Caxton's Blanchardyn and Eglantine, c. 1489 : from Lord Spencer's unique imperfect copy, completed by the original French and the second English version of 1595

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Title
Caxton's Blanchardyn and Eglantine, c. 1489 : from Lord Spencer's unique imperfect copy, completed by the original French and the second English version of 1595
Editor
Kellner, Leon, 1859-1928, Caxton, William, ca. 1422-1491
Publication
London: Oxford University Press
1890
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"Caxton's Blanchardyn and Eglantine, c. 1489 : from Lord Spencer's unique imperfect copy, completed by the original French and the second English version of 1595." In the digital collection Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse. https://name.umdl.umich.edu/Blanchardyn. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 29, 2024.

Pages

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The first chapitre

¶ The first chapitre of this present boke conteyneth [The first chapitre of this present boke conteyneth = Et commence a parler] how Blanchardyn departed out of the court of his fader, kynge of fryse / Capitulo. primo.[Caxton ed. c. 1489]

That tyme when the Right happy wele of peas / flowrid for the most parte in all cristen Realmes / And that moche peple dyde moche peyne to gadre and multyplye vertues / Regned in fryse a kynge of right benewred and happy fame [ of right benewred and happy fame = de tres horeuse renomme] / loued / doubted and wel obeyed of his subgettis / Ryght habundaunt of the goodes of fortune / But priuated

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and voyde [Wanting in the French.] he was of the right desyred felicite in mariage / That is to wyte, of lignage or yssue of his bodye [lignage or yssue of his bodye = lignie] / Wherof he and the quene his wyffe were sore displesed [sore displesed = tres desplaisans] / I leue to telle the bewayllyngis and lamentaciouns [bewayllyngis and lamentaciouns = regretz] that the goode lady, the quene, made full often by her self al alone in solytary places [by her self al alone in soytary places = en lieux solitaires] of her paleys for this infortune.

¶ But she, knowyng the vertuouse effecte of deuote and holy oryson / exercysed with al her strengthe her right sorowful greuous herte to this gloriouse occupacion / And after this fayre passetyme / by veraye permyssion deuyne, conceyued a right faire sone, whiche was named Blanchardyn / Now it is soo that atte his byrthe and comyng in to this world, [Now it is soo that atte his byrthe and comyng in to this world = a laduenement duquel] sourded and rose vp [sourded and rose vp = sourdy] one not acustomed Ioye and gladnesse of the kynge and of the quene, of the prynces and lordes, and of all the comyn people of the lande / that Iudged hem self right happy of a successoure legytyme / yf vnto you I wold recounte and telle the Ioye and the myrthe that atte that daye was made / I myght ouermoche lengthe oure matere / Blanchardyn, the chylde, was taken in to the handes of a right noble lady of the lande for to norysshe and bryngen vp. [for to norysshe and bryngen vp = pour le nourir et esleuer]

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[sign. A j] [This is the first instance of a milestone in Kellner's rendition of the Caxton edition.] But well ye knowe [well ye knowe = sachiez] that he was not hadde sore ferre from the kynge his fadre, nor fro the quene his modre /

¶ For neuer daye nor owre the childe blanchardyn toke noo fode of none others brestis, but all onely of the quene his modres owne brestis. [but all onely of the quene his modres owne brestis = que de celles de la Royne] The childe grewe and amended sore of the grete beaulte wherof he was garnysshed. none can telle it you, bycause that it was so grete, that god and nature had nothyng forgoten there /

¶ Blanchardyn grewe in beawte / wytte and goode maners beyonde mesure, and passed all other of his age [Wanting in the French.] . Thenne whan he came atte thyssue of his childhode, he was take for to be endoctryned in lytterature and in goode maners / to a clerck, the whiche wythin short tyme made hym expert and able in many and dyuers sciences, that is to wyte, in gramayre, logyke and philosophie.

¶ Blanchardyn, emonge other passetymes, delyted hym self in hawkynge and huntyng [in hawkynge and huntyng = en chasses et valleries] / where as right moderatly and manerly mayntened hym self. Of the tables and ches playinge, and of gracyous and honeste talkynge, he passed them that were his elder in age. [ where as right moderatly and manerly mayntened hym self. Of the tables and ches playinge, and of gracyous and honeste talkynge, he passed them that were his elder in age = ou tresmodereement se contenoit des tables desches / De gracieusement et sagement deuiser passoit les plus sagies de soy.]

¶ And for to speke the trouthe / he was naturelly inclyned, and vsed alle that whiche the herte of a noble man appeteth and desyreth / Reserued that he neuere had borne noon

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armes, nor herde speke therof. Nor also had not seen the manere and thusage of Ioustynge and tournoyinge / And that was for bycause of [And that was for bycause of = Et ce par les] the right expresse commandementes of the kynge his fadre / doon to theym that hadde the chylde in gouernaunce /

¶ Notwythstandyng he lefte not to knowe theym / For it is sayde in comyn langage, that the goode byrde affeyteth hirself / And so dyde Blanchardyn / as ye shall mowe here heraftre /

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[[sign. A 3]]

Chap. 1.
The firſt Chapter entreateth of the byrth of Blanchardine, his nurſſing and his bringing vp. [edition of 1595]

[The editor, Leon Kellner, has made the following insertions above the chapter title: "(The first 6 Chapters of the edition of 1595)" followed by "[woodblock]". ]

Amongſt many antient Chronicles importing the haughtie exploites of ſundry nations, Lords and Princes, this ſtory of the valorous Blanchardine deſerueth greateſt commendation of true and perfect magnanimitie.

At the time when a generall peace concluded throughout the moſt part of Chriſtendome, when gentlemen and Noble Peeres made their returne from armes, and applyed them ſelues to domeſticall and cuntrie paſtimes:

There reigned a King in the Realme of Frize, redoubted for manhood and prowes, abounding in goodes and poſſeſſions, reuerenced and beloued both of his ſubiects and equalls, and moſt happie in all his

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attempts, [ſauing in ye want of iſſue] to ſucceed him in his kingdome, wherof, bothe he and the Queene his wife, were moſt penſiue and diſcontented, and by mutuall complaints greatly bewailed this miſfortune. But the Queene, deſirous to fruſtrate the ſcandal that might aryſe by reaſon of her barrennes, day by day, (in moſte deuout and humble manner) ſolicited the Gods to ſend her a ſonne; whoſe dayly and deuout prayers, penetrating the heauens, by the permiſion and fauour of the Gods ſhe conceiued and bare a ſonne, whome at the chriſtning they na- [sign. A 3, back] med Blanchardine. This vnexpected ioy bred ſuch a contentment to the King and Queene, and a comfort to all the Realme, that after humble thankes giuen to the Gods, feaſts, banquets, and all triumphes were proclaimed throughout the Realme of Friz. And leaſt

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the Childe ſhould (by abſence from the Parents, through negligence of the Nurſſe,) miſcarie, the Queene her ſelf vndertooke his nurſſing and bringing vp.

The Childe grew in beautie, proportion, wit and manners, beyond the expectation of all men. And when he was arriued to the age of diſcretion, he was committed to the tuition of a graue and learned Tutor, to be inſtructed in Philoſophie; by whoſe induſtrie and painful labour, he ſoone attained to perfection. his exerciſes and diſportes at idle times were hawking, hunting, and playing at Cheſſe; and in ſuch paſtimes he ſpent ſome part of his youth, till his

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maturitie and riper age made him deſirous to follow armes and feates of chiualrie, as heerafter you ſhall heer.

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