1386 - Chaucer, Geoffrey - Troilus and Criseyde
|Title||Troilus and Criseyde|
|Mentions||Many speak of Robin Hood that never shot in his bow [proverb]|
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2014-08-17. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-12.
And whoso seith that for to love is vice,
Or thralldom, though he feele in it destresse,
He outher is envious, or right nyce,
Or is umyghthy, for his shrewednesse,
To loven; for swich manere folk, I gesse,
Defamen Love, as nothing of him knowe.
Thei speken, but thei benten nevere his bowe!
In the printed source, the first line quoted begins with a double quotation mark; this stanza is part of a longer speech.
Cf. the proverb, "Many talk of Robin Hood, that never shot in his bow." See Hazlitt, p. 311. Root notes that two of the scribes (those of MSS. Hl4 and Ph) recognize the saying and supply glosses referring to Robin Hood.'
outher] conj. either.
nyce] ignorant; foolish; weak; wanton.
Chaucer here paraphrases the proverb "Many speak of Robin Hood that never shot in his bow", substituting Love for Robin Hood. This is the first known occurrence of the proverb.
- Not included in Dobson, R.B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), pp. 315-19.
- Sussex, Lucy, compil. 'References to Robin Hood up to 1600', in: Knight, Stephen. Robin Hood: A Complete Study of the English Outlaw (Oxford, UK; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1994), pp. 262-88; see p. 263 (dated c. 1380).
- Chaucer, Geoffrey; Robinson, Fred Norris, ed. The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (London; Oxford, 1974), pp. 385-479; see p. 411. Also published 1933, ©1957. 1961, 1966. Online at University of Michigan.
- Wikipedia: Geoffrey Chaucer.
- Wikipedia: Troilus and Criseyde.
- Texts of Chaucer's Works Online (some broken links).
- Book II, ll. 855-61. Chaucer, Geoffrey; Robinson, Fred Norris, ed. The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (London; Oxford, 1974), p. 411.
- Chaucer (1974), p. 820.
- Chaucer (1974), pp. 966, 967, 977, 986, 987