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Of his complexioun 1 he was sangwyn.
Wel loved he by the morwe a sope 3 in

wyn;
To lyven in delit was evere his wone, 335
For he was Epicurus owne sone,
That heeld opinioun that pleyn delit
Was verraily felicitee parfit.
An housholdere, and that a greet, was he;
Seint Julian 5 he was in his contree; 340
His breed, his ale, was alwey after oon; 6
A bettre envyned ’ man was no-wher noon.
Withoute bake-mete 8 was nevere his hous,
Of fissh and flessh, and that so plentevous
It snewed ' in his hous of mete and drynke,
Of alle deyntees that men coude thynke. 346
After the sondry sesons of the yeer,
So chaunged he his mete and his soper.
Ful many a fat partrich hadde he in muwe, 10
And many a breem 11 and many a luce 11 in
stuwe.

350 Wo was his cook but-if 13 his sauce were Poynaunt and sharpe, and redy al his geere. His table dormant 14 in his halle alway Stood redy covered al the longe day. At sessiouns ther was he lord and sire; 355 Ful ofte tyme he was knyght of the shire. An anlaas, 15 and a gipser 16 al of silk Heeng at his girdel whit as morne milk. A shirreve hadde he been and a countour; Was no-wher such a worthy vavasour.18

An haberdassher 19 and a carpenter, A webbe, 20 a dyere, and a tapicer,21 And they were clothed alle in o liveree, 22 Of a solempne and greet fraternitee. Ful fresh and newe hir gere 23 apyked 24 was; Hir knyves were y-chaped 25 noght with bras, But al with silver; wroght ful clene and weel Hir girdles and hir pouches everydeel. Wel semed ech of hem a fair burgeys, To sitten in a yeldhalle 26 on a deys.27 370 Everich, for the wisdom that he can,2 Was shaply for to been an alderman; For catel 29 hadde they ynogh and rente, 30 And eek hir wyves wolde it wel assente;

To boille chiknes with the mary-bones 380 And poudre-marchant tart - and galingale. Wel coude he knowe a draughte of London

ale. He coude roste, and sethe, and broille, and

frye, Maken mortreux,8 and wel bake a pye. But greet harm was it, as it thoughte me, 385 That on his shine ' a mormal 10 hadde he. For blankmanger, 11 that made he with the

beste. A Shipman was ther, wonynge

weste; For aught I woot 13 he was of Dertemouthe. He rood upon a rouncy 14 as he couthe, 15 390 In a gowne of faldyng 16 to the knee. A daggere hangynge on a laas 17 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; 18 395 Ful many a draughte of wyn hadde he i

drawe Fro Burdeuxward, whil that the chapman

sleep. Of nyce conscience took he no keep.20 If that he faught, and hadde the hyer hond, By water he sente hem hoom to every lond. 21

400 But of his craft to rekene wel his tydes, His stremes 22 and his daungers hym bisides, His herberwe and his moone, his lodemenage,23 Ther nas noon swich from Hulle to Cartage. Hardy he was, and wys to undertake ; 24

405 With many a tempest hadde his berd been

shake; He knew wel alle the havenes, as they were, From Gootlond 25 to the Cape of Fynystere,

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1 called a meetings on the eve of saints' days 3 them * of the right sort, very skilful 5a tart flavouring powder 6a root for flavouring 'boil 8 chowders shin 10 11 minced capon with sugar, cream, and flour 12 dwelling 13 know 14 hackney as well as he could

cheap cloth

lace, cord 18 goodfellow=rascal

19 merchant 21 threw them into the sea

steersmanship 24 skilful in his plans 25 Denmark

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And every crykel in Britaigne and in

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

With us ther was a Doctour of Phisyk, In al this world ne was ther noon him lyk To speke of ? phisik and of surgerye; For he was grounded in astronomye. He kepte his pacient a ful greet del 415 In houres, by his magik naturel. Wel coude he fortunen the ascendent Of his images for his pacient.3 He knew the cause of everich maladye, Were it of hoot or cold, or moiste, or drye, And where engendred, and of what humour; 4 He was a verrey, parsit practisour. The cause y-knowe, and of his harm the rote, Anon he yaf the seke man his bote.? Ful redy hadde he his apothecaries,

425 To sende him drogges and his letuaries,8 For ech of hem made other for to winne; Hir frendschipe nas nat newe to biginne. Wel knew he the olde Esculapius, And Deiscorides, and cek Rufus;

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

435 For it was of no superlluitee, But of greet norissing and digestible. His studie was but litel on the Bible. In sangwin 10 and in pers

11 he clad was al, Lyned with tassata 12 and with sendal; 440 And yet he was but esy

13 of dispence; He kepte that he wan in pestilence.15 For gold in phisik is a cordial,16 Therfor he lovede gold in special.

