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Ful many a fat partrich hadde he in mewe;
And many a breme, and many a luce, in stewe.
Wo was his coke but if his sauce were
Poinant and sharpe, and redy all his gere.
His table, dormant in his halle, alway
Stode redy covered alle the longe day.

At sessions ther was he lord and sire;
Ful often time he was knight of the shire.
An anelace and a gipciere all of silk
Heng at his girdel, white as morwe milk.
A shereve hadde he ben and a countour.
Was no wher swiche a worthy vavasour.
An Haberdasher, and a Carpenter,
A Webbe, a Deyer, and a Tapiser,
Were alle yclothed in o livere
Of a solempne and grete fraternite.
Ful freshe and newe hir gere ypiked was.
Hir knives were ychaped not with bras,
But all with silver wrought full clene and wel,
Hir girdeles and hir pouches, every del.
Wel semed eche of hem a fayre burgeis,
To sitten in a gild halle, on the deis.
Everich, for the wisdom that he can,
Was shapelich for to ben an alderman.
For catel hadden they ynough, and rent.
And, eke, hir wives wolde it wel assent,
And elles certainly they were to blame,
It is full fayre to ben ycleped Madame,—
And for to gon to vigiles all before,
And have a mantel reallich ybore.

A Coke they hadden with hem for the nones,
To boile the chickenes and the marie bones,
And poudre marchant, tart, and galingale.
Wel coude he knowe a draught of London ale.
He coude roste, and sethe, and broile, and frie,
Maken mortrewes, and wel bake a pie.
(But gret harm was it, as it thoughte me
That on his shinne a mormal hadde he.)
For blanc manger-that made he with the best.
A Shipman was ther-woned fer by West:
For ought I wote, he was of Dertemouth.
He rode upon a rouncie, as he couthe,
All in a goun of falding to the knee.
A dagger hanging by a las hadde hee
About his nekke, under his arm, adoun.

The hote sommer hadde made his hewe al broun.
But certainly he was a good felaw.

Ful many a draught of win he 'hadde draw
From Burdeux ward, while that the chapmen slepe;
Of nice conscience toke he no kepe:

If that he faught, and hadde the higher hand,
By water he sent hem home to every land.
But, of his craft,-to reken wel his tides,
His stremes and his strandes him besides,
His herberwe, his mone, and his lode manage,
Ther was non swiche from Hull unto Cartage.
Hardy he was, and wise, I undertake:
With many a tempest hadde his berd be shake.
He knew wel alle the havens as they were,
Fro Gotland to the Cape de Finistere,
And every creke in Bretagne and in Spaine:
His barge ycleped was the Magdelaine.

With us ther was a Doctour of Phisike;
In all this world, ne was ther non him like,
To speke of phisike and of surgerie;
For he was grounded in astronomie.
He kept his patient a ful gret del
In houres, by his magike naturel:
Wel coude he fortunen the ascendent
Of his images, for his patient.

He knew the cause of every maladie,
Were it of cold, or hote, or moist, or drie,
And wher engendred, and of what humour:
He was a veray parfite practisour.

The cause yknowe, and of his harm the rote,-
Anon he gave to the sike man his bote.
Ful redy hadde he his apothecaries,
To send him drugges and his lettuaries;
For eche of hem made other for to winne;
Hir frendship n'as not newe to beginne.
Wel knew he the old Esculapius,
And Dioscorides and eke Rufus,
Old Hippocras, Hali, and Gallien,
Serapion, Rasis, and Avicen,
Averrois, Damascene, and Constantin,
Bernard, and Gatisden, and Gilbertin.
Of his diete mesurable was he,
For it was of no superfluitee,
But of gret nourishing, and digestible.
His studie was but litel on the Bible.

In sanguin, and in perse, he clad was alle,
Lined with taffata, and with sendalle.
And yet he was but esy of dispence;
He kepte that he wan in the pestilence;
For gold in phisike is a cordial;
Therfore he loved gold in special.

