Notes

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THE SQUIRE

An exciting account the the training and duties the squires will be discovered in Saunders" Chaucer"s Canterbury tales (Dent, 1889). After offer from his saturday to his fourteenth year together a web page in part noble household a youth obtained his sword and girdle indigenous the priest"s hands at the altar. He can then have assigned to him miscellaneous duties in the household, or be made personal attendant on his lady, till he was strong enough to follow his mr to the wars. Together "squire that the body" come a knight, that would have to hold his brace for him as soon as he mounted, to bring his helmet because that him, to lead his war-horse once he preferred to drive on a palfrey, to arm him because that battle, and to attend him in the fight. In his lord"s house a squire would not only act together carver, but assist to entertain his guests, and wait personally on those of high rank. Because that the army experience i m sorry Chaucer"s Squire may have had, see keep in mind to 1. 86. 80. a lusty bachelor. " Bachelor" in Chaucer"s time expected not just an unmarried man, but distinctively a probationer for the honour that knighthood, or young knight. Therefore Cambuscan in the Squire"s story is said to have been "Yong, fressh and strong, in armes desirous As any type of bacheler of al his hous." In choose manner a Bachelor in ~ the university was a probationer because that the full level of Master. 83. The evene lengthe. "Even" right here is described in New. Eng. Dict, as " a just mean in between extremes, of suitable magnitude or degree." 86. In Flaundres, in Artoys and Pycardie. There to be probably constantly in Chaucer"s time some fighting to be had actually on the borderland that France and Flanders, where the cost-free Companies were troublesome also in times of peace. But it looks as if Chaucer"s Squire had adhered to in his father"s footsteps and taken part in what to be proclaimed as a " Crusade," the iniquitous exploration captained in 1382 by Henry Le Despencer, the fighting Bishop the Norwich, who, v the ratify of Tope Urban, led an English military into the districts here named, to plunder anyone that they could pretend was an adherent that the anti-Pope Clement, the French candidate. The exploration was at very first successful, and much booty was sent house to England. Ultimately it failed miserably. 88. in his lady grace. For " lady" as a genitive watch Introduction, p. Lvi., additionally note to 1. 695. 89. Embrouded was he, etc. In the snapshot of the Squire in the Ellesmere manuscript, the wears a quick coat (1. 93), whose long sleeves room blown behind the by the wind. The coat itself is environment-friendly lined v red, and embroidered with little white patches. That wears white breeches, through tufts that ermine ~ above the thighs, and also his pointed shoes droop far listed below the stirrups. His curly hair is crowned through a high blue cap embroidered in the front. Come prove his excellence as a rider (1. 94) his horse is rearing many alarmingly. 100. And carf biforn his fader. ‘Froissart particularly mentions the the young count de Foix, like Chaucer"s Squire, carved prior to his father" (Saunders, op. Cit.). So Barbour (Bruce ii. 91 sq.

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) writes of ‘James off Douglas that ay quhar all wayis prior to the byshop schar," because that which reason the Bishop "gert him were his knyvys.

THE YEOMAN

Chaucer describes his Yeoman as carrying not only a bow, sword and also buckler, which that would do on army service, but also a searching horn, and guesses the he was a Forester. He had, therefore, plainly not been abroad through the Knight, and also we may imagine, in do the efforts to photo how Chaucer thought of things as happening, that the Squire and Yeoman had actually ridden indigenous some country place to accomplish the Knight and also attend that on the trip which he was making prior to returning home. His handsome dagger and also silver brooch display that the Yeoman to be a guy of substance, and while serving the Knight as a forester he would certainly probably host a farm as well. Modern commentators space agreed the the Tale of Gamelyn (the exact same story of the greenwood together that i m sorry Shakespeare supplied in his As You favor It) found in some manuscripts the the Canterbury Tales, was plan by Chaucer, as soon as re-written, to it is in assigned to the Yeoman. Together it is, he speak no story, so there is no picture of him in the Ellesmere manuscript. 101. A Yeman heavy he. ‘He" refers back to the Knight. 104. pecok arwes: cp. Lydgate"s Hors Goose and also Sheep, I. 21 sqq. :

"Through al the lond of Brute"s Albion because that fetherid arwes (as ns reherse can) Goos is the ideal (as in comparisoun) except fetheris that Pekok or that Swan."

but some writers on archery considered peacocks" feathers as an excellent only because that show, and much worse to those of the goose. 107. His arwes drouped noght v fetheres lowe: ‘low" feathers seem to it is in those in i m sorry the pinnules lie for this reason close come the rib that as soon as fastened come the arrow they execute not jut out enough to assistance it in the air, so the the arrow " droops" in the flight and also falls short. 110. usage, practice. 111. a happy bracer: a "bracer" (O. Fr. brasseure, ultimately indigenous Lat. brachium) was a guard used by archers to conserve the eight from gift struck by the string once the arrow was loosed. 114. Harneised wel, i.e. the metal on the leather sheath was handsome and also well polished. 115. A Christophere : a silver brooch in the kind of a number of St. Christopher, who, " together the patron of ar sports, and also as presiding likewise over the state the the weather, to be of course pre-eminently the forester"s guardian saint" (Saunders). However images of St. Christopher were supposed to bring great luck come anybody. 116. the bawdryk was of grene: a baldric (deriv. Uncertain) is defined in New English thesaurus as ‘a belt or girdle commonly of leather and richly ornamented, worn pendent indigenous one shoulder across the breast and under opposing arm, and used to support the wearer"s sword, bugle, etc." in ~ an earlier date than this knights had worn their baldrics horizontally across the hips. As the yeoman"s baldric to be green and also had just to assistance a horn, the may really well have actually been do of cord.

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These notes are reproduced verbatim indigenous Alfred W. Pollard, Chaucer"s Canterbury Tales: The Prologue, London: Macmillan, 1903. The book is in the public domain and available for viewing and also download from Google Books. Back the publication is old, the notes room enlightening and accurate. Nevertheless, customers doing detailed research on aspects of the basic Prologue should, if possible, also consult more recent notes in print publications such as The Riverside Chaucer, ed. Larry D. Benson, 3rd ed., Boston: house Mifflin, 1987.