Fabula Duorum Mercatorum
FABULA DUORUM MERCATORUM: FOOTNOTES
1 Lines 24–29: The yearly overflowing of the Nile makes the land fertile and abundant with corn and grain
2 Things that are alike seek each other out
3 Nothing could lighten my heart more; (i.e., I have nothing more to wish for now that I have seen you)
4 Lines 160–61: A summer’s day would not be enough time to count up all the courses and variety of food
5 I cannot shape my wit to describe all of it
6 He shows him manors, castles, and also towers
7 I spoke in error; the word slipped out inadvertently
8 Lines 237–38: She does not know the woe that I endure, / And for fear of my life, I dare not disclose my love
9 Thus must I die: what is the use of further complaining?
10 That cares little about [forcing someone to] forsake his friend
11 To examine his urine (or to test his pulse; see note) and to determine the category of his illness
12 But it continued hot and at a consistently high temperature
13 Lines 285–87: They were certain it was none of the three [types of fevers], / unless it were (i.e., if it were, it could only be) Effymora; not Etyk or Putrida (See note)
14 When the humours are imbalanced
15 When there is too much of any one humor
16 Or heat or blood exceeds a moderate or intermediate level
17 Lines 321–22: That he had fallen, as near as they could tell / Because of [distorted] thinking or because of love
18 Nature wanted to promote her as an example
19 At the risk of being slain, I cannot stop loving her
20 Lines 416–17: Why are you so dismayed about your love, since you may immediately have her here?
21 Lines 447–48: I have never yet read / of one friend rewarding another one so well
22 Lines 449–50: He has released the glory of his heart / and divested himself of his inward joy
23 Who could soothe him when he was irritated by providing comfort
24 Who could not refrain from fulfilling his [friend’s] pleasure
25 There was never, under any circumstances, a better wife.
26 My [subject] matter precludes all joy in [poetic] creation
27 Lines 542–43: Thus has he fallen down many a stair from his high degree into wretchedness
28 Have by contempt at my need forsaken me
29 Without warning follows my former abundance
30 Then, shortly, you will most readily fail him
31 Grain (as in fruit or produce) overburdens too much fruitfulness
32 But why God wanted to visit [trials] on the merchant
33 He thought he would prove his friend by testing at [this] time of distress
34 Lines 650–651: To save my life, I dare not, for shame, show him one bit of my distress
35 So weak, so weary, exhausted with wandering, and thoroughly dejected and discouraged
36 Lines 667–69: With planned slyness and deceit [just] when a man might most expect to [be able to] withstand [her] / [Fortune] has also dismantled their habergeons [mail jacket armor] / For all their trust [in her], she would not hesitate in the least
37 For who has ever been so secure / that his rank could not be questioned by some
38 In their descent, moving westward to set beneath the waves
39 Few of them are always apparent to us
40 Lines 689–92: But whoever wishes to win the palm of victory / must despise earthly pleasures that shine only to warn us
41 Who beheld him with a grave and sober face
42 Where he was convicted in accordance with the law
43 To inflict vengeance upon me afterward
44 let their sentence be wholly reserved for me
45 There would be little reason to fear treason
46 Lines 867–68: A true seal [as in heraldry] or engrave the imprint / Without a band on his coat of arms to save them
47 Too many times it is just vanity [to rehearse something already well-proven]
FABULA DUORUM MERCATORUM: EXPLANATORY NOTES
7 of his woord as any centre stable. Compare The Squire’s Tale: “sooth of his word, benigne, and honurable; / Of his corage as any centre stable” (CT V[F] 21–22). For Lydgate’s use of the phrase elsewhere, see also Reinecke, ed., Saint Albon and Amphibalus (2.1012), and FP (4.1310).
14 as myn auctour seith, riht so sey I. A common topos and a favorite saying of Lydgate’s.
15–35 Lydgate’s source for this geographical description may have been a version of Mandeville’s Travels, as Seaton suggests (Roos, p. 275); the Cotton (British Library MS Cotton Titus c. xvi) and Egerton (British Library, MS Egerton 1982) versions are closest. However, the description in Trevisa, book 15, chapter 53 (ed. Seymour, 2:755–56) seems closer to Fabula than the Mandeville does:
In þe eeste syde vnder þe Reede See þis londe ioyneth to Siria, and hath Libia in þe west syde, and þe Grete See in þe norþe syde, and passeth inwarde in þe southe syde and streccheþ anoone to þe Ethiopes. . . . And is a cuntre vnvsynge to dewe and vnknowynge to reyne. And oneliche Nilus moisteþ þat londe and renneþ þere aboute and makith it plenteuous with risynge and wexinge. And hath plente of wylde bestees and fedeþ a grete dele of þe worlde with whete and with other corne and fruyte; and is so plenteuous of oþer marchaundises and chaffare, þat it filleþ ny3e alle þe worlde with nedeful marchaundises.To compare, see Mandeville, Ch. 7 (Hamelius, ed., Mandeville, pp. 28–29). Perhaps Lydgate also drew on Mandeville for the very similar geographical description in lines 5–7 and lines 35–44 of his Mumming for the Mercers of London (MacCracken, ed., Minor Poems 2:695–98).
19 Who castith the coostys of the firmament. Whoever reckons or calculates the divisions of the heavens into quarters (in order to ascertain direction). Compare Chaucer’s Treatise on the Astrolabe (Benson, Riverside, 1.19.8–9, p. 667).
39 Spak of his name which gladly wol nat hyde. The phrase gladly wol is defined in the MED (gladli (adv.), sense 2) as “would like to,” though the word gladly also frequently means “willingly,” “with pleasure,” or “customarily” (senses 2a, b, c). The general sense of the line seems to be that the merchant’s name is well known and that people speak of him with approval. Part of the difficulty in rendering a literal sense for the line rests on determining the referent for which. It seems to refer to name, yielding an implied reflexive sense: “the name did not wish to hide [itself].” It could also refer to or stand in for many oon (line 38), yielding the only slightly less awkward “they spoke his name which they did not like to hide.” Both, however, convey the same general sense that his name was well known and spoken with approval.
48–49 by report and by noon othir mene / Of her two lovys was maad a stable chene. According to Cicero, falling in love from a distance is enabled by virtue: “on account of their virtue and uprightness we can in some sense love even those whom we have never seen” (quoted in Jaeger, Ennobling Love, p. 124). Jaeger goes on to note that “For Cicero, presence is not necessary.” Compare also line 85, which reiterates that it was the “Repoort of vertu oonly by audience,” that is, it was only by hearsay that the two merchants came to love each other.
stable chene. One of the several references in the first part of the poem to the chain of nature which binds all things in harmony, also known as the Great Chain of Being or the golden chain. See also line 74, the myhty cord of nature, and line 84: nothyng bynde hem but natur by hir lawe. The idea has a long literary history which seems to have started with Homer’s Iliad (Lattimore, trans., 8.19). For some well-known medieval examples, see Romance of the Rose (lines 16785–87) and KnT (I [A] 2987–94). For the golden chain in English literature, see A. O. Lovejoy, The Great Chain of Being. For Lydgate’s use of the chain metaphor in TG, see Norton-Smith’s edition (Poems, p. 190), and his article “Lydgate’s Metaphors.”
50–53 These lines and those following depend on medieval theories of perception. See the Introduction to Fabula, pp. 15–16, for further explanation.
54 hertys eye. This striking phrase may have been suggested by TC: “His herte, which that is his brestez yë / Was ay on hire” (1.453–54). Compare also Ephesians 1:18: "The eyes of your heart enlightened . . .” The MED (herte, sense 2a) glosses this phrase as meaning “mind,” but here the phrase has a stronger meaning. The idea of enlightenment and intuitive knowledge is contextually appropriate as Lydgate describes the merchants’ ability to perceive and love each other without having met.
did alwey her message. To “do message” is to deliver a message or carry out a command or wish (MED message n. 1, sense 2b). "Do" is a causative aspect of "don."
55–56 memorial . . . fantastical. The third and first cells in the brain. The other is the estimatyf (See note to line 338 below). The fantasticall is the cell of imagination, sometimes defined as phantasm; memorial that of memory. Here and in the following stanza Lydgate is using the imagery of perception to describe the growth of affection between the two merchants. For more on this imagery, see the Introduction to Fabula, pp. 15–16.
63 myndys selle. The “memorial” cell.
64 The connection of virtue with friendship is ultimately a classical idea. The fullest and most influential expression of the association is found throughout Cicero’s De Amicitia, particularly in the book’s final section:
Virtue . . . Virtue, I say, both creates the bond of friendship and preserves it. For in Virtue is complete harmony, in her is permanence, in her is fidelity; and when she has raised her head and shown her own light and has seen and recognized the same light in another, she moves towards it and in return receives its beams; as a result love or friendship leaps into flame. . . . I exhort you both so to esteem virtue (without which friendship cannot exist), that, excepting virtue, you will think nothing more excellent than friendship. (De Amicitia, chapters 26–27; see Falconer, Cicero, pp. 206–211)See also the Introduction to Fabula, pp. 12–13, for more on classical ideals of friendship.
69–84 That “like draws to like” is proverbial; see Whiting L272. The ultimate source is Cicero, De Amicitia. The notion was a familiar one and would have been well known from Boethius’ CP; see Chaucer’s Boece
97–98 As oon in two and two in oon. Lydgate makes use of the classical idea of two friends having but one soul between them. Purdy provides a useful overview, noting Plato (Aristophanes’ myth of the divided soul in Plato’s Symposium 192a–193a 4.301), Aristotle (“a friend is another self”; Nicomachean Ethics 9.4), Cicero (man seeks out “another whose soul he may so mingle with his own as almost to make one out of two”; De Amicitia chapter 21; see Falconer, Cicero, pp. 188–89), and Plutarch (“Two friends, though severed in body, yet have their souls joined and as it were melted together, and neither desire to be two nor believe themselves to be separate persons”; Morals 4.301). See Purdy, “Friendship Motif,” pp. 116–18. As Purdy explains, the idea could also be applied to the love between man and woman (p. 117), and Lydgate does so in much the same language at lines 482–83, describing the love between the Syrian merchant and his new wife. For a verbal similarity to line 483, see TG, line 1270.
