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But all that he might of his frendès hente, (a)
On bokès and on lerning he it spente,
And besily gan for the soulès praie
Of hem, that yave him wherwith to scolaie. (6)
Of studie toke he mostè cure and hede.
Not a word spak e he more than was nede;
And that was said in forme and reverence,
And short and quike, and ful of high sentènce.
Souning in moral vertue was his speche,
And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.
A Sergeant of the Lawe warè (c) and wise,
That often hadde yben at the paruis, (d)
Ther was also, ful riche of excellence.
Discrete he was, and of gret reverence:
He semed swiche, his wordès were so wise,
Justice he was ful often in assise,
By patent, and by pleine commissioun;
For his science, and for his high renoun,
Of fees and robès had he many on.
So grete a pourchasour was nowher non.
All was fee simple to him in effect,
His pourchasing might not ben in suspect. (e)
Nowher so besy a man as he ther n'as,
And yet he semed besier than he was.
In termès hadde he cas (f) and domès alle,
That fro the time of king Will. weren falle.
Therto he coude endite, and make a thing,
Ther coudè no wight pinche (g) at his writing.
And every statute coude he plaine by rote.
He rode but homely in a medlee (h) cote. (i)
(c) Wary. (d) The paruis, or portico before a church-a place frequented by lawyers. The place of the lawyers paruis in London is assigned to different places by different antiquarians.-Tyrwhitt. (e) Suspicion. (5) Cases and decisions. (g) No one could find a flaw in his writings. (hi) Coat of mixed stuff.
A Frankelein (a) was in this compagnie;
White was his berd, as is the dayesiè.
Of his complexion he was sanguin.
Wel loved he by the morwe (6) a sop in win. (c)
To liven in delit was ever his wone,
For he was Epicurès' owen sone,
That held opinion, that plein delit
Was veraily felicitè parfitè.
An housholder, and that a grete wąs he ;
Seint Julian (d) he was in his contrée.
His brede, his ale, was alway after on ;
A better envyned (e) man was no wher non.
Withouten bake mete never was his hous,
Of fish and flesh, and that so plenteous,
It snewed (f) in his hous of mete and drinke,
Of alle deintees that men coud of thinke,
After the sondry sesons of the yere,
So changed he his mete and his soupère.
Ful many a fat partrich hadde he in mewe. (g)
And many a breme, and many a luce in stewe.
Wo was his coke, but if his sauce were
Poinant and sharpe, and redy all his gere.
His table dormant (h) in his halle alway
Stode redy covered alle the longè day.
At sessions ther was he lord and sire.
Ful often time he was knight of the shire,
An anelace (i) and a gipciere (k) all of silk,
Heng at his girdel, white as morwè () milk.
A shereve hadde he ben, and a countour. (m)
Was no wher swiche a worthy vavasour. (n)
(a) A freeholder of considerable estate. (6) Morning (c) Wine. (d) The saint of hospitality.
(e) Stored with wine. (f) It snewed, i. e. there was great abun. dance. (8) Secret.
(h) Fixed ready. (i) Knife. (k) Purse.
(1) Morning. (m) Mr Tyrwhitt conjectures, but merely offers it as a conjecture, that the contour was foreman of the hundred court. (n) Vavasour. of this term Mr T. is doubtful of the meaning.
An Haberdasher, and a Carpenter,
A Webbe, (a) a Deyer, and a Tapiser, (6)
Were alle yclothed in o liverè,
Of a solempne and grete fraternité.
Ful freshe and newe hir (c) gere ypiked (d) was.
Her knives were ychaped not with bras,
But all with silver wrought ful clene and wel,
Her girdeles and hir pouches every del. (e)
Wel semed eche of hem a fayre burgeis, (f)
To sitten in a gild halle, on the deis. (g)
Everich, for the wisdom that he can,
Was shapelich (h) for to ben an alderman,
For catel hadden they ynough and rent,
And eke hir wives wolde it wel assent:
And elles (i) certainly they were to blame.
It is ful fayre to ben ycleped madame,
And for to gon to vigiles all before,
And have a mantel reallich (k) ybore. (1)
A Coke they hadden with hem for the nones, (m)
To boile the chikenes and the marie bones.
