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Wel coude he fortuneny the ascendenta

And on hire fete a pair of sporres sharpe.
Of his images for his patient.

In felawship wel coude she laughe and carpe He knew the cause of every maladie,

Of remedies of love she knew parchance, Were it of cold, or hote, or moist, or drie,

For of that arte she coude the olde dance. And wher engendred, and of what humour,

A good man there was of religioun,
He was a veray prafite practisour.

That was a pourè Personel of a toun :
The cause ykuowe, and of his harm the rote”, But riche he was of holy thought and werk.
Anon he gave to the sikè man his bote".

He was also a lerned man, a clerk,
Ful redy hadde he his apothecaries

That Cristès gospel trewely woldè preche.
To send him draggès', and his lettuariesd, His parishens devoutly wolde he teche.
For eche of hem made other for to winne; Benigne he was, and wonder diligent,
Hir friendship na’s not newè to beginne.

And in adversite ful patient :
Wel knew he the old Esculapius,

And swiche he was ypreved' often sithess. And Dioscorides, and eke Rufùs ;

Ful loth were hiin to cursen for his tithes, Old Hippocras, Hali, and Gallien,

But rather wolde he yeven' out of doute, Serapion, Rasis, and Avicen ;

Unto his pourè parishens aboute, Averrois, Damascene, and Constantin ;

Of his offring, and eke of his substance. Bernard, and Gatisden, and Gilbertin.

He coude in litel thing have suffisance. Of his diete mesurable was he,

Wide was his parish, and houses fer asоnder, For it was of no superfluitee,

But he ne left nought for no rain ne thonder, But of gret nourishing, and digestible.

In sikenesse and in mischief to visite His studie was but little on the Bible.

The ferrest in his parish, moche and lite," In sanguine and in persef he clad was alle Up in his fete, and in his hand a staf. Lined with taffata, and with sendalles.

This noble ensample to his shepe he yafv. And yet he was but esy of dispenceh:

That first he wrought and afterward he taught. He kepte that he wani in the pestilence.

Out of the gospel he the wordès caught, For golde in phisike is a cordial ;

And this figure he added yet thereto, Therfore he loved gold in special.

That if golde rustè, what shuld iren do?
A good Wif was ther of besidè Bathe,

For if a preest be foule, on whom we trust,
But she was som del defe, and that was scathe). No wonder is a lewed man to rust :
Of cloth making she hadde swiche an haunt, And shame it is, if that a preest take kepe,
She passed hem of Ipres, and of Gaunt.

To see a shitten shepherd, and clene shepe :
In all the parish wif ne was ther non,

Wel ought a preest ensample for to yeve, That to the offring before hire shulde gon, By his clenenessé, how his shepe shuld live. And if ther did, certain so wroth was she,

He sette not his benefice to hire,
That she was out of allé charitee.

And lette his shepe accombred in the mire,
Hire coverchiefs weren ful fine of ground; And ran unto London, unto Seint Poules,
I dorstè swere, they weyedenk a pound ;

To seeken him a chanterie for soules,
That on the Sonday were upon hire hede. Or with a brotherhede to be withold :
Hire hosen weren of fine scarlet rede,

But dwelt at home, and keptè wel his fold, Ful streite yteyed', and shoon ful moist and newe. So that the wolf ne made it not miscarie. Bold was hire face, and fayre and rede of hew. He was a shepherd, and no mercenarie. She was a worthy woman all hire live,

And though he holy were, and vertuous, Housbondes at the chirche dore had she had five, He was to sinful men not dispitous, Withouten other compagnie in youthe.

Ne of his spechè dangerous ne digne, But therof nedeth not to speke as nouthem. But in his teching discrete and benigne. And thries hadde she ben at Jerusaleme,

To drawen folk to heven, with fairènesse, She hadde passed many a strangè streme.

By good ensample, was his besinesse : At Rome she hadde ben, and at Boloine,

But it were any persone obstinat, In Galice at Seint James, and at Coloine.

What so he were of highe, or low estat, She couden moche of wandering by the way.

Him wolde he snibben" sharply for the nonès. Gat-tothed was she, sothly for to say.

A better preest s trowe that nowher' non is Upon an ambler esily she sat,

He waited after no pompe ne reverence, Ywimpled wel, and on hire hede an hat,

Ne maked him no spicedy conscience, As brode as is a bokeler, or a targe.

