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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
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
He can of mirth and eke of jolitee
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
I say my lord can swiche a subtiltee,
And whan this Yeman bad this tale ytolde 16095
Unto our Hofte, he said Benedicite!
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'