Front Page Titles (by Subject) VII.: ANELIDA AND ARCITE. - The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 1 (Romaunt of the Rose, Minor Poems)
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VII.: ANELIDA AND ARCITE. - Geoffrey Chaucer, The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 1 (Romaunt of the Rose, Minor Poems) 
The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, edited from numerous manuscripts by the Rev. Walter W. Skeat (2nd ed.) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1899). 7 vols.
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ANELIDA AND ARCITE.
The compleynt of feire Anelida and fals Arcite.
The chief authorities are: Harl. (Harl. 7333); F. (Fairfax 16); Tn. (Tanner 346); D. (Digby 181); Cx. (Caxton’s edition); B. (Bodley 638); Lt. (Longleat MS.). Th. = Thynne’s ed. 1532. I follow F. mainly, correcting the spelling; and give selected variations. Title from F.; B. has boke for compleynt.
The compleynt of Anelida the quene upon fals Arcite.
Title.So in F. (but misspelt Analida); B. The complaynt of feyre Anelida on fals Arcyte; D. Litera Annelide Regine.
[P. 313: l. 1069.]For ‘Antilegius,’ a better form would be ‘Antilogus,’ a French form of Antilochus.
[P. 374: ll. 243, 248.]For desteny and ful better forms are destinee and fulle
[P. 377: l. 328.]For furlong wey read furlong-wey
[1. ]Tn. ferse; F. fers.
[3. ]Harl. D. Cx. temple; rest temples.
[6. ]F. songe. F. contynew; D. contynue. F. guye; Tn. gye.
[7. ]F. I to the; Harl. Tn. D. to the I.
[9. ]Cx. for tendyte; Harl. for to endite; rest to endyte.
[11. ]F. Analida; Cx. Anelida; Tn. D. Annelida.
[12. ]Harl. that; Cx. that (for which); rest om.
[15. ]F. eke. Harl. Polymea; rest Polymya, Polymia; Th. Polymnia.
[16. ]Harl. Cx. with; rest hath (!). Harl. Cx. sustren.
[17. ]F. B. Cx. Cirrea; D. Cirea; Tn. Circa (wrongly).
[20. ]Tn. ship; F. shippe. After l. 21, 3 Latin lines are quoted from Statius (see note).
[23. ]F. folke. Cx. Cithye.
[24. ]Harl. D. Cx. Lt. With; F. The (caught from l. 23). D. crowned; F. corovned.
[25. ]All Home. Tn. ycome; F. he come.
[27. ]Cx. cryeden; but rest cryden, criden. Harl. unto; rest to. Tn. wente; F. went.
[28. ]Tn. entente; F. entent.
[29. ]F. Harl. Beforne; Cx. Biforn; Tn. D. B. Lt. Before. Harl. duk; F. duke. Harl. inserts hie (= hy); Addit. 16165 has his; the rest wrongly omit; accent o in victórie.
[31. ]Cx. tokening. Harl. and tokenyng of his glorie.
[32. ]F. sene; Harl. seen.
[33. ]Tn. many; F. mony (5 times).
[35. ]on] Harl. Cx. and.
[36. ]Tn. Ypolita. F. wife.
[37. ]Harl. D. Cithea. D. hadde; Lt. hade; rest had.
[39. ]F. chare. D. ladde; Lt. lade; rest lad.
[40. ]Harl. ground; F. grounde. D. spradde; rest sprad.
[41. ]Harl. Cx. the; rest omit.
[42. ]F. Fulfilled; al.
[43. ]D. Cx. Lt. crowned; rest corouned.
[44. ]F. yevyng; Tn. gifeynge.
[45. ]F. B. Let; rest Lete.
[46. ]F. ryding; Tn. ridinge.
[47. ]F. bring; Tn. brynge.
[48. ]D. slye (rightly); Tn. sly; F. sley.
[50. ]F. thro. Harl. Tn. D. furious; F. furiouse.
[51. ]Harl. Tn. wrath; F. wrethe.
[52. ]F. hertis.
[53. ]F. B. Tn. insert and after Grece; which D. Lt. Harl. Cx. omit. Harl. yche othir for to kylle (a good reading). Cf. l. 56. F. eneriche.
[55. ]D. among; F. amonge. D. bothe; F. both (but wrothe in l. 56).
[56. ]F. eueriche.
[58. ]Harl. Parthonopee; Cx. Parthonope; D. Partonope; Tn. Partinope; F. B. Prothonolope (!).
[59. ]Harl. Tn. dede; F. ded. I supply was, which sense and metre require; Cx. supplies and. F. proude.
[60. ]So F. Tn. B. Lt.; Harl. D. Cx. put wrechid (wrecchid) for wrecches.
