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36. Or that



ere that. Or, from A. S. aer, before, soon. Pace 37. Me thinketh = it seems to me. Me is the dative after the impers. verb it thinketh. From the A. S. thyncan, to seem; quite distinct from thencan, to think.

45. Chyvalrye = chivalry. Old French chevalerie, from cheval, a horse; Latin, caballus.

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48. Noman ferre no man farther. Ferre, comp. of fer, far.



heathendom. Like many other knights of his age, he

had served as a volunteer under foreign princes.


Alexandria. It was taken in 1365 by Pierre de

51. Alisaundre Lusignan, King of Cyprus.

52. He hadde the bord bygonne. An obscure expression. Perhaps he had been placed at the head of the table (bord) by way of distinction; or bord may be the Low Ger. boort = joust, tournament.


53. Aboven alle naciouns. He took precedence over the representatives of all other nations at the Prussian court. Pruce Prussia. It was not unusual for English knights to serve in Prussia, with the Knights of the Teutonic order, who were constantly warring with their heathen neighbors in Lettowe (Lithuania) and in Ruce (Russia).


54. Reysed made an expedition. A. S. raesan, to rush, attack. Ger. reisen, to travel.

56. Gernade



Granada. The city of Algezir was taken from the Moorish king of Granada in 1344.

57. Belmarie and Tramassene (line 62) were Moorish kingdoms in Africa.

58. Lieys, in Armenia, was taken from the Turks by Pierre de Lusignan about 1367, and Satalie (Attalia) by the same prince about 1352.

59. Greete sea. Great sea is a name applied to that part of the Mediterranean lying between the Greek islands and the coast of Syria. See Numbers xxxiv. 6.

60. Arive


= arrival or disembarkation of troops; here a hostile landing probably. Be= been. In the next line the form is ben.

63. Lystes


lists, the ground enclosed for a tournament. 64. Ilke= = same. A. S. ylc, same. Cf. "of that ilk." Palathia, in Anatolia or Asia Minor.

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70. Vileinye villany, foul language.

71. No maner wight = no manner of wight or person. 72. Perfight = perfect.

74. Ne... nought. A double negative form. Cf. French ne... pas. Nought = A. S. na, no, not, and wiht, whit, thing.

The adv. not is a fur

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76. Bysmotered


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besmutted or soiled. - Habergeoun habergeon, a coat of mail, composed of little iron rings, extending from the neck to the waist, or lower.

77. Viage = voyage, journey, travels.

dress worn on his knightly expeditions.


He made the pilgrimage in the

79. Squyer squire, an attendant upon a knight. Old French, escuyer, Low Lat., scutarius, shield-bearer, Latin, scutum, a shield.

81. Lokkes crulle

83. Evene lengthe

84. Delyvere




locks curled.

moderate or usual height.

active, quick.

85. Chivachie military expedition or service. Fr. chevauchée (from cheval), a raid or expedition of cavalry.


88. Lady grace ending was in A. S. an.

89. Embrowded

lady's grace. Lady for ladye, genitive singular; the

embroidered, in his dress.

91. Floytynge = fluting, playing the flute. 95. Endite= = relate.

96. Purtreye draw, sketch.

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97. Nightertale:



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100. Carf carved, past of kerven, to carve; A. S. ceorfan.

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104. Pocok arwes = arrows winged with peacock feathers.

109. Not-heed cropped head; sometimes explained as nut-head, or

head like a nut.

III. Bracer


= a covering for the arm to protect it from the bow-string. - buckler, shield.

112. Bokeler =


115. Cristofre = a brooch with the image of St. Christopher, who was regarded with special reverence by the middle and lower classes.- Schene bright, beautiful; A. S. scyne, fair. Cf. Eng., sheen; Ger. schön.

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forester. Ger. förster. — Sothly = truly, soothly.
St. Louis; according to others, St. Eligius.
prettily, cleverly.

126. Frensch of Parys.

The French of Paris, then as now, was the

standard. The French in England was not pure. · Unknowe:

Then of the past part. is frequently dropped.

129. Sauce: = saucer.

= unknown.

Forks and spoons had not yet come into use.

131. No drope ne fille : = no drop fall. Double negative, as in French and Anglo-Saxon.

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134. Ferthing small quantity. Literally, a fourth part. fourth, and diminutive suffix ing.

