely beat His cheeks, and spit upon Him in scorn ; Ancren Riwle, 
p. 106. See To'Toee and TVrm/f in Gloss, to Chauoer^s Prioresses Tale, 
&c.; see also Didt in the same. To scan the line, slur over -<«s in 
AlmachiuSt and accent didi, 

1. 406. Whippi of lud, i.e, a whip furnished with leaden plummets. 
Lat. ' eum plumbatis tamdiu caedi fecit,* &c. ; — ' il le fist tant batre de 
plombees,' Sec; Caxton— *he dyd do bete hym with plomettes of 

1. 413. Eneense, offer incense to ; see note to I. 395. 

1.414. Tluy, Over this word is written, in MS. £. — 'scilicet 
Ministres.' The Latin original says that Cecilia converted as numy 
as 400 persons upon this occasion. Hence the expression o voys (one 
voice) in 1. 420. 

1. 417. Wiihouten difftrtna^ i.e. without difierence in might, majesty, 
or glory. 

1. 430. Lewedly, ignorantly. The 'two answers' relate to her rank 
and her religion, subjects which had no real connection. 

1. 434. Lat. 'de consdenta bona et fide non ficta* ; cf. i Tim. i. 5. 

1. 437. 7b dreedi, to be feared; the gerund, and rights according 
to the old idiom. We still say — *he is to blame,* *this house io /«r.* 


March, in his Anglo-Saxon Grammar, p. 198, says— 'The gerund aftet 
the copula expresses what must, may, or should be done. 

* Ex. Mannes sunu is U sylUmne, the Son of Man must be delivered upf 
Matt. xvii. aa ;* &c. 

1. 442. Bigonne, didst begin ; the right form, for which Tyrwhitt has 
begonnest. For the Mid. £ng. higinnen we commonly find onginnan 
in Anglo-Saxon, and the form for the past tense is — ongan, ongunne, 
ongan ; pi. ongunnon. The form in Middle English is — higan, higunne 
(or bigonne), higan ; pi. bigunnen (or higonne). The very form here used 
occurs in the Ayenbite of Inwyt, ed. Morris, p. 71. The suffix -s/ does 
not appear in strong verbs ; cf. Thou sey, B. 848. 

The whole of 11. 443-467 varies considerably from the original, the 
corresponding passage of which is as follows. ' Cui Almachius : " ab 
iniuriis caepisti, et in iniuriis perseueras." Caecilia respondit : " iniuria 
non dicitur quod uerbis fallentibus irrogatur; unde aut iniuriam doce, 
si falsa locuta sum, aut te ipsum corripe calumniam inferentem, sed nos 
scientes sanctum Dei nomen omnino negare non possumus ; melius est 
enim feliciter mori quam infeliciter uiuere.'* Cui Almachius : " ad quid 
cum tanta superbia loqueris?" Et ilia: "non est superbia, sed con- 
stantia." Cui Almachius: '*infelix, ignoras,"' &c. (1. 468). However, 
Chaucer has adopted an idea from this in 11. 473, 475. 

L 463. To scan this, remember that luge has two syllables ; and 
accent eonfus on the first syllable. 

1. 485. Lat. * es igitur minister morfis, non uitae.* 

I. 487. Do wey, do away with ; Lat. • depone.* The phrase occurs 
again in the Milleres Tale; C. T. 3287, ed. Tyrwhitt. 

II. 489-497. These lines are wholly Chaucer's own. 

1. 498. Utter yen, outer eyes, bodily eyes. In MS. E., it fe glossed by 
* exterioribus oculis.' The Latin has — ' nesdo ubi oculos amiseris ; 
nam quos tu Deos dicis, omnes nos saxf esse uidemus; mitte igitur 
manum et tangendo disce, quod oculis non uales uidere.' 

1. 503. Taste, test, try ; Lat. * tangendo disce.* The word is now 
restricted to one of the five senses ; .it could once have been used also of 
the sense of feeling, at the least. Bottom even ventures on the strange 
expression — *I trust to taste of truest Thisbe*s sight C Mid. Nt. Dream, 
V. I. a8o ; such is the reading in the first folio. 

1. 505-511. This stanza is all Chaucer's own. 

I. 515. Bath offlamhes rede; Lat. *in buUiente balneo.* 

II. 516-522. The Latm merely has — * Quae quasi in loco frigido 
permansit, nee modicum saltem sudoris persensit.' 

1* 533- Lat. ' eam semiuiuam cruentus camifex dereliquit' 
1. 534. Is went, though only in the (excellent) Cambridge MS., is the 
right reading ; the rest have hi wente, sometimes misspelt he went, la 
VOL. m. N 


the first place, is went is a common phrase in Chauc6r; cf. Germafi 
er ist gegangen, and £ng. he it gone. But secondly, the fsdse rime detects 
the blunder at once ; Chaucer does not rime the weak past tense tuemi 
with a past participle like yhent. This Mras obvious to me at the first 
glance, but the matter was made sure by consulting Mr. Cromie's 
excellent ' Ryme-Index.' This at once gives the examples ie went, 
riming with pp. to-rent, £. loia (Clerkes Tale); is went, riming with 
instrument, F. 567 (Sq. Tale) ; is went, riming with innocent, B. 1 730^ 
and ben went, riming with pauement, B. 1869 (Prioresses Tale) ; all of 
which may be found in my edition of The Prioresses Tale, Sec. Besides 
this, there are two more examples, viz. be they went, r. w. saerement, 
£. 1701 ; and that he be went, r. w. sent, A. 3665. On the other hand, we 
find wente, sente, hente, and to-rente, all (weak) past tenses, and all 
riming together, in the Monkes Tale, B. 3446. The student should 
particularly observe an instance like this. The rules of rime in Chaucer 
are, on the whole, so carefully observed that, when once they are learnt, 
a false rime jars upon the ear with such discord as to be unpleasantly 
remarkable, and should be at once detected. 

11* 535> 53^* These two lines are not in the original. 

1' 539* ' She began to preach to them whom she had fostered/ i. e. 
converted. To foster is here to nurse, to bring up, to educate in the 
faith; see 1. 12a above. The Latin text has— 'omnes quos ad fidem 
conuerterat, Urbano episcopo commendauit.* Tyrwhitt makes nonsense 
of this line by placing the comma after hem instead of sSterfostred, and 
other editors have followed him. In MSS. £. and Hn. the metrical 
pause is rightly marked as occurring after fostred. The story here 
closely resembles the end of the Prioresses Tale, B. 1801-1855. 

1. 545. Dd werche, cause to be constructed. 

1. 549. Lat. ' inter episcopos sepeliuit.' 

1. 550. ' It is now a church in Rome, and gives a title to a cardinal ;* 
note in BelPs edition. In a poem called the Stacyons of Rome^ 
ed. Furnivall, 1. 832, we are told that 100 years' pardon may be obtained 
by going to St. Cecilia's church. Mr. W. M. Rossetti, in a note on 
this line, says — * The Church of St. Cecilia, at the end of the Trastevere, 
near the Quay of Ripa Grande, was built on the site of the saint*s ovni 
house in 230; rebuilt by pope Paschal I. in Sax, and dedicated to God 
and Sts. Mary, Peter, Paul, and Cecilia ; and altered to its present form 
in 1599 and 1725. In the former of these years, 1599, the body of the 
saint was found on the spot, with a contemporary inscription identifying 
her: the celebrated statue by Stefano Mademo, now in the church, 
represents her in the attitude she was discovered lying in. Francino 
does not name the 100 years indulgence of the teyt, but plenary 
indulgence on St. Cecilia's day.' 


- 1. 555. After this line the Latin adds — * Passa est autem circa anoos' 
domini CC et XXIII, tempore Alexandri imperatoris. Alibi autem 
legitur, quod passa sit tempore Marci Aurelii, qui imperauit circa 
annos domini CCXX.' The confusion of names here is easily explained. 
Marcus Aurelius died in 180; but Marcus Aurelius Alexander Severus 
(for such was his title in full) reigned from 222 to 235. The true date 
is generally considered to be 230, falling within his reign, as it 
should do. 


1. 554. The Ixfofseint CecUe^ i.e. the Second Nun's Tale. This notice 
is important, because it inseparably links the Canon's Yeoman's Tale to 
the preceding one. 

1. 555. Fyue myle, five miles. Tjrrwhitt says that it is five miles 
* from some place, whicli we are now unable to determine with certainty.* 
He adds that he is in doubt whether the pilgrims are here supposed 
to be riding ^om or towards Canterbury; but afterwards thinks that 
*the manner in which the Yeman expresses himself in ver. 16091, 2 
[i.e. 11. 623, 624] seems to shew that he was riding to Canterbury.* 

It is really very easy to explain the matter, and to tell all about it. 
It is perfectly clear that these two lines express the fact that they were 
riding to Canterbury. It is even probable that every one of the extant 
Tales refers to the outward journey: for Chaucer would naturally 
write his first set of Tales before beginning a second, and the extant 
Tales are insufficient to make even the first set complete. Consequently, 
we have only to reckon backwards from Bough ton (see 1. 556) for a 
five-mile distance along the old Canterbury road, and we shall find the 
name of the place intended. 

The answer to this is— Ospringe. The matter is settled by the 
discovery that Ospringe was, as a matter of fact, one of the halting-places, 
for the night of travellers from London to Canterbury. Dean Stanley, 
in his Historical Memorials of Canterbury, p. 237, quotes from a paper 
in the Archseologia, xxxv. 461, by Mr. £. A. Bond, to shew that queea^ 
Isabella, wife of Edw. II, rested in London on the 6th of June, 1358 ;. 
at Dartford on the 7th;, at Rochester on the 8th; at Ospringe on the 
9th; and at Canterbury on the loth and nth; and returned, on 
the 12th, to Ospringe again. See this, more at length, in Mr. Furnivall*9 

N 2 


Temporary Preface to the Canterbury Tales (Chaucer Soc.)t pp- 13, 


Mr. Fumivall quotes again from M. Douet-d*Arcq, concerning s 
journey made by king John of France from London to Dover, by way 
of Canterbury, in 1360. On June 30, 1360, king John left London and 
came to Eltham. On July i, he slept at Dartford; on July 2, at 
Rochester; on July 3, he dined at Sittingbonme (noted as being* 39 
miles and three-quarters from London), and slept at Ospringe ; and 
on July 4 came to Canterbury (noted as being 54 miles and a half 
from London). 

These extracts clearly shew (i) the the whole journey was usnally 
made to occupy three or four days; (2) that the usual resting-places 
were (at least) Dartford, Rochester, and Ospringe ; and (3) that 
Sittingboume is considered as being about 15 miles from Canter- 

Now, in passing from Sittingboume to Canterbury, we find that the 
distance is divided into three very nearly equal parts by the situations of 
Ospringe and Boughton, giving five miles for each portion. The chief 
difficulty is that raised by Tyrwhitt, that the distance from Ospringe to 
Canterbury, only ten miles, leaves very little to be done on the last 
day. There is really no objection here worth considering, because we 
have Chaucer^s express words to the contrary. Chaucer says, as plainly 
as possible, that the pilgrims really did rest all night on the road, 
at a place which can only be Ospringe ; see 11. 588, 589. 

Mr. Fumivall also notes (Temp. Pref. p. 29), that Lydgate, in his 
Storie of Thebes (in Speght's Chaucer, 1603, fol. 353 back, col. 2) 
makes the pilgrims, on their retum-joumey, retum from Canterbury to 
Ospringe to dinner. 

* And toward morrow, as soon as it was light, 

Euery pilgrime, both bet and wors. 

As bad our host, tooke anone his hors, 

When the Sunne rose in the East ful clere, 

Fully in purpose to come to dinere 

Unto Ospring, and breake there our fast.' 
Further illustrations might, perhaps,^ be found ; but we scarcely 
require them. 

1. 556. BmightoH'vnder'BUe, Here Blee is the same as the blee in 
Group H, 1. 3, which see. It is now called Blean Forest, and the 
village is called Boughton-under-Blean, in order to distinguish it from 
other villages of the same name. I find, in a map, for examples, 
Boughton Aluph between Canterbury and Ashford, Boughton Malherb 
between Ashford nnd Maidstone, and Boughton Monchelsea between 
Maidstone and Staplehurst 


. 1. 557. A man, i.e. the Canon. This is an additional pilgrim, liot 
described in the Prologue, and therefore described here in II. 566-581/ 
600-655, &C' 

•The name of Canon, as applied to an officer in the Church, is^ 
derived from the Gk. xavdw {kanon) signifying a rule or measure, and 
also the roll or catalogue of the Church, in which the names of the 
Ecclesiastics were registered; hence the clergy so registered were 
denominated Canonici or Canons. Before the Reformation, they were- 
divided into two classes, Regular and Secular. The Secular were so 
called, because they canonized in saculo, abroad in the world. Regular 
Canons were such as lived under a rule, that is, a code of laws published 
by the founder of that order. They were a less strict sort of religious 
than the monks, but lived together under one roof, had a common 
dormitory and refectory, and were obliged to observe the statutes 
of their order. The chief rule for these [regular] canons is that of 
St. Augustine, who was made bishop of Hippo in the year 395. • . . 
Their habit was a long black cassock with a white rochet over it, 
and over that a black cloak and hood ; from whence they were called 
Black Canons Regular of St. Augustine.* — Hook's Church Dictionary. 

There were several other orders, such as the Gilbertine canons of 
Sempringham in Lincolnshire, the Prsemonstratenses or White Canons, 
&C. See also the description of them in Cutts*s Scenes and Characters 
of the Middle Ages, p. 19. 

I should imagine, from the description of the Canon's house in 1. 657, 
and from the general tenor of the Tale, that Chaucer's Canon was 
but a secular one. Still, their rule seems to have been less strict than 
that of the monks. 

1. 561. Prihed myles three, ridden hard for three miles. The Canon 
and his yeoman may be supposed to have ridden rather fast for the first 
two miles; and then, finding they could not otherwise overtake the 
pilgrims, they took to the best pace they could force out of their horses 
for three miles more. 

1. 562. Feman, yeoman, attendant, servant. His face was all dis- 
coloured with blowing his master's fire (11. 664-667), and he seems 
to have been the more honest man of the two. He is the teller of 
the Tale, and begins by describing himself; 1. 720. 

1. 565. ' He was all spotted with foam, so that he looked like a 
magpie.' The word He (like his in 1. 566) refers to the Canon, whose 
clothing was black (1. 557); and the white spots of foam upon it gave 
him this appearence. The horse is denoted by it (1. 563), the word hors 
being neuter in the Oldest English. Most MSS. read he for it in 1. 563,< 
but there is nothing gained by it. 

L 566. Male iwey/old, a double budget or leathern bag; see Prol. 1. 694. 


I. 571. Chaucer tells us that the Paidonei's hood, on the contraij, 
was not listened to his doak ; see ProL 1. 680. 

1. 575. * Rather faster than at a trot or a foot-pace.' Said iroaically. 
Cf. Prol. 835. 

1* 577* CloU'Ueft the leaf of a burdock. Cotgrave has — *LMinpourde, 
f. the daot or great Burre.* Also—* GlouUrw, m. The Clote^ Burre 
Docke, or great Burre.' And again — ' Bardant, f. the Clott, burre-dock, 
or great Burre.' 

In the Prompt. Parv., we find — * Clote, herbe ; Lappa bardana, lap»pa 
rotunda.' In Wyclif *s Version of the Bible, Hosea iz. 6, x. 8, we find 
eloie or eloote where the Vulgate version has lappa. In Vergil* Geoi^. i 
I53f we have — *Lappaeque tribulique,* and a note in the Delphin 
edition, 181 3, says — 'Lappa, glouteron, bardane, BuanocK; herba, 
capitula ferens hamis aspera, quae vestibns praetereuntium adhaerent' 
The Glossary to Cockayne's 'Leechdoms' explains elat§ as arethtm 
lappa, with numerous references.* 

The word is clearly identical with the Dutch klooi, a ball, globe, 
sphere; Icel. kl6t, the knob on a sword-hilt; Swed. Uod, a bowl, 
a globe, Dan. Hode, a globe, sphere, ball ; and it is obvious that dote 
originally meant the bur itsdf, just as the name of htir-doch has reference 
to the same. The dote is, accordingly, the Arctium lappa, or Common 
Burdock, obtaining its name from the dotes (i.e. burs or knobs) upon 
it ; and one of the large leaves of this plant would be very suitable 
for the purpose indicated. 

After this we may safely dismiss the suggestion in Halliweirs 
Dictionary, founded on a passage in Gerarde's Herball, p. 674 D, 
that the Clote here means the yellow water-lily. We know from 
Cockayne's * Leechdoms' that the name date seo pe swimman wille 
(i.e. swimming dote) was sometimes used for that flower {Nupkar 
lutea\ either on account of its large leaves or its globose flowers; 
but in the present passage we have only to remember the Canon's 
haste to feel assured that he might much more easily have caught up a 
burdock-leaf from the road-side than have searched in a ditch for a 

1. 578. For swote, to prevent sweat, to keep off the heat. Sec note to 
Sir Thopas, B. 3052. 

1. 581. Were Jul, that might be full, that might chance to be full. 
Were is the subjunctive, and the relative is omitted. 

1. 588. Now, &c. ; lately, in the time of early morning. 

1. 589. This shews that the pilgrims had rested all night on the 
road ; see note to 1. 555, and p. xiii. of Pref. to Prioresses Tale, &c. 

1. 597. Ought, in any way, at all. Cf. Kn. Ta. 2187 ; and Prioresses 
Tale, B. 1792. 


1. 599. J>, yea. There is a difierence between ye, yea, and yis, yes. 
The former merely assents, or answers a simple question in the afErma- 
tive. The latter is much more forcible, is used when the question 
involves a negative, and is often followed by an oath. See note to 
Specimens of £ng. 1 394-1 579> ed Skeat, sect, xvii (D), 1. 22 ; and note 
to 3M in the Glossary to my edition of William of Paleme. See an 
example of lus (yes) after a negative in Piers the Plowman. B. v. 125. 
Similarly, nay is the weaker, no the stronger form of negation. 

1. 60a. A note in Bell's edition makes a difficulty of the scansion 
of this line. It is perfectly easy. The caesura (carefully marked in MS. 
£. as occurring after hnewe) preserves the final e in hnewe from elision. 

^ And y^ | him kn^w | e, &s | wel 4s | do 1 1| 
Tyrwhitt reads also for the former as ; which is legitimate, because as 
and also are merely different spellings of the same word. 

It is true that the final e in wondre, and again that in werie are both 
elided, under similar circumstances, in the two lines next following; 
but the cases are not quite identical. The e in knewe, representing not 
merely the plural, but also the subjunctive mood, is essential to the 
conditional form of the sentence, and is of much higher value than 
the others. If this argument be not allowed, Tyrwhitt*s suggestion 
may be adopted. 

1. 608. Rit, contracted from ridetk ; see other examples in Pref. to 
Prioresses Tale, p. 1. See also slit for slideth in 1. 682 below. 

1. 611. Leys in balauncej place in the balance, weigh against it. 

1. 620. Can^ knows, knows how to exercise. 

1.622. The Yeoman puts in a word for himself-^' and moreover, 
I am of some assistance to him.' 

1. 625. Vp so doun, i.e. upside doun, according to our modem phrase. 
Chaucer*s phrase is very common ; see Pricke of Conscience, ed. Morris, 
L 7230; P. Plowman, B. xx. 53 ; Gower, Conf. Amant. &c. 

1. 628. BenediciiSy pronounced ben cite, in three syllables, as in B 1170, 
1974. See note to B 11 70 (Prioress's Tale, &c) 

1. 632. Worship, dignity, honour; here, respectable appearance^ 

U 633. Otursloppey upper garment. So in Icelandic, yfirsloppr means 
an outer gown; as, *prestar skryddir yfirsloppum,' i.e; priests clad in 
over-slops, Historia Ecclesiastica, i. 473. The w6rd slop is preserved 
in the somewhat vulgar *5/op-shop,' i.e. shop for second-hand clothes. 

1. 635. Baudy, dirty. To-^ore, torn in half. So in Piers Plowman, 
B. v. 197, Avarice is described as wearing a 'tabard' which is 'al 
to-torn and baudy.* , 

1. 639. The second person sing, imperative seldom exhibits a final e ; 
but it is sometimes found in weak verbs, iellen being one of them. The 
readings ut—Telle, E. Cp. Pt. HI. ; Tel, Ln. Cm. 


1. 641. For, Ac. ; because he shall never thrive. The Yeoman blurts 
out the truth, and is then afraid he has said too much. In 1. 644, 
he gives an evasive and politer reason, declaring that his lord is 

* too wise ' ; see 1. 648. 

1. 645. That thai, that which. In the margin of MS. E is written — 

* Omne quod est nimium, &c.' ; which is probably short for — ' Onme 
quod est nimium uertitur in uitium.* We also find — *Omne nimium 
nocet.' The corresponding English proverb is — ' Too much of one thing 
is not good' (Heywood) ; on which Ray remarks — ' Assez y a si trop n'y 
a ; French. Ne quid nimis ; Terentius, MtiBiv Aytur, This is an apothegm 
of one of the seven wise men ; some attribute it to Thales, some to Solon. 
Est modus in rebus, sunt certi denique fines ; Horat, Sat. i. i. 106. L.*ab- 
bondanza delle cose ingenera fastidio ; Ital, Cada dia oUa, amargo el 
caldo ; Spanish,^ We also find in Hazlitt's English Proverbs — 'Too much 
cunning undoes.' — * Too much is stark nought.' — • Too much of a good 
thing.' — ' Too much spoileth, too little is nothing.' See also the collection 
of similar proverbs in Ida v. Diiringsfeld's Sprichworter, i. 37, 38. 

1. 648. Cf. Butler's description of Hudibras — 

*We grant, although he had much wit. 
He was very shy of using it.' 

1. 65a. Ther-of no fors, never mind about that. 

1. 656. If ii to telle be, if it may be told. 

1. 662. The sothe, the truth. The reader should carefully note the full 
pronunciation of the final e in sothe. If he should omit to sound it, 
he will be put to shame when he comes to the end of the next line, 
ending with t6 thee. A very similar instance is that of tyme, riming 
with by me, G. 1 204 below. The case is the more remarkable because 
the A. S. s6^, truth, is a monosyllable ; but the truth is that the 
definite adjective the sothe (A. S. ]ke/ s6^e) may very well have supplied 
its place, the adjective being more freely used than the substantive 
in this instance. Chaucer has sothe at the end of a line in one more 
place, where it rimes with the disyllabic bothe; G. 168. 

We may remark that the sothe is written and pronounced instead 
of the soth (as shewn by the metre) in the Story of Genesis and £xodus, 
ed. Morris, 1. 74 : — 

*He [they"] witen the sothe, that is sen.' 

I. 665. Peter t by St. Peter. The full form of the phrase — • bi scynt 
Peter of Rome' — occurs in Piers the Plowman, B. vi. 3. The shorter 
exclamation — * Peter f also occurs in the same, B. v. 544 ; see my note 
on that line. 

1. 669. Multiplye, This was the technical term employed by al- 
chemists to denote their supposed power of transmuting the baser 
metals into gold ; they thought to multiply gold by turning as much base 


metal as a piece of it would buy into gold itself; see 1. 677. Some 
such pun seems here intended; yet it is proper to remember that 
the term originally referred solely to the supposed fact that the strength 
of an elixir could be multiplied by repeated operations. See the article 
*De Multiplicatione/ in Theatrum Chemicum, iii. 301, 818; cf. 131* 
Cf. Ben Jonson*s Alchemist, ii. i — 

*For look, how oft I iterate the work, 

So many times I add unto his virtue. 

As, if at first one ounce convert a hundred. 

After his second loose, he'll turn a thousand; 

His third solution, ten; his fourth, a hundred; 

After his fifth, a thousand thousand ounces 

Of any imperfect metal, into pure 

Silver or gold, in all examinations 

As good as any of the natural mine.' 
1. 686. To scan the line, accent yeman on the latter syllable, as in 
11. 684, 701. 

1. 687. To scan the line, pronounce euer nearly as «'«r, and remember 
that hadde is of two syllables. The MSS. agree here. 

1. 688. Catoun, Cato. , Dionysius Cato is the name commonly as- 
signed to the author of a Latin work in four books, entitled Dionysii 
Catonis Disticha de Moribus ad Filium. The work may be referred 
to the fourth century. It was extremely popular, not only in Latin, but 
in French and English versions. Chaucer here quotes from Lib. i. 
Distich. 17. 

*Ne cures si quis tacito sermone loquatur; 

Conscius ipse sibi de se putat omnia dici.' 
S,ee another quotation from Cato in tlie Nonne Prestes Tale, 4. 120; 
and see my note to Piers the Plowman, B. vi. 316. 

It is worth noticing that Catoun follows the form of the Lat. Catonem, 
the accusative case. Such is the usual rule. 
1. 694. Dere abye^ pay dearly for it. 

I. 703. Game, amusement. In 1. 708, it is used ironically. Cf. 
emesif i.e. a serious matter, in 1. 710. 

•Rather than I'll be bra/d, sir, Til believe 

That Alchemy is a pretty kind of game. 

Somewhat like tricks o' the cards, to cheat a man 

With charming;' — The Alchemist, ii. i. 



1. 720* This Tale is divided, in MS. E, into two parts. Pars prima is 
not really a tale at all, but a description of alchemy and its professors. 
The real tale, founded on the same subject, is contained in Pars 
Secunda, beginning at 1. 973. The rubric means — 'Here the Canon's 
Yeoman begins his tale.' The word tali is not to be taken as a 
nominative case. 

1. 721. Neer, nearer; this explains near in Macbeth, ii. 3. 146. 

1. 724. Ther, where; observe the use. In 1. 727, we have wker. 

1. 726. Hose, an old stocking, instead of a hood. 

1. 730. * And, in return for all my labour, I am cajoled.' To * blen 
one's eye' is to cajole, to deceive, to hoodwink. See Piers the Plow- 
man, B. prol. 74, and the note. 

1. 731. Which, what sort of a; Lat. qualis. On multiply e, see note to 
1. 669. 

I. 739. * I consider his prosperity as done with.* 

1. 743. lupartie, jeopardy, hazard. Tyrwhitt remarks that the deri- 
vation is not from 7^ perdu, as some have guessed, but irovajeu parti. 
He adds — ' A jeu parti is properly a game, in which the chances are 
exactly even ; see Froissart, v. i. c. 234 — " lis n'estoient pas i jeu parti 
contre les Fran9ois;' and v. ii. c. 9 — "si nous les voyons k jeu parti,* 
From hence it signifies anything uncertain or hazardo\is. In the old 
French poetry, the discussion of a problem, where much might be said 
on both sides, was called a Jeu parti. See Poesies du Roy da Navarre, 
Chanson xlviii., and Gloss, in v. See also Ducange, in v. yoeus 
Partitus* Ducange has — * Joeus partitus dicebatur, cum alicui facultas 
conoedebatur, alterum e duobus propositis eligendi.' Hence was 
formed not only Jeopardy, but even the verb to jeopard, used in the 
A. v.. Judges V. 18 ; 2 Mace. xi. 7. Also in Shakespeare's Plutarch, 
ed. Skeat, p. 139, side-note 2. 

1. 746. In the margin of MS. E. is written — * Solacium miseriorum, 
&c.' The idea is that conveyed in the fable of the Fox who had lost 
his tail, and wished to persuade the other foxes to cut theirs off like- 

I. 752. 'The technical terms which we use are so learned and fine.' 
See this well illustrated in Jonson's Alchemist, ii. i — 

* What else are all your terms, 
"Whereon no one of your writers 'grees with other, 
Of your elixir, your lac virgin is. 
Your stone, your medicine, and your chrysosperme. 
Your sal, your sulphur, and your mercury,' &c. 


1. 764. Lampe; so in the MSS. It is clearly put for lambet a cor- 
ruption of O. Fr. lanUf Lat lamina. Were there any MS. authority, 
it would be better to read lame at once. Cotgrave has — *Lame; f. 
a thin plate of any metall ; also, a blade/ &c. Nares has — * Lamm, s. 
a plate, from Lat. lamina, ** But he strake Phalantus just upon the 
gorget, so as he hatred the lamms thereof, and made his head almost 
touch the back oi his horse" ; Pembr. Arcadia, lib. iii. p. 269.' Lame 
in old French also means, the flat slab covering a tomb ; see Roquefort. 
So here, after the ingredients have all been placed in a pot, they are 
covered over with a plate of glass laid flat upon the top. 

It is strange that no editor has made any attempt to explain this word. 
It obviously does not mean lamp ! For the insertion of the p, cf. solempne 
for solemne^ and nempne for nemne ; see Gloss, to Prior. Tale. 

1. 766. EnluHng, To enlute is to close with lute. Webster has — 
*Lutet n. (Lat. lutum, mud, clay). A composition of clay or other 
tenacious substance, used for stopping the juncture of vessels so closely 
as to prevent the escape or entrance of air, or to protect them when 
exposed to heat.' 

The process is minutely described in a MS. by Sir George Erskine, of 
Innertiel (temp. James I.), printed by Mr. J. Small in the Proceedings of 
the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. xi. 1874-75, p. I93,as follows :— 
* Thairfoir when all the matter which must be in, is gathered together 
into the pot, tak a good lute maid of potters clay, and mix it with bolus 
and rust of iron tempered with whitts of eggs and chopt hair, and 
mingle and worke thame weill togither, and lute 30ure pott ane inch 
thick thairwith, and mak a stopple of potters earth weill brunt, to shut 
close in the hole that is in the top of the .cover of the pott, and lute the 
pott and the cover very close togither, so as no ayre may brek furth, and 
when any craks cum into it, in the drying of the lute, dawbe them 
up againe ; and yirhen the lute is perfectly drie in the sunne, then take a 
course linen or canvas, and soke it weill in the whitts of eggs mixt with 
iron rust, and spred this cloth round about the luting, and then wet it 
weill again with whitts of eggs and upon the luting ;* &c. 

1. 768. The alchemists were naturally very careful about the heat 
of the fire. So in The Alchemist, ii. i — 

*Look well to the register, 
And let your heat still lessen by degrees.' 
And again, in iii. 2 — 

*We must now increase 
Our fire to ignis ardens^ we are passed 
Fimus equinuSf balnei^ cineris^ 
And all those lenter heats.' 
1. 770. Matires sublyming, sublimation of materials. To 'sublimated 


is to render vaporous, to cause matter to pass into a state of vaponr by 
the application of heat. * Philosophi considerantes eorum materiam, qu3& 
est in vase suo, et calorem sentit, evaporatur in spedem fumi, et ascendit 
in capite vasis: et vocant SM^/ima/toMm ;' Theatrum Chemicum, 1659, 
vol. ii. p. 135. 

* Subtle. How do you sublime him [mercury] ? 
Facg. With the calce of egg-shells. 

White marble, talc' The Alchemist, ii. i. 

1. 771. Anudgaming, To * amalgamate* is to compound or mix 
intimately, especially used of mixing quicksilver with other metals. 
The term is still in use; thus *an amalgam of tin' means a mixture of 
tin and quicksilver. 

Calcening, To 'calcine' is to reduce a metal to an oxide, by the action of 
heat. What is now called an oxide was formerly called ' a metallic calx' ; 
hence the name. The term is here applied to quicksilver or mercury. 
For example — * When mercury is heated, and at the same time exposed 
to atmospheric air, it is found that the volume of the air is diminished, 
and the weight of the mercury increased, and that it becomes, during 
the operation, a red crystalline body, which is the binoxide of mercmy, 
formed by the metal combining with the oxygen of the air' ; English 
Cyclopaedia, Div. Arts and Sciences, s. v. Oxygen. *The alchemists 
used to keep mercury at a boiling heat for a month or longer in a 
matrass, or a flask with a tolerably long neck, having free commmiica- 
tion with the air. It thus slowly absorbed oxygen, becoming converted 
into binoxide. and was called by them mercurius precipUtUus per se* It is 
now however generally prepared by calcination from mercuric nitrate' ; 
id., s. V. Mercury. 

1. 772. Mercurie erude^ crude Mercury, See note to 1. 820. See the 
description of Mercury in Ashmole's Theat Chem. p. 272. The 
alchemists pretended that their quicksilver, which they called the Green 
Lion, was something different from quicksilver as ordinarily fomid. 
See treatise on ' The Greene Lyon,* in Ashmole's Theat. Chem. p. 280. 

1. 774. Note the accents — ' siiblym^d Merciirie.' 

1. 778. Here the 'ascension of spirits' refers to the rising of gases 
or vapours from certain substances; and the 'matters that lie all fix 
adown' are the materials that lie at the bottom in a fixed (i.e. in a 
solid) state. There were four substances in particular which were 
technically termed ' spirits*; viz. sulphur, sal ammoniac, quicksilver, and 
arsenic, or (as some said) orpiment. See Theatrum Chemicum, iii. 81, 
129; ii. 430; iii. 276. 

1. 782. Here a = in; being short for an, a variant of on, used in the 
old sense of *in.' The expression signifies, literally, in the manner of 
twenty devils, i.e. in all sorts of evil and accursed ways. 


1. 790. BoU armoniah. The latter word should rather be Artneniak, 
i. e. Armenian, but we have armoniah again below, in 1. 798 ; see note 
to that line. 

• Bole, a kind of fine, compact, or earthy clay, often highly coloured 
with iron, and varying in shades of colour from white to yellowish, 
reddish, blueish, and brownish. Fr. 60/, Lat. 6o/t/$, Gk. fia\o», a clod 
or lump of earth ;' Webster's Diet., ed. Goodrich and Porter. Cotgrave 
has — 'Bo/, m. the astringent and medicinable red earth or minerall 
called BoUarmenie . . . Bol Oriental , et Bol Armenien Oriental, Oriental 
Bolearmenie ; the best and. truest kind of Bolearmenie, ministred with 
good effect against all poisons, and in pestilent diseases ; and more red 
than the ordinary one, which should rather be tearmed Sinopian red 
earth than Bolearmeny.* And again — ' Rubrique Sinopique, Sinopian red 
earth, a heavy, massive, liver-coloured, and astringent earth, or minerall, 
which, put into water, soon moulders, and fals into pieces. This may 
very well be the ordinarie BoUarmome [sic] that is, at this day, used 
by many surgeons in the staunching of blood, &c. but is not the true 
(Oriental!) one, redder then it, and not so easily dissolved by water as it/ 

Verdegrees looks at first like a corruption of verd-de-gris, but that 
would mean ' green of gray,* which is nonsense. It is really an English 
corruption of the French verderis (given in Cotgrave's Diet.), confused 
with the £ng. grease, from the notion that it is of a greasy nature. The 
French verderis is, again, the Latin viride €Bris, the green of brass. 
This term (viride oris) is the common one in the old Latin treatises 
on alchemy. See the chapter in Albertus Magnus — ' Quomodo viride 
seris fit, et quomodo rubificatur, et super omnia valet ad artem istam* ; 
Theatrum Chemicum, ii. 436. It is the bibasic acetate of copper. 

1. 794. Cureurbites, vessels supposed to bear some resemblance to 
a gourd, whence the name (Lat. eureurbita, a gourd). *Cucurbita 
est uas quod .debet stare in aqua, usque ad junctUram firmatum in 
caldario, ut non moueatur; nee cucurbita debet tangere fundum, 
quia frangeretur ; et cum aqua minuitur, fundas aliam, scilicet calidam 
et non frigidam, quia uas frangeretur'; Theatrum Chemicum, ii. 45a. 

1. 795. Dere ynough a leek, dear ehough at the price of a leek. Cf. 
Clerkes Tale, £. 999. 

1. 797. Watres rubifying, reddening waters. This is well illustrated 
by a long passage in The Boke of Quinte Essence, ed. Fumivall, 
p. 15, where instructions are given for extracting the quintessence out of 
the four elements. After various processes, we are directed to put the 
vessel into 'the fier of flawme right strong, and the reed water schal 
ascende ;* and again — ' thanne yn the stillatorie, to the fier of bath, 
deer water schall asende; and in the botum shall remayne the reed 
water, that is, the element cf fier.* . A long and unintelligible passage 


about * rubrificatto' and * aqtia spiritualis rubea' occurs in the Theatmm 
Chemicum, iii. 41. See also 'modus rubrificandi' and the recipe for 
* aqua rubea ' ; id. iii. 1 10. 

1. 798. Arsenic was by some considered as one of the * four spirits' ; 
see note to 1. 778. For a long passage 'de arsenico/ see Theatnun 
Chemicum, iii. 177; also p. no, and ii. 238. Sal armoniaeum was 
another of them (see 1. 824) and is constantly mentioned in the old 
treatises; see 'prseparatio s^lis Armoniad secundum Rasim'; Xheat. 
Chem. iii. 179; also pp. 89, 94, 102 ; ii. 445. In vol. ii. p. 138 of the 
same work, it is twice called *sal amumacum* See the account of 
sal ammoniac in Thomson, Hist, of Chemistry, i. 1 24. Brimstoott was 
also a * spirit * (see 1. 824) ; it is only another name for sulphur. 

1. 800. Egrimoin, common agrimony, JEpimonia officinalis ; valerian, 

Valeriana officinalis; lunarie, a kind of fern called in English moon-virort, 

Botryckium lunaria. The belief in the virtue of herbs was very strong ; 

hence even Spenser says (F. Q. i. 2. 10) that the magician Archimago 

was thus enabled to turn himself into the shape of various animals, 

adding — 

'O who can tell 

The hidden power of herbs, and might of magic spell.* 

The root of valerian yields valerianic acid. The following quotation is 

from the English Encyclopaedia, s.v. Botryckium. 

' In former times the ferns had a great reputation in medicine, not so 
much on account of their obvious as their supposed virtues. The lunate 
shape of the pinnae of this fern (B. lunaria) gave it its common name, and 
was the origin of much of the superstitious veneration with which it 
was regarded. When used it was gathered by the light of the moon. 
Gerarde says — "it is singular [i.e. sovereign] to heal green and fresh 
wounds. It hath been used among the alchymists and witches to do 
wonders withall, who say that it will loose locks and make them to 
fall from the feet of horses that grase where it doth grow, and hath 
been called of them Martagon, whereas in truth they are all but drowsy 
dreams and illusions ; but it is singular for wounds as aforesaid/*' 

In Ashmole's Theatrum Chemicum, p. 348, is a full description of 
' lunayrie,' with an engraving of it. It is there also called asterion, and 
we are told that its root is black, its stalk red, and its leaves round; 
and moreover, that the leaves wax and wane with the moon, and on each of 
them is a mark of the breadth of a penny. See also pp. 31 5> 318 of the 
same work. 

1. 805. Alhificacioun, i.e. the rendering the water of a white colour, as 
distingubhing from the reddening of it, mentioned in 1. 797* In a long 
chapter printed in the Theatrum Chemicum (iii. 634-648) much is said 
about red and white colours. Compare the Alchemist, ii. i — 


* Subtle. I mean to tinct C in sand-heat tomorrow, 

And give him imbibition. 
Mammon, Of white oiH 

Subtle. No, sir, of red.^ 
No doubt, too, water is here used in the sense of the Lat. aqtta, to 
denote any substance that is in a liquid state. 

1. 808. Cered pokets. Tyrwhitt reads Sered pokettes, and includes this 
phrase in his short ' List of Phrases not understood ' ; and indeed, it has 
never been explained. But there is little difficulty about it. Poket is 
the diminutive of poke, a bag, and means a little bag. Cered (Lat 
ceratus) means waxed. Thus Cotgrave has — * CirS, m. -ee, f. waxed, 
seared; dressed, covered, closed, or mingled, with wax.* In many MSS. 
the word is spelt sered, but this makes no difference, siace Cotgrave has 
* seared' in this very place. So we find both * cere- cloth' and * sear- 
cloth.* It is obvious that bags or cases prepared or' closed with 
wax would be useful for many of the alchemist's purposes ; see Theat. 
Chem. iii. 13. There was a special process in alchemy called ceration, 
but this has nothing to do with it; it means the reduction of any 
material to the consistency of soft wax ; Theat. Chem. ii. 442. 

Sal peter, Lat. sal petrce, or rock-salt, also called mtre, is nitrate of 
potassa. A recipe for preparing it is given in Theat. Chem. iii. 195. 

Vitriole, i.e. sulphuric acid. See *vitrioli prseparatio ' ; Theat. 
Chem. iii. 95. 

1. 810. Sal tartre, salt of tartar, i.e. carbonate of potash ; so called 
from its having been formerly prepared from cream of tartar. 

Sal preparate, common salt prepared in a certain manner. See the 
section — 'quod ualeat sal commune, et quomodo prseparetur'; Theat. 
Chem. ii. 433, 435, 

1. 812. Maad, i.e. prepared, mixed. Oile oftartre, oil of tartar. See 
the section — ' quomodo prseparatur tartarum, ut oleum fiat ex illo, quo 
calces soluuntur'; Theat. Chem. ii. 436; and again — *ad faciendum 
oleum de Tartaro'; id. iii. 303. To scan 1. 813, remember to pro- 
nounce tartre as in French, and to accent alum on the latter syllable. 
Of t&rtr' I aliim | glas b^rm | wort 4nd | argoile || 
1. 814. Resalgar, realgar, red orpiment, or the red sulphuret of 
arsenic ; symbol (As Sa) ; found native in some part!; of Europe, and 
of a brilliant red colour. Resalgar is a corruptign of the old Latin 
name, risigallum. The word is explained by Thynne in his Anim- 
adversions, ed, Fumivall, p. 36 — * This resalgar is that whiche by come 
is called Ratesbane, a kynde of poysone named Arsenicke^ whiche 
the chimicall philosophers call their venome or poysone.' 

Enbibing, imbibition ; see this term used in the quotation from The 
Alchemist, in the note to 1. 805. It means absorption; cf. Theat, 
Chem. iii. 132, 1. 27. 


1. 816. Citrinaeioun, This also is explained by Thynne, who says 
(p. 38) — * Citrinatione is bothe a coolor [colour] and parte of the philo- 
phers stoone.* He then proceeds to quote from a Tractatus Avicennae, 
cap. 7, and from Amoldus de Nova Villa, lib. i. cap. '5. It was 
supposed that when the materials for making [the philosopher's stone 
had been brought into a state very favourable to the ultimate success 
of the experiment, they would assume the colour of a citron ; or, as 
Thynne says, Arnold called *this citrinatione, perfecte digestione, or 
the coolor provinge the philosophers stoone brougfate almoste to the 
heighte of his perfectione.' So in The Alchemist, iii. 1 — 

'How's the moon now? eight, nine, ten days hence 
He will be silver potate; then three days 
Before he eitronise. Some fifteen days. 
The magisterium will be perfected.' 
1. 817. Fermentaeioun^ fermentation. This term is also noticed by 
Speght (p. 33), who says — * fermentadone ys a peculier tenne of 
Alchymye, deduced from the bakers fermente or levyne*; &c. See 
Theat. Chem. ii. 115. 175. 

