« AnteriorContinuar »
And of his port* as meek as is a maytle.
He nevere yet no vileinye- ne sayde
In al his lyf, un-to no maner wight. '0
He was a verray parfit geutil knight.
But for to tellen yow of his array,
His hors3 were goode, but he was nat gay*.
Of fustians be wered a gipoun8
Al bismotered7 with his habergeoun8.
For he was late y-come from his viage",
And wente for to doon his pilgrimageio.
With him thor was his sone, a yong Squyer, A lovyer, and a lusty bacheler", SO With lokkes erullei2, as'3 they were leyd in presse.
Of twenty yeer of age he was, I gesso.
Of his stature he was of evene lengthen,
And wonderly delivere15, and greet of
And he hadde been somtyme in chivaehyc'0,
In Flaundrcs, in Artoys'7, and Picardye'7,
And born him wel, as of so litel space's,
In hope to stonden in his lady'9 grace.
Embrouded20 was he, as it were a mede2'
Al ful of fresshe floures, whyte and rede. 90
Singinge he was, or floytinge2-', al the day;
He was as fresh as is the month of May.
Short was his goune, with sieves longe and
Wel coude he sitte on hors, and faire ryde.
He coude songes make and wel endyte23,
Iuste24 and eek daunce, and wel purtreye25 and
So hote-0 he lovede, that by nightertale"
He sleep namore than doth a nightingale.
(Jurtcys he was, lowly, and servisable,
And carf28 biforn his fader at the table. 100
A Yeman hadde he2", and servaunts nanio3u
At that tyme, for him liste3' ryde so;
And he was clad in cote and hood of grcne;
A sheef of pecok arwes brighte and kene
Under his belt he bar ful thriftily,
(Wel coude he dresse his takel yemanly'13:
2 unbecoming word a horses
4 gaily dressed
5 coarse cloth
• a short tight-fitting
coat 7 spotted s coat of mall » voyage
10 In order to give
thanks for his safe return.
11 An aspirant for
12 curly is as If
u average height in nimble
'« military expeditions 17 An ancient province of Trance.
His arwes drouped noght with fetheres lowe),
And in his hand he bar a mighty bowe.
A not-heed3* hadde he, with a broun visage.
Of wode-craft35 wel coude3" he al the usage. 110
Upon his arm he bar a gay bracer37,
And by his syde a swerd and a bokeler38,
And on that other syde a gay daggere,
Harneised3'1 wel, and sharp as point of spere;
A Cristofre40 on his brest of silver shene4i.
An horn he bar, the bawdrik12 was of grene;
A forster13 was he, soothly44, as I gesse.
Ther was also a Nonne, a Prioresse,
That of hir smyling was ful simple and coy;
Hir gretteste ooth was but by seynt Loy45; 120
And she was eloped48 madame Eglentyne.
Ful wel she song the service divyne,
Entuned in hir nose ful semely;
And Frensli she spak ful faire and fetisly47,
After the scole of Stratford atte Bowe*,
For Frensh of Paris was to hir unknowe.
At mete wel ytaught was she with-alle;
She leet no morsel from hir lippes falle,
Ne wette hir fingres in hir sauce depe.
Wel coude she carie a morsel, and wel kepe, 130
That no drope ne fille48 up on hir brest.
In curteisye was set ful moche hir lest4»,
Hir over lippe wyped she so clene,
That in hir coppeso Was no ferthing sene
Of grece, whan she dronken hadde hir draughte.
Ful semely after hir mete she raughte5',
And sikerly52 she was of greet disport53,
And ful plesaunt, and amiable of port54,
And peyned55 hir to countrefete58 cherc57
Of court, and been estatlioh58 of manere, 140
And to ben holden digue50 of reverence.
But, for to speken of hir conscience,
She was so charitable and so pitouB8<>,
She wolde wepe, if that she sawe a mous
Caught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde.
Of smalc houndes had she, that she fedde
With rosted flesh, or milk and wastel breed8!.
