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Singers with harpes, baudés,l waferers, 2

And look that thou report his namé well.' Which he the very devil's officers,

“Sir,' quod this boy, 'it needeth never a deal ;' To kindle and blow the fire of “luxury,'

It was me told ere ye came here two hours ; That is annexéd unto gluttony.

He was pardé an old fellaw of yours, The holy writ take I to my witness

And suddenly he was yslain to-night, That luxury' is in wine and drunker:ness.

Fordrunk as he sat on his bench upright; ( ! wist a man how inany maladies

There came a privy thief men clepen Death, Followen of excesse and of gluttonies,

That in this country all the people slay'th, He wouldé be the more measuráble

And with his spear he smote his heart atwo, Of his diete, sitting at his table.

And went his way withouten wordés mo. Alas! the shorté throat, the tender mouth,

He hath a thousand slain this pestilence; Maketh that east and west, and north and south, And, master, ere ye come in his presence, In earth, in air, in water, men to swink3

Me thinketh that it were full necessary To get a glutton dainty meat and drink.

For to beware of such an adversary: A likerous' thing is wine, and drunkenness

Be ready for to meet him evermore ; Is full of striving and of wretchedness.

Thus taughté me my dame ; I say no more.' O drunken man ! disfigur’d is thy face,

• By Sainté Mary,' said this tavernere, Sour is thy breath, foul art thou to embrace ;

• The child saith soth,2 for he hath slain this year, And through thy drunken nose seemeth the soun Hence over a mile, within a great villáge, As though thou saidést aye Sampsoun ! Sampsoun ! Both man and woman, child, and hind and page ; And yet, Got wot, Sampsoun drunk ne'er no wine : I trow his habitation be there : Thou fallest as it were a stickéd swine ;

To be aviséd3 great wisdóm it were Thy tongue is lost, and all thine honest cure,

Ere that he did a man a dishonour.' For drunkenness is very sépulture

'Yea, Goddes armés !' quod this rioter, Of mannés wit and his discretion.

Is it such peril with him for to meet ? In whom that drink hath domination

I shall him seek hy stile and eke by street, He can no counsel keep, it is no drede.5

I make a vow by Goddés dignet bones. Now keep you from the white and from the rede, 6 Hearkeneth, fellaws, we three been allé ones ;5 And nainely from the whité wine of Lepe,7

Let each of us hold up his hand to other, That is to sell in Fish Street and in Cheap.

And each of us becomnen other's brother, This wine of Spain creepeth subtlely

And we will slay this falsé traitour Death: In other winés growing fasté by,

He shall be slain, he that so many slay'th, Of which there riseth such fumosity, 8

By Goddés dignity, ere it be night.' That when a man hath drunken draughtés three, Together have these three their truthés plight And wecnetho that he be at home in Cheap,

To live and dien each of them for other, He is in Spain, right at the town of Lepe,

As though he were his owen boren brother. Not at the Rochelle, or at Bordeaux towni,

And up they start all drunken in this rage, And thenné will he say Sampsoun ! Sampsoun ! And forth they gone towardés that villáge And now that I have spoke of gluttony,

Of which the taverner had spoke beforen Now will I you defendenio hazardry.ll

And many a grisly7 oath then have they sworu, Hazard is very mother of leasings,

And Christés blessed body they to-rent, And of deceits and cursed forswearings,

• Death shall be dead, if that we may him hent."9 Blaspheming of Christ, manslaughter', and waste also When they had gone not fully half a mile, Of cattle, and of time ; and furthermo

Right as they would have trodden o'er a stile, It is reproof, and contrary' of honour

An old man and a poore with them met : For to be held a common hazardour,

This oldé man full meekely them gret, 10 And ever the higher he is of estate

And saidé thus: Now, Lordés, God you see !'!] The more he is ħolden desolate.

