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rou will meet more on your advance | halls and bustling crowds ; a slende. to the Renaissance. But the show is thread of common sense has ingeniously splendid. Chaucer is transported in crept along the transparent golden a dream to a temple of glass,* on the mist which they amuse themselves with walls of which are figured in gold all following. That suffices; they are the legions of Ovid and Virgil, an infi- pleased with their fleeting fancies, and nite train of characters and dresses, like ask no more. that which, on the painted glass in the Amid this exuberancy of mind, anima churches, occupied then the gaze of the these refined cravings, and this insatifaithful. Suddenly a golden eagle which ate exaltation of imagination and the u3 near the sun, and glitters like a senses, there was one passion, that of carbuncle, descends with the swiftness love, which, combining all, was develof lightning, and carries him off in his oped in excess, and displayed in minsalons above the stars, dropping him iature the sickly charm, the fundamen at last before the House of Fame, tal and fatal exaggeration, which are the splendidly built of beryl, with sh'ning characteristics of the age, and which, windows and lofty turrets, and situated later, the Spanish civilization exhibits on a high rock of almost inaccessible both in its Aower and its decay. Long ice. All the southern side was graven ago, the courts of love in Provence had with the names of famous men, but the established the theory.
“ Each one sun was continuously melting them. who loves,” they said, '" grows pale at On the northern side, the names, better the sight of her whom he loves; each protected still remained. On the tur. action of the lover ends in the thought rets appeared the minstrels and "ges- of her whom he loves. Love can tiours," with Orpheus, Arion, and the refuse nothing to love."* This search great harpers, and behind them myr. after excessive sensation had ended in iads of musicians, with horns, flutes, the ecstasies and transports of Guido bag-pipes, and reeds, on which they Cavalcanti, and of Dante ; and in Lanplayed, and which filled the air; then guedoc a company of enthusiasts had all the charmers, magicians, and pro established themselves, love-penitents, phets. He enters, and in a high hall, who, in order to prove the violence of plated with gold, embossed with pearls, their passion, dressed in summer in on a throne of carbuncle, he sees a furs and heavy garments, and in winter woman seated, a “noble quene,” in light gauze, and walked thus about amidst an infinite number of heralds, the country, so that several of them whose embroidered cloaks bore the fell ill and died. Chaucer, in their arms of the most famous knights in wake, explained in his verses the craft the world, and heard the sounds of of love, the ten commandments, the instruments, and the celestial melody twenty statutes of love; and praised his of Calliope and her sisters. From her lady, his “ daieseye,” his " Margarite,' throne to the gate was a row of pillars, his“ vermeil rose;" depicted love in on which stood the great historians and ballads, visions, allegories, didactic rkets; Josephus on a pillar of lead poems, in a hundred guises. This is and iron; Statius on a pillar of iron chivalrous, lofty love, as it was constained with tiger's blood; Ovid, ceived in the middle age; above all, ten. “Venus' clerk,” on a pillar of copper; der love. Troilus loves Cressida like then, on one higher than the rest, Ho- a troubadour ; without Pandarus, her mer and Livy, Dares the Phrygian, uncle, he would have languished, and Guido Colonna, Geoffrey of Mon- ended by dying in silence. He will mouth, and the other historians of the not reveal the name of her he loves war of Troy. Must I go on copying Pandarus has to tear it from him, per. this phantasmagoria, in which confused form all the bold actions himself, plan erudition mars picturesque invention, every kind of stratagem. Troilus, how. and frequent banter shows sign that ever brave and strong in battle, can the vision is only a planned amusement? The poet and his reader have
* André le Chapeiain, 1170.
