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Hb helme of latoun bright,
His fadel was of rewel bone,
His bridel as the fonne lhone,
Or as the mont light.

His fpere was of fin cypres, 13810

That bodeth werre and nothing pees,
The hed ful fharpe yground:
His ilede was all dapple gray,
It goth an aumble in the way

Ful foftely and round || in londe 13815

Lo, bordes min, here is a fit,
If ye wol ony more of it
To telle it wol 1 fond.

Now hold your mouth pour charittc

Botheknight and lady fre, IjSlo

And herkeneth to my fpell;

Of bataille and of chevalrie,

Of ladies love and druerie,

Anon I wol you tell.

the Saracens covered their targes with *' cutr bouUi dc Capa** doce, ou nul fer ne peut prendre n'attacher; h le cuir n'clt •• trop echaufi."

tr. 13807. rewelbone] What kind of material this was I profersmyfelf quite ignorant. In the Turmim. o/Tom'rbam,ver.7S, X_Anc. Poet. v. ¡I. p. i8JTlbby is introduced with a garland on her head full of ruell bones. The derivation in Glnfl*. Urr. of this word from the Fr. rxoli, divcríly coloured, has not the ieait probability. The other, which deduces it from the Fr. rouelle, rotula, the whirlbone or kneepan, U more plaufible, though, av the gloflarift obferves, that fenfe will hardly fuit here.

*•. 1 3813. Of lad'tes lore ami drurrie^ I have tak«n the liberty here of departing from the mü". winch read

A>\4 ef ladle« love dmcrle.

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And for he was a knight auntroua
He n'olde flepen in non hous,
But liggen in his hood;

His brighte helm was his wanger, 13840

Ana by him baited his deilrer
Of herbes fin and good.

Himfelf drank water of the well,
As did the knight Sire Percivell
So worthy under wede, 4?45

Til on a day

PROLOGUE TO MELIBEUS.

I\o more of this for Goddes dignitee,

Quod our Holle, for thou makeil me

So wery of thy veray lewedneffe,

That ai fo wifly God my foule bleffe 13850

V- 13944- Sire Percive!!] The romance of Perceva! le Galois, or de Galis, was compofed in oelofyllable French verfe by Chreftein de Troуes, one of the oldeft and heft French romancer* before the year i loi. Fauchett 1. i!. c. x. It confided of above fixty thoufand verfes, {ВШ. des Rom. t. ii. p. ¿50J fo that it would be fome trouble to rind the fact which is probably here alluded to. The romance under the fame title in French profe, printed at Paria r 5 30, fol. can be only an abridgement, I fuppofe, of the original poem.

^ k 13845- So tuoriby under ivede] This phrafe oceuts re* peatedly in the romance of Emare';

fol. 70. b. Than fayde that -wortly unther wede.

— 74. b. The ehilde was worthy unther iuedct

Ani1 fale opon. a nobyl ftede.

«ecalfofol. 71, b. 73,x.

Min eres аkcп of rhy drafty fpeche.
Now fwiche a rime the devil Г beteche;
This may wel be rime dogere], quod he.

Why fo ? quod I; why wolt thou letten mc
More of my Tale than an other man, ' 13$S5
Sin that it is the befle rime I can?

By God, quod he, for plainly at o word
Thy drafty riming is not worth a tord:
Thou doft nought elles-hut difpendeft time.
Sire, at o word thou fhalt no lenger rime. 13860

Let fee wher thou canfl teilen ought in geile,
Or teilen in prefe fomwhat at the lefte

ir- 13Й5Х. the devil I beteche} I betake (recommend or gire} to the devil. See ver. 3748- ¡

My foule betake 1 unto Sat hanrr—

and ver. 8037,17256, where the prepofition in omitted as here. To takei In our old language, ¡0 alfo ufed for to take to, to ii-ve. See ver. 13334. ¡

He tokt me certain gold, I wole it wel. And compare ver. 13224,13286.—The change of letale into beteche was nut fo great a licenfe formerly a* it would be now, as r£and£leem once to have been pronounced in nearly the fame manner. See ver. 3307,8,11,12, where -ual Ip made to rhyme to cherche and elei I. It may be obierved too tJut the Say one had but one verb, torean, to fignlfy capere and do:ere ; ?nd though our anceftors, even before Chaucer's time, had f¡slit that llngle verb into two, to tale and to tecbe, and had diftinguhhed each from the other by a different mode of inflexion, yet the compound verb betakes which aecording to thatm. de of inflexion ought to have formed its paft time het oke, formed it of>:n, I believe, betaugbt, as if no fuch dWinelion had been efiabliibed. Pec k. R. ver. 443S. ; Gameiya, 666. The tegular pail time letale cecuts in ver. lôcop.

In which ther be fom mirthe or fom dorätine.

Gladly, quod I ; by Goddes fwete pine
I wol you tell a litel thing in profe 13865

That oughte liken you, as I fuppofe,
Or elles certes ye be to dangerous.
It is a moral Tale vertuous,
Al be it told fomtime in fondry wife
Of fondry folk, as I fhai you devife. 1387O

As thus ; ye wot that every evangelift
That telleth us the peine Df Jefu Crift
Ne faith not alle thing as bis felaw doth;
But natheles hir fentence is al fbth,
And alle aceorden as in h ir fentence, 13 8 75

Al be ther in hir telling difference;
For fom of hem fay more and fom fay lefle
Whan they his pitous paffion expreffe;
I mene of Mark and Mathew, Luke and John,
But douteles hir fentence is all on. 13880

Therfore, .Lordinges all, I you befeche,
If that ye thinke I vary in my fpeche,
As thus, though that I telle fom del more
Of proierbes than ye han herde before
Comprehended in this litel tretife here, 13885

To enforcen with the effeel of my matere,
And though I not the fame wordes fay
As ye han herde, yet to you alle I pray

^ 13879. Imeiu of Marl and MatbnS} The conjunction and has been added for the fake of the metre without authority, and perhaps without neceffiey, as Murk wa» probably writs 'ten by Chaucer Marke, and pronounced ai a ditfyllaWe.

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