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IV. And specially from évery sbíres I énde XVI. Oi Englelórid I to Canterbury they wende 2, AVII. The holy blissful martyr fór to like XVIII. That bei I hath bólfen 2 whán that they were

fike 3.

The Saxong is changed into ou, as in forwe, morwe, and some others, theigh it generally palles into y. The derivatives from this fame word afford usivítances of both forms; bolyness, bolydry, all halinze's day.--- 3. Couthe, known, the participle of the pak time from connen, to know. See before, 1. 35.

XV. 1. Shires, dir. genitive case fing. See before, p. 159.

XVI. 1. Engleloni, trisyllable, from the Saxon Englalanda. ---2. The last foot confifts of three syllables ;

---to Ca: { teflour ly they wense. See above, n. 66.

XVII. Horn, them. See XI. 1. 2. Holpen, the participle of the past time from the irregular verb help. See before, n. 34. ..- 3. Sele, fick. As Chaucer usually writes this word like, we may suppose tliat in this instance he has altered the orthogra. ply in order to make the rhyme more exact, a liberty with which he sometiines indulges himself, though much more spa. singly than his contemporary poets. The Saxon writers afiord authorities to juhify either method of spelling; as they use both Seoca and Sioca.--I have hitherto considered these verses as confilling often fyllables only; but it is imposible not to obterve that, according to the rules of pronunciation establithed above, all of them, except the third and fourth, confift really of eleven fyllables. This is evident at tirit fight in ver. 13, 14, 15, 16, and inight be theun as clearly hy authority or analogy in the others; but as the eleventh fyllable, in our Vertifica. tion, being unaccented, may always, I apprehend, be absent or present without prejudice to the metre, there does not seem to be any necelity for pointing it out in every particular in. Itance.

TO THE CANTERBURY TALES.

The contents.

TIE dramatick form of novel writing invented by Boccace. The De.

camcron a species of comedy, 1. The Canterbury Tales composed in inuitation of The Decameron. Design of this Discourse to give, i. The general plan of them; and, ii. A review of the parts contained in this edition, i 2. The general plan of The Canterbury Tales as originally derigned by Chaucer, i 3. Parts of this plan not executed, i 4. Review of the parts contained in this edition.-T be Prologue. The time of the pilgrimage, i 5. The number of the company, 10. Their agree. ment to tell Talcs for their divertion upon their journey, 17. Tacir characters. Their setting out. The Knight appointed by lot to tell the firit Talc, 8. The Knight's Tale copica from the 'Thefeida uf Boccace. A fummary account of the Thereida, i o. The Mork called upon to tell a Tale: interrupted by the Miller, 10. The Miller's Tale', II. The Reve's Tale. The principal incidents taken from an old French Fabliau, 12. The Coke's Tale imperfect in all the mil. No foundation for ascribing The Siory of Gamelyn to Chaucer, ý 13. The Prologue to The Man of Lawe's Tale. The progress of the Pilgrims upon their journey. A reflection seemingly levelled at Gower, 1 14. Tbe Man of Lawe's Tale taken from Gower, who was not thc inventor of it. A fimilar story in a lay of Bretagne, 15. Rcasuais for placing the Wife of Matbe's Prologue next to The Man of Latvi's Tale, 16. i he Wife of Bathe's Prologue, 1 17. The Wife of Bathe's Tale taken from the story of Florent in Gower, or from some older narrative. The fable much improved by Chaucer, (18. The Tales of the Frere and the Sompnour, 1 19. The Clarke's Tale said by Chaucer to be borruweu from Petrarch, whose work upon this funject is a mere translation from Boccace, 20. Reasons for changing the order of the three lait flan. zas of the Ballade at the end of The Clerke's Tale, and for placing The Prologue to 7! Marchant's Tale imme.liately after them, ý 21. Ibe Marcbant's 7 ale. The adventure of the Pcar-tree in the Latin fable of Adolphus. The Pluto and Proferpine of Chaucer revived by Shakespeare under the names of Oheron ard Titania, ý 22. A nie Proiugue to The Synier's Tale, now lirf printed connecting it with The Marchant's Tale, 23. T'he Squir's Tale, probably neser finished by Chaucer, 24. 7be Trankelein's Prolog:!e attributed to the Marchant in the common editions. Reasons for reitoring it to the Trankebein, ý 25. The Franklin's Tole taken from a lay of Bisce tagne. The faine Rory twice told by Buccace, 20. Rcains for removing the Tales of The Nonne and Chanon's Yeman to the end of The Nonne's Prceltc's Tale, 27. Doubts concerning the Prologue to The Ductuur's Tale, $ 28. The Dolour's 2.... Thoitory of Virginia frou

