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The tendre croppés,' and the yongé sonne2
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.16.
In Southwerk at the Tabard 18 as I lay,
And shortly, whan the sonne was gon to reste,
(2) Sonne-Sun. (3) Fronne-Run. The past participle in old English frequently has the prefix y (which is the same as the Anglo-Saxon ge), as ycleped, called; yclad, clothed. (4) Maken-Make. The old English plural of the verb ends in en for all persons, as we maken, ye maken, they maken. The n is however frequently dropt. (5) So priketh hem, &c.-i. e. they sleep all night with open eyes, because nature prompts or stirs them so much in their spirits, or makes them so cheerful and lively; hem is them, and hir their. (6) Corage-from the French cœur, heart-mind, spirit. (7) Gon-To go. The old English infinitive usually ended in en or n, which however was frequently dropt. Sometimes the infinitive sign to and the termination were both used. (8) Strange strondes-Foreign shores. (9) To serve halwes, &c.-i. e. to pay homage to sacred shrines (halwes) known or famous in different countries. (10) Halwes-Halloweds-i. e. hallowed or holy places. (11) Couthe-Known, is from the old English connen, to know, the past participle of which is conned= connde conde-coude-couthe. (12) Shires-shire's. This is the old possessive case, which was formed by adding se or s. (13) Englelond-Anglesland, England. (14) Wende-Go. (15) Martyr-Thomas-à-Becket. (16) Seke (17) Befelle-It befel, happened. (18) Tabard-Now the Talbot Inn. A tabard was a jacket, or sleeveless coat, worn by heralds. (19) Hostelrie-An inn or lodging-house. (20) By aventure, &c.-By accident fallen into company. (21) Wel we weren, &c.-i. e. we were well accommodated with the best.
A KNIGHT ther was, and that a worthy man,
At mortal battailles hadde he ben fiftene,
But for to tellen you of his araie,2
mise or engagement.
(3) Forword-i.e. foreword; pro
(5) Chevalrie-chivalry-" the manners, exercises, and valiant exploits of a knight." (6) His Lordes werre-his Lord's war-the Holy war. further, comparative of fer, far. (8) Hethenesse-country of heathens. (9) Tramissene-a city in Barbary. (10) Listes-See note 5, p. 27. --thrice. (12) Ilke-same. (13) Palatie-Palathia, a city in Asia Minor. (14) Agen-against. (15) Sovereine pris-the highest praise. The words prize, price, and praise, are nearly identical in original signification. (16) Vilanie -"anything unbecoming a gentleman." (17) Never, ne-Double negatives were used by Chaucer as they now are in French. (18) No manere wight—no sort of person. (19) Gentil-nobly born, gentlemanlike. (20) Araieequipment.
WITH him ther was his sone a yonge SQUIER,
With lockés crulls as they were laide in presse.
Embrouded 13 was he, as it were a mede 14
Juste 18 and eke dance, and wel pourtraie 19 and write.
(1) Wered-wore. (2) Gipon a short cassock or frock: it is the French jupon, and Scotch jupe. (3) Besmotred-smutted, soiled. (4) Habergeon-a coat of mail; a diminutive of hauberk. (5) Viage-voyage, journey. to do, perform.
(7) Lusty-strong, stout. (8) Lockes crull, &c.-Locks curled as if they had been laid in a press. (9) Even-middle, common. (10) Wonderly deliverremarkably nimble; deliver, from the French libre, free. (11) Chevachie-from the French cheval, a horse-military expedition. (12) As of so litel spaceconsidering the short time that he had been a soldier. (13) Embroudedembroidered. (14) Mede-meadow. (15) Floyting-fluting, playing on the (16) Fayre skilfully. (17) Endite-compose or dictate. -joust or tilt at tournaments. (19) Pourtraie-portray, draw. ertale-night time. (21) Servisable-disposed to do services, obliging. -carved.
THER was also a Nonne,1 a PRIORESSE,
And French she spake ful fayre and fetisly,7
That in hire cuppe was no ferthing sene
Of gresé,13 whan she dronken hadde hire draught.
She woldé wepe if that she saw a mous
(1) Nonne-Nun. (2) Hire-her. (3) Othe oath. (4) Nas but-was not but, was only; like the French n'était que. (5) Saint Eloy-Warton and Tyrwhitt both say this is Saint Louis, but the allusion is confessedly doubtful. (6) Cleped-called. (7) Fetisly-neatly, properly. (8) Stratford-At Stratford near Bow, Essex, there seems to have been anciently a Benedictine nunnery; the French taught at this fashionable seminary is above satirically distinguished from the French of Paris. (9) Unknowe-unknown. (10) Mete -dinner. (11) In curtesie, &c.-i. e. she prided herself on her gentility. (12) Lest-pleasure. (13) No ferthing of grese-not the smallest spot of grease: erthing-a farthing, any very small thing. (14) Semely-seemly, in a polite manner. (15) Raught-reached, bent forward to. (16) Sikerly-certainly. (17) Disport-cheerfulness. (18) Peined hire-it peined (in the French sense) her-she took pains; not "it pained her," as interpreted in "Chaucer Moder(19) To contrefeten, &c.-To imitate or assume court manners, and to be stately in her carriage. (20) Digne-worthy. (21) Pitous-piteous.
Caught in a trappe, if it were ded or bledde.
Ful semély hire wimple ypinchéd was;
Ful fetise 12 was hire cloke, as I was ware.
A GOOD man ther was of religiòun,
(1) Of smale houndes-some little dogs; of is here used in the partitive sense, like the French de. (2) Wastel brede-cake-bread, fine bread. The word "wastel" is connected in origin with the French gasteau gâteau--a cake. (3) On-one. (4) Yerde-rod, stick. (5) Smert-smartly.
a hood or veil, or, as others say, a covering for the neck.
(6) Wimple(7) Ypinched--crimped up. (8) Tretis-straight and long. (9) Eyen-eyes; the old plural. (10) Therto-in addition to that, moreover. (11) Hardily, &c.-Certainly she was not of low stature. (12) Ful fetise, &c.-Very handsome was her cloak, I observed. (13) Gauded-ornamented. (14) Heng–hung. (15) Shene-sheen, bright. (16) A crouned A-for Amor, love, with a crown above it to symbolize the motto in the next line. (17) Amor vincit, &c.-" Love subdues all things;" to denote the religious service to which she was then dedicated.
(18) The above striking lines are the original of Dryden's "Good Priest" (see p. 360), and seem to have suggested the Village Clergyman of Goldsmith's "Leserted Village" (see p. 447). (19) Persone-Parson: "He is called," says Blackstone, "parson, persona, because by his person the Church, which is an invisible body, is represented." (20) Parishens-parishioners.