But sore weep she if oon of hem were deed,
is eon slderlng the shortness of the time
22 playing the flute
24 joust (engage in a
tournament) draw 2« hotly 27 night-time 2s carved 2'J the knight 80 no more
31 It pleased him
33 order his tackle
(equipment) I n yenmnnllke manner
34 nut-head, a closely
cropped head s» wood-rroft sa knew
37 guard for the arm •is shield
40 image of St. Christo
42 girdle worn over the
shoulder 13 forester
45 St. Kloy or I.oy or
Kliglus, patron saint of goldsmiths.
47 daintily, exactly
M good humor
55 took pains Mi Imitate
5» to be dignified
oo com passion ate
«i bread made of the best flour—cakebread
• Stratford le Bow. where there was a Renenllctlne nunnery, and where Anglo French would be spoken, ratb.T than the l'arlslan kind.
Or if men smoot it with a yerdei smerte2:
And al was conscience and tendre herte. 150
Ful semely hir wimpel3 pinched* was;
Hir nose tretys5; hir eyen greye as glas;
Hir mouth ful smal, and ther-to softe and reed;
But sikerly8 she hadde a fair forheed.
It was almost a spanne brood, I trowe;
For, hardily7, she was nat undergrowe.
Ful fetis8 was hir cloke, as I was war9.
Of smal coral aboute hir arm she bar
A peire of bedes10, gauded11 al with grene; 159
And ther-on heng a broche of gold ful shene,
On which ther was first write a crowned A,
And after, Amor vincit omnia1*.
Another Nonne with hir hadde she, That was hir chapeleyne, and Preestes thre.
A Monk ther was, a fair for the maistryei",
An out-rydere, that lovede veneryei*,
A manly man, to been an abbot able.
Ful many a deynteei5 hors hadde he in stable:
And, whan he rood, men mighte his brydel here
Gjnglen in a whistling wynd as clere, 170
And eck as loude as doth the chapel-belle.
There-as18 this lord was keper of the cellei7,
The reule of seint Maure or of seint Beneit18,
By-cause that it was old and som-del streit10,
This ilke monk leet olde thinges28 pace",
And held after the newe world the space22.
He yaf nat of that text a pulled23 hen,
That seith, that hunters been nat holy men;
Ne that a monk, whan he is recehelees24,
Is likned til a fish that is waterlees; 180
This is to seyn, a monk out of his cloistre.
But thilke text held he nat worth an oistre.
And I seyde his opinioun was good.
What26 sholde he studie, and make him selven
Upon a book in cloiBtre alwey to poure,
Or swinken27 with his handes, and laboure,
As Austin bit28t How shal the world be served?
I..at Austin have his swink27 to him reserved.
Therefor he was a pricasour28 aright; Grehoundes he hadde, as swifte as fowel in flight;
Of priking and of hunting for the hare 191
Was al his lust30, for no cost wolde he spare.
I seighai his sieves purfiled32 at the hond
With grys33, and that the fyneste of a lond;
And, for to festne his hood under his chin,
He hadde of gold y-wroght a curious pin:
A love-knot in the gretter ende ther was.
His heed was balled8*, that shoon as any glas,
And eek his face, as he hadde been anoint.
He was a lord ful fat and in good point35; 200
His eyen stepe38, and rollinge in his heed,
That stemed as a forneys of a leed37,
His botes souple, his hors in greet estat.
Now certeinly he was a fair prelat;
He was nat pale as a for-pyned goost38.
A fat swan loved he best of any roost.
His palfrey was as broun as is a berye.
A Frere38 there was, a wantown40 and a merye,
A limitour", a ful solcmpne42 man.
In alle the ordres foure43 is noon that can44
So moche of daliaunce and fair langage. 211
He hadde maad ful many a manage
Of yonge wommen, at his owne cost.
Un-to his ordre he was a noble post.
Ful wel biloved and famulier was he
With frankeleyns45 over-al in his contree,
And eek with worthy wommen of the toun:
For he had power of confessioun,
As seyde him-self, more than a curat,
For of his ordre he was licentiat48. 220
Ful swetely herde he confessioun,
And plesaunt was his absolucioun;
He was an esy man to yeve47 penaunce
Ther-as he wiste to han a good pitaunce48;
For unto a povre ordre for to yive48
Is signe that a man is wel y-shrive.
