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y-ronne,

And bathed every veyne 8 in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt 10 and heeth
The tendre croppes," and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours 12
And smale foweles 13 maken melodye
That slepen al the nyght with open eye,
So priketh hem Nature in hir corages,14
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes, 15
To ferne halwes,16 kowthe 17 in sondry londes;
And specially, from every shires ende
15
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen whan that they were

seeke.

Bifil 18 that in that seson on a day, In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay, Redy to wenden on my pilgrymage To Caunterbury with ful devout corage,19 At nyght was come into that hostelrye Wel 2 nyne-and-twenty in a compaignye, Of sondry folk, by aventure 21 y-falle

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II

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1 although 2 know abandon think 5 without doubt do 7 showers sweet vein 9 such 10 forest

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twigs In April the sun's course lies partly in the zodiacal sign of the Ram and partly in that of the Bull. 13 birds 14 in their hearts 15 foreign strands 16 distant shrines 17 known 18 it happened 19 heart 20 full 21 chance

In felaweshipe, and pilgrimes were they alle,
That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde.
The chambres and the stables weren wyde,
And wel we weren esed atte beste.'

And, shortly, whan the sonne was to reste, 30
So hadde I spoken with hem everychon,
That I was of hir fela weshipe anon,
And made forward 2 erly for to ryse,
To take oure wey, ther-as I yow devyse.
But nathelees, whil I have tyme and space,
Er that I ferther in this tale pace,

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Me thynketh it accordaunt to resoun
To telle yow al the condicioun

Of ech of hem, so as it semed me,
And whiche' they weren and of what degree,
And eek in what array that they were inne;
And at a knyght than wol I first bigynne. 42
A Knyght ther was and that a worthy man,
That fro the tyme that he first bigan
To riden out, he lovede chivalrie,
Trouthe and honour, fredom and curteisie.
Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre,
And thereto 6 hadde he riden, no man ferre,7
As wel in Cristendom as in hethenesse,
And ever honoured for his worthynesse.
At Alisaundre he was whan it was wonne;
Ful ofte tyme he hadde the bord bigonne
Aboven alle nacions in Pruce.9

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In al his lyf unto no maner wight.
He was a verray, parfit, gentil knyght.
But for to tellen yow of his array,
His hors were goode, but he was nat gay;
Of fustian he wered a gypon 2

4

Al bismotered 3 with his habergeon;
For he was late y-come from his viage,5
And wente for to doon his pilgrymage.

With hym ther was his sone, a yong Squier,
A lovyere and a lusty bacheler,
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With lokkes crulle, as they were leyd in

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presse.

Of twenty yeer of age he was, I gesse.
Of his stature he was of evene lengthe,8
And wonderly delyvere

and

greet of

strengthe;

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And he hadde been somtyme in chyvachye,10
In Flaundres, in Artoys and Pycardye,
And born hym weel, as of so litel space,
In hope to stonden in his lady grace.
Embrouded was he, as it were a meede 12
Al ful of fresshe floures whyte and reede; 90
Syngynge he was or floytynge 13 al the day;
He was as fressh as is the monthe of May.
Short was his gowne, with sleves longe and
wyde;

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14

Wel coude he sitte on hors, and faire ryde;
He coude songes make and wel endite,14 95
Juste and eek daunce and weel purtreye and
write.

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10

86.

So hoote he lovede that by nyghtertale 15
He sleep namoore than dooth a nyghtyngale.
Curteis he was, lowely and servysable,
And carf 16 biforn his fader at the table.

A Yeman 17 hadde he,18 and servants namo
At that tyme, for hym liste ride soo;
And he was clad in cote and hood of grene;
A sheef 20 of pocok 21 arwes bright and kene
Under his belt he bar ful thriftily
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Wel coude he dresse 22 his takel 23 yemanly;
His arwes drouped noght with fetheres
lowe 24

And in his hand he bar a myghty bowe.
A not-heed 25 hadde he with a broun visage.
Of woodecraft wel koude he al the usage. 110
Upon his arm he bar a gay bracer,
And by his syde a swerd and a bokeler,26

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1 coarse cloth 2 shirt 3 soiled coat of mail

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9 voyage curly 7 as if 8 medium height active cavalry expeditions lady's 12 meadow 13 whistling compose 15 night-time carved yeoman 18 the knight 19 no more bundle of twenty-four peacock take care of 23 equipment worn and clipped short 25 closely cut hair 26 small shield