A good Wif was ther of beside Bathe;
But she was som del defe, and that was scathe.
Of cloth making she hadde swiche an haunt,
She passed hem of Ipres, and of Gaunt.
In all the parish, wif ne was ther non
That to the offring before hire shulde gon,―
And if ther did, certain so wroth was she,
That she was out of alle charitee.
Hire coverchiefs weren ful fine of ground,
(I dorste swere they weyeden a pound,)
That on the Sonday were upon hire hede;
Hire hosen weren of fine scarlet rede,
Ful streite yteyed, and shoon ful moist and newe.
Bold was hire face, and fayre and rede of hew.
She was a worthy woman all hire live:
Housbondes, at the chirche dore, had she had five,
Withouten other compagnie in youthe,
But therof nedeth not to speke as nouthe.
And thries hadde she ben at Jerusaleme;
She had passed many a strange streme:
At Rome she hadde ben; and at Boloigne;
In Galice at Seint James; and at Coloine:
She coude moche of wandring by the way,
Gat-tothed was she, sothly for to say.
Upon an ambler esily she sat,
Ywimpled wel; and on hire hede an hat,
As brode as is a bokeler, or a targe;
A fore-mantel about hire hippes large;

And on hire fete a pair of sporres sharpe. In felawship, wel coude she laughe and carpe Of remedies of love she knew perchance; For, of that arte, she coude the olde dance. A good man ther was of religioun, That was a poure Persone of a toun: But riche he was of holy thought and werk. He was also a lerned man, a Clerk, That Cristes gospel trewely wolde preche; His parishens devoutly would he teche. Benigne he was, and wonder diligent, And in adversite ful patient,And swiche he was ypreved often sithes: Ful loth were him to cursen for his tithes : But rather wolde he yeven, out of doute, Unto his poure parishens, aboute, Of his offring, and, eke, of his substance. He coude in litel thing have suffisance. Wide was his parish, and houses fer asonder; But he ne left nought, for no rain ne thonder, In sikeness and in mischief to visite The ferrest in his parish, moche and lite,— Upon his fete, and in his hand a staf. This noble ensample to his shepe he yaf,— That, first, he wrought; and, afterward, he taught. Out of the gospel he the wordes caught, And this figure he added yet therto, That if gold ruste, what shulde iron do? For if a preest be foule, on whom we trust, No wonder is a lewed man to rust: And shame it is, if that a preest take kepe, To see a shitten shepherd, and clene shepe. Wel ought a preest ensample for to yeve By his clenenesse, how his shepe shulde live. He sette not his benefice to hire, And lette his shepe acombred in the mire, And ran unto London, unto Seint Poules, To seken him a chanterie for soules; Or with a brotherhede to be withold; But dwelt at home and kepte wel his fold, So that the wolf ne made it not miscarie; He was a shepherd and no mercenarie, And though he holy were, and vertuous,— He was, to sinful men, not dispitous; Ne of his speche dangerous ne digne; But, in his teching, discrete and benigne. To drawen folk to heven, with fairenesse, By good ensample, was his besinesse : But it were any persone obstinat, What so he were of highe, or low estat, Him wolde he snibben sharply for the nones. A better preest I trowe that no wher non is. He waited after no pompe ne reverence, Ne maked him no spiced conscience: But Cristes lore, and his apostles twelve, He taught but first he folwed it himselve. With him ther was a Plowman, was his brother, That hadde ylaid of dong ful many a fother. A trewe swinker, and a good was he, Living in pees and parfite charitee. God loved he beste with alle his herte At alle times, were it gain or smerte;

And than his neighebour, right as himselve.
He wolde thresh, and therto dike and delve,
For Cristes sake, for every poure wight,
Withouten hire, if it lay in his might.

His tithes paied he ful fayre and wel
Both of his propre swinke, and his catel.
In a tabard he rode, upon a mere.