† Also the Court of Love, and perhaps Toko imagined for half-an-hour decorated
Assemble of Ladies and La Belle Dame sans • The Iloase of Fame.
but weer before Cressida, ask her | all day, with exceeding; liveliness, this pardon, and faint. Cressida, on her song, which is like the warbling of a side, has every delicate feeling. When nightingale : Pandarus brings her Troilus' first letter,
“ Whom should I thanken bu yor, god of lora, she begins by refusing it, and is ashamed
Of all this blisse, in which to bathe I giore to open it: she opens it only because And thanked be ye, lorde for that I love she is told the poor knight is about
This is the right life that I am inne, to die. At the first words “ all rosy
To fiemen all maner vice and sinne:
This doeth me so to vertue for to entende hewed tho woxe she;" and though the That daie by daie I in my will amende. letter is respectful, she will not an- And who that saieth that for to jove is rice swer it. She yields at last t) the im
He either is envious, or right nice,
Or is unmightie for his shreudnesse portunities of her uncle, and answers
To loven. ... Trojus that she will feel for him the But I with all mina Lerte and all my migbar. affection of a sister. As to Troilus, As I have saied, we love unto my last, he trembles all over, grows pale when
My owne dere hosts, and all mine owne knigbar
In whiche mine her growen is so fas, he sees the messenger return, doubts
And his in me, that it shall ever last.". his happiness, and will not believe the assurance which is given him:
But misfortune comes. Her father
Calchas demands her back, and the " But right so as these holtes and these bayis Trojans decide that they will give her
That han in winter dead ben and dry,
up in exchange for prisoners. At this Right in that selfe wise, sooth for to sey,
news she swoons, and Troilus is about Woxe suddainly his herte full of joy." to slay himself. Their love at this
time seems imperishable ; it sports with Slowly, after many troubles, and thanks death, because it constitutes the whole to the efforts of Pandarus, he obtains of life. Beyond that better and deliher confession ; and in this confession cious life which it created, it seeme what a delightful charm !
there can be no other : " And as the newe abashed nightingale, “ But as God would, of swough she abraide,
Chat stinteth first, whan she beginneth sing, And gan to sighe, and Troilus she cride, Whan that she heareth any heerdes tale, And he answerde: 'Lady mine, Creseide, Or in the hedges any wight stearing,
Live ye yet?' and let his swerde doun glide And after siker doeth her voice outring: Ye herte mine, that thanked be Cupide, Right so Creseide, whan that her drede stent, (Quod she), and therewithal she sore sight, Opened her herte and told him her entent." | And he began to glade her as he might.
Tool her in armes two and kist her oft, He, as soon as he perceived a hope
And her to glad, he did al his entent, from afar,
For which her gost, that flikered aie a loft,
Into her wofull herte ayen it went : " In chaunged voice, right for his very drede, But at the last, as that her eye glent Which voice eke quoke, and thereto his
Aside, anon she gan his sworde aspie, manere,
As it lay bare, and gan for feare crie. Goodly abasht, and now his hewes rede, Now pale, unto Cresseide his ladie dere, And asked him why had he it out draw, With looke doun cast, and humble iyolden And Troilus anon the cause her told, chere,
And how himself therwith he wold have Lo, the alderfirst word that him astart
slain. Was twice: 'Mercy, mercy, O my sweet For which Creseide upon him gar behold herte!"
And gan him in her armes faste fold,
And saad: 'O mercy God, lo which a dede This ardent love breaks out in impas- Alas, kow nigh we weren bothe dede!" + sioned accents, in bursts of happiness. Far from being regarded as a fault, it At last the v are separated, with whal is the source of all virtue. Troilus vows and what tears! and Troilus, becom:braver, more generous, more alone in his chamber, murmurs : apright, through it; his speech runs “ Where is mine owne lady lefe and dere? now on love and virtue ; he scorns all Where is her white brest, where is it, where villany; he honors those who possess
Where been her armes, and her eyen clere merit, succors those who are in dis
That yesterday this time with me were?!..
Nor there nas houre in al the day or night, tress; and Cressida, delighted, repeats Whap he was ther as no man might him here
• Troilms and Cressida, vol. v. bk. 3, p. 12. Ibid. p. 40.
* Ibid. p. 4.
* Ibid. vol. iv. bk. 2, p. 292. # Ibid. vol. v. bk. 4. P 97.