100 fortune . . . and . . . necessité. In philosophical terms, necessité refers to something which must happen. The idea is central to Boethius’s discussion of predestination and free will in 5.pr6, where Lady Philosophy makes a distinction between “symple” and “condicionel” necessity to explain how, even given God’s foreknowledge, free will can still operate. Chaucer uses the distinction in TC (4.958–1078) and the Nun’s Priest’s Tale (CT VII[B2] 3245–250). Here, Lydgate links fortune and “necessité,” implying that fortune is working in accordance with God’s will. While “fortune” here seems simply to be a conventional reference to the normal events of everyday experience, it will become an increasingly important idea as the poem unfolds. Lady Fortune, whose turning wheel can suddenly turn happiness into misery — or vice versa — is a familiar personage in medieval literature. Her main features are her fickleness, unpredictability, and instability. This is the first of many references to Fortune in the poem. For more on the development of the medieval personage of Fortune, whose roots lie in the ancient Roman goddess Fortuna, see H.R. Patch, Goddess Fortuna and Frankes, Fate of Fortune.
104 wynd into his seyl. The connection between Fortune and wind is a “favourite medieval metaphor” (Stevens, “Winds of Fortune,” p. 286). Chaucer makes frequent use of this metaphor in TC; see especially 2.1–7. See also TB
113–18 riht as . . . Riht so. A correlative construction, “just as . . . so also.” See also lines 127–29, But as . . . Riht so, “just as . . . likewise, in that same way.” The construction is similar to an epic simile, a comparison that extends across several lines. Note here as well the presence of the “doctrine of contraries,” a way of defining something according to its opposite. Compare TG lines 394–416, 1250–56 and Norton-Smith’s helpful explanatory notes to the Temple of Glas, (Norton-Smith, Poems, pp. 185, 190–91).
120 out on: a curse on, fie on, somebody or something. See MED out(e (interj.).
124 hangyng in ballaunce. Lydgate frequently uses the image of the balance to describe risk or danger, as he does here, or uncertainty, as in line 833. See, for example, TG: “Atwixen two so hang I in balaunce” (line 348) and “Hanging in balaunce bitwix hope and drede” (line 641). Compare TB 4:720, lines 5348–49 and FP 1:86, lines 3123–24. See also Schleich and Zupitza (ed., Fabula Duorum Mercatorum, p. 73) for other examples in Lydgate, and Whiting B17 for other writers’ uses of the figure.
127–28 itastyd galle . . . hoony soote. The “doctrine of contraries” again. The use of juxtapositional imagery such as galle and hoony, bitter and sweet, is found throughout the poem; compare lines 446–47, 540–41, and especially lines 697–700. See the note below to lines 697–707.
159 it snowyd doun plenté. Compare Chaucer’s Franklin’s hospitality: “It snewed in his hous of mete and drynke” (CT I[A] 345).
171 lat hym in the boundys. All other MSS have lad. There is really only a slight difference either way. The Egyptian is allowing his guest the freedom of his territory, or he led him throughout his land. Either way, he is showing his guest everything within the boundaries of his land, and his generosity is clear.
184 Nay, straunge nat; allas, why seid I soo? Although Pearsall (John Lydgate, p. 203) considers this to be the rhetorical figure of dubitatio, or feigned hesitation, it more nearly resembles correctio, “the retraction of what has just been said.” See Geoffrey of Vinsauf, pp. 105, 58. Since “straunge” can mean both “foreign, other” and “unfriendly, hostile” (MED straunge, (adj.), senses 1, 3), Lydgate wants to clarify that only the former sense applies to the Syrian merchant.
187 wele and woo. Proverbial. See Whiting W132–W140. For good and bad; for welfare or misfortune.
190 with al herte entieer. Perhaps a conflation of two common phrases, “with hert enter,” sincerely, devotedly, devoutly (MED enter, (adj.), sense 1); and “with al herte,” without dissimulation, unaffectedly, sincerely, fervently (MED herte, (n.), sense 2b). The phrase means, then, something like “with the greatest sincerity and fervour.”
191 of entent ful cleene. Literally, the phrase means that the merchant thanked his friend with very pure wishes or intentions. Taken as a whole, the phrase probably means “wholeheartedly, sincerely.” “Entent(e)” is often used in adverbial phrases to modify action; for example, “in his entente” means “at his will” Specifically, “of hol entente” means “wholeheartedly, without reservation” (MED entente, (n.), senses 3a, b). And “ful cleene” as an adverbial phrase means “fully, completely” (MED clene (adv.), sense 3a). We should probably take entent ful cleene, then, to mean “altogether and totally sincerely.”
193 mystis ful of teene. Note here and in the rest of the stanza the continuation of weather and seasonal imagery as well as the familiar device of contrast, here between presence and absence, to describe the emotional state of the two merchants. The mists of irritability are banished by the clear weather brought on by the presence together of the two friends. The sense in this line is that absence, signified by the “mystis full of tene,” has been chased away by the clear weather, the sunny presence of the friends. Compare Chaucer’s Boece, 1.m7.
194 tapited. To be hung with tapestry. This striking and unusual word conveys a sense of richness and freshness to the merchants’ “joyful summer.” It is used in a similar sense by Lydgate in TB to describe Medea’s ability to transform winter, to “araye þe erþe and tapite hym in grene” (1:61, line 1659); and it also appears in line 2766 of Resoun and Sensuallyte, a work attributed to Lydgate (ed. Sieper, p. 73). In Book of the Duchess, Chaucer uses the word in a non-figurative sense: “al hys halles / I wol . . . tapite hem ful many fold” (lines 258–60).
195 stable blew. According to medieval color symbolism, blue signified constancy and fidelity, as in accord with the Virgin Mary. See Ferguson, Signs and Symbols, p. 151.
198 Tyl that fortune to them had enmyté. Though fortune is often figured as blind and disinterested, turning her wheel randomly, she can also be presented as a persecuting figure who actively seeks the destruction of happiness, as she is here.
200 unwarly cometh adversité. Misfortune comes without warning. No doubt proverbial. Compare “Death comes without warning” (Whiting D92) and numerous proverbs about the changeability of Fortune. Compare also lines 666–67, which express the similar idea that fortune assails those who feel on sure ground. See Whiting F507 (“Fortune assails many a man”). See Whiting for other proverbs expressing similar sentiments, for example, F514 (“Fortune fails at the most need”), F530 (“Fortune is uncertain to all mortal folk”), F531 (“Fortune makes a man (soonest) to fall when he is most on height”), S669 (“He that weens to stand stithest”), and so on.
205 gan to sike and groone. Compare the description of Troilus’s lovesickness: “And first he gan to sike, and eft to grone” (TC 1.360).
209 for woo began to melte. Compare Pandarus, “that neigh malt for wo and routhe” (TC 1.582).
211 to freendys entirparte. Compare Pandarus’s words on friends: “I wol parten with the al thi peyne / . . . As it is frendes right, soth for to seyne / To entreparten wo as glad desport” (TC 1.589–92); see also line 216 in Fabula for repetition of the same sentiment.
222 Now hoot, now coold. Compare Troilus’s symptoms: “For hote of cold, for cold of hote, I dye” (TC 1.420).
225 but closyd is my wounde. Compare TG: “That hatter brenne [th]at closid is my wounde” (line 362). Lines 356–62 of the TG contain several close verbal similarities to Fabula at this point.
230–31 cleer streemys . . . of an ye . . . causith for to dye. Compare the “subtile stremes” of Criseyde’s eyes, which have a similar effect on Troilus (TC 1.305–06). See also TG, lines 582, 815. Also note the implicit allusion to Cupid, who strikes with his arrows to make us fall in love.
237–38 In a letter to John Paston, Marjery Brews (later Paston) uses similar phrasing: “And there wotteth no creature what pain I endure; / And for to be dead, I dare it not discure” (See Davis, ed. Paston Letters, 1:662). Compare also TB
255 Love can no frenship. Love knows no friendship. Proverbial; see Whiting L501; see L495 (“Love and lordship will have no fellowship”) for other examples. The sense is that love and friendship cannot exist simultaneously, being totally incompatible. Compare KnT 1[A] 1625–26: “Ful sooth is seyd that love ne lordshipe / Wol noght, his thankes, have no felaweshipe.” The MED gloss, “love ignores friendship,” does not quite convey the sense that there is no possibility of love and friendship can co-exist. See MED connen (v.), sense 8c.
270 poorys. Internal channels for bodily fluids such as blood or urine (MED pore (n.1), sense 2a). This may, however, be a scribal error for pouse, “pulse”; C reads pulse, A and Ha pounce. To “tasten pulse” is a common phrase for testing the pulse, a way for doctors to diagnose lovesickness. See Wack, Lovesickness, pp. 135–39. In Peter Alfonsi’s tale, Lydgate’s narrative source, the doctors test the sick man’s pulse. Nevertheless, poorys may have been what Lydgate intended; the doctors could be testing the merchant’s urine. Since the word can make sense as it is, it has been left unemended.
271 roote and rynde. Proverbial, completely. See Whiting R193.
