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The Canterbury Tales: Prologue

Here bygynneth the Book of the tales of Caunterbury


1: Whan that aprill with his shoures soote 2: The droghte of march hath perced to the roote, 3: And bathed every veyne in swich licour 4: f which vertu engendred is the flour! ": Whan #ephirus ee$ with his sweete breeth %: &nspired hath in every holt and heeth ': Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne (: )ath in the ram his halve cours yronne, *: And smale foweles ma$en melodye, 1+: That slepen al the nyght with open ye 11: ,so pri$eth hem nature in hir corages-! 12: Thanne longen fol$ to goon on pilgrimages, 13: And palmeres for to se$en straunge strondes, 14: To ferne halwes, $owthe in sondry londes! 1": And specially from every shires ende 1%: f engelond to caunterbury they wende, 1': The hooly blisful martir for to se$e, 1(: That hem hath holpen whan that they were see$e.

Here begins the Book of the Tales of Canterbury

When April with his showers sweet with fruit The drought of /arch has pierced unto the root And bathed each vein with li0uor that has power To generate therein and sire the flower! When 1ephyr also has, with his sweet breath, 2uic$ened again, in every holt and heath, The tender shoots and buds, and the young sun &nto the 3am one half his course has run, And many little birds ma$e melody That sleep through all the night with open eye ,4o 5ature pric$s them on to ramp and rage-6 Then do fol$ long to go on pilgrimage, And palmers to go see$ing out strange strands, To distant shrines well $nown in sundry lands. And specially from every shire7s end f 8ngland they to 9anterbury wend, The holy blessed martyr there to see$ Who helped them when they lay so ill and weal 1*: :ifil that in that seson on a day, :efell that, in that season, on a day 2+: &n southwer$ at the tabard as & lay &n 4outhwar$, at the Tabard, as & lay 21: 3edy to wenden on my pilgrymage 3eady to start upon my pilgrimage 22: To caunterbury with ful devout corage, To 9anterbury, full of devout homage, 23: At nyght was come into that hostelrye There came at nightfall to that hostelry 24: Wel nyne and twenty in a compaignye, 4ome nine and twenty in a company 2": f sondry fol$, by aventure yfalle f sundry persons who had chanced to fall 2%: &n felaweshipe, and pilgrimes were they &n fellowship, and pilgrims were they all alle, That toward 9anterbury town would ride. 2': That toward caunterbury wolden ryde. The rooms and stables spacious were and 2(: The chambres and the stables weren wide, wyde, And well we there were eased, and of the 2*: And wel we weren esed atte beste. best. 3+: And shortly, whan the sonne was to reste, And briefly, when the sun had gone to rest, 31: 4o hadde & spo$en with hem everichon 4o had & spo$en with them, every one, 32: That & was of hir felaweshipe anon, That & was of their fellowship anon, 33: And made forward erly for to ryse, And made agreement that we7d early rise 34: To ta$e oure wey ther as & yow devyse. To ta$e the road, as you & will apprise. 3": :ut nathelees, whil & have tyme and :ut none the less, whilst & have time and space, space, 3%: 8r that & ferther in this tale pace, :efore yet farther in this tale & pace, 3': /e thyn$eth it acordaunt to resoun &t seems to me accordant with reason 3(: To telle yow al the condicioun To inform you of the state of every one 3*: f ech of hem, so as it semed me, f all of these, as it appeared to me, 4+: And whiche they weren, and of what And who they were, and what was their degree, degree, 41: And ee$ in what array that they were inne! And even how arrayed there at the inn!

42: And at a $nyght than wol & first bigynne. And with a $night thus will & first begin. The Knight's Portrait THE KNIGHT 43: A $nyght ther was, and that a worthy man, A $night there was, and he a worthy man, 44: That fro the tyme that he first bigan Who, from the moment that he first began 4": To riden out, he loved chivalrie, To ride about the world, loved chivalry, 4%: Trouthe and honour, fredom and curteisie. Truth, honour, freedom and all courtesy. 4': ;ul worthy was he in his lordes werre, ;ull worthy was he in his liege6lord7s war, 4(: And therto hadde he riden, no man ferre, And therein had he ridden ,none more far4*: As wel in cristendom as in hethenesse, As well in 9hristendom as heathenesse, "+: And evere honoured for his worthynesse. And honoured everywhere for worthiness. "1: At alisaundre he was whan it was wonne. At Ale<andria, he, when it was won! "2: ;ul ofte tyme he hadde the bord bigonne ;ull oft the table7s roster he7d begun "3: Aboven alle nacions in pruce! Above all nations7 $nights in =russia. "4: &n lettow hadde he reysed and in ruce, &n >atvia raided he, and 3ussia, "": 5o cristen man so ofte of his degree. 5o christened man so oft of his degree. "%: &n gernade at the seege ee$ hadde he be &n far ?ranada at the siege was he "': f alge#ir, and riden in belmarye. f Algeciras, and in :elmarie. "(: At lyeys was he and at satalye, At Ayas was he and at 4atalye "*: Whan they were wonne! and in the grete When they were won! and on the /iddle 4ea see At many a noble meeting chanced to be. %+: At many a noble armee hadde he be. f mortal battles he had fought fifteen, %1: At mortal batailles hadde he been fiftene, And he7d fought for our faith at Tramissene %2: And foughten for oure feith at tramyssene Three times in lists, and each time slain his %3: &n lystes thries, and ay slayn his foo. foe. %4: This il$e worthy $nyght hadde been also This self6same worthy $night had been also %": 4omtyme with the lord of palatye At one time with the lord of =alatye %%: Agayn another hethen in tur$ye. Against another heathen in Tur$ey: %': And everemoore he hadde a sovereyn And always won he sovereign fame for pri#e. prys! Though so illustrious, he was very wise %(: And though that he were worthy, he was And bore himself as mee$ly as a maid. wys, )e never yet had any vileness said, %*: And of his port as mee$e as is a mayde. &n all his life, to whatsoever wight. '+: )e nevere yet no vileynye ne sayde )e was a truly perfect, gentle $night. '1: &n al his lyf unto no maner wight. :ut now, to tell you all of his array, '2: )e was a verray, parfit gentil $nyght. )is steeds were good, but yet he was not gay. '3: :ut, for to tellen yow of his array, f simple fustian wore he a @upon '4: )is hors were goode, but he was nat gay. 4adly discoloured by his habergeon! '": f fustian he wered a gypon ;or he had lately come from his voyage '%: Al bismotered with his habergeon, And now was going on this pilgrimage. '': ;or he was late ycome from his viage, '(: And wente for to doon his pilgrymage. The Squire's Portrait THE SQ I!E '*: With hym ther was his sone, a yong With him there was his son, a youthful s0uire, s0uier, A lover and a lusty bachelor, (+: A lovyere and a lusty bacheler, With loc$s well curled, as if they7d laid in (1: With lo$$es crulle as they were leyd in press. presse. 4ome twenty years of age he was, & guess. (2: f twenty yeer of age he was, & gesse. &n stature he was of an average length, (3: f his stature he was of evene lengthe, Wondrously active, aye, and great of strength. (4: And wonderly delyvere, and of greet )e7d ridden sometime with the cavalry strengthe. &n ;landers, in Artois, and =icardy, (": And he hadde been somtyme in chyvachie And borne him well within that little space (%: &n flaundres, in artoys, and pycardie, &n hope to win thereby his lady7s grace.

(': And born hym weel, as of so litel space, ((: &n hope to stonden in his lady grace. =rin$ed out he was, as if he were a mead, (*: 8mbrouded was he, as it were a meede All full of fresh6cut flowers white and red. *+: Al ful of fresshe floures, whyte and reede. 4inging he was, or fluting, all the day! *1: 4yngynge he was, or floytynge, al the day! )e was as fresh as is the month of /ay. *2: )e was as fressh as is the month of may. 4hort was his gown, with sleeves both long *3: 4hort was his gowne, with sleves longe and wide. and wyde. Well could be sit on horse, and fairly ride. *4: Wel $oude he sitte on hors and faire ryde. )e could ma$e songs and words thereto *": )e $oude songes ma$e and wel endite, indite, *%: Auste and ee$ daunce, and weel purtreye Aoust, and dance too, as well as s$etch and and write. write. *': 4o hoote he lovede that by nyghtertale. 4o hot he loved that, while night told her tale, *(: )e sleep namoore than dooth a )e slept no more than does a nightingale. nyghtyngale. 9ourteous he, and humble, willing and able, **: 9urteis he was, lowely, and servysable, And carved before his father at the table. 1++: And carf biforn his fader at the table. The "eo#an's Portrait THE "E$%&N 1+1: A yeman hadde he and servant# namo 1+2: At that tyme, for hym liste ride so, 1+3: And he was clad in cote and hood of A yeoman had he, nor more servants, no, grene. At that time, for he chose to travel so! 1+4: A sheef of peco$ arwes, bright and $ene, And he was clad in coat and hood of green. 1+": Bnder his belt he bar ful thriftily, A sheaf of peacoc$ arrows bright and $een 1+%: ,wel $oude he dresse his ta$el yemanly: Bnder his belt he bore right carefully 1+': )is arwes drouped noght with fetheres ,Well could he $eep his tac$le yeomanly: lowe)is arrows had no draggled feathers low-, 1+(: And in his hand he baar a myghty bowe. And in his hand he bore a mighty bow. 1+*: A not heed hadde he, with a broun A cropped head had he and a sun6browned visage. face. 11+: f wodecraft wel $oude he al the usage. f woodcraft $new he all the useful ways. 111: Bpon his arm he baar a gay bracer, Bpon his arm he bore a bracer gay, 112: And by his syde a swerd and a bo$eler, And at one side a sword and buc$ler, yea, 113: And on that oother syde a gay daggere And at the other side a dagger bright, 114: )arneised wel and sharp as point of Well sheathed and sharp as spear point in the spere! light! 11": A cristopher on his brest of silver n breast a 9hristopher of silver sheen. sheene. )e bore a horn in baldric all of green! 11%: An horn he bar, the bawdry$ was of A forester he truly was, & guess. grene! 11': A forster was he, soothly, as & gesse. The Prioress' Portrait THE P!I$!ESS 11(: Ther was also a nonne, a prioresse, There was also a nun, a prioress, 11*: That of hir smylyng was ful symple and Who, in her smiling, modest was and coy! coy! )er greatest oath was but C:y 4aint 8loyDC 12+: )ire gretteste ooth was but by seinte loy! And she was $nown as /adam 8glantine. 121: And she was cleped madame eglentyne. ;ull well she sang the services divine, 122: ;ul weel she soong the service dyvyne, &ntoning through her nose, becomingly! 123: 8ntuned in hir nose ful semely, And fair she spo$e her ;rench, and fluently, 124: And frenssh she spa$ ful faire and fetisly, After the school of 4tratford6at6the6:ow, 12": After the scole of stratford atte bowe, ;or ;rench of =aris was not hers to $now. 12%: ;or frenssh of parys was to hire At table she had been well taught withal, un$nowe. And never from her lips let morsels fall, 12': At mete wel ytaught was she with alle: 5or dipped her fingers deep in sauce, but ate

