Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK IV. - The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 2 (Boethius, Troilus)
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BOOK IV. - 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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Title.Not in the MSS.
C.has lost ll. 1-112.
Explicit Liber Quartus.
[P. 312, Book IV, 318.]For to the peyne read to my peyne.
[6, 11. ]Cl. Cp. H. whiel; H2. Ed. whele.
[7. ]Cl. here; rest him.
[21. ]Cl. vilonye; H. vilenye; rest vilanye.
[22. ]All herynes. Cl. nyghttes.
[23. ]Cl. compleynes; H. compleynen; Cp. compleignen.
[24. ]Ed. Allecto; Tesiphonee.
[25. ]Cp. H. to; Cl. H2. of.
[27. ]H. los; Cl. losse. Colophon. Cl. Cp. H. wrongly have Explicit liber Tercius; read prohemium.
[30. ]Cl. Giekys.
[31. ]Cl. whanne.
[32. ]H. herculis.
[33. ]H. Cp. ful; rest om.
[35. ]Cl. woned.
[40. ]Cl. on; rest in.
[41. ]Cl. lenge; rest lenger.
[43. ]sharpe] Cl. faste.
[44. ]Cl. fele.
[47. ]Cl. last; Cp. H. Ed. laste.
[51. ]Ed. Polymydas. Cl. Cp. H. Ed. Monesteo; H2. Penestio.
[53. ]H2. Riphio; Cl. Cp. H. Rupheo.
[57. ]Cp. H. a Grek; Cl. H2. Ed. at Grekes; read at Greek.
[59. ]Ed. moste; Cp. meste; rest most.
[60. ]Cl. yeue; Cp. Ed. yeuen.
[67. ]Cl. woned.
[69. ]Cl. don hym; rest om. hym.
[75. ]Cl. told; Cp. H. tolde.
[76. ]Cl. dredles; Cp. H. dredeles.
[78. ]Cl. for (for 2nd in).
[82. ]Cl. weres; Cp. H. Ed. weren. H. leue (gl. i. cari).
[86. ]Ed. regarde; rest resport (see l. 850).
[89. ]Cl. losse; dishese.
[90. ]Cl. -saf; Cp. H. -sauf.
[99. ]Cl. H. say; rest sawe.
[101. ]Cl. yif. H. H2. om. that.
[103. ]Cp. amonges; rest among (amonge).
[105. ]through] Cl. for.
[106. ]Cl. preson; H. prisoun.
[107. ]Cl. wille.
[108. ]Cl. chyd (sic).
[110. ]Cl. On; Cp. H. Oon.
[115. ]Cp. Cm. Ed. it; rest om.
[117. ]And] Cl. I.
[118. ]Cm. fer; H2. fere.
[119. ]Cl. in; Cp. H. Cm. Ed. to; H2. in-to.
[120. ]Cp. Ed. H2. Neptunus; H. neptimus; Cl. Neptainus; Cm. Natyinus.
[121. ]Cp. Ed. makeden; H. makkeden; rest maden.
[124. ]Ed. Lamedoun.
[125, 6. ]Cm. here, fere.
[129. ]Cl. terys; twye.
[131. ]Cl. by-seche.
[132. ]Cl. helen.
[133. ]Cp. yaue; Cl. Cm. yaf; Ed. gaue.
[134. ]Cl. y-nowh.
[138. ]Cp. Ed. Cm. bryngen; H. brynge; Cl. bryng. H. hom; Cl. Cm. hem; rest home. H. Tooas; Ed. Thoas.
[139. ]Cp. H. Ed. -garde; Cl. -gard. Cm. H2. his saf cundwyt hem sente.
[140. ]Cp. H. Ed. Thembassadours; Cl. H2. The ambassiatours (see l. 145).
[155. ]Cl. angwyssh.
[163. ]Cl. gon; rest go.
[165. ]H. Cm. ne; rest om.
