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of his array,


But for to tellen yow

Harneised23 wel, and sharp as point of His hors' were goode, but he was nat gay. spere; Of fustian he wered a gipoun?


A Cristofre24 on his brest of silver shene.115 Al bismotered with his habergeoun;4 An horn he bar, the bawdrik25 was of grene; For he was late y-come from his viage, A forster26 was he, soothly, as I gesse. And wente for to doon his pilgrimage. Ther was also a Nonne, a PRIORESSE, With him ther was his sone, a yong That of hir smyling was ful simple and SQUYER,


119 A lovyere, and a lusty bacheler,

80 Hir gretteste ooth was but by sëynt Loy, With lokkes crulle, as they were leyd in And she was clepeda madame Eglentyne. presse.

Ful wel she song the service divyne,
Of twenty yeer

was, I gesse.

Entuned in hir nose ful semely;
Of his stature he was of evene lengthe, And Frensh she spak ful faire and fetisly,?
And wonderly deliver, and greet of After the scole of Stratford atte Bowe, 125

For Frensh of Paris was to hir unknowe. And he had been somtyme in chivachye, At mete wel y-taught was she with-alle; In Flaundres, in Artoys, and Picardye, 86 She leet no morsel from hir lippes falle, And born him wel, as of so litel space, 10 Ne wette hir fingres in hir sauce depe. In hope to stonden in his ladyll grace. Wel coude she carie a morsel, and wel Embrouded 12 was he, as it were a medel3 kepe,

130 Al ful of fresshe floures, whyte and rede. 90 That no drope ne fille up-on hir brest. Singinge he was, or floytinge, 14 al the day; In curteisye was set ful moche hir lest.29 He was as fresh as is the month of May. Hir over lippe wyped she so clene, Short was his goune, with sleves longe and That in hir coppe was no ferthing sene wyde.

Of grece, whan she dronken hadde hir Wel coude he sitte on hors, and faire ryde. draughte.

135 He coude songes make and wel endyte, 95 Ful semely after hir mete she raughte, 30 Iuste15 and eek daunce, and wel purtreye16 And sikerly31 she was of greet disport, and wryte.

And full plesaunt, and amiable of port, 33 So hote7 he lovede, that by nightertale18 And peyned hir34 to countrefete chere35 He sleep namore than dooth a nightin- Of court, and been estatlich 36 of manere,140 gale.

And to ben holden digne37 of reverence. Curteys he was, lowly, and servisable, But, for to speken of hir conscience, 38 And carf biforn his fader at the table. She was so charitable and so pitous,

A YEMAN hadde he, and servaunts namo She wolde wepe, if that she sawe a mous At that tyme, for him listel ryde so; Caught in a trappe, if it were deed or And he was clad in cote and hood of grene; bledde.

145 A sheef of pecock-arwes brighte and kene Of smale houndes had she, that she fedde Under his belt he bar ful thriftily, 105 With rosted flesh, or milk and wastel (Wel coude he dresse his takel20 yemanly:

breed. 3 His arwes drouped noght with fetheres But sore weep she if oon of hem were deed, lowe),

Or if men smoot it with a yerde smerte: And in his hand he bar a mighty bowe. And al was conscience and tendre herte.150 A not-heed21 hadde he, with a broun Ful semely hir wimpel pinched o was; visage.

Hir nose tretys;41 hir eyen greye as glas; Of wode-craft wel coude he al the usage.110 Hir mouth ful smal, and ther-to softe and Upon his arm he bar a gay bracer,22

reed; And by his syde a swerd and a bokeler, But sikerly she hadde a fair forheed; And on that other syde a gay daggere, It was almost a spanne brood, I trowe; 155



1 horses (plural). 2 doublet. 3 spotted. * coat of mail.

& curly.

23 equipped. 7 ordinary height.

military expedition. 24 " figure of St. Christopher used as a brooch." 10 " considering the short time he had served."

27 named. 28 elegantly. 11 lady's. 19 adorned. 18 meadow. 14 fluting.

2 pleasure. 30 reached. 31 truly. 32 fond of pleasure. 17 hotly. 18 in the night-time. 33 behavior. 34 tried hard. 35 deportment. 19 it pleased him. 20 take care of his weapons.

