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Where Poverty her blasting progress bends, Now, goddess, ent'ring, view the dome of state !
The goddess with superior wing attends:

Do thou inform, and give me to relate;
Around the fair ber bless'd associates play, Let demons obvious to my eye appear,
Bask in her eye, and whiten in her ray-

(Which known, could sure find no admittance here.) Bright Purity, with firm unalter'd cheek,

Amid the buzzing, busy, idle crowd,
The mild, the kind, the gentle, and the meek; The mix'd assembly of the mean and proud,
Humility's benignly placid grace,

See, Treason smiles, a suitor to his king,
And Innocence with sweet seraphic face;

See, Promise futters on a cypress wing;
Calm Piety that smiles amidst the storm,

Her pinion like autumnal foliage falls,
And Charity with boundless wishes warm.

And on the pavement Disappointment crawls,
Bold in the front, to guard the heavenly band, A friendly aspect Enmity assumes ;
Behold the masculine adherents stand !

Beneath applause, deep lurking Envy glooms;
Patience, with Atlantean shoulders spread; The tempting mammon Subornation shows;
Hail Temperance, on thrifty viands fed ;

And in the patriot's zeal Dissention glows.
Firm Fortitude, unknowing how to yield;

Oppression there with gently winning grace,
And Perseverance with his batter'd shield; And Ignorance with solemn thinking face,
And honest Industry, whose early toil

And Pride with mortify'd and Christian guise,
Wins health and plenty from the labour'd soil. And Infidelity with saintly eyes,
The genuine arts behind the goddess wait, Four rival candidates, their monarch sue;
Her reign illustrate, and improve her state; Two for the bench, and for the mitre two.
With eye elate here Contemplation soars,

Lo, there Ambition, from his height elate !
And Learning piles his intellectual stores; And Pleasure lolling on a couch of state!
Here mental sciences arranging shine;

On these the pageantry of pomp attends ;
Here manual crafts the various task design; To these th’ idolizing tumult bends;
While Diligence the busy finger plies,

The poor, the rich, the peasant, and the peer,
And wing'd, from rank to rank, Invention flies, And all religions, join in worship here.
Such wide extremes on Indigence attend ! Ambition, reaching from his airy stand,
There Vice assails, the Virtues here defend : Grasps at a globe that shuns his desp’rate hand:
Below, the gloom of ev'ry passion storms; Around the glitt'ring sphere, confusedly gay,
Above, calm Virtue mod'rates and reforms; Crowns, truncheons, gems, and trophy'd radiance
Here, higbly elevate; there, deep depress;

And give, or bliss, or anguish, in excess.

But changing with alternate light and shade,
Hail Virtue! chaste eternal beauty, hail! The lures appear, and vanish, shine, and fade;
Still on the foe, O goddess, still prevail !

Vain as the cloudy meteor of the morn,
The world, ere fram’d, lay open to thy view; Which fancy forms, and transient rays adorn.
You form’d the whole, and shall again renew! The prime rewards four suppliant sons of fame,
Ere I thy arduous pleasing toils decline,

Lust, Rapine, Violence, and Slanghter, claim;
Be want, ah, still be each disaster mine;

And though essential happiness is due,
Till e'en oppression be itself subdu'd,

For toys the wise, for toys the virtuous sue.
Nor yet a wish for wealth or power intrude! Deluded men the ready ambush fly!

Nor be the poor alone thy fav’rite care; Dire lurking deaths behind ambition lie
Fly, fly to courts, and let the mighty share! The mourning block, keen axe, and racking wheel,
The silken lethargy at once awake;

The poison'd goblet, and the bosom'd steel!
Debauch from his intemp'rate opiate shake; Here Pleasure on her velvet couch reclines,
Thence ev'ry vice and ev'ry folly drive,

Smiles to undo, and in destruction shines;
That sting or glitter round the gorgeous hive. With seeming negligence displays her charms;
Before thy touch let insolence retire,

The strong she withers, and the steel'd disarms.
And vanity, an empty breath, expire;

Imagination, specious handmaid, waits,
Hypocrisy cast off the fair disguise,

And serves a pomp of visionary cates :
And starting in his native gloom arise.

The sorceress still essays the fresh repasts;
But mock'd eternally, she feeds, and fasts.

