Geoffrey Chaucer.

The Tale of the Man of lawe ; the Pardoneres tale ; the Second nonnes tale ; the Chanouns yemannes tale : from the Canterbury tales online

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Online LibraryGeoffrey ChaucerThe Tale of the Man of lawe ; the Pardoneres tale ; the Second nonnes tale ; the Chanouns yemannes tale : from the Canterbury tales → online text (page 8 of 30)
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This tresor hath fortune vn-to vs yeuen,
In mirthe and lolitee our lyf to lyuen, 780

And lyghtly as it comth, so wol we spende.
Ey ! goddes precious dignitee ! who wende
To-day, that we sholde han so fayr a grace ?
But myght this gold be caried fro this place
Hoom to myn hous, or elles vn-to youres 785

1 E. Cm. ye ; Hn. HI. yow ; Cp. Pt. Ln. to you.



GROUP C. THE PARDONERES TALE. 55

For wel ye wot that al this gold is oures

Than were we in hey felicitee.

But trewely, by daye it may nat be ;

Men wolde seyn that we were theues stronge/'*'



And for our owen tresor doon vs honge. 790

This tresor moste ycaried be by nyghte

As wysly and as slyly as it myghte.

Wherfore I rede that cut among vs alle &T

Be drawe, and lat se wher the cut wol falle ;

And he that hath the cut with herte blythe 795

Shal renne to the 1 toun^ and that ful swythe,

And bringe vs breed and wyn ful priuely.

And two of vs shul kepen subtilly

This tresor wel ; and, if he wol nat tarie,

Whan it is nyght, we wol this tresor cane 800

By oon assent, wher as vs thinketh best.' *

That oon of hem the cut broughte in his fest,

And bad him drawe, and loke wher it wolde 2 falle ;

And it fil on the youngest of hem alle ;

And forth toward the toun he wente anon. 805

And al so sone as that he was gon,

That oon of hem 3 spak thus vn-to that other,

' Thou knowest wel thou art my sworen 4 brother,

Thy profit wol I telle thee anon.

Thou wost wel that our felawe is agon; 810

And heer is gold, and that ful greet plentee,

That shal departed been among vs thre.

But natheles, if I can shape it so

That it departed were among vs two,

1 HI. Ln. the ; which the rest omit.

2 E. Hn. Cp. wol; HI. wil ; Cm. Pt. Ln. wolde.
8 E. omits of hem ; the rest have it.

* This seems best; E. Hh. Pt. sworn ; Cm. swore ; Cp. Ln. HI. sworne.



56 GROUP C. THE PARDONERES TALE.

Hadde I nat doon a frendes torn to thee ?' 815

That other answerde, ' I not how that may be ;
He wot how that the gold is with vs tweye,
What shal we doon, what shal we to him seye ? '

* Shal it be conseil?' seyde the firste shrewe,
1 And I shal tellen thee \ in 2 wordes fewe, 820

What we shal doon, and bringe it wel aboute.'

' I graunte/ quod that other, ' out of doute,
That, by my trouthe, I shal thee nat biwreye/

' Now/ quod the firste, ' thou wost wel we be tweye,
And two of vs shul strenger be than oon. - 825

Lok whan that^e is set, and ryght 8 anoon
Arys, as though thou woldest with him pleye ;
And I shal ryue him thurgh the sydes tweye
Whyl that thou strogelest with him as in game,
And with thy dagger lok thou do the same ; 830

And than shal al this gold departed be,
My dere frend, bitwixen me and thee ;
Than may we bothe our lustes al fulfille,
And pleye at dees ryght at our owen wille.'
And thus acorded been thise shrewes tweye 835

To sleen the thridde, as ye han herd me seye.

This yongest, which that wente vn-to the toun,
Ful ofte in herte he rolleth vp and doun
The beautee of thise florins newe and bryghte.
' O lord ! ' quod he, ' if so were that I myghte 840

Haue al this tresor to my self allone,
Ther is no man that lyueth vnder the trone
Of god, that sholde lyue so mery as I !'
And atte laste the feend, our enemy,

1 HI. the ; which the rest omit.
5 E. Hn. Cm. in a; the rest omit a.

3 E. Hn. Cm. that right; HI. and )?at ; Cp. and thanne ; Pt, Ln. and
that. I take and from Cp. Pt. Ln., and ryght from E. Hn. Cm.



