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counseil to no persone, but it so be (unless it so be) that ye wene sicurly? (surely think), that thurghe youre bywreyinge youre condicioun schal be to yow the more profytable. For Jhesus Syrac (Jesus the son of Sirach) saith,“ Neither to thi foo ne to thi freend discovere not thy secré ne thy foly; for they wil give you andience and lokyng (attention) and supportacioun (encouragement) in thi presence, and scorne in thin absence.” Another clerk (learned man) saith, that skarsly schal thou fynde eny persone that may kepe counseil secreely. The book saith, “Whil thou kepist thi counsail in thin herte, thou kepist in thi prisoun; and whan thou bywreyest thi counseil to any wight“ (person, man), he holdeth the in his snare.” And therefore yow is better hyde (it is better for you to hide) youre counseil in youre herte, than prayen him to whom ye have bewryed your counseil, that he wols (will) kepe it clos and stille. For Seneca seith: If so be that thou ne maist not thin owne counseil hyde, how darst thou preyen any other wight thy counseil secreely to kepe? But natheles, (nevertheless) if thou wene securly that thy brywreying of thy counseil to a persone wol (will) make thi condicioun stonde in the better plite", thanne schalt thou telle him thy counseil in this wise. to point out, discover. It is often used as a synonym of betray, but does not bear the evil aspect of the latter word.
(1) Sicurly, spelt also sikerly. There appears to be no A.S. origin to which this word can be referred. The old Frisian sekur, or Ger, sicher, sure, approaches it in form; but so, also, does the Lat, securus, fr, wh, comes the Fr. sûr.
(2) Jhesas Syrac, Jesus, the Son of Sirach. See Ecclesiasticus xix. 8. (3) The book. See Ecclesiasticus viii. 22.
(4) Wight, fr. A.S. wiht, anything, a being, creature; hence na wiht or naught, nothing, and naughty, worth nothing.
(5) Wol. This old form explains would, which is only a variation in spelling of wolde, the regular pret, of willan, to will.
(6) Natheles, fr. A.S. nathles, not-the-less. Used once by Milton (“Paradise Lost," i. 299) for nevertheless : “ Nathless he so endured.”
(7) Plite, mod. Eng. plight. If this word is derived from A.S. pliht, it would mean pledge, obligation, danger (in the old sense of debt), but it might also be referred to Fr. plier, to fold, fr. wh. undoubtedly comes to plait or plat. In this sense, Milton speaks in “Comus" of the “ plighted (i.e. folded or braided) clouds;" and (in “History of England ") of Boadicea's “ plighted garment;" while in Shakspere we have "pleached (i.e, intertwined) alley," and "pleached (i.e. folded) arms:" pleach being another form of the same root. In accordance with the latter sense, plight might mean complication, or condition of things, but no definite assertion can be made. In the former sense we have in “Lear," “ That Lord, whose hand must take my plight” (i.e. pledge).
(8) Wise, fr. A.S. wís, etymologically equivalent to Fr. guise. So we have
First, thou schalt make no semblaunt (appearance, manifestation) wher (whether) the were lever (to thee were more agreeable) werr or pees (war or peace), or this or that; ne schewe him not thi wille and thin entent; for truste wel that comunly these counseilors ben (are) flaterers, namely the counselours of grete lordes, for thay enforcen hem? ( force, themselves, take pains) alway rather to speke plesaunt wordes enclynyng to the lordes lust (will or desire), than wordes that been trewe and profytable. And therfore men say, that the riche man hath selden good counseil, but if (unless he have it of himself. And after that, thou schalt consider thy frendes and thine enemyes. And, as touching (as reijari/s) thy frendes, thou schalt considere which of hem (them) betha (are) most faithful and most wise, and eldest and most approvyd in counsaylinge, and of hem shalt thou axe (ask) thy counsail, as the caas (case) requireth.
