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16930

Now, goode God, if that it be thy wille,
As saith my lord, so make us alle good men;
And bring us alle to his blisse. Amen.

THE PROLOGE OF THE MAUNCIPLES TALE.

Wot ye not wher ther stont a litel toun,
Which that cleped is Bob-up-and-doun,

16931-As saith my Lord. “Opposite to this verse, in the margin of MS. c. 1, is written Kauntuar, which means, I suppose, that some Archbishop of Canterbury is quoted."—Tyrwhitt.

16932. In the MS. in which the Nun's Priest's Tale is followed by that of the Nun, sixteen lines are inserted here, which are given as follows by 'Tyrwhitt,

Sire Nonnes Preest, our hoste sayde anon,
Yblessed be thy breche and every ston;
This was a mery tale of Chaunteclere.
But by my trouthe, if thou were seculere,
Thou woldest ben a tredefoule aright:
For if thou had corage as thou hast might,
Thee were nede of hennes, as I wene,
Ye mo than seven times seventene.
Se, whiche braunes hath this gentil preest,
So gret a necke, and swiche a large breest!
He loketh as a sparbauk with his eyen;
Him nedeth not his colour for to dien
With Brasil, ne with grain of Portingal.

But, sire, faire falle you for your tale.
And after that, he with ful mery chere

Sayd to another, as ye shulen here. Whatever be the anthority of these lines, they are evidently imperfect at the end, and Tyrwhitt printed them as being so; but two MSS. which he examined gave the last of them thus,

“ Seide unto the nunne as ye shul heer." And added the following lines to fill up

the apparent vacuum,-
Madame, and I dorste, I wolde you pray
To telle a tale in fortheringe of our way.
Than mighte ye do unto us grete ese.
Gladly, sire, quoth she, so that I might plese
You and this worthy company,

And began bire tale riht thus ful sobrely." 16934—Bob-up-and-doun. This appears to have been the popular name for the village of Harbledown, a short distance from Canterbury,

66

Under the Ble, in Caunterbury way?
Ther gan our hoste for to jape and play,
And sayde, "sires, what? Dun is in the myre.
Is ther no man for prayer ne for hyre,
That wol awake our felawe al byhynde ?
A theef mighte ful lightly robbe and bynde.
Se how he nappith, se, for Goddes boones,
That he wol falle fro his hors at ones.
Is that a cook of Londoune, with meschaunce ?
Do him come forth, he knoweth his penaunce;
For he schal telle a tale, by my fay,

16940

which by its situation on a hill, and the ups and downs on the road, merits well such an appellation. It stands on the edge of the Ble, or Blean Forest, which was formerly celebrated for its wildness. Erasmus, in one of his colloquies, the Pilgrimage for religion's sake. describes this place exactly, when he tells us that, “ those who journey to London, not long after leaving Canterbury, find themselves in a road at once very hollow and narrow, and besides the banks on either side are su steen and abrupt that you cannot escape." See Mr. J. G. Nichols's translation of the Pilgrimage of Erasmus, p. 60.

16944—Do him come forth. Tyrwhitt observes on this,—“The common reading is-do him comfort. The alteration is material, not only as it gives a clearer sense, but as it intimates to us, that the narrator of a tale was made to come out of the crowd, and to take his place within hearing of the host, during his narration. Agreeably to this notion when the host calls upon Chaucer, ver. 13628, he says,

Approche nere, and loke up merily.

Now ware you, sires, and let this man have place. It was necessary that the host, who was to be "juge and reportour" of the tales (ver. 816), should hear them all distinctly. The others might hear as much as they could, or as they chose, of them. It would have required the lungs of a Stentor, to speak audibly to a company of thirty people, trotting on together in a road of the fourteenth century." We must, however, not take things too literally in the Canterbury Tales, for it is evident that the Manciples Tale, and the long discourse of the parson, would require more time than could be allowed by the distance between Harbledown and Canterbury, and we might suppose they proceeded very slowly, and such as listened to the tale kept round the speaker, and probably balted from time to time.

16948-to slepe by the morwe. “ This must be understood generally for the day-time ; as it was then afternoon."—Tyrwhitt.

16950

Although it be nought worth a botel hay.
Awake, thou cook, sit up, God gif the sorwe!
What eyleth the, to slepe by the morwe?
Hast thou had fleen al night or artow dronke ?
Or hastow with som quen al night i-swonke,
So that thou maist not holden up thyn heed ?”
This cook, that was ful pale and nothing reed,
Sayd to our host, “So God my soule blesse,
As ther is falle on me such hevynesse,
Not I nought why, that me were lever slepe,
Than the beste galoun wyn that is in Chepe."