For if he60 yaf, he51 dorste make avaunt52,
He wiste that a man was repentaunt.
For many a man so hard is of his herte''3, 229
He may nat wepe al-thogh him sore smerte-""4.
Therfore, in stede of weping and preyeres,
Up-on his heed a Flaundrish bever hat;
His botes clasped faire and fetisly.
His resons33 he spak ful solempnely34,
Sowninge35 alway thencrees30 of his winning.
Ho wolde the see were kept37 for any things*
Bitwixe Middelburgh and Orewelle39.
Wei coude40 he in eschaunge slieeldes'i selle.
This worthy man ful wel his wit bisette4-;
Ther wisle no wight that he was in dette, 280
So tstatly43 was he of his governaunce**,
With his bargaynes, and with his chevisaunce15.
For sothe he was a worthy man with-alle,
But sooth to seyn, I noot48 how men him calle.
A Clerk17 ther was of Oxenford also,
That un to logik hadde longe y-go48.
As lene was his hors as is a rake,
And he nas40 nat right fat, I undertake50;
But loked holwe^i, and ther-to soberly".
Ful thredbar was his overeat53 courtepy51 290
For he had geten him yet no benefice55,
Ne was so worldly for to have office50.
For him was levere57 have at his beddes heed
Twenty bokes, clad in blak or reed *
Of Aristotle and his philosophye,
Than robes riche, or fithele58, or gay sautrye58.
But al be that he was a philosophre00,
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre;
But al that he niighte of his frendes hente6';
On bokes and on lerninge he it spente, 300
And bisily gan for the soules prcye
Of hem that yaf him where with to scoleye62.
Of studie took he most cure03 and most hede.
Noght o word spak he more than was nede.
And that was seyd in forme and reverence.
And short and quik, and ful of hy sentence0*.
Sowninge05 in moral v-ertu was his speche,
And gladly wolde he leme, and gladly teche.
A Sergeant of the Lawe«°, war07 and wys, That often hadde been at the parvys°8, 310
Men moot1 yeve silver to the povre freres.
His tipet= was ay3 farsed* ful of knyves
And pinnes, for to yeven faire wyvcs.
And eerteinly he hadde a mery note;
Wel coude he singe and pleyen on a rote5.
Of yeddinges0 he bar utterly the prys7.
His nekke whyt was as the flour-de-lys".
Ther-to he strong was as a champioun.
He knew the tavernes wel in every toun, 240
And everich hostiler9 and tappestere'0
Batu than a lazar'2 or a beggestere'3;
For un-to swich a worthy man as he
Acorded nat, as by his facultee'*,
To have with seke'5 lazars aqueyntaunce.
It is nat honest10, it may nat avaunce17
For to delen with no swich poraille>N,
But al with riche and sellers of vitaille.
And over-al10, ther-as20 profit sholde aryse,
Curteys he was, and lowly of servyse. 250
Ther nas no man nowher so vertuous2*.
He was the beste beggere in his hous;
For thogh a widwe hadde noght a sho22,
So plesaunt was his In principio11,
Yet wolde he have a ferthing2*, er he wente,
His purchas25 was wel bettre than his rente20.
And rage27 he coude as it were right a
In love-dayes2" ther coude he mochel helpe.
For ther he was nat lyk a cloisterer
With a thredbare cope, as in a povre scoler, 260
But he was lyk a maister or a pope.
Of double worsted was his semi-cope30,
That rounded as a belle out of the presse.
Somwhat he lipsed, for his wantownesse3',
To make his English swete up-on his tonge;
And in his harping, whan that he had songe,
His eyen twinkled in his heed aright,
As doon the sterres in the frosty night.
This worthy limitour was cleped Huberd.
A Marchant was ther with a forked berd, 270 In mottelee32, and hye on horse he sat,
Ther was also, ful riehe of excellence.
