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Textual Notes, see Koch, Anglia 4: Anz. IoS-6, Engl. Stud. II : 294, 15 : 416, and especially 24 : 13-16; Flügel in Anglia 23: 209-224. Heath, in the Globe Chaucer p. xlviii, gives tree of MSS, but mentions only 13, instead of 18. Flügel, loc. cit., censures Skeat's use of only seven texts.

Prints and Editions: By Caxton, see Bradshaw in Trial Forew.

pp. II6-II8 for description, also Blades pp. 201-2. In the Pynson of I526; in the Thynne Chaucer of 1532, and in subsequent eds. Of the works. In Tottel's Miscellany, ed. Arber, pp. I94-95, among lyrics by uncertain authors, see McClumpha in Mod. Lang. Notes 6: 205 (1891). In eds. of Minor Poems by Pickering (1846), Skeat, Bilderbeck; see Section IV B here. Critical ed. by Koch. Printed by Todd in his Illustrations, pp. I31-2, from the Ellesmere MS; Skeat's note I: 82 that Todd used Cotton Otho A xviii is incorrect; on this MS see Section IV A (I) here. In the Selections of Southey, of Morley, of Ward, in Sweet's Primer, in Paton, Warner, Robertson, Manly; see Section III D here.

Modernizations and Translations: Modernized by Harte, as To

my Soul, 3 stanzas of 6 lines, in Chalmers 16 : 348; in the
Biographia Britannica, s. v. Chaucer, II : 1304, 3 stanzas of
Io lines; in Blackwood’s Mag. for 1838, p. 455. Modernized by
Clarke in his Riches of Chaucer; by Purves in 1870.
Translated into German by Koch, see Section IV C here.

Authenticity and Title: Marked in the Gg MS “Balade de bone

consey!”; the first copy in R 3, 20 is marked “Balade pat Chaucier made on his deeth bedde”, the second copy “Balade by Chaucier”, Stow adding the words “on his dethe bede.” Harley 7333 heads it “Moral balade of Chaucyre”; the first copy in Fairfax has as colophon “Explicit Le bone counseill de G. Chaucer”, while the second is headed “Balade.” Lansdowne transcribes the poem as if it were part of Fortune, marking it “La bon Counseil de le Auctour”, and writing as colophon “Explicit optimus tractatus de ffortuna.” Caxton heads it “The good counceyl of chawcer.” The Corpus copy heads it “Prouerbium Scogan”; the Selden B 24 colophon is “Explicit Chauceres counsaling”; the Hatton MS heads the poem “Good conseylle”, the Selden B Io “Ecce bonum consilium galfridi Chaucers contra fortunam.” The Pynson Chaucer of 1526 headed the poem as did the Selden B Io MS; note that the Selden copy was probably derived from a de Worde print, which may have been the source of Pynson's text, or vice versa. Thynne, in 1532, marked the poem “Good counsayle of Chaucer”; in this he was followed by Speght, Urry, the 1782 Bell, the Chiswick, the 1854 Bell, and the Aldine. In all these it is of 3 stanzas. In the Athen. of 1867, II : 333, Furnivall printed the Adds. Io.340 copy, which has an additional envoystanza; and in the Ch. Soc. prints of the PT etc., he entitled the poem Truth. r Bale included the poem under “Epigrammata quoque.”

Date: The truth of Shirley's heading, that the poem was written on Chaucer’s deathbed, was questioned already by Tyrwhitt, who said, in his Account of the Works of Chaucer, that “of such a circumstance some further proof should be required.” Also doubted by Furnivall, PT p. 407, and treated by Skeat, I : 550 as “probably no better than a bad guess.” But ten Brink, Hist. Eng. Lit. II: 205, says “Why should we refuse to admit a credible nucleus to a well-accredited tradition?” That the poem was written late in Chaucer’s life is usually held; ten Brink, loc. cit., considers it his “latest poetical utterance.” But Furnivall, Athen. 1871 II: 495, said 1386-7, and in Trial Forew. pp. 8-9 said 1386 or 1388.

Source: There is some resemblance to a passage in Boethius, bk. III, metre II, which is regarded by Koch as the source; but see Skeat I : 550 fs.

Notes: It is possibly the mistaken heading in the Corpus MS, repeated by Ritson, Bibliographia Poetica, 1802, p. 97-98, cp. p. 22, which led the writer of the life of Henry Scogan in the Dict. Nat. Biog, to the error pointed out by Furnivall at Prof. Lounsbury's request, N. and Q. 1898 II : 423, and castigated by Flügel, Anglia 21 : 258. For correction of Skeat's inaccurate note I : 552 as to the MS Cotton Otho A xviii, see Flügel in Anglia 22 : 512-514. The envoy is regarded as genuine by Furnivall, see his high valuation of it in Athen. as above noted; and Skeat I : 553 sees no reason for considering it spurious. But Koch in his crit. ed. p. 24 and Anglia 4: Anz. p. 106 thinks the envoy spurious, while ten Brink, Hist. Eng. Lit. II: 206, leaves the envoy out of consideration. Also Kittredge, reviewing Skeat, Nation 1894 II : 310, regrets Skeat's retention of a spurious stanza. Flügel, Anglia 23:222-3, thinks the envoy was perhaps written when Chaucer was dying. Lounsbury discusses the poem Studies I : 362-4; he thinks it has received undue praise. See also ten Brink as cited; Root, Poetry of Chaucer, pp. 73-4; Skeat I : 82, 550-553. The word press is mistakenly treated N. and Q. 1858 II : 371, Acad. I878 I : 35, see ibid. p. 55.