272 humour. Bodily fluid. The belief that there were four bodily fluids, blood, phlegm, bile (also choler, or red or yellow bile) and black bile, had been dominant in medieval medical theory since Galen. The proportion in which these humors were present in the body determined physical type and temperament: the dominance of blood (hot and moist) engendered a sanguine personality; that of phlegm (cold and moist) made one phlegmatic; bile (hot and dry) gave one a choleric disposition, and black bile (cold and dry) rendered one melancholic. To make a proper diagnosis, physicians had first to determine the patient’s dominant humor.
286–87 Effymora . . . Etyk . . . Putrida. Three different kinds of fevers. Effymora is ephemeral, lasting just a day or so. An Etyk fever is caused by emotional disturbance, and Putrida, by putrefaction of the humors, though Lydgate goes on to tell us that a putrid fever is caused by excess or disproportion in the humor. The physicians are agreed that the fever, if it is any of the three, is Effymora, not Etyk or Putrida. Bartholomaeus explains the three types of fever as corresponding to each of the three things which make up the body: “sotile þinges as of spirits and fletinge þinges [Effymora, stanza 42], and of humours [Putrida, stanza 43–44], and more bodiliche þinges and of þe membres [Etyk, stanza 45]” (Trevisa, book 7, chapter 33, ed. Seymour, 1:379). See also MED, effimera (n.), quoting Bartholomaeus: “Þe firste maner feuere is whan þe spiritis beþ distempred in hete, and hatte effimera, one daies feuere. . . Alway if [sic] failleþ sone aftir a day oþir turneþ in to feuere putrida or Etik.”
288–301 The description of the three kinds of fever and their causes is based on Giles de Corbeil’s Viaticus: De signis et symptomatiubs aegritudinum (Rose, ed., Viaticus, p. 275). See Introduction to Fabula, p. 16n40. Bartholomaeus’s chapter on fevers also contains much relevant information. See Trevisa, book 7, chapters 33–43 (ed. Seymour, 1:379–91).
295–305 This passage distinguishes between the two causes and types of putrida, which can be caused when the quantity of any humor or its quality, that is, its property (wetness, coldness, dryness, or heat), is out of proportion. If there is an excess, particularly of blood, the variety of putrid fever that results is sinochus; if, on the other hand, the problem is of quality, again particularly in the case of blood or heat, synocha is the result.
306–08 Colre: choler, yellow bile, one of the four humors.
citryn: Yellowish, sallow; “colre citrine,” a variety of unnatural choler resulting from mixture of the humor choler with thin phlegm.
vitellyne: colored like egg yolk; deep yellow. “Colre citrina” and “Colre vitellina” were two kinds of “vnkindly colre” (each humour had two manifestations, kind and unkind). “Vnkindeliche colera comeþ of kynde by somme strange humour imedled þerwith. For if rede colera is imedled with wattry fleume [phlegm], þan is ibred citrina colera. . . . If þe fleume is gret and þicke, þan is bred 3elew3 [vitellyne] colera.” See Trevisa, book 4, chapter 10 (ed. Seymour, 1:158). On the relationship between choler and fever, Bartholomaeus is again enlightening, even if his terminology is slightly different:
And somtyme colera and blood rotiþ togedres in veines and pipis, and if þe more partie of blood rotiþ þan he hatte sinochides, and if þe more partie of colera rotieþ þe feuir hatte causonides. . . . And in causon . . . þe vreyne semeþ rede and sotile and þinne . . . if colera haþ a defaute in qualite. And if colra haue defaute in quantite, þan comeþ flux of þe wombe and colerik spuynge. And þe same signes and tokenes semeþ in causonide and sinochide, and þe diuersite þerof is iknowe most by vreyne. (Trevisa, book 7, chapter 41, ed. Seymour, 1:389–90)308 Gyles. Aegidius Corboliensis, or Giles de Corbeil, French humanist and physician to Philip Augustus, d. c. 1220. See Wallis, “Gilles de Corbeil,” p. 198. In addition to Viaticus (see note 288–301 above), Giles also wrote a treatise entitled De urinis et de pulsibus, but Lydgate seems not to have borrowed from this.
309–15 When the natural heat of the body (heete natural) is deeply immersed in the vital, primary moisture of the body (radical humidity), the fuel of the fire of life, the heat burns or uses up this moisture. “And whanne hit is iwastid hit may not be restorid, and herof comeþ þe þridde maner of etik, þat is incurable” (Trevisa, book 7, chapter 35, ed. Seymour, 1:382). The consequent drying out of the body’s vital moisture may explain the reference to drye Tisyk, which is tolerable (partable), as opposed to life-threatening.
322 malencolye. The physicians have determined that the merchant suffers, on account either of thought or of love, from melancholia. See also Introduction to Fabula, pp. 13–15. The note by Vincent J. DiMarco in the Riverside Chaucer to lines 1374–76 of the KnT is helpful:
The humour malencolik, . . . engendered in some cases by passions of the soul such as “grete thoughtes of sorwe, and of to grete studie and of drede” . . . could lead to melancholia, which affects the middle cell and deprives one of judgment and reason; or to mania, which deprives one of the imagination (i.e., he can perceive no new images but thinks continually of his beloved); see Bartholomaeus Anglicus 7.6, tr. Trevisa323 uryne. Compare Bartholomaeus: “3if it [urine] is þynne in substaunce, it tokeneþ drines of humour þat haþ þe maistrie” (Trevisa, book 5, chapter 45, ed. Seymour, 1:258). Melancholy, caused by or engendering an excess of black bile, is cold and dry; this would explain the reference to “frigidite” and the “thin urine.” Rawcliffe also notes the connection between urine’s thinness, its pale color, and melancholy (Medicine and Society, p. 48).
[ed. Seymour] 1:349.
325 veyne ryveers: An unusual combination; the only other comparable Middle English phrase is “veyne-blood” (CT I[A] 2747), but this refers to the drawing off of blood (See Vincent J. DiMarco, on his notes to KnT in Benson, Riverside, p. 839n2747). The OED gives the compound vein-riveret
330 vertu regitiff. Although Lygate may be thinking of one of the three main virtues that operated the body — “virtus naturalis, whose seat of action is primarily in the liver; the virtus spiritualis, or vitalis, which functions chiefly in the heart; and the virtus animata, or animalis, working through the brain” (Curry, Chaucer and the Mediaeval Sciences, p. 140) — it is more likely that vertu
336 Amor ereos: the disease of lovesickness. See the Introduction to Fabula, pp. 13–17.
338–43 estimatiff: The estimative virtue or faculty, located in the second cerebral ventricle or cell. See note to lines 55–56 above, and the Introduction to Fabula, pp. 15–16. Wack also explains succinctly:
[L]ovesickness was caused by a misfunctioning of the estimative faculty, which is responsible for judgement: [it misfunctions] because it is misled by an excessively pleasing sense perception, so strong that it eclipses other sense impressions that might contradict it. Hence the estimation judges a form to be better, more noble, and more desirable than all the others: it has ‘overestimated’ the object (Lovesickness, p. 56).344 manye. Mania is often associated with melancholy. See Trevisa, book 4, chapter 11 (ed. Seymour, 1:161–62), book 7, chapter 6 (ed. Seymour, 1:349–50), and note to line 322 above.
351–71 The Egyptian’s liveliness and persistence may be compared to that of Pandarus; see TC 1.617ff. Compare also Fabula, line 360 with TC 1.730ff. and Fabula, lines 367–68 with TC 1.619–20.
413 My liff, my deeth, is portrayed in hir face. The line is almost directly translated from Peter Alfonsi: “Ex hac est mihi mors et ex hac mea vita” (quoted in Schleich and Zupitza, ed., Fabula Duorum Mercatorum, p. 18). Compare TG
438 I wante witt . . . The rhetorical figure of occupatio, an apparent refusal or inability to describe something which, by its very presence, draws attention to the description.
439 Ymeneus. Hymen, god of marriage. See also Chaucer’s Merchant’s Tale for a reference to Hymen’s presence at a wedding, though the tone there is markedly different (CT IV[E] 1730).
446–47 His freend to hym abrochyd hath the tonne / Of freendly triacle . . . See note to lines 697–707 below.
456 what shuld I write mor? The figure of occupatio again.
472 the riht weye. On this phrase, see Guy, Explanatory Note to line 328.
480 Compare Chaucer’s Merchant’s fanciful definition of a good wife (CT IV[E] 1345).
484–86 The lines are antiphrastic. For woman as the target of this satirical device, see Lydgate’s “Ballade per antiphrasim” (MacCracken, ed., Minor Poems 2:432) and “Beware of doubleness” (Minor Poems 2:438). Lydgate also employs standard antifeminist criticisms in, for example, “Ballade on an Ale Seller” (Minor Poems 2:429), “Examples Against women” (Minor Poems 2:442), “The Pain and Sorrow of an Evil Marriage” (Minor Poems 2:456), and parts of the FP, some of them excerpted in Ha. For an analysis of these excerpts, see A. S. G. Edwards, “Medieval Antifeminism.” For an excellent overview of the medieval antifeminist tradition, see Alcuin Blamires, ed. Woman Defamed and Woman Defended, particularly Blamires’s introduction. Another useful discussion of medieval antifeminism as it pertains to Chaucer is Jill Mann, Geoffrey Chaucer, pp. 48–86.
488–89 make experience / Of her lownesse. The MED glosses the phrase maken experience as “to make an investigation or experiment of” (MED experience (n.), sense 2a), but a more appropriate interpretation is provided by the third meaning, “personal or practical experience, practice” (sense 3) for which lines 488–89 are given as illustration. To paraphrase, “women do not love for men to experience their meekness.” The line is clearly an ironic understatement continuing the antiphrastic thrust of lines 484–86 above. Compare these antiphrastic lines in Resoun and Sensuallyte: “Recorde I take of her husbondys / That knowe best experience / Of her mekenesse and pacience” (quoted in Pearsall, John Lydgate, p. 118).
