Imatges de pàgina

2697. Nedes cost, by condition of necessity, i.e. necessarily; see Kn. Ta., 619 (A 1477), and the note.

2700. Supply he before hath ; cf. note to l. 2630.

2705. Goter, gutter, channel for water. This is an addition. The original merely has (1l. 77, 78) :

Quaerenti caussam, “Dum nox sinit, effuge," dixi ;

“dum nox atra sinit, tu fugis, ipsa moror.” 2708. Roggeth, shaketh. 'Roggyn, or mevyn, or scogghyn, rokkyn. Agito; Prompt. Parv. See P. Plowman, B. xvi. 78; and ruggen in Stratmann. Cf. Icel. rugga, to rock a cradle. Prof. Napier tells me that the A. S. roccan, to rock, has been found in a gloss. Bell's edition has the singular and unauthorised reading jeggeth (sic).

2709. The rest of the story seems to be Chaucer's addition. Ovid merely has (11. 83, 84):

* Abstrahor a patriis pedibus; raptamque capillis

(haec meruit pietas praemia) carcer habet.' 2710. Doon him bote, given him assistance.

2715. “Her cruel father caused her to be seized,' lit. caused (men) to seize her.

2723. “This tale is told for the following reason. And here the MSS. break off, in the middle of the sentence.




The title 'Tractatus de Conclusionibus Astrolabii' is suggested by the wording of the colophon on p. 223. But a better title is, simply, 'Tractatus de Astrolabio,' or 'Treatise on the Astrolabe,' as the “Conclusiones' only occupy the Second Part of the work; see p. 188. Indeed MS. F. has 'Tractatus Astrolabii'; see p. 233. MSS. B. and E. have the singular title— Bred and mylk for childeren.'

PROLOGUE, 1. 1. Lowis was at this time (1391) ten years old (see 1. 18); he was therefore born in 1381, whence it is possible that his mother was the Cecilia de Chaumpaigne who, on May 1, 1380, released the poet from all liability de raptu meo. This is, of course, a mere conjecture. Probably Lowis died young, as nothing more is known concerning him.

5. philosofre; possibly Cicero. Haec igitur prima lex amicitiae sanciatur, ut . . amicorum causâ honesta faciamus'; Lælius, cap. xiii.

7. suffisaunt, sufficiently good. In the best instruments, the Almicanteras, or circles of altitude, were drawn at distances of one degree only; in less-carefully made instruments, they were drawn at distances of two degrees. The one given to his son by Chaucer was one of the latter; see Part I, sect. 18, 1. 8.

10. a certein, i. e. a certain number ; but the word nombre need not be repeated ; cf. a certein holes, Pt. I. sect. 13, 1. 2, and see the very expression in the Milleres Tale, 1. 7 (A 3193).

21. suffyse, let them suffice.
32. Repeated from Ho. Fame, 861-2, q. v.

62. ‘Nicolaus de Lynna, i. e. of Lynn, in Norfolk, was a noted astrologer in the reign of Edward III., and was himself a writer of a treatise on the Astrolabe. See Bale-who mentions " Joannes Sombe” as the collaborateur of Nicolaus –“ Istos ob eruditionem multiplicem, non vulgaribus in suo Astrolabio celebrat laudibus Galfridus Chaucer poeta lepidissimus;" BALE (edit. 1548), p. 152.'-Note by Mr. Brae, p. 21 of his edition of the Astrolabe.

Warton says that 'John Some and Nicholas Lynne' were both Carmelite friars, and wrote calendars constructed for the meridian of Oxford. He adds that Nicholas Lynne is said to have made several voyages to the most northerly parts of the world, charts of which he presented to Edward III. These charts are, however, lost. See Hakluyt's Voyages, i. 121, ed. 1598; Warton, Hist. E. P. ii. 357; ed. 1871.

