Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK I. - The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 2 (Boethius, Troilus)
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BOOK I. - Geoffrey Chaucer, The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 2 (Boethius, Troilus) 
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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Carmina qui quondam studio florente peregi.
C. = MS. Ii. 3. 21, Cambridge; A. = MS. Addit. 10340 (Brit. Mus.). The text follows C. mainly. Ed. = Printed edition (1532), quoted occasionally.
1, 2. Imperfect in C.
Allas! I, weping, am constreined to biginnen vers of sorowful[ ] matere, that whylom in florisching studie made delitable ditees. For lo! rendinge Muses of poetes endyten to me thinges to be[ ] writen; and drery vers of wrecchednesse weten my face with verray teres. At the leeste, no drede ne mighte overcomen tho5 Muses, that they ne weren felawes, and folweden my wey, that is[ ]to seyn, whan I was exyled; they that weren glorie of my youthe, whylom weleful and grene, comforten now the sorowful werdes of[ ] me, olde man. For elde is comen unwarly upon me, hasted by the harmes that I have, and sorow hath comaunded his age to be10 in me. Heres hore ben shad overtymeliche upon myn heved, and the slake skin trembleth upon myn empted body. Thilke[ ] deeth of men is weleful that ne cometh not in yeres that ben[ ] swete, but cometh to wrecches, often y-cleped.[ ]
Allas! allas! with how deef an ere deeth, cruel, torneth awey15 fro wrecches, and naiteth to closen wepinge eyen! Whyl Fortune,[ ] unfeithful, favorede me with lighte goodes, the sorowful houre,[ ]that is to seyn, the deeth, hadde almost dreynt myn heved. But[ ] now, for Fortune cloudy hath chaunged hir deceyvable chere to20 me-ward, myn unpitous lyf draweth a-long unagreable dwellinges in me. O ye, my frendes, what or wherto avauntede ye me to ben weleful? for he that hath fallen stood nat in stedefast[ ] degree.
Hec dum mecum tacitus ipse reputarem.
Whyle that I stille recordede thise thinges with my-self, and markede my weeply compleynte with office of pointel, I saw ,[ ] stondinge aboven the heighte of myn heved, a woman of ful greet reverence by semblaunt, hir eyen brenninge and cleer-seinge over5 the comune might of men; with a lyfly colour, and with swich vigour and strengthe that it ne mighte nat ben empted ; al were it[ ] so that she was ful of so greet age, that men ne wolde nat trowen, in no manere, that she were of oure elde. The stature of hir was of a doutous Iugement; for som-tyme she constreinede and shronk[ ]10 hir-selven lyk to the comune mesure of men, and sum-tyme it semede that she touchede the hevene with the heighte of hir heved; and whan she heef hir heved hyer, she percede the[ ] selve hevene, so that the sighte of men looking was in ydel. Hir[ ] clothes weren maked of right delye thredes and subtil crafte, of[ ]15 perdurable matere; the whiche clothes she hadde woven with hir owene hondes, as I knew wel after by hir-self, declaringe and shewinge to me the beautee; the whiche clothes a derknesse of a forleten and dispysed elde hadde dusked and derked, as it is wont[ ] to derkenbi-smokede images.
20In the nethereste hem or bordure of thise clothes men redden, y-woven in, a Grekissh P, thatsignifyeththe lyf Actif; and aboven[ ] that lettre, in the heyeste bordure, a Grekissh T , thatsignifyeththe lyf Contemplatif. And bi-twixen these two lettres ther weren seyn degrees, nobly y-wroght in manere of laddres; by whiche degrees men mighten climben fro the nethereste lettre to the25uppereste . Natheles, handes of some men hadde corven that cloth[ ] by violence and by strengthe; and everiche man of hem hadde born awey swiche peces as he mighte geten. And forsothe, this forseide woman bar smale bokes in hir right hand, and in hir left hand she bar a ceptre.30
And whan she say thise poetical Muses aprochen aboute my bed, and endytinge wordes to my wepinges, she was a litel amoved , and glowede with cruel eyen. ‘Who,’ quod she, ‘hath[ ] suffred aprochen to this syke man thise comune strompetes of[ ] swich a place that men clepen the theatre? The whiche nat35 only ne asswagen nat hise sorwes with none remedies, but they wolden feden and norisshen hem with swete venim. Forsothe, thise ben tho that with thornes and prikkinges of talents or affecciouns, whiche that ne ben no-thing fructefyinge nor[ ] profitable, destroyen the corn plentevous of fruites of resoun;40 for they holden the hertes of men in usage, but they ne delivere[ ] nat folk fro maladye . But if ye Muses hadden withdrawen fro me, with your flateryes, any uncunninge and unprofitable man, as men ben wont to finde comunly amonges the people , I wolde wene suffre the lasse grevously ; for-why, in swiche an unprofitable[ ]45 man, myn ententes ne weren no-thing endamaged. But ye withdrawen me this man, that hath be norisshed in the studies or[ ]scoles of Eleaticis and of Achademicis in Grece. But goth now rather awey, ye mermaidenes, whiche that ben swete til it be at[ ] the laste, and suffreth this man to be cured and heled by myne50 Muses,’ that is to seyn, by noteful sciences.
55And I, of whom the sighte, plounged in teres, was derked so[ ] that I ne mighte not knowen what that womman was, of so imperial auctoritee, I wex al abaisshed and astoned, and caste my sighte doun to the erthe, and bigan stille for to abyde what she wolde don afterward. Tho com she ner , and sette hir doun up-on[ ]60 the uttereste corner of my bed; and she, biholdinge my chere, that was cast to the erthe, hevy and grevous of wepinge, compleinede , with thise wordes that I shal seyen, the perturbacioun of my thought .
Heu quam precipiti mersa profundo.
‘Allas! how the thought of man, dreint in over-throwinge deepnesse, dulleth, and forleteth his propre cleernesse, mintinge[ ] to goon in-to foreine derknesses , as ofte as his anoyous bisinesse wexeth with-oute mesure, that is driven to and fro with worldly5 windes! This man, that whylom was free, to whom the hevene was open and knowen, and was wont to goon in heveneliche pathes, and saugh the lightnesse of the rede sonne, and saugh the sterres of the colde mone, and whiche sterre in hevene useth[ ] wandering recourses, y-flit by dyverse speres—this man, overcomer,[ ]10 hadde comprehended al this by noumbre of acountinge in astronomye. And over this, he was wont to seken the causes whennes the souning windes moeven and bisien the smothe water of the see; and what spirit torneth the stable hevene; and why the sterre aryseth out of the rede eest , to fallen in the westrene15 wawes; and what atempreth the lusty houres of the firste somer sesoun, that highteth and apparaileth the erthe with rosene flowres;[ ] and who maketh that plentevouse autompne , in fulle yeres, fleteth[ ] with hevy grapes. And eek this man was wont to telle the dyverse causes of nature that weren y-hidde . Allas! now lyeth he empted of light of his thought; and his nekke is pressed with[ ]20 hevy cheynes; and bereth his chere enclyned adoun for the grete weighte, and is constreined to looken on the fool erthe![ ]
Set medicine, inquit, tempus est.
But tyme is now,’ quod she, ‘of medicine more than of compleinte.’ Forsothe than she, entendinge to me-ward with alle the lookinge of hir eyen, seide:—‘Art nat thou he,’ quod she, ‘that whylom y-norisshed with my milk, and fostered with myne metes, were escaped and comen to corage of a parfit man?5 Certes, I yaf thee swiche armures that, yif thou thy-self ne[ ] haddest first cast hem a-wey, they shulden han defended thee in sikernesse that may nat ben over-comen. Knowest thou me[ ] nat? Why art thou stille? Is it for shame or for astoninge ? It were me lever that it were for shame; but it semeth me that10 astoninge hath oppressed thee.’ And whan she say me nat only stille, but with-outen office of tunge and al doumb, she leide hir hand softely upon my brest, and seide: ‘Here nis no peril,’ quod she; ‘he is fallen into a litargie , whiche that is a comune sykenes[ ] to hertes that ben deceived . He hath a litel foryeten him-self,15 but certes he shal lightly remembren him-self, yif so be that he hath knowen me or now; and that he may so don, I wil wypen a litel his eyen, that ben derked by the cloude of mortal thinges.’ Thise wordes seide she, and with the lappe of hir garment, y-plyted[ ] in a frounce, she dryede myn eyen, that weren fulle of the wawes20 of my wepinges.