[61. ]Cx. hom; rest home.
[62. ]F. stode.
[66. ]F. helde.
[70. ]F. folke.
[72. ]Tn. dwellynge; F. duellyng.
[73. ]F. sunne; Harl. Tn. D. Cx. sonne.
[74. ]D. Through; F. Thorogh. Tn. sprynge; F. spring.
[75. ]Tn. likynge; F. likyng.
[77. ]Harl. Tn. D. Cx. the; F. thes.
[78. ]twenty is written xxii in the MSS. D. olde; Cx. olde; Lt. of olde; Harl. eld; rest of elde.
[79. ]Tn. mydelle; F. mydil. F. suche.
[80. ]F. Ioy.
[81. ]D. stedfastnesse; F. stidfastnesse.
[82. ]F. B. both; rest hath. Harl. Th. penelope; F. and others penolope.
[84. ]Harl. ne; rest om. Tn. myghte; F. myght.
[85. ]I supply Arcite; line too short. F. seyne.
[86. ]Harl. yong; F. yonge. Harl. there with alle (so D. Cx. Lt.); rest therto with al.
[87. ]F. pleyne.
[88. ]Harl. any; F. eny.
[89. ]D. Lt. Cx. wan; F. whan (!).
[90. ]F. ferforthe. F. can; rest gan.
[91. ]Th. Tn. Harl. trusteth; rest trusted; read trust. D. any; F. eny.
[93. ]F. eny throw.
[94. ]F. thoght; hert.
[95. ]F. bane.
[96. ]F. hert.
[101. ]Harl. Tn. D. B. swore (for swoor); Cx. sware; F. sworne.
[105. ]Tn. thenketh; F. thinketh.
[106. ]F. fonde; suche.
[107. ]F. B. wrongly insert both before moche; rest omit. F. B. and; rest or.
[109. ]Harl. Cx. that; rest omit.
[110. ]F. wiche; myght.
[111. ]Tn. yeuen; F. yevin.
[112. ]F. dyd her hert an ese; Harl. Cx. omit hert an; others vary.
[114, 118. ]D. any; F. eny.
[116. ]Tn. D. B. fulle; rest ful.
[119. ](See 126.) Harl. Cx. heste; rest herte, hert.
[120. ]F. eke. Tn. Ielous; F. Ielouse. D. Cx. here (for the rime); F. her.
[121. ]Harl. any; F. eny. F. seyde.
[123. ]F. worde. Harl. Tn. apayde; F. apaied; D. B. apaid.
[124. ]F. wend. Cx. brayd; Tn. breyde; F. breyed.
[125. ]Harl. Cx. this nas; rest was. D. sleight; Cx. sleyght; F. sleght.
[126. ]Harl. Withouten; F. With out; (and so in 119).
[127. ]F. toke. F. B. as; rest so.
[128. ]Harl. Tn. wille; F. wil. F. thoght. Koch proposes to omit hit.
[129. ]All ins. she after lenger; it is not wanted.
[131. ]F. ringe.
[132. ]Harl. Cx. So; rest For so. Harl. Tn. entente; F. entent.
[133. ]Tn. herte; F. hert. Harl. Tn. wente; F. went.
[135. ]F. toke; kepe.
[136. ]Harl. Cx. that; rest omit. Harl. D. Cx. reste; F. rest.
[137. ]Tn. thoghte; F. thoght. Harl. Tn. Cx. alwey; F. ay. F. slepe.
[138. ]F. wepe.
[139. ]Cx. fayr; F. feire.
[141. ]D. newfangilnesse; Tn. newfangulnes; F. new fanglesse.
[143. ]F. Toke. D. sted-; F. stid-.
[144. ]F. proude.
[145. ]Harl. D. cladde; F. clad.
[146. ]F. whethir.
[148. ]F. lesse grete.
[149. ]Harl. Cx. omit the, which F. and others insert after is.
[152. ]Harl. Tn. firste; F. first.
[154. ]F. founde.
[156. ]Harl. Tn. D. couer; Cx. couere; F. coueren.
[157. ]F. Tn. pleyn.
[159, 161. ]All swore.
[160. ]Harl. Tn. mente; F. ment.
[161. ]D. Cx. theef; F. thefe. Harl. Tn. wente; F. went.
[162. ]Tn. herte; F. hert. Cx. enduren; rest endure.
[167. ]F. feir.
[169. ]Cx. swowneth; D. sownyth; F. swoneth.
[170. ]Harl. Tn. D. grounde; F. ground. F. dede; ston.
[171. ]Harl. Al; rest om. Cx. Crampissheth; Lt. Crampuissheth; Tn. Crampicheth; F. cravmpysshe.