12(: 4he leet no morsel from hir lippes falle, 12*: 5e wette hir fyngres in hir sauce depe! 13+: Wel $oude she carie a morsel and wel $epe 131: That no drope ne fille upon hire brest. 132: &n curteisie was set ful muchel hir lest. 133: )ir over6lippe wyped she so clene 134: That in hir coppe ther was no ferthyng sene 13": f grece, whan she dron$en hadde hir draughte. 13%: ;ul semely after hir mete she raughte. 13': And si$erly she was of greet desport, 13(: And ful plesaunt, and amyable of port, 13*: And peyned hire to countrefete cheere 14+: f court, and to been estatlich of manere, 141: And to ben holden digne of reverence. 142: :ut, for to spe$en of hire conscience, 143: 4he was so charitable and so pitous 144: 4he wolde wepe, if that she saugh a mous 14": Eaught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde. 14%: f smale houndes hadde she that she fedde 14': With rosted flessh, or mil$ and wastel6 breed. 14(: :ut soore wepte she if oon of hem were deed, 14*: r if men smoot it with a yerde smerte! 1"+: And al was conscience and tendre herte. 1"1: ;ul semyly hir wympul pynched was, 1"2: )ir nose tretys, hir eyen greye as glas, 1"3: )ir mouth ful smal, and therto softe and reed! 1"4: :ut si$erly she hadde a fair forheed! 1"": &t was almoost a spanne brood, & trowe! 1"%: ;or, hardily, she was nat undergrowe. 1"': ;ul fetys was hir clo$e, as & was war. 1"(: f smal coral aboute hire arm she bar 1"*: A peire of bedes, gauded al with grene, 1%+: And theron heng a brooch of gold ful sheene, 1%1: n which ther was first write a crowned a, 1%2: And after amor vincit omnia. The Se'on( Nun's Portrait 1%3: Another nonne with hire hadde she, THE TH!EE P!IESTS 1%4: That was hir chapeleyne, and preestes thre. The %onk's Portrait 1%": A mon$ ther was, a fair for the maistrie,

With so much care the food upon her plate That never driblet fell upon her breast. &n courtesy she had delight and #est. )er upper lip was always wiped so clean That in her cup was no iota seen f grease, when she had drun$ her draught of wine. :ecomingly she reached for meat to dine. And certainly delighting in good sport, 4he was right pleasant, amiable6 in short. 4he was at pains to counterfeit the loo$ f courtliness, and stately manners too$, And would be held worthy of reverence. :ut, to say something of her moral sense, 4he was so charitable and piteous That she would weep if she but saw a mouse 9aught in a trap, though it were dead or bled. 4he had some little dogs, too, that she fed n roasted flesh, or mil$ and fine white bread. :ut sore she7d weep if one of them were dead, r if men smote it with a rod to smart: ;or pity ruled her, and her tender heart. 3ight decorous her pleated wimple was! )er nose was fine! her eyes were blue as glass! )er mouth was small and therewith soft and red! :ut certainly she had a fair forehead! &t was almost a full span broad, & own, ;or, truth to tell, she was not undergrown. 5eat was her cloa$, as & was well aware. f coral small about her arm she7d bear A string of beads and gauded all with green! And therefrom hung a brooch of golden sheen Whereon there was first written a crowned CA,C And under, Amor vincit omnia.

THE N N Another little nun with her had she, THE TH!EE P!IESTS Who was her chaplain! and of priests she7d three. THE %$NK A mon$ there was, one made for mastery,

1%%: An outridere, that lovede venerie, 1%': A manly man, to been an abbot able. 1%(: ;ul many a deyntee hors hadde he in stable, 1%*: And whan he rood, men myghte his brydel heere 1'+: ?ynglen in a whistlynge wynd als cleere 1'1: And ee$ as loude as dooth the chapel belle. 1'2: Ther as this lord was $epere of the celle, 1'3: The reule of seint maure or of seint beneit, 1'4: :y cause that it was old and somdel streit 1'": This il$e mon$ leet olde thynges pace, 1'%: And heeld after the newe world the space. 1'': )e yaf nat of that te<t a pulled hen, 1'(: That seith that hunters ben nat hooly men, 1'*: 5e that a mon$, whan he is recchelees, 1(+: &s li$ned til a fissh that is waterlees, 66 1(1: This is to seyn, a mon$ out of his cloystre. 1(2: :ut thil$e te<t heeld he nat worth an oystre! 1(3: And & seyde his opinion was good. 1(4: What sholde he studie and ma$e hymselven wood, 1(": Bpon a boo$ in cloystre alwey to poure, 1(%: r swyn$en with his handes, and laboure, 1(': As austyn bitF how shal the world be servedF 1((: >at austyn have his swyn$ to hym reservedD 1(*: Therfore he was a pri$asour aright: 1*+: ?rehoundes he hadde as swift as fowel in flight! 1*1: f pri$yng and of huntyng for the hare 1*2: Was al his lust, for no cost wolde he spare. 1*3: & seigh his sleves purfiled at the hond 1*4: With grys, and that the fyneste of a lond! 1*": And, for to festne his hood under his chyn, 1*%: )e hadde of gold ywroght a ful curious pyn! 1*': A love6$notte in the gretter ende ther was. 1*(: )is heed was balled, that shoon as any glas, 1**: And ee$ his face, as he hadde been enoynt. 2++: )e was a lord ful fat and in good poynt!

An outrider, who loved his venery! A manly man, to be an abbot able. ;ull many a blooded horse had he in stable: And when he rode men might his bridle hear A6@ingling in the whistling wind as clear, Aye, and as loud as does the chapel bell Where this brave mon$ was of the cell. The rule of /aurus or 4aint :enedict, :y reason it was old and somewhat strict, This said mon$ let such old things slowly pace And followed new6world manners in their place. )e cared not for that te<t a clean6pluc$ed hen Which holds that hunters are not holy men! 5or that a mon$, when he is cloisterless, &s li$e unto a fish that7s waterless! That is to say, a mon$ out of his cloister. :ut this same te<t he held not worth an oyster! And & said his opinion was right good. WhatF 4hould he study as a madman would Bpon a boo$ in cloister cellF r yet ?o labour with his hands and swin$ and sweat, As Austin bidsF )ow shall the world be servedF >et Austin have his toil to him reserved. Therefore he was a rider day and night! ?reyhounds he had, as swift as bird in flight. 4ince riding and the hunting of the hare Were all his love, for no cost would he spare. & saw his sleeves were purfled at the hand With fur of grey, the finest in the land! Also, to fasten hood beneath his chin, )e had of good wrought gold a curious pin: A love6$not in the larger end there was. )is head was bald and shone li$e any glass, And smooth as one anointed was his face. ;at was this lord, he stood in goodly case. )is bulging eyes he rolled about, and hot They gleamed and red, li$e fire beneath a pot! )is boots were soft! his horse of great estate. 5ow certainly he was a fine prelate: )e was not pale as some poor wasted ghost. A fat swan loved he best of any roast. )is palfrey was as brown as is a berry.

2+1: )is eyen stepe, and rollynge in his heed, 2+2: That stemed as a forneys of a leed! 2+3: )is bootes souple, his hors in greet estaat. 2+4: 5ow certeinly he was a fair prelaat! 2+": )e was nat pale as a forpyned goost. 2+%: A fat swan loved he best of any roost. 2+': )is palfrey was as broun as is a berye. The )riar's Portrait 2+(: A frere ther was, a wantowne and a merye, 2+*: A lymytour, a ful solempne man. 21+: &n alle the ordres foure is noon that $an 211: 4o muchel of daliaunce and fair langage. 212: )e hadde maad ful many a mariage 213: f yonge wommen at his owene cost. 214: Bnto his ordre he was a noble post. 21": ;ul wel biloved and famulier was he 21%: With fran$eleyns over al in his contree, 21': And ee$ with worthy wommen of the toun! 21(: ;or he hadde power of confessioun, 21*: As seyde hymself, moore than a curat, 22+: ;or of his ordre he was licenciat. 221: ;ul swetely herde he confessioun, 222: And plesaunt was his absolucioun: 223: )e was an esy man to yeve penaunce, 224: Ther as he wiste to have a good pitaunce. 22": ;or unto a povre ordre for to yive 22%: &s signe that a man is wel yshryve! 22': ;or if he yaf, he dorste ma$e avaunt, 22(: )e wiste that a man was repentaunt! 22*: ;or many a man so hard is of his herte, 23+: )e may nat wepe, althogh hym soore smerte. 231: Therfore in stede of wepynge and preyeres 232: /en moote yeve silver to the povre freres. 233: )is typet was ay farsed ful of $nyves 234: And pynnes, for to yeven faire wyves. 23": And certeinly he hadde a murye note: 23%: Wel $oude he synge and pleyen on a rote! 23': f yeddynges he baar outrely the pris. 23(: )is ne$$e whit was as the flour6de6lys! 23*: Therto he strong was as a champioun. 24+: )e $new the tavernes wel in every toun 241: And everich hostiler and tappestere 242: :et than a la#ar or a beggestere! 243: ;or unto swich a worthy man as he 244: Acorded nat, as by his facultee, 24": To have with si$e la#ars a0ueyntaunce.