Ther was also a Reve and a Millere,
A Sompnour, and a Pardoner also,
A Manciple, and myself; ther n'ere no mo.
The Miller was a stout carl for the nones,
Ful bigge he was of braun, and eke of bones;
That proved wel; for over all ther he came,
At wrastling he wold bere away the ram.
He was short shuldered, brode, a thikke gnarre,
Ther n'as no dore, that he n'olde heve of barre,
Or breke it at a renning with his hede.
His berd as any sowe or fox was rede,
And therto brode, as though it were a spade:
Upon the cop right of his nose he hade
A wert, and theron stode a tufte of heres,
Rede as the bristles of a sowes eres:
His nose-thirles blacke were and wide.
A swerd and bokeler bare he by his side.
His mouth as wide was as a forneis:
He was a jangler, and a goliardeis,
And that was most of sinne and harlotries.
Wel coude he stelen corne and tollen thries.
And yet he had a thomb of gold parde.
A white cote and a blew hode wered he.
A baggepipe wel coude he blowe and soune,
And therwithall he brought us out of toune.

A gentil Manciple was ther of a temple,-
Of which achatours mighten take ensemple
For to ben wise in bying of vitaille.
For whether that he paide, or toke by taille,
Algate he waited so in his achate,
That he was, ay, before, in good estate.
Now is not that of God a ful fayre grace,
That swiche a lewed mannes wit shal pace
The wisdom of an hepe of lered men?

Of maisters had he mo than thries ten,
That were of lawe expert and curious;
Of which ther was a dosein in that hous,
Worthy to ben stewardes of rent and lond
Of any lord that is in Englelond,
To maken him live by his propre good,
In honour detteles, (but if he were wood,)
Or live as scarsly as him list desire,
And able for to helpen all a shire,
In any cas that might fallen or happe;
And yet this Manciple sette hir aller cappe.
The Reve was a slendre colerike man
His berd was shave as neighe as ever he can:
His here was by his eres round yshorne;
His top was docked like a preest beforne:
Ful longe were his legges, and ful lene,
Ylike a staff, ther was no calf ysene.
Wel coude he kepe a garner and a binne ;
Ther was non auditour coude on him winne.
Wel wiste he, by the drought and by the rain,
The yelding of his seed and of his grain.

His lordes shepe, his nete, and his deirie,
His swine, his hors, his store, and his pultrie,
Were holly in this Reves governing;
And by his covenant yave he rekening,
Sin that his lord were twenty yere of age;
Ther coude no man bring him in arerage.
Ther n'as bailif, ne herde, ne other hine,
That he ne knew his sleight and his covine:
They were adradde of him as of the deth.
His wonning was ful fayre upon an heth;
With greene trees yshadewed was his place.
He coude better than his lord pourchace:
Ful riche he was ystored privily.
His lord wel coude he plesen, subtilly
To yeve and lene him of his owen good,
And have a thank, and yet a cote and hood.
In youth he lerned hadde a good mistere;
He was a wel good wright, a carpentere.
The Reve sate upon a right good stot
That was all pomelee grey, and highte Scot.
A long surcote of perse upon he hade,
And by his side he bare a rusty blade.
Of Norfolk was this Reve of which I tell,
Beside a toun men clepen Baldeswell.
Tucked he was, as is a frere, aboute;
And ever he rode the hinderest of the route.
A Sompnour was ther with us in that place,
That hadde a fire-red cherubinnes face,
For sausefleme he was, with eyen narwe.
As hote he was, and likerous as a sparwe,
With scalled browes blake, and pilled berd:
Of his visage children were sore aferd.
Ther n'as quicksilver, litarge, ne brimston,
Boras, ceruse, ne oile of tartre non,
Ne ointement, that wolde clense or bite,
That him might helpen of his whelkes white,
Ne of the knobbes sitting on his chekes.
Wel loved he garlike, onions, and lekes,
And for to drinke strong win as rede as blood;
Than wold he speke and crie as he were wood;
And when that he wel dronken had the win,
Then wold he speken no word but Latin.
A fewe termes coude he, two or three,
That he had lerned out of som decree;
No wonder is, he herd it all the day:
And eke ye knowen wel how that a jay
Can clepen watte as well as can the pope:
But who so wolde in other thing him grope-
Than, hadde he spent all his philosophie;
Ay Questio quid juris? wolde he crie.

He was a gentil harlot, and a kind;
A better felaw shulde a man not find.
He wolde suffre, for a quart of wine,
A good felaw to have his concubine
A twelve month, and excuse him at the full,
Ful privily a finch, eke, coude he pull;
And if he found o where a good felawe,-
He wolde techen him, to have non awe,
In swiche a cas, of the archedekenes curse:
But if a mannes soule were in his purse,
For in his purse he shulde ypunished be.
Purse is the archedekenes hell, said he.

