A B C D E F
G H I J K L M 

Total read books on site:
more than 10 000

You can read its for free!


Text on one page: Few Medium Many
The symbol [gh] represents the Middle English letter "yogh". This occurs
only in the variant reading notes.

HENRY FROWDE, M.A.
PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK

* * * * *


THE COMPLETE WORKS

OF

GEOFFREY CHAUCER

_EDITED, FROM NUMEROUS MANUSCRIPTS_

BY THE

REV. WALTER W. SKEAT, M.A.

LITT.D., LL.D., D.C.L., PH.D.
ELRINGTON AND BOSWORTH PROFESSOR OF ANGLO-SAXON
AND FELLOW OF CHRIST'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE

* * * *

THE CANTERBURY TALES: TEXT

'Let every felawe telle his tale aboute,
And lat see now who shal the soper winne.'
_The Knightes Tale;_ A890

SECOND EDITION

Oxford

AT THE CLARENDON PRESS

M DCCCC

* * * * *


[Illustration: _Frontispiece_. CAMBRIDGE MS. (Gg. 4. 27). Prol. 326-342]

Oxford
PRINTED AT THE CLARENDON PRESS
BY HORACE HART, M.A.,
PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY

[v]

* * * * *


CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION.-- 1. The Present Text. 2. The MSS.--I. In the British
Museum. II. In Oxford. III. In Cambridge. IV. In other Public Libraries. V.
In private hands. 3. The Printed Editions. 4. Plan of the present
Edition. 5. Table of symbols denoting MSS. 6. Table showing various
ways of numbering the lines. 7. The four types of MSS.

THE CANTERBURY TALES

GROUP A. THE PROLOGUE
THE KNIGHTES TALE
THE MILLER'S PROLOGUE
THE MILLERES TALE
THE REEVE'S PROLOGUE
THE REVES TALE
THE COOK'S PROLOGUE
THE COKES TALE

GROUP B. INTRODUCTION TO THE MAN OF LAW'S PROLOGUE
MAN OF LAW'S PROLOGUE
THE TALE OF THE MAN OF LAWE
THE SHIPMAN'S PROLOGUE
THE SHIPMANNES TALE
THE PRIORESS'S PROLOGUE
THE PRIORESSES TALE
PROLOGUE TO SIR THOPAS
SIR THOPAS
PROLOGUE TO MELIBEUS
THE TALE OF MELIBEUS
THE MONK'S PROLOGUE
THE MONKES TALE:--Lucifer; Adam; Sampson; Hercules;
Nabugodonosor; Balthasar; Cenobia; De Petro Rege Ispannie;
De Petro Rege De Cipro; De Barnabo de Lumbardia;
De Hugelino Comite de Pize; Nero; De Oloferno;
De Rege Anthiocho; De Alexandro; De Iulio Cesare; Cresus
[vi]
THE PROLOGUE OF THE NONNE PRESTES TALE
THE NONNE PRESTES TALE
EPILOGUE TO THE NONNE PRESTES TALE

GROUP C. THE PHISICIENS TALE
WORDS OF THE HOST
PROLOGUE OF THE PARDONERS TALE
THE PARDONERS TALE

GROUP D. THE WIFE OF BATH'S PROLOGUE
THE TALE OF THE WYF OF BATHE
THE FRIAR'S PROLOGUE
THE FRERES TALE
THE SOMNOUR'S PROLOGUE
THE SOMNOURS TALE

GROUP E. THE CLERK'S PROLOGUE
THE CLERKES TALE
THE MERCHANT'S PROLOGUE
THE MARCHANTES TALE
EPILOGUE TO THE MARCHANTES TALE

GROUP F. THE SQUIERES TALE
WORDS OF THE FRANKLIN
THE FRANKLIN'S PROLOGUE
THE FRANKELEYNS TALE

GROUP G. THE SECONDE NONNES TALE
THE CANON'S YEOMAN'S PROLOGUE
THE CHANOUNS YEMANNES TALE

GROUP H. THE MANCIPLE'S PROLOGUE
THE MAUNCIPLES TALE

GROUP I. THE PARSON'S PROLOGUE
THE PERSONES TALE

APPENDIX TO GROUP A. The Tale of Gamelyn

[vii]

* * * * *


INTRODUCTION

1. THE PRESENT TEXT.

The text of the 'Canterbury Tales,' as printed in the present volume, is an
entirely new one, owing nothing to the numerous printed editions which have
preceded it. The only exceptions to this statement are to be found in the
case of such portions as have been formerly edited, for the Clarendon
Press, by Dr. Morris and myself. The reasons for the necessity of a
formation of an absolutely new text will appear on a perusal of the text
itself, as compared with any of its predecessors.