THE )!I&! A friar there was, a wanton and a merry, A limiter, a very festive man. &n all the rders ;our is none that can 80ual his gossip and his fair language. )e had arranged full many a marriage f women young, and this at his own cost. Bnto his order he was a noble post. Well li$ed by all and intimate was he With fran$lins everywhere in his country, And with the worthy women of the town: ;or at confessing he7d more power in gown ,As he himself said- than it good curate, ;or of his order he was licentiate. )e heard confession gently, it was said, ?ently absolved too, leaving naught of dread. )e was an easy man to give penance When $nowing he should gain a good pittance! ;or to a begging friar, money given &s sign that any man has been well shriven. ;or if one gave ,he dared to boast of this-, )e too$ the man7s repentance not amiss. ;or many a man there is so hard of heart )e cannot weep however pains may smart. Therefore, instead of weeping and of prayer, /en should give silver to poor friars all bare. )is tippet was stuc$ always full of $nives And pins, to give to young and pleasing wives. And certainly he $ept a merry note: Well could he sing and play upon the rote. At balladry he bore the pri#e away. )is throat was white as lily of the /ay! Get strong he was as ever champion. &n towns he $new the taverns, every one, And every good host and each barmaid too6 :etter than begging lepers, these he $new. ;or unto no such solid man as he Accorded it, as far as he could see, To have sic$ lepers for ac0uaintances. There is no honest advantageousness &n dealing with such poverty6stric$en curs! &t7s with the rich and with big victuallers. And so, wherever profit might arise, 9ourteous he was and humble in men7s eyes. There was no other man so virtuous.

24%: &t is nat honest, it may nat avaunce, 24': ;or to deelen with no swich poraille, 24(: :ut al with riche and selleres of vitaille. 24*: And over al, ther as profit sholde arise, 2"+: 9urteis he was and lowely of servyse. 2"1: Ther nas no man nowher so vertuous. 2"2: )e was the beste beggere in his hous! 2"2.1: ,and yaf a certeyne ferme for the graunt! )e was the finest beggar of his house! 2"2.2: 5oon of his bretheren cam ther in his A certain district being farmed to him, haunt!5one of his brethren dared approach its rim! 2"3: ;or thogh a wydwe hadde noght a sho, ;or though a widow had no shoes to show, 2"4: 4o plesaunt was his in principio, 4o pleasant was his &n principio, 2"": Get wolde he have a ferthyng, er he )e always got a farthing ere he went. wente. )e lived by pic$ings, it is evident. 2"%: )is purchas was wel bettre than his And he could romp as well as any whelp. rente. n love days could he be of mic$le help. 2"': And rage he $oude, as it were right a ;or there he was not li$e a cloisterer, whelp. With threadbare cope as is the poor scholar, 2"(: &n love6dayes ther $oude he muchel help, :ut he was li$e a lord or li$e a pope. 2"*: ;or ther he was nat ly$ a cloysterer f double worsted was his semi6cope, 2%+: With a thredbare cope, as is a povre That rounded li$e a bell, as you may guess. scoler, )e lisped a little, out of wantonness, 2%1: :ut he was ly$ a maister or a pope. To ma$e his 8nglish soft upon his tongue! 2%2: f double worstede was his semycope, And in his harping, after he had sung, 2%3: That rounded as a belle out of the )is two eyes twin$led in his head as bright presse. As do the stars within the frosty night. 2%4: 4omwhat he lipsed, for his This worthy limiter was named )ubert. wantownesse, 2%": To ma$e his englissh sweete upon his tonge! 2%%: And in his harpyng, whan that he hadde songe, 2%': )is eyen twyn$led in his heed aryght, 2%(: As doon the sterres in the frosty nyght. 2%*: This worthy lymytour was cleped huberd. The %er'hant's Portrait THE %E!CH&NT 2'+: A marchant was ther with a for$ed berd, There was a merchant with for$ed beard, and 2'1: &n mottelee, and hye on horse he sat! girt 2'2: Bpon his heed a flaundryssh bever hat, &n motley gown, and high on horse he sat, 2'3: )is bootes clasped faire and fetisly. Bpon his head a ;lemish beaver hat! 2'4: )is resons he spa$ ful solempnely, )is boots were fastened rather elegantly. 2'": 4ownynge alwey th7 encrees of his )is spo$e his notions out right pompously, wynnyng. 4tressing the times when he had won, not 2'%: )e wolde the see were $ept for any lost. thyng )e would the sea were held at any cost 2'': :itwi<e middelburgh and orewelle. Across from /iddleburgh to rwell town. 2'(: Wel $oude he in eschaunge sheeldes At money6changing he could ma$e a crown. selle. This worthy man $ept all his wits well set! 2'*: This worthy man ful wel his wit bisette: There was no one could say he was in debt, 2(+: Ther wiste no wight that he was in dette, 4o well he governed all his trade affairs 2(1: 4o estatly was he of his governaunce With bargains and with borrowings and with 2(2: With his bargaynes and with his shares. chevyssaunce. &ndeed, he was a worthy man withal,

2(3: ;or sothe he was a worthy man with alle, 2(4: :ut, sooth to seyn, & noot how men hym :ut, sooth to say, his name & can7t recall. calle. The Clerk's Portrait THE C*E!K 2(": A cler$ ther was of o<enford also, 2(%: That unto logy$ hadde longe ygo. 2(': As leene was his hors as is a ra$e, A cler$ from <ford was with us also, 2((: And he nas nat right fat, & underta$e, Who7d turned to getting $nowledge, long ago. 2(*: :ut loo$ed holwe, and therto sobrely. As meagre was his horse as is a ra$e, 2*+: ;ul thredbare was his overeste courtepy! 5or he himself too fat, &7ll underta$e, 2*1: ;or he hadde geten hym yet no benefice, :ut he loo$ed hollow and went soberly. 2*2: 5e was so worldly for to have office. 3ight threadbare was his overcoat! for he 2*3: ;or hym was levere have at his beddes )ad got him yet no churchly benefice, heed 5or was so worldly as to gain office. 2*4: Twenty boo$es, clad in bla$ or reed, ;or he would rather have at his bed7s head 2*": f aristotle and his philosophie, 4ome twenty boo$s, all bound in blac$ and 2*%: Than robes riche, or fithele, or gay red, sautrie. f Aristotle and his philosophy 2*': :ut al be that he was a philosophre, Than rich robes, fiddle, or gay psaltery. 2*(: Get hadde he but litel gold in cofre! Get, and for all he was philosopher, 2**: :ut al that he myghte of his freendes )e had but little gold within his coffer! hente, :ut all that he might borrow from a friend 3++: n boo$es and on lernynge he it spente, n boo$s and learning he would swiftly 3+1: And bisily gan for the soules preye spend, 3+2: f hem that yaf hym wherwith to scoleye. And then he7d pray right busily for the souls 3+3: f studie too$ he moost cure and moost f those who gave him wherewithal for heede, schools. 3+4: 5oght o word spa$ he moore than was f study too$ he utmost care and heed. neede, 5ot one word spo$e he more than was his 3+": And that was seyd in forme and need! reverence, And that was said in fullest reverence 3+%: And short and 0uy$ and ful of hy And short and 0uic$ and full of high good sentence! sense. 3+': 4ownynge in moral vertu was his =regnant of moral virtue was his speech! speche, And gladly would he learn and gladly teach. 3+(: And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche. The The %an of *a+'s Portrait THE *&,"E! 3+*: A sergeant of the lawe, war and wys, A sergeant of the law, wary and wise, 31+: That often hadde been at the parvys, Who7d often gone to =aul7s wal$ to advise, 311: Ther was also, ful riche of e<cellence. There was also, compact of e<cellence. 312: Hiscreet he was and of greet reverence Hiscreet he was, and of great reverence! 66 At least he seemed so, his words were so 313: )e semed swich, his wordes weren so wise. wise. ften he sat as @ustice in assi#e, 314: Austice he was ful often in assise, :y patent or commission from the crown! 31": :y patente and by pleyn commissioun. :ecause of learning and his high renown, 31%: ;or his science and for his heigh renoun, )e too$ large fees and many robes could 31': f fees and robes hadde he many oon. own. 31(: 4o greet a purchasour was nowher noon: 4o great a purchaser was never $nown. 31*: Al was fee symple to hym in effect! All was fee simple to him, in effect, 32+: )is purchasyng myghte nat been infect. Wherefore his claims could never be suspect. 321: 5owher so bisy a man as he ther nas, 5owhere a man so busy of his class, 322: And yet he semed bisier than he was. And yet he seemed much busier than he was.

