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This sompnour bare to him a stiff burdoun, | He moste reherse, as neighe as ever he can,
Or feinin thinges, or finden wordes newe.
Crist spake himself ful brode in holy writ, For it was trussed up in his wallet.
And wel ye wote no vilanie is it.
Also I praie you to forgive it me,
Here in this tale, as that they shulden stonde.
And to the souper sette he us anon: I trowe he were a gelding or a mare.
And served us with vitaille of the beste. But of his craft, fro Berwike unto Ware, Strong was the win, and wel to drinke us leste.13 Ne was ther swiche an other pardonere.
A semely man our hoste was with alle For in his male he hadde a pilwebere, 5
For to han ben a marshal in an halle. Which, as he saide, was oure ladies veil : A large man he was with eyen stepe, He saide, he hadde a gobbet of the seyl
A fairer burgeis is ther non in Chepe : Thatte seint Peter had, whan that he went Bold of his speche, and wise and wel ytaught, Upon the see, till Jesu Crist him hent.?
| And of manhood him lacked righte naught. He had a crois of laton 8 ful of stones,
Eke therto was he right a mery man, And in a glas he hadde pigges bones.
And after souper plaien he began, But with these relikes, whanne that he fond And spake of mirthe amonges other thinges, A poure persone dwelling up on lond,
Whan that we hadden made our rekeninges; Upon a day he gat him more moneie
| And saide thus ; Now, lordinges, trewely Than that the persone gat in monethes tweie. Ye ben to me welcome right hertily : And thus with fained flattering and japes,
For by my trouthe, if that I shal'not lie, He made the persone, and the peple, his apes.
I saw nat this yere swiche a compagnie But trewely to tellen atte at last,
At ones in this herberwe, 14 as is now. He was in chirche a noble ecclesiast.
Fayn wolde I do you mirthe, and I wiste how. Wel coude he rede a lesson or a storie,
And of a mirthe I am right now bethought, But alderbest he sang an offertorie :
To don you ese, and it shall coste you nought. For wel he wiste, whan that song was songe,
Ye gon to Canterbury ; God you spede, He muste preche, and wel afile' his tonge,
The blisful martyr quite you your mede ; To winne silver, as he right wel coude :
And wel I wot, as ye gon by the way, Therfore he sang the merier and loude.
Ye shapen vou to talken and to play:
For trewely comfort ne mirthe is non, Now have I told you shortly in a clause, To riden by the way dombe as the ston: Th’estat, th’araie, the nombre, and eke the cause And therfore wold I maken you disport, Why that assembled was this compagnie
As I said erst, and don you some comfort. In Southwerk at this gentil hostelrie,
And if you liketh alle by on assent That highte the Tabard, faste by the Belle. Now for to stonden at my jugement : But now is time to you for to telle,
And for to werchen 15 as I shal you say How that we baren us that ilke night,
To-morwe, whan ye riden on the way, Whan we were in that hostelrie alight.
Now by my faders soule that is ded, And after wol I telle of our viage,
But ye be mery, smiteth of my hed. And all the remenant of our pilgrimage.
Hold up your hondes withouten more speche. But firste I praie you of your curtesie,
Our conseil was not longe for to seche : That ye ne arette 10 it not my vilanie,
Us thought it was not worth to make it wise, 16 Though that I plainly speke in this matere,
And granted him withouten more avise, To tellen you hir wordes and hir chere;
And bad him say his verdit, as him leste. Ne though I speke hir wordes proprely.
Lordinges, (quod he) now herkeneth for the For this ye knowen al so wel as I,
beste; Who so shall telle a tale after a man,
But take it nat, I pray you, in disdain ;
That eche of you to shorten with youre way, 1 Hair. ? Shreds.
In this viage, shal tellen tales tway, 4 A miniature copy of the picture of Christ, which is
To Canterbury ward, I mene it so, said to have been miraculously imprinted upon a handker
And homeward he shall tellen other two, chief, preserved in the Church of St. Peter at Rome. The Pardoner, therefore, brings this in token of his pilgrimage to Rome.