498–501 Compare Lydgate’s Complaint of a Lover’s Life (Norton-Smith, Poems, p. 47): “But who shal helpe me now to compleyn? / Or who shal now my stile guy or lede?” (lines 176–77). Norton-Smith notes this as “the rhetorical figure invocatio” (Poems, p. 168); it is also helpful to see these and the following lines as a kind of “modesty topos,” whereby the author confesses his trepidation regarding the task which lies ahead (Curtius, European Literature, pp. 83–84).
502–03 Me into stoon transmued hath Meduse / For verray stonyng. In Greek mythology, Medusa was one of the three Gorgons who had serpents for hair and eyes that turned onlookers into stone. There is a pun here on stoon and the two meanings of stonyng as astonishment and stupefaction or paralysis. The modern English word “stunned” nicely illustrates both meanings. Fortune’s fickleness and instability will play a central thematic role over the next 150 lines detailing the downfall of the Egyptian merchant.
505–11 Meggera . . . Thesiphone . . . Mirre. In Greek mythology, Megaera and Tisiphone are two of the three vengeful Erinys or Furies (the other is Alecto), sent from the underworld to punish crime. Myrrha was cursed by Aphrodite with an incestuous love for her father; fleeing his anger, she was changed into a myrrh tree. Compare TG, lines 956–63, especially line 961: “Nou lete [y]oure teris into myn inke reyne,” and Complaint of a Lover’s Life lines 178–82, especially lines 178–79: “O Nyobe, let now thi teres reyn / Into my pen” (Norton-Smith, Poems, p. 52). Compare also TC 1.6–10 and 4.22–24 for invocations to the Furies; in the first instance Thesiphone specifically is singled out. For Alecto, Lydgate substitutes Myrrha, whose tears are also used in TC 4.1134–41 to illustrate bitter sorrow. Here, the poet asks Myrrha to let her tears rain into the ink clogging his pen so that it may flow freely and both help him complain and assuage his sorrow. The quaking pen is a commonplace. Compare TC 4.13–14.
516–525 For how this . . . is sool ilefft aloon. These stanzas neatly articulate the medieval idea of Fortune as well as underline the Egyptian merchant’s desolation. Fortune is here figured as the active agent of the Egyptian merchant’s loss; the turning of her wheel has plunged the merchant into poverty and left him entirely alone, without riches or friends. The dichotomy is important: the merchant will discover that only material riches are actually subject to the turn of fortune’s wheel; friendship, on the other hand, always remains outside the world of fortune, the only stability in an unstable world ruled by Fortune.
526 Job. The biblical Book of Job describes the variety of misfortunes God visits upon Job, a sinless and upright man, as a way of testing his faith.
533–36 For remembraunce . . . did hym smerte. Compare Boece, 2.pr4.7–9: “For in alle adversites of fortune the moost unzeely kynde of contrarious fortune is to han ben weleful.” See also TC 3.1625–28 and Dante, Inferno canto 5, lines 121–23 (ed. Grandgent, p. 50). Compare also Fabula
542–43 Thus is he valyd adoun from hih degré / Ful many a steiher lowe into wrechydnesse. The metaphor of stairs climbing up to prosperity or down to lowliness embeds an implicit comparison to the random turnings of Fortune’s wheel. See also TC, where the image brilliantly suggests both Troilus’s culpability and his ultimate powerlessness in the face of life’s vicissitudes: “This Troilus is clomben on the staire, / And litel weneth that he moot descenden” (1.215–16). In Fabula, lines 635–36, the image reappears to underline the merchant’s sense of helplessness.
545 For now Fortune hath chaungid newe his weede. The literal meaning is that Fortune has changed the merchant’s clothes (weede). A change in garb often signifies an inner change in outlook, attitude, or intention, and/or a corresponding change in status. Here, it is both literal and metaphorical, reflecting the merchant’s changed outward social status and inner emotional state. Lydgate also makes use of this clothing metaphor in Guy of Warwyk; see Guy in this volume, lines 190–91 and line 203. For another striking example, see Chaucer’s Clerk’s Tale, in which Griselda must be stripped of her clothes twice to reify her change in status. Initially, her peasant rags are exchanged for the grand gown of a Marquess after Walter chooses her for his wife (CT IV[E] 374–85). Later, poignantly, she must put off her fine garments and return to her hovel in only her shift when Walter apparently discards her (CT IV[E] 890–96).
555 of the peeple fable. According to the MED (fable (n.), sense 3b), “the subject of idle talk or chatter.” Lydgate’s use of the word in this way seems to be unique.
565–66 O worldly blisse . . . / Thy sodeyn turn. Here, worldly blisse seems to be a synonym for fortune, as evidenced by the direct address and the verb turn.
568 Now hongir, thrust . . . to me. According to the OED, from 1200–1590 the metathetic thrist, thrust was interchangeable with thirst, thurst. See the headnote to OED, thirst.
sueth. Both previous editors emend this word (see Textual Note), probably because it is possible that scribal error accounts for its appearance here and immediately again in line 569. However, the sense of the line as it appears in the MS is perfectly appropriate: hunger and thirst, formerly unknown to the merchant, now pursue him.
574 forwhirlyd. According to the MED, the prefix for with past participles usually has intensive force (MED for- (pref. 1)). The effect here is thus of an intense, vigorous revolution, like that of a weathervane, an appropriate metaphor for the merchant’s confusion and dismay. Although forwhirlyd technically modifies fulle
muaunt: From Old French muant, present participle of muer (MED muaunt (adj.)). Another unique word, although the noun, muaunce
fane: the weather vane was often used as a symbol of fickleness or mutability (MED fane (n.1), sense 3).
579–80 Now up, now doun . . . travailed with solicitude. Compare TG
579 curraunt goute. A running gout; i.e., a type of gout that passes from one part of the body to another.
582 thee. The pronoun may refer either to worldly blisse, a synonym for fortune, whom the merchant has directly addressed in line 565, or the world in general, the subject of the immediately preceding stanza.
589–90 O seely marchaunt, myn hand I feele quake, / To write thy woo in my translacioun. A modesty topos. See note to lines 497–501 above.
601 No wele is worthy. Prosperity and good fortune are meaningless if they cannot withstand misfortune. Proverbial. See Whiting W143 for a similar sentiment: “He knows not what weal is that never suffered woe.” See also Whiting W134, W144, and S141.
603–609 The reference is to Seneca’s Dialogue on Providence. In his dialogue, the speaker explains to one Lucilius just why and how misfortune is good for us. The whole essay is relevant but see especially 3.3: “Nothing . . . seems to me more unhappy than the man who has no experience of adversity” (Davie, trans., Dialogues and Essays, p. 7, and Reynolds, Dialogorum Libri Duodecim, 3.3, p. 6).
610–15 The reference is to Seneca’s 39th letter to Lucilius, in which Seneca explains that too much of a good thing is bad for us: in excess there can be harm. Soil that is too rich will cause a plant to grow too quickly, overburdening it and preventing the fruit from ripening. In the same way, too much prosperity is detrimental to a man’s soul. See Gummere, ed. and trans., Moral Letters, p. 260–61.
622 this world was ful unstable, / And nat abydyng, but evirmor variable. The instability of the world is a commonplace. See Whiting W671. That the world under the sphere of the moon is unstable, subject to variance under the dominion of Fortune, is a central premise in Boethius’s CP and a significant theme in the poem. As Lady Philosophy explains to Boethius, all material goods and riches — the gifts of fortune — are fleeting and unstable. Stability can be found only by transcending fortune in placing one’s reliance in virtue, love, and friendship. The stability of the merchants’ friendship has been stressed several times in the first part of the poem (see, for example, lines 7, 49, 189, 195, 214), and the merchant must learn to acknowledge that this is what is truly of value.
635 ther be no grees isteyred / Tascenden up. There are no stairs upon which to climb up and out of despair. See also note to lines 542–43.
642 preeve his freend at neede. This is a variant of two well-known proverbial ideas: that one should prove, or test, his friends before he has need; and the more commonplace “friend at need” proverb; that is, adversity, or need, brings out the true friend. See Whiting F625 (“Assay your friend ere you have need”), and F634 (“A friend in need”).
664–65 Take heed . . . your myrour ye may see. The merchant’s position is here offered as a myrour, that is, as an example, illustration, and warning to those who might consider themselves exempt from fortune’s machinations. Lydgate uses the mirror in exactly the same way in his prologue to FP, whose exemplary and “noble stories” will show “a merour how al the world shal faile, / And how Fortune, for al ther hih renoun, / Hath vpon pryncis iurediccioun [jurisdiction]” (FP 1:5, lines 159–61). The use of the mirror as exemplary and/or admonitory has a long history; see Grabes’s The Mutable Glass, especially Chapters 3 and 4, for examples. The full title of The Mirror for Magistrates, the sixteenth-century continuation of Lydgate’s FP, illustrates this conception of the mirror: “A Myrroure for Magistrates. Wherein may be seen by example of other, with howe greuous plages vices are punished: and howe frayle and vnstable worldly prosperitie is founde, even of those, whom Fortune seemeth most highly to fauour. Fælix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum”(original italicization; Farnham, Medieval Heritage, p. 281).
673–74 Nature . . . Which is of God mynystir and vikeer. For nature as God’s vicar on earth, see, for example, Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls (line 379) and Physician’s Tale (line 20), and the Romance of the Rose (lines 16782–87, 19505–12). The main source is Alain de Lille’s De Planctu Naturae, especially Pr. 4. On the goddess Natura, see Economou, The Goddess Natura in Medieval Literature.
