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Jones Reviewed work(s): Source: The Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Oct., 1925), pp. 512547 Published by: University of Illinois Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27702906 . Accessed: 21/09/2012 13:52
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A CONJECTURE ON THE WIFE OF BATH'S PROLOGUE
of Bath's the Wife When for the first reading Prologue time, I remember my surprise upon reaching line 193 to find continued for several hundred lines, whereas that the Prologue a tale to follow. With I had expected each reading since, I in adjusting my expecta the same difficulty have experienced found. This repeated experience, tion to what I actually and I suspect it has come to all readers of Chaucer, in finally the matter. The result is a theory cited me to investigate which holds that the first part of the Prologue through line 193 was originally Pro by the present preceded Shipman's a number of lines which were later omitted, and that logue plus to the present the whole served as a Wife's Prologue Ship to man's Tale. Later a change in design inspired Chaucer to add to the lines the D. 1-193 from this position, and to prefix the whole to the of the five husbands, some de present Wife of Bath's Tale. To give this conjecture of plausibility is the purpose of the following pages. gree lies in the lines revealing Since the crux of the problem the it would not be amiss to quote them Pardoner's interruption, in full. account
and that anon, Up sterte the Pardoner, 'Now dame,' quod he, 'by god and by seint in this cas! Ye been a noble prechour I was What Yet aboute hadde sholde a wyf; alias! to wedde I bye it on my flesh so dere? no wyf to-yere!' I lever wedde quod she, 'my tale is nat bigonne; drinken of another tonne tale
'Abyde!' thou Nay, Er that
I go, shal savoure wors than ale. that I have told thee forth my And whan in mariage, Of tribulacioun Of which This Than Of
I am expert in al myn age, to seyn, my-self have been the whippe; thou wolt sippe may stow chese whether tonne that I shal abroche.
of it, er thou to ny approche; mo than ten. For I shal telle ensamples that nil be war by othere men, Who-so be. By him shul othere men corrected Be war The same wordes wryteth Ptholomee;
in his Almageste, and take it there.' 'Dame, I wolde praye yow, if your wil it were,' this Pardoner, 'as ye bigan, Seyde Telle forth your tale, spareth for no man, And teche 'Gladly,' But yet If that As taketh us yonge men of your praktike.' quod she, 'sith it may yow lyke. I praye to al this companye,
I speke after my fantasye, not a-grief of that I seye; entente For myn nis but for to pleye. Now sires, now wol I telle forth my
an that considers the Wife's Any interpretation Prologue integral composition must explain the passage quoted in some what the following manner. The Wife assures the Pardoner, after his attempted joke, that he will change his mind about when she has told him the woe her five husbands marrying The suffered, and she warns him to profit by their example. and to tells her to continue with her experiences Pardoner After con teach the young men in the company her habits. senting to this request she resumes her "preamble" with the words "now wol I telle forth my tale." That this is a possible goes without interpretation saying, but upon close examination certain difficulties appear which, I think, make more probable that "tale" does not refer to the Prologue the explanation but to an actual tale that once followed the passage. It is true mean a more or less artistic that, besides using the term to story, Chaucer employs it to mean discourse, account, and the on in the Wife's Further like. she says, after di Prologue gressing from her theme,
But now sir, lat me see, what I shal seyn? A! ha! by god, I have my tale ageyn. (D. 585-6)
where nothing more is meant than that she has caught again the thread of her discourse. A similar interpretation may be line which comes after a digression placed upon the following in the Canon's Yeoman's "Passe over this; I go my Prologue: are the only lines in which unto." the tale (G. 898) These term could possibly refer to a narrator's prologue, and in both it seems to be used figuratively. Even in these two cases there is interesting evidence that the prologues were not considered tales. At the end of her matrimonial the Wife autobiography says, "Now wol I seye my tale, if ye wol here," indicating
the Yeoman The Host." and the Friar. the passage under discussion the word is used three times in a formula for beginning a phrase that is practically a tale.) The Canon's Yeoman.514 Jones that she did not consider what went before a tale. while the Friar jokingly "This is a long preamble to a tale!" remarks. as far as I can in the Canterbury Tales with any other meaning. he commands both the Franklin and the Manciple. to the Prologue. 442. might but may it not more it. likewise. is its source. 9. is autobiographical. Merchant's.2 The discover. experiences. mean. ally and collectively. as Professor tale is nat bigonne".1 to point out that the normal and by far most It is needless a story detached use of the word is to designate from frequent and imaginatively conceived. interprets be taken in a literal sense. a tale when at the conclusion of it he says the his preamble are deceptive will know that appearances after he company his "tale. the rascal "My prolog wol I ende in this manere. more . "Sey forth thy tale. and so we find the creation and not experience term consistently and universally used to designate. line. that she has just got started." and. to a certain extent. vol. as master of ceremonies and referee position. would have objected strenuously had any pilgrim of telling a story by recounting tried to satisfy his obligation A tale is detached his personal from the teller." and is never used." To these instances might also be completed the conclusion of which reads. the episodes are com form and semblance of an artistic the outward given I think the Host. the Canon ruption. of the game.169.. added the Summoner's Prologue. Although personal experience we might not go far astray in suspecting personal experiences to be. "My D. and Canon's Yeoman's Tales. concealed in the Wife's (Shipman's). 1The Kittredge to the Wife's. Phil. "Telle forth your tale. prologue. which introduces the five husbands and which has progressed p. though using a different but equiv alent word." although in calling his prefatory have had some justification would has matter a tale by virtue of the unsavory story contained therein. hardly considers (My italics. in which refer case. in many the Canon's respects Yeoman's. and suffers an inter warns to say no more. Host bids the Reeve. individu in the pilgrims' stories. It is long. "tale" cannot possibly naturally at the beginning. that is.) *There very similar when through is one other one hundred and sixty lines? (See Mod. Furthermore. "Tel forth your tale.
quoted the words." and "Now wol I seye my Tale. of the Chanouns the Prologue "Here "Here endeth Yemannes Tale. bids him so bityde"." In fact. The Wife prays the company that they will not take her seriously "If that I speke after my of her numerous husbands fantasye. obvious for Chaucer always begins actual tales very formally with an identifica or setting or both. after quieting Finally. tale". resuming her Prologue now wol I telle forth my tale.1020) 3 It is well to notice the similarity of the line which the Wife speaks before to that which she uses to introduce her Tale: "Now sires.A Conjecture on theWife of Bath9s Prologue 515 "Telle on thy tale.3 A further study of the phraseology of this passage discloses two words which. "And after that than telle I forth my tales. the row between the Summoner that she uses "Tel forth your tale. Et sequitur pars secunda. are inconsistent with the tradi tional interpretation of the lines. so to be explaining the word as the customary of the passage demands. what than the Pardoner and I telle to learn the Wife's answers." returns to his tale with "And telle and the Canon's Yeoman forth my tale of the chanoun." the Chanouns his T?. 704. tasye" as pleasure. I can anon now wol the Yeoman natheles yow wol I teilen part. 717-19) the word interruption. Relative the Yeoman uses at the conclusion the word three times: of his Prologue. the obligation suggests served (G." though in the account In this line Skeat defines "fan she appears in no joking mood.994. that my lord is gon. I wol nat spare. Swich thing as that I knowe. "praktike". bids the Wife." the identical expression just before resuming her Prologue. to my mind. definite notice that a tale is to follow is as this." (G. The use of the possessive in some such fashion in "my tale" of telling a story laid upon each of the pilgrims. but cites no other example of such a use. the normal interpretation Certainly or something of the word is imagination fancied or meaning use of Chaucer's Of the some sixteen examples imagined.le. at the end of the majority of the prologues. and in "telle forth my tale of the chanoun." Yeman and just after the Yeoman has beginneth that he will tell a tale the following indicated rubric is found: prima Explicit The beginning of the Tale at line 972 is very pars. I wol declare. and the Friar. exactly similar to the Pardoner's less the expression "tel forth thy [or my] "tale." The Pardoner says he presents his creden tials to the people. in "Al-though my tale of a chanoun be". The scribe's rubrics experiences occur at the end of the passage because here are absolutely unreliable. is not used once ." much in referring to the personal that are to follow. tion of characters to his actual Tale. that he seems eager to hear the latter's "telle Al But Sin Under circumstances that experiences on." the Host.
" Thus.3835.844.1032. 111. Troilus. 205) .253).D. 593. A. the definitions only one may mean given in the N. nature.516. B. delusive notion. or while probability. Phil. suggested.3475.3191. these stories are designed to First. these stories come only incidentally into a dramatic episode of . F. read to the Wife but this reasons. wyn or ale. In the Squire's Tale the people crowd around the brazen horse "And maden skiles after hir fantasyes" (F. Last but against not least. 6As ever mote I drinken I shal 6This of her Friar Summoner seye sooth. Jones I have examined. The word to a story born or recorded in the imagination ismore applicable and representing no actual occurrence. Also. p.3465. 28. inclination. 193. but rather of the disastrous doings of women. (D. the tales the fifth husband consider is unlikely for two explanation Lawrence the undesirability of says (Mod. II. six mean strange or unfounded imagined that or desires having no basis in reason. Book 1470. In the altercation between the Friar and the the former threatens to tell a tale or two about and the summoners.516 of the term something ideas. XI. IV. literally goes him one better. as an ensample of the woe in marriage. visionary that usage makes desire) suggest caprice.1615. they imagined for the wonder all kinds of strange explanations far from the truth. notions. whim." a palpable whether exaggeration or to a single story. One possible of the line might interpretation as the ensamples. telle she not of the Duch. Troilus 111. imagination.194-5) to be only a conventional appears hyperbole inspired by the intensity answer to the Pardoner.4 pleasure (phantom. that opens the account. B.E.6 Would to her five husbands of Fame. A. or desire. 3840. story. though of course the latter is indirectly can hardly be introduced The story of Eve. other ensamples mo The refers 4Hous occurs in the line "For I shal expression than ten. hallucination.5 and anything have apologized for the story of her life on would hardly the ground that after all it was only a fanciful story. reference to the Prologue to consider for the Wife surely did not desire the company her matrimonial adventures other than truth.205.275. The lines that follow bear out this interpretation. that is. Second. or nine mean imagination or dreamed. as Professor women rather than marital tribulation.. it seems more probable that the expression "If that I speke to "If I tell an imagined or is equivalent after my fantasye" fictitious is ruled out. IV. there is one line in the Canterbury Tales which uses the word in the same phrase employed here. show. 482. D. the interpretation Skeat gives the word. imagination. Therefore.
