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of tlje merrg gtoeitturc JD 
a fepter at 



Sale 0f 

/ I 


of % merrj ^b&tfitart of tje Jarboner 
a Capsttr at Cantokrg. 






LONDON IN 1675, &c. 






Series, 17, 24. 





TAPSTER AT CANTERBURY ... ... ... ... ... 1 

'Ihe ^h ot Jterjm .................. 25 



ADDITIONAL NOTES, BY F. J. VIPAN, M.A. ... ... ... 200 




IF this Tale of Beryn had not occurrd in a manuscript of the 
Canterbury Tales, and had also not been unique and not heretofore 
printed with fair accuracy, it would yet have claimd a place among 
the Chaucer Society's books, by reason of its giving the only good 
nearly-contemporary account, by a Canterbury man monk, I sup 
pose: 1 see the colophon, p. 120 of how pilgrims like Chaucer's 
disported themselves in the town, and at the Shrine of the Martyr 
whom from ' euery schires ende ' they sought. That Chaucer intended 
to have given us such an account himself, we can hardly doubt. 
The scenes at the " Cheker of the Hope," in the Cathedral and the 
town, must have afforded him so many a chance for a happy line, a 
humourous touch, that he must have thought of sketching his com 
panions in their fresh surroundings ; but alas, this, like the Tales 
awanting, was never to be ; and we have to rely on a poorer hand 
for the outline and details we desire. Still, worse than Chaucer's 
though the hand of the Beryn-wiitei is, a bit, and a good bit, of the 
Master's humour and lifelikeness, the later verser has in his Prologue. 
Chaucer's characters are well kept up; 2 and we can see with our own 
eyes the Pilgrims strolling about the town and visiting the Cathedral, 
as well as follow the after-supper adventures 3 of that loose fish, the 

1 See p. 137, note. 

2 Note the Miller's stealing the Canterbury brooches, by way of a change 
from corn, 1. 174-5 ; the Pardoner's spite to the Summoner, 1. 184-90 ; the 
Knight's courtesy and gentleness, 1. 136, 387-8, and his lecturing his son on the 
defences of the town see the walls in Smith's plan 1. 237-244 ; the Cook 
drinking, 1. 410 ; the Pardoner singing, and the Summoner acting as chorus, 
1. 412-15 ; the Host all through. 

3 De la pause vient la danse : Pro. Men are the merriest when their bellies 
are fullest ; or, when the bellie is full, the breech would be figging ; (for by this 
Danse is any lustfull, or sensuall, motion vuderstood). Cotgrave. 


Pardoner, with Tapster Kit, who sold him so completely. 1 "God 
knowes who's a good Pilgrim," 2 says the Proverb. We may safely 
hold that the Pardoner was not one of the saints. As William 
Thorpe, a Lollard, said of Papist pilgrims in his examination taken 
before Archbp. Arundel at Saltwood Castle in 1407: "such fond 
people waste blamefullie Gods goodes in their vaine pilgrimages, 
spending their goods upon vitious hostelars, which are oft uncleane 
women of their bodies." J. G. Mchols. Pilgrimages by Erasmus, 
p. xxiv, ed. 1875. 3 The Beryn Prologue, then, is a piece of contem 
porary social history to be read and studied, whoever skips or skims 
the Tale. 

For a description of the old Canterbury Inn and its present 
representative, of the cathedral, relics, shrine, jewels, Canterbury 
brooches 4 and signs, &c., I refer the reader to Dean Stanley's 
interesting Historical Memorials of Canterbury (p. 216-238, 5th ed., 
1868, Jn. Murray), a book which I have already urgd all our 
members to buy, and which is a necessary part of their Chaucer 
Library. Thus much for the Prologue. 

The Tale is an awfully long-winded one, based on part of a 
French prose romance, 5 of which Mr. Clouston has given an epitome 

1 Chascun n'est pas aise qui danse: Prov. Euerie one is not merrie that 
daunces ; of such a one wee say, 'his heart is not so light as his heeles.' 1611. 

3 Dieu scait qui est bon pilerin : Prov. God knowes who's a good Pilgrim : 
the hearts of Pilgrims are best knowne to God. Cotgrave. 

3 He adds : "Also, Sir, I knowe well that when divers men and women will 
goe thus after their own willes and finding, out on pilgrimage, they will ordaine 
with them before to have with them both men and women that can well sing 
wanton songes ; and some other pilgrimages will have them with bagge-pipes ; 
so that everie towne that they came through, what with the noise of their 
singing, and with the sound of their piping, and with the jangling of their 
Canturburie-bels, and with the barking out of dogges after them, that they make 
more noice then if the King came there away, with all his clarions and many 
other minstrels. And if these men and women be a moneth out in their 
pilgrimage, many of them shall be an halfe yeare after, great janglers, tale 
tellers, and liers." 

4 They represented the mitred head of the saint, with the inscription Caput 
Thomce. Some may be seen in the British Museum. 

5 The added Second Part of this is summarized on p. 160 174. Note the 
South-Englishman's touch of the decay of Winchelsea and Rye in lines 754-6, 
p. 25. 


and variants, the former on pages 121 to 140, the latter on pages 
141 to 159. It tells how in Rome a rich old senator, Faunus, 
has at last a son by his loved wife Agea; how they spoil the 
boy, Berinus, during his youth ; and how he turns out a cruel, 
violent, gambling scamp, caring nothing for his father or his 
mother, his heritage or his honour. He refuses to come to his fond 
mother on her deathbed, and like a brute strikes the maiden who's 
sent for him. His father Faunus, at first inconsolable for the death 
of Agea, is soon married by the Emperor to a beautiful woman, 
Rame ; and she, after putting-up with Beryn's wildness for a time, 
schemes to get rid of him, and oust him from his heritage for her 
own (coming) son. She persuades Faunus to refuse Beryn further 
supplies. This brings the young scapegrace to his senses ; and Father 
and son are reconciled at the dead Agea's tomb. Beryn then proposes 
to give up his heritage for five ships full of merchandise, and try his 
luck abroad. This agreed, he sets sail with his fleet of five, and 
lands at deceitful Falsetown (in the land of Imagination). There he 
loses a game at chess to a Burgess, Syrophane, and in consequence 
has to drink all the salt water in the sea, or forfeit his ships. Then 
he agrees to change his cargoes for five loads of the goods he can find 
in one Hanybald's house ; but on going there, he finds the house 
empty. So he stands in his shoes, without either ships or cargoes. 
A blind man then accuses him of stealing his eyes, and a woman of 
having got a son by her, and left her to bring it up. Each has him 
up before the Judge, and he is bidden to answer the charges, but has 
a day's respite. He mourns, repents, and confesses that his mishaps 
have come on him for his misdeeds. A Catchpoll Macaigne then 
lends him a knife to bribe the Judge with, and at once accuses him 
of having murdered his (the Catchpoll's) father with it. Beryn is 
had up again, and is at his wit's end, when a Cripple, Geffrey, 
appears. Beryn bolts, but is overtaken, and the Cripple agrees to 
stand his friend if Beryn '11 take him back to Rome. This is agreed, 
and the Cripple tries to send Beryn to the palace of Isope, the wise 
King of the land, but Beryn refuses to go, so the Cripple goes instead ; 
and next day, when the trials all come on, Geffrey outwits all the 
lying prosecutors, not by denying their charges, but by confessing 


them and turning the tables on the rascals, makes them pay heavy 
damages, and brings Beryn off a winner. The Burgess Syrophane 
has to separate all the fresh-water running from rivers into the salt 
sea before Beryn can drink its salt water, or to pay damages, which 
latter he does. In the empty house of the cheat Hanybald, Geffrey 
has let loose two white butterflies ; and either five ship-loads of these 
have to be produced, or big damages paid, which Beryn gets. As to 
the blind man's lost eyes, Geffrey shows that the blind man changed 
his bad eyes for Beryn's good ones : if the man '11 return Beryn's 
good eyes, he may have his bad ones back ; but if not, he must pay 
Beryn damages ; which he does. As to the Deserted- Wife ; if she's 
Beryn's wife, let her leave her kin, and start at once for Rome with 
Beryn; she refuses, and pays. .For Macaigne's knife, the truth is, 
that Beryn found it in his own father's heart, and never knew who 
the murderer was, till Macaigne claimd the knife. Macaigne must 
therefore answer for the murder of Beryn's father, or withdraw his 
plaint, and pay Beryn damages. Macaigne agrees to pay. So Beryn 
goes back to his ships in triumph, with Cripple Geffrey, and twice 
as much money as he had before. 

Beryn then gets five presents from King Isope ; next day visits 
him, stays three days with him, weds his daughter, and reforms the 
bad Falsetown folk. 

The issue of the Tales written as Supplements to Chaucer's 
Canterbury Tales was of course part of the work I laid down for 
the Chaucer Society ; and as the Tale of Beryn is the best of these, 
I askt our friend Henry Bradshaw 1 where the MS. of the Canterbury 
Tales containing the unique copy of Beryn (which was first printed 
in Urry's posthumous edition in 1721) could be. He said "It was 
lent to Urry by the Hon. Mrs. Thynne, 2 a widow who afterwards 

1 He had a nose for missing MSS. like a bloodhound's for a fugitive. 

2 This is stated in the Preface to Urry's Chaucer written by Tim. Thomas 
from collections by Dart. (See the rough draft of this Preface, begun Aug. 4, 
ended 29, 1720, in Harl. MS. 6895, and Benn. Lintot's letter in the same MS.) 
" XIII. The Honourable Mrs. Thynne, Widow of the Honourable Henry Thynne 
Esq ; Son to the late Lord Viscount Weymouth, was pleased to lend him [Urry] 
a MS. purchased by her, which had belonged to Mr. Long, a Prebendary of the 
Church of Exeter. It is a fair Book, but is imperfect at the beginning and end, 
and wants the Coke's Talc, and that of Gamclyn : But this Defect is sufficiently 


mnrriod a Duke of Northumberland. It must ho still at Almvick. 
AY rite to the Duke there, and you'll get your M.S." I wrote. The 
Duke said he had the MS. ; and he kindly let Mr. Martin (the Inner 
Temple Librarian, who also lookt after the Alnwick Library) bring 
the Chaucer MS. to the Inner Temple Library for me ; and there, with 
the MS., Mr. Brock and I collated the Beryn pages cut out of my 
copy of Urry's Chaucer. The proofs were read twice by me with the 
MS., and I believe the text is a faithful print of it, though unluckily, 
when editing it, I was affected for a time with the itch of padding 
out lines by needless little words in square brackets. The reader 
can easily leave them out in reading when he finds them unnecessary, 
or gratify his resentment at such impertinences by drawing a pen 
through them. But he will agree that the MS. is often faulty in 
metre, and is not a correct copy of the original poem. 

For the text and side-notes of the Poem, its Forewords, and 
choosing its Plans, 1 I am responsible. ' To Mr. Stone is due the 
Index or Glossary, and such of the Xotes as Mr. F. Yipan and Prof. 

compensated by the addition of two new Pieces, not extant in any of the other 
MSS. which are there inserted between the Tale of the Chanon's Teman and 
Chaucer's Tale of Melibeus, viz. The Adventure of the Pardoner and the Tapster 
at the Inn in Canterbury, and the Merchant's Tale in the Pilgrim's Keturn from 
thence" (sign. k. 2). Of the former of these, Thomas rightly says that "it is 
not properly a Tale, but an Account of the Behaviour of the Pilgrims, and 
particularly of the Pardoner, at their Journey's end, and a kind of Prologue to 
a set of Tales to be told in their Return " (sign. k. 2). He adds, on k. 2, back, 
"It may (perhaps with some shew of reason) be suspected that Chaucer was not 
the author of the Adventure and Beryn, but a later Writer, who may have 
taken the hint from what is suggested in v. 796 of the Prologues, that tfhe 
Pilgrims were to tell Tales in their Return homewards ; but as to that the 
Reader must be left to his own Judgment. But supposing they were not writ 
by our Author, we are however obliged to Mr. Urry's diligence for finding out 
and publishing Two ancient Poems, not unworthy our Perusal : And they have 
as good a right to appear at the end of this Edition, as Lidgate's Story of Thebes 
had to be printed in former ones." 

Of the Plowman's Tale, Thomas says on sign. k. back, it "is not in any of 
the MSS. which Mr. Urry describes, nor in any other that I have seen or been 
informed of." No MS. of it has since turnd up. 

1 Ogilby's road-plan of 1675 was the earliest full one I could find. The Lon 
don to Maidstone plan is borrowd from the. E. E. Text Soc.'s edition of Vicary's 
Anatomic. Smith's MS. I showd long ago to Mr. H. B. Wheatley, and he and 
Mr. E. W. Ashbee publisht it by subscription in 1879, with all its colourd plans, 
coats of arms, &c. : 'A Particular Description of England in 1588,' &c. 


Skeat have not written. Mr. Yipan has also read the French Berimw, 
&c., for us, and Prof. Skeat has partly revised the Notes and Glossary ; 
while the abstract of that portion of the Romance from which the 
Tale was derived, and the Persian, Indian, and Arabian variants or 
versions, with the notes thereon, are due to Mr. Clouston. 

To these kind helpers, and to the Duke of Northumberland for 
lending me his unique MS., I tender hearty thanks. To the Members 
of the Chaucer Society I apologize for the long delay in the produc 
tion of the concluding Part of this volume. But it's an ill wind that 
blows nobody good. The delay has led to our getting the valuable 
help of Mr. W. A. Clouston in his own peculiar line ; and all our 
Members will thank him for his interesting Paper on ' The Merchant 
and the Rogues,' p. 121-174 below. 

Canon Scott Robertson's long-promist Paper on the Pilgrim's road 
to Canterbury is not yet written. Let us pray that it soon will be. 
The second l Supplementary Canterbury Tale/ Lydgate's ' Sege of 
Thebes,' has been undertaken by a Scandinavian friend, Dr. Axel 
Erdmann, who hopes to get it to press next year. 

Our Concordance, to Chaucer has been taken in hand by Mr. 
Graham, after 7 years' neglect by Prof. Corson. I hope to live to 
see it finisht. Now that the first volume of the Philological Society's 
New English Dictionary, edited by Dr. J. A. H. Murray, 1 has been 
publisht by the generosity of the Clarendon Press, one need not 
despair of seeing the Chaucer Concordance in type, tho' it is not so 
far ahead as Mr. F. S. Ellis's Shelley Concordance. 


Westfield Terrace, Bakcwell, Derbyshire) 
13 August, 188S. 

1 He is now at work on vol. ii, Avhile volume iii is in the hands of Mr. Henry 
Bradley, Member of Council of the Philological Society. We started work at 
the Dictionary in 1858. 


p. 80, 1. 2619, for ageyn[se] read ageyn[es]. 

(I leave each reader to supply, according to his taste, more insertions be 
tween brackets, to make all the lines of the Poem of normal length.) 



1. Chriftes church 

2. y e Market Place 

3. our Lady 

4. S* Andrewes 

5. S* Peter 

6. Weftgate Church 

7. St Mildred 

8. The Castell 

9. Our Lady 

10. St George 

11. Thefreeres 

12. Alhalows 

(From William Smith's unique MS, Sloane 2596, in the British Museum.) 



Or, the mery adventure of the Pardonere and Tapstere 
at the Inn at Canterbury. 1 

[Duke of Northumberland's MS 55, leaf 180, sign. A A 8. 
After the Canon's Yeoman's Tale] 

Hen all this ffresshfel feleship were com to Caun- when the 

Pilgrims reach 
tirbury, Canterbury, 

As ye have herd to-fore, with talys glad & merry, 
(Som of sotiH centence, of 1 vertu & of 1 lore, after telling Tales 

wise and loose, 

And som of* othir myrthis, for hem jjat hold no store 4 
Of wisdom, ne of 1 holynes, ne of 1 Chiualry, 
Nethir of 1 vertuouse matere, 2 but [holich] to foly 
Leyd wit & lustis aH, to such[e nyce] lapis 
As Hurlewaynes meyne in every hegg that capes 8 

Thurgh vnstabiH mynde, ryght as Jje levis grene 
Stondein a-geyn the wedir, ry^t so by hem I mene ; 
Butt no more here-of nowe, [as] at is ilche tyme, 
In saving 1 of 1 my centence, my prolog, & my ryme.) 12 
They toke hir In, & loggit hem at mydmorowe, I trowe, they put-up at 
Atte " Cheker of 1 the hope," Jjat many a man doith knowe. the-Hope' inn. 
Hir/ 3 Hoost of* South work jjat wz't/i hem went, as ye have 
herde to-fore, 

'- 1 Urry's title. There is none in the MS. 2 MS butto. 

3 This ' r/ ' is for ' r ' with a downward tag to it. 


Tue Pardoner 

is welcomed by 
the Tapster, 

who shows him 
her empty bed, 

and weeps for 
her lost husband. 

The Pardoner 
comforts her, 

That was rewler/ of H hem al, of* las & eke of 1 more, 16 
Ordeyned hir/ dyner wisely, or they to chirch[e] went, 
Such vitaillis as he fond in town), & for noon o]?ir sent. 
The Pardonere be-held the besynes, howe statis wer 1 1-servid, 
Diskennyng 1 hym al pryuely, & a syde swervid, 20 

(The Hostelere was so halowid from o plase to a-nothir ;) 
He toke his staff to the Tapstere : " welcom myne owne 


Quod she, with a ffrendly look, al redy for to kys ; 
And he, as a man I-lernyd of 1 such kynd[e]nes, 24 

Bracyd hir/ by the myddiH, & made hir/ gladly chere 
As J?ou3e he had I-knowe hir 1 al the rathir yeer 
She halid hym in-to the tapstry, J?ere hir 1 bed was makid : 
"Lo, Here I ligg 1 " (quod she) "my selff al ny^t al nakid 
W'/t/iout[en] mannys company, syn my love was dede : 29 
lenkyn Harpour/ yf ye hym know ; from fete to j>e hede 
Was nat a lustier persone to daunce ne to lepe, 
Then he was, J>ou3e I it sey " : And ]>ere-with she to wepe 
She made, &, with hir 1 napron) feir/ & white I-wassh, 33 
She wypid sofft hir 1 eyen, for teris )>at she out lassh ; 
As grete as eny niylstone, vpward gon they stert. 
ffor love of 1 hir 1 swetyng 1 fat sat so ny^e hir 1 hert, 36 

She wept & way lid, & wrong 1 hir/ hondis, & made much 

to done; [leaf ISO, back] 

tfor they that loven so passyngly, such trowes J?ey have 

She snyffith, sighith, and shooke hire hede, and made rouful 

" Benedicite," quod the Pardonere, & toke hir 1 by the 

swere ; 40 

" Yee make sorowe I-now^," quod he, " yeur/ lyff fou^e ye 

shuld lese." 
" It is no wondir," quod she than, And Jjere-with she gan 

to fnese. 
" Aha ! al hole ! " quod the Pardoned, " yewr/ penaunce 

is som what passid." 


" God forbede it els ! " quod she, " but it were som-what 

lassid, 44 

I my3te nat lyve els, powe wotist, & it shuld longe endure." 

" Now blessid be God of mendement, of 1 liele & eke of 1 

cure ! " 

Quod the Pardoner 5 tho a-noon, & toke hir> by the Chynne, chucks her chin, 
And seyd to hir> pese wordis tho : " Alias ! pat love ys syn ! 
So kynde a lover as yee be oon, & [eke] so trew of hert, 
(ifor, be my trewe conscience, $it for 3ewe I smert, 50 
And shal this month hereaftir, for yeur 1 soden disese :) 
Now wele wer* hym ye lovid, so [bat] he coude aewe plese ! and wishes he 

could please her. 

I durst[e] swere oppon a book, pat trewe he shuld 

fynd; 53 

ffor he pat is so ^ore dede, is green ^it] in yewr/ mynde. 
Ye made me a sory man ; I dred yee wold have stervid." 
" Graunt mercy, gentil Sir 1 !" quod, she, "pat 1 yee [been] 

vnaservid ; 

Yee be a nobiH man ! I-blessid mut yee be ! 57 

Sit[tith] down), [and] ye shul drynk ! " "nay .I.-wis" (quod she offers him 

. drink, 


" I am fastyng }it, myne owne hertis rote ! " 
" ffasting 1 3it ! alias ! " quod she, " perof I can good bote." 
She stert in-to the town), & fet a py al hote, 61 then buys 

him a pie, 

And set to-fore the Pardoner 1 ; "lenken, I ween] I note : 

Is that ye?*r/ name, I 30 w prey 1 " " ^e, I-wis myne owne asks him his 


sustir ; 

So was I enformyd of hem pat did me foster 1 . 64 

And what is yewrs T " Kitt, I-wis ; so cleped me my dame." and teiis him 
" And Goddis blessing 1 have pow, Kitt ! now broke wel thy 

name ! " 

And pryuelich vnlasid his both[en] eyen liddes, 
And lokid hir 1 in the visage paramour* a-myddis ; 68 The Pardoner 

A i i 't , -.1 i',-i i makes eyes at 

And s^hid pere-with a litil tyme, pat she it here my3te, her, 
And gan to trown & feyn this song 1 , " now, loue, pou do me 

1 for ( but. 1 


[leaf 181] 

and says he's in 
love with her. 

Kit doubts; 

a burnt oat 
dreads the fire : 

loving has done 
her harm. 

The Pardoner 
gives her a groat. 

She refuses 
it at first, 

then takes it, 

and asks him to 
explain a Dream 
she has had, 

"Ete & be merry," quod she, " why breke yee nowt 1 yewr/ 

fast 1 ? 

To waite more feleshipp, it were but work in wast. 72 
Why make yee so duft chere ] for yeur/ love at home ? " 
" Nay forsoth, myne own) hert ! it is for jewe a-loon ! " 
" ffor me ? alias ! what sey yee 1 that wer 1 a sympift prey." 
" Trewlich jit," quod, the pardoner*, " It is as I jewe sey." 
" 3e etith & beith mery, we woH speke J?ere-of [ful] sone ; 
1 Brennyd Cat dredith feir/ ' ; it is mery to be aloon : 78 
fFor, by our/ lady mary, ]>at bare Ihesu on hir* arm), 
I coud nevir love jit, but it did me harm) ; 
ffor evir my maner 1 hath be to love[n] ovir much." 81 
" Now Cristis blessing 1 ," quod the pardoner*, " go with al[le] 

such ! 

Lo ! ho we the clowdis worchyn, eche man to mete his mach ! 
ffor trewly, gentil Cristian, I vse J>e same tach, 84 

And have I-do [ful] many a jer 1 ; I may it nat for-ber* ; 
ffor 'kynde woH have his cours,' j?ouj men ]>e contrary 


And IperwitJi he stert vp smertly, & cast [a]down) a grote, 
" What shal this do, gentiH Sir* 1 Nay, sir' ! for my cote 
I nold yee payde a peny her*, & [tho] so sone pas ! " 89 
The Pardonere swore his gretter othe, he woldfe] pay no las. 
" I-wis, sir*, it is ovir-do ! but sith it is yeur/ wiH, 
I woH put it in my purs, lest yee it take in iH 92 

To refuse your/ curtesy : " And ]>ere-with she gan to bowe. 
"Now trewly," qiiod the Pardoner", " yeur/ maners been to 

alowe ; 

ffor had ye countid streytly, & no thing 1 lefft be-hynde, 
I myjte have wele I-demed J>at yee be vnkynde, 96 

And eke vntrewe of 1 hert 1 , & sonner me forjete, 
But ye list be my tresorer ; for we shuH offter mete." 
" Now certen," quod the tapster 1 , " yee have a red ful even, 
As wold to God yee couth as wele vndo my sweven 100 
That I my selff did mete this nyjt fat is I-passid : 
1 MSnowe. 


How T was in a cliirch, when it was al I-massid ; 

And was in my devocioune tyl service was al doon, 103 

Tyli the Freest & the clerk [ful] boystly "bad me goon, that she was 

And put me out of 1 the chirch with [right] an egir mode." church. 

" Now, seynt Danyel," qwod J?e pardonere, " JQUY/ swevyn 

turne to good ! 
And I woH halsow it to the best, have it in yewr/ mynd ; The Pardoner 

says her Dream 

ffor comynly of these swevenys J>e contrary men shul fynde : 

' Yee have be a lover glad, & litil loy I-had ; 109 

Pluk vp a lusty hert, & be mery & glad? ; [leafisi, back] 

1 ffor vee shul have an husbond, bat shal sewe wed to wvve, means that she'll 

have a husband, 

That shal love ^ewe as hert[e]ly, as his owne lyve. 112 

The preest bat put sewe out of Chirch, shal lede sew in and the priest 

will lead her into 

church again. 

And help[en] to yeur/ mariage, with al his my^te & mayu) : ' 
This is the sweven al & som ; Kit, how likith the 1 " 
" Be my trowith, wondir wele ; blessid mut fowe be ! " 
Then toke he leve at J?at tyme, tyH he com efft sone, 117 
And went [un]to 2 his feleshippe, as it was [for] to doon. 

(Thou^e it be no grete holynes to prech ]>is ilk niatere, (it's not a par- 
And ]jat som list [not] to her* it ; ^it, sirs/ nei-* )?e latter storyTthis^ y 
Endurith for a while, & suffrith hem )>at woli, 121 

And yee shutl here howe be Tapster 1 made be Pardoner puH but you'll soon 

see how the 

Garlik al the longe ny^te, til it was nere end 4 day ; Tapster sold the 


ffor J>e more cher 1 she made of love, j?e falsher 1 was hir 5 lay ; 
But litil charge gaff she ther'-of', Tpoiije she aquyt his while, 
ffor ethir-is fou^t & tent was, othir to begile, 
As yee shuli here her'-aftir, when tyme comyth & spase 
To meve such mater, but nowe a litiU spase 128 

I woH retoirrne me ageyn) [un]to the company.) 

The kny^t & al the feleshipp, & no Jnng for to ly, AH the Pilgrims 

When they wer 1 aH I-loggit, as skiH wold, & reson, 
Everich aftir his degre, to Chirch ben was seson 132 go to Canterbury 

Cathedral, to 

To pas[sen] & to wend, to make[n] hii j offringis, make their 

Ri^te as hii j devocioune was, of 1 sylvir broch & ryngis. 
2 MS wentto. 3 MS ^it sir ^it sirs 4 near hand, nearly. 


The Knight 
settles who's to 
go-in first. 

A monk sprinkles 
them with holy 

and won't let the 
Friar take the 

as he so wants to 

see the Nun's 


The Knight goes 

to the Shrine. 

The Pardoner, 
Miller, &c., 

make funny 
guesses as to 
what the stained- 
glass window 

The Host scolds 
them, and sends 
them to the 

There they kneel 
and pray ; 

kiss the relics, 

Then atte Chirch[e] dorr the curtesy gan to ryse, 

Tyl f e kny3t, of 1 gentilnes, fat knewe ri3te wele f e guyse, 

Put forth fe Prelatis, fe Person, & his fere. 137 

A monk, fat toke f e spryngiH with a manly chere, 

And did [right] as the maner* is, moillid al hir/ patis, 

Everich aftir othir, ri^te as fey wer" of states. 140 

The ffrere feynyd fetously the spryngil for to hold, 

To spryng 1 oppon the remnaunt, fat for his cope he nold 

Have lafft that occupacioune in fat holy plase, 

So longid his holy conscience to se fe Nonnys fase. 144 

The kny^te went with his compers toward f e holy shryne, 

To do fat they were com fore, & aftir for to dyne ; [leaf 182] 

The Pardoner* & f e Miller 1 , & of ir lewde sotes, 

80113 1 hem selff[en] in the Chirch, ri$t as lewd[e] gotes ; 

Pyrid fast, & pourid, hi^e oppon the glase, 149 

Countirfeting gentilmen, f e armys for to blase, 

Diskyueryng 1 fast the peyntour 1 , & for f e story mourned, 

And a red [it] also right as [wolde] Eammys hornyd : 152 

" He berith a balstaff," quod, the toon, " & els a rakis ende." 

"Thow faillist," quod the Miller 1 , "fowe hast nat wel fy 

mynde ; 

It is a spere, yf f OAVC canst se, [right] witJi a prik to-fore, 
To bussh. adown) his enmy, & furh the Sholdir bore." 156 
" Pese ! " quod, the hoost of Southwork, " let stond f e wyn- 

dow glasid ! 

Goith vp, & doith yeur/ offerynge ! yee semeth half amasid ! 
Sith yee be in company of honest men & good, 
Worchith somwhat aftir, & let fe kynd of brode 160 

Pas for a tyme ! I hold it for the best ; 
ifor who doith after company, may lyve the bet in rest." 

Then passid they forth boystly, goglyng 1 with hii j hedis, 
Knelid a down) to-fore the shryne, & hert[i]lich hir 1 bed is 
They preyd to Seynt Thomas, in such wise as fey couth ; 
And sith, the holy relikis, ech man with his mowith 166 
Kissid, as a goodly monke f e names told & tau^t. 
And sith to othir placis of holynes fey rau^te, 168 


And were in hir ) devocioun tyl service wer 1 al doon and hear an the 

And sith fey drowj to dynerward, as it drew to noon. 

Then, as manere & custom is, signes bere bey bomte, Then tlig y buy 

Pilgrims' Tokens. 

fibr men of centre shuldfe] know whom fey had[de] 
ou^te, 172 

Ech man set his sylvir in such thing 1 as fey likid : 
And in be meenfel while, the Miller 5 had I-pikid The Miller steals 

a lot of Canter- 

His bosom ful of signys of Cauntirbury brochis : touy brooches. 

Huch fe Pardoner 1 , & he, pryuely in hir 1 pouchis 176 

)2ey put hem aftirward, fat noon of hem it 1 wist, 

Save be Sompnour 1 seid somwhat, & seydfel to ha??i "list ! TheSummoner 

cries 'halves!' 

Halif part ! " qiiod he, pryuely rownyng 1 on hir* ere : 

" Hussht ! pees ! " miod be Miller 1 , " seisf bowe nat the The Miller says, 

' Hush ! look at 
frere, 180 the Friar! 

Howe he lowrith vndir his hood witJi a doggi&sh ey 1 He's looking. 

Hit shuld be a pryuy thing 1 that he coude nat a-spy : [leaf 182, back] 

Of euery crafft he can somwhat, our 1 lady gyve hym sorowe ! " Curse him i 
"Amen!" tho quod the Sompnour*, "on eve & eke on 'Amen! Dev-n 

take him ! 

morowe! 184 

So cursid a tale he told* of 1 me, the devil of heH hym spede ! 
And me, but yf I pay hym wele, & quyte wele his mede, ru pay him out, 
Yf it hap[pene] homward fat ech man teH his tale, tein' 

As wee did hidirward, fou^e wee shuld set at sale, 188 
Al the shrewdnes that I can, I wol hym no thing 1 spare, 
That I nol touch his taberd, somwhat of ! his care ! " 

They set hir > signes oppon hir 1 hedis, & som oppon hir 1 They stick their 

Tokens in their 
191 caps, 

And sith [then] to the dynerward, they gan[ne] for to stappe. 

Euery man in his degre, wissh, & toke his sete wash, and sit 

down to dinner. 

As they were wont to doon at soper & at mete, 

And wer* in scilence for a tyme, tiH girdiH 2 gon a-rise ; silence is kept 

But then, as nature axith, (as these old wise 196 

Knowen wele,) when veynys been som- what replete, but MI bellies 

The spiritis wol stere, & also metis swete 

1 ? to. 2 Urry reads ' good ale ' ; but ' girdill ' makes 

good sense : 'till their bellies swelled.' 


and soon all are 
talking and 

The Host thanks 
the Pilgrims 

for having told 
Tales on the 
way down ; 

and says each 
man must tell 
another Tale on 
the way back, 

[leaf 183] 

and he'll give 
them all a supper 
at Southwark, 
as he promist. 

All the Pilgrims 

The Host says, 
' Now go and 
amuse your 

Causen offt[e] myrthis for to be I-mevid, 

And eke it was no tyme tho for to be I-grevid : 200 

Euery man in his wise made hertly chere, 

Talyng* [to] his felowe of sportis & of chere, 

And of othir myrthis fat fyllyn by the wey, 

As custom is of pilgryms, & hath been many a day. 204 

The hoost leyd to his ere, of South work as ye knowe, 

And thenkid al the company, both[en] hi^e & lowe, 

' So wele kepeing 1 the covenaunt, in Southwork fat was 


That euery man shuld, by the wey, with a tale glade 208 
Al the hole company in shorting 1 of f e wey ; ' 
" And al is wele perfourmed. but fan nowe f us I sey, 
That wee must so horn ward, eche man tel a-nof ir ; 
Thus we were accordit, And I shuld be a rothir 212 

To set[ten] ^ewe in governaunce by ri^tful lugement." 
" Trewly, hoost," quod the nrer ) , " fat was al our/ assent, 
With a litiH more fat I shal sey thereto. 
Yee grauntid of yeur/ curtesy, fat wee shuld also, 216 
Al the hole company, sope with ^ewe at ny^te : 
Thus I trow[e] fat it was : what sey yee, air kny^te 1 " 
"It shal nat nede," quod the hoost, " to axe no witnes ; 
Yeur 1 record is good I-nowe ; & of yeur* gentilnes 220 
3it I prey ^ewe efft ageyn : for, by seynt Thomas shryne, 
And yee wott hold [yeur] covenaunt, I wol hold [en] myne." 
" Now trewly, hoost," quod the kny^t, " yee have ri^t wel 

I-sayd ; 

And, as towelling 1 my persone, I hold me [wel a]payde ; 
And so I trowe fat al doith. sirs, what sey[e] yee?" 225 
The Monke, & eke the Marchaunte, & al seid, " 30 ! " 
" Then al this aftir-mete I hold it for the best 
To sport & pley vs," quod the hoost, " eche man as hyra 

lest, 228 

And go by tyme to soper, & [thanne] to bed also ; 
So mowe wee erly rysen, our* iourney for to do." 

The kny^t arose ther-with-al, & cast on a fressher* gown), 


And his sone a-nothir, to walkfenl in the town) ; 232 The Knight and 

his Son change 

And so did al the /emnaunt )>at were of fat aray, their clothes, 

That had hir* chaungis with hem ; they made hem fressh 


Sortid hem to-gidir, ri$te as hir* lustis lay, 

As fey were [the] more vsid, traveling 1 by the wey. 236 

The knyit [thol with his nieyne went to l se the watt, and go to see the 

wall and defences 

And fe wardes of 1 the town), as to a kny}t be-fatt ; of the town. 

Devising 4 ententiflich f e strengthis al a-bout, 

And a-poyntid to his sone fe perett & fe dout, 240 

ffor shot of Arblast & of bowe, & eke for shot of gonne, The Knight 

shows how it can 

Vn-to f e wardis of the town, & ho we it rny^t be wone ; be won, and 

And al defence thei* a-geyn, aftir his entent 

He declarid compendiously. & al that evir he ment, 244 

His 2 sone perseyvid every poynt, as he was ful abiH The Squire 

understands it 

To Armes, & to travail!, and pe?*sone covenabitt ; ail, 

He was of al factur 1 , aftir fourm) of kynde ; 

And for to deme his governaunce, it semed bat his mynde but is thinking of 

his lady-love. 

Was [set] much in his lady fat he lovid best, 249 

That made hym offt to wake, when he shuld have his rest. 
The Clerk fat was of Oxinforth, on-to f e Sompnore seyd, 
" Me semeth of grete clerge fat f ow art a mayde ; 252 The cierk teiis 

the Summoner 

ffor f ow puttist on the ffrer*, in maner 1 of repreff 1 , that the Friar 

That he knowith falshede, vice, & eke a thefP ; knowig of evil 

And I it hold vertuouse and right co?wmendabiH Deaf iss, bk] calTfiien avoid 

To have verry knowlech of H thingis reprouabiH. 256 

ffor who so [doth,] may eschew it, and let it pas [sen] by, 

And els he my^te fall ther'-on, vnware & sodenly. 

And thou^e the ffrere told a tale of a [false] Sompnour 1 , 

Thowe ou^tist for to take[n] it for no dishonour 1 ; 260 and so the sum- 

ifor, of alle crafftis, and of eche degre, 

They be nat al perfite ; but som [ful] nyce be." tafe. " 

" Lo ! what is worthy," seyd the kny^te, " for to be a clerk ! 
To sommon a-mong 1 vs hem 3 , fis mocioune was ful derk ; 
I comend his wittis, & eke his [grete] clerge, 265 

1 MS wentto. 2 MS He. 3 1 To some men among us here. 



The Monk asks 
the Parson and 
Friar to visit an 
with him. 

The Monk, Par 
son, and Friar, 
drink wine 

The Wife of Bath 
takes the Prioress 

to see the inn- 
garden at Can 
terbury, full of 
pot-herbs, &c., 

[leaf 184] 

a pretty sight. 

The Merchant, 
&c,., go into the 

But the Pardoner 
stalks into the 
taproom after 
his Kit, 

ffor of ethir parte lie savith honeste." 

The monke toke the person J>en, & f e grey[e] ffrer*, 
And preyd[e] hem ful 1 cnrteysly for to go in fere : 268 
" I have ther* a queyntaunce, fat al this yeris thre 
Hath preyd me 2 by his lettris fat I hym wold[e] se : 
And yee [be] my brothir in habit & in possessioune. 
And now [fat]' I. am her*, me thinkith it is to doon, 272 
To preve[n] it in dede, what cher* he wold me make, 
And to 3ewe, my frende, also for my sake." 
They went forth to-gidir, talking 1 of holy matere : 275 
But woot ye wele, in certeyn, they had no mynd on water 
To drynk[en] at that tyme, when they wer 1 met in fere ; 
ffor of the best fat rny^t be found, & Iper-with mery cher* 
They had, it is no doute ; for spycys & eke wyne 
Went round aboute, f e gascoyn, & eke the ruyne. 3 280 

The wyff of bath was so wery, she had no wiH to walk ; 
She toke the Priores by the hond : " madam ! wol ye stalk 
Pryuely in-to f e garden, to se the herbis growe 1 
And aftir, vriih our* hostis wyff, in hir 1 parlour* rowe, 284 
I woH gyve ^ewe the wyne, & yee shuH me also ; 
ffor tyH wee go to soper wee have nau^t ellis to do." 
The Priores, as vo??^man tau^t of gentil blood, & hend, 
Assentid to hir* counsel! ; and forth [tho] gon they wend, 
Passyng* forth [ful] sofftly in-to the herbery : 289 

ffor many a herbe grewe, for sew 4 & surgery ; 
And al the Aleyis feir 1 1-parid, I-raylid, & I-makid ; 
The sauge, & the Isope, I-frethid & I-stakid ; 292 

And othir beddis by & by [ful] fressh I-dight : 
ffor comers to the boost, ri^te a sportful sight. 

The Marchaunt, & f e mancipiH, fe Miller 1 , & f e Reve, 
And the Clerk of Oxinforth, to towrDward gon they meve, 
And al the othir meyne ; & lafft noon at home, 297 

Save the Pardoner", fat pryvelich, when al they wei goon, 
Stalkid in-to the tapstry : for no thing' wold he leve, 

1 MS for. 
p. 202. 

2 MS hym. 3 ' wyne de Kyne ', Babees Bool', 
4 soup, cooking : potherbs. 


To make his covenaunte in certen, bat same eve 300 to secure her for 

the eve. 

He wold be loggid with hir* ; fat was Ms hole entencioun). 
(But hap, & eke ffortune, & al the constellacioune, 
Was clene hym ageyns, as yee shuH aftir here 
ffor hym had better be I-loggit al ny3t in a my ere, 304 
Then he was f e same ny3te, or the sonne was vp : 
ffor such was his fortune, he drank wit^-out f e cupp ; (But he gets 

But f ereof wist[e] he no dele ; ne no man of vs alle 
May have fat hi^e connyrig 1 , to know what shal be-falle.) 
He stappid in-to the tapstry wondir pryuely, 309 

And fond hir> liggyng 1 lirylong 1 ; with half[e] sclepy eye The Pardoner 
Pourid fellich vndir hir 1 hood, & sawe al his comyng 1 , asleep, 

And lay ay stiH, as nau3t she knewe, but feynyd hir sclep- 
ing*. 312 

He put his hond to hir* brest : " a-wake ! " quod he, " a- puts his hand 

on her, 

wake ! " 
" A ! benedicite, sir*, who wist ^ewe here 1 out ! Ipus I inyjt 

be take 

Prisoner 1 ," quod the tapstere, " being 1 al aloon ; " 
And Iperwith breyd vp in a fi^te, & be-gan to groon. 316 
" Nowe, sith yee be my prisoner*, 3eld 3ewe now ! " quod he, &-^ says 'Yield.' 
" I must[e] nedis," qiiod she, " I may no thing 1 fle ; she says she 

And eke I have no strengith, & am but yong 1 of Age, 
And also it is no mastry to each a mouse in a cage, 320 
That may no where stert 1 out, but closid wondir fast j 
And eke, Sir*, I tell 3ewe, f ou3 I had grete hast, 
Yee shuld have cou3id when ye com. wher* lern ye cz^rtesy 1 but he was rude, 

TIT Li'-i^ ^ L or & ought to have 

.Now trewlich I must chide, for of r^te pryuyte 324 cought before 

Vowmen been som tyme of day, when they be aloon. 

Wher 1 coud I ([I] 3ewe prey) when yee com efft-sone?" 

u !S"owe mercy, dere sweting 1 ! I wol do so no more : The Pardoner 

begs her pardon, 

I thank[e] 3ew an hundrit sithis ! & also by yewr/ lore [leaf 184, back] 

I woH do here-aftir, in what place fat I com. 329 

But lovers, Kitt, ben eviH avisid ful offt & to lorn; 

Whorfor I prey jew hertlich, holdpth] me excusid, 

And I be-hote jew trewly, it shal no more be vsid. 332 


and asks how 
she's been getting 

He's very fond 
of her. 

Kit says 
she's sure the 
Pardoner 's 
conjured her, 

and made her in 
love with him. 

He asks if he 
may lie with 
her that night. 

She says, ' Yes, 

but come late, 
and open the 
door quietly.' 

They drink to 
seal the bargain 

and the Pardoner 
gives her money 
for a late supper, 

But nowe to our* purpose : how have- yee [ijfare 

Sith I was with $ew last 1 J?at is my mostfe] care. 

nor yf yee eylid eny thing 1 othir-wise J?en good, 

Trewly it wold chaunge my chere & [eke] my "blood." 336 

" I have I-farid the wers for ^ewe," qz/od Kitt, " do ye no 


God jjat is a-bove ? & eke yee had no nede 
ffor to congir me, god woot, with JQUT/ nygromancy, 
That have no more to vaunce me, but oonly my body ; 340 
And yf it were disteynyd*, jjen wer I on-do. 
I-wis I trowe, lenkyn, ye be nat to trust to ! 
ffor evir-more yee clerkis con so much in book, 
Yee woH wyn a vomman, atte first[e] look." 344 

Thou^t the Pardoner 5 , ' this goith wele ' ; & made hir 

better chere, 

And axid of hir sofft[e]ly : " lord, who shaH liggefn] here 
This ny^te J>at is to comyng'1 I prey ^ewe telle me ! " 
"Iwis it is grete nede to telle 3ew," quodl she : 348 

"Make it nat ovir qucynt, pou^e yee be a clerk ! 
Ye know wele I-nouj I-wis, by loke, by word, by work ! " 
" Shal I com J>en, Cristian, & fese a-wey f e Cat ? " 
" Shul yee com, sir ? benedicite ! what question is that ? 
Where-for I prey ^ew hertly, do be my counsaille ; 353 
Comyth somwhat late, & for no thing 1 faille ; 
The dorr shaft stond char vp ; put it from }ew sofft : 
But, be wel avisid, ye wake nat them on lofft." 356 

" Care ye nat," quod lenken, " I can there-on atte best ; 
ShaH no man for my stering 1 be wakid of his rest." 

Anoon they dronk the beuerage, & wer' of oon accord 
As it semed by hir* chere, & also by hir/ word : 360 

And al a-scaunce she lovid hym wele, she toke hy??i by the 


As Jjou^e she had lernyd cury fauel, of som old[e] ffrere. 
The pardonere plukkid out of his purs, I trow, J>e dow[e]ry, 
And toke it Kit, in hir bond, & bad hir pryuely [leaf iss] 
'To orden a rere soper for hem both[e] to, 365 


A cawdeH I-made with swete wyne, & with sugir also ; and a cawdie of 

wine and sugar. 

ffor trewly I have no talent to ete in yeur 1 absence ; 367 

So longith my hert toward 3 ewe, to be in yeux/ presence.' 

He toke his leve, & went his wey as j>ou3e no Jnng 1 were, 

And met with al the fel[e]shippe ; but in what plase ne where Then the Par- 

He spak no word thereof*, but held hym close & still to his mates, 

As he ]?at hopid sikirlich to have had al his wiB ; 372 

And Jjou^t [ful] many a niery Jjou^t by hym self* a-loon : 

"I am I-loggit," boust he, "best, howe-so-evir it gone ! and thinks he'ii 

have the best bed, 

And 01136 it have costid me, 3it wol I do my peyn) 

ffor to pike hir 1 purs to ny3te, & wyn my cost ageynX" 376 an ^ pi<* Kit's 

Now leve I the Pardonere tiH ]>at it be eve, 
And woH retourne me ageyn ri3t ther* as I did leve. 

Whan al wer com to-gidir, in [to] hir 1 herbegage, 
The hoost of Southwork, as ye knowe, J?at had no spice of The Host 

rage, 380 

But al thing wrou3t prudenciaU, as sobir man & wise ; 
"Nowe woH wee to the souper, sir kny3t, seith jeui/ proposes supper. 


Qwod the hoost ful curteysly ; & in fe same wise 
The kny3t answerd hym ageyn, " sir, as yee devise 384 The Knight 

says he'll act 

I must obey, yee woot wele j but yf I faille witt, 

Then takith J>ese prelatis to 3ewe, & wasshith, & go sit ; 

ffor I woH be yewr/ MarchaH, & servefn] 3ewe echone ; as Marshall. 

And Jjen ]?e ofncers & I, to soper shuH wee goon." 388 

They wissh, & sett 1 rhte as he bad, ech man with his fere, The y si t dow itt 

' order, and chat 

And begonne to talk, of sportis & of chere of their after 

noon's walk. 
J?at they had J?e aftir-mete, whils [J?at] fey were out ; 

ffor othir occupacioun, til they were servid aboute, 392 

)5ey had nat at J?at tyme, but eny man kitt a loff ; 

But be Pardonere kept hym close, & told [el no bing 1 of (The Pardoner 

keeps quiet ; 

The myrth & hope J>at he had, but kept it for hym-selff ; 

And bouae he did, it is no fors : for he had nede to solue but he has to 

sol-fa 'for it 

Long 1 or it wer inydny3t, as yee shul here sone ; 397 afterwards.) 

ffor he met with his love, in crokeing 1 of j)e moon. 

* They were I-semyd honestly, & ech man held hym payde : 



At Supper, all 
fare equally, as 
all pay alike; 

but the c quality ' 
get the pick, 
and therefore 
stand wine for 
the others. 

After Supper, 
the steady men 
go 10 bed. 

The Miller and 
Cook sit up 

The Pardoner 
sings (that Kit 
may hear him) 

with the Sum- 
nioner, Reeve, &c. 

This angers the 
Host and 

who get them all 
off to bed, 

except the Par 
doner, who hides. 

Kit, her Para 
mour, and the 
Hostler, have a 
good supper off 
the goose and 
caw tile that the 
Pardoner 'a paid 

ffor of o manei^ of service hir 1 soper was araide, 400 

As skiH wold, & reson, sith the lest of aH [leaf iss, back! 

Payid I-lich[e] much, for growing 1 of f e gaii. 
But 3it, as curtesy axith, f ou$ it* were som dele streyte, 
The statis fat wer a-bove had of f e feyrest endreyte. 404 
Wherfor they did hir gentilnes ageyn to al f e rout ; 
They dronken wyne at hire cost, onys round a-boute. 

!N"owe pass y l lijtly ovir : when they soupid had, 
Tho that were of governaunce, as wise men & sad 408 
Went to hh j rest, & made no more to doon ; 
Butte 2 Miller & f e Coke, dronken by the moon 
Twyes to ech othir in the repenyng 1 . 
And when the Pardoner 1 hem aspied, a-nooii he gan to syng*, 
" Doubil me this bourdon," chokelyrig 1 in his throte, 413 
if or the tapster 1 shuldfe] here of his mery note. 
He clepid to hym the Sompnot^re fat was his own) discipitt, 
The yeman, & the Reve, & [eke] fe MauncipiH; 416 
And stoden so holowing 1 ; for no thing wold they leve, 
Tyl the tyme fat it was wel wtt/dn [the] eve. 
The hoost of Southwork herd hem wele, & f e Marchcwnt 


As they were at a-countis, & wexen som-what wroth. 420 
But ^it they preyd hem curteysly to reste for to wend ; 
And so they did, al they route, fey dronk & made an ende ; 
And eche man drou^e to cusky, to sclepe & take his rest, 
Save fe Pardonere, fat drewe apart, & weytid hym a trest 3 
ffbr to hyde hym selff, tift the canditt were out. 425 

And in the meen[e] while, have ye no doute, 
The tapster 1 & hir/ Paramour, & the Hosteler 1 of the House 
Sit to-gidir 4 pryuelich, & of fe best[e] gouse 428 

j?at was I-found in town), & I-set at sale, 
They had thereof sufficiaunt, & dronk but litiH ale ; 
And sit & ete f e cawdeH, for f e Pardonere fat was made 
With sugir & with swete wyne, ri^t as hym-selff[e] bade : 

MS passy. 

2 But the. 

Urry prints * by a chaste. 1 

MS Sitto gidir. 


So he pat payd for aH in feer, [ne] had[de] nat a twynt ; 

ffor offt is more better I-merkid then [there is] I-mynt : 

And so [it] farid pere ful ri^te, as yee have I-herd. 

(But who is, pat a womman coud nat make his herd, 436 (Whom can't a 

woman make a 

And she were there-about, & set hir/ wit ther-to 1 fool of, if she sets 

- _ , , . T , her mind on it ? 

Yee woot wele I ly nat ; &, wner 1 do or no, [leaf ise] 

I woU nat here termyn it. lest ladies stond in plase, But i mustn't 

offend the Ladies. 

Or els gentil vommen, for lesing 1 of my grace, 440 

Of daliaunce & of sportis, & of goodly chere ; 

Therfor, anenst hir 1 estatis, I woH in no manere 

Deme ne determyii ; but of lewd[e] kittis, i'u only scold 

As tapsters, & oper such, pat hath wyly wittis 444 who blear men's 

To pik mennys pursis, & eke to bier 1 hir 1 eye ; 

So wele they make seme soth, when pey falssest ly.) 

Now of Kitt Tapster*, & of hir 1 Paramour 1 , After their 

And the hosteler 1 of pe House, pat sit in kittis bour 1 : 448 
When they had etc & dronk ri3t in the same plase, 
Kit be-gan to rendir out al thing 1 as it was, Kit teiis her 

. n , T> i PI- Paramour and the 

ne wowing oi pe Pardonere, & his cost also, Hostler ail the 

And howe he hopid for to lygg al ny^t vrith hir 1 also ; 452 

" But perof he shall be sikir as of goddis cope ; " 

And sodenly kissid hir 1 Paramour ; & seyd, "we shul sclope but says she-n 

_,.,.,,, , , , sleep with her 

logidir hul by hul, as we have many a ny3te. Paramour, and he 

A1 , PI T iii -i , M 8na H thrash the 

And yf he com & make noyse, I prey jew dub hym kny^t. ' Pardoner. 

" 3is, dame," quod, hir 1 Paramour 1 , " be pow nat a-gast ! 457 

This is his owne staff, p<?u seyist ; pereof he shal a-tast ! " 

" Now trewly," quod the hosteler 1 , " & he com by my lot, The Hostler de- 

He shaH drynk for kittis love wit^-outfel cup or pot ; 460 Pardoner comes 

by him, he'll 

And ne be so hardy to wake]_nj eny gist, pay him out. 

I make a-vowe to pe Pecok, pere shal wake a foul myst j " 

And arose vp thef-w^t/i-al, & toke his leve a-noon : 

It was a shrewid company ; they had servid so many oon. 

With such maner 1 of feleshipp ne kepe I nevir to dele, 465 

Ne no man pat lovith his worshipp & his hele. 

Qwod Kitt to hir 1 Paramour 1 , "ye must wake a while, Kitteiisher 

ffor trewlich I am sikir, pat wMin this myle 468 watch, and take 



care to cool the 
Pardoner's heat. 

She goes to bed. 

The Pardoner 
goes to Kit's 

expecting to find 
it unlockt, 

but it's lockt. 

He scratches and 
whines like a dog. 

Kit's Paramour 
shouts at him. 

The Pardoner 
sees that he's 

swears at Kit, 

and wishes she 
were in the 

A cool end to all 
his warm love- 
longings ! 

The Pardonere wol be cornyng 1 , his hete to a-swage ; 
But loke ye pay hym redelich, to kele[n] his corage j 
And berfor, love, dischauce yewe nat til bis chek be do." 
" No I for God ! kit ! bat woH I no ! " 472 

Then Kit went to bed, & blewe out al the li^te, 
And by that tyme it was, nere hond quarter ny^t. 1 

Whan al was still, the Pardonere gan to walk, [leaf ise, bk] 
As glad as eny goldfynch, bat he herd no man talk : 476 
And drowse to Kittis dorward, to herken & to list, 
And went to 2 have fond be dor vp by be hasp ; & eke be 


Held hym out a whils, & be lok also ; 
3it trowid he no gyle, but went[e] nere to, 480 

And scrapid the dorr welplich, & wynyd with his mowith, 
Aftir a doggis lyden 3 , as nere as he couth. 
" Away, dogg, with evil deth ! " qwod he, pat was within, 
And made hym al redy, the dorr [for] to vnpyn. 484 

" A ! " thou^t be Pardoner* tho, " I trow my berd be made ! 
The tapster 1 hath a paramour 1 , & Hath made hem glade 
"With be CawdeH bat I ordeyned for me, as I ges : 
Now the devrH hir 1 spede, such oon as she is ! 488 

She seid I had I-congerid hir 1 : our 1 lady gyve hir 1 sorow ! 
Now wold to God she were in stokkis til I shuld hir 1 

borowe ! 

ffor she is the falssest bat evir ^it I knewe, 
To pik be mony out of my purs ! lord ! she made hir 1 

trew ! " 492 

And ^er-with he cau^t a cardiakiH & a cold sot ; 
ffor who hath love longing 1 , & is of corage Hote, 
He hath ful many a myry bou^t to-fore his delyte ; 
And ri^t so had the Pardoner 1 , and was in evil pli^te ; 496 
ffor fayling 1 of his purpose he was no thing 1 in ese ; 
Wherfor he fitt sodenlich in-to a [ful] wood rese, 

1 This line is repeated on the back of leaf 186, sign. BB6 : 
* And by that tyme it was nere quarter ny^te.' 

2 MS wentto (thought to). 

Lathi, language. 


Entryng 1 wondir fast in-to a frenfelsy, He gets m a 

furious mad rage, 

ffor pure verry angir, & for gelousy ; 500 

fFor when lie herd a man within, he was almost wood ; 

And be-cause fe cost was his, no marvel f ou^ his 1 mood 

Were turned in-to vengaunce, yf it myrtle] be : and vows 


But this was the myscheff, al so strong 1 as he 504 

Was he bat was within, & lifter man also ; 

As previd wel f e bateH be-twene hem bothfe] to. 

The Pardonere scrapid efft a-geyn) ; for no fing 1 wold he The Pardoner 

scratches again. 


So feyn he wold have her[e]d more of hym bat was with-in. 
" What dogg is fat 1 " quod the Paramour* ; " Kit ! wost Kit teiis her 


f ou ere 1 " 509 

" Have God my trowith," quod she, "it is fe Pardonere." 
" The Pardoner 1 with myschefF ! god gyve hym evil prefF ! " it's that thief of a 


?' Sir 1 ," she seid[e], "be my trowith he is fe same theffV' [leaf is?] 
"Thei-'-of )?ow liest," quod the Pardonere, & my3t nat long 1 The Pardoner 

forbere, 513 

"A, thy fals body ! " quod he, " ]?e deviH of heH j?e tere ! abuses Kit, 
fFor be my trowith a falssher 1 sawe I nevir noon : " 
And nempnid hir 1 namys many mo fen oon, 516 calls her many 

Huch 2 , to rech[en] hire, were noon honeste 
Amonge[s] men of good, of worship & degre. 
But shortly to conclude : when he had chid I-nowe, 519 
He axid his staff spitouslich with wordis sharp & rowe. and asks for ins 
" Go to bed," quod he -within, " no more noyse J?ow make ! 
Thv staff shall be redv to morow, I vndirtake." The Paramour 

hits him with it 

" In soth," quod he, " I woH nat fro ]?e dorr[e] vend 2 
TyU I have my staff, ]?ow bribour ! " " fen have fe todir 
end!" 524 

Quod he fat was with-in ; & leyd it on his bak, on his back 

Ei^te in the same plase, as Chapmen berith hir pak ; 
And so he did too mo, as he coud a-rede, 
Graspyng aftir Wit7i the staff in lengith & eke in brede, 
And fond hym othir while red[i]lich I-now^e 529 

1 MS he. 2 which. 




and brow. 
The Hostler 

takes a staff, 
and joins Ins 

The Paramour 
tells Jack there's 
a thief in the 

If they can get a 
light, they'll 
catch him. 

But they can't 
wake the 
Mistress, as it'd 
make her in such 
a rage. 

Jack tells the 
Paramour to go 
up and look in 
the allies, 

With the staffys end hi^e oppon his browe. 

The hosteler* lay oppon his bedd, & herd of this affray, 
And stert hym vp li^tlich, & 0113 1 he wold a-say : 532 
He toke A staff in his hond, & hi^ed wondir blyve 
Tytt he were with the felisshipp ]>at shuld nevir thryve : 
"What be yee?" quod the hosteler*, & knew hem both[e] 

" Hyust ! pese ! " quod, the paramour' ; " lak, J?ow must 

be-fele. 536 

Ther> is a theff, I tett the, with-in this halle dorr." 
" A theff ! " quod. lak ! " this is a nobiH chere 
That j?ow hyni hast I-found ; yf wee hym my^te cache." 
"3is> 318, care the nau^t; with hym wee shul mache 540 
Wei Inow^e, or he be go, yf so we had[de] li^te ; 
ffor wee too be stronge Inow^ with o man for to fi^te." 
"The Devitt of hell," quod 1 lak, " breke this thevis bonys ! 
The key of the kychen, as it were for fe nonys, 544 

Is above vriih oure dame, & she hath such vsage, 
And she be wake[n] of hir/ sclepe, she fallith in such a rage, 
That al the wook aftir ther* may no man hir' plese, 
So she sterith aboute this house in a [ful] wood rese. 548 
But now I am a-visid bet how we shuft have ly^te ; [if i87,bk] 
I have too gistis a-ryn 1 , that this same ny^te 
Sopid in the haH, & had a lititt feire. 
Go vp," quod lak, " & loke, & in the asshis pire 2 ; 552 
And I woH kepe the dorr ; he shal nat stert out." 
" JSay, for God ! fat wol I nat, lest I each a cloute," 
Seid? the todir to lak ; " for j)ow knowest better pen I 
Al the estris of this house : go vp thy selff, & spy ! " 556 
" Nay for soth ! " quod lak, " that were grete vnry^te, 
To aventur oppon a man ]>at witJt hym did nat n^te. 
Sithens ]?ow hast hym bete, & with J>y staff I-pilt, 
Me Jjinkith it were no reson fat I shuld bere J?e gilt : 560 
ffor, by the blysyng 1 of the cole, he my^t se myne hede, 
And Ii3tly leue 3 me such a stroke, ny hond to be dede. 

? herein, within. See 1. 509. 


3 or lene. 


1 j?en woft wee do by comon assent 1 , secli hym al aboute ; or go with him 

to search for 

Who bat metitn hym first, pay hym on the snoute ; 564 the thief ; 

ifor me bou^t I herd hym here last among 1 the pannys. 

Kepe bow the todir syde, but ware be watir cannys ! tut mind the 

water-cans ! 

And yf he be here in, right sone wee shul hym fynd ; 

And wee to be strong 1 Inow^e, o theff for to bynd." 568 

"A! ha ha!" bou^t be Pardonere, " beth be^e pannys The Pardoner 

a-ryn 1 " 

And drou^e oppon bat side, & bou^t oppon a gynne : 
So atte last he fond oon, & set it on his hede ; finds a pan, 

ffor, as the case was faH, there-to he had grete nede. 572 
But 2it he graspid ferthermore to have somwhat in hoiide, gets hold of a 


And fond a grete laditt, ri^t as he was gonde, 

And bou:$t[e] for to stertfen] out be-twen hem both[e] to ; 

And waytid wele the paramour jjat had[de] doon hym wo ; hits the Paramour 

on the nose with 

And set hym with be ladiH on the grustiH on be nose, 577 it, and makes his 

nose run for a 

That al the wook [ber-]aftir he had such a pose, week. 

That both his eyen waterid erlich by the morowe. 

But she ]>at cause was of al, had berof no sorowe. 580 

But nowe to be Pardoner 1 : as he wold stert awey, Hostler jack 

chevies the 

The hosteler 1 met with hym, but no thing 1 to his pay : Pardoner, who 

drops his pan, 

The Pardoner* ran so swith, be pan[ne] fil hym fro, 

And lak [the] hosteler 1 aftir hym, as blyve as he my^t go ; 

And stappid oppon a bronde, al [at] vn-[a-]ware, 585 

That hym had been better to have goon more a-sware : 

ffor be egge of be panne met with his shyn, and its edge cuts 

a vein and sinew 

And karff a too a veyn), & be next[e] syn. 588 in Jack's shin. 

But whils bat it was grene, he pou^t [ful] litil on, [leafiss] 

But when ]>e oeptas 2 was a-past, J>e greff sat nere pe boon. 

3et lak leyd to his hond to grope wher* it sete ; 

And when he fond he was I-hurt, be Pardonere he gan to J^* swears he'ii 

thrash the 

thrett, 592 Pardoner if he 

can catch him. 

1 The Paramour may begin here ; but he'd hardly know that 
the water-cans were in the place. 

2 Urry prints 'greneness.' " Typica Febris. Glossee antiques 
MSS. Typica febris est, quam quidem periodicam vocant. PAPI^E, 
vel Triteus, vel Tetreus, vel Tphemerius. vel penteus, vel e^teus, vel 
hebdom." JOAN. DE JANUA, febris periodica. 



But where is he ? 

The Pardonei 
overhears them, 
and draws back 
to avoid their 

They agree to 
fasten the gates, 
and catch the 
Pardoner next 

The Pardoner's 
cheeks bleed, 

and he's very 
savage at Kit's 
selling him so. 

And swore by seynt Arnyas, ' fat he shuld [hit] abigg 
With strokis hard & sore, even oppon the rigg ; 
Yff he hym my^te fynde, he no thing wold hym spare.' 
That herd J?e Pardonere wele, & held hym bettir a square, 
And pou^tfe] pat he had[de] strokis ry^te I-now^e ; 597 
Witnes on his armys, his bak, & [eke] his browe. 
" lak," then quod, the paramour 1 , " wher> is this theff ago 1 " 
" I note," quod, tho lak ; " ri^t now he lept me fro, 600 
That Cristis curs go VfitJi hym ! for I have harm) & spite, 
Be my trowith ! " " & I also ; & he goith nat al quyte ! 
But & wee rny^t hym fynd, we wold aray hym so 603 
That he [ne] shuld have legg 1 ne foot, to-morow on to go. 
But ho we shuH we hym fynd ? pe moon is [now] a-downX" 

As grace was for Ipe Pardon ere, & eke when J?ey did roun), 
He herd hem evir wel I-now^e, & went the more a-side, 
And drou^e hym evir bakward, & lete the strokis glyde. 
" lak," quod, the Paramour*, " I hold it for the best, 609 
Sith [that] the moon is down), [now] for to go to rest, 
And make the gatis fast ; he may nat then a-stert, 
And eke of his own) staff he berith a redy mark, 612 

Whereby ]?ow maist hym know a-monge[s] al the route, 
And jjowe bere a redy ey, & weytfe] wele aboute, 
To morowe when they shuH wend : this is J>e best rede, 
lak, what seyst powe there-to ? is J>is wel I-seyd? 1 " 616 
"Thy wit is cler 1 ," q?^od lak, "thy wit mut nedis stonde."] 
He made the gatis fast ; ther 1 is no more to doon. 

The Pardoner* stood a-syde, his chekis ron on blood, 1 
And was ri3t evil at ese, al ny3t in his hede : 620 

He must of force lige lyke 2 a colyn 3 swerd : 
3it it grevid hym wondir sore, for makeing 1 of his herd ; 
He paid atte ful therefore, Jiurh a vo??zman art, 
ffor wyne, & eke for cavdiH, & had ferof no part ; 624 i 

1 ? MS altered to ' on bleed.' See 1. 671-2. 

? MS lyle. 

3 Cologne. See in the Percy Folio Ballads, i. 68, 1. 167-9, the j 
< Collen brand,' Millaine knife ' and Danish axe ' ; also i. 69, 1. 
171, 179-81. 


1 He Iper-for preyd Seynt luliane, 2 as yee mowe vndirstonde, 

That the deviH hir 1 shuld spede, on watir, & on londe, He curses her 

So to disseyve a traveling 1 man of 1 his herbegage j 

And coude nat els, save curs, his angir to a-swage ; 628 to ease MS rage, 

And was distract [eke] of* his wit, & in grete dispeyr 1 ; 

ffor aftir his hete he cai^te a cold, Jmrh ])e ny^tis eyr 1 , but catches cold; 

That he was ner 1 a-foundit, & coude noon othir help. 

But as he so^t his logging 1 , he appid 3 oppon a whelp 632 and as he's going 

That lay vndir a steyir*, a grete Walssh dogg, a great welsh 


That bare a-boute his nek a grete huge clogg 1 , 

Be-cause J?at he was spetouse, & wold[e] sone bite : 

The clogg 1 was hongit a-bout his nek, for men shuld nat 

wite 4 636 

No thing the doggis master, yf he did eny harm) ; 
So, for to excuse hem both, it was a wyly charnD. 
The Pardoner 1 wold have loggit hym ]?ere, & lay som- 

what ny ; 

The warrok was a-wakid, & cau^t hym by the thy, 640 bi t es him in th e 
And bote hym wondir spetously, defendyng 1 wele his couch, 
That the Pardonere myat nat neFrel hym, nebere touch, The Pardoner 

J) daren't move, and 

But held hym [right] a square, by J?at othir syde, 

As holsom was at that tyme, for tereing 1 of his hyde : 644 

He coude noon othir help, but leyd a-down) his hede is forced to lie 

down in the dog's 

In the doggis littir, & wisshid aftir brede litter, 

Many a tyme & offt, the dogge for to plese, 

To have I-ley more nere, [right] for his own) ese. 648 

But, wissh[en] what he wold, his fortune seyd[e] nay ; 

So trewly for the Pardonere it was a dismol day. 

The dogg lay evir grownyng 1 , redy for to snache ; 

Wherfor the Pardoner 1 durst nat with hym mache ; 652 

But lay as styU as ony stone, reme?7ibrvnr 1 his folv, and think wlmt a 

J ' fool he's been to 

That he wold trust a tapster 1 of a comon hostry : trust a Tapster. 

ffor comynly for J>e most part they been wyly echon). 

1 leaf 188, back. 

2 The patron-saint of Innholders. See Arvdeley's Vacalondcs 
Sf Barman' 8 Caveat, notes. 

3 happened, came. 4 blame. 



Next morning, But Howe to ail the company : a morow, when Jjey shuld 



no one's ready so 
soon as the 

He washes the 
blood off his 
cheeks, binds up 
his head, and 
pretends to be 

The Hostler can't 
identify the 

who shirks him, 
and keeps in the 
middle of the 

The Pilgrims 
leave Canterbury 

The Host joys 
in the fine 

the birds' song, 

Was noon of al the feleshippe half so sone I-di3te 

As was the gentil Pardoned ; for al tyme of ]?e ny^te 

He was a-redy in his aray, & had no thing 1 to doon, 

Saff shake a lite his eris, & trus, & [tho] be goon. 660 

Yet, or he cam in company, he wissh a-wey the blood, [if 189] 

And bond the sorys to his hede with the typet of his hood, 

And made li^tsom cher 1 , for men shuld nat spy 

No thing 1 of his turment, ne of his luxury. 1 664 

And the hosteler 1 of the house, for no thyng 1 he coude pry, 

He coude nat knowe the pardoned a-mong 1 the company 

A morowe, when they shuld wend, for au^t Jjt pey coude 

pour 1 , 

So wisely went the Pardoner 1 out of J?e doggis hour 5 ; 668 
And blynchid from the hosteler 1 , & turned offt a-boute, 
And evirmore he held? hym a-mydward [of] the route, 
And was evir synging 1 , to make[n] al thing 1 good ; 
But }it his notis wer 1 som-what lowe, for akyng of his hede. 2 
So at that [ilche] tyme he had[de] no more grame, 673 
But held hym to his harmys 3 [for] to scape shame. 

The kny^t & al the felisship, forward gon ]?ey wende, 
Passing forth [right] merely [un]to fe townys ende ; 676 
And by ]?at tyme j>ey were there, ]>e day be-gan to rype, 
And the sonne merely, vpward gan she pike, 
Pleying 1 [right] vndir the egge of pe firmament. 
"Now," quod pe hoost of South work 4 , & to J?e feleshipp 

bent, 680 

" Who sawe evir so feir*, or [evir] so glad a day 1 
And how sote this seson is, entring 1 in to may, 
[When Chauceres daysyes sprynge. Herke eek the fowles 


The thrustelis & the thrusshis, in Jns glad mornyng, 684 
The ruddok & the Goldfynch ; but e ISTy^tyngale, 

1 luxuria, lust. 2 ? ryme 'good, hede.' See 1. 619, G20. 

3 Urry prints 'hapynes.' 4 MS Southword. 


His amerous notis, lo, how he twynyth smale ! 

Lo ! how the trees grenyth, bat nakid wer*, & nothing 1 bare 1 the fees' 


bis month afore ; but now hir 1 somer clothing 1 [wear] ! 688 

Lo ! how nature makith for hem everichone ! 

And, as many as ther* been, he for^etith noon ! 

Lo ! howe the seson of be yer 1 , & auereH shouris, 

Doith the busshis burgyn out blosomfik & flouris ! 692 the blossoms on 

the bushes, the 

Lo ! be pryme-rosis, how fressh bey been to seen ! primroses and 


And many othir flouris a-mong the grasis grene, 

Lo ! howe they spryng 1 , & sprede, & of diuers hewe ! 

Be-holdith & seith both rede, [and eke] white, & blewe, 

That lusty been, & confortabiH for mannys 813 te ! 697 

ffor I sey, for my selff. It makith my hert 1 to lute, [if 189, bk] " it makes my 

heart light. 

Now, sith almy^ty sovereyri) hath sent so feir/ a day, 

Let se nowe, as covenaunt is, in shorting 1 of be way, 700 But who'ii tn 

us the first Tale? 

Who shall be the first that shall vnlace his male, 

In comfort of vs aH, & gyn som mery tale 1 

ffor, & wee shuld now be-gyn [for] to drawfenl lott, if we draw lots, 

perhaps it'll fall 

Perauentur/ it myrtle] fall ther 1 it omt|e] not, 704 on some sleepy 

or half-bousy 

On som vnlusty persone, bat wer nat wele a-wakid, fellow. 

Or semybousy ouyr eve, & had I-song 1 & crakid 

Somwhat ovir much ; howe shuld he ban do 1 

ffor who shuld teH a tale, he must have good wiH be?'to ; 

And eke, som men fasting 1 beth no thing 1 iocounde, 2 709 some men, too, 

can't tell a Tale 

And som, hir/ tungis, fasting 1 , beth glewid & I-bound before breakfast. 

To be Palet of the mowith, as offt[en] as they mete ; 

So yf the lott fell on such, no thonk shuld they gete ; 712 

And som in the mornyng 1 , hir* moubis beth a-doun) : 

TiH bat they be charmyd, hir/ wordis woU nat soun). 

So bis is my conclusyioun, & my last[e] knot, who'll ten a Tale 

without drawing 

It were grete gentilnes to teH w?'t/*out[en] lott." 716 lots?" 

" By be rood of Bromholm)," q?/.od the marchaunte tho, The Merchant 

says that as he's 

As fer as I have saylid, riden, & I-go, never seen such 

a good Manager 

Sawe I nevir man 3 it, to-fore bis ilch[e] day, as the Host, 

1 MS Barre, in 1. 688. 

2 Urry transposes the endings of lines 708, 709, and leaves out 
1. 710-11. 


he will tell a 

though he can't 
ornament it 

So weii coude rewle a company, as [can] our 5 lioost, in fay. 
His wordis been so comfortabiH, & comyfch so in seson, 
That my wit is ovir-com, to makefn] eny reson 
Contrary to his counsaiH, at myne ymaginacioime ; 
Wher/for I woH teH a tale to yeur* consolacioune ; 724 
In ensaumpiH to 3ewe ; that when fat I have do, 
Anothir be aH redy J?en[ne] for to teH ; ri^t so 
To fulfill our* hoostis wiH, & his ordinaunce. 
Ther 1 shall no fawte be found in me ; good wiH shal be my 
chaunce, 728 

With j?is I be excusid, of my rudines, 
AH Jiou^e I can nat peynt my tale, but teH [it] as it is ; 
Lepyng 1 ovir no centence, as ferforth as I may, 
But telle ^ewe J>e ^olke, & put ]?e white a- way. 732 



[Here be]gynnyth the [March] ant his tale 

[in the low left margin o/ tea/ 189, back] 

[Efje Eale of BergnJ 

WHilom ^eris passid, in the old[e] dawis, [leaf 190] 
When ri3tfnllich he reson governyd ware be lawis, 
And principally in the Cete of Eoom bat was 

so rich, 

And worthiest in his dayis, & noon to hym I-licfi 736 
Of worshipp ne of wele, ne of governaunce ; 
ffbr alle londis Cristened, berof had dotaunce, 
And alle othir naciouns, of what feith they were. 
Whils be Emperour 1 was hole, & in his paleyse b^-e 740 
I-niay[n]tenyd in honour 1 , & in popis se, 
Room was then obeyid of allc Cristiente. 
(But it farith thereby, as it doith by othir thiugis : 
ffor Burh, 1 nethir Cete, regioune ne kyngis, 744 

Beth nat no we so worthy, as were by old[e] tyme ; 
As wee fynde in Romauncis, in gestis & in Ryme. 
ffor alle thing 1 doith wast, & eke mannys lyft'e 
Ys more shorter ben it was ; & our/ wittis fyve 748 

Mow nat comprehende, nowe in our 5 dietes, 
As som tyme my3te, these old? wise poetes. 
But sith bat terrene thingis been nat perdurabitt, 
No merveH is, bou^e Rome be som what variabitt 752 

ftro honour 1 & fro wele, sith his ffrendis passid ; 
As many a-nothir town) is payrid, & I-lassid 
Within, these fewe ^eris, as wee mo we se at eye, 755 

Lo, Sirs, here fast by Wynchelse & [eke riht so by] Ry.) 
But ^it J>e name is evir oon of 1 Room, as it was groundit 
Aftir Romus & Romulus, fat first ]?at Cete foundit, 758 
That brithern) weren both[e] to, as old[e] bookis writen ; 
But of hir 1 lyff & governaunce I wol nat nowe enditen ; 
But of othir mater, jjat fallith to my mynde. 
Wherfor, gentiH sirs, yee J>at beth be-hyndc, 762 

1 Uny prints 'though.' 

Once upon a time, 
the City of Home 

was the most 
honoured in the 

But it, like all 
other cities, has 
gone down, 

for all things 
get worse, and 
man's life grows 

So Rome has lot,t 
its honour, 

just as we've seen 
Winchelsea and 
Rye worsen. 

Bu(, Sirs, close-in, 



that you may 
hear me. 

After Romulus, 
Julius Caesar 
ruled Rome, 

and subdued all 
lands, including 

After him, 

the Douzepairs 
held sway. 

Then came 

then his son 

in whose time 
lived the Seven 

1. Sother 

Drawith somwliat nere, thikker to a route, 

That my wordis mo we soune, to ech man a-boute. 764 

Afftir these too bretheryn, Eomulus & Eomus, 
lulius Cezar was Emperour 1 , fat ri^tfuH was of domus : 
This Cete he governed nobilich[e] wele, 
And conquerd many a Regioune, as Cronicul doith vs teH. 
ffor, shortly to conclude, al tho were aduersarijs 769 

To Rome in his dayis, he made hem tributorijs : 
So had he in subieccioune both[e] ffrende & foon ; 
Of* wich, I teH ^ew trewly, Eng[e]lond was oon. [ifi9o,bkj 
}et aftir lulius Cezare, & sith that Criste was bore, 773 
Room was governed as wele as it was to-fore, 
And namelich in fat tyme, & in tho same ^eris, 
When it was governed by the Doseperis : 776 

As semeth wele by reson, who so can entende, 
That o mannys witt, ne wiH, may nat comprehends 
The boncheff & the myscheff 1 , as mowe many hedis : 
Therfor hire operaciouns, hire domes, & hire deedis, 780 
Were so egallich I-doon ; for in al Cristen londis, 
Was noon that they sparid for/ to mendfen] wrongis. 
Then Constantyne fe fird, aftir fese dosiperis, 
Was Emperour 1 of Room, & regnyd many ^eris. 784 

So, shortly to pas ovir, aftir Constantyns dayis, 
Philippus Augustinws, as songen is in layis, 
That Constantynys sone, & of plener age, 
Was Emperour I-chose, as til by heritage ; 788 

In whose tyme sikirlich, fe .vii. sagis were 
In Rome dwelling 1 dessantly ; And yf yee lust to lere, 
Howe they were I-clepid, or I ferther 1 goon, 
I woH teH }ewe the names of hem euerychoon ; 792 

And declare ^ewe the cause why fey hir* namys bere. 
IT The first was I-clepid Sother 1 legifeer 1 ; 
This is thus much for to sey, as ' man bereing 1 J?e lawe ; ' 
And so he did trewly ; for levir he had be sclawe, 796 
Then do or sey eny thing 1 fat sownyd out of reson, 
So cleen was his conscience I-sefr in trowith & reson. 


1T Marcus Stoycus )>e second, so pepiH hym hi^te ; 2. Marcus 


That is to mene in our* consceit, * a keper of J?e ri3te : 800 

And so he did ful trewe ; for J>e record & Jje plees, 

He wrote hem evir trewly ; & took noon othir fees 

But such as was ordeyned to take by ]?e ^ere. 803 

Now, lord God ! in Cristendon I wold it were so clere ! 

1T The bird, Crassus Asulus, among 1 men clepid was ; s. Crassus 


' An hous of rest, & ese, & counsel! in every case ; ' 

ffor to vndirstond ])at was his name ful ri^te, 807 

ffor evir-more the counsallis he helpid with aH his my^te. 

Antonyus ludeus, the ferth was I-clepid*, *. Antonyus 


1 That was as much to meen, as wele me my^t have clepid, 

As eny thing pwrposid of al the longe 3eer/, 811 

That my^th have made hym sory, or chongit onys chere, 

But evir-more reyoysing 1 , what Ipat evir be-tid ; 

ffor his hert was evir mery, ry^t as J?e somer bridd. 

IF Svmvs Philopater was the ffifft-is name : 815s. summus 


That Jjo^e men wold sclee hym, or do hym al the shame, 

Angir, or disese, as eviH as men couthe, 

3it wold he love hem nevir J>e wers, in hert[e], ne in mowith. 

His will was cleen vndir his foot, & no thing 1 hym above ; 

Therfor he was clepid, ' fadir of perfite love.' 820 

IT The sixt & [eke] J?e sevenyth of these .vij sagis, e. stypio 

Was Stypio, & Sithero ; As pes word ' Astrolages ' 7. sithero 

Was surname to hem both, aftir hir 1 sciencis ; 

ffor of Astronomy, Sikerlich ]?e cours & al the fences 824 

Both they knowe hit wele Inow3e, & wer 1 ri^te sotil of art. 

But no we to othir purpose ; for her* I woH departe 
As Ii3tly as I can, & drawe to my matere. 

In that same tyme, bat these sages were 828 At this time 

dwelt in the 

Dwellyng 1 Jms in Room, a litiH without the waHes, suburbs of Rome 

In the Subbarbis of ]?e town), of Chambris & of hallis, 
And al othir howsing 1 , fat to 2 a lord belongid, 831 

Was noon with-in the Cete, ne noon so wele be-hongit 
With docers 3 of h^e pryse, ne wallid so A-boute, 

1 leaf 191. 2 ^atto, MS. 3 dorsers. 



a Senator, 
Faunus, rich, 

valiant, and high 

He wedded a wife 
for her knowledge 
and beauty. 

(Now men marry 
muck, and not for 

But they have 
no child 

[leaf 191, back] 

for a long time, 
though they pray 
and long for one. 

At last, th wife 
feels herself with 

and turns ill. 

But her womei 

lead her home. 

(She is a very 
loveable woman, 

As was a Cenatour[i]s hous, w*t7dn & eke without : 

IT ffavnus was his name, a worthy man, & riche ; 835 

And for to sey[e] shortlych, in Eoom was noon hym lych. 

His sportis & his estris were ful evenauiite 

Of tresonr/, & of lordshippe ; also the most vaillant 

He was, & eke I-com of hi3e lynage. 

And atte last he toke a wyff, like to his portage ; 840 

ffor, noriture & connyng 1 , bewte & parentyne, 

Were tho countid more 'with 1 , pen gold or sylvir fyne. 

But nowe it is al othir in many mannys pou^t ; 

ffor muk is nowe I-maried, & vertu set at nou^t. 844 

ffawnus & his worthy wyff were to-gidir a-loon 
xv. vyntir fullich, & issu had they noon. 
Wherfor hir* loyis were nat halff perfite ; 
ffor vttirlich to have a child was al hir* delite, 848 

J?at my^te enyoy hir/ heritage, & weldfen] hir/ honours ; 
And eke, when they were febiH, to [be] hir* trew socoure. 
Hir fasting 1 & hir/ preyer, and al pat evir pey wrou^te, 
As pilgremage & Almes-ded, euer pey besou^te 852 

That God wold of his goodnes som fruyte betwene hem 

send ; 

ffor gynnyng 1 of hir spousaiil, pe myddil & pe ende, 
This was hir 1 most[e] besynes ; & al othir delites, 
And eke this worldis riches, J>ey 2 set at litil pris. 856 

So atte last, as God wold, it fiH oppon a day, 
As this lady fro chirch[e]ward went [right] in the way, 
A child gan stere in hir vombe, as goddis wille was ; 
Wherof she gan to merviH, & made shorter pas, 860 

With colour* pale, & eke wanne, & fyfl in hevynes ; 
ffor she had nevir, to-fore pat day, such manere seknes. 
The vymmen, pat with hir* were, gon to be-hold 
The lady & hir 1 chere ; but no thing 1 pey told ; 864 

But feir/ & sofft with ese, homward they hir led : 
ffor hir soden sekenes ful sore pey were a-dred, 
ffor she was inlich gentil, kynde, & amyabiH, 

1 worth. Urry. (accounted of, thought of.) 2 MS jrat. 


And eke trewe of hert, & nothing 1 variabiH. 868 

She lovid God a-bove al thing 1 , & dred[de] syn & shame ; 

And Agea sikirly was hii* rijtful name. jj h er name is 

So aftir in breff tyme, when it was perseyvid 

That she had done a voramans dede, & had a child con- when she finds 

she is really with 

seyvid, 872 child, she 

The Ioy[e] that she made, ther* may no tunge teH : 
And also much, or more, yf I ne ly shell, 

ffaviw* made in his behalf, for fis glad tyding<, andjaunus make 

That I trow, I leve f e Emperour/ ne f e kyng 1 876 

Made no bettir cher 1 to wyfF, ne no more myrth, 
Then ffavnus to Agea. & when the tyme of birth 
Ny3hid nere & nere, after cours of kynde, 
Wetith wele in certen, fat al the wit & mynde 880 

Of ffavnws was continueH of feir 1 delyveraunce, 
Be-twene Agea & his child ; & made grete ordenaunce 
Ageyn the tyme it shuld be bore, as it was for to doon. in due time Agea 

bears a son, to 

So as God wold, when tyme cam, Agea had a Son. 884 Faunus's great 


Butte Toy fat ffawnes made, was clobil tho to-fore, 

When fat he knewe in certen she had a sone I-bore ; 

And sent a-noon for nurssis four 1 , & [right] no les, peafmj 

To reule this child, aftirward, as yeris did pas, 888 

The child was kept so tendirly, fat it throff wel the bett ; 

ffor what f e norisshis axid, a-noon it was I-fett. 

In his Chambir it norisshid was ; to town it mut nat go ; and he spoils the 

ffavnus lovid it so cherely, hit my^t nat part hym fro. 892 

It was so feir/ a creature, as my3t be on lyve, 

Of lymys & of fetour/, & growe wondir blyve. 

