How the Lady Deals with a Squire

The Book of the Knight of Latour-Landry

[How the Lady deals with a squire who offers her his love.]

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









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[The Knight of Latour speaks:]

"Lady, ye make me to be merveilled how that ye so
sore discounceille them to love. Wene ye to doo me to

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beleve that ye be so trewe in your spekinge, that ye never
were amorous? Certainly I have wel herd the complainte of
some, of whome ye hold wel your pees." "Sire, sayd the lady,
"I trowe that ye wold not beleve me if I told to you the very
trouthe therof; but as for to saye I have ben prayd of love,
I have many times perceived how somme men were aboute to
speke to me therof, but ever I brake their wordes, & called
to me somme other, wherby I did breke their faitte. Wherof
ones hit befelle, as many knightes and ladyes were playinge
with me, that a knight sayd to me how that he loved all the
ladyes that ben in this world. And I did demaunde and asked
him if hit was long syn that sekenes & eville had taken him.
& he answerd that it was wel ij yere gone and past, and
that never he durst telle it to me. I thenne answerd to him
that it was nothinge of that space of time, & that he hasted
him too moche, and that it was but a temptacion, & that he
shold goo to the chirche for to cast upon him holy water, and
that he shold saye his Aue Maria, & that his temptacion shold
sone after go fro him, For the love was newe. And he
demaunded of me why. And thenne I sayd to him that
none paramoure or lover ought not to saye to his lady that he
loveth her, till the time of seven yere and an half be
passed & gone, and that it was but a litell temptacion.
Thenne he wende to have argued, and put many reasons unto
me, whanne I sayd al on highe: `Behold ye all what sayth
this knight, whiche is but two yere syn he loved first one
lady! And thenne he prayd that I shold kepe my pees therof,
and that in good faithe he shold never speke to me therof."

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.