tales olde.1419. (C. . and says "What sholde I mo ensamples heer of sayn".8 It is one of chief concerns that her story will become an ensample Criseyde's of woman's while later Chaucer says he wrote fickleness.G.9 ensample" in the mouth of an angry man. the Monk says. Summoner more weight than simple experience case of the Canon's Yeoman. longe tyme goon. an ensample of the teller. the ensamples the Pardoner used so effect in casting about for a ively had a lesson in view.3281. is a story of experience a traditional or fictitious nature of which the purpose is to a truth. according In general. to mean the actual by Chaucer. 8Than oon telle I hem ensamples many Of olde stories. the more authority it possessed. but when used with a narrative connotation. present a model of proper portray or afford a warning. in certain conduct After situations. For 9 lewed peple Prologue loven B. Her disapproval of them is expressed in too certain a way. and at the close of the story of Samp son. F. "Beth war by this ensample old and playn" not to tell secrets to wives. 7 B. Arcite's death Egeus "shewed hem ensamples" of the change ableness of fortune. and arouse her anger.435-87) L. Dorigen. 474. so that she would hardly approve their use against the Pardoner. and its use even in connection with the Wife's it is not employed of her life wrould necessitate. the autobiography. as the altercations between the Miller and Reeve and the That an ensample possessed is curiously showrn in the a graphic and most gives which he has been duped.W. A. teach a lesson.. He in sincere account of the manner but does not depend upon that to are told against the Wife. Troilus and Criseyde that lovers might be warned "By swich A story was a terrible weapon from faithlessness. as the expression "telle ensamples" indicates.7 The hoarier and more frequently told a story was. of her difficulties. and Friar well attest.2842. The experience term may be used to mean pattern or simply comparison. story to my knowledge.A Conjecture Chaucer it cover on theWife of Bath's Prologue 517 in making of "ensample" be stretching the meaning or autobiographical an actual account? experience An ensample is generally raised from the plane of accidental to the more enduring domain of universality. solution cites numerous stories of proper women in similar circumstances.
I of my tale have maad (G.3185-6) ends his short Prologue with if I speke Have me excused My wil is good.518 Jones convince his audience of the folly of alchemists. after saying 10Another she knows all about the woe that is in marriage. the apology where it would seem to be merely no apology is due. 967-71)10 it cannot be denied that "tale "might refer to an Although "now wol I telle forth my tale" mark a re autobiography. . be drawn from the sumption "ensample" of the narrator. (A. tale is this. shul ye knowe. that er that I fro yow wende. 11 a tale. whan he that semeth the wysest.2421-5. and lo. of the Prologue.7-8) the Monk's and Franklin's an apology is made for a prologue. my the introduction of excuses of no instance where amis. Only a story can perform that service. (E. followed by what appears a splicing line. . from a sothe and subtiltees sleightes been ! for ay as bisy as bees us sely men for to deceyve. as the end of his Prologue indicates: He And That By that semeth Is most fool. in his Prologue. sometimes very unusual. but the Tale that convinces Harry Bailly of Woman's ness. induces me to explain the lines in a different way. it preveth weel. observe I know (F. interpretation rather than the normal meaning must to support of the traditional adopted explanation the passage. The sudden break after line 193. Epilogue. the little dramatic episode out of which a tale would naturally spring second tale actually follows an interruption similar (the Wife's to this)?all that a tale once followed indicate this passage. an ende.11 if she is referring to the Prologue. ever wol Tale they weyve.) of which he has given more than a hint wicked Chaucer this Marchauntes own experiences. whiche In women Ben And By of a tale they. be the Wife gives us unnecessary assurance when. before Also Tales. of the superiority interesting example a point in proving is found in the Merchant's Lo. by Iesus! to the preef it cometh trewest is a theef . over personal where the experience Host says. There are a number of instances of an apology preceding introduces the Miller's Tale with It is not the Merchant's yow Avyseth And eek men The Squire and putte me shal nat make out of blame. and "fantasye" experience personal signify mere desire. Furthermore. earnest of game. the fact that in each case the unusual.
8. but the theme of the first is a defense of the sensual pleasures of marriage. married life for the purpose of showing how she secured the in the bliss that mastery. Granting that the different nature of the themes call for different sources. important Phil. 165-187. which inaugurates the central preparing the theme of the first part theme of the DEF Groups. to the second part. Jerome's Contra Jovinianum of hints from the Roman de la Rose. of the five husbands. 435-467. conceptions is especially apparent in the sources Chaucer This separation Duo Libri. but pre the discussion. p. for no one who reads the story of her five sorrow can be in any doubt as to who held the whip. vol. reaching her climax and conclusion of the fifth sufferer. while their influence the chief restricted influence of the Roman de la Rose is also revealed here. St. had she expected experiences. pp. and thus followed upon the capitulation the way for her story. to point out that the Wife's first Tale sprang from may be necessary the theme of the second while her second Tale exemplifies interruption. accompanied and concluded to enjoy them. but the extract from Liber Aureolus de Nuptiis. 13See Professor "Chaucer's Discussion of Kittredge's article. Marriage. determination The last of the distinct characteristics of a formal In the second part the Wife tells the story of her conclusion. All the parallels cited are from the 12 It by an enthusiastic some lines possess . vol.A Conjecture on theWife of Bath's Prologue 519 she hastens with pride to declare that she was the agent rather than the victim of it. furnished the foundation the earlier part and is used in the later. the two principal are distinctly different. V. the Epistola seem to have Miroir de Mariage1* and Deschamps' Uxore. 9. edition 15 See Professor Lowes' and the Miroir de Mariage" "Chaucer significant the Mod. 305-335. with a few used. part vol. second Phil. Mod. pp.13 While runs through the second in a minor key.12 Both spring from the same beginning." 14 See Skeat's of Chaucer. This information would certainly have to recount her matrimonial been needless.14 in Jer contained Theophrastus' de non Ducenda Valerii ad Rufinum ome's work. an interruption and apparently up to an exempli by leading the mention fying tale. 296. The Prologue sents two unified and well developed each followed conceptions. ful husbands There is one more point to make before leaving this part of is not a unified whole. part of her Prologue. of the Prologue.
but would developed At least. had Chaucer the whole Prologue composed Finally.520 Jones still I find it hard to believe that had Chaucer developed the he could have under the same inspiration. however. the tone would have have fused them in some way. not that it them to signify that her experience will actually be recounted. retaining to a less likely for Chaucer's 16 The . that she has flesh. the tone of and argumentative. remained the same. I believe. ception. The Pardoner interrupts but that if he is to pay for it in the he had intended marrying. I am expert in al myn age" and "And teche us yonge lines "Of which to my offer the chief obstacles of your praktike" I take interpretation. the second is expository I interpret In view of the foregoing considerations the in a manner the Pardoner's lines containing that interruption to say that requires a tale to follow. It would not be hard to show that the present Ship The fact that with Chaucer's man's Tale reveals the Wife's later idea practice. some deductions as possible. if he is wise enough to be warned by other men. give a vivid account of her "praktike" and may be responsible of the Pardoner episode. for all future discussion is based upon this of the Pardoner such an If. and she assures him that he will change his mind when he has heard her story. which will exemplify the and which that is in marriage. he will hardly be rewarded in reading further. inwell rounded manner two distinct ideas. The Wife tells him to wait. The Pardoner urges her to tell her the young men her reflections upon husbands. not told her tale. she is especially tribulation fitted to tell because by experience she knows all about marital woe. will only be reflected in the story." she proceeds. understanding episode. This tale will be an example to him. men she does has led. whole Prologue all ideas from these works so closely to the second restricted The difference argues a later date for the second con part. he would he would not have have achieved a more artistic composition. at one time and under the same circumstances. interpretation the lines. is granted follow interpretation that may be of interest. she will story. he will abstain.16 reveal to for any If the hypothesis is not live enough that I have advanced to tempt the interest of the reader. when he changed his design. not to get married. through which After apologizing "praktike. As the Prologue now stands. while that of the first part is combative and descriptive.
displaying 17 See Could Soc. par-adventure. Prologue Chaucer's followed by the present Shipman's original design. list no swich dispence endure. what in the modern pre arrangement. payen and that is perilous. then. Shipman's Prologue. that there is some reason for believing that the latter Prologue was written for the Tale.17 The next ques convincing tion that arises is. 205-6. for our cost. But The And But Than Or array we daunce Iolily. is the relationship of the former to the present Tale.1252-58 part of the Prologue. be desired?18 any better ensample against marriage in was. . 19Arch.A Conjecture on the Wife of Bath9s Prologue 521 that arises is. of Chaucer's Works. He moot us clothe. for in her over finances the wife brings it about that the desperation used to corrupt her. if that he noght may. us arraye. that it need not be discussed here. the tribulation in marriage and Quite the opposite. to show cedes that tale?19 It first becomes necessary.Selden MS alone gives authority for this arrangement. Does the present Shipman's Tale satisfy the revealed in the Pardoner's requirements interruption: namely. however. Tatlock. 18 It is to point out that the present Wife's hardly necessary story cannot be tale indicated. and he moot Al for his owene worship richely. sely housbond. out of the second Besides the fact that it grows naturally show from that the narrative a warning is far from against revealing marriage. wife. that it can act as that it be such a tale of the woe of marriage an ensample to men against marrying? We need not read are introduced: far in the story before a husband's tribulations is him that payen moot for al. Or elles. algate he mot paye. the D. wo lene us gold. What tale once followed The first question there is one that ever since the days of line 193? Fortunately as at one time belonging to a has been recognized Tyrwhitt and is now generally given to the Wife on evidence so woman. the first part of the Wife's If. because Skeat believes it was written The Development and Chronology Ch. In which thinketh moot it is wasted another and y-lost. which. pp. and at the husband furnishes the money of payment end he is defrauded and forced to yield to his who stiffly bears him on hand that nothing is wrong. The story fully bears out the warning of the last line.
