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And seyde, 'Lorde and fader, al youre wille,
'I nil,' quod he, 'have noon excepcioun.'.
This Yperjnystra hath nygh hire wytte forlorne,
Oute cometh the bride, and with ful sobre chere, As ys of maidenes ofte the manere, To chambre broghte with revel and with songe. And shortly, leste this tale be to longe, This Lyno and she beth broghte to bedde, And every wight out at the doore hym spedde. The nyghte ys wasted and he fel aslepe; Ful tenderly begynneth she to wepe; She riste hire up, and dredefully she quaketh, As dothe the braunche that Zepherus shaketh, And husht were alle in Argone that citee. As colde as eny froste now wexeth shee, For pite by the herte streyneth hire soo, And drede of dethe doth hire so moche woo, That thries doune she fil in swiche a were, She riste hire up and stakereth here and there,
And oil hire handes faste loketh she.
'Allas, shal myn handes blody be 1
I am a mayde, and as by my nature,
And be my semblaunt, and by my vesture,
Myn handes ben nat shapen for a knyf,
As for to reve no man fro hys lyf!
What devel have I with the knyfe to doo?
And shal I have my throte korve a twoo?
Thanne shal I blede, allas, and be shende!
And nedes coste thys thing mot have an ende;
Or he or I mote nedes lese oure lyf.
Now certes,' quod she, 'syn I am hys wyf,
And hathe my feythe, yet is hyt bet for me
For to be dede in wyfly honeste,
Thanne be a traytour lyvyng in my shame.
Be as be may, for erneste or for game,
He shal awake and ryse and go hys way
Out at this goter, or that hyt be day.'
And wepte fid tenderly upon his face,
And in hire armes gan hym to embrace,
And hym she jeggeth and awaketh softe,
And at the wyndow lepe he fro the lofte,
Whanne she hath warned hym and doone hym bote.
This Lyno swyft was and lyghte of fote,
And from hire ranne a ful goode pace.
This sely womman ys so wayke, allace,
And helples, so that er she ferre wente,
Her crewel fader did hire for to hente.
Allas, Lyno, why art thou so unkynde? Why ne hast thou remembred in thy mynde, And taken hire, and ledde hire forthe with the? For whanne she saw that goon away was he, And that she myghte not so faste go, Ne folowen hym, she sate hire doune ryghte thoo Til she was kaughte and fettred in prisoun. This tale ys sayde for this conclusioun.
HERE ENDETH THE LEGENDE OF GOODE WOMEN.
Thk following short pieces include all the remaining poems which can be traced with any certainty to Chaucer; and, considered as the trifles which a great genius throws off in the intervals of more sustained labour, they are neither unworthy of their author, nor destitute of intrinsic interest.
The Comphynte of the Dethe of Pite is in the style of the allegories, fashionable among the French in Chaucer's time, of which The Bomaunt of the Hose is the example best known. This style has been imitated , by Chaucer in many of his minor poems, as well as in The Court of Love, in which the Dethe of Pite forms an episode.—See vol. iv. p. 307. MSS. of Tlie Comphynte are preserved in the University Library at Cambridge, in the volume marked Fairfax 16 in the Bodleian, and in the Harl. Collection 78 in the British Museum. The present text is taken from the last.
[/Etas Prima, or the Former Age, is here edited (by Mr. fikeat) from two MSS. The first, denoted A, is Camb. Univ. MS. Ii. 3. 21, which has been edited *by Dr. Morris. It is appended to a copy of the translation of Boethius, and is entitled "Chaucer upon this fyfte metur of the second book." The poem is in fact a metrical paraphrase of the passage indicated, commencing "Blysful was the first age of men," &c. The other MS., referred to as MS. B, is Hh 4. 12 in the same Library.
The Ballade de Visage sauna peynture is, apparently, a translation from the French. The title bears no relation
VOL. III. 2 D
whatever to the subject, which, under the form of a dialogue between Fortune and a Plaintiff, seems to be a petition from Chaucer to the Council, to promote him to some higher office than he then held at Court. It is found in MS. in the volume marked Fairfax 16, and in MS. Bodl. 638. The present text is taken from the former.
[Tho Goodly Ballade of Chaucer is of doubtful authenticity.]
The Ballade sent to King Richard, The Compleynte of Chaucer to his Purse, are taken from a volume of MSS. numbered 7333 in the Harleian collection, collated with copies in that marked Fairfax 16 in the Bodleian Library. From the latter volume are also derived the texts of the Envoyes to Scogan and Bukton.
[The Good Conseil of Chaucer is printed from a copy which occurs on a flyleaf at the end of Chaucer's translation of Boethius, B. M. Add. MSS. 10,340, which was communicated to the Athenaeum, Sept. 14th, 1867, by Mr. Furnivall.]
The ballad beginning,' The firste fadir and fy nder,' &c, the present text of which, varying slightly from that of Speght, has been taken from the Harl. MS. 7333, is attributed to Chaucer by Henry Scogan, in a poem published by Speght in his edition of Chaucer's collected works—1604.
Scogan appears to have been attached to the Courts both of Edward III. and Richard II. His name occurs among those to whom the latter granted letters of protection before his expedition to Ireland in 1399. We here find him described as Henricus Scogan, Armiger. It is evident that he enjoyed a traditional character for wit long after his death; for in the reign of Henry VIII. a collection of stories was published by Dr. Andrew Borde, under the title of Scogan's Jests, in which he is said to have been a graduate of Oxford, and the King's jester. Shakspeare introduces him in no very dignified capacity in 2 Henry IV. act iii. sc. 2.
A volume of MSS. numbered 7578 in the Harleian colleoHon, has supplied the text of the Proverbes of Chaucer, collated with copies in MS. Fairfax 16.
The song entitled a Boundel is given as published by Percy in his Beliques of Ancient English Poetry. [It is not well authenticated.]
The text of the Virelai, of the Prophecy, and of Chauceres Wordes to his own Scrivener, are those of the printed editions adopted in the absence of MSS. [The first two are of doubtful authenticity.]
[The poem entitled Oratio Oalfridi Chaucer is edited from a theological MS. in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, in which it is cited as an 'orisoune' by him. The Chaucer Society have printed two other MSS.]
THE COMPLEYNTE OF THE DETHE OF PITE.1
BOW PITE IS DEDE AND BURIED IN A GENTLE HERTE.
PIT YE, which e that I have sought so yoro
And whanne that I by lengthe of certain yeres
1 In the MS. Harl. 78, this poem is thus headed:—'And now here following begynnethe a complaint of pitee made by Geffrey Chaucer, the aureate poete, that ever was fonde in oure vulgare tofore hes dayes.*