323: &n termes hadde he caas and doomes alle 324: That from the tyme of $yng william were All cases and all @udgments could he cite falle. That from Eing William7s time were apposite. 32": Therto he $oude endite, and ma$e a And he could draw a contract so e<plicit thyng, 5ot any man could fault therefrom elicit! 32%: Ther $oude no wight pynche at his And every statute he7d verbatim 0uote. writyng! )e rode but badly in a medley coat, 32': And every statut $oude he pleyn by rote. :elted in a sil$en sash, with little bars, 32(: )e rood but hoomly in a medlee cote. :ut of his dress no more particulars. 32*: ?irt with a ceint of sil$, with barres smale! 33+: f his array telle & no lenger tale. The )ranklin's Portrait THE )!&NK*IN 331: A fran$eleyn was in his compaignye. 332: Whit was his berd as is the dayesye! 333: f his comple<ioun he was sangwyn. 334: Wel loved he by the morwe a sop in wyn! There was a fran$lin in his company! 33": To lyven in delit was evere his wone, White was his beard as is the white daisy. 33%: ;or he was epicurus owene sone, f sanguine temperament by every sign, 33': That heeld opinioun that pleyn delit )e loved right well his morning sop in wine. 33(: Was verray felicitee parfit. Helightful living was the goal he7d won, 33*: An housholdere, and that a greet, was ;or he was 8picurus7 very son, he! That held opinion that a full delight 34+: 4eint @ulian he was in his contree. Was true felicity, perfect and right. 341: )is breed, his ale, was alweys after oon! A householder, and that a great, was he! 342: A bettre envyned man was nowher noon. 4aint Aulian he was in his own country. 343: Withoute ba$e mete was nevere his hous )is bread and ale were always right well 344: f fissh and flessh, and that so done! plentevous, A man with better cellars there was none. 34": &t snewed in his hous of mete and :a$ed meat was never wanting in his house, dryn$e, f fish and flesh, and that so plenteous 34%: f alle deyntees that men $oude thyn$e. &t seemed to snow therein both food and drin$ 34': After the sondry sesons of the yeer, f every dainty that a man could thin$. 34(: 4o chaunged he his mete and his soper. According to the season of the year 34*: ;ul many a fat partrich hadde he in )e changed his diet and his means of cheer. muwe, ;ull many a fattened partridge did he mew, 3"+: And many a breem and many a luce in And many a bream and pi$e in fish6pond too. stuwe. Woe to his coo$, e<cept the sauces were 3"1: Wo was his coo$ but if his sauce were =oignant and sharp, and ready all his gear. 3"2: =oynaunt and sharp, and redy al his )is table, waiting in his hall alway, geere. 4tood ready covered through the livelong day. 3"3: )is table dormant in his halle alway At county sessions was he lord and sire, 3"4: 4tood redy covered al the longe day. And often acted as a $night of shire. 3"": At sessiouns ther was he lord and sire! A dagger and a trin$et6bag of sil$ 3"%: ;ul ofte tyme he was $nyght of the shire. )ung from his girdle, white as morning mil$. 3"': An anlaas and a gipser al of sil$ )e had been sheriff and been auditor! 3"(: )eeng at his girdel, whit as morne mil$. And nowhere was a worthier vavasor. 3"*: A shirreve hadde he been, and a contour. 3%+: Was nowher swich a worthy vavasour. The Guil(s#en's Portrait THE H&BE!-&SHE! &N- THE C&!PENTE! THE ,E&.E!/ THE -"E!/ &N- THE

&!!&S0%&KE! 3%1: An haberdasshere and a carpenter, A haberdasher and a carpenter, 3%2: A webbe, a dyere, and a tapycer, 66 An arras6ma$er, dyer, and weaver 3%3: And they were clothed alle in o lyveree Were with us, clothed in similar livery, 3%4: f a solempne and a greet fraternitee. All of one sober, great fraternity. 3%": ;ul fressh and newe hir geere api$ed Their gear was new and well adorned it was! was! Their weapons were not cheaply trimmed with 3%%: )ir $nyves were chaped noght with bras brass, 3%': :ut al with silver! wroght ful clene and :ut all with silver! chastely made and well weel Their girdles and their pouches too, & tell. 3%(: )ire girdles and hir pouches everydeel. 8ach man of them appeared a proper burges 3%*: Wel semed ech of hem a fair burgeys To sit in guildhall on a high dais. 3'+: To sitten in a yeldehalle on a deys. And each of them, for wisdom he could span, 3'1: 8verich, for the wisdom that he $an, Was fitted to have been an alderman! 3'2: Was shaply for to been an alderman. ;or chattels they7d enough, and, too, of rent! 3'3: ;or catel hadde they ynogh and rente, To which their goodwives gave a free assent, 3'4: And ee$ hir wyves wolde it wel assente! r else for certain they had been to blame. 3'": And elles certeyn were they to blame. &t7s good to hear C/adamC before one7s name, 3'%: &t is ful fair to been ycleped madame, And go to church when all the world may see, 3'': And goon to vigilies al bifore, )aving one7s mantle borne right royally. 3'(: And have a mantel roialliche ybore. The Cook's Portrait THE C$$K 3'*: A coo$ they hadde with hem for the nones A coo$ they had with them, @ust for the nonce, 3(+: To boille the chi$nes with the To boil the chic$ens with the marrow6bones, marybones, And flavour tartly and with galingale. 3(1: And poudre6marchant tart and galyngale. Well could he tell a draught of >ondon ale. 3(2: Wel $oude he $nowe a draughte of And he could roast and seethe and broil and londoun ale. fry, 3(3: )e $oude rooste, and sethe, and broille, And ma$e a good thic$ soup, and ba$e a pie. and frye, :ut very ill it was, it seemed to me, 3(4: /a$en mortreu<, and wel ba$e a pye. That on his shin a deadly sore had he! 3(": :ut greet harm was it, as it thoughte me, ;or sweet blanc6mange, he made it with the 3(%: That on his shyne a mormal hadde he. best. 3(': ;or blan$manger, that made he with the beste The Shi1#an's Portrait THE S&I*$! 3((: A shipman was ther, wonynge fer by There was a sailor, living far out west! weste! ;or aught & $now, he was of Hartmouth town. 3(*: ;or aught & woot, he was of dertemouthe. )e sadly rode a hac$ney, in a gown, 3*+: )e rood upon a rounce, as he $outhe, f thic$ rough cloth falling to the $nee. 3*1: &n a gowne of faldyng to the $nee. A dagger hanging on a cord had he 3*2: A daggere hangynge on a laas hadde he About his nec$, and under arm, and down. 3*3: Aboute his ne$$e, under his arm adoun. The summer7s heat had burned his visage 3*4: The hoote somer hadde maad his hewe brown! al broun! And certainly he was a good fellow. 3*": And certeinly he was a good felawe. ;ull many a draught of wine he7d drawn, & 3*%: ;ul many a draughte of wyn had he trow, ydrawe f :ordeau< vintage, while the trader slept. 3*': ;ro burdeu<6ward, whil that the chapmen 5ice conscience was a thing he never $ept. sleep. &f that he fought and got the upper hand, 3*(: f nyce conscience too$ he no $eep. :y water he sent them home to every land. 3**: &f that he faught, and hadde the hyer :ut as for craft, to rec$on well his tides, hond, )is currents and the dangerous watersides,

4++: :y water he sente hem hoom to every lond. 4+1: :ut of his craft to re$ene wel his tydes, 4+2: )is stremes, and his daungers hym bisides, 4+3: )is herberwe, and his moone, his lodemenage, 4+4: Ther nas noon swich from hulle to cartage. 4+": )ardy he was and wys to underta$e! 4+%: With many a tempest hadde his berd been sha$e. 4+': )e $new alle the havenes, as they were, 4+(: ;ro gootlond to the cape of fynystere, 4+*: And every cry$e in britaigne and in spayne. 41+: )is barge ycleped was the maudelayne. The Physi'ian's Portrait 411: With us ther was a doctour of phisi$! 412: &n al this world ne was the noon hym li$, 413: To spe$e of phisi$ and of surgerye 414: ;or he was grounded in astronomye. 41": )e $epte his pacient a ful greet deel 41%: &n houres by his magy$ natureel. 41': Wel $oude he fortunen the ascendent 41(: f his ymages for his pacient. 41*: )e $new the cause of everich maladye, 42+: Were it of hoot, or coold, or moyste, or drye, 421: And where they engendred, and of what humour. 422: )e was a verray, parfit pra$tisour: 423: The cause y$nowe, and of his harm the roote, 424: Anon he yaf the si$e man his boote. 42": ;ul redy hadde he his apothecaries 42%: To sende hym drogges and his letuaries, 42': ;or ech of hem made oother for to wynne 66 42(: )ir frendshipe nas nat newe to bigynne. 42*: Wel $new he the olde esculapius, 43+: And deyscorides, and ee$ rufus, 431: lde ypocras, haly, and galyen, 432: 4erapion, ra#is, and avycen, 433: Averrois, damascien, and constantyn, 434: :ernard, and gatesden, and gilbertyn. 43": f his diete mesurable was he, 43%: ;or it was of no superfluitee, 43': :ut of greet norissyng and digestible. 43(: )is studie was but litel on the bible. 43*: &n sangwyn and in pers he clad was al, 44+: >yned with taffata and with sendal! 441: And yet he was but esy of dispence! 442: )e $epte that he wan in pestilence.

)is harbours, and his moon, his pilotage, There was none such from )ull to far 9arthage. )ardy. and wise in all things underta$en, :y many a tempest had his beard been sha$en. )e $new well all the havens, as they were, ;rom ?ottland to the 9ape of ;inisterre, And every cree$ in :rittany and 4pain! )is vessel had been christened /adeleine.

