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Of hem that han therto hir good ylent.
ye lese all; for bet than never is late :
16885 If that your eyen cannot seen aright Loketh that youre mind lacke not his fight, For though ye loke never so brode and stare Ye Thuln not win a mite on that chaffare, But wasten all that ye may rape and renne. 16890 Withdraw the fire left it to fafte brenne; Medleth no more with that art I mene, For if ye don your thrift is gon ful clene : And right as fwithe I wol you tellen here What philofophres fain in this matere.
Lo, thus faith Arnolde of the newe toun, As his Rofarie maketh mentioun; He faith right thus, withouten any lie, Ther may no man mercurie mortifie But it be with his brothers knowleching. 16900
Lo, how that he which firste said this thing
Of philosophres father was, Hermes;
sawe: Let no man befie him this art to feche 16910 But if that he the entention and speche Of philosophres understonden can, And if he do he is a lewed man; For this science and this conning (quod he) Is of the secree of fecrces parde.
16915 Also ther was a disciple of Plato That on a time said his maister to, As his book Senior wol bere witnesse, And this was his demand in fothfastnesse,
¥. 16915. the fecree of secrees] He alludes to a treatife entitled Secreta Secretorum, which was supposed to contain the fum of Ariftotle's inftructions to Alexander. See Fabric. Bibl. Gr. v. ii. p. 167. It was very popular in the middle ages. Ægidius de Columnâ, a famous divine and bithop about the latter end ofther 3:h century, built upon it his book De Regimine Principut, of which our Occleve madca free translation in Englitla verse, and addressed it to Henry V. while Prince of Wales. A part of Lydgate's tranflation of the Secreta Secretorum is printe cd in Amhmole's Theat. Chern. Brit. p. 397.; he did not translate inore than about half of it; being prevented by death. See mí. Harl. 2251, and Tanner, Bib. Brit. in v. Lydzate. The greateft part of the 7th book of Gower's Conf. Amant. is taken from this supposed work of Ariftotle.
. 16918. As bis book Senior] Ed. Urr. reads--- As in his book
Telle me the name of thilke privee fon. 16920
And Plato answerd unto him anon;
16925 What is magnetia, good Sire, I pray?
It is a water that is made, I say, Of the elementes foure, quod Plato.
Tell me the rote, good Sire, quod he tho,
Nay, nay, quod Plato, certain that I n'ill:
Than thus conclude l; sin that God of heven 16940 Ne wol not that the philosophres neven
which I thould have preferred to the common reading if I had found it in any copy of better authority.---The book al. luded to is printed in the Theatrum Chemicum, vol. v. p. 219, under this title, Senioris Zadith sil. Hamuelis tabula Chymica. 'The story which follows of Plato and his disciple is there told, [p. 249,] with fomc variations, of Salomon ;“ Dixit Salomon “ rex, Recipe lapiden qui dicitur Thilarios-----Dixit sapiens, "Afligna mihi illum. Dixit, eft corpus mageia --- Dixit, quid " est magnesía? Refpondit, magnesía el agua, compita," CC
How that a man íhal come unto this ston,
t. 16961. Do bim come fortb] So ift. Afk. 1, 2, and some others. The common reading is-Do bim comfort. The alteration is material, not only as it gives a clearer fenise, but as it intimates to us that the narrator of a Talc was made to come out of the crowd, and to take his place within hearing of the Hoft during his narration. Agreeably to this notion when the Hoft calls upon Chaucer (ver, 13628,] he fays,
Approche nere, and loke up merily.
Now ware you, Sires, and let this man have place. U was necessary that the Hofte, who was to be juge and repora,
For he shal tell a Tale by my fey,
This coke, that was ful pale and nothing red,
Wel, quod the Manciple, if it may don ese To thee, Sire Coke, and to no wight displese 16975 Which that here rideth in this compagnie, And that our Hofte wol of his curtesie, 1 wol as now excuse thee of thy Tale, For in good faith thy visage is ful pale: Thin eyen dasen, fothly as me thinketh, 16986 And wel I wot thy breth ful foure stinketh, That sheweth wel thou art not wel disposed : Of me certain thou fhalt not ben yglosed. tour of the Tales, (ver. 816,] should hear them all diftin&tly; the others might hear as much as they could or as they chose of them. It would have required the lungs of a Stentor to speak audibly to a company of thirty people trotting on together in a road of the 14th century.
. 16965. 10 jlepen by the morwe] This must be underflood generally for the daytime, as it was then afternoon. It has been observed in the Discourse, Sc. $. 13, that in this episode of the Coke no notice is taken of his having told a Tale before.