This Child, that I of tefi, Berinws was his name, The boy's name 
Was ovir mych chersshid, wich turned hym in-to grame, 
As yee shuH here[n] aftir, when tyme comyth & spase : 
ffor * aftir swete, f e soure comyth, ful offt, in many a plase.' 
ffor, as sone as he coude go, and also speke, and whatever he 

AH fat he set his eye on, or aftir list to keke, 900 

Anoon he shuld it have ; for no man hym wernyd. 
But it had be wel bettir, he had be wele I-lernyd 



Afterwards, he 
hits or stabs any 
child he doesn't 

and his father's 
knights and 
squires too. 

When he's over 7, 
he's always doing 
wrong, and 
injuring poor 

Herinus also plays 
it dice. 

and gambles. 
He always loses; 

ind often comes 
Home naked. 

Faunus settles 
the worst com 
plaints against 

("Now, too, many 
a man undoes 
his child.) 

Noriture & gentilnes ; & had I-had som hey. 

ffor it fiH: so aftir, vsith what child he did pley, 904 

Yf f e pley ne likid hym, he wold breke his hede ; 

Or -witJi a knyff hym hurt, ry^t ny^e hond to be dede. 

iFor ther 1 nas kny^t, ne Squyer, in his ffadirs house, 

That fou^t his owne persone most cora[g]iouse, 908 

That did or seyd [right] eny thing 1 , Berime- to displese, 

That he nold spetously a-noon oppon hym rese ; 

Wherof his fFadir had[de] Toy, & his modir also ; 

3 it it semeth to many a man, it was nat wisely do. 912 

When Beryn passid was .vij. yeer, & grewe in more age, 
He wrou^t ful many an eviH chek ; for such was his corage, 1 
That ther* he wist, or my^te do eny eviH dede, 
He wold nevir sese, for au^t fat men hym seyde ; 916 

Wherfor many a poreman ful offt was agrevid ; 
But ffawnws And Agea ful lite f eron belevid ; 
And f ou^e men wold pleyne, ful short it shuld a-vaiH ; 
ffor ffawnws was so my3ty, & cheff of ali counsaiH 920 
With Augustyn the EmpeTwr, fat al[le] men hym dradd, 
And lete pas ovir [mischefe] & harmys fat fey had. 

BeriiiM.9, ferf ermore, lovid wele the dise, 
And for to pley at hazard, And held f erof grete pryse, 924 
And al othir gamys fat losery was in ; 
And evir-more he lost, & nevir my^te wyn. 
Berynus atte hazard many a ny^te he wakid ; [leaf 192, back] 
And offt[e] tyme it fiH so, fat he cam home al nakid ; 928 
And that was al his loy : for ry^t wele he knewe, 
That Agea his modir woldfe] cloth hym newe. 
Thus Berynus lyvid, as I have told to-fore, 
TyH he was of f e age of xviij yeer or more. 932 

But othir whils a-mongis, for pleyntis fat wer* grete, 
ffawm/s made a-mendis, & put hem in quyete ; 
So was the ffadir cause the soiie was so wild ; 
And so have many mo such, of his owne child 936 

Be cause of his vndoyng 1 , as wee mowe se al day ; 
1 heart, disposition. 


ffor thing I-take in [youthe, is] hard to put away ; 

As hors bat evir trottid, trewlich I sew teH, (Teach a horse 

trotting, and it's 

It were hard to make hym, aftir to ambili well ; 940 hard to make him 

so by Beryn, that ] had his lust & wift whe?i he was 


It shuld be hevy aftirward, to reve his old delite, 
Save the whele of ffortune, bat no man may wzt/istonde j But Fortune 
ffor every man on lyve, ther'-on he is gond : 944 Beryn. 

spoke she turnyd Bakward, ri^t atte 11136 noon, 
AH a-geyn) Berin?/s, as yee shuH here sone. 

Agea, his Modir, fil in grete sekenes, Agea fails m, and 

And sent aftir [hir] husbond, with wordis hir 1 to lis, 948 
And, for she wold[e] telle hym hir* hole hertis wiH, 
Er she out of J?e world partid, as it was ri^te & skiH. 
When fi&wmis was I-come, and sawe so rodylese 2 He comes, sees 

His wyff bat was so dere, bat for love he chese, 952 

No merveH bou^e his hert[e] wer 1 in grete mournyng 1 ! 
ffor he perseyvid fullich, she drewe to hir 5 ending 1 : knows she 

must die ; 

>it made he otmr chere, ben in his hert was, 

To put awey discomfort e, dissimilyng with his fase 956 and though he 

The hevynes of his hert ; with chere he did it close : cheery, 

ffor such a maner crafft bere is with hem can glose, 

Save bat tournyth al to cautele : but ffawnws did nat so, 

fibr, wetith wele, in certeyn) his hert was ful of woo 960 

ffor his wyff Agea ; & $it, for crafft he couthe, 

The Teris fro his even ran downe by his mowth. his tears flow, 

and his heart 

When he sawe the Pangus of deth corny ng 1 so fast 963 nearly bursts. 
Oppon his wyff Agea, almost his hert to-brast. [leaf 193] 

Agea lyfft vp hir 1 eyen, & beheld the chere Agea begs 

Faun us 

Of 1 hir* husbond fawnws, bat was so trewe a fere ; 

And seyd, " Sir 1 , why do yee thus 1 bis is an elyng 1 fare, 

In comfort of vs both, yf yee my3te spare, 968 

And put a-wey this hevenys, whils bat yee & I to be quiet 

and hear her. 

Mi^te speke of 1 othir thingis ; for deth me ny3hith 
ffor [ne] to body, ne to soule, bis vaylith nat a karse. 
1 MS when he. 2 rudless, pale. 



Agea prays 

Faunus not to 
wed again, 

and give Beryn a 

Paunus says he 
doesn't mean to 
have another 

Agea looks for 


but he's away 


[leaf 193, back] 

Tliis bursts her 
heart, and she 

" Now tellitli on," quod ffawn?^, " & I wol lete it pase 972 

ffor the tyme of talkyng 1 , as wele as I may : 

But out of my remembraunce, on-to my endyng 1 day, 

Yeur 5 deth wol nevir, 1 1 woot it wele *,but evir be in mynde." 

" Then, good sir*," qwod Agea, " beth to my soule kynde 

When my body is out of 1 si^te, for f erto have I nede : 

ffor truer make fen yee be, in word[e] ne in dede, 

Had nevir vomman [lyvand], ne more kynd[e]nes 979 

Hath shewed on-to his make, I knowe ri^t wele I-wis : 

Now wold yee so her'-aftir, in hert[e] be as trewe, 

To lyve with-out[e] make ; & on yeur/ sone rewe, 

That litiH hath I-lerned, sithens he was bore, 983 

Let hym have no Stepmodir ; for Children have to-fore, 

Come[n]lich they lovith nat. 2 wherfor, with hert I prey, 

Have cher* on-to yeur/ sone, aftir my endyng 1 day : 

ffor, so God me help ! & I lafft $ew be-hynde, 

Shuld nevir man on lyve bryng 1 it in my mynde 988 

To be no more I-weddit, but lyve soule a-loon. 

Nowe yee knowefn] al my will, good air, fink ther'-on." 

" Certis," [tho] qwod ffawnws, " whils I have wittis fyve, 

I thynkfe] nevir, aftir ^ewe, to have a-nothir wyff." 992 

The preest was com [en] f erwithal, for to do hir* ri^tis ; 
ffawnws toke his leve, & all the othir kny^tis, 
Hir 5 kyn & aH hir^ ffrendis, kissid hii^ echone : 
It is no nede to axe, wher* there was dole, or noon. 996 
Agea cast hir 1 eye[n] vp, & lokid al a-boute, 
And wold have kissid [Beryn] ; but then was he without 
Pleyirig to the ha3ard, as he was wont to doon ; 
ffor, as sone as he had ete, he wold ren out anoon. 10( 
And when she sawe he was nat ther*, fat she f ou^t most on, 
Hire sekenes & hir/ mournyng 1 berst hir 1 hert a-noon. 

A dameseH, to-fore fat, was ronne into the town) 
ffor to seche Beryn, fat pleydfe] for his gown), 1004 

And had almost I-lost it, ri^t as f e damesel cam, 

1-1 read 'out, I woot.' 

2 For stepmothers commonly love not children had before. 


And swore, & stand, as he was wood, as longit to the game. 

The dameseH seyd to Beryn, " Sir , yee must com home ! The damsel teiis 

ffor, but yee hi^e blyve 1 , fat yee were I-come, 1008 home before MS 

\r i T IT i " T i i mother dies. 

Yeur/ modir won be dede. she is $it on lyre ; 

Yf yee woH speke vriih hit*, yee must hi^e blyve." 

" Who bad so, lewd kitH " "yeur ffadir, sir/," quod she ; 

"Go home, lewde visenage, fat evil mut fowe the !" 1012 Beryn curses 

Quod Beryne to the dameseH, & gan Mr* fray & fFeer j 

And bad the DeviH of 4 heH hir* shuld to-tere. 

" Hast fowe out3 2 els to do but let me of 1 my game 1 

Now, be God in heven, by Petir, & by lame ! " 1016 

Qwod Beryn in grete angir, & swore be book & beH, 

Rehersing many namys, mo fen me list to teH, and abuses her : 

"Ner'fow my ffadirs messenger 13 , fow shuldist nevir ete 

brede ! 
I had levir my modir, & also fowe, were dede, 1020 he'd rather she 

and his mother 

Then I shuld lese the game, fat I am now3 in ! " were dead than 

,, , . , ..he should lose his 

And smote f e DameseH vndir f e ere : f e weet gon vpward game. 


The deth of Agea he set at litil prise ; He cares not for 

So, in that wrath[e], frelich Beryn prewe Jje dise, 1024 death. 
And lost with fat same cast al 4 was leyde a-down) ; 
And stert vp in a wood rage, & ballid on his croun), 
And so he did the remnaunte, as many as wold abide ; 
But, for drede of ffawnws, his felawis gan to hide, 1028 
And nevir had[de] win ne lust, wiiJi Beryn for to fi^te, 
But evir redy to pley, & wyn[ne] what they my^te. 

The Deth of Agea sprang 1 a-bout fe town) ; Rome bemoans 

And euery man fat herd the belle for hir/ sown), 1032 

Be-menyd hir/ ful sore ; safif Beryn toke noon hede, 
And soi^t a-nofir feleshippe, & quyklich to hem ^ede, 
To suchfe] maner company, as shuld[e] nevir thryve, 
ffor such he lovid bettir, fen his modirs lyve ; 1036 

And evir-more, it shuld be ny3te or he wold home drawe ; [leaf 19*] 
fibr of his ffadir, in certen, he had no maner awe, 
'hie quickly. 2 oi^t. 3 MS adds ' were'. 4 all that. 




Faunas buries 
his wife 

in royal state, 

but though she 
lies in a leaden 
coffin 4 weeks, 
Eeryn never 
comes near the 
corpse, but 
gambles still. 

A man past 
youth, and un 
taught, is like a 
tree without root. 

The rod makes 
virtue grow in 

They, like plants, 
will only bend 
when young. 

Beryn grows up" 
a brute. 

ffor evir in his ^owith he had al his will, 

And was I-passid chastising 1 , but men wold hym kift. 1040 

ffawnws for Agea, as it was wele sitting 1 , 
Made [ful] grete ordenaunce for hir* burying 1 , 
Of Prelatis, & of prestis, & of al othir thing 1 , 
As J>ou3e she had[de] be a wyff of a worjjy kyng 1 : 1044 
It my^t nat have be mendit, such was his gentilnes, 
ffor at hir 1 enteryng was many a worthy messe. 
ffor foure wookis fuH, or he did hir* entere, 
She lay in lede within his house, but Beryn cam nat jjere, 
Namelich in-to the place there his modir lay, 1049 

JSTe onys wold he a Pater noster for hir/ soule say. 
His J>ou$t was al in vnthryfft, lechery, & dyse, 
And drawing al to foly ; for 3owith is recheles, 1052 

But ther* it is refreyned, & hath som maner eye ; 
And ferfor me thinkith, J>at I may wele sey, 
A man I-passid ^owith, & is with-out[en] lore, 
May be wele I-likened, to a tre w^out[en] more, 1 1056 
That may nat bowe, ne bere fruyte, but root, & euer wast ; 
Ki^t so by ^outhe farith, J?at no man list to chast. 
This mowe wee knowfe] verely, by experience, 
That ^erdfe] makith vertu & beneuolence 1060 

In Childhode for to growe, as previth Imaginacioun) : 
A plant, whils it is grene, or it have dominacioun), 
A man may with his fyngirs ply it wher* hym list, 
And make thereof a shakiH, a withfey], or a twist ; 1064 
But let the plant[e] stond, & ^eris ovir grove, 2 
Men shall nat, with both his hondis, vnnethis make it bowe 3 : 
No more my^t ffawnws make his sone Beryn, 
When he growe in age, [un]to his lore enclyne ; 1068 

ffor euery day when Beryn rose, vnwassh he wold dyne, 
And drawe hym to his ffeleshipp as even as a lyne 
And J>en com home, & ete, & soop, & sclepe at ny^te : 
This was al his besynes, but yf Jjat he did fiste. 1072 

Wherfor his ffadirs hert, ffawnws, gan for to blede, [if 194, bk] 
1 root. . 2 growe. 3 MS growe. 


That of his modir, fat lay at home, he took no more hede ; 

And so did ali the pepiH that dwellid in the town), 

Of Beryns wildnes gon [they] speke, & eke [to] roune. 

ffawnws, oppon a day, when Beryn cam at eve, 1077 Fawnus tries to 

^ Tr T i i win Beryn from 

Was set oppon a purpose to make his sone leue ins bad ways, 

AH his shrewd [e] tacchis, with goodnes yf 1 he my^te, 

And tai^te hym feir 1 & sofft; but Beryn toke it li^t, 1080 

And countid at[te] litiH price al his ffadirs tale. 

ffawnws saw it wold nat : with colour 1 wan .& pale 

He partid from his sone, & with a sorowful hert. 1083 

I [ne] can write halffyndele 1 , ho we sore he did[e] smert 

The disobeying 1 of his sone. & his wvffis deth ; Fawnus sorrows, 

and wishes he 

That, as the book tellith, he wisshid fat his breth was dead. 

Had I-been a-bove the serkiH celestyne ; 

So ffervent was his sorowe, his angir, & his pyne. 1088 

So, shortly to conclude, Agea was enteridl, 
A[nd] ffawnws lyvid wyfles, [tytt] iij yeer wer 1 werid ; 
Wherof ther 1 was grete spech[e], for his hi^e honour*. 
TyH, atte last, word cam on-to fe Emperour 1 , 1092 The Emperor 

That ffawnws was with-out[en] wyff, & seld[e] was iocounde, 
But mowmyng for Agea, fat he was to I-bounde, 
And lyvid as an hermyte, soule & destitute, 
With-outfe] consolacioune, pensyff offt, & mut. 1096 

Wherfor Augustinws, of Rome f e Emperour 1 , Augusiinus 

"Was inwardlich[e] sory, & in grete dolour 1 ; 

[And] With the .vij. sagis, & Senatouris aU, consults with the 

Were assemblit, to discryve what shuld ferof fait. 1100 to console 
The wich seyd shortly, ' for a molestacioune 
Ther 1 was noon othir remedy, but a consolacioune ; 
ffor who so were in eny thing 1 displesid or a-grevid, 
Must by a like thing 1 egaH be remevid.' 1104 

And when f e Emperour knewe al hir 1 determinacioune, and resolves 
Quiklich in his mynde he had Imaginacioun), 
That ifawnws for agea was in hi^e distres, 

And must be I-curid with passing 1 gentilnes 1 108 that he must be 

1 MS halsfyndele. 



cured by a fresh 

The Emperor 
accordingly weds 
an old love of his 
own, excelling in 

to Fawnus. 

Fawnus soon 
forgets his first 
wife Agea 

for his 2nd wife, 

on whom he dotes 

When Rame has 
caught Fawnus, 

she schemes 
against Beryn. 

Of som [fair] lusty lady, pat of pulcritude [leaf 195] 

Were excellent 1 al othir. so, shortly to conclude, 

The Empmrnr* had a love tofore he had a wyff 

That he lovid as hertlich as his owne lyff, 1112 

As was as feir/ a creature, as sone my^te be-shyne, 2 

So excellent of bewte, pat she my^t be shryne 

To all othir vymmen, pat wer 1 tho lyvand. 

But for pe Emperour/ had a wyff, yee shul wele vndirstond, 

He cam nat in hir 1 company, to have[n] his delite ; 1117 

ffor Cristendom & conscience was tho more pe/'fite 

Then it is nowe a dayis, yf I durst teH ; 

But I woH leve at pis tyme. pan ffawmjs also sneH 3 1120 

"Was aftir sent in hast, of sekenes to be curyd. 

So, what for drede & ellis, they were both ensuryd 

In presence of the Emperour/ ; so ffawnws my^t nat flee : 

It was pe Emperours will, it my^t noon opir be. 1124 

So with-in a tyme Agea was for^ete ; 
ffor ffawnw9 pou}t [ful] litiH on pat he hii j be-hi^te ; 
ffor, as the .vij sages had a-fore declarid, 
It cam al to purpos; ffor ffawnws litiH carid 1128 

ffor eny thing at aH, save his wyff to plese, 
That ' Eame ' was I-clepid ; for rest[e], nethir ese, 
ffawnws nevir had, out of 1 hir* p?'6sence : 
So was his hert on hir/ I-set, pat he coude no defence, 
Save evir-more be with hir*, & stare on hii j visage, 1133 
That the most[e] parte of Eoom held it for dotage, 
And had[de] muche merveH of* his variaunce. 
(But what is pat ffortune can nat put in chaunce ?) 1136 
ffor pere was 4 man on lyve on vomman more be-dotid, 
Then ffawnws w r as in Rame, ne halff so much I-sotyd ? . 
With pat Ram had knowlech pat ffawnws was I-smyt 
With pe dart of love, yee mowe r^t wele it wyt, 1140 
That aH pat evir she coude castfen] or bythynch, 
Was al a-geyn Berinws ; for many a sotiH wrench 

1 overtopping, exceeding. 
3 quickly. MS swells 

2 shine on. 
4 read 'nas.' 


She Jjot^t & wrou^t, day be day, as meny vommen doon, 

TyH they have of hir* desire the fuH conclusyoune. 1144 

ffor, the more that ffawnws of Rame did[e] make 1 , [ifi95,bk] 

The more daungerous was Eame, & of Chere sade ; Rome's design 

And kept[e] well hir/ purpose vndir coverture : 

She was the las to blame, IV grew [so] of nature. 1 1 48 

But bo^e bat Rame wrou^t so, God for-bede bat alle 

Were of fat condic[i]oune ! (yet ' touch no man the galle,' 

It is my pleyn couiisell ; but ' doith as othir doith ; ' 

' Take yeur/ part as it comyth, of rou^e & eke of smoth.') 

3it noritur, wit & gentilnes, reson & peffite mynde, 1153 

Doth al these worthy vommen to worch ageyn[e]s kynde ; 

That bou^e they be agrevid, bey suffir/ & endure, 

And passith ovir, for the best, & folowith no-bing nature. 

But nowe to Rames pwrpose, & what was hir* desire : is to breed strife 
Shortly to conclude, to make debate & Ire 

Be-twene the ffadir & the sone, as it was likly tho ; 
What for his condicioune, & what for love also 1160 

That ffawnws owt to his wyff, be rathir he must luY leve, 
And graunt[e] for to mend, yf ou^t hir/ did[e] greve. 

Berynws evir wrou^t, ryght as he did to-fore, Beryn goes on 

, , , . , badly, and Rame 

And Rame made hym cher 01 love, fere my^t no vomman gives Mm money 

_ - _ . and fair words, 

more, 1164 

And gaff hym gold & clothing 1 , evir as he did lese, 
Of fe best[e] fat he couthe, 0113 wher* 2 in towne chese ; 
And spak 3 ful feii^ with hym, to make[n] al thing 1 dede ; 
3it wold she have I-ete his hert, wit/i-out[e] salt or brede. tho 1 she'd like to 

hziv6 6 at en his 

She hid so hii- 1 felony, & spak so in covert, 1169 heart. 

That Beryn my^t nat spy it, but lite of Ramys hert. 

So, shortly to pas ovir, It fill oppon a ny^te, 

When ffawnws & his ffresshfe] wyff were to bedd I-di^te, One night 

He toke hii in his armys, & made hir' hertly chere, 

Ther' my^tfe] no man bettir make [on lyve] to his fere, 

And seyd, " myiie ertly loy, niyne hertis ful plesaunce, 

1 ' make ' is crost thro', and ' made ' written after it. 
2 anywhere. 3 MS spal. 



why she is sad. 

Riune says, 

' No wonder I'm 
sad since I 
wedded you. 

Alas ! if I 
have a child by 

he 'd better die 
than be like 

My wele, my woo, my paradise, my lyvis sustenaunce ! 

Why ne be yee mery? why be yee so cluH:, 1177 

Sith yee knowe I am yeuf own), ri}t as ye?/r/ hert woH ? 

Now teH on, love, myne hown) hert ! yf yee eylith ou}t ; 

flbr & it be in my power, a-noon it shal be wrou^te." 1180 

Rame with ]>at gan si^he, & with a wepeing 1 chere [leaf 196] 

Yndid j?e bagg 1 of trechery, & seid in j>is manere ; 

" No merveH Jjou^e myne hert be sore & fuH of dele, 

ffor when jjat I to ^ew weddit was, wrongfe] went my whele : 

But who may be, a-geyn[e]s hap & aventure? 1185 

Ther* for, as wele as I may, myne I mut endure." 

WitJi many sharp [e] wordis she set his hert on feii j , 

To purchase with hir practik, J?at she did desire. 1188 

But hoolich al hir wordis I can nat wele reherce, 

JN"e write, ne endite, howe she did[e] perce 

Thurh ffawnys hert, & [eke] his scuH also : 

ffor more petouse compleynt, of sorow & of woo, 1192 

Made nevir vomman, ne more petously, 

Then Rame made to ffawnys : she smote ful bittirly 

In-to ]>e veyn, & Jmrh his hert[e] blood ; 

She bloderid so, & wept, & was so hi3e & mode, 1196 

That vnneth she my^te speke, but, ofer while a-mong 1 , 

Wordis of discomfort, & hii j hondis wrong ; 

ffor " alas & woo J?e tyme, Jmt she weddit was ! " 

Was evir more J>e refreit, when she my^t have spase ; 1200 

" I am I-weddit ! ^e, God woot beste, in what mane?- & howe ! 

ffor if it wer 1 so fail, I had a child be 3ewe ; 

Lord ! how shuld he lyve 1 howe shuld he com a-way ? 

Sith Beryn is yeur/ first sone, & heir* aftir yewr/ day, 

But yf pat he had grace to scole for to goo, 1205 

To have som maner connyng 1 , fyat he my$te trustfen] to ; 

ffor, as it now stondith, it were J>e beste rede ; 

ffor, so God me help ! I had levir he were dede, 1208 

Than were of such condicioune, or of such[e] lore 

As Beryn yeur/ sone is ! it wer 1 better he were vnbore. 

ffor he doith nat ellis, save atte hazard pley, 


And corny th home al nakid, e[veri]ch othir day. 1212 

ffor within this month, J?at I have with ^ew be, 

[full ffifftene sithis, for verry grete pete, 15 times in this 

month have I 

I have I-clothid hym al newe when he was to-tore ; re-siaa Beryn ! 

ffor evir more he seyde, 'J?e old[e] were I-lore.' 1216 

Now, & he were my sone, I had levir he were I-sod ! [leaf 1%, back] 

ffor, & he pley so long 1 , [the] halff [of] our 1 lyvlode He'U waste half 

"Wold scarsly suffise hym selff 1 [al]oon. 

And, nere yee wold be grevid, I swere be seynt lohn) 

He shuld aftir pis day be clothid no more for me, 1221 I'd give Mm no 

in ore clothes." 

But he wold kepe hem bettir, & drawe fro nycete." 1 

" Nowe, gentiH wyff, gromercy of yewr/ wise tale ! Fawnus 


I thynk[e] wel J?e more, J>at I sey no fale : 1224 he won't, 

ffor towelling* my grevaunce, jjat Beryn goith al nakid, 
Treulich pat grevaunce is [now] somwhat a-sclakid. 
Let hym a-loon, I prey }ew, & I wol con 2 $ew thanke ; 
ffor in such losery he hath lost 1 many a ffrank. 1228 

The deviil hym spech 3 , J>at reche yf he be to-tore 4 , 
And he vse it her'-afftir, as he hath doon to-fore ! " 

Beryn arose a-morowe, & cried wondir fast, Next morning 

Beryn calls for 

And axid aftir clothis ; but it was al in wast ; 1232 new clothes. 

Ther* was no man tendant for hym in al the house : 

The whele was I-chaungit in-to a-nothir cours. 

ffawnws herd his sone wele, how he be-gan to cry, His father 


And rose vp [tho] a-noon, & to hym did[e] hi^e ; 1236 

And had for^ete no thing 1 , fat Eame had I-seyde ; 

ffor he boillid so his hert, he was nat wel apayde. 

He went in-to the Chambir, ther 1 his sone lay, 

And set hym doun in a chair 1 , & Jjus he gan to sey. 1240 

" My gentil sone Beryn ! now feir I woH J>e tech : begs him 

Rew oppon thy selff, & be ]?yn owne leche ! 

Manhode is I-com nowe, myne own dere sone ; 

It is tyme fow be aweynyd of byne old[e] wone ; 1244 to give up his 

bad ways, as he 

And Jjow art xx wynter, & nau^t hast of doctryne ; is 20, 

3 it, woldist J>owe drawe to profite, fe worshipp wold be thyne, 
1 folly. 2 acknowledge, give. 3 spitch. * See 1. 1388. 



and mix with 

good men, 

or else he must 

stand on his 
own feet. 
Fawnus will 

give him nothing. 
Beryn lours, 

asks for clothes, 

refuses to give up 

says ' Itame has 
Bet his father 
against him 

curse her ! 

site's taken his 
wits away. 

To noritur & goodshipp, & [eke] al honest 1 thing 1 , 
Ther 1 nr^t com to myne hert[e] no more glad tyding 1 . 1248 
Leve now al thy foly, and thy rebawdy, 
As Tablis, & merellis, and f e hazardry, 
And draw the to f e company of honest men & good, 
Els leve f owe me as wele as Criste died on the rode, [leaf 197] 
And for al men-kynde his gost pas lete ! 1253 

Thow shalt, for me, here-aftir stond on thyn owne fete ; 
ffor I [ne] woH no lengir suffir this aray, 
To clothe the al new, e[ueri]ch othir day. 1256 

Yff f ow wolt drawe the to wit, & rebawdry wzt/idrawe, 
Of such good as God have sent, f y part shalt f ow have. 
And yf f ow wolt nat, my sone, do as I the toft, 
Of me shalt 1 f ow nau}t have, truste me ri^t well ! 1260 
"Wenyst f ow with thy dise-pleying 1 hold[en] myne honoure 
Aftir my deth-day ? " then Beryn gan to loure, 
And seid, " is this a sermon or a prechement 1 
Yee were nat wont hereto, how is this I-went ? 1264 
Sendith for som clothing 1 , fat I were a-go ; 
My felawis lokith aftir me, I woot wele fey do so. 
I woH nat leve my feleshippe, ne my rekelagis, 
Ne [yit] my dise-pleying, for aH yeur* heretages ! 1 1268 
Doith yeur best with hem by yeur* lyff day ; 
ffbr when they fait to me, I wol do as I may. 
Benedicite, ffadir ! who hath enfourmyd ^ewe, 
And set ^ewe in-to Ire, to make me chere rowe 2 1 1272 
But I know weti I-now} whens [that] this counsaiH cam ; 
Trewlich of yeur owne wyfe, fat [fulj evil dame : 
[Curse] Com oppon hir body, fat fals putaigne ! 
ffor trewlich, ffadir, yee dote on hir ; & so al men seyn. 
Alias ! fat evir a man shuld, fat is of hi^e counsaiH, 1277 
Setften] al his wisdom, on his wyvis tayH ! 
Yee lovith hir/ so much, she hath be-nome yewr/ witt ; 
And I may curs the tyme, that evir yee were I-knyt ; 
ffor now, I am in certen, I have a Stepmodir : 1281 

1 Urry. MS hostagis. 2 rough cheer, countenance. 


They been shrewis som , ther been but few othir, stepmothers 

are shrews ! 

Yel fikil naptaitf, such oon as she ys. 

ffor al my pleying atte dise, }it do yee more a-mys ; 1284 

Yee have I-lost yewr/ name, JGUT worshipp & yewr feith ; Fawnus has lost 

his honour by 

So dote[n] yee on hir/, & levith al she sayith." doting on Rame.' 

ffawnws, with the same word, gaff J>e chayir a but, Fawnus swears 

Beryn shall 

And lepe out of the Chambir, as who seyd " cut ! " 1288 repent his words. 
And swore, in verry woodnes, be God omnipotent, 
That Beryn of 1 his wordis shuld[e] sore repent ! 

Beryn set nouat berof : [but] with a proude hert Beryn can get 

no clothes, 

Answer[i]d his ffadir, & axid a new shert. [leaf 197, back] 

He gropid al a-boute, to have found [en] oon, 1293 

As he was wont to-fore, but Ipere was noon. 

Then toke he such[e] willokis as he fond ther 1 , has to put on 

And beheld hym-selff what [maner] man he were. 1296 

ffor when he was arayde, then gan he first be wrothe ; 

ffor [tho] his vombe lokid out, & his rigg both. beiiy and back 

He stert aftir his ffadir, & [loud] be-gan to cry, 

ffor " seth myne aray ! for thy vilany 1300 He appeals to 

Ys as wele ^eurs, as it is myne ! " 

lete hym clatir, & cry[en] wel & fyne, but in vain. 

And passid forth [ful] still, & spak nat [tho] a word. 
Then Beryn gan to fink, it was nat al bord 1304 Then he thinks 

it's no joke, and 

That his ffadir seyde, when he with hym was ; says he knows 

And gan to think[en] al about; & fyerwith seyd, " Alias ! mother is dead. 

Now know I wele for soth, Jjat my modir is dede : " 

ffor tho gan he to glow[e] first a sory mannys hede. 1308 

(Now kepe thy Cut, Beryn : for bow shalt have a fit (Yes, Mr Beryn, 

you're to have a 

Somwhat of the world, to lern[e] better witt j turn now. 

ffor & J)ow wiste sikirly what is for to com, 

Thow woldist wissh aftir thy deth ful offt & I-lome ; 1312 You'll often wish 

you were dead !) 

ffor J>ere nys beting half so sore, with staff nethir [with] swerd, 

As man to be [I-]bete[n] with his owne ^erd. 

The pyry is I-blowe, hop, Beryn, hop ! 

That ripe wol her'aftir, & on thyn hede dropp. 1316 

Thow tokist noon hede whils it shoon hoot ; 



Beryn goes 
towards the 

laments that his 
mother Agea is 

and that all men 
scorn him. 

At his mother's 

he swoons ; 

his 5 wits go. 

Then he under 
stands that 
Fortune sets-up 
some men, and 

Therfor wyntir f e ny3hith : asay[e] by thy Cote !) 

Beryn, for shame, to town durst lie nat go ; 
He toke his way to chirchward, his frend was made his foo. 
ffor Angir, sorow, & shame, & hevynes j>at he had, 1321 
Vnneth he my3te speke, but stode halff as mad. 
" O Alias ! " quod. Beryn, " what [maner] wit had 1 1 
That coude nat, to-fore this day, knowe sikirly 1324 

That my modir dede was ; but nowe I knowe to sore ; 
And drede more, J?at eche day her-aftir, more & more 
I shall knowe & fele, that my modir is dede. 
Alias ! I smote be rnessangere, & toke of hir* noon hede. 
Alias ! I am right pore ! Alias ! bat I am nakid. 1329 
1 Alias ! I sclept to fast, till sorowe nowe hath me wakid. 
Alias ! I hungir sore ! alias ! for dole & peyri) ! 
ffor eche man me seeth, hath me in disdeynl" 1332 

This was al his myrth, [un]to the chirch[e]-ward, 
That of his modir Agea he toke so litiH reward. 
When Beryn was within the chirch, ben gan he wers fray : 
As sone he sawe be tombe where his modir lay, 1336 

His coloure gan to chaunge in-to a dedely hewe. 
" Alias ! gentiH modir ! so kynd bow were, & trewe, 
It is no merveH, for J>y deth bou^e I sore smert." 
Ant bere-w^t/i-aH be sorowe so fervent smote in his hert, 
That sodenly he fil [a] down), stan dede in swowe : 1341 
That he had part of sorowe, me thinkith bat 2 my3t a-vowe. 

Beryn lay so longe, or he my^te a- wake, 
ffor al his fyve wittis had clene hym forsake. 1344 

Wei my^te he by hym selff, when reson I-com were, 
Vndirstond that ffortune had a sharpfe] spere, 
And eke grete power, a-mong[es] hi^e & lowe, 
Som [men] to avaunce, & som to ovir-throwe. 1348 

So atte last, when Beryn a litiH wakid were, 
He trampelid fast with his feet, & al to-tare his ere 3 

1 leaf 198. 2 read 'I,' or 'men.' 

3 hair. Tearing your hair with tears that run from your eyes, 

is a manosuvre that 'd puzzle a modern Englishman, 
writer so often says, we're a degenerate race. 

But, as the 


And his visage both, ry^t as a woodman, 

With many a bittir tere, J?at from his eyen ran ; 1352 Beryn weeps, 

,.,., -1011 11 sighs, and curses 

And signid many a sore sign, & had much hevynes ; MS unkmdness to 

, , -11- i i nis mother. 

And evir-more he cursid his grete vnkyndnes 

To forest his modir, whils she was a-lyve ; 

And lenyd to hir* tombe opon his tore sclyufe] 1 ; 1356 

And wisshid a bowsand sithis, he had I-be hir by : 

And beheld hir tombe with a petouse eye. 

" Now, glorious God," quod Beryn, " bat al thing madist He asks God 

of nou3t, 

Heven & erth, [&] man & best ! sith I am mys-wrou3t, 1360 
Of 3ewe I axe mercy, socour & help, & grace, SJSds' Ms 

ffor my mys-dede & foly, vnthryfft & trespase. 
Set my sorowe & peyn, somwhat in mesure 
firo dispeir & myschefF, as I may endure ! 1364 

Lord of all lordis ! J?ou3e ffortune be my foo, [leaf wa, back] 
3it is thy my3te a-bove, to turn hym to & fro. 
ffirst, my modirs lyff, ffortune hath me berevid, Fortune has 

taken his mother, 

And sith my ffadirs love, & nakid also me levid. 1368 and ins father's 
What may he do more 1 3is, take a-wey my lyff. leaves him MS' 

But, for that were myne ese, & end of al [my] stryff ; suffer. 

Therfor he doith me lyve ; for my wers, I sey, 
That I shuld evir-more lyve, & nevir for to dey." 1372 

2 Now leve I Beryn with his modir, tyl I com a-3e, 
And wol retourne me to Kame. bat of hir 1 sotilte name, to prevent 

* being blamed, 

Be-j?ou3t hir al aboute, when Beryn was agoon, 

That it shuld be wittid hir* : wherfor she a-noon 1376 

In this wise seyd to ffawnws ; " Sir ! what have yee do ? teiis Fawnus she 

was in fun, 

Al-])ou3e I speke a mery word, to suffir yewr/ sone go 
Nakid in-to ]?e town), it 1 was nat my counsaiH. 
What wol be seyd J?erof ? sikir, with-out[en] faiH, 1380 
ffor I am his stepmodir, J>at I am cause of aH ! 
The violence, the wrath, J?e angir & J?e gaH, 
That is be-twene 3ewe both, it wol be wit[tid] me ; 
1 scleve, sleeve. 2 There are no breaks or insets in the MS. 



and begs him 

to fetch Beryn 
home at once. 

Fawnus, to 
please her, 

seeks in vain for 

Beryn in all 
his old haunts, 

but at last finds 
him lamenting 
in church. 

Fawnus too 
weeps at Agea's 

Wherfor I prey ^ew hertly, doith hym com home a-ye." 
" JS"ay by my trowith," quod, ffawnw-s, " for me comyth he 
natjit; 1385 

Sith he, of my wordis, so litil prise set, 
As litiH shall I charge [n] his estate also. 
Sorowe have, J>at recchith 1 jjou^e he nakid go ! 1388 

ffor euery man [wel] knowithe J?at he is nat wise ; 
"Wherfor may be supposid, his pleying atte dise 
Is cause of his aray, & no thing yee, my wyff." 
"3is I-wis," quod Eame, "the tale wol be ryff 1392 

Of me, & of noon othir ; I knowe ri3te wel a fyne : 
Wherfor I prey 3ewe, gentil Sir, & [eke] for love myne, 
That he were I-fet home, & Jmt in grete hast ; 
And let asay efft ageyn) with ffeirnes hym to chast; 1396 
And sendfe] Beryn clothis, & a newe shert ; " 
And made al wele in eche side, & kept[e] close hir hert. 
" Now sith it is yeur wiH," quod. ffawn?*s tho a-noon, 
"That Beryn shaH home come ; for yeur sake aloon 1400 
I well be the message, to put yeur hert in ese ; 
And els, so God me help, wer it nat ^ewe to plese, 
The gras shuld growe on pament, or I hym home bryng ! " 
3it nethirles, forth he went, with too or thre, ryding [leaf 199] 
firom o strete to a-nothir, enqueryng to & fro 1405 

Aftir Beryn, in every plase wher he was wont to go ; 
Sheching eviry halk 2 , howris to or thre, 
With hazardours, & othir such, Jjere as he was wont to be j 
And fond hym nat there ; but to 3 chirch went echone, 
And atte dorr they stode a while, & herd Beryn made his 

moon : 
They herd all his compleynt, J>at petouse was to here. 

ffawnws, in-to the Chirch, pryuelych gan pire; 1412 
But also sone as he beheld wher Agea lay, 
His teris ran down be his chekis, & Jms he gan to say ; 
" A ! Agea, myne old love, & [eke] my newe also ! 
Alias ! j?at evir our* hertis shuld depart a too ! 1416 

1 he who recks, cares. 2 corner. 3 MS butto. 


ffor in yeui ) graciouse dayis, of hertis trobilnes Fawnus remem- 

I had nevir knowlech, but of al gladnes." 

Remerabryng in his hert, & evir gan renewe 

The goodnes be-twene heni both, & hir* hert[e] trewe ; 

And drewe hym nere to Beryn, with an hevy mode. 1421 

But, as sone a[s] Beryn knew & vndirstode Beryn avoids him. 

That it was his ffadir, he wold no le[n]gir a-bide ; 

But a-noon he voidit by J>e todir syde : 1424 

And ffawnws hym encountrid, & seyd : " wee have J?e so^te Fawnus 

]2urh[out] the town), my gentin sone, & ferfor void ]?e nou^te ! says, 'Don't take 

Thou3e I seyd a word or to, as me ]>on^t for J?e best, 

ffor thyne erudicioune, to drawe J?e to lyff honest; 1428 

Thow shuldist nat so feruently have take it to ]?yn hert. 

But sith I knowe my wordis doith the so sore smert, 

[I] Shall no more her 1 aftir ; & ech day our* diete we'ii be friends 

Shall be mery & solase, & this shal be for-^ete. 1432 

ffor wel I woot, fat for J?y modir 1 ]?ow art to-tore ; 

Also ]jow hast grete sorow ; but onys nedith, & no more ; 

And jjerfor, sone, on my blessing, to put sorow a-wey, y ou take to good 

Drawe J?e no we her-aftir to honest myrth & pley. 1436 way8 ' 

Lo, ther 1 is clothing for ^ewe, & JQUT/ hors I-di^te Here are clothes 

With harneyse al fressh[e] newe ! And yf ye list be knyght, you.* * 

I shall 3it, or eve [come], that Bergeyn vndirtake, [leaf 199, back] m ge t the 

That the Ernperour,for my love, a kny3t [he] shall 3ew make : kiTght y^u/ 

And what that evir yee nede, a-noon it shall be bou3t ; 

ffor whils fat I have eny thing 1 , ye shall lak[ke] nau3te." 

" Graunte mercy ! " qwod Beryn, with an hevy chere, 1443 Beryn declines 

" Of yeur worshipful profir ]pat yee have proferid me here j 

But ordir of kny^thode to take, [it] is nat my likeing 1 ; the knighting, 

_ r - , . but asks, that as 

And sith yeur win is for to do[enj somwnat my plesing 1 , name win want 

Yee have a wyff ye love wele, & [eke] so tendirlich, for ner children, 

That, & she have children, I knowe right sikirlich 1448 

Al that she can devise, both be ny3te & day, 

Shall be to make hir Childryn heirs, yf fat she may ; 

And eke sowe sedis of infelicite, 

1 MS. for Jjy modir J>at. 


and will not let 
him give Beryn 
much money, 

Fawnus shall let 
him be a Mer 
chant, and shall 
buy his heirship 
for 5 ships well 

Fawnus agrees, 

rides home, 

and tells his wife 
Rame what 
Beryn says. 

She is delighted, 
cuddles him, 
coaxes him, 

and begs him 
thus to secure 
his inheritance. 

Fawnus promises 
to do it. 

Wherof wold growe devisioun be-twene 3ewe & me. 1452 

ffor yf ye spend on me yeur/ good, & [do] bus riallich, 

Levith weft in certen, yeur wyff woH sikirliche 

Eche day for angir hir tuskis [sharpe] whet, 1455 

And to smyte with hir tunge, yewr/ hert in wrath to set 

To ward [es] me from day to day. but [yf] ye wold aply 

Somwhat to hir purpose, & aftir hir/ ^ewe guy, 

She wold wexe so ovirtwart, & of so lither tach, 

And evir loure vndir hir/ hood, a redy for to snache ; 1460 

She wold be shortyng of yewr/ lyf ; & bat desire I nau^t. 

Wherfor, to plesefn] al aboute, my purpose & my Jjou^t 

Is for to be a marchaunte, & leve myne heritage, 

And relese it for evir, for Shippis fyve of stage 1464 

fful of marchandise, the best of al this londe. 

And yff yee wol so, ffadir, quyk let make be bonde." 

ffawnws was ry^te wele a-payde that ilk[e] word out-stert ; 
But 3it he seid to Beryn : "I merveH in myne hert 1468 
"Where haddist bow bis counsel!, to leve byne honotwe, 
And ly ve in grete aventur, & in grete laboure ; " 
And rid so forth talking 1 , a sofft [and] esy pase, 
Homward to his plase, ber* bat Rame was. 1472 

And as sone as ffawnws was I-li3te a-down), 
And hi^ed fast[e] to his wyff, & w^ hir/ gan to rown), 
And told hir* al the purpose, & made ffawnws chere : 1475 
She did hym nat halff so much, be tyme she was his fere ; 
She 'hullid hym, & mollid hym, & toke hym aboute be 
nekk, [leaf 200] 

And went lowe for the kite 2 , & made many a bekk, 
And seyd : " sir/, by yeur/ spech[e] nowe ri3t wel I here, 
That yf ye list, yee mowe do thing 1 bat I most desire ; 1480 
And bat is this yeur 1 heritage, fere ^ewe best[e] likid, 
J}at yee my3t gyve ;" &evir a-mong, fe brussh a-wey she pikid 
ffrom hir clothis here & fer 1 , & sighid fer'-w^t/^-aH. 
ffawnws, of his gentilnes, by hir/ myddil smali 1484 

Hert[e]lich hir 1 bracyd, & seyd : "I wol nat leve, 
1 ? the MS u. 2 ? crouched humbly, as a dove from the kite. 


I suyr }ew my trowith, J?at onys or it be eve 

That I shaH do my devoir, mt&out [eny] fentyse, 

ffor to plese yeur/ hertfe] fullicli in al wise." 1488 

" Graunt mercy, myne own) soverene ! " quod. Rame bo, Rame declares 

y ' she'll be gentle to 

mekely ; Fawnus, and 

. , , , ., . . serve him all 

And made protestacioune, J?at she wold sikirly, her life. 

AH the dayis of la.ii/ lyff, be to hym as ende 

As evir voman was to man, as ferforth as hir/ mynde 1492 

And wit hir/ woldfe] serve, & made grete othe. 

ffawnws bood no lenger, but forth fyetf-with he goith. 

(A ! precius God in heven, kyng of mageste ! 
So plentivouse this world is of iniquite ! 1496 

Why is it I-suffrid, J?at trowith is brou^t a-down) 
With trechery & falshede, in feld, & eke in town) 1) 

But now to ffawn?^s, & his entent. when he his sone met, Fawnus pretends 
He toke hym sofft[e] by J?e hond ; his tung 1 he gan to whet, Beryn to give up 

Sotilly to engyne hym. first he gan to preche : 1501 chant 

" Leve thy foly, my dere sone, & do as I J>e teche : 

Sith ]>ow hast wit & reson, & art of mannys age, 

What nedith the be marchant ? & shal have heritage 

ffor, & Jjy good were I-lost, ]>e sorow wold be myne, 1505 

(To telle the soth,) ri^t ny$e paregall to J?yne. 

And yf |?at I were dede, whil[e]s ]?ow were oute, 

Lond, & rent, & aH my good, (have }>ow no doute,) 1508 he might lose ins 

It wold be plukkid from the ; thy parte wold be lest. 

And also ferjjermore, I make [now] oon beheest, 

That I trowe my moblis wol nat [well] suffice 

To charge fyve Shippis ful of marchandise, 1512 

But yf I leyde in morgage my lond, & eke my rent ; [if 200, bk] 

And ]>at I leve be nat thy wili, ne ]>yne entent. 

3it nethirles, yf [that] thy hert[e] be so inly set on it^then 8 SCt 

ffor to be a marchant, for no thing 1 woU I let 1516 Fawnus win 

help him. 

That I nyl do thy plesaunce, as ferforth as I may, 

To go ry^te ny^e myne own) estate ; but levir I had nay." 

Hir 1 wordis, ne hir/ dedis, ne maters hem be-twene, 
I wol nat tary now J?ereon, my pflrchemen to spene : 1520 



Beryn agrees to 
release his 
heirship and 
honours to 
Fawnus for 5 
ships laden with 

The deed of 
Release, and 
Bond, are 
and deposited 
as an escrow 
with a third 
Fawnus and 

Rame rejoice at 
the bargain. 

Fawnus gets the 
ships ready, 

gives Beryn 
seisin (that is, 
possession) of 
them, and gets the 

But fynallich[e], to the ende of hir 1 acordement, 

ffawnws had so goon a-bout, I-turned & I-went, 

That he had brou^t his sone to-fore f e Emperour 1 , 

To relese his heritage, & [eke] al his honour* 1524 

That he shuld have aftir his day, for shippis fyue, & fuH 

I-led of Marchaundise, of lynnyn, & of woH, 

And of othir thingis, fat were I-vsid tho. 

Engrosid was the covenaunte be-twen hem [bothe] to, 

In presence of f e Emperour 1 , in opyn, & no roun), 1529 

To-fore the grettest Cenato?^rs, & eldest of f e town). 

So when the relese selid was, with a syde bonde, 

They were I-leyde both [right] in a meen[e] honde, 1532 

In-to the tyme fat Beryn) fullich [ijsesid were 

In the fyve Shippis, fat I $ew tolde ere. 

But who was glad but ffawnws ? & to his wyff [he] went, 
And seyd[e] : " nowe, my hertis swete, al f yn hole entent 
Is vttirlich perfourmyd ! vs lakkith nowe no more, 1537 
But marchandise & Shippis, as I told to-fore." 
" That shall nat faiH," quod Eame, & began to daunce ; 
And aftirward they speken of fe purveaunce. 1540 

(Alias ! this fals[e] world ! so ful of trechery ! 
In whom shuld the sone have trust & feith sikirly, 
If his ffadir faylid hym ? whef ir my$t he go 
ffor to fynde a sikir ffrend, fat he my3t tristfen] to?) 15 

So when these .v. shippis were rayid & [i-Jdi^te, 
ffawnws & his sone to f e Emperour/ ful ri^te 
They went, & many a grete man for f e same case, 
To see both in possessioune, as hir 1 covenaunte wase. 1548 
Beryn first was sesid in the Shippis fyve ; 
And ffawnws had the relese, & bare it to his wyff; [leaf 201] 
And Eche held hem payde, & Rame best of all ; 
ffor she had conquerd thing, fat causid most hir 1 gaH. 1552 


Now leve I ffawnys & his wyff : & of f e governance 
Of Beryn I woH speke, & also of his chaunce. 
When lodismen, & maryneris, in al f ing 1 redy was, 


This Beryn in-to Alisaundir (yf God wold send hym grace, Beryn sets sail 

t m i j i. i i r -i \ i 11 i with his 5 shi l 1s - 

lhat wynde hym wold|_ej serve,) he wold, so on a day 

The wynde was good ; & [tho] they seylid on hir/ wey 

Too dayis fullich, & a nyght ther'-with-all, 

And had wedir at wiU ; tiH atte last gan fall 1560 

Such a myst a-mong 1 hem, fat no man my^t se othir ; 

That wele was hym fat had[de] f e?^e f e blessing 1 of his modir. 

ffor thre dayis dessantly l f e derknes a-mong hem was, For s days 

That no shipp my3te se othir ; wherfor, M offt " alas ! " is^n UMB, 

The[y] seyd ; & to f e hi^e God fey made hir 1 preyere, 1565 greatly?" ^ 

That he wold, of his grace, hem govern) & stere, 

So fat hire lyvis my^te I-savid be ; 

ffor fey were cleen in dispeyr/, be-cause fey my3t nat se 

The loder, wherby these Shipmen her* cours toke echon). 

So atte last, fe ferth day, makeing 1 fus hir 1 moon, 1570 On the 4th day 

m -, i p i i i a fierce wind 

Ihe day gan clere ; & fen such wynde a-rose, blows, 

That blew hir 1 Shippis els-wher 1 fen was hir/ first pwrpose. 

The tempest was so huge, & [was] so strong 1 also, 1573 

That wel was hym fat coude bynd[en] or ondo 

Any rope wit^-in the Shipp, fat longit to f e crafft : 

Euery man shewid his connyng 1 , to-fore f e Shipp, & bafft. 

The wynd a-wook ; the see to-brast ; it blew so gresly sore, the sea bursts, 

That Beryn & aH his company, of synnys las & more, 1578 prepares e for 

Eche man round a-boute, shroff hym-selff to othir ; 

And put in goddis gowernaunce, lyff, [&] Shipp, & strothir 2 . 

ffor fere nas 8 Shippis meyne, for au^t [fat] fey coude hale, 

That my^te a-bate[n] of the Shipp f e f iknes of a skale ; 

The wedir was so fervent of wynd & eke of thundir, 1583 

That euery shipp from othir was blowe of si^te a-sondir/ ; and ail the ships 

And durid so al day & ny^te ; tyl on the morowe, [if 201, bk] 

I trow It was no questioune whef er fey had loy or sorowe. 

So aftirward, as god wold, the wynd was somwhat sofft : Then it grows 

Beryne clepid a Maryner/, & bad hym "sty on lofft, 1588 

And weyte aftir 1 our four Shippis, [f *] aftir vs doith dryve ; 

ffor it is butte 4 grace of God, yf fey be [now] alyve." 

1 Urry prints ' incessantly.' 2 ? rothir. 3 MS was. 4 but the. 
BEP.YN. 4 



All Beryn's 
five ships are 

and land is near. 

Beryn orders 
the lodesman to 
steer to land. 

Beryn takes 
counsel with 
liis men ; 

and they agree 
to his landing 

to see what kind 
of town they 
are at. 

Now in this town 
dwell the falsest 
and most deceitful 
people in the 

When shipmen 
come, the towns 
men hide, 

A marynere anoon witJi that, ry$t as Beryn bad, 

Styed in-to the topcasteH, & bro^t hym tydingis glad : 

" Sir'," he seith, " beth mery ! yeur Shippis comyth echone 

Saff & sound[e] say ling, as yee shul se a-nooii ; 1594 

And eke sir' ferf ermore, loud also I sigh : 

Let draw our/ corse estward ; f is tyde wol bryng 1 vs ny." 

" Blessid be God !" quod Beryn, "fen, wer> our" Shippis com, 

[ ,., |j . .] 1598 

Wee have no nede to dout[e] werr, ne molestacioun ; 
ffor fere nys within our 5 shippis no f ing 1 of spoliacioun), 
But aH trewe marchaundise. wherfor, air 1 lodisman, 
Stere onys in-to fe Costis, as wel as [evir] fowe can. 1602 
When our/ Shippis been I-com, fat we mow pas in fere, 
Lace on a bonet 2 or tweyn, fat wee mowe saille nere." 

And when they were the Costis ny^e, was noon of hem aH 
That wist what lond it was. J)en Beryn gan to call 
Out of euery Shipp a-noon a marynere or tweyne, 
ffor to take counseH ; & fus he gan to seyne : 1608 

" The ffrountis of f is ilch[e] toun) been wondir feir witTiaH : 
Me f inkith it is f e best[e] rede, what fat evir be-faH, 
That I, my selff aloon, walk in-to the toun), 
And here, & se, both here & fere, vpward & doun), 1612 
And [eke] enquere fullich of hir 5 governaunce. 
What sey yee, sirs? wol yee sent 3 [vn]to fis ordenawnce 1 " 
AH they accordit wel f erto, & held it for f e best ; 
"ffor fus, yf it be profitabiH, we mowe a-bide & rest, 1 
And yf [that] it be othir-wise, fe rathir shaH we go ; 
ffor aftir fat ye spede, wee wol[len] worch & do." 

But nowe mowe yee here, ri^t a wondir f ing* : 
In al the world[e] wyde, so fals of hir* lyving 1620 

Was no pepiH vndir sonne, ne noon so desseyvabiH, 
As was the pepiH of this town), ne more vnstabiH; [leaf 202] 
And had a cursid vsage of sotiH ymaginacioune, 1623 

That yff so were the Shippis of any straunge nacioun 
Were come in-to the porte, a-noon fey wold hem hyde 
1 Urry prints ' for '. 2 a small sail. 3 ? assent. 


With-in hir* own[e] howsis, & no man go, ne ryde, 1626 

In no strete of al the town); ascaunce J>at )>ey were lewde, as if they knew 

And coude no skill of marchandise : a skiH it was, a shrewde, merchandise. 

As yee shutt here aftir, of hir/ wrong & falshede : 

But ^it it fift, as worthy was, oppon hir/ owne hede. 1630 

Beryn arayd hym fresshly, as to A marchand longith, Beryn rides 

into Falsetown, 

And set hym on a palfrey wel be-sey & hongit, 

And a page rennyng 1 by his hors[e] feet : 

He rode endlong 1 jje town, but no man coud he mete; but sees no one; 

The dorrys were I-closid in both too sidis ; ail doors are shut. 

Wherof he had merveli. $it ferjjermor 1 he ridis ; 1636 

And waytid on his rysthond a mancipilis plase, At a Manciple's 


AH ffressh & newe, & jjidir gan he pase ; 

The gatis were wyde vp, & fidir gan he go ; 

ffor jmrh-out ]?e longe town) [ne] he fond so no mo. 1640 

Therein dwellid a Burgeyse, j>e most[e] scliper man 

Of al the town) )mrh-out ; & what so [that] he wan 

"With trechery & gile, as doith [now] som fFreris, 

Eight so must he part[en it] with his [false] comperis. 1644 

Beryn lijt down on 1 his hors, & inward gan he dres, he alights, 

And fond the good man of J>e house pleying 1 atte ches 2 playing at chess, 

"Wi th his ney^bour/, as trewe as he, ]?at dwellid hym fast by. 

But as sone as this Burgeyse on Beryn cast his eye, 1648 

Sodenly he stert vp, & put the ches hym fro, 

And toke Beryn by the hond, & seyd these wordis tho : 

" Benedicite ! what manere wynd hath I-brou^t ^ewe here ? and is welcomed 

Now wold to God I had wherof I 3 coude make ^ew cher* ! 

But yee shall lowe my good will, & take such as fere is, 

And of yeur/ gentiH paciens suffir fat is a-mys." 1654 

ffor weH he wist by his aray, & by his contenaunce, (The man sees 

That of the Shippis ]>at were I-com, he had som gouern- Beryn J 

aunce ; 

Wherfor he made hym chere, semeyng AmyabiH, [tf202,bk] 
I-colerid aH vritJi cawtelis, & wondir desseyvabiH. 1658 

1 of, off. 2 MS { dise '. Urry prints chess ' : see 3 lines on. 
3 MS 'or'. 



Tlie Burgess of 
Falsetown is 
delighted to 
see Beryn, 

and offers him 
anything he 
wants ; 

declares he has 
seen Beryn 100 

asks his mate to 
amuse Beryn, 
while he sees to 
Beryn' s horse, 

and then he'll 
broach his best 
pipe of wine. 

He bracyd hym by the Middil, & preyd hym sit a-down), 

And lowly, with mucli worshipp, dressid his cosshon). 

" Lord God ! " seyd this Burgeyse, " I jjank fis ilk[e] day, 

That I shuld see ^ewe hole & here in my contray ; 

And yff yee list to telle the cause of yewr/ comyng 1 , 

And yff yee have nede to eny maner thing 1 , 1664 

And it be in my power/, & jjou^e I shuld it seche, 

It shuld go ri^t wondir streyte, I sey ^ew sikirlich, 

But yee it had in hast, ]>ere-with $ewe to plese ; 

ffor nowe I se ^ewe in my house, my hert is in grete ese." 

The todir burgeyse rose hym vp, for to make Rouse 1 , 
And axid of his felawe, pat lord was of the house, 1670 
" Whens is this worshipful man 1 " with wordis end & lowe, 
" ffor it semeth by the manere, ]?at ye hym shuld [e] knowe, 
And have sey hym to-fore Jns tyme." " I have seen hym ! " 

quod. J)e todir, 

"3e, I-wis an .C. sithis ! & ii$t as to my brothir 1674 
I wold do hym plesaunce, in al that evir I can ; 
ffor trewlich in his contray he is a worshipful man." 
" ffor soth, Sir/, & for yeur love, A Mt in this town) 
Wold do hym worshipp, & be ri^te feyne & bown) 1678 
To plese hym, & a-vaiH, to have Jjonk of ^ewe, 
I woot wele ; God hem ^eld ! so have Jjey offt or nowe." 
And arose vp therewith-all, & with his felaw spak 
Of such maner mater, jmt fay lid iievir of lakk. 1682 

So when hir/ counsel! was I-do, this burgeyse preyd his fere 
To sit a-down) be Beryn, & do hym sporte & chere : 
"And in the [mene] while, I woH se to his hors ; 
ffor every gentiH hert, a-fore his owne cors, 168( 

Desirith that his ryding 1 best be servid & I-di^te 
Rathir then hym-selff. wherfor w?'t/ al my my^te 
I woH have an ey ferto ; & sith[ens] perce 2 wyyn, 
Wich tonne or pipe is best, & [eke] most 1 fyne." 169( 

Beryn was al a-basshid of his soden chere ; 
But nethirles the Burgeyse sat hym som-what nere, 
1 flattery, politeness. 2 Urry prints ' sich parte '. 


And preyd hym, of his gentilnes, his name for to telk, [leaf 2osj 

His contrey, & his lynage. & he answerd snelle ; 

" Berinws I ani I-named . & in Rome I-bore, Beryn talks 

with the second 

And have fyve shippis of myne owne, las & more 1 , 1696 Burgess of 


fful of marchaundise, ligging 1 to-fore fe town) : 

But much mervaiH have I, fe good man is so boune 

To serve me, & plese, and [not] how it my3t be." 1699 

" Sir 1 ," [tho] seyd the Burgeyse, " no merveli it is to me : 

ffor many a tyme & offt, (I can nat sey how lome,) 

He hath be in yeur/ marchis ; &, as I trowe, in Eoom 

Also he was I-bore, yf I ne ly[en] shaft." 

" Yf it be so," quod. Beryn, " no merveH it is at aH, 1704 

Thou^e he me have I-sey ; & eke his gentifl chere 

Previth it al opynly : but, be hym fat bou^t me dere, 

I have perof no knowlech, as I am nowe avisid." 

"With that cam in the goodman, "with contenaunce disgisid, Meantime the 

And had enquerid of f e Child, fat with Beryn cam, 1 709 has pumpt 

Beryn's man, 

nro gynnyng 1 to f e ending 1 , & told his mastris name, 

And of Agea his modir, & al thing 1 as it was ; 

Wher'-furh he was ful perfite, to answere to Query cas. 1712 

So entryng 1 in-to the haH, f e Burgeys spak a-noon : and comes 

" A, my gentiH Beryn ! alias ! ]?t vndir stone "Ah i Beryn 

Myne Owne hert Agea, thy modir leff & dere ! mother's dead. 

Now God assoyH hir/ soule ! for nevir bettir chere 1716 ibid! 

Had I of frend vowzman, ne nevir halff so good. 

Benedicite ! a marchaunt comyng 1 ovir flood ! And you're 

turned merchant I 

Who brou^t ^ewe in this purpose 1 & beth yeur ffadirs heir*. 
Now, be my trewe conscience, ry^t ny^e in dispeyr 1720 
I waxe for yeur/ sake ; for now [ful] frendlese 
Yee mowe wel sey[e n fat ye been, but 3it, sir 2 , nethirles Weil; take 
Yee mut endure ffortune, & hevynes put a-wey ; 
Ther 1 is noon othir wisdom, also, yewr shippis gay 1724 
That been I-com in savete, ou3t to a-mend yeur 1 mode, 
The wich, when wee have dyned, I swer 1 , sir 2 , by the rood, ru go and look 
Wee woH se hem trewly, wit/i-in & eke with-oute, 
1 smaller & greater. a Urry prints ' for '. 



[leaf 203, back] 
They have a 
good dinner, 

and some 
chessmen are 
brought out. 

The Burgess of 
Falsetown asks 
Beryn to play, 

and says his 

ships are not 
settled in the 

So Beryn plays 
the Burgess, 
who lets him win 
4 games. 

Beryn then stops, 

as one-sided play 
is no fun. 

But the Burgess 
wants another 

And have wyne with vs, & drynk[en] al a-"boute." 1728 

They set, & wissh, & fedd hem, & had wher'of plente : 

The Burgeys was a stuffid man, fere lakkid noon deynte. 

So when they had I-dyned, the cloth was vp I-take ; 

A Chese J?ere was I-brot^t forth : but tho gan sorow to wake. 

The Ches was al of yvery, the meyne fressh & newe 1733 

I-pulsshid, & I-pikid, of white, asure, & blewe. 

Beryn be-held the Chekkir ; it semed- passing 1 feire : 

*' Sir/," quod, the Burgeys, "yee shuH fynd here a peyre, 1 736 

That woH mate ^ew trewly, in las J?en half 1 a myle ; " 

And was I-sayd of sotilte, Beryn to begile. 

" Now in soth," quod. Beryn, " it my^te wel hap, [or] nay ; 

And nere I must my Shippis se, els I wold assay." 1740 

"What nedith Jjat?" quod, the Burgeyse; " trewlich I 

wol nat glose ; 

They been nat }it I-setelid, ne fixid in jje wose 
ffor I have sent[e] thries, sith [that] yee hidir cam, 
To waite oppon hir* governaunce : wherfor lete set o game, 
And I shaft be the first[e], }at shaft 3ewe a-tast 1 ." 1745 
The meyne were I-set vp ; they l gon to pley[e] fast 1 : 
Beryn wan the first, J>e second, & J?e jjird ; 
And atte fourth[e] game, [right] in the ches a-myd, 1748 
J)e Burgeyse was I-matid : but J?at lust hym [ful] wele ; 
And al was doon to bryng 1 hym in, As yee shul here snel. 
" Sir/," then seyd Beryn, " yee woot wele howe it is ; 
Me list no more to pley; for yee [wel] know[e] this; 1752 
Wher ) is noon comparisoun, of what Jring 1 so it be, 
Lust & likeing 1 fallith jjere, as it semeth me ; 
Ne myrth is nat cowmendabift, fat ay is by o syde, 1755 
But it rebound [e] to the todir ; wherfor tyme is to ryde. 
And as many thonkis, as I can or may, 
Of my sport & chere, & also of yeur' play." 
" Nay I-wis, gentiH Beryn, I woot yee wol nat go ; 
ffor noriturfe] wol it nat, for to partfe] so ; 1760 

And eke my condicioune, but I ley som thing 1 , 
1 MS& 


Is no more to pley, ben who so shoke a rynge, 

Ther* no man is within, be rynging 1 to answere ; 

To shete a fethirles bolt, al-most as good me were. 1764 

But & yee wold this next[e] game som maner wager legg 1 ; [leaf 204] 

And let the trowith, on both sidis, be morgage & I-plegg, 

That who-so be I-matid, graunt & [eke] assent the mated man is 

,., .,. T-TT o i >r/n to do the victor's 

To do the todirs bidding; & who-so do repent, 1768 bidding, 

Drynkfenl al the watir, bat salt is of the see." or drink an the 

salt water in the 

Beryn belevid bat he coude pley bettir ben he, sea. 

And sodenly assentid, with hond in hond assurid ; Beryn agrees, 

Men bat stode be sidis, I-cappid & I-hurid, 1772 

Wist[e] wele that Beryn shuld have be wers[e] mes ; 
ffor the Burgeys was the best pleyer atte ches 
Of aft the wyde marchis, or many a myle aboute ; 
But bat ne wiste beryn of, ne cast berof 1 no doute. 1776 
He set the meyne efft ageyn, & toke better hede P la y very 


Then he did tofore, & so he had[de] nede. 

The Burgeyse toke a-visement long 1 on euery drau^te ; 

So with [in] an houre or to, Beryn he had I-causte 1780 and soon gets the 

worst of it ; 

Som what oppon the hipp, bat Beryn had be wers. 

And al be it his mynde & witt was for to curs, but he must 

3it must he dure his ffortune, when he was so fer I-go. chance. 

(ffor who is that bat ffortune may [nat] alwey vndo? 1784 

And namelich [he that] stont even in eche side 

Of pro & contra ; but God help, downe wol he glide. 

But nowe-a word of philosophy, bat fallith to my mynde, 

' Who take hede of be begynnyng, what fal shal of be ende, (He who at first 

6J J ' ' looks to the end, 

He leyith a bussh to-fore the gap, ber fortune wold in ryde ; stops Fortune's 
But comynlich yowith forjetith bat, burh-out the world. 

so be Beryn I may wele sey, bat consaillis in rakid Beryn is likely 
Lildy to lese his marchandise, & go hym-selff al nakid.) 
Beryn studied in the ches, al-bou3e it nau^t a-vailid : 
The Burgeyse in be mene while, -wiili othir men counsaillid The Burgess 

sends for the 

To fech the Sergauntis in the town), for bing< he had a-do. Serjeants. 

So when they com[en] were, they walkid to & fro, 

Vp & down in the hatt, as skaunce b,ey knewe nau^te ; 1797 



The Serjeants 
lie in wait to 
arrest Berya. 

[leaf 204, back] 

The Burgess 
calls on Beryn 
to play, 

and takes a rook. 

Beryn is in great 

turns paie, 

and is check 

The Serjeants 
tell Beryn he 
must go before 
the Steward. 

And ^it of att the purpose, wit, & mynde, & f ou^t 

Of this vntrew[e] Burgeys, by his messengeris 

They were ful enfourmyd. wherfor with ey & eris 1800 

They lay a waite ful doggidly, Beryn to a-rest j 

ffor f erfor fey were afftir sent, & was hii j charge & hest. 

(Lord ! howe shuld o sely lombe, a-mong wolvis weld, 

And scapefn] vn-I-harmyd 1 it hath be seyn [ful] seld?. 1804 

Kepe thy Cut nowe, Beryn ! for f ow art in the case.) 

The haH was ful of pepiH, f e smauntis shewid hir/ mase : 

Beryn kast vp his hede, & was ful sore amayid ; 1807 

ffor then he was in certen the burgeys had hym betrayde. 

" Draw on," seyd the Burgeyse ; "Beryn ! ye have fe wers !" 

And euery man to othir f e covenaunt gan rehers. 

The Burgeyse, whils fat Beryn was in hevy f ou^t, 

The next drau3t aftir, he toke a roke for nau3te. 1812 

Beryn swat for angir, & was in hevy ply^te, 

And dred ful sore in hert ; for wele he wist al quyte 

He shuld nat escape, & was in hi^e distres ; 

And pryuylich in his hert, fat evir he saw the ches 1816 

He cursid f e day & tyme : but what a-vaylid fat 1 

ffor wele he wist[e] fen, fat he shuld be mate : 

He gan to chaunge his coloure, both[e] pale & wan. 

The Burgeyse seid : " corny th nere ! ye shul se f is man, 

How he shall be matid, with what man me list ! " 1821 

He drouje, & seyd " chek mate ! " f e Sergauntis were 

ful prest, 
And sesid Beryn by the scleve. "sirs 1 , what fynk ye for 

to do 1 ?" 

Quod Beryn to f e Seriauntis, " fat yee me handith so ? 
Or what have I offendit 1 ? or what have I seyde? w 1825 
" Trewlich," quod the seriauntis, " it vaylith nat to breyde ; 
With vs yee must a while, wher* [that] ye woH or no, 
To-fore the Steward of this town), a-rise, & trus, & go ! 
And fere it shall be openyd, howe wisely fow hast 

1 MS <&seid sirs'. 


This is J>e ende of our/ tale, make it nevir so tou^te." 

" Sirs, farith feir* ! yee have no nede to hale." BerVQ 8a ys 

' Don't pull me! 

" Pas forth ! " quod the se/iauntes, " wee woH nat here 
j>y tale." 1832 

" 3is, si 18 * OI> yewr/ curtesy, I prey 3ewe of o word. 

Al-thouse my gentil hoost hath pleyd with me in borde, You've nothing 

to do with the 

And [hath] I-wonne a wager, yee have nau}t to doon ; wager between 

my host and me.' 

That is hetwene hym & me ; yee have no thing 1 to doon. 

The hoost made an hidouse cry, in gesolreut 1 j?e haut, 1837 

And set his hond in kenebowe ; he lakkid nevir a faute : 

" Wenyst Jjowe," seid he to Beryn, "for to scorn [e] me? [leaf 2053 

What evir J?ow speke, or stroute, certis it wol nat be ; 1840 But the Burgess 

insists on his 

Of me shalt J?ow have no wrong 1 ; pas forth a better pase ; going before the 
In presence of our/ Steward I wol teH my case." 
" Why, hoost, sey yee this in ernest, or in game 1 
Yee know my contray & my modir, my lynage & my 
name; 1844 

And Jrns ye have I-seyd me .x. sith on J>is day." 
" 3e, what bouse I seyd so ? I know wele it is nay : and says he only 

pretended to be 

Ther* lijth no more ther-to, but anothir tyme his Mend, in order 

Leve me so much the les, when J?ow comyst by me ; 1848 

ffor al that evir I seyd, was to bryng the in care ; to get him into 


And now I have my purpose, I wol no thing the spare." 
Thus langelyng 1 to ech othir, endenting 1 euery pase, 
They entrid both in-to the hali, Jjere J?e Steward was : 1852 
Evandir was his name, bat sotiH was, & fell, Evandir is 

' Steward, 

He must be wel avisid, to-fore hym shuldfe] teH. 

Anothir Burgeyse with hym was, Prouost of J?e Cete, 

bat hanybald was I-clepid : but of sotilte 1856 andHanybaid 

is Provost. 

He passid many a-nothir, as yee shul here sone. 

Beryns hoost gan to teH al bins as it was doon, The Burgess 

states his case 

ffro gynnyng* to ]?e ending 1 , }je wordis with the dede ; against Beryn. 

And howe jjey made hir covenaunte, & wager howe J>ey 
leyde. 1860 

"Now, Beryn," qwod the Steward, "jjow hast I-herd j>is tale; 
1 ?gesolrent. 


Evandir says 
Beryn must do 
his host's bid 

or drink all the 
salt water in the 

Which will he 

Beryn asks for a 
day's delay. 

[leaf 205, back] 

But he must 
find a surety. 

Hanybald pro 
poses to take his 
5 ships as the 

Beryn agrees. 

They leave the 

and Hanybald 

suggests to 

that tho' his 
ships must be 

How & in what manor J?ow art I-broujt in bale. 

Thow must do his bidding ; J?ow maist in no wise flee ; 

Or drynke[n] al the watir, )?at salt is in the see : 1864 

Of these too thingis, J>ow must chese the toon : 

Now be wel avisid, & sey thy wiH a-noon. 

To do yee both[e] lawe, I may no bettir sey, 

ffor J?ow shalt have no wrong 1 , as ferforth as I may. 1868 

Chese thy selff ri^te as the list, & wit ]>ow no ping 1 me, 

Thou3e thowe chese the wers, & let J>e better be." 

Beryn stood a-stonyd, & no mervaiH was, 
And preyd the Steward, of a day, to answere to J?e case : 
" ffor I my^tfe] li^tlich in som word be I-cau3te ; 1873 
And eke it is ri^te hard to chese, of 1 to Jjat beth ri^te nau^t. 
But & it were jeui/ likyng 1 to graunt me day til to-morow, 
I wold answere, Jmrh Goddis help." " j?en must J?ow fynde 
a borow," 1876 

Seyd the Steward to Beryn, u & ^it it is of grace." 
" Now herith me," qiiod hanybald 4 , " I prey, a litil space : 
He hath fyve Shippis vndir J?e town), liggyng 1 on ])e strond, 
The wich[e] been sufficiant, I-sesid in our 1 hoiide, 1880 
By me, j>at am yeur/ prouost, to execute ]?e lawe." 
"He must assent," quod Evander, "let vs onys here his 

" I grauntfe] wele," quod Beryn), "sith it may be noon othir." 
Then hanybald arose hym vp, to sese both Shipp & strodir, 
And toke Beryn with hym. so talking on Jje wey, 1885 
"Beryn," quod, hanybald, " I suyr J>e be my fey, 
That jjow art much I-bound to me j)is ilk[e] day ; 
So is thy pie amendit by me ; & eke of such a way 1888 
I am a-visid in thy cause, yf J?ow wolt do by rede, 
That lite or nau^t, by my counsaiH, ou^t[e] J?e to drede. 
Yee knowe wele, to-morowe fe day of plee is 1 set, 
That ye mut nedis answere ; or els with-out[en] lett 1892 
I must yeld hem yewr Shippis ; I may in no wise blyn ; 
So have I vndirtake. but the marchandise w/t/iin, 
1 MS 'it.' 


Is nat in my charge, ye know as wele as I, MS cargoes 

To make ferof no lyuery : wherfor now wisely 1896 

Worch, & do aftir [my] rede ; let al yeur marchandise 

Be voidit of yeur Shippis ; & atte hiest prise these he'd better 

T . , ., , . . .. , sell to Hanybald, 

I wol nave it everydele in covenant, yi ye list. 

To se myne house here onys tofore, I hold it for f e best ; 

"Wher/ yee shul se of diuers londis, housis to or thre 1901 

flul of 1 marchandise, fat f urh this grete Cete 

Is no such in preve, I may ri^t wel a-vowe. 

[ ] 1904 

So when ye have aH seyn, & I have yeur/ also ; or exchange 

with him. 

Let som Bargen be I-made be-twen vs both[e] to." 

" Graunt mercy, sir," quod Beryn, " yewr/ profir is feir & 


ffeyn wold I do feraftir, yf [that] I viidirstood 1908 

I my3t, wMout[en] blame of broking of arrest." 
" 3is," q.w-od hanybald, " at my pereH me trest." 

So to hanybaldis house to-gidir both bey rode Beryn goes to see 

Hanybald's goods. 

And fonde, as hanybald had I-seyd, an houge house, long [leaf 200] 

& brode, 1912 

fful of marchandise, as riche as it may be, 
Passing 1 al the rnarchantis fat dwellid in fat Cete. 
Thus when al was shewid, fey dronk, & toke hir* leve ; 
To see [attl Beryns shippis, in hast bey gon to meve. 1916 Hanybald then 

goes to Beryn's 

And when fat hanybald was avisid what charge f e Shippis ship 


He gan to speke[n] in his voise, ascaunce he rou^tfe] nere 
Whef er he bargeynyd or no, & seyd f us : " Beryn, ffrend, and ff rs 
Yeur/ marchandise is feir & good ; now let vs make an ende; 
If yee list, I can no more, yee knowith how it is. 1921 
Com, of short, let tuk le meyn ; me finkith I sey nat mys ; to swap with 

him T 

And fen yewr meyne, & yee & I, to my house shall wee go, 5 ship loads of 

the goods he can 

And of fe marchandise yee 1 saw, I wol nat part ferfro, find in Hany- 
Chese of fe best of fat yee fyndfen] there ; 1925 Beryn's 5 cargoes. 

Thurh-out f e long[e] house, f er shal no man yew dere ; 
1 MSI. 



Beryn consults 
his men, 

and they agree 

to the exchange 
with Hanybald. 

But now for this 
rascal Hanybald's 
trick ! 

[leaf 206, back] 

He has had all 
his goods removed 
from his house, 

so that Beryn 
finds it empty. 

Beryn is half 

and starts to 
stop his cargoes 
being moved 
from bis ship. 

But he's too late. 

And ferwith shall yeur Shippis be fillid al [le] fyve : 
I can sey no bettir; yf yee list to dryve 1928 

This bargeyn to f e ende, counsellith with yewr men ; 
I may nat longe tary, I must nedis hen." 

Beryn clepid his meyne, counsel! for to take ; 
But his first[e] mocioun was, of f e woo & wrake, 1932 
And al the tribulacioune, for pleying 1 atte ches, 
That he had : euery dele, his shame, & his dures, 
ffro poynt to poynt, & how it stode, he told[e] how it was ; 
And then he axid counsel!, what best was in the cas ; 1936 
To chaunge w^ the Burgeys, or el[le]s for to leve. 

Ech man seyd his a-vise ; but al f t fey did meye, 
It were to long a tale for to tell it 1 here ; 
But fynally atte end, fey cordit al in fere, 1940 

That f e chaunge shuld stond ; for as f e case was faH, 
They held it clerly for f e best ; & went[e] forth with-aB. 
The next wey fat fey couth, to Hanybaldis plase. 

But nowe shuH yee here fe most sotil fallace 1944 

That evir man wrou^t tiH othir, & nicest trechery, 
Wich haynybald had wrou^t hym selff* [un]to f is company : 
"Go in," qwod hanybald, " & chese, as thy covencmnt is." 
In goon these Romeyns e[veri]ch oon, & fond a-mys ; 1948 
fFor fere was no thing, fat eny man my^te se, 
Saff f e waH, & tyle-stonys, & tymbir made of 1 tre. 
ffor hanybald had do void it, of al thing fat was there ; 
Whils he was atte Shippis, his men a-wey it bere. 1952 

When Beryn saw the house lere, fat ful was fere-to-fore 
Of riche marchandise ; " alas ! " f ou^t he, " I am [i]lore, 
I am [lore] in this world." & witith wel, his hert 
Was nat al in likeing 1 ; & outward gan he stert, 1956 

Like half a wood[e]man, & bote both his lippis, 
And gan to haste fast toward his owne Shippis, 
To kepe his good within., with al fat evir he my^te, 
That it were nat dischargit, as hym f ou^t verry ry^te. 1960 
But al for nau^t was his hast ; for three hundred 2 men, 
1 MS 'tellit.' 2 MSeee/0rccc. 


As fast as [evir] they my^te, the bere be goodps] then, 
Thurh ordenaunce of Hanybald, fat prmelich to-fore 1963 
Had purposid, & [had] I-cast, [they] shuld be out I-bore. 

Beryn made a swyff pase ; bere myst no man hym let : Hanybald teiis 

Beryu that his 

But hanybald was ware Inow}, & with Beryn met : ships are seized, 

and his cargoes 

" Al for nou^t, Beryn ! bow knowist wel & fyne, are Hanybaid's. 

Thy Shippis been a-restid, & be good is myne. 1968 

What woldist bow do bere 1 bow hast bere nau$t to do ; 

I wol hold thy covenaunte, & bow shalt myne also. 

ffor }it sawe I neyir man, bat was of by manere ; 1971 

Somtyme bowe wolt aucwmte, & som tyme [wolt] arere ; 

Now bow wolt, & now bow nolt; where shuH men be 

fynde 1 

Now sey oon, & sith a-nothir ; so variant of mynde ! 
Saw I nevir, to-fore bis day, man so variabiH. 1675 

Sith I the fynde in suche plyte, our bargen for to stabiH, Hanybald offers 
Wee woll tofore be Steward, bere we both shuH have ri^te." steward. 
" Nay for-.soth ! " qiwd Beryn. " 3is trulich, the tite," Beryn refuses 


Quod hanybald, "wher/ bowe wolt or no ; & so I the 
charge, 1979 

As Prouost. knowe bat, yff me list, my warant is so large, 
And bowe make eny diffence, to by-nym thy lyff. 
Take byn hors ! it gaynyth nat for to make stryffe." 1982 
So, with sorowfuH hert, Beryn toke his hors, [leaf 207] gives-in ; 

And sofftly seyd[e] to his men : " of me," qwod he, "no fors; 
But wendfithl to yeur shippis ; I wol com when I may. ana sends M 

men back to the 

Yee seth wele euerichone, I may no bet a-wey." ships. 

(Now here by this same tale, both[e] fre & bonde 1987 
Mow fele[n] in hir/ wittis, & eke [mow] vndirstonde, 
That litil vailith wisdom, or el[lels governance, (Poor Beryn! 

But no wisdom, 

Ther ) fortune eyir werrith, & eke hap & chaunce. Mend, 

Or what a-vailith bounte, beute, or riches, is of any good 

ffrendship, or [eke] sotilte, or els hardines, 1992 

Gold, good, or cateH, wit, or hy lynage, 

Lond, or lordis service, or els hi^e parage ? 

What may al this a-vaiH, ber 1 fortune is a foo ? 


I-wis, ri^te lititt, or nevir a dele : ful offt it fallith so.) 

So, shortly to pas ovir ; pey fiH to such an end, 1997 
Beryn's mishaps That Beryn shuld have day a-geyn, a morow. & so to wend 

are known all 

over the town, He set hym in ful purpose to his Shippis ward : 

But 3it or he cam ther 1 , he fond Jje passage hard. 2000 

ffor how he was begilid, Jmrh-out al the town) 

Jter* & per 1 a coupiH gon to speke, & [eke] to roune ; 

and every man And euerv man his purpose was to have parte, 2003 

wants to plunder 

him. With falsnes & with soteltees ; fey coud noon oper art. 

Beryn rode forth in his wey, his page ran hym by, 
fful sore a-dred in hert, & cast a-bout his eye 
Vp & down), euen long the strete, & [right] for angir swet. 

A blind man And er he had riden a stones cast, a blynd man with hym 

seizes him, 

met, 2008 

And spak no word, but sesid hym fast by the lap, 
And cried out, " & harowe ! " & nere hym gan to stap. 
" Al for nou^t ! " quod this blynde, " what ? wenyst pow for 

toskape?" 2011 

Beryn had fou^t to prik[ke] forth, & pou^t it had be lape. 
The blynd man cast a-wey his staff, & set on both his 

hondis ; 
and declares " Nay, pow shalt nat void," quod he, "for al by richfe] londis, 

he'll have the law 

of him, Tyn I of the have reson, lawe, & eke ri^te ; 2015 

ffor trewlich, I may wit it pe, J>at I have lost my si3te." 
for Beryn So, for aujt bat Beryn coude othir speke or prey, 

blinded him. . 

[leaf 207, back] He my^t in no wise pas. ful sore he gan to may, 

And namelich, for the pepiH throng 1 hym so a-boute, 2019 
And ech man gan hym hond ; & seyd, " w?'tAout[en] doute 
Ye must nedis stond, & rest, & bide the lawe, 
Be yee nevir so grete a man." " so wold I, wondir fawe,'' 
Quod Beryn, "yf yee had cause; but I know noon." 2023 
" No 1 JJQW shalt knowe or J?ow go ! J>ow hast nat al I-doon," 
The blynd man seyd to Beryn. " tel on pen," quod he. 
"Here is no place to plete," J?e blynd man seid a^e ; 

The steward " Also wee have no luge here of Autorite ; 

case. But evandir, the Steward, shaH deme both the & me, 2028 


When I my tale have told, & bow hast made answere, 
By bat tyme men shal know, how j>ow canst be clere. 
Nowe, soveren God ! I thank the, of bis ilk [el day ! 2031 The blind man 

thanks God that 

Then I may preve be be my lyve, of word, & eke of fay, he can now prove 

ffals, & eke vntrew of covenaunt bowe hast I-makid. faulting partner. 

But litiH is thy charge now, bou} bat I go iiakid, 

That som tyme were [my] partinere, & rekenydist nevir [jit;] 

But -bow shalt here, or we depart, berof a litiH witt ; 2036 

fFor, aftir comyn seyiiig, ' evir atte ende 

The trowith woli be previd, how so men evir trend.' " 

Thus they talkid to ech othir, tiH they com in-to be plase, 
And were I-entrid in the hall, bere the Steward was. 2040 They reach 
The blynd man first gan to speke : " sir Steward ! for an d C the blind 

goddis sake 

Herith me a litiH while ! for here I have I-take 
He bat hath do me wrong 1 , most of man of mold : 
Be my help, as law woH, for hym bat ludas sold? ! 2044 
Yee know wele bat ofi% tyme I have to }ew I-pleynydl, 
How I was be-trayed, & how I was I-peynyd, says that he lent 

And how a man, som tyme, & I, our yen did chaunge : 
This is the same pe?-sone, bou^ bat he make it straunge. 
I toke hem hym but for a tyme, & leuyd trew[e]ly 2049 
Myne to have I-had ageyn): & so both he & I andBerynhas 

kept them 

Were ensurid vttirlich, & was our/ both[e] wiH ; because they 

But, for myne be bettir were, wrongfullich & ill 2052 his. 