[167. ]Cl. blowe; rest y-blowe.
[168. ]Cl. bothere; Ed. bother; Cp. brother (!); H2. bothe; Cm. botheis; H. eyther.
[173. ]Cl. whanne. Cl. Cp. Cm. hadde; rest had.
[175. ]Cp. H. aȝeyn; Cl. Cm. ayen.
[176. ]Cp. H. Ed. Grekes; rest Grekis.
[178. ]Cl. answerede; Cp. H. Cm. answerde.
[179. ]Cl. Cm. presoner.
[180. ]Cl. H2. om. that.
[183, 5. ]Cl. onys, nonys.
[184. ]Cl. in; H2. a; rest on.
[186. ]Cp. H. Ed. sholden; Cl. sholde.
[191. ]Cl. Cp. Ed. to; H. tolk (for to folk); rest of.
[198. ]Cl. liten (!). Cl. weten; H. Cp. witen; Ed. wenen; H2. know.
[201. ]Cl. here an; rest om. an.
[204. ]Cl. after he was.
[205. ]Ed. quytte; H2. quytt; H. Cp. quite; Cl. Cm. quyt.
[206. ]Cl. discressioun.
[207. ]Cl. Cm. dede.
[210. ]Cl. seyden; Cp. H. Cm. seyde; Ed. sayd; H2. saide. Ed. heere; rest here. Cm. hounne; rest howne (hown).
[211. ]Cl. was delibered.
[213. ]Cl. pronuncede; precident.
[214. ]Cl. Al they; preyede.
[220. ]Cl. Cm. spede; rest spedde.
[223. ]Cp. H. Cm Ed. slepen; Cl. slepe.
[229. ]Cl. I-bounde.
[236. ]Cl. hepede; H. heped.
[237. ]Cl. -brest; Cp. Cm. -breste; H. -brast. Cl. werkyn.
[242. ]Cl. Righ.
[243. ]Cl. Cm. festes; rest fistes.
[252. ]MSS. Schop, Shope.
[257. ]Cl. terys.
[260. ]Cl. Thanne; Cp. H. Than.
[270. ]Cp. Cm. Ed. now the; Cl. H. the now.
[277. ]Cl. on (for or). Cl. Cm. deye; Cp. H. dye.
[282. ]Cp. H. Ed. whidder; Cl. Cm. wheder.
[286. ]H. gerful; Ed. gierful; Cl. greful; Cm. gery; Cp. serful (!).
[294. ]Cl. repeles (!).
[295. ]Cm. H2. schal I; rest I may.
[296. ]Cl. cruwel; Cm. crewel.
[298. ]Cl. Allas; rest Allone.
[302. ]Cp. Ed. wery; Cm. werray; rest verray.
[305. ]H. vnneste (glossed i. go out of thi nest). Ed. woful neste (wrongly).
[309. ]Cl. desport.
[310. ]Cp. H2. brighte; rest bright (but Cm. varies).
[312. ]Cp. H. Stonden; Cm. Stondyn; Ed. Stonden; Cl. Stondeth. Cp. H. sighte; Cl. sight.
[313. ]Cp. H. lighte; Cl. lyght.
[314. ]Cl. tweyne; Cp. H. tweye.
[317. ]H2. thilke; Cm. ye ilke; rest this.
[318. ]Cl. Cp. H. the; Ed. thy; rest my.
[320. ]Cl. vn-to yow so.
[323. ]H. heighe; Cp. heigh; Cl. heyhe.
[327. ]Cl. whanne; be.
[330. ]Cp. H. Ed. myslyued; H2. mysleuyd; Cl. Cm. mysbyleued.
[336. ]Cl. where as; rest om. as.
[339. ]Cl. Meddles; rest Medled (Medlid).
[345. ]Cl. Burgeys & lord.
[350. ]Cp. H. rees; Cl. Cm. res; Ed. race.