36 dignified. 37 worthy,

38 tenderness of heart. 1 cropped head. 22 guard.

40 pleated.

11 well proportioned.

5 voyage.
8 active.

25 belt.

26 forester.

15 joust.

16 draw.

** fine bread.


trye, 3



For, hardily, she was nat undergrowe. He hadde of gold y-wroght a curious pin: Ful fetis' was hir cloke, as I was war. A love-knotte in the gretter ende ther was. Of smal coral aboute hir arm she bar His heed was balled, that shoon as any A peire of bedes, gauded al with grene; glas,

198 And ther-on heng a broche of gold ful And eek his face, as he had been anoint. shene,

160 He was a lord ful fat and in good point; On which ther was first write a crowned A, His eyen stepe, 16 and rollinge in his heed, And after, Amor vincit omnia.

That'stemed17 as a forneys of a leed;18 Another NONNE with hir hadde she, His botes souple, his hors in greet estat. That was hir chapeleyne, and PREESTES Now certeinly he was a fair prelat; thre.

He was nat pale as a for-pyned goost. 205 A MONK ther was, a fair for the mais- | A fat swan loved he best of any roost.

165 His palfrey was as broun as is a berye. An out-rydere, that lovede venerye;4

A FRERE there was,

wantown and a A manly man, to been an abbot able.

merye, Ful many a deyntee hors hadde he in A limitour,20 a ful solempneal man. stable:

In alle the ordres foure is noon that can 22 And, whan he rood, men mighte his brydel So moche of daliaunce and fair langage.211 here

He hadde maad ful many a mariage Ginglen in a whistling wind as clere, 170 Of yonge wommen, at his owne cost. And eek as loude as dooth the chapel-belle, Un-to his ordre he was a noble post. Ther as this lord was keper of the celle. Ful wel biloved and famulier he

215 The reule of seint Maure or of seint Beneit, With frankeleyns23 over-al in his contree, By-cause that it was old and som-del And eek with worthy wommen of the streit,


toun: This ilke6 monk leet olde thinges pace, For he had power of confessioun, And held after the newe world the space. As seyde him-self, more than a curat, He yaf nat of that text a pulled hen, For of his ordre he was licentiat.24 That seith, that hunters been nat holy Ful swetely herde he confessioun, men;

And plesaunt was his absolucioun; Ne that a monk, whan he is cloisterlees, He was an esy man to yeve2 penaunce Is lykned til a fish that is waterlees; 180 Ther-as he wiste to han a good pitaunce; This is to seyn, a monk out of his cloistre. For unto a povre order for to yive

225 But thilke text held he nat worth an oistre. Is signe that a man is wel y-shrive. And I seyde, his opinioun was good. For if he yaf, he dorste make avaunt, What sholde he studie, and make him- He wiste that a man was repentaunt. selven wood,

For many a man so hard is of his herte, Upon a book in cloistre alwey to poure, 185 He may nat wepe al-thogh him sore Or swinken'0 with his handes, and laboure, smerte.

230 As Austin bit? How shal the world be Therfore, in stede of weping and preyeres, served?

Men moot yeve silver to the povre freres. Lat Austin have his swink to him reserved. His tipet was ay farseda full of knyves Therfore he was a pricasour" aright; And pinnes, for to yeven faire wyves. Grehoundes he hadde, as swifte as fowel And certeinly he hadde a mery note; 235 in flight;

190 Wel coude he synge and pleyen on a rote. Of prikingl2 and of hunting for the hare Of yeddinges 20 he bar utterly the prys. Was al his lust, for no cost wolde he spare. His nekke whyt was as the flour-de-lys; I seigh his sleves purfiled 13 at the hond Ther-to he strong was as a champioun. With grys,14 and that the fyneste of a He knew the tavernes well in every lond;

toun, And, for to festne his hood under his chin,




240 5

15 in good condition. 16 glittering. 17 glowed. 18 fire under a cauldron.

19 wasted away. 1 handsome. ? string. ' a superior sort of fellow. 20 licensed beggar. 21 important. • bunting. somewhat strict.

23 country gentlemen. 24 licensed to hear confessions. cared.

