Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

3

4

9

And every cryke in Britaigne and in

Spayne. His barge y-cleped was the Maudelayne. 410

With us ther was a Doctour of Phisyk, In al this world ne was ther noon him lyk To speke of ? phisik and of surgerye; For he was grounded in astronomye. He kepte his pacient a ful greet del 415 In houres, by his magik naturel. Wel coude he fortunen the ascendent Of his images for his pacient. He knew the cause of everich maladye, Were it of hoot or cold, or moiste, or drye, And where engendred, and of what humour; 4 He was a verrey,parfit practisour. The cause y-knowe, and of his harm the rote, Anon he yaf the seke man his bote.? Ful redy hadde he his apothecaries, 425 To sende him drogges and his letuaries, For ech of hem made other for to winne; Hir frendschipe nas nat newe to biginne. Wel knew he the olde Esculapius," And Deiscorides, and eek Rusus;

430 Old Ypocras, Haly, and Galien; Serapion, Razis, and Avicen; Averrois, Damascien, and Constantyn; Bernard, and Gatesden, and Gilbertyn. Of his diete mesurable was he,

435 For it was of no superfluitee, But of greet norissing and digestible. His studie was but litel on the Bible. In sangwin 10 and in pers 11 he clad was al, Lyned with taffata 12 and with sendal ; 12

440 And yet he was but esy

13 of dispence; He kepte that he wan in pestilence. For gold in phisik is a cordial,16 Therfor he lovede gold in special.

A Good-wis was ther of biside Bathe, 445 But she was som-del deef and that was

scathe.17 Of clooth-makyng she hadde swich an haunt 18 She passed hem of Ypres and of Gaunt. In al the parisshe, wif ne was ther noon That to the ofirynge bifore hire sholde goon;

6

a

And if ther dide, certeyn so wrooth was she
That she was out of alle charitee.

452
Hir coverchiefs ful fyne weren of ground;
I dorste swere they weyeden ten pound,
That on a Sonday weren upon hir heed. 455
Hir hosen weren of fyn scarlet reed,
Ful streite y-teyd, and shoes ful moyste !

and newe. Boold was hir face and fair and reed of hewe. She was a worthy womman al hir lyve; Housbondes at chirche dore she hadde fyve, Withouten oother comprignye in youthe, 461 But ther-of nedeth nat to speke as nowthe.? And thries hadde she been at Jerusalem; She hadde passed many a straunge strem; At Rome she hadde been and at Boloigne, In Galice at Seint Jame, and at Coloigne ;466 She coude 3 muche of wandrynge by the

weye: Gat-tothed - was she, soothly for to seye. Upon an amblere esily she sat, Y-wympled 5 wel, and on her heed an hat 470 As brood as is a bokeler or a targe; A foot-mantel ’ aboute hir hipes large, And on hire feet a paire of spores sharpe. In felaweshipe wel coude she laughe and carpe;

474 Of remedies of love she knew per chaunce, For she coude of that art the olde daunce."

A good man was ther of religioun, And was a povre Persoun of a toun; But riche he was of hooly thoght and werk; He was also a lerned man, a clerk, 480 That Cristes gospel trewely wolde preche. Hise parisshens devoutly wolde he teche; Benygne he was and wonder diligent, And in adversitee ful pacient; And swich he was y-preved 10 ofte sithes." 485 Ful looth were hym to cursen 12 for hise tithes, But rather wolde he yeven, out of doute, Unto his povre parisshens aboute, Of his offryng and cek of his substaunce. He coude in litel thyng have suffisaunce. 490 Wyd was his parisshe, and houses fer asоnder, But he ne lafte 13 nat for reyn ne thonder In siknesse nor in meschief to visite The ferreste 14 in his parisshe, muche and

lite, 15

[ocr errors]

a

14

16

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

19

13

14

15

1

8

a

5

14

6

Upon his feet, and in his hand a staf.