12 I. e., if I have not. & Morsel. 7 Took hold of him.
6 A pillow-case.
13 It pleased us well. * A sort of mixed metal, of the color of brass.
14 Harbor, i. e., inn, hostel.
13 To do. Polish 10 Impute it tu.
16 T. e., to give it a long deliberation,
Of aventures that whilom han befalle.
| Unto the watering of Seint Thomas : And which of you that bereth him best of alle, And ther our hoste began his hors arest, That is to sayn, that telleth in this cas
And saide ; lordes, herkeneth if you lest. Tales of best sentence and most solas,
Ye wete your forword, and I it record. Shal have a souper at youre aller cost
If even-song and morwe-song accord,
Let se now who shal telle the first tale.
Who so is rebel to my jugement,
Shal pay for alle that by the way is spent. Right at min owen cost, and be your gide, Now draweth cutte, or that ye forther twinne. 6 And who that wol my jugement withsay,
He which that hath the shortest shal beginne. Shall pay for alle we spenden by the way.
Sire knight, (quod he) my maister and my lord, And if ye vouchesauf that it be so,
Now draweth cutte, for that is min accord. Telle me anon withouten wordes mo,
Cometh nere, (quod he) my lady prioresse, And I wol erly shapen me therfore.
And ye, sire clerk, let be your shamefastnesse, This thing was granted, and our othes swore? | Ne studieth nought, lay hand to, every man, With ful glad herte, and praiden him also,
Anon to drawen every wight began, That he wold vouchesauf for to don so,
And shortly for to tellen as it was, And that he wolde ben our governour,
Were it by aventure, or sort, or cas, And of our tales juge and reportour,
The sothe is this, the cutte felle on the knight, And sette a souper at a certain pris ;
Of which ful blith and glad was every wight; And we wol reuled ben at his devise,
And tell he must his tale as was reson, In highe and lowe: and thus by on assent,
But forword, and by composition, We ben accorded to his jugement.
As ye han herd; what nedeth wordes mo? And therupon the win was fette anon.
And whan this good man saw that it was so, We dronken, and to reste wenten eche on, As he that wise was and obedient Withouten any lenger tarying.
To kepe his forword by his free assent, A-morwe whan the day began to spring, He saide ; sithen I shal begin this game, Up rose our hoste, and was our aller cok, What ? welcome be the cutte a' goddes name. And gaderd us togeder in a flok,
Now let us ride, and herkeneth what I say. And forth we riden a litel more than pas,
And with that word we riden forth our way;
And he began with right a mery chere 1 Comfort, pleasure.
His tale anon, and saide 'as ye shul here. : I. e., we swore our oaths, and prayed him. Our au. thor too frequently omits the governing pronoun before 4 You know your promise. the verb.
6 Draw. It is the second person plural. 'L e., acted as cock for us all, woke us in time.
6 Before ye proceed farther.
EDMUND SPENSER, one of the greatest of Eng. / personal appearance we know only from Aubrey lish poets, was born in London, near the Tower, that he was “a little man, who wore short hair, probably in 1553, and was educated at Cam- a little band, and little cuffs." He was fifty-five bridge University, which gave him the de- years of age at the time of his death. gree of A. M. in 1576. He lived awhile with Spenser's great poem, “ The Faerie Queene," some friends in the north of England, where he on which his fame chiefly rests, is unfinished, wrote his poem called “The Shepherd's Calen- only six of the twelve books of which it was to dar.” In 1878 he went to London, and was intro- consist having been published. Each book, how. duced to the famous Sir Philip Sidney, who in-ever, contains twelve cantos of considerable vited him to become his guest, and treated him length; and the poem, even in its incomplete always with distinguished kindness. For the state, is one of the longest in existence. It has next ten years little is known of Spenser's life. long been recognized as one of the masterpieces He was occasionally employed on inferior mis- of English literature. The stanza in which it is sions of state, went to the Continent about 1580, written seems to have been an invention of the and soon after was sent to Ireland as secretary author, and now bears his name. It is a modifi. to Lord Grey, of Wilton, who was appointed lord. cation of the Italian ottavo rima, the stanza of deputy of that country. He