Shipman's 20 In the Miller's in describing counterpart 21 Absolon of "hende In which And Tale "Iolif more frequently and amorous. but there is more definite though by "joly" in Chaucer frequently. and thus. with the exception the masculine of the Squire." or its derivatives. 1613) And I was yong and full of ragerye Stiborn But and strong. The lines ally My Ioly body shal a tale telle. And I shal clinken yow so merry That I shal waken al this companye. a belle. 628) Ioly last line with "Ioly Absolon" and "hende Nicholas. 1613) and in no other in Chaucer of which I am aware. as will be shown. been she. 1204) Iolily she gooth as Iolif as a pye (B." than In fact. Ioly body" occurs also in the Tale (B. can hardly be considered. that the Prologue pimply for the Tale. 469-70) Up-on my yowth. and others hold that it was composed before Chaucer for the Summoner found another use for the was is evidence There wretch. used by the Wife. the word with her." given above the wife uses she is closely identified. which Thus we have tried to connect the first part of the Wife's the present and the present Shipman's Tale. that was so hende (D. This fact seems to passage me to link Tale and Prologue and to as definitely together.20 is a term frequently Furthermore "joly. Chaucer and for good reason. Prologue with Our next step is to Prologue with the same Tale. since the Tale was written composed in the Prologue must have origin the interruptor for the Wife.1399) Ye shal my Ioly body have to wedde (B. 455-6) lord Christ! whan that it remembre th me the Compare one of the instances or a woman with and on my Iolitee (D. This clerk Iankin. to the Wife than to for that reason is more appropriate contenders for the place. who. sound more evidence. and Ioly as a pye (D. in between the two passages unique to argue a relationship and it is used." forth array we daunce (B. than masculine. for the expression is sufficiently sign them both to the Wife. has some kind of amorous connotation. whom the term as regards In all but either herself . no means feminine The word always. in any other the word the "Ioly Absolon" is used is the Nicholas.21 evidently.522 Jenes for the Squire's Tale. the expression associated "My Finally.
noting the Clerk's quiet demeanor as in the and evidently and studious fearing just such a preachment attitude..23 but they were even more concerned spread in the fashion of the to the people somewhat with preaching In fact. To make us for our olde sinnes wepe. [Wycliffe] their teaching. and churchyards.A Conjecture on the Wife of Bath's Prologue 523 so as to the two prologues close the triangle by connecting of an original Wife's show that they are fragments Prologue." 1. orders. passed town "to arrest who went about from preachers without licence of their ordinaries. the same as that which had inspired the founders of the great mendicant . to town preaching fairs. who did not hesitate about such an undesirable and the Clerk." "souninge speech was always in moral vertu.. for swearing.24 early 22That Wycliffism evidence from Chaucer had in mind from the is apparent at all of heresy but only of the Parson the character fact rather than heretical side of the evangelistic no had given the Host that the Parson any way heretical. instruc of the people. a character The Host had prob others to a pious way of life.. in England." 23 In 1382 an act was county to county daily other James and from 'not only open Gairdner. Bailly does not wish his conscience given in the General Prologue.22 The itinerant Lollard preachers who went about to and byways in the highways certainly sought preaching heretical opinions.. likely to bring judging by the characterizations to "snib event were the Parson. the duty in the eighteenth Methodists century. as fr?res doon in Lente. but because he is what. held as they were in a language not understood a lifeless formality. whose ben sharply for the nones." not because he is heretical. which. tended to become by regular religious ..19. in later times.The to direct Bible them with an English 'poor to conflict with the rights of the beneficed were not necessarily intended was practically that lay at the root of the institution The conception clergy. might have been called a puritan. Later in the poem. to deliver.12-13) Host Harry and the only two pilgrims. and that there is no indication that he was in in the General Prologue given does reveal to us is a character the General Prologue of strict had the joy of the occasion he feared a "predicacioun" one?and might mar by troubling his spirit again. p. 24 "He supplied priests' places' in churches .) in London with a stirring of conscience?he ably heard the Lollards preaching piety. and errors. (See the Parson's Prologue. vol. (E. sermons and Lollardy and set on foot an irregular body of itinerant preachers. containing the Reformation heresies and notorious 1908. but also in markets. disturbed. on which they were designed to act was to supplement The main principle the services of the Church. the latter rebukes the Host When the Parson accuses him of being a "loller.. What in sincere piety and in the desire to induce others to walk in the spiritualized an opportunity to lead who never misses straight and narrow path. the Parson was about the he had reason to believe earlier passage makes a special plea for a merry tale: But precheth nat.
Poole.. Essays was met is probably with which the movement gentleness explained in some degree by the fact that the bishops recognized the general high character and moral of the Lollard preachers.. 7333 reads "Seyde the squiere shall he not here name in the grete god. op. 29 If this is correct.101.26 worldliness. out of season. Brit." and is not that religion enough without of being disturbed about matters to introduce "some difficultee" is it necessary conduct? Why or unpleasantness? And if he is a loller. quoted 27 "The on Chaucer. and Encycl. 28 Poole.29 R. as "Or" clearly indicates. all longsuffering and doctrine. Cf. The lines B. Poole. of the MSS In the second line the majority here shal he not pr?che". such as the Parson. and sin. be instant Word. 4 MSS read "Seid this squiere fourth Harl. who takes up the Host's Now cause. the Canterbury Tales who of the pil iently good. followed at a short distance from this point. The manuscripts in were made.103. Soe. 'he shal nat pr?che." efficiency op.' of Bathe. Ch.524 Jones to the people in terms they could understand was of preaching one of the points stresset! by the Wycliffites. who in the first part of her Prologue vehemently seeks to justify her conduct. exhort. rebuke. it seems to me no Therefore.25 Furthermore. . idea of heresy 1178-81 probably occupies read a distinctly in the original place in the passage. by my fader soule! that shal be nat. cit. also does not desire his (or her) way of life to be questioned nor his stirred. 28 "Or cokkel in our clene corn" represents the introduction of a springen new minor idea. changes were lines of the passage. Simon's Chaucer a Wicliffite.28 Clearly.' quod she. We When leve alle a dissyllabic masculine in the second and necessary dicate that such changes read. this side of Lollardy many of the more sincere officials With of the church. not only that the Wife was the original impossible in the Shipman's but that her vindication objector Prologue. "Seyde the Squyer. also p. p." for Reform. conjecture as follows: version 'Nay. p.27 the interruptor. was substituted for the Wife. Wycli?e in the mother and theMovement tongue. p. 113. 26 "Preach the in season. must have been in sympathy. 1902. L. were the Lollards constantly preaching against corruption. reprove. p." De oficio pastorali. 115. 241. conscience "We leve alle in the grete god. inference.cit. he shal not here pr?che". Seyde the Wyf He shal no gospel glosen heer ne teche. he will probably speak the objector thinks his own conduct is suffic heresy. with Wycliffe's tion in H. under Lollards. Throughout evidence of such an attitude? The Wife of grims gives any Bath alone. exhorting the people to a more moral life.
variations. Lansdowne 851." and in this MS the reading is so awkward the difficulties of the it. and seye both up and doun" (D. evidently perceiving bility that Chaucer wrote 'heer he shal not pr?che.A Conjecture on the Wife of Bath's Prologue 525 the two fragments. the various of all the versions. The revealed to make shows that the scribe was trying "grete godde hye" in Mm. as to preclude the possi fall on "shal. line. "Sayde pr?che. Prologue expressing only that Skeat fails one. Libr. For the reasons In this passage Tyrwhitt's that "heer" was not in the original conception I believe of the line." Certainly accents the then coincide. Three characteristics positions "heer" he schal heer naught the sompnour 7334. does the accent third.. Dd.149 to place the metrical accent on the proper I wol use" and in D. Pt. above. the and following accent should fall on "shal. no gospel glosen heer. Camb. Carelessness is scribe.Poet. Skeats in D." It seems that is exactly what the Parson did. Univ. and "Glose who-so wole. overlooked damaged in "He" for "We" at the beginning of the line..|D." but against E. 3. Skeat. w?l I in the first case. Royal godhe). with slight regards the fourth line. occupies. Cp. H1. 18 C i i. for in the course of her reply she says. support I wol have. 119). reads without an awkward an order justified by no MS and revealing "heer he." and in the second case. from for a scribe to make the converse.. Univ. . reason. read "An hous use. MS he)." "quod. but Hn. given but was Thus MS authority." are apparent: versions of the above first. and art favor the readings Skeat text is superior to Skeat's. and Cm.. There is still more evidence connecting the Wife says "He shal In laying down the law to the Parson. the unimportant Harl. certainly reading a little at least copied. and the Petwortji. save Rawl." all of the 22 MSS. the fact that in only one MS. pr?che". or scribes. Furthermore. As number of MSS read. suggests 1686. "Men may devyne and glosen up and doun" (D. 141. Mm 2. 26). position... rejects. Barlow Ii. and Cp. 26 in Camb. It is true "An housbonde the majority of the MSS. to below and hurriedly inserted by the "heer" immediately suggested name was substituted for the Wife. Ln. Hn.. inverted the change. sense out of the obscure place. H1. 7333.48. read "In wyfhode Cm.. supply the needed syllable when a dissyllabic out that in the line which "He shal no gospel It may also be pointed follows. to the normal order is a more conscious natural one or unconscious." Of course.7334." as it does in the preceding metrical lines in the Wife's lines. Though lead to the omission of one or the other.154 reads "In wyfhode word." perhaps in its abbreviated form. Of all the numerous determination. "Seyde the Shipman. art demands and metrical that the rhetorical bonde w?l I have. where she seems and Harl.5 Libr. and Dd. Sloane 1686 (the grete quod 20. the awkwardness and second. reveal "heer" in the same glosen heer. Laud between the slight similarity (the grete godde hye)..7334. the fact that "god" and "quod" might that when "she" in all the MSS.'" comment. "quod" is omitted except Sloane was altered to "he. 739. a considerable Sloane 1685 (the grete "He leueth alle in the grete god he" : Corpus. and that the obscurity must have existed as far back as the MS copied by the scribe whose MS the scribe of Mm. was in someway so that some careless it.
