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GEOFFREY CHAUCER. Born 1328; died 1400. Closely connected
with the Court of Edward III., serving in his French wars, and employed on his embassies. Chaucer was thus familiar with the gay scenes of the court : but his life-like pictures of
character and manners are drawn from every class. Insight, freshness, and love of nature, specially mark the poetry
of Chaucer, with which modern English literature begins. Of his many. works, the chief is the Canterbury Tales, consisting
of characteristic stories, told by a train of pilgrims to the
At mortal battles hadde he been fifteen
This ilké 3 worthy knight had been also 1 Tho Lord's war---the Crusade. 2 Tarther.
3 Sams. VI.
Sometime with the Lord of Palatie,
4 For he was late ycome fro his viàge, And wenté for to do his pilgrimage.
With him ther was his sone a yonge SQUIER,
he was I guess.
Embrouded' was he, as it were a mead
4 Soiled. 5 Coat of mail, Journeyings. 7 Curled. 8 War. 9 Embroidered.
Singing he was, or floyting 1 all the day,
A good man there was of religiòun,
3 Fight in the lists. 4 Courteous. • Carved. 6 Parishioners. 9 Proved often since.
8 Giye. • Great and little.
Upon his feet, and in his hand a staff.
He setté not his benefice to hire,
A better priest I trow that nowhere none is. 1 Gave. Ignorant.
4 Encumbered. 5 Paul's. & Seek for himself. ' Kept from the world. 8 Unmerciful. Proud, 10 But if it were.
12 For that once.
He waited after no pomp ne reverence,
THE SCHOLAR AND THE DAISY. NEEDS must we to books that we find, (Through which that old things be in mind And to the doctrine of these old wise, Give credence, in every skilful wise, That tellen of these olde approved stories, Of holiness, of reigns, of victories, Of love, of hate, and other sundry things, Of which I may not maken rehearsings : And if that old books were away, Ylorn were of remembrance the key. Well ought us, then, honouren and believe These books, there we have none other prev.
And as for me, though that I can but lite, On bokés for to read I me delite, And to them give I faith and full credence, And in mine heart have them in reverence So heartily, that there in game none, That from my bokés maketh me to gone, But it be seldom on the holy day, Save, certainly, when that the month of May Is comen, and that I hear the fowlés sing, And that the flowrés ginnen for to spring, Farewell my book, and my devotion ! !
Now have I then such a condition,