25 give. 13 riding. 13 trimmed.

14 gray fur.

22 knows.

7 go.


10 work.

& same.
11 hard rider.

26 boast.

27 stuffed. 29 songs.

28 a sort of fiddle.



hente, 22

And everich hostiler and tappestere! For sothe he was a worthy man with-alle, Bet? than a lazar' or a beggestere;4

But sooth to seyn, I noot 18 how men him For unto swich a worthy man as he

calle. Acorded nat, as by his facultee,

A CLERK ther was of Oxenford also, 285 To have with seke lazars aqueyntaunce.245 That un-to logik hadde longe y-go. It is nat honest, it may nat avaunce As lene was his hors as is a rake, For to delen with no swich poraille, And he nas nat right fat, I undertake; But al with riche and sellers of vitaille. But loked holwe, and ther-to soberly. And over-al, ther as profit sholde aryse,

Ful thredbar was his overest courtepy;19290 Curteys he was, and lowly of servyse. 250 For he had geten him yet no benefyce, Ther nas no man nowher so vertuous. Ne was so worldly for to have offyce. He was the beste beggere in his hous; For him was lever have at his beddes heed For thogh a widwe hadde noght a sho, Twenty bokes, clad in blak or reed, So plesaunt was his In principio,

Of Aristotle and his philosophye, 295 Yet wolde he have a ferthing, er he wente. Than robes riche, or fithele,20 or gay sauHis purchas10 was wel bettre than his trye. rente.


But al be that he was a philosophre, And rage he coude as it were right a Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre; whelpe.

But al that he mighte of his freendes In love-dayes ther coude he mochel helpe. For ther he was nat lyk a cloisterer, On bokes and on lerninge he it spente, 300 With a thredbar cope, as is a povre scoler, And bisily gan for the soules preye But he was lyk a maister or a pope. 261

Of hem that yaf him wher-with to scoleye. Of double worsted was his semi-cope, Of studie took he most cure and most That rounded as a belle out of the presse.

hede. Somwhat he lipsed, for his wantownesse, Noght o word spak he more than was nede, To make his English swete up-on his And that was seyd in forme and revertonge;

ence, And in his harping, whan that he had And short and quik, and ful of hy sensonge,

tence.? His eyen twinkled in his heed aright, Souninge25 in moral vertu was his speche, As doon the sterres in the frosty night. And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly This worthy limitour was cleped Huberd.

teche. A MARCHANT was ther with a forked A SERGEANT OF THE LAWE, war26 and wys, berd,


That often hadde been at the parvys, 27 310 In mottelee, and hye on horse he sat, Ther was also, ful riche of excellence. Up-on his heed a Flaundrish bever hat; Discreet he was, and of greet reverence: His botes clasped faire and fetisly.

He semed swich, his wordes weren so wyse. His resons he spak ful solempnely,

Iustyce he was ful often in assyse, Souningel2 alway thencrees of his winning. By patente, and by pleyn commissioun ;315 He wolde the see were kept13 for any For28 his science, and for his heigh renoun, thing


Of fees and robes hadde he many oon. Bitwixe Middlelburgh and Orewelle. So greet a purchasour29 was nowher noon. Wel coude he in eschaunge sheeldes14 selle. Al was fee simple to him in effect, This worthy man ful wel his wit bisette;16 His purchasing mighte nat been infect. 320 Ther wiste no wight that he was in dette, Nowher so bisy a man as he ther nas, So estatly was he of his governaunce, 16 281 And yet he semed bisier than he was. With his bargaynes, and with his chev- In termes hadde he caas30 and domes31 alle, isa unce.17

That from the tyme of king William were i barmaid. 3 leper. 4 beggar woman.

falle. á considering his ability.

6 profit.

poor people. the beginning of the Latin Gospel of St. John.





2 better.


18 know not.

21 psaltery. 10 proceeds of his begging. 11 regular income.

23 " with propriety and modesty." 12 tending towards.

13 guarded

24 meaning.

25 conducing to. 14 shields, French coins.

15 employed.

27 church-porch. 17 dealings.

31 judgments.

* was not.

19 outer coat.

20 fiddle.