joined to the pilgrimage. then.31 With more 30The Miller's the Monk's with ends with Chaucer's for obscenity. binds his wife's "But vices lat us passe awey fro this matere. While it would be going too far to ends too abruptly for a tale say that the Shipman's Prologue to follow. it is true that in the last line or two of most of the definite notice is given that a tale will immediately prologues follow. proposes and in the first part of the Wife's Prologue we have the begin ning and end of an original Wife's Prologue which was prefixed to the Tale later given to the Shipman. MSS." Where else in the Canterbury Tales do we find such determined accents? Only in the first part of the Wife's Prologue. him forbear with in the endlink until a sly glance at the Wife of Bath. and is not composed independently See G. of the Wife's the beginning the case is much Prologue decided. We have to Melibeus. She will stand for no in a literal.78-84. and Prologue apology his own apology for failure to arrange his tragedies chronologi nor in the Second Nun's. but nowhere preceding rise and reveal one of the pilgrims in the midst of his prologue. is no notice served in the Reeve's Prologue. Chaucer entirely. groups. but there appears (the addressing excuse for separating it from the preceding Merchant's endlink. and a central portion of which has been cut out. common-sense she believes and unsophis glosing." determination and "He shal no gospel glosen. As the Squire's Tale the Prologue begins with some one's to be no Host is not mentioned) the Squire. note the emphatic ticated interpretation of "that shal be nat. There but this latter was of the Canterbury Tales. scribe might here have slipped the rhyme in a break Tale makes ingeniously a similar situation upon mind. . cally. an unpleasant from him at times but which he is always glad to put away forces expression In order to avoid a repetition of Harry Bailly's domestic woes." or else some and endlink headlink together. in which the Host dwells at length to drive the subject in bitterness he wishes from his Fortunately. and prologues beginning some action of the pilgrimage to the with and unattached else does the curtain suddenly story. We have tales beginning such as the Physician's. though I shall speak of that later." "he shal not pr?che. 148-155. The Merchant's Hengwrt. in lines D. There is no and Petworth here in the Ellesmere.526 Jones to be looking directly at her opponent. of the gospel. has set the Host subject which thinking again about his wife. Is not especially in the earlier as in the later pas her voice as clearly audible sage? that in the Shipman's Prologue My theory. for there is nothing like it in the Canterbury Tales. Again.30 and that instead of such we have here an abrupt stop. 81 is now printed.
supported Two points I am sure he made: sufficient authorities." "I wot wel that (I. My guess is that the Parson refused to be seized the opportunity silenced by the Wife's rudeness.) reward and ne rekken in hir assemblings. Soc. Ch.*and to give and to "snibben" the much feared "predicacioun" for the nones.931-932) but if they assemble love and for only for amorous for to accomplice thilke brenninge delyt." manere of man. p.) al is good y-nough. from the Squire. "The thridde spece of a man and his wyf . and Skeat.and that is whan avoutrie bitwixe is som-tyme they take no p. the else that binds the links together. Soc. Edition Tales. The Host. to or description of the woe that is in marriage. XVI Lang. 4. wishing a tale of love life into the fairy land of romance. that wyves nat clothen hem in Iesu Crist. 21. Ass'n. to escape from the bitter thoughts of his own un obvious. for which he reveals.943) "The suffyseth. but nat by hir queyntise that been apparailled in silk and in seith." (Mead. something can help us to the possible contents but conjecture Nothing of the excised lines. of the forseyde causes. to plese hir housbondes." Pub. that they been by-cause as thinketh to hem. and yet. note. and against and inveighed second sternly against concluding lustfulness with some in marriage reference marriages. Eight-text Tatlock. of nothing but but only to hire fleshly delyt. revealed in "my tale is do. Mod. and eschue the em of Iesu Crist. of the Canterbury 82 "The contrast the asceticism advocated in the Person's between glaring Tale and the license of this Wife's is sufficiently evident. sothly it is deedly sorwe. we may suppose he over of chastity much the superiority upon placed emphasis marriage.32 misleading is nothing complete by the in another Group in the Canterbury rubric. the one embodiment See The Harleian Ch.944. as seith saint Ierome. Cf. Below are a few passages from the Parson's Tale that are diametrically as revealed to the Wife in the first part of her Prologue. wisely requests happy married of romantic love among the pilgrims. of chastitee and desyren is for to been the embracinge a clene widewe. somme sinne. they rekke nevere how ofte." (1. maried. p." and the absence of a change an artificial The aesthetic connection is rhyme link have produced separation. as the later development of the Pro In the course of his preachment." He could hardly have found a [her] sharply more "obstinat" person. precious manere noon Seint Ierome purpre ne mowe is for to understonde. and several of opposed which look like some of the arguments she is answering. Prologue "The Prologue of the Wife of Bath's Tale. vol. resulting Tales.D. with folk wol peynen hem more to doon than to hir appetyt (1. that they been assembled.A Conjecture The on the Wife of Bath's Prologue 527 is so abrupt that it forces the conclusion that beginning has been sheared away." "The fourth (1. in subject. logue must have drawn heavily upon Jerome. for there But with the Squire's Prologue.46-8) seconde bracinges . 904-5. 395n. they sholde setten hir entente of array.. Manuscript.
and clene of body. Prologue Jerome's at this point appears come together in such an inter-relationship to be some See Tatlock. Cf. 212. would have been mystified Further by pilgrims more. pp.33 We arguments may suppose that the original Prologue was a kind of Jerome certes. W. Jerome's concessions. in composing I available for Chaucer to draw upon what to have been the Parson's and Parson's sermon to the Wife.D.528 Jones for I interpret in Cana and the Samaritan woman. Virginitee lord Iesu Crist. Hammond. where he is But the ten striking parallels between the Parson's twice quoted (505. She is the preisinge of this world.D. Woollcombe's especially p. Bibliographical zu seinen Dichtungen von Chaucers und die Echtheit Verh?ltnis Prosawerken der 'Parson's Tale. nat long agon is" as meaning the "You know that a little while ago I was told. is virginitee.'" Herrig's 83See W. and she is as thise martirs angeles. and E.946. of Bathfs Prologue. that she yeve nevere noon occasion that he agilte. we have here composing.33 ff.93-4) "And so be clene thridde herte in herte manere as well of chastitee as in body and in thoght. the Pardoner's lines. Archiv. it were to hire a greet women Thise manere that observen chastitee moste m?rite. thanne is she spouse to Iesu Crist. The fact that the Pardoner's conjectured work." (1. D. . and virgine was him-selve. the present that the and also evidence Shipman's Prologue. and in judgment "thus seyde he certeyn" she admits that the Parson was correct So she goes through her in his citation of the Samaritan woman. Jerome in Chaucer's is in the Pardoner's poetry Tale. Koeppel. lo! which a sharp word for the nones.947.n (1. indicate Tale and the Pardoner's Prologue that Chaucer even while clear the Wife's originally Parson's have evidence had translated he was or the former only a short while before he composed." Otherwise the allusion. Jerome when translating It is possible that Chaucer was introduced in which the latter is quoted the Parson's several times.948-50. wedding the line "But me was told certeyn. ance of St. pointed out by Koeppel. and Chronology. Soe. and and common sense to refute the Jeromian her own knowledge of the Parson and to spurn his reprimands. Development pp. and it bihoveth aThe 97-8). The vol. if that a wyf coude kepen hir al chaast by licence of hir housbonde. sermon. and Tale. 299. 527). Cf." as if she were calling to a Daniel who had been called upon before. baar oure Cf. "?ber das p. At any rate. 93. she be holy in and she is the lyf of that in egalitee. that the poet was familiar with Jerome's work when he came to preceded Tale was Tale since I hope to show later that the Pardoner's first Prologue. Manual. Sources of the Wife Ch. a few lines later she breaks out with "Herke eek. (1.101. 139-41) to St. she hath in hir that tonge may nat telle ne herte thinke. 87. and the Wife's Tales. using Jovinian's arguments. The first appear Tale. 202. evidence for my theory.
I am aware that he may have been inspired by D. which he could not use for his new purpose.35 with the intimation previous speaker had been guilty of glosing? He could hardly in the Shipman's Prologue. doubt of the 34As . resembling closely anything four lines that call at scribe go to the trouble of composing of the tention to a gap even more than the abrupt beginning so If he might have done it to cap the Prologue. of the scribes ignored them. however. constructed suggestions reached the Lansdowne MS. to something that went the first lines loudly called attention before. acting upon the Most the four lines which found therein. had I not come across it after my theory had In the Lansdowne MS there are four lines im crystallized. that he had more to draw upon when he composed than his imagination friend of Chaucer would even the lines? I would suggest that when Chaucer first removed the latter part of the Prologue.36 termined declaration use of "glose" the Wife's in I have pointed out in a former passage. that is. he made a lucky guess. this spurious passage as definitely some one that the scribe recognized the Wife answering pilgrims. he broke it at the most logical joint. the Wife in great indignation rises to the contest with the de that she will tell the plain facts of the case.1. 119 indicates did exactly what she had declared earlier that the Parson D. Prologue? to speak. As soon as the Parson has stopped speaking. he discovered that Later.26.26. have suspected that the interruptor Is it possible who forbids glosing. "seyde" would have been more natural? Why that the and why the refusal to glose. 119. in the Prologue he should not do. will text. and which fit in exactly with what I have proposed.34 with the woman having to introduce. why did he use "ansewarde" when some word like the great oath. will tel next goddes bones nouht glose bot saye the of Bathe By . 88 If it reveals beyond has no other significance. but not without leaving traces.1. that I hesitate is one bit of evidence There and would not. which read as follows: mediately preceding Than And ansewarde the wife schortly swore a wonder grete hathe . at the end of the Parson's sermon. No suggest that he ever wrote a Yet why would these lines.A Conjecture Jovinianian two pilgrims on the Wife of Bath's Prologue 529 on marriage and chastity debate staged by the the last word. was the Wife. 86Of course. and he canceled them. but one. the Wife's Prologue. but if so.
