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Now, goode God, if that it be thy wille,
THE PROLOGE OF THE MAUNCIPLES TALE.
Wot ye not wher ther stont a litel toun,
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,
But, sire, faire falle you for your tale.
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,-
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,
Under the Ble, in Caunterbury way?
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.
Although it be nought worth a botel hay.
“Wel," quod the Maunciple,“ if that I may doon ease
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
Fy, stynkyng swyne! foule mot the falle!
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
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.
To lift him up, and moche care and wo,
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,