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Cleped The Seintes Legends of Cupide:
Ther may he fe the large woundes wide
Of Lucrece, and of Babylon Thisbe;
The swerd of Dido for the false Enee;
The tree of Phillis for hire Demophon; 4485
The plaint of Deianire and Hermion,
Of Adriane and Yfiphilee;
The barreine ile ftonding in the see;
The dreint Leandre for his fayre Hero;
The teres of Heleine, and eke the wo

4490 Of Briseide and of Ladomia; The crueltee of thee, Quene Medea, the Dijcourse, c'c. 11. 3. that The Canterbury Tales were the work of his lateft years. When the Duchess Blanch died he was one-and-forty, a time of life which, I believe, a man seldom calls his youth, till lie is advanced at leaft twenty years beyond it.

$.4481. The Seintes Legende of Cupide] In the editt. it is called The Legende of Good Women; in mf. Fairf. 16, The Legendis of ix Gede Women. According to Lydgate [Prol. to Boccace) the number was to have been nineteen, and perhaps the Legende itself affords fome ground for this notion; see ver. 183. But this number was probably never cumpleted, and the last fory of Hyperinnefra is seemingly untinithed. In this pallage the Man of Lawe omits two ladies, viz. Cleopatra and Philomela, whose histories are in The Legende, and he enu. merates eight others of whom there are no hiftories in The Legende as we have it at prefent: are we to suppose that they have been loft!--With respect to the time of Chaucer's writing 'The Legende see the Discourse, sc. n. 3.

W.4486. The plaint of Deianire] This reading is supported by several infl. of middling authority, but the better copies read Diane, and ms. A. Syane. There is a nymph Cyane in Ovid (Metam. I. v.] who weeps herself into a fountain, but not for love.

Thy litel children hanging by the hals
For thy Jason, that was of love fo fals:
Hipermeftra, Penelope, Alceste!

4495 Your wif hood he commendeth with the beste.

But certainly no word ne writeth he
Of thilke wicke ensample of Canace,
That loved hire owen brother finfully;
(Of all swiche cursed fories I say Fy) 43CO
Or elles of Tyrius Appolonious,
How that the cursed king Antiochus
Bera£c his doughter of hire maidenhede,
That is so horrible a tale for to rede,
Whan he hire threw


the pavenient. 4505
And therfore he of ful avisement
N'old never write in non cf his fermons
Offwiche unkinde abhominations:
Ne I wol non reherse, if that I may,
But of my Tale how fal i don this day?

Me were loth to be likened douteles
To Muses that men clepe Pierides,
(Matamorphosees wote what I mene)

Lut natheles i recche not a bene
Ś Though I come after him with hawebake;

4515 I speke in prose, and let him rimes make.

. 4512. TO Mujes that men clare Pierides] Herather means, I think, tle daughters of Pierus, who contended withithe Mules, and were changed into piea. Oviil. Met.21.1. I. v.

V. 4515. avith bağl'ebaka] su mf. A. The other rerdings are-bale i bil.s, mur. fjk. 1, 2.--lauteloke, E. 6.-- jedy Soume Il.


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And with that word he with a fobre chere
Began his Tale, and sayde as ye full here.

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THE MANOFLAWES TALE, O Scachful barm, condition of poverte, With thirit, with cold, with hunger, fo confounded, To asken helpe thee fhameth in thin herte, 4321 If thou non alk, so sore art thou ywounded, That

veray nede unwrappeth al thy wound hid. Maugre thin hed thou must for indigence Or stele or begge, or borwe thy dispence. 4325

Thou blameft Crist, and sayst ful bitterly,
He misdeparteth richeffe temporal;
Thy neighebour thou witeft finfully,
And sayst thou hast to litel and he hath all:
Parfay (sayît thou) fomtime he reken fhall,

4530 Whan that his tayl shål brennen in the glede, For he nought helpeth needful in hir nede.

Herken what is the sentence of the wife, Bet is to dien than have indigenee, Thy felve neighebour wol thee despise; 4.535

bakı, B. Ev.-have wee banke, E.-have we bake, B. . HA. bawe ylake, Ca. 2.-thewbicke bath no lak,Ca.1.--The reader may take his choice of them.

Thi Man of LawesTale] Lady Cuftance, the Emperor's daughter of Rome, after her marriage with the Soudan of Surrey, through the malice of the Soudan's mother suffereth great trouble and milery with her young child Maurice, but yet in the end is restored to comfort.

♡.45 34. Bet is to dien] This saying of Solomon is quoted in Roni de la Ro. 8573,"Mieux vault mourir que pauvres sftae, **

If thou bę poure farewel thy reverence.
Yet of the wise man take this sentence,
Alle the dayes of poure men ben wicke;
Beware therfore or chou.come to that pricke.
If thou be poure thy brother hateth thee,

4540 And all thy frendes fleen fro-thee, alas!

riche marchants! ful of wele ben ye,
O noble, o prudent folk! as in this cas,
Your bagges ben eot filled with ambes as,
But with fiscink, that renneth for your chance; 4545
At Cristenmaffe mery may ye dance.

Ye feken lond and see for your winninges;
As wise folk ye knowen all th'estat
of regnes; ye ben fathers of tidinges
And tales both of pees and ef debat:

I were right now of tales defolat,
N'ere that a marchant, gon is many a vere,
Me taught a Tale which that ye shull here.

In Surrię whilom dwelt a compagnie of chapmen rich, and therto sad and trewe, 455$ That wide were senten hir spicerie, Clothes of gold, and facins riche of hewe: Hir chaffare was so thrifty and so newe, That every wight hatk deintie co chaffare With hem, and eke to fellen hem hir ware. 4560

Now fell it that the maisters of that sort Han shapen hem to Rome for to wende, ere it for chapmanhood or for difport,

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Non other meffage wold they thider fende,
Eut comen hemself to Rome, this is the ende; 4365
And in swiche place as thought hem avantage
For hir entente they taken hir herbergage.

Sojourged han these marchants in that toun
A certain time, as fell to hir plefance :
And so befell that the excellent rencun 4570
Of the emperoures doughter, Dame Cuftance,
Reported was with every circumstance
Unto these Surrien marchants in fwiche wise
Fro day to day as 1 fhal you devise.

This was the commun vois of every man: 4575
Our emperour of Rome, God him fe,
A doughter hath that fin the world began,
To recken as wel hire goodnesse as beaute,
N'as never swiche another as is she;
I pray to God in honour hire fustene,
And wold she were of all Europe the quene.

In hire is high beaute withouten pride,
Youthe withouten grenehed or folic:
To all hire werkes vertue is hire guide;
Humblesse hath flaien in hire tyrannie:

She is mirrour of alle curtefie,
Hire herte is veray chambre of holinesse,
Hire hond ministre of fredom for almeffe.

And al this vois was foth, as God is trewe; But now to purpos let us turne agein. 4590 These marchants han don fraught hir shippes newe,


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