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“And certes, yow ne haten shal I never, In felaweshipe, and pilgrimes were they alle,
And freendes love, that shal ye han of me, That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde.
And my good word, al 1 mighte I liven ever. The chambres and the stables weren wyde,
And trewely, I wolde sory be

1082 And wel we weren esed atte beste.1 For to seen yow in adversitee.

And, shortly, whan the sonne was to reste, 30 And giltelees, I woot ? wel, I yow leve; 3 So hadde I spoken with hem everychon, But al shal passe; and thus take I my That I was of hir felaweshipe anon, leve."


And made forward 2 erly for to ryse,

To take oure wey, ther-as I yow devyse.3 But trewely, how longe it was bitwene,

But nathelees, whil I have tyme and space, That she for-sook him for this Diomede, Er that I ferther in this tale pace, 36 Ther is non auctor telleth it, I wene.

Me thynketh it accordaunt to resoun Take every man now to his bokes hede;

To telle yow al the condicioun 4 He shal no terme finden, out of drede.5 1090 Of ech of hem, so as it semed me, For though that he bigan to wowe hir sone, And whiche - they weren and of what degree, Er he hir wan, yet was ther more to done.6 And eek in what array that they were inne;

And at a knyght than wol I first bigynne. 42 THE CANTERBURY TALES

A Knyght ther was and that a worthy man,

That fro the tyme that he first bigan
To riden out, he lovede chivalrie,

45 Whan that Aprille with hise shoures soote 7 Trouthe and honour, fredom and curteisie. The droghte of Marche hath perced to the Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre, roote

And thereto 6 hadde he riden, no man ferre,7 And bathed every veyne 8 in swich' licour As wel in Cristendom as in hethenesse, Of which vertu engendred is the flour ; And ever honoured for his worthynesse. 50 Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth 5 At Alisaundre he was whan it was wonne; Inspired hath in every holt 10 and heeth Ful ofte tyme he hadde the bord bigonne 8 The tendre croppes," and the yonge sonne Aboven alle nacions in Pruce.9 Hath in the Ram his halfe cours 12 y-ronne, In Lettow 10 hadde he reysed " and in Ruce, 12 And smale foweles 13 maken melodye

No Cristen man so ofte of his degree. 13 55 That slepen al the nyght with open eye, In Gernade 14 at the seege eek hadde he be So priketh hem Nature in hir corages,14 Of Algezir, and riden in Belmarye.15 Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, At Lyeys 16 was he, and at Satalye,16 And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,15 Whan they were wonne; and in the Grete To ferne halwes,16 kowthe 17 in sondry londes; See 17 And specially, from every shires ende 15 At many a noble armee 18 hadde he be. 60 Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende, At mortal batailles hadde he been fiftene, The hooly blisful martir for to seke,

And foughten for oure feith at Tramyssene That hem hath holpen whan that they were In lystes thries, and ay slayn his foo. seeke.

This ilke 19 worthy knyght hadde been also Bifil 18 that in that seson on a day,

Somtyme with the lord of Palatye 16 65 In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay,

Agayn 20 another hethen in Turkye; Redy to wenden on my pilgrymage

And evermoore he hadde a sovereyn prys.21 To Caunterbury with ful devout corage, And though that he were worthy, he was wys, At nyght was come into that hostelrye And of his port 22 as meeke as is a maydc. Wel 20 nyne-and-twenty in a compaignye, He never yet no vileynye 23 ne sayde Of sondry folk, by aventure 21 y-falle 25

1 made comfortable 2 agreement 3 describe 1 although ? know 3 abandon 4 think 5 without 4 character 5 what sort besides farther & begun doubt 6 do 7 showers sweet 8 vein ' such 10 forest the board (sat at the head of the table) ' Prussia 1 twigs 12 In A pril the sun's course lies partly in the 10 Lithuania 11 made expeditions 12 Russia 13 rank sodiacal sign of the Ramand partly in that of the Bull. 14 Granada 15 A district in Africa. Places in 13 birds 14 in their hearts 15 foreign strands 16 dis Asia Minor. 17 Mediterranean 18 armed expedition tant shrines 17 known 18 it happened 19 heart 20 full 19 same 20 against 2 high esteem 22 bearing 2 disa chance










In al his lyf unto no maner wight.

