網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

which should be the subject of be demed, being somehow thought of as the object of to dele.

1123. 'For “& wax euer," etc., the sense seems to require that we should read "& wax ho euer," etc.'—M. Perhaps the idea of the condition is carried over from the previous clause, and the repetition of the pronoun is therefore unnecessary.

1124. in pyese. Gollancz (Mod. Lang. Rev. 14. 158) explains as a variant of ME. o pece, often found in Generydes as a mere emphasis of 'still, yet.' But it is unlikely that 'in pyese probably = OF. en paix (NED. places o pece under peace and piece),' as he suggests, since the spelling pyece would point to piece (see ME. variants of the two words in NED.), and, on the other hand, the ordinary meaning of o pece (NED., s. v. piece, 14b), 'continuously, constantly, seems too colorless for the context. Bateson suggested in pyere '[in use] among precious stones,' but this meaning can hardly be obtained from the emendation. Some contrast is evidently intended with the uncheryst of the following line, and it may be that the word was originally pryse. The phrase in price meaning 'esteemed, valued is not uncommon (see NED., s. v. price, sb. 8). The lines would then mean: 'The pearl does not dull while it is held in esteem, but if it happens to become neglected,' etc.

1127. Schofield (Publ. Mod. Lang. Ass. 24. 600, n. I) refers to Pliny's Natural History 9. 56, where it is said of the pearl: 'Usu atteri non dubium est coloremque indiligentia mutare.'

1131. For the figure of polishing the heart and making it ‘shyne þurz schryfte' (1115), compare Richard Rolle of Hampole's Twelve Profits of Tribulation (ed. Horstmann 2. 50): ‘Forþy ne pleyne be not bof god furblisshe þi hert þat hit shyne & be made clene; for in no oper maner bou may not se god; as saies seynt Matheu: "Blessid be bo clene of hert: for bai shal se god.”'

1157. Danyel in his dialokez. The account of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem is taken, not from the brief summary in the first chapter of Daniel, but from the longer narrative in Jeremiah 52. 1-26 (practically the same in 2 Kings 24. 18—25. 17). See Appendix for the passages of the Vulgate here paraphrased by the poet. Details obtained from other parts of the Bible will be mentioned below as they occur.

1172-4. This reference to Zedekiah's idolatry is based on 2 Chron.

36. 12-4.

1189. teveled. M. printed teneled, but Miss E. M. Wright (Engl. Stud. 36. 223-4) connected it with teuelyng, Gaw. 1514 (M. tenelyng; but Gollancz, rev. ed. of 1912, teuelyng), and related the word to dialectal tevel, 'to confuse,' and perhaps to tave, 'to strive, toil,

ne.

labour. In the sense of 'strive, struggle,' the only instances in ME. are the two in Purity and Gawain (see further NED., s. v. tevel, tavel).

1193. upon longe. 'At length, finally.' NED. does not record up(on) long in a temporal sense, but it occurs at Erken. 175, uþone longe. Cf. upon laste, Pat. 194; (up) on first, Gaw. 9, 491, 528, 2019; opon late, Alex, C. 2331.

1193-4. The famine in the Greek camp is similarly described in Destr. Troy 9376-7:

Dat hom failed the fode, and defaute Kade:

Hongur full hote harmyt hom ben. 1205.

Cf. note on 225. 1209. Cf. Alex. C. 2981: 'With hard hattis on þaire hedis hied to þaire horsis,' and Winner and Waster 51: 'Harde hattes appon hedes and helmys with crestys.'

1226. Nabugo. This curious abbreviation of Nebuchadnezzar's name, which occurs again at 1233, is due to the French manner of dividing the name-Nabugo de Nozar (so always in MS.). Gower twice uses the form Nabugod (Mirour de L'Omme 1887, 10338).

