negligent and flowe to shrive hem, that stondeth in two maners; that on is that he hopeth for to live long, and for to purchase moche richesse for his delit, and than he wol shrive him, and, as he fayeth, he may, as him femeth, than timely ynough come to Shrift ; another is the surquedrie that he hath in Cristes mercie. Ayenst the first vice he shal thinke that our lif is in no sikerneffe, and eke that all the richesse in this world ben in aventure, and passen as a shadowe on a wall; and, asfayth Seint Gregorie,that it apperteineth to the gret rightwisneffe of God that never shal the peine stinte of hem that never wold withdrawe hem from sinne, hir thankes, but ever continue in sinne. For thilke perpetuel will to don sinne ihall they have perpetuel peine.

Wanhope is in two maners: the first wanhope is in the mercie of God; that other is that they think that they ne might not long persever in goodnesse. The first wanhope cometh of that, he demeth that he hath sinned so gretly and so oft, and so long lyen in sinne, that he hal not be saved. Certes ayenst that cursed wanhope shulde he thinke that the passion of Jefu Crift is more stronge for to unbiade than finne is strong for to binde. Ayenst the second warhope he shal thinke

hat as often as he falleth he may arisen again by penitence; and though he never so longe hath lyen in sinne the mercie of Cris is alway redy to receive him to mercie. Ayent that wanhope that he denieth he fhuld not long persever in goodnesle he fal think, that the feblenesfe of the devil may nothing do but if men wol suffre him; and eke he shal have strength of the helpe of Jefu Crift, and of all his chirche, and of the protection of angels, if him lift.

Than fhul men underfonde what is the fruit of penance; and after the wordes of Jesu Crift it is an endea les bliile of heven, ther joye hath no contrariolitee of wo ne grevance; ther all harmesben passed of this prefent lif; ther as is Skerpeise from the peines oí helle; therasis the blisful compagnie that rejoycen hem ever mo everich of others joye; ther as the body of man, that whilom was foule and derke, is more clere than the fonne; ther as the body that whilom was sike and freele, feble and mortal, is immortal, and so strong and fo hole that ther ne may nothing appeire it; ther as is neither hunger, ne thurie, ne colde, but every foule repleniihed with the fight of the parfit knowing of God. This blisfulregne niowe men purchase by poverte fpirituel, and the glory by low linefle, the plentee of joye by hunger and thurit, and the relle by travaile, and the lif by deth and morcification of finne : to which life he us bring that bought us with his precions blood! Amen.

Now preye l to hem alle* that herken this litel tretise or reden it, that if ther be any thing in it that liketh hem that therofthey thanken our Lord Jesu Crist, any satisfactory account of it..--I must firft take notice that this pallage in ms. Afk. 1, is introduced by these words

* Now preye 1 to bem alle, &c.] What follows being found, with some small variations, in all complete mfl. (I believe of The Canterbury Tales, and in baih Caxton's editions, which were undoubtedly printed from mff. there was no pretence to leave it out in this edition, however difficult it may be to give

Here taketh the mcker bis leve and is concluded by there

Here endeth The Perfonnys Tale. In mf. Ak. 2, there is a similar introduction and conclusion in Latin: at the beginning—" Hic capit auctor licentiam"--and at the end-.." Explicit narratio Rectoris, et ultima inter nar“ rationes hujus libri de quibus coinpofuit Chaucer, cujus a* nime propicietur Deus. Amen."...These two mil, therefore, may be considered as agreeing in fubitance with those inii. mentioned in the Discourse, &c. $ 42, in which this paslage makes part of The Persones Tale. One of them is described by Hearne in his letter to Bagford, App. to R. G. p. 661, 2.---- In ed. Ca. 2, as quoted by Ames, p. 56, it is clearly separated from The Persones Tale, and entitled ---The Prayer.--- In the mfl. in which it is also separated from The Persones Tale I do not remember to have seen it diftinguithed by any title either of Prayer, or Revocation, or Retractation, as it is called in the Preface to ed. Urr. If we believe what is faid in p. 225, 1. 4, Chaucer had written a distinct piece entitled his Retractions, in which he had revoked his blameable compositions. The just inference from these variations in the mil. is perhaps, that none of them are to be at all relied on, that different copiits have given this palsage the title that pleased them beft, and have attributed it to the Persone or to Chaucer, as the matter feeindd to them to be moft suitable to the one or the other.--Mr. Hearne, whose greatest weakness was not his incredulity, has declared his suspicion “that the Revocation (meaning this “ whole pallage) is not genuine, but that it was made by the " monks.” (App. 19 R. G. p. 603.) I cannot go quite fo far: I think if the monks had set about making a Revocation for Chaucer, to be annexed to The Canterbury Tales, they would have made one more in form. The same nbjc&tion lies to the supposal that it was made by himself.--The moit probable hypothetis which has occurred to me for the folution of these disiculties is to suppose that the beginning of this passage 'except the words or redenit, above, l. 1, and the end make to set the

