| Quote #16
And to the lystes rit the compaignye,
The narrator emphasizes how everyone in Athens rides to the stadium in an orderly procession, proceeding in order of rank ("after hir degree"). We can't help but notice how much this "compaignye" resembles another one in The Canterbury Tales. Of course, we're speaking of the company of pilgrims who also proceed in order of rank, and who are also involved in a competition, except with tales instead of spears.
| Quote #17
'The Firste Moevere of the cause above
Theseus sees God ("the Firste Moevere") as the boundary-maker. The "faire cheyne of love" Theseus mentions is the collection of everything in existence. Greek philosophers like Aristotle and Plato believed everything was bound together by divine power. God binds the world in this chain ("cheyne"), giving everything the boundaries of their existence. Beyond this, says Theseus, nothing may pass. This is a vision of an orderly, organized universe.
| Quote #18
'That same prince and that same moevere,' quod he,
Theseus's point here is that God the boundary-maker has established a boundary for a creature's days on earth, beyond which he may not pass. This boundary links all created things together: just as the earth, air, fire, and water exist in their bounded areas, so do mortal creatures.