Tyrwhitt, in his Glossary to Chaucer, s. v. Somer, has the following. 'The Kalendar of John Somer is extant in MS. Cotton, Vesp. E. vii. It is calculated for 140 years from 1367, the year of the birth of Richard II., and is said, in the introduction, to have been published in 1380, at the instance of Joan, mother to the king. The Kalendar of Nicholas Lenne, or Lynne, was calculated for 76 years from 1387. Tanner in v. Nicolaus Linensis. The story there quoted from Hakluit of a voyage made by this Nicholas in 1360 ad insulas septentrionales antehac Europæis incognitas, and of a book written by him to describe these countries a gradu .54. usque ad polum, is a mere fable : as appears from the very authorities which Hakluit has produced in support of it.' It seems probable, therefore, that the charts' which Warton says are 'lost' were never in existence at all. The false spelling 'Some'no doubt arose from neglecting the curl of contraction in Somere.

PART I. § 5, 1. 5. the remenant, &c. i. e. the rest of this line (drawn, as I said,) from the foresaid cross to the border. This appears awkward, and we should have expected 'fro the forseide centre,' as Mr. Brae suggests; but there is no authority for making the alteration. As the reading stands, we must put no comma after 'this lyne,' but read right on without a pause.

8. principals. It it not unusual to find adjectives of French origin retaining s in the plural; only they commonly follow their nouns when thus spelt. Cf. lettres capitals, i. 16. 8; sterres fixes, i. 21. 4. On the other hand, we find principal cercles, i. 17. 34.

§ 7. 4. noumbres of augrim; Arabic numerals. The degrees of the border are said to contain 4 minutes of time, whilst the degrees of the signs are divided into minutes and seconds of angular measurement, the degrees in each case being the same. There is no confusion in practice between these, because the former are used in measuring time, the latter in measuring angles.

$ 8.9. Alkabucius; i. e. (says Warton, Hist. E. P. ii. 357, ed. 1871) Abdilazi Alchabitius, whose Introductiorium ad scientiam judicialem astronomiæ was printed in 1473, and afterwards. Mr. Brae quotes the very passage to which Chaucer refers, which I here quote from the edition of 1482, as described in my note to l. 119 of The Compleint of Mars (see vol. i. p. 500); viz. “Unumquodque istorum signorum diuiditur in 30 partes equales, que gradus vocantur. Et gradus diuiditur in 60 minuta ; et minutum in 60 secunda; et secundum in 60 tertia. Similiterque sequuntur quarta, scilicet et quinta, ascendendo usque ad infinita ; ' Alchabitii Differentia Prima.

A a

These minute subdivisions were never used; it was a mere affectation of accuracy, the like of which was never attained.

§ 10. 5. in Arabiens, amongst the Arabians. But he goes on to speak only of the an names of the months. Yet I may observe that in MS. Ii. 3. 3, at fol. 97, the Arabian, Syrian, and Egyptian names of the months are given as well as the Roman.

$ 16. 12. & every minut 60 secoundes; i. e. every minute contains 60 seconds. The sentence, in fact, merely comes to this. 'Every degree of the border contains four minutes (of time), and every minute (of time) contains sixty seconds (of time).' This is consistent and intelligible. Mr. Brae proposes to read 'four seconds”; this would mean that every degree of the border contains four minutes (of time), and every minute (of the border) contains four seconds (of time). Both statements are true; but, in the latter case, Chaucer should have repeated the words of the bordure.' However this may be, the

proposed emendation lacks authority, although the reprint of Speght changed 'lx ' into 'fourtie,' which comes near to 'four. But the reprint of Speght is of no value at all. See Mr. Brae's preface, p. 4, for the defence of his proposed emendation, which is entirely needless.

