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The Frankeleyns Tale. - 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 Frankeleyns Tale.
729.Armorik, Armorica, the modern Brittany.
743. A note in Bell says this is meant ‘ironically.’ On the contrary, it is explanatory, and in perfect keeping with the context. Cf. l. 751, and the full discussion of the matter in ll. 764–790.
764. This passage is clearly founded on Le Roman de la Rose, ll. 9465–9534, a piece which is too long to be quoted. Compare, for example, ll. 9479–9482:—
Compare also ll. 8489–90 of the same:—
And see Kn. Ta., A. 1625–6. Spenser copies ll. 764–6 very closely; F. Q. iii. 1. 25. And see Butler, Hudib. iii. 1. 553–560; Pope, Eloisa, 76.
774. So in P. Plowman, C. xvi. 138, we find patientes uincunt. The reference is to Dionysius Cato, Distichorum lib. i. 38:—
And again, in his Breves Sententiae, Sent. xl., he has:—‘Parentes patientia uince.’ But Chaucer’s words agree still more closely with an altered version of Cato which is quoted in Old Eng. Homilies, ed. Morris, 2 Ser. p. 80, in the form:—‘Quem superare nequis, patienter uince ferendo.’ Compare the proverb—‘uincit qui patitur’; also Vergil, Æn. v. 710; Ovid, Art. Amat. ii. 197, Am. iii. 11. 7, Am. i. 2. 10. See also Troil. iv. 1584.
792. This is from the same passage of Le Roman as that mentioned in the note to l. 764. Compare, for example, the following lines (9489–94), where serjant means ‘servant’:—
801. Penmarch Point is a headland near Quimper, in the department of Finisterre; a little to the S. of Brest.
Tyrwhitt’s derivation of this name, from pen, a head, and mark, a mark or boundary, assumes that mark is a Celtic word. No doubt pen represents Bret. penn (Welsh pen), a head, a promontory; but, instead of mark I can only find Bret. march (Welsh and Cornish march, Irish marc), a horse. In the sense of boundary, mark is Teutonic.
808.Kayrrud, Caer-rud; evidently an old Celtic name. Caer is the Bret. ker, kear, a town; Welsh and Cornish caer, a fort, town. And perhaps rud is ‘red’; cf. Bret. rus, Welsh rhudd, Cornish rudh, red. It does not appear in the map.
Arveragus, a Latinised form of a Celtic name; spelt Aruiragus in Juvenal, Sat. iv. 127. Arviragus, son of Cymbeline, one of the fabulous kings of Britain, married a daughter of the Roman emperor Claudius; see Rob. of Glouc. l. 1450.
815.Dorigene; also a Celtic name. ‘Droguen, or Dorguen, was the wife of Alain I.—Lobineau, t. i. p. 70.’—Tyrwhitt. Lobineau was the author of a history of Brittany.
830. Cf. ‘Gutta cauat lapidem’; Ovid, Epist. iv. 10. 5.
861. Cf. ‘That she ne hath foot on which she may sustene’; Anelida, 177.
867.In ydel, in vain. In P. Plowman, A. vi. 61, we have in idel, and in B. v. 580, an ydel, in the same sense. With this passage, cf. Boeth. bk. i. met. 5. 22; bk. iii. met. 9. 1-10.
879. Cf. ‘a fayr party of so grete a werk’; Boeth. bk. i. met. 5. 38.
880.thyn owene merk, thine own likeness; cf. ‘ad imaginem suam,’ Gen. i. 27. It appears, from P. Plowman, B. xv. 343, C. xviii. 73, that the words merke and preynte (print) were both used of the ‘impression’ upon a coin. From a comparison of the Vulgate version of Gen. i. 27 and Matt. xxii. 20, we see that imago was used in the same way. This explains how merk came to mean ‘likeness,’ and how mark of Adam (in D. 696) came to mean ‘all such as are made in Adam’s likeness.’ See that passage.
883.menes, means, instruments of Thy will. The sing. mene, in the same sense, occurs in P. Plowman, C. xvii. 96, and frequently in Sir Generides, where it is spelt meane.
886. ‘All’s for the best’; a popular rendering of Romans, viii. 28. Cf. Boeth. bk. iv. pr. 6. 194–6.
889.this, short for this is; as in many other places.
899.delitables, a good example of a French pl. adj. in s. So also royales, B. 2038. See my note to P. Plowman, C. x. 342.
900.ches, chess. Chess was played in England even before the Conquest, in the days of Canute. ‘Tables’ is another name for back-gammon, and was called tabularum ludus in Latin. See Strutt’s Sports and Pastimes, bk. iv. c. 2. §§ 4, 16.
913.The odour is to be read as Th’odóur.
918.At-after, after; as in F. 302.
