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Canterbury Tales

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Introduction

The Canterbury Tales

Introduction
Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote The droghte of March hath perced to the roote And bathed every veyne in swich licour, Of which vertu engendred is the flour; Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth Inspired hath in every holt and heeth The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne, And smale foweles maken melodye, That slepen al the nyght with open eye(So priketh hem Nature in hir corages); Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes; And specially from every shires ende Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende, The hooly blisful martir for to seke That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seeke. Bifil that in that seson, on a day, In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay When in April the sweet showers fall That pierce March's drought to the root and all And bathed every vein in liquor that has power To generate therein and sire the flower; When Zephyr also has with his sweet breath, Filled again, in every holt and heath, The tender shoots and leaves, and the young sun His half-course in the sign of the Ram has run, And many little birds make melody That sleep through all the night with open eye (So Nature pricks them on to ramp and rage) Then folk do long to go on pilgrimage, And palmers to go seeking out strange strands, To distant shrines well known in distant lands. And specially from every shire's end Of England they to Canterbury went, The holy blessed martyr there to seek Who helped them when they lay so ill and weak It happened that, in that season, on a day In Southwark, at the Tabard, as I lay

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Glossary bifil bifel, bifil verb blisful blisful adj. corages corages noun, pl. croppes croppes noun droghte droghte noun eek eek, eke adv. ferne halwes ferne halwes noun foweles foweles noun, pl. hem hem pro. hooly hooly verb kowthe kowthe verb palmeres palmeres noun priketh priketh verb, 3rd prs. sg. seeke seeke, sike adj. seke seke verb seson seson, sesoun noun shoures soote shoures soote smale smale adj. sondry londes sondry londes noun sonne sonne noun straunge strondesstraunge strondes swich swich pro. veyne veyne noun Zephirus Zephirus noun (it) happened blessed spirits, feelings shoots, new leaves dryness also distant shrines birds them blessed known professional pilgrims who had been to the Holy Land pierces sick 1. visit; 2. examine, look for season sweet showers, rain small various countries sun foreign shores such vein (of the plant) the west wind that blows in Spring

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Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
Redy to wenden on my pilgrymage To Caunterbury with ful devout corage, At nyght was come into that hostelrye Wel nyne and twenty in a compaignye Of sondry folk, by aventure yfalle 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, So hadde I spoken with hem everichon That I was of hir felaweshipe anon, And made forward erly for to ryse To take our wey, ther as I yow devyse. But nathelees, whil I have tyme and space, Er that I ferther in this tale pace, Me thynketh it acordaunt 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. Ready to go on pilgrimage and start To Canterbury, full devout at heart, There came at nightfall to that hostelry Some nine and twenty in a company Of sundry persons who had chanced to fall In fellowship, and pilgrims were they all That toward Canterbury town would ride. The rooms and stables spacious were and wide, And well we there were eased, and of the best. And briefly, when the sun had gone to rest, So had I spoken with them, every one, That I was of their fellowship anon, And made agreement that we'd early rise To take the road, as I will to you apprise. But none the less, whilst I have time and space, Before yet further in this tale I pace, It seems to me in accord with reason To describe to you the state of every one Of each of them, as it appeared to me, And who they were, and what was their degree, And even what clothes they were dressed in; And with a knight thus will I first begin.

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Glossary anon array by aventure chambres corage devyse ech eek er everichon forward ful hem hostelrye knyght nathelees pace reste sondry folk sonne space wolden anon, anoon array by aventure chambres corage devyse ech eek, eke er everichon, everichoon, everychon forward, foreward ful hem hostelrie, hostelrye knyght nathelees, natheles, natheless pace to reste sondry folk sonne space wolden adv. noun noun, pl. noun, sg. verb pro. adv. adv. pro. noun adv. pro. noun noun adv. verb verb noun noun noun verb, pst.pl. straightway, at once, immediately 1. equipment; 2. dress, clothes by chance bedrooms 1. heart, feeling; 2. (sexual) desire, ardor 1. tell, narrate; 2. look upon, inspect; 3. instruct, command each (one) also before, formerly; before; before everyone agreement, promise 1. very; 2. fully, completely them inn, lodging knight nevertheless, none the less proceed, go (gone) to rest various sorts of people sun 1. time; 2. opportunity intended to, desired

Introduction

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The Canterbury Tales

The Knight
A KNYGHT ther was, and that a worthy man, That fro the tyme that he first bigan To riden out, he loved chivalrie, Trouthe and honour, fredom and curteisie. Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre, And therto hadde he riden, no man ferre, As wel in cristendom as in hethenesse, And evere 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; In Lettow hadde he reysed, and in Ruce, No Cristen man so ofte of his degree. In Gernade at the seege eek hadde he be Of Algezir, and riden in Belmarye. At Lyeys was he and at Satalye, Whan they were wonne; and in the Grete See At many a noble armee hadde he be. At mortal batailles hadde he been fiftene, And foughten for oure feith at Tramyssene In lystes thries, and ay slayn his foo. This ilke worthy knyght hadde been also Somtyme with the lord of Palatye Agayn another hethen in Turkye. And everemoore he hadde a sovereyn prys; And though that he were worthy, he was wys, And of his port as meeke as is a mayde. 45 A KNIGHT there was, and what a gentleman, Who, from the moment that he first began To ride about the world, loved chivalry, Truth, honour, freedom and all courtesy. Full worthy was he in his sovereign's war, And therein had he ridden, no man more, As well in Christendom as heathenesse, And honoured everywhere for worthiness. At Alexandria, in the winning battle he was there; Often put in the place of honour, a chair. Above all nations' knights in Prussia. In Latvia raided he, and Russia, No christened man so oft of his degree. In far Granada at the siege was he Of Algeciras, and in Belmarie. At Ayas was he and at Satalye When they were won; and on the Middle Sea At many a noble meeting chanced to be. Of mortal battles he had fought fifteen, And he'd fought for our faith at Tramissene Three times in duels, always killed his foe. This self-same worthy knight had been also At one time with the lord of Palatye Against another heathen in Turkey: And always won he widespread fame for prize. Though so strong and brave, he was very wise And of temper as meekly as a maid.

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Glossary armee ay bataille bord bigonne curteisie eek ferre fredom ful ful oft Grete See hethenesse ilke lettow mayde port riden out ruce seege sovereyn prys trouthe werre worthy armee ay bataille bord bigonne curteisie eek, eke ferre fredom ful ful oft, ofte Grete See hethenesse ilke Lettow mayde, mayden port to riden out Ruce seege sovereyn prys trouthe werre worthy noun adv. noun noun adv. adj. noun adv. noun noun adj. noun noun verb noun noun noun noun adj. military expedition always battle sat in the place of honor gracious and considerate conduct, refinement of manners also farther liberality, generosity of spirit 1. very; 2. fully, completely very often Mediterranean heathendom, the non-Christian world same Lithuania 1. virgin; 2. girl bearing, manner to go campaigning Russia siege, a military operation outstanding reputation 1. fidelity, loyalty; 2. pledge, promise war respectable, eminent

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Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
He nevere yet no vileynye ne sayde 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 Al bismotered with his habergeoun, For he was late ycome from his viage, And wente for to doon his pilgrymage. 70 He never yet had any vileness said, In all his life, to whatsoever wight. He was a truly perfect, noble knight. But now, to tell you all of his array, His steeds were good, but he was not gaily dressed. A tunic of simple cloth he possesed Discoloured and stained by his habergeon; For he had lately returned from his voyage And now was going on this pilgrimage.

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The Squire
With hym ther was his sone, a yong SQUIER, A lovyere and a lusty bacheler; With lokkes crulle, as they were leyd in presse. Of twenty yeer of age he was, I gesse. Of his stature he was of evene lengthe, And wonderly delyvere, and of greet strengthe. And he hadde been somtyme in chyvachie In Flaundres, in Artoys, and Pycardie, 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, Al ful of fresshe floures, whyte and reede; Syngynge he was, or floytynge, al the day, 80 With him there was his son, a young SQUIRE, A lover and a lively bachelor, With locks well curled, as if they'd laid in press. Some twenty years of age he was, I guess. In stature he was of average length, Wondrously active, agile, and great of strength. He'd ridden sometime with the cavalry In Flanders, in Artois, and Picardy, And conducted well within that little space In hope to win thereby his lady's grace. Embroidered he was, as if he were a meadow bright, All full of fresh-cut flowers red and white. Singing he was, or whistling, all the day;

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Glossary array bacheler delyvere embrouded evene lengthe floytynge gentil gesse gypon in chyvachie lusty lyf meede parfit reed squier syngynge verray viage vileynye weel wight yeer array noun bacheler, bachiler noun delyvere adj. embrouded adj. evene lengthe floytynge verb, prs. prtcpl. gentil adj. gesse verb gypon, gypoun noun in chyvachie lusty adj. lif, lyf noun mede, meede noun parfit, parfyt, perfitadj. rede, reed, reede adj. squier noun syngynge verb verray adj. viage noun vileynye noun weel, wel adv. wight, wyght noun yeer noun 1. equipment; 2. dress, clothes young man, unmarried man, young knight agile, active, nimble embroidered medium height whistling 1. noble (in character); 2. refined, excellent suppose, estimate tunic, surcoat worn over the armor on a cavalry expedition lively, pleasing, lusty life meadow, a piece of grassland perfect, complete red squire, a young knight in the service of another knight singing true journey 1. evil, rudeness, shame, dishonor; 2. injury well person, creature, being years

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The Canterbury Tales
He was as fressh as is the monthe of May. Short was his gowne, with sleves longe and wyde. Wel koude he sitte on hors, and faire ryde. He koude songes make, and wel endite, 95 Juste, and eek daunce, and weel purtreye and write. So hoote he lovede, that by nyghtertale He slepte namoore than dooth a nyghtyngale. Curteis he was, lowely, and servysable, And carf biforn his fader at the table. 100 He was as fresh as is the month of May. Short was his gown, with sleeves both long and wide. Well could he sit on horse, and fairly ride. He could make songs and words thereto indite, Joust, and dance too, as well as sketch and write. So hot he loved that, while night told her tale, He slept no more than does a nightingale. Courteous he, and humble, willing and able, And carved before his father at the table.

The Yeoman
A YEMAN hadde he and servantz namo At that tyme, for hym liste ride soo; And he was clad in cote and hood of grene. A sheef of pecok arwes, bright and kene Under his belt he bar ful thriftily, (Wel koude he dresse his takel yemanly: Hise arwes drouped noght with fetheres lowe) And in his hand he baar a myghty bowe. A not heed hadde he, with a broun visage, Of woodecraft wel koude he al the usage. Upon his arm he baar a gay bracer, And by his syde a swerd and a bokeler, A YEOMAN had he at his side, No more servants, for he chose so to ride; And he was clothed in coat and hood of green. A sheaf of peacock arrows bright and keen Under his belt he bore very carefully (Well could he keep his gear yeomanly: His arrows had no drooped feathers low), And in his hand he bore a mighty bow. A cropped head had he and a sun-browned face. Of woodcraft he knew all the useful ways. Upon his arm he bore a bright bracer, And at one side a sword and a buckler,

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Glossary arwes baar bokeler clad dooth eek endite ful gay hoote hym liste koude lowely namo not heed nyghtertale purtreye servysable swerd thriftily visage weel yeman arwes baar bokeler, bokeleer clad dooth eek, eke endite, enditen, endyte ful gay hoote hym liste koude lowely namo not heed nyghtertale purtreye servysable swerd thriftily visage weel, wel yeman noun, pl. verb noun verb, pst. prtcpl. verb, 3rd prs. sg. prsnt. adv. verb adv. adj. adv. verb adj. adj. noun adj. verb adj. noun adv. noun adv. noun arrows carried buckler, small shield clothed do, does also write, describe in writing 1. very; 2. fully, completely bright passionately; passionate, hot he preferred to, he chose to knew how to modest, humble no more, no others; no more, never again close-cropped head night draw willing to serve, attentive sword carefully, properly face well yeoman, freeborn servant

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Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
And on that oother syde a gay daggere Harneised wel and sharpe as point of spere. A Cristopher on his brest of silver sheene. An horn he bar, the bawdryk was of grene; A forster was he, soothly, as I gesse. 115 And at the other side a dagger bright, Well sheathed and sharp as a spear's point in the light; A Christopher medal on his breast of silver sheen. He bore a horn, the baldric all of green; A forester he truly was, I guess.

The Prioress
Ther was also a Nonne, a PRIORESSE, That of hir smylyng was ful symple and coy; Hir gretteste ooth was but by Seinte Loy; And she was cleped Madame Eglentyne. Ful weel she soong the service dyvyne, Entuned in hir nose ful semely, And Frenssh she spak ful faire and fetisly, After the scole of Stratford-atte-Bowe, For Frenssh of Parys was to hir unknowe. At mete wel ytaught was she with alle: She leet no morsel from hir lippes falle, Ne wette hir fyngres in hir sauce depe; Wel koude she carie a morsel, and wel kepe That no drope ne fille upon hir brist. In curteisie was set ful muche hir list. 120 There was also a nun, a PRIORESS, Who, in her smiling, modest was and coy; Her greatest oath was but "By Saint Eloy!" And she was called Madam Eglantine. Very well she sang the service divine, Intoning through her nose, becomingly; And she spoke French fairly and fluently, After the school of Stratford-at-the-Bow, For French of Paris style she didn't know. At table her manners were well taught withall, And never let morsels from her lips fall, Nor dipped her fingers deep in sauce, but ate With so much care the food upon her plate That no drop could fall upon her breast. In courtesy she had delight and zest.