$ 17. 6. Ptholome. The St. John's MS. has ptolomeys almagest. 'Almagest, a name given by the Arabs to the peyaln ouvrages, or great collection, the celebrated work of Ptolemy, the astronomer of Alexandria [floruit A.D. 140-160). It was translated into Arabic about the year A. D. 827, under the patronage of the Caliph Al Mamun, by the Jew Alhazen ben Joseph, and the Christian Sergius. The word is the Arabic article al prefixed to the Greek megistus, "greatest," a name probably derived from the title of the work itself, or, as we may judge from the superlative adjective, partly from the estimation in which it was held.'- English Cyclopædia ; Arts and Sciences, i. 223. The Almagest 'was in thirteen books. Ptolemy wrote also four books of judicial astrology. He was an Egyptian astrologist, and flourished under Marcus Antoninus. He is mentioned in the Sompnour's Tale [D 2289), and the Wif of Bathes Prologue, 11. 182, 324.'—Warton, Hist. E. P. ii. 356, ed. 1871. The word almagest occurs in the Milleres Tale, near the beginning (A 3208), and twice in the Wif of Bathes Prologue (D 183, 325).

Chaucer says the obliquity of the ecliptic, according to Ptolemy, was 23° 50'. The exact value, according to Ptolemy, was 23° 51' 20" ; Almagest, lib. i. c. 13. But Chaucer did not care about the odd degree, and gives it nearly enough. See note to ii. 25. 19.

8. tropos, a turning; Chaucer gives it the sense of agaynward, i. e. in a returning direction.

14. The equinoctial was supposed to revolve, because it was the 'girdle of the primum mobile, and turned with it. See note below to

14,15. “As I have shewed thee in the solid sphere. This is interesting,

as shewing that Chaucer had already given his son some lessons on the motions of the heavenly bodies, before writing this treatise.

27. angulus. We should rather have expected the word spera or sphera ; cf. 'the sper solide' above, l. 15.

28. ‘And observe, that this first moving (primus motus) is so called from the first movable (primum mobile) of the eighth sphere, which moving or motion is from East to West,' &c. There is an apparent confusion in this, because the primum mobile was the ninth sphere see Plate V, fig. 10); but it may be called the movable of the eighth, as giving motion to it. An attempt was made to explain the movements of the heavenly bodies by imagining the earth to be in the centre, surrounded by a series of concentric spheres, or rather shells, like the coats of an onion. Of these the seven innermost, all revolving with different velocities, each carried with it a planet. Beyond these was an eighth sphere, which was at first supposed to be divided into two parts, the inner part being the firmamentum, and the outer part the primum mobile ; hence the primum mobile might have been called 'the first moving of the eighth sphere,' as accounting for the more important part of the motion of the said sphere. It is simpler, however, to make these distinct, in which case the eighth sphere is the firmamentum or sphæra stellarum fixarum, which was supposed to have a very slow motion from West to East round the poles of the zodiac to account for the precession of the equinoxes, whilst the ninth sphere, or primum mobile, whirled round from East to West once in 24 hours, carrying all the inner spheres with it, by which means the ancients accounted for the diurnal revolution. This ninth sphere had for its poles the north and south poles of the heavens, and its 'girdle' (or great circle equidistant from the poles) was the equator itself. Hence the equator is here called the 'girdle of the first moving. As the planetary spheres revolved in an opposite direction, thus accounting for the forward motion of the sun and planets in the ecliptic or near it, the primum mobile was considered to revolve in a backward or unnatural direction, and hence Chaucer's apostrophe to it (Man of Lawes Tale, B 295):

'O firste moevyng cruel firmament,
With thy diurnal sweigh that crowdest ay
And hurlest all from Est til Occident,

That naturelly wolde holde another way.' That is --O thou primum mobile, thou cruel firmament, that with thy diurnal revolution (or revolution once in 24 hours round the axis of the equator) continually forcest along and whirlest all the celestial bodies from East to West, which naturally would wish to follow the course of the sun in the zodiac from West to East.' This is well illustrated by a sidenote in the Ellesmere MS. to the passage in question, to this effect :—'Vnde Ptholomeus, libro i. cap. 8. Primi motus celi duo sunt, quorum vnus est qui mouet totum semper ab Oriente in Occidentem

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