Spurious Links

SPURIOUS LINKS: NOTES


Series 1: BL Lansdowne 851

Cook's Tale-Gamelyn Link

6-7 Heavy alliteration marks this expression of moral repugnance at the wife's work as a whore. Note that the reviser alleges there was more to the tale, only he chose not to relay it.

8 The word spell is used only once by Chaucer, appropriately in his parody of popular verse romances, Sir Thopas (CT VII, 893).

Squire-Wife of Bath Link

11-12 Not interrupted in this version, the Squire makes his own stopping-point (knotte) until his turn comes around once more, according to their drawing of lots. A similar sense of turn-taking is expressed in the Summoner's threat to the Friar: "whan it comth to my lot, / By God, I shal hym quiten every grot" (CT III, 1291-92).

13-15 In the Lansdowne MS, the Squire comes early in the sequence, directly after the Man of Law, with seventeen other pilgrims after him telling their tales.

19-21 Not waiting for the Host's decision, the Wife of Bath insists on being next. Hathe is a Northern spelling of the Chaucerian oth. Though sexually daring, the Wife is not normally given to oaths like "By God's bones," which is more characteristic of the Host (CT II, 1166; IV, 1212b; VII, 1897).

22 Chaucer's Wife is well aware of the difference between text and gloss. See Carolyn Dinshaw, Chaucer's Sexual Poetics (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989), pp. 113-31 - "`Glose/bele chose': The Wife of Bath and Her Glossators."

Canon's Yeoman-Physician Link

7-11 The Host has a vivid recollection of the previous tale, picking up the term medel (CT VIII, 1184 and 1424) and recalling the Yeoman's duty to blow on the fire (CT VIII, 753 and 923).

12-14 The Host recalls the hasty departure of the Canon, afraid of being exposed as a scoundrel (CT VIII, 700-02).

15 Chaucer had associated the term subtilitee with the Canon's alchemical skills (CT VIII, 620-27).

18 The term cronyke (also line 21) is more archaic than the Chaucerian cronycle (CT VII, 3208).

Pardoner-Shipman Link

9-10 "Maister" is the form of address used by the Host to the Shipman at the end of his tale (CT VII, 437).

11 The phrase "glad al this company" is picked up from CT VIII, 598.
 

 

Series 2: BL Royal 18.C.ii

Merchant-Wife of Bath Link

13-14 This couplet echoes the opening of the Man of Law's Epilogue: "Owre Hoost upon his stiropes stood anon / And seyde, "Goode men, herkeneth everych on!" (CT II, 1163-64).

15 The Host speaks this same line in the General Prologue (CT I, 832).

17-18 Chaucer uses the jape/ape couplet four times in CT: I, 705-06; I, 3389-90; I, 4201-02; VIII, 1312-13.

26-27 The Wife's apology, echoing the Squire and the Franklin (CT V, 7-8 and 716-18), is framed to be disingenuous in light of the barrage of scriptural references that follow in her tale.

Clerk-Franklin Link

14-20 The murderous fury and blistering tongue of the Host's wife, ironically named Goodelief, are more fully described in CT VII, 1891-1923.

Canon's Yeoman-Physician Link

10 "This preest" refers back to the London chantry priest (CT VIII, 1012-21) who served as the dupe of the Yeoman's master, the alchemist canon.

11 The word philosophre had become synonymous with alchemist and magician.

Pardoner-Shipman Link

11 It is unclear whether the phrase by John is an oath by St. John, such as the Shipman swears below (line 19), or a reference to the Pardoner by way of the generic cant name for a priest or cleric (see CT VII, 1929 and 2810).

12-13 This phrase, also rhyming male/tale, is used in CT I, 3115-16.

16 The Host's reference to "thise riotoures thre" alludes back to the three nameless drunkards of the Pardoner's Tale. The term riotoures is used nowhere else in Chaucer's writings.

 
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Series 1: BL Lansdowne 851
 
Cook-Gamelyn Link (fols. 54a-54b)
 
Anone he sent his bedde and his araie
Unto a conper of his owen sorte
That loved dis and revel and disporte,
And had a wife that helde for countinance
A schoppe, and swyved for his sustenance.
Fye therone, it is so foule! I wil nowe tell no forthere
For schame of the harlotrie that seweth after.
A velany it were thareof more to spell,
Bot of a knighte and his sonnes, my tale I wil forthe tell.
And therefore listeneth and herkeneth this tale ariht,
And ye schullen here of a douhté knyght,
Sir Johan of Boundys was his name;
He couthe of nortur and muchel of game.
   