Around her couch unnumber'd votaries meet,
Maugre thin hed thou must for indigence

And wish to share th' imaginary treat;
Or stele, or begge, or borwe thy dispence.
Thou blamest Crist, and sayst ful bitterly, If thou be poure, thy brother hateth thee,
He misdeparteth richesse temporal;

And all thy frendes Aeen fro thee, alas!
Thy neighebour thou witest sinfully,

O riche marchants, ful of wele ben ye,
And sayst, thou hast to litel, and he hath all : O noble, O prudent folk, as in this cas,
Parfay (sayst thou) somtime he reken shall, Your bagges ben not filled with ambes as,
Whan that his tayl shall brennen in the glede, But with sis cink, that renneth for your chance;
For he nought helpeth needful in hir nede. At Christenmasse mery may ye dance.
Herken what is the sentence of the wise,

Ye seken lond and see for your winninges,
Bet is to dien than have indigence.

As wise folk ye knowen all th' estat
Thy selve neigbebour wol thee despise,

Of regnes, ye ben fathers of tidinges,
If thou be poure, farewel thy reverence.

And tales, both of pees and of debat:
Yet of the wise man take this sentence,

I were right now of tales desolat,
Alle the dayes of poure men ben wicke, :

N'ere that a marchant, gon is many a yere,
Beware therfore or thou come to that pricke. Me taught a tale, which that ye shull here.

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Devour each morsel with desiring ere,

The Tiber now their spumy keels divide, And for large draughts of fancy'd nectar sigh: And stem the flow of his descending tide. A thousand nymphs of wanton sprightly mien, To Rome, imperial Rome, the traders came; Trip round the sofa, and amuse their queen; Rome heard the voice of their preceding fame : With transport she surveys the darling train, Free mart and splendid mansion she affords ;. All daughters of her light fermenting brain : Joy crown'd their nights, and elegance their boards. Here laughter, mirth, and dalliance unite,

With mutual chat they gratify desire, Illusive joy, and volatile delight,

What 's curious now relate, and now inquire; Conceits, sports, gambols, titillations gay,

Alike for knowledge and for wealth they trade, Hopes that allure, and projects that betray. And are with usury in both repaid. Prime sister of th' nessential bands,

But Fame surpris'd them with a wonder new, Erect, persuasive Expectation stands;

Beyond what times of brightest record drew, On each pursuit she fourishes with grace,

The poet's fancy, or the lover's tongue; And gives a butterfly to lead the chase;

And thus the darling excellence she sung. Or wafts a bubble on the parting gale,

“ To crown our monarch's age with fond delight, And bids surrounding multitudes assail;

His cares alleviate, and his toils requite, With sweets the fond pursuit alone is fraught, Beyond wbate'er paternal wish could crave, The game still vanishes, when once it ’s caught ; Indulgent Heav'n a peerless infant gave: Vain is the joy - but not the anguish vain;

The softer sex her beauteous body forms, And empty pleasure gives essential pain :

Bat her bright soul each manly virtue warms; Couch'd as a tiger, watchful to surprise,

Youth without folly, greatness without pride, Grim death beneath the false enchantress lies; And all that 's firm to all that 's sweet ały'd. The fiends around invisibly engage,

Rich as the land by sacred promise bless'd, Guilt stings, pains rack, and disappointments rage; Lies the fair vale of her expanded breast; Aches, asthmas, cholics, gouts, convulsions, rheums, Mild on a parian pillar turns her head, Remorse that gnaws, and languor that consumes. Her front, like Lebanon, divinely spread;

Far other train, apparent queen! you lead; There sit the chaste, the placid, and the meek, True bliss attends, though arduous toils precede: And morn smiles fresh upon her open cheek. Serene thy bosom, though thy brow severe; Babes learn distinction at Constantia's sight, Pain points thy path, but Heav'n is in thy rear. And wither'd age revives to strange delight; Wondrous th' influence thy power supplies,

Tumult'ous wishes breathe along her way, Where triumphs only from oppression rise ;

Hands rise, tongues bless, and cent'riug eyes survey; Peace springs from passion, and from weakness All run to bend the voluntary knee, might;

The blind to hear her, and the deaf to see.
Calm ease from travel, and from pain delight ; Ab! were she born to universal sway,
No sweets that vanish, and no gusts that cloy How gladly would the willing world obey?
Clear is the rapture, and serene the joy ;
Reflection culls from ev'ry labour past,
And gives the same eternal bliss to last.