Livy, 29. I'le Pardoner's Prolog ne. The proper ufenf the Prelogus in this work. The outline of the Pannet's Tate in the Gato Novcile Antiche, \ 30. Realons for transferring to the Shipnian a l'roligue which bas ufually lieen prenxcu to The Talc of the Squier. Toe Sbipinan's Tale probably borrowed frun forne French fablcour older than Boccacc, ! 31. I be Priorege's Prologue and Fale, i 32. Chaucer called upon for his Tale. His Rayne of Sire Thopas a ridicule upon the old mctrical romances, \ 32 His other Tale of Malibee in profe a trans. lation from the French, 0 34. De Bonke's Toile, apon the plan of Boccace's work D. Cajibu: mirorum illuftriura, 35. The T'air of the Nonne's Pocet. The ground-wurk borrowed from a fable of Marie, a French poetcis, 30 The Nonne's Tale not connected with any pre. cering Tale : tranfiated from the life of St. Cecilia in the Golden Le. gende: originally compofcui as a separate wort, $ 37. The Tale of tbe Canon's reman a satire against the alchymifts, 38. The Manciple's Polnpill. The Pilgrims advanced to a place called Pcb-up-and-dacon. Ile Buncifle's Tale the falle of Coronis in Ovid, 30. "The poen called The 201701's Tali wty onnitted in this edition t, 640. The Peifoni's Prologue. The time of the lay. be Perfon's Tule a treatise on penance, \ 47. Remarks upon what is commonly called the Re. traétation althe end of tbe Perfon's Tale. Conclusion, 42.

+ Mr. Tyrrwhitt here speaks of his own edition--this contains the whole omitted Tales, vix. The Plowman's Tale, Tale of Gamelyn, Ad. venture of Pardonerand Tapeter, and The Marchant's Secund Tale. See yol. VI.

SI TE

're dramatick form which Boccace gave to his colli ction of tales or novels about the middle of the 14th century (1) must be allowed to have been a ca

(:) The action of The Decameron being fupposed in 1348, the year of the great pestilence, it is probable that Boccace did noritt about his workt:ll after that period. How soon he completed it is uncertain. It ihould seem from the introductico to the fourth day that a part (containing perhaps the three fint days) was published separately, for in that introduction he takes pains to answer the censures which had been pailed upon hini by leveral persons who had read his novels. One of the cenfures is, “ that it did not become bis age to write for the “amufeinent of women,” &c. In liis anfier lic seems to al. low the fact that he was rather an old fellow, but endeavours to justify himself by the examples of Guido Cavalcaati et

pital improvement of that species of arousing compolition. The Decameron in that refpect (not to mention many others) has the same advantaye over the Cento Novelle Antiche, which are supposed to have preceded it in point of time, that a regular comedy will necessarily have over an equal number of single unconnected scenes. Perhaps indeed there would be ro great harm if the criticks would permit us to consider The Decameron, and other compositions of that kind, in the light of comedies not intended for the stage ; at least we may venture to allume that the clofer any such composition shall copy the most effcntial forms of comedy, the more natural and defined the plan Mall be, the more the characters shall be diversified, the more the tale Mall be suited to the characters, so much the more confpicuous will be the Skill of the writer, and his work approach the nearer to perfection.

$ 2. The Canterbury Tales are a work of the fame nature with The Decameron, and were in all srobability composed in imitation of it, though iron a dif

Dante Alighieri gia vechi et Mesler Cino da Piftoria t'ecchio fimo. It appears from a passage in the Laberinto il Amreler. 1723, t. iti, page 24,] that Boccace confidered him?elf as an elderly man wlien lie was a little rurried of forty, and therefore the publication of ilic first part of The Decameron may very vel! have been, as Salviati has fixed it, [V. Manni 1. del DeCim. p. 144.) in 1353, wlien Boccace was just forty years of age. If we consider the nature of the work, and that the author in liis conclution calls iť repeatedly lunga fllicil, and says that molto tempo had pafed between the coinmencement and completion of it, we can hardly, I think, suppose tliat it was fit thed in less than ten years, which will bring the publicaciuni of the entire collection of novels (as we rrow ilave it) down to 1358.

fercnt and (in my opinicing an improved plaa. It would be ealy to thew that in the several points a: bove-mentioned Chaucer has either been more judi cious or more fortunate than his master Boccace; but (waving for the prefeni (2) that disquisition) Umall proceed to the immediate object of this Discourse, which is, in the first place, to lay before the reader the general plan of The Canterbury Tales, as it appears to have been originally designed by Chancer, and, fecondly, to give a particular review of the 1c: veral parts of that Work which are come down to us as ihey are published in this edition.

5 3. i he general plan of The Canterbury Tales may he learned in a grcat incafure from the Prologue which Chaucer himself has prefixed to thein. He lup

(2) I will only just mention what appear to me to be fundamental defects in The Decameron. In the first place, the adion is indefinite, not limited by its own nature, but merely by tlie will of the author. It might, if he had been so pleased, have as well comprehended twenty or'a hundred days as ten, and therefore though some frivolous reasons are alligned for the return of the company to Florence, we see too plainly that the true reason was thatthe budget of novels was exhaufted; not to mention that every day after the first may properly be contidered as containing a new action, or, wliat is worse, a repetition of the action of the former day. The second defect is the characters, which are fo nearly resembling to each other in age, rank, and even natural difpofition, that if they had been ftrictly supported their conversation muit have been incapable of that variety which is necessary to carry the reader through 1o long a work. The third detect luas arisen from the author's attempt to roinedy the second. In order to diversity and enliven his narrations he has made a circle of virtuous ladies and polite gentlenen hear and relate in thcir turns a number of fti ries which cannot with any degree of probability be fuppo fed to have been suffered in such an affer.bly.

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