of whom procedeth all witte and all godeneffe; and if ther be any thing that displeseth hem, I preye hem also ihat they arrette it to the defaute of myn unkonning, and not to my wille, that wold fayn have seyde better if I hadde had konning; for oure boke seyth, All that is writenis writen for vure doctrine, and that is myn entente : wherfore I beseke you mekely, for genuine conclusion of The Persones Tale, and that the middle part, which I have encloied between books, is an interpolation,

-It must be allowed, I think, (as I have observed before in the Discourse, C. $ 42,] that the appellation of litel tretise fuits better with The Persones Tale taken fingly than with the whole work. The doubt expressed above,l. 2, “ if there be any “thing that displeseth,” Sc. is very agrecable to the manner in which the Persone speaks in his Prologue, ver. 17366. [See the note on p. 208.) The mention of " verray penance, con“ feflion, and satisfaction," in p. 227,1.11, seems to refer pointedly to the subject of the speaker's preceding discourse; and the title given to Christ, in p. 228,1.1, Prelle of alle preses, seems peculiarly proper in the mouth of a priest... So much for those parts which may be supposed to have originally belonged to the Persone. With respeâ to the middle part, I think it not improbable that Chaucer might be persuaded, by the religious who attended him in his last illness to revoke or retract certain of his Works, or at least that they miglit give out that he had made such retractions as they thought proper. In either care it is posible that the same zeal might think it expedient to join the substance of these retractions to The Canterbury Tales, the antidote to the poisoni, and might accordingly procure the present interpolation to be made in the Epilogue to The Periones Tale, taking care at the same time, by the infertion of the words or redenit, in p. 223, l. 1, to convert that Epi. Jogue from an address of the Persone to his hearers into an ad. dress of Chaucer to his readers. But leaving these very uncertain fpeculations I will say a few words upon thore endia tinges of worldly vinitees which are here furrcfed to have fitten heavy on our Author's conscience.

the mercie of God, that ye preye for me that Crist have mercie of me and foryeve me my giltes, (and namely of myn Translations andenditinges of worldly vanitees, the which I revoke in my Retractions; as The Boke of Troilus *, The Boke also of Famet, The Boko of The Five-and-twenty Ladies t, The Boke of The

# The Boke of Troilus] It has been said in the F.Gay, 56.n.62, that the Troilus is borrowed from the Filoftrato of Boccace. This is evident not only from the fable and characters, which are the same in both poems, but also from a number of passages in the Englith which are literally translated from the italian : at the same time there are several long patlages and even episodes in the Troilus of which there are no traces in the FiJoftrato; of these therefore it may be doubted whether Chaucer has added them out of his own invention, or taken them either from some completer copy of Boccace's poem than what we have in print, or from some copy interpolated by another hand. He speaks of himself as a translator out of Latin, b. ii. 14, and in two passages he quotes his author by the name of Lollius, b. i. 394---421, and b. v. 1652. The latter passage is in the Filostrato, but the former (in which the 102d fonnet of Pe. trarch is introduced) is not. What he says of having translated out of Latin need not make any dificulty, as the Italian language was commonly called Latino volgare; (see the quotation from the Thefeida, Discourje, c. n. 9,] and Lydgate [Prol. to Boccace] expressly tells us that Chaucer translated

A boke which called is Trophe,

In Lombard tonge, as men may rode and fee. How Boccace thould have acquired the name of Lollius, and the Filoftrato the title of Trophe, are points which I confess myself unable to explain.

+ The Boke of Fame] Chaucer mentions this among his Works in The Leg. of G.W. ver. 417. He wrote it while he was Comptroller of the Custom of Wools, &*c. [fee b. ii. ver. 144-8,] andconsequently after the year 1374. See Afr. !o Pref.C. vol. I.

The Boke of The Five-and-twentyladies] This is the reading of all the mfl.; if it be genuine it affords a strong proof that this enumeration of Chaucer's Works was not drawn up by himself;

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