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very naturally avails himself of a circumstance belonging to his profession: on holidays it was his business to carry the censer about the church, and he takes this opportunity of casting unlawful glances on the handsomest dames of the parish. His gallantry, agility, affectation of dress and personal elegance, skill in shaving and surgery, smattering in the law, taste for music, and many other accomplishments, are thus inimitably represented by Chaucer, who must have much relished so ridiculous a character.

Now was ther of that chirche a parish clerke,
The which that was ycleped Absalon,
Crulle was his here, and as the golde it shone,
And strouted as a fannè large and brode,
Ful streight and even lay his joly shodeo.
His rode was red, his eyen grey as goos,
With Poules windowes corven on his shoos ?.
In hosen red he went ful fetisly:
Yclad he was ful smal and properly
All in a kirtel' of a light waget,
Ful faire, and thickè ben the pointes set :
And therupon he had a gay surplise
As white as is the blosme upon the rise'.
A mery child he was, so god me save,
Wel coud he leten blod, and clippe, and shave.
And make a chartre of lond and a quitance;
In twenty manere coud he trip and dance,
After the scole of Oxenforde tho,
And with his legges casten to and fro.

o hair.

P complexion. is, a warden, chaplain and clerk, are or" See p. 215, note'. supr.(Calcei fenes- dered to go “in meris caligis, et sotulatrati occur in antient Injunctions to the ribus non rostratis, nisi forsitan botis uti clergy. In Eton-college statutes, given voluerunt.” And it is added, “ Vestes in 1446, the fellows are forbidden to deferant non fibulatas, sed desuper clau. wear sotularia rostrata, as also caliga, sas, vel brevitate non notandas." REGISTR. , white, red, or green. CAP. xix. In á Priorat. S. Swithini Winton. MS. supr. chantry, or chapel, founded at Winches- citat. Quatern. 6. Compare Wilkins's ter in the year 1318, within the ceme- Concil. ïï. 670. ii. 4.-ADDITIONS. ] tery of the Nuns of the Blessed Virgin, ' jacket. by Roger Inkpenne, the members, that hawthorn (branch).


And playen songes on a smal ribible,

Therto he song sometime a loud quinible'. His manner of making love must not be omitted. He serenades her with his guittar.

He waketh al the night, and al the day,
He kembeth his lockes brode, and made him gay.
He woeth her by menes and brocage",
And swore he wolde ben hire owen page.
He singeth brokking as a nightingale.
He sent hire pinnes, methe, and spiced ale,
And wafres piping hot out of the glede ',
And, for she was of toun, he profered mede 2-


v. 224. A species of guittar. Lyd- thin's priory at Winchester, by the said gate, MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Fairf. 16. In a bishop, it appears that the monks claimed poem, never printed, called Reason and to have, among other articles of luxury, Sensuallive, compyled by Jhon Lyugate. on many festivals, “ Vinum, tam album Lutys, rubibis (1. ribibles), and geternes, garastrum,” &c. This was so early as

quam rubeum, claretum, medonem, burMore for estatys than tavernes.

the year 1285. Registr. Priorat. S. Swith. i treble.

Winton. MS. supr. citat. quatern. 5. It by offering money: or a settlement appears also, that the Hordarius and Caquavering.

merarius claimed every year of the prior y the coals; the oven.

