Book of the Duchess

主題 Topic Enarratio (Analysis and Exposition of Texts), Pestilence, the Hunt
書刊名 TitleBook of the Duchess in The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer
作者 AuthorGeoffrey Chaucer  (edited by W.W. Skeat )
出版社 PublisherOxford UP
出版年 Year1899
語言 LanguageMiddle English
裝訂 Binding□ 平裝 Paperback    □ 精裝 Hardcover
頁數 Pages
(10 / 13)

Bibliography Reference  (STC, Duff, GW . . .)
來源網址 Web Link 
撰寫日期 Date2014.12.10

A.   簡介 Introduction (within 100 words, Chinese or English)

蘭開斯特公爵John of Gaunt的第一任妻子Blanche卒於1368年9月12日。喬叟可能因此受其主子蘭開斯特公爵之託寫下《公爵夫人之書》以紀念Blanche夫人。《公爵夫人之書》是以哀歌(elegy)形式寫成之夢境文學。敘述者因夜不成眠,欲以閱讀助眠;所讀之書中描述國王賽伊斯葬身大海,其妻艾兒席恩失去丈夫之痛及夢見丈夫的死狀。讀畢,失眠的敘述者因此得以入睡,卻夢見自己躺在玻璃屋中,牆上玻璃裝飾著繪滿歷史中著名的愛情故事。突然間,敘述者聽聞打獵陣隊號角聲,循著騎士們號角來到一座森林。爾後,敘述者在森林綠地間偶遇一位身著黑衣的騎士。黑騎士站著一棵橡樹旁,面容哀悽。經敘述者詢問之下,騎士緩緩道出失去愛妻之痛,回憶逝去的妻子的內外美德。

