Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins: Being the Confessio Amantis

Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins: Being the Confessio Amantis

Read FREE!

Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins: Being the Confessio Amantis

Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins: Being the Confessio Amantis

Read FREE!

Excerpt

John Gower's book of old stories is here at last made current among Englishmen of every degree. The first way of its wider diffusion was by recitation of the story-tellers. It was their business to give pleasures of imagination to the people through their ears, when even the few who could read would also listen with enjoyment to a tale recited with dramatic energy. When the Play of "Pericles" brought one of Gower's tales upon our stage in Shakespeare's time, John Gower himself was supposed to speak its Prologue in his chosen measure of eightsyllabled verse. His words then recalled to mind the old way of reciting as well as reading. The actor who, dressed as Gower came before the people, said to them: --

"To sing a song that old was sung, From ashes ancient Gower is come; Assuming man's infirmities To glad your ear and please your eyes. It hath been sung at festivals, On ember eves and holy ales; And lords and ladies in their lives Have read it for restoratives."

To all of us Gower may now go on to repeat other lines of the same Prologue: --

If you, born in these latter times, When wit's more ripe, accept my rhymes; And that to hear an old man sing May to your wishes pleasure bring, I life would wish, and that I might Waste it for you, like taper light."

For my own part, I have long wished to make it possible that . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.