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attaching himself to the fetvice of John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, by whon -and by his Duches Blanch, a lady equally remarkable for her witandyistue, he was exceedingly beloved; nor was-it long beb fore he became part of their family also. It happened thus. This Duchess entertained in her service one Catharine Rouet, daughter of Sir Payne or

Pagan Rouet, a native of Hainault, and Guien King at Arms for that country, who was afterwards married to Sir Hugh Swynford, á knight of Lincoln. He lived not long after their marriage, and upon his decease this lady returned into the Duke's family, and was appointed governess of his children. She had a filter whose name was Philippa, a great favourite likewise with the Duke and Duchess, and by then therefore, as a mark of their great csteem, recommended to Chaucer for a wife. He married her about the year ,1300, when he was in the flower of his age, and, as appears from a picture of him taken about that time, one of the handsomest persons about the court, of à complexion fair and beautiful, his lips very sed and full, his size of a juft proportion, his air:very gracefulanid majestick. We live at too great a distance of time to be able to penetrate with certainty into the true motives of our Author's match, but sure there is a great probability that he was not unacquainted with the tenderness which his patron the Duke of Lancafter had for the Lady Swynford, by whoni he had se

Séral children, who were afterwards legitimated by ait of parliament. Yet this alliance was'not the only tie he had upon that prince, one of the mott'ambitiods and artful Rien of his time, and always embarked in fome date-intrigue or other and therefore above all things fond of having men of parts and literaturę about him, of whom he might make tre as occasion offered, and in which capacity.asthere was none more able, fé it appearsthere were nonedid him greater service than Chaucer..

Being thus supported we need not wonder that his fertunès made a very quick progress at court, and accordingly we find very many maiksof hismalter King Edward's kindness towards him as for instance, in the 41st year of hispeign he granted himan annuity of twenty marké pér annüm out of the Exchequer. How mean soever such a pension may feenidow it was then very conliderable, and in Chaucer's cafe was still the more valuable as being an cannot of fucurë favours, for not long after we find bin Gétitlemandfthe King's Privy-Chamber, and by that title the King granted to him, by letters patents'dated in the 45th year of his reign, the further fum of twenty marks per annum during his life.sy besig is increase

In this station he did not long continue, being next year made-Shielibearer to the King a title at that time, though now extindt, of great honour, fuch perfons being always next the King's person and gene

rally upon signalvidories rewarded with military ho. nours. Neither were these all the instances he received of the King's attention to and confidence in him, for in the very same year, and by the same title, wc find him commissioned, in conjunction with other persons, to treat with the republick of Genoa; and accordingly thither he went, and actually managed a negotiation, concerning the subject of which those who have written our Author's life make not the lcałt

. mention, but seem to treat it as a matterat this diAance of time, altogether inexplicable. But it may from the history of that prince's reign be very probably inferred that Chaucer was sent to Genoa to hire hips for the King's navy; for in those times though we frequently made great naval armaments, yet we had but very few thips of our own, and this defect was supplied by hiring them from the free states eis ther in Gerniany or Italy. In this negotiation our Author succeeded fo well that upon his return home he received new marks of his royal master's favour, for by letters patents dated at Windforthe 23d of April in the 48th year of his reign, his Majesty granted him a pitcher of wine daily in the Port of London, to be delivered by the Butler of England; and very soon after he was made Comptroller of the Customs in the Portof London for wool, wool-fells, and hides, with a proviso that he should personally execute that office, and keep the accounts of it with his own hand. As this was a

sery lucrative so it was a very reputable employment likewise, and as Chaucer was enriched by the profits of bis post, so his reputation was very much increa. fed by that diligence and integrity with which he dif: charged it. He values himself, as he had reason to do, very much'upon his conduct in this office, which he affirms was never; liable to any kind of imputatioll. And indeed it is highly probable that what he has des livered. upon this fubject is ftridly,true, for in the 'latter end of King Edward's reign there were great fraudsand embezzlementscommitted in the Customs, which bý prosecucións were broughtto publick view, but we do nct find that in these Chaucer's name was 10 much as mentioned. About a year after he was in pofseffion of thiszoftice the King made him a grant of the lands and body of Sir Edníund Staplegate, fon of Sir Edmund Staplegate of Kent, in ward, for which he received one hundred and four pounds; and other pecuniary advantages he had, which enabled him to raise altogether anincome of one thoufand pounds per annum, which was in thofe daysła prodigious fum, and might'well enable him to livé, as he says he did, with dignity in office and with goodwillamóng this neighbours. But as all these béncfits arole chiefly from the favour in which he stood with the potent and ambitious Duke of Lancaster; so he became daily more and more involved in the political intrigues us that active and ambitious prince. It is suggested by many of our

reme private persons ir the court of King Edward III, and

thoughts to graver subjects, for his patron the Duke long before he found himfelf obliged to turn his

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presented under the character of the Black Knight. The House construction of the fable as in the ease and happiness of its exeof Fame is also a moft admirable performance, as well in the cution, of which there can not be a higher teftimony than Mr. Pope's borrowing froñi thence the model of his Temple of Fame, which will probably be esteemed as long as there is either tafte or poetry in this nation. The Avembly of Fowls wag britten while he was at court, and before the death of King Edward's queen Philippa ; and so was his tale of The Cuckoo and the Nightingale, in 'which, as was observed in the prece. ding note, the scene is vilibly laid in Woodftock-Park. He like. wile wrote abundance of eleyies, poems, or ballads, in honour of Margaret Countess of Pembroke, and otlier ladies of the person who wrote things of this kind, fo by an accident comcourt, and as it is natural to suppose that he was not the only mon enough to great men, all of those pieces which have sur vired the injuries of time arc come down to us under the name oi Chaucer, though it might be very easily proved that they are none of his. The poemn of 'Troilus and Crefeide'was writa teo in the former part of his life, and translated, as he says, Rowever content himself with making a clofe translation of his author, but, on the contrary, added many things of his own, 200 borrowed alfo from others, more especially his friend Petrarch, whatever he judged might render it acceptable to his reader. That discourse of Predettination which he has inferted in the fourth book is entirely his own; and from it, and from what he has delivered upon the fame subject in The Nuri's Prieit's Tide, the very learned Sir Henry Savile thought that he Byla Dei publifledatthattime. Sir Francis Kinafton, whotranf. was no franger to Archbillop Bradwardine's learned book de inted this poem into Latin rhymes, in lisinanufcript notes upon 2013, that it was not improbably conjectured that Chaucer, in wing The Lives and Loves of Troilus and Crefeide, glanced

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