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and 4 Furlonges. Now be that here multiplyed by 360 sithes; and than thei ben 31,500 Myles, every of 8 Furlonges, aftre Myles of oure Contree. So moche hathe the Erthe in roundnesse, and of heghte enviroun, aftre myn opynyoun and myn undirstondynge.
NOTES ON EXTRACT FROM MANDEVILLE.
PARA. 1. Ne. The duplication of the negative, common to the Greek and the Anglo-Saxon, is avoided in the Latin and the modern English. We find, thus, in A.-S.: ne geseoh naefre nan mann God: literally, no man never saw not God.May, is able, A.-S. magan. — Sterre, star, A.-S. steorra. Clepen, call; A.-S. clepan, cleopan, clipian, to call, to name. Clept, also, y-clept is the past part. Seen, plu. of See. See n. P. P. 39. — Him, it. The A.-S. formed the dat. masc. and neut. of the 3 pers. pron. alike in him.— Right, just.— Here, her. See n. P. P. 55. The second here is from A.-S. her, here. Avys, advice, direction; Fr. avis Lat. ad-visum, from ad and videre. — Don, plu. of do. See n. P. P. 39. The parties, those parts, the being old form of demonstrative adj. Hem, old. dat. plu. of 3 pers. pron. - Wel, spelled also well, both in A.-S. and in early English. It may be difficult to account for all the apparent anomalies in the orthography of words ending in the sound of 7; but there are three principles which are applicable respectively to different classes of these words. First, the form of the word in the language from which it is transferred into the English may have governed. Thus ball, cell, null. Secondly, the consonant was doubled as a mere orthographic expedient to show that the preceding vowel had its short sound. Thirdly, the English word may, as usually, have followed the inflected form, as A.-S. nom. al, gen. masc alles, by the general rule that adjectives ending in a single consonant after a short vowel double the consonant in the indefinite declension. But in A.-S. we find both spellings; as al, all; ful, full; wel, well; and also in early English, even by the same author, as is evidenced in this selection from Mandeville. So late as the time of the King James version we find both forms.
PARA. 2. Perceyve. All derivatives in English from the Lat. stem cap-, take, as conceive, deceive, receive, take the i or y after the e to denote that the e has its long sound. The i in these words as in either, neither, should not be regarded as representing a proper sound of its own. O, one. This shortened form of the numeral was very common in early English. - Sotyle, subtle; Lat. subtilis, Portuguese sobtil, sotil, Ital. sottile. Wycliffe has, 2 Cor. xii. 16, sutel; Chaucer, ver. 1,056, sotel, but 612, subtilly. — Zif, give. See § 25.-Aboven, above; A.-S. abufan, prep. from an (on), be, and ufan, up, above.
PARA. 3. That, what. See P. P. 43.-Braban, Brabant. —. - Astrolabre, an instrument for taking the position of the stars. Gr. ȧorpoλáßos. A preposition seems to be omitted. - Forthere, further, compar. of forth. There is here a double comparative. — Almayne, Germany; Fr. Allmayne. - Bewme, Bohemia, Ger. Boehmen. But Bohemia proper does not extend beyond 51° of north latitude.- Heghte, hight; A.-S. hehth and hihth. Certeyn, certain; Fr. certain, Lat. cer tus, from v. cer no, to try, to judge. The stem-elements cr (kr) correspond here to the Teutonic tr in try, trust, true. Cf. Lat. grad-ior, Eng. tread; Lat. air-culus, A.-S. trendel, a circle; Lat. cruciari, A.-S. treg-ian, to torment; Gr. Sápu, Lat. lacryma, A.-S. tear; Lat. acer, A.-S. teart, tart; Lat. lacerare, A.-S. teran, to tear. The digraph ai in the modern form of the word represents the short e sound as heard in met, as in mountain, again, etc. — Mesured, measured. The a is orthographic merely. - Azen, against, opposite; also, again; A.-S. agen, from
an (on), and gen, moreover --·! Meeven, move. See P. P. 76.
PARA. 4. Egalle, equa, Fr. égal, Lat. æqualis. — Mochel, much, A.-S. mucek mycel. The A.-S. c, here as elsewhere in many words, has passed into the ch.― Founden, seen, plu forms. See n. P. P. 39. — Fer, far, A.-S. feor. — Mo, more. See P. P. 294.
-Tother, contraction of the other. — Tho, those.