675 beware. Interestingly, the MED says that there are very few occurrences in Middle English in which be and ware are written together as one word. However, the force of the single word here rather paradoxically is the one we would expect were they written as two words. That is, the sense here is indeed be aware of, be cognizant of, rather than the expected beware as warning. See MED ware (adj.), sense 1a. Note that at line 707, the phrase rather than the word appears.
678 westyng undir wavys. A striking and evocative image of the stars setting below the waves on the western horizon. Schleich and Zupitza unnecessarily emend to westyn (ed., Fabula Duorum Mercatorum). This image may have been suggested by Boethius, CP, 4.m6, as well as 1.m2. See Introduction to Fabula, pp. 21–22 for further discussion.
680 hem. Perhaps a deliberate ambiguity referring to both the stars and to Nature’s laws. Nature’s laws and thus God’s order declare themselves in the movements of the stars. These lines and those following show a strong connection to Boethius, CP, 4.m5 and 6, as well as perhaps to 1.m2 and 5. See Introduction to Fabula, pp. 21–22 for further discussion.
681–82 the bere . . . Arthow. Ursa Major, or the Big Dipper, also known as the plow. Arthow, or Arcturus, is the brightest star in the constellation Boetes, or Boötes, “which is also known as . . . Bear-keeper because the wagon it drives [here the plow] is the constellation of the Great Bear.” Both constellations are high in the sky, hugging the North Pole. See Walsh, ed. Consolation, p. 151n7.
685 Lucifeer. Lucifer is the name often given to the planet Venus, which appears just before sunrise. The word Lucifer quite literally means “light-bearer” (Latin lux, meaning “light”; fero, meaning “to carry”).
morowhil. The period of time around or before sunrise.
prymycere. “First candle-bearer,” a bishop’s chief official. See OED primicery (n.). Figuratively, the word is particularly appropriate to describe Lucifer, the morning star. The double metaphor is strikingly effective: Lucifer, the light bringer, is first candle-bearer at dawn.
686 empeere.The empyrean. In medieval cosmology, the highest part of heaven, the exalted realm of God and the angels. See MED empiri (n.) and OED empyrean, empyre, and empyreal for the etymology and history of this interesting word. Here Lydgate reinforces the theme of this cluster of stanzas, that celestial movements are evidence of a celestial plan.
694 Evir entirmedlyd is merthe and hevynesse. Proverbial. See Whiting J59.
697–707 As Jubiter . . . wol approche. The story that Jupiter placed two tuns (casks), one of joy and one of sorrow, in his cellar, is in CP 2.pr2. The ultimate source is Homer’s Iliad. Here and in the following stanza note also the commonplace that one cannot have sweet without sour or bitterness; see Whiting, S942, S947.
743–46 “O deth, desyred . . . that thee nothyng desire?” The source for these lines is probably Boethius, CP. See the Introduction, p. 18–23 for a discussion of the CP’s influence on Fabula.
747 Feere In some counties, including Suffolk, feer(e) is a variant spelling of fire. See McIntosh, Linguistic Atlas, 4:170. The scribe may have seen feere in his exemplar and written fire. On the other hand, he may simply have changed the word to rhyme with desire in line 746, forgetting momentarily that it needed to rhyme with heere in line 744.
795 O Sonne of Sapience. The second person of the Trinity, the Son, is sometimes referred to as the son of wisdom or Sapience, a trait associated with the Father.
802–07 Blood wil have wreche . . . in wronge. An expansion of the proverbial “mordre wol out.” See Whiting M806, Chaucer’s Prioress’s Tale I (CT VII[B2] 576), and the Nun’s Priest’s Tale (CT VII[B2] 3050). The idea of innocent blood crying out is found in Genesis 4:10.
808–10 And seith, ‘O lord . . . noote and songe.’ See Habakkuk 1:2–4 for a close verbal parallel. Nor is the context entirely inappropriate, the idea being that wrong judgement might prevail without God’s help:
How long, O Lord, shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear? shall I cry out to thee suffering violence, and thou wilt not save? / Why hast thou shewn me iniquity and grievance, to see rapine and injustice before me? and there is a judgment, but opposition is more powerful. / Therefore the law is torn in pieces, and judgment cometh not to the end: because the wicked prevaileth against the just, therefore wrong judgment goeth forth.852 ye gete no mor of me. A familiar filler line. See also line 896: “what shuld I you moor seyn?”
888–89 Have heer my trouthe . . . unsondir goon. Compare Dorigen’s words to her husband in the Franklin’s Tale: “have heer my trouthe — til that myn herte breste” (CT V[F] 759).
FABULA DUOROUM MERCATORUM: TEXTUAL NOTES
Abbreviations: A: British Library, MS Additional 34360; C: Cambridge, University Library, MS Hh 4.12; Ha: London, British Library, MS Harley 2251; L: London, British Library, MS Lansdowne 699; M: H. N. MacCracken, ed., Lydgate’s Minor Poems; MS: London, British Library, MS Harley 2255 (base text); R: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson Poetry F. 32; SZ: Schleich and Zupitza, eds., Fabula Duorum Mercatorum; V: Leiden, University Library, MS Vossius Germ. Gall. Q.9.
Incipit V: Incipit de fideli amore duorum marcatorum. R: (in a later hand): An historye of two marchants.
1 whilom. V: whilon.
3 riche. C: wyse.
4 to hym it was. A, Ha: it was to hym.
5 in. C, R: to.
in hym wern. A, Ha: were to hym.
6 Of. V: Fro.
8 convenient. MS, A, C, L, R, V: inconvenient. Ha, M, SZ: convenient. I emend for clarity.
9 Or in this tale I. Ha: On this tale or I. V: I in this tale.
11 and. C: or.
13 heerith. A, Ha: here me. C: here.
16 With. A, Ha: Whiche.
19 the coostys. R: this cooistis.
26 which. R: while.
but. L: with.
31 list. A, Ha: list to.
38 had. C: had neuer. L, M: had neuer. V: had nevir.
39 gladly wol nat. A, Ha: wold nat gladly.
44 also. A, Ha: eke.
45 wan. R: whan.
47 began to. A: gonne. C, Ha, L, R, V: gan.
49 two. MS: too. I make the same emendation for clarity at lines 87, 97, 99, 186, 196, 419, 482, 492, 697, 708, 716, and 891.
50 ech. Ha: ech other.
51 freend. A, Ha: friendes.
52 grave. A: grate. Ha: grated.
53 othris. C: other.
56 fet his foode. A, Ha: sette his foote.
the. A, Ha: theyr. R: her.
57 of. A: a. Ha: amemory.
58 ifet. A: I sette.
59 of. A, Ha: and.
60 Forgetilnesse. V: for yentilnesse.
63 ar. MS: as ar. V: as. A, C, Ha, L, R, M, SZ: ar. In emending for clarity, I follow the majority of manuscript readings as well as previous editions.
loke. A: loken. C: loked. Ha, L, V: lokyn. R: loke. The scribes may have had some difficulty in determining whether the verb is lock, locked, or look, looked. Both are possible (see MED loken, v.1 and v.2), but lock is consistent with the sense. The V scribe in particular seems to have taken the verb as look: So as they lokyn.
myndys. A, Ha: mydes.
selle. A, Ha: welle.
65 feet. Ha: swte.
he. A, Ha: omitted.
66 shyneth. C: shewyth.
of the. A, Ha: is of. L: of.
68 fire. C: a gret fire.
ne. A, Ha: omitted.
69 into. Ha: in.
70 feer. V: frend.
or. V: and.
72 as faste been. R: be as fast.
75 is in werkyng. A, Ha: in werkyng is.
76 lynketh. A, Ha: thynkkyth. V: likneth.
77 as. So A, C, Ha, L, R, V, M, SZ. MS: has.
dissolven. C: he dissolueth.
contrarious. V: gracious.
80 wo. C: who.
81 dool. A, Ha: dulle.
83 can. Ha, L, V: gan. C: omitted.
84 hem. Ha: omitted. A and Ha insert stanza 17 here.
85 by. A, Ha: omitted.
86–87 From ech to . . . disseveryd by absence. A and Ha transpose.
88 as by. Ha: of.
91 affyre. A: on fyre.
92 or. A, Ha, V: and.
the good her chapmen. A, Ha: theyr goode chapmen.
the. C: her.
her. C, L: ther. V: the.
95 Unto. A, R: one to.
tothir. A, Ha: that other.
he hath. A, Ha: omitted.
98 her love may. L: may her loue.
100 As fortune wolde and eek necessité. A, Ha: omitted.
104 blisful. V: blissid.
into. A: in.
105 theras. L: wher as.
106 And. A, C, Ha, L, R, V, M, SZ: omitted.
that. R: omitted.
unto londe. A: vnto the lande. Ha: to the land.
110 any. Ha: omitted.
111 where. A, Ha: there.
his. L: her.
112 his. V: the.
113 aftir. A, Ha: a sterre.
114 suyng. A, Ha: shyneng.
the. V: omitted.
115 displayen. A, Ha: sprynggen.
116 dirknesse. R: dris[?t]resse. Damage and very light ink make it difficult to discern the missing letter, but it is possible that it is t, yielding dristresse.
117 sueth. MS: sweth. A, Ha, V: shewith.
118 fyne. V: fynde.
119 to them may. A, Ha: may to hem.
120 O. A, Ha: omitted.
on. So A, C, Ha, R, V, M, SZ. MS, L: of.
absence. V: presence.
of. C: to.