Squire-Wife of Bath Link (fol. 87a)
 
First wil I tell yowe of Cambyuskan
That in his time mony a cité wan;
And after wil I speke of Algarsif,
Howe that he wanne Theodora to his wif,
For whan ful oft in grete perile he was
Ne had he ben holpen by the hors of bras;
And after wil I speke of Camballo
That fauht in listes with the bretherne tuo
For Canace are that he myht hir wynne,
And there I left, I thenke ageine begynne.
Bot I wil here nowe maake a knotte
To the time it come next to my lotte.
For here be felawes behinde, an hepe treulye,
That wolden talke ful besilye
And have her sporte as wele as I.
And the daie passeth fast, certanly.
Therfore, Hoste, taketh nowe goode heede
Who schall next tell, and late him speede.
 
EXPLICIT FABULA ARMIGERI INCIPIT PROLOGUS UXORIS DE BATH
 
Than schortly ansewarde the Wife of Bathe
And swore a wonder grete hathe,
"Be Goddes bones, I wil tel next!
I will nouht glose, bot saye the text:
Experiment, thouhe none auctorité
Were in this werlde, is riht ynouhe for me
To speke of woo that is in mariage.
For, lordeinges, sen I twelve yere was of age,
Thonked be God that eterne alyve,
Hosbondes att the cherche dor I have hadde five.
   
Canon's Yeoman-Physician Link (fol. 169a-b)
   
For whoso maketh God his adversarie,
As for to worche any thinge in contrarye
Unto His wil, certes never schal he thrive,
Thouhe that he multiplie terme of his live;
And there a pointe, for endid is my tale.
God sende every trew man bote of his bale.
   
PROLOGUS MAGISTRI PHISICI
   
"Nowe trewly," quod oure Hoste, "this is a prati tale.
For litel merveile it is that thou lokest so pale,
Sethen thou hast medeled with so mony thinges,
With bloweinge att the cole to melte bothe brochez and ringes
And othere many jewels, dar I undertake.
And that thi lorde couthe us tel, if we myht him overetake.
Bot lat him go, a devel waye; the compaigny is never the wers,
And al suche fals harlotes I sette not be hem a kers.
Bot latt pas overe nowe al thes subtilitees,
And sume worthi man tel us summe veritees,
As ye, worschipful Maister of Phisike.
Telleth us somme tale that is a cronyke
That we may of yowe leren sum witte."
   Quod the Maister of Phisik, "A tale that I finde writte
In cronyke passed of olde tyme
Herkeneth, for I wil tel it yow in rime."
   
EXPLICIT PROLOGUS / INCIPIT FABULA
   
Ther was as telleth us Titus Liveus,
A knyht that cleped was Virgineus,
Fulfilled of honour and worthinesse,
And stronge of frendes and of richesse.
A douhter he hadd be his wyf,
And never hadde he mo in al his lif.
   
Pardoner-Shipman Link (fol. 180b)
   
Whan that he sawhe that al the peple louhe,
"No more of this, for it is riht ynouhe.
Sire Pardoner, be meri and glad of chere,
And ye, Sire Hoste, that bene to me so dere.
I pray yowe that ye kisse the Pardonere.
And Pardoner, I praie the that thou drau the nere,
And as we dide, now late us lauhe and pleie!"
Anone thei kisse and reden forthe theire weye.
 
EXPLICIT FABULA QUESTORIS / INCIPIT PROLOGUS
 
Bot than spak oure Hoste unto Maister Schipman.
"Maister," quod he, "to us summe tale tel ye can,
Wherewithe ye myht glad al this company,
If it were youre pleseinge, I wote wele sekurlye."
   "Sertes," quod this Schipman, "a tale I can tell,
And therfore, herkeneth hyderward how that I wil spell."
 
EXPLICIT PROLOGUS / INCIPIT FABULA NAUTE
 
A marchant whilom dwelled att Sein Denys,
That riche was, for which men helde him wys.
A wif he hadde of excellent beauté,
And compinable and reverent was sche,
Which is a thinge that causeth more dispence
Then worthe is al the chier and reverence.
 
