The Knight is Shocked

The Book of the Knight of Latour Landry

[The Knight is shocked by a young lady's clever "love talk."]

The text is lightly glossed; see the glossary in the Riverside Chaucer for words not explained here.









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Hit happed my frendes spake to me to be maried into a noble
place, and my fader brought me to see her that I shulde
have, and there we hadd gret chere, & my fader sette me in
langage with her that I shulde have knowlech of her speche and
langage, and so we fell in wordes of prisoners, and I saide,
"Dameselle, it were better to fall to be your prisoner thanne to
many other, for I trow your prison shuld not be so harde to me
as it shuld be and I were take with Englisshe men." And she
answered, "I have saie sum nat long sethe that I wolde were
my prisoner." And I asked her yif she wolde putte him in evell
prison; and she saide, nay, she wold kepe him as she wolde
her owne body; and I saide he was happy that might come into
so noble a prison. What shall I saie? She loved me enough,
and hadd a quick yee and a light, and ther was many wordes.
And so atte last she waxe right familier with me, for she
prayed me.ij. or.iij. times that I shulde not abide longe, but that
I shulde come and see her how ever it were; of the whiche I
had meruaile, seing that I mas never aqueinted with her, nor
hadd spoken, nor see her afore that time; and she knew well
that folke were aboute to marie us togedre. Whan we were
parted, my fader asked me, "How liketh you? telle me youre
avys." And I saide, she was both bote good and faire, but she shulde
be to me no nere than she was. And I tolde my fader how me
liked and of her estate and langage; and so I saide I wold nat
of her, for she was so pert and light of maners that caused me
to be discoraged from her, of the whiche I have thanked God
sethe diverse times. For in sothe it was not half a yerre after
that she was blamed; but I note whether it was fals or trewe.
And after she deied. And therfor, doughtres, all gentillwomen
and nobill maidenes comen of good kin ought to be goodly,
meke, wele tached, firme in estate, behaving, and maners, litell
softe and esy in speche, And in answere curteis & gentill, and not
light in lokinge. For many have lost her mariage by too moch
discovering hem selff, and to have many wordes; and by too gret

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semblauntes making, of the which diverse times is trowed in
hem that they never thougt ne dide. I wolde ye wist how
Amesse, the kingges doughter of Aragon, lost the king of
Spaine thorough her foly.

[The tale of the King of Spain and the princess of Aragon
follows in Chapter XIV.]


and I = if I; with = by
seen; sum = certain one

yee = eye


know not

well instructed

From The Book of the Knight of La Tour-Landry, EETS o.s. 33, London, ed. Thomas Wright (from MS Harley 1764 and Caxton's Print) rev ed. 1903 [Widener 11472.33.3], corrected in few minor details.