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And on hire fete a pair of sporres sharpe.
In felawship wel coude she laughe and carpe He knew the cause of every maladie,
Of remedies of love she knew parchance, Were it of cold, or hote, or moist, or drie,
For of that arte she coude the olde dance. And wher engendred, and of what humour,
A good man there was of religioun,
That was a pourè Personel of a toun :
He was also a lerned man, a clerk,
That Cristès gospel trewely woldè preche.
And in adversite ful patient :
And swiche he was ypreved' often sithess. And Dioscorides, and eke Rufùs ;
Ful loth were hiin to cursen for his tithes, Old Hippocras, Hali, and Gallien,
But rather wolde he yeven' out of doute, Serapion, Rasis, and Avicen ;
Unto his pourè parishens aboute, Averrois, Damascene, and Constantin ;
Of his offring, and eke of his substance. Bernard, and Gatisden, and Gilbertin.
He coude in litel thing have suffisance. Of his diete mesurable was he,
Wide was his parish, and houses fer asоnder, For it was of no superfluitee,
But he ne left nought for no rain ne thonder, But of gret nourishing, and digestible.
In sikenesse and in mischief to visite His studie was but little on the Bible.
The ferrest in his parish, moche and lite," In sanguine and in persef he clad was alle Up in his fete, and in his hand a staf. Lined with taffata, and with sendalles.
This noble ensample to his shepe he yafv. And yet he was but esy of dispenceh:
That first he wrought and afterward he taught. He kepte that he wani in the pestilence.
Out of the gospel he the wordès caught, For golde in phisike is a cordial ;
And this figure he added yet thereto, Therfore he loved gold in special.
That if golde rustè, what shuld iren do?
For if a preest be foule, on whom we trust,
To see a shitten shepherd, and clene shepe :
Wel ought a preest ensample for to yeve, That to the offring before hire shulde gon, By his clenenessé, how his shepe shuld live. And if ther did, certain so wroth was she,
He sette not his benefice to hire,
And lette his shepe accombred in the mire,
To seeken him a chanterie for soules,
But dwelt at home, and keptè wel his fold, Ful streite yteyed', and shoon ful moist and newe. So that the wolf ne made it not miscarie. Bold was hire face, and fayre and rede of hew. He was a shepherd, and no mercenarie. She was a worthy woman all hire live,
And though he holy were, and vertuous, Housbondes at the chirche dore had she had five, He was to sinful men not dispitous, Withouten other compagnie in youthe.
Ne of his spechè dangerous ne digne, But therof nedeth not to speke as nouthem. But in his teching discrete and benigne. And thries hadde she ben at Jerusaleme,
To drawen folk to heven, with fairènesse, She hadde passed many a strangè streme.
By good ensample, was his besinesse : At Rome she hadde ben, and at Boloine,
But it were any persone obstinat, In Galice at Seint James, and at Coloine.
What so he were of highe, or low estat, She couden moche of wandering by the way.
Him wolde he snibben" sharply for the nonès. Gat-tothed was she, sothly for to say.
A better preest s trowe that nowher' non is Upon an ambler esily she sat,
He waited after no pompe ne reverence, Ywimpled wel, and on hire hede an hat,
Ne maked him no spicedy conscience, As brode as is a bokeler, or a targe.
But Cristes lore, and his apostles twelve, A fote-mantelo about hire hippès large,
He taught, but first he folwed it himselve. y Make fortunate.
With him ther was a Plowman, was his brother. b Remedy.
d Electuaries, That hadde ylaid of dong? ful many a fother. e Blood-red colour. i Sky-coloured, or blueish grey. h Expense.
u The nearest and most distant of his parishioners.
x No where. • A riding petticoat.
y Nice, in an affected sense.
z The ascendant. c Drugs.
& Thin silk.
i Gained, got.
w Snub, reprove.
A trewe swinker, and a good was he,
To makn him live by his propre good, Living in pees', and parfite charitee.
In honour detteles", but if he were wo God loved he beste with alle his herte
Or live as scarsly, as him list desire ;
And able for to helpen all a shire
The Revè was a slendre colerike ma
His berd was shave as neighe as ever His tithès paied he ful fayre and wel
His here was by his erès round yshorn Bothe of his propre swinke, and his catel. His top was docked like a preest befor In a tabard he rode upon a mere.
Ful longè were his legges, and ful lene There was also a reve, and a millere,
Ylike a staff, ther was no calf ysene. A sompnours, and a pardonere also,
Wel coude he kepe a garner and a bin A manciple', and myself, ther ne'ere no mo. Ther was non auditour coude on him v
The Miller was a stout carl for the nones, Wel wiste he by the drought, and by ti Ful bigge he was of braun, and eke of bones; The yelding" of his seed, and of his gra That proved wel, for over all ther he came, His lordès shepe, his nete", and his dei: At wrastling he wold bere away the rams. His swine, his hors, his store, and his i He was short shuldered brode, a thikke gnarre, Were holly in his reves" governing, Ther n'as no dore, that he n'olde heve of barre, And by his covenant yave he rekening: Or breke it at a renning' with his hede.