He hath hem kept hidirto, with much sorow & pyne 

To me, as yee wele knowith. be-cause I have nat myne, 

I may nat se with his ; wherfor me is ful woo ; 

And evir-more ye seyde ' bat ye my^t no bing do 2056 

W't/iout presence of the man bat wrou3t me this vnquert : ' oaf zos] 

Nowe, sith he is to-fore ^ew now, let hym nat a-stert. 

ffor, many tyme & offt, yee [here] be-hete me, 

And he my^t be take, he shuld do me gre. 2060 

Sith yee of hym be sesid, howe evir so yee taue, 

T L i i -1 T i > give me back 

.Let hym nevir pas, til I myne eyen have. my 6ye8 \ 

" Beryn," q?/od Edwandir, " herist bow nat thy selve 




won't deny it, 
as that would 
lose him his case. 

(The blind man 

wants to get 
money out of 

So Beryn asks 

for a day's delay 
to prepare his 

It is granted. 

Beryn goes, 
[leaf 208, back] 

but is at once 
seized by a 

How sotilly he pletith, & ware by eche halue ? " 2064 

Beryn stood al muet, & no word lie spak. 
And j?at was tho his grace ; ful soiie he had be take, 
And he had myssey[e]d onys, or els I-sey[e]d nay ; 
ffor ]>en he had been negatyff, & vndo for ay. 2068 

(ffor they were grete Seviliouns, & vsid probate law ; 
Wher, evir-more, affirmatyff shuld preve his owne sawe. 
Wherfor they were so querelouse, of al my^t com in mynde, 
Thou^e it were nevir in dede I-do; such mater J>ey wold fynde 
To be-nym a man his good, Jjurh som maner gile. 2073 
ffor J>e blynd man wist ri^t wele, he shuld have lost his 


To make his pleynt on Beryn, & suyd oppon his good, 
ffor Shippis, & eke marchandise, in a balaunce stode j 2076 
Therfor he made his chalenge, his eyen for to have ; 
Or els he shuldfe] for hem fyne, yf [that] he wold hem have, 
And ligg for hem in hostage, til ]?e fynaunce cam : 
This was al the sotilte of J?e blynd[e] man.) 2080 

Beryn stood al mewet, & no word he spak. 
" Beryn," qiiod. Evander, " lest Jjow be I-take 
In defaute of answere, pow my^tist be condempnyd ; 
Be ri}t wele avisid, sith J>ow art examened." 2084 

11 " ShV seyd Beryn, " it wold litffi a-vaiH 
To answere Jms aloon, w?'t/*out[en] good consaiH : 
And also fe[r]J>irmore, ful litiH I shuld be levied, 
What-evir I answerd, ])us stonyd & reprevid ; 2088 

And eke my wit doith faille ; & no wondir is : 
Wherfor I wold prey ^ew, of yeur gentilnes, 
To graunte me day til to morow, [that] I my^t be avisid 
To answere forth, wit li othir \a\, on me been surmysid." 
" Depardeux," quod, the Steward, " I graunt wel it be so." 


Beryn toke his leve, & hopid to pas & go ; 
But as sone as Beryn was on his hors rydyng 1 , 
He met a vomman, & a child, wij? sad cher* comyng 1 , 2096 
That toke hym by ]>e reyn, & held hym wondir fast, 


And seyd, " sir, voidith iiat ! $it vaillith nat to hast ; who declares 

Yee mow in no wise sccape ; ye must nodis abide ! 2099 

ffor bouse ye list to knowe me nat, sit lien by yeur side he is her 


I have ful many a tyme ; I can nat telle }ewe [howe] lome. 

Come to-fore the Steward ! bere shuH ye here JGUT/ dome 

Of bim? that I shal put on sew, & no word for to ly : and im, rascal 

like, deserted 

To leve me thus aloon, it is yeur/ vylany ! 2104 her. 

Alas ! the day & tyme bat evir I was jeut/ make ! 

Much have I endurid, this too yeer, for yeur sake ; 

But now it shall be knowfen] who is in the wronge." 

Beryn was al abasshid, the pepil so thik thronge 2108 Beryn is taken 

back to the 

Aboute hym in eche syde. for ou^t bat he couth peyn), steward, 
He must[e] to be Steward, of fyne force ageyn). 

Now shuH yee here how sotillich bis vo??iman gan hir/ tale 
In presence of the Steward ; with colour wan & pale, 
Petously she gan to teH, & seyd[e] : " sir/, to 2.ewe 2113 and the woman 
fful offt I have co?^pleynyd, in what manere & howe husband has 

My childis ffadir lefft me, by my selff aloon, and left her ' 

W{t/iout[en] help, or comforte, as grete as I my^t goon 
With my sone here, & his, bat shame it is to teH 2117 in penury, to 

bring up his son. 

The penury bat I have I-had, bat a force sell 

I must[e] nedis myne aray, wher 1 me list or lothe, 

Or els I must have beggit, for to fynd vs both. 2120 

ffor ther was nevir vornan I-leve, as I [kan] ges, 

ffor lak of hede of Ivvlode, bat ly vid in more distres she has lackt 

meat and drink. 

Then I my selff, for offt tyme, for lak of mete & drynk : 

And I trow no creatur was feyner for to swynke 2124 

My lyff [for] to sustene. but, as I mut nede, 

AJbove al othir thingis, to his child take hede, 

That wondir is, & mervaiH, bat I am a-ly ve ; It>8 a wonder 

she's alive. 

ffor be sokeyng of his [child], rya.t as it were a knyve 2128 

It ran in-to my hert, so lowe I was of mode, 

That wel I woot in certen, with 1 parcel! of my blood 

His child I have I-norisshid, & bat is by me seen ; she's turned from 

rv. r , .. red to green. 

nor [al] my rede colour/ is turnyd m-to grene. 2132 [lem 210] 

1 MS without. 



' This Beryn is 
the culprit ! 
Make him pay 
for it ! ' 

The Steward 

calls on Beryn 
for his defence. 

And he fat cause is of aH, here he stondith by me : 

To pay [en] for fe fosteryng 1 me f inkith it is tyme. 

And sith he is my husbond, & hath on me no rowith, 

Let hym make a-mendis, in saving of his trowith. 2136 

And, yf he to any word onys can sey nay, 

Lo ! here my gage al redy, to preve al fat I say." 

The Steward 1 toke the gage, & spak in sofft[e] wise : 
" Of this petouse compleynt a mannys hert may grise ; 
ffor I know in parceH, hir/ tale is nat al lese ; 214] 

ffor many a tyme & offt, f is vomman fat here is, 
Hath I-be to-fore me, & pleynyd of hir 1 greffe ; 
But, without a party, hir/ cause rnyjt nat preff. 214' 

!N"ow f ow art here present, fat she pleynyth on, 
Make thy defence now, Beryn, As wele as f ow can." 

Beryn stood al mwet, & 110 word he spak. 
" Beryn," quod the Steward, " doist f ow sclepe, or wake 1 
Sey onys oon or othir : ys it soth or nay, 2149 

As she hath declarid 2 ? teH on saunce delay." 
" Lord God ! " quod Beryn, " what shuld it me a-vaile, 
Among so many wise, w/t/^-out ri}t good counsaiH, 2152 
To telle[n] eny tale 1 ful litiH, as I ges. 
Wherfor, I wold prey ^ew, of yeur/ gentilnes, 
Graunt me day tiH to-morow to answer 1 forth vrith othir." 
" I graunt wele," quod the Steward, " but, for fadir & 
modir, 2156 

Thow getist no lenger term, pleynly I the tell." 
.s very sad; Beryn toke his leve ; his hertfe] gan to sweH 
ffor pure verry anguyssh ; & no mervel was. 
And who is fat fat nold, & he were in such case ; 2160 
ffor al his trist & hope in eny wordlich thing 1 
Was cleen from hym passid, save sorow & mys-likyng 1 ; 
ffor body, good & CateH, & lyff, he set at nou^te, 
So was his hert I-woundit, for angir & for fou3t. 2164 

Beryn passid sofftly, & to his hors gan go ; 
And when he was w/t/?out f e gatis, he lokid to & fro, 
1 MS < Stwarge.' 2 MS declarith. 

Beryn again 

asks for a day's 
delay to answer. 
Evauder grants 

his trust in the 
world is gone. 


And coude noon othir coiitenaunce ; but to 1 his page he 

" Preciouse God in heven ! ho we falsly am I betrayde ! [leaf 209, back] 

Beryn confesses 

I trowe no man a-lyve stont in worsfel plhte ! 2169 that an his 

mishaps have 

And aH is for my synne, & for my yong 1 delite : come for his 

unkindness to 

And pryncipally, a-bove al thing 1 , for grete vnkynd[e]nes is mother. 

That I did to my modir ; for litiH hede I-wis 2172 

I toke of hir, ]?is know I wele, whils she was alyve ; 

Therfor al this turment is sent to 2 me so ryve. 

ffor J>ere was nevir vomman kynder to hir child 

Then she was ; & ]>cre ageyns, nevir Jnng 1 so wild 2176 

NQ so eviH-thewid, as I was my selff ; 

Therfor sorow & happows environ me by eche helve, 

That I note whidir ryde, nethir vp ne 3 down), 

Ther 1 been so many devillis dwelling 1 in }>is town), 2180 These treacherous 

r n devils of False- 

And [been] so ml ol gile, <fe trechery also, town win undo 

That wele I woot in certeyn, the[y] wolle me on-do. 

Now, wold to God in heven ! what is my best rede 1 " 

He toke his hors [tho] to his page, & thus to hym he seyde : 

" Lede my hors to shipward, & take it to som man ; 2185 He sends ins 

- horse to the ship, 

And 1 won go on loot, as pryuyly as 1 can, 
And assay, yf I may, in eny maner wise, 
Ascapefn] vnarestid more in such[e] maner wise." 2188 
The Child toke his mastris hors, & lafft hym Jjere alone, 
Walking 1 forth on foot, makeing offt his moon : and walks forth 

on foot, 

And in his moste musing 1 , I can nat sey how lome 

He wosshid, nakid as he was bore, he hadrdel be in Room, son-owing over 

his sad state. 

And no mervaiH was it, as the case stode, 2193 

ffor he drad more to less his eyen, J?an he did his shippis 

or his good. 

(Now yee Jjat listith to dweH, & here of aventure, 
How petously dame ifortune, Beryn to a-mvre, 4 2196 (But Fortune -n 

. give him a worse 

1 urnyth hir whele a-bout[en], in the wers[e] syde ; f;l11 yet-) 

"With hap of sorow & anguyssh, she gynnyth for to ride.) 
Beryn passid toward J>e stronde, Jjf?re his shippis were ; 
MS'lmtto.' 2 MS'sentio; 3 MS >e.' 4 'inure' Urr>-. 



Beryn appeals to 
God against his 

[leaf 210] 

A catchpoll 
overhears him, 

resolves to take 
him in again, 

and so begins to 
sympathize with 

1 Tell me your 
distress, and I'll 
help you in it.' 

Beryn says he 
knows not whom 
to trust. 

But yee mow vndirstond, his liert was ful of fere ; 2200 

3it nef irles he sat hym down) sofftly on a statt, 

Semyvif for sorow ; & lenyd to the waH, 

ffor turment fat he had ; so wery he was, & feyut ; 

And to God a-bove, thus he made his pleynt : 2204 

" Gloriows God in heven ! fat al thing 1 madist of nou^t ! 

"Why sufferist f ow f ese cursid men to stroyfe] me for nou^t ] 

And knowest wel myne Innocent, fat I have no gilt 

Of al that the[y] pursu me, or [fat] on me is pilt." 2208 

11 And in the meenfe] whils fat Beryn f us gaii pleyn), 
A Cache poH stode be sidis, (his name was macaign),) 
And herd [tho] aH the w^ordis ; & knew also to-fore 
How Beryn was turmentid, both with las & more, 2212 
It was I-spronge f urh the touu) ; so was he ful ensensid 
How he hym wold engyne, as he had pwrpensid ; 
And had araid hym. sotillich, as man of conte?ftplacioun, 
In a manteH with the lyste, with fals dissimulacioune, 
And a staff in his hond, as f 0113 he febiH were ; 2217 

And drow hym toward Beryn, & seid in this manere : 
" The hi3e God of heven, fat al thing 1 made of nou^t, 
Bles ^ew, gentil sir/ ! for many an hevy f ou^t 2220 

Me finkith that yee have; & 110 wondir is: 
But, good sir, dismay yew nat, but levith yewr/ hevynes, 
And, yff ye list to telle me som what of yewr/ distres, 
I hope to God almy^ty, in party it redres 2224 

Thurh my pore counsaiH, & so I have many oon ; 
ffor I have pete on 30 w, be God & by seynt Ion ! 
And eke pryuy hevynes doith eke man appeir/ 
Sodenly, or he be ware, & falle[n] in dispeir* ; 2228 

And who be in that plage, fat man is incurabitt ; 
ffor consequent comyth aftir sekenes abominabitt : 
And f e?-for, sir, diskeuerith ^ewe, & be no f ing 1 a-drad." 
" Graunt mercy, Sir/," quod beryn, "ye seme trewe & sad; j 
But o f ing 1 lijth in my hert ; I note to whom to trust ; 2233 j 
ffor f o fat dyned me to-day, ordeyned me to a-rest." 
" A ! sir, be ye fat man 1 of $ew I have I-herd. 


Gentil sir/ doutith nat, ne be no ping* a-ferd 2236 TheCatchpoii 

Of me ; for I shaH counseH $ewe as wel as I can ; vises Beryn 

ffor trulich in the Cete dwellith many a fals[e] man, 

And vsyn lititt els but falshode, wrong 1 & while. 2239 

And how pey my$t[e] straungours wz't/j trechery be-gile : 

But yee shuii do ry^t wisely somwhat be my counsayH ; 

Speke with the Steward ; pat may }ewe most a-vaiH ; 2242 to speak to the 

ffor pere is a comyn byword, yf ye it herd havith ; [leaf 210, back] 

' Wele settith he his peny, pat pe pound [therby] savith.' 

The Steward is a couetouse man, pat longe hath desirid 'He has long 

A knyff I have in kepeing 1 , whet/with his hert I wirid : O f mine. 

[It] Shaft be 3 ewe to help, in covenaunte pat yee rn sen it you 

Shaft gyve me fyv mark, yeur/ trew[e] ffrend to be. 2248 

The knyff is feir, I teH ^ew ; ^it nevir to-fore pis Day 

My^t the Steward have it, for au^t [})at] he coi;d prey ; you give it the 

The wich ye shulle gyve hym, pe bettir for to spede, he*u help you. 

And behote hym xx li to help ^ewe in yeur/ nede. 2252 

And yf he grauntith, trustithwele yestondfeii] in good pliate; Better lose a little 

than lose all; 

ffor better is, then lese afl, J?e las ]?e more quyt : 

And I woH go with $ewe, streyte to his plase, 2255 

And knele doun), & speke first, [for] to amend veui/ case : and rn speak 

J for you too.' 

And sey yee be my cosyn ; ]?e bettir shuft yee spede : 
And when pat I have aft I-told, f>e knyff to hym yee bede." 

Beryn pankid hym hertlich, & on hym gan [to] trust, Beryn agrees, 
W-it/i hond in hond ensurid, & al [pou^t] for the best ; 
Beryn Jjou^t noon othir, al 1 pat it opir was. 2261 

Macaign hym comfortid, talking 1 of hir/ case, 
And passid forth [ful] stylly toward pe Steward blyve, takes the knife, 

tind th6y so to 

Beryn & Macaigne ; but Beryn bare pe knyff, 2264 the steward. 

And trust much in his felaw to have [of him] som help. 
But, or they departid were, pey had no cause to yelp 
Of no maner comfort, as ye shuft her 1 a-noon ; 
ffor as sone as macaigne to-fore pe Steward come, 2268 But then 
He fift plat to pe erth ; a grevous pleynt & an huge 
He made, & seyd, "sir Steward! nowe be a trew luge 
1 ? al be = although. 


accuses Beryn of 
having murdered 
his (Macaigne's) 
father Melan, 

who went to 
Rome 7 years ago. 

[leaf 211] 

Beryn tries to 

but Macaigne 
stops him, 

says ' Murder 
Witt out!' 
and that Beryn 
has on him 
Melan's knife. 

Beryn at once 
gives-up the 

and is ordered to 
answer the 
accusation to 

Ageyns this fals trey tour/, fat stondith me be-syde ; 

Let take of hym good hede, els lie wol nat abyde. 2272 

Now mercy, Go[o]d Steward ! for yee hav herd me 3 ore, 

ffor my fadir melan, pleyn to $ew ful sore, 

That with .vij dromodairjs, as I have told ^ewe lonie, 

"With marchandise chargit, went toward [e] Rome ; 2276 

And it is vij yeer a-go, and a litil more, 

Of hym, or of his goodis, fat I herd les or more. 

And 3 it I have enquerid, as bysely as I couthe, 

And met nevir man ^it, fat me coude teft wz't/i mouth 

Any tyding 1 of hym, onto fis same day : 2281 

But now I know to much ; alias ! I may wel say." 

When Beryn herd these wordis, he kist [ajdouii his hede; 
" Alias ! " he f oujt in hert, " Alias ! what is my rede 1 " 
And wold feyii have voidit, & outward gan to stapp : 2285 
But Macaigne arose, & sesid [him] by the lapp ; 
" Nay, f ow shalt nat void ! " he seid ; " my tale is nat I- 


ffor, be trowith of my body, yf f ow scapidist so, 2288 
I shuld nevir have mer[c]y whils I were on lyve ; " 
And set hond fast on Beryns othir scleve, 
And seyd, "good sir Steward, my tale to fe eiide 2291 
I prey [fat] yee wold here ; for, wend how men [woH] wend, 
Ther 5 may 110 man hele murdir, fat it woH out atte last. 
The same knyff my ffadir bere, when he of contre past, 
Let serch[en] wele this felon, & here yee shuH hym fynde ; 
I know f e knyff wel I-now^, it is nat out of my mynde : 
The Cotelere dwellith in this town, fat made f e same knyff; 
And for to preve f e trowith, he shall be here as blyve." 

Beryn swat for angir ; his hert was ful of fere ; 2299 
He toke the knyff to f e Steward, or he serchid wher*. 
The Steward [seyd] on-to Beryn, " my frend, lo ! " qwod he, 
*' And \ ow fink the wel about, f is is a foule plee ! 
I can know noon othir, but fow must, or f ow go, 
3cld the body of melan, & his good also. 2304 

Now, be wel avisid ageyn co morow day ! 


Then slialt f ow have f y lugement ; fere is no more to say." 

When Beryn fro be Steward bus clepartid was, Beryn afresh 

curses Falsetown 

And was with-ont fe gate, he lokid oppon the plase, 2308 bitterly, 

And cursid it wondir bittirly, in a feruent Ire, 

And wisshid many tymes it had "been a feii^ : 

" ffor I trow fat man of lyve was nevir wors be-trayid 

Then I am ; & f ere-with-aH my hert is cleen dismayid ; 

ffor her 1 I have no frendship, but am al counselles ; 2313 

And they been falsher fen ludas, & eke mercylese. [leaf 211, back] 

A ! lord God in hevyii ! fat 1 my hert is woo ! 

And sit suyrly I merveH nat bous bat it be so : 2316 but confesses that 

his own bad life 

ffor 3 it in al my lyve, sith I ou^t vndirstode, has brought these 

punishments on 

Had I nevir win, for to lern[ej good : . Mm. 

ffoly, I hauntid it evir, fere my^t no man me let ; 

And now he hath I-paid me, he is cleen out of my dett. 

ffor whil[e]s I had tyme, wisdom I my3t have lernyd ; 2321 

But I drow^ me to foly, & wold nat be governed, 

But had al myne owne wiH & of no man a-ferd, 

ffor I was nevir chastisid : but nowe myne owne ^erd His own rod 

Betith me to sore ; f e strokis been to hard ; 2325 

ffor these devillis of this towi]) takith but litiH reward 

To sclee my body to have my good ; Jje day is set to morowe. 

Now, wold to God I were in grave ! for it were end of sorow. would God i 

I was I-wis to much a fole ! for hate I had to Rame 2329 Grave! 

I wold forsake myne heritage ; therfor sorow & shame For my own 

. r . -. . . , faults, has shame 

Is oppon me fan, & ri^t wele [isj deservid ; fallen on me \ 

ffor I tooke noon maner hede, when my modir stervid ; 
And disobey id my ffadir, & set hym at nau^t also : 2333 
What wondir is it than, Jjou^ fat I have woo ? 
ffortune & eke wisdom have werrid with me evir, 
And I with hem in al my lyff, for ffortune was me levir 
Then eny wit or governaunce ; for hem too I did hate ; 
And fou3e I wold be [now] a4oon, now it is' to late. 2338 
my3tfuH God in heven ! wher* was evir man 
That wrou^t 1 hym-selff more foly fen I my selff did fan? 
1 MS my 


' Cursed be the 
time I sold my 
heritage ! 

Had I behaved 
well, I should 
have been sport 
ing, and flirting 
with fair girls 

But I'm like the 
man who, to 
drive the flies off, 

[leaf 212] 

pet fire to his 

I gave up my in 
heritance because 
of Rame's un- 

More fool I ! 

And perhaps I 
shall now lose 
my life for this 
knife that was 
found on me ! ' 

A-cursid be the tyme pat I out of Home went, 

That was my ffadirs ri^te heir*, of ly vlode & of rent, 

And al the riaH lordshipp pat he hath in pe town) ! 

Had I had wit & grace, & hold me lowe & boune, 2344 

It were my kynd [right] now, a-mong my baronage 

To haukefn] & to hunt, & eke to pley & rage 

"WitJi feirfe] fresh[e] ladies, & daunoe when me lyst ! 

But nowe it is to late to speke of had-I-wist ! 2348 

But I fare like the man, pat, for to swele his vlyes 

He stert in-to the bern, & aftir stre he hies, 

And goith a-bout pe wallis w^t/i a brennyng 1 wase, 

TyH it was atte last, pat the leem & blase 2352 

Entryd iii-to the Chynys, wher* pe whete was, 

And kissid so pe evese, pat brent was al the plase ; 

But first in the begynnyng 1 , til feer smote in the raftris, 1 

He toke no maner kepe, & poi^t of no ping 1 aftir, 2356 

What pe?'eH ther 1 my^te fall : ne more did I iwis, 

That wold forsake myne honour/, for pe vnkynd[e]nes 

Of Eame pat was my stepmodir ; for, yf I shal nat ly, 

They [stepmothirs] beth 

- soure 

wherfor the more wisely 

I shuld have wrou^t, had I had wit, & suffrid for a tyme, 

And aftir com to purpose wel I-now3e of myne. 

But evil avcngit he [h]is deol, pat, for a litiH mode 

And angir to his ney^bour, sellith a-wey his good, 2364 

And goith hym-selff a begging aftir in breff tyme ; 

He mut be countid a lewd man, in al[le] maner ryme : 

So have I wroi^t, & wers ; for I dout of my lyve, 

How pat it shall stond, for plukking of my scleve, 2368 

The knyffe pat was me take, as yee have herd to-fore : 

And $it it grevith myne hert also much more 

Of myne own) pepiH, pat no disese a-servid : 3 

I wote wele, aftir pleding, ri3t nou^t wol be reservid 2372 

To sustene hir* lyvis ; I trow ry$t nou^t or lyte ; 

And pa? f aventnr Ii3tly stond in wors[e] ply^te : 

Of me it is no force, 01136 I be pus arayed, 

1 Read ' raf tir.' 2 MS seure. 3 'deserved.' 


But it is dole & pete, fat they shul be be-trayid 2376 
That hath nou^t a-.servid, but for my gilt aloon." 

And when J>at Beryn in this wise had I-made his mone, After Beryn' 
1T A CrepiH he saw comyng with grete spede & hast, he sees a Cripple 

Oppon a stilt vndir his kne [i]bound[en] wondir fast, 2380 
And a crouch vndir his armys ; with hondis al for-skramyd. 
" Alias ! " q?/od this Beryn, " shall I be more examenyd?" 
And gan to turn a-side, on-to J>e see stronde, so he turns, and 

And the cripiH: aftir, & wan oppon hym londe. 2384 

Tho be-gan Beryn to drede inwardlich[e] sore, 
And Jjon^t thus in his hert : " shal I be comberid more 1 
And It were goddis will, my sorowe for to cese ! 
Me finkith I have I-nowe ! " the cripiH: be-gan to preche, 
And had I-rau^t nere hond Beryn by the scleve. 2389 [leaf 212, back] 
Beryn turnyd, as an hare, & gan to renfne] blyve ; 
But the cripiH knew bottir the pathis smale & grete, But the cripple 

rm -r PIT n i catches him up, 

llien Beryn ; so to-iore hym he was, & gan hym mete. 

When Beryn saw it vaylid nou}t to renne, ne to lepe ; 
What for dole & anguyssh, o word [ne] my^t he speke, 
But stode stiH a-masid, & starid fast a-boute. 
The cripiH: be-gan to speke : "sir, to drede or to dout and says Beryn 

... nnnh, wouldn't be afraid 

Of me, wold ye n^te li^t, & ye knewe myne hert : 2397 if he knew 

So, where yee like evil 1 or il, fro me shuH: ye nat parte 

TyH I have tretid with ^ew, & yee with me also, 

Of aft yeur soden happis, yeur myscheff, & ye Mr/ woo ; 

ffor by the tyme J?at I have knowlech of yenr/ case, 2401 

Yeur/ rennyng & yewr/ trotting 1 , in-to an esy pase how the cripple 

I shall turn or ])at wee twyn, so yee aftir my scole 2 

Wol do, & as I rede ^ew ; for yee were a Me 2404 

When yee cam first a londe. [wolde] yee had met with me, 

ffor I wold have ensensid ^ewe al the iniquite and could have 

Of these fals[e] marchandis, J>at dwellin in pis town), 

And outid aH yeur/ chaffare wMout[en] gruch or groun : 

ffor, had ye dwellid within yeur/ shippis, & nat go hem chant8 ' 

a-mong 1 , 2409 

1 Urry reads ' well.' * schooling, teaching. ' stole,' Urry. 



Beryn asks 
the Cripple 

only to stop 
bothering hir 

and he'll reward 
him to-morrow, 
if he has any 
thing left. 

Beryn lets go his 
mantle, to get rid 
of the Cripple, 

[leaf 213] 

then tears him 
self lose, 

and bolts. 

On this, though 
the Cripple, 
Geffrey, is 100 
vears old, 

Then had yee been vndaungerid, & quyt of al hir wrong 
On 3ewe fat been surmysid, furh fala suggestioune." 
Beryn gan to sigh ; vnneth he my^tfe] soune, 2412 

Saff o word or tweyn ; & " mercy " was the first, 
Preying 1 with all his hert, fat he my^t have his rest, 
And be no more enpledit, but pas[sen] fro hym quyte. 
" Good sir/," quod Beryn, " doith me no more dispite ; 
And suffir me to pas, & have on me [som] routhe ; 2417 
And I suyr/ }ew feithfully, have [je] here my trowith, 
To morowe when I have pledit, & any f ing 1 be lafft 
Of Shipp or march andise, a-fore the Ship, or bafft, 2420 
I woH shewe }ew al I-fere, & opyn euery chest, 
And put it in yeur/ grace, to do whatfso] yee lest." 

And in the meenfe] while fat Beryn gan to clapp, 
The CrypiH ny^hid hym nere & iiere, & hent hym by f e 

lap. 2424 

And, as sone as Beryn knew fat he was in honde, 
He viilacyd his manteH, for drede of som comand, 
And pryueliche ovir his shuldris lete hym downe glyde, 
And had levir lese his manteH then a-byde. 2428 

The CripiH: aH perceyvid, and hent hym by the scleve 
Of his nethir surcote. " alas ! nowe mut y stryve," 
Thou^te Beryn by hym-selff; "nowe I am I-hent, 
Ther* helpith nau^te save strengith : " f ere-with the scleve 

to-rent ; 2432 

Beryn gan to stappe, he sparid for no cost. 
" Alas ! " f ou3t this cripiH, " f is man woH be [ijlost, 
And be vndo for evir, but he counseH have. 
I-wis, fou3e he be lewde, my contremen to save, 2436 
3it wiH I my besynes do, And peyn[e] fat I may, 
Sith he is of Room, for fat is my contray." 

This cripiH was an hundrit 3ere ful of age, 
With a longe thikfke] berd ; and a trewe visage 2440 
He had, & a manly, And luly was he ; 
And Geffery was his name, I-knowe in fat contre. 
" Alias ! " f ou3t this Gefferey, " this man hath grete drede 


Of me, bat by my power wold help hym in his nede. 2444 

I-wis, 01130 lie be nyce, vntau^t, & vnwise, 

I wott nat, for his foly, leue myne enpryse ; " 

And lept [J>o] aftir Beryn, And bat in ri^t good spede. lie rushes after 

Beryii was so sore agast, he toke no maner hede 2448 
To look onys bakward, tiH he to be watir cam ; 
Then lokid he be-hynd, & saw sir Clekam 

Comannd wondir fast, \viih staff & viith his stilt. follows him dose, 

" Alas ! " bo^t Beryn, " I nowe am I-spilt ; 2452 

ffor I may no ferther, without I wold me droune : 
I note wich were the bettir, or go ageyn to toune." 
Geffery was so ny [i]com, bat Beryn my^t nat fle : and comes up 

" Good sir/," quod this Gefferey, "why do yee void[e] me 1 ? Geffrey then 
ffor, by he ven Queue, bat bare Criste in hir/ barme, 2457 
But ri^te as to my selif, I won" 3 ewe 110 more harm. 
Sittith down) here by me [right] oppon this see stronde, 
And yffyee drede[n] any thing, clepe[th] yeur/ men to londe, 
And let hem be here with vs aR our/ speche-tyme ; 2461 [leaf 213, back] 
ffor I woH nat feyn oon woord, as makers doon to rynie, and promises to 
But counseli ^ewe as prudently as God woH send me grace : 
Take comforte to ^ewe, & herk a litin spase ! " 2464 

And when that Beryn had I-herd his tale to be ende, Beryn is partly 


And how goodly as Geffrey spak, as he were his frende ; 

Non-obstant his drede, yet part of sapience 

Stremyd in-to his hert, for his eloquence, 2468 

And seyd ; " God me counsayH, for his hi^e mercy ! and says 

ffor I have herd this same day men as sotilly 

Speke, & of yeur/ semblant, And in such rnanere, 

And by-hete me ffrendshippe outward by hir/ chere, 

But 1 inward it was contrary hir intelleccioune, 2473 

Wherfor the blame is les, bou^e I suspecioune 

Have of yeur/ wordis, lest othir be yeur/ entent ; 

ffor I note I[n] whom to trust, by God omnipotent : 2476 

3it nethirles, yf yeur/ win is to come in-to be Shipp vriih me, he'ii trust G C H, ey 

T u /IT if he'll come into 

1 won som-what do by yeur/ rede, how so it evir be. the ship. 

" Then," quod Geffrey, " yf it be so bat I in yeur/ powere, Geffrey rsks 


what Beryn will 
give him if he 
turns the tables 
on his accusers. 

I'll reward you 

'Then I'll go 
with you,' says 

' I've been here 
many years, 
and tormented 
worse than you. 

[leaf 214] 
The rascals here 

have robbed 
me of 1000; 

and I've been 
obliged to dis 
guise myself as a 
cripple, to save 
my life.' 

Geffrey throws 
away his crutches. 

Entir in-to yeur Shippis, & }ewe help in your/ mystere, 
That yee ageyn yeur aduersaries shuH have J>e bettir syde, 
And gyve jewe such counsel} to bate down) hir 1 pride, 2482 
And J>at yee wyn in every pleynt, also much or more 
As they purpose to have of jewe ; yf J?ey be doun) I-bore, 
And [yf] yee have amendis for hir* iniquite, 
And I ^ewe brynge to J>is end ; what shaft my guerdon be 1" 
IT " In verry soth," quod Beryn ; " yf I ^ewe may trust, 
I wolle quyte ^ewe trewly ; I make ^ewe be-hest." 2488 
" In feith then," q?od Geffray, " I wolle with ^ewe wende." 
" What is yeur/ name," seid Beryn tho, " my ffrend 1 " 
" Gefferey," he seyd ; " but in this marchis I was nat bore ; 
But I have dwellid in this Cete, yeeris here-to-fore 2492 
fful many, & [been] turmentid worsfe] ]?en were yee, 
And [have] endurid for my trowith much aduersite : 
ffor I wold in no wise suffir hir/ falshedes ; 
ffor in aH the world', so corrupt of hir 1 dedis 2496 

Been noon men a-lyve, I may ry^te wele a-vowe ; 
ffor they set aH hir/ wittis in wrong, al )?at pey mo we ; 
Wherfor ful many a tyme, the grettest of hem & I 
Have stonden in altercacioune, for hir/ trechery. 2500 
ffor I had in valowe, in trewe marchandise, 
A Mt. pound : al have they take in such [a] maner wise : 
So ferforth to save my blood no lengir my^t I dure ; 
ffor drede of wors, ]?us j?ou^t I, my selff to disfigure ; 2504 
And have a-monge hem xij yeer go ri^t in pis pli^te, 
And evir have had in memory howe I my^t hem quyte ; 
And so I hope now^e, as sotiH as they be, 
With my wit engyne hem, and helpfen] ^ewe & me. 
My lymes been both hole & sound ; me nedith stilt ne 
crouch." 2509 

He cast a-syde hem both, and lepe oppon an huche, 
And a-down) a-geynes, & walkid too and fro, 
Yp & down), with-in the Shippe, & shew id his hondis tho, 
Strecching 1 forth his fyngirs, in si^t ouer al aboute, 2513 
W/t/iout[en] knot or knor, or eny signe of goute ; 


And cly^te hem efft ageyns, ri^t disfetirly, 

Som to ride eche othir, & som a-weyward wry. 2516 

Geffrey was ri3t my3ty, & wele his age did here, Geffrey, at 100, 

ffor iiatur was more substancial, when tho day is were, (Not like a* poor 

Then [is] no we in our tynie ; for al thing 1 doith wast, 

Saffe vile & cursid lyving 1 ; bat growith al to wast. 1 2520 

What shuld I telle more ] but Geffrey sat hym down), 
And Beryn hym besydis. the Romeyns gan to rown), 
And mervellid much in Geffrey, of his disgisenes ; 
And Beryn had a-nothir bou$t, & spak of his distres. 2524 
" Now, Geffrey," seid this Beryn, " & I durst trust in ^ewe, Beryn says 

rm , -, 'if any one '11 

That, & yee knewe eny man fat is a-ly ve a nowe, h e i p me now, 

That had of discrecioune so much influence, 

To make my party good to-morowe in my defence, 2528 

And delyvir me of sorowe, As yee be-hote have, 

I wold be-com his legeman, as god my soule save ! " rn become his 

" That were to much," q^wd Geffrey ; " jjat woH I ^ew re- ^fel 2u, back] 

, Geffrey says 

lese ; m help you, 

But I desire of othir thing to have yeur 1 promes ; 2532 
That, & I bryng 1 yeur/ enmyes into such a traunce, 
To make for yeur/ wrongis to ^ew ri^te hi^e fenaunce, 
And so declare for sewe, bat with aew pas such dome, if you'll take me 

back to Rome.' 

That yee, oppon yeur ieith, brynge me at Room, 2536 

Yf God woH send ^ew wedir & grace to repase." 

Quod. Beryn, " but I graunt ^ewe, I wei- 5 lewder ben an asse. 

But, or I fullich trust ^ewe, holdith me excusid, 

I woH go counsel! with my men, lest bey it refusid." 2540 

Beryn drewe a-syde, & spak with his meyne ; Beryn consults 

his men about it. 

And expressid every word, in what pli^t & degre 
That he stood, from poynt to poynt, & of his fals arestis. 
His meyne were a-stonyd, & starid forth as bestis. 2544 
" Spekith som word," quod. Beryn, " sith I am betrayd ; 
Yee have I-herd what Geffrey to me hath [i-]say<$." 
These Romeyns stood all still ; o word ne cowd bey meve ; 
And eke it passid hir/ wittis. ben Beryn gan releve, 
1 Urry reads ' faste.' 



Beryn prays 
Geffrey to help 
him, for the lovi 
of God. 

Geffrey swears 
he will. 

[leaf 215] 

ifBcryn will 
take him back 
to Rome. 

They make the 
agreement, and 
kiss, to confirm 

Geffrey then 
urges Beryn to 
tell him his 
whole story. 

And to Geffrey efft ageyn ; & mercy hym be-sou^t. 2549 
" Help me, sir/' quod Beryn, " for his love fat vs bou^t, 
Dying 1 on the rood ! " (& wept ful tendirly ;) 
" ffor but yee help," quod Beryn, " ther/ is no remedy ; 
ffor comfort nethir counsaiH, of my men have I noon. 2553 
Help me, as God ^ew help, & els I am vndoon ! " 

When Geffrey sawe this Beryn so distract, & wept, 
Pite in-to eche veyn of his [goode] hert[e] crept : 2556 
" Alas!" quod Geffrey, "I my^t nat do a more synfuftdede, 
I leve by my trowith, fen fayft ^ew in this nede ! 
ffaift me God in heven, yf fat I ^ewe faift, 
That I shaft do my besines, my peyn & my travaift, 2560 
To help }ew be my power" ! I may no ferther goo ! " 
" 3is, yee be-hete me more," seyd Beryn tho, 
"That yee wold helpfe] me at aft, fat I slmld stond[e] cler 1 :" 
Beryn gan to wepe, & make \vers[e] chere. 2564 

" Stlllith ^ewe," quod Geffrey ; "for howe so evir yee tire, 
More fen my power yee ou^t[e] nat desire, 
ffor, f urh f e grace of God, yee shaft be holpfen] wele ; 
I have thereof no doute. but trewlich I ^ewe telle, 2568 
That yee woli hold me covenaunte, & I woH 3ew also, 
To brynge me at Eoom, when it is al I-do. 
In signe of trowith of both sidis of our/ acordement, 
Ech of vs kis othir, of our/ corny n assent." 2572 

And aft was do : & aftirward Beryn comaundit wyne. 
They dronk, & fen Geffrey seyd, " sir/ Beryne, 
Yee mut declare yeur/ maters to myne intelligence, 
That I may the bet perseyve al inconvenience, 2576 

Dout, pro, contra, and anbiguite, 
Thurh yeur/ declaracioune, & enfourmyd be : 
And with the help of our soveren lord celestiaft, 
They shutt be behynd, & wee shul have f e baft. 2580 

ffor no we the tyme approchith, for hir/ cursidnes 
To be soniwhat rewardit ; & cause of yeur/ distres 
Hath my hert I-seclid 1 , & fixid hem a iiye, 
1 ' ysetlid,' TJrry. 


As trowith wott, & reson, for hir trechery. 2584 

ffor many a man, to-fore this day, bey have do out of daw, 

Distro[y]id, & turmentid, burh hir fals[e] lawe. 

ffor bey bink litiH ellis, & aH hir wittis fyve, ' The men of 

Falsetown think 

Save to have a mannys good, & to be-nym his lyve ; 2588 only how to 

And hath a cursid custom, al ageyns reson, strangers. 
That what man they enpeche, bey have noon encheson, 

J^ome it be as fals a thing 1 , as God hym-selff is trewe, However false a 

charge against 

And it touch a strauriger, bat is [i]com of newe, 2592 one is, 

Atte firstfe] mocioune bat he begynnyth to meve, 

Ther> stondith vp an hundrit, hym [tho] to repreve. wowm s ar it's 

The lawes of be Cete stont in probacy : Their laws re 

quire only afflrm- 
They vsen noon enquestis, be wrongis for to try. 2596 ative proof: 

they have no 

And yf bow haddist eny wrong 1 , & woldist pleynFel the, inquests (juries) 

to sift a cause. 

And were as trewe a cause as eny my^te be, 

Thow shuldist nat fynd o man, to bere the witnes, 

Thou} euery man [then] in the town knew it, more or les, 

So burrith they to-gid[er] & holdith with ech othir/ ; 2601 

That, as to countirplede hem, bey yee were my brobere, [leaf 21 5, back] 

So it's no good to 

I wold gyve ^eve ^ewe no counseli, ne hir/ enpechement counterpiead a 

In no word to deny ; for bat were combirment ; 2604 

ffor ben were bey in the ami-matyff, & wold preve a-noon ; 

And to ^ew bat were negatyff, be lawe wold giaunte a-noon : as then you're in 

So for to plede ageyn hem It woll litiH a-vaile ; 

And }it to euery mannys wit it ou}t be grete mervaitt ; C^d yet it's odd, 

ffor hir/ lawis been so streyt, & peynows ordinaunce 2609 

Is stallid for hir falshede ; for bis is hir/ fynaunce, as isope, their 

rr> ^ i / T n* r> -, -r lord . punishes 

io lese hir/ lyti for lesing 1 , & Isope it may knowe, lying with death. 

That lord is riatt of the town), & holdith hem so lowe : 

Wherfor they have a custom, a shrewid for be nonys, 2613 

Yf eny of hem sey a thing, they cry [en] att attonys, so when one lies, 

Ain , e> ,1 o , i all swear it's true, 

And term it lor a sotn, & it bere any charge ; to keep out of 

Thus of the daunser ' of Isope They kepe hem eue?* at large. 
And therfor wisdom weer, who-so my^t eschewe, 2617 
Nevir to dele with hem ; for, were it wrong 1 , or trewe, 
1 ? daunger. 



So we must 
answer in some 
way that they 
can't reply to. 
(Tell bigger lies 
than they've 
told, in fact.) 

Now tell nie all 
your opponents' 
cases, to inform 

Beryn says he 
can't help him 
at all. 

' Well then,' 
says Geffrey, 

' listen to me. 

The Lord of this 
town, Isope, 
is the wisest man 

Tho' he's been 
blind 60 years, 

he puts down 
every one in the 

against whom 
any ill is proved. 

It shuld lititt a-vaitt a-geyn[se] hir/ falshedes ; 
ffor they been accursid, & so been [eke] hir/ dedis. 2620 
"Wherfor wee must, with al our wit seiisibiH, 
Such answers vs purvey, fat fey been insolibil 
To morow at our/ apparaunce, & shuft be responsaift 
ffor of wele p] : & ellis It is thy day fynaft." 2624 

" Xowe, soveren lord celestial! ! " with many sorowful sighis 
Seyd Beryn to Geffrey, " yminemorat of lyes, 
Graunt me grace to morowe ! so fat God be plesid, 
Make so myne answere ; & I somwhat I-esid 2628 

By f e fat art my counsarft ; for of ir help is noon ! " 
"Beherce me then," q?/od Geffrey, "fe causis of fy ffoon, 
ffro poyiit to poynt, al in fere, [fat] on f e is surmysid ; 
Wherf urh I my^t, to morowe, fe bettir be a-visid." 2632 
" Xow in soth," qwod Beryn, " f ou^e I shuldfe] dy, 
I can nat teti the tenyth part of hir/ [fals] trechery 
(What for sorow & angir) fat fey to me have wrou^t ; 
So stoiid I clene desperat, but ye con help[en] ou^t." 2636 
" Deupardeux," seid Geffrey, " & I the wol iiat faiii, 
Sith I have ensurid the to be of f y counsaitt ; 
And [eke] so much the more, fat f ow art nat wise, 
And canst nat me enfourm of no maiier a- vise. 2640 

Here therfor a while, and tend wel to my lore : 
The lord fat dwellith in f is town), whose name I told to-fore, 
Isope efft rehersid, is so inly wise, 

That no man alyve can pas[sen] his devise ; 2644 

And is so grow in ^eris, f a[t] Ix yeer ago 
He saw[e] nat for age ; & ^it it stondith so, 
\)at f urh his witt & wisdom, & his governance, 
Who makith a fray, or stryvith au^t, or mel to much, or 
praunce, 2648 

With-in the same Cyte, fat he iiys take a-noon, 
And hath his penaunce forih-with ; for pardon vsith he noon, 
ffor fere nys pore ne riche, ne what [e]state he be, 
That he nys vndirfote for his iniquite ; 2652 

And it be previd on hym, fere shal no gold hym quyte, 


Bl^fc as the forfete axith, [ethir] mocli or lite : 

ffor geyn[e]s his comaundement is noon so hardy quek, 

So hard[e] settith he his fote in euery mannys nek ; 2656 

ffor, vndir sky & sterris, bis day is noon a-lyve NO one alive is so 

clever as Isope : 

That coude a-mend hym in o poynt, al thing to discryve. 

The .vij. sages of Eome, 0113 al ageyn hym were, not the seven 

Sjures even. 

The shuld be insufficient to make[n] his answere; 2660 

ffor he can al langagis, Grew, Ebrewe, & latyne, He knows Latin, 

Caldey, ffrenssh, & lombard, yee knowe[n] l wel fyne ; 

And alle maner [doctrine] at men in bokis write ; 

In poyse, and philosophe, also he can endite. 2664 writes poetry, 

knows law, 

Sevile [law], & Canoun, & [eke] al maner lawis ; philosophy, 

Seneca, & Sydrak, & Salamonys sawis ; 

And the .vij. sciencis, & eke la we of Armys, 

Experiments, & pompery, & al maner charmys, 2668 pumping?, 

As yee shutt here[n] aftir, er bat I depart, 

Of his Imaginaciouns, & of his sotitt art. 

ffor he is of age ccc 2 yeer/ & more ; [leaf 216, back] 

Wherfor of alle sciencis he hath be more lore. 2672 

In denmark he was goten, & I-bore also, He was bom 

in Denmark, 

And in grece I-nonsshid, til he coud speke & go : brought-up in 

Ther* was he putto scole, & lernyd wondir fast ; 

ffor such was [tho] his grace, bat al othir he past. 2676 

But first, in his begynnyng 1 , litil good he had, 

But lernyd evir passyngly, & was wise & sad. 

Of stature & of feture, ber* was noon hym like 

frurh the londe of grece, bou^ men wold hym seke. 2680 

" A kyng bere was in tho ^eris, bat had noon heire male, and the king 
Saff a doubter, bat he lovid [right] as his owne saal. 
Tsope was his seruaunt, & did hym such plesaunce, 

'e made hym his heii 1 *, & did hym so avaunce, 2684 
1 /his doubter, and aftir hym to bere crown), wedded his 

o r PT i 11 o T daughter to him. 

: prowes ; & [otj his port so low he was, & boun). 
k5u as fortun wold, ]?at was Isopis frend, 
This worthy kyng 1 jjat same yere made his camel ende 2688 

1 ? he knoweth. 2 three hundred. MS eee. 




' 140 years has 
Jsope reigned, 

and his wisdom 
has maintained 
him till now. 

Any one who has 
a hard cause tries 
to get Isope to 
decide it. 

Now, Beryn, 
you must go to 

and then return 

I'll describe 
Isope's house to 
you, and tell you 
how to get to it. 

Don't go in at 
the broad gate 
of the castle, 

but by a window 
on the right. 

Go in (you'll see 
a portcullis) to a 
beautiful hall, 

Tha[t] vij xx 1 yeer is passid fat Isope f us liath. regned, 
And }it [ne] was f er 1 nevir, for wrong 1 on hym compleyned, 
ffor no lugement fat he gaff; ^it som ageyn hyw wyled 
A grete part of his pepift, & wold have hym exiled ; 2692 
But his grete wisdom, & his manfulnes, 
His governance, with his bounte, & his ^tfulnes, 
Hath evir ^it meyntenyd? 2 hym vnto [t]his ilch[e] day ; 
And wott, whils fat he lyvith, for au^t fat men can say. 
ffor who hath eny quarett, or cause for to wonde, 2697 
Within this same Cete, quiklich wott he fonde 
And it be sotitt mater, to Isope for to fare, 
ffro gynnyng 1 to fe end, his quarel to declare. 2700 

And eve a-fore, as custom is, f e pie 3 shal be on f e morowe; 
But 4 who-so ly, he scapith nat Wft&outtfe] shame or sorow. 

" Beryn, fow must go thidir, wher* thyn enpechement 
Shufr be I-mevid; & ferfor pas nat thens, 2704 

Tytt fow have herd hem att ; & [tho] report hem wele 
To me, fat am thy counsett ; & repeir [here] snele. [leaf 217] 

" But so riatt mancioune as Isope dwellith In, 
Ther is noon in the world, ne [noon] so queynt of gyn : 2708 
Wherfor be wel avisid, how I enfourm[e] the 
Of f e wondir weyis, & of the pryuyte, 
That been w/t/an his paleyse, fat f ow must pasfsen] by : 
And when fow approchist, & art fe castett ny^, 2712 

Blenchfe] fro f e brode gate, & entir fow nat there ; 
ffor f ere been men to kepe it : $it have fow no fere ; 
Pas doun on the ri^t hond by f e casteH wall, 
TyH fow fynd a wyndowe ; & what-so the by-faH:, 2716 
Entir ther 1 , yf fow may, & be no thing agast ; 
But walk forth in fat entre : fen shalt fow see in hast 
A port-Colyse the to-fore, pas in boldly 
TyH fow com to an halt, f e feyrest vndir sky : 272( 

The wallis been of marbitt, I-ioyned & I-closid ; 
And the pilours cristatt, grete & wele pwposid ; 

1 7 score. Urry prints ' 27.' 2 Urry prints * preserved.' 

3 Drry prints 'peple' for 'J>e pie.' 4 MS ' Both.' 


The keueryng of-bove, is of selondyn ; ceiled with 

selondyne, paved 

And the pamentf be-neth, of gold & asure fyne. 2/24 with gold, 

But who-so passith Jmrh J>is haft, hath nede to ren[ne] blyve, 

Or els he inv^tfe] be disware of his owne lyve ; 

ffor berewzt/an lijth a stoon, bat is so hote of kynde, containing one 

J stone, that burns- 

That what thing com forby, a-noon it woft a-tend, 1 2728 up whatever 

comes near it, 

As bry^t as any candel leem, & consume a-noon : and another stone, 

And so wold the haft also, ner coldnes of a stoon equal coldness. 

That is I-clepid * dyonyse,' fat set is hym ageyn 

So, & f ow lepe Ii3tly, f ow shalt have no peyn) ; 2732 

ffor ethir stone, in kynde proporcioned they be ; 

Of hete, & eke of coldnes, of oon equalite. 

" J)ow must pas f urh f e haft ; but tary nat, I rede ; Pass thro* the 

ffor f <m shalt fynd a dur, vp ri}t a-fore f yn hede. 2736 go in at it, and 
When f ow art entrid ther 1 , & f e dor a-past ; leopards. 

Whatso ]?ow se ligg or stond, be f ow nat agast ; 
And yf bow drede any thing, do no more save bio we : if you're afraid 

J of either, blow 

But }it I rede the, be ware J>at it be somwhat lowe : 2740 on it, 

Ther 1 been to libardis, loos and [eke] vntyed? ; 

If that thy blowing 1 of fat othir in eny thing be spyed, [leaf 217, back] 

Anoon he rakith on the, to sese the by thy pate; 

ffor there nys thing 1 in erth fat he so much doith hate, 

As breth of mannys mowith : wherfor refreynfel the, 2745 but very gently 


And blowe but fair & sofft, & when that nede be. 

When thow art passid this haH, anoon ben shalt bowe com Then you'll come 

to the loveliest 

In-to the fayrest gardyn bat is in cristendom) : 2748 garden in the 

world, like 

The wich, Jmrh his clergy, is made of such devise paradise, 

That a man shall ween he is in paradise, 

At his first comyng in, for melody & song, 

And othir glorious thingis, & delectabiH a-mong 1 ; 2752 

The wich Tholomeus, bat som-tyme paynym was, made b y 


That of Astronomy knew euery poynt & case, 

Did it so devise, jmrh his hi3e connyng, 

That there nys best in erth, ne bird bat doith syng, 2756 with birds of 

gold that move 

That he nys ther 1 in figur/, in gold & sylvir fyne, asifaiive. 

1 light, set fire to. 



In this garden 
is the fairest tree 
under the sky. 

Eight Necroman 
cers guard this 

and they look 
like loathly 
worms, enough 
to frighten the 
bravest men. 

Also, there's a 
White Lion, 
who's eaten 500 

But if you touch 
a branch of the 
fair Tree, you'll 
be quite safe. 

On the further 
side is a passage 

that '11 bring you 
to Isope's room. 

And mowe as they were quyk, knawe )>e sotitt engyne. 

In mydward of this gardyn stant a feire tre, 

Of alle maner levis fat vndir sky [there] be, 2760 

I-forgit & I-fourmyd, eche in his degre, 

Of sylvir, & of goldfe] fyne, fat lusty been to see. 

This gardeyn is evir green, & ful of may[e] flouris, 

Of rede, white, & blewe, & othir fressh colouris, 2764 

The wich[e] been so redolent, & sentyn so a-boute, 

IT That he must be ry^te lewd, [fat] f erin shuld[e] route. 

" These inonstrefulle thingis, I devise to the, 
Be-cause fow shuldist nat of hem a-basshid be 2768 

When that f owe comyst ther\ so fow be strong in f ou^t, 
And do be my counseH, drede the ri^t nou^t ; 
ffor ther* beth viij tregetours fat f is gardyn kepith ; 
ffour 1 of hem doith waak, wl>ils the fcmrc sclepith; 2772 
The wich[e] been so perfite of ."Nygramance, 
And of f e arte of apparene, and of tregetrie, 
That they make semen (as to a mannys sight) 
AbominabiH wormys, fat sore ou^t be a-fri^te 2776 

The hertiest man on erth, but he warnyd were 
Of the grisly si^tis fat he shuld see there. 
Among al othir, ther/ is a lyon white, [leaf 218] 

That, & he se a straungir, he raumpith for to bite ; 2780 
And hath, to-fore this tyme, .v.C men & mo 
Devourid & I-ete, J>at therforth have I-goo. 
3it shalt Jjowe pas suyrly, so Jjow do as I teU. 
The tre I told to-fore, Jjat round as any beH 2784 

Berith bowe & braunce, traylyng to ]? e ground, 
And Jjow touch oon of hem, J>ow art safF & sound ; 
The tre hath such vertu, thei^ shati no J>ing ]?e dere : 
Loke fat be Jie first, when J?ow comyst there. 2781 

" Then shalt Jjowe se an entre, by the ferther syde ; 
Thou^e it be streyt to-fore, Inner large & wyde 
It growith more & more, & as a dentour wriythe ; 
3it woH that wey the bryng fere fat Isope lijth, 2792 

Into the feyrest Chambir fat evir man sawe with eye. 



When thow art ther ) -wit/i-in, govern) pe wisely ; 
ffor, ther slialt thow here[n] al thyn enpecheinent 
Opynly declarid, in Isopis present. 2796 

Keport hem wele, & kepe hem in thy mynde ; 
And aftir thy relacioune, wee shaft so turn) & \vend, 
Thurh help of God a-bove, such help for to make, 2799 
That they shuH be a-combrit, & we ry$t wel to scape." 

"Now in soth," quod. Beryn, "a mannys hertis may grise 
Of such wondir weyis ! for al my marchandise 
I had levir lese, then oppon me take 
Such a wey to pas." " then, sir/, for yewr/ sake 2804 
I woft my selff," quod. Geffrey : " sith I am ensuryd 
To help the with my power, jjowe shalt be a-myrid 
As ferforth as I may ; jjat I woft do my peyn 
To bryng 1 ^ewe plesaunt tyding 1 , & retourn ageyn, 2808 
3it or J?e Cok crowe ; & therfor let me se, 
White I am out, how mery yee can be." 

Geffrey tok his leve : but who was sory tho, 
But Beryn, & his company? for, when he was go, 2812 
The had no maner ioy; but dout, & hevynes ; 
ffor of his repeyryng 1 they had no sikirnes. 
So every man to othir made his compleynt, 
And wisshid J?at of felony they had been atteynt ; 2816 
And so hem Jjou^t [it] bettir, to end[en] hevynes, 
Then every day to lak[ke] brede atte first[e] mes : 
" ffor when our/ good is go, what shaft fal of vs 1 
Evir to be hir/ thrallis, & paraventure wers, 2820 

To lese our/ lyff[es] aftir, yf wee displese hem ou$t : " 
Aftir Geffrey went, this was al hir/ Jjou^t 
Thurhout ]?e ny3te, titt Cokkis gan to syng 1 . 
But then encresid anguyssh ; hir/ hondis gan to wryng* ; 
And cursid wind 1 & watir j>at hem brou3t[e] ther 1 ; 2825 
And wisshid many tymes that [t]he[y] 2 had been in bere, 
And were a-passid, & entrid in-to [grete] dispeyr 1 . 
In as much as Geffrey did nat [sone] repeir*, 2828 

1 MS < wyne.' 2 AS. hi = they. 

There you shall 
hear your im 

Then tell it me, 
and we'll settle 
our defence.' 

Beryn declines 
to go to Isope. 

So Geffrey says 
he'll go, 

and be back by 

Geffrey starts ; 
and Beryn and 
his men begin to 
mope and groan : 

[leaf 218, back] 

The men '11 
take our goods 
and then make 
slaves of us. 

Curse the wind 
and water that 
brought us here ! 



We'll sail off 

They get ready 
to start, and turn 
their sails across 
the masts. 

Just then comes 
Geffrey to the 

Beryn sends out 
a boat for him. 

The Romans 
fetch him in, 
tho' they believe 
he'll betray 'em. 

[leaf 219] 

Geffrey is wroth, 
throws liis 
crutches away, 

and reproaches 
Beryn for being 
so low-spirited 
for nothing. 

4 I'll upset your 
opponents, and 
get damages out 
of 'em too. 

Eche man seyd to othir, ' it my$t nat be I-nayid, 
But Geffrey had vttirlich falsly hem betrayed : ' 
Thurh-out aH the long ny}te [this was Mr compleynt,] 
They wisshid fat of felony they had been atteynt. 2832 

Tho went they to counsel, a litift tofore f e day, 
And were aft accordit for to sayft a-way ; 
And so hem f ou^e] bettir, & leve hir* good [is] ther*, 
Then a-byde ther'-oppon, & have more fere. 2836 

They made hir/ takelyng 1 redy, & wend f e saitt a-cros, 
ffor to save hir/ lyvis, & set nat of hir/ los, 
So sore they were a-drad to be in servitute, 
And hopid God above wold send hem som refute 2840 
By som othir costis, ther* wynd hem wold[e] bryng. 

And ther^-wit^aft cam Geffrey, on his stilt lepeing 1 , 
And cried wondir fast by the watir syde. 
When Beryn herd Geffrey, he bad his men a-byde, 2844 
And to launch out a bote, & brynge Geffrey in ; 
" ffor he may more a-vaitt me now fen al my kyn, 
And he be trewe & trusty, as myne hope is." 
But jit thereof had Beryn) no ful sikirnes. 2848 

These Eomeyns fet in Geffrey with an hevy cher 1 ; 
ffor they had levir saille forth, fen put [ten] hem in were, 
Both lyve & goodis ; & evift suspecioune 
They had of f is Geffrey : wherfor fey gon roune, 2852 
Talking 1 to eche othir, " f is man woH vs be-tray." 

Geffrey wist wel I-now^e he was nat to hir pay ; 
And for verry angir he threw in-to f e see 
Both stilt & eke his cruch, fat made were of tre, 2856 
And gan hem to comfort, & seid in this manere : 
" Benedicite, Beryn ! why make yee such chere ? 
ffor, & yee wexe hevy, what shuft yeur men do 
But take ensaumpitt of }ewe 1 & have no cause to ; 2860 
ffor ^it, or it be eve, yeur aduersarijs alle 
I shaft make hem spurn, & have a sore falle ; 
And yee go quyte, & al yeur/ good, & have[n] of hirs too ; 
And fey to be ry^t feyn, for to scape so, 2864 


"WYt/tout[en] more daunger, & jeui/ wille be. 

ffor of the lawis her*, such is the equyte, For if a 

That who pursu[ith] othir, & his pleynt be wrong, he must pay the 

defendant the 

He shall make a-mendis, be he nevir so strong : 2868 same money that 

T u , j. j- i i j he brought his 

as shuld fe todir, yl he condempnyd were, action for. 

so shall J>e pleyntyff, ri}t as I 3ew lere ; 
And )>at shall [I sone] preve by hem, have yee no doute, 
3it or it be eve, ri3t low to }ew to loute, 2872 

And submit hem to 3ew, & put hem in yeur/ grace, rn bring your 

T , T , , opponents on 

By fat tyme 1 have 1-made al my wanlase. to their knees. 

.,., -, i i j i r> i i >> Let's have some 

And in hope to spede wele, let shape vs lor to dyne. dinner." 

Geffrey axid watir, & sith[then] brede & wyne ; 2876 
And seit, "it is holsom to breke our fast be-tyme; 

ffor fe Steward wol to fe court atte hour/ of pryme." They dine before 

The sonrie gan to shyne, & shope a feir[e] day ; 
But, for au^t fat Geffrey coud[e] do or say, 2880 

These Romeyns spekyn fast, al the dyner while, Beryn's shipmen 

'That Geffrey with his sotiH wordis wold hem [al] begile.' 
So when they had I-dyned, fey rysen vp echoon, 2883 
And drew hem [J?o] to counseH, what was best to doon. 
Som seyd, " the best[e] rede ]?at wee do may, and some propose 

To thro we Geffrey ovir pe bord, & seylle forth our 1 way." overboard. 
But, for drede of Beryn, som [ne] wold nat so ; 
3 it the more party assentid wele thereto. 2888 

Geffrey, & Beryn, & worthy Eomeyns tweyn), [leaf 219, back] 

Stood a-part with-in the shipp, to Geffrey gan to seyn) ; 
" Beryn, beth avisid ! yeur/ men beth in distaunce ; 
Sith yee been her* soveren, put hem in governance ; 2892 
ffor me thinkith they holdith, contrary opynyoun) ; 
And grace faylith comynlych, whei is dyvisioun)." 

In the meen[e] while fat they gan thus to stryve, . Meantime, Hany- 
Hanybald was vp, & I-com as blyve 2896 Beryn's ships 

To the brigg of ]?e town), ther" the Shippis rood, across, reldy'to 

And herd [hem make] much noyse ; but litil while he bood, 
ffor when he sawe the saylis stond[en] al a-cros, 
" Alas ! " q?<od this hanybald, " her* growith a smert los 


So he calls the 
citizens (1000 of 
'em) to arms 

to stop Beryn 

Beryn sees 'em, 
and puts himself 
altogether in 
Geffrey's hands. 

Geffrey bids the 
men clip off his 
beard and hair. 

They do, and 
make him look 
like a regular 

Geffrey begins 
to joke: 

' Look at these 
Falsetown fellows 
in arms. 

They're going 
to help us ! 
Bless ye, my 
children ! ' 

Geffrey dances. 

To me, ]?at am prouost; & have in charge & best 2901 

AH these fyve Shippis vndir rnyne arest ; " 

And ran in-to the toun), & made an hidouse cry, 

And chargit al the Cetezins to armys for to hy, 2904 

ffrom o strete till a-nothir, & rerid vp al ]?e town) ; 

And made the trompis blowe vp, & [made] fe bellis soun) ; 

And seyd[e] ' fat ]?e Eomeyns were in poynt to pas ; ' 

Til ther* were a fowsand rathir mo fen les 2908 

Men I-armyd cleen, walking 1 to f e Strond. 

"When Beryn hem a-spied: "now, Geffrey! in thy honde 
Stont lyff & goodis ! doth with vs what the list; 
ffor aH our hope is on the, comfort, help, & trist. 2912 
ffor we must bide aventur, such as God woH shape 
ffor nowe I am in certen we mow no wise scape." 
" Have no dout," quod. Geffrey, " beth mery; let me a-loon: 
Getith a peir sisours, sherith my berd a-noon ; 2916 

And aftirward lete top my hede ; hast[i]lych & blyve ! " 
Som went to witJi sesours, som [to] with a knyfe ; 
So what for sorowe & hast, & for lewd[e] tole, 
Ther* was no man a-lyve, bet like to a fole, 2920 

Then Geffrey was. by fat tyme fey had al I-do, 
Hanybald clepid out Beryn, to motehaH for to go ; 
And stood oppon the brigg, w?'t/i an huge route. 
Geffrey was the first, to hanybald gan to loute, 2924 

And lokid out a fore Shipp : " God bles 3ew, sir ! " qz/,od he. 
" Wher* art f ow now, Beryn 1 com nere ! be-hold & se ! 
Her 1 is an huge pepiH I-rayd & in-dight; [leaf 220] 

Aft these been my children, fat been in armys bry3te ; 
3istirday I gate hem : [is it] nat niervaift 2929 

That fey been hidir I-com, to be of our 1 counsaitt', 
And to stond[en] by vs, & help vs in our 1 pie. 
A ! myne owne childryn, blessid mut ye be ! " 2932 

Quod Geffrey, with an hi^e voise, & had a nyce visage, 
And gan to daunce for Toy, in the fore stage. 

Hanybald lokid on Geffrey, as he were a-masid, 
And be-held his contenaunce, & howe he was I-rasid ; 


But evir more he f ou}t[e], fat he was a fole 2937 iianybaid takes 

11 -i T n -i Geffrey for a 

Natureft of kynde, & had noon othir tool, real Fool, 

As semed by his wordis & his visage both ; 

And f ou^t it had been foly to wex[e] vritJi hym wroth ; 

And gan to bord ageyn, & axid hym in game, 2941 

" Sith bow art our 1 ffadir, who is then our 1 dame ? and asks Mm 

who got all his 

And howe, & in what plase, were wee be-gete ? " children. 

" 3istirday," quod geffrey, "pleying in the strete 2944 'Yesterday, 

Atta gentift game fat clepid is the ' quek,' 

A longe peny halter was cast about my nekk, as i was going 

And I-knet [ful] fast with a ryding* knot, 

And cast ovir a perche & hale a-long my throte." 2948 

"Was fat a game," quod hanybald, "for to hang fy selve?" 

" So fey seyd a-bout me, a Hi ech by hym selff." 

" How scapiddist f ow," quod hanybald, " fat f ow wer 1 nat 


"Thereto can I answere, without[en] eny rede : 2952 

I bare thre disc, in myne owne purs, i threw my 3 dice; 

ffor I go nevir without, fare I bettir or wors, 

I kist hem forth al thre, & too fil amys ase. 2 fell double aces; 

But here now what nil aftir ! ri^t a mervolouse case ! 2956 
Ther 1 cam a mows lepe forth, & ete fe firdfe] boon, a mouse eat-up 

rp, . . / the third, which 

Inat pumd out mr skyn, as grete as she niy^t goon; putt her up, 

i i . , , . . and out of her 

And in this maner wise, 01 f e mouse & me and me came an 

AH yee be I-com, my children fair 1 & fre. 2960 children!- 

And $it, or it be eve, fall wol such a chaunce, 

To stond[en] in my power/ ^ew alle to Avaunce ; [leaf 220, back] 

ffor, & wee plede wele to day, we shuH be riche I-now3e." 

Hanybald [f o] of his wordis hert[i]lich[e] lou^e ; 2964 The Faisetowners 

j , . , , laugh heartily. 

And so did al fat herd hym, as fey my^te wele, 

And had[de] grete loy, with hym for to telle ; 

ffor fey knewefn] hym noon othir but a fole of kynde : 

And al was his discrecioune ; & fat previd f e ende. 2968 

Thus whils Geffrey lapid, to make hir 1 hertis li^te, 
Beryn & his company wei* rayid & I-di^te, Beryn and hia 

And londit hem in botis, ferefuH howe to spede ; 



They go towards 
the Court. 

' Why all these 
armed men P ' 
says Beryn. 

' Because you 

were going to 


And if you'd 

done it, you'd 

have lost your 


'Bolt! Pooh! 
says Geffrey. 
' You know 
nothing about 

'Don't I?' 
says Hanybald. 

' Why did you set 
your sails across 
the mast?' 'To 
tallow the ship.' 
[leaf 221] 

1 Why did you 
close your port 
holes ? ' 
'To wake the 

So Geffrey chaffs 

ffor aft hir/ fou^tis in balance stode, be-twene hope & drede; 
But ^it they did hir/ peyn to make Ii3tsom chere, 2973 
As Geffrey hem had enfourmed, of port & al manere 
Of hir* governaunce, al the longe day, 
Tyrl hir/ plee wer 1 endit. so went they forth hir 1 wey, 
To the court vriih hanybald. then Beryn gan to sey, 2977 
" What nedith this, sir hanybald, to make such aray ? 
Sith wee been pese-marchantis, & vse no spoliacioune." 
"ffor soth[e] sir*," quod, hanybald, " to me was made relacioun) 
Yee were in poynt to void ; & yef ye had do so, 2981 
Yee had[de] lost yeur lyvis, with-out[e] wordis mo." 
Beryn held hym stiff. Geffrey spak a-noon ; 
" No les wed fen lyvis ! whi so, good sir Iohn)1 2984 

That were som-what to much, as it semeith me ; 
But ye be ovir-wise, fat dwelt in this Cete ; 
ffor yee have be-gonne a thing 1 makith ^ewe ri^te bold 1 ; 
And ^it, or it be eve, as folis shul ye be hold. 2988 

And eke yee devyne [nat] for-in 1 Shipmannys crafft, 
And wotith lititt what longith to, a-fore f e Shipp, & bafft, 
And namelich in the dawnyng, when shipmen first arise." 
" My good ffrend," quod, hanybald, in a scornyng wise, 
" Ye must onys enfourm) me, f urh yewr/ discrecioun) ; 2993 
But first ye must answer to a questioun) : 
'Why make men cros-saiH in myddis of fe mast' 1 " 
[Gef] " ffor to talowe f e shipp, & fech[e] more last." 2996 
[Han.] "Why goon the ^emen to bote, Ankirs to hale?" 
[Gef] " ffor to make hem redy to walk to f e Ale." 
[Han] " Why hale they vp stonys by the crane lyne 1 " 
[(re/.] " To make the tempest sese, & the sonne shyne." 
[Han] " Why close they the port with the see bord 1 " 
[Gef] " ffor the mastir shuld a-wake atte first[e] word." 
[Han] "Thow art a redy reve," quod hanybald, "in fay." 
[Gef.] " Yee sir/ trewly, for sothe is fat yee sey." 3004 
Geffrey evir clappid, as doith a watir myfl', 
And made hanybald to Iau3e al his hert[e] fell. 

1 MS ' in,' blotted out (? divine not foreign shipments craft) 


" Beryn," quod, this Geffrey, " retourn thy men ageyn) ; Geffrey chaffs 
What shuH they do with the at court 1 no man on hem 
pleyn). 3008 

Plede thy case thy selve, ri^t as bow hast I-wrou^t ; 
To bide with the Shippis my pwrpos is, & bou^t." 
" Nay for-soth," quod, hanybald, "bow shalt a-byde on lond; 
Wee have no folis but the," & toke hym by be hond, 3012 
" ffor thow art wise in la we to plede[n] al the case." 
" That can I bettir," quod Geffrey, " ben eny man in this and then Hany- 


plase ! 

What seyst bow therto, Beryn ? shall I teH thy tale 1 " 
Hanybald likid his wordis wele, & forward gan hym hale. 
Beryn made hym angry, & si3hid wondir sore, 3017 Beryn gets angry, 

ffor Geffrey hym had enfourmyd of euery poynt to-fore, 
How he hym shuld govern aH the longe day. 

Geffrey chasid hym ageyn) : " sey me 36 or nay ! 3020 
Maystowe nat I-here speke som maner word ? " 

" Leve thy blab, lewd fole ! me likith nat thy bord ! and calls Geffrey 

I have a-nothir bou^t," quod. Beryn), " wherof bowe carist 

"Clepeist bow me a fole?" quod Geffrey; "al bat I may Tool, indeed! 

be wite ! 3024 

But first, when wee out of Rome saillid both in fere, 
Tho I was thy felawe & thy partynere ; i used to be your 

ffor tho the marchandise was more ben halff [e] myne ; you've now bag'd 

And sith bat bowe com hidir, bowe takeist al for thyne. 
But }it or it be eve, I woll make oon be-hest ; 3029 

But bowe have my help, thy part shal be [the] lest." 
" Thyn help ! " qwod Beryn ; " lewde fole, bow art more ben 'Fool ! get back 

to the ship ! ' 
masid ! says Beryn. 

Dres the to be Shippis ward, with thy crown) I-rasid ; 

ffor I my3t nevir spare the bet ! trus ! & be a-goo ! " 3033 

"I wol go with the,"qwod Geffrey, "wher* bow wolt or no; [leaf 221, back] 

And lern to plede la we. to wyn both house & londe." 'No, i won't/ 

says Geffrey ; 

'So bow shalt," quod hanybald, & led hym by the honde, TH plead and 
And leyd his hond oppon his nek : but, & he had I-knowe 



Hanybald is 


But he's sorry 

ere eve. 

Whom he had led, in sikirnes he had wel levir in snowe 

Have walkid xl myle, & rathir then faitt more ; 

ffor he wisshid that Geffrey had I-be vnbore 3040 

fful offt-tyme in that day, or the pie were do ; 

And so did al fat wrou^tfe] Beryn shame & woo. 

Hanybald asks 
Geffrey his name. 


' Where were 
you born ? ' 
' I don't know.' 

So they chaff on. 

They find the 
Steward in court, 
and the plaintiffs 
striving as to 
who's to have 
Beryn' s goods. 

Beryn and his 
men, in dyed 
woollen robes, 
sit down. 

He says he has 
come to answer 
the charges 
against him. 
[leaf 222] 

IT Now, yee fat list a-bide, & here of sotilte, 
Mow knowe how fat Beryn sped [there] in his pie, 3044 
And [eke] in what aray, [un]to the court he went ; 
And howe hanybald led Geffrey, disware of his entent. 
But ^it he axid of Geffrey, " what is f y name, I prey 1 " 
" Gylhochet," quod. Geffrey, " men clepid me 3istirday." 
" And wher* weer f ow I-bore T' "I note, I make a-vowe," 
Seyd Geffrey to this hanybald, " I axe fat of ^ewe ; 
ffor I can teH no more, but her 1 1 stond [as] nowe." 
Hanybald of his wordis hert[i]lich[e] low$e, 3052 

And held hym for a passing fole to serve[n] eny lord. 
Thus fey romyd langlyng in-to f e court ward ; 
But, or they com ther, the Steward was I-set, 
And the grettest of f e town), a company I-met, 3056 

And gon to stryve fast, who shuld have f e good 
That com[en] was with Beryn ovir f e salt flood. 
Som seyd oon, & som seyde a-nothir 1 ; 
Som wold have the Shippis, f e pareH, & f e rothir ; 3060 
Som his eyen, som his lyff wold have, & no les ; 
Or els he shuld [e] for hem fyne, or [that] he did pas. 
And in the mene whils they wer* in this afray, 
Beryn & these romeyns were com in good aray 3064 

As my^t be made of woli, arid of colour* greynyd : 
They toke a syde bench fat for hem was ordeyned. 
IT When aH was husst & stiH, Beryn rose a-noon, 
And stode in the myddis of fe hal to-fore hem everychon); 
And seyd, " sir/ Steward, in me shaft be no let : 3069 
I am I-com to answer , as my day is set ; 
Do me ry3te & reson ! I axe 3ewe no more." 
" So shaH [I]," qwod the Steward, " for f erto I am swore." 



IF "He shaft have ry3t," qwod Geffrey, " whei j bow wolt or no. 

ffor, & f ow mys onys thy lugement on-do, 

I woH [un]to f e Emperour of Rome, my cosyn) ; 

ffor of o cup he & I ful offt have dronk f e wyne, 3076 

And ^it wee shutt hei j -aftir, as offtfen] as wee mete, 

ffor he is long the gladder 1 , when I send hym to grete." 

Thus Geffrey stode oppon a fourm), for he wold be sey 

Above aft othir, the shuldris, & [therto have] the cry ; 

And starid al a-boute, -with his lewd[e] berd, 3081 

And was I-hold a verry fole of ech man [fat] hym herd. 

The Steward, & f e officers, & f e burgeyssis alle, 
Lau^hid at hym hert[i]lich ; the criour 1 gan to calle 3084 
The Burgeys fat had pleyd with Beryn atte ches ; 
And he aros [ful] quiklich, & gan hym for to dres 
A-fore the Steward atte barr, as f e maner is. 
He gan to tett his tale with grete redynes ; 3088 

" Here me, sir Steward ! f is day is me set, 
To have ryght & reson I ax[e] ^ewe no bet, 
Of Beryn, fat here stondith ; fat with me ^istirday 
Made a certen covenaunt, & atte ches we did pley ; 3092 
' That who-so were I-matid of vs both[e] too, 
Shuld do the todirs byddyng 1 ; & yf he wold nat so, 
He must drynke al the watir fat salt wer* in the se ' ; 
Thus I to hym [en]surid, and he also to me. 3096 

To preve rny tale trewe, I am nat al aloon." 
Vp rose .x. Burgeysis [ful] quyklich a-noon, 
And affermyd evir[y] word of his tale soth ; 
And made[n] hem al redy for to do hir* othe. 3100 

Evandir the Steward, " Beryn, now," quod, he, 
" Thow must answere nede ; it wol noon othir be ; 
Take thy counsett to the : spede on ! have I doon." * 
Beryn held 1 hym stitt : Geffrey spak a-noon : 3104 

IF " Now be my trowith," quod. Geffrey, " I mervett much 

Of 36W6 

1 After this comes in the MS a repetition of the last line : 
" Thow must answere nede it may noon othir be." 

Geffrey chaffs 

the judge 


The Crier calls 

the first plaintiff, 

the Burgess 

and he states that 
if he were mated 
his victor bade 
tSait water * 

10 Burgesses 

Evander calls on 

Beryn to answer. 

[leaf 222, back] 


Geffrey says, 
'I'm quite ready 
to answer, 

but I want to 
hear all the 
plaintiffs first. 

I'm wiser than 
you think.' 

They laugh at 
Geffrey ; 

but Beryn too 
asks for another 
plaintiff to come 

So, 2. Hanybald 
states his case : 

' Beryn's 5 ships 
were put into 
my charge, 

[leaf 223] 

and we agreed 
that I should 
have his cargoes, 

To bid vs go to counseft ! & knowith me wise I-now^, 

And evir ful avisid, In twynkelyng of an eye 

To make a short answer 1 , "but yf my mo with he dry. 3108 

Shuld wee go to counsett for o word or tweyn) 1 

Be my trowith we nyl ! let se mo that pleyn) ! 

And hut he he I-answerd, & fat ri^t a-noon, 

I $eve 3ewe leve to rise, & walk out every-choon, 3112 

And a-spy[en] redely yf ye fynd me ther\ 

In the meen[e] whils, I wol a-hide here. 

Nay, I telle trewly, I am wiser fen yee ween ; 

ffor fere nys noon of 3ewe woot redely what I meen." 

Every man gan Iaw3e al his hert[e] fitt, 3117 

Of Geffrey & his wordis ; hut Beryn held hym stiff, 

And was cleen astonyd, hut ^it, ner* J>e lattir, 

He held it nat al foly fat Geffrey did[e] clatir, 3120 

But wisely hym governyd, as Geffrey hym tau^te, 

ffor parcett of his wisdom, to-fore he had[de] smaught. 

" Sir* Steward," quod Beryn, " I vndirstond [right] wele 

The tale of fis Burgeyse ; now let a-nothir tel, 3124 

That I may take counseft, & answer al attonys." 

" I graunt[e]," quod the Steward, thyn axing for f e nonys, 

" Sith f ow wolt he rewlid by f y folis rede, 

ffor he is ry^te a wise man to help the in thy nede." 3128 

Yp a-rose the accusours queynt[e]lich a-noon ; 
Hanybald was the first of hem evirichon), 
And gan to tett his tale -with a proud [e] chere : 
"3istirday, [my] soverens, when [fat] I was here, 3132 
Beryn & thes Burgeyse gon to plede fast 1 
ffor pleying atte ches ; so ferforth atte last, 
Thurh vertu of myne office, fat I had in charge 
Beryns fyve Shippis, for to go at large, 3136 

And to be in answere here fis same day : 
So, walkyng 1 to the Strondward, wee bargeynyd* by the 


That I shuld have the marchaundise fat Beryn wM hym 


(Wherof I am sesid, as ful sold and bou^te,) 3140 and he have 5 

In covenaunt that I shuld his shippis fitt ageyn) my goods as he'd 

Of my marchaundise, such as he to-fore had seyn) stores. 

In myne owne plase, howsis to or thre, 

fful of marchandise as they my^tfe] be. 3144 

And I am evir redy ! when-so-evir he woft 

Let hym go, or sende, & charge his Shippis futt Let him then 

take what he can 

Of such[e] marchandise as he fyndith there : find.' 

ffor, in such[e] wordis, wee accordit were." 3148 

Yp rose .x. burgeysis, not tho J?at rose to-fore, Ten Burgesses 

swear it's all true. 

But oj)ir, & made hem redy to have swore 

That every word of hanybald, from Jje begynnywg to ]>e ende, 

"Was soth & eke trewe ; & with aft hir/ mende 3152 

fful prest they were to preve ; & seyd J?ey were present 

Atte covenaunte makeing 1 , by God omnipotent. 

H "It shaft [nat] nede," quod Geffrey, "whils J?at I here Geffrey chaffs. 

stonde; 3155 

ffor I wott prevefn] it my self 1 wii/i my [own] ri3t honde. 
ffor I have been in foure batellis her'to-fore, 
And this shaft be the ffifft ; & therfor I am swore ; 
Be-holdith, & seith ! " & turnyd hyni aboute. 
The Steward & J)e Burgeyse gamyd al aboute, 3160 

The Romens held hem stitt, & lawu^id but a lite. 

"With that cam the blynd man, his tale to endite, s. comes the 

That God hym graunte wynnyng 1 , ri^te as he hath a-servid. 
Beryn & his company stood [en] al a-stryvid 3164 

Be-twene hope & drede, ri^te in hi^e distres ; 
ffor of wele or of woo j?ey had no sikirnes. 

" Beryn," quod this blynd, " Jjou^e I may nat se, and says, 

Stond nere ^if the barr, my comyng 1 is for the, 3168 keeping my two 

That wrongfullich[e] jjowe witholdist my both to eyen, you 8 only for" 1 
The wich I toke the for a tyme. & quyklich to me hyen, 
And take hem me ageyn, as our covenant was. 
Beryn ! I take no reward of othir mennys case, 3172 

But oonlich of* myne own), that 1 stont me most an hond. n^f22s, back] 
Nowe blessid be God in heven, J>at bro^t j?e to this lond ! 



You were once 
my partner, 

and a true one 
till you stole my 
eyes that 1 lent 
you to see the 
jugglers' tricks. 

I didn't change 
eyes with you.' 

Four Burgesses 
swear it's all true. 

Geffrey chaffs 
the blind man : 

' Lucky for you 
that you haven't 
your eyes ; 
for you keep 
honest now. 

If you had your 
eyes, you'd be 
always thieving.' 

The people 

4. Comes the 
Deserted Wife, 
with her child. 

[leaf 224] 

ffor sith our/ laste parting, many bittir teris 

Have I lete for thy love, fat som tyme partineris 3176 

Of wyimyng 1 & of lesing 1 were, ^eris fele ; 

And evir I fond the trewe ; til at the last fow didist stele 

A-wey with my too eyen, that I toke to the, 

To se the tregitour[i]s pley, & [al] la.ii/ sotilte ; 3180 

As ^istirday, here in this same plase, 

To-fore ^ewe, sir/ Steward, rehersid as it 1 was. 

fful trewe is that byword, ' a man to seruesabitt, 

Ledith offt[e] beyard from his owne stabitt.' 3184 

Beryn ! by the, I meen, 01136 fowe make it 1 straunge ; 

ffor f ow knowist trewly fat I made no chaunge 

Of my good eyen, for thyne fat badder were." 

Ther'-w/t/i stood vp burgeys four/, witnes to bere. 3188 

Beryn held hym stiff, & Geffrey spak a-noon : 
" NOMVG of f y lewde compleynt, & thy masid moon, 
By my trowith," quod Geffrey, " I have grete mervaitt. 
ffor fou^e f ow haddist eyen-sight, [y]it shuld it litil aA r aitt ; 
Thow shuldist nevir fare fe bet, but fe wors in fay ; 3193 
ffor al thing 1 may be stil [ijnowe for the in house & way ; 
And yf thow haddist f yn eyen, f owe woldist no counsett 


I knowe wele by thy fisnamy, thy kynd [it] were to stele ; 
And eke it is thy profite, and thyne ese also, 3197 

To be blynd as f owe art. for nowe, wher'-so jjow go, 
Thow hast thy lyvlode, whils J?ow art alyve ; 
And yf J?owe my^tist see, fow shuldist nevir thryve." 3200 
Al the house jmrh-out, save Beryn & his feris, 
Law^id [fo] of Geffrey, fat watir on hir* leris 
Ran downe from hir/ eyen, for his masid wit. 3203 

IT With that cam fevomman, hir/tungewas nat sclytt, 
With xv burgeysis, & vommen also fele, 
Hir quereff for to preve, & Beryn to A-pele, 
"With a feire knave child I-loke within hir armys ; 
And gan to tett hir/ tale of wrongis & of Armys, 
1 MS al. 