[352. ]Cp. H. vndid; Cl. vndede.
[354. ]Cl. as ony; rest om. ony.
[356. ]Cm. nyste; Cl. Cp. H. nyst; see 349.
[362. ]Cl. colde.
[364. ]Cp. H. slough.
[367. ]H. Cp. ayein; Cl. Cm. ayen; Ed. ayenst.
[368. ]Cl. wyych.
[370. ]Cp. H. thise; Cl. this.
[379. ]Ed. deed; H. Cm. ded; Cl. Cp. dede.
[380. ]Cl. answerede.
[387. ]Cl. Als; rest As.
[392. ]Cl. Cm. his; rest hire (her).
[398. ]All eye (ey).
[402. ]Cm. sweche; Ed. H2. suche; Cl. H. Cp. swych.
[405. ]Cm. owene; Cl. Cp. H. owen; Ed. owne.
[408. ]Cl. om. in.
[413. ]Cl. Cm. of; rest for.
[414. ]Cl. H. zauzis; rest zanzis.
[415. ]Cp. H. chaceth; Cl. cacheth.
[417. ]Cl. thow art; Cp. artow; H. ertow; Cm. or thow; rest art thou.
[423. ]Cl. ellys.
[424. ]Cl. al.
[426. ]H. Tabrigge; Cp. Tabregge; Cm. To abregge.
[430. ]Cl. Cm. sorwe; rest wo.
[431. ]Cm. roughte; Cl. Cp. H. rought. Cl. vnthryf; om. that.
[434. ]Cp. at oothir; H. attother.
[435. ]Cl. he answered. Cl. seyde a; rest om. a.
[437. ]Cl. fende.
[438. ]Cp. H. traysen; Cl. trassen; Ed. trayen. Cl. Cm. here (hire); rest a wight.
[439. ]Cl. to god; rest om. to. Cp. H. y-the; Cl. the.
[440. ]Cl. anoon sterue right.
[443. ]Cl. her (for herte).
[444. ]Cl. heres; Cp. H. hires; Ed. hers.
[445. ]Cl. syn that; rest om. that.
[455. ]Cl. sleste; H. Cm. slest; rest sleest.
[459. ]H2. wolde; Cm. nulde; Cp. H. Ed. wol; Cl. wil.
[462. ]Cl. that (before for) and hath (over erasure); Cp. H. and; rest that.
[468. ]Cm. pasciounys; rest passions.
[472. ]Cl. Criseyde; Cm. Crisseid; rest Criseydes.
[478. ]Cl. a lasse; rest om. a.
[480. ]Cl. leue; Cm. lyuyn; Cp. H. lyuyd (!).
[483. ]Cl. Ed. knowe; rest y-knowe.
[484. ]Cl. thenketh; Cp. H. Cm. thynketh.
[493. ]Cl. leuede; H. lyuede; Ed. lyued.
[498. ]H2. repeats nay; rest Nay.
[506. ]Ed. hyre; H. H2. hire; Cl. Cm. here.
[510. ]H. outher; Cl. Cm. other; H2. eyther. Cl. yn this teris; rest om. this.
[520. ]Cl. om. out. Cl. a lambyc; H. a lambic; Cm. a lambik; H2. lambyke; Ed. allambyke.
[525. ]Cl. it; rest him.
[526. ]Cm. seyde; Cl. H. seyd.
[527. ]Cl. thow; rest thee (the). H. Cm. H2. to; rest om.
[528. ]Cl. self; H. Ed. seluen; Cm. selue.
[1.]In the Proem, ll. 1-3 correspond to Fil. iii. st. 94, ll. 1-3; and ll. 8 and 10 to the same stanza, ll. 4 and 7. The rest is original.
[3.]Cf. Boethius, lib. ii. Pr. 1: ‘Intelligo . . illius [Fortunae] . . cum his, quos eludere nititur, blandissimam familiaritatem.’