Now fell it, that the maisters of that sort
Thus, by long trial, and severe distress,

Han shapen hem to Rome for to wende, You, Virtue! truly, though severely, bless;

Were it for chapmanhood or for disport, Through each tradition, each recorded page,

Non other message wold they thider sende, Through ev'ry nation, and through ev'ry age,

But comen hemself to Rome, this is the ende: From purpled monarchs to the rural hind,

And in swiche place as thought hem avantage By pain you purify'd, by toil refin'd :

For hir entente, they taken hir herbergage.
The mightier weight thy fav’rite heroes bore;
Chief you depress'd, whom chief you meant should Sojourn'd han these marchants in that toun
Still with the foe gave forces to prevail, [soar;

A certain time, as fell to hir plesance:
And with this moral form'd the following tale.

And so befell, that the excellent renoun
While yet the Turk his early claim avow'd,
And ruld beneath the sceptre, Judah bow'd ;

Of the emperoure's doughter dame Custance

Reported was, with evrey circumstance,
A set of worthy wealthy merchants chose
The world for trade, and Sion for repose.

Unto these Surrien marchants, in swiche wise
Here they select the gems of brightest rays,

Fro day to day, as I shal you devise,
Rich stuffs, wrought silks, and golden tissues blaze;
Through ev'ry climate, and to ev'ry gale,

This was the commun vois of every man:
They lanch the cargo, and expand the sajl:

“Our emperor of Rome, God him se, Wide, with their namne, their reputation grew,

A doughter hath, that sin the world began, And to their mart concurring chapmen drew.

To reken as wel hire goodnesse as beaute, The lure of novelty, and thirst of gain,

N'as never swiche another as is she:
Now points their passage o'er the midland main;

I pray to God in honour hire sustene,
And wold she were of all Europe the quene.

In Surrie whilom dwelt a campagnie
Of chapmen rich, and therto sad and trewe,
That wide where senten bir spicerie,
Clothes of gold, and satins riche of hewe.
Hir chaffare was so thrifty and so newe,
That every wight hath deintee to chaffare
With hem, and eke to sellen hem hir ware.

“ In hire is high beaute withouten pride,
Youthe, withouten grenehed or folie:
To all hire werkes vertue is hire guide;
Humblesse hath slajen in hire tyrannie:
She is mirrour of all curtesie,
Hire hate is veray chambre of holinesse,
Hire hond ministre of fredom for almesse,"

And now with wealthy manufacture stow'd, More wonders typical impress the sky, Lanch'd on the tide their freighted vessels rode; Than e'er was trac'd with astrologic eye! The pendants vainly point the fav’ring gale, There haply, ere his natal hour express'd, Court the weigh'd anchor, and th' opening sail, First burn'd the flame that glow'd within his breast: Till first the fair perfection they beheld,

There might the nymph with previous beauty bloom, Who all report, in fatal hour, excell'd:

With previous languishment the youth cousume; For Syria then they ply the lab'ring oar,

Expire the victim of successless care; And the crook'd keels divide their native shore. Die ere he liv'd, and ere he lov'd despair.

Exulting now they touch the fav'rite land, There the dear friendly stream, ere Julius bled, Unlade, and moor along the yielding strand. Great Brutus to his dearer country shed; Now duteous, on their youthful sultan wait, With destin'd tyranny there pride enslaves, Unfold new treasures, and new tales relate. With destin'd virtue there the patriot saves; With usual grace, and curious ear he hears; There Pompey glow'd for freedom and for fame, With usual courtesy and bounty cheers;

There Socrates, of Greece the pride and shame: The strange, the wondrous narrative admires, Alcides there each horrid monster slew; And all that 's foreign, all that 's new requires. There triumph'd Sampson, the heroic Jew;

Ah, hapless prince, thy further search restrain; There all, or doom'd to save, or to destroy, Couch'd in the tale, death lurks to entertain! The chiefs who fought at Thebes, or fought at Troy! Constantia'scharms their raptur'd tongues disclose; Long mourn'd the youth, with secret woe opIn ev'ry word some kindling beauty glows;

press'd; Her form, her features, mien, and soul they breathe, The latent vulture prey'd within his breast : Unpraise all praise, and leave all terms beneath. Constrain'd at length, nor able to sustain

Strong eloquence can picture to the blind, The wasting malady, and mental pain; Create new forms, and people all the mind; The sage the bearded pillars of his state Can pain or mitigate, can heal or wound,

He calls, and privily unfolds his fate: Enchant with sentences, and kill with sound. “ No mean," he cries, “ my cruel stars assign; The fancy'd sweets his ear impatient drinks; Swift death, or else Constantia must be mine!» Deep on his soul the imag'd beauty sinks; (reigns, Alternate, each their hopes or fears disclose, Through all his thoughts, his powers, she lives, she Invent, reject, and now again propose ; Pants in each pulse, and thrills along his veins. While some, with mystic rites of wondrous art,

Sure, through the tracts of yon celestial maze, Engage to gain the sympathetic heart; Where mystic planets dance, and glories blaze; By philter'd science, and infernal charms,

To win the bright perfection to his arms :

Th’abhorrent scheme his gen'rous thoughts disdain, And al this vois was soth, as God is trewe,

Resolved to die, or justly to obtain; But now to purpos let us turn agein.