And eke of [grete] vnkyridnes, vntrowith & falshede, 

That Beryn had I-wromt to hir* : bat queyntlich from hir* The Deserted 

Wife swears that 

}ede Beryn is her bus- 

, .. , . .,, . , , band, and that 

Anoon oppon hir wedding, when he his wiit had doon, he deserted her 

And broujt [had] hir/wzt/? child, & lete her sit aloon 3212 h wiL cMif!* 

Without [en] help & comfort from fat day ; " & nowe^ 

He proferid me nat 1 to kis[sen] onys with his mowith ; 

As ^istirday, sir Steward, afore ^ewe eche word 

Was [fuft] rehersid here ; my pleynt is of record ; 3216 

And this day is me set, for to have reson : 

Let hym make a-mendis, or els tell encheson) 

Why hym 0113 1 nat fynd[e] me, as man ou^t his wyffe." 

These fifftene Burgeysis, quyklich also blyve, 3220 Fifteen Burgesses 

swear it's true. 

And as fele vymmen as stode by mr ) ther*, 

Seyd that they were present when they weddit were ; 

And that every word fat f e vomman 1 seyde [ l MS vommen] 

Was trewe, & eke [fat] Beryn had hir* so be-trayd. 3224 

" Benedicite ! " quod Geffrey, " Beryn ! hast f owe a wyff 1 Geffrey chaffs 
Now have God my trowith, the dayis of my lyff wife and heir, 

I shaH trust the f e las ! f ow toldist me nat to-fore 
As wele of thy wedding, & of thy sone I-bore. 3228 

Go to, & kis hem both, thy wyff & eke thyn heir* ! teiis him to 

kiss 'em, 

Be j)ow nat a-shamyd, for fey both be feyr ! 

This wedding was ri^t pryvy ; but I shal make it couthe : 

Be-hold thy sone ! it semeth crope out of fy mowith ; 3232 

And eke of thy condicioune both sofft & some. 

Now am I glad f yne heir shaH [wend] with vs to Eome ; take his boy to 

And I shaH tech hym, as I can, whils fat he is 3ong< and Geffrey '11 

Every day by the strete to gadir houndis doung ; 3236 a tanner, 

TyH it be abiH of prentyse to crafft of tan[e]ry 2 ; 

And aftir I shaH teche hym for to cache a fly, 

And to mend[e] mytens, when they been to-tore, glover, 

And aftir to cloute shoon, when he is elder more : 3240 cobbler, 

3it, for his parentyne, to pipe, as doith a mowse, 

2 Tannery. Urry prints ' Taverner [underlined in the MS for 
omission] taury.' 




[leaf 224, back] 
and to bark, 

bleat, neigh, low, 

Geffrey tries to 
get hold of the 
child ; but the 
mother won't let 

Geffrey tells her 
she's mad. 

The Steward 
chaffs him. 

Beryn and his 
me.n fear 

and sorrow. 

Geffrey says, 

What the devil's 

the matter ? 

Haven't I told 
you how I'll help 
you ? * 

I woH hym tech, & for to pike a snayH out of his house ; 
And to berk, 'as doith an hound, & sey ' baw bawe ! ' 3243 
And turne round a-boute, as a Cat doith with a strawe ; 
And to blete as doith a shepe, & ney as doith an hors, 
And to lowe as doith a Cowe ; & as myne owne corps 
I woH cherissh hym every day, for his modirs sake j " 
And gan to stapp[e] nere, the child to have I-take, 3248 
As semyd by his contenaunce, al-fou^e he fou^t nat 1 so. 

Butte modir was evir ware, & blenchid to & fro, 
And leyd hir* hond be-t\vene, & lokid som-what wroth ; 
And Geffrey in pure wrath beshrewid hem al bothe ; 3252 
"ffor by my trowith," qwod Geffrey, "wel masid is thy 

pan ! 

ffor I woH teche thy sone the craftis fat I can, 
That he in tyme to com my^t wynfnen] his lyvlood. 
To wex[en] therfor angry, fow art verry wood ! 3256 

Of husbond, wyff, & sone, by the Trynyte 
I note wich is the wisest of hem al[le] thre ! " 
" No, sothly," quod the Steward, " it lijth al in J>y noli, 
Both[e] wit & wisdom), & previth by J>y pott." 3260 

ffor al be [it] that Geffrey wordit sotilly, 
The Steward & J>e burgeysis held it for foly, 
Al that evir he seyd, & toke it for good game, 
And had ful litiH knowlech he was Geffrey ]>e lame. 3264 

Beryn & his company stode still as Stone, 
Be-twene hope & drede, disware how it shuld goon ; 
Saff Beryn trist in party fat Geffrey wold hym help ; 
But }it in-to fat hour* he had no cause to ^elpe, 3268 

Wherfor fey made much sorow, fat dole was, & pete. 

Geffrey herd hym si^e sore; "what deviH is 

qiiod. he ; 

" What nede ^ew be sory, whil[e]s I stonde here ] 
Have I nat enfourmyd ^ewe, how & in what manere 3272 
That I $ew wold[e] help, & bryng 1 hem in the snare *? 
Yf yee coude plede as wele as I, ful litiH wold yee care. 
1 MS nat nat 


Fluke vp thyhert!" qwod Geffrey; "Beryn! I speke to 

heart, Beryn ! ' 


"Leve f>y blab[ir] leude ! " quod Beryn to hym a-ye, 3276 
" It doith no thing 1 a-vaiU ! ]>at sorowe com on thy hede ! [ le * f z ^1 
It is nat worth a fly, al }>at Jjowe hast seyde ! 
Have wee nat els nowe for to thynk oppon, 

Saff her 1 to langiH 1 " machyn rose a-noon, 3280 *> Macaigne 

And wentto the barr, & gan to teH his tale : 
He was as fals as ludas, ]?at set[te] Criste at sale. 

" Sir/ Steward," quod this niachyn, " & J?e burgeysis all, 
Knowith wele ho we melan, with purpiH & with paH, 3284 charges Beryn 

with having 

And othir marchandise, seven jere ago murdered ins 

Went toward [is] Rome ; & ho we Jjat I also fathe^Mek^. 

Have enquerid sith, as reson woH, & kynde, 

Syth he was my ffadir, to knowe[n] of his ende. 3288 

ffor jit sith his departyng, til it was jistirday, 

Met I nevir creature Jjat me coude wissh or say 

Ree dynes of my ffadir, dede othir a-lyve. 

But, blessid be God in heven ! in this thevis sclyve 3292 

The knyff I gaff my ffadir was jistir-day I-found ! 'The knife i 

Sith I hym a-pele, let hym be fast I-bound ! was found in 

The knyff I knowe wel I-nowe ; also J>e man stont her*, Here is the 

And dwellith in this town), & is a Cotelere, 3296 made the knife.' 

That made J?e same knyff with his too hondis, 

That wele I woot j)e?*e is noon like, to sech al cristen 

londis ; 

ffor .iij preciouse stonys been within the hafft 
Perfitlych I-couchid, & sotillich by crafft 3300 

Endendit in the hafft, & )>at ri^t coriously, 
A Saphir, & a salidone, & a rich ruby." 

The Coteler 1 cam lepeing forth w^ a bold[e] chere, TheCutier 
And seyd[e] to the Steward : " pat 1 machyn told now here, Macaigne speaks 
Every word is trew ; so beth the stonys sett ; 3305 4l 

I made e knyff my selff ; who myjt know it bet ? 
And toke the knyff to Machyn, & he me pay[i]d wele, 
1 What, that which. 



Many burgesses 
swear they saw 

[leaf 225, back] 

give his father 
that knife. 
' Any more 
says Geffrey. 

Beryn goes out 
for a consulta 

Geffrey stays in 
court, and says 
he'll make the 
plaintiffs smart. 

They're in the 

and he'll make 
'em glad to slink 

They chaff 

Macaigne says 
Stop fooling. 

So is this felon gilty ; ther 1 is no more to teU." 3308 

Vp arose burgeysis, "by to, by iij., by .iiij, 
And seyd[e] ' fey were present, f e same tyme and hour ) , 
When Machone wept sore, & broi^t his ffadirs gownd, 
And gaff hym fe same knyff oppon the see stronde.' 3312 

" Bethe ther* eny mo pleyntis of record 1 " 
Quod. Geffrey to the Steward. & he ageynward : 
" How semeth the, Gylhoget 1 beth f ei 1 * nat Inow^e ? 
Make thyne answer 1 , Beryn, case fat fow mo we ; 3316 
ffor oon or othir fow must sey, al-f ou^e it nat a-varH ; 
And but f owe lese or f owe go, me f inkith grete mervaift." 

Beryn goith to counsel!, & his company ; : 
And Geffrey bode be-hynde, to here more, & se, 3320 

And to shewe the Burgeyse som what of 1 his hert, 
And seyd, " but I make the pleyntyfs for to smert, 
And al fat hem meyntenyth, for a^t fat is I-seyd, 
I woH graunte 3ewe to kut f e eris fro my hede. 3324 

My mastir is at counseH, but counsel! hath he noon ; 
ffor, but I hym help, he is cleen vndoon. 
But I woH help hym al fat I can, & meynten hym also 
By my power connyng, so I am bound ther 1 to. 3328 
ffor I durst wage bateH with ^ewe, f ou^e yee be stronge, 
That my mastir is in the trowith, & yee be in the wrong 1 : 
ffor, & wee have lawe, I ne hold ^ew but distroyed 
In yeur owne falshede, so be ye now a-spied. 3332 

"Wherfor }it or eve I shall abate yeur pride ; 
That som of ^ew shall be ri^t feyrD to sclynk a-wey & hyde." 

The Burgeysis gon to law^e, & scornyd hym thereto. 
" Gylochet," quod. Evander, " & f ow cowdist so 3336 
Bryng it fus about, it were a redy way." 
" He is a good fool," quod hanybald, " in fay, 
To put hym-selff a-loon in strengith, & eke in witt, 
Ageyn[e]s al the Burgeysis fat on fis benchfe] sit." 3340 
f " What clatir is this," quod machyn, "al day w/t/i a fole? 
Tyme is nowe to worch[en] with som othir tole. 
ffor I am certeyn of* hir/ answer 5 fat they wolle faitt ; 


And lyf for lyf of my ffadir, what may bat a-vaiH 1 3344 i don't want 
Wherfor beth avisid, for I am in no doute, 

The goodis been sufficient to part[en] al aboute ; Let's share MS 

So may euery party pleyntyff have his part." 3347 [leaf 226] 

"That is reson," quod the blynd. "a trewfel man bow art : 'Agreed,' says 

the Blind man. 

And eke it were vntrowith, & eke grete syn, 

But ech of vs bat pleynyth my^tfe] som-what wyn." 

Hanybald bote his lyppis, & herd hem bothfe] wele ; steady,' says 
" Towching the merchandise, o tale I shall jew teH, 3352 
And eke make a-vowe, & hold[en] my behest, 
That of the marchandise yeur/ part shall be [the] lest; 'Beryn's goods 

&F6 till mine.* 

ffor I have made a bargeyn, bat may nat be vndo ; 

I worl hold his covenaunt, & he shall myne also." 3356 

Vp roos quyklich the Burgeyse Syrophanes : 

" Hanybald," q-od he, " the lawe goith by no lanys, 1 'Noanch thing,' 

But holdpth] forth the streyt wey, even as doith a lyne ; 
ffor jistirday when Beryn with me did dyne, 3360 

I was the first persone bat put hym in a-rest ; i first put him in 

A i j? i 11 i i i T j. i 01 arrest ; you had 

And, for he wold go large, J?ow haddist in charge & hest his goods in 
To sese both Shipp & goodis, til I were answerid ; 3363 charge for me/ 
Then must I first be servid : jjis knowith al men I-lerid." 

The vomman stode besidis, & cried wondir fast ; The Deserted 

"fful soth is J?at byword, ' to pot, who corny th last ! ' 'TopoKJith the 

He worst is servid ; & so it farith by me : Ia8t comer ! eh ? 

3it nethirles, sir Steward, I trust to yeur/ leute, 3368 

That knowith best rny cause, & my trew entent ; 

I ax[e] ^ewe no more but i^tfuH lugement. But yet, as 

Let me have part w?'t/i othir, sith he my husbond is : husband!Tmust 

Good sirs, beth avisid ! I axe jew nat a-mys." 3372 

Thus they gon to stryve, & wer* of hi^e mode, 
ffor to depart a-mong 1 hern othir inennys good, 
Wher 1 they to-fore had nevir properte, 
Ne nevir shuld Jjere-aftir, by doom of equyte, 3376 

But they had othir cause )?en j)ey had tho. 

1 In the MS line 3352 is repeated here by mistake: " Towching 
the marchandise o tale I shalle ^ewe telte." 



Beryn and his 
men think 
Geffrey has 
betrayed 'era. 

[leaf 226, back] 

We're in the 
mire, and he let's 
us lie there ! ' 

They weep and 

In comes Geffrey 

promises help : 
'they're quarrel 
ling how to share 
your goods, 

but I'll floor 
their pride, 

and make 'em 
pay for it.' 

The Romans say 
they'll trust to 
Beryn wholly, 

and not deny a 
word he says. 

Beryn was at counsel! ; his hert[e] was ful woo, 
And his meyny sory, distrakt, & al a-mayide ; 3379 

ffor tho they levid noon othir, but Geffrey had hem trayde : 
Be-cause he was so long, they coude no maner rede ; 
But everich[on] by hym-selff wisshid he had be dede : 
" myjtfuH God ! " fey seyd, " I trow, to-fore this day 
"Was nevir gretter treson), fere, ne affray, 3384 

I-wrou3t on-to mankynde, fen now is to vs here ; 
And namelich by this Geffrey witJi his sotil cher^ ! 
So feithfulle he made it he wold vs help echone ; 
And no we we be I-myryd, he letith vs sit aloon ! " 3388 
" Of Geffrey," qiiod. Beryn, " be as it be may : 
"Wee mut answere nede ; ther is noon of ir way ; 
And therfor let me know yewr/ wit, & yeur/ counsaille." 
They wept, & wrong hir* hondis, & gan to waiHe 3392 
The tyme fat they wer> bore ; & shortly, of f e lyve 
The[y] wisshid fat fey were. ~with fat cam Geffrey blyve, 
Passing hem towardis, & be-gan to smyle. 
Beryn axid Geffrey, ' wher he had be al the while V 3396 
" Have mercy oppon vs ! & help vs as f owe hi^te ! " 
" I woH help ^ew ri^t wele, f urh grace of goddis my^te ; 
And I can tell ^ew tyding of hir/ governance : 3399 

They stond in altircacioune & stryff in poynt to praunce 
To depart yeur* goodis, & levith verryly 
That it were impossibiH ^ewe to remedy. 
But hir 5 hi3e pryde & hir/ presumpcioune 
Shal be, yti or eve, hir/ confusioune; 3404 

And to make a-inendis, ech man for his pleynt. 
Let se therfor yeur/ good a-vise, howe fey my^t be ateynt." 

The liomeyns stode still, as who had shor' hir' hed. 
" In feith," quod Beryn, " wee con no maner rede ; 3408 
But in God, & ^ewe, we submit vs aH, 
Body, lyffe, & goodis, to stond [en] or to faH ; 
And nevir for to travers o word fat f ow seyst : 
Help vs, good Geffrey, as wele as fow maist ! " 3412 

" Depardeux," qiwd. Geffrey, " & I wol do me peyn 


To help }ewe, as my connyng wol strech & a-teyn)." 

1F The Eomeyns wentto barr, & Geffrey al to-fore Geffrey comes 

back into court, 

With a nyce contenaunce, barefote, & to-tore, 3416 playing Hke a 


Pleyng with a ^erd, he bare in his honde ; 

And was evir wistlyng att euery pase comyng 1 . 1 [leaf 227] 

The Steward & the Bumeysis hadfde] game I-nowae The Faisetown 

^ men laugh at 

Of Geffreyis nyce cornyng, & hert[i]lich[e] low^e ; 3420 him, chaff him, 

and think him a 

And eche man seyd, " Gylhochet, com nere ! fool. 

Thowe art ry$t welcom, for powe makist vs cher 1 ." 
" The same welcom," quod. Geffrey, " pat yee wol vs, 
ffaH oppon yeur/ hedis, I prey to God, & wers !" 3424 
They held hym for a verry fole, but he held hem 2 wel more : But he soon 
And so he made hem in breff tyme, al-pou} pey wer nat them. 

1T " Styntith no we," quod Geffrey, ' ' & let make pese ! 'Now stop ^ 
Of myrthis & of lapis tyme is now to cese, 3428 says Geffrey. 

And speke of othir mater pat wee have to doon : 
ffor & wee hewe a-mys eny maner spone, 
We knowe wele in certeyn what pardon wee shuH have : 
The more is [then] our/ nede vs to defend & save. 3432 
My mastir hath bee at counsell, & ful avisid is i m going to 

That I shall have the wordis, speke I wele or mys. ^werfor Beryn, 

Wherfor, [now] sir Steward, & yee burgeysis aH, 
Sittith vp-ry3t, & wrijth nat, for auntris pat may faH. 3436 
ffor, & yee deme vntrewly, or do vs eny wrong 1 , and if you dou't 

Yee shuH be refourmyd, be ye nevir so strong 1 , isoSwmbe 

Of euery poynt and Iniury, & pat in grete hast, down on you ' 

ffor he is nat vnknowe to vs, pat may ^ewe chast. 3440 
Hold[ith] forthe the ri^t wey, & [go] by no side lanys ! 

" And as towching the first pleyntyfe Syrophanes, First, then, as to 

That pleyde wiU my mastir 3istir-day atte ches, Syrophanes. 

And made a certen covenaunte, ' who pat had pe wers 
In the last game, (al po^e I wer* nat ther*,) 3445 

Shuld do the todirs bidding, what-so-evir it were, The loser 's to 

Or drynk[en] al the watir pat salt were in the see ; ' 

1 Bead 'hande comande,' for the rymes. a MS hym. 



Isn't that the 

(Evander and 
his fellows 

[leaf 227, back] 

begin to think 
Geffrey is no 

4 Yes, your 
silence admits it. 

Well, it is 
true that Beryn 
lost the wager. 

But on purpose ; 
for no one here 
can play chess so 
well as he. 

But, when we 
were at sea, 

Thus, I trowe, sir Steward, ye woH record f e pie : 3448 
And yf I have Imyssid, in lettir, or in word, 
The lawe, wol I be rewlid aftir yeur 1 record ; 
ffor we "be ful avisid in this wise to answers." 

Evander fe Steward, & al men fat were there, 3452 
Had merviH much of Geffrey, fat spak so redely, 
"Whose wordis ther[to]for semyd al foly, 
And were a-stonyed cleen, & gan [tho] for to drede : 
And euery man til othir lenyd with his hede, 3456 

And seyd, " he reportid the tale ji$t formally ; 
He was no fool in certen, but wise, ware, & scly ; 
ffor he hath but I-Iapid vs, & scornyd her*-to-fore ; 3459 
And wee have hold [en] hym a fole, but wee be wel more." 
Thus they stodied on Geffrey, & lau^id f o ri}t nai^t. 

When Geffrey had a-spied they were in such[e] f ou^t, 
And hir hertis trobelid, pensyff, & a-noyed, 3463 

Hym list to dry v in bet f e nayU, til they wer 1 fully cloyid : 
" Soveren sirs ! " he seyd, " sith fat it so is, 
That in reportyng 1 of our pie yee fynd nothing a-mys, 
As previth wele yeur/ scilence ; eke yee wzt/iseyith not 
word of our/ tale, but [fynde it] clene wzt/iout[en] spot ; 
Then to our/ answer* I prey ^ewe take hede ; 3469 

ffor wee wol sey[en] al the trowith, ri^t as it is in dede. 
ffor this is soth & certeyn), it may nat be wzt7*seyd z , 
That Beryn, fat here stondith, was fus ovir-pleid 3472 
In the last game, when wagir was opon : 
But fat was his sufferaunce, as ye shul here a-noon. 
ffor in al this Cete ther nys no maner man 
Can pley[eii] bettir atte ches fen my mastir can ; 3476 
Ne bet fen I, f ou^e I it sey, can nat half 1 so much. 
Ne how he lost it be his will, the cause I wol teche : 
ffor ye wend, & ween, fat ye had hym engyned ; 
But yee shul fele in every veyn fat ye be vndirmyned, 
And I-brou^t at ground, & eke ovir-musid. 3481 

" And a^enst the first fat Beryn is acusid, 
Herith nowe entyntyflich : when wee wi on the see, 


Such a tempest on vs fill, bat noon nmt othir se, 3484 a terrible 

tempest over- 

Of J?undir, wynd, & li^tenyng, & stormys ther a-mong ; took us, 

XV dayis duryng the tempest was so strong, 

That ech[e] man til othir began hym for to shryve, 

And made hir 1 a-vowis, yf jjey my^te have ]je lyve, 3488 

Som to se the ! sepulkir, & som to ofir plase, 

To sech[en] holy seyntis, for help & [eke] for grace ; 

Som to fast, & do penaunce, & som do almys-dede ; 3491 

Tyl atte last, as God wold, a voise to vs seyde, [leaf 228] and at last a 

In our/ most turment, & desperate of mynde, 

' That yf we wold be savid, my mastir must hym bynde, if you want to 

be saved, your 

Be feith & eke by vowe, when he cam to londe, Master must vow 

To drynke al the salt watir within the se stronde ; 3496 salt water in the 
Without drynkyng any sope of J?e fressh watir ;' Shfaiit!" "^ 

And tau^t hym al the sotilte, how & in what manere And the voice 

That he shuld wirch[en] by engyne, & by a sotiH charm), to do this. 
To drynk[en] al the salt watir, & have hym-selff no harm) ; 
But stop the nressh[e] Ryvers by euery costps] side, 3501 
That they entir nat in the se Jmrh J>e worldfe] wyde. 
The voyse we herd, but nau^t wee sawe ; so wer* our/ wit- 

tis ravid : 

ffor this was [the] end fynally, yf we lust be savid. 3504 
Wherfor my mastir Beryn, when he cam to this port, So Beryn came 

here to perform 

To his avowe & promys he made his first resort, his vow, 

Er 1 that he wold[e] Bergeyri) any rnarchandise. 

And ri3t so doith these marchandis in the same wise, 3508 

That maken hir/ a-vowis in saving of hir 1 lyvis ; 

They completyn hir' pilgremagis or fey se hir wyvis. 

So mowe ye vndirstond, J?at my mastir Beryn andietsyro- 

c check* 

Of fre will was I-matid, as he )>at was a pilgrym, 3512 mate him, 

And my^tfe] nat perfourm) by many Jjowsand part 

His avowe & his hest, without ri^t sotil art, because he 

-TTT-J.T ,r T i i o n f hadn't money 

Wit/iout[enJ Jielp & strengith of many mennys my^te. enough to pay 
Sir Steward, & sir Burgeyse, yf we shul have ri^te, 3516 the 'Su water 

Sirophanes must do [the] cost & aventur, 

do this, 

1 MS the the. 



and Bery-n will 
drink the salt 

He never agreed 
to drink any 

At this, 
turns pale. 

[leaf 228, back] 
Evander warns 

him that he'll 
have to pay 
damages and 

So Syrophanes 
offers to let 
Beryn go free. 

But Geffrey 
won't have it, 
and calls for 

1 But how can 
you stop all the 
fresh water ? ' 

' Easily enough 
if you've money 
enough,' says 
' But let Syro 
phanes pay us 
heavy damages, 

To stopp al the ffressh Ryvers in-to fe see Jmt entir. 
ffor Beryn is [fill] redy in al thing 1 hym to quyte ; 
So ho be in defaute, must pay [en] for the wite. 3520 

Sith yee been wise [men] aH, what nede is much clatir ? 
Ther 1 was no covenaunte hem be-twen to drynk fressh water." 

1F When Sirophanes had I-herd al Geffreyis tale, 
He stode al abasshid, with colour 1 wan & pale, 3524 

And lokid oppon the Steward wiih a rewful cher* 
And on othir frendshipp & Ney3bours he had ther* ; 
And preyd[e] hem of counseli, the answere to reply. 3527 

" These Romeyns," quod, the Steward, " been wondir scly, 
And eke ri^t ynmagytyff, 1 & of [such] sotiH art, 
That I am in grete dowte howe yee shuH depart 
With-out harm in oon side, our/ lawis, wel ]?owe wost, 
Is to pay damagis, and eke also the cost 3532 

Of euery party plentyff fat fallith in his pleynt. 
Let hym go quyte, I counseH, yf it may so be queynt." 
" I merveiH," quod Syrophanes, " of hir/ sotilte ; 
But sith fat it so stondith, & may noon othir be, 3536 
I do woH be counseH ; " & grauntid Beryn quyte. 
But Geffrey f ou^t anothir, & withoui respite, 
" Sirs," he seyd, " wee wetith wele fat yee wol do vs ri^te, 
And so ye must[e] nedis, & so yee have vs hi^te ; 3540 
And ther-for, sir Steward', ye occupy our/ plase ; 
And yee knowe wele, what law woH in this case : 
My mastir is [al] redy to perfourm) his avowe." 
" Geffrey," 2 quod the Steward, " I can nat wete howe 3544 
To stop aH the ffressh watir wer> possibilite." 
" 3is, in soth," qwod Geffrey, " who had of gold plente 
As man coude wissh, & it my^t wel be do. 
But, fat is nat our/ defaute, he hath no tresour/ to. 3548 
Let hym go to in hast, or fynd vs suerte 
To make a-mendis to Beryn) for his iniquite, 
Wrong, & harm, & trespas, & vndewe wexacioun), 
Loss 3 of sale of marchandise, disese & tribulacioun), 3552 

1 So in MS. * Urry prints " But natheles." 3 MS Lost. 


That wee have sustenyd f urh his iniquite. 

What vaylith it to tary vs 1 for f ou$t [ye] sotil pry, 

Wee shuH have reson, wher* yee woH or no. 

So wol wee bat ye knowe what fat wee wol do : 3556 or we'll appeal 

to IsODtJ 

In certen, [we be] ful avisid to Isope for to pase, 
And declare[n] every poynt, f e more & eke the lase, 
That of yewr/ opyn errours hath pleyn correccioune, 
And ageyns his lugement is noon proteccioune : 3560 and he-n settle 
He is yeur/ lord riali, & soveren lugg, & lele ; 
That, & ye work in eny poynt, to hym lijth our 1 a-pele." 
So when the Steward had I-herd, & f e Burgeysis aH, 
Howe Geffrey had I-steryd, fat went so ny^e the gait ; [leaf 2291 

What for shame, & drede of more harm) & repreff, 3565 
They made Syrophanes, weer hym looth or leffe, so, they make 

Syrophanes find 

To take Beryn gage, and plegg[e] fynd also, pledges to pay 

To byde fe ward & lugement of fat he had mys-do. 3568 

1T " Nowe ferthermore," qwod Geffrey, " sith fat it so is, 
That of the first pleyntyff wee have sikirnes ; 
No we to the Marchant wee must nedis answere, 2 - <Asto 


That Bargayned with Beryn, 'al fat his Shippis bere, 3572 

In covenaunte fat he shuld his Shippis fitt ageyn) 

Of othir marchandise, fat he to-fore had seyn) 

In hanybaldis plase, howsis too or thre, 

fful of marchandise, as they my^tfe] be.' 3576 

Let vs pas [sen] thidir, yf eny thing be ther* Let us go and 

look at the goods 

At our/ lust & likeing, as they accordit were." in MS house.' 

"I graunt[e] wele," quod hanybald, "fow axist but ri^te." 

Yp arose these Burgeysis, "}>owe axist but ri^te:" 3580 

The Steward & his comperis entrid first f e house, The steward, &c., 

And sawe no thing w^t/dn, Strawe, ne leffe, ne mowse, nothing there 

but the bare roof 

feave tymbir, & f e tyle-stonys, & f e walks white. and wails. 

" I trowe," q^od the Steward, " the wynnyng woft be but 
lite 3584 

That Beryn wol nowe gete in hanybaldis pleynte ; 
ffor I can se noon othir but they wol be atteynt " 



Bery:i and his 
men can find 
nothing either. 

Evander thinks 
Hanybald must 

The Blind man 
swears he'll make 
Beryn pay. 

[leaf 229, back] 

Macaigne says so 

But Geffrey has 
brought 2 white 
butterflies ; 

he lets "em fly, 
and they stick to 
the wall. 

Then he calls in 
the Falsetown 

and says he'll 



And clepid hem in, echone, & went out hym selve. 
As soon as they were entrid, they sawe no maner selve, 
ffor soris of hir/ hert ; but, as to-fore is seyd, 3589 

The house was cleen I-swept. fen Geffrey feir fey preyde 
To help [hem] yf he coude. " let me a-loon ! " quod he, 
"Jit shutt they have the wors, as sotitt as fey bee." 3592 

Evander the Steward, in the mene while, 
Spak to the Burgeyse, & be-gan to smyle : 
" Thou^e Syrophanes by I-hold these romeyns for to curs, 
Jit I trow fat hanybald wott put hym to f e wers ; 3596 
ffor I am suyr & certeyn, within they shul nat fynde." 
1T " What sey yee be my pleynt, sirs ? " qwod the blynde, 
" ffor I make a-vowe I wol nevir cese 
Tyl Sirophanes have of Beryn a pleyn relese, 3600 

And to make hym quyte of his submyssioune ; 
Els wott I have no pete of his contricioune ; 
But folow hym also fersly as I can or may, 
Tyl I have his eyen both[e] to away." 3604 

" Row in feith," qwod machyn, " & I wol have his lyffe ! 
ffor f ou$e he scape $ewe aH, wiih me wol he nat stryffe ; 
But be ri^t feyn in hert, al his good for-sake, 
ffor to scape with his lyff, & to me it take." 3608 

Beryn & his feleshipp wer 5 within the house, 
And speken of hir/ answer*, & made but litiH rouse ; 
But evir preyd[e] Geffrey, to help yf he coude ou^t. 3611 
" I woU nat faitt," quod Geffrey, & was to-fore be-f ou^t 
Of too botirflijs, as white as eny snowe : 
He lete hem flee wi't/an the house, fat aftir on the wowe 
They clevid wondir fast, as hir ) kynde wott, 
Aftir they had flowe, to rest a-nothir putt. 3616 

When Geffrey sawe the botirflijs cleving on fe watt, 
The Steward & f e Burgeys In he gan [to] catt : 
" Lo ! Sirs," he seyde, "who-so evir repent, 
Wee have chose marchandise most to our 1 talent, 3620 
That wee fynd here-In. be-hold, sir hanybatt, 
The ^ondir bottirflyis fat clevith on f e watt : 


Of suchfel, yee must fille oure Shippis alflel fyve. 'for 5 ship-loads 

of white butter- 

Pluk vp thy hert, Beryn, for J>ow must nedis thryve ! 3624 flies. 

ffor when wee out 1 of Rome, In marchantfare went, 

To purchase buttirflyes was our/ most entent. They're just what 

we want to buy, 

3it wott I tett the cause especial & why : for a Roman 

doctor to make a 

Ther* is a leche in Room, J?at hath I- made a cry 3628 cm-e-au out of/ 

To make an oynteinent to cure al tho been blynde, 
And att maner infirmytees, Ipat growith in man-kynde. 
The day is short, the work is long : sir hanybatt, ye 

mut hy ! " 

When hanybald herd this tale, he seyd pryuely 3632 
IH counsel to the Steward : " in soth I have )>e wors : Hanybald sees 
ffor I am sikir by J>is pleynt )>at I shal litil purs." 
" So me semeth," qwod the Steward, " for in fe world[e] 


So many botirflyis wold[e] nat be founde, 3636 

I trowe, o Shipp to charge, wherfor me binkith best, and, by 

Evander's advice, 

Lete hym have his good a-geyn, & be in pese & rest. 

And }it [it] is an auntir and J>owe scape so, 

Thy covenaunt to relese with-out[en] more a-do." 3640 

The Burgeysis everichon, jjat were of J>at Cete, 
Were anoyid sore, when they herd of jjis plee. 
Geffrey with his wisdom held hem hard & streyte, 
That they were accombrit in hir* own) disceyte. 3644 

When hanybald with his ffrendis had spoke of ]>is mater 1 , 
They drowe hem toward Beryn, & seid in J>is maner* : offers to give 

" Oonly for botirflyes ye com fro yeur/ contrey ; 
And wee 3ewe teH in sikirnes, & opon our* fey, 3648 

That so many botirflyes wee shul nevir gete : 
Wherfor we be avisid, othir wise to trete ; 
That hanybald shaH relese his covenant fat is makid, 
And dely vir the good a-geyn, j?at horn $ewe was ransakid ; his cargoes, 
And wexe 36 we no more, but let $ew go in pese." 3653 
" Nay, for-soth," quod Geffrey, u vs nedith no relese ! ' says 

\r t it i i i ^ 11 i Geffrey, 'vou 

i ee snutl hold our covenaunt, & wee shul yeurs also ; keep your 

ffor wee shuH have reson, wher* ye wol or no, 3656 SJve 



Isope '11 do us 

Hanybald at once 
gives sureties for 

3. 'As to the 
Blind man, 

it's true that he 
and Beryn 
changed eyes. 
But why ? 

[leaf 230, back] 

The two were 

Came a dearth 
their land, all 
joy was gone. 

Then God sent 
them plenty, 

and they rejoiced. 

Also a wondrous 
player came 

Whils Isope is a-lyve, I am no thing a-ferd ; 

ffor I can wipe[ii] al this pie cleen[e] from yewr/ herd, 

And ye blench[en] onys out of the hy wey." 

The proferid hym plegg & gage, without more deley. 3660 

1T " Now ferthirmore," quod. Geffrey, " vs ou^t to precede : 

ffor to the blynd mannys poynt we must answer 1 nede, 

That, for to telfle] trowith, he lyvith al to long ; 

ffor his owne fawte, & his owne wrong, 3664 

On beryn he hath surmysid, as previth by his pie ; 

And fat yee shulle[n] opynlich knowe wele & se. 

ffor, as I vndirstod hym, he seyd fat ' fele ^eris, 

Beryn, fat here stondith, & he, wer* pertyneris 3668 

Of wynnyng 1 & of lesyng, as men it vse & doith ; 

And that fey chaungit eyen' ; & ^it Jis is sothe : 

But the cause of chaunging ^it is to ^ewe on-know ; 

Wherfor I wol declare it, both to hi^e & lowe : 3672 

In that same tyme fat f is Burgeys blynde, 

And my mastir Beryn, as fast as feith my^t bynde, 

Were marchaundis in coniyn of al fat fey my^t wyn, 

Saff of lyffe & lym), & of dedely synne, 3676 

Ther* fiH in tho marchis,.of al thing 1 such a derth, 

That loy, comfort & solas, & [eke] al maner myrth 

Was exilid cleen ; saff oonly molestacioune, 

That abood contenuerl, and also dispiracioune. 3680 

So when fat the pepitt were in most myscheff, 

God fat is a-bove, fat al thing 1 doith releve, 

Sent hem such plente of mony, fruyte, & corn), 

Wich turned al to loy hir* mournyng al to-forn). 3684 

Then gaff they hem to myrth, [to] revel, pley, & song 1 ; 

And f ankid God above, evir more a-mong, 

Of hir 1 relevacioun) from woo in-to gladnes : 

ffor ' aftir sour*, when swete is com, it is a plesant mes.' 

So in the meen[e] while of this prosperite, 3689 

Ther* cam [tho] such a pleyer in-to f e same contre, 

That nevir thereto-fore was seyn such a-nothir ; 


That wele was the creatur 5 ]>a\> born was of his modir, 3692 

That myatfe] se the xnirthis of this logelour* : a juggler or 


flbr of the worldfe] wyde tho dayis he bare J?e floure. 

ffor ther 1 nas man ne vomman in bat Regioune, whom a11 folk 

went to see. 

That set of hym selff the store of a boton, 3696 

Yf he had nat sey his myrthis & his game. 

" So oppon a tyrne, this pleyer/ did proclame 
' That alle maner of pepiH [J>at] his pleyis wold se, 
Shuld com oppon a certen day to J>e grete Cete.' 3700 

Then, a-mong 1 othir, my mastir her 1 , Beryn, Beryn and the 

Blind man. set- 

And this same blynd bat pledith now with hym, out to see 

him too, 

Made a certen covenaunt, Jjat )?ey wold[e] see 

The mervellis of this pleyer, & his sotilte : 3704 

So. what for hete of Somyr, age, & febilnes, but on the WR y 

the Blind man 

And eke also J>e long H way, this blynde for werynes fel1 U1 - 

ffil flat adown) to the erth j o foot ne my^t he go. 

Wherfor my mastir Beryn in hert[e] was ful woo, 3708 

And seyd, 'my ffrend, how nowe 1 ? mowe ye no ferfer Deaf 231] 

pas? 1 
' No,' he seyd?, ' by hym bat first made mas ! He refused to go 


And jit I had[de] levir, as God my soule save, 

Se these wondir pleyis, fen al the good I have.' 3712 

* I can nat els,' quod. Beryn, ' but yf 1 it may nat be, 

But J>at yee & I mut retourn a-je, 

Afftir yee be refresshid of jeur/ werynes ; 

ffor, to leve jewe in this plyte, it were no gentilnes.' 3716 

IT Then seyd this blynd, ' I am a-visid bet : but askt Beryn 

Beryn, yee shuH wend[en] thidir w/t^-out[en] eny let ; to see the player, 

And have myne eyen with jewe, J>at they J?e pley mowe se, Beryn's. 

And I wott have yeurs tyH ye com a-je.' 3720 

Thus was hir/ covenaunt made, as I to jewe report, 

ffor ese of this blynd, & most for his comfort. 

But wotith wele the hole science of al surgery 

Was vnyd, or the chaunge was made of both [hir] eye, so they changed 

"With many sotiH enchauntours, & eke nygramancers, 3725 Beryn saw 

That sent were for the nonys, mastris & scoleris ; 



the player with 
the Blind man's 
eyes, and then 
came back to 

But the Blind 
man had lost 
Beryn's eyes, 
and has never 
given 'em buck 
to him. 

Beryn's eyes 
were the better 
ones ; let the 
Blind man give 
'em back to him, 

Qeaf 231, back] 

and he'll return 
the Blind man's.' 

The Blind man 
offers to withdraw 
his suit. 

But Geffrey says 
he must find 
sureties for 

and the Blind 
man does so. 

So when al was complete, my mastir went his way 

With this mannys eyen, & sawe al the pley ; 3728 

And hast[i]ly retourned into that plase a-ye ; 

And fond this blynd seching 1 , on hondis & on kne 

Grasping al aboute to fynd fat he had lore, 

Beryn his both eyen, fat he had to-fore. 3732 

But as sone as Beryn had[de] pleyn) knowleche 

That his eyen were I-lost, vnneth he my^t areche 

word, for pure anguyssh fat he toke sodenly, 

And from fat day tiU now^e ne my^t he nevir spy 3736 

This man in no plase, ther* la we was I-mevid ; 

But nowe in his presence the soth is ful I-previd, 

That he shall make a-mendis or he hen[ny]s pas ; 

Ei^te as the lawe wol deme, ethir more or les. 3740 

ffor my mastris eyen were bettir & more clere 

Then these fat he hath nowe, to se both fer & nere ; 

So wold he have his own), fat propir were of kynde, 

ffor he is evir redy, to take to the blynde 3744 

The eyen fat he had of hym, As covenant was, 

So he woH do the same, nowe, soverens ! in this cas 

Ye mut take hede for to deme i^te ; 

ffor it were no reson) my mastir shuld lese his si^te, 3748 

ffor his trew hert & his [grete] gentilnes." 

" Beryn," quod the blynd tho, " I woH the relese, 
My quareH, & my cause, & fal[len] fro my pleynt." 3751 

" Thow mut nede," quod Geffrey, " for f ow art atteynt ! 
So mut f ow p?'0fir gage, & borowis fynd also, 
ffor to make a-mendis, as othir have I-do. 
Sir* Steward ! do vs lawe ! sith wee desir 1 but ri^te : 
As wee been pese marchandis, vs longith nat to fi^te ; 3756 
But pleyn vs to the lawe, yf< so wee be agrevid." 

Anoon oppon that Geffrey f ese wordis had I-mevid, 
The blynd man fond borowis for al his maletalent, 
And were I-entrid in the court to byde fe lugement; 3760 
ffor f ou^e fat he blynd were, $it had he good plente, 
And more wold have wonne, f urh his iniquite. 

"STowe herith, sirs." quod. Geffrey, "the pleyntyfs been 4. 'As to the 

Deserted- Wife : 

assurid : 

And as a-nenst fe ferth, this voraman hath arerid, 3764 
That pleynyth her 5 on Beryn, & seyith she is his wyff, 
And J>at she hath many a day led a peynoz^ lyff, 
And much sorowe endurid, his child [forlto sustene. what she saya 

is true, 

And al is soth & trewe. no we ri^tfullich to deme, 3768 

' Whethir of hem both shal othir obey, But, sir steward, 

isn't the wife to 

And folow wil & lustis,' sir Steward, ye mut sey." obey her 

husband ? 

And Jjerewith Geffrey lokid A seyd l on this vomman, 
Howe she chaungit colours, pale, & eke wan : 3772 

" Al for noujt," quod Geffrey, " for yee mut with vs go, Yes. Then, 
And endur with yeui/ husbond both[e] wele & woo ; " along with us/ 
And wold have take hir by]?e hond; but shea-weydid breyde, 
And with a grete sighing, fese wordis she seyd : 3776 

" That ageyns Beryn she wold plede no more : " The sham wif* 

But gagid with too borowis, as othir had do to-fore. give-up,' and find 

sureties to pay. 

The Steward sat as stiH, as who had shor 1 his hede ; 
And specially the pleyntifs were in much[e] drede. 3780 
Geffrey set his wordis in such manere wise, rieaf 232] 

That wele they wist j?e my^tfe] nat scape[n] in no wise 
With-out[en] los of goodis, for damage & for cost ; 
ffor suchfe] were hir/ lawis, wher* pleyntis wer> 1-lost. 3784 

Geffrey had ful perseyte of hir* encombirment j 
And eke he was in certen J?at the lugement 
Shuld pas with his mastir ; wherfor he a-noon, 
:< Soveren sirs !" he seyd, "}it must wee ferjjer goon, 3788 5. 'As to 
And answere to this Machyn, Ipat seith j?e knyff is his Geffrey, 'Hs 
That found was on Beryn : thereof he seith nat a-mys. 
And for more pryvy 2 he seith in this manere, 
'That here stondith present the same Cotelere 3792 

That jje knyffe made, & ]?e preciows stonys thre 

1 Urry prints ' aside.' ' He saw *, or ' and saw ', is no doubt the 

2 Urry prints ' prefe.' See 'pryue', 1. 3797. 



But how did 
Beryn get the 

I'll tell you. 

Seven years ago, 
on Tuesday, in 

Beryn's father 
meant to go to 

and therefore lay 
alone, apart from 
his wife. 

But Beryn found 
him dead on 
the straw, 

[leaf 232, back] 

with this knife 
of Macaigne's 
in his heart. 
Beryn drew 
it out. 

I saw him, 

Within the hafft been couchid, pat in cristyanite, 
Thou^e men wold of purpose, make serch, & siche, 3795 
Men shuld nat fynd in al thing 1 a knyff pat were it lich : ' 
And more opyn pryue pan l mannys owne knowleeh, 
Men of lawe ne clerkis con nat tett ne teche. 
Now sith wee be in this manere thus ferforth ago, 3799 
Then were spedful for to knowe howe Eeryn cam first to 
To have possessioune of the knyff pat machyn seith is Ids : 
To $ewe vnknowe, I shall enfourm) pe trowith as it is. 

" Nowe .vij. yeer & passid, oppon a tuysday 
In the passion-woke, when men leven pley, 3804 

And vse more devosioune, fastyng & preyed, 
Then in othir tyme, or seson of pe ^eer, 
This Beryns ffadir erlich wold a-rise, 

And barefote go to chirch, to [don] goddis service, 3808 
And lay hym-selff aloon, from his owne wyff, 
In reverence of pe tyme, & mending of his lyfF. 
So on the same tuysday, pat I to-fore nempt 1 , 
This Beryn rose, & rayd hym, & to pe chirch[e] went, 3812 
And mervelid in his hert his ffadir was nat ther 1 : 
And homward went ageyn, w^t/i drede & eke fere. 
In-to his ffadirs Chambir, sodenlich he rakid, 3815 

And fond hym ligg, standede, 2 oppon the strawe al nakid, 
And the clothis halyd from the bed a-way. 
* Out alas ! ' quod Beryn, ' that evir I sawe this day ! 
The meyne herd the noyse, how Beryn cried Alias ! 
And cam in-to the Chambir, al pat ther/in was. 3820 

But the dole & the sorowe, & anguyssh pat was there, 
It vaylith nat at this tyme to declare it here ; 
But Beryn) had[de] most of aH, have ye no doute. 
And a-noon they serchid the body al aboute, 
And fond this same knyff, pe poynt ri^t at his hert 
Of Beryns ffadir, whose teris gan out-stert 
"When he drow^ out the knyff of his ffadirs wound : 
Then, standede 2 I sawe hym fal doun to pe ground, 3828 
1 MS ' j?at.' Urry prints 'than.' 2 stone-dead. 


In sijte of the most part Ipat beth with hym no we here." and so did our 
(And they affermyd it for sothe, as Geffrey did hem lere :) 

"And jit hadlnevir suspecioun, from fat day [un]til noweth, But we never 

"Who did pat cursid dede ; tiH machyn with his mowith the murder, 

Afore jewe hath knowlechid bat the knyff is his : 3833 owned the knife/ 
So mut he nedis answer 5 for his deth I-wis." 

IT When Machyn had I-herd al Geffreyis tale, 

He rose of bench[e] sodynly, with colour" wan & pale, 3836 Macaigne at once 

And seyd [tho] on-to Beryn : "sir/, ageyn[es] the his plaint. 
I wolle plete 110 more ; for it were gret pete 
To combir jewe with accions, fat 1 beth of nobiH kynde." 

" Graunte mercy, sir ! " quod. Geffrey, ' ' but jit yee shulle fynde ' very well ; 

, . , , o o j i find 8Ur eties 

Borowis, or yee pas, amendis for to make 3841 for damages, 

ffor our/ vndewe vexacioun) ; & gage also vs take Geflrey?^ 

In signe of submissioun for yeur/ Iniury, 

As la we woU & reson) ; for wee woH vttirly 3844 

Precede tyU wee have lugemeiit fmaH. 

And therfor [now], sir Steward, what bat evir fall, sir steward! 

give judgment, 

Delay [ith] vs no lenger, but gyve us lugement ! 

ffor tristith ye noon othir, but we be fullich bent 3848 

To Isope for to wend, & in his hije presence orwe'iigoto 

Eeherce[n] aH our 5 plees, & have[n] his sentence ; 

Then shul yee make ffynys, & hijlich be agrevid." 3851 

And as sone as the Steward herd these wordis mevid?, The steward 
" lieson, ry^te, & la we," seyd the Steward tho, Oeaf 233] 

" Yee mut nedis have, wher 5 I woH or no. 
And to preve my fuH wiH, or wee ferfer goon," 
Quiklich he comaundit, & sparid nevir oon, 3856 caiisout24 

---- . burgesses, learned 

nij 13urgeysis in lawe best I-lerid, in the law, 

Rehersyng hem the plees, & how Geffrey answerid ; 

' And on lyffe & lym, & forfetur/ of good, sums-up the 

And as they wold nat lese the baH within hii j hood, 1 3860 charges them 

to give a true 

lo drawe a-part to-gidir, & by hir 5 al assent verdict. 

Spare no man on lyve, to gyve trewe lugement.' 
And when these xxiiij burgeysis had I-herd 
1 their heads, lives. 



The Jurors 

find for Berj n : 
plaintiffs to pay 
a large fine. 

So Beryn doubles 
his property, and 
goes to his ship 

Hanybald says 
the plaintiffs '11 
feel their losses 
all their lives. 

[leaf 233, back] 

They won't 
meddle with 
Romans again. 

The charge of the Steward ; ri^t sore fey wer 5 aferd 3864 

To lese hir 5 owne lyvis, but they demyd trowith ; 

And eke of hir 1 ney^bours fey had grete rowith ; 

ffor they perseyvid clerelich, in fe plee furh-oute, 3867 

Hir* ffrendis had f e wors[e] side ; f erof 1 fey had no doute : 

" And yff wee deme trewly, fey wol be sore anoyid ; 

3 it it is bettir, then wee be shamyd & distroyed." 

And a-noon fey were accordit, & seyd[en] with Beryn, 

And demed euery pleyntyff to make a grete fyne 3872 

With Beryn, & hym submyt hoolich to his grace, 

Body, good, & cateU, for wrong 1 & hir 5 trespase, 

So ferforth, tiH atte last It was so boute I-bore, 

That Beryn had the dobitt good, fat he had to-fore; 3876 

And with loy & myrth, with al his company, 

He dro^e hym to his Shippis ward, with song 1 & melody. 

The Steward & f e Burgeyse from f e court[e] bent, 
In-to hir/ owne placis ; & evir as they went, 3880 

They talkid of f e Eomeyns, howe sotil [fat] the[y] were, 
To aray hym like a fole, fat for hem shuld an s were. 
" What vaylith it," qiwd. hanybald, " to angir or to curs 1 
And }it I am in certen, I shaH fare the wers 3884 

AH the dayis of my lyff for f is dayis pleding 1 ; 
And so shaH al the remnaunt, & hir hondis wryng 1 , 
Both Serophanus, & f e blynde, f e vomman, & machayn), 
And be bet a-visid er they efft-sonys pleyn) ; 
And aH othir personys with-in this [ilk] Cete, 
MeH the les with Romeyns, whil[e]s fey here be. 
ffor such a-nothir fole was nevir }it I-born) ! 
ffor he did nau^t ellis, but evir with vs scorn) 3892 

Tyl he had vs cau^t, even by the shyn, 
With his sotiH wittis, in our/ owne gren." 

Beryn and his 
men chuckle over 
their gains. 

woH I retourne to Beryn ageyn), 
That of his grete lukir, in hert[e] was ri^te feyn) ; 
And so was aH his meyne, as hem ou^te wele, 
1 MS \>e-rvf therof. 




That they were so delyverid from turment like to heft, 

And graciusly relevid out of hir* grete myscheff, 

And [were] I-set above in comforte & boncheff. 3900 

" Now, in soth," quod Beryn, " It may nat be denyed ; Beryn declares 

Nad Geffrey & his wit [i]be, wee had be distroyed ! 

I-thankid be almy3ty God omnipotent, 

That, for our 1 consolacionne, Geffrey to vs sent ! 3904 

And in protest opynly, here a-mong ^ewe aH, he'n give Geffrey 

Halff my good, whils fat I lyve, what-euer me be-fatt, nev er leave Sim. 

I graunt it here to Geffrey, to gyve[n] or to seH, 

And nevir to part from me, yf it were his wiH ; 3908 

And fare as wele as I, amorowe & eke on eve, 

And nevir, for man on lyve, his company for to leve." 

"Graunt mercy, sir !"qw0dGeffrey,"yewr/profirisfeir&grete; Geffrey says he 

T* i T T ^ i i i nr\-in only wants to be 

But I desir no more, but as yee me behete, 3912 taken to Rome. 

To brynge me at Eoom, for f is is covenaunte." 

"It shall be do," [quod] Beryn, "and al the rem[e]naunte. 

Bepardeux," quod Geffrey, " therof wee shuH wele do : " 

He rayid hym [tho] othir-wise ; & without wordis mo, 

They went[en] to 1 be dyner, the hole company, 3917 They an goto 


"With pipis & with trompis, & othir melody. 

And in the myddis of hir* mete, gentil voramen fyve, rive maidens 

come with 5 

Maydyns fressh atirid, as my^tfe] be on lyve, 3920 presents to Beryn 

Com from fe duke Isope, lord of fat Regioune, 

Everich with a present, & fat of grete renown) : 

The first, [she] bare a cup of gold, & of asure fyne, i. A cup of gold. 

So corouse & so nobiH, fat I can nat devyne. 3924 

The second brou^t a swerd I-shethid, with seynture [leaf 234] 2. A fine sword. 

I-fretid aH with perelis orient & pure. 3. A purple 


The f ird[e] had a mantel! of lusty fressh coloure ; 
The vttir part of purpiU, I-furrid with peloure. 3928 

The ferth, a cloth of gold, a worthy & a riche, * A cloth of gold. 

That nevir man to-fore sawe cloith it liche. 

The fnfft bare a palnie, fat stode to-fore the deyse, 5 - A P alm - 

I[n] tokyn & in 2 signe of trowith & [of] pese : 3932 

1 MBwentto, 2 MS 'of.' 



Isope's maidens 

present his gifts 
to Beryn, 

and his invitation 
to visit him 
(Isope) next day. 

Beryn first takes- 
up the sword, 
and then feasts 
the maidens. 

All the Romans 
rejoice at their 

Geffrey tells 
[leaf 234, back] 

Beryn what 
answer to send to 

Ikryn sends 

ffor fat was f e custom, f urh al the contray. 

The message was the levir, & more plesant -to pay ; 

The Cup was vncoverid, f e swerd was out I-brayid, 

The manteil was vnfold, f e cloth a-long a-leyid ; 3936 

They knelid a-down) echeon, ri^t to-fore Beryn ; 

The first did the message, fat tau^t was wel a fyne : 

" Isope," she seyd, " sir Beryn, fat is our/ lord riaH, 

And gretith ^ewe, & sendith }ewe these presentis aH ; 3940 

And loy hath of yeur/ wisdom), & of yeur/ governance, 

And preyith 1 3 ewe to com, & have with hym plesaunce 

To morowe, & se his palyse, & to sport ^ewe ther*, 3943 

Yee & all yeur company." Beryn made noon answer 5 , 

But sat still, and beheld f e vowmen, & f e sondys ; 

And aftirward avisely the swerd [e] first he hondis, 

And comaundit ther-with-aH f e vymmen wassh & sitt, 

And pryvelich chargit officers, fat with al hir witt 3948 

To serve hem of the best, & make hem hertly cher 1 ; 

Resseyving al the presentis in worshipfuH manere. 

I can nat wele expres the Ioy[e] fat fey had 3951 

But I suppose, to-fore fat day, fat fey were nat so glad, 

That they were so a-scapid fortune & myscheff ; 

And fonkid God above, fat al thing doith releff ; 

ffor ' aftir mysty cloudis fere comyth a cler 1 sonne ; ' 

So 'aftir bale comyth bote,' who-so byde conne. 3956 

The loy & nobley fat they had, whils they were at mete, 

It vaylith nat ( at this tyme, ther-of long to trete. 

But Geffrey sat wit B[eryn], as he had se?*vid wele ; 
Hir/ hedis they leyd to-gidir, & begon to tell 3960 

In what maner the vymmen shuld be answerid. 
Geffrey evir avisid Beryn : ther-of he leryd, 
And of othir thingis, howe he hym shuld govern ; 
Beryn saverid wele ther'-on, & fast he gan to lern). 3964 

When all were vp, the vymmen cam to take hir 1 leve : 
Beryn, as sat hym wele of blode, hem toward gan releve, 
And preyd hem hertly hym to recomende 
1 MS preyd. 


Ynto J?e worthy lordshipp of Isope ; (}?at ^ewe sende 3968 thanks to isope 

To me that am vnworthy, save of his grete nobley ;) 

And thank hym of his gyfftis, as ye can best, & sey, and says, m 

visit Isope to- 

" To-morow I woH be redy, his hest to fulfill, morrow if he'll 

give me a " safe- 

WitJi this I have save condit, I may com hym tiH, 3972 conduct"; for 

ffor me, & al my feleshippe, saff to com & go ; custom in my 

Trustyng in his discrecioune, J)at J^ou^e I ax[e] so, 

He wol nat be displesid : for in my contray 

It hath evir be the custom), & is in-to this day, 3976 

That yf a lord riaH desirith for to see 

Eny maner persone, Jmt is of las degre ; 

Ere he approche his presence, he woH have in his honde 

A saff condit 1 enselid, or els som othir bonde, 3980 

That he may com & pas wz't/iout[en] disturbaunce : 

Thurh-oute all our/ marchis it is the observaunce." 

This wvmmen toke hir 1 leve wzt/zoutrenl wordis mo, isope's maidens 

give him Beryn's 

Repeyryng 1 on-to Isope ; & al at 1 it was do 3984 answer. 

They rehersid redely (& faylid nevir a word,) 

To Isope with his baronage, ]>ere he sat at his borde, 

Talkyng fast of 1 Romayns, & of hir hi^e prudence, 

That in so many daungers made so wise defence. 3988 

But as sone as Isope had pleynlich I-herd isope is pleased 

r\f> T> . n -, , j with Beryn's 

Of Beryns governaunce, pat first sesid J?e swerd, taking his sword 

Afore aH othir presentis, he denied in his minde, 

That Beryii was I-com[en] of som nobiH kynde. 3992 

The ny^t was past, fe morowe cam; Isope had nat for- He sends 12 

, Barons for Beryn 

to bring him safe. 

He chargit Barons twelff, with Beryn for to mete, 
To cond his 2 saff, & his meyne ; & al perfowrmyd was. [leaf 235] 

Thre dayis there they sportid hym 3 in myrth & [in] solas; Beryn stays s 
That J?urh the wise instruccioune of Geffrey, ny^t & day, 
Beryn plesid Isope with wordis al to pay ; 
And had hym so in port, & [eke] in governaunce, 
Of alle honest myrthis, & witty daliaunce, 4000 

1 ? for ' as ', or ' at ' = that. ' al at ' are written over an erasure. 
8 ? him. 3 for ' hem '. 


and gets such That Isope cast his chere to Beryn so eroundlv. 

friends with him 

That atte last there was no man with Isope so pryvy : 
Eesorting to his Shippis, comyng to & fro, 
Thurh f e wit of Geffrey, fat ech day it fil so, 1 4004 

that isope can't That Isope coude no chere when Beryn was absent ; 

be happy without 

Jam. So [fat] Beryn must nedis ech day be aftir sent : 

And chefe he was of counseH, with-in the first[e] 3 ere ; 
Thurh f e wit of Geffrey, fat ech day did hym lere. 4008 

isope weds his This Isope had a douatir, be-twen hym & his wyffe, 

fair daughter 

That was as feir/ a creature as myjtfe] bere lyff ; 
Wise, & eke bounteyouse, & benyng with-aH, 4011 

That heir/ shuld be, aftir his day, of his lordshippis aH. 
So, shortly to conclude, the mariage was made 
to Beryn, Be-twene hir* & Beryn ; many a man to glade, 

Saff the Burgeysis of the town), of falshede fat were rote : 
But they were evir hold so lowe vndirfoot, 4016 

That they [ne] my^te nat regne, but atte last [were] fawe 
To leve[n] hir/ condicioune, & hir/ fals[e] lawe : 
and he and Beryn & [eke] Geffrey made[n] hem so tame, 

badFaisetown That they amendit ech[e] day, & gate a bettir name. 4020 
so Geffrey made Thus Geffrey made Beryn his enmyes to oyir-com, 

And brou3t hym [un]to worshipp f urh his [grete] wisdom). 
May all of us find Now God vs ^Tauntfe] grace to fynde such a frende, 

a like friend in 

need! When wee have nede ! And thus I make an ende. 4024 

A canterbury Nomen Autoris presentis Cronica Rome 

monk wrote this 

Taie. Et translators / Films ecclesie Thome. 

[In the MS, on the back of leaf 235, follows the continu 
ation of the Sompnour's Tale, which was left-off at the foot 
of the front page of leaf 115 : 

" Here endith the tale of* the Sompnowe within f e boke 

IT And fet his felawe ther/ as he leyd? his store " &c.] 
1 MS ' ech day did hym lere it fil so : ' caught from 1. 4006. 


SIhe ftmfamt and tfa 


Hale of 







ABSTRACT OP FRENCH VERSION ... ... ... ... 125 


INDIAN VERSION ... ... ... ... ... ... 148 

ARABIAN VARIANT ... ... ... ... ... ... 152 








FOOLISH as this story may be considered by some of those who 
lay the flattering unction to their souls that they are, em 
phatically, " sensible, practical " men, there is yet a method in its 
foolery which is sometimes wisdom in masquerade. Suppose and, 

" When thought is warm, and fancy flows, 
What may not argument suppose ? " 

as the poet Cowper asks let us suppose a land where wrong is 
right, false is true, and the rest follows quite naturally. Well, young 
Beryn arrives with his five richly-laden ships at such a land, where 
he is " entertained " by the inhabitants. Their ways, however, are 
calculated to make themselves rich but leave the stranger poor 
indeed. Clearly, as old Geoffrey was well aware, the only means of 
escaping such an accumulation of serious claims and accusations was 
to oppose lie to lie, or rather, to tell greater lies in self-defence ; and 
by Geoffrey's so doing on behalf of his " client " the artful folk of 
Falsetown were caught in their own snares. To practise the sage 
maxim, " oppose falsehood with truth," would have been, in Beryn's 
case, utter and irretrievable ruin ! 

The Tale of Beryn is identical with the first part of the old 
French romance, L'Histoire du Chevalier Berinus, which is a singular 
compound of two distinct tales, interspersed with necromantic and 
chivalric incidents. A manuscript of this romance, of the 15th 


century, is preserved in the National Library, Paris ; and there is 
another in the Imperial Library, Vienna, neither of which has yet 
been edited. It was printed early in the 16th century under the 
title of " L'Histoire du noble Chevalier Berinus, et du excellent et 
tres-chevalereux champion Aigres de I'Aimant son fils ; lequel Livre 
est tant solacieux, qu'il doit etre sur tout aatre nomme le vrai 
Sentier d'Honneur, et 1'Exemplaire de toute Chevalerie. Nouvelle- 
ment re'duit de langage inconnu au vulgaire langage Francois ; " 
Paris : Jean Bonfons, sans date. An abstract of it, by Nicolas-Bricaire 
de la Dixmerie (ob. 1791), is found in Melanges tires d'une grande 
Ubliotlivque, Paris, 1780, tome viii., pp. 225-277. In the short 
preface to his extmit, M. de la Dixmerie says that this romance " has 
not been given to us as a known translation. In what language was 
it first written? We are not told. We are informed that the 
original author was called Marithiaux ; but that tells us nothing. 
It is supposed that it is a device of the translator to conceal his own 
name. Let us see if he has made a great sacrifice to his modesty." l 
The following is a free translation of the first part of the extrait ; it 
is much to be regretted that the writer did not furnish some passages 
from the romance itself : 

1 There are two editions of the Histoire de Berinns in the Library of the 
British Museum, one " Imprime par la Veufue feu Jehan Trepperel," Paris 
(? 1525), the other, printed by Alain Lotrian, Paris (? 1537), both in 4to. Mr. 
Frederick John Vipan has kindly favoured me with some extracts from the 
first of these, of which I avail myself in the course of this paper. 

The author says he has composed his work at the instance and request of 
his friend and lord, for whom he would do great service if he had enough wit 
and ability, tie then tells us that at the present day many men of under 
standing would devote themselves to the art of composition and writing, if 
they were provided with their living, as in old times, for then kings, princes, 
and great lords maintained men of talent, and held them in great honour ; 
but now all is changed : men are too much taken up with seeking for means 
of subsistence to be able to write any profitable work ; and even if they should 
do so, there would be little mention of their productions on account of their 
low estate, for the higher the rank of the writer the more widely are his works 
known. "And so there was none but myself, little as I am, to accomplish 
the command of my lord ; and I count it no trouble to fulfil his will, and 
moreover the matter of which I would speak pleases me. And think not the 
said matter is new, rather is it of very great antiquity, but it is not of less 
value on that account." In the second chapter it is stated that this book was 
written by a "clerc qui s'appellait Marthiaulx ; " and in ch. 128: "Or dit 
1'histoire ainsi comme marteawle le racunte : " in ch. 34 he is called marteau. 


Abstract of frencfj Version. 

\_The nos. at the side are those of the lines of the English Poem.~\ 

FT! HERE was an emperor of Rome, named Philip, successor of 785 
JL Constantino, who had a council composed of seven sages, 1 two 789 
of whom, Cicero and Scipio, were astronomers that is to say, 822 
astrologers, for at that time one had not sufficient knowledge to 
style himself soothsayer or prophet. During the reign of Philip 828 
there dwelt in Rome a very noble and wealthy citizen, named 
Fawnus, who had long desired the blessing of an heir. His wife, 845 
Agea, fervently prayed to Heaven for the same, and at last her 
supplications were granted. She gave birth to a son, whom they 884 
named Berinus. Having waited for him many years, they were 
anxious that the greatest care should be taken of him, and so he was 900 
never thwarted in anything, and had every wish or whim gratified. 
Berinus was scarcely twelve years old when he was considered by the 
children as one of the best born and worst educated in the capital. 
On attaining his fifteenth year he ought to have followed the example 
of other young Romans, and practised the exercises of the field of 
Mars, such as wrestling, running, and throwing the javelin, as well 
as leaping hedges and broad ditches, and swimming across the Tiber. 
It is well known that the great warriors of Rome were excellent 
swimmers : Caesar gave a proof of this near Alexandria ; but Berinus 
did not wish to take Caesar as his model. His affectionate parents 
and himself considered that the exercises of the circus were of too 
rough a description, seeing that those who engaged in them often 

1 Wright, in his edition of the Canterbury Tales, printed for the Percy 
Society, vol. xxvi., p. 243, says that "from the manner in which the Seven 
Sages are introduced at the beginning of the Tale of Bvryn [see 11. 789-825], 
it is evident there must have been some version of that romance [i. e. The 
History of the Seven Wise Masters of Rome'} in Europe differing from the 
usual one, which does not contain this story." I don't agree with him. The 
seven sages of the emperor Philip are mentioned but twice afterwards (11. 100!) 
and 2659), while in the French romance, as we shall see, they figure with little 
honour old Geoffrey proves more than a match for their combined "wisdom." 
It is not uncommon in medifeval stories for a king or emperor to have seven 
"wise men" for his counsellors, who. unlike those of the romance referred to 
by Wright, don't relate tales to their royal master. 


returned with bruised limbs and gouged eyes, or Lad a chance 
of being drowned in attempting to swim across the Tiber. This 
would be committing to the hazards of a single day the fruit and 
object of the wishes of many long years. 1 Games of chance (commonly 
called Tripots) offered to Berinus exercises less fatiguing. He 
923 made them his field of Mars; and he had such a predilection for 
dice and the game of outre-merelle, that he more than once lost all 
928 his clothes : the rich heir of Fawn us would come home in his shirt. 
Agea, his mother, was comforted by the reflection that if Berinus 
allowed himself to be stripped in this way, it was out of pure com 
passion for his tailor. Good people laughed heartily at the mishap, 
for it was not natural to blame such a precious young shoot. But 

1008 his mother died, 2 and when the news was brought to Berinus while 
playing at cards (and losing, as usual), he was enraged at a maid 
servant for interrupting him, returned a foolish and heartless answer, 
and dismissed her with blows. 

Now Fawnus, although wealthy, was a courtier, and sought 
every means of pleasing the emperor, who resolved to put his 
obedience to the test, and proposed that he should marry the most 

1112 beautiful lady in Rome. This was the charming Raine, who had 
been Philip's mistress, though her fidelity to him was more than 
suspected. After a little consideration Fawnus consented, and the 

1132 nuptials were at once celebrated. He soon became strongly attached 
to his new wife, who was not slow to take advantage of his doting 
fondness. (The author here conjectures that there must have been 
witchcraft in all this ; but, in truth, Fawnus was old, and Raine was 
young, beautiful, and skilled in the art of pleasing.) As for Berinus, 
he changed nothing in his conduct, and would not have objected to 
his father's marrying ten times, if only he was not thwarted in any 
of his amusements. But he was not long in finding that Raine was 

1 There is not a word of all this passage about athletic exercises in our 
version, nor in the original romance. 

2 In our Tale (probably also in the French original) the dying mother of 
Beryn begs her husband and it is one of the best passages in the poem not 
to marry again ; for they had both helped to make their son what he is by 
indulging his evil propensities, and a step-mother would make him still worse 
by unkindness. The story of Beryn's childhood and youth, as told in our 
version, is true to life and "a caution to parents!" 


much less indulgent to him than his mother Agea. She made no 
attempt to reform him ; on the contrary, her grand object was to 1145 
cause his ruin and disgrace. His best actions she misrepresented to 
liis father, and converted simple faults into grave crimes. Fawnus, 
who had so long suffered all these things from his son, found them 
inexcusable when told to him by Raine. He began by not seeing 
his son except after long intervals, and then only with pain, and 
finished by expalling him from his house. The unhappy young man 
did not venture to seek for aid amongst his own kin, whom he had 
always neglected, and whose reproaches he feared. He found no 
comfort from those whom he had considered as his friends, who 
showed themselves merely evil acquaintances. Misfortune instructs 
such as it cannot correct. Berinus reflected upon all he had done 
and experienced, and felt that he had not been too severely punished. 
He had lost Agea, an affectionate mother, and had not till now 
realized the extent of his loss. He roamed about the city, despised 
and rejected by everybody. The capital of the world would not 
afford him a shelter. "I shall go and conceal myself," cried he, at 1333 
length, " and die upon my mother's tomb." For two days he 
remained in that mournful retreat. His relatives, feeling uneasy at 
his long absence, had recourse to Fawnus, who yearned for his son. 1337 
Raine, fearing lest she should be accused of having caused his death, 
induced her husband to make a strict search for Berinus, and she 
accompanied him. After many unsuccessful inquiries, Fawnus, in 1404 
his distress, thought of visiting the grave of Agea. A young man, 
with his face pressed upon the tomb, was fondly embracing it, and 
bathing it with his tears. He appeared emaciated and feeble, and 
oblivious of all around him. Fawnus and Raine drew nearer, and 1421 
recognized Berinus. Would not the soul of any father be melted at 
such a spectacle? Fawnus raised up his son and embraced him. 
Both wept, and even Raine herself was much affected. They took 
Berinus home and treated him kindly. Filial piety has in itself 
something so touching that it can move the most heartless step 
mother. But Berinus had to struggle against something more 
powerful in the heart of Rame : she loved a young Roman knight. 
Fawnus suspected nothing of this intrigue, but Berinus was more 


1462 difficult to deceive. 1 *At length of his own accord he resolved to 
quit Rome, and besought his father to provide him with five vessels 

1479 laden with rich merchandise. Raine eagerly supported this request, 
but prevailed upon her husband to demand in return that Berinus 

1528 should formally surrender all his rights as successor to his father. 
The deed was drawn up and signed in presence of the emperor and 

1557 his seven sages, and as soon as the five vessels were ready Berinus 
sailed away, with the design of trading in foreign countries. 

1563 After Berinus had been two days 2 at sea, a great storm arose and 
forced him to seek refuge with his vessels in the chief port of the 

1619 kingdom of Blandie. This was close to the capital, the citizens of 
which were thievish, cunning, and treacherous, for whom the riches 
of Berinus were a strong temptation. He was not, in any way, 
robbed, but, which comes to the same thing, they brought against 
him a great many lawsuits, and in those remote times there was 
very little chance of his ever seeing the end of them. It was the 
custom of the hosts of Blandie to be very kind towards strangers 

1648 whom they suspected of being rich. That of Berinus 3 welcomed 
him with distinction and even obsequiousness. A most sumptuous 
dinner was served up, at which gaiety was joined to good cheer. 

1732 The repast over, a chess-board of ivory, inlaid with silver, was 

1747 brought out. Berinus reluctantly consented to play, and won three 
times in succession. The moderate sum staked at first was doubled, 
and Berinus found himself a gainer of more than he had expended 
since his arrival at Blandie. His courteous host appeared to be 
much chagrined at being defeated, and Berinus wished to cease 
playing, in order to return to the port and see the condition of his 
ships ; but he was assured that they were all in safety, and told that 

1759 he ought to allow his opponent another chance. New conditions 
were imposed, the most severe of which was that the loser must do 

1768 whatever his opponent should require of him, or drink up the waters 
of the sea. For some time the room had been filling with spectators, 

1 There is no mention of this intrigue in our version, where she artfully 
plays with the old man's doting fondness and her supposititious child by him 
she'd rather have him dead than grow up like Beryn ! (1183 1222) 

2 Three days in our version. 

3 The burgess, Syrophane, in our version. 


whose appearance was not the most prepossessing. A new game was 
begun, and the fortunes of the players were not long in changing. 
He whom Berinus had so easily defeated now appeared, like Anthens, 
to have derived fresh strength from falling. The jeers which greeted 
Berinus from the onlookers distracted him, and his skilful rival was 
not slow to take advantage of the circumstance, so Berinus was 
checkmated. The victor then modestly put forward his claim, 1822 
which was simply to deprive Berinus of all his possessions. As he 
would not consent to this, they dragged him before the seneschal, 1 1852 
who, on hearing the case, showed himself as evilly disposed towards 
the foreigner as he was favourable to his own countrymen. Berinus 1872 
requested three days in order to prepare his defence, and was accorded 
the favour on his providing good surety for his appearance. The 
provost of the city, called Sir Hannibal, was present and expressed 1878 
his opinion that the five ships of Berinus were sufficient bail. He 
even thought that it might be advisable to unload the vessels and 1893 
deposit the cargoes in his warehouse, already well furnished with 
every kind of merchandise, in much the same way, assuring Berinus 
that there was still space for his goods. The seneschal approved of 
this proposal, and Berinus, having no alternative, proceeded with 
Hannibal to the harbour. The provost went over all the vessels and 1916 
carefully examined the cargoes, which he found to consist of the 
inest and most valuable goods. " I have something to propose to 
you," said he to Berinus. " Alas ! " replied the disconsolate Eoman, 
" propose and dispose ; for here I see it is about the same thing." 
"I have told you," resumed the provost, "that my warehouse is 
filled with precious goods, all of the best market value. Let us 
agree to make an exchange : whatever may be the issue of your case, 
you will give me all you have here ; and if you gain it, you will take 
for your indemnity all that will suit you in my warehouse, in order 1925 
to freight and fill up your five vessels." Then he whispered in his 
ear, " On this condition, I undertake to arrange your case with the 
seneschal ; " adding aloud, " in short, I shall make use of him more 
for your advantage than my own." Berinus agreed to everything, 
perforce ; and there was a possibility, though a slight one, that this 
1 The steward, Evandir, in our version. 


arrangement might be to his advantage. As they were beginning to 
unload the vessels, Berinus returned to the provost's warehouse, to 
examine the exchange they were compelling him to accept, but there 

1948 he found nothing all had been removed elsewhere; Hannibal, in 
fact, had cleared his stores to make room f jr the bales of Berinus. 
" Behold," said Hannibal, in a sarcastic tone to the Roman, who was 
very much astounded, " this is tlie place, according to our agree 
ment : I don't wish to put any impediment in your way." Berinus 
could only return to the seneschal, who courteously postponed this 
new suit to the following day. 

The Roman then retraced his steps towards the ships, cursing the 

2001 swindling Blandiens. He at once became the talk of the whole 
town, and everybody was desirous to have a share in his ruin. A 

2008 blind man, having heard the foreigner spoken about and learning 
that lie was approaching, laid hold of Berinus as he was passing, 
and bawled out lustily, " Murder ! help ! " Berinus was once more 
dragged before the seneschal. " Sir," said the blind man, " I ask 
justice of you." "Against whom]" "This man whom I hold." 

2045 "What is his offence 1 ?" "He has my eyes, and refuses to give them 
back to me." Berinus was struck dumb from sheer astonishment. 
" What have you to say for yourself 1 " demanded the seneschal of 
him in a severe tone. " I know nothing about it," replied Berinus. 

2090 " I need advice, and request that this suit be delayed like the 
others," to which the seneschal consented. 

" Will this be sufficient ? " said Berinus to himself, as he returned 
to the harbour. "Am I quite free, for to-day, from gamblers, pro 
vosts, seneschals, and blind men 1 Is there not one knave more 

2096 preparing for me some other insult 1 ?" Just then, a \voman, carrying 
an infant in her arms, accosted him with the air and tones of a Fury, 
calling him a faithless and treacherous man, after having pledged 
his troth to her and made her the mother of that child. Here 
was fresh cause of astonishment for Berinus : another visit to the 
seneschal and this new suit put off to the following day. 

It was, as we have seen, to seek advice that Berinus had, at each 
successive accusation, requested delay. But from whom was he to 

2210 seek advice? A passer-by came up to him and said, "Take my 


advice, stranger give up a portion of your goods and save the rest. 
Offer ten talents to the seneschal : he is the man that will not refuse 
the money; and give him also this valuable knife, which I offer 
you, and he will favour you in all your cases. I will go with you to 
him, and you will bless your stars for having taken me as your 
adviser. In short," added he (and we will here use the author's 
own words, which he professes to have borrowed from Solomon), 
"one may willingly give up a crusty little loaf, in order to save the 
whole batch." This counsel seemed good to Berinus, so he returned 
once more to the seneschal, only to find a new charge brought against 
him by his obliging counsellor. Martin (such was the man's name) 1 22G8 
modestly claimed the five ships of Berinus and their rich cargoes, 
which all belonged, said he, to his father, who had set out with the 
ships from Blandie to have them repaired at Eome, as witnesses 
were ready to prove. Moreover, the knife which Berinus had in his 
pocket, he added, was a proof that he had murdered his (Martin's) 
father, to whom it had belonged. This accusation was received like 
the others, and postponed to be judged along with them. 

Berinus, whose freedom they granted, seeing that it was his 
riches and not his person they wished to possess, had now become 
suspicious of every human figure, 2 and as he was trying once more to 

1 The catchpoll, Macaigne, in our version. 

2 No mention is made here, as in our Tale true, this is only an abstract 
of poor Beryn's bitter reflections on his former wiclced life, which he con 
fesses to himself has brought all these troubles on him. He feels that he is 
justly, though heavily, punished : 

" For while I had tyme, wisdom I might have lernyd ; 
But I drough me to foly, and wold nat be governed, 
But had al myne owne will and of no man a-ferd, 
For I was nevir chastised : but now myne owne yerd 
Betith me to sore ; the strokis be to hard." (1. 2321 ff.) 

He curses the day he sold his heritage, for now he is like the man, who, to 
drive the flies off, set fire to his barn ; and, still worse, he may now lose his 
life, and what will become of his men, who have done no one any injury? 
(2306 2377) The old English translator has followed his original pretty 
closely, as will be seen by comparing the passage with the following from the 
French romance : 

" In the meantime Berinus issued from the house, sorrowing and thought 
ful, and in great anxiety to have counsel. And he departed raging, and 
saving such words as these: 'Alas, wretch that I am! right well have I 
deserved the evil and sorrow that I have, when my heart will never persevere 
in well-doing, and I have madly abandoned my country and renounced my 
great inheritance, to get shame and trouble. Yea, it is quite right that I have 


return to the port, finally met a man who seized him by the cloak. 
2379 "Is this all you want?" cried the Roman; "if so, I shall for once 
2426 get off cheaply;" and unloosing his cloak, he abandoned it to the 
would-be robber and escaped. " Stop ! " said the man to him. " It 
is not your garment I want, it is yourself." But Berinus only ran 
the more quickly. The man followed and came up with him a short 
distance from the port. " Listen to me," said he, " I am not sur 
prised at your distrust, but I know very well how to remove it ; " 
2477 and he offered to accompany Berinus on board one of his ships. 1 
Berinus, having taken a long look at the man, smiled at his own 
fear. He was of little stature, and from his appearance not one to 
inspire terror ; evidently a kind of ^Esop, in body and mind. 
" My name is Geoffrey," said he to Berinus. " I am an earth-potter, 
but formerly, in Rome, I practised a more noble calling." "In 
Rome?" "Yes, I am a Roman, like you." "In that case," said 
Berinus, "come with me on board of one of my ships." When 
there, each related to the other the events of his life. 

it, since I have pursued it; and, alas, I ought now to have been in Rome, with 
my father and my other friends, and to be in great honour and in great lord 
ship, and to lead forth my hounds and hawks, and go a hunting with the 
knights and squires of the Roman empire. And I have left it all to seek hard 
adventures and meddle with that whereof I knew nothing ; so that I am like 
the boor who set fire to his house to rid it of the flies ; for I have cast all my 
honour into disrepute and afar for a little melancholy ; so do I not heed 
what Solomon says, that he takes an evil vengeance on himself who lengthens 
his mourning. Alas, what will my men do that I have brought with me ? I 
have indeed deceived and betrayed them ; for they will be poor and wretched 
through me, and yet they have no fault. But as for me, I have well deserved 
the evil and shame that I have." 

The wittol. to whom Beryu likens himself, who burned down his barn to 
drive off the flies, reappears in the Merry Tales of the Mad Men of Gotham, 
as follows : 

" There dwelt a Smith at Gottam, who had a Waspes nest in the strow in the end of his 
Forge. There did come one of his neighbors to haue his horse shood, and the Waspes were 
so busie, that the fellow was stung with a Waspe. He, being angry, said : 'Art thou 
worthy to keepe a forge or no, to haue men stung here with wasps?' ' O neighbour,' said 
the Smith, 'be content ; I will put them from this nest by and by.' Immediately he tooke 
a Coulter, and heated it in his Forge glowing hot, and h j thrust it into the straw in the end 
of his Forge, and so he set his Forge a-fire [and] burnt it vp. Then said the Smith : ' I told 
thee I would fire them forth of their nest.' " 

The Gothamite drolleries are, none of them, home-grown : they are found 
mutatis mutandis current from Iceland to Ceylon. 

1 In our version it is Beryn who proposes that Geoffrey should come with 
him in to one of his vessels. 


Geoffrey was really born in Eome. 1 He had inherited a large 
fortune; but soon became more famous for his ready wit than his 
riches. More than once, although not a counsellor of the emperor, 
he decided state questions. He frequently answered, and always 
wisely, questions upon which the seven sages durst not express an 
opinion. An Eastern prince had submitted several questions which, 
according to the custom of Orientals, were so many enigmas : strong 
common sense was often concealed under the most familiar images. 
" I have," said this prince, " a rotten tooth, which causes me ceaseless 
pain, and gives me rest neither night nor day." 2 The second question 
was : " A bee creeps into my room every morning, in spite of the 
precaution which is taken to carefully shut doors and windows. It 
fastens on my hand at the moment when I have a great desire to 
sleep ; and if I chance to move my hand in the least, it stings it so 
as to make it swell." The third question was as follows : " I have 
in my garden a pear-tree, which surpasses all the others round about 
it. Its trunk is straight ; its top, leafy ; and it covers a large space 
of ground ; but nothing can grow beneath its shade, and its fruit is a 
poison to any one who ventures to taste it." The seven sages 
regarded these questions as too childish. It was beneath their 
dignity to consult them on such trifles. "We have," said they, "no 
balm to cure a diseased tooth ; no secret to hinder a bee from creep 
ing into a room ; no device to improve the fruit of a tree." "There 
is no question of improving," cried Geoffrey to them ; " what is com 
pletely bad can never become good. Listen to the meaning of the 
riddle ; this would be a suitable reply to the Eastern prince : ' Get 
your rotten tooth pulled, or it will spoil the others ; and be sure it is 
pulled out by the root, so th-it nothing may remain, for the stump 
would cause new agonies : as the proverb says, " an empty house is 
better than a bad tenant." Kill the fly, seeing that it has honey in 
its mouth and poison in its tail ; it seeks to pester you in every way. 
Lastly, Tip-root the tree whose fruit and shade even are so dangerous. 
It may be an ornament in your orchard, but it uselessly eats up the 

1 The following account of Geoffrey while in Rome does not occur in our 

2 Presumably the "question" for thi? is simply a statement was: 
" What will cure this raging molar?" 


substance, and kills the useful plants which only require to be 
allowed to spread out.' " The seven sages were rather astounded 
at what they had themselves said, and what they hfid just heard. 1 
Geoffrey gave them other lessons, which at once roused their jealousy. 
He perceived that he could not displease with impunity a council of 
philosophers, and not being able to parry their malice, he thought his 
most prudent course was to get beyond their reach. So he sailed 
away, and a tempest drove him to the Blandiens, who laid a thousand 
snares to rob him, but he had taken the precaution to have in a 
portable form the best part of his treasures ; besides, he only gave 
out that he was a humble potter, working for his living. As he had 
nothing, apparently, to losa, they soon ceased to take any particular 
notice of him. 2 Geoffrey detailed all these circumstances at great 
2808 length to Berinus, adding, " I will set you free. To-morrow I will 
return at cock-crow; be not discouraged; I undertake to get from 
them more than they would have taken from you." 3 

1 It is not easy to discover any great sagacity in Geoffrey's replies; and 
the seven sages must have been so many arrant noodles when, in the first 
place, they could not prescribe remedies for toothache, a troublesome bee. and 
a baneful pear-tree, and, afterwards, were astonished at the " prescriptions '' of 
Geoffrey. I suspect the author of this romance had but a confused recollection 
of the three riddles for such, doubtless, they were, in their original forms 
and "solved" them out of his own profound mind. From remote times it 
seems to have been a favourite practice at Asiatic courts to propound " hard 
questions" as well as for eminent sages to deliver, at the desire of a king, 
" good and notable sentences" that is to say, apothegms, or striking sayings. 
We learn from the Old Testament that the Queen of Sheba (or Saba, whom the 
Arabian writers identify with Bilkis, queen of El-Yemen) came to prove the 
wisdom of Solomon with hard questions, and that he answered them all 
"there was not anything hid from the king which he told her not." What 
were the questions, or riddles, the solution of which by Solomon so much 
astonished the Queen of Sheba. we are not informed by the sacred historian ; 
but, if we may credit rabbinical and Muslim legends, the result of this celebrated 
visit of her Sabean Majesty was her marriage with the sage Hebrew king. 

