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was, with

This revè sate upon a right good stot',
That was all pomelee? grey, and hightè Scot.
A long surcote of perse upon he hade,
And by his side he bare a rusty blade.
Of Norfolk was this reve, of which I tell,
Beside a toun, men clepen Baldeswell.
Tucked he was, as is a frere, aboute,
And ever he rode the hinderest of the route.

A Sompnour was ther with us in that place,
That had a fire-red cherubinnès 3 face,
For sausèfleme 4 he

narwe 5. As hote he was, and likerous as a sparwe, With scalled browès blake, and pilled berd: Of his visage children were sore aferd. Ther n'as quiksilver, litarge, ne brimston, Boras, ceruse, ne oile of tartre non, Ne oinement that woldè clense or bite, That him might helpen of his whelkèse white, Ne of the knobbès sitting on his chekes. Wel loved he garlike, onions, and lekes, And for to drinke strong win as rede as blood. Than wolde he speke, and crie as he were wood. And whan that he wel dronken had the win, Than wold he speken no word but Latin. A fewè termès coude he, two or three, That he had lerned out of som decree; No wonder is, he herd it all the day. And eke ye knowen wel, how that a jay

eyen

1 Horse, beast. 2 Dappled. 3 Cherub's face. 4 Red pimpled face. 5 Narrow, close.

6 Spots.

Can clepen watte, as wel as can the pope.
But who so wolde in other thing him grope,
Than hadde he spent all his philosophie,
Ay, Questio quid juris, wolde he crie.

He was a gentil harlot' and a kind ;
A better felaw shulde a man not find.
He woldè suffre for a quart of wine,
A good felàw to have his concubine
A twelve month, and excuse him at the full.
Ful prively a finch eke coude he pull.
And if he found owhere a good feldwe,
He woldè techen him to have non awe
In swiche a cas of the archedekenes curse;
But if a mannès soule were in his purse ;
For in his purse he shulde ypunished be.
Purse is the archèdekens helle, said he.
But wel I wote, he lied right in dede:
Of cursing ought eche gilty man him drede.
For curse wol sle right as assoiling saveth,
And also ware him of a significavit.

In danger hadde he at his owen gise The yongè girlès of the diocise, And knew hir conseil, and was of hir rede. A gerlond hadde he sette upon his hede, As gret as it were for an alèstakes : A bokeler hadde he made him of a cake,

1 The name harlot was anciently given to men as well as women, and without any bad signification. ? Advised.

3 An alehouse sign.

With him ther rode a gentil Pardonere
Of Rouncevall, his frend and his compere,
That streit was comen from the court of Romè.
Ful loude he sang, Come hither, lovè, to me.
This

sompnour bare to him a stiff burdoun”,
Was never trompe of half so gret a soun.
This pardoner had here as yelwe as wax,
But smoth it heng, as doth a strike of fax:
By unces 5 heng his lokkès that he hadde,
And therwith he his shulders overspradde.
Ful thinne it lay, by culpons on and on,
But hode, for jolite, ne wered he non,
For it was trussed up in his wallet.
Him thought he rode al of the newe get,
Dishevele, sauf his cappe, he rode all bare.
Swiche glaring eyen hadde he, as an hare.
A vernicle hadde he sewed

upon

his cappe.
His wallet lay beforne him in his lappe,
Bret-ful? of pardon come from Rome al hote.
A vois he hadde, as smale as hath a gote.
No berd hadde he, ne never non shulde have,
As smothe it was as it were newè shave;
I trowe he were a gelding or a mare.

But of his craft, fro Berwike unto Ware,
Ne was ther swiche an other pardonere.
For in his male he hadde a pilwebere",

2

i Vide a former note. Supposed by Stevens to be Runceval Hall, in Oxford. 3 Sang the bass. 4 Yellow. 5 Ounces. 6 Shreds. 7 Brimful. 8 Budget.

9 Covering of a pillow.

Which, as he saidè, was oure ladies veil:
He saide, he hadde a gobbet of the seyl %
Thatte seint Peter had, whan that he went
Upon the see, till Jesu Crist him hents.
He had a crois of laton4 ful of stones,
And in a glas he hadde piggès bones.
But with these relikes, whannè that he fond
A pourè persone dwelling up on lond,
Upon a day he gat him more moneie
Than that the persone gat in monethes tweie.
And thus with fained flattering and japes",
He made the persone, and the peple, his apes6.

But trewely to tellen attè last,
He was in chirche a noble ecclesiast.
Wel coude he rede a lesson or a storie,
But alderbest 7 he

sang an offertorie 8.
For wel he wistè, whan that song was songe,
He mustè preche, and wel afile his tonge,
To winnè silver, as he right wel coude:
Therfore he sang the merrier and loude.

1 Morsel. 2 Sail. 3 Assisted, took. 4 A mixed metal of the colour of brass. 5 Tricks. 7 Best.

8 Part of the mass. 9 Polish.

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VOL. I.

E

JOHN GOWER.

Little is known of Gower's personal history. “ The proud tradition in the Marquis of Stafford's family,” says Mr. Todd', “ has been, and still is, that he was of Stitenham; and who would not consider the dignity of his genealogy augmented, by enrolling among its worthies the moral Gower?

His effigies in the church of St. Mary Overies is often inaccurately described, as having a garland of ivy and roses on the head. It is, in fact, a chaplet of roses, such, as Thynne says, was anciently worn by knights; a circumstance which is favourable to the suspicion, that has been suggested, of his having been of the rank of knighthood. If Thynne's assertion, respecting the time of the lawyers first entering the Temple, be correct, it will be difficult to reconcile it with the tradition of Gower's having been a student there in his youth.

By Chaucer's manner of addressing Gower, the latter appears to have been the elder. He was attached to Thomas of Woodstock, as Chaucer was to John of Gaunt. The two poets appear to have been at one time cordial friends, but ultimately to

1 In Illustrations of Gower and Chaucer by the Rev. H, Todd.

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