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GEOFFREY CHAUCER. 1328–1400.
(From the text of Tyrwhitt.) WHANNE that April with his shoures sote The droughte of March hath perced to the rote.
Canterbury Tales. Prologue. Line 1. And smale foules maken melodie, That slepen alle night with open eye, So priketh hem nature in hir corages ; Than longen folk to gon on pilgrimages.
Line 9. And of his port as meke as is a mayde.
Line 69. He was a veray parfit gentil knight.
Line 72. He coude songes make, and wel endite.
Line 95. Ful wel she sange the service devine, Entuned in hire nose ful swetely; And Frenche she spake ful fayre and fetisly, After the scole of Stratford atte bowe, For Frenche of Paris was to hire unknowe.
Line 122. A Clerk ther was of Oxenforde also.
Line 287. For him was lever han at his beddes hed A twenty bokes, clothed in black or red, Of Aristotle, and his philosophie, Than robes riche, or fidel, or sautrie. But all be that he was a philosophre, Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre.
And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.
Canterbury Tales. Prologue. Line 310. Nowher so besy a man as he ther n'as, And yet he semed besier than he was.
Line 323. His studie was but litel on the Bible.
For gold in phisike is a cordial;
This noble ensample to his shepe he yaf, -
But Cristes lore, and his apostles twelve,
Line 529. And yet he had a thomb of gold parde.'
Line 565. Who so shall telle a tale after a man, He moste reherse, as neighe as ever he can, Everich word, if it be in his charge, All speke he never so rudely and so large; Or elles he moste tellen his tale untrewe, Or feinen thinges, or finden wordes newe. Line 733. For May wol have no slogardie a-night. The seson priketh every gentil herte, And maketh him out of his slepe to sterte.
The Knightes Tale. Line 1044. That field hath eyen, and the wood hath ears. Line 1524. Up rose the
1 In allusion to the proverb, “Every honest miller has a golden thumb."
Fieldes have eies and woodes have eares. HEYWOOD: Proverbes, part ii. chap. v.
Wode has erys, felde has sigt. — King Edward and the Shepherd, MS. Circa 1300
Walls have ears. HAZLITT: English Proverbs, etc. (ed. 1869) p. 446.
Min be the travaille, and thia be the glorie.
Canterbury Tales. Thi: Knightes Tale. Line 3408 To maken vertue of necessite."
Line 3044. And brought of mighty ale a large quart.
The Milleres Tale. Line 3497 Ther n’ is no werkman whatever he be, That may both werken wel and hastily. This wol be done at leisure parfitly.:
The Marchantes Tale. Line 585. Yet in our ashen cold is fire yreken.*
The Reres Prologue. Line 3880. The gretest clerkes ben not the wisest men.
The Reves Tale. Line 4051. So was hire joly whistle wel ywette.
Line 4153 In his owen grese I made him frie."
Line 6069, And for to see, and eek for to be seie.
The Wif of Bathes Prologue. Line 6134,
* Also in Troilus and Cresseide, line 1587.
To make a virtue of necessity. — SHAKESPEARE: Two Gentlemen of Verona, ac' iv. sc. 2. MATTHEW HENRY: Comm. on Ps. xxxvii. DRYDEN: Palamon and Arcite.
In the additions of Hadrianus Julius to the Adages of Erasmus, he remarks, under the head of Necessitatem edere, that a very familiar proverb was current among his countrymen,
“ Necessitatem in virtutem commu. tare” (To make necessity a virtue).
Laudem virtutis necessitati damus (We give to necessity the praise of virtue). -QUINTILIAN: Inst. Orat. i. 8. 14. ? Haste makes waste. – Heywood : Proverbs, part i. chap. ii.
Nothing can be done at once hastily and prudently. – PUBLIUS SYRUS: 8 Ease and speed in doing a thing do not give the work lasting solidity or exactness of beauty.- PLUTARCH: Life of Pericles.
* E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires. – GRAY: Elegy, Stanza 23. 6 Frieth in her own grease.
- Heywood: Proverbs, part i. chap. xi. 6 To see and to be seen. —
- BEN JONSON: Epilhalamion, st. iii. line 4. GOLDSMITH : Citizen of the World, letter 71.
Spectatum veniunt, veniunt spectentur ut ipsæ (They come to see ; they come that they themselves may be seen). – Ovid: The Art of Love
I hold a mouses wit not worth a leke,
Canterbury Tales. The Wif of Bathes Prologue. Line 6154
The Wif of Bathes Tale. Line 6695. That he is gentil that doth gentil dedis.?
Line 6752. This flour of wifly patience.
The Clerkes Tale. Part v. Line 8797. They demen gladly to the badder end.
The Squieres Tale. Line 10538. Therefore behoveth him a ful long spone, That shall eat with a fend.3
Fie on possession, But if a man be vertuous withal.
The Frankeleines Prologue. Line 10998. Truth is the highest thing that man may keep.
The Frankeleines Tale. Line 11789.
Full wise is he that can himselven knowe. 4
The Monkes Tale. Line 1449.
1 Consider the little mouse, how sagacious an animal it is which never entrusts his life to one hole only. PLAUTUS : Truculentus, act iv. sc. 4.
The incuse that always trusts to one poor hole
POPE : Paraphrase of the Prologue, line 298. 2 Handsome is that handsome does. – GOLDSMITH: Vicar of Wakefield, chap. i.
3 Hee must have a long spoon, shall eat with the devill. HEYWOOD : Proverbes, part ii. chap. v.
He must have a long spoon that must eat with the devil. - SHAKESPEARE : Comedy of Errors, act iv. sc. 3.
4 Thales was asked what was very difficult ; he said, “To know one's. self." - DIOGENES LAERTIU8 : Thales, ix.
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan ;
POPE : Epistle ii. line 1.