So, he also tries to limit the clerks' activities who already pose as challenge and violators for Symkyn with their swords: "Forth goth Aleyn the clerk, and also John,/With good swerd
and with bokeler by hir side".
For example, at the commencement of the combat, in place of reading that Geffray "descended lyghtly from hys hors & came toward the geant the swerd
drawen and thenne cam the geaunt toward hym" (178r), the reader of the printed edition encounters the following lengthy passage:
Upon his thombe he hadde of gold a ryng, And by his syde a naked swerd
hangyng; And up he rideth to the heighe bord In al the halle ne was ther spoken a word For merveille of this knyght; hym to biholde Ful bisily they wayten, yonge and olde (V: 76-88).
And al above, depeynted in a tour, Saugh I Conquest, sittynge in greet honour, With sharpe swerd
over his heed Hangynge by a soutil twynes threed.
For though Ierom for the trauaylis and dissesis, penaunces and afflictions, wordes and repreues and oper greuous pyngis whiche he suffred ioyfully for Crist and so beyng a verry martir hath not loost pe reward of martirdom, yeet for he endid not his liffe by the swerd
he hath not the aureol pat is yeuen in token of martirdom.
For as he was comming out of Egypte in to Persia, when he shulde mownt on horsbacke, his swerd
felle out of the skaberd and sore wounded hym in suche wyse that he dyed of it.
In the Purification play, as Symeon and Anna await the arrival of the holy family, Symeon muses to Anna: "Swych a sorwe bothe sharpe and smerte / [thorn]at as a swerd
perce it xalle [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]even thorwe his moderys herte" (88-90).
Lat me that aungel se and hym biholde; And if that a verray angel bee, Thanne wol I doon as thou hast prayed me; And if thou love another man, for sothe Right with this swerd
thanne wol I sle yow bothe' (15)
For example: 'bothe on o swerd
bledende | Thei weren founde' is quoted twice on p.
So thirleth with the poynt of remembraunce The swerd
of sorowe, ywhet with fals pleasaunce, Myn herte, bare of blis and blak of hewe, That turned is in quakyng all my daunce, My surete in awhaped countenaunce, Sith hit availeth not for to ben trewe; For whoso trewest is, hit shal hir rewe, That serveth love and doth hir observaunce Alwey til oon, and chaungeth for no newe.
Sa lang havis child wyl alwaye With flouris for to jap and playe; With stikes and with spalys small To byge vp chalmer, spens and hall; To mak a wicht hors of a wand, Of brokin breid a schip saland; A bunwed [ragwort stem] tyll a burly spere, And of a sega swerd
of were; A cumly lady of a clout, And be rycht besy that about To dicht it fetesly with flouris And luf the pepane [puppet] paramouris.
Not so coincidentally, perhaps, defense also occupies a conspicuous but ambiguous position in the counsel of Chaucer's Prudence, where the opposition of material to moral considerations may favor the moral ones but does so in terms that ironically facilitate worldly readings: if a stranger falls into your company, for example, "enquere thanne as subtilly as thou mayst of his conversacion, and of his lyf before, and feyne thy way; say that thou [wolt] thider as thou wolt nat go;/and if he bereth a spere, hoold thee on the right syde, and if he bere a swerd
, hoold thee on the lift syde" (C, 1294-1338, here 1310-12, lxxx[x.