I compast hem a kynde cratte and kende hit hem deme, And amed hit in myn ordenaunce oddely dere, And dyght drwry therinne, doole alther-swettest; And the play ofparamores I portrayed myselven
, And made therto a maner myriest of other.
I wot myself best how y stonde; For what I drye, or what I thynke, I wil myselven
al hyt drynke, Certeyn, for the more part, As far forth as I kan myn art." The outburst strikes one as a blend of stubborn resolution and suspicious withdrawal from the judgment of others, it is as though Chaucer has closed himself off a fist in a gesture that is part pique, part burgeoning self-reliance.
Against the Green Knight's own laudatory offer of the girdle as a gift, Gawain receives the object only with shame: 'Bot your gordel,' quoth Gwayn, ' God yow foryelde!-That wyl I welde with guod wylle, not for the wyrme golde, Ne the saynt, ne the sylk, ne the side pendaundes, For wele ne for worchyp, ne for the wlonk werkkes; Bot in syngne of my surfet I schal se hit ofte, When I ride in renoun remorde to myselven
The faut and the fayntyse of the flesche crabbed, How tender hit is to entyse teches of fylthe.
"I wot myself best how y stonde; For what I drye, or what I thynke, I wil myselven
al hyt drynke, Certeyn, for the more part, As fer forth as I kan myn art." (1878-82) Asserting that subjective judgment remains the best way of asserting what is true or false, Geffrey offers a curious desire to protect himself from the deification of culture, as if the renown that such consumption brings should take away from the core of the man himself.