1. 820. Foure spirites, Chaucer enumerates these below. I have 
already mentioned them in the note to 1. 778; see also note to L 798. 
Tyrwhitt refers us to Gower's Confessio Amantis, bk. iv, where wc 
find a passage very much to the point. I quote it from Chalmers* 
edition, correcting the spelling. 

' And also with gret diligence 
Thei fonde thilke experience. 
Which cleped is Alconomye, 
Wherof the siluer multiplye 
They made, and eek the gold also. 
And, for to telle how it is so, 
Of bodies seuen in special. 
With foure spirites ioynt withal, 
Stant the substance of this matere. 
The bodies, whiche I speke of here 
Of the planetes ben begonne. 
The gold is titled to the sonne; 
The mone of siluer hath his part ; 
And iron, that stant vpon Mart; 
The leed vpon Satume groweth ; 
And lupiter the bras bestoweth; 
The copper set is to Venus; 
And to his part Mercurius 
Hath the quick-siluer, as it falleth. 
The whiche, after th^ boke it calleth, 


Is first of thilke foure named 

Of spirites, whiche ben proclamed. 

And the spirit which is seconde 

In sal Armoniak is fonde. - ^ 

The thirde spirit sidphur is. 

The fourthe, sewend after this, 

Arsenium by name is hote. 

With blowing and with fyres hote 

In these thinges whiche I saye 

Thei worchen by diuerse weye.* 

He further explains that gold and silver are the two * extremities,' and 
the other metals agree with one or other of them more or less, so as to 
be capable of transmutation into one of them. In order to this, the 
alchemist must go through the processes of distillation, congelation, 
solution, descension, sublimation, calcination, and fixation, after which 
he will obtain the perfect elixir of the philosopher's stone. He adds 
that there are really three philosopher's stones, one vegetable, capable 
of healing diseases ; another animal, capable of assisting each of the 
five senses of man ; and the third mineral, capable of transforming 
the baser metals into silver and gold. 

* It maketh multiplicacioun 
Of golde, and the fixacioun 
It causeth, and of his habite 
He doth the werk to be perfite 
Of thilke elixir, which men calle 
Alkonomye, as is befalle 
To hem that whylom were wyse. 
But now it stant al otherwyse. 
They speken fistste of thilke stone. 
But how to make it now wot none. 
After the trewe experience. 
And natheles gret diligence 
They setten vp[on] thilke dede, 
And spillen more then thei spede. 
For alway thei fynden a lette 
Which bringeth in pouerte and dette 
To him that riche were tofore. 
The losse is had, the lucre is lore. 
To gette a pound they spenden fyue. 
I not how suche a craft shal thryue 
In the manere as it is vsed. 
It were better be refused 

VOL. nx. 


Than for to werchen vpon wene [expeetaiion] 
In thing which stant not as thei wene.' 
It is easy to see how the various metals were made to answer tc 
the seven planets. Gold, the chief of metals and yellcw, of couse 
answered to the sun, and similarly stiver, to the paler moon. Mercwj, 
the swiftest planet, must be the shifty quicksilver; Saturn, the slowest, 
of cold and dull influence, must be letui. The etymology of eoppc 
suggested the connection with the Cyprian Venus. This left but t^c 
metals, iron and tin, to be adjusted; iron was suggestive of Mais. 
the god of war, leaving tin to Jupiter. The notion of thus naming 
the metals is attributed to Geber; see Thomson, Hist^ of Chemistiy. 
i. 117. 

Quicksilver, be it observed, is still called mercury; and nitrate c: 
of silver is still lunar caustic. Gold and silver are constantly termec 
sol and luna in the old treatises on alchemy. See further allusioci 
in Chaucer^s House of Fame, iii. 341-3971 as pointed out in my Pref. 
to Chaucer's Astrolabie, p. Ixvi. 

1. 834. • Whosoever pleases to utter (i. e. display) his folly.' 

1. 838. Ascance, possibly, perhaps. See Glossary. 

1. 846. Al conne he, whether he know. The use of cd at the beginning 
of a sentence containing a supposition is common in Chaucer ; see Frol- 
734. Cf. al be, Prol. 297 ; Kn. Tale, 313. And see 1. 861. 

1. 861. 'To raise a fiend, though he look never so rough,* i.e. for- 
bidding, cross. 

1. 874. It is to seken euer, it is always to seek, i.e. never foimd. h 
Skelton's Why Come Ye Nat to Court, 1. 314, the phrase • they are 
to sake' means ' they are at a loss* ; this latter is the commoner use. 

1. 875. Temps, tense. The editors explain it by 'time.' If Chancer 
had meant time, it is reasonable to suppose that he would have said so. 
Surely it is better to take * that fiitur temps' in the special sense of 
' that future tense.' The allusion is to the phrase ' to seken ' in the last 
line, which is not an infinitive mood but a gerund, and often used 
as a future tense, as Chaucer very well knew. Compare the A. S. 
version of Matt. xi. 3 — *eart J>u )« to cumenne eart' — with the Lat. 
* Tu es qui uenturus es.* 

1. 878. Bitter swete, i.e. a fatal, though alluring, pursuit. An 
example of oxymoron; cf. 'insaniens sapientia,* Horat. Carm. i. 34; 
' strenua inertia,' Epist. i. xi. 28. 

1. 879. Nadde they but, if they only should have (or, were to have). 
Nadde is for ne kadde, past tense subjunctive. 

1. 880. Inne, within ; A. S. innan ; see 1. 881. A nygkt, for on nygkt, 
in the night. Perhaps it should be nyghte (with final e), and lyghte in 
1. 881. 


1. 881. Bdk, cloth ; any rough sort of covering for the back. So in 
most MSS. ; altered in E. to hrat^ but unnecessarily. That the word 
bak was used in the sense of garment is quite certain from two other 
passages which I shall dte. That it meant originally a covering for 
the back, will appear from a third one. 

(i) In William of Paleme, ed. Skeat, 1. 2096, we have — 
* Than brayde he brayn-wod & alle his hdkhes rente, 
His berde, and his bright fax for bale he to-twight[e].' 
I. e. then he became brain-mad, and tare all his clothes ; he plucked 
asunder, for sorrow, his beard and his bright hair. Note that it is 
used here in all seriousness. 

(2) In Piers the Plowman, B. x. 362, men are blamed for hoarding 
up clothes, aiid mention is made of ' owre bakkes that moth-eten be,' 
i.e. of our garments that are moth-eaten for want of use. Here, in 
one MS., the gloss *panni' is written above; in another MS., the 
reading is * bakclothis.' 

(3) In Piers the Plowman, A. xi. 184, we are reminded of the duty of 
providing bread and clothing for the poor. 

'Dowel it hatte [is called] 
To breke beggeris bred and bakken hem with clotkis* 
Pronounce the words And a rapidly, in the time of one syllable. 
1. 907* To-hreketh, bursts in pieces. Go^ gone. This must have been 
a very common result; the old directions about 'luting' and her- 
metically sealing the vessels employed are so strict, that every care 
seems to have been (unwittingly) taken to secure an explosion; see 
note to 1. 766 above. So in The Alchemist, iv. 3. 

* Face. O, sir, we are defeated! all the works 
Are flown in fumo, every glass is burst : 
Furnace, and all rent downl as if a bolt 
Of thunder had been driven through the house. 
Retorts, receivers, pelicans, bolt-heads. 
All struck in shivers I' 
1: 921. Chit, short for chideth; so also halt for holdeth. 
1.922. Som seyde, i.e. one said; note that iom is here singular, 
as in Kn. Tale, 2173. Hence the use of the thridde, i.e. the third, 
in 1. 925. 

1. 929. So theech, for so thee ich, so may I thrive. See Pard. Tale, 

C. 947. 

L 933. Eft'Sone, for the future ; lit. soon afterwards. 

1. 934. ' I am quite sure that the pot was cracked.' 

1. 962. The reading shyneth is of course the right one. In the 
margin of MS. E. is written 'Non teneas aurum,' &c. This proves 
that Tyrwhitt's note is quite correct. He says — * This is taken frem 


196 jffOTES TO GROUP G. 

the Paxabolse of Alanus de Insulis, who died in 1294; see Leyser, 
Hisi, Po, Med, JEvi, p. 1074. 

'*Non teneas aunim totum quod splendet ut aurum. 
Nee pulohrum pomum quodlibet esse bonum." 
Shakespeare has — " All that glisters is Dot gold ;" Merch. of Venice, ii. 7. 
65. Hazlitt's English Proverbs has — All is not gold that glisters 
(Heywood). See Chaucer, Chan. Yeom. Prol.; Roxburghe Ballads, 
ed. Collier, p. 103 ; Udall's Roysier Doysier, 1566, where we read : AH 
things that shineth is not by and by pure golde (Act v. sc. i). Frond 
nulla fides, Juvenal, Sat. ji. 8. The French say, Tout ce qui luict n'est 
pas or. Non h oro tutto quel che luce ; Ital, No es todo or lo que 
reluce; Span* So in German — ' Est ist nicht Alles Gold was glanzt;' 
and again— ' Rothe Aepfel sind auch £iul.' See Ida v. Diiringsfeld^ 
Sprichworter, i. 33, 107. Cf. Ch. House of Fame, i. 273. 

1. 972. Pars seeunda. This is where the Tale begins. Even now, the 
Yeoman has some more to say by way of preface, and only makes a 
real start at 1. 1012. 

1.975. il/fsa«m^e, Alexandria. iliufo/A«r«/ArM,and three more as well 

1. 999. I mente, I intended ; as in 1. 105 1 below. 'But my intention 
was to correct that which is amiss.' 

The reading I-merU, as a past participle, adopted by Mr. Wright, 
is incorrect, as shewn by Mr. Cromie's Ryme-Index. Cf. Nonne Pr. 
Tale, 603 ; Sq. Tale, F. 108. See note to G 534, above. 

1. 1005. By yow, with reference to you canons. See By in Eastwood 
and Wright's Bible Wordbook. 

1. 1012. Annuelter. So called, as Tyrwhitt explains, 'from their being 
employed solely in singing annuals or anniversary masses for the dead, 
without any cure of souls. See the Stat. 36 Edw. III. c. viii, where the 
Chappetteins Parochiels are distinguished from others ehantanz ctnnuaUs, 
ei a cure des almes nient entendantz. They were both to receive yearly 
stipends, but the former was allowed to take six marks, the latter only 
five. Compare Stat. 2 Hen. V. St. 2. c. 2, where the stipend of the 
ChapeHein ParocJuel is raised to eight marks, and that of the Chapellevt 
annueler (he is so named in the statute) to seven.* 

L 1015. That is, to the lady of the house where he lodged. 

1. 10 1 8. Spending siluer, money to spend, ready money. The phrase 
occurs in Piers the Plowman, B. xi. 278. 

1. 1025. A certein, a certain sum, a stated sum. Cf. 1. 77^* 

1. 1027. At my day, on the day agreed upon, on {he third day. 

1. 1029. Another day, another time, on the next occasion. 

1. 1030. Him took, handed over to him ; so in 11. 1034, 1112. 

1> 1055. * In some measure to requite your kindness.* See note to Sq. 
Tftle, F. 471, and cf. 1. 1151. 


1. 1059. ^^^ <*'>*» see evidently; lit. see at eye. 

1. 1066. 'Proffered service stinketh* is among HeyWood's Proverbs. 
Ray remarks on it — * Mens ultronea putet, apud Hieronymum. Erasmus 
saith, Quin uulgo etiam in ore^est, ultro delatmn obsequimn plermnque 
ingratum esse. So that it seems this proverb is in use among th€ 
Dutch too. In French, Merchandise offerte est k demi vendue. Ware 
that is proffered is sold for half the worth, or at half the price.' The 
German is — * Angebotene Hiilfe hat keinen Lohn '; see Ida v. DUring- 
feld's Sprichworter, i. 86. 

1. 1096. Algates, at any rate. Observe the context. 

1. 1 103. 7%it we it kadde, that we might have it. Hadde is here the 
subjunctive. Perhaps haue (present) would be better, but it lacks 

1. 1 1 26. MorHfytf mortify; a technical term. See note to 1. 1431. 

1. 1151. 'To blind the priest with.* See note to 1. 1055. »^ 

I. 1 185. Seint GyUs^ saint Giles; a corrupted form of iEgidius. His 
day is Sept. i ; see Chambers' Book of Days, ii. 296 ; Legenda Aurea, 
cap. cxxx. 

II. 1204, 1205. The rime is given by tyme (two syllables, from A. S. 
tima) riming with by me. The same rime occurs at least six times in 
Gower's Confessio Amantis (ed. Chalmers, bk. ii. p. 60, col. 2 ; bk. iii. 
p. 79» col. 2 ; also pp. 103, 105, 120, 157). 

*Haue feigned semblant ofte tyme 
To hem that passen al day by me.* 

'And hindred me ful ofte tymg 
When thei no cause wiste by me'; &c., &c* 

In all six places, Mr. Chalmers prints byme as one word I See hy the 
(1. 1295); seyye{l 1375). 

On referring to Prof. Child's Observations on the Language of Gower, 
I find seven references given for this rime, as occurring in the edition 
by Dr. Pauli. The references are—i. 227, 509, 370; ii. 41, 114, 277; 
iii. 369. 

1. 1 210. Scan the line by pronouncing the words or a rapidly. The 
last foot contains the words — or a panne. 

1. 1 238, 1 239. MS. £ omits these two lines : the other >MSS. retain them. 

1. 1244. Halwes is in the genitive plural. * And the blessing of all the 
saints may ye have, Sir Canon 1' 

1. 1245. * And may I have their malison,' i.e. their curse. 

1. 1283. * Why do you wish it to be better than well?' Answering 
nearly to — * what would you have better ?' 

1. 1292. A rather lax line. Is ther is to be pronounced rapidly, in 
the time of one syllable, and her'inne is of three syllables. 


1. 1299. Pronounce simpU nearly as in French, and remember the 
final e m tonge (A. S. tungt), 

1. 131 3. His ape^ his dupe. See Prol. 706. The simile is evidently 
taken from the fact that showmen used to carry apes about with them 
much as organ-boys do at the present day, the apes being^ secured 
by a string. Thus 'to make a man one's ape' is to lead him about 
at will. The word apewarde occurs in Piers the Plowman, B. v. 540. 
To lead apes means to lead about a train of dupes. In the Prioress's 
Prologue, B. 1630, I have explained ape by 'fool,' following former 
editors. It now occurs to me that the word 'dupe' expresses the 
meaning still better. 

1. 1 319. Heyne^ wretch. This word has never before been properly 
explained. It is not in Tyrwhitt's Glossary. Dr. Morris considers it 
as another form of hyne, a peasant, or hind, but leaves the phonetic 
difference of vowel unaccounted for. It occurs in Skelton's Bowge of 
Courte, 1. 337 — 

*It is great scome to see suche an hayne 
As thou arte, one that cam but yesterdaye, 
With vs olde seruauntes suche maysters to playe.' 
Here Mr. Dyce also explains it by hind, or servant, whereas the context 
requires the opposite meaning of a despised master. Halliwell gives— 
*Heyne, a miser, a worthless person'; but without a reference. For 
further examples, see hean in Stratmann ; the word is clearly not from 
the A. S. hina, a hind, but from A. S. hedn, abject. See the Glossary. 

1. 1320. * This priest being meanwhile unaware of his false practice.* 
See 1. 1324. 

I. 1342. Alluding to the proverb — 'As fain as a fowl [i.e. bird] of a 
fair morrow ' ; given by Hazlitt in the form — * As glad as fowl of a fair 
day.' See Piers the Plowman, B. x. 153 ; Kn. Tale, 1579. 

1. 1348. To stonde in grace; cf. Prol. 88. 

1. 1354. \By o«r; pronounced B^r, as spelt in Shakespeare, Mid. Nt 
Dr. iii. i. 14. 

1, 1362. JVere, for ne were; meaning 'were it not for.' 

1. 1 38 1. Sy, saw. The scribes also use the form sey or seigh, as in 
Kn. Tale, 208 ; Franklin's Tale, F 850, in both of which places it rimes 
with heigh (high). Of these spellings sey (riming with hey) is to be pre- 
ferred in most cases. See note to Group B, 1. 1 (Prioresses Tale, &c.). 

1. 1388. This line begins with a large capital C in the Ellesmere 
MS., shewing that the Tale itself is at an end, and the rest is the 
Yeoman's application of it. 

I. 1 389. * There is strife between men and gold to that degree, that 
there is scarcely any (gold) left.' 

1. 1408. Alluding to the proverb — 'Burnt bairns fear fire.* This 


occurs among the Proverbs of Hendyng, in the form — *Brend child 
fur dredeth/ So in the Romaunt of the Rose, 1. 1820 — ** Brent child 
of fyr hath moche drede.* The German is — 'Ein gebranntes Kind 
fiirchtet das Feuer*; see Ida v. Diiringsfeid's Sprichwortcr, i. 531, 

1. 1 410. Alluding to the proverb — * Better late than never * ; in French 
* II vaut mieux tard que jamais.' The German is — * Besser spat als nie'; 
see Ida v. Diiringsfeld's Sprichwortcr, i. 204. 

1. 1 41 1. In Hazlitt's Proverbs — * never is a long term.* 

1. 141 3. Bayard was a colloquial name for a horse; see Piers Plow- 
man, B. iv. 53, 124; vi. 196 ; and * As bold as blind Bayard' was a 
common proverb. See also Chaucer's Troil. and Cress, i. 218. 

1. 1416. 'As to turn aside from an obstacle in the road.' 

1. 1419. Compare this with the Man of Lawes Tale, B. 552. 

1. 1422. Rape and renne^ seize and plunder. The phrase is of 
Scandinavian origin. Rape is preserved in the Swedish rappa^ to 
seize, of which the Eng. roh is only another form; cf. Icel. n/sa, 
to plunder, Icel. ri/ii, to rive, to grasp. Renne is not connected 
with A. S. rennan, to run, but with Icel. r<sna, to rob, ran, seizure, 
plunder. The collocation of words is seen in the Icel. rifii ok 
rdnum, with pilfering and plundering, Fommanna Sogur, i. 119; 
ran ok rifs^ plunder and robbery, id. ii. 119, vi. 42, vii. 363 (s.v. 
rdn and rifs in Cleasby and Vigfusson's Icelandic Dictionary). 
Hence the Cleveland form of the phrase is * to rap and reeve,' some- 
times * to rap and ree* ; see Rap in Atkinson's Cleveland Glossary, 
Mr. Atkinson remarks that 'heo rupten, heo rsefden' in Layamon, 
ii. 16, first text, is equivalent to *hii rupten, hii refden' in the second ; 
whilst the Ancren Riwle gives the form arepen and arechen, with the 
various readings rapen and rinen, ropen and rimen, Ihre quotes the 
English *rap and ran, per fas et nefas ad se pertrahere.' Mr. Wedg- 
wood remarks that in rap and ran, to get by hook or crook, to 
seize whatever one can lay hands on, the word rap is joined with 
the synonymous [verb connected with the] Icel. rdn, rapine. Palsgrave 
has — ' / rap or rende, je rapine.' Coles, cited by Halliwell, has — ^ To 
get all one can rap and run* The phrase is still in use in the (cor- 
rupted) form to rape and rend, or (in Cleveland) to rap and ree, 

1. 1428. Arnoldus de Villa Nova was a French physician, theologian, 
astrologer, and alchemist; born about aj>. 1235, died a.d. 1314. 
Tyrwhitt refers us to Fabricius, Bibl, Med. /Et., in v. Amaldus Villano- 
vanus. In a tract printed in Theatrum Chemicum, iii. 285, we have a 
reference to the same saying — * Et hoc est illud quod magni philosophi 
scripserunt, quod lapis noster fit ex Mercuric et sulphure praeparatis 
et separatis, et de hoc opere et substantia dicit Magister Arnoldus in 
tractatu suo parabolice, nisi granum frumentum in terra cadens mortuum 


fuerit, &c. Intelligens pro grano mortuo in terra, Mercurium mortanin 
cum salepetrae et vitriolo Romano, et cmn sulphure, et ibi mortificatur, 
et ibi sublimatur cmn igne, et sic multmn fructus adfert, et hie est 
lapis major omnibus, quem philosophi qusesivenmt, et inventum 
absconderunt.* The whole process is described, but it is quite un- 
intelligible to me. It is clear that two circumstances stand very much 
in the way of our being able to follow out such processes; these 
are (i) that the same substance was frequently denoted by six or 
seven different names; and (2) that one name (such as sulphur) de- 
noted five or six different things (such as sulphuric acid, orpiment, 
sulphuret of arsenic, &c.) 

1. 1429. RosarU, i.e. Rosarium Philosophorum, the name of a treatise 
on alchemy by Amoldus de Villa Nova; Theat. Chem. iv. 514. 

L 143 1. The word mortification seems to have been loosely used to 
denote any change due to chemical action. Phillips explains Mordjit 
by — \ Among chymists, to change the outward form or shape of a mixt 
body ; as when quicksilver, or any other metal, is dissolved in an add 

1. 1432. * Unless it be with the knowledge (i.e. aid) of his brother.' 
The * brother' of Mercury was sulphur or brimstone (see 1. i439). The 
dictum itself is, I suppose, as worthless as it is obscure. 

1. 1434. Hermes, i.e. Hermes Trismegistus, fabled to have been the 
inventor of alchemy. Several books written by the New Platonists 
in the fourth century were ascribed to him. Tyrwhitt notes that 
a treatise under his name may be found in the Theatrum Cheniicum, 
vol. iv. See Fabridus, BibUotheca Grsca, lib. i. c. 10; and Smith's 
Classical Dictionary. The name is preserved in the phrase ' to seal 

Mr. Fumivall printed, for the Early £ng. Text Society, a tract called 
The Book of Quinte Essence, 'a tretice in Englisch breuely drawe out 
of the book of quintis essenciis in latyn, that hermys the prophete 
and kyng of Egipt, after the flood of Noe, fadir of philosophiis, 
hadde by reuelacLoun of an aungil of god to him him sende.' 

1. 1438. Dragoun, dragon. Here, of course, it means mercury, or 
some compound containing it. In certain processes, the solid residuum 
was also called draco, or draco qui comedit caudam suam. This draco 
and the eauda draconis are frequently mentioned in the old treatises; 
see Theatrum Chemicum, iii. 29, 36, &c. The terms may have been 
derived from astrology, since '(hagon's head' and 'dragon's tail* were 
common terms in that science. Chaucer mentions the latter in his 
Astrolabie, ii. 4. 22. And see the remarks on 'Draco' in Theat 
Chem. ii. 456. ^ 

1. 1440* 1^0/ and luna, gold and silver. The alchemists called sol (gold) 


the father, and luna (silver) the mother of the elixir or philosopher's 
stone. See Theat. Chem. iii. 9, 24, 25; iv. 528. Similarly, sulphur was 
said to be the father of minerals, and mercury the mother. Id. iii. 7. 

1. 1447. Secre, secret of secrets. Tyrwhitt notes—* Chaucer refers to 
a treatise entitled Secreta Secretorum, which was supposed to contain the 
sum of Aristotle's instructions to Alexander. See Fabricius, BibHotheca 
Grseca, vol. ii. p. 167. It was very popular in the middle ages, 
^gidius de Colunm^^ a famous divine and bishop, about the latter 
end of the 13th century, built upon it his book De Regimine Principum, 
of which our Occleve made a free translation in English verse, and 
addressed it to Henry V. while Prince of Wales. A part of Lydgate's 
translation of the Secreta Secretorum is printed in Ashmole's Theatrum 
Chemicum Britannicum, p. 397. He did not translate more than about 
half of it, being prevented by death. See MS. Harl. 2351, and Tanner, 
Bibl. Brit. s.v. Lydgate. The greatest part of the viith Book of Crower's 
Confessio Amantis [see note to 1. 820] is taken from this supposed 
work of Aristotle.' In the Theatrum Chemicum, iii. 14, I find an 
allusion to the philosopher's stone ending with these words — * Et Aris- 
toteles ad Alexandrum Regem dicitin libro de secretis secretorum, 
capitulo penultimo : O Alexander, accipe lapidem mineralem, vegeta- 
bilem, et animalem, et separa elementa.* See Warton, Hist. Eng. 
Poetry, sect. 19; iii. 19 (ed. 1871), or ii. 230 (ed. 1840). 

1. 1450. Tyrwhitt says — *The book alluded to is printed in the 
Theatrum Chemicum, vol. v. p. 219 [p. 191, ed. 1660], under this title 
Senioris Zadith fil. Hamuelis tabula Chemica. The story which follows 
of Plato and his disciples is there told, p. 249 [p. 224, ed. 1660], with 
some variations, of Solomon. " Dixit Salomon rex. Recipe lapidem qui 
dicitur Thitarios {sic) . . . Dixit sapiens, Assigna mihi ilium. . . . Dixit, 
Est corpus magnesias. . . . Dixit, Quid est magnesia ? . . . Respondit, Mag- 
nesia est aqua, composita," &c.' The name of Plato occurs thrice only 
a few lines below, which explains Chaucer's mistake. We find * Titan 
Magnesia' in Ashmole's Theat. Chem. p. 275 j cf. pp. 42, 447. 

1. 1457* Ignotum per ignotius, lit. &n unknown thing through a thing 
more unknown; i.e. an explanation of a hard matter by means of a 
term that is harder still. 

1. 1460. The theory that all things were made of the four elements, 
earth, air, fire, and water, was the foundation on which all alchemy was 
built; and it was the obstinacy with which this idea was held that 
rendered progress in science almost impossible. The words were used 
in the widest sense; thus air meant any vapour or gas; water, any 
liquid ; earth, any solid sediment ; and fire, any amount of heat. Hence 
also the theory of the four complexions of men. See Gower, Conf . 
Amant, bk. vii ; Theat. Chem. iii. 82 ; iv. 533, 537. 


I. 1 461. Rote represents the Lat. radix. A similar use of it occurs in 
Theat. Chem. ii. 463, where we read that the philosopher's stone • est 
radix, de quo omnes sapientes tractauerunt/ 

1. 1469. * Except where it pleases His Deity to inspire mankind, and 
again, to forbid whomsoever it pleases Him.' 

L 1481. Bote of his hale, a remedy for his evil, help out of his trouble. 


Line i. Wite ye, know ye. The singular is I wot, A. S. ic wot, 
Moeso-Goth. ihwait; the plural is we witen or we wite, A. S. we wiion, 
Moeso-Goth. weis witum. See 1. 82, where the right form occurs. 

1. 2. Boh-up^<md-doun, This place is here described as being ' under 
the Blee/ i. e. under Blean Forest. It is also between Boughton-under- 
Blean (see Group G, 1. 556) and Canterbury. This situation suits very 
well with Harbledown, and it has generally been supposed that Harble- 
down is here intended. Harbledown is spelt Herhaldoun in the account 
of Queen Isabella's journey to Canterbury (see Fumivall's Temporary 
Preface, p. 124, 1. 18; p. 127, 1. 21), and Helbadonne in the account of 
King John's journey (id. p. 131, 1. i). However, Mr. J. M. Cowper, in 
a letter to the Athenceum, Dec. 26, 1868, p. 886, says that there stiU 
exists a place called Up-and-down Field, in the parish of Thannington, 
which would suit the position equally well, and he believes it to be the 
place really meant. If so, the old road must have taken a sonoiewhat 
different direction from the present one, and there are reasons for 
supposing that such may have been the case. 

The break here between the Canon's Yeoman's and the Manciple's 
Tales answers to the break between the first and second parts of 
Lydgate's Storie of Thebes. At the end of Part I, Lydgate mentions 
the descent down the hill (i,e. Boughton hill), and. at the beginning 
of Part II, he says that the pilgrims had * passed the thorp of Boughton- 

1. 5. Dun is in the myre, a proverbial saying, originally used in an old 
rural sport. Dun means a dun horse, or, like Bayard, a horse in general. 
The game is described in Brand's Popular Antiquities, 4to. ii. 289 ; and 
in Gilford's notes to Ben Jonson, vol. vii. p. 283. The latter explana- 
tion is quoted by Nares, whom see. Briefly, the game was of this kind. 
A large log of wood is brought into the midst of a kitchen or large 
room. The cry is raised that • Dun is in the mire/ i. e. that the cart- 



THE manciple's PROLOGUE. . 203 

horse is stuck in the mud. Two of the company attempt to drag it 
along; if they fail, another comes to help, and so on, till Dun is 

There are frequent allusions to it ; see Romeo and Juliet, i. 4. 41 ; 
Beaumont and Fletcher's Woman-hater, iv. 3; Hudibras, pt iii. 
c. iii. 1. no. 

In the present passage It means— * we are all at a standstill'; or, 
'let us make an effort to move on.' Mr. Hazlitt, in his Proverbial 
Phrases, quotes a line — * And all gooth bacward, and don is in the myr' 

1. 1 2. Do him come forth, make him come forward. Cf. Group B, 
1888, 1889 (Prioress's End-link). 

1. 14. ^ hotel hay, a bottle of hay ; similarly, we have a barel ale. 
Monk's Prol. B. 3083. And see 1. 24 below. A bottle of hay was 
a small bundle of hay, less than a truss, as explained in my note 
to The Two Noble Kinsmen, v. 2. 45. 

1. 16. By the morwe, in the morning. There is no need to explain 
away the phrase, or to say that it means in the afternoon, as Tyrwhitt 
does. The Canon's Yeoman's Tale is the first told on the third day, 
and The Manciple's is only the second. The Cook seems to have taken 
too much to drink over night, and to have had something more before 
starting. The fresh air has kept him awake for a while at first, but 
he is now very drowsy indeed. 

Tyrwhitt well remarks that there is no allusion here to the xmfinished 
Cook's Tale in Group A. This seems to shew that the Manciple's 
Prologue was written before the Cook's Tale was begun. See my Preface 
to the Prioresses Tale, p. xv. Note that the Cook is here excused; 
1. 29. 

1. 23. *I know not why, but I would rather go to sleep than have 
the best gallon of wine in Cheapside.' Me wer leuer depe, lit. it would 
be dearer to me to sleep. Cf. 1. 14. 

1. 29. As now, for the present ; a common phrase. 

^* 33* ^^ w^^ disposed, indisposed in health. 

1. 42. Fan, the fan or vane or board of the quintain. The quintain, 
as is well known, consisted of a cross-bar turning on a pivot at the 
top of a post. At one end of the cross-bar was the fan or board, 
sometimes painted to look like a shield, and at the other was a club 
or bag of sand. The jouster at the hn had to strike the shield, and 
at the same time to avoid the stroke given by the swinging bag. The 
Cook was hardly in a condition for this ; his eye and hand were alike 
unsteady, and his figure did not suggest that he possessed the requisite 
^ agility. See Quintain in Nares, and Strutt's Sports and Pastimes, 

u bk. iii. c. i ; As You Like It, i. 2. 263, on which see Mr, Wright's note 

^ (Clar. Press Series). 




1. 44. Wyn ape, ape-wine, or ape's wine. Tyrwhitt rightly considers 
this the same as the vm de singe in the Calendrier des Berbers, sign. 
1. ii. b., where the author speaks of the different effects produced by 
wine upon different men, according to their temperaments. ' The 
Cholerick, he says, a vin de lyon ; eesi a dire, quani a bien beu, vettU Uutser, 
noyser, et hattre. The Sanguine a vin de singe ; quant a plus beu, tant esi 
plus joyeux. In the same manner, the Phlegmatic is said to have 
vin de mouton, and the Melancholick vin de porceau* 

Tyrwhitt adds — 'I find the same four animals applied to iliustrate 
the effects of wine in a little Rabbinical tradition, which I shall 
transcribe here from Fabricius, Cod. Pseudepig. Veteris Testamenti, 
vol. i. p. 275. "Vineas plantanti Noacho Satanam se junxisse me- 
morant, qui, dum Noa vites plantaret, mactaverit apud illas ovem, 
leonem, simiam, et suem: Quod principio potiis vini homo sit instar 
ovis, vinum sumptum efhciat ex homine Uonem, largius haustum xnutet 
eum in saltantem simiam, ad ebrietatem infiisum transformet ilium in 
poUutam et prostratam suem.** See also Gesta Romanorum, c. 159, 
where a story of the same purport is quoted from Josephus, in libra 
de easu rerutn naturalium* 

Warton (Hist. E. P. ed. 1871, i. 283) gives a slight sketch of this 
chapter in the Gesta, referring to Tyrwhitt's note, and explaining it 
in the words — ' when a man begins to drink, he is meek and ignorant as 
the lamb, then becomes bold as the lion, his courage is soon transformed 
into the foolishness of the ape, and at last he wallows in the mire 
like a sow.* 

Barclay, in his Ship of Fools, ed. Jamieson, i. 96, speaking of 
drunken men, says — 

*Some sowe-dronke, swaloyng mete without mesure.' 
and again — 

* Some are Afe-dronke, full of laughter and of toyes.* 

The following interesting explanation by Lacroix is much to the 
same effect. 

' hi Cxermany and in France it was the custom, at the public entries of 
kings, princes, and persons of rank, to offer them the wines made in the 
district, and commonly sold in the town. At Langres, for instance, 
these wines were put into four pewter vessels called cimaises, which are 
still to be seen. They were called the /io«, monkey, sheep, and pig 
wines — symbolical names, which expressed the different degrees or 
phases of drunkenness which they were supposed to be capable of 
producing: the lion, courage; the monkey, cunning; the sheep, good 
temper ; the pig, bestiality.' — P. Lacroix ; Manners, Customs, and Dress 
during the Middle Ages, 1874, p. 508. 

A note in Bell's edition quotes an illustrative passage from a song in 

THE manciple's PROLOGUE. 205 

Lyly*s play of Mother Bombie, printed in the Songs from the Drama- 
tists, ed. Bell, p. 56. 

*0 the dear blood of grapes 
Turns us to antic shapes, 
Now to show tricks like apes. 
Now lionMhe to roar*; &c. 

The idea here intended is precisely that expressed by Barclay. The 
Cook, being very dull and ill-humoured, is ironically termed ape-drunk, 
as if he were ' full of laughter and of toyes,' and ready to play even with 
a straw. The satire was too much for th^ Cook, who became excited, 
and fell from his horse in his attempts to oppose the Manciple. 

1. 50. Chyuacke, feat of horsemanship, exploit. See Prol. 85 for the 
serious use of the word, where in chiuachie means on an (equestrian) 

1. 51. ' Alas I why would he not stick to his ladle !* He should have 
been in a kitchen, basting meat, not out of doors, on the bac^ of 
a horse. 

1. 55. Dominacioim, dominion. Cf. * the righteous shall have domina- 
Hon over them in the morning'; Ps. xlix. 14, Prayer-book Version. 
An early example of the word is in A Balade sent to King Richard, 
third stanza — *Uertue hath now no dominacioun^ — printed at the end 
of Chaucer's Works; ed. 1561, fol. cccxxxv, back. 

1. 63. Fneseth, blows, puffs; of which the reading sneseth is a poor 
corruption, though occurring in all the modem editions. Dr. Strat- 
mann gives — *Fneosen, stemuere; Jhese, Tale of Beryn, ed. Fumivall, 
1. 43.' This instance is not a very clear one, and perhaps the reading 
(in Beryn) should really be sneze. To Jhese does not mean to sneeze, but 
to breathe hard. 

I have no doubt that the word neesings in Job xH. 18, meaning 
not 'sneezings* but *hard breathings,' is due to the Vfoid fnesynge, 
by which Wyclif translates the Latin stemutatio. In Jer. viii. 16, 
Wyclif represents the snorting of horses by /nesting. Cf. A. S. JtKBSty 
a puff, a blast, fncBsHct^, the windpipe ; fheosung, a hard breathing. 
Grimm's law helps us to a further illustration; for, as the English / 
is a Greek p, a cognate word is at once seen in the common Greek 
verb iTviw, I breathe or blow (not I sneeze). For further examples, 
see Jnast, Owl and Nightingale, 44 ; Jhaste, Havelok, 548 ; Jnasted 
(pt. tense), Gawain and the Grene Knight, 1703; fnast. Alliterative 
Troybook, ed. Planton and Donaldson, 168, 878. 

1. 73. To reclaim a hawk is to bring it back to the hawker's hand; 
this was generally effected by holding out a lure^ or something tempting 
to eat. Here the Host means that some day the Cook will hold out 


a bait to, or lay a snare for, the Manciple, and get him into his power ; 
for example, he might examine the details of the Manciple's accounts 
with an inconvenient precision, and perhaps the amounts charged, if 
tested, would not appeal- to be strictly honest. The Manciple replies, 
in all good humour, that such a proceeding might certainly bring 
him into trouble. See Prol. 570-586. 

I. 83. * Yea.'of an excellent vintage.' 

1. 90. Pouped, blown; see Nonne PrestesTale, 578. Here * blown upon 
this horn ' is a jocular phrase for * taken a drink out of this gourd.' 


Line i. Maunciple, manciple ; see Group H. The connection between 
this Group and the preceding is, in reality, very slight. The best 
solution seems to be to suppose that the word mauncipie here was 
merely inserted provisionally. When the Manciple told his tale, it was 
still morning; see Group H, 1. 16, and the note. The Pilgrims had 
but a very little way to go, however. Perhaps we may suppose that 
they halted on the road, having a shorter day's work before them than 
on the previous days, and then other tales might have been introduced ; 
so that the time wore away till the afternoon came. It is clear, from 
1. 16, that the Parson's Tale was intended, when the final revision was 
made, to be the last on the outward journey. Whatever difficulties 
exist in the arrangement of the tales may fairly be considered as due to 
the fact that the final revision was never made. 

1. 4. Nyne and twenty. In my Preface to Chaucer's Astrolabie, p. Ixiii, 
I have explained this passage fully. In that treatise, part ii. sections 
41-43, Chaucer explains the method of taking altitudes. He here ?&ys 
that the sun was 29° high, and in 11. 6-9 he says that his height was to 
his shadow in the proportion of 6 to 11. This comes to the same thing, 
since the angle whose tangent is -^y is very nearly 39°. Chaucer would 
know this, as I have shewn, by simple inspection of an astrolabe, without 

1. 5. Fourtt four p.m. The MSS. have Ten, but the necessity of the 
correction is undoubted. This was proved by Mr. Brae, in his edition 
of Chaucer*s Astrolabe, pp. 71-74. We have merely to remember that 
ten p.m. would be after sunset, to see that some alteration must be 
made. Now the altitude of the sun was 39^, and the day of the year 


THE PARSO^rS prologue:. 20J 

was about April 20 (Pref. to Prioresses Tale, p. xiii) ; and these data 
require that the time of day should be about 4 p.m. Tyrwhitt notes 
that some MSS. actually have the reading Foure, and this gives us 
authority for the change. Mr. Brae suggests that the reading Ten was 
very likely a gloss upon Foure; since four o'clock is the tenth hour of the 
day, reckoning from 6 a.m. The whole matter is thus accounted for. 

1. 10. The mones exaltacioun, the moon's exaltation. I have discussed 

this passage in my Preface to Chaucer's Astrolabie, p. Ixiii. My 

explanation is that Chaucer uses exaltation here (as in several other 

passages) in its ordinary astrological sense. The 'exaltation' of a 

planet is that sign in which it was believed to exert its greatest 

influence; and, in accordance with this, the old tables call Taurus 

the * exaltation of the Moon/ and Libra the 'exaltation of Saturn.' 

These results, founded on no reasons, had to be remembered by sheer 

effort of memory, if remembered at all. I have no doubt, accordingly, 

that Chaucer (or his scribes) have made 'a mistake here, and that 

the reading should be 'Satumes,' as proposed by Tyrwhitt, The 

sentence then means — 'Therewith Saturn's exaltation, I mean Libra, 

kept on continually ascending above the horizon.' This would be 

quite right, as the sign of Libra was actually ascending at the time 

supposed. The phrase *I mene Libra' may be paralleled by the 

phrase *I mene Venus'; Kn. Tale, 1358; see also Group B, i860, 

2 1 41. Alwey, continually, is common in Chaucer; see Clerkes Tale, 

£ 458, 810. Gan ascende, did ascend, is the opposite to gan descende; 

Clerkes Tale, E 392. It is somewhat remarkable that the astrologers 

also divided each sign into three equal parts of ten degrees each, called 

' faces' ; mentioned in Chaucer's Astrolabie, ii. 4. 38, and in 1. 50 of the 

Squieres Tale. According to their arrangement, the first 10 degrees of 

Libra was called the 'face of the moon,' or * mones face.' This suggests 

that Chaucer may, at the moment, have confused face with exaltation^ 

thus giving us, as the portion of the zodiac intended, the first ten degrees 

of Libra. 

I doubt if the phrase is worth further discussion. For further 
information see my Preface to Chaucer's Astrolabie; and, for an 
ingenious theory, offered in explanation of the whole passage, see 
Mr Brae's edition of the same, p. 74. 

1. 16. This means that the Parson's Tale was meant to be the last one 
on the outward journey. Unfortunately, there lack a great many more 
tales than one, as the matter really stands. 

1. 26. ' Unpack your wallet, and let us see what is in it.' In oth^ 
words, tell us a story, and let us see what it is like. 
1. 32. See I Tim. i. 4, iv. 7 ; 2 Tim. iv. 4. 
1. 42. Southren, In my Essay on Alliterative Poetry, printed m 


▼oL itL cHlht Veicj F<^io MS^ ed. Haks snd FmniYall, I hmve 
that nearly all the alUtenUiTe poems axe in the Noiliicm or West-Midland 
dialect, as opposed to the East-Midland dialect of Chaaocr, which 
approaches the Soathem dialect. Still, it is the Faison himrei/'^ not 
Chaucer, who says he is a Soothemer; and peihaps the poet meaio. 
naturally enough, to tell us that he was a KeniUk man. The dialrrt of 
Kent was properly Soathem. Many Southern fonns occur in Gowrer. 

1. 43. Rom, ram, ruf are of course nonsense words, rhoscri to re- 
present alliteration, because they all alike begin with r. In most 
alliterative poetry, the number of words in a line beginning with a 
common letter is, as Chaucer suggests, thr§e. 

The word gette here means no more than 'tdl a stoiy,' without 
reference to the form of the story. Properly, the gesta were in prose ; 
see note to Group B, 2123, It is, however, worth noting that one very 
long alliterative poem on the siege of Troy, edited by Panton and 
Donaldson (Early English Text Society) bears the title of * Geat 
Hystoriale.* The number of dbtinctively Northern words in it is 
very considerable. 