GROUP 0. THE PARDONERES TALE. 57

Putte in his thought that he shold poyson beye, 845

With which he myghte sleen his felawes tweye ;

For why the feend fond him in swich lyuinge,

That he had leue him l to sorwe bringe,

For this was outrely his ful entente

To sleen hem bothe, and neuer to repente. 850

And forth he goth, no lenger wolde he tarie,

Into the toun, vn-to a pothecarie,

And preyede him that he him wolde selle

Som poyson, that he myghte his rattes quell e ;

And eek ther was a polcat in his hawe, 855

That, as he seyde, his capouns hadde yslawe,

And fayn he wolde wreke him, if he myghte,

On vermin, that destroyede him by nyghte.

The pothecarie answerde, ' and thou shalt haue
A thing that, al so god my soule saue, 860

In al this world ther nis 2 no creature,
That ete or dronke hath of this confiture
Nought but the mountance of a com of whete,
That he ne shal his lyf anon forlete ;
Ye, sterue he shal, and that in lasse whyle 865

Than thou wolt gon a paas nat but a myle ;
This poyson is so strong and violent/

This cursed man hath in his bond yhent
This poyson in a box, and sith he ran
In- to the nexte strete, vn-to a man, 870

And borwed of 3 him large botels thre;
And in the two his poyson poured he;
The thridde he kepte clene for his 4 drinke.
For al the nyght he shoop him for to swinke

J E. Cm. hem ; the rest hym or him.

2 E. Hn. Cm. is; the rest nvs or nis. 3 Tyr. of; which the MSS. omit.

4 E. his owene ; but the rest omit owene.



58 GROUP C. THE PARDONERES TALE.

In caryinge of the gold out of that place. 875

And whan this ryotour, with sory grace,
Had filled with wyn -his grete botels thre,
To his felawes agayn repaireth he.

What nedeth it to sermone of it more ?
For ryght as * they had cast his deeth bifore, 880

Right so they han him slayn, and that anon.
And whan that this was doon, thus spak that oon,
1 Now lat vs sitte and drinke, and make vs merie,
And afterward we wol his body berie/
And with that word it happede him, par cas, 885

To take the botel ther the poyson was,
And drank, and yaf his felawe drinke also,
For which anon they storuen bothe two.

But, certes, I suppose that Auicen ^

Wroot neuer in no canon, ne in no fen,
Mo wonder signes 2 of empoisoning C.
Than hadde thise wrecches two, er her end
Thus ended been thise homicydes two,
And eek the false empoysoner also.

O cursed sinne, ful of 8 cursednesse ! - 895

O traytpurs homicyde, o wikkednesse ! a*9!avT^*
O glotonye, luxurie, and hasardrye !
Thou blasphemour of Crist with vilanye
And othes grete, of vsage and of pryde !
Alias ! mankynde, how may it bityde, 900

That to thy creatour which that thee wroughte,
And with his precious herte-blood thee boughte,
Thou art so fals and so vnkynde, alias !

Now, good men, god foryeue yow your trespas,

1 E. so as ; the rest omit so.

2 E. Hn. Cm. signes ; Cp. Ln. HI. sorwes ; Pt. sorowes.

3 E. Hn. Cm. of alle ; Cp. Ln. HI. ful of; Pt. full of aL



GROUP C. THE PARDONERES TALE. 59

And ware yow fro the sinne of auarice. 905

Myn holy pardoun may yow alle warice,
So that ye offre nobles or sterlinges,
Or elles siluer broches, spones, ringes.
Boweth your heed vnder this holy bulle !
Cometh l vp, ye wyues, offreth of your wolle ! 910

Your name 2 I entre heer in my rolle anon;
In-to the blisse of heuen shul ye gon ;
I yow assoile, by myn hey power,
Yow that wol offre, as clene and eek as cleer
As yejvere born ; and, lo, sirs, thus I preche., 915
^And lesu Crist, that is our soules leche, K.
So graunte yow his pardon to receyue ;
For that is best ; I wol yow nat deceyue.