PARA. 5. Alle the roundnesse, the entire circle. - 3on, dat. plu. § 25. — Be forn, before. The n is sign of inflection. - Halfondelle, semi-circumference, for half-rondelle.
PARA. 6. Saf, save, O. Fr. sauv and sauf. With final e the ƒ element would regularly become phthongal. See § 19.
PARA. 7. Holt, holds. The A.-S. 3 pers. sing. of healdan, to hold, was hylt, also healt, and helt. — Conduyt, Old Fr. conduicte, Mod. Fr. conduite, guidance. The ast syllable was originally accented; hence the i or y. — Als, as; A -S. ael, signified both all and else, other. All and other are closely joined in thought; I, of the first person, the speaker, and the other, make up the all; in Greek èyí and äλλos are the two coördinates in thought, which together make up the oλos. Thus the provincial saying: I can walk as well as the other, meaning, as well as any one of all the world. Our conj. as, Ger. als, is derivative from this stem denoting other, else. It comes naturally to be the sign of comparison, as it marks the object of thought which follows as the other, the coördinate in respect to the object which precedes. The progress of language, ever struggling on to keep pace with the discriminations in thought, changes the forms of the original word— at first in the less unstable or essential elements, as the vowels, then in the consonants exchanged first for others most nearly akin-and sets apart these divers forms for the respective special uses of thought. Form-words, as prepositions and conjunctions as well as auxiliaries, were, for the most part, originally object-words or notion-words.
PARA. 8. Streghte, strictly, exactly; A.-S. strec can, to stretch, past part. gostreht, streht. Dwellyn. Cf. dwellen, just above - Here, their. See Para. 1. — Appositees, opposites. French form of part.-Habitables or trepassables. These are Fr. plu. forms. Trepassable, that can be passed across, navigable; here as opposed to habitables. Fr. trepasser, from Lat. trans and passare, originally meaning to pass across, but in later use restricted to the meaning, to die, that is, to pass across the boundary of life. Wytethe, know ye well. The A.-S. imper. was in th, when the noun was omitted. — That I may parceyve and comprehende, which I am able to perceive and comprehend.
PARA. 9. Prestre John, priest (presbyter) John, a mythical chief first appearing to history in the 11th century, said to have been converted to Christianity by the spirit of a departed saint. Mandeville makes him Emperor of India. He has been regarded by some as a Tartar chief, by others as a Nestorian prince. — Beforn, before, A.-S. beforan, compounded of be and for-an. The n indicates the inflectional ending as following the prep. be. That that. The second that seems to be used 'n the sense of as, perhaps since.- Myddes, midst, old A.-S. gen. of midde, middle, rom prep. mid, among, with. For final t in midst, see § 38. -- Pighte, fixed, at. figere. Psautre, psalter; Fr. psautier, Lat. psalterium.
PARA. 10. Parten, depart.-For to go. The prep. for here governs the inf. to go. is form of expression, now obsolete, was once common, and grammatically legit、ate. Thidre, thither, A.-S. thider. - Confynyes, confines, coterminous ces. Superficialitie, surface. The Lat. superficies (super facies) is the rigin of the Fr. surface. The e is inflectional. When it was dropped out in spelling, the i, by rule, became y. See § 23.- Foreyn, foreign; Fr. forain, Lat. foraneus. Chaucer wrote forain and foraine; Spenser, F. Q. bk. v. c. 9, st. 37, forrain; James version, Eph. ii. 19, forreiners, where Tyndale and Cranmer both have for.
einers. The g and the i in our foreign are both foreign to the word, and were both introduced probably to show the long quantity of the e, which formerly was in an accented syllable. Cownted, recounted; Fr. conter, Lat. com putare, to think together or in connection. Lat. com put um is the origin of the Ital. conto, Fr. compte, and Eng. count, in legal use, meaning a story, a declaration. For to go serche. For, a prep. governing to go, as above. -Serche, search, Old Fr. cercher, Mod. Fr. chercher, Lat. circare. This word exemplifies in its history and use several very common principles of our language. Etymologically it shows how s and c interchanged to denote the sibilant element; how the vowels interchange when preceding r; how the aphthongal guttural perfect consonant represented by k, and also by c before a, o, and u, has changed to the labial imperfect consonant, or fricative ch; how the inflectional ending drops away in the progress of speech. Grammatically, the word shows that the primitive Eng. inf. was without the auxiliary or sign to; as is still the case in some expressions, as "bid him go;" "have him do it; " "heard them say," and the like; and that the infinitive is governed by another verb.