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Glossary bawdryk cleped curteisie depe entuned fetisly forster ful ful semely gesse harneised kepe koude leet list mete ooth oother Seinte Loy sheene soong soothly symple and coy weel bawdryk noun baldric, shoulder strap, a belt for a sword, bugle, etc. hung from the shoulder across the body to the opposite hip called gracious and considerate conduct, refinement of manners deeply intoned elegantly forester, game-keeper 1. very; 2. fully, completely in a very seemly manner suppose, estimate ornamented keep, take care after, preserve knew how to 1. allowed; 2. left please, pleases food, dinner oath other; either St. Eligius bright, beautiful sang truly unaffected and quiet, modest well

cleped (ycleped) pst. curteisie noun depe entuned fetisly forster ful ful semely, semyly gesse harneised kepe koude leet list, liste mete ooth oother Seinte Loy sheene, shene soong, song soothly symple and coy weel, wel adv. adj. adv. noun adv. verb verb verb verb verb verb, prsnt. sg. noun noun adv. adj. verb, pst. sg. adv. adj. adv.

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The Canterbury Tales
Hire over-lippe wyped she so clene That in hir coppe ther was no ferthyng sene Of grece, whan she dronken hadde hir draughte. Ful semely after hir mete she raughte. And sikerly, she was of greet desport, And ful plesaunt, and amyable of port, And peyned hir to countrefete cheere Of court, and been estatlich of manere, And to ben holden digne of reverence. But, for to speken of hir conscience, She was so charitable and so pitous She wolde wepe, if that she saugh a mous Kaught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde. Of smale houndes hadde she, that she fedde With rosted flessh, or milk and wastel-breed. But soore weep she if oon of hem were deed, Or if men smoot it with a yerde smerte; And al was conscience, and tendre herte. Ful semyly hir wympul pynched was, Hire nose tretys, hir eyen greye as glas, Hir mouth ful smal, and therto softe and reed; But sikerly she hadde a fair forheed; Her upper lip was always wiped so clean That on her cup no speck or spot was seen Of grease, when she had drunk her draught of wine. Graciously she reached for food to dine. And certainly delighting in good sport, She was very pleasant, amiable - in short. She was in pains to imitate the cheer Of courtliness, and stately manners here, And would be held worthy of reverence. But, to speak about her moral sense, She was so charitable and solicitous That she would weep if she but saw a mouse Caught in a trap, whether it were dead or bled. She had some little dogs, that she fed On roasted flesh, or milk and fine white bread. But sorely she wept if one of them were dead, Or if men smote it with a stick to smart: Then pity ruled her, and her tender heart. Very seemly her pleated wimple was; Her nose was fine; her eyes were grey as glass; Her mouth was small and therewith soft and red; But certainly her forehead was fairly spread;

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Glossary cheere conscience coppe countrefete deed digne of reverence estatlich fair ferthyng ful semely grece greet desport hem herte mete oon port pynched raughte reed saugh sikerly smale soore therto wastel-breed wympul cheere, chere conscience coppe countrefete dede, deed digne of reverence estatlich fair ferthyng ful semely, semyly grece greet desport hem herte mete oon port pynched raughte rede, reed, reede saugh sikerly, sekirly smale soor, soore therto wastel-breed wympul noun noun noun verb adj. adj. adj. adj. noun 1. manners, behaviour; 2. facial expression, look moral sense and solicitude cup imitate dead worthy of respect dignified pleasing, handsome, fine, morally good 1. speck, spot; 2. farthing (a coin worth one-fourth of a penny), something of little value in a very seemly manner grease excellent deportment them heart food, dinner one bearing, manner pleated reached red saw certainly, truly small sorely, bitterly; painful, sore; misery, pain moreover expensive fine white bread wimple, a head dress that covers all but the face

noun pro. noun noun num. noun adj. verb adj. verb, pst. sg. adv. adj. adv. adv. noun noun

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Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
It was almoost a spanne brood, I trowe; For, hardily, she was nat undergrowe. Ful fetys was hir cloke, as I was war; Of smal coral aboute hir arm she bar A peire of bedes, gauded al with grene, An theron heng a brooch of gold ful sheene, On which ther was first write a crowned A, And after Amor vincit omnia . 155 It was almost a full span broad, I own, To tell the truth, she was not undergrown. Her cloak, as I was well aware, had a graceful charm She wore a small coral trinket on her arm A string of beads and gauded all with green; And therefrom hung a brooch of golden sheen Whereon there was engraved a crowned "A," And under, Amor vincit omnia.

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The Second Nun and Three Priests
Another NONNE with hir hadde she, That was hire chapeleyne, and preestes thre. Another NUN with her had she, Who was her chaplain; and priests, she had three.

The Monk
A MONK ther was, a fair for the maistrie, An outridere, that lovede venerie, A manly man, to been an abbot able. Ful many a deyntee hors hadde he in stable, And whan he rood, men myghte his brydel heere Gynglen in a whistlynge wynd als cleere And eek as loude, as dooth the chapel belle. Ther as this lord was keper of the celle, The reule of Seint Maure, or of Seint Beneit, By cause that it was old and somdel streit This ilke Monk leet olde thynges pace, And heeld after the newe world the space. 165 A MONK there was, one of the finest sort, An outrider; hunting was his sport; A manly man, to be an abbot able. Very many excellent horses had he in stable: And when he rode men might his bridle hear Jingling in the whistling wind as clear, Also, and as loud as does the chapel bell Where this monk was governour of the cell. The rule of Maurus or Saint Benedict, By reason it was somewhat old and strict, This same monk let such old things slowly pace And followed new-world manners in their place.

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Glossary als cleere bede celle chapeleyne deyntee dooth eek ful fetys gynglen hardily ilke outridere sheene somdel streit trowe venerie war als cleere bede as clearly bead, a small usually rounded and perforated piece of glass or stone for threading with others to make jewellery celle noun a subordinate monastery chapeleyne noun a nun serving as a secretary to a prioress deyntee noun, sg. delicacy; fine, valuable, excellent dooth verb, 3rd prs. sg. do, does prsnt. eek, eke adv. also ful fetys very elegant gynglen verb jingle hardily adv. certainly ilke adj. same outridere noun a monk who rode out to supervise the estates of a monastry sheene, shene adj. bright, beautiful somdel, somdeel adv. somewhat, partly streit adj. narrow, small trowe verb think, suppose venerie verbal noun hunting war adj 1. aware; 2. prudent adv. noun

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The Canterbury Tales
He yaf nat of that text a pulled hen, That seith that hunters beth nat hooly men, Ne that a monk, whan he is recchelees, 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 hymselven wood, Upon a book in cloystre alwey to poure, Or swynken with his handes and laboure, As Austyn bit? How shal the world be served? Lat Austyn have his swynk to him reserved! Therfore he was a prikasour aright: Grehoundes he hadde, as swift as fowel in flight; Of prikyng and of huntyng 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 chyn, He hadde of gold ywroght 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, Hise eyen stepe, and rollynge in his heed, That stemed as a forneys of a leed; His bootes souple, his hors in greet estaat. He gave for that text not a plucked hen Which holds that hunters are not holy men; Nor that a monk, when he is cloisterless, Is like unto a fish that's waterless; That is to say, a monk out of his cloister. But this same text he held not worth an oyster; And I said his opinion was good. Why should he study as a madman would Poring a book in a cloister cell? Or yet Go labour with his hands and work and sweat, As Austin bids? How shall the world be served? Let Austin have his toil to him reserved. Therefore he was a rider day and night; Greyhounds he had, as fast as a bird in flight. Since riding and the hunting of the hare Were all his love, for no cost would he spare. I saw his sleeves were made with fur at the hand With fine grey fur, the finest in the land; Also, to fasten his hood under his chin, He had made of wrought-gold a curious pin: A love-knot in the larger end there was. His head was bald and shone like any glass, And smooth as one anointed was his face. Fat was this lord, he stood in goodly case. His bulging eyes he rolled about, and hot They gleamed and red, like fire beneath a pot; His boots were soft; his horse of great estate.

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Glossary aright balled curious eek enoynt forneys fowel greet estaat gretter heed hen prikasour prikyng pulled purfiled recchelees swynk swynken thilke wood yaf aright balled curious eek, eke enoynt forneys fowel greet estaat gretter heed, heede hen prikasour prikyng pulled purfiled recchelees swynk swynke, swynken thilke wood yaf adv. adj. adj. adv. adj. noun noun comparative noun, sg. noun noun verbal noun adj. adj. adj. verb verb, prsnt. demonstr. adj. adj. verb, pst. certainly bald skillful, skillfully made also anointed, rubbed with oil cauldron noun, sg. bird excellent condition larger head chicken horseman, hunter on horseback tracking plucked lined with fur careless, negligent, heedless of rules noun work, toil work, toil that (same) crazy, mad, insane gave

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Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
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, Now certainly he was a fine prelate: He was not pale as some tormented ghost. A fat swan he loved best of any roast. His palfrey was as brown as is a berry.

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The Friar
A FRERE ther was, a wantowne and a merye, A lymytour, a ful solempne man. In alle the ordres foure is noon that kan So muchel of daliaunce and fair langage. He hadde maad ful many a mariage Of yonge wommen at his owene cost. Unto his ordre he was a noble post, And wel biloved and famulier was he With frankeleyns overal in his contree, And eek with worthy wommen of the toun; For he hadde power of confessioun, As seyde hymself, 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 he wiste to have a good pitaunce. For unto a povre ordre for to yive Is signe that a man is wel yshryve; 210 A FRIAR there was, a wanton and a merry, A limiter, a very festive man. In all the Four Orders is no one that can Equal his gossip and well-spoken speech. He had arranged many a marriage, giving each Of young women, and this at his own cost. For his order he was a noble post. Highly liked by all and intimate was he With franklins everywhere in his country, And with the worthy women living in the city: For his power of confession met no equality That's what he said, in the confession to a curate, For his order he was a licentiate. He heard confession gently, it was said, Gently absolved too, leaving no dread. He was an easy man in penance-giving He knew how to gain a fair living; For to a begging friar, money given Is sign that any man has been well shriven.

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Glossary contree curat daliaunce eek fair forpyned goost frankeleyn frere ful kan licenciat lymytour muchel post povre prelaat solempne toun wantowne wiste yeve yshryve contree curaat, curat daliance, daliaunce eek, eke fair forpyned goost frankeleyn frere ful kan licenciat lymytour muchel post poure, povre prelaat solempne toun wantowne wiste yeve, yif yshryve noun noun noun adv. adj. noun noun noun adv. verb, 3rd prs. sg. noun adj. noun adj. noun adj. noun adj. verb, pst. sg. verb, prsnt. verb district, country parish priest 1. flirtation; 2. sociability, gossip also pleasing, handsome, fine, morally good tormented spririt landowner of the gentry class friar, a member of any certain religious orders of men 1. very; 2. fully, completely knows licensed to hear confessions friar licensed (by his order) to beg in a specific district much pillar, supporter poor, impoverished ecclesiastical dignitary dignified, important town pleasure-loving, jovial knew; give confessed, penitent, shriven

Introduction

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The Canterbury Tales
For, if he yaf, he 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 in stede of wepynge and preyeres Men moote yeve silver to the povre freres. His typet was ay farsed ful of knyves And pynnes, for to yeven yonge wyves. And certeinly he hadde a murye note: Wel koude he synge, and pleyen on a rote; Of yeddynges he baar outrely the pris. His nekke whit was as the flour-de-lys; Therto 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 unto swich a worthy man as he Acorded nat, as by his facultee, To have with sike lazars aqueyntaunce. It is nat honeste, it may nat avaunce, For to deelen with no swich poraille, But al with riche and selleres of vitaille. For if one gave, he dared to boast bluntly, He took the man's repentance not lightly. For many a man there is so hard of heart He cannot weep however pains may smart. Therefore, instead of weeping and of prayers, Men should give silver to the poor friars. His tippet was always stuffed with pocket-knives And pins, to give to young and pleasing wives. And certainly he possesed a merry note: Well could he sing and play upon the rote. At ballad contests, he bore the prize away. His throat was white as the lily flower I say; Yet strong he was as every champion. In towns he knew the taverns, every one, And every good host and each barmaid too Better than needy lepers and beggars, these he knew. For unto no such a worthy man as he It's unsuitable, as far as he could see, To have sick lepers for acquaintances. There is no honest advantageousness In dealing with such poor beggars; It's with the rich victual-buyers and sellers.

