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2020-08-09 20:35:23  Դձ
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The Author to His Book.

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To treat of state affairs, Danger <15> stood by the King, and Disdain by the Queen; who cast her eyes haughtily about, sending forth beams that seemed "shapen like a dart, sharp and piercing, and small and straight of line;" while her hair shone as gold so fine, "dishevel, crisp, down hanging at her back a yard in length." <16> Amazed and dazzled by her beauty, Philogenet stood perplexed, till he spied a Maid, Philobone -- a chamberwoman of the Queen's -- who asked how and on what errand he came thither. Learning that he had been summoned by Mercury, she told him that he ought to have come of his free will, and that he "will be shent [rebuked, disgraced]" because he did not.

19. Hermes Trismegistus, counsellor of Osiris, King of Egypt, was credited with the invention of writing and hieroglyphics, the drawing up of the laws of the Egyptians, and the origination of many sciences and arts. The Alexandrian school ascribed to him the mystic learning which it amplified; and the scholars of the Middle Ages regarded with enthusiasm and reverence the works attributed to him -- notably a treatise on the philosopher's stone.

8. Algesiras was taken from the Moorish king of Grenada, in 1344: the Earls of Derby and Salisbury took part in the siege. Belmarie is supposed to have been a Moorish state in Africa; but "Palmyrie" has been suggested as the correct reading. The Great Sea, or the Greek sea, is the Eastern Mediterranean. Tramissene, or Tremessen, is enumerated by Froissart among the Moorish kingdoms in Africa. Palatie, or Palathia, in Anatolia, was a fief held by the Christian knights after the Turkish conquests -- the holders paying tribute to the infidel. Our knight had fought with one of those lords against a heathen neighbour.

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THE TALE. <1>

61. On the dais: see note 32 to the Prologue.

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Wherefore in laud, as I best can or may Of thee, and of the white lily flow'r Which that thee bare, and is a maid alway, To tell a story I will do my labour; Not that I may increase her honour, For she herselven is honour and root Of bounte, next her son, and soules' boot.* *help

1. Tales of the murder of children by Jews were frequent in the Middle Ages, being probably designed to keep up the bitter feeling of the Christians against the Jews. Not a few children were canonised on this account; and the scene of the misdeeds was laid anywhere and everywhere, so that Chaucer could be at no loss for material.

And eke the Douceperes honourable; <20> Whiche they bear in sign of victory, As witness of their deedes mightily.

This firste stock was full of righteousness, True of his word, sober, pious, and free, *Clean of his ghost,* and loved business, *pure of spirit* Against the vice of sloth, in honesty; And, but his heir love virtue as did he, He is not gentle, though he riche seem, All wear he mitre, crown, or diademe.

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The leaf, the seed, the stalk, the flow'r, And said it had a good savour, And was no common herb to find, And well approv'd of *uncouth kind,* *strange nature* And more than other virtuous; Whoso might it have for to use In his need, flower, leaf, or grain, Of his heal might be certain. [She] laid it down upon the hearse Where lay the queen; and gan rehearse Each one to other what they had seen. And, *taling thus,* the seed wax'd green, *as they gossiped* And on the dry hearse gan to spring, -- Which me thought was a wondrous thing, -- And, after that, flow'r and new seed; Of which the people all took heed, And said it was some great miracle, Or medicine fine more than treacle; <12> And were well done there to assay If it might ease, in any way, The corpses, which with torchelight They waked had there all that night. Soon did the lordes there consent, And all the people thereto content, With easy words and little fare;* *ado, trouble And made the queene's visage bare, Which showed was to all about, Wherefore in swoon fell all the rout,* *company, crowd And were so sorry, most and least, That long of weeping they not ceas'd; For of their lord the remembrance Unto them was such displeasance.* *cause of grief That for to live they called pain, So were they very true and plain. And after this the good abbess Of the grains gan choose and dress* *prepare Three, with her fingers clean and smale,* *small And in the queenes mouth, by tale, One after other, full easily She put, and eke full cunningly.* *skilfully Which showed some such virtue. That proved was the medicine true. For with a smiling countenance The queen uprose, and of usance* *custom As she was wont, to ev'ry wight She *made good cheer;* for whiche sight *showed a gracious The people, kneeling on the stones, countenance* Thought they in heav'n were, soul and bones; And to the prince, where that he lay, They went to make the same assay.* *trial, experiment And when the queen it understood, And how the medicine was good, She pray'd that she might have the grains, To relieve him from the pains Which she and he had both endur'd. And to him went, and so him cur'd, That, within a little space, Lusty and fresh alive he was, And in good heal, and whole of speech, And laugh'd, and said, *"Gramercy, leach!"* *"Great thanks, For which the joy throughout the town my physician!"* So great was, that the belles' soun' Affray'd the people a journey* *to the distance of About the city ev'ry way; a day's journey* And came and ask'd the cause, and why They rungen were so stately.* *proudly, solemnly And after that the queen, th'abbess, Made diligence, <14> ere they would cease, Such, that of ladies soon a rout* *company, crowd Suing* the queen was all about; *following And, call'd by name each one and told,* *numbered Was none forgotten, young nor old. There mighte men see joyes new, When the medicine, fine and true, Thus restor'd had ev'ry wight, So well the queen as the knight, Unto perfect joy and heal, That *floating they were in such weal* *swimming in such As folk that woulden in no wise happiness* Desire more perfect paradise.

24. "I hold a mouse's wit not worth a leek, That hath but one hole for to starte to" A very old proverb in French, German, and Latin.

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pk10ٱˣЩ"߲" ɱϸ 21. By the insurgents under the leadership of Judas Maccabeus; 2 Macc. chap. viii. ϸ

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pk10˷111ҳ۾ ʦΥܷ Valerian gan fast unto her swear That for no case nor thing that mighte be, He never should to none bewrayen her; And then at erst* thus to him saide she; *for the first time "I have an angel which that loveth me, That with great love, whether I wake or sleep, Is ready aye my body for to keep; ϸ

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