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And on that oother syde a gay daggere
Harneised wel and sharpe as point of spere;
A Cristofre on his brest of silver sheene;
An horn he bar, the bawdryk 2 was of grene.
A forster was he soothly, as I gesse. 117

1

Ther was also a Nonne, a Prioresse,
That of hir smylyng was ful symple and
coy; 3

Hire gretteste ooth was but by Scint Loy,
And she was cleped 5 madame Eglentyne. 121
Ful weel she songe the service dyvyne,
Entuned in hir nose ful semely;

And Frenssh she spak ful faire and fetisly
After the scole of Stratford-atte-Bowe,7
For Frenssh of Parys was to hire unknowe.
At mete wel y-taught was she with-alle,
She leet no morsel from hir lippes falle,
Ne wette hir fyngres in hir sauce depe;
Wel coude she carie a morsel and wel kepe
That no drope ne fille upon hire breste. 131
In curteisie was set ful muchel hir leste.8
Hire over-lippe wyped she so clene,
That in hir coppe ther was no ferthyng sene
Of grece, whan she dronken hadde hir
draughte.

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Ful semely after hir mete she raughte,9
And sikerly 10 she was of greet desport,"
And ful plesaunt and amyable of port,12
And peyned hire 13 to countrefete 11 cheere 15
Of court, and been estatlich 16 of manere, 140
And to ben holden digne 17 of reverence.
But, for to speken of hire conscience,
She was so charitable and șo pitous

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She wolde wepe if that she saugh a mous
Caught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde.
Of smale houndes 19 hadde she, that she fedde
With rosted flessh, or milk and wastel-breed; 20
But sore wepte she, if oon of hem were deed,21
Or if men 22 smoot it with a yerde 25 smerte; 24
And al was conscience and tendre herte. 150
Ful semyly 25 hir wympul 26 pynched 27 was;
Hire nose tretys,28 hir eyen greye as glas,
Hir mouth ful smal and ther-to softe and reed;
But sikerly she hadde a fair forheed;
It was almoost a spanne brood I trowe,
For, hardily,29 she was nat undergrowe.

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Gynglen in a whistlynge wynd as cleere
And eek as loude as dooth the chapel-belle
Ther-as this lord was kepere of the celle.9
The reule of Seint Maure or of Seint Beneit,
By-cause that it was old and som-del streit 10
This ilke monk leet olde thynges pace
And heeld after the newe world the space.
He yaf nat of that text a pulled "1 hen
That seith that hunters beth nat hooly men,
Ne that a monk when he is recchelees 12
Is likned til a fissh that is waterlees;
This is to seyn, a monk out of his cloystre.
But thilke text heeld he nat worth an oystre;
And I seyde his opinioun was good;
What sholde he studie and make hym-selven
wood,13

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Upon a book in cloystre alwey to poure, 185
Or swynken 14 with his handes and laboure
As Austyn bit? 15 How shal the world be
served?

Lat Austyn have his swynk 14 to him reserved.
Therfore he was a pricasour 16 aright;
Grehoundes he hadde, as swift as fowel in flight:
Of prikyng 17 and of huntyng for the hare 191
Was al his lust,18 for no cost wolde he spare.
I seigh 19 his sleves purfiled 20 at the hond
With grys,21 and that the fyneste of a lond;
And for to festne his hood under his chyn 195
He hadde of gold y-wroght a curious pyn;
A love-knotte in the gretter ende ther was.
His heed was balled, that shoon as any glas,
And eek his face as it hadde been enoynt.
He was a lord ful fat and in good poynt;

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1 well-made 2 as I perceived 3 set 4 Every eleventh bead was a large green one. 5 beautiful 6 an extremely fine one 7 hunting 8 fine 9 A cell is a branch monastery. 10 strict plucked 12 vagabond 13 14 work 15 bids 20 edged 21 grey fur

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16 hunter

crazy

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tracking 18 pleasure 19

saw

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en bon point, fleshy

Hise eyen stepe1 and rollynge in his heed,
That stemed 2 as a forneys of a leed; 3
His bootes souple, his hors in greet estaat.
Now certeinly he was a fair prelaat.
He was nat pale, as a forpyned goost;
A fat swan loved he best of any roost.
His palfrey was as broun as is a berye.

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A Frere ther was, a wantown and a merye, A lymytour, a ful solempne man.