ten dolia vini, or twenty pounds in mo2 See Rime or Sir Thoras, v. 3957. ney, A. D. 1337. Ibid. quatern, 5. A p. 146. Urr. Mr. Walpole has mentioned benefactor grants to the said convent on some curious particulars concerning the the day of his anniversary, “unam piliquors which antiently prevailed in En- pam vini pret. XX.s. ” for their refection, gland. Anecd. Paint. i. p. 11. I will A.D. 1286. Ibid. quatern. 10. Before add, that cyder was very early a common the year 1200, “ Vina et medones" are liquor among our ancestors. In the year mentioned as not uncommon in the ab1295, an. 23 Edw. I. the king orders bey of Evesham in Worcestershire. Stethe sheriff of Southamptonshire to pro- vens Monast. Append. p. 138. The use vide with all speed four hundred quar- of mead, medo, seems to have been very ters of wheat, to be collected in parts of antient in England. See Mon. Angl. i. his bailiwick nearest the sea, and to con 26. Thorne, Chron. sub ann. 1114, vey the same, being well winnowed, in Compare Dissertat. i. [It is not my good ships from Portsmouth to Win- intention to enter into the controversy chelsea. Also to put on board the said concerning the cultivation of vines for ships, at the same time, two hundred making wine, in England. I shall only tons of cyder. Test. R. apud Canter, bring to light the following remarkable bury. The cost to be paid immediately passage on that subject from an old Enfrom the king's wardrobe. This precept glish writer on gardening and farming. is in old French. Registr. Joh. Pontis « We might have a reasonable good wine sar. Episc. Winton. fol. 172.

It is re

growyng in many places of this realme: markable that Wickliffe translates, Luc. as undoubtedly wee had immediately afi. 21. “ He schal not drinke wyn ne ter the Conquest ; tyll partly by slouthsydyr.This translation was made about fulnesse, not liking any thing long that A. D. 1980. At a visitation of St. Swi. is painfull, partly by civill discord long

Sometime to shew his lightnesse and maistrie

He plaieth herodea on a scaffold hie.

Whan that the firstè cocke hath crowe anon,
Uprist this joly lover Absolon;
And him arayeth gay at point devise.
But first he cheweth greino and licorise,
To smellen sote, or he had spoke with here.
Under his tonge a trewe love he bere,
For therby wend he to ben gracious;

He cometh to the carpenteres house. In the mean time the scholar, intent on accomplishing his intrigue, locks himself up in his chamber for the space of two days. The carpenter, alarmed at this long seclusion, and supposing that his guest might be sick or dead, tries to gain admittance, but in vain. He peeps through a crevice of the door, and at length discovers the scholar, who is conscious that he was seen, in an affected trance of abstracted meditation. On this our carpenter, reflecting on the danger of being wise, and exulting in the security of his own ignorance, exclaims, continuyng, it was left, and so with tyme Husbandry, &c. Lond. 1578. 4to. To lost, as appeareth by a number of places THE READER.–ADDITIONS.] in this realme that keepe still the name Speght explains this “ feats of actiof Vineyardes : and uppon many cliffes vity, furious parts in a play." Gloss. Ch. and hilles, are yet to be seene the rootes Urr. Perhaps the character of HEROD and olde remaynes of Vines. There is in a Mystery. [The old reading was besides Nottingham, an auncient house “heraudes."] called Chilwell, in which house remayn 6 Greyns, or grains, of Paris, or Paeth yet, as an auncient monument, in radise, occurs in the RomanT OF THE a Great Wyndowe of Glasse, the whole Rose. v. 1369. A rent of herring pies Order of planting, pruyning, (pruning,] is an old payment from the city of Norstamping and pressing of vines. Beside, wich to the king, seasoned among other there (at that place) is yet also growing spices with half an ounce of grains of an old vine, that yields a grape sufficient Paradise. Blomf. Norf. ii. 264. to make a right good wine, as was lately • v. 579. It is to be remarked, that proved. - There hath, moreover, good in this tale the carpenter swears, with experience of late yeears been made, by great propriety, by the patroness saint of two noble and honorable barons of this Oxford, saint Frideswide, v. 340. realme, the lorde Cobham and the lorde Wylliams of Tame, who had both grow

This carpenter to blissin him began, yng about their houses, as good wines

And scide now helpin us saint Fridesas are in many parts of Fraunce," &c.

wide. Barnabie Googe's FOURE BOOKES OF

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A man wote litel what shal him betide!
This man is fallen with his astronomie
In som woodnesse, or in som agonie.
I thought ay wel how that it shuldè be:
Men shuldè not knowd of goddes privetee.
Ya blessed be alway the lewed-mano,
That nought but only his beleve can f.
So ferd another clerke with astronomie;
He walked in the feldes for to prie
Upon the sterres what there shuld befalle
Till he was in a marlèpit yfalle;
He saw not that. But yet, by seint Thomas,
Me reweth sore of hendy Nicholas:

He shall be rated for his studying. But the scholar has ample gratification for this ridicule. The carpenter is at length admitted ; and the scholar continuing the farce, gravely acquaints the former that he has been all this while making a most important discovery by means of astrological calculations. He is soon persuaded to believe the prediction: and in the sequel, which cannot be repeated here, this humourous contrivance crowns the scholar's schemes with success, and proves the cause of the carpenter's disgrace. In this piece the reader observes that the humour of the characters is made subservient to the plot.