But, wel I wote, he lied right in dede:
Of cursing ought eche gilty man him drede;
For curse wol sle right as assoiling saveth,
And also ware him of a significavit.
In danger hadde he, at his owen gise,
The yonge girles of the diocise;

And knew hir conseil and was of hir rede.
A girlond hadde he sette upon his hede,
As gret as it were for an alestake;
A bokeler hadde he made him of a cake.

With him there rode a gentil Pardonere
Of Rouncevall, his frend and his compere,
That streit was comen from the court of Rome,
Ful loude he sang Come hither, love! to me:
This Sompnour bare to him a stiff burdoun,
Was never trompe of half so gret a soun.
This Pardoner had here as yelwe as wax,
Ful smothe it heng, as doth a strike of flax :
By unces heng his lokkes that he hadde,
And therwith he his shulders overspradde:
Ful thinne it lay, by culpons on and on.
But hode, for jolite, ne wered he non,
For it was trussed up in his wallet.
Him thought he rode al of the newe get;
Dishevele, sauf his cappe, he rode all bare.
Swiche glaring eyen hadde he as an hare.
A vernicle hadde he sewed upon his cappe.
His wallet lay beforne him, in his lappe,
Bret-ful of pardon come from Rome al hote.
A vois he hadde, as smale as hath a gote:
No berd hadde he, ne never non shulde have;
As smothe it was as it were newe shave:
I trowe he were a gelding or a mare.

But of his craft, fro Berwike unto Ware,
Ne was ther swiche an other Pardonere ;-
For in his male he hadde a pilwebere,
Which, as he saide, was our Ladies veil:
He saide he hadde a gobbet of the seyl
Thatte Seint Peter had, whan that he went
Upon the see till Jesu Crist him hent:
He had a crois of laton ful of stones;
And in a glas he hadde pigges bones.
But with these relikes, whanne that he fond

A poure persone dwelling upon lond,
Upon a day he gat him more moneie
Than that the persone gat in monethes tweie;
And thus with fained flattering and japes,
He made the persone, and the peple, his apes.
But trewely to tellen atte last,

He was in chirche a noble ecclesiast;
Wel coude he rede a lesson or a storie,
But alderbest he sang an offertorie;

For wel he wiste, whan that song was songe,
He muste preche and wel afile his tonge,
To winne silver, as he right wel coude;
Therfore he sang the merier and loude.

Now have I told you shortly in a clause
Th' estat, th' araie, the nombre, and eke the cause,
Why that assembled was this compagnie

In Southwerk at this gentil hostelrie,

That highte the Tabard, faste by the Belle.

But now is time, to you for to telle,

How that we baren us that ilke night,
Whan we were in that hostelrie alight.
And after wol I telle of our viage,
And all the remenant of our pilgrimage.

But, firste, I praie you of your curtesie
That ye ne arette it not my vilanie,
Though that I plainly speke in this matere,
To tellen you hir wordes and hir chere,—
Ne though I speke hir wordes proprely:
For this ye knowen al so wel as I,
Who so shall telle a Tale after a man
He moste reherse as neigh as ever he can,
Everich word, if it be in his charge,
All speke he never so rudely and so large;
Or elles he moste tellen his Tale untrewe,
Or feinen thinges, or finden wordes newe:
He may not spare although he were his brother;
He moste as wel sayn o word as an other.
Crist spake himself ful brode in holy writ,
And wel ye wote no vilanie is it:
Eke Plato sayeth, who so can him rede,
The wordes moste ben cosin to the dede.
Also I praie you to forgive it me,
All have I not sette folk in hir degree,
Here in this Tale, as that they shulden stonde.
My wit is short, ye may well understonde.

Gret chere made our Hoste us everich on, And to the souper sette he us anon; And served us with vitaille of the beste. Strong was the win, and wel to drinke us leste. A semely man our Hoste was, with alle, For to han ben a marshal in an halle.