Tunc me discussa liquerunt nocte tenebre.
Thus, whan that night was discussed and chased a-wey,[ ]derknesses forleften me, and to myn eyen repeirede ayein hir firste strengthe. And, right by ensaumple as the sonne is hid whan the sterres ben clustred (that is to seyn, whan sterres ben[ ]5covered with cloudes) by a swifte winde that highte Chorus, and[ ] that the firmament stant derked by wete ploungy cloudes, and[ ] that the sterres nat apperen up-on hevene, so that the night semeth sprad up-on erthe: yif thanne the wind that highte Borias,[ ] y-sent out of the caves of the contree of Trace, beteth this night[ ]10 (that is to seyn, chaseth it a-wey), and descovereth the closed day: than shyneth Phebus y-shaken with sodein light, and smyteth[ ] with his bemes in mervelinge eyen.
Hand aliter tristicie nebulis dissolutis.
Right so, and non other wyse, the cloudes of sorwe dissolved and don a-wey, I took hevene, and receivede minde to knowen the[ ] face of my fysicien ; so that I sette myn eyen on hir, and fastnede my lookinge. I beholde my norice Philosophie, in whos houses[ ]5 I hadde conversed and haunted fro my youthe; and I seide thus. ‘O thou maistresse of alle vertues , descended from the soverein sete, why artow comen in-to this solitarie place of myn exil? Artow comen for thou art maked coupable with me of false blames?’
4. Lat. respicio.
10‘O,’ quod she, ‘my norry, sholde I forsaken thee now, and[ ] sholde I nat parten with thee, by comune travaile, the charge[ ] that thou hast suffred for envie of my name? Certes, it nere not leveful ne sittinge thing to Philosophie, to leten with-outen companye the wey of him that is innocent. Sholde I thanne15 redoute my blame, and agrysen as though ther were bifallen a[ ] newe thing? quasi diceret, non. For trowestow that Philosophie[ ] be now alderfirst assailed in perils by folk of wikkede maneres? Have I nat striven with ful greet stryf, in olde tyme, bifore the age of my Plato, ayeines the foolhardinesse of folye? And eek,[ ]20 the same Plato livinge, his maister Socrates deservede victorie of unrightful deeth in my presence. The heritage of which Socrates[ ] —the heritage is to seyn the doctrine of the whiche Socrates in his opinioun of Felicitee, that I clepe welefulnesse—whan that the poeple of Epicuriens and Stoiciens and many othre enforceden hem to go ravisshe everich man for his part—that is to seyn,25that everich of hem wolde drawen to thedefenceof his opinioun the wordes of Socrates—they, as in partie of hir preye, to-drowen me, cryinge and debatinge ther-ayeins, and corven and to-renten my clothes that I hadde woven with myn handes; and with tho cloutes that they hadden araced out of my clothes they wenten30 awey, weninge that I hadde gon with hem everydel.
In whiche Epicuriens and Stoiciens, for as moche as ther semede some traces or steppes of myn habite, the folye of men, weninge tho Epicuriens and Stoiciens my famuleres , perverted (sc. persequendo) some through the errour of the wikkede or uncunninge35 multitude of hem. This is to seynthat , for they semede philosophres, they weren pursued to the deeth and slayn. So yif thou hast nat knowen the exilinge of Anaxogore, ne the enpoysoninge of[ ] Socrates, ne the tourments of Zeno, for they weren straungeres:[ ] yit mightestow han knowen the Senecciens and the Canios and[ ]40 the Sorans, of whiche folk the renoun is neither over-olde ne[ ] unsolempne. The whiche men, no-thing elles ne broughte hem to[ ] the deeth but only for they weren enfourmed of myne maneres, and semeden most unlyke to the studies of wikkede folk. And forthy thou oughtest nat to wondren though that I, in the bittre45 see of this lyf, be fordriven with tempestes blowinge aboute, in the whiche tempestes this is my most purpos, that is to seyn, to displesen to wikkede men. Of whiche shrewes, al be the ost never so greet, it is to dispyse; for it nis governed with no leder[ ] of resoun, but it is ravisshed only by fletinge errour folyly and50 lightly. And if they som-tyme, makinge an ost ayeins us, assaile us as strenger, our leder draweth to-gidere hise richesses in-to his tour, and they ben ententif aboute sarpulers or sachels unprofitable[ ] for to taken. But we that ben heye aboven, siker fro alle[ ]55tumulte and wode noise, warnestored and enclosed in swich a palis , whider as that chateringe or anoyinge folye ne may nat atayne , we scorne swiche ravineres and henteres of fouleste thinges.
Quisquis composito serenus euo.
Who-so it be that is cleer of vertu, sad, and wel ordinat of livinge , that hath put under foot the proude werdes and looketh upright up-on either fortune, he may holde his chere undiscomfited .[ ] The rage ne the manaces of the see, commoevinge or5 chasinge upward hete fro the botme, ne shal not moeve that[ ] man; ne the unstable mountaigne that highte Vesevus, that[ ]wrytheth out through his brokene chiminees smokinge fyres. Ne[ ] the wey of thonder-light, that is wont to smyten heye toures, ne[ ][ ] shal nat moeve that man. Wher-to thanne, o wrecches, drede ye10 tirauntes that ben wode and felonous with-oute any strengthe? Hope after no-thing, ne drede nat; and so shaltow desarmen the ire of thilke unmighty tiraunt. But who-so that, quakinge, dredeth or desireth thing that nis nat stable of his right, that[ ] man that so doth hath cast awey his sheld and is remoeved fro15 his place, and enlaceth him in the cheyne with the which he may ben drawen.
Sentisne, inquit, hec.
‘Felestow ,’ quod she, ‘thise thinges, and entren they aught in thy corage? Artow lyke an asse to the harpe? Why wepestow ,[ ] why spillestow teres? Yif thou abydest after help of thy leche,[ ] thee bihoveth discovere thy wounde.’
Tho I, that hadde gadered strengthe in my corage, answerede5 and seide: ‘And nedeth it yit,’ quod I, ‘of rehersinge or of amonicioun; and sheweth it nat y-nough by him-self the sharpnesse[ ] of Fortune, that wexeth wood ayeins me? Ne moeveth it nat thee to seen the face or the manere of this place (i. prisoun)? Is this the librarie whiche that thou haddest chosen for a right10 certein sete to thee in myn hous, ther-as thou desputedest ofte with me of the sciences of thinges touchinge divinitee and touchinge mankinde? Was thanne myn habite swich as it is now? Was than my face or my chere swiche as now (quasi diceret, non ), whan I soughte with thee secrets of nature, whan thou enformedest[ ]15 my maneres and the resoun of alle my lyf to the ensaumple of the ordre of hevene? Is nat this the guerdoun that I referre to[ ] thee, to whom I have be obeisaunt? Certes, thou confermedest ,[ ] by the mouth of Plato, this sentence, that is to seyn, that comune[ ] thinges or comunalitees weren blisful, yif they that hadden studied20 al fully to wisdom governeden thilke thinges, or elles yif it so bifille that the governoures of comunalitees studieden to geten wisdom .