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Glossary baar beggestere dorste everich farsed flour-de-lys herte hostiler koude lazar may nat avaunce murye outrely povre rote sike smerte soore swich swich poraille tappestere toun vitaille wiste yaf yeve baar beggestere dorste everich, everych farsed flour-de-lys herte hostileer, hostiler koude lazar may nat avaunce murye note outrely poure, povre rote sik, sike, seeke smerte soor, soore swich swich poraille tappestere toun vitaille wiste yaf yeve, yif verb noun verb, pst. adj. adj. noun noun noun verb noun noun adv. adj. noun adj. verb adv. pro. noun noun noun verb, pst. sg. verb, pst. verb, prsnt. carried beggar-woman dared every (one), each (one) stuffed lily heart innkeeper knew how to leper cannot be profitable pleasant voice plainly, utterly poor, impoverished stringed instrument sick suffers sorely, bitterly; painful, sore; misery, pain such such poor people barmaid town victuals, provisions, stock of food knew; gave give

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Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
And over al, ther as profit sholde arise, Curteis he was, and lowely of servyse. Ther nas no man nowher so vertuous. He was the beste beggere in his hous; (And yaf a certeyn ferme for the graunt Noon of his brethren cam ther in his haunt;) For thogh a wydwe hadde noght a sho, So plesaunt was his "In principio" Yet wolde he have a ferthyng, er he wente; His purchas was wel bettre than his rente. And rage he koude, as it were right a whelp. In love-dayes ther koude he muchel help, 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 semycope, That rounded as a belle out of the presse. Somwhat he lipsed for his wantownesse To make his Englissh sweete upon his tonge; And in his harpyng, whan that he hadde songe, Hise eyen twynkled in his heed aryght As doon the sterres in the frosty nyght. This worthy lymytour was cleped Huberd. And generally, wherever profit might arise, Courteous he was and servicable in men's eyes. There was no other man so virtuous. He was the finest beggar of his house; (And gave a certain fee for his begging rights, None of his brethren dared approach his hights;) For though a widow had no shoes to show, So pleasant was his "In principio", He always got a farthing before he went. His revenue exceeded his costs, it is evident. And he could flirt as well as any pup. He could help resolve disputes that were brought up. In this he was not like a cloisterer, With threadbare cope like the poor scholar, But he was like a lord or like a pope. Of double cloth was his semi-cope, That rounded like a bell, as if straight from the press. He lisped a little, out of wantonness, To make his English soft upon his tongue; And in his harping, when he had sung, His two eyes twinkled in his head as bright As do the stars within the frosty night. This worthy friar was named Hubert.

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The Merchant
A MARCHANT was ther with a forked berd, In mottelee, and hye on horse he sat; Upon his heed a Flaundryssh bever hat, His bootes clasped faire and fetisly. There was a MERCHANT with forked beard In motley gown, and high on horse he sat, Upon his head a Flemish beaver hat; His boots were fastened neatly and elegantly.

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Glossary cleped ferthyng fetisly flaundryssh heed koude lowely lymytour marchant mottelee povre semycope sho songe wantownesse whelp wydwe yaf cleped (ycleped) pst. ferthyng noun fetisly Flaundryssh heed, heede koude lowely lymytour marchant mottelee poure, povre semycope sho songe wantownesse whelp wydwe yaf adv. adj. noun, sg. verb adj. noun noun noun adj. noun noun verb noun noun noun verb, pst. called 1. speck, spot; 2. farthing (a coin worth one-fourth of a penny), something of little value elegantly Flemish head knew how to modest, humble friar licensed (by his order) to beg in a specific district merchant parti-colored cloth poor, impoverished short cloak shoe sung affectation dog, pup widow gave

Introduction

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The Canterbury Tales
His resons he spak ful solempnely, Sownynge alway th'encrees of his wynnyng. He wolde the see were kept for any thyng Bitwixe Middelburgh and Orewelle. Wel koude he in eschaunge sheeldes selle. This worthy man ful wel his wit bisette; Ther wiste no wight that he was in dette, So estatly was he of his governaunce With his bargaynes and with his chevyssaunce. For sothe, he was a worthy man with-alle, But, sooth to seyn, I noot how men hym calle. He spoke out his opinions very solemnly, Stressing the times when he had won, not lost. He wanted the sea were guarded at any cost Between Middleburgh and the town of Orwel. He knew how to deal foreign currencies, buy and sell. This worthy man kept all his wits well set; There was no person that knew he was in debt, So well he managed all his trade affairs With bargains and with borrowings and with shares. Indeed, he was a worthy man withall, But, to tell the truth, his name I can't recall.

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The Clerk
A CLERK ther was of Oxenford also, That unto logyk hadde longe ygo. As leene was his hors as is a rake, And he nas nat right fat, I undertake, But looked holwe and therto sobrely. Ful thredbare was his overeste courtepy; For he hadde geten hym yet no benefice, Ne was so worldly for to have office. For hym was levere have at his beddes heed A CLERK from Oxford was there also, Who'd studied philosophy, long ago. As lean was his horse as is a rake, And he too was not fat, that I take, But he looked emaciated, moreover, abstemiously. Very worn off was his overcoat; for he Had got him yet no churchly benefice, Nor he was worldly to accept secular office. For he would rather have at his bed's head

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Glossary bargaynes beddes heed benefice bitwix chevyssaunce clerk courtepy dette estatly governaunce his wit bisette holwe hym was levere koude noot office resons see sobrely solempnely sooth undertake wight wiste wynnyng bargaynes noun beddes heed noun benefice noun bitwix, bitwixe, prep. bitwixen, bitwyxen chevyssaunce noun clerk noun courtepy noun dette noun estatly adj. governance, noun governaunce his wit bisette holwe verb hym was levere koude verb noot verb office noun resons noun, pl. see noun sobrely adv. solempnely adv. sooth, soothe, noun soth, sothe undertake verb wight, wyght noun wiste verb, pst. sg. wynnyng noun bargains, buying and selling head of the bed ecclesiastical living between financial arrangements 1. university student; 2. scholar short coat, jacket debt, obligation dignified 1. behaviour; 2. control, management used his wits emaciated he would rather knew how to do not know, does not know secular employment, function remarks, opinions sea seriously, gravely ceremoniously, solemnly truth affirm, declare person, creature, being knew; profit

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Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
Twenty bookes, clad in blak or reed, Of Aristotle and his philosophie, 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 on lernynge he it spente, And bisily gan for the soules preye Of hem that yaf hym wherwith to scoleye. Of studie took he moost cure and moost heede. 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; Sownynge in moral vertu was his speche, And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche. Some twenty books, all bound in black or red, Of Aristotle and his philosophy Than rich robes, fiddle, or gay psaltery. Yet, and for all he was philosopher in base, He had but little gold within his suitcase; But all that he might borrow from a friend On books and learning he would swiftly spend, And then he'd pray diligently for the souls Of those who gave him resources to attend schools. He took utmost care and heed for his study. Not one word spoke he more than was necessary; And that was said with due formality and dignity And short and lively, and full of high morality. Filled with moral virtue was his speech; And gladly would he learn and gladly teach.

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The Sergeant of the Law
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 swich, hise wordes weren so wise. Justice he was ful often in assise, 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 nowher noon: A SERGEANT OF THE LAW, keen and wise, Who'd often been at St. Paul's Porch, to advise, There was also, rich of superior quality Disinterested he was, and of great dignity; At least it seemed so, his words were so wise. Often he was a judge in court, in assize, By royal assignment or commission giving jurisdiction; Because of his knowledge and high reputation, He took large fees, had robes more than one. So great a land-buyer there was none.

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Glossary assise fithele justice neede parvys patente pleyn commissioun purchasour quyk renoun reverence sautrie science scoleye sentence sergeant of the lawe swich war yaf assise fithele justise, justice nede, neede Parvys patente pleyn commissioun purchasour quike, quyk, quyke renoun reverence sautrie, sawtrie science scoleye sentence sergeant of the lawe swich war yaf noun noun noun adv. noun noun noun adj. noun noun noun noun verb noun noun pro. adj verb, pst. the court of assizes fiddle judge necessary, necessarily the porch of St. Paul's Cathedral letter of appointment from the king full jurisdiction land-buyer alive, lively, vivid fame dignity, respect psaltry (a harp-like instrument) knowledge study, attend the schools of the university 1. meaning, saying; 2. decision, command a lawyer who belonged to the highest order in his profession (from this group of legal officers the judges of the King's courts were chosen) such 1. aware; 2. prudent gave

Introduction

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The Canterbury Tales
Al was fee symple to hym in effect, His purchasyng myghte nat been infect. Nowher so bisy a man as he ther nas, And yet he semed bisier than he was. In termes hadde he caas and doomes alle That from the tyme of Kyng William were falle. Therto he koude endite and make a thyng, Ther koude no wight pynche at his writyng; And every statut koude he pleyn by rote. He rood but hoomly in a medlee cote Girt with a ceint of silk, with barres smale; Of his array telle I no lenger tale. All was fee simple to him, in effect, Wherefore his claims could never be suspect. Nowhere a man so busy of his class, And yet he seemed much busier than he was. He knew all convictions, common and crime Recorded since King William's time. And he could write a contract so explicit Not any man could trace a fault in it; And every law he knew entirely by rote. He rode but simply in a medley coat, Girded with a belt of silk, with little bars, But of his outfit no more particulars.

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The Franklin
A FRANKELEYN was in his compaignye. Whit was his berd as is a dayesye; Of his complexioun he was sangwyn. Wel loved he by the morwe a sope in wyn,; To lyven in delit was evere his wone, For he was Epicurus owene sone, That heeld opinioun that pleyn delit Was verray felicitee parfit. An housholdere, and that a greet, was he; Seint Julian was he in his contree. His breed, his ale, was alweys after oon, 335 There was a FRANKLIN in his company; White was his beard as is the white daisy. Of sanguine temperament by every sign, He loved to dip his morning bread in wine. A pleasing live was the custom he'd won, For he was Epicurus' very son, That held opinion that plain and pure delight Was true happiness, perfect and right. A householder, and that a great, was he; Saint Julian he was in his own country. His bread, his ale were always good and fine;

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Glossary array by rote ceint complexioun contree dayesye delit endite fee symple frankeleyn girt infect koude medlee parfit pynche at sawnyng seint Julian verray wight wone array by rote ceint, ceynt complexioun contree dayesye noun noun noun noun noun 1. equipment; 2. dress, clothes by heart belt temperament, balance of the body's fluids district, country daisy, a small plant bearing flowers each with a yellow disc and white rays, usually found in meadows delight, pleasure, desire write, describe in writing unrestricted possession, absolute possession landowner of the gentry class encircled invalidated knew how to motley, parti-colored perfect, complete find a flaw in 1. red, ruddy; 2. florid, bright, ruddy patron saint of hospitality true person, creature, being practice, custom

delit, delyt noun, sg. endite, enditen, verb endyte fee symple noun frankeleyn noun girt adj. infect adj. koude verb medlee adj. parfit, parfyt, perfitadj. pynche at verb sawnyng, adj. sangwyn Seint Julian verray adj. wight, wyght noun wone noun

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Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
A bettre envyned man was nowher noon. Withoute bake mete 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 koude thynke. After the sondry sesons of the yeer, So chaunged he his mete and his soper. Ful many a fat partrich hadde he in muwe, And many a breem and many a luce in stuwe. Wo was his cook, but if his sauce were Poynaunt and sharp, and redy al his geere. 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 knyght of the shire. An anlaas and a gipser al of silk Heeng at his girdel, whit as morne milk. A shirreve hadde he been, and a countour. Was nowher swich a worthy vavasour. No man had cellars better stocked with wine. His house was never short of food and pies Of fish and flesh, and these in large supplies It seemed to snow therein both food and drink Of every dainty that a man could think. According to the various seasons of the year He changed lunch and changed his supper. Very many fattened partridges he kept in a mew, And many a bream and pike in fish-pond too. Woe to his cook, unless the sauces were Poignant and sharp, and ready all his gear. His dining table, waiting in his hall, I say, Stood ready covered throughout the whole day. At county sessions he was lord and sire, And often acted as a knight of shire. A dagger and a purse all of silk Hung at his belt, white as morning milk. He had been sheriff and been tax auditor; There was nowhere such a worthy vavasor.

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The Haberdasher, Carpenter, Arras-maker, Dyer and Weaver
An HABERDASSHERE and a CARPENTER, A WEBBE, a DYERE, and a TAPYCER,And they were clothed alle in o lyveree 365 A HABERDASHER and a CARPENTER, An ARRAS-MAKER, DYER, and WEAVER Were with us, clothed in the same livery,

Glossary anlaas contour deyntees envyned ful oft geere girdle haberdasshere luce mete muwe plentevous poynaunt shirreve sondry soper stuwe swich table dormant tapycer vavasour webbe anlaas countour (contour) deyntees envyned ful oft, ofte geere girdel, girdle haberdasshere luce mete muwe plentevous poynaunt shirreve sondry soper stuwe swich table dormant tapycer vavasour webbe noun noun noun, pl. adj. noun noun noun noun noun noun adj. adj. noun adj. noun noun pro. noun noun noun noun broad two-edged dagger auditor fine food and drinks, delicacies stocked with wine very often equipment, outfit belt a dealer in hats or small wares pike food, dinner mew, bird cage, usually for hawks plenteous spicy, piquant, piercing sheriff various, different dinner fishpond such table fixed in its place, as distinct from one taken down between meals tapestry-maker, weaver of tapestries, rugs, etc. feudal landholder, landowner weaver

Introduction

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The Canterbury Tales
Of a solempne and a greet fraternitee. Ful fressh and newe hir geere apiked was; Hir knyves were chaped noght with bras, But al with silver; wroght ful clene and weel, Hire girdles and hir pouches everydeel. Wel semed ech of hem a fair burgeys To sitten in a yeldehalle on a deys. Everich, for the wisdom that he kan, Was shaply for to been an alderman. For catel hadde they ynogh and rente, And eek hir wyves wolde it wel assente; And elles certeyn, were they to blame. It is ful fair to been ycleped "madame," And goon to vigilies al bifore, And have a mantel roialliche ybore. All of one solemn, great fraternity. Freshly and new their gear, and well adorned it was; Their weapons were not cheaply shaped with brass, But all with silver; neatly made and well Their belt and their purses too, I tell. Each man of them appeared a proper citizen To sit in guildhall on a dais, he can And each of them, for wisdom he could span, Was suitable to serve as an alderman; For property they'd enough, and income too; Besides their wives declared it was their due, Or else for certain they had been to blame. It's good to hear "Madam" before one's name, And go to church when all the world may see, Having one's gown carried right royally.