530 Jones the first from the second part of Nothing distinguishes the present Wife's Prologue more than its argumentative tone." "Telle me also. whom does the Host the battle . 4-8)." "Why sholde men. antagonism is over and the tale is told." "Iwoot wel. resolutions. Are we to believe that these pointed "ye's" are directed indiscriminately at the whole crowd as if she were arguing against them all. Jerome. in she must her mind be singling out her opponent. or at one individual who had called down the avalanche upon his head? Though conscious of a larger audience." "For wel ye knowe." "I wot as wel as ye. opinions. well says. and calling attention arguments to statements that had not been made. certainly to the dramatic as vividly which." "ye knowe. the poor Parson! I have advanced recommends Whether any of the arguments the latter attaches the Prologue my theory or not. but for the most part displays periences only con and arguments. re-enforces hurling her defiance in his teeth. the first part in only the vaguest fashion touches on her ex (D. the flour and while the lines of al myn age in fruit of marriage in which reaches its climax determination express a flaunting lines 148-155. defiant Then." and the like. except in some far-off in the roughest fashion book of St. whenever married he comes along. The spirit of victions. The account of the husbands is a typical confession of a piece with the Pardoner's and Canon's Yeoman's while Prologues. Brazen declaration and impudent argument. as is clearly seen in such ex pugnacious as "But that I axe. debate animates it." five. "Thank God that I have vigorous the sixth. welcome verbal she declares with emphatic I wol bestowe In the actes effrontery. setting of the pilgrimage. Instead suddenly launching assault upon the whole troop of pilgrims. answering that had not been advanced. we see her handling the learned arguments and most heretical manner of her pious and in answer to his implicit and explicit reprimands opponent. What had the company done to call forth this "wol's" frenzied avowal with its remarkable array of emphatic and "shal's"? her to such Surely some one had provoked and violent when affirmation. we should keep constantly Professor Kittredge in a terrific of the Wife's mind." "Whan saugh ye pressions ever.
evidence script authority revealing ment Professor is accidental. shown somewhat pedantic and that bears reviser of upon my theory. the dramatic episode and the artistic contrast of their characters not evidence for my theory.) Therefore. ruption." placing that the reviser but moner's) Summoner. but he fails to see that in leaving C behind. Pos accents of the lines following the inter the feminine catching sibly the reviser. so that "My Ioly of the Summoner. for Chaucer to explain that there was precious little Latin in goes to some pains (A. p. well. 434. and Nun's Priest's Tales.39 The chief ar is the use of "thrifty in placing B2 in such a position gument of the term and the repetition tale" in the Lawyer's Prologue in the Shipman's It has also been pointed out that Prologue. violates the MSS time. while possibly ornament to it. and rather sensitive. is arbitrarily put after B2. are an and tales. 3. As much as it hurts to give up what seems at first sight to be manu that the arrange forces the conclusion for my thesis. 637-46) his maw. Tatlock with has the exception of one point that probably the student devoted of Chaucer. Soc. since it contains no time nor place allusion. in both Prologues speaker 38 and Pardoner's C consists of the Doctor's Tales. mention the them with the Wife's tried to connect Prologue. reference geographical a second C and B2 are not separated. MS 7334. 39 in some way the to accept claims Skeat forced that. Chaucer arrangement. Monk's. and even unusual good sense. intelligent. introduce immediately body shal a tale telle" might precede and more naturally the Prologue. Chaucer's. Tatlock the concluding lines of the Shipman's (here the Sum suppressed to the because the expression "litel Latin" could not apply Prologue well-educated. liable to lapses of attention the 7334. and B2 of the Shipman's. them together reveals his feeling that the At least.) He . although the the two parts of the Prologue and the last five lines of the link is none other than the Summoner interruptor are omitted. Prioress'. this MS was not 37The but "some Chaucer. Ch. his bringing was the Wife. (The Harleian Manuscript of the Shipman's suggests Prologue must be due to him.38 Because of the geographi cal reference in Group B2 the Chaucer Society has moved the latter from the place it occupies in most MSS and put it after the Man of Law's Tale (B1). though he was the true order of the tales is ABDEFCGHI. and that his two or three terms appeared only where he was drunk. that it describes him unusually I think. Society's in the case of B2 because to violate manuscript of the is willing authority he in it.A Conjecture select on theWife of Bath's Prologue 531 to tell the next story but the finest embodiment of to of these two women the Prioress. for in most MSS (Vol.37 to the problem we are discussing carries The next approach us over a wide detour via Group C. the oldest is unique in Harleian of the MSS. Then C. possibly in proper relative order. however. notwithstanding and canceled the last five lines. The propriety virginity.
pp.532 Jones in the latter Prologue the Host's words "lerned men" aptly A number of years ago Mr. who has told us that Latin to he deliberately introduces into his "predicacioun" a greater impression. have rolled the text Radix malorum est cupiditas off his tongue with great gusto. Medicine. much pleased with the high-grade stories told by the representatives of the learned professions. that the lines successfully Shipley explained. (B. Lang. 290-3. bearing of the last. pp. To me the situation seems to be as follows: The tales of the and Cook. the hypocrite must produce Certainly. Notes. with hopes of an equally good tale. chooses the wrong even more than to man. 1188-90) must refer to the Pardoner. The next morning the Man of Law tells the promised with its picture of an ideal wife after the Tale of Melibeus. as in the case of the Cook. or. George fit the Lawyer and Parson. to all three than to the "lerned men" is more applicable to the fact that the Lawyer alone. she can tell a merry or risque story that will interest the whole company. But a few minutes he. this point it is ushered in by for "som mirth" their asking for I believe. of lawe. Reeve. mind the vivid narrative another preacher. turns to the Parson. and Lawyer. a tale that tears recounts Host's the Physician heart strings. queinte in my mawe. He quotes it twice. for the Parson objects to story-telling The Wife then interrupts swearing." . Tales. "som moral thing. I think. by saying or implying a thrifty tale as the learned that though she cannot tell such men whom the Host has praised. like the Pardoner before. the Parson Mod. vol. is well to remember that the Pardoner's Tale to the Host's the "gentils"' objecting request to soothe his sorrow-laden and by breast. The latter. and that Physician. had been extremely indecent. and especially in Law. 40 "The of the Canterbury Arrangement 260-279. to be. ne termes Ther is but litel Latin of philosophye. But Ne it shal nat ben phy sices. and finally the Pardoner tells Harry Bailly's a thrifty tale that must have impressed as good a literary critic as the Host. and the Church. At X. own heart. Miller. XI. and vol. the lowest characters of the group.40 He also called attention last line looks directly at the Pardoner." In like manner.
he made an imposing figure. and he was certainly optimistic closures he could deceive any of the pilgrims. he is exposing hypocrisy. in order to close the rift. The latter objection Mr. and therefore natural.42 Moreover. Mr. two he were not.A Conjecture originally as I have on the Wife of Bath's Prologue 533 and proceeded the Wife's declaration interrupted earlier in this paper. we must remember that the Host and that even if is only joking with the Pardoner. Shipley has satisfacto informs rily answered. Objection rests largely upon the unlikelihood of the Host's calling the Pardoner a learned man after having addressed him so roughly a few minutes before. besides the "thrifty" argument. Finally. " the thrifty" argument. the in two months. for the Lawyer's is the first story to the first two pilgrims would be con the reference his doner's of the second siderably . the last speaker is remembered in recent years Professor Samuel Moore has shown that manu 41 all the tricks of had disclosed should he have been? The Pardoner Why to think that in the face of such dis trade. possibly influenced Unfortunately. is. not ignorance. this arrangement Tales would day.41 also remember that the two have become completely reconciled. 42 If then the Physician's and Par should be accepted. day than the parson received was actually is not so much whether the Pardoner question learned as whether. Thus Tale fall on the first day. the Host is now perfectly agree com to say something in the mood able and even. we can which are by no means synonymous. and whatever was said before. and of the interruptor's considering him a philosopher. with his Latin and the like. but also that he church. by an arrangement which violates manuscript and which authority. the General Prologue us not only that the Pardoner was a "noble ecclesiaste" in that is. in one could so impress the poor people that he got more money After all. he could make the people believe that he was. perhaps. places C before rather than after B1. Again. that first and so on. if C is put after B1. As regards the first. the last lines refer to the previous tellers in the order of their appearance. of the Shipman's Prologue inverse. conjectured to this view. plimentary as I think. qualities detect in the Host's words an ignorant man's pride in being too We must wily to be imposed upon by superior education. that "litel Latin" lessens the likelihood refers to distinctly the Pardoner. Shipley. weakened. In fact.