2 This account of his treatment by the knavish citizens differs very 
materially from that given in our tale, where he says they robbed him of a 
thousand pounds' worth of goods, and he was obliged to disguise himself as a 
cripple to save his life (11. 2497-2505). 

3 In our version Geoffrey advises Beryn to go to the palace of the good 
Duke Isope, " wher thyn empechement shull be i-mevid ; " but Beryn, after 
Geoffrey's account of the monsters which guard the approaches to Isope's 
chamber, is so terrified that he refuses, even for the value of his five ships ; 
upon which Geoffrey undertakes to go himself. Mr. Vipan informs me that in 
the original Geoffrey advises Berinus to slink into the hall, slide along the 
wall, slip into the king's chamber, and hide himself under Isope's couch. 


Geoffrey rejoined Berinus at the appointed hour, and they went 
to the house of the seneschal. Geoffrey obtained leave to speak for 
Berinus, who did not know the customs of the country. This con 
descension may seem strange, "but Geoffrey had on this occasion 2916 
assumed the air and manners of a fool, and they did not think that 
such an advocate would be dangerous, but rather that he would 
amuse them by his conduct of the case : he was too insignificant for 
the opponents of Berinus, whom he answered one after another. To 
the chess-player he said : " You demand that my countryman should 
give up all he possesses, or drink up all the waters of the sea. He 
will give up nothing ; he will drink : he has made the same vow to 3492 
Saint James of Compostella. 1 He will drink all the waters of the 
sea, but not the rivers which flow into it. Begin, then, by turning 
aside the course of all these rivers, after which we will do what you 
require." 2 The sharper was somewhat taken aback by this proposition. 

" When Berinus refuses to go," Mr. Vipan continues, " I suppose Geoffrey 
adopts the same course himself, though I do not find it expressly stated ; he 
certainly goes there somehow, and gets the information he wants. Probably 
the English writer made a change because he thought that Isope's receiving 
all the rogues of the city in his chamber inconsistent with his station and high 

The description of Duke Isope's castle and garden reads like what it is 
a leaf out of an Oriental romance. The ceiling of the great hall is of selondyne, 
the pavement of gold and azure, in which is one stone that scorches up what 
ever comes near it, and another of equal coldness. Two leopards guard a door 
leading into a garden they can do no harm if blown upon very gently the 
finest garden in the world, in which are birds of gold and silver that move 
about as if they were alive, and in the midst the fairest tree under the sky, 
the leaves of which are also 

Of sylvir and of golde fyne, that lusty been to see. 

As usual, necromancers and a white lion guard this paradise, but by simply 
touching a branch of the fair tree they are at once subdued. (See note on 
treasure-trees, Chaucer Analogues, p. 336.) We read of a superb palace in the 
Arabian romance of Antar, all of marble and carnelian. "In the centre was 
a fountain filled with rose-water and purest musk ; in the middle of it was a 
column of emerald, and on its summit a hawk of burnished gold, its eyes were 
topazes and its beak jasper. Around it were [golden] birds, scattering from 
their bills on all who were present musk and ambergris. The whole edifice 
was scented with perfumes, and the ceiling glittered with gold and silver. It 
was one of the wonders of the period, and the miracle of the age." 

1 It was a very common practice in the Middle Ages to swear by, as well 
as make vows to, this saint (James the Greater), because of the celebrity of his 
relics, supposed to be preserved at Compostella. 

In Tale xix. of an early English version of the Gesta Romanorum, edited, 
for the Koxburghe Club, by Sir Frederic Madden, to the question, " How many 


He said they were exacting an impossibility. "That is your affair," 
said Geoffrey, " and it is the only way to ours. You will comply 
with that condition, or pay a good round sum ; and if the seneschal 
does not give us justice, we will appeal to good King Isope, who will 
refuse no one." So the sharper was compelled to pay a proportionate 
sum for the wrong which he had wished to inflict on Berinus. 

The second accuser was called; it was the provost. "What are 
your charges against this stranger 1 " said the seneschal to him. 
"You know them," replied the provost: " he consented to give me 
the cargoes of his five vessels, and take in exchange what would be 
suitable for him in my warehouses." "I found nothing in them," 
said Berinus in a mournful tone ; " there was nothing in them to 

3577 load five ships." " Let us see," said Geoffrey to the seneschal; " we 
must verify the state of matters." Accordingly they go to the ware- 

3582 house of the provost and find it completely empty. There was 
nothing, as they say, but the bare walls. Two butterflies only were 

3612 seen floating about the room. " These are only insects," said Geoffrey, 
"which prove that the provost has deceived us. He told my client 
that his warehouse was full of merchandise, in good condition ; but 
his goods have been eaten up by insects. In proof of this we still 
see the butterflies which are a part of them. Is it to fill his vessels 
with such insects that Berinus has left Borne, and exposed himself to 

3623 the dangers of the deep of shipwrecks and of lawsuits 1 If so, let 
our accuser load with butterflies our five vessels. We shall be very 
well pleased, and our quarrel will be ended." 1 The provost was 
utterly confounded. He asked that the original bargain should be 
declared off. " To that we object," said Geoffrey. " You owe us for 
merchandise butterflies or a fine." The provost decided to pay the 


gallons of salt water are there in the sea ? " the reply is, " Let all the passages 
of fresh water be stopped, and then I'll tell thee." This also occurs in the old 
German book of the drolleries of Tyl Eulenspiegel, of which an English trans 
lation was published about J 550, under the title of A Merry Jest of a Man that 
was called Hinvleglas. 

1 The writer of the east rait does not say that Geoffrey had previously pro 
vided himself with the (white) butterflies, and, still better, that he claimed five 
ship-loads of them, as they were wanted by a Roman doctor to make an oint 
ment of, which would cure all kinds of diseases. 


The party then returned to the audience-chamber, where they 
found the blind man. Said Geoffrey : " This is a man who asserts 
that he has given my client his eyes. Twenty witnesses depone to 
the fact. We do not deny it. But twenty others depone that it 
was an exchange : Berinus gave him his eyes for an equivalent ; let 3724 
him at once return to Berinus, in good condition, those which he 
should give back." This proposal was ended by inflicting a fine, 
which the blind man paid. 

The woman now came forward, carrying, as on the evening before, 
a child in her arms. She did not wait till Geoffrey spoke, but, 
taking possession of the court, 1 " Yes," cried- she (and it is said she 
even wept), " yes, the faithless one whom you see forsook me, after 
marrying me, after making me the mother of this child perhaps he 
wishes to say he does not know me." " ISTot at all," interrupted the 
advocate of Berinus ; " we acknowledge you as our wife, and your 
son as our son. But I ask of the lord seneschal and this honourable 3769 
assembly, ought the man to follow the woman, or the woman the 
man 1 " It was generally agreed that the woman should follow the 
man. "It is that which has been refused us," replied Geoffrey in a 
voice of thunder, striking on the railing which separated the audience. 
"Well! we are quite ready. I have to say that Berinus is quite 3773 
ready to take away this woman, whom he knows to be his wife, and 
this child, whom he knows to be his son." At these words the bold 
ness of the female accuser disappeared. She begged the seneschal 
not to pronounce judgment ; but the pitiless Geoffrey exacted a fine, 
which was paid by the real husband, the real father of the child, who 
was soon found. 

There remained Martin, the most wicked of all, since his accusation 
was the most atrocious. He wished rather not to risk it ; he hesitated 
to repeat it. Geoffrey saved him the trouble. The knife, certified, 
formed the basis of his charge ; it became his accuser. It was, 3824 
according to Geoffrey, with this knife that the father of his client had 

1 Our English version says that " hir tunge was nat sclytt" (I. 3204). There 
can be little doubt, I think, that a monk wrote this romance. Those old 
misogynists (albeit notorious lechers, if they are not belied in song and story) 
seldom let slip the smallest opportunity for girding at women in their sermons 
and other compositions. 

UKRYN, II. 10 


been murdered; it was partly to find again the owner of this knife, 
and consequently the murderer, that Berinus had undertaken his 
voyage. Martin had confessed that this knife belonged to his father, 
who had therefore killed the father of Berinus. Martin acknowledged 
that his father was dead ; he had then inherited the knife with his 
other property ; his goods ought therefore to be confiscated and 
handed over to Berinus, and so forth. The seneschal ordered Martin 
to pay a fine, like the others. 

3884 So ended this memorable trial. The Blandiens went home, some 
utterly astounded, others quite speechless from surprise; while 
Geoffrey, Berinus, and his followers returned to the port to celebrate 

3917 at a feast this five-fold victory which they had just gained. They 
were still enjoying themselves when the pages of the king were 
announced. Good King Esope had sent them to congratulate Berinus 
on his success in all his lawsuits and offer him rich presents. First 
of all, he was presented with a sabre of the finest quality, and 
richly adorned with jewels ; another offered a gold cup of exquisite 
workmanship. All those young deputies, to the number of twelve, 1 
laid before him, each in turn, some gift worthy of him who had 

3939 charged them with the message. Berinus was then invited, in the 
name of the king, to an audience on the following day. The first 
question of Esope was to ask of his deputies, as soon as they returned, 
which of his presents seemed most to please Berinus. They answered 
that he had given them all into other hands excepting the sabre, 

3989 which he had kept for himself. " So much the better," said Esope. 
"This preference shows a man of courage, and strengthens me in 
my project." Esope intended to give in marriage to Berinus his 

1 Mr. Vipan says: "In the romance we have 'v. damoiseaux,' in bot 
editions; one of them is afterwards termed 'le varlet.'" The number 
Esope's emissaries is also five in our Tale (1. 3919), but the translator (wh< 
perhaps did not know French perfectly) represents them as maidens. "Th< 
title of varlet, or valet." says W. Stewart Rose, in his notes to his free metrical 
rendering of Partenopex de Blois, pp. 33, 34. "synonymous with that of 
damoisedu in French, and knave in English, was given indifferently to tl 
sous of kings and great nobles not yet knighted. In Villehardouin the sor 
of the Emperor of the East is denominated ' Varlet de Constantinople ; ' am 
in an account of the house of Philip the Fair, the children of that monarch, 
as well as several other princes, are styled varlets. Hence the prince in a 
pack of cards is by the French still called varlet, and by the English knave." 


niece Cleopatra, 1 and thus have him proclaimed as his successor. 
Now Esope was himself a stranger in his kingdom, and, as he 
esteemed not one of his subjects, the Blandiens, and believed that 
Eerinus was a wonderful man, his project was a politic one. Berinus 
arrived at the court of Esope in a magnificent carriage. 2 Geoffrey 
was one of his followers, and proved not less useful to him on this 
occasion than he had been necessary at the court of the seneschal. 
He related to the king, who knew and esteemed him, the adventures 4008 
of the lately-arrived stranger, to whom he gave the honour of all that 
he himself had done in Eome, and of what he had just done for him 
in Blandie. Esope, moreover, knew of the noble birth of Berinus, 
and all confirmed him in his plans. The union was proposed : and 
a sight of Cleopatra made the proposition more precious to Berinus 
than even the prospect of a crown. He did not, however, foresee 
the obstacles that were to be encountered. There was a knight 
named Logres, who loved Cleopatra, and, moreover, had some pre 
tensions to the crown. On learning that a foreigner was about to 
wrest both from him, Logres sent a challenge to the " Roman 
merchant," and the tone of his letter of defiance showed the utmost 
disdain of the person and profession of his rival. Berinus was in 
love, and at the same time enraged, but he was not a knight. 
Geoffrey, however, had been distinguished in forrne'r years in the 
noble profession, and he gave Berinus instructions in it, of which he 
profited so well that, after Geoffrey had dubbed him knight, he 

1 His daughter, according to our version. 

2 la the romance, when Berinus visits Esope the wonders of his hall are 
again described (ch. 25, " Des merveilles de la salle du roy isopes "), which 
leads to an episode relating to the early history of Blandie : Agriano, king of 
the Isle of Gamel, having a penchant for his own sex, expelled all the women 
from Garael ; many men joined them, and they settled in the island of 
Blandie, which was also subject to Agriano. He demanded tribute, which 
being refused, he invaded Blandie with an army and was defeated and taken 
prisoner. Then follows a story of an incestuous king, about whose doings the 
less that is said the better ; but I may mention that both the wicked kings 
perished in the river, which was ever after in a state of great commotion, and 
their bodies were at times seen floating on the surface of the hideous waters. 
A bridge over this river conducted to Esope's palace, and Berinus and his 
companions passed over it in fear and trembling when they went to visit the 
king. Berinus, however, reaches the audience chamber through a different 
hall from that described by Geoffrey, which affords the author an opportunity 
for detailing still more wonders. 


encountered Logres, and hurled him from his saddle. Logres, 
4009 covered with shame, soon after disappeared. Berinus. as a reward 
of his victory, was married to Cleopatra, and shortly after, Esope 
dying, he succeeded to the crown of Blandie. Geoffrey, who had up 
till now been so useful, resolved to return to Rome. He set out, 
laden with rich presents, yet only came back to his native country 
in the humble garb of a potter. He was, however, recognized, and 
the emperor often consulted him : he had now no cause to complain 
of the seven sages ; and praise from them was praise indeed. l 

Such is the outline of the first part of the French romance from 
which our Tale of Beryn was derived. But whence did the French 
author obtain his materials? That is a question not easily answered. 
No corresponding tale is known to exist in the literature of any 
other European country ; and, although a Greek version of Asiatic 
extraction had been in existence several centuries previous to the 
composition of the French romance, yet it is not at all certain that 
the tale of Berinus and the Blandiens was adapted from that version. 
The story in question is found in Syntipas, a Greek rendering of a 
Syriac text of the Book of Sindibad, which was made by one 
Andreopulos, during the last decade of the llth century. The 
Book of Sindibad, the original of which is lost, is believed to have 
been written in India, but at what period is not known. 2 It was 
probably translated into Pahlavi, the ancient language of Persia, in 
the 6th century; from Pahlavi it was rendered into Arabic about 
the middle of the 8th century ; from Arabic it was translated into 
Syriac, under the title of Sindbdn; into old Spanish (Castilian), 
under the title of Libro de los Engannos et los Asayamientos de las 
Mugeres, or Book of the Deceits and Tricks of Women, in 1253; 
and into Hebrew, also about the middle of the 13th century, under 
the title of Mislile Sandabar, or the Parables of Sandabar. The 

1 Abstract of remaining part of the romance, which recounts the chivalric 
adventures of young Aigres, and his father's subsequent career, will be found 
in Appendix, p. 160 ff. 

2 For an outline of the frame, or leading storj', of the Book of Sindibad 
and its European imitations ('The Seven Wise Masters'), see Chaucer Ana 
logues, p. 322. 


Arabic version made from the Pahlavi lias disappeared, but we may 
consider it as fairly represented by the Greek text of Andreopulos, 
and the Syriac and old Spanish texts. A comparatively modern 
Arabic rechauffe of the work, omitting several of the original tales 
and substituting others, forms a member of the Book of the Thou 
sand and One Night*, and is commonly known under the titles of 
"The Malice of Women" and "The Seven Vazirs." There is yet 
another version, a Persian poem, Sindibad Ndma, or Book of 
Sindibad, of which a unique but imperfect MS. is preserved in the 
Library of the India Office, and which, though written A.D. 1379, 
may represent an older form of the work than the Greek and the 
Syriac texts. In this version our tale is thus related : 

THERE was once a young man, a merchant, who wandered about 
the world like the zephyr or the north wind, and who, like the 
sun and moon, was on his travels every month and all the year round. 
Manifold are the advantages of travel, by which a man of enterprise 
becomes respected. He who has travelled is awake and intelligent ; 
and when an affair of importance occurs, he is powerful ; while he 
who has sat inactive at home can with difficulty procure a livelihood. 
Travel is the profit and the capital of man ; its hardships are his 
nurse. Through it the raw and inexperienced at length become 
adepts; through it the great achieve renown. By travel the new 
moon perpetually becomes the full. What is travel, but a capital 
by which a fortune may be amassed. 2 By travel this young man 
became alert and active; and he who is active attains to wealth. 
He was now in Khata, now in Khutan ; 3 now in Aleppo and now 
in Yemen. He carried the products of Khurasan to Kh,arazm ; 4 he 

1 From my privately-printed edition of the Book of Sindibad. 

2 " Capital is multiplied twice or thrice over, by repeatedly buying and 
selling, by those who have knowledge and travel in other lands." Pancha 
Tantra (The Five Sections) ; a Sanskrit form of the Fables of Bidpai, or 

3 Both Khata and Khutan were kingdoms, or principalities, in Chinese 

4 Kh,arazm is a region lying along the river Oxus, and extending to the 
Caspian Sea. 


conveyed the stuffs of Ispahan to the emperor of China. As he 
sold in Bukhara the products of Abyssinia, he necessarily sold them 
at one for ten. 1 

Some one having told him that at Kashgar 2 sandal- wood was of 
equal value with gold, and was sold for its weight in that metal, he 
resolved to proceed thither; and accordingly, having converted all 
his capital into sandal-wood, 3 he' set out on his journey. When he 
arrived near Kashgar, a person of the country, hearing that he had a 
large supply of sandal-wood (in which he himself dealt), and fearing 
lest that commodity should be depreciated by its abundance, devised 
the following stratagem. Going two stages out of the city, he halted 
at the spot where the foreign merchant was, and having pitched his 
tent and opened his bales, he lit a fire and piled sandal-wood on it 
for fuel. When the merchant smelt the odour of the sandal-wood 
he rushed from his tent in amazement and vexation. The man from 
the city saluted him, saying : " You are welcome ; may God protect 
you from evil ! Say, from what country do you come, and what 
merchandise bring you]" The merchant informed him. "You 
have made a sad blunder," remarked the citizen. " Why have you 
brought cumin-seed to Kirman 1 4 The whole timber of this country 
is sandal-wood : every casement, roof, and door is composed of it. 
If one were to bring common wood hither, it would be far better 
than sandal-wood. Who has been so cruel as to suggest to you this 
ill-advised scheme 1 From whose hand proceeds such a blunder as 
this 1 Does any one bring the musk-bladder to Chinese Tartary 1 " 5 
" Alas ! " said the young man to himself, "I have thrown away my 
capital ! Covetousness is an unblest passion ! Alas, for my long 
journey and the hardships I have endured ! What have they 
availed me 2 He who is not content with what God allots him 
never prospers." The man, seeing the merchant now ready for his 

1 " Of all goods perfumes are the best : gold is not to be compared to the 
article which is procured for one, and sold for a thousand." Pancha Tantra. 

2 Kashgar, capital of a province of the same name in Chinese Turkestan. 

3 Perfumed woods spiced woods. Si/ntij)ais. 

4 A proverbial expression, equivalent to our ' Coals to Newcastle," ami 
the Arabian " Dates to Hajar." 

6 See last note. Musk, the perfume so much esteemed by Asiatics, is 
obtained from the navel of a species of deer found in Tartary and Tibet. 


purpose, said to him : " The world is never free from profit and loss. 
Give this sandal-wood to me, and I will give you in return a measure 
of gold or silver, or whatever else you shall ask." x The merchant 
consented ; two witnesses were called, and the bargain was struck. 
The merchant considered that the sum he should receive was so 
much gain, and was rejoiced to be rid of so worthless an article as he 
had brought. 

He thence proceeded to the city of Kashgar, and entering that 
delightful spot, that model of Paradise, took up his lodging in the 
house of a virtuous old woman. Of her the merchant asked a 
question, the reply to which brought him grief and trouble. He 
inquired : " What is the value of sandal- wood in this kingdom 1 " 
and she informed him that it was worth its weight in gold. 2 " In 
this city," said she, "headache is common, and hence it is in 
demand." At this intelligence the merchant became distracted, for, 
he saw that he had been duped. He related his adventure to the 
old woman, who cautioned him not to trust the inhabitants of that 
city, by whose cunning many had been ruined. 

When morning came, he washed his eyes from sleep, and 
inquired the way to the market. Thither he bent his course, and 
wandered through bazaar, street, and field, still solitary and without 
a friend or companion. The alien has no portion in enjoyment ; he 
is a martyr wherever he dies. I will suppose him to be but second 
to Kay Kubad, 3 and that he has placed on his head the diadem of 
Faridun. 4 Even were he Joseph of Egypt, yet when he calls to 
mind his home and country, a palace becomes to him a prison. The 
young merchant was sad at heart, for his enterprise was sadly at a 

1 "On this account then, if you are needy, come and sell your whole 
business, and what you wish I shall give you upon a full plate." fy/ntijwx. 
"And the man said, I have great grief for thee. Since it is so, I will buy it 
of thee, and give thee what thou shalt wish. And now get up and give it to 
me." Libro de los Engannos, &c. 

2 Precisely the same answer is made by the old woman in both the Greek 
and old Castilian versions : " It is worth its weight in gold." 

3 Kay Kubad was the founder of the second, or Kayaui, dynasty of ancient 
Persian kings. 

4 Faridun was the sixth of the first, or Pishdadi (Achaemenian), dynasty 
of ancient kings of Persia. His power and grandeur are frequently referred 
to in Persian literature, . 


stand. Suddenly he observed a person playing at draughts in the 
street. He stopped, and said to himself : " I will play with this 
person to dispel my grief," and sat down beside the player, forgetful 
of the caution which his landlady had given him. The other agreed 
to play with him, on the condition that whichever of them should 
lose should be bound to do whatever the winner desired. 1 The 
merchant was soon beaten by his crafty opponent, who, upon this, 
required him to " drink up the waters of the sea," a demand at 
which the merchant was confounded and perplexed. The report 
spread through Kashgar, and a crowd soon collected. Another of 
the gang had but one eye, which was blue, the colour of the 
merchant's eyes. " You have stolen my eye," said he to the 
merchant, and he claimed it in the presence of the crowd. A third 
produced a stone, and said : " Make from this piece of marble a pair 
of trousers and a shirt." 2 

The story soon spread, and all Kashgar was in a bustle. The 
old woman, hearing of it, hastened from her house, and saw her 
lodger involved in difficulty. She was surety for him, with ten 
householders, that she would deliver him, when required, to the 
court of justice. When they reached home, she reproached him, 
saying : " When a man listens not to advice, fresh calamities will 
constantly overtake him. Did I not tell you to have absolutely 
no dealings with the inhabitants of this city no intimacy with 
them?" " It was no fault of yours," replied the young man ; "but 
there is no remedy against the decrees of destiny." He was much 
dispirited, but she consoled him. " Be not downcast," said she ; 
" for joy succeeds to grief : there can be no cure till there be a 
complaint. In this city there is a blind old man, with neither power 
in his feet nor strength in his hands ; but he is of great intelligence 
and acuteness. Those sharpers assemble nightly at his house, and 

1 "Or, surrender all his property," must, of course, be understood. It 
is a very common practice among the Arabs to play at some kind of game, 
the loser of which must do what the other asks of him or pay a forfeit ; the 
tasks required by the winner are often impossible and generally ludicrous. 

2 The merchant not being represented as having engaged in play with this 
sharper, there is probably something omitted here by the transcriber of the 


are directed by him how to act. 1 Do you this night dress yourself 
like them, and repairing to his house sit silent among them. When 
your adversaries shall enter and relate their adventures of the day, 
mark his answers and his questions. Be all ear there, like the rose ; 
like the narcissus, be all eye and silent." 

The young man did as she desired, and repairing thither at 
night, quietly seated himself in a corner. The first who entered 
was the person who had bought the sandal-wood. He related his 
adventure : " I have bought a quantity of sandal- wood, for which I 
am to give one measure of whatever the seller may choose." " 
simpleton ! " exclaimed the old man, " you have thrown yourself 
into the net. This crafty merchant has over-reached you, my son. 
For if he should demand of you, neither silver nor gold, but a sd l 2 
of male fleas, with silken housings and jewelled bridles, and all 
linked together with golden chains, say, how will you be able 
to extricate yourself from this difficulty 1 " Quoth the sharper : 
" How could that blockhead ever think of such a trick 1 " The old 
man rejoined : " However that may be, I have given you your 

Next entered the draught-player, and related his adventure : "I 
have beaten him at draughts," said he, "and have bound him to 
this condition (and there are witnesses to our agreement), that he 
shall drink up all the waters of the sea." " You have blundered," 
replied the old man, "and have involved yourself in difficulty. 
You think that you have taken him in; in imagination you have 
caught him in a snare from which there is no escape. But suppose 
he should say : ' First, pray stop all the streams and rivers which 
are flowing into the sea, before I drink it dry,' what answer can you 
possibly return 1 " " How," said the knave, " could he, in his whole 
life, think such a thought ? " 

The man with one eye then came in. " That youth," quoth he, 

1 " Every Muslim capital (says Sir R. F. Burton) has a Shaykh of Thieves, 
who holds regular levies, and will restore stolen goods, for a consideration ; 
and this has lasted since the days of Diodorus Siculus." See also Burton's 
Pilgrimage to Meccali and El Medinah, vol. i. p. 91. 

2 A sd', according to Forbes Falconer, is a measure containing four bushels. 
Lane says that it is (in Egypt) very nearly equal to six English pints and 


" has blue eyes, and I said to him : ' This is my eye that you have ; 
it is evident to every one that you have stolen it ; restore it, and 
return my other eye its fellow.' " "0 ignorant of the wiles of the 
age," answered the old man ; " your fortune is more adverse than 
that of the others. Suppose he should say : ' Pluck out your ono 
eye, and then I will pluck out mine, that we may put them both in 
scales and judge by their weight whether you are right/ That man 
will then have one of his eyes remaining, while you will be quite 
blind." Quoth the fellow : " He will never think of such a trick 
as that." 

Lastly entered the fourth rogue more shameless than the three 
others. " I desired him," said he, " to make with his own hands 
a pair of trousers and a shirt from this slab of stone." The 
crafty old man replied : " You have managed worse than all ; for if 
your opponent should say : ' Do you first spin me from iron a thread 
to sew it with,' how will you be able to answer him ] " Said this 
sharper : " The idea will never occur to such a noodle." l 

The young man listened, unobserved, to all that had passed, 
hastened home, and gave the woman a thousand thanks for having 
put him on a plan of foiling his adversaries. He passed the night 
in calmness and tranquillity. Next morning, when the parties 
appeared before the kazi, or judge, the man who had bought the 
sandal-wood seized the merchant by the collar, saying : " Produce 
your measure, that I may fill it, and give you what is your due." 
But when the merchant gave him his reply, he was confounded, and 
sat down mortified in the presence of the kazi. In like manner he 
made to each of the other rogues the reply which the blind old man 
had suggested. At length, after a hundred objections, he consented 
to take back his sandal-wood, and to accept several bags of gold as 
compensation ; and he availed himself of the first opportunity which 
offered to escape from the power of those worthless people. 

1 A jest very similar to this occurs in the Talmud : An Athenian, walking 
in the streets of Jerusalem one fine day, observed a tailor seated on his shop- 
board, busily plying his needle, and picking up a broken mortar, he requested 
him to be so good as put a patch upon it. " Willingly," replied the tailor, 
taking up a handful of sand and offering it to the joker " most willingly, sir, 
if you will have the goodness to make me first a few threads of this material." 


It is curious to find the incident of the merchant and the one-eyed 
man forming the subject of a tradition of no less a personage than the 
renowned Akbar. According to Knovvles' Dictionary of Kashmiri 
Proverbs (p. 88), Akbar, disguised as a fakir, and accompanied by 
his prime minister, Bir Bal, was walking about the city one night, 
when he was accosted by a one-eyed man, who said to him : " You 
have got my eye, and I must either have it back or 1200 rupis." 
The emperor was mute from astonishment, but his minister readily 
answered for him, saying : "What you say is quite true. We have 
your eye, and if you will come to-morrow you shall have it again.'* 
The man consented and went his way. Bir Bal sent to the butchers 
for some sheep's eyes, and put each one of them in a separate box. 
When the one-eyed man came in the morning, the minister showed 
him some of the sheep's eyes, and told him that he must submit to 
have his other eye taken out and weighed, which was done accord 
ingly, and so the fellow was blinded for life. Here, we see, Akbar 
takes the place of the sandal-wood merchant, and his minister that of 
the shaykh of thieves with a difference ! 

In the Calcutta and Biilak printed Arabic texts of The Nights, the 
merchant, after disposing of his sandal-wood, is accosted by the one- 
eyed man, and obtains a day's grace, after providing surety; his 
shoe having been torn in the scuffle, he takes it to a cobbler, saying, 
" Repair it, and I will give thee what will content thee ; " lastly, he 
plays at dice with a fourth sharper, and, losing the game, is required 
to drink up the sea or surrender all his property. The blind old 
man tells the cobbler that the merchant might say to him : " The 
sultan's troops have been victorious, and the number of his children 
and allies is increased art thou not content 1 " to which he would 
not dare to reply in the negative ; and the dice-player might be 
asked to hold the mouth of the sea and hand it to him, and he 
would drink. In Syntipas and the Libra de los Enyannos, as in 
the Persian version, the stopping of the rivers is the old man's 
suggestion, and the incident of the cobbler is not mentioned. All 
that remains of the story in the unique Syriac MS., discovered by 
Eodiger, and printed, with a German translation, by Baethgen, is 


the opening sentence : " There was once a merchant, who bought 
a scented wood which is called aloe. When he heard " and here 
it breaks off ; but the story was probably similar to that in the old 
Castilian version. 

The story is orally current in some parts of India, and it may 
also exist there in a written form perhaps in the Suka Saptati, or 
Seventy Tales of a Parrot. Under the rather vague title of "The 
Merchant and his Son," Mr. C. Vernieux gives a version of it in a 
small collection of Indian Tales and Anecdotes appended to his story 
of The Hermit of Motee Jhurna, or Pearl Spring, printed at Calcutta 
in 1873. Those tales he professes to have taken down from oral 
recitation in Urdu, Hindi, and Bengali ; it would have been more 
satisfactory, however, had he specified the district where each 'story 
was told to him. 

A WEALTHY merchant, while lying on his bed indisposed by 
JijL. sickness and the infirmities of age, invited his son to his room one 
day, and spoke to him in these words : " My son, from this sickness 
I may not recover. Should I die, I fear you will squander all my 
hard-earned wealth by dissipation and idleness. You know that in 
my vocation as a merchant I have prospered and enjoyed all the 
blessings of this life. I fear you will not be able to conduct the 
business with care and discretion, yet I would recommend your 
following the profession of your father. In doing so I lay no 
restraint upon your visiting every land under the sun, but I strongly 
dissuade you from ever venturing into the Himalya regions." The 
son was desirous of knowing the reason why his father prohibited 
him from going with his merchandise, if he ever traded, into the 
Himalyan mountains. " My son,'' observed the father, " my long 
experience of the world, my knowledge of all countries and their 
denizens, enable me to form a just and accurate estimate of the 
characters of men. The inhabitants of that region have been found 
invariably to be very artful and dishonest. They will not only rob 
a man of his purse, but if they can find an opportunity, or a single 


excuse, they will without remorse strip him naked and appropriate 
his clothes. Should you ever forget this my parting advice, and go 
into that country and fall into any disaster, remember to call on 
Golab Sing, the chief of the country, who is a friend of mine ; 
mention my name to him, seek redress from his justice, and he will 
enable you to remain there in the peaceful prosecution of your trade." 

The merchant died shortly after, as was expected, and the son, 
whose curiosity was excited by his father's prohibition, resolved 
upon visiting the lofty hills. To carry out this object, he procured 
a large stock of valuable goods, and such as were not only in general 
demand in the country but highly valued by the mountaineers. 
With this merchandise he loaded fifty camels, and set out on a 
fine morning on his perilous and uncertain journey. Having arrived 
in the country after two months' tedious travel through extensive 
forests and fields, the young merchant thought it to be appropriate 
to announce his arrival in the usual manner by firing a salute ; but 
instead of wasting his powder in merely making a report, he deemed 
it more prudent that, while the salute was being fired, he should 
aim his musket at a heron which he saw seated quietly near the 
verge of a spacious tank, and thus accomplish two objects at once. 
Having shot the bird, he went to pick up his game, but in doing 
so he saw a washerman occupied in scouring clothes, who spoke to 
him thus : " What have you done 1 Have you not a grain of 
common sense 1 The heron was my father, who had transmigrated 
into the body of that bird, and he was very useful to me, watching 
and encouraging me in my operations, and guarding the clothes 
which are spread out to the sun for bleaching purpose. Now pray 
resuscitate my father and give him back to me, or lay down four 
hundred rupis, else you do not go away so easily from hence." 

While this conversation was being held by the two individuals, 
another man who had approached the spot, and was silently listening, 
and who was blind of one eye, thus accosted the young merchant : 
" Your father, peace be to his spirit, was a just and liberal man, who 
traded in all kinds of things, and dealt in eyes. He took a fancy to 
my eyes, and purchased one of them for six hundred rupis, with a 
promise of paying me that sum on his next visit to this country. 


Though I am suffering from the loss of one eye, I have not been 
paid yet for my pain and loss. I forego the interest on the sum 
due to me these several years, and, as you are his son, I expect that 
you will discharge the debt willingly, or we must proceed to court. 
Give me the money or restore the eye to me." 

In the course of this altercation there was a third person listen 
ing. She was a woman with a child in her arms, and came forward 
and saluted the young merchant in a bland and soothing manner : 
" It is my good fortune to meet you in this country, and how happy 
I am to see you, of whom I have heard so favourably from your 
father. How well you answer his description ; just those eyes and 
those arched brows, and those soft lineaments. I am his poor wife, 
and this unhappy boy is his last son by a second marriage. At the 
time of his going away for a short period, he told me to borrow such 
sums as would defray our expenses, and that on his return he would 
refund the money with interest. I trust you will help me to pay off 
the debts incurred during two years and six months, and, as you are 
like my own son, that you will support me and take me under your 
protection, that no disgrace may be cast on the honourable name of 
your worthy father." 

The young merchant became so confounded with these novel and 
unexpected attacks and unceremonious demands, that he regretted 
he had not listened to the salutary advice of his father, the conse 
quence of which was that he was so soon after his arrival in the 
country experiencing such annoyance, and was plunged into so much 
trouble. It occurred to him, however, in this distress of mind, that, 
in the event of his suffering from any adverse circumstance, his 
father had advised him to call on Golab ' Sing, the chief of the 
country. With this object in view, he told the people, who were 
pulling him on each side and almost quartering him, to go with him 
before the raja, to whose decision he would submit, and be guided 
by his counsel. Before the merchant could arrive at Golab Sing's 
residence, these dexterous rogues ran and presented themselves before 
him to offer their respective complaints, crying out, " Help, Maharaj !" 
Soon after taking their deposition, the merchant also arrived, and 
was interrogated by the prince as to the country from whence he had 


come and what his name was. On discovering that he was the son 
of his friend the old merchant, the prince was moved by unfeigned 
grief at the news of his father's death. The rogues, seeing the 
friendly terms on which the young man stood with the prince, lost 
all courage, and would have decamped from the court rather than 
advance the prosecution. But it was too late to recede ; they there 
fore screwed up their resolution to stand the investigation. The 
prince, well knowing the tricks and stratagems of his subjects, took 
the merchant aside and advised him what to do in this affair. He 
said f " When the washerman comes and makes his claim against 
you, do you make this counter-charge against him : ' When your 
father became a heron, my father was a small fish in the river, who, 
swimming and jumping in the shallow water, was journeying home, 
up the stream, when your father, the heron, pecked at him, and 
getting him in his bill, swallowed him. Produce my father first, 
and then I will restore yours to you.' To the second claimant say : 
' My father, it is true, traded in all sorts of things, and also speculated 
in eyes ; but as there are so many eyes in my possession, and I do 
not know which is yours, give me the other eye, weighing which in 
the scales, I could ascertain the exact weight and restore the precise 
eye to you.' To the third say : 'I admit the truth of your allegation, 
for I have heard my father mention to me frequently that he was 
married in this country, and had a young son ; he told me therefore 
to bring his wooden sandal, and to give you that to wear and mount 
the funeral pyre. 1 Do that, and I will believe that you are really his 

Being thus advised and prepared by the prince, those persons, 
while endeavouring by artful means to substantiate their claims, 
were defeated and confounded by as cogent counter-statements from 
the young merchant as those which they tendered. The merchant, 
having been dismissed with marks of regard by the prince, followed 
his occupation in the country without any further molestation, while 
the wicked rogues were sent to prison, there to chew the bitter cud 
of reflection, and to work on the roads under the weight of heavy 

1 The usual practice when a Hindu died away from his family. 


Besides the story of the Sandal-wood Merchant and the Rogues, 
which occurs in the "Malice of Women," or the "Seven Vazirs," 
there is a very singular variant of our tale in another group, belong 
ing to what may be termed the sporadic part of the great Sindibad 
family of romances, which is found in the Arabic text of The Nights 
printed at Breslau, namely, "King Shah Bakht and his Vazir Er- 
Rahwan " for some account of which see Chaucer Analogues, pp. 
352, 353. It is the eighth recital of Er-Rahwan, and, under the title 
of " The Merchant, the Crone, and the King,'' has been thus rendered 
by Sir R F. Burton : 

gntoit W ariani 

nriHERE was once a family of affluence, and distinction, in a city of 
JL Khorassan, and the townsfolk used to envy them for that which 
Allah had vouchsafed them. As time went on, their fortune ceased 
from them and they passed away, till there remained of them but one 
old woman. When she grew feeble and decrepit, the townsfolk 
succoured her not with aught, but thrust her forth of the city, 
saying : " This old woman shall not neighbour with us, for that we 
do good to her and she requiteth us with evil." * So she took shelter 
in a ruined place, and strangers used to bestow alms upon her, and in 
this way she tarried a length of time. Now the king of that city 
had aforetime contended the kingship with his uncle's son, and the 
people disliked the king ; but Allah Almighty decreed that he should 
overcome his cousin. However, jealousy of him abode in his heart, 
and he acquainted the Wazir, who hid it not, and sent him money. 
Furthermore he fell to summoning all strangers who came to the 
town, man after man, and questioning them of their creed and their 
goods, and whoso answered him not satisfactorily he took his wealth. 
Now a certain wealthy man of the Moslems was way-faring, 
without knowing aught of this, and it befell that he arrived at that 
city by night, and coming to the ruin, gave the old woman money, 
and said to her, "No harm upon thee." Whereupon she lifted up 

1 They suspected her to be a witch because she was old and poor, as was 
unhappily the case in our own country and all over Europe in the 17th and 
the early year of the 18th centuries. 


her voice and blessed him. So he set down his merchandise by her 
and abode with her the rest of the night and the next day. Now 
highwaymen had followed him that they might rob him of his 
monies, but succeeded not in aught ; wherefore he went up to the old 
woman and kissed her head, and exceeded in bounty to her. Then 
she warned him of that which awaited strangers entering the town, 
and said to him : " I like not this for thee, and I fear mischief for 
thee from those questions that the Wazir hath appointed for address 
ing the ignorant." And she expounded to him the case according 
to its conditions ; then said to him : " But have no concern. Only 
carry me with thee to thy lodging, and if he question thee of aught 
enigmatical whilst I am with thee, I will expound the answers to 

So he carried the crone with him to the city, and lodged her in 
his lodging, and entreated her honourably. Presently the Wazir 
heard of the merchant's coming ; so he sent to him and bade bring 
him to his house, and he talked with him a while of his travels and 
of whatso had befallen him therein, and the merchant answered his 
queries. Then said the Wazir : " I will put certain critical questions 
to thee, which an thou answer me, 'twill be well for thee." And 
the merchant rose and made him no answer. Quoth the Wazir : 
" What is the weight of the elephant ? " The merchant was perplexed 
and returned him no answer, giving himself up for lost ; however at 
last he said : " Grant me three days of delay." The minister granted 
him the time he sought, and he returned to his lodging and related 
what had passed to the old woman, who said : " When the morrow 
cometh, go to the Wazir and say to him : ' Make a ship and launch 
it on the sea, and put in it the elephant, and when it sinketh in the 
water, mark the place whereunto the water riseth. Then take out 
the elephant and cast in stones in its place, till the ship sink to the 
same mark ; whereupon do thou take out the stones and weigh them, 
and thou wilt presently know the weight of the elephant.' " Accord 
ingly, when he arose in the morning, he went to the Wazir and 
repeated to him that which the old woman had taught him ; whereat 
the minister marvelled, and said to him: "What sayest thou of a 
man who seeth in his house four holes, and in each hole a viper 

BERYN, II. 11 


offering to sally out upon him and slay him, and in his house are 
four sticks, and each hole may not be stopped but \vith the ends of 
two sticks 1 How, then, shall he stop all the holes and deliver 
himself from the vipers 7" When the merchant heard this, there 
befell him such concern that it garred him forget the first, and he 
said to the Wazir: "Grant me- delay, so that I may reflect on the 
reply ; " and the minister cried : " Go out, and bring me an answer, 
or I will seize thy monies." The merchant fared forth and returned 
to the old woman, who, seeing him changed of complexion, said to 
him : " What did his hoariness ask thee 1 " So he acquainted her 
with the case, and she cried : " Fear not ; I will bring thee forth of 
this strait." Quoth he: "Allah requite thee with weal!" Then 
quoth she : " To-morrow go to him with a stout heart and say : ' The 
answer of that whereof thou askest me is this : Put the heads of two 
sticks into one of the holes ; then take the other two sticks and lay 
them across the middle of the first two, and stop with their two 
heads the second hole, and with their ferrules the fourth hole ; and 
then take the ferrules of the first two sticks and stop with them the 
third hole.' " So he repaired to the Wazir and repeated to him the 
answer ; and he marvelled at its justness, and said to him : " Go. 
By Allah ! I will ask thee no more questions, for thou with thy skill 
marrest my foundation." Then he treated him as a friend, and the 
merchant acquainted him with the affair of the old woman ; where 
upon quoth the Wazir : " Needs must the intelligent company with 
the intelligent." Thus did this weak woman restore to that man his 
life and his monies on the easiest wise. 1 

Little more than a vague outline of the original story is preserved 
in this Arabian variant ; but the Tale of Eeryn has incidents which 
the Sindibad and the Indian versions have each exclusively. Thus 
the young Koinan merchant on entering Falsetown discovers a 
burgess playing at chess with a neighbour (1. 1646) ; in the Persian 

1 Supplemental Nights to the l Booli of the Thousand Nights and a Night. 11 
With Notes, Anthropological and Explanatory. By [Sir] Kichard F. Burton 
[K.C.M.G.]. Benares: MDCCCLXXXVI. Printed for the Kama Shastra 
Society and for Private Subscribers only. Vol. I., pp. 235 238. 


(Sindibad) story the sandal-wood merchant, walking in the city of 
Kashgar, sees a man playing at draughts. In all three versions he 
is accused of having stolen a man's eye, or eyes. The rascal who 
bought the sandal-wood is required to fill a measure with male fleas, 
finely harnessed; in the Tale of Beryn the provost is required to 
load five ships with butterflies. The task of drinking the waters of 
the sea does not occur in the Indian story, but it has in common 
with Beryn the incident of the woman and the child slightly 
modified, while the accusation made by the catchpoll that his father 
had been murdered by the father of Beryn has its equivalent in the 
Indian story, where the washerman charges the young merchant 
with having shot his father in the form of a heron. In the Persian 
story the sandal-wood merchant is advised by his landlady to go and 
listen to what the blind shaykh of thieves says to each of tho 
sharpers ; in Berinus, apparently, Geoffrey secretly learns from King 
Esope how to defend the Roman merchant (see ante, p. 135, note); 
in the Arabian variant an old woman instructs him herself; in the 
Indian version the merchant consults Golab Sing, the prince of the 
country. It is very evident that the several versions had a common 
origin, but it is equally clear that the Tale of Beryn was not derived 
from the Persian or the Indian stories. It seems to me not unlikely 
that the story was brought to France from a Morisco-Spanish source. 

According to rabbinical legends, the hospitality of the citizens of 
>odom towards the strangers within their gates was of a very peculiar 
jharacter, and the decisions of their judges bear some resemblance to 
the "laws" of the folk of Falsetown. When a traveller arrived, 
each citizen (to preserve their reputation for hospitality) was required 
to give him a coin with his name written on it, after which the 
unfortunate wayfarer was refused food, and as soon as he died of 
hunger each man took back his own money. It may be naturally 
supposed that travellers acquainted with the peculiar ways of the 
citizens of Sodom would either avoid entering that city or take care 
to provide themselves with food. But even this precaution did nob 
avail them against the wiles of those infamous people, as may be seen 
from the following Hebrew story : 


A man from Elam, journeying to a place beyond Sodom, reached 
the latter city about sunset. He had with him an ass, bearing a 
valuable saddle, to which was strapped a bale of merchandise. Being 
refused a lodging by each citizen of whom he asked the favour, the 
stranger made a virtue of necessity, and resolved to pass the night 
along with his animal and his goods as best he might in the streets. 
His preparations with this view were observed by a cunning and 
treacherous citizen, named Hidud, who came up, and, accosting him 
courteously, desired to know whence he had come and whither he 
was bound. The stranger answered that he had come from Hebron, 
and was journeying to such a place ; that, having been refused shelter 
by all to whom he had applied for it, he was making ready to pass 
the night in the streets ; and that he was provided with bread for his 
own use, and fodder for his beast. Upon this Hidud invited the 
stranger to his house, assuring him that his lodging should cost him 
nothing, while the wants of his beast should not be forgotten. The 
traveller accepted of Hidud's proffered hospitality, and when they 
came to the house the citizen relieved the ass of the saddle and 
merchandise, and carefully placed them for security in his private 
closet. He then led the ass into his stable and supplied him with 
fodder ; and returning to the house, he set food before his guest, who 
having supped retired to rest. Early in the morning the stranger 
arose, intending to resume his journey, but his host first pressed him 
to partake of breakfast and afterwards persuaded him to remain at 
his house for two days. On the evening of the third day our 
traveller would no longer delay his departure, and Hidud therefore 
brought out his beast, saying kindly to his guest, " Fare thee well." 
" Hold ! " said the traveller, " where is my beautiful saddle of many 
colours, and the strings attached thereto, together with my bale of 
rich merchandise 1 " " What sayest thou ? " exclaimed Hidud in 
tone of surprise. The stranger repeated his demand for his saddle 
and goods. "Ah," said Hidud affably, " I will interpret thy dream : 
The strings that thou hast dreamt of indicate length of days to thee 
and the many-coloured saddle of thy dream signifies that thou shalt 
become the owner of a beauteous garden of odorous flowers and rich 
fruit-trees." " Nay," returned the stranger, " I certainly entrusted 


to thy care a saddle and merchandise, and thou hast concealed them 
in thy house." "Well," said Hidud, " I have told thee the meaning 
of thy dream. My usual fee for interpreting a dream is four pieces 
of silver, but as thou hast been my guest, I will only ask three pieces 
of thee." On hearing this very unjust demand the stranger was 
enraged, and he accused Hidud in the court of Sodom of stealing his 
property. After each had stated his case, the judge decreed that the 
stranger must pay Hidud's fee, since he was well known as a pro 
fessional interpreter of dreams. Hidud then said to the stranger : 
" As thou hast proved thyself such a liar, I must not only be paid 
my usual fee of four pieces of silver, but also the value of the two 
days' food with which I provided thee in my house." " I will 
cheerfully pay thee for the food," rejoined the traveller, " on con^ 
dition that thou restore my saddle and merchandise." Upon this 
the litigants began to abuse each other, and were thrust into the 
street, where the citizens, siding with Hidud, soundly beat the 
unlucky stranger and then expelled him from the city. 

Another rabbinical legend is to this effect : Abraham once sent 
his servant Eleazer to Sodom, with his compliments to Lot and his 
family, and to inquire concerning their welfare. As Eleazer entered 
Sodom he saw a citizen beating a stranger whom he had robbed of 
his property. " Shame upon thee ! " exclaimed Eleazer to the 
citizen ; " is this the way you act towards strangers ? " To this 
remonstrance the man replied by picking up a stone and striking 
Eleazer with it on the forehead with such force as to cause the blood 
to flow down his face. On seeing the blood the citizen caught hold 
of Eleazer and demanded to be paid his fee for having freed him 
of impure blood. " What ! " said Eleazer, " am I to pay thee for 
wounding me 1 " " Such is our law," returned the citizen. Eleazer 
refused to pay, and the man brought him before the judge, to whom 
he made his complaint. The judge decreed : " Thou must pay this 
man his fee since he has let thy blood ; such is our law." " There ! " 
said Eleazer, striking the judge with a stone and causing him to 
bleed, "pay thou my fee to this man, I want it not," and then 
departed from the court. 

There are many parallels to this last story, some of which may 


be cited in conclusion. The 50th of the < Pleasing Stories ' in 
Glad win's Persian Moonshee relates how a dervish was charged at a 
police court with striking a grocer with his slipper, and the kutwal 
fined him eight annas, whereupon the dervish handed a rupf to the 
kutwal, and then, striking that official also on the head with his 
slipper, said : " If such be justice, take thou eight annas and give 
the other eight to the grocer." 

In the third volume of Beloe's Miscellanies, which comprises a 
selection of amusing stories translated from a manuscript procured in 
Aleppo by Dr. Eussel, about 1794, is one to this effect : A young 
man seeing a half-witted fellow, he cannot resist the temptation of 
giving him a blow behind his back. The crazy man drags the 
youth before the kazi and makes his complaint. The judge fines 
the youth twenty small coins, and gives him leave to go and get 
change. Of course he remains away, and the kazi falls asleep. At 
length the crazy fellow's patience is exhausted, and he gives the 
kazi a blow, telling him that he can wait no longer, and as he had 
himself fixed the price of a blow, perhaps he would be so good as 
remain till the youth returned, and keep the fine for himself. 

Similar stories are found in the old Italian novelists. The 
second of Sozzini's collection is as follows : Scacazzone, returning 
one day from Rome, found himself, when within a short distance 
of Sienna, without cash enough to purchase a dinner. But resolving 
not to go without one if he could avoid it, he very quietly walked 
into the nearest inn, and appearing quite a stranger, demanded a 
room in which to dine alone. He next ordered whatever he con 
sidered as most likely to prove agreeable to himself, without in the 
least sparing his purse, as the good host believed, and ate and drank 
everything of the best. When he had at length finished his wine 
and refreshed himself with a short nap for his journey, he rang the 
bell, and with a very unconcerned air asked the waiter for his bill. 
This being handed to him, "Waiter," he cried, "can you tell me 
anything relating to the laws of this place V' "0 yes, signor, I daro 
say," for a waiter is never at a loss. "For instance," continued 
Scacazzone, "what does a man forfeit by killing another 1" "His 
life, certainly, signor," said the waiter. "But if he only wounds 


another badly, not mortally, what then]" "Then," returned the 
waiter, "as it may happen, according to the provocation and the 
injury." " And lastly," continued the guest, " if you only deal a 
fellow a sound box on the ear, what do you pay for that ? " " For 
that," echoed the waiter, "it is here about ten livres, no more." 
"Then send your master to me," cried Scacazzone "be quick 
begone ! " Upon the good host's appearance, his wily guest con 
ducted himself in such a manner, uttering such accusations against 
extortion, such threats, and such vile aspersions upon his host's 
house, that on Scacazzone bringing their heads pretty close together, 
the landlord, unable longer to bear his taunts, gave him a rather 
severe cuff. " I am truly obliged to you ! " cried the happy Scacaz 
zone, taking him by the hand ; " this is all I wanted with you 
truly obliged to you, my good host, and will thank you for the 
change. 1 our bill here is eight livres, and the fine for your assault 
is ten ; however, if you will have the goodness to pay the difference 
to the waiter, as I find I shall reach the city very pleasantly before 
evening : it will be quite right." But more closely resembling the 
Eastern versions is the fourth novel of Arienti, in which a learned 
advocate is fined for striking his opponent in open court, and " takes 
his change " by repeating the offence. 

I suspect that not a few of the apologues and tales in the Talmud 
are comparatively recent interpolations ; and the circumstance that 
that monument of human wisdom and folly was first printed at 
Venice in the sixteenth century, after most of the Italian novelists 
had published their collections, renders it at least possible that the 
talmudists drew some of their narrative material from Italian sources. 



from p. 140. 

BEBINUS loved his wife, and was beloved by her, but he could never 
win the affection of his subjects. They regretted Logres, and sought 
him for twenty years in order to place him on the throne. At length 
they found him ruler in Corinth. Logres seized the opportunity to 
avenge himself and rule over Blandie, and came with a large army. 
Berinus mustered his troops, but they delivered him over to his enemy, 
together with Cleopatra his wife, Aigres their son, and the beautiful 
Romaine their daughter. Logres, although not approving of this act 
of treachery, profited by it. He remembered, however, that Berinus, 
after conquering him in single combat, spared his life, so he said to the 
Boman: "Depart, and take with you from this isle all the riches you 
brought to it. You have no need of pity, since you have still your 
Cleopatra." Logres then caused all the traitors who had given up 
Berinus to be put to death. He disdained to ascend the throne which 
they had offered him, but placed his son Ismandor 2 in his stead, who, 
seeing that the mild rule of Berinus had lost it, resolved to follow 
a quite opposite course, being of opinion that it was necessary for lions 
to rule wolves. 

Meanwhile, Berinus was making haste for his departure. He set 
out as he had come, with five vessels richly laden. Cleopatra had 
nothing to regret ; she followed her husband, who consoled her for the 
loss of a crown, in their departure from Blandie. They had a pleasant 
Voyage during three days, but on the fourth day they perceived that, in 
spite of all their efforts, their little fleet was approaching an immense 
magnetic rock, which was drawing them towards itself. The old sailors 
declared that as soon as they touched it, no human power could detach 
them from the rock, and this soon .came to pass. Berinus discovered 
a number of other ships fixed like his own to the rock, which appeared 
to be inhabited only by corpses. He groaned in spirit when he thought 

1 Dunlop, iii his History of Fiction, has fallen into error when he says (art. Ser 
Giovanni): "This romance, of which the manuscript is extremely old, is the 
original of the Merchant's Second Tale, or Story of Beryn, sometimes published 
with Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The first half of the story, however, concerning 
the treasury, has not been adopted by the English poet, or at least is not in that 
part of his tale which has been preserved." We have already seen the first part, 
and shall find the story of the treasury in this, the second, part of the romance. 

2 Yspamador in both editions in the British Museum. 


that hunger would speedily reduce himself, his family, and his ships' 
crews to the like condition. Giving himself up to these sad forebodings, 
he was attracted by the appearance of a man, whose extreme thinness 
might have caused him to be taken for a corpse. This man was silently 
crawling into one of the Roman vessels to obtain some food. Young 
Aigres, the son of Berinus, laid hold of him, and led him to his father, 
in the hope that he would be able to throw some light upon an occur 
rence which perplexed their minds. The unhappy man informed them 
that he was himself a victim, adding that there was an inscription on 
one side of the rock, but he had not read it. Aigres, full of ardour and 
courage, wished to see the inscription, and after the starveling whose 
name was Silvain had partaken of some food, he led young Aigres to 
the place, where he read these words : ' ' Whoever may touch this rock 
can only be freed after he has deposited on it all his wealth, save only 
what is necessary to finish his voyage ; one of the company must theii 
go to the top of this rock and cast into the sea the ring which he shall 
find there, when the vessel will at once be freed ; but it is necessary that 
the lot determines the one who shall detach the ring, and he must not 
go in the vessel which he sets free." Berinus and his company resolved 
to draw lots to know which of them was to sacrifice himself for the 
safety of all the rest. The lot fell on Aigres, who was pleased at the 
result : he would have the good fortune of giving liberty to his father, 
mother, and sister, as well as to men who had not hesitated to follow 
them into exile. It requires little to determine a brave and generous 
soul. Aigres stole away from the embraces of Berinus, Cleopatra, and 
Eomaine and was soon on the top of the rock. He loosened the ring, 
and cast it into the water; immediately the rock trembled, the wind 
arose, and the vessels were thrown into the open sea. 1 

Berinus now resumed his voyage, and arrived at a port in Italy. 
Here he paid off all his servants, and, accompanied by his wife, daughter, 
and Silvain, whom he had taken off the magnetic rock, repaired to Rome 
in a very humble equipage. Berinus had left all his wealth on the 
fatal rock, and he had nothing more to expect in Rome : how could his 
wife, whom he adored, and his beauteous daughter, who was worthy of 
the respect of kings, endure the misery in store for them ? In this 
extremity Silvain said to him : ' ' You have nothing, since the emperor 
has taken possession of all your fortune ; 2 you have no army to demand 

1 The myth of a magnetic mountain often occurs in the old romances ; and we 
have a familiar instance in the Arabian story of the Third Calender (or Koyal 
Mendicant), and another in the miraculous legend of the Irish saint Brandanus. 

2 In chapter Ixxiii. of the edition of the romance printed by the Widow Trepperel 
(see ante, note, p. 124), we are told that soon after Berinus arrived in Rome he 
met his old friend Geoffrey, aud asked him if he could tell him anything about his 
father Fawnus, to which Geoffrey replied: " By my faith, sire, Kaiiie his wife killed 
him with poison for a knight whom she loved, and when he was dead she so wrought 
with the emperor that all the race of Fawnus, both in the city and round about it, 
was destroyed and extinguished." We have here an example of the manner in 
which Dixmerie dressed up his Extrait : he has transferred the lady's iutriyue to 



satisfaction from him for that injustice. But, without causing any 
trouble without exposing yourself to any denial and persecution, 
which would be the consequence it is possible to free you from a 
poverty to which you were not born." Berinus implored to be informed 
in what way this could be done. "You need run no risk," replied 
Silvain ; " here is the secret : My father was the architect of the tower 
in which the emperor keeps his treasure. He took care, in the course 
of its erection, to contrive a secret passage, of which he intended to make 
use. It is marked by a stone not cemented like the others, but yet 
joined to them so perfectly that nobody would suspect it is moveable ; 
it is so, however. I know this passage, and have gone into the tower 
more than once before leaving Eome. For you, I will go back to it, 
and restore, without the emperor's knowledge, some portion of the 
wealth he has taken from you." Berinus hesitated long before agreeing 
to Silvain' s plan. But without means in the midst of Eome, obliged 
even to conceal his name, he saw Cleopatra his wife and Eomaiiie his 
daughter the former the offspring of a king, the latter born whilst he 
was himself a king condemned to perish of hunger ! He could not 
bear the horrible idea. "Bring it," said he to Silvain; " I consent to 
everything." He took a house close to Philip's treasury, which Silvain 
visited several times, and thus enabled Berinus to live in comfort. He 
was prudent enough to make no show of wealth ; while Cleopatra and 
Eomaine, knowing he had formerly been rich, were not surprised that 
he should find means of living in Eome ; and they questioned him not 
on this matter, for his absolute silence showed that he did not wish it 
talked about. 

Let us now return to the generous Aigres. The magnetic rock was 
inhabited by enchanters, who knew well how to annoy the travellers 
whom they drew to it ; but the need of food obliged Aigres to frequently 
visit the vessels fixed to the rock ; and he found in them more wealth 
than food, a circumstance which seemed to presage for him an awful 
fate. One day, as he was continuing his searches, he heard the neighing 
of a horse in the hold of one of the vessels, and going down, he saw a 
spirited steed, whose food was completely done, and who was now 
neighing for more. Silvain had taken this precaution before going 
away. 1 Aigres did not hesitate to take charge of him in his turn. He 
called him Morel de 1'Aimant, both from his black colour and the place 
where he was found. In the same vessel hung a splendid suit of 
mail, and a valuable sword, on which were written the words "Pleure 
Sang." 2 Aigres, without thinking of ever using this armour, took 

the early part of the romance, where there's no mention of such a thing see ante, 
p. 127, three lines from foot. 

1 This means, apparently, that Silvain had tended the gallant steed while on the 
rock ; yet he was himself starving when he crept on board one of Berinus' ships. 

2 The hero of romance is always provided with a wonderful horse and an 
irresistible blade. Antar, the Bedouin poet-hero, had his horse Abjer and his 


it down, examined it, put it on, and found it a perfect fit, at which 
he felt a secret satisfaction, convinced that fate had not bestowed this 
gift upon him except to make use of it. His chief care, after guarding 
himself from the snares which the demons of the rock laid for him, was 
to look out from its top for any approaching vessel. At length he saw 
one which was yielding to the same power that had attracted his father's 
ships. Aigres pointed out to the crew the only means for detaching the 
vessel, and one of them went to the top of the rock, Aigres at the same 
time going on board, with his beautiful armour and his good steed 
Morel, ready to set out ; the ring was cast into the sea, and the ship 
was set free. The young knight resolved to proceed to Borne, but fate 
had destined for him adventures elsewhere his fame was to precede his 
arrival in Kome. 

The ship in which he was embarked arrived at the kingdom of 
Tantalus, which was ruled over by two brothers, and he took the road 
to the capital. Going through a forest he was attacked by two robbers, 
whom he killed, and thereby set free Prince Germain, who had been 
captured by them. This prince was called Galopin, from his great 
speed in running. He was, however, so deformed that his father and 
mother, both handsome and well made, had for a long time refused to 
recognize him as their son. Aigres made him his squire. Farther on 
our knight met Maligant, one of the two kings of Tantalus, who was 
carrying away by force a young lady. Aigres fought with him and 
killed him. Danneiaont, brother of Maligant, wishing to avenge the 
death of the latter, challenged Aigres, who defeated him, and spared 
his life on the condition that he would no longer oppress his subjects. 

After these heroic achievements Aigres, accompanied by his squire 
Galopin, proceeded to the kingdom of Loquiferne, the king of which was 
called Holopherne. This prince, to whom the prowess of Aigres do 
1'Aimant was already known, was very much pleased to have him at 
his court, for he had just then great need of the strength of his arm. 
Holopherne was in love with the Princess Melia, daughter of a king 
named Absalon, who would give her only to the prince who should 
bring with him two knights prepared to combat with and kill two 
savage lions, or would attempt this great feat himself. None of the 
barons of Holopherne offered themselves for such a perilous adventure ; 
but Aigres undertook it without hesitation, and was accompanied by 
a knight called A9ars, into whose hands was committed a casket of 
jewels, destined for the princess as a marriage present. This knight 
was fit for no better employment ; it was Aigres who fought with and 
killed the lions, and the princess was entrusted to him to convey her 
in safety to King Holopherne. Aigres and the princess, accompanied 
by A9ars, carrying the jewels, set out for their destination. Now 

sword Dhami. Bustam, the Persian champion, had his horse Kaksh. In the Norse 
sagas we read of the famous blades, Gram and Graysteel ; and in other European 
romances, of Morglay, Excalibar, Balmung, and Durandal. 


Agars was born both lily-livered and faithless, and he envied Aigres 
the glory which he had just achieved. As they were passing a very 
deep well Acars purposely allowed the box of jewels to fall into it, 
and affected to be very much concerned at the misfortune. Aigres at 
once undertook to recover the box. He joined the reins of his horse 
together, secured one end to the top of the well, and descended by the 
aid of this improvised rope. When he dived to recover the casket, the 
treacherous Agars drew up the reins, and then compelled the princess 
and her maid to follow him. But soon after Abilas, king of Pannonie, 
a lover of the princess, appeared and rescued her Agars flying away 
without making any resistance, although Abilas had only his squire 
with him. The craven did not fail to return to the court of Holopherne 
and proclaim that the king of Pannonie, at the head of a great army, 
had come and snatched out of his hands the Princess Melia, while he was 
fighting like a lion, and that Aigres de 1'Aimant had surrendered him 
self without striking a blow in her behalf. 1 

Let us not leave Aigres de 1'Aimant, the true champion of lions, too 
long at the bottom of a well. He was very much astonished not to find 
the reins which had helped him to get down. His suspicions immedi 
ately rested on A9ars, and he thought, "He who has forsaken me, can as 
easily have betrayed me ! " But he cared little for his treachery only 
how to render it of no avail. He drew his good sword Pleure Sang, 
with which, he had luckily armed himself, and used it to cut steps in the 
side of the well, and thus got out, to find his horse and splendid armour 
where he had left them. Taking the road to Loquiferne and passing 
through a wood, he came upon two women, whom two unknown persons 
were carrying away by force ; they proved to be the Princess Melia and 
her maid, King Abilas and his squire. The princess called out for help 
from Aigres de 1'Aimant, who quickly responded to her cries. Challenging 
the king of Pannonie, he fought and conquered him, and gave him his 
life on condition that he should surrender the princess. Aigres then 
proceeded to the court of Holopherne, with Melia and the rich casket 
he had recovered from the bottom of the well. The cowardly and faith 
less A^ars was unmasked and disgraced. Melia told of all that had 
passed, and of the glory that Aigres had gained. A9ars was banished 
from the kingdom, and Aigres thought himself sufficiently avenged, 
since dishonour was worse even than death to a knight. The king 
bestowed the greatest favours upon the deliverer of Melia, in order to 
retain him at his court, but the son of Berinus adhered to his resolution 
of rejoining his father. He sailed away accordingly, and duly arrived 
in Borne, accompanied by his squire Galopin, who had remained at 
Loquiferne during his last adventure. 

1 It is a very common occurrence in romantic tales for the hero to be thus 
treated and misrepresented by his rivals in love generally by his jealous brothers 
who take credit to themselves for his gallant achievements ; but in the end their 
cowardice and treachery are invariably made manifest, as we shall see iu the case of 
this carpet-knight Agars. 


Aigres de 1'Aimant soon learned that he must conceal his birth in the 
native city of his father, whom he discovered with great difficulty, and 
only by the help of old Geoffrey. 1 Berinus gave a portion of his riches 
to his son, but did not reveal to him how he obtained them. He was 
ambitious that Aigres should eclipse the splendour of all the knights of 
Eome. Aigres readily fell in with his father's views, yet he shone more 
by his courage and skill in tournaments than by the magnificence of his 
armour. On such occasions he had the good wishes of the court beauties, 
especially of the charming Nullie, daughter of the emperor. 

Now at the Feast of Pentecost the emperor Philip had a full court of 
his barons, and he purposed making them rich presents before their 
departure. For this purpose he visited the tower containing his treasures 
and found them considerably reduced. He accused of the theft his ten 
treasurers, and caused them all to be put in prison. One of them pro 
mised the emperor to discover in what manner and by whom the robbery 
had been effected, provided the most profound secrecy were observed. 
Philip determined to accompany him to the tower, where the treasurer 
lighted a great fire exactly in front of the door and windows, and the 
smoke was seen to escape through the spaces left by the uncemented 
stone, which they found could easily be removed and replaced, and they 
doubted not that it was in this way the robber entered. Concluding 
that he came only at night,- they placed immediately below the loose 
stone a tub filled with a substance so glutinous that a person once in it 
had no chance to get out again ; and keeping most secret the discovery 
they had made, they awaited the result. Silvain by this time was dead, 
and Berinus had not yet himself ventured into the tower ; he felt that 
it was becoming more and more dangerous, but did not consider himself 
rich enough to dispense with such means. One night he resolved to go 
thither for once and once only. Accordingly he proceeded to the tower, 
displaced the stone, and having entered fell into the trap prepared for 
him. Aigres de 1'Aimant, returning from the palace of Philip, was just 
entering his father's house when he perceived some one displace a stone 
from the tower wall, and creep through the opening thus made. He 
ran forward on purpose to seize the thief, and heard from within the 
tower these words, uttered amidst groans and sighs : " Alas ! I am lost 
to honour and have disgraced my family." "Who are you, miserable 
being ? " cried the young knight. " Approach, my son," responded the 

1 Here, in the original, there is a strange inconsistency: When Aigres arrives in 
Rome, he rides through the city till he comes before the house of a certain 
citizeness (bourgeoise) ; he sees her sitting at the door in great state, like one who 
was a passing rich and honourable lady. He addresses her, and ultimately takes up 
his lodging in her house. One day she begs him to reveal his name, as he closely 
resomb.'es her deceased father. On this he asks the name of her father, and she 
replies that she is the daughter of Fawnus and Agea, and that their children 
were Berinus and herself. Now, near the opening of the romance (as in our Tale 
of I'.cryn), Fawuus and Agea had been many years married before they were 
** blessed " with Beriuus; and while it is not afterwards expressly stated that he 
was their only child, the reader is certainly led to conclude that such was the case. 


same voice, for Berirms thought he knew him. " Come and save the 
honour of your father and of yourself." " You, my father ? " The son 
of Berinus could say no more ; he remained quite powerless and leaned 
against the tower wall. " My son," cried the unhappy man, " summon 
up your courage lose no time, for we need it all." Then Aigres made 
an attempt to enter through the opening, but his father informed him 
of the trap into which he had himself fallen, and of the impossibility of 
his being extricated. Aigres exhausted his strength in fruitless efforts 
to draw his father out, and more than once he thought of giving himself 
to death. "It is my duty to die," said Berinus to him. "Listen: I 
exact of you the most solemn oath that you obey my last behest." 
" But, father ! " "I exact it ; hesitate no longer." Aigres, completely 
bewildered, repeated the oath, feeling a secret horror in so doing. Then 
Berinus recounted to him the whole particulars of this dire mishap ; 
what Silvain had long done for him, and what he had now unfortunately 
attempted to do for the first time. Each word of the recital caused the 
generous young Aigres to tremble. "Now, my son," continued Berinus, 
" by the oath you have taken, I order you to cut off my head." "Who ? 
I, your executioner!" cried the wretched youth "I, the executioner 
of my father ! " "Do you not see that a real executioner is seeking my 
life ? " said Berinus. " I shall be the talk and horror of the whole city, 
and Cleopatra, Eomaine, and yourself must share in my disgrace. All 
is saved by this act of courage; all is lost without it." "No, no!" 
cried Aigres, "I will never consent to the atrocious murder of my 
father." "You have become so in not obeying me," replied Berinus in 
an angry tone, ' ' and moreover you murder your mother and sister. 
Bemernber, perhaps in a moment it may be too late hush ! do you not 
hear a noise ? Some one is coming to the tower the door is opening 
ah, my son, will you kill us all ? " Aigres, roused to madness, fancied 
that he also heard the sound of approaching footsteps. He was no 
longer himself hesitated no longer but drawing his sword Pleure 
Sang, with one blow struck off the head of his father, wrapped it in his 
cloak, and hastening from the fatal spot, went and buried it in a 
neighbouring wood. 

Day had scarcely dawned when the emperor and the treasurer 
entered the tower. Seeing a body in the vat, they eagerly drew near, but 
what was their astonishment and chagrin when they found it headless. 
The emperor was furious. He caused the mutilated body to be borne 
into a room in the palace. The barons and the sages were called to 
examine the affair, but it seemed mysterious to one and all. The corpse 
was then carried to the gibbet outside the city, where it was guarded by 
forty mounted knights and a large number of men on foot. This great 
assembly, however, did not terrify Aigres de 1'Aimant, who resolved to 
bear off his father's body from the midst of all the armed guard. In 
order to effect this, it was essential that he should be unknown ; he there 
fore put on strange armour, a shield without any device, lowered the 


visor of his helmet, and at dawn attacked the guard with irresistible 
courage, put them to flight, and carried away the corpse committed to 
their care. 

Philip caused strict search to be made to discover the author of such 
an outrage. The sages were again consulted, but without success. At 
last one of the guards whom Aigres had forced to flee before him 
declared to Philip that he had heard the strange knight pronounce, 
whilst furiously thrusting at them, the name of the Princess Nullie. 
As the knights of that time always called upon the lady of their love, in 
order to inspire them to doughty deeds, the emperor merely learned 
from this that the crime had been committed by one of the lovers of his 
daughter. And no advantage was derived by one of the sages, when he 
suggested the following device, which pleased Philip, though it seemed 
rather strange. He said : ' ' Since the robber of the headless body is in 
love with the Princess Nullie, I advise that all the barons and lords of 
high degree be assembled to supper ; afterwards order them to lie down 
in the great hall, each on a bed of his own, and place in the centre that 
of Princess Nullie. Now he who is not in love will fall asleep, but he 
who is in love will keep awake, and will not fail to visit the princess, 
who must take care to mark his. forehead with her thumb, previously 
steeped in a black liquid, which all efforts of the gallant cannot ob 
literate. Forget not," added the sage counsellor, " that the room must 
be perfectly dark." 

The emperor adopted this advice from anger ; Nullie yielded to the 
plan from filial obedience. The barons were astounded that the princess 
was to sleep in the same room with themselves, and no one approach 
her under pain of death. All, save Aigres, fell asleep. He drew near 
the bed of the princess and mutely kissed her hand. Nullie, not know 
ing that it was Aigres, pressed her thumb upon his brow. The young 
knight took this imposition of her hand for a favour ; he flattered him 
self that he had been recognized, and showed by the most loving words 
all his gratitude to the princess. She knew him by his voice and fell in 
despair. "Alas!" said she, "give me no thanks: I have killed you 
unawares ! I have given you over to death ! I will never survive it ! " 
How flattering to the amorous knight was Nullie' s grief. He thought 
his life no penalty for this proof of her affection, and he dared to ask for 
yet another. She could not refuse a lover who was doomed to die, and 
he obtained Love's gift. 1 Afterwards, profiting by the sleep of the barons, 
Aigres drew near in succession to each bed, and put on every brow a 
mark like his own. 2 He then returned to his own bed and fell asleep. 

" Le don d'amoureuse merci " are the words of the writer of the Extmit, who 
slyly remarks : " We do not know whether the wary sage, if he had foreseen this 
incident, would have thought it his duty to forewarn the emperor." 

2 This device occurs in many tales besides most of the numerous versions of the 
Robbery of the King's Treasury, and we find something similar in " La Mort de 
Tong-chao," one of the Nouvellvs Chinoises translated by M. Stanislas Julien, 18(30. 


Great was the astonishment of the emperor when he saw, on entering 
the hall in the morning, all his barons and knights marked alike on the 
forehead. He asked his daughter in an angry tone whether they were 
all guilty, but she stubbornly kept silent and was shut up in her cham 
ber. Cursing the sage who had given him such an absurd advice, he 
had recourse to the other sages, but they seemed as perplexed as him 
self. At this juncture, Geoffrey arrived at court from Constantinople, 
where some special affair had required his presence. He knew nothing 
of the robbery of the treasury and its results. The emperor told him 
all, 1 as well as of the trial made by the Princess Nullie. Geoffrey caused 
all who wore the black mark to assemble, examined them, and said to 
the emperor that he would point out the guilty one if he would grant 
him a boon. This Philip solemnly promised, and Geoffrey, pleased to 
mortify the sages once more, looked at them with a sarcastic smile as he 
said to the emperor: "The knight who has the smallest mark is the 
guilty one ; all the marks of his companions have been made by the 
thumb of a man." It was then found that Aigres alone bore the impress 
of the thumb of Princess Nullie. The latter was in despair; Aigres 
expected nothing but death. Geoffrey, however, reminded Philip of his 
oath, and asked the life of the guilty one. His fault did not appear so 
great to the barons as to the emperor, and they joined with Geoffrey 
to obtain his pardon. Philip granted it on condition that Aigres de 
TAimant should leave Eome. He only did so after secretly obtaining 
the troth of the princess ; the emperor little thought that in exiling the 
young knight he was banishing his own son-in-law ! And when Philip 
died, Nullie, recalling her own husband, raised him to the throne. His 
banishment had been nothing but a succession of glories and triumphs ; 
his return to Eome prepared him for new laurels. He re-established 
his mother on the throne of Blandie ; went and conquered Constan 
tinople for Prince Orlas, who was the friend of the good Geoffrey, and 
who married his sister Komaine. 2 After so many adventures there 
remained for the son of Berinus only to live in happiness and peace ; 
this double advantage he enjoyed, and it was a source of great felicity 
to his subjects. 3 

1 That is to pay, all he knew. 

2 After conquering Constantinople for Geoffrey's friend, Aigres sails, with more 
than. 20,000 men, for the Holy Land. They remain at Acre 26 weeks, during 
which period they make divers raids on the Saracens, and by their prowess so beset 
them that they dare not go out of their fortress. When the gallant Aigres has 
done his duty against the paynims, he goes to the Holy Sepulchre, where he offers 
up prayers and orisons, and makes rich presents all for the purpose of doing 
penance for having caused his father's death (ch. cliv.). 

3 In the last chapter but one of the original, Geoffrey dies in the odour of 
sanctity, is buried near Berinus, and the emperor Aigres erects a magnificent church 
over their remains. 

Mr. Vipan, in concluding the interesting extracts and notes with which he has 
favoured me, makes the following observations : " There is one great difference 
between the French and English versions. The latter, though very amusing, is 


Thus ends the Eomance of Berinus, in the second part of which, we 
have seen, his gallant son is the most conspicuous figure. In the 
account of the robbery of the treasury there are several important 
differences between Dixmerie's extrait and the romance in the British 
Museum: (1) According to the extrait, after the death of Silvain, 
Berinus went but once to the treasury and lost his life ; while in the 
romance (ch. Ixxiii.) he goes often and takes as much treasure as he 
requires, and leads that kind of life for a long time. (2) In the extrait 
Berinus goes to the tower without the knowledge of his son, and it is 
only by chance that Aigres comes across him. In the romance, when 
Berinus hears that the robbery of the treasury is discovered, he deter 
mines to go once more, and take his son with him, in order to remove a 
greater quantity of the treasure than usual, as he fears that precautions 
will be taken before long to prevent his entrance into the tower. Aigres 
steadily refuses to go, and tries to dissuade his father from his purpose. 
However, that night, finding he is gone, he follows and discovers him 
in the tub of glue. (3) In the extrait, Aigres attempts to enter through 
the opening ; while in the romance he does enter, his father having 
first given him directions so that he may avoid falling into the tub. 
(4) In the extrait, Berinus exacts from his son a solemn oath that he 
will obey his behest. In the romance Berinus says: "Sweetest son, 
now cease your sorrow, for you can gain nothing thereby. But bethink 
you of your own safety, and of putting me out of this grief; for if you 
will do as I counsel, soon will you have relieved me of my trouble. 
For God's sake, fair son, hasten you, for the night is quickly gone." 
"Dear father, God-a-mercy, tell me," said Aigres, "and I will do it 

hardly edifying. Beryn is at first utterly worthless ; mends a little, but shows no 
kind of merit ; at last, however, he is dismissed to high station and happiness. In 
the French version, on the contrary, I think the author intended to be highly edify 
ing : Berinus. badly brought up, after a short period of decent behaviour, falls again 
into error, turns robber, and comes to a wretched end. Aigres, on the other hand, 
who on many occasions shows a spirit of most generous self-abnegation, after many 
trials is dismissed to happiness. His two faults, the cutting off the head of Berinus 
and the affair with Nullie, the author probably thought excused, or partly so, con 
sidering the most extraordinary circumstances under which they were committed ; 
besides, he suffers from long persecution on account of them. I think in every case 
vice is severely punished in the French romance." 

It seems to me that the author's design in causing Berinus to fall into such a 
depth of unworthiness was to exhibit the evils that result from ignorance, which 
Shakspeare terms " the curse of God." The English versifier of the first part of the 
romance does not appear to have had any particular moral in view, although the 
Merchant in the prologue (p. 24, 1. 725) says to his fellow-pilgrims that he will tell 
a tale" in ensaumpill" to them. Beryn, even in his early boyhood, is lewd and 
dissipated, mischievous and cruel, in consequence of the over-indulgence of his 
dotiug parents ; and in manhood, when he falls into the toils of the knaves of 
Falsetown, he shows no force of character in fact, he is throughout (in the English 
tale) an arrant poltroon ; yet, by no merit or action of his own, he not only comes 
out of his law troubles a considerable gainer, but is amply compensated for the loss 
of his heritage by becoming the son-in-law of the good duke Isope. If there be any 
" moral " in this tale, it must be that the unworthy and profligate are the favourites 
of Fortune ! "We see, however, in the sequel, according to the complete story, that 
Beryn's prosperity was only temporary, and that at last he perished miserably. 
BERYN, II. 12 


most willingly." Berinus then tells him to take enough treasure to 
keep himself from want all his life. Aigres says he will first set him at 
liberty. Berinus declares that he will never leave the place until his 
son has complied with his request. Aigres accordingly takes a large 
quantity of treasure home and returns. (The author is careful to 
inform us that Aigres did not do this from covetousness of wealth, but 
solely to obey his father's command.) On his return to the tower 
Berinus orders him to cut off his head. Aigres expostulates through a 
whole chapter (cxix.). At last his father proves to him that much will 
be gained by his doing it, and nothing will be lost ; while if he (Berinus) 
does not die at once he will perish under frightful tortures. On this 
Aigres falls on his knees before his father, and begs him to pardon him 
for causing his death. The father answers that he pardons him, and 
gives him his blessing. Then Aigres rises and goes to kiss his father, 
" weeping very copiously." Then Berinus confesses all his sins to God, 
and prays for God's mercy, recommending to God his soul, his wife, and 
his daughter. After this he says to Aigres: "Now quickly, my son, 
despatch thee promptly end my sorrow; let me languish no longer." 
On this Aigres draws his sword and cuts off his head. 1 (5) In the 
extrait, Aigres recovers his father's body by boldly attacking the guards 
single-handed and causing them to fly for their lives ; while in the 
romance he paints his horse on one side yellow, on the other blue, he 
covers his armour with a white robe, one side of which he stains with a 
vermilion dye, leaving the other of its proper colour, and round his 
horse's neck he hangs a number of bells the guards take him for a 
goblin and make off at full speed. (6) In the extrait the device, to dis 
cover the person who stole the body, of causing the knights to sleep in 
the same chamber with the Princess Nullie, is suggested by one of the 
seven sages; but in the romance the emperor consults an enchanter, 
who raises a demon, and it is the demon who devises the stratagem. 
The demon tells him to order the knights not to approach the bed of 
Nullie under penalty of "the rope" : the one who stole the body is of 
" such wondrous boldness" that he will disobey the order, and being 
marked on the forehead will be detected next morning. 

M. de la Dixmerie, at the end of his extrait, remarks that ' ' this unique, 
foolish, and ridiculous story of the treasury of the emperor Philip," with 
almost all the details, is found in the novels of Ser Giovanni Fiorentina, 
H Pecorone, Day ix., nov. 1, whence it was taken. He omits to state that 
the original is given in Herodotus (Euterpe, 121), where it is the trea 
sury of Ehampsinitus, king of Egypt, that is robbed by the two sons of 
the architect who erected the buildings, and purposely left a stone un- 
cemented. The same story had been current in Europe long before the 
time of the Italian novelist, being found in the earliest written version 

1 M. de la Dixmerie has worked up this incident into a quite " thrilling " scene, 
albeit in the original it is told very effectively. 


of the Seven Wise Masters, a Latin prose work, entitled Dolopatlios ; 
sive, de Rege et septem sapientibus, composed in the latter years of the 
12th century, and in the French metrical version, Li JKomans des Sept 
Sages, about 1284. 1 The author of the romance of Berinus might have 
adapted his story of the Treasury from II Pecorone, since the latter dates 
as far back as 1348; 2 yet both versions may have been independently 
derived from a common source. Be this as it may, the foregoing story 
differs considerably from Ser Giovanni's version, of which Dunlop, in 
his History of fiction, has given an abstract as follows, which I have 
compared with the translation of the Italian story given in Painter's 
Palace of Pleasure (first printed in 1566), vol. i. nov. 48, and found fairly 
accurate : 

' The doge of Yenice employed an architect, called Bindo, to erect a 
building which should contain all the treasures of the republic, and 
should be inaccessible to depredators. This ingenious artist reserved a 
moveable stone in a part of the wall, in order that he might himself 
enter when he found it convenient. He and his son [Eicciardo] having 
soon after fallen into great poverty, they one night obtain access by 
this secret opening and abstract a golden vase. The loss was some time 
after remarked by the doge while exhibiting the treasury to a stranger. 
In order to discover [the perpetrator of] the fraud, he closed the doors, 
ordered some straw to be burned in the interior of the building, and 
found out the concealed entrance by the egress of the smoke. Con 
jecturing that the robber must pass this way, and that he would proba 
bly return, he placed at the bottom of this part of the wall a cauldron 
filled with pitch, which was constantly kept boiling. Bindo and his son 
were soon forced by poverty to have recourse to their former means of 
supply. The father fell up to the neck in the cauldron, and finding that 
death was inevitable, he called to his son to cut off his head and throw 
it where it could not be found, in order to prevent further discovery. 3 
Having executed this command, the young man returned home and 

1 Under the title of " The Kobbery of the King's Treasury," in my work on the 
migrations and transformations of Popular Tales, vol. ii. p. 115 ff., after citing the 
narrative as related by Herodotus, I have brought together translations or ab 
stracts of mediaeval Latin, Italian, Sicilian, modern Greek, Albanian, French, Breton, 
Gaelic, Dutch, Tirolese, Danish, Kussian, Algerian (Kabail), Mongolian, Tibetan, 
Bengali, Indo-Persian, Indian (Sanskrit), and Singalese versions, and, in Appendix, 
pp. 486-8, a curious modern Egyptian variant, of this world-wide story, to which 
the fascinating Arabian tale of All Baba and the Forty Thieves is near akin. 