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The Cook
A COOK they hadde with hem for the nones To boille the chiknes with the marybones, A COOK they had with them, just for once, To boil the chickens with the marrow-bones,

Glossary al bifore apiked assente burgeys catel chaped chiknes clene deys ech eek everydeel fair fraternitee geere girdle hem kan marybones nones pouche rente roialliche ybore solempne vigilies ycleped ynogh al bifore apiked assente burgeys catel chaped chiknes clene deys ech eek, eke everideel, everydeel, every deel fair fraternitee geere girdel, girdle hem kan marybones nones pouche rente roialliche ybore solempne vigilies adv. verb verb, prsnt. noun noun verb noun, pl. adv. noun pro. adv. adv. adj. noun noun noun pro. verb, 3rd prs. sg. noun noun noun noun adj. adj. noun, pl. first, before everyone else, heading the procession adorned, trimmed consent, agree; citizen of a city (tradesman) property, possessions mounted chickens neatly dais (stage, raised platform) each (one) also completely, in all respects, in every detail; everything pleasing, handsome, fine, morally good religious guild, fraternity equipment, outfit belt them knows marrow bones occasion 1. purse; 2. pocket income royally carried dignified, important vigils, feasts/services held on the eve of a religious festival called enough

ycleped (cleped) verb, pst. sg. ynogh, ynough adj. and noun

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Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
And poudre-marchant tart, and galyngale. Wel koude he knowe a draughte of London ale. He koude rooste, 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 shyne a mormal hadde he. For blankmanger, that made he with the beste. And poudre-marchant tart and galingale. He knew how to recognize a draught of London ale. And he could roast and boil and broil and fry, And prepare a stew, and bake a tasty pie. But a pity it was, it seemed to me, That on his shin an open sore had he; For sweet blanc-mange, he made it with the best.

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The Shipman
A SHIPMAN was ther, wonynge fer by weste; For aught I woot, he was of Dertemouthe. He rood upon a rouncy, as he kouthe, In a gowne of faldyng to the knee. A daggere hangynge on a laas hadde he Aboute his nekke, under his arm adoun. The hoote somer hadde maad his hewe al broun, And certeinly he was a good felawe. Ful many a draughte of wyn had he ydrawe Fro Burdeux-ward, whil that the chapman sleep. Of nyce conscience took he no keep. If that he faught, and hadde the hyer hond, By water he sente hem hoom to every lond. But of his craft, to rekene wel his tydes, His stremes, and his daungers hym bisides, His herberwe and his moone, his lodemenage, Ther nas noon swich from Hulle to Cartage. 390 There was a SAILOR, living far out west; For all I know, he was of Dartmouth town. He sadly rode a carthorse, in a gown, Of thick woolen cloth that reached unto the knee. A dagger hanging on a cord had he About his neck, under his arm, and down. The hot summer had burned his face all brown; And certainly he was a person fine. Very often he took a draught of wine, Of Bordeaux vintage, while the trader slept. Nice conscience was a thing he never kept. And if he fought and got the upper hand, By water he sent them home to every land. But as for craft, to calculate his tides, His currents and the dangerous watersides, His harbours, and his moon, his pilotage, There was none such from Hull to far Carthage.

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Glossary chapman conscience faldyng galyngale harm hem herberwe hewe hoom hyer hond knowe koude laas lodemenage mormal nyce rekene rouncy stremes swich woot chapman conscience faldyng galyngale harm hem herberwe hewe hoom hyer hond knowe koude laas lodemenage mormal nyce rekene rouncy stremes swich woot noun noun noun noun noun pro. noun noun noun noun verb verb noun noun noun adj. verb noun nou, pl. pro. verb, 1st and 3rd pers. prsnt. sg. merchant moral sense and solicitude coarse woolen coat sweet spice prepared from the root of sweet cyperus pity, suffering, misfortune them inn, lodging; astrological house hue, appearance home homeward upper hand recognize knew how to cord skill in navigation ulcer, sore foolish, scrupulous enumerate, calculate, consider, take account of, count carthorse, nag currents such know, knows

Introduction

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The Canterbury Tales
Hardy he was, and wys to undertake; With many a tempest hadde his berd been shake. He knew alle the havenes as they were, From Gootlond to the Cape of Fynystere, And every cryke in Britaigne and in Spayne. His barge ycleped was the Maudelayne. Hardy and wise in all things undertaken, By many tempests had his beard been shaken. He knew well all the havens, how they were, From Gottland to the Cape of Finisterre, And every creek in Brittany and Spain; His vessel had been called the Madeleine.

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The Physician
With us ther was a DOCTOUR OF PHISIK; In al this world ne was ther noon hym lik, To speke of phisik and of surgerye, For he was grounded in astronomye. He kepte his pacient a ful greet deel In houres, by his magyk natureel. Wel koude he fortunen the ascendent Of his ymages for his pacient. He knew the cause of everich maladye, Were it of hoot, or coold, or moyste, or drye, And where they engendred, and of what humour. He was a verray parfit praktisour: The cause yknowe, and of his harm the roote, Anon he yaf the sike man his boote. Ful redy hadde he hise apothecaries To sende him drogges and his letuaries, For ech of hem made oother for to wynneHir frendshipe nas nat newe to bigynne. Wel knew he the olde Esculapius, And Deyscorides and eek Rufus, Olde Ypocras, Haly, and Galyen, Serapioun, Razis, and Avycen, Averrois, Damascien, and Constantyn, 415 With us there was a DOCTOR OF MEDICINE; In all this world there was none like him To speak of medicine and surgery; For he was instructed in astronomy. He cared for and saved a patient many times By natural science and studying astrological signs. Well could he calculate the planetary position To improve the state his patient is in. He knew the cause of every sickness, Whether it brings heat or cold, moisture or dryness, And where engendered, and of what humour; He was a very good practitioner. The cause being known, the root of the malady, At once he gave to the sick man his remedy. Prepared he was, with his apothecaries, To send him drugs and all electuaries; By mutual aid much gold they'd always wonTheir friendship was a thing not new begun. Well he knew the old Esculapius, And Deiscorides, and also Rufus, Old Hippocrates, Hali, and Galen, Serapion, Rhazes, and Avicen, Averroes, Gilbertus, and Constantine,

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Glossary anon boote eek everich fortunen the ascendent grounded koude letuaries magyk natureel parfit phisik undertake verray yaf ycleped anon, anoon adv. boote noun eek, eke adv. everich, everych adj. fortunen the ascendent grounded verb koude verb letuaries noun magyk natureel noun parfit, parfyt, perfitadj. phisik adj. and noun undertake verb verray adj. yaf verb, pst. ycleped (cleped) verb, pst. sg. straightway, at once, immediately remedy also every (one), each (one) calculate the planetary position instructed knew how to medical mixtures, electuaries natural science perfect, complete medicine affirm, declare true gave called

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Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
Bernard, and Gatesden, and Gilbertyn. Of his diete mesurable was he, For it was of no superfluitee, But of greet norissyng, and digestible. His studie was but litel on the Bible. In sangwyn and in pers he clad was al, Lyned with taffata and with sendal; And yet he was but esy of dispence; He kepte that he wan in pestilence. For gold in phisik is a cordial, Therfore he lovede gold in special. Bernard and Gatisden, and John Damascene. In diet he was modest as could be, No one could blame him of superfluity, But greatly nourishin and digestible. His study was but little on the Bible. Blue and scarlet his clothes were therewithal, Lined with taffeta and with sendal; And yet he was right careful of expense; He kept the gold he gained from pestilence. Since gold in physic is a cordial, Therefore he loved his gold exceeding all.

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The Wife of Bath
A good WIF was ther, OF biside BATHE, But she was somdel deef, and that was scathe. Of clooth-makyng she hadde swich an haunt, She passed hem of Ypres and of Gaunt. In al the parisshe wif ne was ther noon That to the offrynge bifore hire sholde goon; And if ther dide, certeyn so wrooth was she, That she was out of alle charitee. Hir coverchiefs ful fyne weren of ground; I dorste swere they weyeden ten pound That on a Sonday weren upon hir heed. Hir hosen weren of fyn scarlet reed, Ful streite yteyd, 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, There was a WIFE of BATH, or a near city, Who was somewhat deaf, it is a pity. At making clothes she had a skillful hand She bettered those of Ypres and of Ghent. In all the parish there was no wife to go And proceed her in offering, it is so; And if one did, indeed, so angry was she It put her out of all her charity. Her head-dresses were of finest weave and ground; I dare swear that they weighed about ten pound Which, on a Sunday, she wore on her head. Her stockings were of the finest scarlet red, Tightly fastened, and her shoes were soft and new. Bold was her face, and fair, and red of hue. She'd been respectable throughout her life, Married in church, husbands she had five,

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Glossary chirche dore cordial coverchiefs deef dispence haunt heed hewe hosen mesurable pers reed sawnyng scathe somdel streite yteyd swich wrooth chirche dore cordial coverchiefs deef dispence haunt heed, heede hewe hosen, hoses mesurable pers rede, reed, reede sawnyng, sangwyn scathe somdel, somdeel streite yteyd swich wrooth, wroth(e) noun noun, pl. adj. noun noun noun, sg. noun noun adj. adj. adj. adj. noun adv. adj. pro. adj. door of the church medicine of the heart head-dresses deaf expenditure(s) skill head hue, appearance stockings moderate, temperate blue, bluish gray red 1. red, ruddy; 2. florid, bright, ruddy a pity somewhat, partly tightly fastened such angry

Introduction

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The Canterbury Tales
Withouthen oother compaignye in youthe, But therof 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. She koude muchel of wandrynge by the weye. Gat-tothed was she, soothly for to seye. Upon an amblere esily she sat, Ywympled wel, and on hir heed an hat As brood as is a bokeler or a targe; A foot-mantel aboute hir hipes large, And on hir feet a paire of spores sharpe. In felaweshipe wel koude she laughe and carpe. Of remedies of love she knew per chaunce, For she koude of that art the olde daunce. Not counting other company in youth; But thereof there's no need to speak, in truth. Three times she'd travelled to Jerusalem; And many a foreign stream she'd had to stem; At Rome she'd been, and she'd been in Boulogne, In Spain at Santiago, and at Cologne. She could tell much of wandering by the way: Gap-toothed was she, it is the truth I say. Upon a pacing horse easily she sat, Wearing a large wimple, and over all a hat As broad as is a buckler or a targe; An overskirt was tucked around her buttocks large, And her feet spurred sharply under that. In company well could she laugh and chat. The remedies of love she knew, perchance, For of that art she'd learned the old, old dance.

