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Short was his goune, with sleves longe and She was so charitable and so pitous, wyde.

She wolde wepe, if that she sawe a mous Wel coude he sitte on hors, and faire ryde. Caught in a trappe, if it were deed or He coude songes make and wel endyte,

bledde. Iuste and eek daunce, and wel purtreye and Of smale houndes had she, that she fedde wryte.

With rosted flesh, or milk and wastel-breed. So hote he lovede, that by nightertale But sore weep she if oon of hem were deed, He sleep namore than dooth a nightingale. Or if men smoot it with a yerde smerte : Curteys he was, lowly, and servisable, And al was conscience and tendre berte. 150 And carf biforn his fader at the table. Ful semely hir wimpel pinched was;

A YEMAN hadde he, and servaunts namo Hir pose tretys; hir eyen greye as glas; At that tyme, for him liste ryde so;

Hir mouth ful smal, and ther-to softe and And he was clad in cote and hood of grene;

reed; A sheef of pecok-arwes brighte and kene But sikerly she hadde a fair forheed; Under his belt he bar ful thriftily;

It was almost a spanne brood, I trowe; (Wel coude he dresse his takel yemanly: For, hardily, she was nat undergrowe. His arwes drouped noght with fetheres Ful fetis was hir cloke, as I was war. lowe),

Of smal coral aboute hir arm she bar And in his hand he bar a mighty bowe. A peire of bedes, gauded al with grene; A not-heed hadde he, with a broun visage. And ther-on heng a broche of gold ful Of wode-craft wel conde he al the usage.

shene, Upon his arm he bar a gay bracer,

On which ther was first write a crowned A, And by his syde a swerd and a bokeler, And after, Amor vincit omnia. And on that other syde a gay daggere, Another NONNE with hir hadde she, Harneised wel, and sharp as point of spere; That was hir chapeleyne, and PREESTES A Cristofre on his brest of silver shene.

three. An horn he bar, the bawdrik was of grene; A Monk ther was, a fair for the maisA forster was he, soothly, as I gesse.

trye, Ther was also a Nonne, a PRIORESSE, An out-rydere, that lovede venerye; That of hir sıyling was ful simple and A manly man, to been an abbot able. coy;

Ful many a deyntee hors hadde he in stable: Hir gretteste ooth was but by sëynt Loy; And, whan he rood, men mighte his brydel And she was cleped madame Eglentyne.

here Ful wel she song the service divyne, Ginglen in a whistling wind as clere, Entuned in hir nose ful semely;

And eek as loude as dooth the chapel-belle, And Frensh she spak ful faire and fetisly, Ther as this lord was keper of the celle. After the scole of Stratford atte Bowe, The reule of seint Maure or of seint Beneit, For Frensh of Paris was to hir unknowe. By-cause that it was old and som-del streit, At mete wel y-taught was she with-alle; This ilke monk leet olde thinges pace, She leet no morsel from hir lippes falle, And held after the newe world the space. Ne wette bir fingres in hir sauce depe. 129 He yaf nat of that text a pulled hen, Wel coude she carie a morsel, and wel kepe, That seith, that hunters been nat holy That no drope ne fille up-on hir brest.

men; In curteisye was set ful muche hir lest. Ne that a monk, whan he is cloisterlees, Hir over lippe wyped she so clene,

Is lykned til a fish that is waterlees; That in hir coppe was no ferthing sene This is to seyn, a monk out of his cloistre. Of grece, whan she dronken hadde hir But thilke text held he nat worth an oistre; draughte.

And I seyde, his opinioun was good. Ful semely after hir mete she raughte, What sholde he studie, and make himselven And sikerly she was of greet disport,

wood, And ful plesaunt, and amiable of port, Upon a book in cloistre alwey to poure, And peyned hir to countrefete chere Or swinken with his handes, and laboure, Of court, and been estatlich of manere, 140

As Austin bit? How shal the world be And to ben holden digne of reverence.

served ? But, for to speken of hir conscience,

Lat Austin have his swink to him reserved.





