Geoffrey Chaucer.

Complete works (Volume 3) online

. (page 1 of 53)
Online LibraryGeoffrey ChaucerComplete works (Volume 3) → online text (page 1 of 53)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


f THE COMPLETE

WORKS OF

- Geoffrey *
Chaucer



iff:



Edited from
Numerous Manuscripts by

WALTER W. SKEAT



VOLUME III



House of Fame, Legend of

Good U^omen y Astrolabe, Sources of

Canterbury Tales



;



'






I



OXFORD
UNIVERSITY PRESS

LONDON Amen House, E.G. 4

GLASGOW 58 Buchanan Street

NEW YORK 417 Fifth Avenue, N.Y. 16

TORONTO

70 Wynford Drive, Don Mills

MELBOURNE Bowen Crescent

WELLINGTON

Empire Building, Willis Street

BOMBAY Apollo Bunder

CALCUTTA Lai Bazar

MADRAS Mount Road

KARACHI McLeod Road

DACCA.

Red C.oss Building, 114 Motijheel

LAHCS.IS Bank Square

KUALA LUMPER Jalan Belanda

HONG KONG The University

CAPE To\v

Thibau't House, Thibault Square

IBADAN Iddo Gate

ACCRA Kwame Nkrumah Avenue

NAIROBI

Church House, Government Road

SALISBURY Baker Avenue

JOHANNESBURG Joubert Street



NY



PUBLIC LIBRARY THE BRANCH L BRARIES



3 3333 05978 8824



THE COMPLETE WORKS



OF



GEOFFREY CHAUCER



SKEA T



* * *
THE HOUSE OF FAME: THE LEGEND OF GOOD WOMEN

THE TREATISE ON THE ASTROLABE
WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE SOURCES OF THE CANTERBURY TALES



THE COMPLETE WORKS

v /



OF



GEOFFREY CHAUCER



EDITED, FROM NUMEROUS MANUSCRIPTS



BY THE



REV. WALTER W. SKEAT, LiTT.D., LL.D., M.A.

I LRINGTON AND BOSWORTH PROFESSOR OF ANGLO-SAXON
AND FELLOW OK CHRlSl's COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE



* * *

THE HOUSE OF FAME: THE LEGEND OF GOOD WOMEN

THE TREATISE ON THE ASTROLABE
WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE SOURCES OF THE CANTERBURY TALES



' He made the book that higlit the Hous of Fame.'

Legend of Good Women 1417.
'Who-so that wol his large volume seke
Cleped the Seintes Legende of Cupyde.'

Canterbury Tales ; B 60.
'His Astrelabie. longinge for his art."

Canterbury Tales \ A 3209.



OXFORD
AT THE CLARENDON PRESS



Oxford University Press, Amen House, London E.C.4

GLASGOW NEW YORK TORONTO MELBOURNE WELLINGTON

BOMBAY CALCUTTA MADRAS KARACHI LAHORE DACCA

CAPE TOWN SALISBURY NAIROBI IBADAN ACCRA

KUALA LUMPUR HONG KONG



FIRST EDITION 1894

SECOND EDITION IQOO

REPRINTED 1926, IQ5I, 1954, 1963

PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN
AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS. OXFORD

BY VIVIAN RIDLER
PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY






CONTENTS



PAGR

INTRODUCTION TO THE HOUSE OF FAME. i. Authorship. a. Influ-
ence of Dante. 3. Testimony of Lydgate. 4. Influence of
Ovid. 5. Date of the Poem. 6. Metre. 7. Imitations.
8. Authorities. 9. Some Emendations . . . . vii

INTRODUCTION TO THE LEGEND OF GOOD WOMEN. i. Date of the
Poem. 2. The Two Forms of the Prologue. 3. Comparison
of these. 4. The Subject of the Legend. 5. The Daisy.
6. A^aton. 7. Chief Sources of the Legend. 8. The
Prologue; Legends of (i) Cleopatra; (2) Thisbe; (3) Dido ; (4;
Hypsipyle and Medea; (5) Lucretia; (6) Ariadne; (7) Philo-
mela ; (8) Phyllis ; (9) Hypermnestra. 9. Gower's Confessio
Amantis. 10. Metre. n. 'Clipped' Lines. 12. Descrip-
tion of the MSS. 13. Description of the Printed Editions.
14. Some Improvements in my Edition of 1889. 15. Con-
clusion xvi