938.Aurelius. Tyrwhitt remarks that ‘this name, though of Roman origin, was common, we may presume, among the Britons. One of the princes mentioned by Gildas was called Aurelius Conanus. Another British king is called Aurelius Ambrosius by Geoffrey of Monmouth.’ See Fabyan’s History, pt. 1. capp. 93, 108.
942.With-outen coppe, without a cup. This expression means that he drank his penance in full measure, not by small quantities at a time. It occurs again in the Prologu to the Tale of Beryn, ll. 306, 460.
948. Chaucer wrote such things himself; see Leg. of Good Women, 423, and the note. See also, in his Minor Poems, the Complaint of Mars, the roundel in the Parl. of Foules, 680; and the exquisite triple roundel called Merciles Beautè.
950. The syllables as a fu- form the third foot. Some MSS. have fuyre, i. e. fire (see the footnote); but hell is not the place where fire was supposed to languish. The reading furye, i. e. fury, also presents some difficulty, but we must take languish to mean ‘endure continual pain.’ This precisely agrees with Chaucer’s language in Troilus, iv. 22–24.
We have already had a confusion between fury and fire in A. 2684. The reading furie is perfectly established by help of F. 448 (this furial pyne of helle), and by further comparing l. 1101 below.
951.Ekko, Echo. So in the Book of the Duch. 735. Chaucer probably took this from Le Rom. de la Rose, 1447; see the English version, ll. 1469–1538. But he had learnt, by this time, that the true original was Ovid (Metamorph. iii. 407). Hence the side-note in MS. E.—‘Methamorposios’—(sic).
963.And hadde, and she had; with a sudden change of subject.
974.Madame is here trisyllabic; in l. 967, the last syllable is very light.
982. The -ie in Aurelie is slurred over; know-e is dissyllabic. Cf. l. 989.
992.Lok-e, for Lok-en, imper. plural.
993. The first foot contains Ye remoe-; and the final -e of remoev-e is not cut off. Otherwise, place an accent on the syllable re-.
999–1000. These two lines are placed lower down in Tyrwhitt’s edition, after l. 1006, on the authority of three inferior MSS., viz. Harl. 7335, Harl. 7333, and Barlow 20. But the old editions agree with the best MSS., and nothing is gained by the change.
1018. A humorous apology for a poetical expression.
1031. A side-note in E. has—‘The compleint of Aurelius to the goddes and to the sonne.’
1033.after, i. e. according to. The change of seasons depends on the sun’s change of declination, which causes his position (called herberwe or ‘harbour’ in l. 1035) to be high or low in the sky. See note to l. 1058.
1045. In MS. E., Lucina is glossed by ‘luna,’ i. e. the moon; see A. 2085.
1049. Read knowen as know’n. All the six MSS. keep the final n; but Cp. Pt. Ln. drop the word that.
1054.more and lesse, greater and smaller, i. e. rivers.
1058.Leoun, the sign Leo. In l. 906, May 6 is mentioned, and the events recorded in ll. 906–1016 all belong to this day. Ll. 1019–1081 belong to the evening of the same day. But, in May, the sun is in Taurus, and the moon, when in opposition, would be in the opposite sign, which is Scorpio; and we should expect the reading—‘of Scorpioun.’ As it stands, the text means:—‘at the next opposition that takes place with the sun in Leo’; i. e. not at the very next opposition, with the sun in Taurus; nor yet after that, with the sun in Gemini or Cancer. The reason for the delay is astrological; for Leo was the mansion of the Sun, so that the sun’s power would then be greatest; besides which, the sign Leo greatly increased a planet’s influence; see A. 2462, and the note.
We may notice the various allusions in the above lines. In l. 1033, the sun’s declination changes from day to day, and with it the solar power and heat; so that the vegetable kingdom fails or grows according as the sun’s ‘harbour,’ or position in the ecliptic, causes his meridian altitude to be low or high (l. 1035). In l. 1046, the power of the moon over the tides is mentioned; and, in l. 1050, the dependence of lunar upon solar light. The highest tides occur when the sun and moon are either in conjunction or opposition; the latter is here fixed upon. If, says Aurelius, the sun and moon could always remain in opposition, viz. by moving at the same apparent rate (l. 1066), the moon would always remain at the full (l. 1069), and the spring-flood, or highest flood, would last all the while (l. 1070).
1074. Here Luna is identified with Proserpina; see note to A. 2051, where I have quoted the sentence—‘Diana, quae et Luna, Proserpina, Hecate nuncupatur.’ And see the parallel lines in A. 2081–2.
1077.Delphos, Delphi; Chaucer adopts, as usual, the accusative form. Ovid has Delphi, Met. x. 168; Delphica templa, Met. xi. 414.
1086. ‘Let him choose, as far as I am concerned, whether he wishes to live or die.’ whether is here cut down to whe’r, as frequently.
