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LIFE

OF

CH A U C E R.

CHAPTER XVII.

MEMOIRS OF STRODE AND GOWER, THE CONFI.

DENTIAL FRIENDS OF CHAUCER.

XVII.

IT has already been observed that Chaucer CHAP.
has inscribed his poem of Troilus and Cre-
seide to the “ moral Gower” and the “ phi-
losophical Strode.” These untitled and private
individuals are probably to be considered as
the author's friends and fellow-students; and
the avowal of their friendship in this public
and honourable

way
will

appear to the acute observer no slight token of the integrity of the poet's mind. The persons whom Chaucer has thus thought fit to honour and commend in the face of his countrymen and posterity,

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XVII.

CHAP. have a just title to the notice of those who

would study his life : happy if we could collect such satisfactory information concerning them, as might tend in any considerable degree to throw light upon the character of the man by whom they were distinguished. Among the companions of Chaucer's youth these were selected by him as his chosen associates ; and it may well be supposed that an intimate knowledge of their tempers, fortünes, studies and pursuits would tend greatly to elucidate his. The following are the most considerable particulars which are recorded concerning them.

Of Strode so little is known, that I am inclined not to suppress any part of it, but to put down all that is said of him by Leland, Bale and Pits. At the same time it is right to observe that these authors are entitled to a very limited credit in the details into which they enter, particularly the Protestant bishop, and the Romish priest. They are much more tenacious of the character of rhetorical de claimers, than of industrious collectors or faithful historians. An apt example at once

Notices of

Strode.

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