But sirs, o word forgat I in my tale,
I haue reliks and pardon in my male, 920

As fayre as any man in Engelond,
Whiche were me yeuen by the popes hond.
If any of yow wol, of deuocioun,
Offren, and han myn absolucioun,
Cometh 8 forth anon, and kneleth heer adoun, 925

And mekely receyueth my pardoun :
Or elles, taketh pardon as ye wende, . ^ -fa

Al newe and fresh, at euery nryles ende, ^44^*^ ^
So that ye offren alwey newe and newe
Nobles and 4 pens, which that be gode and trewe. 930
It is an honour to euerich that is heer,
That ye mowe haue a suffisant pardoneer
Tassoille yow, in contree as ye ryde,
.For auentures which that may bityde.

1 E. Com ; the rest Cometh, Comyth.
8 E. HI. names ; the rest name.
8 E. Hn. Com ; the rest Cometh, Comyth.
* E. Hn. or ; the rest and.



60 GROUP C. THE PARDONERES TALE.

Perauenture ther may fallen oon or two 935

Doun of his hors, and breke his nekke atwo.

Lok which a seurtee is it to yow alle

That I am in your felawship yfalle,

That may assoille yow, both more and lasse,

Whan that the soule shal fro the body passe. 940

I rede that our host heer shal biginne,

For he is most envoluped in sinne.

Com forth, sir host, and offre first anon,

And thou shalt kisse the l reliks euerychon,

Ye, for a grote ! vnbokel anon thy purs/ 945

' Nay, nay/ quod he, ' than haue I Cristes curs !
Lat be/ quod he, ' it shal nat be, so theech ! 2
Thou woldest make me kisse thyn olde breech,
And swere it were a relik o,f a seint ! '




-
This pardoner answerde nat a word.; '*"?** 956

So wroth he was, no word ne wolde he seye.

* Now/ quod our host, ' I wol no lenger pleye
With thee, ne with noon other angry man/
But ryght anon the worthy knyght bigan, 960

Whan that he sey that al the peple lough,
* Namore of this, for it is ryght ynough ;
Sir pardoner, be glad and mery of chere ;
And ye, sir host, that ben to me so dere,
I prey yow that ye kisse the pardoner. 965

Ancf pardoner, I prey thee, draw thee neer,
And, as we diden, lat vs laughe and pleye/
Anon they kiste, and riden forth her weye.

Heere is ended the Pardoners tale.




-s-~<- ^>***~^>*Z^^c4.Sac



.

- jr\f +




GROUP G. THE SECOND NUN'S TALE.
The prologe of the Seconde Nonnes tale.

. *Y^ V^

J* "^HE ministre and the norice vn-to vices, *C^
jjf J. Which that men clepe in English \aielnesse. Ji*
That porter of the gate is of delices, j^xl^

To eschue, and by hir contrarie hir oppresse,
js~*" That is to seyn, by leueful bisinesse,

Wei oughten we to doon al our entente,
Lest that the feend thurgh ydelnesse vs hente

For he, that with his thousand cordes slye
Continuelly vs waiteth to biclappe,
Whan he may man in ydelnesse espye,
He can so lyghtly cacche him in his trappe,
Til that a man be hent ryght by the lappe,
He nis nat war the feend hath him in honde ;
Wei oughte vs werche, and ydelnes withstonde.

And though men dradden neuer for to dye,

Yet seen men wel by resoun doutelees,

That ydelnesse is roten 2 slogardye,

Of which ther neuer comth no good encrees s ;

And seen, that slouthe hir 4 holdeth in a lees

Only to slepe, and for to ete and drinke, 20

And to deuouren al that othere swinke.