[5.]hent and blent, for hendeth and blendeth, catches and blinds.
[6, 7.]Cf. Boethius, lib. ii. Met. 2: ‘Ultroque gemitus, dura quos fecit [Fortuna], ridet.’ Whence, in Le Roman de la Rose, 8076-9, the passage which Chaucer here imitates; the mowe = F. la moe.
[22.]Herines, i. e. Furies; used as the pl. of Erynis or Erinnys; see note to Compl. to Pite, 92. Their names (see l. 24) were Megaera, Alecto, and Tisiphone. Bell’s remark, that Chaucer found these names in Boccaccio, does not seem to be founded on fact. He more likely found them in Vergil, who has Erinnys, Æn. ii. 336, 573; vii. 447, 570; Alecto, id. vii. 324, 341, 405, 415, 445, 476; Megæra, id. xii. 846; Tisiphone, vi. 571, x. 761. But I suppose that, even in Chaucer’s time, MS. note-books existed, containing such information as the names of the Furies. Chaucer even knew that some (as Æschylus) considered them to be the daughters of Night.
[25.]Quiryne, Quirinus. Ovid, Fasti, ii. 476, tells us that Quirinus was Romulus; and just above, ii. 419, that Romulus and Remus were sons of Mars.
[29.]Ligginge . . The Grekes, while the Greeks lay.
[32.]Hercules Lyoun, Hercules’ lion, the lion of Hercules; alluding to the lion’s skin which Hercules wore. Valerius Flaccus, Argonauticon, lib. i. 263, has ‘Herculeo . . leoni;’ and Chaucer seems to have read this author, or at any rate his first book; see Leg. of Good Women, l. 1457, and the note. However, Chaucer shews his knowledge of the story clearly enough in his tr. of Boethius, Bk. iv. Met. 7. The reference is, simply, to the sign Leo. The sun was in this sign during the latter part of July and the former part of August; but we are further told that he was in the ‘breast’ of Leo, and therefore near the very bright star Regulus, called in Arabic Kalbalased, or the Lion’s Heart, which was situated almost on the zodiac, and (at that time) near the 20th degree of the sign. This gives the date as being the first week in August.
[41.]in the berd, in the beard, i. e. face to face.
[47.]shour, assault, attack; see note to Bk. iii. 1064.
[50-4.]From Boccaccio. The right names are Antenor, Polydamas, Menestheus or Mnestheus, Xanthippus, Sarpedon, Polymnestor, Polites, Riphaeus, all mentioned by Boccaccio, who probably took them from Guido delle Colonne. But Boccaccio omits ‘Phebuseo,’ and I do not know who is meant. Several of these names may be found in the allit. Destruction of Troy, ed. Panton and Donaldson; as Antenor and his son Polydamas, at ll. 3947, 3954; Xanthippus, king of Phrygia, l. 6107; Sarpedon, prince of Lycia, l. 5448; and in Lydgate’s Siege of Troy, Bk. ii. capp. 16, 20. Polymestor, or Polymnestor, was king of the Thracian Chersonese, and an ally of the Trojans. Polites was a son of Priam (Æneid. ii. 526). Mnestheus is repeatedly mentioned in Vergil (Æn. v. 116, &c.), and is also called Menestheus (id. x. 129); he is a different person from Menestheus, king of Athens, who fought on the other side. For Riphaeus, see Verg. Aen. ii. 339. The Ital. forms are Antenorre, Polidamas, Monesteo, Santippo, Serpedon, Polinestorre, Polite, Rifeo. Observe that Monostéo, Riphéo, Phebuséo rime together, with an accent on the penultimate.
[62.]thassege, for the assege, the siege; Barbour has assege, siege, in his Bruce, xvii. 270, xx. 8; pl. assegis, xx. 12. MS. H. wrongly has thessage. See l. 1480 below.
[64.]Calkas, Calchas; see Bk. i. 66, 71.