PARA. 11. Seysons, seasons. See n. P. P. 1.—Langage, language; spelled likewise without the u by Wycliffe and Cranmer, Acts ii. 6.- Plowghe, a plow, Dan. ploug and plov, from ploeje, to plow. The stem of this word is not found in A.-S., in which language the stem er, corresponding to Lat: ar in arare appeared in many forms; as v. er ián, to ear, to till, or plow, as in Eng. " the oxen that ear the ground shall eat, etc." Isa. xxx. 24; n. eard, whence our earth, meaning that which is eared or tilled; adj. earm, toilsome, poor, miserable; a derivation which suggests that the condition of the A.-S. plowman was toilsome and abject. On the contrary, in Sans. this root came to denote the noble, the elevated, suggesting that the condition of the plowman, the cultivator, was comparatively elevated. It is curious to observe, in studying out the history of the words denoting this employment of plowing and tilling, that the French term is laborer, implying a similar connection to that which existed in the minds of the framers of the A.-S. tongue. While this word in the French denotes properly plowing, the Lat., from which it comes, denotes rather the condition than the original employment or activity, which meaning is retained in the Fr. adj. laborieux. Still further, Grimm's Law, § 35, conducts us from Low German stem pl to b and l as the corresponding elements in Lat., which are the stem elements of labor, but transposed. Once more, the inquiry arises: What, in the condition of the people, or the application of the terms, displaced the stem er, and introduced the Danish stem pl?- Marches, boundaries, territories. See n. P. P. 126. - Knowleche, acquaintance, as knowledge is used to denote things or persons known. - Thens, thence, old gen. form, § 42.
PARA. 12. Peyneful, literally worsening, wearing, impairing. A Lat. stem, pejor, worse, Old Fr. peire, and Teut. suffix. The word occurs in our early writers, not with the prefixed prep. in, as we have it now in our impair, but with ad, as in apaire, and apeire, from Lat. ad and pejorare, through the Old French, appeirer. Thus, Chaucer, C. T. ver. 3149:
"It is a sinne, and eke a gret folie
Also Wycliffe: "We have apeired no man," 2 Cor. vii. 2. Cf. "That in nothing ye suffer peirement of us," Ibid. ver. 9.
PARA. 13. May not be, cannot be. Upon lesse, unless, formerly written onless, and onles. Tooke derives this conj. from the A.-S. v. onlesan, to unloose. But this phrase of Mandeville shows the true origin of the word, upon lesse than being the full form of expression with the adj. followed by the comparative than. The meaning is: That may not be, is not possible on less condition than this, that we can fall toward heaven from the earth where we are. That men
dwelle, in which men dwell. That is used as relative with omission of the prep. as above, that he was comen home, unless, what seems preferable, we change the punctuation by striking out the comma before that, and govern the clause by the prep. aftre. Outher, either. It would seem that the use of this disjunctive in the sense of either, that is, as the first of the two correlatives either-or, being more infrequent than that of the simple disjunctive or, the old full form has been retained for this first use, while the contracted form or is used for the latter more frequent use. — Righte, upright, erect. - Semeth hem, seems to them; hem being old dat. without prep. and immediately depending on the verb.- Fro, from. Resoun, reason. The u was inserted to show the long sound of the o, the accent which was on this syllable in the Lat. ra tion is being retained in the Fr., although the inflectional syllable was elided.
PARA. 14. Alle be it, albeit, be it all, grant it all be; be being in the potential mood of the concessive form. - Na the les, not the less, nevertheless; A.-S. natheles, from na, not, the, old ablative of demonstrative pron., and laes, less. In such expressions as, "the farther he goes, the worse he fares," the is to be regarded as not the def. article limiting farther and worse or their nouns, but as the relative and demonstrative, equiv. to Lat. quo- eo, as "homines quo plura habent, eo cupiunt ampliora," ," "the more men have, the more they crave." See n. P. P. 62. — Cowde (=coude), could.-Redye, bring back, from Fr. reduir, Lat. re duc ere. - Perfitely, perfectly, exactly; Old Fr. adj. parfeit, and parfit, perfect, Mod. Fr. parfait. Be aventure, peradventure, by adventure, by chance. Happ, hap. A short vowel in a final syllable doubled the following consonant, § 18 (2). Holt, holds. A.-S. 3 pers. sing. of heold an, to hold, was hylt, healt, and also helt. See Para. 7. - Here, their.