“Wel," quod the Maunciple,“ if that I may doon ease
To the, sir Cook, and to no wight displease
Which that her rydeth in this compaignye,
And our host wolde of his curteisie,
I wol as now excuse the of thy tale ;
For in good faith thi visage is ful pale.
Thyn egen daswen eek, al so me thinkith,
And wel I woot, thy breth ful foule stynkith,
That scheweth eek thou art nought wel disposid ;
Of me certeyn thou schalt nought ben i-glosed.
Se how he ganith, lo, this dronken wight,
As though he wolde swolwe us anoon right.
Hold clos thy mouth, man, by thy fader kynne !
The devel of helle sette his foot therinne!
Thy cursed breth effecte wil us alle.

16960

16970

16967--ganith, i.e., yawns. This is certainly a better reading than Tyrwhitt's galpeth. The Lausd. MS. reads goth.

16971-effecte. Tyrwhitt has enfecten which is perhaps the better reading

F

Fy, stynkyng swyne! foule mot the falle!
A! takith heed, sires, of this lusty man.
Now, swete sir, wol ye joust atte fan?
Therto, me thinkth, ye beth right wel i-schape.
I trowe that

ye
dronken han

wyn

of

ape, And that is whan men playen with a straw.”

And with his speche the Cook wax angry and wraw, And on the Maunciple bygan he nodde fast For lak of speche; and doun the hors him cast,

16980 Wher as he lay, til that men him up

took.
This was a fair chivaché of a cook!
Allas ! that he nad hold him by his ladil !
And er that he agayn were in his sadil,
Ther was gret schowvyng bothe to and fro

16974—wol ye joust atte fan? Some MSS. read-van. The sense of both words is the same. The thing meant is the quintaine, which is called a fan or vane, from its turning round like a weathercock."Tyrwhitt.

16976-wyn of ape. “This is the reading of the best manuscripts, and I believe the true one. The explanation in the Gloss. of this and the preceding passage, from Mr. Speght, is too ridiculous to be repeated. Wine of ape I understand to mean the same as vin de singe in the old Calendrier des Bergiers, sign. 1. ii, b. The author is treating of physiognomy, and in his description of the four temperaments he mentions, among other circunstances, the different effects of wine upon them. The choleric, he says, a vin de lyon; cest a dire, quant a bien beu veult tanser, noyser, et battre-the sanguine, a vin de singe ; quant a plus beu tant est plus joyeux-in the same manner the phlegmatic is said to have vin de mouton, and the melancholic vin de porceau. I find the same four animals applied to illustrate the effects of wine in a little Rabbinical tradition, which I shall transcribe here from Fabric. Cod. Pseudepig. V. T. vol. i, p. 275. Vineas plantanti Noacho Satanam se junxisse memorant, qui, dum Noa vites plantaret, mactaverit apud illas ovem, leonem, simiam, et suem : quod principio potus vini homo sit instar ovis, vinum sumptum efficiat ex homine leonem, largius haustum mutet eum in saltantem simiam, ad ebrietatem infusum transformet illum in pollutam et prostratam suem. See also Gesta Romanorum, c. 159, where a story of the same purport is quoted from Josephus, in libro de casu rerum naturaliam."— Tyrwhitt.

16990

To lift him up, and moche care and wo,
So unwelde was this sory pallid gost.
And to the Maunciple thanne spak oure host :
“Bycause drink hath dominacioun
Upon this man, by my savacioun
I trow he lewedly tel wol his tale.
For were it wyn, or old moysty ale,
That he hath dronk, he spekith in his nose,
And snesith fast, and eek he hath the pose.
He also hath to do more than y-nough
To kepe him and his capil out of the slough ;
And if he falle fro his capil eftsone,
Than schal we alle have y-nough to doone
In liftyng up his hevy dronken cors.
Tel on thy tale, of him make I no fors.

17000
But yit, Maunciple, in faith thou art to nyce,
Thus openly reproeve him of his vice;
Another day he wil par adventure
Reclayme the, and bringe the to lure;
I mene, he speke wol of smale thinges,
As for to pynchyn at thy rekenynges,
That were not honest, if it cam to pref.”
Quod the Maunciple, “ That were a gret meschief ;
So might he lightly bringe me in the snare.
Yit had I lever payen for the mare

17010 Which he ryt on, than he schuld with me stryve. I wil not wrath him, al so mot I thrive ; That that I spak, I sayd it in my

bourde. And wite ye what? I have heer in a gourde A draught of wyn, is of a ripe grape,

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