[79.]This town to shende, i. e. (it will be best for you) to despoil this town.
[86.]resport, regard. This strange word is certified by its reappearance in l. 850, where it rimes to discomfórt. It is given in Roquefort, but only in a technical sense. It was, doubtless, formed from O. F. esport, deportment, demeanour, regard (Godefroy), by prefixing re-; and means ‘demeanour towards,’ or (here) simply ‘regard,’ as also in l. 850. The etymology is from Lat. re-, ex, and portare. Cf. F. rapport, from re-, ad, and portare.
[96.]in hir sherte, in her smock only; i. e. without much rich clothing; ‘as she was.’
[99.]‘For because I saw no opportunity.’
[112.]as yerne, as briskly as possible, very soon; so in l. 201.
[120-4.]Laomedon, father of Priam, founded Troy. Apollo and Poseidon (Neptune) had been condemned for a while to serve him for wages. But Laomedon refused them payment, and incurred their displeasure.
[133.]Antenor had been taken prisoner by the Greeks; see Lydgate, Siege of Troye, Bk. iii. ch. 24. Lydgate’s version is that Antenor was to be exchanged for Thoas, king of Calydon; and, at the request of Chalcas, it was arranged that Antenor should be exchanged for both Thoas and Criseyde (see l. 138); to which Priam consented.
[143.]parlement; here Boccaccio has parlamento, i. e. a parley. Chaucer gives it the English sense.
[168.]‘The love of you both, where it was before unknown.’
[197.]From Juvenal, Sat. x. ll. 2-4:—
Cf. Dryden’s translation and Dr. Johnson’s poem on the Vanity of Human Wishes.
[198, 9.]what is to yerne, what is desirable. offence, disappointment.
[203.]mischaunce; because Antenor contrived the removal from Troy of the Palladium, on which the safety of the city depended. Cf. Lydgate, Siege of Troye, Bk. iv. ch. 34; or the account by Caxton, quoted in Specimens of English from 1394-1579, ed. Skeat, p. 89.
[210.]here and howne. The sense of this phrase is not known; but, judging by the context, it seems to mean—‘thus said every one, such was the common rumour.’ It has been explained as ‘thus said hare and hound,’ i. e. people of all sorts; but the M.E. form of hare is hare (A.S. hara), and the M.E. form of ‘hound’ never appears as howne, which, by the way, is evidently dissyllabic. In the absence of further evidence, guesswork is hardly profitable; but I should like to suggest that the phrase may mean ‘gentle and savage.’ The M.E. here, gentle, occurs in Layamon, 25867; and in Amis and Amiloun, 16 (Stratmann); from A.S. hēore. Houne answers, phonetically, to an A.S. Hūna, which may mean a Hun, a savage; cf. Ger. Hüne.
[225.]From Dante, Inf. iii. 112:—
[239.]This stanza follows Boccaccio closely; but Boccaccio, in his turn, here imitates a passage in Dante, Inf. xii. 22:—
[251, 2.]Almost repeated in the Clerk Ta. E 902, 3; see note to the latter line, and cf. Gower, Conf. Amant. ii. 14—‘Right as a lives creature She semeth,’ &c.
[263.]In MS. H., thus is glossed by ‘sine causa.’
[272.]Accent misérie on e; ‘Nella miseria;’ Inf. v. 123.
[279.]combre-world, encumbrance of the world, a compound epithet. It is used by Hoccleve, in his lament for Chaucer, De Regim. Principum, st. 299. ‘A cumber-world, yet in the world am left;’ Drayton, Pastorals, Ecl. ii. 25.
[286.]gerful, changeable; see note to Kn. Ta. A 1536.
[300.]Edippe, Œdipus, king of Thebes, who put out his own eyes on finding that he had slain his father Laius and married his mother Jocasta; Statius, Theb. i. 46.