INTRODUCTION TO A TREATISE ON THE ASTROLABE. i. Description
of the MSS. 2-16. MSS. A., B., C., D., E., F., G., H., I., K., L.,
M.,N.,O.,P. I7.MSS.Q.,R.,S.,T.,U.,W.,X. 18. Thynne's
Edition. 19. The two Classes of MSS. 20. The last five
Sections (spurious). 21. Gap between Sections 40 and 41. 22.
Gap between Sections 43 and 44. 23. Conclusion 40. 24.
Extant portion of the Treatise. 25. Sources. 26. Various
Editions. 27. Works oa the Subject. 28. Description of the
Astrolabe Planisphere. 29. Uses of the Astrolabe Planisphere.
30. Stars marked on the Rete. 31. Astrological Notes.
32. Description of the Plates ...... Ivii

PLATES ILLUSTRATING THE DESCRIPTION OF THE ASTROLABE . Ixxxi

THE Hous OF FAME: BOOK I. i

THE Hous OF FAME: BOOK II. 16

THE Hous OF FAME : BOOK III 33



vi CONTENTS.

PAGE

THE LEGEND OF GOOD WOMEN : THE PROLOGUE ... 65

I. THE LEGEND OF CLEOPATRA 106

II. THE LEGEND OF THISBE no

III. THE LEGEND OF DIDO 117

IV THE LEGEND OF HYPSIPYLE AND MEDEA . . .131

V. THE LEGEND OF LUCRETIA 140

VI. THE LEGEND OF ARIADNE 147

VII. THE LEGEND OF PHILOMELA 158

VIII. THE LEGEND OF PHYLLIS 164

IX. THE LEGEND OF HYPKRMNESTRA 169

A TREATISE ON THE ASTROLABE 175

CRITICAL NOTES TO A TREATISE ON THE ASTROLAFE . . . 233

NOTES TO THE HOUSE OF FAME 243

NOTES TO THE LEGEND OF GOOD WOMEN 288

NOTES TO A TREATISE ON THE ASTROLABE 352



AN ACCOUNT OF THE SOURCES o* IHE CANTERBURY TALES . . 370



INTRODUCTION



TO



THE HOUSE OF FAME



i. IT is needless to say that this Poem is genuine, as Chaucei
himself claims it twice over ; once in his Prologue to the Legend
of Good Women, 1. 417, and again by the insertion in the poem
itself of the name Geffrey (1. 729) 1 .

2. INFLUENCE OF DANTE. The influence of Dante is here
very marked, and has been thoroughly discussed by Rambeau
in Englische Studien, iii. 209, in an article far too important to
be neglected. I can only say here that the author points out
both general and particular likenesses between the two poems.
In general, both are visions ; both are in three books ; in both,
the authors seek abstraction from surrounding troubles by venturing
into the realm of imagination. As Dante is led by Vergil, so
Chaucer is upborne by an eagle. Dante begins his third book,
II Paradiso, with an invocation to Apollo, and Chaucer likewise
begins his third book with the same ; moreover, Chaucer's invoca-
tion is little more than a translation of Dante's.

Among the particular resemblances, we may notice the method
of commencing each division of the Poem with an invocation 2 .
Again, both poets mark the exact date of commencing their
poems ; Dante descended into the Inferno on Good Friday, 1300

1 It is also mentioned as ' the book of Fame ' at the end of the Persones
Tale, I 1086. I accept this passage as genuine.

2 In Dante's Inferno, this invocation begins Canto II. ; for Canto I. forms n
general introduction to the whole.



viii THE HOUSE OF FAME.

(Inf. xxi. 112) ; Chaucer began his work on the loth of December,
the year being, probably, 1383 (see note to 1. in).

Chaucer sees the desert of Lybia (1. 488), corresponding to
similar waste spaces mentioned by Dante ; see note to 1. 482.
Chaucer's eagle is also Dante's eagle ; see note to 1. 500. Chaucer
gives an account of Phaethon (1. 942) and of Icarus (1. 920), much
like those given by Dante (Inf. xvii. 107, 109) ; both accounts,
however, may have been taken from Ovid '. Chaucer's account
of the eagle's lecture to him (1. 729) resembles Dante's Paradise,
i. 109-117. Chaucer's steep rock of ice (1. 1130) corresponds to
Dante's steep rock (Purg. iii. 47). If Chaucer cannot describe all
the beauty of the House of Fame (1. 1168), Dante is equally
unable to describe Paradise (Par. i. 6). Chaucer copies from
Dante his description of Statius, and follows his mistake in saying
that he was born at Toulouse ; see note to 1. 1460. The descrip-
tion of the house of Rumour is also imitated from Dante ; see
note to 1. 2034. Chaucer's error of making Marsyas a female
arose from his misunderstanding the Italian form Marsia in Dante;
see note to 1. 1229.