And all their arguments, howe'er renew'd, These marchants han don fraught hir shippes newe,

In rites of nuptial sanctitude conclude. And whan they han this blisful maiden sein,

But here again new obstacles appear'd, Home to Surrie ben they went ful fayn,

And much for this their latest hope they fear'd; And don hir nedes, as they han don yore,

Feard that diversity of faith might prove And liven in wele, I can say you no more.

Alike diversity, and breach in love;

Nor the fair Christian e'er consent to wed
Now fell it, that these marchants stood in grace A prince in Macon's sacred precepts bred.
Of him that was the soudan of Surrie:
For whan they came from any strange place
He wold of his benigne curtesie

The deth ; but mennes wittes ben so dull,
Make hem good chere, and besily espie

That no wight can wel rede it at the full.
Tidings of sundry regnes, for to lere
The wonders that they mighte seen or here.

This Soudan for his prive councel sent,
Amonges other thinges especially

And shortly of this matere for to pace, These marchants han him told of dame Custance

He hath to hem declared his entent, So gret noblesse, in ernest seriously,

And sayd hem certain, but he might have grace That this Soudan hath caught so gret plesance

To han Custance, within a litel space, To han hire figure in his remembrance,

He n'as but ded, and charged him in hie That all his lust, and all his besy cure

To shapen for his lif some remedie. Was for to love hire, while his lif may dure.

Diverse men, diverse thinges saiden; Paraventure in thilke large book,

They arguinentes casten up and doun; Which that men clepe the Heven, ywriten was

Many a subtil reson forth they laiden ; With sterres, whan that he his birthe took,

They speken of magike, and abusion; That he for love shuld han his deth, alas !

But finally, as in conclusion, For in the sterres, clerer than is glas,

They cannot seen in that non avantage,
Is writen, God wot, who so coud it rede,

Ne in non other way, save mariage.
The deth of every man withouten drede.
In sterres many a winter therbeforn

Than saw they therin swiche difficultee
Was writ the deth of Hector, Achilles,

By way of reson, for to speke all plain, Of Pompey, Julius, or they were born;

Because ther was swiche diversitee The strif of Thebes; and of Hercules,

Betwene bir bothe lawes, that they sayn, Of Sampson, Turnus, and of Socrates

They trowen that no Cristen prince wold fayn VOL. XVII.


The monarch then, “ Ah! wherefore doubt my At length the day, the woful day arrives, friends;

And ev'ry face of wonted cheer deprives; Why yet dispute where love and life depends? The fatal hour admits no fond delay, That faith must sure have most prevailing charms, That shall the joy from ev'ry heart convey. That gives Constantia to my circling arms: Ye men of Rome! your parting glory mourn; No obstacles shall bar, no doubts deter;

Far from your sight your darling shall be torn; Nor will I think that she was form'd to err."

No more the morn with usual smiles arise, The voice determin'd, and imperial eye,

Or with Constantia bless your longing eyes, Leave no pretence for courtiers to reply :

Of ev'ry tongue, of ev'ry pen the theme, With the fond speed of love's impatience warm’d, The daily subject, and the nightly dream! Now embassies are sent, and treaties form'd.

But, o Constantia! say, thou fair distress'd, All zealous to promote the cause divine,

What woes that hour thy lovely soul possess'd ? The pope, the church, and Christian powers com Its native cheek the bright carnation fled, The royal long-reluctant parents yield, [bine; And charg'd with grief, reclin'd thy beauteous head; And contracts are by mutual proxy seal’d.

