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THE PLACE OF GROUP F IN THE CANTERBURY CHRONOLOGY.

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LD3907
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Haw kins, Laurence F a u lk n e r.
* * '.W l
1940
The p l a c e o f g r o u p F i n t h e C a n t e r b u r y
,H3
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TH IS D IS SE R TA TIO N HAS BEEN M IC R O F IL M E D E X A C T L Y AS REC E IVE D .
LiwnvsV
N. Y. Umv?
THE PLACE OF GROUP F IN THE
CANTERBURY CHRONOLOGY
by
L a u r e n c e F a u l k n e r Hawkins
'M
m -4 a -p a rtia l fu lf illm e n t o f the requirem ents
/ f o r th e degree o f D octor o f P h ilo so p h y
New Y o r k U n i v e r s i t y
J a n u a r y 1937
PREFACE
T h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n d e v e lo p e d from a p a p e r p r e p a r e d f o r
D r . C a r l e t o n B r o w n ' s C h a u c e r s e m i n a r y a t New Y o r k U n i v e r s i t y .
I am i n d e b t e d t o D r . Brown f o r n u m e r o u s v a l u a b l e s u g g e s t i o n s
and c r i t i c i s m s — in d e e d f o r th e whole a p p r o a c h t o t h e s u b ­
jec t.
I w i s h t o a c k n o w l e d g e a l s o my i n d e b t e d n e s s t o
those
s c h o l a r s whose f i n d i n g s a nd i n t e r n r e t a t i o n s h a v e made p o s s ­
ib le
t h i s s y n t h e s i s , which l e a d s , I b e l i e v e ,
to a b e t t e r
u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e g r o w t h o f C h a u c e r a s man and p o e t .
L . F . H.
I
^
4
.
f"
CONTENTS
page
I . I n t r o d u c t i o n ............................................ .
II.
.
1
The S o u i r e f 3 T a l e ................................ 8
The M a g i c a l E l e m e n t s
..................... 11
T he F a l c o n E n i s o d e
. . . . . .
14
III.
The F r a n k l i n 1 s T a l e .......................... 34
T h e B a s i c S t o r y .................................36
The F r a n k l i n 1s I n t r o d u c t i o n . . 52
D o r i g e n , s C o m p l a i n t .......................... 67
IV .
C o n c l u s i o n s .............................................. 73
B ibliography
. . . . .
75
I.
In tro d u ctio n
Group F o f t h e C a n te r b u r y T a l e s , c o m n r i s i n g t h e S q u i r e * a
T a l e a n d t h e F r a n k l i n * a T a l e , h a s b e e n t h e c e n t e r o f much c o n ­
troversy.
For the l a s t q u a rte r o f a cen tu ry these
t a l e s have
g e n e r a l l y b e e n r e g a r d e d a s t h e c o n c l u s i o n o f a d e b a t e on m ar­
riag e,
a c c o rd in g to the "M arriage
expounded by P r o f e s s o r K i t t r e d g e
c u lties
an tly
b u t serious d i f f i -
i n t h e way o f t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n h a v e b e e n s e t f o r t h
by s e v e r a l s c h o l a r s .
If
t h e " M a r r ia g e Group" t h e o r y b e a c c e p t e d ,
one feust assum e t h a t t h e t a l e s o f G r^un F were w r i t t e n l a t e r
t h a n t h e W if e o f B a t h ' s a n d M e r c h a n t s T a l e s , t h a t i s
in the 1390's j
S k eat, R oot,
to sa y ,
a nd t h e y h a v e b e e n a s s i g n e d t o t h i s p e r i o d by
and R o b i n s o n , among o t h e r s .
P o llard ,
h o w e v e r, on
the b a s is o f " s u b je c t,
s t v l e , and t o n e , " a s c r i b e d them to th e
O
p e rio d o f th e Palam on.
and M i s s Hammond i n c l i n e s t o w a r d h i s
v i e w , t h o u g h s h e a l s o p u t s f o r w a r d t h e s u g g e s t i o n t h a t t h e y may
have been r e v i s e d to f i t
them i n t o t h e " M a r r i a g e G r o u p . "
Koc h
and T a t lo c k ,
in t h e i r s t u d i e s o f C haucer c h ro n o lo g y , d id n o t a t 4
tem pt to f i x th e d a te o f th e s e t a l e s .
Latefcr t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e v a r y i n g p o s i t i o n s o f G r o u p s D,
E, and F in th e m a n u s c r ip ts h as been d e b a t e d .
C. R . K a s e , on t h e
b a s i s o f a thorough stu d y o f th e arran g em en t o f th e t a l e s in th e
1 . A h i s t o r y o f th e d e v elo p m e n t o f t h e " M a r r ia g e Group" t h e o r y
i s g iv e n on oages
below .
2 . Globe Chaucer (1 9 0 7 ), xxvi f .
3 . C h a u c e r : A b i b l i o g r a p h i c a l M a n u a l ( 1 9 0 8 ) , 2 5 7 . On Sq T
s h e s a y s , "We h a v e no g u i d e b u t o u r own d e s i r e s i n t e r m i n g ( i t )
e a r l y o r l a t e . " ( 2 4 1 ) Yet" sk e c la ss e s I f
4 . T h o u g h T a t l o o k b y i n c l u d i n g t h e m I n t h e " M a r r i a g e G ro u p "
i n d i r e c t l y g a v e them a n a p p r o x i m a t e d a t e .
2,
•i n - t h e e x i s t i n g m a n u s c r i p t s ,
K
came t o t h e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t t h e
o r d e r o f f r a g m e n t s D, E , a n d F a c c e p t e d b y T y r w h i t t a nd S k e a t
i s n o t t h e o r d e r i n which C haucer w ro te t h e t a l e s o r i n w hich
he f i r s t
i n t e n d e d th e m t o s t a n d , b u t t h a t a c c o r d i n g t o C h a u c e r ' s
o r i g i n a l p l a n G r o u p F f o l l o w e d i m m e d i a t e l y a f t e r B^- (M L T ) .
He p o i n t s o u t t h a t t h e S q u i r e d T a l e ( F 1 ) i s f i r m l y a t t a c h e d
to
t h e Man o f L a w ' s T a l e i n t h e m a j o r i t y o f ^ a n u s o r i p t s b y a n
a d m i t t e d l y g e n u i n e l i n k o f 28 l i r e s ,
S h i m a n s e q u e n c e ( 1 ,e ,. .
w h e r e a s t h e Man o f L aw -
B^) w h i c h s t a n d s i n S k e a t f s a n d o t h e r
modern e d i t i o n s h a s th e a u t h o r i t y o f o n l y a s i n g l e m a n u s c r i p t —
th e n o t o r io u s ly e r r a t i c Selden M 8.
6
K a s e 's c o n c l u s i o n s , whioh
7
and T a t l o o k ,
were f u r t h e r d e v -
have been c h a lle n g e d by Tunper
Q
e l o p e d b y C a r l e t o n Brow n , who r e c o g n i z e d s u c c e s s i v e s t a g e s i n
t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e t a l e s i n Groups D and E, and a r g u e d t h a t
C h a u c e r's f i r s t arrangem ent ( s t i l l p r e s r v e d in a c o n s id e r a b le
l i s t o f 1 $ $ m a n u s c r i p t s ) was E 2 D
.
B u t t h o u g h t h e c h r o n o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n o f G r o u p F -(-Sq a n d - Frlelh a s b e en d i s c u s s e d from t h e p o i n t o f view o f m a n u s c r i p t o r d e r ,
no o n e a s y e t h a s e x a m i n e d t h e s e two t a l e s s y s t e m a t i c a l l y f r o m
t h e p o i n t o f view o f t h e i r l i t e r a r y
s u c h an e x a m i n a t i o n ,
filia tio n s.
To u n d e r t a k e
and i n t h e l i s h t o f t h i s e v i d e n c e t o o b s e r v e
a n y i m p l i c a t i o n s a s t o t h e d a t e an d s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e s e
is
tales,
th e purpose o f the p r e s e n t s tu d y .
'The r e - a r e -good r o a e e no f o r - o o n o i d o r i n g Gr oup F -a-o a u n i t . —
tlnniflli
/
^
5 . " O b s e r v a t i o n s on t h e S h i f t i n g P o s i t i o n s o f G r o u p s G a n d DE
i n t h e MSS o f t h e C a n t e r b u r y T a l e B . " i n T h r e e C h a u c e r S t u d i e s ( 1 9 5 2 ) .
6 . " T h e B e a r i n g s o f t h e S h i p m a n ' s P r o l o g u e . " JEGP. l i f t & I l J t 1 9 5 4 ) .
352ff
7 . " T h e C a n t e r b u r y T a l e s i n 1 4 0 0 , " PMLA. L { 1 9 3 5 ) , 1 1 5 f f . ( e s p . n . 44).
0 . " T h e E v o l u t i o n o f t h e C a n t e r b u r y ' M a r r i a g e G r o u p . " ' PMLA.
X LV IIIf1 9 3 3 ), 1 0 4 1 f f .
3
T h e r e a r e g oo d r e a s o n s f o r c o n s i d e r i n g G r o u p F a s a u n i t .
A l t h o u g h i n a l a r g e number o f m a n u s c r i p t s t h e two t a l e s o f
G r o u p F a r e s e p a r a t e d by t h e i n s e r t i o n o f G r o u p s D a nd E ,
the
i n t e r e s t i n g and u n q u e s t i o n a b l y g e n u in e g e n t i l e s s e l i n k betw een
t h e S q u i r e ’ s a n d F r a n k l i n ’ s T a l e s m akes i t
c l e a r t h a t i t was
C h a u c e r ’ s o r i g i n a l i n t e n t i o n t o J o i n t h o e o ' t a l o er -
th em .
These t a l e s , b e in g w r i t t e n i n t h e d e c a s y l l a b i c c o u p l e t , a r e
p r o b a b l y t o be a s s i g n e d t o a d a t e a f t e r 1 3 8 0 .
fact,
Nor, i n p o in t o f
h a s an e a r l i e r d a t e e v e r b e e n s u g g e s t e d f o r G ro u p F by
anyone.
^
-fiv e .
F u r t h e r m o r e , ’between t h e e e t h e r e a r e ^ s i m i l a r i t i e s i n s i t u a t i o n ,
c o n t e n t , and t o n e :
The y h a v e i n oemmon- t h o —f o H -o w l n g d o m o n -t o -
U n r e a l i t y (magic a s b a s i s o f p l o t s ; p o o r c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n )
High m o ra l tone
L a c k o f humor
V i r t u o u s a nd d i s t r e s s e d f e m a l e s ( i n Sq T . t h e f a l c o n )
It
i s ho d o u b t t h e h i g h m o r a l t o n e a n d l a c k o f r e a l i s m and
h um o r i n G roup F w h i c h s u p o l i e d t h e b a s i s f o r P o l l a r d ’ s o p i n i o n ^
Q
t h a t the " s u b j e c t , s t y l e , and t o n e ,"
o f t h e t n l e s o f t h i s Group
p l a c e them i n d a t e n e a r t h e P a l a m o n . f o r P o l l a r d s a y s o f C h a u c e r :
H i s e a r l y poems a r e v e r y b e a u t i f u l , b u t t h e y a r e s e n t i m e n t a l
and a l i t t l e w e a k , w i t h h a r d l y a t r a c e o f humour and no g r e a t
power o f c h a r a c t e r i s a t i o n .
I n h i s l a t e r poems s e n t i m e n t i s r e ­
p l a c e d by a n o t u n k i n d l y c y n i c i s m ; h i s s e n s e o f t h e h e a u t y o f
r e l i g i o n h a s p e r h a p s n o t d i m i n i s h e d , b u t he h i m s e l f i s l e s s r e l i g b u s and g r o s s e r ; h i 3 s u b t l e humour h a s become i n f i n i t e , an d
w i t h a few m a s t e r l y s t r o k e s h e p o r t r a y s a c h a r a c t e r t o t h e l i f e .
T h is i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f th e developm ent o f C h a u c e r’ s g e n iu s i s
q u ite
i n a c o o r d w i t h t h e v i e w s o f t e n B r i f c k , who some y e a r s e a r ­
l i e r had d e c l a r e d :
I t i s . . . v e r y r e m a r k a b l e how t h e s u b j e c t s t o w h i c h C h a u c e r
t u r n e d h i s a t t e n t i o n , h a v e f r o m t h i s t i m e f b e g i n n i n g o f t h e Can­
t e r b u r y p r o j e o t j onward a d e c i d e d l y p o p u l a r i m p r e s s ; f o r m e r l y h e
moved i n a w o r l d o f d rea m s o r i n a n u n a t t a i n a b l e i d e a l i s m ; b u t
9 . O n. c i t . . x x v i .
1 0 . Chauoer P rim e r ( 1 9 9 5 ),
55.
4
now he p r e f e r s t o s t a n d upon t h e g r o u n d o f r e a l i t y , a n d . . . t o
t r e a t o f t h i n g s r e c e n t and l o c a l .
The p r e p o n d e r a n c e o f t h e
c o m i c e l e m e n t i n t h e l a t e r e f f u s i o n s o f h i s Muse d e p e n d s l a r g e ­
l y on t h i s c h a n g e t o r e a l i s m , a s d o e s t h e p r e v a l e n c e o f t h e h e ­
r o i c c o u p le t f o r th e form o f h i s v e r s e . . . .
I f C h a u c e r * s w o r k d o e s show a d e v e l o m e n t o f t h e ^ s o r t d e ­
s c r i b e d b y t h e s e two s c h o l a r s , we s h o u l d ,
u r t i l p ro o f to th e
c o n t r a r y be? f o u n d , t e n t a t i v e l y a s s i g n t o a f a i r l v e a r l y p e r i o d
o f C h a u c e r ' s c a r e e r a n y w ork t h a t s h o w s i d e a l i s m ,
c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , an d l a c k o f h u m o r .
su p erficial
B u t t h e h y p o t h e s i s o f an
e a r l y d a t e f o r G r o u p F c a n n o t be a d o p t e d w i t h o u t f u r t h e r a r g u ­
m ent inasm uch a s n o t a l l s c h o l a r s a g r e e w ith t e n B r i n k and P o l ­
l a r d in re c o g n iz in g th e s e tr e n d s in C h a u c e r's c a r e e r .
for
exam ple, s a y s t h a t " C h a u c e r 's l i t e r a r y m a n n e r . . .
T atlo ck ,
depended
f a r l e s s o n t h e t i m e o f l i f e when he w a s w r i t i n g t h a n o n t h e
12
c h a r a c t e r o f h i s s u b j e c t . " J E v e n i f t h i s w ere c o n c e d e d , o n e
m ight, o f c o u rse,
s t i l l a r g u e t h a t C h a u c e r ' s t i m e o f l i f e may
h a v e had s o m e t h i n g t o do w i t h h i s c h o i c e o f s u b j e c t s .
th ere i s reason, I b e liev e ,
ness o f the sta te m e n t.
M oreover,
to q u e s tio n th e e s s e n t i a l e o r r e c t -
F o r one t h i ng, T a t l o o k ' s r o n v i o t i o n -
.t h a t ,.t h e .B n u i r e ' s a n d F r a n k l i n ' s Ta-l e s viage- l a t e , p r o d u o t i n n o —i-s1”
'l.if u . mT— -iw ViHn
n ■]n nt ^ v,
■Mm +1. a,-,
p s y c h o l o g i c a l -p e r r o d a I n C h a u c e r ' a - c a r o o r ,— A l l t h o 3 c who s h a r e
t h n'.np'l I!, 11‘II lil m t t i n
+n 1 n n
^-rcrp ^ nrp
T a t a wo u l d
t.h.ta3se h y —'h a
comp o i l e d - t o a g r e e w i t h T g t l o o l f l ,
P e r h a p s i f C h a u c e r 's works were c l a s s i f i e d
humor, and t h e o t h e r t r a i t s m e n tio n e d a b o v e ,
m o r e a p p a r e n t. T h e r e f o r e I p r e s e n t t h e
as to r e a lis m ,
th e f a c t s would be
fo llo w in g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s :
1 1 . H i s t , o f E n g . L i t . . X I ( t r . b y W. C, R o b i n s o n ) , , 1 9 2 2 , pp. 125-6,
1 2 . D e v e l o p m e n t a n d 'C h r o n o l o g y o f C h a u o e r ' s W o r k s . Ch. Scx).{1907), ]S.
5
R ealism 13
Dream v i s i o n s , i n w h i c h a l l e g o r y a n d f a n t a s y p r e v a i l : B D. H F .
P F , P r o l L G W________________________________ _____
T a l e s o f C h r i s t i a n s u p e r n a t u r a l ! s m : M L T . ( P h y s t T) P a r d T . P r s T .
-------------- —----------- ;----^------------ J
2 H T
ClassfcaTV'^ o i e n ^ l l e g e n d / : f Manc T X L G 17 ( i n p a r t )
hhlbry/ T a l e s o f m a g i c , s o b e r l y t r e a t e d : So T , F r k l T
arily
R om antic t a l e s , i n which
s u p e r n a t u r a l ' ! sm
p l a y s l i t t l e o r no p a r t :
A n e l . T r , 1 4 Kn T . L G W
( i n p a r t ) , Cl
T
T a le s shew ing t h e i r o n i c a l o r f a r c i c a l use o f s u n e r n a t u r a l e l e ­
m e n t s ! 5 : F r T . W B T r *Mrch T . T h o p , N P T
W h o l l y r e a l i s t i c t s l e s : Gen- I ’r o l C T, M i l T'. Ry T. Sum T. Shp T,
C Y T
M o r a lity 16
R o m a n t i c p i e c e s w i t h o u t m o r a l s i g n i f i c a n c e : B D. H F ( I
II),
L G VV. A n e l ( ? ) , Kn T . So T. ( P a r t One)
^
-_
Works e x p r e s s i n g C h r i s tid!faLm ^ r a l i t y : M L T , | P h y S Tw/ P r s T. 0 N T.
Pars T
-■ Works o f m o r a l i d e a l i s m n o t e x p r e s s l y C h r i s t i a n : B o e c e . A n e l ( ? ) .
CJl T ,7 8 a T ( P a r t Two), FrM. T, M
— e vl , )\
The T r o i l u s . i n w h i c h r o m a n t i c i d e a l i s m i s t e m p e r e d b y t h e g e n i a l
cy h icism o f Pandarus
W B T ftO.
S a t i r i c a l p i e c e s , o r works p a r t l y s a t i r i c a l , n o t / i n t h e f a b l i a u
v e i n : H F ( I I I ) , P _F , Gen P r o l C T ( i n p a r t ) .A T h o p . C Y T , Mano T
C y n i c a l p i e c e s o f t h e ~ f a b l i a u t y p e : Gen P r o l C T ( i n p a r t T . M i l T .
Rv T . W B P r o l
F r T . Sum T . k r c h T . Sh p T
Humor1 ^
'Works d e v o i d o r a l m o s t d e v o i d o f hu m or: B D. B o e c e , A n e l .
L G V/.
Kn T . M L T . C l T . Sq T . F r k l T . P h y s ^ P a r d ^ Y P r s ~ T . M e l . '
Mk T . g N T . f Mano T^ "C i T flTlT a r s T
Works w i t h some w h i m s i c a l htUttor: H F . P F . P r o l I G W W 6 T
The T r o i l u s . p r e d o m i n a n t l y s e r i o u s , xvith i n c i d e n t a l h u m o r o f a
c y n ic al tone
Works i n t h e f a b l i a u s p i r i t , b r o a d l y a n d c y n i c a l l y h u m o r o u s : Gen
P r o l C T ( i n p a r t ) , M i l T . Rv T . w B Pr-nl -fir. T-; F r T , Sum i f !
Mrch T .~“S hp T . T h o p . H P T
1 ft
V ie w s o f Women
Works i n w h i c h women a r e i d e a l i z e d o r i n w h i c h men a r e condem ned
f o r t h e i r t r e a t m e n t o f women: B D. H F ( I ) . A n e l . L G W, Kn T.
M L T . C l T . So T . F r k l T . P h y F T . M e l . 3 N T
-------Works i n w h i c h women a r e r e a l i s t i c a l l y n r e s e n t e d o r a r e s a t i r i z e d :
T r , Gen P r o l C T . M i l T . Rv T . W B P r o l & T . M r c h T . Shu T t Mane T
'.-U^rvW
13.
M i n o r poems a r e n o t l i s t e d ^ n o r i n some c a s e s w o r k s w h i c h
w i l l n o t f i t i n t o any c a t e g o r y , ^ . s t o t h e o r d e r i n w h ich w o rk s
a r e l i s t e d , I h av e f o llo w e d th e o r d e r o f t h e Cambridge C h a u c e r ,
e x c e p t t h a t n o n - C a n te r b u r y works a r e p l a c e d b e f o r e C a n t e r b u r y tal-as,
( N o t e s 1 4 - 1 8 a r e or. p a g e
6
.)
S '
X> j**'Jbbt-d. a .
/ XiSHJL* au^J- (L*X^~s>t4™ 0-*£^'
d z*
J& aX- >*■€ X z
y
'*^~ **-&
6
14.
I h a v e c l a s s e d t h e A n e l i d a and t h e T r o i l u s a s r o m a n t i c
i n s p i t e o f t h e f a c t t h a t t h e y do n o t l a c k r e a l i s t i c e l e m e n t s ,
b e c a u s e t h e y a r e s e t i n t h e f a r away a n d l o n g a g o .
15.
I t s h o u l d be n e e d l e s s t o r e m a r k t h a t t h e f a r c i c a l u s e o f
t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l ( a s I n A. F r a n c e and C C a b e l l ) i m p l i e s d i s b e l i e f .
L
■^7 1 6 . G e o r g e B . S t e w a r t , J r . ( i n "The M o r a l C h a u c e r , " C a l i f . U n i v .
P u b s , i n E n g . . PQ.929)f GK8E). c l a s s e s V/ B T a s a t a l e o f " c o u r t l y
c o n d u c t " afad F r T a s a " r e l i g i o u s t a l e . "
But the W ife’ s d o c tr i n e
o f w i f e l y s o v e r e i g n t y i s n o t an ite m o f th e c o u r t l y c r e e d ; and
t h e F r i a r t e l l s h i s t a l e m e r e l y t o make f u n o f su ram o ners. H e n c e
I do n o t f o l l o w h i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n .
I n a c o n c lu d in g s t a te m e n t S t e w a r t s a y s , " I would r a t h e r
assume t h a t t h e m o r a l C h a u c e r now and t h e n l a p s e d i n t o v u l g a r i t y
t h a n t h a t t h e r i b a l d C h a u c e r s p e n t m o st o f h i s l i f e c o m p o s i n g
h y p o c r i t i c a l m o r a l i t y , f!(loj) T h i s i s a m i s l e a d i n g p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e
a l t e r n a t i v e s * s i n c e i t p o s t u l a t e s an u n c h a n g i n g C h a u c e r . F u r t h e r ­
m ore, I p r o t e s t a g a i n s t S t e w a r t ’s apology f o r C h a u c e r 's r i b a l d r y ;
i f C h a u c e r h a d n o t " l a p s e d " now a n d t h e n , w o u l d h e be o n e o f o u r
b e s t loved p o ets?
1 7 . The m o s t t h o r o u g h s t u d y o f C h a u c e r ’ s humor h a s b e e n made
L]j - i y b y W il h e l m E w ald i n " D e r Humor i n C h a u c e r ^ s C a n t e r b u r y T a l e s ."
pat-if t
^ A s t u d . z . E n g . P h i l . . 3Q£E£l911i. Ewald d o e s n o t , h o w e v e r , s t u d y
t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f C h a u c e r ’ s rmmor; he c o n t e n t s h i m s e l f w i t h a n
e x h a u s t i v e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f i t e m s o f h u m o r . He l i s t s a s h u m o r ­
ous b i t s in Group F l i n e s 204, 298, 376, 4 0 1 - 8 . 7 1 6 f f . , 1 0 1 7 -8 ,
1082-6, 1493-8.
(He m i s s e d t h e pun i n F 1 0 5 - 6 . ) B u t t h e s e b i t s
o f h u m o r , i f i n d e e d we a c c e p t a l l o f th em a s h u m o r , a r e s o m i l d
a s n o t t o i n t e r f e r e w i t h t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f b o t h Sq T and F r k l
T a s " a l m o s t d e v o i d o f h u m o r ."
W a l t e r M. H a r t , i n h i s s t u d y o f F r k l T . g i v e s j u s t i f i c a t i o n
f o r c o n s i d e r i n g humor a s t h e d o m i n a n t t r a i t o f C h a u c e r ’ s l a t e r
work and f o r d e s i g n a t i n g t h i s p e r i o d (1 3 9 0 -1 4 0 0 ?) a s th e " f a b l i a u
p e r i o d 1;
"We may s a y w i t h a f a i r d e g r e e o f c e r t a i n t y t h a t i n t h e
t e c h n i q u e o f t h e Drama o f t h e P i l g r i m a g e an d o f t h e comic t a l e s
C h a u c e r was w r i t i n g u n d e r f a b l i a u i n f l u e n c e .
W hile th e s e r i o u s
t a l e s a m ou n t t o 1 2 , 6 7 7 l i n e s , and t h e w h o l e f r a m e w o r k a n d c o m ic
t a l e s t o g e t h e r o n ly to 9,411 l i n e s , i t i s c l e a r t h a t th e l a t t e r
group r e p r e s e n t s th e Chaucer o f th e C a n te rb u ry T a l e s , f o r e v e r y
p a r t o f i t was composed e s p e c i a l l y f o r t h a t p u r p o s e , i n t h e s t y l e
and m e t e r ( w i t h t h e t r i f l i n g e x c e p t i o n t o f S i r T h o p a s . . . a nd o f I t s
p r o l o g u e . . . ) and g e n e r a l t o n e p e c u l i a r t o i t . " (" T h e F r a n k l i n ’ s
T a l e , " i n H a v e rfo rd E s s a y s ( 1909). 231-2)
1 8 . The q u e s t i o n o f C h a u c e r ’ s v i e w s o f vjomen o v e r l a p s , o f c o u r s e ,
t h a t o f h i s m oral view s.
Wm. G. Dodd, i n h i s C o u r t l y Love i n C h a u c e r a n d G ow ert I 9 L 5 ) .
s a y s , " I n t h e C a n t e r b u r y T a l e s , two t y p e s o f l o v e a r e p r o m i n e n t .
One o f t h e s e , t h e c o u r t l y l o v e o f t h e h i g h e r c l a s s e s , we h a v e s e e n
t o be a b u n d a n t l y i l l u s t r a t e d i n C h a u c e r ’ s e a r l i e r w o r k s . The o t h e r
ty p e i s found i n t h o s e t a l e s in which C h au cer in h i s m a s t e r l y f a ­
s h io n p o r t r a y s th e l i f e o f th e lower c l a s s e s — th e lo v e of th e f a ­
b l i a u x ." (232)
Dodd n l a c e s i n t h e f o r m e r c l a s s , a s i l l u s t r a t i v e o f
c o u r t l y l o v e , Kn T . Sq T . a n d F r k l T— a n d , why I c a n n o t s a y , H P T .
C e r ta in ly the s p i r i t o f th e l a t t e r ta l e i s t h a t o f the f a b l i a u x .
The f i n d i n g s o f Agnes K. G e t t y , i n " C h a u c e r ’ s C h a n g i n g Con­
c e p t i o n s o f t h e Humble L o v e r , " PMLA. X L I Y ( 1 9 2 9 ) , 2 0 2 f f . , a n d i n
"The M e diaev al-M o dern C o n f l i c t i n C h a u c e r ' s P o e t r y , " BJLA, XLVII
( 1 9 3 2 ) , 3 8 5 f f • , s u p p o r t t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f t h o s e c r i t i c s who
s e e i n C h a u c e r ’ s w ork a d e c i d e d t r e n d t o w a r d r e a l i s m , h u m o r , a n d
c y n i c i s m . She d e s c r i b e s t h e So T a n d F r k l T a s c o n v e n t i o n a l .
7
From t h e s e c h a r t s i t
c a n e a s i l y be s e e n t h a t ,
d isreg ard in g
t h e S q u i r e 1a a n d F r a n k l i n 1s T a l e s , t h o s e w o r k s o f C h a u c e r g e n ­
e r a l l y considered e a rly
( s a y , b e f o r e 13Q5) a r e i d e a l i s t i c ,
m a n t i c , s o b e r ( w i t h h e r e and t h e r e b i t s
a n d r a t h e r w o r s h i p f u l o f women.
ro­
o f w him sical hum or),
On t h e o t h e r h a n d ,
those ta l e s
g e n e r a l l y r e c o g n i z e d a s l a t e a r e in t h e main r e a l i s t i c ,
dom in­
a t e d by c o a r s e o r s l y humor, and a m ia b ly c y n i c a l r e g a r d i n g t h e
c h a r a c t e r o f women. " T h i s g<m-gr-<a
1
_| of^ co u T S-e i
1 mu s t . emphacig& -t h a t -t h e- pr e c ed in g —a n a l v o i o i s a m a t t e r o f p p n e r a l i t j ro e i i t p r o v id e s o n ly _ an h y p o t h e s i s o f th e e a r l y comft Y y r f
7
■
p o s i t i o n o f t h e S q u i r e * s and F r a n k l i n s T a l e s .
S e ttin g aside
my own n h i l o s o n h i o a l a n d e t h i c a l p r e c o n c e p t i o n s , I s h a l l a t t e m p t
t o t e s t t h i s h y p o / t h e s i s by a f a i r a n d t h o r o u g h m a r s h a l i n g o f
t h e f a c t s — th e l i t e r a r y f i l i a t i o n s o f th e S q u i r e ' s T a le and
F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e , b o t h w i t h t h e o t h e r w o r k s o f C h a u c e r a nd n o n C hauoerian w orks.
8
I I . The S q u i r e d T a l e
"fra fO™c w tar W sfeite.s
The S q u i r e Ts T a l e , i n s p i t e o f i t s b o i n g a more f r a g m e n t -,
h a s b e e n much a d m i r e d .
C r i t i c s quote w ith a n n ro v a l M i l t o n 1s
p r a i s e o f t h e " s t o r y o f Cambusean b o l d " ; and m o s t o f th em
h a v e added t h e i r own t e s t i m o n y t o t h e c h arm o f t h e n i e c e ,
W h e th e r t h i s
ch arm i n h e r e s i n t h e v e r y m a t e r i a l s o f t h e p l o t
a n d s e t t i n g o r w h e t h e r i t r e s i d e s i n t h e t r e a t m e n t g i v e n by
C h a u c e r t o t h e s e m a t e r i a l s i s a d i f f i c u l t question."*"
cannot pass f i n a l
One
j u d g m e n t on a work o f C h a u c e r w i t h o u t mak­
i n g a s t u d y o f h i s use o f borrow ed m a t e r i a l and c o n s i d e r i n g
w h a t h e t r a n s l a t e d , w h a t he i n v e n t e d , and when a n d how h e a l ­
t e r e d and combined h i s m a t e r i a l s .
o f the S q u i r e ’s T ale e x i s t s ,
But s i n c e no known s o u r c e
one c a n n o t r e a c h a f i n a l a p n r a i s a l
o f t h e l i t e r a r y s k i l l e m ployed by C h a u c e r i n i t s
One c a n s a y t h a t t h e t a l e ,
com position.
a s f a r a s i t g o e s , moves b r i s k l y
( s e e F 6 3 - 7 5 , 3 8 8 - 9 0 , 3 9 8 - 3 0 1 ) and c o l o r f u l l y .
The r o m a n t i c
s n i r i t o f P a r t One i s a k i n t o t h a t o f t h e P a l a m o n .
via:-* t h e S q u i r e ’ s T a l e w r i t t e n w i t h t h e C a n t e r b u r y scheme
i n m in d ?
That i t was, i s s u g g e s te d , as R obinson n o t e s ,
" n o t e o f t i m e " i n F73 ( " I wol n a t t a r y e n yow, f o r i t
by t h e
is prym e").
B u t s u c h a r e m a r k c o u l d e a s i l y be- i n s e r t e d i n t o a t a l e a l r e a d y
com pleted.
In f a c t,
W i l l i s Wager, a t t h e e n d o f a r e o e n t
1 .
There i s p o i n t to R o o t ’s shrewd s u g g e s t i o n t i n t t h e
c h arm o f t h e S o u i r e ’ s T a l e may v e r y wel], l i e i n i t s in c o m ­
p leten ess.