That he ne sayd: • lovesome lady bright, see the bees on a h Il-slope flutter in a How have ye faren sins that ye were there?
haze of light, and circle sound and Welcome ywis mine owne lady dere!' Fro thence-forth he rideth up and doune,
round the fowers. And every thing came him to remembraunce, One morning,* a lady sings, at the As he rode forth by the places of the toune, dawn of day, I entered an oak-grove In which he whilom had all his pleasaunce: Lo, yonder saw I mine owne lady daunce, “ With branches brode, laden with leves new, And in that temple with her eien clere, That sprongen out ayen the sunne-shene, Me caught first iny right lady dere.
Some very red, and some a glad ligt And yonder have I herde full lustely
grene... My dere herte laugh, and yonder play Saw her ones eke ful blisfully,
And I, that all this pleasaunt signt ste, And yonder ones to me gan she say,
Thought sodainly I felt so sweet an aire Now, good sweete, love well I pray.
Of the eglentere, that certainely, And yonde so goodly gan she me behold,
There is no hert, I deme, in such dispaire, That to the death mine herte is to her hold,
Ne with thoughts froward and contraire, And at the corner in the yonder house
So overlaid, but it should soone have bote, Herde I mine alderlevest lady dere,
If it had ones felt this savour sote. So womanly, with voice melodiouse,
And as I stood, and cast aside mine eie, Singen so wel, so goodly, and so clere,
I was ware of the fairest medler tree That in my soule yet me thinketh I here
That ever yet in all my life I sie, The blissful sowne, and in that yonder place, As full of blossomes as it might be ; My lady first me toke unto her grace.
Therein a goldfinch leaping pretile None has since found more true and
Fro bough to bough; and as him list, he ee:
Here and there of buds and floures sweet... tender words. These are the charm
And as I sat, the birds harkening thus, ing "poetic branches ” which flourish
Methought that I ard voices sodainly, ed amid gross ignorance and pompous The most sweetest and most delicious parades. Human intelligence in the That ever any wight, I trow truly, middle age had blossomed on that side
Heard in their life, for the armony
And sweet accord was in so good musike, where it perceived the light.
That the voice to angels most was like.” 1 Bu mere narrative does not suffice
sees arrive “a world of to express his felicity and fancy; the Then she poet must go where “shoures sweet of ladies ... in surcotes white of velvet rain descended soft."
set with emerauds ... as of great
pearles round and orient, and diamonds And every plaine was clothed faire
fine and rubies red.” And all had on With new greene, and maketh small floures To springen here and there in field and in their head “a rich fret of gold . . . full mede,
of stately _riche stones set,” with “ a So very good and wholsome be the shoures, chapelet of branches fresh and grene That it renueth that was old and dede, In winter time; and out of every sede
some of laurer, some of woodbind, Springeth the hearbe, so that every wight
some of agnus castus;
and at the same Of this season wexeth glad and light. time came a train of valiant knights in In which (grove) were okes great, streight as splendid array, with “harneis ” of red
a line, Under the which the grasse so fresh of hew
gold, shining in the sun, and noble Was newly sprong, and an eight foot or nine steeds, with trappings “of cloth of Every tree well fro his fellow grew.
gold, and furred with ermine." These He must forget himself in the vague of the Leaf, and they sate under a
knights and ladies were the servants elicity of the country, and, like Dante, lose himself in ideal light and allegory: great oak, at the feet of their queen. The dreams of love, to continue true, ladies as resplendent as the first, but
From the other side came a bevy of nich not take too visible a form, nor
crowned with fresh flowers. These yter into a too consecutive history ; iney mus: float in a misty distance ; the were the servants of the Flower. They soul in wnich they hover can no longer alighted, and began to dance in the hink of the laws of existence ; it in- meadow. But heavy clouds appeared habits another world; it forgets itself in in the sky, and a storm broke out the ravishing emotion which troubles They wished to shelter themselves un it, and sees its well-loved visions rise, der the oak, but there was no more mingle, come and go, as in summer we * The Flower and the Leaf, .i. p. 244,5
6-32 . Troilus and Cressida, vol. v. bk. 5, p. 119 † Ibid. p. 245, L. 33. Ni passim.