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

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

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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. 455
Hir hosen weren of fyn scarlet reed,
Ful streite y-teyd, and shoes ful moyste 1

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

weye: Gat-tothed 4 was she, soothly for to seye. Upon an amblere esily she sat, Y-wympled 5 wel, and on her heed an hat 470 As brood as is a bokeler or a targe; A foot-mantel ' aboute hir hipes large, And on hire feet a paire of spores sharpe. In felaweshipe wel coude she laughe and carpe;

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

A good man was ther of religioun, And was a povre Persoun of a toun; But riche he was of hooly thoght and werk; He was also a lerned man, a clerk, 480 That Cristes gospel trewely wolde preche. Hise parisshens devoutly wolde he teche; Benygne he was and wonder diligent, And in adversitee ful pacient; And swich he was y-preved 10 ofte sithes. 11 485 Ful looth were hym to cursen

for hise tithes, But rather wolde he yeven, out of doute, Unto his povre parisshens aboute, Of his offryng and eek of his substaunce. He coude in litel thyng have suftisaunce. 490 Wyd was his parisshe, and houses fer asоnder, But he ne lafte 13 nat for reyn ne thonder In siknesse nor in meschief to visite The ferreste 14 in his parisshe, muche and

lite, 15

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1 soft at present 3 knew 4 teeth set wide apart, a sign that one will travel. 5 with a wimple about her face 6 shield ? riding-skirt 8 doubtless 9 This is a slang phrase. 10 proved times excommuni

neglected farthest rich and poor

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Upon his feet, and in his hand a staf.

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

taughte.
Out of the gospel he tho 1 wordes caughte,
And this figure he added eek ? therto,
That if gold ruste, what shal iren doo?

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

lyve.
He sette nat his benefice to hyre
And leet his sheep encombred in the myre,
And ran to London unto Seint Poules
To seken hym a chaunterie for soules,

510
Or with a bretherhed to been withholde;
But dwelte at hoom and kepte wel his folde,
So that the wolf ne made it nat myscarie;
He was a shepherde, and noght a mercenarie.
And though he hooly were and vertuous, 515
He was to synful man nat despitous,
Ne of his speche daungerous' ne digne,8
But in his techyng descreet and benygne;
To drawen folk to hevene by fairnesse,
By good ensample, this was his bisynesse.
But it were any persone obstinat,

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

nonys." A bettre preest I trowe that no-wher noon ys; He waited after no pompe and reverence, 525 Ne maked him a spiced conscience, But Cristes loore, and his apostles twelve, He taughte, but first he folwed it hym-selve. With him ther was a Plowman, was 11 his

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

fother,13 A trewe swinkere 11 and a good was he, Livinge in pees and parfit 15 charitee. God loved he best with al his hole herte At alle tymes, thogh him gamed or smerte,16 And thanne his neighebour right as himselve.

535 He wolde thresshe, and ther-to dyke and

delve,

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

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

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

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

harre 12 Or breke it at a rennyng with his heed. 551 His berd, as any sowe or fox, was reed, And therto brood, as though it were a spade. Upon the right of his nose he hade A werte, and theron stood a tuft of herys,555 Reed as the bristles of a sowes erys; His nosethirles 15 blake were and wyde. A swerd and a bokeler bar he by his syde. His mouth as wyde was as a greet forneys; He was a janglere 1€ and a goliardeys,17 560 And that was moost of synne and harlotries. Wel coude he stelen corn and tollen thries, And yet he hadde a thombe of gold,18 pardee ! A whit cote and a blew hood wered he; A baggepipe wel coude he blowe and sowne, And therwithal he broghte us out of towne.