Sin that his lord was twenty yere of ag His berd as any sowe or fox was rede,
Ther coude no man bring him in arera And therto brode, as though it were a spade. Ther n'as baillif, ne herde, ne other hin Upon the cop right of his nose he hade
That he ne knew his sleight and his co' A wert, and theron stode a tufte of heres, They were adradde of him, as of the de Rede as the bristles of a sowès eres.
His wonning was ful fayre upon an het His nosè-thirlèsk blacke were and wide.
With grene trees yshadewed was his pla A swerd and bokeler bare he by his side.
He coude better than his lord pourchat
Ful ryche he was ystored privily.
His lord wel coude he plesen subtilly,
In youthe he lerned hadde a good mist A white cote and a blew hode wered he.
He was a wel good wright, a carpentere A baggèpipe wel coude he blowe and soune,
This reve sat upon a right good stot”, And therwithall he brought us out of toune.
That was all pomelee" grey, and highte A gentil Mancipler was ther of a temple, A long surcote of perse upon he hade, Of which achatours9 mighten take ensemple And by his side he bare a rusty blade. For to ben wise in bying of vitaille.
Of Norfolk was this reve, of which I te For whether that he paide, or toke by taille,
Beside a toun, men clepen Baldeswell. Algate he waited so in his achate",
Tucked he was, as is a frere, aboute, That he was ay before in good estate.
And ever he rode the hindrest of the re Now is not that of God a ful fayre grace,
A Sompnour was ther with us in that That swiche a lewed mannès wit shal pace
That had a fire-red cherubinnesb face, The wisdom of an hepe of lered men ?
For sausefleme he was, with eyen nare Of maisters had he mo than thriès ten,
As hote he was, and likerous as a sparv That were of lawe expert and curious :
With scalled browes blake, and pilled b Of which ther was a dosein in that hous,
Of his visage children were sore aferd. Worthy to ben stewardes of rent and lond Ther n'as quicksilver, litarge, ne brims Of any lord that is in Englelond,
Boras, ceruse, ne oile of tartre non, b Peace.
Ne oinément that wolde clense or bite,
c Pain. d A sompnour, an officer employed to summon delin That him might helpen of his whelkese quents in ecclesiastical courts, now called an apparitor. Ne of the knobbes sitting on his chekes - Tyrwhilt. • A pardoner, a seller of pardons or indulgences.
Wel loved he garlike, onions, and lekes F A manciple, an officer who has the care of furnishing
And for to drinke strong win as rede as victuals for an inn of court.
Than wolde he speke, and crie as he w & The prize. h A hard knot in a tree.
s Free from debt. i A running.
i Mado a fool of them all.
u Yic k Nostrils. i Prater m Buffoon.
w Steward. no He was as honest as other millers, though he had, Secret contrivances.
y Trade, occi according to the proverb, like every miller, a thumb of
z llorse, beast. a Dappled. gold.
p Vide note above.
b Cherub's face.
€ Red pimpled 9 Purchasers. r Purchase.
d Narrow, close.
That streit was comen from the court of Rome.
Ful loude he sang, Come hither, love, to me.
This sompnour bare to him a stiff burdounk, That he had lerned out of som decree ;
Was never trompe of half so gret a soun.
This pardoner had here as yelwel as wax,
But smoth it heng, as doth a strike of flax :
Ful thinne it lay, by culpons" on and on, Ay, Questio quid juris, wolde he crie.
But hode, for jolite, ne wered he non, He was a gentil harlot' and a kind;
For it was trussed up in his wallet. A better felaw shulde a man not find.
Him thought he rode al of the newe get, He woldè suffre for a quart of wine,
Dishevele, sauf his cappe, he rode all bare. A good felàw to have his concubine
Swiche glaring eyen hadde he, as an hare. A twelve month, and excuse him at the full. A vernicle hadde he sewed upon his cappe. Ful prively a finch eke coude he pull.
His wallet lay beforne him in his lappe, And if he found owhere a good felàwe,
Bret-fulo of pardon come from Rome al hote.
A vois he hadde, as smale as hath a gote.
As smothe it was as it were newe shave;
I trowe he were a gelding or a mare. Purse is the archedekens helle, said he.
But of his craft, fro Berwike unto Ware, But wel I wote, he lied right in dede :
Ne was ther swiche an other pardonere. Of cursing ought eche gilty man him drede. For in his maler he hadde a pilwebere,9 For curse wol sle right as assoiling saveth, Which, as he saide, was Our Ladies veil : And also ware him of a significavit.
