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Enspirud hath in every holte and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours i-ronne,
And smale fowles maken melodie,
That slepen al the night with open yhe,
So priketh hem nature in here corages :—
Thanne longen folk to gon on pilgrimages,
And palmers for to seeken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, kouthe in sondry londes;
And specially, from every schires ende
Of Engelond, to Canturbury they wende,

The holy blisful martir for to seeke,

That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.

Byfel that, in that sesoun on a day,

In Southwerk at the Tabbard as I lay,
Redy to wenden on my pilgrimage
To Canturbury with ful devout corage,
At night was come into that hostelrie
Wel nyne and twenty in a companye,
Of sondry folk, by aventure i-falle

In felaschipe, and pilgryms were thei alle,
That toward Canturbury wolden ryde.

The chambres and the stables weren wyde,
And wel we weren esud atte beste.




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,
So hadde I spoken with hem everychon,
That I was of here felawschipe anon,
And made forward erly to aryse,

To take oure weye ther as I yow devyse.
But natheles, whiles I have tyme and space,
Or that I ferthere in this tale pace,

Me thinketh it acordant to resoun,

To telle yow alle the condicioun
Of eche of hem, so as it semed me,
And which they weren, and of what degré ;
And eek in what array that they were inne :
And at a knight than wol I first bygynne.

A KNIGHT ther was, and that a worthy man,
That from the tyme that he ferst bigan
To ryden out, he lovede chyvalrye,
Trouthe and honour, fredom and curtesie.
Ful worthi was he in his lordes werre,
And therto hadde he riden, noman ferre,
As wel in Cristendom as in hethenesse,
And evere honoured for his worthinesse.
At Alisandre he was whan it was wonne.
Ful ofte tyme he hadde the bord bygonne

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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 Gournay, 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.

In Lettowe hadde reyced and in Ruce,
No cristen man so ofte of his degré.
In Gernade atte siege hadde he be
Of Algesir, and riden in Belmarie.
At Lieys was he, and at Satalie,

Whan they were wonne; and in the Greete see
At many a noble arive hadde he be.

At mortal batailles hadde he ben fiftene,
And foughten for oure feith at Tramassene
In lystes thries, and ay slayn his foo.
This ilke worthi knight hadde ben also
Somtyme with the lord of Palatye,
Ageyn another hethene in Turkye:
And everemore he hadde a sovereyn prys.
And though that he was worthy he was wys,
And of his port as meke as is a mayde.
He never yit no vilonye ne sayde

In al his lyf, unto no maner wight.

He was a verray perfight gentil knight.
But for to telle
of his aray:
His hors was good, but he ne was nought gay.






53.- Pruce. The knights of the Teutonic order, in Prussia, were engaged in continual warfare with their pagan neighbours in Lithuania (Lettowe), 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, ab ut 367. Satalie was taken by the same prince soon after 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.

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Of fustyan he wered a gepoun

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
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,
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
At that tyme, for him lust ryde soo;
And he was clad in coote and hood of grene.
A shef of pocok arwes bright and kene
Under his belte he bar full thriftily.
Wel cowde he dresse his takel yomanly:
His arwes drowpud nought with fetheres lowe.
And in his hond he bar a mighty bowe.
A not-heed hadde he, with a broun visage.
Of woode-craft cowde he wel al the usage.
Upon his arme he bar a gay bracer,
And by his side a swerd and a bokeler,
And on that other side a gay daggere,
Harneysed wel, and scharp as poynt of spere:
A Cristofre on his brest of silver schene.

An horn he bar, the bawdrik was of grene;
A forster was he sothely, as I gesse.

Ther was also a Nonne, a PRIORESSE,
That of hire smylyng was ful symple and coy;
Hire grettest ooth nas but by seynt Loy;
And sche was clept madame Englentyne.




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.

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