And on that oother syde a gay daggere He was a verray, parfit, gentil knyght. Harneised wel and sharpe as point of spere; But for to tellen yow of his array,

A Cristofre on his brest of silver sheene; His hors were goode, but he was nat gay; An horn he bar, the bawdryk ? was of grene. Of fustian 1 he wered a gypon ?


A forster was he soothly, as I gesse. 117 Al bismotered : with his habergeon; 4

Ther was also a Nonne, a Prioresse, For he was late y-come from his viage, 5 That of hir smylyng was ful symple and And wente for to doon his pilgrymage.

coy; 3 With hym ther was his sone, a yong Squier, Hire gretteste ooth was but by Seïnt Loy,4 A lovyere and a lusty bacheler,

80 And she was cleped 5 madame Eglentyne. 121 With lokkes crulle, as? they were leyd in Ful weel she songe the service dyvyne, presse.

Entuned in hir nose ful semely; Of twenty yeer of age he was, I gesse.

And Frenssh she spak ful faire and fetisly 6 Of his stature he was of evene lengthe, 8 After the scole of Stratford-atte-Bowe,? 125 And wonderly delyvere' and greet of For Frenssh of Parys was to hire unknowe. strengthe;

At mete wel y-taught was she with-alle, And he hadde been somtyme in chyvachye,10 She leet no morsel from hir lippes falle, In Flaundres, in Artoys and Pycardye, 86 Ne wette hir fyngres in hir sauce depe; And born hym weel, as of so litel space, Wel coude she carie a morsel and wel kepe In hope to stonden in his lady II grace. That no drope ne fille upon hire breste. 131 Embrouded was he, as it were a meede 12 In curteisie was set ful muchel hir leste. 8 Al ful of fresshe floures whyte and reede; 90 Hire over-lippe wyped she so clene, Syngynge he was or floytynge 13 al the day; That in hir coppe ther was no ferthyng sene He was as fressh as is the monthe of May. Of grece, whan she dronken hadde hir Short was his gowne, with sleves longe and draughte. wyde;

Ful semely after hir mete she raughte, Wel coude he sitte on hors, and faire ryde; And sikerly 10 she was of greet desport,11 He coude songes make and wel endite, 14 95 And ful plesaunt and amyable of port,12 Juste and eek daunce and weel purtreye and And peyned hire 13 to countrefete 14 cheere 15 write.

Of court, and been estatlich 16 of manere, 140 So hoote he lovede that by nyghtertale 15 And to ben holden digne 17 of reverence. He sleep namoore than dooth a nyghtyngale. But, for to speken of hire conscience, Curteis he was, lowely and servysable, She was so charitable and so pitous And carf 16 biforn his fader at the table. She wolde wepe if that she saugh 18 a mous

A Yeman 17 hadde he,18 and servants namo Caught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde. At that tyme, for hym liste ride soo;

Of smale houndes 19 hadde she, that she fedde And he was clad in cote and hood of grene; With rosted flessh, or milk and wastel-breed : 20 A sheef 20 of pocok 21 arwes bright and kene But sore wepte she, if oon of hem were deed, 21 Under his belt he bar ful thriftily — 105 Or if men 22 smoot it with a yerde 23 smerte; 24 Wel coude he dresse 22 his takel 23 yemanly; And al was conscience and tendre herte. 150 His arwes drouped noght with fetheres Ful semyly 25 hir wympul 26 pynched 27 was;

Hire nose tretys,28 hir eyen greye as glas, And in his hand he bar a myghty bowe. Hir mouth ful smal and ther-to softe and reed; A not-heed 25 hadde he with a broun visage. But sikerly she hadde a fair forheed; Of woodecraft wel koude he al the usage. 110 It was almoost a spanne brood I trowe, 155 Upon his arm he bar a gay bracer,

For, hardily,29 she was nat undergrowe. And by his syde a swerd and a bokeler,26

1 an image of his patron saint ? cord 3 quiet 1 coarse cloth 2 shirt $ soiled 4 coat of mail 4 By St. Eligius, a very mild oath 5 named 6 voyage 6 curly 7 as if & medium height 'active skilfully ? À convent near London.