But Cristes lore, and his apostles twelve, A fote-mantelo about hire hippès large,

He taught, but first he folwed it himselve. y Make fortunate.

a Root.

With him ther was a Plowman, was his brother. b Remedy.

d Electuaries, That hadde ylaid of dong? ful many a fother. e Blood-red colour. i Sky-coloured, or blueish grey. h Expense.

r Proved.

$ Times.
j Misfortune.
k Weighed.

u The nearest and most distant of his parishioners.
I Tied.
m Now; adv.

Gave.

x No where. • A riding petticoat.

y Nice, in an affected sense.

+ Dạng.

z The ascendant. c Drugs.

& Thin silk.

i Gained, got.

p Talk.

9 Parson.

t Give,

n Knew.

w Snub, reprove.

a Load.

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A trewe swinker, and a good was he,

To makn him live by his propre good, Living in pees', and parfite charitee.

In honour detteles", but if he were wo God loved he beste with alle his herte

Or live as scarsly, as him list desire ;
At allè: timès, were it gain as smerte,

And able for to helpen all a shire
And than his neighèbour right as himselve. In any cas that mighte fallen or happy
He wolde thresh, and therto dike, and delve, And yet this manciple sette hir aller c
For Cristes sake, for every pourè wight,

The Revè was a slendre colerike ma
Withouten hire, if it lay in his might.

His berd was shave as neighe as ever His tithès paied he ful fayre and wel

His here was by his erès round yshorn Bothe of his propre swinke, and his catel. His top was docked like a preest befor In a tabard he rode upon a mere.

Ful longè were his legges, and ful lene There was also a reve, and a millere,

Ylike a staff, ther was no calf ysene. A sompnours, and a pardonere also,

Wel coude he kepe a garner and a bin A manciple', and myself, ther ne'ere no mo. Ther was non auditour coude on him v

The Miller was a stout carl for the nones, Wel wiste he by the drought, and by ti Ful bigge he was of braun, and eke of bones; The yelding" of his seed, and of his gra That proved wel, for over all ther he came, His lordès shepe, his nete", and his dei: At wrastling he wold bere away the rams. His swine, his hors, his store, and his i He was short shuldered brode, a thikke gnarre, Were holly in his reves" governing, Ther n'as no dore, that he n'olde heve of barre, And by his covenant yave he rekening: Or breke it at a renning' with his hede.

Sin that his lord was twenty yere of ag His berd as any sowe or fox was rede,

Ther coude no man bring him in arera And therto brode, as though it were a spade. Ther n'as baillif, ne herde, ne other hin Upon the cop right of his nose he hade

That he ne knew his sleight and his co' A wert, and theron stode a tufte of heres, They were adradde of him, as of the de Rede as the bristles of a sowès eres.

His wonning was ful fayre upon an het His nosè-thirlèsk blacke were and wide.

With grene trees yshadewed was his pla A swerd and bokeler bare he by his side.

He coude better than his lord pourchat
Ilis mouth as wide was as a forneis.

Ful ryche he was ystored privily.
He was a jangler', and a goliardeism,

His lord wel coude he plesen subtilly,
And that was most of sinne, and harlotries. To yeve and lene him of his owen good,
Wel coude he stelen corne, and tollen thries. And have a thank, and yet a cote and h
And yet he had a thomb of gold parde',

In youthe he lerned hadde a good mist A white cote and a blew hode wered he.

He was a wel good wright, a carpentere A baggèpipe wel coude he blowe and soune,

This reve sat upon a right good stot”, And therwithall he brought us out of toune.

That was all pomelee" grey, and highte A gentil Mancipler was ther of a temple, A long surcote of perse upon he hade, Of which achatours9 mighten take ensemple And by his side he bare a rusty blade. For to ben wise in bying of vitaille.

Of Norfolk was this reve, of which I te For whether that he paide, or toke by taille,

Beside a toun, men clepen Baldeswell. Algate he waited so in his achate",

Tucked he was, as is a frere, aboute, That he was ay before in good estate.

And ever he rode the hindrest of the re Now is not that of God a ful fayre grace,

A Sompnour was ther with us in that That swiche a lewed mannès wit shal pace

That had a fire-red cherubinnesb face, The wisdom of an hepe of lered men ?