827 is telling to catch up. links should articulate. the Shipman's should follow immediately the Lawyer's Tale. vol. S. Soc. so as not to dampen Anon Our Here we have the spirits of the company. pp. 153) Pilgrims. who "riden forth. the Knight. hoste up-on three actions succession. according to my Since C ends with an Epilogue with the Shipman's Prologue.44 around them falling in behind. and the Host Since to ride to the in this line the expression "riden forth" means we may picture the two pilgrims riding on ahead. tells them to kiss and make up.45 Thus of Group C in the Canterbury Pub.15 he turns and Pardoner. 26). p. by means of time and place allusions and the integrity of the DEF Groups. without under discussion In the passage so that he can turn around and face . pp. kiss and ride forth. originally began I think it can be shown that they do.) 44 In B. 1163) as "anon" they kiste. the Knight tells them to become indicates: they reconciled. and Professor Group Priest's Tale should precede the Wife's ("The Marriage Prologue. 968) (B. Mod. we must Prologue riding. 45 There in advance he stops his horse in order he continues his audience They had made one stop. In B. In A.247-258. p." Mod. The Canterbury (See H. the crowd that had gathered familiar with horseback Now anyone riding knows that the only reason why a person rises in the saddle when about to speak 43 is to turn around so as to face those behind him. XI. and his riden stiropes forth hir weye. and that was enough." We must that the Nun's not the company. "The Position Tales. "Ryd forth. interceding as peace-maker." Lang. to Canterbury" A painting reveals Stothard entitled by Thomas "Pilgrimage as the last described. Ward. Phil. cites Tatlock's belief that the Harleian vol. the Host in just such a position only the Host has slightly If turned his horse. 30. Ch.43 The that the logical place for CB2 is between of these two scholars taken together are not to be arguments considered lightly. 1904. stopping. the two theory." where the expression can only mean remember that it is the Host "Come to the front. in the Canterbury Tales." to show that the Host is some evidence of the his horse around company and waits but rises when no one for the pilgrims to face his audience. 3117 Harry Bailly tells the Monk. in the saddle rides somewhat frequently a story. Professor Moore Ass'n.116-ff. and B2.534 Jones in favor of keeping CB2 as is overwhelmingly script authority one solid block of text. 7334 in placing C before B2 could not easily be proved wrong MS (See The Har leian Manuscript Lawrence's article showing 7334. with front. and he has also shown. When the Pardoner becomes angry with the Host. stood anon. B1 and D. in rapid (C. rises in his stirrups..
where one of the as argument is italicized. as given by Tyrwhitt. In a note following Skeat prints.) 46 As we shall see a little See Skeat's vol. good men. p. present. dis of appearing these lines appear. though he was at first prevented to swindle him. let that passen. What possible the story was while that the Host was riding ahead of the company suppose has brought nowhere else in the poem. till they shall either be more authentically established. these lines to be received I would or super .' 'Now..' of Physyk. so naturally and smartly to the Frankeleines conclusion inclined to believe it from the hand of Chaucer.. 7735 (sic)n. 1775. and taken together present as clear and natural a picture as in the dramatic can be found anywhere setting of the tales. Ill.' quod he. 'Ye. terested in its articulation with what follows. such a corking story as the Pardoner has just told pass without from expressing comment. 200. a situation suggested the Pardoner's into their proper positions. . Canterbury but I cannot 171. report Tyrwhitt's Tyrwhitt's opinion have Tale to the Doctoures printed by way of Prologue best MSS but only in one : in the others it has no Prologue. in only one MS. p. what he considers to be the best of three spurious Doctor's Prologues: quod our Hoste. this Doctour.' Tt 'as now Seyde if that ye wol it here.. Skeat does not quite accurately In this connection guised. In another place Skeat says. vol. however. to what precedes. to the Lawyer's Tale? though some readers may consider my arguments fantastic.. in MS Harl. evidently for the spuriousness fault can lines. IV. tale and pays his tribute in the excellent remembers suddenly "thrifty" and "lerned. "These six lines he (Tyrwhitt) found in one MS only: viz. IV. seded by the discovery of the genuine Prologue. that is. I preye yow." Tales. we are glad to know that the Host will not let Furthermore. II. See also vol. Sire Doctour Telle us a tale of som honest matere. 434. his judgment attempt by the Pardoner's blows he When the recent unpleasantness over. endlink and Shipman's headlink (Canterbury Tales. p. Can it be coupled I think it can. therefore only wish I found The that in one of the line applies I am first strongly say so much for the for the the five following. 172. instead in at least ten others. vol. Tyrwhitt being told. the Nun's Priest's Epilogue.46 He gives no other reason.' shal be doon." to place C before B2 have been in all attempts Hitherto. are: "What I words of this Prologue. 'herkneth everichon.A Conjecture on theWife of Bath's Prologue 535 the two lines just quoted stand in relation of cause and effect. slightly later. p. edition of Chaucer. and his tale bigan anon.
536 Jones be found with the lines other than the fifth. if this six-line Prologue was written Now by a scribe. If we choose to consider this Prologue spurious. 3. not to accentuate in view. Bibliographical the various to connect tales. not to call attention to their separation. 434) . for the Petworth MS. he was far from accomplishing ference we have direct proof. and there is the same easy flow of meaning. perhaps through interpolation "his tale"? With this one exception the passage reads as smooth ly as any in Chaucer. Why a mere scrap of six a scribe go to the trouble of composing a gap? instead of concealing lines that loudly emphasizes the purpose of the spurious links recorded in the MSS Certainly the lack of connection. printed Miss Hammond's p. line Prologue shows that they both represent the same original. Certainly the man who compos taining only ed the first part did nothing but copy. rather badly. which metrically too many contains of syllables. 297. we must answer one very persistent in the world would question. he did 47 See the to fill this very gap (Skeat vol. The scribes were concerned Manual. the second. p. links composed spurious I Link given in Part of the spurious Pardoner-Shipman versions in and the Merchant-Wife from 3 MSS of the Six-Text Edition. or if these lines. Link. Of this latter in he had one. discloses the following Canon's this yeman his tale ended hadde fais Chanon which that was so badde hoost gan say trewly and in certayn this preest was begiled sothly forto sayn He wenynge forto be a philosophre Til he lift rigt nought in his Cophre And This But Telle Saide Now this preest had a lither lape chanon put in his hode an ape al this passe I over as now sothly cursed of phisik I prey you us a tale of some honest matere Sir doctour It shal be done yif that ye wil it here this doctour and his tale bygan anon euerechon good men quod he harkeneth The from the first eight lines to the last six is like transition con from cobblestones to asphalt in an automobile passing a few little bumps.47 is to connect tales. he had no purpose If a scribe wrote it. . Nor is there a single expression used that is not Chaucerian. a comparison of this second part with the six Furthermore. as repro duced in the Six-Text link: Yeoman-Doctor Whan Of Our this that Edition.
with the fairly well what Chaucer I think should read "But let that pas . Hatton. 149. "But lat us passe description the after which he abruptly addresses awey fro this matere. and inasmuch as the Parson's is found in ten MSS: Seiden. had to add to it eight lines to connect tale. 435). IV. One scribe at and useless its fragmentary condition. which for Harley 7335. taken away just at the point where the Host desires to change the subject. the Physician's has been 'as now. suppressed and to fill the gap by an entirely new link connecting Canon's Yeoman tempted (See the spurious Physician. considered of prime link eight from the Lansdowne lines that connected in Skeat. the Epilogue any splicing." but the two parts are so closely interknit. Chaucer the Doctor. Fortunately. aMS which Tyrwhitt left.50 but in dismissed is the unpleasant in only one instance memory in the line under dis the same language employed somewhat the Host gives an extended cussion." shows that something quod our hoste. prologue Laud 18. 739. stories in the Canterbury Tales. noting possible it entirely. indeed. let that passen/ Tale. Royal 1685. 61 It is true that the Flost concludes on the Shipman's Tale his comments that with "But now passe over. we may in the first prologue. copying MS the first scribe wrote. Skeat's main instead of one. Rawl. and since it contains say that the latter appears falls to the ground. Thus eleven MSS argument second Sloane (See Hammond." represents an integral composition and rejects the possibility of copied importance." 60 See B in "Host's Stanza" 3113. did we not of Law distinctly the Man that in his Prologue remember Inasmuch as there are only two prose "I speke in prose. with scribes did everything Some. p. Another the scribe Tale. for a reason to be discussed later. 294) 49The the fragment." Now our case would be hopeless Monk. ending with the line. Royal Mm. and thus we are furnished with a clew in locating there is one subject Harry Bailly Now the removed portion. added vol. p. and the rejected but authentic the Clerk's Tale. p. his wife. printed by Skeat in vol. E. it next becomes that this explanation Granting to to discover why the fragment was left dangling necessary The first line. 424.A Conjecture on theWife of Bath's Prologue 537 the identical his work so poorly that another scribe. 17.48 Is it not more reason the Prologue with the preceding able to suppose that. of the first line. 3. Petworth. 2440. "'Ye. Barlow. with the intention left these six lines introducing to them later?49 of returning is correct." says. poet. is always glad enough to banish from his mind.51 After the Tale of Melibeus of his wife. MS printed the six to the Yeoman's 48This responsible possible exception sen.
54 and left hanging. inference that when it was trans logue. but." than that the Squire's Prologue is only two lines longer thing" in C. I shall briefly give some of the that part of the Prologue for believing arguments accompanied important to its new position. When Chaucer transferred Melibeus on his wife. and makes out a very Melibeus good was at one time intended headlink to offer an exact parallel and Doctor. of course." 188-197. p. while change would scribe would make. an unlikely event in view of the manner in which he at hand. 328 may be an echo of "honest matere. 206. and though for that reason I merely thesis I develop put it forward more or ignored as the reader sees fit. reason to believe thinks "we have excellent that for the Man of Law. to himself. Tatlock. I believe could easily be mistaken for "my" and "the" are too different that "the" (or "this") is the older reading. and left dangling the six lines in which Harry Bailly turned from his wife to the Physician. tales. Melibeus must have been is obviously unsuited the latter's first story unless Chaucer had a tale he did not put to use. 3079 reads "Whan ended was my tale of Melibee. the original links connecting turns abruptly Lawyer Just as the Host of his wife to ask the Squire for a tale of love. but an examination Skeat records no variant upon him. for Chaucer revision It is worth the Doctor's. while it is a very simple change only apply to the new position to impose even this obvious it is unnecessary to have made. it himself." "my" can of the Tale.538 Jones to the Lawyer. and either serves my purpose. K. noting "Honest in the line.52 So our case becomes very tried to use all his material from the Lawyer simple. he took along the Host's reflections which followed the Tale in its first position. pp. Poetry Skeat's following suggestion. Chaucer may have made 54 of my article depends the main in no wise upon the argument Though in this note. Root. Professor of Chaucer. it is no unwarrantable as it carried along part of both. same comment in the Host's mouth after the Tale in as follows the Tale in its second location? position since the Tale had its roots in Prologue and Epi Furthermore. and the change from "the" to "my" is for cause and with cause and against reason. that the only stories he knows are the Tale After saying that Chaucer and after noting told no discreditable those told by Chaucer. so once he turned from thoughts to ask the Doctor for "a tale of som honest from the same unhappy subject matere. 62 See R." "The" and "this" are so similar one and Lansdowne MSS Corpus for the other. to be easily confused. Development 63 The Merchant's and Chronology. be without the opposite reason. readings Edition MS has "this tale" and shows that the Cambridge the Six-Text of the case. planted. The former is just such a change as an intelligent though. to be considered . endlink and Squire's "the tale.53 Since written put the its first we know that the Lawyer's Prologue was probably is it not natural to suppose that Chaucer for Melibeus." in which B.. revised ed.