(See h i s P o e t r y o f C h a u c e r. 1932, 3 6 7 - 9 .)
g
article
o n "The S o - C a l l e d P r o l o g u e t o t h e K n i g h t ' s T a l e . " ^ shows
t h a t l i n e s F63-75 o f th e S q u i r e d T a l e , c o n ta in in g th e o o c u n a tio
d ev ice,
seem t o h a v e b e e n a d d e d t o a d a p t t h e t a l e
b u ry scheme,
a lik e
to th e C a n te r­
J u s t a s l i n e s A875 -9 2 w e re a d d e d t o t h e P a l a m o n f o r
n u r u o s e . ' ( I wnuld s u g g e s t t h a t t h e ad d ed p a s s a g e p r o b a ­
b l y c o n s is te d o f l i n e s F 58-75.)
P e r h a p s e v id e n c e b e a r i n g upon t h i s o u e s t i o n o f a d a p t a t i o n
w i l l be a f f o r d e d b y a s t u d y o f t h e u s e o f t h e w o r d s I ,
speak.
The w o r d " s p e k e " i n F41 i s o f no s i g n i f i c a n c e ,
y o u , and
f o r Chau­
c e r u s e s s p e k e and d e r i v e d f o r m s i n poems n o t o f t h e C a n t e r b u r y
group. 3
The word "yow" f o u n d i n a number o f l i n e s n e e d n o t d e ­
note the p ilg rim s ,
thus in fo rm a lly .
s in c e Chaucer o f t e n a d d re ss e d h i s r e a d e r s
4
The f i r s t p e r s o n p a s s a g e s ,
however, r e n u i r e a n a l y s i s .
I n two
p a ssa g e s the n a r r a t o r a p o lo g iz e s f o r h is l i m i t a t i o n s a s a s t o r y ­
teller:
B u t f o r t o t e l l e yow a l h i r b e a u t e e ,
I t l y t h n a t i n my t o n g e , n ' y n my k o n n y n g ;
I d a r n a t u n d e r t a k e so h e i g h a t h y n g .
Myn E n g l i s s h e e k i s i n s u f f i c i e n t .
I t m oste been a r e t h o r e x c e l l e n t ,
T h at koude h i s c o l o u r s longynge f o r t h a t a r t ,
I f he s h o l d e h i r e d i s c r y v e n e v e r y p a r t .
I am n o o n s w i c h , I m oot s p e k e a s I k a n .
(F34-41)
A l be i t t h a t I k a n n a t sowne h i s s t i l e ,
Ne k a n n a t c l y m b e n o v e r so h e i g h a s t y l e ,
Y e t Beye I t h i s . . , .
(F105-7)
The f o r m e r p a s s a g e p a r a l l e l s t h e F r a n k l i n ' s apology f o r h i s
" r u d e sp e c h e " and h i s i g n o r a n c e o f t h e " c o l o u r s o f r h e t o r y k "
2 . Mafe Low?-- Net£»g. L { 1 9 3 5 ) , 3 0 6 - 7 .
3 . See I. fj ITPrni F 9 7 , 1 0 2 , 1 2 1 , 9 5 4 , 1 9 0 0 , 2 1 7 9 , 2 2 2 5 , 239 7 .
4 . See T r o i l u s I , 5 , 2 2 -3 0 , 54, 144, 233, 235, 240, 256, 25 8 , 259.
in h i s P ro lo g u e , F716-27.
B o t h p a s s a g e s c o u l d a p p l y to t h e
S q u i r e , b u t t h e y a r e q u i t e s i m i l a r to o t h e r p a s s a g e s i n which
Chaucer d e p r e c i a t e s h i m s e l f , a s ,
f o r exam ple, L G W P r o l F 66-7:
A l l a s , t h a t I n e h a d E n g l y s s h , ryme o r a r o s e ,
S u f f i s a n t t h i s f l o u r to nreyse a ry g h t!
I n F 2 4 6 we h a v e , a p r o p o s o f t h e q u e s t i o n o f how m e t a l i s
hardened,
"W hich i s un k n o w e ,
o f i g n o r a n c e on a s c i e n t i f i c
a l g a t e s u n t o m e ."
A co n fessio n
q u e s t i o n w o u l d b e more n a t u r a l f o r
She S n u i r e t h a n f o r C h a u c e r , t h o u g h t h e r e i s no r e a s o n t o a ssu m e
t h a t C h a u c e r was t h o r o u g h l y i n f o r m e d on a l l
s c ie n tif ic m atters
when he w r o t e t h e S o u i r e ' s T a l e , o r t h a t h e m i g h t n o t u n d e r r a t e
h i s know ledge.
We f i n d i n F 2 7 8 - 9 :
H eere i s the r e v e l and th e j o l i t e e
T h a t i s n a t a b l e a d u l man t o d e v y s e .
dLrfficiA.i't
I f i n d i t i .-mp o o sA b l’e t o t h i n k o f t h i s a s a r e f e r e n c e t o
young S q u i r e .
On t h e o t h e r h a n d ,
it
the j o l l y
i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f the
p o e t 's r e f e r e n c e s to h im s e lf.
T h e r e a r e o t h e r u s e s o f t h e f i r s t p e r s o n i n F£ 6 8 t, 2 8 8 - 9 0 , 3 0 1 ,
343,
6 5 1 ff.,
w rote in
b u t in view o f th e f a c t t h a t Chaucer h a b i t u a l l y
t h e f i r s t p e r s o n , I s e e no s i g n i f i c a n c e
T his exam inatio n o f f i r s t
in th e s e p a s s a g e s
person passages, th en ,
su p p o rts the
a r g u m e n t o f M r . Wager t h a t t h e S q u i r e ' s T a l e was a d a p t e d f o r t h e
C a n t e r b u r y s c h em e r a t h e r
than w r i t t e n f o r i t .
m ea n s q u i t e a n e a r l y d a t e f o r t h e t a l e .
l i t e r a r y p a r a l l e l s betw een t h i s
tale
T his o f c o u rs e
L e t u s s e e now w h e t h e r
a nd o t h e r w o r k s a r e c o n s i s ­
t e n t w ith t h i s view .
5.
Compare, f o r e x a m p le , C h a u c e r 's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f h i m s e l f
( i n t h e words o f A f f r i c a n u s J a s " d u l" i n P F 162.
11
The M a g i c a l E l e m e n t s
P a r t One ( F 9 - 3 4 6 ) p r e s e n t s t h e c h a r a c t e r s a n d t h e o p e n i n g
scene,
i n w h i c h a k n i g h t comes t o t h e c o u r t o f Cambyus kan
w i t h g i f t s from " t h e kynge o f A rabe and I n d e . "
To Ca mby us kan
h e p r e s e n t s a f l y i n g s t e e d o f b r a s s an d a s w o r d t h a t w i l l c u t
t h r o u g h a l l a r m o r a n d i n f l i c t a wound t h a t can o n l y b e h e a l e d
b y t h e f l a t o f t h e same s w o r d .
To t h e k i n g r s d a u g h t e r h e p r e ­
s e n t s a m i r r o r which r e v e a l s t r e a s o n w h e th er i n u o l i t i c s o r
lo v e and a r i n g which e n a b le s i t s
w earer to understand th e
s p e e c h o f b i r d s a n d t o know t h e h e a l i n g power o f h e r b s .
s e v e r a l elem en ts in t h i s
The
s i t u a t i o n h a v e b e e n c o m p a r e d b y a num­
b e r o f s c h o l a r s to l i k e e le m e n ts i n c e r t a i n t a l e s o f O r i e n t a l
o rig in or in flu en ce.
B u t i n n on e o f t h e s e t a l e s do we f i n d
t h e same c o m b i n a t i o n o f m a g i c a l e l e m e n t s os i n t h e S n u i r e Ts
e
T ale.
U n t i l an a c t u a l s o u r c e be f o u n d , t h e t h e o r y t h a t C h a u c e r
was c o m p o s i n g a t a l e
i n w h i c h he i n t e n n e d t o u s e v a r i o u s O r i e n ­
t a l m a t e r i a l s t h a t he h a d a c q u i r e d h e r e a nd t h e r e i n h i s r e a d ­
in g o r c o n v e r s a t io n s t a n d s a s th e most a c c e p ta b le t h e o r y .
Lowes was a b l e t o show t h a t f o r a num ber o f e l e m e n t s o f t h e
s t o r y C h a u c e r was i n d e b t e d t o t h e E n i s t o l a P r e s b v t e r i J o h a n n e s .
But even i f
7
we a c c e p t Lowes* f i n d i n g s i n t o t o . t h e c o n c l u s i o n #
h a s no r e l e v a n c e t o t h e q u e s t i o n o f d a t e .
H. S . V. J o n e s ,
i n "Some O b s e r v a t i o n s u po n t h e S q u i r e ’ s T a l e . ”
a r g u e s t h a t F r o i s s a r t ’ s L ’E s u i n e t t e Am oureuse i s
the in s p i r a t i o n
6 . S e e R o b i n s o n ’ s C a m b r i d g e C h a u c e r . 8P.1-2, f o r a b r i e f r e ­
v i e w o f o p i n i o n s on t h e q u e s t i o n o f s o u r c e s a n d a b i b l i o g r a p h y
( t o 1 9 3 3 ) . A l s o s e e S k e a t , O x f . O h. r I I I , 4 6 3 f f .
7 . "The S o u i r e ’ s T a l e a n d t h e L a n d o f P r e s t e r J o h n . " Wash.
U n i v . S t u d . . V o l . I . P a r t I I , N o. 1 ( 1 9 1 3 ) , 3 f f .
8 . PMLA. XX(1 9 0 5 ; , 3 4 6 f f .
8
f o r some o f C h a u c e r ' s l i n e s on t h e m a g i c m i r r o r .
In the S q u i r e 's
T a l e . F 3 6 8 - 7 2 , we h a v e :
For sw ich a joye she in h i r h e r t e to o k
B othe o f h i r a u e y n te ry n g and h i r e m i r o u r ,
T h a t t w e n t y tyme s h e c h a n g e d h i r c o l o u r ;
And i n h i r e s l e e p , r i g h t f o r i m p r e s s i o u n
Of h i r e m ir o u r , sh e hadde a v i s i o u n .
In F r o is s a r t's
sto ry a kn ig h t places h is la d y 's m irro r— not a
m agic o n e— u n d e r h i s p i l l o w and b e c a u s e
6
f i t dreams o f h i s l a d y .
J o n e s s a y s , " I s u g g e s t t h a t C a n a c e e ' s d r e a m was s i m i l a r t o t h e
k n i g h t 's h ere d e sc rib e d [ t h i s i s pure s n e c u la tio n sin c e Chaucer
d id n o t f a v o r us w ith even a h i n t o f t h e n a tu r e o f C a n a c e e 's dreamj ,
and t h a t
' i m p r e s s i o u n o f h i r m i r o u r ' may b e a n e c h o o f '
o u i se m i r o i t au m i r e o i r . ' "
Q
1
' im p ressio n . . .
The p r o b a b i l i t y t h a t we do h a v e h e r e
a g e n u i n e p a r a l l e l b e t w e e n t h e S q u i r e ' s T a l e and F r o i s s a r t ' s L ' E s p i n e t t e A m o u reg s e i s s t r e n g t h e n e d ,
C a n a c e e 's dream i s
I b e l i e v e , by t h e f a c t
that
o u i t e u n n e c e s s a r y t o t h e p l o t and i s p a s s e d
o v e r w ith o u t any d e v e lo p m e n t.1^
T his v e ry p ro b ab le c o n n e c tio n
does n o t , how ever, su p p ly any e v id e n c e f o r th e d a te o f the S q u i r e 's
T a l e . f o r C h a u c e r shows a c q u a i n t a n c e w i t h F r o i s s a r t ’ s w o r k s e v e n
11
i n t h e Book o f t h e D u c h e s s .
Some p a r a l l e l s h a v e b e e n no i n t e d o u t b e t w e e n t h e S o u i r e ' s T a l e
and f a m i l i a r so u rc e m a t e r i a l ,
M eu n 's p a P t ) .
n a m e l y , Le roman de l a r o s e
( J e a n de
T h i s w ork c o n t a i n s s e v e r a l l o n g p a s s a g e s o n o n t i c s
which S k e a t and F a n s l e r c i t e a s h a v in g i n f l u e n c e d C h a u c e r 's d e s c r i p t i o n
9. I b i d . . 358.
L ines 2623-6 o f L 'E s p i n e t t e a r e :
De mon m i r e o i r me p r e n c g a r d e ,
Que g ' i v o i l ' i m p r e s s i o n p u r e
De me dame e t de s a f i g u r e
Qui s e m i r o i t a u m i r e o i r .
1 0 . See n o t e 2 0 ? p a g e , 1 5 , b e l o w .
1 1 . K i t t r e d g e ( " C h a u c e r a n d F r o i s s a r t , " E n g . S t u d . . X X F I ( 1 8 9 9 j, 3 2 1 f f J
sh ow s t h a t l i n e s 1 - 7 o f B D a r e d e r i v e d f ro m F r o i ' s s a r t ' s P a r a d y s d ' A m o u r .
13
o f the magic m i r r o r .
The p a r a l l e l s
S q u ire * s T ale
in c e r ta in lin e s are
strik in g :
Le r o m an de l a r o s e ^ s
N a t u r e l l y , b y compo 3 i o l o u n s
Of a n g l i s and o f s l y e r e f l e x iouns,
(F229-30)
P a r c o m - p o s io io n s d i v e r s e s ;
(18176)
P a r l e s d i v e r s i t e z d e s a n f 3 e s .>( 1 8 1 8 7 )
They sp e k e n o f A l o c e n . and
V itulon,
And A r i s t o t l e . t h a t w r i t e n
in h i r ly v es
Of a u e y n te m i r o u r s and o f
p ersp ectiv es,
(F232-4)
D 'e s tre d e cip le s A r is to te . . . .
A l h a c e n . l i n i e s H u c h a ’i n ,
Qui ne r e f u ne f o s n e g a r z
C is t f i s t le l i v r e des R .egarzfonticsj
(18031-6)
Wonder to maken of fern-asshen
g las.
And y e t n y s e l a s n a t l y k
asshen of f e r n ; (F254-5)
Ne veit l'en coment de fouchiereCfern!
Pont o i l e cendrefash esl e v e irre
r'g la s s l n a is t'r e
Qui de v e i r r e r i e s o n t m a i s t r e ,
Par depuracion le g ie r e ?
Si n * e s t nas l i v e i r r e s f o u c h i e r e ^
Re fouchiere ne rest pas v e i r r e s .
•
The l a s t
(16096-101)
n a r a l le l is
in i t s e l f c o n c lu s iv e , b u t s t i l l a n o th e r
13
e v i d e n c e o f b o r r o w i n g i s s u p p l i e d b y P . P . Magoun, J r . ,
who
p o i h t s o u t t h a t i n t h e S q u i r e Ts T a l e C h a u c e r e n d s h i s b r i e f d i s ­
c u s s io n o f m i r r o r s w ith th e rem ark:
As s o o r e w o n d r e n somme o n c a u s e o f t h o n d e r .
On e b b e , on f l o o d , o n g o s s a m e r , a n d o n m y s t .
(F258-9)
I n Le r o m a n J e a n de Meun, a f t e r h i s comments on g l a s s made o f
fe rn ash, m entions,
in the l i n e s
(16102) and v a p e u r s ( 1 6 1 0 4 ) .
im m ediately fo llo w in g ,
to n eirres
Sinoe th e s e m a tte r s a r e q u i t e i r ­
r e l e v a n t i n t h e S q u i r e Ts T a l e , t h e r e c a n be no d o u b t w h a t e v e r
o f J e a n de M e u n ' s i n f l u e n c e o n t h i s p a s s a g e o f t h e t a l e .
12, L in e num bers r e f e r t o t h e e d i t i o n o f t h e S o c i e t e desAn­
c ie n ts T extes F ra n p a is .
1 3 . " C h a u c e r a n d t h e Roman de l a R o s e , w , 160 9 6 - 1 0 5 , " Rom.
R ev . . X V II(1926), 69-70.
14
A b r i e f b u t most i n t e r e s t i n g p a r a l l e l w ith th e S a u l r e f s d e ­
s c r i p t i o n o f t h e magic sword (F 1 5 6 -6 5 ) i s
927:
fouhd i n T r o i l u s . IV ,
f
B e t h r a t h e r t o hym c a u s e o f f l a t t h a n e g g e .
T h i s c a n h a r d l y be a r e m i n i s c e n c e ,
as has been s u g g e s t e d , o f
th e c l a s s i c a l s t o r y o f t h e s p e a r o f A c h i l l e s , t h e r u s t o f which
14
effected h ealin g ,
s i n c e t h e xvord f l a t makes i t p e r f e c t l y
15
p l a i n t h a t Ihndaius i s s p e a k i n g o f a sword. Nor d o e s C lo u s to n ,
i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n o f magic s w o rd s , m e n tio n any w h ich h e a l s bv
vwost n a tu ra l
th e a p p lic a tio n o f the f l a t o f th e b la d e .
T h e r e f o r e the*.con­
t o b e.
^
e l u s i o n s e e m s -m o v i t a b -bo t h a t t h e l i n e i n t h e T r o i l u s i s ail
16
echo o f F 156-65 o f th e S n u i r e f s T a l e .
, , * ,,
.i
-----------------v a j . A
— u n f i t ' m r j h f f e S i< jw e s
T his p a r a l l e l p ro v id e s an odoouate r e a s o n ^ f o r r e g a r d i n g t h e ’
S n u i r e Ts T a l e ( P a r t One) a s e a r l i e r t h a n t h e T r o i l u s : a n d t h e
i n f l u e n c e o f F r o i s s a r t a n d J e a n de Meun s u i t s
verxr v/el
1
th is conclusion
.
The F a l c o n E p i s o d e
P a r t Two i n c l u d e s t h e f a l c o n e p i s o d e , w h i c h a c c o r d i n g t o A l o i s
B r a n d i ^-7 i s t h e " k n o t t e ' ' o f t h e e n t i r e s t o r y ( a s p r o j e c t e d ) . T h e
1 4 . S e e O v i d , M e t a m o r p h o s e s , x i i , 112 a n d x l i i , 1 7 1 - 2 ; T r i s t i a .
v , 2 a n d 1 5 ; R e m e d ia A m o r i s . 4 4 - 8 ; D a n t e , I n f e r n o . x x x i , 4 - 6 .
(And s e e R o b i n s o n , 8 2 3 , 9 4 3 . )
C haucer h i m s e l f com pares h i s m agic
sword t o t h e s p e a r o f A c h i l l e s i n F238 -4 0 .
1 5 . "On t h e M a g i c a l E l e m e n t s i n C h a u c e r 1s S n u i r e Ts T a l e . " Ch.
S o c . , 2 d S e r . , N o. 2 6 , p p . 3 7 2 f f .
1 6 . O t h e r p a r a l l e l s b e t w e e n So T a n d T r a r e :
So T . F103
Tr I , 12-14
2 71
I I , 637
294
V, 8 5 2 f f .
593-4
IV, 1586-7
But I s e e no s i g n i f i c a n c e i n t h e s e p a r a l l e l s .
1 7 . "On t h e H i s t o r i c a l P e r s o n a g e s o f C h a u c e r ' s S o u y e r e s T a l e ."
Ch. S o o . , 2 d S e r . , N o . 29^18^86), 6 2 9 .
In t h is a r t i c l e B randi p u t
f o r w a r d t h e t h e o r y t h a t t h e f a l c o n e p is o d e i s an a l l e g o r y o f an
a c t u a l human dram a o f C h a u c e r ' s t i m e ; b u t K i t t r e d g e ( E ng S t u d . .
X I I I { 1 8 0 9 ) , 1 - 2 4 ) showed t h a t t h e t h e o r y d i d n o t h a v e s u f f i c i e n t
b a sis in f a c t.
^
15
o u t l i n e o f t h e p l o t w h i c h c o n c l u d e s P a r t Two d o e s n o t , h o w e v e r ,
i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e f a l c o n s t o r y i s t o be t h e c e n t e r o f i n t e r e s t ,
and C h a u c e r ’ s r e m a r k ,
I sholde to th e k n o tte condescende,
And maken o f h i r w a l k y n g so o n e an e n d e
(F407-8)
mav b e s t b e u n d e r s t o o d a s a p p l y i n g o n l y t o t h e f a l c o n e p i s o d e ;
i t m e a n s no m o r e t h a n " I m u s t g e t on w i t h my s t o r y . "
I n S k e a t ’ s o p i n i o n P a r t Two i s
v i s e d w riting.'*'®
sense is
an e x a m p l e o f C h a u c e r ^ s ^ u n r e -
He r e m a r k e d u n o n l i n e s F 3 7 6 - 7 ( " T h o u g h t h e
clear,
t h e grammar i s i n c u r a b l y w r o n g " ) ; F 3 9 8 ( " T h e
uls.'f
sudden change to t h e s i n g A she i s h a r s h " ) ; F401 (" A g a in h a s t i l y
w ritte n ");
a n d F 6 4 9 - 5 0 ( " c o n f u s e d " } . ' 1' 9
O t h e r f a u l t s s u g g e s t i n g c a r e l e s s a nd u n r e v i s e d c o m p o s i t i o n a r e :
( 1 ) th e f a lc o n ’ s use o f p h ra se s not a p p ro p ria te
"th is tig r e ...
" I...
F i l on h i s k n e e s " ( s a i d o f t h e t e r c e l e t ) ( F 5 4 3-4 -)
t o o k hym b y t h e h o n d . "
(p.) t h e f a c t t h a t
for a b ird :
(F595-6)
t h e " v i s i o u n " o f F372 i s n o t e x p l a i n e d —
pq
C a n a c e e ' s e x p e r i e n c e w i t h t h e f a l c o n i s . n o t a/Bream);
clarify- * —
*
( 3 ) t h e c o n f u s i o n o f Cambalo t h e b r o t h e r o f C a n a c e e ( F 3 l ) ,
c a l l e d "Cam balus" i n F656,
a n d Cambalo t h e p r o s p e c t i v e
l o v e r o f Canacee (F 6 6 7 -8 ).
T his l a s t
b lu n d e r i s am azing.
.Vhy s h o u l d C h a u c e r i n F 6 5 6 - 6 8
u s e f o r two c h a r a c t e r s s u c h n e a r l y i d e n t i c a l names?
T h i s can
b e ' e x p l a i n e d o n l y on t h e g r o u n d o f h a s t e o r l a c k o f i n t e r e s t .
1 8 . L o u n s b u r y ( S t u d i e s i n C h a u c e r ( 1 8 9 2 ) , 1 X 1 , 3 1 7 - 8 ) h a d com­
m e n t e d t h a t " o c c a s i o n a l i n a c c u r a c i e s " i n P a r t Two "show t h a t t h i s
p a r t was l e f t b y t h e p o e t i n a c o m p a r a t i v e l y c r u d e s t a t e . " B u t
h e c i t e d nd> l i n e s i n s u p p o r t o f t h i s c o n t e n t i o n .
1 9 . O x f o r d C h a u c e r . V, 3 8 2 , 3 8 6 .
2 0 . H a l d e e n B r a d d y , i n h i s r e c e n t a r t i c l e , "The O r i e n t a l O r i ­
g i n o f C h a u c e r ’ s C a n a o e e - F a l c o n E p i s o d e , " Mod. L a n g . R e v . . XXXE
( 1 9 3 6 ) , * h a s d e s c r i b e d t h e w h o l e - . e p i s o d e as a d r e am (19")T
I (n /
( f a ( con
16
I n view o f th e s e f a u l t s
i t w o u l d se em t h a t c r i t i c s h a v e p e r ­
h a p s b e e n o v e r k i n d t o t h e S q u i r e * s T a l e , l e d o n , no d o u b t , b y
M ilto n * s p r a i s e and by w hat m ust have o a p t i v a t e d M i l t o n — t h e
charm o f t h e mere m a c h in e r y o f t h e p l o t ,
t h e magic g i f t s and th e
O r ie n t a l atm osphere.
The d e f e c t s o f P a r t Two h a v e some b e a r i n g upon t h e q u e s t i o n
w h e t h e r t h e S q u i r e * s T a l e was e v e r c o m p l e t e d , b u t s i n c e t h i s
problem l i e s o u ts id e th e p ro v in c e o f t h i s s tu d y , I s h a l l r e l e PB
g a t e my com m ents o n i t t o a f o o t n o t e J and p r o c e e d t o c o n s i d e r
the s ig n if ic a n c e o f the fa lc o n ep iso d e.
I t was S k e a t * s o p i n i o n t h a t " n u m e r o u s e x p r e s s i o n s , " e s p e c i a l l y
" T i l a n y womman" ( F 5 5 9 ) ,
c e ss...
"shew t h a t
t h e f a l c o n was r e a l l y a p r i n ­
who h a d b e e n c h a n g e d i n t o a f a l c o n f o r a t i m e , a s i s
common i n t h e A r a b i a n T a l e s .
so
T h us i n 1 . 5 0 0 , t h e r o c h e o r r o c k
mav b e t a k e n t o s i g n i f y a p a l a c e , a n d t h e t e r c e l e t ( 1 . 5 0 4 ) t o
23
be a p r i n c e . "
B ut would a t r a n s f o r m e r 1 p r i n c e s s sp e ak o f h e r
human l o v e r a s a b i r d ?
And i n a n y s u c h t a l e w o u l d t h e b i r d -
p r i n c e s s c o n c e a l t h e f a c t t h a t „s h e h a d o r i g i n a l l y b e e n a human
being ?
T here i s n o th in g m ira c u lo u s about th e fa lc o n * s
speaking;
S I . See a l s o n o te 1 , page 8 , above*
. I f P a r t Two o f Sn T show s u n m i s t a k a b l e s i g n s o f h a s t y a n d
u n r e v i s e d w r i t i n g , i t w o u l d be d i f f i c u l t t o b e l i e v e t h a t C h a u c e r
w o u l d c o n t i n u e l o n g i n s u c h a h a p h a z a r d m a n n e r . And I s e e i n t h e
p ro sp e c tu s in F 6 5 1 ff., an i n d ic a t io n th a t su p p o rts t h i s in te rp B e tatio n .
F o r i t i s a much l o n g e r a n d more d e t a i l e d a n n o u n c e m e n t
o f w h a t i s t o come t h a n c a n b e f o u n d i n a n y o t h e r n a r r a t i v e o f
C haucer.
I t w o u l d h a v e t o b e c o n s i d e r e d an a r t i s t i c d e f e c t i n a
f i n i s h e d poem, s i n c e i t r e m o v e s s u s p e n s e .
F u r t h e r m o r e , i f we
i m a g i n e C h a u c e r a s r e a l i z i n g t h a t h e m u s t d i s c o n t i n u e v/ork o n t h e
t a l e f o r a t i m e , we c a n s e e i n F 6 5 1 f f . n o t e s on t h e c o m p l e t i o n o f
the sto ry .
On t h e o t h e r h a n d , t h e o p e n i n g c o u p & e t o f P a r t T h r e e i s
e v i d e n c e i n f a v o r o f t h e l o s t f a s c i c u l e t h e o r y , w h io h i s f u r t h e r
s t r e n g t h e n e d b y C a r l e t o n B ro w n* s f i n d i n g s o n " S h u l a n d S h a l i n
t h e C h a u c e r M a n u s c r i p t s , " PMLA, XXVI( 1 9 1 1 ) , 6 f f .
2 3 . Op. c i t . . V, 384 ( n o t e o n l i n e 4 9 9 ) .
22
17
a cc o rd in g to th e s t o r y h e r speech is the speech o f b i r d s ;
i t is
t h e magic r i n g t h a t t r a n s l a t e s f o r Canacee t h e b i r d ’ s s p e e c h
i n t o human s p e e c h .
F i n a l l y , the b a s is f o r S k e a t ’ s s p e c u la tio n
i s rem oved when we n o t e t h a t b i r d s r e f e r t o t h e m s e l v e s a s men
a n d women i n t h e P a r l i a m e n t o f F o w l s , l i n e s 4 6 6 , 4 7 4 , 4 7 6 , 4 7 8 ,
4 7 9 , 4 8 6 , 56 3, 5 8 4 . 24
A more s a t i s f a c t o r y i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e f a l c o n e p i s o d e i s
t h a t r e c e n t l y o f f e r e d by H a l d e e n B r a d d y ,
05
He shows t h a t i n
'a number o f O r i e n t a l t a l e s a o r i n c e s s t u r n s from men b e c a u s e
o f a r e a l o r r e p r e s e n t e d scene i n which a fem ale b i r d o r b e a s t
i s d e s e r t e d by a m a l e ; l a t e r t h e n r i n c e s s i s won bv a l o v e r
who, by e x h i b i t i n g a s c e n e o f m ale f i d e l i t y ,
re s to re s her f a ith
i n men.
"The s t o r y o f Ta,1 a l - M u l u k and P r i n c e s s D u n y a ," s a y s
Braddy,
" a f f d r d s t h e c l o s e s t a n a l o g u e ; and s i n c e t h e b i r d e p i ­
so d e i n t h i s A r a b i a n t a l e i s emnloyed s i m p l y a s a d e v i c e t o
u n i t e t h e two human l o v e r s ,
i t may be s u g g e s t e d t h a t t h e f a l c o n -
t e i c e l e t incident was composed w i t h a s i m i l a r i n t e n t i o n i n mind."
26
B r a d d y shows t h a t t h e r e a r e h i n t s o f s u c h a d e v e l o n m e n t o f
th e s t o r y i n th e s u g g e s t i o n t h a t Canacee can d i s c o v e r i n h e r
maeric m i r r o r a l o v e r ’ s f a l s i t y
(F137-41); in the f a l c o n ’ s r e ­
m ark t h a t h e r own s a d s t o r y s h o u l d be a w a r n i n g t o o t h e r s ( F488-94);
i n t h e p a r a l l e l i n g o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e s o f men and b i r d s ( F 6 1 0 - 1 ) ;
in th e prom ise t h a t th e fa lc o n w i l l g e t h e r love a g a in (F 654-5);
i n t h e s t a t e m e n t t h a t C a n a c e e w i l l be won b y Cambalo a f t e r he
h a s p r o v e d h i s w o r t h ( F 6 6 7 - 9 ) ; and i n t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f Can­
acee* s " m e s u ra b le " c h a r a c t e r (F 362).
2 4 . Y e t t h e r e f e r e n c e s i n So T t o t h e t e r c e l e t ’ s " k n e e s " a n d
" h o n d " r e m a i n f a u l t s , n o t p a r a l l e l e d by an y s u c h i n a p p r o p r i a t e
ex p ressio n s in P F .
2 5. S ee n o t e 20 , p a g e 1 5 , a b o v e .
2 6 . Op. c i t . . 1 6 - 1 7 .
18
The -p hrase " a s t h e
sto rie
t e l l e t h u s " i n F 65 5 I s s t r o n g e v i ­
dence t h a t Chaucer had in h i s p o s s e s s i o n a d e s c e n d a n t o f t h e
ty p e o f O r i e n t a l t a l e rev ie w ed by B raddy.
fo llo w i t
But t h a t
he d i d n o t
c l o s e l y i s shown by h i s b o r r o w i n g s f r o m F r o i s s a r t ,
J e a n de Meun, a n d t h e E p i s t o l a P r e s b y t e r i J o h a n n e s .
T h i s new l i g h t o n t h e S q u i r e Ts T a l e l e a d s u s t o c o n s i d e r
a g a i n t h e o f t - r e m a r k e d s i m i l a r i t y betw een t h e f a l c o n s t o r y and
the
s to ry of A n elid a.
I n t h e S q u i r e d T a l e and t h e A n e l i d a we
have P resen ted c l o s e l y s i m il a r s i t u a t i o n s .
tifu l
and c h a s t e fem a le
long c o u rtsh ip ,
In both t a l e s a beau­
(th e f a lc o n ; A nelida)
i s won, a f t e r a
b y a h an d so m e a n d c l e v e r b u t t r e a c h e r o u s m a l e .
The f e m a l e t r u s t s h i m c o m p l e t e l y and g i v e s h e r l o v e w i t h o u t r e ­
serv atio ns
e lty ,
(except th at o f "honor").
abandons h e r f o r a n o th e r .
d ies of g r ie f ,
But t h e m ale ,
She c r i e s ,
seeking nov­
sw oons, and n e a r l y
so t h a t one c o u ld n o t b e a r t o o b s e r v e h e r s o r r o w .
I n b o t h poems t h e r e i s m e n t i o n o f Lamech,
the n r o t o - b i g a m i s t ,
a n d i n b o t h poems b l u e i s t h e s y m b o l o f l o y a l t y a n d g r e e n o f d i s ­
lo y alty .