1088. Cf. ‘And in his host of chivalrye the flour’; A. 982.
1094–1096.imaginatyf, of a suspicious fancy. doute, fear.
1110. This is the Pamphilus already referred to in B. 2746 (see note to that line). The poem relates the poet’s love for Galatea. In the note to B. 2746, I have given the title of the poem as De Amore. Another title is—Pamphili Mauriliani Pamphilus, sive De Arte Amandi Elegiae. Skelton alludes to it also, and Dyce’s note (in his ed. of Skelton, ii. 345) tells us—‘It is of considerable length, and though written in barbarous Latin, was by some attributed to Ovid. It may be found in a little volume edited by Goldastus, Ovidii Nasonis Pelignensis Erotica et Amatoria Opuscula, &c. 1610.’ Tyrwhitt quotes the first four lines, from MS. Cotton, Titus A. xx—‘Vulneror, et clausum porto sub pectore telum,’ &c. In the margin of E. is here written—‘Pamphilus ad Galatheam,’ followed by the line—‘Vulneror . . . telum.’ Chaucer imitates this line in ll. 1111, 1112. And see Lounsbury, Studies, ii. 370.
1113.sursanure, a wound healed outwardly only. A F. word, from Lat. super and sanare. See soursanëure in Godefroy.
1115.But, unless. come therby, get at it, get hold of it.
1118. ‘There was a celebrated and very ancient university at Orleans, which fell into disrepute as the university of Paris became famous; and the rivalry probably led to the imputation that the occult sciences were cultivated at Orleans.’—Wright.
1121. ‘In every hiding-place and corner’; cf. G. 311, 658.
1130. I here quote from my Preface to Chaucer’s Astrolabe (E.E.T.S.), p. lix. ‘The twenty-eight “moon-stations” of the Arabs are given in Ideler’s Untersuchungen über die Bedeutung der Sternnamen, p. 287. He gives the Arabic names, the stars that help to fix their positions, &c. See also Mr. Brae’s edition of the Astrolabe, p. 89. For the influence of the moon in these mansions, we must look elsewhere, viz. in lib. i. cap. 11, and lib. iv. cap. 18 of the Epitome Astrologiae of Johannes Hispalensis. Suffice it to say that there are 12 temperate mansions, 6 dry ones, and 10 moist ones.’ The number 28 corresponds with the number of days in a lunation.
1132. Cf. Chaucer’s remark in his Astrolabe, ii. 4. 36—‘Natheles, thise ben observauncez of iudicial matiere and rytes of payens, in which my spirit ne hath no feith.’
1133. In speaking of the First Commandment, Hampole says: ‘Astronomyenes byhaldes the daye and the houre and the poynte that man es borne in, and vndir whylke syngne he es borne, and the poynte that he begynnes to be in, and by thire syngnes, and other, thay saye that that sall befall the man aftyrwarde; but theyre errowre es reproffede of haly doctours.’—Eng. Prose Treatises of Hampole, ed. Perry, p. 9. So also in Religious Pieces in Prose and Verse, ed. Perry, p. 5.
1141.tregetoures, jugglers. Cf. F. 218, 219; Hous of Fame, 1260, and my note upon the line; also the same, 1277, and my note on it. From O. F. trasgeter, (Prov. trasgitar), answering to a Low Lat. transiectare, i. e. to throw across, cause to pass. Thus the original sense of tregetour was one who caused rapid changes, by help of some mechanical contrivance. See Marco Polo, ed. Yule, i. 342; and note 9 to Bk. i. c. 61; Cornelius Agrippa, on Juggling; Ritson, Anc. Met. Romances, vol. i. p. ccv; and the verses on the Tregetour in Lydgate’s Dance of Machabre. Treget means imposture, juggling, deceit, in the E. version of the Romaunt of the Rose, 6267, 6312, 6825; and tregetrie means the same, 6374, 6382. (Not allied to trebuchet, as suggested by Tyrwhitt.)
1180.dawes, days; variant of dayes. The pl. dawes occurs here only; but dayes rimes with layes in l. 709 above, with delayes in l. 1293 below, and (in the phr. now a dayes) with Iayes, G. 1396, and assayes, E. 1164. Chaucer also has dawe, v., to dawn, riming with felawe, A. 4250, and awe, B. 3872. The variant dawes is due to the A. S. dagas, where the g is followed, not by e, but by a; hence we only find it in the plural. But it is not uncommon; it occurs in St. Brandan, ed. Wright, p. 5, l. 3; Havelok, 2344; King Alisaunder, ed. Weber, l. 1436; Gower, Conf. Am. ii. 113, where it rimes with sawes; &c.