Thou seidest eek, by the mouth of the same Plato, that it was[ ] a necessarie cause, wyse men to taken and desire the governaunce[ ]25of comune thinges, for that the governements of citees , y-left in the handes of felonous tormentours citizenes , ne sholde nat[ ] bringe in pestilence and destruccioun to gode folk. And therfor I, folwinge thilke auctoritee (sc. Platonis), desired to putten forth in execucioun and in acte of comune administracioun thilke30 thinges that I hadde lerned of thee among my secree resting-whyles. Thou, and god that putte thee in the thoughtes of wyse folk, ben knowinge with me, that no-thing ne broughte me to[ ] maistrie or dignitee , but the comune studie of alle goodnesse.[ ]35 And ther-of comth it that bi-twixen wikked folk and me han ben grevous discordes , that ne mighten ben relesed by preyeres ; for this libertee hath the freedom of conscience, that the wratthe of[ ] more mighty folk hath alwey ben despysed of me for savacioun of right.
40How ofte have I resisted and withstonde thilke man that highte Conigaste, that made alwey assautes ayeins the prospre fortunes of[ ]pore feble folk ? How ofte eek have I put of or cast out him, Trigwille, provost of the kinges hous, bothe of the wronges that he[ ] hadde bigunne to don, and eek fully performed? How ofte have45 I covered and defended by the auctoritee of me, put ayeins perils[ ] —that is to seyn, put myn auctoritee in peril for—the wrecched pore folk, that the covetyse of straungeres unpunished tourmenteden alwey with miseyses and grevaunces out of noumbre? Never man ne drow me yit fro right to wronge. Whan I say the fortunes and50 the richesses of the poeple of the provinces ben harmed or amenused, outher by privee ravynes or by comune tributes or cariages, as sory was I as they that suffreden the harm.[ ]
Glossa.Whan that Theodoric, the king of Gothes, in a dereyere , hadde hise gerneres ful of corn, and comaundede that no man55ne sholde byen no corn til his corn weresold , and that at a grevous dere prys, Boece withstood that ordinaunce, and over-com it, knowinge al this the king him-self.
Textus. Whan it was in the soure hungry tyme, ther was establisshed or cryed grevous and inplitable coempcioun, that men[ ]60 sayen wel it sholde greetly turmenten and endamagen al the province of Campaigne , I took stryf ayeins the provost of the pretorie[ ] for comune profit. And, the king knowinge of it, I overcom it, so that the coempcioun ne was not axed ne took effect.
64. The gloss (Coempcioun . . . part) is misplaced in both MSS., so as to precede Whan it was (58).
[Glossa.]Coempcioun, that is to seyn, comune achat or bying[ ]to-gidere, that wereestablisshedup-onthepeople by swiche a manere65imposicioun , as who-soboughtea busshel corn, he moste yeve the king the fifte part.
[Textus.] Paulin, a counseiller of Rome, the richesses of the[ ] whiche Paulin the houndes of the palays , that is to seyn, the officeres,[ ] wolden han devoured by hope and covetise, yit drow I him out of70 the Iowes (sc.faucibus ) of hem that gapeden. And for as moche as the peyne of the accusacioun aiuged biforn ne sholde nat sodeinly henten ne punisshen wrongfully Albin, a counseiller of[ ] Rome, I putte me ayeins the hates and indignaciouns of the accusor Ciprian. Is it nat thanne y-nough y-seyn , that I have[ ]75 purchased grete discordes ayeins my-self? But I oughte be the more assured ayeins alle othre folk (s. Romayns), that for the love of rightwisnesse I ne reserved never no-thing to my-self to hemward[ ] of the kinges halle, sc. officers, by the whiche I were the more siker. But thorugh tho same accusors accusinge, I am condempned.80 Of the noumbir of the whiche accusors oon Basilius,[ ] that whylom was chased out of the kinges service, is now compelled[ ] in accusinge of my name, for nede of foreine moneye. Also Opilion and Gaudencius han accused me, al be it so that the[ ] Iustice regal hadde whylom demed hem bothe to go in-to exil for85 hir trecheryes and fraudes withoute noumbir. To whiche Iugement they nolden nat obeye, but defendeden hem by the sikernesse of holy houses, that is to seyn, fledden intoseintuaries ; and whan this was aperceived to the king, he comaundede, that but[ ] they voidede the citee of Ravenne by certein day assigned , that90men sholde merken hem on the forheved with an hoot yren and chasen hem out of the toune. Now what thing, semeth thee, mighte ben lykned to this crueltee ? For certes, thilke same day[ ] was received the accusinge of my name by thilke same accusors.95 What may ben seid her-to? (quasi diceret, nichil). Hath my[ ] studie and my cunninge deserved thus; or elles the forseide dampnacioun of me, made that hem rightful accusors or no? (quasi diceret, non). Was not Fortune ashamed of this? Certes, al hadde nat Fortune ben ashamed that innocence was accused, yit100 oughte she han had shame of the filthe of myne accusours.
But, axestow in somme, of what gilt I am accused, men seyn[ ] that I wolde save the companye of the senatours. And desirest thou to heren in what manere? I am accused that I sholde han destourbed the accusor to beren lettres, by whiche he sholde han105 maked the senatoures gilty ayeins the kinges real maiestee. O maistresse , what demestow of this? Shal I forsake this blame,[ ] that I ne be no shame to thee? (quasi diceret, non). Certes, I have wold it, that is to seyn, the savacioun of the senat, ne I shal never leten to wilne it, and that I confesse and am aknowe; but the[ ]110 entente of the accusor to be destourbed shal cese. For shal I clepe it thanne a felonie or a sinne that I have desired the savacioun of the ordre of the senat? (quasi diceret, dubito quid). And certes yit hadde thilke same senat don by me, thorugh hir[ ] decrets and hir Iugements, as though it were a sinne or a felonie;115that is to seyn, to wilne the savacioun of hem (sc. senatus). But folye, that lyeth alwey to him-self, may not chaunge the merite of thinges. Ne I trowe nat, by the Iugement of Socrates, that[ ] it were leveful to me to hyde the sothe, ne assente to lesinges. But certes, how so ever it be of this, I putte it to gessen or120 preisen to the Iugement of thee and of wyse folk. Of whiche[ ] thing al the ordinaunce and the sothe, for as moche as folk that ben to comen after our dayes shullen knowen it, I have put it in scripture and in remembraunce. For touching the lettres falsly maked, by whiche lettres I am accused to han hoped the fredom125 of Rome, what aperteneth me to speke ther-of? Of whiche lettres the fraude hadde ben shewed apertly, yif I hadde had libertee for to han used and ben at the confessioun of myne accusours, the whiche thing in alle nedes hath greet strengthe. For what other fredom may men hopen ? Certes, I wolde that som other fredom mighte ben hoped. I wolde thanne han130 answered by the wordes of a man that highte Canius; for whan[ ] he was accused by Gaius Cesar, Germeynes sone, that he[ ] (Canius ) was knowinge and consentinge of a coniuracioun y-maked ayeins him (sc. Gaius), this Canius answerede thus: “Yif I hadde wist it, thou haddest nat wist it.” In which thing135sorwe hath nat so dulled my wit, that I pleyne only that shrewede folk aparailen felonies ayeins vertu ; but I wondre greetly how that they may performe thinges that they hadde hoped for to don. For-why, to wilne shrewednesse, that comth peraventure of oure defaute; but it is lyk a monstre and a mervaille, how140 that, in the present sighte of god, may ben acheved and performed swiche thinges as every felonous man hath conceived in his thought ayeins innocents. For which thing oon of thy famileres[ ] nat unskilfully axed thus: “Yif god is, whennes comen wikkede thinges? And yif god ne is, whennes comen gode thinges?”145 But al hadde it ben leveful that felonous folk, that now desiren the blood and the deeth of alle gode men and eek of alle the senat, han wilned to gon destroyen me, whom they han seyen alwey batailen and defenden gode men and eek al the senat, yit had I nat desserved of the faderes, that is to seyn, of the150senatoures, that they sholden wilne my destruccioun.