I
s h a l l now p r e s e n t ,
in t h e o r d e r o f t h e s t o r v ' s d e v e lo p m e n t,
27
t h e p a r a l l e l s w h ic h have been c i t e d by S k e a t ,
to g e th e r w ith
s e v e r a l o t h e r s I have n o ted :
S q u i r e 's T ale
A nelida
F o r t h e r was n e v e r e y e t no
man o n l y v e ,
I f t h a t I koude a f a u c o n wel
d iscryve,
2 7 . O p. c i t .„ I ,
T h a t f a i r e r was t h e n i s t h e s o n n e s h e n e .
(73)
Yong was t h i s q u e n e , o f t w e n t y y e r o f
eld e,
5 3 4 - 5 a n d V, 3 8 4 - 5 .
19
S q u i r e d T ale
T h at h erd e o f sw ich a n o th e r
of fairn esse,
As w e l o f p l u m a g e a s o f gentillesse
O f s h a p , o f a l t h a t m y g h te
yrekened be.
(F423T-7)
A nelida
Of m ydel s t a t u r e , and o f s u c h f a i r j i e s s e ,
T h at N a tu re had a jo y e h e r t o b e h e l d e ;
And f o r t o s p e k e n o f h e r s t i d f a s t n e s s e ,
She p a sse d h a t h P e n e lo p e and L u c r e s s e ;
And s h o r t l y , y f sh e s h a l be c o m p r e h e n d e d ,
I n h e r n e m y g h te n o t h i n g b e e n a m e n d e d .
(78-84)
So l y k a g e n t i l l o v e r e o f m a n e r e ,
So r a v y s s h e d , a s i t s e m e d , f o r
t h e ;)oye,
T h at n e v ere J a so n ne P a ry s o f
T roye—
J a s o n ? c e r t e s , n e n o on o o t h e r man
Svn L a m e t h ivas . t h a t a l d e r f i r s t
bigan
To l o v e n t w o . a s w r i t e n f o l k b i forn—
Ne n e v e r e , s y n t h e f i r s t e m a n wes
born,
Ne k o u d e man, b y t w e n t y t h o u s a n d
p art,
C o u n t r e f e t e t h e so n h y m e s o f h i s
a rt,
(F546-54)
B u t n e v e r t h e l e s s e , g r e t w o n d e r was
h i t noon
T hogh h e w e r e f a l s , f o r h i t i s
k v n d e o f man,
S i t h Lamek w a s, t h a t i s s o l o n g e
‘ agoon.
To b e n i'n l o v e a s f a l s a s e v e r e h e
can:
He was t h e f i r s t e f a d e r t h a t b e g a n
To l o v e n t w o , a n d was i n b i g a m y e ;
And he f o u n d t e n t e s f i r s t , b u t y f
men l y e .
(148-54)
Tho d w e l t e a t e r c e l e t me f a s t e b y ,
T h a t semed w e l l e o f a l i e g e n tille sse :
( F504-5]'
R i g h t s o t h i s god o f l o v e , t h i s
y nocryte,
D o^th so h i s cerym onyes and o b e i saunces,
And k e p e t h i n s e m b l a u n t a l l e h i s
observaunces
T h a t so w n e n i n t o g e n t i l l e s s e o f
lo v e.
(F 5 1 4 -7 )
A l a s i w he r i s b eco m e y o u r g e n t i l e s s e .
Youre w ordes f u l o f p l e s a u n c e and
hum blesse,
Y o u r e o b s e r v a u n c e s i n s o lo w m a n e r e ,
And y o u r a w a y t i n g a n d y o u r b e s y n e s s e
Uuon me, t h a t y e c a l d e n y o u r m a i s tresse,
Y ou r s o v e r e y n e l a d y i n t h i s w o r l d
here?
(247-52)
fA t r e w e w i g h t a n d a t h e e f t h e n k e n
n a t ooriT*
(F 5 3 7 )
T i l h e s o l o n g e h a d d e wopen a n d
com pleyned,
And many a y e e r h i s s e r v i c e t o me
feyned,
T i l t h a t myn h e r t e , t o n i t o u s and
to nyce,
Al in n o c e n t o f h i s croundd m a lic e ,
F o r f e r e d o f h i s d e e t h . as t h o u g h t s
me,
Upon h i s o t h e s a n d h i s s e u r e t e e ,
G r a u n t e d hym l o v e , . . . .
(F523-9)
But n o th in g t h i n k e t h th e
doth the tr e w e i
Thus sw or t h i s t h e f . and
way h e w e n t e .
f a l s as
(105)
fo rth his
(161)
But n e v e r t h e l e s f u l mykel b e sv n e sse
Had h e , e r t h a t he m y g h te h i s l a d y
wynne,
And s w o r h e w o ld e d v e n f o r d i s t r e s s e .
Or f r o m h i s w i t he s e y d e h e w o l d e
tw ynne.
(99-102)
20
S q u i r e d Tale
And s h o r t l y , so f e r f o r t h t h i s
th y n g i s v/ent,
T h a t my wyl was h i s w i l l e s i n ­
strum ent ;
( F567-8)
A nelida
F o r so f e r f o r t h he gan h e r t r o u t h e
assure
T h a t s h e h im t r u s t e d o v e r a n y c r e a ­
tu re.
(90-1)
Y /ithouten bode h i s h e s t e she o b e y d e .
(119)
G r a u n t e d hym l o v e , on t h i s c o n d i o i o u n ,
T h a t e v e r e m o o r e myn h o n o u r and r e n o u n
Y/ere s a v e d , h o t h e u r i v e e end a u e r t ;
(F529-31)
. . . my-wyl o b e y e d h i s wyl
I n a l l e t h y n g , os f e r a s r e s o n f i l ,
Kepynge t h e b o u n d s s o f my w o r s h i n e
evere.
(F569-71)
Men l o v e n o f p r e n r e ky nde newefanyelnesse f
(F6l'0‘)
I . . . was so b e s y yow'
to d e ly te —
Myn h o n o r s a v e — m eke, k y n d e ,
and f r e ,
(264-7)
T his f a l s A r c i t e ,
fangOQ/nesse
So on a d a y o f me he t o o k h i s l e v e ,
So s o r . w e f u l l y e e k t h a t I wende
v erraily
T h a t he h a d f e l t a s muche h a rm a s I ,
Whan t h a t I h e r d e hym s p e k e , and
s a u g h h i s hewe,
(F584-7)
And b y h i r e b e d d e s h e e d sh e made
a mewe,
And c o v e r e d i t w i t h v e l u e t t e s
blew e.
In sig n e o f t r o u t h e t h a t i s in
wommen s e n e .
And a l w i t h o u t e , t h e mewe i s
pe^nted g r e n e .
I n w h i c h w ere p e y n t e d a l l e t h i s e
f a l s e fow les,
(F643-7)
...
o f h i s ne w (141)
B u t he was f a l s ; h i t n s s b u t
feyned c h e r e , — (97)
And r y g h t a n o n h e c l a d d e h im i n
h e r he w e —
Wot I n o t \7h e t h i r i n w h i t e , r e d e ,
or grene—
(145-6)
Then t h v n k e t h me t h a t y o u r f i g u r e
B e f o r e me s t o n t , c l a d i n a s u r e .
To n r e f r e n e f t a n e w e a s u r e
F o r t o b e t r e w e . a n d r n e r c i me t o
preye.
(329-32)
H i s h e r t e w a s e l l e s w h e r e , newe
and g r e n e .
(180)
"Y/hat i s t h e c a u s e , i f i t be f o r
to t e l l e ,
T h a t ye b e i n t h i s f u r i a l nyne
o f h e l i e ?”
(F447-8)
Yf I t o h i m r e h e r s e n sh o l.de t h e
he l i e
That s u f f r e t h f a i r A n e lid a the.
ouene
(166-7).
Ye s l e me w i t h y o u r e s o r we v e r raily ,
(F462)
As v e r r a v l v y e s l e e n me w i t h t h e
n e y n e ;59
( 288)
28.
B i r d s a r e d e s c r i b e d a s " n e w e f a n g e l " i n Sq T . F 6 1 8 , The
word n e w e f a n g e l n e s s e o c c u r s e l s e w h e r e in C h a u c e r o n l y i n L G W
P r o l F 15 4 an d Mane T . H193.
2 9 ' . S e e p a g e 41 b e l o w .
21
S q u i r e ’ s T a le
A n elida
T hat w ith a p l to u s voys so gan
She w e p i t h . w a i l e t h . sw ow neth p i to crye
t
o
u
s
l
v
( 169)
T h a t a l l t h e wode r e s o u n e d o f
h ir e ory.
(F412-3)
And e v e r e I n o on s h e c r y d e a l w e y
and s h rig h te ,
(F417)
S h e sw ow n eth now a n d t h e n f o r
ia k o f b lood.
( F4 3 0)
And w i t h t h a t w o r d t h i s f a u c o n
gan to c r i e ,
And swowned e f t i n C a n a o e e S .
barm .
(F630-1)
O ther c o lo u r th a n asshen h a th she
T h a t t h e r n y s t y g r e , n e so
cru eel b eest,
T h a t d w e l l e t h o u t h e r i n wode
o r in f o r e s t ,
T hat n o ld e han w ept, i f t h a t
h e wepe k o u d e ,
F o r sorwe o f h i r e , sh e s h r i g h t e
a lw e y so l o u d e .
(F419-22)
G r e e t was t h e s o r w e f o r t h e
h a t t k e s h a rm
T h a t Canacee and a l i e h i r d
wommen m a d e ;
(F632-3)
A l a s i what h e r t e myght enriuren h i t ,
F o r r o u t h e o r wo, h e r s o r w e f o r t o
telle?
(162-3)
noonT^ i
c r m -----------
W ith f a c e d e d , b i t w i x e p a l e a nd
grene,
She f e l a - s w o w e ; . . . .
(353-4)
The p a r a l l e l s a r e s u f f i c i e n t l y n u m e r o u s t o be i m p r e s s i v e e v e n
though th ey a re
language.
in th e m ain p a r a l l e l s o f th o u g h t r a t h e r t h a n o f
The m o s t i n t e r e s t i n g o f t h e v e r b a l p a r a l l e l s
w h ic h m e n tio n s Lamech.
is th at
S k e a t i n a n o t e on So T , F 5 4 8 s a y s : " T h e
w h o l e o f t h i s p a s s a g e i s a r e c a s t o f C h a u c e r ’ s e a r l i e r poem o f
in
flg
A n e l i d a . w h e r e Lamech i s i n t r o d u c e d
,-jw st^ the same v/ay ( 1 . 1 5 0 ) , ”
In th is
rem ark S k e a t e v i d e n t l y took f o r g r a n te d th e p r i o r i t y o f
j
t h e A n e l i d a , f o r t h e r e i s n o t h i n g i n t h e two L am ech p a s s a g e s
them selves to
i n d i c a t e w hich i s e a r l i e r .
The d i s c u s s i o n o f L a ­
m ech i n t h e A n e l i d a i s s o m e w h a t f u l l e r a n d c o n t a i n s t h e m i s t a k e n
3 0 • Of*
3 1 '. O f.
on p a g e 42
3 2 ’. Op.
Kn T . A1 2 2 1 a n d F r k I T . F 1 3 4 8 - 9 .
F r k T T . F 1 34 0 a n d 1 3 5 3 . T h e s e p a r a l l e l s a r e d i s c u s s e d
below .
c l t . . V, 3 8 5 .
i
33
s t a t e m e n t t h a t L am ech ’’f o u n d t e n t e s f i r s t . "
( I t was h i s s o n
J a b a l who, a c c o r d i n g t o G e n e s i s i v : 3 0 , was t h e " f a t h e r o f s u c h
a s d w e l l i n t e n t s . 1’ )
The f u l l e r t r e a t m e n t o f Lam ech i n t h e A n e l ­
i d a may h e a c c o u n t e d f o r by t h e f a c t t h a t C h a u c e r h a d a s t a n z a
to
f i l l o u t.
Lam ech i s a g a i n r e f e r r e d t o
i n t h e W if e o f B a t h ’ s P r o l o g u e .
" W h a t r e k k e t h me, t h o g h f o l k s e y e v i l e y n y e
Of shrew ed Lam eth
(0 3 3 - 0
a n d h i s b i g a m y e ? " As a y s t h e W i f e , T h i s c a s u a l r e f e r e n c e s e e m s
t o show t h a t C h a u c e r was t a k i n g f o r g r a n t e d h i s r e a d e r ’ s k n o w l ­
e d g e o f Lame oh.; w h e r e a s i n t h e S q u i r e ’ s T a l e a n d t h e A n e l i d a he
c o n s i d e r e d i t d e s i r a b l e t o e x p l a i n L am ec h * s i d e n t i t y .
T his c i r -
ciinnstance voould be b e s t e x p l a i n e d o n t h e s u p p o s i t i o n t h a t t h e
W i f e ’ s p a s s a g e was w r i t t e n l a t e r t h a n t h e o t h e r t w o .
L et us r e t u r n to
A rtelida.
the S q u i r e ’s T a le and i t s
rela tio n
to
the
We h a v e s e e n t h a t t h e s t o r y o f a m a l e i n s e a r c h o f n o v ­
e l t y h a s b e e n r e c o u n t e d i n each t a l e w i t h s t r i k i n g l y s i m i l a r d e ­
t a i l s o f c irc u m s ta n c e and c h a r a c t e r .
One f i n d s , h o w e v e r , t h a t
i n t h e A n e l i d a t h e theme h as b e e n g i v e n f u l l e r
th is
tale,
treatm en t.
In
f o r exam ple, t h e r e a re th e f o l l o w i n g e le m e n ts w hich
do n o t a p p e a r i n t h e S q u i r e ’ s T a l e : ( l ) A r c i t e p r e t e n d s J e a l o u s y ;
( 3 ) A n e l i d a show s h im a l l t h e l o v e m e s s a g e s s h e r e c e i v e s f r o m
o t h e r m en, a n d " t o no c r e a t u r e made s h e c h e r e
h i t lyked to A rc ite "
(108-9);
F a r th e r then th a t
(3) A n e lid a alw ays t h i n k s o f A r c i t e
when he i s a b s e n t ( b e f o r e t h e b e t r a y a l )
and w eeps;
(4 ) a f t e r Ar­
c i t e h a s b e t r a y e d h e r he a c o u s e s h e r o f u n f a i t h f u l n e s s to c o n c e a l
h i s own t r e a c h e r y ;
( 5 ) he l a u g h s a t h e r u n h a p p i n e s s ;
new m i s t r e s s r e d u c e s h i m t o s u b j e c t i o n ;
(6 ) A rcite’s
(7) C haucer ( a s a t t h e end
o f t h e C l e r k ’ s T a l e ) a d v i s e s women n o t t o be t o o h u m b l e ;
id a composes a c o m p la in t and sends i t
to A rc ite ;
(9)
( 8 ) A nel­
i n t h i s com­
33
p l a i n t A n e l i d a * s s u f f e r i n g s a r e d e s c r i b e d more f u l l y t h a n a r e
the f a l c o n ' s ,
and, u n lik e th e fa lc o n , A nelida g iv e s thought to
the f u t u r e .
On t h e o t h e r h a n d ,
i n t h e f a l c o n e p is o d e t h e r e a r e no u n iq u e
e l e m e n t s w h i c h do n o t d e r i v e f r o m t h e f a c t t h a t t h e f a l c o n i s a
b i r d and t h a t s h e i s b e i n g q u e s t i o n e d b y C a n a c e e .
The t r e a t m e n t o f t h e t h e m e o f t h e u n f a i t h f u l l o v e r i s more
sa tisfac to ry
as i t
is,
i n e v e r y way i n t h e A n e l i d a : t h i s poem, f r a g m e n t a r y
s e e m s l i k e a more c a r e f u l a n d l e i s u r e l y d e v e l o p m e n t o f
th e p r e lim in a r y sk e tc h in the S q u i r e 's f a lc o n e p is o d e .
T h i s v i e w i s now c o n f i r m e d b y H a l d e e n B r a d d y ’ s f i n d i n g s o n
th e O r i e n t a l a n a lo g u e s o f the S o u i r e ' s T a l e .*^
For in t h i s
tale
t h e s t o r y o f t h e d e s e r t e d f a l c o n i s p r e s e n t e d more o r l e s s " a s
the s t o r i e
t e l l e t h u s " ; w h ile in t h e A n e lid a t h e theme i s t r e a t e d
i n a m o re o r i g i n a l w a y . 5 ^
More e x p l i c i t l y :
in th e S q u i r e 's T ale
C h a u c e r f o l l o w e d t h e m o d e l o f an unknown s t o r y o f O r i e n t a l a n ­
c e s t r y i n which t h e u n f a i t h f u l n e s s o f a male b i r d
w a r n i n g t o a p r i n c e s s t h a t s h e b e w a r e o f men.
serves as a
I n th e A n e lid a he
c r e a t e d a p a r a l l e l b u t more t h o r o u g h an d s a t i s f a c t o r y n a r r a t i v e
o f t h e u n f a i t h f u l m a l e a n d t h e d e s e r t e d f e m a l e , now p i c t u r e d a s
human b e i n g s .
And i n t h i s t a l e
there
i s no e v i d e n o e o f a n e x t e n 35
s i v e p l o t r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h a ny w o r k o t h e r t h a n t h e S q u i r e ' s T a l e .
3 5 . S e e p a g e 17 a b o v e ,
3 4 . I n t h i s s t u d y we a r e n o t d i r e c t l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e q u e s ­
t i o n w h e t h e r t h e A n e l i d a may h a v e v e i l e d a p r e s e n t a t i o n o f a n a c ­
t u a l human dram a o f C h a u c e r ' s k n o w l e d g e .
T u p p e r's ingen io u s th e o ry
( s e e " C h a u c e r ’ s T a l e o f I r e l a n d , " BALA. XXX7l"(l93lJ , 1 8 6 f f . ) h a s
n o t found f a v o r .
(See R o b in so n , 0 9 7 - 8 .)
3 5 . T h i s s t a t e m e n t i s n o t c o n t r a d i c t e d by t h e w e l l - k n o w n i n d e b t ­
ed n ess o f the in tr o d u c to r y p o r tio n s o f th e A n e lid a to B ocoaccio^s
T e se id e (se e note
page 25 b e l o w ) . F o r t h e c h a r a c t e r o f t h e
f a l s e A r c i t e i s t h e b a s i s o f t h e p l o t o f th e A n e l i d a . and, a s S k e a t
r e m a r k 's ( I , 529)^ t h e f a l s e A r c i t e " h a s n o t h i n g b e y o n d t h e name i n
34
I t seems to -me.______
^ o- i t -^ o ^fc(freasonable|, t h e n , ^ t o
in fer th at
th e c o m p a r a t i v e l y
o r i g i n a l s t o r y o f A n e l i d a and t h e f a l s e A r c i t e was i n a l l p r o b ­
a b i l i t y b a s e d u p o n t h e e a r l i e r v e r s i o n o f t h e same th em e w h i c h
follow s a source?
TV<J wn + n h n n n n B - ln ..lii n
n.-frj
rlmrp T
Ba n a r a l l y aovoj?£genH ■o l « o o - A-ja4t a t i o n and t r a n s l a t i o n t o , f r e e anarti-m t l a-t i o n o f so u g p o o -a n d - f r om --th e r e a l m of - f a n e y to t h a t o f
- r oa l i a m ? —
S in c e t h e S q u i r e ’ s T ale and t h e A n e lid a a r e
clo sely re la te d
an d t h e A n e l i d a i s i n t u r n c l o s e l y r e l a t e d ( b y t h e u s e o f T e s "5S5E
e i d e m a t e r i a l ) t o t h e P a l e m o n . we a r e l e d t o s p e c u l a t e u n o n t h e
35a
r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e S o u i r e Ts T a l e a n d t h e P a l a m o n .
’
I n s u b j e c t m a t t e r t h e S n u i r e ' s T a l e a n d t h e P a l a m o n ( o r A n i g h t 1s
T a l e . as I
s h a l l have to r e f e r to i t h e re ) have l i t t l e
i n common
b e y o n d t h e r o m a n t i c t r e a t m e n t o f l o v e and t h e a t m o s p h e r e o f c h i v a l r i c adventure.
B e tw e e n t h e two t a l e s t h e r e a r e ,
in f a c t , a l ­
m o s t no p a r a l l e l s , a s m i g h t be e x p e c t e d s i n c e t h e S o u i r e ’ s T a l e
makes no u s e o f t h e T e s e i d e .
C haucer’ s " fa v o u rite
h e r t e , " 36
lin e ,"
" ...
p i t e e r e n n e t h soone i n g e n t i l
a p p e a r s i n Kn T . A1761, Sq T . F47 9, L G VJ P r o l F 5 0 3 ,
a n d Mrch T . E 1 9 8 6 , a s w e l l a s i n M L T . B660 ( " A s g e n t i l h e r t e
is f u lf ild of p ite e ").
a llels,
which h a s n o t been n o te d b e f o r e ,
the ex p ressio n ,
c ally .
The s t r i k i n g t h i n g a b o u t t h e s e f i v e p a r ­
Since
i s t h a t i n t a g Mrch T
exclam atory f o r s p e c i a l em phasis,
i s used i r o n i ­
M r c h T was w r i t t e n a f t e r t h e Kn T . M L T . a n d
/The Source o f
common w i t h t h e ’ t r u e A r c i t e ’ " \ o f t h e P a l a m o n and t h e T e s e i d e .
A l s o P r o f . S h a n n o n ( i n 'a C h a u c e r ’ s A n e l i d a a n d A r c i t e . "
PMLA, XXVII(1 9 1 2 ) , 4 6 1 f f . ) a r g u e s t h a t t h e A n e l i d a was i n s p i r e d
by O v id ’ s H e r o i d e s . B ut h i s arg u m en t, i t seem s, h as n o t been
a c c e p t e d , f o r iRobinson s a y s o f c e r t a i n s u p p o s e d p a r a l l e l s , " t h e
i d e a s a r e commonplace and t h e p a r a l l e l s , l i k e some o f t h e o t h e r s
h e ^ i t e s , a r e o f d o u b t f u l s i g n i f i o a n o e ." ( 9 0 0 )
D e r i v e d f r o m e i t h e r Ovid o r D a n t e ( s e e R o b i n s o n , 7 7 7 - 8 ) .
^
i
( 3 5 a.
r e f e r r in g to fte feizm ah . X Ao yto t W is k lo 'imd>A a kvptfttetieal s«r*av-Jivte
^ afowafe M-grtbvu
5
25
L G- W P r o l F , i t i s a p p a r e n t t h a t we h a v e i n t h e M e r c h a n t s
l i n e o n p i t y i n May’ s g e n t l e h e a r t a n i n t e n t i o n a l l y i r o n i c a l
37
echo o f th e s e n t im e n t in th e e a r l i e r poems.
Is i t not a
sound i n f e r e n c e ,
th erefo re,
th a t the S q u ir e rs s in c e re e x p re s-
in a ll probability
A
s i o n o f t h e se n t i m e n t . m u s t -el a e r- h a v e n r s e e d e d t h e M e r c h a n t ’ s ?
O th e r p a r a l l e l s betw een th e S o u i r e ’ s and K n i g h t ’ s T a l e s
have l e s s
i n t e r e s t , 38
There i s n o th in g ,
t a l e s t o i n d i c a t e which i s
then,
i n t h e s e two
the e a r l i e r .
Inasm uch a s th e q u e s tio n o f th e c h r o n o l o g i c a l r e l a t i o n be­
tween t h e K n i g h t ’ s T ale and th e A n e lid a i s r a t h e r c l o s e l y a s ­
s o c i a t e d w ith t h e problem o f th e r e l a t i o n s h i p betw een t h e s e
t a l e s a n d t h e S q u i r e ’ s T a l e . I s h a l l a p p e n d some comm ents on i t . 3 ^
37 , The i r o n y o f M rch T i s d i s c u s s e d on p a g e s 4 7 f . , 6 4 f . , b e l o w .
3 8 . I n F 5 9 3 - 4 a n d A 3 0 4 1 - 3 we h a v e p a r a l l e l p a s s a g e s on t h e
w isd o m o f m a k i n g " v e r t u o f n e c e s s l t e e , " b o t h d e r i v e d , S k e a t s a y s
(V, 3 8 5 ) , f r o m a common p r o v e r b .
{ I t o c c u rs a g a in i n Tr IV, 1 5 8 6 .)
S l i g h t p a r a l l e l s o c c u r i n F325 a n d A10 8 9, F 5 3 7 a n d A 1 3 2 5 - 6 , a n d
F5 96 a n d A 1 6 22 ; b u t I am n o t a b l e t o s e e a n y s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r t h e
p r e s e n t problem in them.
3 9 . The A n e l i s u s u a l l y h e l d t o be e a r l i e r t h a n t h e Kn T on
th e ground t h a t C hauoer’ s r e p r e s e n ta t io n o f the f a l s e A r c i t e 'k u s t
b e e a r l i e r t h a n t h e h e r o i c p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e same f i g u r e i n t h e
P a l a m o n ” ( R o b i n s o n , 3 5 5 ) . B u t why mftst we a s s u m e t h a t o f two p a r ­
a l l e l s d i f f e r i n g i n m o r a l t o n e , t h e n o b l e r m u s t be t h e l a t e r ?
Ha ve we n o t j u s t s e e n t h a t t h e M e r c h a n t ’ s c y n i c a l r e f e r e n c e t o
p i t y i n t h e g e n t l e h e a r t was w r i t t e n much l a t e r t h a n t h r e e o r
four/feincere e x p r e s s i o n s o f t h i s n o b le s e n t i m e n t ? Did n o t C h au cer
sh ow a m a r k e d p r e d i l e c t i o n a s h e g r e w o l d e r f o r w r i t i n g a b o u t u n ­
f a i t h f u l n e s s in r o m a n tic o r m a r i t a l r e l a t i o n s ?
Hence t h e d i v e r s e
c h a r a c t e r s o f t h e two A r c i t e s se e m s t o me an a r g u m e n t f o r t h e p r i ­
o r i t y o f t h e t r u e A r c i t e o f t h e P a l o m o n K 'w
tawxon.
F u rth e rm o re , th e t r u e A r c ite i s th e A r c it e o f C h a u c e r's so u rc e ,
t h e T e s e i d e . w h e r e a s t h e f a l s e A r c i t e i s C h a u c e r ' s own i n v e n t i o n .
S h o u l d we n o t a s s u m e ( a s we d i d w i t h r e g a r d t o t h e S n u i r e ’ s f a l c o n
e p i s o d e a n d t h e A n e l i d a ) t h a t C h a u c e r w o u l d b e more l i k e l y t o i m i ­
t a t e c l o s e l y a t f i r s t a n d i f h e r e t u r n s t o t h e same s u b j e c t , t o
im pro v ise l a t e r ?
The u s e o f T e s e i d e m a t e r i a l i n b o t h t h e Kn T and t h e A n e l i d a
f u r n i s h e s a more o b j e c t i v e b a s i s f o r c o m p a r i s o n .
The f a c t t h a t
t h e Kn T f o l l o w s t h e T e s e i d e s t o r y i n a s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d m a n n e r
( s e e R obinson , 7 7 1 ), w hereas in the A n e lid a the T e se id e m a t e r i a l —
26
The S o u i r e ' s T a l e i s one o f a g r o u p o f noems i n w h i c h
C h a u c e r p o r t r a y e d b i r d s a s s p e a k i n g a n d e x h i b i t i n g human
c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s — n a m e l y , t h e H o u se o f F a m e , P a r l i a m e n t o f
F o w l s . L e g e n d o f Good Women P r o l F 1 3 0 - 7 0 a n d P r o l G 1 1 8 - 4 3 ,
S n u i r e ' s T a l e ( P a r t Two), N u n ' s P r i e s t ' s T a l e , a n d M a n c i p l e ' s
T ale.
Of t h i s g r o u p I h a v e b e e n a b l e t o
f i n d no p a r a l l e l s b e ­
t w e e n t h e S o u i r e ' s T a l e a n d t h e H o u s e o f Fame o r t h e P a r l i a ­
m ent.
One m i g h t r e m a r k , h o w e v e r ,
th a t the S a u ir e 's falc o n
c o n fin e d to the i n tr o d u c ti o n — is r e a r r a n g e d , i s s u f f i c i e n t ,
i t s e e m s t o me, t o i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e A n e l i s a l a t e r p r o d u c ­
tio n .
(The complex i n t e r w e a v i n g o f s o u r c e m a t e r i a l i n t h e
b e g i n n i n g o f A n e l i s shown b y R o b i n s o n ' s summary o f t h e f a c t s
( p . 8 9 8 ) : "The c h i e f s o u r c e s o f t h e f i r s t t e n s t a n z a s a r e as
f o l l o w s : 1 -3 from T e s . , i , 3, 2, and 1; 4 -7 from T h e b . . x i i ,
5 1 9 f f . ( w i t h u s e o f T e s . . i i , 22 i n s t . 6 ) ; 8 - 1 0 f r o m T e s . .
i i , 10- 1 2 . ” )
T r u e , i t i s a r g u e d b y t e n B r i n k ( C h a u c e r S t u d i e n C1 8 7 0 ) . 5 3 f f . )
a n d Koch ( " O n T O r i g i n a l V e r s i o n o f t h e K n i g h t ' s i ' a i e . ” E h . S o c . ,
2 d S e r . , No. 18 ( - 1 8 7 8 ) , 3'6S ^ ) t h a t t h e i n t r o d u c t o r y p o r t i o n
o f Anel i s a c l o s e r i m i t a t i o n o f th e T e s e id e t h a n th e c o r r e s ­
p o n d i n g n o r t i o n s o f Kn T . Ten B r i n k s a y s t h a t s t a n z a 4 , b e ­
g i n n i n g , "W ith h i s .tryum phe, . . . "
" s t e h t . . . i n einem u r s p r u n g l i c h e r e n zusamraenhang a l s i n t h e k n i g h t e s t a l e " ( A 8 7 2 f f . ) , and^
t h a t t h e r e f o r e A n e l m u s t h a v e p r e c e d e d Kn T . On t h e o t h e r h a n d ,
he r i n d s i t i n e x p l i c a b l e " d a s z C h a u c e r e i n m i t so g r o s z e n pomp
e i n g e l e i t s t e s , m i t so v i e l e m aufw and d i c h t e r i s b h e r m i t t e l b e g o n n e n e s w e r k s o b a l d n a c h dem a n f a n g e l i e g e n g e l a s s e n h a t t e
und n i e zu dem selben z u ru c k g e k e h rt w a re ." (54)
He a t t e m p t e d
to r e s o lv e th e c o n t r a d i c t i o n by p u t ti n g f o r t h th e h y p o th e s is
o f . an o r i g i n a l ffalamon i n s e v e n - l i n e s t a n z a s , and t h u s c o m p l i ­
c a t e d t h e a r g u m e n t . R o b i n s o n s a y s , "The s t a n z a i c h y p o t h e s i s
i s , t o s a y t h e l e a s t , u n n e c e s s a r y , a nd t h e r e i s no s t r o n g r e a s o n
f o r h o ld in g t h a t the K n ig h t's T ale i s e s s e n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t in
f o r m o r s u b s t a n o e f r o m C h a u c e r ' s f i r s t v e r s i o n s ( 7 7 1 ) . On t h i s
p r o b l e m s e e T a t l o c k ' s D e v e l o p m e n t a n d C h r o n o l o g y . Ch. S o c . , 4 5 f f . ,
a n d U, W a g e r , "T h e S o - C a l l e d P r o l o g u e t o t h e K n i g h t ' s T a l e . "
Mod. L a n g . N o t e s . L ( 1 9 3 5 ) , 2 9 6 f f .
The sum a n d s u b s t a n c e o f t h e f a c t s a b o v e i s , I b e l i e v e , t h a t
e v e n i f Koc h a n d t e n B r i n k a r e c o r r e c t i n a s s e r t i n g t h a t c e r ­
t a i n l i n e s in A nel a r e c l o s e r to t h e T e s e id e t h a n t h e c o r r e s ­
p o n d i n g o n e s i n Kn T . t h i s i s o u t w e i g h e d by o t h e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n s .
T h u s I c o n c l u d e t h a t A n e l i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d f o l l o w e d b o t h Kn T
a n d So T .
27
e p i s o d e a n d t h e P a r l i a m e n t have some p o i n t s i n common.
is
i n h o t h t h e d i s c u s s i o n by b i r d s o f a u e s t i o n s o f l o v e ,
c ia lly th at of in fid e lity .