1204. The use of our is graphic; it occurs in all six MSS. Tyrwhitt has the.
1222.Gerounde, the river Gironde; Sayne, the Seine. That is, all the S.W. coast from the Gironde to Brest, and all the N.W. coast from Brest to Honfleur; thus including much more than just the W. promontory.
1224. Here ceases the gap in Hl., F. 617–1223.
1241. Accent mágicién on the first and last syllables.
1245. ‘The sun grew old, and his hue was like that of latten.’ For latoun, later latten, see note to C. 350. That is, the sun had a dull coppery hue, as in December, when it may be said to be ‘old,’ as it was approaching the end of its annual course. Cf. yonge sonne; A. 7.
1246. ‘Who, when in his hot declination (i. e. in the sign of Cancer, when his northern declination was greatest) used to shine like burnished gold, with bright beams; but he had now arrived in Capricornus, where he was at his lowest altitude (i. e. at the winter solstice); and shone but dimly.’
In Chaucer’s time, the sun entered Capricorn on December 13; see his Treatise on the Astrolabe, ii. 1. 12.
1252. In the margin of E. is written—‘Janus biceps’; referring to ‘Iane biceps’ in Ovid’s Fasti, i. 65; and ‘Iane biformis,’ id. l. 89. The allusion is to the approach of January, after the winter solstice. This season, as indicated in ll. 1253, 1254, is the time of Christmas and New-Year festivities, when wine is drunk from horns, and the boar’s head appears at feasts. See Brand’s Pop. Antiq., ed. Ellis, i. 484, for the carol sung at the bringing in of the boar’s head as the first dish on Christmas day, as e. g. in the Inner Temple and at Queen’s College, Oxford. He quotes from Dekker:—‘like so many bores’ heads stuck with branches of rosemary, to be served in for brawne at Christmas.’
Skelton speaks of ‘Ianus, with his double chere,’ i. e. face; Garl. of Laurell, 1515. Cf. Chambers, Book of Days, i. 19; and ii. 754; Spenser, F. Q. vii. 7. 41.
1255. ‘Nowel,’ i. e. ‘the birthday,’ or Christmas day. From O. F. noël (Prov. nadal); from Lat. natalem. Cotgrave quotes a French proverb:—‘Tant crie on Noël qu’il vient, So long is Christmas cried that at length it comes.’ Littré gives, as the second sense of Noël—‘Cantique en langue vulgaire, ayant ordinairement pour sujet la naissance de Jésus-Christ, que l’on chante à l’approche de la Noël.’ Hence ‘to cry Noël’ was to sing a Christmas carol; as was usual on Christmas eve. He further explains that ‘Noël!’ subsequently became a cry on any occasion of great rejoicing; so that, in this way, ‘to cry Noël’ meant to proclaim glad tidings. Hence the silly confusion of the word with ‘nouvelles,’ in the imaginative accounts of it given by some English writers.
1266. Read I n’ can; see note to A. 764.
1273. ‘The astronomical tables, composed by order of Alphonso X, king of Castile, about the middle of the thirteenth century, were called sometimes Tabulae Toletanae, from their being adapted to the city of Toledo. There is a very elegant copy of them in MS. Harl. 3647.’—T. In Chaucer’s Astrolabe, ii. 44. 16, we find:—‘And if hit so be that hit [i. e. the time for which the change in a planet’s position is being reckoned] passe 20 [years], consider wel that fro 1 to 20 ben anni expansi, and fro 20 to 3,000 ben anni collecti.’ The changes in position of the various planets were obtained from these tables. The quantities denoting the amount of a planet’s motion during round periods of years, such as twenty, forty, or sixty years, were entered in a table headed Anni collecti. Similar quantities for lesser periods, from one year up to twenty years, were entered under the headings 1, 2, 3, &c.; and such years were called Anni expansi, i. e. single or separate years. See Ptolemy’s Almagest, lib. vi. and lib. ix.; and the note in vol. iii. p. 367.
1276.rotes, roots. The ‘root’ is the tabulated quantity belonging to a given fixed date or era, from which corresponding quantities can be calculated by addition or subtraction. Thus the longitude of a planet at a given date is the ‘root’; and its longitude at another date, say twenty-three years later, can be obtained from the Toletan tables by adding (1) its change of longitude in twenty years, as given in the table of Anni collecti, and (2) its further change in three years, as given in the table of Anni expansi. Chaucer uses the term ‘root’ again in B. 314; and in his Astrolabe, ii. 44. 1; q. v.
1277. ‘Centre’ was a technical name for the end of the small brass projection on the ‘rete’ of an astrolabe which denoted the position of a fixed star (usually of the first magnitude). See Chaucer’s Astrolabe, Fig. 2 (in vol. iii.); and Centre in the Glossary. ‘Argument’ is an astronomical term still in use, and means ‘the angle, arc, or other mathematical quantity, from which another required quantity may be deduced, or on which its calculation depends’; New Eng. Dictionary.