136. Raughte= reached. Preterit of reche.


137. Sikerly surely. Cf. Ger. sicherlich. -— Disport = sion. She was fond of gayety.



A. S. feorth,

sport, diver


139. Peynede hire she took pains. — Countrefete cheere imitate the manner. Formerly no bad association belonged to the word counterfeit. 140. Estatlich = stately, high-bred.

141. Digne = worthy. French digne, Lat. dignus.

147. Wastel breed cake bread, or bread made of the finest flour. Dogs were usually fed on coarse bread baked for the purpose.

It has un

149. Men indef. pronoun one; sometimes written me. fortunately become obsolete. German man, French on. -- Smerte = smartly.

151. Wympel= '=a linen covering for the neck and shoulders. — I-pynched = plaited, or gathered into folds.

152. Tretys slender, well-proportioned.

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159. Gauded al with grene =having large green gauds or beads.

reference is to a rosary. See Webster.

162. Amor vincit omnia love conquers all things.



164. Chapeleyne = chaplain or assistant. — Prestes thre. Priests were

connected with nunneries for the purpose of saying mass.

165. A fair for the maistrie= = a fair one for obtaining the mastery.

166. Out-rydere = one who rides after hounds in hunting. 170. Gynglen


jingling. Fashionable riders were accustomed to hang

small bells on their bridles and harness.


172. Ther as where. - Selle cell. Originally applied to the small chamber occupied by each monk, but afterwards also to a religious house or inferior monastery.



173. Seynt Maur-seint Beneyt St. Maur, St. Benedict. The latter founded the order of Benedictines at the beginning of the sixth century. Maur was a disciple of St. Benedict. The Bendictine mode of life was originally severely ascetic.

174. Somdel streyt somewhat strict.

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177. A pulled hen a moulting or worthless hen, neither laying eggs nor fit for food.

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Cf. Ger. Wuth,



184. What why, wherefore. — Wood == mad, foolish.


186. Swynke = to toil, labor.

187. As Austyn byt = As Augustine bids. St. Augustine of Canterbury urged a faithful adherence to the monastic vows upon his clergy.

188. Let Augustine, or Austin, have his toil kept for himself.

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hard rider, one who spurs his horse. — Aright = on

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201. Steepe bright.


202. Stemede as a forneys of a leed = shone as a furnace of a caldron (leed).

203. Bootes souple. High boots of soft leather were worn, fitting closely to the leg.

205. For-pyned wasted away. For is intensive. Cf. Eng. pine. 208. Frere friar. - Wantoun: uneducated.

209. Lymytour



playful, sportive; literally, untrained,

= a begging friar to whom a certain district or limit was

210. The ordres foure = the four orders of mendicant friars. These were the Dominicans or Black friars, the Franciscans or Gray friars, the Carmelites or White friars, and the Austin friars. — Can:

A. S. cunnan, to know.



211. Daliaunce and fair langage = gossip and flattery.

214. Post= pillar or support.

220. Licentiat=

in all cases.

Present tense of

= one who has license from the Pope to grant absolution Curates were required to refer certain cases to the bishop.


224. Ther as he wiste han where he knew he would have. Han, inf. meal of victuals, or small allowance of

contracted from haven. - Pitaunce


226. I-schrive:


Then of the past part. is dropped.

233. His typet was ay farsed = His hood was always stuffed. Says an old writer: "When the order degenerated, the friar combined with the spiritual functions the occupation of pedler, huckster, mountebank, and quack doctor."

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237. Bar utterly the prys = took unquestionably the prize.

238. Flour-de-lys: 241. Tappestere



lily. Now written fleur-de-lis.

bar-maid. The corresponding masculine was tapper.

Ster was originally the feminine suffix of agency. Cf. spinster.

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254. In principio. At each house the lymytour began his speech, principio erat verbum"


in the beginning was the Word.

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cloak or vestment of a priest. Cf. Eng. cape. Semy-cope

(1. 262) = a short cape or cloak.

263. Belle out of the press = bell from the mould.

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270. Forked berd. This was the fashion among franklins and burghers. 273. Clapsed clasped.

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277. Middelburgh and Orewelle. Middleburgh is still a port of the island of Walcheren in the Netherlands. Orewelle is now the port of Harwich.

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French crowns (écus) from the figure of a shield on

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