(FROM "THE PARSON'S8 TALE.”) Now might men axe (ask), whereof pride sourdeth“ (ariseth) and springeth. I say som tyme it springith of the goodes of nature, and som tyme of the goodes of fortune, and som tyme of the goodes of grace. Certes, the goodes of nature stonden outher (consist either) in goodes of body or goodes of soule. Certes, the goodes of the body ben hele (health) of body,
ward, war, wasp, warranty, William, corresponding to guard, guerre, guépe, guaranty, Guillaume. This word is seen also in likewise, in like manner, which is not to be explained by wrys, as is sometimes attempted
(1) Enforcen hem. Neither in A.S. nor in mod. Eng is there any reflective pronoun. In both, therefore, the personal pronouns were employed in the reflective sense, or, when more emphasis was needed, the word self was subjoined.
(2) Beth. A rather rare instance of the 3rd pers. pl. in th, previously so common. Chaucer writes usually, as in this passage several times, ben or been, which old form Shakspere imitates in “everything that pretty bin," where bin is used for ben.
(3) Persone, a person, man, or emphatically the person or parson of the parish.
(4) Sourdeth, fr. old Fr. sourdre, to rise, spring up, wh, fr. Lat surgere. Hence source, a spring-head.
(5) Hele, fr. A.S. hæl or hál (mod. Eng. hale), is originally an adjective. The word as we have it now, was made in the same way as dearth fr. dear, depth fr. deep, wealth (perhaps) fr, wel or well, breadth fr. broad, and highth (as Milton
strengthe, deliverance? (agility), beauté, gentrie (gentility), fraunchise (good breeding); the goodes of nature of the soule ben good wit (knowledge), scharp understondyng, subtil engyn? (genius), vertu naturel, good memorie; goodes of fortune been, richesses(riches), highe degrees of lordschipes and preisyng of the people; goodes of grace been science, power to suffre spirituel travailet (labour, toil), benignité, vertuous contemplacioun, withstondying of temptacioun and semblable (such-like) thinges, of whiche forsayde goodes, certes it is a ful (very) gret foly, a man to pryden him (to pride himself) in any of hem alle.
wrote it) fr. high-the change being attended in every instance with a modification of form and vowel-sound. The word hele is also connected with the old words hole or holl and holsom, which are the original forms of whole and wholesome.
(1) Deliverance or delivernes, fr. Fr., déliverance, but with a different sense. The meaning seems rather derived fr. the Fr. adj. delivre, which was, perhaps, originally the p.p. delivré (fr. Lat. deliberare), let loose, unconstrained, nimble, agile; hence Chaucer describes a young Squire (see “Studies in English Poetry," p. 239), as “wonderly deliver (i.e. nimble) and grete of strengthe.” See a note (p. 202 of Craik's “ English of Shakespeare"), in which the writer ingeniously derives clever fr. this sense of the word deliver.
(2) Engyn, fr. Fr. engin, wh. fr. Lat. ingenium, what is born in a man, natural genius ; hence ingenious, ingenuous, and ingenuity.
(3) Richesses, pl of Fr. richesse ; interesting as showing that (as Latham points out in Eng. Gram. ii. 165) our mod. word riches is really sing. and not pl. as usually considered. We have been perpetrating a blunder for ages past, and now use ratifies the deed,
(4) Travaile, fr. Fr. travail, toil. The same sense was maintained by Latimer, who speaks of never being without “ battle and travail,” and in Numbers xx. 14 (A.V. 1611), “thou knowest all the travel that happened unto us." “In our time,” says Aldis Wright, “that which was once labour has become pleasure." It should, however, be noticed, that the same double meaning of this word prevailed from very early times. We have seen that Mandeville uses “ travaile” in the mod, sense in the title of his book. See another example in the extract (p. 34) from Trevisa, a contemporary of Chaucer. (5) Alle
The final e, which was pronounced as a separate syllable, was the sole representative in this stage of the various A.S. terminations of nouns and adjectives. The a, e, u, ena, um, ra, &c., had all vanished, and left nothing but e in their place; and in mod. Eng. this has vanished too.
(FROM THE SAME.) A PHILOSOPHER upon a tyme, that wolde have bete (beaten) his disciple for his grete trespas? (fault), for which (on account of which) he was gretly amoeved (moved) and broughte a yerde (rod or stick) to scourge the child, and whan the child saugh the yerde, he sayde to his maister, 2 “ What thenke ye to do?" “I wolde bete the," quod the maister, “ for thi correccioun." « Forsothe," quod the child, “ye oughte first correcte yoursilf, that han lost all youre pacience for the gilt (guilt, offence) of a child.” “Forsothe," quod the maister al wepyng, thou saist soth (truth); have thou the yerde, my deere sone, and correcte me for myn impacience.”