22 get.

28 because of.

23 cautious.
2 conveyancer.

16 management.

30 cases.



gale. 29

Therto he coude endyte, and make a thing, But al with silver, wroght ful clene and Ther coude no wight pinchel at his weel, wryting;


Hir girdles and hir pouches every-deel. And every statut coude he pleyn by rote. Wel semed ech of hem a fair burgeys, He rood but hoomly in a medlee cote To sitten in a yeldhalle25 on a deys. 370 Girt with a ceint of silk, with barres Everich, for the wisdom that he can, smale;

Was shaply for to been an alderman. Of his array telle I no lenger tale.


For catei26 hadde they y-nogh and rente, A FRANKELEYN was in his companye; And eek hir wyves wolde it wel assente; Whyt was his berd, as is the dayesye. And elles certein were they to blame.

375 Of his complexioun he was sangwyn.' It is ful fair to been y-clept “ma dame, Wel loved he by the morwe) a sopo in And goon to vigilyës al bifore,

And have a mantel royalliche y-bore. To liven in delyt was ever his wone, 335 A Cook they hadde with hem for the For he was Epicurus owne sone,

nones, That heeld opinioun that pleyn delyt:

To boille the chiknes with the mary-bones, Was verraily felicitee parfyt.

And poudre-marchant tart,28 and galinAn housholdere, and that a greet, was he;

381 Seynt Iulian he was in his contree. 340

Wel coude he knowe a draughte of London His breed, his ale, was alwey after oon;"

ale. A bettre envyned to man was no-wher noon. He coude roste, and sethe, 30 and broille, With-oute bake mete was never his hous,

and frye, Of fish and flesh, and that so plentevous, Maken mortreux,31 and wel bake a pye. It snewed in his hous of mete and drinke, But greet harm was it, as it thoughte Of alle deyntees that men coude thinke.346 me,

385 After the sondry sesons of the yeer,

That on his shine a mormal32 hadde he; So chaunged he his mete and his soper. For blankmanger,33 that made he with the Ful many a fat partrich hadde he in beste. mewe,

A SHIPMAN was ther, woning fer by And many a breem12 and many a luce13 in weste:

350 For aught I woot, he was of Dertemouthe. Wo was his cook, but-if his sauce were He rood up-on a rouncy, as he couthe, Poynaunt and sharp, and redy al his gere. In a gowne of falding

36 to the knee.

391 His table dormant15 in his halle alway A daggere hanging on a laas37 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 hote somer had maad his hewe al Ful ofte tyme he was knight of the shire. broun; An anlas 16 and a gipser17 al of silk

And, certeinly, he was a good felawe.

395 Heng at his girdel, whyt as morne milk. Ful many a draughte of wyn had he A shirreve hadde he been, and a countour;18 y-drawe Was no-wher such a worthy vavasour.19 360 From Burdeux-ward, whyl that the chap

An HABERDASSHER and a CARPENTER, man38 sleep. A WEBBE,20 a Dyere, and a TAPICER,21 Of

nyce conscience took he no keep.3 Were with us eek, clothed in ou2 liveree, If that he faught, and hadde the hyer Of a solempne and greet fraternitee. Ful fresh and newe hir gere apyked23 was; By water40 he sente hem hoom 40 to every Hir knyves were y-chaped24 noght with lond.

400 bras,

366 But of his craftol to rekene wel his tydes,

His stremes42 and his daungers him bisydes, I find fault with. ? of mixed colors. 3 girdle. & ruddy. 5 in the morning,

25 guild-hall. 28 property. & wine with bread in it.

a sharp sort of favoring. 29 sweet cyperus. 9 of one quality.

31 pottages. 13 pike.

a3 a sort of chicken compote. 34 hackney. 14 fish-pond. 15 permanent side table. 16 short dagger. 18 auditor. 19 landed gentleman. 37 string.

39 cared nothing at all. ?! upholsterer.


stewe. 14




27 for the occasion.

7 custom. 10 stored with wine.

30 boil.

* joy 11 coop

32 sore.

12 a sort of fish,

36 coarse cloth.


35 as well as he could.


40 he made the losers “walk the plank." trimmed.