The proudest of these riotourés three If that a princé useth hazardry,

Answerd again: 'What ? churl, with sorry grace, In allé governance and policy

Why art thou all forwrapped save thy face? He is, as by common opinión,

Why livest thou so long in so great age ?' Yhold the less in reputation.

This oldé man 'gan look in his visage, Now will I speak of oathés false and great

And saidé thus : * For I ne cannot find A word or two, as oldé bookés treat.

A man, though that I walked into Ind, Great swearing is a thing abominable,

Neither in city nor in no villáge, And false swearing is yet more reprovable.

That woulde change his youthé for mine age; The highé God forbade swearing at all,

And therefore must I have inine agé still Witness on Mathew; but in special

As longé time as it is Goddés will. Of swearing saith the holy Jeremie,

Ne Death, alas ! ne will not have my life : Thou shalt swear soth 12 thine oathes and not lic, | Thus walk 1, like a restéless caitiff, 12 And swear in doom, 13 and eke in righteousness, And on the ground, which is my mother's gate, But idle swearing is a cursedness.

I knocké with my staff early and late, These riotourés three of which I tell,

And say to her, 'Levéi3 mother, let me in. Long erst14 ere primé rung of any bell,

Lo, how I vanish, flesh, and blood, and skin. Were set them in a tavern for to drink,

Alas ! when shall my bonés be at rest ? And as they sat they heard a bellé clink

Mother, with you would I change my chest, Before a corpse was carried to his grave;

That in my chamber longé time hath be, That one of them 'gan callen to his knave ;15

Yea, for an hairy clout to wrap in me.' “Go bet, '16 quod he, and aské readily

But yet to me she will not do that grace, What corpse is this that passeth here forth by, For which full pale and welked14 is my face,

1 Mirthful, joyous. 2 Sellers of wafer-cakes. 3 Labour. i Not a whit. 2 Truth.

3 Watchful, prepared. 4 Care. 6 Fear. 6 Red. 7 A place in Spain.

or in unity.
14 Worthy.
5 All one, or, in unity,

6 Born. . 8 Fumes from drinking. 9 Thinketh, imagineth.

7 Fearful.
8 Defaced. 9 Catch.

10 Grceted. 10 Forbid. 11 Gaming. 19 True. 13 Judgment. 11 That is, “God preserve you in his sight." 14 Before. 15 Servant lad. 16 Better go.

12 Wretch.
13 Dear.

14 Wrinkled.

* But, Sirs, to you it is no courtesy
To speak unto an old man villainy,
But hel trespass in word or else in deed.
In holy writ ye may yourselven read ;
“ Against an cld inan, hoar upon his hede,
Ye should arise :” therefore I give you rede2
Ne do’th unto an old man none harna now,
No more than that ye would a man did you
In age, if that ye may so long abide;
And God be with you whe'r3 ye go or ride :
I must go thither as I have to go.

Nay, oldé churl, by God thou shalt not so,
Saidé this other hazardourt anon ;
• Thou partest not so lightly, by Saint John.
Thou spake right now of thilkes traitour Death,
That in this country all our friendés slay'th;
Have here my truth, as thou art his espy,
Tell where he is, or thou shalt it aby 6
By God and by the holy sacrament,
For sothly thou art one of his assent
To slay us youngé folk, thou false thief.'

Now, Sirs,' quod he, if it be you so lief 7
To finden Death, turn up this crooked way;
For in that grove I left him, by my fay,
Under a tree, and there he will abide,
Nor for your boast he will him nothing hide.
See ye that oak ? right there ye shall him find.
God save you that bought again mankind,
And you amend ! Thus said this oldé man.

And evereach of these riotourés ran
Till they came to the tree, and there they found
Of fiorins fine of gold ycoined round
Well nigh an eighté bushels, as them thought ;
No longer then after Death they sought,
But each of them so glad was of the sight,
For that the florins been so fair and bright,
That down they set them by the precious hoard :
The worst of them he spake the firsté word.

