Imatges de pàgina
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vico oriundus, et ob id Lignanus dictus, &c. One of his works, entitled Tractatus de Bello, is extant in MS. Reg. 13 B. ix [Brit. Mus.]. He composed it at Bologna in the year 1360. He was not however a mere lawyer. Chaucer speaks of him as excelling in philosophy, and so does his epitaph in Panzirolus. The only specimen of his philosophy that I have met with is in MS. Harl. 1006. It is an astrological work, entitled Conclusiones Judicii composite per Domnum Johannem de Lyniano super coronacione Domni Urbani Pape VI. A.D. 1378,' &c. Lignano is here said to be near Milan, and to have been the lawyer's birthplace. In l. 38, Chaucer speaks of his death, shewing that Chaucer wrote this prologue later than 1383.

43. Proheme, proem, introduction. Petrarch's treatise (taken from Boccaccio's Decamerone, Day x, Novel 10) is entitled • De obedientia ac fide uxoria Mythologia.' It is preceded by a letter to Boccaccio, but this is not here alluded to. What Chaucer means is the first section of the tale itself, which begins thus:— Est ad Italiae latus occiduum Vesulus, ex Apennini iugis mons unus altissimus ... Padi ortu nobilissimus, qui eius a latere fonte lapsus exiguo orientem contra solem fertur, mirisque mox tumidus incrementis ... Liguriam gurgite uiolentus intersecat; dehinc Aemiliam, atque Flaminiam, Venetiamque discriminans ... in Adriaticum mare descendit.' Pemond, Piedmont. Saluces, Saluzzo, S. of Turin. Vesulus, Monte Viso. See the description of the route from Mont Dauphin to Saluzzo, by the Col de Viso, in Murray's Guide to Switzerland and Piedmont.

51. To Emelward, towards Aemilia. Tyrwhitt says— One of the regions of Italy was called Aemilia, from the via Aemilia, which crossed it from Placentia [Piacenza] to Rimini. Placentia stood upon the Po. Pitiscus, Lex. Ant. Rom. in v. Via Aemilia. Petrarch's description ... is a little different.' See note above. Ferrare, Ferrara, on the Po, not far from its mouth. Venyse, rather the Venetian territory than Venice itself.

54. “It seems to me a thing irrelevant, excepting that he wishes to introduce his story'; or it may mean, 'impart his information.'

NOTES TO THE CLERKES TALE. 57. In many places this story is translated from Petrarch almost word for word; and as Tyrwhitt remarks, it would be endless to cite illustrative passages from the original Latin. The first stanza is praised by Professor Lowell, in his Study Windows, p. 208, where he says—What a sweep of vision is here !' Chaucer is not quite so close a translator here as usual; the passage in Petrarch being—'Inter caetera ad radicem

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Vesuli, terra Salutiarum, uicis et castellis satis frequens, Marchionum arbitrio nobilium quorundum regitur uirorum.'

82. Leet he slyde, he allowed to pass unattended to, neglected. So we find. Let the world slide'; Induction to Taming of the Shrew, 1. 5; and

The state of vertue never slides'; The Sturdy Rock (in Percy's Reliques). See Marsh's Student's Manual of Eng. Lang. p. 125, where the expression is noted as still current in America. Petrarch has alia penè cuncta negligeret.: With 11. 83-140, cf. Shakesp. Sonnets, i-xvii.

86. flockmele, in a flock or troop; Pet. has 'cateruatim.' Palsgrave's French Dict. has—*Flockmeale, par troupeaux '; fol. 440, back. Cf. E. piece- ineal; we also find wukemalum, week by week, Ormulum, 536; lim-mele, limb from limb, Layamon, 25618; hipyllmelum, by heaps, Wycl. Bible, Wisdom xviii. 25: Koch, Eng. Gramm. ij. 292.

99. • Although I have no more to do with this matter than others have who are here present.' Observe that the Marquis is addressed as ye, not thou, the former being a title of respect

103-105. These three lines are not in the original.

106. We should have expected to find here us lyketh ye, i e. you are pleasing to us; but we rather have an instance of a double dative, so that us lyketh yow is equivalent to‘it pleases us with respect to you.' The nominative case is ye, the dative and accusative you or you. Yow leste, it may please you, in 1. 111, is the usual idiom.

107. And euer han doon, and (both you and your doings) have ever brought it about. Such is the usual force of doon; cf. 11. 253, 1098.

115. Cf. Barbour's Bruce, ed. Skeat, i. 266-8.-M.
118, 119. Expanded from—'uolant enim dies rapidi.'
121. Still as stoon ; Latin text, tacita.'
129. We wol chese yow, we will choose for you.
147. Ther, where. This line is Chaucer's own.