Thou remembrest wel, as I gesse, that whan I wolde doon or seyen any thing, thou thyself, alwey present, rewledest me. At the city of Verone, whan that the king, gredy of comune slaughter,[ ] caste him to transporten up al the ordre of the senat the gilt of155 his real maiestee, of the whiche gilt that Albin was accused, with[ ] how gret sikernesse of peril to me defendede I al the senat! Thou wost wel that I seye sooth, ne I ne avauntede me never in preysinge of my-self. For alwey, whan any wight receiveth precious renoun in avauntinge him-self of his werkes, he amenuseth160 the secree of his conscience. But now thou mayst wel seen to what ende I am comen for myne innocence; I receive peyne of fals felonye for guerdon of verray vertu. And what open confessioun of felonye hadde ever Iuges so acordaunt in crueltee ,165that is to seyn, as myn accusinge hath, that either errour of mannes wit or elles condicioun of Fortune, that is uncertein to alle mortal folk, ne submittede some of hem, that is to seyn, that it ne enclynede[ ]som Iuge to han pitee or compassioun? For al-thogh I hadde ben accused that I wolde brenne holy houses, and strangle preestes170 with wikkede swerde, or that I hadde greythed deeth to al gode men, algates the sentence sholde han punisshed me, present,[ ] confessed, or convict . But now I am remewed fro the citee of Rome almost fyve hundred thousand pas , I am with-oute defence[ ] dampned to proscripcioun and to the deeth, for the studie and175 bountees that I have doon to the senat. But O, wel ben they worthy of merite (as who seith, nay), ther mighte never yit non[ ] of hem be convict of swiche a blame as myne is! Of whiche trespas, myne accusours sayen ful wel the dignitee; the whiche dignitee, for they wolden derken it with medeling of som felonye,180 they baren me on hand, and lyeden, that I hadde polut and defouled my conscience with sacrilege , for coveitise of dignitee.[ ] And certes, thou thy-self, that are plaunted in me, chacedest out of the sege of my corage al coveitise of mortal thinges; ne sacrilege hadde no leve to han a place in me biforn thyne eyen.185 For thou droppedest every day in myne eres and in my thought thilke comaundement of Pictagoras, that is to seyn, men shal[ ] serve to godde, and not to goddes. Ne it was nat convenient , ne no nede, to taken help of the foulest spirites ; I, that thou[ ] hast ordeined and set in swiche excellence that thou makedest190 me lyk to god. And over this, the right clene secree chaumbre[ ] of myne hous, that is to seyn, my wyf, and the companye of myn honest freendes, and my wyves fader, as wel holy as worthy to ben reverenced thorugh his owne dedes, defenden me from[ ] alle suspecioun of swich blame. But O malice! For they that accusen me taken of thee, Philosophie , feith of so gret blame![ ]195 For they trowen that I have had affinitee to malefice orenchauntement , by-cause that I am replenisshed and fulfilled with thy techinges , and enformed of thy maneres. And thus it suffiseth[ ] not only, that thy reverence ne availe me not, but-yif that thou, of thy free wille, rather be blemished with myn offencioun. But200 certes, to the harmes that I have, ther bitydeth yit this encrees of harm, that the gessinge and the Iugement of moche folk ne looken no-thing to the desertes of thinges, but only to the aventure of fortune; and iugen that only swiche thinges ben purveyed of god, whiche that temporel welefulnesse commendeth.205
Glose . As thus: that, yif a wight have prosperitee, he is a good man and worthy to han that prosperitee; andwho-sohath adversitee, he is a wikked man, and god hath forsake him, and he is worthy to han that adversitee. This is the opinioun of some210folk.
And ther-of comth that good gessinge, first of alle thing, forsaketh[ ] wrecches: certes, it greveth me to thinke right now the dyverse sentences that the poeple seith of me. And thus moche I seye, that the laste charge of contrarious fortune is this: that,[ ]215 whan that any blame is leyd upon a caitif, men wenen that he hath deserved that he suffreth. And I, that am put awey fro gode men, and despoiled of dignitees, and defouled of my name by gessinge, have suffred torment for my gode dedes. Certes,[ ] me semeth that I see the felonous covines of wikked men220 habounden in Ioye and in gladnesse. And I see that every lorel shapeth him to finde out newe fraudes for to accuse gode folk. And I see that gode men beth overthrowen for drede[ ] of my peril; and every luxurious tourmentour dar doon alle felonye unpunisshed and ben excited therto by yiftes; and225 innocents ne ben not only despoiled of sikernesse but of defence; and therfore me list to cryen to god in this wyse :—
O stelliferi conditor orbis.
O thou maker of the whele that bereth the sterres, which that[ ] art y-fastned to thy perdurable chayer, and tornest the hevene with a ravisshing sweigh , and constreinest the sterres to suffren[ ] thy lawe; so that the mone som-tyme shyning with hir ful hornes,[ ]5 meting with alle the bemes of the sonne hir brother, hydeth the sterres that ben lesse ; and somtyme, whan the mone, pale with hir derke hornes, approcheth the sonne, leseth hir lightes; and[ ] that the eve-sterre Hesperus, whiche that in the firste tyme of the night bringeth forth hir colde arysinges, cometh eft ayein[ ]10 hir used cours, and is pale by the morweat the rysing of the sonne, and is thanne cleped Lucifer. Thou restreinest the day by[ ] shorter dwelling, in the tyme of colde winter that maketh the leves to falle . Thou dividest the swifte tydes of the night,[ ]whan the hote somer is comen. Thy might atempreth the15 variaunts sesons of the yere; so that Zephirus the deboneir wind bringeth ayein, in the first somer sesoun, the leves that the wind that highte Boreas hath reft awey in autumpne, that is to seyn, in the laste ende of somer; and the sedes that the sterre that highte Arcturus saw , ben waxen heye cornes whan the[ ]20 sterre Sirius eschaufeth hem. Ther nis no-thing unbounde from[ ] his olde lawe, ne forleteth the werke of his propre estat.[ ]
O thou governour, governinge alle thinges by certein ende, why refusestow only to governe the werkes of men by dewe manere? Why suffrest thou that slydinge fortune torneth so grete entre-chaunginges25 of thinges, so that anoyous peyne, that sholde dewelypunisshe felouns, punissheth innocents? And folk of wikkede maneres sitten in heye chayres , and anoyinge folk treden, and that unrightfully, on the nekkes of holy men? And vertu clershyninge[ ] naturelly is hid in derke derkenesses, and the rightful[ ] man bereth the blame and the peyne of the feloun. Ne forsweringe30 ne the fraude, covered and kembd with a fals colour,[ ] ne anoyeth nat to shrewes; the whiche shrewes, whan hem list to usen hir strengthe, they reioysen hem to putten under hem the sovereyne kinges, whiche that poeple with-outen noumbre dreden.35
O thou, what so ever thou be that knittest alle bondes of thinges, loke on thise wrecchede erthes; we men that ben nat[ ] a foule party, but a fayr party of so grete a werk , we ben tormented in this see of fortune. Thou governour, withdraw and restreyne the ravisshinge flodes, and fastne and ferme thise40 erthes stable with thilke bonde, with whiche thou governest the[ ] hevene that is so large.’
Hic ubi continuato dolore delatraui.