[302.]Rossetti thus translates Fil. iv. st. 34: ‘O soul, wretched and astray, Why fliest thou not out of the most ill-fortuned body that lives? O soul brought low, part from the body, and follow Chryseis.’
[305.]unneste, glossed in H. by ‘go out of thi nest;’ correctly.
[318.]Read my, not the or thy; Rossetti thus translates Fil. iv. st. 36: ‘O my Chryseis, O sweet bliss of the sorrowing soul which calls on thee! Who will any more give comfort to my pains?’
[330.]unholsom; Boccaccio has insano, Fil. iv. st. 38. ‘I think it pretty clear that B. means insane in our ordinary sense for that word; but Chaucer’s unholsom is no doubt founded on B.’s epithet, and is highly picturesque.’—Rossetti.
[356, 7.]Nearly repeated in Man of Lawes Ta. B 608, 9. See l. 882.
[381.]‘As certainly do I wish it were false, as I know it is true.’
[392.]propretee, his own indefeasible possession; see Boethius, Bk. ii. Pr. 2. 9 (p. 27), 61 (p. 28).
[407.]Pandarus took his morality from Ovid; cf. Amorum lib. ii. 4. 10-44: ‘Centum sunt causae, cur ego semper amem;’ &c.
[413.]heroner, a large falcon for herons; faucon for rivere, a goshawk for waterfowl. See note to Sir Thopas, B 1927.
[414, 5.]From Boccaccio, who does not, however, give the name of the author of the saying. The remark ‘as Zanzis writeth’ is Chaucer’s own. It is quite clear that Zanzis in this passage is the same as the Zanzis in the Physiciens Tale, C 16; and he is no other than Zeuxis the painter. I do not suppose that Chaucer had any special reason for assigning to him the saying, but his name was as useful as that of any one else, and the medieval method of reference is frequently so casual and light-hearted that there is nothing to wonder at. Besides, we are distinctly told (l. 428) that Pandarus was speaking for the nonce, i. e. quite at random. The real author is Ovid: ‘Successore nouo uincitur omnis amor;’ Remed. Amor. 462.
[460.]pleyen raket, play at rackets, knocking the ball forwards and backwards; alluding to the rebound of the ball after striking the wall.
[461.]Netle in, dokke out means, as Chaucer says, first one thing and then another. The words are taken from a charm for curing the sting of a nettle, repeated whilst the patient rubs in the juice from a dock-leaf. The usual formula is simply, ‘in dock, out nettle,’ for which see Brockett’s Glossary of North-Country Words, s. v. dockon (dock); but Chaucer is doubtless correct. He refers to a fuller form of words, given in Notes and Queries, 1st Ser. iii. 368:—
Akermann’s Glossary of Wiltshire Words gives a third formula, as follows:—
i. e. nettle shan’t have ne’er one. See also N. and Q. 1st Ser. iii. 205, 368; xi. 92; Athenæum, Sept. 12, 1846; Brand, Pop. Antiq. iii. 315.
[462.]‘Now ill luck befall her, that may care for thy wo.’
[481-3.]gabbestow, liest thou. Ll. 482, 3 are a reproduction of Pandarus’ own saying, in Bk. iii. 1625-8.
[493.]Deficient in the first foot; read—‘I | that liv’d’ | &c.
[497.]formely; Cm. formaly; for formelly, i. e. formally.
[503.]From Boethius, Bk. i. Met. 1. 13, 14 (p. 1).
[506.]Troilus speaks as if dead already. ‘Well wot I, whilst I lived in peace, before thou (death) didst slay me, I would have given (thee) hire;’ i. e. a bribe, not to attack me.
[520.]alambyk, alembic; i. e. a retort, or vessel used in distilling; in Cant. Ta. G 794, MS. E. has the pl. alambikes, and most other MSS. have alembikes. The word was afterwards split up into a lembick or a limbeck; see Macb. i. 7. 67. Chaucer took this from Le Rom. de la Rose, 6406-7:—