1 Hn. Cm. Cp. HI. hente ; E. shente, Pt. shent, Ln. schent, wrongly.

2 So E. Hn. Pt. Ln. ; Cm. rote ; Cp. hoten ; HI. also has roten,

3 E. Hn. no good nencrees; Cp. Pt. Ln. noon encrese; HI. good encres;
Cm. encrees.

4 Cm. hire ; Pt. hure ; Hn. Cp. Ln. hir ; HI. her.




15



62 GROUP G. THE SECONDS NONXES TALE.

And for to putte vs fro swich ydelnesse,

That cause is of so greet confusioun,

I haue heer doon my feithful bisinesse,

After the legende, in translacioun 25

Right of thy glorious lyf and passioun,

Thou with thy gerland wrought of 1 rose and lilie;

Thee mene I, mayde and martir seynt 2 Cecilie !



A



Inuocacio ad Mariam.
f I F /

nd thou that flour of virgines art alle,




Of whom that Bernard list so wel to wryte,
To thee at my biginning first I calle ;
Thou comfort of vs wrecches, do me endyte 8
Thy maydens deeth, that wan thurgh hir meryte
The eternal lyf, and jDfjhe feend victorie,
As man may after reden in hir storie. 35

Thou mayde and moder, doughter of thy sone,
Thou welle of mercy, sinful soules cure,
In whom that god, for bountee, chees to wone,
Thou humble, and hey ouer euery creature,
Thoujiobledest so ferforth our nature, 40

'hat no desdeyn the maker hadde of kynde,
His sone in blode and flesshe to clothe and wynde. /X

Withinne the cloistre blisful of thy sydes
Toek mannes shap the eternal loue and pees,
That of the tryne compas lord and gyde is, f / n
Whom erthe and see and heuen, out of relees.
Ay herien; and thou, virgin wemmeless,

1 Hn. Cp. Pt. of; E. Cm. Ln. HI. with.

3 Cp. Hn. Cm. Pt. Ln. martir seint ; HI. martir ; E. mooder.

3 Hn. mendite (shewing the scansion").



GROUP G. THE SECONDS NONNES TALE. 63

Bar of thy body, and dweltest mayden pure,
The creatour of euery creature.

Assembled is in thee magnificence 50

With mercy, goodnesse, and with swich pitee

That thou, that art the sonne of excellence,

Nat only helpest hem that prayen thee,

But ofte tyme, of thy benignitee,

Ful frely, er that men thyn help biseche, 55

Thou goost biforn, and art her lyues leche. <n

Now help, thou meke and blisful fayre may
AMe, flemed wrecche, in this desert of galle ;

>| . Think on the womman Cananee, that sayde

$ / V That whelpes eten somme of the crommes alle 60

That from her lordes table been yfalle ;
And though that I, vnworthy sone,of Eue, 1
Be sinful, yet accepte my bileue.

And, for that feith is deed with-outen werkes,

So for to worchen yif me wit and space, 65

That I be quit fro thennes that most derk is !

O thou, that art so fayr and ful of grace,

myn aduocat in that heye place

^er as withouten ende is songe ' Osanne^. " ^JL ^
Thou Cristes moder, doughter dere of Anne i 70

And of thy lyght my soule in prison lyghte,

That troubled is by the contagioun

Of my body, and also by the wyghte

Of erthly luste and fals affeccioun ; $ A Jti'

O hauen of refut, o saluacioun r^\ u 75

Of hem that been in sorwe and in distresse,

Now help, for to my werk I wol me dresse.




64 GROUP G. THE SECONDS NONNES. TALE.

Yet preye I yow that reden that I wryte, \
Foryeue me, that I do no diligence - * jJL

This ilke storie subtilly to endyte 1 ; ^K^Ji j 80
For both haue I the wordes and sentence h^ \f*
Of him 2 that at the seintes reuerence N^^<\ qs
The storie wroot, and folwe 8 hir legende, ^
And prey 4 yow, that ye wol my werk amende.



[THE PROEM.]

^ , Interpretacio nominis Cecilie^ quam ponitfraler lacobus
- pT lanuensis in legenda.

r 'X&r* ^ Thirst wolde I yow 6 the name of seint Cecilie 85

*y jf JL Expoune, as men may in hir storie see,
It i



is to seye in english ' heuenes lilie,'
For pure chastnesse of virginitee ;
Or, for she whytnesse hadde of honestee,
And grene of conscience, and of good fame 90

The sote savour 6 , 'lilie 7 was hir name.