B.   文本摘錄 Extracts (4-6 Pages)

270      I hadde unneth that word y-sayd
271    Right thus as I have told hit yow,
272    That sodeynly, I niste how,
273    Swich a lust anoon me took
274    To slepe, that right upon my book
275    I fil aslepe, and therwith even
276    Me mette so inly swete a sweven,
277    So wonderful, that never yit
278    I trowe no man hadde the wit
279    To conne wel my sweven rede;
280    No, not Ioseph, withoute drede,
281    Of Egipte, he that redde so
282    The kinges meting Pharao,
283    No more than coude the leste of us;
284    Ne nat scarsly Macrobeus,
285    (He that wroot al thavisioun
286    That he mette, Kyng Scipioun,
287    The noble man, the Affrican --
288    Swiche marvayles fortuned than)
289    I trowe, a-rede my dremes even.
290    Lo, thus hit was, this was my sweven.
291      Me thoughte thus: -- that hit was May,
292    And in the dawning ther I lay,
293    Me mette thus, in my bed al naked: --
294    I loked forth, for I was waked
295    With smale foules a gret hepe,
296    That had affrayed me out of slepe
297    Through noyse and swetnesse of hir song;
298    And, as me mette, they sate among,
299    Upon my chambre-roof withoute,
300    Upon the tyles, al a-boute,
301    And songen, everich in his wise,
302    The moste solempne servyse
303    By note, that ever man, I trowe,
304    Had herd; for som of hem song lowe,
305    Som hye, and al of oon acorde.
306    To telle shortly, at oo worde,
307    Was never y-herd so swete a steven,
308    But hit had be a thing of heven; --
309    So mery a soun, so swete entunes,
310    That certes, for the toune of Tewnes,
311    I nolde but I had herd hem singe,
312    For al my chambre gan to ringe
313    Through singing of hir armonye.
314    For instrument nor melodye
315    Was nowher herd yet half so swete,
316    Nor of acorde half so mete;
317    For ther was noon of hem that feyned
318    To singe, for ech of hem him peyned
319    To finde out mery crafty notes;
320    They ne spared not hir throtes.
321    And, sooth to seyn, my chambre was
322    Ful wel depeynted, and with glas
323    Were al the windowes wel y-glased,
324    Ful clere, and nat an hole y-crased,
325    That to beholde hit was gret Ioye.
326    For hoolly al the storie of Troye
327    Was in the glasing y-wroght thus,
328    Of Ector and of king Priamus,
329    Of Achilles and king Lamedon,
330    Of Medea and of Iason,
331    Of Paris, Eleyne, and Lavyne.
332    And alle the walles with colours fyne
333    Were peynted, bothe text and glose,
334    Of al the Romaunce of the Rose.
335    My windowes weren shet echon,
336    And through the glas the sunne shon
337    Upon my bed with brighte bemes,
338    With many glade gilden stremes;
339    And eek the welken was so fair,
340    Blew, bright, clere was the air,
341    And ful atempre, for sothe, hit was;
342    For nother cold nor hoot hit nas,
343    Ne in al the welken was a cloude.
            And as I lay thus, wonder loude
345    Me thoughte I herde an hunte blowe
346    Tassaye his horn, and for to knowe
347    Whether hit were clere or hors of soune.
348        I herde goinge, up and doune,
349    Men, hors, houndes, and other thing;
350    And al men speken of hunting,
351    How they wolde slee the hert with strengthe,
352    And how the hert had, upon lengthe,
353    So moche embosed,I not now what.
354    Anon-right, whan I herde that,
355    How that they wolde on hunting goon,
356    I was right glad, and up anoon;
357    I took my hors, and forth I wente
358    Out of my chambre; I never stente
359    Til I com to the feld withoute.
360    Ther overtook I a gret route
361    Of huntes and eek of foresteres,
362    With many relayes and lymeres,
363    And hyed hem to the forest faste,
364    And I with hem; -- so at the laste
365    I asked oon, ladde a lymere: --
366    `Say, felow, who shal hunten here'
367    Quod I, and he answerde ageyn,
368    `Sir, themperour Octovien,'
369    Quod he, `and is heer faste by.'
370    `A goddes halfe, in good tyme,' quod I,
371    `Go we faste!' and gan to ryde.
372    Whan we came to the forest-syde,
373    Every man dide, right anoon,
374    As to hunting fil to doon.
375    The mayster-hunte anoon, fot-hoot,
376    With a gret horne blew three moot
377    At the uncoupling of his houndes.
378    Within a whyl the hert y-founde is,
379    Y-halowed, and rechased faste
380    Longe tyme; and so at the laste,
381    This hert rused and stal away
382    Fro alle the houndes a prevy way.
383    The houndes had overshote hem alle,
384    And were on a defaute y-falle;
385    Therwith the hunte wonder faste
386    Blew a forloyn at the laste.
            I was go walked fro my tree,
388    And as I wente, ther cam by me
389    A whelp, that fauned me as I stood,
390    That hadde y-folowed, and coude no good.
391    Hit com and creep to me as lowe,
392    Right as hit hadde me y-knowe,
393    Hild doun his heed and Ioyned his eres,
394    And leyde al smothe doun his heres.
395    I wolde han caught hit, and anoon
396    Hit fledde, and was fro me goon;
397    And I him folwed, and hit forth wente
398    Doun by a floury grene wente
399    Ful thikke of gras, ful softe and swete,
400    With floures fele, faire under fete,
401    And litel used, hit seemed thus;
402    For bothe Flora and Zephirus,
403    They two that make floures growe,
404    Had mad hir dwelling ther, I trowe;
405    For hit was, on to beholde,
406    As thogh the erthe envye wolde
407    To be gayer than the heven,
408    To have mo floures, swiche seven
409    As in the welken sterres be.
410    Hit had forgete the povertee
411    That winter, through his colde morwes,
412    Had mad hit suffren, and his sorwes;
413    Al was forgeten, and that was sene.
414    For al the wode was waxen grene,
415    Swetnesse of dewe had mad it waxe.
416       Hit is no need eek for to axe
417    Wher ther were many grene greves,
418    Or thikke of trees, so ful of leves;
419    And every tree stood by him-selve
420    Fro other wel ten foot or twelve.
421    So grete trees, so huge of strengthe,
422    Of fourty or fifty fadme lengthe,
423    Clene withoute bough or stikke,
424    With croppes brode, and eek as thikke --
425    They were nat an inche a-sonder --
426    That hit was shadwe over-al under;
427    And many an hert and many an hinde
428    Was both before me and bihinde.
429    Of founes, soures, bukkes, does
430    Was ful the wode, and many roes,
431    And many squirelles that sete
432    Ful hye upon the trees, and ete,
433    And in hir maner made festes.
434    Shortly, hit was so ful of bestes,
435    That thogh Argus, the noble countour,
436    Sete to rekene in his countour,
437    And rekened with his figures ten --
438    For by tho figures mowe al ken,
439    If they be crafty, rekene and noumbre,
440    And telle of every thing the noumbre --
441    Yet shulde he fayle to rekene even
442    The wondres, me mette in my sweven.
443      But forth they romed wonder faste
444    Doun the wode; so at the laste
445    I was war of a man in blak,
446    That sat and had y-turned his bak
447    To an oke, an huge tree.
448    `Lord,' thoghte I, `who may that be?
449    What ayleth him to sitten here?'
450    Anoon-right I wente nere;
451    Than fond I sitte even upright
452    A wonder wel-faringe knight --
453    By the maner me thoughte so --
454    Of good mochel, and yong therto,
455    Of the age of four and twenty yeer.
456    Upon his berde but litel heer,
457    And he was clothed al in blakke.
458    I stalked even unto his bakke,
459    And ther I stood as stille as ought,
460    That, sooth to saye, he saw me nought,
461    For-why he heng his heed adoune.
462    And with a deedly sorwful soune
463    He made of ryme ten vers or twelve
464    Of a compleynt to him-selve,
465    The moste pite, the moste rowthe,
466    That ever I herde; for, by my trowthe,
467    Hit was gret wonder that nature
468    Might suffren any creature
469    To have swich sorwe, and be not deed.
470    Ful pitous, pale, and nothing reed,
471    He sayde a lay, a maner song,
472    Withoute note, withoute song,
473    And hit was this; for wel I can
474    Reherse hit; right thus hit began. --