returned from Ire- | Pulci, Boiardo, Tasso, and Ariosto, with the ad. land after two years, and in 1586 obtained a dition of an Alexandrine line, which increases grant of three thousand acres of the forfeited its force and dignity. The leading story of the lands of the rebellious Earl of Desmond in the poem is an allegory founded on the legend of county of Cork. The condition of the grant was King Arthur, who was taken as the ideal of a that he should reside on the estate, and he there- noble person. Gloriana, the Queen of Faerie, fore took up his abode in Kilcolman Castle, near who gives name to the poem, is an emblem of Doneraile, where he composed a large part of his glory or virtuous renown. All the personages great poem, “The Faerie Queene," upon which are symbolical, and all the incidents significant he had been engaged for several years. There of moral truths. The subject of each book is a he lived, with occasional visits to England, near- moral attribute, as holiness, temperance, chasly eleven vears, and there he was visited in 1589 tity, friendship, justice, and courtesy, personified by Sir Walter Raleigh, a kindred spirit, who per-by a knight-errant, with all human passions. suaded him to return to London to arrange for No poet, it has been said, has ever had a more the publication of his poem. The first three exquisite sense of the beautiful than Spenser. books appeared in 1590, in a small quarto, dedi. His poetry is the most poetical of all poetry. cated to Queen Elizabeth, and with a letter to It is by “ The Faerie Queene," says Gilfillan, Raleigh, explaining the work as “a continued that Spenser has ever been, and ever will be, allegory or dark conceit." He next published in best known in the world of letters. That casts succession “ Colin Clout's Come Home Again” a shadow so broad, that his other productions (1591); “Complaints" (1691); a series of poems are dwindled and obscured. Yet these have on his courtship and marriage, which took place great merit. His “Shepherd's Calendar" is in 1594, the chief of which was the “Epithala full of ingenious fancies and natural images. mium "(1595); four hymps (1596); and, finally, His “Muioptomos Daphnaida," however, and the fourth, fifth, and sixth books of “The Faerie also his "Mother Hubbard's Tale” and “Colin Queene" (1896). He returned to Ireland in 1591, Clout's Come Home Again," and especially his and in 1596 he was again in London, and pre-“Epithalamium,” are greatly superior to the sented to the queen a prose work, entitled “A “ Shepherd's Calendar," and contain passagesView of the State of Ireland," in which he advo such as his picture of Raleigh in “Colin Clout," cated severe and arbitrary measures for the gov. and of the bride in the “Epithalamium "-which ernment of that country. He was hated by the have never been surpassed. • natives, and in October, 1598, when an insurrec The diction of “ The Faerie Queene" is sometion against the English broke out in Munster, what more ancient than that of the period in his castle of Kilcolman was sacked and burnt, which the author lived; but its apparent un. and an infant child, which had somehow been left couthness has been needlessly aggravated by rebehind when the poet and his wife saved them- taining the obsolete spelling of words now in selves by a hasty Aight, perished in the flames. use, for which there is no reason any more than Ruined and broken-hearted, Spenser reached Lon. there would be for printing Shakespeare with don, and died in about three months, on the 16th his old orthography. In this edition we follow of January, 1699. He was buried in Westminster Gilfillan's modernized spelling, and give the first Abbey, near the tomb of Chaucer, his funeral ex- of the six books of the “Faerie Queene," whose penses being defrayed by the Earl of Essex; while twelve cantos contain the best-known passages the chief poets of the day, Shakespeare probably of the poem, and afford the reader an ample among them, threw elegies and poems, along with opportunity to become acquainted with the style the pens that wrote then, into his grave. Of his , and manner of the author.
Full jolly knight he seem'd, and fair did sit, THE FIRST BOOK
As one for knightly jousts and fierce encounters ог
And on his breast a bloody cross he bore,
For whose sweet sake that glorious badge he THE LEGEND OF THE KNIGHT OF THE RED
wore, CROSS, OR OF HOLINESS.