8 pleasure 10 cavalry expeditions 11 lady's 12 meadow 13 whis 'reached certainly 11 good humour bearing tling 14 compose 15 night-time 16 carved 17 yeoman 13 exerted herself 14 imitate 15 fashions dignified 18 the knight 19 no more 20 bundle of twenty-four 17 worthy 18 saw 19 little dogs 20 cake bread 21 died 21 peacock 22 take care of 23 equipment 24 worn and 22 any one 23 stick 24 sharply 25 neatly 26 face-cloth clipped short 25 closely cut hair small shield 27 pinched, plaited 28 well-formed 29 certainly



lowe 24







aunce; 12

Ful fetys 1 was hir cloke, as I was war; 2 Hise eyen stepe 1 and rollynge in his heed,
Of smal coral aboute hire arm she bar That stemed 2 as a forneys of a leed; 3
A peire 3 of bedes gauded 4 al with grene, His bootes souple, his hors in greet estaat.
And ther-on heng a brooch of gold ful sheene,5 Now certeinly he was a fair prelaat.
On which ther was first write a crowned A, He was nat pale, as a forpyned goost;

205 And after Amor vincit omnia.

162 A fat swan loved he best of any roost. Another Nonne with hire hadde she, His palfrey was as broun as is a berye. That was hire chapeleyne; and Preestes thre. A Frere ther was, a wantown and a merye,

A Monk ther was, a fair for the maistrie, A lymytour, a ful solempne man.
An outridere that lovede venerie,? 166 In alle the ordres foure ? is noon that can
A manly man, to been an abbot able.

So muchel of daliaunce and fair langage; 211
Ful many a deyntee 8 hors hadde he in stable, He hadde maad sul many a mariage
And whan he rood, men myghte his brydel Of yonge wommen at his owene cost.

Unto his ordre he was a noble post; Gynglen in a whistlynge wynd as cleere 170

Ful wel biloved and famulier was he 215 And eek as loude as dooth the chapel-belle With frankeleyns 'over-al in his contree; Ther-as this lord was kepere of the celle.' And eek with worthy wommen of the toun, The reule of Seint Maure or of Seint Beneit, For he hadde power of confessioun, By-cause that it was old and som-del streit 10 -- As seyde hym-self, moore than a curat, This ilke monk leet olde thynges pace 175 For of his ordre he was licenciat. And heeld after the newe world the space. Ful swetely herde he confessioun, He yaf nat of that text a pulled 11 hen

And plesaunt was his absolucioun. That seith that hunters beth nat hooly men, He was an esy man to yeve penaunce Ne that a monk when he is recchelees 12 Ther-as 10 he wiste 11 to have a good pitIs likned til a fissh that is waterlees; 180 This is to seyn, a monk out of his cloystre. For unto a povre ordre for to yive 225 But thilke text heeld he nat worth an oystre; Is signe that a man is wel y-shryve. And I seyde his opinioun was good;

For, if he 13 yaf, he 14 dorste make avaunt What sholde he studie and make hym-selven He wiste that a man was repentaunt; wood, 13

For many a man so harde is of his herte Upon a book in cloystre alwey to poure, 185 He may nat wepe al-thogh hym soore smerte. Or swynken 14 with his handes and laboure Therfore instede of wepynge and preyeres As Austyn bit ? 15 How shal the world be Men moote yeve silver to the povre freres. served ?

His typet was ay farsed 15 full of knyves 233 Lat Austyn have his swynk 14 to him reserved. And pynnes, for to yeven faire wyves. Therfore he was a pricasour 16 aright;

And certeinly he hadde a murye 16 note; 235 Grehoundes he hadde, as swift as fowel in flight: Wel coude he synge and pleyen on a rote; 17 Of prikyng 17 and of huntyng for the hare 191 Of yeddynges 18 he bar outrely the pris. Was al his lust,18 for no cost wolde he spare. His nekke whit was as the flour-de-lys; I seigh 19 his sleves purfiled 20 at the hond Ther-to he strong was as a champioun. With grys, 21 and that the fyneste of a lond; He knew the tavernes well in every toun 240 And for to festne his hood under his chyn 195 And everich hostiler and tappestere 19 He hadde of gold y-wroght a curious pyn; Bet 20 than a lazar 21 or a beggestere; 22 A love-knotte in the gretter ende ther was. For unto swich a worthy man as he His heed was balled, that shoon as any glas, Acorded nat, as by his facultee, And eek his face as it hadde been enoynt.

To have with sike lazars aqueyntaunce; 245 He was a lord ful fat and in good poynt; 22 It is nat honeste,23 it may nat avaunce

1 well-made 2 as I perceived 3 set 4 Every 1 large 2 gleamed 3 cauldron * tortured to death eleventh bead was a large green one.