He saide, he hadde a gobbet of the seyls In danger hadde he at his owen gise
Thatte seint Peter bad, whan that he went The yonge girles of the diocise,
Upon the see, till Jesu Crist him hent'. And knew hir conseil, and was of hir redes. He had a crois of latono ful of stones, A gerlond hadde he sette upon his hede,
And in a glas he hadde pigges bones. As gret as it were for an alestakeh :
But with these relikes, whanne that he fond
A poure persone dwelling up on lond,
And thus with fained flattering and japes', as women, and without any bad signification. [. When the
He made the persone, and the peple, his apes*. word harlot,' says Gifford, became (like knave) a term But trewely to tellen atte last, of reproach, it was appropriated solely to males: in Jon He was in chirche a noble ecclesiast. son's days it was applied indiscriminately to both sexes;
Wel coude he rede a lesson or a storie, though without any determinate import; and it was not till long afterwards that it was restricted to females, and
But alderbestä he sang an offertorier : to the sense which it now bears. To derive harlot from For wel he wiste, whan that song was songe, Arlotte, the mistress of the Duke of Normandy, is ridiculous." (Ben Jonson, vol. iii. p. 312.)
He muste preche, and wel afilehis tonge,
The word hariott,' Jonson told Drummond, . was taken from
To-winne silver, as he right wel coude : Arlotte, who was the mother of William the Conqueror; Therefore he sang the merrier and loude. a Rogue from the Latine, Erro, by putting a G to it.' (ARCH. Scot. vol. iv. p. 100.) This supposition of Jonson's
k Sang the bass.
1 Yellow, has been discovered since Gifford wrote.]
9 Covering of a pillow.
t Assisted, took. j Supposed by Stevens to be Runceval Hall, in Ox |
U A mixed metal of the colour of brass. ford.
X Best y Part of the mass. i Polish.
Little is known of Gower's personal history. From his will it appears that he was living in “ The proud tradition in the Marquis of Stafford's 1408. His bequests to several churches and family,” says Mr. Todd“, “ has been, and still hospitals, and his legacy to his wife of 1001., of is, that he was of Stitenham ; and who would all his valuable goods, and of the rents arising not consider the dignity of his genealogy aug. from his manors of Southwell in the county of mented, by enrolling among its worthies the Nottingham, and of Multon in the county of moral Gower ?"
Suffolk, undeniably prove that he was rich. His effigies in the church of St. Mary Overies One of his three great works, the Speculum is often inaccurately described as having a gar Meditantis, a poem in French, is erroneously land of ivy and roses on the head. It is, in fact, described by Mr. Godwin and others as treating a chaplet of roses, such as, Thynne says, was of conjugal fidelity. In an account of its contents anciently worn by knights; a circumstance which in a MS. in Trinity College, Cambridge, we are is favourable to the suspicion, that has been told that its principal subject is the repentance suggested, of his having been of the rank of of a sinner. The Vox Clamantis, in Latin, relates knighthood. If Thynne's assertion, respecting to the insurrection of the commons, in the reign the time of the lawyers first entering the Temple, of Richard II. The. Confessio Amantis, in be correct, it will be difficult to reconcile it with English, is a dialogue between a lover and his the tradition of Gower's having been a student confessor, who is a priest of Venus, and who there in his youth.
explains, by apposite stories, and philosophical By Chaucer's manner of addressing Gower, illustrations all the evil affections of the heart the latter appears to have been the elder. He which impede, or counteract the progress and was attached to Thomas of Woodstock, as success of the tender passion. Chaucer was to John of Gaunt. The two poets His writings exhibit all the crude erudition
appear to have been at one time cordial friends, and science of his age ; a knowledge sufficient to | but ultimately to have quarrelled. Gower tells have been the fuel of genius, if Gower had pos
us himself that he was blind in his old age. sessed its fire.
THE TALE OF THE COFFERS OR CASKETS, &c.,
IN THE FIFTH BOOK OF THE “CONFESSIO ANANTIS."
In a cronique thus I rede :
These oldè men upon this thing,
And all within his owne entent,
e Saw. I Jewels, or precious stones. & Rubbish.
Whan he had heard the common vois,
This king than in the same stede,
Lo! seith the king, now may ye see
Thus was this wise king excused :
I OF THE GRATIFICATION WHICH THE LOVER'S
PASSION RECEIVES FROM THE SENSE OF
IN THE SIXTH BOOK.
So that erlichei upon a day
There shall no man his hap despise :
They knelen all, and with one vois
Thoo toke this knyght a yerd" on honde,
The king, which wolde his honor save,
Right as mine eye with his loke
For thus it is that, over all
k Those. 1 Choose. m Go. n At last.
o Their. P Lose. 9 Then. IA rod. s Every one.
Sayeth to the king. u As their reward.