And dead, as living ever, him ador'd; Lo! I, the man whose Muse whilome did mask,
Upon his shield the like was also scor'd,
For sov'reign hope, which in his help he had. As time her taught, in lowly shepherds' weeds,
Right, faithful, true he was in deed and word ; Am now enforc'd, a far unfitter task,
But of his cheer did seem too solemn sad; For trumpets stern to change mine oaten reeds,
Yet nothing did he dread, but ever was ydrad. And sing of Knights' and Ladies' gentle deeds; Whose praises having slept in silence long,
Upon a great adventure he was bond,
That greatest Gloriana to him gave,
(That greatest glorious queen of Faerie lond,)
To win him worship, and her grace to have, song.
Which of all earthly things he most did crave:
And ever, as he rode, his heart did yearn Help then, O holy virgin, chief of Nine,
To prove his puissance in battle brave
Upon his foe, and his new force to learn; The antique rolls, which there lie hidden still,
still Upon his foe, a Dragon horrible and stern. Of Faerie Knights, and fairest Tanaquill, 3
A lovely Lady rode him fair beside,
Upon a lowly ass more white than snow; ill,
Yet she much whiter; but the same did hide
Under a veil, that wimpled was full low; That I must rue his undeservéd wrong:
And over all a black stole she did throw : O, help thou my weak wit, and sharpen my dull
As one that inly mourn'd, so was she sad, tongue!
And heavy sate upon her palfrey slow; And thou, most dreaded imp of highest Jove,
Seeméd in heart some hidden care she had ;
• And by her in a line a milk-white lamb she led. Fair Venus' son, that with thy cruel dart At that good Knight so cunningly didst rove,
So pure and innocent, as that same lamb, That glorious fire it kindled in his heart;
She was in life and every virtuous lore; Lay now thy deadly ebon bow apart,
And by descent from royal lineage came And, with thy mother mild, come to mine aid ;
Of ancient kings and queens, that had of yore Come, both ; and with you bring triumphant
Their sceptres stretcht from east to western Mart,
shore, In loves and gentle jollities array'd, After his murd'rous spoils and bloody rage allay'd.
And all the world in their subjection held ;
Till that infernal Fiend with foul uproar And with them eke, O Goddess heavenly bright,
Forwasted all their land, and them expell’d;
ht, | Whom to avenge, she had this Knight from far Mirror of grace and majesty divine, Great Lady of the greatest isle, whose light
compellid. Like Phæbus' lump throughout the world doth
Behind her far away a Dwarf did lag, shine,
That lazy seem'd, in being ever last, Shed thy fair beams into my feeble eyne,
Or weariéd with bearing of her bag And raise my thoughts, too humble and too vile, Of needments at his back. Thus as they past, To think of that true glorious type of thine, The day with clouds was sudden overcast, The argument of mine afflicted style:
And angry Jove an hideous storm of rain The which to hear vouchsafe, 0 dearest Dread, a Did pour into his leman's 5 lap so fast, while.
That every wight to shroud it did constrain ;
And this fair couple eke to shroud themselves
Enforc'd to seek some covert nigh at hand,
A shady grove not far away they spied,
That promist aid the tempest to withstand ; A GENTLE Knight was pricking on the plain,
Whose lofty trees, yclad with summer's pride, Yclad in mighty arms and silver shield,
Did spread so broad, that heaven's light did Wherein old dints of deep wounds did remain, The cruel marks of many a bloody field;
Not piercable with pow'r of any star: Yet arms till that time did he never wield :
And all within were paths and alleys wide, His angry steed did chide his foaming bit,
With footing worn, and leading inward far: As much disdaining to the curb to yield :
Fair harbor that them seems; so in they enter'd
are. 1 Teaches.
2 Cabinet Gloriana, the Faerie Queene. 4 Mars.
Tellus, or earth.
