Previous Previous:
From The Franklin's Tale, lines 374-392:
Arviragus returns home
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.



From The Canterbury Tales:
The Franklin's Tale
lines 393-456: Aurelius' brother knows a cure


       In langour and in torment furyes
Two yeer and moore lay wrecche Aurelyus,
395Er any foot he myghte on erthe gon;
Ne confort in this tyme hadde he noon,
Save of his brother, which that was a clerk.
He knew of al this wo and al this werk;
For to noon oother creature, certeyn,
400Of this matere he dorste no word seyn.
Under his brest he baar it moore secree
Than evere dide Pamphilus for Galathee.
His brest was hool withoute for to sene,
But in his herte ay was the arwe kene.
405And wel ye knowe that of a sursanure
In surgerye is perilous the cure,
But men myghte touche the arwe, or come therby.
His brother weep and wayled pryvely,
Til atte laste hym fil in remembraunce
410That whiles he was at Orliens in Fraunce,
As yonge clerkes, that been lykerous
To reden artes that been curious,
Seken in every halke and every herne
Particular sciences for to lerne, -
415He hym remembred, that upon a day
At Orliens in studie a book he say
Of magyk natureel, which his felawe,
That was that tyme a bacheler of lawe -
Al were he ther to lerne another craft,
420Hadde prively upon his desk ylaft;
Which book spak muchel of the operaciouns,
Touchynge the eighte and twenty mansiouns
That longen to the moone, and swich folye
As in oure dayes is nat worth a flye, -
425For hooly chirches feith in oure bileve
Ne suffreth noon illusioun us to greve.
And whan this book was in his remembraunce,
Anon for joye his herte gan to daunce,
And to hymself he seyde pryvely,
430"My brother shal be warisshed hastily;
For I am siker that ther be sciences
By whiche men make diverse apparences
Swiche as thise subtile tregetoures pleye;
For ofte at feestes have I wel herd seye
435That tregetoures withinne an halle large
Have maad come in a water and a barge,
And in the halle rowen up and doun.
Somtyme hath semed come a grym leoun;
And somtyme floures sprynge as in a mede,
440Somtyme a vyne, and grapes white and rede,
Somtyme a castel al of lym and stoon;
And whan hem lyked, voyded it anoon,
Thus semed it to every mannes sighte.
       In weakness and in torment furious
Two years and more lay wretched Aurelius
395Before foot on earth he went - aye, even one;
For comfort in this long time had he none,
Except from his brother, who was a good clerk;
He knew of all this woe and all this work.
For to no other human, 'tis certain,
400Dared he his cause of illness to explain.
In breast he kept more secret his idea
Than did Pamphilius for Galatea.
His breast was whole, with no wound to be seen,
But in his heart there was the arrow keen.
405And well you know that of a sursanure
In surgery is difficult the cure,
Unless they find the dart or take it out.
His brother wept, and long he sought about
Till at the last he called to remembrance
410That while he was at Orleans in France -
For many young clerks are all ravenous
To read of arts that are most curious,
And into every nook and cranny turn
Particular strange sciences to learn-
415He thus recalled that once upon a day,
At Orleans, while studying there, I say,
A book of natural magic there he saw
In a friend's room, a bachelor of law
Though he was there to learn another craft,
420Which book he'd privately on his desk left;
And which book said much of the operations
Touching the eight and twenty variations
That designate the moon, and such folly
As is, in our days, valued not a fly;
425For Holy Church provides us with a creed
That suffers no illusion to mislead.
And when this book came to his remembrance,
At once, for joy, his heart began to dance,
And to himself he said in privacy:
430"My brother shall be healed, and speedily;
For I am sure that there are sciences
Whereby men make divers appearances,
Such as these prestidigitators play.
For oft at feasts, have I well heard men say
435That jugglers, in a hall both bright and large,
Have made come in there, water and a barge,
And in the hall the barge rowed up and down.
Sometimes there seemed to come a grim lion;
And sometimes flowers sprang as in a mead;
440Or vines with grapes both red and white indeed;
Sometimes a castle built of lime and stone;
And when they wished it disappeared anon.
Thus seemed these things to be in each man's sight.
       Now thanne conclude I thus, that if I myghte
445At Orliens som oold felawe yfynde
That hadde this moones mansions in mynde,
Or oother magyk natureel above,
He sholde wel make my brother han his love;
For with an apparence a clerk may make
450To mannes sighte, that alle the rokkes blake
Of Britaigne weren yvoyded everichon,
And shippes by the brynke comen and gon,
And in swich forme enduren a wowke or two.
Thanne were my brother warisshed of his wo;
455Thanne moste she nedes holden hire biheste,
Or elles he shal shame hire atte leste."
       "Now, then, conclude I thus, that if I might
445At Orleans some old school-fellow find,
Who has these mansions of the moon in mind,
Or other natural magic from above,
He could well make my brother have his love.
For with a mere appearance clerks may make
450It seem in man's sight that all rocks that break
The seas of Brittany were removed, so
That right above them ships might come and go,
And in such wise endure a week or two;
Then were my brother cured of all his woe.
455For she must keep the word she gave at feast.
Or he'll have right to shame her, at the least."




Next Next:
From The Franklin's Tale, lines 457-480:
The two brothers leave for Orleans and meet a clerk
Next