A gentil Maunciple was ther of a temple,19 Of which achatours 20 mighte take exemple For to be wyse in bying of vitaille. 569 For whether that he payde, or took by taille, 21 Algate he wayted 22 so in his achat 23 That he was ay biforn 24 and in good stat. Now is nat that of God a ful fair grace, That swich a lewed 25 mannes wit shal pace The wisdom of an heep of lerned men? 575 Of maistres hadde he mo 27 than thryes ten, That were of lawe expert and curious; Of which ther were a doseyn in that hous, Worthy to been stiwardes of rente and lond Of any lord that is in Engelond,

580 lown a labour property 4 short sleeveless jacket 5 foreman of the laborers on a manor 6 bailiff of an ecclesiastical court ? steward of a college or inn of court for the nones means very, extremely o everywhere 10 the prize 11 knot 12 heave off its hinges end

nostrils

16 loud talker 17 jester 18 As all honest millers have. 19 inn of court

buyers 21 tally, i.e. on credit 22 always he watched 23 purchase

ignorant

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1 those ? also 3 ignorant heed 5 maintained 6 pitiless ? overbearing 8 haughty' snub, rebuke 10 for the nonys means very, extremely 11 who was 12 carried 13 load 14 labourer 15 perfect 16 whether he was happy or unhappy

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To make him live by his propre good,
In honour dettelees, but he were wood,
Or live as scarsly 2 as him list desire;
And able for to helpen al a shire

585 In any cas that mighte falle or happe; And yit this maunciple sette hir aller cappe.3

The Reeve was a sclendre colerik 4 man. His berd was shave as ny as ever he can; His heer was by his eres round y-shorn; His top was dokked 5 lyk a preest biforn. Ful longe were his legges, and ful lene, 591 Y-lyk a staf, ther was no calf y-sene. Wel coude he kepe a gerner 6 and a binne; Ther was noon auditour coude on him winne. Wel wiste he, by the droghte, and by the reyn, The yeldyng of his seed, and of his greyn. 596 His lordes sheep, his neet,' his dayerye, His swyn, his hors, his stoor, and his pultrye, Was hooly in this reves governing; And by his covenaunt yaf the rekeningo 600 Sin 10 that his lord was twenty yeer of age; Ther coude no man bringe him in arrerage. Ther nas baillif, ne herde,12 ne other hyne,13 That he ne knew his sleighte and his covyne ; 14 They were adrad of him, as of the deeth. 605 His woning 15 was ful fair up-on an heeth; With grene treës shadwed was his place; He coude bettre than his lord purchace. Ful riche he was astored prively; His lord wel coude he plesen subtilly, 610 To yeve and lene him of his owne good, And have a thank, and yet a cote, and hood.16 In youthe he lerned hadde a good mister; He was a wel good wrighte, a carpenter. This reve sat up-on a ful good stot,18 615 That was al pomely grey,

and highte Scot. A long surcote of pers

up-on he hade, And by his syde he bar a rusty blade. Of Northfolk was this reve of which I telle, Bisyde a toun men clepen Baldeswelle. 620 Tukked 21 he was, as is a frere, aboute, And evere he rood the hindreste of our route.

A Somnour was ther with us in that place, That hadde a fyr-reed cherubinnes face, For sawcellem 22 he was, with eyen narwe,

With scalled 1 browes blake, and piled ?

berd;
Of his visage children were aferd.
Ther nas quik-silver, litarge, ne brimstoon,
Boras, ceruce, ne oille of tartre noon,

630 Ne oynement that wolde clense and byte, That him mighte helpen of his whelkes 5

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

wood. And whan that he wel dronken hadde the

wyn, Than wolde he speke no word but Latyn. A fewe termes hadde he, two or thre, That he had lerned out of some decree; 640 No wonder is, he herde it al the day; And eek ye knowen wel, how that a Jay Can clepen ‘Watte, as well as can the pope. But who-so coude in other thing him grope, Thanne hadde he spent al his philosophye; Ay “Questio quid iuriso wolde he crye. 646 He was a gentil harlot 10 and a kynde; A bettre felawe 11 sholde men noght fynde; He wolde suffre for a quart of wyn A good felawe to have his (wikked sin] A twelf-month, and excuse him atte fulle; And prively a finch eek coude he pulle.12 And if he fond owher 13 a good selawe, He wolde techen him to have non awe, In swich cas, of the erchedeknes curs, But-if 15 a mannes soule were in his purs; For in his purs he sholde y-punisshed be. “Purs is the erchedeknes helle," seyde he. But wel I woot he lyed right in dede; 659 Of cursing oghte ech gulty man him drede 17 — For curs wol slee, right as assoilling 18 saveth And also war him of a significavit.19 In daunger 20 hadde he at his owne gyse The yonge girles 22 of the diocyse, And knew hir counseil 23 and was al hir reed.24 A gerland hadde he set up-on his heed, 666 1 scursy

a lead ointment 4 borax bumps 6 mad i call “Walter," as a parrot calls Poll"

9 - The question is what is the law” 10 rascal 11 good fellow was slang for a "disreputable person.12 slang for rob a greenhorn." 13 anywhere 14 excommunication unless purse 17 be afraid 18 absolving 19 writ for arresting an excommunicated person

20 under his influence way young people of either sex secrets 24 adviser

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

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As greet as it were for an ale-stake; 1
A bokeler hadde he maad him of a cake.