THE PH"SICI&N With us there was a doctor of physic! &n all this world was none li$e him to pic$ ;or tal$ of medicine and surgery! ;or he was grounded in astronomy. )e often $ept a patient from the pall :y horoscopes and magic natural. Well could he tell the fortune ascendent Within the houses for his sic$ patient. )e $new the cause of every malady, Were it of hot or cold, of moist or dry, And where engendered, and of what humour! )e was a very good practitioner. The cause being $nown, down to the deepest root, Anon he gave to the sic$ man his boot. 3eady he was, with his apothecaries, To send him drugs and all electuaries! :y mutual aid much gold they7d always won6 Their friendship was a thing not new begun. Well read was he in 8sculapius, And Heiscorides, and in 3ufus, )ippocrates, and )ali, and ?alen, 4erapion, 3ha#es, and Avicen, Averrhoes, ?ilbert, and 9onstantine, :ernard and ?atisden, and Aohn Hamascene. &n diet he was measured as could be, &ncluding naught of superfluity, :ut nourishing and easy. &t7s no libel To say he read but little in the :ible. &n blue and scarlet he went clad, withal, >ined with a taffeta and with sendal! And yet he was right chary of e<pense! )e $ept the gold he gained from pestilence. ;or gold in physic is a fine cordial, And therefore loved he gold e<ceeding all.

443: ;or gold in phisi$ is a cordial, 444: Therefore he lovede gold in special. The ,ife of Bath's Portrait THE ,I)E $) B&TH 44": A good wif was ther of biside bathe, 44%: :ut she was somdel deef, and that was scathe. 44': f clooth6ma$yng she hadde swich an There was a housewife come from :ath, or haunt, near, 44(: 4he passed hem of ypres and of gaunt. Who6 sad to say6 was deaf in either ear. 44*: &n al the parisshe wif ne was ther noon At ma$ing cloth she had so great a bent 4"+: That to the offrynge bifore hire sholde 4he bettered those of Gpres and even of goon! ?hent. 4"1: And if ther dide, certeyn so wrooth was &n all the parish there was no goodwife she, 4hould offering ma$e before her, on my life! 4"2: That she was out of alle charitee. And if one did, indeed, so wroth was she 4"3: )ir coverchiefs ful fyne weren of ground! &t put her out of all her charity. 4"4: & dorste swere they weyeden ten pound )er $erchiefs were of finest weave and 4"": That on a sonday weren upon hir heed. ground! 4"%: )ir hosen weren of fyn scarlet reed, & dare swear that they weighed a full ten 4"': ;ul streite yteyd, and shoes ful moyste pound and newe. Which, of a 4unday, she wore on her head. 4"(: :oold was hir face, and fair, and reed of )er hose were of the choicest scarlet red, hewe. 9lose gartered, and her shoes were soft and 4"*: 4he was a worthy womman al hir lyve: new. 4%+: )ousbondes at chirche dore she hadde :old was her face, and fair, and red of hue. fyve, 4he7d been respectable throughout her life, 4%1: Withouten oother compaignye in youthe, With five churched husbands bringing @oy and 66 strife, 4%2: :ut therof nedeth nat to spe$e as 5ot counting other company in youth! nowthe. :ut thereof there7s no need to spea$, in truth. 4%3: And thries hadde she been at @erusalem! Three times she7d @ourneyed to Aerusalem! 4%4: 4he hadde passed many a straunge And many a foreign stream she7d had to stem! strem! At 3ome she7d been, and she7d been in 4%": At rome she hadde been, and at :oulogne, boloigne, &n 4pain at 4antiago, and at 9ologne. 4%%: &n galice at seint6@ame, and at coloigne. 4he could tell much of wandering by the way: 4%': 4he $oude muchel of wandrynge by the ?ap6toothed was she, it is no lie to say. weye. Bpon an ambler easily she sat, 4%(: ?at6tothed was she, soothly for to seye. Well wimpled, aye, and over all a hat 4%*: Bpon an amblere esily she sat, As broad as is a buc$ler or a targe! 4'+: Gwympled wel, and on hir heed an hat A rug was tuc$ed around her buttoc$s large, 4'1: As brood as is a bo$eler or a targe! And on her feet a pair of sharpened spurs. 4'2: A foot6mantel aboute hir hipes large, &n company well could she laugh her slurs. 4'3: And on hir feet a paire of spores sharpe. The remedies of love she $new, perchance, 4'4: &n felaweshipe wel $oude she laughe and ;or of that art she7d learned the old, old carpe. dance. 4'": f remedies of love she $new per chaunce, 4'%: ;or she $oude of that art the olde daunce. The Parson's Portrait THE P&!S$N 4'': A good man was ther of religioun, There was a good man of religion, too, 4'(: And was a povre persoun of a toun, A country parson, poor, & warrant you! 4'*: :ut riche he was of hooly thoght and :ut rich he was in holy thought and wor$.

wer$. )e was a learned man also, a cler$, 4(+: )e was also a lerned man, a cler$, Who 9hrist7s own gospel truly sought to 4(1: That cristes gospel trewely wolde preach! preche! Hevoutly his parishioners would he teach. 4(2: )is parisshens devoutly wolde he teche. :enign he was and wondrous diligent, 4(3: :enygne he was, and wonder diligent, =atient in adverse times and well content, 4(4: And in adversitee ful pacient, As he was ofttimes proven! always blithe, 4(": And swich he was ypreved ofte sithes. )e was right loath to curse to get a tithe, 4(%: ;ul looth were hym to cursen for his :ut rather would he give, in case of doubt, tithes, Bnto those poor parishioners about, 4(': :ut rather wolde he yeven, out of doute, =art of his income, even of his goods. 4((: Bnto his povre parisshens aboute 8nough with little, coloured all his moods. 4(*: f his offryng and ee$ of his substaunce. Wide was his parish, houses far asunder, 4*+: )e $oude in litel thyng have suffisaunce. :ut never did he fail, for rain or thunder, 4*1: Wyd was his parisshe, and houses fer &n sic$ness, or in sin, or any state, asonder, To visit to the farthest, small and great, 4*2: :ut he ne lefte nat, for reyn ne thonder, ?oing afoot, and in his hand, a stave. 4*3: &n si$nesse nor in meschief to visite This fine e<ample to his floc$ he gave, 4*4: The ferreste in his parisshe, muche and That first he wrought and afterwards he lite, taught! 4*": Bpon his feet, and in his hand a staf. ut of the gospel then that te<t he caught, 4*%: This noble ensample to his sheep he yaf, And this figure he added thereunto6 4*': That first he wroghte, and afterward he That, if gold rust, what shall poor iron doF taughte. ;or if the priest be foul, in whom we trust, 4*(: ut of the gospel he tho wordes caughte, What wonder if a layman yield to lustF 4**: And this figure he added ee$ therto, And shame it is, if priest ta$e thought for "++: That if gold ruste, what shal iren doF $eep, "+1: ;or if a preest be foul, on whom we A shitty shepherd, shepherding clean sheep. truste, Well ought a priest e<ample good to give, "+2: 5o wonder is a lewed man to ruste! :y his own cleanness, how his floc$ should "+3: And shame it is, if a prest ta$e $eep, live. "+4: A shiten shepherde and a clene sheep. )e never let his benefice for hire, "+": Wel oghte a preest ensample for to yive, >eaving his floc$ to flounder in the mire, "+%: :y his clennesse, how that his sheep And ran to >ondon, up to old 4aint =aul7s sholde lyve. To get himself a chantry there for souls, "+': )e sette nat his benefice to hyre 5or in some brotherhood did he withhold! "+(: And leet his sheep encombred in the :ut dwelt at home and $ept so well the fold myre That never wolf could ma$e his plans "+*: And ran to londoun unto seinte poules miscarry! "1+: To se$en hym a chaunterie for soules, )e was a shepherd and not mercenary. "11: r with a bretherhed to been withholde! And holy though he was, and virtuous, "12: :ut dwelte at hoom, and $epte wel his To sinners he was not impiteous, folde, 5or haughty in his speech, nor too divine, "13: 4o that the wolf ne made it nat myscarie! :ut in all teaching prudent and benign. "14: )e was a shepherde and noght a To lead fol$ into )eaven but by stress mercenarie. f good e<ample was his busyness. "1": And though he hooly were and vertuous, :ut if some sinful one proved obstinate, "1%: )e was to synful men nat despitous, :e who it might, of high or low estate, "1': 5e of his speche daungerous ne digne, )im he reproved, and sharply, as & $now. "1(: :ut in his techyng discreet and benygne. There is nowhere a better priest, & trow. "1*: To drawen fol$ to hevene by fairnesse, )e had no thirst for pomp or reverence, "2+: :y good ensample, this was his 5or made himself a special, spiced bisynesse. conscience, "21: :ut it were any persone obstinat, :ut 9hrist7s own lore, and )is apostles7 twelve "22: What so he were, of heigh or lough estat, )e taught, but first he followed it himselve.

"23: )ym wolde he snybben sharply for the nonys. "24: A bettre preest & trowe that nowher noon ys. "2": )e waited after no pompe and reverence, "2%: 5e ma$ed him a spiced conscience, "2': :ut cristes loore and his apostles twelve "2(: )e taughte, but first he folwed it hymselve. The Plo+#an's Portrait "2*: With hym ther was a plowman, was his brother, "3+: That hadde ylad of dong ful many a fother! "31: A trewe swyn$ere and a good was he, "32: >yvynge in pees and parfit charitee. "33: ?od loved he best with al his hoole herte "34: At alle tymes, thogh him gamed or smerte, "3": And thanne his neighebor right as hymselve. "3%: )e wolde thresshe, and therto dy$e and delve, "3': ;or cristes sa$e, for every povre wight, "3(: Withouten hire, if it lay in his myght. "3*: )is tithes payde he ful faire and wel, "4+: :othe of his propre swyn$ and his catel. "41: &n a tabard he rood upon a mere. "42: Ther was also a reve, and a millere, "43: A somnour, and a pardoner also, "44: A maunciple, and myself 66 ther were namo. The %iller's Portrait "4": The millere was a stout carl for the nones! "4%: ;ul byg he was of brawn, and ee$ of bones. "4': That proved wel, for over al ther he cam, "4(: At wrastlynge he wolde have alwey the ram. "4*: )e was short6sholdred, brood, a thi$$e $narre! ""+: Ther was no dore that he nolde heve of harre, ""1: r bre$e it at a rennyng with his heed. ""2: )is berd as any sowe or fo< was reed, ""3: And therto brood, as though it were a spade. ""4: Bpon the cop right of his nose he hade """: A werte, and theron stood a toft of herys, ""%: 3eed as the brustles of a sowes erys! ""': )is nosethirles bla$e were and wyde. ""(: A swerd and bo$eler bar he by his syde.