These are but some of the points discussed in Rambeau's
article ; it is difficult to give, in a summary, a just idea of the
careful way in which the resemblances between these two great
poets are pointed out. I am quite aware that many of the
alleged parallel passages are too trivial to be relied upon, and
that the author's case would have been strengthened, rather than
weakened, by several judicious omissions ; but we may fairly
accept the conclusion, that Chaucer is more indebted to Dante
in this poem than in any other; perhaps more than in all his
other works put together.

It is no longer possible to question Chaucer's knowledge of
Italian ; and it is useless to search for the original of The House
of Fame in Provengal literature, as Warton vaguely suggests that
we should do (see note to 1. 1928). At the same time, I can see
no help to be obtained from a perusal of Petrarch's Trionfo della
Fama, to which some refer us.

3. TESTIMONY OF LYDGATE. It is remarkable that Lydgate



1 Where Chaucer says ' leet the reynes goon' (1. 951), and Dante has 'ab-
bandono li freni ' (Inf. xvii. 107), we find in Ovid ' equi . . . colla iugo eripiunt,
abruptaque lora relinquunt" (Met. ii. 315). Chaucer's words seem closer to
Dante than to the Latin original.



INFLUENCE OF OVID. ix

does not expressly mention The House of Fame by name, in his
list of Chaucer's works. I have already discussed this point in
the Introduction to vol. i. pp. 23, 24, where I shew that Lydgate,
nevertheless, refers to this work at least thrice in the course of the
poem in which his list occurs ; and, at the same time, he speaks
of a poem by Chaucer which he calls ' Dant in English/ to which
there is nothing to correspond, unless it can be identified with
The House of Fame l . We know, however, that Lydgate's testi-
mony as to this point is wholly immaterial ; so that the discussion
as to the true interpretation of his words is a mere matter of
curiosity.

4. INFLUENCE OF OVID. It must, on the other hand, be
obvious to all readers, that the general notion of a House of
Fame was adopted from a passage in Ovid's Metamorphoses,
xii. 39-63. The proof of this appears from the great care with
which Chaucer works in all the details occurring in that passage.
He also keeps an eye on the celebrated description of Fame in
Vergil's ^Eneid, iv. 173-183 ; even to the unlucky rendering of
'pernicibus alis ' by 'partriches winges,' in 1. 1392 2 .

I here quote the passage from Ovid at length, as it is very
useful for frequent reference (cf. Ho. Fame, 711-24, 672-99,
1025-41, 1951-76, 2034-77):

'Orbe locus medio est inter terrasque, fretumque,
Caelestesque plagas, triplicis confinia mundi ;

1 On which Prof. Lounsbury remarks (Studies in Chaucer, ii. 243) ' More
extreme indeed than that of any one else is the position of Professor Skeat. He
asserts in all seriousness that the "House of Fame" is the translation to which
reference is made by Lydgate, when he said that Chaucer wrote " Dante in
English." Beyond this utterance it is hardly possible to go.' This is mere
banter, and entirely misrepresents my view. Lydgate does not say that ' Dant
in English ' was a translation ; this is a pure assumption, for a strategical pur-
pose in argument. Lydgate was ignorant of Italian, and has used a stupid
phrase, the correctness of which I by no means admit. But he certainly meant
something; and the prominence which he gives to " Dant in English," when
he comes to speak of Chaucer's Minor Poems, naturally suggests The House of
Fame, which he otherwise omits ! My challenge to ' some competent critic ' to
tell me what other poem is here referred to, remains unanswered.

2 When Chaucer consulted Dante, his thoughts were naturally directed to
Vergil. We find, accordingly, that he begins by quoting (in 11. 143-8) the
opening lines of the ^Eneid ; and a large portion of Book I (11. 143-467) is
entirely taken up with a general sketch of the contents of that poem. It is
clear that, at the time of writing, Vergil was, in the main, a new book to him,
whilst Ovid was certainly an old acquaintance.



x THE HOUSE OF FAME.