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475

The Parson
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, That Cristes gospel trewely wolde preche; His parisshens devoutly wolde he teche. Benynge he was, and wonder diligent, And in adversitee ful pacient, And swich he was ypreved ofte sithes. Ful looth were hym to cursen for his tithes, But rather wolde he yeven, out of doute, Unto his povre parisshens aboute 480 A good man was there of religion, He was a poor COUNTRY PARSON, But rich he was in holy thought and work. He was a learned man also, a clerk, Who Christ's own gospel truly sought to preach; Devoutly his parishioners would he teach. Gracious he was and wondrously diligent, Patient in adversity and well content, Many times thus proven had he He excommunicated not to force a fee, But rather would he give, there is no doubt, Unto his poor parishioners about,

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Glossary amblere benygne clerk ful gat-tothed heed koude ofte sithes parisshens persoun povre soothly straunge strem swich yeven ypreved amblere benigne, benygne, benyngne clerk ful gat-tothed heed, heede koude ofte sithes parisshens person, persoun poure, povre soothly straunge strem swich yeve, yeven ypreved noun adj. noun adv. adj. noun, sg. verb adj. noun noun adj. adv. pro. verb verb pacing horse 1. kind, good; 2. gracious 1. university student; 2. scholar 1. very; 2. fully, completely gap-toothed head knew how to many times parishioners parson, parish priest poor, impoverished truly foreign river such give, given proved

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Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
Of his offryng and eek of his substaunce. He koude in litel thyng have suffisaunce. Wyd was his parisshe, and houses fer asonder, But he ne lefte nat, for reyn ne thonder, In siknesse nor in meschief to visite The ferreste in his parisshe, muche and lite, Upon his feet, and in his hand a staf. This noble ensample to his sheep he yaf, That first he wroghte, and afterward he taughte. Out of the gosple he tho wordes caughte, And this figure he added eek therto, That if gold ruste, what shal iren do? For if a preest be foul, on whom we truste, No wonder is a lewed man to ruste; And shame it is, if a prest take keep, A shiten shepherde and a clene sheep. Wel oghte a preest ensample for to yive, By his clennesse, how that his sheep sholde lyve. He sette nat his benefice to hyre And leet his sheep encombred in the myre And ran to Londoun unto Seinte Poules To seken hym a chaunterie for soules, Or with a bretherhed to been witholde; But dwelt 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, Some of his income, even of his property. He could in little find sufficiency. Wide was his parish, houses far asunder, But never did he fail, for rain or thunder, In sickness, or in sin, or any state, To visit the farthest, regardless their financial state, Going by foot, and in his hand, a stave. This fine example to his flock he gave, That first he wrought and afterwards he taught; Out of the gospel then that text he caught, And this metaphor he added thereunto That, if gold would rust, what shall iron do? For if the priest be foul, in whom we trust, No wonder that a layman thinks of lust? And shame it is, if priest take thought for keep, A shitty shepherd, looking after clean sheep. A trully good example a priest should give, Is his own chastity, how his flock should live. He never let his benefice for hire, And leave his sheep encumbered in the mire, And ran to London, up to old Saint Paul's To get himself a chantry there for souls, Nor in some fraternity did he withhold; But dwelt at home and kept so well the fold That never wolf could make his plans miscarry; He was a shepherd and not mercenary. And holy though he was, and virtuous,

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Glossary asonder bretherhed chaunterie clennesse eek encombred ensample ferreste figure foul hoom leet lewed man meschief much and lite myre myscarie seint poules shiten substance yaf asonder bretherhed chaunterie clennesse eek, eke encombred ensample ferreste figure foul hoom leet lewed man mescheef, meschief much and lite myre myscarie Seinte Poules shiten substance, substaunce yaf adv. noun noun apart guild, fraternity appointment as a chantry priest, an endowment for a priest to serve in a chapel for the soul of its patron noun purity, chastity adv. also verb, pst. prtcpl. 1. stuck; 2. burdened, encumbered (by) noun 1. example, model; 2. illustrative story adv. superlative farthest, those farthest away noun methaphor (figure of speech) adj. 1. ugly, dirty; 2. vicious, evil noun home homeward verb 1. allowed; 2. left noun uneducated man, layman noun mischief, misfortune, adversity, trouble noun noun verb adj. noun verb, pst. great and small, everyone 1. mire, a stretch of swampy or boggy ground; 2. mud, durt; in difficulties go wrong St. Paul's Cathedral (in London) dirty, defiled 1. majority, (essential) quality; 2. (fixed) income, possessions gave

Introduction

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The Canterbury Tales
He was to synful men nat despitous, Ne of his speche daungerous ne digne, But in his techyng discreet and benygne; To drawen folk to hevene by fairnesse, By good ensample, this was his bisynesse. But it were any persone obstinat, What so he were, of heigh or lough estat, Hym wolde he snybben sharply for the nonys. A bettre preest I trowe, that nowher noon ys. He waited after no pompe and reverence, Ne maked him a spiced conscience, But Cristes loore, and Hise apostles twelve He taughte, but first he folwed it hymselve. To sinners he was not impiteous, Nor haughty in his speech, nor too divine, But in all teaching courteous and benign. To lead folk into Heaven by means of gentleness By good example was his business. But if some sinful one proved obstinate, Whoever, of high or low financial state, He put to sharp rebuke, to say the least. I think there never was a better priest. He had no thirst for pomp or ceremony, Nor spiced his conscience and morality, But Christ's own law, and His apostles' twelve He taught, but first he followed it himselve.

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The Plowman
With hym ther was a PLOWMAN, was his brother, That hadde ylad of dong ful many a fother; A trewe swynkere and a good was he, Lyvynge in pees and parfit charitee. God loved he best with al his hoole herte At alle tymes, thogh him gamed or smerte, And thanne his neighebor right as hym-selve. He wolde thresshe, and therto dyke and delve, For Cristes sake, for every povre wight Withouten hire, if it lay in his myght. With him there was a PLOWMAN, his brother, That loaded many carts with dung, and many other Had transported; a true worker was he, Living in peace and perfect charity. He loved God most, and that with his whole heart At all times, whether it was easy or hard, And next, his neighbour, even as himself. He'd thresh and dig, and never thought of wealth, For Christ's own sake, for every person poor, Without payment, if his power could assure.

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Glossary benygne conscience dangerous delve despitous dyke ensample estaat fairnesse herte hevene hire myght parfit pees povre reverence snybben swynkere trowe wight benigne, adj. benygne, benyngne conscience noun dangerous, adj. daungerous delve verb despitous adj. dyke noun ensample noun estaat, estat noun fairnesse noun herte noun hevene noun hire noun myght noun parfit, parfyt, perfitadj. pees noun poure, povre adj. reverence noun snybben verb swynkere noun trowe verb wight, wyght noun 1. kind, good; 2. gracious moral sense and solicitude domineering, arrogant, fastidious, hard to please, grudging dig scornful ditch 1. example, model; 2. illustrative story 1. state, condition; 2. rank, social standing graciousness, kindness heart heaven wages, payment power perfect, complete peace poor, impoverished dignity, respect rebuke labourer, worker think, suppose person, creature, being

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Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
Hise tithes payed he ful faire and wel, Bothe of his propre swynk and his catel. In a tabard he rood, upon a mere. He paid his taxes, fully, when it was due, Both by his toil and possessions he'd sell too. In a tabard he rode upon a mare.

The Miller
Ther was also a REVE and a MILLERE, A SOMNOUR and a PARDONER also, A MAUNCIPLE, and myself - ther were namo. The MILLERE was a stout carl for the nones; Ful byg he was of brawn and eek of bonesThat proved wel, for over al ther he cam At wrastlynge he wolde have alwey the ram. He was short-sholdred, brood, a thikke knarre, Ther was no dore that he nolde heve of harre, Or breke it at a rennyng with his heed. His berd as any sowe or fox was reed, And therto brood, as though it were a spade. Upon the cop right of his nose he hade A werte, and thereon stood a toft of herys, Reed as the brustles of a sowes erys; Hise nosethirles blake were and wyde. A swerd and bokeler bar he by his syde. 545 A REEVE and a MILLER were also there; A SUMMONER, MANCIPLE and PARDONER, All these, beside myself, there were no more. The MILLER was a strong fellow, be it known, Hardy, big of brawn and big of bone; Which was well proved, for wherever a festive day At wrestling, he always took the prize away. He was stoutly built, broad and heavy; He lifted each door from its hinges, that easy, Or break it through, by running, with his head. His beard, as any sow or fox, was red, And broad it was as if it were a spade. Upon his nose right on the top he had A wart, and thereon stood a tuft of hairs, Red as the bristles in an old sow's ears; His nostrils they were black and wide. A sword and buckler he carried by his side.

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Glossary bokeler brawn brood byg carl catel cop eek eeris ful heed heve of harre maunciple millere namo nosethirles over al pardoner reed reve somonour swerd swynk thikke knarre werte wrastlynge bokeler, bokeleer brawen, brawn brood byg carl catel cop eek, eke eeris, eres, erys ful heed, heede heve of harre maunciple millere namo nosethirles, nose-thirles over al pardoner rede, reed, reede reve somnour, somonour swerd swynk thikke knarre werte wrestling noun noun, sg. adj. adj. noun noun noun adv. noun, pl. adv. noun, sg. verb noun noun adj. noun adv. noun adj. noun noun noun verb noun noun verbal noun buckler, small shield 1. muscle; 2. meat broad, wide strong fellow property, possessions top also ears 1. very; 2. fully, completely head lift off its hinges business agent, purchaser of provisions for an inn of court (temple) miller no more, no others; no more, never again nostrils wherever a seller of indulgences red reeve, manager of an estate or farm a server of summonses for an ecclesiastical court sword noun work, toil stout fellow wart, a small benign growth on the skin, usually hard and rounded, caused by a virus-induced abnormal growth of skin cells and thickening of the epidermis wrestling

Introduction

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The Canterbury Tales
His mouth as greet was as a greet forneys. He was a janglere and a goliardeys, And that was moost of synne and harlotries. Wel koude he stelen corn, and tollen thries; And yet he hadde a thombe of gold, pardee. A whit cote and a blew hood wered he. A baggepipe wel koude he blowe and sowne, And therwithal he broghte us out of towne. His mouth was like a furnace door for size. He was a jester and knew some poetry, But mostly all of sin and obscenity. He could steal corn and three times charge his fee; And yet indeed he had a thumb of gold. A blue hood he wore and a white coat; A bagpipe he could blow well, up and down, And with that same he brought us out of town.

565

The Manciple
A gentil MAUNCIPLE was ther of a temple, Of which achatours myghte take exemple For to be wise in byynge of vitaille; For wheither that he payde or took by taille, Algate he wayted so in his achaat That he was ay biforn, and in good staat. Now is nat that of God a ful fair grace, That swich a lewed mannes wit shal pace The wisdom of an heep of lerned men? Of maistres hadde he mo than thries ten, That weren of lawe expert and curious, Of whiche ther weren a duszeyne in that hous Worthy to been stywardes of rente and lond Of any lord that is in Engelond, To maken hym lyve by his propre good, 570 The MANCIPLE was from the Inner Temple, To whom all buyers might think of as an example To learn the art of buying victuals; Cash or credit, he knew all the rituals, That he knew the markets, watched them closely, And found himself ahead, he did quit nicely. Now is it not of God's very fair grace That such a vulgar man has wit to pace The wisdom of a crowd of learned men? Of masters had he more than three times ten, Who were in law expert and curious; Whereof there were a dozen in that house Fit to be stewards of both rent and land Of any lord in England who would stand To make him live by his own wealth and fee,

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Glossary achatours algate ay blew by taille byynge curious duszeyne fair forneys harlotries janglere koude lewed maunciple pardee propre good rente stelen swich synne vitaille achatours algate, algates ay blew by taille byynge curious duszeyne fair forneys harlotries janglere koude lewed maunciple pardee propre good rente stele, stelen swich synne vitaille noun adv. adv. adj. verb adj. noun adj. noun noun noun verb adj. noun interj. noun noun verb pro. noun noun buyers always, all the same always blue on credit purchase (buying) skillful, skillfully made dozen, twelve pleasing, handsome, fine, morally good cauldron scurrility, deeds of harlotry, obscenities chatterer, loud talker, teller of dirty stories knew how to uneducated business agent, purchaser of provisions for an inn of court (temple) indeed own wealth/income income steal such sin, misbehaviour victuals, provisions, stock of food

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Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
In honour dettelees (but if he were wood), Or lyve as scarsly as hym list desire, And able for to helpen al a shire In any caas that myghte falle or happeAnd yet this Manciple sette hir aller cappe. In honour, debtless (unless his head was crazy), Or live as economically as he might desire; These men were able to have helped a shire In any case that ever might occur; And yet this manciple covered their sight with blur.

585

The Reeve
The REVE was a sclendre colerik man. His berd was shave as ny as ever he kan; His heer was by his erys ful round yshorn; His top was dokked lyk a preest biforn. Ful longe were his legges, and ful lene, Ylyk a staf, ther was no calf ysene. Wel koude he kepe a gerner and a bynne; Ther was noon auditour koude on him wynne. Wel wiste he by the droghte and by the reyn, The yeldynge of his seed and of his greyn. His lordes sheep, his neet, his dayerye, His swyn, his hors, his stoor, and his pultrye, Was hoolly in this Reves governynge, And by his covenant yaf the rekenynge, Syn that his lord was twenty yeer of age, Ther koude no man brynge hym in arrerage. Ther nas baillif, ne hierde, nor oother hyne, That he ne knew his sleighte and his covyne; 590 The REEVE was a slender choleric man Who shaved his beard as close as ever he can. His hair was closely cropped around his ears; His head, the top was cut alike a pulpiteer's. Long were his legs, and they were very lean, And like a staff, with no calf to be seen. Well could he manage granary and bin; No auditor could ever find anything. He could foretell, by drought and by the rain, The yielding of his seed and of his grain. His lord's sheep and his cattle and his dairy cows, His swine and horses, his stores, his poultry house, Were wholly in the Reve his managing; And, by agreement, he'd gave reckoning Since his young lord of age was twenty years; Yet no man ever found him in arrears. There was no agent, herd, or servant who'd cheat; He knew too well their cunning and deceit;

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Glossary bailly caas covenant covyne dettelees dokked droghte eeris ful gerner heer kepe koude neet reve sclendre sleighte syn wiste wood yaf ylyk ysene baillif, bailly caas covenant covyne dettelees dokked droghte eeris, eres, erys ful gerner heer, heeres, heeris, heris, herys kepe koude neet reve sclendre sleighte syn wiste wood yaf ylyk ysene noun noun noun noun verb noun noun, pl. adv. noun noun verb verb noun noun adj. noun conj. and prep. verb, pst. sg. adj. verb, pst. adj. adj. bailiff, an agent for a lord's estate who administered justice and collected revenues case, circumstances agreement, contract treachery without debts cut short dryness ears 1. very; 2. fully, completely granary hair keep, take care after, preserve knew how to cattle reeve, manager of an estate or farm lean, feeble trick, trickery since knew; crazy, mad, insane gave alike, equal, like visible

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The Canterbury Tales
They were adrad of hym as of the deeth. His wonyng was ful faire upon an heeth; With grene trees shadwed was his place. He koude bettre than his lord purchace. Ful riche he was astored pryvely: His lord wel koude he plesen subtilly, To yeve and lene hym of his owene good, And have a thank, and yet a cote and hood. In youthe he hadde lerned a good myster; He was a wel good wrighte, a carpenter. This Reve sat upon a ful good stot, That was al pomely grey, and highte Scot. A long surcote of pers upon he hade, And by his syde he baar a rusty blade. Of Northfolk was this Reve, of which I telle, Bisyde a toun men clepen Baldeswelle. Tukked he was as is a frere aboute, And evere he rood the hyndreste of oure route. They were afraid of him as of the death. His cottage was a good one, on a heath; By green trees shaded was his dwelling-place. Much better than his lord could he purchase. Very rich and well he was provided all secretly, He knew well how to please his lord subtly, By giving him, or lending, of his own goods, And so got thanked - but yet got coats and hoods. In youth he'd learned a good trade, and had been A carpenter, good skillful and keen. This Reve sat on a horse that could well trot, And was all dapple grey, and was named Scot. A long surcoat of blue did he parade, And at his side he bore a rusty blade. Of Norfolk was this Reeve of whom I tell, From near a town that men call Badeswell. His coat was like a friar's tightly closed, From our company he rode always hindmost.