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Therfore he was a pricasour aright; Grehoundes he hadde, as swifte as fowel in

flight; Of priking and of hunting for the hare Was al his lust, for no cost wolde he spare. I seigh his sleves purfiled at the hond With grys, and that the fyneste of a lond; And, for to festne his hood under his chin, He hadde of gold y-wroght a curious pin: A love-knotte in the gretter ende ther was. His heed was balled, that shoon as any

glas, And eek his face, as he had been anoint. He was a lord ful fat and in good point; 200 His eyen stepe, and rollinge in his heed, That stemed as a forneys of a leed; His botes souple, his hors in greet estat. Now certeinly he was a fair prelat; He was nat pale as a for-pyned goost. A fat swan loved he best of any roost. His palfrey was as broun as is a berye. A FRERE ther was, a wantown and a

merye, A limitour, a ful solempne man. In alle the ordres foure is noon that can So muche of daliaunce and fair langage. He hadde maad ful many a mariage Of yonge wommen, at his owne cost. Un-to his ordre he was a noble post. Ful wel biloved and famulier was he With frankeleyns over-al in his contree, And eek with worthy wommen of the toun: For he had power of confessioun, As seyde him-self, more than a curat, For his ordre he was licentiat. Ful swetely herde he confessioun, And plesaunt was his absolucioun; He was an esy man to yeve penaunce Ther as he wiste to han a good pitaunce; For unto a povre ordre for to yive Is signe that a man is wel y-shrive For if he yaf, he dorste make avaunt, He wiste that a man was repentaunt. For many a man so hard is of bis herte, 229 He may

nat wepe al-thogh him sore smerte. Therfore, in stede of weping and preyeres, Men moot yeve silver to the povre freres. His tipet was ay farsed ful of knyves And pinnes, for to yeven faire wyves. And certeinly he hadde a mery note; Wel coude he singe and pleyen on a rote. Of yeddinges he bar utterly the prys. His nekke whyt was as the flour-de-lys; Ther-to he strong was as a champioun. He knew the tavernes wel in every toun,

And everich hostiler and tappestere
Bet than a lazar or a beggestere;
For un-to swich a worthy man as he
Acorded nat, as by his facultee,
To have with seke lazars aqueyntaunce.
It is nat honest, it may nat avaunce
For to delen with no swich poraille,
But al with riche and sellers of vitaille.
And over-al, ther as profit sholde aryse,
Curteys he was, and lowly of servyse.
Ther nas no man no-wher so vertuous.
He was the beste beggere in his hous;
[And yaf a certeyn ferme for the graunt;
Noon of his bretheren cam ther in his

For thogh a widwe hadde noght a sho,
So plesaunt was his . In principio,'
Yet wolde he have a ferthing, er he wente.
His purchas was wel bettre than his rente.
And rage he coude, as it were right a

whelpe In love-dayes ther coude he muchel helpe. For there he was nat lyk a cloisterer, With a thredbar cope, as is a porre scoler, But he was lyk a maister or a pope. Of double worsted was his semi-cope, That rounded as a belle out of the presse. Somwhat he lipsed, for his wantownesse, To make his English swete up-on

his tonge; And in his harping, whan that he had

songe, His eyen twinkled in his heed aright, As doon the sterres in the frosty night. 270 This worthy limitour was cleped Huberd. A MARCHANT was ther with a forked

berd, In mottelee, and hye on horse he sat, Up-on his heed a Flaundrish bever hat; His botes clasped faire and fetisly. His resons he spak ful solempnely, Souninge alway thencrees of his winning. He wolde the see were kept for any thing Bitwixe Middelburgh and Orewelle. Wel coude he in eschaunge sheeldes selle. This worthy man ful wel his wit bisette; 281 Ther wiste no wight that he was in dette, So estatly was he of his governaunce, With his bargaynes, and with his cheviFor sothe he was a worthy man withalle, But sooth to seyn, I noot how men him

calle. A CLERK ther was of Oxenford also, That un-to logik hadde longe y-go.