In alle the ordres foure is noon that can 8
So muchel of daliaunce and fair langage; 211
He hadde maad ful many a mariage
Of yonge wommen at his owene cost.
Unto 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 hadde power of confessioun,

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As seyde hym-self, moore than a curat,
For of his ordre he was licenciat.
Ful swetely herde he confessioun,
And plesaunt was his absolucioun.
He was an esy man to yeve penaunce
Ther-as 10 he wiste to have a good pit-

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aunce;

For unto a povre ordre for to yive
Is signe that a man is wel y-shryve.
For, if he 13 yaf, he 14 dorste make avaunt
He wiste that a man was repentaunt;
For many a man so harde is of his herte
He may nat wepe al-thogh hym soore smerte.
Therfore instede of wepynge and preyeres
Men moote yeve silver to the povre freres.
His typet was ay farsed 15 full of knyves 233
And pynnes, for to yeven faire wyves.
And certeinly he hadde a murye 16 note; 235
Wel coude he synge and pleyen on a rote;
Of yeddynges 18 he bar outrely the pris.
His nekke whit was as the flour-de-lys;
Ther-to he strong was as a champioun.
He knew the tavernes well in every toun 240
And everich hostiler and tappestere 19
Bet 20 than a lazar 21 or a beggestere;
For unto swich a worthy man as he
Acorded nat, as by his facultee,
To have with sike lazars aqueyntaunce;
It is nat honeste,23 it may nat avaunce

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beggar

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large 2 gleamed 3 cauldron tortured to death 5 licensed to beg in a certain district imposing 7 Dominican, Franciscan, Carmelite and Austin friars. 8 knows 9 rich farmers 10 where knew

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pittance, gift

13 the man 14 the friar

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15 stuffed

19 bar-maid popular songs 22 female beggar becoming

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For to deelen with no swiche poraille,1
But al with riche and selleres of vitaille,
And over-al, ther-as profit sholde arise
Curteis he was and lowely of servyse.
Ther nas no man nowher so vertuous; 4
He was the beste beggere in his hous,
For thogh a wydwe hadde noght a sho,"
So plesaunt was his In principio,
Yet wolde he have a ferthynger he wente:
His purchas was wel bettre than his rente."
And rage he koude, as it were right a whelpe.10
In love-dayes " ther coude he muchel helpe,
For there he was nat lyk a cloysterer
With a thredbare cope, as is a povre scoler,
But he was lyk a maister, or a pope;
Of double worstede was his semi-cope,12
That rounded as a belle, out of the presse. 13
Somwhat he lipsed for his wantownesse,14
To make his Englissh swete upon his tonge;
And in his harpyng, whan that he hadde
songe,
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Hise eyen twynkled in his heed aryght
As doon the sterres in the frosty nyght.
This worthy lymytour was cleped Huberd.

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A Marchant was ther with a forked berd, In mottelee, and hye on horse he sat; Upon his heed a Flaundrish bever hat, His botes clasped faire and fetisly.16 His resons 17 spak he ful solempnely,18 Souning 19 alway thencrees 20 of his winning. He wolde the see were kept for anything 21 Betwixe Middelburgh and Orewelle. Wel coude he in eschaunge 22 sheeldes 23 selle. This worthy man ful well his wit bisette; Ther wiste 25 no wight that he was in dette, So estatly was he of his governaunce With his bargaynes and with his chevisaunce. 26 For sothe he was a worthy man withalle, But sooth to seyn,27 I noot 28 how men him

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calle.

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A Clerk ther was of Oxenford also That unto logyk hadde longe y-go. As leene was his hors as is a rake, And he nas nat right fat, I undertake,

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1 poor folk 2 everywhere 3 where 4 full of good qualities shoe St. John i, 1, used as a greeting. 7 bit gettings what he paid for his begging privileges or his regular income 10 puppy arbitration days 12 short cape 13, the press in which the semi-cope was kept. jollity 1 a sober grey 16 neatly 17 remarks, declarations 18 pompously sounding, proclaiming 20 the increase 21 at any cost change 23 French coins, écus employed 26 borrowing 27 say 28 don't know

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ex25 knew

But looked holwe1 and ther-to 2 sobrely.
Ful thredbare was his overeste courtepy,3 290
For he hadde geten hym yet no benefice,
Ne was so worldly for to have office;
For hym was levere1 have at his beddes heed
Twenty bookes clad in blak or reed
Of Aristotle and his philosophie