For sausefleme he was, with eyen nare Of maisters had he mo than thriès ten,

As hote he was, and likerous as a sparv That were of lawe expert and curious :

With scalled browes blake, and pilled b Of which ther was a dosein in that hous,

Of his visage children were sore aferd. Worthy to ben stewardes of rent and lond Ther n'as quicksilver, litarge, ne brims Of any lord that is in Englelond,

Boras, ceruse, ne oile of tartre non, b Peace.

Ne oinément that wolde clense or bite,

c Pain. d A sompnour, an officer employed to summon delin That him might helpen of his whelkese quents in ecclesiastical courts, now called an apparitor. Ne of the knobbes sitting on his chekes - Tyrwhilt. • A pardoner, a seller of pardons or indulgences.

Wel loved he garlike, onions, and lekes F A manciple, an officer who has the care of furnishing

And for to drinke strong win as rede as victuals for an inn of court.

Than wolde he speke, and crie as he w & The prize. h A hard knot in a tree.

s Free from debt. i A running.

i Mado a fool of them all.

u Yic k Nostrils. i Prater m Buffoon.

v Cows.

w Steward. no He was as honest as other millers, though he had, Secret contrivances.

y Trade, occi according to the proverb, like every miller, a thumb of

z llorse, beast. a Dappled. gold.

p Vide note above.

b Cherub's face.

€ Red pimpled 9 Purchasers. r Purchase.

d Narrow, close.

e Spots.

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12

That streit was comen from the court of Rome.
And whan that he wel dronken had the win,
Than wold he speken no word but Latìn.

Ful loude he sang, Come hither, love, to me.
A fewè termès coude he, two or three,

This sompnour bare to him a stiff burdounk, That he had lerned out of som decree ;

Was never trompe of half so gret a soun.

This pardoner had here as yelwel as wax,
No wonder is, he herd it all the day.
And eke ye knowen wel, how that a jay

But smoth it heng, as doth a strike of flax :
Can clepen watte, as wel as can the pope. By unces heng his lokkes that he hadde,
But who so wolde in other thing him grope, And therwith he his shulders overspradde.
Than hadde he spent all his philosophie,

Ful thinne it lay, by culpons" on and on, Ay, Questio quid juris, wolde he crie.

But hode, for jolite, ne wered he non, He was a gentil harlot' and a kind;

For it was trussed up in his wallet. A better felaw shulde a man not find.

Him thought he rode al of the newe get, He woldè suffre for a quart of wine,

Dishevele, sauf his cappe, he rode all bare. A good felàw to have his concubine

Swiche glaring eyen hadde he, as an hare. A twelve month, and excuse him at the full. A vernicle hadde he sewed upon his cappe. Ful prively a finch eke coude he pull.

His wallet lay beforne him in his lappe, And if he found owhere a good felàwe,

Bret-fulo of pardon come from Rome al hote.
He woldè techen him to have

A vois he hadde, as smale as hath a gote.
In swiche a cas of the archedekenes curse; No berd hadde he, ne never non shulde have,
But if a mannès soule were in his purse;

As smothe it was as it were newe shave;
For in his purse he shulde ypunished be.

I trowe he were a gelding or a mare. Purse is the archedekens helle, said he.

But of his craft, fro Berwike unto Ware, But wel I wote, he lied right in dede :

Ne was ther swiche an other pardonere. Of cursing ought eche gilty man him drede. For in his maler he hadde a pilwebere,9 For curse wol sle right as assoiling saveth, Which, as he saide, was Our Ladies veil : And also ware him of a significavit.

He saide, he hadde a gobbet of the seyls In danger hadde he at his owen gise

Thatte seint Peter bad, whan that he went The yonge girles of the diocise,

Upon the see, till Jesu Crist him hent'. And knew hir conseil, and was of hir redes. He had a crois of latono ful of stones, A gerlond hadde he sette upon his hede,

And in a glas he hadde pigges bones. As gret as it were for an alestakeh :

But with these relikes, whanne that he fond
A bokeler hadde he made him of a cake.

A poure persone dwelling up on lond,
With him ther rode a gentil Pardonerei Upon a day he gat him more moneie
Of Rouncevall, his frend and his compere, Than that the persone gat in monethes tweie.
f The name harlot was anciently given to men as well

And thus with fained flattering and japes', as women, and without any bad signification. [. When the

He made the persone, and the peple, his apes*. word harlot,' says Gifford, became (like knave) a term But trewely to tellen atte last, of reproach, it was appropriated solely to males: in Jon He was in chirche a noble ecclesiast. son's days it was applied indiscriminately to both sexes;

Wel coude he rede a lesson or a storie, though without any determinate import; and it was not till long afterwards that it was restricted to females, and

But alderbestä he sang an offertorier : to the sense which it now bears. To derive harlot from For wel he wiste, whan that song was songe, Arlotte, the mistress of the Duke of Normandy, is ridiculous." (Ben Jonson, vol. iii. p. 312.)