There
espe­
I n b o t h , t h e b i r d s r e f e r t o them.**
s e l v e s a t t i m e s a s i f t h e y w e r e men a n d women,
And i n t h e
S o u i r e Ts r e f e r e n c e t o t h e "mewe”
I n w h ich were p e y n te d a l l e t h i s e f a l s e f o w l e s ,
As b e n t h i s e t i d y v e s , t e r c e l e t t e s , a nd o w l e s ; ( F 6 4 7 - 8 )
( s h o r t page b e c a u se o f l a s t - m i n u t e re a r r a n g e m e n t)
we h a v e ,
as in th e P a r l i a m e n t , th e c o n c e p tio n t h a t c e r t a i n
spe­
c i e s o f b i r d s a r e f i c k l e bv n a t u r e .
T h e r e i s a p a r a l l e l o f some i n t e r e s t i n So T . F 6 0 7 f f . :
I t r o w e h e h a d d e t h i l k e t e x t i n m yn d e,
That fa l l e th y n g , re p e ir y n g e to h i s kynde,
G l a d e t h h y m s e l f , 1 t h u s s e y n m en , a s I g e s s e .
Men l o v e n o f p r o n r e ky nd e n e w e f a n g e l n e s s e ,
As b r i d d e s d d o n t h a t men i n c a g e s f e d e .
F o r t h o u g h t h o u n y g h t a n d d a y t a k e o f hem h e d e ,
And s t r a w s h i r c a g e f a i r e a n d s o f t e a s s i l k ,
And y e v e hem s u g r e , h o n y , b r e e d and m i l k ,
Yet r i g h t anon a s t h a t h i s dore i s uppe,
He w i t h h i s f e e t w o l s p u r n e a d o u n h i s c u p p e ,
And t o t h e wode he w o l e , a n d worm es e t e ;
So n e w e f a n g e l b e e n t h e y o f h i r e m e t e ,
And l o v e n n o t e l r i e s o f n r o p r e k y n d e ,
No g e n t l l l e s s e o f b l o o d n e may hem b y n d e .
610
615
630
a n d Mane T . H 1 6 3 f f . :
T aak any b r y d , and p u t i t i n a c a g e ,
And do a l t h y n e n t e n t e and t h y c o r a g e
To f o s t r e i t t e n n r e l y w i t h m e t e a n d d r y n k e
Of a l l e d e y n t e e s t h a t t h o u k a n s t b i t h y n k e ,
And k e e p i t a l s o c l e n l y a s t h o u may,
A l t h o u g h h i s c a g e o f srol d b e n e v e r s o g a y ,
Y e t h a t h t h i s b r i d , by t w e n t y t h o u s a n d f o o l d ,
Levere In a f o r e s t , t h a t i s rude and c o o ld ,
Goon e t e ivormes a n d s w i c h w r e c c h e d n e s s e .
F o r e v e r e t h i s b r i d w o l d o on h i s b i s y n e s s e
To e s c a p e o u t o f h i s c a g e , y i f he m ay.
H is l i b e r t e e t h i s b r i d d e s i r e t h ay.
165
170
B o t h p a s s a g e s a r e d e r i v e d f r o m B o e t h i u s , C o n s o l a t i o n . Bk. I l l ,
40
M. 3 .
The S o u i r e ’ s p a s s a g e f o l l o w s B o e t h i u s m o r e c l o s e l y i n
some d e t a i l s
(e s p . F608-9,
M a n c ip le g o e s on t o c i t e ,
614, 6 1 6 ) .
On t h e o t h e r h a n d ,
as does B o e th iu s,
the
s e v e r a l exam ples
o f c r e a t u r e s t h a t m u s t f o l l o w t h e i r ovm n a t u r e ( n o t o n l y t h e
b i r d , b u t t h e c a t and th e s h e - w o l f — H 1 7 5 -8 6 ).
f o l l o w i n g l i n e s (H187-95) t h e M a n c ip le ,
4 0 . As m e n t i o n e d b y S k e a t , I I ,
436,
lik e
Then i n t h e
t h e S o u i r e , makes
29
the a p p li c a t io n
to m en's lo v e o f n e w g fa n g e ln e s s e
T hus a l t o g e t h e r t h e r e
■*"*
.
41
a r e i n t h e M a n c i p l e ' s T a l e 33 l i n e s
b a s e d on B o e t h i u s compared w i t h 14 l i n e s i n t h e S o u i r e ' s T a l e .
The e v i d e n c e i s ,
then,
c o n t r a d i c t o r y , an d i t se em s t o be im­
p o s s i b l e t o i n f e r which p a ssa g e i s e a r l i e r .
P e r h a p s i t would
b e j u s t i f i a b l e t o i n f e r t h a t p r o b a b l y t h e two p a s s a g e s b e l o n g
t o a p p r o x i m a t e l y t h e same p e r i o d .
,
42
I n t h e P r o l o g u e o f t h e L eg e n d o f Good Women t h e r e a r e c e r ­
t a i n p a r a l l e l s to th e S n u i r e 's T a l e .
F o r exam ple, t h e r e i s
m e n t i o n i n P r o l F 154 o f t h e n e w g f a n g e l n e s s e o f t h e t y d i f . r e ­
m i n d i n g u s o f t h e f a l s e " t i d y v e s " o f So T . F 6 4 8 .
Then, t h e r e
i s a p a r a l l e l i n v o l v i n g Sn T . F 3 9 9 - 4 0 0 ,
F o r r i g h t a n o n s h e w i s t e w hat t h e y m en te,
R i g h t bv h i r s o n g , a n d knew a l h i r e e n t e n t e ,
a n d L G ff P r o l G 1 3 9 - 4 0 ,
T h i s s o n g t o h e r k e n e n I d i d e a l myn e n t e n t e ,
F o r - w h y I m e t t e I w i s t e what t h e y m e n t e ,
v/hich h a s b e e n l i n k e d
a k o a fr
w i t h l i n e s 1 0 7 - 9 o f The Cuckoo
and th e N i g h t e n g a l e ;
As l o n g e a s I l a y i n t h a t swowning,
Me t h o u g h t s , I w i s t e w h a t t h e b r i d d e s m e n t
And f r h a t t h e v s e y d e a n d what was h e r e n t e n t ;I n a d i s c u s s i o n o f t h i s p a r a l l e l L o w e s , b e l i e v i n g a t th e tim e
t h a t t h e a u t h o r o f t h e l a t t e r poem was S i r J o h n 1 Clanvowe (who
4 1 . B u t t h e a p p l i c a t i o n i s i l l o g i c a l i n Mane T . H 1 0 7 - 9 5 , i n a s ­
much a s i n t h i s t a l e i t i s t h e w i f e a n d n o t t h e h u s b a n d who s e e k s
n e w g f a n g e l n e s s e . I n f a c t , i n H155-62 C h a u c e r i n t r o d u c e s t h e B o e t h i a n p a s s a g e b y p l a i n l y i n d i c a t i n g t h a t he i s t r y i n g t o e x p l a i n
t h e w i f e ' s u n f a i t h f u l n e s s . Y e t t h i r t y l i n e s l a t e r he h a s f o r ­
g o t t e n why h e I n v o k e d B o e t h i u s ! I f we c o u l d assum e t h a t t h e Sq T
was e a r l i e r , we c o u l d t h e n s a y t h a t h e was m i s l e d b y r e m e m b e r i n g
t h e S q u i r e 's use o f B o e th iu s .
4 2 . Mane T i s g e n e r a l l y c o n s i d e r e d a n e a r l y w o r k b e c a u s e o f i t s
• " r h e t o r i c a l s t i f f n e s s , ' * lo o k o f c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , and use o f F ren ch
s o u r c e s ( s e e R o b i n s o n , 8 6 9 - 7 0 ) . B u t s e e n o t e 9 5 , pafee 6 8 , b e l o w .
4 3 . See. S k e a t , V I I , 3 5 1 .
4 4 . "T h e P r o l o g u e t o t h e L e g e n d o f Good Women C o n s i d e r e d i n i t s
C h r o n o l o g i o a l ‘R e l a t i o n s , " PMLa. :xlK(19Q5). 754k. n . 8 .
30
d ied i n 1 3 9 1 ), u n d u ly m inim ized th e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h i s p a r ­
a l l e l o n t h e g r o u n d t h a t m e n t e a n d e n t e n t e f o r m a common r h y m e —
t h o u g h we h a v e n o t o n l y a n i d e n t i c a l rhy m e b u t a c l o s e p a r a l l e l
o f idea.
It
i s now known t h a t t h e a u t h o r o f t h e Cuckoo a nd
45
N i g h t e n g a l e i s S i r Thomas C lan v o w e
a n d t h a t t h e noem was
w r i tte n s e v e r a l y e a rs a f t e r C haucerfs death;
t h e r e f o r e i t was
C h a u c e r who was t h e s o u r c e f o r C l a n v o w e Ts l i n e s .
a lle ls
The two p a r ­
i n C h a u c e r ' s poems do n o t a f f o r d any b a s i s f o r i n f e r e n c e
a s t o which i s t h e e a r l i e r
(though th e l a t e
d a t e o f L G- W P r o l Q-
p r o v i d e s s u f f i c i e n t re a s o n f o r assum ing t h a t th e c o u p le t i n t h i s
poarn i s a n e c h o o f t h a t i n So T ) .
E l s e w h e r e i n t h e same a r t i c l e b y Lov/es t o w h i c h I h a v e j u s t
r e f e r r e d , Lowes s a y s :
T h a t t h e S n u i r e t s T a l e a n d t h e A - v e r s i o n f P r o l G-1 w e r e i n
m i n d n o t f a r f r o m t h e same t i m e s e em s p r o b a b l e ' f r o m a n o t h e r
i n t e r e s t i n g p a r a l l e l — A. 1 1 3 - 1 8 w i t h E . 5 2 -5 7 — w h i c h i n c l u d e s
t h e r e f e r e n c e to th e sword o f w i n t e r .
The p a s s a g e i n A. d i f f e r s
fro m B. [ P r o l F] . e x c e p t i n t e n s e s , i n one d e t a i l , t h e s u b s t i ­
t u t i o n i n A. 112 [ 1 1 7 3 o f "And c l o t h e d h im i n g r e n e a l " f o r " T h a t
n a k e d was a n d c l a d h i t " o f B. 130 [ 1 2 9 j . F . 5 4 r e a d s : "What f o r
t h e s e s o n and t h e y o n g e g r e n e . "
T hat i s , a t th e one n o i n t where
A. v a r i e s f r o m B . , i t a g r e e s w j t h t h e n a r a l l e l p a s s a g e i n t h e
S o u lre 's T a le ,
(One s h o u l d f u r t h e r c o m pa re w i t h t h e t h r e e p a s ­
s a g e s r e f e r r e d t o The Book o f t h e D u c h e s s e . 4 1 0 f f . , a n d R . R . ,
5 6 f f .)
I t may b e n o t e d , a l s o , t h a t F . 4 8 1 - 8 2 r e c a l l s A. 8 3 - 8 4 .
The p a r a l l e l b e t w e e n So T , F 5 2 - 7 a h d L G- W P r o l F 1 9 5 - 9 _is s t r i k ­
ing,
s i n c e we h a v e t h e " s w e r d o f w i n t e r "
latter
the
i n t h e f o r m e r a nd i n t h e
"sw erd o f c o ld " ; b u t o th e r w is e the n a ssa g e s are not
much a l i k e .
I
do n o t s e e a n v e v i d e n c e i n t h e s e p a s s a g e s a s t o
the r e l a t i v e
d a t e o f t h e tv/o n o e m s .
k
Then in th e s u b s t i t u t e l i n e
4 5 . S e e C. E . Ward, "The A u t h o r s h i p o f The Cu ckoo a n d t h e
N i g h t e n g a l e . 11 Mod. L a n g . N o t e s . X L I V ( 1 9 2 9 ) , 9 l 7 f f .
4 6 . Op. c i t . . 7 97n.
I n t h e n e x t s e n t e n o e Lowes a d m i t s t h a t
" t h e e v i d e n c e i s i n i t s e l f [[my i t a l i o s } a l t o g e t h e r t o o s l i g h t
to be c o n v i n c i n g . "
P r o l G- 117 we h a v e o n l y t h e w o rd g r e n e w h i c h m i g h t h a v e come
from th e S q u i r e f s T a l e *
f o r the green o f s p rin g ?
B u t m u s t we l o o k f o r a l i t e r a r y s o u r c e
S urely th is
i s a much l e s s n o t a b l e
p a r a l l e l t h a n t h a t w hich Lowes, e ls e w h e r e
d e c l a r e s t o h a v e no s i g n i f i c a n c e .
i n t h e same a r t i c l e ,
And Lowes h i m s e l f ( i n t h e
p a r e n t h e t i c a l s t a t e m e n t a b o v e ) m e n t i o n s two o t h e r s u c h r e f e r ­
ences to g r e n e .
F in ally ,
the
last
p a r a l l e l m e n t i o n e d b y Lowes
i s n o t t o be c o n s i d e r e d . , s i n c e t h e p a s s a g e s do n o t e x p r e s s s i m ­
i l a r i d e a s and th e p h r a s i n g i s n o t n a r t i c u l a r l y c l o s e .
H e n ce
we m u s t c o n c l u d e t h a t t h e p a r a l l e l s c i t e d b y Lowes i n t h e n o t e
q u o te d above a r e i n d e e d " t o o s l i g h t t o be c o n v i n c i n g . "
is,
in s h o r t,
no g r o u n d i n t h e few l i t e r a r y p a r a l l e l s
T here
f o r an
o n i n i o n on t h e r e l a t i v e d a t e s o f t h e S q u i r e * s T a l e and e i t h e r
nrologue o f the Legend.
Of a l l
t h e b i r d ooems t h e N u n ' s P r i e s t ’ s T e l e i s u n q u e s t i o n ­
a b l y t h e b e s t — t h e m o st t h o r o u g h l y i m a g i n e d , t h e m o s t s u s t a i n e d ,
t h e most hum orous.
I t s m a r k e d s u n e r i o r i t y and i t s
fab liau s p irit
l e a d me ( t ^ h e a r t i l y ^ a g r e e w i t h t h e common o n i n i o n t h a t i t
is a
v e r y l a t e w ork.
Before c o n c lu d in g t h i s
w ish to c e l l a t t e n t i o n
exam in atio n o f the S q u i r e 's T a l e . I
to a rem ark c o n ta in e d in i t
concerning
t h e c h a r a c t e r o f women.
" S h e was f u l m e s u r a b l e f m d d e s t j " s a y s
47
Chaucer,
d e s c r i b i n g C a n a c e e , " a s wommen b e " ( F 3 6 2 ) ,
T his
g e n eralizatio n ,
u tte r e d w ith e n t i r e
seriousness,
se em s t o e x ­
p r e s s a f i r m c o n v i c t i o n and o n e t h a t i s r e g a r d e d a s i n c o n t r o ­
v e rtib le .
The e x p r e s s i o n o f s u c h a s e n t i m e n t c e r t a i n l y se em s
47.
S i n c e Sq T se e m s t o ha\re b e e n a d a p t e d f o r t h e C a n t e r b u r y
T a l e s r a t h e r t h a n w r i t t e n f o r t h e m ( s e e p a g e s 8 - 1 0 a b o v e J , we
need n o t a t t r i b u t e th e rem ark to the S q u ir e ,
33
t o b e l o n g t o a p e r i o d o f C h a u c e r ’ s' d e v e l o p m e n t d i s t i n c t l y e a r ­
lie r
t h a n t h a t i n w h i c h h e c om p o sed h i s g a y s t o r i e s o f " l i k e r -
o u s " women — t h e i n s a t i a b l e W ife o f B a t h ,
i n c r e d i b l e A l i s o u n , and t h e i r s i s t e r s .
t r i c k y l i t t l e May,
is d i f f i c u l t 1irr -yn-A'fo tbelteVe.
I t nnmrtn t n mo lirynnnni.. .
-b-l -e- t h a t a t t h i s p e r i o d o r l a t e r C h a u c e r c o u l d s o b e r l y comment
48
o n women’ s m o d e s t y .
v / h i l e i t may b e v e n t u r e s o m e t o draw
c o n c l u s i o n s from a s i n g l e p h r a s e ,
th e ev id en ce, though s l i g h t ,
c l e a r l y f a v o r s the view t h a t t h e G a u i r e ’s T a le b e lo n g s t o th e
e a r lie r period.
C onclusion
In i t s
and i n i t s r e l a t i o n s t o t h e w o r k s
especially
o f C h a u c e r a n d o f o t h e r w r i t e r s L F r o i s s O T t , J e a n de M eu n, B o e ­
th iu s
sty le
and s p i r i t ,
, l-'fr- i a - p o p g o o t l y » v4d e n t t h a 4 t h e g n u i r e ’ s T a l e
g e e n t s c J e a r (y
Ab e l o n g ^ t o t h e n e r i o d o f t h e P a l a m o n . t h e T r o i l u s . and t h e
"Me
"felg.
A n e l i d a . ^ S in c e ^ t ^ p r 6 c e d e s th e A n e lid a i n d a t e , i t seems b e s t
/to
me t o p l a c e i t i n t h e n e r i o d 1 3 8 0 - 8 5 .
4 8 . T h o s e who h a v e u n d e r t a k e n t o a p o l o g i s e f o r o r e x p l a i n
C h a u c e r ’ s w r i t i n g o f c o a r s e t a l e s — o n t h e g r o u n d t h a t he w i s h e d
to have r e p r e s e n t e d i n h i s C a n te rb u ry c o l l e c t i o n a l l ty p e s o f
t a l e s a nd c h a r a c t e r s — h a v e i n my o p i n i o n t o o o f t e n o v e r l o o k e d
th e f a c t t h a t Chaucer g e n u in e ly r e l i s h e d t h e i r e a r t h i n e s s . T his
a p n e a rs in e v e ry l i n e .
Comnare G o w e r ’ s d i g n i f i e d a n d c h a s t e
t a l e s o f r a p e a nd s e d u c t i o n ; m o r a l Gower n e v e r s a y s , " I n h e
t h r o n g ' 11 I s i t n o t p l a i n t h a t C h a u c e r ’ s s y m p a t h y i n t h e f a b l i ­
a u x i s a lm o s t e n t i r e l y w i t h th e d e c e i t f u l w iv es and t h e i r l o v e r s
and t h a t th e t r i c k e d husbands a re r i d i c u l o u s g u l ls ?
As L o u n s b u r y s a y s , "The c h a r a c t e r s i n t h e s e humorous t a l e s . . . a r e . . . th e
most d e l i g h t f u l s i n n e r s i n t h e r a n g e o f p o e t i c f i c t i o n . " ( S t u d i e s
i n C h a u c e r . I l l , 363)
The e l d e r l y C h a u c e r i s a r i b a l d f e l l o w
who b e l o n g s i n t h e oompany o f A r i s t o p h a n e s , H o r a c e , B o c c a c c i o ,
R a b e l a i s , M o n t a i g n e , B a l z a o , and t h e l a t e r Mark T w a i n .
one h a s a t t e m p t e d t o o f f e r e v id e n c b 'o f a l a t e d a t e f o r t h e
T h i s c o n c l u s i o n c a n n o t be a f f e c t e d b y t h e
fin d in g s in
r e g a r d to t h e d a te o f t h e F r a n k l i n ’ s T a l e , th o u g h t h e s i m i ­
l a r i t i e s b e t w e e n t h e two t a l e s a n d t h e i r c l o s e
lin k in g
make i t h i g h l y p r o b a b l e t h a t t h e y a r e n o t w i d e l y s e p a r a t e d
in tim e o f c o m p o s itio n ,
in fac t,
th e ^ e a r ly date o f the
S q u i r e ' s T a le c o n s t i t u t e ^ an i n i t i a l p re s u m p tio n o f th e
e a r l y com position o f th e F r a n k l i n ’ a T a l e .
I I I . The F r a n k l i n ’ s T a l e
One r e a s o n f o r t h e d i s a g r e e m e n t a s t o t h e d a t e a n d s i g n i f i ­
c a n c e o f t h e F r a n k l i n ’ s T a l e i s t h a t some s c h o l a r s c e n t e r t h e i r
a t t e n t i o n upon t h e b a s i c s t o r y ( t h e m eaning o f w h ic h i s s t i l l
i n d i s p u t e ) ; w h e r e a s o t h e r s f o u n d t h e i r c o n c l u s i o n s un o n c e r ­
t a i n more o r l e s s d i g r e s s i v e p a s s a g e s i n t h e
tale.
But th e r B
i s a l w a y s t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t C h a u c e r d u r i n g a p e r i o d o f some
y e a r s may h a v e a l t e r e d o r e n l a r g e d a n y o n e o f t h e C a n t e r b u r y
T a l e s ; so t h a t
i t w o u l d be d a n g e r o u s t o a p p l y t o an e n t i r e
a c o n c l u s i o n b a s e d up o n a s i n g l e
m aking c e r t a i n
tale
p assag e in i t w ith o u t f i r s t
t h a t t h i s p a ssa g e i s an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f the t a l e
M i s s Hammond, a s I h a v e m e n t i o n e d , p l a c e s l a t e
in the C anterbury
p e r io d the " w r i t i n g o r r e v i s i o n "^
o f th e F r a n k l i n ’ s T a l e : and
R o b i n s o n a l s o says^-fchai "Possibly, i t
was w r i t t e n e a r l y an d t h e n
adapted f o r i t s p lac e
is
in the C anterb ury c o l l e c t i o n . ”
2
S ince t h i
an h y p o t h e s i s w hich m ight r e c o n c i l e t h e o p p o s in g p o i n t s o f
view ,
i t i s w o r t h y o f t h e m o st s e r i o u s c o n s i d e r a t i o n .
The w ord w r y t e i n F1549 s u p p o r t s t h e t h e o r y o f r e v i s i o n .
t h e o t h e r h a n d , vValter M o r r i s H a r t
On
r e g a rd s w ryte as a " s l i p "
a n d . c i t e s a s e v i d e n c e t h a t C h a u c e r ’’n e v e r f o r g o t t h a t t h e F r a n k ­
l i n was t a l k i n g , a n d t a l k i n g t o t h e C a n t e r b u r y P i l g r i m s , "
lin es
1 . C h a u c e r : A B i b l i o g r a p h i c a l M a n u a l ( 1 9 0 8 ) , 857 ( i t a l i c s
m i n e ) . M i s s Hammond c l a s s e s E r k l T among " t h o s e w r i t t e n a f t e r
t h e poem Cc. T a l e s ] was i n p r o g r e s s an d f o r c e d u p o n a p i l g r i m "
(350)*
(See page 43 b e lo w .)
2 . P.. 826.
35
F761, 829, 927, 1113, 1466, 1 4 9 3 f f . , 1 5 9 3 f . ,
and 1 6 2 1 f . S
He
m ig h t a l s o have l i s t e d F 8 15, 1 165, 12,66(not a t a l l a p p r o p r i a t e
f o r Chaucer as n a r r a t o r ,
but ap p licab le
a n d 1612 a s p e r h a p s r e f e r r i n g t o
th e F r a n k lin as n a r r a t o r .
to th e F r a n k lin ) ,
1354,
the C an terb u ry p ilg r im s o r to
Of th e s e l i n e s , F761, 1266, 14 9 3 -8 ,
a n d 1 67 1 m o s t p l a i n l y r e f e r t o t h e C a n t e r b u r y p i l g r i m a g e ;
the
4
o t h e r s m ig h t be e x p l a i n e d a s due t o a c o n v e r s a t i o n a l s t y l e .
But i t i s
c l e a r t h a t e i t h e r t h e F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e vrns w r i t t e n f o r
th e C a n te rb u ry p r o j e c t or i t h as been th o r o u g h ly r e v i s e d .
I n t h e F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e two p a s s a g e s s t a n d o u t w h i c h a r e p e r ­
h a p s u n e s s e n t i a l t o t h e p l o t a n d n i g h t t h e r e f o r e h a v e b e e n com­
posed l a t e r
In tro d u ctio n
t h a n t h e m a in b o d v o f t h e t a l e . ^
(F729-C .806)
These a r e :
(1)
the
i n w h i c h t h e F r a n k l i n m o r a l i z e s on
l o v e and m a rria g e ® ; and ( 2 ) th e C o m p la in t o f D o rig e n ( F 1 3 5 5 - 1 4 5 6 ) ,
w h i c h M i s s Hammond e x p r e s s l y d e s i g n a t e s a s a n " i n s e r t e d "
passage.7
3 . "The F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e ." H a v e r f o r d E s s a y s ( 1 9 0 9 ) , 1 8 5 .
4 . See page 9 above, where exam ples o f sp ek e and u s e s o f th e
2 d p e rs o n in C hau cer’s n a r r a t i o n a re g i v e n .
!For i n s t a n c e s o f
t h e v e r b h e a r ( s u c h a s . " a s ve s h a l h e r e " ) s e e T r I . 3 0 . 5 4 . 3 9 8 ;
V, 637, 854, 952, 1316, 1589, 1770.
5 . T h e r e i s a t h i r d som ewhat d i g r e s s i v e p a s s a g e — F 8 6 5 - 8 9 — i n
w h ich D o rigen s o l i l o q u i z e s upon th e problem o f e v i l a s e x e m p l i f i e d
by th e " g r i s l y f e e n d ly rokkes b l a k e . "
B ut t h i s p a ssa g e does n o t
c a l l f o r s e p a r a t e s t u d y inasm uch as i t h a s n e v e r b e e n u s e d as t h e
b a s i s f o r any i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f F r k l T . The t h o u g h t o f th e p a s ­
s a g e i s d e r i v e d f r o m B o e t h i u s , C o n s . . B k . I , M. 5 , a n d B k . I V ,
P r . 1 . O th e r d i s c u s s i o n s o f t h e p ro b le m o f e v i l o c c u r i n M ars
2 1 8 - 4 4 : T r I I I , 1016-22* L O W 2 2 2 8 - 3 $ ; M L T . B 8 1 3 - 6 ; a n d KiTff.
A13Q 3-24 — n o n e o f t h e m l a t e p r o d u c t i o n s .
6 . T atlo ck i s c o rre c t in saying, "In the F r a n k lin 's T a le . . .
so u n e s s e n t i a l i s t h e h a p p i n e s s o f t h e m a r r i a g e t h a t t h e m a i n i n ­
c i d e n t s w o u l d be t h e same i f D o r i g e n ' s m o t i v e i n a s s i g n i n g t h e
t a s k vimm n o t h i n g b u t c a r e f o r h e r own honcS* o r d i s t a s t e f o r A u r ­
e l i u s . " ( S c e n e o f t h e F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e V i s i t e d . Ch. S o c . ( 1 9 1 4 ) , 6 9 )
B u t, o f c o u r s e , " h e r f e e l i n g f o r A rvttragus adds g r e a t l y to th e
p a th o s and n o b i l i t y o f the s t o r y . " ( I b i d . )
7 . On. c i t . . 2 5 6 .
36
T h e s e two p a s s a g e s h a v e r e c e i v e d a g r e a t d e a l o f a t t e n t i o n
from s c h o l a r s and h ave b een u s e d t o s u p p o r t c o n c l u s i o n s a s
t o t h e d a t e and s i g n i f i c a n c e
of th e t a l e .
In th e follow ing a n a ly s is of th e F ra n k lin * s T a le , a c c e p t­
ing t e n t a t i v e l y the h y p o th e s is o f r e v is io n ,
a l l th e e v id e n ce r e l e v a n t to
I
s h a ll m arshal
the q u e s tio n o f d a te ,
first
in
t h e b a s i c s t o r y , a n d t h e n i n e a c h o f t h e two p a s s a g e s w h i c h
may h a v e b e e n w o rk e d i n t o t h e t a l e d u r i n g r e v i s i o n .
The B a s i c S t o r y
P o llard
1i
p
and o t h e r s , n o t a b l y T a t l o o k ,
n Ts T a l e a s a good s t o r y .
Q
re g a rd the Frank-
One d o e s f i n d i n i t
t h e charm
o f a s t a i n e d g l a s s window i n w h i c h q u a i n t n e s s a n d c o l o r r e n ­
der re a lis tic
d ep ictio n of f ig u r e s o f le s s
l e y , however, has c a l le d a t t e n t i o n
c h aracterizatio n .
10
im portance. H inck-
to d e f e c t s o f p l o t and
He n o i n t s o u t t h a t D o r i g e n i n h e r r a s h
p r o m i s e t o A u r e l i u s i s n o t m a k i n g a b a r g a i n w i t h h im , b u t
i s m erely p u t t i n g in to p ic tu r e s q u e language h e r a b s o lu te
loy­
a l t y to h e r h u sb a n d and h e r d e f i n i t e r e f u s a l to c o n s i d e r Aur­
e liu s as a s u ito r.
fan ta stic
When A u r e l i u s s u c c e e d s i n f u l f i l l i n g t h e
c o n d i t i o n s which have b e e n im posed,
it
i s absurd
t h e r e f o r e t h a t D o rig e n s h o u l d f e e l h e r s e l f m o re-b o u n d by t h i s
r a s h p r o m i s e t h a n b y h e r s o l e m n vow o f m a r r i a g e .
o dd.
I t i i pc c u l M n r
* tlo o I
ma y
t b nt . A n r n T n r r n rr ri hm l f l r ~ T ~1— t h ~ nn p p - n
- o d l y ■t r a g i c ’ne w s f r om h i o w i f e . MTriLth g l o d o h i e r e , 't^ w e p e l y -
8 . G lobe C h a u ce r (1907 e d . J , x x v i i .
9 . Op. o i t .
1 0 . N o t e s on O h a u c e r . 2 3 Q - 9 ; Mod. P h i l . . X V I ( l 9 1 f ^ ) , 4 3 f f .
Yct H e c k le s
cf Frkl T : *£+ kas a felicity of sty le f t a t places i t
amo-Mg t h « r g l ° r 'es ot our /awguage. '* £f\Jofer 6k
37
^ o m ork-i n g , " I s '. t fre r - o g h t o l l o p ,
D o r i g e n ) bwfc- t h i a ? "
.Ten l i n o o f u r t h en - h c r>br Biat awon t o
(FlflOtr)-.
H i n c k l e y n o t e s ^ 'f u f r 'J ^ e V j
t h a t the g e n t i l e s s e o f A rveragus i s n o t c o n s i s t e n t w ith h i s
t h r e a t o f d e a th I f h i s w ife sh o u ld r e v e a l the s i t u a t i o n . F i n ­
a lly ,
i f A u r e l i u s i s s o f e a r f u l l y r a v a g e d "by h i s p a s s i o n f o r
D o rig e n t h a t he l i e s s i c k o f d e s p a i r f o r "tw o y e e r and moore"
a n d a t l a s t h a s commerce w i t h t h e p o w e r s o f h e l l i n o r d e r t o
compel D o rig en a g a i n s t h e r w i l l to y i e l d
t o h i m , w o u l d t h e mag­
n a n i m i t y o f A r v e r a g u s i n s e n d i n g h i s w i f e t o k e e p h e r -promise
he s u f f i c i e n t
t o c u r e h i m o f h i s p a s s i o n and t o move him t o
r e t u r n g e n e r o s i t y w ith g e n e ro s ity ?
In fac t,
t h e c h a r a c t e r s a r e m ere p u p p e t s .
V/. M. H a r t , who
d is a g re e s w ith H inckley re g a rd in g the date o f th e t a l e , y e t
a g r e e s w i t h h i m on i t s u n r e a l i s t i c n a t u r e .
He c o m p a r e s t h e
k n i g h t a n d s q u i r e o f t h e F r a n k l i n Ts T a l e w i t h t h o s e o f t h e
G e n e r a l P r o l o g ui e :
I n e a c h c a s e t h e G e n e r a l P r o l o g u e i s t h e more p r e c i s e , s p e ­
c i f i c , v i v i d . . . th e Chaucer o f th e F r a n k l i n 's T a le i s n o t q u ite
t h e C h a u c e r o f t h e G e n e r a l P r o l o g u e . . . e x c e p t A u r e l i u s , n o t one
p e rso n in th e F r a n k l i n ' s T ale i s seen o r d e s c r i b e d -at a l l .
Not
o n e , i n f a c t , i s an i n d i v i d u a l ; t h e y a r e a l l i d e a l i z e d t y p e s ,
sii&nly.
D o r ig e n i s t h e o b e d i e n t and c o n s t a n t w i f e ; A u r e l i u s ,
t h e p a s s i o n a t e l o v e r ; A r v e r a g u s , t h e w o r t h y man o f a r m s , f l o w e r
o f c h i v a l r y . 11
H a r t r e m a r k s on C h a u c e r ' s " a p p a r e n t l a c k o f f i r m n e s s o f g r a s n "
12
i n th e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the s t o r y .
Y e t he s t r a i n s t o f i n d i n
t h e F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e a n e x a m p le o f f a b l i a u s t y l e .
1 1 . Op. c i t . ,
189.