As lene was his hors as is a rake,
And be nas nat right fat, I undertake; 290
But loked holwe, and ther-to soberly.
Ful thred bar was bis overest courtepy;
For he had geten bim yet no benefyce,
Ne was so worldly for to have offyce.
For him was lever have at his beddes heed
Twenty bokes, clad in blak or reed,
Of Aristotle and his philosophye,
Than robes riche, or fithele, or gay sautrye.
But al be that he was a philosophre,
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre;
But al that he mighte of his freendes hente,
On bokes and on lerninge he it spente,
And bisily gan for the soules preye
Of hem that yaf him wher-with to scoleye.
Of studie took he most cure and most hede.
Noght o word spak be more than was nede,
And that was seyd in forme and reverence,
And short and quik, and ful of hy sentence.
Souninge in moral vertu was his speche, 309
And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.

A SERGEANT OF THE LAWE, war and wys,
That often hadde been at the parvys,
Ther was also, ful riche of excellence.
Discreet he was, and of greet reverence:
He semed swicb, bis wordes weren so wyse.
lastyce he was ful often in assyse,
By patente, and by pleyn commissioun;
For his science, and for his heigh renoun
Of fees and robes hadde he many oon.
So greet

a purchasour was no-wher noon. 320 Al was fee simple to him in effect, His purchasing mighte nat been infect. No-wher so bisy a man as he ther nas, And yet he semed bisier than he was. In termes badde he caas and domes alle, That from the tyme of king William were

falle. Therto he coude endyte, and make a thing, Ther coude no wight pinche at his wryting; And every statut coude he pleyn by rote. He rood but hoomly in a medlee cote Girt with a ceint of silk, with barres smale; Of bis array telle I no lenger tale.

A FRANKELEYN was in his companye; Whyt was his berd, as is the dayesye. Of his complexioun he was sangwyn. Wel loved he by the morwe a sop in wyn. To liven in delyt was ever his wone, For he was Epicurus owne sone, That heeld opinioun, that pleyn delyt Was verraily felicitee parfyt. An housholdere, and that a greet, was he; Seint Iulian be was in his contree.

His breed, his ale, was alwey after oon;
A bettre envyned man was no-wher noon.
With-oute bake mete was never his hous,
Of fish and Hesh, and that so plentevous,
It snewed in his hous of mete and drinke,
Of alle deyntees that men coude thinke.
After the sondry sesons of the yeer,
So chaunged he his mete and his soper. 350
Ful many a fat partrich badde he in mewe,
And many a breem and many a luce in

Wo was his cook, but-if his sauce were
Poynaunt and sharp, and redy al his gere.
His table dormant in his halle alway
Stood redy covered al the longe day.
At sessiouns ther was he lord and sire;
Ful ofte tyme he was knight of the shire.
An anlas and a gipser al of silk
Heng at his girdel, whyt as morne milk. 360
A shirreve hadde he been, and a countour;
Was no-wher such a worthy vavasour.

AN HABERDASSHER and a CARPENTER, A WEBBE, a DYERE, and a TAPICER, Were with us eek, clothed in o liveree, Of a solempne and greet fraternitee. Ful fresh and newe hir gere apyked was; Hir knyves were y-chaped noght with bras, But al with silver, wroght ful clene and

weel Hir girdles and hir pouches every-deel. 370 Wel semed ech of hem a fair burgeys, To sitten in a yeldhalle on a deys. Everich, for the wisdom that he can, Was shaply for to been an alderman. For catel hadde they y-nogh and rente, And eek hir wyves wolde it wel assente; And elles certein were they to blame. It is ful fair to been y-clept “ma dame,And goon to vigilyës al bifore, And have a mantel royalliche y-bore.

