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Maunciples Tale


A mediæval version of Ovid’s tale about Coroʹnis (Met. ii. 543, etc.). Phœbus had a crow which he taught to speak; it was downy white, and as big as a swan. He had also a wife whom he dearly loved, but she was faithless to him. One day when Phœbus came home his birdʹ gan sing “Cuckoo! cuckoo! cuckoo!” Phœbus asked what he meant, and the crow told him of his wife’s infidelity. Phœbus was very angry, and, seizing his bow, shot his wife through the heart; but no sooner did she fall than he repented of his rashness and cursed the bird. “Nevermore shalt thou speak,” said he; “henceforth thy offspring shall be black.” Moral—“Lordlings, by this ensample. take heed what you say; be no tale-bearers, but—

“Wher-so thou comest amongst high or low

Keep wellthy tong and think upon the crow.”

Chauer: Canterbury Talcs.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Matthews Bible
Matthias (St.)
Maugis dAygremont
Maugrabin (Heyraddin)
Maul (The Giant)
Maul of Monks (The)
Maunciples Tale
Maunds (Royal)
Maundy Thursday
Maut gets abune the Meal (The)
Mauthe Dog
Mauvais Ton (French)
Mauvaise Honte (French)