Whan I hadde, with a continuel sorwe, sobbed or borken out[ ] thise thinges, she with hir chere pesible , and no-thing amoeved with my compleintes, seide thus: ‘Whan I say thee,’ quod she, ‘sorweful and wepinge, I wiste anon that thou were a wrecche and exiled; but I wiste never how fer thyne exile was, yif thy5 tale ne hadde shewed it to me . But certes, al be thou fer fro thy contree, thou nart nat put out of it; but thou hast failed of thy weye and gon amis. And yif thou hast lever for to wene that thou be put out of thy contree, than hast thou put out thy-self rather than any other wight hath. For no wight but thy-self ne10 mighte never han don that to thee. For yif thou remembre of what contree thou art born, it nis nat governed by emperours, ne by governement of multitude, as weren the contrees of hem of Athenes; but oo lord and oo king, and that is god, that is lord of[ ]15thy contree, whiche that reioyseth him of the dwelling of hise citezenes , and nat for to putte hem in exil; of the whiche lorde it is a soverayne fredom to be governed by the brydel of him and obeye to his Iustice. Hastow foryeten thilke right olde lawe of thy[ ] citee, in the whiche citee it is ordeined and establisshed, that for20 what wight that hath lever founden ther-in his sete or his hous than elles-wher , he may nat be exiled by no right from that place? For who-so that is contened in-with the palis and the clos of thilke citee,[ ] ther nis no drede that he may deserve to ben exiled. But who-so that leteth the wil for to enhabite there, he forleteth also to deserve25 to ben citezein of thilke citee. So that I sey, that the face of this[ ] place ne moveth me nat so mochel as thyne owne face. Ne I axe nat rather the walles of thy librarie, aparayled and wrought with yvory and with glas, than after the sete of thy thought. In whiche I putte nat whylom bokes, but I putte that that maketh30 bokes worthy of prys or precious , that is to seyn, the sentence of my bokes. And certeinly of thy desertes, bistowed in comune[ ] good, thou hast seid sooth, but after the multitude of thy gode dedes, thou hast seid fewe; and of the honestee or of the falsnesse of thinges that ben aposed ayeins thee, thou hast remembred[ ]35 thinges that ben knowen to alle folk. And of the felonyes and fraudes of thyne accusours , it semeth thee have y-touched it forsothe rightfully and shortly, al mighten tho same thinges betere and more plentivousely ben couth in the mouthe of the poeple that knoweth al this.
40Thou hast eek blamed gretly and compleined of the wrongful dede of the senat. And thou hast sorwed for my blame, and thou hast wopen for the damage of thy renoun that is apayred; and thy laste sorwe eschaufede ayeins fortune, and compleinest that guerdouns ne ben nat evenliche yolden to the desertes of folk. And in the latere ende of thy wode Muse, thou preyedest that thilke[ ]45 pees that governeth the hevene sholde governe the erthe. But for that manye tribulaciouns of affecciouns han assailed thee, and sorwe and ire and wepinge to-drawen thee dyversely; as thou art now feble of thought, mightier remedies ne shullen nat yit touchen thee, for whiche we wol usen somdel lighter medicines: so that50 thilke passiouns that ben woxen harde in swellinge, by[ ]perturbaciouns flowing in-to thy thought, mowen wexen esy and softe, to receiven the strengthe of a more mighty and more egre medicine, by an esier touchinge.[ ]
Cum Phebi radiis graue Cancri sidus inestuat.
Whan that the hevy sterre of the Cancre eschaufeth by the[ ]bemes of Phebus, that is to seyn, whan that Phebus the sonne is[ ]in the signe of theCancre , who-so yeveth thanne largely hise sedes to the feldes that refusen to receiven hem , lat him gon, bigyled of[ ] trust that he hadde to his corn, to acorns of okes . Yif thou wolt5gadre violettes, ne go thou not to the purpur wode whan the feld ,[ ] chirkinge, agryseth of colde by the felnesse of the winde that highte Aquilon. Yif thou desirest or wolt usen grapes, ne seke thou nat, with a glotonous hond, to streyne and presse the stalkes of the vine in the ferst somer sesoun; for Bachus, the god of wyne, hath10 rather yeven hise yiftes to autumpne, thelaterende of somer.
God tokneth and assigneth the tymes, ablinge hem to hir propres offices; ne he ne suffreth nat the stoundes whiche that him-self hath devyded and constreyned to ben y-medled to-gidere. And forthy he that forleteth certein ordinaunce of doinge by over-throwinge[ ]15 wey, he ne hath no glade issue or ende of his werkes.
Primum igitur paterisne me pauculis rogacionibus.
‘Axe me,’ quod I, ‘at thy wille, what thou wolt, and I shal5 answere.’
‘Certes,’ quod I, ‘I ne trowe nat in no manere, that so10 certein thinges sholde be moeved by fortunous fortune; but I[ ] wot wel that god, maker and mayster, is governour of his werk. Ne never nas yit day that mighte putte me out of the sothnesse of that sentence.’
‘So is it,’ quod she; ‘for the same thing songe thou a litel[ ]15 her-biforn, and biweyledest and biweptest, that only men weren put out of the cure of god. For of alle other thinges thou ne doutedest nat that they nere governed by resoun. But owh ![ ] (i. pape!) I wondre gretly, certes, why that thou art syk , sin[ ]that thou art put in so holsom a sentence. But lat us seken20 depper; I coniecte that ther lakketh I not nere what. But[ ] sey me this: sin that thou ne doutest nat that this world be governed by god, with whiche governailes takestow hede that[ ]it is governed?’
‘I nas nat deceived ,’ quod she, ‘that ther ne faileth somwhat, by whiche the maladye of thy perturbacioun is crept into thy thought, so as the strengthe of the palis chyning is open.[ ] But sey me this: remembrest thou what is the ende of thinges , and whider that the entencioun of alle kinde tendeth?’30
‘I have herd it told som-tyme,’ quod I; ‘but drerinesse hath dulled my memorie.’
‘Certes,’ quod she, ‘thou wost wel whennes that alle thinges ben comen and procedeth ?’
‘I wot wel,’ quod I, and answerede, that ‘god is beginning35 of al.’
‘And how may this be,’ quod she, ‘that, sin thou knowest the beginning of thinges, that thou ne knowest nat what is the ende of thinges? But swiche ben the customes of perturbaciouns, and this power they han, that they may moeve a40 man out of his place, that is to seyn, fro the stablenes and perfeccioun of his knowinge; but, certes, they may nat al arace[ ] him, ne aliene him in al. But I wolde that thou woldest answere to this: remembrestow that thou art a man?’
‘Why sholde I nat remembre that?’ quod I.45
‘Wistestow never yit that thou were any other thing?’ quod she.50
‘No,’ quod I.
‘Now woot I,’ quod she, ‘other cause of thy maladye, and that right grete. Thou hast left for to knowen thy-self, what thou art; thorugh whiche I have pleynly founden the cause of thy maladye, or elles the entree of recoveringe of thyn hele.[ ]55 For-why, for thou art confounded with foryeting of thy-self, for-thy[ ]sorwestow that thou art exiled of thy propre goodes. And for thou ne wost what is the ende of thinges, for-thy demestow that felonous and wikked men ben mighty and weleful. And60 for thou hast foryeten by whiche governements the world is governed, for-thy wenestow that thise mutaciouns of fortune fleten with-oute governour. Thise ben grete causes not only to maladye, but, certes, grete causes to deeth . But I thanke the auctor and the maker of hele, that nature hath not al[ ]65 forleten thee. I have grete norisshinges of thyn hele, and that[ ] is, the sothe sentence of governaunce of the worlde; that thou bilevest that the governinge of it nis nat subiect ne underput to the folie of thise happes aventurous , but to the resoun of god. And ther-for doute thee no-thing; for of this litel spark70 thyn hete of lyf shal shyne.
But for as moche as it is nat tyme yit of faster remedies, and[ ] the nature of thoughtes deceived is this, that as ofte as they casten awey sothe opiniouns, they clothen hem in false opiniouns, of which false opiniouns the derkenesse of perturbacioun wexeth75 up, that confoundeth the verray insighte: and that derkenesse shal I assaye som-what to maken thinne and wayk by lighte[ ] and meneliche remedies; so that, after that the derkenesse of[ ]deceivinge desiringes is don awey, thou mowe knowe the shyninge of verray light.
