Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Of hem that han therto hir good ylent.
O, fy for shame! they that han be brent, 16875
Alas! can they not flee the fires hete?
Ye that it use frede that ye it lete,
Left

ye lese all; for bet than never is late :
Never to thriven were to long a date:
Though ye prolle ay ye shul it never find; 16880
Ye ben as bold as is Bayard the blind,
That blondereth forth, and peril cafteth non;
He is as bold to renne agains a ston
As for to go befides in the way
So faren ye thar multiplien 1 fay.

16885 If that your eyen cannot seen aright Loketh that youre mind lacke not his fight, For though ye loke never so brode and stare Ye Thuln not win a mite on that chaffare, But wasten all that ye may rape and renne. 16890 Withdraw the fire left it to fafte brenne; Medleth no more with that art I mene, For if ye don your thrift is gon ful clene : And right as fwithe I wol you tellen here What philofophres fain in this matere.

Lo, thus faith Arnolde of the newe toun, As his Rofarie maketh mentioun; He faith right thus, withouten any lie, Ther may no man mercurie mortifie But it be with his brothers knowleching. 16900

Lo, how that he which firste said this thing

16893

Of philosophres father was, Hermes;
He saith how that the dragon douteles
Ne dieth not but if that he be flain
With his brother; and this is for to fain,

16905
By the dragon Mercury and non other
He understood, and Brimstone by his brother,
That out of Sol and Luna were ydrawe.
And therfore, said he, Take heed to my

sawe: Let no man befie him this art to feche 16910 But if that he the entention and speche Of philosophres understonden can, And if he do he is a lewed man; For this science and this conning (quod he) Is of the secree of fecrces parde.

16915 Also ther was a disciple of Plato That on a time said his maister to, As his book Senior wol bere witnesse, And this was his demand in fothfastnesse,

¥. 16915. the fecree of secrees] He alludes to a treatife entitled Secreta Secretorum, which was supposed to contain the fum of Ariftotle's inftructions to Alexander. See Fabric. Bibl. Gr. v. ii. p. 167. It was very popular in the middle ages. Ægidius de Columnâ, a famous divine and bithop about the latter end ofther 3:h century, built upon it his book De Regimine Principut, of which our Occleve madca free translation in Englitla verse, and addressed it to Henry V. while Prince of Wales. A part of Lydgate's tranflation of the Secreta Secretorum is printe cd in Amhmole's Theat. Chern. Brit. p. 397.; he did not translate inore than about half of it; being prevented by death. See mí. Harl. 2251, and Tanner, Bib. Brit. in v. Lydzate. The greateft part of the 7th book of Gower's Conf. Amant. is taken from this supposed work of Ariftotle.

. 16918. As bis book Senior] Ed. Urr. reads--- As in his book

Telle me the name of thilke privee fon. 16920

And Plato answerd unto him anon;
Take the ston that Titanos men name.
Which is that ? quod he. Magnetia is the same,
Saide Plato. Ye, Sire, and is it thus!
This is ignotum per ignotius.

16925 What is magnetia, good Sire, I pray?

It is a water that is made, I say, Of the elementes foure, quod Plato.

Tell me the rote, good Sire, quod he tho,
Of that water, if that it be your will. 16930

Nay, nay, quod Plato, certain that I n'ill:
The philosophres were sworne everich on
That they ne shuld discover it unto non,
Ne in no book it write in no mancre,
For unto God it is so lefe and dere

16935
That he wol not that it discovered be
But wher it liketh to his deitee
Man for to enspire, and eke for to defende
Whom that him liketh ; lo, this is the ende.

Than thus conclude l; sin that God of heven 16940 Ne wol not that the philosophres neven

which I thould have preferred to the common reading if I had found it in any copy of better authority.---The book al. luded to is printed in the Theatrum Chemicum, vol. v. p. 219, under this title, Senioris Zadith sil. Hamuelis tabula Chymica. 'The story which follows of Plato and his disciple is there told, [p. 249,] with fomc variations, of Salomon ;“ Dixit Salomon “ rex, Recipe lapiden qui dicitur Thilarios-----Dixit sapiens, "Afligna mihi illum. Dixit, eft corpus mageia --- Dixit, quid " est magnesía? Refpondit, magnesía el agua, compita," CC

How that a man íhal come unto this ston,
I rede as for the best to let it gon;
For who so maketh God his adversary,
As for to werken any thing in contrary 16945
Of his will, certes never shal he thrive,
Though that he multiply terme of his live.
And ther a point, for ended is my Tale.
God send every good man bote of his bale !

16949
THE MANCIPLES PROLOGUE.
Were ye not wher stondeth a litel toun
Which that ycleped is Bob-up-and-doun,
Under the Blee in Canterbury way?
Ther gan our Hofle to jape and to play,
And sayde; Sires, what ? Dun is in the mire;
Is ther no man for praiere ne for hire 16955
That wol awaken our felaw behind ?
A thefe him might ful lightly rob and bind :
See how he nappeth, see, for cockes bones,
As he wold fallen from his hors atones.
Is that a coke of London, with meschance! 16968
Do him come forth, he knoweth his penance,

t. 16961. Do bim come fortb] So ift. Afk. 1, 2, and some others. The common reading is-Do bim comfort. The alteration is material, not only as it gives a clearer fenise, but as it intimates to us that the narrator of a Talc was made to come out of the crowd, and to take his place within hearing of the Hoft during his narration. Agreeably to this notion when the Hoft calls upon Chaucer (ver, 13628,] he fays,

Approche nere, and loke up merily.

Now ware you, Sires, and let this man have place. U was necessary that the Hofte, who was to be juge and repora,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

For he shal tell a Tale by my fey,
Although it be not worth a botel hey.
Awake, thou coke, quod he; God yeve thee forwe,
What aileth thee to slepen by the morwe? 16965
Halt thou had fleen al night, or art thou dronke?
Or haft thou with fom quene al night yswonke
So that thou mayst not holden up thin hed?

This coke, that was ful pale and nothing red,
Sayd to our Hon So God my foule blesse, 16970
As ther is falle on me swiche hevinefile,
N'ot I nat why, that me were lever to slepe
Than the best gallon wine that is in Chepe.

Wel, quod the Manciple, if it may don ese To thee, Sire Coke, and to no wight displese 16975 Which that here rideth in this compagnie, And that our Hofte wol of his curtesie, 1 wol as now excuse thee of thy Tale, For in good faith thy visage is ful pale: Thin eyen dasen, fothly as me thinketh, 16986 And wel I wot thy breth ful foure stinketh, That sheweth wel thou art not wel disposed : Of me certain thou fhalt not ben yglosed. tour of the Tales, (ver. 816,] should hear them all diftin&tly; 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 14th century.

. 16965. 10 jlepen by the morwe] This must be underflood generally for the daytime, as it was then afternoon. It has been observed in the Discourse, Sc. $. 13, that in this episode of the Coke no notice is taken of his having told a Tale before.

« AnteriorContinuar »