THE P*$,%&N With him there was a plowman, was his brother, That many a load of dung, and many another )ad scattered, for a good true toiler, he, >iving in peace and perfect charity. )e loved ?od most, and that with his whole heart At all times, though he played or plied his art, And ne<t, his neighbour, even as himself. )e7d thresh and dig, with never thought of pelf, ;or 9hrist7s own sa$e, for every poor wight, All without pay, if it lay in his might. )e paid his ta<es, fully, fairly, well, :oth by his own toil and by stuff he7d sell. &n a tabard he rode upon a mare. There were also a reeve and miller there! A summoner, manciple and pardoner, And these, beside myself, made all there were. THE %I**E! The miller was a stout churl, be it $nown, )ardy and big of brawn and big of bone! Which was well proved, for when he went on lam At wrestling, never failed he of the ram. )e was a chun$y fellow, broad of build! )e7d heave a door from hinges if he willed, r brea$ it through, by running, with his head. )is beard, as any sow or fo<, was red, And broad it was as if it were a spade. Bpon the coping of his nose he had A wart, and thereon stood a tuft of hairs, 3ed as the bristles in an old sow7s ears! )is nostrils they were blac$ and very wide. A sword and buc$ler bore he by his side. )is mouth was li$e a furnace door for si#e. )e was a @ester and could poeti#e, :ut mostly all of sin and ribaldries. )e could steal corn and full thrice charge his fees!

""*: )is mouth as greet was as a greet forneys. "%+: )e was a @anglere and a goliardeys, "%1: And that was moost of synne and harlotries. "%2: Wel $oude he stelen corn and tollen thries! "%3: And yet he hadde a thombe of gold, pardee. "%4: A whit cote and a blew hood wered he. "%": A baggepipe wel $oude he blowe and sowne, "%%: And therwithal he broghte us out of towne. The %an'i1le's Portrait "%': A gentil maunciple was ther of a temple, "%(: f which achatours myghte ta$e e<emple "%*: ;or to be wise in byynge of vitaille! "'+: ;or wheither that he payde or too$ by taille, "'1: Algate he wayted so in his achaat "'2: That he was ay biforn and in good staat. "'3: 5ow is nat that of ?od a ful fair grace "'4: That swich a lewed mannes wit shal pace "'": The wisdom of an heep of lerned menF "'%: f maistres hadde he mo than thries ten, "'': That weren of lawe e<pert and curious, "'(: f which ther were a dus#eyne in that hous "'*: Worthy to been stywardes of rente and lond "(+: f any lord that is in engelond, "(1: To ma$e hym lyve by his propre good "(2: &n honour dettelees ,but if he were wood-, "(3: r lyve as scarsly as hym list desire! "(4: And able for to helpen al a shire "(": &n any caas that myghte falle or happe! "(%: And yet this manciple sette hir aller cappe. The !ee2e's Portrait "(': The reve was a sclendre coleri$ man. "((: )is berd was shave as ny as ever he $an! "(*: )is heer was by his erys ful round yshorn! "*+: )is top was do$$ed ly$ a preest biforn "*1: ;ul longe were his legges and ful lene, "*2: Gly$ a staf, ther was no calf ysene. "*3: Wel $oude he $epe a gerner and a bynne! "*4: Ther was noon auditour $oude on him

And yet he had a thumb of gold, begad. A white coat and blue hood he wore, this lad. A bagpipe he could blow well, be it $nown, And with that same he brought us out of town.

THE %&NCIP*E

There was a manciple from an inn of court, To whom all buyers might 0uite well resort To learn the art of buying food and drin$! ;or whether he paid cash or not, & thin$ That he so $new the mar$ets, when to buy, )e never found himself left high and dry. 5ow is it not of ?od a full fair grace That such a vulgar man has wit to pace The wisdom of a crowd of learned menF f masters had he more than three times ten, Who were in law e<pert and curious! Whereof there were a do#en in that house ;it to be stewards of both rent and land f any lord in 8ngland who would stand Bpon his own and live in manner good, &n honour, debtless ,save his head were wood-, r live as frugally as he might desire! These men were able to have helped a shire &n any case that ever might befall! And yet this manciple outguessed them all.

THE !EE.E The reeve he was a slender, choleric man Who shaved his beard as close as ra#or can. )is hair was cut round even with his ears! )is top was tonsured li$e a pulpiteer7s. >ong were his legs, and they were very lean, And li$e a staff, with no calf to be seen. Well could he manage granary and bin! 5o auditor could ever on him win. )e could foretell, by drought and by the rain, The yielding of his seed and of his grain. )is lord7s sheep and his o<en and his dairy,

wynne. "*": Wel wiste he by the droghte and by the reyn "*%: The yeldynge of his seed and of his greyn. )is swine and horses, all his stores, his "*': )is lordes sheep, his neet, his dayerye, poultry, "*(: )is swyn, his hors, his stoor, and his Were wholly in this steward7s managing! pultrye And, by agreement, he7d made rec$oning "**: Was hoolly in this reves governynge, 4ince his young lord of age was twenty years! %++: And by his covenant yaf the re$enynge, Get no man ever found him in arrears. %+1: 4yn that his lord was twenty yeer of age. There was no agent, hind, or herd who7d %+2: Ther $oude no man brynge hym in cheat arrerage. :ut he $new well his cunning and deceit! %+3: Ther nas baillif, ne hierde, nor oother They were afraid of him as of the death. hyne, )is cottage was a good one, on a heath! %+4: That he ne $new his sleighte and his :y green trees shaded with this dwelling6 covyne! place. %+": They were adrad of hym as of the deeth. /uch better than his lord could he purchase. %+%: )is wonyng was ful faire upon an heeth! 3ight rich he was in his own private right, %+': With grene trees yshadwed was his 4eeing he7d pleased his lord, by day or night, place. :y giving him, or lending, of his goods, %+(: )e $oude bettre than his lord purchace. And so got than$ed6 but yet got coats and %+*: ;ul riche he was astored pryvely: hoods. %1+: )is lord wel $oude he plesen subtilly, &n youth he7d learned a good trade, and had %11: To yeve and lene hym of his owene been good, A carpenter, as fine as could be seen. %12: And have a than$, and yet a cote and This steward sat a horse that well could trot, hood. And was all dapple6grey, and was named %13: &n youthe he hadde lerned a good 4cot. myster! A long surcoat of blue did he parade, %14: )e was a wel good wrighte, a carpenter. And at his side he bore a rusty blade. %1": This reve sat upon a ful good stot, f 5orfol$ was this reeve of whom & tell, %1%: That was al pomely grey and highte scot. ;rom near a town that men call :adeswell. %1': A long surcote of pers upon he hade, :undled he was li$e friar from chin to croup, %1(: And by his syde he baar a rusty blade. And ever he rode hindmost of our troop. %1*: f northfol$ was this reve of which & telle, %2+: :iside a toun men clepen baldeswelle. %21: Tu$$ed he was as is a frere aboute, %22: And evere he rood the hyndreste of oure route. The Su##oner's Portrait THE S %%$NE! %23: A somonour was ther with us in that A summoner was with us in that place, place, Who had a fiery6red, cherubic face, %24: That hadde a fyr6reed cherubynnes face, ;or ec#ema he had! his eyes were narrow %2": ;or saucefleem he was, with eyen As hot he was, and lecherous, as a sparrow! narwe. With blac$ and scabby brows and scanty %2%: As hoot he was and lecherous as a beard! sparwe, )e had a face that little children feared. %2': With scalled browes bla$e and piled There was no mercury, sulphur, or litharge, berd. 5o bora<, ceruse, tartar, could discharge, %2(: f his visage children were aferd. 5or ointment that could cleanse enough, or %2*: Ther nas 0uy$6silver, lytarge, ne bite, brymstoon, To free him of his boils and pimples white, %3+: :oras, ceruce, ne oille of tartre noon! 5or of the bosses resting on his chee$s.