The sterres, covered with blake cloudes, ne mowen yeten[ ] a-doun no light. Yif the trouble wind that hight Auster, turning[ ] and walwinge the see, medleth the hete, that is to seyn,[ ]the boyling up from the botme; the wawes, that whylom weren5 clere as glas and lyke to the faire clere dayes, withstande anon[ ] the sightes of men by the filthe and ordure that is resolved. And the fletinge streem, that royleth doun dyversly fro heye[ ] mountaignes, is arested and resisted ofte tyme by the encountringe of a stoon that is departed and fallen from som roche.
And for-thy, yif thou wolt loken and demen sooth with cleer10 light, and holden the wey with a right path, weyve thou Ioye,[ ] dryf fro thee drede, fleme thou hope, ne lat no sorwe aproche; that is to seyn, lat non of thise four passiouns over-comen thee or blende thee. For cloudy and derke is thilke thought, and bounde with brydles, where as thise thinges regnen. ’15
Explicit Liber Primus.
[P. 8, Book I, met. 4, l. 8.]For thonder-light a better reading is thonderleit; see p. xliii, and the note (p. 422).
[6. ]C. foleweden; A. folweden.
[8. ]C. sorful; A. sorouful. C. wierdes, glossed fata; A. werdes.
[11. ]C. arn; A. ben.
[12. ]C. of; A. upon. C. emptyd; A. emty.
[16. ]C. nayteth; A. Ed. uaieth.
[17. ]A. glosses lighte by sc. temporels. C. sorwful; A. sorouful.
[19. ]C. deceyuable; A. disceyuable.
[20. ]C. vnpietous; A. vnpitouse.
[22. ]C. stidefast; A. stedfast.
[1. ]C. While that; A. In the mene while that.
[2. ]C. sawh; A. sawe.
[3. ]C. heyhte; A. heyȝt. C. gret; A. greet.
[5. ]C. myht; A. myȝt.
[6. ]C. vygor; A. vigoure. C. myhte; A. myȝt. C. emted; A. emptid.
[7. ]C. gret; A. greet (and so often).
[9. ]C. dowtows; A. doutous (and so ow for ou often).
[10. ]C. lyk; A. lyche.
[11. ]C. heyhte; A. heyȝte (and so elsewhere).
[12. ]C. hef; A. heued; Ed. houe.
[14. ]C. riht (and so h for gh often).
[16. ]C. knewh; A. knewe.
[17. ]C. dirknesse; A. derkenes.
[19. ]Both dyrken. C. the smokede; A. by-smoked.
[21. ]A. in swiche; C. om. swiche. C. glosses P by practik. C. syngnifieth; A. signifieth.
[22. ]C. glosses T by theorik. C. singnifieth; A. signifieth.
[23. ]C. by-twixen; A. by-twene.
[24. ]C. nobely; A. nobly.
[25. ]C. clymbyn (and so -yn for -en constantly). C. Ed. nethereste; A. nethemast.
[26. ]C. Ed. vppereste; A. ouermast.
[31 ]C. say; A. sauȝ.
[33. ]C. amoued; A. ameued. C. cruwel; A. cruel.
[34. ]C. sike; A. seek. C. the; A. thise (Lat. has).
[37. ]C. noryssyn; A. norysche. C. hym; A. hem.
[39. ]C. fructefiynge; A. frutefiyng.
[40. ]C. corn; A. cornes (Lat. segetem).
[41. ]C. om. the. C. om. ne.
[42. ]C. maledye; A. maladye.
[44. ]C. people; A. peple.
[45. ]C. greuosly; A. greuously (and so often os for ous in C.).
[48. ]C. schooles; A. scoles.
[53. ]C. downward; A. adounward. C. om. and. C. rednesse; A. redenesse.
[54. ]C. sorwfully. C. thresshfold; A. threschefolde.
[55. ]C. dyrked; A. derked.
[57. ]C. wax; A. wex. C. cast; A. caste.
[58. ]C. down to; A. adoune in-to.
[59. ]C. ner; A. nere.
[61. ]C. compleyde; A. compleinede.
[63. ]C. thowht; A. thouȝt.
[3. ]C. dyrk-; A. derk-.
[4. ]C. wordely; A. worldly (Lat. terrenis.
[5. ]C. Ed. whilom; A. sumtyme.
[7. ]C. lythnesse; A. lyȝtnesse.
[10. ]C. comprendyd; A. Ed. comprehendid.
[11. ]C. seken; A. seche.
[14. ]C. est; A. eest.
[15. ]C. fyrst; A. fyrste.
[17. ]A. that; C. the. C. autompne; A. autumpne
[19. ]C. I-hydde; A. yhidde. C. lith; A. lieth.
[20. ]A. emptid; C. emted.
[22. ]C. the fool; Ed. the fole; A. foule (Lat. stolidam).
[4. ]C. Ed. whilom; A. sumtyme. C. noryssed; A. I-norschide.
[5. ]C. escaped; A. ascaped.
[8. ]C. Knowestow; A. Knowest thou.
[9. ]C. artow; A. art thou. C. it is; A. Ed. is it. C. asthonynge (but astonynge below).
[14. ]C. litarge; A. litargie. C. sykenesse; A. sekenes.
[15. ]C. desseyued; A. desceiued.
[16. ]C. remenbren; A. remembren.
[1. ]C. descussed; A. discussed.
[2. ]C. dirk-; A. derk-. C. om. ayein.
[3. ]C. fyrst; A. firste.
[5. ]C. heyhte; A. hyȝt.
[6. ]C. dirked; A. derked.
[8. ]C. hyhte; A. hyȝt.
[3. ]C. fesissien; A. fyciscien; Ed. phisycien. C. fastnede; A. festned.
[6. ]C. vertuus; A. vertues.
[7. ]C. artow; A. art thou.
[13. ]A. om. thing.
[14. ]C. compaygnie; A. compaignie.
[16. ]C. trowestow; A. trowest thou.
[20. ]C. desseruede; A. deserned.
[21. ]C. eritage; A. heritage.
[25. ]C. rauysse; A. rauische.
[26. ]C. deffence; A. defence.
[30. ]C. arraced; A. arased.
[31. ]C. om. I.
[33. ]C. or; A. and.
[34. ]A. familers.
[36. ]A. om. that.
[38. ]C. om. 1st of.
[40. ]C. myhtestow; A. myȝtest thou. C. Senecciens; A. Senectiens; Ed. Senecas.
[43. ]C. enformyd; A. vnfourmed.
[44. ]C. vnlyk; A. vnlyke.
[48. ]C. oost, glossed i. acies.
[50. ]C. rauyssed; A. rauysched. C. folyly, i. sine consilio.
[52. ]A. hys rycchesse.
[53. ]C. sarpuleris; A. sarpulers.
[55. ]C. tumolte; A. tumulte. A. stored.
[56. ]C. palis; A. palays (Lat. uallo). C. om. that. C. anoyenge; A. anoying.
[57. ]C. atayne; A. attayne. C. schorne; A. scorne.
[2. ]C. leuynge; A. lyuyng. Both wierdes; C. has the gloss fata.
[3. ]C. may his cheere holde vndescounfited; A. may holde hys chiere vndiscomfited.
[4. ]C. manesses; A. manace (Lat. minae).
[5. ]hete (Lat. aestum).
[6. ]C. hihte; A. hyȝt.
[7. ]Ed. writheth; C. writith; A. wircheth (Lat. torquet). A. chemineys.
[9. ]C. Whar-;-A. Wher-.
[10. ]C. felonos; A. felownes.
[11. ]C. deseruien; A. desarmen; Ed. disarmen.
[14. ]C. remwed; A. remoeued.
[15. ]A. om. the before which.
[1. ]C. Felistow; A. Felest thou.
[2. ]A. Art thou. C. wepistow; A. wepest thou.
[3. ]A. spillest thou.