To lands unknown those limbs must now repair, High was the trust the regal writings bore, Nurs'd in the down of fond paternal care. And solemn th' attesting parties swore,

Peace spread thy nightly couch to sweet repose, That the young Syrian, and his barons bold, Delight around thy smiling form arose; Each sex and state, the infant and the old,

Each scene familiar to thy eye appear'd, Should all Messiah's hallow'd faith embrace, And custom long thy native soil endear'd; And bright Constantia be the bond of grace. Eas'd by thy bounty, at thy sight exil'd,

We list not here of pompous phrase to say, Grief was no more, or in thy presence smil'd; What order'd equipage prepares the day; (train, Each rising wish thy glad attendants seiz'd; Grooins, prelates, peers, and nymphs, a shining To give thee pleasure, ev'ry heart was pleas'd: To wait the beauteous victim o'er the main :

But now to strange, to foreign climes convey'd, All Rome attend in wish the lovely maid;

Strange objects must thy loathing sense invade, And Heav'n their universal vows invade.

Strange features to thy weeping eyes appear,
Strange accents pierce thy undelighted ear;
In distant unacquainted bondage tied,

The gilded slave of insolence and pride,
Wedden his child under our lawe swete,

Perhaps of form uncouth, and temper base, That us was yeven by Mahound our prophete.

Thy lord shall clasp thee with abhorr'd embrace.

Thus sad the fair revolv'd; soft sorrows flow, And he answered: “ Rather than I lese

And all her sighing soul was loos’d to woe: Custance, I wol be cristened douteles :

Father!" she cried, “your fond, your wretched I mote ben bires, I may non other chese,

child! I pray you hold your arguments in pees, Saveth my lif, and beth not reccheles

And you, my mother! you, my mother mild !To geten hire that hath my lif in cure,

My parents dear, beneath whose kindly view,

Bless'd by whose looks, your cherish d infant grew; For in this wo I may not long endure." What nedeth greter dilatation ? I say, by tretise and ambassatrie,

The day is comen of hire departing, And by the popes mediation,

I say the woful day fatal is come, And all the chirche, and all the chevalrie,

That ther may be no longer tarying, That in destruction of Maumetrie,

But forward they hem dressen all and some. And in encrese of Cristes lawe dere,

Custance, that was with sorwe all overcome, They ben accorded so as ye may here;

Ful pale arist, and dresseth hire to wende,

For wel she seth ther n'is non other ende.
How that the Soudan and his baronage,
And all his liege shuld ycristened be,

Alas! what wonder is it though she wept?
And he shal han Custance in mariage,

That shal be sent to straunge nation And certain gold, I n'ot what quantitee,

Fro frendes, that so tenderly hire kept, And hereto fuden suffisant sureteé.

And to be bounde under subjection The same accord is sworne on eyther side;

Of on, she knoweth not his condition. Now, fair Custance, Almighty God thee gide.

Housbondes ben all good, and han ben yore,
Now wolden som men waiten, as I gesse,

That knowen wives, I dare say no more.
That I shuld tellen all the purveiance,
The which that the emperour of his noblesse

“ Fader,” she said, “thy wretched child Custance,
Hath shapen for his doughter dame Custance, Thy yonge doughter, fostered up so soft,
Wel inay men know that so gret ordinance And ye, my moder, my soveraine plesance
May no man tellen in a litel clause,

Over all thing, (out taken Crist on loft) As was arraied for so high a cause.

Custance your child hire recommendeth oft

Unto your grace; for I shal to Surrie,
Bishopes ben shapen with hire for to wende, Ne shal I never seen you more with eye.
Lordes, ladies, and knightes of renoun,
And other folk ynow, this is the end.

" Alas! unto the Barbare nation And notified is thurghout al the toun,

I muste gon, sin that it is your will: That every wight with great devotioun

But Crist, that starfe for our redemption, Should prayen Crist, that he this mariage

Su yeve me grace his hestes to fulfill, Receive in gree, and spede this viage.

I wretched womau no force though I spill;

When far, O far from your embraces torn, She turn'd, and with an aching wistful look,
Will you then think a wretch like me was born ? A long farewel of ev'ry field she took ;
Shall then your child some sad remembrance claim? “ Adieu !” to all the melting crowd she cried
And some dear drops embalm Constantia's name? “ Adieu! Adieu !” the melting crowd reply'd;
Your face-ah, cruel for une, can it be?-

Her lanching bark the mournful notes pursue, These eyes shall never, never, never see!

