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15770

For ech of hem had other leef and deere.

Save oon thing, sche wolde never assent
By no way that he schulde by hir lye
But oones, for it was hir playn entent
To have a child the world to multiplie ;
And also soone as sche might aspye
That sche was not with childe yit in dede,
Than wold sche suffre him doon his fantasie
Eftsones, and nought but oones, out of drede.

And if sche were with child at thilke cast,
No more schuld he playe thilke game
Til fully fourty dayes were y-past,
Than wold sche suffre him to do the same.
Al were this Odenake wilde or tame,
He gat no more of hir, for thus sche sayde,
Hit nas but wyves lecchery and schame,
In other caas if that men with hem playde.

Tuo sones by this Odenak bad sche,
The which sche kept in vertu and lettrure.
But now unto our purpos torne we;
I say, so worschipful a creature,
And wys, worthy, and large with mesure,
So penyble in the werre and curteys eeke,
Ne more labour might in werre endure,
Was nowher noon in al this world to seeke.

Hir riche array, if it might be told,
As wel in vessel as in hir clothing,
Sche was al clothed in perré and gold;
And eek sche lafte nought for hir huntyng
To have of sondry tonges ful knowing;

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16800

Whan sche had leyser and might therto entent,
To lerne bookes was al hir likyng,
How sche in vertu might hir lif despent.

And schortly of this story for to trete,
So doughty was hir housbond and eek sche,
That thay conquered many regnes grete
In thorient, with many a fair citee
Appurtienant unto the magesté
Of Rome, and with strong hond hulden hem fast;
Ne never might her fomen doon hem fle
Ay while that Odenakes dayes last.

Her batails, who so lust hem for to rede,
Agayn Sapor the king and other mo,
And how that this processe fel in dede,
Why sche conquered, and what title had therto,
And after of hir meschief and hir woo,
How that sche was beseged and i-take,
Let hem unto my mayster Petrark go,
That writeth of this y-nough, I undertake.

Whan Odenake was deed, sche mightily
The regnes huld, and with hir propre hond
Ageins hir foos sche faught ful trewely,
That ther nas king ne prince in al that lond
That he nas glad if he that grace

fond That sche ne wold

upon

his lond werraye. With hir thay made alliaunce by bond,

16810

15810—beseged. This reading is adopted from the Lansd. MS., as best suited to the context. The Harl. MS. has deceyved.

15815—trewely. The MSS. I have examined agree in this word ; Tyrwhitt reads cruelly.

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alle ;

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To ben in peese, and let hir ryde and play.

The emperour of Rome, Claudius,
Ne him biforn the Romayn Galiene,
Ne dorste never be so corrageous,
Ne noon Ermine, ne Egipciene,
No Surrien, ne noon Arrabiene,
Withinne the feld that durste with hir fight,
Lest that sche wold hem with her hondes sleen,
Or with hir meyné putten hem to flight.

In kinges abyt went hir sones tuo,
As heires of her fadres

regnes
And Hermanno and Themaleo
Here names were, and Parciens men hem calle.
But
ay

fortune hath in hir hony galle;
This mighty queene may no while endure,
Fortune out of hir regne made hir falle
To wrecchednesse and to mysadventure.

Aurilian, whan that the governaunce
Of Rome cam into his hondes tway,
He schop him of this queen to do vengeaunce ;
And with his legiouns he took the way
Toward Cenoby; and schortly to say
He made hir flee, and atte last hir hent,
And feterid hir, and eek hir children tweye,
And wan the lond, and home to Rome he went.

Amonges other thinges that he wan,
Hir chaar, that was with gold wrought and perré,
This grete Romayn, this Aurilian,

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15832——and Parciens men hem calle. The Lansd. MS., and Tyrwhitt, read, as Persians hem calle.