I think that this line has been forced by some out of its true meaning, 
and made to convey a sneer against alliteratiye poetry which was by 
no means intended. Neither Chaucer himself nor his amiable Parson 
would have spoken slightingly of other men's labours. The introduc- 
tion of the words rom, ram, ruf conveys no more than a perfectly 
good-humoured allusion. That this is the true view is clear from 
the very next line, where the Parson declares that 'he holds rime 
but little better.' 

The most interesting question is — why should Chaucer allude to 
elliterative poetry at all ? The answer is, in my view, that he distinctly 
wished to recognise the curious work of his contemporary William, 
whose Vision of Piers the Plowman had, by this time, passed, as it 
were, into a second edition, having been extremely popular in London, 
and especially amongst the lower classes. The author was not a 
Southerner, but his poem had come to London, together with himself, 
before a.d. 1377. 

I. 57. Tesctuel, literally exact in giving the text. The next line means 
•»* I only gather (and give you) the general meaning.* Most quotations 
at this period were very inexact, and Chaucer himself was no more exact 
than others. 

1. 67. Haddt the wordts. Tyrwhitt sajrs — • This is a French phrase. 
It is applied to the Speaker of the Commons in Rot. Pari. 51 Edw. ni. 
n. 87. " Mohs. Thomas de Hungerford, Chivaler, qi avoit Us paroles 
pur les Communes d'Angleterre en cest Parlement," Sec* It means^ 
was the spokesman. 


B « Group B. C = Group C. G = Group G. H = Group H. I = Group I. 

The following are the principal contractions used : — 
A.S. s Anglo-Saxon (i. e. Old English Lat. « Latin. 

words in Bosworth's or Grein's 

Dan. B Danish (Ferrall and Repp). 
Du. — Dutch (Tauchnitz edition). 
E.« English. 
£.£.» Early English (a.d. iioo- 

1 350). 
F.« French (Brachet). 
G. s German. 
Gk.B Greek. 
Icel. s Icelandic (Cleasby and Vig- 

Ital. B Italian (Meadows). 

MJ).» Middle English (a.d. 1350- 

M.H.G.- Middle High German. 

Moeso-Goth. or Goth. « Moeso- 

O.F.«01d French (Burguy, Roque- 

Prompt. Parv.«Promptorium Parv- 
ulorum, ed. Way (Camden 

Sp.« Spanish (Meadows). 

Sw.=: Swedish (Tauchnitz edition). 

W. = Welsh (SpurrcU). 

Also the following: v. s verb in the infinitivt mood; pr. 5. or pt. s. means 
the third person singular of the present or past tense, except when i p» or 
2 p. (Jint person or second person) is added ; pr. pi. or pt. pi. means, like- 
wise, the third person plural of the present or past tense ; imp. s. means the 
second person singular of the imperative mood. Other contractions, such as 
5. 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. The references are to the Group and the line, 

* Gloss. I.' means the Glossary to Dr. Morris's edition of the Prologue, 
Knightes Tale, &c. ; * Gloss. II.' means the Glossary to the Prioresses Tale, 
&c. ; both in the Clarendon Press Series. 

A(/or on, prep, in, during ; a nyght, 
in the night, by night, G 880; 
a dayes, lit. on days, i. e. a-days, 
1396. A. S. oil, E. £. an, a. 

Abasshedf pp. ashamed, discon- 
certed B. 568. O. Fr. esbahir, 
to frighten ; from O. Fr. baer. 
Low Lat. badare, to gape, open 
the mouth; possibly from the 
interjection bah I of astonish- 

VOL. m. 

Abhomlnablef adj, abominable, 
C 471, 631. Lat. abominor, I 
deprecate an omen ; from ab and 

Abit, pr, s, (for abideth), abides, 
G 1 1 75. A. S. abidan, from bidan, 
to wait. 

Abluoiona, s, pi, ablutions, wash- 
ings, G 856. 

Aboughty pp, redeemed, atoned for, 
C 503. See Abye. 



AbtLBion, 8. guile, imposture, deceit, 
B 314. * Abusion, f. ao abusing, 
an error, fallacy, imposture, guile, 
deceit;' Cotgrave's French Diet. 

Abye* v. to suffer for, pay (dearly) 
^or, C 756, G 694 ; pp. Abought, 
atoned for, C 503. A. S. abicgan, 
to pay for ; from biegan, to buy. 
See Aboughie in Gloss. I. 

Aooident, s. any property or 
quality of a thing, not essential 
to its existence ; the outward ap- 
pearance, C 539. See the note. 
(Lat. cadere,) 

Aooorde, pr. s, subj. may agree, G 
638; pp. Accorded, agreed, B 
238. Fr. accorder, Lat. accord- 
aret from coTf the heart. 

Adotm, adv. down, G 1113, 1 72; 
at the bottom, G 779. A.S. of- 
dune, lit. off the down or hill; 
from dun, a hill, a down. 

Aduersarie, s. enemy, G 1476. 
O. Fr. adversarie (Burguy), Lat. 
aduerscanus; from Lat. ad, to, 
and uertere, to turn. 

Aduertenoe* s. mental attention, 
consideration of a matter in hand, 
G 467. The jcnse is Ijrought out 
in Chaucer's Troilus and Cre^iida, 
iv. 698 (ed. Tyiillitt^gpvhere 
Cressida is in a state oHnMaction 
— * Her aduertence is alwey elles- 
where.' From Lat. uertere. 

Aduooat, s. advocate, intercessor, 
G 68. Lat. aduocare, from uox, 

AfCray, s. fear, terror, B 1137. 
See Gloss. II. 

AfCrayed, pp. afraid, frightened, B 

After, prep, according to, G 25 ; 

in expectation of, for, B 467. 

A. S. after ; see Gloss. II. 
Agast, adj. amazed, terrified, B 

677. See Gloss. I. and II. 
Agayn, prep, against, B 580, C 

427, G 1415; near, G 1279; 

opposite to, to meet, B 391; 

towards, to meet, B 399, 6 I34i- 
A.S. ongedn, towards, against. 

Agayns, prep, before, in presence 
o^» C 743. Formed from A.S. 
ongedn, with addition of (adver- 
bial) suffix -es. This IVf . E. ag-ayns 
is now corrupted to against. 

Agaynward, adv. bade again, fi 

Agon, pp. gone away, C 810 ; pp. 
as adv. Agoon, ago, 436. A. S. 
dgdn, pp. of verb dgdn, to go by. 
pass by, which is equivalent to G. 

Agryse, v. to shudder, to be seized 
with horror, B 614. A.S. dgrisan, 
to fear; cf. A.S. grisltc, grisly, 
horrible ; A. S. gryre, terror. 

Al, adj. all ; al a, the whole of« G 
996 ; at al, at all, wholly, C 633. 
A. S. eaU, Goth, alls, all. 

Al, conj. whether, G 846; although, 
861, C 449, 451. Al sosas, 6 
396, H 80. 

Albifioaoioun, s. albefaction, 
whitening, rendering of a white 
colour, G 805. Lat. aJbi^cUio- 
nem; from albus, white, and 
facere, to make. 

Alderflrst, adv. first of all, G 423. 
A. S. alra, ealra, gen. pl. of eail, 
all, which became M. £. tdler, 
alder, and alther. (Gloss. I. IL) 

Alembykea, s. pl. alembics, G 774. 
* Alambique, a limbeck, a stilla- 
tory,'i.e. a vessel used in distilling, 
a retort ; Cotgrave's French Diet 
From Span, cdambique, borrowed 
from Arabic al-anbiq, which again 
seems to have been borrowed 
from Gk. it^Pi^t a cup, used by 
Dioscorides to mean the cap of a 

Ale-stake, s. a stake projecting 
from an ale-house by way of a 
sigi^t C 321. See the note. 

Algate, ctdv. at any rate, C 292, G 
318, 904. See below. 

Algatea, adv. all the saioe, never- 



theless, at any rate (lit. by all 
ways, by all means), B 520, O 
1096. Here gate means a way. 
Cf. Icel. gatOf a path, road ; G. 
gassBf a street. From the root of 

Alkaly, 5. alkali, G 810. Arabic 
al-qali, the ashes of the plant 
glass-wort {Salicornia), which 
abounds in soda. 

Alkamistre, s. alchemist, G 1204. 
Alchemy is Arabic al-kimid^ where 
al is the Arabic article, and the 
sb. is borrowed from the Gk. 
yriiuiat chemistry, equivalent to 
Xv/icia,xi^^tcv(r(«,a mingling, from 
xiwy to pour. (Etym. somewhat 

AUe and some, collectively and 
individually, one and all, B 263, 


Alliamice, s. alliance, C 605. 
(Gloss. I. II.) 

AUye, 8. ally, G 292, 297. 

Almes-dede, s. alms-deed, alms- 
doing, B 1 156. 

Almesse, s. alms, B 168. A.S. 
celmesse^ borrowed from Lat. elee- 
mosynOf which from Gk. Iktrj' 
fjuxrlfvrj, pity, a bounty ; from 
IXccfr, to have pity. 

AI-80, conj. as, B 396, H 80. A.S. 

Alum, s, alum, G813. O.F. alum 
(Roquefort), Lat. alumen. 

Alwej, adv, continually, un- 
ceasingly, regularly, I 11. 

Am, in phr, it am I »= it is I, B 
1 109. 

Amalgaming, 5. the formation of 
an amalgam, G 771. An amalgam 
is a pasty mixture of mercury with 
other substances (properly with a 
metal). The derivation is from 
Gk. fi&kayfia, an emollient, from 
fioXAfffftiVf to soften. 

Amased, pp. amazed, G 935. 

Amis, adv, wrongly, C 642. 
(Gloss. II.) 

Amonges, prep, amongst, G 608. 

(Gloss. II.) 
Amounteth, pr. s. amounteth to, 

signifies, means, B 569. (Gloss. 


Amy, 8. friend, C 318. F. ami, 

Lat. amicus. 
An, lit. one, a ; an eighte busshels, 

a quantity equal to eight bushels, 

C 771. A.S. an. 
And, conj. if, G 145, 602, 1371. 
Angle, 8. angle (a technical term 

in astrology), B 304. (See note.) 

Lat. angulus. 
Annexed, />p. attached, C 482. 
Annueler, s, a priest who received 

annuals (see the note), a chaplain, 

G 1012. 
Anon, adv. immediately, forthwith, 

B 326, C 864, 881. A. S. on an, 

lit. in one ; i.e. in one minute. 
Anon-ryght, adv. immediately, G 

Anoyeth, pres, s. impers. it annoys, 

vexes, G 1036 ; imp. pi. Anoyeth, 

injure ye. (Gloss. II.) 
Apayd, pp, pleased; yuel apayd, 

ill pleased, dissatisfied, G 921, 

1049. (Gloss, ir.) 
Ape, s. a^pe (see the note), G 

Apertening, pres. pt. apjpertaining, 

G 785. O.F. apartenir, Lat. ad 

and perihtere. 
Apese, v. to appease, «pacify, H 98. 

F. apaiser, derived from O.F. 

pais, peace; Lat. pQcem, ace. of 

Apostelles, s. pi. apostles, G 1002. 
Apposed, pt. s, questioned, G 363. 

See the note. 
Argoile, s. potter's clay, G 813. 

From an O.F. form of Lat. argilla, 

Argnmenten,, argue, B 212. 
Arist, pr. s. {conir. from ariseth) 

arises, B 265. A.S. drisan. 
Armeth, imp. 2 p. pi, arm, G 385. 
Armoniak, adj, ammoniac; ap- 

P 2 



plied to bole, O 790, and sal, 
798. In L 790, it is a corruption 
of Lat armeniaeum, i.e. Armenian, 
belonging to Armenia. See notes. 

Armiire, s, armour, B 936, G 385. 
F. arrmtre, contr. from Lat. arma' 

Arrsyedf pp, arranged, ordered, B 
25 a. O.F. ttrraUr, from arroit 
order; which from sb. rw, from 
a Scandinavian source. Cf. Swed. 
reda, to prepare ; GoiAi,garaidjan^ 
to make ready. (Gloss. I. II.) 

Anenik, s. arsenic, G 778. Lat. 
arsenicum, Gk. d^wwiK^v, a name 
occurring in Dioscorides, 5. lai. 
It signifies male, from the Gk. 
dparjy, a male. 

Artow, contr. for art thou, B 308, 
C 552, 718, G 424, etc. 

Aryght, adv, aright, rightly, G 

Ab, expletive, expressing a wish ; as 
haue, may He have, B 1061 ; as 
lat, i.e. pray let, 859, 

Am ferforth as, adv. as far as, G 

Aa now, i. e. just now, B 740 ; on 
the present occasion, G 944 ; for 
the present, with the matter on 
hand, G 1019. 

Aa Bwythe, culv. as quickly as 
possible, G 1030, 1194, 1294. 
M.E. swythe, quickly; from A.S. 
sudiS, strong, severe. 

ABoaunoe, adv. perhaps^ G 838. 
Tyrwhitt (note to C. T., 1. 7327) 
refers us to the present passage, 
' to Tro. and Cress., i. 285, 292, 
and to Lydgate. It clearly means 
perchance, perhaps. The etymo- 
logy was discussed, ineffectively, 
in Notes and Queries, 4 S. xi. 

! 251. 346, 471 ; xii. 12, 99, 157. 
217, 278. The difficulty has 
arisen from confusion with the 
modem askance, with which it 
may have nothing to do. The 
present word is related ratiier 

to O. F. ' eseanee, oe qui ^<^oit 
tombe en partage ' (Burguy); 
and to O. F. * eseas^ esekas, i 
peine, tant soit pea* (Roque- 
fort). The main part of the word 
is clearly our chance, O.F. ekeanee, 
Lat. eadentia, from eadere, to fidi, 
happen. Cf. Chaucer's pereas, 
and mod. £. in ease, perchance. 
Our word to escheat is from the 
same root, and the sb. an escheat 
ai^>ears in Low Latin in many 
forms, such as escaeta, mscadentia, 
eschanchia, excideniia, mrbere the 
prefix is, apparently, the Lrat. prep. 
ex. We find O.F. as aBLat. ad 
illas, shewing that as - ccnena 
(better cK-caunces) stands for ad 
tllas cadentias. The form eance 
for chance is Picard ; see Brachet, 
Hist. French Grammar, transL by 
Kitchin, p. 21. Compare chivalry 
with cavalry, champagne with 
campaign. Sec. The loss of final 
s in cances was very easy. Note 
that the word is trisyllabic 

Aaoenoioun, s. ascension, risin| 
up, G 778. 

Asoende, v. to ascend, rise (a term 
in astrology). In. 

Aaoendent, s. ascendant, B 303. 
The * ascendant' is that degree of 
the ecliptic which is rising above 
the horizon at the time of ob- 
serving a horoscope, and calcula- 
ting a nativity. 

A-Bonder, adv. asunder, apart, B 
1 1 5 7. A. S. on'sundron, separate- 
ly, from sundor, separate. 

Aspye* «. spyt C 755. From O.F. 
espier, to espy, a word borrowed 
from O. H. G. spehon, to look at, 
cognate with Lat. spicere (in con- 
spicere), Skt. spas. 

Aasay, s. trial, G 1249, 1338. F. 
essai, a trial ; from Lat. exagium. 

ABBembled, pp. united, G 50. F. 
assembler, Lat. assimulare, to 
collect, from Lat. simul, together. 



Aasent, s. consent, conspiracy, C 

AflsentedeBt, pi, 5. a p, consented- 

est, didst pay heed, G 333. 
Asshes, s. pi, ashes, G 807. A. S. 

asce, asce, a cinder. 
Assoile, pr, s. i p, I absolve, 

pardon, C 387, 913. O.F. as- 

soldre, Lat. absolwre, 
Asterte, v, to escape, C 414; pt. 

s. Asterted, escaped, B 437 ; pt. s, 

suhj. Asterte, might {or could) 

escape, 475. Cf. E. start, Du. 

storten, to precipitate, rush; G. 

Atff prep, from, of (used with axed), 

G 54a, 6ai. 

* Blithe would I battle for the 
To ask one question at the 

Scott, MarmioH, iii. aQ. 
Atake, v, to overtake, G 556, 585. 

Cf. Icel. takOf to take ; the prefix 

is probably A. S. on, Icel. a. Cf. 

Icel. dtak, a touching. 
Atasir, s. evil influence, B 305. 

See note, p. 126. 
Atones, adv, at once, B 670. 

(Gloss. 11.) 
Atte, eontr. Jbr at the; as in eute 

fan, H 4a ; atte hasard, C 60S ; 

attefulle, at the full, in complete* 

ness, B ao3; atte laste, at, the 

last, B 506, C 844, G 683. 
Atwiime, adv. apart, G 11 70. 

Probably from on twednum, in two 

parts, where twednum is dat. pi. 

of A.S. twedn, double, twin; cf. 

Icel. tvennr, in pairs, twin. 
Atwo, adv, in two, in twain, B 

600, 697, C 677, 936, G 5a8. 

For on two, 
Anantage, s. convenience, profit; 

/o don his auantage, to suit his 

own interests, B 739 ; advantage, 

G 731. O.F. avaniage, profit, 

from prep, avani, before, which 

from Lat. ab aute. 

Anantage, s, <ts adj, advantageous, 

B 146. 
Auaunoed, pp, advanced, C 410. 

O. F. avancer, from avani, 
Auotoritee, s. authority, C 387. 

O.F. auctoriteit, Lat. auetorita- 

Auenture, s. chance, adventure, 

B 465; peril, B 1151, G 946; 

pi, Auentures, accidents, C 934. 

O.F. aventure, from vemr, Lat. 

Aught, adv. by any chance, in any 

way, B 1034 ; at all, G 597. 
Atuigeles, s. />/. angels, B 64a. 
Auow, s, vow, B 334, C 695. See 

note to C 695. 
Auowe, V, to avow, own publicly, 

proclaim, G 64a. O.F. avouer, 

avoer; from Lat. ad and uouere. 
Auter, s, altar, B 451. O.F. auter 

(commonly autel), Lat. altare. 
Auys, s, opinion, I 54. F. avis; 

from €L and vis, Lat. uisum, a 

thing seen, an opinion; from 

uideri, to seem. 
Auyse xlb, v, refl, consider with 

ourselves, B 664 ; imp. pi, Auys- 

cth, consider ye, C 583; pp. 

Auysed, well advised, C 690; 

Auysed me, taken counsel with 

myself, considered the matter, G 

57a. See above. 
Awake, v, to wake, H 7. (Gloss. 

Aweye, adv. away, from home, B 

593 ; astray, 609. A. S. onweg ; 

see Gloss, to Sweet's A.S. Reader. 
Axe, imp, s. ask thou, C 667 ; i p. 

s. pres. Axe, I ask, G 436 ; a p. 

pi. pres, ask ye, G 460 ; pr. s, 

Axeth, asks, B 878 ; pt, s. Axed, 

G 357 ; I A *• P'* Axed, G 54a ; 

pt, pi, a p. Axed, ye asked, 430. 

A. S. aesian, 
Azinge, s. questioning, question, 

G 433. See above. 
Ay, adv, aye, ever, for ever, B 296. 

A. S. aa, d. 




Bak, 8. cloth for the back, cloak, 
coarse mantle, G 88i. See the 

Balaunoe, s. balance, G 6ii. 
Z^e in 6., lay in the balance, i. e. 
advance as a pledge. 

Bale, 5. misfortune, sorrow, G. 
1 48 1. A. S. bealo, torment, 
wickedness; Goth, hahvyan, to 

Bar, pL s, bore, carried about, B 
476 (cf. the name Christopher), 
G. 231, 1264. See Ber. 

Barbre, adj. barbarian, B 281. 
Lat. barbarus, Gk. fiApfiapo^ 

Baronage, s. company of barons, 
retinue of lords, B 329. The 
more usual O.F. form is (thb con- 
tracted) barnage ; both from 
O. F. baron f a man. (Gloss. I.) 

Baskettes, s, pi. baskets, C 445. 
Of Celtic origin; W. basged, a 
basket ; cf. W. basg, a plaiting ; 
Gaelic bascaid^ a basket. 

Bataille, s, battle, G 386. F. 
bataille. Low Lat. batalia, neut. 
pi. signifying combats. 

Baudy, adj. dirty, G 635. W. 
bawaidd, dirty, baw, dirt. 

Bayte, v. to bait, feed, eat, B 
466. Icel. btiia, to feed, to 
make to bite ; the causal of biia^ 
to bite. 

Be. See Ben. 

Beautee, s. beauty, B 162. O. F. 
biaute, beltet, from Lat. ace. belli- 
totem ; from Lat. bellus, fair. 

Beohen, adj. beechen, made of 
beech, G 1 160. A. S. bdcen, 
beechen, bice, a beech; cf. Lat. 

Bede, v. to offer, proffer, G 1065 ; 
I p. pi. pt. Bede, we bade, we 
directed, I 65. A. S. be6dan, to 
offer, bid; Goth, biudan, to bid. 

Bee, s. a bee, G 195. A.S. beo. 

An Old Sanskrit bha (meaniflg 
bee) is recorded in Bohtlingk aod 
Roth's Skt. Dictionary. 

Beech, s. beech-wood, G 928. See 

Bekke, pr. s. i pr. I nod, C 396. 
Allied to beckon. 

Bel amy, i.e. good friend, fur 
friend, C 318. See note. O. F. 
bel, fair, ami, friend. 

Belle, s. bell, 662, 664. A. S. 

Ben, V. to be, B 227 ; pr. pi. Ben, 
are, 238 ; pr. s. subj, may be, is, 
G 1 293 ; Be as be may, let it be 
as it may, G 935 ; imp. pi. Beth, 
be ye, B 229, C 683. G 937 ; pp. 
Be, been, G 262. A. S. be6n, to 
be ; cf. Lat. fore, Skt. bhu. 

Ber,' pt. 5. bore, B 722. A. S. 
beran, pt. t. ic b<sr. See Sar. 

Berth hir on hond, beareth false 
witness against her, falsely affirms 
concerning her, B 620. See the 

Berie, v. to bury, C 8S4 ; pp. 
Beryed, 405. A. S. beorgan, to 
cover over. 

Berm, 5. barm, i.e. yeast, G 813. 
A. S. beorma, barm, leaven, yeast, 

Berne, s. dot. a bam, C 397. The 
proper form of the nom. is bem, 
from A.'S. bem, contr. from 
berem or bere-em, i. e. a place 
for com ; from bere, barley, com, 
and cem, a place for stowing. 

Be8te» s. beast, i. e. an animal 
without reason, brute animal, G 
288; pH. Bestcs, cattle, C 361, 
365. O. F. beste, Lat. bestia. 

Besydes, adv. on one side, G 

Bet, adj. eomp. better, B 311, 
1091, G 1410. A.S. bet, better, 
from a root bat, signifying good ; 
cf. Goth, batiza, better. 

Bet, adv. better, G 1283, 1344; 
hence go bet, go more quickly. 



go as fast as you can, C 667. 

See the note. 
Beth. See Be. 
Betten, pt. pi. kindled, G 518. 

A. S. betant to kindle ; lit. to 

mend, from root bat, good. See 

Beete in Gloss. I. 
Beye, v. to buy, C 845, G 637. 

A. S. bicgan. 
Bible, s. book. G. 857. Gk. i3t/3- 

Xiov, a little book, fii0\6$, a book. 
Bioched bones, s. pi. dice (lit. 

spotted or marked bones), C 656. 

See the note. 
Biolappe, ger, to clasp, grasp, 

ensnare, G 9. Allied to A.S. 

beclippan, to beclip, embrace. 

The A. S. elappan is to xaowtj to 

palpitate ; the Icel. klappa is to 

stroke ; also to clap the hands. 
Bidde, pp. bidden, commanded, 5 

440. Here han bidde » have 

bidden ; bidden is not the pt. pi., 

for that takes the form bede. See 

Bede. A. S. beddan; pt. t. ic 

bead, pi. we budon; pp. boden; 

cf. G. bietettt to offer. 
Biddinge, pres. part, praying, G 

J 40. A. S. hiddan, to pray ; cf. 

G. bitten, to beseech. 
Bifalle, pr. s. subj, may befal, I 

68; pp. befallen, B 726. A.S. 

befeallan, to happen; from/?a/- 

/on, to fall. 
Biforn, prep, before, B 997, C 

665 ; in front of, G 679 ; before 

(in point of time), 763. A. S. 

Biforn, adv. before, B 704. 
Bifom-hond, adv. before-hand, G 

Bigonne, pt. s. 2 p. didst begin, 

G 442 ; pp. 428. Prefix 61, and 

A.S. ginnan, pt. t. gann (2 p. 

gunne), pp. gunnen. 

Bigyled, pp. beguiled, G 985, 

1385. O. F. ^i///«, guile, from a 

Teutonic or Scandinavian source ; 

cf. Icel. ve/, an artifice, trick. 

Bihete, pr. s. 1 p. I promise, G 

707. Prefix be and A.S. MUan, 

to command, promise. 
Biholde,/^. beheld, G 179. A.S. 

behealdan, pp. behealden. 
Biliynde, adv. behind, i. e. to 

come, future, G 1271. A.S. 

Biknowe, v. to confess, acknow- 
ledge, B 886. Lit. to be-knoto. 
Bileue, s. faith, belief, G 63. Cf. 

A.S. geledfa, creed ; with prefix 

ge instead of bi. 
BildUeth, imp, pi. believe ye, G 

1047. Cf. A. S. geledfan, to 

Bireue, v. to take away, G 482. 

A. S. beredfian, to take away, 

rob, bereave. 
Bisie, V. to trouble, busy; bisie 

me, employ myself, G 758. A. S. 

bysgian, to occupy, from bysgu, 

occupation, employment. 
Bisinesse, s. busy endeavour, G 

24. See Businesse. 
Bistad, pp. hard bestead, greatly 

imperilled, B. 649. Lit. placed ; 

from A. S. stede, a place, stead. 
Bitook, pt. s. delivered, gave, com- 
mitted (to the charge of), G 541. 

Formed from took, with prefix bi-. 

See Took. 
Bitter, adj. bitter ; bitter swete, G 

878. See the note. A.S. biter, 

bitter ; from bitan, to bite. 
Bitwixen, prep, betwixt, between, 

C 832. A. S. betweox^ betwix. 
Bitymes, adv. betimes, early, soon, 

G 1008. 
Bityde, v. to happen, C 900, G 

400. Prefix bi, and A. S. fidan, 

to happen ; from tid, time. 
Biwreyen, v. to betray, G 150; 

Biwreye, C 823, G 147; pp. s, 

2 p. Biwreyest, disclosest, B 773. 

See Gloss. U. 
Bladdre, s. bladder, G 439. A. S. 

bladdre; from A. S. bldwan, to 

blow, puff out. 



Blake, a4f.//.bhck,G 557. A.8. 

Blakeberyod, % a-blackbcnying, 
i. e. a-wandcring at will, astiaj, 
C 406. See the note. 

Blentt pr. §. blinds, G 1391 ; pp. 
Blent, Minded, deceived, 1077. 
A.S. bimdioM, to make blind (3 
p. f. pr. Mm/, be blinds); from 
&/£«/, blind. 

BleiBd, a4r- bleared, G 730. See 
the note. Flrobablj onlj another 
form of hiur. Cf. Bavarian pUrr, 
a mist beforethe eyes (Wedgwood). 

Blesoeth bir, pr. s. crosses herself^ 

Blixi]ie« V. to stop, cease G 11 71. 
A.S. blinnan, to cease; contr. 
from 6f , prefix, and linnan, to cease. 

Blisfta, adj, blessed, B 845; 
happy, merry, 403. A. S. blis, 
joy ; cf. hlithe. 

Blowe, pp. blown, filled out with 
wind, G 440. A. S. bldwan, to 
blow; cf. Lat.^ar«. 

Blundreth, ^. s. runs heedlessly, 
G 1 4 14; I p' pi- pr. Blundren, 
we fall into confusion, we con- 
fuse ourselves, become mazed, 
670. Cf. A.S. blond, bland, 
confusion, mixture ; blendan, to 
confuse, blind; whence also E. 

Blynde, adj. pi, blind, G 658. 
A. S. blind. See above. 

Blynde with, ger, to blind (the 
priest) with, G 1151. 

Blythe, adj. blithe, joyful, B 1154. 
A. S. bli^e, glad, bliis, joy. 

Bodies, s, pi. bodies, metallic 
bodies (metals) answering to the 
celestial bodies (planets), G 820, 
' Bolst, t, box, C 307. O. F. boisie 
(Fr. boUt\ Low Lat. accus. 
bomda, buxida, from Gk. m^lSoj 
accus. of w^Im, a box, a pyx ; 
properly a box made of boxwood ; 
Gk.«if ot, Lat. buxtu, the box-tree. 

Bole armoniak, Aimeniaii da- 
G 790U See the note. 

Boles, gem. simg. boll's^ G 797. 

BoUe, s. a bowl, oftea a woode 
bowl, G I aio. A. S. boOa. 

Bond, pt. i. bound, B 634. A. S. 
bimdan, to bind ; pt. t. *r bamd. 

Bone, s. petition, prayer, G 2^ 
356. Not from A. S. bem^ > 
prayer, but from the cx>gnate 
Scandinavian form; Icel. bom, a 
prayer. Now spdt boom. 

Bores, s. borax, G 790. 'Bcrax, 
biborate of soda; a salt formed 
by a combination of boracic add 
with soda. Fr. borax. Span. 
borrax, Arabic b^iraq, nitre, 
saltpeter ; from Arab, baraga, to 
shine ;' Webster. Cf. Hebrev 
borak, whiteness. 

Bord, s. table, B 430 ; board, i. e. 
meals, G 1017. A. S. bord, a 
board, a table. 

Boat, s. boast, B 401, C 764; 
pride, swelling, G 441. Probably 
of Celtic origin, as we find not 
only W. bost, a boast, bostio, to 
boast, but also Gaelic bhsd, a 
boast, vain-glory, 6os(/af/, boasting, 
bbsdair, a boaster. 

Bote, s. relief, G 1481. E. boot, 
A. S. bdt, a remedy ; from the 
root bat, good. See Bet. 

Botel, s. bottle (of hay), H 14 ; ^. 
Botels, bottles, C 871. 

Botme, 5. dai. bottom, G 1321. 
A.S. botm, dat. botme; cognate 
with Lzt. fundus, Gk. vvBfdfv, 

Bothe, adj, both, B aai. 

Boughte, pt, 5. bought; bougku 
agayn, redeemed, C 766. See 

Botmden, pp. bound, B 270. A. S. 
bindan, pp. bunden, 

Bourde, s. jest, H 81. 0. F. 
bourde, a jest, pleasantry; sup- 
posed to be a contraction of 
bohort, a mock tournament, 
knightly exercise, from horde, a 



barrier, the lists. The prefix 60- 
is explained from O. F. bot, a 
blow, stroke. See Burguy; and 
Bord in Gloss. I. 

Bonrde, pr. s. i /. I jest, C 778. 
See above. 

Boweth, imp. pi. 2 p, bow ye, C 
909. A. S. bugan, to bow, bend; 
cf. Lat. fugare; Skt. bhuj, to 

Brak, pi. s. broke, B 288. A. S. 
breean, pt. t. brcec. 

Brast, pt. s. burst, B 697; pi. 
Braste, 671. A. S. berstan, to 
burst ; pt. t. ic b<Brst. Either the 
r was transposed in course of 
time, or this form was brought 
about by Danish influence. Cf. 
Icel. bresta, to burst ; pt. t. 
brast. (Gloss. I.) 

Brede, s. breadth, G 1228. A. S. 
brddo, breadth ; from brad, 

Breeoh, s. breeches, C 948. A. S. 
br^e, breeches, brogues, pi. of 
brdc, a brogue ; the form brogue 
is Celtic ; cf. Gaelic briogais^ 
breeches, brhg, a shoe. Perhaps 
also A. S. br6e was borrowed 
from Celtic. 

Broke, v. to break, C 936 ; breke 
his day, £&il to pay at the ap- 
pointed time, G 1040; imp. s. 
Brek, interrupt, I 24. A. S. 

Brennen, v. to bum, G 313; 
Brenne, G 1192 ; Brennen, 
B 964 ; pr. s. subj. Brenne, may 
burn, G 1423 ; imp. s. Brenne, G 
515 ; pt.s. Brende, burnt, B 289 ; 
pp. Brent, burnt, G 759, 1197, 
1407 ; pres. pt. Brenning, G 118, 
802 ; Brenninge, G 1 14. Icel. 
brenna, to burn ; cf. A. S. byman, 
beoman, Goth, brmnan. Get. 

Breyde, pt. s. drew, B 837. A. S. 
gdrregdan or bregdan, to pull, to 
draw a sword; also to weave, 

braid; cf. Icel. bregma, to draw, 
to braid. See Abreyde in 
Gloss I. 

Brid, s. bird, G 1342. A. S. 
bridt the young of birds, a brood. 

Brixnatoon, s. brimstone, sulphur, 
G 798, 824, 1439. Lit. burning- 
stone ; cf. Icel. brenni'Steinn, sul- 
phur ; from brennOj to burn, and 
tteinn, a stone. 

Broohes, $. pi. brooches, C 908. 
(Gloss. II.) 

Brode, adv. broadly, wide awake, 
G 1420. 

Brother, gen. sing, brother's, G 

BuUe, s, papal bull, C 909 ; pi. 
Bulles, 336. Lat. bulla, the 
leaden ball, with a stamp on it. 
affixed to a document. 

Buriels, s. pi. burial-places, i.e. 
the Catacombs, G 186. Originally 
buriels was the singular form of 
the sb. (see the note). 

Bufdnesse, s. business, industry, G 
5. See Bisinesse. 

But, eonj. except, unless, B 431 » C 
741, G 221,984; But-if, unless, 
B 636. A. S. bufan, btUe, except ; 
from prefix bi, and iitan, ute, out. 

By, prep, about, concerning, with 
respect to, G 1005, 1438. A. S. 
bi, by. 

By, V. to buy ; go by, go to buy, 
G 1294. See Beye. 

Byiaped, pp. tricked, G 1385. 
See Jape. 


Oaoohe, v. to catch, G 11. O. Fr. 

eachier. Low Lat. captiare, from 

Lat. captare, to take captive. Its 

doublet is chase. 
Oaityf, s. caitiff, wretch, C 728. 

O.Fr. eaiti/(F. ehdiif), from Lat. 

captiuus, a captive. 
Oake, t. loaf (lit. a cake), C 322. 

IceL and Swed. haka, Dan. hage. 



Oaloening, 5. calcination, G 771. 
From Lat. calx, 

Oaloinaoioun, 5. caldnation; ofc, 
for calcining, G 804. 

0«n, pr, 8, knows, G 600, 6ao, 
1091. A. S. eann (i and 3 p.), 
from eunnan, to know. 

OaneTas, s. canvas, G 939. F. cane- 
vass; cf. Ital. eanavaeeio. The 
derivation is from Lat. cannabis, 
Gk. xiyyafittf hemp. 

Canon, s. the * Canon/ the title of 
a book by Avicenna, C 890. See 
the note. 

Canstow, eontr, for canst thou, 
B 633, C 521. 

Capel, 5. horse, nag, H 64. From 
Lat. edbcdluSf a nag ; cf. W. 
ciffyU a horse. 

Capitayn, s. captain, C 583. 

Capouns, 5. pi. capons, C 856. 

Cardiaole, s. pain about the heart, 
C 513. Cotgrave gives Cardi- 
aque as an adj., one meaning 
being ' wrung at the heart.* The 
deriv. is from Gk. KopZia, the 

Care, 5. anxiety, trouble, B 514; 
pi. Cares, G 347. A. S. earUf care, 
anxiety; not Lzt, euro. See Cure. 

Carieden, pt. pi. carried, G 1219. 
(Gloss. II.) 

Carl, s. churl, country fellow, C 
717. A.S. earl, Icel. karl, a man, 
male. The A.S. also had ceorl, 
whence £. churl. 

Carolinge, s. dat. carolling, sing- 
ing, song, G 1345. (Gloss. I.) 

Caryinge, s. carrying, C 875. 

Cas, s, circumstance, case, condition, 
B 305, 311, 983. F. cas, Lat. 

Caste, pt. s. threw, H 48 ; cast up, 
B 508 ; imagined, contrived, de- 
vised, B 406, 584, 805 ; pi. ex- 
haled, emitted, G 244; pr. pi. 
Casten, cast about, debate, B 21 2 ; 
pr. s. Casteth, considers, G 1414; 
rejl. casts himself, devotes him- 

self, G 738; pp. Cast, piaimd. 
devised, C 880. Scandinaviaz. 
led. kasta, to throw. (Oloss. E 

Catel, s. property, chattels, C 594- 
(Gloss. II.) 

Cause, s. reason, B 252. 

Cementing, s. cementiiig, be- 
metically sealing, G 817. Fron 
Lat. eaementum, cement. 

Cered, pp. as adj. waxed, G 80S. 
See the note. Cf. Lat. ceraium, 
a salve whose chief compound b 
wax, ctra. See cerai in Bra- 
chet's Fr. Etym. Diet. 

Ceriously, adv. minotelj, with fuL 
details (see note), B 185. The 
word is glossed by eeriose in the 
Ellesmere MS., and Dncange has 
*Sariose, fiise, minntatiin, artio]- 
latim.' From Lat. series, order. 

Certein, adj. a certain quantity of; 
cerUin gold, a stated sum of 
money, B 242 ; certein iresor, a 
quantity of treasure, B 44a ; as 
sb., Certe3m, a certain sum, a 
fixed quantity, G 776, 1024. 

Certes, adv. certainly, G 1478. 
(Gloss. II.) 

Cesse, V. to cease, B 1066 ; //. 5. 
Cessede, G 1 24 ; Cessed, 538. 
F. cesser, Lat. eessare. 

ChafQure, s. chafifer, traffic, G 1421 ; 
Chaf&r, merchandise, B 138. For 
chap-fare; from A.S. cedp, pur- 
chase, /<Br, proceedings. (Gloss. 

Cliafltoe, ger. to trade, barter, deal, 

traffic, B 139. See above. 

Chalk-stoon, s. a piece of chalJ^ G 

Chambre, s. chamber, B 167. F. 
chambre, Lat. camera. 

Chanon, s. canon, G 573 (see 
the note) ; Chanoon, 972. 

Chapmen, s. pi. traders, mer- 
chants, B 135. See CbalBure. 

Chapmanhode, s. trade, barter, 
B 143. 

Charge, 5. burden, weight, im- 



portance ; of that no charge^ for 
that no matter, it is of no import- 
ance, G 749. The original sense 
'■y ^ is a burden, load ; F. charger, to 

load, from Low Lat. earriearet to 
5n: load. 

..l^ Chaunoe, s. * chance,' a technical 

, j. term in the game of hazard, 

"yrj: C 653; luck, G 593. O. Fr. 

J-. rA«at/nc«,</«n/ta, that which 

falls out, from eadere, to fall 

'. .^ (used in dice-playing). 

Chees, imp. s. choose, G 458; pt. s, 

chose, G 38. See Chese. 
Cherche, s. a church, G 5 46. 
Chere, s. cheer, i.e. mien, G 1133 ; 
[^ entertainment, B 180. O. Fr. 

ekere. Low Lat. cara, the face. 
Cherl, s. churl, C 289. A.S. ceorl; 

see CarL 
Cliese, V. to choose, B 227 ; imp. s. 
Chees, choose, G 458 ; pt, s. 
^. Chees, chose, G 38. A.S. cedsan; 

pt. t. ic ceds. 
Oheue, in phr. yuel mot he cheue s 
"^^ ill may he end, or ill may he 

thrive, G 1225. F. chevir, to 
compass, manage, from ekef, Lat. 
Chit, pr, s. chides (contr. from 
^ ckideth), G g2l, A.S. eidan, to 

Chiteren, v. to chatter, prattle, G 

Chiuaohe, s. feat of horsemanship, 

H 50. O. Fr. cheuauchie^ che- 

vauchee, an expedition on horse- 
'. back, from vb. chevaucher, che- 

valcher^ to ride a horse; which 
'" from chevalf a horse, Lat. ca- 

Chiualrye, 5. chivalry, company 

of knights, B 235. Cf. E. cavalry, 

from the same source, viz. Fr. 

ekeval, a horse, Lat. caballus. 
Clnk, num. cinque, five, C 653. 

Fr. cinq, Lat. quinque. 
Citee, s. city, B 289. 
Citrinaoioun, s. citronising, the 

turning to the colour of citron, a 
process in alchemy, G 816. See 

Clappe, pr, pi. prattle, chatter, 
G 965. A.S. clappan, to clap 
together, make a noise by dap- 
ping. (Gloss, n.) 

Clause, s. sentence, B 251. 

Cleemes, 5. clearness, brightness, 
glory, G 403. O. Fr. cler, Lat. 
clams ; with A. S. sufHx 'ness, 

Clene, adv. clean, entirely, G 625, 
1425. The A.S. adv. cltkne has 
the same sense. 

Clepe, I p. pi. pres. we call, name, 
G 827; pr, pi. call, B 191, G 
2 ; pr. s, call, C 675 (here ele- 
pith is sing, rather than plural; 
see Men). Also pp. Clept, named, 
G 863. A.S. clipian, cleopian, 
to call. (Gloss. I.) 

Clergial, adj, clerkly, learned, G 

Clerkes, s, pi. learned men, B 480. 
Cley, s. clay, G 807. A. S. clcBg. 
Clinke, v. to ring, sound, clink, 

tingle, C 664. Cf. Icel. klingja, 

Swed. klinga, Dan. klinge, to 

tingle, ring ; also Du. klinken, to 

tingle. The word is probably of 

A. S. origin, as shewn by the 

Dutch form. 
Cloistre, 5. cloister, G 43. 
Clokke, s. dat, clock, I 5. 
Cloos, adj. close, secret, G 1369. 
Clote-leef, s. a leaf of the burdock 

or Clote-bur (see note) G 577. 

A.S. elate, a burdock; cf. Du. 

kloot, a ball, Icel. kl6t, a round 

knob, &c. 
Clowt, s. a cloth, C 736; pi. 

Cloutes, cloths, portions of a 

garment, rags, 348. A. S. clut, 

a little cloth. 
Coagnlat, pp, coagulated, clotted, 

G811. Lzt. coagulaius. 
Cofre, s. coffer, money-box, G 836. 

O. Fr. cqfre, cqfin, Lat. eophinus, 

Gk. ic6<^vo9, a basket. 



Ookes, 5. //. cooks, C 538. A. S. 

edc, but borrowed from Lat. 