122 her. A: the.
123 of. C: on.
125 a. A, Ha: omitted.
127 that. A: than.
129 that wern. A, Ha: omitted.
myscheef. A, Ha: myscheffes.
134 that. A, Ha, V: omitted.
135 was. V: was was.
into. C: omitted.
137 hym tencontre. A, Ha: to encountre hym.
hym. C, R: omitted.
fonde. V: fong.
138 he. Ha: the.
139 and. A, C, Ha: omitted.
140 He. A, C, Ha: And.
141 I2. V: omitted.
142 rowe. C: 3ow.
144 And. R: An.
146 al wer. A, Ha: was.
be to. C: done. Ha: do.
148 chaunbre. I have supplied n rather than m on the basis of chaunbyr (lines 219, 353) and chaunpion (line 691).
149 lad. Ha: hadde.
somwhat. A, Ha: sumdel.
on. R: in. Ha: aloft, o.
151 of you have cauht. A, Ha: have caught of yow.
152 myht. R: myht be.
154 Unto. C, SZ: as to.
and to. C, SZ: vnto.
and to al that I have. V: and that ever y haue.
156 skarseté. C: skaste.
157 viaundys. R: wiandis.
apparaille. C: appaill.
158 aforn. R: toforne.
159 it. C: ther.
snowyd. A: sowned.
161 myht. A: myht it.
162 so. Ha: omitted.
163 plesyng. C, Ha: plesant.
paramentis. A, Ha: paiement.
166 disguysed. A: disguysyng.
167 and1. A, Ha: of.
168 plye. C, R: applye.
169 ryde. V: rode.
hauk. A: hawkes. C: haukys. Ha: havkys. R, V, SZ: haukis.
eek. R: omitted.
170 He. A, C, Ha, R: And.
eek. A, C, Ha, SZ: omitted.
171 Thoruh al his lordship he lat hym in the boundys. Ha: omitted.
lat. A: ladde. C, L, R, V, SZ: lad.
172 fressh. R: ful.
174 and. V: omitted.
175 made. A, Ha: made hem.
176 his. V: omitted.
and. A, Ha: and eke.
181 wolcom. C: blyth.
183 with. L: of.
186 confederat. R: feith plith. V: confident.
187 for. V: of.
and. V: and of.
191 of. R: with.
194 tapited. C: trappyd.
in. Ha: with.
195 her. C: omitted.
bothen. A, Ha: bothern. C: both ther.
196 that. Ha: in.
in love wer nevir. Ha: in love were neuer non. L: wer neuyr in love.
197 leede. R: dede leede.
198 enmyté. A, Ha: envie.
201 cauht. C: cawght an.
202 did hym. L: that hym doth. V: doth hym.
204 in haste was maad. A, Ha: was made in hast.
205 In. L: I.
sike. V: seke.
206 pitously. A, Ha: ful pitously.
211 Thus. R: This.
to freendys. A, C, Ha, R, SZ: for friendis to.
212 merthe. A, Ha: might.
214 Yif that her love be set in sikirnesse. A, Ha: omitted.
215 yif oon. C: if that oone.
drye. C, R, V: dye.
216 is. V: to.
217 wher. A, Ha: whether. C: whedyr.
they. A, Ha: it.
218 tassaye. A: assaye.
yif. R: where.
myht. A, Ha, L, R, V, M, SZ: myht hym. C: myght don hym.
219 he. A, Ha: omitted.
220 Than. A, Ha: That.
223 and yit. A, Ha: omitted.
cheffest. A, Ha: chevest part.
my. R: omitted.
224 weel. C: omitted.
225 hurt. A, C, L, V, M, SZ: I hurt.
226 dethis spere. R: deth is speke.
strykith. C, SZ: stykkyth.
in. R: at. V: on.
227 it. A, Ha: I.
sounde. A, Ha: founde.
228 the. L, V: omitted.
229 arrest. L, R, V: a rest.
230 of1. L: and. V: off.
231 me causith. C: that causyth me.
232 hoolly. A, Ha: only. R: hole.
235 to. A, L: omitted.
cruel. C: cruelly.
237 that. R, V: omitted.
238 me nat. L, R: nat me.
239 moost of al. V: so well.
241 Ful. A, V: ffor.
243 I. R: omitted.
246 ladyes. A, Ha: maydens.
247 for. L: to.
248 al in dowte. L: in a doute.
251 hym. C, V: whom. R: him that.
so. R: most.
253 he. C: omitted. Ha: I.
lovyd. A: lovith.
255 no. A: omitted.
257 wrathe. A, C, Ha, R, M, SZ: to wrath.
259 his. A: he his.
260 lay in langour. A, Ha: in langoure lay.
261 wol. A, Ha, R: ful.
262 serche. A, Ha, R: seche.
aboute the lond. A, Ha: the lande aboute.
263 menee. V: men.
267 been. R: ther ben.
270 poorys. C: pulse. A, Ha: pounce. R, V, L: poris. See also explanatory note.
271 They. So A, C, Ha, R. MS: The. L, V, M, SZ: Thei. I emend for clarity.
fynd. Ha: serche.
272 his. V: al his.
273 thereon. Ha: thervpon.
werke. A, C, R: to werke.
274 yif. A, Ha: if that.
sey. A: sye. C: se. Ha: sy. L, V: sey. R: had sei.
275 Ful. Ha: fful many.
276 the. V: omitted.
277 Pelotes. A, Ha: Pellettis.
278 poudrys. A, Ha, R, SZ: omitted. C: thynges.
and. A, C, Ha, L, R, V: for.
279 maladyes. A, Ha: malice. C: hys maladyes.
280 Nouht were beyhynden to. R: nouht behynden were but to.
281–336 Whan they have . . . was in falle. Omitted in L, owing to a missing leaf.
284 contynueth. V: conteyned.
hoot. C: omitted.
and. C, V: omitted.
286–87 But yif it . . .was ne Putrida. A and Ha transpose.
286 yif. A, Ha: omitted.
289 distemperaunce. A, Ha: desperaunce.
290 excesse. Ha: excessyf.
with. A, C, Ha, R, SZ: man.
293 of2. V: or.
or. A, Ha: or. V: omitted.
maneer. A, C, Ha, R, SZ: tyme.
in any maneer. V: or metis crude.
294 tellen here. A, Ha: doth termyne. C, R: determyne. V: do conclude.
297 flowyng. V: folwyng.
too. MS, A, C, R, V, M, SZ: to. Ha: so. I make the same emendation at lines 813 and 899.
plenteuous. A: pletivous.
299 Yif by. A, Ha: If it be.
ye. MS, C, Ha: he.
it. A: omitted.
304 anoon a man. C: a man anon.
leedith. A, Ha: bedith.
306 of. Ha: omitted.
Colre. A, Ha: Colera. C: colour. M: Colra.
his. R: hir.
308 to juge. R: deme ye.
309 Also. Ha: And also.
311 degré. A, C, Ha, R, M, SZ: any degre. V: Auicenys degre.
312 is. V: his.
314 incurable. V: Inrecurable.
315 withal partable. A, Ha: therwith portabil.
316 othir. A, Ha: omitted.
thes. A, Ha: the. C: ther.
318 that. R: that that.
319 defawte noon. V: no defaute.
321 ouht they. C: owght þat they.
325 veyne. C: vryn. See Explanatory Note.
326 It was ful thynne and wannyssh for to see. Ha: omitted but added in the margin by the scribe.
328 voyde. A: avoyde.
329 to be. So A, C, Ha, R, SZ. MS: by.
333 soone be. A, Ha: som.
334 this. A, Ha, V: this.
336 Ereos. A, Ha: Ereas.
he. R: this man.
337 and. A, C, Ha, R, V, SZ: omitted.
338 Is. A, C, Ha, L, R, V, SZ: omitted.
estimatiff. So M, SZ. MS: estiantiff. A, Ha, R, V, L: estiantif. C: estimatyfe. I emend for clarity, following M and SZ.
340 ovirlordshipith. A, Ha: ouerbede shippith.
341 be forth. A, Ha: byfore the. C: by fore.
successyf. So A, Ha, V, M, SZ. MS: succesfyf. C: successyfe. L, R: successiff.
342 for love. A, Ha: more for love. V: omitted.
for love mor fayr. R: more fair for loue.
343 hath God. A, Ha: god hath.
or. V: of.
344 This. A: Thus.
man. R: a man.
in. A, C, Ha, R, SZ: in siknes.
345 by. C: with.
346 man. A: he. Ha: omitted.
frenesye. C: a frenesye.
347 woman. C: women.
349 of. A, Ha: on.
othir. A, Ha: omitted.
350 was hool. Ha: hole was.
352 this. A, Ha: his.
nat ne wolde. C: wold nat.
353 the. Ha: this.
he is. V: is he.
355 to. L: fro.
thu. A, Ha: omitted. C: 3e. L, R, V, SZ: ne.
357 lat. V: omitted.
thouht. L: thyng.
dreryness. A, Ha, V: distresse.
358 Yif. Ha: Of.
359 rake. MS, Ha: Reke. C: stake.
nat. A: it nat.
361 uncloose. A, Ha: ye vncloose.
363 mystrust. R: mystrust ye.
to lokke it up. C: why lok3e it.
365 mystruste. A, C, Ha: to mystrust.
366 concele. A, Ha: counsaile.
372 alle. A, Ha: omitted.
375 hir2. A, Ha: omitted. R: his.
377 The. A, Ha: ffor.
379 Ful. R: ffor.
of so tendir. A, Ha: and tendre of. L: and of so tendre.
380 war. L, V: wis.
of. R: omitted.