12. fo ld . . 201.
1 3 . H a r t a r g u e s ( 3 3 2 - 3 ) t h a t F r k l T shows t h e f o l l o w i n g t r a i t s
o f t h e f a b l i a u x : " c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f t h e a u d i e n c e , t h e po w e r o f
c a l c u l a t i n g e f f e c t s , . . . d ra m a tic q u a l i t y and t e c h n i q u e . . . use
o f place-nam es w ith l i t t l e v i s u a l i z a t i o n , . . . p a s s in g r e f e r e n c e s
t o t i m e and s e a s o n , . , , i n t e r e s t i n c h a r a c t e r f s i c l J . l o v e o f
c o n t r a s t s , . . . p r e f e r e n c e f o r th e d r a m a t i c method o f s u g g e s t i n g
38
I f e e l c o m p e lle d t o a g r e e w i t h H i n c k l e y t h a t "no word s e e m s . ..
so h a p p i l y t o c h a r a c t e r i z e
c e r t a i n f e a t u r e s o f the F r a n k l i n
T a l e a s d o e s t h e word n a ' i v e . " ^
Qn o oo n c i d e-r o t I o n -t h a t tp"myu.
m i n d - d a f e i n l Uulj pei'liMu bo -o n p o r l y ri atfi f o r *ho■l*lrlo~l^r-"t-hsr t /^774( i t . i s a l m o s t c o m p l e t e l y d e v o i d o f h u m o r .
To b e s u r e . ' E w a l d
15
t h e ktOnor a f f o r d <n
l i s t s a s humorous F 1 0 1 7 - 8 , 1 0 8 2 - 6 , and 1 4 9 3 -8
; but th ese
-f^ese^ o f a. ynild s o 'f t fad-e&cL
-t a
^ w h i m s i c a l b i t s • <*
* u} im.
aLounsbury
(and
17
Root
a f t e r h im ) r e g a r d s a s h u m o r o u s F 7 4 3 , 8 0 3 - 5 , a n d 8 1 8 ;
b u t t h e s e l i n e s — t h e humor o f w h i c h i s c o n j e c t u r a l - ^ f a l l i n
the
in tro d u c to ry p o rtio n o f the t a l e ,
and hence a r e n o t n e c e s ­
s a r i l y p a r t o f the n u c le a r s t o r y .
It
s h o u l d be r e c o g n i z e d t h a t l a c k o f h u m o r , n a i v e t e ,
p u p p et-lik e
and
c h a r a c t e r s can n o t ( a l t o g e t h e r be c o u n t e d ^ s f a u l t s
in the F r a n k l in 's T a le , f o r th e very n a tu re o f th e p lo t excludes
the p o s s i b i l i t y of i t s
study of l i f e .
b ein g used as th e b a s i s f o r a r e a l i s t i c
L ike t h e
s t o r y o f P a t i e n t G -riselda,
the F rank­
l i n ' s T a l e i s a h i g h l y r o m a n t i c i l l u s t r a t i o n o f an i m p r a c t i c a l
id eal.
N evertheless,
a f t e r m aking a llo w a n c e s f o r th e m e d ie v a l
them e o f t h e s t o r y , we m u s t a d m i t t h a t i t ' i s n o t s u c c e s s f u l i n
c re a tin g the I llu s io n o f r e a l i t y .
tain ly
The F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e i s
i n f e r i o r t o C h a u c e r ’ s b e s t work,
and t h i s
cer­
f a c t supports
c h a r a c t e r a nd e m o t i o n , (r ^ t h e t e n d e n c y t o r e g a r d c h a r a c t e r w i t h
b r o a d t o l e r a n o e and f r o m t h e c o m i c p o i n t o f v i e w f s i c S i ^ . . . i n t ­
e r e s t in m a r i ta l r e l a t i o n s , . . . c y n ic a l tendency fsio T T ."
I do
n o t b e l i e v e t h i s p a s s a g e r e q u i r e s r e f u t a t i o n , s i n c e t h o s e equal­
i t i e s m e n t i o n e d by H a r t w h i c h c a n b e d i s c o v e r e d i n F r k l T . c a n
i n some m e a s u r e b e f o u n d i n o t h e r t a l e s n o t o f t h e f a b l i a u t y p e .
1 4 . Mod. P h i l . . XVI, 4 4 .
1 5 . See n o te 17, page 6 . a b o v e ,
16. S tu d ie s in Chaucer (1 89 2), I I , 515-6.
1 7 . P o e t r y o f C h a u c e r ’( 1 9 2 2 ) . 2 7 5 .
39
P o l l a r d s sta te m e n t t h a t In " s u b j e c t ,
sty le,
and t o n e "
18
t a l e b e l o n g s t o an e a r l i e r p e r i o d t h a n t h a t to w h i c h i t
th is
is us­
u a lly assigned.
The p l o t o f t h e F r a n k l i n Ts T a l e may be d e s i g n a t e d ,
its
lik e
a n a l o g u e s , a s a v e r s i o n o f t h e theme o f t h e D a m sel’s R a sh
Prom ise.
The o r i g i n a l s t o r y cam e, a s C l o u s t o n h a s show n,
from t h e O r i e n t .
19
But th e c l o s e s t resem blance to C h a u c e r's
n a r r a t i v e , we mav a g r e e w i t h P r o f e s s o r R a j n a ,
pA
is presented
21
i n t h e t a l e o f Menedon f r o m B o c c a c c i o ' s F i l o o o l o .
1 8 . G l o b e C h a u c e r ( 1 9 0 7 e d . ) , x s v i £. ( S e a p a g e i a b o v e . )
1 9 . O r i g i n a l s a n d A n a l o g u e s . Ch. S o c . , A t & f f .
2 0 . "L e O r i g i n i d e l l a N o v e l l a N a r r a t e d a l ' F r a n k e l e y n ' n e l
C a n t e r b u r y T a l e s d e l C h a u c e r , " R o m a n i a . X3C£EI(1903), 2 0 4 f f .
(T he a n t e c e d e n t a r t i c l e i n Rom. XXXI i s m o s t l y i r r e l e v a n t t o
our p re se n t i n t e r e s t . )
H. M. Cummings ( i n The I n d e b t e d n e s s o f C h a u c e r ' s Works
t o B o c c a c c i o . U n i v . o f C i n g T S t t t d . . V o l . X. P a r t 2 ( 1 9 1 6 ) . 1 8 6 f f . )
a tte m p te d to r e f u t e R a j n a 's argum ent f o r th e i n f lu e n c e o f th e
F i l o o o l o on C h a u c e r , b u t Lowes ( i n " T h e F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e , t h e
T e s e i d e . a n d t h e F i l o o o l o . " Mod P h i l . . XV ( lQlT-Jty, 6 8 9 f f , ) showed
t h a t Cummings h a d n o t much d e t r a c t e d f r o m t h e f o r c e o f R a j n a ' s
argum ent•
2 1 . M enedon's s t o r v i s th e f o u r t h of a s e r i e s of q u e s t i o n !
d ' amore i n Boo k V o f t h e F i l o o o l o . T a t l o c k p o i n t s t o t h e f a c t
t h a t th e c e n t r a l f e a t u r e o f the t a l e , " th e l a d y 's im p o s itio n
o f a seem ingly im p o ssib le t a s k as th e p r i c e o f h e r l o v e ^ i n o r­
d e r t o g e t r i d o f h e r unwelcom e s u i t o r ' £ r § ^ —‘’t h i s , o r t h e l i k e
o f i t , i s f o u n d i n no e a r l y v e r s i o n b u t C h a u c e r 's and B o c c a c ­
c io 's " (op. c i t .. 57).
To b e s u r e , S c h o f i e l d h a s a r g u e d ( FMLA. X V I ( 1 9 0 1 ) , 4 0 5 f f . )
t h a t F r k l T was b a s e d up on a B r e t o n l a y , a s t h e F r a n k l i n s t a t e s
i n h i s P r o l o g u e ; b u t t h i s t h e s i s was w e a k e n e d b y S c h o f i e l d ' s i n ­
a b i l i t y t o c i t e a n y known l a y a s a s o u r o e .
Foialet a f f i r m s ( Z s .
f . r o m . P h i l . . XX3C(1906), 6 9 8 f f . ) t h a t i n t h e f o u r t e e n t h c e n t u r y
t h e l a y s o f M a r ie de F r a n c e h a d b een c o m p l e t e l y f o r g o t t e n , e ven
by t h e F r e n c h p o e t s , and t h a t t h e t r a d i t i o n o f th e B r e t o n l a y s
i n E n g la n d was k e p t a l i v e s o l e l y by a few E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n s
w hich were s t i l l in c i r c u l a t i o n .
T a t l o c k , t h o u g h he f i n d s F o u l e t ' s argum ent "u n c o n v in c in g " (o p . c i t . . 5 9 n ), n e v e r t h e l e s s a r ­
r i v e s , a f t e r s c r u p u l o u s l y w e i g h i n g a l l t h e e v i d e n c e , a t t h e same
c o n c l u s i o n — t h a t C h a u c e r was n o t u s i n g a B r e t o n l a y ( i b i d . . c h .
V II),
He sh o w s t h a t t h e " l o c a l c o l o r " r e g a r d e d b y S c h o f i e l d a s
ev id ence o f th e B reto n o r i g i n o f th e t a l e i s r e a l l y ev id en ce op­
p o s e d t o t h a t t h e o r y , f o r t h e known B r e t o n l a y s a r e u n i f o r m l y
lack in g in lo c a liz a tio n .
T a tlo c k s tr e n g th e n s h i s t h e s i s by c i t i n g
40
K a r l Y o u n g 1s d e m o n s t r a t i o n 2 3 o f t h e e x t e n s i v e
in flu en ce o f
th e F i l o c o l o upon C h a u c e r 's T r o i l u s h a s the e f f e c t o f b r i n g i n g
th e F r a n k lin 's T ale in to
w o uld se e m , t h e r e f o r e ,
c lo s e r e l a t i o n w ith the T r o i l u s .
It
t h a t t h e c o m p o s i t i o n o f t h e f o r m e r was
i n a l l p r o b a b i l i t y n o t f a r rem oved i n tim e from t h a t o f t h e
23
latter.
A f u r t h e r i n d i c a t i o n t h a t th e F r a n k l i n 's T ale i s of e a r l y
c o m p o s i t i o n a p n e a r s i n t h e e v i d e n c e p r e s e n t e d bv Lowes t h a t
the
in flu e n c e o f B o c c a c c io 's T eseide i s d i s t i n c t l y d is c e r n ib le
in t h e F r a n k l i n ' s T a le as w e l l as i n t h e Palam on:
I n t h a t p a r t o f C h a u c e r ’ s n a r r a t i v e which d e a l s w i t h Aur­
e l i u s * u n r e v e a l e d lo v e f o r D o r i g e n , C haucer i s draw ing upon
B o c c a c c i o 's a c c o u n t , in t h e f o u r t h book o f t h e T e s e i d e . o f
A r c i t a ' s u n s p o k e n p a s s i o n f o r E m i l i a . 3^
It
i s t o be n o t e d t h a t C h a u c e r ,
in th e F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e , u se d
a p o r t i o n o f t h e T e s e i d e w h i c h he h a d f a i l e d t o u t i l i z e i n t h e
25
Palam on.
I t i s f a r m ore r e a s o n a b l e t o s u p p o s e t h a t t h e F r a n k ­
l i n ' s T a le f o l l o w e d soon a f t e r t h e Palamon w h ile t h e T e s e i d e
was f r e s h
i n C h a u c e r ' s memory t h a n t o a ssu m e t h a t a f t e r t h e
( 5 8 - 6 3 ) C h a u c e r ' s odd h a b i t o f m a k i n g m i s l e a d i n g s t a t e m e n t s
a b o u t h i s s o u r c e s and h i s f a i l u r e e v e r t o acknowledge B o c c a c ­
cio as a s o u r c e .
T atlo c k concludes:
m +^e r
,THe [ C h a u c e r ] d e r i v e d m o s t o f h i s "io veg&chL f r o m o n e s o u r c e
[ F i l o c o l o } , a s t o w h i o h h e i s s i l e n t , a n a h i s f o r m and c e r t a i n
d e t a i l from another [Geoffrey of M o n m o u t h ] , w h i c h he n a m e s . 7 (01)
The p l o t , p e r s o n s , s c e n e a n d f o r m o f t h e poem a r e a c c o u n t e d f o r
by t h e
F i l o c o l o . probably
G e o f f r e y o f Monmouth, a n d some k n o w l ­
edge of B r i t t a n y
and o f B r e t o n l a y s . " ( 7 4 )
( G e o f f r e y o f Mon­
m o u t h s u p p l i e d t h e names o f A r v e r a g u s a n d A u r e l i u s a n d t h e i n c i ­
d e n t o f t h e " re m o v a l" o f r o c k s by I l l u s i o n . )
2 2 . O r i g i n and Development o f t h e S t o r y o f T r o i l u s and C r i s e v d e . Ch. S o c . ( 1 9 0 8 ) .
23,
See p a g es 44 , 66-7 below ,
3 4*
O p . c i t . . 6Q9. On p . 6 9 8 Lowes i d e n t i f i e s t h e p a s s a g e
as l i n e s F901-1037— e x ce p t f o r th e c o n v e rs a tio n in F960-1010.
25. I b i d . . 691.
j
41
l a p s e o f y e a r s h e would r e c a l l t h i s p a r t i c u l a r b i t o f t h e
T e s e i d e w h i c h he h a d p a s s e d b y i n t h e c o m p o s i t i o n o f t h e
Palam on.
Lowes , t o b e s u r e , d i d n o t p r o c e e d t o d raw a n y c h r o n o l o g ­
i c a l c o n c lu s io n s , but he appended to h i s a r t i c l e
th is s ig n if­
ic a n t footnote:
I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t t&a-t t h e f a c t s w h i c h I h ave p r e s e n t e d
mav u l t i m a t e l y t h r o w some l i g h t o n t h e d a t e o f t h e F r a n k l i n 1 s
T a l e . B u t th e e v id e n c e i s open t o a d e c id e d d i f f e r e n c e o f
i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , a n d I do n o t c a r e t o c o n f u s e t h e m a j o r i s s u e
by a d i s c u s s i o n o f i t h e r e , 2 6
From t h i s we may s u r m i s e t h a t Lowes h i m s e l f p e r c e i v e d t h e b e a r ­
in g o f t h e e v id e n c e he had a s s e m b le d , upon th e c h r o n o l o g i c a l
p o s itio n o f the F r a n k lin fs T ale ,
S t i l l a n o th e r s e t o f i n t e r r e l a t i o n s l i n k s the S q u i r e ’s T a l e ,
t h e F r a n k l i n ’ s T a l e , and th e A n e lid a (which i s a l s o l i n k e d
on.
w i t h t h e P al a m on b y t h e u s e o f T e s e i d e m a t e r i a l l y .
The A n e l ­
_
i d a and t h e S q u i r e ' s T a l e a r e , a s we h a v e s e e n , 2® c l o s e l y
J o i n e d by t h e p a r a l l e l i s m b e t w e e n t h e f a l s e t e r c e l e t a n d t h e
false A rcite.
And we h a v e c e r t a i n
in d ic a tio n s of lin k in g be­
tween t h e F r a n k l i n ’ s T a l e and th e A n e l i d a .
Skeat says o f F1311-
22 ( t h e w ord s o f A u r e l i u s t o D o r i g e n ) , " T h e s e l i n e s f o r m a
'C o m p lain t,'
q u i t e in t h e s t y l e o f t h e Com pleint o f A n e l i d a . "
29
He n o t e s t h e p a r a l l e l o f F1318 a n d A n e l 288, t o w h i c h may be
a d d e d Sq T . F 4 6 2 :
Ye s l e me w i t h y o u r e s o r w e v e r r a i l y ,
( Sq T , F462)
Ye s l e me g i l t e l e e s f o r v e r r a y p e y n e .
As v e r r a y l y ye s l e e n me w i t h t h e p e y n e ;
26.
27.
28.
29.
I b i d . . 728n.
S e e n o t e 3 9 , page 2 5 , a b o v e .
See p ag es I S f f . i above.
V , 395.
( F r k l T . F1 3 1 8 )
( A n e l 288)
42
R obinson adds th e p a r a l l e l s
F412-3, 417, 430,
( w h i c h i n t u r n p a r a l l e l Sq T .
6 3 0 - 1 ) : 30
She w e p e t h , w a i l l e t h , a l a d a y o r t w o ,
And s w o w n e th , t h a t i t r o u t h e was t o s e e ,
She w e p i th , w a i l e t h ,
sw o w n e th p i t o u s l y ;
g-i
( F r k l T . F1348-9)
( A n el 169)
S i n c e i n t h e F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e we h a v e o n l y s c a t t e r e d a n d b r i e f
p a r a l l e l s , e x p r e s s i n g i n F1318 t h e s u f f e r i n g o f A u r e l i u s and
in F1348-9 th e sorrow o f D o rigen,
i t w ou ld se e m t h a t t h e s e
bitfcs a r e r e m i n i s c e n c e s o f t h e A h e l id a and t h a t b o t h t h e S q u i r e d
T a le and t h e A n e lid a must have p r e c e d e d th e F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e .
B u t t h e same e m o t i o n a l t o n e i s
found in a l l t h r e e o f the t a l e s ,
a n d we raav now s a y t h a t t h e S q u i r e 1s T a l e , t h e F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e ,
t h e T r o i l u s . t h e P a l a m o n . a n d t h e A n e l i d a se em t o b e l o n g t o
a p p r o x i m a t e l y t h e same p e r i o d .
B o t h t h e S n u l r e Ts a n d F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e s a r e m o t i v a t e d b y t h e
th e m e o f g e n t i l e s s e . a s t h e S q u i r e ' s E n d - L i n k c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e s .
The F r a n k l i n ,
a f t e r c o m p l i m e n t i n g t h e S q u i r e up o n h i s s t o r y ,
' Aa* joecrn
i n which th e u n g e n tl e b e h a v i o r o f t h e f a l s e t e r c e l e t - ie ^ r e p r o -
b ated ,
c o m p l a i n s t h a t h i s s o n n r e f e r s t o a s s o c i a t e 7 / i t h common
f e l l o w s r a t h e r t h a n w i t h t h o s e fr o m whom he m i g h t l e a r n g e n t i l ­
esse .
Thereupon th e Host b re a k s in w ith "S traw f o r voure g en -
t i B s s s e l " and o a l l s upon t h e F r a n k l i n f o r a t a l e .
lin
s u b t l y r e t o r t s by t e l l i n g a t a l e
The F r a n k ­
i morHpi-l e e e e - i n w h i c h
b y e m p h a s i z i n g t h e g e n t i l e s s e o f t h e s o u i r e A u r e l i u s an d t h e
k n i g h t A rv e ra g u s he a g a i n o om nlim ents t h e S q u i r e and h i s f a t h e r .
3 0 . Camb. Ch. . 8 3 0 . R o b i n s o n a l s o c i t e s a s p a r a l l e l s F r k l T .
F 1 3 4 0 ( " I n a l l i i r f a c e n a s a d r o p e o f b l o o d . " ) , a n d A n e l 173
( " O t h e r c o l o u r t h e n a s s h e n h a t h s h e n o o n ; " ) . And s e e p a g e 21,
above.
3 1 . N o t e t h a t t h e s e l i n e s a r e n o t i n c l u d e d i n D o r i g e n ' s Com­
p l a i n t , w hich b e g in s w i t h F1355.
3 2 . F o r t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n I am i n d e b t e d t o H i n c k l e y ' s " T h e
D e b a t e o n M a r r i a g e i n t h e C a n t e r b u r y T a l e s . " FMLA. X X XII( 1 9 1 7 ) .
292ff.
-------
43
(Why d o e s M i s s Hammond s a y t h a t t h e t a l e was " f o r c e d u p o n ”
the F ran k lin ?
33
It
i s p e r f e c t l y a d a p te d to th e purpose o f
show ing t h e F r a n k l i n ’ s r e s p e c t f o r t h e a r i s t o c r a c y and h i s
a m b itio n t o be a c c o u n te d a g e n tle m a n ih c h a r a c t e r i f n o t i n
b i r t h .34)
The F r a n k l i n o n e n s h i s s t o r y w i t h a n e x t e n d e d d i s c u s s i o n
o f g en tilesse
in m arriage
( s e e F 7 5 4 - 5 ) , b u t i n a s m u c h a s we
a r e now c o n s i d e r i n g o n l y t h e b a s i c s t o r y , 3 5 we may p o s t p o n e
o u r a n a l y s i s o f t h i s m oo t p a s s a g e u n t i l l a t e r .
s t o r y , however,
is i t s e l f a fable of g e n tile s s e .
c lu s io n of the t a l e
The b a s i c
At th e co n ­
th e m oral i s e x p re s s ly p o in te d in th e s e
lin es:
T h u s k a n a s a u i e r d o on a g e n t i l d e d e
As w e l a s k a n a k n y g h t , w i t h o u t e n d r e d e .
(F1543-4)
B u t God f o r b e f l e , f o r h i s b l i s f u l m y g h t ,
B u t i f a c l e r k ko ud e d o o n a g e n t i l d e d e
As w e l a s a n y o f yow, i t i s no d r e d e I
( F I 610-2)
and e s p e c i a l l y ,
a s t h e key to
th e m eaning o f th e t a l e ,
in
these f i n a l lin e s :
L o r d y n g e s , t h i s q u e s t i o n , t h a n n e , w o l d e I a s k e now,
Which was t h e m o o s t e f r e , a s t h y n k e t h yow?
Now t e l l e t h m e, e r t h a t y e f e r t h e r wejode,
I k a n n a m o o r e ; my t a l e I s a t ’ an e n d e . ^ 6
(F1621-4)
3 3 . O p. o l t . . 2 5 0 .
3 4 . One might: s a y . " I f t h e t a l e
i s so w e l l s u i t e d t o t h e
F r a n k l i n , m u st i t n o t have b een w r i t t e n f o r him?" B ut p e r h a p s
t h e F r a n k l i n was i n v e n t e d t o f i t t h e t a l e .
3 5 . G e n t i l e s s e . mentioned in F 7 5 4 , i s not d i s c u s s e d ’ a b s t r a c t l y
i n the Franklin * s I n t r o d u c t i o n .
3 6 . H i n c k l e y s a y s (Mod. P h i l . . XVI, 4 4 ) t h a t " t h e e s s e n t i a l
them e o f t h e s t o r y . . . i s t h e s a c r e d n e s s o f a p ro m is e " and S c h o ­
f i e l d s a y s ( FMLA. XVT, 437} t h a t " i f t h e F r a n k l i n ’ s T a l e h a s
a n y d e f i n i t e m o r a l , i t i s summed u p
i n t h e words o f A r v i r a g u s :
’ T r o u t h e i s t h e h y e s t e t h y n g t h a t man may k e p e ’ ( F 1 4 7 9 ) . " B u t
t h i s e le m e n t, th o u g h i t i s e s s e n t i a l t o th e p l o t and i s c e r ­
t a i n l y one m o ra l o f t h e s t o r y , i s su p e rse d e d i n i n t e r e s t a s th e
s t o r y d r a w s t o a n e n d b y t h e q u e s t i o n o f t h e c o m p a r a t i v e mag­
n a n im ity o f the c h a r a c t e r s .
44
These q u o ta tio n s c o n ta in by im p lic a tio n th e e sse n ce o f the
p h ilosophy o f g e n t i l e s s e : t h a t n o b i l i t y i s e s s e n t i a l l y a
i
m atter of o h arao ter, not o f b ir th .
37
T his i d e a l o f g e n t i l e s s e
p e r v a d e s much o f C h a u c e r 1s w r i t ­
in g .
I t p erm eates the T r o i l u s .
It
i s an i m p o r t a n t e l e m e n t
i n t h e A n e l i d a and t h e S q u i r e d T a l e , i n which th e f a l s e A r­
c i t e and th e f a l s e
t e r c e l e t a r e , in s p i t e o f t h e i r noble blood,
h e l d up to s c o r n .
The d o c t r i n e
i s f o r m a l l y exnounded i n t h e
■Balade o f G e n t i l e s s e a n d t h e W i f e ' s T a l e .
w ith iro n y in th e M e rc h a n t's T a l e .
It
is
to u ch ed upon
Most s i g n i f i c a n t f o r o u r
p r e s e n t p r o b l e m w o u l d be t h e c o m p a r a t i v e a n a l y s i s o f t h e t r e a t ­
ment o f g e n t i l e s s e
i n t h e Wife* s . M e r c h a n t *s . a n d F r a n k l i n ' s
T ales.
I n th e W if e 's T ale th e l o a t h l y la d y p re a c h e s to h e r husband
on g e n t i l e s s e .
T h is l o n g d i s c o u r s e — so i l l
suited
to
the
W ife 's tem peram ent,
so u n n e c e s s a r y t o t h e p l o t , and so d i f f e r I7Q
e n t in tone from th e r e s t o f th e s t o r y
— gives every in d ic a ­
t i o n o f b e in g an i n t e r p o l a t i o n .
n arrativ e
We s h o u l d n o t i c e no g a p i n t h e
I f we w e r e t o o m i t l i n e s D 1 1 0 9 - 1 2 1 2 ,
T his e n t i r e
p a s s a g e i s a r e p l y t o D 1 1 0 1, w h e r e i n t h e k n i g h t a d d s t o h i s
c o m p l a i n t a g a i n s t t h e h a g ' s u g l i n e s s a n d a g e , t h a t s h e comes
" o f so l o u g h a k y n d e . "
B u t t h i s h a s a b s o l u t e l y no r e l e v a n c e
to t h e t a l e o f t h e L o a th ly Lady,
f o r the c h o ic e she o f f e r s h e r
h u sb a n d i s t h a t o f h a v in g an o l d b u t f a i t h f u l w i f e o r a young
37.
For an h i s t o r i c a l sk e tc h o f th e l i t e r a t u r e o f g e n t i l e s s e .
se e V ogt, " G le a n in g s f o r th e H i s t o r y o f a S e n tim e n t: G -eneroaitas
V i r t u s . Non S a n g u i s . " JEG-P. X X I Y ( 1 9 2 5 ) , 1 0 2 f f ,
58.
The g e n t i l e s s e p a s s a g e i s q u i t e s e r i o u s , w h e r e a s t h e r e s t
o f t h e t a l e i s i n harm ony w i t h t h e w h im s ic a l i n t r o d u c t i o n ( D8578 1 ) , q u o t e d i n p a r t o n p a g e 49 b e l o w .
45
and p r e t t y b u t s k i t t i s h o n e .
I suspect,
th erefo re,
t h a t the
g e n tile s s e passage— e ith e r fre s h ly w ritte n fo r in s e rtio n o r
p r e v i o u s l y com p o sed — was a d d e d t o t h e t a l e some t i m e a f t e r t h e
r e s t o f th e t a l e had been com pleted.
The i n s e r t i o n -of t h i s
e s s a y i s d i f f i c u l t t o e x p l a i n , f o r t h e s t o r y would be much b e t fzq
t e r w ithout i t ,
C h a u c e r was a p p a r e n t l y so e a g e r t o e x p r e s s
h i m s e l f on g e n t i l e s s e
t h a t he coulc not r e s i s t th e
im pulse to
drag in the s u b j e c t .
One p o s s i b l e r e a s o n , a s i d e f r o m C h a u c e r ' s
o b v io u s i n t e r e s t in t h e s u b j e c t , f o r the a d d i t i o n o f th e gen­
t i l e s s e passage to
the W if e 's T a le i s th e f a c t t h a t h e r P r o ­
l o g u e . a s e x p a n d e d , r a n t o 85 6 l i n e s , w h e r e a s t h e t a l e
m i n u s t h e g e n t i l e s s e p a s s a g e , had o n l y 305. l i n e s .
ever,
itse lf,
T h i s , how­
i s m ere s p e c u l a t i o n ; w h a t I w i s h t o e m p h a s i z e i s t h a t
e v e n i f we c a n d i s c o v e r a n y s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n t h e
F r a n k l i n ' s t r e a t m e n t o f g e n t i l e s s e and t h a t o f t h e W i f e ' s e s s a y
o n t h e s u b j e c t , we c a n n o t a p p l y t h e same c o n c l u s i o n s t o t h e e n ­
t i r e W if e 's T a le . 40
In th e W ife 's passage Chaucer g iv e s c r e d i t to c e r t a i n w r i­
t e r s who i n f l u e n c e d h i s t h o u g h t on g e n t i l e s s e .
He n u o t e s D a n t e
in D 1135-30, and e ls e w h e r e sa y s:
R e e d e th S e n e k , and r e d e t h e e k B oece;
T h e r s h u l ye s e e n e x p r e s t h a t i t no d r e d e i s
T h a t he i s g e n t i l t h a t d o o th g e n t i l d e d i s .
(D1168-70)
3 9 . I do n o t f e e l d i s p o s e d t o a c c e p t H i n c k l e y ' s s u g g e s t i o n
t h a t t h e W ife, in s e a r c h o f a s i x t h h u sb an d , i n t r o d u c e s h e r r e ­
m a r k s on g e n t i l e s s e i n o r d e r t o a s s u r e a p o s s i b l e p r o s p e c t i v e
h u s b a n d t h a t "women a r e a s g e n t l e a s l a m b s . . . i f y o u o n l y l e t
t h e m h a v e t h e i r way" ( FMLA. X3CXII, 8 9 6 ) .
4 0 . The W i f e ' s e s s a y on g e n t i l e s s e m i g h t h a v e b e e n co m po sed
e i t h e r e a r l i e r o r l a t e r th a n the' r e s t o f th e t a l e .
4 1 . The l a s t l i n e a d m i r a b l y sums u p C h a u c e r ' s d o c t r i n e . N o t e
t h e p a r a l l e l i s m b e t w e e n D1169 -70 a n d F1543-+and 1 6 1 1 - S ( a u o t e d
on p a g e 4 3 a b o v e ) .
46
B esid es the
is
in flu e n ce o f Seneca, B oethius,
t h a t o f J e a n de Meun, whom C h a u c e r f a i l s
ly ,
it
and D an te,
th ere
to m e n tio n — odd­
s e e m s t o me, b e c a u s e J e a n de M e u n f s d i s c u s s i o n o f g e n -
tile sse
i s t h e l o n g e s t , most p i c t u r e s q u e and v i g o r o u s .
I f o ne
42
ex am in es t h e p e r t i n e n t p a s s a g e s from t h e s e f o u r w r i t e r s ,
one
f i n d s a common b o d y o f d o c t r i n e w h i c h i s w e l l e x p r e s s e d ( t h o u g h
as a d e s c r i p t i o n o f the t e a c h i n g s o f B o e th iu s o n ly )
son:
"(1) V irtu e c o n s titu te s tru e g e n ti l it y ,
by J e f f e r ­
(2 ) G e n tility
c a n n o t be t r a n s m i t t e d b y i n h e r i t a n c e . . . .
jtrz
o e e d s f r o m God a l o n e , w
(3) G e n t i l i t y p ro M
t h e common f a t h e r o f a l l . "
To a t t e m p t t o u n t a n g l e t h e v a r i o u s t h r e a d s o f i n f l u e n c e i n
t h e W i f e ’ s g e n t i l e s s e p a s s a g e w o u ld r e q u i r e e x t e n d e d a n a l y s i s
and would s e r v e l i t t l e p u r p o s e h e r e .
Ayres .a rs u e s f o r th e in 45
46
flu e n c e of Seneca
; J e f f e r s o n em phasizes t h a t of B o e th iu s
;
47
Lowes shows t h e i n f l u e n c e o f D a n t e
; and F a n s l e r p o i n t s o u t
a n u m b e r o f e v i d e n c e s o f J e a n de Meun’ s d i r e c t i n f l u e n c e .
4 2 . S e n e c a ’ s 4 4 th E p i s t l e ; B o e th iu s , C ons. . Bk. I l l , P r . 6 ,
M. 6 ; D a n t e ’ s C o n v i v i o . t h e c a n z o n e p r e c e d i n g t h e F o u r t h T r a c ­
t a t e a n d s e v e r a l c h a p t e r s o f t h i s t r a c t a t e ; J e a n de Me un’ s Ro­
man d e l a r o s e ( SATF) . 1 8 6 0 7 - 8 9 6 ,
4 3 . S e n e c a s p o k e o f t h e common d e s c e n t f r o m t h e g o d s o r
" f i r s t p rin cip le s."
B o e t h i u s C h r i s t i a n i z e d S e n e c a ’s d o c t r i n e s .
4 4 . C h au cer and t h e C o n s o l a t i o n o f P h i l o s o p h y o f B o e t h i u s
(1917), 95.