2 There are two MSS. of the romance of Berinus (not one, as stated at foot of 
p. 124) in the National Library, Paris, both of which, according to M. Delisle, the 
Librarian, closely agree with the printed editions. One is a folio volume, written 
on parchment, and dates about the middle of the 15th century ; the other is a 
quarto written on paper, imperfect at the beginning, of about the end of the 15th 
century. The date of the Vienna MS. is 1482: " Fait et acomply le dit Romant le 
vj Jour de Septembre Lan Mil quatre cens quatre vinc/s et deux." This is doubtless 
not the date when the romance itself was finished, but that of the transcription of 
the Vienna copy. 

3 A man who was " up to the neck " in a cauldron of boiling pitch would hardly 
be able to give his son such an order: the pain would either deprive him of 
consciousness or his anguished cries bring in some of the royal guards. 


informed his neighbours that his father had gone on a long journey ; 
but he was obliged to communicate the truth to his mother, whose afflic 
tion now became the chief cause oi embarrassment. For the doge, per 
ceiving that the robber must have had associates, ordered the body to be 
hung upon a gibbet, in the expectation that it would be claimed. This 
spectacle being observed from, her house by the widow, her cries brought 
up the guard, and her son was obliged, on hearing them approach, to 
wound himself in the hand to afford a reasonable pretext for her ex 
clamations. She next insisted that her son should carry off the body 
from the gibbet. He accordingly purchased twelve habits of black 
monks, in which he dressed twelve porters whom he had hired for the 
purpose. Having then disguised himself in a vizard and mounted a 
horse covered with black cloth, he bore off the body in spite of the 
guards and spies by whom it was surrounded, and who reported to the 
doge that it had been carried away by demons. The story then relates 
other means to which the doge resorted, all of which are defeated by 
the ingenuity of the young robber. At length the curiosity of the doge 
is so much excited that he offers the hand of his daughter to any one 
who will discover the transaction. On this the young man reveals the 
whole, and receives the promised bride in return." 

Among the " other means to which the doge resorted " Dunlop passes 
over the fruitless device of the beds in the great hall : By the advice of 
a senator, "the most riotous and lecherous young men, such as the doge 
had in the greatest suspicion, to the number of twenty-five, were sum 
moned to appear before him ; " they were made to sleep in separate beds 
in one of the great chambers, and in their midst was the doge's own 
daughter. The doge says aloud that should any of them approach her 
bed she is to mark him on the forehead. This frightens all but Kicciardo. 
He visits the young lady, who marks him ; but, in his turn, he marks 
the other sleepers, some with two, some with six, some with ten marks, 
and himself with four, besides the one placed on him by the doge's 
daughter. There seems to me little reason to conclude that the story of 
Berinus and Philip's treasury was adapted from Giovanni's novel, besides 
the circumstance of the beds ranged around the young lady's bed. We 
have nothing in Giovanni about the culprit being discovered by the 
smaller mark on his forehead, and nothing in Berinus about each 
sleeper having a number of marks. Moreover, in Giovanni the treasury 
is only once entered, and a golden vase stolen, while in Berinus, as in 
Herodotus and all other versions, frequent visits are paid to the treasury 
before the catastrophe. 

GLASGOW, June 1887. 



pp. 125, 126. The remarks about the athletic exercises of the young 
Romans, and Fawnus' and Agea's aversion from Bermus practising them, 
do not occur in the romance, and are therefore to be regarded as M. de 
la Dixmerie's own : he frequently indulges in excursions of this kind in 
the course of his extrait, which I have for the most part left out. 

p. 126. Raine, the second wife of Fawnus, is called Rame in the 
Tale of Beryn, possibly by a clerical error. 

p. 133. There is no mention of the three questions put to the seven 
sages in this part of the romance, but there is much later on (chs. xxxix. 
and xl.), when Geoffrey introduces Berinus to Esope. In order to recom 
mend Berinus to Esope's favour, Geoffrey gives his quondam "client" the 
credit of having discovered that the aching tooth, the fly, and the pear- 
tree were figures of speech, and signified treacherous flatterers of 
different kinds. Geoffrey goes on to say that the Romans became so 
jealous of Berinus on account of his sagacity, that they laid plots against 
his life, and this was the cause of Bermus leaving the country and 
taking to the occupation of a merchant. It comes out ultimately that 
the king who sent the messengers to ask the three questions was Esope 
himself, who wished to test the wisdom of the seven sages. Geoffrey 
was one of the messengers, and on their return the Blandiens, being 
envious of the honour done them, murder all but Geoffrey, who escapes 
by disfiguring and disguising himself. The Eastern origin of the 
"parables" of the aching tooth, &c. is, I think, apparent from the 
following passage which occurs in Kallla and Dimna, the Arabian 
version of the Fables of Bidpai: "A tooth which is decayed," said 
Kalila to the Lion, " will never cease to ache as long as it remains in 
the mouth ; nor is there any other remedy for the disagreeable sensa 
tion arising from having eaten unwholesome food than that which will 
remove it from the stomach, which is the seat of the disorder. The 
application of these maxims to the case of a dangerous enemy points at 
once to the necessity of taking away his life." In the Sanskrit version, 
Hitopadesa, the wily jackal Damanaka cites the sentiment thus: "A 
pulling up by the root of poisoned food, of a loose tooth, and of a wicked 
minister, gives ease." 

p. 135. In the Planudean Life of Esop the fabulist it is related 
that Xanthus (Esop's master), getting drunk at a symposium, wagered 
his house and all it contained that he would drink up the sea. Esop 
gets him out of this scrape by advising him to demand that all the 
rivers should be stopped, for he did not bargain to drink them too. 
p. 135; note on Duke Esop's castle. Gibbon, quoting Abu-'l-Feda, 


states that in the palace of the Khalif Moktader, " among the other 
spectacles of rare and stupendous luxury was a tree of gold and silver, 
spreading into eighteen large branches, on which, and on lesser boughs, 
sat a variety of birds, made of the same precious metals, as well as the 
leaves of the tree : while the machinery affected spontaneous motions, 
the several birds warbled their natural harmony. Through this scene 
of magnificence the Greek ambassador was led by the vazir to the foot 
of the Khalifa throne." 

p. 136, 1. 16. " Two butterflies only were seen floating about the 
room." In the romance, as in the Tale of Beryn, Geoffrey had provided 
himself with two butterflies, but there does not appear to be any refer 
ence, as in Beryn (p. 109, 1. 328 ff.), to the doctor in Eome. 

p. 153, 1. 22 ff. " What is the weight of the elephant ? "Forbes, in 
his Oriental Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 455, cites, on the authority of Colonel 
Wilks, the following anecdote of Shahji, father of Sevaji, the founder 
of the Mahratta empire, "from which," he remarks, " some conjecture 
may be formed of the general state of the arts and sciences in India, in 
the commencement of the seventeenth century": The minister Jaga- 
deva Eow had made a vow to distribute in charity the weight of his 
elephant in silver ; and all the learned men of the court had studied in 
vain the means of constructing a machine of sufficient power to weigh 
the animal. Shajfs expedient was certainly simple and ingenious to an 
eminent degree. He led the animal along a stage prepared for the 
purpose to a flat-bottomed boat, and marking the water-line removed 
the elephant and caused stones to be placed in the boat sufficient to 
load it to the same line. The stones, being brought separately to the 
scales, ascertained the true weight of the elephant, to the astonishment 
of the court of the wonderful talents of Shahji. This is precisely the 
device suggested by the old woman in our Arabian analogue of the 
story of the Sandal-wood Merchant. 

p. 165. In the romance, ch. cxv. ad fin., when the robbery of the 
treasury is discovered the author breaks out into a long lamentation over 
the pending fate of Berinus: "Here is an illustration of the peasant's 
saying, that 'no one knows when his chance and his hour cometh.' 
Alas, how unhappy was the birth of Berinus, and how he was born 
under a stern constellation ! For in all his life he had not a single day 
of peace and quietness ; and, moreover, he was never freed from his ill- 
fortune ; rather did his mischance approach him relentlessly, for Fortune 
used all her efforts to bring him under." 

Here, in accordance with the belief in astrology which prevailed 
throughout Europe during the middle ages and even much later, as it 
does still in Asiatic countries, the author ascribes the misfortunes of 
Berinus, not to his improper up-bringing and defective education, but 
to the circumstance of his having been born under an unlucky planet 
a comforting doctrine to sinners of all degrees. 

W. A. C. 



\TJie notes with the letters F. J. F. appended are by Dr. FurnivaU, those 
with W. W. S. by Professor Skeat, those with S. by W. G. Stone, and 
those with no letter appended by F. J. Vipan.~] 

p. 1, 1. 8. Hurlewaynes meyne. This meyne is sketcht in the 
second book of Fra^ois de Rues' Roman de Fauvel, A.D. 1314 : 

. . Puis faisoient une crierie, Vestu ert de bon broissequin ; 

Onques tele ne fut o'ie : Je croi que c'estoit Hellequin, 2 

Li uns montret son cul au vent, Et tuit li autre, sa mesnie, 

Li autre rompet un auvent ; * Qui le suivent toute enragie. 

L'un cassoit fenestres et huis, Montes est sus un roncin haut, 

L'autre getoit le sel ou puis. Si tres gras que, par saint Quinaut, 

L'un getoit le bren au visage, L'en li peut les costes compter. . . 

Trop estoient les et suavaiges ; Avec eus avoit Hellequines 

Es tetes orent barboeres, Qui avoient cointises fines, 

Avoec eus portoient deus bieres, Et ce deduisoient en ce 

Ou il avoit gent trop avable (?), Lay chanter qui si ce commence: 

Pour chanter la chanson an diable. " En ce dous temps d'est6, 

II i avoit un grant jaiant, Tout droit ou mois de may," &c. 

Qui aloit trop forment braiant ; 

P. Paris. MSS. Francois de la Bibliotheque du 
Roi, i. 324-5. (Paris, 1836.) F. J. F. 

1 A penthouse of cloth, &c., before a shop window, &c. Cotgrave. 

2 Hurletvayn is also in 1. 90, Passus 1, of ' Kichard the Eedeles ' 

" Of?er hobbis }e hadden of hurlervaynis kinne, 
Reffusynge the reule of realles kynde." 

Piers Plowman, Text C, p. 477, ed. Skeat. 

ib, p. 507, is Mr. Thomas Wright's note on the word : " Hnrletvaynes meyne 
is the Maisnie Hellequin of old French popular superstition ; in Latin, familia 
Harlequini. The name is spelt in different ways : Hellequin, Herlequin, 
Henequin, &c. The legend was, that Charles the Fifth of France, and his 
men, who fell all in a great battle, were condemned for their crimes to 
wander over the world on horseback, constantly employed in fighting battles. 
Some derived the name from that of the Emperor, Charles quint, Charlequin, 
Herlequin, Hellequin. Of course this derivation is wrong, and the legend a 
fabrication of later date, to explain it. See Grimm's Mythologie, p. 527 ; 
Le Roux de Lincy's Livre des Legendes, p. 148-150, 240-245; and Michel's 
jBenuit, vol. ii, p. 336, where in a note is given a most extraordinary story 
about them. See also Paulin Paris " (as above). 

176 NOTES TO pp. 1 3, 11. 16 56. 

See also Tyrwhitt's Chaucer, Gl. s. v. meinie ; he refers us to Ordericus 
Vitalis, who gives a strange story of the familia Herlechini, also to 
Gervase of Tilbury, who speaks of the familia Arturi. As to the 
etymology of the word Hurlewayne, see Skeat's Diet., s. v. Harlequin. 

p. 1, 1. 16. Hope is a hoop : see Larwood's Signboards, p. 488. 

w. w. s. 

p. 2, 1. 18. Such vitailles as liefonde in town. Here in town = at 
hand : cf. Sir Thopas (ed. Skeat), 1. 1983 and Note : also Guy of War- 
wicJce, 1. 5841 : 

"God let me neuyr dye in londe." 

On which Professor Zupitza says : " in londe, used here as often with no 
great force " ; he then compares with it the expression in toune. Other 
instances are : 

"Hyt befell in the month of June, 
Whan the fen ell hangeth yn tonn, 
Grene in semly sales." 

Lybeaus Dlsconus (Ritson), 1. 1225. 

" And ich him schal with myn hond teche 
Hou Goddes grame com to toune 
Eyght amidelward his croun." 

The Seuyn Sages (Weber). 

" Had she brought some forty pounds to town, 
I could be content to make her my wife." 
K. Green's George-a- Greene (ed. Dyce), p. 260, col. 2, 

where Dyce's Note on the word " town " is : Qy. dower. The expression 
might still be heard in the present century in East Anglia : in my 
early youth an old servant by way of informing me that some friends of 

ours had an addition to their family, said : " A new Miss has just 

come to town." Cp. also the usage of " in place " and " in the stede." 

p. 2, 1. 20. The Pardoner beheld and aside swervid. ? perhaps 
diskennyng agrees with statis, and we may translate : " The Pardoner 
saw how the people of good station were served, and how, ignoring 
him quietly, they slipped away from him." 

p. 2, 1. 40. Benedicite, pronounce ben'cite, or ben'cit; see Skeat's 
Gl. to Prioresses Tale, &c. 

p. 2, 1. 42. she gan to fnese. ? snese, as fnese elsewhere means to 
blow, as Prof. Skeat has pointed out. 

p. 2, 1. 43. Aha! all hole. In Germany when any one sneezes, 
the custom is for the bystanders to cry out prosit (prosit), in Austria 
Gesundheit. In France, Belgium, and Italy, they say in their respective 
languages, " God bless you": also in some parts of England, for 
instance in Suffolk. 

It is said that this custom arose at the time of the plague, a sneeze 
being supposed to indicate a change for the better in the condition of 
the sufferer. 

p. 3, 1. 56. \at ye, [been] unaservid. The words, I suppose, as 
they stand with been inserted, will mean, " but you liavn't been served 
with your morning-meal " ; from 1. 60, however, it appears that the 

NOTES TO pp. 3 5, 11. 66 122. 177 

Tapster was not aware that the Pardoner was fasting. ? Perhaps the 
words that ye unaservid may mean : " you didn't deserve that, viz. to 
suffer such extreme sorrow." 

p. 3, 1. 66. now broke wel thy name. 

" panne hym spak the god king : 
Wel bruk Jm Jn nevening ; 
Horn, j?u go wel schulle (shrill) 
By dales and hi hulle ; 
Horn, ]?u lude soo sune 
Bi dales and bi dune." 

King Horn, 1. 206. (Specimens by Morris.) 

" Dan John, quod he, now well brouke ye your name." 

Lidgate's Prologue to the Tale of Thebes. 

p. 3, 1. 70. trown & feyn this song. ? For trown read crown or 
croon = murmur; the scribes frequently interchange t and c : see note 
on 1. 822. ? Also for feyn read seyn ; in Chaucer we find " seyn a 
song" : later in this tale, 1. 2462, we have : "I will not feyn one word, 
as makers doon to ryme " ; but there the word feyn relates to composi 
tion of verse, not to singing, 
p. 4, 1. 99. 

"Note certen, quod the tapster, yee have a redful even, 
As wold to God yee couth as wel undo my sweven." 

ared ful even = interpreted rightly, in this passage the Tapster's be 
haviour, but arede is frequently used for to interpret a dream, and we 
find it with the word even attached in The Boke of the Dutchesse, 1. 284 : 

"Ne nat scarcely Macrobeus 
[Coude] . . . 
I trow, arede my dremes even." 

Rede is so used in modern poetry as in Campbell's 
* " Glenara, Glenara, now read me my dream." 

Also "read me my riddle" we find several times in Bishop Percy's 


Undo my sweven. Cp. Romaunt of the Rose, 1. 7 : 

"An authonr that hight Macrobees 
That halteth not dremes false ne lees, 
But undoth us the avision 
That whilom mette king Cipioun." 

p. 5, 1. 109. a lover glad, glad does not suit the context, unless we 
take it in the sense of " anxious." See Lancelot of the LaiJc, 1. 2798, 
" gladly desyrit," and 1. 2946. 

p. 5, 1. 122. "* * * howe the Tapster made the Pardoner pull 
Garlik all the longe nyghte" 

? pull = pill or peel ; cp. 

" Wyll, Wyll, Wyll, Wyll, Wyll, 
He ruleth always still. 
Good reason & good skyll, 

178 NOTES TO pp. 5 6, 11. 125 151. 

They may garlic pyll, 
Gary sackes to the my 11, 
Or pescoddes they may shyll 
Or elles go rost a stone." 

Skelton's Why come ye not to Courte, 1 103-109. 

Todd in Ins Diet., s. v. pilled-garliclc, says : " one whose hair is fallen 
off by a disease : ' A pleasant discourse between the authour & pild- 
garlick ; wherein is declared the nature of the disease,' " 4to, 1619. 

Sir John Denham, in his Directions to a Painter, p. 21, published in 
1667, terms a certain officer "poor Peelgarlick," the reason for this 
appellation being that part of his posteriors had been shorn away by 
a cannon-ball. We find the term as late as 1770 in Footers Lame Lover, 
ad fin. where Sir Luke says of himself: 

" So then it seems poor Pilgarlik is discarded at once." 

It is easy to understand why a man whose hair has fallen off, or 
part of whose body has been flayed, should be compared in derision to 
peeled garlick, but not so easy to see why " to peel garlic " should be 
regarded as a degrading occupation, as it apparently is in the passage 
before us. Mr. Wedgwood compares the Fr. saying : " II en pelera la 
prune " he will smart for it, he will have the worst of it. The question 
is also discussed in Notes and Queries, 1st S., i. and ii., and in Latham's 
Diet. It may be, however, that the expression was originally " to 
make a man peeled-garlik or pilgarlik" which is intelligible, and was 
then corrupted into " to make a man pill garlic." 

p. 5, 1. 125. Ipou^e she aquyt his while. Cp. Man of Lawes Tale, 
584, where Skeat's Note is : " quyte her while, repay her time ; i. e. her 
pains, trouble \ as when we say : 'it is worth while ' ; wile is not 

p. 6, 11. 137-8. 

" Put forth the Prelatis, \>e Person $ his fere. 
A monk that toke the spryngill with a manly chere" 

Substitute a comma for the full-stop after fere. Perhaps also for 
A monk we should read The monk ; in any case this monk is the monk 
of the Canterbury Tales; the words "manly chere" agree with the 
description given of him by the Host in the Prologue to the Monk's 

p. 6, 1. 141. " The ffrere feynyd fetously the spryngill for to hold, 
To spryng upon the remnant" 

? For feynyd may we here read feyndyd, from the A.S. fandian, to 
attempt, try. In Chaucer the word appears as fonde, and in Gologros 
and Gaviayn as faynd. 

p. 6, 1. 151. for the story mourned. The word " mourn " seems 
sometimes to mean " to be deep in thought," unconnected with 
sorrow. Cp. 

" And in gret thout he was 
Wher it was his wyfe, er hyt nas. 

NOTES TO pp. 6 11, 11. 160 310. 179 

Alse he sat in mornynge, 

Anon he thout upon the rynge." 

Seven Sages, 1. 3013 (ed. T. Wright). 

" he murned ful swicSe 

to habben J?at mseiden to wiue." 
Layamori's Brut. (Specimens by Morris and Skeat), 1. 585. 

p. 6, 1. 160. Tcynd of brode = native breeding. 

p. 7, 1. 172. out of contrey, out of his own country. Cp. 1. 2294 : 
"sith he of contre past." Halliwell, s.v. country, says: "county. Var. 
Dial. " ; this usage is frequent. 

" And commandede barouns thre 
Her to lede out of cuntre 
To the wyldest forest that myght be 

Of Crystendome." Octovian Imperator (Weber iii. 285). 

"And outte of cuntre wille I wende." Sir Amadas (Weber iii. 35). 
" Seth he went out of cuntre." Sir Cleges (Weber i.), 485. 
p. 7, 1. 178. Save the Sompnour seid somewhat. ? For seid read 
sey = saw. 

p. 7, 1. 188. Ipouye wee shoul set at sale Al the shrewdnes that I can. 
For wee read /, wee being caught from preceding wee. This error is 
frequent with our scribe. 

p. 7, 1. 192. to the dynerward. A late instance of this construction 
>ccurs in Sidney's Arcadia, lib. ii., p. 98, ed. 1638. "And so went she 
roin them to the Lodge-ward." S. 

p. 7, 1. 195. till girdill gon arise. Cp. Man of Lawes Tale, 1. 789 
(ed. Skeat) : 

" He drank and wel his girdel underpyghte." 

p. 9, 1. 247. He was of al factur, aftir fourm of Icynde. He was 
lade for everything by natural formation or constitution. 

p. 9, 1. 250-1. Probably some lines between these two are lost. 
As the prologue stands, the Sompnour had said nothing to the Frere 
since their arrival in Canterbury, though, 1. 186, he says he will do so 
on their way home. 

p. 10, 1. 284. rowe rest (cp. G. ruhen). W. W. S. Cp. 
" She wolde never rest nor rowe, 
Till she came our king unto." Percy's Folio MS. ii. 548/60G. 

Also roo, s. rest, in Guy & Colebrande. Jamiesou. 

p. 10, 1. 290. ffor many a herbe grewe. Insert there after grewe ; 
it is required both by sense and metre. 

p. 10, 1. 293. And other beddis by & by, one beside the other. For 

& by, see note by Professor Skeat in N. & Q., llth S., ix. 37. 

p. 11, 1. 306. he drank without the cupp. Cp. 460: " He shall 
Irynk for kittis love without cup or pot," i. e. in abundance. 

p. 11, 1. 310. And fond hir ligging liry-long. Cp. with this : 
" Somme leyde her legges a liri (leri)." Piers Plowman, vi. 123. 

I venture to suggest that liry-long means " at length like a dormouse 
(loir)," and a liri after the manner of a dormouse. 

Littre (s. v. loir) tells us that the Berry pronunciation of loir is lire; 

180 NOTES TO pp. 11 13, 11. 326 380. 

also that there are two diminutives of loir, viz. llron and Zero/, which 
signify une espece de petit loir gris. Again (s. v. lerot) he tells us 
that the pronunciation of loir in Normandy is ler. From this and the 
Berry form we may have taken our leri and liri. 

It appears that the dormouse, when eating, hangs suspended by its 
hind-feet from a bough, and is consequently stretched out at full length; 
again, when asleep in winter, it rolls itself up in a ball. The former 
attitude probably is that of the Tapster in Beryn, the latter that of the 
Losels in Piers Plowman. 

p. 11, 1. 326. Wher coud I, \I\yewe, prey, when ye com efftsone? 
For when read wen = wene, think; "Whether could I, I pray you, 
think you would come again ? " Perhaps when may stand ; cp. yliit for 
yet, and yhere for yere in the PricTce of Conscience. 

p. 12, 1. 361. And al ascaunce she loved him well. The word 
ascaunce has been discussed, N. & Q., 6th S. xi. and xii. ; see also Skeat's 
Gl. to Man of Lawes Tale, &c., and Murray's Diet. s. v. 

p. 12, 1. 362. As Ipou^e she had learned cury favel of some old frere. 
See Hunter's Diet., s. v. curry, " To curry favour, a corruption of Mid. 
Eng. to curry favell ; Fr. etringler le fauveau = lit. to rub down the 
chesnut horse : favell was a common name for a horse, and the same 
word, but from an entirely different source (Lat. fabula), was used for 

p. 12, i. 362. As ^pou^e she had lernyd cury fauel. " But if such 
moderation of words tend to flattery, or soothing or excusing, Paraaiastoie, 
it is by the figure Paradiastole, which therefore nothing Curryfaueii. 
improperly we call the Curry-fauell, as when we make the best of a bad 
thing, or turne a signification to the more plausible sence : as, to call 
an vnthrift, a liberall Gentleman : the foolish-hardy, valiant or couragious : 
the niggard, thriftie : a great riot or outrage, an youthfull pranke, and 
such like termes : moderating and abating the force of the matter by 
craft, and for a pleasing purpose," &c. Puttenham's Arte of English 
Poesie, ed. Arber, p. 195. S. 

p. 13, 1. 372. As he Ipat hopid siJcerlich to have had al his will. 
Here the perfect " to have had " is used for the present. This is not 
unusual ; cp. 1. 3150, " made him redy to have swore" Also cp. 2075, 
" To make his pleynt on Beryn & suyd upon his goode," where suyd is 
for " have suyd," as Prof. Skeat has pointed out. 

p. 13, 1. 374. hovje-so-euir it gone. Cp. 1. 791, " or I ferther goon." 
Also 1. 3008, "no man on hem pleyn." 

" For sothe as I the sayne" Sir Isunibras, 1. 536 (Thornton Rom.). 

" The sothe thou me sayne." 

The Avoivynge of Arthur, 33/8 (Robson's Rom.). 

p. 13 ; 1. 380. Ipat had no spice of rage. Mage = playfulness. Cp. 

" Ac ever in ernest and arage 

Ever speketh French langage." Sir Beves of Hamtoun, 1. 2790 

(Maitland Club). 

NOTES TO pp. 13 16, 11. 388 474. 181 

p. 13, 1. 388. And then the officers & I. Cp. 

" The Squier came fro chambre tho, 
Downe he wente into the hall, 
The officers soon can he call, 
Both usher, panter, & butler, 
And other that in office were ; 
There he them warned sone anone 
To take up the bordes everych one." 

'ITie Squier of Lowe Degre, 1. 388 (Ritson's Rom.). 

p. 13, 1. 398. ffor he met with his love, in crokeing of ]>e moon. 
"Also the same yere [1421] betuen Cristemasse and Candelmasse, the 
town of Milen' [Melun] was yolden to the kyng [Henry V.], and alle 
cheveteyns with the sowdyours were ledd to Parys in the croke of the 
mone they myght seyn, for of them there skaped thens but fewe on 
lyve." A Chronicle of London, ed. Sir H. Nicolas, 1827, p. 109. 

" Also this same yere [1436] the xiij day of August, the kyng of 
Scottes and hys wyf lyenge at the sege of the castell of Rokysburgh 
[Roxburgh], with a gret power of Scottes and a gret ordinaunce, brak 
up the sege and wente his way shamfully, and lefte his ordinaunce and 
his stuff behynden hym as a coward, and mo than vij score of his 
galgentires [? gallowglasses] sclayn and taken at the same sege : and 
so inyghte he wel sey, that in the crook of the mone com he thedirward, 
and iu the wylde wanyande [waning] wente hornward : 

' With reste and pees, 
A man schal best encrees?" Idem, p. 122. 

From the last passage quoted here it seems that it was thought 
unlucky to begin anything when the rnoon was either in her first 
or last quarter: in the "crook of the mone"; that is, when she is 
crescent-shaped. S. 

p. 14, 1. 422. al they route. For they read the or that. 
p. 14, 1. 424. & weytid hym a trest. treat = trist, of which 
Jamieson says : " trist " is used in 0. E. as denoting a " post or station 
in hunting." 

Ye shall be set at such a triste, 
That hart and hind shall come to your fist." 

Squire of Low Degree. 

weytid him a treste therefore = " looked out for a post for himself." 

p. 15, 1. 459. & he com by my lot. Halliwell gives lote : a loft, a 
floor. South. The host was going to bed. 

p. 16, 1. 471. dischauce yewe nat. According to Littr6 chausses 
in old time comprised all the coverings for the lower part of the body, 
answering to our word hose. Dischauce yewe nat therefore means, 
don't take off your lower garments. The word chance is very rare in 
English, but we find it again in the name Chaucer. See Le Hericher's 
Glossaire cles noms propres, p. 39, s. v. calx. 

p. 16, 1. 474. nere hond quarter niaht, nearly nine p.m., the night 
lasting from six p.m. to six a.m. See also Camden's Remains (ed. 1870), 
p. 133 : he says, chauser = hosier. 

182 NOTES TO p. 16, 1. 478. 

p. 1C, 1. 478. 

And went to have fond the dor up by the hasp fy eke \>c twist 
Held him out a why Is. 

Does up here = open ? The German auf, and the Dutch op, have 
the two meanings up and open : may not the corresponding word in a 
kindred language have the same two meanings? In the Imperial Diet., 
s. v. open, we find : " it would seem to be a past part, of a verb formed 
from up, or at least is based on up." If so, in the line 

"The colde deth wyth mouthe gapyng upryght." 

Knight's Tale, 1. 1150, 

" a P vn g upryght " will mean " gaping right open." Again, when a 
knight in an encounter with his adversary is thrown from his horse, we 
are told over and over again that he "lay upright" : i. e. lay quite 
open or unprotected, his arms by his sides, and his spear fallen from 
his hand. Sometimes, instead of the words " lay upright," we are told 
that he " wyde open lay." 

"Wyde open on here back, 
Dede in the lyng." Sir Degrevant, 1. 3352 (Tliornton, 


" And strykes the duk throw the scheld 
Wyde open in the feld." Id. 1. 1293. 

" sweltand knyghtez 
Lyes wyde opyne vvelterande on waloparde stedez." 

Morte Arthur e, 1. 2147. 

Perhaps the meaning is preserved in the modern phrase " to set up 
shop," where up seems to mean open. Cp. " For this is the first day I 
set ope shop." Rowley and Webster's Cure for a Cuckold, p. 294, col. 1. 
Webster's Works (ed. Dyce). 

Perhaps " to cut up a fowl " may be explained in the same way. Also 

" the hevynly portis crystallyne 

Upwarpis braid." Gawin Douglas. Prolong of the Xllth 
Bult of Encados, 1. 19, 

where upwarpis braid seems to mean " cast wide open." Again in Gl. 
to Morris and Skeat's Specimens we have upon, open, and three instances 
are given from Allit. Poems. 

bye the hasp, &c. bye seems here to = but. Either it is an 
error of the scribe, or a dialectical corruption probably the latter. 
See Prof. Zupitza's Note on Guy of Warwick, 1. 7853. 
" Nay," seyde Gye, " but Mary sone," 

where the MS. has be. He also cites three lines in Generydes, where 
the editor prints but for be of the MS. To these instances I may add 

" Ne bidde ich no bet, lie ich [beo] a lesed a domesdai o beude." 

A Moral Ode, 1. 136. Trinity MS. (Specimens by Morris), 

where I have inserted beo from the Jesus MS. to make the line in 
telligible. For bie the Jesus MS. has bute. 

NOTES TO pp. 18 20, 11. 634 625. 183 

p. 18, 1. 534. the felishipp Ipat shuld nevir thmjue. Cp. 1. 1035, 
" To such maner company as shuld nevir thryue" 

p. 18, 1. 536. Jak, ]>ow must be fele. ? For fele read fell; then 
the meaning will be: "Ja'k, thou must be crafty: thou must have 
thy wits about thee." Cp. 11. 310-11 : "with half sclepy eye, Pourid 
fellich vnder hir hode." Also 1. 1833 ; "]?at sotil was &fell." Occleve 
(De Regimine Principum, st. 607) has': 

"What doth this J 'die man & prudent?" 

Again, " fykil was and felle," Tale of Gamelyn, and feille, skill, in 
Lancelot of the Laik, 1. 2854. 

p. 18, 1. 538. this is a noble chere That Ipow hym hast i-found. Here 
chere = chare, and the meaning will be " this is a splendid turn of 
luck." If we pronounce it as chore, as the Americans do, the rime with 
dore will be perfect. 

p. 18, 1. 550. / have too gistis a-ryn. Cp. 569, " beth these pannys 
a-ryn ? " 

In Murray's Diet., s. v. aroint, we find: " rynd-ta is merely a local 
(Cheshire) pronunciation of 'round thee, move round, move about!'" 
Perhaps therefore aryn may = around, about, which meaning will suit 
the two passages given above. See, however, the Glossary. 

Some maintain that the Shakesperian aroint is a doublet of" around," 
and this view seems to be supported by the following lines, which are 
found in a Moral Play, Mind, Will, and Understanding (Collier's Hist, 
of the English Drama, ii. 208, new ed.) ; where Lucifer says : 

" Eeson I haue made both dethe and dumme ; 
Grace is out and put aroin" 

Mr. Halliwell-Phillips in his Life of ShaTcespeare, i. 142 (7th ed.), 
gives us another form of this word ; he tells us that " arent the, wich," 
is found in one of the records of the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, which 
was written about Shakspere's time. 

p. 19, J. 563. I think it certain that the Paramour begins here : 
he came frequently to visit the Tapster (see 11. 54-55), so that he would 
know that the water-cans were in the place ; besides this the line 568 
in this speech is nearly the same as line 542, which is spoken by the 

p. 20, 11. 612-13. astert rimes with mark; also 11. 676-7 rype with 
pyJce ; 11. 781-2 londis with wrongis. 

p. 20, 1. 625. St. Juliane, the patron Saint of travellers, who 
provided them with a good night's lodging. Cp. 

" He says : ' Dame, for Saint July 1 
This night let me have herbary 

And als some vittalls till the morn.'" 

Roswall and, Lilian, 1. 253, in Laing's Early 

Metrical Romances. 

" ' This night,' quoth John. ' you shall not spill, 
Such harbour I shall bring you tille, 
I hett it you to day ; 

184 NOTES TO pp. 21 25, 11. 640 750. 

See that ye take it thankfully 
In Gods name and St. Joly, 
I aske no other paye.' " 

John de, Reeve, 166 (Bp. Percy's Folio, ii. 564). 
" they thanked God & St. Jollye, 
to tell the Queene of their harbor 

the lords had full grete pryde." Ibid. 581-572. 

See also Rauf Coilyear, p. 5, 1. 63, and note. 

p. 21, 1. 640. warrolc. Mr. Skeat offers three conjectural explana 
tions of this word. 1. The A.S. wearg, a wretch. 2. Possibly con 
nected with ware, wary. 3. Cf. the Sc. " warrock, a stunted, ill-grown 
person, or puny child," which Jamieson connects with the A.S. wear, a 
wart ; wearrig, callous with labour, knotty, rough. 

p. 21, 1. 640. I venture upon a fourth conjecture. Prof. Skeat in 
Gl. to the Wars of Alexander, s. v. warloJced, says : "pp. fettered, 769*. 
The same as warroJced ; see Gl. to P. Plowman" May not warroJc here 
mean " the fettered (one) " ? The dog had a clog about his neck. 

p. 22, 1. 667. for au^ht that Tpey coude pour, for tyey read he } ^ey 
being caught from preceding they. 

p. 22, 1. 674. helde him to hys harmys. ? does to here govern pre 
ceding him : then the meaning will be "kept his injuries to himself." 

p. 23, 1. 687. Lo ! how the trees * * * somer clothing [wear] ! 

? read : Lo ! how the trees grenyth, >at nakid wer, & nothing 
Bare jns month afore, but now her somer clothing ! 

p. 23, 1. 701. unlace his male. Cp. undid the bag of treachery, 
1. 1182. 

p. 23, 1. 715. my last knot. Cp. Thou sholdest Jenitte vp well a 
greet matere. Prologue to Parson's Tale, 1. 28 (ed. Skeat). 
To Jtnitte up al this feste & make an ende. Id. 47. 

p. 24, 1. 728. good will shall be my chaunce. chaunce here means 
" good fortune." Littre, s. v. " 2 e Absolument et abusivement, heureux 
hasard, bonne chance." Then the meaning of the sentence will be, u my 
wish to please will cause me to succeed." 

p. 24, 1. 728. With this I be excusid. with this = on condition 
that. Cp. 1. 3972, " With this I have saue condit;" and see Matzner, 
Sprachproben, 109/192, and note. 

p. 25, 1. 750. these olde wise poetes. Cp. 1. 196, these olde wise, 
where these = the well known. This usage is frequent, in M.E. In 
Latin we have ille used in this way, as in Antipater ille Sidonius. 
Forcellinus, s. v. ille, says : " ille nominibus, vel etiam adjectivis, tain 
in bonam quarn in malarn partem additur majoris evidentise ac emphasis 
gratia." So in Italian quello is used, and in German jener. Grimm, 
s. v. jener says : " auch sonst bei hervorhebung von etwas bekannten, 
wo jener fast nicht mehr sagt wie der blosse artikel." I give some 
instances from Faust : 

1st part. " Fluch jener hochsten Liebeshuld. 

in jener ersten Nacht" (first night after Creation). 

NOTES TO p. 26, 11. 776 789. 185 

2nd part. " \v\ejene Katze. 

Stimmen jener Himmelstage." 

Why the followers of Beryn are always termed " these Romeyns," I 
am unable to explain. 

p. 26, 1. 776. doseparis = douceperes, dou^e pairs, 12 peers of 
France. Spenser's use of the word is most amusing. He says : 

"Big-looking like a doughty doucepere" (Faerie Queene, III. x. 31). 

i. e. looking as bold as a twelve peer. W. W. S. 

p. 26, 1. 779. bon-cheff = good achievement, opposed to mys- 
clieff = bad achievement. W. W. S. 

p. 26, 1. 789. dessantly. continuously, incessantly. 

" pe seven sagis were 
In Rome dwelling dessantly." 

Cp. with this, " ffor thre dayis dessantly jje darknes among hem was," 
1. 1562. Also : 

" iii hunderit baptist men and wivis, 
pat desseli bathe late and are 
Ware tendant to J?e apostlis lare." 

Cursor Mundi, 1587/19033. 

Als if he desseli did ille." Id, 1. 26881 (Cotton MS.). 
The corresponding word in the Fairfax MS. is tyenli. For fyen Stratmann 
gives assiduus, diligens. 

" pat at \>Q last }?ai ordeined tuelve 
pe Jjoghtfulest among >em selve, 
And did Jjem in a montain dern 
[Biseli] to wait J?e stern." 
Cursor Mundi, 70/31. (Specimens by Morris and Skeat.) 

The Cotton MS. reads desselik for biseli, and at p. 490 we have a note 
by Mr. Goodchild of Penrith. " Dess is common in Swaledale in the 
sense of ' to pack tight or fit closely together.' Possibly the word 
desselic (p. 70, 1. 34), which is the reading of two MSS. (Cotton and 
Gottingen), may mean crowded together or gathered closely together. 
Cf. Icel. hey-des, a haystack. W. das, a stack ; dasu, to stack/' 

The word desselich in the five passages given above seems to refer 
to " time," and Halliwell's equivalent for it " constantly," s. v. dessable, 
suits the context in each case. In his Diet. Halliwell gives also dess- 
ment, stagnation ; dess therefore will mean " close, without intervals," 
whether applied to hay, time, or water. 

As to the form of the word, I suppose desse in desselich represents 
the past part, of the word dess, viz. dessen, and that dessant in dessantli 
is the Northern form of the same. On this point the use of the present 
for the past part, in Lowland Scottish, see Sir David Lyndesay's 
Monarche, 1. 5517, and note (E. E. Specimens by Skeat). 

p. 26, 1. 789. Seven Sages. See Mr. Wright's ed. and his dissertation 
in Hazlitt's ed. of Warton, i. 305-334. In the poem ed. by Wright, the 
sages are : 

BERYN, II. 13 

186 NOTES TO pp. 26 33, 11. 797 1019. 

1. Baucillas. 

2. Ancillees = Asulus? 

3. Lentulus. 

4. Maladas. 

5. Cato. 

6. Jesse. 

7. Marcius. W. W. S. 
p. 26, 1. 797. sownyd out of reson. ? For reson read seson. 

p. 27, 1. 810. as wele me my^ht Tiaue clepid. ? For clepid read 
crepid ; crepe = crepitate (see Cockeram's Diet., 1626), break wind, 
p. 27, 1. 812. changit onys chere ; before chere insert his. 
p. 27, 1. 817. Angir or disese. Halliwell s. v. anger gives : " sorrow 
(A.S.)," and cites instances, in one of which we have angere and disese. 
Angre in this sense is frequent in Hampole's Pricke of Conscience. 

p. 27, 1. 822. Stypio and Sithero. It's the old mistake of t for c : 
many scribes write Si for Sc. " Stypio " means Scipio, arid " Sithero " 
means Sichero (Cicero). W. W. S. 

In the French Romance they are termed cipio and cithero, which 
confirms preceding note. 

p. 27, 1. 822-3. They were named Stypio Astrolage, and Sithero 
Astrol age. Astrolage = astrologer. W. W. S. 

p. 27, 1. 824. Astronomy in O.E. means often what we now call 
astrology. W. W. S. 

p. 27, 1. 824. of Astronomy al the fences. ? Here fences = defences, 
and means prohibitions of setting out on a journey on a certain day 
and the like ; see Skeat's note to the Man of Lawes Tale, 1. 312. 

p. 28, 1. 837. His sportis & his estris. ? For sportis read portis ; 
"his doors and his apartments." 

p. 28, 11. 855-6. delites, pris. A strange rime. Is this another 
instance of a t being written for a c, and may we read delices (= 
pleasures) ? See Halliwell, s. v. and " delices," Cursor Mundi, 1. 23284. 
p. 28, 1. 867. inlich gentil. Cp. 1. 1098 : inwardlich sory. Halli 
well, s. v. inly says : " inwardly, deeply, thoroughly." The words inlich 
arid imoardlich, used in this sense, were great favourites with the M.E. 
writers. The writer of Generydes uses them frequently. 

p. 31, 1. 959. Save that tournith al to cautele, except that that (viz. 
glosing) turns entirely to deceit. 

p. 32, 1. 974. But of my remembraunce. 

" Yeur deth mol nevir, I moot it wele, but evir be in mynde " 
i. e. your death will never, I know well, be out of my remembrance, but 
be ever in my mind. 

p. 32, 1. 987. & I lafft yew leliynde. A blunder of our author's ; 
he means " & yew lafft me behynde." 

p. 33, 1. 1012. lewde visenage. ? visenage = vixen, with suffix age ; 
cp. Rosan for Roxana in the Wars of Alexander (E. E. Text Society). 

p. 33, 1. 1019. Ner thou my father's messenger wer. Cp. Ner ne 
wer : for this Hampole uses warn war ne. 

NOTES TO pp. 33 38, 11. 1032 1196. 187 

" Elles suld \>e hert, thurgh sorow & care, 
Ouertyte fayle, warn som hope ware ; . . . 
And men says, ' warn hope ware, it suld brest.' ; ' 

Hampole's PricTte of Conscience, 11. 7259-7266. 
" war ne syn war" Id. 2342. 

These lines are cited in note on 1. 220, Sunday Homilies in Verse (A). 
(Specimens by Morris and Skeat.) 

p. 33, 1. 1032. The death of Agea sprang about the town. Cp. 
1. 3213, " It was I-spronge Jmrh the toun." This word is very fre 
quently used in this sense by the M.E. writers : we find a still earlier 
use of it in the A.S. Gospel of St. Mark i. 28. Thorpe's Analecta, p. 130. 

p. 35, 1. 1087. the serkill celestyne is the primum motile. After 
enumerating, in their ascending order, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the 
Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Fixed Stars, Dante goes on to say : 
* ' lo nono [sito] e quello che non e sensibile se non per questo 
movimento che e detto di sopra, lo quale chiamano molti Cristallino, 
cioe diafano, ovvero tutto trasparente. Veramente, fuori di tutti questi, 
li Cattolici pongono lo Cielo Empireo, che e a dire Cielo di fiamma, 
ovvero luminoso ; e pongono, esso essere immobile, per avere in se, 
secondo ciascuna parte, cio che la sua materia vuole. E questo e 
cagione al primo mobile per avere velocissimo movimento ; che per lo 
ferventissimo appetito che ha ciascuna parte di quello nono Cielo, che e 
immediato a quello, d'essere congiunta con ciascuna parte di quello 
Cielo divinissimo, Cielo quieto, in quello si rivolve con tanto desiderio, 
che la sua velocita e quasi incomprensibile : e quieto e pacifico e lo 
luogo di quella somma Deita che se sola compiutamente vede. Questo 
luogo e di Spiriti beati, secondo che la santa Chiesa vuole, che non puo 
dire menzogna i e Aristotile pare cio sentire, chi bene lo 'ntende, nel 
primo di Cielo e Hondo? Convito, Tratt. II., cap. iv. S. 

p. 35, 1. 1098. [And] With the vii sagis. ? For [And] With read 
With [that] = thereupon. Cp. 1. 1181, "Rame with \at gan si3he." 

p. 36, 1. 1112. ipat she my^t be shryne to all other wymmen t an 
object for other women to visit and gaze on. Cp. with this : 
" She is playnly expresse 
Egeria, the goddesse 
And lyke to her image, 
Emportured with corage, 
A lovers pilgrimage." 

Skelton's PUyllyp Sparowe, 1. 1157-1161, 

where I take a lover's pilgrimage to mean an object for a lover to make 
a pilgrimage to ; I bring forward this explanation, however, with 

p. 37, 1. 1167. spakfulfeir with hym. Perhaps the reading of the 
MS. spal may be retained, as preterite of spell, ' speak ' ; possibly it 
means " she spoke bewitchingly " (cp. the sbst. spell), " talked him over." 
p. 38, 1. 1196. so hi$e & mode. In Le Bone Florence (Ritson), 1. 90, 
we have " swete and swaro." Perhaps for & in both cases we should 
read on, or of. Cp. " so lowe I was of mode," 1. 2129. 

188 NOTES TO pp. 3941, 11. 1217 1308. 

p. 39, 1. 1217. / had levir he were I-sod. Ogilvie's Diet, gives a 
verb sod, to cover with sod, to turf. At the present day " lie's under 
the sod " may now and then be heard. 

p. 39, 1. 1229. The devill hym spech. ? For speche read spede. The 
words " the devill hym spede " occur four or five times elsewhere in this 
tale. Probably the che in speche was caught from reche, which follows. 

p. 39, 1. 1244. aweynyd. aweyn, disaccustom, cp. G. entwuhnen, 
seems to be the correct form of the word, the later wean having lost a 
significant prefix ; the same is the case with manse, excommunicate, for 
amanse. See Stratmann, s. v. mansian. 

p. 40, 1. 1250. merellis. A game somewhat like fox and geese, 
called also nine men's morris, and five-penny morris, played upon a 
board by two persons, each having nine pawns or counters. It was 
often played in the open air, the lines of the merelle board being then 
cut out in the turf. Shakspere mentions the game in this form, Mid. 
N. D., II. i. 98. Further particulars, and a woodcut of a 14th cent, 
merelle table, will be found in Strutt's Sports and Pastimes, ed. Hone, 
1845, bk. IV. chap. ii. pp. 317-18. Sherwood calls it: "(The boyish 
game) five-pennie morris. Le jeu de merelles." Cotgrave, ed. 1632, 
Eng.-Fr. s. v. Morris. * Mereau * * * selon Monet, jeton pour compter.' 
Roquefort, s. v. * Mereau,' and see also ' Merellier.' S. 

p. 40, 1. 1267. rekelagis = rigolagis = diversions. Littre gives a 
verb rigoler[se], of which he says : "v. reflex. Terme vieilli. Se divertir, 
faire une petite debauche ; v. n. Terme populaire. Eigoler, meme sens." 
The word is found also in the Cursor Mundi, 1652/47, Laud MS. 

" Ensample hereby to hem I say, 
That rage in her ryot allewey, 
In Eiot and in rygolage," 

Here Bedford MS. has Ricolage. See also Cursor Mundi, 10/49, where 
Cotton MS. has rygolage, Fairfax and Trinity ricolage, and Gottingen 
(which is a Northern MS.) rekelage. 

p. 41, 1. 1283. Vel fikill flaptail Vel = wel, very, fikill, deceitful ; 
op. Heo ne couthe of no fikelyng, and answerede not so (said of Cordelia). 
La^amon (in Matzner), 156/32, and note. 

p. 41, 1. 1288. And lepe out of the chambir. as who seyd " cut ", 
" as if one said to him ' cut. 1 " Cut was a term of reproach, probably 
meaning gelding. See Nares, s. v. 

p. 41, 1. 1295. vnllokis. ? undergarments. Perhaps it is connected 
with wilie-coat, the origin of which word is unknown ; see Jamieson. 

p. 41, 1. 1300. ffor seth mm aray ! for thy vilany. ? after for insert 
God, which perhaps the scribe omitted from reverential feelings ; cp. 
1. 1275. At the same time I should remark that Geoffrey begins a 
speech, 1. 3253, with the word ffor. For thy read thys, thys vilany 
meaning "the vilainous appearance I make." 

p. 41, 1. 1308. ffor tho he first gan to glow a sory mans hede. Here 
glow = clow = claw, g and c are frequently confounded by the 

NOTES TO pp. 41 44, 11. 1309 1410. 189 

scribes ; which may easily be explained in the case of those who wrote 
from dictation. In this tale, 1. 8, we probably have capes for gapes. 

Cp. also " 20 be so fayre, lyme & lythe, 

And therto comly glad tharw", 
That cemmely hyt ys to see." 
Syre Gaivane and the Carle of Carelyle, 1. 190 (ed. Madden), 

where for glad read clad. Again we are told that Gengis Khan be 
comes Camlymcan in the Squieres Tale ; glaize, the white of an egg, is 
from the Latin clarus, and we find Icnawen for gnawen in the MS. of 
the Mirrour of Magistrates, p. 296 of Skeat's Specimens ; perhaps also 
in this way arose the early use of can for gan. As to clow for claw, 
Halliwell tells us that this is a Cumbrian usage. It is evident that our 
author wrote his tale in the dialect of some Northern county, with a 
sprinkling of Southern forms, which he picked up when a monk at 

As to the meaning of the expression, Jamieson tells us that to claw 
an auld man's pow is a vulgar phrase, signifying to live to old age, and 
that it is often negatively addressed to a man who lives hard, Ye'll never 
claw, &c. If therefore " to claw an old man's head " means to become 
an old man, " to claw a sorry man's head " will mean " to become a 
sorry man," and the line before us will mean that Beryn then became 
really sorry for the first time in his life. 

p. 41, 1309. Icepe thy cut, be faithful to thyself. The editors of 
Nares, s. v. keep cut, cite : 

"A pretty playfellow, chirp it would, 

And hop & fly to fist ; 
Keep cut, as twere a usurers gold, 
And bill me when I list." 

Cotgrave's Wits Interpreter, 1671, p. 176. 

Keep cut therefore seems to = keep touch, stand the test, like gold ; 
but how it got this meaning I cannot say. 

p. 42, 1. 1342. That he had part of sorowe, me thinkith \at my^i 
avowe. Cp. 1. 2467, part of sapience ; and 1. 3122, parcell of his 
sapience. The meaning of the line is: "that he fell into a swoon, I 
think, shows that he was sorry." 

p. 42, 1. 1350. alto tare his ere, . . . With many a bittir tere = 
tore his hair, at the same time shedding many a bitter tear. 

p. 43, 1. 1365. The poet here makes Fortune masculine ; so also 
Nature, 1. 689 ; and the City of Rome, 1. 736 ; Beryn's rnantell, 1. 2428 ; 
Foly, 1. 2319, and a knyfe, 1. 2345. 

p. 44, 1. 1393. wel a fyne. Cp. Professor Zupitza's note in Guy of 
Warwick ; he decides that well and fyne is the correct form. 

p. 44, 1. 1410. And herde Beryn made his mone. Cp. " Has doon 
fraught," Man of Lawes Tale, 1. 171 (ed. Skeat), and note thereon ; also 

"Whose fathers he caus'd murder 'd in those wars." 

Green's Georrje-a- Greene (ed. Dyce), p. 269, col. 1. 

190 NOTES TO pp. 45 49, 11. 1425 1560. 

"The lorde halpe with inyrthe & play 
Tollyd his oune wyf away." 

Seven Sages, 1. 3051 (ed. T. Wright). 

p. 45, 11. 1425 1442. Faunus usually addresses his son as ihou : 
so in this speech he begins with thou, but being softened by his recol 
lections of Agea, at 1. 1437 he changes to ^ewe. The son always 
addresses the father as yewe. Faunus addresses Rame, 1. 1536, as thou, 
though he usually calls her you : on that occasion he is upset with joy- 
fulness. This change from you to ihou is found as late as the year 
1757. In Foote's Englishman returned from Paris (Modern British 
Drama, vol. v. p. 263), Crabb first addresses Mac-ruth in as you; then 
getting out of temper, thou's him ; then subsiding a little, he returns 
to you, and finally breaks out again into thou. Again, at p. 270, 
Lucinda, conversing with Burke, commences by addressing him as you, 
but soon breaks out into thou, upon which he retaliates with the same 
disrespectful pronoun. On the whole the use of thou may be said to 
indicate strong feeling, good or bad, or superior station. 

p. 45, 1. 1439. / shall jit, or eue [come], that Bergeyn vndirtake. 
Cp. 1. 1486, " onys or it be eve that I shall do my devoir." This ex 
pression " or it be eve " we find very frequently in the M.E. writers, 
who borrowed it from the French ; in the Histoire de Berinus, chap, 
liii. ad fin, we have : " sil eut este dans leur puissance, logres f ut de 
royaume de blandie saisi, avant quil eut este la vespree." Cp. also " ere 
it was nyght." Squieres Tale, 1. 460, ed. Skeat. 

p. 46, 1. 1460. a redy for to snache. Cp. 1. 659. Perhaps the a- 
represents the older je. Dr. Morris in his note on the word jeredie, 
An Bispel, 1. 152 (Specimens), says: " in Piers Plowman we find iredi 
and aredi ; aredinese occurs in Bacon's Advancement of Learning, and in 
our English Bible, 2 Cor. x. vi." 

It may be observed in favour of the meaning all, attributed to it in 
the Gl., that at 11. 23, 484, we have al redy. 

p. 46, 1. 1473. And as sone as And hi^ed And told and made. 
There is no apodosis in this sentence. We find a similar one in 
Chaucer's Prologe of the Wyf of Bath, 11. 818 822, when and and. 

p. 46, 1. 1477. She hullid hym & mollid hym. For hullid, covered 
with her arms, embraced, cp. 

"how hertily J>e herdes wyf hides f>at child, 
& hov fair it fed, & fetisliche it bathede." 

William of Paler ne, 1. 97 (E. E. Text Soc.). 

As to moll, slobber over, see Gl. ; perhaps this word appears in the 
term mollicoddle, and that may be explained as " one who has been 
moiled and coddled." 

p. 46, 1. 1478. kite = belly ; see Jarnieson. 

p. 48, 1. 1536. my hertis swete. ? for hertis read herte. So again, 
1. 2801, for "a mannys hertis" read herte. 

p. 49, 1560. had loedir at will. Frequent in the M.E. writers, who 
have taken it from the French ; cp. Histoire de Berinus, sign. H 1, col. 

NOTES TO pp. 49 57, 11. 1580 1837. 191 

2, " ils eurent vent a gre et voulente:" ibid. sign. NN 4, col. 1, " ils 
eurerit vent a voulente.' 1 

p. 49, I. 1580. strothir. 1. 1884, strodir = steor-rojpir = steering 
rudder. This was corrupted into strothir. See Wright's Vocab. i. 48, 
col. 1. "Remus, steor-rojjir," lit. a steering paddle. 

p. 49, 1. 1582. That my^te abaten of the Shipp the Ipiknes of a skale. 
?for Shipp read myst, Shipp being caught from Shippis in preceding line. 

p. 50, 1. 1604. Lace on a bonet or twain. An additional part laced 
to the foot of the jibs, or other fore- and aft- sails, in small vessels in 
moderate weather, to gather more wind. The} r are commonly one-third 
of the depth of the sails they belong to. Thus we say : "Lace on the 
bonnet" or "Shake off the bonnet." Admiral Smyth's Sailor's Word 
book, 1867, p. 118. F. J. F. 

In the French romance the description of the storm and succeeding 
mist is despatched very briefly, and no nautical terms are used ; our 
author gives us fifty lines or so on this subject, and uses nautical terms, 
from which I infer that in early life he was a seafaring man : he also 
uses the word cond, 1. 3995, which we are told is a seaman's term. 

p. 51, 1. 1652. Now wold to God I had wherof, or coude make yewe 
cher. Cp. 1. 1729, " had wherof plente ; " to have wherof is a translation 
of the French avoir de quoi : of which Littre, says : " familierement etre 
dans Taisance" At the present day we say : " 1 havn't the wherewithal" 
and "one doesn't know his whereabouts." Cp. also "every man, who had 
whereof, shulde peynen him." Mandeville, Prologue to the Voiage, 1. 60. 

p. 52, 1. 1682. Ipat failid neuer of lakh, lakk = fault; cp. lac, Gl. 
to Havelok (ed. Skeat). Dutch lak, fault. Dr. Furnivall suggests 
" game," from A.S. lakan. 

p. 53. 11. 1709-10. And had enquerid of the Child and told his mas 
ters name. The subject (viz. the Child) is omitted before told. This 
is frequent in this poem and elsewhere. Cp. 1. 1746, and see Prof. 
Zupitza's note to Guy of Warwick, 1. 10. 

p. 54. half a myle, the time it takes to walk half a mile. This is 
a common usage, probably adopted from the French cp. une grande 
loee (lieue Stunde) in Gl. to Bartsch's Chrestomathie. 

p. 55, 1. 1762. To " shake a ring" seems to be O.E. for "ring the 
bell." W. W. S. 

p. 55, 1. 1790. ^purh-out the world. Read worlds wyde to rime with 
ryde ; worlde wyde is a common expression. 

p. 57, 1. 1837. gesolreut the haut. i. e. Gr-so-l, re, ut the high, or 
G-sol, re, upper C. G-sol means the note G, called Sol by singers. Me 
is the note D, and ut is the note C ; ut the haut is C in the octave, or 
upper C. Ut is never used now : Do is used for it. W. W. S. 

"Gesolreut the haut" means "at an exceedingly high pitch of 
voice. There are two Gesolreuts in the old scale, the one an octave 
above Gamma, and the second two octaves above Gamma. It is to the 
last gesolreut the haut applies. The name is a long one for a single 
note, but it means only one, viz. G." Oct. 23 [1871], W. CHAPPELL. 

192 NOTES TO pp. 5764, 11. 18382084. 

p. 57, 1. 1838. in kenebowe. See Skeat's Diet. s. v. akimbo. 

p. 57, 11. 1847-48. tyme rimed with by me occurs in Chaucer (see 
Ryme-Index), and gives a final e. W. W. S. See also to me rimed 
with lome, 11. 1700-1. 

p. 57, 1. 1851. endenting every pase, in zigzag manner, like the 

edge of an indenture. Cp. 

" they took 

Their staves in hand, and at the good man strook, 
But by indenturing still the good man scaped." 

Heywood's Hierarchy of Angels, 1635, p. 134. 

p. 59, 1. 1916. what charge \e Shippis bere. charge = cargo, which 
latter word is Spanish ; the two words are doublets. See Skeat's Diet, 
p. 59, 1. 1918. in his uoice. For' his read hi] = high, 
p. 59, 1. 1922. let tuk le meyn, let touch the hand. A bargain was 
settled by joining hands. * See Prof. Skeat on the word " tucker." 
Transactions of Phil. Soc. for 1885-6, p. 328. 

p. 60, 1. 1948. & fond a-mys. Perhaps the hyphen may be deleted, 
as the verb requires an accusative after it. 

p. 60, 1. 2061. howe euir so yee taue. ?for yee read he, yee being 
caught from preceding yee : then the words will mean, "however lie 
may pull against you." Jamieson gives tawe, to pull, and tawan, 
reluctance, and Halliwell tave, kick. Cp. also " to tow a boat," and for 
the rime 11. 1257/8, withdrawe, have. 

p. 61, 1. 1978. 3is trulich, the tite; the tite = it betideth thee i. e. 
thou must do it. Cp. 

" Opbreyde me tyt of many on 

Of Jjyne riche kynne." 

St. Alexius (E. E. Text Society), Trinity MS., 1. 155. 
p. 61, 1. 1987. Now fele in hir wittis & eke undirstonde. The M.E. 
writers frequently use fele in this sense, especially the author of 
Generydes. Cp. also 

"Neilef Jxm nouht to/efe 
uppe the see >at floweth." 

Proverbs of Alfred, 1, 196 (Spee. by Morris) 
where fele = think, meditate. 

p. 62, 1. 2010. Read cried "out & harowe" 

p. 63, 1. 2039. they com into ])e plase. Plase here means Court 
house. Cp. 1. 3451, " therfor, Sir Steward, ye occupy our place ; " here 
our is a form of your, and our place (= your plase) does not mean your 
seat on the bench as it would at the present day, but your court-house. 
Plase sometimes signifies a mansion, chief house of the neighbourhood ; 
so 1. 1636, we have : " waytid on his ry^ht-bond a Manciples place." 
Also see Skeat's note on Sir Thopas, 1. 1910 : " At Pepering, in the 
place." Cp. New Place at Stratford-on-Avon ; the name, however, is 
frequent in England and Wales. 

p. 64, 1. 2075. & suyd = and to have sued. W. W. S. 
p. 64, 11. 2083-4. To make condempnyd and examened rime, we 
must delete the second e in examened and pronounce examned. At 11. 

NOTES TO pp. 6470, 11. 2092 2275. 193 

2380-1, for-skramyd rimes with examenyd, where we must pronounce 

p. 64, 1. 2092. Ipat on me ben surmysid. We have the correspond 
ing English term, I. 2103, " Of jjing that I shall put on ^ew." 

p. 65, 1. 2123. for offt time, for is here intensitive and = very ; 
cp. 1. 268, for curteisly. 

p. 65, 1. 2128. his : the old idiom. We now say " For sucking 
of him," or "As for his sucking." W. W. S. 

p. 67, 1. 2194. Ipan he did his shippis or his good, dele the words 
he did: the metre of this Tale is very irregular, but will not tolerate a 
line of this length. 

p. 67, 1. 2196. a-mure. At 1. 2806 we have a-myrid apparently 
in a directly contrary sense. Perhaps in the passage before us we may 
read i-myre, put in the mire, as in 1. 3388 ; cp. 1. 304, " i-loggit al 
ny^t in a myere;" our author is always repeating himself. It may 
possibly however be from A.S. amyrran, to mar, destroy. 

p. 68, 1. 2213. ensensid = insensed = informed. To 'insense' is 
to drive sense into people: common in Norfolk. [And in Devonshire 
also, I've been told. S.] 

" It's a wonder somebody doesn't insense him about it," he con 
tinued, " but I hope they'll not, for I want him to come down to our 
part just once more, that I may sattle wi' him for what he said to Miss 
Mary." Ralf Skirlaugh, by Edw. Peacock, 1st edit. 1871, vol. iii. 
p. 99. W. W. S. 

p. 68, 1. 2227. doith eke man appeir. For eke read eche ; appeir = 
impair, from Fr. pire, worse. 

p. 68, I. 2228. & falle in dispeir. The context seems to require 
"fallith," the subject he being omitted. 

p. 69, 1. 2266. Ipey had no cause to yelp. For Ipey read he, viz. 

p. 70, 1. 2275. mi dromodarijs. Dromodarijs is here put for 
dromonds, swift vessels. Cp. 

" Wyth eighty shyppes of large towre, 
Wyth dromedaries of great honour." 

TJie Squyer of Lowe Degre, 1. 817. 

In Guy of Warwick, 1. 5805, we find the converse error, dromonde for 
dromedary, which Prof. Zupitza thinks probably arose from the author's 
ignorance of natural history. In the Morte Arthure (ed. Brock), 1. 2286, 
we have 

" They drevve out of dromotidaries dyuerse lordes" 

where dromondaries evidently = dromonds. In the Taill of Rauf 
Coillyear (ed. Herrtage), 1. 807, a " knicht on ane camell" who is a 
Saracen, comes to encounter Sir Rauf, and after the encounter we are 
told that " baith thair hors deid lay," 1. 817 ; besides which the animal 
on which the Saracen rode is termed a " blonk " and a " steid " ; therefore 
here the word " carnell " is evidently used for a horse. It is not sur 
prising that this confusion has arisen : the words dromond and dromedary 

194 NOTES TO pp. 70 73, 11. 2289 2408. 

have both the same meaning, viz. runner, the only difference between 
the two words being that the latter has an adjectival suffix, so that they 
are both equally applicable to a ship and a horse. The author of Rauf 
Coilyear seems to have fallen into his error in this way ; first, he 
thought that the word " dromedary " might be used for " horse " ; then 
having learnt that a dromedary was a sort of camel, he used the word 
" camel " also for a horse. Possibly, when we read of a Christian knight 
riding on a dromedary, as in the Morte Arfhure, 1. 2941, "dromedary" 
only means a swift horse. The surname Drummond is probably from 
this word, dromond, ship. 

p. 70, 1. 2289. neuir have mery. mery seems to be put here for 
merriment. The absence of the substantival suffix is frequent in M.E. 
writers ; cp. 1. 3493, desperate of mind. Again, 1. 1431, we have : " our 
diete shall be mery & solase:" here either mery = merriment, or 
solace = solacious, as the two words must either be both substantives 
or both adjectives. 

p. 70, 1. 2293. Ther may no man hale murdir, ^pat it woll out at last. 
The negative is omitted in the secondary sentence ; this arises from a 
confusion of two constructions ; see Prof. Zupitza's note on Guy of 
Warwick, 1. 1301-3. To instances there cited, may be added, 
" There was none that he mette, 
And his spere on hym wold sette, 
That after within a lyttel stounde 
Hors & man bothe went to ground." 

Ipom-ydon, 1. 541 (Weber). 

Also Richard Goer de Lion, 1. 3500 (Weber) ; Sir Beves of Hamtoun, 
1. 1412 (ed. Kolbing) ; and Tale of Gamelyn, 11. 511-12. 

p. 71, 1. 2319. ffoly, I hauntid it evir, &c. A redundant object. S. 
p. 72, 1. 2348. to speke of had-I-wist. Prof. Earle (Philology of 
E. Tongue, p. 514) cites : 

"And kepe J?e wel from hadde-y-wiste" 

Bdbees Boolt, p. 15 (ed. Furnivall). 
" When dede is doun, hyt is to lat ; 
be ware of had-y-wyst" 

p. 72, 1. 2349. the man, that he stert. Here that he = who ; this 
is frequent in Chaucer and other M.E. writers. 

p. 72, 11. 2356-7. raftris, aftir. Cp. this rime with that of wers, 
ther, 11. 3444-5. 

p. 73, 1. 2388. began to preche. For preche read prece, press on. 
Both sense and rime require the change. 

p. 73, 1. 2397. For Itye read lite. Dr. Furnivall however suggests 
that li^t may stand, as lightly. 

p. 73, 1. 2408. outid all yeur chaffare. Jamieson, s. v. outing, a 
vent for commodities, cites : " sale & outing of his wares " ; see id. s. v. 
out, and Canon Yeoman's Tale, 1. 834 (ed. Skeat). This phrase is used 
in a metaphorical sense in MarchanCs End Link, 1. 3438. See also 
Wyf of Bathe's Prologe, 1. 521 (ed. Morris). 

NOTES TO pp. 74 81, 11. 2436 2673. 195 

p. 74, 1. 2436. ? For contremen read contreman. 

p. 75, 1. 2450. Sir Clekam, from cleiks, s. pi. a cramp in the legs, 
to which horses are subject ; so denominated, because it cleiks, and as 
it were holds up their hinder legs. Jarnieson's Diet. But see Gl. 

p. 77, 1. 2515. cly^te, closed ; cp. 

" Than com en her frendes hem to, 
And seide : ' alas ! whi seie ye so, 
In your armour so fast yclijt?'" Cursor Mundi, 1648/717. 

The word is from A.S. beclusian; cp. " beclused inne castle." La^amon 
in Matzner, 31/14138. 

p. 78, 1. 2563. at all \at I shuld stonde cler. i. e. that T should 
stand clear of all charges. These inversions are frequent in this tale. 
Cp. 11. 3133-4, " so ferforth atte laste Thurh vertu of myne office, fat," 
which == " so ferforth, fat atte laste, thurh vertu of myne office." 

p. 78, 1. 2569. That ye woll hold me couenante, & I will yew also 
= if you will keep word with me I will keep word with you ; cp. 11. 
3547-8. This construction is frequent. It appears in many of our 
proverbs, as " Marry in haste, and repent at leisure," " Stuff a cold, 
and starve a fever," and -others. It is found in mediaeval and modern 

p. 78, 1. 2583. I-seclid & fixid them a nye. Again c for t; for 
I-seclid read isetlid, as Urry does, and cp. 1. 1742, " ysetlid ne fixid in 
the wose." 

p. 79, 1. 2590. ? before fey insert f ou$e. 

p. 79, 1. 2606. f e lawe wold graunte anoon. ? For anoon read noon, 
i. e. no opportunity of proving your case. 

p. 80. 1. 2624. ffor of wele & ellis it is thy day final = this day 
will decide finally as to whether you have good fortune or other fortune. 
Cp. 1. 1122, " So what for drede & ellis they were bothe ensuryd," *. e. 
for fear and other feeling, viz. fear of the Emperor and personal liking. 
Ellis & else are sometimes used as adjectives or pronouns ; cp. Kiny 
John, Act II. scene i, where the King says : " I bring you witnesses," 
and the Bastard interposes with : " Bastards and else'' 1 

p. 80, 1. 2637. Deupardeux = de part dieu ; see Prologue to Man 
of Lawes Tale, 1. 39, and Prof. Skeat's note thereon. The corre 
sponding English oath seems to have been : " a Goddes half," where 
half = part. 

p. 81, 1. 2661. Grew = Greek. Cp. 

"And fast disputed with the griiiex." Cursor Mundi, 1597/19739. 

For the dropping of the final k, cp. warlau = warlok, and sll = slik = 
Biiilk, which are both common in the Cursor Mundi. 

p. 81, 1. 2673. In denmarlc he was goten and I-bore also. In the 
French romance also Esop is represented as having been born in Den 
mark ; why so, it is difficult to say; but perhaps the following extract 
from the Foreign Quarterly Review, No. XXXV. p. 193, will throw some 
light upon the subject. " We are inclined also to think that during 

196 NOTES TO pp. 82 84, 11. 2697 2791-. 

the 12th and 13th centuries, and perhaps later, it was very common, 
when people would tell a legend, supposed to have happened in another 
land, to place its locality in Denmark : we have thus in Giraldus a 
story of a household spirit who served a bishop in Denmark (perhaps 
the oldest form of the story of Hudekin) ; we have several stories 
among our saints' legends whose scene is in Denmark ; and the oldest 
form in which we have yet met with the story of Shakespeare's Shylock 
is in an Anglo-Latin Manuscript, where it is said to have occurred in 
Denmark. Had the name of Denmark been thus accidentally intro 
duced the story might have been adventitious to that country, and yet 
might at a later period have localized itself there." 

p. 82, 1. 2697. wonde = fear, see Stratmann, s. v. wandien. 

p. 82, 1. 2701. And eve afore = on the evening before ; perhaps 
for and we should read an (= on). 

p. 83, 1. 2723. The keveryng of-bove, is of selondyn. In the French 
romance we have in this passage cassidoine (= modern calcedoine) : 
and for salidone, 1. 3302, we have sardoine ( sardonyx). Probably 
both salidone and selondyn are corruptions of sardoine. 

p. 83, 1. 2726. he my^t be disware of his owne lyve = he might 
unawares lose his life. Cp. 1. 3393, " of Jje lyve They wishid that they 
were," i. e. they wished that they were dead. In the phrase " to be of 
J?e lyve;" of = "off, out of;" cp. also the common phrase, "to do of 

p. 83, 1. 2728. what thing come forty, for in forby = forth. Cp. 
"forthby as they go," Chaucer's Legend of Phillis. ad fin. Forby = 
by or past. 

p. 84, 1. 2758. And mowe, as they were quyk, Jcnawe the sotill engyne. 
The only meaning I can extract from this perplexing passage is " and 
they may, as if they were alive, acknowledge the subtle skill (of 
Tholomeus) ; " but ? 

p. 84, 1. 2772. tregetours, jugglers ; see Tyrwhitt's note on the 
Canterbury Tales, 1. 11453. He derives the word from treget, frequently 
used by Chaucer for deceit, and treget from trebuchet, the French name 
for a military engine, which is called by Chaucer trepeget. Trebuchet 
in French signified also a machine for catching birds. 

p. 84, 1. 2774. ]?e arte of apparene. For apparene read apparence, 
the art of producing apparitions, which word we find four times in the 
Frankeleyne's Tale (ed. Morris, 11. 412, 426, 529, and 858); also in 
Lydgate's Dance of Macabre, cited in Tyrwhitt's note, which is referred 
to in note next preceding this ; aperance we find in the Testament 
of Creseide, 1. 142 (ed. Laing). 

p. 84, 1. 2775. That they make semen wormys, i. e. that they cause 
serpents to appear seemingl}-. 

p. 84, 1. 2791. as a dentour wriythe, goes zigzag like an indenture. 
" If a deed be made by more parties than one, there ought to be 
regularly as many copies of it as there are parties, and each ' was 
formerly' cut or indented ('either' in acute angles instar dentium, like 

NOTES TO p. 87, 11. 2874 2899. 197 

the teetli of a saw, * or more usually ' in a waving line) on the top or 
side, to tally or correspond with the other ; which deed, so made, was 
called an indenture." Blackstone's Commentaries, ed. Kerr, 1862, vol. 
ii. p. 290. Further particulars may be found in Spelman's Glossarium 
Archaiologicum, and Cowell's Law Dictionary, s. vv. ' Indenture,' and 
1 Indenture.' S. 

p. 87, 1. 2874. imade al my wanlase, driven all my deer to a stand. 
Jamieson, s. v. wanlas says: " at the wanlas, accidentally, without 
design." We find a word much resembling this in A.S. only inverted ; 
le.aswene, false opinion, from waenan, wenan, to think, and leas, with 
out. This was evidently used in E. as a term of the chase. Wanlass 
(a term in hunting), as Driving the Wanlass, i. e. the driving of deer to 
a stand ; which in some Latin records is termed Fugatio Wanlassi ad 
stabulum, and in Doomsday Book, Stabilitio Venationis. Phillips. " Illi 
custumarii solebant fugare Wanlassum ad stabulum, i. e. to drive the 
deer to a stand, that the lord may have a shoot ; Blount ap. Cowell" 

The word therefore seems to have meant, 1st, thoughtless or 
thoughtlessness ; 2nd, a deer running thoughtlessly or at random ; and 
Srdly, the act of driving the deer so running to a stand, in which sense 
it is used in the passage before us. We also find wanlessour for 

huntsman : 

" The wandlessoures went throw the forest, 

And to the lady brought many a best, 

Hert & hynde, &c." Ipomydon, 1. 387 (Weber). 

We also find the word wanles in the Cursor Mundi, 1. 23996 : 

" Bot quhen i sagh thaa juus snell 
Kise again my son sa fell, 
Ful wanles wex I then," 

where wanles = destitute of thought, at a loss what to do. Cp. also 
" will of vayn." Barbour's Bruce, 1. 225 (Morris and Skeat's Specimens]. 

p. 87, 1. 2886. ovir the lord. " * * * the Frenchemen had the 
victorye, and toke two great shyppes of Eriglande with great ryches, 
and caryed them with them into the Frenche stremys, and cast the men 
oner the borde" Rastell's Pastime of People, 1525, ed. T. F. Dibdin, 1811, 
p. 215. S. 

p. 87, 1. 2899. the saylis stonden al a-cros. p. 90, 1. 2995. make 
cros-saill. A friend obliged me with the following note on these 
phrases. S. 

" Neither of the phrases you mention is used now, nor in truth any 
words very like them that I know of. I can only guess that ' make 
cros-saill' may refer to the course to be sailed, in which case it would 
well express tacking = a zigzag course at half a right angle from 
either side of the wind. ' The saylis stonden al a-cros ' is explained 
by the fact that it is said of a boat about to sail, provided we may 
presume that the wind is right aft, or quite fair, as then whether 
the rig be that (e. g.) of a yacht called 'fore and aft/ or that (e. g.} 
of most merchant-men, ' square,' the boom of the mainsail in the 

198 NOTES TO pp. 90 106, 11. 2984 3527. 

former case is let going out as nearly at right angles as possible with 
the keel of the vessel, and in the latter the yards are hauled quite 
square across so that in both rigs the sails stand all across before the 
wind." J. W. L. 

p. 90, 1. 2984. good sir John. This was properly a term of 
ridicule for a priest; see Skeat's notes to Shipman's Pro!., 1. 1172, and 
to Nonnes Prestes Prol., 1. 1000 ; it is here applied to a layman. 

p. 90, 1. 2996. feche more last ; cp. 

" God yeve this monk a thousand last quad yeer." 

SliipmatHs End-Unity 1. 1(528, and Skeat's note. 

p. 90, 1. 2997. yemen = yeomen, men of small estate ; see Skeat's 

p. 90, 1. 3006. fell = fill. See rime and 1. 3117. W. W. S. 

p. 91, 1. 3017. made him angry. ? pretended to be sorrowful : 
cp. note on line 817 ; an angry man in the modern sense of the word 
does not " si}!! wondir sore." 

p. 91, 1. 3020. Geffrey chasid him a^eyn. ? for chasid read chastid, 
chastened, reproved see chaste, 11. 1058 and 3440. The Steward, 
though very indulgent to Geffrey, would hardly have permitted him to 
chase Beryn about the Court. 

p. 92, 1. 3056. a company I-met ; a = on or in. 

p. 92, 1. 3063. in the mene whils. ? after whils insert that. 

p. 93, 1. 3115. / telle trewly. After telle insert yewe. 

p. 95, 1. 3163. That God him grant wynnyng, ri^te as he hath 
aservid! An imprecation: the words "I pray" may be understood 
before "that". Cp. 1. 3277, "fat sorow com on thy hede ! " also 11. 
601, 1012. It is frequent in M.E. writers. 

p. 96, 1. 3185. by thee I meen, I speak concerning thee. Cp. 1. 10, 
"by hern I meen" and 1. 1791, be Beryu I may wele sey. 

p 97, 11. 3213-14. Rimes, nowej mowith. See also 11. 3231-32. 
W. W. S. 

p. 97, 1. 3302. salidone, 1. 2723, we have selondyn, on which see 
note. Also cp. " Ribes and salidoines." Owain Miles, p. 97 (ed. Laing). 

p. 100, 1. 3315. Gylhoget, in the French romance guigne-hochet, 
which is from guignol, une sorte de polichinelle, and hochet, plaything. 
Wade's boat was termed Guignelot ; see Tyrwhitt's Chaucer, 1. 9298. 

p. 101, 1. 3366. to pot who cometh last = who cometh last to pot. 

p. 104, 1. 3456. And euery man til othir lenyd with his hede. And 
seyd, &c. Cf. the Homeric " J3e BE rig eiireffKe iouiv ee irXrjaiov aXXov." 
II. II. 271. S. 

p. 104, 1. 3476. Jjow^e / it sey, can nat half so muche. Before can 
insert that. F. J. F. 

p. 104, 1. 3477. For ne read nowe, ne being caught from preceding line. 

p. 105, 1. 3489. MS. to se the the sepulkir. ? again t written for c ; 
for se the read seche, the word always used for a pilgrimage. 

p. 106, 1. 3527. ynmagytiff. Cp. ignomy, which is found in Shak- 
spere four times ', also attame, from Low Latin taminare. Gl. to Prioresses 

NOTES TO pp. 106 119, 11. 3549 3995. 199 

Tale, &c. (ed. Skeat). " Deter my t furth therewith in myn entent." 
King's Quair, 1. 13. We find ignomious in Peele's Sir Clyamon and Sir 
Clymades Prologue, p. 490 (ed. Dyce) ; also Ignomy, p. 508, 1st col. ; 
and in the tale before us, 1. 2382, examyt ; on which see note. 

p. 106, 1. 3549. Let him go to in haste. Cp. 1. 3229, " Go to, & kis 
them both." Also 

" ga}> till, and bare^Jj hej?enn ut 

whatt-like >ise Binges." Ormtdum, 1. 15570. 

These words are put into the mouth of Christ, when driving those who 
sold doves out of the temple. 

" >u gcst al to mid swikelede." Owl and Nightingale, 1. 838. 
Go to is found also in Hamlet V. i., and in the Boole of Genesis, chap, 
xi. 3, 4, and 7. The meaning of "go to," in these eight passages, 
seems to be " to set briskly about some business ; " when we have " go 
to" in the imperative, the modern English equivalent will be "now 
then," the French "or qa," Fliigel in his English-German Diet., s. v. 
go, translates " go to " by wohlan, daran, frisch darauf an. In go to, 
Macbeth, V. i. 46, to seems to = the German zer-. 

p. 107, 1. 3554. ])ou$t ye sotil pry ; for pry read be, which rimes 
with iniquite, and cp. 1. 3592, " as sotill as fcey be." 

p. 107, 1. 3562. & ye work in eny poynt. Possibly work may here 
mean " trouble us," see Jamieson ; but in that case we should rather 
expect '' work us," which, however, does not suit the metre. 

p. 107, 1. 3586. For they read he, viz. Beryn. 

p. 108, 1. 3588-9. they sawe no maner selve ffor sons of hir hert. 
Either selve = salve, or for selve read salve. 

p. 108, 1. 3596. For him read hem, i. e. " these romeyns." 

p. Ill, 1. 3724. vnyd. Cp. 

" Jns love & >is wilninge, J?at ioyneth & one)? zuo J?e herte to God." 

Dan Michel's Ayenbite of Limit, 1. 43 (Zupitza's Uebungs-buch}. 

p. 113, 1. 3764. the pleyntyfs. For the read Hire. 

p. 114, 1. 3803. mi yeer & passid. ? For & passid read i-passid. 

p. 117, 1. 3914. [gwod] Beryn, and al the remenaunte ; the rem- 
naunte seems here to mean " the other Romans " ; cp. 1. 3884. It occurs 
frequently in that sense. 

p. 118, 1. 3946. Cp. with this Octouya.n Imperator, Weber, iii. 187/ 
729, 192/847, where Florentyn, brought up as a butcher's boy, betrays 
his high birth by similar tastes. 

p. 118, 11. 3948-9. \>at with al hir witt To serve hem. A change of 
construction which is found frequently: cp. All. Morte Arthure, 1281/2. 

p. 119, 1. 3995. To cond him saff. To cond, in seamen's language 
to conduct a ship : see N. and Q. 6th S., xi. 355. To Balke, Conde. 

p. 179. note to p. 11, 1. 310. As to the word aliri, Prof. Skeat in N. % Q. 
6th S. i. 318, 386, suggests that it is connected with A.8. spear-lira, where lira 
means the fleshy part of the leg. 



p. 3, 1. 56. unaservid. aservid, 11. 2371 and 2377 deserved, 
and in Troylus and Creseide (Bell's ed.), p. 145, st. 1, we find untrist for 
" mistrust " : again at p. 244 st. 3, unswelle ; it must however be 
admitted that unaserve is nowhere found in the sense I attribute to it. 

p. 5, 1. 109. In the Legende of Goode Women Egiste looks on his 
daughter " with glad chere " ; then tells her to murder her husband ; 
here again glad requires explanation. 

p. 6, 1. 152. It should be: "Arid a-red [it] also right, as [be] 
rammys hornyd," i. e. and explained it as right, as are horned rams. 
" As right as a ram's horn " is an open joke, rams' horns being pro 
verbially crooked. A pun on right, which = (1) correct, and (2) 
straight. W. W. S. 

p. 10, 1. 271. brothir in possession. Cp. Sompnoures Tale, 1. 13 
(Aldine ed.), where the Frere says : 

" Neither it needeth not for to be yive 
To possessioneres, that now tyve 
(Thanked be God) in wele and abundaunce." 

Of the word possessioneres, Tyrwhitt in Gl. says : " an invidious name 
for such religious communities as were endowed with lands," &c. 

p. 10, 1. 282. stalk = to go on tiptoe, or noiselessly : see Skeat's 
Diet., s. v., and cp. 1. 299. 

p. 10, 1. 292. ifrethid = frij>ed in Gl. to Piers Plowman. W. W. S. 
Also in Allit. Morte Arthure, 1. 3247, we have frithede, hemmed in with 

p. 12, 1. 362. Here the dislike of the author to Freres breaks out, 
as again at 1. 1643. 

p. 14, 1. 423. cushy : French (se) coucher. W. W. S. 

p. 16, 1. 478. Other instances of up = open are : 

" Goo upon the chaumber dore, she seide." 

Generydes (E. E. Text Soc.), 1. 5721 

where a syllable is wanting to the line : therefore perhaps we may read, 
"goo, do upon" i. e. open. Again, "cast up the gatis wide," Troylus 
& Creseide, ii. 615, and " dupp'd the chamber-door " in Ophelia's song, 
where dup = do up or open. We have it again in Beryn, 11. 1639 and 
2736, and as Prof. Skeat points out, char up, 1. 355 = [on] char up =--= 
on the jar open = open on the jar. In the note at p. 182 on this line, 
dele words from " be of the MS." to the end. 

p. 16, 1. 493. cardiakill, Fr. cardiaque, Low Lat. cardiaca (Prompt. 
Parv.). W. W. S. 

p. 16, 1. 498. wood rese, mad fit : rese = A.S. r&s. W. W. S. 

p. 17, 1. 511. evil preff. Here preff = success. See Encyclopaedic 
Diet., s. v. prove. 