[9. ]C. sen; A. seen.
[11. ]A. sege (for sete).
[12. ]So A.; C. deuynyte. C. om. 2nd touchinge.
[13. ]C. om. it is.
[14. ]C. om. quasi . . . non.
[17. ]After this, C. has nonne; A. has ironice. C. gerdouns; A. gerdoun (Lat. praemia).
[18. ]C. conformedest (Lat. sanxisti); see note.
[19. ]C. Mowht; A. mouthe.
[20. ]A. comunabletes.
[22. ]A. studieden in grete wisdomes.
[25. ]C. whise; A. wyse.
[26. ]A. of comune citees (Lat. urbium).
[27. ]C. citesenes; A. citizenis.
[29. ]A. folowynge. C. autorite; A. auctoritee.
[30. ]C. excussioun(!); A. execusioun.
[32. ]C. whise; A. wise.
[33. ]A. knowen; C. has the gloss concij (= conscii).
[34. ]C. dignete; A. dignite. C. om. the.
[36. ]So A.; C. descordes. Above preyeres, C. has i. est inexorabiles.
[37. ]A. om. 2nd the.
[38. ]C. sauacioun; A. saluacioun.
[40. ]C. recisted. C. hyhte; A. hyȝt.
[41. ]C. Ed. prospere; A. propre.
[42. ]A. poure. C. fookk; A. folke.
[45. ]C. deffended; A. defended. C. autorite; A. auctorite.
[47. ]C. vnpunyssed; A. -nysched.
[49. ]C. ne drowh; A. drowe.
[50. ]A. rychesse. C. om. 2nd the.
[51. ]A. eyther (for outher). C. pryuey; A. priue. C. Raueynes; A. rauynes.
[54. ]C. yer; A. yere.
[55. ]C. A. solde.
[58. ]C. sowre; A. soure (Lat. acerbae famis tempore).
[61. ]Ed. Campayne; C. A. Compaygne.
[65. ]C. estabelissed. A. om. the.
[66. ]C. imposiscioun. C. bossel; A. busshel.
[68. ]So A.; C. consoler(!). A. rychesse.
[69. ]C. palysse; A. palays.
[70. ]C. drowh; A. drowe.
[71. ]sc. faucibus from A.
[73. ]C. punisse; A. punischen. C. conseyler.
[75. ]A. yseyne.
[77. ]A. asseured.
[78. ]After no-thing, C. adds i. affinite.
[79. ]C. om. 2nd the.
[81. ]A. om. 2nd the.
[82, 83. ]C. whilom; A. somtyme.
[84. ]C. caudencius (wrongly).
[88. ]C. sentuarye; A. seyntuaries.
[89. ]C. om. was.
[90. ]C. assingned; A. assigned.
[91. ]C. me (= men); A. men. C. marke; A. merken.
[92. ]A. om. the. C. om. thee.
[93. ]C. crwelte.
[94. ]C. resseyued.
[99. ]C. whas.
[98. ]C. asshamyd; A. asshamed.
[101. ]A. axest thou.
[102. ]C. desires.
[104. ]C. destorbed; A. distourbed.
[106. ]C. maysteresse; A. meistresse. A. demest thou.
[109. ]C. om. that. 109. C. I am; A. Ed. om. I.
[110. ]C. destorbed.
[111. ]A. a felonie than.
[114. ]C. and (for or).
[119. ]C. A. put.
[120. ]C. whise.
[122. ]C. shellen; A. schollen (better shullen).
[123. ]A. om. 2nd in. C. thowchinge.
[125. ]C. om. Of whiche lettres.
[129. ]C. om. what. C. hoepen.
[133. ]C. om. Canius.
[136. ]C. sorw.
[137. ]C. felonies; A. folies (Lat. scelerata). A. vertues (wrongly).
[138. ]C. han; A. had (better hadde).
[139. ]C. om. to.
[148. ]C. gon and; A. Ed. om. and.
[151. ]C. willene; A. wilne.
[153. ]C. rwledest.
[154. ]C. om. 1st the.
[155. ]C. transpor(!). C. vp; A. vp on.
[157. ]C. deffendede.
[158. ]A. om. 2nd ne.
[159. ]C. resseyueth; A. resceiueth.
[162. ]C. resseyue; A. receiue.
[163. ]A. in (for for). Both gerdoun; Ed. gwerdone.
[164. ]C. crwelte.
[171. ]C. punyssed; A. punysched.
[172. ]A. conuict; C. conuict. So A.; C. remwed.
[173. ]C. paas.
[176. ]C. merite; A. mercye; (gloss in C. ironice; O meritos).
[179. ]C. dirken.
[180. ]C. an; A. on.
[181. ]C. sacrilege; glossed sorcerie.
[183. ]C. alle; A. al.
[185. ]C. om. 2nd in.
[187. ]in margin of C.; Homo debet seruire deo et non diis. C. om. was. A. no couenaunt (Lat. Nec conueniebat).
[188. ]A. spirites; C. spirite (Lat. spirituum).
[189. ]C. and; A. or.
[190. ]C. chaumbyr; A. chaumbre.
[191. ]C. compaygnye; A. compaignie.
[193. ]C. deffenden. C. from; A. of.
[195. ]C. the philosophre; A. the philosophie (Lat. te).
[196. ]A. enchauntementz.
[198. ]C. thechinges.
[207. ]A. Glosa.
[208. ]C. who; A. who so.
[217. ]C. desserued.
[218. ]C. of (1); A. from.
[223. ]C. beth; A. ben.
[225. ]C. vnpunnysshed; A. vnpunissed.
[227. ]C. wise; A. manere; Ed. maner.
[1. ]C. whel; A. whele.
[3. ]C. Rauessyng; A. rauyssyng. C. sweyh; A. sweigh; Ed. sweygh.
[4. ]C. wyt (for with).
[6. ]A. lasse. C. wan (for whan).
[9. ]C. est; A. eft (Lat. iterum). A. aȝeynes.
[10. ]C. om. the after at.
[13. ]C. falle; A. to falle. C. swift; A. swifte.
[14. ]C. wan (for whan).
[15. ]C. sesoun (wrongly); A. sesons.
[17. ]C. hihte; A. hyȝt. C. borias.
[19. ]C. hihte; A. hyȝt. C. sawgh; A. saw. C. hyye; A. hey. C. wan.
[20. ]C. eschaufed; A. eschaufeth; (Lat. urat). C. fram.
[21. ]C. the werke; A. hym.
[23. ]C. refowsestow; A. refusest thou. C. dwwe; A. dewe.
[24. ]C. suffres. C. so; A. to. A. vtter; (for entre-).
[25. ]C. dwwelly; A. duelly.
[26. ]C. punysshe; A. punissitȝ.
[27. ]C. heere; A. heiȝe (Lat. celsos). C. chayres; A. chaiers.
[28. ]C. oon (read on); A. in.
[29. ]A. clere and shynyng (Lat. clara).
[30. ]A. Ne the forsweryng.
[32. ]C. weche (for whiche). C. wan (for whan).
[34. ]C. weche. C. nowmbyr; A. noumbre.
[38. ]C. om. a bef. werk.
[39. ]C. this; A. the. C. withdrawh.
[40. ]C. restryne; A. restreyne. C. thei (for the). C. rauesynge; A. rauyssinge.
[41. ]C. by whiche; A. with whiche (better?)
[1. ]C. om. a. C. borken (= barked); A. broken (Lat. delatraui).
[2. ]A. peisible.
[4. ]C. sornful; A. sorweful. C. wrechche; A. wrecche.
[6. ]C. nadde; A. ne halde. A. to me; C. om. to.
[8. ]C. wey; A. weye.
[11. ]C. remenbre; A. remembre.
[13. ]C. om. hem of.
[16. ]C. cytesenis; A. citezenis. C. put; A. putte.
[17. ]C. brydul; A. bridel.