[172. ]F. agon.
[174. ]Harl. Noon; Cx. None; the rest insert Ne before Noon. For she speketh, all the MSS. have speketh she.
[175. ]F. mercie; hert.
[178. ]F. B. for; rest forth.
[179. ]Tn. D. nothir; F. nouther.
[180. ]F. wher; rest where.
[182. ]Harl. nought; Cx. not (for never). Harl. D. Cx. whether; but wher is short for whether. Cf. Compt. unto Pite, 110; see note.
[183. ]All but Harl. Cx. Th. insert up before so; see next line.
[184. ]F. bridil.
[185. ]F. worde. B. D. Lt. dredith; F. Tn. dred hit; Harl. Cx. drad; read dradde hit.
[187. ]Tn. Cx. liste; Harl. lyste; F. lust.
[190. ]Harl. Cx. vnnethe; F. vnneth. F. list.
[191. ]All un-to; read to.
[192. ]Cx. proud; F. proude. Harl. Cx. held; F. helde.
[193. ]Harl. withouten; F. with out. Harl. Cx. mete; rest fee. F. B. Lt. shippe; D. shipe; Cx. sype; Harl. shepe (!); Tn. shep (!).
[195. ]D. yaf; F. yafe.
[196. ]Harl. owne; F. ovne.
[197. ]Harl. Tn. D. thrifty; F. thrifte.
[198. ]B. here; F. her (i. e. here); Tn. D. here of; Cx. Lt. hede of.
[199. ]Tn. Cx. liste (pt. t.); F. list. Harl. Cx. dere herte; F. her der hert.
[200. ]All meke.
[201. ]All kynde (kinde). F. hert.
[203. ]Harl. Cx. he (twice); F. and others wrongly have they the 2nd time.
[205. ]F. Tn. be; rest by.
[206. ]F. sawe.
[208. ]Harl. Tn. caste; F. cast.
[209. ]Harl. owne; F. ovne.
[210. ]Th. sente; D. Cx. sende; rest sent. F. B. omit hit; rest retain.
[211. ]Harl. thirllethe; Cx. thirleth; F. B. thirled (!).
[212. ]B. swerd; F. suerde. F. y-whet; B. I-whet; rest whet;
[213. ]Tn. herte; F. hert. Harl. Tn. D. blak; F. blake.
[214. ]Harl. Cx. in. rest to; see 215.
[215. ]Tn. B. Lt. surete; F. suerte. F. B. in to; rest in. D. Cx. a whaped; Harl. a whaaped; F. a waped.
[216. ]Harl. for; rest om.
[217. ]Harl. trewest; F. truest. Harl. hir; Cx. her; F. and others him (but see l. 218).
[218. ]F. dothe.
[220. ]Harl. any; F. eny.
[221. ]F. hert.
[223. ]F. B. cleped; rest called. F. hertis life.
[227. ]Harl. D. Cx. B. plight; F. I-plyght.
[229. ]So Tn. Harl. Cx. D.; F. B. Alas now hath he left me causeles.
[232. ]Tn. herte, pees; F. hert, pes.
[233. ]B. caught; F. caght. Tn. D. Cx. lees; F. thought.
[234. ]F. B. me (!); rest him.
[235. ]F. hert.
[238. ]F. pleyn. Harl. Tn. harde; F. hard.
[239. ]F. yafe; hert.
[240. ]F. harme.
[241. ]F. certis. All be founde; but be is copied in from the line above; see l. 47.
[242. ]F. helpe.
[243. ]Tn. desteny; F. destany. F. B. om. ful.
[246. ]F. seide (twice).
[252. ]F. souereigne.
[253. ]I supply and from Cx.; Harl. has And is there nowe neyther.
[254. ]Lt. vouchesauf; Cx. vouchen sauf; F. vouchesafe.
[256. ]F. certis.
[257. ]F. B. causer (for caus-e); rest cause.
[258. ]F. dedely.
[259. ]F. oght.
[260. ]Harl. Lt. slee; Tn. D. Cx. sle; F. slene. F. frende.
[263. ]Harl. wot; F. wote.
[264, 265. ]Harl. Cx. But for I was so pleyne, Arcyte, In alle my werkes, much and lyte; and omit was in l. 266.
[267. ]F. honor. Tn. saue; F. D. safe; Harl. Cx. sauf.
[268. ]F. put.
[269. ]Harl. Tn. recche; F. rek.
[270. ]F. B. om. that. F. suerde.
[271. ]Tn. herte; F. hert. F. thro.
[272. ]F. suete.
[274. ]Harl. Tn. vntrewe; F. vntrew.
[275. ]Harl. putte; F. put.