4 5 . " C h a u c e r a n d S e n e o a , " Rom. R e v . . X ( 1 9 1 9 ) , 1 - 1 5 .
4 6 . Op. o i t .
-16
4 7 . " C h a u c e r a n d D a n t e ’ s C o n v i v i o . ” Mod. P h i l . . X I I I ( 1 9 1 5 ^ ,
19ff.
Lowes g i v e s c r e d i t t o K o e p p e i ( A n g l i a . X I I I ( 1 8 9 1 ) . 1 8 4 - 5 )
f o r t h e s u g g e s t i o n o f D a n t e ’ s i n f l u e n c e upon t h e p a s s a g e i n
qu estion.
B u t Lowes p u s h e s h i s a r g u m e n t s t o o f a r .
Jefferson
i s J u s t in s a y in g , " P r o f e s s o r L ow es.. . a t t r i b u t e s to D a n te ’s
i n f l u e n c e p a s s a g e s w h i c h c o u l d e o u a l l y w e l l be a t t r i b u t e d t o
B oethius" (o p . c l t .. 9 7 ).
4 8 . C h a u c e r a n d t h e Roman de l a r o s e ( 1 9 1 4 ) , TSe--, 1 8 1 , 1 9 7 ,
198, 221.
Now how d o e s t h e W i f e ' s t r e a t m e n t o f g e n t i l e s s e d i f f e r
from t h a t o f the F ra n k lin ?
In the F r a n k lin 's T ale th e re i s
no d i s c u s s i o n o f g e n t i l e s s e : th e e s s e n t i a l s o f t h e d o c t r i n e
a r e , h o w e v e r , i m p l i e d i n t h e t e r s e comments o n t h e g e n t i l e s s e
o f the c h a ra c te rs .
T h e s e comments c o u l d e a s i l y h e b a s e d u p o n
S e n e c a , B o e t h i u s , o r J e a n de Meun.
how ever,
t h e r e i s no d i s c e r n i b l e
In the F r a n k l in 's T a le ,
i n f l u e n c e o f D a n t e ’ s Con"
v l v l o . w h i c h we m u s t c o n s i d e r a s t h e
C h a u c e r 's th o u g h t on t h e s u b j e c t .
l a t e s t c o n trib u tio n to
Thus i n t h e W i f e ' s g e n t i l ­
e s s e e s s a y ( a s w e l l a s i n t h e B a l a d e ) we h a v e C h a u c e r ' s m o s t
m a t u r e t h o u g h t on g e n t i l e s s e .
Why t h e S o u i r e ' s a n d F r a n k l i n ' s
T a l e s . w h i c h a r e m o t i v a t e d by t h e s u b j e c t o f g e n t i l e s s e . c o n ­
tain l i t t l e
t h e o r i z i n g on the s u b j e c t , whereas th e W if e 's T a l e ,
w h i c h h a s p r a c t i c a l l y n o t h i n g t o do w i t h g e n t i l e s s e . c o n t a i n s
a f u l l e x p o s i t i o n o f th e p h ilo s o p h y , I c an n o t even a t t e m p t to
e x p la in .
But th e s e
facts, I in sist,
do n o t a t a l l o p p o s e t h e
h y p o th e s is t h a t th e F r a n k l i n 's T ale ( b a s ic
s to r y ) b e lo n g s to
49
an e a r l i e r p e rio d th a n th e W ife 's T ale ( b a s ic s t o r y ) .
When we t u r n t o t h e M e r c h a n t ' s T a l e , w h i c h i s f r o m b e g i n ­
n i n g t o e n d c y n i c a l , we f i n d a d i f f e r e n t t o n e i n t h e t r e a t m e n t
of g e n tilesse .
The c o m p l a i s a n t l a d y i s " g e n t i l May" ( E 1 9 9 5 ) ,
whom o l d J a n u a r y h a s c h o s e n i n p a r t f o r h e r " g e n t i ] l e s s e l,( E 1 6 0 3 ).
January,
because of h i s "gentiJtesse"
( E 1 9 1 7 ) , w i s h e s t o com­
f o r t i n h i s f e ig n e d I l l n e s s the " g e n t i l s a u i e r ” (E1907),
the
" g e n t i l man" (E19£<!}) Damyan, who i s t o p l a c e t h e h o r n s o n J a n ­
u a ry 's head.
Even t h e
"favourite lin e "
i s h e r e g i v e n an i r o n i c a l
49.
N ote t h a t i n t h e T r o i l u s . which i s c e r t a i n l y e a r l i e r
th an W B T. th e g e n t i l e s s e d o c trin e i s im plied b u t not ex­
p r e s s l y s t a t e d . (s ce. I s
Yoi.} r s x >
tw it t w ,
/Si/>
>
48
tu rn ,
for i t
i s w ith r e f e r e n c e to M ay 's com passion f o r h e r
s i c k lo v e r (a co m p assio n .n o t w holly a l t r u i s t i c )
t h a t t h e M e r­
c h a n t e x c l a i m s , " L o , p i t e e r e n n e t h s o o n e i n g e n t i l h e r t e '." (E w i)
It
i s h a rd to
im agine th e M e r c h a n t 's i r o n i c a l t r e a t m e n t o f
g e n t i l e s s e as p re c e d in g th e s e r io u s tre a tm e n t o f the s e n t i ­
ment i n th e F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e .
In f a c t,
clude t h a t the F r a n k l i n 's T ale i s
y o u n g e r , more i d e a l i s t i o
Chauoer.
we a r e d r i v e n t o
con­
t h e w o r k o f a som ewhat
50
A s i m i l a r c o n t r a s t i n to n e i s found in th e t r e a t m e n t of
m agic and r e l i g i o n
in th e W if e 's and F r a n k l i n 's T a l e s . These
tw o t a l e s o f t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l h a v e s i m i l a r s e t t i n g s .
Note
th e s i m i l a r i t y betw een the opening l i n e s o f th e W if e 's T ale
and th e F r a n k l i n ' s P r o lo g u e
;
W ife 's T ale
I n t h ' o l d e d a y e s o f t h e Kyng
A rthour,
Of w h ich t h a t B ritoX m s s p e k e n
g r e e t honour,
A1 was t h i s l a n d f u l f i l d o f
fayerye.
(D857-9)
F r a n k l i n 's Prologue
T hise olde g e n t i l B rito u n s in h i r
dayes
Of d i v e r s e a v e n t u r e s m ad en l a y e s ,
(F709-10)
50.
(See nages 24 -5 a b o v e .)
A f t e r d e v e lo p in g t h i s argum ent
r e Mrch T t I f o u n d t h a t J e f f e r s o n h a s p r e s e n t e d a s i m i l a r u o i n t
o f v i e w i n h i s C h a u c e r a n d B o e t h i u s . He d i v i d e s t h e w o r k o f
C h a u o e r i n t o t h r e e p e r i o d s ( f o l l o w i n g , no d o u b t , t h e s u g g e s t i o n
o f S k e a t i n O x f . C h . . I I , x x v i i . ) : . " t h e f i r s t , when h e knew t h e
C o n so la tio n i n d i r e c t l y through o th e r so u rces or s u p e r f i c i a l l y ;
t h e s e c o n d , c o m in g a f t e r t h e t r a n s l a t i o n , when h e was f i r e d w i t h
t h e t h o u g h t o f t h e C o n s o l a t i o n ; t h e t h i r d , when h i s i n t e r e s t b e ­
came m ore q u i e s c e n t / ' b r e a k i n g o u t o n l y a t i n t e r v a l s . . . " ( 1 5 0 - 1 ) .
I n t h i s t h i r d p e r i o d , J e f f e r s o n s a y s , C h a u c e r shows h i s w e a k e r
i n t e r e s t i n B o e th i u s " n o t o n ly by a l e s s f r e q u e n t use o f t h e Boe t h i a n m a t e r i a l , b u t by a l e s s s e r i o u s t o n e i n i t s u s e . . . , a s i n
th e d i s c u s s i o n o f f r e e w i l l in t h e N u n 's P f r i e s t 's T ale and i n the
d is c u s s io n c f f e l i c i t y in th e M e rc h a n t's T a le " (155J.
4
*
49
Furtherm ore,
i n b o t h t h e W i f e 1 a a nd F r a n k l i n ^ T a l e s C h a u o e r
a p o lo g iz e s f o r h i s use o f the s u p e r n a t u r a l ,
though t h e a p o lo ­
g i e s a r e w h o lly d i f f e r e n t in s p i r i t .
I n t h e F r a n k l i n 1s T a l e t h e m a g i c i a n i s a b l e b y c r e a t i n g i l ­
lu s io n to a f f o r d A u re liu s th e p r i v i l e g e o f dancing w ith h i s
la d y in th e en chanted c a s t l e ,
F a u st a v i s i o n o f H elen.
even a s M e p h is to p h e le s g r a n t s
The p l o t i s b a s e d up on t h e s u c c e s s ­
f u l c r e a t i o n o f an i l l u s i o n th ro u g h b la o k m ag ic, w hich i s ,
Chaucer s a y s ,
" s u p e rs tic io u s cursednesse"
(F1272).
Of a book
o f "m ag yk n a t u r e e l ” C h a u c e r s a y s i
Which b o o k s p a k m u c h e l o f t h e o p e r a c i o u n s
Touchynge th e e i g h t e and tw e n ty m ansiouns
T h a t l o n g e n t o t h e moone, and s w i o h f o l y e
As i n o u r e d a y e s i s n a t w o r t h a f l y e , —
For hooly c h irc h e s f e i t h in oure b ile v e
Ne s u f f r e t h n o o n i l l u s i o u n u s t o g r e v e .
(F1129-34)
Now i n t h e W i f e i s T a l e , a f t e r t h e o p e n i n g l i n e s o u o t e d a b o v e ,
t h e W if e e x p l a i n s t h a t t h o u g h t h e e l v e s d a n c e d i n t h e meadows
o f E n g l a n d "manye h u n d r e d y e r e s a g o , ” o n e c a n n o t s e e t h e m now
because the
" l y m y t o u r s and o t h e r e h o o l y f r e r e s , . . . As t h i k k e
as m otes in t h e s o n n e -b e e ra ,” have b l e s s e d them o u t o f e x i s t e n c e :
T h i s m a k e t h t h a t t h e r b e e n no f a y e r y e s .
F o r t h e r a s w o n t t o w a l k e n was a n e l f ,
T h e r w a l k e t h now t h e l y m y t o u r h y m s e l f
I n u n d e r m e le s and i n m orwanynges,
And s e y t h h i s m a t y n s a n d h i s h o o l y t h y n g e s
As h e g o o t h i n h i s l y m y t a c i o u n .
Wommen may go now s a u f l y up a n d doun
I n e v ery bussh o r under every t r e e ;
T h er i s noon o o t h e r in cu b u s b u t h e , . . . .
(D872-80)
How g r e a t
i s t h e d i f f e r e n c e i n t h o u g h t a n d mood b e t w e e n
C h a u c e r s a t t i t u d e t o w a r d t h e c h u r c h i n t h e F r a n k l i n Ts T a l e
a n d i n t h e V7ifeTs T a l e I
In th e form er Chaucer P i o u s ly a p o lo ­
g i z e s f o r b a s i n g h i s s t o r y u po n p a g a n s u p e r s t i t i o n s .
In the
50
. l e t t e r he r i d i c u l e s
the c le r g y w hile g iv in g a f a r c i o a l e x p la n ­
a tio n o f the disap p earan ce o f f a i r i e s .
I n n e i t h e r t a l e was
t h e a p o lo g y n e c e s s a r y ; h e n ce i n b o th c a s e s i t a p n e a r s t o be
th e e x p re s s io n o f C h a u c e r's f e e l i n g a t th e tim e .
A lthough I t
w o u l d be a u d a c i o u s t o a t t e m p t t o a r g u e a c h a n g e i n C h a u c e r ' s
th e o lo g ic a l o p in io n s,
it
i s not d i f f i c u l t to re c o g n iz e in the
latter
p e r i o d o f h i s c a r e e r a p re p o n d e ra n c e o f mockery i n h i s
51
t r e a t m e n t o f churchm en.
T h i s f a c t l e a d s rae t o a s s e r t t h a t
th e d i f f e r e n c e s in to n e betw een th e F r a n k l i n ' s and W i f e 's T a l e s
w h i c h I h a v e ,1ust d e s c r i b e d a r c u e t h e p r i o r i t y o f t h e F r a n k ­
l i n Ts T a l e .
I n C h a u c e r ' s e a r l i e r w o rk s t h e i n f l u e n c e o f H a c h a u t i s
spicuous;
it
i s s ig n if ic a n t, t h e r e f o r e , t h a t the F r a n k l in 's
T a le , as S c h o fie ld d isco v ered ,
are
con­
c o n t a i n s c e r t a i n l i n e s which
d i r e c t l y m o d e l e d u-non a p a s s a g e i n M a c h a u t ' s P i t dou V e r -
g ier.
The p a r a l l e l p a s s a g e s f o l l o w :
53
P i t dou V e r g i e r
De f l e u r s e t d e f e u i l l e s s i b e l ,
Si b e l, s i g e n t, si aggreable
Si tr e s p la ls a n t, s i d e lita b le
F t p l e i n de s i t r e s b o n n e o d o u r
Q,ue n u l s n ' e n a r o i t l a s a v o u r ,
T a n t f u s t s e s c u e r s desconfbrtez,
C .u 'il ne f u s t to u s r e c o n f o r t e z ;
E t t a n t e s t o i t de j o i e p l e i n s
....................................................................
J e n e s a y nue ce p o o i t e s t r e
F o r s nue l e p a r a d i s t e r r e s t r e .
(52-66)
_______________________________
Z'*
52. "C h a u c e r's F ra n k lin 'sT \
T a l e . " PMLA, XVI, 4461
5 5 . SATF e d . , I , 1 5 .
J
F r a n k l i n 's T ple
T h is g ardyn f u l o f l e v e s and o f
flo ures;
And c r a f t o f m an nes h a n d s o curiously
A rra y ed hadde t h i s g a rd y n , tr e w e ly ,
T h a t n e v e r e was t h e r g a r d y n o f
s v’i c h p r y s ,
B ut i f i t were t h e v e r r a y p a r a d y s .
The o d o u r o f f l o u r e s a n d t h e f r e s s h e
s ig h te
Volde h a n make^ a n y h e r t e l i g h t e
T h a t e v e r e was b o r n , b u t i f t o g r e e t
, sik n esse,
Or
to g r e e t sorw e, h e ld e
_ tresse;
So f u l
wpss o f h e a u t e e w i t h p l e s aunoe.
(F90Q-17)
51, N ote P o l l a r d ' s o p in io n t h a t i n h i s l a t e r y e a r s C h a u c e r 's
"sense o f the beauty o f r e l i g i o n has perhaps not d im inished, but
he h i m s e l f i s l e s s r e l i g i o u s . " ( C hauoer P r i m e r ( 1 8 9 5 ) . 55; s e e page
3 a b o v e f o r co’i t e x t )
H i n c k l e y ( N o t e s o n C h a u c e r . 2 3 9 ) s a y s : "The f i l i a l r e s p e c t
f o r th e C hurch, i n w . 1133-1134, c o n tr a s t's s t r o n g l y w ith th e b i t .
t e r s a t i r e o n e c c l e s i a s t i c a l a b u s e s w h i c h b e l o n g s prinoipfe.ai.ly o r
V ^ e n t i r e l y to C h a u c e r 's l a t e w ork."
51
The o n l y e l e m e n t i n t h e F r a n k l i n ' s l i n e s w h ic h i s n o t p a r a l l e l e d
i n t h o u g h t by M a c h a u t ' s p a s s a g e i s t h e r e f e r e n c e t o " c r a f t o f
mannes h a n d . "
F urtherm ore, the d e s c r i p tio n s a re in tro d u c e d
in to sim ila r s itu a tio n s ;
i n e a c h t a l e an u n h a p p y l o v e r e n t e r s
a g a r d e n t o f i n d c o n s o l a t i o n by w a t c h i n g t h e r e v e l r y o f o t h e r s .
I n v ie w o f C h a u c e r ' s f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h t h e works o f M a c h a u t ,
t h e r e c a n h a r d l y be an y d o u b t o f t h e g e n u i n e i n f l u e n c e h e r e .
The M a c h a u t i n f l u e n c e ( o f w h i c h a s e c o n d exam ple w i l l be c i t e d
later)
a f f o r d s s tro n g testim ony o f th e e a r l y d a te o f the Frank­
l i n ' s T ale.
On t h e o t h e r h a n d ,
i t s h o u l d be n o t e d t h a t no i n ­
f l u e n c e o f M a ch a u t h a s b e e n d i s c o v e r e d i n t h e D and E G r o u p s .
I n c o n c l u s i o n : The b a s i c s t o r y o f t h e F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e c o n ­
t a i n s n o t a b l e c r u d i t i e s o f p l o t and c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , w h i c h
suggest a r t i s t i c
. 'Ikereis
tale
im m aturity.
The r o m a n t i c , s e r i o u s t o n e o f t h e
i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f t h e e a r l i e r w r i t i n g s o f C h a u c e r . Tf\ zfZ
ce. wkick com pels as ft p)ace
covMposififln
o f % e *bas<‘c *toY^ /ate. i'yi Ckauceri career.
^The d e m o n s tra b le l i t e r a r y f i l i a t i o n s o f t h e b a s i c s t o r y point"
d e f i n i t e l y t o a p e rio d o f com p o sitio n e a r l i e r than t h a t to
w h i c h i t h a s u s u a l l y b e en a s s i g n e d .
The n o n - C h a u c e r i a n i n f l u ­
e n c e s a r e l e a n de Meun, B o e t h i u s , M a c h a u t , and B o c c a c c i o ( F i l o o o l o a n d T e s e i d e ) . Among t h e C h a u c e r i a n p i e c e s , t h e F r a n k l i n ' s
T ale
Kv\!otit's Tale
; f s m o s t c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o t h e T r o i l u s . t h e F o l a a o n ^ an d t h e ,
A n e l i d a ; t h e l a t t e r two i t seem s t o h a v e f o l l o w e d , an d t h e r e ­
f o r e , i n a l l p r o b a b i l i t y , the form er a l s o .
There a r e e x c e l l e n t
r e a s o n s f o r d a t i n g a t l e a s t th e b a s i c s t o r y o f the F r a n k l i n ' s
T a l e e a r l i e r t h a n t h e W i f e ' s and M e r c h a n t ' s T p l e s .
c e p t f o r t h e t i m e t h e h y p o t h e s i s o f r e v i s i o n , we
>
I f we a o -
(> v\i e f W ”
estim ate
( i n a r a t h e r m e o h a n i o a l manner) t h e p r o b a b l e p e r i o d o f t h e com­
p o s i t i o n o f the F r a n k l i n ' s T ale in i t s
o r i g i n a l fo rm as betw een
1
52
13 8 6 ( t h e l a t e s t d a t e a s s i g n e d b y a n y s c h o l a r t o a n y o f t h e
preceding ta le s )
and 1388 ( t h e e a r l i e s t d a t e
f o r e i t h e r o f t h e two f o l l o w i n g t a l e s ) .
ever suggested
But sin c e
the F ra n k ­
l i n 1 s T a l e i s much c l o s e r i n s p i r i t t o t h e p r e c e d i n g t a l e s
th a n to th e fo llo w in g ones,
its
p r o b a b l e d a t e w o u ld a p p r o a c h
m ore n e a r l y t h e p e r i o d o f t h e e a r l i e r t a l e s t h a n t h a t o f t h e
l a t e r ones (w hich a re som etim es p la c e d as
l a t e as 1 3 9 5 ') .^
One more s i g n i f i c a n t c o n c l u s i o n may be s t a t e d
no i n d i c a t i o n i n t h e b a s i c
now: t h e r e
is
s t o r y t h a t t h e F r a n k l i n 1s T a l e was
c om p o sed t o s e r v e a s t h e l a s t word i n a m a r r i a g e
debate.
The F r a n k l i n ’ s I n t r o d u c t i o n
It
tio n
i s n e c e ssa ry to study s e p a r a t e l y the F r a n k l in ’ s I n tr o d u c ­
(F729-C .806) becau se i t
h as been th e
storm c e n te r o f con-
t r o v e r s i e s r e g a r d i n g t h e F r a n k l i n ’ s T a l e and b e c a u s e c o n c l u s i o n s
b a s e d unon t h i s p a s s a g e h ave b e e n a p p l i e d t o t h e t a l e a s a w h o l e .
T his I n t r o d u c t i o n ,
though f i t t e d
n o t e s s e n t i a l to the p lo t
py m a r r i d d l i f e
cien t.
sm oothly i n t o
the s t o r y ,
is
; a few l i n e s d e s c r i p t i v e o f t h e h a p ­
o f A r v e r a g u s and D o rig en would have b een s u f f i ­
C haucer, however, n o t o n l y d e s c r i b e s t h e m a r i t a l f e l i o -
i t y of the p a ir ,
but d ig r e s s e s to s e t f o r t h ,
in a passage r e c e n t ­
l y c h a r a c t e r i z e d by T a t l o c k a s a " d e l i g h t f u l l i t t l e v e r s e - e s s a y . . .
56
on t h e C onduct o f L i f e , "
some i d e a l p r i n c i p l e s f o r t h e e s t a b ­
lis h m e n t o f a happy m a r r i a g e .
T his d ig r e s s io n i s n e a tly
joined
5 4 . Though I have i n e s s e n t i a l s found m y s e lf i n a g reem en t w i t h
H in ck ley , I co n sid er r a t h e r f a r - f e tc h e d h is su g g e stio n t h a t th e
t a l e o f D o r i g e n was w r i t t e n i n 1380 i n h o n o r o f t h e r e c o g n i t i o n ,
a t P a r i s , o f J o h n o f M o n t f o r t a s Duke o f B r i t t a n y . ( S e e N o t e s o n
C h a u o e r . 243.)
5 5 . S e e T a t l o c k ’ s co mm en t, n o t e 6 , p a g e 3 5 , a b o v e .
5 6 . " T h e C a n t e r b u r y T a l e s i n 1 4 0 0 , " FMLA, L ( 1 9 3 5 ) , 1 1 6 n .
53
to t h e m a t e r i a l p r e c e d i n g and f o l l o w i n g i t ;
anti m o r a l i z i n g a l t e r n a t e
I f we a r e t o
in f a c t , n a r r a t i v e
throughout the e n t i r e I n tr o d u c tio n .
c o n s i d e r t h e h y p o t h e s i s t h a t t h e F r a n k l i n 1s T a l e
h as been r e v i s e d f o r th e u u rn o se o f m aking i t a c o n c l u s i o n to
the m arriag e d e b a te ,
it
is
in th e I n tr o d u c tio n
look fo r s ig n s o f r e v i s io n ;
fitte d
to the t a l e
t h a t we s h o u l d
t h e e n t i r e I n t r o d u c t i o n mav- h a v e b e e n
in n la c e o f an e a r l i e r one, o r th e r r e s e n t I n ­
t r o d u c t i o n may b e an e x p a n s i o n o f t h e h y p o t h e t i c a l e a r l i e r o n e .
S i n c e t h e h y p o t h e s i s o f r e v i s i o n came i n t o e x i s t e n c e a s a c o r o l ­
la ry o f the
" M a rria g e Group" t h e o r y , I
sh a ll p resent at th is point
a b r i e f a c c o u n t o f t h e o r i g i n and d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h i s
in te restin g
concept.
I n 1895 G eorge S h i n l e y ,
57
c a l l i n g a t t e n t i o n to c e r t a i n lin k s
b e t w e e n t h e F r a n k l i n 1s T a l e and t h e W if e o f B a t h f s T a l e
lin k s I s h a ll discuss l a t e r ) ,
argued t h a t th e F r a n k l i n ^
(w hich
T a le must
h a v e f o l l o w e d t h e W i f e Ts T a l e a n d t h e C l e r k s T a l e b e c a u s e i t
"d is­
c u s s e s b o t h t h e s e v i e w s [ o f m a r r i a g e } a n d shows t h e l i m i t a t i o n s
o f each."^®
" I t i s hard to
deny," he w ro te ,
i n t e n t i o n a l l w r e f e r s t o t h e V-/ifef s s t o r y ,
" th a t the F ra n k lin
a fte r c a re fu lly reading
h i s i n t r o d u c t o r y passage."^®
S h i n l e y ^ r e m a r k s on t h e d i s c u s s i o n o f m a r r i a g e i n t h e s e
tales
p r e p a r e d t h e way f o r t h e t h e o r y o f a " M a r r i a g e G r o u p , " w h i c h M i s s
Hammond p u t f o r w a r d i n 1908 a s f o l l o w s :
A t h i r d c l a s s o f n a r r a t i v e s in the C anterb u ry T a le s ( b e s id e s
( l ) n a r r a t i v e s " o f a r o m a n tic o r r e l i g i o u s c a s t " and ( 2 ) t h e f a b ­
l i a u x } i s w h a t I may t e r m t h e M a r r i a g e G r o u p , t h e m a s s o f m a t e r i a l
5 7 . " A r r a n g e m e n t o f t h e C a n t e r b u r y T a l e s . " MLN. X, 1 3 0 f f .
58. I b i d . , 138.
S h i n l e y had p r o b a b l y b e e n i n f l u e n c e d by L o u n sb u r y , who i n h i s S t u d i e s i n C h a u o e r ( 1 8 9 2 ) h a d i n t e r p r e t e d c e r t a i n
l i n e s in F rk l T as re m in is c e n t o f O
T a n d Mrch T . ( S e e p a g e 38
sb o v e .)
59. I b i d . .
54
s u g g e s t e d o r e n r i c h e d "by J e r o m e A d v e r s u s J o v i n i a n u m . and d e v ­
e l o p e d i n t h e Wife o f B a t h ' s P r o l o g u e , t h e M e r c h a n t s ^ a l e . a n d
t h e i n s e r t e d passag e i n th e F r a n k l i n ' s rom ance, l i n e s 6 3 9 f f .
[ = F 1 3 5 5 f f J .60
The ’' M a r r i a g e G r o u p ” t o o k m ore d e f i n i t e
l i s h e d i n 1912 b y P r o f e s s o r K i t t r e d g e ,
f o r m i n a p a p e r p ub ­
"C h a u c e r's D isc u ss io n o f
M a r r i a g e , ” ®^- i n w h i c h he s t r e s s e d C h a u c e r ' s d r a m a t i c s u b t l e t y ,
h is s k ill
in c o n tra stin g c h a ra c te rs ,
and h i s c l e v e r n e s s i n o r g a n ­
i z i n g t h e p r o l o g u e s a n d t a l e s o f G r o u p s D, E , a n d F so a s t o form
a d e b a t e on t h e
su b ject of m arriage.
The W i f e a n d t h e C l e r k
i n t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s and t h e i r t a l e s r e p r e s e n t o p p o s i t e v iew s o f
th e problem o f s o v e r e ig n ty in m a rria g e ,
the M erchant then p re s ­
e n t s a c v n i c a l p i c t u r e o f an u n h a p p y m a r r i a g e , a n d t h e g e n t l e
F r a n k l i n b r i n g s t h e d e b a t e t o a t r i u m p h a n t m o r a l c o n c l u s i o n by
e stab lish in g
the
tru e b a s i s f o r a happy m a rriag e
c o m p a n i o n s h i p o f h u s b a n d and w i f e a s e q u a l s .® 2
f i n a l e x p re ss io n to th e se
in th e f r e e
K i t t r e d g e gave
i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s i n h i s b r i l l i a n t book^,
Chaucer and H is P o e t r y . (1 9 1 5 ).
A g a in s t t h e "M a rria g e Group” t h e o r y s e v e r a l s e r i o u s o b j e c t i o n s
have been r a i s e d .
lin 's
F irst
in im portance i s the f a c t t h a t th e F ren k -
T a l e does n o t c o n c e rn i t s e l f p r i m a r i l y w i th m a r r i a g e . 63
The s a l i e n t p o i n t s i n t h i s p a r a b l e o f g e n e r o s i t y a r e
th a t D ori­
g en f e e l s bound by h e r r a s h p r o m is e , t h a t A r v e r a g u s y i e l d s h i s
w ife to her lo v e r ,
t h a t A u re liu s a f t e r r e s o r t i n g to d e s p e r a t e
d e v i c e s to g e t D o rig e n i n h i s power r e l e a s e s h e r ,
t h a t th e m agician renounces h i s
and f i n a l l y
claim to h i s w e ll- e a r n e d f e e .
/"~+ke. h'vvks ixsiweevv ~H»e.
of" (jroHjpS
I
D ,E ,a w J L F J>o w o t /b e a r o u t
\ Q~f a .Lcjbatc- ov, ywarrl^ye*..
w o rio w
------ ----
6 0 * Op* o i t . . 2 5 6 .
Note th e o v e r l a p p in g o f th e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s .
61. g o d . E h i l . . IX , ;435ff.
6 2 . T h e s c h e n i a t i z a t i o n o f K i t t r e d g e h a s t h e b e a u t y o f a n Heg­
e l i a n t r i a d ; t h e r e i s th e V /ife's t h e s i s ( s o v e r e i g n t y o f w i f e ) ,
t h e C l e r k ' s a n t i t h e s i s ( s o v e r e i g n t y o f h u s b a n d ) , and t h e F r a n k l i n ' s
s y n t h e s i s (m utual s o v e r e ig n ty ) .
6 3 . S e e H i n c k l e y , " T h e D e b a t e on M a r r i a g e i n t h e C a n t e r b u r y
T a l e s . ” PMLA. X X X I l ( l 9 1 7 ) , 2 9 2 f f . ;
L a w r e n c e , "The M a r r i a g e
G r o u p i n t h e C a n t e r b u r y T a l e s . ” Mod. P h i l . . X I ( 1 9 1 3 ) , 2 4 7 f f Lyons, i
"The n a r r iftg e Pfebwfa fry fli*
f
l y w y B ) a lso r o infs * « f f t d j
55
A l l t h e a n a l o g u e s , ho w e v er much t h e v may v a r y i n o t h e r r e s p e c t s ,
c o n c l u d e w i t h t h e f o r m a l d e m a n d e ; Which o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s a c t e d
most g e n e r o u s ly ?
The F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e l i k e w i s e , a f t e r r e p e a t e d 64
ly s tr e s s i n g the g e n tile s s e o f the v a rio u s c h a ra c te rs ,
con­
c l u d e s w i t h t h i s q u e s t i o n ; "Which was t h e m o o s t e f r e , a s t h y n k e t h yow?" ( F 1 6 2 2 ) .
There i s n o t a word, a f t e r th e n a r r a t i v e
i s o n c e u n d e r way, a b o u t s o v e r e i g n t y i n m a r r i a g e - - a s t r a n g e
oversight i f
su b ject!
t h e t a l e was d e s i g n e d t o c o n c l u d e a d e b a t e on t h a t
Thus we c a n f o r c e t h e F r a n k l i n ' s T e l e i n t o t h e r o l e
which K i t t r e d g e a l l o t s
t o i t o n l y by d o i n g v i o l e n c e t o i t s b a s i o
sig n ifican c e.
A n o t h e r o b j e c t i o n t o t h e " M a r r i a g e G ro up " f o r m u l a i s t h a t
s e v e r a l o t h e r C an terbury t a l e s are
c o n c e r n e d i n o n e way o r a n o t h e r
w i t h p r o b l e m s o f m a r r i a g e . The a u e s t i o n o f s o v e r e i g n t y i s d i s 65
66
c u s s e d , a s b o t h Koch and L a w r e n c e h a v e sh o w n , i n t h e M e l i b e u s
and t h e N u n 's P r i e s t ' s T a l e .
U n f a i t h f u l wives a re p r e s e n t e d
i n t h e M i l l e r ' s . Shipm an' s . and M a n c i p l e ' s T a l e s .
A lso,
as
Hemingway p o i n t s o u t , 6^ t h e r e i s d i s c u s s i o n o f c e l i b a c y i n t h e
M e l i b e u s . M o n k ' s P r o l o g u e . N u n ' s P r i e s t ' s E p i l o g u e , a n d Se c o n d
N u n 's T a l e .
B o t h L aw re n ce a n d Hemingway b e l i e v e ' t h a t t h e Wife
o f B a th in an nouncing a t th e b e g in n in g o f h e r P ro lo g u e t h a t she
w i l l " s p e k e o f wo t h a t i s i n m a r i a g e "
(D3) i s a l l u d i n g t o some
d i s c u s s i o n o f m a r r ia g e which h a s p r e c e d e d .
In sh o rt, a t le a s t
h a l f the C a n te rb u ry t a l e s a re s e r i o u s l y concerned w ith m a rria g e .
