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With him ther was his fone, a 'yonge Squier, A lover and a lusty bacheler,
80 With lockes crull as they were laide in presse; Of twenty yere of age he was I gesse. Of his stature he was of even lengthe, And wonderly deliver, and grete of strengthe; And he hadde be fometime in chevachie in Flaundres, in Artois, and in Picardie, And borne him wel, as of so litel space, In hope to stonden in his ladies grace.
Embrouded was he, as it were a mede Alle full of fresshe floures white and rede:
90. Singing he was or floyting alle the day; He was as fresshe as is the moneth of May: Short was his goune, with sleves long and wide; Wel coude he fitte on hors, and fayre ride :
9. 84. deliver] Nimble; so below, ver. 15422, deliverly, nimbly: the word is plainly formed from the Fr. libre. The Italians use suelto or sciolto in the same sense.
9.85. in chevachie] Chevauchée, French. It moft properly means an expedition with a small party of cavalry, but is often ned generally for any military expedition. Hollinfhed calls it arode.
.89. Embrouied) Embroidered, from the Fr. broder, originally border. V.91. Hoyring] Playing on the flute ; so in H. F. iii, 133,
And many a floite and litlyng horno
And pipes made of grene curne The firlit fyllable for a time retained the broad sound of its or Tiginal. See Du Cange, Flauta. Kilian, Fluyte. In some copics it ja chianged to fiowting.
He coude fonges make, and wel endite,
95 Jufte and eke dance, and wel pourtraie and write: So hote he loved, that by nightercale He flep no more than doth the nightingale :
Curteis he was, lowly and servisable, And carf before his fader at the table.
A Yeman hadde he, and servantes no mo At that time, for him luste to ride fo,
7.97. nightertale] Night-time, from the Sax. nilzern del, nociurna portio. Lydgate uses nightertynie. Trazed. fol. 141, b. 156, b.
Ť. 100. And carf before his fader] 'The practice of fquires (of the highest quality) carving at their fathers' tables las been fully illustrated by M. de Ste Palaye, Ac. des Insc. t. xx. p. 604.
ř. 101. Areman badde he] The late editions call this character the Squire's Yeman, but improperly; the pronoun be relates to the Knight. Chaucer would never have given the ion an attendant when the father had none. ---Yeman, or yeoman, is an abbreviation of yeongeman, as youthe is of yeong. the. Young men being inott utually employed in service, servants liave, in many languages, been denominated from the singlc circumftance of age, as Wais, puer, garcon, boy, grome. As a title of service or office Yoman is used in the ftat. 37 Ed. ward Ill. c. 9 and 11, to denote a servant of the next degree above a garsor or groom; and at this day in several departments of the royal household the attendants are distributed into three classes of Serjeants or Squiers, Yeomen and Grooms. In the household of the Mayor of London fome officers of the rank of Yeoman are still, I believe, called Young Men. See Chamberlain's State of Gr. Brit.-In the ttatute 20 R. II. c. 2, Yoman and Vadietz are synonymous terms. The Chanone's Yeman, who is introduced below, ver. 16030, is a common servant. See also ver. 2770. The title of Yeoman was given, in a secondary sense, to people of middling rank not in service.
And he was cladde in cote and hode of grene;
A not-hed hadde he with a broune vifage:
So the Miller, ver. 3947, is careful “ 'To raven his estat of Ye"maurie.” The appropriation of the word to fignify a small landholder is more modern I apprehend.
Ň 10.4. perrock arwes] Arrows with peacock feathers. See Mr. Warton's illustration of this passage, Hift.of Eng. Poetry, p. 450.---There is a patent in Rymer, 15 R. II. “de arte fagit“tandi per Valettos Regis exercenda.” The Yeomen, and all other servants of the royal household, of whatever itate or of fice, under the degree of Yeomen, are ordered to carry bows and arrows with them whenever they ride, &c. in the king's train.
109. A not-bed] A head like a nut, from the bair probably being cut thort. It has since been called a round-head for thc same reason.
V. 115. A Cristofre] I do not see the meaning of this ornament. By the ftat. 37. Edw. III. yoinen are forbidden to wear any ornaments of gold or filvi7. Volume II.
A forster was he sothely as I gesse.
Ther was also a Nonne, a Priorelle, That of hire smiling was ful simple and coy, Hire gretert othe n'as but by Seint Eloy, I 20 And she was cleped Madam Eglentine; Ful wel flie sange the service devine, Entuned in hire nose ful swetely;" And Frenche she spake ful fayre and fetilly, After the fccle of Stratford atte Bowe,
123 For Frenche of Paris was to hire unknowe: At mete was die wel ytaughte withalle, She lette no morsel from hire lippes falle,
V. 120. Seint Ficy] In Latin Sanctus Eligius. I have no authority but that of edit. Urr. for printirg this faint's name at length. In all thic mil. which I have seen it is abbreviated St. Loy, both in this place and in ver. 7146. The metre will be safe it orbe be pronounced as a disiyllable.
V.124. And frencbe Nie spake] It has been mentioned before [Flay, 5 c. 11. 55,] that Chaucer thought but meanly of the English-French spoken in his time. It was proper however that the Priorelle thould speak fome fort of French not only as a woman of fabion, (a character which she is represented to affe&, ver. 139, 140,) but as a religious person. The inftruc. tions from the Abbot of St. Albans to the nuns of Sopewell, in 1338, were in the French language. Şee Audt. Add. M. Paris, P. 1171.
V. 127. At mere] The following circumftances of behaviour at table are copied from Rom. de la R. 14178--14199 ;
Et bien le garde qu'elle ne moeille
Ne wette hire fingres in hire sauce depe;
140 And to ben holden digne of reverence.
But for to speken of hire conscience, She was so charitable and so pitous She wolde wepe if that she saw a mous Caughte in a trappe if it were ded or bledde. 145 Of smale houndes hadde she that the fedde With rosted fiesh, and milk, and wastel brede, But fore wept she if on of hem were dede, Or if men (mote it with a' yerde smert; And all was conscience and tendre herte.
150 Ful femely hire wimple ypinched was, Hire nose tretis, hire eyen grey as glas; Hire mouth ful smale, and therto soft and red; But sikerly she hadde a fayre forehed : It was almost a spanne brode ! trowe,
155 For hardily she was not undergrowe.