15850

Hath with him lad, for that men schulde se.
Bifore this triumphe walkith sche,
And gilte cheynes in hir necke hongynge ;
Corouned sche was, as aftir bir degré,
And ful of perré chargid hir clothyng.

Allas ! fortune! sche that whilom was
Dredful to kinges and to emperoures,
Now gaulith al the pepul on hir, alas!
And sche that helmyd was in starke stoures,
And wan bifore tounes stronge and toures,
Schal on hir heed now were a wyntermyte;
And sche that bar the cepter ful of floures,
Schal bere a distaf hirself for to quyte.

De Petro Hispanie rege.
O noble Petro, the glori of Spayne,

15860

15865-gaulith, yelleth, howleth, shouteth. Tyrwhitt follows other MSS. in reading gaureth, shouteth.

16857-bifore. Other MSS. read, by fors.

18558—wyntermyte. This word, the exact meaning of which seems not to be known, is given differently in the MSS. vitrymite, fitermyte, witermite, vitryte, and in the old printed editions, autremite ; the latter of which is probably a mere error of the printers.

15860—hirself. Other MSS., followed by Tyrwhitt, read hir cost.

15861–0 noble Petro. Tyrwhitt has adopted a different arrangement from some of the manuscripts, so as to place the histories more nearly in chronological order, by inserting after Zenobia, Nero, Holofernes, Antiochus, Alexander, Cæsar, and Cresus, and the monk's tale is made to end with the story of Hugolin of Pise. I retain, however, the arrangement of the Harl. MS., not only because I think it the best authority, but because I think this to be the order in which Chaucer ivtended to place them. The conclusion of the monk's tale, as it here stands, seems to be the natural one. When Chaucer wrote his grand work, the eventful history of Pedro the Cruel of Aragon was fresh in people's memories, and possessed a special interest in this country, from the part taken in the events connected with bim by the Black Prince; we can easily suppose the monk, who prosesses to disregard chronological order, wandering from the story of Zenobia, to some events of his own time, and then recalling other examples from antiqnity. Tyrwhitt adopts from the

Whom fortune held so heigh in magesté,
Wel oughte men thy pitous deth complayne ;
Thy bastard brother made the to fle,
And after at a sege by subtilté
Thow were bytrayed, and lad to his tent,
Wher as he with his oughne hond slough the,
Succedyng in thy lond and in thy rent.

The feld of snow, with thegle of blak ther-inne,
Caught with the leoun, reed coloured as is the gleede, 16870
He brewede the cursednesse and synne,
The wikked nest werker of this neede.
Nought Oliver, ne Charles that ay took heede
Of trouthe and honour, but of Armoryk
Geniloun Oliver, corruptid for mede,
Broughte this worthy king in such a bryk.

De Petro Cipre rege.
O worthy Petro king of Cipres, also,

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reading of other MSS., O noble a worthy Petro, glorie of Spaine. It may be observed, that the cause of Pedro, though he was no better than a cruel and reckless tyrant, was popular in England from the very cir cumstance that Prince Edward had embarked in it.

15864-Other MSS. read for this line, Out of thy lond thy brother made the flee.

16868_lond. The Lansd. MS. reads regne, which is adopted by Tyrwhitt, and is perhaps the better reading.

15870leoun, reed coloured. The Lansd. MS. reads, lime rodde colours, and Tyrwhitt has adopted limerod coloured. The armes here described are probably those of Duguesclin, who must be the person alluded to below as the Oliver of Armoryk, for it was notoriously Duguesclin who betrayed Pedro into his brother's tent, where he was slain.

15873—Nought Oliver, ne Charles. The Lansd. MS. reads, Charles and Olyver, and Tyrwhitt has Not Charles Oliver, which he explains, “ Not the Oliver of Charles (Charlemagne), but an Oliver of Armorica, a second Guenelon."

16877— Petro king of Cypres. Pierre de Lusignan, king of Cyprus, who captured Alexandria in Egypt in 1365, an event before alluded to

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