Discreet he was, and of greet reverence ■:
He semed Bwich, his wordes weren so wyse,
lustice he was ful often in assyse2,
By patente3 and by pleyn4 commissioun;
For his science, and for his heigh renoun
Of fees and robes hadde he many oon.
So greet a purchasour5 was nowher noono.
Al was fee simple7 to him in effect,
His purchasing mighte nat been infect8. 320
Nowher so bisy a man as he ther nas,
And yet he semed bisier than he was.
In termes hadde he caas and domes alle9,
That from the tyme of king William were
Therto he coude endyte, and make a thing,
Ther coude no wight pinche11 at his wryting;
And every statut coude12 he pleyn by rote.
He rood but hoomly in a medlee cote
Girt with a ceint13 of silk, with barres'4 smale;
Of his array telle I no lenger tale. 330
A Frankeleyni' was in his compaignye;
Whyt was his berd18, as is the dayesye17.
Of his coniplexioun'8 he was sangwynio.
Wei loved he by the morwe20 a sop21 in wyn.
To liven in delyt was evere his wone22,
For he was Epicurus23 owne sone,
That heeld opinioun that pleyn delyt
Was verraily felicitee parfyt.
An housholdere, and that a greet, was he;
Seynt Iulian24 he was in his contree. 340
His breed, his ale, was alwey after oon25;
A bettre envyned28 man was nevere noon.
With-oute bake mete was nevere his hous,
Of fish and flesh, and that so plentevous,
It snewed27 in his hous of mete and drinke,
Of alle deyntees that men coude thinke.
After the sondry sesons of the yeer,
So chaunged he his mete and his soper.
Ful many a fat partrich hadde he in mewe28,
And many a breem28 and many a luce in
Wo3i was his cook, but-if32 his sauce were
Poynaunt and sharp, and redy al his gere33.
His table dormant34 in his halle alway
Stood redy covered al the longe day.
At sessiouns35 ther was he lord and sire.
Ful ofte tyme he was knight of the shire39.
An anlas37 and a gipser38 al of silk
Heng at his girdel, whyt as morne milk.
A shirreve hadde he been, and a countour88;
Was nowher such a worthy vavasour40. 360
An Haberdassher4i and a Carpenter,
A Webbe,42 a Dyere, and a Tapicer43,
And they were clothed alle in o liveree,
Of a solempne and greet fraternitee.
Ful fresh and newe hir gere apyked44 was;
Hir knyves were y-chaped45 noght with bras,
But al with silver wroght ful clene and weel,
Hir girdles and hir pouches everydeel.
Wei semed ech of hem a fair burgeys48,
To sitten in a yeldhalle47 on a deys48. 370
Everich48, for the wisdom that he cans°,
Was shaply51 for to been an alderman.
For catel''2 hadde they ynogh and rente53,
And eek hir wyves wolde it wel assente54;
And elles certein were they to blame.
It is ful fair to been y-clept ma dame,
And goon65 to vigilyes58 al bifore,
And have a mantel roialliche y-bore57.
A Cook they hadde with hem for the nones58, To boille chiknes58 with the mary-bones, 380 And poudre-marchant00 tart6', and galingale82. Wel coude he knowe63 a draughte of London ale.
He coude roste, and sethe04, and broille, and frye,
Maken mortreux85, and wel bake a pye.
But greet harm was it, as it thouglite me,
That on his shineoo a mormal07 hadde he;
For blankmangeri, that made he with the beste.
A Shipman was ther, woning2 fer by weste:
For aught I woot3, he was of Dertemouthe.
He rood up-on a rouncy4, as he couthe5, 390
In a gowne of falding3 to the knee.
A daggere hanging on a laas? hadde he
Aboute his nekke under his arm adoun.
The hote somer had maad his hewe al broun;
And, certeinly, he was a good felawe.
Ful many a draughte of wyn had he y-drawe
From Burdeux-ward, whyl that the chapman*
Of nyce° conscience took he no keepio.
If that he faught, and hadde the hyer bond,
By water he sente hem hoom to every londn.
But of his craft 12 to rekene wel his tydes 401
His stremes and his daungers him bisydes,
His herberwe13 and his monei4, his lodemen-
Ther nas noon swich from Hulle to Cartage.