Or Cecile is to seye ' the wey to blynde,'

For she ensample was by good techinge ;

Or elles Cecile, as I writen fynde, c^

Is ioyned, by a manere conioyninge 95

Of ' heuene' and ' lia' ; and heer, in fi^uringe,

The ' heuen ' is set for thought of holinesse, ^^

And ' lia ' for hir lasting bisinesse.

1 Hn. tendite (shewing the scansion).

8 So E. Hn. Cm. HI. ; but Cp. Pt. Ln. hem.

3 Cm. folwe ; E. Hn. HI. folwen ; Cp. Pt. Ln. folowen.

* E. I pray ; Cp. And pray I ; the rest And pray (or prei, or preye).

5 E. omits yow ; the rest retain it.

6 E. favour ; the rest savour; see 1. 229.

-4t*juA-+. q&U

"^ C-*uu^



GROUP G. THE SECONDS NONNES TALE. 65

Cecile may eek be seyd in this manere,

' Wanting of blyndnesse,' for hir grete lyghte 100

Of sapience, and for hir thewes clere ;

Or elles, lo ! this maydens name bryghte

Of ' heuene ' and ' leos ' comth, for which by ryghte

Men myghte hir wel ' the heuen of peple ' calle,

Ensample of gode and wyse werkes alle. 105

For < leos ' ' peple ' in english is to seye,

And ryght as men may in the heuene see

The sonne and mone and sterres euery weye,

Ryght so men gostly, in this mayden free,

Seyen of feith the magnanimitee, no

And eek the cleernesse hool of sapience,

And sondry werkes, bryghte of excellence.

And ryght so as thise philosophres wryte

That heuen is swift and round and eek brenninge,

Ryght so was fayre Cecilie the whyte 115

Ful swift and bisy euer in good werkinge,

And round and hool in good perseueringe,

And brenning euer in charite ful bryghte ;

Now haue I yow declared what she hyghte.

Explicit.



Here bigynneth the Seconde Nonnes tale, of the lyf
of Seinte Cecile.

This mayden bryght Cecile, as hir lyf seith, 120

Was comen of Romayns, and of noble kynde
And from hir cradel vp fostred in the feith
VOL. m. F



66 GROUP G. THE SECONDS NONNES TALE.

Of Crist, and bar his gospel in hir mynde ;

She neuer cessede, as I writen fynde,

Of hir preyere, and god to loue and drede, 125

Biseking him to kepe hir maydenhede.

And whan this mayden sholde vnto a man

Ywedded be, that was ful yong of age,

Which that ycleped was Valerian,

And day was comen of hir mariage, 130

She, ful devout and humble in hir corage,

Vnder hir robe of gold, that sat ful fayre,

Had next hir flesshe yclad hir in anheyje. <

And whyl the organs 1 maden melodye,

To god alone in herte thus sang she ; 135

' O lord, my soule and eek my body gye

Vnwemmed, lest that I 2 confounded be :'

And, for his loue that deyde vpon a tree,

Euery seconde or 3 thridde day she faste,

Ay biddinge in hir orisons ful faste. 140

[The tyme is comen, whan she moste] gon

With hir housbonde, as ofte is the manere,

And priuely to him she seyde anon,

' O swete and wel biloued spouse dere,

Ther is a conseil, and ye wolde it here, 145

Which that ryght fayn I wolde vnto yow seye,

So that ye swere ye shul me 4 nat biwreye.'

Valerian gan faste vnto hir swere,

That for no cas, ne thing that myghte be,

He sholde -neuer mo biwreyen here: \^su^ 150

1 HI. Hn. organs; Ln. orgens ; E. Orgues ; Cp. Orgies; Pt. Orgels.

2 E. it ; the rest I. 3 E. Hn. and ; the rest or.
* E. me ; the rest it ; see I. 150.



GROUP G. THE SECONDS NONNES TALE.

And thanne at erst to him thus seyde she,
' I haue an angel which that loueth me,
That with greet loue, wher so I wake or slepe,
Is redy ay my body for to kepe.'