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The Summoner
A SOMONOUR was ther with us in that place, That hadde a fyr-reed cherubynnes face, For saucefleem he was, with eyen narwe. As hoot he was and lecherous as a sparwe, With scalled browes blake, and piled berd, Of his visage children were aferd. 625 A SUMMONER was with us in that place, Who had a fiery-red, cherubic face, All pimpled it was; his eyes were narrow As hot he was, and lecherous, as a sparrow; With black and scabby brows and scanty beard; He had a face that little children feared.

630

Glossary adrad afered astored baar deeth eyen narwe fyr-reed heeth highte hyndreste koude pers pryvely route saucefleem somonour stot surcote toun visage wonyng yeve adrad afered, aferd astored baar deeth eyen narwe fyr-reed heeth hight, highte hyndreste koude pers prively, pryvely route saucefleem somnour, somonour stot surcote toun visage wonyng yeve, yif adj. adj. verb verb noun adj. noun verb adj. superlative verb adj. adv. noun adj. noun noun noun noun noun noun verb, prsnt. afraid afraid provided carried death swollen eyelids fire-red heath, an area of open uncultivated land with coarse grasses was called, was named last knew how to blue, bluish gray secretly, discreetly, stealthily company, group of people pimpled a server of summonses for an ecclesiastical court horse outer coat town face dwelling give

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The Canterbury Tales
Ther nas quyk-silver, lytarge, ne brymstoon, Boras, ceruce, ne oille of tartre noon, Ne oynement, that wolde clense and byte, That hym myghte helpen of his whelkes white, Nor of the knobbes sittynge on his chekes. Wel loved he garleek, oynons, and eek lekes, And for to drynken strong wyn, reed as blood; Thanne wolde he speke and crie as he were wood. And whan that he wel dronken hadde the wyn, Than wolde he speke no word but Latyn. A fewe termes hadde he, two or thre, That he had lerned out of som decree> No wonder is, he herde it al the day, And eek ye knowen wel how that a jay Kan clepen "Watte" as wel as kan the pope. But whoso koude in oother thyng hym grope, Thanne hadde he spent al his philosophie; Ay "Questio quid iuris" wolde he crie. He was a gentil harlot and a kynde; A bettre felawe sholde men noght fynde; He wolde suffre, for a quart of wyn, A good felawe to have his concubyn A twelf-monthe, and excuse hym atte fulle; Ful prively a fynch eek koude he pulle. And if he foond owher a good felawe, He wolde techen him to have noon awe, In swich caas, of the ercedekenes curs, There was no mercury, sulphur, or litharge, No borax, ceruse, tartar, could discharge, Nor ointment that could cleanse enough, or bite, To free him of his boils and pimples white, Nor of the knobs located on his cheeks. Well loved he garlic, onions, and also leeks, And drink strong blood red wine untill dizzy. Then would he talk and shout as if he's crazy. And when a deal of wine he'd taken in, Then would he utter no word except Latin. Some phrases had he learned, say two or three, Which he had learned out of some decree; No wonder, he had heard it all the day; And all you know right well that even a jay Can call out "Walter" better than the Pope. But if, to try his wits in him you'd grope, 'Twas found he'd spent his whole philosophy; Always "Questio quid juris" would he cry. He was a noble rascal, and a kind; A better comrade would be hard to find. Why, he would suffer, for a quart of wine, Some good fellow to have his concubine A twelve-month, and excuse him to the full (Secretly, though he knew how a trick to pull). And if he found somewhere a good fellow, He would instruct him never to have awe, In such a case, of the archdeacon's curse,

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Glossary ay ay adv. byte byte verb caas caas noun decree decree noun eek eek, eke adv. ercedekenes curs ercedekenes curs noun garleek gentil grope harlot knobbes koude lekes oother owher oynons pryvely reed swich thre whelkes wood garleek gentil grope harlot knobbes koude lekes oother owher oynons prively, pryvely rede, reed, reede swich thre whelkes wood noun adj. verb noun noun verb verb adv. adv. noun, pl. adv. adj. pro. num. noun adj. always burn case, circumstances text of ecclesiastical law also excommunication, the official exclusion of a person from participation in the sacraments or formal communion with the Church garlic 1. noble (in character); 2. refined, excellent examine rascal, buffoon, jester; servant swellings knew how to leeks other; either anywhere onions secretly, discreetly, stealthily red such three pimples, pustules crazy, mad, insane

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The Canterbury Tales
But if a mannes soule were in his purs; For in his purs he sholde ypunysshed be. "Purs is the erchedekenes helle," seyde he. But wel I woot he lyed right in dede; Of cursyng oghte ech gilty man him drede, For curs wol slee, right as assoillyng savith, And also war him of a Significavit . In daunger hadde he at his owene gise The yonge girles of the diocise, And knew hir conseil, and was al hir reed. A gerland hadde he set upon his heed As greet as it were for an ale-stake; A bokeleer hadde he maad him of a cake. Unless a man's soul were within his purse; For in his purse the man should punished be. "The purse is the archdeacon's hell," said he. But well I know he lied in what he said; A curse ought every guilty man to dread (For curse can kill, as absolution save), And also be aware of Significavit. In his own power had he, and at ease, Young people of the entire diocese, And knew their secrets, they did what he said. A garland had he set upon his head, Large as a tavern's road sign on a stake; He'd made himself a buckler from a cake.

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670

The Pardoner
With hym ther rood a gentil PARDONER Of Rouncivale, his freend and his compeer, That streight was comen fro the court of Rome. Ful loude he soong "Com hider, love, to me!" This Somonour bar to hym a stif burdoun; Was nevere trompe of half so greet a soun. This Pardoner hadde heer as yelow as wex, But smothe it heeng as dooth a strike of flex; By ounces henge his lokkes that he hadde, With him there rode a noble PARDONER Of Rouncival, his friend and his compeer; Straight from the court of Rome had journeyed he. Loudly he sang "Come hither, love, to me," The summoner added a strong bass to his song; No horn ever sounded half so strong. This pardoner had hair as yellow as wax, But smooth it hung as does a strike of flax; In driplets hung his locks behind his head,

675

Glossary assoillyng bokeler burdoun cake conseil cursyng dooth drede ech freend gentil girles heed heer pardoner reed sle soun stif trompe woot ypunysshed assoillyng bokeler, bokeleer burdoun cake conseil cursyng dooth drede ech freend gentil girles heed, heede heer, heeres, heeris, heris, herys pardoner rede, reed, reede sle, slee soun stif trompe woot ypunysshed noun noun noun noun noun noun verb, 3rd prs. sg. prsnt. noun pro. noun adj. noun noun, sg. noun noun adj. verb noun adj. noun verb, 1st and 3rd pers. prsnt. sg. verb absolution buckler, small shield bass (part in a song) loaf of bread 1. opinion, decision, advice; 2. council, adviser archdeacon's curse, excommunication do, does fear; be afraid each (one) friend 1. noble (in character); 2. refined, excellent young women, young people head hair a seller of indulgences red kill, slay sound strong, powerful trumpet know, knows punished

34

Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
And therwith he hise shuldres overspradde; But thynne it lay by colpons oon and oon. But hood, for jolitee, wered he noon, For it was trussed up in his walet. Hym thoughte he rood al of the newe jet; Dischevelee, save his cappe, he rood al bare. Swiche glarynge eyen hadde he as an hare. A vernycle hadde he sowed upon his cappe. His walet lay biforn hym in his lappe Bretful of pardoun come from Rome al hoot. A voys he hadde as smal as hath a goot, No berd hadde he, ne nevere sholde have; As smothe it was as it were late shave, I trowe he were a geldyng or a mare. But of his craft, from Berwyk into Ware, Ne was ther swich another pardoner; For in his male he hadde a pilwe-beer, Which that he seyde was Oure Lady veyl: He seyde he hadde a gobet of the seyl That Seint Peter hadde, whan that he wente Upon the see, til Jesu Crist hym hente. He hadde a croys of latoun ful of stones, And in a glas he hadde pigges bones. But with thise relikes, whan that he fond A povre persoun dwellyng upon lond, Upon a day he gat hym moore moneye Than that the person gat in monthes tweye; 680 Down to his shoulders which they overspread; But thin they dropped, these strings, all one by one. He had no hood, it was for sport and fun, Though it was packed in knapsack all the while. It seemed to him he rode in latest style, With unbound hair, except his cap, head all bare. As shiny eyes he had as has a hare. He had a fine Veronica sewed to his cap. His knapsack lay before him in his lap, Stuffed full with pardons brought from Rome all hot. A voice he had that sounded like a goat. No beard had he, nor ever should he have, For smooth his face as he'd just had a shave; I think he was a gelding or a mare. But in his craft, from Berwick unto Ware, Was no such pardoner of equal grace. For in his bag he had a pillow-case Of which he said, it was Our True Lady's veil: He said he had a piece of the very sail That good Saint Peter had, on time he sailed Upon the sea, till Jesus him had hailed. He had a latten cross set full of stones, And in a bottle had he some pig's bones. But with these relics, when he found on ride Some simple parson dwelling in the countryside, In that one day gathered more money Than the parson in two months, that easy.

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Glossary bretful croys geldyng gobet goot latoun male mare pardoun pilwe-beer povre save see smal swich trowe trussed tweye upon lond vernycle walet wered bretful, bret-ful croys geldyng gobet goot latoun male mare pardoun pilwe-beer poure, povre save see smal swich trowe trussed tweye upon lond vernycle walet wered adj. noun noun noun noun noun noun noun noun noun adj. prep. noun noun pro. verb verb num. adj. noun noun verb brimful cross eunuch piece goat a brass-like alloy pouch, bag 1. the female of any equine animal, especially the horse; 2. (figuratively) homosexual 1. papal indulgences; 2. forgiveness pillow-case poor, impoverished except (that) sea 1. little, slender; 2. high (of voice) such think, suppose packed two in the countryside miniature reproduction of St. Veronica's sacred cloth, bearing the imprint of Jesus' features pouch, knapsack wore

Introduction

35

The Canterbury Tales
And thus, with feyned flaterye and japes, He made the persoun and the peple his apes. But trewely to tellen atte laste, He was in chirche a noble ecclesiaste. Wel koude he rede a lessoun or a storie, But alderbest he song an offertorie; For wel he wiste, whan that song was songe, He moste preche, and wel affile his tonge To wynne silver, as he ful wel koude; Therfore he song the murierly and loude. And thus, with flattery and equal japes, He made the parson and the rest his apes. But yet, to tell the whole truth at the last, He was, in church, a fine ecclesiast. Well could he read a lesson or a story, But best of all he sang an offertory; For he knew well that when that song was sung, Then must he preach, and all with smoothened tongue. To gain some silver, preferably from the crowd; Therefore he sang so merrily and so loud.