Gokkes, a eorruption of Goddes, 

H 9, 1 29. 
Ck>lde, V. to grow cold, B 879. 
Ck>le8, 5. fi, coals, G 1114. A. S. 

e6l, coal. 
Ckimaundoiir, s. commander, B 

OombuBt, pp. burnt, G 811. Lat. 

eombusius, burnt ; from tircrv, to 


Come, V. to come; eonu therby, 
come by it, acquire it, G 1395 ; 
pr, 5. Comth, comes, B 407, 603, 
C 781 ; pL pi. Come, came, G 
1220; Comen, B 1 45 ; pp. Comen, 
B 360; ben comen « are come, 
1 1 30. A.S.cuman. 

Gome, s, coming, G 343. A. S. 
eymtt a coming ; from cuman, to 

Ck>mmune, v. to commune, con- 
verse, G 982. O. Fr. communier, 
Lat. eommunieare. 

Oommune, adj. gtoeral, conmion, 
B 155. O. Fr. eommun, Lat. 

Ck>mpan7e, s. company, B 134. 
(Gloss n.) 

Ck>mpa8, s. enclosure, continent; 
tryne compos^ the threefold world, 
containing earth, sea, and heaven, 
G 45. O. Fr. eompas, measure ; 
from Lat. cum and passus, a step. 

Ck>nceit, s. idea, G 1214. 

Gonclude, v. to include, put to- 
gether, G 429; to attain to a 
successful result, 773 ; 1 p. s. pr. 
I draw the conclusion, 1472. Lat. 

ConoluBioun, s. result, successful 
end of an experiment, G 672. 

Oonflture, s. composition, C 862. 

Fr. confiture^ a mixture, preserve, 

from confire^ to preserve, pickle ; 

Lat. confictre^ in late sense of to 

makeup* a medicine ; from/occrv. 

Confort, s. comfort, G 32. O Fr. 
confortgrt Lat. conforiarM, to 
strengthen; from fords, strong. 

Confounde, v. to bring to con- 
fusion, B 362; pp. Confounded, 
overwhelmed with sin, destroyed 
in soul, G 137. Cf. the phrase — 
' Let me never be confounded ; ' 
in Latin — * ne confimdar in aeter- 


OonfoBtpp. as adj. put to confo- 
rion, convicted of folly, G 463. 
O. Fr. confondre, to confound; 
pp. confits; Lat. confundere, pp. 
confusus; bom fundert, to pour. 

Conioyiiinge, s. conjoining, con- 
junction, G 95. O. Fr. amjoindrt, 
Lat. comungire^ to join together. 

Coxine, pr. pi, 1 p. we can, are 
able, B 483 ; ^. s. suhj. he may 
know; dl conne he, whether he 
may know, G 846. A. S. cutsnan, 
to know, has pr. pi. cunnon ; pr. 
s. subj. eunne. 

Conning, s. skill, B 1099, G 653, 
1087. A. S. cunning, experience ; 
from cunnon, to know. 

Conquereden, pt. pi. conquered, 
B 542. O. Fr. eonquerrc, to con- 
quer, acquire; from guerre, "Lat. 
quaerere, to seek. 

Conseil, s. council, B 204 ; counsel, 
425 ; secrecy, 777 ; a secret, 561, 
C 819, G 145, 192. Fr. conseQt 
Lat. concilium, 

Consemed, pp. kept, G 387. 

Considereth, imp. pi. 2 p. con- 
sider, G 1388. ; 

Constable, s. constable, governor, 
B 512. O. Fr. conestahle. Low 
Lat. conestabulus, a corruption of 
comestabulus, a word formed by 
uniting comes stabuli (count of 
the stable) into one word. 

Oonstablesse, s. constable's wife, 
B 539* ^c above. 

Contenaunoe, s. pretence, appear- 
ance, G 1 264. O. Fr. contenance^ 
countenance, from eonUnir^ Lat. 



eontinere, to contain; from Lat. 

Gontrarie, adj, contrary; in eon- 
ttarie^ in contradiction, G 1477* 

Gontree, s. country, B 434. F. 
eontree, from Lat. contrcUa, the 
country over against one, from 
contra, against. (Gloss. I.) 

Coper, s, copper, G 829. Late 
Lat. cuprum^ copper; from Cy- 
prium as, brass of C3rprus. 

Com, s, a grain, G 863. A. S. 
com, a grain ; cognate with Lat. 
granum. Thus corn and grain 
are doublets. 

Comioulere, 5. registrar, secretary, 
G 369. See the note. Lat. cor- 
mcularius, a registrar, clerk to a 
magistrate; from cormctdum, a 
horn-shaped ornament ; from coT' 
nu, a horn. 

Corny, adj. applied to ale, strong 
of the com or malt, C 315, 456. 
See Com. 

Corones, s. pi, crowns, G 221, 
226. Lat. corona. 

Corosif, €ulj. corrosive, G 853. 

Corpus bones, an intentionally 
nonsensical oath, composed of 
* corpus domini,' the Lord's body, 
and 'bones,' C 314. See the 

Correccioun, s. correction, I 60. 

Cors, s. body, C 304, H 67; corpse, 
C 665. O. Fr. cors, Lat. corpus, 

Conohen, ger. to lay, G 1152; 
pt, s. Couched, laid, placed, 1 157 ; 
pp. Couched, laid, 1182, 1200. 
O. Fr. couchier, colcher, to place, 
Lat. collocare; from locus, a 

Conde, pr, s. could, G 291. A. S. 
eH^e, pt. t. of cunnan, to know, 
be able. 

Coueityse, s. covetousness, C 424. 
0. Fr. coveitise, covoitise. Low 
Lat. cupidilia, from cupidus, de- 
sirous; which from cupere, to 
wish for. 

Couent, 5. convent, G T007. O. 

Fr. covent, Lat conuentus, a 

coming together ; from uenire, to 

Counterfete, v. to imitate, C 447 ; 

pp. Counterfeted, imitated, B 740, 

793. (Gloss, n.) 
Cours, s. course, B 7^4! ^^^^ on 

earth, G 387. F. cours, Lat. 

cursus ; from currere, to run. 
Cradel, 5. cradle, G 122. A. S. 

cradel; perhaps of Celtic origin. 

Cf. W. cryd, a cradle; also, a 

shaking; Gaelic creathall, a cradle, 

crith, a shaking. 
Crafty, adj. skilful, clever, G 1290. 

A. S. cr<B/i, knowledge, skill. 
erased, pp. cracked, G 934. The 

O. F. only has escraser, to break, 

but this is formed as if from eraser. 

It is of Scandinavian origin ; cf. 

Swed. sld i kras, to dash in pieces. 
Creance, s. belief, object of faith, 

B 340 ; Creaunce, creed, 915. 

O. F, creance, from croire, to 

believe, Lat. credere. 
Creatour, 5. Creator, C 901. 
Crede, s. creed, belief, G 1047. 
Cristal, adj. crystal, C 347. O. F. 

cristal, from Lat. crystallum, Gk. 

tcp6cfTaWos, ice, crystal ; from 

Kpvos, frost. 
Cristen, adj. Christian, 6 222. 
Cristendom, s. the Christian re- 
ligion, B 351 ; Christianity, G 

Cristenly, adv. in a Christian 

manner, B 1122. 

Cristianitee, s, company of Chris- 
tians, B 544. 

Oristned, pp. baptised, B 226, 355, 

Crommes, s. pi. crumbs, G 60. 
A. S. crume, a crumb, fragment. 

Crone, s. crone, hag, B 432. Ap- 
parently of Celtic origin ; cf. 
Gaelic crionna, prudent, penuri- 
ous, old, ancient; cr\on, little, 
mean, crion, to wither, decay. 



blast ; erionach, withering, also a 
term of extreme personal con- 
Oroper, «. crupper, G 566. Cf, 
F. eroupiere. From O. F. erope, 
erupe (F. eroupe), the rump of an 
animal; apparently of Scandina- 
vian origin; cf. IceL kryppa, a 
bump, hunch ; Icel. kroppr, a 
hump; Dan. krop, the trunk of 
the body. See Cropi>e in Gloss. I. 
Croslet, s. a crucible, G 11 47; 
also Crosselet, 1117 ; pL Croslets, 
793. A diminutive of cross, ap- 
parently intended as a sort of 
translation of Lat. cmeibulum. 
But the latter is not derived (as 
might be supposed) from Lat. 
crux, a cross. See Crucible in 
Webster and Wedgwood. 
Oroude, v. to push, B 801 ; ^. s. 
2 />. Crowdest, dost press, dost 
push, 296 (see note to 1. 299). 
A. S. crydan, to press. 
Crowding, s, pressure, motive 

power, B 299. See the note. 
Croweth, pr. s. refl. ; him croweth 
= crows, C 362. A. S. cr&wan{\.o 
crow, croak. 
Croys, s. cross, B 450, 844, C 532. 
O. F. crofs, Lat. crucem, ace. of 
Cuourbites, s. pL cucurbites, G 
794. * Cueurbite, a chemical 
vessel originally made in the 
shape of a gourd, but sometimes 
shallow, with a wide mouth, and 
used in distillation ; * Webster. 
From Lat. cucurbita, a gourd. 
Cure, s. care, endeavour, B 188; 
honest cures care for honourable 
things, C 557 ; in cure = in her 
care, in her power, B 230. Fr. cfire, 
Lat. cura, care. 
Cursednesse, s. wickedness, C 400, 
498, 638, G iioi. A.S. curs- 
ian, to curse ; curs, a curse. 
Curteisye, s. courtesy, B 166. 
O. F. curteisie ; from O. F. cort. 

a court, Lat. cohortem, sxa. of 
coAors. (Gloss. TL) 
Cat, s. a lot, C 793. W. cwitas, a 
lot; originally the short straw, 
from ewtOf short. (Gloss. I.) 


Dagger, t. dagger, C 830. From 
the root dag, which appears in 
dagges^ pierces, and dagg'ande= 
piercing, Morte Arthur, ed. Brock 
(E. E. T. S.), 2102, 3749. Prob- 
ably Celtic; cf. Breton da^, to 
pierce (Wedgwood). 
Daliatmoe, s. playful demeanour, 

G 592. (Gloss. I. and II.) 
Dame, s. mother, C 684. F. dame, 

Lat. domina, lady. 
Dampnable, adj, damnable, C 

Dampnacioun, s. damnation, C 

Dampned, pp. condemned, B mo, 

G 310. O. F. dampner^ Lat 

damnare, to condemn. 
Dar, pr, s. 1 p. 1 dare, B 273, G 

214; pr. s., Dar, G 31a; 2 p. 

Darst, B 860 ; pt. s. Dorste, dnrst, 

B 753. G 53a- A. S. ie dearr, I 

dare, ht dearr, he dare ; pt. t. ic 

Daswen, pt. pi, daze, are dazed, 

are dazzled, H 31. Cf. Icel. 

dasask (i.e. dasa-sk), to become 

weary; dasaiSr, exhausted; cf. 

also Swed. dasa, to be idle; E. 

Date, 8. a date, term, period, G 

141 1. F. date, Lat. datum, a 

thing given. 
Day, s. day; also, an appointed 

day for the payment of a sum of 

money, G 1040. A. S. dag. 
Debaat, s. strife, G 1389. F. 

ddbat, from vb. d4hattre, which 

from battre, Lat. batuere, to beat. 
Deed, pp, at adj. dead, B 309, G 

64, 204. 



Deedly, adv, deadly, mortally, G 


Dees, s. pi. dice, C 467, 623. 
(Gloss. II.) 

Defame, s. dishonour, C 612. 

Defamed, pp, defamed, slandered, 
C 415. F. diffamer, Lat diffa- 
mare^ to defame. 

Defaute, s. fault, sin, C 370; a 
defect, G 954. (Gloss. II.) 

Defenden, v. to forbid, C 590; 
ger, Defende, G 1470; pp. De- 
fended, forbidden, C 510. F. 
difendre^ Lat. defendere. 

Deknes, 5. pi. deacons, G 547. 
Lat. dicKonus. 

Del, s. part ; etiery del, every whit, 
entirely, G 1 269. A. S. dcel, a 

Delioes, s. pi, delights, pleasures, 
C 547, G 3. F. d^ieeSf Lat. 

Delte, pt s. dealt, G 1074. The 
inf. is deleft^ from A. S. ddUm^ to 
divide, from dckl^ a part. 

Delyt, s. delight, B 1135, G ^o'jo. 
O.F. delit^ deleit'y from Lat. de~ 
leetare, to delight. The modem 
spelling delight is due to an ab- 
surd supposed connection with 

Demaunde, s. demand, question, 
B 472 ; Demande, G 430. O. F. 
demande^ from Lat. de and man' 

Deme, v, to suppose, B 1038; to 
judge, conclude, 109 1 ; to give a 
verdict, G 595 ; pr. s. Demeth, 
fancies, 689 ; imp. pi. Demeth, 
suppose ye, 993. A. S. ddman, 
to judge, from ddm^ judgment. 

Departed, pt, s. parted, B 11 58; 
divided, C 812, 814. O.F. des- 
porter, Lat. dispartire^ from dis 
and partire ; which from pars, a 

Departing, s. departure, B '^26a; 
Departinge, 293. 

Dope, 8, the deep, the sea, 6 455. 

A. S. de4fp, deep water, neut. sb. ; 

from dedp, adj. deep. 
Depper, adv. comp. deeper, more 

deeply, B 630, G 250. 
Dere, adj. (voe.) dear, B 447, G 

^57> 321* '^^^ noun is also dere; 

the final e is due to the A.S. form ; 

A. S. dedre, dyre, dear. 
Dere, adv. dearly; to dere, too 

dearly, C 293. 
Derkest, adj. superl. darkest, B 

304. A.S. deorc, dark. 
Desoenaoriea, s. pi. G 792. 

* Descensories, vessels used in 

chemistry for extracting oils per 

descensum;* Tyrwhitt. From 

Lat. descendere, to descend. 
Deaolaat, adj. deserted, alone; 

holden desolaat, shunned, C 598. 

Lat. desolatus, from desolare, to 

waste, make lonely ; from de and 

5o/us, alone. 
Despit, s. spite, 6 591 ; vexation, 

dishonour, 699. O. F. despit (F. 

depit), Lat. despeetus, sl looking 

down upon ; from de, down, and 

speeere, to look. (Gloss. I.) 
Despitously, adv. despitefully, 

maliciously, B 605. 
Deaport, s. amusement, sport, G 

592. O. F. desport; from Lat. 

prefix dis and portare, to carry. 

Similarly to divert is from Lat. 

uertere, to turn. 
Deatourbe, v. to disturb; destourbe 

(f, to disturb in, C 340. O. F. 

destorber, from Lat. prefix dis and 

turbare, to confuse; from turba, 

a crowd. 
Deue, adj. pi, deaf, G 286. The 

sing, is deef. From A. S. deaf. 
Deuyse, v. to relate, tell, B 154, 

349, 613, G 266. (Gloss. II.) 
Deye, v. to die, B 525, 592 ; Deyen, 

G 472 ; pr. s, Deyeth, dies, G 

1436; pt. s. Deyde, died, C 580, 

G 138. Scandinavian ; Icel. ^«)27a, 

to die, Swed. dS, Dan. doe, 
Deyntee, A$' dainty, C 520 ;, 



special or pecaliar pleature, B 159; 

8. pi, Deyntees, dainties, 419. 

W. daentcutht dainty, toothsome ; 

from dant, a tooth. 
Digne* <idj. worthy, honoured, C 

695 ; suitable, B 778. F. d^tu^ 

Lat. dignus, worthy. 
Bilataoioun, s. diffiiseness, B 232. 

Formed like a French sb. from 

Lat. ace. dilatationem, which from 

dilaiare, to make broad, from 

lahtSf broad. 
DiBolaundered, pp, sUndered, B 

674. From O. F. prefix des^ Lat. 

dis, and F. esclcmdn, formerly 

escandle, from Lat. seandalum, 

which from Gk. ffie6af9akoy, 
Difloouere, v, to reveal, G. 1465 ; 

2 p. 8. pr. Discouerest, revealest, 

696; pp. Discouered, revealed, 

1468. O. F. descovrir, from Lat. 

prefixes dts and eon, and operire, 

to hide. 
Disese, s. lack of ease, trouble, 

distress, misery, B 616, G 747, 


DiBplesanoeSf s. pl» displeasures, 

annoyances, C 420. 
Disport, 8. pleasure, B 143. See 

Disposed, pp, inclined; wel dU" 

posed, in good health (the con- 
' verse of indisposed), H 33. 
Disseuer, ger, to part, G 875. 

From O. F. sewer, Lat. separare, 

to separate. 
Dissixnuleth, pr, s, dissimulates, 

acts foolishly, G 466. Lat. dis' 

simulare, to pretend that a thing 

is not. 
Dissimulinge, s. dissembling, Q 

Diuerse, adj. pi. diverse, B 211. 

Doon, V. to do, G 166; to cause, 

as in doon vs henge, cause us to 

be hung, C 790 ; do werche, cause 

to be wrought or built, G 545 ; 

ger. Done, to do, B 770, G 932 ; 

for to done, a fit thing to do, I 

6a ; pr, 8, 2 p, "Dost, makest, C 
312 ; pr. 8. Doth, causes, B 734; 
imp, 8, Do, make, H 1 3 ; cause, 
G 32 ; <fo hang, cause me to be 
hung, G 1039 ; do fecche^ cause 
to be fetched, B 66a ; do ttMy= 
put away, lay aside, 6 487 ; imp. 
pi. Doth, do ye, C 745 ; pp. Done, 
B 174; Do, done, G 745, 1155 ; 
Doon, completed, 387. A.S. don, 
to do; originally to place* as in 
Skt. dhd, to pbu:e, Gk. rierffu, I 
place, Lat. eon^dere, to put to- 

Domb, adj. dumb, B 1055; pi. 
Dombe, G 286. A. S. dumb. 

Dome* 8, judgment, C 637. A.S. 
ddm, (Gloss. IL) 

Dominaoioiiii, s, domination, do- 
minion, C 560; power, H 57. 
From Lat. dominus, a lord. 

Dore, 5. door, G 1-137, Ii42> 1217. 
The word is dbyllabic; A. S. tiuru. 

Dorste. See Dar. 

Doten, V, to grow foolish, act 
foolishly, G 983. Cf. F. ra-doter, 
to dote; but the F. is borrowed 
from a Low-German source, -which 
appears in the Du. dutten, to take 
a nap, to mope, from dut, a nxp, 
sleep, dotage. 

Doublenessey s, duplicity, G 1300. 

Doiighter, 8, daughter, B 151. 
A.S. d6htor, 

Doute, 8, doubt. B 777, G 833; 
out of doute, doubtless, B 390, C 
822. F. doute, doubt, from dimier, 
Lat. duhitare, to doubt. 

Doutelees, adv. doubtless, C 493, 
G 16, 1435 ; without hesitation, 
B 226. 

Dowue, 8. dove, pigeon, C 397. 
Of A.S. origin, though not easily 
found ; cf. Icel. difa, Swed. dufua, 
Du. duif. (Somner's A.S. Diet, 
gives the form duua,) 

Dradden, pt, pi. dreaded, feared, 
G 15. See Drede. 

Draft 5. draff, refrise, chaff, I 35. 



A. S. drahbe, lees, dregs; Du. draf, 
swill, hog Vwash ; Icel. draft draif, 
I>ragouii, s. dragon, G 1435. F. 
dragon, Lat. draconenif Gk. hpd- 

I3rede» s. fear, G 204; doubt, C 
507 ; iV IS no drede, there is no 
doubt, B 869; withouten drede, 
without doubt, 196. A. S. drad, 
dread, fear. 
Dreden, v. to fear, G 320 ; ger. to 
drede, to be feared, 437 ; 2 /. s. 
pres. subj. thou mayest dread, 477, 
A. S. dradan, to fear. 
Drenohen, v. to be drowned, B 
455 > PP- Drenched, G 949. The 
A.S. drencan is properly transitive, 
meaning, to make to drink, to 

Drenchyng, s. drowning, B 485 ; 
Drenching, B 489. 

Dresse, v. to prepare (himselO* get 
ready, B 1 100 ; address (myself), 
G 77; V, refl. address himself, G 
1271 ; pr. s. refl. Dresseth hir, 
prepares herself, B 265; pr, pi, 
Dressen, prepare themselves, set 
forward, B 263 ; P«"cssc, 416 ; pr, 
pi. refl. direct themselves, i.e. t;^e 
their places in order, 416. F. 
dresser ; from Lai. directus, direct. 
(See Brachet.) 

Dronke, pp. drunk, H 17. A. S. 
drunceUf pp. of drincan, to 

Dronkelewe, adj, drunken, over- 
come with drink, C 495. From 
the A. S. verb drincan, to drink. 

Dronkenesse, s. drunkenness, B 
771, C 484. A.S. dnmeennes; 
from drincan, to drink. 

Droppe, s, drop, G 522. A disyl- 
labic word ; A. S. dropa, a drop ; 
cf. G. tropfe, 

Drough, pt. s, drew (himself), G 
685. A. S. dragon, to draw ; pt. 
t. ic drdg or ie dr6h, I drew. 

Dryue, v. to drive ; dryui the day 


awey, pass the time, C 628. A. S. 
drifan, to drive. 

Dulle, adj. pi. dull, stupid, B 202. 
A.S. dol, foolish; put for dwal, 
as shewn by A.S. gedwolgod, a 
false god or idol; Goth, dwals, 
foolish ; cf. Du. dol, mad, G. toll, 

Diilleth, pr. s. makes dull, stupefies, 
G 1093, 1172. 

Dun, s. the dun horse (see note), 
H 5. A. S. dun, dun ; possibly 
Celtic; cf. W. dwn, dun, dusky, 
Gaelic donn, brown. 

Dure, V. to last, B 187, 1078. F. 
durer, Lat. durare, to last ; from 
durus, hard. 

Dwelte, pt. s, dwelt, B 134; pi. 
Dwelten, 550. Grein gives an 
A. S. dwellan, to hinder ; cf. Icel. 
dvelja, to delay, Swed. dvaljas, 
to delay; Sw. dvala, torpor, con- 
nects the word with A.S. dwolt 
dol. See Dulle. 

Dye, V. to die, B 644 ; pt. s. Dyde, 
died, C 658. See Deye. 

Eek, adv. moreover, also, B 140, 
444. A. S. edc, eke, also. 

Bet, pt, s. ate, C 510. (Gloss. II.) 

Bffeot; in effect, in fact, in reality, 

Eft, adv. again, B 792, G 1263. 
A. S. eft, again, back ; cf. A. S. 
€Bft, again, whence our after, 

BfbBone, adv. soon after, G 1288 ; 
soon after this, H 65 ; hereafter, 
G 933 ; agam, B 909. From 
A. S. ^/, aft, again, and sdnOf 

Eggement, s. instigation, incite- 
ment, B 842. A hybrid word; 
the suifiz '•ment is French, but 
the first part is from A. S. eggian, 
to excite, from a root ag, cognate 
with the Indo-Europeau root ak, 




Sgprexnoin, s. agrimony, G 800. 
Lat. agremonia, argemonia, Gk. 
6^€fjuuyrf ; so called, apparently, 
because, supposed to cure a white 
spot in the eye, Gk. d^€fta; 
which from dpyds, white. (Web- 

Eighte, num. eight, C 771. A 
disyllabic word ; A. S. eahtOt 
eight; cognate with Lat. oeto, 
Gk. bKTou. 

IBleooioun, 5. choice, * election ' 
(a technical term), B 312. See 
note, p. 126. 

Xjlementes* «. pi. elements, G 

Elf, s. fairy, B 754. A. S. elf, <Blf, 
an elf, a genius; Icel. dlfr, 

EUes, adv. otherwise, G 1 1 31, 
1377* B 644 ; elles god forhede, 
God forbid it should be otherwise, 
G 1046. A. S. elles. 

Xilleswiier, adv. elsewhere, G 

Mixir, s. elixir, G 863. Arabic el 

iksir, the philosopher's stone. 
Eluish, adj. lit. elvish, implike, 

mysterious ; but used in the sense 

of foolish, G 751, 842. Cf. Icel. 

dl/alegr, silly, from a^r, an elf, 

Embassadour, s. ambassador, C 

Embassadrye, s. embassy, nego- 

ciation, B 233, 
Empoisoning, sl poisoning, C 

Empoysoner, s. poisoner, C 894. 

(Gloss. II.) 
Emprise, s. enterprise, B 348^; 

Empryse, G 605. O. F. emprise, 

an enterprise ; from the verb 

prendre, Lat. prekendere, to 

Empte, V. to empty, make empty, 

G 741 ; Empten, 1404. A. S. 

ge-<Bmtigian, to disengage from. 

\. S. <Bmtig, vacant, at leisure ; 
om cemfa, leisure. 

Enbibing, s. imbibition, absorp- 
tion, G 814. 

Enoense, v. to offer incense, G 
395« 4^3' P* eneenser, from sb. 
encens, Lat. incensum (used by 
Isidore of Seville), incense ; which 
from Lat. incendere, to bum. 

Enoorporing, s. iiKorporation, G 
815. From. Lat. corpus, body, 

Enorees, s. increase, B 237, G 18. 
See below. 

Enoresse, v. to increase, B 1068. 
O. F. encroistre, to increase, from 
Lat. increseere, which from eres- 
cere, to grow. 

Ende, s. end, result, B 48(. A 
disyllabic word ; A. S. ende, end. 

Endeles, adj. endless, B 951. 

Endetted, pp. indebted, G 734. 
O. F. s*endeter, to be indebted ; 
from O F. dele (F. dette), a debt, 
Lat. dehita, from debere, to 

Endyten, v. to indite, write, B 
781 ; Endyte, G 80. O. F. 
enditier, to instruct, from ditier, 
to write a work ; Lat. dictare, to 
dictate ; from dicere, to say. 

Engyn, s. genius, skill, G 339. 
F. engin, Lat. ingenium, skill. 

Enluting, s. securing with * lute,' 
daubing with clay, &c., so as to 
exclude air, G 766. F. luter, to 
secure with ' lute, ' from Lat. 
lutum, clay. 

Enquere, v. inquire, search into, 
B 692. O. F, enquerrer, to in- 
quire into; O. F. querre, to seek ; 
Lat. quaerere, to seek. 

Enqueringe, s. inquiry, B 888. 

Ensamples, s. pi. examples, C 
431;. O. F. ensample (Roque- 
fort) ; from Lat. exemplum. 

Entenoionn» s. intention, 'intent, 

Entente, s. will, B 824; inten- 
tion, B 867, G 998; design, C 
432 ; plan, B 147, 206 ; endea- 
vour, G 6« O. F. entente, intent ; 



from entendre, to intend, Lat. 

Sntringe, pr.part. entering, I 12. 
F. entrer, Lat. intraret to enter. 

Xlnvoluped, pp. wrapped up, en- 
veloped, involved, C 942. O. F. 
envoluper, to envelope, cover ; 
derived (says Brachet) from a 
radical velop^ of unknown origin. 
Perhaps this radical is the same 
as appears in the verb to wlappe^ 
used by Wyclif for to wrap ; and 
cf E. wrap. 

Er, adv. before, B 420, G 1273; 
prep, before, C 892 ; Er that, 
before that, G 375. A. S. dr, 
before, formerly. 

"EiTTCLe, V. to grieve, to feel sad, C 
312. See the note. A.S. yrman, 
to afflict, grieve, make unhappy, 
from earrrif poor, miserable ; cf. 
Icel. armr, Goth, arms, G. arm, 

Xlrat, adv. first ; at erst, at first, G 
151, 264; long erst er, long first 
before, C 662. Superlative of er. 
See Er. 

Esohue, V. to eschew, avoid, shun, 
G 4. O. F. esckeveir, eschiver, to 
avoid (F. eschiver^ ; from O. H. 

. G. skiuhan, tp avoid. From the 
same root we have A. S. seeoh, 
askew, and £. skew and shy, 

Ese, s. pleasure, G 746 ; ease, 
relief, H 25. F. aise, 

Espye, V. to espy, perceive, G 
291 ; to enquire about, B 180 ; 
pp. Espyed, observed, 324. O. F. 
espier, from O. H. G. spehen, to 

. spy (G. spahen). 

Est, s. East, B 297, 493; East- 
wards, 949, C 396; A.S. east. 
(Gloss. 11.) 

Estsat, s, rank, B 973, C 597, G 
1388. O. F. estat, Lat status ; 
from stare, to stand. 

Euangyles, s. pi, gospek, B 066. 
Lat. euangdium, Gk. eOayy^Xiosf, 
signifying (i) a reward for good 

tiding ; (2) glad tidings ; from f 5, 
well, good, and d(77fXXot, a 
messenger ; from dYYikka, to aiw 

Eue, s. evening, G 375. A. S. 
ce/tn, evening. 

Euerioh, ^ron. every one, all, B 
531, 620, C 768 ; either of the 
two, B 1004. For ever-each) 
M. E. euer, and iche, each. 

Eueriohon, every one. B 330, G 
1365 ; Euerichoon, G 960, I 15 : 
pi. Euerichone, all o.f them, B 429. 
678. For ever-each-one ; M, E, 
euer, ever, iche, each, oon, one. 

Euermo, adv. evermore, always, B 
1076. See Mo. 

Exaltaoioun, s. exaltation (a term 
in astrology) ; see the note, I 
10. From Lat. exaltare, to exalt; 
from ex, out, and alius, higHl^ 

Expert, adj. skilful in performing 
an experiment, experienced, O 
1151. Lat. expertus, pp. of 
experior, to try. 

Expoune, v. to explain, G 86. 
Lat. exponere, to expose; from 
ex, out, and ponere, to put. 

Extenden, pr. pi. are extended, B 
461. Lat. extendere. 

Ey, interj. eh I wbati C 782. 
Dan. ei, eh t Icel. hei, eh I 

B57» »• ^%%* O 806, A. S. agj an 
egg ; cf. Icel. egg, Swcd. dgg, 
Dan. <eg ; also Du. ei, G. ei. 

Eyleth, pr, s. aileth, H 16. A. S. 
eglan, to molest, afflict ; from 
egl, that which pricks, a tht«tle ; 
also an ' ail* or beard of corn ; 
from the same root as eggian, to 
incite. See Egs^mant, 

Ejrre, s. air, gas, G 767, F. air, 
Lat. a«r, air. 

Fable, f. fable, «tory, I jr. F. 

fable, Lat. fahula. 
Fader, f. father, B 174, G 14^4 ; 

gen. FiJ^stf in phr, (*d<ir kJH« 

Q 2 



father's race, ancestry, Q 829. 
A. S. feeder, gen. /<Bder, 

ITaille, s. fail, dcubt, B aoi. F. 
faillir, LzX.fallere, 

Falle, V, to happen, H 40 ; pt. s. 
Fil, fell, C 804, G 204, 1198; 
Pel, befell, 6 141; pp. Falle, 
B 303. A.S. feallan, pt. t. ic 
fedUf pp./eallen. 

False get, cheating contrivance, G 
1277. See G«t. 

Falahede, s. falsehood, G 979, 
1274. O.F, fait, Lat. fahus 
false; with M. £. suffix mheed, 
A. S. kdd. 

Faltren, pr. pi. falter, fail, B 772. 
(Etym. doubtful.) 

Fan, 8. vane, quintain, H 42. A. S. 
fan,fann, a fan. 

Fantome, s, a phantom, delusion, 
B 1037. F'fantdme, O. F. fan- 
tosme, Lat. phantasma, Gk. <f>dy* 
racfia, an appearance, ^ovrd^o;, 
make to appear ; from ^Ivv, to 
shew. / 

Fare, t. business, goings on, B 
569. A. S. faru, a journey, hence, 
proceedings ; from faran, to 
travel. See below. 

Fare, pr, s. 1 p.l go, G 733 ; pr, 
pi. 1 p. Faren, we fare, live, 662 ; 
2 p. Fare, ye fare, ye succeed, 
14S7 ; ^r. 5. Fareth, it turns out, 
966; imp. pi. Fareth wells fare 

ye well, B 1159 ; PP' ^*'®« go"c» 
B 512. A.S. faran, to go, to 
fare. (Gloss. I. and H.) 

Farewel, interj. farewell 1 it is all 
over, G 907, 1380; med ironi- 
cally, 1384. 

Faste, adv. quickly, G 245; as 
faste, very quickly, 1235. A. S. 
fcsstt firm; adv. fasie, firmly, 
also quickly. 

Faste^ />/» s. fasted; pres. fart. 
Fastinge, G 363. A. S. fcesteH, 
fasting ; fcestung, the season of 

Fayn, adj. glad, H 93 ; adv. 

gladly, willingly, B 173, 222. 

A. S. fa:gn, fain, glad ; Iccl. 

Feoohen, v. to fetch, Q 411 ; pt.s. 

Fette, fetched, 548, 1365 ; pp. 

Fet, B 667. A. S. feccan ; pt. t. 

icfeahte, pp. gefetod. 
Feelede, pt, s. felt, Q 521. A. S. 

ftlian, to fell ; pt. t. ic felode. 
Feend, 5. fiend, B 1064, C 844; 

enemy, B 454 ; evil spirit, G 861. 

A. S.}^ff, to hate; whence pres. 

pt. feond, hating, a fiend ; cf. 

Sanskrit /(, to hate. 
Feendly, a^ fiendlike, devilish, 

B 751. 783, G 1071. 
Fel, pt. s, befell, happened, B 141. 

See Falle. 
Felawe, 5. companion, H 7; /«/. 

Felawes, companions, G 747 ; 

comrades, C 696. Icel. /dlagi, a 

companion ; from /e, cattle, pro- 
perty; and lagif law, society ; 

applied to one who has a share in 

a property. 
Felonye, 5. crime, B 643. Low 

Lat. fellOf felOt a traitor, rebel, 

criminal ; O. F. /r/, cruel (Roque- 
fort), of Teutonic origin; cf. 

O. H. G. fillan, to torment, lit. 

to flay; O. H. O. vd, a skin, 

Femininitee, s. feminine form, B 

Fen, 5. chapter or subdivision of 

Avicenna's book called the Canon, 

C 890. See the note. 
Fende, s. dat. fiend, B 780. See 

Fer, adj. far, B 508, 658. A.S. 

Fered, pp. terrified, afraid, G 924. 

From A. S. fdr, fear, sudden 

Ferforth, adv. far, to such t 

degree, G 1 390 ; as ferforth as, 

as far as, B 1099 ; soferfortkf to 

such a degree, 572, G 40. See 




Fermentacioun, s. fermenting, G 
817. From LAt. formentum. 

Fepthe, ord, adj. fourth, B 823,-0 
531, 834, 927. A. S. feor^a, 
fourth ; ivomfe&wer^ four. 

Fest, 5. fist, C 802; dat. Feste, 
I 35. A. S. fyst, the fist ; cf. 
Lat. pugnus. 

Feste, 5. a feast, festivity, B 418, 
I 47 ; to feste t to the feast, at a 
feast, B 1007, loio; han to 
feste, to invite, 380. Here feste 
is a sb. throughout, not a verb. 
O. F. feste, from Lat. festum. 

Fet, Fette. See Fecehen. 

Fete, 5. pi. dat. feet ; to fete, at his 
feet, B 1 104. A.S. f6t, a foot ; 
^\.fit, dat. ipi.fdtum. 

Fety8» adj. well-made, neat, grace- 
ful, C 478. O.F. faitis (Lat. 
factititis\ well-made, neat ; from 
O.F. f aire, Lsit. facere. (Gloss. 

Fey, s. faith, C 762, H 13, I 23. 

O. F. fei, feid, faith ; Lat. ace. 


Feyne, v, feign, pretend ; feyne vs, 
pretend as regards ourselves, B 
351. Y.feindre, LzL^ngere. 

Fiers, adj. fierce, B 300. O.F. 
fier, originally ^ers. Lat. ferus, 
fierce. (Not from Lzt.ferox.) 

Figuringe, s. similitade, figure, G 

Fil. See Falle. 

Fixe, pp. fixed, solidified, G 779. 
From Lzt. figere, to fix. 

Flambes, s. pi. flames, G 515. 
0,V.flambe,haLt.flamfna. The 
6 is a mere excrescence; Wedg- 
wood's derivation of flame from a 
radical ^a6 cannot be sustained. 

Fleen, i pi. fleas, H 17. A.S. flea, 

Fleet, pr. s. (eontr. from fleteth) 
floats, B 463. See Fleteth. 

Flekked, pp. spotted, G 565. A 

Low- German word; O. Friesic 

Jlehioj to spot (Richtofen); cf. 

Du. vlekken, to spot, vlek, a spot ; 

also led, flekka, to stzin, fiekkr, 

a spot, stain. 
Flemed, pp. banished, G 58. A. S. 

flyman, to banish. 
Flemer, 5. banisher, driver away, B 

460. See above. 
Fleteth, pr. s. floateth, B 901. 

A. S.fledtan, to float. 
Florins, s. pi. florins, C 770, 774. 

So named from having been first 

coined at Florence. 
Floup, s. flower, B 1090. O. F. 
flour, fleur, Lat. fiorem, ace. of 
Flye, s, a fly, G 11 50. A.S. 

FneEeth, pr, s. breathes heavily, 

puffs, snorts, H 62. See the note. 

A. S. fneosan, to puff, fnastiaiS, 

the windpipe, fncest, a puflF, blast ; 

cf. Gk. •avkoif I blow. 
Folily, adv. foolishly, G 428. 

From F. fol, mad ;- see Brachet. 
Folwen, pr. pi. follow, C 514. 

A. S./o/^*a«, 
Fome. §:e Fooxn. 
Fond,^/. t. found, B 514, 607, C 

608, G 185. A.S. findan, to 

find; pt. t. iefand, ^^.funden. 
Fonde, v. to endeavour, G 951 ; 

to try to persuade, B 347, A.S. 

fandiatif to try, tempt. 
Fonge, V. to receive, B 377. From 

a ioxmfangan, appearing in A. S. 

in the contracted form fdn, to 

take; cf. Du. vangen, G.fangen, 

to take. 
Font-fill water, fontful of water, 

Fontstoon, 5. font, B 723. 

Foom, 5. foam, G 564; dat. Fome, 

565. A. S. fdm, foam. 
Foot-hot, adv, instantly, on the 

spot, B 438. See note, 
Foatred, pp. nurtured, brought 

(up), B 27«, G 122 ; nurtured in 

the faith, G 539. (Gloss. IL) 
Fonl, adj. foul, bad ; for foul n$ 



fayr, by foul means or fair, B 
525. A. S. /li/, foul. 

"Foxuiden, pp. found, B 612; pro- 
vided, 243. See Fond. 

Foure, num. four, B 491, G 1460. 
A.S. fedwer. The word is disyl- 
labic, being treated as a plural 

Foiimeys, s. furnace, G 804. 
Y./ournaise, from Lat. ace. for- 

Foyson, 5. abundance, B 504. 
O. F. foisoftt from Lat. ace. 
fusionem : which ivorti fundere^ to 
pour forth. 

For, conj. because, B 340, C 440, 
G 232 ; in order that, B 478 ; 
prep, because oF, C 504; as 
being, G 457. A.S./or. 

Forbede, imp. sing, forbid, may 
(He) forbid, G 996 ; pr. s, 
Forbedeth, forbids, C 643. A. S. 
forheddan, Goth, faurbiudan, 

Fopby, adv. past, by, C 668. 

Fordoon, v. to do for, to destroy, 
B 369. A. S. /orc/o«, to destroy, 

• do for '; cf. Lat. perdere. 
For-dronke, pp. very drunk, C 

674. Cf. A. S. fordrencan, to 
intoxicate. The prefix for- is 
here intensive. 

Forgon, v. to forgo {commonly 
misspelt forego), G 610. A. S. 
forgdn^ to forgo ; Goth, faur- 
gaggan, to pass by ; cf. G. 
vergeken. Distinct from A. S. 
foregdn, to go before. 

Forlete, v. to give up, C 864. 
A. S. forldtan, to let go, relin- 
quish ; cf. Du. verlaten, to aban- 
don, G. verlassen. 

Fors, s. heed ; make no fors^ take 
no heed, H 68; no/ors, it is no 
matter, it is of no consequence, B 
285, C 303, G 1019, 1357. 

* I gyue no force, I care not for 
a thing, // ne men chaull ;* Pals- 
grave*s French Diet. 

Forswerizig, s. perjury, C 657; 

s, pi. Forsweringes, 59a. A. S, 
for-sweriany to swear falsely. 

Forth, adv. forth, forward, B 294, 
C 660. A. S. foriS, forth, thence, 

Forthermo, adv. moreover, C 594,* 
Forthermore, 357. 

Forther ouer, adv. furthermore, 
moreover, C 648. 

Forthward, adv. forward, B 263. 

For-waked, pp, tired out with 
watching, B 596. A.S. prefix 
for^ and wacian, to watch. 

For-why, conj. because, C 847. 

Forwrapped, pp. wrapped up, C 
718. A.S. prefix /or, and M. E. 
turappen, to wrap, closely related 
to wlappen, to wrap (used by 
Wyclif). Sec Envoluped. 

Foryeue, v, to forgive, B 994; 
imp. s. Foryeue, may (He) for- 
give, C 904 ; imp. pi, Foryeue, 
forgive, G 79. A.S. forgifan, 
Goth, jfragihan; cf. G. vergeben. 

FraugM, pp. freighted, B 171. 
For an account of the idiom, see 
the note, p. 122. Cf. Swed« 
frdkta^ Dan. fragte, to freight, 
load ; Swed. fraht^ Dan. frcLgU 
Du. vracktt a load, burden. 

Fredom, s. liberality, bounty, B 
168. The A. S. /red means 
both free and bountiful. 

Frendes, s. pi. friends, B 269. 
A. S. fredndf a friend ; pres. part, 
of a lost verb fredn, to love ,* 
this is shewn by Goth./rtyond!s, a 
friend, pres. part, of Goth, yn/on, 
to love. Cf. Skt. prit to love. 

Frete, pp. eaten, devoured, B 475. 
A. S. fretan^ to devour ; contr. 
from /or-tf/a«, to eat up ; cf. Goth. 
fra'itan^ to eat up, from tton, to 
eat. Thus fret is short for for' 
ecu ; and G. fressen ^ ver-essen, 

Freyned, pp. asked, questioned, G 
433. A.S. frignan, to ask; 
Goih.fraihnan; cf. Du. vragen, 
' G.fragenfhzt.precari. 



Fructuous, adj, fruitful, I 73. 

Lat. /ruetuosus, fruitful; from 
Jructus, fruit. 
Pruyt, s. result (lit. fruit), B 411. 

