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Seint Urban with his dekenes prively 16015 The body fecte, and buried it by night Among his other seintes honestly. Hire hous The Cherche of Seint Cecile hight; Seint Urban halowed it, as he wel might, In which unto this day in noble wise Men don to Crist and to his seinte servise. 16c2x

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THE CHAN. YEMANNES PROL. Whan that tolde was the lif of Seinte Cecile, Er we had ridden fully five mile,

9. 1602 3. five mile] So all the msl. except E. which reads balf a mile. This latter reading must certainly be preferred, if we suppose that Chaucer meant to mark the interval between the conclufion of The Nonnes Tale and the arrival of the cha. non; but it would be contrary to the general plan of our Author's work, and to his practice upon other occasions, that the Hotte thould suffer the company

To riden by the way dombe as the ston even for half a mile : I am therefore rather inclined to believe that five mile is the right reading, and that it was intended to mark the diftance from some place, which we are now unable to determine with certainty, for want of the Prologue to The Nonnes Tale. I have sometimes suspected that it was the intention of Chaucer to begin the journey from Canterbury with The Nonnes Tale: in that case five mile would mark very truly the distance from Canterbury to Boughton-under-Blee. The circumstances too of the chanon's overtaking the pilgrims, and looking“ as he had priked,” or gallopped, “miles three,” would agree better with this fuppofition. It is scarce credible that he thould have ridden after them from Southwark to Boughton without overtaking them; and if he liad, it muft have been a very inadequate representation of his condition to fay that" It semed he had priked miles three.” Besides, the words of the Yeman, (ver. 16056, 7,]

At Boughton-under-Blee us gan

atake A man that clothed was in clothes blake, 16025 And undernethe he wered a white surplis. His hakeney, which that was al pomelee gris, So swatte that it wonder was to fee; It semed as he had priked miles three. The horse eke that his Yeman rode upon 16030 So swatte that unnethes might he gon: About the peytrel stood the fome ful hie; He was of fome as flecked as a pie. A male tweifold on his croper lay, It senied that he caried litel array;

16035 Al light for sommer rode this worthy man. And in my herte wondren I began What that he was, til that I understode How that his cloke was fowed to his hode,

now in the morwe tide

Out of your hoftelrie I saw you ridefeem to imply that they were overtaken in the same morning in which they set out,; but it must have been considerably after noon before they reached Boughton from Soutlawark.---There is another way of solving these difficulties, by supposing that the pilgrims lay upon the road, and that The Nonnes Tale was the first of the second day's journey. It is most probable that a great part of the company (not to inention their horses) would have had no objection to dividing the journey to Canterbury into two days, but if they lay only five miles on this fide of Boughton I do not see low they could spend the whole second day till evening [fee ver. 17316] in travelling from thence to Canterbury.---I muft take notice too, in opposition to my first hypothetis, that the manner in which the Yeman expresses himself in ver. 16091, 2, seems to thew that he was riding to Canterbury.

For which whan I had long avised me 16040
I demed him some chanon for to be.
His hat heng at his back doun by a las,
For he had ridden more than trot or pas;
He had ay priked like as he were wode.
A clote lefe he had laid under his hode 16045
For swete, and for to kepe his hed fro hete:
but it was joye for to feen him swete;
His forehed dropped as a stillatorie
Were ful of plantaine or of paritorie.
And whan that he was come he gan to crie, 16050
God save (quod he) this joly compagnie!
Fast have 1 priked (quod he) for your fake,
Because that I wolde you atake,
To riden in this mery compagnie.
His Yeman was eke ful of curtefie,

16055
And saide, Sires, now in the morwe tide
Out of your hostelrie I saw you ride,
And warned here my lord and soverain,
Which that to riden with you is ful fain
For his difport; he loveth daliance. 1606
Frend, for thy warning God yeve the good chance,
Than faid our Hofte: certain it wolde seme
Thy lord were wife, and so I may wel deme;
He is ful joconde alfo dare I leye:
Can he ought tell a mery tale or tweie, 16065
With which he gladen may this compagnie?
Who, Sire! my lord? Ye, Sire, withouten lie,

16075

He can of mirth and eke of jolitee
Not but ynough; also, Sire, trusteth me
And ye him knew al so wel as do I

16070
Ye wolden wondre how wel and craftily
He coude werke, and that in sondry wise:
He hath take on him many a gret emprise,
Which were ful harde for any that is here
To bring about but they of him it lere.
As homely as he rideth amonges you
If ye him knew it wold be for your prow:
Ye wolden not forgon his acquaintance
For mochel good, I dare lay in balance
All that I have in my possession.

16080 He is a man of high discression; I warne you

wel he is a passing man. Wel, quod our Hofte, I pray thee tell me than Is he a clerk or non? Tell what he is.

Nay, he is greter than a clerk ywis, 16085
Saide this Yeman, and in wordes fewe,
Hofte, of his craft son what I wol you shewe.

I say my lord can swiche a subtiltee,
(But all his craft ye moun not wete of me,
And somwhat help 1 yet to his werking)
That all the ground on which we ben riding,
Til that we come to Canterbury toun,
He coud al clene turnen up fo doun,
And pave it all of silver and of gold.

And whan this Yeman bad this tale ytolde 16095

16090

Unto our Hofte, he said Benedicite!
This thing is wonder mervaillous to me,
Sin that thy lord is of so high prudence,
Because of which men shulde him reverence,
That of his worship rekketh he so lite; 16ICO
His overest floppe it is not worth a mite,
As in effect, to him, so mote I go;
It is all baudy and to-tore also.
Why is thy lord so fluttish I thee

preye,
And is of power bétter cloth to beye, 16ros
If that his dede acorded with thy fpeche?
Telle me that, and that I thee beseche.

Why? quod this Yeman, wherto axe ye me? God helpe me so, for he shal never the: (But I wol not avowen that I say,

16110 And therfore kepe it secree I you pray) He is to wise in faith, as I beleve : Thing that is overdon it wol not preve Aright, as clerkes fain; it is a vice; Wherfore in that I hold him lewed and nice; 16119 For whan a man hath overgret a wit Ful oft him happeth to misusen it: So doth my lord, and that me greveth fore: God it amende; I can say now no more.

Therof no force, good Yeman, quod our Hoft; Sin of the conning of thy lord thou wost 16121 Telld how he doth, I pray thee hertily, Sin that he is so crafty and so fly. Volume V'

F

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