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- In a cope of black, and not of grene,
On a palfray, slender, long, and lene,
With rusty bridle, made not for the sale,
My man toforne with a void male *.

He sees, standing in the hall of the inn, the convivial host of the tabard, full of his own importance ; who without the least introduction or hefitation thus addresses our author, quite unprepared for such an abrupt salutation.

-* - - Dan Pers,
Dan Dominike, Dan Godfray, or Clement,
Ye be welcome newly into Kent; ' -
Though your bridle have neither boss, ne bell *,
Besechi-ng you that you will tell, '
First of your name, &e. - -
That looke so pale, all devoid of blood,
Upon your head a wonder thredbare hood '.--

Our host then invites him to supper, and promises that he shall have, made according to his own directions, a large pudding, va round bagis, a French maile, or a phrase of eggs : adding, that he looked extremely lean for a monk, and must certainly have been sick, or else belong to a poor monastery:

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l'Edit. 1687.fol. ad CALC. Canacee's
* Ibid.

Wonne. pag. 623. col. 1. Prol.

e Portmanteau. that

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that a quantity of the seed of annis, cummin, or coriander, taken before going to bed, will remove flatulencies. But above all, says the host, chearful company will be your best physician. You shall not only sup with me and my companions this evening, but return with us to-morrow to London 5 yet on condition, that you will submit to one of the indispensable rules of our society, which is to tell an

entertaining story while we are travelling.

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Our monk, unable to withstand this profufion of kindness and festivity, accepts the host's invitation, and sups with the pilgrims. The next morning, as they are all riding from Canterbury to Ospringe, the host reminds his friend DAN JOHN of what he had mentioned in the evening, and without farther ceremony calls for a story. Lydgate obeys

' God's. 1 Dawn. h Chose. i Can, or Know. 1' Continue. 1 Pag. 622. col. 2. seq. Vol. II. L his

his commands, and recites the tragical destruction of the city of Thebes m. As the story is very long, a pause is made in descending a very steep hill near the T/Jrope "quroz/gszton on t/Je Blue; when our author, who was not furnished with that accommodation for knowing the time of the day, which modern improvements in science have given to the traveller, discovers by an accurate examination of his calendar, I suppose some sort of graduated scale, in which the sun's horary progress along the equator was marked, that it is nine in the morning ".

It has been said, but without any authority or probability, that Chaucer first wrote this story in a Latin narrative, which Lydgate afterwards translated into English verse. Our author's originals are Guido Colonna, Statius, and Seneca the tragedianp. Nicholas Trcht, an Englishman, a Dominican friar of London, who flourished about the year 1330, has left a commentary on Seneca's tragedies': and he was so favorite a poet as to have been illustrated by Thomas Aquinas'. He was printed at Venice so early as the year 1482. Lydgate in this poem often refers to myne auctor, who, Isuppose, is either Statius, or Colonna'. He sometimes cites Boccacio's Latin tracts: particularly the GENEALOGIIE DEORUM, a work which at the restoration of learning greatly contributed to familiarise the classical stories, DE CASIBUS VlRORUM ILLUSTRIUM, the ground-work of the FALL OF PRINCES just mentioned, and DE CLARlS MULIERIBUSr-in which pope Joan is one of the heroines'. From the first, he has taken the story of Amphion building the

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walls of Thebes by the help of Mercury's harp, and the interpretation of that fable, together_with the " fictions about Lycurgus king of Thrace w. From the second, as I recollect, the accoutrements of Polymites': and from the third, part of the tale of Isophile'. He also characterises Boccacio for a talent, by which he is not now so generally known, for his poetry; and styles him, " among poetes in " Itaile stalled'." But Boccacio's THESEID was yet-in vogue. He says, that when Oedipus was married, none of the Muses were present, as they were at the wedding of SAPIENCE with ELOWJENCE, described by that poet whilom sb _stzge, Matricitm inamed de Capellzz. This is Marcianus Mineus Felix de Capella, who lived about the year 470, and whose Latin prosaico-metrical work, de Nuptiis Philologz'ce et Mercurii, in two books, an introduction to his seven books, or system, of the SEVEN SCIENCES, I have mentioned before ': a writer highly extolled by Scotus Erigena", Peter of Blois®, John of Salisbury, and other early authors in corrupt Latinity d ; and of such eminent estimation in the dark centuries, as to be taught in the seminaries of philological education as a clafficfl Among the royal manuscripts in the British 'museum, a manuscript occurs written about the eleventh century, which is a commentary on these nine books of Capella,

" Lydgate says, that this was the same Lycurgus who came as an ally with Palamon to Athens against his brother Arcite, drawn by four white bulls, and crowned with a, wreath of gold. Pag. 650. col. 2. See KN. TALE, Urry's Ch. p. '7. v. 2131. seq. col. r. Our author expressly refers to Chaucer's KNrcHT's 'TALE about Theseus, and with some address, '5 As ye have before heard it related in N passing through Deptford, &c." pag.

7 Pag. 648. col. 1. seq.

1 Pag. 651. col. 1.

I See supr. vol. l. p. 391.

l' De Divis. Natur. lib. iii. p. '47. '48.

® Epist. 101.

d See Alcuin. De Sept. Artib. p. '256. Honorius Augustodunus, de Philosophia Mundi, lib. ii. cap. 5. And the book of Thomas Cantipratanus attributed to Bo

- ethius, De Disciplina Scholarium. Compare

Barth. ad Claudian. p. 32.

568. col. 1. = Barth. ad Briton. p. no. " Medii w Pag. 623. col. 2. 624.. col. 1. 651. " aevi scholas tenuit, adolcscentibus pra:col. l. " lectus, '&c." See VVilibaldus, Epist. x Pag. 634. col. 2. 147.tom. li- Vet. Monum. Marten. p. 334.. L 2_ compiled

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by Saxo Grammaticush.

Gregory of Tours has the vanity .

to hope, that no readers will 'think his Latinity barbarous : not even those, who have refined their taste, and enriched their understanding with a complete knowledge of every species of literature, by studying attentively this treatise of

Marcianus 1.

Alexander Necham, a learned abbot of Ci

rencester, and a voluminous Latin writer about the year 1210, wrote annotations on Marcianus, which are yet pre

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editions appeared soon afterwards.

He was first printed in the year 1499, and other

This piece of Mar

cianus, dictated by the ideal philosophy of Plato, is supposed to have led the way to Boethius's celebrated CONSOLATION


The marriage of SAPIENCE and ELOVIENCE, or Mercury and Philology, as described by Marcianus, at which Clio and Calliope with all their sisters assisted, and from which DlSCORD and SEDlTlON, the great enemies of literature, were excluded, is artfully introduced, and beautifully contrasted with that of Oedipus and Jocasta, which was celebrated by an assemblage of the most hideous beings.

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