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(Circa 1340 to 1400.]
In London was a priest, an annueler,
That therein dwelled hadde? many a year,
Which was so pleasant and so serviceable
Unto the wife whereas he was at table
That she would suffer him nothing for to pay
For board ne clothing, went he never so gay,
And spending-silver had he right enow.
Thereof no force : I wol proceed as now,
And telle forth my tale of the chanoun

That brought this prieste, to confusion.
il. e., a priest employed solely in singing annuals, or anniversary masses, for
the dead.

2 For the purpose of a popular compilation like the present, it appears to me best (however unscholarly) to modernize the spelling of Chaucer in all cases where this can be done without obviously tampering with the pronunciation. As regards the use of the e mute at the end of words or elsewhere-a point of such prime importance to the rhythm-the reader should understand that, where this letter would not occur at all in modern spelling (as in the present word, “hadde”), I simply leave the letter, if it counts as a syllable, without marking it with any sign of accentuation ; but, in other cases, where the e would occur in modern spelling also (as in the words “dwelled " and "false"), but would not be pronounced, I mark it with an accent, provided the rhythm of Chaucer demands its pronunciation. This is a very simple rule, and I hope an easy one to apply in practice. The same course is followed as regards the spelling of the ensuing poem by Adam of Cobsam,


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