Front Page Titles (by Subject) The Friar's Prologue. - Notes to the Canterbury Tales (Works vol. 5)
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The Friar’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 Friar’s Prologue.
1276.auctoritees; a direct reference to l. 1208 above. This goes far to show that the Friar’s Tale was written immediately after the Wife’s Tale. The Friar says, quite truly, that the Wife’s Tale contains passages not unlike ‘school-matter,’ or disquisitions in the schools. Such a passage is that in ll. 1109–1212. Tyrwhitt shews that auctoritas was the usual word applied to a text of scripture; Bell adds, that it was applied, as now, to any authority for a statement. We might very well translate auctoritees by ‘quotations.’
1284.mandements, ‘citations, or summonses, addressed to those accused of breaches of the canons, to appear and answer in the archdeacon’s court’; Bell. Hence the name somnour, i. e. a server of summonses.
1285.tounes ende (whence the name Townsend); we should now say, ‘at the entry to every town’; cf. l. 1537. The Somnour was often opposed with violence, and was a very unpopular character.
1294. The limiters had to cultivate the art of flattery, because they lived by begging from house to house.
*∗* After this line all the MSS. (except Hl.) wrongly insert lines 1307, 1308 (on p. 359). Perhaps the poet himself introduced these lines here at first, and afterwards perceived how much better they came in after l. 1306. It is not an important matter.
1296. MS. Hl. has:—‘Our host answerd and sayd the sompnour this’; which cannot be right.