Imatges de pàgina



Thou herist neyther that nor this,

For when thy labour doon al ys,

And hast ymade rekenynges,

Instid of reste and newe thynges,

Thou goost home to thy house anoon,

And, also dombe as any stoon,

Thou sittest at another booke,

Tyl fully dasewyd ys thy looke, 150

And lyvest thus as an heremyte,1

Although thyn aDstynence ys lyte.2

"And therfore Joves, thorgh hys grace, Wol that I bere the to a place, Which that hight the House of Fame, To do the sdmme disport and game, In somme recompensacioun Of labour and devocioun That thou hast had, loo! causeles, To Cupido the rechcheles. 160 And thus this god, thorgh his merite, Wol with somme maner thinge the quyte, So that thou wolt be of goode chere. For truste wel that thou shah here, When we be come there I seye, Mo wonder thynges, dar I leye, Of Loves folke moo tydynges, Both sothe-sawes and leysinges; * And moo loves newe begonne, And longe yserved loves wonne; 170 Ajid moo loves casuelly

1 Hermit 2 Lithe. 3 Truth-sayings and lies.

That betyde, no man wote why,

But 'as a blende man stert an hare ;1

And more jolytee and fare,

While that they fynde love of stele,1

As thinketh hem, and over al wele;

Mo discordes, and moo jelousies,

Mo murmures, and moo novelries,

And moo dissymulaciouns,

And feyned reparaciouns; 180

And moo berdys in two oures —

Without rasour or sisoures —

Ymade,2 then greynes be of sondes;

And eke moo holdynge in hondes,*

And also mo renoveilaunces

Of olde forleten aqueyntaunces;

Mo love-dayes,4 and acordes,

Then on instrumentes ben cordes;

And eke of loves moo eschaunges,

Than ever cornes were in graunges ;6 190

Unnethe maistow trowen this?"

Quod he. "Noo, helpe me God so wys!"

Quod I. "Noo ? why?" quod he. "For hytte

Were impossible to my witte,

Though that Fame had al the pies 6

In alle a realme, and alle the spies,

How that yet he shulde here al this,

Or they espie hyt." "O yis, yis!"

1 True as steel. • More persons duped in two hours. Cf. Can terbury Tales, 11. 4096, 10^03. s False accusations. * Days fo> the settlement cf disputes in a friendly way. Cf Canterbury Tale• . adJ • Barns. 6 Magpies.


Quod he to me, "that kan I preve

Be resoun, worthy for to leve,1 aoo

So that thou geve thyn advertence

To understonde my sentence.

"First shalt thou here where she dweUeth, And so thyn oune boke hyt tellith, Hir paleys stant as I shal sey Ryght even in-myddes of the wey, Betwexen hevene, erthe, and see ;' That whatsoever in al these three Is spoken either prevy or aperte,* The aire therto ys so overte,* aio And stant eke in so juste4 a place, That every soune mot to hyt pace, Or what so cometh fro any tonge, Be hyt rouned, red, or songe, Or spoke in suerte or in drede, Certeyn hyt moste thider nede.

"Now herkene wel; for-why* I wille
Tellen the a propre skille,6
And worche a demonstracioun
In myn ymagynacioun. aao

"Geffrey, thou woste ryght wel this,
That every kyndely thynge that is,
Hath a kyndely stede' ther he
May best in hyt conserved be;
Unto whiche place every thynge,
Thorgh his kyndely enclynynge,
Moveth for to come to,

1 Be believed. 1 la this description Chaucer imitates his favorite Ovid, MHamarphoses, xii. 4 Open (Lat. apertus, Fr. euvrrt}.

Precise. 6 Because. 6 True distinction. 7 Natural place. .

Whan that it is awey therfro.

As thus, loor thou maist al day se

That any thinge that hevy be, «30

As stoon or lede, or thynge of wight,1

And bere hyt never so hye on hight,

Lat goo thyn hande, hit falleth doune.

"Ryght so sey I, be fire, or soune, Or smoke, or other thynges lyghte, Alwey they seke upward on highte, While eche of hem is at his large ;' Lyghte thinge upwarde,* and dounwarde charge.

"And for this cause mayste thou see, That every ryver to the see 240 Enclyned ys to goo by kynde. And by these skilles,* as I fynde, Hath fyssh duellynge in floode and see, And trees eke in erthe bee. Thus every thinge by this reasoun Hath his propre mansyoun,* To which he seketh to repaire, As there hit shulde not apaire.7 Loo, this sentence ys knowen kouthe' Of every philosophres mouthe, 250 As Aristotile and daun Platoun, And other clerkys many oon, And to confirme my reasoun, Thou wost wel this, that speche is soun, Or elles no man myght hyt here; Now herke what I wol the lere.

• Weight. 1 Free (at large). * (Tend) upward. * Heavy thing! Reasons. a Abiding-place. Suffer detriment. * Familiar'*.


"Soune ys noght but eyre ybroken,1 And every speche that ys yspoken, Lowde or pryvee, foule or faire, In his substaurce ys but aire j 260 For as flaumbe ys but lyghted smoke, Ryght soo soune ys aire ybroke. But this may be in many wyse, Of which I wil the twoo devyse, As soune that cometh of pipe or harpe. For whan a pipe is blowen sharpe, The aire ys twyst with violence, And rent: loo, this ys my sentence;2 Eke, whan men harpe strynges smyte, Whether hyt be moche or lyte, 270 Loo, with the stroke the ayre to-breketh; Right so hit breketh whan men speketh. Thus wost thou wel what thinge is speche.

"Now henncsforthe I wol the teche, How every speche, or noyse, or soune, Thurgh hys multiplicacioune, Thogh hyt were piped of a mouse, Mote nede come to Fames House. I preve hyt thus — take hede now — Be experience, for yf that thow 280 Throwe on water now a stoon, Wel wost thou hyt wol make anoon A litel roundelle as a sercle, Para venture brode as a covercle ;* And ryght anoon thow shalt see wele,

1 Ct Canterbury Totes, 1. 12,276. * Opinion. 'Pot-lid

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