In Chaucer’s Astrolabe, § 44 of Part II. is headed—‘Another maner conclusion, to knowe the mene mote and the argumentis of any planete.’
1278.proporcionels convenients, fitting proportionals; referring to a table of ‘proportional parts,’ by which fractional parts of a year can be taken into consideration, in calculating the motions of the planets.
1279.equacions, equations; probably here used in the sense of ‘exact quantities.’ Thus the ‘exact quantity’ of a planet’s motion, during a given time, can be obtained by adding together the motion during the ‘collect’ years, the ‘expanse’ years, and the fraction of a year; see the last note.
1280.eighte spere, eighth sphere; cf. ‘ninthe speere’ in l. 1283. In the old astronomy (as explained more fully in the note to B. 295), there were nine imaginary spheres, viz. the seven spheres of the seven planets, the eighth sphere or sphere of fixed stars (supposed to have a slow motion from west to east about the poles of the zodiac, to account for the precession of the equinoxes), and the ninth sphere or primum mobile, which had a diurnal motion from east to west, and carried everything with it. Alnath is still a name for the bright star a Arietis, of the first magnitude, which was necessarily situate in the eighth sphere. But the head of the fixed Aries, or the true equinoctial point, was in the ninth sphere above it.
The exact amount of the precession of the equinoxes (which is what Chaucer here alludes to) could be ascertained by observing, from time to time, the distance between the true equinoctial point and the star Alnath, which was conveniently situated for the purpose, being in the head of Aries. In the time of Hipparchus ( 150), the distance of Alnath from the true equinoctial point was but a few degrees; but at the present time it is ‘shove,’ in longitude, some 35° from the same. (The readings thre for eighte in l. 1280, and fourthe for ninthe in l. 1283, given by Wright from MS. Hl., are of course absurd).
1285.firste mansioun, first mansion, viz. of the moon. It was called Alnath, from the star. In the margin of E. is written—‘Alnath dicitur prima mansio lunae.’ Cf. note to l. 1130; and see l. 1289. His object was, clearly, to calculate the moon’s position; see l. 1287.
1288. ‘And knew in whose “face” the moon arose, and in what “term,” and all about it.’ Each sign of the zodiac, containing thirty degrees, was divided into three equal parts, each of ten degrees, called faces in the astrological jargon of the time. Not only each sign, but each face, was assigned to some peculiar planet; hence whos means ‘of which planet.’ Besides this equal division of each sign, we find unequal divisions, called terms. For example, the sign Aries, considered as a whole, was called ‘the mansion of Mars.’ Again, of this sign, degrees one to ten were called ‘the face of Mars’; degrees eleven to twenty, ‘the face of the Sun’; and degrees twenty-one to thirty, ‘the face of Venus.’ Lastly, of the same sign, degrees one to six were ‘a term of Jupiter’; degrees seven to twelve, of Venus; degrees thirteen to twenty, of Mercury; twenty-one to twenty-five, of Mars; and twenty-six to thirty, of Saturn. Of course, the whole of this assignment was purely fanciful, imposed at first by arbitrary authority, and afterwards kept up by tradition. Cf. l. 1293.
1311–1322. These lines form a ‘Complaint,’ quite in the style of the Compleint of Anelida, q. v. Thus, l. 1318 is like Anelida, l. 288:—‘As verily ye sleen me with the peyne.’ The ‘complaint’ of Dorigen begins at l. 1355.
1340. ‘Other colour then asshen hath she noon’; Anelida, 173.
1348. ‘She wepeth, waileth, swowneth pitously’; Anelida, 169.
1355. In the margin of E. is written—‘The compleynt of Dorigene ayeyns Fortune.’
1367. Tyrwhitt remarks that all these examples are taken from book i. of Hieronymus contra Iouinianum. In fact, this reference is expressly supplied in the margin of E., at l. 1465, where we find—‘Singulas has historias et plures, hanc materiam concernentes, recitat beatus Ieronimus contra Iouinianum in primo suo libro, cap. 39°.’ There is a similar note in Hn., at l. 1395.
On reference to Jerome, I find that the passages referred to are worthy of being expressly quoted, especially as Chaucer does not adhere to the order of the original. Moreover, most of them are quoted in the side-notes to E., with more or less correctness. I therefore give below all such as are worth giving.
1368. The passage in Jerome is as follows:—‘Triginta Atheniensium tyranni cum Phidonem in conuiuio necassent, filias eius uirgines ad se uenire iusserunt, et scortorum more nudari: ac super pauimenta, patris sanguine cruentata, impudicis gestibus ludere, quae paulisper dissimulato doloris habitu, cum temulentos conuiuas cernerent, quasi ad requisita naturae egredientes, inuicem se complexae praecipitauerunt in puteum, ut uirginitatem morte seruarent’; p. 48. This story (quoted in full in MS. E.) refers to the excesses committed in Athens by the Thirty Tyrants, who were overthrown by Thrasybulus, 403.