Ibid. vi. p. 246, 1. 78 + 12.
room; they ensconced themselves as I triumphant notes "oll and ring above they could in the hedges and among the leafy canopy; fancy breaks in un the brushwood; the rain came down sought, and Chaucer hears them dis and spoiled their garlands, stained pute of Love. They sing alternatel; cheir robes, and washed away their an antistrophic song, and the nightin ornaments; when the sun returned, gale weeps for vexation to hear the they went to ask succor from the queen cuckoo speak in depreciation of Love of the Leaf; she, being merciful, con- He is consoled, however, by the poet's soled them, repaired the injury of the voice, seeing that he also suffers with rain, and restored their original beauty. him : Then all disappears as in a dream.
The lady was astonished, when sud-“ . For love and it hath doe me much wo. :rly a fair dame appeared and in
Ye use' (quod she)' this medicine structed ter. She learned that the ser
Every day this May or thou dine
Gorlooke upon the fresh daisie, vants of the Leaf had lived like brave And though thou be for wo in point to die knights, and those of the Flower had That shall full greatly lessen thee of thy loved idleness and pleasure. She
pine. promises to serve the Leaf, and came * And looke alway that thou be good and away.
trew, Is this an allegory? There is at
And I wol sing one of the songes new, least a lack of wit. There is no in
For love of thee, as loud as I may crie :
And than she began this song full hie, genious enigma; it is dominated by 'I shrewe all hem that been of love u fancy, and the poet thinks only of displaying in quiet verse the fleeting and brilliant train which had amused his To such exquisite delicacies love, as mind, and charmed his eyes.
with Petrarch, had carried poetry; by Chaucer himself, on the first of May, refinement even, as with Petrarch, it is rises and goes out into the meadows. lost now and then in its wit, conceits, Love enters his heart with the balmy clinches But a marked characteristic air; the landscape is transfigured, and at once separates it from Petrarch. If the birds begin to speak:
over-excited, it is also graceful, polish
ed, full of archness, banter; fine sen“ There sate I downe among the faire flours, And saw the birds trip out of hir bours,
sual gayety, somewhat gossipy, as the There as they rested hem all the night, French always paint love. Chaucer They were so joyfull of the dayes light, follows his true masters, and is himself They began of May for to doné honours.
an elegant speaker, facile, ever ready They coud that service all by rote,
to smile, loving choice pleasures, a disThere was many a lovely note,
ciple of the Roman de la Rose, and Some song loud as they had plained,
much less Italian than French. The And some in other manner voice yfained And some all out with the ful throte.
bent of French character makes of love The proyned hem and made hem right gay,
not a passion, but a gay banquet, taste. And daunceden, and lepten on the spray,
fully arranged, in which the service is And evermore two and two in fere,
elegant, the food exquisite, the silver Kight so as they had chosen hem to yere, brilliant, the two guests in full dress, Feverere upon saint Valentines day.
in good humor, quick to anticipate and And the river that I sate upon,
please each other, knowing how to It made such a noise as it ron, Accordaunt with the birdes armony
keep up the gayety, and when to part Methought it was the best melody
In Chaucer, without doubt, this othe: That night ben yheard of any mon." * altogether worldly vein runs side by
side with the sentimental element. Ii This confused harmony of vague noises Troilus is a weeping lover, Pandarus troubies the sense; a secret languor is a lively rascal, who volunteers for a enters the soul. The cuckoo throws singular service with amusing urgency, his monotonous voice like a mournful frank immorality, and carries it out and tender sigh between the white ash carefully, gratuitously, thoroughly. Ir tree boles; the nightingale make his
* Ibid. p. 126, 1. 230-241. • The Cuckou and Nightingale, vi. p. 121, + Stendhal, On Love : the difference of Lom 67-85.
