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Of yeddinges he bare utterly the pris.
Ther n'as no man no wher so vertuous;
He was the beste begger in all his hous'.
Somewhat he lisped for his wantonnesse,
To make his English swete upon his tonge;
And in his harping, whan that he hadde songe, ,
His eyen twinkeled in his hed aright
As don the sterres in a frosty night.'


With these unhallowed and untrue sons of the church is contrasted the Parsoune, or parish-priest : in describing whose sanctity, simplicity, sincerity, patience, industry, courage, and conscientious impartiality, Chaucer shews his good sense and good heart. Dryden imitated this character of the Good Parson, and is said to have applied it to bishop Ken.

The character of the Squire teaches us the education and requisite accomplishments of young gentlemen in the gallant reign of Edward the Third. But it is to be remembered, that our squire is the son of a knight, who has performed feats of chivalry in every part of the world ; which the poet thus enumerates with great dignity and simplicity.

At Alisandre' he was whan it was wonne,
Ful often time he hadde the bord begonne W,
Aboven alle nations in Prucex.
In Lettowe, hadde he reysed and in Ruce: 2
No cristen man so ofte of his degre
In Gernade, at the siege eke hadde he be

*yelding, i.e. dalliance. (The Prompt. Bad bis marshall of his hall Parv. makes yedding to be the same as To setten him in such degre, geste which it explains thus : geest or That he upon him inyght se. rumaunce, gestio. So that of yeddinges The kyng was soone sette and served: may perhaps mean of story-telling. T. And lie which had his prise deserved, convent.

After the kyngis own worde, v. 208.

Was made begyn a myddle burde. See this phrase explained above, That is, “ he was seated in the middle p. 5, note *. 'I will here add a simi of the table, a place of distinction and lar expression from Gowcr, Conf.


* Prussia. Imant. lib. vii. fol. 177. b. edit. Ber.


2 Russia. thel. 1551,


Of Algesira, and ridden in Belmarieb.
At Leyes was he, and at Satalie",
Whan they were wonne: and in the gretė see:
At many a noble armee hadde he be:
At mortal batailles had he ben fiftene,
And foughten for our faith at Tramissenec
In lystes thries, and ay slain his fo.
This ilkè worthy Knight hadde ben also
Sometime with the lord of Palatief:
Agen 8 another hethen in Turkie.
And evermore he hadde a sovereine pris,
And though that he was worthy he was wise.h

The poet in some of these lines implies, that after the Christians were driven out of Palestine, the English knights of his days joined the knights of Livonia and Prussia, and attacked the pagans of Lithuania, and its adjacent territories. Lithu

* A city of Spain; perhaps Gibraltar. • A city in Anatolia, called Atalia. [ Algesiras; a Spanish town on the op- Many of these places are mentioned in posite side of the bay of Gibraltar.- the history of the Crusades. Epir.]

[The gulf and castle of Satalia are Speght supposes it to be that country mentioned by Benedictus Abbas, in the in Barbary which is called Benamarin. Crusade under the year 1191. Et cum It is mentioned again in the Knight's rex Franciæ recessisset ab Antiochet, Tale, v. 2632. p. 20. Urr.

statim intravit gulfum SATHALIÆ.—SaNe in Balmarie ther is no lion,

THALLE Castellum est optimum, unde That huntid is, &c.

gulfus ille nomen accepit ; et super gul

fum illum sunt duo Castella et Villæ, et By which at least we may conjecture it utrumque dicitur Satalia. Sed unum to be some country in Africa. Perhaps illorum est desertum, et dicitur Vetus a corruption for Barbarie. [Froissart Satalia quod piratæ destruxerunt, et reckons it among the kingdoms of alterum Nova Satalia dicitur, quod Africa : Thunes, Bovgie, Maroch, Bel- Manuel iinperator Constantinopolis tir-lemarine, Tremessen. The battle of Be- mavit.” VIT. ET GESt. Henr. et Ric. ji. namarin is said by a late author of Viage p. 680. Afterwards he mentions Mare de Espanna, p. 73, n. 1. to have been so Græcum, p. 683. That is, the Meditercalled: “por haber quedallo en ella Al- ranean from Sicily to Cyprus. I am in. bohacen, Rey de Marruecos del linage clined, in the second verse following, to de Aben Marin." Perhaps therefore read “Greke sea." Leyis is the town of the dominions of that family in Africa Layas in Armenia. - Additions.] might be called abusively Benamarin, €" In the holy war at Thrasimene, a and by a further corruption Belmarie. city in Barbary. -T.]

í Palathia, a city in Anatolia. Sce ° Some suppose it to be Lavissa, a city Froissart, iii. 40. on the continent, near Rhodes. Others against. Lybissa, a city of Bithynja.

I v. 51.


ania was not converted to christianity till towards the close of the fourteenth century. Prussian targets are mentioned, as we have before seen, in the Knight's Tale. Thomas duke of Gloucester, youngest son of king Edward the Third, and Henry earl of Derby, afterwards king Henry the Fourth, travelled into Prussia: and in conjunction with the grand Masters and Knights of Prussia and Livonia, fought the infidels of Lithuania. Lord Derby was greatly instrumental in taking Vilna, the capital of that country, in the year 1390h. Here is a seeming compliment to some of these expeditions. This invincible and accomplished champion afterwards tells the heroic tale of PALAMON and ARCITE. His son the SQUIER, a youth of twenty years, is thus delineated.