1370. ‘They commanded (men) to arrest his daughters.’
1379. Jerome has:—‘Spartiatae et Messenii diu inter se habuere amicitias, intantum ut ob quaedam sacra etiam uirgines ad se mutuo mitterent. Quodam igitur tempore, cum quinquaginta uirgines Lacedaemoniorum Messenii uiolare tentassent, de tanto numero ad stuprum nulla consensit, sed omnes libentissime pro pudicitia occubuerunt’; p. 48. Cf. Orosius, i. 14. 1.
1380.Lacedomie, Lacedaemonia; as in C. 605.
1387. Jerome has:—‘Aristoclides Orchomeni tyrannus adamauit uirginem Stymphalidem, quae cum patre occiso ad templum Dianae confugisset, et simulacrum eius teneret, nec ui posset auelli, in eodem loco confossa est’; p. 48. I suppose that Orchomenus is here the town so called in Arcadia, rather than the more famous one in Boeotia; for the district of Stymphalus is in Arcadia, and near Orchomenus.
1399. Jerome has:—‘Nam Hasdrubalis uxor capta, et incensa urbe, cum se cerneret a Romanis capiendam esse, apprehensis ab utroque latere paruulis filiis, in subiectum domus suae deuolauit incendium’; Valerius Maximus has a similar story, lib. iii. c. 2. ext. 8; cf. Orosius, iv. 13. 3. Chaucer has already alluded to this story; see note to B. 4553.
1402.alle; Valerius Maximus merely says—‘dextra laeuaque communes filios trahens.’
1405. Jerome says:—‘Ad Romanas foeminas transeam, et primam ponam Lucretiam; quae uiolatae pudicitiae pudens superuiuere, maculam corporis cruore deleuit’; p. 50. In the margin of E. we find:—‘primo ponam Lucretiam . . . deleuit’; with the reading nolens for pudens. See also the legend of Lucretia in the Legend of Good Women.
1409. Jerome says:—‘Quis ualeat silentio praeterire septem Milesias uirgines, quae Gallorum impetu cuncta uastante, ne quid indecens ab hostibus sustinerent, turpitudinem morte fugerunt; exemplum sui cunctis uirginibus relinquentes, honestis mentibus magis pudicitiam curae esse, quam uitam’; p. 50. MS. E. quotes this as far as ‘Gallorum.’ As Miletus is in Caria, perhaps Galli refers here to the Gallograeci or Galatae.
1414. ‘Xenophon in Cyri maioris scribit infantia, occiso Abradote uiro, quem Panthea uxor miro amore dilexerat, collocasse se iuxta corpus lacerum; et confosso pectore, sanguinem suum mariti infudisse uulneribus’; p. 50. MS. E. cites the first eight words of this, with the spelling Abradate; whence Chaucer’s Habradate. Chaucer’s account of Panthea’s exclamation is evidently imaginary. The story is told at length in Xenophon’s Cyropaedia, bk. vii. Abradates, king of the Susi, was killed in battle against the Egyptians. His wife Panthea slew herself with a dagger, and fell with her head upon his breast.
1426. ‘Demotionis Areopagitarum principis uirgo filia, audito sponsi Leosthenis interitu, qui bellum Lamiacum concitarat, se interfecit: asserens quanquam intacta esset corpore, tamen si alterum accipere cogeretur, quasi secundum acciperet, cum priori mente nupsisset’; p. 48. E. quotes the first five words of this.
1428. ‘Quo ore laudandae sunt Scedasi filiae in Leuctris Boeotiae, quas traditum est absente patre duo iuuenes praetereuntes iure hospitii suscepisse. Qui multum indulgentes uino, uim per noctem intulere uirginibus. Quae amissae pudicitiae nolentes superuiuere, mutuis conciderunt uulneribus’; p. 48. E. quotes the first six words, with the spelling Cedasii. The story of Scedasus (Σκέδασος) and his daughters is told at length by Plutarch, being the third story in his Amatoriae Narrationes (ἐρωτικαὶ διηγήσεις).
1432. ‘Nicanor uictis Thebis atque subuersis, unius uirginis captiuae amore superatus est. Cuius coniugium expetens, et uoluntarios amplexus, quod scilicet captiua optare debuerat, sensit pudicis mentibus plus uirginitatem esse quàm regnum; et interfectam propria manu, flens et lugens amator tenuit’; p. 49. E. cites a few words of this, with the spelling Nichanor. The reference is to the taking of Thebes by Alexander, 336. Nicanor was one of his officers.