A large man he was, with eyen stepe;

A fairer burgeis is ther non in Chepe:
Bold of his speche, and wise, and wel ytaught,
And of manhood him lacked righte naught.
Eke therto, was he right a mery man,
And after souper plaien he began,
And spake of mirthe amonges other thinges,
Whan that we hadden made our rekeninges,
And saide thus; "now Lordinges, trewely
Ye ben to me welcome right hertily,-
For by my trouthe, if that I shal not lie,
I saw not this yere swiche a compagnie
At ones in this herberwe, as is now.
Fain wolde I do you mirthe, and I wiste how ;-
And of a mirthe I am right now bethought
To don you ese, and it shal coste you nought.
Ye gon to Canterbury; God you spede,
The blissful martyr quite you your mede;
And wel I wot as ye gon by the way,
Ye shapen you to talken and to play:
For trewely comfort ne mirthe is non,
To riden by the way dombe as the ston;
And therfore wolde I maken you disport,
As I said erst, and don you some comfort.
And if you liketh alle, by an assent,
Now for to standen at my jugement;
And for to werchen as I shal you say
To-morwe, whan ye riden on the way,
Now, by my faders soule that is ded,
But ye be mery, smiteth of my hed:

Hold up your hondes withouten more speche."
Our conseil was not longe for to seche:

Us thought it was not worth to make it wise,
And granted him withouten more avise,
And bad him say his verdit as him leste.


"Lordinges," (quod he)" now herkeneth for the

But take it nat, I pray you, in disdain:
This is the point, to speke it plat and plain,
That eche of you, to shorten with youre way,

In this viage shal tellen Tales tway;

To Canterbury ward, I mene it so,
And homeward he shal tellen other two;

Of aventures that whilom han befalle.
And which of you that bereth him beste of alle,
That is to sayn, that telleth in this cas
Tales of best sentence and most solas,

Shal have a souper at youre aller cost
Here in this place sitting by this post,
Whan that ye comen agen from Canterbury
And for to maken you the more mery,

I wol my selven gladly with you ride,
Right at min owen cost, and be your gide.
And who that wol my jugement withsay
Shall pay for alle we spenden by the way.
And if ye vouchesauf that it be so,
Telle me, anon, withouten wordes mo,
And I wol erly shapen me therfore."

This thing was granted, and our othes swore
With ful glad herte, and praiden him also,
That he wold vouchesauf for to don so,
And that he wolde ben our governour,
And of our Tales juge and reportour,
And sette a souper at a certain pris;
And we wol ruled ben at his devise,

In highe and lowe: and thus by an assent
We ben accorded to his jugement.
And therupon, the win was fette anon:
We dronken, and to reste wenten eche on,
Withouten any lenger tarying.

THE SQUIERES TALE. (A Fragment.) At Sarra, in the land of Tartarie, Ther dwelt a king that werreied Russie, Thurgh which ther died many a doughty man. This noble king was cleped Cambuscan,—Which in his time was of so gret renoun, That ther n'as no wher in no regioun So excellent a lord in alle thing: Him lacked nought that longeth to a king, As of the secte of which that he was borne, He kept his lay to which he was ysworne; And, therto, he was hardy, wise and riche: And pitous, and just; and alway yliche, Trewe of his word, benigne and honourable; Of his corage, as any centre, stable; Yong, fresh, and strong; in armes desirous, As any bacheler of all his hous. A faire person he was, and fortunate, And kept alway so wel real estat, That ther n'as no wher swiche another man. This noble king, this Tartre Cambuscan,

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Hadde two sones by Elfeta his wif,-
Of which the eldest sone highte Algarsif,
That other was ycleped Camballo.

A daughter had this worthy king also,
That yongest was, and highte Canace:
But for to tellen you all hire beautee
It lith not in my tonge ne in my conning;
I dare not undertake so high a thing:
Min English, eke, is unsufficient;
It muste ben a rethor excellent,

That coude his colours longing for that art,
If he shuld hire descriven ony part:
I am non swiche; I mote speke as I can.
And so befell, that whan this Cambuscan
Hath twenty winter borne his diademe,-
As he was wont fro yere to yere, I deme,
He let the feste of his nativitee
Don crien thurghout Sarra his citee,
The last ides of March after the yere.
Phœbus the sonne ful jolif was and clere,

For he was nigh his exaltation
In Martes face, and in his mansion
In Aries, the colerike hote signe:
And lusty was the wether and benigne ;
For which the foules, again the sonne shene,
What for the seson and the yonge grene,
Ful loude songen hir affections:
Hem semed han getten hem protections
Again the swerd of winter kene and cold.