and that he does that he is loath to be considered with an inferior prose story. swete pyne. if nothing such a sequence. Henry Bradshaw first proposed. "After the which 'by goddes prose tale the untenable the former. I believe. the arguments cited in the foregoing para one bit of definite evidence making for Mr. that he knows no poetical It is true that these tales except those told by Chaucer. not care. and he would have felt that need as much in the seen how fittingly first use of the story as in the second." B. the Lawyer this day?" statement. the Physician's ment. Thus I believe line. Furthermore. 46). C Over against all graphs there is but the sequence B1 B2. The Host got exactly what he asked for. 2127-2154. such as are prose tale into a poem required much contained in the lines just cited. "But of my tale how shal I doon to a fuller read like an introduction lines. for the latter that originally lines B. but follows naturally follows very abruptly B. 96 and 97. And therefore herkneth And lat me teilen al my tale I preye. what that I shal seye. . tiresome disquisition. 1165) answer the Lawyer's In view of the mass of evidence of every kind seyn" (B. free to lead up to them in any manner in the Host's for a asking definitely forever of (This passage disposes B. else can be said against of "thrifty" the repetition that in the earlier passage to consider the argument. but that coincidence is not so remarkable the one noted. 2126. felt that the introduction of a Again. "'Gladly. he does for Chaucer was lead up to them is revealed in which there is "som doctryne. of Law's. I have on the Wife the of Bath's Prologue 539 to the Physician's six lines prefixed to the foregoing argu is attached weight Tale was originally joined to the Man followed B1. 2154. asks what Then to the effect he is to do about six follow a story. I prefer.'" looks like a splicing line. 2127-9. that the Host's words." he desired. which a poet. against a coincidence. which binds the words to their new position. however. Thus. But a complete discovered in lines B. Now the bare though he follows Chaucer that his tale is to be in prose does not. B. fully or satisfactorily declaration answer answer is the question asked in the line quoted above. "This was a thirfty tale for the nones" "I can right now no thrifty tale (B.) to reveal Harry Bailly as leery of Chaucer's it was the happy inspiration Probably to trans in prose that moved Chaucer something poetical ability and requesting plant Melibeus. That even with the Host idea that the poet was getting by what seems to us a long.' this merry tale I wryte. and scholars have almost the suggestion unanimously accepted. that is. which contain nothing that connects them only with their new position. if any story. Chaucer evidently comment and even apology. with a sobre chere. and the concluding couplet. "And with that word 2127-54 resided between he. as lines fit perfectly the new position." quod I. It is easily lines that the speaker will tell a little thing in prose which should please the if they are not unjustfiably follow the Lawyer's confession company fastidious. I think.A Conjecture said before. is literally an addition.
37) I think Professor as evidence of careless 7334 to reveal "thrifty" he cited the failure of Harley that the scribes of Pt. 7334." how can it apply to some of Chaucer's stories. The Petworth and 7334 "other. the word is not above all suspicion. 18.) There all the 22 MSS printed Manuscript. the other reading." "can. which. for they had no such idea "thrifty" they thought "trusty" because (The Harleian Prologue. tale. as in other cases where it differs from most of the MSS. such as the cruelty of Medea. read "thrifty. (Skeat.' (B." in the Canterbury Tales that. though he cannot tell a thrifty tale." To none of Chaucer Society give the reading "thrifty for sertres. The Evolution Tales. quod I. published versions. see Chronology about it when 65Cf. 188." and "But" bear the same relationship if we read "other. I think it somewhat judging by term to his that Chaucer would apply a complimentary likely between there seems to be an inconsistency Third. in saying is unfortunate He certainly revision. "thrifty" to Chaucer's more conformable habit. link. Finally. For other tale certes can I noon. Thus itmight be possible to interpret the passage in this comical fashion :"The only thrifty tales I know are those told by Chaucer. and Ln. 1897-9) where "other tale. wrote odd. 'ne beth nat yvel apayd. Sierres . is correct in defining the term as "profitable." stories. Part of the "thriftiness" rhyming of a tale must lie in the way in which it is told as much as in the substance of the story." read "trusty" and Harley Lansdowne Possibly here. of doubt upon some shadow especially when we note that in the Shipman's Prologue all the twenty-two save that of one unimportant by the MS. in general. cites as examples of thrifty tales? which the Lawyer Second. For the slight value that Tatlock save Hatton MS puts upon I." and Development. all the MSS do not show the word.55 Certainly I have noticed another obviates all the difficulties of "thrifty. they came to its use in the Shipman's in the Six-Text Edition.540 Jones if Skeat To begin with." to each other as in the Lawyer's apology for this Bentleian no means While certainty claiming by to cast sufficient consideration I do think it warrants variant. p. un the ?Sir Thopas episode. of the Canterbury was unduly influenced Tatlock by tradition when Soc. the "thrifty" p. parallels this: passage 'Hoste'. speak of his ignorant and his doing the best he can. But of a ryme I lerned longe agoon. Ch. this its reading old one may reveal the correct word. p. in a manner and the three lines following.
" If this attempt to anchor fore and aft Group C in its original position between B1 and B2 is granted some degree of success. B1. an orderly progress after Chaucer had made through Groups A. is greatly its significance for it drops lessened. However.A Conjecture on the Wife of Bath's Prologue 541 the Canterbury Tales can the word apply so aptly as to "The Three Ryotoures. the Wife assures him that she will tell such a article. But we are not factorily explain As explained earlier through with the hypocrite. So preaching we may be sure that with a great deal of interest he watched from the side lines the mighty encounter between Parson and When Wife. and B?. praise that is both praise of a surprisingly and admiring. Tale assigned her. upon a It is necessary to keep inmind that I am trying only to restore the original and order of tales before the great dislocation which came. C. we may turn again into the main road.57 I do not see in what way other than the above we can satis the Pardoner's outburst. entirely ducing . 67 The Tale from the interruption rather than from the Prologue springs which could hardly have been exemplified in a story. and the first Prologue. nor altogether free from a tincture condescending of envy.") The Pardoner's and Tale now stand immediately before the Wife's Prologue as reconstructed earlier in this article. marital woe that it will be a warning to him not to She has no sooner begun her story than she embarks quite 66 links in this tale of marry. marred the unfinished Cook's Tale and the small dis only by the gap following location caused by the removal of Melibeus to the position it now occupies and of the Tale of Cus tance. but "no fors. she reaches her conclusion?it is a conclusion? he breaks out with "Ye ben a noble prechour in this cas!" In these words we can easily detect a professional's patronizing successful amateur. the Wife to the tale originally composed for her. as I believe.66 (My nautical and ter restrial figures are sadly mixed. episode as at one time intro the Wife's first Tale. With a great deal of professional pride the has just explained Pardoner the secret of his phenomenal in most picturesque fashion his manner of success. as is the second part of the Wife's the Pardoner Unless we consider Prologue. this commendation he hastens Even to depreciate a pitful attempt at a joke to show that he is not taking her by In the reply to this joke Chaucer skillfully leads too seriously. by the later substitution only the restoration of that order. describing one of his most effective and recounting tales. will today produce a logical text. out of sight with the further development of Group D. as far as possible.
that payen moot for al. The Pardoner tells his Tale and falls into an altercation with at the instigation the Host. in his Prologue Now the Pardoner the fact that avarice was his ruling passion. Although enters more She glances at him in the lines Pardoner into her notice. 68 . but the hell of "For in his purs he sholde y-punisshed be" (A. digression. algate he mot paye we may be sure she is looking directly at him. Host. suddenly comments the Parson. But The wo is him sely housbond." Cf. with whom he becomes reconciled of the Knight. at the end of the present Wife's where the Friar pokes fun at the length Prologue. at the beginning and is rewarded by a dishonorable of of her preamble mention concluding her Tale. 403-4. of his domestic the latter infelicity. the last word. given a vivid description In for a creditable story. three ecclesiastics she had encountered Dame Alisoun and fared badly. that develops In the last two instances we have exactly the same situation wives.58 had emphasized So when the Wife says. on the high cost of wives. rather Each of these At least. the the thrifty story told by his remembering on it and calls on another preacher. is the unhappy choice offered him if he Pay or be cuckolded marries. As the two ride on ahead. frequently after his the present Prologue. 69 the it is the Parson who engages the Wife in a grand debate. C.59 to it possible My theory makes ment of one day's complete quota Host at the beginning of the Man indicate that no tales had been told trace the original develop of tales. suddenly appeals to the Physician so wrings to the request the Doctor the Host's his answer heart that he prays the Pardoner for a merry tale. The words of the of Law's Prologue clearly and earlier in the morning. gives him fair warning Shipman's a final thrust in her comment on the extravagance of and makes interruption. but is in his desire by the "gentils". he exclaims that the company will receive a "predicacioun" de from "this loller heer. After the and Harry Bailly has Lawyer has told the Tale of Melibeus. for a tale." The Wife hastily and impudently "I pr?che no-thing but for coveityse. companion.542 Jones for a purpose not to be found in the narrative itself. 423-34. 657). Thus she deftly turns the joke on the Pardoner by declaring that it is not the tortures of the flesh he need fear in marriage. that the pilgrims were getting away to a late start. When he is promptly rebuked for swear ing. who insist upon some thwarted honest matter. expenses.