Brethren,' quod he, 'take keep what I shall say ;
My wit is great, though that I bourdeö and play.
This treasure hath Fortúne unto us given,
In mirth and jollity our life to liven,
And lightly as it com'th so will we spend,
Ey! Goddés precious dignity! who ween'd9
To-day that we should have so fair a grace?
But might this gold be carried from this place
Home to my house, or ellés unto yours,
(For well I wot that all this gold is ours)
Thenné were we in high felicity;
But truely by day it may not be ;
Men woulden say that we were thievés strong,
And for our owen treasure done us hong. 10
This treasure must ycarried be by night
As wisely and as slyly as it might;
Wherefore I redell that cuti2 among us all
We draw, and let see where the cut will fall;
And he that hath the cut, with hearté blithe,
Shall runnen to the town, and that full swith, 13
And bring us bread and wine full privily ;
And two of us shall keepen subtlely
This treasure well ; and if he will not tarrien,
When it is night we will this treasure carrien
By one assent where as us thinketh best.'

That one of them the cut brought in his fist, And bade them draw, and look where it would

fall, And it fell on the youngest of them all ; And forth toward the town he went anon : And all so soon as that he was agone, That one of them spake thus unto that other ; 'Thou wottest well thou art my sworen brother,

Thy profit will I tell thee right anon.
Thou wott'st well that our fellow is agone ;
And here is gold, and that full great plentý,
That shall departed be among us three ;
But nathéless, if I can shape it so
That it departed were among us two,
Had I not done a friendés turn to thee?'

That other answer'd : 'I n'otl how that may be :
He wot well that the gold is with us tway.
What shall we do? what shall we to him say?'

Shall it be counsel ?' said the firsté shrew,
. And I shall tellen thee in wordés few
What shall we do, and bring it well about.'

'I granté,' quod that other, 'out of doubt, That by my truth I will thee not betray.'

Now,' quod the first, 'thou wott'st well we be tway ; |
And tway of us shall stronger be than one.
Look, when that he is set, thou right anon
Arise, as though thou wouldest with him play,
And I shall rive him through the sidés tway :
While that thou strugglest with him as in game;
And with thy dagger look thou do the same;
And then shall all this gold departed be,
My dearé friend ! betwixen thee and me;
Then may we both our lustés all fulfil,
And play at dice right at our owen will.'
And thus accorded been these shrewés tway
To slay the third, as ye have heard ine say.

This youngest, which that wenté to-the town,
Full oft in heart he rolleth up and down
The beauty of these florins new and bright.
• O Lord !' quod he, ‘if so were, that I might
Have all this treasure to myself alone,
There is no man that liv'th under the throne
Of God that shouldé live so merry' as I.'
And at the last, the fiend, our enemy,
Put in his thought that he should poison buy
With which he mighté slay his fellows tway :
For why? the fiend found him in such living,
That he had level to sorrow him to bring;
For this was utterly his full intent,
To slay them both and never to repent.
And forth he go’th, no longer would he tarry,
Into the town unto a 'pothecary,
| And prayed him that he him wouldé sell
Some poison, that he might his ratounsi quell;
And eke there was a polecat in his haw5
That, as he said, his capons had yslaw ;C
And fain he would him wreaken; if he might,
Of vermin that destroyed them by night.

The 'pothecary answer'd : “Thou shalt have
A thing, as wisly: God my soulé save,
In all this world there n'is no creáture
That eat or drunk hath of this cónfecture
Not but the mountance of a corn of wheat,
That he ne shall his life anon forlet, 10
Yea, starvell he shall, and that in lesse while
Than thou wilt go a pace not but a mile;
This poison is so strong and violent.

This cursed man hath in his hand yhent12
This poison in a box, and swith13 he ran
Into the nexté street unto a man,
And borrowed of him largé bottles three,
And in the two the poison pouréd he ;

The third he kepté cleané for his drink,
| For all the night he shope him for to swink14
In carrying of the gold out of that place.