This Cambuscan, of which I have you told,
In real vestiments, sit on his deis
With diademe, ful high in his paleis;
And holte his feste so solempne and so riche
That in this world ne was ther non it liche;-
Of which if I shall tellen all the array,
Than wold it occupie a somers day;
And, eke, it nedeth not for to devise
At every cours the order of hir service:
I wol not tellen of hir strange sewes,
Ne of hir swannes, ne hir heronsewes.
Eke, in that lond, as tellen knightes old,
Ther is som mete that is ful deintee hold,
That in this lond men recche of it ful smal:
Ther n'is no man that may reporten al.
I wol not tarien you, for it is prime,
And for it is no fruit, but losse of time:
Unto my purpos I wol have recours.

And so befell, that after the thridde cours,
While that this king sit thus in his nobley,
Herking his minstralles hir thinges pley
Beforne him at his bord deliciously,
In at the halle dore, al sodenly,

Ther came a knight upon a stede of bras,
And in his hond a brod mirrour of glas;
Upon his thombe he had of gold a ring;
And by his side a naked swerd hanging.
And up he rideth to the highe bord.
In all the halle, ne was ther spoke a word
For mervaille of this knight; him to behold
Ful besily they waiten, yong and old.

This strange knight that come thus sodenly Al armed, save his hed, ful richely,

Salueth king and quene, and lordes alle,
By order as they saten in the halle,—
With so high reverence and observance,
As wel in speche as in his contenance,
That Gawain with his olde curtesie
Though he were come agen out of Fairie,
Ne coude him not amenden with a word.
And, after this, beforn the highe bord,
He with a manly vois sayd his message,
After the forme used in his langage,
Withouten vice of sillable or of letter.
And for his tale shulde seme the better,
Accordant to his wordes was his chere,
As techeth art of speche hem that it lere:
Al be it that I cannot soune his stile,
Ne cannot climben over so high a stile,
Yet say I this, as to comun entent,
Thus much amounteth al that ever he ment,
If it so be that I have it in mind;

He sayd: "The King of Arabie and of Inde,
My liege Lord! on this solempne-day,
Salueth you as he best can and may,
And sendeth you, in honour of your feste,
By me, that am al redy at your heste,
This stede of bras, that esily and wel
Can in the space of a day naturel,
(This is to sayn, in four and twenty houres,)
Wher so you list, in drought or elles shoures,
Beren your body into every place,

To which your herte willeth for to pace,
Withouten wemme of you, thurgh foule or faire;
Or if you list to fleen as high in the aire
As doth an egle, whan him list to sore,
This same stede shal bere you evermore,
Withouten harme, till ye be ther you lest,
(Though that ye slepen on his back or rest,)
And turne again with writhing of a pin.
He that it wrought, he coude many a gin;
He waited many a constellation

Or he had don this operation,

And knew ful many a sele and many a bond.

"This mirrour, eke, that I have in min hond,
Hath swiche a might, that men may in it see
Whan ther shall falle any adversitee
Unto your regne, or to yourself also;
And, openly, who is your frend or fo.
And, over all this, if any lady bright
Hath set hire herte on any maner wight,
If he be false she shal his treson see,
His newe love, and all his subtiltee,
So openly, that ther shal nothing hide.

"Wherfore, again this lusty somer tide,
This mirrour and this ring, that ye may se,
He hath sent to my lady Canace,
Your excellente doughter that is here.
"The vertue of this ring, if ye wol here,
Is this, that if hire list it for to were
Upon hire thomb, or in hire purse it bere,
Ther is no foule that fleeth under heven
That she ne shal wel understond his steven,
And know his mening openly and plaine,
And answere him in his langage again;

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