6 4 . S e e F 1 5 2 4 , 1 5 2 7 , 1 5 4 3 - 4 , 1 5 7 4 , 1 5 9 5 , 1 6 0 8 , 1 6 1 1 - 2 . (And
se e pages 43-4 above.)
65. I n a re v ie w o f K i t t r e d g e ' s a r t i c l e , Eng. S t u d . . XLVI(1912),
112ff,
6 6 . S e e n o t e 63 a b o v e .
6 7 . " C h a u c e r ' s Monk and N u n ' s P r i e s t , " MLN. X X X I ( 1 9 1 6 ) , 4 7 9 f f .
56
M oreover,
t h e " M a rria g e Group" t h e o r y a ssu m es n o t o n l y t h a t
Chaucer o rg a n iz e d
t h e t a l e s i n G r o u p s D, E , a n d F a ^ - t r ~ s y m p o s ■v
ium o n m a r r i a g e , b u t a l s o t h a t he co m p o s ed t h e s e t a l e s w i t h
th is
e x p r e s s p u r p o s e i n m in d and a r r a n g e d t h e m i n t h e o r d e r
i n w h i c h t h e y s t a n d i n t h e O x f o r d C h a u c e r , so t h a t we a r e w a r ­
r a n t e d i n r e g a r d i n g l i n e s i n G ro u r|fr a s r e m i n i s c e n t o f s i m i l a r
l i n e s i n G roups D and E .
T h at t h e " M a r r ia g e Group" t h e o r y in
t h i s r e s p e c t r e s t s u p o n a f r a i l f o u n d a t i o n was n o i n t e d o u t
y e a r s ago by H i n c k l e y ,6 0 an&AM s ° r e c e n ? l y b e e n r e i n f o r c e d w i t h
69
70
nev.: e v i d e n c e b y D r . K a s e
a n d C a r l e t o n Brovrn.
■•I n e t e &d ,
T h e r e is no reaso-n,
% 'taka
t h e r e f o r e , o f « t n k i -n
he t h e o r y o f a M a r r ia g e Group a s a p r e <IJL
V iO W
l i i i i i n a r y a s s u m n t i o n ; " L e t u s Ae x a m i n e o b j e c t i v e l y t h e s o u r c e s
—
^
/ x
and r e l a t i o n s h i n s o f t h e F r a n k l i n ' s I n t r o d u c t i o n .
7n
S k e a t commented b r i e f l y i n t h e O x f o r d C h a u c e r
dependence o f t h i s
upon t h e
i n t r o d u c t o r v d i s c u s s i o n o f l o v e and m a r r i a g e
o n Le r om an de l a r o s e .
I n o r d e r t o show c l e a r l y t h e p e r v a s i v e
i n f l u e n c e o f J e a n de Meun uuon t h e F r a n k l i n ' s I n t r o d u c t i o n , I
present a l i t e r a l ,
l i n e - b y - l i n e t r a n s l a t i o n o f t h e t e x t o f Le
rom an, l i n e s 9421-92
79 /
( o m i t t i n g f i f t e e n o b s c u r e a n d unimportant
68*
Qu c l t . ( n o t e 63 a b o v e ) , 2 9 3 - 4 .
69. See n o te
5, page 2, a b o v e .
70. See n o te
tf, p a g e 2, a b o v e ,
71 . N q te s on
F 7 6 4 f f . (V, 3 8 8 ) : " T h i s p a s s a g e i s c l e a r l y
f o u n d e d o n Le Roman de l a R o s e . 1 1 . 9 4 6 5 - 9 5 3 4 D ^ i c h e l ' s e d . ]
Compare, f o r e x a m p le , 11. 9 4 7 9 - 9 4 8 2 : ' C a r 1 1 - c o n v i e n t am or m o r r i r
■ Q u a n t am a nt v u e l e n t s e i g n o r i r .
Amors n e p u e t d u r e r n e v i v r e ,
Se n ' e s t e n c u e r f r a n c e t d e l i v r e . '
Compare a l s o 1 1 . 8 4 8 9 - 9 0 o f t h e s a m e : 'O . u ' o n q u e s Amor e t s e i g n o r i e
Ne s ' e n t r e f i r e n t o o r a p a i g n i e , '
And s e e K n . T a . . A. 1 6 2 5 - 6 . "
7 2 . I h a v e t r a n s l a t e d t h e SATF v e r s i o n ( e d , L a n g l o i s ) .
, .., .
l
57
lin e s).
A fte r a l iv e ly d e s c rip tio n of the a n tic s o f
jealo u s
h u s b a n d , J e a n de Meun c o n t i n u e s :
F rie n d , th a t f o o l is h je a lo u s w retch
(may h i s f l e s h be t h r o w n t o t h e w o l v e s )
who f i l l s h i m s e l f w i t h j e a l o u s y
a s I have h e r e g iv e n you an exam ple,
a n d makes h i m s e l f l o r d o f h i s w i f e —
who f i n t u r n ] o u g h t n o t t o be [ h i s j l a d y ,
b u t h i s e c iu a l a n d h i s c o m p a n i o n ,
j u s t a s t h e la w j o i n s them,
a n d he f a l s o j o u g h t t o be h e r c o m p a n io n
w i t h o u t making h i m s e l f l o r d and m a s t e r —
when he o f f e r s h e r s u c h I n s u l t s
and does n o t r e g a r d h e r as a n e q u a l ,
b u t makes h e r l i v e i n s u c h m i s e r y ,
do y o u t h i n k h e w i l l n o t d i s p l e a s e h e r
and t h a t l o v e betw een them w i l l n o t c e a se ?
E v e n t h o u g h s h e may s a y " y e s " w i t h o u t f a i l ,
n e v e r w i l l he be l o v e d by h i s w i f e
who w i s h e s t o b e c a l l e d S i r e ;
f o r l o v e i s s u r e to d i e
when l o v e r s w i s h t o d o m i n a t e .
Love can n o t e n d u re o r l i v e
b u t i n a h e a r t f r a n k and f r e e .
Thus one o b s e r v e s l i k e w i s e
i n r e g a r d t o a l l t h o s e who a t f i r s t
a r e a c c u s t o m e d t o l o v e -par a m o u r ,
when t h e y d e c i d e t o g e t m a r r i e d ,
w i t h d i f f i c u l t y c a n i t come t o p a s s
t h a t he i s a b l e t o h o l d h e r a f f e c t i o n s ,
f o r h e , when he l o v e d -par a m o u r ,
c a l le d h im s e lf se rv a n t to h e r
who was a c c u s t o m e d t o b e h i s m i s t r e s s ,
f b u t j now h e c a l l s h i m s e l f l o r d a n d m a s t e r
o v e r h e r who h a d b e e n c a l l e d h i s l a d y
when s h e was l o v e d p a r a m o u r .
L o v e d ? — Y e s i n d e e d . — I n w h a t way?
I n such wise t h a t i f w ith o u t e n t r e a t y
s h e w o u l d command h i m , " L e a p , d e a r , "
o r , " B r i n g me t h a t t h i n g , "
i m m e d ia te l y he would b r i n g i t w i t h o u t f a i l ,
a nd he w ould l e a p i f she a s k e d him to l e a p ;
t r u l y w h a te v e r she m ig h t s a y ,
h e w o u l d l e a p so s h e m i g h t s e e h i m ,
f o r h e h ad a l w a y s s e t h i s h e a r t
on d o in g f o r h e r a l l h e r p l e a s u r e .
B u t when t h e y a r e m a r r i e d ,
a s I have r e l a t e d to you,
th en th e wheel is tu r n e d ,
s o t h a t he who i s a c c u s t o m e d t o s e r v i n g h e r
commands t h a t s h e s e r v e h i m ,
j u s t a s sh e had been s e r v e d ,
9 42 5
943 0
9435
9440
9445
9 45 0
9455
9460
9 46 5
9470
58
an d h e h o l d s h e r s h o r t a n d commands h e r
to r e n d e r a c c o u n t o f h e r a c t i o n s to him.
And f o r m e r l y he h a d c a l l e d h e r h i s l a d y !
How c a n s h e h e h a p p y ?
I f sh e does n o t o b e y , he s c o l d s h e r
and p u n i s h e s h e r , and she g r u m b le s :
t h e r e y o u h a v e th em i n m i s e r y ,
and en em ies f o r a n g e r .
It
9490
w i l l be s e e n t h a t i n t h e F r a n k l i n * s p l e a f o r © d u a l i t y an d
m u tu a l f o r b e a r a n c e betw een h u sb an d and w i f e and f o r t h e c o n ­
tin u a n c e a f t e r m a rria g e o f love w ith o u t c o e rc io n , Chaucer p e r­
f e c t l y agrees w ith th e sen tim en ts expressed in the passage
above.
Note e s p e c i a l l y C h a u c e r ’ s l i n e s :
Love w o l n a t b e e n c o n s t r e y n e d b y m a i s t r y e .
Whan m a i s t r i e c o m t h , t h e God o f L o v e a n o n
B e t e t h h i s wynges, and f a r e w e l , he i s gon!
Love i s a t h y n g a s a n y s p i r i t f r e e .
Wommen, o f k y n d e , d e s i r e n l i b e r t e e ,
And n a t t o b e e n c o n s t r e y n e d a s a t h r a l ;
And so doon men, i f I s o o t h s e y e n s h a l .
(F764-70)
I n d e e d , a s i d e f r o m t h e comments w h i c h C h a u c e r i n t r o d u c e s o n
t h e n e o e s s i t y o f f o r g i v i n g o f f e n s e s due t o ” wyn, wo, o r c h a u n g vnge o f com plexioun” (F 7 7 7 -8 6 ),
t h e i n f l u e n c e o f J e a n d e Meun
i s ap p aren t in the e n t i r e in tro d u c to ry p o rtio n o f th e F r a n k l in ’s
T a le a s f a r as F806.
We a r e now p r e p a r e d t o c o n s i d e r t h e l i s t o f s e v e n p a s s a g e s
i n t h e F r a n k l i n ’ s T a l e which T a t l o c k a d d u c e s i n h i s r e c e n t a r 75
tid e
as r e m in is c e n c e s of the o t h e r t a l e s in th e "M arriage
G roup":
Frkl T .
F745ff.
751-2
768-70
774
804-6
818
1364
Cl T . E 3 5 1 f f.
M r c h T . E1379
W B DP. D1038- 40
C l T, E 1 0 4 4 - 5 0 e t p a s s i m
MroK T . E 1 2 5 9 - 6 0
W B P r o l . D592
Mrch T . E2239, 2 2 8 0 -5
7 3 . "T he C a n t e r b u r y T a l e s i n 1 4 0 0 , " FMLA. L ( 1 9 3 5 ) , l O O f f ,
V
59
In presenting th is
argum ent by s a y in g ,
l i s t of u aro llels,
T atlo ck q u a l i f i e s h is
" I do n o t a f f i r m t h a t t h e o n e p a s s a g e was
a l w a y s m e a n t t o r e c a l l t h e o t h e r ; b u t t h i s s u f f i c e s t o show
t h a t t h e d e b a t e on m a r r i a g e was h e l d i n m in d i n F k l T a s much
74
as one need e x p e c t . "
T h is s t a t e m e n t , h ow ever, r e s t s uoon t h e
a s s u m p t i o n t h a t t h e F r a n k l i n ’ s T a l e was w r i t t e n ^ t e r
o t h e r t a l e s o f th e "M a rria g e G roup."
i n t e r p r e t s the p a r a l l e l s
th e o r d e r in w hich t h e s e t a l e s were
B ut i t sh o u ld n o t be n e c e s s a r y t o rem ind the r e a d e r
th a t the e x iste n c e o f s i m i l a r i t i e s
-a o t o
In o th e r w ords, T a tlo c k
in accordance w ith a c o n v ic tio n p r e ­
v i o u s l y formed i n r e g a r d to
composed.
th an the
d o e s n o t i n i t s e l f -d e o i c te in^icate-
th e p r i o r i t y o f one p a ss a g e o v e r a n o t h e r .
T his can only
be d e te rm in e d by an o b j e c t i v e s t u d y o f th e p a r a l l e l s .
Of th e s e seven n a r a l l e l s
i t w i l l be o b s e r v e d t h a t a l l b u t
t h e l a s t o c c u r i n t h e F r a n k l i n ' s I n t r o d u c t i o n , ^ ® Tfl h i c h i s b a s e d
i n t h e m a i n u n o n J e a n de Meun.
Such a s e r i e s o f re s e m b la n c e s
d e r i v i n g f r o m a s i m i l a r d i s c u s s i o n b y J e a n de Meun w o u l d s e e m
in d icate c le arly
t o p r e v e—oonoTire-f v o -l y t h a t C h a u c e r i n w r i t i n g h i s i n t r o d u c t o r y
e s s a y i n t h e F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e was t h i n k i n g o f t h e p a s s a g e i n Le
r o m a n de l a r o s e .
Yet T a t lo c k ,
co m p letely ig n o rin g the
in flu ­
e n c e o f J e a n de Meun, a s k s u s t o b e l i e v e i n s t e a d t h a t C h a u c e r
w a s r e c a l l i n g l i n e s w h i c h he h a d w r i t t e n e a r l i e r a n d w h i o h a r e
w idely s c a t t e r e d th ro u g h th e t a l e s o f the C lerk ,
t h e W ife o f
B a th , and th e M e rch a n t.
74. I b i d . , 116n.
7 5 , The s i x t h p a r a l l e l i n v o l v e s F 8 1 8 , w h i c h i s a few l i n e s
beyond the l i m i t s I have s e t f o r the F r a n k l i n 's I n t r o d u c t i o n .
T he s e v e n t h ( F 1 3 6 4 ) f a l l s i n D o r i g e n ’ s C o m p l a i n t and w i l l b e ‘
considered l a t e r .
60
I
s h a l l proceed to
examine T a t l o c k 1s p a r a l l e l s one by one:
(1) F r k l T . F 7 4 5 f f . and Cl T . 3 5 1 f f .
These p a s s a g e s s e t
f o r t h t h e c o n t r a s t i n g a t t i t u d e s o f t h e two h u s b a n d s .
W alter
demands a b s o l u t e o b e d i e n c e f r o m G - r i s e l d a ; A r v e r a s u s r e n o u n c e s
s o v e re ig n ty over D origen.
T a tlo c k assum es, of c o u rse ,
th at
Chaucer i n v e s te d A rv e ra g u s w ith a l i b e r a l a t t i t u d e tow ard h i s
w if e in o r d e r to p r e s e n t th e r e a d e r w i t h an i d e a l o f m a r r i a g e
76
s u p e r i o r t o t h a t f o u n d i n t h e C l e r k 1s T a l e .
But th e re i s
no p a r a l l e l i s m b e t w e e n t h e two t a l e s ,
w h i c h was w r i t t e n f i r s t .
andAno e v i d e n c e a s t o
F urtherm ore,
the C l e r k 's T a l e , in the
o p i n i o n o f m o s t s c h o l a r s , was w r i t t e n i n t h e p r e - C a n t e r b u r y
p e r i o d ; so t h a t t h e F r a n k l i n ' s T a le m ig h t v e r y w e l l be l a t e r
be
t h a n t h e C l e r k ' s T a l e a n d v e t Ae a r l i e r t h a n t h e V / i f e ' s a n d M e r c h a n t's T a le s .
( 2 ) F r k l T . F 7 5 1 - 2 a n d Mrch T . E 1 3 7 9 .
T atlo ck c i t e s
The two l i n e s w h i c h
from the F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e .
S a v e t h a t t h e name o f s o v e r a y n e t e e ,
T h a t w o l d e he h a v e f o r shame o f h i s d e g r e e ,
in c o n n e c tio n w ith t h e i r c o n te x t (F745-52) e x p re s s th e
a lth o u g h A rveragus w i l l c o n tin u e to
idea th a t
se rv e Dorigen a s a husband
J u s t as he has served h e r as a l o v e r (a c c o rd in g to the p r i n c i p l e s
^et
o f J e a n de M e u n ) , Ai n t h e e y e s o f t h e w o r l d he w i l l b e t h e h e a d
o f the house.
I n t h e M e r c h a n t ' s .daydream o f th e
Joys o f m a r r ia g e ,
t h e am bi­
guous l i n e E1379,
And y e t s h e w o l e o b e y e o f c u r t e i s y e ,
7 6 . I t s h o u l d n o t b e f o r g o t t e n , h o w e v e r , t h a t i n 01 T t h e I s s u e
i s clo u d ed by t h e f a c t t h a t G -riselda i s a s e r f . (See H in c k le y , o p .
o i t . , 2 9 7 -8 .)
7 7 . Was T a t l o c k ' s e y e c a u g h t b y t h e p h r a s e s " n y g h t n e d a y " ( E 3 5 4 )
and " d a y n e n y g h t " ( F 7 4 6 ) ? B u t v e r v k i k e l y T a t l o c k w o u l d n o t s u g ­
g e s t t h a t t h e s e common p h r a s e s , u s e a a s t a g s f o r f i l l i n g o u t t h e
lin e s, co n stitu te a sig n ific a n t p a ra lle l.
61
follow s the c o u p le t,
S u f f r e t h y wyves t o n g e , a s C atoun h i t ;
S h e s h a l c o r a a n d e , and t h o u s h a l t s u f f r e n i t ,
w h i c h i s a f r e e p a r a p h r a s e o f o n e o f D i o n y s i u s C a t o Ts D i s t i c h s
(III,
S3):
U x o r i s l i m u a m , s i f r u g i e s t , f e r r e m em en to;
Namque malum e s t , non u e l l e p a t i n e o p o s s e t a c e r e .
The p r e c e d i n g l i n e s , E 1 3 5 8 - 7 6 ,
em phasize th e v a lu e o f h e e d in g
the counsel o f a sagacious w ife.
E1379 a n d F 7 5 1 - 2 s e e m t o h a v e no
I n view o f t h e i r
co n tex ts,
r e l a t i o n t o each o t h e r .
( 3 ) F r k l T . F 7 6 8 - 7 0 a n d ff B T . D 1 0 3 8 - 4 0 :
W ife’s T ale
F r a n k l i n ’ s T ale
" Wommen d e s i r e n h a v e s o v e r e y n e t e e
As w el o v e r h i r h o u s b o n d a s h i r
love,
And f o r t o b e e n i n m a l s t r i e hym
above.
(D1038-40)
Wommen, o f k y n d e , d e a i r e n l i h e r t e e ,
And n a t t o b e e n c o n s t r e y n e d a s a
th ra l;
And s o d o on men, i f I s o o t h s e y e n
sh al.
(F768-70)'
B o t h p a s s a g e s a r e g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s a b o u t w h a t women d e s i r e .
The
W ife’s T a l e , the
ed above,
a ll
theme o f w h i c h i s g i v e n i n t h e t h r e e l i n e s o u o t fo lk
i s a d e s c e n d a n t o f a n a n c i e n t Q r i -e n t e l t a l e w h i c h i n
i t s e x t a n t v e r s i o n s i n v a r i a b l y d e a l s w i t h women’ s d e s i r e f o r
s o v e r e i g n t y o v e r t h e i r m en. 79
The F r a n k l i n , h o w e v e r ,
is speak­
i n g o f women’ s d e s i r e f o r l i b e r t y , n o t t o d o m i n a t e t h e i r h u s b a n d s ,
80
b u t to r e t a i n t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l i t i e s .
F ansler
has reco g n ized
v/.J.
- 7 8 . T r a n s l a t e d b y AC h a s e ( W i s e . U n i v . S t u d , i n S o c . S c . a n d
H ^ s t . . V I I (1 9 2 8 ), 33) a s :
B e a r t h y w i f e ’ s t o n g u e when s h e h a t h f a i t h f u l b e e n ,
Im p a tie n c e and r e t o r t a l i k e a r e v a i n .
7 9 . S e e R o b i n s o n , 8 0 7 , on s o u r c e s and a n a l o g u e s .
S k e a t ’ s n o t e s on V B T . D1038 (V, 3 1 9 ) :
” C f, Gower, C o n f .
M a n t i s , 1. 9 6 :’ T h a t a l l e women l e v e s t w o l d e
Be s o v e r e i n o f m a n n e s l o v e * & c.
So a l s o i n t h e M a r r i a g e o f S i r G a w a i n e . s t . 2 8 : — ’ a woman w i l l h a v e h e r w i l l ,
And t h i s I s a l l h e r c h e e f d e s i r e . ’ ”
8 0 . C h a u o e r a n d t h e Roman de l a R o s e ( 1 9 1 4 ) , 2 2 0 .
i
62
a s t h e s o u r c e o f F 7 6 8 - 7 0 a p a s s a g e i n Le r o m a n w h i c h i s e v e n
c l o s e r to th e thought o f th e s e l i n e s th an th e lo n g e r passage
o u oted above (pages 5 7 - 8 ) :
A u s in c s s c h i e z cue t o u t e s f a m e s ?
S e i e n t d a m e i s e l e s ou dames,
De q u e l c o n q u e s p r o c e s s i o n ,
Ont n a t u r e ! e n t e n c i o n
Q ' u 'e u s c e r c h e r a i e n t v o l e n t i e r s
P a r queus chem ins, p a r queus s e n t i e r s
A fran ch ise v en ir p o u rra ie n t.
Car - t o u j o u r z a v e i r l a v o u r r a i e n t .
{SATF. 1 3 9 5 9 - 6 6 )
Now i n v i e w o f t h e f o l l o w i n g f a c t s :
have t h e i r r e s p e c tiv e l i t e r a r y
fo llo w ;
(1) t h a t both p a ssa g e s
s o u r c e s , w hich th e y f a i t h f u l l y
( 2 ) t h a t t h e p a r a l l e l r e a l l y c o n s i s t s o f o n l y two w o r d s ,
"wommen d e s i r e n , " w h i c h n e c e s s a r i l y a p n e a r b e c a u s e t h e
s a g e s a r e c o n c e r n e d w i t h w o m e n 's d e s i r e s ;
two p a s ­
a n d ( 3 ) t h a t o n e may
f i n d o t h e r s t a t e m e n t s a b o u t w h a t "wommen d e s i r e n " i n t h e Can81
terb u ry T ales.
I f e e l q u ite ,1 u stified in d ism issin g t h i s
p a r a l l e l a s due t o c o i n c i d e n c e .
(4)
F r k l T . F 7 7 4 and C l T . E 1 0 4 4 - 5 0 e t p a s s i m .
I n F773-5
we f i n d :
P a c i e n c e i s an h e i g h v e r t u , c e r t e y n ,
For i t venquysseth, as th is e c le rk e s sey n .
Thynges t h a t r i g o u r sh o ld e n e v e re a t t e y n e .
It
s h o u l d h a r d l y be n e c e s s a r y t o s t a t e
f o r c o n s id e rin g the s to c k p h rase "as
th a t there
i s no r e a s o n
th is e c le rk e s sey n ," as
an a l l u s i o n t o t h e C l e r k o f O x e n f o r d ,
f o r t h i s f o r m u l a i s com82
h/or
m only u s e d by C haucer i n c o n n e c t i o n - w i t h p r o v e r b s .
F u r t h e r m o r e.,
A o e * ti»e
- t h e ^ f a o t t h a t t h e F r a n k l i n s p e a k s o f p a t i e n c e do»o n o t n e c e s s ­
a r i l y l i n k t h e p a s s a g e t o th e C l e r k ' s T a l e , f o r t h e theme o f
8 1 . C f . Shp T . B 1 3 6 3 - 4 : And w e l y e w o o t t h a t wommen n a t u r e l l y
D esiren thynges six e as w el as I : . . . * ,
end th e s i m i l a r l i n e s in N P T . B 4 1 0 2 ff.
8 2 . C f . A40 2 8, B 3 9 9 0 , D 1 1 8 4, E 1293 a n d 1 9 7 2 , G 6 4 6 , H 3 1 4 , M a r s
2 7 5 , a n d n u m e r o u s o t h e r e x a m p l e s m e n t i o n e d i n t h e C h a u c e r Con­
cordance under " c l e r k s ."
63
p a tie n c e su g g ests e a u a lly w ell the M elibeus.
N o t e t h e num ber
o f p r o v e r b s c o n c e r n i n g p a t i e n c e i n Mel 2 6 7 1 - 2 7 0 7 , d e r i v e d f r o m
"th ise
c le rk es."
M oreover,
t h e l i n e s i n t h e F r a n k l i n f s T a l e do n o t c l o s e l y
p a r a l l e l the thought o f th e C l e r k s T a l e , fo r i t is th e pa­
t i e n c e o f th e husband t h a t th e F r a n k lin i s d i s c u s s i n g — as i t
i s in the M elib eu s.
"Thynges t h a t r i g o u r s h o ld e n e v e r e a t -
t e y n e " ( F 7 75 ) c a n n o t be a r e m i n i s c e n c e o f t h e C l e r k Ts T a l e
i n a s m u c h a s G r i s e l d a was n o t i n a p o s i t i o n t o c h o o s e b e t w e e n
r i g o r end n a t i e n c e .
As a m a t t e r o f f a c t ,
ts
CCrfCYCii.
aa
‘v o a l -e a b y Lowes0 ^ ;
t h e t r u e s o u r c e o f .F773-5 h a s b e e n
i t i s M a c h a u t Ts P i t dou L y o n .
low ing p a s s a g e Machaut says t h a t p a t i e n c e
In the f o l ­
(s u f f r a n e e ) i s the
v a n o u is h e r in lo v e :
M ais p a r s o u f f r i r l ’e s t u e t c o n g u erre
D’ a u c u n bo n c u e r o u i so i t s i f r a n s
Q u ' a d k s s o i t h u m b le s e t s o u f f r a n s ;
Car a u tr e m e n t e s t r e c o n q u is e
Ne p u e t , t a n t s o i t b i e n e n t r e p r i s e . °
T h u s t h e i n f l u e n c e o f J e a n de Meun i s c o m b i n e d w i t h t h a t o f
Machaut in th e F r a n k l i n ’s e s s a y .
And t h e r e i s no e v i d e n c e a t
a l l t h a t th e F r a n k l i n ’ s T ale c o n ta in s re m in is c e n c e s o f the
C lerk’s T a le .
(5)
F r k l T . F 8 0 4 - 6 and Mrch T . E 1 2 5 9 - 6 0 .
H e r e we h a v e t h e
f i r s t t r u e n a r a l l e l we h a v e f o u n d i n t h i s a n a l y s i s ,
83.
84.
Mod. P
85.
f o r the
I n C l T t h e r e a r e 14 r e f e r e n c e s t o p a t i e n o e ; i n M e l . 2 3 .
" T h e " T f r a n k l i n ’ s T a l e , t h e T e s e i d e . and t h e F i l o c o l o . "
h i l . . 2V, 7 0 0 - 1 .
SATF e d . , I I , 2 3 1 , l i n e s 2 0 4 0 - 4 .
64
v e r b a l r e s e m b l a n c e s a r e t o o s t r i k i n g t o be o a o i l y e x p l a i n e d
as c o in c id e n ta l:
M e rc h a n t's T ale
F r a n k l i n 's T ale
. ..sw ic h a g r e e t corage
Who k o u d e t e l l e , b u t h e h a d d e
Hadde t h i s k n y g h t t o b e e n a wedded man
wedded b e ,
T h a t d a y and n y g h t h e d o o t h al% he lean
The ;Joye, t h e e s e , a n d t h e
T ' e s p i e n w h e r e he m y g h t e w e d ded be?
p ro sp e rite e
P r e y i n g e o u r e L ord to g r a u n t e n him t h a t T h a t i s b i t w i x e an housbonde
he
and h i s wyf?
M i g h t e o n e s knowe o f t h i l k e b l i s f u l l y f A y e e r a n d m o o r e l a s t e d t h i 3
T h a t i s b i t w i x e a n h o u s b o n d e and h i s
b l i s f u l l y f . . . . . ( F803-6)
wyfT/ . T !
(F1254-60)
Compare a l s o :
The b l i s s e w h i c h t h a t i s b i t w i x e hem t w e y e
T h e r may no t o n g e t e l l e , o r h e r t e t h y n k e .
(E1340-1)
qq
We may a s s u m e a s t r o n g
p ro b ab ility e ith e r th at
th e F r a n k l i n 's T ale i s
an e c h o o f t h e two p a s s a g e s i n t h e M e r ­
c h an t 'a T ale o r t h a t
accep tin g K ittre d g e 's
the converse i s t r u e .
in te rp retatio n ,
l i n echoes the M erchant.
the p a ssa g e in
T atlock, of
course,
art
assumes t h a t t h e F r a n k 88
B u t we h a v e s e e n
t h a t the M e rc h a n t's
"Lo, p i t e e r e n n e t h soone in G e n t i l h e r t e I "
i s an i r o n i c a l e c h o
o f s e v e r a l s e r i o u s p a s s a g e s and t h a t i n t h e M e r c h a n t ' s com m ents
011
g e n ti i e sse Chaucer i s t r e a t i n g
i r o n i c a l l y s e n t i m e n t s t h a t he
had e x p re s s e d s e r i o u s l y lo n g b e fo re th e c o m p o s itio n o f t h e M era ll
c h a n t ' s T a l e . Hence t h e r e i s a s t r o n g p r e s u m p tio n t h a t i n ^ s e r io u s-iro n lc al p a ra lle ls
c h a n t's
i n v o l v i n g t h e M e r c h a n t ' s T a l e , t h e M e r­
ir o n ic a l passages are the l a t e r .
F urtherm ore,
th is in te rp re ta tio n
is
sound f o r o t h e r r e a s o n s .
I t w o u l d be m o s t u n l i k e l y t h a t C h a u c e r i n w r i t i n g a t a l e
i n vjhich
( Mod. P h i l ... T U 4 6 5 )
8 6 . M e n t i o n e d , b y K i t t r e d g e and,.Lowe s f M o d . P h i 1 . , T K I I ( 1 9 1 0 - 1 1 ) , 4 3 , .
8 7 . " C h a u c e r ' s D i s c u s s i o n o f M a r r i a g e . Tl~ E o d . i P h i l . . I X , 465-6*
I n .S f .
8 8 . Pages 24-5 and 4 7 -8 above.
f/
1------J(W hlz)
65
m a r r i a g e i s i d e a l i z e d w o u l d c h o o s e t o p u z z l e t h e r e a d e r "by
c o n f r o n t i n g him w i t h a l i n e o f ambiguous p r a i s e o f m a r r i a g e
from*1^ 3m o s t c ' / n i c a l t a l e ^ S a i f ,
on t h e o t h e r h a n d , C h a u c e r
was w r i t i n g a t a l e e x p r e s s l y d e s i g n e d t o r i d i c u l e t h e
id eals
o f m a r r i a g e w h i c h he h a d o r e v i o u s l y s e t f o r t h , h e w o u l d d e l i g h t
i n g i v i n g a facetio us' t u r n to a l i n e in p r a i s e o f m a r r ia g e from
an e a r l i e r n a iv e ly i d e a l i s t i c
a lly certain
sto ry .
T hus i t s e e m s t o me mor­
t h a t in th e M e r c h a n t s rem arks about th e " b l i s f u l
l y f " o f m a r r i e d f o l k C h a u c e r was c o n s c i o u s l y p o k i n g f u n a t h i s
i d e a l i z a t i o n o f m a r r i a g e i n t h e F r a n k l i n 1s T a l e ,
(6)
F r k l T . F818 a n d W B F r o l . D59S,
The F r a n k l i n ’ s l i n e
i s a g e n e r a l i z a t i o n on th e g r i e f o f w iv e s f o r t h e i r a b s e n t
husbands.
D origen,
says the F ran k lin ,
. . . lo v e th hirehousbonde as h i r e h e r te s l y f .
F o r h i s a b se n c e wepeth she and s i k e t h ,
As doon t h i s e n o b l e wyves whan hem l i k e t h .
(F816-8)
A g a i n T a t l o c k would h a v e u s d e r i v e a s e r i o u s p a s s a g e " f r o m a
humorous o n e .
It
would b e s t r e t c h i n g t h e l o g i c o f l i t e r a r y
r e l a t i o n s r a t h e r f a r to r e g a r d the l i n e s d e s c r ib in g D origen*s
b e r e a v e m e n t a s d e r i v e d fr o m t h e 'Wife o f B a t h ’ s g e n i a l a c c o u n t
o f t h e p a s s i n g o f Number F o u r :
Whan t h a t my f o u r t h e h o u s b o n d e was on b e e r e ,
I weep a l g a t e , a n d made s o r y o h e e r e ,
As wyves m o o t e n , f o r i t i s u s a g e ,
And w i t h my c o v e r c h i e f c o v e r e d my v i s a g e ,
B u t f o r t h a t I was p u r v e y e d o f a m a k e ,
I wepte b u t sm al, and t h a t I u n d e r t a k e .