381 Devoyde. C: deuote.
383 Plesaunt. V: plesance.
384 and. Ha: omitted.
welle. R: weel.
386 hir. L: omitted.
387 ful. L: filll.
389 forwar. MS: for war. A, C, Ha, R, V, M, SZ: ful war.
390 hir lyst. A, C, Ha: list hir.
avaunce. A: to avaunce.
422 so. C: omitted.
423 liht. C: blith.
425 fully the costage. Ha: and fully the costage.
426 spousayl. C: spousage.
iknet. L: be kneet.
428 supportyd. A: supprised.
429 on. C: upon.
431 the. A, Ha: omitted.
hath. L: he.
432 whan. A, Ha: what.
433 freely. V: frendly.
434 hool. A, Ha, L, R, V, M, SZ: and hool.
hool and sound. C: sownd and hool.
437 giftys, the cheer. V: cheer the yefftis.
the2. A, Ha: and.
439 Ymeneus. MS: yineneus. A, Ha: Imeyne. C: Imeneus. L, R, V, M, SZ: Ymeneus.
the. A, Ha: omitted.
441 I trowe that. A, Ha, M, SZ: Therto. C, R: ther to. L, V: And ther to.
therat. A: there. Ha: theyrto.
443 bounté. V: beute.
444 hertly. C, L: erthly.
is. Ha: now is. L: as.
445 nat. C: omitted.
446 the. L: a.
448 weel. A, Ha: omitted.
449 hath. V: hartly.
hertly. L: hertis.
450 Hymsilf. L: his silf.
451 liht. V: lyffe.
452 refut. V: rancour.
coye. A: akoye.
453 his. A, Ha: omitted.
454 lives. Ha: lightes.
457 this. L: the.
processe. So A, C, Ha, R, L, V, M, SZ. MS: mateer. I emend on the basis of all other manuscripts. This is very likely the scribal error of eyeskip; note the phrase “this mateer” in line 456 immediately above.
462 feyne. Ha: steyne.
plesaunce. C: plesure. R: wil.
463 ther. A: the.
is. V: was.
that is. M: omitted.
for. A, L: omitted.
467 lyst. C: list3e.
469 love. Ha: the love.
nyh. R: nyht. V: ner.
476 For with a bettir no man ne myht mete. A, Ha: For noman myght with a better mete.
ne. C: omitted.
478 nyht and day. L: day & nyht.
479 erlich. A, Ha, V: both erly.
480 he. C: she.
481 was. L: omitted.
483 her love may fordoo. C: love may for doo. R: may her hertis for doo.
484–90 For alle wyves . . . is an ese. A, Ha: omitted.
486 new. R: now.
487 hem doon. C: don hem. R: hem do.
488 men. C: that men.
489 lownesse. V: lovnesse.
490 pass ovir. C: of me as now it.
491 leve. V: love. A, Ha: I leve.
492 ech lykyng othir. A, C: eche lovyng other. Ha: eche other lykyng.
495 But. A: But if.
were. A: wore. R: omitted.
496 For. C: and.
wil I. A: I wil.
497 I lefte. Ha: left I.
499 Or. A, Ha: ffrom.
501 mateer. L: makyng.
502 stoon. A, Ha: astowne. C: a stone. V: astone.
503 stonyng. Ha: sykenes.
fikylnesse. A, Ha: sikenes.
506 compleyne. A, C, Ha, R, SZ: to compleyne.
507 eek. V: omitted.
Thesiphone. MS: the Siphone. A, Ha: Tysophone. L: Tessiphone. V: the sophye. M, SZ: Thesiphone.
508 goddessys. L: goddesse.
510 clubbyd. MS: cubbed.
511 swaggyng. A, Ha: swagenyng.
renne. V: kenne.
513 al. Ha: omitted.
of. C: on.
516 whilom. A, Ha: somtyme.
517 meene. V: me.
518 remenaunt. A, Ha, C, L, M, SZ: the remenaunt.
519 To. C: from.
hir. V: omitted.
falsnesse. C: face. L, R: falnesse.
hath. Ha: doth.
overt. C: auert.
520 turned. A, Ha: hath tourned.
522 possessioun. V: procession.
523 al. A, Ha: omitted.
into. A, Ha: vnto.
524 ifeere. A, Ha: in feere. C: ferre.
525 in mischeef is. A: is in mischef.
sole. Ha: foule.
527 wayleth. L: & wailith.
528 Allone. C: omitted.
drouh hym. C: withdrawith hymself.
530 on. C: of.
534 with a darte hym woundid. A, Ha: withouten darte wounded hym.
535 was to hym. Ha: to hym was.
537 For. So M, SZ. A, C, Ha, L, R, V: ffor. MS: ffo.
for. C: and.
sterte. C: stret.
538 ne hadde. C: had.
540 Thus. A, Ha, V: This.
542 Thus. R: This.
543 into. A, Ha: vnto.
545 hath. V: hat hath.
weede. Ha: nede.
546 Freend nor foo ne took of hym noon heede. Ha: an interesting gloss by a later hand in the left hand margin reads 3 Negatives used in our Language, even by this Author.
547 Out. A, C, Ha, L, R, V, M, SZ: But.
walkyng. C: now walkyng.
wildirnesse. R: wildenesse.
548 poore. V: pleyn.
551 sool. A, Ha: the foole.
556 calle. C, V: to call.
557 so glorious somtyme. R: somtyme so glorious.
558 than wer to me. A: to me than were. Ha: to me than were so. C: than to me wer.
servisable. R: seruyable.
559 by. C: in. V: omitted.
560 for. A: omitted.
561 O. A, Ha: omitted.
on. So A, C, Ha, L, R, V, M, SZ. MS: of.
hauhtesse. A, Ha, L: hauntesse. C: hertys.
562 O. A, Ha: omitted.
on. V: of.
lordship. V: worschip.
563 O. A, Ha: omitted.
out. R: out out.
565–66 O worldly blisse . . . doublith my grevaunce. L transposes these lines.
566 Thy. A, Ha: The.
sodeyn. Ha: souerayne.
567 nevir hadde had. A: neuer hadde. C: had had neuer.
568 thrust. A, Ha, L, R, V: thurst. C: now thrust. See Explanatory Note.
unkouth. R: vnknouht.
sueth to. A, Ha, SZ: swete to. C: vnto. L: seweth. M: as vnto.
572 grevaunce. A, Ha, SZ: penaunce. C, L, R, V: penaunce.
574 is. A, C: omitted.
muaunt. A: a mevand. Ha: amevand. V: ajant.
fane. A: vaane. C: fan. V: fame.
575 werynesse. C: heuynes.
576 torment. Ha: tournement.
577 besynesse. A, Ha, C, R, SZ: hevynesse. V: besimesse.
581 so weel can us. R: can vs so weel.
582 weel. A, C, Ha, L, R, V, SZ: omitted.
583 he to thee. C: to the he.
to. Ha: of.
neede. V: most neede.
584 the. V: thy.
cry. C: crak.
585 skyes. A, C, Ha, L, R, V, M, SZ: the skyes.
beede. C: bete.
586 Who servyth thee. A: What servith he.
587 most. C: omitted.
588 the hand. V: thi handes.
rathest thu. L: thou rathest.
594 bet diffence. V: better fense.
595 thee. A, Ha: omitted.
601 is. A, C: is he. Ha: is hym.
603 seith. C: omitted.
605 thylke. C: thik.
made. L: may.
of. A, C, Ha, R: omitted.
607 ne. L, V: omitted.
nor. A: and. C, Ha: ne.
608 Of. A, Ha: on.
pleynly. V: privily.
610 ovirlade. Ha: lade.
613 And. C: and of.
615 yif. A, Ha, SZ: of.
616 Than. Ha: That.
is. A, Ha: it is.
619 he was the lasse. A, Ha: the lasse he was.
wite. A, C, Ha, V, SZ: to wite.
621 wantrust. C: vayn trust.
623 And. A, Ha: omitted.
626 devout. C: full gret.
627 and. A: omitted.
628 had. A, Ha: omitted.
634 am. A, Ha: I am.
so. A: omitted.
635 thouh. L: omitted.
636 I. R: omitted.
doone. R: doune.
638 his. A, C, Ha, R, SZ: this.
639 in. C: and in.
642 freend. V: friendis.
644 rihte. C: omitted.
645 And whan he was comen to that londe. A:
And. C: omitted.
646 for. A, C, Ha, L, V, SZ: omitted.
647 dar. V: I dar.
nat. L: nar.
fonde. A, Ha: founde.
650 nat. A, C, Ha, L, R, V, SZ, M: omitted.
651 shew a poynt to hym. A: shew to hym oone poynt. C: shew to hym oo poynt. Ha: shew to hym on poynt.
a. V: o.
654 the. V: omitted.
656 therfor he lefte be. C: and therfor left he.
658 man. R: a man.
spye. Ha: man.
659 by. A: be. Ha: of.
660 al. L: full. R: omitted.
662 forwandryd and format. C: for wandryng and for wate. L: so wandred & so mat.
663 elat. A, Ha: late.
665 this. L: the.
your myrour ye may see. A, Ha: ye may your myrrour.
666 hath fortune. A: fortune hath. V: fortune had.
667 sleihte. R: fleihte.
icast. C: I cast doun.
he. C: they.
whan he best wende ha stonde. A, Ha: he wenyth best to stonde.
ha stonde. L: astonde. R: a stond.
668 also unmayled. C: and also mailed.
669 nolde. A, Ha: wold.
670 bothe. A, Ha: omitted.
bonde. A: with bonde.
671 who. R: omitted.
yit. C: omitted.
sureté. C: suchue suerte.
