COURTLY, yet imbued with the coarser humour of the middle class from which he sprang; religious at heart, though unashamed of the rude but virile wit of the natural man; imaginative with quaint fancy, learned with curious instance, dryly humorous, keenly observant, Chaucer offers to his readers almost every poetic delight that the Middle Ages can provide, from the courtly romance of love and chivalry to the salacious anecdotes of "the devil's disours," from pious orison or saintly legend to a parody of knight-errantry or a jesting envoy. His matter contains the most charming allegory and fiction, his style expresses the most musical eloquence of English medieval poetry.