| Quote #1
With him ther was dwellinge a povre scoler,
Nicholas has already learned the literature, history, and theology that made up the arts curriculum of the medieval scholar, but his real passion is for astrology, or fortune-telling. In wanting to know the future, Nicholas is guilty of telling God's "pryvetee," or secrets, though he denies this to John (l. 455). The desire to know the truth through fortune-telling reveals Nicholas's sin of pride.
| Quote #2
[He] coude a certeyn of conclusiouns
The tone of this passage is somewhat dismissive. First of all, the grand promise of the knowledge gained from "astrologye" is reduced in line 87 to weather forecasting. The narrator then makes a somewhat vague allusion to men asking him about "what sholde bifalle of every thing." In this passage at least, the "I may nat reken hem alle," seems like the medieval version of "whatever."
| Quote #3
This clerk was cleped hende Nicholas
Not only is Nicholas a scholar of arts and astrology, he's also skilled in the pursuit of "derne" (secret) love. The "solas" here refers to the end-point of secret love – the solace that is the remedy for love-sickness (probably sex). The fact that the love is secret suggests that it's illicit – that is, between two people who aren't actually supposed to love one another because they're not married.