Wednesday, January 10, 2018
I would certainly assign this book if I were teaching Chaucer, or for that matter any survey course on early English literature; further, I recommend it to the generally literate reader as a mini-introduction, not only to Chaucer but to key touchstones of Western literature, such is its richness of reference. But I would add the following, not noted by Professor Wallace. If we look to the end of the Tales we find the devout Parson. In his tale, Chaucer (with not long to live), takes his leave with a faithful gravitas:The quotation from Chaucer is garbled:
Al that is written is writen for oure doctrine, and that is myn entente . . . thanke I oure Lord Jhesu Crist and his blisful Mooder . . . and graunte me grace of verray penitence . . . thrugh the benigne grace of hym that is kyng of kynges so that I may been oon of hem at the day of doom that shulle be saved. Qui cumpatre et Spiritu Sancto vivit et regnat Deaus per omnia scuela. Amen.
- For written read writen (so my copy of Chaucer, John H. Fisher's 2nd edition)
- For thrugh read thurgh (the Chaucerian form of through)
- For doom read doome (so Fisher's edition)
- For cumpatre read cum Patre (two words)
- For Deaus read Deus
- For scuela read saecula or secula
But he that hath mysseyd, I dar wel sayn,
He may by no wey clepe his word agayn.
Thyng that is seyd is seyd, and forth it gooth,
Though hym repente or be hym nevere so looth.
Labels: typographical and other errors