Front Page Titles (by Subject) The Cook's Prologue. - Notes to the Canterbury Tales (Works vol. 5)
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The Cook’s Prologue. - Geoffrey Chaucer, Notes to the Canterbury Tales (Works vol. 5) 
The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, edited from numerous manuscripts by the Rev. Walter W. Skeat (2nd ed.) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1899). 7 vols. Vol. 5.
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The Cook’s Prologue.
4329.herbergage, lodging; alluding to l. 4123.
4331. Not from Solomon, but from Ecclesiasticus, xi. 31: ‘Non omnem hominem inducas in domum tuum; multae enim sunt insidiae dolosi.’ In the E. version, it is verse 29.
4336.Hogge, Hodge, for Roger (l. 4353). Ware, in Hertfordshire.
4346.laten blood, let blood, i. e. removed gravy from. It refers to a meat-pie, baked with gravy in it; as it was not sold the day it was made, the gravy was removed to make it keep longer; and so the pie was eaten at last, when far from being new.
4347. The meaning of ‘a Jack of Dover’ has been much disputed, but it probably meant a pie that had been cooked more than once. Some have thought it meant a sole (probably a fried sole), as ‘Dover soles’ are still celebrated; but this is only a guess, and seems to be wrong. Sir T. More, Works, p. 675 E, speaks of a ‘Jak of Paris, an evil pye twyse baken’; which is probably the same thing. Roquefort’s French Dict. has:—
‘Jaquet, Jaket, impudent, menteur. C’est sans doute de ce mot que les pâtissiers ont pris leur mot d’argot jaques, pour signifier qu’une pièce de volaille, de viande ou de pâtisserie cuite au four, est vieille ou dure.’
See Hazlitt’s Proverbs, p. 20; and Hazlitt’s Shakespeare Jest-books, ii. 366. Hence, in a secondary sense, Jack of Dover meant an old story, or hashed up anecdote. Ray says:—‘This he [T. Fuller] makes parallel to Crambe bis cocta, and applicable to such as grate the ears of their auditors with ungrateful tautologies of what is worthless in itself; tolerable as once uttered in the notion of novelty, but abominable if repeated.’ This may explain the fact that an old jest-book was printed with the title A Jack of Dover in 1604, and again in 1615. The E. word jack has indeed numerous senses.
4350. The insinuation is that stray flies were mixed up with the parsley served up with the Cook’s geese. Tyrwhitt quotes from MS. Harl. 279—‘Take percely,’ &c. in a receipt for stuffing a goose; so that parsley was sometimes used for this purpose. It was also used for stuffing chickens; see Liber Cure Cocorum, ed. Morris, p. 22.
4357. ‘A true jest is an evil jest.’ Hazlitt, in his Collection of Proverbs, gives, ‘True jest is no jest,’ and quotes ‘Sooth bourd is no bourd’ from Heywood, and from Harington’s Brief Apologie of Poetrie, 1591. Kelly’s Scotch Proverbs includes: ‘A sooth bourd is nae bourd.’ Tyrwhitt alters the second play to spel, as being a Flemish word, but he only found it in two MSS. (Askew 1 and 2), and nothing is gained by it. The fact is, that there is nothing Flemish about the proverb except the word quad, though there may have been an equivalent proverb in that language. We must take Chaucer’s remark to mean that ‘Sooth play is what a Fleming would call quaad play’; which is then quite correct. For just as Flemish does not use the English words sooth and play, so English seldom uses the Flemish form quaad, equivalent to the Dutch kwaad, evil, bad, spelt quade in Hexham’s Du. Dict. (1658). Cf. also O. Friesic kwad, quad, East Friesic kwâd (still in common use). The Mid. Eng. form is not quad, but (properly) quēd or queed; see examples in Stratmann, s. v. cwêd. In P. Plowman, B. xiv. 189, the qued means the Evil One, the devil. Queed occurs as a sb. as late as in Skelton, ed. Dyce, i. 168. We find, however, the rare M. E. form quad in Gower, ed. Pauli, ii. 246, and in the Story of Genesis and Exodus, ed. Morris, 536; and in another passage of the Cant. Tales, viz. B. 1628. The oldest English examples seem to be those in the Blickling Glosses, viz. ‘of cweade arærende, de stercore erigens’; and ‘cwed uel meox, stercus.’ There is no difficulty about the etymology; the corresponding O. H. G. word is quāt, whence G. Koth or Kot, excrement; and the root appears in the Skt. gu or gū, to void excrement; see Kot in Kluge.
4358. This is interesting, as giving us the Host’s name. Herry is the mod. E. Harry, with the usual change from er to ar, as in M. E. derk, dark, &c. It is the same as the F. Herri (not uncommon in O. F.), made from F. Henri by assimilation of nr to rr.
The name seems to have been taken from that of a real person. In the Subsidy Rolls, 4 Rich. II. (1380–1), for Southwark, occurs the entry—‘Henri’ Bayliff, Ostyler, Xpian [Christian] ux[or] eius . . ij s.’ In the parliament held at Westminster, in 50 Edw. III. (1376–7), Henry Bailly was one of the representatives for that borough; and again, in the parliament at Gloucester, 2 Rich. II., the name occurs. See Notes and Queries, 2 S. iii. 228.