On the other hand, it owes everything to the labours of Dr. Furnivall for
the Chaucer Society, but for which no satisfactory results could have been
obtained, except at the cost of more time and toil than I could well devote
to the subject. In other words, my work is entirely founded upon the
splendid 'Six-text' Edition published by that Society, supplemented by the
very valuable reprint of the celebrated 'Harleian' manuscript in the same
series. These Seven Texts are all exact reproductions of seven important
MSS., and are, in two respects, more important to the student than the MSS.
themselves; that is to say, they can be studied simultaneously instead of
separately, and they can be consulted and re-consulted at any moment, being
always accessible. The importance of such opportunities is obvious.

2. THE MANUSCRIPTS.

The following list contains all the MSS. of the existence of which I am
aware. As to their types, see 7. [viii]

I. MSS. IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM.

1. Harl. 7334; denoted here by HL. By Tyrwhitt called 'C.' A MS of the
B-type (see below). Printed in full for the Chaucer Society, 1885. Collated
throughout.

A MS. of great importance, but difficult to understand or describe. For
the greater clearness, I shall roughly describe the MSS. as being of
the A-type, the B-type, the C-type, and the D-type (really a second
C-type). Of the A-type, the best example is the Ellesmere MS.; of the
B-type, the best example is the Harleian MS. 7334; of the C-type, the
Corpus and Lansdowne MSS.; the D-type is that exhibited by Caxton and
Thynne in the early printed editions. They may be called the
'Ellesmere,' 'Harleian,' 'Corpus,' and 'Caxton' types respectively.
These types differ as to the arrangement of the Tales, and even MSS. of
a similar type differ slightly, in this respect, among themselves. They
also frequently differ as to certain characteristic readings, although
many of the variations of reading are peculiar to one or two MSS. only.

MS. Hl. contains the best copy of the Tale of Gamelyn, for which see p.
645; this Tale is not found in MSS. of the A-type. Moreover, Group G
here precedes Group C and a large part of Group B, whereas in the
Ellesmere MS. it follows them. In the Monk's Tale, the lines numbered B
3565-3652 (containing the Tales called the 'modern instances')
immediately follow B 3564 (as in this edition), whereas in the
Ellesmere MS. these lines come at the end of the Tale.

The 'various readings' of this MS. are often peculiar, and it is
difficult to appraise them. I take them to be of two kinds: (i)
readings which are better than those of the Six-text, and should
certainly be preferred, such as _halfe_ in A 8, _cloysterlees_ in A
179, _a_ (not _a ful_) in A 196, and the like; and (2) readings due to
a terrible blundering on the part of the scribe, such as _fleyng_ for
_flikeringe_ in A 1962, _greene_ for _kene_ in A 1966, and the like. It
is, in fact, a most dangerous MS. to trust to, unless constantly
corrected by others, and is not at all fitted to be taken as the
_basis_ of a text. For further remarks, see the description of Wright's
printed edition at p. xvi.

As regards age, this MS. is one of the oldest; and it is beautifully
written. Its chief defect is the loss of eight leaves, so that ll.
617-1223 in Group F are missing. It also misses several lines in
various places; as A 2013-8, 2958, 3721-2, 4355, 4358, 4375-6, 4415-22;
B 417, 1186-90, 1355, 1376-9, 1995, 3213-20, 4136-7, 4479-80; C 299,
300, 305-6, 478-9; D 575-584, 605-612, 619-626, 717-720; E 2356-7; F
1455-6, 1493-8; G 155, 210-216; besides some lines in Melibee and the
Persones Tale. Moreover, it has nine spurious lines, D 2004 _b_, _c_,
2012 _b_, _c_, 2037 _b_, _c_ 2048 _b_, _c_, F 592. These imperfections
furnish an additional reason for not founding a text upon this MS.