[18. ]C. hasthow; A. hast thou.
[19. ]C. weche.
[20. ]C. whyht; A. wyȝt.
[21. ]C. wer; A. where.
[22. ]C. contyned; A. contened. C. palys; A. paleis (Lat. uallo).
[23. ]C. desserue.
[25. ]C. cytesein; A. Citezein. C. face, glossed i. manere (Lat. facies).
[26. ]C. moueth; A. amoeueth.
[27. ]A. Ne I ne axe. C. wrowht; A. wrouȝt.
[29. ]C. put; A. putte (twice). C. whilom; A. somtyme.
[30. ]C. presyous.
[32. ]C. seyde; A. seid.
[33. ]A. vnhonestee (wrongly).
[34. ]A. Ed. opposed. C. remenbryd.
[36. ]C. Acusours. C. I-twoched (for I-towched); A. I-touched.
[38. ]C. mowhth; A. mouthe.
[42. ]A. wepen.
[43. ]C. A. gerdouns; Ed. guerdons.
[44. ]C. om. nat.
[45. ]C. latere; A. lattre. C. glosses wode by s. seuientis.
[52. ]A. perturbacioun folowyng (wrongly).
[1. ]C. cankyr; A. Ed. cancre.
[2. ]C. beemes; A. beme (Lat. radiis).
[3. ]C. cankyr; A. Ed. Cancre.
[4. ]C. feeldes. C. Reseyue; A. receiuen. C. glosses hem by s. corn.
[5. ]C. Accornes of Okes; A. acorns or okes. C. wolt; A. wilt.
[6. ]C. gadery; A. gadre. C. feeld; A. felde.
[7. ]C. felnesses; A. felnesse. C. hyhte; A. hyȝt.
[9. ]C. stryne; A. streyne.
[11. ]C. later; A. latter.
[13. ]C. propres; A. propre.
[16. ]C. issw; A. issue.
[1. ]C. woltow; A. wolt thou. C. estat; A. stat.
[6. ]C. wheyther. C. weenesthow; A. wenest thou.
[8. ]A. ins. wenest thou after elles.
[9. ]A. om. 2nd I.
[11. ]C. his; A. this (Lat. suo).
[12. ]C. put; A. putte.
[14. ]C. lytul; A. lytel.
[17. ]C. dowtedest; A. doutest. C. owh; A. how; Ed. ough.
[18. ]C. syk; A. seek.
[19. ]C. sin that; A. sithen. A. in-to (for in).
[20. ]A. om. nere.
[21. ]C. syn; A. sithen.
[22. ]A. takest thou.
[23. ]C. om. it.
[25. ]C. om. nat. A. demaunde (Lat. inquisita).
[26. ]C. desseyued.
[27. ]C. of thi; A. om. thi.
[28. ]C. palys chynyng; A. paleys schynyng (Lat. hiante ualli robore).
[29. ]C. remenbres. A. adds thi bef. thinges; and om. and.
[30. ]C. entensyn.
[34. ]A. proceded.
[35. ]A. is the.
[37. ]C. syn; A. sithen.
[39. ]A. endyng.
[42. ]C. arrace; A. arace.
[44. ]C. Remenbresthow; A. remembrest thou.
[45. ]C. remenbre.
[46. ]C. Maysthow; A. Maiste thou. C. thinge.
[47. ]Axestow me nat; A. Axest not me. C. wheither. A. om. I after that.
[48. ]A. best mortel.
[49. ]C. Wystesthow; A. Wistest thou.
[54. ]C. fwonde; A. knowen.
[56. ]C. confwndyd.
[57. ]C. sorwfstow; A. sorwest thou.
[58. ]C. domesthow; A. demest.
[59. ]A. om. And.
[60. ]C. ast foryeeten. C. gouernement; A. gouernementz (Lat. gubernaculis).
[61. ]A. wenest thou.
[63. ]C. thi deth; A. (rightly) om. thi.
[64. ]C. alle; A. al.
[65. ]A. ins. and before I have.
[67. ]A. subgit. C. -putte; A. -put.
[68. ]C. Auentros; A. auenturouses; Ed. auenturous. C. om. to.
[69. ]C. lytul; A. litel.
[70. ]A. heet.
[71. ]C. meche (= moche).
[72. ]C. desseyued; A. disseiued.
[74. ]C. dirkenesse; A. derknesse. C. perturba (!). C. wexit.
[78. ]C. A. desseyuynge.
[1. ]C. Ed. yeten; A. geten.
[2. ]C. A. wynde.
[4. ]C. Ed. whilom; A. somtyme.
[5. ]C. lyk; A. lyke. C. cleere dayes and brihte; A. bryȝt dayes. C. withstand; A. withstant.
[7. ]C. hy; A. heyȝe.
[9. ]C. fram.
[14. ]C. A. dirke.
[15. ]C. were (for where). C. reygnen; A. regnen.
[22.]palis, paling, rampart; ‘uallo.’ Clearer than paleis, as in A, which might mean palace; but both spellings occur in French.
[25.]face (facies), the look of this prison.
[31.]in comune good, for the common good: ‘in commune bonum.’
[34.]thinges . . aposed, accusations; ‘delatorum.’
[45.]thy wode Muse: ‘Musae saeuientis’; cf. Met. 5 above, l. 22.
[51.]thilke passiouns: ‘ut quae in tumorem perturbationibus influentibus induruerunt.’
[54.]by an esier touchinge refers to the preceding mowen . . softe: ‘tactu blandiore mollescant.’
[Metre 6.]This Metre refers to the necessity of doing everything in its proper season.
[2.]‘When the sun is in Cancer’; i. e. in the month of June.
[4.]lat him gon, let him go and eat acorns.
[6.]whan the feld: ‘Cùm saeuis Aquilonibus Stridens campus inhorruit.’ Chirkinge, hoarse, rustling; alluding to the rustling of frozen grass in a high wind.
[15.]And forthy: ‘Sic quod praecipiti uiâ Certum deserit ordinem, Laetos non habet exitus.’
[Prose 6. 10.]by fortunous fortune: ‘fortuitis casibus.’ Not well expressed.
[14.]the same . . thou, thou didst sing the same thing. See Met. v. 22.
[17.]owh! an exclamation of astonishment: Lat. ‘papae.’
[18.]why that thou: ‘cur in tam salubri sententiâ locatus aegrotes.’
[20.]I not . . . what: ‘nescio, quid abesse coniecto.’
[22.]with whiche governailes, by what sort of government.
[28.]the strengthe, the strength of the gaping stockade discloses an opening: ‘uelut hiante ualli robore.’ The corruption of chyning to schynyng in MS. A. makes sad nonsense of the passage.
[42.]they may nat al: ‘sibique totum extirpare non possint.’
[55.]or elles the entree: ‘uel aditum reconciliandae sospitatis inueni.’
[56.]For-why, for, Because, since. for-thy, therefore.
[64.]the auctor . . of hele: ‘sospitatis auctori.’
[65.]norisshinges; perhaps better norisshing, as in Caxton and Thynne; ‘fomitem,’ i. e. furtherance.
[71.]faster, firmer, stronger: ‘firmioribus.’
[76.]to maken thinne and wayk: ‘attenuare.’
[77.]meneliche, moderate: ‘mediocribus.’
[Metre 7. 1.]yeten a-doun, pour down; ‘fundere.’ Not geten, as in A.
[2.]trouble, turbid; ‘Turbidus Auster.’
[3.]medleth the hete: ‘Misceat aestum.’ See above, Met. iv. l. 5.
[5.]clere as glas; cf. Knight’s Tale, A 1958.
[7.]royleth, wanders; ‘uagatur.’ Not ‘rolls.’
[11.]holden, keep to; cf. ‘Hold the hye wey’; Truth, l. 20. weyve: ‘Gaudia pelle, Pelle timorem; Spemque fugato.’