495 This noble ensample to his sheepe he gaf, That firste he wroghte and afterward he

taughte. Out of the gospel he tho 1 wordes caughte, And this figure he added eek ? therto,

2 That if gold ruste, what shal iren doo? 500 For if a preest be foul, on whom we truste, No wonder is a lewed 3 man to ruste; And shame it is, if a prest take keep, A [filthy shepherde and a clene sheep. Wel oghte a preest ensample for to yeve 505 By his clennesse, how that his sheepe sholde

lyve. He sette nat his benefice to hyre And leet his sheep encombred in the myre, And ran to London unto Seïnt Poules To seken hym a chaunterie for soules, 510 Or with a bretherhed to been withholde ; 5 But dwelte at hoom and kepte wel his folde, So that the wolf ne made it nat myscarie; He was a shepherde, and noght a mercenarie. And though he hooly were and vertuous, 515 He was to synful man nat despitous, Ne of his speche daungerous' ne digne,8 But in his techyng descreet and benygne; To drawen folk to hevene by fairnesse, By good ensample, this was his bisynesse. But it were any persone obstinat,

521 What so he were, of heigh or lowe estat, Hym wolde he snybben sharply for the

nonys. A bettre preest I trowe that no-wher noon ys; He waited after no pompe and reverence, 525 Ne maked him a spiced conscience, But Cristes loore, and his apostles twelve, He taughte, but first he folwed it hym-selve. With him ther was a Plowman, was

brother, That hadde y-lad 12 of dong ful many a fother,13

530 A trewe swinkere 14 and a good was he, Livinge in pees and parfit lö charitce. God loved he best with al his hole herte At alle tymes, thogh him gamed or smerte, And thanne his neighebour right as himselve.

535 He wolde thresshe, and 'ther-to dyke and

delve,

7

8

For Cristes sake, for every povre wight,
Withouten hyre, if it lay in his might.
His tythes payed he ful faire and wel,
Bothe of his propre 1 swink 2 and his catel.3
In a tabard - he rood upon a mere. 541

Ther was also a Reve - and a Millere,
A Somnour 6 and a Pardoner also,
A Maunciple," and my-self; ther were namo.

The Millere was a stout carl for the nones, Ful byg he was of brawn and eek of bones; That proved wel, for over-al' ther he cam, At wrastlynge he wolde have alwey the ram.10 He was short-sholdred, brood, a thikke

knarre, 11 Ther nas no dore that he nolde heve of

harre 12 Or breke it at a rennyng with his heed. 551 His berd, as any sowe or fox, was reed, And therto brood, as though it were a spade. Upon the cop 13 right of his nose he hade A werte, and theron stood a tust of herys,555 Reed as the bristles of a sowes erys; His nosethirles 15 blake were and wyde. A swerd and a bokeler bar he by his syde. His mouth as wyde was as a greet forneys; He was a janglere 16 and a goliardeys, 17 560 And that was moost of synne and harlotries. Wel coude he stelen corn and tollen thries, And yet he hadde a thombe of gold,18 pardee ! A whit cote and a blew hood wered he; A baggepipe wel coude he blowe and sowne, And therwithal he broghte us out of towne.

A gentil Maunciple was ther of a temple,19 Of which achatours 20 mighte take exemple For to be wyse in bying of vitaille. 569 For whether that he payde, or took by taille, 21 Algate he wayted 22 so in his achat 23 That he was ay biforn 24 and in good stat. Now is nat that of God a ful fair grace, That swich a lewed 25 mannes wit shal pace The wisdom of an heep of lerned men ? 575 Of maistres hadde he mo than thryes ten, That were of lawe expert and curious; Of which ther were a doseyn in that hous, Worthy to been stiwardes of rente and lond Of any lord that is in Engelond,

lown labour 3 property 4 short sleeveless jacket foreman of the laborers on a manor 6 bailiff of an ecclesiastical court steward of a college or inn of court 8 for the nones means very, extremely

everywhere the price 11 knot 12 heave off its hinges end

nostrils 16 loud talker jester As all honcst millers have. 19 inn of court buyers 21 tally, i.e. on credit 22 always he watched purchase ahead 25 ignorant

surpass 27 more

a

9

10

11 his

26

27

a

16

580

1

5

7

[blocks in formation]