[278. ]Tn. D. Ff. Lt. turne; rest come.
[279. ]Tn. Harl. Cx. D. Lt. And then shall this that now is mis ben (be); F. B. And turne al this that hath be mys to.
[280. ]F. foryeve; Tn. foryife; Harl. 372, foryiue (rightly).
[281. ]F. hert. Harl. seyne (gerund); F. seyn.
[282. ]F. wheder; prey; pleyn.
[284, 5, 8. ]F. cheyn, tweyn, peyn.
[288. ]D. verily; F. verrely.
[290. ]Harl. Cx. omit this stanza. F. dethe (wrongly); rest deth. All soght, sought; read y-soght.
[291. ]D. B. mordre; F. mourdre.
[292. ]F. vnkyndnesse.
[293. ]Tn. D. faste; F. fast.
[296. ]F. avaunt. Tn. B. Lt. bet; F. beter.
[298. ]Tn. Lt. With oute; F. With out.
[299. ]Some of the final rimes in this stanza are forced ones. F. B. shal; rest sholde (shulde). F. prey.
[300. ]F. dethe; Harl. Cx. dye. F. foule.
[301. ]F. mercie. Tn. gilteles; F. giltles.
[302. ]Harl. pleyne; F. pleyn. F. lyfe. Harl. Cx. ins. that; F. and others omit.
[304. ]Tn. D. unto; F. to.
[305. ]F. skorne.
[306. ]F. B. om. hit.
[307. ]F. and others insert to before have; Tn. D. Lt. Cx. omit.
[308. ]D. hadde; F. had.
[309. ]F. Apprile; Harl. Aueryll.
[310. ]F. B. yow be; rest om. be. F. stidfast.
[311. ]F. souereigne.
[312. ]F. slayn.
[313. ]Tn. D. Lt. She; Harl. Sheo; rest Who. F. B. insert she before shal.
[314. ]F. om. 1st a.
[315. ]Is] F. this (!)
[316. ]Harl. fleen; Cx. fle (for renne). F. lest.
[317. ]Harl. Cx. But; rest Now. F. mercie. F. myssey (omitting e in -eye throughout, wrongly); Harl. myssaye, &c.
[318. ]So F. B.; rest Have I ought seyd out of the weye. F. seyde.
[319. ]Harl. Cx. half (for al).
[320. ]F. dothe; songe. F. chaunt plure; Harl. Chaunte pleure.
[321. ]F. pleyn.
[323. ]F. borne.
[325. ]Harl. Cx. nys; F. B. D. ther is no; Tn. ther nis no (too many syllables).
[328. ]F. furlonge. F. B. other (for or); rest or.
[329. ]F. thenketh; Tn. thynketh.
[330. ]Tn. stant; F. stont.
[331. ]Harl. Cx. To profren efte; D. Tn. Lt. Efte to profre; F. B. To suere yet. Tn. D. Cx. Lt. assure; F. asure.
[332. ]F. trew; mercie. Harl. and love me til I dye; Cx. and love me til he deye.
[334. ]F. B. this; D. Tn. suche; Harl. Cx. thilke.
[335. ]F. reche; Tn. D. recche; and so with feche, &c.
[339. ]F. destany; Tn. destyne (for the rime).
[341. ]F. weyke.
[343. ]Harl. D. Cx. yeve; F. yf; Tn. gife.
[344. ]F. efte. Tn. Cx. putten; F. put.
[347. ]Tn. deth; F. dethe. Tn. D. Lt. Ff. insert in; rest om.
[348. ]Harl. Tn. destenye; D. destynye; F. destany.
[349. ]F. Analida. F. B. to; rest so.
[351. ]This stanza only occurs in Tn. D. Lt. Ff. Th.; I follow Tn. mainly. Tn. Annelida; wofull.
[352. ]Tn. Lt. Ff. of; D. with.
[353. ]D. Th. deed; rest dede. D. betwixe; Th. betwyxe; Ff. bitwixte; Tn. Lt. betwix.
[354. ]Tn. felle; Th. fel. Ff. a swowe; Tn. a swow.
[355. ]Lt. Th. avoweth; D. avowith; Tn. avoyth.
[356. ]Tn. With-Inne; rest With-in. Tn. sorofulle.
[357. ]Tn. shapyn; aftyr. shal after] Lt. Th. may plainly.