taste and Love-passion.
these pretty attempts Charice accom- And lovers not, although they hold her
nice, panies him as far as possible, and is
hem mischaunce, not shocked. On tne contrary, he And every lover in his trouth avajince." makes fun out of it. At the critical He clearly lacks severity, so rare in moment, with transparent hypocrisy, he shelters himself behind his “au- the middle age made a virtue of joy;
southern literature. The Italians in thur.” If you find the particulars free, he says, it is not my fault ; ' so writen and you perceive that the world of clerks in hir bokes old,” and “I mote, chivalry, as conceived by the French, aftir min auctour, telle
Not expanded morality so as to confound in only is he gay, but he jests throughout
with pleasure. the whole tale. He sees clearly through the tricks of feminine modesty , he laughs at it archly, knowing full well
There are other characteristics still what is behind; he seems to be saying, more gay. The true Gallic literature finger on lip: "“Hush ! let the grand crops up ; obscene tales, practical jokes words roll on, you will be edified pres. Ciceronian style of Boccaccio, but re
on one's neighbor, not shrouded in the ently.” We are, in fact, edified; so is lated lightly by a man in good humor; ! he, and in the nick of time he goes above all, active roguery, the trick of away, carrying the light:
“For ought I can aspies, this light nor I ne serven Chaucer displays it better than Rute
laughing at your neighbor's expense here of nought.”. « Troilus,” says uncle Pandarus, "if ye be wise, sweven
beuf, and sometimes better than La eth not now, lest more folke arise."
» Fontaine. He does not knock his Troilus takes care not to swoon; and men down; he pricks them as he passCressida at last, being alone with him, es, not from deep hatred or indignaspeaks wittiiy and with prudent deli- tion, but through sheer nimbleness of cacy; there is here an exceeding disposition, and quick sense of the ridiccharm, no coarseness. Their happi- handfuls. His man of law is more a
ulous; he throws his gibes at them by ness covers all, even voluptuousness, with a profusion and perfume of its man of business than of the world : heavenly roses. At most a slight spice “No wher so besy a man as he ther n'as, of archness flavors it: “and gode
And yet he semed besier than he was." + thrift he had full oft.” Troilus holds His three burgesses : his mistress in his arms :
“ with worse
“ Everich, for the wisdom that he can hap God let us never mete.” The poet
Was shapelich for to ben an alderman. is almost as well pleased as they : for For catel hadden they ynough and rent, him, as for the men of his time, the And eke hir wives wolde it wel assent."'$ sovereign good is love, not damped, of the mendicant Friar he says: brit satisfied ; they ended even by thinking such love a merit. The ladies “ His wallet lay beforne him in his lappe, declared in their judgments, that when
Bret-ful of pardon come from Rome al
hote." || people love, they can refuse nothing to the beloved. Love has become law; The mockery here comes from the it is inscribed in a code; they combine heart, in the French manner, without
nith religion ; and there is a sacra- effort, calculation, or vehemence. It Dort of love, in which the birds in is so pleasant and so natural to banter their aukoms sing matins.* Chaucer one's neighbor ! Sometimes the lively wrses with all his heart the covetous vein becomes so copious, that it fur. wretches, the business men, who treat nishes an entire comedy, indelicate cer. it as a madness :
tainly, but so free and life-like. Jere
is the portrait of the wife of Bath, who * As wou d God, tho wretches tha. despise has turied five husbands;
Service of love had eares al so long
* Troilus and Cressida, vol. v. iii. pp. 44, 45: To teacnen hem, that they been in the vice + The story of the pear-tree (Merchant
Tale), and of the cradle (Reeve's Tale), for in
stance, in the Canterbury Tales. • The Court of Love, about 1353, et seg. See 1 Canterbury Tales, prologue, p. 1o, 2.323: sloo the Testament of Love.
1 § 13id. p. 12, l. 373. ll Ibid. p. 31, 1 68