5 beautiful licensed to beg in a certain district 6 imposing 6 an extremely fine one 7 hunting 8 fine 9A i Dominican, Franciscan, Carmelite and Austin cell is a branch monastery. 10 strict 11 plucked friars. 8 knows ° rich farmers 10 where 11 knew 12 vagabond 13 crazy 14 work 15 bids 16 hunter 12 pittance, gift 13 the man 14 the friar 15 stuffed 17 tracking 18 pleasure 19 20 edged 21 grey fur merry

fiddle 18
popular songs

19 bar-maid 22 en bon point, fileshy

20 better 21 beggar 22 female beggar becoming





For to deelen with no swiche poraille, But looked holwe 1 and ther-to ? sobrely.
But al with riche and selleres of vitaille, Ful thredbare was his overeste courtepy, 290
And over-al,” ther-as' profit sholde arise For he hadde geten hym yet no benefice,
Curteis he was and lowely of servyse. 250 Ne was so worldly for to have office;
Ther nas no man nowher so vertuous; 4 For hym was levere 4 have at his beddes heed
He was the beste beggere in his hous,

Twenty bookes clad in blak or reed
For thogh a wydwe hadde noght a sho, 5 Of Aristotle and his philosophie

295 So plesaunt was his In principio,

Than robes riche, or fithele, or gay sautrie.5 Yet wolde he have a ferthyng er he wente: But al be that he was a philosophre, His purchas 8 was wel bettre than his rente. Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre; And rage he koude, as it were right a whelpe.10 But al that he myghte of his freendes hente In love-dayes 11 ther coude he muchel helpe, On bookes and his lernynge he it spente, 300 For there he was nat lyk a cloysterer

And bisily gan for the soules preye With a thredbare cope, as is a povre scoler, Of hem that gaf hym wher-with to scoleye. 6 But he was lyk a maister, or a pope; 261 Of studie took he moost cure ? and moost Of double worstede was his semi-cope, 12

heede; That rounded as a belle, out of the presse.13 Noght o word spak he moore than was neede, Somwhat he lipsed for his wantownesse,14 And that was seyd in forme and reverence, To make his Englissh swete upon his tonge; And short and quyk and ful of hy sentence.3 And in his harpyng, whan that he hadde Sownynge in moral vertu was his speche, songe,

266 And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche. Hise eyen twynkled in his heed aryght

A Sergeant of the Lawe, war 10 and wys, As doon the sterres in the frosty nyght. That often hadde been at the parvys, 11 310 This worthy lymytour was cleped Huberd. Ther was also, ful riche of excellence.

A Marchant was ther with a forked berd, Discreet he was, and of greet reverence In mottelee, 15 and hye on horse he sat; 271

He semed swich, his wordes weren so wyse. Upon his heed a Flaundrish bever hat, Justice he was ful often in assyse,12 His botes clasped faire and fetisly.16

By patente, and by pleyn 13 commissioun ; 315 His resons 17 spak he ful solempnely,18

For his science, and for his heigh renoun, Souning 19 alway thencrees 20 of his winning. Of fees and robes hadde he many oon. He wolde the see were kept for anything? So greet a purchasour 14 was nowher noon; Betwixe Middelburgh and Orewelle.

Al was fee simple to him in effect, Wel coude he in eschaunge 22 sheeldes 2 selle. His purchasing mighte nat been infect.15

320 This worthy man ful well his wit bisette ; 24 Nowher so bisy a man as he ther nas,16 Ther wiste 25 no wight that he was in dette, And yet he semed bisier than he was. So estatly was he of his governaunce 281 In termes hadde he caas 17 and domes 18 alle With his bargaynes and with his chevisaunce.2 That from the tyme of king William were For sothe he was a worthy man withalle,

falle. But sooth to seyn,27 I noot 23 how men him Therto he coude endyte and make a thing, 19 calle.

Ther coude no wight pinche at 20 his wryting; A Clerk ther was of Oxenford also

And every statut coude he pleyn 21 by rote.22 That unto logyk hadde longe y-go.