[1.]In comparing the first three stanzas with the Teseide, we must reverse the order of the stanzas in the latter poem. Stanza 1 of Anelida answers to st. 3 of the Italian; stanza 2, to st. 2; and stanza 3 to st. 1. The first two lines of lib. 1. st. 3 (of the Italian) are:—
I. e. Be present, O Mars the red, strong and fierce in thy arms (battle-array). For the words Be present, see l. 6.
[2.]Trace, Thrace. Cf. Kn. Tale, 1114-6 (A 1972-4). Chaucer was here thinking of Statius, Theb. lib. vii. 40, who describes the temple of Mars on Mount Hæmus, in Thrace, which had a frosty climate. In bk. ii, l. 719, Pallas is invoked as being superior to Bellona. Chaucer seems to confuse them; so does Boccaccio, in his De Genealogia Deorum.
[6, 7.]Partly imitated from Tes. i. 3:—
[8-10.]Imitated from Tes. i. 2:—
Thus it appears that, when speaking of his finding an old story in Latin, he is actually translating from an Italian poem which treats of a story not found in Latin! That is, his words give no indication whatever of the source of his poem; but are merely used in a purely conventional manner. His ‘old story’ is really that of the siege of Thebes; and his Latin is the Thebais of Statius. And neither of them speaks of Anelida!
[15.]Read fávourábl’. Imitated from Tes. i. 1:—
Polymnia, Polyhymnia, also spelt Polymnia, Gk. Πολυμνία; one of the nine Muses. Chaucer invokes the muse Clio in Troil. bk. ii, and Calliope in bk. iii. Cf. Ho. of Fame, 520-2. Parnaso, Parnassus, a mountain in Phocis sacred to Apollo and the Muses, at whose foot was Delphi and the Castalian spring. Elicon, mount Helicon in Bœotia; Chaucer seems to have been thinking rather of the Castalian spring, as he uses the prep. by, and supposes Elicon to be near Parnaso. See the Italian, as quoted above; and note that, in the Ho. of Fame, 522, he says that Helicon is a well.
[17.]Cirrea, Cirra. Chaucer was thinking of the adj. Cirræus. Cirra was an ancient town near Delphi, under Parnassus. Dante mentions Cirra, Parad. i. 36; and Parnaso just above, l. 16. Perhaps Chaucer took it from him.
[20.]A common simile. So Spenser, F. Q. i. 12. 1, 42; and at the end of the Thebaid and the Teseide both.
[21.]Stace, Statius; i. e. the Thebaid; whence some of the next stanzas are more or less borrowed. Chaucer epitomises the general contents of the Thebaid in his Troilus; v. 1484, &c.
[22.]The verses from Statius, preserved in the MSS., are the three lines following; from Thebais, xii. 519:—
The first line and half the second appear also in the MSS. of the Canterbury Tales, at the head of the Knightes Tale, which commences, so to speak, at the same point (l. 765 in Lewis’s translation of the Thebaid). Comparing these lines of Statius with the lines in Chaucer, we at once see how he came by the word aspre and the expression With laurer crouned. The whole of this stanza (ll. 22-28) is expanded from the three lines here quoted.
[28.]Cithe, Scythia; see last note. See Kn. Tale, 9 (A 867).
[24.]Cf. Kn. Tale, 169, 121 (A 1027, 979).
[25.]Contre-houses, houses of his country, homes (used of Theseus and his army). It exactly reproduces the Lat. domos patrias. See Kn. Tale, 11 (A 869).
[29-35.]Chaucer merely takes the general idea from Statius, and expands it in his own way. Lewis’s translation of Statius has:—
but the Lat. text has—
And, just below, is a brief mention of Hippolyta, who had been wedded to Theseus.
[30, 1.]Cf. Kn. Tale, 117, 118 (A 975). See note above.
[36, 7.]Cf. Kn. Tale, 23, 24 (A 881, 2); observe the order of words.
[38.]Repeated in Kn. Tale, 114 (A 972); changing With to And.
[43-6.]Cf. Kn. Tale, 14, 15, 169 (A 872-3, 1027).
[47.]Here we are told that the story is really to begin. Chaucer now returns from Statius (whom he has nearly done with) to the Teseide, and the next three stanzas, ll. 50-70, are more or less imitated from that poem, lib. ii. st. 10-12.
[50-6.]Boccaccio is giving a sort of summary of the result of the war described in the Thebaid. His words are:—
[57-63.]Imitated from Tes. ii. 11:—
See also Troilus, v. 1499-1510.
[57.]Amphiorax; so in Troilus, ii. 105, v. 1500; Cant. Tales, 6323 (D 741); and in Lydgate’s Siege of Thebes. Amphiaraus is meant; he accompanied Polynices, and was swallowed up by the earth during the siege of Thebes; Statius, Thebais, lib. vii. (at the end); Dante, Inf. xx. 34. Tydeus and Polynices married the two daughters of Adrastus. The heroic acts of Tydeus are recorded in the Thebaid. See Lydgate, Siege of Thebes; or the extract from it in my Specimens of English.
