Canace

(3 syl.). A paragon of women, the daughter of King Cambuscan', to whom the King of Arabia and India sent as a present a mirror and a ring. The mirror would tell the lady if any man on whom she set her heart would prove true or false, and the ring (which was to be worn on her thumb) would enable her to understand the language of birds and to converse with them. It would also give the wearer perfect knowledge of the medicinal properties of all roots. Chaucer never finished the tale, but probably he meant to marry Canacë to some knight who would be able to overthrow her two brothers, Cambalo and Algarsife, in the tournament. (Squire's Tale.) (See below.)

Canacë was courted by a crowd of suitors, but her brother, Cambalo or Cambel, gave out that anyone who pretended to her hand must encounter him in single combat and overthrow him. She ultimately married Triamond, son of the fairy Agapë. (Spenser: Faërie Queene, bk. iv. 3.) (See Cambel.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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