Valerian, corrected as god wolde,

Answerde agayn, ' if I shal trusten thee,

Lat me that angel se, and him biholde ;

And if that it a verray angel be, 165

Than wol I doon as thou hast preyed me ;

And if thou loue another man, for sothe

Ryght with this swerd than wol I sle yow bothe.'

Cecile answerde anon ryght in this wyse,

' If that yow list, the angel shul ye see, 1 70

So that ye trowe in Crist and yow baptyse.

Goth forth to Via Apia/ quod she,

' That fro this toun ne stant but myles three,

And, to the poure folkes that ther dwelle,

Sey hem ryght thus, as that I shal yow telle. 175

Telle hem that I, Cecile, yow to hem sente,
To shewen yow the gode Vrban the olde,
k c^or secre nedes l and for good entente.

I whan that ye seint Vrban han biholde,
Telle him the wordes whiche 1 2 to yow tolde ; 180

And whan that he hath purged vow fro sinne,
Thanne shul ye se that angel, er ye twinne.'



1 E. thynges ; the rest nedes, nedis, needes.

a E. Cp. Ln. HI. whiche J>at I ; but Hn. Cm. Pt. omit that.

F 2



68 GROUP G. THE SECONDS NONNES TALE.

Valerian is to the place ygon,

And ryght as him was taught by his lerninge,

He fond this holy olde Vrban anog ^^ &*Jb l8 5

Among the seintes buriels lotin

And he anon, with-outen taryinge,'

Dide his message ; and whan that he it tolde,

Vrban for ioye his hondes gan vp holde.

The teres from his yen leet he falle 190

' Almyghty lord, o lesu Crist/ quod he,

' Sower of chast conseil, herde of vs alle,

The fruyt of thilke seed of chastitee

That thou hast sowe in Cecile tak to thee 1

Lo, lyk a bisy bee, with-outen gyle, 195

Thee serueth ay thyn owen thral Cecile !

For thilke spouse, that she took but l now

Ful lyk a fiers leoun, she sendeth here,

As meke as euer was any lamb, to yow !'

And with that worde, anon ther gan appere 200

An old man, clad in whyte clothes clere,

That hadde a book with lettre of golde in honde,

And gan biforn 2 Valerian to stonde.

Valerian as deed fil doun for drede
Whan he him sey, and he vp hente him tho,
-yH^And on his book ryght thus he gan to rede
' Oo Lord, oo feith, oo god with-outen mo,
Oo 8 Cristendom, and fader of alle also,
Abouen alle and 4 ouer al euerywhere '
Thise wordes al with golde y writen were.

1 E. HI. right ; the rest but.

2 E. bifore ; HI. to-forn ; the rest biforn, biforne, beforne.

3 E. Hn. Cm. O ; HI. On ; Cp. Pt. Ln. Of.

4 E. omits and ; the rest have if.





GROVP G. THE SECONDS NONNES TALE. 69

Whan this was rad, than seyde this olde man,

' Leuestow this thing or no ? sey ye or nay/

' I leue al this thing,' quod Valerian,

' For sother l thing than this, I dar wel say,

Vnder the heuen no wyght thinke may/ 215

Tho vanisshed the 2 olde man, he niste where,

And Pope Vrban him cristened ryght there.

Valerian gooth hoom, and fynt Cecilie

With-inne his chambre with an angel stonde ;

This angel hadde of roses and of lilie 220

Corones two, the which he bar in honde ;

And first to Cecile, as I vnderstonde, ___, ^g >aji~4-

He yaf that oon, and after gan he take ^^*~ '

That other to Valerian, hir make.

t With body clene and with vnwemmed thought 225

Kepeth ay wel thise corones,' quod he 3 ;

' Fro Paradys to yow haue I hem brought,

Ne neuer mo ne shal they roten be,

Ne lese her sote sauour, trusteth me ;

Ne neuer wyght shal seen hem with his ye, 230

But he be chaast and hate vilanye.

And thou, Valerian, for thou so sone

Assentedest to good conseil also,

Sey what thee list, and thou shalt han thy bone/

' I haue a brother,' quod Valerian tho, . 235

' That in this world I loue no man so.y -A j f a /

I pray yow that my brother may han grace

To knowe the trouthe, as I do in this place/

1 E. oother ; the rest sother.

2 E. Hn. Cm. this ; Pt. that ; Cp. Ln. the ; see note.
8 E. three ; HI. thre ; the rest quod he.



7O GROUP G. THE SECONDS NONNES TALE.