1229-32. M. placed a period after 1230, but this punctuation is obviously wrong, since it leaves without an apodosis the condition whose protasis consists of 1229-30. The poet has just declared (1226-8) that Zedekiah was brought low, not because of Nebuchadnezzar (who was only God's instrument), but because of his wickedness in the sight of the Lord. He proceeds to explain that if the Lord had not become angry with Zedekiah, Nebuchadnezzar would have been sent elsewhere; cf. Jer. 38. 17-8. The passage may be paraphrased : 'For if the Father, who had previously guided him, had (still) been his friend, and if (Zedekiah) had never sinned against him (the Lord) by his apostasy, all (Nebuchadnezzar's hosts) would have been called away to Chaldea and the countries of India—and they would have had little trouble in taking Turkey by the way.' The reasons for the obscurity of the lines are (1) the subject of trespast (1230) is omitted, even though it is different from the subject of the preceding clause; (2) the scribe apparently misunderstood the lines, and wrote, with incorrect capitalization: ‘To Colde wer alle Calde”; (3) the last line (1232) has little connection with the general idea, and was apparently added as an afterthought.

1267. Cf. Death and Life 205: ‘Merry maydens on the mold shee mightilye killethe.'

1291. nummen. MS. nunnend; cf. the similar mistake, Pat. 3, aswagend for aswagen.

1294. Cf. Pat. 178: 'Herzed out of vche hyrne to hent þat falles.'

1317-20. The poet is careful to explain that Nebuchadnezzar remained unpunished for his seizure of the holy vessels because he reverently stored them in his treasury, whereas Belshazzar ‘let of hem lyzt,' and thereby aroused God's wrath; cf. also 1151-6. This was also the explanation given by Jerome in his Commentarium in Danielem: 'Quamdiu vasa fuerunt in idolio Babylonis non est iratus Dominus: videbantur enim rem Dei secundum pravam quidem opinionem, tamen divino cultui consecrasse: postquam autem humanis usibus divina contaminant, statim pæna sequitur post sacrilegium' (Migne, Patr. Lat. 25. 519).

1324. god of þe grounde. Cf. 1663.

1327. bi þe laste. “At last, finally.' NED. records the phrase (s. v. last) only in the meaning by the latest,' but it is frequently a mere variant of the commoner at þe laste (four times in Purity, see Glossary), as in Destr. Troy 3188-90:

At þe last, when the lede hade left of his speche,
ffele of be folke febull it thughten;

But yche lede by the last aliet berto.
It may be noted that in the instance just quoted, as in this line in
Purity, there is another word in the line beginning with b.

1329-56. This transition is the poet's own, the mention of Belshazzar's worshiping false gods (1340 ff.) anticipating 1522 ff.

1357 ff. Belshazzar's feast is frequently cited in illustration of the sin of sacrifice, for example, in Robert of Brunne's Handlyng Synne 9347-434, and Gower's Confessio Amantis 5. 7012-31, where Nebuzaradan, Nebuchadnezzar, and Belshazzar are all three deemed guilty of sacrilege, and in the Mirour de L'Omme 7177-88, where Gower mentions only Nebuzaradan and Belshazzar.

1376. Cf. Gaw. 58: 'Hit were now gret nye to neuen.'

1383. troched toures. As Skeat explained in 1892 (see Notes on Engl. Etym., p. 306), troched was originally applied to a stag's horn, meaning 'tufted at the tip with small tines' (cf. OF. troche in this sense). This term of the chase was then used figuratively as a term of architecture, a troched tour being one 'adorned with small pointed pinnacles. The only other instance of this poetical application of the word occurs at Gaw. 795: 'Towre[s] telded bytwene, trochet ful bik.'

1385. “The palace that covered the ground enclosed within.' The word pursaunt is again used in Pearl 1035: “So twelue in poursent I con asspye.' NED., following Morris, is surely right in including this instance from the Pearl s. v. purcinct, although Bradley

Stratmann, Gollancz, and Osgood printed pourseut, 'succession,' a meaning of pursuit that NED. does not find before Lord Bacon.

1391. be halle to hit m[a]d. Emerson (Publ. Mod. Lang. Ass. 34. 513) interprets to hit med as 'in their middle or midst.'

1401 ff. Cf. the similar description of the beginning of the banquet in Gawain (114-24):

pise were dizt on be des, and derworbly serued,
& siben mony siker segge at þe sidbordez.
Den be first cors come with crakkyng of trumpes,
Wyth mony baner ful brygt, þat ber-bi henged,
Nwe nakeryn noyse with be noble pipes,
Wylde werbles & wygt wakned lote,
pat mony hert ful hize hef at her towches;
Dayntes dryuen ber-wyth, of ful dere metes,
Foysoun of be fresche, and on so fele disches,
pat pine to fynde be place be peple bi-forne
For to sette be sylueren, þat sere sewes halden.