157. Bountee, goodness. Strene, race, stock. Petrarch has - Quicquid in homine boni est, non ab alio quam a Deo est.'

168. As, as if. This line, in Petrarch, comes after 1. 173. Lines 174, 175 are Chaucer's own.

172. As euer, &c. as ever I may thrive, as I hope to thrive.

190-196. Expanded from— Et ipse nihilominus eam ipsam nuptiarum curam domesticis suis imposuit, edixitque diem.'

197–203. Expanded from— Fuit haud procul a palatio uillula paucorum atque inopum incolarum.'

211-217. Sometimes Chaucer translates literally, and sometimes he merely paraphrases, as here. Lines 215-277 are all his own.

220. Rype and sad corage, a mature and staid disposition. Petrarch has— sed uirilis senilisque animus uirgineo latebat in pectore.'

223. Spinning ; i.e. she spun whilst keeping the sheep; see a picture of Ste. Geneviève in Mrs. Jameson's Sacred and Legendary Art. Line 224 is Chaucer's.

227. Shredde and seeth, sliced and sod (or boiled). Lat. domum rediens oluscula et dapes fortunae congruas praeparabat, durumque cubiculum sternebat,' &c.

229. On-lofte, aloft. She kept up her father's life, i. e. sustained him. 234. For this line the Latin has only the word transiens. 237. In sad wyse, soberly; Lat. senili grauitate.

242. Here the people means the common people; Lat. 'uulgi oculis.' In the next line he is emphatic, meaning that his eyes were quicker to perceive than theirs.

253. Hath doon make, hath caused to be made. Lat. 'Ipse interim et anulos aureos et coronas et balteos conquirebat.' Chaucer inserts asure, the colour of fidelity; see Squieres Tale, 1. 644, and note. For balteos, he substitutes the familiar English phrase broches and ringes; cf. P. Plowm. B. prol. 75.

257. Scan—Bý | a mayd | e lýk | to hír | statúrë.Il 259. Here Chaucer omits a sentence, which is perhaps material:Uenerat expectatus dies, et cum nullus sponsae rumor audiretur, admiratio omnium uehementer excreuerat.' Can a stanza have been lost?

260. Undern (lit. the intervening or middle period) has two meanings in the Teutonic tongues ; (1) mid-forenoon, i. e. 9 a. m.; and (2) midafternoon, or 3 p. m. In this passage it is clearly the former that is meant; indeed in l. 981, where it occurs again, the original has 'proximae lucis hora tertia,' i. e. 9. a. m. In this passage, the original has hora prandii, meaning luncheon-time, which in Chaucer's time would often be 9 a. m. See note to Piers Pl. B. vi. 147; and see Undern in the Glossary.

260-294. Expanded and improved from the following short passage• Hora iam prandii aderat, iamque apparatu ingenti domus tota feruebat. Tum Gualtherus, aduentanti ueluti sponsae obuiam profecturus, domo egreditur, prosequente uirorum et matronarum nobilium caterua. .Griseldis omnium quae erga se pararentur ignara, peractis quae agenda domi erant, aquam e longinquo fonte conuectans paternum limen intrabat : ut, expedita curis aliis, ad uisendam domini sui sponsam cum puellis comitibus properaret.'

322. Gouerneth, arrange, dispose of. Observe the use of the plural imperative, as a mark of respect. When the marquis addresses Griseldis as ye, it is a mark of extreme condescension on his part; the Latin text has tu and te.

337-343. Expanded from— insolito tanti hospitis aduentu stupidam inuenere; quam iis uerbis Gualtherus aggreditur.'

350. Yow auyse, consider the matter; really a delicate way of express

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ing refusal. Compare the legal formula le roy s'avisera for expressing the royal refusal to a proposed measure.

