Previous Previous:
From Troilus and Criseyde, Book II, lines 1093-1183:
Criseyde receives Troilus' letter from Pandarus and reads it
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.




Geoffrey Chaucer (1342 - 1400):
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


Tho wesshen they, and sette hem doun and ete;
1185And after noon ful sleyly Pandarus
Gan drawe him to the window next the strete,
And seyde, `Nece, who hath arayed thus
The yonder hous, that stant afor-yeyn us?'
`Which hous?' quod she, and gan for to biholde,
1190And knew it wel, and whos it was him tolde,

And fillen forth in speche of thinges smale,
And seten in the window bothe tweye.
Whan Pandarus saw tyme unto his tale,
And saw wel that hir folk were alle aweye,
1195`Now, nece myn, tel on,' quod he; `I seye,
How liketh yow the lettre that ye woot?
Can he theron? For, by my trouthe, I noot.'

Therwith al rosy hewed tho wex she,
And gan to humme, and seyde, `So I trowe.'
1200`Aquyte him wel, for goddes love,' quod he;
`Myself to medes wol the lettre sowe.'
And held his hondes up, and sat on knowe,
`Now, goode nece, be it never so lyte,
Yif me the labour, it to sowe and plyte.'

1205`Ye, for I can so wryte,' quod she tho;
`And eek I noot what I sholde to him seye.'
`Nay, nece,' quod Pandare, `sey nat so;
Yet at the leste thanketh him, I preye,
Of his good wil, and doth him not to deye.
1210Now for the love of me, my nece dere,
Refuseth not at this tyme my preyere.'

`Depardieux,' quod she, `God leve al be wel!
God help me so, this is the firste lettre
That ever I wroot, ye, al or any del.'
1215And in-to a closet, for to avyse hir bettre,
She wente allone, and gan hir herte unfettre
Out of disdaynes prison but a lyte;
And sette hir doun, and gan a lettre wryte,

Of which to telle in short is myn entente
1220The effect, as fer as I can understonde.
She thonked him of al that he wel mente
Towardes hir, but holden him in honde
She nolde nought, ne make hirselven bonde
In love, but as his suster, him to plese,
1225She wolde fayn to doon his herte an ese.

She shette it, and to Pandarus in gan goon,
There as he sat and loked into the strete,
And doun she sette hir by him on a stoon
Of jaspre, upon a quisshin gold ybete,
1230And seyde, `As wisly helpe me God the grete,
I never dide a thing with more peyne
Than write this, to which ye me constreyne;'

And took it him: He thonked hir and seyde,
`God woot, of thing ful ofte looth bigonne
1235Cometh ende good; and nece myn, Criseyde,
That ye to him of hard now ben y-wonne
Oughte he be glad, by God and yonder sonne!
For-why men seyth, "Impressiounes lighte
Ful lightly been ay redy to the flighte.'

1240`But ye han pleyed tyraunt neigh to longe,
And hard was it your herte for to grave;
Now stint, that ye no longer on it honge,
Al wolde ye the forme of daunger save.
But hasteth yow to doon him joye have;
1245For trusteth wel, to longe ydoon hardnesse
Causeth despyt ful ofte, for destresse.'





Next Next:
From Troilus and Criseyde, Book II, lines 1247-1295:
Criseyde says to Pandarus that she loves Troilus, but she wants to stay free
Next