MSS: Trin. Coll. Cambr. R 3, 20, Ashmole 59, Tanner 346, Fairfax 16, Univ. Libr. Cambr. Ff i, 6, Selden B 24, printed Ch. Soc. PT p. 4 II #. Two copies in Pepys 2006 and Notary’s print are in Ch. Soc. SPT p. 157. The R 3, 20 text is also in One-Text Print p. 295. Textual Notes, see Koch, Anglia 4 : Anz. IOG-7, Engl. Stud. 27: 59. Diagram of MS relations in Globe Chaucer page 1.

Prints and Editions: See ante under Mars.

Modernizations and Translations: Mod. by Robert Bell in Horne of 184I ; see Section III E here. Cp. Lounsbury, Studies III : 220.

Title and Authenticity: Connection with the Mars: For the latter point see under Mars here. There are but two MS copies of the Venus separately, that in Ashmole 59 (Shirley), and one in Ff i, 6. The Ashmole is headed “Here begynnepe a balade made by pat worpy Knight of Savoye in frenshe calde sir Otes Graunson, translated by Chauciers.” The Ff text has no heading. In Acad. I891 I : 442 Paget Toynbee remarks that the title of the poem, as suggested by the colophon in R 3, 20, is a misnomer for which Shirley is responsible. In Ashmole 59 there is in the margin beside the envoy “Lenvoye by Thomas Chaucier to alle pryncis and princessis of pis translacon of pis complaynte and laye.” This ten-line envoy is also copied earlier in the MS, as a tag to Chaucer’s Fortune; it is there marked in the margin “Envoy by Chaucyer.” The many slovenlinesses and errors of this MS may perhaps be ascribed to Shirley's great age, see Anglia 27 : 397-8, 30 : 320348. But compare the curious assertion in vol. VIII p. 130 of the Bell Chaucer of 1854 as to Thomas Chaucer's poetical work.

Source: In Romania I9 : 4II-416, s. v. Oton de Granson et ses Poésies, Piaget printed the ballades transl. by Chaucer; repr. Skeat I : 400 ff

Date: Trial Forew p. 17, see p. 8, says 1392. Skeat I : 86 “about I393 *

Notes: See Sandras, Étude p. too; ten Brink, Hist. Eng. Lit. II : I93; Morley, Eng. Writers V : 151-2; Skeat I : 86, 559-562; Root, Poetry of Chaucer, p. 77.


MSS: One copy only, in Shirley's codex Trin. Coll. Cambr. R 3,

20; reproduced Ch. Soc. PT p. 177, One-Text Print p. 127. A late copy is in MS Gg iv, 27.

Textual Notes, see Koch, Anglia 3 : 186, Engl. Stud. II : 294; Flügel in Anglia 23 : 207-9.

Prints and Editions: First printed by Stow in the 1561 Chaucer; in the subsequent eds. of the Works. In the eds. of the Minor Poems by Pickering, by Skeat. Crit. ed. by Koch. In the Selections of Sweet, of Paton, see Section III D here.

Modernizations and Translations: Mod. by Clarke in Riches of Chaucer; by Purves in 1870, see Section III E here. Transl. into German by Hertzberg, Canterbury Geschichten p. 47 footnote; by Koch, see Section IV C here.

Authenticity and Title: Shirley heads the stanza: “Chauciers wordes. a. Geffrey vn-to Adame his owen scryveyne.” Stow marks it “Chaucers woordes vnto his owne Scriuener.” In the margin by the stanza is written in Shirley's hand “lachares”, as is pointed out in Mod. Lang. Notes 19 : 36 (1904). Qy., whether a miswriting of lachesce, sloth, or intended as a proper name?

Date: Because of its mention of “Boece or Troilus” in its second line, the Words to Adam has been generally assigned a date immediately following those works.

Notes: ‘For particulars as to medieval scribes and their methods of work see Wattenbach, Schriftwesen des Mittelalters, 3d ed. pp. 467 ff.; Hardy, Descriptive Catalogue, Rolls Series, preface to vol. III; Le Clerc and Renan, Histoire littéraire de la France au XIVme siècle, ed. 1865, vol. I, pp. 303-363; Kirchhoff, Die Handschriftenhändler des Mittelalters; Madan, Books in Manuscript, London, 1893; Putnam, Books and Their Makers in the Middle Ages, 2 vols., N. Y. 1896-7. See Root, Poetry of Chaucer, pp. 69-70.


In Alphabetical Order.

Against Women Unconstaunt, see Newfangleness.


MSS: Fairfax 16, in which Alison follows the Book of the Duchess without a break; not in Bodley 638, a codex closely related to the Fairfax; in Tanner 346, a codex somewhat less closely allied to Fairfax, this poem follows the Cuckoo and Nightingale. The MS Ff i, 6, though it has the Cuckoo, has not Alison; the Selden copy of the Cuckoo is mutilated at close. Liddell in Academy 1896 II : II6 erroneously says not in Fairfax. . For description of these MSS see Section IV A (3) and (5) here.

Prints and Editions: In the Thynne Chaucer of 1532, following the Cuckoo and Nightingale as an envoy, without any separate title. In all subsequent editions of Chaucer, even the Chiswick departing from Tyrwhitt's verdict, until the revised Bell of 1878 relegated the poem, with the Cuckoo, to the Works Attributed to Chaucer. Printed by Skeat VII : 359, from the Fairfax; his statement ibid. lxii is misleading; he partly corrects it in his Canon p. 113. Vollmer, in his edition of the Boke of Cupid (see Cuckoo and Nightingale here), prints the Tanner text of Alison on pp. 46-47. Also printed, at the close of the Cuckoo and Nightingale, Kelmscott Press 1896, with the Flower and the Leaf; and included with the Cuckoo and Nightingale in the undated editions and the eds. of selections mentioned under heading of that poem, q. v. below.


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