And when this rioter with sorry grace15 Hath filled with wine his greaté bottles three, To his fellows again repaireth he.

1 Unless he, &c.
5 This same.
9 Guessed.
12 Lot.

Advice. 3 Whether.
6 Suffer for. 7 Pleasant.
10 Have us hanged.
13 Quickly.

4 Gamester.
& Joke.
11 Advise.

I Know not. 2 A cursed man. 3 Inclination.
4 Rats.
6 Farm-yard.

6 Slain.
7 Revenge himself if he could.

8 Certainly. 9 Amounting. 10 Give over. 11 Die 19 Taken. 13 Immediately. 14 Labour, work. is Evil, or misfortune.

What needeth is thereof to sermon more? For right as they had cast his death before, Right so they have him slain, and that anon. And when that this was done thus spake that

"Now let us sit and drink, and make us merry,
And afterward we will his body bury.'
And with that word it happen'd him par casi
To take the bottle where the poison was,
And drank, and gave his fellow drink also,
For which anon they storveno bothé two.

But certés I suppose that Avicenne
Wrote nerer in no canon ne' in no fenne3
More wonder signés of empoisoning
Than had these wretches two, or their ending.
Thus ended been these homicidés two,
And eke the false empoisoner also. * *

[The Good Parson.] A true good man there was there of religion, Pious and poor--the parson of a town. But rich he was in holy thought and work ; And thereto a right learned man ; a clerk That Christ's pure gospel would sincerely preach, And his parishioners devoutly teach. Benign he was, and wondrous diligent, And in adversity full patient, As proven oft ; to all who lack'd a friend. Loth for his tithes to ban or to contend, At every need much rather was he found Unto his poor parishioners around Of his own substance and his dues to give : Content on little, for himself, to live.

Wide was his cure ; the houses far asunder, Yet never fail'd he, or for rain or thunder, Whenever sickness or mischance might call, The most remote to visit, great or small, And, staff' in hand, on foot, the storm to brave.

This noble ensample to his flock he gare,
That first he wrought, and afterward he taught.
The word of life he from the gospel caught;
And well this comment added he thereto,
If that gold rusteth what should iron do?
And if the priest be foul on whom we trust,
What wonder if the unletter'd layman lust?
And shame it were in him the flock should keep,
To see a sullied shepherd, and clean sheep.
For sure a priest the sample ought to give
By his own cleanness how his sheep should live.

He never set his benefice to hire,
Leaving his flock acomber'd in the mire,
And ran to London cogging at St l'oul's,
To seek himself a chauntery for souls,
Or with a brotherhood to be enroll’d;
But dwelt at home, and guarded well his fold,
So that it should not by the wolf miscarry.
He was a shepherd, and no mercenary.

Tho holy in himself, and virtuous,
He still to sinful men was mild and piteous :
Not of reproach imperious or malign;
But in his teaching soothing and benign.
To draw them on to heaven, by reason fair
And good example, was his daily care.
But were there one perverse and obstinate,
Were he of lofty or of low estate,
Him would he sharply with reproof astound.
A better priest is no where to be found.

He waited not on pomp or rererence,
Nor made himself a spiced conscience.
The lore of Christ and his apostles twelve
He taught : but, first, he followed it himselve.

[An Ironical Ballad on the Duplicity of Women.]

This world is full of variance
In everything, who taketh heed,
That faith and trust, and all constance,
Exiléd be, this is no drede,
And sare only in womanhead,
I can ysee no sikerness ;2
But for all that yet, as I read,
Beware alway of doubleness.

Also that the fresh summer flowers,
The white and red, the blue and green,
Be suddenly with winter showers,
Made faint and fade, withouten ween,3
That trust is none, as ye may seen,
In no thing, nor no steadfastness,
Except in women, thus I mean ;
Yet aye beware of doubleness.