380 A Cook they hadde with hem for the

nones, To boille the chiknes with the mary bones, And poudre-marchant tart, and galingale. Wel coude he knowe a draughte of London

ale. He coude roste, and sethe, and broille, and

frye, Maken mortreux, and wel bake a pye. But greet harm was it, as it thoughte me, That on his shine a mormal hadde he; For blankmanger, that made he with the

beste. A SHIPMAN was ther, woning fer by









For aught I woot, he was of Dertemouthe. Averrois, Damascien, and Constantyn;
He rood up-on a rouncy, as he couthe, Bernard, and Gatesden, and Gilbertyn.
In a gowne of falding to the knee.

Of his diete mesurable was he,
A daggere hanging on a laas badde he For it was of no superfluitee,
Aboute his nekke under his arm adoun. But of greet norissing and digestible.
The hote somer had maad his hewe al His studie was but litel on the Bible.

In sangwin and in pers be clad was al,
And, certeinly, he was a good felawe. Lyned with taffata and with sendal;
Ful many a draughte of wyn had he And yet he was but esy of dispence;

He kepte that he wan in pestilence. From Burdeux-ward, whyl that the chap- For gold in phisik is a cordial, man sleep.

Therfore he lovede gold in special. Of nyce conscience took he no keep.

A good Wyf was ther of bisyde BATHE, If that he faught, and hadde the hyer hond, But she was som-del deef, and that was By water he sente hem hoom to every

scathe. lond.

Of clooth-making she hadde swiche an But of his craft to rekene wel his tydes,

haunt, His stremes and his daungers bim bisydes, She passed hem of Ypres and of Gaunt. His herberwe and his mone, his lodemen- In al the parisshe wyf ne was ther noon age,

That to the offring bifore hir sholde Ther nas noon swich from Hulle to Cartage.

goon; Hardy he was, and wys to undertake; And if ther dide, certeyn, so wrooth was With many a tempest hadde his berd been

she, shake.

That she was out of alle charitee. He knew wel alle the havenes, as they Hir coverchiefs ful fyne were of ground; were,

I dorste swere they weyeden ten pound From Gootland to the cape of Finistere, 410 That on a Sonday were upon hir heed. And every cryke in Britayne and in Spayne; Hir hosen weren of fyn scarlet reed, His barge y-cleped was the Maudelayne. Ful streite y-teyd, and shoos ful moiste and With ther was


Bold was hir face, and fair, and reed of In al this world ne was ther noon him lyk


460 To speke of phisik and of surgerye; She was a worthy womman al bir lyve, For he was grounded in astronomye. Housbondes at chirche-dore she hadde fyve, He kepte his pacient a ful greet del Withouten other companye in youthe; In houres, by his magik naturel.

But therof nedeth nat to speke as nouthe. Wel coude he fortunen the ascendent And thryes hadde she been at Ierusalem; Of his images for his pacient.

She hadde passed many a straunge streem; He knew the cause of everich maladye, At Rome she hadde been, and at Boloigne, Were it of hoot or cold, or moiste, or In Galice at seint Iame, and at Coloigne. drye,

She coude muche of wandring by the weye: And where engendred, and of what Gat-tothed was she, soothly for to seye. 470 humour;

Up-on an amblere esily she sat, He was a verrey parfit practisour.

Y-wimpled wel, and on hir heed an hat The cause y-knowe, and of his harm the As brood as is a bokeler or a targe; rote,

A foot-mantel aboute bir hipes large, Anon he yaf the seke man his bote.