And he hadde be somtime in chevachie i
In Flandres, in Artois, and in Picardie :
And borne him wel, as of so litel space,
In hope to stonden in his ladies grace.
Embrouded was he as it were a mede
Alle ful of freshe floures white and rede.
Singing he was or floytyng alle the day,
He was as freshe as is the moneth of May.
Short was his goune with sleves long and wide,
Wel coude he sitte on hors, and fayre ride.
He coude songes make, and wel endite,

Juste, and eke dance, and well pourtraie, and write.k To this young man the poet, with great observance of decorum, gives the tale of Cambuscan, the next in knightly dignity to that of Palamon and Arcite. He is attended by a yeoman, whose figure revives the ideas of the forest laws.

And he was cladde in cote and hode of grene:

A sheff of peacocke arwes bright and kene.' h See Hakluyt's Voyages, i. 122. seq. Ciclinius riding in his chivarchie edit. 1598. See also Hakluyt's account From Venus. of the conquest of Prussia by the Dutch Knights Hospitalaries of Jerusalem, ibid. | Comp. Gul. Waynflete, episc. Win

Chivalry, riding, exercises of horse ton. an. 1471. (supr. citat.) Among the manship, Compl. Mar. Ven. v. 144. stores of the bishop's eastle of Farnham.

kv. 85.

Under his belt he bare ful thriftily:
Wel coude he dresse his takel yemanly:
His arwes drouped not with fetheres lowe;
And in his hond he bare a mighty bowe.
Upon his arm he bare a gaie bracer",
And by his side a swerd and a bokeler.
A Cristofren on his brest of silver shene:

A horne he bare, the baudrik was of grene. °
The character of the Reeve, an officer of much greater trust
and authority during the feudal constitution than at present, is
happily pictured. His attention to the care and custody of the
manors, the produce of which was then kept in hand for fur-
nishing his lord's table, perpetually employs his time, preys
upon his thoughts, and makes him lean and choleric. He is
the terror of bailiffs and hinds: and is remarkable for his cir-
cumspection, vigilance, and subtlety. He is never in arrears,
and no auditor is able to over-reach or detect him in his ac-
counts: yet he makes more commodious purchases for himself
than for his master, without forfeiting the good will or bounty
of the latter. Amidst these strokes of satire, Chaucer's genius
for descriptive painting breaks forth in this simple and beauti-
ful description of the Reeve's rural habitation.

His wonning was ful fayre upon an heth,

With grene trees yshadewed was his place." In the Clerke of OxENFORDE our author glances at the Arcus cum chordis. Et red. comp. de to the bishop's vassals tempore guerre. xxiv. arcubus cum xxiv. chordis de re Under the same title occur cross-bows manentia.- Sagittæ magnæ. Et de cxliv. made of horn. Arrows with feathers of sagittis magnis barbatis cum pennis pa- the peacock occur in Lydgate's Chronivonum.” In a Computus of bishop Ger- cle of Troy, B. iii. cap. 22. sign. O iü. vays, episc. Winton. an. 1266. (supr. edit. 1555. fol. citat.) among the stores of the bishop's castle of Taunton, one of the heads or

- Many good archers styles is, Caudæ pavonum, which I sup. And with fethirs of pecocke freshe and

Of Boeme, which with their arrows kene, pose were used for feathering arrows. In the articles of Arma, which are part of

shene, &c. the episcopal stores of the said castle, I armour for the arms. find enumerated one thousand four hun A saint who presided over the weadred and twenty-one great arrows for ther. The patron of field sports. cross-bows, remaining over and above • v. 103. three hundred and seventy-one delivered

P dwelling.

4 v. 608.

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inattention paid to literature, and the unprofitableness of philosophy. He is emaciated with study, clad in a thread-bare cloak, and rides a steed lean as a rake.

For he hadde geten him yet no benefice,
Ne was nought worldly to have an office:
For him was lever" han at his beddes hed
A twenty bokes, clothed in black or red,
Of Aristotle and his philosophie,
Then robes riche, or fidels, or sautrie :
But allbe that he was a philosophre,

Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofie.' His unwearied attention to logic had tinctured his conversation with much pedantic formality, and taught him to speak on all subjects in a precise and sententious style. Yet his conversation was instructive: and he was no less willing to submit than to communicate his opinion to others.

Souning in moral vertue was his speche,

And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche. The perpetual importance of the SERJEANT OF LAWE, who by habit or by affectation has the faculty of appearing busy when he has nothing to do, is sketched with the spirit and conciseness of Horace.

No wher so besy a man as he ther n'as,
And yet he semed besier than he was. W




these lines : “In forme and reverence:" ' fiddle. See supr. p. 282, note'. with propriety and modesty. In the

' 5. 293. Or it may be explained, next line, “ful of high sentence" means “ Yet he could not find the philosopher's only, I apprehend, full of high or excel

lent sense.

Mr. Warton will excuse me (This opinion is founded on the fol- for suggesting these explanations of this lowing passage :

passage in lieu of those which he has Not a word spake he more than was nede given. The credit of good letters is

concerned that Chaucer should not be And that was said in forme and reve

supposed to have made a pedantic forAnd short and quicke and ful of high all subjects the characteristics of a scho

mality and a precise sententious style on lar.-TYRWHITT.)

v. 300. Mr. Tyrwhitt has given a happier and un

V, 323.

He is said to have “ oftin questionably a ccrrecter interpretation of yben at the parvise.” v. 312. It is not





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