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Than robes riche, or fithele," or gay sautrie."
But al be that he was a philosophre,
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre;
But al that he myghte of his freendes hente
On bookes and his lernynge he it spente, 300
And bisily gan for the soules preye

Of hem that gaf hym wher-with to scoleye." Of studie took he moost cure and moost heede';

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Noght o word spak he moore than was neede,
And that was seyd in forme and reverence,
And short and quyk and ful of hy sentence.8
Sownynge in moral vertu was his speche,
And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche.
A Sergeant of the Lawe, war 10 and wys,
That often hadde been at the parvys,11
Ther was also, ful riche of excellence.
Discreet he was, and of greet reverence
He semed swich, his wordes weren so wyse.
Justice he was ful often in assyse,12
By patente, and by pleyn 13 commissioun ; 315
For his science, and for his heigh renoun,
Of fees and robes hadde he many oon.
So greet a purchasour was nowher noon;
Al was fee simple to him in effect,

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His purchasing mighte nat been infect.15
Nowher so bisy a man as he ther nas,16
And yet he semed bisier than he was.
In termes hadde he caas 17 and domes 18 alle
That from the tyme of king William were
falle.

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Therto he coude endyte and make a thing,"
Ther coude no wight pinche at 20 his wryting;
And every statut coude he pleyn 2 by rote.22
He rood but hoomly in a medlee 23 cote
Girt with a ceint 24 of silk, with barres smale;
Of his array telle I no lenger tale.

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A Frankeleyn 25 was in his compaignye; Whit was his berd as is the dayesye;

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1 hollow 2 besides outer short coat he had rather musical instrument go to school care meaning tending to 10 cautious 11 the porch of St. Paul's, where lawyers met clients 12 court of assize 13 full 14 conveyancer 15 invalidated 16.

was not

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cases 18 decisions 19 compose and draw up a document 20 find a defect in 21 fully 22 by heart 23 sober grey 24 girdle 25 rich landowner

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Of his complexioun 1 he was sangwyn. Wel loved he by the morwe

a sope 3 in

wyn;

To lyven in delit was evere his wone,4
For he was Epicurus owne sone,
That heeld opinioun that pleyn delit
Was verraily felicitee parfit.

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An housholdere, and that a greet, was he;
Seint Julian he was in his contree;
His breed, his ale, was alwey after oon; 6
A bettre envyned 7 man was no-wher noon.
Withoute bake-mete 8 was nevere his hous,
Of fissh and flessh, and that so plentevous
It snewed in his hous of mete and drynke,
Of alle deyntees that men coude thynke. 346
After the sondry sesons of the yeer,

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So chaunged he his mete and his soper.
Ful many a fat partrich hadde he muwe,10
And many a breem 11 and many a luce" in

stuwe.1 12

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Wo was his cook but-if 13 his sauce were
Poynaunt and sharpe, and redy al his geere.
His table dormant 14 in his halle alway
Stood redy covered al the longe day.
At sessiouns ther was he lord and sire;
Ful ofte tyme he was knyght of the shire.
An anlaas,15 and a gipser 16 al of silk
Heeng at his girdel whit as morne milk.
A shirreve hadde he been and a countour;
Was no-wher such a worthy vavasour.'
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An haberdassher 19 and a carpenter, A webbe,20 a dyere, and a tapicer,21 And they were clothed alle in o liveree,22 Of a solempne and greet fraternitee. Ful fresh and newe hir gere 23 apyked 24 was; Hir knyves were y-chaped 25 noght with bras, But al with silver; wroght ful clene and weel Hir girdles and hir pouches everydeel. Wel semed ech of hem a fair burgeys, To sitten in a yeldhalle 26 on a deys.27 Everich, for the wisdom that he can,28 Was shaply for to been an alderman; For catel 29 hadde they ynogh and rente,30 And eek hir wyves wolde it wel assente;

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4 custom

temperament 2 in the morning 3 sop

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patron saint of hospitality always of the same quality provided with wines pasties snowed 11 соор a kind of fish 12 pond 13 unless 14 a permanent table 15 knife 16 pouch 17 treasurer 18 landholder 19 keeper of a shop for hats or furnishings

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weaver

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upholsterer one uniform apparel

24 trimmed 25 sheathed 26 guild-hall 27 dais 28 knows property 30 income

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