ADDITIONAL NOTES TO pp. 18 48, 11. 562 1536. 200a 

p. 18, 1. 562. For leue read lene, and cp. the phrase "to lend a 
blow." W. W. S. 

p. 21, 1. 640. Dele note marked W. W. S. and substitute : warrok 
= warlock, i. e. ill-tempered ; see warlo in Jamieson. W. W. S. 

p. 21, 1. 651. growning = growling. See Stratmann, s. v. groinen. 
Fr. grogner, Lat. grunnire. 

p. 22, 1. 674. vpward gan she pike. Here pike = peep ; see Sk cat's 
Diet., s. v. peep : where a line from Troylus and Cryseide, iii. 60, is cited ; 
" gan in at the curtein pike." I may remark that the sun is here she, 
in Chaucer always he. 

p. 22, 1. 764. held hym to = put up with. W. W. S. 

p. 23, 1. 687. twynyth. Halliwell, s. v. twine, says : " to whine or 

p. 23, 1. 690. Dele note on he (Glossary, p. 213). S. 

p. 27, 1. 824. fences, safeguards; see Defence in Cotgrave, alluding 
to the protection of men's fortunes by the planets. W. W. S. 

p. 28, 1. 855. delices is found frequently in Chaucer, especially in 
the Persones Tale; in verse however it is elsewhere a trisyllable; but 
in the passage before us we must pronounce it as a disyllable for the 
sake of the rime. 

p. 31, 1. 967. elyng. See Murray's Diet., s. v. alange. He cites 
Wif of Bathes Tale, 1. 433, where one MS. gives elenge, another alenge. 
The meaning is " protracted, tedious, wearisome." Cp. also Schipmans 
Tale, 1. 222, and The Cuckow and the Nightingale, iv. 340, st. 2 (ed. Bell). 

p. 35, 1. 1084. halffyndele, half-part. A.S. weak ace. healfan & 
clod. W. W. S. In Troylus and Cnjsdde, p. 140 (ed. Bell), we have 

p. 37, 1. 1167. Dele this note. 

p. 38, 1. 1196. For bloderid perhaps read bloberid.W. W. S. 

p. 39, 1. 1217. isod = in the sod = under the turf buried. 
W. W. S. 

p. 40, 1. 1268. heritagis. Perhaps we may retain the reading of 
the MS. Jiostagis. Cp. 

" To my hostage ye go by nyght." 

Ipomydon (Weber's Romance), 1. 773. 

" She said he was welcome to that ostage." Generydes, 1. 64 
where oslage = hostelry. 

If therefore Faunus's property consisted of houses, hostagis might 
stand, but on the whole it must be admitted that heritagis is more 

p. 41, 1. 1288. as who seyd cut. Here as who = as if one. Cf. 1. 

" The Romeyns stode still, as who had shor hir bed." 
p. 46, 1. 1478. Add : kyte ; in Northern English the form is kite. 
p. 48, 1. 1536. my hertis swete. Perhaps hertis may be retained : 
cp. " My harts swete " = sweet one of my heart. Sir Lambwell (Percy 
Folio MS.), vol. i. 149/139. The usual form is " Myn herte swete." 

BERYN, II. 14 

200& ADDITIONAL NOTES TO pp. 52 106, 11. 1682 3529. 

p. 52, I. 1682. Dele words after laic, fault in the note on p. 191. 
Prof. Skeat says : of lakh = for lack, " for lack of matter," as Shakspere 

p. 52, 1. 1692. For nethirless read "nerthiless" or "nertheless" : 
so again at 1. 2477. 

p. 62, 1. 2010. For oute & Tiarowe read " oute " and " harowe," 
i. e. out and harowe are separate exclamations. W. W. S. 

p. 63, 1. 2039. We have a very modern instance of place used in 
this sense : u my Lad}' Dedlock has been down at what she calls her 
place in Lincolnshire." Bleak House, chap. ii. ad init. Place in M.E. 
also means = "lists": see Kniglites Tale, 1. 1541, " winne her in the 
place," and again 1. 1836. 

p. 65, 1. 2110, of fyne force. We have the same expression in 
Troylus and Cryseide (ed. Bell), p. 251, st. 2. Littre says Jin sometimes 
merely gives force to the word to which it is attached ; see also Genin's 
note to Pierre Patelin, v. 29, and cp. the modern expressions " fine fun " 
and " a fine frolic." 

p. 67, 1. 2196. ami-re; also amyre, 1. 2806, possibly " ripen" in 
both places. Fr. ameurir. Cotgrave. W. W. S. 

p. 74, 1. 2241. Dele words after jolif in Glossarial Index, s. v. iuly. S. 

p. 77, 1. 2515. cly^te. In note, dele words after lines cited from 
Cursor Mundi, and substitute : from clechen, clutch : which word see in 
Gl. to Matzner's Sprachproben. 

p. 80, 1. 2626. ymmemorat of lyes. These words are very perplex 
ing ; perhaps ymmemorat agrees with Beryn, and the words will mean : 
Beryn, unmindful of the deceptions previously practised on him, and 
now inclined to trust another stranger. See Forcellinus, s. v. memoror, 

p. 81, 1. 2661. Grew. In note dele words that follow the line cited 
from the Cursor Mundi. 

p. 82, 1. 2697. wonde ; dele this note. 

p. 91, 1. 3020. Dele last sentence of the note. 

p. 94, 1. 3136. for to go at large. After for insert hym. 

p. 103, 1. 3434. have the wordis = be spokesman, the regular 
phrase ; see Tyrwhitt's Note to Canterbury Tales, 1. 17378. W. W. S. 

p. 106, 1. 3529. ynmagytyffl = suspicious. Prof. Earle in his 
Philology, p. 56, laments the disparagement of many respectable words 
in the 12th and 13th centuries: among others, he says, that imaginatif 
acquired the meaning of u suspicious." Cp. also Frankeleynes Tale, p. 
500, I. 2 (ed. Bell). 

" Nothing list him to be imaginatif, 
If any wight had spoke, while he was oute, 
To hire of love." 

I give some other errors of the scribe which are of no great import 
ance : p. 16, 1. 486, read hym for hem. p. 33, 1. 1015, for outy read nou^t. 
p. 37, 1. 1170, dele it. p. 65, 1. 2098, for yt read it. p. 75, 1. 2466, dele 
the former as. p. 79, 1. 2603, dele gyve. p. 96, 1. 3182, dele as. 




a, adv. all, 46/1460. 

a, pron. he, 118/3771. 

abigg, vb. pay for, 20/593. A.S. 

abill, adj. apt, fit, 9/245, 97/3237. 

'Able, or abulle, or abylle. Ha- 

bilis, idoneous." 1 Prompt. Parv. 
accordit, pret. pi. agreed, 50/i6i5; 

pp. 8/212, 86/2834, 95/3148, 107/ 

a-combrit, pp. hampered, overcome, 

86/2800; accombrit, 109/3644; 

comberid, 78/2386. 
acordement, sb. agreement, 48/1521, 


a-dred, pp. afraid, 62/2006 ; a-drad, 
68/2231, 86/2839. & ee drede. 

a feir, adv. on fire, 71/2310. 

Affirmative, an, in Civil Law, rule 
relating to, 64/2070. 

affray, sb. terror, 102/3384. O.F. 
affre. L.Lat. ajfraiamentum. 
Roquefort, s. v. affre. 

a force, adv. perforce, 66/2118. 

a-foundit, pp. foundered, 21/631. 
See note in Prompt. Parv. s. v. 
4 Fownderyu.' 

aftir-mete, sb. afternoon, 8/227, 18/ 
391. Noon was the dinner-hour 
in the middle ages. See The 
Babees Book, E. E. T. S., 6/128. 

a fyne, or & fyne. See wel. 

AGE A, first wife of Faun us, bears 
him a son, Beryn, p. 29 ; her dy 
ing injunctions to Faunus, p. 32 ; 
her funeral rites described, p. 34. 

a-geynes, adv. again, 76/2511. 

ageynward, adv. again, in return, 

ago, pp. gone. See goon. 

al == all that, 88/1025. 

al & som, altogether, 6/115. 

al at, ?all that, 119/3984. 

al bothe, adj. both, 98/3252. 

a-leyid, pp. laid, 118/3936. 

Alisaundir, Alexandria, 49/1556. 

a londe, adv. ashore, 73/2405. 

alowe, vb. praise, 4/94 ; lowe, allow, 
61/1653. O.F. aloer. 

al so, adv. even as, also, 6/152, 17/ 
504; also, 29/874, 72/2370, 76/ 
2483, 97/3220. A.S. eal-swd. 

altercation, sb. 76/2500. 

al, ? = albe, although, 69/226 1. 

amayid, pp. dismayed, 66/1807; a - 
mayide, 102/3379. 

a-mend, vb. correct, 81/2658 ; men- 
dit, pp. amended, 84/1045. 

a-mongis, adv. at intervals, from 
time to time : evir more a-mong, 
110/3686; othir whils amongis, 
30/933; o|?ir while a-mong, 38/ 
1197 ; ther a-mong, 106/34^5. 

a morow, next morning, in the 
morning, 22/656, 62/1998 ; a 
morowe, 22/667, 1 17/3909. 

a-mvre, vb. ? = amure, wall up, bury, 
67/2196; pp. a-myrid = arnurid, 
defended as by a wall, 86/2806. 
Halliwell has * mure ', vb. to wall. 
See note, p. 193. 

a-myrid. See a-mvre. 

amys ase, sb. double aces, 89/ 


anbiguite, sb. ambiguity, 78/2577. 
and, cow/, if, 18/546, et passim. Often 

written thus : &. 
anenst, prep, concerning, 16/442 ; 

a-nenst, 118/3764. 
angir, sb. sorrow, 27/8 17. 



angir, vl). be angry, 110/3883. 
an bond, adv. nearly, 96/3173. 
anothir, adv. otherwise, 106/3538. 
a nowe, adv. now, 77/2526. 
ANTONYUS JUDEUS, one of the Seven 

Sages, 27/809. 
a nye, ? vb. annoy, harm, 78/2583. 

' Anoier, anueir, anuer, anuier : 

Ennuyer, nuire, &c.' Roquefort, 
apassid, pp. past, 86/2827. 
apayde, pp. satisfied, pleased, 39/ 

1238; a-payde, 46/1467; payde, 


a-pele, sb. appeal, 107/3562. 
a-pele, vb. accuse, charge, 6/3206 ; 

pres. 1 s. a-pele, 99/3294. 
a-poyntid, pret. s. pointed out, 9/ 

apparene, sb. appearance, delusion, 

84/2774. See note, p. 196. 
appeir, vb. harm, 68/2227. 
appid oppon, pret. s. hapt on, lighted 

on, 21/632. 

aquyt, pret. s. repayed, 6/125. 
aray, sb. company, assemblage, 9/ 

233, 90/2978; conduct, 40/1255 5 

clothing, equipment, 41/1300, 44/ 

1391, 61/1655, 66/2119. 92/3045, 

aray, vb. afflict, 20/603 ; pp. arayed, 


aray, vb. dress, 116/3882. 
arblast, sb. cross-bow, 9/241. 
areche, vb. utter, 112/3734. A.S. 

a-rede, vb. conjecture, guess, 17/ 

527. See Stratmann, s. v. arasden. 
arere, adv. in the rear, backward, 

61/1972. Cf. 'Sometime aside, 

and sometyme arrere.' Piers 

Plowman, Text B. (E. E. T. S.), 

v. 354^ 
arerid, pp. raised, set up, 118/3764. 

A.S. arwran. 
armys, sb. pi. harms, injuries, 96/ 


Armys, lawe of, Heraldry, 81/2667. 
a-ryn, adv. ?in a course, in order, 

18/550, 19/569. A.S. ryne, a 

course. ? Cp. Yankee, 'around.' 

F. J. F. See footnote, p. 18, and 

u te, p. 183. 
as = as far as, 103/3414. 
as, 75/2466 ; that. 

a-say, vb. essay, try, 18/532 ; asay, 

44/i 396 ; assay, 54/i 740, 67/2 1 87 ; 

imp. s. asaye, 42/1318. 
ascapen, vb. escape, 67/21 88; pp. 

a-scapid, 118/3953. 
a-scaunce, conj. as if, pretending 

that, 12/361 ; ascaunce, 61/1627, 

59/1918 ; as skaunce, 66/1797. 
a-sclakid, pp. abated, 39/1226. 
a-servid, pret. s. ? deserved, 72/ 

2371 ; pp. 73/2377, 95/3163. 
a seyd, 118/3771, he saw? See 

a square, adv. on the square, aloof, 

20/596, 21/643. #ee a-sware. 
assoyll, imp. s. absolve, 63/1716. 
assurid, pp. answered, satish'ed, 


a-stert, vb. escape, 20/6ii, 68/2058. 
a-stonyd,>p. astonished, bewildered, 

77/2544; .--stonyed, 104/3455; 

stonyd, 64/2o88. 

Astrolabes, sb. astrologers, 27/822. 
a-stryvid, pp. divided, perplexed, 


a-sware, adv. on one s'de, 19/586. 
&t,prep. to, 77/2536, 117/3913. 
at, V that, 119/3984. 
a-tast, vb. taste, 16/458 ; a-tast, 

prove, test, 64/1745. O.F. taster. 
a-tend, vb. set fire to, 88/2728. A.S. 

ateyn, vb. reach, 108/3414 ; ateynt, 

pp. attainted, 102/3406 ; atteynt, 

107/3586, 112/3752. 
a-toon, be, vb. be at one, in accord, 

71/2 3 38. 

atta, at a, 89/2945. 
atte, at the, 1/14, et passim. 
attonys, adv. at once, 79/2614, 74/ 

a-vaile, vb. avail, help, 66/2151 ; 

pres. s. vaillith, 66/2098 ; vayLth, 

116/3883, 118/3958. 
auaunte, adv. forward, 61/1972. 
auereft, April, 28/691. F. Avril. 
auntir, auntris. See aventure. 
aventure, sb. fortune, chance, 38/ 

1185, 67/2195; aventur, 46/1470, 

88/2913, 106/3517 ; auntir, 109/ 

3639 ; pi. auntris, 108/3436. 

'Awntyr or happe (aunter, P.). 

Fortuna, fortuitus.' Prompt. 




a-vise, sb. counsel, 80/2640. 
avisely, adv. advisedly, 118/3946. 
avowe,s6. vow, oath, 106/3506, 3514, 

106/3543 ; a-vowe, 92/3049, 101/ 

3353> 108/3599 ; pi. a-vowis, 105/ 

3488, 3509. 

aweynyd, pp. weaned, 89/1244. 
a-weyward, adv. away, on one side, 

axe, vb. require, exact, 8/219 ; P res - 

s. axith, 7/196, 14/403, 81/2654; 

pres. 1 s. axe, ask, 92/3071, 93/ 

3090; 2 s. axist, 167/3580; pret. 

s. axid, 12/346, et passim. 
axing, sb. request, 94/3126. A.S. 

aoe, adv. again, 43/1373, 62/2026, 

111/37H, HI/3720; a-ye, 44/ 

1384, 99/32 7 6, 112/3729. 

badder, adj. worse, 96/3187. 

bafft, adv. abaft, 49/1576. 

bale, sb. woe, sorrow, 68/1862, 118/ 
3956. A.S. bealu. 

ball, sb. bead, 116/3860. 

ballid, pret. s. smote, 33/IO26. ' bol- 
len, 0. Dutch bollen?' Strat- 
mann. 'palle' = beat occurs in 
Piers Plowman, Text B. (E. E. 
T. S.), xvJ. 30. 

balstaff, sb. balk-staff, quarter-staff, 
6/153. Mr. Vipan thinks that 'bal' 
may be a corruption of pale or 
pail. Cf. Cotgrave : ' Courge : . . . 
a Stang, Pale-staffe, or Colestaffe, 
carried on the shoulder, and 
notched (for the hanging of a 
Pale.&c.) at both ends.' 

barme, sb. bosom, 76/2457. A.S. 

barr, 93/3087, bar of a Court of 

bate down, vb beat down, 76/2482. 

'baw baweP a dog's bark, 98/ 


be, vb. be, 102/3389; pres. 2 pi 
been, are, 68/1722 ; beth, 68/1719, 
116/3839; 3 _p. beth, 19/569, et 
passim; bethe, 100/3313; imp. 
pi. beth, be, 82/976, 60/1593, 87/ 
2891, 88/2915; beith, 4/77; s uty. 
pres. s. by, 108/3595 5 % pl m be, 
4/96; pp. i-been, 86/1087; i-be, 
43/1357; be, 4/8 1, 113/3902. 

be, prep, by, 8/50, et passim. See 

b y- 

bede, imp. pi. offer, 69/2258. A.S. 

be-d,;tid, pp. infatuated, 86/1137. 

be-fele, vb. ? feel about, 18/536. 
See note, p. 183. 

be-hest, sb. promise, 101/3353 ; be 
hest, 76/2488, 91/3029; beheest, 
condition, 47/1510. 

be-hongit, pp. hung round, 27/832 ; 
hongit a-bout, hung about, 21/ 
636 ; hongit, adorned with trap 
pings, 61/1632. 

behote, vb. promise, 69/2252; by- 
hete, 75/2472 ; pres. 1 s. be-hote, 
11/332 ; pret s. be-hijte, 36/i 126 ; 
pret. 2 pi. be-hete, 68/2059, 78 / 
2562; behete, 117/3912; pp. be 
hote, 77/2529. See hi3te. 

bekk, sb. obeisance, 46/1478. 

be-menyd, pret. s. bemoaned, 33/ 


be-nym, vb. take away, 64/2073 ; 
79/2588; by-nym, 61/1981; pp. 
be-nome, 40/1279. 

benyng, adj. benign, 120/4OII. 

bere, in, on the bier, dead, 86/2826. 

bergeyne, vb. 106/3507 ; deal in, 

BERYN, or BERINUS, son of Faunus 
and Agea, his birth and bad up 
bringing, T'P- 29-30 ; disreputable 
life, pp. 30, 34 ; unconcern at his 
mother's death, pp. 33-4 ; quarrels 
with his father, pp. 40-1 ; repents 
of his misdeeds, pp. 41-3 ; recon 
ciled to his father, p. 45; releases 
his heirsliip for five ships-ful of 
merchandise, pp. 46-8 ; sails and 
meets with a storm, p. 49 ; lands 
at Falsetown, and is betrayed by 
Syrophane, a burgess, pp. 51-7; 
cheated by Hanybald, Provost of 
Falsetown, pp. 58-61 ; wrongfully 
accused by a blind man, pp. 62- 
4 ; and by a woman, pp. 65-6 ; 
duped by Macaign, a catchpoll, 
pp. 68-70 ; bewails his past life, 
pp. 71-2 ; meets Geffrey, a cripple, 
who offers to help him, pp. 73-8; 
he and his men distrust Geffrey, 
and prepare to sail, pp. 85-6 ; is 
angry with Geffrey, p. 91 ; ap- 



pears for trial, p. 92 ; his trial 
detailed, pp. 93-116 ; is acquitted, 
and obtains damages from the 
plaintiffs, p. 116; his gratitude 
to Geffrey, p. 117; accepts the 
gifts and invitation of Duke Isope, 
but asks for a safe conduct, pp. 
118-19; visits Isope, p. 119; 
marries his daughter, p. 120. 

be-sey, pp. provided, adorned, 51/ 

beshrewid, pret. s. cursed, 98/3252. 

be-shyne, vb. shine on, 86/1113. 

besines, sb. busyness, utmost en 
deavour, diligence, 78/2560; be- 
synes, 74/2437. 

bet, adj. better, 6/162, et passim; 
better, 18/555 5 bettir, 20/596 ; 
bet like, adj. better like, more 
like, 88/2920. 

be-^ou^t hir al about, carefully con 
sidered, 43/375- See bythynck. 

be-tid, pret. s. happened, 27/813. 

beuerage, sb. refreshment taken be 
tween dinner and supper, 12/359. 
See Halliwell, s. w. 'Beverage' 
and ' Bever.' 

beyard, Bayard, a name for a horse, 
96/3184. 'Bayart: M. Arde : f. 
as Bay, (whence we also tearme a 
bay horse, a bayard).' Cotgrave. 

blab, sb. 91/3022, chatter. 

blabir, sb. chatter, prate, 99/3276. 

blase, vb. blazon, describe arms 
properly, 6/150. 

blenchid, pret. s. turned away, 
swerved, 98/3250 ; blynchid, 22/ 
669; imp. s. blenche, 82/2713; 
subj. pres. 2 pi. blenche?!, HO/ 


bier, vb. blear, dim, 16/445. 'To 
blear ones eye, begyle him, en- 
guigner.' Palsgrave. 

Blind man, a, of Falsetown seizes 
Beryn, and brings him before 
Evandir, pp. 62-4 ; his accusation 
of Beryn, pp. 95-6 ; agrees to share 
Beryn's goods, p. 101 ; his accusa 
tion answered by Geffrey, pp. 110- 
12 ; finds sureties for damages, p. 

bloderid, pret. s. blubbered, 38/1 196. 

bio we vp, vb. sound loudly, 88/ 

blowing, sb. 83/2742. 

blyn, vb. cease, delay, 17/507, 58/ 

1893. A.S. blmnan. 
blynchid, pret. s. turned away. See 

blysyng, verbal sb. blazing, 18/ 

blyve, adv. quickly, 18/533, ^ P as ~ 

sim ; blyve, dissyl. 33/ioo8, 
bode, pret. s. stayed. See bood. 
boncheff, sb. good fortune, 26/779, 

bonet, sb. a small sail, 60/1604. See 

note, p. 189. 
bood, pret. s. stayed, 47/1494, 87/ 

2898 ; bode, 100/3320. 
boon, sb. a die made of bone, 89/ 


bord, sb. jest, 41/1304, 91/3022. 
bord, vb. jest, 89/2941. O.F. bourder. 
bord, sb. the side of a ship, 87/2886. 

Ovir J?e bord, overboard, 
borow, sb. surety, bail, 68/1876; 

pi. borowis, 112/3753, 113/3778, 


borowe, vb. bail, 16/490. 
bote, sb. remedy, hejp, 3/6o, 118/ 

3956. A.S. bot. 
bote, pret. s. bit, 21/641, 60/1957, 


bothen, adj. both, 8/67, et passim; 
bothe to, both two, both, 1 7/506, 
et passim. 

botirflijs, butterflies, 108/361 3, 361 7. 

boune, adj. ready, 68/1698, 72/2344; 
boun, 81/2686; bown, 62/1678. 
O.N. buinn. 

bountevouse, adj. bounteous, 120/ 

bour, sb. chamber, 16/448 ; faceti 
ously, for a dog's kennel, 22/668. 

boystly, adv. rudely, boisterously, 
6/104, 6/163. 

bracyd, pret. s. embraced, 2/25, 46/ 
1485, 52/1659. 

braunce, sb. branch, 84/2785. 

brede, sb. breadth, 17/528. 

brennyng, adj. burning, 72/2351. 

brent, pp. burnt, 72/2354. 

breyde, vb. struggle, 66/1826; 
breyde a-wey, start away, 113/ 
3775 > pret. s. breyd vp, started 
up, 11/316; pp. i-brayid, out, 
drawn out, 118/3935. See Cole- 



ridge s. v. * Braid/ and Stratmann 

s. v. ' Breiden.' 
bribour, sb. thief, 17/524. See 

Prompt. Parv., s. v. 'Brybowre,' 

and note. 

bridd. sb. bird, 27/8 14. 
brigg, sb. bridge, 87/2897, 88/2923. 
brithern, sb. brethren, 26/759 > 

bretheryn, 26/765. 
brode, sb. breeding, 6/160. See n:)te, 

p. 179. 
broke, imp. s. use, enjoy, 3/66. A.S. 

brucan. See Gloss. Index to 

Havelok (E. E. T. S.), s. v. 

1 Brouke.' 
bronde, sb. brand from the fire, 19/ 

585. 'Bronde of nV. Facula, 

fax, ticio, torris, C. F.' Prompt. 

Brooches and rings offered by the 

Canterbury pilgrims, 6/134. 
brou^t, 97/3212, got (with child), 
brnssh, sb. ? fluff, 46/1482. But Hal- 

liwell gives 'Brush (1) Stubble. 


bryng hym in, decoy him, 64/1750. 
Burgess No. 2 of Falsetown, engages 

Beryn in talk, p. 53. 
burgyn, vb. bud, 23/692. 
burh, sb. borough, town, 26/744. 
burrith, pres. pi. stick like burrs, 


bussh, vb. push, 6/156. 
but, prep, save, except, 3/44, et 

passim; but yf, 7/i86, et passim. 
but, sb. a drive, butt, thrust, push, 

41/1287. Cfcflavetofc(E.E.T.S.), 

1. 1040. 
butte, but the, 14/4io, 29/885, 49/ 

1590, 98/3250. 
by, prep. = in, 26/745, 66/2131 ; 

on, 64/2064 ; with, 76/2444, 100/ 

3328; of, de, l/io, 96/3185; be, 

108/3598. See be. 
by & by, one after the other, one by 

one, separately, 10/293. ' By and 

by. Sigillatim' (Prompt. Parv.). 

1 Sigillatim, fro seel to seel.' 

(Medulla. Harl. MS. 2257). 

Way. ' Two yonge knightes lig- 

gyng by and by. 1 Chaucer, 

Knight's' Tale, 1. 153. 
bye = ? but, 16/478. See note, 

p. 182. 

byde, vb. wait, 118/3956. Scanned 
as a dissyllable here. 

by-nym. See be-nym. 

bysely, adv. busily, diligently, 70/ 

bythynch, vb. devise, bethink, pro 
vide, 36/1141; pret. s. be->ou2t, 
43/1375 ; pp. be-J>ou}t, 108/3612. 

byword, ab. proverb, 69/2243, 96/ 
3183. Cf. comyn seying. 

Caldey, Chaldee, 81/2662. 
Canterbury brooches, 7/175. See 

Canterbury pilgrims, the, arrive at 

Canterbury, p. 1 ; their visit to 

the cathedral described, pp. 5-7 ; 

they dine, pp. 7-8 ; go out sight 
seeing, pp. 9-10 ; sup, pp. 13-14 ; 

the steady pilgrims go to bed 

after supper, the rakes sit up 

drinking and singing, p. 14 ; they 

leave Canterbury, p. 22. 
capes, pres. s. 1/8, ? feathers over at 

the top; cf. 'casing, caping- 

stone,' coping- stone. F. capes 

= gapes. W.W.S. 
cardiakill, sb. heart-burn, 16/493. 

camel ende, sb. death, end of life 

in the flesh, 81/2688. 
case, sb. chance, fortune, 66/1805. 
case, in case, if, 100/3316. 
cast, vb. plot, 36/1141; pp. i-cast, 

catell, sb. chattels, personal property, 

61/1993, 66/2163, 116/3874. 
cause to [i.e. to do so], 86/2860. 
cautele, sb. artifice, 31/959; pi. 

cawtelis, 61/1658. 
Centenarian, Geffrey a, 74/2439. 
centence, sb. meaning, sentence, 1/3, 


chaffare, sb. merchandise, 73/2408 
char vp, adv. ajar, 12/355. 'Char. 

(3) Ajar. North.' Halliwell. 
charge, sb. care, thought, 6/125, G3/ 


charge, vb. care for, 44/1387. 
charge, sb. cargo, 69/1917. 
charge, vb. load, 47/1512, 96/3146, 

109/3637 ; pp. chargit, 70/2276. 
chasid,^re. s. followed up, 91/3020. 

See note, p. 198. 



cliast, vb. chasten, 84/1058, 44/1396, 

CHAUCER'S daisies, 22/683. 

chaunce, sb. good fortune, 24/728. 
See note, p. 184. 

chek, sb. trick, mischief, 16/471, 30/ 

Cheker-of-the-Hope, an inn at Can 
terbury, 1/14. See note, p. 176. 

chekkir, sb. chess-board, 64/1735. 

cher, have, imp. look cheerfully, 
kindly, 32/ 9 86. 

chere, sb. entertainment, semblance, 
aspect, 2/25, et passim. 

chere, sb. = chare, work, 18/538. 
See note, p. 183. 

cherely, adv. dearly, 29/892. 

chese, <vb. choose, 37/n66, 68/1865, 
1874 ; pret. s. 31/952 ; imp. s. 58/ 
1869, 59/1925, 60/1947. 

chese, sb. the chess-board and men, 
54/1732; ches, /I733. 

Chess-board, a, and its pieces de 
scribed, 54/1733-34. 

chircheward, churchward, 28/858. 
See -ward. 

child, sb. page, 53/1709, 67/2189. 

chokelyng, pres. p. gurgling, 14/ 


chongit,j>p. changed, 27/8 1 2. 

chynys, sb. chinks, corners, 72/2353. 

Civil Law, rules of, 64/2068-70 ; 79/ 
2596,2602-7; 87/2866-70; 106/ 
3531-33; twenty-four jurors learn 
ed in the lawin a trial at, 115/3857. 

clapp, vb. talk fast, prate, 74/2423 ; 
pret. s. clappid, 90/3005. 

cleen, adv. completely, 88/2909. 
' Men i-armyd cleen,' i. e. in full 

CLEKAJT, Sir, a name given to Gef 
frey, 75/2450. ? from the clacking 
on the ground of his crutch, and 
the ' stilt under his knee,' 73/2380, 
or the beggar's clappers which he 
probably carried, or his tongue : 
'Geffrey evir clappid, as doith a 
watir myll,' 90/3005. ' Claquette : 
f. A Lazers Clicket, or Clapper.' 
Cotgrave F. See note, p. 195. 

elepeist, 2 pres. s. callest, namest, 
91/3024; pret. s. cleped, 3/65; 
clepid, 14/415, et passim; pret. 
pi. 92/3048 ; imp. pi. clepetfi, 75/ 

2460; pp. i-clepid, 26/791, et 
passim ; clepid, 27/8o5, et passim,. 

clepid ? crepid, crepitate, break 
wind, 27/8 10. See note, p. 186. 

clerge, sb. learning, 9/252, 265; 
clergy, 88/2749. 

Clerk, the, of Oxenford, defends the 
Friar's tale of a Summoner, p. 9. 

cloith, sb. cloth, 117/3930. 

cloute, vb. clout, patch, 97/3240. 

cly^te, pret. s. closed, clenched, 11 J 
2515. From a vb. ' clicchen ' 
Strat. conj. 

cold sot, cold sweat, 16/493. 

colyn swerd, Cologne sword, 20/ 
621. See footnote, p. 20. 

comand, * som comand,' some one 
coming, 74/2426. 

comannd, pres. p. coming, 75/2451 ; 
comyng, 108/3418. 

combirment, sb. embarrassment, 79/ 

compers, sb. pi. fellows, 6/145 ; 
comperis, 51/1644, 107/3581. 
'Compere, fal awe (compyre, P.). 
Compar, coequalisS Prompt. 

comyn seying, sb. proverb, 68/2037. 
Cf. byword. 

comyng, to, gerund, inf. to come, 
12/347. See Morris's Historical 
Outlines of English Accidence, 
1877, p. 177 (4). 

con, vb. acknowledge, give, 89/1227. 
In all other instances the pres. of 
this vb. = can or know ; the pret. 
= could or knew. 1 pres. s. can, 
3/6o, et passim; 2 pres. s. canst, 
6/155 ; pres. s. can, 7/183, et pas 
sim; conne, 118/3956 ; 
con, 102/3408 ; 2 pres. pi. con, 
12/343, 80/2636 ; pres. pi. can, 
81/958 ; 1 pret. s. coud, 4/8o, ll/ 
326; coude, 51/1652 ; con the, 70/ 
2279 ; 2 pret. s. cowdist, 100/ 
3336; pret. s. coude, 21/628, et 
passim; coud, 17/527, 61/1634, 
69/2250,81/2674; couth, 16/482, 
66/2109; couthe, 37/ii66; 2 pi. 
couth, 4/100; coude, 98/3274; 
pret. pi. coude, 22/667, 49/1581, 
61/1628, 102/3381 ; coud, 62/ 
2004 : cowd, 77/2547 ; couth, 6/ 
165, 60/1943 ; couthe, 27/8i;. 



cond, vb. conluct, 119/3995. 
congir, t>6. conjure, 12/339 5 PP- 

i-cungerid, 16/489. 
connyng, sb. knowledge, wisdom, 

11/308, 28/841, 88/1206, 49/1576, 

88/2755, 100/3328, 103/3414. 
consequent, adv. consequently, 88/ 

CONST ANTINE III., emperor of Rome, 

contre, men of, men of [his own] 

country, 7/172; of contre, from 

[his own] country, 70/2294. 
Cook, the, sits up drinking with the 

Miller, p. 14. 
corage, sb. courage, daring, 16/470 ; 

heart, disposition, 30/914. 
corouse, adj. curious, elaborate, 117/ 

cors, sb. body, 52/1 686 ; corps, 98/ 


cosshon, sb. cushion, 52/i66o. 
cote, sb. bodice, 4/88. 
cotelere, sb. 70/2297 ; cutler, 99/ 

3296, 3303; 113/3792. 
couchid, pp. set, 114/3794. See i- 

coude no chere, knew no pleasure, 

counselles, adj. without counsel, 71/ 

2313; consaillis, 55/1791 ; coun- 

sallis, 27/8o8 
countid more with, accounted of, 

countirplede, sb. counterplead, 79/ 

Court, the, at Falsetown opens at 

9 a.m. 87/2878. 
court ward, to the court, 92/3054. 

See -ward, 
couthe, adj. known, 97/3231. A.S. 


conoid, pp. coughed, 11/323. 
covenab 11, adj. accordant, 9/246. 
coverture, sb. cover, 37/1 1.47. 
crafft, sb. ? [sailors'] craft, business, 

skild trade, 49/1575. Cp. 'crafft 

of tanery,' tanner's trade, 97/2327. 

Or 'crafft ' = ship. 
crakid, pp. boasted, 23/706. 
crane lyne, sb. the rope or line that 

ran over the pulley in the crane 

on board the ship, 90/2999. F. 

criour, sb. crier, 93/3084. 

cripill, sb. cripple, 74/2439 ; crepill, 

73/2379, &c. 
cristyanite, sb. Christendom, 114/ 


crope, pp. crept, 97/3232. 

cros-saill, make, to haul the yards 
square across, 90/2995. Of. ' wend 
J?e saill a-cross,' 86/2837, an d ' the 
saylis stonden al a-cros,' 87/2899. 
See note, p. 197. 

crouch, sb. crutch, 78/2381, 76/2509 ; 
cruch, 86/2856. 

cry, sb. proclamation, 109/3628. 

cry, have the, obtain public notice 
and approval, 93/3080. Cp. ' Cry, 
out of. Out of all estimation . . . 
" I should have these maps out 
o' cry now, if we could see men 
peep out of door in 'em." 
Puritan, iii. 5 ; Suppl. Sh. ii. 
588.' Nares. F. 

curtesy, sb. etiquette, 6/135 5 polite 
ness, 11/323. 

cury fauel, sb. flattery, currying 
favour, 12/362. 

cusky, drou^e to, ? went to sleep, 
14/423. Urry, in his Gl., says 
(s. v.) : ' the words (to slepe) which 
follow it seem to have been at 
first a Gloss in the margin for ex 
plaining the CB (Cambro-Briton 
or Welsh) Cusky or Cysgu, to 
sleep.' F. J. Vipan. 

cut, sb. horse, 41/1288. 

cut, sb. ?lot, 41/1309. See Proverbs 
and Phrases, s. v. cut, and note on 
p. 189. 

Cutler, a, of Falsetown, gives evi 
dence for Macaign, p. 99. 

daunser, sb. ? danger, liability to 
punishment, 79/26i6. 'Quidquid 
jure stricto, atque adeo confisca 
tion! obnoxium est sive ratione 
feudi, sive ex conductione : ita 
ut res dicatur esse in dangerio 
domini feudalis, quse, nisi quod 
de ea statutum est adimpleatur, 
confiscari . possit.' D'Arnis, s. v. 
' Dangerium.' 

daw, sb. day, 79/2585 ? pi. dawis, 

daw, do out of, kill, 79/2585. 



dawnyng, sb. day dawn, 90/2991. 
Decay of nature nowadays, 77/2518- 

dede, maken al thing 1 , make things 

quiet, pleasant, 87/1167. 
dele, euery, every whit, 60/1934; 

everydele, 69/1899; nevir a , 

never a whit, 62/1996 ; no , no 

whit, 11/307 ; som , somewhat, 

14/403. A.S. doel 
dele, sorrow, 88/1183. $ ee dole, 
deme, vb. judge, 9/248, et passim; 

pret. s. denied, 119/3991 ; pret. 

pi. denied, 116/3872; demyd, 

116/3865 ; subj. pres. 1 pi. deme, 

116/3869; 2 pi 103/3437; pp. 

i-demed, 4/96. 
Denmark, Isope born in, 81/2673. 

See note, p. 195. 
dentour, sb. indenture, 84/2791. 
deol, sorrow. See dole, 
depart, vb. part, divide, 44/1416, 

101/3374, 102/3401, 106/3530; 

pp. departid, 69/2266. 
dere, vb. harm, 69/1926, 84/2787. 

A.S. derian. 
desperate, (?) sb. desperation, 105/ 

dessantly, adv. constantly, 26/790, 

49/1563. ' Dessable. Constantly. 

North.' Halliwell. See note, p. 

desseyvabill, adj. deceitful, 50/i 62 1, 


deth-day, 40/1262. 
devise, sb. skill, device, 80/2644, 83/ 

devise, vb. contrive, describe, 83/ 

2755 ; pres. 1 s. devise, 84/2767 ; 

pres. p. devising, 9/239. 
devoir, sb. duty, 47/1487. 
devyne, vb. describe, understand, 

117/3924; 2 pres. pi. 90/2989. 
deyse, sb. dais, 117/3931. 
diete, sb. ? way of living, 45/ 


dietes, sb. pi. days, 26/749. 
diffence, sb. resistance, 61/1981. 
dischauce yewe, imp. pi. ? take off 

your shoes, 1 6/47 1 . F. Dechausser. 

See note, p. 181. 
discryve, vb. describe, set forth, 35/ 

I loo, 81/2658. 
dise, sb. pi. dice, 89/2953. 

disese, sb. grief, vexation, 8/51, 27/ 

817, 72/2371, 106/3552. 
disfetirly, adv. misshapenly, 77/ 


disfigure, vb. 76/2504. 
disgisenes, sb. disguisednees, dis 
guise, 77/2523. 
diskennyng, (?) ignoring, 2/2O. See 

note, p. 176. 
diskeuerith, imp. pi. discover, 68/ 

2231 ; pres. p. diskyueryng, 6/ 

dispiracioune, sb. desperation, HO/ 

dissimilyng, pres. p. dissembling, 


distance, sb. discord, 87/2891. 
disteynyd, >p. distained, deriled, 12/ 


distract, pp. distraught, 78/2555 ; 

distrakt, 102/3379. 
disware, adj. unawares, doubtful, 

88/2726, 92/3046, 98/3266. (In 

88/2726, of = out of. See note, 

p. 196.) 
docers, sb. pi. tapestry, 27/833. & 

dossier. Lat. dosserium. See 

Prompt. Parv. s. vv. ' Docere ' 

and ' Dorcere.' 
doctryne, sb. wisdom, 89/1245, 81/ 

Dog, the Welsh, at the dicker-; f- 

the-Hope, 21/63151. 
dole, sb. sorrow, 42/1331, et passim; 

dele, 88/1183; deol, 72/2363. 
dome, sb. judgment, 66/2102, 77/ 

2535 ; doom, 101/3376 ; pi. do- 

mus, 26/766 ; domes, 780. 
doon, vb. do, cause, make, 6/118; 

do, 62/1684, 86/2859; pres. s. 

doith, 87/1151,43/1371 ; 

doith, 28/692*; doth, 87/1154; 

doon, 75/2462 ; imp. pi. doith, 6/ 

158, 37/i 1 5 1, 44/1384 ;#p. i-doon. 

26/781, 62/2024; i-do, 62/1683, 

88/2921 ; do, 18/471, 60/1951, 78/ 

2573, 119/3984. auxil. vb. doith, 

26/768, 88/2744. See to done and 

daw, do out of. 

dore up = ? open. See note, p. 182. 
dorward, towards the door, 16/477. 

See -ward. 
Doseperis, Donzepairs, the Twelve 

Peers, 26/776 ; dosiperis, 783. 



dotaunce, sb. fear, awe, 25/738. 

O.F. doutance. 
dout, vb. fear, 9/240. 60/1599; 1 

pres. s. dout, 72/2367 ; imp. pi. 

doutith, 69/2236.' 
doute, or dout, sb. doubt, fear, 10/ 

279, 88/2915, et passim; dowte, 


drad, feared, 67/2194. See drede. 
dran^te, sb. a move at chess, 55/ 

1779) 56/1 8 1 2. 

Dreams go by contraries, 5/io8. 
drede, vb. fear, 12/337 ; 1 pret. s. 

dred, 8/55 ; pret. s. drad, 67/2194. 

See a-dred. 
dres, vb. go, 61/1645, 98/3086 ; pret. 

s. dressid. made ready, 52/i66o; 

imp. s. dres the, turn thee, 91 / 

Drinking from the same cup, a sign 

of friendship, 98/3076. 
dromodarijs, sb. pi. dromonds, swift 

vessels, 76/2275. See n te, p. 193. 
drou^e, pret. s. made a move at 

chess, 06/1822 ; imp. draw, 56/ 

dure, vb. endure, 66/1783; remain, 

76/2503 ; pres. p. duryng, lasting, 


dures, sb. hardship, 60/1934. 
dwell, vb. remain, or listen. A.S. 

dwellan. See Sir Tristrem, Fytte 

III., stanza 72. 
dyner while, dinner-time, 87/288 1. 

See while, 
dynerward, to dinner, 7/170. See 

Dyonyse, a stone of a very cold 

nature, in Isope's hell, 88/2731. 

See Stone, a. 

Ebrewe, Hebrew, 8 1/2661. 

echone, each one, 2/38, et passim; 
echon, 21/655, 49/1569; echoon, 
87/2883; echeon, 118/3937. 

efft, adv. again, 80/2643 ; etft ageyn, 
gain, 8/221, 44/1396, 66/1777, 
78/2549 ; efft sone, soon after, 5/ 
117; efft-sone, 11/326; efft-soriys, 

cgall, adj. equal, 86/1104. 

egallich, adv. equally, justly, 26/ 

egge, sb. edge, margin, 19/587, 22/ 

679. * egge of \>Q firmament,' 

horizon, 22/679. 
egir, adj. eager, angry, 6/105. F. 


elder more, older, 97/3240. 
ellis, adj. else, other, 86/1122, 80/ 

2624. See note, p. 195. 
elyng, adj. wretched, 81/967. ' Dan. 

elendig. O.N. eligr.' Coleridge, 

s. v. ' Eling.' ' }>ere J?e catte is a 

kitoun. J?e courte is ful elyng. 1 

Piers Plowman (E. E. T. S.), Text 

B. prol. 1. 190. 
encheson, sb. occasion, reason, 79/ 

2590, 97/3218. 
encombirment, sb. embarrassment, 

ende or end, courteous, 47/1491, 

62/1671. See hende. 
endenting, pres. p. ? snapping, biting, 

67/1851 ; pp. endendit, set, 99/ 

3301. Fr. l findenter. To indent, 

snip, notch, iag on the edges ; 

also, to set or make teeth in.' 

enditen, vb. speak, rehearse, 25/ 

760; endite, 96/3162. 
endlong, adv. along, 61/1634. 
endreyte, sb. ? place (F. endroit), 

14/404. endreyte ? = entreat = 

treatment. F. J. Vipan. 
endyng day, life's end, 82/974, 986. 

1 vourtene }er he [Edred] was kyng, 

and at ys ende day,' &c. Robert 

of Gloucester, ed. 1810, p. 279, 1.3. 
Engelond, England, 26/772. 
England conquered by Julius Caesar, 

engyue, sb. contrivance. 84/2758 ; 

gynne, 19/57O ; gyn, 82/2708. 
engyne, vb. beguile, 47/1501, 68/ 

2214, 76/2508; pp. engyned, 104/ 


enpeche, pres. pi. impeach, 79/2590. 

enpechement, sb. impeachment, 82/ 
2703, 86/2795. 

enpledit, pp. impleaded, 74/2415. 

enselid, pp. sealed, 119/3980. 

ensensid, pp. instructed, taught, 68/ 
2213, 73/2406. 

ensurid, pre. s. plighted troth, pro 
mised, bound, 69/226o ; ensurid, 
pp. 68/2051, 80/2638 ; ensuryd, 
36/H22, 86/2805. 



entende, vb. understand, 26/777. 
F. entendre. 

ententifiich, adv. attentively, 9/239; 
entyntyflich, 104/3483. 

entere, vb. bury, 84/1047 ; pp. en- 
terid, 86/1089.^ 

enteryng, sb. burial, 84/1046. 

er, adv. ere, 116/3888. See or. 

ere, sb. ear, 8/205, 33/IO22 ; pi. eris, 
22/66o,56/i8oo,100/3324. 'Leyd 
to his ere,' listened intently, 8/205. 

ere, sb. hair, 42/1350. 

ertly, adj. earthly, 87/1175. 

estate, sb. condition in life, rank, 
44/1387, 80/2651, ; pi. estatis, 15/ 
442 ; statis, 2/19 ; states, 6/140. 

estris, sb. pi. inner parts of a house, 
chambers, 18/556, 28/837. 

ethir-is, cither's, 6/126. Of. ffifft-is, 
s. v. ffifft ; and his. 

EVANDIR, Steward of Falsetown, 
hears Syrophanes's charge against 
Beryn, pp. 57-8 ; and the blind 
man's charge, pp. 63-4 ; and the 
deserted wife's, pp. 65-6 ; and Ma- 
caign's accusation, pp. 69-71 ; 
presides at Beryn's trial, pp. 93 
115 ; gives judgment against 
Syrophanes, p. 107 ; goes to see 
Hanybald's merchandise, p. 107 ; 
advises him to restore Beryn's 
goods, p. 109 ; consults burgesses 
learned in the law, and gives judg 
ment for the defendant, p 116. 

eve a-fore, on the evening before, 

eueri long, adv. straight along, 62/ 

evenaunte adj., F. avenant, seemly, 
28/8 37 . 

everich, adj. each one, every, 5/132, 

everichone, each one, every one, 23/ 
689, 61/1986; everichon, 102/ 
3382, 109/3641 ; everychon, 92/ 
3068; evirichon, 94/3130; euery- 
choon, 26/792 ; everichoon, 60/ 
1948; every-choon, 94/3112. 

euerv dele, everydele, every whit, 
59)1899, 60/1934. See dele. 

evese, sb. eaves, 72/2354. 

evil, adv. evilly, ill, 88/1012. 

evil, ? read ' well ', Urry's correc 
tion, 73/2398. 

evill-thewid, adj. ill given, of evil 

habits, 67/2177. A.S. yfel and 

evir more a-monc", at intervals, 110/ 

3686. See a-amongis. 
excellent, pres. p. excelling, 3G/ 

1 1 10 ; adj. 86/1114. 
ey, sb. eye, 56/i8oo: pi. eyen, 2/34, 

et passim; eye, 111/3724; yen, 

eye, sb. awe, restraint, 84/1053. 

A.S. ege. See hey. 

factur, sb. capability, 9/247. ' Fac- 
ture: f. The facture, workeman- 
ship, framing, making of a thing ; ' 
. . . Cotgrave. See note, p. 179. 

fale, many, 39/1224. See fele. 

fallace, sb. deceit, 60/1944. Lat. 

Falsetown men, the, their device 
for beguiling strangers, 50- 1/ 
1623-28 ; back one another in 
swearing falsely, 79/2589-2601 ; 
for fear of Isope, 2610-16 ; Gef 
frey and Beryn tame them, 120/ 

fare, sb. demeanour, 81/967. 

fare, vb. go, 82/2699 ; farith 
feir, go on fairly, go suftly, 67/ 

fast, adv. diligently, earnestly, 87/ 
2881, 119/3985. Cf. Barbour's 
Bruce, i. 42. 

FAUNDS, senator of Rome, marries 
Agea, p. 28 ; spoils his son Beryn, 
pp. 29-30 ; receives Agea's dying 
injunctions, p. 32 ; is grieved at 
Beryn's disreputable life, p. 35 ; 
marries Rame, p. 36 ; lectures 
Beryn and threatens to disinherit 
him, pp. 39-40; is reconciled to 
Beryn, and agrees to set him up 
as a merchant, pp. 45-6, carries 
out the agreement, p. 48. 

faute, sb. fault, 57/1838. 

fawe, fain, 62/2022, 120/4017. See 

fay, sb. faith, 24/720, 6^/2032, 90/ 
3003, 96/3193, 100/3338; fey, 
58/1886, 109/3648. 

feir, sb. lire, 88/1187 ; feire, 18/551 ; 
feer, 72/2355. 

fele, adj. many, 96/3177, 3205, 97/ 



3221, 110/3667 ; fale, 39/1224 

(' I sey no fale,' I say not many 

[words].) A.S.feala. 'Fale.' 

Robert of Gloucester, ed. 1810, 

p. 146, 1. 4. 

fele, vb. meditate, 61/1988. 
fell (for fill), full, 90/3006. 
fellich, adv. felly, cruelly, 11/311. 
fenaunce. See fynaunce. 
fences, sb. pi. ? defences, prohibi 
tions, 27/824. See note, p. 186. 
fentyse, sb. deceit, 47/1487. O.F. 

fere, sb. companion, 18/389, 81/966, 

37/1174, 46/1476, 52/1683; pi 

feris, 96/3201. 
ferforth, adv. fully, far, 24/731, 76/ 

2503, 86/2807, 94/3134, 114/3799, 


ferm. pres. pi. affirm, 79/2615. 
ferth, fourth, 27/809, 49/1570, 113/ 

3764, 117/3929.^ 
fese a-wey, vb. drive away, 12/351. 

A.S. fesian. 
fet, pret. s. fetched, 3/6 1 ; pi. 86/ 

2849; pp. i-fett, 29/890; i-fet, 

fetonsly, adv. skilfully, 6/141. O.F. 

adj. faictis. 
fey n, adj. fain, 86/2864, 100/3334, 

108/3607, 116/3896; fawe, 62/ 

2022, 120/4017. 

fey ri, vb. ornament, trill, 8/70. (E.E. 
fejenj F. See note, p. 177. 

feyner, adj. fainer, readier, 66/2124. 

feynyd, pret. s. (?) for feyndyd, at 
tempted, 6/141. See note, p. 178. 

ffeer, vb. terrify, 88/1013. 

ffifft, fifth, 95/3158; ffifft-is, fifth's, 
27/815. Cf. ethir-is, and his. 

ffrank, sb. 39/1228. 'Franc: A 
peece of money worth, in old 
time, but one Sol Tournois ['the 
tenth part of our shilling.' 
Cotg.~\ ; now it goes for twentie ; 
which amount vnto ij s. sterl.' 
Cot grave. 

ffrountis, sb. pi. fronts, 60/1609. 
' Frownt, or frunt of a churche or 
o)?er howsys. Frontispicium, C. 
F. Oath.' Prompt. Parv. 

fikil, adj. deceitful, 41/1283. 

fill, adj. full, 94/3117 ; fell, 90/3006. 

lisiuimy, sb. physiognomy, 96/3196. 

fit, sb. turn, tustle, 41/1309. 'So 
mery a fytt [of swiving] ne had 
sche nat ful yore.' Chaucer, 
Reeves Tale, 1. 310. F. 

flaptaill, sb. whore, 41/1283 : c f- Fr. 
' Cnleter. To wag or stirre the 
buttockes vp and downe ; to moue 
the taile in a wanton time, or 
with the taile keep time vnto a 
wanton musicke.' Cotgrave. F. 

flood, sb. sea, 68/1718; salt flood, 

floure, sb. flower, 111/3694; pi. 
flouris, 28/692. O.F.jfowr. 

flowe, pp. flown, 108/3616. 

fnese, vb. sneeze, 2/42. ' fneosen, 
sternuere.' Stratmann (quoting 
'fnese' in Beryn, 2/42). See 
note, p. 176. 

fole of kynde, a natural fool, 89/ 
2967 ; see 1. 2937-8. 

fonde, vb. seek, 82/2698 ; pret. s. 
fond, 17/529. A.S. fandian. 

Fools have shorn heads, 102/3407, 
108/3426, 113/3779- 

foon, foes, 26/771 ; ffoon, 80/ 

for, prep. = on account of, 2/34, 3/ 
51, 15/440, 21/644, 72/2358, 97/ 
3241 ; ffor, 32/973 ; ffor = ? from, 
28/854 ; = in spite of, 112/3759 ; 
conj. = because, 48/1370, 63/ 
2052 ; fFor = in order that, 7/172. 

forby, adv. near, 88/2728. 

fore stage, sb. forecastle, fore part of 
the ship, 88/2934. 

for-in, adj. ? foreign, 90/2989. 

formally, adv. in good form, 104/ 


fors, no, no matter, 18/396, 61/1984; 
no force, 72/2375. 

for-skramyd, pp. shrunk, distorted, 
73/2381. Scram, distorted (West 
moreland) ; scrambled, deprived 
of the use of some limb by a 
nervous contraction of the 
muscles. F. 

Fortifications of Canterbury in 
spected by the Knight and his 
companions, 9/237-44. 

FORTUNE, 81/943. 

fourm, sb. form, making, 9/247; 
fourm of kynde, natural disposi 
tion, ib. 



fourm, sb. form, bench, 98/3079. 
fray, vb. frighten, 33/ 1013 ; be afraid, 


frelich, adj. freely, unconcernedly, 


frendshipp, sb. friends, 106/3526. 
Friar, the, tries to take the holy 

water sprinkler at the church 

door, p. 6 ; has his eye on the 

Summoner, p. 7 reminds the 

Host of his promised supper, p. 

8 ; visits an acquaintance of the 

Monk, p. 10. 
Friars, knavery of, alluded to, 12/ 

362 ; compared to the Falsetown 

men, 61/1643-4. 
ful ri3te, adv. straight, 48/1546. 
fynall, adj. last, 80/2624. 
fynaunce, sb. fine, penalty, 64/2079, 

79/26io; fenaunce, 77/2534. 
fynd, vb. provide for, 66/2120, 97/ 


fyne, vb. pay a fine, 64/2078, 92/3062. 
fyne, or ffynys, to make, pay a fine, 

115/3851, 116/3872. 
fyne force, of, of necessity, 65/2 no. 

gagid, pret. s. gave security to abide 
judgment, 113/3778. 

gall, sb. gall, ill humour, 14/402, 43/ 
1382,48/1552. A.S. gealla. 

galle, sb. gall, sore place, 37/n5o; 
g;ill, 107/3564. 'galle, 0. Icel 
galli, gall, vitium, vulnus.' 

game, sb. jest, 57/1843, 89/2941, 98/ 

game, set a [of chess], set the chess 
men in their places, 64/1744. 

gamyd, pret. pi. jested, 96/3160. 

Garden of the ' Cheker of the Hope ' 
described, 10/289-294. 

gascoyn, sb. Gascon wine, 10/28o. 

GEFFREY, the sham cripple of False- 
town, pursues Beryn, and offers 
to help him, pp. 73-6 ; his sur 
prising activity, pp. 76-7 ; pro 
mises his help if Beryn will take 
him back to Rome, pp. 77-8 ; his 
account of the Falsetown men, 
arid their duke Isope, pp. 79-82 ; 
and of Isope's house, pp. 82-5 ; 
sets off on a visit to Isope, p. 85 ; 
returns and blames Beryn for his 

faint-heartedness, p. 87 ; plays the 
fool before the Falsetown men, 
pp. 88-9 ; bandys words with 
Hanybald, p. 90; chaffs Hany- 
bald and Beryn, pp. 91-2 ; Evan- 
der, p. 93 ; the plain tiffs generally, 
p. 94; Hanybald, p. 95 ; the blind 
man, p. 96 ; and Beryn, about his 
wife and son, pp. 97-8 ; encour 
ages Beryn, pp. 98-9 ; says he'll 
make the plaintiffs smart, p. 100 ; 
comforts Beryn and the Romans, 
p. 102 ; answers Syrophanes, pp. 
103-6 ; outwits Hanybald, pp. 
107-9 ; answers the blind man, 
pp. 110-12; poses Beryn's sham 
wife, p. 113 ; turns the tables on 
Macaign, pp. 113-15 ; tells Beryn 
what answer to send to Isope, 
p. 118. 
ges, vb. guess, 65/2 1 2 1 , pres. 1 s. 66/ 

gesolreut, 57/1837,? G, sol (G), re 

(D), ut (C). 
' Qwan ilke note til other lepes * 

and makes hem a-sawt, 
That we callcs a moyson ' in 

gesolreut} en hawt.' 
Reliquice Antiquoe, i. 292. F. 

See note, p. 191. 
gist, sb. guest, 16/461 ; pi. gistis, 

18/ 55 o. 
gladder, adj. more glad, 93/3078. 

See long the gladder, 
glose, vb. deceive, speak falsely, 31/ 

958, 54/1741. 
glow, vb. ? read clow = claw, 41/ 

1308. See note, p. 188. 
glyde, vb. pass by, 20/6o8 ; downe 

glyde, slip down, 74/2427. 
goglyng, pres. p. ? shaking, wag 
ging, 6/163. 

gonde, going, 19/574. & ee goon, 
gonne, sb. gun, 9/241. 
good, sb. property, wealth, 64/2075, 

81/2677, 116/3876. 
Good old days, 77/2518-20. 
goodshipp, sb. goodness, 40/1247. 
goon, vb. go, 6/104, 89/2958, 113/ 

3788 ; 1 pres. s. goon, 26/791 ; 

pres. s. gone, 13/374 ; 1 pres. pi. 

goon, 116/3855 ; pres. p. gonde, 

19/574; gond, 31/944; pp. ago, 

20/599,114/3799; a-go, 40/1265, 



70/2277; a-goo, 91/3033; i-goo, 
84/2782; go, 76/2505, 80/2812. 

governaunce, sb. behaviour, conduct, 
9/248,102/3399,119/3990; ? self- 
control, 71/2337 : good manage 
ment, 82/2694; control, discipline, 

grace, sb. aid, succour, 64/2o66. 

grame, sb. grief, 22/673, 29/896. 
A.S. grama. 

gre, sb. pleasure, 68/2060. 

Greece, Isope brought up in, 81/ 

gren, sb. gin, snare, 116/3894. See 
Halliwell, s. v. 'Green.' DatneJu- 
loeke said of the trap in which 
Tibert was caught, 'in the deueles 
name was the grynne there sette / 
&c.' Caxton's lieynard the Fox, 
Cap. x., Arber's ed., p. 22. 

grenyth,^>res. pi. grow green, 28/687. 

grete clerge, much learning, 9/252. 
See clerge. 

Grew, Greek, 81/266 1. 

greynyd, adj. dyed in grain, i. e. 
scarlet, 92/3065. 

grise, vb. be horror-struck, 66/2140, 
86/2801. A.S. agruan. 

groundit, pp. established, 26/757. 

groundly, adv. deeply, seriously, 

guerdon, sb. reward, 76/2486. 

guy, vb. guide, 46/1458. 

GYLHOCHET, a name Geffrey gives 
himself, 92/3048, 108/3421 ; Gyl- 
hoget, 100/3315 ; Gylochet, 3336. 

gyn, gynne, contrivance, 19/570 ; 
82/2708. See engyne. 

hale, vb. haul, pull, 49/1581, 57/ 

1831, 90/2997, 2999, 91/3016; 

pret. s. halid, 2/27 ; pp. hale, 89 / 

2948; halyd, 114/3817. 
halffyndele, sb. half-part, 86/1084. 

A.S. healf, half, and dael, part, 
halk, sb. corner, 44/1407. 
halowid, pp. halloo'd, shouted for, 


halsow, vb. predict, interpret, 6/107. 
'halsien, A.Sax. halsian, hsblsien 
(augurari, obsecrare), &c.' - 
Stratmann. ' Halson. To promise 
or bid fair, good, or bad ; to pre 
dict. Devon.' Halliwell. 

halue, sb. half, side, 64/2064; helve, 

HANYBALD, Provost of Falsetown, 
cheats Beryn, pp. 58-61 ; sees 
Beryn preparing to sail, and stops 
him, pp. 87-8 ; his word-fence 
with Geffrey, p. 90 ; asks Geffrey 
his name, p. 92 ; states his case 
against Beryn, pp. 94-5 ; claims 
the whole of Beryn's goods, p. 
101 ; is outwitted by Geffrey and 
gives Beryn sureties for damages, 
pp. 108-10 ; says he shall never 
recover his losses, p. 116. 

hap, sb. chance, ill-fortune, 1 1/302, 
38/i 1 85, 61/1990, 67/2198; pi. 
happis, 73/2400 ; happous, 67/ 

hap, vb. happen, 64/1739. 

harmys, held hym to his, 22/674, 
? kept his injuries to himself. 
See note, p. 184. 

harowe, out &, 62/2OIO. ' Harowe 
now, out and well away ! he 
cryde, &c.' Faerie Queene, II. 
vi. 43. 

HARPOUR, the late Mr. Jenkyn, 
tribute paid to his memory by 
his wife, Kit the Tapster, p. 1 6. 

hauntid, 1 pret. s. frequented, 7 1/ 
2319. F. hanter. 

haut, adj. high, 67/1837. F. haut. 

havith, subj. pres. 2 pi. have, 69/ 
2243 ; pp. i-had, 80/903, 68/2050. 

hazard, sb. dice-play, 80/924, 38/ 


hazardours, sb. pi. dicers, 44/1408. 
hazardry, sb. dice-playing, 40/1250. 
he, pron. ? she, 28/690. A.S. heo. 
he, pron. they, 86/2826, 94/3 in. 

A.S. hi. 

hegg, sb. hedge, 1/8. 
hele, sb. health, welfare, 8/46, 15/ 

hele, vb. conceal, 70/2293, 96/3195. 

A.S. helan. 

helve, side, 67/2178. ' See halue. 
hem, pron. them, 1/4, et passim; 

ham. 7/178. 

hem, ? for adv. here, 9/264. 
hen, adv. hence, 60/1930. 
hend, adj. courteous, gentle, 10/ 

287 ; eride, 47/1491 ; end, 52/ 




hent, pret. s. caught, 74/2424, 2429; 

pp. i-hent, 2431. 
her, their, 49/1569. See hir. 
herbegage, sb. inn, lodging, 18/379, 

21/627. O.F.herberjage. L. Lat. 

herbergagium. Roquefort, s. v. 

1 Heberge.' 
herbery, sb. herb-garden, 10/289. 

O.F. herbier, herberie. Roquefort. 
hert fill, heart's fill, 90/3006, 94/ 

hertiest, adj. most courageous, 84/ 


herds rote, heart's root, 8/59. 
hertis swete, sb. sweetheart, 48/ 

hertly, adj. hearty, 8/201, 87/1173, 

118/3949. _ 
hest, sb. promise, command, 88/2901, 

101/3362, 105/3514, 119/3971. 
hey, sb. (A.S. ege) awe, restraint, 

80/903. See eye. 
hir, hire, pron. her, 2/25, 39, et 

hir, pron. their, 1/13, et passim ; her, 


hire, adv. here, 17/517. 
his, the genitive in es, 62/2003, 112/ 

3732. Of. ethir-is; and ffifft-is, 

s. v. ffifft. 

hit, pron. it, 29/892. Cf. hown. 
hi^e noon, i. e. midday, or the tip 

top point of the wheel of fortune, 

31/945. W. W. S. 
ln$te,pret. s. named, 27/799. 
hi3te, 2 pret. s. promised, 102/3397; 

hi^te, pp. 106/3540. &ee behote. 
ho, pron. who = whoever, 106/3520. 
holich, adv. wholly, 1/6 ; hoolich, 


Holy Roman Empire, 26/733-42. 
Holy Sepulchre, pilgrimages to the, 

hond, vb. lay hands on, handle, 62/ 

2020; pres. s. hondis, 118/3946. 
honde, sb. hand, 48/1532, 58/i88o; 

hond, 57/1838; pi. hondis, 2/37. 
hongit. See be-horgit. 
honoure, sb. fief, domain, 28/849, 

40/I26I, 46/1469; honour, 48/ 

1524, 72/2358. 'Honor, * * * 

fief, domaine.' Roquefort. 
hoost, sb. inn, 10/294. O.F. ost or 

host, inn, hostel. 

hoot, adj. hot, 41/1317. 

Horse, a gentle heart's feeling to 

wards his, 52/1686-88. 
Host, the, orders the pilgrim's din 

ner, p. 2 ; reproves the irreverence 

of the Pardoner and his friends, 

p. 6 ; promises the pilgrims a 

supper at Southwark, p. 8 ; sends 

the noisy pilgrims to bed, p. 14 ; 

his rhapsody on the fine morning, 

pp. 22-8 ; wants some one to tell 

the first tale, p. 23. 
hown, adj. own, 88/1179. Cf. hit. 
bowsing, sb. pi. housen, houses, 27/ 

831. Here out-buildings are most 

likely meant. 

huch, pron. which, 7/176, 17/517. 
huche,s6. chest, 76/25 10. F.'Hwhe, 

aHutchorBinne.' Cotgrave. F. 

' That Arke or Hucche * * * Tytus 

ledde with hym to Rome,' &c. 

Maundevile, ed. Halliwell, Ib66, 

p. 85. 

hul by hul, side by side, 16/455. 
hullid, pret. s. covered, embraced, 

46/1477. O.K. Germ, hullen; 

pret. hulda. Stratmann, s. v. 

'hulien.' See note, p. 190. 
husst, pp. husht, 92/3067. 
hy, vb. hie, haste, 109/3631 ; hi^e, 

39/1236; imp. hyen, 95/3170. 
hyust, interj. hist 1 18/536. 

{Some past participles are here 

i-answerd, pp. answered, 94/31 n. 
i-armyd, pp. armed, 88/2909. 
i-blowe, pp. blown, in blossom, 41/ 

i-bore, pp. managed, 116/3875. 
i-bound, pp. bound, 99/3294. 
i-brayid, drawn, 118/3935. & ee 

i-cappid, pp. wearing caps or hoods, 


i-cast, plotted, 61/1964. See casten. 
i-closid, pp. closed, 82/2721. 
i-colerid, pp. coloured, disguised, 

51/1658. . 
i-congerid, conjured, 16/489. See 

i-couchid, pp. set, 99/3300; couchid, 




demed, judged, 4/96. See deme. 
-di^te, pp. put to rights, set in 
order, equipped, made ready, 22/ 
657, 37/1172, 45/1437, 52/1687; 
in-dight, 8^/2927. A.S. dihtan. 
-dyned, pp. dined, 87/2883. 
-entrid, pp. entered, 112/3760. 
-esid, pp. eased, 80/2628. 
-ete, pp. eaten, 84/2782. 
-fett, fetched, 29/890. See fet. 
-fourinyd, pp. formed, 84/2761. 
-frethid, pp. protected, 10/292. A.S. 

freo%ian, to set apart, protect. 
i-fretid, pp. fretted, 117/3926. 
i-goo, gone, 84/2782. See goon. 
i-hent, caught, 74/2431. See hent. 
i-herd. See i-here (below). 
i-here, vb. hear, 91/3021 ; pp. i-herd, 

115/3863. A.S. geheran. 
i-hold, pp. held, thought, 98/3082 ; 

bound, obliged, 108/3595. 
i-hurid, pp. wearing headgear, 55/ 
1772. 'HowE, or hure. heed 
hyllynge. ' Prompt. Parv. See 
the note thereon, and also Halli- 
well, B. v. HURE. 
i-iapid, mocked, 104/3459. See 


i-ioyned, pp. joined, 82/2721. 
i-knet. See i-knyt. 
i-knowe, known, 91/3037. See 

i-knyt, pp. knit, i. e. married, 40/ 

1280; i-knet, knotted, 89/2947. 
i-la88id,j7p. lessened, 25/754; lassid, 


i-led, pp. laden, 48/1526. 
i-lerid, learned, 101/3364, 115/3857. 

See lere. 

i-leve, ? pp. lived, 65/2 121. 
i-loggit, lodged, 5/131, 11/304, 13/ 

374. See loggit. 
i-luke, pp. locked, embraced, 96/ 


-lore, lost, 39/i2i6. See lese. 
-lost, pp. lost, 113/3784. 
-makid, pp. made, 16/291. 
-massid, pp. when it was al, when 

mass was over, 5/IO2. 
-inatid, pp. mated at chess, 64/1749, 

55/1767, 93/3093, 105/3512. g 
-merkid, pp. stamped, as a coin is, 
met, pp. met, 92/3056. 


-mevid, spoken, 8/199, 82/2704, 

112/3758. See meve. 
-mynt. pp. minted, 15/434. 
-rnyryd, pp. ? bemired, stuck in the 

bog, 102/3388. 
-myssid, jpp. misst, misstated, 104/ 


-nayid, pp. denied, 86/2829. 
-paid, pp. paid, 71/2320. 
-parid, pp. adorned. 10/291. F.parer. 
-peynyd, distressed, 68/2046. See 

-pikid, pp. cleansed, brushed up, 

54/1734. ' PYKYD, or purgyd fro 

fylthe, or oj^er thynge grevows. 

Purgatiis.' Prompt. Parv. 
-pilt, pp. struck, 18/559. & ee Strat- 

mann, s. v. ' bulten.' 
-pleynyd, complained, 68/2045. See 


-previd, pp. proved, 112/3738. 
-pulsshid, pp. polished, 54/1734. 
-rasid,_pp. shaved, 88/2936, 91/3032. 

F. raser. 

-rau^t, caught, 78/2389. See rau^te. 
-rayd, pp. arrayed, 8^/2927. 
-raylid, pp. railed, 10/291. 
-seclid, pp. ? settled (Urry reads 

ysetlid), 78/2583. * i-ssecled,' be 
came sick. La^amon, 30549. F. 
-sesid, pp. possessed, 58/i88o; 

sesid, 48/1549, 68/2061. 
-set, seated, 92/3055. See sat. 
-set, fixed, 26/798; set, 54/1746. 

See setten. 

-shethid, pp. sheathed, in a scab 
bard, 117/3925. 
-sod, V buried. 89/1217. A.S. seo%an. 

See note, p.' 188. 
-sotyd, _pp. besotted, 86/1138. 
-spilt, pp. ruined, 75/2452. A.S. 

-spronge, spread, 68/2213. See 


-sferyd, pp. steered, 107/3564. 
-swept, pp. swept, 108/3590. 
-take, taken, 68/2042, 98/3248. See 


-thankid, pp. thankt, 117/3903. 
-told, pp. told, said, 69/2258. 
-went, brought about, 40/1264; 

contrived, 48/1522. See wenden. 
-wrouit, pp. done, 91/3009, 102/ 





ilclie, adj. same, l/ii, et passim; 

ilke, 40/1467, et passim; ilk, 5/ 

119, 116/3889. 
i-lich, adj. like, 26/736; lich, 114/ 

3796; Jiche, 117/3930; lycb, 28/ 


i-lich, adv. alike, 14/402. 
i-lome, adv. frequently, 41/1312; 

lome, 53/1701, 65/2101, 67/2191, 

70/2275 ; lorn, H/330. A.S. gelome. 
imaginacioun, sb. image, simile, 34/ 


in, prep, upon, 66/2109, 67/2197. 
in fere, together, 10/268, 277, 50/ 

1603, 60/1940, 91/3025 ; in feer, 

15/433; i-fere, 74/2421. 
in hast, in haste, quickly, 82/2718. 
in parcell. See parcell. 
in town, at hand, 2/i8. See note, 

p. 176. 
in-dighr, equipped, 88/2927. See 

influence, sb. inflow, quantity, 77/ 

inlich, adv. inly, deeply, 28/867 > 

inly, 47/1515, 80/2643. 
inner, more within, further inside, 


innocent, sb. innocence, 68/2207. 
i-nowe, adv. enough, 8/220; i- 

insolible, adj. unanswerable, un- 

solvable, 80/2622. 
intelleccioune, sb. mind, will, 75/ 

into, prep. unto, 48/1533, 98/3268, 

119/3976; in-to, 40/1272, 50/1592, 

92/3054, 110/3687. 
isope, sb. hyssop, 16/292. 
ISOPE, Duke, Geffrey's account of 

him and his house, pp. 80-5 ; 

sends an embassy to Beryn with 

presents, pp. 117-18 ; and a safe 

conduct, p. 119 ; weds his daugh 

ter to Beryn, p. 120. 
it for he, used in speaking of a 

child, 97/3237. 

iangill, -lib. prate, 99/3280 ; pres. p. 
iangelyng, 57/1851 ; ianglyng, 
92/3054. 'Jangler, * * * blamer, 
jaser, caqueter, bavarder, * * * 
railler, plaisanter, se moquer ; 
joculari. ' lioquefort. 

iape, sb. jest, 62/2012 ; pi. iapis, 1/7, 

iapid, pret. s. jested, mocked, 89/ 
2969 ; pp. i-iapid, 104/3459. 

iogelour, s6. juggler, 111/3693. 

Judges should be like Marcus Stoy- 
cus, 27/804. 

iugg, sb. judge, 107/3S6i. 

JULIANE, S., besought by the Par 
doner to send the Tapster to the 
devil, 21/626. 

IULIUS CEZAR, 26/766 ; Cezare, 773. 

inly, adj. gay, lively, 74/2441 . O.F. 
jolif. 'So iuly [marginal colla 
tion ynly] fayre she was of her 
fygure.' Hardy ng's Chronicle, 
ed. Ellis, 1812, 124/15. 

karff a too, pret. s. carved or cut in 
two, 19/588. A.S. ceorfan. 

karse, sb. cress, 31/971. A.S. cerse. 

keke, vb. look hard at, 29/900. 

kele^, vb. cool, 16/470. A.S. celan. 

kenebowe, in, akimbo. 57/1838. 

kepe, sb. care, 72/2356. 

kepe, pres. 1 s. care, 16/465. 

keueryng, sb. covering, ceiling, 83/ 

kiss : men kiss each other to settle 
an agreement, 78/2572. Cf. tuk 
le meyn. 

kissid, pret. pi. kissed, licked, as 
flames do, 72/2354. 

kist, pret. 1 s. cast, 89/2955 ; 3 s. 

Kitt, V a name for an amorous dam 
sel, 3/66. Cf. 15/443, 33/ioii. 

kitt, pret. s. cut, 13/393. 

knave child, male child, 96/3207. 

knawe, ? vb. acknowledge, di splay, 
84/2758. (See note, p. 196.) pp. 
i-knowe, 91/3037. 

Knight, the, settles the precedence 
of the pilgrims at the church door, 
p. 6 ; changes his clothes and goes 
into the town, p. 8 ; criticises the 
fortifications, p. 9 ; ironically com 
mends the Clerk's defence of the 
Friar, p. 9 ; acts as Marshall at 
supper, p. 13. 

knor, sb. swelling in the flesh, 76/ 
2514. ' cnarre, L. Germ, kiiarre, 
knar (gnar), tuber, vertex; 1 &c. 



knot, sb. ' knotte yn the fleshe, vndyr 
th j skynne. Glandula.' Prompt. 
Parv. 76/2514. 

knowlechid, pp. acknowledged, 115/ 


kynd, adj. natural, 72/2345. 

kynde, sb. nature, natural disposi 
tion, 9/247, et passim; kynd, 6/ 
1 60, 96/3196. 

laid their heads together, consulted, 

lakk, V fault, 62/1682. See note, 
p. 191. 

lap, sb. skirt, 70/2286. 

las & more, less and greater, 49/ 
1578, 53/1696, 68/2212. Cf. les 
or more. 

lassh, pret. s. let, shed, 2/34. O.Fft 
lascher, laxare. See Stratmann, 
s. v. ' lasken.' 

lassid, lessened, 26/754. See i-lassid. 

last, sb. ballast, 90/2996. 'Lest et 
Lestage, Gallis prseterea dicitur 
pro sabulo navibus injecto ut sta- 
biliores navigent, the ballace, vel 
rectius, ballance of the ship : eo- 
demq ; sensu occurit vox in Stat. 
de Caleis, 22. Ric. 2. ca[p.] 18.' 
Spelman. 'fech more last' = 
bear a heavier burden, draw more 

launch out a bote, 86/2845. 

lau^e, vb. laugh, 90/3006 ; law^e, 
94/3117, 100/3335 ; pret. s. lou^e, 
89/2964 ; lowje, 92/3252 ; pi. 
laujhid, 93/3084 ; lawu^id, 95/ 
3161 ; lawsid, 96/3202 ; Iow3e, 
103/3420; lau^id, 104/3461 

leche, sb. leech, physician, 39/1242, 

leem, sb. flame, 72/2352, 83/2729. 
A.S. leoma. See note in Prompt. 
Parv. s. v. LEEM. 

lefte, sb. leaf, 107/3582 ; pi levis, l/ 9 . 

leffe, adj. lief, willing, 107/3566. 

legeman, sb. liege man, 77/2530. 

legg, vb. lay, wager, 66/1765 ; pret. 
pi. leyde, 57/i86o ; subj. pres. 1 s. 
ley, 54/1761. 

lele, adj. true, upright, 107/3561. 
O.F. leal. 

Leopards, Isope's, hate man's breath, 

lere, adj. empty, 60/1953. 

lere, vb. learn, teach, 26/790, 115/ 

3830, 120/4oo8 ; pres. 1 s. lere, 

87/2870; pret. s. leryd, 118/3962; 

pp. i-lerid, 101/3364, 116/3857. 
leris, sb. pi. faces, 96/3202. A.S. 


les or more, 70/2278. 
lese, sb. pi. lies, 66/2141. 
lese, vb. lose, 2/41, et passim; pres. 

2s. 100/3318; pp.i-\ore, 39/i2i6; 

lore, 60/1955, 112/3731. 
lesing, sb. loss, 16/440, 96/3177. 
lesing, pres. p. speaking falsely, 79/ 

2611. A.S. leasian. 
let, vb. hinder, 33/1015, 47/1516, 

61/1965, 71/2319. 
lete, pret. s. let, permitted, 40/1253, 

97/3212; imp. let, leave, 6/157 

(' let stond,' leave alone, let be) ; 

let, cause, 44/1396, 46/1466, et 

passim; lete, 64/1744, 88/2917 ; 

pp. lete, let [fall], shed, 96/3176. 
lett, sb. hindrance, 68/1892 ; let, 92/ 

3069, 111/3718. 
leue, vb. ? better, ' lene,' 18/562. 

' Leue ' is the A.S. lyfan = allow, 

permit : ' lene,' the A.S. Icenan = 

lend, give. Consult index to 

Havelok, ed. Skeat (E. E. T. S.), 

s. v. Leue, on this point, 
leute, sb. good faith, 101/3368. O.F. 

leve, vb. believe, 37/n6i ; pres. 1 s. 

leve, 29/876, 47/1514, 78/2558; 

2 pi. levith, 41/1286 ; 3 pi. 102/ 
3401 ; pret. 1 s. leuyd, 63/2049 '> 

3 pi. levid, 102/3380 ; imp. s. 
leve, 40/1252, 57/1848 ; pi levith, 
46/1454 ; pp. levid, 64/2087. 

levir, rather, 26/796, et passim ; wel 
levir, much rather, 92/3038. In 
71/2336, 118/3934, levir = more 
pleasant, or grateful. 

levith, imp. pi. leave, 68/2222 ; pp. 
levid, 43/1368. 

lewde, or lewd, adj. ignorant, stupid, 
51/1627,72/2366, et passim; leude, 
99/3276. In 84/2766, it means 
ill-mannered; in 88/2919, unfit, 
clumsy ; arid in 93/3o8i, perhaps, 

lewder, adj. more stupid, 77/2538. 

libardis, sb. pi leopards, 83/2741. 



liggen, vb. lie, 12/346 ; lygg, 16/452 ; 
lige, 20/621 ; ligg, 64/2079, 83/ 
2738, 114/3816; pres. 1 s. ligg, 
2/28 ; pres. p. liggyng, 11/310, 
68/1879; ligging, 68/1697. 

lifter, adj. more- active, 17/505. 

lutly, adv. easily, quickly, 18/562, 
72/2374 ; Ii3tlich, 68/1873. 

lissom, adj. cheerful, 22/663, 90/ 

Lion, Isope's, his voracity, 84/ 

lirylong, adv. stretcht out, 1 1/310. 

Cp. 'laide here legges aliri,' in , 

Piers Plowman, Text B (E. E. 

T. S.), vi. 124. See note, pp. 179, 

lis, vb. ease, comfort, 81/948. A.S. 

list, impers. pres. pleases, 64/1752, 

&c. ; lyst, 72/2347 ; pret. lust, 64/ 

1749 ; subj. pres. list, 61/1980. 
listith, pres. 2 pi. wish, 67/2195 ; 

list, 66/2100 ; lest, 74/2422 ; subj. 

pres. 2 pi. lust, 26/790 ; list, 45/ 

1438, 59/1899, 1921 ; pret. 1 pi 

lust, 106/3504. 
lite, adj. little, 22/66o, et passim; 

lyte, 72/2373 ; H 3 t, 78/2397. 
lither, adj. wicked, 46/1459. A.S. 

loder, sb. the guiding star, lode-star, 

pole-star, 49/i 569. 
lodisman, sb. pilot, 50/i6oi ; pi. lo- 

dismen, 48/1555. 
loggit, pret. pi. lodged, 1/13 ; pp. 

i-loggit, 6/131, 11/304, 13/3745 

loggid, 11/301 ; loggit, 21/639. 
lombard, sb. Italian, 81/2662. 
loinbe, sb. lamb, 66/1803. 
lome, or lorn, frequently, 68/1701, 

&c. See i-lome. 
londe, or lond, sb. land, 21/626, 47/ 

1508, et passim; pi londis, 25/ 

738, et passim. 

londit, pret. pi. landed, 89/2971. 
long the gladder, by far the more 

[glad of the two], 98/3078. 
looth, adj. loath, unwilling, 107/ 

lordshipp, sb. lordly person, 119/ 

3968 ; pi lordshippis, districts 

over which a Lord is master, 120/ 


lore, sb. wisdom, teaching, 1/3, ll/ 
328, et passim. 

losery, sb. ? gambling, 80/925, 39/ 
1228. 'Los: Sort, destin, . . .' 
Roquefort. ' loser, flatter, trem- 
per.' Hippeau. 

lot, sb. ? lote, loft, floor. See note, 
p. 181. 

loth* 1 , impers. displeased, 66/2119. 
A.S. IdZian. 

loute, vb. bow, 87/2872, 88/2924. 
A.S. lutian. 

lowe, allow, 61/1653. See alowe. 

lowe, vb. low, moo, 98/3246. 

lukir, sb. gain, 116/3896. Lat. 

lust, sb. liking, desire, 81/941, 33/ 
1029, 54/1754, 107/3578 ; pi 
lustis, 1/7, 9/235. 

luxury, sb. lust, 22/664. Lat. 

lyden, sb. Latin, language, 18/482. 
A.S. leden. 'The ledden of the 
birds most perfectly she [More- 
land] knew:' &c. Polyolbion, 
Song the Twelfth, in Drayton's 
Works, 1753, vol. iii. p. 905. 

lyste, sb. list, edge or hem of a gar 
ment, 68/22 1 6. See Prompt. Parv. 
s. v. Lysure, and the note thereon. 

lyvand, pres. p. living, 82/979, 36/ 

lyuery, sb. delivery, 69/1896. 

MACAIGN, a catchpoll of Falsetown, 
dupes Beryn, and accuses him of 
murder, pp. 68-70 ; gives the de 
tails at Beryn's trial, p. 99 ; pro 
poses to share Beryn's goods, p. 
101 ; his anger at Beryn's deliver 
ance from Syrophanes, p. 108 ; 
the tables turned on him by Gef 
frey, pp. 113-15 ; finds sureties 
for damages, p. 115. 

made, pret. s. feigned, 2/33, 91/ 

made = make, 44/1410. See note, 
p. 189. 

Magicians, Isope's, their magical 
arts, 84/2773-76. 

make, sb. mate, wife, 28/978, 980, 
982, 66/2105. 

makers, sb. pi. poets, 76/2462. 

male, sb. wallet, 28/701. 



m;iletalent, sb. malice, 112/3759. 
O.F. maltalent. 

man, sb. chess-man, 66/1821. 

Manciple, the, goes into the town, 
p. 10 ; sings after supper, p. 14. 

marchantfare, sb. merchant's voy 
age, 109/3625. A.S. fcKTj journey. 

marchis, sb. pi. marches, country, 
53/1702, 55/1775, 76/2491, HO/ 
3677, H9/3982. 

MARCUS STOYCUS, ?Cato of Utica, 

Marshall, a, his office at supper, 13/ 


mase, sb. pi. maces, 56/i8o6. 
masid, adj. crazy, 96/3190, 3203, 


mastris, gen. s. master's, 58/1710, 
67/2189, 112/3741 ; mastris, 
masters, 111/3726. Cf. raftris. 

mastry, sb. mastery, cunning, skill, 
11/32O. Fr. maistrie. 

may, vb. be troubled, 62/2Oi8. Fr. 
' s'esmayer. To be sad, pensive, 
astonyed, carefull ; to take 
thought.' (Cotgrave.) F. 

maystowe, inayst thou, 91/3021. 

mede, sb. meed, reward, 7/i86. 

meene honde, third party, 48/1532. 