[58.]Ipomedon, Hippomedon; one of the seven chiefs who engaged in the war against Thebes. Parthonopee, Parthenopæus, son of Meleager and Atalanta; another of the seven chiefs. For the account of their deaths, see the Thebaid, lib. ix.
[59.]Campaneus; spelt Cappaneus, Capaneus in Kn. Tale, 74 (A 932); Troil. v. 1504. Thynne, in his Animadversions on Speght’s Chaucer (ed. Furnivall, p. 43), defends the spelling Campaneus on the ground that it was the usual medieval spelling; and refers us to Gower and Lydgate. In Pauli’s edition of Gower, i. 108, it is Capaneus. Lydgate has Campaneus; Siege of Thebes, pt. iii. near the beginning. Capaneus is the right Latin form; he was one of the seven chiefs, and was struck with lightning by Jupiter whilst scaling the walls of Thebes; Statius, Theb. lib. x (at the end). Cf. Dante, Inf. xiv. 63. As to the form Campaneus, cf. Ital. Campidoglio with Lat. Capitolium.
[60.]‘The Theban wretches, the two brothers;’ i. e. Eteocles and Polynices, who caused the war. Cf. Troil. v. 1507.
[61.]Adrastus, king of Argos, who assisted his son-in-law Polynices, and survived the war; Theb. lib. xi. 441.
[63.]‘That no man knew of any remedy for his (own) misery.’ Care, anxiety, misery. At this line Chaucer begins upon st. 12 of the second book of the Teseide, which runs thus:—
Cf. Knightes Tale, 80-4 (A 938).
[71.]From this point onward, Chaucer’s work is, as far as we know at present, original. He seems to be intending to draw a portrait of a queen of Armenia who is neglected by her lover, in distinct contrast to Emilia, sister of the queen of Scythia, who had a pair of lovers devoted to her service.
[72.]Ermony, Armenia; the usual M. E. form.
[78.]Of twenty yeer of elde, of twenty years of age; so in MSS. F., Tn., and Harl. 372. See note to l. 80.
[80.]Behelde; so in MSS. Harl., F.; and Harl. 372 has beheelde. I should hesitate to accept this form instead of the usual beholde, but for its occurrence in Gower, Conf. Amant., ed. Pauli, iii. 147:—
So also in the Moral Ode, l. 288, the Trinity MS. has the infin. behealde, and the Lambeth MS. has bihelde. It appears to be a Southern form, adopted here for the rime, like ken for kin in Book of the Duch. 438.
[82.]Penelope and Lucretia are favourite examples of constancy; see C. T., Group B, 63, 75; Book Duch. 1081-2; Leg. Good Women, 252, 257. Read Penélop’, not Pénelóp’, as in B. D. 1081.
[84.]Amended. Compare what is said of Zenobia; C. T., B 3444.
[85.]I have supplied Arcite, which the MSS. strangely omit. It is necessary to name him here, to introduce him; and the line is else too short. Chaucer frequently shifts the accent upon this name, so that there is nothing wrong about either Arcíte here, or Árcite in l. 92. See Kn. Tale, 173, 344, 361, &c. on the one hand; and lines 1297, 1885 on the other. And see l. 140 below.
[91.]Read trust, the contracted form of trusteth.
[98.]‘As, indeed, it is needless for men to learn such craftiness.’
[105.]A proverbial expression; see Squi. Tale, F 537. The character of Arcite is precisely that of the false tercelet in Part II. of the Squieres Tale; and Anelida is like the falcon in the same. Both here and in the Squieres Tale we find the allusions to Lamech, and to blue as the colour of constancy; see notes to ll. 146, 150, 161-9 below.
[119.]Cf. Squi. Tale, F 569.
[128.]‘That all his will, it seemed to her,’ &c. A common idiom. Koch would omit hit, for the sake of the metre; but it makes no difference at all, the e in thoghte being elided.
[141.]New-fangelnesse; see p. 409, l. 1, and Squi. Tale, F 610.
[145.]In her hewe, in her colours: he wore the colours which she affected. This was a common method of shewing devotion to a lady.
[146.]Observe the satire in this line. Arcite is supposed to have worn white, red, or green; but he did not wear blue, for that was the colour of constancy. Cf. Squi. Tale, F 644, and the note; and see l. 330 below; also p. 409, l. 7.
[150.]Cf. Squi. Tale, F 550. I have elsewhere drawn attention to the resemblance between this poem and the Squieres Tale, in my note to l. 548 of that Tale. Cf. also Cant. Tales, 5636 (D 54). The reference is to Gen. iv. 19—‘And Lamech took unto him two wives.’ In l. 154, Chaucer curiously confounds him with Jabal, Lamech’s son, who was ‘the father of such as dwell in tents’; Gen. iv. 20.