The angel seyde, ' god lyketh thy requeste,

And bothe, with the palm of martirdom, 240

Ye shullen come vnto his blisful feste.'

And with that word Tiburce his brother com.

And whan that he the sauour vndernom

Which that the roses and the lilies caste,

With-inne his herte he gan to wondre faste, 245

And seyde, ' I wondre this tyme of the yeer

Whennes that sote sauour cometh so

Of rose and lilies that I smelle heer.

For though I hadde hem in myn hondes two,

The sauour myghte in me no depper go. 250

The sote l smel that in myn herte I fynde

Hath chaunged me al in another kynde/

Valerian seyde, ' two corones han we,

Snow-whyte and rose-reed, that shynen clere,

Whiche that thyn yen han no myght to see ; 255

And as thou smellest hem thurgh my preyere,

So shaltow seen hem, leue brother dere,

If it so be thou wolt, withouten slouthe,

Bileue aryght and knowen verray trouthe.'

Tiburce answerde, ' seistow this to me 260

In sothnesse, or in dreem I herkne this?'

* In dremes,' quod Valerian, * han we be

Vnto this tyme, brother myn, ywis.

But now at erst in trouthe our dwelling is.'

' How wostow this/ quod Tiburce, ' in what wyse ? 265

Quod Valerian, ' that shal I thee deuyse.



1 The MSS. have swete here; but in 1. 247 we find only sote, soote,
swote, suote, except swete in Pt. ; in 1. 229 we find E, soote; Hn. swote;
Cm. sote; HI. soote; Cp. Pt. Ln. swete.




GROUP G. THE SECONDS NONNES TALE. 71

The angel of god hath me the l trouthe ytaught

Which thou shalt seen, if that thou wolt reneye

The ydoles and be clene, and elles naught/

And of the miracle of thise corones tweye 270

Seint Ambrose in his preface list to seye ;

Solempnely this noble doctour dere

Commendeth it 2 , and seith in this manere :

The palm of martirdom for to receyue,

Seint Cecilie, fulfild of goddes yifte, 275

The world and eek hir chambre gan she weyue^

Witnes Tyburces and Valerians 8 shrifte,

To whiche god of his bountee wolde shifte

Corones two of floures wel smellinge,

And made his angel hem the corones bringe : 280

The mayde hath broght thise 4 men to blisse aboue ;

The world hath wist what it is worth, certeyn, Jc* o-i

Deuocioun of chastitee to loue.

Tho shewede him Cecile al 5 open and pleyn

That alle ydoles nis but a thing in veyn ; 285

For they been dombe, and therto they been deue,

And charged him his ydoles for to leue.

1 Who so that troweth nat this, a beste hejs/ "^T^ )j

Quod tho Tiburce, ' if that I shal nat lye/

And she gan kisse his brest, that herde this, 290

And was ful glad he coude trouthe espye.

4 This day I take thee for myn allye/

Seyde this blisful fayre mayde dere ;

And after that she seyde as ye may here :

1 E. Ln. HI. omit the ; the rest have it. a E. hym ; the rest it.

1 The MSS. have Cecilies, wrongly ; see note.

* E. Hn. omit thise ; but the rest retain it, except Cm., which has brought
tierc to blysse. * Cp. Pt. Ln. omit al ; but the rest retain it.



/2 GROUP G. THE SECONDS NONNES TALE.

1 Lo, ryght so as the loue of Crist/ quod she, 295

' Made me thy brotheres wyf, ryght in that wyse

Anon for myn allye heer take I thee,

Sin that thou wolt thyn ydoles despyse.

Go with thy brother now, and thee baptyse,

And make thee clene ; so that thou mo we biholde 300



Online LibraryGeoffrey ChaucerThe Tale of the Man of lawe ; the Pardoneres tale ; the Second nonnes tale ; the Chanouns yemannes tale : from the Canterbury tales → online text (page 8 of 30)