672 That. C, SZ: But that.
in. A, Ha: omitted.
siht. A, C, Ha, R, SZ: tyme. L, V: sithe.
675 beware. A: by ware.
676 that. C: there.
677 concours. L: cours.
678 westyng. A, Ha: wastyng. V: wassyng. SZ: westyn. See Explanatory Note.
679 chaungyng. C: tokynnyng.
680 And. A, C, Ha, L, R, SZ: For. V: For always to us. C: to us alway. L: to vs alwey.
681 bere. V: Bore.
682 it. Ha, C, L, V, SZ: to. R: omitted.
683 wondir keene. A, Ha: sharp and keen. L: wondir sheene.
684 Somwhile. L: som tyme.
men may nat. L: men nat may.
hym. C: hem.
685 at. R: that.
morowhil. C: morow.
686 empeere. C: emispere.
689 wynne. A, Ha: to wynne.
by. C: of.
691 a. R: omitted.
692 Al. Ha: And.
694 Evir entirmedlyd is. C: Entirmedlyd is euer.
entirmedlyd. A, Ha: entremelled.
695 soory. L: heuy.
now A: and now.
696 aloffte. A, Ha, V: on lofte.
697 tonnes. A, Ha: stones.
699 That oon. V: the toon.
is. A, Ha: omitted.
700 ful. A, Ha: is ful.
701 of. C: on.
703 taste. L, V: cast.
in. A, C, SZ: the.
or. A, Ha: if.
705 nat. C: omitted.
706 For. So M, SZ. A, C, Ha, L, R, V: ffor. MS: ffo.
that. V: so.
wil. A, Ha, omitted. V: wel.
first. R: frust.
707 or. L, V: of.
709 of spak. L: spak of.
spak. A, Ha: omitted. R: spook.
erwhyle. C: here while.
710 bevere. C: omitted.
so. C: omitted.
hed. C: hert.
to. A, Ha: omitted. C: so.
711 ne. R: omitted.
713 he his beddyng whilom. C, R: he whilam hys beddyng.
714 now. C: omitted.
nakyd. A: omitted.
715 that. R: omitted.
lay sleepyng. L, V: sleepyng lay.
in. C: on.
717 the. A, Ha: omitted.
contek. C: conflict.
rise. A: riche. A later hand writes rise in right hand margin.
719 boredoun. A: born downe. Ha: born adowne.
720 as. A: omitted. Ha: that.
this. C, L, V: this.
721 hym. Ha: hem.
his way. A, C, Ha: away.
722 rumour. C: the rumour.
723 renne. A, Ha, L: they renne.
725 hadde wrouht. A, Ha: wrought hath.
this. V: that.
726 han. A, Ha: omitted.
727 as. A, Ha: omitted.
729 for. A, C, Ha, L, V, SZ, M: soore.
733 or. L: of.
734 thouh. C: yf.
and. C, L: or.
735 with. A, Ha: man.
736 to ha. R: for to.
737 myht. R: my. V: fynde.
739 so. A, Ha: omitted.
740 hook. L: bothe hook.
741 las. C: place.
742 on. R: in.
took. A, Ha: toke on.
this. A, Ha: that. C: the.
744 nylt thu. A: wiltow nat. Ha: nyltow.
747 now. V: thou.
feere. So A, C, Ha, L, R, SZ, M, V. MS: fire. I emend on the basis of sense as well as other MSS and previous editors. In some counties, including Suffolk, feer(e) is a variant spelling of fire (McIntosh, Linguistic Atlas, 4:170). The H scribe may have written fire because of his own spelling predilection or because of contamination from desire in line 746 above.
748 crieth. A, Ha: omitted.
751 in. R: on.
on. R: omitted.
752 as. R: and.
they hym founde. C: he was found.
753 justice. A, Ha: iuge.
754 To seen a fyn he hopith of his sorwe. V: omitted.
he. L: omitted.
755 owne. C: onne.
756 the. A, Ha: omitted.
757 deth. V: the deth.
758 forby. A, Ha: to forby.
759 The. A, Ha: omitted.
cheer. A, Ha: face.
761 And. A, C, Ha, L, R, V, SZ: omitted.
hym. V: haue.
leyseer to hym. A: to hym leysour.
762 For. A, Ha: And.
764 seith. V: sith.
nat yow. C, L, R: yow nat.
766 this. A, Ha: omitted.
767 have. L omitted.
wrouht. A, C, Ha: done.
769 to. C: I.
770 his. A, Ha, V: hym.
dedly. C: dethes.
771 His herte. C: He.
772 for. A, Ha: omitted.
774 sure. A: sore.
775 al. V: omitted.
her. Ha: the.
meekly he. A: mekely they. Ha, R, SZ: mekely he.
779 many hym. A: manyon.
781 Which. L, V: that.
glyde. C: dyd glyd.
783 that. A, C, Ha, L, R, V, SZ: the.
deede. Ha: deth.
784 in. A, Ha: and in.
785 hard as. A: harder than. V: as hard as.
786 cruelté. A, Ha: cruel.
to seen. So L, M, SZ, V. MS, C, R: seen. A, Ha: tene.
787 ne were. C: ner. L, R: were.
788 The. A, Ha: that. C: of the.
to. A, Ha: omitted.
789 I. V: it.
thus. A, Ha: thus.
susteen. V: sustrene.
790 ungilté thus. C: thus vngilty.
itake. A, Ha: one I take.
794 that. R: thou.
hyd. A, Ha: omitted.
796 hih. L: omitted.
797 concelyd. A, Ha: couered.
799 weel. A, Ha: why.
that. Ha: omitted.
800 me. R: omitted.
801 in. A, Ha: omitted.
esynesse. L: he[?]synesse. A very faint and indiscernible letter here.
802 wrongfully is. C: is wrongfully.
804 gon. A: omitted.
805 the. A, Ha: omitted.
aftir on me. A, Ha: on me after.
812 me. Ha: omitted.
817 to. A, Ha: for to.
fonge. C: take.
818 and pleynly. A, Ha: plainly and.
819 And for my gilt receyven the redresse. L: the scribe needlessly corrects the line by inserting de and me above the line after receyven and the, respectively.
for. A, Ha: of.
823 ne. C, L: omitted.
his. C, L, V: in his.
825 let. A: lato.
reserved. A, Ha: obserued.
827 loos. A, Ha: omitted.
he of gilt. A: of gilt he.
828 the. C: thys.
829 verité. C: vertue.
830 falsnesse. C: falshede. R: falnesse.
large. A, Ha: larges.
831 to. A, C, Ha: omitted.
wondren. C: maruell.
tho. A, Ha: so. V: sore.
832 justices. A, C, Ha: iustice. SZ: justice.
835 they. MS: the. A, C, Ha: they. L, R, V, M, SZ: thei.
836 assent. C: thassent.
hem. R: hym.
837 the. C: ther.
839 for. A, C, Ha: omitted.
840 To. A, Ha: And.
for. Ha: omitted.
842 bothe. R: omitted.
eek. Ha: omitted.
843 And made mercy to goon aforn his myht. R: omits line but copies it at end of stanza.
myht. L: riht.
844 ful. C: both. R: for.
resonable. A, Ha: mesurable. R: eek resonable.
846 withyne. C: with.
847 so. A, Ha: for.
trouthe. C: sothe.
shewe. R: sewe.
849 frenship, joye. V: ioye frensshipe.
850 declaryd. V: doth clare.
852 that hard. V: hard that.
853 a. A, Ha: omitted.
854 so. C: of.
855 on. R: in.
858 wisshe. So C, M, SZ. MS: voisshe. A, Ha: wisshen. L, R: woish. V: wysse.
863 such. R: a soche.
864 the aeyer. R: Their. V: the heyre.
the wedir. A, Ha: whiche.
865 ne. A, Ha, R: omitted.
867 seel. A, Ha: ful seale.
thenpreent. A, Ha: the prynte.
868 armes. A, Ha: armour.
armes hool. V: hool armys for.
save. L: have.
869 whan. C: whan that.
hath thus. A, Ha: thus hath.
871 hath. MS: hat. A, C, Ha, L, R, V, M, SZ: hath.
hoom. A: hym. Ha: omitted.
873 He. A: And.
rayeth. L: raicht.
875 ne. A, Ha: omitted.
877 halvendeel. C: half dele.
878 departyd be. A, V: be departed.
880 our. V: your.
every. R: at euery.
882 restooryd be ageyn. C: be storyd agayne. Ha: restored begayne.
883 avised. A, Ha: omitted.
884 contré. L: whedir contre.
885 your. A, Ha: my.
dwelle. V: to dwelle.
886 choys. C: ioyse.
no more ye. R: ye no more.
887 whersobe. A, Ha: whether so. V: whether so be.
888 trouthe. C: hert.
hertys. C: trouthys.
889 laste. V: lest.
890 witt. C: wehgte.
896 you. C, Ha: omitted.
you moor. V: more you.
R ends here because the next leaf has been lost, as indicated by the catchwords I sai you platly.
897 platly. Ha: plainly.
so. Ha: omitted.
900 tediousté. L: tediousness.
902 more. A: omitted.
divyne. A, C, Ha, V: to devyne.
903 gonne. C: began.
904 Thus of this tale to you I make an eende. H: lenvoye appears in right-hand margin.
905 On. C: of.
906 that. A: omitted.
he. L: god.
907 That. A, Ha: And.
909 This. A, Ha: This is.
910 seith. A, Ha: sey al.
Explicit A, Ha: explicit ffabula duorum mercatorum De et super gestis romanorum. C: ffinit. L: Explicit de fideli amore duorum mecatorum. V: Explicit de ffideli amore duorum marcatorum.
H: Explicit quod lidgate appears in right-hand margin.