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CANTERBURY TALES, viz.
THE Wiror BATHES TALE, jr THE CLERKES TALE, THEFRERESTALE, | THE MARCHANTES TALE,
THE SOMrNOURES TALE, И THE bQlIIERES TALE, &e. &c. iff с
But natheles eertain
1 cao right now no Ihrifty Tale fain,
But CHAUCER, (though he can but Iewedlf
On metres and on riming eraftily)
Hathfayd hem in fwicheEngliOi is he ean
Of olds time, as knoweth many a man;
And if he have not fa yd hem, leve brother,
In о hook, he hath fayd hem in another
AVno fa that wol bis large Volume feke. TALES, ver, 4465s
On Fame's eternal bud-roll wortby to he filM
Old Dan Geffrey, in whofegentlefp right
The pure well-head of poetry did dwell
lie whim be lived was the foveraigne head
Of Qiepherds all SPENSER.
Old CHAUCER, tike the morningûar,
Touadifeovera day from far;
His light thnfe mifts and elouds diffolv'd
'Whieh our dark nation long in vol v M \
Bot he defeending to the mades
Darknefs again the age invadea. DЕKH AM.
Cil AUCEK, him who fira with harmony inform'Ц
With cunning hand portraying —
Him who in times .
Dark and untaught began with charming verfe To tame the rudenefa of his native land. AKENSIDE.
Experience, though non aucxoritee
Were in this world, is right ynough for mc
To fрeke of wo that is in mariage; S5$5
For, Lordings, fin I twelf yere was of age
(Thanked be Ged that is eterne on live)
Hufbondes at chirche dore have I had five,
(If I fo often might han wedded be)
And all were worthy men in hir degree. 5590
irs 5s830 1 have already given myreafons for following the beft mff. in placing this Prologue of The Wife of Bathe next tu The Man of Lawes Tale, Difcourfe, Ус $ i6. The want of a few verfes to connect this Prologue with the preceding Tale was perceived-lon^ ago, and the defect was attempted to be iupplied by the author of the following lines, which in mf. B, are prefixed to the common Prologue;
Oure Oofl gan tho to loke up anon. Gode men, quod he, herkeneth evericbone, Ai evere mote 1 drynke wyn or ale This Marchant haul hold a mery Tale, Howe Januâr le hadde a fti tier jape, Bis wyf put ¡a his hood an ape. But hereof I wи leve off ar now. Same Wyf of Bathe,qoud he, I pray you Telle us a Talc now. ncxte after this. Sir Ooft, quod the, fo God my foule Lui its I fully thereto wil con fen te, And alfo it ismyn hole entente Tu donc yow alle dlfporte at that I cat. But holde me excufed; I am a woman: 1 can not rcherfe at thefe eteriee* tune. And riytanon ihe hath hir Tale bycunnes experience, fife The fame lines arc in mff. Bod. £. and £, I print them here ia order to juftify myfelf for not inferting them in the text.