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Of Saturne, by sum constellacioun,
This Palamon answered, and seyde ageyn;
1110 By eterne word to deyen in prisoun, Of oure lynage haveth sum compassioun, That is so lowe y-brought by tyrannye." And with that word Arcite gan espye
1090.-Saturne. According to the old astrological system, this was a very unpropitious star to be born under. It may be observed, that in the present story there is a constant allusion to medieval astrology, which could not be fully illustrated without long notes.
Wher as this lady romed to and fro.
And with a sigh he seyde pitously :
Of hir that rometh yonder in the place;
For to be fals, ne for to be traytour
1134.—I-swore. It was a common practice in the middle ages for persons to take formal oaths of fraternity and friendship, and a breach of the oath was considered something worse thau perjury. This incident enters into the plots of some of the medieval romances. A curious example will be found in the Romance of Athelston, Reliq. Antiq. ii,
1135.-deyen in the payne. This appears to have been a proverbial expression, taken from the French. In Froissart, as cited by Tyrwhitt, Edward III is made to declare, that he would bring the war to a successful issue, or il mourroit en la peine.
Neyther of us in love to hynder other,
But thou art fals, I telle the uttirly.
is love, as of a creature;
that thou lovedest hire biforn:
1137.-love. The Harl. MS. has lande.
geve a lover
Wost thou nat wel the olde clerkes sawe,
geve to eny erthly man? Therfore posityf lawe, and such decré, Is broke alway for love in ech degree.
1170 A man moot needes love maugré his heed. He may nought fle it, though he schulde be deed, Al be sche mayde, or be sche widewe or wyf. And that it is nat likly al thy lyf To stonden in hire grace, no more schal I: For wel thou wost thyselven verrily, That thou and I been dampned to prisoun Perpetuelly, us gayneth no raunsoun. We stryve, as doth the houndes for the boon, They foughte al day, and yit here part was noon. 1180 Ther com a kyte, whil that they were wrothe, And bar awey the boon bitwise hem bothe. And therfore at the kynges court, my brother, Eche man for himself, ther is non other. Love if the list; for I love and ay schal : And sothly, leeve brother, this is al. Eke in this prisoun moote we endure, And every of us take his aventure."
1165.—the olde clerkes sawe. Boethius, who says, iu his treatise De Consolat. Philos. lib. iii, met. 12,
Quis legem det amantibus ?
Major lex amor est sibi. 1179.-houndes. This is a medieval fable which I have not met with elsewhere, though it may probably be found in some of the inedited collections.
Gret was the stryf and long bytwise hem tweye,
1200 That whan that oon was deed, sothly to telle, His felawe wente and sought him doun in helle: But of that story lyst me nought to write. Duk Perotheus loved wel Arcite, And hadde him knowe at Thebes yeer by yeer : And fynally at requeste and prayer Of Perotheus, withoute
any raunsoun Duk Theseus him leet out of prisoun, Frely to go, wher him lust over al, In such a gyse, as I you telle schal.
1210 This was the forward, playnly to endite, Betwixe Theseus and him Arcite: That if so were, that Arcite were founde Evere in his lyf, by daye or night, o stound In eny contré of this Theseus,
1202.-in helle. An allusion to the classic story of Theseus and Pirithous.