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The proposal of the Host
Now have I toold you shortly in a clause, Th'estaat, th'array, the nombre, and eek the cause Why that assembled was this compaignye In Southwerk, at this gentil hostelrye That highte the Tabard, faste by the Belle. But now is tyme to yow 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 all the remenaunt of oure pilgrimage. But first I pray yow, of youre curteisye, That ye n'arette it nat my vileynye, Thogh that I pleynly speke in this mateere, Now have I told you briefly, in a clause, The state, the array, the number, and the cause Of the assembling of this company In Southwark, at this noble hostelry Known as the Tabard Inn, closely to the Bell. But now the time has come wherein to tell How we conducted ourselves that very night When at the hostelry we did alight. And afterward the story I begin To tell you of our pilgrimage we're in. But first, I beg, address your courtesy, You'll not ascribe it to vulgarity Though I speak plainly of this matter here,

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Glossary alderbest alyght ape array chirche eek estaat gentil highte hostelrye ilke in a clause japes koude nombre songe soong trewely viage vileynye wiste alderbest alyght ape array chirche eek, eke estaat, estat gentil hight, highte hostelrie, hostelrye ilke in a clause japes koude nombre songe soong, song trewely viage vileynye wiste verb noun noun noun adv. noun adj. verb noun adj. noun, pl. verb noun verb verb, pst. sg. adv. noun noun verb, pst. sg. best of all arrived 1. fool, dupe; 2. monkey 1. equipment; 2. dress, clothes church also 1. state, condition; 2. rank, social standing 1. noble (in character); 2. refined, excellent was called, was named inn, lodging same briefly, in a few words tricks, jokes knew how to number sung sang truly journey 1. evil, rudeness, shame, dishonor; 2. injury knew;

36

Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
To telle yow hir wordes and hir cheere, Ne thogh I speke hir wordes proprely. For this ye knowen also wel as I, Whoso shal telle a tale after a man, He moot reherce as ny as evere he kan Everich a word, if it be in his charge, Al speke he never so rudeliche or large, Or ellis he moot telle his tale untrewe, Or feyne thyng, or fynde wordes newe. He may nat spare, al thogh he were his brother; He moot as wel seye o word as another. Crist spak hymself ful brode in hooly writ, And, wel ye woot, no vileynye is it. Eek Plato seith, whoso kan hym rede, The wordes moote be cosyn 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. Greet chiere made oure Hoost us everichon, And to the soper sette he us anon. He served us with vitaille at the beste; Strong was the wyn, and wel to drynke us leste. A semely man OURE HOOSTE was withalle For to been a marchal in an halle. A large man he was, with eyen stepe A fairer burgeys was ther noon in Chepe 730 Explain to you their words and means of cheer; Nor though I use their very terms, nor lie. For this thing do you know as well as I: When one repeats a tale told by a man, He must report, as closely as he can, Every single word, as he remembers it, How vulgar it be, or how unfit; Or else he may be telling what's untrue, Embellishing, even making up things too. He may not spare, although it were his brother; He must as well say one word as another. Christ spoke very plainly, in holy writ, And, you know well, there's nothing rude in it. And Plato says, to those able to read: "The word should be the cousin to the deed." Also, I beg that you'll forgive it me If I have not set folk, in their degree Here in this tale, by rank as they should stand. My wit is short, as you'll well understand. Great fun our host provided, every one, Was set and the supper straightway begun; And served us then with victuals of the best. Strong was the wine and pleasant to each guest. A seemly man our good host was, withal, And fit to be a marshal in a hall; A large man he was, with piercing eyes, As fine a burgher as in Cheapside lies;

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Glossary al speke he anon brode burgeys cheere eek everichon foryeve ful hooly writ large marchal moot ny reherce rudeliche untrewe vileynye vitaille wit withalle woot al speke he anon, anoon adv. brode adv. burgeys noun cheere, chere noun eek, eke adv. everichon, pro. everichoon, everychon foryeve verb ful adv. hooly writ noun large adv. marchal noun moot verb ny prep. reherce, rehercen verb rudeliche noun untrewe adj. vileynye noun vitaille noun wit noun withalle adv. woot verb, 1st and 3rd pers. prsnt. sg. although he may speak straightway, at once, immediately plainly citizen of a city (tradesman) 1. manners, behaviour; 2. facial expression, look also everyone forgive 1. very; 2. fully, completely the Bible 1. freely, generously; 2. free-spending, extravagant master of ceremonies must close repeat crudely, ignorantly 1. inaccurately; 2. unfaithful 1. evil, rudeness, shame, dishonor; 2. injury victuals, provisions, stock of food intelligence, mind, judgement indeed, moreover know, knows

Introduction

37

The Canterbury Tales
Boold of his speche, and wys, and well ytaught, And of manhod hym lakkede right naught. Eek therto he was right a myrie man, 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; For by my trouthe, if that I shal nat lye, I saugh nat this yeer so myrie a compaignye Atones in this herberwe, as is now. Fayn wolde I doon yow myrthe, wiste I how. And of a myrthe I am right now bythoght, To doon yow ese, and it shal coste noght. Ye goon to Caunterbury - God yow speede, The blisful martir quite yow youre meede! And wel I woot, as ye goon by the weye, Ye shapen yow to talen and to pleye, For trewely, confort ne myrthe is noon To ride by the weye doumb as stoon; And therfore wol I maken yow disport, As I seyde erst, and doon yow som confort. And if yow liketh alle by oon assent For to stonden at my juggement, And for to werken as I shal yow seye, To-morwe, whan ye riden by the weye, Now, by my fader soule that is deed, But ye be myrie, I wol yeve yow myn heed! Hoold up youre hond, withouten moore speche." Bold in his speech, and wise, and fairly taught, And as to manhood, lacking there was not. Moreover, he's a very merry man, And after dinner, with playing he began, And spoke of mirth among some other things, When all of us had paid our reckonings; And saying thus: "Now my lords, truly You are all welcome here, and heartily: On my word, I'm telling you no lie, I have not seen, this year, a company Here in this inn, fitter for sport than now. Fain I'd make you happy, if I'd knew how. And of a game have I this moment thought To give you joy, and it shall cost you not. "You go to Canterbury; may God speed And the blest martyr listens to your need. And well I know, as you go on your way, You'll tell good tales and shape yourselves to play; For truly there's no mirth nor comfort, none, Riding the roads as dumb as is a stone; And therefore I provide to you a sport, As I just said, to give you some comfort. And if you like it all, unanimously, Accept my judgement, submit yourselves, agree And will so do as I'll proceed to say, Tomorrow, when you ride upon your way, Then, by my father's spirit, who is dead, If you're not merry, I will give you my head. Hold up your hands, nor more about it speak."

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Glossary atones blisful by oon assent deed desport eek erst ese fayn heed herberwe hertely lordynges saugh trewely trouthe wiste woot yeve atones blisful by oon assent dede, deed desport, disport eek, eke erst ese fayn heed, heede herberwe hertely lordynges saugh trewely trouthe wiste woot yeve, yif adv. adj. 1. at once, immediately; 2. at one time, at the same time blessed unanimously, all together adj. dead noun amusement, pleasure adv. also adj. superlative before, earlier, previously noun pleasure, refreshment adj. glad, happy, pleased; gladly, happily noun, sg. head noun inn, lodging; astrological house adv. really, sincerely noun, pl. sirs, gentlemen, my lords verb, pst. sg. saw adv. truly noun 1. fidelity, loyalty; 2. pledge, promise verb, pst. sg. knew; verb, 1st and 3rd know, knows pers. prsnt. sg. verb, prsnt. give

38

Introduction

The Canterbury Tales

The rules of the game
Oure conseil was nat longe for to seche. Us thoughte it was noght worth to make it wys, And graunted hym, withouten moore avys, And bad him seye his voirdit, as hym leste. "Lordynges," 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 oure weye, In this viage shal telle tales tweye To Caunterbury-ward I mene it so, And homward he shal tellen othere two, Of aventures that whilom han bifalle. And which of yow that bereth hym best of alle, That is to seyn, that telleth in this caas Tales of best sentence and moost solaas, Shal have a soper at oure aller cost Heere in this place, sittynge by this post, Whan that we come agayn fro Caunterbury. And for to make yow the moore mury, I wol myselven goodly with yow ryde Right at myn owene cost, and be youre gyde; And who so wole my juggement withseye 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 therfore." Our decision was not so far to seek; We thought there was no reason to debate, And granted him his way at any rate, And asked him tell his verdict just and wise, "Masters," said he, "listen to my advice; But take it not, I pray you, in disdain; This is the point, to put it short and plain, That each of you, as if to shorten the day, Shall tell two stories as you wend your way To Canterbury town; and each of you On coming home, shall tell another two, About adventures that happened in the past. And he who plays his part of all the best, That is to say, who tells upon the road Tales of best sense, in most amusing mode, Shall have a supper at all others' cost Here in this room and sitting by this post, When we come back again from Canterbury. And now, the more to make sure you'll be merry, I will myself, and gladly, with you ride At my own cost, and I will be your guide. But whosoever will and tries to disobey Shall pay for all that's bought along the way. And if you grant, agree it will be so, Tell me at once, or if not, tell me no, And I will get ready early. No more."

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Glossary anon avys bereth conseil ech goodly gyde herkneth lordynges quod seche sentence soper tweye viage voirdit vouche-sauf whilom anon, anoon avys bereth conseil ech goodly gyde herkneth lordynges quod seche sentence soper tweye viage voirdit vouche-sauf, vouche sauf whilom adv. noun verb noun pro. adv. noun and verb verb, 3rd prs. sg. noun, pl. verb verb noun noun num. noun noun verb adv. straightway, at once, immediately 1. discussion; 2. opinion acquits 1. opinion, decision, advice; 2. council, adviser each (one) gladly guide hears, listens to sirs, gentlemen, my lords said seek, search 1. meaning, saying; 2. decision, command dinner two journey verdict agree, grant once, formerly

Introduction

39

The Canterbury Tales

The agreement
This thyng was graunted, and oure othes swore With ful glad herte, and preyden hym also That he wolde vouche sauf for to do so, And that he wolde been oure governour, 815 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 lough; and thus by oon assent We been acorded to his juggement. 820 And therupon the wyn was fet anon; We dronken, and to reste wente echon, Withouten any lenger taryynge. This thing was granted, and our oaths we swore, With right glad hearts, and prayed of him, also, That he would take the office, nor forgo The place of governor of all of us, Judging our tales; and by his wisdom thus Arrange that supper at a certain price, We to be ruled, each one, by his advice In every respect; unanimously thus, We accepted his judgment over us. And thereupon, the wine was fetched immediately; We drank, and went to rest ultimately, And that without a longer tarrying.

Drawing of lots
Amorwe, whan that day bigan to sprynge, Up roos oure Hoost, and was oure aller cok, And gadrede us to gidre alle in a flok, And forth we riden, a litel moore than paas Unto the wateryng of Seint Thomas; And there oure Hoost bigan his hors areste And seyde, "Lordynges, herkneth if yow leste. Ye woot youre foreward, and I it yow recorde. If even-song and morwe-song accorde, 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 al that by the wey is spent. Now draweth cut, er that we ferrer twynne, 825 Next morning, when the day began to spring, Up rose our host, and acting as our cock, He gathered us together in a flock, And forth we rode, a a little faster than pace, Until we reached Saint Thomas' watering-place. Our host then pulled his horse, began to ease And said: "Now, gentleman, listen if you please. You know what you agreed, I'll remind thee. If even-song and morning-song agree, Let's here decide who first shall tell a tale. And as I hope to drink more wine and ale, Whoso proves rebel to my very judgment Shall pay for all that by the way is spent. Come now, draw straws, before we further depart,

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Glossary anon areste by oon assent draweth cut er forward herkneth herte juge oure aller cok paas reportour soper vouche-sauf woot anon, anoon areste by oon assent draweth cut er forward, foreward herkneth herte juge oure aller cok paas reportour soper vouche-sauf, vouche sauf woot adv. verb straightway, at once, immediately stop, restrain unanimously, all together draw lots (straws) adv. before, formerly; before; before noun agreement, promise verb, 3rd prs. sg. hears, listens to noun heart noun judge rooster of us all (awakened us all) adv. and noun footpace (the slowest gait of a horse), slowly noun record keeper noun dinner verb agree, grant verb, 1st and 3rd know, knows pers. prsnt. sg.

40

Introduction

The Canterbury Tales
He which that hath the shorteste shal bigynne. Sire Knyght," quod he, "my mayster and my lord, Now draweth cut, for that is myn accord. Cometh neer," quod he, "my lady Prioresse, And ye, Sir Clerk, lat be youre shamefastnesse, 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, or cas, The sothe is this, the cut fil to the Knyght, Of which ful blithe and glad was every wyght. And telle he moste his tale, as was resoun, By foreward and by composicioun,As ye han herd, what nedeth wordes mo? And whan this goode man saugh that it was so, As he that wys was and obedient To kepe his foreward by his free assent, He seyde, "Syn I shal bigynne the game, What, welcome be the cut, a Goddes name! Now lat us ryde, and herkneth what I seye." And with that word we ryden forth oure weye, And he bigan with right a myrie cheere His tale anon, and seyde as ye may heere. And he that draws the shortest has to start. Sir knight," said he, "my master and my lord, You shall draw first as you have pledged your word. Come near," said he, "my lady prioress: And you, sir clerk, away with all your shyness, Nor ponder more; out hands, draw, every man!" At once to draw a straw each one began, And, to shorten up the story, as it was, By chance or luck or whatsoever cause, The truth is, that the cut fell to the knight, Which all the others greeted with delight. Thus tell his story first as was agreed, According to our promise pledged, indeed, As you have heard. Why argue to and fro? And when this good man saw that it was so, Being a wise man and obedient To pledged word, given by free assent, He said: "Since I must then begin the game, Why, welcome be the cut, and in God's name! Now let us ride, and listen to what I say." And at that word we rode forth on our way; And he began to speak, with words of cheer, His tale straightway, and said as you may hear.

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Glossary accord anon assent cheere forward herkneth kepe quod resoun saugh shamefastnesse sothe syn wight accord, acord anon, anoon assent cheere, chere forward, foreward herkneth kepe quod resoun saugh shamefastnesse sothe (sooth) syn wight, wyght noun adv. noun noun noun verb, 3rd prs. sg. verb verb adj. verb, pst. sg. noun noun conj. and prep. noun agreement straightway, at once, immediately consent, will, opinion 1. manners, behaviour; 2. facial expression, look agreement, promise hears, listens to keep, take care after, preserve said reasonable, just; reasonably saw modesty truth since person, creature, being

Introduction

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The Canterbury Tales

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Introduction…...