And echoing hills return, “Adieu ! Adieu !” For ever parted by the rolling ma'n,

Here let us leave the virgin on the main, I now must feel a lordly husband's chain;

With all her peerage, and her pompous train; From every friend, from every joy remove,

To Syria let the swifter Muse repair, And the rough yoke of rude barbarians prove: And say what cheer prepares her welcome there. But so may Heav'n the precious issue bless,

The dame, from whom his birth the prince deAnd all find happiness through my distress! Imperial dowager, had yet surviv'd: [riv'd, Woman was doom'd, ere yet the world began, Ambitious, greedy of supreme control, The prey of sorrow, and the slave of man.” And born with all the tyrant in her soul,

She could no more; her voice by sobs suppress’d, At filial government she long repin'd, And tears, pour'd forth in anguish, told the rest. Nor yet the reins of secret rule resign'd. Wide through the crowd the sad contagion flew; Her savage sentiments her sex belied, Each hoary beard is drench'd with mournful dew; And vers d in wiles with deepest statesmen vied; In shortening throbs ten thousand bosoms rise, Yet o'er her soft'ning tongue, and soothing face, Grief showers its tempest from ten thousand eyes; The subtle varnish spread with easy grace: Along the shore the deepening groans extend, The sage discern’d, but still confessid her sway; And louder shrieks the cloudy concave rend: And whom their hearts detest, their fears obey. Not through old Rome when desolation reign'd, Tenacious zeal her prophet's lore reverd, And bleeding senators her forum stain'd;

The practice scorn'd, but to the text adherd; Not in the wreck of that all dismal night,

And far as faith with fury could inflame, When Ihion tumbled from her tow'ry he ght; She was indeed a most religions dame. Such utter ng plaints the deep despair betray'd, When she her son's determin'd bent perceiv'd, As now attend the dear departing maid.

Her breast with cruel agitation heav’d;
To the tail ship, with slow desponding tread, Her call, each hoary, each experienc'd friend,
All drown'd in grief the beauteous victim 's led : In haste, and midnight privacy, attend;

When dire, amid the dusky throng she rose,
And from her tongue contagious poison flows.

“ Ye peers, ye pillars of our falling state! Women arn borne to thraldom and penance, Too faithful subjects of a prince ingrate; And to ben under mannes governance.”

A son, whom these detesting breasts have fed, I trow at Troye whan Pirrus brake the wall, A serpent grown, to your destruction bred ! Or Ilion brent, or Thebes the citee,

Say, shall a single hand such patriots awe? Ne at Rome for the harm thurgh Hanniball,

Insult your prophet, and supplant your law? That Romans hath venqueshed times three,

First, Heav'n! be all the bonds of Nature broke, N'as herd swiche tendre weping for pitee,

Ere I assume the curs'd, the Christian yoke: As in the chambre was for hire parting,

For, what import these innovating rites, But forth she mote, wheder she wepe or sing.

But here a living death of all delights ?

Such threats as penitence can ne'er appease, O firste moving cruel firmament, With thy diurnal swegh that croudest ay,

The body's penance, and the mind's discase ? And hurtlest all from est til occident, That naturally wold hold another way;

And forth I let hire sayle in this manere,
Thy crouding set the heven in swiche array

And turne I wol againe to my matere.
At the beginning of this fierce viage,
That cruel Mars hath slain this marriage.

The mother of the Soudan, well of vices,
Infortunat ascendent tortuons,

Espied hath hire sones pleine entente, Of which the lord is helpeles fall, alas!

How he wol lete his olde sacrifices: Out of his angle into the derkest hous.

And right anon she for her conseil sente, O Mars, O Atyzar, as in this cas;

And they ben comen, to know what she mente, O feble Mone, unhappy ben thy pas,

And whan assembled was this folk in fere, Thou knittest thee ther thou art not received, She set hire doun, and sayd as ye shul here. 'Ther thou were wel fro thennes art thou weived.

“ Lordes,” she sayd, “ye knowen everich on, Imprudent emperour of Rome, alas !

How that my sone in point is for to lete Was ther no philosophre in al thy toun?

The holy lawes of our Alkaron, Is no time bet than other in swiche cas ?

Yeven by Goddes messager Mahomete: Of viage is ther non electioun,

But on avow to grete God I hete, Namely to folk of high conditioun,

The lif shal rather ont of my body sterte,
Nat whan a rote is of a birth yknowe?

Than Mahometes lawe out of myn herte.
Alas! we ben to lewed, or to slow.
To ship is brought this woful faire maid

« What shuld us tiden of this newe lawe Solempnely, with every circumstance:

But tbraldom to our bodies and penance, “ Now Jesu Crist be with you all," she said. And afterward in Helle to ben drawe, Ther n'is no more, but “farewel fair Custance.” For we reneied Mahound our creance? She peineth hire to make good countenance, But, lordes, wol ye maken assurance,

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