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From Troilus and Criseyde, Book II, lines 1044-1092:
Troilus writes a letter to Criseyde
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Geoffrey Chaucer (1342 - 1400):
Troilus and Criseyde
Book II, lines 1093-1183: Criseyde receives Troilus' letter from Pandarus and reads it


This Pandare took the lettre, and that by tyme
A-morwe, and to his neces paleys sterte,
1095And faste he swoor, that it was passed pryme,
And gan to jape, and seyde, `Y-wis, myn herte,
So fresh it is, al-though it sore smerte,
I may not slepe never a Mayes morwe;
I have a joly wo, a lusty sorwe.'

1100Criseyde, whan that she hir uncle herde,
With dreedful herte, and desirous to here
The cause of his cominge, thus answerde:
`Now by your feyth, myn uncle,' quod she, `dere,
What maner windes gydeth yow now here?
1105Tel us your joly wo and your penaunce,
How ferforth be ye put in loves daunce.'

`By God,' quod he, `I hoppe alwey bihinde!'
And she to-laugh, it thoughte hir herte breste.
Quod Pandarus, `Loke alwey that ye finde
1110Game in myn hood, but herkneth, if yow leste;
Ther is right now come in-to toune a geste,
A Greek espye, and telleth newe thinges,
For which I come to telle yow tydinges.

`Into the gardin go we, and we shal here,
1115Al pryvely, of this a long sermoun.'
With that they wenten arm in arm yfeere
In-to the gardin from the chaumbre doun.
And whan that he so fer was that the soun
Of that he speke, no man here mighte,
1120He seyde hir thus, and out the lettre plighte,

`Lo, he that is al hoolly youres free
Him recomaundeth lowly to your grace,
And sent to you this lettre here by me;
Avyseth you on it, whan ye han space,
1125And of som goodly answere yow purchace;
Or, helpe me God, so pleynly for to seyne,
He may not longe liven for his peyne.'

Ful dredfully tho gan she stonde stille,
And took it nought, but al hir humble chere
1130Gan for to chaunge, and seyde, `Scrit ne bille,
For love of God, that toucheth swich matere,
Ne bring me noon; and also, uncle dere,
To myn estat have more reward, I preye,
Than to his lust; what sholde I more seye?

1135`And loketh now if this be resonable,
And letteth nought, for favour ne for slouthe,
To seyn a sooth; now were it covenable
To myn estat, by God, and by your trouthe,
To taken it, or to han of him routhe,
1140In harming of my-self or in repreve?
Ber it a-yein, for him that ye on leve!'

This Pandarus gan on hir for to stare,
And seyde, `Now is this the grettest wonder
That ever I sey! Lat be this nyce fare!
1145To deethe mote I smiten be with thonder,
If, for the citee which that stondeth yonder,
Wolde I a lettre un-to yow bringe or take
To harm of yow; what list yow thus it make?

`But thus ye faren, wel neigh alle and some,
1150That he that most desireth yow to serve,
Of him ye recche leest wher he bicome,
And whether that he live or elles sterve.
But for al that that ever I may deserve,
Refuse it nought,' quod he, and hente hir faste,
1155And in hir bosom the lettre doun he thraste,

And seyde hire, `Now cast it awey anoon,
That folk may seen and gauren on us tweye.'
Quod she, `I can abyde til they be goon,'
And gan to smyle, and seyde hym, `Em, I preye,
1160Swich answere as yow list, your-self purveye,
For trewely I nil no lettre wryte.'
`No? than wol I,' quod he, `so ye endyte.'

Therwith she lough, and seyde, `Go we dyne.'
And he gan at him-self to jape faste,
1165And seyde, `Nece, I have so greet a pyne
For love, that every other day I faste' --
And gan his beste japes forth to caste;
And made hir so to laughe at his folye,
That she for laughter wende for to dye.

1170And whan that she was comen into halle,
`Now, em,' quod she, `we wol go dine anoon;'
And gan some of hir women to hir calle,
And streyght in-to hir chaumbre gan she goon;
But of hir besinesses, this was oon
1175A-monges othere thinges, out of drede,
Ful prively this lettre for to rede;

Avysed word by word in every lyne,
And fond no lak, she thoughte he koude good;
And up it putte, and went hir in to dyne.
1180But Pandarus, that in a study stood,
Er he was war, she took him by the hood,
And seyde, `Ye were caught er that ye wiste;'
`I vouche sauf,' quod he. `do what yow liste.'





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From Troilus and Criseyde, Book II, lines 1184-1246:
Criseyde writes a letter to Troilus, hands over the letter to Pandarus, but asks Pandarus not to reveal the letter to Troilus
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