1402. Cf. Alex. C. (Dublin MS.) 1386: 'Sterne stevyn vpon stroke straked trompettes.' The blare of trumpets generally announced the beginning of elaborate banquets (cf. Schultz, Das Höfische Leben 1. 423).

1407-12. In these lines, as M. notes, 'we have evidently an allusion to the “table subtleties" of the fourteenth century.'

1408. pared out of paper. Cf. Gaw. 802: “Pared out of papure.'

1410. foler. Gollancz, in a paper read before the Philological Society, suggested that this word, not defined by Morris, and not found in the dictionaries, meant 'foliation' (see the summary of Gollancz's paper, Athen. 1894. 2. 646). It would be possible to derive such a word from an AN. *foler, OF. *folier, representing a Lat. *folarium. Godefroy gives an OF. noun fuellier, but this would either be a formation on fuel or at least influenced by the stemstressed form. The line means 'birds fluttering among the foliage.' Cf. further Gollancz's note, Mod. Lang. Rev. 14. 199.

1411. Cf. 1457, and Morte Arth. 3355 : 'Enamelde with azoure.'

1414. tulket. NED. cites this line both under tulk (the only instance), where it is derived from ON. tūlka, and also under tuck, v.,? where it emends to tukket, as it does also the tulkid of Alex, C. 2427, following Skeat's suggestion in his edition of Alex., in spite of the fact that the word occurs with 1 in both MSS. of the poem. Skeat declared in his Glossary, s. v. tulkid, that 'we often find kk written more likelk, the double letter being denoted only by doubling the down stroke,' and compared tuke up, Alex. 773 and

[ocr errors]

.

3610, used of the blowing of trumpets. But in Purity, at least, kk is always written out distinctly, and the occurrence of the form tulk both here and in Alex. can hardly be attributed to a mere scribal trick or error, even though the connection with ON. tūlka may be doubtful.

1416. bougounz busch. Brett, in Mod. Lang. Rev. 10. 188-9, defines bougounz as ‘drumsticks,' since OF. bougon has various meanings, ‘many denoting some instrument with a rounded, swollen extremity, or one with such a rounded swelling in some part of its length.' He translates the line: 'And drumsticks' noise (striking, strokes) clattered (rattled) so thick (fast).'

1426. Cf. 1619, and Destr. Troy 3192: 'When counsell was kaght of knightes & ober.'

1445. Cf. 1718.

1452. Cf. Morte Arth. 211: ‘Crafty & curious, coruen full faire.'

1456. Cf. Sege of Jer. 1261: 'Bassynes of brend gold & ober brygt ger.' 1459. enbaned

bantelles. In the Transactions of the Philological Society for 1903 (6. 365), Skeat discusses these difficult words at length, and since he not only gives the probable etymologies but explains this line in particular, I quote a considerable part of his note, which is under the heading tel: 'This word occurs in the poem called Cleanness, 1459, where a castle is described as, “Enbaned vnder batelment with bantelles quoynt": in the Pearl, 992, where the new Jerusalem has “banteles twelve on basyng boun"; and in the Pearl, 1017, “The wal abof the bantels bent.” The word belongs rather to Provençal than to Northern French. Godefroy has merely bane, with the sense of ‘horn. But Mistral has mod. Prov. bano, a horn, with a number of phrases in which it is used; also baneto, a little horn; the F. bantel represents a mod. Prov. form *bantello or O.F. *banetel, a double diminutive. The difficulty in the present case is to find out in what secondary sense the word 'horn' has to be taken. For this purpose we have to consider the curious word enbaned, which also occurs in these poems, and is likewise a derivative of the O.F. bane, a horn. It occurs twice; once in the line already quoted: "Enbaned ynder batelment with bantelles quoynt,” the subject being “castles arayed”; and in Gawain, 790, where a castle-wall is described as being “Enbaned vnder the abataylment in the best lawe,” i. e. in the best way. Thus in both cases the word enbaned is a term used in fortification. But the mod. Prov. enbaner is similarly used, and is explained by "garnir ou munir de cornes,"

« 上一頁繼續 »