1434. This story, in Jerome, immediately follows the former:—‘Narrant scriptores Graeci et aliam Thebanam uirginem, quam hostis Macedo corruperat, dissimulasse paulisper dolorem, et uiolatorem uirginitatis suae iugulasse postea dormientem; seque interfecisse gladio, ut nec uiuere uoluerit post perditam castitatem, nec ante mori, quàm sui ultrix existeret.’ E. quotes a few words of this.
1437. Chaucer has translated here very literally. For Jerome has:—‘Quid loquar Nicerati coniugem? quae impatiens iniuriae uiri, mortem sibi ipsa consciuit; ne triginta tyrannorum, quos Lysander uictis Athenis imposuerat, libidinem substineret’; p. 49. Compare Plutarch’s Life of Lysander. Niceratus, son of Nicias, was put to death by the Thirty Tyrants, who were imposed upon Athens by Lysander, 404.
1439. ‘Alcibiades ille Socraticus, uictis Atheniensibus, fugit ad Pharnabacum [i. e. Pharnabazum]. Qui accepto precio à Lysandro principe Lacedaemoniorum, iussit eum interfici. Cumque suffocato caput esset ablatum, et missum Lysandro in testimonium caedis expletae, reliqua pars corporis iacebat insepulta. Sola igitur concubina contra crudelissimi hostis imperium inter extraneos et imminente discrimine, funeri iusta persoluit; mori parata pro mortuo, quem uiuum dilexerat’; pp. 49, 50. E. quotes the first four words. See Plutarch’s Life of Alcibiades; or the extracts from it in my edition of ‘Shakespeare’s Plutarch,’ p. 304. The woman’s name was Timandra; cf. Timon of Athens, iv. 3.
1442–4. Jerome says:—‘Alcestin fabulae ferunt pro Admento sponte defunctam, et Penelopes pudicitia Homeri carmen est’; p. 50. Quoted in E., with the spellings Alcesten, Adameto, and Omeri. Cf. Legend of Good Women, l. 432, and the note; also vol. iii. p. xxix.
1445. ‘Laodamia quoque poetarum ore cantatur, occiso apud Troiam Protesilao, noluisse superuiuere’; p. 50. E. quotes most of this, with the spellings Lacedomia and Protheselao. See Ovid, Heroid. Ep. xiii.; Hyginus, Fabula 243.
1448. ‘Sine Catone uiuere Martia potuit, Portia sine Bruto non potuit’; p. 50. Partly quoted in E. The death of Portia is told by Plutarch, at the very end of his Life of M. Brutus.
1451. ‘Artemisia quoque uxor Mausoli insignis pudicitiae fuisse perhibetur. Quae cum esset regina Cariae . . . defunctum maritum sic semper amauit, ut uiuum, et mirae magnitudinis exstruxit sepulchrum; intantum, ut usque hodie omnia sepulchra preciosa ex nomine eius Mausolaea nuncupentur’; p. 49. E. quotes a part of this, with the spelling Arthemesia. There is an account of her in Valerius Maximus, bk. iv. cap. 6. ext. I. Hence comes our word mausoleum.
1452.Barbarye, barbarian territory, heathendom. Cf. ‘the Barbre nacioun’; B. 281.
1453. Jerome says:—‘Teuta Illyricorum regina, ut longo tempore uiris fortissimis imperaret, et Romanos saepe frangeret, miraculo utique meruit castitatis’; p. 49. Called Teutana by Florus, ii. 5. 2. Pliny says that Teuta, the queen of the Illyrians, put to death some Roman ambassadors; Nat. Hist. xxxiv. 6. 11.
1455. Tyrwhitt omits this line and the next. Both lines appear in the old editions; but they are omitted in all the seven MSS. except E. They are certainly genuine, because the names in them are taken from Jerome, like the rest. E. has the spelling Bilyea, but I alter it to Bilia (as in the old editions) because such is Jerome’s spelling. The story is rather a long one.
‘Duellius, qui primus Romae nauali certamine triumphauit, Biliam uirginem duxit uxorem, tantae pudicitiae, ut illo quoque seculo pro exemplo fuerit: quo impudicitia monstrum erat, non uitium. Is iam senex et trementi corpore, in quodam iurgio audiuit exprobrari sibi os foetidum, et tristis se domum contulit. Cumque uxori questus esset, quare nunquam se monuisset, ut huic uitio mederetur: Fecissem, inquit, illa, nisi putassem omnibus uiris sic os olere. Laudanda in utroque pudica et nobilis foemina, et si ignorauit uitium uiri, et si patienter tulit, et quod maritus infelicitatem corporis sui, non uxoris fastidio, sed maledicto sensit inimici’; p. 50. This Duellius or Duillius, or Duilius, was the famous conqueror of the Carthaginians, in honour of whom the Columna rostrata was erected, to celebrate his naval victory, the first of that character ever gained by the Romans, 260. See Florus, Epitome, lib. ii. c. 2.