24 capped.


purse. weaver

22 one.

41 skill.

42 currents.


scathe. 14

haunt, 15


His herberwel and his mone, his lode- A good Wyf was ther of bisyde BATHE, menage,

But she was som-del deef, and that was Ther nas noon swich from Hulle to

446 Cartage.

Of clooth-making she hadde swiche an Hardy he was, and wys to undertake; 405 With many a tempest hadde his berd been She passed hem of Ypres and of Gaunt. shake.

In al the parisshe wyf ne was ther noon He knew wel alle the havenes, as they That to the offring bifore hir sholde goon; were,

And if ther dide, certeyn, so wrooth was From Gootlond to the cape of Finistere, she,

451 And every cryke in Britayne and in That she was out of alle charitee. Spayne;


Hir coverchiefs 16 ful fyne were of ground;"7 His barge y-ċleped was the Maudelayne. I dorste swere they weyeden ten pound

With us ther was a DOCTOUR OF PHISYK, That on a Sonday were upon hir heed. 455 In al this world ne was ther noon him lyk Hir hosen weren of fyn scarlet reed, To speke of phisik and of surgerye;

Ful streite y-teyd, and shoes ful moiste18 For he was grounded in astronomye.

and newe. He kepte his pacient a ful greet del 415 Bold was hir face, and fair, and reed of In houres, 4 by his magik naturel.

hewe. Wel coude he fortunen the ascendent She was a worthy womman al hir lyve; Of his images for his pacient.

Housbondes at chirche-dore she hadde He knew the cause of everich maladye,

fyve, Were it of hoot or cold, or moiste, or

Withouten other companye in youthe; drye,


But therof nedeth nat to speke as nouthe. 19 And where engendred, and of what hu- And thryes hadde she been at Ierusalem; mour;

She hadde passed many a straunge streem; He was a verrey parfit practisour.

At Rome she hadde been, and at Boloigne, The cause y-knowe, and of his harm the In Galice at seint lame, and at Coloigne. rote,

She coude muche of wandring by the Anon he yaf the seke man his bote.?


467 Ful redy hadde he his apothecaries,

Gat-tothed20 was she, soothly for to seye. To sende him drogges, and his letuaries, Up-on an amblere esily she sat, For ech of hem made other for to winne; | Y-wimpledal wel, and on his heed an hat 470 Hir frendschipe nas nat newe to biginne. As brood as is a bokeler or a targe; Wel knew he the olde Esculapius,

A foot-mantel22 aboute hir hipes large, And Deiscorides, and eek Rufus;


And on hir feet a paire of spores sharpe. Old Ypocras, Haly, and Galien;

In felaweschip wel coude she laughe and Serapion, Razis, and Avicen;

474 Averrois, Damascien, and Constantyn; Of remedies of love she knew per-chaunce, Bernard, and Gatesden, and Gilbertyn. For she coude of that art the olde daunce. Of his diete mesurable was he,


A good man was ther of religioun, For it was of no superfluitee,

And was a povre PERSOUN24 of a toun; But of greet norissing and digestible. But riche he was of holy thoght and werk. His studie was but litel on the Bible.

He was also a lerned man, a clerk,

480 In sangwino and in pers' he clad was al, That Cristes gospel trewely wolde preche; Lyned with taffata and with sendal, 12

440 His parisshens devoutly wolde he teche. And yet he was but esy of dispence;13 Benigne he was, and wonder diligent, He kepte that he wan in pestilence.

And in adversitee ful pacient;

484 For gold in phisik is a cordial,

And swich he was y-preved25 ofte sythes. Therfore he lovede gold in special.

Ful looth were him to cursen for his tythes,





1 harbor. ? position of the moon. : pilotage.
* watched for his patient's favorable star.
6 On the five following lines consult the notes.
. root, origin. 7 remedy. & remedies. temperate.
10 red cloth. 11 blue cloth. 12 thin silk. 11 expenditure.

14 a pity. 16 skill. 16 head-dresses.

17 texture. 15 supple. 19 at present. 20 with teeth far apart. 21 her head well covered with a wimple. 22 cloth to protect the skirt.

23 talk. 24 parish priest.

25 proved.


many a time.

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