5

585

591

To make him live by his propre good,
In honour dettelees, but he were wood,1
Or live as scarsly 2 as him list desire;
And able for to helpen al a shire
In any cas that mighte falle or happe;
And yit this maunciple sette hir aller cappe.3
The Reeve was a sclendre colerik man.
His berd was shave as ny as ever he can;
His heer was by his eres round y-shorn;
His top was dokked lyk a preest biforn.
Ful longe were his legges, and ful lene,
Y-lyk a staf, ther was no calf y-sene.
Wel coude he kepe a gerner 6 and a binne:
Ther was noon auditour coude on him winne.
Wel wiste he, by the droghte, and by the reyn,
The yeldyng of his seed, and of his greyn. 596
His lordes sheep, his neet, his dayerye,
His swyn, his hors, his stoor, and his pultrye,
Was hooly in this reves governing;
And by his covenaunt yaf the rekening
Sin 10 that his lord was twenty yeer of age;
Ther coude no man bringe him in arrerage."
Ther nas baillif, ne herde,12 ne other hyne,13
That he ne knew his sleighte and his covyne; 14
They were adrad of him, as of the deeth. 605
His woning was ful fair up-on an heeth;
With grene trees shadwed was his place;
He coude bettre than his lord purchace.
Ful riche he was astored prively;
His lord wel coude he plesen subtilly,
To yeve and lene him of his owne good,
And have a thank, and yet a cote, and hood.16
In youthe he lerned hadde a good mister; 17
He was a wel good wrighte, a carpenter.
This reve sat up-on a ful good stot,18
That was al pomely 19 grey, and highte Scot.
A long surcote of 20
pers up-on he hade,
And by his syde he bar a rusty blade.

15

9 600

610

615

620

Of Northfolk was this reve of which I telle,
Bisyde a toun men clepen Baldeswelle.
Tukked 21 he was, as is a frere, aboute,
And evere he rood the hindreste of our route.
A Somnour was ther with us in that place,
That hadde a fyr-reed cherubinnes face,
For sawceflem 22 he was, with eyen narwe,

[blocks in formation]

servant

1 crazy 2 economically 3 cheated them all (slang) 4 irascible 5 cut short granary 7 cattle 8 stock of tools, etc. 9 rendered account 10 since 11 find him in arrears 12 herdsman 13 14 whose craft and deceit he did not know 15 dwelling 16 lend his lord's own property to him and receive thanks and gifts 17 trade 18 cob 19 dappled 20 blue 21 his coat was tucked up with a girdle 22 pimpled

With scalled browes blake, and piled berd;

630

Of his visage children were aferd.
Ther nas quik-silver, litarge,3 ne brimstoon,
Boras, ceruce,3 ne oille of tartre noon,
Ne oynement that wolde clense and byte,
That him mighte helpen of his whelkes
whyte,

Ne of the knobbes sittinge on his chekes.
Wel loved he garleek, oynons, and eek lekes,
And for to drinken strong wyn, reed as blood.
Thanne wolde he speke and crye, as he were
wood."

And whan that he wel dronken hadde the wyn,

650

Than wolde he speke no word but Latyn.
A fewe termes hadde he, two or thre,
That he had lerned out of some decree; 640
No wonder is, he herde it al the day;
And eek ye knowen wel, how that a Jay
Can clepen 'Watte,' as well as can the pope.
But who-so coude in other thing him grope,s
Thanne hadde he spent al his philosophye;
Ay "Questio quid iuris" wolde he crye. 646
He was a gentil harlot 10 and a kynde;
A bettre felawe 11 sholde men noght fynde;
He wolde suffre for a quart of wyn
A good felawe to have his [wikked sin]
A twelf-month, and excuse him atte fulle;
And prively a finch cek coude he pulle.12
And if he fond owher 13 a good felawe,
He wolde techen him to have non awe,
In swich cas, of the erchedeknes curs,1 655
But-if 15 a mannes soule were in his purs;
For in his purs he sholde y-punisshed be.
"Purs is the erchedeknes helle," seyde he.
But wel I woot he lyed right in dede;
Of cursing oghte ech gulty man him drede 17
For curs wol slee, right as assoilling 18 saveth
And also war him of a significavit.19
In daunger 20 hadde he at his owne gyse 21
The yonge girles 22 of the diocyse,

14

16

659

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

As grect as it were for an ale-stake; 1
A bokeler hadde he maad him of a cake.
With him ther rood a gentil Pardoner
Of Rouncivale, his frend and his compeer,670
That streight was comen fro the court of
Rome.