Hoccleve has this story in his De Regimine Principum, ed. Wright, p. 134. He turns Bilia into Ulye, because he got the story from Jacobus de Cessolis, who calls her Ylia.
1456. Jerome says:—‘Rhodogune filia Darii, post mortem uiri, nutricem quae illi secundas nuptias suadebat, occidit’; p. 50. According to Erasmus, Rhodogune is mentioned in the Imagines (Εἰκόνες) of Flavius Philostratus.
Again (at p. 50) Jerome says:—‘Valeria, Messalarum soror, amisso Seruio uiro, nulli uolebat nubere. Quae interrogata cur hoc faceret, ait sibi semper maritum Seruium uiuere.’
1457. Notwithstanding the length of Dorigene’s complaint, Chaucer seems to have contemplated adding more examples to the list. For in the margin of E. is the note:—‘Mem. Strato regulus. Vidi et omnes pene Barbares (sic); cap. xxvio. primi [libri]. Item, Cornelia, &c. Imitentur ergo nupte Theanam, Cleobiliam, Gorgun., Thymodiam, Claudias atque Cornelias; in fine primi libri.’ All these names are in Jerome, who says: ‘Imitentur ergo nuptae Theano, Cleobulinam, Gorguntem, Timocliam, Claudias atque Cornelias’; &c.
1470.as wis, as (it is) certain; cf. Ancren Riwle, p. 38; Ormulum, l. 2279, &c. Stratmann (ed. Bradley) gives the example also wis so he god is, as surely as he is God. Of course the i is short, as wis rimes with this. Cf. A. S. ge-wis, ge-wiss, Icel. viss, adj., certain, sure. And see wisly, i. e. certainly, in l. 1475.
1472. Referring to the proverb—‘Let sleeping dogs lie’; or to one with the same sense. Cf. Troil. iii. 764.
1483.tel is here the right form of the imperative; see l. 1591. So in D. 1298.
1493–8. Of our seven MSS., only E. contains these six lines. They are omitted in most modern editions, except Gilman’s. But they occur, as Tyrwhitt pointed out, in the second edition printed by Caxton. In l. 1496, Caxton has him for hir; which, perhaps, is better.
1502.quikkest, most lively, i. e. most frequented.
1503.boun, all ready, prepared; as she was boun implies that she had already set out, and was on her way. Preserved in mod. E., in the form bound, in such phrases as ‘the ship is bound for New York.’ See Bound, pp., in the New E. Dictionary. Cf. l. 1505.
1525.For which, for which reason, wherefore.
1529–1531. The phrases him were lever and I have lever are here seen to have been both in use at the same time. See, again, ll. 1599, 1600 below.
1532.Than I departe, than that I may part. So in all seven MSS. T. altered I to to.
1541. ‘But let every woman beware of her promise.’
1544.withouten drede, without doubt; as in B. 196. So also out of drede, E. 634; it is no drede, F. 1612.
1575.dayes, days of respite, time to pay in by instalments.
1580.To goon a-begged, to go a begging. Here begged is for beggeth, a sb. formed from the verb to beg. The spelling gon a-beggeth actually occurs twice in the Ilchester MS. of P. Plowman, C. ix. 138, 246. In the latter case, we even find gon abribeth and abeggeth, i. e. go a-robbing and a-begging. So in Rob. of Gloucester, l. 7710—‘As he rod an-honteth,’ as he rode a-hunting; and l. 9113—‘he wende an-honteth,’ he went a-hunting. This suffix -eth answers to the A. S. -aþ or -oþ. ‘On fēawum stōwum wīciaþ Finnas, on huntoþe on wintra, and on sumera on fiscaþe’; the Fins live in a few places, by hunting in winter, and by fishing in summer; Ælfred’s tr. of Orosius, 1. 1. In M. E. -eth was changed to -ed by confusion with the common suffix of the pp. See also the notes to C. 406, D. 354; and to P. Plowm. C. ix. 138.
1602.apparence, an illusion caused by magic.
1604–5. Corruptly given in MS. Hl. (note by Wright).
1614. I. e. ‘as if you had just made your first appearance in the world.’ An idiomatic allusion to the creeping of an insect out of the earth for the first time. It is obvious that there was nothing offensive in the phrase.
1622.as thinketh yow, as it seems to you. ‘The same question is stated in the conclusion to Boccace’s Tale; Philocopo, lib. v.—“Dubitasi ora qual di costoro fusse maggior liberalità,” &c. The Queen determines in favour of the husband.’—T. The questions discussed in the medieval Courts of Love were usually of a similar character.
NOTES TO GROUP G.