And on hir feet a paire of spores sharpe. Ful redy hadde he his apothecaries, In felawschip wel coude she laughe and To sende him drogges and his letuaries,

carpe. For ech of hem made other for to winne; Of remedyes of love she knew percbaunce, Hir frendschipe nas nat newe to biginne. For she coude of that art the olde daunce. Wel knew be the olde Esculapius,

A good man was ther of religioun, And Deiscorides, and eek Rufus,

And was a povre Persoun of a toun; 480 Old Ypocras, Haly, and Galien;

But riche he was of holy thoght and werk. Serapion, Razis, and Avicen;

He was also a lerued man, a clerk,











That Cristes gospel trewely wolde preche; With him ther was a PLOWMAN, was his His parisshens devoutly wolde he teche,

brother, Benigae he was, and wonder diligent, That hadde y-lad of dong ful many a And in adversitee ful pacient;

fother, And swich he was y-preved ofte sythes. A trewe swinker and a good was he, Ful looth were him to cursen for his tythes, Livinge in pees and parfit charitee. But rather wolde he yeven, out of doute, God loved he best with al his hole herte Un-to his povre parisshens aboute

At alle tymes, thogh him gamed or smerte, Of bis offring, and eek of bis substaunce. And thanne his neighebour right as himHe coude in litel thing han suffisaunce.

selve. Wyd was his parisshe, and houses fer a- He woldo thresshe, and ther-to dyke and sonder,

delve, But be ne lafte nat, for reyn ne thonder, For Cristes sake, for every povre wight, In siknes nor in meschief, to visyte

Withouten hyre, if it lay in his might. 540 The ferreste in his parisshe, muche and His tythes payed he ful faire and wel, lyte,

Bothe of his propre swink and his catel. Up-on his feet, and in his hand a staf. In a tabard be rood upon a mere. This noble ensample to his sheep he yaf, Ther was also a Reve and a Millere, That first he wroghte, and afterward he A Somnour and a Pardoner also, taughte;

A Maunciple, and my-self; ther were namo. Out of the gospel he tho wordes caughte; The MILLER was a stout carl, for the And this figure he added eek ther-to,

nones, That if gold ruste, what shal iren do? Ful big he was of braun, and eek of bones; For if a preest be foul, on whom we truste, That proved wel, for over-al ther he cam, No wonder is a lewed man to ruste;

At wrastling he wolde have alwey the ram. And shame it is, if a preest take keep, He was short-sholdred, brood, a thikke A shiten shepherde and a clene sheep.

knarre, Wel oghte a preest ensample for to yive, Ther nas no dore that he nolde heve of By his clennesse, how that his sheep shold harre, live.

Or breke it, at a renning, with his heed. He sette nat bis benefice to hyre,

His berd as any sowe or fox was reed, And leet his sheep encombred in the myre, And ther-to brood, as though it were a spade. And ran to London, un-to sëynt Poules, Upon the cop right of his nose he hade To seken bim a chaunterie for soules, A werte, and ther-on stood a tuft of heres, Or with a bretherhed to been withholde; Reed as the bristles of a sowes eres; But dwelte at hoom, and kepte wel his His nose-thirles blake were and wyde. folde,

A swerd and bokeler bar he by his syde; 560 So that the wolf ne made it nat miscarie; His mouth as greet was as a greet forneys. He was a shepherde and no mercenarie. He was a Ianglere and a goliardeys, And though he holy were, and vertuous, And that was most of sinne and harlotryes. He was to sinful man nat despitous,

Wel coude he stelen corn, and tollen thryes; Ne of his speche daungerous ne digne, And yet he hadde a thombe of gold, pardee. But in his teching discreet and benigne. 520 A whyt cote and a blew hood wered he. To drawen folk to heven by fairnesse A baggepype wel coude he blowe and sowne, By good ensample, was his bisinesse : And ther-with-al he broghte us out of But it were any persone obstinat,

towne. What-so he were, of heigh or lowe estat, A gentil MAUNCIPLE was ther of a temple, Him wolde he snibben sharply for the nones. Of which achatours mighte take exemple A bettre preest, I trowe that nowher noon For to be wyse in bying of vitaille. is.

For whether that he payde, or took by He wayted after no pompe and reverence,

taille, Ne maked him a spyced conscience, Algate he wayted so in his achat, But Cristes lore, and his apostles twelve, That he was ay biforn and in good stat. He taughte, and first he folwed it him- Now is nat that of God a ful fair grace, selve.

That swich a lewed mannes wit shal pace




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