He muste preche, and wel afilehis tonge,

The word hariott,' Jonson told Drummond, . was taken from

To-winne silver, as he right wel coude : Arlotte, who was the mother of William the Conqueror; Therefore he sang the merrier and loude. a Rogue from the Latine, Erro, by putting a G to it.' (ARCH. Scot. vol. iv. p. 100.) This supposition of Jonson's

k Sang the bass.

1 Yellow, has been discovered since Gifford wrote.]

m Ounces.

D Shreds.
& Advised.
b An alehouse sign.
o Brimful. p Budget.

9 Covering of a pillow.
i Vide note (c) in preceding page, cul. i.

r Morsel,

t Assisted, took. j Supposed by Stevens to be Runceval Hall, in Ox |

U A mixed metal of the colour of brass. ford.

v Tricks.

X Best y Part of the mass. i Polish.

$ Sail.

w Dupes.

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Little is known of Gower's personal history. From his will it appears that he was living in “ The proud tradition in the Marquis of Stafford's 1408. His bequests to several churches and family,” says Mr. Todd“, “ has been, and still hospitals, and his legacy to his wife of 1001., of is, that he was of Stitenham ; and who would all his valuable goods, and of the rents arising not consider the dignity of his genealogy aug. from his manors of Southwell in the county of mented, by enrolling among its worthies the Nottingham, and of Multon in the county of moral Gower ?"

Suffolk, undeniably prove that he was rich. His effigies in the church of St. Mary Overies One of his three great works, the Speculum is often inaccurately described as having a gar Meditantis, a poem in French, is erroneously land of ivy and roses on the head. It is, in fact, described by Mr. Godwin and others as treating a chaplet of roses, such as, Thynne says, was of conjugal fidelity. In an account of its contents anciently worn by knights; a circumstance which in a MS. in Trinity College, Cambridge, we are is favourable to the suspicion, that has been told that its principal subject is the repentance suggested, of his having been of the rank of of a sinner. The Vox Clamantis, in Latin, relates knighthood. If Thynne's assertion, respecting to the insurrection of the commons, in the reign the time of the lawyers first entering the Temple, of Richard II. The. Confessio Amantis, in be correct, it will be difficult to reconcile it with English, is a dialogue between a lover and his the tradition of Gower's having been a student confessor, who is a priest of Venus, and who there in his youth.

explains, by apposite stories, and philosophical By Chaucer's manner of addressing Gower, illustrations all the evil affections of the heart the latter appears to have been the elder. He which impede, or counteract the progress and was attached to Thomas of Woodstock, as success of the tender passion. Chaucer was to John of Gaunt. The two poets His writings exhibit all the crude erudition

appear to have been at one time cordial friends, and science of his age ; a knowledge sufficient to | but ultimately to have quarrelled. Gower tells have been the fuel of genius, if Gower had pos

us himself that he was blind in his old age. sessed its fire.

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THE TALE OF THE COFFERS OR CASKETS, &c.,

IN THE FIFTH BOOK OF THE “CONFESSIO ANANTIS."

1

1

In a cronique thus I rede :
Aboute a king, as must nede,
Ther was of knyghtès and squiers
Gret route, and eke of officers :
Some of long time him hadden served,
And thoughten that they haue deserved,
Avancement, and gon withoute :
And some also ben of the route,
That comen but a while agon,
And they avanced were anon.

These oldè men upon this thing,
So as they durst, ageyne the king
Among hemself b compleignen ofte :
But there is nothing said so softe,
That it ne comith out at laste :
The king it wiste, and als so faste,
As he which was of high prudènce :
He shope therefore an evidence
Of hem that pleignen in the cas
To knowe in whose defalte it was:
* In Illustrations of Gower and Chaucer by the Rev.
JH, Todd.
b Themselves.

c Them.