[155.]Arcít-e; trisyllabic, as frequently in Kn. Tale.
[157.]‘Like a wicked horse, which generally shrieks when it bites’; Bell. This explanation is clearly wrong. The line is repeated, with the slight change of pleyne to whyne, in C. T. 5968 (D 386). To pleyne or to whyne means to utter a plaintive cry, or to whinny; and the sense is—‘Like a horse, (of doubtful temper), which can either bite or whinny (as if wanting a caress).’
[161.]Theef, false wretch; cf. Squi. Tale, F 537.
[162.]Cf. Squi. Tale, F 462, 632.
[166.]Cf. Squi. Tale, F 448.
[169.]Cf. Squi. Tale, F 412, 417, 430, 631.
[171.]Al crampissheth, she draws all together, contracts convulsively; formed from cramp. I know of but four other examples of the use of this word.
As this gives no sense, it is clear that crampeshe at is an error for crampisheth or crampished, which Lydgate probably adopted from the present passage.
Skelton has encraumpysshed, Garland of Laurell, 16; and Dyce’s note gives an example of craumpishing from Lydgate’s Wars of Troy, bk. iv. c. 33, sig. Xv. col. 4, ed. 1555.
[175.]In Kn. Tale, 1950 (A 2808), it is Arcite who says ‘mercy!’
[176.]Read endur’th. Mate, exhausted.
[177.]Read n’hath. Sustene, support herself; cf. C. T. 11173 (F 861).
[178.]Forth is here equivalent to ‘continues’; is or dwelleth is understood. Read languísshing.
[180.]Grene, fresh; probably with a reference to green as being the colour of inconstancy.
[182.]Nearly repeated in Kn. Tale, 1539 (A 2397); cf. Comp. unto Pity, 110. Cf. Compl. to his Lady, 52.
[183.]If up is to be retained before so, change holdeth into halt. ‘His new lady reins him in by the bridle so tightly (harnessed as he is) at the end of the shaft (of her car), that he fears every word like an arrow.’ The image is that of a horse, tightly fastened to the ends of the shafts of a car, and then so hardly reined in that he fears every word of the driver; he expects a cut with the whip, and he cannot get away.
[193.]Fee or shipe, fee or reward. The scarce word shipe being misunderstood, many MSS. give corrupt readings. But it occurs in the Persones Tale, Group I, 568, where Chaucer explains it by ‘hyre’; and in the Ayenbite of Inwit, p. 33. It is the A. S. scipe. ‘Stipendium, scipe’; Wright’s Vocabularies, 114. 34.
[194.]Sent, short for sendeth; cf. serveth above. Cf. Book of Duch. 1024.
[202.]Also, as; ‘as may God save me.’
[206.]Hir ne gat no geyn, she obtained for herself no advantage.
[211.]The metre now becomes extremely artificial. The first stanza is introductory. Its nine lines are rimed a a b a a b b a b, with only two rimes. I set back lines 3, 6, 7, 9, to show the arrangement more clearly. The next four stanzas are in the same metre. The construction is obscure, but is cleared up by l. 350, which is its echo, and again by ll. 270-1. Swerd is the nom. case, and thirleth is its verb; ‘the sword of sorrow, whetted with false complaisance, so pierces my heart, (now) bare of bliss and black in hue, with the (keen) point of (tender) recollection.’ Chaucer’s ‘with . . . remembrance’ is precisely Dante’s ‘Per la puntura della rimembranza’; Purg. xii. 20.
[214.]Cf. The Compleint to his Lady, l. 55.
[215.]Awhaped, amazed, stupified. To the examples in the New E. Dict. add—‘Sole by himself, awhaped and amate’; Compl. of the Black Knight, 168.
[216.]Cf. the Compleint to his Lady, l. 123.
[218.]That, who: relative to hir above.
[220.]Observe how the stanza, which I here number as 1, is echoed by the stanza below, ll. 281-289; and so of the rest.
[222.]Nearly repeated in the Compl. to his Lady, l. 35.
[237.]Repeated from the Compl. to his Lady, l. 50.
[241.]Founde, seek after; A. S. fundian. For founde, all the MSS. have be founde, but the be is merely copied in from be more in l. 240. If we retain be, then befounde must be a compound verb, with the same sense as before; but there is no known example of this verb, though the related strong verb befinden is not uncommon. But see l. 47 above. With l. 242 cf. Rom. Rose, 966 (p. 134).
[247.]Cf. Compl. to his Lady, ll. 107, 108.