5

6

4

Ful loude he song, 'Com hider love, to me.'
This somnour bar to him a stif burdoun,2
Was nevere trompe 3 of half so greet a soun.
This pardoner hadde heer as yelow as wex,
But smothe it heng, as doth a strike of flex;
By ounces henge his lokkes that he hadde,
And ther-with he his shuldres overspradde;
But thinne it lay, by colpons oon and oon;
But hood, for jolitee, ne wered he noon, 680
For it was trussed up in his walet.
Him thought he rood al of the newe jet; 9
Dischevele, save his cappe, he rood al bare.
Swiche glaringe eyen hadde he as an hare.
A vernicle 10 hadde he sowed on his cappe. 685
His walet lay biforn him in his lappe,
Bret-ful" of pardoun come from Rome al
hoot.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

18

17

But of his craft, fro Berwik unto Ware,12
Ne was ther swich another pardoner;
For in his male 13 he hadde a pilwe-beer,14
Which that, he seyde, was our lady veyl; 15
He seyde, he hadde a gobet 16 of the sey
That Seynt Peter hadde, whan that he wente
Up-on the see, til Iesu Crist him hente;
He hadde a croys 19 of latoun,20 ful of stones,
And in a glas he hadde pigges bones.
But with thise relikes, whan that he fond
A povre person dwelling up-on lond,21
Up-on a day he gat him more moneye
Than that the person gat in monthes tweye.
And thus with feyned flaterye and japes, 705
He made the person and the peple his apes.2
But trewely to tellen, atte laste,
He was in chirche a noble ecclesiaste.

22

700

23

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Why that assembled was this compaignye
In Southwerk at this gentil hostelrye,
That highte3 the Tabard, faste by the Belle.
But now is tyme to you for to telle
How that we baren us that ilke nyght,
Whan we were in that hostelrie alyght;
And after wol I telle of our viage
And al the remenaunt of oure pilgrimage.

726

730

But first, I pray yow of youre curteisye, That ye narette it nat 5 my vileynye, Thogh that I pleynly speke in this mateere To telle yow hir wordes and hir cheere, Ne thogh I speke hir wordes proprely; 7 For this ye knowen al-so wel as I, Whoso shal telle a tale after a man, He moote reherce, as ny as evere he can, Everich a word, if it be in his charge, Al speke he never so rudeliche and large,' Or ellis he moot telle his tale untrewe Or feyne thyng, or fynde wordes newe; He may nat spare, althogh he were his brother,

735

740

He moot as wel seye o word as another.
Crist spak hymself ful brode in hooly writ,
And wel ye woot no vileynye 10 is it.
Eek Plato seith, whoso that can hym rede,
"The wordes moote be cosyn 11 to the dede."
Also I prey yow to foryeve it me
Al have I nat set folk in hir degree
Heere in this tale, as that they sholde stonde;
My wit is short, ye may wel understonde. 746
Greet chiere made oure hoste us everichon,12
And to the soper sette he us anon,
And served us with vitaille at the beste;
Strong was the wyn, and wel to drynke us
leste.13

750

A semely man oure Hooste was with-alle For to han been a marshal in an halle. A large man he was, with eyen stepe,1A fairer burgeys was ther noon in Chepe;

14

15

1 best of all 2 polish, smooth 3 was called jourdo not ascribe it to lack of breeding

ney

7

accurately

12

11 cousin 15 Cheapside

8 although

every

9

6

10

coarsely vulgarity one 13 it pleased us 14 big

3

2

Store

815

5

5

Boold of his speche, and wys and wel y-taught, And of manhod hym lakkede right naught. Eek therto 1 he was right a myrie man,

757 And after soper pleyen he bigan, And spak of myrthe amonges othere thynges, Whan that we hadde maad our rekenynges; And seyde thus: “Now, lordynges, trewely, Ye been to me right welcome, hertely; 762 For by my trouthe, if that I shal nat lye, I ne saugh this yeer so myrie a compaignye At ones in this herberwe ? as is now; 765 Fayn wolde I doon yow myrthe, wiste I how.3 And of a myrthe I am right now bythoght, To doon yow ese, and it shal coste noght.