Series 2: BL Royal 18.C.ii
 
Merchant-Wife of Bath Link (fol. 105a)
 
"Beth war, I pray yow, for by Hevene Kyng
Ful many man wenyth for to see a thing
And it is all another than it semeth.
He that mysconceyveth mysdemeth."
And with that word, sche leep doun fro the tree.
This Januare, who is glad but he?
He kisseth hir and clippeth hir ful ofte,
And on hir wombe he stroketh hir ful softe,
And to his paleys hoom he hath hir lad.
Now, good men, I pray yow to be glad.
Thus endeth here my tale of Januarie.
God blesse us and his moder Seynt Marie. Amen.
   
THE PROLOG OF THE WYF OF BATHE
 
Oure Hoost gan tho to loke up anon.
"Gode men," quod he, "herkeneth everichon.
As evere mote I drynke wyn or ale,
This Marchande hath i-tolde a mery tale,
How Januarie hadde a lither jape;
His wyf put in his hood an ape.
But hereof I wil leve off as now.
Dame Wyf of Bathe," quod he, "I pray yow,
Telle us a tale now next after this."
   "Sire Hoost," quod she, "so God my soule blis,
As I fully therto wil consente
And also it is myn hole entente
To done yow alle disporte, as that I can.
But holde me excused - I am a woman;
I can not reherse as these clerkes kune."
And right anon she hath hir tale bygune.
 
HERE ENDITH THE PROLOG AND BEGYNNETH THE TALE
   
Experience, though noon auctorité
Were in this world, is right inowgh for me
To speke of woo that is in mariage.
For, lordynges, sethen I twelfe yere hadde of age,
Thanked be God that is eterne alyve,
Housbondes at chirche dore I have had fyve.
   
Clerk-Franklin Link (fols. 145b-146a)
 
"Ye arche-wyfes standeth at youre defence,
Sith ye ben stronge as is a grete camayle
Ne suffreth not that man don you offence,
And sclendre wyfes fieble as in bataile
Beth egre as a tygre yonde in Ynde;
Ay clappeth as a mylle, I yow counsaile."
 
HERE ENDITH THE CLERKE OF OXENFORD
AND HERE BEGYNNETH THE PROLOG OF THE FRANKELEYN
 
This worthi Clerk, whan endid was his tale,
Oure Host seide and swor, "By Goddes bones,
Me weere levere than a barel ale
My wyf at home hadde herd this legend once!
This is a gentil tale for the nonce.
As to my purpos, wiste ye my wylle;
But thing that will not be, lat it be stille.
   
I have a wyf, though she pore be,
Yit she hath an heepe of vyces, lo,
For of hire tonge a moche shrewe is she,
And to my wylle the contrarye wil she do.
Therof no force! Lete alle suche thinges go.
But wyte ye what? In consail be it saide,
Me rewyth sore that I am to hire taide.
 
Sire Frankeleyn, cometh nere, yif hit youre wil be,
And telle us a tale, as ye are a worthi man."
   "Hit schal be do, truly, Hoost," quod he.
"I wil yow telle as hertely as I can.
Holdeth me excused, though I unworthi am
To telle you a tale, for I wole not rebelle
Agens youre wille - a tale wole I telle.
 
HERE ENDITH THE PROLOG AND BEGYNNETH THE TALE
 
These olde gentil Bretouns in here dayes,
Of divers aventures maden layes,
Remayed in here first Briton tunge,
Which layes with here instrumentz they songe,
Or elles redden hem for here plesaunce,
And oon of hem have in remembraunce,
Which I shal sayn with good wille, as I can."
   
Canon's Yeoman-Physician Link (fol. 174a)
   
For whoso maketh God his adversarie,
As for to worche enything in contrarye
Unto his wille, certes, nevere schal he thryfe,
Thogh that he multiplie terme of his lyfe.
And there a poynt, for endid is my tale.
God sende every trewe man bote of his bale.
   
THE PROLOG OF THE DOCTOR OF PHECYK
   
When that this Yoman his tale endid hadde
Of this fals chanon whiche that was so badde,
Oure Hoost gan seie, "Truly and certayn,
This preest was begyled sothely forto sayn;
He wenynge for to be a philosophre
Til he right no gold lefte in his cofre.
And sothely this prest had a lyther jape.
This cursed chanon put in his hood an apey.
But all this passe I over as now.
Sire Doctour of Phisik, I pray yow,
Telle us a tale of som honest matere."
   "It schall be don, yif that ye wole hit here,"
Saide this Doctor, and his tale bygan anon.
"Now, gode men," quod he, "herkeneth everychon."
   