F. fruity LAt. fructus, 
Fruytesteres, s. pi, fern, fruit- 
sellers, C 478. 
Fulflld, pp. iiiled full, B 660 ; 

completed, fully performed, I 1 7* 

A. S./iiilfyllan, to fill full, perform, 

Fuinositee, s. fumes arising from 

drunkenness, C 567. From Lat. 
fumust fume, smoke. 
Furlong wey, a furlong's di^tance, 

B 557. A. S./urhlang, the length 

of a fiirrow, a furlong. 
Fusible* adj. fusible, capable of 

being fused, G 856. F. fusible, 

from Lzt. fundere, to pour out. 
Fyn, s. end, B 424. F. ^n, Lat. 

finis^ end. • 

Fynally, adv. finally, B 1073-. 
Fynt, pr. s. finds, G 218. Contr. 

Fyres, s. gen. fire's, G 1408. A. S. 

fyr, Du. vuur, G, feuer, Dan. 

fyr, Gk. wvp. 


Qalisnes, s. pi. medicines, C 306. 

So named after Galen. See the 

Qalle, s. gall, G 58, 797. A. S. 

gealla ; cf. Lat. feU Gk. x^^^* 
Galoan, s. gallon, H 34. The 

forms galona and galo are found 

in Low Lat. 
Game, s. sport, G 703, H 100. 

A. S. gamen, a sport, play. 
Gan, pt. s. began, G 462 ; used as 

aux., did, B 614, I il. A. S. 

ginnan, to begin ; pt. t. ic gann. 
Ganeth, pr. s. yawneth, H 35. 

A. S. ganian, to yawn, gape. 
Gat, pt. s. obtained, got (for him- 
self), B 647, G 373. A. S. getan] 

Icel. geta, to get. The commoner 
A. S. form is gitan, pt. t. ic geat. 

Gaude, s. trick, course of trickery, 

Gauren, ger. to gazej stare, B 
912. (Gloss, n.) 

Gaye, adj. fine, G 1017. F. gat, 
gay ; from O. H. G. gdhi or kdhi, 
quick; cf, O. H. G. gdch, gd, 
G. j'dhe, quick, hasty; perhaps 
from the root of go. 

Gentillesse, s. kindness, G 1054 ; 
condescension, B 853. O. F. gen^ 
tillece, from gerUil, gentle, noble^ 
Lat. gentilis, belonging to a gens 
or family. 

GentiUy, adv. courteously, B 1093. 

Gentils, 5. pi. gentlefolks, C 323. 

Gere, s. gear, property, B 800.^ 
A.S.gearwa, clothing, preparation ; 
gearwan, to prepare ; from gearo, 
ready, yare. 

Gerland, s. garland, G 27. Pro- 
ven9al garlanda ; cf. Ital', 
ghirlonda, F. guirlande. Etym. 
doubtful ; Mr. Wedgwood's guess 
fails to explain the Italian form. 

Gesae, v. to imagine, B 622 ; i p-. I suppose, 246, 1008, 1143, 
G 9.77. Cf. Du. gissen, Swed. 
gissa, to guess ; Icel. gizJta, to 

Gestes, s. pL gests, tales (Lat. 
gesta), B i»26. 

Get, s. contrivance, G 1277. Ap- 
pears in A. S. only in the com- 
pound and-get, the understanding. 
From giian, to get. 

Gete, 2 p. s. pr. ye get, ye obtain, 
H 102. See Gat. 

Giltleeer, adj. guiltless, B 643 ; 
Giltelees, 1062, 1073. 

Gin, s. snare, contrivance, G 1165. 
Contracted from F. engin, a 

Gitemes, s. pi. guitars, C 466. 
O. F. guiteme, also guiterre, 
guitare, Lat. cithara, Gk. HtOdpa, 
a stringed instrument. 



Olade, V. to gladden, G 598. A. S. 

gl€Bd, glad. 
Oleyxe, s, white (of an egg), G 

806. * Gleyre of eyryne [L e. 

eggs] or other lyke, glarea;* 

Prompt. Parv. F. glaire (which 

in Ital. is ehiara), the white of 

an egg; corrupted from elairef 

from Lat. clams, clear. 
Glose, V, to flatter, I 45. F. glose, 

a gloss, from Lat. glossa, Gk. 

yXwraOf the tongue ; also an ex- 
planation. (Gloss. II.) 
Glotonyea, s. pL excesses, C 514. 

From O. F. glotofh (F. glouton), 

a glutton; Lat. glulonem; cf. 

Lat. gluUire, to swallow. 
Qlyde, v. to glide, ascend, G 40a. 

A. S. glidan. 
'Gode, adj. voc. good, B 11 11. 
Gold, s. gold, G 826; allusion to 

proverb — *all is not gold that 

glisters,' 96a. A. S. gold. 
Goldsmith, s. goldsmith, G 1333. 
Golet, s. throat, gullet, C 543. 

Dimin. of O. F. gole^ the throat, 

Lat. gula. 
Gon, V. to go, B 38a ; Goon, 373 ; 

to go on, proceed, G 563 ; pr, s. 

Goth, goes, B 385, 704, 728; 

2 p, Goost, goest, G 56 ; 2 p. pi. 

pr» Go, ye walk, go on foot, 

C 748; pp. Go, gone, B 1006, 

G 907. A. S. gdn, Goth, gaggan. 
Gonne, pt. pi. began, C 323 ; p/. pi, 

began, G 376; did, 517, 119a. 

See Gan. 
Good, s. goods, property, wealth, 

G 831, 868, 949, 1289. A.S. 

gdd, pi. god^ goods, wealth ; neut. 

adj. as sb., like Lat. bona. 
Goodlich, adj. kind, bountiful, G 

1053. A.S. gddlict kind, lit. 

Good-man, s. master of the house, 

Goon, V. to go ; let it goon, let it 

go, neglect it, G 1475. And see 


Goot, s. a goat, G 886. A. S. gdi; 
cognate with Lat. haedus. 

Go8t, 5. spirit, B 404, 803 ; ghost 
(ironically), H 55; the Holy 
Ghost, G 3a8. A. S. gdst, breath ; 
cf. G. geist, Du. geest. 

Gostly, adv. spiritually, mystically, 
G 109. A. S. gdstlice, spiritually, 
adv. from gdst4%c, ghost-like. 

Gonemanoe, s. government, B 
289; Gouemaunce, C 600. From 
O. F. govemer, Lat. guhemare, 
to direct, steer. 

Gourde, s. dat. gourd, H 82. F. 
gourde, from Lat. eucurbita. 

Ghraoe,s. favour, G 1348: hirgrace, 
her favour (i.e. that of the blessed 
Virgin), B 980 ; pardon, B 647 ; 
horde grace, hardihood of de- 
meanour, boldness, G 665, 11 89. 
F. grace, Lat. gratia, 

Graoelees, adj. void of grace, un- 
favoured by God, G 1078. 

Grame, s. anger, grief, G 1403. 
A. S. grama, rage, from gram, 
furious, fierce, cruel; cf. grim^ 
fury, also as adj. severe. Cf^ also 
O. H . G. graniy angry. 

Grant mercy, much ^thanks, G 
1380; Graunt mercy, 1 156. F. 
grand merci, great thanks. In 
English corrupted to gramercy. 

Graunte,^. s. i ^. I agree, consent, 
€337. O. F. granter, to grant. 
(Gloss. II.) 

Gree, s. favour, B 859. F. gre^ 
inclination; from Lat. graius^ 

Grene, s. green, greenness, living 
evidence, G 90. 

Grenehede, s, greenness, wanton- 
ness, B 163. 

Grette, pt. s. greeted, B 1051, C 
714. A. S. gretan, pt. t. ic 

Grisly, au(/. horrible, grewsome, 
C 473. A. S. grUliCy hideous, 
agrUan^ to shudder at. 

Grope, pr. pi. i p. we grope, G 



679 ; imp» s. Grope, 1 236. A.S. 

gr apian f to lay hold of; from 

grdp, a grasp. Cf. gnp, gripe, 

grapple, grasp, grab. 
Grotes, s. pi. groats, fourpenny 

pieces, C 376. Du. grooi, the 

uame of a coin, originally of large 

size ; from groot, great. Before 

it was coined our largest silver 

coin was a penny. 
Grounden, pp. ground, G 760. 

A. S. grindan, to grind ; pt. t. 

ic grand ; pp. grunden. 
Gryg, s. gray, G 559. F. gris, 

O. H, G. gris, gray- haired ; cf. G. 

greis, a gray-haired man. 
Gyde, in^. s. may (He) guide, B 

245. O. F. guider, another form 

Siguier. See Gye. 
Gyde, s. guide, ruler, G 45. 
Gye, ger. to guide, regulate, I 13 ; 

imp. s. do thou guide, O. F. 

guier, to guide, Ital. guidare ; 

from O. Sax. vAtan, to observe; 

cf. O. H. G. vAzan, to observe, 

whence G. weisen. 


Sabiuidazitly, adv. abundantly, 
B 870. From Q. F. habonder, 
Low Lat. habtmdare, to abound, 
written for Lat. abundare ; from 
db and unda, a wave. 

Hakeney, s. hack-horse, hackney, 
G 559* C^« F* haquenSe, a nag. 
Span, hacanea, a nag ; said to be 
spelt facanea in Old Spanish* and 
to have a shorter form faea 
(Webster, Diez.). 

Halkes, 5. pi. corners, hiding- 
places, G 311. Cf. Mid. Eng. 

. hale, a recess. Owl and Nightin- 
gale, 1. 2 ; A. S. heal, an angle, a 
corner; probably from the veii> 
helan, to hide. Cf. A. S. kule, a 
cottAge, cabin ; heolstor, a cav«rD. 

Hals, 5. neck, G 1029. A.S. heals, 
Icel. htUs, G. hals. 

Halt, pr. s. holds (put for holdeth), 
B 807 ; considers, G 921. 

Halwed, pi. s. consecrated, hal- 
lowed, G 551. A. S. hdlgian, to 
hallow ; from h6lig, holy. 

Halwes, s. pi. saints (lit. holy ones), 
B 1060; gen. pi. of (all) saints, 
G 1 244. A. S. hdlig, holy. 

Hamer, s. hammer, G 1339. A. S, 

Han, V. to keep, retain, C 7^5 > 
to take away, 727; to obtain, 
G 234; to possess (cf. *to have 
and to hold'), B 208; pr. pi. 
Han, have, B 142. A. S. habban, 
to have, Lat. capere (not habere). 

Hap, s. luck, G 1209. W. hap^ 
luck, Icel. happ, luck, chance. 

Happeth, pr. s. it chances, G 649 ; 
pt. s. Happede, happened, C 606, 
885. See a'bove. 

Harrow, inter] . alas! € 288. See 
the note. 

Hasard, s. the game of hazard^ C 
591, 608. O. F. asart (with ex- 
crescent t), Provencal azar, Span. 
azar, from Arabic al-sdr, the 
game at dice (Brachet). 

Hasardoiur, t. |;amester, C 596 ; 
pi. HasardGur«, 61,^, 618. 

Hasardrye, s. gaming, plapng at 
hazard, C 590, 599, 897. 

Hastetli, imp. pi. refl. hasten, 
make haste, I 72. O. F. haster, 
to hasten ; frosv G. hast, haste ; 
cf. Icel. hastarligr, hasty. 

Hastou, /or hast thou, B 676. 

Haunteth, pr. s. practises, C 547 ; 
pt. pi. Haunteden, practised, 464. 
F. hanter, to haunt ; probably of 
Scandinavian origin ; cf. Icel. 
heimta, to fetch home. 

Hauteyn, adj. loud, C 330. F. 
hautain, haughty, from havt, O.F. 
halt, Lat. altus, high. 

Hawe, 5. haw, yard, eiKlosure, C 
855. A. S. haga, a hedge, a 

He, used for it, G 867, 868. 



Heed, s. head, H ig; pi. Hedes, 
heads, G 398. A. S. heafod, 
M. E. heued, contr. to heed, 
(Gloss. II.) 

Heeld, p^ s. held, esteemed, C 
625. A. S. kealdan, pt. t. I'c 

Heer and ther, pAr. now here, 
now there; never long in one 
place, G 1 1 74. A. S. kdr, 

Heer, s. hair, G 812. A. S. /ksr, 
Du. and G. kaar. 

Helpeth, inip. pi. help ye, G 
1328. A. S. helpan, 

Helplees, euij. helpless, B 303. 

Hem, pron. them, B 140 ; dal. to 
them, G 539, 540. A. S. hlg, 
nom. they ; gen. heora ; dat. 
heonit him ; ace. hig. 

Hem-aelf, pron, pi, nom. them- 
selves, B 145. 

Heng, pt. s. bung, G 574. A. Sw 
/ton, to hang ; pt. t. ic heng, 

Henne, cuiv. hence, C 687. A.S. 
heonan^ henan^ hence. 

Hente, v. to seize, C 710; pt, s. 
Hente seized, caught, G 370, 
1325; caught away, B 1 144; 
raised, lifted, G 205 ; pr. s. subj, 
may seize, G 7 ; pp. Hent, 
caught, 12. A. S. hentan, to 

Her, pron. poss. their, B 137, 138, 
140, 221, 373, C 892, G 363, 
1387. A. S. heora^ hira, of them; 
gen. pi. of Ae, he. 

Herafterwafd, adj. hereafter, G 
1 168. 

Herbergage, s. lodging, abode, B 
147. O. F. herbergage (Roque- 
fort) ; from O. H. G. heriberga, 
cognate with A. S. herebeorga^ an 
army-shelter ; from here, an army, 
and beorgan, to hide, shelter. 

Herbergeours, 5. pi. harbingers, 
providers of lodging, B 997. See 
above. Hence the modern har- 
binger, with excrescent (inserted) 

Her-bifom, adv. here-before, B 

Herde, 5. shepherd, G 192. A.S. 

hyrde, a guardian of a herd, from 

heord, a herd. 
Here, v. to hear, B 182; pp. Herd, 

heard, 613, G 372. A. S. heran^ 

hiran, to hear ; pp. gehired. Cf. 

Du. hooren, G. horen. 
Here, pers. pron. her, B 460. A. S. 

hire, of her, gen. sing, of heo, 

Herieth, pr. s. praiseth, B 11 55; 

^. Herien, G 47; pp. Heried, 

B 872. A. S. hdrian, to praise ; 

from here, fame. 
Her-inne, adv. herein, G T292. 

A. S. her, here ; and the adv. 

sufGx innan^ within. 
Herknen, v. to hearken, listen to, 

G 691 ; Herkne, 1006 ; I ^. 5. 

pr. Herkne, I hear, a6i ; imp. pi. 

Herkneth, hearken ye, C 454. 

A. S. heorcnian, to listen to ; from 

Airan, to hear. 
Hemes, corners, G 658. A.S. 

hyme, a comer; from horn, a 

horn, a comer, cognate with Lat. 

comu, whence our corner. 
Herte, s. heart, B 167, 1056, G 

870; pi. Hertes, hearts, B 1066. 

A disyllabic word; A. S. he<^te, 

pi. heortan ; cf. Gk. itapbia. 
Herte-blood, heart's blood, C 902. 

Here herte is the gen. sing of the 

feminine substantive herte; the 

A. S. heorte makes heortan in the 

genitive, not heortes. 
Her-to, adv. for this purpose, B 

Heste, s. command, B 382, C 490, 

641; dat. B 1 01 3; pi. Hestes, 

commands, B 284, C 640. A. S. 

has, a command, with added /. 
Hete, pr. s. 1 p.l promise, B 334, 

1 1 32. A. S. hdtan, to command, 

to promise; cf. G. heissen, to 

Hete» s. heat, G 1408. A. S. h<ko. 



hcBiu, heat; Du. hifte, G. hitze; 

shewing that hete is disyllabic. 
Hethen, adj. heathen, B 904. A.S. 

h<iben, of or belonging to a heath; 

kckSt a heath ; cf. Icel. keitSinn, a 

heathen, kei^r, heath, G. heide, 

masc. a heathen, fern, a heath. 

Cf. pagan from Lat. pagus. 
Hethenesse, «. heathen lands, B 

1 1 1 2. A. S. hd^ennes, heathen- 
ism. See above. 
Heuene, gen. heaven's, of heaven, 

G 542. A. S. heofone^ fern.; gen. 

heofonan; we also find heq/bn, 

masc. ; gen. heofites. 
Hewe, 5. dat, hue, colour, B 137, 

G 728; pretence, C 421. A. S. 

hiWf hue ; dat. hiwe, 
"KoYt 5. hay, H 14. A. S. hig ; Du. 

/too/, G. heu. 
Hey, adj, high, B 162, 252; 

severe, 795; def. Heye, C 633. 

A. S. kedh ; leel. Aor, Du. hoog, 

G. hoch. 
TLey and low, in, in high and low 

things, i. e. in all respects, wholly, 

Heyer, ae^. eomp. higher, C 597. 

Heyne, s. a worthless person, G 1319. 
A. S. hedn, mean, abject, poor 
{ste/our examples in Sweet's A. S. 
Reader) ; cf. Du. hoon, an afiront, 
G. hohn, mockery; also O. P. 
honir^ to disgrace, as in * honi soit 
qui mal y pense.' The change of 
vowel from ed to ey v illustrated 
by the form kene, which occurs in 
Layamon's Brut, 1. 30316. We 
also find in A. S. the form henan 
as weU as hynan in the sense of 
to bumble. The Gothic has 
haums, humble. 

Heyr, s. heir, B 766. O. F. heir 
(F. Aofr),fsom Lat. ace. haeredem, 

"SLejuet adj. hair^ made of hair, 
C 736 ; as sb.i hair shirt, sack- 
cloth, G 133. A. S. Ai^a, cloth 
made of hafr, sackcloth; from 
hdr, hair; also hdren^ adj. hairy. 

Hir, pron. pers. her, B 162. The 
A.S. ace. is hi; hire is the gen. 
and dat. form. 

Hix, pron. poss. her, B 164. From 
A. S. hire, gen. case of pers. 
pron. hdot she. 

lELtres, poss. pron. hers, B 227. 

Hold, 5. fort, castle, B 507. A. S. 
keold, a fort; from healdan, to 
hold, keep. 

Holde, pr. s.i p. I consider, deem, 
G 739; pp. Holden, considered, 
kept, made to be, C 598. A. S. 
healdan, pt. t. ic hdold, pp. 

Hole, adj, pL whole, hale ; hole 
and sounde, safe and sound, B 
1 1 50. A.S. hdl, whole; pi. 
hale. £. whole is misspelt ; it is 
the A. S. h6l, and should be hole. 
The form hale is Danish; cf. 
Icel. heill, hale, Dan. heel. The 
Gk. 6ko9 is from a totally different 
root, and goes with Lat. solidue, 
E. solid. See Hool. 

Holwe, adj. hollow, G 1265. The 
root appears in A. S. hoi, hollow, 
holu, a hole ; cf. A. S. holh, a 
hollow, a cavern. The Swedish 
has the longer form hdlig, hollow. 

Horn, s. home, homewards, B 385. 
A. S. hdm ; G. heim. 

Hoznicyde.s. manslaughter, murder, 
C 644. Lat. homictdium; from 
homos a man, and eaedere, to 

Honde,. s, dat. hand, O 13 ; on 

honde, ii> hand, B 348 ; pi. 

" Hondes, hands, C 398, G 189; 

A.S. hond, hand; gen. and dat. 

honde, hande. 

Hooest, adj, honourable, seemly, 
decent, C 328: pi. Honeste, H 
75 ; Lat. honesiuSf honourable ; 
from honor, honour. 

Honestly,, adv. honooiably, G 

Honge, V. to hang, C 790* Stc 

Doon; also HtfOff. 



Hool, adj. sing, whole, perfect, G 
III, 117; well, C 357. A. S. 
hdl. See Hole, the pi. form. 

Hoom, 5. home, homewards, B 173, 
603. A. S. ham, 

Hoom-oominge, 5. home-coming, 

Hoor, adj, hoary, gray, C 743. 
A. S. hdr, hoary ; Icel. kdrr. 

Hoot, adj. hot, G 887. A. S. Ao/, 
hot, Du. heett'G. heiss. 

Hope, 5. hope, expectation, G 870. 
The word is disyllabic. A. S. 
hopOf hope; cf. G. hoffen, to 

Hord, s. hoard, treasure, C 7,75* 
From the same root as herd. 

Horn, s. horn (musical instrument), 
H 90. A. S. horn ; cf. Lat. cornu. 

Hose, s. hose, old stocking, G 726. 
A. S. hose, hose, breeches, cover- 

Hostelrye, s. hostelry, G 589. 
From O. F. hosiel ^our hotel) ; 
which from Lat. hospitale (our 
hospital) ; from Lat. hospidem 
(our host). 

Hous, s. house (a technical term), 
B 304. See note to I. 302. 

-Housbond, s. husband, B 863 ; pi. 
Housbondes, 272. Commonly 
derived (wrongly) frcm house and 
bandf whereas it is the A. S. h^S" 
bonda, Icel. hUsbondi, contr. from 
h&s buandif the iuhaibitant of a 
house, from bua, to inhabit. 
The sense is thenefore that of 
* occupier (i. e. master) of a house.* 
The word is, .accordingly, wholly 
unconnected with band or bonid 
or bind ; but connected with Dan. 
bonde, a peasant ; and agaiu with 
our boor (a word borrowed from 
the Du. boer), and with the last 
syllable in neighbour. 

Hiunblesse, £. humility, B 165. 
From Lat. humilis^ humble. 

^urlest, pr. s. 2 pr, dost hurl, 
dost whirl, B 297. £tym. doubt- 

ful. The derivation from F. 
'hurUr, to howl, is very unsatis- 
factory. There is no proof that 
it is another form of whirl. It 
seems irather related to hurry. 

Hye, V. to hasten, G 1084 ; me hye, 
hurry myself, make haste, 1151 ; 
Hy the, hasten thyself, be quick, 
1395. A. S. higan, higian, to 
hasten ; cf. Lat. citus, quick. 

Hye, s. haste ; in hye, in haste, B 
209. Extremely common in Bar- 
bour's Bruce. See above. 

Hyghte, pt. s, was called {appa^ 
rently used in a present sense, i. e. 
is called), I 52 ; was called, G 
I<I9« 550. A.S. hdtan, to be 
named, ic hdtte, I was called. 
(Gloss. J. and II.) 

Hyghte, s. dat. height, I 4. A. S. 
hed<So; Icel. hdS, Du. hoogte, 

Hyne, 5. hind, peasant, C 688. 
A. S. hina, a domestic, a servant ; 
whence modern £. hind, by add- 
ing an excrescent d. 

I (Jor I and J). 

'IJBSio\iA,.adj, jealous, C 367. O. F. 

jalous, Lat. zelosus, full of zeal. 

Thus jealous k a doublet of 

lalousye, s. jealousy, C 366. 
lang^st, pr. s. .9 p. chatterest, B 

774. O. F. jangier, to chatter ; 

from a Teutonic source; cf. Du. 

janken, to howl, Du. jangelen, to 

lape, 5. a trick, G 1312; a jest, 

H 84 ; pi. Japes, jests, C 319, 394. 

Probably allied to F. gaber, to 

mock, Icel. gabba, to deceive ; 

cf. E. jabber. 
Tape, ger. to jest, H4. 
lay, s. a jay, B 774 ; pi. Jayes, G 

1397' F. ^ea/, formerly gat ; so 

named from its gay colours. Cf. 

Span, gqyo, a jsgr ; O. Span, gayo, 




Ignotuxn, s. an unknown thing 
(see note), G 1457. Lat. ignotunt, 
an unknown thing ; comp. ignO' 
tius, a less known thing. From 
noscere^ to know, formerly gnos- 
cere, and cognate with our know;. 

Impresse, pr. pi, force themselves 
(upon), make an impression 
(upon), G 1071. From Lat. 
imprimere, to press upon; from 
premtre^ to press. 

He, «. isle, B 545. F. Ue, O. F. 
isle, Lat. in&ula^ an island. 

like, adj. same, G 80, 1366 ; verj, 
501. A.S.yc, same. 

In, s. inn, lodging, B 1097* A. S. 
inn, an inn, house. 

Induracioun, s. hardening, G.855. 
From Lat. durus, hand. 

In-fere, adv. together, B 328. Cf. 
A. S. /<w, fer, an expedition ; 
whence in fere^ upon an expedi- 
tion, on a journey; hence, to- 

Infortiinat, adj. unfortunate, in* 
auspicious, B 30a. Lat. in, prefix^ 
Sitid fortunaiuSf fortunate. 

Ingot, 5. an ingot, a mould for 
pouring metal into, G 1 206, 1 209, 
1223 ;pd. Ingottes, G 818. From 
iriy in, and A. S. gedtan, to pour ; 
cf. Du. ingieten, to pour in; G. 
einguss, a poucing in, from giessen,. 
to pour. 

Inne, adv. within, G 880. A. S. 
innan, within ; from prep, in. 

Intellect, s. understanding, G 339. 
Lat. intellectus. 

lolitee, 5. joviality, C 780. From 
F. joli^ pleasant, from a Scandi- 
navian source; Icel. j6l, F. Yule^ 
a great feast held in midwinter. 

loyned, pp, joined, G 95. F. 
joindre, to join, Lat. iungere; 
Skt. yujt to join. 

Ire, 5. anger, C 657. Lat. ira, 

luge, 5. judge, B 814. G 462 ; pi, 
luges, C 391. F. juge^ Lat. ace. 

lugement, s. judgment, opinion, 
B 1038 ; judgment, 688. 

lupartye, s,. jeopardy, hasard, G 
743. Oil F.jeu parti f Lat. iocus 
pariitust a divided game, a game 
in which sides were taken. See 

lusten, V. to joust, H 43. O. F. 
jouster (F. jouter)^ to joust; de- 
rived by Brachet from a Low 
Lat. iuxtare, to. approach, from 
iuxla, near. Cf. E. jostle. 

lustise^ s. a judge, B 665, C 289, 
G 497 ; the administration of 
justice, C 587. The O. F. justice 
meant (i) justice, and (2) the 
administrator of justice ; and this 
double use of the word is retained 
in English. 

luyse, s. justice, judgment, B 795. 
The word is ju-ys-e, in three syl- 
lables ; Roquefort gives the O. F. 
form juise, formed, by loss of d, 
from Lat. iudicium, judgment. 

Eepe, pr. s.ip.l care; / kepehan, 

I care to have, G 1368 ; pt. pi. 

Kepte, regarded, tended, B 260 ; 

imp. pi, Kepeth, keep ye, B 7^, 

G 226. A.S. cipan^ to keep; 

pt. t. ic cepte. , 

Eepe,. s. heed; tah kepe^ take 

heed, C 352, 360. 
Serolief, s. kerchief^ B 837. From 

O. F. cowe, to cover, and chef, 

the head ; it meant, originally, a 

covering for the head. Cf rt/r- 

/w, from O. F. covre, and /«i, 

Key, 5. key (pronounced kay), G 

12-19^ A.S. cag, also cage, a 

Kin, s. kindred, race, G 829. A.S. 

cynn, a kin, lineage. 
Kin, €u^. kind; torn kin, of some 

kind, B 1137. A.S. rynn, akin, 




Kiste, pt. 5. kissed, B 385 ; pi. 
Kiste, C 968 ; pp. Ki$t, in phr. 
been they kist » they have kissed 
each other, B 1 074. A. S. eyss, z 
kiss; cyssan, to kiss; cf. G. 

Kitto, pt. s. cut, B 600. M.E. 
cutten^ to cut ; not in A. S. Cf. 
Welsh cwla, short, cwtan, eytio^ 
to shorten; Gaelic eutaieh, to 
curtail, cutach^ docked; eut^ a 

Knaue, s. boy, servant-lad, B 474, 
C 666; as adj. male, B 722. 
A.S. cndpaf cndfa^ a boy, G. 
Icnahet Icel. knapi, a servant-lad. 

Knitte, ger. to knit, I 47. A.S. 
cnyitan, to knit; from cnottt a 
knot, cognate with Lat. nodus 
(for gnodus). See Knyttest. 

Knowestow, knowest thou, B 
367 ; pp. Knowe, known, 890, 
955 • A. S. cndtuan; cf. Lat. 
noscere (for gnoscere). 

Knowleching, s. knowledge, G 
1432. In the verb to knowlechen^ 
the suffix is the common A.S. 

. suffix -Ickcan; in the sb. knotU' 
leche (our knowledge\ the suffix 
is the related noun-suffix -Zac, 
which appears also in wed-lock. 

Knyght, s. knight, servant (of 
God), G 353. A.S. cniktt a 
servant ; cf. G. knecht, 

Knyttest, pr. s. 2 p. reft, knittest 
(thyself), joinest (thyself), i.e. 
art in conjunction, B 307. See 
Knitte. [The spelling knittest 
would be better.] 

Kynde, s. dat, nature, G 41; 659 ; 
race, lineage, 121. A.S. eynd^ 
nature. The final e is due to the 
fact that in all three passages it 
is a dative case. 

Kythe, pr. s. suhj. may shew, B 
636 ; pp. Kythed, shewn, G 1054. 
A.S. cy'San, to make known; cyS, 

, knowledge ; from cunnan, to 
know. . . 


Laas, 5. lace, band, G 574. O. F. 
/as, laz (F. lacs)^ from Lat. 

laqueuSf a noose. Our lasso is 

from the Spanish form of the 

same word. (Gloss. I.) 
Labour, s. endeavour, B 381. 

O. F. labour f Lat. ace. lahorem. 
Ladde, pt. s, led, B 976, G 370, 

374 ; brought, B 442 ; pp. Lad, 

646. A. S. Iddan, pt. t. ic ladde ; 

connected with A. S. liSan, to 

Ladel, s. ladle, H 51. The A. S. 

kl<sdel means the handle of a 

windlass for drawing water ; from 

hladan, to lade, draw. 
Ladyes, s. pi. ladies, B 354. 

Pron. laadee-ez, as a trisyllable. 

A. S. hl6fdige^ a lady. 
Lafte, pt. s.ip.l left, C 762 ; pp. 
■ Laft, G 883, 1321. A.S. laftm, 

to leave ; Icel. lei/a. 
Lakketh, pr. s. lacks, G 498. Cf. 

Icel. lakr^ deficient. 
Ijampe, s. lamina, thin plate, G 

764. F. lame^ a thin plate ; Lat. 

lamina. The insertion of ex- 
crescent p occurs after m in other 

Words in Chaucer ; as in soUmpne, 

dampne^ empty, 
Ziampes, s. pi. lamps, G 80 d. 
Ijappe, 5. skirt or lappet of a 

garment, G 12. A.S. lappa, a 

lap, border, hem ; Du. lap, a 

remnant, shred. 
Lasse, adj. less, C 602. A. S. 

IcBs, less ; also lassa. 
Ziat, imp, permit, let, G 164; lat 

take = let us take, 1254. A.S. 

Idtan, to allow, let; Du. /a/sen, 

G. lassen. 
Iiate, adj. late; het than neuer is 

late, G [410. A.S. lat, slow. 
Iiatotm, s. a kind of brass, C 351. 

See the note. O.F. laton {F. 

laiton), from Low Lat. ace. lato- 




Iiatyn, 5. Latin, B 519. 

Xiay, s. religious belief, &ith, creed, 

B 376, 573. O.F. lei (F. hi), 

from Lat. ace. legem, 
liOolie, s. physician, C 916, G 56. 

A. S. Icicey a physician; Idcnian, 

to heal; Goth, lekeis, leikeis, a 

Ijede, V. to govern, B 434 ; pr. s, 

subj. may bring, 357. A. S. 

Iddan, See Ijadde. . 
Ijeden, adj. leaden, G 728. 
iLeed, 5. lead, G 406, 828. A. S. 

leady lead; leaden^ leaden; Du. 

lood, lead. 
Ijeef, adj. dear, precious, G 1467 ; 

yaw so leefss so dear to you, so 

desired by you, C 760. A. S. 

ledf, dear; G. lieh. The pi. is 

leue, voc. sing. leue. See liOue. 
Ijeek, 5. leek, i.e. thing of small 

value, G 795. A. S. leae, a 

herb ; whence gzt-lickt hzr-ley. 
Ijees, 5. leash, G 19. F. laisset 

from Lat. laxa, used to mean a 

loose rope, fem. of laxus, loose. 
Iioet, pf. s. let, caused (to be), B 

959; let, G 190; imp. s. let, C 

731. See Lat. 
liemmaTi. s. (leof- or lef-man) 

lover; lit. iiear man, B 917. A. S. 
■led/, dear, man, a human being of 

either sex. Similarly Lammas 

answers to A. S. hldfirussse. 
Ijone, ger. to lend, G 1024, 1037 ; 

imp. s. lend, 1026. A. S. Idnan, 

to lend ; from I6n, a loan. The 

addition of excrescent d appears 

also in sound (F. son), hind (A. S. 

hitte), &c. 
Ijenger, adj. comp. longer, B 262 ; 

adv. longer, B 374. A.S. long, 

long ; comp. lengra, longer. 
Xieos, 8. pi, people, G 103, 106; 

Gk. Ac<Ot. See the note. 
Xieoun, s. lion, B 475, G 178. 
. O. F. leon ; from Lat. ace. leo- 

Xtepe, pr^ pi leap, G 915. A.S. 

Medpan, to leap, run ; Du. loopen, 
to run (whence e4ope, inter- 
loper) ; cf. G. lau/en, to run. 

Lere, ger. to learn, B 181, 630, C 
325, G 838, 1056, 1349; v.. C 
578; pres.s. subj. may learn, G 
607. Chaucer uses the word 
wrongly ; the A. S. Idran, like G. 
lehren, meant to teach, (Gloss, 
n.) See below. 

Lemed of, taught by, G 748. 
Chaucer uses the word wrongly, 
and so does mod. prov. English. 
The A. S. leomian meant to 
learn, like mod. G. lernen. See 

Xjerninge, s. instruction, G 184. 

Ijese, V. to lose, G 229, 745, 833 ; 
ger. G 321 ; 1 p. s. prea. subj. 
I may lose, B 225. A. S. leosan^ 
to lose ; Goth, fra-liusan. 

Lesing, s. lie, G 479; pi. Le- 
singes, lies, C 591. A. S. ledsung, 
a falsehood ; from A. S. leds, adj. 
meaning (i) loose, (2) false. 

Iieste» adj. superl. least, B loi 2. 

Ijeste, pr. s. subj. impers. it may 
please, B 742 ; pt. s. subj. it might 
please, J 36. A. S. lystan, to 
choose, gen. used impersonally; 
from lust, wish, desire, pleasure. 

Ijet, pt. s. caused, permitted, B 
373. See Lat. 

liOte, V. to forsake, B 325 ; ger. 
331; to leave, 986; v. to let 
out, lose, G 406, 523 ; i p. s. pr. 
I let, permit, B 321, 410, 1119; 
imp. pi. let go, give up, G 1049. 
A. S. Idtan, Du. laten, G. lassen. 

Lette, V. to hinder, delay; used 
intran. to cause delay, B 1117. 
A. S. lettan, to hinder ; Du. letten; 
Icel. letja, to hold back. From 
A, S. /«/, late. 

Letterure, s. literature, book-lore» 
G 846. O.F. letreure, Lat. 

Iiettres, s. pi. letters, B 736. The 

. ME. leUres, like Lat. iiterae. 



often means a JeUer, in the 

Iietuarie, s. electuary, C 307. 
Late Lat. electuarium. (Gloss. I.) 

Iieue, V. to give up, leave, let 
alone, G 714; ger. to forsake, 
287 ; imp. pi. Leueth, leave ye, 
C 659. A.S. Icefan, to leave, 
give up ; Icel. leifa. 

Leue, pr. s.ip.l believe, G 213 ; 
2 p. Lenestow, believest thou, 
212. A.S. leaf an f Du. ge-looven^ 
G. g-lauben. E. he-lieve. 

Iieue, 5. leave, permission, C 848, 
G 373. A.S. leAf. leave. 

Iieue, adj. voc. dear, C 73^ ! 
beloved, G 257; pi. lief, dear, 
383. The nom. sing, is Uef, See 

Ijeueful, adj. permissible, praise- 
worthy, allowable, G 5, I 41. It 
has nearly the sense of lawful^ 
but is totally unconnected with 
law etymologically ; it is for 
leave'/ul; from A.S. ledf leave. 

Ijouer, adj. comp. rather ; tfte were 
leuer^ it would be dearer to me, 
I had rather, C 615, H 23; adv. 
G 1376, H 78. Comparative of 
leef. See Leef. 

Lowed, adj. ignorant, B 315, O 
392, G 497, 647, 787. A.S, 
Idwed, lay, a layman. 

Lewedly, adv. ignorantly, ill, G 
430* H 59. See above. 

Iieye, v, to lay a wager, bet, G 
596 ; I p. pi. pr. we lay out, we 
expend, 783 ; pt, pi. Leyden 
forth, brought forward, B 2.13; 
pp. Leyd, laid, G 441. A.S^ 
lecgan, pt. t. ic legde, pp. geled. 

Ilia, put for Gk. Aiov, i. e. very 
much, excessively, G 96. See 
the note. 

Xiioour, 5. juice, C 452. O.F. 
liqetar, from Lat. ace. liquorsm, 
liquor, juice. 

Iiieges, s. pi. subjects, B 240. 
F. lige, from O.H.G. ledic (G. 

ledig\ free. A liege lord was a 
free lord ; in course of time his 
subjects were called lieges, no 
doubt from confusion with Lat. 
ligare, to bind. 

Liftinge, s. lifting, H 67. 

Iiige, adj. liege, C 337. See 

Ligeaxmoe, s. allegiance, B 895. 
See above 

Ijikerous,. aa[/. gluttonous, dainty, 
greedy, C 540. From O. F. 
lecher^ lichier, to lick up, be glut- 
tonous, borrowed from O. H. G. 
lechon, M.H.G. lechen (G. lecken)^ 
to Hck. The h is due to remem- 
brance of A. S. Uccera, a glutton, 
from the same root. 

liilio, s. lily, G 87. Lat. Ulium. 

Linage, 5. lineage, kindred, B 999. 
O. F. linage, Idndred ; from Lat. 
linea, a line. 

List, pr. s. impers. it pleases (him), 
B 520, 701, 766, G 234, I 69 ; 
pers. is pleased, pleases, chooses, 
B 477, G 30, 271; Listeth, 
pleases, 83^; pi. s, impers, Liste, 
it pleased, B 1048, G 1313. List 
is the contr. form of listeih, A. S. 
lystan, to please. 

Litarge, 5. litharge, G 775. * Li^ 
charge, protoxide of lead, pro- 
duced by exposing melted lead to 
a current of air. It generally 
contains more or less red lead ;' 
Webster. Lat. lithargyrus, Gk. 
XiBofT^ot, scum of silver, from 
Ai^os, a stone (hard scum), and 
&pyvpo9^ silver. (Gloss. I.) 

Lofte^ s. (dat.) the air ; hence on 
lofte, in the air, aloft, B 277. 
A.S. lyft, air; cf. G, lufi. 

Loketb^ imp. pi. look ye, behold, 
G 1329; search ye, C 578. A. S. 
locian, to look. 

Lomb, s. lambt B 459^ 617. A.S. 
lamb, a lamb ; £>u. lam, G. 

Loxide, s. {dat.) land, B* 523, G 



950. A. S. lottdf land ; the 
M. E..nom. case is also lond, 

XiOiifir» prep.; the phrase wher-on 
. . long s= long on whiTt along of 
what, G 930 ; Long on, along of, 
because of, G 922. A. S. gelang, 
along of, because of. 

3Ci008, * s. praise, G 1 368. O. F. 
los, loXt praise ; a mere adaptation 
of Lat nom. laus^ praise. 

IiordingSy s. pi, sirs, B 573, C 

Iiore, s. teaching, instruction, 6 

342. G 414; learning, B 761 ; 

study, G 842. A. S. Idr, teaching, 

liom, pp. lost, B 774, 843. A. S. 

loren, lost ; pp. of ledsan, to 

lose; cf. G. verloren^ pp. of 

liosten, pt. pi. lost, G 398. 
Itotinge, pres, part, lurking, G 

186. (See the note.) A. S. 

HtiaHf to lurk; as in Sweet's 

A. S. Reader, p. 9, 1. 41 ; from 

A. S. kUan, to bow, bend down. 
Iioues, s. pi. loaves, B 503. A. S. 

hid/; pi. hld/at. 
Itongh, pt. s. laughed, C 476, 961. 

A. S. hUhhan, to laugh ; pt. t. ic 

Iiiiore, 8, profit, G 1402. Lat. 

lucrum^ gain. 
Itullefhy pr. s. lulls, soothes, B 

839. Cf. Swedish lulla^ to hum, 

to lull ; IvUa till tomns, to lull 

to sleep. 
Iiuna, s. the Moon, G 826; a 

name for silver, 1440. Lat. 

Iinnorie, s. lunary, moon-wort, O 

800. See the note. 
Iiure> s. a hawk's lure, the bait by 

which a hawk was tempted to 

return to the fowler's hand, H 72. 

F. leurre, a decoy ; from Middle 

German luoder, a decoy. 
Iitist, 5. will, pleasure, desire, wish, 

B 188, 762, G 1398 ; pi. Lustes, 

VOL. m. 

desires, C 833. A.S. lust, pleasure, 

LuBte, pt. s. impers. it pleased, G 

1335 ; pers. was pleased, desired, 

1344. Sc^ liist. 
Ijustier, adj. comp. more joyous, 

G 1345. 
Liuty, adj. pleasant, G 1402 ; 

lusty, H 41. Formed from A. S. 
lustt pleasure ; cf. Du, lustig^ 
Ijutesy s. pi. lutes, B 466. A 
word of Arabic origin ; see Web- 
Lyghte, imp. s. illumine, G 71. 
A.S. gelih/an, to lighten; from 
ledht, light. 
Lyghte, pt. s. alighted, dismounted, 
B 786, 1 104. A.S. llhtant to 
alight from a horse. 
Lyghtly, cuh. easily, G 1400, H 
8, 77. A.S. liht, light (not 
Lyking, s, pleasure, C 455. A.S. 
licung, pleasure; from Heiant to 
Iiyniy s. lime, G 806, Qio. A. S. 

/Im, lime ; Du. /17m, Q. leim. 
LymaiUe, s. filings of any metal, 
G 853, 1162, 1197; Lymail, 
1164, 1267, 1269. From Lat. 
limare^ to file ; lima^ a file. 
Iiymes, s. pi. limbs, B 461, 772. 

