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A KNIGHT ther was, and that a worthy man,
At mortal battailles hadde he ben fiftene,
But for to tellen you of his araie,20
(1) Everich—Every. (2) Anon-Soon. (3) Forword-ie. foreword ; promise or engagement. (4) Devise-Relate.
(5) Chevalrie-chivalry~"the manners, exercises, and valiant exploits of a knight." (6) His Lordes werre-his Lord's war-the Holy war. (7) Ferrefurther, comparative of fer, far. (8) Hethenesse-country of heathens. (9) Tramissene-a city in Barbary. (10) Listes-See note 5, p. 27.
(11) Thries --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,
he was I gesse.
Embrouded 13 was he, as it were a mede 14
(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. (6) Don, 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 space considering the short time that he had been a soldier. (13) Embroudedembroidered. (14) Mede-meadow. (15) Floyting—fluting, playing on the flute. (16) Fayre-skilfully. (17) Endite-compose or dictate. (18) Juste -joust or tilt at tournaments. (19) Pourtraie-portray, draw. (20) Nightertale-night time. (21) Servisable—disposed to do services, obliging. (22) Carf - carved,
THER was also a Nonne,' a PRIORESSE,
At meté10 was she wel ytaughte withalle ;
But for to speken of hire consciènce, She was so charitable and so pitoùs 21 She wolde wepe if that she saw a mous
(1) Nonne-Nun. (2) Hire-her. (3) Othe-oath. (4) N'as 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 Modernized.” (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 connecte in origin with the French gasteau=gâteau--a cake. (3) On--one. (4) Yerde-rod, stick. (5) Smert-smartly. (6) Wimplea hood or veil, or, as others say, a covering for the neck. (7) Ypinchedcrimped up. (8) Tretis-straight and long. (9) Eyen-eyes; the old plural. (10) Thorto--in addition to that, moreover. (11) Hardily, dc.-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) Shenesheen, 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 "Goud 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.
Benigne he was, and wonder? diligent,
He setté not his benefice to hire,
(1) Wonder-wonderfully. (2) Ypreved often, dc.-Proved often since. (3) Yeven-give. (4) Suffisance-sufficiency. (5) Mischief-trouble. (6) Moche and lite-great and small. (7) Yaf-gave. (8) Foule--soiled, defiled. (9) Lewed-ignorant; connected with low. (10) Lette-left. (11) Acombredencumbered. (12) Chanterie-a singing for souls, an endowment for that purpose. (13) Or with, dc.—Or be kept from the world with a brotherhood of monks, or friars.
(14) Dispitous—inexorable, angry to excess. (15) Dangerous sparing. (16) Digne---proud, disdainful.