HERE ENDITH THE PROLOG / AND BEGYNNETH THE TALE
   
Ther was, as telleth us Tytus Lyveus,
A knyght that cleped was Virgineus,
Fulfilled of honoures and worthinesse,
And strong of frendes and of richesse.
A dougher he hadde by his wyf,
And nevere had he mo in al his lyf.
   
Pardoner-Shipman Link (fol. 185a)
   
But right anone the worthi Knyght bygan,
Whan that he sawh that alle the peple lowhe,
"No more of this, for it is right inowhe.
Sire Pardoner, be mery and glad of chere,
And ye, Sire Hoost, that ben to me so dere,
I pray yow that ye kysse the Pardonere.
And, Pardoner, I pray you draw you nere,
And as we did, lete us lawh and play."
And anoon thei kissed and riden forth her way.
 
THE PROLOG OF THE SHIPMAN
 
"Now frendes," saide oure Hoost so dere,
"How lyketh you, by John, the Pardoner?
For he hath unbokeled wel the male;
He hath us told right a thrifty tale
As touching of mysgovernaunce.
I pray to God, geve hym good chaunce.
As ye have herde of thise riotoures thre,
Now gentil Maryner, hertly I pray the,
Telle us a good tale and that right anone."
"Hit schal be don, by God and by Seynt John,"
Seide this Maryner, "as wel as ever I can."
And right anone his tale he bygan.
 
HERE ENDITH [THE PROLOG] AND BEGYNETH THE TALE
 
A [marchant w]hilom duelled at Seynt Denys,
That [riche was], for whiche men held him wys.
A wyf [he] had of excellent beauté,
And compaynable and reverent was she.
 
 
 
 
 
companion
dice
 
fornicated
 thereon; (see note)
 misbehavior; follows
 thereof; tell; (see note)
 
 
hear; valiant
 
 
   
 
 
(king in the tale)
won
(son of Cambyuskan)
 
 
 
(another son)
fought; two
(heroine); before
where
 But; stopping-point; (see note)
 Till
 (see note)
 
 their
 
 
 let
 
 
 
 (see note)
 oath
 By
 not; (see note)
Experience
enough
woe
since
 
 
   
 
   
 
 
surely
Though; life
period
relief for his pain
 
 
   
 cunning; (see note)
 
 Since
 coals
 
 (the Canon); (see note)
 
 scoundrels; by them; curse
 craftinesses; (see note)
 truths
 
 history; (see note)
 wisdom
 written
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
by
 
   
 
 
(the Knight); laughed
enough
 
 
 
thee; draw near
 
 
 
 
 
 (see note)
 
  amuse; (see note)
 certainly
 Surely
 narrate
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
   
    
   
 
believes
 
misjudges
i.e., Maye
 
embraces
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 then; (see note)
 every one
 (see note)
 
 cruel joke; (see note)
 i.e., made a fool of him
 
 
 
 bless
 
 whole
 amusement
 (see note)
 recite; know how
 
 
 
 
 
enough
 
 
 
 
   
    
   
 
camel
 
slender
fierce; India
chatter; mill
 
 
 
 
 
 
I'd rather; barrel of ale
saint's life
for the occasion
you know
 
   
 (see note)
 
 bitch
 
 never mind
 know
 regret; tied
 
 near, if it
 
 It; done
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
their
 
Rhymed
 
 
 
 
   
    
   
 
work
thrive
 
 
relief for his pain
 
 
   
 Canon's Yeoman
 canon
 
 (see note)
 believing; (see note)
 strong-box
 cruel joke
 made a fool of him
 
 
 respectable
 if; it hear
 
 
   
 
   
Livy
called
 
 
 
 
   
    
   
 
laughed
enough
 
 
 
 
laugh
their way
 
 
 
 
 (see note)
 bag; (see note)
 profitable
 
 
 (see note)
 thee
 
 It
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
sociable
Go To The Canterbury Interlude and the Merchant's Tale of Beryn, introduction
Go To The Canterbury Interlude and the Merchant's Tale of Beryn, text