“Ye goon to Canterbury; God yow speede, The blisful martir quite yow youre meede i. And, wel I woot," as ye goon by the weye, Ye shapen yow to talen 6 and to pleye; 772 For trewely comfort ne myrthe is noon To ride by the weye doumb as a stoon; And therfore wol I maken yow disport, 775 As I seyde erst,' and doon yow som comfort. And if you liketh alle, by oon assent, Now for to stonden at my juggement, And for to werken as I shal yow seye, To-morwe, whan ye riden by the weye, 780 Now by my fader soule that is deed, But 8 ye be myrie, I wol yeve yow myn heed ! Hoold up youre hond withouten

speche.” Oure conseil was nat longe for to seche; Us thoughte it was noght worth to make it wys,

735 And graunted hym withouten moore avys, And bad him seye his verdit, as hym leste. 10 “Lordynges,” 11 quod he, “now · herkneth

for the beste, But taak it nought, I prey yow, in desdeyn; This is the poynt, to speken short and pleyn, That ech of yow, to shorte with your weye, In this viage shal telle tales tweye 792 To Caunterburyward, - I mean it so, And homward he shal tellen othere two, Of aventures that whilom 12 han bilalle.

795 And which of yow that bereth hym beste of

alle, That is to seyn, that telleth in this caas Tales of best sentence 13 and moost solaas, Shal have a soper at oure aller cost, 14 Heere in this place, sittynge by this post, 800

1 besides ? inn 3 if I knew how give you your reward 5 know tell tales 7 before 8 unless consideration 10 pleased him ' gentlemen 12 formerly * meaning cost of us all

Whan that we come agayn fro Caunterbury.
And, for to make yow the moore mury,
I wol myselven gladly with yow ryde
Right at myn owne cost, and be youre gyde.
And whoso wole my juggement withseye? 805
Shal paye al that we spenden by the weye.
And if ye vouche-sauf that it be so,
Tel me anon, withouten wordes mo,
And I wol erly shape me 3 therfore.”
This thyng was graunted, and oure othes

810
With ful glad herte, and preyden hym also
That he would vouche-sauf for to do so,
And that he wolde been oure governour,
And of our tales juge and reportour,
And sette a soper at a certeyn pris,
And we wol reuled been at his devys
In heigh and lowe; and thus by oon assent
We been acorded to his juggement.
And therupon the wyn was fet * anon;
We dronken and to reste wente echon 320
Withouten any lenger taryynge.

Amorwe, whan that day bigan to sprynge, Up roos oure Hoost and was oure aller cok," And gadrede us togidre alle in a flok, And forth we riden, a litel moore than paas, Unto the Wateryng of Seint Thomas; 826 And there oure Hoost bigan his hors areste, And seyde, “Lordynges, herkneth, if yow

leste! Ye woot youre forward, and I it yow re

corde. If even-song and morwe-song accorde, 830 Lat se now who shal telle the firste tale. As evere mote I drynke wyn or ale, Whoso be rebel to my juggement Shal paye for all that by the wey is spent ! Now draweth cut, er that we ferrer twynne. 8 He which that hath the shorteste shal bigynne.

836 Sire Knyght," quod hc, “my mayster and my

lord, Now draweth cut, for that is myn accord. Cometh neer,

quod he, “my lady Prioresse, And ye, sire Clerk, lat be your shamefast

nesse, Ne studieth noght; ley hond to, every man."

Anon to drawen every wight bigan, And, shortly for to tellen, as it was, Were it by aventure, or sort,10 or cas,"

i merry ? gainsay prepare myself 'fetched 5 cock — waked us all. a little faster than a walk ? agreement 8 farther depart 9 come nearer

7 10 fate 11 chance

moore

9

8

"9

840

4

1

4

6

9

14

« EelmineJätka »