2. Harl. 7335; by Tyrwhitt called 'A.' Of the B-type. Very imperfect,
especially at the end. A few lines are printed in the Six-text edition to
fill up gaps in various MSS., viz. E 1646-7, F 1-8, 1423-4, 1433-4, G 158,
213-4, 326-337, 432-3, 484. Collated so far.

[ix] 3. Harl. 7333; by Tyrwhitt called 'E.' Of the D-type. One of Shirley's
MSS. Some lines are printed in the Six-text edition, viz. B 4233-8, E
1213-44, F 1147-8, 1567-8, G 156-9, 213-4, 326-337, 432. It also contains
some of the Minor Poems; see the description of MS. 'Harl.' in the
Introduction to those poems in vol. i.[1]

4. Harl. 1758, denoted by HARL. at p. 645; by Tyrwhitt called 'F.' In
Urry's list, i. Of the D-type, but containing Gamelyn. Many lines are
printed in the Six-text, including the whole of 'Gamelyn.' It is freely
used to fill up gaps, as B 1-9, 2096-2108, 3049-78, 4112, 4114, 4581-4636,
&c.

5. Harl. 1239; in Tyrwhitt, 'I.' In Urry's list, ii. Imperfect both at
beginning and end.

6. Royal 18 C II; denoted by RL.; in Tyrwhitt, 'B.' In Urry, vii. Of the
D-type, but containing Gamelyn. Used to fill up gaps in the Six-text; e.g.
in B 1163-1190 (Shipman's Prologue, called in this MS. the Squire's
Prologue), 2109-73, 3961-80, E 65, 73, 81, 143, G 1337-40, I 472-511. The
whole of 'Gamelyn' is also printed from this MS. in the Six-text.

7. Royal 17 D xv; in Tyrwhitt, 'D.' In Urry, viii. Of the D-type, but
containing Gamelyn. Used to fill up gaps in the Six-text; e.g. in B
2328-61, 3961-80, 4112, 4114, 4233-8, 4637-51, D 609-612, 619-626, 717-720,
E 1213-44, F 1423-4, 1433-4, H 47-52; and in the Tale of Gamelyn.

8. Sloane 1685; denoted by SL. In Tyrwhitt, 'G.' In Urry, iii. Of the
D-type, but containing Gamelyn. In two handwritings, one later than the
other. Imperfect; has no Sir Thopas, Melibee, Manciple, or Parson. Very
frequently quoted in the Six-text, to fill up rather large gaps in the
Cambridge MS.; e.g. A 754-964, 3829-90, 4365-4422, &c. Gamelyn is printed
from this MS. in the Six-text, the gaps in it being filled up from MS.



Pages: | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | 30 | | 31 | | 32 | | 33 | | 34 | | 35 | | 36 | | 37 | | 38 | | 39 | | 40 | | 41 | | 42 | | 43 | | 44 | | 45 | | 46 | | 47 | | 48 | | 49 | | 50 | | 51 | | 52 | | 53 | | 54 | | 55 | | 56 | | 57 | | 58 | | 59 | | 60 | | 61 | | 62 | | 63 | | 64 | | 65 | | 66 | | 67 | | 68 | | 69 | | 70 | | 71 | | 72 | | 73 | | 74 | | 75 | | 76 | | 77 | | 78 | | 79 | | 80 | | 81 | | 82 | | 83 | | 84 | | 85 | | 86 | | 87 | | 88 | | 89 | | 90 | | 91 | | 92 | | 93 | | 94 | | 95 | | 96 | | 97 | | 98 | | 99 | | 100 | | 101 | | 102 | | 103 | | 104 | | 105 | | 106 | | 107 | | 108 | | 109 | | 110 | | 111 | | 112 | | 113 | | 114 | | 115 | | 116 | | 117 | | 118 | | 119 | | 120 | | 121 | | 122 | | 123 | | 124 | | 125 | | 126 | | 127 | | 128 | | 129 | | 130 | | 131 | | 132 | | 133 | | 134 | | 135 | | 136 | | 137 | | 138 | | 139 | | 140 | | 141 | | 142 | | 143 | | 144 | | Next |

N O P Q R S T
U V W X Y Z 

Your last read book:

You dont read books at this site.