The crooked moon, (this is no tale),
Some while isheen4 and bright of hué,
And after that full dark and pale,
And every moneth changeth new,
That who the very sothé5 knew
All thing is built on brittleness,
Save that women alway be true ;
Yet aye beware of doubleness.

The lusty freshé summer's day,
And Phoebus with his beamés clear,
Towardés night they draw away,
And no longer list t'appear,
That in this present life now here
Nothing abideth in his fairness,
Save women aye be found entere,7
And devoid of all doubleness.

The sea eke with his sterné wawé38
Each day ytloweth new again,
And by the concourse of his lawés
The ebbe floweth in certain ;
After great drought there cometh rain ;
That farewell here all stableness,
Save that women be whole and plein ;'
Yet aye beware of doubleness.

Fortunés wheel go'th round about
A thousand timés day and night,
Whose course standeth ever in doubt
For to transmuelo she is so light,
For which adverteth in your sight
Th' untrust of worldly fickleness,
Save women, which of kindly right!l
Ne hath no touch of doubleness.

What man ymay the wind restrain,
Or holden a snake by the tail ?
Who may a slipper eel constrain
That it will void withouten fail ?
Or who can driven so a nail
To make sure newfangleness, 12
Save women, that can giel3 their sail
To row their boat with doubleness ?

At erery haven they can arrive
Whereas they wot is good passage ;
Of innocence they cannot strive
With wawés, nor no rockés rage ;
So happy is their lodemanagel!
With needle' and stone their course to dress, 15
That Solomon was not so sage
To find in them no doubleness :

1 By accident.
2 Storven (perfect tense of starve)-died.

3 The title of one of the sections in Avicenne's great work, entitled Canun.

1 Fear. 2 Surety, steadfastness. 3 Doubtless.
4 Shining & Truth. 6 Pleasant. 7 Entire, whole, sound
8 Waves. Complete.

10 Change.
11 Natural right. 12 Novelty, inconstancy.

18 Guide 14 Steering, pilotage.

15 Manage.

Therefore whoso doth them accuse

Waiveth thy lust and let thy ghostl thee lead,
Of any double intention,

And truth thee shall deliver it is no drede.
To speaké rown, other to muse,
To pinch at2 their condition,

However far the genius of Chaucer transcended All is but false collusión,

that of all preceding writers, he was not the solitary I dare right well the soth express,

light of his age. The national mind and the national They have no better protection,

language appear, indeed, to have now arrived at a But shroud them under doubleness.

certain degree of ripeness, favourable for the proSo well fortunéd is thcir chance,

duction of able writers in both prose and verse.* The dice to-turnen up so down,

Heretofore, Norman French had been the language With sice and cinque they can advance,

of education, of the court, and of legal documents; And then by revolution

and when the Normanised Anglo-Saxon was emThey set a fell conclusión

ployed by literary men, it was for the special purOf lombés,3 as in sothfastness,

pose, as they were usually very careful to mention, Though clerkés maken mention

of conveying instruction to the common people. But Their kind is fret with doubleness.

now the distinction between the conquering Normans

and subjected Anglo-Saxons was nearly lost in a Sampson yhad experience

new and fraternal national feeling, which recognised That women were full true yfound ;

the country under the sole name of England, and the When Dalila of innocence

people and language under the single appellation of With shearés 'gan his hair to round ;'

English. Edward III. substituted the use of English To speak also of Rosamon

for that of French in the public acts and judicial proAnd Cleopatra's faithfulness,

ceedings; and the schoolinasters, for the first time, The stories plainly will confound

in the same reign, caused their pupils to construe Men that apeach their doubleness.

the classical tongues into the vernacular.t The Single thing is not ypraiséd,

consequence of this ripening of the national mind Nor of old is of no renown,

and language was, that, while English heroism was In balance when they be ypesed,6

gaining the victories of Cressy and Poitiers, English For lack of weight they be borne down,

genius was achieving milder and more beneficial triAnd for this cause of just reason

umphs, in the productions of Chaucer, of Gower, and These women all of rightwisness7

of Wickliffe. Of choice and free election Most love exchange and doubleness.