With him ther rood a gentil Pardoner
Of Rouncivale, his frend and his compeer,670
That streight was comen fro the court of

Rome. Ful loude he song, 'Com hider, love, to me.' This somnour bar to him a stif burdoun,2 Was nevere trompe 3 of half so greet a soun. This pardoner hadde heer as yelow as wex, But smothe it heng, as doth a strike of flex; 4 By ounces • henge his lokkes that he hadde, And ther-with he his shuldres overspradde; But thinne it lay, by colpons 6 oon and oon; But hood, for jolitee,' ne wered he noon, 680 For it was trussed up in his walet. Him thoughte 8 he rood al of the newe jet; Dischevele, save his cappe, he rood al bare. Swiche glaringe eyen hadde he as an hare. A vernicle 10 hadde he sowed on his cappe. 685 His walet lay biforn him in his lappe, Bret-full 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 y-shave; 690

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Wel coude he rede a lessoun or a storie,
But alderbest he song an offertorie; 710
For wel he wiste, whan that song was songe,
He moste preche, and wel aliyle 2 his tonge,
To winne silver, as he ful wel coude;
Therfore he song so meriely and loude.

Now have I toold you shortly, in a clause, Thestaat, tharray, the nombre, and eek the

cause Why that assembled was this compaignye In Southwerk at this gentil hostelrye, That highte 3 the Tabard, faste by the Belle. But now is tyme to you for to telle 720 How that we baren us that ilke nyght, Whan we were in that hostelrie alyght; And after wol I telle of our viage 4 And al the remenaunt of oure pilgrimage.

But first, I pray yow of youre curteisye, That ye narette it nat 5 my vileynye, 6

726 Thogh that I pleynly speke in this mateere To teile yow hir wordes and hir cheere, Ne thogh I speke hir wordes proprely; For this ye knowen al-so wel as I,

730 Whoso shal telle a tale after a man, He moote reherce, as ny as evere he can, Everich a word, if it be in his charge, Al ® speke he never so rudeliche and large, Or ellis he moot telle his tale untrewe 735 Or feyne thyng, or fynde wordes newe; He may nat spare, althogh he were his

brother, He moot as wel seye o word as another. Crist spak hymself ful brode in hooly writ, And wel ye woot no vileynye 10 is it. 740 Eek Plato seith, whoso that can hym rede, “The wordes moote be cosyn "l 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 undersionde. 746

Greet chiere made oure hoste us everichon,12 And to the soper sette he us anon, And served us with vitaille at the beste; Strong was the wyn, and wel to drynke us leste. 13

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

1 best of all ? polish, smooth 3 was called 4 journey 5 do not ascribe it to 6 lack of breeding ? accurately 3 although 9 coarsely 10 vulgarity every

13 it pleased us 14 big 15 Cheapside

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But of his craft, fro Berwik unto Ware,12
Ne was ther swich another pardoner;
For in his male 13 he hadde a pilwe-beer,1.
Which that, he seyde, was our lady veyl ;
He seyde, he hadde a gobet 16 of the seyl 17
That Sëynt Peter hadde, whan that he wente
Up-on the see, til Iesu Crist him hente;
He hadde a croys 19 of latoun,20 ful of stones,
And in a glas he hadde pigges bones.

700
But with thise relikes, whan that he fond
A povre person dwelling up-on lond,21
Up-on a day he gat him more moneye
Than that he person gat monthes tweye.
And thus with feyned flaterye and japes, 22 705
He made the person and the peple his apes. 23
But trewely to tellen, atie laste,
He was in chirche a noble ecclesiaste.

la pole projecting from the wall of an inn and usually bearing a garland 2 accompaniment 3 trumpet hank of fax 5 small portions 6 handfuls 7 for sport & it seemed to him new fashion a duplicate of the handkerchief of St. Veronica, on which the face of Jesus was imprinted. brimful from one end of England to the other 13 bag 14 pillow-case 15 Our Lady's veil 16 bit 17 sail 18 seized 19 brass 21 in the country 22 tricks 23 fools

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