He rood but hoomly in a medlee 23 cote As leene was his hors as is a rake,

Girt with a ceint 24 of silk, with barres smale; And he nas nat right fat, I undertake, Of his array telle I no lenger tale. 330

A Frankeleyn 25 was in his compaignye; I poor folk ? everywhere 3 where * full of good Whit was his berd as is the dayesye; qualities 6 shoe St. John i, 1, used as a greeting. i bit 8 gettings 'what he paid for his begging privi 1 hollow 2 besides 3 outer short coat 4 he had leges or his regular income 10 puppy 11 arbitration rather 5 musical instrument go to school ? care days 12 short cape 13 the press in which the semi-cope 8 meaning 9 tending to 10 cautious 1l the porch of was kept. 14 jollity 15 a sober grey 16 neatly 17 re St. Paul's, where lawyers met clients 12 court of marks, declarations 18 pompously 19 sounding, assize 13 full 14 conveyancer 15 invalidated 16 was not proclaiming 20 the increase

at anycost 22 ex 17 cases 18 decisions 19 compose and draw up a docuchange 23 French coins, écus 24 employed 25 knew ment 20 find a defect in 21 fully 22 by heart 23 sober 26 borrowing 27 say 28 don't know

grey girdle 25 rich landowner






Of his complexioun 1 he was sangwyn. And elles certein were they to blame.

375 Wel loved he by the morwe ? a sope 3 in It is ful fair to been y-clept' ma dame, wyn;

And goon to vigilyës ? al bifore,
To lyven in delit was evere his wone, 4 335 And have a mantel roialliche y-bore.
For he was Epicurus owne sone,

A Cook they hadde with hem, for the That heeld opinioun that pleyn delit

nones 4 Was verraily felicitee parfit.

To boille chiknes with the mary-bones

380 An housholdere, and that a greet, was he; And poudre-marchant tart and galingale. Seint Julian - he was in his contree; 340 Wel coude he knowe a draughte of London His breed, his ale, was alwey after oon; 6

ale. A bettre envyned ? man was no-wher noon. He coude roste, and sethe,' and broille, and Withoute bake-mete was nevere his hous,

frye, Of fissh and flessh, and that so plentevous Maken mortreux, and wel bake a pye. It snewed 9 in his hous of mete and drynke, But greet harm was it, as it thoughte me, 385 Of alle deyntees that men coude thynke. 346 That on his shine 9 a mormal 19 hadde he. After the sondry sesons of the yeer,

For blankmanger,11 that made he with the So chaunged he his mete and his soper.

beste. Ful many a fat partrich hadde he in muwe,10 A Shipman was ther, wonynge 12 fer by And many a breem 11 and many a luce 11 in weste; stuwe. 12

350 For aught I woot 13 he was of Dertemouthe. Wo was his cook but-if 13 his sauce were He rood upon a rouncy as he couthe,15 390 Poynaunt and sharpe, and redy al his geere. In a gowne of faldyng 16 to the knee. His table dormant 14 in his halle alway

A daggere hangynge on a laas 17 hadde he Stood redy covered al the longe day.

Aboute his nekke under his arm adoun. At sessiouns ther was he lord and sire; 355

The hoote somer hadde maad his hewe al Ful ofte tyme he was knyght of the shire.

broun. An anlaas, 15 and a gipser 16 al of silk

And certeinly he was a good felawe; 395 Heeng at his girdel whit as morne milk. Ful many a draughte of wyn hadde he iA shirreve hadde he been and a countour;

drawe Was no-wher such a worthy vavasour.18


Fro Burdeuxward, whil that the chapman An haberdassher 19 and a carpenter,

sleep. A webbe,20 a dyere, and a tapicer,21

Of nyce conscience took he no keep.20 And they were clothed alle in o liveree,22 If that he faught, and hadde the hyer hond, Of a solempne and greet fraternitee.

By water he sente hem hoom to every Ful fresh and newe hir gere 23 apyked 24 was; lond. 21

400 Hir knyves were y-chaped 25 noght with bras, But of his craft to rekene wel his tydes, But al with silver; wroght ful clene and weel His stremes 22 and his daungers hym bisides, Hir girdles and hir pouches everydeel. His herberwe and his moone, his lodemenage,23 Wel semed ech of hem a fair burgeys,

Ther nas noon swich from Hulle to Cartage. To sitten in a yeldhalle 26 on a deys.27 370 Hardy he was, and wys to undertake;

405 Everich, for the wisdom that he can,”

With many a tempest hadde his berd been Was shaply for to been an alderman;

shake; For catel 2 hadde they ynogh and rente,30 He knew wel alle the havenes, as they were, And eek hir wyves wolde it wel assente; From Gootlond 25 to the Cape of Fynystere,






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