364. For to be deed, even if I were to be dead, were to die; Lat. 'et si me mori iusseris, quod moleste feram.'

375, 376. These characteristic lines are Chaucer's own. 11. 382, 383

381. Corone, nuptial garland; Lat.'corona.' See Brand's Pop. Antiq. ed. Ellis, ii. 123.

388. Snow-whyt; Lat. 'niueo.' Perhaps Spenser took a hint from this; F. Q. i. 1. 4.

393. Repeated, slightly altered, from 1. 341.

409. Thewes, mental qualities. So also in Cant. Ta. 9416 (Tyrwhitt); Gower, Conf. Amant. lib. vii, sect. I; Spenser, F. Q. i. 9. 3; i. 10. 4; ii. 1. 33, &c. • The common signification of the word thews in our old writers, is manners, or qualities of mind and disposition ... By thews Shakespeare means unquestionably brawn, nerves, muscular vigour (Jul. Cæs. i. 3 ; 2 Hen. IV, iii. 2 ; Hamlet, i. 3). And to this sense, and this only, the word has now settled down; the other sense, which was formerly so familiar in our literature, is quite gone out and forgotten. [With respect to theawe =sinew, in Layamon, 1. 6361] Sir F. Madden remarks (iii. 471):—“This is the only instance in the poem of the word being applied to bodily qualities, nor has any other passage of an earlier date than the sixteenth century been found in which it is so used.” It may be conjectured that it had only been a provincial word in this sense, till Shakespeare adopted it’; Craik's English of Shakespeare ; note on Jul. Cæsar, i. 3.

412. Embrace, hold fast; 'omnium animos nexu sibi magni amoris astrinxerat. Compare Tennyson's Lord of Burleigh with ll. 394-413.

421. Roially; alluding to the royal virtues of Griseldis.

429. Not only the context, but the Latin text, justifies the reading homlinesse. Feet is fact, i. e. act. The Latin is—'Neque uero solers sponsa muliebria tantum haec domestica, sed, ubi res posceret, publica etiam obibat officia. Lines 432-434 are Chaucer's own.

444. ‘Although it would have been liefer to her to have borne a male child'; i.e. she would rather, &c. The Latin has— quamuis filium maluisset.'

449–462. Expanded from— Cepit (ut fit) interim Gualtherum, cum iam ablactata esset infantula (mirabilis quaedam quàm laudabilis, [aliter, an mirabile quidem magis quam laudabile,] doctiores iudicent) cupiditas satis expertam charae fidem coniugis experiendi altius [aliter, ulterius], et iterum atque iterum retentandi.'

483. Note Walter's use of the word thee here, and of thy twice in the next stanza, instead of the usual ye. It is a slight, but significant sign of insult, offered under pretence of reporting the opinion of others. In 1. 492 we have your again.

504. Thing, possession. Lat. ‘de rebus tuis igitur fac ut libet.'

516. A furlong wey or two, the distance of one or two furlongs, a short distance, a little. Merely an almost proverbial way of expressing distance, not only of space, but of time. The line simply means—'a little after.'

525. Stalked him; marched himself in, as we should say. This use of him is remarkable, but not uncommon.

533–539. Lat. “Iussus sum hanc infantulam accipere, atque eamHîc sermone abrupto, quasi crudele ministerium silentio exprimens, subticuit. Compare . Quos ego-'; Virgil, Aen. i. 135.

540-546. Lat. Suspecta uiri fama; suspecta facies; suspecta hora ; suspecta erat oratio; quibus etsi clare occisum iri dulcem filiam intelligeret, nec lachrymalum tamen ullam, nec suspirium dedit.' Mr. Wright quotes this otherwise, putting dulce for dulcem, and stopping at intelligeret.

547-567. Chaucer expands the Latin, and transposes some of the matter. Lines 561-563 precede 11. 547-560 in the original, which merely has— in nutrice quidem, nedum in matre durissimum ; sed tranquilla fronte puellam accipiens aliquantulum respexit & simul exosculans benedixit, ac signum sanctae crucis impressit, porrexitque satelliti.'

570. After That in this line, we ought, in strict grammar, to have ye burie in the next line, instead of the imperative burieth. But the phrase is idiomatic, and as all the seven best MSS. agree in this reading, it is best to retain it. Tyrwhitt alters That but to But if.

579. Somwhat, in some degree. But Petrarch says differently— uehemnenter paterna animum pietas mouit.'

582-591. Lat. “Iussit satelliti obuolutam pannis, cistae iniectam, ac iumento impositam, quiete omni quanta posset diligentia Bononiam deferret ad sororem suam, quae illic comiti de Panico nupta erat,' &c.

586. “But, under penalty of having his head cut off'; lit. of cutting off his head.

589. Boloigne, Bologna, E. by S. from Modena, and a long way from Saluzzo. Panik answers to the de Panico in note to l. 582; Boccaccio has Panago. I observe in the map the river Panaro flowing between Modena and Bologna; perhaps there is some connection between the names. Tyrwhitt has Pavie (Pavia) in his text, but corrects it in the notes.

602. In oon, in one and the same state : euer in oon, always alike; so also in 1. 677. Cf. Kn. Ta. 913.

607. This must mean—no accidental sign of any calamity.'

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