[256-71.]This stanza is in the same metre as that marked 5 below, ll. 317-332. It is very complex, consisting of 16 lines of varying length. The lines which I have set back have but four accents; the rest have five. The rimes in the first eight lines are arranged in the order a a a b a a a b; in the last eight lines this order is precisely reversed, giving b b b a b b b a; so that the whole forms a virelay.
[260.]Namely, especially, in particular.
[262.]‘Offended you, as surely as (I hope that) He who knows everything may free my soul from woe.’
[265.]This refers to ll. 113-5 above.
[267.]Read sav-e, mek-e; or the line will be too short.
[270.]Refers to ll. 211-3 above.
[272.]This stanza answers to that marked 6 below, ll. 333-341. It is the most complex of all, as the lines contain internal rimes. The lines are of the normal length, and arranged with the end-rimes a a b a a b b a b, as in the stanzas marked 1 to 4 above. Every line has an internal rime, viz. at the second and fourth accents. In ll. 274, 280, this internal rime is a feminine one, which leaves but one syllable (viz. nay, may) to complete these lines.
[279.]‘And then shall this, which is now wrong, (turn) into a jest; and all (shall be) forgiven, whilst I may live.’
[281.]The stanza here marked I answers to the stanza so marked above; and so of the rest. The metre has already been explained.
[286.]‘There are no other fresh intermediate ways.’
[299.]‘And must I pray (to you), and so cast aside womanhood?’ It is not for the woman to sue to the man. Compare l. 332.
[301.]Nēd-e, with long close e, rimes with bēde, mēde, hēde.
[302.]‘And if I lament as to what life I lead.’
[306.]‘Your demeanour may be said to flower, but it bears no seed.’ There is much promise, but no performance.
[309.]Holde, keep back. The spelling Averyll (or Auerill) occurs in MS. Harl. 7333, MS. Addit. 16165, and MSS. T. and P. It is much better than the Aprill or Aprille in the rest. I would also read Averill or Aperil in Troil. i. 156.
[313.]Who that, whosoever. Fast, trustworthy.
[315.]Tame, properly tamed. From Rom. Rose, 9945:—
[320.]Chaunte-pleure. Godefroy says that there was a celebrated poem of the 13th century named Chantepleure or Pleurechante; and that it was addressed to those who sing in this world and will weep in the next. Hence also the word was particularly used to signify any complaint or lament, or a chant at the burial-service. One of his quotations is:—‘Heu brevis honor qui v x duravit per diem, sed longus dolor qui usque ad mortem, gallicè la chantepleure’; J. de Aluet, Serm., Richel. l. 14961, fol. 195, verso. And again:—
Tyrwhitt says:—‘A sort of proverbial expression for singing and weeping successively [rather, little singing followed by much weeping]. See Lydgate, Trag. [i. e. Fall of Princes] st. the last; where he says that his book is ‘Lyke Chantepleure, now singing now weping.’ In MS. Harl. 4333 is a Ballad which turns upon this expression. It begins: ‘Moult vaut mieux pleure-chante que ne fait chante-pleure.’ Clearly the last expression means, that short grief followed by long joy is better than brief joy followed by long grief. The fitness of the application in the present instance is obvious.
So also in Lydgate’s Siege of Troye, bk. ii. c. 11; ed. 1555, Fol. F 6, back, col. 2.
[328.]A furlong-wey meant the time during which one can walk a furlong, at three miles an hour. A mile-way is twenty minutes; a furlong-wey is two minutes and a half; and the double of it is five minutes. But the strict sense need not be insisted on here.
[330.]Asure, true blue; the colour of constancy; see l. 332.
So in Troil. iii. 885—‘bereth him this blewe ring.’ And see Sect. XXI. I. 7 (p. 409), and the note.
[332.]‘And to pray to me for mercy.’ Cf. ll. 299, 300.
[338.]They, i. e. your ruth and your truth.
[341.]‘My wit cannot reach, it is so weak.’
[342.]Here follows the concluding stanza of the Complaint.
[344.]Read—For I shal ne’er (or nev’r) eft pútten.
[346.]See note to Parl. of Foules, 342.
[350.]This line re-echoes l. 211.
[357.]The reason why the Poem ends here is sufficiently obvious. Here must have followed the description of the temple of Mars, written in seven-line stanzas. But it was all rewritten in a new metre, and is preserved to us, for all time, in the famous passage in the Knightes Tale; ll. 1109-1192 (A 1967).
[63.]‘That no man knew of any remedy for his (own) misery.’ Care, anxiety, misery. At this line Chaucer begins upon st. 12 of the second book of the Teseide, which runs thus:—
Cf. Knightes Tale, 80-4 (A 938).
[1 ]Voto, ‘hollow, voide, empty’; Florio.