JOHN GOWER is supposed to have been born some L'Envoye.

time before the year 1340, and to have consequently O ye women ! which be inclined

been a few years younger than Chaucer. He was a By influence of your natúre

gentleman, possessing a considerable amount of proTo be as pure as gold yfinéd,

perty in land, in the counties of Nottingham and And in your truth for to endure,

Suffolk. In his latter years, he appears, like Chaucer, Armeth yourself in strong armúre,

to have been a retainer of the Lancaster branch of (Lest men assail your sikerness),8

the royal family, which subsequently ascended the Set on your breast, yourself t'assure,

throne; and his death took place in 1408, before A mighty shield of doubleness.

which period he had become blind. Gower wrote a

poetical work in three parts, which were respectively [Last Verses of Chaucer, written on his Deathbed.]

entitled Speculum Meditantis, Vor Clamantis, and Fly from the press, 9 and dwell with sothfastness ;10 Confessio Amantis; the last, which is a grave disSuffice unto thy goodli though it be small;

cussion of the morals and metaphysics of love, being For hoard hath hate, and climbing tickleness,

the only part written in English. The solemn senPress 12 hath envy, and weal is blent13 o'er all; tentiousness of this work caused Chaucer, and subSarour]4 no more than thee behoven shall ; Redel5 well thyself, that otherfolk can’st rede,

1 Spirit. And truth thee shall deliver 't is no drede.16

* It is always to be kept in mind that the language employed

in literary composition is apt to be different from that used by Pain thee not each crooked to redress

the bulk of the people in ordinary discourse. The literary lanIn trust of her that turneth as a ball;

guage of these early times was probably much more refined Great rest standeth in little business ;

than the colloquial. During the fourteenth century, various Beware also to spurn against a nalle ; 17

dialects of English were spoken in different parts of the country, Strive not as doth a crocké18 with a wall;

and the mode of pronunciation also was very far from being Deemeth 19 thyself that deemest other's deed,

uniform. Trevisa, a historian who wrote about 1380, remarks And truth thee shall deliver 't is no drede.

that, " Hit someth a grete wonder that Englyssinen have so That20 thee is sent receive in buxomness ;21

grete dyversyte in their owin langage in sowne and in spekyin

of it, which is all in one ilonde." The prevalent harshness of The wrestling of this world asketh a fall;

pronunciation is thus described by the same writer: "Some Here is no home, here is but wilderness ;

use straunge wlaffing, chytryng, harring, garrying, and grys. Forth, pilgrim, forth, O beast out of thy stall;

byting. The langage of the Northumbres, and specyally at Look up on high, and thank thy God of all ;

Yorke, is so sharpe, slytting, frotyng, and unshape, that we

sothern men maye unneth understande that langage." Even 1 Either in whispering or musing. ? To find a flaw in. in the reign of Elizabeth, as we learn from Holinshed's Chro.

3 " Though clerks, or scholars, represent women to be like nicle, the dialects spoken in different parts of the country were lambs for their truth and sincerity, yet they are all fraught, exceedingly various. or filled with doubleness, or falsehood."--Urry.

+ Mr Hallam mentions, on the authority of Mr Stevenson, * To round off, to cut round. Impeach.

sub-commissioner of public records, that in England. all letters, 6 Y pesed, Pr. pest-weighed. 7 Justice Security. even of a private nature, were written in Latin till the beginning 9 Crowd. 10 Truth. 11 Be satisfied with thy wealth. of the reign of Edward I., soon after 1270, when a sudden change 12 Striving. 13 Prosperity has ceased. 14 Taste.

brought in the use of French.-Hallam's Introduction to the Lite15 Counsel. 16 Without fear. 17 Nail. 18 Earthen pitcher. rature of Europe in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth cen. 20 That (which). 21 Humility, obedience. I turies, i. 63.

