Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

No more of this now make I mencioun,
But to Grisildes agayn wol I me dresse,
And telle hir constance, and her busynesse.

Ful busy was Grisild in every thing,
That to the feste was appertinent;
Right nought was sche abaissht of hir clothing,
Though it were ruyde, and som del eek to-rent;
But with glad cheer to the gate is sche went,
With other folk, to greete the marquisesse,
And after that doth forth her busynesse.

With so glad chier his gestes sche receyveth,
And so connyngly everich in his degre,
That no defaute no man aparceyveth,
But ay thay wondren what sche mighte be,
That in so pover array was for to se,
And couthe such honour and reverence,
And worthily thay prayse hir prudence.

In all this mene while sche ne stent,
This mayde and eek hir brother to comende
With al bir hert in ful buxom entent,
So wel, that no man couthe hir pris amende;
But atte last whan that these lordes wende
To sitte doun to mete, he gan to calle
Grisild, as sche was busy in his halle.

“Grisyld,” quod he, as it were in his play, “How likith the my wif and hir beaute?” "Right wel, my lord," quod sche, "for in good fay, A fairer saugh I never noon than sche. I pray to God, give hir prosperite; And so hope I, that he wol to yow sende Plesaunce y-nough unto your lyves ende.

“On thing warn I yow and biseke also, That ye ne prike with no tormentynge This tendre mayden, as ye have do mo;1

[ocr errors]

1 For me. Tyrwhitt says, This is one of the most licentious corruptions of orthography that I remember to have seen in Chaucer.

For sche is fostrid in hir norischinge
More tendrely, and to my supposynge
Sche couthe not adversite endure,
As couthe a pore fostrid creature.'

And whan this Walter saugh hir pacience,
Hir glade cheer, and no malice at al,
And he so oft had doon to hir offence,
And sche ay sad and constant as a wal,
Continuyng ever hir innocence over al,
This sturdy marquys gan his herte dresse
To rewen upon hir wyfly stedefastnesse.

“This is y-nough, Grisilde myn!” quod he,
“Be now no more agast, ne yvel apayed.
I have thy faith and thy benignite,
As wel as ever womman was, assayed
In gret estate, and propreliche arrayed;
Now knowe I, dere wyf, thy stedefastnesse.”
And hir in armes took, and gan hir kesse.

And sche for wonder took of it no keepe;
Sche herde not what thing he to hir sayde,
Sche ferd as sche had stert out of a sleepe,
Til sche out of hir masidnesse abrayde.
“Grisild," quod he, “by God that for us deyde,
Thou art my wyf, ne noon other I have,
Ne never had, as God my soule save.

“This is my doughter, which thou hast supposed
To be my wif; that other faithfully
Schal be myn heir, as I have ay purposed;
Thow bar hem in thy body trewely.
At Boloyne have I kept hem prively;
Tak hem agayn,

for now maistow not seye, That thou hast lorn noon of thy children tweye.

"And folk, that other weyes han seyd of me,
I warn hem wel, that I have doon this deede
For no malice, ne for no cruelte,
But for t'assaye in the thy wommanhede;
And not to slen my children, God forbede!

2

66

But for to kepe hem prively and stille,
Til I thy purpos knewe and al thy wil.”

Whan sche this herd, aswoned doun sche fallith
For pitous joy, and after her swownyng
Sche bothe hir yonge children to hir callith,
And in hir armes pitously wepyng
Embraseth hem, and tenderly kissyng,
Ful lik a moder with hir salte teris
Sche bathis bothe hir visage and hir eeris.

0, such a pitous thing it was to see Her swownyng, and hir humble vois to heere! Graunt mercy, lord, God thank it yow," quod sche, "That ye han saved me my children deere. Now rek I never to be deed right heere, Sith I stond in your love and in your grace, No fors of deth, ne whan my spirit pace.

60 tender deere yonge children myne,
Youre woful moder wende stedefastly,
That cruel houndes or som foul vermyne
Had eten yow; but God of his mercy,
And your benigne fader tenderly
Hath doon yow kepe!” And in that same stounde
Al sodeinly sche swapped doun to grounde.

And in hir swough so sadly holdith sche
Hir children tuo, whan sche gan hem tembrace,
That with gret sleight and gret difficulte
The children from her arm they gonne arace.
0! many a teer on many a pitous face
Doun ran of hem that stooden hir bisyde,
Unnethe aboute hir migbte thay abyde.

Waltier hir gladith, and hir sorwe slakith,
Sche rysith up abaisshed from hir traunce,
And every wight hir joy and feste makith,
Til sche hath caught agayn her continaunce.
Wauter hir doth so faithfully plesaunce,
That it was daynte for to see the cheere
Bitwix hem tuo, now thay be met in feere.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

These ladys, whan that thay her tyme say,
Han taken bir, and into chambre goon,
And strippe hir out of hir rude array,
And in a cloth of gold that brighte schon,
With a coroun of many a riche stoon
Upon hir heed, thay into halle hir brought,
And ther sche was honoured as hir ought.

Thus hath this pitous day a blisful ende;
For every man and womman doth his might
This day in mirth and revel to despende,
Til on the welken schon the sterres bright;
For more solempne in every mannes sight
This feste was, and gretter of costage,
Than was the revel of hir mariage.

Ful many a yer in heigh prosperite
Lyven these tuo in concord and in rest,
And richeliche his doughter maried he
Unto a lord, oon of the worthiest
Of al Ytaile, and thanne in pees and rest
His wyves fader in his court he kepith,
Til that the soule out of his body crepith.

His sone succedith in his heritage,
In rest and pees, after his fader day;
And fortunat was eek in mariage,
Al put he not his wyf in gret assay.
This world is not so strong, it is no nay,
As it hath ben in olde tymes yore,
And herknith, what this auctor saith therfore.

This story is sayd, not for that wyves scholde Folwe Grisild, as in humilite, For it were importable, though thay wolde; But for that every wight in his degre Schulde be constant in adversite, As was Grisild; therfore Petrark writeth This story, which with high stile he enditeth.

For sith a womman was so pacient Unto a mortal man, wel more us oughte

Receyven al in gre that God us sent.
For gret skil is he prove that he wroughte,
But he ne temptith no man that he boughte,
As saith seint Jame, if ye his pistil rede;
He provith folk al day, it is no drede;

And suffrith us, as for our exercise,
With scharpe scourges of adversite
Ful ofte to be bete in ndry wise;
Nought for to knowe oure wille, for certes he,
Er we were born, knew al our frelte;
And for oure best is al his governaurce;
Let us thanne lyve in vertuous suffraunce.

But oo word, lordes, herkneth er I go: It were ful hard to fynde now a dayes As Grisildes in al a toun thre or tuo; For if that thay were put to such assayes, The gold of hem hath now so badde alayes With bras, that though the coyn be fair at ye, It wolde rather brest in tuo than plye.

For which heer, for the wyves love of Bathe, Whos lyf and alle of hir secte God meyntene In high maistry, and elles were it scathe, I wil with lusty herte freisch and grene, Say yow a song to glade yow, And lat us stynt of ernestful matiere. Herknith my song, that saith in this manere.

I wene;

L'ENVOYE DE CHAUCER. 1

GrIsild is deed, and eek hir pacience,
And bothe at oones buried in Itayle;
For whiche I crye in open audience,
No weddid man so hardy be to assayle
His wyves pacience, in hope to fynde
Grisildes, for in certeyn he schal fayle.

1 In the Envoye, Chaucer seems to indemnify himself for his patient adoption of Petrarch in the foregoing tale, by giving the reins to his characteristic wit and irony.

« НазадПродовжити »