Front Page Titles (by Subject) The Prioress's Prologue. - Notes to the Canterbury Tales (Works vol. 5)
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The Prioress’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 Prioress’s Prologue.
1625.corpus dominus; of course for corpus domini, the Lord’s body. But it is unnecessary to correct the Host’s Latin.
1626. ‘Now long mayest thou sail along the coast!’
1627.marineer, Fr. marinier; we now use the ending -er; but modern words of French origin shew their lateness by the accent on the last syllable, as engineer.—M. The Fr. pionnier is pioner in Shakespeare, but is now pioneer.
1628. ‘God give this monk a thousand cart-loads of bad years!’ He alludes to the deceitful monk described in the Shipman’s Tale. A last is a very heavy load. In a Statute of 31 Edw. I. a weight is declared to be 14 stone; 2 weights of wool are to make a sack; and 12 sacks a last. This makes a last of wool to be 336 stone, or 42 cwt. But the dictionaries shew that the weight was very variable, according to the substance weighed. The word means simply a heavy burden, from A. S. hlæst, a burden, connected with hladan, to load; so that last and load are alike in sense. Laste, in the sense of heavy weight, occurs in Richard the Redeles, ed. Skeat, iv. 74. Quad is the Old English equivalent of the Dutch kwaad, bad, a word in very common use. In O. E., þe qued means the evil one, the devil; P. Pl. B. xiv. 189. Cf. note to A. 4357. The omission of the word of before quad may be illustrated by the expression ‘four score years,’ i.e. of years.
1630. ‘The monk put an ape in the man’s hood, and in his wife’s too.’ We should now say, he made him look like an ape. The contents of the hood would be, properly, the man’s head and face; but neighbours seemed to see peeping from it an ape rather than a man. It is a way of saying that he made a dupe of him. In the Milleres Tale (A. 3389), a girl is said to have made her lover an ape, i.e. a dupe; an expression which recurs in the Chanones Yemannes Tale, G. 1313. Spenser probably borrowed the expression from this very passage; it occurs in his Faerie Queene, iii. 9. 31:—
1632. ‘Never entertain monks any more.’
1637. See the description of the Prioress in the Prologue, A. 118.