A. S. irm, Icel. limr, a limb. 
Iiyt, adj. little, G 567 ; as s6., a 
little, B 352. A.S. lyt, little, 
few ; also used as a sb. 
Lyte, adv. little, in a small degree, 
G 632, 699. Formed from A. S. 
/y/, little, by adding the adverbial 
suffix -€. 
Ijyth, pr. s. lieth, i.e. he lies, B 
634. A. S. licgan, to lie ; pr. s. 
hi lig^, or lifS. 
Iiynes, s. pi. gen. souls', lives,* G 

56. A. S.K/,Iife. 
Lyuestow, for lyuest thou, i.e. 
livest thou, C 719. A.S. HjSan, 
to live ; from Kf, life. 




Iiyuing^e, s. manner of life, C 847 ; 
state of life, G 322. 

Maad, pp. made, G 1459. 

Magestee, s, majesty, B 108 a. 
O. F. maiestee, Lat. ace. rnqjesta- 
tern; cf. magnus, great. 

Magnesia, s. magnesia, G 1455. 
Lat. magnesia^ so called because 
found in Magnesia, in Thessaly. 
The word magnet has its name 
from the same source. 

Maistres, s. pi. masters, B 141. 
O. F. maistre, Lat. ace. magis- 
trum; cf. magnus^ great. 

Maistrie, s. a masterly operation 
{tin coup de maitre), G 1060. 
O. F.' mcUstrie, from maistre, a 

Make* s. mate, wife, B 700; hus- 
band, G 224. A. S. macOt Icel. 
makit a mate. 

Makestow, i. e. makest thou, B 
371; pp. Maked, G 484. (Chaucer 
also has Maad^ q. v.) A. S. macian, 
to make ; pp. macod. From the 
same root as machine (Gk. 

Male^ s. bag, wallet, C 920, G 566, 
I 26. O.F. male (F. malle), a 
budget ; from O. H.G. malaha, a 
leathern bag. Cf. £. fnail in 

Malisoun, s. curse, G 1245. O.F. 
malison; firom Lat. ace. male- 
dictionem; so also benison is a 
doublet of benediction. 

Tyralliable, adj. malleable, such as 
can be worked by the hammer, G 
1 1 30. From Lat. malleus, a 
hammer, mallet. 

lilaner, s. manner, sort, G 424; 
maner pley^ kind of game, C 627; 
maner chaunce, kind of luck, G 
527 ; maner latyn, kind of Latin, 
B 519; Manere, G 45, 142. 
O. F. manieret manner; from 
Lat. manus, the hand. 

Manniflh, adj. man-like, i. e. un- 
womanly, B 782. Cp. A.S. men- 
nisCf human. 

Manslauglitre, 5. murder, C 593. 
A. S. sledn^ to slay, kill. 

Marie, interj. marry, i.e. by St. 
Mary, G 1062. 

Mark, s. a piece of money', of the 
value of 13s. 4J. iu Englaad, G 
1026; pi. Mark, i.e. marks, C 
390. See note to C 390. 

Mars (the planet), G 827. 

Mary, s. marrow, C 54a. A.S. 
mearh, marrow. (Gloss. L) 

Mased, pp. bewildered, B 526, 678. 
(Gloss. L) 

Mat, adj. struck dead, defeated 
utterly, B 935. O.F. mat, de- 
feated, languid, feeble, G. nuUt^ 
dull. Borrowed from the game 
of chess, in which checJcmcUe is 
a corruption of Persian shah mat, 
the king is dead ; Diez. 

Matere, s. matter, subject, affair, 6 
322, 411, 581 ; pi. Matercs, 
materials (of a solid character), G 
779; gen. pi. Matires, of the 
materials, 770. O.F. matiere, 
matere, Lat. materia. 

Mauxnettrye, s. Mahometanlsm, 
B 236. Maumet is a corruption 
of Mahomet or Muhammed. 

Maiinoiple, s. manciple, H 25, 69, 
103, I I. From Lat. manceps^ a 
purchaser, contractor; from manus, 
the hand, and capere, to take. 
(Gloss. L) 

Mawe, s. maw, B 486. A. S. 
magOt the stomach. (Gloss. II.) 

May, I p. s. pr, I can, B 231, 
1070; Maystow, mayest thou, G 
336. A.S. magan, to be able; 
pr. t. ic mceg; pt. t. ic mihie; 
Icel. mega, G. mogen. 

May, s. maiden, B 851. A.S. mdg^ 
a kinsman; also, a son; also, a 

Maydenhede, s. maidenhood, G 
J 26. A. S. magdenhdd* 



Medio, V. to meddle, take part in, 
G 1 1 84; imp. pi. Medleth, G 
1424. O. F. medleTf given by 
Burguy as another form of mesler, 
which is the Low Lat. misculare, 
to mix ; from Lat. miscere^'Xo mix. 

Meel, 8. meal, B 466. A. S. nukl^ 
a time, a portion ; also, a meal. 

Memorie, s. memory, G 339. 
From Lat. memoria. 

iMen, s. pi. men, people, folks ; often 
used, in this sense, with a verh in 
the singular, C 675, G 392 ; gen, 
Mennes, men's, B 202. 

Mene, pr. s.ip.l mean, speak of, 
B 641, G 1424, In; Menestow, 
meanest thou, G 309 ; I p. s. pt. 
Mente, intended, 999, 1051 ; pt. 
s. B 327. A. S. mcenan, to have 
in mind ; cf. G. meinen, to in- 

Mene, adj. mean, intermediate, B 
546, G 1262. O.F. meien, moien 
(F. moyen), from Lat. medianus; 
which from Lat. medius, middle. 

Menes, s. pi. means, B 480. See 

Merourie, Mercury, the planet, G 

Merourie, 5. mercury, i.e. quick- 
silver. G 772, 774, 827, 1431, 


Meschance, s. misfortune, B 60 a, 
610; Meschaunce, 896, 9I4; 
with meschaunce = with ill luck 
(to him), H 1 1 . O. F. meschaance, 
a mishap; from Lat. minus, less, 
i.e. badly, and eadentia, hap; 
from Lat. caderCy to fall, happen. 

Mescheef, s. tribulation, trouble, 
H 76; misfortune, G 1378; 
Meschief, 713, 107a. O. F. 
meschief; from Lat. minus, less, 
badly ; and caput, the head. 

Message, 5. errand, B 1087 ; also, 
messenger, B 144, 333. F. mes- 
sage, Low Lat. missaticum, a 
message ; from mittere, to send. 

Hessager, «, messenger, B 724, 

785. F, messager; see above. 
The n is excrescent, as in passen- 
ger, i. e. passager. 

Mesurable, adj. moderate, C 515. 
O. F. mesurable, Lat. mensura- 
bilis; from metiri, to measure. 

Ministre, s. minister, B 168. 
From Lat. minus, less ; as magis- 
ter is from magis, more. 

Mirour, 5. mirror, B 166, G 668. 
O. F. mireor, a mirror ; from Lat. 
mirari, to gaze, wonder at. 

Mis, adj. amiss, wrong, blame^ 
worthy, G 999. Icel. miisa, a 
fault; Icel. missa, A. S. missian, 
to miss. 

Misauenture, s. misfortune, B 616. 
O. F. mesaventure. (Note that 
in most £. words taken from the 
French the prefix mis- is a cor- 
ruption of O. F. mes, Lat. minus.) 
In native words it is the (totally 
different) A. S. prefix mis-. 

Misbileue, s. belief of trickery, 
suspicion. G 12 13. Here the 
prefix is probably the A, S, mis-, 
wrong. See above. 

Mistriste, v, mistrust, C 369. 
See Misauenture. 

Miteyn, 5. mitten, glove, C 372, 
373. F. mitaine, explained by 
some as a half-^o\t, from O.H.G. 
mittle, middle; by others, more 
probably, as being from a Celtic 
source. Cf. Gaelic miotag, a 
worsted glove, Irish mitinigh, mit- 

Mochel, adj. much, G 611, H 54; 
many, G 673. A. S. mycel, 

Moder, s. mother, B 696; gen. 
Modres, mother's, C 729, G 1243. 
A.S. mddor; cf. Icel. mofSir, G. 
mutter, Lat. mater, Gk. iJt^rrjp, 
Skt. mdtri, 

Moebles, s. pi, movable goods, 
personal property, G 540. From 
Lat, mouere; cf. F. meubles, 

R 2 



Moeued, pi. s, moved, disturbed, B 
1 1 36 ; pres, pt. Moeuyng, moving, 
295. O. F. mouvoir, movoirt 
from Lat. mouere, 

MoUificaoioiin, s. moUif3ring, 
softening, G 854. From Lat. 
mollis, soft. 

Mones, 5. gen, moon's, I 10. A. S. 
mSna, gen. mdnan; hence the 
M. £. gen. is often mone as well 
as mones ; see Gioss. II. 

Moneye, s. money, G 1033. O.F. 
moneie, from Lat. moneta, money, 
a mint. 

Mo, adj, more (in number), B 419, 
C 891, G 207, 675, 693, 723, 
818; othere mo » others besides, 
1 001; na mosno more, none 
else, B 695. A. S. ma, more in 
number ; chiefly used as the com* 
parative of our many; whereas 
the word more commonly means 
greater in size, used as the comp. 
of mickle, great. 

Mooder, s. mother, B 276. See 

Mooming, s. mourning, B 621. 
A.S. meomany m»man, to mourn. 

Moot, pr. s, must, is to, B 294. 
See Mot. 

Moralitee, s. morality, i. e. a moral 
tale, I 38. From Lat. mores, 

More and lesse, greater and lesser, 
i.e. every one, B 959. See 

Mortifle, v. to mortify; lit. to 
kill ; used of producing change 
by chemical action, G 1431 (see 
note to the line) ; Mortifye, 1 1 26. 
From Lat. mors, death. 

Morwe, s. morrow, morn; by the 
morwe, early in the morning, at 
dawn, H 16. A. S. morgen, 
morning. By change of j' to w 
we get morwen, whence morwe 
by dropping », which is mod. E. 
morrow. Direct contraction, with 
loss of ^, gives morn.- 

Mot, pr, s, I p.l must, I have to, 

. B 227, 737, C 327, 725 ; subj, 
may, G 634, H 80 ; mot I theen 
»may I thrive, C 309; foule 
mot thee falle » foully (i.e. ill) 
may it happen to thee, H 40 ; pt. 
8, I p, Moste, I must, I ought, B 
282; pt. s. must, had to, B 886, 
G 523; tubj, might, B 380; vs 
moste » it must be for us, i. e. it 
should be our resolve, G 946. 
A. S. ie mot, I may ; pt. t. ic 
mdste, I ought to, I must. 

Motyf, s. motive, incitement, B 
628. F. motif; from moutfoir, 
to move ; Lat. mouere, 

Mountanoe, s. amount, quantity, 
C 863. O. F. montance, amount, 
value; from monter, to mount; 
which from mont, a mountain; 
from Lat. ace. montem. 

Mow, 2 p, s. pr. subj, mayest, G 
460; pi. Mowe, may, can, G 
510, 780, 909; T p. pr. pi. 
Mowen, we cannot From A.S. 
magan, to be able. 

Moysty, adj. new (applied to ale), 
H 60; Moiste, C 315. O.F. 
moiste (F. moite) ; from Lat. 
musteus, adj. of minium, new 
wine, must. 

Mullok, s. rubbish, refuse, con* 
fused heap of materials, G 938, 
940. Gower uses mull in a 
similar sense; see Specimens of 
English, ed. Morris and Skeat. 
Mullok is a diminutive. It is 
connected with mould, 

Multiplioacioun, 5. multiplying, 
i. e. the art of alchemy, G 849. 

Multiplye, v. to make gold and 
silver by the arts of alchemy, G 
669, 731. 

Mused, pt, s, pondered, considered, 
B 1033. F. muser, to k>iter, 

Myle, 8, pi, miles, G 556; cf. 
Myles in 1. 561. In the fonner 
cast the. older form is jretained; 



cf. A.S. mila, the plural nom. 
gen. and ace. of mil, fern. sb. 

Mynde, s. memory, B 527; re- 
membrance, 908, 1 1 2 7 ; to mynde 
= to (my) memory, 788. A.S. 
fnynd, gemynd, memory, from 
tnunan, gemunan, to remember. 

Myte, s. a mite, thing of no value, 
G 5". 633, 698, 1421. We 
also find the form mint (Piers 
Plowman) ; it is probable that the 
word miie (with long t for in) is 
the same word, from the root min, 
small, which appears in Gothic as 
well as in the Lat. fninor, 


Kadde, pt, pi. had not, G 879, 

H 51. For M kadde. 
"Nekkedf pp. as adj. destitute, void, 

weak, G 486. A.S. nacod, naked, 

a pp. form. The verb to nake, 

to lay bare, is used by Chaucer in 

his translation of Boethius. 
TSTam, pi. s. took, G 1297. A.S. 

niman, to take; pt. t. ie nam; 

cf. G. nehmen, to take. 
Kamely, adv. especially, B 563, 

Ifa mo, i. e. no more, none else, B 

695 ; Namo, G 543. See Mo. 
Ifamore, tidv. no more, never 

again, B iiij, C 962, G 651, 

DCVappeth, pr. s. naps, slumbers, 

nods, H 8. A.S. hnappian, to 

li'art, for ne art, i.e. art not, G 

JCVas, for ne was, i. c. was not, B 

159. 209, 292, 938. 
H'at, adv. not, H 23; Nat but, 

only, C 403. Cf. prov. E. noblwi 

(i. e. not but), only. 
TS[B,t,for ne at, i. e. nor at (see note, 

p. 6), B 290. So also Chaucer 

has nin for ne in; tee Gloss. II. 
B'stheles, adv. nevertheletf, none 

the kss, B 621, C 813, G 717. 

A. S. nd, not, py, on that account, 

instrumental case of se, se6, p€et. 

Thus it means — * not less on that 

Naughty adv. not, not so, G 269. 

Short for nd udht, no whit; E. 

not is the same word. 
Nay, €uiv. no {answering a simple 

question), B 740; nay, G X339. 

Cf. Icel. nei, nay; the A.S. nd 

is our no, 
Nayles, 5. pi. nails, C 288, 651. 

See note to C 651. 
Ne, adv. not ; ne doth, do ye not, 

C 745; ^onj. nor, C 619. A.S. 

ne, not. 

Neoemarie, adj. necessary, H 95. 

From Lat. neeessarius. 
Node, 8. dot. need, necessity, B 

658 ; pi. Nedes, necessary things, 

business, 174; needs, G 178. 

A. S. nedd, need; cognate with 

G. noth. 
Nede, adv. necessarily, needs, G 

1280. Originally a dat. case of 

the sb. See above. 
Node, t^. to be necessary, B 871. 

The A.S. neddan, to compel, is 

usual transitive. 
Nedles. s. gen. needle's, G 440. 

A.S. nadl, a needle; G. nadel; 

cf. Lat. nere, to sew. 
Neer, adj. nearer, O 721. Com- 
parative of neigh (A.S. nedk), 

nigh. See below. 
Neigh, prep, nigh, B 550. A.S. 

nuik, oigh; comp. nearra, nigber; 

snperl. netAtta, nehsta, whence E. 

Nekke-boon, s. nape of the neck, 
lit. neck-bone, B 669, A.S. 
hneeca, the neck (whence nekke is 
disyllabic), and hdn, bone. 

Nemimai, v. to name, B 507. 
A.S. nemnan, to name; from 
nama, a name ; cf. Lat. nomen, a 
name. The p is excrescent ; see 



Nerey ptt s. subj. were not (put for 
ne were), B 547, G 1362. 

Neuer the neer, phr. never the 
nearer, none the nearer, G 721. 
See Neer. 

Neueradely cuh, not a bit, C 670* 
See Del. 

Neuene, v. to name, G 82 1 ; ^. 
pi, subj. may name, may mention, 
1473. Icel. nefna^ to name; 
nafn^ a name ; see Nempne. 

Nexte, adj. next, nearest, B 807, 
C 870. See Nei^h. 

Nil, I p. s. pr. I will not, G 1463 ; 
pr. s. will not, B 972. A. S. 
nyllan, to be unwilling; cf. Lat. 

Nia,for ne is, is not, B 319, C S6i, 
G 13, 919. 

Niste, pt. s, knew not, B 384, G 
216. A. S. nyta/tt not to know; 
pt. t. ic nysie; from.n^, not, and 
witan, to know. 

Nobledest, pt. s, 2 p. ennobledest, 
didst ennoble, G 40. A transla- 
tion of Dante's nohUitasii ; see the 

Nobles, 5. pi. gold coins worth 
6s. 8cf.; C 907, G 1365. 

Noblesse, s. nobility, worthy be- 
haviour, B 185, 248. F. noblesse; 
Low Lat. nobilida ; from nobilisy 

Nobley, s. nobility, assembly of 
nobles, G 449. Cf. O.F. nobloier, 
to look noble. 

Nodde, V. to nod, H 47. A Low- 
German word, cognate with 
O. H. G. nuoton, knoton, to shake. 
The Lat. nuere, to nod, shews the 
root; nutare is but a frequentative, 
so that the / in it does not answer 
to the £. d. 

Nolde, for ne wolde, I would not, 
I should not desire, G 1334; pt. 
pi. Nolde, would not, 395. See 

Noot, for ne wot, pr. s. i p. I 
know not, B 892, 10 19, G 

1x48; Not, B 242, C 816, H 33. 
A. S. ic ndtf I know not, from 
nytan, not to know. 

No-thing, adv. in no respect, B 
576, 971, C 764; not at all, C 
404, 433, G 1036. 

Notified, pp. made known, pro- 
claimed, B 256. Lat. notijicare, 
to make known ; notus^ known. 

Noufl;ht, s, nothing, C 542, G 
1 401 ; in no respect, B 400. See 

Nyce, adj. foolish, weak, B 1088, 
G 493, 647, 842, H 69. F. niee^ 
Sp. neHo, Port, nescio or neciOf 
Lat. nesciuSf ignorant. See Gloss. 

Nyoetee, *. folly, G 463, 495. 
See above. 

Nyghtingale, s. nightingale, G 
1 343. A. S. nihtegale, Icel. fustr- 
gali, G. nachtigall. The n is 
apparently excrescent. The w<»d 
means night-sitter; A.S. galan, 
to sing. 


O, num. one, B 1135, G 340. 

Shortened from on or oon; see 

Occident, 5. West, B 297. From 

Lat. ace. occidentem. 
Occupieth, pr. s. takes up, dwells 

in, B 424. From Lat. oecupare. 
Of, prep, during, B 510; with, G 

626. A.S. of. 
Offreth, imp. pi. 2 p. offer ye, C- 

910. A. S. ojffrian, to offer; 

merely borrowed from Lat. offerre, 
Of-newe, adv. newly, lately, G 

1043. Hence E. anew. 
Ones, adv. once, B 588, 861, G 

768 ; of one mind, united in design, 

C 696; at ones = at once, H 10. 

A. S. dneSf once ; gen. case of dn, 

Oo, adj. one^ G! 207. See Oon. 



Ook, 5. oak, C 765. A. S. de^ Icel. 
eikf G. eiche. 

Oon, adj, one, B 271, 334, I 16; 
one and tjie same, C 333 ; that 
con = the one, 666. A. S. an, 
Icel. tfmn, Goth, ains, Lat. unus. 

Oppresse, v. to put down, G 4. 
From Lat. opprimere. 

Op, adv, ere, before, G314; con;. 
^ 573* ^' S* ^''t before ; another 
form of <pr, E. ere. 

Ordeyned, />p. ordained, i.e. pre- 
pared, G 1277. O. F. ordener, 
Lat. ordinaret to set in order; 
from ordOf order. 

Ordinaunoe, s. ordaining, govern- 
ance, arrangement, B 763, 805 ; 
provision, 250. See above. 

Ordre, 5. order, class, G 995. F. 
ordre^ from Lat. ace. ordinem. 

Organs, s. pi, * organs,' the old 
equivalent of organ, G 134; see 
the note. Or it may mean 
'musical instruments.' Lat. pi. 
organa; from Gk. 6pyavoVt an 
implement ; from ipyeiv, to work. 

Orisons, s. pi. prayers, B 537, 
596. O. F. onso/i, from Lat. ace. 

Orpiment, 5. orpiment, G 759, 
774, 823. • Orpiment f tri-sulphide 
of arsenic ; it occurs in nature as 
an ore of arsenic, and is^ usually 
in combination with realgar, or 
red sulphuret of arsenic;' Web- 
ster. F. orpiment, Lat. auripig- 
mentum; from aurum, gold, and 
pigmentum, a pigment or paint. 

Osanne, i. e. Hosannah, B 642. 
A Hebrew phrase; meaning * save, 
we pray.* 

Otes, s. pi. oats, C 375. A. S. dta, 
Icel. <e/f, oats. 

Otlier . • . other, either ... or, B 
1 1 36, G 1 147. In the first 
instance, the second other is 
written in the contracted form or 
(which is short for other). 

Otlieres, pron, sing, each other's, 

lit. of the other, C 476. A.S. 
d^er, Du. ander, Icel. annar, 
Goth, anthar. The £. form has 
lost an n. 

Othes, s. pi. oaths, C 472, 636. 
A.S. diS, Icel. tf/^r, Goth, aiths, 
an oath. 

Ouer, prep, over, above (Jron. 
rapidly), B 277; ouer her might 
=to excess, C 468. A.S. ofer, 
Icel.jjj/Jr, G. uber. 

Oueral, adv. everywhere, generally, 
G 507. Cf. G. aberall. 

Ouerdone, pp. overdone, carried 
to excess, G 645. A.S. oferdon, 
to overdo. 

Ouer-greet, adJ, too great, G 

Ouertake, v. to overtake, attain 
to. G 682; 

Ought, 5. anything of value, G 
1333* A. S. d-wiht, one whit. 

Oughte, pt, s. became; as him 
oughte = as it became him, B 
1097 ; it was fit, as in hem 
oughte be = it was fit for them, G 
1340; pi. s, subj. it would be- 
come, as in oughte vs^it would 
become us, it would be our duty, 
14; 1 p. pt. pi. Oughten, we 
ought, 6. A. S. dgan, to owe, to 
own ; pr. t, ie ah, I own ; pt, t. 
ic dhte, I ought. 

Ounces, s. pi. ounces, G 756, 
From Lat. uncia. 

Onres, poss. pron. ours, C 786. 

Outen, V. to come out with, utter, 
display, exhibit, G 834. A. S. 
{Uian, to put out, eject; cf. O. 
H. G. uzon, to put out. (A rare 

Outrageous, adj. violent, exces- 
sive, C 650. From F. outrer, 
O. F. oltrer, to pass beyond 
bounds ; O. F. oltre, Lat. ultra, 

Outrely, adv. utterly, C 849. 

Out-taken, pp. excepted (lit. tak^ 
out), B 277. 



Oversloppe, s. upper-garment, G 
633. See note. Cf. Icel. :^r- 
sloppr, an upper or over garment ; 
cf. £. slopt in the compound 
* s/o/-shop.' 

Owen, adj, own, B 1058, C 834 ; 
pi. Owenc, G 1154. A.S. 6gen, 
own ; from dgan, to possess. Cf. 
Icel. eiginn, own, from eiga, to 

Oweth, pr, «. owneth, owns, pos- 
sesses, C 361. A.S. dgan^ to 
possess ; Icel. eiga. 

Owher, adv. anywhere, G 838. 
A. S. ahwar^ aghwar^ anywhere. 

Oyles, 5. pi. oils, G 856. From 
Lat. oleuntf oil. 


Faa«, s. pace, foot-pace, G 575 
(see the note) ; gon a paas = go 
at a foot pace, C ^66. From 
Lat. passus, a step. 

Face, ger. to pass ; to pace of=» to 
pass from, B 205. F. passer. 
Low Lat. passare, to pass over. 
From pandere. 

Failed, adj. enfeebled, languid, H 
55, Not connected with pale, 
but from W. pallu, to fail, W. 
paUt loss of energy. See Appall- 
ed in Gloss. II. 

Falm, s. palmbranch, G 240 Lat. 

Fanne, s. a pan, G 1210. A di- 
syllabic word. A. S. and Icel. 

Farauenturey adv. peradventure, 
perhaps, B 190. 

Far oas, by chance, B 885. 

Farde, inter}, F. par Dicu, C 672. 

Farfay, inter}, by my faith, verily, 
B 849. O. F. parfei. 

Farfit, ad}, perfect, G 353. F. 
parfait, Lat. perfectus. 

Faritorie, s. peliitory, Parietaria 
officinalis^ G 581. *In rural dis- 
tricts an infusion of this plant is 

a favourite medicine ;* Flowers of 

the Field, by C. A. Johns. • Pari- 

toire, peliitory of the wall ;' Cot- 
grave. From Lat. paries, a 

Fas, s, pace, B 399 ; pi. Pas, paces, 

movements, 300. See Faas. 
Fassen, v. to surpass, outdo, G 

857. See Fao3. 
Faaatng, adj. surpassing, excellent, 

G 614. 
Fatente, s. a letter of privilege, so 

called because open to all men's 

inspection, C 337. From Lat. 

patere, to lie open. 
Faue, V. to pave, G 626. From 

Lat. pauire, to ram or beat down 

earth ; cf. Gk. va/ctv, to strike. 
Fayens, s. pi, pagans, B 534. F. 

paien, Lat. paganus, prop, a 

villager. See Hethen. 
Fees, 5. peace, G 44 ; in pees » in 

silence, B 228. O.F. pes, Lat. 

ace. pacem. 
Fees, inter}, peace I hush ! B 836, 

Fens, s. pi. pence, C 376. (N.B. 

Pens was pronounced with sharp 

5, as in pens-ive, not with z, as in 

the pi. of pen.) 
Fepeer, s. pepper, G 763. From 

Lat. piper. 
Ferauentnre, adv. perhaps, per- 
chance, C 935, H 71. See 

Feroen, pr. pi. pierce, G 9 1 1 . F. 

Ferflt, adj. perfect, I 50. See 

Ferseueraunoe, s. continuance, G 

443. See below. 
Ferseuereth, ^. s. lasteth, C 497. 

From Lat. perseuerare. 
Ferseueringe, s. perseverance, G 

Ferson, s. parson, I 23. From 

Lat. persona. 
Feter, inter}, by St. Peter, G 665. 

See note, p. 184. 



Peyne, s. pain, G 1 398 ; penalty, 
H 86. F. peine^ Lat. poena. 

Peyne, pr. s. 1 p. refl. I peyne me 
= 1 take pains, C 330, 395; pr, 
s. refl, Peyncth hir, endeayours, B 


Feytrel, s. properly, the breast- 
plate of a horse in armour ; here 
used for the breast-piece of a 
horse's harness, G 564. Cf. O. F. 
poitral (Roquefort), Fr. poitrail, 
Lat. pectorale; from Lat. pectus, 
the breast. 

Fhilosophre, s. philosopher, G 
490 ; pi, Philosophres, 1 42 7. 

Finohen, ger, to find fault, H 74. 
F. pincer^ O. F. pinser (for pieer\ 
from a Low German source ; cf. 
Old Dutch pitsen, to pinch; G. 
pfetzen, to cut ; O. H. G. pfexun^ 
to pinch ; Diez. 

Fitee» s. pity, B 192, 660. F. 
/i/iV, O. F. pxted, Lat. zee. pietO" 
ten. (Gloss. II.) 

Fitous, adj. pitiful, sad, B 449. 

Fitously, adv. piteously, B 1 059, 
C 298. 

Flages, s. pi. regions, B 543. From 
Lat. plagOf a region. Used twice 
by Chaucer in his Treatise on the 
Astrolabe (ed. Skeat, i. 5. 7 ! ii* 
31. 10) to signify, 'quarters of 
the compass.' 

Flantayn, s. plantain, G 581. F. 
plantain, from Lat. ace. plantagi- 
nem, Cf. Romeo and Juliet, i. 2. 
52 — ' Your plantain-leaf is excel- 
lent for that.' The A. S. name 
was weghr<Bde, lit. way-broad {not 
way-bread) ; see weg-hrade, in 
Gloss, to Cockayne's Leechdoms. 

Flat, adv. bluntly, flatly, openly, 
plainly, B 886, C 648. F. plat, 
flat ; from O. H. G. ; G. platt. 

Flayn, adv. plainly, clearly, B 990. 
F. plain, Lat. planus. See 

Flesanoe* s. pleasure, will, delight, 
B 149, 276, 762, 1 140. F. 

plaisance; from Lat. placere, to 

Flsyn, adj, plain, clear, B 324. 
F. plain, Lat. planus. See 

Fle3ni, adv. plainly, clearly, B 886, 
G 360. See above. 

Pleyn, adj. full, G 346. F. plein, 
Lat. plenus, 

Fleyne, v. to complain, lament, B 
1067, C 512. F. plaindre, Lat. 

Pleyntes, s. fd, complaints, lamen- 
tations, B 1068. O. F. plainte, 
Lat. planctus, a lament. 

Flyglit, pp, pledged, plighted, C 
702. A. S. plihtan, to pledge ; 
pp. gepliht ; pliht, a pledge ; G. 
pfliait, a duty. 

Flytd, s. plight, state, G 952. A 
better spelling would heplyghte; 
see above. 

Point, s. ; in point = on the point, 
ready (to), B 331, 910. F. 
point, Lat. punctum. 

Pokets, s. pi. pockets, i.e. little 
bags, G 808. A.S. poeca, a 
poke, bag; perhaps Celtic; cf. 
Gaelic poca, a bag, a pocket, 
Icel. poki, a bag. 

Pokkes, s, pi, pocks, pustules, C 
358. A. S. poc, Du. pok, a pock, 
pustule. Small pox is a corrupt 
form of * the small pocks.' 

Poloat, s. polecat, C 855. 

Polioye, s. public business, C 600. 
From Gk. v6Kti, a state, city; 
whence voXirtla, administration. 
Latinised as politia, and thence 
adopted into French. 

Poxnely, adj. dapple ; in the com- 
pound pomely gris, i.e. dapple- 
grey, G 559 ; cf. Prologue, 616. 
Cotgrave has — * Gris pommeli, a 
dapple gray.' Also — * PommeU,^ 
daple, or dapled ; also round, or 
plump as an apple.' And again 
— * Pommeler, to grow round, or 
plump like an apple; also, to 



daple/ Dapple^ by the way, is 
from the verb to dab, and Wedg- 
. wood well remarks, — *The re- 
semblance of dapple-gray to O.N. 
apalgrdr, or apple-gray, Fr. gris 
pommels, is accidental.' 

Forphurie, s. porphyry, i. e. a slab 
of porphyry used as a mortar* 
G 775. From Lat. porphyrites, 
Gk. vofxpvpirrftt like purple ; from 
-nofxpipa^ purple. 

Pose, s. a cold in the head, H 62. 
A. S. ge-pose, a stuffing or cold 
in the head. 

Fotage, 5. broth, C 368. (Gloss. 


Fotheoarie» 5. apothecary, C 853. 
Foudre, s. powder, G 760; pi. 

Poudres, 807. F. poudre, O. F. 

poldre, Lat. ace. puluerem, dust. 
Fouert, s, poverty, C 441. O. F. 

poverte, Lat. paupertatem, 
Foundy s. pi. pounds, G 1364. 

A. S. pund, a pound ; pi. pund. 

So we say, — * a five-pound note.* 
Fouped, pp. blown, H 90. An 

imitative word. See Gloss. I. 
Fouren, i p. s. pr, we pore, gaze 

steadily, G 670. 
Fourest, adj. superl. poorest, C 

449. O. F. povre, Lat. pauper. 
Foynt, s. a stop, G 1480. See 

Fredicaoioun, s. preaching, ser- 
mon, C 345; 407. From Lat. 

praedicare, to preach. 
Freefy s. the test, H 75 ; a test, 

proof, G 968, 1379, Cf. F. 

prouver, Lat. probare, to prove. 

See Freue. 
Frees, s. press, throng, B 393, 646, 

677. F. presse; fiom Lat. pre- 

Frefeotes, s. pi. prefects, G 369. 

Lat. praefectus. 
Freue, v. to prove, i.e. bide the 

test, G 64s ; to prove to be 

right, to succeed when tested, 

iii2; pp, Preued, tested, 1336. 

Cf. F. prouver, Lat. probare, to 

test. But it is not at all certain 

that prove is a French word ; we 

find also A. S. prtffian, Icel. prd/a, 

G. prUfen, to prove, try. * For 

]>eof he biS to profianru, he is 

to be held to be a thief;' Laws 

of Ine (a. d. 689-728) ; cap. xx. 1 
Freyde, pt. s, prayed, besought, B 

391. O. F. preier, Lat. precari, 

to pray. 
Freyere, f. prayer, G 256 ; Prcycr, 

H 6. O. F. priere, preere. 
Priked, pp. spurred, G 561. A. S. 

priccian, to prick, goad; Du. 

Fiiuee, adj. privy, private, secret, 

B 204, C 675 ; Priuy, G 1452. 

F. prive, Lat. priuatus, 
Friuetee, s. secret counsel, secrecy, 

B 548, G 1052, 1138; Priuyte, 

G 701. 
Fro&e, 2 p. s. pr. subj. mayst 

proffer, mayst offer, G 489. F. 

proferer, Lat. pro/erre, to bring 

Frolle, pr, pi. 2 p. ye prowl, prowl 

about, search widely, G 14 12. 

See Prollyn, and Prollynge, in 

Prompt. Parv. The root is, no 

doubt, Lat. prada, prey. 
Fropre, adj. fine, handsome, C 

309. F. propre, proper; Lat. 

Frose, s. prose, I 46. F. prose, 

Lat. prosa. 
Frotestacioun, s. protest, I 59. 
Frew, s. profit, advantage, C 300, 

G 609. O. F. prou, prod, gain, 

advantage; the root appears in 

Lat. prod-est, it is advantageous. 
Frye, v. to pry, look, peer, G 668. 

Origin unknown. Perhaps it is 

merely a peculiar use of F. 

prier, to pray; also, to beseech, 

Fryme, s. prime ; used in Chaucer, 

apparently, to signify 9 A.M., C 

662. (Gloss. II.) 



Fulpet, 5. pulpit, C 391. Lat. 

Purchasen, ger. to purchase, ac- 
quire, G 1405 ; imp. s. Purchace, 
may (He) provide, B 873. F. 
pourchasser, to hunt after, ac- 

Purged, pp. absolved, cleansed 
(by baptism), G 181. Lat. 
purgare, to purify. 

Purpos, s. purpose, design, B x 70. 
F. propoSf Lat. propositum. The 
verb to purpose is both proposer 
and purposer in Old French. 

Purses, s. pi, purses, G 1404. F. 
bourse^ Gk. fivpffa, a skin. 

Purveianoe, s. equipment, B 347 ; 
providence, 483. F. pourvoir 
(O. F. porvoir)t to purvey or 
provide ; Lat. prouidere. 

Pye, s. magpie, G 565. F. pie, 
Lat. pica, 

Pyne, s. suffering, B 1080. A. S. 
pin, pain ; Icel. pina, to torment. 

Quelle, V, to kill, C 854; imp, s. 
may (he) kill, G 705. A.S. 
cwellan, to kill; whence also 
M.E. cuUen, E. kill. Thus */// 
and quell are doublets. 

Quene, s. queen, G 1089 ; Queene, 
B 161. A. S. cwSn, Gk. yw^, a 
woman. It is remarkable that 
Chaucer makes it a disyllabic 
word ; see also Gloss. H. 

QfXLejnte, adj, pi, strange, G 75a. 
O. F. cointe, instructed, Lat. 
cognitus, known; but it seems 
to have been influenced by Lat. 
comptus, trimmed. 

Quike, ger, to make alive, quicken, 
G 481. A.S. cunccan, to make 
alive ; cf. Icel. kvikna, to revive ; 
from A. S. cwic, Icel. hviltr, alive ; 
related to Lat. uiuus. 

Quik-siluer, s. quicksilver, i.e. 
lively silver^ G 82a. A. S. cwic, 

Quyte, V. to repay (lit. quit), G 
736, 1035 ; Quyten, 1027 ; 
Quyte with = to repay . . with, 
1055 ; to satisfy, pay in full, B 
354; Quyte hir whyle « require 
her time or trouble, lit. repay her 
time, i.e. her occupation, pains^ 
trouble, B 584 ; 1 p, s, pr. I 
requite, C 420; pp. Quit, freed, 
G 66, 448. O.F. quiier (F. 
quitter), Lat. quietare, to quiet, 
satisfy ; from quies, rest. 


Bad, pp. read, G 211. See Bede. 

Baxnmish, adj. ramlike, strong- 
scented, G 887. Cf. Icel. ramr, 
strong, fetid; which is probably 
closely related to A.S. ramm, a 

Banoour, s. rancour, ill-feeling, H 
97. O.F. rancor, rancuer, ran- 
cure (F. rancune) ; from Lat. ace. 
rancorem, a rankling. 

Bape, V, to snatch up; rape and 
renne, seize and plunder, G 1422. 
See the note. The Icel. hrapa 
means to rush, to hurry ; the 
proper word to use in this phrase 
would rather have been rive ; but 
there was probably a confusion 
here with the common Lat. verb 
rapere. Similarly the Icel. verb 
r<Bna, to rob, to plunder, has been 
turned into renne, aS' if from A. S. 
rennan, to run. Thus rape and 
renne (as if from Lat. rapere, and 
A. S. rennan) has been substituted 
for the original Icel. hrapa (or 
rifsa) ok rcena. 

Bather, adv. sooner, earlier (in 
point of time), B 225, 335, O 
643. A. S. hralSe, soon ; AraSor, 

Battes, 5. pi. rats, C 854. A. S. 

Baue, 1 p. pi, pres, we rave, we 
speak madly, G 959. £tym. 
doubtful. Roquefort gives an 



O. F. raver, to run about. Cf. 
Lat. rabere, to be mad; from 
which, however, the F. has enrager. 

Beoolie» i p. s. pres. I reck, G 
489. A. S. reean, Icel. rakja, O. 
Flemish roeken. See Hekke. 

Heoolielees, adj, careless, indif- 
ferent (lit. reckless), B 229. A.S. 
reeceUds; cf. Du. roekeloos. 

Beoeiti s. receipt, i. e. recipe for 
making a mixture, G 1355, 1366. 
Receii is from Lat. pp. receptus; 
recipe is the Lat, imperative sin- 
gular from the same verb, viz. 

Beoeyued, pp, accepted (as con- 
genial), acceptable, B 307. F. 
recevoir^ Lat. reeipere. 

Beolayme, t;. to reclaim, as a 
hawk by a lure, i.e. check, H 72. 
From Lat. re, back, and clamare, 
to call. 

Becomandetli, pr. s. refl. com- 
mends (herself), B 278 ; ger. 
Recomende, to commend, commit, 
G 544. Lat. re, back ; con, 
with ; mandare, to hand over. 

Bede, v. to read, G 206 ; i p. s. 
pr. I read, B 1095, C 508; I 
advise, C 793. 941, G 502, looS, 

^475 5 PP' Rad. readf G 211. 

AS. rddan, to read, to advise; 

cf. G. rathen, to advise. 
Bede, adj» as sb. red, i.e. the 

blood, B 356 ; as sb. red wine, C 

526, 562 ; pi. Rede, red, G 

1095. A. S. redd, red ; Icel. 

rau'iSr, G. roth. The indef. form 

is reed, q. v. ; rede is def. or plural. 
Bedily, adv. quickly, C 667. A. S. 

rdd, rdd, ready. 
Beed, 5. counsel, advice, C 744. 

A. S. reed ; cf. G. rath, 
Beed, adj. red, ruddy, B 452, H 

20. See Bede. 
Beednesse, s. redness, G 1097, 

1 1 00. See above. 
Befat, 5. place of refuge, refuge, B 

f,^6, 852, G 75. Cf. O. F. refui, 

refuge; Lat. refugium. It is not 

easy to account for the / ; but cf. 

F. fuite, flight, from Lat. pp. 

Be^Tiie, s. kingdom, realm, B 389, 

392f 735 » i3. Regne.^, kingdoms, 

181. F. regne, Lat. regnum. 
Begneth, pr, s. reigneth, has 

dominion, B 776. From Lat 

Beherse, v, to rehearse, recount, G 

786. O. F. rekercer, to repeat, 

lit. to barrow over again; from 

herce, Lat. ace. herpicem, a har- 
row (Varro). See Gloss. I. 
Behersaille, s. rehearsal, enunae- 

ration, G 85 a. See above. 
Bekeninges, s. pi, reckonings, H 

74. A. S. recnan, to reckon. 
Bekke, pr, s, i p,l reck, care, C 

405 ; imp. s, reck, care, G 698 ; 

pr, s. Rekketh, accounts, cares, 

632. See Becohe. 
Bekne, ger, to reckon, B 158. 

A. S. recnan, to reckon ; G. 

Beless, s, relaxation, ceasing; out 

of relees, without ceasing, G 46. 

O. F. reles, relais, relaxation ; 

from the verb relesser (F. relais- 

ser), which is the Lat. relaxare, 

to relax ; from laxus, loose. 
Belente, v, to melt, G 1278. 

From prefix re-, again ; and Lat. 

Untare, to bend ; from Lat. 

lentus, pliant. 
Belesse, v. to relieve, relax, B 

1069. O. F. relesser (F. relaisser), 

to relax ; Lat. relaxare, to rehuc ; 

firom laxus, lax, loose. 
Beleued, pp. rdieved, made rich 

again, G 872. Lat. releuare, to 

lift up again. 
Bemenant, 5. remnant, remainder, 

G 1004. From Lat. manere, to 

Bemeueth, imp. pi, 2 p, remove 

ye, G 1008. From Lat. mouere, 

to move. 



Senegat, s. renegade, apostate, B 
932. Low Lat. renegatus^ one 
who has abjured his faith ; from 
negare, to deny. See below. 

Beneye* v, to renounce, abjure, B 
376, G 268, 448, 459 ; I p. s. 
pr, sidbj. I (may) renounce, 464 ; 
pt. pi. I p. we abjured, B 340 ; 
pp, Reneyed, 915. Lat. rene- 
gare, to adjure, renounce, deny; 
from negare, to deny. Shake- 
speare uses the Lat. form renege. 
King Lear, ii. 2 ; Ant. and 
Cleop. i. I. 

Benne, ger, to run, C 796, G 
'4^5 » /"■• «• Renneth, runs, 905. 
A. S. rennan, yrnan, to run ; Icel. 
renna^ G. rennen. 

Benne» v. to ransack, plunder ; but 
only in the phrase rape and renne, 
seize and plunder, G 1422. See 
the note. Icel. r<ena, to plunder ; 
rdn, plunder; which appears in 
E. ransack. The word has been 
turned into renne, which properly 
means to run. See above; and 
see Bape. 