Unde quod est usquam, quamuis regionibus absit,
Inspicitur penetratque cauas uox omnis ad anres.
FAMA tenet, summaque domum sibi legit in arce ;
Innumerosque aditus, ac mille foramina tectis
Addidit, et nullis inclnsit limina portis.
Nocte dieque patent. Tola est ex acre sonanti ;
Tota fremit, uocesque refert, iteratque quod audit.
Nulla quies intus, nullaque silentia paite.
Nee tamen est clamor, fed paruae murmura uocis ;
Qualia de pelagi, si quis procul audiat, undis
Esse solent ; qualemue sonum, cum lupiter atras
Increpuit nubes, extrema tonitrua reddunt.
Atria turba tenet; ueniunt leue uulgus, euntque;
Mixtaque cum ueris passim commenta uagantur
Millia rumorum, confusaque uerba uolutant.
E quibus hi uacuas implent sermonibus aures;
Hi narrata ferunt alio ; mensuraque ficti
Crescit, et auditis aliquid nouus adicit auctor.
Illic Credulitas, illic temerarius Error,
Vanaque Laetitia est, consternatique Timores,
Seditioque repens, dubioque auctore Susurri.
Ipsa quid in caelo rerum, pelagoque geratur,
Et tellure uidet, totumque inquirit in orbem.'

A few other references to Ovid are pointed out in the Notes.
By way of further illustration, I here quote the whole of Golding's
translation of the above passage from Ovid :

' Amid the world tweene henuen and earth, and sea, there is a place,
Set from the bounds of each of them indifferently in space,
From whence is scene what-euer thing is practizde any-where,
Although the Realme be neere so farre : and roundly to the eare
Commes whatsoeuer spoken is ; Fame hath his dwelling there,
Who in the top of all the house is lodged in a towre.
A thousand entries, glades, and holes are framed in this bowre.
There are no doores to shut. The coores stand open night and day.
The house is all of sounding brasse, and roreth euery way,
Reporting double euery word it heareth people say.
There is no rest within, there is no silence any-where.
Yet is there not a yelling out : but humming, as it were
The sound of surges being heard farre off, or like the sound
That at the end of thunderclaps long after doth redound
When loue doth make the clouds to crack. Within the courts is preace
Of common people, which to come and go do neuer ceace.
And millions both of troths and lies run gadding euery-where,
And wordes confuselie flic in heapes, of which some fill the eare
That heard not of them erst, and some cole-cariers part do play,
To spread abroade the things they heard, and euer by the way
The thing that was inuented growes much greater than before,
And euery one that gets it by the end addes somewhat more.



DATE OF THE POEM. xi

Light credit dwelleth there, there dwells rash error, there doth dwell

Vaine ioy : there dwelleth hartlesse feare, and brute that loues to tell

Uncertaine newes Tpon report, whereof he doth not knowe

The author, and sedition who fresh rumors loues to sowe.

This Fame beholdeth what is done in heauen, on sea, and land,

And what is wrought in all the world he layes to vnderstand.'

5. DATE OF THE POEM. Ten Brink, in his Chaucer Studien,
pp. 120, 121, concludes that The House of Fame was, in all
probability, composed shortly after Troilus, as the opening lines
reproduce, in effect, a passage concerning dreams which appears
in the last Book of Troilus, 11. 358-385. We may also observe the
following lines in Troilus, from Book I, 517-8 :

' Now, thonked be god, he may goon in the daunce
Of hem that Love list febly for to avaunce.'

These lines, jestingly applied to Troilus by Pandarus, are in the
House of Fame, 639, 640, applied by Chaucer to himself :

' Although thou mayst go in the daunce
Of hem that him list not avaunce.'

Again, the House of Fame preceded the Legend of Good
Women, because he here complains of the hardship of his official
duties (652-660); whereas, in the Prologue to the Legend, he
rejoices at obtaining some release from them. We may also note
the quotation from Boethius (note to 1. 972). As Boethius and
Troilus seem to have been written together, somewhere about
1380, and took up a considerable time, and the apparent date
of the Legend is 1385, the probable date of the House of Fame
is about 1383 or 1384. Ten Brink further remarks that the
references to Jupiter suggest to the reader that the roth of
December was a Thursday (see note to in). This would give
1383 for beginning the poem; and perhaps no fitter date than the
end of 1383 and the spring of 1384 can be found.

6. METRE. Many of Chaucer's metres were introduced by
him from the French ; but the four-accent metre, with rime as here
employed, was commonly known before Chaucer's time. It was
used by Robert of Brunne in 1303, in the Cursor Mundi, and in
Havelok. It is, however, of French origin, and occurs in the very
lengthy poem of Le Roman de la Rose. Chaucer only employed
it thrice: (i) in translating the Roman de la Rose; (2) in the
Book of the Duchesse ; and (3) in the present poem.