with a Tale which the company the brings for the second night of the pilgrimage. The Nun's Priest comes to the rescue to Rochester. The number of and a fraction. with the of the Friar.61 Naturally. and who discreetly who has had enough of the burlesque. fall on the last day. For the next story Harry Bailly calls on the a perfect embodiment of virginity and in every way Prioress. eignty in marriage Yeoman p. then.. with the exception of the Wife. from bodily removed. shown Groups how was inMelibeus prepared. his lugubrious narratives. for the first day would and a fraction. The tales of the characters are characterized second day. for the second eight eight if the Wife's long Prologue be is a matter of his new design of in (Mod. of that of the Knight the stories of the first day.A Conjecture on theWife of Bath's Prologue 543 clares that they will receive nothing of the kind. 19) that the (Temporary Preface. intended to follow the Cook's Tale. 1-163. and the remaining be nine tales. find unity who tell them. and she herself showed that she could hold her own clearly the best of them. exception possible though the to the last. Phil. or to a tale. who does not appear in this Group. tense 60 If we conjecture accept Furnivall's were and the five City-Mechanics to learning. for "som doctryne" To meet the need Melibeus is with parts of its headlink and endlink. however. The Pardoner's is avenged interruption the present her pointing her ensample. a decided contrast to the Wife. directly at him. with the exception who opened in the uneducated the bag. but is checked in mid career by the Host. From the bitter recollection of his wife. and is loudly answered by the redoubtable female in lines now found in D. XI. asks in prose. the through a series of tales. Chaucer is then selected to fulfil his obligation. The tales of the third day are unified by the tale is deferred Parson's with marriage tales theme. Furthermore. second marriages. of the by the learning or refinement some pre each of whom. Harry Bailly inspired by who inaptly replies with (as he formerly turned to the Doctor). might make narrators. turns to the Monk Dame Prudence. and later the gap is partially filled by the Tale of Custance. and for the third seven. and lustfulness in marriage. 247-258) has and the Nun's Tale the prelude Priest's to the marriage it was the latter Tale that inspired him to de Possibly . and who is justly interrupted by the Host or the Knight. vol. its earlier position. for she herself will tell a merry tale. considered equivalent 61 How Chaucer to conceive happened Lawrence Professor teresting speculation. pp.60 probable resting place came to At this point the idea of the debate on marriage and he was inspired to develop the question of sover Chaucer. by Shipman's Tale. the Clerk is the only learned man. Here the Parson retaliates with a sermon on virginity.
Lang. vol. Phil. Curry's (See Professor of Bath.) in the General the first part of the Wife's revealed and her Prologue. 8. or possibly velop in the second part of the Wife's the idea: the extract gave Chaucer Prologue and the Miroir from Theophrastus.544 Wife Jones of Bath could not be left out of the fun. W. 62That there is a distinct Custance difference was given between to the Man the character of Law.n ably enabled date us to establish a half-way point he fixes for the Wife's Prologue in 1394. (See Lowes. of her married life. only a wife's serve to exemplify Therfore. However. Mod. Mariage. this view Chaucer found an excellent her to uphold starting of her five husbands. the poet desired Chaucer assigned her another tale. For this reason aspect of her character was clearly revealed. Ass'n.. Is it possible that Chaucer first conceived intrigues the idea of the marriage debate when he perused this work of Deschamps.y "More About Chaucer's Wife article. a wife's expensiveness. Prologue. Shipman's Prologue) the sources that appear for the first time the theme at length. and is another as 1393 or early logue). that there is no complexity in the chaiacter It can be shown vol.. Mod. and prefixed the whole to the present Wife's The first part of the Wife's Tale. 209-10) character occurs only in the second part of her Prologue. Devel. Since in the development of the poem by the (by my theory the second part of the Pro leaves the matter Professor Lowes of any and ten then. from its original position. we may say that Groups AB1 CB2 were developed before the other Groups later. it could duplicity. whose experiences point in the mention needed only to be drawn out in extenso in order to show how But since her original story revealed she secured the mastery. pp. erally noticed. title especially the mind. C. VIII. This last Valerii. Professor has Lowes Mod. pp. p. hardly sovereignty. and Tatlock." Pub. 236-8) . for it devolved In employing upon her to support the claim of the feminists. since her defense of marital sensuality was not entirely pecially and since in the defense one irrelevant to the larger question. 322. prob in 1393? (See Lowe's de secured through Clifford "Chaucer and the Miroir At any rate. together with the Pardoner added to it the description episode. first Tale. The date of composition tales of individual nor do we know when matter. (See Root. he detached her reply to the Parson. autobiography and in her second Tale. and faithlessness. But the change from a simple to a complex and Chron. of the Wife in the General and that revealed in Group D has been gen Prologue portrayed vol. of her pp.62 (the original Prologue was left as a headlink to her first Tale. as possible to save as much es from her original Prologue. in her nature becomes The presence of a finer element apparent only excellent in the elaboration Poetry of Chaucer. 327-335) Phil. XXXVII. the Epistola de Mariage. on earlier passages influence of the Miroir in a very uncertain possible tative state.
A Conjecture but on the Wife of Bath's Prologue 545 sermon was connected both with what since the Parson's and with what it was omitted preceded followed. 22) ." with the result that his Prologue was followed by the Shipman's but in the early version of the DEF Tale. scribes who copied Chaucer's MS interpreted the obscure word as "Squire. Tatlock know says nothing "Sompnour" about them. came first without a Prologue.63 but I believe he failed to insert him in the Prologue. 73) indicates that when Chaucer the composed it in the morning. MSS. D xv it comes before the Merchant's true Prologue and Squire's which Epilogue the Squire's Tale. and in Harley 7334 it introduces the Wife's precede Prologue." the "Sompnour" Prologue was put after the Tale. He first substituted the Summoner for the Wife of Bath. but I 7334. story. its the Shipman's Tale without leaving in One early scribe must have read "Sompnour" Prologue. linked to of Perhaps through contamination the MSS reading "Squire. the Wife in the first version. they naturally brought and the two together. for the Summoner was definitely a preceding Tale. must have become almost illegible. Coll. Chaucer then had on his hands an unassigned prologue and tale. Chaucer the necessary finally gave the Tale to the Shipman and made changes in the endlink. and the reference occupies to "prime" in the Tale itself (F. and the scribes who copied his MS found them selves in an unhappy plight.64 the Squire's Tale Groups a Prologue.65 Those Lawyer's scribes. of the debate on marriage (and possibly because he recognized of the Squire's speaking in such rude terms) the impropriety he saw fit to introduce the Squire in another connection. 64 It such a position in a large number of MSS. entirely. but finding another use for him as Group D developed. When the scribes found a Squire's Tale without a Squire's Prologue without a Tale. in Royal 17 followed by the Squire's Tale. and Roy. whether written over an imperfect erasure or over the previous One or more of the noun. and one is a padded remarks the Host to addressed the fact that only two lines refer to the Shipman. Unfortunately. except the one responsible 83That Chaucer contented himself with a minimum is seen in of revision (B. Chaucer's MS. in Line. Phys. appears (The Harleian Manuscript. he In the further development installed the Squire in his place. p. and so the Prologue and Tale were again without an owner. By this time the name of the interruptor. he intended placing 65 In 223 it is immediately Rawl. 1626-2 7)." or because of the expression "termes queinte of lawe. we shall never know what line.
Soc. The theory I the original development demands that the Shipman's be propose. and that it should have been suppressed. unattached Lawyer's Tale down to precede to explain how the confusion in the Of course. no other and the Summoner and 86 See The Evolution Tales. the Prologue. Had Chaucer not intended such an arrange the Prologue would have gone the way of the Parson's a strange hostility to Skeat. 67There is one bit of evidence of the MSS after . this attempt MSS was occasioned is highly and is distinctly conjectural. boldly wrote Shipman into the Pro and let it remain in its original position. pp. 20. Chaucer to the Host's while his courteous response servisable. pp.67 The fact is.66 thinks it was originally written for the Squire's Tale. when disposed that Chaucer have con It seems incredible should originally of the Parson. 418 ff. it must be in the part that was never written. This would seem to indicate not by accident. 22. who appears to have the scribe responsible been an independent soul.. Finally. Ch. lowly. If there is the slightest suggestion in the latter. as a promise B.1185-86 to tell a "licentiousstory. but brought the logue." this Prologue. 13. Ch. pp. 30. 47. who copied a manuscript containing version of the DEF Groups could find no place for either a and suppressed it. and Prologue Shipman' the face that makes In most against my explanation. for the Seiden MS. For an earlier contradictory vol. introducing the Man of Law's Tale and before the Squire's. ceived of the Squire as the rude interruptor In the General Prologue we are told. Soc. "Curteys he was. who entertains "predicacioun. 12. Squire's or a Summoner's Prologue. which secondary only with of Groups B and C. comes whether the Squire or Summoner. 17-20. Prologue to the Shipman's Tale. however. and insists the true Prologue considered that the joining of the two is not an arbitrary arrangement ef the ment. That Chaucer after he saw fit to utilize in a different capacity both the Wife is not so strange. of the Canterbury Edition and The Eight-Text Tales.546 Jones for Harley the final 7334. 3. The licentiousness fits the Shipman's Tale because it was written for it. Society. as it was in the the young man was otherwise of." where he interprets Howin written was Skeat can think that the Shipman's of this statement Prologue of for the Squire's Tale I do not see. best MSS. it." feels request for a tale and the high regard which the Franklin to the is maintained for his gentility show that his character should have inserted him in the Prologue end. of the Canterbury view see his Oxford Edition. to my main is concerned thesis.
163-4.68 According to my theory. and Ham Development vol. Bibliographical Manual. p.. C. Robin and Chronology. less probable Prologue. 1893. mond. that Chaucer a Squire's detached the Prologue to make it serve as from its earlier position the latter was given one of his own. I consider this than the one I have advanced. son. 2. explanation. 244-5. pp. the two were not Richard F. since the present essity to the dramatic Summoner's Tale. 68 See Ten translated Brink. cannot be considered. Ill. introduced into tell the present Shipman's the Prologue was also Tale. Those scholars who think Chaucer appropriate are under the nec for the Summoner the Prologue composed of showing for what tale it was written. Phil. 218. History of English Literature. vol. p. and Mod. 159. p.A Conjecture pilgrim because on the Wife of Bath's Prologue 547 be substituted could advantageously for the Wife. Chaucer had revealed her speaking in tones and words to herself alone. to intended to be separ Jones University Washington St. by virtue of its attachment setting. . Mo. before however. Tatlock. by W. Louis. who ever was ated.
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