Bente, s. rent, toll, B 114 2. F. 
rente, from F. rendre, Lat. red- 
dere, to restore, render. 

Bepaireth, pr, s. returns, B 967. 
O. F. r«^/n«" =ItaI. ripatriare, 
to re!vim to one's native country ; 
from Lat. patria, native country. 

Beplet, adj, full, replete, C 489. 
Lat. repletus, 

Bepreuable, adj, reprehensible, C 
632. See below. 

Bepreue, v. to reprove, H 70; 
pr, s. Repreueth, I 33. From 
Lat. reprobare ; whence O. F. 
reprover, to reprove. 

Bepreue, s, reproof, shame, C 
595. See above. 

Besalgar* s, realgar, G 814. 
* Realgar, a combination of sul- 
phur and arsenic, of a brilliant 
red colour as existing in nature; 
red orpiment ;* Webster. F. 

rialgar, answering to an O. F. 
resalgar. Low Lat. risigallum. 

Eespyt, s. respite, delay (of death), 
G 543. O.F. respit (F. rdpit), 
Lat. respectuSf a respect, regard 
looking back. Hence respite and 
respect are doublets. 

Bestelees, adj, restless, C 7^^* 
F. reste, rest ; rester, to remain, 
Lat. restore ; from re, and stare, 
to stand. 

Beue» ger. to take away, G 376. 
A.S. redfian, to rob ; whence £. 

Bewe, V. to suffer for, do penance 
for, G 997 ; imp. s. have pity ; 
B 853; pr. s. 2 p. Rewest, hast 
pity, 854. A. S. hreowian, to 
grieve ; from hredw, grief. 

Bewful, adj, sorrowful, sad, B 
854. See above. 

Bewthe, s. pity, ruth, B 529, 654, 
689 ; as adj. pitiful, IC52. 
Formed from the verb to rewe 
(see above) ; but the A. S. sb. 
is hre6w, grief. Still, the Icel. 
has hryggiS. 

Bewtlielees, adj. pitiless, B 863. 

Beyse, ger. to raise, G 86 j. Icel. 
reisa, to raise ; the A. S. is 
rekran, whence E. rear. 

Bibaudye, s, ribaldry, ribald jest- 
ing, C 324. O.F. ribald. Low 
Lat. ribaldus, a ribald, a worth- 
less fellow. 

Biden, pt, pi. rode, C 968. See 

Binges, s. pi. rings, C 908. A.S. 
kring, Icel. hringr ; cognate with 
Lat. circus, whence E. circle. 

"Bisttpr. s. contr. riseth, rises, B 864. 

Bit, pr, s. rides (contr. from 
rideth\ G 608, H 79. 

Boialtee, s. ipyalty, B 418. From 
F. roi, Lat. rex, Skt. rdjA, a king. 

Boialler, adj. comp. royal ler, more 
royal, B 402. 

Bolletli, pr. s, rolls, turns over, C 
838. O.F. roler (F. rouler); 



Lat. rotulare, to turn round; 
from rola, a wheel. 
Horn, ram, nif ; nonsense words, 
to imitate alliteration (see note), 

I 43. 

Boxnbledy />/. s. rummaged, fum- 
bled, G 1322. Cf. Du. romme- 
len, to rumble, buzz; also, to 
mix up, disarrange ; Dan. rutnle, 
to rumble, to roll. See Gloss. II. 

Boxnen, v. to roam, B 558. Cf. 
O. F, romieUf romien^ rotnier^ 
romieUf Ital. romeo (Dante), a 
pilgrim to Rome. Hence romen 
= to go to Rome ; the modem 
spelling spoils the word. 

Bong, pt. 5. rang, C 66a. A. S. 
hringaftf to ring. 

Bose-reed, adj. red as a rose, G 

Bote, s, root ; an astrological 

term for the epoch of a nativity, 

B 314 (s^e note) : the radix, the 

fundamental principle, G 1461; 

root, source, B 358, G 1069, 

1 301. Icel. rdtt Swed. roi 


Bote, in phr. by rote, i.e. by 
heart, C 332. O.F. rote, F. 
route ; allied to F. routine, O. F. 
rotine. * Par rotine, by rote;* 
Cotgrave. See Boute. 

Boten, />/>. rotten, G 17, 228. A. S. 
rotiaUf to rot, putrefy, pp. gerotod. 
The form rotten is Scandinavian ; 
Icel. rotinn, rotten, pp. of rotna, to 

Bound, adv, roundly, fully, melo- 
diously, C 331. F. rond, O.F. 
roond, Lat. rotundus, Cf. Lat. 
* ore rotundo.* 

Boute, s. troop, throng, company, 
B 387, 650, 776. F. route, from 
Lat. rupta, a broken (band) ; 
from rumpere, to break. Cf. G. 
rotte, a troop ; O. Flemish rote, 

Boute, V. to assemble in a com- 
pany, B 540. See above. 

Bow, adj. rough, angry, forbidding, 

G 861. A. S. tkA, rough, rugged, 
hairy ; Du. rttw, rough, rugged. 

Bownen, v. to whisper, G 894. 
A. S. runian, to whisper ; from 
rdn, a rune, a magic character, a 
mystery; O. Flemish ruunen, to 
whisper. Hence round, to whis- 
per, in Shakespeare. 

Bubifying, 5. rubefaction, redden- 
ing. G 797- 

Bydinge, pres. pt, riding, G 623. 

A.S. ridan, Icel HiSa, to ride; 

pt. t. ic rddf pi. we riden; pp. 

Byghtwisnesse, 5. righteousnesi, 

C 637. A.S. rihtwis, righteous; 

Icel. retviss, righteous (which is a 

corrupt spelling of rigktwise), 
Bym, s. rime (commonly misspelt 

rhyme), I 44. The spelling 

rhyme, or rhime (with h inserted 

from ignorance) is not older than 

A. D. 1550. A. S. rim, Icel. 

rima, G. reim, Du. rijmy Swed. 

rim, F. rime, 
Byrne, v. to rime, to speak in 

verse, G 1093. See above. 
Byotoures, s, pi. rioters, roysterers, 

C 661. Roquefort gives rioter, 

to dispute ; riote, noise, combat ; 

faire riote, to grumble, dispute ; 

rios, a dispute, debate. The 

suggested connection with Du. 

ravotten, to romp, is unlikely. 
Byne, v. to rive, pierce, C 828. 

Icel. rifa, Dan. rive, to rive, tear ; 

cf. Icel. krifa, to catch, grapple. 


Sad, adj. sober, calm, settled, G 

397 ; pi. Sadde, discreet, B 135. 

W. sad, firm, steady discreet ; cf. 

Dan. sat, sedate, steady, staid. 
Sadel, s, saddle, H 52. A. S. 

Badly, adv. in a settled manner, 

i. e. deeply, unstintingly, B 743. 

See Sad. 



8affiron with, to tinge with 
saffron, to colour, C 345. F. 
safran ; probably of Oriental 

Sal armozLiak, s. sal ammoniac, G 
798, 824. LaL sal armeniacum, 
Armenian salt. *Sal ammoniac^ 
chloride of ammonium, a salt of 
a sharp, acrid taste ; . . . also called 
hydrochlorate, or muriate of am- 
monia'; Webster. The word 
armoruae certainly answers to the 
Lat. Armeniacum in the old 
treatises. Nevertheless the right 
spelling is, perhaps, ammoniac; 

* djjifjuui/tKvc6v, r<$, 5a/ ammoniac, 
rock-salt, Dioscorides *; Liddell 
and Scott. 

Sal i>et6r, s, saltpetre, O 808. 
Lat. sal p€tr<B, rock-salt ; * so 
called because it exudes from 
rocks or walls ; nitrate of potassa ; 
—called also nitre *; Webster. 

Sal preparat, s. prepared salt, G 
810. See the note. 

Sal tartre, s. salt of tartar, G 8x0. 

* Salt of tartar, carbonate of 
potash; • . . at first prepared from 
cream ol tartar '; Webster. 

Salneth, pr, s, saluteth, B 731. 

F. saluer, Lat. saltUare. 
Sana, prtp. without, B 501. F. 

sans, O. F. sens, Lat. sine. 
Sapience, s. wisdom, G lox, iii ; 

pi. Sapiences, kinds of intelligence 

(see note), 338. From Lat. 

sapere, to know. 
Satina, s. pi, satins, B 137. F. 

satin. Low Lat. setinus, adj. from 

Lat. seta, silk; whence stlso F. 

SmoBdoxnit s, salvation, B 283, H 

BBXhe^prep, save, except, B 217, G 

1355. F. sauf; from Lat. sal' 

Saoe, imp, s, 3 p, save, may (he) 

save, G 1361 ; pt, s. 2 p. Sauedst, 

savedst, B 639; Saueth, tmp. pi. 

save ye, 229. O. F. saver, Lat. 
saluare, to keep. 
Sauf, adj. safe, B 343, G 950. F. 

sauf, Lat. saluus, 
Bauour, s. savour, smell, G 887. 

F. saveur, Lat. ace. saporem. 
Sawe, s. discourse (lit. saw, or 
saying), G 691 ; saw, saying, 
1441. A. S. sagu, a saying. 
Soabbe, s. scab, a disease of sheep, 

C 358. A. S. sc<Bb, sceah. 
Soaped, pp. escaped, B 1151. 
O. F. escaper, said to be from 
Low Lat. excappare, to get out 
of one's cloak, to flee. See 
Brachet, s. v. ichapper. 
Soarsete, s, scarcity, G 1393. 
O. F. escharsete, sparingness, fru- 
gality ; from O. F, eschars, or 
escars, Low Lat. excarpsus, pp. 
of excarpere^excerpere, to select. 
Soatered, pp. scattered, G 914. 
A. S. scateran, to scatter ; from 
scddan, to separate. 
Solaundre, pr. s. 1 p.l slander, G 
99.3 > ^ A Sclaundrest, 695. F. 
esclandre ; from Lat. scandalum ; 
whence also scandal. Slander 
and scandal are doublets. 
Scorpioun, s. scorpion, B 414. 

Lat. ace. scorpionem. 
Seore, adj. secret, G 178, 643. 
O. F. secroi, secreit; Lat. secre- 
Secre of aeoreea, secret of secrets 
Lat. Secreta Secretorum (the name 
of a book), G 1447. 
Secrenesae, s. secrecy, B 773. 
See, imp, s, 3 p. may (He) behold, 
or protect, B 156, C 715. See 
note to the latter passage, p. 161. 
See Seen. 
Seel, s. seal, B 882, C 337. O. F. 

seel ; from Lat. sig ilium. 
Seen, v. to see, B 182. A. S. se6n, 

to see. See See, and Sey. 
Seiatow, for sayest thou, G 260. 

See Seye. 
Seken, ger, to seek, i. e. a matter 



for search, G 874. A. S. sdean, 
to seek ; ger. to secenne, 
Seled, pp. sealed, B 736. See SeeL 
Sely, adj. blessed, holy, B 682; 
innocent, C 29 a ; silly, simple, G 
1076. A. S. sdligt happy. 
Sendeth, imp. 2 p. pi. send ye, C 
614 ; pt. s. subj. Sente, would send, 
B X091. A. S. sendan. 
Sentence, s. judgment, order, I 
17 ; verdict, G 366 ; Sentens, 
general meaning, I 58. From 
Lat. senientia. 
Sepulture, s. sepulchre, C 558. 

Lat. sepultura, burial. 
Sergeants, s. pi. sergeants, G 361. 
F. sergent, Lat. seruientem, pres. 
pt. of seruire^ to serve. 
Sermone, ger. to preach, speak, C 
879. From Lat. sermo, a dis- 
Seroage, s. servitude, thraldom, 
bondage, B 368. F. servage; 
from serf, Lat. seruus. 
Seruisable, adj, serviceable, use- 

fill, G 1014. 
Sesoun, s. season, G 1343. O. F. 
seson, Lat. sationem, a sowing- 
Sette, //. 5. set, B 1053 ; refi. set 
herself, i. e. sat, 329 ; set her on 
knees « cast herself on her knees, 
638 ; pi. refl. Sette hem, seated 
themselves, C 775; Setten hem 
adoun, set themselves, G 396 ; 
pp. Set, set, placed, put, B 440. 
A. S. settan^ to place; from sittan, 
to sit. 
Seurtee, 5. security, surety, B 243, 
C 937. O. F. seurte, Lat. ace. 
&ej,pL s. saw, B 583, 615, 809, 
1051, 1128, C 961, G 355, 402 ; 
I ^ I saw, G 589; 2 p. Sey, 
thou sawest, B 848 ; 2 p. pi, 
Sey, ye saw, G 1106; pt. pi. 
Seyc, saw, B 218; Seyen, G no; 
pp. Seyn, seen, B 172, 624. A.S. 
sedn, to fee. 

Sejet ger. to say, tell, i. e. to be 
told, B 706 ; I p. s. pr. Sey, I 
say, 1139; pt. pi. Sey den, said, 
B 211; 2 p. Seydestow, saidst 
thou, G 334. A. S. seegan, pt. t. 
ic sagde. 
Shadwe^ s. shadow, I 7. A. S. 

Shal, pr. s. is to, must, B a68, 
665 ; I ^. I am to (go), G 303 ; 
2 p. Shaltow, for shalt thou, G 
257. A. S. ie seeal. See 
Shames* s. gen. of shame ; shames 
deth, death of shame, i. e. shame- 
ful death, B 819. A.S. scamv, 
Shap, 5. shape, form, G 44. A. S. 
gesceapUf shape ; from scippan, to 
Shapen, v. to devise, invent, B 
210 ; pp. disposed (themselves), 
142 ; prepared, 249 ; appointed, 
353; planned, 951. A.S. scippan, 
to create, plan. 
STiauing, s. a thin slice, G 1139. 

A. S. sea/an, to shave, scrape. 
Sheene, adj. shining, fair, B 692. 
A.S. scene, seine, beautiful, fair; 
from scinan, to shine. Cf. G. 
sckon, fair. 
Slietten, v, to shut, enclose; gonn* 
shetten, did endose, G 517 ; pt. s. 
Shette, shut, 1142; Shette, 
121S; pp. Shet, shut, B 1056, G 
1 1 37. A.S. scyttan, to lock up, 
pt. t. ie scyttode. 
Shete, s, a sheet, G 779; pi. 

Shetes, 536. A.S. seite. 
Shifbe, V. to apportion, assign, G 
278. A.S. sciftan, scyftan, to 
appoint, divide; Icel. skiptc^ to 
divide, distribute. 
Sholde, pt. s. had to, was to, G 
13S2, I 65. A.S. ie seolde, 
sceolde, pt. t. of sculan. The 
pres. t. is ic seeal. See Bhal, 
SliQop» pt. s. formed, shaped, G 



12 22; shoop him = purposed, 
intended, C 874. See Shapen. 

Showuing, s. shoving, pushing, H 
53. A. S. scufan, to push, shove. 

Shrewe, adj. evil, wicked, 995 ; 
OS 56., evil one, 917! ^^ ill-tem- 
pered (male) person, C 496 ; pL 
Shrewes, wicked men, rascals, 835, 
G 746. * SchrewCy pravus ;* 
Prompt. Parv. 

Bhul, pr. pi, shall, may, C 733 ; 

1 p. I must, I have to, B 351 ; 

2 p. pr. pi. Shullen, ye shall, G 
241 ; pt. s. 1 p. Shulde, I should, 
I ought to, B 247. See Blial. 

Siker, adj. sure, G 934; certain, 
1047; safe, 864. O. Friesic 
sikuTt siker; O. Saxon (Heliand) 
sikor ; Du. zeker ; O, H. G. 
sikhur^ G. sicher. 

Bikemesse, s. security, safety, B 

Biluer, s. silver, G 826. A. S. 

Similitude, s. comparison ; hence, 

proposition, statement, G 431. 

Lat. similitudo. 
Sin, conj, since, B 282, 1115, G 

495, 504; adv. since, B 157. 

Contr. from A.S. st^'^atiy since; 

from std, time. See Sithen. 
Singuler, adj. a single, G 997. 

Lat. singularis, 
Sith, conj. since, B 484, 814, G 

1472; adv. afterwards, G 869. 

See below. 
Sithen, adv. afterwards, B 1121. 

A.S. si^fSan, afterwards: for si^ 

iSdmt since then; where siiS is 

from the adj. siiS, late; which 

from si9, a time. See below. 
Sithe, s. pi. times ; ofte sithe, many 

times, G 1031. A. S. siiS, a time. 

See Sytlie. 
Sldlfta, adj. discerning, B 1038, G 

329. I eel. skil, discernment ; 

skilja, to separate. 
Sldlftilly, adv. reasonably, with 

good reason, G 320. (The M.E. 


skile often means a reason ; see 

Gloss, n.) 
Slee, V. to slay, G 896 ; Sle, 168 ; 

Sleen, C 846 ; ger. Sleen, G 481 ; 

pr. s. Sleeth, slays, C 676, 754 ; 

pr. pi. Sleen, they slay, B 964; 

pt. s. Slow, slew, B 627, 664, 

894. A. S. slean, pt. t. sMA, pp. 

slagen, to strike, slay. 
Slelghte, s. dat. craft, skill, G 867 ; 

pi. Sleightes, devices, 773, 976. 

Icel. slcBg^, slyness ; dcegr, sly. 
Sleue, 5. sleeve, G 1224, 1231. 

A. S. sUf, a sleeve. 
Slewthe, s. sloth, B 530 ; Slouthe, 

G 258. A.S. dcBu/^, sloth; from 

slaw, slow. 
Slit, p. s. slides (contr. from slideth), 

G 682. A. S. slidan. See 

Slogardye, s. sloth, sluggishness, 

G 1 7. * Slugge, deses, segnis ;* 

Prompt. Parv. 
Slough, 5. mud, mire, H 64. A. S. 

slog, a slough, hollow place. 
Slouthe, s. sloth, G 258. See 

Slow, pt. s. slew, B 627, 664,'894. 

- See Slee. 
Sluttish, adj. slovenly, G 636. 

Cf. Du. slodder, a sloven ; dod- 
dering, slovenly ; dodderen, to 

hang loosely about. 
Blyding, adj. unstable, slippery, G 

732. See SUt. 
Smart, adj. brisk (said of a fire), 

G 768. The word smart, sb., is 

properly used of a sudden pain. 
Smert, s. smart, pain, G 712. Du. 

smart (O. Du. smert), painfulness ; 

cf. G. schmerz. 
Smerte, i p. pi, pres. suhj, may 

smart, may suffer, G 871. Cf. 

Du. smarten, to give pain. 
Smot, pt. s, smote, struck, B 669 ; 

Smoot, C 677. A.S. smitan, to 

smite ; pt. t. ie smdt. 
Snare, s. snare, B 571, H 77. 

Icel. snara, t twisted cord, a 



snare ; Swed. snara, a snare ; cf. 

Icel. snara, to twist tightly. 
Bnow-whyte, adj. white as snow, 

G 254. 
Socour, s. succour, help^ B 664. 

O. F. socors, help; from Lat. 

Sodeyn, adj, sudden, B 421. O.F. 

sodain, Lat. subitaneus, sudden; 

from subitus, sudden, which from 

subire ; from sub, under, and ire, 

to go. 
Softe, adj, gentle, slow, B 399; 

adv. softly, tenderly, 275. A. S. 

s^/*/, G. sanft, soft, mild. 
Soffcely, adv, gently, quietly, G 

Soioumed, pp. sojourned, dwelt, 

B 148, 536. O. F. soiomer, to 

dwell; from Lat. sub, and diur- 

nare, to delay, formed from 

diurnus, daily ; which from dies, 

a day. 
Sol» Sol (the sun), G 826. Lat. 

Soleznpne, adj. magnificent, illus- 
trious, B 387. O.F. *s<dempne, 

cel^bre, de grande reputation, 

illustre;' Roquefort. Lat. soleri' 

Solexnpnely, adv, with pomp, 

solemnly, B 317, 399, 691, G 

Soxn, pron. indef. one, a certain 

man, G 922; som shrewe iss= 

some one (at least) is wicked, 

995. A. S. som, sum, some. 
Boxneres, s. gen. summer's, B 554. 

A. S. sumer. 
Somme, s. sum, G 1364 ; pi. 

Sommes, 675. F. somme, Lat. 

SoxntyzQ, adv. sometimes, G 949. 
8ond, 5. sand, B 509, A. S. sond, 

Sonde, s. sending, message, B 388, 
1049; dispensation of providence, 

visitation, 760, 826; trial, 902; 

message (or messenger), G 525. 

A.S. sand, a message, sending, 

mission ; also, a messenger ; 

se^dan, to send. 
Sonne* s. sun, G. 52. A. S. sunne, 

Icel. sunna, G. sonne ; all femi- 
Soothy adj. true ; uxd as adv. 

truly, C 636. A.S. s<f^, true; 

cognate with Gk. irtSe (Curtius). 
Sorwe, s. sorrow, grief, B 264, 

1035. A. S. sorg, sorrow. 
Sory, adj, ill, C 876 ; miserable, H 

55. A. S. sdrig, sore, wounded ; 

from A. S. sdr, a sore ; not from 

sorh, sorrow. 
Sote, o^;. def. sweet, G 91, 229, 

247, 251. Icel. satr, Du. zoet, 

Goth, suts, sweet. Cf. A. S. sweie, 

Soth, adj, true, B 169, 842. See 

Soth, s. truth, B 1072, C 370 ; 

Sothe, G 662 (see note). A. S. 

sd%, truth ; from so^, true. 
Sother, adj. comp. truer, G 214. 

See Sooth. 
Sothfastnesse, s. truth, G 335, 

1451, I 33. A.S. sdtSfcBstnes^ 

Sotilte, s. craft, skill, lit. subtlety, 

G 1 37 1. From O.F. subiiliteit, 

which from Lat. ace. subtilitatem. 
Sotted, adj. besotted, befooled, G 

1 341. O.F. sot, foolish; Low 

Lat. sottus; of uncertain origin. 
Souereyn, adj. sovereign, chief, B 

276, 1089 ; assb., master, G 590. 

O. F. soverain, Low Lat. super- 
anus, one who is above; from 

st^er, above. 
Soughte» pi. s. subj. should search, 

were to search, were to examine, 

C 488. A. S. sican, to seek ; pt. 

t. ic soJue. 
Soun, s. sound, B 563. F. son^ 

Lat. ace. sonum. 
Southren, adj. .Southern, I 42. 

A. S. siilS, south ; 'sul^ne, south- 




Sowdan, s. Sultan, B 177. F. 

soudan^ O. F. soldan^ Low Lat. 

soldanus; from Turkish sultan, 
Sowdanesse, s, Sultaness, B 358, 

Bowed, pp. sewn, G 571. A.S. 

siwian, suwan, to sew, stitch ; 

Goth, siujan, 
Sowen, V. to sow, I 35. A.S. 

sdwatif to sow seed. 
Sowled, pp. endued with a soul, G 

329. A. S. sdvml, soul, life. 
Space, s. opportunity, I 64. From 

Lat. spatium. 
Spede, subj. s. may prosper, B 259 ; 

pp. Sped, prospered, accomplished, 

^ 357' ^'^' spedaUf to succeed ; 

spdd, success, speed. 
Speedful, adj. advantageous, B 

Spekestow, speakest thou, G 473. 
Spending-siluer, s. silver to 

spend, money in hand, G 1018. 
Spicerye, s. mixture of spices, B 

136, C 544. O. F. espiscBt espece, 

spice ; from a peculiar use of the 

Lat. species, a kind. 
SpiUe, V. to perish, die, B 587, 

815, 910; I p. s. pr. subj. may 

I die, 285 ; pp. Split, killed, 857. 

A. S. spillaiiy to destroy. 
Spirites, s. pi. the (four) spirits in 

alchemy, G 820. See note. 
Spitte, pr. s. I p. I spit, C 421. 

A.S. spittan, Icel. spyta; from 

the same root as Lat. spuere. 
Spoke, pp. spoken, G 689. A.S. 

sprecan, to speak ; at a later 

period altered to specan. The r 

is still retained in Du. spreken, G. 

Spones, 5. pi. spoons, C 908. A.S. 

sp6n, a chip of wood. 
|3pouted» pp. spouted, vomited, B 

487. A Low German word ; cf. 

Du. spuiten, to spout, to squirt. 
Spreynd, pp. sprinkled, B 422. 

The infin. is springen (see Gloss. 

IL); ftom A,S. sprengan, to 

make to spring, to scatter, pp. 
sprenged; cf. Du. sprer^en, to 

Squames, s. pt. scales, G 759. 
Lat. squanuif a scale, a small 

Stal, pt. s. reft, stole away, secretly 
retreated, G 610. A. S. stelan, to 
steal ; pt. t. ic stal. 

Stampe, pr. pi. stamp, bray in a 
mortar, C 538. Icel. siampa, to 
push with the foot ; Swed. siampa, 
to pound, beat. 

Stant, pr. s. standeth (contracted 
form), B 618, 651, 1055, G 173, 
Hi. A.S. standan; pr. s. he 
stent. From the same root as Lat. 
stare, Skt. sthd, to stand. See 

Starf, pt. s. died, B 283, 633. 
' A. S. steorfan, to die ; pt. t. ic 
stcBrf, stearf; cf. Du. sterven, to 
die ; G. sterben. 

Store, s. (i) pilot, helmsman, B 
448 ; (2) rudder, 833. (l) A. S. 
steora, a steersman, pilot ; (2) 
Icel. styri, a helm, rudder ; A. S. 
steom, a rudder. 

Sterelees, adj. rudderless, B 439. 
See above. 

Sterlinges, s. pi. pence of sterling 
money, C 907. Sterling- is a 
corruption of Esterling, an Easter- 
ling; a name given to German 
traders, whose money was of 
excellent quality. 

Sterres, 5. pi. stars, B 192. A. S. 
steorra ; cf. Lat. Stella (i. c. s/«r- 
ula), a little star; Skt. tdra (for 
stdra), a star. 

Sterte, v. to start, pass away, B 
335 » P^- P^' start, rise quickly, C 
705. Cf. Du. Morten, to plunge, 
fall, rush ; G. sturzen, to dash. 

Sterue, v. to die, C 865 ; die of 
famine, 451 ; 1 p. pi. pr. subj. 
may die, G 420. See Starf. 

Stiked, pt. s. stuck, B 509; pp. 
stabbed, 430; a stiked swyn^a 

S 2 



stuck pig, C 556. A.S. stician, 

to stab, pierce. 
Btikke, s. stick, G 1265, 1271. 

A. S. sticca. 
Stillatorie, s. still, yessel used in 

distillation, G 580. From Lat. 

stilla, a drop ; whence stillare, to 

fall in drops, distil. 
Stinte, V. to leave off, desist, cease 

to speak, B 953; to cease, G 

883; pr. s. subj, may cease, B 

413 ; imp. 8. leave off, cease, G 

927. A. S. stinian, to be blunt. 
Stire, V. to stir, move, C 346. A. S. 

Stonde, v. to stand, B 1050 ; ger, 

G 203 ; pr. s, Stondeth, stands, 

C 645; pt. pi, Stode, stood, B 

176 ; Stoden, 678 ; imp. pi. 

Stondeth, stand ye, G 1205. See 

Btoor, s. store, farm-stock, C 365. 

From O. F. e&tcrer^ to furnish; 

from a Lat. staurare, seen in 

comp. instaurare, to repair, and 

restatirare, to re'Store, 
Storie, s. story, legend, G 86. A 

doublet of history. 
Storuen, pt. pi. died, C 888. See 

Stounde, s. hour, short time, B 

102 1. A.S. stund, a space of 

Stoupe, ger. to stoop, G 1311; 

imp. pi. Stoupeth, stoop ye, 1327. 

A. S. stupian (a doubtful form) ; 

cf. Swed. stupOt to fall. 
Stra^ interj. a straw! G 925. 

A. S. streaw, Icel. strd. See 

Strayte, s. Strait, B 464. O. F. 

estreiif narrow ; Lat. strictus. 

Strait and strict are doublets. 
Stree, s, straw, B 701. O. Friesic 

ttre, street stj-aw. See Straw. 
Strenger, adj. eomp, stronger, C 

825. A. S. Strang, strong ; comp. 

Strogelest, pr. s, 2 p. ttrugglest, C 

829. *Strogolyn, strobelyn, or 
toggyn, colluctor ;* Prompt. Parv. 

Stronde, s. strand, shore, B 825. 
A. S. strand, Du. strand, a shore. 

Style, s. stile, gate to cUmb over, 
C 712. A.S. stigel, dimin. of 
stig, a path; from stigan, to 
climb. Du. stijl, a stile ; stijgen, 
to climb. 

Styward, s. steward, B 914. A. S. 
stige, a sty, pen for cattle, and 
weard, a keeper ; cf. Icel. stivarfh; 
from stia, a sty; but the led. 
word seems to have been borrowed 
from English. 

Subieooioim, s. subjection, obedi- 
ence, B 270. 

Sublymed, pp. sublimed, sublimat- 
ed, G 774. Lat. suhlimare, to 
raise ; from sublimis, exalted. 
* Svblimate, to bring by heat into 
the state of vapour, which, on 
cooling, returns again to the solid 
state;* Webster. 

Sublymlng, s. sublimation, G 

Sublymatories, s. pi. vessels for 
sublimation, G 793. See Sub- 

Substaimoe, s. the essential part 
of a thing, ^e thing itself, C 539. 
See the note. Lat. substantia. 

Subtilte, s. skill, craft, G 844; 
Subtilitee, subtlety, craft, secret 
knowledge, 620. See Sotilte. 

Suburbes, s. pi. suburbs, G 657. 
From Lat. sub, and urbs, a town. 

Suocessour, s. successor, follower, 
B 421. From Lat. succedere, 

Sufflsant, adj. able, sufficient, B 
243t C 932. F. suffisant, pres. 
pt. of suffire, Lat. sufficere. 

Superfluitee, s. superfluity, excess, 
C 471, 528. Lat. super, beyond, 
fiutre, to flow. 

Surplys, ^. surplice, G 558. F. 
surplis. Low Lat. superpelUcium, 
from super, over, peUicium, a coat 
of fur ; from peUis, a skin. 



Susteene, v. to sustain, uphold, 

preserve, B 160. Lat. sustinere, 
Suster, s. sister, G 333. A. S. 

sweostor^ swustor; cf. G. sehwester, 

Lat. soror (for sos-^^"). 
Swap, imp. s. strike off, G 366. 

Cf. swoops sweep. 
Swatte, pt. s. sweated, G 560. 

See Swete. 
Sweigh, s. sway, motion, B 396. 

Cf. Icel. sveigja, to sway; Du. 

zwaaij sl turn, swing ; Du. zivaaij- 

eUf to swing. 
Bvrerd, s. sword, G 168. A. S. 

stveordt Du. zwaard, 
Swering* 5. swearing, C 631. A.S. 

swerian, to swear. 
Swete, ger, to sweat, G 522 ; v. 

579; pt. s. Swatte, 560. A. S. 

swdtan ; from su/dt, sweat 
Swete, adj. sweet, H 42. A. S. 

swdt. See Sote. 
Bwich, adj. such, B 146, G 719, 

1402. A. S. stvylc, Goth, swa- 

leikSf lit. so-like. 
Bwink, 8. labour, G 730. A.S. 

swinCf toil. 
8winke» v. to labour, G 669 ; ger. 

to labour, toil, C 874 ; pr. pi. 

gain by labour, work for, G 21. 

A. S. stvincafit to toil. 
Swolwe, V. to swallow, H 36. 

A.S. swelgan. 
Sworen, pi. pi. swore, B 344 ; pp. 

Sworn, i.e. sworn to do it, G 

681. A. S. swaian, to swear; 

pt. t. ic SWOT, 

Swote, s. dot. sweat, G 578. A. S. 

Swowned, ^. s. swooned, B 1058. 

Cf. A. S. nmndan, to laognisb ; 

pt. t. ec swand, pp. mmnden. 
Swythe, 4ufv. quickly, B 730, C 

796; as swythe=:as quickly as 

possible, B 637, G 936, 1426. 

A.S. Mfr»9, strong, great; tud^e, 

grattlj, rery ; Goth, twiniks, Icel. 

gtfuuir^ strong. 
By, //. s. saw, G 1381. See Beije. 

Syketh, p, t. sigheth, lighs, B 

985 ; pt. s. Syghte, sighed, 1035. 

A. S. sican, to sigh. 
Sythe, 8. pi, times, B 733, 1155. 

A. S. si^f a time, Icel. smni, Goth. 

Syve, 5. sieve, G 940. A. S. aife^ 

Du. zm/, zi/t, a sieve. 


Table, s. board ; at table ^ at 
board, i. e. entertained ai a 
lodger, G 1015. F. table, Lat. 

Tabyde, eontr. for to abide, B 

Tacord, for to accord, i. e. to 

agreement, H 98. 
Take, v. to give, deliver over, 

present, G 223; 2 p. s. pr. 

Takestow, i. e. takest thou, 435 ; 

imp. pi. Taketh, take ye, H 41 ; 

pp. Take, taken, B 760, G 605. 

Icel, taka ; cf. Goth, teian. 
Talent, s. desire, appetite, C 540. 

Cotgrave gives *will, desire, ap- 

petite,' as meanings of F, talent. 

From Lat. talentum. 
Talking, s. discourse, G 684. 

From the same root as tale. 
Tamenden, ger. to amend, B 462. 
Tanoyen, (for to anoyen) v. to 

annoy, to injure, B 492, 
Taxien, v, to tarry, B 983. O. T. 

targier, to delay ; from Lat. 

tardare. See Gloss. IL 
Tartre, s. tarur, G 813. F. tartre, 

\jOw Lat. tartarum. 'Ao add 

concrete salt, deposited from 

wines when perfectly fermented ; 

. . . when in the crude state, it 

is much \atA as a flax to the 

2sszyiDg of ores ;* Webster. 
Taaaoille, cofUr., for to assoille, i.e. 

to abso'Te, C 930. 
Taste, imp. $. fed, G 503. S* 

the ix>:e. 



Tauemer, s. innkeeper, C 685. 
From Lat. taherna. 

Teohe, v. to teach, G 343. A. S. 
t<kean^ to shew, point out ; cf. 
E. token; Gk. dc(«vvai, to 

Telle, ger, to tell, relate, B 408. 
A. S. tellan^ to count, tell ; G. 
z&hlen, erzdklen. 

Tempred, pp, tempered, G 926. 
To temper is to adjust or moderate 
the heat at which a thing is 
melted. Lat. temperare. 

Temps, s. tense ; futur tetnps, 
future tense, futurity, time to 
come, G 875. See the note. 

Tenspyre, for to enspire, i. e. to 
inspire, G 1470. 

Terxne, s. term; in terme^ in set 
terms or phrases, C 311 ; pi. 
Termes, set terms, pedantic ex- 
pressions, G 1398; terme of his 
lyue, for the whole period of his 
life, 1479* Lat. terminus. 

Testes, s. pi. vessels for assaying 
metals (Tyrwhitt), G 818. A 
vessel called a * testa* is figured 
in Theatrum Chemicum, iii. 326. 
See Test in Wedgwood or Web- 

Teztuel, adj. literal, keeping strict- 
ly to the letter of the text, I 57. 
Lat. textum, textus (from texere)t 
a weaving ; also, a composition, a 
subject for a discourse. 

Teyne, s. a thin plate of metal, G 
1225, 1229; pi. Teynes. 1332, 
1337. Lat. tteniot Gk. ratWa, a 
band, fillet, riband, strip; from 
rctvccv, to stretch; Skt. tan, to 

ThAn, than ; er than, sooner than, 
before, G 899. 

Tharray, for the array, B 393. 

Thassemblee, contr. from the 
assemblee, the assembly, B 403. 

That, eonj. as, as well as, B 1036 ; 
rel. pron. = with reference to 
whom, G 236, That oon, the 

one, B 551. A. S. )ks/, neut. of 

def. art. ; cf. Sanskrit tad. 
Thee, v. to thrive, prosper, G 641. 

A. S. ^e6n, to prosper, flourish, G 

gedeihen. See below. 
Theech, contr. from thee ich, i. e. 

may I thrive, C 947, G 929. See 

Theffeot, for the effect, result, B 

893, G 1 261. 
Theme, s. text, thesis of a sermon, 

C 333. Lat. thema, Gk. 04fui, a 

subject for discussion ; from ri- 

OrjfUt I lay down; cf. Skt. dhd, 

to place, put. 
Themperour, ybr the emperour, B 

248; Themperoures, the einpe> 

ror's, 151. 
Thende, contr. for the ende, the 

end, B 423, 965, G 1266. 
Thennee, adv. thence, B 308, 510, 

1043 ; used as sb., the place that, 

G 66. From A.S. ]>anon, thence. 
Theiitenoioun,/>r the entencioun, 

i. e. the intention, G 1443. 
Thentent, /or the entent, purpose, 

end, G 1306. 
Ther, adv. where, B 307, 308, 

576, 602, 634 ; when, 474 ; 

whither, at which, 469 ; whereas, 

G 724. A. S. Jxsr. 
Ther - aboute, adv, thereupon, 

therein, G 832. 
Ther - bifom, adv. beforehand, 

before the event, B 197, C 624, 
Ther-oute, adv. outside there, G 

Therto, adv. there-to, moreover, B 

135. Ther (A.S. ]><sre) is the 

dat. fem. sing, of the def. article ; 

understand a fem. sb., such as 

saeu, sake ; and we have to pare 

sace, in addition to that matter. 

Thewes, s. pi. virtues, good quali- 
ties, G loi. A. S. pedtUf manner, 
quality; from pedn, to flourish. 
See Thee. 

Thexcellent, put for the excel- 
lent, B 150. 



Thider, adv. thither, B 144, C 
749. A. S. ^ider. 

Thilke, demon, pron. that, B 190, 
365, C 364 ; that very, that same, 
C 753, G 197 ; that sort of, I 50. 
A. S. ^ylc ; from )>y, instrumental 
case of se, s«d, ]xs/, and lic^ like ; 
cf. Lat. talis. 
Thing, s. pi, possessions, G 540. 
A. S. ^ingy a thing, neut. sh. ; pi. 
\iing (unchanged). 

Tliingot,/)r the ingot, G 1233, 
1 3 14. See Ingottes. 

Thlnketh, impers. ; me thinketk, it 
seems to me, G 308. A. S. me 
'pincf^y it seems to me; G. mir 
dunkt ; slightly different from 
\encan, to think, G. denken. 

Thinne, adj. pi, thin, poor, scanty, 
limited, G 741. A. S. Jyw, thin ; 
peniarif to stretch ; cf. Skt. /an, 
to stretch. 

Tho, adv. then, G 205, 424, 487, 
692. A. S. ]7a, then. 

Thonketh, imp. 2 p. pi. thank ye, 
B II 13. A. S. ]>anciant Icel. 
pakka^ G. danken. 

Thoughte, pt. s. impers. it seemed, 
B 146 ; Thoughte hem, it seemed 
to them, C 475. See Think- 

Thral, s. servant, G 196. A. S. 
Jvtf/, Icel. J)r<c//. 

Thraldom, s. bondage, slavery, B 
286, 338. See above. 

Threpe, i p. pi. pres. we call, 
assert to be, G 826. • Threap, 
V. n. to maintain or insist perti- 
naciously ; to repeat or reiterate 

, obstinately. A. S. \>reapian, to 
afflict, chide;' Atkinson's Cleve- 
land Glossary. 

Threting, s. threatening, menace, 
G 698. A. S. ^eatungy an urging, 

Thridde, adj. ord. third, C 836. G 
823, 925. A. S. ]>ridda, third ; 
from \a'eOy three. 

Thrift, s. success, prosperity in 

moneymaking, G 739, I425. 

Icel. Jn//, profit. 
Thrifty, adj. cheap, profitable to 

the buyer, B 138. See above. 
Thropets, 5. gen. village's, I 12. 

A. S. ]>orpet Icel. \>orp, G. dor/^ 

Goth, tkaurp ; cognate with Lat. 

turha, a crowd. 
Throwe, s. a short space of time, 

B 953 ; time, G 941. A. S. 

J>raA, \rag, a short space of time, 

Thryue, ger. to thrive, prosper, G 

1411. Icel. ^rifa-shy to thrive, 

where the final sk is reflexive, 

meaning * self.' See Thrift. 
Thurgh, prep, through, by, G 325. 

A. S. J)wrA, G. durch. 
Th.-argh-ovit, prep, throughout, aU 

through, B 256, 464 ; quite 

through, C 655. 
Tn, prep, to, G 306. Icel. /i7, 

Tin, s. tin, G 829. A. S. tin, prob. 

a shortened form of an Old 

British word ; cf. Irish stan, Gael. 

staoin, Welsh ystaen ; whence 

Lat. stannum. 
Tirannye, «. t3rranny, cruelty, B 

165. From Lat. tyrannus, Gk. 

TvpavvoSf a tyrant. 
To, prep, to (used after its case), G 

1449. ^- ^* ^^* 
To, adv. too, G 644 ; overmuch, G 
1423 ; To dere, too dearly, C 
293; To and fro, all ways, H 

To-bete, v. to beat severely, G 

405. See the note A. S. to-, 

prefix, = G. zer-y Goth, and Lat. 

dis', meaning in twain, apart; 

and bedtan, to beat; whence 

A. S. td-bedtan, to beat to pieces. 
Tobreketh, pr. s. breaks in twain, 

breaks asunder, G 907* A.S. 

't^'brecan, to break in pieces, or 

in twain. See above. 
Togidres, adv. together, C 702, G 

960. A.S. tdgcedre. 



TohewGi pp. hewn in twain, hewn 
in pieces, B 450, 437. A. S. t6- 
heawan, to hew in twain. See 

Tokening, 5. token, proof, G 
1^53* A. S. /ac«n, a token. See 

Tombesteres, s. pi. fern, dancing 
girls, lit. female tumblers, C 477. 
A. S. htmbian, to tumble, dance ; 
tumbere^ a tumbler ; tumhestref a 
dancing girl. See the note. 

Tonge, s. tongue, B 899, C 398. 
A.S. tutige^ G. zunge^ Lat. lingua 
(for dingua). Hence tonge is a 
disyllabic word. 

Took, pt. s. took, had, B 192 ; 
gave, handed over, G 1030, 1034, 
1365, H 91. See Take. 

To-rente, pt. pi. rent asunder, C 
709. A.S. /<>-, in twain, and 
rendan, to rend ; the comp. 
torenda occurs in O. Friesic. 

Torment, s. torment, suffering, 
B 845. From Lat. tormentum. 

Tormentour, s. tormentor, i. e. 
executioner, B 818, G 527, 532 ; 
pL Tormentoures, 373 ; Tormen- 
tours, 376. See above. 