%31: 5e oynement that wolde clense and byte, %32: That hym myghte helpen of his whel$es white, %33: 5or of the $nobbes sittynge on his che$es. %34: Wel loved he garlee$, oynons, and ee$ le$es, Well loved he garlic, onions, aye and lee$s, %3": And for to dryn$en strong wyn, reed as And drin$ing of strong wine as red as blood. blood! Then would he tal$ and shout as madman %3%: Thanne wolde he spe$e and crie as he would. were wood. And when a deal of wine he7d poured within, %3': And whan that he wel dron$en hadde the Then would. he utter no word save >atin. wyn, 4ome phrases had he learned, say two or %3(: Thanne wolde he spe$e no word but three, latyn. Which he had garnered out of some decree! %3*: A fewe termes hadde he, two or thre, 5o wonder, for he7d heard it all the day! %4+: That he had lerned out of som decree 66 And all you $now right well that even a @ay %41: 5o wonder is, he herde it al the day! 9an call out CWatC as well as can the pope. %42: And ee$ ye $nowen wel how that a @ay :ut when, for aught else, into him you7d %43: Ean clepen watte as wel as $an the grope, pope. 7Twas found he7d spent his whole philosophy! %44: :ut whoso $oude in oother thyng hym Aust C2uestio 0uid @urisC would he cry. grope, )e was a noble rascal, and a $ind! %4": Thanne hadde he spent al his A better comrade 7twould be hard to find. philosophie! Why, he would suffer, for a 0uart of wine, %4%: Ay 0uestio 0uid iuris wolde he crie. 4ome good fellow to have his concubine %4': )e was a gentil harlot and a $ynde! A twelve6month, and e<cuse him to the full %4(: A bettre felawe sholde men noght fynde. ,:etween ourselves, though, he could pluc$ a %4*: )e wolde suffre for a 0uart of wyn gull-. %"+: A good felawe to have his concubyn And if he chanced upon a good fellow, %"1: A twelf month, and e<cuse hym atte fulle! )e would instruct him never to have awe, %"2: ;ul prively a fynch ee$ $oude he pulle. &n such a case, of the archdeacon7s curse, %"3: And if he foond owher a good felawe, 8<cept a man7s soul lie within his purse! %"4: )e wolde techen him to have noon awe ;or in his purse the man should punished be. %"": &n swich caas of the ercede$enes curs, CThe purse is the archdeacon7s )ell,C said he. %"%: :ut if a mannes soule were in his purs! :ut well & $now he lied in what he said! %"': ;or in his purs he sholde ypunysshed be. A curse ought every guilty man to dread %"(: =urs is the ercede$enes helle, seyde he. ,;or curse can $ill, as absolution save-, %"*: :ut wel & woot he lyed right in dede! And 7ware significavit to the grave. %%+: f cursyng oghte ech gilty man him &n his own power had he, and at ease, drede, The boys and girls of all the diocese, %%1: ;or curs wol slee right as assoillyng And $new their secrets, and by counsel led. savith, A garland had he set upon his head, %%2: And also war hym of a significavit. >arge as a tavern7s wine6bush on a sta$e! %%3: &n daunger hadde he at his owene gise A buc$ler had he made of bread they ba$e. %%4: The yonge girles of the diocise, %%": And $new hir conseil, and was al hir reed. %%%: A gerland hadde he set upon his heed %%': As greet as it were for an ale6sta$e. %%(: A bo$eleer hadde he maad hym of a ca$e. The Par(oner's Portrait THE P&!-$NE!

%%*: With hym ther rood a gentil pardoner With him there rode a gentle pardoner %'+: f rouncivale, his freend and his f 3ouncival, his friend and his compeer! compeer, 4traight from the court of 3ome had %'1: That streight was comen fro the court of @ourneyed he. rome. >oudly he sang C9ome hither, love, to me,C %'2: ;ul loude he soong com hider, love, to The summoner @oining with a burden round! meD Was never horn of half so great a sound. %'3: This somonour bar to hym a stif burdoun! This pardoner had hair as yellow as wa<, %'4: Was nevere trompe of half so greet a :ut lan$ it hung as does a stri$e of fla<! soun. &n wisps hung down such loc$s as he7d on %'": This pardoner hadde heer as yelow as head, we<, And with them he his shoulders overspread! %'%: :ut smothe it heeng as dooth a stri$e of :ut thin they dropped, and stringy, one by fle<! one. %'': :y ounces henge his lo$$es that he :ut as to hood, for sport of it, he7d none, hadde, Though it was pac$ed in wallet all the while. %'(: And therwith he his shuldres &t seemed to him he went in latest style, overspradde! Hishevelled, save for cap, his head all bare. %'*: :ut thynne it lay, by colpons oon and As shiny eyes he had as has a hare. oon. )e had a fine veronica sewed to cap. %(+: :ut hood, for @olitee, wered he noon, )is wallet lay before him in his lap, %(1: ;or it was trussed up in his walet. 4tuffed full of pardons brought from 3ome all %(2: )ym thoughte he rood al of the newe @et! hot. %(3: Hischevelee, save his cappe, he rood al A voice he had that bleated li$e a goat. bare. 5o beard had he, nor ever should he have, %(4: 4wiche glarynge eyen hadde he as an ;or smooth his face as he7d @ust had a shave! hare. & thin$ he was a gelding or a mare. %(": A vernycle hadde he sowed upon his :ut in his craft, from :erwic$ unto Ware, cappe. Was no such pardoner in any place. %(%: )is walet lay biforn hym in his lappe, ;or in his bag he had a pillowcase %(': :retful of pardoun, comen from rome al The which, he said, was ur True >ady7s veil: hoot. )e said he had a piece of the very sail %((: A voys he hadde as smal as hath a goot. That good 4aint =eter had, what time he went %(*: 5o berd hadde he, ne nevere sholde Bpon the sea, till Aesus changed his bent. have! )e had a latten cross set full of stones, %*+: As smothe it was as it were late shave. And in a bottle had he some pig7s bones. %*1: & trowe he were a geldyng or a mare. :ut with these relics, when he came upon %*2: :ut of his craft, fro berwy$ into ware, 4ome simple parson, then this paragon %*3: 5e was ther swich another pardoner &n that one day more money stood to gain %*4: ;or in his male he hadde a pilwe6beer, Than the poor dupe in two months could %*": Which that he seyde was oure lady veyl: attain. %*%: )e seyde he hadde a gobet of the seyl And thus, with flattery and suchli$e @apes, %*': That seint peter hadde, whan that he )e made the parson and the rest his apes. wente :ut yet, to tell the whole truth at the last, %*(: Bpon the see, til @hesu crist hym hente. )e was, in church, a fine ecclesiast. %**: )e hadde a croys of latoun ful of stones, Well could he read a lesson or a story, '++: And in a glas he hadde pigges bones. :ut best of all he sang an offertory! '+1: :ut with thise reli$es, whan that he fond ;or well he $new that when that song was '+2: A povre person dwellynge upon lond, sung, '+3: Bpon a day he gat hym moore moneye Then might he preach, and all with polished '+4: Than that the person gat in monthes tongue. tweye! To win some silver, as he right well could! '+": And thus, with feyned flaterye and @apes, Therefore he sang so merrily and so loud. '+%: )e made the person and the peple his apes.

'+': :ut trewely to tellen atte laste, '+(: )e was in chirche a noble ecclesiaste. '+*: Wel $oude he rede a lessoun or a storie, '1+: :ut alderbest he song an offertorie! '11: ;or wel he wiste, whan that song was songe, '12: )e moste preche and wel affile his tonge '13: To wynne silver, as he ful wel $oude! '14: Therefore he song the murierly and loude. P!$*$G E '1": 5ow have & toold you soothly, in a 5ow have & told you briefly, in a clause, clause, The state, the array, the number, and the '1%: Th7 estaat, th7 array, the nombre, and ee$ cause the cause f the assembling of this company '1': Why that assembled was this &n 4outhwar$, at this noble hostelry compaignye Enown as the Tabard &nn, hard by the :ell. '1(: &n southwer$ at this gentil hostelrye :ut now the time is come wherein to tell '1*: That highte the tabard, faste by the belle. )ow all we bore ourselves that very night '2+: :ut now is tyme to yow for to telle When at the hostelry we did alight. '21: )ow that we baren us that il$e nyght, And afterward the story & engage '22: Whan we were in that hostelrie alyght! To tell you of our common pilgrimage. '23: And after wol & telle of our viage :ut first, & pray you, of your courtesy, '24: And al the remenaunt of oure pilgrimage. Gou7ll not ascribe it to vulgarity '2": :ut first & pray yow, of youre curteisye, Though & spea$ plainly of this matter here, '2%: That ye n7 arette it nat my vileynye, 3etailing you their words and means of cheer! '2': Thogh that & pleynly spe$e in this 5or though & use their very terms, nor lie. mateere, ;or this thing do you $now as well as &: '2(: To telle yow hir wordes and hir cheere, When one repeats a tale told by a man, '2*: 5e thogh & spe$e hir wordes proprely. )e must report, as nearly as he can, '3+: ;or this ye $nowen al so wel as &, 8very least word, if he remember it, '31: Whoso shal telle a tale after a man, )owever rude it be, or how unfit! '32: )e moot reherce as ny as evere he $an r else he may be telling what7s untrue, '33: 8verich a word, if it be in his charge, 8mbellishing and fictioni#ing too. '34: Al spe$e he never so rudeliche and )e may not spare, although it were his large, brother! '3": r ellis he moot telle his tale untrewe, )e must as well say one word as another. '3%: r feyne thyng, or fynde wordes newe. 9hrist spo$e right broadly out, in holy writ, '3': )e may nat spare, althogh he were his And, you $now well, there7s nothing low in it. brother! And =lato says, to those able to read: '3(: )e moot as wel seye o word as another. CThe word should be the cousin to the deed.C '3*: 9rist spa$ hymself ful brode in hooly writ, Also, & pray that you7ll forgive it me '4+: And wel ye woot no vileynye is it. &f & have not set fol$, in their degree '41: 8e$ plato seith, whoso that $an hym )ere in this tale, by ran$ as they should stand. rede, /y wits are not the best, you7ll understand. '42: The wordes moote be cosyn to the dede. ?reat cheer our host gave to us, every one, '43: Also & prey yow to foryeve it me, And to the supper set us all anon! '44: Al have & nat set fol$ in hir degree And served us then with victuals of the best. '4": )eere in this tale, as that they sholde 4trong was the wine and pleasant to each stonde. guest. '4%: /y wit is short, ye may wel understonde. A seemly man our good host was, withal, '4': ?reet chiere made oure hoost us ;it to have been a marshal in some hall! everichon, )e was a large man, with protruding eyes, '4(: And to the soper sette he us anon. As fine a burgher as in 9heapside lies!

