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36. Or that ere that. Or, from A. S. aer, before, soon. Pace = pass. 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.

47. Werre =

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

49. Hethenesse


= heathendom. Like many other knights of his age, he

had served as a volunteer under foreign princes.

51. Alisaundre


Alexandria. It was taken in 1365 by Pierre de

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. Cf. 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 probably. - Be:

63. Lystes


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= arrival or disembarkation of troops; here a hostile landing been. In the next line the form is ben. lists, the ground enclosed for a tournament. same. A. S. ylc, same. Cf. "of that ilk." 65. Palatye Palathia, in Anatolia or Asia Minor.

64. Ilke:

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

74. Ne

nought. A double negative form. Nought A. S. na, no, not, and wiht, whit, thing. ther contraction.


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Cf. French ne.
The adv. not is a fur-
Gay lively, fast; or perhaps decked out in various

75. Gepoun = a short cassock or cloak.

76. Bysmotered = 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. He made the pilgrimage in the

dress worn on his knightly expeditions.


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

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

88. Lady grace = lady's grace. Lady for ladye, genitive singular; the ending was in A. S. an.

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

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102. Him luste =

it pleased him. - Ryde is inf. = to ride.

104. Pocok arwes arrows winged with peacock feathers. 109. Not-heed:

head like a nut.

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cropped head; sometimes explained as nut-head, or

III. Bracer = a covering for the arm to protect it from the bow-string. 112. Bokeler = buckler, shield.

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.

116. Bawdrik =

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baldric, girdle, belt.
forester. Ger. förster.- Sothly

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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.

= unknown.

129. Sauce saucer. 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. A. S. feorth, fourth, and diminutive suffix ing.

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reached. Preterit of reche.

137. Sikerly surely. Cf. Ger. sicherlich. — Disport = sport, diversion. She was fond of gayety.

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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.

149. Men

indef. pronoun one; sometimes written me. It has un

fortunately become obsolete.


German man, French on.

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

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159. Gauded al with grene=having large green gauds or beads. The reference is to a rosary. See Webster.

162. Amor vincit omnia

love conquers all things.

164. Chapeleyne chaplain or assistant. - Prestes thre.


connected with nunneries for the purpose of saying mass.

Priests were

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. St. Maur was a disciple of St. Benedict. The Bendictine mode of life was

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176. Space = path, steps. Other readings are trace and pace. 177. A pulled hen = a moulting or worthless hen, neither laying eggs

nor fit for food.


A. S. reccan, to think. 182. Thilke that, the like. A. S. thyle, that, the like. 183. Seide

179. Reccheles


reckless, careless.



should say.

Pret. of Subjunctive.

184. What why, wherefore. - Wood mad, foolish. Cf. Ger. Wuth,


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. 189. Pricasour hard rider, one who spurs his horse. — Aright = on right, indeed.

191. Prikyng= riding. Cf. Spenser's

"A gentle knight was pricking on the plaine."

192. Lust pleasure. Other forms are leste, list.


193. Purfiled atte honde: embroidered at the hand or cuff. Fr. pourfiler, to embroider. Atte, see 1. 29.

194. Grys fur of the Siberian squirrel.


French gris, gray.

200. In good poynt = French en bon point, rotundity of figure.

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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. 208. Frere friar. — Wantoun uneducated.



For is intensive. Cf. Eng. pine.

playful, sportive; literally, untrained,

209. Lymytour: a begging friar to whom a certain district or limit was assigned.

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 knows. A. S. cunnan, to know.


211. Daliaunce and fair langage = gossip and flattery.

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Present tense of

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

224. Ther as he wiste han = where he knew he would have. Han, inf. contracted from haven. - Pitaunce = meal of victuals, or small allowance of anything.

226. I-schrive confessed. The n 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:


lily. Now written fleur-de-lis.

241. Tappestere= bar-maid. The corresponding masculine was tapper. Ster was originally the feminine suffix of agency. Cf. spinster.

242. Bet

= better. Lazer =

leper, from Lazarus in the parable.

243. Swich = such. See note 1. 3. 245. Sike sick.


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

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in the beginning was the Word.



255. Ferthing. See note 1. 134.

256. Purchas= proceeds of his begging.

regular income. 258. Love-dayes days fixed to settle difficulties by arbitration. 259. For ther

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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

279. His wit bisette = employed his wit or knowledge.

281. Governaunce

282. Chevysaunce




agreement for borrowing money.

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