Tom, s. turn, C 815. See below. 

Tome, V. to turn, G 1403 ; imp. s. 
3 p. may he turn, 1274; pp. 
Torned, turned, i. e. • turned him 
round his finger,' 11 71. O. F. 
tomer, Lat. tornare, to turn. 

Tortuous, adj. oblique, a technical 
term in astrology, used of the 
six of the zodiacal signs which 
ascend most obliquely, B 302. 
Lat. tortuosus, twisted ; from 
torquere, to twist. 

To-swinke, pr. pi. labour greatly, 
C 519. Prefix to- in twain (in- 
tensive), and swincan, to toil. 

To-tere,/>r. pi. rend, tear in pieces, 
C 474; pp. To-tore, torn in 
pieces. A. S. td-t^an^ to tear in 
twain. See To-bete. 

Traitorye, s. treachery, B 781. 

From O. F. traitor, a traitor ; 

Lat. ace. traditorem, from tradere, 

to hand over. 
Trappe, s. trap, G 11. A. S. 

trappe, a trap; hence trappe is 

Tresor, 5. treasure, B 442, C 779. 

O. F. tresor, Lat. thesaurus, Gk. 

$riffavp6$ ; from TlOtjfu, I lay up 

in store. 
Trete, pr. pi, discourse, treat, C 

630. F. trailer, Lat. tractor e, to 

Tretee, s. treaty, C 619. F. 

traite, Lat. tractatus. See above. 
Tretys, s. treaty, B 233. Another 

form of the above. 
Trewe, adj. pi. true, B 135 ; used 

as s6. = the faithful, 456. A. S. 

tredwe, Icel. trur, G. treu. 
Trewthe, s. troth, truth, B 527. 

A. S. treou/S. 
Treye, num. * tray,' three, C 653. 

O. F. trei, treis, Lat. tres. 
Triacle, £. a sovereign remedy, B 

479, C 314. O. F. triacle. Low 

Lat. theriacum, Gk. $rjpi€ue6y, a 

remedy against the wounds made 

by wild beasts ,* from O^p, a wild 

Triste, pr. s. ip.l trust, B 832. 

Icel. treysta, to trust. 
Troden, pp. stepped, C 712. A. S. 

tredan, to tread. 
Trompe, s. trumpet, B 705. F. 

trompe, a trumpet; from Icel. 

trumba, a pipe, a trumpet. 
Trone, s. throne (of God), heaven, 

C 842. F. trone, O. F. trone, 

Lat. ihronus, Gk. $p6vos, a seat, 

Trouthe, s. truth, G 238. A. S. 

Trowe, ger. to trust, believe, G 

378; I p. s. pr. I suppose, be- 
lieve, imagine, B 288, 400, 1074* 

C 689, G 667, H 4^; pr. pi. 

Trowe, suppose, believe, B 222 ; 

2 p. ye believe, G 171 ; suppose. 



imagine ye, C 439. A. S. ere6uh 
ian, Icel. /r«ia, to believe, think 
to be true. 

Trusteth, imp. pi. 2 p. trust ye, 
believe ye, B 1048, G 229, 889, 1 
42. Icel. traustf sb. trust, treystO' 
sk, to trust in. 

Tiryne compas, the threefold 
world, containing earth, sea, and 
heaven, G 45. Lat. trinus, three- 
fold, from /r«, three. 

Twenty deuel weye, a, in the 
manner of twenty devils, in all 
- sorts of evil ways, G 782. 

Tweye, num. adj. two, twain, C 
817, 824, 828, G 677. A.S. 
twegen, twain, used in masc. and 
neuter; twd, two, in the femi- 

Tweyfold, adj, twofold, double, G 

Twinne, v. to separate, B £17; 
ger. to depart (from), C 430 ; 
2 p. pr. pi. ye depart, lit. ye part 
company, G 182. From the root 
iwo, A. S. tiud ; cf. £. be-Hueen. 

Twyes, adv. twice, B 1058. A. S. 
twywOy tuwa ; but the M. E. 
Huyes is formed from A.S. tw^, 
double, with adverbial suffix -««. 

Tyde, s. a certain portion of time, 
an hour, B 510, 798; see note to 
B 798 ; time of day, 1 134. A. S. 
tid, Icel. /t'S, G. zeit^ a time. 

Tyden, v. to be£il, B 337. A. S. 
tidan, to happen ; from tid, 

Tydinfi^ s. tidings, news, B 726. 
Icel. ti^ndi^ news, tidings ; from 
/i'S, time. 

Tyme, *. time, G 1204- The 
word is disyllabic, rimiuf^ with 
by me; tee tke note, A. S. tima, 
Icel. /M». 

V (Jor U ami V). 
Valerun, s. vakrian, G fioo. Lat« 

Variaunt, adj. yar3ring, changing, 
changeable, fickle, G 1175. From 
Lat. ueuiartt to vary, notiim, 

Venim, s. venom, poison, B 891, C 
421. O. F. vfrnm, Lat. m«ii#- 

Venquisshed, pp. vanquished, B 
291. From O. F. vtnguis, pp. of 
vencre^ to conquer. Lat. mH' 

Verdegreen, s, verdigris, Q 791. 
Corrupted (see the note) from Lat. 
uiride (bHs, green of brass. 

Vermin, s. vermin, C 858. From 
Lat. uermis^ a worm. 

VeTTKy, adj. very, true, B 167, C 
576, G 165. O.F. virai (F, 
vrai), Lat. ace. ueracem ; from 
Lat. utrus^ true. 

Veyn, adj, vain, empty, power- 
less, silly, G 497. F. 1/ain, Lat, 

Viage, «. voyage, B 259, 300, 
312. O.F. veiage, from Lat. 
uiatieumt lit. provisions for a 
journey, then a journey, in Fortu- 
natus (Brachet). 

Vlcary, s. a vicar, I 23, From 
Lat. uieariui, a deputy; from 
Lat. uietM, change. 

Vilanye, «. discourtesy, C 740 j 
licentiousness, G 231, O. V, 
vilanu, (torn vilain, a i'sira}^ 
labourer ; from Lat, uUla, a 

VioUtf, «. /)/. vials, phials, G 793. 
F. phiaU, Lat. phiala, a sort of 
saucer, Gk, ifH&kri, Cotgrave 
has — ' Phiole, (, a violl, or sinaJl 
glass bottle/ 

Vlraco, s. virago, cni«l wooiaa, B 
359. Direct from Lat, uirago, 

VitaUie, s. victuals. B 443, 4^^, 
O. V. vUaUU, Lat, uictuaUa, 
victual J* ; if*/m uiuertf to live. 

ITltaiUed^ /^.yictuaJl«d,proviftK«<>d, 
B ^)^ hte above. 



vitriol, Lat. uitriclum; from ui- 
trum, glass. Cotgrave has — 
* Vitriol, m. vitrioll, copperose/ 

Vnbokel, imp. s. unbuckle, undo, 
C 945, 1 26. The prefix un- is 
here not the common negative 
prefix, but cognate with G. ««/- ; 
cf. entbinden, to unbind. Bokd is 
O. F. bode (F. boucle), Lat. 
buculoy boss of a shield. 

Vndemom, pt, s. perceived, G 
343. A. S. undemiman, to per- 
ceive, pt. t. undemam ; cf. G. un- 
temehmen. From A.S. niman, to 

Vnderpyghte, ^/. s. stuffed, filled 
underneath, B 789. Pyghte is 
pitched, pt. t. of M. £. picche, to 
pitch, place, set. 

Vnderstondeth, pr. pi. under- 
stand, C 646; imp. pi. under- 
stand, know, G 1 1 65; pp. Vn- 
derstonde, understood, B 520. 
From A.S. standan, to stand. 

Vnfeyned, pp. unfeigned, true, G 
434. From LzX.Jingere. 

Vnkyndenesse, s. unkindness, B 
1057. From A..S. cynd, mime. 
Unkindness is unnatttralness, what 
is contrary to natural feeling. 

Vniiethe, adv. hardly, scarcely, B 
1050, G 563; Vnnethes (with 
adverbial sufiix -es), G 1390. 
A. S. UH', not, edf6e, easily ; from 
ed^, easy. 

Vnsely, adj. unhappy, G 468. 
See Sely. 

Vnslekked, adj. unslacked, G 
806. To slack is to deprive 
lime of cohesion by combining it 
with water. A. S. slacian, to 
slacken, relax ; deac^ slack. 

Vnthrlftily, adv. poorly, G 893. 
See Thrift. 

Vntrewthe, s. untruth, B 687. 

Vnwar, adj. unexpected, B 427. 
A. S. wdr, wary, cautious ; cf. 
Lat. uereor, I fear. 

Vnweldy, adj. unwieldy, diflicult 

to move, H 55. A.S. wealdan, 

to control. 
Vnwexnxned, pp. unspotted, G 

I37» ^25. A.S. wem, Icel. vamm, 

Goth, wamm, a spot, blemish. 
Vnwit, 8. want of wit, G 1085. 

A. S. geudtt, knowledge. 
Vnwiting, pr. part, unknowing, 

G 1320. A.S. witan, to know, 

G. toisien. 
Vouche-sanf, v. to vouchsafe, 

grant, B 1083 ; 2 p. pr, pi. ye 

vouchsafe, G 1246, I 52. Here 

vouche is the verb, and setuf the 

adjective ; it means to * call (it) 

Voydeth, imp. pi. send away, G 

1 136. O. F. voide (F. vide), 

void ; from Lat. uiduus. 
Voys, s. voice, rumour, B 155, C 

531. O. F. vois (F. voix), Lat. 

ace. uocem, a voice; cf. Skt. 

vach, to speak. 
Vp, prep, on, upon, B 795, 884. 

A. S. up. 
Vp 80 doun, upside down, G 625. 

See the note. • 
Vp-caste, pt, s. cast up, B 906. 

Icel. kasta, to throw. 
Vpryght, adv. upright, C 674. 
Vsage, s. usage, custom, C 899. 

F. usage; from Lat. uti, to 

Vse, pr. pi. 2 p. ye use, G 1409. 

pp. Vsed, accustomed, 666. F. 

user ; Lat. uti, to use. 
Utter, adj. outer, outward, G 498, 

A.S. &, out ; utter a, uterct, 



"Wafereres,, makers o^gau/res 
or wafer-cakes, confectioners, C 
479. From an O. F. form toaufre, 
commonly spelt gaufre; which 
from O. Low G. Cf. Du. wajtl, 
a wafer. 

Walke, pr, s. subj. 2 p, thou 



mayest walk, B 784. A.S. wealc- 
an, to roll ; also, to walk. 

'Wan, adj, wan, pale, G 728. A.S. 
wanttf wan; sometimeSi dark, 

"Wan, pi. s. won, G 33. A.S. 
winnan, pt. t. ic warm, pp. unin- 

"War, adj, aware, G 13, 1079; ^ 
war = beware, take heed, take 
warning, 737. A. S. wcer, wary, 

"Ware, pres. s. subj. (or imp.), may 
(he) warn, cause you to be ware, 
C 905. Cf. A. S. war tan, to 
guard; war, wary. See Ch. 
Prol. 662 ; and cf. Gloss. I. 

"Ware, 5. merchandise, B 140. A. S., merchandise. 

'Warente, v. to warrant, protect, 
C 338. O. F. warantir, to guard, 
warrant; from O. H. G. werjan, 
warjan, to protect. 

"Warice, v, to heal, cure, C 906. 
Formed from O. F. warir, garir 
(F. guSrir), to preserve; from 
O. H. G. warjan, to protect. 

"Warye, i p. s. pr. I corse, B 372. 
A. S. wergian, to curse ; werg, 
accursed; wearh, an accursed 

'Wasshe,/'^. washed, C 353. A.S. 
w<Bscan, wascan ; pt. t. wosc, pp. 
w<Bseen, See "WeBli. 

"Wast, 5. waste, B 593. A. S. wdste, 
waste, deserted ; westen, a wilder- 

"Wawe, 5. a wave, B 508; pH, 
WaweSf 468. A. S. wceg, a 

"Wayke* adj. weak, B 932. A. S. 
wdc, weak ; Icel. vakr, veikr. 

"W&yJte, V. to expect, B 467 ; Way- 
ten, 246; pr. s. Wayteth, watches, 
593* O. F. waiter, guaiter ; from 
O. H. G. wahtan, to watch. Cf. 
F. guetur. 

'We» pron. apparently used as ace. 
sus, G 315. But see the note. 

"Weep, pt. s. wept. B 606, 1052, G 
371. A.S. wepan, to weep; pt. 
t. we6p. See 'Wepen. 

"Woex, pt. s. waxed, grew, G 513. 
See'Wex. , 

'Wei, adv. well, i.e. well placed, 
happily or luckily situated, B 308. 
A. S. wel. 

"Wele, s. prosperity, B 175. A.S. 
wela, weal. 

'Welftd, adj. full of weal, blessed, 
B 451. See above. 

"Welked, pp, withered, C 738. 
A.S. wecdwian, to roll up, dry, 
wither, shrivel. Cf. G. welken, 
to wither. [The form is English ; 
not borrowed from German.] 

'Welle, s. well, source, B 323. A.S. 
wella, Icel. vella, a well; the 
more usual form is A. S. well. 

"Wezninelees, adj. stainless, G 47. 
A.S. wem, Icel. vamm, Goth. 
wamm, a spot, blemish. 

"Wende, ger. to go, to wend, B 
142, 253, 265: pr. pi. Wende, 
go, 1 157; 2 p. ye wend, travel, 
C 927 ; Wente him, pt. s. turned 
himself, i.e. went his way, G 
1 1 10 ; pp. Went, gone ; ben went, 
are gone, B 1 73 ; is went, is gone, 
G 534 (see note). A.S. wendan, 
G. wenden, to turn. 

"Weneii, v. to ween, suppose, G 
675 ; Wene, 1088 ; pr. s. Weneth, 
imagines, C 569 ; pr. pi. Wenen, 
suppose, 349 ; pt. s. subj. Wende, 
would have thought, C 782. A.S. 
wenan, Icel. v<Bna, Goth, wenjan, 
G. wahnen, to imagine; from A.S. 
wen, Icel. van, Goth, wens, G. 
wdhn, expectation, hope. 

"Wepen, pr. pi. weep, B 820 ; pt, s. 
Wepte, wept, 267 ; Weep, 606, 
1052, G 371. See 'Weep. 

"Werche, v. to work, do, make, 
perform, B 566, G 14, X155, 
1477. A.S. weorcan, to work. 
See 'Werkes. 

"Were, pt, 5. subj, should be, migV' 



be, G 581; Were it, whether it 
were, i.e. either, B 143; Were, 
2 p. s. pres. indie, wast, B 366 ; 
pt. pi. Weren, were, G 1340. 
N.B. The A. S. wdre is the 2 p. 
pr. indie, as well as subj. ; the 
forms wast, wert, are later ; hence 
Chaucer's use of were in B 366 is 
quite correct, and it need not be 
taken as an instance of the sub- 
junctive mood. From A. S. wesan, 
to be ; cf. Skt. i/as, to dwell. 

"Wered, pt. s. wore, G 558. A. S. 
werian^ to wear; pt. t. iverode. 
Originally a weak verb. Cf. Icel. 
verja^ Goth, wasjan, to put on 
clothing; Lat. uesiis^ clothing. 

"Werieth, pr. s, wearies, G 1304. 
A. S. wdrian, to weary. 

'Werkesy s. pi. works, B 478, G 
64. A. S. weorCf Icel. verk, Gk. 
. ipyov. 

Werking, s, work, mode of opera- 
tion, G1367; Werkinge, action, 

Wesb., pt. s. washed, B 453. See 

"Wete, s. wet, perspiration, G 1187. 
A. S. weta^ wetness, moisture. 

Wex, s. wax, G 11 64, 1268. A.S. 
wex, weaXf w<bx. 

"Wexe, V. to wax, become, G 837 ; 
Wexen, 877 ; pr. pi. Wexen, be- 
come, 1095 ; I ^. we become, 
869 ; 1 p. s. pr. subj. Wexe, may 
I become, 1377; pt, s. Wex, be- 
came, B 563, 568. A. S. weaxan, 
Icel. vaxa, Goth, wahsjan^ G. 
wachsen, to grow. 

Weye, s. way, B 385, G 1374; 
manner, wise, B 590, G 676. 
A. S. wegy way, road. 

"Weyed, pt. s. weighed, G 1298. 
A. S. wegan, to weigh, Icel. vega^ 
Lat. uehere. 

"Weylawey, m/cr;. well away I alasl 
B 370, 632, 810. A.S. wd la 
wa, lit. woe 1 lo ! woe 1 

Weyae, v. to forsake, G 276; pr. 

pi. Weyuen, waive, set aside, I 
33 » PP- Weyued, removed, swong 
aside, B 308. O.F. toeiver, 
guesveTt guever, to waive. 
* Guesver, to waive, refuse, aban- 
don, give over, also, to surrender, 
give back, resign, redeliver ; ' Cot- 

What, why, B 232, 374, 703, G 
754* ^» S. kwcet. 

What so, whatsoever, G 711, 965. 

Whelpes, s. pi. dogs, G 60. A. S. 

Wliennes, adv. whence, C 335, G 
247; of whennes s from whence, 
G 432, 433. A. S. hwanon. 

WTier, adv. wherever, C 748, G 
727 ; Wher-as, where that, where, 
B 647, 1 131, C 466, H 49. 

wner-on; long wher-on, i. e. along 
of what, because of what, G 930. 

Wlier-so, adv. whether, B 294. 

Wliete, 5. wheat, I 36. A. S. 
kwdte, wheat. 

WTiich, pron. what sort of, G 731 ; 
pi. Whiche, which, B 553. A. S. 
hwylc, Goth, hwa-leiks (i. e. who- 
like), Lat. qualis. 

WTiider, adv. whither, G 303. 
A. S. kwider. 

wny, adv. for what reason J why ? 
I 35. A.S. kwi, instrumental case 
ofhwdf who. 

Whyle, s. time, B 370, 546; s. pi. 
Whyles, times; in the mene whyles 
= during the mean while, 668. 
A.S. htuilt Goth, hweila, a time. 

Whyl-er, adv. formerly, G 1328. 
A. S. hwUf a time ; and <Jkr^ for- 

Why loin, adv. formerly, B 134, C 
463. A.S. hwilum, dat. pi. of 
hwil^ SL time. 

Whyls, adv. while, G 1137. A. S. 
hwUeSy gen. sing, of hwU^ a time. 

Whyte, adj. white; u&ed as sb. 
white wine, C 526, 562. A.S. 
hwit, white; Icel. hvitr^ Goth. 
. hweiti, G. weiss. 



'Whytnesse, 5. whiteness, G 89. 
"Widwe, s. widow, C 450. A.S. 

widtae, untduwe. 
"Wight, 5. wight, man, B 656. 

See "Wyght. 
"Wike, 5. week, C 362. A. S. wiee, 

wuce, tuueu, a week ; Icel. vika^ a 

"Wikke, adj. wicked, G 524. Cf. 

A.S. wiccOj a wizard, wicce, a 

"Wilfully, adv. willingly, of free 

will, by choice, C 441 . * Wylfulle, 

voluntarius, spontaneus;' Prompt. 

"Winne, ger. to get gain, C 461. 

A. S. winnan, 
"Wisly, adv. certainly, B 106 1. 

Cf. Icel. viss, sure ; Du. getuis, G. 

getuiss, certain ; from the root of 

witan, to know. 
"Wito, V. to know, wit, G 621, 

1333; pr^pJ' a p. know ye, H i, 

S2 ; pt. s. subj, should know, knew, 

C 370; (if he) knew, C513; />/>. 

Wist, known, B 1072, G 282. 

A. S. witan, Icel. vita, G. unssen, 

Skt. vid, to know. See "Wost. 
•With, prep, by, B 475, G 1437. 
•Withholde, pp. detained, G 345. 

A.S. ud^f against, and healdan, 

to hold. 
•Withseye, v. to renounce, G 447, 

457. A.S. wins, against, and 

secgan^ to say. 
"Witnes, imp. s. let (it) bear wit- 
ness, G 277. A. S. witneSf know- 
"Wittes, 5. pi. understandings, senses, 

B 202. A.S. wit, gewit, mind, 

•Wo, adj, sad, B 757. A. S. wA, 

woe, sb. ; but sometimes used as 

an adjective. 
"Woly pr. B. permits, H 28; Vfol 

adoun, is about to set, I 72 ; pr. 

pi. Wolc, will, B 468 ; Wol, G 

84; Woltow, wilt thou, G 307, 

464; pt. 8, Wolde, wished, B 

698 ; pt. pi. would, B 144. A. S. 

willan, to will, wish; pres. t. ie 

wiUy pt. t ic wolde. 
"Wolle, 5. wool, C 448, 910. A. S. 

wull, wool, Icel. ull\ but also 

disyllabic, as shewn by Goth. 

wulla, wool, G. tuolle, 
"Wombe, s. the belly, C 522, 533. 

A. S. wamb, Goth, wamba. 
"Wonunanhede, 5. womanhood, B 

851, G 1346. 
"Wonder, s. as adj. wondrous, 

wonderful, B 1045, C 891, G 308. 

A. S. wunder, 
"Wonder, s. as adv. wondrously, G 

751; greatly, 1035; very, H 94. 
"Wone, ger. to dwell, inhabit, G 

38 ; V. 332 ; pr. s. Woneth, 

dwelleth, 311. A.S. wunian; to 

dwell; G. wohnen. 
"Wood, adj. mad, C 287, G 450, 

576, 869, 1377. A.. S. w6d, Goth. 

VfodSy Icel. dlSr, mad. 
"Woodeth, pr. 5. plays the madman, 

acts madly, G 467. A. S. wSdian, 

to rage, G. wuthen. 
"Woodnesse, s. madness, C 496. 

A. S. wddnes. 
"Wook, pt. s. was awake, B 497 ; 

awoke, 806. A. S. wacan, pt. t. 

ic w6c, pp. wacen. 
"Wordes, 5. pi. words; hadde the 

wordeSf was spokesman (see note), 

I 67, A. S. v/ord. 
"Worm, s. snake (lit. worm), C 355. 

A. S. wyrma, wurm, Icel. ormr, G. 

wurnif Lat. uermis, 
"Wort, s. unfermented beer, wort, 

G 813. Somner's A. S. Diet, has 

wert, unfermented beer. 
"Wost, 2 p. s. pr. knowest, C 824, 

G 653. A.S. witattf to know, 

has strong pt. t. used as present, 

viz. ie wdtf ]>u wdst^ he wdt, 1 

wot, thou wost (wottest), he wot 

{not wots). See "Wite. 
"WoBtow, for wost thou, i. e. know- 
est thou, G 265, 444, 469. See 




Wot, pr, s, knows, B I9«;, 436, 

439, 962, G 733. See Wo8t. 
Wozen, pp. grown, waxed, G 379, 

381. See "Wox. 
"Wowetli, pr, «. wooes, B 589. 
A. S. wdgofif to woo ; prob. orig. 
to bend ; cf. A. S. wdg^ took, 
Wrak, s. wreck, B 513. O. Fries. 
wrak, injured ; Du. wrak, broken, 
also a wreck ; Icel. rekif a thing 
drifted ashore. 
"Wraw, -adj. savage, fierce, angry, 
H 46. Apparently merely a 
corruption of wroth (A. S. iw<f^), 
i. e. wrathful ; cf. Icel. • rei^r, 
Dan. and Sw. vred, wrathful, 
angry. See other examples of 
%urau/ in Stratmann. 
Wrecchednesse, s. a miserable 
matter, folly, I 34. From A. S. 
tvrceCf wretched. 
Wreohe, s. vengeance, B 679. 

A. S. wracu, vengeance. 
"Wreke, v. to avenge, C 857. 

A. S. wrecan, to avenge, punish. 
Wrenolies, s. pi. frauds, strata- 
gems, tricks, G 1081. A. S. 
wrence^ deceit, stratagem. 
"Writen, pp. written, B 195. See 

"Wrong, pt. s, wnmg, B 606. 

A. S. wrmgatif to wring, strain. 
"Wroot,//. s. wrote, B 725, 890, 
G 83. A. S. turiiaut to write ; 
pt. t. xurdtf pp. writen ; Icel. rita^ 
to write. 
■Wroth, adj. wroth, angry, H 46. 
A. S. tt/ratS, angry ; wrd^, wrath, 
anger ; Icel. mSr, angry, re^i, 
"Wrought, />/>. made, G 326. A.S. 
weorcan^ to work ; pt. t. ic 
worhte^ I worked, I wrought. 
"Wyde-wher, adv. widely, every- 
where, B 136. 
Wyf, s. mistress of a household, G 
1 015. A.S. wif^ G. weibi a 

"Wyght, s. wight, man, B 139, 

203, G 215, 404, H 26. A.S. 

wtht, wuht, Goth, waiki, G. 

wicht ; Eng. wight and whii, 
"Wyghte, s. weight, G 73. A.S. 

itnht, weight. . 

"Wyn ai>e, lit. ape-wine, H 44. 

See the note. 
"Wynde, v. to wind about, twist 

and turn, G 980. A. S. windan^ 

Icel. vinda, G. winden, 
"Wyse, s. {dat.) wise, manner, way. 

B 153. A. S. wisBf a way; G. 

weise ; F. guise is from O. H. G ; 

wise and guise are doublets. 
"Wyse, adj. pi. as sb, wise men, G 

1067. A. S. wis, wise ; from 

witattf to know. 
"Wyte, s. blame, G 953. A. S. 

u/Ue, a punishment, fine blame ; 

cf. witan, to punish ; Icel. vUa, 
" to fine, mulct. 
"Wyues, s. pi. wives, women, B 

273, C 910. See "Wyf. 


Taf, pt. s. gave, B 939, 975. C 

490, 887, G 22^; Yauen, 

gave, G 415. See ITeue. 
'Yhlesaed, pp. blessed, H 99. A.S. 

bWstan^ lit. to make blithe ; 

from ft/ilSc, blithe. The prefix y- 

answers to A. S. prefix ge-. 
"STboren, pp. born, C 704. A.S. 

beran, to bear ; pp. boren, g^>or- 

Ybounde, pp. bound, G 347. 

A. S. bindan, to bind ; pp. hunden, 

"Zbrend, pp. burnt, G 318. A. S. 

bcernarit pp. bamed. See Brenne. 
"STcaried, />/>. carried, C 791. O.F. 

carier^ to carry ; char, a car. 
Toast, pp. cast, thrown, G 939. 

See Caste. 
"STcladj/ip. clothed, G 133. A.S. 

gecladedf clothed. 



IToleped, ^^. called, H 2, G 129; 

Yclept, G 772. See Glepe. 
Toome, pp. come. B 755. A. S. 

cuman, to come; pp. cumen, 

Ycoruen, pp. cut, G 533. A. S. 

ceorfarit to cut ; pp. ctxrfen^ gecGrf- 

IToouered, pp, covered, G 764. 

From O. F. covrir, to cover; from 

Lat. co-operire. 
Yooynod, pp. coined, C 770. F. 

coin^ Lat. cuneuSf a wedge ; hence, 

a coin. 
Yorammed, pp. crammed, C 348. 

A. S. crammian, to cram; pp. 

gecrammed; cf. Du. hrammen, to 

fasten with cramps or clamps. 
Ycristned, pp. baptized, B 240. 

A. S. cristnianf to baptize. 
Ydolly, adv. idly, C 446. A. S. 

idelf idle, vain ; idellice, vainly. 
TZ'd.o, pp. done, i.e. finished, done 

with, G 739. 850, 866, 899; 

Ydoon, fought, lit. accomplished, 

386. A. S. geddn^ pp. of ddn^ to 

ITdoles, 5. pi. idols, G 269, 285, 

298. From Gk. cTSwAov, an 

Ydrawe, pp. drawn, taken, G 

'1440. A. S. dragon^ to drag, 

draw ; pp. gedragen. 
Ye, adv. yea, verily, B 417, G 

47 1 » 699» '061 ; ye or nay, yea 

or nay, 212. A. S. ge, ged, G. 

Yd, s. (pronounced its long e in 
meet, followed by e obscure), eye, 
B 280; at ye = at eye, to sight, 
evidently, G 964, 1059 ; pi. Yen, 
eyes, B 552, 661, G 190, 498, 
504, 141 8. A.S. edge, pi. edgan; 
cf. E. eyne. 

Yede,//. s. went, G 1141, 1281. 
A. S. edde, Goth, tddja, I went ; 
from the root 1, to go ; cf. Skt. 
f, to go ; Lat. ire, to go. 

Yeer» «. pi. years, B 499, G 720, 

978 ; Yeres, H 463. A. S. gedr, 
Icel. dr, Goth, jer, G. jdhr ; the 
A. S. pi. is also gedr. 
TTeman, s. yeoman, servant, G 
562, 587. Cf. O. Fries, gaman, 
a villager; from ga, a village; 
cf. Goth, gavfi, G. gau, a dis- 
trict. Note esp. gduman, a pea- 
sant, pi. gduleute, in Schmeller's 
Bavarian Diet., col. 855. 

Teme, adv. briskly, glibly, C 398. 
A. S. georn, eager ; geome, 

Yet, adv. moreover, G 622. A. S. 
git, yet, still. 

Teue, V. to give, G 390, 1 64 ; ger. 
to give, for giving, C 402, G 
990; imp.s. give, G 1193; I p. 
may, (He) give, B 284, 602, H 
15; PP' Yeuen, given, B 333. 
444, C 449, 779, 922, G 470, 
480. A. S. gifan, pt. t. gcef, 
geaf, pp. gifen ; Icel. gefa, Goth, 
gifan, G. geben, to give. 

Teuing, s. giving; wyn-yeuing, 
wine-giving, the giving of wine, 

ffallen, pp. fallen, turned out, 
happened, C 938, G 61, 1043; 
having come upon, having be- 
fallen, C 496. A. S. feallan, to 
fall ; pp. gefedllan. 

Tfere, adv. together, B 394, G 
380. Cf. A.S. gefera, a. travel- 
ling companion ; from A. S. 
far an, to go. 

Yfet, pp. fetched, Q 1I16. A.S. 
fetian, pp. gefetod. 

Yfounde, pp. found, B 1152. A.S. 
Jindan, to find ; pp. funden, ge- 

Tglosed, pp. flattered, H 34. 
Formed from F. sb. glose, a 
gloss, conmient ; from Lat. glossa, 
Gk. ykdjffffa, the tongue, &c. 

"STgo, pp. gone, B 599 ; Ygon, G 
183. A.S. gdn, to go; pp. 

Tgraunted, pp. granted, C 388, 



Yhent, pp. seized, caught, C 868, 

G 536. A. S. hentan^ to sieze. 
Yhid, pp. hid, G 317. A. S. 

kydati, to hide ; pp. gehyded. 
Tholde, pp. held, considered, C 

60 2. A. S. hecddan, to hold, pp. 

Tif, imp. s. give, grant, B 46 a, 

562, G 65. See Tine. 
Tifbe, s. gift, G 275 ; pi. Yiftes, C 

295. A.S.^i^. 
Tit, adv. yet, still, B 634. A. S. 

YlaiowB, pp. known, B 314. A.S. 

endwan, to know ; pp. gecndwen. 
Tlent, pp. lent, G 1406. A.S. 

l<knan, to lend, give; pp. ge- 

Yliche, adv. alike, equally, G 

1202. A.S. geliee, adv.; cf. G. 

gleick. See Ylyke. 
YloBt, pp. lost, G 722. A.S. 

ledsan, to lose; pp. loren, lom. 

Here used as a weak verb. 
Tlyke, adv. alike, equally, G 850. 

See Yliche. 
TTmaad, pp. made, caused, B 693, 

G 868, 1 149 ; Ymaked, made, 

C 545. A. S. macian, to make ; 

pp. macodf gemacod, 
Tmette, pp. met, B 1115. A.S. 

mStafif to meet ; pp. gem6t, 
Ynow, adj. enough, sufficient, G 

1018; pi. Ynow, B 255. A. S. 

genohf sufficient, Goth, ganohs. 
Ynow, adv. enough, G 864, 945. 
Yore, adv. of old, formerly, B 174, 

272. A.S. gedra, formerly; 

from gedr^ a year. 
YoxaeBj pron. poss. yours, C 672, 

785 ; Your, yours, G 1248. A.S, 

edwer, of you ; whence your ; 

and later, youres, 
Yow, pron. pers. dat, to you, B 

154. A.S. edw, dat. and ace. of 

ge, ye. 
Yowthe, «. youth, B 163. A. S. 

Ypiked, pp. picked over, G 941. 

Cf. A.S. pyean, to pick, poll 

Ypocras, Hippocrates ; hence a 

kind of cordial, C 306. See the 

Ypoorisye, s. hvpocrisy, C 410. 
Yput, pp. put, G 762. 
Yren, adj. iron, G 759 ; s. iron, 

827. A.S. iren, isen, iron ; G. eisen. 
"YreDtfpp. rent, torn, B 844. A.S. 

rendan^ to rend. 
Y-Bohette, pp. shut, B 560. A. S. 

sciltafty scyttan, to lock up (Som- 

ner) ; cf. A. S. seedtan^ to shoot ; 

Icel. skjdta, to shoot, also to 

shoot a bolt, shut. 
Ysent, />^. sent, B 104T. 
Yset, pp. seated (lit. set, put), C 392. 
/ A. S. settan^ to set ; pp. geset, 
Yshape, pp. shaped, formed, H 

43 ; Yshapen, shaped, i. e. con- 
trived, G 1080. A.S. seippan, 

to shape, make ; pp. seapen, 

Yshriuen, pp. shriven, C 380. 

A. S. seri/aHf to shrive ; pp. 

Yslawe, pp. slain, B 484, C 856 ; 

Yslayn, slain, B 605, 848, C 673. 

A.S. sledn^ to strike; pp. ge- 

slagen ; whence yslayn, by change 

of g into y, and yslawe (for 

yslawen) by change of g into tu. 
Ystonge, pp. stung, C 355. A. S. 

stingan, pt. t. ie stang, pp. siun- 

gen, gestungen. 
Ysweped, pp. swept, G 938. A. S. 

swdpan, to sweep; pt. t. staedp, 

pp. swdpen. But here it is a 

weak verb. 
Ytake, pp. taken, B 348, 556. 

Icel. taka, to take. 
Ytaught, pp. taught, G 267. A. S. 

tdcan, to teach ; pp. /<b^, gti^iOti. 
Ythrowe, pp. thrown, G 640. 

A. S. }prdwan, to throw ; pt. t. 

\>re6w ; pp. prdwen, gt^rdwen. 
Ytold, pp. told, G 627, I 31. A. S. 

tellan^ pp. geteald. 


Yuel, adj. evil, ill, C 408; adv. Ywia, adv, certainly, C 327, G 

ey illy, ill, G 92 1. (Proa, nearly in 263,439, 617, 689, 823, 1107, 

one syllable.) A.S. y/el, Goth.ubils, 1359* A. S. gewis, Du. gewis^ G. 

G.u6ei,eyil, bad; A. S.j0!/e, evilly. j'tfurtss, adv. certainly. From the 

ITw^edded* pp. wedded, G 128. root of ««Am, to know. 

A. S. weddian, to pledge; pp. Twriten, pp. written, B 191, G 

weddody geweddod ; from wed, a 210. A. S. writan^ to write; pt. 

pledge. t. wrdi, pp. gewriien. 



N.B. Many of the names are commented upon in the Notes. 

Achilles, B iq8. 
Adam, C 505, 508. 
Alisaundre, Alexandria, G 975. 
Alkaron, the Koran, B 332. 
Alia, ^lla, B 578, 604, 610, 659. 
Almaohius, G 431, 435, 468, 487; 

Almache, 362, 431. 
Ambrose, seint, G 271. 
Anne, St. Anna, B 641, G 70. 
Apia, Via, i.e. Via Appia, the 

Appian way, G 172. 
Arnold of the newe toun, 

Arnoldus de Villa Nova, G 1428. 

See Theatnim Chemicum, iv. 514. 
Attila, C 579. 
Auicen, Avicenna, C 889. 

Baohus, Bacchus, H 99. 
Bayard, a horse's name, G 141 3. 

(So called from his bay colour). 
Bernard, St. Bernard, G 50. 
Blee, i. e. Blean, H 3. 
Bob-vp-and-down (see note), H 

Boughton vnder Blee, G 556. 

See note. 
Briton, adj. British, Welsh, B 

Britons, Britons, B 545, 547. 
Burdeux, Bordeaux, C 571. 

Cananee, adj, Canaanite, G 59. 
Catoun, Cato (Dionysius Cato), G 

688. See the note. 
Caunterbnry, Canterbury, G 634, 

Ceoilie, St. CecUia, G 28, 85, Sec. ; 

Cecile, G 92, 94, &c. ; lyf of 

seint Cecile, 554. 

Chepe, Cheapside, C 564, 569, H 

CorinthOy Corinth, C 604. 
Crist, Christ, B 277, 283. &c. 
Custance, Constance, B 151, 236, 
264, 319, 431, 438, &c. 

Danyel, Daniel, B 473. 
Dauid, David, B 935. 
Demetrius, C 621. 
Doneg:ad, B 695, 778, 896. 

Ebrayk, adj. Hebrew, B 489. 

Eotor, Hector, B 198. 

ISgypoien Marie, Egyptian Mary, 

Sta. Maria ^gyptiaca, B 500. 
ISngelond, England, B 1130, C 

921, G 1356. 
XSroules, Hercules, B 200. 
Sua, Eve, B 368; son of Eue, G 

Xurope, Europe, B 161. 



Fishstrete, Fish Street, C 564. 
Flaundres, Flanders, C 463. 

GalianeB, s, pi. drinks named after 

Galen, C 306. 
Golias, Goliath, B 934. 
Grece, Greece, B 464. 
Gyle, St. Giles, St. -ffigidius, G 


Hanybal, Hannibal, B 290. 
Hayles, the Abbey of Hailes, 

Gloucestershire, C 652. 
Hermengild, Hernengild, B 533, 

539» 597> 625; gen, Hermen- 

gildes, 595. 
Hermes, Hermes Trismegistus, G 


leremye, Jeremiah, C 635. 
lerusalem, Jerusalem, I 51. 
lesu, Jesus, B 538. 
lewes, Jews, C 475. 
lohn Baptist, C 491. 
lohn, St. John, B 1019, C 752. 
lonas, Jonah, B 486. 
Itayle, Italy, B 441. 
lubaltar, Gibraltar, B 947. 
ludas, Judas, G 1003. 
ludith, Judith, B 939. 
lulius, Julius Caesar, B 199, 400. 
lupiter, Jupiter, G 364; the planet, 

Iiaoidomie, Lacedaemon, C 605. 

liamuel, Lemuel, C 584. 

Xiepe, a town in Spain, C 563, 

liibra, a sign of the zodiac, I 11. 

liOndoun, London, H 11 ; London, 

G loia. 

liuoan, B 401. 

Mahoun, Mahomet, B 234, 540; 

Makomete, 533; gen. Mako- 

metes, 336. 
Marie, St. Mary the Egyptian, B 


Marrok, Morocco, B 465. 

Mars, B 301, 305. 

Marye, Mary, B 841. 

Mathew, St. Matthew, C 634. 

Mauricius, Maurice, B 723 ; Mau- 
rice, B 1063, 1 1 21; gen* Mau- 
rices, B 1 1 27. 

Majdmus, G 338; Maxime, 377. 

May, s. May, G 1343. 

Niniuee, Nineveh, B 487 ; Niniue, 
G 974. 

Northumberlond, Northumber- 
land, B 508, 578. 

Olofemus, Holophernes, B 940. 
Osanne, Hosannah, O 69. 

Paradys, s. Paradise, C 506, 509, 

G 227. 
Parthes, Parthia (or,theParthians), 

C 622. 
Paul, St. Paul, 0521,132; Paulus, 

c 523. 

Pirrus, Pyrrhus, B 288. 
Plato, G 1448, 1453, 1460.^ 
Poxnpei, Pompey, B 199. 

Boohel, Rochelle, C 571. 

Boxnayn, adj, Roman, B 954 ; pi. 
Romayns, the Roman people, 291, 
394, G 121; Romayn gestes, the 
gesta Romanorum, B 1 1 26. 

Borne, B 142, 390, G 975. 

Homeward, to, towards Rome, B 

Bonyan, St. Ronan, C 310; 
Ronyon, 320. See the note. 

Bosarie, s. Rosarium (name of a 
book), G 1429. 

Salomon, Solomon, G 961 . 
SamiMion, Samson, B 201 ; Sanp- 

soun, C 554, 572. 
Samuel, C 585. 
Sathan, Satan, B 582, 634. 
Satumus, Saturn (the planet), G 


T 2 



Scottes, 5. pi. the Scots, B 580. 
Semyram, Seminmis, B 359. 
Senek, Seneca, C 492. 
Senior, the name of * book (see 

note), G 1450. 
Septe, Ceuta, in Morocco, B 947. 
Soorstes, B 201. 
Sol, lit. the Sun, a name for gold, 

G 1440. 
Spsyne, Spain, C 565, 570. 
Stilbon, C 603. See note. 
Surrjre, Syria, B 134, 173, 177, 

279' 587. 955- 
Surryen, adj. Syrian, B 153, 435 ; 

pL Surryens, the Syrians, 394, 

Susanne, Susanna, B 639. 

T|iebeB, B 200, 289. 
Theseus (see note, p. 6), B 289. 

Tiburce, Titmrtius, G 242, 260; 
gen. Tiburces, 277. 

Timothee, Timothy, I 32. 

TitanoSy Titan, a name for mag- 
nesia, G 1454. 

Troye, Troy, B 288, G 975. 

Tumus, B 201. 

Valerian, G 129, 162, &c.; gen. 

Valerians, 277. 
Venus (the planet), G 829. 
Vrban, pope Urban, G 177, 179, 

185^ 217, 303, &c. 

Walys, Wales, B 544. 

Ynde, India, C 722. 
Tpocras, Hippocrates ; also, a cor- 
dial named after him, C 306. 

Additional Note — P. 12, 11. 451 — 461. Compare stanzas 3 and 5 of 
the Passion-tide Hymn * Lustra sex qui iam peregit.' In particular, U. 457 
and 458 answer to the Latin lines — *Sola digna tu foisti Fcrre miindi 


P. 4, 1. 222. For christen read cristen. 
P. 7, 1. 307. For knyttest read knittest. 
P. 21, 1. 699. For Her read Hir. 
P. 29, 1. 939. For Judith read ludith. 
P« 53» !• 753- ^^ John read lohn. 
P, 119, 1. 29. For cockes read cokkes. 

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