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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;
And if ther dide, certeyn so wrooth was she
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
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
For Cristes sake, for every povre wight,
Ther was also a Reve - and a Millere,
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
To make him live by his propre good,
Of Northfolk was this reve of which I telle,
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;
Of his visage children were aferd.
Ne of the knobbes sittinge on his chekes.
And whan that he wel dronken hadde the wyn,
Than wolde he speke no word but Latyn.
As grect as it were for an ale-stake; 1
Ful loude he song, 'Com hider love, to me.'
But of his craft, fro Berwik unto Ware,12
Why that assembled was this compaignye
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,
He moot as wel seye o word as another.
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;
1 best of all 2 polish, smooth 3 was called jourdo not ascribe it to lack of breeding
11 cousin 15 Cheapside
coarsely vulgarity one 13 it pleased us 14 big
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.
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