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Enspirud hath in every holte and heeth
Byfel that, in that sesoun on a day,
8.-the Ram. Tyrwhitt thinks Chaucer has made a mistake, and that it ought to be the Bull, because, the showers of April having pierced the drouth of March to the root, the sun must have passed through the sign of the Ram and entered that of the Bull.
14.-ferne. Nearly all the MSS. I have examined, and certainly the best, agree in this reading. Tyrwhitt has adopted the reading serve, which probably originated in mistaking “ ferne” for “ ferue," - ferne halwes means distant saints.
And schortly, whan the sonne was to reste,
A KNIGHT ther was, and that a worthy man,
43.-A knight. It was a common thing, in this age, for knights to seek employment in foreign countries which were at war. Tyrwhitt cites from Leland the epitaph of a knight of this period, Matthew de Gour
who “en sa vie fu à la bataille de Benamarin, et ala après à la siege d'Algezire sur les Sarazines, et aussi à les batailles de L'Escluse, de Cressy, de Deyngenesse, de Peyteres, de Nazare, d'Ozrey, et à pulsours autres batailles et asseges."
51.-Alisandre. Alexandria, in Egypt, was taken by Pierre de Lusignan, king of Cyprus, in 1365, but immediately afterwards abandoned.
Aboven alle naciouns in Pruce.
No cristen man so ofte of his degré.
53.- Pruce. The knights of the Teutonic order, in Prussia, were engaged in continual warfare with their pagan neighbours in Lithuania (Lellowe), Russia, &c.
56.–Gernade. The city of Algezir was taken from the Moorish king of Granada, in 1344. Belmarie appears to have been one of the Moorish states in Africa. Layas (Lieys) in Armenia, was taken from the Turks by Pierre de Lusignan, about 1367. Satalie was taken by the same prince soon alter 1352. Tremessen was one of the Moorish states in Africa. Palathia, in Anatolia, was one of the lordships held by Christian knights after the Turkish conquests.
Of fustyan he wered a gepoun
75 Al bysmoterud with his haburgeoun, For he was late comen from his viage, And wente for to doon his pilgrimage.
With him ther was his sone, a yong SQUYER, A lovyer, and a lusty bacheler, With lokkes crulle as they were layde in presse. Of twenty yeer he was of age I gesse. Of his stature he was of evene lengthe, And wondurly delyver, and gret of strengthe. And he hadde ben somtyme in chivachie, In Flaundres, in Artoys, and in Picardie, And born him wel, as in so litel space, In hope to stonden in his lady grace. Embrowdid was he, as it were a mede Al ful of fresshe floures, white and reede. Syngynge he was, or flowtynge, al the day, 91 He was as fressh as is the moneth of May. Schort was his goune, with sleeves long and wyde. Wel cowde he sitte on hors, and faire ryde. He cowde songes wel make and endite, Justne and eek daunce, and wel purtray and write. So hote he lovede, that by nightertale He sleep nomore than doth a nightyngale. Curteys he was, lowly, and servysable,
85 —chivachie. Every reader of the contemporary histories of Edward the Third's wars in France, knows the pride which the knights took in shewing their courage in the continual chevachies, or little excursions, into the enemy's country.
94.-faire. I have substituted this reading from other MSS., in place of wel cowde he, given by the Harl. MS., which appears to be a mere blundering repetition.
And carf byforn his fadur at the table.
A YEMAN had he, and servantes nomoo
Ther was also a Nonne, a PRIORESSE,
104.-pocok arwes. Arrows fledged with peacock's feathers. They appear to have been larger than the common arrows.
In a compotus of the Bishop of Winchester, in 1471 (cited by Warton, Hist. E. P. ii. p. 211), we have one head:-"Sagittæ magnæ. Et de cxliv. sagittis magnis barbatis cum pennis pavonum.”
115.-A Cristofre. A figure of St. Christopher used as a brooch. On the use of these brooches, or signs, see an interesting paper, by Mr. C. Roach Smith, in the Journal of the British Archæological Association, vol. i. p. 200. The figure of St. Christopher was looked upon with particular reverence among the middle and lower classes; and was supposed to possess the power of shielding the person who looked on it from hidden dangers.