Page images

Straight forth thé ? start thorrow dores & kockes, 3 some in their shirts, some in their smockes,

& some starke belly naked.


and lame.

At last Jack, tired, rests.

When all were gathered round about,
there was a vild vnrulye rout

that dancing in the street,
388 Of which, some lame that cold not goe,

striuing to leape, did tumble soe

they dancet on hands & feet.

Iacke tyred with the sports said, “ now Ile rest." 392“ doe," quoth his father, “I hold it best,

thou cloyest me with this cheere 6 ; I pray thee, boy, now? quiett sitt;

in faith this was the Merryest fitt
396 I heard this 7 yeere."

All those that dancing thither came,
laught heartilye & made good game,

yett some gott many a fall.
400 “Thou cursed boy!” cryed out the 10 fryar,"

"heere I doe summon thee to appeare

beffore the Officiall !

The friar summons Jack to appear before the official.


14 "

“Looke thou be there on fryday next;
404 Ile meet thee then, thou 13 now perplext,

for to ordaine thee sorrow.
The boy replyed, " I make 18 avowe,

fryer, Ile appeare as soone as thou,

if fryday were to Morrowe.”

1 out.-P. 2 MS. ye.-F. 8 ? small openings; cf. Phillips. Among Sea-men Cocks are little square pieces of Brass, with Holes in them, put into the middle of great Wooden Shivers, to keep them from splitting and galling by tho Pin of the Block or Pulley on which they turn.”-F.

4 danced.-P. 5 with sport.-P.

this not in P[rinted] C[opy).-P. 7 thou.-P. 8 In truth.--P. 9 these.-P. 10 MS. thy.-F. 11 frere.-P. 12 thee appear.-P. 13 though.-P. 14 they sorrow.-P. 15 I'll make.-P.

[blocks in formation]


Of contractes, and of lak of sacraments, And eek of many another (maner] cryme Which needith not to reherse at this

tyme. Canterbury Tales, ed. Morris, v. 2, p. 246, 1. 1-10; ed. Wright, p. 78, col. 2, 1. 6883-90.-F.

one or two.-P. 4 MS. cut away.

“Both with preest and clerke," ed. Hazlitt; but the bits of letters left in the folio require against and priest.-F.

5 Proctor, an Advocate who, for his Fee, undertakes to manage another Man's Cause in any Court of the Civilor Ecclesiastical Law: Phillips.-F.

6 Tobias.-P.

? alluding to the Pucelle d'Orleans, accounted a witch by the English.-P.

1 frere.-P.

2 Phillips defines an Official, In the
Canon Law, a Person to whom any Bishop
commits the Charge of his Spiritual Ju-
risdiction; the Chancellor or Judge of a
Bishop's Court. In the Statute or Common
Law, a Deputy whom an Archdeacon
substitutes in the executing of his Juris-
diction." Chaucer, in his Freres Tale,
tells us the offences that an Archdeacon
tried, and we quote his words to illustrate
the next stanza above-
Whilom there was dwellyng in my

An erchedeken, a man of gret degre,
That boldely did execucioun
In punyschyng of fornicacioun,
Of wicchecraft, and eek of bauderye,
Of diffamacioun, and avoutrie,
Of chirche-reves, and of testamentes,

8 of my ruth.-P.

and so does the stepmother,

“He is a Devill," quoth the wiffe,
"& almost hath bereaued my liffe ! ”

at that her taile did blow


Soe lowd, the assembly laught theratt,
& said 'her pistolls cracke 2 was flatt,

the charge was all amisse.'
436 “Dame," quoth the gentle Oficiall,

“proceed & tell me forth thy tale,

& doe not let for this."

but is abruptly made ashamed and dumb.

The wiffe that feared another cracke,
440 stood mute, & neere a word shee spake;

shame put her in such dread.
“Ha!” said the fryer right angerlye,

“ knaue ! this is all along sill of thee;
444 now euill mayst4 thou speed!”

The friar tells of Jack's pipe,

The fryer said, “ Sir Officiall !
this wicked boy will vexe vs all


doe him chast. 448 Sir, he hath yett a pipe trulye

will make you dance & leape full hie

& breake your hart at last.”

and raises the official's curiosity,

The Officiall replyd, “perdee !
452 such a pipe faine wold 5 I see,

& what mirth it can make.”
“ Now god forbidd !” replyed the fryar,6
that ere wee shold that vild pipe heare


my way hence take.”



: all still long of.-P. ? sill, beam.


I almost berd me of my.-P.

? Compare Russell's Boke of Nurture, 1. 304 : And euer beware of gunnes with thy

hynder ende blastyng.-F.

4 mote.-P.
5 I fain would.-P.

6 frere.-P.

[blocks in formation]

484 Each sett on a merry pin,2

some broke their heads, & some their shin,

& some their noses brast.

At last the official begs the boy to give over playing.

(page 104.]

The officiall thus sore turmayld,
488 Halfe swelt 3 with sweat, & almost spoyld,

cryed to the wanton childe
To pipe noe more within that place,
but stay the sound, euen for gods grace,

& loue of Mary Milde.'


[blocks in formation]

sat upon.-P. 2 On the pin, on the qui vive. merry pin, i.e. a merry humour, half intoxicated. Halliwell's Gloss.-F.

4 Half a stanza seems wanting here and in Pr. Copy.-P.

In a

* MS. pared away, read by Percy.-F.

5 frere.-P.
6 fone, i.e. foes.-P.
7 cast.-P.

8 frere.-P.

« PreviousContinue »