'4*: )e served us with vitaille at the beste! :old in his speech, and wise, and right well '"+: 4trong was the wyn, and wel to dryn$e taught, us leste. And as to manhood, lac$ing there in naught. '"1: A semely man oure hooste was withalle Also, he was a very merry man, '"2: ;or to han been a marchal in an halle. And after meat, at playing he began, '"3: A large man he was with eyen stepe 66 4pea$ing of mirth among some other things, '"4: A fairer burgeys is ther noon in chepe 66 When all of us had paid our rec$onings! '"": :oold of his speche, and wys, and wel And saying thus: C5ow masters, verily ytaught, Gou are all welcome here, and heartily: '"%: And of manhod hym la$$ede right ;or by my truth, and telling you no lie, naught. & have not seen, this year, a company '"': 8e$ therto he was right a myrie man, )ere in this inn, fitter for sport than now. '"(: And after soper pleyen he bigan, ;ain would & ma$e you happy, $new & how. '"*: And spa$ of myrthe amonges othere And of a game have & this moment thought thynges, To give you @oy, and it shall cost you naught. '%+: Whan that we hadde maad oure CGou go to 9anterbury! may ?od speed re$enynges, And the blest martyr soon re0uite your meed. '%1: And seyde thus: now, lordynges, trewely, And well & $now, as you go on your way, '%2: Ge been to me right welcome, hertely! Gou7ll tell good tales and shape yourselves to '%3: ;or by my trouthe, if that & shal nat lye, play! '%4: & saugh nat this yeer so myrie a ;or truly there7s no mirth nor comfort, none, compaignye 3iding the roads as dumb as is a stone! '%": Atones in this herberwe as is now. And therefore will & furnish you a sport, '%%: ;ayn wolde & doon yow myrthe, wiste & As & @ust said, to give you some comfort. how. And if you li$e it, all, by one assent, '%': And of a myrthe & am right now bythoght, And will be ruled by me, of my @udgment, '%(: To doon yow ese, and it shal coste And will so do as &7ll proceed to say, noght. Tomorrow, when you ride upon your way, '%*: Ge goon to caunterbury 66 ?od yow Then, by my father7s spirit, who is dead, speede, &f you7re not gay, &7ll give you up my head. ''+: The blisful martir 0uite yow youre meedeD )old up your hands, nor more about it spea$.C ''1: And wel & woot, as ye goon by the weye, ur full assenting was not far to see$! ''2: Ge shapen yow to talen and to pleye! We thought there was no reason to thin$ ''3: ;or trewely, confort ne myrthe is noon twice, ''4: To ride by the weye doumb as a stoon! And granted him his way without advice, ''": And therfore wol & ma$en yow disport, And bade him tell his verdict @ust and wise, ''%: As & seyde erst, and doon yow som C/asters,C 0uoth he, Chere now is my advice! confort. :ut ta$e it not, & pray you, in disdain! ''': And if yow li$eth alle by oon assent This is the point, to put it short and plain, ''(: ;or to stonden at my @uggement, That each of you, beguiling the long day, ''*: And for to wer$en as & shal yow seye, 4hall tell two stories as you wend your way '(+: To6morwe, whan ye riden by the weye, To 9anterbury town! and each of you '(1: 5ow, by my fader soule that is deed, n coming home, shall tell another two, '(2: :ut ye be myrie, & wol yeve yow myn All of adventures he has $nown befall. heedD And he who plays his part the best of all, '(3: )oold up youre hondes, withouten moore That is to say, who tells upon the road speche. Tales of best sense, in most amusing mode, '(4: ure conseil was nat longe for to seche. 4hall have a supper at the others7 cost '(": Bs thoughte it was noght worth to ma$e )ere in this room and sitting by this post, it wys, When we come bac$ again from 9anterbury. '(%: And graunted hym withouten moore And now, the more to warrant you7ll be merry, avys, & will myself, and gladly, with you ride '(': And bad him seye his voirdit as hym At my own cost, and & will be your guide. leste. :ut whosoever shall my rule gainsay '((: >ordynges, 0uod he, now her$neth for 4hall pay for all that7s bought along the way.

the beste! And if you are agreed that it be so, '(*: :ut taa$ it nought, & prey yow, in Tell me at once, or if not, tell me no, desdeyn. And & will act accordingly. 5o more.C '*+: This is the poynt, to spe$en short and This thing was granted, and our oaths we pleyn, swore, '*1: That ech of yow, to shorte with oure With right glad hearts, and prayed of him, weye, also, '*2: &n this viage shal telle tales tweye That he would ta$e the office, nor forgo '*3: To caunterbury6ward, & mene it so, The place of governor of all of us, '*4: And homward he shal tellen othere two, Audging our tales! and by his wisdom thus '*": f aventures that whilom han bifalle. Arrange that supper at a certain price, '*%: And which of yow that bereth hym best of We to be ruled, each one, by his advice alle, &n things both great and small! by one assent, '*': That is to seyn, that telleth in this caas We stood committed to his government. '*(: Tales of best sentence and moost And thereupon, the wine was fetched anon! solaas, We dran$, and then to rest went every one, '**: 4hal have a soper at oure aller cost And that without a longer tarrying. (++: )eere in this place, sittynge by this post, 5e<t morning, when the day began to spring, (+1: Whan that we come agayn fro Bp rose our host, and acting as our coc$, caunterbury. )e gathered us together in a floc$, (+2: And for to ma$e yow the moore mury, And forth we rode, a @og6trot being the pace, (+3: & wol myselven goodly with yow ryde, Bntil we reached 4aint Thomas7 watering6 (+4: 3ight at myn owene cost, and be youre place. gyde, And there our host pulled horse up to a wal$, (+": And whoso wole my @uggement withseye And said: C5ow, masters, listen while & tal$. (+%: 4hal paye al that we spenden by the Gou $now what you agreed at set of sun. weye. &f even6song and morning6song are one, (+': And if ye vouche sauf that it be so, >et7s here decide who first shall tell a tale. (+(: Tel me anon, withouten wordes mo, And as & hope to drin$ more wine and ale, (+*: And & wol erly shape me therfore. Whoso proves rebel to my government (1+: This thyng was graunted, and oure othes 4hall pay for all that by the way is spent. swore 9ome now, draw cuts, before we farther win, (11: With ful glad herte, and preyden hym And he that draws the shortest shall begin. also 4ir $night,C said he, Cmy master and my lord, (12: That he wolde vouche sauf for to do so, Gou shall draw first as you have pledged your (13: And that he wolde been oure governour, word. (14: And oure tales @uge and reportour, 9ome near,C 0uoth he, Cmy lady prioress: (1": And sette a soper at a certeyn pris, And you, sir cler$, put by your bashfulness, (1%: And we wol reuled been at his devys 5or ponder more! out hands, flow, every (1': &n heigh and lough! and thus by oon manDC assent At once to draw a cut each one began, (1(: We been acorded to his @uggement. And, to ma$e short the matter, as it was, (1*: And therupon the wyn was fet anon! Whether by chance or whatsoever cause, (2+: We dron$en, and to reste wente echon, The truth is, that the cut fell to the $night, (21: Withouten any lenger taryynge. At which right happy then was every wight. (22: Amorwe, whan that day bigan to Thus that his story first of all he7d tell, sprynge, According to the compact, it befell, (23: Bp roos oure hoost, and was oure aller As you have heard. Why argue to and froF co$, And when this good man saw that it was so, (24: And gradrede us togidre alle in a flo$, :eing a wise man and obedient (2": And forth we riden a litel moore than To plighted word, given by free assent, paas )e slid: C4ince & must then begin the game, (2%: Bnto the wateryng of seint thomas! Why, welcome be the cut, and in ?od7s nameD (2': And there oure hoost bigan his hors 5ow let us ride, and hear$en what & say.C areste And at that word we rode forth on our way!

(2(: And seyde, lordynges, her$neth, if yow leste. (2*: Ge woot youre foreward, and & it yow recorde. (3+: &f even6song and morwe6song accorde, (31: >at se now who shal telle the firste tale. (32: As evere mote & dryn$e wyn or ale, (33: Whoso be rebel to my @uggement (34: 4hal paye for al that by the wey is spent. (3": 5ow draweth cut, er that we ferrer twynne! (3%: )e which that hath the shorteste shal bigynne. (3': 4ire $nyght, 0uod he, my mayster and my lord, (3(: 5ow draweth cut, for that is myn accord. (3*: 9ometh neer, 0uod he, my lady prioresse. (4+: And ye, sire cler$, lat be youre shamefastnesse, (41: 5e studieth noght! ley hond to, every manD (42: Anon to drawen every wight bigan, And he began to spea$, with right good cheer, (43: And shortly for to tellen as it was, )is tale anon, as it is written here. (44: Were it by aventure, or sort, or cas, (4": The sothe is this, the cut fil to the $nyght, (4%: f which ful blithe and glad was every wyght, (4': And telle he moste his tale, as was resoun, (4(: :y foreward and by composicioun, (4*: As ye han herd! what nedeth wordes moF ("+: And whan this goode man saugh that it was so, ("1: As he that wys was and obedient ("2: To $epe his foreward by his free assent, ("3: )e seyde, syn & shal bigynne the game, ("4: What, welcome be the cut, a goddes nameD ("": 5ow lat us ryde, and her$neth what & seye. ("%: And with that word we ryden forth oure weye, ("': And he bigan with right a myrie cheere ("(: )is tale anon, and seyde as ye may heere. )838 85H4 T)8 =3 > ?B8 ; T)&4 : E A5H )838 :8?&54 T)8 ;&34T TA>8, W)&9) &4 T)8 E5&?)T74 TA>8

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