Page:Omniana.djvu/273

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255
OMNIANA.

In both places the words by me are thus contracted into one. This must have been because they were pronounced so in the printer's days;— whether they were so in the poet's might be determined by a manuscript, if there be any existing of his own age. The first stanza of Troilus and Creseide contains another instance of contraction.

The double sorow of Troilus to tellen
That was King Priamus sonne of Troy.
In loving how his aventuris fellen
From wo to wele, and after out of joy,
My purpose is, er that I part froy.


136. Troilus and Creseide.

It is evident from the first stanza of this poem (just quoted) when the narrator says, "er that I part froy," that Chaucer intended it for one of his Canterbury Tales, and this seems to be confirmed by the 65th stanza of the first book.

For aie the nere the fire the hotter is,
This (trow I) knoweth all this companie