MELAN, Macaign's father, Beryn ac 
cused of murdering, p. 70 ; evi 
dence in the case, pp. 99-100; 
Geffrey's answer, pp. 113-15. 

mell, vb. meddle, 116/3890; pres. 
s. mel, 80/2648. O.F. meller. 

men, sb. used like the F. on, 34/ 

mende, sb. mind, 95/3152. The 
Prompt. Parv. has : ' Mende. Me- 
moria, mencio, rnens.' 

mend it, amended, 34/1045. See 

Merchant, the, helps the Host in 
making up the accounts, p. 14 ; 
praises the Host's tact in ruling 
the pilgrims, and offers to tell the 
first tale, pp. 23-4. 

Merchants, terms of partnership be 
tween, 110/3675-76. 

mercylese, adj. merciless, 71/2314. 

merellis, sb. nine men's morris, 40/ 
1250. See note, p. 187. 

uiere'y, adv. merrily, 22/676, 678. 

mery, ? sb. merriment, 70/2289. 

See note, p. 194. 
mes, sb. mess, dish, 55/1773, 85/ 

2818, 110/3688. Fr. l Mes: in. 

A messe, or seruice of meat; a 

course of dishes at table.' Cot 
grave. F. 
message, sb. messenger, 44/1401. 

O.F. message. L.Lat. messageriits. 

See Roquefort, P. v. ' Messadge.' 
messe, sb. mass, 34/1046; mas, 111/ 


mete, sb. meal, 117/3919. 
mete, vb. dream, 4/ioi. A.S. mcetan. 
meve, vb. move, touch upon, 5/128, 

79/2593 ; pp. i-mevid, spoken, 

uttered, 8/199, 82/2704, 112/3758; 

administered, 112/3737 ; mevid, 

spoken, 115/3852. 
meyne, sb. company, ship's crew, 

household, 9/237, 59/1923, 114/ 

3819; meyny, 102/3379. Ap 
plied to chess-men, 54/1733. 
meynten, vb. assist, 100/3327 ; 

meyiitenyth, pres. s. maintain in 

law, back up in a suit, 100/3323. 
Miller, the, sets the Pardoner right 

on a question of blazonry, p. 6 ; 

steals Canterbury brooches, p. 7 ; 

sits up drinking with the Cook, 

p. 14. 
Ml = M^le = 1000, 52/1677. W. 

W. S. 

mo, adj. more, 17/5i6, et passim. 
moblis, sb. pi. goods, movables, 47/ 

1511. F. meuble. 
mocioune, sb. proposition, motion, 

9/264,79/2593; mocioun, 60/1 932. 
mode, sb. temper, spirit, 6/105, 45/ 

1421, 53/1725, 66/2129, 101/3373; 

anger, 72/2363 ; mood, 17/502. 
mode, ? adj. mojdy, 38/1196. See 

note, p. 187. 

Modern times bad, 77/25 18. 
moilled, jwe. s. wetted, 6/139, slob- 

bered ; mollid, 46/1477. F. 

moid, man of, earth-born, mortal 

man, 68/2043. Cf. Henry V. 

III. ii. 23. 
Monk, the, characterized by the 

Summoner, p. 7 ; invites the 

Parson and the Friar to go with 

him to see an acquaintance, p. 10. 



monstrefulle, adj. monstrous, 84/ 

moon, sb. moan, complaint, 96/3190. 

more, sb. root, 84/1056. '* * * on 
o More \>ei growed.' Piers Plow 
man, Text B, pass. xvi. 1. 58 (E. E. 
T. S.). Still common in Dorset. 

more, }?e, & eke the laee, the greater 
and the less also, 107/3558. See 
las & more. 

most greatest, 110/3681. 

motehall, sb. town-hall, 88/2922. 
A S. mot-heal. 

mourned, pret. pi. were deep in 
thought, 6/151. See note, p. 178. 

mo we = may, 25/755, e ^ passim; 
mow, 25/749. 

mut, adj. mute, 35/1096 ; muet, 64/ 
2065; mewet, 2081; mwet, 66/ 

mut = ma vest, or may, with opt. 
sense, 8/57, 5/ii6, 88/1012 ; = 
must, 29/891, et passim. 

mydmorowe, sb. mid-morning, i. e. 
"9 a.m. 1/13. 

myere, sb. mere, lake, 11/304. 

myrthis, sb. pi. pleasantry, amuse 
ment, 1/4, 8/203, 103/3428, 119/ 
4000. Applied to the perform 
ance of a conjuror, 111/3693, 

my^tfull, adj. mighty, 71/2339, 102/ 


mys-do, pp. done amiss, 107/3568. 
mys-wrou^t, pp. done amiss, 43/ 

mytens, sb. pi. gloves, 97/3239. 

O.F. mitaine. See Halliwell, s. v. 

' Mitaine - ; and Prompt. Parv. 

s. v. ' Myteyne,' with the note 


n ad (ne had), pret. s. had not, 117/ 

napron, sb. apron, 2/33. O.F. na- 

nas (ne was) was not, 30/907, 49/ 

nat, adv. not, 2/31, et passim; nowt, 
4/71 ; nou^te, 45 / 1426. 

ne, now, 104/3478. See noweth. 

ne, conj. nor, 1/5, et passim. 

Negative, in Civil Law, rule relat 
ing to a, 64/2067-8, 79/2602-6. 

neinpt, pret. 1 s. mentioned, 

114/3811; pret. s. nempnid, 17/ 

ner (ne were), pres. 2 s. subj. were 

not, 33/1019 ; pres. s. nere, 3'J/ 

1220; ner, 88/2730. 
ner J?e latter, nevertheless, 5/I2O; 

Jatiir, 94/3119. 
nere, vb. draw near, approach, 21 / 


nere, adv. ne'er, 59/1918. 
nere & nere, nearer and nearer, 29/ 

879, 74/2424. 
nere end. See nere hond. 
nere hond, nearly, 16/474, 73/2389; 

nere end, 5/123. $ ee n J hond. 
nere 3 it, nearer yet, 95/31 68. 
nethirles, adv. nevertheless, 58/1722. 
nevir a dele, never a whit, 62/1996. 

See dele. 

next, adv. nearest, 60/1943. 
ney, vb. neigh, 98/3245. 
no dele, no whit, 11/307. See dele, 
nobley, sb. pomp, nobleness, 118/ 

3957, 119/3969. O.F. noblois. 

Roquefurt, s. v. * Nobilite.' 
nol (ne wol), pres. 1" s. will not, 7/ 

190; nyl (ne wil), 47/1517 ; nolt 

(ne wolt), 2 s. wilt not, 61/1973; 

nyl, I pi. 94/3110. 
nold (ne wold), pret. 1 s. would not, 

4/89; pret. s. 6/142, 30/9io, 6G/ 


noil, sb. head, 98/3259. A.S. hnott. 
non-obstant, prep, notwithstanding, 

75/2467. F. nonobstant. 
nonys, for >e, for the occasion, 18/ 

544,79/2613,94/3126; the nonys, 

111/3726. See note in Prompt. 

Parv. s. v. ' For the nonys.' 
note, I, I know not, 8/62, et passim ; 

not, 53/1699. 
nou^t, nothing, 41/1291 ; nau^t, 71/ 


non^te, not, 45/1426. See nat. 
noweth, adv. now, 115/3831 ; nowej, 

97/3213 ; ne, 104/3478. 
nowt, not, 4/71. See nat. 
Nun, the. a monk at Canterbury 

Cathedral wants to see her face, 

p. 6. 
nyce, adj. foolish, 1/7, 75/2445, 88/ 

2 933) 103/34i6, 3420. In 9/262 

it seems to mean icickcd. ' Nice : 



com. Lither, lazie, sloaftfull, idle; 

faint, slacke ; dull, simple. 1 Cot- 

nycete, sb. folly, 39/1222. 
nygramanrers, necromancers, 

nygromancy, sb. necromancy, 12/ 

339 ; nygramance, 84/2773. O.F. 

nigremance. L. Lat. necromantia, 

from vftcpopavTsia. 
nyjhith, pres. s. approaches, 81/970, 

42/1318; pret.s. nyjhid, 29/879, 

ny bond, well nigh, 18/562 ; ny^e 

hond, 30/906. See nere hond. 
nyl, will not, 47/1517. See nol. 
nys (ne is), is not. 41/1313, et passim. 

o, one, 2/21, et passim. 

Oath, the Pardoner's greater, 4/90. 
Cf. Eobert of Gloucester, ed. 1810, 
p. 242, 1. 7. ' Edwyne was wroj? 
vor J>ys, and suor ys more o)?.' 
' Hire [the Prioress's] grettest ooth 
i) as but by seynt Loy.' Prol. 
Cant. Tales, 1. 120. 

Oaths and Adjurations. 

Amyas, by seynt, 20/593. 

Benedicite, 2/40, 11/314, 40/1271, 
53/I7I8, 97/3225. 

book & bell, be, 33/1017. 

bou^t me dere, be hym }>at, 53/ 

Bromholm, by J?e rood of, 23/717. 
Cf. 53/1726. See P. PL (Claren 
don Press), Pass. V. 1. 231, note: 
and Ch. Beves Tale, 1. 366. W. 
W. S. ' Mr. Wright says that a 
portion of the true cross was 
supposed to be preserved in a 
reliquary, in the form of a cross, 
belonging to the Priory of Brom- 
holme in Norfolk.' Bell's Chau 
cer, ed. 1854, vol. i. p. 233, note. 

conscience, be my trewe, 8/50. 

cote, for my, 4/88. The 'cote' is 
the rondeau or cote-hardie intro 
duced toward the latter part of 
the 14th ceutury. Mr. Wright 
describes it as 'a habit Fitting 
close, reaching only down to the 
haunches, and buttoned down the 
breast ;' and gives a woodcut of a 

lady (Marguerite de Clisson) wear 
ing one. Womankind, chap. xii. 
'for' = by. 

Criste died on the rode, and for al 
men-kynde his gost pas lete, leve 
J3owe me as wele as, i. e. believe 
me as truly as that Christ died on 
the cross, and gave up the ghost 
for all men, 40/1252-53. 

Cristis blessing go with alle such, 

curs go with hym, 20/6oi. 

curse com oppon hir body, 40/ 

Danyel, seynt, yeur swevyn turne 
to good, 5/1 06. 

Depardeux, De par Dieu, 64/2093, 
102/3413, 117/3915; Deupartleux, 
80/2637. See note, p. 195. 

deth, Away . . with evil, 16/483. 

devill, what, is }ewe, What the 
devil's the matter with you 1 98/ 

devill, the, hir spede, 16/488. See 

hym spech, 39/1229. Faunus 

means: The devil patch his 
clothes, who cares if Beryu's be 
ragged. See note, p. 188. 

devill, the, of hell breke this thevis 
bonys, 18/543. 

hym spede, 7/185. 

hir to-tere, 33/1014. 

J>e tere, 17/514. Cf. 33/1014. 

evil mut j?owe the, J?at, ill rnayst 
thou thrive, bad luck to you, 33/ 
10 1 2. Evil is an adv.; \>at has an 
opt. force. The is the A.S. \>eon, 
thrive, flourish, &c. 

fay, in, 90/3003, 100/3338. 

fey, be my, 58/i886. 

God, as, rriy soule save, 77/2530, 


assoyll hir soule, 53/1716. 

, be, & by seynt Ion, 68/2226. 

See 39/1220. 

, be, in heven, by Petir, & by 

lame, 33/ioi6. 
, be, omnipotent, 41/1289, 75/ 

2476, 95/3154. 
, blessid be, of mendernent, of 

hele & eke of cure, 3/46. 

- for (i. e. by), 16/472. 
gyve hym evil preff, 17/5 11. 



Oaths and Adjurations. 
God, have, my trowith, 17/5 10, 

, hem jeld, God reward them, 

52/i 680. 
, hym graunte wynnyng, ri^te 

as he hath a-servid, 95/3163. 

, so, me help, 44/1402. 

, wold to, 4/IOO. 

woot, God knows, 12/339. 

Goddis blessing have bow, 3/66. 
good will be my chaunce, 24/728. 
graunt rnercy, 8/56, 47/1489, 59 / 

1907, 68/2232 ; graunte mercy, 

45/1443, 115/3840; gromercy, 39/ 

heven quene, }>at bare Criste in hir 

barme (i. e. bosom), by, 75/2457. 

Cf. 4/ 79 . 

Jame, by, 33/ioi6. See God, be. 
lohn, be seynt, 39/1 220. See 68/ 

ludas sold, for (i. e. by) hym J?at, 

lady, our, gyve hym sorowe, 7/183, 

lady Mary, f>at bare Ihesu on hir 

arm, by our, 4/79. Cf. 75/2457. 
lord, 12/346, 16/492, 56/1803. 
Lord God, 52/i66i. 
mas, by him J?at first made, 111/ 


Petir, by, 33/ioi6. See God, be. 
rood, by the, 68/1726. Cf. 23/717. 
sorowe com on thy hede, 99/3277. 
Thomas shryne, by seynt, 8/221. 
trowith, be my, 5/ii6, 20/6o2, 78/ 


, be, of my body, 70/2288. 

, have God my, 17/5 io ; 97/3226. 

Trynyte, by the, 98/3257. ' 

oeptas, sb. oetas = utas, i. e. octave, 
8 days ; i. e. a week after (W. 
W.S.),19/590. See foot-note, p.19. 

of, prep. = by, 93/3082 ; = for, by 
reason of, 36/1109, 62/1682, 57/ 
1856, 72/2367, 89/2964, 92/3052, 
103/3420, 118/3966; = for, for 
the yake of, 106/3527 ; = in, at, 
55/1788; = from, away from, 
33/IOI5, 49/1584, 70/2294, 72/ 
2368, 102/3393, 103/3428 ; = with, 

of = off, 115/3836. 

of-bove, adv. above, 88/2723. 

of lyve, for on lyve, in life, i. e. 

alive, 71/2311. See i-leve and on 


of newe, recently, 79/2592. 
of wele, ? our weal, 80/2624. 
offter, adv. oftner, 4/98. 
Ointment, the cure all, 109/3628-30. 
Old times, the good, 25/745, 28/842. 
on, prep, in, 86/1137, 118/3771, 117/ 


on, adv. off, 01/1645. 
on lyve, in life, i.e. alive, 86/1137, 

37/1174, 70/2289, 117/3920. See 

i-leve and of lyve. 
on-do, undone, quashed, 98/3074. 

See vndo. 
on-know, adj. unknown, 110/3671 ; 

vnknowe, 114/3802. 
onys, adv. once, 14/406, et passim. 
opyn, adj. open, plain, 107/3559, 

114/3797. 'In opyn & no roun,' 

48/1529, means: openly and not 

in secret. 

or, adv. ere, 2/17, et passim. 
orden, vb. order, appoint, 12/365 ; 

pret. 1 s. ordeyned, 16/487 ; pret. 

pi. 2/17, 68/2234; pp. 92/3066. 
orient, adj. ? shining, 117/3926. 
othir whils a-mongis, sometimes, 

80/933. >? ee amongis. 
on^wher, adv. anywhere, 37/1 166. 
outid, pp. sold, 73/2408. See note, 

p. 194. 
out-stert, vb. spring forth, 1 14/3826 ; 

pret. s. t escaped [his lips], 46/1467. 

See a-stert. 
ouer al about, all over, in every part, 


ouyr eve, over night, 28/706. 
ovir j?e bord, overboard, over the 

side of the ship, 87/2886. 
ovir-do, pp. over done, too much, 

4/ 9 i. 

ovir grove, vb. overgrow, 84/1065. 
ovir-pleid, pp. over played, i. e. 

beaten, 104/3472. 
ovirtwart, adj. perverse, 46/1459. 
ovir-musid, pp. outplotted, oiit- 

witted, 104/3481. 'Muser. To 

muse, dreame, studie, bethinke 

himselfe of.' &c. Corgrave. 
owt, pret. s. owed, 37/ii6i ; oujt, 



should, 79/2608, 84/2776, 97/ 
3219 ; imper. it behoves, 68/1890, 
97/3219, 110/3661, 116/3897. 

pall, sb. fine cloth, 99/3284. See 
'Palle'in Hattiwdl 

Palm, the, a sign of peace and good 
faith, 117/3932. 

pament, sb. pavement, 44/1403, 83/ 

pan, sb. skull, 98/3253. O.E. hern- 
panne, brain-pan. 

parage, sb, rank, 28/840 ; hi^e par- 
age, noble birth, 61/1994. See 
Roquefort, s. v. Paraige (haut). 

Paramour, the, sups with the Tap 
ster, and agrees to cool the Par 
doner's courage, pp. 14-16 ; 
thrashes the Pardoner, p. 17; gets 
a swinging blow on the nose, p. 
19 ; loses sight of the Pardoner, 
p. 20 ; has the gates shut that he 
may catch the Pardoner next 
morning, p. 20. 

paramour, adv. lovingly, 3/68. 

parcell. sb. part, 66/2130, 94/3122 ; 
in parcell, in part, partly, 66/ 

Pardoner, the, flirts with the Tap 
ster, pp. 2-5 ; his behaviour at 
church and during dinner, pp. 6- 
7 ; re -visits the Tapster and 
makes an assignation with her, 
pp. 10-12 ; finds she's faithless, 
p. 16 ; and is thrashed by her 
Paramour, p. 17 ; hits the Para 
mour with a pan, and runs, p. 
19 ; passes an unpleasant night, 
p. 21 ; repairs damages next 
morning and escapes detection, 
p. 22. 

paregall, adj. equal, 47/1 506. 

parell, sb. apparel, tackle, 92/3o6o. 

parentyne, sb. parentage, 28/841, 

Parson, the, takes precedence at the 
church door, p. 6 ; visits an ac 
quaintance of the Monk, p. 10. 

part of sorowe, share of sorrow, some 
sorrow, 42/1342. Cf. 'part of 
sapience,' 76/2467. 

parten, vb. share, 61/1644, 101/3346. 

party, sb. party to the lawsuit, 66/ 
2144, 101/3347. 

party, in, adv. partly, 68/2224, 98/ 


pas with, vb. go for, be for, 113/3787. 
passen, vb. surpass, 80/2644. 
passing, adj. excellent, 92/3053. 
Passion-week, devotion and absti 
nence during, 114/3804-10. 
passyngly. adv. beyond measure, 2/ 

38, 81/2678. 
pay, sb. liking, 19/582, 86/2854, 118/ 

3934, 119/3998. 
paynym, sb. heather;, 88/2753. 
payrid, pp. impaired, 26/754. 
peloure, sb. fur, 117/3928 : ' Pellure, 

or furrure. Pellura.' Prompt. 


penaunce, sb. punishment, 80/2650. 
perce, sb. pierce, tap, 62/1689. 
perche, sb. perch, projecting piece 

of wood, 89/2948. 
perdurabill, adj. eternal, 26/751. 
perelis, pearls, 117/3926. 
perseyte, sb. perception, 113/3785. 
pese-marchantis, sb, pi. peaceable 

traders, 90/2979 ; pese marchan- 

dis, 112/3756. 
peyn, vb. labour, essny, 66/2109, ? 4 / 

2437 ; PP- i-peynyd, distressed, 

63/2046. F. peiner. 
peyn, do my, vb. endeavour, 13/375, 

78/2560, 86/2807, 102/3413; pret. 

s. did hir peyn, 90/2973. 
peynous, adj. severe, painful, 79/ 

2609, 113/3766. 
peyntour, sb. painting, 6/151. 

Rome, succeeds Constantine III., 

p. 26 ; consults the Seven Sages 

about Faunus, p. 35 ; marries 

Faunus to Rame, p. 36 ; Beryn's 

heirship released in his presence, 

p. 48. 

pike, vb. pitch, rise, 22/678. 
Pilgrimages vowed, to be completed 

before men go to their wives, 

pilt, pp. pusht, driven, put, 68/2208. 

M.E. pulten. See i-pilt. 
pire, vb. peer, 44/1412; imp. s. 18/ 

552; pyrid, 6/149. 
plase, sb. house, 61/1637, 63/2039. 

See note, p. 192. 
plat, adj. flat, 69/2269. 
j pled it, pp. pleaded, 74/2419. 



plener, adj. full, 26/787. O.F. ple- 

nier. See Planier in Roquefort, 
plentivouse, adj. fertile, 47/1496. 

O.F. plentivous. See Plantieux 

in Roquefort. 
pk-te, vb. plead, 116/3838; pres. s. 

pletith, 64/2064. 
pley, sb. conjuring, 111/3719, 112/ 

3728 ; pi. pleyis, 111/3699, 3712. 
pleyer, sb. conjuror, 110/3690, 111/ 

playing, pres. p. playing, moving, 

pleyn, adj. full, 87/1151, 107/3559, 

108/3600, 112/3733. F.plein. 
pleyne or pleyn, w. complain, 30/ 

919, 68/2209, 70/2274, 79/2597, 

H2/3757; pres. s. pleynyth, 66/ 

2145, 101/3350, 113/3765; pres. 

pi. pleyn, 94/31 10, 116/3888 ; pp. 

i-pleynyd, 68/2045 5 pleynyd, 66/ 


pleynlich, adv. fully, 119/3989. 
pleyntyff, sb. plaintiff, 87/2870. 
Ploughman, the, precedence granted 

him at the church door, p. 6. 

The Ploughman is the Parson's 

'brothur' (Prol. Cant. Tales, 1. 

529) ; here the Ploughman (?) is 

the Parson's < fere '(6/137). But 

see note, p. 178. 
plukking, sb. pulling, 72/2368. 
Poets feign words to make ryme, 


poll, sb. head, 98/3260. 
pompery, sb. ? pumping, 81/2668. 
popis se, the Pope's see, i. e. Rome, 


port, sb. bearing, demeanour, 81/ 
2686, 90/2974, 120/3999. 

port, sb. porthole, hole near the 
waterline, 90/3001. 

port-colyse, sb. portcullis, 82/2719. 

pose, sb. rheum, 19/578. 

possessioune, sb. property, 10/271. 
' POSSESSIONATUS. Habens bona 
solo (W. Thorn). luterdum nude 
pro eo qui in rei possessione est. 
Sic sacerdotes possessionati dicun- 
tur qui aliquod beneficium possi- 
dent. Possessionati monachi, Gal. 
moines rentes, dotati, quibus attri 
butes sunt possessiones. (Act. ad 
Cone. Basil).' D'Arnis. 

pour, vb. look intently, pore, 22/ 
667 ; pret. s. pourid, 11/31 1 ; pret. 
pi. 6/149. 

poynt, in, immediately, forth 
with, 88/2907, 90/2981, 102/3400. 
Under Pom*, Roquefort gives: 
'quant point est, quand il est 
temps, a propos.' 

poyse, sb. poesy, 81/2664. 

practik, sb. treachery, 88/1188. 

praunce, vb. dance about, quarrel, 
make a disturbance, 102/3400 ; 

C. s. 80/2648. 'Penader. To 
id, praunce, brag, vaunt, 
braue it.' Cotgrave. 

preche, vb. ? for prece = press, 73/ 
2388. See note, p. 194. 

prechement, sb. sermon, 40/1263. 

preff, sb. proof, trial, 17/5 II. 

preff, vb. prove, 66/2144. 

prelatis, sb. pi. clergymen, 6/137, 
13/386. ' Prelati Ecclesias vocan- 
tur nedum superiores, ut Epis- 
copi, sed etiam inferiores, ut 
Archidiaconi, Presbyteri, Plebani, 
& Rectores Ecclesiarum.' Spel- 
man, s. v. Prelatus. Sir John the 
Parson of Wrotham is called : 
' An honest country Prelate, who 


To see such foul disorder in the 
Church.' The History of Sir 
John Oldcastle, Shakspere Fol. 
3, p. 34, col. 2. 

present, sb. presence, 82/2796. 

prest, adj. ready, 66/1822, 95/3153. 
O.F. prest. 

preve, sb. proof, trial, question, ex 
istence, 68/1903. 

prikfce, vb. spur, 62/2OI2. 

Prioress, the, goes with the Wife 
of Bath to see the inn-garden, 
p. 10. 

pro, contra, things for and against, 

probacy, sb. proof of assertions, 79/ 

Probate Law, 64/2066-70. See 
Civil Law. 

profir, sb. offer, 117/3911. 

prudenciall, adv. prudently, 18/381. 

pry, pres. 2 pi. enquire (taking sotil 
to be an adv.), 107/3554. Or for 
pry read be. See note, p. 199. 



Proverbs and Phrases. 

al hole !, all's well ! 2/43. See note, 
p. 176. 

asse, lewder (more stupid) ben an, 

bagg of trechery, vndid }>e, 38/i 182. 
Cf. 23/701. 

bale, aftir, comyth bote, 118/3956. 
'Bale,' woe, A.S. bealu. ' Bot,' 
amends, A.S. b6t. 

ball, They shull be behynd, & wee 
shul have ^e, 78/2580. This may 
be a metaphor taken from the 
game called Hurling, thus de 
scribed by Strutt : ' The contend 
ing parties endeavoured to force 
the ball one from the other, and 
they who could retain it long 
enough to cast it beyond an ap 
pointed boundary were the con 
querors.' See Sports and Pastimes, 
bk. II. ch. iii. p. 98, ed. Hone, 

begynnyng, Who take heed of }>e, 
what fal shal of \>e ende, He 
leyith a bussh to-fore the gap, J?er 
fortune wold in ryde, 66/1788-89. 

berd, I can wipen al this pie cleene 
from yeur, 110/3658. 

berd, make his, 16/436, 16/485, 20/ 

Beyard, a man to seruesabill, ledith 
offte b. from his owne stabill, 96/ 
3183-84. Bayard was a common 
name for a horse ; see Halliwell, 
s. v. ' Bayard.' Kinaldo's destrier 
was called Baiardo. Orl. Fur. I. 

brennyd cat dredith feir, 4/78. 
' Brend child fire dredi)?.' Prov. 
of Hending, st. 24. ' Puer noviter 
combustustimet ignem.' Cronica 
Jocelini de Brakelonda, ed. Roke- 
wode (Camden Soc.), p. 3. 
brond, stappid oppon a, stepped 
upon a hot brand, 19/585. Cf. 
the A.S. ordeal of redhot plough 
shares. W. W. S. 
button, set of himself the store of a, 
111/3696. Cf. 'fly, it is nat worth 
a,' and 'karse, vaylith nat a.' 
cat, fese (i. e. drive) a-\vey \>e, 12/ 

cloudis, aftir mysty, J?ere comyth ;i 
cler sonne, 118/3955. 'After 
sharpe shoures * moste shene is 
J?e sonne.' Piers Plowman (E. E. 
T. S.), Text B, xviii. 409. W. 
W. S. 

clowdis, Lo ! how the, worchyn, 
eche man to mete his mach, 4/83. 

company, who doith after, may lyve 
tlie bet in rest, 6/162. 

covenante, yee woil hold me, & I 
wo!l }ew also, 78/2569. See note, 
p. 195. 

cupp, J?e, he drank with-out, ll/ 
306. Cf. 16/460. 

'cut,' as who seyd, 41/1288. Like 
one who says 'cit.' Ihis is an 
abbreviation for 'draw cut', or 
' kepe cut' (41/1309). J. e. put up 
with the lot you have drawn : = 
as you've made your bed, so you 
must lie on it. W. W. S. 

cut, kepe thy, 41/1309, 66/1805. 
See note, p. 189. 

day, the, is short, the work is long, 

deol (sorrow), evil avengit he Tus, 
J?at for a litill mode (passion), 
and angir to his ney^bour, sellith 
a-wey his good, &c., 72/2363-64. 

doggis lyden, i. e. Latin, language, 

doith as othir doith, 37/1151. 

dub him kny^t, 16/456. 

fals, as, a thing, as God hym-selff 
is trewe, 79/2591. 

fete, thow shalt . . . stond on thyn 
owne, 40/1254. 

fethirles bolt, to shete a, 66/1764. 

flower, bear the, i.e. be the lirst, 111/ 

fly, it is nat worth a, 99/3278. Cf. 
'button, set of himself,' &c., and 
' karse, vaylith,' &c. 

galle, touch no man the, 37/1150. 
Galle = gall, sore place. 

garlik, pull, 6/123. Make a man 
pull garlic, sell him, and disgust 
him. F. See note, p. 177. 

Goddis cope, he shall be as sikir as 
of, i. e. he may be as sure of 
having God's head (A.S. copp) or 
cope, cloak (Lat. capo), 16/453. 

goldfynch, glad as eny, 16/476. 



gren, cau^t even by the shyn . . . 
in our owne, 116/3893-94. 'Gren' 
= gin, snare. 

had-I-wist, 72/2348. A common 
proverb. To several instances 
cited in a note to Tell Troth (New 
Sh. Soc.), p. 193, may be added: 
'The Adulterous Falmouth Squire,' 
1. 35, in Political, Religious, and 
Love Poems (E. E. T. S), p. 94. 
half a myle, in las then, 54/1737. 

Cf. 16/468. 
hipp, i-cau^te somewhat oppon the, 


hors, as, }?at evir trottid, trewlich I 

^ew tell, it were hard to make 

hym, aftir to ambill well, 39/ 


Hurlewaynes meyne, families Har- 

lequini, 1/8. See note, p. 175. 
i-mynt, offt is more better i-merkid 
then there is, 15/434. This pro 
verb contains an allusion to the 
practice of issuing base money. 
Coin is often stamped (i-merkid) 
so as to pass for more than it is 
worth ; folk often seem better 
than they are. * Merkyd, . . . 
Signatus.' Prompt. Parv. A.S. 
mynetian, to coin money. 
Judas, as fals as, 99/3282. 
karse, vaylith nat a, is not worth a 
cress (A.S. cerse), 81/971. Halli- 
well quotes from Gower under 
' kerse' : ' Men witen welle whiche 
hath the werse, And so to me nis 
('tis not) worth a kerse.' 
kite, went lowe for the, 46/1478, 
bowed herself as if to avoid 
Faunus's pounce ; pretending that 
he was a kite. 

kynd, }>e, of brode (natural dispos 
ition), 6/160. 
kynde woll have his cours, Nature 

will have her way, 4/86. 
lawe, the, goith by no lanys, but 
holdith forth the streyt way, even 
as doith a lyne, 101/3358-59. Cf. 

lyne, even as a, 34/1070, 101/3359. 
male, vnlace his, 28/701. Cf. 38/ 
1182. Cf. 'Unbokeled is the 
male.' Ch., Mill. Prol 1. 7. W. 
W. S. 

moon, in crokeing of f?e, in the crook 
of the moon, 18/398. See note, 
p. 181. 

murdir, ther may no man hele (i. e. 

conceal), Jnit it woll out atte last, 

70/2293. Cf. Ch. Nonne Prestes 

Tale, 1. 237. W. W. S. 

myle, within this, 15/468. Cf. 54 / 

1737, and see note, p. 191. 
nayll, to dryv in bet j?e, 104/3464. 
part as it comyth, of rou^e & eke of 

smoth, take yeur, 87/1152. 
pecok, I make a-vowe to f>e, 15/ 
462. This seems to be a bur 
lesque allusion to the mediaeval 
fashion of making vows. Jacques 
le Clercq relates how Philip the 
Good, duke of Burgundy, ban 
queting at Lille in 1453, was 
presented by his herald, Toison 
d'Or, with a roasted pheasant, 
' que on nomme autrement coli- 
moge, moult joliment joli ; ' and 
the duke then took an oath to 
lead an army against the Turks. 
The pheasant was also presented 
to the princes and nobles as 
sembled, who 'feirent plusieurs 
grands vceux, desquels je n'en 
parlerai pour tant qu'ils ne feurent 
pas accomplis ne faits, et si seroit 
la chose trop longue a racoinp- 
ter.' Mem,oires, ed. Buchon, torn, 
xiii. p. 168 (Chroniques de Mon- 

peny, wele settith he his, J?at J?e 
pound t.herby savith, 69/2244. 

pot, to, who comyth last, 101/3366. 

' quek,' the, L e. quick, alive, 89/ 
2945. A make-believe game of 

right as wolde rammys hornyd, 6/ 

rynge, shoke (shook) a, 55/1762. 

Sir John (applied to a layman), 90/ 
2984. See note, p. 198. 

sour, aftir, when swete is com, it is 
a plesant mes, 110/3688. Cf. 29 / 

spone, & wee hewe a-rnys eny 
maner, 108/3430. Spone = chip, 
splinter of wood. (A.S. spon.) 

styll as ony stone, 21/653. 

swete, aftir. J?e soure comyth, ful 



offt, in many a place, 29/898. Cf. 

taberd, touch his, 7/190. A tabnrd 

was a short coat or mantle. The 

term has been latterly confined to 

a herald's coat. See Halliwell, 

s. v. 'Tabard.' 'In a tabbard he 

[the Ploughman] rood upon a 

mere.' Prol. Cant. Tales, 1.541. 
tole, tyme is nowe to worchen with 

som othir, 100/3342. 
tou^te, make it nevir so, 67/1830. 

Tou?te = tough, difficult, 
trowith, the, evir atte ende, woll be 

previd, how so men evir trend, 


twinkling of an eye, in the, 94/3107. 
wedir at will, 49/1560. See note, 

p. 190. 
whele, the [of Fortune], was i- 

chaungit in-to a-nothir cours, 39/ 


, wronge went my, 88/1184. 

wherof, wold to God I had, 61/1652. 

See note, p. 191. 
wyvistayll, setten al his wisdom on 

his, 40/1278. 
30! ke, telle ^ewe j?e, & put j?e white 

a-way, 24/732. 

prowes, sb. integrity, 81/2686. 'Pru- 
este: Honneur, probite ; probitas.' 

pryme, sb. prime (9 a.m.), 87/2878. 

pryme-rosis, sb. pi. primroses, 23/ 

pryvy, sb. proof, 113/3791 ; pryue, 


pryvy, adj. intimate, 120/4002. 
pryuyte, sb. mystery, 82/2710. 'of 
ri3te pryuyte,' in great privacy, 
11/324. 'Pryuyte. Misterium, 
secretum, archanum.' Prompt. 
Parv. : 
' Wher thou schalt knowen of our 


More than a maister of diviniteV 
Chaucer's Freres Tale, 11. 339, 

PTOLEMY the astronomer, his skill 
in astronomy, 88/2754; designs 
Isope's garden, 88/2755. 
pulcritude, sb. beauty, 36/i 109. Lat. 

pull, sb. spell, short space of time, 
108/ 3 6i6. 

purchase, vb. procure, 38/1 1 88. See 
Pourchacer in Roquefort. 

purpensid, pp. premeditated, 68/ 
2214. O.F. porpenser. 

purposid, pp. designed, 82/2722. 

purs, vb. purse, pocket, 109/3634. 

pursuith, pres. s. sues, accuses, 87/ 
2867 ; pres. pi. pursu, 68/2208. 

purveaunce, sb. foresight, precau 
tion, 48/1540. O.F. pourveance. 

putaigne, sb. 40/1275. ' Putain : f. 
a whore, queane, punke, drab, 
flurt, strumpet, harlot, cockatrice, 
naughty pack, light huswife, 
common hackney.' Cotgrave. 

putto, put to, 81/2675. Cf. 'went 
to,' 16/478, in MS. ' wentto.' 

pyne, sb. pain, 35/io88. A.S. pin. 

pyrid, pret. pi. peered, 6/149. & e 

pyry, sb. pear-tree, 41/1315. Lat. 
pirum. ' Piries and plorn-trees * 
were puffed to e erthe.' Piers 
Plowman, Text B. pass. V. 1. 16 
(E. E. T. S.). 

quarter ny^t, 9 p.m. 16/474. 

quek, adj. alive, 81/2655. See quyk. 

The ' quek ' ; a make-believe game 

of Geffrey, 89/2945. 
querelouse, adj. querulous, litigious, 

queynt, adj. subtle, ingenious, 12/ 

349, 82/2708. 
queynt, pp. quencht, settled, 106/ 

queyntlich, adv. adroitly, slily, 94/ 

3129, 97/3210. 

quod, pret. s. quoth, 2/23, et passim. 
quyete, put hem in, hushed them up, 

quyk, adj. quick, alive, 84/2758; 

quek, 81/2655. 
quyt, adj. quit, free, 74/2410; quyte, 

106/3534,353.7; 108/3601. 
quyte, vb. requite, acquit, 76/2488, 

80/2653,106/3519; quyt, 69/2254; 

pres. 1 s. quyte, 7/i86. 

rage, sb. rashness, 18/380. 
rage, vb. sport, 72/2346. O.F. ragier. 



rakith, pres. s. rushes, 88/2743 J 
pret. s. rakid, 65/1791, 114/3815. 

RAME, second wife of Faunus, sets 
him against his son Beryn, pp. 
37-9 ; fears she's gone too far, 
pp. 43-4 ; is pleased with Beryn ; s 
proposal and Faunus's assent, pp. 
46-7 ; and rejoiced to get rid of 
Beryn, p. 48. 

ransakid, pp. ransacked, conveyed 
avyay, 109/3652. 

rathir, adj. earlier, long past, 2/26. 

raumpith, pres. s. runs, 84/2780. 
4 Samper, To creepe, runne, 
crawle, or traile itselfe along on 
the ground, &c.' Cotgrave. 

rau^te, pret. pi. reached, came. 6/ 
1 68 ; pp. i-rau^t, caught, 73/2389. 

ravid, pp. taken away, 105/3503. 

rayd, pret. s. arrayed, dressed, 114/ 
3812 ; ray id, 11 7/391 6 ; pp. ray id, 
89/2970; = furnished, 48/1545. 
See a ray. 

rebawdy, sb. dissipation, 40/1249; 
rebawdry, 40/1257. 

rechen, vb. reckon, enumerate, 17/ 


red (? A.S. rod), a ful even, ? a 
very true opinion, 4/99. See 
note, p. 177. 

rede, sb. counsel, 20/615. e ^ passim. 

rede, pres. 1 s. counsel, 73/2404, 83/ 
2735, 2740. A.S. rtedan. 

reedynes, sb. pi. ? tidings, 99/3291. 
? Du. * Rede, or ofte Speake. 
Reason, Speech, or Oration.' 
Hexham. I suppose it's from 
rede, advise. ' Advise me of the 
arrival of So-and-So.' F. J. F. 

Reeve, the, goes into the town, p. 
10 ; sings after supper, p. 14. 

refourmyo, pp. reformed, set right, 

refreit, sb. burden of a song, 38/ 
1200. ' Refreyt, of a resj owne. 
Antistropha.' Prompt. Parv. 

refreyn, imp. s restrain, 83/2745. 

refute, sb. refuge, 86/2840. O.F. 
refuy. See note on Refuge in 
Prompt. Parv. ' Refuite : f. a 
flight or course, a running or 
flying backe ; an euasion or 
auoidance.' Cotgrave. 

rekelagis, sb. pi. diversions, 40/ 

1267. ' Rigolage, . . . Ris, risee, 

raillerie, plaisanterie, moqnerie ; 

suite d'une affaire, libertinage.' 

Roquefort. See note, p. 188. 
rekenydist, pre 2 s. reckoned, stated 

an account, 68/2035. 
releff, vb. relieve, 118/3954. See 

relevacioun, sb. relief, 110/3687. 

Lat. relevatio. 
releve, vb. get up, arise, 77/2548, 

118/3966. F. se relever. 
releve, vb. relieve, 110/3682 ; releff, 

118/3954; pp. relevid, 117/3899. 
Relics kissed by pi'grirns at St. 

Thomas's shrine, Canterbury, 6/ 


remedy, vb. help, 102/3402. 
reiine, vb. run, 78/2390, 2393 ; 83/ 


rennyng, sb. running, 78/2402. 
repase, vb. return, 77/2537. 
repeir, vb. return, 86/2828 ; imp. s. 

repeir, 82/2706 ; pres. p. repeyr- 

yng, 119/3984. O.F. repairer, 

repeirer. Roquefort. 
repenyng, 14/41 1, ? stillness. Dutch 

Repen, to be still or quiet. 

Hexham, A.n. 1660. F. J. F. 
repeyryng, verb. sb. return, 86/2814. 

See repeir. 
repreff, sb. reproach, 9/253, 107/ 

repreve, vb. accuse, 79/2594; pp. 

reprevid, 64/2o88. 
reprouabill, adj. b'.ameable, 9/256. 
rere soper, late supper, 12/365. 

' Regoubillonner. To make a reare 

supper, steale an after supper, 

banquet late anights.' Cotgrave. 

See note on Rere sopere in Prompt. 


rerid vp, pret. s. roused up, 88/2905. 
rese, sb. a rush of emotion ; here of 

anger, 16/498, 18/548. A.S ; r&s. 
rese, vb. rush, 80/910. A.S. rop.san. 
reservid, pp. kept back, 72/2372. 
respite, sb. delay, 106/3538. 
responsaill; ? surety, 80/2623. L. 

responsalis, qui pro aliis spondet ; 

re'spondant, caution (Vet. Gl.). 

D'Arni^. F. J. F. 
retourn, imp. s. send back, 91/3007. 
reve, sb. servant, 90/3003. ' Reve, 



lordys serwawnte. Prepositus.' 

Prompt Parv. 
reve, vb. take away, 81/942 ; pp. 

ravid, 105/3503. 
reward, sb. regard; 'take reward,' 

care, 71/2326. 
rewe, vb. have ruth, pity, 82/982; 

imp. s. rew, 89/1242. 
riall, adj. royal, noble, 72/2343, 79/ 

2612,82/2707, 107/3561,118/3939, 

riallich, adv. royally, lavishly, 46/ 

rid, pret. s. rode, 46/1471 ; 

rood, rode (at anchor), 87/2897. 
rigg, sb. back, 20/594, 41/i 298. A.S. 

Rod, the, its educational value, 34/ 

1 060- 1. 

rodylese, adj. rudless. pale, 81/951. 
Koine, 25/752 : Room', 25/735. The 

former spelling occurs seven 

times, the latter twelve. Of. 

1 Henry VI. III. i. 51, with 

John, III. i. 180. 
ROMULUS, 25/758, 26/765. 
ROMUS, Remus, 25/758, 26/765. 
romyd, pret. pi. roamed, wandered, 


rood, pret. pi. rode, 87/2897. See rid. 
rote, sb. root, spring, 120/4015. 
root, vb. rot, 84/1057. 
rothir, sb. rudder, 8/212, 92/3060. 

A.S. ro%er. See strothir. 
roun, sb. whisper, 48/1529. Roune 

= rune = mystery. W. \V. S. 
roune, vb. whisper, 85/1076, 62/2OO2, 

86/2852; roun, 20/6o6; rowr.,77/ 

2522 ; pres. p. rownyng, 7/179. 
rouse, sb. talk, noise, 52/1669, 108/ 

rout, sb. company, 14/405 ; route, 

20/613, 22/670, 26/763, 88/2923. 
route, vb. snore, 84/2766. ' Roivtyn, 

yn slepe, Sterto.' Prompt. Parv. 

A.S. hriitan. 
routhe, sb. ruth, 74/2417 ; rowith, 

rowe, adj. rough, harsh, 17/52O, 40/ ; 

rowe, vb. rest, 10/284. O.H. Germ. 

ruowan (quiescere) ? So Strat- 

mann, s. v. rowen. 
ruddok, sb. redbreast, 22/685. 

rudines, sb. rudeness, lack of art, 24/ 

ruyne, sb. Rhenish wine, 10/28o. 

ryding best, horse, 52/1687. 

ryding knot, slip knot, 89/2947. 

Rye, Sussex, impaired of late years, 
25/756. See Winchelsea. 

ryff,adj. rife, 44/i 392; ryve, abound 
ing, 67/2174. 

rynge, sb. bell, 55/1762. 

rype, vb. ripen, encrease, 22/677 5 
ripe, 41/1316. 

ryve, adj. abounding, 67/2174. See 

saal, sb. soul, 81/2682. 

sad, adj. grave, 14/408, 68/2232, 

saff, adj. safe, 50/1594, 84/2786, 

saff, adv. save, except, 22/66o, et 
passim; saffe, 77/2520 ; save, 7/ 
178, 79/2588. 

Sailors shrive each other in a tem 
pest, 49/1578-79; and make vows, 

Sails across the mast, a sign of 

starting, 87/2899. & ee cros s ^- 
Salamonys sawis. the Proverbs of 

Solomon, 81/2666. 
sale, set at, offer for sale, 7/i88; 

pret. s. sette, &c., 99/3282 ; pp. 

i-set, &c., 14/429. See setten. 
salidone, sb. ? a precious stone, 

chalcedony, 99/3302. See note, 

p. 196. 

sapience, sb. wisdom, 75/2467. 
sat, pret. s. lay, was situate, 2/36, 

19/590; sete, 19/591; pret. pi. 

soi^t, sat, 6/148; sett, sat. 1H/ 

389; set, 54/1729; pp. i-set', 92/ 

sat, impers. became, befitted, 118/ 


sauge, sb. sage, 10/292. F. sauge. 
saunce, adv. without, 66/2150. F. 

save condit safe conduct, 119/3972; 

saff condit, 119/3980. 
saverid, pret. s. understood, 118/ 

3964. O.F. saver. 
saw, sb. speech, saying, 58/i882 ; 

sawe, 64/2070; pi. sawis, 81/ 




scapidist, pret. 2 s. escapest, 70/ 
2288; scapiddist, 89/2951. 

Sciences, the seven, 81/2667. Gram 
mar, logic, and rhetoric formed 
the trivium; arithmetic, geom 
etry, music, and astronomy, the 

sclawe. See sclee. 

sclee, vb. slay, 27/8i6, 71/2327 ; pp. 
sclawe, 26/796. 

scliper, adj. slippery, deceitful, 51/ 
1641. A.S. slipur, slippy. Lye. 
F. J. F. 

sclope, vb. sleep, 16/454. 

sclynk, vb. slink, 100/3334. 

sclytt, adj. slit, 96/3204. 

sclyue, sb. sleeve, 43/1356; sclyve, 

scole, sb. schooling, teaching, 73/ 

se at eye, (?) see with eye, 26/755. 
Of. tell with mouth, 70/2280. 

seche, vb. seek, 32/1004, 62/1665 ; 
sech, 19/563, 99/3298; sechcn 
(visit), 106/3490; siche, 114/ 
3795; seke, 81/2680; pret, s. 
soujt, 21/632, 33/1034; pres. p. 
seching, 112/3730; sheching, 44/ 
1407 ; pp. sou^te (visit), 7/172, 

see bord, sb. the plank to cover up 
the port-hole, 90/3001. F. J. F. 

seen, vb. see. 28/693 ; se or see, 6/ 
144, 48/1548, et passim ; pres. 1 s. 
sigh, 60/1595 5 pres. 2 s. seist, 
7/i8o; pres. s. seeth, 42/1332; 
pres. 2 pi seth, 61/1986; pret. 
1 s. sawe, 17/515, et passim; 
pret. s. sawe, 11/311, et passim; 
seid, 7/178; seyd, 118/3771; 
imp. s. se, 88/2926; imp. pi 
seith, 28/696, 95/3159; seth, 41/ 
1300 ; subj. pres. 2 s. se, 88/2738 ; 
3 s. 84/2780; pp. i-sey, 68/1705 ; 
seyn, 66/1804, 69/1905, 96/3142, 

107/3574,HO/369i; sey, 62/1673, 
93/3079,111/3697; seen, 62/1673. 

selde, adv. seldom, 86/1093 ; seld, 

selondyn, sb. 88/2723, ? a silk, or 
Fr. 'Selcnite. A light, white, and 
transparent stone, easily cleft into 
thin flakes, whereof the Arabians, 
among whom it growes, make 

their glasse, and glasen win- 
do wes.' Cotgrave. F. J. F. See 
note, p. 196. 

selve, sb. salve, 108/3588. 

sely, adj. innocent, 66/1803. A.S. 

semblant, sb. seeming, 76/2471. 

semen, make, cause to appear, 84/ 
2 775- Of- Both, make seme, 15/ 

semybousy, adj. half tipsy, 23/7o6. 

semyvif,adj. half alive, i. e. half dead, 
68/2202. ' Semiuyf he semed.' 
Piers Plowman, B. Text, pass, 
xvii, 1. 55 (E. E. T. S.). 

SENECA, 81/2666. 

sent, vb. assent, 60/1614. 

sentyn, pres. pi diffuse fragrance, 

serkill celestyne, primum mobile, 
35/io87. See note, p. 187. 

sesid, pp. seised, 48/1549, 63/2o6i. 
See i-sesid. 

sesours, sb. scissors, 88/2918 ; si- 
sours, 88/2916. 

seiten, vb. guide, 8/213 J = place, 
40/1278 ; pres. s. settith, 69/2244 ; 
pret. 1 s. set, valued, cared, 7 1/ 
2333; pret. s. 41/1291, 44/1386, 
111/3696 ; = hit, 19/577 ; = set 
out, 62/1999; = laid, put, 62/ 
2013,70/2290; disposed, arranged, 
113/3781 ; pret. pi. set of, cared 
for, 86/2838 ; imp. s. set = put, 
orda ; n, 43/1363 ; pp. i-set, fixed, 
26/798; = set, 54/1746; set 
put, 40/1272; = appointed, 93/ 
3089, 97/3217. See 'game, set 
a,' and ' sale, set at.' 

sett, set = sat, 18/389, 64/1729. 
See sat. 

Seven Sages, the, of Rome, their 
names and characters, pp. 26-7 ; 
advise the emperor how to con 
sole Faunus, p. 35 ; are not so 
wise as Isope, 81/2659-60. 

sevile law, civil law, 81/2665. 

sew, sb. soup, 10/290. 

seyne, say, 50/i6o8 ; seyn, 87/2890; 
sey, 8/215, et passim; say, 44/ 
1414, 82/2696; pres. 1 s. sey, 2/ 
32, et passim.. In 4/76, 52/i666 
= tell. pres. 2 s. seyist, 16/458; 
seyst, 20/6i6, 91/3015, 102/3411 ; 



pres. 8. seith, 50/i 593, et passim ; 
seyith, 11 8/3765 ; sayith, 41/1286; 
pres. 2 pi. sey, 4/75, et passim; 
pres. pi. seyn, 40/1276; pret. 1 s. 
seyd, 45/1427, 57/1846, 57/1849; 
pret. s. seyd, 8/48, et passim; 
seid, 16/489, et passim ; seit, 
87/2877; pret. 2 jpZ. seyde, 63/ 
2056 ; pret. pi. seyde, 86/916, 92/ 
3059; seyd, 35/1 101, et passim ; 
seydenwith=foundfor,116/387i ; 
seid, 8/226, 109/3646 ; imp. s. sey, 
58/1866, 91/3020; seith, 
13/382 ; subj. pres. s. sey, 79/2614; 
pp. i-seyde, 39/1237; i-seyd, 20/ 
616, 59/1912, 100/3323; = told, 
57/1845 (c/. 4/76, 52/1666); i-sayd 
= said, 8/223,54/1738 ; seyde, 56/ 
1825; seyd, 108/3589. 

seyntis, sechen, i. e. visit saints' 
shrines, 105/3490. 

seynture, sb. belt, 117/3925. F. 

shakill, sb. twisted band, 34/1064. 

shape, vb. dispose, make, 87/2875, 
88/2913; pret. s. shope, 87/2879. 

slieching, pres. p. seeking, 44/1407. 
See seche. 

sherith my berd, cut off my beard, 

shete, vb. shoot, 55/1764. 

shippis ward, toward ships, 62/1999, 
91/3032, 116/3878. See ward. 

shoke, pret. s. shook, 55/1762. 

shoon, sb. pi. shoes, 97/3240. 

shoon, pret. s. shone, 41/1317. 

shope, pret. s. made, 87/2879. See 

shor, pp. shorn, 102/3407,113/3779; 
shore, 108/3426. 

shorting, verb. sb. shortening, 8/209, 
23/7oo; shortyng, 46/1461. ' 

shrewdnes, sb. malice, 7/189. 

shrewid, adj. wicked, perverted, 
15/464, 79/2613; slirewde, 51/ 
1628; shrewd, 35/1079. ' Schrew- 
yd. Pravatus, depravatus.' - 
Prompt. Parv. 

shrewis, sb. pi. bad folk, 41/1282. 

shryne, sb. shrine, object of venera 
tion, 86/1114. 

shryve, vb. shrive, 105/3487 ; pret. s. 
shroff, 49/1579. 

eiche, vb. seek, 114/3795. See seche. 

BERYN. II. 16 

signes, sb. pi. pilgrims' tokens, 7/ 
171, 191 ; signys, 7/175. Lat - 


sikir, adj. sure, 15/453, et passim. 
sikirlich, adv. surely, certainly, 13/ 

372, et passim; sikirliche, 46/ 

1454; sikirly, 48/1542. 
sikirnes, sb. security, 85/2814, & t 

sikirnes, in, certainly, in good faith, 

92/3038, 109/3648. 
sisours, a peir, a pair of scissors, 


SITHEEO, Cicero, 822. 
sithis, sb. pi. times, 11/328, &c. ; 

sith, 57/1845. 
sitting, adj. befitting, due, 34/1041. 

Of. sat, 118/3966. 
skape, vb. escape, 62/2OII. 
skaunce. See a-scaunce. 
skill, sb. knowledge, artifice, 51/ 


smale, adv. small, 23/686. 
smaught, pp. tasted, 94/3122. A.S. 

smeccan. See smecehen in Strat- 

smote in, struck into, seized, 42/ 

1340, 72/2355. 
snache, vb. snap at one as a dog 

does, 21/651, 46/1460. 
snell, adv. quickly, 36/1 120; snelle, 

53/1694; snel, 54/1750; snele, 


sofft, adj. soft, foolish, 97/3233. 
sokeyng, verb sb. suckling, 65/2128. 
solas, sb. recreation, 110/3678, 119/ 

solase, ? adj. cosy, recreative, 45/ 


solue, vb. solfa, 18/396. 
som, adj. some, 41/1282. Used here 

ironically for 'almost all.' Cf. 

these lines in B. Sawin Esq.'s 3rd 

letter, Biglow Papers, p. 120, ed. 


' he come an' grinned, 
He showed his ivory some, I 

guess,' &c. 
som dele, somewhat, 14/403. See 

some, adj. peaceable, 97/3233. A.S. 


sommon, ? some men, 9/264. 
sondys, sb. pi. things sent, gifts, 



118/3945. ' Sond, or }yfte sent. 

Eccennium.' Prompt. Parv. 

Often, ' messages ' ; also ' men 

sent,' 'messengers.' See sande 

in Stratrnann. 


'now, loue, j?ou do me ri^e,' 8/70. 

' Donbil me this bourdon/ = 

' Chorus, gentlemen '! 14/413. 
sonner, adv. sooner, 4/97. 
sope, sb. sup, 105/3497. 
sorys, sb. pi. sores, wounds, 22/662 ; 

soris, 16^/3589. 
sot, sb. sweat, 16/493. 
sote, adj. sweet, 22/682. 
sotes, sb. pi. fools, 6/147. F. sot. 
sotli, make seme, appear true, 15/ 

446. Cf. semen, make, 84/2775. 


soule, adj. sole, 82/989, 36/1095. 
soune, vb. sound, utter, 74/2412. 
sou^t, pret. pi. sat, 6/148. See sat. 
sou^t, son^te, sought. See seche. 
soverens. my = my Lords, 112/3746." 

Cf. * Soveren sirs,' 104/3465. 
spech, imp. ? patch, 39/1 229. ' Spetch. 

To patch. Y&rksh.' Halliwell. 
speche-tyme, sb. time of converse, 


spedful, adj. helpful, 1 14/3800. 
spene, vb. spend, 47/1520. 'Nede 

y mot spene that y spared }ore.' 

Political Songs (Camd. Soc.), p. 


spetouse, adj. savage, 21/635. 
spetously, adv. savagely, 21/641, 

30/910; spitouslich, 17/520. 
spone, sb. spoon, 108/3430. Here 

used in its original sense of chip 

(A.S. spdn).W. W. S. 
sportis, sb. pi. ? portis, gates, 28/ 

sprang, pret. s. spread, 88/1031 : pp. 

i-spronge, 68/2213. A.S.springan 

= (1) to spring ; (2) to sprinkle. 

Cf. note to Havelok, ed. Skeat, ]. 

959. W. W. S. 
spryng, vb. sprinkle, 6/142. A.S. 

spryngill, sb. holy water brush, 6/ 

138; spryngil, 6/141. 
spurn, vb. wince, shrink, or spin off, 

86/2862. 'Spurnyn (or wyncyn) 

cakitro.' Prompt. Parv. F. J. F. 

Squire, the, thinks of his lady love 

while his father is discussing the 

fortifications, p. 9. 
stabill, vb. make sure, 61/1976. 
stage, sb. deck, tier, 46/1464. 
stall, sb. place, seat, 68/2201. A.S. 

stallid, pp. fixed, ordained, 79/26io. 

A.S. steallian. 
stan dede, adj. stone-dead, 42/1341 ; 

standede, 114/3816, 3828. 
stappe, vb. walk, step, 7/192, 74/ 

2433; stap, 62/2010; stapp, 70/ 

2285, 98/3248 ; pret. s. stappid, 

11/30 9 , 19/585. 

statis. rank. 6/140. See estate. 
Stepmothers unkind, 41/1282, 72/ 

stere, vb. stir, bustle, 7/198, 28/859; 

pres. s. sterith, 18/548. 
sterris, sb. pi. stars, 81/2657. A.S. 

stert, vb. spring, hasten, 2/35, et 

passim; pret. s. stert, 3/6 1, et 

stervid, pret. s. died, 71/2332 ; pp. 


Stichomythia between Geffrey and 
Hanybald, 90/2996-3004. 

stillith, imp. pi. still, calm. 78/2565. 

stilt, sb. wooden leg, 73/2380, 75/ 
2451, 76/2509. 

stodied, pret. pi. pondered, 104/ 
3461. See studied. 

stond, vb. stand, 12/355, et passim; 
stonde, 20/6i7; pres. 1 s. stond, 
80/2636, 92/3051; stonde, 95/ 
3155, 98/3271 ; pres. s. stonditli, 
38/i 207, etpassim; stont, 55/1785, 
67/2169,95/3173; stant, 84/2759 J 
pres. 2 pi. stondm, 69/2253 >* P res - 
pi. stondein, l/io; stont, 79/2595, 
88/2911 ; stond, 102/3400; pret. 
s. stode, 42/i 322, etpassim; stood, 
64/2065, 77/2543 ; stoden, 
14/417; stode, 44/1410, 55/1772, 
64/2076, 90/2972; stoode/j,, 95/ 
3164 : imp. s. stond, 95/3 168 ; pp. 
storiden, 76/2500. 

stond, let, imp. let be, 6/157. See 

Stone, a, of a very fiery nature in 
Isope's hall, 88/2727-29. See 



stont an hond, presses on me, con 
cerns me, 95/3173. 

stonyd, pp. astonished, 64/2o88. 
See a-stonyd. 

store, hold no, make no account, 1/4. 

Straw lain on by Beryn's father 
during Passion- week. See Pas 

stre, sb. straw, 72/2350. 

strengthis, sb. pi. fortifications, 9/ 

streyte, adj. strict, 14/403, 109/3643 ; 

streyt, 79/2609 ; = narrow, 84/ 


streytly, adv. accurately, 4/95. 
strodir, sb. ? rudder, 68/1884. See 

stronde, sb. strand, shore, 67/2199, 

&c. ; strond, 68/1879, 88/2909. 
strondward, toward the shore, 94/ 

3138. See -ward, 
strothir, sb. ? = rothir, rudder, 49/ 

1580; strodir, 68/1884. ^ee rothir, 

and note, p. 191. 
stroute, pres. 2 s. assertest, boastest, 


stroye, vb. destroy, 68/2206. 
studied, pret. s. pondered, 66/1793 ; stodied, 104/3461. 
stuffid, adj. well-provided, stored, 

wealthy, 64/1730. ' Stuffyd wythe 

stoore. Instauratits. ' Prompt. 

Parv. Cf. Chaucer's 'A bettre 

envyned (== supplied with wine) 

man was nowhere noon.' 'The 

Frankeleyn,' in Prol. 1. 342. 

F. J. F. 
styed, pret. s. climbed, 60/1592; 

imp. s. sty, 49/1588. A.S. stiyan. 
STYPIO, Scipio, 27/822. 
Summoner, the, wants to share the 

Miller's pi under, p. 7 ; vows venge 
ance on the Friar, p. 7 ; joins the 

Pardoner in singing after supper, 

p. 14. 
sunnysid, pp. charged, 64/2092, 74/ 

2411, 80/2631, 110/3665. 
suyd, pp. sued, 64/2075. 
Buyr, pres. 1 s. pledge, promise, 47/ 

1486, 68/1886, 74/2418. 
swat, pret. s. sweated, 66/1813, 70/ 

2299 ; swet, 62/2007. 
swele, vb. burn, 7*2/2349. A.S. 


swerd. sb. sword, 118/3946. 

swere, sb. ne^k, 2/40, 12/361. A.S. 

swetyng, sb. term of endearment, 
2/36 ; sweting, 11/327. Cf. ' hertis 
rote' and 'hertis swete.' 

sweven, sb. dream, 4/ioo, 6/115; 
swevyn, 6/106 ; pi. sweveriys, 5/ 
1 08. A.S. swefen. 

swith, adv. quickly, 19/583. 

swowe, sb. swoon, 42/1341. 

swynke, vb. labour, 66/2124. A.S. 

syde bonde, sb. the Bond to secure 
quiet enjoyment of land sold, 
given in old time to a purchaser 
when the Release or Conveyance 
of the land was handed to htm, 
48/1531. F. J. F. 

SYDRAK, ? Sirach, the father of Jesus, 
author of Ecdesiasticus, SI/2666. 

syn, sb. sinew, 19/588. 

syn, prep, since, 2/29. 

SYROPHANES, Burgess No. 1 of False- 
town, welcomes Beryn, pp. 51-2 ; 
pumps Beryn's man, p. 53 ; plays 
chess with Beryn and beats him, 
pp. 54-56 ; brings him before 
Evandir, Steward of Falsetown, 
pp. 57-8 ; his charge against Be 
ryn, p. 93; asserts his prior claim 
to Beryn's goods, p. 101 ; can't 
answer Geffrey, and is sentenced 
to pay damages to Beryn, pp. 

taberd, sb. mantle, 7/190. 

tablis, sb. tables, i. e. backgammon, 

tach, sb. disposition, habit, 4/84, 46/ 
1459; pJ.tacchis, 35/1079. Under 
4 Teche, tece,' &c., Roquefort says : 
' Ces mots se prenoient en mau- 
vaise part lorsqu'ils etoient pre*- 
cedes du mot male, et ils signirioi- 
ent, defaut, mauvaise habitude, 
vice, crime ; mais ils etoient em 
ployes en bonne part pour, qualite, 
perfection, vertu, preuve, signe, 
marque, disposition.' The Prompt. 
Parv. has: 'Tetch'e, or maner 
of condycyone, Mus, condicio.' 
'Tache' is thus glossed by Cot- 
grave : ' A spot, staine, blemish ; 



mole, natural mark ; also, a re 
proach, disgrace, disreputation, 
blot vnto a mans good name.' 

take, vb. give, hand over, entrust, 
107/3567, 108/ 3 6o8, 112/3744, 
116/3842; 1 pret. s. toke, 63/ 
2049, 95/3170, 96/3179; pret. s. 
toke, 12/364, 67/2184, 70/23oo; 
imp. s. take, 67/2185, 95/3 171 ; 
pp. i-take, taken, 68/2042, 98/ 
3248 ; take = given, 72/2369. In 
68/2049, 67/2184, 2185, 95/3170, 
and 96/3179 the word = * entrust.' 
'Takyn', or delyueryn a thynge 
to a-nother. Trado.' 'Takyn', 
or betakyn' a thynge to a-nother. 
Committo.' Prompt. Parv. 

takelyng, sb. tackle, 86/2837. 

talent, sb. inclination, liking, 13/ 
367,108/3620. O.Y. talent. 'Tal- 
ant ' in Roquefort. See maletalent. 

talowe, vb. grease, 90/2996. 

talyng, pres. p. narrating, 8/202. 

Tapster, the, flirts with the Pardoner, 
pp. 2-5: makes an assignation 
with him, p. 12 ; her faithless 
conduct, pp. 14-17 ; and uncon 
cern, 19/580. 
'He [the Frere] knew wel the 

tavernes in every toun, 
And every ostiller or gay 
tapstere,' &c. 
Prol. Cant. Tales, 11. 240, 241. 

Tapsters not to be trusted, 21/655. 

tapstry, sb. tap-room, 10/299, 1 V39- 

taue, pres. 2 pi. ? deal, 68/2061. 
Halliwell glosses this word thus: 
' To kick ; to fidget about, es 
pecially with the feet ; to rage. 
Var. diaV ' Taking, irregular 
motion; picking the bed-clothes 
in febrile delirium.' Willan. 
Archceol., vol. xvi. in Brochett. 
F. J. F. See note, p. 192. 

tell with mouth, 70/228o. Cf. ' se 
at eye.' 

telle, vb. talk, 89/2966; tell, 118/ 

tend, imp. 1 s. attend, 80/2641. 

tent, sb. intent, 6/126. 

terrene, adj. earthly, 25/751. 

that or >at, with optative force, 20/ 
601, 33/IOI2, 40/1265, 95/3163, 
99/3277 \-pron. = who, 39/1229, 

et passim ; adv. = [ere] that, 
33/ioo8; how, 71/2315: conj. 
= but, 3/56, 70/2293 ; that = 
imprecative as, 78/2560. 

}nit J?at, that [man] that, 66/2160. 

the, pron. they, 61/1962, 81/2660, 
85/2813; H, 113/3782. 

the, pron. thee, 61/1978, 79/2599. 

the, vb. thrive, 33/ioi2. A.S. \>wn. 

then, adv. thence, 61/1962. 

ther a-geyn, prep, there-against, on 
the other hand, 9/243; ) ?ere ageyns, 

ther a-mong, there amidst, mingled, 
105/3485. See a-mongis. 

f?er & J?er, here and there, 62/2OO2. 

J?ere, adv. where, 2/27, et passim; 
ther, 61/1990. 

therforth, there forwards, 84/2782. 

}>ey, adv. though, 79/2602. 

tho, pron. those, 77/2518, 81/2681, 
95/3149,110/3677,111/3694; K>, 
68/2234 ; tho = those that, 26/ 
769, 109/3629 ; = that, 29/885. 

tho, adv. then, 8/46, et passim. 

j?o, pron. those, 68/2234. See tho. 

THOLOMEUS, Ptolemy the astrono 
mer, 83/2753. 

J?owe, pron. thou, 33/IOI2. 

thrallis, sb. pi. slaves, 85/2820. 
A.S. \>rcd. 

throff, pret. s. throve, 29/889. 

thrustelis, throstles (a kind of 
thrush), 22/684 : ' Thrustylle, bryd 
(thrusshill or thrustyll, P.). Me- 
rula, Diu.' {Prompt. Parv.) 
F. J. F. 

till, prep, to, 60/1945, 88/2905, 119/ 
_ 3972 ; til, 104/3456, 105/3487. 

tire, 2 pres. pi. strain, exuct, 78/ 
2565. F. tirer. 

tite, the, it betides thee, it will hap 
pen to thee, 61/1978. Tite = tit 
= tideth. W. W. S. See note, 
p. 192. 

to, prep, at, 32/999. 

to-brast, pret. s. burst, 81/964, 49/ 

to comyng, gerund, inf. to come, 

12/347. See 'comyng, to.' 
to done, to do, 2/37. 
to-rent, pret. s. was torn to tatters, 

to smyte, vb. smite hard, 46/1456. 



to-tere, vb. tear to pieces, 88/1014 ; 

pret. s. to-tare, 42/1350; pp. to- 

tore, ragged, 39/1215, 1229, 97/ 

3239, 103/34i6; = ?torn (with 

sorrow), 45/1443. 
todir, other, 46/1424. 
todirs, other's, 93/3094. 
to-fore, adv. before, 1/2, et passim; 

to-forn, 110/3684. 
toke, pret. 1 s. gave, 68/2049, & c - 

See take. 
Tokens (See signes) bought by the 

Canterbury pilgrims, 7/171-73; 

they stick them in their caps, 

tole. See tool. 

tool, sb. tool, 89/2938 ; tole, 100/3342. 

toon, the one, 6/153, 68/1865. 

top, vb. clip, 88/2917. 

topcastell, sb. 56/1592. 'Corbis, 
galea, Erasmo. Cage. The top of 
y e mast, which is made like a 
basket, whereunto they clirne to 
descry the land.' Higins's No- 
mendator, 1585, p. 223, col. 1. 

tou^te, adj. tough, difficult, 67/1830. 

traunce, sb. quandary, condition of 
amazement and fear, 77/2533. 

travail), sb. toil, 9/246. 

travers, vb. cross, oppose, 102/3411. 
F. traverser. 

trayde, pp. betrayed, 102/3380. 

tre, sb. wood, 60/1950, 86/2856. 

Tree, a, in Isope's garden described, 
84/2784-85 ; its virtue, 84/2786. 

tregetours, sb. pi. magicians, con 
jurors, 84/2771 ; tregitouris, 96/ 
3180. O.F. tresgetteres. Roque 
fort. See Tyrwhitt's long note on 
this word, in his ed. of Chaucer's 
Cant. Tales. F. J. F. 

tregetrie, sb. magic, 84/2774. 

trend, pres. pi. turn about, 63/2038. 

trest, sb. ? beam (or projection), 
14/424. O.Fr. traste; It.trasto,* 
transom or crossbeam ; W. traust, 
a rafter; Bret, treust, beam, rafter. 
Wedgwood, under trestle ; Littre, 
under treteau. F. J. F. See note, 
p. 181. 

tretid, pp. discoursed, 73/2399. F. 

trist, sb. trust, 66/2161, 88/2912. 

tristen, vb. trust, 48/1544; pret. s. 

trist, 98/3267 ; imp. s. trest, 59 / 
1910; tristith, 116/3848. 

trobilnes, sb. sorrow, 46/1417. 

trompis, sb. pi trumps, 88/2906, 
117/3918. From Prompt. Parv., 
s. v. 'Trumpet,' it appears that 
'trumpet' was the diminutive of 

trotting, sb. 73/2402. 

trowith, sb. troth, trust, 6/116, et 
passim ; trowes, 2/38. 

trown, vb. (?) troll, sing, 3/7O. 
F. J. F. See note, p. 177. 

trus, vb. truss, 22/66o ; imp. s. trus, 
66/1828,91/3033. 'Trousser. To 
trusse, tuck, packe, bind or gird in, 
plucke or twitch vp.' Cotgrave. 

tuk le meyn, ? towche la main, be 
friends, or strike a bargain, 59/ 
1922. ' Toucher en la main de. 
To shake hands with, or take by 
the hand, in signe of friendship. 
H toMcha la mainentre leursmains. 
He layed his hands betweene 
theirs,or gave them his hand that 
he would be theirs.' Cotgrave : 
u. main. F. J. F. 

turment, sb. torment, suffering, 22/ 
664, 68/2203, 105/3493, 117/3898. 

turmentid, pp. persecuted, 68/2212, 
76/2493, 79/2586. 

twist, sb. door- fastening, 16/478. 

twynt, sb. jot, 16/433. 

Thus lafte they the leder that hern 

wrong ladde, 
And tymed no twynte, but tolled 

her cornes, &c. 

Deposition of Richard II. (Cam- 
den Soc.), 17/18. 

twynyth, pres. s. separates, 23/686 ; 
1 pres. pi. twyn, 73/2403. 

tyle-stonys, sb. pi. tiles, 60/1950, 107/ 
3583. Prompt. Parv. glosses, 
* Tylestone : ' ' Tegula, later? It 
might thus mean either a roofing 
tile, or a brick. 

vnaservid, pp. unserved, not attend 
ed to, 3/56. See note, p. 176. 

vnbore, pp. unborn, 92/3040. 

vndaungerid, pp. unhid angered, se 
cure, 74/2410. 

vndirmyned, pp. undermined, 104/ 



vndo, vb. interpret, 4/ioo ; pp. vndo, 
broken, 101/3355 ; on-do, undone, 
quashed, 98/3074. 

vn-knowe, adj. unknown, 114/3802. 
See on-know. 

vnlacyd, pret. s. unlaced, 74/2426 ; 
vnlasid, opened, 8/67. 

vrmeth, adv. scarcely, 88/1197, 42/ 
1 322, 74/241 2, 1 12/3734 ; vnnethis, 

vnquert, sb. discheer, discomfort, 
trouble, 68/2057. 'Quert, sb. = 
joy. Ps. Ixiii. 11 ; Ixxxviii. 27.' 
F. coeur, queor. Coleridge. And 
see 'Quert' in Wedgwood. 

vnry^te, sb. injustice, wrong, 18/ 
557. A.S. unriht. 

vntrowith, sb. faithlessness, 97/3209, 

vnyd, pp. united, combined, 111/ 


vp ri^t a-fore, straight before, 83/ 

vse, 1 pres. s. follow, practise, make 
use of, 4/84 ; pres. s. vsith, 80/ 
2650; pres. pi. vsyn, 69/2239; 
vsen, 79/2596 ; subj. pres. s. vse, 

vttir, adj. outer, 117/3928. 

vttirlich, adv. utterly, fully, 28/848, 
48/1537, 68/2051, 86/2830; vt 
tir] y, to extremity, 116/3844. 

vaillitli, pres. s. avails, 66/2098. See 

valowe, sb. value, 76/2501. 

variaunce, sb. changeableness, 38/ 


vaunce, vb. advance, 12/340. 

vaylith,_pres. s. avails, 116/3883, 118/ 
3958. See a-vaile. 

\el,adv. well, very, 41/1 283. Seewel. 

vend, vb. go, 17/523. See wenden. 

verry, adj. true, sheer, 9/256, 17/ 
500, et passim. O.F. verai. 

vexacioun, sb. vexation, 116/3842. 
See wexacioun. 

visenage,s6. term of abuse, 88/1012 : 
? from visage, or ' Voisine: f. A she 
neighbour. Voisinage: m. Neigh 
bourhood, nighnesse, neerenesse.' 
Cotgrave. F. J. F. See note, 
p. 186. 

vlyes, sb. pi. flies, 72/2349. 

void, vb. depart, flei-, 62/2104, "<$! 

2287, 75/2456, 90/2981 ; pret. s. 

void it, 45/1424 ; imp. s. (reflexive 

sense) void, 46/1426 ; imp. pi. 

voidith, 66/2098 ; pp. voidit, 70/ 

voise, in his, in h's natural uncon- 

cernd tones, 69/1918. F. J. F. 

See note, p. 192. 
vombe (v = iv), sb. womb, belly, 28/ 

vomman (v = 10), sb. woman, 10/ 

287, et passim: voman, 66/2121 ; 

womman, 16/436 ; gen. s. vom- 

mans, 29/872 ; pi. vymmen, 28/ 

863, et passim ; vommen, 11/325, 

15/440, 96/3205, 117/3919, 118/ 


waite, vb. keep watch, observe, 54/ 
1744; pret. s. waytid, 14/424, 19/ 
576, 61/1637; imp. s. weyte, 49/ 
1589; subj. pres. 2 s. weyte, 20/ 
614. O.F. waiter. 

wan, pret. s. won, gained, 61/1642, 
&c. See wone. 

wanlase, sb. 87/2874, ' Wanlass, a 
Term in Hunting, as Driving tJie 
Wanlass, i. e. the driving of Deer 
to a stand, which in some Latin 
Records is termed Fugatio Wan- 
lassi ad Stabulum, and in Domes 
day Book, Stabilitio Venationis.' 
Kersey's Phillips, 1706. I believe 
the word is, as explaind by Mr. 
Hensleigh Wedgwood, windlas, a 
winding course, ' and thus doe we 
of wised ome and of reach, with 
windlesses, and with assaies of 
bias, By indirections finde direc 
tions out.' Hamlet, II. i., Fol. p. 
259, col. 2 (Booth, p. 749). See 
Wedgwood mPhilol.Soc. Trans., 
1873, p. 68. F. J. F. See note, 
p. 197. 

ward. sb. award, 107/3568. 

-ward, versus, chircheward, fro, 28/ 

858, unto the, 42/1333," 

to, 42/1320; court ward, in-to J?e, 
92/3054 ; dorward, to kittis, 16/ 

477; dynerward, to, 7/170, to 

the, 7/192 ; shippis ward, to his, 

62/1999, 116/3878, to 

J?e, 91/3032, shipward, to, 6</ 
2185 ; strondward, to the, 94/3 138. 



wardos, sb. pi. outworks of a for 
tress, 9/238 ; wardis, 9/242. 

ware, adj. wary, 64/2064, 104/3458. 

warrok, sb. savage dog, 21/640. See 
note, p. 184. 

wase, sb. torch, 72/2351. * wase, 
O.Dutch wase, fax.' Stratmarm. 

wassh, vb. wash, 118/3947; pret. s. 
wissh, 7/193, 22/66i ; pret. pi. 13/ 
389, 54/1729; imp. pi. wasshith, 

wed, sb. pledge, 90/2984. 

wed to wyve, marry, 5/in. 

ween, 1 pres. s. ween, suppose, 3 / 
62 ; 2 pres. s. wenyst, 40/i2<5i, 
57/1839,62/2011 ; ween, 
104/3479 ; pret. s. went, 16/478 ; 
2 pret. pi. wend, 104/3479. 

weer ^ow, pret. 2 s. wast thou, 92/ 
3049 ; pret. s. weer, were, 79/2617, 
107/3566 ; wlier, 70/2300. 

weet, sb. wet, i. e. blood, 33/IO22. 

wel, adj. much, very ; wel the bett, 
29/889; wel bettir, 29/902; wel 
J?e more, 39/1224 > we ^ more, 103/ 
3425, 104/3460 ; vel fikil, very 
fickle, 41/1283; wel levir, much 
rather, 92/3038 ; wel a fyne, 
throughly well,44/i393, 118/3938; 
wel & fyne, 41/1302, 61/1967; 
wel fyne, 81/2662. 'Affin, conjunc. 
et adv. : Totalement, en entier.' 
Koquefort. See note, p. 189. 

weld, vb. possess, 28/849 ; weld, 
manage, take care of oneself, 56/ 

wele (or wel) was hym, fortunate 
was he, 49/1562, 1574. 

welplich, adv. like a whelp, 17/481. 

weude, vb. go, 22/675, 76/2489 ; 
wend, 20/615, 22/667, 62/1998, 
70/2292, 85/2798, 111/3718; vend, 
17/523 ; pret. pi. wend = turn, 
set a sail, 86/2837 ; imp. pi. wend, 
ith, go, 61/1985 ; pp. i-went, 
brought about, 40/1264; = con 
trived, 48/1522. A.S. wendan. 

wept, pp. bewept, bathed in tears, 

were, sb. penalty, danger, 86/2850. 

A.S. we'r. 

werid, pp. past, 30/1090. See wirid. 
wernyd, pret. s. forbad, 29/901. 

A.S. icy man. 

werr, sb. war, 50/1599. O.F. werre. 
werrith, pres. s. wars, 61/1990; pp. 

werrid, 71/2335. O.F. turner. 

wete ; wetith, vb. and imp. pi. know, 

106/3544; 29/88o, 81/960. See 


wexacioun, so. vexation, 106/3551. 
wexe, vb. wex, 109/3653. 
wexe, vb. wax, 46/1459; wex > 89/ 

2940, 98/3256; pret. pi wexen, 

14/420 ; subj. 2 pres. pi. wexe, 88/ 


wher, pret. s. were, 70/2300. 
where, adv. whether, 73/2398. 
wher-}?urh, adv. wherethrough, 

whence, 68/1712, 80/2632. 
while, sb. wile, craft, 69/2239. 
while, sb. time, 6/125, 64/2074. A.S. 

hwile. See note, p. 178. 
Wife, the, of Bath, asks the Prioress 

if she'd like to see the inn garden, 

p. 10. 
Wife, Beryn's sham deserted, her 

charge against Beryn, pp. 65-6 ; 

appears at- his trial, p. 96 ; claims 

her share of his goods, p. 101 ; 

declines to go with him, and finds 

sureties for damages, p. 113. 
willokis, ? rags, 41/1295. See 

note, p. 188. 
Winchelsea, Sussex, impaired of late 

years, 26/756. See Kye. 
wirchen, vb. work, 106/3499. See 

wirid, 1 pret. s. worried, fretted, 69/ 

2246 ; pp. werid, worn out, past, 

wissh, pret. s. and pret. pi. washed, 

7/193, 13 /3 8 9> & c. See wassh. 
wissh, vb. tell, 92/3290. A.S. wis- 

wist or wiste, pret. s. and pret. pi. 

knew, 7/177, & c - $ ee witt. 
wistling, pres. p. whistling, 103/ 

wit, sb. knowledge, 61/1993 ; witt, 

wite, sb. penalty, 106/3520. A.S. 

wite, vb. blame, lay to one's charge, 

21/636, 91/3024; imp. s. wit, 5H/ 

1869; pp. wittid, 43/1376. A.S. 




with j^is (thisj, provided that, 24/ 

729, 119/3972. 
withdrawe, vb. draw from, shun, 40/ 

withseyith, 2 pres. pi. deny, 104/ 

3467 ; pp. withseyd, 104/3471. 
witith, imp. pi. know, 60/1955. See 

witt, vb. know, 68/2036; wyt, 36/ 

1140; wete, 106/3544; 1 pres. s. 

woot, 32/975, et passim; wote, 

72/2372 ; 2 pres. s. wotist, 8/45 ; 

wost, 17/509, 106/3531 ; pres. s. 

woot, 12/339, 38/1201, 94/3ii6; 

1 pres. pi. wetith, 106/3539 '> % 

pres. pi. woot, 18/385, 16/438, 54/ 

1751; wotith, 90/2990; pret. s. 

and pret. pi. wist or wiste, 7/177, 

et passim; imp. pi. wetith, 29/ 

880, 81/960 ; witith, 60/1955 ; 

wotith, 111/3723; woot, 10/276; 

subj. 2 pret. s. wiste, 41/1311. 
Avoid nat, would not do, avail, 35/ 

wonde, vb. ? fear, 82/2697. A.S. 

wandian. See note, p. 196. 
wondir, adj. wonderful, 82/2710, 85/ 

wondir, adv. wonderfully, 5/ii6, et 


wone, sb. habit, 39 / 1 244. A.S. wune. 
wone, vb. won, 9/242 ; pret. s. wan, 

51/1642,54/1747; wanopponhym 

londe, gained ground upon him, 


woo, sb. woe, 88/1176. 
wood, adj. mad, 16/498, et passim. 

A.S. wdd. 
woodman, sb. madman, 48/1351, 60/ 


woodnes, sb. madness, 41/1289. 
wook, sb. week, 18/547, 19/578; 

passion-woke, 114/3804 ; pi. woo- 

kis, 34/1047. 
Woollen robes of grained colour 

(scarlet) worn by Beryn and his 

men, 92/3065. 
woot, 1 pres. s., pres. s., 2, 

imp. pi. know, 82/975 ; 88/1201 ; 

13/385; 10/276. tfeewitt. 
worch, vb. work, do, 87/1154, 50/ 

1618, 100/3342; wirchen, 105/ 

3499 5 pres. pi. worchyn, 4/83 ; 

imp. s. worch, 59/1897; imp. pi 

worch ith, 6/160. 
wordit, pret. s. worded, spoke, 98/ 


wordlich, adj. worldly, 66/2161. 
wormys, sb. pi serpents, 84/2776. 
wose, sb. ooze, mud, 54/1742. A.S. 


wosshid. pret. s. wished, 67/2192. 
wost, 2 pres. s. knowest, 17/509. 

See witt. 
wote, wotist, wotith, 1 pres. s., 2 

pres. s., pres. pi. and imp. pi 

know, knowest, 72/2372; 8/45, 

90/29905111/3723. Hewitt, 
wowe, sb. wall, 108/3614. 
wrake, sb. mischief, 60/1932. A.S. 

wrench, sb. trick, 86/1142. A.S. 

wry, vb. twist, turn, 77/2516; pres. 

s. wriythe, 84/2791 j imp. pi. 

wrijth, 103/3436. 
wyled, pret. pi beguiled, deceitfully 

turned, 82/2691. F. J. F. 
wyt, vb. know, 86/1140. See witt 

y, pron. I, 14/407, 74/2430. 

yen, sb. pi. eyes, 68/2047. See ey. 

ymmemorat, adj. ? unmentioned, 80/ 

2626. Lat. immemoratus. 
ynma<rytyff, adj. in vent, ve, 106/ 

3529. See note, p. 198. 
yelp, vb. boast, 69/2266. See jelpe. 
Yeoman, the, sings after supper, p. 


^ede, pret. s. went, 88/1034, 97/3210. 
;jeer, sb. year, 27/8n ; pi jeris, 34/ 


2eld, vb. yield, requite, 52/i68o. 
3elpe, vb. boast, 98/3268 ; yelp, 69/ 

2266. A.S. gelpan. 
^emen. sb. pi. yeomen, 90/2997- 
^erd, sb. rod, 34/io6o, 41/1314, 71/ 
_ 2324, 103/3417. 
^it, pron. it, 66/2098. 
^ore, adv. long ago, formerly, 8/54, 

76/2273. A.S. geare. 
^owith, sb. youth, 84/1039, 1052, 

1055; jouthe, 34/1058; yowith, 


&, for and, if, 8/45, et passim.