Hardy he was, and wys to undertake;
With many a tempest hadde his berd been
He knew wel alle the havenes, as they were,
From Gootlondio to the cape of Finisterei',
And every cryke in Britayne and in Spayne;
His barge y-cleped was the Maudelayne. 410
With us ther was a Doctour of Phisyki8, In al this world ne was ther noon him lyk To speko of phisik and of surgerye; For he was grounded in astronomye19. He kepte his pacient a ful greet del In houres20, by his magik naturel. Wel coude he fortunen2! the ascendent Of his images22 for his pacient*. He knew the cause of everich maladye, Were it of hoot or cold, or moiste, or dryet, 420 And where engendred, and of what humour; He was a verrey parfit practisour. The cause y-knowe, and of his harm the rote^a, Anon he yaf- the seke man his bote-4. Ful redy hadde he his apothecaries,
1 minced capon, cream, 14 moon
sugar and flour i-r> pilotage
2 dwelling io Jutland, Denmark
a know 17 On the coast of
4 common hackney Spain.
s as well as he could 18 medicine
« coarse cloth l*> astrology
7 cord 2» he treated his pa
* merchant tlent at favorable f» over scrupulous astrological times io heed forecast
u made them walk the -'-j talismans
plank 23 the root of the evil
12 skill 24 remedy
* I'lgures or talismans made when a favorable
star was rising above the horizon, i. e., was In the ascendant, could. It was believed, cause good or evil to a patient, t Diseases were thought fo be caused by an excess of one or another of these humours.
To sende him drogges, and his letuaries25,
For ech of hem made other for to winne2*;
Hir frendgchipe nas nat newe to biginne27.
Wel knew he the olde Esculapius*,
And Deiscorides, and eek Eufus; 430
Old Ypocras, Haly, and Galien;
Serapion, Bazis, and Avicen;
Averrois, Dnmaseien, and Constantyn;
Bernard, and Gatesden, and Gilbertyn.
Of his diete mesurable28 was he,
For it was of no superfluitee,
But of greet norissing and digestible.
His Btudie was but litel on the Bible.
In sangwin28 and in pers»° he clad was al,
Lyned with taffata^i and with sendal" 440
And yet he was but esy of dispence32;
He kepte that he wan in pestilence.
For gold in phisik is a cordial",
Therfor he lovede gold in special.
A Good Wyf was ther of bisyde Bathe, But she was som-del deef, and that was scathe34.
Of cloth-making she hadde swiehe an haunt**,
She passed hem of Ypres38 and of Gaunt37.
In al the parisshe wyf ne was ther noon
That to the offring38 bifore hir sholde goon; 450
And if ther dide, certeyn, so wrooth was she,
That she was out of alle charitee.
Hir coverchiefs38 ful fyne were of ground*0;
I dorste swere they weyeden ten pound* i
That on a Sonday were upon hir heed.
Hir hosen weren of fyn scarlet reed,
Ful streite y-teyd, and shoes ful moiste*2 and
Bold was hir face, and fair, and reed of hewe.
She was a worthy womman al hir lyve, 459
Housbondes at chirche-dore43 she hadde fyve,
Withouten44 other compaignye in youthe;
But thereof nedeth nat to speke as nouthe45.
And thryes hadde she been at Ierusalem;
She hadde passed many a straunge streem;
2r> medicines mixed ao In West Flanders
with confections 87 Ghent
2« the doctor and the M The ceremony of of
drugglst each made ferlng gifts to
business for the relics on "Relie
27 of recent date 39 kerchiefs for the
28 moderate head 20 reddish *o texture
30 light blue 4i Because ornamented
31 thin silk with gold and |U
32 moderate In spend- ver.
ing 42 soft
33 Gold In medicine was 43 People were married
supposed to render at the church
it especially efllca- porch,
clous. 44 without counting
34 a pity 45 at present
* The god of medicine, son of Apollo. The others named in lines 430-434 are all famous physicians and scholars of antiquity and medieval times. Gatlsden of Oxford was almost a contemporary of Chaucer.