I have before hinted, that Chaucer's obscenity is in great measure to be imputed to his age. We are apt to form romantic and exaggerated notions about the moral innocence of our ancestors. Ages of ignorance and simplicity are thought to be ages of purity. The direct contrary, I believe, is the

Rude periods have that grossness of manners which is not less friendly to virtue than luxury itself. In the middle ages, not only the most flagrant violations of modesty were frequently practised and permitted, but the most infamous vices.


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Men are less ashamed as they are less polished. Great refinement multiplies criminal pleasures, but at the same time prevents the actual commission of many enormities: at least it preserves public decency, and suppresses public licentiousness.

The Reves Tale, or the MILLER of TROMPINGTON, is much in the same style, but with less humour'. This story was enlarged by Chaucer from Boccaciok. There is an old English poem on the same plan, entitled, A ryght pleasant and merye history of the Mylner of Abington, with his wife and faire Daughter, and two poore Scholars of Cambridge'. It begins with these lines.

“Faire lordinges, if you list to heere

A mery jest m your minds to cheere.” This piece is supposed by Wood to have been written by Andrew Borde, a physician, a wit, and a poet, in the reign of Henry the Eighth". It was at least evidently written after

i See also THE SHIPMAN'S TALE, seven miles from Cambridge.) Imprint. which was originally taken from some at London by Rycharde Jones, 4to. Bl. comic French trobadour. But Chaucer Let. It is in Bibl. Bodl. Selden, C. 59. had it from Boccacio. The story of 4to. This book was probably given to Zenobia, in the Monxes Tale, is from that library, with many other petty black Boccacio's Cas. Vir. Illustr. (See Lydg. letter histories, in prose and verse, of a Boch. viii. 7.) That of Hugolin of Pisa similar cast, by Robert Burton, author in the same Tale, from Dante. That of of the ANATOMY of MELANCHOLY, who Pedro of Spain, from archbishop Tur was a great collector of such pieces. One pin, ibid. Of Julius Cesar, from Lu- of his books now in the Bodleian is the can, Suetonius, and Valerius Maximus, HISTORY OF Tom THUMB; whom a learnibid. The idea of this Tale was sug- ed antiquary, while he laments that angested by Boccacio's book on the same tient history has been much disguised by subject.

romantic narratives, pronounces to have * Decamer. Giom. ix. Nov. 6. [But been no less important a personage than both Boccacio and Chaucer probably king Edgar's dwarf. story. borrowed from an old Conte, or Fa n See Wood's Athen. Oxon. BORDE, BLIAU, by an anonymous French rhymer, And Hearne's Bened. Abb. i. Præfat. De Gombert et des deux Clers. See Fa- p. xl. lv. I am of opinion that SolereBLIAUX et Contes, Paris, 1756. tom. ii. Hall, in Cambridge, mentioned in this p. 115–124. The SHIPMAN's Tale, poem, was Aula Solarii. The hall, with as I have hinted, originally came from the upper story, at that time a sufficient some such French Fallsour, through circumstance to distinguish and denothe medium of Boccacio.— ADDITIONS.] minate one of the academical hospitia.

A manifest mistake for Oxford, un- Although Chaucer calls it, “a grete colless we read Trumpington for Abing- lege,” v. 881. Thus in Oxford we had don, or retaining Abingdon we might Chimney-hall, Aula cum Camino, an read Oxford for Cambridge. [There is, almost parallel proof of the simplicity of however, Abington, with a mill-stream, their antient houses of learning. Twyne


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