And all within his owne entent,
That non ma wistè what it ment.
Anon he let two cofres make,
Of one semblance, and of one make,
So lich“, that no lif thilke throwe,
That one may fro that other knowe :
They were into his chamber brought,
But no man wot why they be wrought,
And natheles the king hath bede
That they be set in privy stede,
As he that was of wisdom slih ;
Whan he therto his time sih",
All privěly that none it wiste,
His ownè hondes that one chiste
Of fin gold, and of fin perie',
The which out of his tresorie
Was take, anon he fild full;
That other cofre of straw and mulla
With stones meyndh he fild also :
Thus be they full bothè two.

e Saw. I Jewels, or precious stones. & Rubbish.

h Mingled.

d Like.

Whan he had heard the common vois,
Hath granted hem her owne chois,
And toke hem therupon the keie ;
But for he woldè it were seiev
What good they have as they suppose,
He bad anon the cofre unclose,
Which was fulfild with straw and stones :
Thus be they served all at ones.

This king than in the same stede,
Anon that other cofre undede,
Where as they silen gret richesse,
Wel more than they couthen gesse.

Lo! seith the king, now may ye see
That ther is no defalte in me;
Forthy' my self I wol acquite,
And bereth he your owne wites
Of that, fortune hath you refused.

Thus was this wise king excused :
And they lefte off her evil speche,
And mercy of her king beseche.

I OF THE GRATIFICATION WHICH THE LOVER'S

PASSION RECEIVES FROM THE SENSE OF
HEARING,

IN THE SIXTH BOOK.

So that erlichei upon a day
He had within, where he lay,
Ther should be tofore his bed
A bord up set and faire spred :
And than he let the cofres fettej
Upon the bord, and did hem sette.
He knewe the names well of thok,
The whiche agein him grutched so,
Both of his chambre, and of his halle,
Anon and sent for hem alle ;
And seide to hem in this wise,

There shall no man his hap despise :
I wot well ye have longe served,
And god wot what ye have deserved ;
But if it is along on me
Of that ye unavanced be,
Or elles if it belong on yow,
The sothè shall be proved now :
To stoppè with your evil word,
Lo ! here two cofres on the bord ;
Chese which you list of bothè two ;
And witеth well that one of tho
Is with tresor so full begon,
That if he happe therupon
Ye shall be richè men for ever :
Now chesel and take which you is lever,
But be well ware ere that ye take,
For of that one I undertake
Ther is no maner good therein,
Wherof ye mighten profit winne.
Now gothm together of one assent,
And taketh your avisement;
For but I you this day avance,
It stant upon your ownè chance,
Al only in defalte of grace ;
So shall be shewed in this place
Upon you all well afyn",
That no defaltè shal be myn.

They knelen all, and with one vois
The king they thonken of this chois :
And after that they up arise,
And gon aside and hem avise,
And at lastè they accorde
(Wherof hero tale to recorde
To what issue they be falle)
A knyght shall spekè for hem alle :
He kneleth doun unto the king,
And seith that they upon this thing,
Or for to winne, or for to lesep,
Ben all avised for to chese.

Thoo toke this knyght a yerd" on honde,
And goth there as the cofres stonde,
And with assent of everychones
He leith his yerde upon one,
And seith the king how thilke same
They chese in reguerdon" by name,
And preith him that they might it have.

The king, which wolde his honor save,

Right as mine eye with his loke
Is to myn herte a lusty cooke
Of loves foodè delicate ;
Right so myn eare in his estate,
Wher as myn eye may nought serve,
Can wel myn hertès thonk z deserve ;
And feden him, fro day to day,
With such deynties as he may.

For thus it is that, over all
Wher as I come in speciall,
I may heare of my lady price* :
I heare one say that she is wise ;
Another saith that she is good ;
And, some men sain, of worthy blood
That she is come; and is also
So fair that no wher is none so:
And some men praise hir goodly chere.
Thus every thing that I may heare,
Which souneth to my lady goode,
Is to myn eare a lusty foode.
And eke myn eare hath, over this,
A deyntie feste whan so is
That I may heare hirselvė speke ;
For than anon my fast I breke
On suchè wordes as she saith,
That ful of trouth and ful of faith
They ben, and of so good disport,
That to myn eare great comfort
They don, as they that ben delices
For all the meates, and all the spices,
That any Lombard couthè make,
Ne be so lusty for to take,

i Early
j Fetched.

k Those. 1 Choose. m Go. n At last.

o Their. P Lose. 9 Then. IA rod. s Every one.

Sayeth to the king. u As their reward.

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