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...safeguard my person as I go”), then says a few words in Latin to impress the mass and then he shows them his bag full of relics and claiming they have healing powers he fools the people and pockets their money. “I always preach, to make them ever free To give their pence (and give only to me); For my concern is only with collection And not with any sin that needs correction.” As these lines indicate, the pardoner clearly does not care about providing people with salvation or correcting their sins, he is solely interested in their money which is completely in contrast with the saying the uses at the beginning of his sermons about the greed and yet interestingly he is aware of the fact. In his tale the pardoner condemns gluttony, gambling, drunkenness and swearing. He tells the tale of three Flemish people that find gold underneath a tree and each one of them wants the gold all to himself. However, while each trying to acquire the gold because of pure greed; they end up with killing each other. There the pardoner concludes that all must stay away from the sin of avarice because “Radix malorum est Cupiditas”. At the end, although he has told the others that the relics were not real in the beginning, he brags about them being touched by the Pope and no one can find better ones in England. Although, the pardoner being a deceitful, greedy character that actually embraces the actions that he calls to be sins but thinks to be qualities perhaps, he attacks all these......

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Canterbury Tales

...The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer, is an eminent frame story written in the middle ages. The story begins with an abundant number of people traveling to Canterbury for a religious or luxurious purpose. To pass time, the people tell a story and whoever has the best tale wins a free meal. Chaucer deliberately makes the Prioress stand out more than other characters because she is supposedly a religious woman. The Prioress is a nun who enjoys showing people that “she [is] so charitably solicitous “(Chaucer 147). Throughout The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer gives the Prioress a distinct description, acknowledging her personality, morals, and appearance. In The Canterbury Tales, the Prioress is described as an alluring woman who desires the finest things. Chaucer portrays the Prioress to have appealing features: “Her nose [is] elegant, her eyes glass grey; Her mouth [is] very small, but soft and red, Her forehead, certainly, [is] fair spread” (Chaucer 156-158). The Prioress’ appearance signifies modern day beauty. It seems as if Chaucer is admiring the Prioress and viewing her as a perfect individual from God. In contradiction, Chaucer states how on her jewelry “there first [is] graven a crowned A, and lower, Amor vincit omnia” (Chaucer 165). The saying written on the Prioress’ jewelry means love conquers all, showing that she is more worldly than ecclesiastical. Chaucer establishes that the Prioress cares more about what people think of her than God’s judgment. In......

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The Canterbury Tales & the Individual

...In Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales are many stories diverse in topic and style. Among these stories told by twenty nine persons, is created an interesting interpersonal dynamic. Chaucer removes them all from their social circumstances and classes and levels the plane by placing all of the characters that tell the tales on a religious pilgrimage to Canterbury, England. Chaucer used this journey as a device to bring together his fictional persons from wide-ranging backgrounds and have them share a portion of their life through the telling of a tale. The entirety of the work involves the personal concerns and outcomes of individuals in an ever changing medieval culture. The pilgrimage provided an opportunity for Chaucer to negate the barriers of class and social propriety in order to include diversity in the tales. Each tale is told individually. Each character is detailed with well developed personalities and specified occupations, clothing and social standing and in each tale; Chaucer relays the changes going on about him in Medieval England on a person by person basis. While The Canterbury Tales are relayed light heartedly, creating a caricature of medieval individuals and situations, Chaucer respected the religious doctrine of the time. The very fact that the characters of The Canterbury Tales are going on a religious pilgrimage tells of the ever increasing role of Christianity in Medieval society. While Christianity was becoming more accepted in the Anglo-Saxon period, its...

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Canterbury Tales

...The Canterbury Tales takes place in a tavern near London called the Tabard Inn. The narrator is staying at the inn with twenty-nine pilgrims who are all traveling to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury. The pilgrims are a wide range of people and characters. The Host, Harry Bailey, makes the point that they should all ride together and entertain one another with stories. I believe Chaucer uses this setting in order to tell many different types of tales. The first pilgrim to tell a story is the Knight. He tells a tale of two knights: Arcite and Palamon. They were wounded in battle by the Duke of Athens, Theseus. The Duke decides to imprison them rather than execution. During their imprisonment they both fell in love with the Duke’s sister-in-law, Emily. After fighting over who was more worthy of Emily, Arcite was freed from prison through the help of a friend. However, he was banished from Athens and was to never return. Arcite returns in disguise as a personal attendant for Emily. When his fellow knight, Palamon, is freed from prison, he confronts Arcite and they begin to fight over her again. The Duke apprehends them and arranges a tournament, with Emily as the prize, between the two knights and their best men. Arcite wins, but he is thrown from his horse and dies. Palamon then marries Emily instead. It makes sense that the Knight would tell this story because it is filled with knights, love, honor, chivalry, and adventure. I believe......

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Canterbury Tales

...Canterbury Tales The Canterbury Tales written by Geoffrey Chaucer is a book filled with tales and prologues during the late medieval time period. Chaucer was born in 1342 in Paris. Chaucer lived the majority of his life privileged and on the kings’ (Richard II until 1399 then Henry IV) payroll. Chaucer began writing The Canterbury Tales in 1387, and worked on it throughout the 90’s. Of the few tales that I read (“The Prologue”, “The Miler’s Prologue”, “The Miller’s Tale”, “The Wife of Bath’s Tale Prologue”, and “The Wife of Bath’s Tale”), it seems clear that love and marriage are underlying themes throughout. But, love and marriage are two separate things during this time period. What the characters perceive to be love is actually lust. This will become evident throughout the tales. “The Prologue” is where Chaucer introduces all of the characters that will be prevalent throughout The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer describes the season as being April, and goes into detail about each character. It should be noted that the 29 characters that Chaucer mentioned were brought together by chance and did not plan this meeting. Each character had stopped at Tabard Inn, while waiting to embark on the pilgrimage to Canterbury. The night before the pilgrimage was to begin, the host offered a proposition to the pilgrims. He suggested a simple task: Now listen for your good, And please don’t treat my notion with disdain. This is the point. I’ll make it short and plain. Each......

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Canterbury Tales

...Zachary Scott Bryant Professor Engleking Humanities Cluster September 9th 2015 Themes in Canterbury Tales When dissecting the Canterbury tales for themes you can find about 30 thousand different ones to try to draw stories from your own life. However, in my opinion the three biggest themes that resonate with me are the ideas of Relationships, Companions, and Corruption. Let us begin with the easiest one, relationships. There are several relationships discussed within the Canterbury tales. The most important one is by far the Wife of Bath’s tale of the knight. I see much of the male youth of today in him he is a real smartass and at times is outright rude he is a piss poor example of what a Knight is in general but through his own development in the story he builds his redeeming qualities and ultimately succumbs to his wife’s will and better judgement. I have been in the Knights shoes, stuck between what you want in life and what is truly the right thing to do. Many times my wife’s better judgement has saved me from some unnecessary hardship. Whether it be my impulsive buying habits or my quick to anger personality, I think many men could do well to learn from the knight how to place themselves in the hands of their better halves. From the romantic side of things it is a very short step into the world of corruption. A lot of corruption comes out of romance or love. The knight at the heart of himself is corrupt he is at his deepest level no knight at all. However in......

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Canterbury Tales Essay

...The squire, son of the knight and knight in training, is a fine specimen to examine for imagery and physiognomic interpretation leading to characterization in Geoffery Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales”. These interpretations can be pulled from his outward appearance, his actual talents, and how his father differs from him. The squire, to begin, is a young lad who follows his father on this journey to learn how to be a knight. He has not yet faced a major battle, and he doesn't appear to possess the outward appearance of a knight. “A lover and cadet, a lad of fire with locks as curly as if they had been pressed. He was some twenty years of age, I guessed” (lines 82-84). Chaucer used this chance to describe the squire as being young, aware of his appearance, and a lover rather than a fighter. He uses the phrase, “a lad of fire” to describe the boy as possessing a passion, though that passion is not to be in a war. He also uses imagery when describing the squire’s hair by saying the locks are pressed. The squire has beautiful hair that leads the reader to picture him as a handsome young man who is well kept and conscious of his appearance. These are not the typical qualities of a knight. Furthermore, “He was as fresh as is the month of May” (line 94). Fresh is a word to describe youth and isn’t a positive reflection on his intelligence. He also says May, a month in spring. Spring is a time of youth and it is another parallel drawn to his age. Finally, “Short was his gown, his......

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Themes in Canterbury Tales

...Themes in Canterbury Tales Throughout an author’s literature, many times we find common themes; this is definitely true in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The reader can find common themes through many of the tales. In the Wife of Bath tale, The Miller’s tale, and the Pardoner’s tale, it is easy to see that one of the main themes through the book is that women are the downfall of men. In the tale of The Wife of Bath, the reader sees the main theme in Chaucer’s work. In The Wife of Bath’s prologue, she tells a story about a night when she and one of her husbands spent a night at home. Her husband would read to her from a book. On this particular night, the Wife of Bath was subjected to more of this book, and the reader is told of how the book explains that women are men’s downfall. The Miller’s Tale is another that supports the theme. The Miller’s Tale speaks of a man who is totally devoted to an unfaithful wife. In the tale this beautiful woman is having an affair with a friend of her husband. To have some time alone they made a plan to get him away. They tell her devoted and gullible husband that there will be a flood like Noah’s, and to make boats to save them. In an attempt to save his wife, the husband goes to the roof and makes the boats. He died, and again, the actions of an unfaithful wife lead to the death of an innocently man. In the Pardoner’s Tale, a male traveler, the characters in his tale give examples as to why women are the downfall of men. The characters...

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Imagination Prevailing in Canterbury Tales

...such a way that they seem personally experienced. Imagination is always associated with the created power and is a poetic principle. It is a transforming power as it has the ability to change the usual and ordinary in an unusual and uncommon way. Poetry is a modified "image of man and nature”. The poet is able to impart "the glory and freshness of a dream" to ordinary things of nature. He can present in his poetry the light that never was on land and sea. He is able to do so to the creative faculty of imagination. It is thus an active power. Poet is not a passive reflector of images formed from nature. He is a man who not only feels strongly but also thinks long and deeply. He is able to treat absent things as if they are present. Here Canterbury tales present an example of this imaginative power to visualize objects which are not present before poet’s eyes in their concrete forms but he presents them before us that they seem real. 29 pilgrims of Chaucer are his imaginative characters, all their qualities, merits and demerits are his own creations and here his creation is supported by his imagination. Imagination enables the poet to look deep into the heart and soul of things. It is through the imaginative faculty that he arrives at basic natural truths. That is why Chaucer’s characters appear to be living beings as his imagination based on observations made him able to have such a firm hold on human nature. His characters are as real today as they were when they were......

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Eglentine from the Canterbury Tales

...My pilgrim of choice is Madam Eglentine, a prioress described in the general prologue of the Canterbury Tales. I selected this specific character because Chaucer seems to applaud her seemingly genteel and honorable exterior while also foreshadowing the “scandalous” type of background of the nun. I chose to modernize Madam Eglentine in part because I found her character to be timeless; while Chaucer sets the character of the nun to be on a pilgrimage in the early 14th century, many of her characteristics, namely her multiple personas, enable her to be relatable even in the 21st century. I highlighted Madam Eglentine’s facial features and stately manner because I felt like those external features embodied the values of the person she exemplified. Because she is stately, “her mouth very small, and therewith soft and red” (152), Eglentine seems the ideal person to “weep, if only she saw a mouse caught in a trap, if it were dead or bleeding” (144). Since I highlighted her facial features and external characteristics in the image, which I believe would lead many to guess to her inner sensitivity, I only briefly discussed her “caring” nature in the couplets. Because the nun is now modernized, I also found it meanwhile to write the words “Love conquers all” (162) on her blouse instead of on her brooch. This creates a more contemporary look while strongly emphasizing the prioress’s odd fashion statement. The rest of the nun’s look is classic, because even though Eglentine is......

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Canterbury Tales

...Ransom Canterbury Tales Webquest Today you are going to research background information about Geoffrey Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales. - Working alone or with one other person, use the links to answer the questions listed below. - Please PARAPHRASE your answers rather than copying the information directly from the websites. Geoffrey Chaucer What kind of writer was he? Geoffrey Chaucer was a poet. What were the years of his birth and death? Chaucer was born in the year 1340 and when he was 44 he died in 1400. Where was he from? Geoffrey Chaucer was from London What was his “masterpiece” ? The Canterbury Tales is the book that most people remember Chaucer for. http://www.online-literature.com/chaucer/ What is a pilgrimage? A journey made to a sacred place as an act of religion Define prologue. The introduction to a play, book, novel, poem, ect. http://www.webster.com (or other dictionary site) Where is Canterbury? Canterbury is in England. What famous event happened there? The murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170. What are the goals of the many people who travel there on pilgrimages? Pray Repent or to be saved http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Canterbury,-England http://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/history/history.aspx When were The Canterbury Tales written? In what language were they written? The Canterbury Tales was written in the time frame of 1387 to 1400. The Canterbury......

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