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Quod Pandarus, ' Ye, nece, wol ye here?
Dulearnon clepid is 'flemyng of wrecchis;'
Hit semith hard, for wrecchis nel hit lere,
For verrey slouth, and other wilful tecchis;
This seid is by hem that be not worth two fecchis;
But ye be wys, and that ye have in hond,
Is neither hard, ne skilful1 to withstond.'
'Than, eme,' quod she, 'doth herof as ye lyst,
But, or he come, I wil ferst arise;
And, for the love of God, seth al my trist
Is on yow two, and ye be bothe wyse,
So wurkith now, in so discrete a wyse,
That I honour may have and he plesaunce,
For I am here al in your governaunce.'
'This is wel seid,' quod Pandare, 'my nece dere!
had in power the Easterns and Westeme world, signified in the two homes. But, however, it well suits the passage, either as if he had personated Creseide at the entrance of two wayes, not knowing which to take, in like sense as that of Prodicus his Hercules, Pythagoras his Y, or the logician's dilemma expresse; or else, which is the truth of his conceit, that she was at a ntm phis, as the interpretation in his next staffe makes plaine. How many of Chaucer's readers never so much as suspect this his short essay of knowledge transcending the common road? And by his treatise of the Astrolabe (which, I dare swear, was chiefly learned out of MessaJmJah) it is plaine he was much acquainted with the mathematiques, and amongst their authors had it.J It is agreed between Speght, Necham, and Selden that Dulearnon, whatever its origin may have been, was applied to some geometrical or mathematical theorem. And, if any authority is allowed to the gloss in the margin, the meaning will be, 'I am obliged to solve a question as difficult as that called Dulearnon, which is so puzzling that it is called the fuqa mUerorum, that which deters the stupid;' just as we call the fifth prop, of the same book ' the asses' bridge,' because dunces canndt get over it.
1 Sldl means reason, or reasoning. Skiljul, then, here signifies requiring much reasoning.
This Troylus on knees sone hym set,
But Pandare, that so wele couthe fele
In every thing, to pley anon bygan,
And seyd, ' Nece, se how this lord can knele!
Now, for your trouthe, se this gentil man!'
And with that word, he for a cuisshyn ran,
And seid, 'Knelith now whil that yow lyst,
There God your hertis sone bryng at rest!'
Can I not seyn, for she bad hym not rise,
If sorow it put out of her remembraunce;
Or ellis she toke it in such a wyse
Of dewte, as for his observaunce;
But wele find I, she did hym this pleasaunce,
That she hym kyssid, althogh she sikid sore,
And bad him sit adoun withouten more.
Quod Pandarus, 'Now wol ye wele begynne,
Cryseyde, that was Troylus lady right,
1 Pandarus composed his countenance, and pretended to read,by tin tire, an old romance which happened to be lying at hand.
And that love is in cause of such foly,
'Lo, herte myn! as wold the excellence
'And your goodnes have I found alwey yet,
'And, dredeles, that shal be found at preve;
'My good hert myn! note I, for why ne how
That jelosye, the wikkid wyvere,"
Thus causeles is cropyn into yow,
The harme of which I wold fayn delivere:
Alas! that he al hole, or of hym a shivere,
Shold have his refute in so digne a place!
That Jove hym sone out of your herte race!
1 Andhoole, omitted in MS. 3943, is supplied from MS. i239
2 MS. 3943 reads, Thogh J now right on yow self pleyn. This is so evidently corrupt that the reading of MS. 1239 is adopted in preference.
3 Harl. MS. 3943 reads wythir, which is probably a mere clerical error. Wyvere is taken from MS. 1239, and is interpreted by Speght to mean 'A kind of serpent, much like a dragon.'
'But, 0 thou Jove! 0 auctour of nature!
'Eke al my wo is this, that folke now usyn
'But certeyn is, some maner jalousye
'And some so ful of furie is, and despite,
3 Her hure seems to mean their fortune, as in the French malheur, which they are said to endure irrespectively of their guilt or innocence. MS. i239 reads her injure, which is perhaps better.
3 Cryseyde says,' Were it lawful to complain of jealousy to thee, who thyself sufferest from the effects of jealousy,' soil., from Juno, who used always to persecute the ladies whom Jupiter loved.
4 Harl. MS. 3943 reads sowe, which does not rhyme with love. Shove is the reading of MS. 1239.
5 The Harl. MS. 3943 reads reprehension, MS. 1239, oppression; but Speght and Urry both read repression, which is so clearly required by the context that it is here adopted.
Of abundance of love, and bysy cure,
'Of which I am right sory, but not wrothe;
With that a fewe brighte teris newe J
Out of her eyen fel, and thus she seyd:—
'Now, God thow wost, in thought and dede untrewe
To Troylus was never yet Cryseyd!'
With that her heed doun in the bed she leyd,
And with the shete hit wrie, and sighid sore,
And held her pees, nat o word spak she more.
But now help, God, to quenchyn al this sorow!
So hope I that he shal, for he best may;
For I have seyn, of a ful misty morow,
Folowyn oft a mery somers day;
And aftir wyntir comith grene May;
Folk sene al day, and eke men rede in story,
That aftir sharpe stouris3 is oft victory.'
This Troylus, whan he her wordis herd,
Have ye no care, him lest not to slepe!
Eke it thoght hym no strokis of a yerd
To here or se his lady Cryseyde wepe;
But wele he felt about his herte crepe,
For every tere which that Cryseyde astert,
The crampe of deth, to streyn him by the herte,
1 Harl. MS. 3943 reads ordinal; ordal, meaning ordeal, is from MS. i239. 2 Truly set forth, or expressed.
3 Both the MSS. which have been collated for this edition read shouris, and they are followed by Speght; but stouris, meaning battles, is so clearly the true reading, that it has been adopted from Urry.