For normal lines, with masculine rimes, see 7, 8, 13, 14, 29,



xfi THE HOUSE OF FAME.

33, &c. For normal lines, with feminine rimes, see i, 2, 9, 15,
1 8, &c. Elision is common, as of e in turne (i), in somme
(6), in Devyne (14); &c. Sometimes there is a middle pause,
where a final syllable need not always be elided. Thus we may

rG3.fi *

'By abstinence or by seknesse' (25):

'In studie or melancolious' (30):
'And fro unhappe and ech disese ' (89):
'In his substaunce is but air' (768).

Two short syllables, rapidly pronounced, may take the place

of one :

'I noot; but who-jo of these miracles' (12):

' By avisiouns, or by figures ' (47).

The first foot frequently consists of a single syllable ; see 26,
35, 40, 44 ; so also in 1. 3, where, in modern English, we should
prefer Unto.

The final e, followed by a consonant, is usually sounded, and
has its usual grammatical values. Thus we have think-e, infin.
(15); bot-e, old accus. of a fern. sb. (32); swich-e, plural (35);
oft-e, adverbial (35); soft-e, with essential final e (A. S. softe};
find-e, pres. pi. indie. (43) ; com-e, gerund (45) : gret-e, pi. (53) ;
mak-e, infin. (56) ; rod-e, dat. form used as a new nom., of which
there are many examples in Chaucer (57) ; blind-e, def. adj. (138).
The endings -ed, -en, -es, usually form a distinct syllable ; so also
-eth, which, however, occasionally becomes 'th cf. comth (71).
A few common words, written with final <?, are monosyllabic ;
as thise (these) ; also shulde (should), and the like, occasionally.
Remember that the old accent is frequently different from the
modern; as in oracles, miracles (n, 12): distai'inc-e (18),
aventiires, figures (47, 48) : pove'rt (88) : malicious (93) : &c.
The endings -i-al, -i-oun, i-ous, usually form two distinct
syllables.

For further remarks on Metre and Grammar, see vol. v.

7. IMITATIONS. The chief imitations of the House of Fame
are The Temple of Glas, by Lydgate ' ; The Palice of Honour, by
Gawain Douglas ; The Garland of Laurell, by John Skelton ; and



1 By this, I only mean that Lydgate seems to have been indebted to Chaucer
for the general idea of his poem, and even for the title of it (cf. Ho. Fame,
120). For a full account of all its sources, see the admirable edition of Lyd-
gate's Temple of Glas by Dr. J. Schick, p. cxv. (Early Eng. Text Society).



SOME EMENDATIONS. xiii

The Temple of Fame, by Pope. Pope's poem should not be
compared with Chaucer's ; it is very different in character, and is
best appreciated by forgetting its origin.

8. AUTHORITIES. The authorities for the text are few and
poor; hence it is hardly possible to produce a thoroughly
satisfactory text. There are three MSS. of the fifteenth century,
viz. F. (Fairfax MS. 16, in the Bodleian Library) ; B. (MS.
Bodley, 638, in the same) ; P. (MS. Pepys 2006, in Magdalene
College, Cambridge). The last of these is imperfect, ending at
1. 1843. There are two early printed editions of some value,
viz. Cx. (Caxton's edition, undated) ; and Th. (Thynne's edition,
1532). None of the later editions are of much value, except the
critical edition by Hans Willert (Berlin, 1883). Of these, F. and
B., which are much alike, form a first group ; P. and Cx. form
a second group ; whilst Th. partly agrees with Cx., and partly
with F. The text is chiefly from F., with collations of the othei
sources, as given in the footnotes, which record only the more
important variations.

9. SOME EMENDATIONS. In constructing the text, a good
deal of emendation has been necessary ; and I have adopted
many hints from Willert's edition above mentioned ; though
perhaps I may be allowed to add that, in many cases, I had
arrived at the same emendations independently, especially where
they were obvious. Among the emendations in spelling, I may
particularise misdemen (92), where all the authorities have mysdeme
or misdeme; Dispyt, in place of Dispyte (96) ; barfoot, for barefoot
or barefote (98) ; proces (as in P.) forprocesse, as in the rest (251) ;
delyt, profyt, for delyte, profyte (309, 310); sleighte for sleight
(462) ; brighte \ sighte, for bright, sight (503, 504) ; wighte, highte,
for wight, hight (739, 740) ; fyn, Delphyn (as in Cx.), for fyne,
Delphyne (1005, 1006) ; magyk, syk, for magyke, syke (1269, 1270) ;
fos&nges t foi losynges (1317), and frenges (as in F.) for frynges,
as in the rest (1318); dispyt for dispite (1716) ; laughe for laugh
(Cx. lawhe, 1809); delyt for delyte (P. delit, 1831); thengyn (as
in Th.) for thengyne (1934); othere for other (2151, footnote).