PARA. 15. Repreve, reprove, censure. See in glossary, preve.· A gret compas, a large circle. - Devised, divided; Fr. diviser, Lat. dividere, to divide.— In, into; A.-S. in, in, and into, like Lat. - Departed, separated, divided, Fr. departir, Lat. de and partiri. Depart was once used transitively, as "That he depart with me the heritage." Wycliffe, Luke xii. 13.
PARA. 16. Lat, let; A.-S. laet, from laet an, to let, permit. — Auctoures, authors; Lat. auctores; the second u is mere orthographic expedient, as in resoun above. The, those, they.-Sithes, times, A.-S. sith, time, whence sithens, contracted into our modern since. - Every, every one.
4. GEOFFREY CHAUCER, 1328-1400.
GEOFFREY CHAUCER, it is supposed, was born in London in 1328. It is inferred from a passage in his Testament of Love, that he was educated at Cambridge. Having been introduced in some way into court life, he was recognized in 1367 in a patent of King Edward Third, issued in the forty-first year of that monarch's reign, and granting him an annuity of twenty marks, as valettus noster, our valet or yeoman; and was employed subsequently in many honorable services, particularly as a royal envoy and diplomatist. He married Philippa de Rouet, one of the maids of honor to the Queen, and by this marriage became allied to the renowned John of Gaunt (Ghent), who married Philippa's sister, Mrs. Catharine Swynborn, as his third wife. With this famous leader he sympathized in the defense of the opinions of Wycliffe. In the troubles of the times he lost office and property, escaping himself to France, where, and in Denmark, he wrote some of his books. Retiring from public life, he gave himself up to literary labors, first at Woodstock, and afterwards, on the death of John of Lancaster, in 1399, at Donnington Castle. He died Oct. 25th 1400, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Chaucer's earliest important work was a translation into English iambic verse of four feet in successive rhyme, of the Roman de la Rose, a poem written in similar verse in French by Guillaume de Lorris about 1250. His other leading poems are Troilus and Cressida, the House of Fame, the Death of Blanch the Duchess, the Parliament of Fowls, the Legend of Good Women, and the Canterbury Tales, one of the last and greatest of his works. His prose works are his Translation of Boethius, de Consolatione Philosophiæ, a Treatise on the Astrolabe addressed to his son Lowis, the Testament of Love, and two of the Canterbury Tales.
The selection here given is printed from Mr. Tyrwhitt's edition of the Canterbury Tales, published at Oxford in 1798.
In composing the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer undoubtedly had in his mind the Decameron of Boccaccio. He had visited Italy and become more or less acquainted with Italian literature, at that time the most flourishing in Europe. If not favored with the personal society of Boccaccio (1313-1375) or Petrarch (1304-1374), he must have been brought under the influence of their writings, then the pride and the entertainment of the literary world. The Decameron consists of one hundred tales, said to have been told on ten successive days by seven ladies and three young gentlemen, who had fled to a retreat in the country from the ravages of a deadly pestilence which raged in Florence in 1348. Chaucer, in his Canterbury Tales, improves on this idea of Boccaccio, in giving somewhat of a dramatic character to his tales. He supposes a pilgrimage to the famous shrine of Thomas à Becket in Canterbury. Twenty-nine persons from the company of pilgrims who meet at the Tabard inn, Southwark, to beguile the tediousness of their journey, agree to tell each a story, in going and also in returning. The Prologue in 861 verses introduces the characters, with descriptions of each; and the several tales were to be connected throughout by suitable narrative. In the execution of his plan, the poet has left only twenty-four tales, not one for each in the journey to Canterbury, with none for the journey back. The first is the Knightes Tale, which seems to have been originally composed as a separate work. It is the longest of all, consisting of 2,350 iambic pentameter verses. It is founded on a story by Boccaccio. It is, perhaps, the best for study, bearing the characteristics of Chaucer's genius and poetic skill in their highest degree, and is free from the exceptionable features of some of the other tales. The Clerkes Tale, which is here given, is about half as long as the Knightes Tale. In the prologue it is said that the tale was learned of Petrarch, who, it seems, took it from the Decameron. It is the tenth tale of the tenth day in the Decameron. Petrarch speaks of the story as if an old one; but whence Boccaocio obtained it is unknown.
THE CLERKES TALE.
1. THER is right at the West side of Itaille
Ther many a toun and tour thou maist behold,
2. A markis whilom lord was of that lond,