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Hire over lippè wiped she so clene,
But for to speken of hire conscience,
Ful semely hire wimple ypinched was ;
Ful fetise was hire cloke, as I was ware,
7 To imitate. & Worthy
11 Straight. 12 Of low stature.
And eke with worthy wimmen of the toun :
His tippet was ay farsed 6 ful of knives,
And over all, ther as profit shuld arise, Curteis he was, and lowly of servise. Ther n' as no man no wher so vertuous. He was the beste beggèr in all his hous : And gave a certain fermè 11 for the grant, Non of his bretheren came in his haunt. For though a widewe haddè but a shoo, (So plesant was his in principio) Yet wold he have a ferthing or he went. His pourchas 12 was wel better than his rent.
2 Have. 6 Stuffed.
4 Shriven. ? A stringed instrument.
11 Farm. 10 Poor people.
5 Durst make a boast. 8 Story telling.
9 Have. 13 Purchase.
And rage he coude as it hadde ben a whelp,
13 Days appointed for the amicable settlement of differences.
14 Half cloak.
THE DOCTOR OF PHYSICK.
With us ther was a Doctour of Phisike,
He knew the cause of every maladie,
1 Make fortunate.
2 The ascendant.
3 Froot. 6 Electuaries.
But of gret nourishing, and digestible.
8 Sky-coloured, or bluish-grey.
2 Gained, got.
7 Blood-red colour.
9 Tbin silk
The Miller was a stout carl for the nones,
And therwithall he brought us out of toune. i The prize.
3 A running. 6 Prater.
89 He was as honest as other millers, though he had, according to the proverb, like every miller, a thumb of gold.
2 A hard knot in a tree. 7 Buffoon.
14. John Barbour, d. A.D. 1396 (see Manual, p. 51).
APOSTROPHE TO FREEDOM. [Old Orthography.]
[Modern Orthography.] A! fredome is a nobill thing!
Ah! Freedom is a noble thing! Fredome mayse man to haiff liking ! Freedom makes men to have liking!! Fredome all solace to man giffis :
Freedom all solace to man gives : He levys at ese that frely levys!
He lives at ease that freely lives! 1 Pleasure.
A noble hart may haiff nane ese,
A noble heart may have none ease,
3 Over, above.
4 Peculiar state or condition. 6 Exactly.
15. Chaucer (Prose). Tale of Melibæus, from the Parson's Tale.
COUNSEL OF PRUDENCE.
Whan dame Prudence, ful debonairly accomplish thilke ordinance buts you and with gret pacience, had herd all liketh : for the trouthe of thinges, and that hire husbonde liked for to say, than the profit, ben rather founden in fewe axed she of him licence for to speke, and folk that ben wise and ful of reson, sayde in this wise. My lord, (quod she) than by gret multitude of folk, ther6 as to your first reson, it may lightly ben every man cryeth and clattereth what answerd : for I say that it is no folie him liketh : sothly? swiches multitude to chaunge conseil whan the thing is is not honest. As to the second reson, chaunged, or elles whan the thing semeth wheras ye say, that alle women ben otherwise than it semed afore. And wicke : save your grace, certes ye despise moreover I say, though that ye have alle women in this wise, and he that all sworne and behight' to performe your despiseth, as saith the book, all disemprise, and nevertheles ye weive to pleseth. And Senek saith, that wbo so performe thilke same emprise by just wol have sapience, shal no man dis. cause, men shuld not say therfore ye preise, but he shal gladly teche the were a lyer, ne forsworn : for the book science that he can, without presumpsayth, that the wise man maketh no tion or pride : and swiche thinges as he lesing,a whan he turneth his corage3 for nought can, he shal not ben ashamed to the better. And al be it that your em- lere9 hem, and to enquere of lesse folk prise be established and ordeined by than himself. gret multitude of folk, yet thar‘ you not
4 It behoveth.
9 Learn them.
16, Sir John de Mandeville, 1300–1371 (Manual, p. 51).
And therfore I schalle telle zou, what | sample to the lewed peple, for to do wel; the Soudan tolde me upon a day, in his and zee zeven hem ensample to don Chambre. He leet voyden out of his evylle. For the Comownes, upon festyChambre alle maner of men, Lordes and fulle dayes, whan thei scholden gon to othere : for he wolde speke with me in Chirche to serve God, than gon thei to Conseille. And there he askede me, how Tavernes, and ben there in glotony, alle the Cristene men governed hem in oure the day and alle nyghte, and eten and Contree. And I seyde him, Righte wel: drynken, as Bestes that have no resoun, thonked be God. And he seyde me, and wite not whan thei have y now. Treulyche, nay : for zee Cristene men And also the Cristene men enforcen hem, ne recthen righte noghte how untrewly in alle maneres that thei mowen, for to to serve God. Ze scholde zeven en- fighte, and for to desceyven that on that