1 Misprinted 'bright,' as the final e has 'dropped out" at press ; of course it
should be the adverbial form, with final e. In 1. 507, the form is 'brighte'
again, where it is the plural adjective. And, owing to this repetition, MSS.
F. and B. actually omit lines 504-7.



xiv THE HOUSE OF FAME.

These are only a few of the instances where nearly all the
authorities are at fault.

The above instances merely relate to questions of spelling.
Still more serious are the defects in the MSS. and printed texts
as regards the sense; but all instances of emendation are duly
specified in the footnotes, and are frequently further discussed in
the Notes at the end. Thus, in 1. 329, it is necessary to supply/.
In 370, alias should be Eneas. In 513, Willert rightly puts
selly, i.e. wonderful, for sefy, blessed. In 557, the metre is easily
restored, by reading so agast for agast so. In 621, we must
read lyte is, not lytel is, if we want a rime to dytees. In 827,
I restore the word manstoun the usual readings are tautological.
In 911, I restore toun for token, and adopt the only reading of
1. 912 that gives any sense. In 1007, the only possible reading
is Atlantes. In 1044, Morris's edition has biten, correctly ;
though MS. F. has beten, and there is no indication that a
correction has been made. In 1114, the right word is site ; cf.
the Treatise on the Astrolabe (see Note). In 1135, read bilt
(i.e. buildeth); bilte gives neither sense nor rhythm. In 1173,
supply fo. LI. 1177, 1178 have been set right by Willert. In
1189, the right word is Babewinnes 1 . In 1208, read Bret (as in
B.). In 1233, read famous. In 1236, read Reyes*. In 1303,
read hatte, i.e. are named. In 1351, read Fulle, not Fyne. In
1372, adopt the reading of Cx. Th. P., or there is no nominative
to streighte; and in 1373, read wonderliche. In 1411, read
tharmes ( = the artnes^. In 1425, I supply and hy, to fill out the
line. In 1483, I supply dan ; if, however, poete is made trisyllabic,
then 1. 1499 should not contain daun. In 1494, for high the, read
highte (as in 1. 744^. In 1527, for into read in. In 1570, read
Up peyne. In 1666, 1701, and 1720, for werkes read werk. In
1702, read clew (see note) 3 . In 1717, /yen is an error for lyuen,
i.e. live. In 1750, read To, not The. In 1775, supply ye; or
there is no sense. In 1793, supply they for a like reason. In
1804, 5, supply the, and al\ for the scansion. In 1897, read

1 Morris has rabewyures, from MS. F. ; but there is no such word in his
Glossary. See the New E. Dictionary, s. v. Baboon.

2 Morris has Rcttes ; but his Glossary has : ' Reues, or reyes, sb. a kind of
dance.' Of course it is plural.

3 Morris has clywc; and his Glossary has ' Clywe, v. to turn or twist'; but
no such verb is known. See Claw, v. 3, in the New E. Diet.



SOME EMENDATIONS. xv

wiste, not wot. In 1940, hattes should be hottes ; this emendation
has been accepted by several scholars. In 1936, the right word
is fa Iwe, not sahve (as in Morris). In 1960, there should be
no comma at the end of the line, as in most editions ; and in
1961, 2 read werre, reste (not werres, restes). In 1975, nils and
governement are distinct words. In 2017, frot^ is an error for
froyt; it is better to read/// at once ; this correction is due to
Koch. In 2021, suppress in after yaf. In 2049, for he read the
other (Willert). In 2059, wondermost is all one word. In 2076,
I read word Morris reads mo the, but does not explain it, and it
gives no sense. In 2156, I supply nevene.

I mention these as examples of necessary emendations of which
the usual editions take no notice.

I also take occasion to draw attention to the careful articles on
this poem by Dr. J. Koch, in Anglia, vol. vii. App. 24-30, and
Englische Studien, xv. 409-415 ; and the remarks by Willert in
Anglia, vii. App. 203-7. The best general account of the poem
is that in Ten Brink's History of English Literature.



Online LibraryGeoffrey ChaucerComplete works (Volume 3) → online text (page 1 of 53)