* A Shipman was ther, woned fer (n) by West : For ought I wote, he was of Dertèmouth. He rode upon a rouncie, (o) as he couthe. *
* His herberwe, (p) his mone, (q), and his lodemanage, (r) Ther was non swiche, from Hull unto Cartage, Hardy he was, and wise, I undertake: With many a tempest hadde his berd be shake. He knew wel alle the havens, as they were, Fro Gotland, to the Cape de finistere,
(a) A weaver. (8) A maker of tapestry.
(cd) Their gear was spruce. (e) Every way. (f ) Burgher. (g) The deis ; a part of the hall that was floored and set apart for a place of respect.-Tyrwhitt.
(h) Fit. (i) Else. (k) Royally. (1) Borne.
(m) For the purpose.
(0) Hack-horse. (p) Place of the Sun. (9) Moon. (r) Pilotship
And every creke in Bretagne and in Spaine :
His barge ycleped was the Magdelaine.
With us ther was a Doctour of Phisike,
In all this world ne was ther non him like
To speke of phisike, and of surgerie :
For he was grounded in astronomie.
He kept his patient a ful gret del
In hourès by his magike naturel.
Wel coude he fortunen (a) the ascendent (6)
Of his images for his patient.
He knew the cause of every maladie,
Were it of cold, or hote, or moist, or drie,
And wher engendred, and of what humour,
He was a veray parfite practisour.
The cause yknowe, and of his arm the rote, (c)
Anon he gave to the sike man his bote. (d)
Ful redy hadde he his apothecaries
To send him draggès, (e) and his lettuaries, (f)
For eche of hem made other for to winne;
Hir frendship n'as not newè to beginne,
Wel knew he the old Esculapius,
And Dioscorides, and eke Rufus ;
Old Hippocras, Hali, and Gallien ;
Serapion, Rasis, and Avicen;
Averriois, Damascene, and Constantin ;
Bernard, and Gatisden, and Gilbertin.
Of his diete mesurable was he,
For it was of no superfluitee,
But of gret nourishing, and digestible.
His studie was but litel on the Bible.
In sanguin (g) and in perse (h) he clad was alle
Lined with taffata, and with sendalle. (i)
And yet he was but esy of dispence, (k)
He kepte that he wan (1) in the pestilence.
(a) Make fortunate. (6) The ascendant. (c) Root. (d) Remedy.
(f) Electuaries. (g) Blood-red colour.
(h) Sky-coloured, or blueish grey. (i) Thin silk. (k) Expense, (1) Gained, got.
For gold in phisike is a cordial ;
Therfore he loved gold in special.
A good Wif was ther of besidè Bathe,
But she was som del defe, and that was scathe. (a)
Of cloth making she hadde swiche an haunt,
She passed hem of Ipres, and of Gaunt.
In all the parish wif ne was ther non,
That to the offring before hire shulde gon,
And if ther did, certain so wroth was she,
That she was out of allé charitee.
Hire coverchiefs weren ful fine of ground;
I dorstè swere, they weyeden (b) a pound;
That on the Sonday were upon hire hede.
Hire hosen weren of fine scarlet rede,
Ful streite yteyed, (c) and shoon ful moist and newe.
Bold was hire face, and fayre and rede of hew.
She was a worthy woman all hire live,
Housbondes at the chirche dore had she had five,
Withouten other compagnie in youthe.
But therof nedeth not to speke as nouthe. (d)
And thries hadde she ben at Jerusaleme.
She hadde passed many a strangè streme.
At Rome she hadde ben, and at Boloine,
In Galice at Seint James, and at Coloine.
She coudé (e) moche of wandring by the way.
Gat-tothed was she, sothly for to say.
Upon an ambler esily she sat,
Ywimpled wel, and on hire hede an hat,
As brode as is a bokeler, or a targe.
A fote-mantel (f ) about hire hippės large,
And on hire fete a pair of sporres sharpe.
In felawship wel coude she laughe and carpe (g)
Of remedies of love she knew perchance.
For of that arte she coude the oldè dance.
A good man ther was of religioun,
That was a pourè Persone (h) of a toun :
(c) Tied. (d) Now; adv. (e) Knew. (f) A riding petticoat. (g) Talk,