(D587-92)
P o s s i b l y T a t l o c k b a s e d t h i s " l i n k " upoh th e F r a n k l i n ’ s p h r a s e
" t h i s e n o b le w yves."
B u t t h i s g e n e r a l i z a t i o n i s no mdre a
{ 1 9 5 6 ) , 367f
S e e T a t l o c k , " C h a u o e r ’ s M e r c h a n t ’ s T a l e . " M o d . P h i l . . XXXIII a
89.
L ounsbury c o n s i d e r e d F81d num orously ambiguous; b u t t h e
c o n t e x t g i v e s no w a r r a n t f o r t h i s a s s u m p t i o n . ( S e e p a g e 38 a b o v e . )
88a.
66
p e r s o n a l a l l u s i o n t o t h e W ife o f B a t h t h a n i s t h e p h r a s e " t h i s e
c l e r k e s 11 ( F 7 7 4 ) an a l l u s i o n t o t h e C l e r k o f O x e n f o r d .
Vfe- festve vt ow
T h u p ) -a f t h e s i x s u p p o s e d p a r a l l e l s i n v o l v i n g t h e i n t r o d u c t o r y p o r t i o n o f t h e F r a n k l i n ’ s T a l e ,. f i v e Aa r e h a s e d u p o n s u p e r ­
f i c i a l resem blances.
They g i v e no s u p p o r t t o S h i p l e y 1s s t a t e T
m e n t j " T h a t F follows D and E i s i m p l i e d b y a c o m p a r i s o n o f
90
F729-802 w ith t h e W if e ’s T a le and t h e C l e r k ’ s T a l e ."
S hipley,
K ittred g e,
a n d 'T a tlo c k did n o t ta k e i n to
c o n sid e ra tio n the in ­
f l u e n c e o f J e a n de Ivieun and M a c h a u t u p o n t h e F r a n k l i n ’ s I n t r o ­
d u ctio n .
These a c t u a l s o u r c e s f o r t h e F r a n k l i n ’s s e n tim e n ts
g ’Y'aft u. V tP u -S .,
make a n y o t h e r e x p l a n a t i o n o f th e m u n n o o e o G o r y . Y e t uoon S h i p iyi f a re. n o a
l e y * s A h a s t y ond i n c e-r r e frt o o n o l u c i . o n t h e w h o l e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e
" M a r r i a g e G r o u p " was e r e c t e d .
I n th e F r a n k l i n ’ s I n t r o d u c t i o n and th e M e rc h a n t’ s T ale t h e r e
i s o ne s t r i k i n g p a r a l l e l ;
it
b u t a s I h a v e shown ( p a g e s 6 3 - 5 a b o v e ) ,
91
a c t u a l l y arg u es the p r i o r i t y o f th e F r a n k lin ’ s T a le .
There i s in th e F r a n k l i n ’ s I n t r o d u c t i o n , m oreover, a genuine
and s i g n i f i c a n t p a r a l l e l w hich h a s b e e n o v e r l o o k e d .
The F r a n k ­
l i n ’ s i d e a l s o f l o v e and m a r r ia g e b e a r a c l o s e re s e m b la n c e to
th o se ex pressed in th e T r o i l u s .
In th e p le d g e s g iv en by A rv e r­
a g u s t o D o r i g e n o n e may w e l l b e r e m i n d e d o f t h e a s s u r a n c e s o f
T ro ilu s,
who b e g s C r i s e y d e :
So t e c h e t h me how t h a t I may d i s s e r v e
Y o u r e t h o n k , s o t h a t I t h o r u g h myn i g n o r a u n c e .
We do no t h i n g t h a t yow b e d i s p l e s a u n c e .
(Ill,
1293-5)
9 0 . S e e p a g e 53 a b o v e .
' 9 1 , T a t l o c k ’ s s e v e n t h p a r a l l e l a l s o i n v o l v e s M rch T . b u t s i n c e
i t i s b a s e d u p o n a l i n e I n D o r i g e n ’ s C o m p l a i n t , w h i c h may b e an
i n s e r t e d p a s s a g e , i t w i l l be d i s c u s s e d l a t e r (p a g e s 6 9 f . ) .
67
A rveragus,
in sw earing to D origen,
T h a t n e v e re i n a l h i s l y f h e , day ne n y g h t ,
Ne s h o l d e u oo n hym t a k e no m a i s t r i e
Agayn h i r w y l , ne k i t h e h i r e j a l o u s i e ,
(F746-8)
a b j u r e s t h e t r a d i t i o n a l wa ys o f h u s b a n d s a s d e s c r i b e d b y Criseyde:
For e i t h e r th ey ben f u l o f j a l o u s i e .
Or m a i s t e r f u l l o r l o v e n n o v e l r i e .
(II,
C o e r c i o n was e x c l u d e d i n t h e
755-6)
compact b etw een A rv e ra g u s and
D o r i g e n e v e n a s i t was b e t w e e n T r o i l u s a n d C r i s e y d e .
t h e p r e c e p t s o f J e a n de Meun a r e a c c u r a t e l y s t a t e d
Indeed,
i n t h e words
of C riseyde:
Te s h a l n a m o re h a n s o v e r e i g n e t e
’ O f me i n l o v e , t h a n r i g h t i n t h a t c a s i s ;
N *y n y l f o r b e r e , i f t h a t ye d o n a m y s ,
To w r a t t h e yow; e n d w h i l t h a t ye me s e r v e ,
C h e r i c e n yow r i g h t a f t e r y e d i s s e r v e .
(Ill,
171-5)
B o th t h e b a s i c s t o r y and t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n o f t h e F r a n k l in * s
T e le . then,
se em t o b e l o n g t o t h e p e r i o d o f t h e T r o i l u s .
And
we may r e j e c t a s b a s e l e s s t h e h y p o t h e s i s o f e x t e n s i v e r e v i s i o n
o f the F ran klin *g T a le .
D o r i e ,e n t s C o m p l a i n t
T h e r e r e m a i n s now t h e n u e s t i o n w h e t h e r D o r i g e n * s C o m p l a i n t
( F 1 3 5 5 - 1 4 5 6 ) was an o r i g i n a l c a r t o f t h e F r a n k l i n * s T a l e o r
92
w h e t h e r i t i s , a s M i s s Hammond h a s s u g g e s t e d ,
an i n s e r t e d
passage.
T his r h e t o r i c a l r e c i t a l , w ith i t s
women who p r e f e r r e d d e a t h t o d i s h o n o r ,
i n t e r e s t of the s to ry .
elab o rate l i s t of
s e r i o u s l y o b s t r u c t s the
M ost modern r e a d e r s w i l l a g r e e w i t h
P r o f e s s o r M anly*s s t a t e m e n t :
In the F ra n k lin * s T ale a f in e s to r y f i n e l y t o l d i s n e a r ly
s p o i l e d b y on e h u n d r e d l i n e s o f r h e t o r i c a l e x e m p l a . The f a c t
9 2 . Op. c i t . .
256.
68
t h a t t h e v , a r e r u t i n t o t h e m o u th o f D o r i g e n i n h e r c o m p l a i n t
a g a i n s t F o r t u n e i n d i c a t e s t h a t C h a u c e r was t r y i n g t o m o t i v a t e
t h e m d r a m a t i c a l l y . B u t what r e a d e r , m o d e r n o r m e d i e v a l , w o u ld
n o t have b e e n more p o w e r f u l l y and s y m n a t h e t i c a l l y a f f e c t e d i f
Chaucer, w ith the p s y c h o lo g ic a l i n s i g h t d is p la y e d i n t i w Troi l u s a nd C r i s e y d e . h a d c a u s e d h i s d i s t r e s s e d a n d d e s p e r a t e h e ­
r o in e to e x p re ss th e r e a l f e e l i n g s a p p ro p r ia te to h e r c h a r a c te r
an d situ at i o n ? 9 3
Not o n l y does t h e Com plaint i n t e r r u p t t h e n a r r a t i v e , b u t i t
se em s w h o l l y f o r e i g n t o t h e p l o t o f t h e F r a n k l i n * 3 T a l e , s i n c e
i n n o n e o f t h e known a n a l o g u e s d o e s t h e h e r o i n e c o n t e m p l a t e
su icid e.
As T y r w h i t t l o n g ago p o i n t e d o u t ,
94
t h e s e r i e s o f exam ples
r e c i t e d b y D o r i g e n — t h e s e v e n t e e n i l l u s t r i o u s women o f a n t i au ity ,
th e f i f t y S p a rtan m aidens, th e seven v i r g i n s of M i le s ia ,
and t h e two T heban m a i d e n s — a r e a l l l i s t e d by S t . J e r o m e i n
C h ap ters 41-46 o f h i s t r e a t i s e a g a i n s t J o v i n i a n .
O b v i o u s l y t h i s b l o c k o f e x t r a n e o u s m a t e r i a l may e a s i l y h a v e
b e e n i n t r o d u c e d a f t e r t h e r e s t o f t h e F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e had b e e n
com pleted.
As t o C h a u c e r ' s a c q u a i n t a n c e w i t h J e r o m e Ts t r e a t i s e ,
T atlo ck
says:
T h e r e i s no e v i d e n c e . . . t h a t C h a u c e r was f a m i l i a r w i t h a n y
o f S t . J e r o m e f s works b e f o r e th e tim e o f th e C a n te r b u r y T a l e s .
B u t t h e n he q u o t e s from Jeromeaffaimt J o v i n i a n f r e a u e n t l y a n d e x ­
t e n s i v e l y ; tw ice in th e P a r d o n e r ' s T a l e . . . . once i n th e M anci­
p l e 1 s T a l e 9 5 . . . . l a r g e l y i n t h e P r a n k l i n ' s Ta l e ( 1 5 6 7 - 4 5 6 ) , 'and
( a s K o e p n e l shows) i n t h e Wife o f B a t h ' s P r o l o g u e , t h e S u m n e r 1 3
T a l e . and th e M e rc h a n t's T a l e , p a s s im . ^ 6
9 3 . " C h a u c e r and t h e R h e t o r i c i a n s , " W a r t o n L e c t u r e s . X V II, 2 0 ,
94. See Lounsbury, S t u d i e s in C h a u c e r, I I . 2 9 2 -7 .
9 5 . From a l l o t h e r i n d i c a t i o n s ( s e e p a g e s 2 8 - 9 a b o v e ) Mano T
se em s t o h a v e b e e n w r i t t e n b e f o r e t h e p e r i o d o f t h e i n f l u e n c e o f
J e r o m e . On t h e M a n c i p l e ' s q u o t a t i o n f r o m J e r o m e ( H 1 4 8 f f . ) s e e
R obinson, 871.
9 6 . D e v e l o p m e n t an d C h r o n o l o g y . 1 0 1 .
And T a t l o c k c o n c l u d e s :
We h a v e s e e n how e x t e n s i v e l y C h a u c e r u s e s J e r o m e a g a i n s t
J o v i n i a n i n t h e W if e o f B a t h ' s P r o l o g u e , f a r m ore t h a n i n a n y
o t h e r of* h i s w o r k s ; i t i s n o t u n n a t u r a l t o i n f e r t h a t h i s
g r e a t f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h i t d a t e s f r o m h i s w r i t i n g o f t h a t poem.
One m u s t c o n s i d e r , h o w e v e r , n o t o n l y t h e a m o un t o f t h e J e r o m e
m a t e r i a l in c o rp o ra te d in the s e v e r a l t a l e s ,
to w hich i t
but also
i s a s s i m i l a t e d and t h e s k i l l w i t h w h ic h i t
worked i n t o th e c o n t e x t .
is
I n t h e W ife ’ s P ro lo g u e and th e Mer­
c h a n t 's T ale Chaucer o u o te s s c a t t e r e d
p a s s a g e s from Jerome
w h ich im ply a th o ro u g h f a m i l i a r i t y w ith t h e t r e a t i s e .
o th e r hand,
the degree
i n t h e F r a n k l i n Ts T a l e C h a u c e r h a s l i f t e d
On t h e
t h e ma­
t e r i a l fro m Je ro m e , a s Germaine Dem nster has r e c e n t l y re m a rk e d ,
" w ith n e g l i g e n c e and r a p e , " n o t e v e n b o t h e r i n g to change t h e
order
of th e c i t a t i o n s as
he f o u n d th e m o r t o d i s c r i m i n a t e b e ­
tw een
t h e more a n d t h e l e s s a p n r o n r i a t e e x a m p l e s o f f e m a l e
98
m artyrs.
M u s t we n o t i n f e r , t h e n , t h a t D o r i g e n * s C o m p l a i n t
was c o m p o s e d e a r l i e r
th a n th e W ife ’ s P r o lo g u e and t h e M e rc h a n t* s
T ale?
Now T a t l o c k , b e l i e v i n g t h a t C h a u c e r ' s u s e o f t h e J e r o m e ma­
t e r i a l v i n d i c a t e s h i s view s o f t h e "M arriag e G roup," h a s a s ­
s e rte d t h a t the F r a n k lin 's l in e s ,
H a t h t h e r n a t many a n o b l e wyf e r t h i s ,
And many a m ay de , y s l a y n h i r s e l f , a l i a s ' .
R a t h e r t h a n w i t h h i r b o d y doon t r e s p a s ?
serv e as a " r e t o r t "
(F1364-6)
to th e p a ssa g e n e a r th e end o f t h e M er-
c h a n t ' s T a l e i n which P l u t o h a r a n g u e s h i s sp o u s e P r o s e r p y n a
on t h e " t r e s o n s w h i c h e t h a t wommen do on t o man" ( E 2 2 3 9 ) . B u t
t h i s p a r a l l e l f a l l s w ith T a tlo c k ’ s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Chaucer’ s
l b i d . . 2 l £ . /luJL sea. >• (£>t )V>-398.
" C h a u o e r a t Work on t h e C o m n l a i n t i n t h e F r a n k l i n ' s T a T e . "
MLN, L I I ( 1 9 3 7 ) , 1 6 f f .
------—
’
70
use o f Jerom e.
99
T h i s was t h e s e v e n t h a nd l a s t " l i n k " b e -
t w e e h r n e F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e anrl G r o u p s D a n d E .
(See p a g es 58-
66 a b o v e . )
T h e r e i s f u r t h e r e v i d e n c e t h a t D o r i g e n 1s C o m p l a i n t p r e c e d e d
t h e W i f e ' s P r o l o g u e and t h e M e r c h a n t 1 s T a l e .
In the l a t t e r
w o r k s , a s Low e s h a s s h o w n , '1'00 t h e m a t e r i a l f r o m J e r o m e i s
In­
t e r w o v e n w i t h b o r r o w i n g s f r o m D e s c h a m p s Ts M l r o i r de M a r i a g e
(w hich served as C h a u c e r’ s so u rc e f o r t h e m a rria g e d e b a te in
t h e M e r c h a n t ’ s T a l e b e t w e e n J a n u a r y an d h i s two f r i e n d s ) . I n
t h e F r a n k l i n ’ s T a l e , h o w e v e r , Lowes i s u n a b l e t o d i s c o v e r a n y
t r a c e o f t h e i n f l u e n c e o f Deschamps, w ith th e p o s s i b l e e x c e p ­
t i o n o f on e l i n e .
L e t us exam ine t h i s p a r t o f Lowes’ a r g u m e n t;
he s a y s :
When C h a u c e r r e h e a r s e s i n D o r i g e n ’ s C o m p l a i n t t h e c h a p t e r s
o f J e r o m e w h i c h he s u m m a r i z e s i n t h e A - P r o l o g u e fL G l ' / l . h e
a l s o r e c a l l s t h e o t h e r s o u r c e f r o m w h i c h , a s we h a v e . s e e n , t h a t
sum mary i s d r a w n .
F o r D o r i g e n Ts
Mo t h a n a t h o u s a n d s t o r i e s , a s I g p s s e ,
Coude- ! ' now t e l l e a s t o u c h i n g e t h i s m a t e r e , [ F I 4 1 2 - 1 3 }
i s D escham ps's
J ' a y de l e u r s b o n t e z m i l i e e x a m p l e s . [SATF, 9153}
w h i c h c l o s e s t h e v e r y l i s t o f e x e m p l a t h a t C h a u c e r makes u s e
o f i n t h e p a s s a g e i n t h e A - P r o l ' o g ' u e . 101
U n f o r tu n a te ly in t h i s
lin e
l a s t s t a t e m e n t Lowes h a s made a s l i p . The
n u o t e d f ro m D escham ps d o e s n o t f o l l o w t h e l i s t o f e x e m p l a
u s e d i n e i t h e r D o r i g e n ’ s C o m p l a i n t o r t h e A-P r o l o g u e
L G W; i t
G) o f
f o l l o w s a d i s c u s s i o n o f C h r i s t i a n an d H e b r e w h e r o i n e s
(w ith J u d ith
and E s t h e r t r e a t e d
a t l e n g t h ) which has h o t h i n g
i n oommon w i t h J e r o m e ' s l i s t o f p a g a n m a r t y r s t o
ch astity .
102
99.
I t i s n e e d l e s s to lo o k f o r a r e t o r t in F r k l T s in c e P l u ­
t o ’ s s l a n d e r s a g a i n s t women a r e a n s w e r e d b y P r o s e r p y n a i n E 2276-85,
"What r e k k e t h me o f y o u r e a u c t o r i t e e s ? " e t c , ( S e e p a g e 71 b e l o w . )
1 0 0 . " C h a u c e r a n d t h e M i r o i r de M a r i a g e . " Mod. P h i l . . Y I I I
(1910*U ),165ff. and 3 0 5 f f .
101. I b i d . . 324-5.
1 0 2 . Hee- C h a p . LXXX, l i n e s 9 0 7 1 - 9 1 5 5 ( SATF. I X , 2 9 3 - 6 ) .
71
F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e p a r a l l e l r e a l l y r e s t s u p o n t h e o n e word " t h o u ­
s a n d , " and i t s
sig n ifican ce is
r e m o v e d when o n e n o t e s t h e c o l ­
umn o f e x a m p l e s o f t h e u s e o f " t h o u s a n d " a s a r o u n d nu m ber l i s t ­
e d i n t h e C h a u c e r C o n c o r d a n c e ( f o r e x a m p l e , "A t h o u s a n d o l d e
sto ries
th ee alegge" in Tr I I I ,
In sh o rt,
297).
t h e r e i s no d e m o n s t r a b l e i n f l u e n c e o f Desc ham ps
on D o r i g e n ' s C o m p l a i n t o r a n y o t h e r p a r t o f t h e F r a n k l i n 1s T a l e .
And s i n c e i n t h e W i f e ' s P r o l o g u e a n d t h e M e r c h a n t ' s T a l e t h e r e
is
an i n t e r w e a v i n g o f J e r o m e a n d D e s c h a m n s ,
th e s e works a re
the in feren ce th a t
l a t e r t h a n t h e F r a n k l i n Ts T a l e i s
confirm ed.
I n s e v e r a l o f C h a u c e r ' s w o r k s we f i n d s u m m a r i e s o r e c h o e s
o f D o rig e n 's l i s t o f m a rty rs .
As Lowes n o t e d ( s e e n a g e 70 above),
i n L G W P r o l G 8 6 8 - 3 1 2 t h e God o f Love d i s c u s s e s i n a g e n e r a l
way— m e n t i o n i n g J e r o m e — t h e g o od women o f h i s t o r y .
S ince
t h i s sum m arizing p a ssa g e does n o t o c c u r in P r o l F . i t
is appar­
e n t t h a t C haucer d isc o v e re d Jerom e,
and w ro te D o r i g e n 's C o m p la in t,
i n t h e i n t e r v a l b e t w e e n P r o l F and P r o l G o f t h e L e g e n d — t h a t
is
( a c c e p t i n g Lowes' d a t e s ) ,
b e t w e e n 1 3 8 6 an d 1 3 9 4 ,
A n o t h e r summary o c c u r s i n t h e M e r c h a n t ' s T a l e . E 2 2 8 0 - 5 , w h e r e ­
in P roserpyna r e t o r t s
a g ain st P lu to 's
r e m a r k s on women t h u s :
Y e t h a t h t h e r f o u h d e many a n o t h e r man
Wommen f u l t r e w e , f u l g o o d e , a n d v e r t u o u s ,
v ? i t n e s s e on hem t h a t d w e l l s i n C r i s t e s h o u s ;
.Vith m a r t i r d o m t h e y ’ p r e v e d h i r e C o n s t a n c e .
The Romavn g e e s t e s e e k make r e m e m b r a n c e
O f many a v e r r a v . t r e w e wyf a l s o .
T his g e n e r a l i z a t i o n ,
by m e n t i o n i n g b o t h C h r i s t i a n a n d p a g a n h e r o ­
i n e s , r e c a l l s b o t h Jerome a n d Deschamps,
flS
_
F i n a l l y , L i n t h e N u n 's P r i e s t ' s TaleV t h o g o - j o m ontion o i'-H a s d r u b a l 's w ife,(w ho se t r a g i c d e a th i s reco un ted in a l l s e r i o u s ­
n e s s by D o r ig e n ^ ^ B u t in th e N u n 's P r i e s t ' s T a le Chaucer r e f e r s
72
t o t h e s h r i e k s o f t h e m a r t y r e d woman t o d e s c r i b e t h e c a c k ­
l i n g o f th e f r i g h t e n e d hen P e r t e l o t e l
H e r e we h a v e a n o t h e r
i n s t a n c e o f C h a u c e r's f i n d i n g i n s p i r a t i o n
fo r d ro lle ry in
h i s own s e r i o u s w o r k s .
T h i s e x a m i n a t i o n o f D o r i g e n ' s C o m p l a i n t show s t h a t t h e
C om p laint must have been added to
the F r a n k l i n ' s T ale a f t e r
t h e r e s t o f t h e t a l e had b e e n composed, s i n c e t h e b a s i c s t o r y
b e lo n g s to th e n e rio d o f th e Palam on. w hereas th e C om plaint
is
clo sely re la te d
t o t h e l a t e s t etroun o f t a l e s .
75
IV . C onclusions
1 . The S q u i r e ' s T a l e "belongs t o t h e p e r i o d o f t h e P a l a m o n .
p r o b a b ly
^
I t w a s ^ w r i r t e n b e f o r e t h e A n e l i d a / a n d 4 n «al d - pg w h a b i l i ^y^ithe T r o ilu e .
T h e r e f o r e i t m ig h t be d a te d a b o u t 1 3 8 0 -8 6 , and
i s p r o b a b ly n e a r e r 1380.
2 . The o u t s t a n d i n g l i t e r a r y f i l i a t i o n s o f t h e F r a n k l i n ' s
T a l e — J e a n de Meun, M a c h a u t f s P i t dou Lyon a n d P i t dou V e r g i e r , B o c c a c c i o 1s F i l o c o l o a n d T e s e i d e — t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e
s t y l e a n d t o n e o f t h e poem, p l a c e i t ,
in th e 80*s .
lik e the S q u ir e d T a le ,
T h e F r a n k l i n 1s T a l e se e m s t o h a v e f o l l o w e d t h e
S q u i r e Ts T a l e , t h e A n e l i d a . t h e P a l a m o n . t h e T r o i l u s . a nd
P r o l o g u e F o f t h e L e g e n d o f G-ood Women.
3 . M o s t o f t h e s u o u o s e d l i n k s b e t w e e n t h e F r a n k l i n 1s T a l e
a nd t h e P and E G r o u n s a r e n o t t r u e p a r a l l e l s .
The F r a n k l i n 1s
T a l e a n d t h e C l e r k Ts T a l e a r e n o t l i n k e d i n a n y w a y . G e n u i n e
p a r a l l e l s b e tw e e n t h e F r a n k l i n s T a l e and t h e W i f e 's P r o l o g u e
ij f y T a l e a n d t h e M e r c h a n t ' s T a l e s u p o o r t t h e n r i o r i t y o f t h e
F ra n k lin 's T a le .
4 . T h e r e i s no e v i d e n c e t h a t t h e F r a n k l i n ' s T a l e was r e v i s e d
in o r d e r t h a t i t m ig h t se rv e as th e c o n c lu s io n o f th e m a rria g e
d e b a te i n Groups B and E.
n e a r ly a l l the
by i t s
The F r a n k l i n ’ s I n t r o d u c t i o n ,
in w hich
supnosed l i n k s to th e s e g rouns a r e found,
shows
u s e o f J e a n de Meun a n d M a c h a u t t h a t i t b e l o n g s t o t h e
same p e r i o d a s t h e r e s t o f t h e t a l e — p r o b a b l y c . 1 3 8 6 - 8 8 .
5 . P o r i g e n ' s C o m p l a i n t was i n s e r t e d a t a l a t e r
the F r a n k l i n 's T a l e .
date
I t marks t h e b e g in n i n g o f t h e
o f S t . Jerom e on C haucer.
into
in flu en ce
74
6 . The a b o v e c o r e l u s i o n s a r e c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e f i n d i n g s
o n m a n u s c r i p t n u e s t i o n s o f C. R . K a se ( " O b s e r v a t i o n s o n t h e
S h i f t i n g P o s i t i o n s o f G r o u p s G a n d DE i n t h e MSS o f t h e Can­
t e r b u r y T a l e s . ” i n T h ree C haucer S t u d i e s . 1932) and C a r l e t o n
Brown ( " T h e E v o l u t i o n o f t h e C a n t e r b u r y ’M a r r i a g e G r o u p , ’ "
PMLA. X L V I I I ( 1 9 3 3 ) , 1 0 4 1 f f . ;
a n d "The Man o f Law’ s H e a d - L i n k
and th e P ro lo g u e o f th e C a n te rb u ry T a l e s ." S tu d , i n P h i l , .
n n v ( i 9 3 7 ) , 8 ff •) •
7. I f
t h e r e wac* o a n ^ ^ h o r o ' ^ e - d o u b t b o f o p o a s t o w h e t h e r t h e
w orks o f Chaucer f a l l i n t o p e r i o d s c o rre s p o n d in g to c e r t a i n
s t a g e s o f h i s m e n ta l and s p i r i t u a l developm ent,
th e overw helm ­
in g e v id e n c e t h a t t h e S q u i r e ’ s and F ra n k lin V h T a l e s a r e e a r l i e r
p r o d u c t i o n s t h a n t h e f a b l i a u x s h o u l d rem o v e t h i s d o u b t .
It
seems n e c e s s a r y t o b e l i e v e t h a t a s C haucer m a tu r e d i n t e l l e c ­
tu ally
(rath er late
of life ,
in l i f e )
and accum ulated h i s o b s e r v a tio n s
he e m e r g e d f r o m a na*lve r o m a n t i c i s m i n t o a g e n i a l c y n ­
i c i s m , which c o n t i n u e d u n t i l ,
u n d e r t h e shadow o f d e a t h , he
t u r n e d h i s m in d t o t h e s a l v a t i o n o f h i s s o u l a n d r e p e n t a n c e
f o r su c h o f h i s works a s "sownen i n t o
sy nne."
75
BIBLIOGRAPHY
A bbreviations
EL/H
E n g . Stw#-.
JEGP
MLN
MLR
MP
PMLA
Rom*Rev.
i Plii'l-
j o u r n a l o"f" £ v \ g |
Lifera ru H'"-s1Vru
E n g liso h e S tu d ien
J
J o u r n a l o f E n g l i s h and G e r m a n i o P h i l o l o g y
Modern L anguage N o te s
M o d e m L a n g u a g e R e v ie w
Modern P h i l o l o g y
P u b l i c a t i o n s o f t h e Modern-Language A sso­
ciatio n
Rom anio R e v ie w
ai*ta 8Urrft-■•fu'v*—
~P L, n\
»
E d it i o n s o f Chaucer
P o l l a r d , A l f r e d W. , a n d o t h e r s ( e d i t o r s ) . T h e Works o f G e o f ­
f r e y Chaucer ("G lobe C h a u c e r" ).
L o n d o n , The M a c m i l ­
l a n C o ., L t d . , 1 9 0 7 . F i r s t p u b l i s h e d , 1898,
R obinson, P. N. ( e d i t o r ) .
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C h a u c e r ( " S t u d e n t Ts C a m b r i d g e C h a u c e r " ) .
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M a s s ., R i v e r s i d e P r e s s , 1933.
S k e a t , W a l t e r W. ( e d i t o r ) .
The C o m p l e t e Works o f G e o f f r e y
Chaucer ("O xford C h a u ce r").
6 v o l s . a n d s u p p . Ox­
f o r d , C larendon P r e s s , 1894-7.
G e n e r a l Works on C h a u c e r
ten B rink, B ernhard.
C haucer: S tu d ien zu r G esch ich te s e i n e r
E n tw ic k lu n g und z u r C h ro n o lo g ie s e i n e r S c h r i f t e .
M u n s te r, A dolph R u s s e l l s V e r i a g , 1870.
te n B rink, B ernhard. H is to ry o f E n g lish L it e r a t u r e .
3 v ols.
V o l . I I , t r a n s l a t e d f r o m t h e Germ an by Wm. C l a r k e
R o b i n s o n . L o n d o n , G. B e l l & S o n s , L t d . , 1 9 2 2 .
1-r a t
p u b P i c h o d i n G o r m a n , —IB—
Hammond, E l e a n o r P r e s c o t t .
C haucer: A B i b l i o g r a p h i c a l M anual.
New Y o r k , The M a c m i l l a n C o . , 1 9 0 8 .
H in c k le y , Henry B a r r e t t .
N o t e s on C h a u c e r .
N onotuck P r e s s , 1907.
N ortham pton, M ass.,
K i t t r e d g e , G e o r g e Lyman.
Chaucer and H is P o e t r y .
M a ss., H arvard U n i v e r s i ty P r e s s , 1915,
L o u n s b u r y , Thomas R .
S tu d ie s in C haucer.
H arper & B r o t h e r s , 1892.
P o l l a r d , A l f r e d W. C h a u c e r P r i m e r .
M acm illan C o ., 1895.
3 vo ls.
Cam bridge,
New Y o r k ,
L o ndon & New Y o r k , The
76
G e n e r a l Works o n C h a u c e r ( c o n t ' d )
R oot, R o b e rt K ilb u r n .
The P o e t r y o f C h a u c e r .
to n M i f f l i n C o., 1922.
B o s t o n , Hough­
Chaucer Chronology
Koch, J o h n .
The C h r o n o l o g y o f C h a u c e r 1s ' W r i t i n g s .
S o c i e t y , 2d S e r i e s , N o. 27 ( 1 8 9 0 ) .
Chauoer
S h i n l e y , G e o r g e . " A r r a n g e m e n t o f t h e C a n t e r b u r y T a l e s , " MLNf
X (1895), 1 3 0 ff.
T a tlo o k , John S. P.
The D e v e l o p m e n t and C h r o n o l o g y o f C h a u c e r ' s
V/orks.
C h a u c e r S o c i e t y , 2d S e r i e s , N o . 37 ( 1 9 0 7 ) .
Chaucer M anuscripts
Brow n, C a r l e t o n .
"S h u l and S h a l i n th e C h au cer M a n u s c r ip t s . "
p u l a , xxvi TI3T1), 67FT"
Brow n, C a r l e t o n .
"The E v o l u t i o n o f t h e C a n t e r b u r y 'M a r r i a g e
G r o u p / " FMLA, XLVIII ( 1 9 3 3 ) , 1 0 4 1 f f .
K a s e , C. R o b e r t .
"O b s e rv a tio n s on th e S h i f t i n g P o s i t i o n s o f
G r o u p s G a n d DE i n t h e MSS o f t h e C a n t e r b u r y T a l e s , "
T h r e e C h a u c e r S t u d i e s . New Y o r k , O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y
P r e s s , 1932.
T a t l o c k , John S. P .
"The C a n t e r b u r y T a l e s i n 1 4 0 0 , " PMLA,
L (1 9 3 5 ), lO O ff.
Tupper, F r e d e r ic k .
"The B e a r i n g s o f t h e S h i p m a n ' s P r o l o g u e , "
JE G P. XXXIII ( 1 9 3 4 ) , 3 5 2 f f .
S p e c ia l S tu d ie s of Chaucer
rejrrm+ed. iyl
by)"
Ew ald, W ilhelm .
"D er Humor*in C h a u c e rs C a n te r b u r y T a l e
S t u d i e n z u r E n g l i s c h e n P h i l o l o g i e . yr.V—j 1 9 1 1 ^
G e t t y , A g n e s K.
" C h a u c e r ' s C h a n g i n g C o n c e p t i o n s o f t h e Humble
L o v e r , " FMLA. XLIV ( 1 9 2 9 ) , 2 0 2 f f .
G e t t y , Agne s K.
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