19 Judge.

sequently Lyndsay, to denominate its author “the moral Gower;" he is, however, considerably inferior to the author of the Canterbury Tales, in almost all the qualifications of a true poet.

[Episode of Rosiphele.) [Rosiphele, princess of Armenia, a lady of surpassing beauty, but insensible to the power of love, is represented by the poet as reduced to an obedience to Cupid, by a vision which befell her on a May-day ramble. The opening of this episode is as follows:-)

When come was the month of May,
She would walk upon a day,
And that was ere the sun arist,
Of women but a few it wist ;!
And forth she went privily,
Unto a park was fast by,
All soft walkand on the grass,
Till she came there the land was,
Through which ran a great river,
It thought her fair ; and said, here
I will abide under the shaw 2
And bade her women to withdraw:
And there she stood alone still,
To think what was in her will,
She saw the sweet flowers spring,
She heard glad fowls sing,
She saw beasts in their kind,
The buck, the doe, the hart, the hind,
The males go with the female ;
And so began there a quarrel
Between love and her own heart,
Fro which she could not astart.
And as she cast her eye about,
She saw clad in one suit, a rout
Of ladies, where they comen ride
Along under the woode side;
On fair ambu'and horse they set,
That were all white, fair, and great;
And everich one ride on side.
The saddles were of such a pride,
So rich saw she never none;
With pearls and gold so well begone,
In kirtles and in copes rich
They were clothed all alich,
Departed even of white and blue,
With all lusts that she knew,
They were embroidered over all :
Their bodies weren long and small,
The beauty of their fair face
There may none earthly thing deface:
Crowns on their heads they bare,
As each of them a queen were;
That all the gold of Croesus' hall
The least coronal of all
Might not have bought, after the worth :
Thus comen they ridand forth.

[graphic][merged small]

Mr Warton has happily selected a few passages from Gower, which convey a lively expression of natural feeling, and give a favourable impression of the author. Speaking of the gratification which his passion receives from the sense of hearing, he says, that to hear his lady speak is more delicious than to feast on all the dainties that could be compounded by a cook of Lombardy. They are not so restorative

As bin the wordes of hir mouth ;
For as the wyndes of the south
Ben niost of all debonnaire,
So when her listi to speak faire
The vertue of her goodly speche

Is verily myne hartes leche.2
He adds (reduced spelling)

Full oft time it falleth so
My ear with a good pittance
Is fed, with reading of romance
Of Isodyne and Amadas,
That whilom were in my case ;
And eke of other many a score,
That loved long ere I was bore:
For when I pf their loves read,
Mine ear with the tale I feed;
And with the lust of their histoire
Sometime I draw into memoire,
How sorrow may not ever last,
And so hope cometh in at last.

[In the rear of this splendid troop of ladies, the princess beheld one, mounted on a miserable steed, wretchedly adorned in everything excepting the bridle. On questioning this straggler why she was so unlike her companions, the visionary lady replied that the latter were receiving the bright reward of having loved faithfully, and that she herself was suffering punishment for cruelty to her admirers. The reason that the bridle alone resembled those of her companions was, that for the last fortnight she had been sincerely in love, and a change for the better was in consequence beginning to show itself in her accoutrements. The parting words of the dame are]

That when her list on nights wake, In chamber, as to carol and dance, Methink I may me more avance, If I may gone upon her hond, Than if I win a king's lond. For when I may her hand beclip, With such gladness I dance and skip, Methinketh I touch not the floor; The roe which runneth on the inoor, Is then nought so light as I.

Now have ye heard mine answer ;
To God, niadam, I you betake,
And warneth all for my sake,
Of love that they be not idle.

And bid them think of my bridle. [It is scarcely necessary to remark, that the hard heart of the princess of Armenia is duly impressed by this lesson.]

1 When she chooses. 2 Physician. 3 A dainty dish. 4 When she chooses to sit up a night in her chamber.


Few of her women knew of it.

? A grove.

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