BISHOP PECOCKE. NEED OF LOGIC FOR THE PEOPLE. (FROM "THE REPRESSING OF OVER-MICHE WITING (i.e. BLAMING) THE
CLERGIE,” 3 WRITTEN IN 1449.)
What propirtees and condiciouns ben requirid to an argument, that hef (it) be ful and formal and good, is taught in logik bi ful faire and sure reulis, and may not be taught of me here in
(1) Trespas, fr. old Fr. trespasser, wh. fr. Lat. trans passare, to pass or step beyond the proper boundary, to transgress. In a moral sense the word is now obsolete, though it still has a legal significance.
(2) Maister, fr. old Fr. maistre (now maître), wh, fr. Lat. magister. By what process maister, after naturally becoming master, has degenerated into mister, is difficult to explain.
(3) Bishop Pecocke's book was written to defend the Romish clergy against the attacks of Wiclif's followers, who were at that time called Lowlardis, or Lollards. His style is remarkable for its logical precision and calm strength, resembling in these respects that of Hooker one hundred and fifty years later. Though almost as archaic in its language as Wiclif's, the periodic flow of his sentences manifests a great advance on any specimens of English prose that had hitherto been written,
(4) He. Pecocke consistently uses he and his throughout, in referring to an “argument,” as “he (the argument) proveth his conclusioun.” At this time its was altogether unknown, and it or hit rather neglected.
this present book. But wolde God it were leerned of (by) al the comon peple in her (their) modiris langage, for thanne thei schulden therbi be putt fro (from) myche ruydnes and boistosenes” (roughness or rawness) which thei han now in resonyng; and thanne thei schulden soone knowe? and percevel whanne a skile(skill, reason) and an argument bindith and
whanne he (it) not byndith, that is to seie, whanne he (it) concludeth and proveth his (its) conclusioun and whanne he not so dooth (doeth); and thanne théi schulden kepe hem silf (themselves) fro falling into errouris and thei myghten the sooner come out of errouris bi heering of argumentis maad (made) to hem, if thei into eny errouris weren falle (fallen); and thanne thei schulden not be so blunt and so ruyde and unformal and boistose (violent) in resonying, and that bothe in her (their) arguying and in her (their) answering, as thei now ben; and thanne schulden thei not bé 80 obstinat agens clerkis (clergymen), and agens her (their) prelatis, as summe of hem now ben, for defaut? (want) of percevying whanne an argument procedeth into his (its) conclusioun needis (of need, of necessity) and whanne he (it) not so dooth but semeth oonli so do (to do so). And miche good wolde come forth if a schort compendiose logik were devysed" (drawn up) for al the comoun peples in her (their) modiris langage (mother's tongue) and certis (certainly) to men of court, leernying the Kingis lawe of Ynglond in these daies, thilkó (the like, such) now seid schort compendiose logik were ful preciose (would be very valuable). Into whos making (for the making of which) if God wole graunte leve and leyser? ( permission and leisure) y (1) purpose sumtyme after myn othere bisynessis (engagements) forto assaie® (essay, attempt).
(1) Knowe, perceve, be, &c. These infinitives in Chaucer's time would have ended in en or n. This has now disappeared entirely from the language, though ben, schulden, weren, &c., are still retained.
(2) Boistosenes, or boystowesnesse, probably fr. old Fr. boisteux, mod. boîteux, limping, halt, imperfect, and hence raw, unfinished, rough.
(3) Defaut. See note 4, p. 32.
(5) Peple, fr. Fr. peuple, wh. fr. Lat. populus. The form of the English word shows its indirect derivation.
(6) Thilk, fr. A.S. thilc or thyléc (thy, the or that, líc, like), still used in the West, as thic-"He gave me thic," he gave me this, or that. In Cornwall they say thickey.
(7) Leyser, fr. Fr. loisir, which perhaps fr. laisser, wh. fr. Lat. Lazare, so that leisure means unloosing or unbending.
(8) Assaie, fr. Fr. essayer, to attempt; hence an essay, an attempt or sketch of a subject, not a full treatment, and assay, to try metals.