In as moche as I maked


aferd Whan I you hente and brought out of your yerd; But, Sire, I did it in no wikke entente: Come doun, and I shal tell you what I mente: 1543 I lhal say sothe to you, God helpe me so.

Nay than, quod he, I threwe us bothe two; And first i farewe myself bothe blood and bones If thou begile me oftener than ones: Thou shalt no more thurgh thy flaterie 15435 Do me to sing and winken with myn eye, For he that winkech whan he fhulde see, Al wilfully, God let him never the. Nay, quod the fox, but God


him mefchance That is so indiscrete of governance

15440 That jangleth whan that he fhuld hold his pees.

Lo, which it is for to be reccheles
And negligent, and trust on flaterie.

that holden this Tale a folie, As of a fox, of a cok or hen,

15445 Takech the moralitee therof, good men; For Seint Poule fayth, that all that writen is To our doctrine it is ywriten ywis. Taketh the fruit, and let the chaf be fille.

Now, goode God, if that it be thy wille, 1 15450 As fayth my Lord, so make us all good men, And bring us to thy highe blisse. Amens ;;. .

t. 15451. As fayth my Lord] Opposite to this verse in the margin of mf. C. 1, is written kantuar, which means, I suppoie, that some archbishop of Canterbury is quoted.


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Sire Nonnes Preeft, our Hofte sayd anon,
Yblelfed be thy breche and every ston;
This was a mery Tale of Chaunteclere :
But by my trouthe if thou were feculere
Thou woldest ben a tredefoule a right,
For if thou have corage as thou hait might
Thee were nede of hennes, as I wene,
Ye mo than seven times seventené.
Se whiche braunes hath this gentil Preest,
So gret a necke, and swiche a large breeft!
He loketh as a sparhauk with his eyen;
Him nedeth not his colour for to dien
With Brafit ne with grain of Portingale,

But, Sire, faire falle you for your Tale.
And after that he with ful mery chere
Sayd to another as ye shulen here. ?***



. 15468. Sayd to another] I have observed, in the Difcourse, & c. 37, that in mil. Alk. 1, 2, this line is read thus;

Seide unto the Nunne as ye hul heer. The following are the lix forged lines which the same msl. ex. lubit by way of introduction to The Nonne's Tale;

Madame, and I corse I wolde your pray
To tcile a Tale in fortheringe of our way;
Than migh'e ye do unto is grete efe...
Gladly, Sire, quoch fhe, in that I might plcre
You and this worthy company;
And began hir Tale rihtinus ful sobrely,

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The ministre and the norice unto vices,
Which that men clepe in English Idelnesle, 15470
That porter at the gate is of Delices,
To eschuen, and by hire contrary hire oppresse,
That is to fain, by leful befinefle,
Wel oughtewe to don al our entente,
Lest that the fend thurgh idelnesse us hente. 15475

For he that with his thousand cordes flie
Continuelly us waiteth to beclappe,
Whan he may man in idelnefse efpic,
He can so lightly cacche him in his trappe,
Til that a man be hent right by the lappe
He n'is not ware the fend hath him in hond:
Wel ought us werche and idelnefse withstond.

And though men dradden never for to die,
Yet see men wel by refon douteles
That idelnefse is rote of flogardie,

Of which ther never cometh no good encrees,
And see that southe holdeth hem in a lees,
Only to flepe and for to ete and drinke,
And to devouren all that other fwinke.

And for to put us from swiche idelneffe, 13496
That cause is of so gret confusion,
I have here don my feithful befinesse,
After the legende, in translation
Right of thy glorious lif and passion,

The second Nonnes Tale] The life and death of Saint Cecily. sp.



Thou with thy gerlond wrought of rose and lilie, Thee mene l, maid and martir, Seinte Cecilie. 15496

And thou, that arte floure of virgines all, Of whom that Bernard lift fo wel to write, To thee at my beginning first I call, Thou comfort of us wretches, do me endite 55500 Thy maidens deth, that wan thurgh hire merite The eternal lif, and over the fend vleorie, As man may after reden in hire storie,

Thou maide and mother, doughter of thy fon, Thou wel of mercy, finful foules cure, 15505 In whom that God of bountee chees to won; Thou huvible and high over every creature, Thou nobledest so fer forth our nature, That no defdaine the maker had of kinde His son in blood and flesh to clothe and winde. 15510

Within the cloyilre blisful of thy fides Toke mannes shape the eternal Love and Pees, That of the trinc compas Lord and gide is, Whom erthe, and see, and heven, out of relees Ay herien; and thou virgine wemmeles 15515 Bare of thy body (and dweltest maiden pure) The creatour of every creature.

V. 15514. Out of relees] All the best msl.concur in this read. ing, and therefore i have followed thein, though I confess that I do not clearly understand the phrase, unless perhaps it mean without release, without being ever released from their duty. Thecommon reading witboutenkes is a genuine Saxon phrale ; butan leas, abfque falso, without a lie. Volume V,


After the opinion of certain clerkes,
Witnesse on him that any parâit clerk is,
That in scole is gret altercation
In this matere and gret difputison,
And hath ben of an hundred thousand men': 15245
But I ne cannot boult it to the bren,
As can the holy Doctour Augustin,
Or Boece, or the Bishop Eradwardin,
Whether that Goddes worthy foreweting
Streineth me nedely for to don a thing, 15250
(Nedely clepe i simple neceilitee)
Or elles if free chois be granted me
To do that same thing or do it nought,
Though God forewot it or that it was wrought,
Or if his woting ítreineth never a del 15255
But by neccflitee condicionel.
I wol not han to don of swiche matere;
My Tale is of a cok, as ye may here,
That took liis conseil of his wif with forwe
To walken in the yerd upon the morwe 15260
That he had met the dreme, as I you

Woniennes conseiles ben ful often cold;
Womennes conseil brought us first to wo,
And made Adam fro Paradis to go,
Ther as he was ful mery and wel at ese: 15265
But for I n'ot to whom I might displese

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of which there is no trace in the Philoftrato of Boccace. See wy, 5. n. 62.


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