And forth they pass, with pleasure forward led, 1 But, full of fire and greedy hardiment,
The youthful Knight could not for aught be Which, therein shrouded from the tempest dread,
But forth into the darksome hole he went, Seem'd in their song to scorn the cruel sky. And looked in: his glist'ring armor made Much gan they praise the trees so straight and A little glooming light, much like a shade ; high,
By which he saw the ugly monster plain, The sailing pine ; the cedar proud and tall; Half like a serpent horribly display'd, The vine-propt elm; the poplar never dry; I But th' other half did woman's shape retain,
The builder oak, sole king of forests all ; Most loathsome, filthy, foul, and full of vile dis. The aspen good for staves ; the cypress funeral;
dain. The laurel, meed of mighty conquerors
And, as she lay upon the dirty ground, And poets sage; the fir that weepeth still; Her huge long tail her den all overspread ; The willow, worn of forlorn paramours ;
Yet was in knots and many boughtes' upThe yew, obedient to the bender's will;
wound, The birch for shafts ; the sallow for the mill ;
Pointed with mortal sting; of her there bred The myrrh sweet-bleeding in the bitter wound; A thousand young ones, which she daily fed, The warlike beech; the ash for nothing ill; Sucking upon her pois'nous dugs; each one · The fruitful olive; and the platane round;
Of sundry shapes, yet all ill-favored : The carver holm; the maple seldom inward sound. Soon as that úncouth light upon them shone,
Into her mouth they crept, and sudden all were Led with delight, they thus beguile the way,
gone. Until the blust'ring storm is overblown; When, weening to return whence they did stray, Their dam upstart out of her den afraid, They cannot find that path, which first was And rushed forth, hurling her hideous tail shown,
About her cursed head; whose folds display'd But wander to and fro in ways unknown,
Were stretcht now forth at length without Farthest from end then, when they nearest
She lookt about, and seeing one in mail, That makes them doubt their wits be not their Arméd to point, sought back to turn again ; own :
For light she hated as the deadly bale, So many paths, so many turnings seen,
Ay wont in desert darkness to remain, That, which of them to take, in diverse doubt they Where plain none might her see, nor she see any been.
plain. At last resolving forward still to fare,
Which when the valiant Elfe perceir'd, he leapt Till that some end they find, or in or out; As lion fierce upon the flying prey ; That path they take that beaten seem'd most
And with his trenchant blade ber boldly kept bare,
From turning back, and forced her to stay : And like to lead the labyrinth about; sout, Therewith enrag'd she loudly gan to bray, Which when by track they hunted had through: And turning fierce her speckled tail advaunst, At length it brought them to a hollow cave, l Threat’ning her angry sting, him to dismay; Amid the thickest woods. The Champion stout Who, naught aghast, his mighty hand enEftsoones dismounted from his courser brave,
[der glanced. And to the Dwarf a while his needless spear hé The stroke down from her head unto her shoulgave.
Much daunted with that dint her sense was “ Be well aware," quoth then that Lady mild,
dazed ; “Lest sudden mischief ye too rash provoke :
Yet kindling rage herself she gather'd round, The danger bid, the place unknown and wild, And all at once her beastly body rais'd Breeds dreadful doubts : oft fire is without With doubled forces high above the ground: smoke,
Then, wrapping up her wreathéd stern around, And peril without show: therefore your stroke,
Leapt fierce upon his shield, and her huge Sir Knight, withhold, till farther trial made.”'
train “Ah, Ladie,” said he, "shame were to revoke
All suddenly about his body wound, The forward footing for an hidden shade: That hand or foot to stir he strove in vain. Virtue gives herself light through darkness for God help the man so wrapt in Error's endless to wade."
train ! “Yea, but,” quoth she, “ the peril of this place His Lady, sad to see his sore constraint, I better wot than you : though now too late
Cried out, “Now, now, Sir Knight, shew what To wish you back return with foul disgrace;
ye be; Yet wisdom warns, whilst foot is in the gate,
Add faith unto your force, and be not faint; To stay the step, ere forcéd to retrate.
Strangle her, else she sure will strangle thee." This is the wand'ring wood, this Error's den,
That when he heard, in great perplexity, A monster vile, whom God and man does hate :
His gall did grate for grief and high disdain ; Therefore I read beware.” “Fly, fly," quoth And, knitting all his force, got one hand free, then
[men." The fearful Dwarf; “this is no place for living | Coils. ? Untwisted.